My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Today’s workout – February 25th

Ok normally I don’t write a post specifically about a workout, but I’m making an exception today.

Today I had a great workout. I rocked it! I’m so proud of myself.

Instead of going to the gym, I decided to go to the wellness centre and use the indoor track. I set a goal of doing 5k no matter how long it took. I was a little worried I would have a hard time, but I was determined to do it.

I haven’t been pushing my cardio very hard lately. I’d been doing an hour on the treadmill or elliptical and then done. And to be honest, I’ve been bored. I have been wanting to get outside, but the weather has been preventing it. But hopefully Spring is on the way and I can get outside. In the meantime, I think using the track is a good alternative.

So anyway, back to the workout.

According to the info at the track, you need to walk almost 10 laps to equal 1 mile. So that meant I’d need 30 laps for 3 miles or 5k. A little daunting, but I was determined. I even wore my new pink sweats and pink shirt. Sort of matches my pink running shoes and pink hat.

So I start by walking the first lap. I have some of my favourite music playing on my phone and my yellow duckie earbuds in my ears. At the start of the second lap, I start jogging. Now I’m not very fast. In fact, there was several walkers going faster than me, but I was jogging. And it felt good.

I went around 6 times before I needed a little break, so I walked the next lap.  But then I went back to jogging.  I was struggling a bit, but I didn’t give up.  I kept at it.

Another lap, and then another, and then another.

When I felt like giving up, I could hear Tyler telling me I could do it, that I was doing great.  It was almost like he was right there jogging next to me.

Another lap and another and another.

The music I was listening to was really helping.  I skipped past a few slower songs so I could keep the pace going.

Another lap and another.

I was trying not to pay attention to the time.  I picked a spot as my starting line and would count the laps as I went.

Another and another and another.

And finally I hit 30 laps.  And then walked one more for good measure (and to cooldown).

And then I looked at the time — 1:07:23.  Not my fastest, but not my slowest.

But the time didn’t really matter.

What mattered most was I jogged almost the entire thing.

And that made me extremely proud of myself.

I made a goal.  And I did it.  And I didn’t give up.


Am I sore? Oh yeah.

Does it matter? no, not really.

Am I going to do it again? Hell yes!

There’s no stopping this skinny bitch!


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Run for Reece

This morning I walked/jogged my 3rd race of the year. It was the annual Run for Reece, which is put on by my friend Karen Walsh in memory of her son who died of SMA. This race has special meaning for me. First because it’s run by my friend; and Second because it was my first EVER race when I walked it in 2012.

When I did this race last year, I was incredibly nervous. I didn’t know if I was ready to do races. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be ready until this year. But my friends convinced me to try any way. I’m glad I did. It was the hottest/humidist day of July when we did it last year. And I walked the whole thing. It took me 1:28:58, but I crossed the finish line. I was so proud of myself!

I had been looking forward to today for a while. I was excited to see my friends and maybe make some new ones. And while I was hoping to beat my time from last year, I told myself that what’s important is to finish regardless of the time. But last week I started having issues with my right foot. I was freaking out because I didn’t want to miss the race. As it turned out, my foot is okay, just putting too much pressure on my arch. I got arch supports for my shoes, which are helping. And I’ve slowed down my speed on the treadmill. So I was all set for this morning.

I had a hard time sleeping last night. Nerves I guess. And the alarm seemed to go off way too early this morning. But I got up, showered, dressed in a new racing outfit I purchased, had a good breakfast, and killed some time online. Karen picked me up early so I could help with registration. The closer it got to race time, the more nervous I seemed to get. That’s a normal reaction apparently LOL. At least according to some of my friends who do lots of these races.

I chatted with my friends as they showed up. I was bouncing around trying to warm up my muscles so I could start the race jogging. There felt like a herd of butterflies in my stomach. Ya, I know that’s not right. A group of butterflies is not a herd, but they felt like a herd this morning.

Karen leads us in a little warm up, then gives a little speech. And then we are off running/walking/slogging! I’m the last of the crowd, but I don’t care. I have some tunes blasting in my ears and I’m trying to keep myself going. I jog for a few minutes but have to switch to walking. Thankfully the weather gods decided it does not need to be incredibly hot or humid today. It was a beautiful morning and a little breezy. Perfect weather for a race if you ask me. Anyway, I try to walk a few minutes and jog a few minutes, but it becomes too much so I just walk as fast as I can. Eventually I came upon a woman who is doing the race for the first time and she’s unsure of the route. We walk along together and I explain the route. We chat about everything along the way. We encourage each other to keep going. We make the loop around the park and head back the way we came. People that did the 10k are passing us know. As we near the end, I point out where the home stretch starts. We decide to jog to the finish line. We round the corner and start jogging. She’s a little ahead of me but that’s ok. My friends see me coming and start cheering. I love it! Who doesn’t like having their own cheering section!

Then I see the time clock. OMG! I’m going to finish in under an hour! Holy crap! I seriously didn’t think I was going to. I mean it was my goal, but because I wasn’t able to do at much jogging, I didn’t think I was going to do it. And I did it!! I crossed the finish line in 58:18. My best outdoor walk/run yet!! And my treadmill time is only slightly better. I was nearly in tears as I crossed. I kept moving so my muscles would have a chance to cool down. Friends are still cheering for me. I feel incredible. My foot was hurting but I didn’t care at that moment. I crossed the finish line and had a great time. What a day. What an amazingly fabulous day.


New fitness plan

Once again, I’m being taken out of my comfort zone. No, that’s not quite right. It’s more like I’m being catapulted out of my comfort zone.

With Tyler returning to school to finish his degree (which I’m very proud of him for doing), our training will switch to virtual. Which, of course, means I will be doing much more on my own. And that has me a little worried. I do well when I’m working with someone, but how well am I going to do by myself? Will I be able to push myself hard enough? Do I know enough to make sure my form is correct? Can I keep myself from getting hurt? Can I keep myself on track?

So we sat down the other day to write out a new fitness plan. Goals for me to work on, rules I need to follow, daily routines to do. In addition, once he gets settled in, he will be making workout videos and sending them to me. We will also have an accountability session, where we discuss how things are going. And, of course, I will continue to do my food journal. I’m excited to see how it will all work. And hopefully it will work well.

I will be working out at least 5 days a week, preferably 6. I will do strength training 3-4 days a week, and cardio every day. And I now keep a workout journal.

Strength training is broken down into 4 categories — push day, pull day, leg day, and core. Each category has a variety of exercises to choose from. All of them are ones I’ve done before with Tyler. Each day, I’m to write down what exercises I pick from the list, what weight I use (if applicable), and any notes about each one. At the end of the workout, I write down how much time it took me to complete the workout. At some point, Tyler will review my workout journal.

Cardio is not much different than it was before. At the gym, it’s an hour on the treadmill, doing a 5k walk/jog (minimum), burning at least 400 calories. If I choose to do more cardio, I can pick between the elliptical, the stair stepper, and the AMT (all movement terrain) machine. I can also choose to do my cardio outside. If I do that, I have to do 10k. I’m still not super good at jogging, but I’m working on it. Part of my new goals is to improve my jogging. So I need to do a little every day, working up to jogging at least 10 minutes without stopping. That seems a little daunting to me, but I’m going to do my best.

As with any fitness plan, nutrition is very important. I think more so for me because I’m a stress-eater and an emotional-eater. The stress of this change could send me into a tailspin, but I’m trying really hard not to let it. I’m trying to be extra careful about what I eat. And making sure I write everything down, including the number of calories for each meal and snack. Tyler will continue to review this as well.

Tyler is a big part of my journey. I’ve come a long way with his help, but I still have a long way to go. I’m worried about getting off track and not being able to get back on. I know he’s only a text or call away, and that does help. I also have a lot of support at my gym, many people willing to help me as much as I need. That’s priceless to me. And I think I’m going to need all the help I can get as I get used to this new fitness plan.

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Racing and shoes

I never realized just how many walk/runs there are each year. Even in my small area, there are quite a few. There are 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons. I’ve even seen odd number ones, like 4k, 7k, 8k. Some races even have 1k or 2k options for kids. And there are themed races like The Colour Run, Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, and a few different zombie ones. I bet there is at least one race just about every weekend throughout most of the year. And I think it’s great! I did one race last year and it was tough. I nearly didn’t finish. This year is different though. I’ve already done 2 (one 5k and one 10k), and I plan on doing at least 2 more. That’s right, I said at least 2 more. I may do more than that. I’m not sure when or how I became this person. But I’m beginning to like being her. The people who do these races are like a special little community, a little family. It’s pretty awesome. Even though I’m fairly new at it, I feel like everyone has accepted me into the fold. I love how everyone seems to support each other, how they cheer each runner/walker on, down to the very last person. It’s really amazing. I love being a part of that. And even though I often doubt myself, I’m looking forward to the next race, the next challenge. I want to keep doing them. I want to keep challenging myself. I want to keep getting better.

And I want to get a really awesome pair of running shoes. Okay, that might seem like a silly thing to say, but I’m serious! Right now I run/walk in my cross trainers. Not the best footwear for this kind of thing. I need real running shoes. Ones designed for racing. Don’t get me wrong. I love my cross trainers. They are good for my regular workouts in or out of the gym. But if I’m going to be serious about racing, I need serious footwear. I won’t have them in time for my next race, but hopefully before the summer is half over, I will have some. I have really wide feet, so I hope I will be able to find ones that will work for me. I think trying to find the perfect shoes will be an interesting adventure. I wonder if it is like that for all runners. I mean do all runners go on a quest to find the perfect shoes for them? They probably do. I still think it will be fun. I can hardly wait to post that I’ve found them.

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Quinte’s Biggest Loser – 5k

So this morning was the 5k run/walk for Quinte’s Biggest Loser. They had one last year, but I didn’t participate in it then. I was excited and nervous about today because I was going to be jogging as much of it as I could. I’ve been working really hard and trying to improve my jogging so I would be ready for today, but I was still nervous. A lot of my friends were doing it too so that made it easier. And Tyler was going to do it with me as well.

I got there early to help set up and help with registration. Some people pre-registered, but lots of people signed up this morning which was good. It was great seeing so many come out for such a good cause. All the money raised goes to the hospital foundation.

All week I had been hoping and praying for a nice day, and thankfully Mother Nature decided she would let us have one. Still a little chilly, but beautiful out and not a cloud in the sky! The run was along the waterfront trail. It’s a beautiful place to walk/run, but I was too busy concentrating on what I was doing to enjoy the view LOL.

I surprised myself by starting out jogging. My lungs were burning a little with the cold air. I had my asthma puffer in my pocket just in case I needed it (but I never did). I was trying to do one minute jogging, one minute walking. I think I did that for most of the way I think. I don’t go very fast so everyone left me in the dust, but thats okay. Tyler’s girlfriend Erin came along as well. I’m glad because I needed all the support I could get!

Tyler really helped me keep going. If not for him, I might have given up jogging it and just walked. But I kept going. Even though there was a voice in my head that was screaming for me to give up and just walk, I kept going. Even though my right hamstring was aching, I kept going. I really wanted to do well. Actually, I just really wanted to cross the finish line LOL. But I was hoping for a personal best time.

As we neared the finish line, Tyler ran ahead so he could take video of me jogging over the finish line. Once I got to a point where I knew I could jog the rest of the way, I took off. As I rounded the last corner, everyone starting clapping and cheering. My friend Karen ran up to me and crossed the finish line with me. It was awesome. A personal record. I finished in 1:05:47. It felt great. I did it. I started the race jogging and ended it jogging. What a great day!

And I don’t think I could have done it without the support of my amazing friends. Thank you Tyler, Erin, Liz, Karen, Sheri, Matt, and everyone else who cheered me on, those at the race and those far away. You are all just all sorts of awesome (to quote my friend Chase).


Jogging update

Ok I almost posted this last week. And it was going to be more like I was frustrated with my jogging and ready to give up.

But today I have a different view.

Today I’m feeling pretty good.

I know I’m relatively new to this jogging thing, and I know it will take time to improve. And I remember that most of the time. I didn’t last week. Last week I was very frustrated. I didn’t feel like I was making any progress with my jogging. In fact, I felt like I was losing ground. I was ready to give up ever being able to run. That little voice that lives in my head that tells me something is too hard and I should just give up was very loud. And I almost listened. Almost.

But today I woke up with a different attitude. Today I was determined to keep trying, determined to do better.

I have to keep reminding myself to strive for progress, not perfection. And every little bit counts.

Sometimes I still forget. Thankfully I have friends who help remind me.

Anyway, let me update you on how the jogging is going.

I started by just jogging 30 secs then walking. I’ve moved up to jogging 1 minute, walking 1 minute. I can do that relatively easily now. Occasionally I will jog 2 minutes. My record is 3 minutes 30 seconds, but I’ve only been able to do that once. I’ve been able to do 3 minutes a few times.

I had been itching to try jogging outside and I finally got my chance a couple of weeks ago. Tyler and I did a run around the park near the gym. We were out for a little more than an hour. For the first 30 minutes, I did 1 minute jogging/1 minute walking … The second 30 minutes, I did 2 minutes jogging/2 minutes walking. It was hard, but I actually enjoyed it. The weather has been very uncooperative since then, so we haven’t been able to do it again yet. But hopefully soon. I’m kind of anxious to get out there.

Last week I felt like giving up altogether. It just seemed so much harder than it should have been. I didn’t feel very good about my jogging. I didn’t feel like I was making any progress at all. But my friends at the gym kept me going. In fact, today, my friend Sean told me that he can see real improvement. He said my stride has become more athletic. I love that! I had been so down on myself, feeling I wasn’t getting anywhere, and then I hear something like that. It’s so awesome! I’ve had a few people tell me I’m doing a great job. And I can never hear that enough. It means so much to me. It really keeps me going.

I’m still not exactly where I’d like to be, but I’m feeling pretty good about where I’m at. I try to do a little jogging each day on the treadmill. I’m hoping I will keep improving. I’m hoping soon I will be able to go 5 minutes without stopping. I’m doing a 5k next month and I want to be able to jog a good portion of it. If I can keep out of my head, I think I can get there. With the support of my friends, I know I can.

I just have to keep telling myself to strive for progress, not perfection. And every little bit counts.

Look for more updates soon.

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