Monthly Archives: August 2012

Frontrunning

Morning Everyone!

The first week of walk-in student appointments has ended and it was a bit hectic, but so much fun! Sorry I haven’t posted in the meantime, but things have really been THAT busy!

 

Frontrunners

Last Thursday, I decided to take a trip to Tempe Town Lake for the second time to see if I could find the AZ Frontrunners. The Frontrunners are a LGBT running/walking group and they have a chapter here in AZ that runs around the Phoenix area. Having tried to find them last time, I decided to introduce myself to them on Facebook prior so that my chances of finding them would be better due to facial recognition. As I pulled into the parking lot, I found them! There were certainly more than I expected and they were all quite a bit older than me. Part of me was scared that I wouldn’t be able to relate to them, but I swallowed my doubt, got out of my car, and walked up to them.

They did a brief circle up and introduced everyone before the run. Prior to the event, I had assumed the run was just going to be around the lake. How WRONG I was! As we started running, we ran a familiar path. It was the same that I had taken before in previous trips to the lake. However, that soon changed when we started going on the road and cutting across streets to reach new paths. By this time, I was already bringing up the tail end of the group. I had no idea how fast these guys could run! Feeling embarrassed, I brought myself to the first group checkpoint on top of this mini, but rocky hill. I slowed my jog to a walk to climb the hill to help prevent injury when climbing rocky surfaces.  It turns out I wasn’t the last one there!

At the checkpoint, all of the guys were really nice and checked in to make sure I was doing okay. Perhaps my already drenched shirt was a clue, but this was exhausting. It was still over 100 degrees and the sun was still out. As they were talking, they mentioned the rest of the course to me. They were going to go to the next street over to cross the lake (Rural Rd.) and then up to University Dr. Once there, they said that they were going to go to the top of “A Mountain” at ASU. That’s when I gave them all this really funny look. A Mountain was one of the big first adventure-y things that I have ever done since moving and now it is just simply “part of a run.”

As they started running again, I noticed that I was keeping pace with this guy in a yellow bandana. When he stopped to walk for a few seconds, I walked with him to keep the pace. To be honest, I needed him. Without him, I would be a bit lost about where to go. So, I kept following him until we got to the mountain. While I ran up it a good portion of the way, the little wooden stairs and heavy incline path were a bit much for me after running 4 miles already, so I walked up them. Making it to the top, the group was still there and hanging out. To me surprise, they didn’t really mind waiting. I got a chance to talk to this one runner who is their “all star” of sorts. He runs marathons and is truly an inspiration to me. They were all so friendly and encouraging.

We started back down the hill and I eventually found my yellow bandana guy again and keep pace with him till the end. Here is the resulting path.

 

I had a decent time with them so I decided to give it another go on Saturday. This run was in North Phoenix and was only 5 miles. Unlike the last run, this one was a straight shot north and then south. It was in the early morning, but it was still plenty hot and humid for this time of year. The group was much larger this time around and was about 20-25 people. I did attempt to pace myself this time as there was no need to know when to turn or where to go. However, on the way south, I saw a group of two just walking along. I decided to walk with them and attempt to be social as I hadn’t taken the chance to get to know them yet. They actually remembered my name from the first night. They are such interesting people! One of them is even involved in the LGBT swimming group in the area. It might be worth checking out! I wonder if they count dog paddling as swimming…hmmm.

Dating

Actually had this really great date last night. Went to see Ted (my second time, his first) and the movie holds up to multiple viewings. He was absolutely adorable and the conversation flowed nicely. We went out to eat and then to walk around the marketplace. There were these two singing women with guitars and we just sat and listened to them for a good amount of time while we chatted away. He’s a nurse and also plays World of Warcraft. He even started a character on my account and we played a bit after the date. Could there be something here?

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My Peace

Gotta love the stressful days!

Today was the first day of walk-in appointments at work, and boy were we busy! The days go by so fast, but it’s hard to keep a steady thought pattern at times. A lot of work, but oh so much fun!!

I found out that there are more bumps in the road for the house. They now anticipate being able to close on the 31st of October. It just doesn’t make sense. Why are they continually pushing back the date. On top of that, the loan has been in limbo for over a month with no update. Needless to say, an “assertive” email was sent and some answers were finally given today. I still sometimes wonder if this is all worth it to just have a place to call my own..  Life goes on!

Yesterday was a 4.5 mile run. I’ve officially taken it to the streets! One thing I never thought I would say is that I actually am beginning to love the grid system in Phoenix. It makes running so much easier because you mentally know how much further you have to go since everything is in these little squares. On a bit of a sour note, I did have a graceful launch to the run. As I crossed a stoplight, I tripped over this groove in the sidewalk and fell right over! Ouch! Thankfully, I was able to execute a nice roll and propelled myself back to my feet to make a smooth transition back to running. It was almost like I “meant” to do that. Well, I did! Didn’t I? 🙂

Tonight was going to see another run, but I’ve decided to take the night off to give my muscles a chance to rest and rebuild. To stay active, I visited the pool for about an hour to just relax and enjoy the night. There is something so very special to me about the water. Something so powerful, yet so serene. Just floating underneath the water brings this absolute calm to my being. Being submersed and having the world slowly fall away so that all you can hear is the silence that surrounds you.

Takes my stress right away!

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Defeated? ….nah

Hey everyone! It’s been a bit. 🙂

The trail end of last week was a bit of a blur at work when trying to wrap up the camp related details. Even through the exhaustion, I kept going on my runs. I found a marathon training guide online which outlines the weekly running goals. The goal for the first week was a five mile run on a Saturday. I felt up to that challenge!

So, I used Google maps to plot out a roughly five mile course and decided to go for it on Saturday morning. Friday night, I started developing intense pains in my stomach/intestine area. I’m not sure if it was food poisoning or not, but the only other thing that was new in the diet was some trail mix at the office. I wonder if that’s what started this whole thing. I barely slept that night because of the pain and it continued on until the next day. Totally did a number of my digestive system. Even feeling like that, I decided to give the run a go. I checked the weather the day before, and it was only supposed to get to 100 here in Phoenix, so I figured a mid-day run would be great. It was kind of odd running the grid system in the city. I drive it just about every day, but it gave me a good sense of how large everything really is.

Long story short, I didn’t make it. But, I made it pretty far before I had to stop and walk (4.5 miles).  The sun took it right out of me and I was running on fumes. Apparently I had miscalculated the distance and had an extra mile of walking just to get home. That was the longest walk of my life and I was absolutely drenched with sweat. This learned me two lessons: One: Don’t run when you’re potentially sick. Two: Running in mid-day in the Valley of the Sun during summer sucks!

I felt defeated a bit. Why couldn’t I hold out for five miles? I’m assuming some of it was the sun, heat, and illness. However, I still think that there is more here. My low calorie diet doesn’t give me much energy for running. I feel like I need to make a choice.  Keep going on the weight loss diet or start eating more to give myself energy for longer runs. I don’t know what to do. Maybe keep losing till I reach my goal weight and then start eating for performance?

Oh yeah, I forgot the weigh-in for the 15th. 211 lbs. I’m making progress! Though part of me wonders if the loss is due to the illness. Who knows?

In other life events…

The house roughly looks the same as last week. I went with two of my buds in the area and they gave me some great pointers on what to expect as the house nears completion. Apparently drywalling and even the roof is about to go up. We even can spot the shower and tubs already in place. Kinda neat!

I decided to cut The Running Partner out of my life. Good guy, but I need and deserve someone who is able to effectively communicate with me. Sucks that I had to do it by text message, but I felt as if it was the only way he might be able to chat, if at all. I know the guy for me is out there somewhere and I’ll find him when the time is right. In the meantime, I’m taking boyfriend applications! 🙂

I’m going to be visiting home from Sept. 2-8th. I can’t wait to see my family! Here’s hoping my dog still likes to cuddle up at night. 🙂

I’m going to be visiting Nashville in early October for an Academic Advising national conference. Let’s see how the diet holds up while I’m there. It’s always been a struggle to keep a diet when traveling, but I think I’m slowly learning.

 

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Making It Work

Sorry for not posting in the past few days! I haven’t forgotten about y’all, I promise.

I’ve actually been up in the woods of Northern Arizona with quite a few incoming freshmen. The idea was simple. I wanted to take new students and bond them together so that they had an additional source of support before they even started school. The idea was an overwhelming success. The other staff members and mentors made my life so much easier. Smiles and laughter were all around throughout the past three days. In looking back at the process, I rediscovered a part of myself. I loved being outdoors. I love working with students. Part of me wants to this more often. As I continue with weight loss, I have even started to consider applying for weight loss camps to provide support kids going through struggles with their weight.  The dates seem to be over a month in the summer and I don’t think that I could take the entire month off of work to do this. Who knows what the future will hold?

Now for the bad part. The diet was non existent at camp. I immersed myself in camp food and good times with the campers. However, I was walking at all hours of the day and even took 9 students on a run on one of the mornings. The scale is not going to love me in the morning, but I still love myself…completely.

Now for the good part: I got my results back from the last 5k.

469  1062 Joseph Davis                     28 303/411   26/34   M   29:57  9:39   32:55 Tempe AZ

I’ve broken the 30 minute barrier. This is about 2 minute faster than my first run. I love the improvement. A few sites out there have plans for prepping for marathons. Now that I’m back home, it’s time to start! Wish me luck!

I’ve started watching The Biggest Loser on Netflix. I’m starting on season one. Being me, I already spoiled the ending for myself, but I still want to see the journey along the way. I find myself inspired by their determination to continue working out and even resisting temptation. They are all so strong and have come so far. Here’s hoping my journey is as productive! The one thing that is most important is that they have to do it for themselves. It is such a hard thing to put yourself first. To hold yourself to a higher standard is a difficult and sometimes disappointing endeavor.

I want to hold myself to a higher standard.

 

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It’s Alive (my home)!


The latter half of the week has been pretty decent as far as my diet was concerned. The only small cheat was on Friday when one of my colleagues brought in some donuts and I had 1/2 of a donut. Not the end of the world, but they were from my favorite place and it was delicious. As there is a 5K tomorrow, I did not want to over exert myself with running in the past two days. However, I did make daily visits to the pool to still get in some light exercise.

This morning was a bit of an odd event. My friends tweeted me about going for a hike on “A Mountain” with Chris Powell. Chris is from the Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. When my roomie and I were working out last week, we randomly started watching the show. Since I saw him on TV, I figured it couldn’t hurt to go check him out with some friends while getting some exercise as well.

Even though he was plugging his products a bit more than I was hoping for…he did still have a great message. Transforming yourself is not just about diet and exercise. It is about integrity and keeping promises to yourself. For some reason, this really resonated with me. You can’t do this for family or loved ones. You have to be selfish in your pursuit. Give yourself a chance to be loved by loving yourself first.

Seeing all sorts of people beginning their own journeys on this day really struck home for me. These people wanted to change their lives. Part of me wondered if they would be able to do it…this time or at all. The mountain we were hiking on had two sides (beginning and advanced). I saw so many people trying for the advanced side who would get winded on a flight of stairs. I know because this used to be me. Why do people push themselves beyond their limits when starting such a journey? These things have to be worked towards. If you want to run a marathon, you build up to it over time.  Sadly, I saw so many out of shape people throwing up from just walking up the trail. Start slow people and have a good time with what you do. Throwing up on a mountain is likely not going to make you want to go back! Thankfully, everyone was okay.

I was going to wait around for a personal picture with Chris, but the line was a bit long and it was very hot. So, I got in my car and went to check out my house. This is what I found:

The entire frame is almost done! I’m so happy with this house at the moment. I can’t wait to see it again next weekend. Earlier, I could only visualize where rooms would be. Now, I can actually see the space and I know that I will be living here in only a few short months.

Tonight is supposed to be a meteor shower of sorts. I originally wanted The Running Partner to join me to watch a few at night, but I’m not feeling up for it. With the race tomorrow, I know that watching it with him would lead into a late night when I need a good night’s rest for the run in the morning. He is supposed to join me for the run tomorrow, but I doubt he will get up in time or be on time. He hasn’t really been on time for anything since we’ve met. Part of me wants to run this solo to see if I can beat my own time. Part of me just doesn’t want to deal with guys right now.

I have a bit of a camping trip for work this coming Monday through Wednesday. I may have internet access to do a post or two, but I’m unsure if I’ll be able to blog.

Things I’m PROMISING myself for camp:

1) Get some meal replacement bars and use those instead of the camp food.

2) Go for a run in the morning of day 2. Invite campers to join you.

3) Remember to have the time of your life!

 

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Plateau in the Valley of the Sun

Plateaus are hideous, hideous things.

For those just starting weight loss journeys, this is that horrible time where the scale just doesn’t seem to budge. For the past few weeks/month, I seem to be stuck between 215-218 range for weight. My hope was that the new found love of running would get me past the plateau and start the final trek towards being sub 200. So, here’s a brief list of things to do when you hit a plateau.

1) Give yourself positive affirmations. You are working hard and it will eventually show!

2) Mix things up a bit. If you mainly do running, add some pool time to the mix. Give rock climbing a try. Whatever you do, just stay active.

3) Step away from the scale for a few days. Weighing yourself everyday can have its benefits, but it can eat your motivation if you aren’t seeing the changes you had hoped for.

4) Look at your journey so far. In the end, you will be your biggest source of motivation.

5) Be completely honest with yourself.

That last one is the kicker! In looking back at the past month, I have not been honest with myself. While I have done wonderful with the running and the gym, my diet could stand to be improved. Just two nights ago, I split a pizza, breadsticks, and cinnamon sticks with The Running Partner. The night before that we made orange frosted cinnamon rolls. That same day we had a huge lunch at work during orientation and I certainly helped myself. Am I really surprised that I haven’t been dropping the pounds? No.

I need to do a better job of controlling my eating or eating healthier foods. Each day on this blog, amongst the other entries,  I will document my food for the day. I will keep track of things. I will stay active. I will eat healthier, and I will do better.

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Going, Going….

According to the GPS, I did 5 miles tonight. I don’t know if the GPS is accurate (I’m assuming not so much), but I had a great time!

Tonight was the first time that I broke away from the laps of my apartment complex. I had no idea that the houses in the surrounding neighborhood were so nice! I think I’ll have to run around the neighborhood a bit more in the future. If I can keep my mind off of my time and enjoying the scenery, I think I can run for quite a bit longer. I also noticed that I kept my energy quite a bit longer once the sun had gone down. It was still over 100 degrees outside, but it was so much fun! To help, I also stopped by the running store to pick up a handheld water bottle. It really helped!

 

I’ve been looking at this P.F. Chang’s Rock N Roll Marathon and 1/2 Marathon in January. Up until now, I was planning on doing the half marathon. With this much time remaining, I’ve been thinking of pushing myself and going for the full marathon. It’ll be a great undertaking, but I think it’d be awesome if I can pull it off. Has anyone out there done marathons before and can provide some feedback?

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Going the distance

After a cheat meal last night (I don’t feel too bad), I’m going to increase my longest distance run to be 5 miles. Wish me luck! The run will be at 7pm.

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Endurance Vs Speed?

Tonight saw a “4” mile run. I say “4” because I think the GPS in my phone is a bit jacked at the moment. I think it has me going at a faster pace than I know I am running. My intent was to take a leisurely jog around my apartment complex, but apparently my 4 mile time is now better than my 5k time. I know I’m getting better, but I don’t think I’m there yet. With that in mind, I began to think about the question of speed versus endurance.

If I really push myself, I know I can increase my time in the mile, but once that mile is over, I am spent and exhausted. However, if I keep a nice steady pace, my endurance can go on for quite some time. I don’t really know which I should focus on developing. Should I continue to go further at the same pace or should I work at getting faster in the same distance?  Help me out!

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Resting

I took things easy yesterday and only ran a mile. My past was 8 minutes and improvement is good. The weather outside is not cooperating much this week. The days are well above 108 and it barely cools down until the wee hours of the morning (lucky if it dips below 90).

This weekend will see another 5k. I hope to bring my time to 30 minutes or less. The Running Partner may be joining me so I probably will not get a chance to push myself to make the time. We’ll see what happens….

I stayed somewhat strong with the diet yesterday (although I did cheat a little bit).

Breakfast: Bran Muffin

Lunch: Shake

Dinner: Lean Cuisine

Snacks: Two bags of Quakes rice cakes (310 cals a bag), and one more muffin (200).

I did manage to avoid all forms of soda yesterday, so that was good. Just need to work on my portion control a bit.

Tonight’s run will be 3.11 miles and will finish with a dip in the pool. Goal Set.

Weight


I’ve decided to take the advice of others and do two weigh in’s a month (1st and 15th). Next weigh in is right around the corner!

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