Tuesday, May 31, 2011

#PriorFatPack 5K Recap

So, it's been awhile since I last posted.  I have started posts multiple times and have just had to leave them - not ready to post and tend to other stuff.  I wish I had more time in my day to dedicate the kind of time I would like to dedicate here!  Alas, life calls and I must answer! 

Since the last time I was here I had a weigh in - I lost another 1.2, bringing my weight loss total to 69 pounds.  When I weighed in my favorite lady says to me "are you still trying to lose?" and I sheepishly answered "well, yes, I am".  She was fine with it - she just wanted to remind me that at some point I am going to have to figure out how to go from weight loss mode to maintenance mode.  I don't have to tell you friends - that notion scares the crap out of me!  I know that I am at a good weight for me, but honestly would like to round out my weight loss at 75 pounds.  I feel like at that point I will be at a place that I can maintain and still feel strong!  We'll see how that goes.  I have my third "maintenance" weigh in tomorrow - I trust she will not have to ask if I am still trying lose on this one!  I have been very hungry this week and there isn't much I have denied myself.  Sometimes I get stuck in that mind set of "I am burning calories, I can totally eat that!".  Oh well, this is a process and I am not going to nail it all of the time!

This weekend was a biggie for me.  I have found some very cool friends on this here interweb.  It started with the PriorFatGirl events and has branched off from there.  A couple of months ago, some of my peeps were on Twitter and they got to brainstorming and the #PriorFatPack was born.  If you are not on Twitter the hash tag may be a weird concept - but it's quite the deal on Twitter!  So, this group was formed and they decided to run a 5K together.  I had already run a couple with Melissa but I really liked the idea of getting on board with this and running another one and being there to support a bunch of great people as they embarked on their first 5Ks.  So, I persuaded them to take me in to their pack (it didn't take much convincing) and it was official! 

We chose a Memorial Day race at Lake Como in St Paul.  This race was to bring awareness to Healthy Hearts and Minds and is part of the Charities Challenge that is organized and run by a guy named Gary.   I had never met Gary before, but to finally meet Gary yesterday was an honor and a privilege.  Our #PriorFatPack weekend started on Sunday with a potluck at Ann and Jay's party room in their apt complex.  I had previously met several of the pack members but it's still always nerve wracking to walk in to a room full of people that you know so well from their blogs but you don't talk to in real life every day.  As usual, I was instantly set at ease by Kris who came up and gave me a hug immediately when I walked in the door - she has a way of making you feel like you are the only person in the room and I love that about her.  I opted to leave the girls at home with Grandma even though they were perfectly welcome - I really wanted to be able to talk and connect with people instead of chasing two crazy toddlers around the place!  I love them dearly but they don't allow for much chatting!  The room was full of so many great people at different spots in their journey but we all had the same goal in the front of our minds.  We were going to run/walk a 5K together - we would all be together at the finish line - we would ALL FINISH!  It was a really fun night and I was bummed when I had to leave to go pick up my girls.  I am already looking forward to our next gathering!

The next morning was the big day!  Our 5K at Lake Como!  The weather was not good - it had been pouring earlier in the morning and the sky was still not looking very friendly at race time.  I really should know better, if I plan to run a race - the weather is going to suck!  There was a nice chilly breeze coming off the lake so I kept my jacket on until the last minute before ditching it to run.  We took a couple of "BEFORE" group shots and then it was time to head to the start line.

PFP in full effect!  Raaawwwrrr!
I personally had a goal to finish the race under 30 minutes again.  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to push myself because I was having some hip pain but it was in the front of my mind to do what I could to finish under 30.  We were introduced to a lady at the beginning of the race that was overcoming a brain injury and had recently lost 50 pounds because she had put on weight while she was recovering and not able to exercise.  It really put the whole day in to perspective - if she could come back from a near fatal brain injury and run this race today - so could I, sore hip or not!  The first mile was good, I could feel my hip but it wasn't anything terrible - my 1 mile split was 9:30.  I knew if I could keep up that pace I would definitely finish under 30 minutes.  My second mile split was a little bit faster, not much though.  The third mile was tough - my legs were really tired but I knew I could finish and I knew I had to finish.  There were two girls on the course with me pretty much the whole race - we kept trading who was in front, I was determined to fnish with them or before them - they really kept me motivated the whole time - I hope I did the same for them! 

Me (front) - 1.6 miles down!
I ended up finishing at 28:36 and felt good at the end of the race.  When I was done running, I grabbed a water and apple and got back to the finish line to cheer for my friends that were still coming through!  It was so much fun to be there cheering and yelling for everyone that came through that finish line.  Most of the other races I have done are so much larger and standing at the finish to cheer wasn't practical.  I absolutely loved the set up of this race and the intimate feeling I got from everyone there.  Everyone was so supportive!  The #PriorFatPack was a huge presence at the race that day - on the course and off!  Another person who was a huge presence on race day was a girl named Angie - she has Cerebral Palsy and she walked the 5K with her mom.  I passed Angie right before the 1 mile mark and I was just overwhelmed that she was out there doing it - she was doing a 5K - she wasn't letting her physical ability get in the way of what she wanted to do.  I don't think I will ever forget Angie - in fact at the finish she got in a picture with all of us and I am so glad!  I am not sure that we all knew how emotional the day could be.  I know for me, it wasn't about finishing the 5K, it was watching my friends finish their first 5Ks and the pride that I could see in their faces and the smiles when they crossed that finish line.  It was also Gary (the race organizer), this guy could be one of the most amazing and inspiring men I have ever have the chance to meet.  You could see the love he had for everyone that was there that day and the inspiration he gets from those he meets on these adventures.  I can't wait to run another one of Gary's races - the whole day was inspirational and emotional - I loved every second of it. 

PriorFatPack - 5K FINISHED!
Okay - this post got really long, but I just wanted to get it all down - for fear I would forget the feeling!  I feel incredibly blessed to have the friends and family that I have in my every day life.  I am just as blessed to have all of these wonderful friends from my blogging life.  I am so glad to have had the opportunity to turn some of my online friends in to real life friends.  The support and inspiration that all of these folks provide to me every day is priceless.  So, the PriorFatPack has one 5K in the books - with many more to come!  Thank you to each and every person that is a part of the PriorFatPack for taking me in to your group and welcoming me with open arms.  I am a better person for knowing each and every one of you! 

And for good measure - RAAAAWWWRRR!!!!!

Be happy and healthy friends!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pardon the Interruption...

I want to interrupt the regular scheduled programming to bring you this….




THANK YOU!




At Sugarland Concert - 5/7/2011

I normally would have gone in and replied to each and everyone of your comments – I usually do that by the way. I am not that “popular” so I do have time to read and respond to most comments!  But, honestly I don’t know if people know when I respond to their comments and I really wanted to be sure you all saw this today.

I was totally blown away by the amazing things people had to say in the comments here on the blog and the comments on Facebook. I knew I was surrounded by amazing people – but wow, you guys sure reminded me in a big way over the last 24 hours.

I don’t know that I will ever be able to effectively articulate what the support and encouragement means to me. There were days that the comments, words of wisdom, etc were exactly what I needed to stay focused or GET focused. I thought of so many of you when I would try and talk myself OUT of a workout or a run. Your faces, words and hearts reminded me what I needed to do and how good I would feel about it when it was done.

I am still getting used to the idea that I could be an inspiration to someone else. It is the best compliment that I have received and I hope to continue to inspire people and be inspired by the many wonderful people in my life.

This healthiness journey is a lifelong commitment that I have made to myself, my girls, my husband and my family and friends. I plan on being around a long time to enjoy all of you!

Have a happy and healthy day friends!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

She shoots...she scores!

Happy Wednesday! I was going to do a wordless post today and show you a bunch of super duper cute pics of my girls that I took before I went on my work trip. But, I have had a totally awesome morning so I wanted to share with WORDS!


I had my weigh in today at Weight Watchers. I briefly mentioned the other day that I had gotten to goal – only .2 pounds below it but I was there! However, I had weighed in on Friday (missed my regular meeting while in Vegas) which meant, no Melissa and no regular WW leader to celebrate with me. My mom was with me – which was cool, because we don’t typically go to the same location - and she does a pretty good job of being excited for me! I was excited to go today so I could tell Jaime (WW leader) that I had made goal last week and to get my little rock star charm!


Me and My WW Charms

I was nervous about the scale – but I always am so I was just hoping I was still at goal! Well, my body must have liked getting back to a routine this week because I lost 2.8 pounds this week! I am officially 3 pounds under my goal and have lost 67.8 pounds total since I started this journey back in September.

I feel good…nope, I feel GREAT! I am currently at the smallest weight I have been in a very long time. I was trying to find pictures of me from the past when I was this size and I can’t find any! I am sure they exist but it clearly was not in the digital age – because I have a computer at home full of pics and I don’t look like this in ANY OF THEM! Not even my wedding day – I am even smaller than that day and I thought I was rockin it back then! I did have this picture of myself from the summer before my senior year of high school – my friend Steph and I had gone to the cabin with my family and we were at the beach in our swimsuits – I was “skinny” and I have always shown my husband that picture and said “this is what I want to look like again”. I have to get that pic out and scan it in – I bet I am pretty close if not already there!

I don’t have a lot to say today except that I am so happy and proud of where I am today. I can genuinely say I am happy with where I am. Do I have more work to do? Sure. But today I am going to enjoy my new body, my new attitude and my new life! I have earned it! It’s a beautiful day in MN today and I plan to go for a walk with the family after dinner tonight and enjoy it! We are a happy, healthy family and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Thank you to each and everyone of you that has supported and encouraged me! I could not have done any of this without the love and support I received along the way. I am far from done – this is a life long journey I am on – so keep it coming!

Be well my friends!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't Go Anywhere!

I am still here!  I promise that I didn't just run a 10K race and then decide I was done with this whole journey! 
Quick recap:
  • WW Weigh in 5/4 - I only needed to lose .4 pounds to make my WW goal - I GAINED .6 - thus not making my WW goal.  I was annoyed for a little bit but was reminded of how far I have come, what I have accomplished over the last 7-8 months and was able to move on. 
  • I have been logging as many miles as I can possibly get in as I am participating in a challenge over at PriorFatGirl.  I haven't done a lot of long runs lately - but trying to get in miles every day!
I went to Las Vegas on Sunday 5/8 for a work conference.  I was there Sunday until early Thursday morning.  It was a long trip - I will do a post about that because we went golfing on Sunday and it was too fun and too funny to not earn its very own post!  I missed my girls and husband a lot while I was gone - but all three of them were well taken care of while I was gone, so that was comforting.

I missed my WW meeting on Wednesday since I was in Vegas.  I did go to a meeting on Friday morning though - I didn't want to wait a whole week before weighing in again.  I was ready to face the music, I had just been in Vegas for 5 days - I only ran once, I ate pretty well (but its hard to know exactly, all of the time) and I drank (beer)!  Well, evidently all of the walking we did paid off because I actually lost 1.2 pounds while in Vegas.  So, at a different meeting, a different weigh in - I made my WW goal weight.  My mom was with me cause she needed to weigh in early before she left on vacation the next day.  I opted not to stay for the meeting so that I could go this week with Melissa and get my award and kudos from my regular meeting leader and have Melissa with me.  Hopefully I am still under that goal weight this week! 

I am back to reality and trying to get back in the swing of things.  I ran a 5K this past weekend and got a new personal record (a post on that later this week!). I am still logging miles so I can submit a good total for the PriorFatGirl/Polar Challenge.  I won't win but I it was fun to push myself! 

This post is all over the place but I wanted to get a quick post written so I didn't lose all of you!  I have a few posts brewing - Vegas recap, Shopping Experience, 5K Recap/PR, and maybe one with a bunch of pictures (just because my girls are SO CUTE!).

Have a great Tuesday friends!  Be happy and healthy!
Jen

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Get in Gear 10K

Wow!  I have wanted to write this post for days but life has been craaazy!  As some of you know - if you are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter - I RAN A 10K ON SATURDAY! 

Going in to Saturday morning I was a little nervous - not so much about running the race but dealing with the race day crowd and the sheer amount of people I knew would be there.  The forecast for weather was not good - all week all Keith Marler would tell me is that it was going to rain Saturday morning!  I begged and pleaded for an updated forecast but no dice.  I woke up Saturday morning and it was raining - and it was not a drizzle - it was raining!  Fortunately it was not too cold  - it was about 40 degrees.  We have run in much colder conditions and actually I think Melissa and I would have felt better had it just been snowing!  That we were used to - rain, not so much!

Melissa picked me up at 7:15 and we headed to Minnehaha Park.  They had buses shuttling runners over from the VA Medical Center parking lot.  It was a pretty smooth process even though the rain was pretty relentless.  We got to the park and met up with Troy and Jamie (friends running with us from work).  I had a couple of other friends running too so I was keeping an eye out - and lo and behold I spotted Ann and her husband Jay before the race started.  I was glad to see her and be able to give her a pre-race hug - we are both first time 10K'ers and she is a great source of encouragement for me!

It was cold just hanging out waiting for the race to start but we finally got to the time to make our way to the start line.  Holy people!  People everywhere - we found our way to a clear spot and got ready.  Before we knew it the gun went off and we were....moving at a snail pace!  Seriously - it took us almost 2 minutes to cross the start line to start the race.  The first mile or so was pretty congested with people but after that point it got better and there was less bumping and crowding.  I have never run in a race with so many people (5000)! 

I felt great during the run, I had my iPod turned on, running next to my best friend and it was raining!  You really couldn't ask for a better situation!  I kid!  But, really each time we passed a mile marker I kept waiting for my legs to get tired and to have the urge to tell Melissa it was maybe time to take a quick one minute walk break.  But, that time never really came.  I am fairly confident I was running on the high of race day excitement - whatever it was - it felt good! 

We got to mile 5 and I remember turning to Melissa and saying "you know if we can run this last 1.2 in less than 10 minutes we could cross at under an hour".  I clearly was insane at that point!  We still had the Ford Bridge to get over and I really had no idea what the course looked like before or after the bridge.  We ran a pretty strong last mile and when we came around the corner and saw the 6 mile sign we stepped it up a little bit.  I could feel my stride naturally get longer and our speed got quicker.  We finished that last .2 with as much energy as we had left!  We crossed the finish line together (with about 10 or 30 other people!) and I was so happy!  I had just finished a 10K race, I just ran 6.2 miles without taking a walk break, and I felt so great!  Troy was there waiting for us at the finish - he was so proud of us, I thanked him for encouraging us to sign up for the 10K (he was right, this is a good distance!).  Jamie came across the finish shortly after Melissa and I - she did so great, her first running race EVER and she did amazing! 
My official race time was 1:03.  I was ecstatic with that time.  I was hoping for just over an hour so I was very pleased.  Despite the weather I did have a few people that ventured out in the rain to cheer us on!  My in laws were on the parkway toward the beginning of the race - it was great to see them there and the energy stuck with me for another mile or so!  And then my mom was at the finish with the big crowds, shaking her cowbell for us as we came around the last bend!  It was so great to have a few familiar faces there cheering us on.  My hubby and kids stayed home because of the weather - Zoe was major bummed!  I also have to say the number of people that were there cheering for the runners throughout the course was so awesome.  Complete strangers but their encouragement really did help - if it wouldn't have affected my time I would have stopped and thanked them all! 
After the race we met up with Ann and Jen for a post race photo op!  It was fun to see them after and be able to revel in our 10K accomplishment together! 

Jen, Ann and Me - 10K finishers!  Woot! Woot!
It really was a great experience overall - even with the rain.  The Get in Gear is a really well done event, they had a ton of volunteers and I will for sure be back next year!  I have a few more races in the next couple of months - mostly 5Ks, but have decided that I need to find another 10K race for the end of June to keep me motivated and on track with my training!  I am also toying with training for the Twin Cities 10 Mile race in October.  You heard it hear folks, I have officially caught the running bug!  Who knew!

This has gotten very long but before I wrap up there is one more person I need to say thank you to.  My dear friend Melissa: she's my training partner, she's my Caribou coffee comrade and the best friend I could ask for.  If it was not for her, none of this would have been possible.  The early Saturday morning runs, by myself?  I don't think so!  Thank you so much for going on this adventure with me - I look forward to many more chapters - and adding many more crazy running friends along the way!