My First 7K

Since I haven’t really lost any new weight for a couple of weeks (gain from Florida and then lost that again) , I started this week determined to kick ass. Well, Monday started off on the right foot, and then …

Tuesday was parent-teacher conferences. The PTO provided lunch and treats. I ate too much lunch and too many treats.

Wednesday, there were leftovers from Tuesday. Lather, rinse, repeat Tuesday’s mis-steps.

Thursday was Pi Day. Between my two math classes, my students brought in three pies, three cookie cakes, six pizzas, and some candy. Guess what? I ate some a lot.

Friday, there were “Payday Treats” (aka junk food in the lounge). I told myself I was going to avoid the lounge, but well, you know the end of that story. Plus, there was pie leftover from the day before.

Am I making excuses? Heck no. I made a conscious decision to partake in all of that gluttonous eating. No one forced it upon me.

This was a week, however, that I wish my willpower was stronger. I wish I was better at “just saying no.” And I wish that food wasn’t constantly on my mind.

Still, I tracked all of the food. I owned it, and it is what it is. Although I felt nauseatingly full at times and a little bit sick all week long from all of the food that my body is no longer used to, I never felt completely out of control. I crossed the line from being totally in control to eating mindlessly for no reason, but I don’t think that I ever entered binge territory. And for me, that is huge.

Still, regardless of how many not-so-healthy choices I made in the world of eating this week, I can no longer deny the amazing gains that I have made in the world of fitness. I can see muscles in my arms when I flex. I can do 10 pushups on my toes. I can teach a full, high-impact Jazzercise class without feeling exhausted or losing my breath. (And follow that up by teaching a Body Sculpting class.) And I can run a 10-minute mile without stopping. Or so I thought.

It turns out I can run 4.3 9.5-minute miles without stopping. Outside. In 28 degree weather. BOOYAH. (Sorry, I don’t know where that came from.)

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Today, I participated in the Lucky Leprechaun 7K in Milwaukee, WI. My goal was to finish in less than an hour. I have only been “training” (I use that term loosely) on the treadmill at the gym. I never ran more than one mile consecutively, because I get soooo bored, and I always stuck to running in my comfort zone at 6.0mph, a 10-minute mile.

I never ran outside once. For one, I think thought it is too darn cold in Wisconsin to run outside. And two, I never know how far or how fast I am running outside, and that really brings out the OCD crazy in me.

But today, I proved to myself how strong and fit I really am. It also served as a friendly reminder that I could probably definitely be pushing myself a little harder when it comes to my fitness goals.

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My goal was to finish the race in less than an hour. I acknowledged that I would take walking breaks as needed (I anticipated once per mile) and listen to my body. The first thing my body told me is that is was freaking cold. I was layered in running tights, Brad’s Under Armour Cold Gear, a long-sleeve cold gear shirt of my own, a green dry-fit shirt, and my Lululemon jacket. Almost all of these were items that I have never run in before, so I knew that I was breaking the cardinal rule of not wearing new or different gear for a race.

I met up with a couple of friends at the starting line and we agreed to run at our own paces and meet up at the end. All of a sudden, it was time to go. I popped in my earbuds and started to run. I really couldn’t feel my legs or body for the first mile or so. Maybe this helped? When I passed the first mile marker, I told myself that I was 1/4 of the way and decided that I didn’t need a walking break. Soon enough, I was passing the Mile 2 sign. I twisted my arm to check the time on my iPod and saw that it was about 9:22. That’s 22 minutes if we started on time, I thought to myself. I wasn’t feeling exhausted yet, so I encouraged myself to keep running. Why take a break if you don’t need it? I grabbed a sip of water and trudged on.

There were some small inclines that were tough. I think running at 1.0 instead of 0.0 on the treadmill lately helped to prepare me a little bit. All of sudden, I passed the third mile marker. 3 miles without stopping! If you’ve already gone this far without taking a walking break, I think you can push through ’til the end. How great would it feel to finish 4.3 miles without stopping? The third mile felt like it went SO quickly. I saw the Mile 4 sign and immediately starting running faster. 0.3 miles until the end! That one-third of a mile felt longer than any of the previous full miles. I actually feel like the signage might have been off, but what do I know? Seeing all of the spectators cheering really helped to motivate me to the end.

As soon as the finish line was in sight, I picked up my pace again. It was so awesome to watch myself crossing the finish line on the big screen. I was so busy checking it out that I almost missed the clock. When I saw 42:08, I was elated! It was definitely one of my proudest fitness moments ever. After feeling so crappy all week about my eating, I reminded myself of all that I have accomplished and all of the amazing things that my body is capable of. I definitely don’t think I could have run that fast 23 pounds ago.

When I got home, I checked the results online. My official time? 41:37. I took 978th place out of over 3200 runners. And 48/161 in the female 20-24 age division. And my pace? 9:35 minutes per mile.

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Today, I am going to bask in the glory. I am so proud of myself, and not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. (Or on my Facebook page. Whichever is easier.)

What is your proudest fitness moment?

P.S. If you made it to the end of the post, congratulations. It got a little long. But it was such a proud moment for me, I had to let the word vomit pour out. 🙂

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