Archive | April 2013

Race Recap: DAWS Run Your Tail Off 5K

What a fun race!

We adopted our dog Gizmo three years ago from a local shelter called the Danbury Animal Welfare Society, or DAWS.   He’s a great dog, a big Shepherd Collie mix, and he runs with me nearly every time I go out.  He loves the exercise, and I feel a little better knowing that no one will likely mess with me because I have this great big scary looking dog with me.

So when we saw the Run Your Tail Off 5K, my husband and I knew this had to be.  I was a little nervous because Gizmo is a very nervous dog, and his nervousness comes out sometimes as aggression with other dogs, but Gizmo is also very docile and listens to commands well.  So I went ahead and signed up for this one a few weeks ago.


Also, the whole family came to cheer me and Gizmo on, which was nice.  The last race they came to was my Veteran’s Day 5K  last November.  It does make a bit of a difference knowing there are people there to support you and waiting for you at the finish line.


Me and my pooch pre race.

I wasn’t sure how it was all going to work.  But eventually, we figured it out.  They started runners without dogs first, and they must have started the clock then.  A few minutes later (I realize now it was exactly six minutes later), they lined those of us with dogs up and got us going.

dawsrun2 dawsrun3It was totally crazy at first!  Gizmo is usually good about staying with me and not pulling, but with so many dogs around him, he wanted to keep up with them.  And since I am a slower runner, this meant lots of people (and dogs) were ahead of me, even at the start.  I could tell he was pulling me outside of my comfort zone, so my whole first mile was pretty much trying to pull him back until the herd thinned somewhat.

My GPS wigged out right off the bat, so at the five minute mark I had no idea how far I’d gone.  Technically we started in the parking garage, so it probably couldn’t find a signal.  Still, I knew the time was accurate so I just tried to get a comfortable pace on and go with the flow.

Around mile 1.5 was the water stop for both dogs and humans.  I followed my usual race protocol and walked through the stop, and then gave the dog a minute to grab some water too.  The water stop was during the first uphill of several, so it was well placed.  I caught my breath and went on.

By now we were on the roads leading through the corporate complex and it was a gorgeous day.  50 or so degrees, bright and sunny, spring just starting to come out in the trees and flowers.  I sailed through the next mile without ever finding the marker for mile 2.  There were a few hills in there and I did let myself walk thirty second stretches during the two steepest ones.

All of the sudden I saw we were at mile 2.5, and I wasn’t sure at all how fast I was going with the GPS all messed up.  I was hardly even paying attention to the voice calling out my time over my music in the RunKeeper, because I knew the mileage was all screwed up anyway.  But then I saw the finish line, and could see 36 and change on the timing device.

Damn.  I couldn’t believe I came in slow, but attributed it to the walking.  I bolted for the finish line, determined to finish in the low 37s.


I ran through and went over to the side where the pans of water were for the dogs, figuring I would let Giz grab a drink while my family caught up to me.  I reached over to my armband to stop the RunKeeper and saw that it said this:


What the what?  How could that be?  Yes, I knew the mileage was wrong but there was no way the time was.  Sure enough, my daughter ran up to me and said, “Mom, you ran that in like half an hour!”  So all that pulling Gizmo did really did speed me up.   And I didn’t even stop my RunKeeper until a good 20 seconds or more after passing through the finish, so I reasoned that I possibly ran this 5K in the low 32s.

That’s insane!  I think that possibly the course may have been slightly short, because I cannot fathom how I ran this hilly course three minutes faster than my best 5K time, which I did on a totally flat course.  The course wasn’t billed as ATF certified, so it may not be a full 5K.  But I suspect it is still a PR, regardless, because even if it’s a bit shy on mileage, it’s probably not short three minutes worth of running.

The race results show me with a time of 31:48, an average of a 10:15 mile.  They must have started us six minutes later than the non dog runners.  Holy smokes.  Maybe I should consider some actual speedwork.  It didn’t feel as hard as I would think that kind of time would make me feel.  How about that?

I was so inspired by my time that I signed up for the Mother’s Day 10K as soon as I got home.

Overall, the race was a lot of fun.  I think it was well run, with frequent water stops, poop bag stations (thank god I didn’t need one today) and great music pre and post race.   Plus, it’s a great cause.  Definitely plan on making this an annual event for me and my pooch.


Wednesday Weigh In: Enough

Yeah, it was that week.  You know the week where you don’t really track, you know you’re eating things you shouldn’t?  And you do it anyway?

It was that week for me.  I’m up 2.4 lbs in seven days and I’m not the least bit surprised.  Over the last three weeks, that is nearly 3 lbs.  I’m not surprised.  I own it.  It’s not a fluke, it’s not an accident, it’s totally my choices and my fault.

I’m done wallowing in it.  I’m drawing a line under it and moving on.  My knee is still messed up but that doesn’t give me license to screw up everything else.  Time to move forward.  Again.

Current Week:  +2.4 lbs.
Total Weight Left To Lose:  19 lbs
Age:  42
BMI:  29.1 (ugh, over 29?  haven’t been here in quite a while….)

All Over the Place

So….I feel kind of all over the place right now.  This post will have no real point, but I feel like i need to just kind of get all the thoughts out of my head and move on from them.

I hurt my knee running on Thursday, which has been a source of frustration.  I did go for a brief walk on Saturday but haven’t wanted to push it.  I thought I would go out yesterday, but ended up having the day get away from me.  I suppose it is just as well because when I finally got out there this morning, it was not all better.  I did feel it twinge a fair amount in the start of the run, so I started doing more of a run/walk, trying to find the gait and terrain where it didn’t bother me.  I figured out quickly that the hills seemed to trigger it, so walked on the hills and did a slow jog on the flat parts of my route.  In the end, it didn’t feel quite as bad as it did at the start, and I managed to pull off 3.3 miles total.  I had wanted to go four, but I figured that I shouldn’t push it.

I don’t know what happened with it.  I did a big strength training video the day before, and was sore, but not really in the knees.  We were trail running when it happened, and I just gradually noticed it starting to feel funny every so often…maybe once every few minutes.  But by the end, it was nearly ever step.  I must have just pulled something.  I need to rest it because I do have a 5K this weekend….although I am not too worried about this one.  It’s a Run With Your Dog 5K.  I don’t even know if it will be timed.  And it’s basically around a parking lot.  So I’m not too worried.  If it bothers me, I’ll just start walking.  I’m more upset because I wanted to register for another 10K, on Mother’s Day, but I think I’ll give it until after this next race before I do that.

Without much of a goal at this point I feel kind of adrift with everything.  The injury is frustrating with the running, and the food is just a train wreck.  I’ve been drinking too much, and not tracking.  Last week, the not tracking wasn’t bad.  This week it feels like defiance.  I did input Thursday and Friday and then had such a bad weekend I didn’t bother.  I just kind of don’t care.  I see the scale creeping up and I’m shrugging my shoulders.  It’s stupid, and I know it’s going to make me feel bad later, but right now, I am ambivalent.

Part of it is my mental freak out around Boston and the ensuing events of last week.  I was looking for stability and comfort, and when I couldn’t run in solidarity with my community over the weekend, I ate and drank my feelings instead.

Well, at least I know what it is.

So today I got in a run, I’ve iced my knee, and now it’s time to move on.

For now, that’ll have to be enough.

Wednesday Weigh In

So I can’t decide if this week’s weigh in is good or bad.

I’m up 0.2 lbs.

The good:  I didn’t track at all this week.  To be up this slightly means I know how to eat to essentially maintain my weight and not gain.  I’m noticing now that I’m putting on clothes from last fall, when the weather was warmer like it is now, that things are loose.  A pair of pants that barely fit last fall are loose.  Another that I couldn’t wear fit perfectly.  So that’s all very nice and it feels really nice to not be killing myself.  To not race to the computer after ever run, after every mouthful.  I almost think too that I’m out of the idea that I can eat more when I move more, because I forget about the exercise later in the day and just go about my business.  But when I’m tracking, I see that big number of calories burned and I “go for it” sometimes.

The bad:  well, I’m not losing.  I’d like to be.  This represents two weeks in a row of slight gains, which is the absolute wrong direction.  I’m also definitely not as careful in my eating.  Handfuls of nuts and pretzels add up.  They aren’t chips or fries, but they’re still not great for quantity eating.  Last night I indulged in three handfuls of peanut butter filled pretzels.  Probably 300 calories plus.  I can’t be doing that kind of thing, and if I were tracking, I probably would have thought better of it.

So where am I headed from here?  I probably am going to give myself one more week of not tracking and then get back in the game.  I like how I feel in my clothes right now and there’s a whole other set of clothes that would be wearable if I’d just drop another ten pounds.  It would just be nice if I could get to a place where it didn’t feel like a struggle to do what is necessary to lose…where it just was natural, the choices that feel right and natural to make.

I’m working on it.

Current Week:  +.2 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  16.6 lbs
Age:  42
BMI:  28.6


Boston, I am With You

I saw the news on Roni Noone’s Facebook feed.  No words, just a link to a headline that made no sense:  “Explosions at Boston Marathon finish line.”

I skipped by them, honestly at first.  But somehow, my brain kept processing those words as I scrolled down my feed, and then I went back to them.  I was on the phone with a friend at the time.  She’s from Boston.

I started reading the news to her.  “Two explosions, minutes apart, life threatening injuries…” reading the news aloud to someone else made it more real and yet more surreal all at once.  “Let me go watch the news,” she said quickly and we both hung up.

The whole world is looking at this….attack?  tragedy?  awful event?…..and feeling the horror of it, certainly.  But I felt this a little differently.  Somehow, for the first time, I felt it as a….runner.

As a runner, my first thoughts after the prayers I sent out for the injured and lost, were of the people who had trained so hard for so long, who didn’t get to finish the race of a lifetime.  My thoughts were of those people just crossing or nearly crossing the finish line and having that moment of triumph taken from them.  My thoughts were for the one person I knew personally and the several I knew through the blogosphere, hoping and praying that they and their families and friends were alright.

I felt it all very differently than I would have eighteen months ago, before I started running.  Running is all about acceptance, community, betterment of self.  It’s competitive but equalizing all at the same time.  Out there on the road, we all will start and we will all do our best to finish.  We will all push ourselves.  We all understand the certain level of crazy it takes to run for thirty minutes, an hour, three hours or more all by yourself.  To achieve something.  Something personal.  Something amazing.

Every race I’ve run raises money for a charitable cause.  I’ve run for cancer research, for buy diapers for low income families, to buy heat for people who can’t afford it, for the local police toy drive, for the VA hospital, for the Y’s after school programs, and of course for Sandy Hook.  Runners run for themselves, but often they are also doing so in races for a larger good.  Each mile of this race, the Boston Marathon, was dedicated to a victim of the Newtown tragedy.  There was a team from Newtown running, and more spectators from there as well.  To attack those who are doing something good, trying to heal a wound….it makes no sense.

Of course something like this makes no sense.  They never do (even writing that, as if this kind of thing is becoming normal, is so wrong on so many levels).  But somehow, seeing this now as a runner, I feel it a bit more personally.  Knowing what pounding out those miles is like (I’ve never run that kind of distance, but I have an idea).  Right at the moment of triumph, of completion.  And not when the fast people would have been coming through.  When the people who aren’t the elite are starting to come through (me, I would have been a good hour out, but still), the regular folks, the folks who never thought they could do something like this and are finally achieving that moment.

The person I know who ran yesterday is fine.  The people I follow in the blogosphere are OK too.  But for those who this morning are struggling with a senseless loss of life, or limb, or whatever other injury may have happened yesterday, my heart is bursting for you.   I am a runner, and I am with you.

Wednesday Weigh In: No Tracking Version

So in case you are waiting with baited breath….

The wedding was wonderful.  Everything went off smoothly, without a hitch, from start to finish.  All the little pieces fell in place and it was a truly wonderful event.

I felt good in my skin that day.  My dress fit perfectly, it was a great choice, and I got many, many compliments on it.  It was the right choice for my shape.  I would have liked to have lost more, but I didn’t think about it that day.  That day I felt good, confident, slim:  all the things I wanted to feel.

In the run up to the wedding and its aftermath, I stopped tracking via MyFitnessPal.  I’ve been doing it faithfully for a year and a half, and I know its value.  But with everything going on, I just decided to not bother with it.  That’s not to say I wasn’t thinking about my food or being careful with it.  I just wasn’t going to add that extra thing to my to do list.

In some ways it feels a bit freeing:  like I’m not watching the numbers so much, so I’m not thinking:  hey, I ran today, I’ve got x amount of extra calories, let’s have a treat.  In other ways, I know it’s so easy to have an extra bite here and there without thinking about it when you’re not tracking.

I will surely go back to it, but probably not for a bit yet.  I’m curious to see if I can really be more intuitive with my eating (probably not, but I’m giving myself another week to see).

Anyway, considering the wedding, the travel, the multitude of drinking and such, I’ll take this week’s very slight gain and smile about it.

Current Week:  +.2 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  16.4 lbs
Age:  42
BMI:  28.6

Wednesday Weigh In

So here I am.  The wedding is this weekend and it’s the final weigh in.

Did I spend the last week eating healthy food, tracking both food and exercise, and diligently giving it my all?

No.  I didn’t.

This week was more of the same of last week.  I didn’t track much.  I exercised, even had good runs, but didn’t log them.  I ate cookies and chocolate and drank wine, two nights in a row.  I had a glass of wine, every day.  I didn’t over indulge on Easter, but I didn’t exercise either to offset the day.

I’m pissed off and kind of depressed and mostly frustrated as to why I find myself, three days before what should be one of the happiest days in my life, in a total funk. I’m stressed out, I’m fighting with my husband, and I’m mad at myself for not being more committed to my weight loss.

Which is stupid.  Because over the last 20 weeks I have definitely become healthier.  I might have only lost 6 pounds, but I am immeasurably in better shape.  I can run 6 plus miles, I eat foods I never thought of eating before, I exercise most days and I (until the last week or so) feel mentally stronger and better.  Why am I not thinking of that type of progress instead of focusing on the numbers so much?

Surprisingly, despite my lousy choices this week, I still posted a loss.  Which helps.  It shouldn’t be about the number, but I am so thankful that I didn’t have a third week of gain.

So I need to get over my headspace this week.  I need to get back to a place of gratitude.  I need to know that everything will be OK, good, even wonderful.  They will, right?

Current Week:  -1.2 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  16.2 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date:  0
Age:  42
BMI:  28.5