Mission Accomplished! My First 5K!

I couldn’t be more proud of myself for reaching this goal.

Some thoughts:

My biggest fear was coming in last.  Yes, I know that someone has to be last, but I have worked my butt off over the past 2 years, and while a 5K may not be a huge deal for a lot of people, for me it was the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest.  I knew that everyone else in the race wouldn’t know my “story”, that at one time I weighed in at almost 340 lbs.   I not only wasn’t last, but out of about 60-70 people total, there were exactly 12 people who crossed the finish line after me.  So yes, I was near the back, but I don’t care.  I DID it, and I am proud.

My friend took these pictures for me.  🙂

Trying to get an app on my phone to record the route.  Nerves obviously got the better of me, as I didn't do it correctly.

Trying to get an app on my phone to record the route. Nerves obviously got the better of me, as I didn’t do it correctly.

I look scared...

I look scared…

First 5k4 First 5k5 First 5k6

The charity the run was supporting.

The charity the run was supporting.

Pre-run pep talk.

Pre-run pep talk.

Trying to blend in with the athletes...

Trying to blend in with the athletes…

Group warm up.

Group warm up.

And we're off!

And we’re off!

First 5k15

I knew there was at least one person behind me.  Found out afterwards there were 12.  So my biggest fear was averted.

I knew there was at least one person behind me. Found out afterwards there were 12. So my biggest fear was averted.

First 5k19

I thought I would cry from the emotional aspect of how big this was for me, but I didn't.  My time was 43:29.

I thought I would cry from the emotional aspect of how big this was for me, but I didn’t. My time was 43:29.


Good week for the most part!

This has been a great week as far as pushing my fitness goals forward.  My last blog was about my first public/daylight run/walk which was a huge step, but it was also a failed Week 4, Run 1 in my training program which jumped me from 3 minute intervals of running to 5.  I wasn’t sure I was ready, but a few days ago, I felt strong enough to try again, but this time at the gym on a treadmill.  And I did it!

When I do the training runs, I also don’t stop when the training stops.  I do a full 5K every time so I can keep tabs on my time.  So that successful Week 4, run 1 had me running a full 5 minutes MORE than in any other attempt.  Two 5 minute intervals, two 3 minute ones and four 2 minute ones.

Then tonight, worrying that it was a fluke that I did that one, I went again to the gym fully prepared to not succeed but still hoping to, and not only did I do it, but I added one more minute of running for a total of 25 minutes running and 25 minutes of walking including the warm up and cool down.  I got to 5K at 42:30 which I’m very happy with.

Then to top it off, when I got to the gym, I was waiting at the front desk to sign in when a lady I’ve seen at Zumba before but never spoke to came up and started talking to me.  She wanted to tell me that she is so impressed with my progress and wanted to tell me that my hard work is really paying off.  Made my night.

Now all of this is balanced out with some bad news I got from my sister tonight.  She had a sore neck for a few days and was tempted to ignore it but ended up going in.  Turns out she has a massive blood clot in her neck, likely due to the chemo.  So please keep her in your thoughts and prayers while it gets slowly dissolved.  She didn’t need this…she is dealing with enough with the cancer and chemo.  😦

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!

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.

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!


Continuing to push myself at the gym.

Earlier this week, I had a discussion with my favorite fitness instructor that was interesting.  I’ve been attending her Zumba classes several days a week for a year and a half as well as a strength training class for about 6 months and even a few Yoga/Pilates fusion classes she teaches.  She is so amazing that I arranged for her to do a series of 6 Zumba classes for my coworkers and I.  🙂

In our discussion, we talked about the calorie burn of her fitness classes.  I track my food and exercise on Sparkpeople.com and love that it adjusts my daily calorie range based on my exercise, current weight and more.  Over the course of my weight loss, I’ve watched the listed calorie burn on my tracker drop from a high of over 700 calories for Zumba down to around 400.  During that time, my actual INTENSITY of my exercise has easily tripled from the early days when I could barely keep up to now where I do all the jumping and can do it full out.  I understand that moving a lower body mass is also significant but I swore I was working so much harder now than I used to.  But Velina made me rethink that.  She said I needed to use my sweating and heart rate as a more effective guage.  And the more I thought about that, the more I realized she was right.  I needed to push harder, so that class, I did.  She wore a gadget (not sure which one) that measures heart rate and shows the calorie burn from that information.  So during that day’s Zumba class, she burned 400 calories…and that shocked me.  She is partly so motivating because of her intensity and obvious love of what she’s doing.

I was given a coworker’s Fitbit Zip a few weeks ago when she upgraded to a fancier model and I finally got it running yesterday.  It’s been fascinating watching the data it records.  But I know it’s just one set of data that has to be taken with a grain of salt.  Talking with Velina made me realize that even though Zumba is now so much “easier” for me than it used to be, I still need to push harder, and that doesn’t only apply to fitness classes.

Today is a non-fitness class day and I usually do half and half on the elliptical and treadmill, most often for a half hour each.  But today I wanted to pump up my 5K training which was something that was making me anxious.  It may not sound like much, but the idea of going from running one continuous minute to two (the next step in the training I’m following) has been scaring me.  That’s DOUBLE!  But today, I did it!  Managed to accomplish just over 5 miles total between the elliptical and treadmill and ran five sessions of 3 minute walks at 3.5 mph with 2 minute run at 5 mph.  It felt GOOD!  And I didn’t DIE!  😉  I am getting really excited about this progress and even more excited about signing up for my first 5K sometime in Spring.  Woo hoo!

I needed this after the struggles of the past week.

Resumed my 5K training today.

The new shoes for running got their trial run today.  When the pains started weeks ago, I had just started week 2 of an 8 week “couch to 5K” program.  Week one was walking 4 minutes and running for one continuing for 25 minutes three times a week.  I had done the first of 3 week 2 workouts which was walk 3, run 1, continuing for 25 minutes.  I was apprehensive today about starting back into week 2 after no running for at least 3 weeks but it was surprisingly easy.  I have been so worried about moving up to 2 minutes of running at a time which I think starts at week 3 or 4 but now I’m not worried.  Bring it on!  🙂

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