Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Impossible is not a word!"

In the words of the song "What Faith Can Do" by Kutlass, "Impossible is not a word, It's just a reason for someone not to try." As one quote says, "Impossible, even the word says I'm Possible." I've considered MANY things impossible in my lifetime. BUT, I also know, as a Christian, that ALL things are in fact POSSIBLE. I once thought I'd NEVER be able to have children, it was impossible for me to conceive on my own and carry to term. Here I am now with 4 children here on earth, only 1 conceived with fertility meds. I know that God had a plan, it wasn't that it was impossible, it was just that my timing and plans don't always coincide with the plans HE has for me. Along those same lines... I thought I was just born to be fat and that it was impossible for me to lose weight. Well, one thing I know, I was not a fat toddler/preschooler. My weight wasn't "predetermined" for me. Bad habits, over eating, stress and lack of self discipline led to my weight issues. Impossibility wasn't the issue, but it was often the excuse! The issue was facing fears and putting in hard work. Let's face it, I'm a lazy person. I ENJOY being lazy. Losing weight requires hard work, self discipline and a positive attitude. How many of those things can I control? EVERY.SINGLE.ONE of them! Today, I did something that not long ago (ie: last night) I thought was IMPOSSIBLE. I fought it with every bit of me this morning. I knew I was facing this challenge and I was NOT mentally prepared for it. I've been sick this week, so I was thinking, "OH, I'll just say I needed extra rest to try and get well." Morning came and my alarm went off. I hit snooze 4 times. Reluctantly, I hoisted myself out of bed. I went into the bathroom where I'd laid out my running clothes last night. I got dressed. Still with a negative attitude, I moved on to the kitchen, filled my water bottle, got a teaspoon of nutella. As I was putting away the nutella, my elbow hit my water cup, sending 32 oz. of water all over my kitchen floor. I was pretty ticked at this point. I thought, if that was any indication of how my morning was going to go, I should probably just get back in bed. I am very glad that I DID NOT go with those thoughts. Instead, I laced up my shoes and headed out to Mom's Treehouse to meet with my fellow Mother Runners. Part of my motivation to get up and go, was seeing that a dear friend was suffering with a stomach illness after caring for her very sick son all week. I figured, I'm in relatively good health today (except the congestion I have and mildly sore throat). I decided to dedicate my run to my sweet friend! We all met at the Treehouse, took a quick group photo and headed out for our run. I am the slowest intermediate runner, and I am OK with that, if someone is willing to run back with me. I tend to have negative self talk if I run by myself. Today, Stefanie and Stephanie ran with me and Rachel ran with me some as well. At one point, even the beginners passed me... It's OK, they were just running 4 miles. I had to set a pace that could take me the long haul. Today I was facing a 7 mile run. The furthest I'd run was 6.2 miles. At about a mile in, I was already feeling pretty worthless! The beginning of this run had some pretty big hills. I was so thankful to have someone to talk with while I ran, it really helps me not to focus on the distance remaining. Before I knew it, we'd completed 4 miles and the beginners headed off for the Treehouse. At this point Stephanie W. had come back to run with me for the remainder of the run. She's so easy to run with because she happily chats along and helps you not think about what might be hurting. The first thing she said was, "Well, we are over 1/2 way done!" We kept running and at one point I said, "I'm so tired! My legs are tired." She said, "We are almost done, you can do it." We kept running. Then stomach cramps hit... the bathroom kind! I thought OMG, I'm gonna crap my pants! -- I said to sStephanie, "Now's a great time to realize I have to go to the bathroom!" Stephanie said, "Just ignore it, the feeling will go away!" She was right, and it DID go away! Then we turned the corner and were on our home stretch... as we were running I felt GREAT, I felt like I could keep running further, I dare say, today I might have actually been able to run 10 miles. I don't know if I was in a zone or if I was in complete insanity, but stopping was not an option or a desire at that point, I was feeling great. We got to our turn into the parking lot and I could not believe we were at 7 miles! We got just past the grocery store and I said, "Let's pick it up!" and we SPRINTED -- yes SPRINTED to the Treehouse! Not only was 7 miles POSSIBLE, it was possible with a sprint at the finish and a HUGE smile on my face! As I drove home from my run, the tears took over. I realized how for so very long, I let the un-word IMPOSSIBLE rule my life! It's so easy to make excuses of why we CAN'T do something. So easy to give up. So easy to be in denial. So easy to just be complacent! It's HARD to take that first step to POSSIBLE. Once you face that hard step and take that hard step you realize that "impossible" was squashing your dreams and keeping you from experiencing the most amazing things in your life! My runners high is so thrilling! And it lasts all day! My accomplishment was so sweet, better than ANY candy! I not only CAN, but I DID! All things are possible. You just have to want it badly enough! This morning, I didn't want this run, it was impossible and overwhelming, it was a thorn in my side and something I was more than reluctant to want to do. My end goal: being stronger, getting down to "One"derland was WORTH facing this run today... and it turned out to be one of the most positive and empowering experiences of my life. Did I come in last? YEP, DEADLAST, do I care? Not even a little bit!!! I faced and impossibility and proved that it is POSSIBLE! If I can do this, ANYONE can do this! You've just got to find your motivation! Make today an awesome day!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

5K, 10K, 227, OH MY!

A lot has gone on since last I posted. I've been working out and really accomplished some major goals. I have not been eating my best, and I do need to work on that and start being more deliberate about when and what I eat. Don't worry, I haven't gone overboard, and I am not overeating, just not always making the wisest choices. All that said, let me share with you what has been happening in my life. One of my closest friends emailed me a while ago asking if I wanted to do the Disney Halloween 5K on October 1 of this year. A trip to Disney very much excited me. However, I couldn't see that happening. BUT, I told her, sure, I'd love to do it. Somehow the trip came to fruition! On September 28, at 4:40 a.m. we loaded up her car and drove to Disney (straight, 12 hours -- well more like 10.5 with her driving, heehee)! Our first night there, we took it pretty easy. We headed to Downtown Disney, enjoyed some dinner at Earl of Sandwich and walked around looking in stores and checking out what was new. We woke up on Friday morning with a plan. We were going to Animal Kingdom. Here in lies one of my first of many MILESTONES! Once in the park, Sarah told me we were going to ride Everest first. Everest is a roller coaster. I cannot tell you when last I rode a roller coaster. I do believe it was before any of my children were born, which means, it would have been before 2002 -- that means it must have been 10 years ago. Why hadn't I ridden a roller coaster ride in all that time... well several reasons: I was pregnant a lot from 2001-2010, I was watching the babies so others could ride the rides, but the most significant reasons was that one of the last roller coasters I'd ridden, they had to give me a seatbelt extender... and I was MORTIFIED! I never wanted to ride a roller coaster ride again, not to mention my fat was always wedged into the roller coaster seats and it was very uncomfortable. SO, we headed to Everest and I was a nervous wreck. What if the seats were still too small? What if I still needed an extender? Was I going to be embarrassed? Low and behold, I fit in my seat beside Sarah, the lap bar did not squish my fat over the bar, no extenders were needed. I was riding a roller coaster like any NORMAL person! And that ride was thrilling.I had forgotten how much I love roller coasters. That ride was a release for me. What an amazing milestone to reach! After that, we went to ride the Safari... my absolute favorite part of Animal Kingdom. I just love riding where the wild animals are. They are so beautiful and such a great reminder of God's creation. As we are in line for this, one of the cast members leans over and tells us that another line is open, so we go where she motions and I look up and see this handsome and familiar looking face. I look at Sarah and say, "Hey, I think that is Joey Fatone!" She says, "I don't know who the hell that is!" So, I try to explain he was in a boy band and told her to just LOOK at him because she DOES know who he is. She looked closer and said, "Oh yes he looks familiar, is he in 98 degrees or something." Well, my mind went blank and I could not remember N'Sync so I said, "No, he's with Justin TImberlake." Meanwhile, they are standing right there, and I'm sure they sensed what was going on. I did not say HI or anything at that point. I was a little star struck (which has only really happened once before, when I was going to meet Harry Connick, Jr. and I chickened out!). So we went on our safari and saw the animals (but only 1 elephant, which made me a little sad). Then we decided, the Nemo Show was up next. It's like a Broadway production. So amazing! As we are in line, they happen by again (Joey Fatone and his entourage). Sarah notices a tattoo of RENT on his calf, and I was like "OMG, he was in RENT on Broadway! It REALLY is HIM!" Again, star struck. So I finally look at her and say, "I'm totally kicking myself for not saying HI. How dumb! But he's with his family and that's just rude. BUT man, why didn't I just say HI?" By this point Sarah is just rolling her eyes at me. We watch a brilliant performance of Nemo and head out of the theater, where Sarah says, "Hey, there's your boyfriend!" And sure enough, they had just emerged from the show as well. She said, "Stand over here and I'll take your picture and he'll be in the background." I thought, THIS is brilliant, then I can tell everyone I saw him, and they'll have picture proof, but I won't have to interrupt him with his family. So, as Sarah is taking the picture, I get tapped on the shoulder. A woman says, "If you just ask him, he'll take his picture with you, and it will be better than this one." This woman was in his entourage, not sure if it was his wife or a family member, but she was really sweet. I said, "Are you sure?" and she said, "Just ask him!" So, I turned around and asked him if I could get a picture "real quick" and he said, "Sure, real quick" and I apologized for taking him away from his family. And I felt like a moron, but was thrilled to have the picture! He was very sweet about it. I thanked him, and then thanked his family member. WooHoo!
The rest of Friday we spent at the ESPN Runners Expo and then at Epcot for Wine & Dine. The runner's expo was AWESOME! So many great vendors. I got my queen of hearts "Sweaty Band" and I love it! We got a free sample of Oikos greek yogurt, and it was delicious as far as yogurt goes. We got shot blocks and running gels. Sarah got new inserts for her shoes. And then it was time to eat our way through the countries of Epcot. We started in Canada. Then I hit the Caribbean, followed up by Mexico! Once our tummies were full and satisfied, we went on back to our room and got to bed so we'd be ready for our early morning wake up call. At 5 a.m. after a few hits of the snooze on the alarm, we were up and ready to go. We got our gear on, and rolled out by 6 a.m. to Animal Kingdom, where we lined up for the race. There were a few glitches for the run, ie: we should have signed up for a faster pace. We were surrounded by walkers which made it difficult to get our running pace established, having to bob and weave between these walkers, who were not polite enough to keep to the sides of the course, as was suggested by Disney. Then there was a bottle neck on the course, which slowed everyone down to walk. This was a huge frustration to me, because I was needing to hit my pace and get comfortable to settle in for the long haul. As soon as we got through the bottle neck, then it was a HILL up into the park. I thought I was never going to hit my pace. Finally, at that point, things thinned out somewhat and I was able to get my stride. At about 2 miles, I was feeling good and thinking, "Wow, I'm half way in, I can do this!" It was only when I got back out of the park and realized I was at 3 miles, that it hit me, "This race is almost over, KICK IT UP A NOTCH!" and I did. I sprinted the last .1 of the race across the finish line with a smile on my face. My first running race was done and I had completed it without walking (other than the forced walk through the bottleneck).
After coming home from this awesome experience, I started hearing more and more about this AmFam/CHoR 10K that was coming up on October 8. I thought, hmmm... maybe I should give it a shot. I knew I was slated to run 6 miles with my Mother Runners group and I thought, why not run 6.2 for charity instead!?! So, I called on my Sarah and she was willing to try it with me. We started out at the back of the pack (on purpose) and we did our slow jog (Sarah's being faster than mine, so she'd come back for me or slow down ever so often), we made it through mile three and that is when the BIG HILL was before us. We started up this hill and next thing I know, Sarah is in PAIN, I knew something was wrong, instantly, by the look of terror on her face. I kept running, and she kept moving up that hill. I ran to a lady on the path and said, My friend is back there and is injured can you help her... so she took off and I kept running. About 4 miles in, I was feeling SO guilty for leaving Sarah. I made a deal with myself, run to the finish and then come back and walk her in! I got to mile 5, and I thought...I can't do this any more, I'm going to have to start walking... there is no chance I can make it to the finish running. No chance. That is when I recognized that I was experience self defeat. I changed my inner dialogue right then! I prayed to God, give me wings so I can cross that finish line! I told myself, "People run 26.2 miles EVERY day, you are only doing 6.2, YOU'VE GOT THIS!" I begged myself not to give up, that it was just a little bit further. I turned a corner and saw a police officer, I said, "Are we close?" She said, "Yes, just around the corner, you're almost there!" I flashed back to Sarah, and I was worried, but I kept moving forward. I rounded another corner... NO BALLOONS, NO MUSIC... I thought I was going to die. I kept concentrating on the woman power walking in front of me. "I CAN, I WILL!" I channeled my inner Rachel (running coach). I prayed a little more. I rounded another corner, this time I saw a guy with a sign, the sign said .1 -- I WAS ALMOST THERE! My legs were not happy. They wanted to give up. My run was falling apart, it was a snail's pace, but I refused to just walk to the finish. I rounded the last corner and God sent my wings -- my pace picked up and I heard this sweet little voice, "Mommy!" and I looked and it was my Maegan, and I said, "Come run me across the finish line!" Next thing I knew, Maegan, Mia and Wils were with me, I crossed the finish line with Wils in front and Maegan and Mia holding my hands. It was the PERFECT finish! Sarah was strolling Cait on the median and was standing with my friend Mike and Matt was at the finish line video taping the big finish. I was never so happy to see Sarah. I looked at Matt and said, "That is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life." Then, "I think I'm going to throw up! I need to keep walking." So Sarah walked with me and helped me cool down. I saw a little boy with an orange and I said, "I have to have that!" Sarah got me an orange slice and some water. We walked to where the kids were playing in a bounce house and suddenly, I thought I was going to pass out. I said, I have to lay down, NOW. So I did. I dropped right where I was, into the grass, shut my eyes and continued to talk to my friends/family. Once I reopened my eyes, I decided to stretch my legs, and that helped a lot. I laid there a few more minutes, while Sarah got looked at by the paramedics. They tied an ice pack to her leg. Shortly after that we left. I was still pretty sick when I came home, so I hopped in the shower and then got in bed and rested for about 45 minutes. The rest of the day, I was riding a high and feeling VERY accomplished. SO now you've heard about my 5K and my 10K, so what's this 227??? Well, that would be what my Wii indicated when I weighed on it this week! 227 -- remember, I started at 288! That means I've lost 261 lbs! This is HUGE for me! Many milestones have been had in the past 2 weeks. Now that the holidays are coming up, I am REALLY going to have to stay focused and keep going! Please cheer me on and encourage me to make it to the end of the year. It would be so nice to ring in the new year at 199.5 or better! Right now, however, I'm celebrating my 227!!!