Running Without Potatoes

Tough going this morning in 70% humidity @ 80 degrees (feels like 84 degrees).  I can’t help but believe my runs will get faster and easier when the heat and humidity leaves.  I used to avoid the sprinklers when running here in Overland Park.  Now I head for them and will circle back to run through again and again and again.  🙂

Back in April I decided to seriously attack my weight with the goal of shaving off 20 pounds.  I reached that goal and will find out next month what my body composition is now.  I was on medication (for virus in my lungs)  that would have thrown the test so taking after it is out of my system.  The weight-loss is equal to 2 bags of potatoes.  So glad I’m not running with that any more.  It has helped me to cross the threshold to actually running and not walking trying to run here and there.  I feel better and have more energy.

Potatoes are a good carbohydrate.  However, they are also my weakness.  I have to stay committed to sticking with all the good habits I developed and not go back to the bad ones.

I feel I could still lose another 10 pounds but am now more concerned with performance than weight loss.  Hoping to see those pounds just disappear as I train.

This isn’t the best before and after but you get the picture.  I would have worn my LIFE Runner shirt to take the after pic but I ran in it yesterday and so didn’t pack it.  Had to take advantage of a full length mirror that was in my hotel room last night.  The grey shirt I purchased while in NY – April 2012 and it was tight too.  The LIFE Runner shirt in picture on the left was a large.  No more of that.

Okay now here is data from today’s run.  Tomorrow trying to get back into  long runs starting with 8 miles.

Now on with the work for the day…have lots to do.  Enjoy the Friday feeling.

This Is It…Official Marathon Training Begins!

My goal was to lose 20 pounds by this point and I am 3 pounds from my goal…not bad.  Also, other half of goal – to comfortably run 3 miles at 12 minute pace.  Actually, I have been doing better than that – not today’s though.

I’m following Hal Higdon‘s 18 Week Plan for Novice 2.  Here’s the training schedule for this week:

1 Rest 3 m run 5 m pace 3 m run Rest 8 Cross

I did a pretty slow 3 mile run today.  Was not my best.  Tomorrow is a 5 mile pace run.  I am fueling up today for that – also getting more water in too.  I had a meeting last night and dinner was rushed.  Went to bed kind of hungry.  It showed up in the run.  No excuses – just looking ahead to tomorrow’s run to improve things.  That’s what it’s all about.  I’m my own competitor.  I was passed by 2 other runners today.  Didn’t phase me.  I am training for my first marathon.  I’m realizing a dream.

I have another meeting today so need to prepare.  By the way…what’s your dream?

Here’s the data for today’s run…(It says Jefferson City, but the map actually showed Leawood, KS). Have a great Monday!

Would You Run Carrying Websters Dictionary?

With 11 pounds down, I am now past half way point for weight loss goal.  Soon my running will be a lot easier not carrying this around with me…

Granted this is 16 pounds of weight not 20, but I am only 5 pounds away from this.  These weights are heaving.  In fact, if I ran with one in hand I wouldn’t go very far (partly because of the mental negative image of running with them).    Here’s Webster’s Dictionary.  It weighs 14.5 pounds – just 3.5 more pounds than what I’ve already lost.  Who would want to run with that book???

We don’t realize how hard it is on our bodies to carry more weight than what’s considered normal.   My running is improving too.

It’s hard to believe May is almost over – three weeks till official start of marathon training.  I’ll be ready!

Fighting Through To Power Up For Fall Marathon

It’s day 11 and still going strong with new diet and exercise plan.  No picnic though.  Tough schedules, banquet food, stress and long days at the office can easily throw me off track if not prepared with back up plan.  So far – I’m winning that battle but really struggle to stay on top.  The alternative…fall off and settle for what I carry in body weight then try to train for marathon with such.  That isn’t an option for me.  So I sacrifice now for future goals.

Yesterday I checked in with my friend Stephanie at Diet Center and had another body fat test.  Here’s what it showed after 10 days:

Weight Fat Lbs Fat % Lean Lbs Lean Loss RMR TCER
Goal 140 28 20 112 0 1750 2300
16-Apr 165.3 53.5 32.3 111.8 0 1647 2215
26-Apr 163.5 48.8 29.8 114.7 -3 1678 2250

I lost 4.7 pounds from fat.  I gained 2.9 pounds  of lean tissue (muscle hopefully) which shifted my body fat percentage down by 2.5%.  My overall weight loss remains at just shy of 2 pounds.  Resting metabolic rate is up 31 calories and total caloric energy rate up by 35 calories too.

Overall in the 10 days I’ve also lost a total of 8.5 inches from neck to calves.  At the end of my weight loss phase from 1994 I lost a total of 45 inches.  Therefore, in 10 days I trimmed off almost 20% of what could be my total loss of inches in the end.

It’s all good and the momentum is building.  Those who know me also know I’m hell on charting data.  So of course I had to chart these numbers too.  See below.

This Is How I Roll

Going out the door to work…



3.Water Bottle

4.Lunch + Mid Morning and Afternoon Snacks

5.Running Clothes + Tennis Shoes + Ipod

6.DC Food Sheets (My written plan of what to eat when)

I don’t really like putting my run in the middle or after my work day, but sometimes it’s necessary…like this day.

What isn’t showing in this picture of lunch and snacks is my orange and Melba Toast crackers which I keep at the office.

A diet and training plan takes a lot of organization as mentioned in an earlier post.  That is the key to success for me…a plan.  That scale next to my lunch is there because I also need to weigh the chicken in my lunch (3 oz.).  Never mind that coffee in the background (I doubt I will ever give up coffee).

Now onto the exercise.  I have been running on concrete a lot lately and can tell it in my legs.  Asphalt is better but sometimes not an option.

Today…it’s running in the rain – this morning.  Doesn’t bother me as long as no lightening and not too cold.  I have a long way to go to get to my long run for the Oct 21st marathon.  The pounds I will lose between now and the end of June, will make all the difference too.  Just one of the many benefits of losing the weight is the increased pace.  Below is info from Runners World.

Pounds Lost
1/2 Marathon

I’m heading off to KC today – taking a small cooler with all my stuff.  Called ahead to the banquet staff at event I’m attending and ordered a low calorie/fat/sodium dinner.  I am committed to sticking strictly to my diet as I did many years ago to guarantee success.  It’s working too.  Just in 4 days – I dropped 2 pounds.  That isn’t a big deal – been see-sawing over 5 pounds for months.  What will really be exciting is when I get past 6 pounds and see it isn’t coming from lean tissue too.

It takes 2 weeks to create new habits – it all gets a bit easier after that thresh-hold.  But can’t wait to cross the real finish line in October when all the sacrifice and training pays off.

So, that’s how it is…all good.

Here’s your morning dose of inspiration – now let’s go run!

Power to the She – Weight Loss Game On!

No messing around with this anymore.  Yesterday I re-enlisted with Diet Center to lose the pounds that continue to slow me down – running and in daily life.  I have had some things going on with blood sugar, hormones and a case of fooling myself about what I am eating, so I felt  it was time to jump in and get some help from a professional.

This is the place that helped me shed the weight I gained (35 pounds) after I quit smoking so many years ago and then again after I had Alex.  I kept it off for almost 2 decades.  However, the last 4 years it has slowly started to creep back on even though I felt like my eating hadn’t changed.  I’ve tried several things on my own but now am surrendering to what I consider the ultimate weapon – Diet Center.

I need to relearn how to eat properly…what my body needs and how much as well as how often.

I’m committed to seeing this through.  I’m tired of pounding the pavement and feeling like I can’t run faster or more without injuring myself because of my age and size.  My breathing is impacted too.  Who am I kidding.  I remember that breathless feeling when I was in the last months of pregnancy.  Not that I am feeling that big, but that weight does play a factor in such.

The first thing they do at DC is run a body fat analysis.  Okay, here are the painful stats:

Present Weight:  165   Goal:   140  

Fat Pounds: 53

Present  Fat %: 32    Goal: 20%

Present Lean Wt: 111

In January of 1994, when I paid my very first visit to DC my weight was 169 and my body fat was 34%.  After 4 hard fought months in which I traveled a lot, my weight was 137 and body fat was 18%.  I rarely ate out during that period, had no alcohol 😦 (all for the cause), exercised regularly and followed the plan to the T.  I used such a small amount of oil when I cooked (mainly olive oil) that a bottle lasted me a couple of months back then.  I’ve since been using more with seasonings that were higher in sodium than I realized.

They recheck body composition at least once per month.  To be sure you aren’t losing lean.

They also take measurements and then retake them each month.

My diet consists of:

1200 calories, 2 starches, 5 vegetables, 2 fruits, 8 protein, 3 dairy and 2 fats.  I was fooling myself with how I was eating before and realized it once she re-educated me on portions and the art of reading labels and judging the ratios of how many carbs per fat grams, sugar, proteins, etc.  What causes something to be a dairy and not a protein, etc.  Also, I had forgotten about the hidden sodium in even the smallest things.

Water: I drink a lot of water and never forgot about that essential to good dieting.  One of the many helpful tips my friend and coach Pat offered, is to drink a full glass of water before a meal – it helps to give you a full feeling.  “Thanks Pat!” 🙂

Exercise goes hand in hand with the diet too.  I’ve committed to running/walking 3 miles per day for 5 days per week.  Today, I’m going out at lunch.  All of this goes into the equation and all I have to do is follow it.  Learning along the way so I continue my good habits after each phase of the diet.

There is so much more and I’ll share along the way.  Ultimately, I just want to fit back into my closet full of clothes and be able to run like the wind come June when my training begins for the full marathon that I am running in October.  I have to admit I get scared thinking about that.  I am going to get a stress test too before that to rule out any hidden heart issues that could surface under that kind of stress and strain.  That is one of the reasons you hear of people that collapse and die after or during a race.  They had a condition they weren’t aware of before.

A recent study mentioned in Time Magazine (click here for full article)  found that many of those who had heart attacks during long distance races had thickened heart walls, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle becomes enlarged and less flexible, making it harder to pump blood efficiently. And because marathon runners tend to be older, many also had atherosclerosis, or buildup of plaques within their heart vessel walls, which can also impede blood flow.  Heart issues don’t run in my family – fortunately.  So I will be surprised if anything like that is an issue.  However, I am not chancing it.  Getting checked before training starts and everyone considering a marathon should do the same – especially those over 40 (or 50 like me).

There are other things that put a body at risk  – like conditioning and weight.  I want to cut out all of those risks.  So between my coach Pat and DC friend Stephanie, I will be successful.

My first challenge is a banquet I’m attending Friday night.  I’m going to call and request a special salad plate (lettuce, vegies, no cheese, no dressing and no croutons either – bringing my own dressing).  Also asking for grilled chicken on salad too.

*A little trick Stephanie showed me was to put 2 tablespoons of light dressing in a shaker and add either balsamic vinegar or water and shake it up – makes your dressing go further.

Todays Fresh Mix of Mash

Last week, I bought a copy of Jillian Michael’s book, “Master Your Metabolism.”  It’s about identifying and correcting hormone imbalance so your body’s metabolism functions at peak efficiency.  Did you know, that diabetes causes you to gain weight in the abdominal area?  Also, that is a sign that you have too much insulin in your system.  Abdominal obesity – for women abs that measure more than 35 inches.  I have done a lot of reading over the years but that’s the first time I’ve ever read that.  I think this book may be onto something.

I used to be able to lose weight fairly easily, but the last few years, all I can do is put it on and not take it off.

It’s been 2 weeks since the half marathon in KC…so recovery is over.  I have walked and run a little during that period but not a lot.  I’ve dropped about 6 pounds too.  It’s not hard to be motivated to exercise with the beautiful weather we’ve been having.  I love seeing the shapes of the Sycamore trees they stand out due to their white bark.  They are like living art along with the colored background of all the other trees.

I am continuing my exercise regimen and hope to overcome whatever the issue is with my metabolism so I can lose the extra 20 pounds.  Jillian Michael’s may be my “wing girl” as I go through these motions.

I am getting a lot done this weekend.  Many things that I had to let go while my training increased for the race.  I’m finishing some things up today along with some more cooking.  Yesterday I made some Beef Enchiladas, Spicey Tuna Cakes and 2 loaves of bread.  Today, I’m making Alex’s Chimichanga‘s, chicken salad and celery/carrot sticks.

Also, I have patiently waited 2 months for my highlight to grow out.  If you recall, 2 months ago a well-intentioned hair dresser gave me darker hair than what I was used to or preferred.

I had it lightened as much as possible, but had to settle for a different level of blond than my usual.



This is what I’ve been waiting to get back to and can’t wait to even make the appt this week.  I know that hair is pretty frivolous when weighed against World current events, economy, etc.  However, I more handily deal with that and other things when my hair is the best it can be.  Me and Samson, it’s all about the hair.  No wonder I didn’t finish under 3 hours in KC!  It was the hair.

Who’s up for a quick trip to NYC in April???  The  More/fitness Magazine’s Half Marathon is April 15th in 2012.  We could raise a lot of money for PRC‘s,  go to a fabulous health expo and pre-race dinner.  Get our hair done at my favorite salon – Jean Claude Biguine on Avenue of the Americas and run with some incredible women through the best park in the U.S.  What could be better?

Where is your favorite travel destination??