"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired." - George S. Patton

Monday, September 27, 2010

Running for More Than Great Looking Calf Muscles

One of the greatest things about being part of races, is knowing that not only is training and racing fun, but most races support a cause. There are also groups like Team in Training where you can train with a fun group of folks at no cost, and raise a certain dollar amount to go towards The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Groups like this are a great option.

I wanted to join a fund raising/training group earlier in the year when I was training for my half-marathon, but thought as a stay-at-home mom, I don't get a lot of exposure to anyone with income exceding say...$5.00 a week for allowance. I figured it might be kind of hard for me to raise a set dollar amount. Then my friend, Alissa showed me something.

Alissa Tucci's grandmother had a major stroke on September 21st, 2009. Life has never been the same for her entire family and she wanted to do something to help more families dealing with the effects of stroke and help fund it's research. Like me, Alissa is a stay-at-home mom and on a pretty tight budget. She decided on her own, in her grandmother's honor, to set up a website for people to donate to the American Stroke Association. She has set a personal goal of $1,000 and is trying to reach it before she runs her first ever half-marathon in Seattle this November.

For me, I think it's great to know there are options for people trying to raise money for their own personal causes, and set their own monetary goals. It's just something to think about for the next time you want to cross a finish line.

If you want to donate to Alissa's fundraiser just click here:
American Stroke Association

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame

So if you are cruising by your local newsstand and pass by a Fitness Magazine with a picture of a hot brunette on the cover in a bikini, that's me! Okay... I'm lying... but if you open up the magazine and turn to page 18 I am featured in the "I did it" column! It's funny because I still won't feel like I've done it, until I cross the finish line after 26.2 miles, but apparently to some people 13.1 miles are just as exciting! Here is a picture of the little article and I've attached my original interview with the folks over there at Fitness! :)


What inspired you to start your journey towards a healthier lifestyle?
Well, firstly, I was tired. Tired of being fat, tired of being depressed, and tired of being tired. At 25 years old, I literally had given up on myself because I was so focused on my family and thought I didn't matter anymore. About the time I set up an appointment with my doctor to get back on anti-depressants, I came across a picture of an old high school friend. She just had her second son, and looked happier and healthier than she did when we were 16. Her facebook photos were full of pictures of her crossing finish lines and holding medals. That got the wheels turning.

How many kids have you had? Did you previously bounce back quickly after having your children?
I have had 3 kids, ages 6,3 and 8 months old. I don't even know what "bounce back" means. There was no bouncing back. With my first daughter I went from a lean 135 lbs to over 200lbs. With Tae Bo and calorie counting, over a year I lost most of it.. only to gain it back, lose some, gain it back, lose some.. etc. After my second daughter, I had terrible post partum depression and I think I only lost 20 lbs of that weight before getting pregnant again with my son a few years later. With him I tipped the scales at close to 230 lbs. I'm only 5'6. I started what I call "the change" two months after having him.

Had you tried to run long distances in the past?
Never. I honestly don't think I had ever run further than 6 consecutive blocks in a row before I started training. I remember the first time I ran a full mile without stopping. I could barely walk afterwards, but my sense of pride was immeasurable. Even in high school, I ate Taco bell and only did the required aerobics class to some how keep my figure.

What effects did your running and weight loss have on other parts of your life? (Such as on your family members)
Well, as someone who has suffered from depression, self doubt, and some less than supportive family members, at first it was mostly negative feedback. My husband was a little bit upset that I was changing the family's evening routine and he would have to prepare some dinners (on my long runs) or bathe the kids. One family member actually told me I was "too big" to run and it wasn't safe or healthy. I just kept my head up and kept trucking. Everyone started warming up to the idea as the pounds started rapidly dropping, and as the mileage was adding up. After I crossed the finish at my half marathon, I saw nothing but smiles and pride from my family. The best part was the look on my children's faces to see me cross, and my husband asking when the next race was, because he would also like to start training.

What was the most difficult part about the experience for you?
Overcoming my own demons. I would be on mile 3 of an 8 mile run and my inner dialogue would sound a lot like " you really are too fat for this. You can't really run 8 miles, you look awful while you are doing this". I really had to teach myself that I am, in fact, awesome. I had to learn that there is no reason why other people can acheive their goals and I can't. The hardest part of changing my life, was changing my attitude towards myself and start believing that I too, can do something awesome.

How do you/did you stay on track with your running program and weight loss lifestyle when it was getting difficult or temptations arose?
Blogging helped a lot. A few times a week, I would get online and update my imaginary readers on my progress. I would just tell myself that there has to be some woman out there in my same situation wondering if they can do something great for themselves. How could I let that woman down? Also, deep inside, I knew I had to prove people wrong about me. I had to prove that a fat girl, with three babies and a husband to take care of, can still have a life. Shoot, I had to prove that to myself.

Have you had a support system along the way? If so, who?
I know it's cliche, but I have the most amazing friends on the planet. Since the day I declared I would run a half marathon (and eventually a marathon) they have stood by me, asked about my progress, and believed in me. It took a little convincing, but as soon as my husband realized this was the real deal, he was the greatest support system. If I decided to bag out on a run one day, he would say " Do you want to finish that race? Get your butt up and go running" and I would. It was helpful on my long runs to know when I walked in the door, my husband would ask how many miles, and I could look at him and say, "10" and watch his face light up.

Do you have any plans for the future launching off your successes?
Well now that I truely understand that I can do ANYHING, the possibilities are endless. I still have about 25 lbs to lose and a Full Marathon goal in the future, but I would also love to coach other people to the finish line. I love to write and would love to find a way to reach out to more women who think their life is over after having kids and forget to live for themselves. I feel like I have had such an amazing, life changing experience and it is my duty to show other women that they can do anything.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Reason I Started Running

I've spouted out over and over again how important it was to me to prove that even an overweight stay-at-home mom of three can run a marathon. Well, this guy inspired ME today when a friend sent me this link on YouTube.

If you have ever had an issue with weight, or even if you have ever run... get the tissues ready!

This is what inspiration looks like:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Running Group in Puyallup

So the Aflac Iron Girl was a success. I had so much fun, and although I only skimmed about 20 seconds off my 5k PR, it was a race to remember! There is something to be said about lining up to race with roughly 1,989 amazing women. We all train hard to do something for ourselves that is remarkable. Congrats to everyone who crossed the finish line and received that darling little medal!

On another note, I need a running group. I feel like the options are so limited in the south-end as far as training groups go and I would really love to have a group to meet with on the weekends. So this is my call out to anyone that might be interested! The Amica Seattle half-marathon is on November 28th and I thought we could get a clan together to meet up on the weekends for our long runs! There is beautiful scenery down here but maybe sometimes we could make some road trips to other great trails and tracks.

Wow. I feel like I am making my desperate plea on a dating website.

Anyone who wants to train for the Seattle Marathon with me must like long walks on the beach, coffee on Sunday afternoons, and shin splints.

So, if you are interested, shoot me an email and let's make it happen. I see all of you lonely souls beating the streets by yourselves. Let's be friends.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Aflac Iron Girl

It's 9:50pm the night before my first 5k race since my epic half-marathon last June. I'm not very nervous, though I should be. I failed to train very much at all this summer so my endurance has really gone down the pooper. I guess the Rock and Roll taught me something, however. If we aren't having fun while we are running these races, why the hell are we doing it?

I'm obviously not in the running to win the race (although my 6 and 3 year old girls may beg to differ), so why do I have any reason to worry? I am just going to wake up far too early, lace up my running shoes, run like hell, then strut around with my medal on. If you ask me, THIS is living the dream.

The only thing about tomorrow that makes me a little bit nervous is that none of my friends or family can make it to see me cross the finish. Well, one of my friends will be there, but she is running the 10k. Chances are I will be waiting around for a while to cheer her on while she crosses the finish line. I just hope the overwhelming sense of accomplishment will cancel out the feelings of being a race-finisher/bad ass that is hangin' solo. Oh wait! I just remembered I get a stuffed duck in my goody bag. Feelings of abandonment: dissolved.

For the record, I am doing the AFLAC Iron Girl around Green Lake. I know that a good portion of you running folk regularly train around Green Lake, and being a 'south-ender' I haven't had the opportunity to yet. I'll let you all know how it goes!