Game Changer! 5K Training.

In my quest to work on my running ability and get ready for the Color Me Rad 5K in May, I’ve been doing 2-3 times a week walk/runs with training programs (first one found online, then I switched to an app I purchased for my phone).  I have been going slowly though sometimes working on the same week of the program for more than a month.  Also started over with the new training program when I purchased it.

For all of these runs, I’ve used the treadmill at the gym and for a couple of them, I’ve ran on a local high school track that has kind of a rubberized surface that I thought might be better on my knees than pavement.  But in the back of my mind, I knew I needed to get out there on the road or sidewalk or I felt I’d never be truly prepared.

I like the treadmill because it forces me to stay at the speed I set it at and after timing my speed on the track, I was right.  I was WAY slower on the track.

My biggest reason for not taking things outside was more that I have been scared of being laughed at, falling or just plain looking stupid.  But last night, on a whim, I took the plunge and took my training run outside.  I had previously mapped out a 2K route as well as a 5K route near my home and decided for the first time to do the 2K route, in the dark (to avoid being seen as much).  It was Week 3, workout 2 and the first run of the week (on a treadmill) was scary because it doubles several of the running intervals and I was unsure I would be able to do it.  The treadmill was tough watching the time tick by.  But on the road and sidewalk last night, I had no idea about how much time had passed or how much time was left during those intervals.

I did the 2K route and completed the training intervals in about 20 minutes which also includes the 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down.  And I felt GREAT when I finished.  Like giddy, excited and proud.  I still can’t believe I did it.

The reason this is a game changer for me is that up until now, the training runs have all left me feeling like I’m just dabbling in running.  But last night, I felt like a real RUNNER!  Woot!

Reflections after 2 years of this journey

This month is the 2 year mark since I began this journey.  There have been so many amazing changes to my life that I simply can’t begin to describe them all adequately.  But I feel like I need to try.  There are basically 3 areas that those changes fit into so I’m going to describe them here.  I feel the need to get some of this out because there’s a bit of a struggle going on in my head and perhaps this will help.

First, and most obvious, there is the physical changes.  I don’t think I truly was aware when I was at my heaviest how difficult it was to do so many different things.  Pretty sure it was denial of sorts because I didn’t want to face how bad things had gotten.  And having been heavy all of my life, maybe I was used to it. Tonight I was rummaging around the back of a lower kitchen cupboard for something and my husband commented that he can’t believe the difference in how I get up from that position now.  My fitness levels have now far surpassed where I thought I’d ever get, even in my wildest dreams of being thin.  The idea that I can now jog, and do it regularly, probably doesn’t sound as astounding to anyone else but me, but every time I do it, I am amazed.  Today, I was grocery shopping and as I usually do, I repeatedly remembered an item that happens to be at the other end of the store and I found myself walking briskly over to get it rather than figure out a plan to walk the least amount of steps.  Yes, I realize this is “normal” behavior but it certainly never was mine.  The physical changes and how that reflects in the clothing I can wear is just truly amazing to me.  Recently, I have been known to stand in my closet and just admire the sheer number of non-plus sized clothing I now own.  Astounding to me.

The second change that has become apparent to me is the emotional changes.  These probably aren’t as obvious to others as they are to me.  I used to spend so much energy putting on a happy, positive face for everyone else while deep inside I was hurting deeply.  I didn’t have the belief in myself that others seemed to, and so my life felt like a big fat lie all the time.  It feels like I have now reconciled the public me with the inner me and that has been so freeing.  This also ties into the knowledge that I have a stronger drive than I ever thought I possessed.  I am stubborn and headstrong and most importantly, I am stronger than I ever thought of myself.

The third change is the one I’m struggling with, and that is my body image.  You’d think based on the physical changes alone, there would be a dramatic improvement in my own body image, but in fact, it’s worse than ever.  I’m sure that makes no sense, so I’ll explain.  As I mentioned earlier, I think I was in denial at how bad things had gotten, so I did a LOT of pretending.  I see pictures of myself from those days in outfits that I thought I looked good in and as it wasn’t that long ago, I actually remember how I THOUGHT I looked.  The thought was nothing close to the reality.  Instead, I focused on parts of my body that didn’t reflect my weight, like makeup, my skin (I have always had really good skin) and my hair.  And here’s where the struggle is now:  With the dramatic changes in my body, I am very aware of it now.  And that includes all of the flaws I never noticed (because of the denial) before, in addition to being hyper aware of the loose skin I now have.  And it’s all playing with my head.  Most of the time, I feel as if I look worse now than I ever did.  It’s a constant (as in daily) dialogue in my head in which I have to remind myself of the good things to try to not focus so much on the negative.  If this doesn’t improve I may actually have to seek some professional help to work through it because it is affecting me so much.

Now, don’t get me wrong…this struggle isn’t taking anything away from what I know I have accomplished.  I am thinking it’s just one of the bumps in the road that I will get through, like anything else.  The positives that this journey has brought to my life far outweigh the negative and I am confident that I will get through that part.  I like who I am becoming and would never change the struggles because they are shaping who I am as much as the good stuff is.  I will get there!  And this photo shows how far I’ve come.  🙂

125 lbs gone!

Officially Registered *gulp*

This morning, I registered for my first real 5K race.  It’s not for another 4 months, but I’m sure that will come faster than I realize.  When I started dabbling in jogging about 4 months ago and thought it would be fun to challenge myself to a real 5K, probably in the Spring, it was just an idea.  Now it’s real, and I really need to push myself more.  I want to be able to run/jog at least 3/4 of it, preferably all of it, so I have a ways to go.  I am doing roughly 1/3 of it now, but in short bursts.

I am nervous but happy I have a goal to shoot for.

Honored! Sparkpeople.com has asked for my story!

When I got home from last night’s Zumba class, I found some mail on my Sparkpeople.com account.  Usually, it’s just stuff sent out to various groups I have subscribed to but it turned out to be so much better.  It was one of the coaches on the website asking me to submit my story to be featured on the site and possibly in national media.  I am blown away, especially because I’m not even done the losing part of this journey.  But I love that my story could possibly inspire someone else to do this as I have said for a long time that if I can do it, I think anyone can.  I don’t have special skills aside from possibly a bit of a stubborn streak.  😉

Reason to Celebrate Today! Woo hoo!

I was meeting my niece this morning for a Zumba class (her first) and not only did my niece sleep in but no instructor showed.  With the way I’ve been reacting to stress lately, I would have expected to have let it colour my day in a negative way.  But I decided to try to beat my former 5K record of 48 minutes and I totally SMASHED it with a time of 44:52.  Pretty respectable, considering just 2 years ago I weighed well over 300 lbs and just walking was difficult.

Also jogged more than ever in one exercise session with a total jogging time of 18 minutes with never more than a minute or two of walking between jogging intervals of either 1 or 2 minutes.  I am pleased!

And a sweaty selfie to celebrate.  Woot!

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