Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Steph: The Rollercoaster

So to say the least, this experience has had a million ups and downs just like a rollercoaster.  Let me list the ways ...

1.  DOWN:  Motivation.  I just don't want to run ... often ... But, I still do it.  Within the last month, I was having trouble even forcing myself to run. To force motivation, I signed up for another race in my neighborhood called the OTR 5K to give myself a goal to work towards.  It worked.  I just finished the race last weekend and had a great time doing so.  Even if it was SUPER hot out!  It was my first official hot run, but I actually had fun.  I encouraged my sister-in-law Christina through the run and she did an AMAZING job even though she was unsure of herself at first.  Check out her blog @

So let's take a minute for a quick race report ...

         I started with a yummy 'runners' breakfast.  It was super hot outside.
         We were downtown doing a city run.  The traffic was NOT stopped
         for us in a couple places.  We had to stop for it.  Even with that I
         averaged a 12 minute mile.  Right off the bat, there was a HUGE
         hill that we had to run up.  Christina told me that I increased my
         pace significantly on the hill.  I think that I just really wanted to get
         to the top!!!!  Lastly, we ended with a really fun block party type
         festival!  Good times.  (Which is crazy talk because I NEVER
         would have thought in a million years that I would EVER use those
         words in conjunction with running!!)


Now back to my roller coaster ride:

2.  UP:  Planning.  I need a plan.  Something I have recently realized is SUPER important to my success.  I always knew that I liked planning things, but never how much I needed to do it.  So to keep the motivation going, Jill and I started a 10K running plan.  And I have it in writing, so it is official.  We are 1 week into the plan and I feel a new sense of motivation for running again!!! I have a new goal and a new plan.  Two things that I LOVE and need!

3.  WAY UP:  Fun.  The more fun the races, the better.  So we have planned a COLOR run in Louisville at the end of July and a Mudathlon in August.  Both of these are fun and different and crazy and right up my alley!  The only way that they could get better is if they involved wine or food :)

4.  DOWN:  Weight Gain/Loss.  I didn't start this to lose weight.  I knew that I was "pleasantly plump" and I was O.K. with that.  I knew that I LOVED eating delicious and interesting food and that chunkier weight was a side effect.  Then I started losing weight.  Then I liked that it seemed to be just falling off of me.  I went down a dress/pant size and down a shirt size.  Then I saw a new 'decade' in weight for the first time since college.  Then it all stopped.  I didn't gain any.  But I wasn't losing either.  Then I felt discouraged.  Then it stayed that way for 2 months.  Then I tried a crazy "cleansing" diet to break through my plataeu and it worked.  I lost 8 more pounds.  But now, I am at another plateau it seems :(

5.  UP:  Bonding.  This running thing has been a great bonding experience between my girlfriends and I.  I enjoy anything that gives women a chance to encourage each other through something instead of creating negativity.  It has also increased the bonding moments between my husband and I.  Sometimes I want to scream at him while he is pushing me to go farther and other times I am thankful that he doesn't give up.  Either way, it is something that we are doing together and that is time well spent.

6.  WAY UP:  The Picture.  I have always hated myself in pictures.  I have huge cheeks.  My husband jokingly calls them chipmunk cheeks because it looks like I store food in them.  I joked with him about them in return at times.  It was really fine with me because I didn't think they would ever go away.  I just thought they were a part of who I am.  So pictures sucked just like the first one below.  Then, I saw the second picture below that was taken of my husband and I.  I looked O.K., but I thought the cheeks were not showing up because of the angle of my face.  Then friends took the third picture below, it is a picture of my face from a straight on angle.  I was shocked.  I can see my actual face.  I am NOT just looking at cheeks.  It is AMAZING!!!!  I can see a difference in these three pictures.  It has single handedly re-motivated me.  I am NOT giving up.  I am determined to lose another 20 pounds in the next year.  It is going to happen!
Picture 1:  Taken about 1 1/2 years ago.

Picture 2:  Taken about 2 months ago.

Picture 3:  Taken 1 week ago.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Steph: The Summer of Skinny Scares Me!!!

So, I am going to miss my pregnant/breast feeding buddy Jill who would eat all of the dessert except for the 2-3 bites that I snuck because she needs all the calories for her baby.  She has declared this "The Summer of Skinny" and is determined to loose all of her baby weight.

In my head that means no more of this:

And a lot more of these:

And ... we have increased our workouts/runs to 5 days a week instead of 3.  My doctor is going to love JILL!!!  Me, on the other hand, we will see?????

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jill: Stay Tuned

Reasons why you should still have faith in us and believe me when I say our return to regular blogging is immanent:

1.  Today is our last day of work until August 8th.

2. Today we start our 10K training.

3. We have 2 races on the calendar for the summer.  One involves an overnight road trip and paint, the other, mud.

4. Catch up posts about the Cincinnati Wine Festival, other races we must do, and whining about training in the heat of the summer.

School's out

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Steph: I am the Slug

I have been struggling for the last 3 weeks with my running and I thought it was about time that I admitted it to myself and the entire world.

I have continued to hate running throughout this process.  That never changed.  But I could feel progress.  I was seeing my waist shrink.  I went down a dress/pant size.  I went from XL shirts to L shirts.  I was less out of breath when doing chores around the house.  I could walk around my neighborhood downtown with ease.  I was able to run a little more each week.  Don't get me wrong .... I still HATED running ... but I was LOVING what it was doing for me!

Then the plateau hit.  And it hit hard.  About 2 months ago, I stopped losing weight.  No more inches went missing, I stayed in the same size.  It was discouraging.  I felt robbed that I was doing the same things and nothing was happening.  I talked with my husband, my running buddy Jill, and even my doctor.  They all had the same advice.  Up the exercise.  Then I got mad.  No one told me when I started this that I would have to work out 5-7 days a week to continue the progress.  I was just getting used to the 3 days a week adjustment from the 0 days a week. 

But I tried to do it.  I added in an extra workout a week (up to 4) and when possible got in a 5th.  But it was hard.  I don't know how people do it while working.  There are days that I just do NOT have the time to get in that 5th, 6th, and 7th workout.  There are days after teaching when I can not possibly imagine doing anything at all besides dinner and bed.  It is just plain hard.  But I was still plugging along.  Hating it all the way.  But doing it just the same.

Then 3 weeks ago all HELL broke out in my body.  I feel like I am at war with myself.  My mind says ... you MUST get in at LEAST your 3 days of running a week.  My body and soul is saying ... you need to run NONE at all.  And my husband ... who has been so amazingly supportive since the 2nd week of this process ... has been getting frustrated with me.  Like it is something that I am purposefully doing.  I am not.  I wish that I still had that "go get um" attitude that I had for the first 5 months.  But I don't.  It is gone.

I have kept running these last 3 weeks mainly due to the persistence of my husband.  But they have been crappy runs ... slow runs ... short runs .... runs that make me feel like the first time that I ran for 3 straight minutes back in November.  A run that makes me feel like a slug that is trying to be a tortoise.  It makes each time that I am getting ready to run again even harder.  My brain feels completely defeated and I am currently only going through the running motions for Mike.  Not for myself like I was for the first 5 months. 

I don't know what I need to break through this mental block.  But it feels physical too.  Like every step weighs 500 pounds.  I am floundering in this sea of running.  I need to find my way.  In 3 weeks school gets out.  I will try to re-motivate then.  But for now, motivation seems like something so far out of reach that I will never get to it.