Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rock n Roll - 1/2 Marathon Race Re-Cap!

 There is something I have loved about coming home to Seattle every summer for the past 4 years to run the Seattle Rock n Roll, but for some reason, this year it was like icing on the cake. Icing on the cake of who I have become. 

I really didn't have any goals for myself for this race other than to enjoy it and to have fun. In the past when I train, there has always seemed to be a level of anxiety that fills my body. It usually starts months ahead when I look at the training schedule and anticipate all I need to do in order to be ready for the big day. Then I study the long runs and their increase in mileage by the week, which causes more anxiety. In a nut shell, it always has felt great to complete the race, but the process to get me there hasn't always been my favorite. 

This time I decided to go about things a little differently. I had just gotten done with Ragnar SoCal in April so I was still in my routine of running. I decided that this time around for the Rock n Roll I wasn't going to follow any certain training plan. I was just going to plan to run 3 shorter runs during the week with a long run on Saturday. I liked the idea of not being tied to a schedule per say. Part of that for me I think comes from the fact that I am such a rule follower. If I didn't follow my schedule to a tee, I would get cranky and frustrated, even like I was feeling behind. Having no schedule other than to get the runs in I have learned is a much better option for me. Not only that, because I wasn't stressing about how many miles I needed to get in or the run I missed yesterday and trying to make it up somewhere along the way, I was able to learn to love what I was doing. Learn to love running. Finally!

It was a beautiful day on Saturday in Seattle. We couldn't have asked for better weather. We got up at five and headed out the door so we could be downtown by 6:00 to catch the monorail to the Seattle Center. We arrived with plenty of time to get situated, check our bags, wait in line for the restrooms, and get to our coral. I had eaten a piece of bread with peanut butter and a half of a banana before leaving the house. I was hoping it was enough time to get it settled before we got started because my stomach is ultra sensitive when I'm running. In fact, I have to run on minimal water and fuel. I know, not always the best idea, but I have found a few things that work for me, so I stick with the basics and press on. 

Once our coral crossed the starting line we were off. My best friend Tammy and I have run this race together every year. She is quite the runner and could out run me any day but this is one of those runs we have always just done together. She was a huge part of my support team on the journey to a healthier me, so I love that she comes and does this with me every year. Better yet, she runs along side me the whole way. 

As we headed down the streets of Seattle I marveled at the large buildings and the beauty of the city I was raised in. That is one thing I love about this race. The course is absolutely perfect. You get city, waterfront, Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound, Safeco Field, Space Needle, and so many other sites. We were running a fairly decent pace the first few miles. I felt great. In fact, we were passing people! For me this is the first. I'm usually the one people are passing by left and right. I think at one point I had thought I didn't know how long I'd be able to keep that pace, but then I didn't think about it and kept going. The miles continued to pass and we kept on going, passing people along the way. There is a point on this run where you have to run a mile through a tunnel and I don't do tunnels, so I'm sure I slowed down a bit but not much. At mile eleven we were running up what's called the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The views of the Sound are wonderful. We even stopped for a selfie! Speaking of selfies, this was the first race I was able to take my phone on now that I bought a flip belt. (Best invention ever. I don't even feel it on me and I am super picky about carrying extra things on a run.) It was fun to be able to snap a few pictures here and there along the way.

About the time we were at mile eleven, I glanced at my watch. I knew that I would be finishing the race nearly 30 minutes faster than last year as I had some cramping and had to walk a bit last year. Then I then realized that it was possible for me to get a PR. I had pretty much written the idea of this off long ago as they had changed the course from the first two years we ran it. Back then it was much flatter with only a few hills. Now, for the past two years, it has been rather hilly with a doozy at the end. I never imagined I could beat my first time of 02:14 and some change. As we kept running I started picking up speed as in my mind I decided I was going to go for it. I wasn't sure what Tammy was thinking at this point as she was weaving in and out of people like I was, nearly on the opposite side of the road. I saw another tunnel up ahead and started to panic a bit but decided I was going to push through it and run faster. I thought, "The faster I run, the faster I get through this tunnel." We ran a short distance more before rounding the corner to the chute. Mind you, it is a huge hill that climbs for what seems like FOREVER! People cheering you on left and right but it still doesn't seem to help. It was at that point that people where passing us for the first time. I almost felt silly but seriously, I couldn't make my legs go any faster up that hill. I finished 13.1 with a time of 02:13:32. It was the fastest half I had ever run! I felt great. Aside from the hill at the end, I honestly could have kept going.

The human body amazes me! When we fuel it and take care of it in the right way, it will perform the way we want it to. I am grateful for the knowledge and the things I have learned over the past several years and what exactly my body can do for me. Instead of being something I dread, something that weighs me down, it has become a machine of nothing but goodness. It has shaped me to who I am today and has opened a whole new way of life to be 
enjoyed that I never knew existed. Life is good! 

P.S. After the run, it has become our tradition to have a girls weekend and head to the coast for a couple days to relax and recoup after a season of training and running. It's nice to just not be on a schedule, walk the beach, shop, hike a trail or two, and eat as much naughty food as we want. Here are a few pictures from that part of the trip. 

Ever since my foot surgery a few years back, my feet love the sand after a long race. The beach makes for a perfect stop on the way home.

Yep, Tammy's sister-in-law made us the BEST CAKE ever to eat after the race!

Don't ask! I have no idea...

P.P.S.....I have a mentioned this was the best race ever? 

Pin It!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Getting Kicked out of the Gym for a MONTH!

I've known this was coming but the reality of it is starting to sink in. I'm headed to Seattle this weekend to run the Rock n Roll half marathon, and then I've been officially kicked out of the gym for a month, per Jacob, my trainer who knows all. When he first started talking about going this route several weeks ago, imagine a two year old throwing a temper tantrum. Yep, that would pretty much be me. I've begged, cried, and fought this one hard but there was no budging on his decision. The answer was "No!" 

I'm sure many of you are wondering why in the world a trainer of all people would advise his client to do such a thing. Better yet, I've already mentioned it to a few people and they were leery of me doing it. In fact, I've even been told already I was crazy. I reassured them that even though I don't altogether understand it myself yet, I trust Jacob with my life. He knows his stuff. He wouldn't do what he does if he didn't. Not to mention, this is the guy who has walked me through losing over 130 pounds (by eating healthy and exercise) and has helped me keep it off for nearly 4 years. 

In a nutshell, and simply the best way to explain what is going on is, my body has been working non-stop, and very hard for that matter, for nearly 4 years without a break. Well, let me clarify. Jacob has always had me occasionally take a week off from the gym to sorta shock my body but nothing longer than that. He says my body is tired. It is run down. It is exhausted. It needs rest. In fact, it is so tired and run down that it is not performing the way I want it to or that it needs to in order to maintain a healthy me.

I have been consistently eating a high protein diet (as I normally do) as well as maintaining 4 lifts a week and 4-5 days of cardio and my body is not able to maintain its lean muscle. My body fat percentage is at 19% which is great (I'm not complaining a bit), but my lean muscle that I have worked so hard to get me where I am is slowly dropping. For example, the beginning of April I had 125.1 pounds of lean muscle and today when I was pinched and inched, I had 121. I know this may not sound like a big deal but I've worked too hard to not be lean and fit. I don't want to go backwards. There are two other reasons I am needing to take a break. One is to prevent injury and the other relates again to pushing farther than my body will go. Jacob explained this very well the other day. He said if I continued on like I am, there is a very good chance that chemically things could fall out of whack and then I would find myself seeing a natural-path to try to help get me back on track. 

Am I nervous about taking a month off? Yes, I'm not going to lie. I'm not excited about it one bit. This is going to be totally new territory for me. Oh and Jacob has me eating more and is actually hoping I gain a little bit of weight. Crazy huh? I know! But then I keep feeding my brain the words he said.  "Your body needs a long break. I need it to forget what it feels like to workout hard. I need it to forget what it's like to be healthy. I need it to forget what it's like to be on a routine. Then when you return, it will fire up and perform like no other. You will be able to maintain the way you want to and keep that lean muscle in place. You will be a rockstar!" I'm not so sure I was convinced, but I have always done what he says. 100%!

 (Literally, kicking me out of the gym!)

I asked Jacob how often he does this to a client and he said he never has. My jaw dropped, yes. Panic mode Paige set in again. Like, "No, I don't want to be the guinea pig."  Then he went on to say, "But I rarely have clients that have done what you have done. Clients that are 100% dialed in on your nutrition, and who have pushed as long and hard as you have. You deserve a break! You can do this!"

So with that, I will press day at a time for the next month starting after Saturday. The good news is that I can hike, bike, swim, take a walk and be active in many ways, just no lifting and running. I truly am grateful for Jacob and his wisdom and council. Sometimes it feels like more of a therapy session, but in the end, I wake up the next day ready to press on, one day at a time, enjoying my body and what it has become. So with that, thank you Jacob Wilson. We can do this! Be Elite! Life is good! 

Pin It!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Taking Care of YOU!

Have you ever heard the saying that when you help someone or serve them in some way, that it will make you feel better about yourself? I find this to be very true as I love doing things for others and reaching out to make someone’s day a little brighter, but I have also learned in the course of losing weight and getting healthy that one of those people needed to be myself. I don’t mean that in a selfish way by any means. I mean it in a way that you need to not only build others up but also build up yourself. This was something I was never good at until I learned that my self-worth was worth nurturing and taking care of, just like anyone else’s. In fact, for years I think I often times would think I was making myself feel better by doing one of three things: doing something nice for someone else, lounging around not doing much of anything, or eating things I knew I shouldn’t on a regular basis. These three things were my medication of sorts. This was how I dealt with being overweight. In fact, aside from doing something nice for someone else, it was easier to be a hermit than to get outside the walls of my home. 

In the process of trying to make a change, here are some of the things I’ve learned:
It’s not always easy to step away from the family and get to the gym, but I know I need to do it.
It’s not always easy to pay the expense of using a personal trainer, but the tools that are added to my basket on a weekly basis are tools of nutrition and health. Success is on being educated not on losing weight. 
It’s not always easy to make yourself go to bed early because our bodies need rest.
It’s not always easy to occasionally have to eat something different than your family.
It’s not always easy to go spend money on new clothes when for so many years you have put yourself last in line on the shopping list.
It’s not always easy to say “no” to the junk food put in front of you.
It’s not always easy to have to discipline yourself but the fact of the matter is, we all need boundaries. 
It’s not always easy to stretch yourself and try new things, but you turn out to be a better person when you do.
It’s not always easy to push yourself hard and through the impossible, but it’s worth it.

I have had to work at these things, but one of the greatest things I have learned on this journey is the fact that I am just as important to serve and love as anyone else. In fact, the more I have learned to serve myself and love who I have become, the more I want to serve others (funny how things work that way).  It’s never easy being overweight and insecure with the body you live in. I wish in my heart I could change that thinking in the lives of others but just like anything else, the only way to really gain a testimony of it is to experience it and go through it yourself. The process is often times painful, but in the end the joy and new set on life is worth it all. 

Looking back, I honestly wouldn’t change being overweight the majority of my life for anything. Sure, it would have been nice to have been skinny sooner or for more years than I was fat, but I also can say that if it wasn’t for being as overweight as I had become, I wouldn’t be the person I have become today. Someone who can do what others think is the impossible, someone who believes in herself, someone who is finally living a life for years she had only dreamed of.

Pin It!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pushing the Limits

Have you ever been asked to do something and you thought, "There is just no way?!"  Like, no physical way. Like beyond fathomable? Yep, that was me a couple weeks ago when I met with my trainer. I had showed up to the appointment and was blindsided when he had found out just the day before from another client how SLOW I ran The Great Potato 10k. Mind you, I was not running that race for any specific time but just did it with a group of friends from work. In fact, the first 1.5 miles I ran along side my best friend's mom at her pace and encouraged her along. Not to mention, the first 1.5 - 2 miles were gridlocked and I could only go as fast as the person in front of me as we were on a sectioned off part of the road. Anyway, Jacob informed me that we were going to start our workout that day by me running the fastest mile I could run. Ha! I thought he was kidding. Then it clicked in. "You've known him WAY too long. He is so NOT kidding!" And on the treadmill I went. At first, as I started running, Jacob kept increasing the speed. With each raised number, I tried more to confirm to him that I couldn't go as fast as he wanted me to go. In fact, I grabbed the sides of the treadmill and jumped off. At that point he informed me that every time I jumped off, we were going to start over. Yikes!!! I'm not really sure what clicked, but I knew if I was going to make it through this mile, I needed to focus, concentrate, and give it all I had. 8:47 minutes later I was done! Surprised? Very! Happy? Not at all! In fact, it felt like torture at the time. Then I was informed we'd be doing the same thing this past week. I think that put me in a bad mood for the rest of my session, because Jacob told me he didn't think he's ever seen me testy like that. He was probably right. 

This time I came in with a mindset of what I knew I needed to do. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I knew I could do it. I picked a song on my I-pod, got a focal point, and went to work. Jacob pushed and pushed a little further, always encouraging me and cheering me on along the way. I tried not to focus on looking down at how far I had left to go but instead focus on the fact that I was doing something I hadn't done before. A new challenge. This time I did my mile in 7:57. Again, Surprised? Yes! Happy? Yes!

Just like losing the weight initially, I was scared, unsure of myself and skeptical of the outcome. But the thing that brings me back for more, the thing that keeps pushing me to live healthy and keep the weight off that I've worked so hard to achieve, is the fact that just when I think my limits are being pushed as far as they can go, I still am learning more and more about myself. About the person who's been hiding in this body all these years. About the person who has discovered discipline and determination and is willing to push the limits to find peace and happiness. 

Now, I meet with Jacob again today. Who knows what he'll have in store for me this time, but the good news is, regardless of how hard he pushes the limits and how frustrated I get in the process, I know deep down he is only trying to make me a better me. That is why he does what he does. And that is why I am forever grateful!

Pin It!