Archive for September, 2009

ZooZilla 5k – One Week Away

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

zoozilla_logo_Big

After toying with the idea for months, I finally decided to quit monkeying around (groan, I know… couldn’t resist) and officially register for the ZooZilla 5k at the Pittsburgh Zoo. The race benefits the zoo’s animals and programs, and is in honor of the anniversary of the discovery of the rare mountain gorillas.

I’ve loved the idea of this event since I heard about it: The race is through the zoo, past all the animals! What better way to keep your mind off your running pains than by looking at the lions, tigers and bears?

The thing that makes me nervous and caused me to hesitate is that the Pittsburgh Zoo is incredibly hilly. It’s going to be a real challenge for me to run the entire thing without stopping to walk. Heck, the 5k I did a few weeks ago was completely flat and it was a real challenge for me to run all of that! Since my neighborhood is very hilly, I’m somewhat prepared, but not as much as I’d like.

I’m going to do my best, and just watch the giraffes.

Now We’re Cooking!

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

One of my goals in the Hot 100 is to eat out less and cook more. It’s only been a few days, but so far, so good! I haven’t had a single restaurant-prepared meal in three days, and normally I would have had at least 2 (it is the weekend…).

My husband seems to be on board, and even suggested making turkey lasagna for dinner tonight. This is particularly fabulous of him because he’s not a huge fan of red sauce dishes (crazy, right?) but knows how much I love lasagna. We had a good time preparing it, substituting some healthy alternatives where we could (like whole wheat pasta and part skim ricotta), and man was it delicious! I’ll be freezing individual portions for when I need a quick meal – probably when I’m eating alone, since my husband is likely lasagna-ed out for a while.

I’m actually enjoying cooking dinner, which is a huge surprise. Of course, it’s still an effort to get off my butt and do it. Hopefully that will get easier once this becomes more of a habit. Food seems much more satisfying after the effort put into cooking it.

Not that I’ve ever had a problem with being dissatisfied by food… ahem.

The Hot 100 – Going Out With a Bang!

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

I was all ready to post about how proud I was to have finally made use of the swimming pool at my gym on Monday (yay!) and then I saw an excellent motivational challenge on another blog – South Beach Steve’s “Log My Loss” – and got sidetracked by its brilliance.

Today – Wednesday, September 23 – marks the start of the final 100 days of 2009. In Steve’s words, let’s go out with a bang! He’s issued a challenge to get folks to set some goals for the next 100 days and then, of course, work toward meeting those goals. I think this is genius! (I’m only a little surprised I didn’t think of it myself…)

I’m definitely going to do this myself, and I hope you guys will join in the fun! Let’s end the year in a positive way, so we’ll be right on track when the new one comes along.

Oh, and the accountability thing really does help. I’ll once again ask you all to hold me accountable to these goals, and if you’d like me to do the same for you, post your goals in the comments section and I’ll get on it!

Kimberly’s Goals for The Hot 100

  • Keep running! That’s not concrete, I know, but here’s what is: Work my way up to running 5 miles without having to walk. Ideally, I’ll be able to do this by Thanksgiving, since I’ll be doing the Turkey Trot in Buffalo which is an 8k (5mi). Also, it seems that every year I essentially give up on my running goals when the weather turns colder, and then I have to start from Square One in the Spring. Not going to happen this year!
  • Lose some more weight. Like, 20 pounds more. That would put me at 155.5 on December 31, soooo close to my goal of 150. I’ll save those last few pounds for 2010 and feel awesome when I reach it by February!
  • Eat out less – cook more. Specifically, eat restaurant-cooked food no more than 3-4 times per week. This should be very doable, and will be exceedingly helpful toward my weight-loss goal, as well as make a marked difference in my wallet. Now to just get the husband on board…

This can be done. Nay, this SHALL be done!

Thanks again, Steve! Check out his kick-off video that started it all. And join in the fun!

Stay tuned for status updates :)

The Biggest Loser

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Yee haw! I’m totally back on track at 175.5. I was here about five weeks ago (175, actually), and then went out of town a few times and ate out a million times. I’ve been up. And now I’m down.

Only 3.5 more pounds and I will have lost 90 pounds. Even though it’s been a few years since I was at my heaviest, it’s still so surreal to think about that. Ninety pounds. In the words of my brother, that’s Biggest Loser territory!

Speaking of The Biggest Loser, did you guys watch the season premiere on Tuesday? When did this show get so good? I’m not ashamed to admit I was near tears more than once. Between the girl who weighs nearly 500 pounds after spending most of her life trying to save her heroin-addict mother, the woman who lost her family in a car accident a few years ago and is now living only for herself while trying to figure out what to do next, and the former athlete turned way-overweight coach, Mo (who is already my favorite!), I’m hooked. Last season it took a few episodes for me to really care about the people, and even then I only liked a few (Tara, anyone?). I’m going to enjoy season 8. If you missed the premiere, NBC will supposedly be making it available on their website, though it’s not up at the time of this post.

Six Things

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

I’ve been falling behind in my posting – life gets in the way, sometimes, you know? – so I’m going to update you on a bunch of things all at once. I’ll try to be better moving forward. I know how much you miss me when I’m gone :)

And now, in no particular order:

Softball: Tonight was the first game. We lost. I attribute this loss to the fact that I, as pitcher, walked a bunch of people in the second inning and they got a bunch of runs because of it. I improved once I figured out why what I thought were strikes were balls, but not in time. On the positive side, I did a great job fielding on the mound, struck one guy out three times (dude was swinging at everything!), got on base each time at bat, and scored two runs. That being said, I still feel like I lost the game for the team. Boo.

Weight: I believe I neglected to mention that the day after I weighed-in with a ten-pound gain, I was up only 6 pounds, and just 5 the day after that. Must’ve been mostly water weight! By the end of the week, I got it down to being up only one. I’m damn happy with that, too, all things considered.

Running: My official time for the 5k I did this past Saturday is 30:50. I’m not sure how it happened that the chip time was 5 seconds slower than my perceived gun time, but I’m sure it had something to do with exhaustion. I’m still happy with that, though! I think I’m going to do another 5k in October – there’s one at the Pittsburgh Zoo the first Saturday of that month. It scares me a bit because the zoo is all hills, but it should be neat to run past all the animals! Hopefully that will keep my mind off the hills.

Swimming: I have been seriously delinquent in my swimming efforts. As in, I haven’t. At all. I just bought a new bathing suit (end of season clearance!) – it’s pretty yet sporty… and reversible! Hopefully I will be inspired to use it and will actually take advantage of the pool at my gym. Someone ask me about this in a few days, ok? I need someone to keep me accountable or I’ll never be prepared for that triathlon.

Kung Fu: Three months until my possible test for Black Level 2. So far, so good with the “shaping up.” I’ve been feeling good in class and even got an extra practice in on Sunday with the other guy set to test with me.

Exhaustion: I have been so tired all week. We got a new kitten (Sprite) who is adorable, and he’s finally getting along with our other cat (Pixel), but he wakes me in the middle of the night. Every night. It’s hard to feel motivated to work out when you’re exhausted, so I haven’t been doing a lot of that this week, except for my regular activities like kung fu and, now, softball. At least I’ve been eating well!

That should do it!

Tooting My Own Horn

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

The race this morning was awesome. I was awesome.

I ran the whole thing, and that’s what I was going for: No walking. All running. Awesome.

This particular 5k was set up like this: The first mile was downhill, on the road. After that, it was all flat on a crushed limestone trail, the second mile out, the third mile (plus .1!) back on the trail.

The first mile went by really fast, obviously, because it was all down hill. The rest was significantly more difficult, and my pace varied quite a bit, most often at my normal pace (which is slow) and occasionally a bit faster than that.

Since it was an “out & back” course as opposed to a circular route, shortly into the second mile people started coming back at me – already on the third mile! Something about that gave me a little added drive… I’m big on comparing myself to others, remember? At least this time I used it for good!

There was one point in the third mile when I almost started walking. I wasn’t that tired, but it felt like a reflex. But I stayed aware of what I was doing and what my goal was, and I kept going.

Gun time – 30:45. THIRTY MINUTES! (and forty-five seconds…)

I’ll update later with the chip time, which I suspect will be right around 30. It would be really great if I made it in under 30 minutes, but this was a small race, so I’m not sure that it took that long to get to the starting line after the gun. We’ll see.

Regardless, I’m thrilled with my performance. For the last 5k I did – the Race for the Cure in May – my official time was 34:51, so no matter what, I’ve made my personal best today.

I also feel much better afterward than ever before (which is good since I have 3 hours of Kung Fu coming up soon at noon). I recovered faster than usual and I don’t feel totally drained.

Incidentally, J-Roc did a great job today as well – his first race! As I suspected, he was faster than me, by about two minutes. Maybe J-Roc is an A-Hole…

I kid, J-Roc. I kid.

Seriously though, if he can do that well after just 5 or 6 times running, I truly believe anyone can succeed in this sport if they apply themselves. It’s one of the best exercises around for calorie burning, and helps to build bone and prevent osteoporosis (very important, ladies). Plus, there’s very little equipment necessary (just a good pair of running shoes) and you can run anywhere! If you haven’t given it a try yourself, maybe you should. You can join the ranks of the folks that I’ve inspired who’ve since passed me up :)

Believe it or not, it’s fun, too!

The Race is On

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Tomorrow is the 5k!

I feel ready for it, too. More ready than I’ve ever felt for a road race. Every other time I’ve done one, something has happened beforehand – injury, moving, lack of training – that left me feeling ill-prepared. This time, though, I feel good!

I did pretty well following the 2-week training schedule I talked about earlier. I missed two days when I was on vacation, but I made one of them up when I came back, so it’s pretty close.

And yesterday I had a breakthrough: For the first time ever, I ran 3.1 miles, outside, without walking. For me, this is huge. HUGE!

I truly believe most of my problems with running are mental. I get to a certain point and think, “Wow. I’ve been running for a long time. It seems like I should start walking about now,” and then I walk. That’s not the case all the time, of course, but it happens a lot.

Now, though, I’ve done it! I now know that I can do it… because I did! And I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be able to do it again tomorrow… and then over and over again! [I’m feeling a renewed sense of confidence, can you tell?]

Tomorrow is actually going to be a very long day: It starts out very early with the 5k, and shortly after that is a 3-hour long Kung Fu Marathon, a charity event that benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Doing either of these things on their own usually wears me out, and tomorrow I’ll be doing both!

Don’t worry, though: I’m all over this.

Stay tuned for a recap!

Ten Pounds?!

Monday, September 7th, 2009

My husband and I went on a spur-of-the-moment trip to New Orleans this weekend. I know, I know – I was just there about a month ago. That was without my husband, though, and we’d been talking about a weekend trip there for quite some time. Spontaneity won out over careful planning, and on Tuesday we booked a trip that began on Friday.

And it was great! We listened to a lot of fabulous live music and ate a lot of great food. It was nice to  have a relaxing, no-worries trip.

But now I’m back. And I’m worried.

I got on the scale this morning to see what kind of damage I did over the long weekend, expecting to see a slight gain.

I was up ten pounds though. Ten pounds! TEN!

I was NOT ready for that.

It’s my own damn fault. I definitely threw everything out the window while we were away. I don’t know what happened to me! I went into complete vacation mode and ignored the little voice inside of me telling me not to eat certain things – or that I’d had enough of them. I ate and ate and ate. And I drank far more than usual, too.

I didn’t work out much, either. There was a lot of walking, but it was a slow, ambling pace more conducive to people-watching and checking out the shops than burning calories. On Sunday, I attempted to take advantage of the hotel fitness room, but after five minutes on the rowing machine, five minutes on the stair climber and a few (annoying) minutes on the treadmill (whose incline wouldn’t go increase past 0.0), I ended my workout and went back to the room.

I really enjoyed my vacation. But now I’m feeling incredibly remorseful about it. Ten pounds?! I didn’t even think it was possible to gain that much weight in three days!

*sigh*

Ok. I’ve ranted. It’s over. There’s nothing I can do to change what’s already happened. I’ll learn from it, do better next time, and re-lose those 10 pounds as quickly as possible.

Think I can lose 10 pounds in three days, too?

Just kidding. But man have I got a lot of work to do…

Lethal Weapon

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

I got some great news last night! But first, some background info:

As you probably know by now, I study Kung Fu. I’ve been doing it now for more than 4 years, and I love it. It was the first physical activity that I really stuck with, because it’s different in a lot of ways. The biggest differences, in my opinion:

    • It’s social. Since it’s a class, you end up seeing the same people on a very regular basis and you can’t help but become friends with them. It’s particularly fabulous to meet people in this way because you make friends with folks from all walks of life, and yet, you have this thing that you all do in common. Something to build on as you learn what else you have in common!
      • You’re given instruction, and never have to come up with your own workout – just follow along! I still have problems staying motivated at the gym – even when I’m already there.
        • There’s a wide variety of activities: Sometimes it’s kickboxing/sparring. Sometimes it’s weapons. Sometimes it’s routines or self defense. It changes week to week so it doesn’t get boring.
          • And – the thing that this post is about – Since you’re learning things, as you progress, you learn new, different, and more challenging things. Nothing keeps you going back to a class like wanting to learn the next move!

            In December of 2007, I tested for my Black Belt – and passed. If you’ve ever been in martial arts, you know that after you get your Black Belt, you’re essentially a White Belt again, starting from a brand new beginning. You can equate it to getting your Bachelor’s Degree: If you go back as an undergrad, it’s like you’re a Freshman again.

            I happily became a Freshman again. I spent the next 18 months learning brand new techniques, routines and weapons. Some things I picked up quickly, and some were really very challenging – I think I liked those even more!

            From Black Level 1 to Black Level 2 technically takes a minimum of 24 months at my school. However, for the last few tests (they only do testing twice a year, in June and December) there have been people who were asked to test after just 18 months.

            I wanted to be one of those people.

            This past June was my 18-month mark. I had learned everything required at Black Level 1, and I felt like I had everything down quite well! Certainly as well as previous testers, at least.

            And then I was told that our Master wanted everyone to wait at least 2 years. Of course, they decided to stick to the rules when it was my turn… Scratch that – I’m over it…

            The reason I’m telling you all of this, is that our Master informed me yesterday that I am on the list to test in December! I’m thrilled :)

            He then followed it up by saying that I have the next 3 months to refine everything and “shape up” or I won’t be testing.

            So the next few months should be fun! It sounds like he’s raising the standards for testing, which is alright by me. In fact, there was a time when I thought the standards for testing were far too low – that as long as you were there for a certain amount of time and kinda got it, you would be given a pass. I’m big on principles, so you can imagine I wasn’t thrilled about that, but I digress…

            I’m really looking forward to getting my next belt and being a Freshman again. I’m ready to learn some new routines and weapons!

            Now I just have to not screw this up…