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10K and BEYOND! February 28, 2010


Lake Merritt stroll

Originally uploaded by TomLog

Yesterday was a big day! I decided to check out my entire marathon relay leg. I wanted to feel it from beginning to end. I had no expectations I would run the whole thing, in fact I was hoping for 60-40% at best. Normally I have to start at the beginning, then run for a period and then turn around to get to my car. But yesterday was a Saturday, and Mr. McBody was available to pick me up at the “finish line” so I could go all in one direction. I was psyched!

I was all in a quandary about how to pace myself for this run. I thought about possibly using one of the couch-to-K programs on my phone, so I could interval. But then I decided (big brave move!) to just interval intuitively; ie to run as long as I felt like it, then walk as long as I wanted to, etc. and just SEE what happened.

Previously, the longest I had run was 5 min run/2 min walk and that felt strenuous enough last week. But I wanted to see what I would do without that dinging in my ear.

So I took off. I walked fast for 2-3 minutes and then started running. I was about half a mile down the road, and jogging in place at a stop light, when this guy comes out of NOWHERE and leaps out at me. I was so freaked! And scared!

Guess what he was holding in his hand? My car keys. My only set of car keys in the world. They had flown out of my pocket while I was running, and I hadn’t heard (due to music in my ears) or felt a thing. He had seen this happen, had stopped his car in the middle of the road, and charged over to me before the light turned! After being totally scared of my wits, I was quickly thrilled by the kindness of humans.

I kept running. I ran for about 12 minutes, or the first mile, according to my Runkeeper app. That was pretty shocking and exciting for me – and more than double what I’d run consecutively, since last summer. So that was great. I only needed to walk for a minute before starting up again. So I decided that I’d try to run to each mile and then walk if I needed to. Which could also come in handy during the event itself since I am assuming there will be mile markers posted.

I got to the point where I normally turn around. I continued on to the lake and that was very exciting, because I’d never made it that far before. I’ve done so many runs on that lake and I love it – it makes me so happy to be out there in the community, and to see other people walking and running, from really old people to elite athletes. So I’m super psyched that my relay leg includes the lake.

I was running with a sheet of paper in my hand, with the road directions for the marathon. (but no map) I looked down at real quickly and saw “right on Grand Avenue.” So I turned right and started circling the lake counter-clockwise. So far so good. I was at about 3.5 miles then (5k!) and feeling okay.

When I was about halfway around the lake, I thought I’d take a peek at my directions. They didn’t make any sense to me. 14th St.? 19th St.? Lakeside? Suddenly I felt completely turned around and disoriented. And I realized I had run way past my last intersection.

Suddenly I was exhausted. What if I had run way beyond and I had just added like a mile to my 10K? I couldn’t bear the idea. I turned around and headed back to 14th St. I was so confused. I searched for my location on my phone’s GPS, and kept staring at the paper, and nothing made any sense to me. Finally I stood at the corner of 14th and Lakeside and burst into tears. “I don’t know where to go!!!!!!!!!!!!” The idea of going further away from the real path just seemed unacceptable. I knew I was close to the end but didn’t know which way to go. I was losing it BIG time.

Finally I backed up and studied it all again. I realized I had made a mistake when I got to the lake. The FIRST direction said “Turn left on Grand,” but I’d skipped down on the paper and read the wrong one. I had gone counterclockwise when I should have gone clockwise.
But there was NO WAY I was going to do it all over again so I got a grip and kept running. I found my way to 14th, then Lakeside, 19th, etc., until I was in the home stretch. Then I got a text-message ding from one of my relay partners from Team Penguin. She was just a few blocks away! At every intersection I jogged in place and texted, “I’m at Harrison now! Broadway! Telegraph!” until finally I was running the last 3 blocks to the finish. I was so elated. I imagined the finish line and the thousands of people and I was beside myself.

I know now that I can do this. When I got home I mapped my route, lost turns and all, and found that I’d run 6.69 miles. Which was MORE than a 10k! (a 10.6k, in fact) This idea in itself has been overwhelming to me. I ran almost 7 miles, with only a couple of walk breaks and a few stops for traffic lights. I can’t believe it.

It also woke me up to the sobering realization that the relay itself is going to be 12K! Yowzers. But I can do it. Yes I can.

 

Back to WW School February 25, 2010

Last week I attended a one-day training for Weight Watchers, a followup to my initial training last fall. It was awesome.

When I first took this job, I told myself (and others) that if at any time I felt like this company was not good, or I was not benefiting from it, that I would quit. The pay certainly isn’t worth it. But I have found that the deeper I go in, the more time and experience I have, the more impressed I am with this company. They really do want their members to succeed, and they are constantly searching for ways to better help them. It’s so good, really.

The theme of the training was “Facilitating Change” and while I can’t go into the teeny details of it, I will say that it was really so thoughtful and fantastic. I feel like my meetings this week really have benefited from that experience, and hopefully will continue to improve.

At one point during the training, they asked us to describe a moment when we felt like we really made a Difference in someone’s life. A lot of people (other leaders) had some pretty moving stories to tell. I felt okay about my little story, but it felt kinda … I dunno, not a big deal. But then LAST night I was at my regular meeting, and a member came up to me and said she’d had a GREAT week, had made a real change in her habits and it was because of something I’d said. And she thought about what I’d said, during her week, and it made a difference.

I swear. It brought tears to my eyes. It made me so happy. Because honestly, so often I doubt myself, and think, who am I to be doing this. How am I helping anybody. AM I helping anybody? Sometimes I am not sure. And I think I’m just standing up there going blah blah blah.

We learned that WE are supposed to talk a minimal amount, and really the meeting should be comprised of the majority of members talking, sharing, etc most of the time. I am very guilty of letting my mouth run and I have to do all sorts of things to SHUT MYSELF UP. (I am a solo performer, remember? LOL)

One funny tool we learned was to WAIT, and let members speak. And WAIT stands for: Why Am I Talking? Ha ha ha. I thought of this several times last night, and I used the physical reminder of putting my hand on my chin. (one, to assume the “thinking” pose, and two, to hold my jabbering jaw STILL!) I think it went well.

We also recently had a district-wide training on the Science of Weight Loss. Again, super impressive. I feel so lucky to be soaking in all of this great information and am eager to pass it on.

 

Takin’ It To the Stage February 20, 2010


Hen & Chickens Empty Stage

Originally uploaded by Simon Scott

MizFitonline requested that I blog a bit about my solo performance thing. I know that some people are like, WTF? is that? and WHY would you do such a thing!!

I don’t know. It’s maybe because I am a total ham? Or because I think solo performance is one of the most amazing art forms on earth. What is solo performance, you may wonder.

It’s basically storytelling, alone, on a stage, (actually WITHOUT a microphone, too, but I liked the feel of this photo I found) including acting stuff out. It’s not just standing there with a microphone and talking. It’s living… the story.

I first started taking this awesome solo performance workshop when I saw a friend perform her piece. I was absolutely awestruck, moved, blown away, and WOW. I had never done any acting before in my LIFE but something about this form just really got to me. I asked her “Where did you learn this stuff?” and signed up for the next available class.

That’s when I was introduced to the amazing W. Kamau Bell and the whole “SPW” community. It’s an incredible thing to work with people who are putting it out there in an honest, real, intense, explosive, poetic, artistic way. It’s really amazing. I have come to love these people very much. Many people who started off in SPW now have their own full-length shows that are wildly successful and amazing.

I took two “semesters” of SPW back in 2007 and they were cathartic and fantastic experiences. But then I got really busy with stuff and also felt like I didn’t have a whole lot more to say. IN addition, I was feeling really self conscious on stage. Because of my weight. Both times, my shows were videotaped but after taking a five-second peek, I felt like I was unable to watch either one. I was mortified. I just felt… UGH.

Just a few months ago, I started getting the Itch again. The urge to tell a story. This time I want to tell the Foodie McBody story. To read this blog from beginning to now, is so full of drama! and angst! and triumph and heartbreak and love. I love this story.

Now, the job is to squish it down into 20 minutes and bring it to life. I’m working on it. Working hard. And the show (the first show) will be (NOT on March 28th thank goodness!) on April 6th in San Francisco. Oooooooh how I would love to have some of my blogreaders out in the audience.

I am in love with this form of expression and very excited about the Foodie McBody story, so who knows, it just might expand (I hope it will) and just may one day end up in a city near YOU.

 

It’s Been A Week! Since my Last Blog Entry February 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Susan @ 3:35 am



typewriter

Originally uploaded by the8rgrl

… and I can feel them piling up inside me. But I have had no time! I just now finished (11pm) a 2 hour online training module in preparation for a full day WW training tomorrow. Which I am excited about, but… TIME!

So much I want to blog about. Blog posts in the works:

1. Who is Jean Nidetch and why do I think she is a rock star?
2. Reportback from my celebratory dinners last weekend
3. Preparation for celebratory dinners this COMING weekend
4. How’s that old 10K/marathon training going? Are my feet still attached?
5. Some absolutely awesome WW training I received last week, and More To Come tomorrow
6. a couple shout-outs to Bloggers Whom I Love
7. Foodie McBody, the solo performance show! YIKES!

Tell me which one(s) YOU’d most like to read about.

 

Choices Choices Choices February 12, 2010

The thing about this healthy living, is it’s all about choices. Every minute really.  It takes a bunch of thinking, and planning, and figuring out, what is the best choice in this moment?

Every time I lead a WW meeting I ask members if they have any challenges coming up this week. It’s funny, there’s ALWAYS a challenge of some sort, isn’t there? (heh)

My challenge this week is that Mr. McBody and I are going to celebrate his birthday dinner with family at a fancy French restaurant tomorrow. I looked it up. It looks… amazing.

It’s always good to look things up first, to get prepared to make those choices. What do I want? What am I willing to pass up, and what am I not? Well, there are always a bunch of things that one can do when facing a celebratory meal at a fancy place.

  1. Get lots of activity before and after. Check. I had a killer “last chance workout” with trainer today. And I’ve worked out every day this week. I plan to work out on Sunday for SURE but maybe tomorrow as well.
  2. Check out the menu! Make choices beforehand.  I am pretty sure I want mussels. I loooooooove mussels. Happily, they are kind of a lean protein and there’s not much of it anyway. I guess the issue is the broth they’re in. And the bread. And the fries. Hmmm…. do I want bread? or fries? I think I want bread, with which to sop up the yummy mussel juice.
  3. I think I am actually OK without wine or cocktails. I will go with sparkling water/ice/lime combo.
  4. I do want at least a couple bites of dessert, so I’ll share with someone.
  5. Light breakfast/lunch beforehand.
  6. Dip into those 35 “extra” points if necessary.

See? That wasn’t so bad. I think I can emerge from this dinner unscathed. Or at least only partially scathed. And maybe I can have a COUPLE fries… I’ll report back after.

The OTHER issue which I did not mention is that we are meeting other friends for BRUNCH on SUNDAY. Agh…… if there’s anything worse than a fancy restaurant meal, it’s TWO fancy restaurant meals in a row. I’m gonna have to be super duper mindful of that one, and be SURE to work out on Sunday. The good thing about brunch, too, is that it is two meals in one. :-)

So yeah, it’s a never ending choice-fest out there. I think one good thing about having these “major” events is that it causes me to be extra-extra mindful. I probably get in more trouble on ordinary days when I assume I am making good choices when I’m probably not.

 

My Feet Hurt

Filed under: exercise,running,walking — Susan @ 12:49 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Some days you feel like Rocky. Other days, it’s hard to take a few steps. I don’t know what was going on today. I had the same exact foot gear as Monday (ankle brace + newish running shoes). I procrastinated my run workout until I didn’t have enough time to do anything except a quick session from Couch-to-5k. I think it was week 5? 6? Five minute run, two minute walk, seven minute run, two minute walk, five minute run.

It hurt. It hurt a LOT. At one point my feet were just screaming out. I got really discouraged. I do not know what was wrong. Maybe I should’ve put in my orthotics. But I didn’t have them on Monday and it felt great. I am not sure the new shoes work really well with the orthotics because I think they caused me to have pain on TOP of my feet.

At any rate, it sucked. It was a really bad run. I suppose it was better than no run at all, but after my victorious Monday run, it made me really sad. It made me want to throw away my shoes and just say forget it. Wah.

I did have my iPod on. At one of my lowest points, the song “Drive” by Incubus came on. I couldn’t help but feel they were singing, like, directly into my brain.

Sometimes, I feel the fear of,
uncertainty stinging clear.
And I can’t help but ask
myself how much I’ll let the fear
take the wheel and steer.

It’s driven me before, and it seems to a faint,
haunting mass appeal.
But lately I, am beginning to find that I,
should be the one behing the wheel.

The fear of uncertainty stinging clear. Yeah, that’s it, all right! Listening to that helped keep me going a few more blocks. Then my very very very VERY favorite and best running song came on. It’s a really sad song but it motivates me and moves me like nothing else: “You Found Me” by the Fray.

Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Surrounded, surrounded
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, you found me

When I think of this, I think I’m the one who found me. Susan found Foodie, or vice versa. After a long while of waiting. Isn’t that a crazy running song? It’s no “Eye of the Tiger,” that’s for sure. But whenever I hear it, it makes me want to run. It makes me feel really emotional and glad to be alive.

 

Cue up the Rocky Music February 10, 2010

It’s so weird. Some days I feel like I can barely drag myself around the block. Other days… well, wooh!

I think I felt extra motivated after the half marathon 5k was over, and ready to turn to a new page, which is the marathon relay coming up at the end of March. I want to be ready. I want to be a strong contributor to my team.

So yesterday I drove down to the start of my relay leg. This is new for me, to actually be able to train ON the route of a running race. It was kind of cool. I parked my car at the intersection and already I could imagine the thousands of people who will be there too. My heart started pounding. I got all gadgeted up: first I put on my Bodybugg, which has been out of commission for a while because I couldn’t find my armband. Then I set my iPhone to the couch-to-10k app, week 5, day 1. This same workout totally killed me last week. It is supposed to be 70  minutes total, and I pooped out after 30, and felt totally defeated. Back in the saddle.

At first, my feet and ankle were really bothering me and I was worried. I was wearing new running shoes, which I feel like I really need. The soles of my old ones were SHOT and I think it’s not healthy to run on them because they’re all uneven. I had on my ankle brace. Something about the lacing had been messed up at the 5k and the top of my foot was really, really sore. But whatever. I had to do it.

There’s something very Pavlovian and addictive about the “couch-to” apps. They play some loud tone and a voice says, WALK NOW or RUN NOW. And do whatever it commands. I started with a 5 minute warmup. As I was walking (fast) I noticed what a beautiful route it is. It’s a wide, flat road called the Mandela Parkway. Which I love. There were some plum blossom trees already blooming, and some awesome graffiti art. (I didn’t take pics while running, I stopped and took them when I did the mileage with my car later) It made me so happy that I chose this leg of the marathon. It feels perfect for me.

It’s a really industrial, warehousey kind of neighborhood at first; a lot of trucks and industry. And you know what was amazing, I got like half a dozen thumbs-up and people waving at me. They seemed so happy to see me out there running. Did they know I was doing a marathon training, and that the marathon is going to be coming through this neighborhood? I don’t know. At any rate I was feeling very Rockyesque.

After about 15 minutes my feet stopped hurting. Everything just loosened up, got warm and lubed up and felt great. I got into a real groove. The intervals felt great: 2:30 run, then 2:30 walk, back and forth, 20 times. Every time I started feeling a little tired, cardio wise, the voice would say WALK NOW and I was so happy. Then every time my bones started hurting, it would say RUN NOW and I’d be happy all over again. It actually felt a lot better to run than to walk; it took pressure off my feet and just felt… relaxing. (I CAN’T BELIEVE I JUST WROTE THAT)

As I ran, I kept imagining doing this with hundreds/thousands of other people, and several times I got teared up. After a while I realized that I was in a completely different part of town. I could not believe I’d run that far. When the Voice told me I was “halfway” I pulled a U-turn and started heading back to my car. I couldn’t believe how far I’d gone.

My return trip took two minutes less than the trip out. Which was great. I got to my car and I felt like a million bucks. Then I got in and drove the route again to see my distance (which C210K doesn’t measure, and I didn’t want to run C210K AND Runkeeper simultaneously). My halfway point was at 2.9 miles. Which means… I ran 5.8 miles of intervals! In 70 68 minutes!!!!

I was a damn happy puppy after that. And it made me feel like, it IS going to be possible, I AM going to do this, and it’s gonna be great.

Here’s some pics along the way. Look at this cool metal person sculpture. It’s enormous, and there are two other half-people on the other side of the road. Everything just made me so happy. It was one of those great, great, great runs. I feel so lucky.

 

 
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