The official graduation / Superman / and blah blah blah.

1 04 2010

It’s official.

I can now buy this beautiful shirt. I’ve worked nine long weeks to be able to say I can wear this shirt and know it to be true. I woke up early this morning with that “runner’s anticipation” in my stomach. That nervousness in the pit of your stomach that starts to wonder how far, how long and how in the world?

For a fleeting moment I prayed for another downpour. It was only fleeting. I wanted to do this run. I wanted to get outside before sun rise, pop in my earphones and let Robert Ullrey lull me into what would be my final run of the c25k program.

It was a little surreal, this run. Normally during my last run of the week, my mind wanders to what in store for me. For nine weeks I was focused on what coolrunnings thought I could do and would do. I constantly thought about whether or not I should repeat a week or just go and trust they knew what they were talking about.

I went with the trust factor.

They were right. Maybe not so much on the length portion. Today’s 30 minute run put me at about 2.25 miles, .85 miles short of 3.1. But they were right about the duration goal. If you had come to me nine weeks ago and said “Tara, you’re going to do this running program and in nine weeks you’re going to get up and run 2.25 miles without stopping“, I would have gaffawed at you. If I was drinking milk at the same time I would have accidentally spit it in your face at your unbelievable statement.

Not so unbelievable anymore.

This run, there was no thinking about what am I doing next week with coolrunnings. It was a little nerve wracking. Now what? You mean I have to do this on my own? Whose going to tell me when to run. Whose going to tell me when to stop?

Then I realized it was going to be me. I have the freedom now to figure out what exactly this running thing means to me. No more worrying about whether or not I’m going to be able to do a certain duration. No more freaking out about what’s coming up the next week, or the week after that.

Now I can just run.



Yesterday was my first meeting with Kent the trainer. It was mostly just talking, getting to know one another. Actually it was more him crunching numbers to get my BMI, RHR and any other TLA he could find.

Oh you don’t know what TLA means?

Three Letter Acronym

A little digression – There are companies out that have committees that sit around thinking of TLA, thinking it makes life easier than saying the words each time. Seriously!

Wonder what my Superman looks like?

Here’s his philosophy (thank goodness for copy and paste): “I have the training and experience to lead anyone to their fitness goals, whether you are training to improve your quality of life or to increase performance in a specific sport. Everyone should have a fitness assessment prior to an exercise program. The assessment will determine the optimal starting point for your program and is a great tool to measure the gains you have made during you program. When you are able to quantify the improvements you have made this will motivate you to continue to set and reach loftier goals. Your training should continually progress eventually landing you in the free weight area. Nothing burns calories like resistance training both during the work out and during the recovery days that follow. Additionally, it’s my goal to educate you on fitness, I will explain what and why we are doing certain exercises, the effects and why it is beneficial for the body. Your body will thank you each and every day by feeling better with a tremendous amount of energy.

And his experience:

  • 7 Years Personal Trainer
  • Cancer Survivor exercise development
  • 20 years military training
  • Wrote and monitored physical fitness programs for military units specifically to enhance combat effectiveness

Now go back and read that last bullet…


I’m hoping he’ll teach me some cool MacGyver move where I paralyze someone with a shoelace and a small towel.

He explained to me about not needing to do Cardio everyday. My running was probably going to be sufficient (less elliptical – even though I love it. I think I love it because of the t.v. that is attached to the machine – cause seriously who doesn’t love watching Law & Order while ellipticalling) (did I just make that word up – ellipticalling?) (am I using too many parenthesis?)

He explained to me about weight training to burn more calories. “Damaging” the muscles so that you burn more calories while healing. Ooooooooh. I have no idea what any of this means, but it makes sense.

He was impressed with my 3 month progress and pleased to hear my commitment. I was honest with him about my goals (70 pounds left to lose, working toward 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, triathlon, ironman, taking over the world). He understood my absolute ineptitude for what I’m about to embark on and while he wanted to get right down to business I told him I was a slow and steady kind of gal.

He showed me two weight bearing machines. Not the kind with counter weights but the kind you actually put free weights onto. Nothing major, just sit and have a look see. Push here, pull here…

Even without the weights it was harder than I thought.

I may be able to run for 30 minutes, swim 50 laps and go 45 minutes on the elliptical but I couldn’t go 2 minutes on those weight machines. This is going to be cool as all get out!

Our hour came and went. I made my first “real” appointment for next Tuesday at 6:30am. As we parted way, he patted me on the back and said “prepare to be sore”.

If only he knew how long I’ve been waiting to here that…


A few things to point out here before I close for the night and catch up on all the wonderful bloggers and CKers that keep me determined to fight this fight.

  • I’m about to begin another category: 229-220. I don’t know when I’m going to hit the 220’s but this morning when I got on the scale it said 229. Since I don’t do official weigh in until Saturday I am only taking this number at face value. But it sure is a pretty number.
  • I’m going to start recording my total mileage run starting today. I’m also going to count swim laps cause swimming is pretty hardcore. RAWR.
  • I’ve got some new guns starting to show themselves. Not guns, like colt 45 or 30 aught 6 (how’s that for gun speak? I blame Blake Shelton’s “Hillbilly Bone”), I’m talking about biceps…Woot Woot Baby!

That’s all there is for today folks. I’ll be taking a pass on breaking a sweat tomorrow. I’ve worked a seriously long day today and there is too much construction on the interstate to get me home at a decent hour (I started work this morning at 8. Will finish at 11p. Word on the street my normal 30 minute commute is taking about 90 minutes with road closures). Saturday is my first official “non c25k” run day. Sunday I’m ellipticalling/swimming laps and sending out positive vibes to my movemates!

Did I just make up another word: Movemates???

Will you be my movemate?


Two 30 minute runs: A comparison.

30 03 2010

As most of you know I am finishing up my c25k program this week. I have one more session…

One more.

Then I’m on my own to figure out where I want to take this whole running thing. I’m a little nervous that once the program is over I’ll lose my drive to continue.  There are other running programs out there 5k-8k and 5k-10k that I’ll probably download to my trusty little shuffle and give it a go. With that being said I have run the 30 minute portion twice. Once outside. Once on the treadmill. Now a comparison.


There is something to be said about knowing you’re coming down the pike to a finish that makes you look forward to doing something that is physically challenging. My first attempt was last Saturday. I decided to go out by where the gym was so that I could run and then meet with Kent (The trainer) afterwards (From here on out I’m going to call Kent “Superman” cause he’s built like Clark Kent on the outside but you just know there is something spectacular inside).

This was a run that was not very well planned out. I didn’t know how far I could get in 30 minutes, if there was a round about circular path I should follow that would put me close to the starting point, or what the traffic would be like on an early Saturday morning. I just started out and hoped for the best.

I got the best I could have hoped for. Too early for traffic so no problem there. I quickly figured out the best route to take so that even if I passed my original starting point I could easily fill in the rest of the time without going to far. What I didn’t think about were the two hills that I would encounter. One in the middle of my run and one at the very end. 4 weeks ago I would have dreaded those hills. Sunday I looked forward to conquering them. Both times I told myself I didn’t care how slow I took them but they had to be taken at a run, not a walk and without stopping. Both times were a success.

It was a slow run.

I didn’t care.

I ran up two hills.

The treadmill:

On Monday I woke up to find a torrential down pour happening in my city.  Not the kind of rain that you muster up the determination to just get out and do it. This was the kind of rain that 10 feet from my house I would be soaked  and it would make for an awful running experience, not to mention it was the first day of  going back to work at the community college and time was not on my side.

So I did the only thing I could think off.

I took my run to the gym.

And this is what I thought of it:

It pretty much sucked. I tried my best to not watch the time and at one point even put a towel over it to cover the damn thing. Unfortunately my running is so haphazard that I vibrated it off and it fell on the belt, under my feet and then landed behind me.


I kept grabbing the bar and then quickly shaking a mental finger at myself to let go. The treadmills are in front of a long ass mirror and I kept watching myself. One thing fat people shouldn’t do is watch themselves in the mirror. It leads to stinkin thinking:

“That person next to you looks so much better”

“Seriously, you’re never going to be a runner”

“You don’t look like you’ve lost 30 pounds”

“Are your legs rubbing together…gross”

“All that sweat is disgusting”

“Look at how fat you look”

“You’ll never run that 5k”

“Give up already”

“You suck”



You get the picture.

Not to mention “snot rockets” don’t work well while running indoors.

The only good thing about the treadmill experience is that the last minute I pushed myself and got the speed up to 4.5 and didn’t fall off like the towel did 25 minutes early.

So there you have folks, treadmill running is not for me.

Tomorrow would officially be my last day to run the c25k program but I’m going to postpone it until Thursday. I really want my last session to be outside and the Wappler Doppler says it’s going to be another bucket tipping downpour.


So instead I’ll be meeting with Superman tomorrow. It will be the first of two free sessions and if he gives me what I’m looking for (which I have yet to figure out) then this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to be a part of this 100+ weight loss life changing journey?

Don’t you?

Whoa there 28! and a new gym member in town.

22 03 2010

Is it a coincidence that as I’m coming up on the -30 pound mark, I’m also coming up to the 30 minute running mark on c25k?

No improvement on speed during this last run. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was going slower but I blame that on the elements (wind, rain) and on the fact that I was too occupied with the idea of having to use the restroom and too far away from anything even if I did stop. 28 minutes came and went and then I hit the first half of the North 30th street hill. This is no easy hill for sure..I think it’s about 6 blocks long with a serious incline. A SERIOUS INCLINE!!! Before I do my 5k in June I will run up this beast of burden. First I’ll start by walking the first half  🙂

5 more sessions…

I am coming to the end of c25k in mere days. I almost want to run everyday for the next 5 days just to get to the end. However, I wouldn’t be slow and steady anymore…I’d be speedy and haphazard! I am concentrating on really pushing that last minute. Running until I’m just about out of breath, since I know it’s the last minute. A few times I’ve surprised myself at how fast I felt like I was running, even after 25/28 minutes.

I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish before June 12th.


I did something yesterday that I’ve never done before.

I walked into a gym.

I told myself that when I got the first 30 pounds off (by myself) I was going to get a gym membership and begin the second part of my weight loss journey. Part of me thought I would never even get to that number so there was no point in being stressed about taking my weight loss even more public.

Until yesterday. The scale hit 233 early in the morning. Will it continue to be that number until Saturday’s weigh in?


But I made a promise that at 30 pounds I would pick a gym.

So that’s what I did.

I’ve had one in mind for a while.

Allstar Fitness.

No lie, I picked it because they advertise a great playroom for kids while moms work out. Seemed logical. Moms with kids + Tacoma = probably overweight like me. I go in and ask for a tour.

I am introduced to the Manager (and Muay Thai/Boxing trainer) who looks over my initial information. We sit down and he got right to the point: “Why did you come through those doors today Tara?

Well isn’t it obvious?

Then I realize it’s not obvious. What I want to attain isn’t obvious because I don’t look like I still need to lose 70 pounds. I never looked like I needed to lose 100 pounds. So what do I do? Do I fib and say “oh I’m looking to tone up”? Do I say “Oh I’m just looking to lose a few pounds”?…

I think to myself: Please don’t cry. Don’t be ashamed. You’ve already lost the first 30 pounds. You’re here not because you’re fat and lazy. You’re here because you want to lose even more weight. This isn’t about defeat, it’s about success.

I look him in the eyes.

“Well, I’m here because at the end of December, I weighed 264 pounds” (here I think I paused to see the look of shock on his face that someone that fat could actually even think about joining a gym…but I got nothing so I continued) “When I got on the scale this morning it said 233 pounds. I made a promise that after I lost the first 30 pounds by myself, I’d join a gym and lose the other 70”

He didn’t flinch at the numbers. He didn’t laugh at me or tell me to leave. He just said “I like it when people come in with a specific goal…let’s take the tour”

I liked what I saw. Main lobby has a 3 story rock climbing station. Main room (with all the cardio goodies and free weights) was open and lots of room to move around. There is a space separate from the main room (on the second floor) for women only. That was a big selling point for me. But the best part was the pool…

7 lanes dedicated to laps. All laps, all the time!

I am the newest member of Allstar Fitness. I got up bright and early (still trying to adjust my sleep schedule) and put that main room of cardio goodness to use.




Weigh in #12…

20 03 2010

It’s been a great week. Not just physically but emotionally. I signed up for my first 5k, I’m coming to an end in c25k (2 weeks left), I had a eye opening therapy session, I found some new muscles, two of my friends are moving more, my husband is losing weight. I’ve been conscious about the food going into my mouth and the exercise coming off of my body…

12 weeks ago I started posting my weigh ins. It was a hard decision to make them public but I just can’t hide this weight and what it’s doing to me physically and mentally any longer. I make these numbers public here, at CalorieKing and on Facebook. So far it’s done exactly what I hoped it would do…

Create a loss.

-3.2 this week.

Here are the numbers:

  • Week 0 = 263.5 (-0.0)
  • Week 1 = 257.4 (-6.1)
  • Week 2 = 255.0 (-2.4)
  • Week 3 = 254.6 (-.4)
  • Week 4 = 253.8 (-.8) *I started c25k
  • Week 5 = 248.2 (-5.6)
  • Week 6 = 247.2 (-1.0)
  • Week 7 = 246.2 (-1.0)
  • Week 8 = 244.4 (-1.8)
  • Week 9 = 241.0 (-3.4)
  • Week 10 = 240.6  (-.4)
  • Week 11 = 238.0 (-2.6)
  • Week 12 = 234.8 (-3.2)
  • With the exception of week 10 (-.4 and making the realization of exactly what sodium retention looks like) I’m seeing some great numbers this month. If I had to pin point the reasons I would say the c25k program is probably the biggest factor. I’m in the part of the program where it’s just about running and pushing your body past that limit of “I just can’t possibly do this”. I’m no longer thinking about the minutes but rather what can I do to improve on those minutes.

    I’m still obese (my bmi is 36 and I still have 75 pounds to lose) but what I do know is that I don’t weigh 263 today. With hard work, determination, eating less and moving more I won’t weigh 234 next week either!

    Full of emotions…

    17 03 2010

    There is a lot going on with me today.

    Good and bad.

    First the bad because I truly believe in leaving any situation in an upbeat status whenever possible and who wants to read a blog that ends on some sad depressing note when there is also good stuff to share.

    I had my therapy appointment today. We talked mostly about my brother Kerry. I have three older brothers…well actually two now since the oldest of the three passed away a few years ago (cancer). My brother Kerry is the youngest of the three and six years older than me. He is an alcoholic in the truest form. He’s in denial over how bad things are for him. He lived with me for a short period of time last year (7 months) after separating from his wife of 17 years and during those short months I learned a lot about my brother. None of which is good. I eventually asked him to leave because he couldn’t get his drinking under control and it was taking a toll on my marriage, my emotional well being and just all around sucked.

    The reason for the therapy discussion about him today is because he really hurt my feelings a few weeks ago after telling his ex-wife (who then passed the message on to me) that if I wanted to get in touch with him, I would need to call him because he deleted my phone number out of his phone. This may not seem like a big deal to you but to me it was one of the meanest things he could have said..there is some more background to why this was hurtful so just trust me when I say he’s a total ass for saying that.

    Now there is a dilemma.

    To call.

    Or not to call.

    After much thought I’ve decided to not call and see how he’s doing. I offered my help once and he pretty much pissed that away. He thinks he’s the only one that’s ever suffered in this life we lead. He forgets that I completely understand what it’s like to be addicted to something that controls every aspect of your life. He thinks he’s the only one that’s experience loss of family and friends (I guess he forgets that we shared the same mom, grandmother and brother). He refuses to seek medical attention for depression (which is genetic in our family) and as of today refuses to seek help for his alcoholism.  He thinks he’s the only one that has ever suffered through a failed marriage (he must forget sitting in the front row of my first wedding). He leads a sad life and after leaving my therapist today, I’ve come to the conclusion that I just can’t be a part of that any longer.

    He’s running out of time to get it together…longevity does not run in our family when one is afflicted with alcoholism/drug addiction. My mother died when she was 52, my brother John was only 50…My brother Kerry is on the fast track to joining them. I see beyond those numbers and see a life worth living.

    I wish he could do the same.

    I’m also emotionally spent after officially signing up for my first 5k (missed the post? Go here). I think when it takes more than 3 hours to work up the courage to hit the register button, one must concur that there are many underlying issues going on. The main “issue” is having to resolve myself to knowing I won’t be the best. Now before you rush to leave me a “you’re only running against yourself” comment, trust me I know this already (The mature/rational adult Tara know this). Like I said, there are so many layers upon layers of issues.

    But that is why this portion of my post is the good news.

    I’m actually looking forward figuring all this stuff out. Working through the “I’m not good enough“(s) and the “you’ll never amount to anything“(s). Not to mention the “you’re fat and will always be fat“(s) and the “what’s the point of trying, since you’re going to fail“(s)

    I’m looking forward to starting the process of stopping that damn tape recorder in my head of my mother’s voice, telling me that unless I’m the best then I’m worthless.

    This is going to be an exciting time for me over the course of the next 3 months. When I cross that finish line on June 12th, I’ll be crossing so much more. Progress…slow and steady.

    I ran w7d2 of c25k this morning. I got up an hour earlier than usual as I’m trying to retrain my body to get up at a different hour than normal. Work schedule is changing so getting up at 5 is going to be more feasible to continue running that my usual 7. It was dark outside when I ran so that was a first. I think I should have had some sort of reflector on since I was in dark running pants, dark hoodie and dark baseball cap. The only reflection was my shiny sauconies. It wasn’t as hard as Monday’s run since I ran the exact same course and was able to anticipate the end of 25 minutes. I pushed myself real hard the last minute and came out 1 block farther than I did on Monday.

    I’m looking forward to finishing out c25k over the next two weeks. I’m planning on going on with another program that takes you from 5k to 8k just to get my duration running up. I’ll also be tackling some major hills in the area to get my elevation stamina up. Next weekend I’ll walk the 5k route of Sound to Narrows to become familiar with the layout. Once a week starting in April I’ll attempt to run what I can of it until I’ve run the entire route. I expect this to happen much sooner than the June 12th deadline to the actual 5k.

    Progress…slow and steady!

    Am I running too slow?

    15 03 2010

    What an interesting question to ponder.

    Am I running too slow?

    Today I diverged from my usual running spots (water front and the park) and ran on of the routes I normally walk my dogs. This way I could map it on gmap-pedometer and get a rough estimate on my speed. Last Friday I ran the track during my first 25 minute trial and it put me at about 1.5 miles but there was so much wind and rain that I didn’t really trust that to be accurate. So today I took it too the streets.

    After calculations from gmap, it says I ran 1.75 miles in 25 minutes. That equates to 4.2 mph. That puts me at about a 15 minute  mile. Is that slow? Or is that pretty normal for someone who has never run before in their adult life.  I know over time (with practice) it will get faster but today I just feel like it’s too damn slow.

    I felt a little frustrated and a little over exposed because I ran on a main street and with today being Monday, it was pretty dang busy. It also didn’t help that my normal podcast (Robert Ullrey) seems to be on the fritz at the iTunes store and I had to improvise with a new podcast. I found some other “podcasts” that I liked on personal weblogs but am too technologically inept that I couldn’t figure out how to move them from my pc to my ipod…

    So my choices from the iTunes store was some mash up of techno or Indie Christian. I chose to go with the techno as I believe Indie Christian is both an oxy-moron and just not something I can get into. So Techno it was and it did the job just fine but I missed Robert’s voice for sure.

    As an extra added bonus I took my dogs on the same route I ran, I pulled out my new jump rope (black and red just like when I was a kid) and did 100 jumps (25 reps x 4), worked on the Wii for 50 minutes for a total of about 700 calories burned.

    Now to just figure out how to eat those back!

    I love you food, accountability and c25k week 6

    10 03 2010

    Dear Food…

    This has been a long in coming letter to you. I’m sorry I’ve had to make some abrupt changes in our relationship. I’m sure you understand. It couldn’t go on like this forever. One of us had to make a change and it seems that you were happy living a stagnant life of just being shoved into my mouth with no thought to how this was going to affect my weight down the road.

    I don’t want to hurt your feelings. We’ve been together a long time now. Good times. Bad times. Every holiday together either enjoying each other’s company or over a toilet bowl wishing we’d never seen the likes of one another. You’ve been with me through every break up and every death I’ve had to endure. And yet, here I am letting you know I’m unhappy.

    Don’t think of this as goodbye but rather a break until I can figure out how we can have a friendship together. One of mutual understanding. Friends with benefits so to speak. You’ll find someone else to love you the way I did. Trust me…you’re a hard one to resist.

    I had a friend ask me today to be their accountability support today.


    I can’t even begin to tell you how honored and shocked I am that someone would think I was deserving of this. People around me are moving more. I’m not forcing them. They’re doing it for themselves. People are reading my blog or seeing me take the stairs and they are following suit. Being on a life changing journey really does start to affect those around you. They start moving more and all of a sudden you feel a sense of responsibility…accountability. People start to ask little things “how did you start” “what’s the name of the podcast” “how do you stay motivated” “can I walk with you” and before you know it they are forging their own journey. It is such an honor to be a part of that. Even if it just for a moment. The more I move. The more you move. The more you move. The more I move. Round and round we go! I want more people to move.  People are starting to ask about my runs and what’s my weigh in is going to look like the following Saturday. Talk about incentive.  It’s not only about not letting myself down but now it’s about making sure other people aren’t let down as well.

    I have another friend that said she walked yesterday because I walk more. So I did the only thing I could think of. I dedicated my c25k run to her today. It was a hard run but I didn’t want to come back and have to say “sorry, I didn’t do it today” There was no motivation during the run. Just determination to get it done for myself and my friend.

    Today was the last run that included any type of walking interval mid run.

    Did you just read what I wrote?

    No more walking intervals from here on out. Friday is 25 minutes. Next week is all 25 minutes sessions. Week #8 is 28 minutes and the last week is 30 minutes.

    *deep breath*

    Don’t panic.

    Never in my life (previous to Dec 29th 2009) did I ever think I’d be this close to running for 30 minutes straight. Week 1 and 2 seem so far away and if  I were to run for 60 seconds now, I’d be like “is that it?”…

    1 minute 6 weeks ago.

    10 x’s that today (twice)

    That’s amazing.

    To all my friends that are moving a little more today than yesterday…

    You’re amazing.