Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Don't Ever Go Back

Saturday evening after I got home from NYC and the race, I started to really process the event in my mind.  To some people, one leg of the Urbanathlon was "just a 5k with 3 obstacles" - and really, that's what it was.  But for most of us on Team Phases, many of whom had never run in a regular 5k let alone one in NYC with obstacles, this was more than just a race. 
For me, this race really marked the "goodbye" to this girl.  The girl who thought that a bright sweater and cute accessories could hide the extra 100 pounds she was carrying.  This girl thought she was happy, and living life.  But every morning when this girl when to get dressed, she was unhappy.  Every time this girl saw others around her doing things like running and exercising, she thought "I wish I could be more like that, but that's just not me."  This girl was pretty good at making jokes and enjoying life, and she wasn't completely miserable - but, this girl was definitely not living life the way God intended.

I don't ever want to be that girl again.  I really, truly have changed my life this time.  It hasn't been "just another diet" or a get skinny quick thing.  I'm now one of those people who run.  I'm signed for multiple races.  Whatever the challenge is - I have no doubt in my mind that I can do it.  This girl I am now?  I'm happy.  I believe in myself.  I know this is the way God intended me to feel.  When I look in the mirror, I don't focus on the 40 pounds I still want to lose - I focus on the arm muscles I have.  I don't dwell on the fact that my mile time is slower than a lot of people, I remember that a few months ago I couldn't even run a mile at all. 
This girl?  She feels JOY.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Goal Setting

Before the Urbanathlon, Mindy had us set 3 goals for ourselves to work towards during our training.  Below are the three goals I chose.
I loved this because instead of an arbitrary date, like "lose 10 pounds by Christmas", there was a specific event I was working towards.  This way, even if I didn't quite make my goals, I was still competing in the event and working hard.  I always get frustrated with "10 pounds by Christmas" goals because I feel like they're easy to not achieve. 
Of my 3 goals, I achieved 2 of them.  I ran 4 miles without stopping.  I finished the race.  But, I didn't lose 20 pounds.  I did lose 15 though, so I'm not disappointed!
Now that the race is over, I decided to set myself 3 new goals for my next race.  This race will be the local Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.  Many members of my Urbanathlon crew are planning to reunite for this 5K!

My 3 new goals to work towards for the Turkey Trot are:
1. Run with an average pace of less than 10 minutes per mile.
2.  Lose the next 10 pounds.
3.  Be down a clothing size.

I'll keep ya posted!'s time to hit the treadmill! Hurricane Sandy was pretty nice to us here, but the rain is forcing my workout indoors!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Urbanathlon Details!

So, I did it! I completed the first leg of the Men's Health Urbanathlon! My total time for 3.2 miles and 3 obstacles was 39 minutes.  I'm really happy with this!  My goal was to complete it in under 45 minutes, because I wasn't sure how long the obstacles would take.  The last time I ran an "official" 5K was 2 years ago, and that took 47 minutes - so I'd say I've improved!
The race day was PERFECT weather for racing.  It wasn't too hot, wasn't too cold - plus it was cloudy so we didn't have to worry about sunglasses or anything.  All of the relay teams were able to start in the same wave, so that helped keep our energy up as we waited to start! 
For our leg, we ran about 1.75 miles of mostly flat terrain in the Flushing area of Queens before hitting the first obstacle.  This was a tire field, cargo net crawl combo.  Here's what they posted on the website for what it would look like:
It didn't look like this.  It was totally wimpy in comparison to this image.  There were about 10 rows of tires, followed by one cargo net (which was high enough to bend over and not crawl under), and then 10 more rows of tired.  I was unimpressed.
Then we ran another 1/2 mile or so before tackling the obstacle that had me the most nervous: "Over, Under, Through"  This obstacle was AWESOME.  Surprisingly, my favorite part was the under - crawling in the dirt!  It was a 5 foot wall you had to climb over (or in my case, be shoved over), then you had to army crawl under a wall, and then go through it.  Twice.  Here's a pic of the Chicago obstacle (which was the same in NYC)
After that, we ran the last of our leg and completed the "Traffic Jam" obstacle.  This obstacle was terrible.  It was more annoying than it was difficult.  It was a bunch of bungee cords strung like a spider web between poles.  This was new this year, and I hope they take it away!  It was dumb.
From there, we crossed the finish line and tagged our teammates, who headed into leg 2!
All in all, I felt completely prepared for this race.  It was fun to race without feeling nervous, and knowing that I wouldn't be last.  I actually got to run WITH the pack, instead of chasing behind them the whole time.  This was an awesome experience, and who knows - maybe next year I'll tackle the whole course!?
Here are some pics from the day!!
The leg 1 crew waiting to start!
Starting!  Can you find me? Orange shirt - my friend Alicia is in the orange shirt with the white headband, I'm behind her.
I'm the one in the orange shirt with the blue and green pants. This is somewhere around mile 1.
Finished our leg and cheering on our teammates at the marine hurdles!
My teammate, Laura, conquering the marine hurdles!
Our total time - under 2 hours and not last! Wahoo!
My amazing teammates after we finished!  Love these women!
Most of the Team Phases crew!  There were almost 40 of us!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Featured Again!!

On Friday, I was invited by my fabulous trainer, Mindy, to share a little piece of my weight loss story on one of our local news channels!  Mindy is working with their morning team for a "Fox 43 Get Fit" challenge.  Click here to view my "3 minutes of fame" on local TV! 

I'm working now on my Urbanathlon race recap blog - but, I did survive and it was AWESOME!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Today I have the awesome privilege of being featured at one of my favorite fitness blogs! Clare at Peak313 does a series called "Shed and Share", and I'm this week's "shedder and sharer"!

Check out my story here: Peak 313

By the way, have I mentioned I've now passed the FIFTY pound mark? More than halfway to my goal!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Four months ago today, I did something I'd never done in my whole life - I ran 1 mile outside without stopping. I can picture the moment I hit that mark, and I remember my eyes filling with tears and a huge smile crossing my face. I couldn't believe I had actually run a mile.

Today, exactly 4 months later - I again found myself with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. But this time, it was at the end of FOUR miles. That's the longest I've ever run without stopping. In fact, I didn't even seriously entertain the idea of stopping. There was no moment, even in the last mile, where I had to talk myself into finishing.

Somehow, something inside me finally understands the difference between "hard work" and "too hard". It may have taken 30 years, but I finally found the athlete inside me. And I love her.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Goat Cheese Quesadillas

It's the time of year where of all things pumpkin.  This recipe was inspired by one I saw in Everyday (Rachael Ray's magazine, a favorite for new recipes!) and on Pinterest.
Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
(serves 1)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (plain - not pie filling)
1/4 cup black beans black beans
1 oz. goat cheese (crumbled)
fresh cilantro
cumin (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)
onion salt (to taste)
tortilla (I used 2 and made one giant quesadilla, the brand I use are Food For Life Brown Rice, they are gluten free and found in the organic frozen section)
1.  Mix pumpkin and spices together in a small bowl. (I probably used 1/2 tsp of each spice)
2.  Stir in black beans.
3.  Spray a non-stick pan with olive oil spray.
4.  Spread one tortilla with pumpkin mixture.  Place tortilla side down in the pan.
5.  Sprinkle with goat cheese.  (you can also mix the goat cheese in with the pumpkin)
6.  Top with remaining tortilla.
7.  Flip (Carefully!) when one side is browned and crispy.
Serve with yogurt lime dipping sauce! (Greek yogurt, lime juice, and cumin mixed together)