Potential Verses Perspective

I have “wanted” a lot of things in my life. I have “signed up” for even more! What I have a short list of, are ideas I have followed through with, to the very end. I mean- we all get the crazy ideas that we can do anything, try it and find out it just was not for us. But I am a person who dives into everything, neck deep- until I admit I never could swim to begin with!

But this last year has been so different, as I have actually followed through with losing the weight I wanted to lose. Sure, I changed my goal from 100 lbs to feeling comfortable at 60 lbs gone. Do I still want those other 40 gone? maybe, but it is not my priority now.
Ultimately, I just wanted to be able to run three miles- three long miles- last year! I was pretrified out of my place, with following through to the Mokena race last year. But I did it. For the first time in my life, I followed through and completed something.

Then it happened- the half marathon bug bite me! I signed up for the Chicago Half Marathon- thinking nearly one year of training I could actually learn to complete 13.1 miles. I even got a treadmill; then upgraded it for the winter months! But then I met this amazing group of people- F’N runner club!

This group of people have the most amazing synergy about them! I started walk/running with them in the dead of winter January! I quickly learned to love running in the winter -OUTSIDE! Each run got easier, and before I knew it I wanted to cut time off my miles- I went down from a 14 minute mile- to a comfortable 11 minute. I was in shock! My distance grew with each outing- and I was able to run 4 miles with little to no walking and even found a few sub 10 minute miles along the way!

Everyone in the group started talking about all the spring races and I was addicted! I planned out my whole season!

Timeline wise- this would be March- My first 5k of the new season, and only my second race ever! After just over 2 months with the group, 5 weeks of boot camp and gym time, I was ready. All I wanted was an improved time- 35 minute range. Some how I ran 29:38! And I thanked everyone for their support and advice!

Shamrock Shuffle was next. 8k or just shy of 5 miles! Could I do it? And yes I did- I even drove downtown! I managed
to run (with very little walking) that 4.97 in 49:30! I felt official- I was ready for a half marathon! So, I signed up for the Palos Half Marathon!

In the meanwhile, I had the Joliet Rockdale, which was hard. It is hills, yes, but it was hard to find that perfect pace and keep going- so 10k or 6.2 took me 1:07. Which, all in all, I was just okay with, because I know I could have done better. I told myself next year.

Ashleycan.org was really an excuse to see old neighbors and donate to a great cause! So how managed to run that 5k in 30:19 and 4th in my age group. Granted it was a much smaller race- but still that was great!

Next up was Palos- 13.1 miles and I was at 7 miles in my training. I had started a new job, causing practice excuse. I ran my longest distance 8.5 miles and actually felt good. Was able to run about 2 miles at a time with just 15 second breaks. Then it happened- my first real injury- my right knee felt horrible.

Now when I say horrible it means just that! it took me a few days to admit I might actually need medical attention- they decided it was patella tendinitis. Okay I can deal with that and my new brace! problem was it was only making it worse. But I have to run more before the race, so I dusted off the trusty treadmill, set up the fan, and slipped on the even to loving compression socks and WOW that hurt! it was all because my socks are too long (or my shins are too short) and the tops were pressing on the tendon. So adjusted where those sit and was able to run 5 miles at a comfortable 10:30 pace in just about an hour again. GREAT!

Now the mantra I know is something like if it matter you find time- but life for me is just busy. I have 4 kids and a husband that work retail management- meaning my life changes by the minute (sometimes less if the baby is around!) . Well between sickness, work schedules, and extra curricular programs – oh and homework- I didn’t get to run but one more time!

I  went into my first half marathon with my longest run being 8.5 miles- and a possible injury! Leading up to this past Sunday, I was sure something would prevent me from going- my kids, my husband, family otherwise- my appendix! But all was very well at 4:30 Sunday morning, as I started the process to run my first half marathon.

After just over 1 year of learning to run, I finished my first half marathon in 2 hours 32 mins! It was hot, and hard, and caused me to want to rip off clothing- but I finished it! I am not upset I missed my goal of 2 hours 30 mins- by just 2 mins- because I know that was caused by my choice to fix my music and shoes.  Yes I struggled with each and every mile- I walked more than I really wanted to overall- but I learned so much! I know I need to work on specific parts of my body, and how to prioritize mile running again, and what I really can do when I apply my desire for a goal!

Today I looked at my new facebook profile picture and felt so much pride in my hard work- and felt guilt because I knew there was so much more in  me to be applied! I have a long list of races for this year- and plan for each one of them! Join me on my journey as I continue to track my training until November when I finish up with the last Joliet R3 race!

And if you made it through that WHOLE flashback- thank you! promise from now on they will be shorter entries and some pictures!




LONG overdue update, and my SUPER EXCITING NEWS!

I have decided to restart my blog writing as I train for the next few races! Also, I enjoy reading other blogs and was starting to get jealous!

So much as happened in the last few months, I don’t know where to start. Olivia is now nearly 14 months (on Leap Day!). We all loved Christmas this year. But more importantly, I have learned so much and grown as a person.

I joined a running group at the beginning of the year. I never expected to love it as much as I do. They are an amazing group of supportive people. When I started back to run/walk after the holidays and my bronchitis, I was averaging over a 13 minute mile. With just 8 weeks of running, working out and eating right- I am now down to an average 10:30 with some as fast as 9:30! ME?! Running a 9 minute mile? When I started last year I was lucky to keep up with my treadmill at 3, now can run at over a 6? That is just amazing!

Oh and by the way, since September I have last over 25 inches and kept off over 20 lbs.! I am officially down 60 lbs since having Olivia. I am able to wear size 10 jeans comfortably, even a few 8s from Old Navy! That is the most expensive part, buying new clothes!

I start my Sony training intermediate program for half marathons today.  Day one: Running for 1 hour – which I have been doing when running 5 miles with the club. I also had boot camp this morning- which is just awesome! And tonight is a fun hour of Zumba!

I made myself a deal- if I can train enough to run the whole half marathon on May 6th, then I can go out for pizza afterwards. I have completely sworn off pizza until then- it is not even allowed in the house! Yeah, hubby is sort of going crazy about it. But it was the only thing I knew we make me work for the goal I had set myself. I still have quite a bit of work, have to double my running distance, but I also have 9 weeks!

SUPER EXCITING NEWS~! I decided to get my personal trainer and fitness nutritionist certificates! I am planning on being down this summer with both and be able to start making money doing all my talking!

Oh updated measurements: For 2.21.12

ribs- 33.5

belly- 36.5

hips- 37

wrist- 7

thigh- 18.5

inner thigh 21.5

calf- 13.5

weight then was 170.5 Lost over 10 inches between Jan and Feb, but not much weight-

BMI 27.4, overweight- 25 or below is normal

So I will be trying to post a few updates here and there on how this process is going. Hopefully I won’t whine too much!

My new friends!


In light of my resent addition of the Indiana half marathon, I needed a bit more motivation. So I join

ed m

y local running group! They are all very nice, supportive, and hilarious! Today was day 2 of running with them. It was about 16 degrees. I ended up doing a total of 5.25 miles today.
I will be posting my new measurements for the new month tomorrow! Very exciting news tomorrow too!

Month 3 stats!

181 now 175

38 now 37 1/2

39 now 38 1/2

L. Forearm
9 3/4 now 8

L. Biceps
12 now same

35 now same

L. Calf
14 1/2 now 13

L. Quad
19 3/4 now 20

Was 28.3 now 27.9!

6 more pounds and 4 more inches!
Total of 16 lbs and 18 inches!

New measurement inner quad left 23

Check back 1/16!

December challenge!


So I got this from a friend of Facebook! I am going to do it twice!
Join me! And post when you do them!

Month 2 measurements

Started 191
Was 190.5
Now 181

Started 41
Was 40.5
Now 38

Started 43
Was 41
Now 39

L. Forearm
Started 10
Was 9 3/4
Now same

L. Biceps
Started 13
Was 12
Now same

Started 40
Was 37
Now 35

L. Calf
Started 15
Was 15
Now 14 1/2

L. Quad.
Started 21
Was 20 1/2
Now 19 3/4

Started 29.9
Was 29.8
Now 28.3

Total change
6 3/4 inches and 9.5 lbs!
Total lost 10 lbs and 14 inches!

Low Carbs diets are bad! read on!

The All-New Atkins Advantage
Book Review

The All-New Atkins Advantage

By Stuart L. Trager, MD, with Colette Heimowitz, MSc St. Martin’s Press (2007) Reviewed by Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN

The All-New Atkins Advantage contains a 12-week, low-carbohydrate program to lose weight, achieve peak fitness and health and maximize willpower to reach your life goals.
Synopsis of the Diet Plan:

It features the Atkins weight-loss diet with a 12-week, step-by-step plan for incorporating exercise into a reader’s life. The book also provides guidance to help the individual stick with the diet and exercise program. Each week builds on the one before it.

For the most part, this is the classic Atkins low-carbohydrate diet augmented with exercise guidance and some motivational tips. The book includes 12 weeks of meal plans designed to provide 20 to 80 grams of “net” carbs. (Net carbs are defined as the total grams of carbohydrates in a food minus the grams of carbohydrates from fiber.) It focuses on counting carbohydrates and touts protein as being “the mainstay of the Atkins Nutrition Approach.” A multivitamin supplement is recommended and a multimineral supplement is recommended if symptoms such as leg cramps, weakness when climbing stairs, dizziness or fatigue occur during the initial phase.
Nutritional Pros and Cons:

Like the previous Atkins Diet, the first phase of the diet recommends severely limiting carbohydrates. Only 20 grams of net carbohydrates daily are allowed during this phase and it is recommended to “eat at least six ounces of protein at every meal.” Acceptable foods include all cuts of meat, foul, fish, eggs, butter and three to four ounces of full-fat cheese daily. This phase can last up to six months for some people. The subsequent phases gradually add small amounts of carbohydrates to the diet. Thus, throughout the initial phase — and potentially the entire diet — an individual could consume less than 130 grams of carbohydrates, which is the minimum amount of carbohydrates needed daily to provide glucose for the proper brain function.

The claim that “natural fats, including saturated fats, are vital to good health” is very misleading. In essence, the amount of essential fatty acids needed by an individual is synthesized by the body, so there is no Daily Recommended Intake for saturated fat. Readers could easily interpret that as a green light for consuming saturated fats in excess amounts in the diet. This is erroneous. In fact, research supports that a diet rich in saturated fat increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

The high protein content of the plan means eating less whole grains, fruits and vegetables, which reduces the amount of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber consumed. Additionally, the high proportion of dietary protein means eating more unhealthy saturated fat and cholesterol.

The authors recommend taking 500 to 1,000 milligrams of L-glutamine before dinner to control cravings. However, they state: “Although not much research has yet focused on L-glutamine’s role in this regard, a wealth of anecdotal evidence indicates it may help stop a binge before it happens.” The key word here is “anecdotal.” The public shouldn’t be a scientific guinea pig.

Bottom Line: I would not recommend a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss. Americans should be following a well-balanced, plant-based diet, rich in whole grains, fruit and vegetables and low in unhealthy lipids (saturated, trans fats and cholesterol). Such a diet, if calorie controlled, can be both waist- and health-friendly and has been shown to also reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Thanks all!

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