Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

My niece and I had decided to run in the Quad City Marathon this month.  We were both going to use the same training program so that we could support each other.  Things started out swimmingly.  She’s a bit faster than me, but that’s ok.  We had talked about that and we were ok with running our own race at our own pace.


Our Playground Workout

I quickly found a friend to train with to help keep me motivated.  Thanks to her, I started getting up early to run.  The hours passed quickly and I enjoyed our time together.  We were motivating each other.  I felt blessed because she slowed down her pace to keep me company and I motivated her to keep going.

I had already modified the training plan to account for my husband’s work schedule.  My kids aren’t old enough to stay home alone and hiring a babysitter that often is just not in the budget.  So sometimes, the run had to go by the wayside so I could take care of the kids.  Thankfully, my running partner was ok with that…she had been there, done that, and was very understanding.

But then injury hit.  My knee acted up for a couple of days, and since I had struggled with it last year during my half, I made sure I took care of it.  Then my plantar fasciitis flared.  That sidelined me for a while.  We did water jogging, weight lifting, bike riding and rested.  It eventually went away.  I thought I was home free, barring the occasional summer cold.

I always knew that I was a slow runner…12-15 minutes per mile is my average, depending on the race and the heat.  The long runs kept getting longer.  The time I spent away from home kept getting longer.  I started getting discouraged, especially when it felt like I wasn’t making any progress.  I just couldn’t get faster.  I was doing ok on the longer runs, for the most part.  But things were slowly breaking down.


A hot workout…not a great experience

My breaking point was a scheduled 18 mile run.  I knew it was going to take me a while – at least 4.5 hours to finish.  Have you ever thought about what you can do in 4.5 hours?  You can watch all of Gone With the Wind (and have time left over), you can do 3 loads of laundry, you can read an entire book (maybe even 2).  Most importantly, you can help your husband by watching the little kids so that he can work on the home remodel.  And who really wants to get up at 4:15 in the morning to go for a run so that you can be home in time to do other things?  Not this girl…so the run didn’t happen.  Family first.


Kiddos reading in the hallway


It was at that point that I started feeling like maybe the full 26.2 wasn’t going to happen for me.

Over the next few days, I talked to my niece; I talked to my running partner; I talked to my husband; and I talked to myself.  It was a difficult decision.  I knew I could do the half.  I did one last year and I had felt reasonably good during my 12+ mile runs.  But deep down, I wanted my first marathon experience to be good.  I did not want to be that runner that was crossing the finish line after 6.5 hours…with the finish line being partially dismantled, the sag wagon dogging my footsteps, not having seen any of the race volunteers or refreshment tables for the last 2 hours.  I wanted to cross the finish line earlier than that.

I wanted my marathon experience to be good…not a straggling, suffering, guilt-laden one.

At that point, I decided to do the half.


My favorite view on my favorite path.

It was a load that fell off my shoulders.  I felt good about my decision; disappointed, but good.  I felt like I was letting people down; that I was giving up.  To a certain extent, I still feel that way.  But I know that I’m not ready to run 26.2 miles the way I want to run them.  Making that decision freed up my time to focus on my kids, the big projects we have going on at home, and to focus on my husband (not in that order).  While he supports my running and is at every finish line he can be at, he didn’t like me being gone so long, running alone in the partial dark, and running the chance of getting hurt.

I know that when I lace up my shoes on Sunday to run the half, it will be fine.  He will be at the finish line waiting for me with a hug and a kiss.  Most of my kids will be there to surround me with hugs.  They will be proud of me no matter what distance I run.


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A Look Back

2012 was a good year for me, overall.  I lost almost 40 pounds, ran my first 1/2 marathon, and logged 315 miles since Mother’s Day.  For the local Grand Prix, I came in 7th in my age group (one of my best friends came in 1st – yay!).  I overcame my fear of free weights.

Southern Tennessee Plunge 1/2 Marathon with my beautiful niece Bethany

Southern Tennessee Plunge 1/2 Marathon with my beautiful niece Bethany

Not that it wasn’t without its struggles.  I battled heat, knee pain, foot pain, and a general lack of motivation at various times during the year.  I started, stopped, and restarted New Rules of Lifting for Women and Couch to 5k.  I started and finished some challenges (Y’s Weigh), but started and did not finish others (Holiday Squat-a-thon).

But you know what?  My family didn’t completely fall apart while I was working out.  I figured out how to work around everyone’s schedules, for the most part.  Yeah, it was tough getting long runs in, but I did it – even though they were mostly walks.  My family learned all sorts of different words – energy gels, hydration belt, heart rate monitor, foam roller, and negative splits.  I learned how to plan workouts, nutrition, and life so that I can accomplish those things that I need to finish.  My girls learned how much fun the finish lines of races could be – kids’ stampedes and mommy’s races.  They learned that if you work hard at something, it doesn’t matter if you win or come in dead last – you finished it.  My husband learned that sometimes it’s easier just to let me go running (or let me talk about running) just so that I can get my nervous energy out.

A Look Ahead

What do I want for 2013?  I want a lot of things.  Here are some of my main goals:

  • 5k time at 30:00 (or less)
  • Run my first full marathon (scheduled for 9/23 – Quad City Marathon)
  • Run all Grand Prix races and come in better than 7th in my age group
  • Participate in Muscatine Running Club group runs
  • Lose 30 pounds
  • Complete Couch to 5k (currently on week 4)
  • Complete Insanity
  • Complete Best Body Bootcamp (starting cycle 4 on January 8)
  • Complete New Rules of Lifting for Women

This isn’t all, but they are the first ones that come to mind.

I have the following challenges lined up for the year:

  • #13in2013
  • 5 by the 5th
  • Y’s Weigh
  • BMI Challenge at my work
  • #BestFoot Challenges
  • Run this Town

Will I get through them all?  I don’t know, but I’m going to try.  I will get through them with the support of my husband and kids.  I have learned that I just need to stay quiet to essentially everyone else.  People don’t always understand, and it’s easier to just stay quiet than to keep explaining why you are doing some things.

What are your goals for 2013?

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You know, sometimes, life just happens.  Sometimes things don’t work out how you have them planned.  That’s been my experience with HBBC the last few weeks.  Between school concerts, choir practices, meetings, and just plain schedule issues, workouts haven’t happened.  Meals have not been the most organized thing happening.

Are those necessarily valid excuses? No.  I saw this picture (from Run with Jess).

Source: Run With Jess

Source: Run With Jess

But are they my excuses for the last few weeks?  Yep.  That doesn’t make me a bad person, that just makes my choices different than maybe they should have been.  I was focused on keeping my kids at their activities, getting my things done, trying to stay rested (and healthy), and keeping myself sane.

I had some HBBC Facebook interactions during those 3 weeks.  Plus, I got in a bunch of cleaning/cooking time on Christmas Day.  But I know my attitude suffered while I wasn’t eating right or exercising.  I know I’ve been more stressed out than usual.  I know that if I had followed through on my plans, all of that would have been different – even slightly different.

So what’s my goal for the last week of HBBC?  To make it through the last week with some kind of mileage and workouts.  We will see.

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A few weeks ago, I found a challenge for running 13 races in 2013.  It’s being handled by Jill Conyers and Jen Clement Shoemaker (Marathon Mom) and it looks like a lot of fun.  There are 2 main ways to accomplish this challenge.  The first is to run 13 of the same distance.  The second is to run a variety of races.  I have decided to do the variety pack.  I have a full marathon planned (my first), a 10k planned (my first), a trail run (my first), and several (ok lots of) 5ks.

I will be posting my race recaps here…hopefully with some pictures.  If you want to join, go to Jill’s website and sign-up.  Right now, there are over 500 people signed up for the challenge.  I have lots of hopes for this year.  My main hope right now is that I can accomplish them.

Wish me luck.

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you-will-tell-them-yesI have a lot of time where I hear “No” – whether it is a real “no” or a perceived “no”.  All my life, I have been the girl that would rather read about something than do it, or would rather read/watch TV than be outside.  Over the last few years, I grew unhappy with my appearance and my health.  I wanted to be healthier for our kids.  I wanted to get back to that person in the wedding pictures, only a healthier version of me.   It wasn’t until January 2012 that I did something about it, seriously did something.

Even at that time, there were a lot of perceived “nos” coming at me.  People didn’t think that I had any issues, or that I was doing the wrong thing, or pushing myself too hard, or whatever.  I won’t say that it’s been easy, because it hasn’t.  I will say that it’s been the best change in my life in years.  Every time someone said “no” or I heard a “no” implied in something else, I tried not to let it bog me down. I tried to take it and change it.  Even when someone would minimize my accomplishments, I tried to change that around in my head…or I used it as ammunition to get my butt off the couch and do something about it.

I’ve decided that “Yes, I Can” is going to be my motto going into 2013.  To all of those who don’t think I can achieve my goals for the year, or those who don’t think that what I am accomplishing is all that important – thank you for providing me the motivation to push past my blocks or to keep pushing even when I want to give up.

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A while ago, I was given a challenge to figure out what has worked for me and what hasn’t worked for me during this weight loss/fitness journey I have been on since January.

I sat down toward the end of 2011 and tried to figure out how I was going to make a change in my life.  I was sick and tired of being overweight, of not wearing clothes that fit (or that I liked).  I was just sick and tired.  So I made a commitment to myself to try to change things around.   If I want to change how my life ends, I need to be the author of my life.  If I want to see my grandchildren (in a LONG time), then I need to do what is necessary so that I don’t end up with health issues like my grandparents.  It’s my responsibility to make the change – no one else can do it for me.

What Worked!

What has worked for me is support and challenges.  I was in a weight loss/fitness challenge through my local Y from January to May.  I also participated in a Live Healthy Iowa Wellness Challenge during that same time.  At the end of that,  I struggled.  Luckily I had a friend who was willing to continue our weekly weigh-ins to help with some accountability.  In June, I found the Marathon Weight Loss Challenge by Jessica from the Run With Jess blog.  That was a 13-week challenge that took me from June to September.  There were a lot of online participants, which was good; and a weekly weigh-in, which also helped.  In about 2 weeks, I start the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, which will take me from November to January, when I will pick up the Y’s challenge again this year.   All of these have helped give me a little motivation and have helped me be accountable to myself and my fellow participants.

Another thing that has worked for me is to have a goal and a plan.  When I was training for the Southern Tennessee Plunge Half Marathon, I knew what I needed to do and I had a plan for it.  Without a plan or a goal, I just stumble around trying to figure out what to do.  My goal right now is to build my strength and my running endurance for next spring’s running season, with an end goal of running all the Grand Prix races next year.  My plan to accomplish this includes C25k, NRoL4W, and general cardio.

I’m also very thankful that my husband is supporting me on my journey.  Most everyone has been supportive and understanding when I say I can’t do something due to a training run, regular workout, or when I decline sweets or other unhealthy food.

What Hasn’t Worked!

But what hasn’t worked?  Focusing on too many things at once.  For me, I need to have a plan and a schedule.  I can’t just try and make it work, because that makes me sit on the couch and watch Project Runway.  I also need to make sure I take time for myself – whether that’s just alone time or workout time.  If I don’t have that time to myself, I start getting overwhelmed and stressed, which leads to unhealthy eating and activities.


What has worked for you on your journey?  What hasn’t worked for you?

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I realize it’s not very legible, but this is my workout calendar for November.  My employer gives us $10 for each month we turn in exercise logs with over 360 minutes of activity on it.  I have figured out that it helps me to have a plan.

This is how I planned November:

  • Wrote down all of our home appointments (husband’s work schedule, my activities, kid activities)
  • Noted all days of Couch to 5k program (3 days per week)
  • Added days of New Rules of Lifting for Women (usually 2 days per week; some are days of C25k)
  • Noted Rest days (1-2 days per week)
  • Added biking in when possible (some doubles with C25k or NRoL4W; biking may be replaced with Y classes)

I don’t usually post this information, but I think this may make me a little more accountable.  At the end of the month, I will take a picture of the completed log and we will see where I end up.

How do you motivate yourself?  Do you plan your workouts?

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