two weeks in pictures

The last couple weeks have been super busy so I'm sorry for the lack of updates. I wasn't stellar with my eating but hey, my little brother was getting married and that only happens once [hopefully]! But now the wedding's over and I'm back to work. Just a few days back on track and it's already paying off, so let's hope this trend continues!

As it's midnight and I want to get to sleep soon [and still have to do a write-up for my online book club for tomorrow's chapter], I figured I'd just post some pictures and let them [mostly] speak for themselves.

This t-shirt used to fit snugly. Now it is a tent.
just being silly and dressing up to clean the house
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
trying on the dress for my brother's wedding
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
rocking a skirt and shirt that haven't fit in a couple years!
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
dress for my brother's rehearsal dinner... and fresh dye on my hair!
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Wearing PANTS! For the first time in years! These are a size 11 and I wore them all day [even outside in public on a walk to the grocery store!]
Even the cats are benefitting from my weight loss...
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
This is an odd picture, I know, but bear with me here. This is me and Ginny all snuggled up in my recliner, with room to spare. I feel like I wasn't that big but honestly, there was never room for any of the cats to sit on the side of me. And now there's lots and that is Ginny's new favourite spot!

And, because people are curious, here are two pictures of me from the wedding...
the only thing more annoying than the date stamp is the fact that the date is WRONG
my sister, my brother, and I
Oh yeah, and there was a happy couple too:

Anyway, that's mostly what I've been up to [besides nursing a knee injury so I haven't been running in a week!]. On Wednesday, I go over to my mom's for a week to house sit, so I'll have some new routes to run and bike on. Or new-ish, rather, as they're the roads I spent 20 or so years walking, biking, and driving. A change in scenery, at least.
This week was amazing and full of accomplishments. On Tuesday, I celebrated the six month mark of committing to this healthier life. I honestly can't believe how much has changed in that time. I'm a completely different person and love life now. In addition, this week I ran a full mile without stopping, and completed a 5K yesterday. And then, weigh in today... well. I was completely shocked when I stepped on the scale today. It had already gone down a couple pounds during the week... but I was surprised to see that it went down another 2.5 pounds in the last 24 hours. I lost a total of 5 pounds this week and moved into the 170s! It certainly makes up for the last few lackluster weeks on the scale.

44 pounds down, 42 to go. I'm over halfway there! An awesome way to mark 6 months in. If I can keep this up, I'll be at goal in another six months. That's not likely, because weight loss slows down the closer one gets to goal, but I'll still be really close!

I also took my measurements yesterday before the race, and losses are as follows:
  • waist: 1 inch [total: 4 inches]
  • hips: 1 inch [total: 3.5 inches]
  • thigh: 1 inch [total: 4 inches]
  • arm: 0 [total: 2.5 inches]
  • belly: 0.5 inch [total: 7.5 inches]
And according to this home body fat test, my body fat percentage went from 25.6% last month to 25%. So, that's pretty awesome because I'm close to a healthy body fat percentage [22%]!

As for my goals for August... I didn't do so amazing on some of them.
  • lose 6 pounds [actual: 10.2!]
  • bike 300 miles [actual: 105. Didn't even come close but my bike's been out of commission for most of the month.]
  • accumulate 2500 fitness minutes [actual: 2384. Didn't hit it, but I came close.]
  • continue 5K training, including transitioning to outdoor running [absolutely did this!]
  • sign up for one or two 5Ks in September [completed one yesterday!]
  • continue yoga 2x/week [I did some weeks, some weeks I didn't do any yoga at all. Oops!]
  • strength training 2x/week [Yes! Except for this past week, which I'd purposefully taken off from strength training. Will continue P90X this week.]
September goals:
  • lose 6 pounds
  • lose 4 inches total
  • run 40 miles
  • accumulate 2500 fitness minutes
  • work up to running the entire 5K
  • yoga 2x/week
  • continue P90X
I have a really good feeling about September!

Race Recap: PawSox 5K

So, it's totally normal to cry after a race, right? Right?

This morning was the 5K and I was up bright and early for it. Since I'm not a morning exerciser, and I can't run on a full [or completely empty] stomach, I woke up at 6:30 to have/digest breakfast and give my body plenty of time to wake up before the run. I also set out all my stuff the night before to make sure I had everything, so... that meant that I kind of spent a lot of time being bored and tired before it was an appropriate time to leave my house. 
gear: shoes, heart rate monitor, water bottle, aleve, headphones, shorts, t-shirts [I couldn't decide until the morning], race bib, hair ties, sunglasses
All dressed, I tweeted a picture before I headed out:
I look so tall and thin here! ...I think it's the crop of the picture.
It was only a couple miles to the stadium, a place I'm well familiar with [many summer nights were spent there as a kid!], so I left at 8:30 and still got there long before the stadium opened up at 9 for warming up. As I knew, it was a small race... I think about 600 people, after last minute registrants this morning. There was a tiny crowd when I got there, stretching and warming up already, but most people got there after the stadium opened.

Once inside the stadium, I took a look around the sponsor/vendor tables but decided to get free race swag after the race, since I had nowhere to stash it. Instead, I headed onto the field for an organized warm-up [jumping jacks, mostly, and stretching]. My legs hadn't been feeling 100% yet, even after the bike ride, so that woke them up completely and after that, I felt ready to go.

Then we headed out to the road to line up at the start!
[And thus ends the picture taking... One day, I'll master taking pictures while running but I didn't even try today!]
I lined up right at the 31-34min pace marker... trying to be optimistic! My goal for the race was to finish under 35 minutes, and I was hoping to finish under 34, so this seemed to be the perfect spot. Although I maybe should've started further up since I was run/walking and my running pace is faster... but I wasn't sure. Anyway, the gun went off, we shuffled towards the front, and soon I had crossed the start line and was on my way! The start was a slight, short incline up towards the first street [we started on the side of the stadium] but it wasn't hard. And this is why I think I maybe should've started further up: I had to bob and weave through quite a few people because I was running faster than everyone. Oops! Oh well, you race and learn.

I decided to do 4:1min run/walk intervals and the first three intervals went great. Actually, the first interval went so well that I thought about not dropping down to a walk. But, I figured that would harm me in the long run so I walked a minute anyway. I passed 1.5 miles in about 15 minutes and if I had kept that up, I would've come really close to beating my PR. But... I didn't. The next interval, I ended up running 3 minutes, walking 2 because I passed the water station and haven't yet figured out the mechanics of running and drinking water [as it is, I still got half the water all over my shirt instead of in my mouth but it felt just as good!]. The next interval was better, although slower than the first two... and then, the next interval, I was running up a steep hill! They advertised the course as "relatively flat" but I have to remember, relative is completely different here than in Chicago! So my pace dropped a little during that interval because of that, but I'm proud that I managed to run all the way up the hill [without doing any previous hill work!].

Suddenly, I turned a corner and there was the stadium in front of me! Almost at the finish line! Well... sort of. The route actually ended after a lap around the field, so I had to run to the stadium and then inside it. I started running again as I crossed into the stadium parking lot, and decided to run the entire rest of the way. I had less than half a mile to go, and I was feeling pretty spent but knew I could do it. I felt like my run along the outfield was the slowest thing ever but RunKeeper said differently so, hey, another instance of me not knowing my own speed!

I glanced at the clock when I passed over the finish line but I honestly forgot what it said about two seconds later. I stopped RunKeeper at 34:05 but I knew I'd started it before crossing the official start line, so I wasn't sure what my actual time was. Still, it looked like I finished before 34 minutes so I was very happy. I immediately grabbed a bottle of [warm] water that they were giving out at the finish line, and headed back out of the stadium to my bike, where I had another water bottle waiting for me [it was a block of ice when I left my house so I knew it would still be cold!]. After that, I stretched and checked out the vendors, collecting some free swag. I talked to people from a local running store, which has a running club I've been considering joining, and they gave me a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase [will be very useful because I'll need new shoes soon!]. I won a free pair of sunglasses [cheap ones but still, I need a new pair!], grabbed a free banana from the Whole Foods stand [aww yeah], and picked up a bunch of magnets [not pictured].
race swag! I didn't realize that this picture came out so blurry, sorry! Not pictured: race shirt made of awesome wicking material, which I'm very excited to run in!
Then I wandered around until the race results were finally posted around 10:30. Lined up to see my time... and was so happy with the official results!

33:53! Smashed my goal of 35 minutes and even squeaked by my hopeful wish of 34 minutes. I was 207 overall, which out of 600+ people isn't bad... even if a lot of those were walkers. And I was 14 out of 29 in my division! I was so shocked to see that! So yeah, I'm pretty darn happy about my results! So happy, in fact, that I started crying. Just a weird release of emotions, I don't know where it came from!

Not so happy = flat tire when I got back to my bike. So instead of a quick 10 minute bike ride home to my nice, relaxing bath... I had a 40 minute walk, dragging my bike along. Ugh. But I finally got home, updated twitter and facebook, and got to wash up before heading out with my mom for the rest of the day.
RunKeeper stats
First 5K of 2012: done, finally! Now onto my future running plans... 5 weeks until the next 5K that I'm looking at. I'm going to spend the time working up to running the entire thing, and also running hills. [I also plan on adding morning runs to my routine so my body doesn't get shocked by morning races again.] If I keep my current running pace and run the entire 5K, I should beat my PR in October. Exciting!

A few final notes: I listened to music and RunKeeper coaching on my phone during the race, but I think I'm not going to do that anymore during races. Since I heard music instead of cheering, the environment felt more like any other run by myself and... I don't want that. I want the race environment. I might add music/headphones back in if I start running longer distances but yeah, for right now, I'm going to stick with them for just practice by myself.

I also don't know why, but I didn't focus on my form nearly as much as I usually do. I caught myself watching my feet quite a few times instead of looking ahead. Maybe it was because I was feeling tired, or maybe I was feeling tired because I was looking down and running with poorer form. I don't know. But it's something that I still have to work on.

Onwards to the next race!