Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ever have a run that starts off badly...but ends up great?

When I left work yesterday, this was the forecast. (Note: I left work later than 3:55) 

Perfect running weather.

I decided that I did not want to run my same ol' routes that I normally run around my neighborhood. So, I decided to pack my running clothes and go to a park near the area where I work. Just a bit about me-I really hate change; the whole way there, I thought about just going home and doing my normal routine. However, I forced myself to just TRY IT.

I have been having a lot of issues with my shoes and leg pain; when I got there, I was already thinking about the pain that was sure to come. However, I laced up and started on my way. I got .41 in and decided to stretch. The pain was not good. I was also going at a snail's pace. I stretched and that loosened up some of my leg muscles. I started back. Well, I got to about .75 and decided to loosen up my shoe laces. I also mentally decided that I would stop at 3 miles.  Loosening up the laces did the trick. So I kept on going, still very slowly, not really getting into my groove until around mile 2.

I followed the trail to a bigger 1 mile loop. When I got the 1 mile loop, I got excited because there were PEOPLE. Prior to that, there was just one really weird looking lady. She actually almost scared me back into my car. Anyway, these were normal looking people on the loop, so that excited me. I also noticed HILLs...ok, NOT true East Coast Hills, but inclines. I was so excited.

First loop was good, the hills felt so good...going up and down them made me remember when I first started running. I learned how to run in Queens, NY, so lots of hills. I finished the first loop, checked my watch and decided to do one more loop.

Second loop was even better, I was going faster, also. I also decided to do a few hill repeats. It was so nice to go up them and fly back down. I also passeed a lady who told me, "you are going fast!"...I won't mention that she was just walking slowly LOL.

At the end of the second loop, it was getting darker, but I was just at 4.15 miles. I told myself, I'd go out a .5 mile and then head back to my car. I ended up doing the WHOLE loop. I never get that, "I don't want this to ever end" feeling, so I decided to go with it.

I finished the last lap and headed back to my car. I was going and going and going...and then realized I totally misguaged how far away I was from my car--oops, my mistake. My car was about a mile away from the 1 mile loop. I started to panic a bit. It was getting dark and deserted. I was running along a road, and I just knew that someone would kidnap me. FINALLY, I got to where my car was..I was so relieved. I sprinted back to my car. When I got back to my car, I was able to breathe and relax.

This run was so nice!!!

Tom Bass Park, I will be back!

I learned a few things from this run:
1. Even bad runs can turn good. You just have to keep pushing.
2. My average pace was wayyy slower than I wanted it to be, but the run felt good. So while I was disappointed in my overall pace, this run was still a great moral boosting run.
3. I need new shoes :P
4. Stepping out of my comfort zone yields great results. I've decided that I will be trying other parks in the city. I just need to get to them earlier! Shh...don't tell my mom was running in the dark. I lied to her and told her I went earlier in the day ;)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why are race pics so flattering?

Below are my race pictures from the Turkey Trot. Are race photos a punishment for PAYING to run??? Let me tell you a story of my race:
Er, you will have to start at the end...


Don't you hate when you look like you are walking?

The guy next to me is PROOF that I was not walking. Or maybe he was just speeding past me?
Why do I never think to wave at race photographers?

Gosh, girl, stop waving those arms! LOL

I look determined!

Finally, one that doesn't look too bad!

Am I taking a rest? LOL.

I know these pictures aren't that bad, but geesh, when why don't race photos every make you look like a graceful swan-like runner?

100 mile goal, hot trainers, challenging myself...and feelings of bloat

I went to bed with intentions of getting up this morning and running 5 miles. However, this morning, my body said, "sleep", I slept. Now I have 5-7 on tap for this evening. I really should just do 5 and call my crazy goal of 100 miles in November a wash, but the competitive side of me wants to go for it. I will see. I brought along my running clothes, and will go after work. I am also checking out a new park. I am SO sick of my same old running routes. I will be running in Tom Bass park, which is known for housing snakes. Let's hope I don't run into any of those critters.

I went to the gym last night in an effort to try to keep my 100 mile challenge goal AND men watch. I did the elliptical for 30 mins/3 miles and then went to Body Pump. I only go to Body Pump for two reasons:

-The women in the class have bangin' bodies.
-I have a HUGE crush on a trainer. (He doesn't teach Body Pump, but he is in the building at the same time AS body pump)

With that said, when I walked into the gym yesterday, I felt my heart sink a little and my breathing get faster. I wondered to myself if I was allergic to the gym. It ALWAYS happens when I walk into the gym. I realized that it's probably just me having a crush on the trainer ;)

I did my 30 mins on the elliptical with no cute-trainer sightings. However, while in class, I saw him coming to the floor. He looked into the class and then comes around to my side and stands and watches the class. OF COURSE, my immediate thought is, "he is watching me!!" It was a very distracting few moments. ~fans self~

(I fully realize his staring into the class is a tad weird...but hey, I like weird)

Ok, back to the 100 mile goal in November. I started this goal with myself at the beginning of November, because I wanted to increase my mileage. I allowed myself to use miles from runing, walking, elliptical and biking. I only run and do the elliptical on a regular basis, so those are where my 83 miles have come from.

On the way to work this morning, I thought about the possibility of a yearly goal. I was thinking 1000/yr is a doable goal, but when I thought about publicizing the goal and actually doing it, I got all panicky. Why do I fear challenging myself?

I have noticed with my running, that I typically fall into a leisurely pace. I also do this with workouts, I will get used to something and only do that. I need to work on challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone.

So, with that said, it's probably a good idea to just go ahead and say in 2012 my miles goal will be 1000 for the year.

I have also been thinking a lot about the NYC marathon today. It's such a goal of mine. However, I just can't see myself running a FULL marathon. It just seems like it's such a LOOOONG race.

Also, I am so bloated today!!! Bleh.

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Monday!

I always wake up either screaming "IT'S MONDAY!!! :) :)" or "it's monday :( :("...this morning was a IT'S MONDAY type of morning.

I started the morning with a 3 mile run with a friend from my Black Girls Run group. We met at a local trail for a very cold, frigid morning run. The first mile was actually pretty good. We chatted about diet, etc. However, towards the end of the first mile, I started getting tight calves and leg pain. I had to stop and stretch. I spent the last 2 miles chasing my running partner. I give this run a big fat "thumbs down"...although, it was nice to run with someone and the miles are done, so it should get a "thumbs up". I got home and had the best, hottest shower--ever!!!

Later will be some men watching and Body Pump. Body Pump gets a 'eh' from me...but I want to look like the women in the class, so I continue to go.
I also have been having a lot of random thoughts. My brain always seems to be swirling around with new ideas and thoughts. I am so happy I now have a blog to write my thoughts.


I saw "Why Did I Get Married" last night. This movie made me think about marriage and what I want in a mate. My brain goes all kind of crazy when I start thinking about men and a potential marriage. A friend once asked if I was afraid of commitment. My initial gut response was, "OF COURSE NOT!!"...however, since getting asked that question, I have pondered it - a lot! I do not *think* I am afraid of commitment, but I am deathly afraid of being hurt or being a butt of a joke. So...with those two things, it makes it very hard to be vulnerable enough to get to the point of serious commitment, and eventually marriage.

I thought a lot about this last night and this morning. I have decided that I am afraid of getting cheated on, being controlled or being demeaned. I am not sure why I jump to these thoughts when I think about deep relationships, but it's something my brain thinks about. I am constantly working on re-wiring my brain to not believe every man is a 'dog' or wants to hurt me. It's a process...

I have also come to the conclusion that a lot of successful relationships started with someone taking a chance. These relationships seem to continue with the two people being vulnerable to each other. While watching the movie, two of the characters were talking to Janet Jackson's character about their marriage problems. She provides them with some solutions to fix their issues, both solutions were based in them being vulnerable. They of course both stated that they would NOT be the first to take a chance. Janet Jackson says, "if you can't be vulnerable with your spouse, who can you be vulnerable with?" That is such a powerful statement. In my head, I see a marriage as two people who can be vulnerable with each other. But how scary is it to be vulnerable with another human who has the power to use that vulnerability to their advantage?

Ay yi yi, it's all very scary. I just hope and pray (every night ;)) for a man like Troy's character. I also pray for the courage and strength of the women in the movie, especially Jill Scott's character.

On to my eating. I ended yesterday at 1973 cals. I started the day with good intentions, but my grandmother's pecan squares and my aunt's pineapple/coconut cake started calling my name. It's very hard for me to ignore, you know what I did. I am proud that I journalled my intake.

Today is off to a good food day.
I started a little challenge with myself on November 1st. I challenged myself to log 100 miles in the month of November. I started the month with good intentions and did pretty well...but last week was only a 12 mile week. I am at 80 miles for the month. Can I do 20 miles in 2 days?? I don't know about 20 miles,but I will try 10 miles.

In an effort to look on the bright side, 80 miles for a month is awesome!! So, I would just be happy with that...the competitive side of me wants to get as close to 100 miles as possible, though ;)

Ok, this is an awfully busy gotta run!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Inspiration Sunday

Since getting my iPhone, I like to save quotes/pictures/inspirational messages on my lock screen. There are times when I have to remind myself that I am doing my best. 

For the last few weeks, I've had this picture:

It says, "Running is the metaphor for life; there is always someone faster than you, always someone slower. All you can do is hang in there and put your heart into it"

I have had this picture up for about 2 weeks. I chose it on one dark day when I was feeling down about my running. 

I have always been a slow runner; I have periods of time when I have tried to speed up. This is one of those times.  When I chose this pic, I probably had a day of seeing 13:xx on my Garmin and probably was beating myself up. 

This picture reminds me that:

1. No matter my place in life and running, there is always someone worse and better than me. 

2. As long as I'm giving my best, it should be good enough. We all know WE are our worst critics. However, this is a very important lesson for me to learn. I'm working on it! I once read a statement that said, "the only person to measure yourself against is yourself." I use this statement a lot in my work, but like most people, I seem to want to hold myself to another person's standards. Not good, Nichelle! 

3. Perfectionism in life is not worth it.

So with that said, I am going to go into this week with a plan for my diet and exercise, but I am going to "DO MY BEST" and work at forgiving myself. 

I woke up this morning and went grocery shopping. I got food that should set me up for success. Lots of fruits and vegetables. No treats. 

I have four weeks until I have to really put my goal of no refined sugars into effect, so I will be weaning myself down. I got half n half to cut my coffee creamer with. I also got agave nectar to use in place of the sugary stuff. 

I will stick to my current plan of working out:

Monday- group run at 6 am and body pump
Tuesday - group run or by myself
Wednesday - elliptical and athletic training
Thursday- tempo run!
Friday-wild card day. Sometimes I work out, sometimes I rest. I normally decide how I feel on that day.
Saturday-long run

So far this week is off to a stellar start. I had 1/2 cup of fage yogurt, 1/4 cup of coconut flakes, walnuts, and blackberries for breakfast. I couldn't find the unsweetened coconut, but the sweetened gave it just enough sweetness to not need to add anything. It was really good! 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Trot RR

Let me begin this RR with a few background pieces of information:

I belong to a few WL/running forums. 
I'm often super jealous of other's awesome times.
I am lazy. Like lazy to the core, but I manage to workout 5-6 days a week.
I have been 'running', more accurately slogging for 5 yrs. 
I have been trying to improve my times with the godawful interval, sprints and tempo runs. Some of these are good; some are bad, bad, bad.
I've learned that my biggest issue with running is I have a very hard time pushing past my comfort zone. 
I'm often not a fan of racing. Probably because my sucky times are documented. 

Ok, with all that said, I wanted to do a Turkey Trot. A few ladies from my forum were doing one in their cities, and I just can't pass up and opportunity to do what others are doing. So, I signed up for the Sheltering Arms 10k. I was going to do a smaller, local race...but I recently joined a larger running group and a bunch of the girls were doing the SATT. 

I went into the race with a personal goal of 1:15. My first race was a 10k, and my time was 1:20. However, a friend on one of my forums challenged me to do a 1:12. On some level, I knew THAT was not happening, but I had to chase it....

Wednesday evening I did my normal night before a race duties--eat too much junk and fret about why I signed up for this. My internal monologue is usually, "Nichelle, why are you PAYING to slog???"...I am not one of those 'Rah, rah everything is great' racers!

I managed to shut myself up and sleep pretty well.

Thursday morning I woke up before my alarm clock and got dressed. I woke up to a sweet text saying "good luck!" ...I, of course, had to throw in my negative thoughts. But I tried to quiet them down. I've been working on this A LOT. Running is sooo mental.

I get dressed, have my banana and pb, and coffee and head to the race. I jammed some really upbeat songs all the way there.

When I got the Galleria, there was no traffic--yay, but after I parked and walked to the race, I realized just how big a 12,000 participant race was! Holy people.

I was alone at the beginning. This sweet lady helped me do my bib and put my timing chip on my shoes. I went to stand in the corrals and attempted to talk to some people around me, but no one was i just stood alone until the start.

FINALLY, 7:30 rolled around and we were off--

I knew in order for me to finish strong, I'd have to start strong, so I went out at a pretty fast pace for me. At about .5 mile, I looked down and saw 10:30mm on my garmin. I knew I had to slow it I slowed down  to around an 11mm pace. During this time, I started getting some wicked knee pain. I stopped at the 1 mile marker and tied my shoes tighter. This brought more pain, so at the 2 mile marker, I did a looser tie. Finally at around 2.5 miles the pain let up and I was good.

I was going between a 11:30-12:30 mm. I came up to the 3 mile marker with a 36:xx on my garmin. I was pretty excited thinking that I could make the 1:12 goal. I was coasting along, enjoying the view and run. I even thought "who IS this person" a few times. I never, ever push....but I kept pushing. I got to 5 miles at 1:01. I was pumped, I told myself one.more.mile. However, I looked up and say the 5k WALKERS joining the 10kers. So I spent the last mile bobbing and weaving walkers. I may have said "Stay to the left", "don't get in front of me" a few times. I had a goal to make!!!

I finally got to where I could see the finish and I just dug deep and booked it!!! I have never run that fast-ever! I started getting nauseated, which exhilarated me to go faster. I crossed the finish line at 1:17. The course was a bit long (6.27). I am so proud of myself!

This race was really organized, the weather was perfect, the course was crazy perfect.

Now I'm on a mission to get that 1:12 :)

Oh, and I never even got a chance to see the other girls! It was just too many people.

Cake and Cereal for breakfast...say what???

This morning I woke up with great intentions of eating healthy food. However, when I got downstairs, something took ahold of me and said "Nichelle, it's ok to have ONE more free day..." Soo, like a true blue fatty, I had cake and honey nut cheerios for breakfast.

My niece (2) is here visiting, and she was hungry, so I shared my (huge) bowl of cereal with her. I doubt her little bitty bites made up for my heaping bites, but hey, whatever makes me feel better. I did not share my cake with her ;)

On a serious note, I know eating cake and cereal for breakfast isn't something I can do every morning. However since beginning my WL journey 11 yrs ago, I will have periods of time of being "off" from dieting. This is one of those times. I was pretty good diet-wise for most of November, so I can do a few days of indulging. I will be back on plan tomorrow. Speaking of being back on plan, I am contemplating how this will look for me. I've done several plans in my 11 yr journey. I had the most success with WW, but I did not lose an ounce on the last plan. I think for the month of December, I will do low-carb and stick with my exercise plan.

In other news, I went shopping yesterday and scored some great stuff!

Candy land game for my play therapy kit.
Cabbage Patch doll for my niece
Riding boots that actually fit my calves!!! So excited about those. I will be so cute in NYC next month
A new comforter set with matching curtains. My friend, K, has convinced me to feng shui my i am starting with my room.

With that, I'm out! I need to get ready for another fun filled day of shopping. Issue is that today I have no moolah :p

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving was Yesterday...

I meant to do this post yesterday, but between the race and going to dinner, I was so tired last night.

I'd like to think I am a pretty lucky person; I have what I need and most of what I want. However, it's always nice to highlight what I am thankful for.

So to start,

-I am thankful for my legs. My legs are chubby and stout, and sometimes swell--which I hate. However, my legs are able to slog, jog, run and exercise. I love that I am able to get up and go. It's something I think about at least once a week on a run. So thanks, Legs!

-I am thankful for my family. These people allow me to be moody with them and still love me. I love them.

-I am thankful for my friends. I have several different friends from different walks of life. I love the variety!!

-I am thankful for my stubbornness and my will to not settle!! I am single and it's been hard to not just settle for less....but I am thankful I have some common sense amongst the mush in my brain!

-I am thankful for a good, flexible job.

-I am thankful for my cat! Her name is Sophie, and she is always right next to me. My sidekick.

I could go on and on, but suffice to say, I'm thankful for who I am and the people who surround me.

We went to my aunt's house for Thanksgiving. It was a nice time. Good food and good laughs! I was pretty nauseated from my turkey trot, so I didn't eat too much. Although, I definitely ate my fair share.

I woke up this morning and had turkey and eggs for breakfast....and a pc of sweet potato pie ;) I consider it a victory that I ate the turkey and eggs first :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sheltering Arms Turkey Trot-10k

I will post a full RR in a few days or later on this evening, but I just finished my second 10k!

I am so proud of this run. I am normally a slogger who doesn't push myself, but last night I was challenged with an impossible goal (for now), so I really went out and gave it my all.

My unofficial time is 1:17 for a 6.27 course. I'm hoping I made my goal, which was 1:15 for my official time.

I had a lot of pain in my legs for the first 2 miles. I had to stop twice to re-tie my shoe.

It's done and it's time to eat!!!

Gobble, gobble.

Will be back to report on each mile.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I've been thinking a lot about this day.

I am new to this, so people would not know that I used to be very overweight--now I am just a little overweight. I still struggle with my weight, but not in a way that I used to. I have a pretty good handle on my eating and regular exercise.

Anyway, I belong to a few weight loss communities and I keep seeing "What is your plan for tomorrow?!"

My initial thought is, 'It's one day people!'

For a normal person who is not overweight, it IS one day. However, for a foodie it becomes a day of planning what to eat from sun-up to sun-down.

I remember when I started on my weight loss journey, I'd either plan for days like tomorrow (and normally fail at only eating my planned food) or I'd have an approved free for all. Thankfully as time goes by, I do not have the extremes anymore.

Here is my plan for tomorrow:

Run a Turkey Trot 10K tomorrow. I am making a goal of 1:15. However, that's pretty lofty to me. I feel safe putting this here, because no one reads this yet :P

Eat until I am satisfied! I can't wait to eat turkey and cornbread dressing!!

Wow, two entries in one day. Maybe online journaling will work out for me.

Who am I?

I started a blog, because my new year's resolution is always to 'journal'...well, every paper journal I've ever started has one entry labeled, "1/1/insert year". I've decided instead of waiting for the new year, to start TODAY--11/23/2011.

11/23/2011 is also my little sister's b-day. She is 12 today and a ball of laughs!


Who am I?

I am 29.
A social worker.
A slogger AKA runner who slogs, jogs and tries to run.
I am creative in my thinking, but very disorganized in executing my thoughts.

I started this blog to document several things I'd like to do in the next few years.

First, in the New Year, I'd like to give up refined sugars. Yes, I am waiting for the new year for this goal! Bring on the sugar until 1/1/12...

Second, I'd like to improve my slogging and hopefully become a REAL runner in 2012.

Third, my long term goal is two marathons in 2013--Houston Marathon and NYC Marathon.

I am looking forward to this journey of blogging!