Category Archive : running

I’m a Get Lucky 7K Finisher!

Firstly, before I start my rant, let me say (scream) out loud that I AM A 7K FINISHER!!

For the seasoned runner, I imagine you chuckling at my excitement over a mere 4 mile race. However, I am crazy proud of this accomplishment- it is the furthest I have ever run in a competition setting.

I started officially training for this race at the end of December using the 5K to 10K training app. Being a 10K training program, I thought it might push me to work harder and finish faster at this race. I hadn’t forgotten how different it is going from treadmill to the road. Brutally different. However, I still wanted to finish in 45 minutes or under.

If you are anywhere in or near Minnesota you know that this winter has been absolutely horrible. Between the snow and bitterly cold temps, it has been nearly impossible to train outdoors. Mid-March. Just a few days from officially being spring. I didn’t think it would feel like JANUARY this past Saturday! The temps were bitter and as runners we were immensely inappropriately dressed for 18 degrees. The Get Lucky 7K is officially one of the largest timed road races in the state with over 9,700 finishing the race and the thing you forget about is that trying to get 9,700+ runners through the start means a whole lot of wait time if you are anything slower than a 9 minute mile. We waited in the corral for 45 freaking minutes before we finally made it to the start. By that time, I couldn’t feel my toes, hands and my thighs had started to feel numb as well. Our Lucky’s crew (our sponsor) stuck it out together for about the first mile or so before we started to disband. My dear friend Kathy and I stuck out the whole brutal race together. When I say brutal, I don’t mean just cold. It was icy, slushy, wet and hilly. We walked up the two main hills but ran the rest of the way and finished with a time of approximately 49 minutes for the 4.34 mile run, putting our pace at right around 11 minutes/mile.

I have been disappointed about my finish time, but the more I think about it, the more I was probably right on pace with what I wanted given the horrific conditions on race day. I usually don’t run with anyone as I have found it to be a distraction in the past, but I was beyond happy that Kathy and I stuck it out together. We were able to support each other and push each other. Her pace is much faster than mine (she’s also got about 4+ inches in height on me) which helps me to push harder and go faster. I’m so, so grateful to have ran this race with her.

Video of us crossing the finish line:

As you can tell, we have officially caught the running bug and I will be participating in the following events for the rest of 2013:
April 27: Get in Gear 5K (Minneapolis)
May 10: Rave Run 5K (Shakopee)
May 31: Electric Run 5K (St. Paul)
August 31: Women Rock 10K (St. Paul)
September 19: Esprit de She 5K (Maple Grove)
October 26: Monster Dash 10 Mile (St. Paul/Minneapolis)

I’m still working on my husband to participate in the Minneapolis Duathlon as a relay team- I would take the 2 5K legs (unless we can find another willing participant) and he would take the 15 mile ride. His biggest concern? That he couldn’t wear headphones. BOO!! That’s no excuse!! I’m going to work on this one! I mean… I love having all the glory… but I think he would really have fun doing this!

All of this training and competition is in hopeful preparation of the pinnacle of all of our 2013 hard work… Our running crew is looking to run in the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2014.

If you are in the Twin Cities and looking for a crew of supportive, fun women to run at events with please let me know! Our current crew is at varying levels and paces so there is truly no runner left behind and we will wait for you at the finish. Be warned. We are a good time. We drink beer following our races. We have potty mouths. We laugh a lot. We wear ridiculous costumes. Basically, I couldn’t have fallen into a better group of women to team up with- I know you will love them too!

My Healthy Resolve

We are now 3 weeks into the new year and I am struggling with my holiday weight gain and learning some valuable lessons in the process.

For some reason, when I went ballistic over the holidays with my eating, I didn’t think it would be a big deal. 5 pounds? So what! I can lose that in a jiffy. Oh MY GOD. I was so wrong. As a matter of fact, despite my best efforts (seriously), I have even creeped up yet another couple pounds. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong.

It’s not even so much the extra pounds… my clothes still fit okay (not great) and I’ve been working out like mad as I train for my 7K in March. It’s the creeping up of the scale that has me concerned as well as old habits that are creeping back in. I’m a carb junkie. I fucking love bread and sugar- it amazes me the excuses I make with myself to have them.

Issue #1: I have a very difficult time controlling my cravings. While some of my cravings may be physical in nature, 90% of it is mental. Those of you on a weight loss plan or those who have food drama issues- do you ever find yourself having conversations in your head about your choices? Mine go like this:

“Oh, I’m just having one piece of candy, it’s no big deal.”

“I’m going to run like an animal for 45 minutes tonight. I can eat a big lunch.”

“Nobody is looking. Quick. Grab another piece of chocolate!”

What. The. Hell. I have to break this cycle. I have to stop cheating. I have to stop this unhealthy behavior.

Issue #2: Crutches. Medifast is now a crutch. My first instinct when I fell outside of my acceptable weight range was to run back and start the 5 & 1 program again. Yes, they were the catalyst that allowed me to lose an excessive amount of weight and for that I am grateful; however, I cannot keep running back to Medifast because I can’t control my eating outside of their program.

I MUST DO THIS with real food. I must learn how to eat. I must learn how to control what I eat. I must remain in the mindset that this is a lifelong commitment and I must not fall into old habits.


I am a WeightWatchers Online member and I made the decision to make that a part of my healthy living commitment once I reached goal. Overall, it is basically the same concept as Medifast maintenance. But tracking my food can’t just be something I do every once in awhile. I NEED to track every single day. I need to hold myself accountable for what I am putting in my mouth. I have zero self-control so this is a necessary part of my weight maintenance. Let me tell you folks: maintaining my weight has proven to be MUCH HARDER than losing it. I have been working very hard over the last week to pay attention to my hunger cues and recognize when and why I am eating. I have been doing a lot of journaling. My habits have been VERY eye opening.

While I continue to train for my running adventures in 2013 (currently training for the Get Lucky 7K on March 16 and planning to do the Women Rock 10K in August), it has become apparent that I need to start strength training/toning. My husband and I have been eyeing up the X91 Incline Fitness Trainer from Nordic Track- I cannot even TELL you how much this thing would improve my winter running training!! I have also decided to try the 30 Day Shred to see if that can help buff me up. Yes. I will take before and after pictures!! It’s tough- I sometimes feel very physically wiped out after my runs, so incorporating strength is going to be a challenge. You know what though? I’m proud. Exercise has been a top priority in my life over the last year and I have done a great job of sticking with a regular routine.

My bestie and I just booked our calendars in July for a grown up girlfriend getaway to the Wisconsin Dells! There will be a pool. I will need to wear a swimsuit. In front of other humans. Motivation enough? I think so.

I am also having a relatively major surgery in the next few months with my impending partial hysterectomy. I need to be healthy so I can recover quickly. I don’t want my recovery to be as long and arduous as the last surgery I had. I can’t tell you how ready I am to get this over with so I can just move on with my life.

Even though I have found a very happy place within myself the last couple months, I found that it takes a lot to keep myself there. I get easily derailed. I have a difficult time trusting myself and others with my very delicate heart. When my confidence gets wounded, I fall off the track (ahem… emotional eating much?). I need to be forward about my needs and expectations with those I am closest. I need to be firm with myself about who I am. I need to rid my life of things that hurt or bring me down. Go back to my old mantra: Give it up when it stops being fun. However, that is much easier said than done as I prefer to put bandaids on things to try and make them better rather than throwing them out altogether (I AM a mom you know!). I have been struggling in this area and it is now time for me to put on my big girl pants and be the best me I can be without the crutch of other people. I’ve got this.

All of this said, I am committed and ready for a healthy 2013!!! Bring it on!!

Fit Friday: Seasonal Affective Disorder

First of all… I am a NaBloPoMo failure. I really love the concept of having preset topics to write about for an entire month; however, I also hated it. I kind of felt like I was forcing myself to write about things that maybe I didn’t have the most passion for not to mention, I simply lack the time to post every day. I do appreciate the topic of the month though: Energy. I’m going to talk a little bit about that today.

Skating after 17 yrs. Ouch.
Skating on our pond

Winter in Minnesota is both awesome and awful all at the same time. I love it because I get to wear cozy sweaters, cute jeans and get all bundled up by the fireplace. I love skating, skiing and have a 4 year old who loves nothing more than to play in the snow. I also hate it because around mid-January, I get the blues. There is an actual disorder for it- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and I get bombarded by it every year without fail. These are the symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of energy
  • Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Social withdrawal
  • Oversleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating

No matter how hard I try to tell myself that it’s not happening, it always does. I get most of these symptoms to varying degrees. It sucks. Not just for me, but for everyone around me who has to deal with me acting this way. It doesn’t take much to knock me off my game so friends and family… you have been warned. I rarely realize the effect of my words and actions until I look at the aftermath and have to clean it all up.

Warm, Cozy Sweaters

There are ways to combat it. Meds. Exercise. Winter vacations. I won’t do meds other than your typical vitamins, I exercise, but it usually does not suffice and winter vacations have just never ended up on our agenda. Rag on me all you like, but I combat it by doing about 10 sessions in a tanning booth over about a 3 week period. Now, I’m not a year round tanner, so I feel like I can get away with it even just for a short time. Frankly, it is wonderful. It is warm, relaxing (albeit slightly claustrophobic) and it gives me just the slightest healthy glow to my winter white pale skin.

Cozy blankets & kids

My 7 & 10K training has also helped significantly this year. Instead of turning to the carbs as I normally would, I have been jumping on the treadmill to punch out my training. I am using’s 5K to 10K training app and it is a fantastic challenge that has really brought me to the next level. I hate that I have to be on a treadmill, but hey, it’s MN. My options are limited and I am definitely not a cold weather runner. I think it has been good for me to have a fitness goal during this time of year- it helps to keep me focused. My most recent accomplishment is running 4.2 miles in 45 minutes (which included a 5 minute walking warmup and 5 minute cool down)- my goal for the 7K (4.4 miles) is 45 minutes so I still have some work to do. I really do think this training app will help to get me there. Running really helps me work out my frustrations not to mention helps me gain clarity and focus. I have to be focused when I am running otherwise my form gets lazy and I get side cramps. No thank you. When I am running, it is just me and the road (or on the treadmill, the road in my imagination). Nothing else matters. Nothing else exists. Just the end goal. Get there. Get there fast. It is awesome.

Nothing is fool proof in battling my SAD. I can do all of these things and still wind up not coming out of the fog until springtime arrives. I don’t want SAD to seem like an excuse for my erratic behavior, but more like an explanation. It helps me understand too how I can be on top of the world and then so quickly bottom out. I will continue to try and recognize when SAD is about to get the best of me, but if one of those moments is missed, I guess I will just have to do my best to pick up the pieces.

Recharging The Batteries (NaBloPoMo Day 3)

What is your favorite way to recharge when you feel drained of energy?

Being a mom, I am pretty much always drained of energy both emotionally and physically. It has been important for me over the last four years to find many outlets as ways to recharge my batteries and keep myself energized. I need to do this not just for me, but for my son so I can be a better mom, for my job so I can be a stronger employee and for my husband so I can be a good wife.

Coffee. Yum! 

Okay. Perhaps this isn’t the best outlet, but I freaking love my coffee in the morning in a can’t live without it sort of way. So, today, when I spilled it all over just as I was walking out the door? Not cool. I love my morning cup of Joe. It’s delicious and it warms me up. I’m not one of those people who slugs it down all day long. Just one simple mug in the morning and I am recharged.

Post Run- Runner’s High

Maybe some people get tired from their workouts, but for me, it is my greatest source of recharge. After a month of walking pneumonia, I was finally able to start training for the 7K I am running in March. Can you say runner’s high? I was amped up all night last night! The runner’s high is one of the reasons I have become so addicted to running. When I was overweight, I use to roll my eyes at the people who would say, “I get energized when I workout!” Liars! Then my body got used it it, and then my body started liking it and THEN? My body now needs it. When I was sick, I was really surprised at how much I was missing being able to run and workout. It’s real, people! Teach your body to want to exercise and you will gain so much from it!

Secret healthy snack stash

Truthfully, I really suck at this one. It is one of the things I have long struggled with; however the influence of Medifast has actually helped me a great deal in this department. It is true, that if you pack healthy snacks to bring with you to the office, you will eat them over choosing any other junk that may be laying around. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. I do feel much more energized after eating fruits and veggies over a piece of chocolate (even if the chocolate is oh so good!).

My Bestie. 

I freaking love my friends. They make me laugh. They lift me up. Whenever I am in need of a little boost, I will send them an email or a text to say hi. Their response never ceases to energize me and add a little excitement to my day. Thank you friends for always being my constant source of entertainment!

Me & My Cute Movie Date

Okay. I know that sounds hypocritical. I just said that being a Mom wears my shit out. While as a whole, being a mom is tiring, but spending time with my kid is the best. It is hard not to feel energized around him! He is hilarious, fun and the most energetic 4 year old boy I have ever seen in my life. I have the best time with him.

How do you recharge when you are feeling low on energy? 

Running My First 5K

So today was a big deal. I ran my first 5K.

I chose to do my first 5K through the WeightWatchers Walk-It Charities Challenge to support the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Here is a little snippet about the Alliance so you know what my money went towards:

Support the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Weight Watchers will donate $100,000 to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in honor of all participants in this year’s Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge. The Alliance is a non-profit organization founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation that works to address childhood obesity and to help children make healthier lifestyle choices. 

I wanted to make this run for me and also in honor of my kiddo whom I hope I can raise to make smart and healthy choices. Raise him so that he doesn’t end up having to deal with obesity like me.

It was also the perfect choice for my first 5K as it was a “walk-it” challenge meaning that if I had to give up and walk, I would be among others who were walking. It was more of a forgiving excursion for me.

I was kind of sad to be there doing it alone. So many were there walking with family and friends. My husband and kiddo came to support me but were quickly detoured by the rain. Really rain? You couldn’t hold off for a simple half hour while I get this thing done?

But, I did it. The fact that I was running alone was actually quite perfect. Even though I have been sharing my weight loss efforts with the entire universe; overall, it has been a deeply personal journey for me. Losing weight has been hard, yes, but running? I am not a runner. I have never been a runner. I was the girl who would fake sick and make up excuses in gym class to avoid running the mile. A 5K? Am I insane? For some reason, running a 5K was a chance to prove to myself that I can work hard towards a goal and finish something that I have been fighting for. It was a chance to prove that I was going to see my weight loss journey through and make it to my goal weight.

It was raining which I was secretly happy for as it kept me cool and as soon as it stopped, the journey seemed to get harder. It was muggy and sloppy. I confess that I didn’t run the whole thing. Being down for 3 weeks with my ruptured ovary set me back in my training, so I was not physically ready or able to run it in its entirety. I ran a lot of it though and pushed my endurance to the max. I completed my 5K in 37 minutes.

The ending was anti-climactic though. I had the dreamy vision in my head that my husband and little boy would be waiting for me at the finish line to give me a hug and a huge bottle of water. Because of the rain, they had to quickly take cover as neither of them were dressed to deal with the rain. They drove the course and cheered me along the way. I’m not sure how he timed it so well, but my husband drove up not more than 10 seconds after I crossed the finish line. Even though, I didn’t have my “dream” finish, I’ll confess… it was kinda nice not to have to make the mile walk back to the car. I was hot, drenched, thirsty, tired, sore… it was pretty perfect.

I’m super proud of what I accomplished today. A lot of people have been asking me if I will do another 5K. One part of me thinks it is nuts. Truthfully? Even after all of this, I still don’t like running. Why should I continue to do it if I don’t like it? The other part of me wants to see it through: finish my Couch to 5K training and see if it actually gets easier. I guess, my answer will have to be: we’ll see. If I can make running a REAL part of my exercise/weight loss journey then perhaps I will stick with it. I’m hoping that if my darn body will just get in shape, it won’t feel like such torture to run. The fighter in me wants to prove to myself that I can do it. That I can be a runner.

Meanwhile, I need to focus my efforts on my weight loss. I’m so ready to get there.

Here are a few images to remember today’s awesome journey.

Arriving at the start.

Pre-Run Pic. Really missing my ponytail today.

Event Pic From My Husband. Packed House.