Thursday, May 03, 2012

New Blog

I've decided to create a new blog that's just for documenting my running/jogging/walking. It's called "I Am Not A Runner (Yet)!" 

I try to keep this blog about a variety of things, and I figure, I'll be able to be more specific and detailed about running on that blog and not on this one. I like to write about our day, my gratitude, and adoption on this blog and I don't want to muck it up with a bunch of posts about running.

I hope you'll bookmark it and follow my posts! I'm sure I'll be writing at least every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as those are the days devoted to running/jogging/walking.

I'm hoping to post pictures of my progression from being what I am today... to what I become.

A Year of Gratitude #124

A Year of Gratitude #124: Time to Finish a C4 Order

Today was a fun day. Kathryn and Kirsten came over at 9:30 so we could plan the June, July, and August calendar of events for my MOMS Club. We worked for three hours and when they left at 12:30, we had an entire summer full of fun activities.

Gus and I had lunch and then I put him down for his nap. While he was sleeping, I was able to finish the latest order that came in for C4 (Cat's Custom Classroom Creations). I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get it done by Saturday, since it's a HUGE order. Thankfully, I was able to work on it last night, while waiting for Steve to get home from his trip. Then today, I was able to completely finish everything.

I'm so glad I was able to get it done in a timely manner. This order was actually really fun to make and it wasn't nearly as difficult as I expected it to be. Sometimes, I seriously cannot believe that people actually pay me money to make the things that I make. :-)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #123

A Year of Gratitude #123: Will Power and Determination

Gus and the boys running on the greenway after our cool-down period

I wasn't sure what to expect from today's walk/jog/walk. I was sore yesterday, and mainly it was my abs that hurt more than anything else. I had decided that if I wasn't feeling up to it, I would just walk and not do any jogging.

I have to say... today was GREAT! Christy and the boys joined us and we had a great time walking and talking. My stroller has this speaker system that you can use, and for whatever reason, I wasn't able to hear much and so I kept trying to figure out why I wasn't hearing my iPhone with the voice commands. I think being distracted with that, actually helped.

Or... maybe mentally I knew what to expect and I wasn't as nervous. I don't know. Whatever the reason, today was not awful and I didn't say, "I hate this" or "This is effing hard" at all. Now, don't get me wrong, my shins still burned and my thighs were burning a bit too, but it wasn't a bad thing. I felt like I was really working parts of me that haven't been worked in quite some time, and as a result, I felt great.

Because of the sound issues, I did skip one jog cycle... and it was interesting to be walking and have a thought in my head of, "I'm ready to start jogging now... why is this walk taking so long?" Then I noticed that I had skipped the jog and it made sense. It was still so odd to have the thought in my head that I was ready to jog. That's so totally NOT the Cathy from two weeks ago.

I packed a banana to eat on the drive home and I shared it with Gus. I had a salad for lunch and I have been drinking a lot of water. I just feel better about my choices and there's no doubt in my mind that if I keep this up, I WILL be successful.

I can't even being to say how much the love and support of family and friends means. My dad called at noon to see how my morning was and he wanted to know if I just walked (as I had said I would do in my blog post), or if I jogged. He was quite proud of me that I actually jogged. I asked him if he'd be willing to walk/jog/walk with me during the week that we're in MI. He said he would love to. Then my mom said she wants to walk with me too... so maybe on MWF I'll do my C25K with my dad and then T/TH I'll walk with my mom. I'm excited that I can stay on track while on vacation.

I just hope Steve stays supportive. His ex-wife was a crazy runner and COULDN'T do anything if she didn't have her run in. When I met Steve's dad for the first time, he said, "You're not a runner are you???" I jokingly said, "Look at me... do I look like a runner?? I don't run unless something is trying to eat me." 

All joking aside, I just want to feel better about myself. I want to look in the mirror and actually see the payoff for my hard work. I know it'll come... and after talking to Jessica yesterday, she said in a month I'll be amazed at how far I'll have come in the C25K training. 

So... Week 1 Day 2 is complete. We're meeting on Friday morning before the Busy Bag Swap that I'm hosting here at my house... and we're going to walk at the greenway that's closer to me. Hopefully I can get back here and be ready for the swap by 10:15/10:30 (it starts at 10:30).

I'm officially on the books for a MWF training cycle. Christy and Pilar said they're on board and hopefully Leslie can join us too. It's incredible how being accountable changes your views on things. Having people to do this with has made it all possible and I'm so thankful for the role that so many people have played in my motivation and determination.

I hope I'm not too sore tomorrow and that the section of the greenway that we're doing on Friday is as flat as the one we've been going to!! I HATE HILLS!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Does Walking Around Target Count???

I'm going to say that yes, walking around Target for about an hour, most definitely constitutes as exercise. :-) 

I was told not to stay home and do nothing today because it'd make it even worse tomorrow... and I needed to head to Target anyway, so I went. And I walked around the entire store for almost an hour (mostly on purpose).

There's only so much that an almost-two-year-old can handle... and it WAS lunch time, so I had to play my cards right. I also ran into a friend from AAM (Atlanta Area Mommies) and spent a few catching up with her... but other than that, we were moving the whole time.

I was able to get home and put Gus down for a nap and I was able to chat with my cousin Jessica about running and the Couch 2 5K program. I found out that my (TMI-- AGAIN SO SORRY) feelings of instantaneously needing to poop are normal. Apparently, my body will adjust to all the moving around that I'm doing when I'm jogging (and friends... there's a WHOLE lot moving around). I thought it was just me and my nerves... but it's normal (I guess) to feel the sudden need to go. Not sure what can be done about that... since I do my moving at the greenway and there's NO PLACE TO GO but the woods. HAHAHA.

I also came to the conclusion that I do not ever have to RUN an entire 5k. I am totally fine with my jog/walk combo routine. I hope to be able to jog longer as I get stronger and more endurance, but I don't HAVE to jog an entire 5k without stopping. In fact, I'm following another site (Run Injury Free with Jeff Galloway) and feel like his method is perfect for me. You run 30 second and walk 1.5 (which is what I did Monday)... it gradually increases. This is where the C25K differs-- in that program, you eventually just run (without walking) for the entire time. 

I was talking to my dad yesterday (he called to see how my first day went of training) and he suggested that I get a heart monitor watch. I found a Polar (I did some research on heart monitors) for a pretty good price and it even tells you how many calories you've burned. I thought I had ordered a Timex, but I was wrong... It was a Polar (there are so many brands of heart monitor watches... I got lost in all of them). It should be here next week and I'm looking forward to using the chest strap to see my heart rate. My dad said it would be a really good idea to know if I was in the right zone for optimal exercise. I don't want to over do it, but I don't want to under do it either.

So we'll see. I am meeting Pilar in the morning to walk again... round two. What's really odd to me is that my legs don't hurt like I thought they would... but my abdominals seriously hurt. I feel like someone has been beating on me. My arms hurt too... I'm guessing from pushing the stroller. Even my back muscles are a little sore, but my legs are totally fine. WEIRD.

See you tomorrow for an update on training day two. I pray that I can stay focused and just take it one step at a time.

A Year of Gratitude #122

A Year of Gratitude #122: Jessica

I just adore my cousin Jessica. I've written about her before, but she really is such a wonderful friend. 

I'm thankful that she was able to take time out of her day to chat with me... had I known she was still at work, I probably wouldn't have been such a chatter box... but I didn't know. I'm thankful for the words of wisdom she gave me this afternoon, as well as sharing some insights on running. 

There's nothing better than talking to someone and having them tell you about their thoughts and feelings and you have the EXACT SAME thoughts about the subject. Jessica told me about when she first started running/jogging and it was like she was in my head sharing her thoughts about the pain and agony while running. Shins burning and calves on fire... she said she ALWAYS gets that for the first five minutes of her running/jogging and then it goes away. So good to know.

I'm thankful that I've been able to inspire her to start walking/jogging/running again. She did it for eight months and had to stop... and has now been inspired to start again... all because of me. It made me feel so good. I'm not alone in this... not by a long stretch and it feels AMAZING to know that I have so many people who are cheering for me and believe in me.

The power of positive thoughts is incredible.

I usually HATE (and I seriously hate) talking on the phone. I have a few people in my life that I really make exceptions for when it comes to phone calls. I enjoyed my time on the phone with Jes today and look forward to seeing her in a few short weeks.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Running Is Effing Hard!!

So today I started the Couch 2 5K program. I modified it and instead of jogging for a full minute, we did 30 seconds. It was more than enough for me. 

I was so nervous about starting today. I didn't sleep well last night because I kept thinking about today. Plus, Steve left this morning for NYC and I never sleep well before he leaves. 

So this morning I got up, showered and then went and got Gus. We had breakfast and then headed to the greenway to meet Pilar and Leslie. I did a few stretches before I left the house, but I think I need to do more on Wednesday.

We got to the entrance of the greenway and we started right away. The five minute warm-up took the entire walk to the main path... and then as soon as we got on the path, the jogging began. Pilar said to just do a quick walk... nothing too strenuous. The first 30 wasn't too bad. I tried to focus on my breathing... Leslie said she heard you're supposed to do two breaths in and two breaths out... I tried it but it didn't work for me.

Then I walked for 1.5 minutes and it was a brisk walk... I was still feeling good. I realized two things after my first jog (TMI here sorry): 1) I need to wear tighter undies when running. They were falling down as I ran... which made me very self-conscious about what the people behind me were seeing.  2) I need to wear tighter pants when jogging/running. My pants (and undies) were falling down as I was moving. I had to keep pulling them up... which was not fun.

As I moved through the cycles of walking and jogging... my shins were on fire. Seriously burning and aching. Each step I took was painful and I began to just think about getting to the parking lot. I just wanted to be done. 

I realized when I was about 1/2 way through... that running is hard. It's seriously hard work. I got mad at myself for letting myself get to this point. Had I been more aware and more focused before, it wouldn't have been AS hard as it was today. 

The good news is that I got to the bridge (the same place that Pilar and I stopped on Thursday) and realized that I was well past the 1/2 point of my training. I had 12 minutes left to go... 

I really can't picture myself running a 5K. I can't even picture myself running for five straight minutes. I guess it's all about building it... and hopefully it'll get easier with each day. I hope so anyway.

When my training was finished, we were still quite a bit out from the parking lot, so we got another 15 minutes of walking in, but it was much slower (which was nice). I let Gus out of the stroller and he and Riggs and Logan had fun running on the path. 

I'm sore tonight. My legs hurt and I feel like I weigh a million pounds. I took a two hour nap when Gus was napping and I woke up feeling a little better. With my exercise today, I burned over 600 calories... so I had a lot of extra added to my available for the day.

On the way home from playgroup (we went to Kathryn's for playgroup after the greenway), I stopped at Chick Fil A and got a chargrilled chicken salad. It was so delicious. It was like 200 calories and then the dressing was another 140 (Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette). I also had a fruit cup (100 calories) and a Dr. Pepper 10 (10 calories). So my entire lunch was less than 500 calories and I felt good. 

It's 10:35 and I have consumed 1,090 for the day. My dinner was filling (crock pot tacos) and I had an apple a little bit ago and a banana after my jog this morning. I like that I'm aware of what I'm eating and making better food choices. I probably should eat something again before bed... but I don't know what. I'm a little hungry so I'll probably have a piece of cheese.
My tacos (275 calories each) and I splurged with a Mt. Dew (it was soooooo good)

I'm grateful to have tomorrow off. I plan on sitting on my butt all day and stretching as much as I can. If I'm not feeling better on Wednesday, we'll just be walking. I am not going to give up... and staying focused is critical in the beginning stages of anything new. I figure I need to do this many many times before it's a habit and I get into "the zone" as Lacey calls it.

Again, I'm so glad to have the love and support of friends and family. It really means the world to me. And I'm most thankful for Pilar. She's such a good person and so patient with me. She uses her MWF with me as her "easy days" and does her running on T/TH. :-) At least she isn't being held back by my beginning abilities.


A Year of Gratitude #121

A Year of Gratitude #121: The Kindness of Others

So back in 2010, I was selected as a Teacher Advisor for Scholastic. I was one of 15 teachers from across the U.S. picked to serve on this board. I was beyond excited when I found out that I was in their top 50 and then had an amazing phone interview with one of their editors. When I was told that I was picked as an advisor, my life changed. 

Two of the editors from Scholastic flew to Raleigh and came to my school to take pictures for the day and just hang out and see what a day in my classroom was like. They provided lunch for my staff and spent lunch talking to as many teachers as they could. It was amazing.

Then in February, I was flown to NYC for an all-expenses paid trip! (You can read about my post from that trip with pictures.) I was in NYC from Thursday through Sunday and had the most amazing time. For the first time in my life, I was treated like a celebrity because I was a teacher. It was so great. I was showered with gifts galore, given money to spend in the Scholastic store and then wined and dined at some of NYC's greatest restaurants.

What did I have to do in exchange for this opportunity? I just had to go into a room (called the Fish bowl) and talk to the President of Scholastic, the CEO of Scholastic, several VPs and a whole slew of editors. The room was filled with over 100 big-wigs from Scholastic and they wanted to know what I thought about their business and how I thought it could be improved. On the second day, I sat in a computer lab with all the Scholastic's tech people and they watched me try to navigate a new online site for ordering books. They wanted to see how easy I found it, and any comments and feedback I had for them.

It was fun. On top of the "work" that we did, I got to go to the Early Show on CBS and was ON TV. I went to a Broadway show and had FRONT ROW seats to The Miracle Worker. I had the time of my life and it was all on Scholastic's dime. 

As if the experience wasn't incredible enough, the friendships that I formed that weekend were awesome. I bonded with three people in a way that I had not expected. Lisa, Jon, and Kristin were three friends that I made while there, and I spent a great deal of time with them. When we had free time, the four of us explored NYC and did a "Food Network Tour" and hit up some famous NYC food spots. I had to go to Gray's Papaya for a hotdog... Lisa wanted to hit up Dylan's Candy Bar, and Jon wanted to hit up Donut Plant. Kristin was from Brooklyn and had been there and done that... so she didn't have any particular place she wanted to go.

Anyway... I've stayed in touch with Jon and Lisa and for a while was staying in touch with Kristin (I haven't talked to her in a while though). Just the other day, I saw some paintings that Lisa posted on her FB wall. She's very talented and I posted that I'd love for her to paint me a picture for Gus's new room. Well... she got back with me and asked what I'd want and asked about colors and then on Friday, she sent me a text with a picture of a painting that she made for Gus!

It arrived today!
How cute is that??? I am so thankful that I had the chance to meet Lisa, but also thankful for the kindness of her making such a beautiful painting for Gus's dinosaur room!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #120

A Year of Gratitude #120: Six Pounds

I got up this morning and weighed myself for my weekly weigh-in. I had a really good feeling that I lost, but I wasn't sure how much. When I saw my number... it was six less than last week. That means I am six pounds closer to my goal... and six pounds away from my heaviest. I am determined to never go back to my weight as of last Sunday.

I'm thankful that I was able to see my hard work pay off. I know there will be weeks when I weigh-in and I don't see any movement on the scale, or heaven help me, it'll say I gained. With everything worth doing right, there will be challenges. I will face difficult decisions and have to pay for my choices. I pray for strength and motivation to stay on the positive side of this and to always have a positive attitude. I honestly believe having the will power and support of others is what will get me through my tough phases and back on track for accomplishing my goals.

I have to go one day at a time and one week at a time when it comes to this journey. If I stand back and think about the BIG picture (and it's quite a BIG picture friends)... I am overwhelmed and scared. So instead, I focus on each day and one week at a time. 

This week I am starting the Couch 2 5K program and while I am a little nervous about it, I know that I just need to face it as it comes. I will focus on Monday and getting through my very first training and that's all I am going to think about. Then I'll worry about day two of training.

I think if I can stay focused, I'll be able to stay in this for the long haul. I am very realistic about how long this is going to take... and according to my Lose It app, I will reach the first goal for my weight-loss in April of 2013. That's just under a year from now... and a year brings a lot of things. Once I reach my goal (and who knows, it could be sooner that I'm able to reach that first goal), I have another goal that will be much harder to reach. 

I'm determined to just go with the flow and let things progress naturally. I didn't get where I am over night, and it's not going to come off over night. 

I'm asking for prayers that I can stay motivated, inspired, and focused. For those things... I am most grateful. 

I lost six pounds. I am six pounds lighter. I am six pounds closer to health. I am six pounds down... and it's a hell of a lot better than gaining. :-)

A Year of Gratitude #119

A Year of Gratitude #119: Smart Choices

I'm thankful that my friend Kristina told me about the Lose It app for the iPhone. I downloaded it (for free) last weekend (Sunday) and started monitoring my caloric intake and exercise. 

This entire week I've logged each thing that has gone into my mouth. Yes... everything. It's actually not as difficult or time-consuming as I thought it would be. The app has a built in barcode scanner, so all I have to do is scan a barcode and it'll give me the calories. There have been a few food items that it didn't have stored in the system, so I had to use the internet to search for caloric information.

This week I've also realized that pop is a waste of calories. I'd rather save the 170 calories for something filling, rather than a Mt. Dew. Don't get me wrong, every now and then, it's a treat to allow myself to have one, but I've decided to just switch over to diet pop instead. I don't really like the taste of diet pop, so I am starting off by drinking Dr. Pepper 10. It has 10 calories and tastes so much like regular Dr. Pepper that I actually forget that it's not regular.

I'm going to get some Sprite Zero too this week. For some reason, Diet Coke and Diet Mt. Dew just taste disgusting to me. So I'm going to save the transition to those for a later time. For now, I'm just drinking a lot of water.

It's amazing that the more I'm walking and exercising, the less crap I want to consume. I don't want to burn calories only to throw my hard work out the window by eating something that's full of fat and calories. It's amazing that my thoughts and eating have aligned. I'm so thankful for it.

I'm thankful that tomorrow I'm starting my preparations for running my first 5K on September 15th. I am turning over a new leaf and trying to get healthier. I feel more determined than ever before and I don't know where all my motivation and inspiration is coming from, but this time really, honestly, feels different. 

I just downloaded an app called Dotti's Food Score. It goes with the website that I used to use when I was doing WW. I like it because not only does it have WW points for everything (I am not doing WW), but it also have calories and fat info. It has just about every restaurant that you can think of, and I think this app will be really helpful when we're traveling north in a few weeks.

I'm thankful that I have been able to find the tools to help me reach my goals.