Monday, August 16, 2010

What a weekend!

Well, I got my 8-mile walk in this past Saturday. YAY! I skipped Sunday due to some unfortunate tummy issues (I won't go into more detail here for your sake!). I am definitely beginning to understand why training, specifically outside in the elements, is so important. As a newbie 3-Day walker, I learned some invaluable lessons this weekend so I'll take a few minutes to share them with you.

1. Just because you frequently drive through a specific area does NOT mean you know it! You may know all the street names that you pass and even several landmarks or stores on the route but you CANNOT know if from a walkers perspective unless you walk it. The route I walked this weekend (8 miles from grandma's to cousin's house) I have driven hundreds of times since I got my license and countless more as a passenger in my mother's car. Knowing that, I thought, "Hey, I know that route. Seems safe. Let's do it!" Uh hem! Didn't really work out that way. For instance, I could not have told you that about one mile of the route had NO sidewalks! There is a small industrial/commercial portion by the Modesto airport that is not finished (i.e., crosswalks but no concrete, finished sidewalks). Large portions of the route were covered in dirt, weeds, and some trash. While other parts were completely overgrown by bushes. The sandy part wasn't too bad though I did have to stop to get a few little grains of sand out of my sock before they gave me boo boos! However, the part overgrown with vegetation had me trekking through grass (way tough to do by the way), hiking through parking lots, or walking in the gutter! Luckily, there was a very wide right lane but still, walking in the street is neither ideal nor safe. All it takes is one stumble by me or one idiot texting while driving and BAM! Needless to say, while I did make it to my cousin's safe and sound, I will not repeat this specific route simply because safety HAS GOT to come first.

Lesson learned: Take care in planning your routes and if you haven't walked them before, take some time to drive through carefully examining from walkers perspective to be sure it's the right route for you.
2. Just because you can walk an 18-minute miles, does not mean you can walk 8 miles in 2.4 hours. It's important when budgeting your time that you account for the various types of breaks you'll need to take. There was the break to get the sand out of my socks – 5 minutes. The break to use the restroom and refill my water – 15 minutes. The many breaks (filled with stretching) and that many crosswalks. (Don't forget the time spent answering texts, which was such a HUGE lesson I saved it for #3.) For time budgeting, not only will knowing how long a walk can take help so family knows when to expect you back (a big safety issues) but also so you can be sure you have time to fit in the walks you need in the future. Next time I do a long walk, whether it's six or ten miles, I'll have much better idea of how long it will take.

Lesson learned: Account for the unexpected and over estimate the time you'll have to spend taking breaks. Your family will get a nice surprise when you show up early but will worry like crazy if you're five minutes late!

3. Texting while training etiquette must be taught for apparently is not an inherent skill. I was visiting family and took time to be sure they knew when I left, and how long I expected the trip to take me. I did this because I didn't want anyone worrying about me unnecessarily. I had also planned to text my whereabouts once or twice during the trip so they'd know I was moving along safely. However, what I didn't realize is how excited they would be and how often they would text just to see how far I'd gotten. I started getting texts about four miles in. I'm in the zone, already ½ ways finished and just walkin', ya know? Then I get a text. I don't want to stop, move out of the way, turn my waist pack around, dig out my phone and read this message so I ignore it. A few minutes later, I begin to worry that whoever sent the message will start to worry if I don't respond so…I stop, move out of the way, turn my waist pack around, dig out my phone, read and respond to the message. I wait a few minutes thinking they will respond back but they don't so I get back on the road. Not two minutes later, I get another text. Grrrr. I go through the whole rigmarole again only to see a text message reading, "k." Argh! This happened a few more times and probably ended up eating ½ hour overall. This was a huge lesson for me in that I must go through texting and phoning etiquette with my family.

Lesson Learned: Explain how difficult and unsafe it is to text while walking and promise to check-in. Be sure to do this in a way that let's family/friends know how grateful you are for their concern and support but how much it would help if those feelings could be shared together before you leave and/or after you return.

Friday, August 13, 2010

First time making my mileage?

Well, I'm heading out of town this weekend. This seems to be a theme of our summer, which has made walking the "back to backs" very tough. HOWEVER! This weekend will be different. Why you ask? Well you see...This weekend will be different because I HAVE A PLAN!!! (I know. Apparently great people throughout our history have been doing this planning thing but I am just now catching on. I'm slow...what can I say?)

We're (my two boys and I) are leaving this evening to go stay overnight with my grandma. I went to MapMyRun to check out what kind of route I could maybe walk and made a pleasant discovery! My cousin lives just about eight miles from grandma's house (though no river to go over or woods to go through). SO…I've made arrangements for grandma to watch the boys (though I will hopefully be back before the little one wakes and starts raising H. E. Double hockey sticks) and my cousin is going to drive me back.

The good news is that I've actually driven this very route tons of times so I'm very comfortable with it. Secondly, it is on a semi-busy street, which will require extra caution on my part, but is also laden with spots for me to stop to rest and/or refuel. YAY! (Though no stops as nice as this picture and NO. I do not look that good in spandex!)

Next step for me is to "plan" (my word of the day) my 6-mile walk for Sunday morning. We'll likely be at my aunt's house so the good news is that I'll be able to pawn the kids off to a new person for a few hours and take a quick 3-mile and back walk which I'll plan out on MapMyRun later this evening.
Wish me luck everyone! I'm shooting for the stars but SO excited at even a remote possibility of making my miles this week.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Just because you drop one egg…

DOESN'T mean you have to throw the other 11 after it! This is where I am right now and I'm so grateful, after reading Cat's extremely honest post about her situation, to hear that I'm not the only one struggling with my training. I miss one walk and have beat myself up so bad I miss the three walks after it! Why oh why do I do that to myself? It doesn't make any sense!

I am attempting to challenge myself to sacrifice my comfort and time to possibly save the lives of millions….to save the lives of my family, friends, neighbors, and strangers across the globe. I'm attempting to become an active participant in this world in a way that far exceeds my impact on any other three days in my life…

And I think it's about darn time I start giving myself some credit for that instead of taking the whip out every time I stumble, don't you?

SO…from here on out I am freeing myself from the guilt of past….let's call them non-successes. I'm jumping back on track with the 16 week plan and not looking back. I will do my very best to balance my family, work, and the 3-Day WITHOUT guilting myself if one gets a bit less attention than another in a given week. I'm changing the world and more importantly myself for the better NO MATTER how many miles I walk today, tomorrow, or in three very special days in Arizona. Whether I “Just do it!” or “Keep going”, I know I’m going to be out on that walking trail!

Thanks, Cat!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back on track

Well, after four weeks off due to a two minor but painful back to back injuries, I got back on the walking trail this morning. I couldn't have planned it better since week 8 is an easy week as far as mileage goes so I'm pretty grateful for that. I tried out a bunch of new gear this morning, taking to heart the"Walk with it? Train with it!" message. Not only did I get a nifty new waist pack with water bottles. It was one I was actually wanting to try but wasn't sure if it would fit. I found happened upon it at our local outdoor sporting goods store (REI) and guess what? It fit! I've only walked with it one day but so far so good. I also loaded it up with several new items that I would ultimately have with me at the 3-Day. I have a mini-first aid kit, chap stick, moleskin, body glide, and tiny folding scissors. I still have several more of those little items that I would typically be caring at the 3-Day that I need to be sure to incorporate into my training walks but I'm feeling like I'm off to a good start and that feels great!

On a sad note, I reached out through the Susan G. Komen training Share List in an attempt to hook up with walkers in my area. I did this because I live in Sacramento, CA but am walking in Phoenix, AZ and have pretty much been walking by myself since I started training. To put it mildly, that was getting a bit boring. So anyway, I exchanged some emails with Barbara and we were supposed to meet for our first walk this Saturday. Upon emailing her to confirm, I discovered that she had lost her fiancĂ© just a few weeks prior and was heading out of town to seek some family support. I cannot begin to describe how sad I was for Barbara and wanted her to know that even though we never met, we are bonded through the 3-Day and that I would support her anyway I could. Barbara's story is a sad reminder that life butts its way into our training schedules in many different ways. Some simply annoying and others completely tragic. No matter what life circumstance might be interrupting your training, please remember that the training plan will always be there – ready for you when you're ready to jump back in and that the MOST important thing is for you take care of yourself.

If interested, I am including a link to the article Barbara sent me telling the tale of her heroic fiancé.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Week 8??

Well, I've been down and out for a while now. At the end of week four, I was having some pretty uncomfortable foot pain and decided to lay off for a bit. After two weeks, with no real improvement I went to the doctor to have a look-see. X-rays determined there was no stress-fracture (Yay!) but there was arthritis (Boo!). The Doc suggested I take one more week off, continue taking anti-inflammatory medicine, then get back on the road. About a week after that, I got an infected cyst on my inner thigh, which pretty much made walking impossible. I was quite afraid this second injury was going to be a doosey but after a week of antibiotics, I'm good as new and ready to get back on the road. Seems like I lucked out since Week 8 seems to be a mild one so I'm anxious to get back out there and get training.

With the Boston 3-Day starting this weekend, I was definitely feeling the pressure of not being on track with my training. I have addressed some of the issue in my previous post about issues I've been having with getting my walks in…

  • I have found a few other women in my area that are training for the 3-Day. One that is actually training for the AZ walk, which is pretty amazing and a few others that are training for San Diego. We haven't managed to hook up yet but I'm certain we will soon.
  • I still have a few more pieces of gear to get. I'm going to try out one of those little nylon backpacks and ditch the waist pack – I hate it. J I also need to find a hold for my iPhone. I plan of doing both of these tonight after work so I'm ready to go in the morning! J

Anyway, I just wanted check in real quick. I'll report back later with an update on my progress this first week back on the road!



Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lacking motivation? Um yea, to say the least.

Week five of my 24-week training plan started yesterday and I’m sad to say I haven’t walked in almost two weeks. I met my fundraising goal (or will as soon as some gift matching funds are applied) and I guess everything else just turned off. I am struggling with several issues that I am allowing to get in the way of reaching my goal to improve not only my own quality of life but also that of my fellow human. Let me start with outlining a few of my issues (I apologize in advance if this turns out being a venting session) in hopes that the air will be cleared – maybe even some tough love or positive words from my fellow 3-day’ers – and I’ll be ready to jump back in feet first.

1. Gear. I am a plus-sized walker (5’8”, 275 lbs) which makes for some difficulty in finding correctly sized accessories. I’ve got stuff I have to take on my walk (e.g., phone, ID, keys, snack, etc.) and I can’t find something comfortable to keep them in (although I’m hoping to correct this with a very helpful post by The Pink Purpose titled Train with it, walk with it). I’ve been using a waist-pack (I call it this because a. I hate the term fanny pack; b. I would never and have never called my rear end a fanny; c. I don’t wear it on my fanny so that doesn’t make sense anyway; and d. a tummy pack, which is where I wear it, doesn’t sound any better). This waist-pack is anywhere from a few to several inches too small (and yes, I’ve got it extended as far as it will go) and though it doesn’t hurt while I walk (yet!) my waist is sore once I take it off and I’m certain that means I should NOT plan to use this particular piece of gear during the actual 3-day event, which also means I’m not doing myself any favors by training with it.

In a previous post, I included a few pictures of some other waist-packs I might try but I’m beginning to rethink the entire waist-pack idea at this point. To come back to the blog mentioned above, I think I will test out one of those super lightweight nylon drawstring backpacks and a hand held water bottle. I walked in the Fleet Feet Sports’ Women’s Fitness Festival in Sacramento earlier this month and carried my water bottle. I thought this was going to be a pain but I found that I drank more often and used my hands more (keeping them from swelling) so in addition to maybe solving the waist-pack/corset torture device I usually use and possibly improving my hydration and swelling – I’ll definitely be trying this one in the very near future.

2. Loneliness. I want to preface this by saying I am typically a loner, which is not to say that I don’t enjoy company or prefer to be alone but simply that I’m comfortable with myself and don’t require company. However, walking with myself (rather than “by myself” which sounds negative) has led to feel a bit lonely on my walks, which doesn’t really help the time go by faster. I have been walking on secure bike trails so I feel comfortable using my iPhone for entertainment but that just isn’t cutting it these days.

In hopes of remedying this, I am taking the advice of fellow the fellow 3-day walker known as 60 Mile Girl. Her post, Connections Really Count, has me thinking that I could definitely be doing more to break out of my loner shell and become a fully invested participant in the 3-day community. I created a Twitter account this morning (which I’ll admit is totally overwhelming right now but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it) and am committed to finding local walkers that I can join up with. The only possible issue with this is finding some local walkers that are on the same schedule as me (Arizona, Nov 12th-14th). The closest events are San Francisco (Oct 1st-3rd) and San Diego (Nov 19th-21st). I’m thinking that anyone walking in the San Diego event will be pretty darn close to my schedule so that might be my best bet.

3. Time. I almost feel lame putting this one down (although it is my last issue…YAY!) because I KNOW this is something EVERY 3-day walker struggles with so although these reason are nothing new, I still need to get them out there so I can work through them and LET THEM GO! I have two kids (10 and almost two), one husband (probably didn’t need clarify the number there), a full-time job, nearby family, too many summer activities planned, and just not enough time in the day! I tried getting up early during week to come to walk on the beautiful 32-mile bike trail by my office. This worked for a while but I was having such a hard time getting up early enough to be finished, presentable, and at my desk by 7:30am that I just stopped doing it. I tried walking in the evenings on a 1.5-mile bike trail closer to my home, which was okay until we hit 100+ degrees. Working is the evening is definitely tough. Once I get home, I usually do not want to leave again because I change clothes and get comfy and am enjoying my family. I find it hardest to sacrifice this time with them. So – I guess that just means I need to suck it up and drag my “fanny” out of bed in the morning, huh? Grrr…I HATE having to suck it up! I’ve heard of some folks splitting their walks up into chunks that are more manageable but I think for me, if I’m being honest, I just need to “get ‘er done!”

Okay so, there’s my semi-small laundry list of motivational issues. Nothing too surprising I’m sure but difficult to manage for me. Any suggestions on how to get over this hump?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Week two and I am NOT feeling blue.

Well, I am on day 11, week two of the 24-week training program posted on the Susan G. Komen website. We're holding steady at three miles, with a quick jump up to four miles this Saturday. I know it's still early but with my fundraising goal just about met (I think I'm $1 short right now but am waiting for some gift matching to come through to make sure) I'm very relieved to be finished with that part of the preparation – at least for the time being. At least now, the "pressure" of fundraising has lowered, allowing me to focus more on my training and fit additional fundraising in where possible. As I see these walks will quickly become longer, I'm really starting to look into the training gear/accessories that I will need to have a more successful and pleasant walking experience. For instance, I REALLY need a nice waist pack to hold my water bottle (or two). I can squeeze a little 16 oz. plastic bottle in my current pack but that just won't cut it for anything much further than three miles. I have walked while holding my water bottle, which was okay but also not realistic for longer walks. Here are the two I'm considering right now, both are pricey so a clear return policy is a must since I have NO idea how they'll feel on my body. Not to mention, I'm a plus size girl and there's no mention of actual inches on the waist strap – just that it's adjustable. These are both Ultimate Direction waist packs. I've read many excellent customer reviews and the website offers pretty much any configuration or style a person could want.

Anyway, like I said there are many things to consider and I just won't know what works for me until I can use it. I've seen several posts about the importance of drinking both water and a sports drink and that we should 1) alternate between water and a sports drink at each pit stop or 2) have both with me. I have no idea which is best or if it's just another personal preference thing...

I also really need to look into some new socks. I've read so many posts about socks and I guess the only consistent piece of advice is to try everything until you find what works. I don't seem to be incredibly prone to blisters but we'll see what happens after 14 miles! LOL – I have begun to feel some minor hot spots on my three miles walks that have my attention. Right now, I'm just happy that I'm able to listen to my body enough to recognize a possible trouble spot before it turns into trouble. I may still try some new socks but I actually think that it might be my shoes or the way I lace them. My foot tends to slide forward when I walk which creates a hot spot right in the center of the ball of my foot. I'm assuming that either I don't have the right shoes for me or that I'm not lacing up properly, although the answer could be behind door three and just be a sock problem. I don't live in a city with a 3-Day so there's only one official outfitter listed on the website. I'm travelling to Arizona for the 3-Day but live in Sacramento, the nearest 3-Day city is San Francisco and a two hour drive (one way) to look at shoes doesn't sounds all that great to me. However, my mom and I participated in a 5k walk just this past Sunday. This was an event sponsored by Fleet Feet, a locally owned and operated running shoe store, that may also be a good option. See the pictures below of my mom and I before the race and after of the finish line.

Not only was this women only 5k a blast to walk in but it also turned me on to another local resources for my walking gear.
Anyhoo, I'm just trucking along here in Sacramento. Enjoying our extended spring weather and walking in the evenings (and thus sleeping in a bit longer) while I still can. I'm pretty sure that will be over this weekend and I will yet again need to set the wicked alarm clock for somewhere around 5:00 or 5:30 to get my walk in before work, hot sun, etc.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So much to learn…

So here I am, a first time 3-Day walker taking on this momentous challenge and feeling a little bit like a fish out of water at times.

I started 2010 with the grand idea to improve the quality of my life. Here I am, 32 years old, 5'8", 290 lbs – taking my body and my health completely for granted. What was I thinking letting myself go so far? I really don't know. I have a great husband, two healthy and active boys and I'm doing what with my life? Nothing really. I'm an okay mom in that I take good care of my kids – they have healthy food to eat and we have a good relationship. I'm an okay wife. I treat my husband with respect and let him know every day that I appreciate him. Nevertheless, I'm not invested in this life of mine fully. I spend way too much time sitting on the couch watching TV, talking to my kids from the couch, reluctant to get off the couch sometimes. I was and sometimes still am a lump on a log! Even though I'm considered morbidly obese (yes – that is the ugly truth) – I don't have diabetes or high blood pressure or many of the other afflictions common to those that are overweight and I'm just sitting here saying, "Okay thanks body. Let's just see how much more you can take?" So again, what was I thinking?!?! So, like I said I'm okay but certainly not setting a good example for my boys or caring nearly as much about myself as I do for others and that's got to change.

Here we are, five months into 2010 and I'm not that much different. I haven't lost much weight, although I am working on it. I have been training, following a 12-week training plan to get me walking 3 miles per day – and therefore ready for the official 24-week training program which starts next week for the Arizona 3-Day. I have been fundraising, reaching just about 80% of my goal (which is the easy part for a fat person!). But I'm noticing that I do feel different and I'm being to forced to listen to my body in ways that I never did before. I listen carefully to what a hot spot on the inside of my right foot means, a pang in my left hip, inner ear soreness from my ear buds! But instead of complaints, I'm hearing "Thank you!" I'm hearing, "Man, this is kinda uncomfortable but holy moly it feels good to be moving again but please take care of me so I can keep it up."

As the final days of my 12-week training program come to an end, I am faced with new challenges. I haven't really been taking water with me, which is a no, no, I know! My mouth gets very pasty and I start to get headaches. I'm having a hard time find a waist pack that will fit my nearly 52" waist. I am also needing more than one sports bra (washing it every night just isn't a reality) but it's very difficult to find something that fits my 44" DDD chest! I'm noticing that my panties start buggin' after a few miles and large women lingerie is pretty pricy. But instead of feeling like these are insurmountable challenges, I feel grateful that I get to be the person latching on to a store clerk and sharing my woes so I can find just the right waist pack or non-slipping panties! I feel proud that I'm doing something to become an active participant in my life and no longer the person that's just looking for the nearest fast food restaurant.

I have met so many wonderful people on this journey so far. Some that are eloquent yet hilarious writers like Cat at FatGirlWalkin' and some that give the brutally honest advice we all need to hear, like John's post about potty breaks at 60miles3days. All of these people have helped me feel like I am part of a community – no matter my size or my ability – I'm here and working toward the same goal as so many others. There are also those who post about their personal experiences with cancer like Tracy Dart at Team Tracy who writes about being "Whatever it takes girl". I have been "the least I have to do girl" and now – having met so many wonderfully amazing people – I'm ashamed to have taken my precious life for granted. I WANT to be "whatever it takes girl" from here on out! I deserve it, my kids deserve it, my husband deserves it and I OWE it to all the men and women out there that can't!

Monday, May 24, 2010

80% feels great...

Well, I have made it to 80% of my fundraising goal so far. My last fundraiser was a used book/garage sale at a local swap meet. I sold used books (donated mostly from a local used bookstore owner) and various "things" donated from family, friends, and strangers. My husband, son, mom and grandma were all up at hem...crack of dawn to help me out and stayed with it ALL day! I raised just under $600 bringing my total raised to $1,854! Woo hoo! I've been holding on to the cash for a few weeks now in hopes that I will find someone whose company has a matching git program through which I can "funnel" my cash donations. I'm having a hard time not feeling like an Enron Exec. when I say this...  Oh well, I guess I'll just have to get over it!

I'm taking it easy right now - by easy I mean trying to focus just on my training. The start date for the 24-week training program is coming up quickly and I even though I'm scared of the time drain - I'm also ready for the challenge (I think).

I have been gobbling up the helpful information experienced 3-day'ers have been provding in their blogs. So many things I never would have thought of and will now be saved the embarrasement and/or pain of experiencing them first hand.

I have just over $400 left to raise but I'm taking my time to decide what other fundraising events I will do. I have considered a spaghetti feed, car washes, and poker nights. I'm also pretty confident that I do up a cool T-shirt design to sell if I can find someone to make me a good deal on many options.

Anyway, I'm exstatic to see so many other walkers suceeding in their fundraising. A few walkers posted they'd reached their goal recently on the Susan G. Komen 3-day for the Cure Facebook page. I can't wait to be there too!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thank you body…

Well, I've been working out steadily and consistently for about three weeks now. (I started back in January but have been all over the place as far as how often or long I exercised.) I have been following a 12-week since March program to get me walking 3 miles a day. When this ends in May, I will transition to the 24 week program to take me right up to the 3-Day event in Arizona.

When I started walking - I was averaging just over a 20 minute mile. I was happy with this but it would mean that I would end up walking about 7 hours a day once I arrive at the 3-Day event in Arizona. Over the last three weeks, I have shaved about 3 minutes off my mile and 1 HOUR off the time it would theoretically take me to walk 20 miles/day in November. Wow! I feel great. Walking just over a 17 minute mile really get my heart rate up, gets me sweating, and gets my muscles burning. I can FEEL that I'm not only building up my strength and endurance but also creating a healthier being. I can feel the muscles in my thighs, calves, tummy and arms - all of them - and instead of being whiny about the burn - it actually feels good. I can feel my body thanking me for putting it to good use and not taking it for granted.

So - here's to my body! Thank you for being so strong and staying with me even when I was abusing you. Thank you for staying healthy even when I tested I your limits. Thank you for being there to support me and being ready for the challenge when I finally woke up. Thank you!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Slow and Steady Wins the Race…

I joined Weight Watchers at the end of March. When the year started and thus my commitment to LIVE HEALTHIER I wasn't sure where to start. So I exercised off and on – talked to a few friends about it but really hadn't found that "thing" to really get me motivated and committed. The 3-Day ended up being that "thing". So..two months into 2010 and my idea to live healthier – I finally got started. I was walking and making some general changes to my eating habits but wasn't really seeing or feeling the results. So, I happened to ask a co-worker out to lunch on a Thursday afternoon and she said she couldn't because she had a Weight Watchers meeting. Now – while I had a 1 in 5 chance of picking the day she went to WW (which are pretty good odds) I decided to take this coincidence as a sign. A sign that WW just may be what I need. SO…at the end of March, I joined.

The first week I lost 2.8 lbs and felt that was a respectable number…something I could live with. The second week I "only" lost 0.4. I was a little surprised but still positive – down is down after all. BUT later that night, I realized that I was desperately trying to convince myself that I should actually feel bad about only losing 0.4 and that a pizza would probably make me feel better about the whole thing. I know, I know – you're yelling at your monitor right now! What was I thinking?!? My cousin kindly reminded me on Facebook that slow and steady wins the race and she's right. I am on a steady path going in the right direction. Some days could be a sprint while others are a meandering stroll – but I AM moving in the right direction. After all, the numbers on the scale are not my only goal. I have walked just over 6 miles this week – precisely as my training program said I should! I feel better, have more energy, and have walked four days in a row – something I've never managed do…EVER! This is nothing to feel bad about!

So…what's the lesson here? I guess it's to remember that we can be our own worst enemies and are capable of sabotaging ourselves better and quicker than anyone else ever could. Leaning on my friends and family and even strangers to give me support when I don't have the motivation myself is the first thing I did right when I began this journey. I'm doing the work but I CANNOT get there alone! Losing 115 lbs AND training to walk in the Arizona 3-Day is no easy feat and even when the results seem like a drop in the bucket (e.g., just a few tenths of a pound lost, a few bucks in a donation, a few minutes to train instead of an hour) – it takes a lot of those drops to make the bucket full and they all REALLY do add up.

So I want to thank my walking and WW buddy Kit, for her companionship and inspiration (she also got me to sign up for a 5k in Sacramento in June) and the rest of my family and friends for the constant and persistent well wishing and support. I also owe a HUGE thanks to everyone else that has supported my effort so far through monetary donations, purchases at my fundraisers, providing ideas on how to raise more money, volunteering time to help me get ready for a fundraiser…and every other way one might support me.
I SINCERELY APPRECIATE YOU ALL and I hope you realize what an important role you are all playing in literally changing my life!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day Seventy-Eight

Well, the used book sale was a HUGE success! I raised $343 which pushed my overall money raised to $1,001! I could not be more happy with how things went. I feel so much more confident about being able to make my fundraising goal of $2,300 than ever before. I'm planning a combo used book/garage sale for Saturday, May 8th and now that I've been through the whole swap meet deal, I know that everything will go even smoother next time - if that's even possible because things went great this time around too. Several of our friends and family stopped by to support us by visiting for a bit and of course buying some books. There were even quite a few folks that gave tips by saying "keep the change" to further support the cause and my efforts. I would say there are a few key points that made this such a huge success...

1. Lots of books to choose from. I received so many donations (really without much effort) that provided a wide variety of books and authors that seemed to be very appealing to the buyers.

2. Location, location, location. Purchasing a spot from Denio's for $22 (paid for by my first book sale - my hardback Harry Potter series for $40) gave me a huge audience of people already looking for treasures.
3. Signage. I purchased a 3' x 6' sign from eBay saying "100% of proceed will be donated to Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure!" People couldn't help but noticed this sign and feel compelled to give a little (or a lot!).

I cannot thank my family and friends enough for their overwhelming support. So many books were donated, well-wishers stopped by to cheer me on, and my husband and mom got up at 3:30 am to load up and head to the swap meet - then stayed ALL DAY!

The only things I will do differently next time are:
1. Bring pink baloons. I want to make my site much easier to spot and locate.
2. More water. I was dying of thirst so I will be bringing much more cold water to keep me in good spirits.

There's really nothing else I would change. I COULD NOT have asked for a better first-time fundraising event!

As far as getting healthier goes, I decided to bite the bullet and join Weight Watchers. I really need some help getting on track with my weight loss. The extra pounds are definitely having a negative impact on my training. Not because I can't do it but because my taxed joints and feet are feeling the pain afterwards. I'm starting to notice this arthritic type ache the day after that is none to appealing and something I greatly desire to end. I'm also noticing that my jeans are actually feeling tighter instead of looser. Something that has me pretty concerned. I'm realizing now that I have been focusing WAY too much on fundraising instead of getting healthy. A balance in this area is critical because no amount of money is going to get me through the 60-miles if I weight 300lbs! And, on the other side, no amount of weight loss is going to get me to the event without my $2,300.

The good news is that I know I'll get there. I'm struggling daily with my weight but feel better about the steps I'm taking to change my thoughts and my habits than I EVER have before.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day Seventy-Three

Whew - what a great couple of weeks it's been! I have definitely found a better balance between fundraising and training. What a relief that is! I was feeling a little dizzy and stretched thin moving around from task to task without a good plan in place.
As it stands, I've raised $658 to date. YAY! All of this money has been raised solely by donations from my co-workers, friends, and family. I am also gearing up for my first actual fundraiser. I have received what seems like hundreds of donated books from co-workers, friends, family, strangers (through Craig's listing ads), and a large portion from a small local used bookstore owner. I had a tough time finding stores and property managers that would allow me to sell on their property, so I found out that our local Farmer's Market/Swap Meet charges only $22 for a space. I figure I'll give that a try and see how well I do. The good thing about this market is that I will have tons of foot traffic comprised of people already looking to buy something - so why not my books? The bad thing is that there is a fairly large space that is already dedicated to selling used books. Those books are priced at used book store type prices though - so I should be competitive. Only time will tell...
As far as training goes, I'm feeling pretty good about what I'm doing. I was really bouncing all over the place as far as how long I would walk each evening. I found that was actually doing the opposite of what a training program should. I think my body was confused about what I was doing. So - I found some great training plans on the Susan G. Komen website. One spans 12 weeks that will get me walking 3 miles a day. Then a second that lasts for 24 weeks - easing right up to the 3-Day walk that will get me walking in excess of 20 miles a week. This is a nice slow training program to get my body used to walking long distances with a focus on stretching and cross training - to stay flexible and build up my endurance. So far so good! My walking speed is slowing increasing. I was averaging about a 22 minute mile in the beginning and am now averaging about 20 minutes. I probably need to be at about an 18 minute mile if I don't want to spend 9 hours on the road during the 3-day walking event! :)
Anyway, I'm feeling great. My muscles are talking to me - but in a good way. I feel very positive about meeting my fundraising goal considering I'm already 30% of the way about 45 days in.
Wish me luck this Saturday everyone!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day Sixty-One

Well, it would seem that I'm not too good at focusing on weight loss. You really would think that being uncomfortable everyday would be enough but it just isn't. Guess I'm used to it... However, I have found a renewed sense of motivation in preparing for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event. I am excited about my training and am even excited about my fundraising! I've raised $613 dollars to date - approximately one month from my initial registration. Yay! I have been a bit distracted and less focused on my training for last two weeks. First by weather - CANNOT stand walking on the treadmill; Second by work; thirdly by my fundraising efforts. So - yesterday I went on a field trip with my son's fourth grade class to Marshall Gold Discovery State Park - the original gold discovery site spawning the 1849 California Gold Rush. Not only was this a fun event but it was also an excellent opportunity to get some exercise in. Me and the six students I was watching (including my son) were at the park from about 10:30am to 2:00pm. We WALKED around the entire time and I REALLY wish I would have brought my pedometer! In addition to walking all day, we also went on a 1/2 mile hike up this mini mountain to see the James Marshall monument at the top. Whew! Did that ever get my heart pumping! Then of course, there was the 1/2 mile back down. Tonight, a friend of mine is coming over to walk with me around my neighborhood. The next time, I plan to go walk in her neighborhood so I can get a change of scenery. I also think it's time that I join up with the teams other teams that are training in my neighborhood. Walking by myself is really nice but I think it's important I have LOTS of options so I don't get bogged down by the minutia. Plus, I saw a post from a Susan G. Komen 3-Day Ambassador who suggested pre-mapping routes of varying lengths so you can shake up your training day-to-day without a lot of effort - she called it building a route library. I think that's a great idea and something I'm looking forward to doing tonight. So - that's my plan for getting refocused on my training! As for my fundraising... I have been getting ready for my first fundraising event - a used book sale. I have been collecting book donations from my friends and family - which has gone great! But, I've also been asking for used books stores and strangers - which has gone surprisingly well. One bookstore owner in Roseville gave me three bags of books last Sunday and told me stop by every Sunday morning for more! A second bookstore owner in Orangevale has promised by a minimum of ten bags for me to pick up this weekend! How freakin' great is this! PLUS - I got five bags of books from a woman in West Sacramento and nine boxes of books form a couple in Woodland - both of whom responded to a wanted ad I placed on Craig's list! My used book fundraising event is scheduled for Saturday, March 20th. I still have yet to decide on an official location. I'm thinking that holding it outside of a grocery store would work better than having it at my house. I mean grocery stores have a ton of foot traffic but then there's the choice of which store. So, that's my plan for this weekend. 1) Pick up more books and 2) Find and set the location. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day Forty-One

Happy Saturday everyone! What a gorgeous day outside, huh? I just can't begin to tell you how great I'm feeling and how much progress I'm making in both my training and fundraising for the 3-Day for the Cure event! I've raised $416 dollar in just over a week and have been walking every day!

I was up late last night finishing The Lightning Thief with my oldest son, Sean. We had to finish it so we can go see the movie together on Monday! Even though we were up late, we all got up early to eat breakfast together, then Carlos headed off to his golf tournament at Cherry Island and Sean headed to his friend's birthday party. That left AJ and I in the quiet house. We hung out for a bit and then got dressed and head out for a walk in the beautiful sunshine. We made it just about a mile and a half before he started getting antsy. Nice quick walk that got my heart-rate up and burnin' some calories! I plan out going out with him again after he wakes up from his nap.

It's amazing to me how hard it's been staying on track with my goals. Each time I was pregnant, I was able to quit all the bad eating immediately, walk everyday, stay healthy - but when it's just for myself - I can't manage to stay the course. Why is that? That's been the greatest thing about training for this walk in November though. It's been just the thing to keep me focused - not only on exercising and getting in shape but also on raising money. I'm even planning to get the kids involved to help me make posters for my upcoming used book sale! for the whole family! Quality time with the munchkins, healthy time for me - sounds like a winning pair!

Anyway, I'd better get going. I've got some housework to do before the munchkin wakes up!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day Thirty-Six

Things have been going pretty great for the last few days. I kept up my diet over the weekend although we were busy non-stop so I didn't get much exercise - though maybe that counts as a sort of exercise. The important part is that I jumped right back on the exercise train this morning. I got up at 5:30 and exercised on the Wii, walked about 1/2 mile at work and another 1.5 miles at home after work. Feels good to keep moving. I have also raised $191 dollars for my 3-day, 60 mile walk and got some great ideas on how to raise more money and I can't wait to get started on them.

Here's to moving my a$$!  :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day Thirty-Two

Two day streak goin' on here! I got up and exercised this morning with the Wii Fit Plus. I hate great today and kept healthy food in my tummy regularly so I wouldn't feel the need to eat bad stuff. Met with a group of fellow cost engineers and schedulers after work for some stimulating conversation. Got home about 7:30pm and walked on the treadmill! How's that for a home run.

Now I'm sitting back and relaxing and paying attention the soul for the rest of the evening...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day Thirty-One

Well...that was a pretty rough/scary few weeks off the wagon. I know in my heart and mind that, regardless of how I feel sometime, I am in control of my choices and myself. I tell ya, it's amazing how much like a drug laziness and bad good can be! It was like this constant urge - calling me - and even though I knew my will power would be weakened if I let myself get too hungry...I would always let life distract me from eating regularly. Next thing I know - I'm on way home from work and I'm starving - and somehow I allow myself to convince myself to just stop somewhere and grab something. In addition to not watching my hunger signals, I also got hurt exercising and instead of doing a lighter workout for a few days, I stopped working out and let three days turn to five, then to ten, then to 14.

While all that was disappointing, I'm still focused on achieving my goal. I stumbled but I didn't fall into nothingness. I'm here and still moving forward. I've been focusing back in eating regularly and healthier and getting back to moving my rear end! So, I walked for just over 1.5 miles at home after work today. I'm training to walk in the 3-Day, 60 mile Walk for the Cure for Susan G. Komen. That's quite a bit of walk so I've got to get my self in shape. After 1.5 miles, I started feeling like I was kind of put together wrong. Need to strengthen my back to make sure my spine strays straight and my knees strong. Also, I'll need to get a good pair of walking shoes so my feet are supported but I'll need to buy them soon so they get worn in.

Anyway, I promise I won't wait so long write next time! Smooches!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day Seven

Wow! What a week it has been. While I wasn't able to exercise everyday - thanks to my tired ol' muscles - I did exercise both Saturday (yesterday) and Sunday (today). In my world - weekend exercising is a HUGE success!

Also - drum roll please....I am down 6 POUNDS! Yay!

Yesterday I bought the new Wii Fit Plus game. That game is way too much fun to be called exercise and yet, after 1/2 hour of "playing" I'm also feeling the burn! The whole family was up playing, laughing, challenging each other - what a blast!

I can't wait to see what next week brings! Wish me luck...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day Five (part 2)

Wow! What a night I've had. Who knew that if I just put a little effort in I could exercise and play with my baby. My youngest is 16 months old and playing with him was all the exercise I needed this evening.

I was able to horse around with my little guy, picking him up and throwing him around. That got my arms feeling really good. I ran around with him on the floor crawling, laying, getting back up and then back down again. It didn't take much of that to feel my heart rate rising and cheeks flushing. While I'm looking forward to getting a more specific exercise program in tomorrow, I'm happy that I was happy to find such a happy medium this evening.

I actually think that tonight was good lesson for me to learn. It's not about what you do or when you do it. It's just doing something and finding a way to fit it into your life. Taking time to play with the kids is an amazingly fun way to get some exercise in without having to sacrifice our family time.

So happy with how things are going right now!

Day Five (part 1)

Okay, so it's been a few day since I've blogged but I am still here and doing well. My first day of exercising was quite literally torture. Nevertheless, it was a morning of torture I'm glad I participated in!

Unfortunately, I became so sore as Monday evening wore on and in full sore mode Tuesday morning that I haven't been able to exercise since. In fact, I haven't been able to walk much or sit down gracefully since then – for those are activities that require the use of my severely shocked thigh muscles.

The good news is that my legs are now healed. This healing occurred much faster than I thought it would which I take to be a very good sign that while unhealthy, I'm not quite as out of shape as I thought and my body is clearly ready for the challenge. The second and most excellent piece of news is that I did not deviate from my healthier eating. In my past diet/weight-loss ventures, one setback usually led to a justification of all out slacking. "Well, if I can't exercise there's no point – I might as well just eat want I want too." Therefore, I consider this minor setback accompanied with award winning stick-to-it-tiveness a major success!

I am writing this as Part 1 because I plan to blog about my return to exercise this evening. I think my long-term success will be better served by trying a workout that won't leave me bedridden so I'm going to experiment tonight and share my findings.

Thanks for sticking with me. Talk atcha tonight!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day One

So, I couldn’t sleep last night. My brain wouldn’t stop thinking about…everything, I guess.  It had to have been nearly 1:00 am before I finally crashed which made the “baahh, baahh, baahh” of my 5:00 am alarm clock that much more annoying. I did however, get up and exercise!  WOO HOO!

I exercised a 12-minute routine (plus a six-minute warm up) on my new Biggest Loser game for the Wii. Mmmmm…actually, calling it a game is stretching the definition of “game.” Modernized mid-evil torture might be more accurate. I even chose Bob over Jillian for my trainer. If I’m being completely honest here…I was ready to stop after the six minute warm up!

Anyway, the exercising was pretty intense and definitely a “real” workout (whatever that means). I had to do push ups, pelvic thrusts, and…JUMPING JACKS! Let me tell you – heaving all of my 288 lbs into the air over and over was – I’m sad to say – an extremely difficult task. Thankfully, I survived the exercise, showered, got dressed, and packed up my lunch.

Other than being pretty tired from a lack of sleep – My day was pretty darn good. No major temptations or setbacks. However, as the evening wore on, I began to realize that my mind was tempting me. Tempting me to make some excuse to eat fast food. I’ve always believed that food addictions are very similar to drug/alcohol addictions. I’m clearly not a medical professional and have never been addicted to drugs or alcohol but quitting overeating has got to be close. Is it possible that I have over indulged in food so long that I’ve actually formed some kind of dependency to it? I swear – just the thought of how that food will smell and taste and feel in my stomach is nearly enough to get me to go buy it. Distraction – both mental and oral (gum, apples, etc.) is what got me through today.

I’m proud of myself for making it through day one but can see that things will get worse before they get better and that’s okay - I’m ready for the challenge. I’m praying to stay strong and make through this tough period of food withdrawal. Yuck.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Day Before

Well, tomorrow is the big day. Most of my life, I've forgone the whole "New Years Resolution" thing after quickly realizing at probably 20 that I never follow through with them. This year is different. This year I saw my reflection in a store window - which I understand takes its liberty with our shapes - but even considering that I was not satisfied with the looks of that woman.

What I saw was the face of a fairly young looking woman sitting on top of this extremely round and oddly shaped body sitting on top of two really small ankles. I saw a young woman whose clothes didn't quite fit like they should with various lumps and bumps jutting out at odd angles. I saw a woman who pretty much looked really uncomfortable just casually walking around. I began wondering how my children, coworkers, or friends might describe that woman. One issue that was blazingly clear is that the woman in the store window does not even come close to exuding the confidence, hilarity, sensitivity and intelligence that I feel inside myself.

It was this realization that has prompted my decision to embark on this journey. I will not live two lives any longer. I refuse to allow those around me to see a different person than I truly am. From here on out, my goal is for the reflection in the mirror to match the identity on the inside.

As a way to work through what will undoubtedly be a rough, exciting, long, and hopeful journey, I have decided to create a blog. I hope this blog will serve as a means to gain support from friends, family, and any others on a similar journey, a way to hold myself accountable to the commitment I've made, and a way to sort the thoughts I have about my successes and set backs.

So - with that, I'll post this first blog and ask for anyone that comes across it to share a motivating story, quote, or sentiment. I believe this is important because together everyone achieves more!


R Thigh: 30 1/4"
L Thigh: 29 1/2"
R Arm: 18 1/4"
L Arm: 18"
Bust: 54"
Waist: 55"
Hips: 58 1/2"
Weight: 288 lbs