Keep Running Fatty!

You better believe I'm gonna keep running!

Race Training: It NEVER Ends!

Did I not just say the other day that I’m going to stop training for a long-distance race for a while? So I guess that was short-lived. I just remembered I signed up for the Virginia Beach Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon. The race date is September 2, 2012. According to my handy dandy training schedule…the first week of training started LAST WEEK! No worries on being behind really, but it means – there is NO REST!

I signed up for this race on Leap Day because there was an incredible deal on the registration fee. Instead of the normal $85 entry, it was discounted to $55. How could I pass it up? Especially when a friend had already approached me about doing the trip to Virginia Beach again. So, it continues…this time I’m hoping I do not back out and there are no injuries or life circumstances that decrease my motivation for running. The good news is that there is an option for a mini-marathon (really – it’s just a 5k) in case I’m unable to complete 13.1 by then.

The Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon makes for a very fun Labor Day weekend. The race coincides with the Verizon Wireless American Music Festival. This year performers include OAR, The Wailers, Cheap Trick, and Train – the shows are included with the race registration fee. Although it can be hot, crowded, and somewhat expensive lodging, the Va Beach Wave Trolley connects to the several campgrounds, including the KOA Campground,  and spots all throughout the Oceanfront area for $2/day. The trolley also takes runners from the campground to the start line early on race day! We’ve found that this the most affordable/convenient way to spend the race weekend. (But…I love camping!)

So as training begins, I still MUST make weight loss my priority.  I will have to be super careful about my eating habits and staying on WW Points while training for this race. The goal is to be down 20-25 lbs by race day. That’s 16 weeks. I think that’s a reasonable goal-do you think?

Here is the training schedule:

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Time to Lose

To gain some motivation, I’ve decided that I must shed some pounds.

I need to take a break from training for the next long distance race and really focus on losing a quick 20-25 lbs. In my experience, training and running long distances doesn’t necessarily equal weight loss. In fact, I gained weight training for my first marathon.

My decision comes partly because I’ve been dealing with some minor injury issues – possible piriformis syndrome and back pain (in addition to my normal IT-band issue). This combination makes me pretty sore after a run, so I’ve cut back on my running mileage a bit and stuck to elliptical and walking a little more.

Mentally, I am feeling much better. I’m treating exercise as real prescription to battling the depression that I’ve been experiencing the past few months. I’ve always felt that exercise was the best medicine, but when you get so far down and you don’t even want to drag yourself to a gym, it’s hard to get over that hump and get going. I think I’ve got myself out of that slump finally!

Last week I logged 24 miles: running, walking and elliptical. That’s nearly 10 miles more than I did the previous week, so I’m heading in the right direction!

I am doing Weight Watchers and although I’ve been on it for several years, I can honestly say I’ve not always been sticking to the points I’ve been allotted for the week. This weekend, even though I did indulge, I still stuck to the points for the week. Combined with the big increase in activity, the scale *should* be heading in the right direction this week… DOWN.

So, I’m tackling this in 5-lb increments. My ultimate goal is to lose 50 lbs. I’ve been successful before. I know I can do this again…

So, this fatty will continue to run, but I’ve really got to concentrate on being less of a fatty. Seriously. My clothes are getting tight. If that’s not motivation to get in line, I don’t know what is!

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This is Why I Run

My Medal Collection

I have a confession: I’m an addict. I get a rush at the possibility of fueling my addiction. I am never quite satisfied. I want more. I cannot possibly have enough!!

But please don’t worry about me. It’s not a bad addition…in fact, I’d say it was quite a healthy addiction to have-an addiction that keeps this fatty running! You see, I’m a medal addict.

To date, I’ve got 15 medals. (2 are not pictured). Just about every sizable race these days hands out a medal at the finish line-a true symbol of each race experience. Each medal is certainly unique and that is what makes it a really neat collector’s item. It’s not uncommon for me to gravitate towards the races that offer medals.

The glowing gold Mickey Mouse, the glittery sand dollar, the flowery cherry blossoms, my Down & Dirty dog tag, my collection of shamrocks and disguised bottle openers are all unique and very special to me. They represent all the hard work, the grueling miles I’ve put on the pavement and treadmill, the sweat, the pain, the shedding of pounds, gaining of strength and all the progress I’ve made in the past few years.  I love each of them.

This weekend I ran the Virginia is for Lovers 14K in Virginia Beach (that’s 8.69 miles). Why did I decide to be a bit ambitious and sign up for this longer distance race? The medal. Such a beautiful and unique medal (and it’s a bottle opener!!) The race itself was a great experience. I really underestimated my stamina this early in the year and ran the entire way in a total of 1 hour, 38 minutes an d 19 seconds (a decent pace for me!). It was 48 degrees, dry, flat course and the swag for this race couldn’t be beat! A very nice black water resistant running jacket, a goblet, and a carnation…and of course the best prize of all…the beautiful Virginia is for Lovers medal!

I’m starting the 4th week of my training for the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler and the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon (MCHH). I just signed up for the Shamrock 8K in Virginia Beach on St. Patrick’s Day. Those are 3 more medals I am working very hard for. I can’t wait to improve my time and get faster and get those medals. I want more.

I’ve ran a total of 45.41 miles in the past 3 weeks. I am set to run an additional 19-22 miles this week. I’m starting to really feel confident again. I’m improving and the shorter runs are getting much easier.  I’m getting stronger and although I feel healthier, I’m sure in the coming weeks I’ll be able to really feel a change in my body as I shed some inches from running (it doesn’t always equal pounds unfortunately).

I want to get faster, stronger, and collect those medals as my reward. I want more!

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Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Training Begins…NOW!

Today officially marks the first day of spring race training season!

Running the course of the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in 2011.

The Cherry Blossom 10-Miler is only 10 weeks away- Sunday, April 1st in Washington, DC.

This is a very popular race in DC – and for good reason! It’s an absolutely gorgeous run through National Parks in the heart of DC, starting at the Washington Monument, crossing the Memorial Bridge, Independence Ave, passing by the famous Cherry Blossoms near the Tidal Basin, behind the Jefferson Memorial and looping around East Potomac Park (course map). It’s so popular that runners have to enter a lottery just to ‘win’ an entry spot to participate. I have no idea how many enter the lottery, but they only select about 10,000 runners. I’ve been extremely fortunate to get picked two years in a row.

I signed up for the New Balance virtual training plan offered by the race organizers. They send a daily/weekly plan of the miles are you supposed to run. It was a little bit of a shock when I got my first e-mail today and it says to run 4-6 miles Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday,
5-7 miles on Thursday, 5-7 on Saturday and 8-12 on Sunday. Um, what?! No!! Whew- they accidentally sent me the ‘ADVANCED’ training plan. I quickly switched to intermediate.

The intermediate is much more do-able on my level. This week the plan is to run 2-4 miles on Monday, 3-5 miles on Tuesday, 2-4 miles on Thursday and Saturday, and 4-7 miles on Sunday.

I’ve been lacking some motivation when it comes to running lately. The winter blues are zapping my energy. I’m hoping this is just the boost I need to get going because my goal is knock off at least 10 minutes from last year’s time of 2:00. Doing 10 miles in 2 hours is an average of a 12-minute mile, which is slower than my recent pace (between 11-11:30-minute miles). Last year, I was still ailing from injuries from running the Disney Marathon, so it was quite a challenge to do 10 miles. I feel like I’m going to be much more prepared for this year’s Cherry Blossom race and my goal is very well within my reach.

Ready to hit the treadmill tonight for my first Cherry Blossom training run! Gotta keep running!

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Heading Into Battle

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….for avoiding the gym.

No, it’s not because I feel extremely lazy and all I really want to do is cook some spicy black bean soup and read my Kindle while cuddled under a warm blanket in the early dark frigid evenings of January. It’s because of all those bright, new shiny faces!

You know who you are (you may be one of them!). You are the ones that start your gym membership in January, fresh on the heels of your weight-loss resolution. Brand new workout clothes, shoes, and all the motivation in the world. I do not fault all of these people trying to get back on track and get healthy. I’m thrilled to see new people at the gym….I’m just not thrilled that you took all the treadmills and I got stuck on the elliptical instead.

Going to the gym in January is like heading into battle. One cannot just walk in and start exercising. A strategy, a plan must be made. You have to be ready to grab that first piece of workout equipment as soon as it’s available.

You have to plan for extra time searching for a parking spot. You really should have your bottle of water already filled up, iPod and/or Kindle already in hand, and have your coat/jacket off and ready to hang on the rack (or even better, don’t even bother wearing a jacket. The quicker you have to walk from your car, the more calories burned, right?) You must hurry to the treadmills before someone jumps on the very last one before you!

I am all psyched and ready to go for a run. I spot the last treadmill and make a dash for it….an open treadmill! ‘I made it just in time,’ I think. ‘Yes!’ Then just like that, all of the adrenaline is zapped as I am left staring at an open treadmill with an ‘Out of Service’ sign posted to the front. Bummer.

Such was my luck last night. Elliptical it is. At least I can read my Kindle while working out. That’s the positive. That, and 35 minutes of high-impact cardio cross training. It counts!

Tonight I must follow the advised plan and enter the battle grounds which are the YMCA in January. I will get a treadmill! I will. I must. I must run 3 miles!

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Keep Running Fatty!

The other day someone on Twitter said to me: ‘keep running fatty’.  At first I was shocked and upset. “I’m not a fatty!” I thought. Well, ok, maybe a little bit of a fatty. But then I convinced myself, I could be a Size 6, not a size 12/14, and someone would still call me a fatty and try to ruin my day.

I’m not letting it ruin my day…it has inspired me to write…and to keep running.

There is one fact that I can’t deny. I’m not a typical runner. Up until about a year ago I probably would not have classified myself as a ‘runner’. Runners are skinny, lean, and fast…not 190 lbs and chubby.

But this 190-lb ‘fatty’ finished the Disney Marathon almost exactly a year ago. January 9, 2011 was a day that changed my life forever. This ‘fatty’ ran 358 miles in 2011 (via my DailyMile stats). 358 miles?!  Wow – ya, that may classify me as a runner.

I ran the Disney Marathon, Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, Yuengling Shamrock 8K, Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon, Spirit & Breath 5K, Merrell Down & Dirty 5K Mud Run, King George Fall Festival 5K, Richmond HCA 8K, Uniontown Turkey Trot 5K, and the Christmas Town Dash 8K in 2011.

However, I have admittedly slacked off in mileage and have gained 10 lbs over the past year. I was injured for several months after the marathon and had to rest and recover. I never quite got back on track.

I’m not making any more excuses. It’s time to up the mileage, shed some pounds and get faster.

So it’s time to lose some weight and keep running, like a fatty should.

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