Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Joy of Racing

One of the gifts I am giving back to myself via Raw Food Boot Camp is the ability to participate in foot races. Back in 2006, when I was previously raw, I loved running in races, everything from 5K to an Ultra Marathon (50K or 31 miles), but half marathons (13.1 miles) was my favorite. I would run my half marathons at a sustainable pace, which means that I was going slow enough to talk and make friends with the other people pacing with me. It was a lot of fun, and I've missed that.

Yesterday morning I "ran" my first race in over 6 years. It was only 5K (3.1 miles), and it was a newer, local race, which means it was small, about 75 participants, and no stress getting to it, because it was only about five minutes from my house.

It's always rewarding for me when my kids join me. Previously my oldest daughter would run with me, but now that she's living in a different state, she can't join me. Thankfully my middle daughter came with me on this one. She finished way ahead of me, but she was waiting for me near the finish line, and came and ran the last 10th of a mile with me, cheering me on and encouraging me.

She was a trooper though, because it was pretty cold for April, we even had a little mini-blizzard as we were starting the race. The wind was whipping the snow into our faces so hard it hurt. Fortunately the snow ended a few minutes in, and after the first mile the path took us through some trees which helped cut down the wind.

I've got one rule of racing, and that's to never come in last. I had to push myself a little, mix in a little jogging with my walking, which left me a little sore today, but that's ok, because I managed to beat 5 people! Let's not talke about the 69 or so that finished ahead of me, though.

My daughter is hooked on it now too, this was her first non-school race, and she can't wait to do it again, so we're thinking about another one in about 2 weeks. My finish time was about 46.5 minutes.  I race against myself, I know I'll have lost at least another 7 or 8 pounds in that time, so I'm sure I'll be able to easily beat my time.

Before the race, inside where it was warm.
And after, it was cold, but we were still smiling!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Getting started with this blog

Hi Folks,

I set up this blog in 2010, but never posted anything in here, because I wasn't taking the necessary steps to prepare myself for the marathon. You may think that four years is a little extreme for marathon preparation, but from where I was starting, I needed the time.

Here's a little history... my oldest daughter (currently 22) has run several Chicago Marathon's already, and has settled in to an every-other-year routine. As I struggled to ride my bike with her on a training run, she asked me to run a marathon with her. Sure, I was over 250 pounds at the time, but this wasn't a totally unrealistic request, as I had run a couple of marathons in the past, and even one ultra-marathon. I had inspired her to live a healthy life, eat right and exercise, but then I gave up. And now it's her turn to inspire me. So I told her that I would run a marathon with her in 2014, which happens to be just a couple weeks after my 50th birthday. I figured that would be a good goal.

As life would have it though, I didn't immediately start taking the steps I should have been taking. Instead of eating right and training, I went the other extreme. I gained weight, with an all time high of 275 pounds, and didn't move a muscle, if I could help it.

Then, this past January (2013) I found the Raw Food Boot Camp. As extreme as it sounded, I knew that this was my only hope to lose weight and be able to run in October of 2014. I've had tremendous success so far, as this way of eating has helped me drop 54 pounds so far in the 11 weeks that I've been doing this, and I've felt strong and healthy, and have gone from completely sedentary, to walking for two hours a day, on a treadmill, with the incline set to 7. I do break the workouts up into two one hour sessions, but still, I'm very proud of my success so far.

I'm planning on doing some "races" this summer, just short distances, and probably more of a jog/walk kind of pace, but I'm going to build a base for myself. After I get to my goal weight, which will hopefully be around August, I'll start increasing my actual running. I don't want to do that too soon, because I've got hip problems, and I want to make sure I've taken unnecessary stress from extra weight out of the equation before I do serious runs.  But I think with that kind of plan I should be ready for 2014!

Here's a picture at the 2010 Chicago Marathon after my daughter had run it. In 2014 we'll both be wearing that medal!