Sunday, December 9, 2012

Running~My First Year

As I approach my one year anniversary of starting running and trying to eat healthy I decided I need to review how far I've come. I tried to find some pictures of before I started all this, but is seems I am very good at hiding from the camera! I have lots of pictures of the kids, but hardly any of me.Then I went into the photos I'm tagged in on Facebook. Eye opening.
April 2008, six weeks after Gracie was born.

Christmas 2009, two months after Brianna was born.
March 2010, Gracie's second birthday party.

March 2011, Gracie's third birthday party (I was also prego with Jerry).

Easter, 2011

Easter, 2011
August 2011, Elara's birthday party at Como Town.
 I think this one is the one that made me stop and pause. Wow. Fifty-eight pounds later, I can suddenly see why people keep telling me I look good now. People I haven't seen in years are saying there's something different. I should say so! Yikes.

When I started running in December, it was because a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she had joined the Color Run in Las Vegas. It looked like so much fun, I signed up that night too. Then I got to thinking~I'd better start running! I posted something about joining the Color Run and maybe I'd better start running. Another friend then told me about the Couch to 5K program. I remember my first run rather vividly. The instruction for that day was "Walk 5 minutes, jog 1 minute, walk 5 minutes." That one minute of running almost killed me. I was using my cell phone as a timer and I must have checked it three or four times in that minute! I thought there was no way I'd be able to get up to three miles by May! I stuck with it, though and I am so glad I did! The Color Run was moved to July and I was bummed. I was scheduled to be ready for a 5K in March and was really looking forward to racing in May. A different Facebook friend asked for people to join her team for the Race for a Cureprogram (5K run, 5K walk, and sleep in). I decided to go for it even though I'd be the only person on the team joining the run. I was so happy when I crossed that finish line, without walking at all!

In January Carrie invited me to join Lose It! and I figured I was already trying to run, and if I added calorie counting in perhaps it would make a difference in my body and weight. It was easy at first, but lately it has been getting very hard. I pretty much ate whatever my kids ate over the summer and I am having a very difficult time getting back into the healthy habit. Plus, my sweet tooth has really come out of hiding! I read somewhere that junk food causes a person to crave more junk food, and the craving can last for days. That explains a lot!

Fridley Kids in Action 5K:
A week after the Race for a Cure, my hometown had theFirst Annual Fridley Kids in Action 5K to fight genocide. Without really checking my calendar, I signed up for that one too. The race was a good twenty degrees warmer than the previous race, and I was so exhausted when I crossed that finish line! However, my two primary goals were met; I didn't stop or walk at all and I beat my previous time with a 38 minute finish.

Exhausted at the finish line while being congratulated by the girls.

Crossing the finish line!
Color Run MN:
Finally July came around, and I was so excited for the Color Run! We had a heat advisory that day, so I ended up walking part of the race. I was extremely disappointed,  but I did PR again. We had so much fun that I signed up to drive down to Des Moines for another Color Run in October! 

Our team, before

Carrie & I after.
Gopher to Badger:
After the Color Run came the Gopher to Badger 5K and Half. My brother-in-law told me about this one. He signed up to do the half. It sounded like fun; the races starts in Minnesota and the course travels across the I-94 bridge into Wisconsin. This race capitalizes on the MN/WI rivalry by posting the top three runners of each distance from Minnesota and Wisconsin. You may or may not remember, I had a colleague in this race, and we ran the first mile together. She set a pretty fast pace for me, and I ended updestroying my 35 minute goal.  This race was a big deal for me because it was my first chip timed race, and the first one that I did with serious runners. My previous races were charity or fun runs, and this one had a completely different vibe to it. Although I don't like the fabric of the shirts, I may do this one again. It was very well run.

Pepperfest 5K:
Next up was the Pepperfest 5K. I pretty much joined this one because it started and ended across the street from my house and was cheap. Despite running this course for a few weeks prior to the race, I hadn't been able to get through the whole thing during training. I think they should turn the course around, it was mostly uphill, and two of those hills were huge! I do not plan on running in this one again. In addition to the large hills, according to Endomondo it was longer than 5K, which I found frustrating.

Color Run Des Moines:
I somehow missed blogging about the Des Moines Color Run. I completely changed my tune for this run. This one was all about spending time with my cousin, Michelle. She lives about six hours away, so I don't get to see her nearly as much as I'd like. I love every moment of us spending time together, and she made the drive pretty fun despite the fact that we had both spent 6+ hours in the car the previous day as well. Our finish time was a little over 33 minutes, which was pretty good considering the conditions; it was really cold, most of the people in the "run" were walking-lots of them in rows all the way across the street making it hard to get around them, and Michelle hadn't run in quite a while. We had fun dancing in the color zones.

Since the Des Moines Color Run, I have been working my way through the "Couch to Half Marathon" training program. I was getting lazy with my runs, setting out for three miles and changing my mind a half mile or one mile in and turning around. I didn't like where I was heading, so I found a new training program. I am up to eight miles as of yesterday. I was hoping to sign up for the Monster Series. These are races held by Team Ortho running group. They do many in the area. By signing up for a series (buy three halfs, get one free or buy four 5Ks, get one free), runners get extra gear, and their gear is amazing. However, their prices are pretty steep to get all this gear. I was hoping to do the four halfs, as I have been training for that and it's cheaper than the five 5Ks but that's $190! So, I guess I'll just wing it this year. GTB has a half, and it's local so maybe I'll do that one, although that's not until August! We'll see where running takes me in 2013.

Diva Dash:
With all the training, I decided to join the Diva Dash 10K (six miles) last month. I had run six miles before, and even enjoyed it so I was extremely excited about this race. However, race day was the coldest of this season so far, and drizzling. I don't really get worked up about the weather, as a runner in Wisconsin I have to be prepared for pretty much anything. I don't enjoy running on a wet wooden bridge, however, and there were two, at least a half mile long on this course. I got an extreme pain in my left leg and actually seriously considered walking. My pace got slower and slower, but at least I finished. I am undecided if I will run in that race again next year. It is an all women's race that fundraises for Ovarian cancer research and is run by the same company that puts on the Gopher to Badger. I also like that they have door prizes after the race, and professional photographers along the course (not that I'm spending $30 on a photo of me dying on a race course in the drizzling rain, yeah, right. Attractive.).

All in all, I've had a pretty amazing year. I never would have seen myself running. I actually remember telling a colleague two years ago "I'll never be a runner." I had complimented her on seeing her out running on a wintry day and she said "I didn't start until my 40s, who knows, you may too." I guess she knows me better than I know myself. I am to the point in my journey that frustration has set in. Running is going fine, but my body has become used to running. We had to get rid of our Y membership, and I realized lately that the beginning of my plateau coincides with this development. I need to find a cheap (i.e. FREE) way to get in some different types of exercise. My Zumba classes were great, but the places I have found them outside of the Y around here are either during my work day or too expensive (many times both). I will keep looking though. It's worth it to me to lose these last 20 pounds.

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