Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hey, drink water!

Of course, I know that I need to hydrate before a race.

Yesterday my racing/walking friends and I did The Great Pumpkin Run 5k race at Keller's Farmstand.  We always have fun together and yesterday was no exception.  Although the temperature wasn't too awfully warm for September, the humidity was very high.  And the sun was shining.  A pretty day but muggy.

We were encouraged to dress up for this festive race.  I obliged,as you can see below.  Tutu, tulle headpiece, pumpkin earrings and a bright orange tee shirt.  I really had fun with this!
Oh, and I'm carrying a 3.5 pound pumpkin.  We each earned some extra bling for carrying a pumpkin throughout the race...intact and always visible.

Laurie, Connie, Me, Shawn, Carol
That's our race team in the above photo.  These women are so much fun, and so uplifting.

In this kind of weather it's especially important to hydrate well before a race.  Yes, I drank lots of water the day and evening before the race.  But, on race morning I skimped on the water.  How do I say this?  Well, I wanted to avoid having to pee during the race.  You where to "go" during those 3.1 miles.  I ate a hearty breakfast early that morning, but just a little water.  Bad decision.

There are lots of early weekend mornings that I walk more than 3.1 miles before I even eat breakfast, or start drinking water. And I'm just fine.  But the sun is just rising and the temps are much cooler then.

By the time I finished yesterday's 5k, I was spent.  Feeling a little weak and very wrung out. VERY.
I knew what the problem was and I knew that it was my own fault.  Duh.  Dehydration.  I grabbed my free bottle of water right after the finish line AND the free cup of cider.  Ahhh.  That helped a little, but I knew I needed more than that.

So, I followed my friends into the orchard's market building.  They have lots of apples, cider doughnuts, kettle corn.  All kinds of yummy stuff.  But I was more interested in getting more water.
As I stood in the looooong like to the order and cashier line, I wondered if I could stand there long enough to get that much-needed water.  I did it, because I had to...for the water.
As soon as I could I downed the first of the 2 bottles I bought, then drank the other one during our hour commute home.  What a difference it made.  I felt SO much better.

The point of this very long story is:  please learn from my mistake and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate before and during prolonged physical activities in warm, humid weather.  Especially in the bright sun.

And, while you're thinking about it.....REMIND me to  do the same.  Okay?


Excuse the language, but I just have to share this one too.  Yup, so proud of myself when it's clear.
All graphics courtesy of Pinterest.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Yeah, I know that all caps is like shouting out loud.  But, that's what I wanted to do after completing my second Half-Marathon.  Last Sunday...April 23rd.
Wooooooooo hooooooo!

April  of 2016 my friend Connie and I did the Naperville (Illinois) Women's Half Marathon.  We loved it! So, as soon as registration opened for this year's race (which was last spring), we "raced" to sign up.  :)  Pun intended.

Then, last summer we told our walking/running friends about the half and encouraged them to do it.  "You have plenty of time to train for it" we said.  Well, eventually there were 7 of us...pretty much our entire group...that registered for the race.  Then, all of a sudden, winter was winding down and race time was almost here!  Lots of training going on and a "just a bit" of nervousness.  Yikes!

It was a very different feel and completely different dynamics doing this race with a group of friends.  Different, but wonderful! What a bonding experience.
The energy, the anticipation, the nerves, the encouragement, the praise.
Every time I remember this experience, I'm reminded how blessed I am to be surrounded by this group of women.
Want to see a few (or lots of) pics from half marathon day?  I thought so.  Okay!

Pre-race, at the start line.
 The temperature was around 38 degrees F pre-race.  My fingers were SO cold.  But the sun was shining and the temps rose pretty fast.  Ideal weather for a half.
I think there were about 2500 women doing the half and nearly 2000 in the 5k.
In total, almost twice as many as last year.
Our team of 7 post-race, adrenaline still pumping!
From left to right: Me, Shawn, Carol, Michelle (in front), Cayce, Connie & Laurie.
Me with my finishers medal.  That thing is heavy!
Our friend Carol have to leave right away, so we missed her in these photos.  :(

This is my favorite photo.  So fun!

Five of us headed out for lunch after the race.  It was a day for "eat anything you want" for lunch.  Splurge!  I had a burger with fries and it was DE-licous.
We sat there and talked for a long time.  Lots of laughter, too.  We may have gotten a bit loud occasionally.  We got "the look" from a couple a few tables away.  Sorry, but not really.  It was a very special occasion and we were still pumped.
I still smile every time these memories pop into my brain.  Like...right now.
Guess what?  Our next race is two weeks from today.  "Only" a 10k this time.
I'm still amazed that I'm doing these races at this point in my life.  No, I am NOT bragging.  A lot of people do half marathons.
I'm amazed because just a 3-1/2 years ago I was 77 pounds heavier than I am now and had several health issues.  There was no way that I could have walked even a 5k at that time.  I have much to be thankful for and two of those things are the ability and the good health to be able to do the physical activities that I have come to love so much.  And...if I hadn't made the changes in my life that led me to where I am today, I may not have been surrounded be these wonderful last Sunday's photos.  God leads us in ways and directions that absolutely amaze me.  For that, I am so grateful.
May God's Peace be with you all.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Holiday Indulgences and Old Habits

You can probably guess by the title of this post, what I'm writing about today.

Throughout the year I indulge occasionally in some sweet treats.  A few simple carbs, now and then too.  But just a few.  No harm done.
Well, that time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is THE most difficult time for me to resist treats.  They're at work, they're at holiday parties, they're everywhere!
This year I certainly indulged a few times too often.  The result was a weight gain of 5 pounds.  Oh my....that was difficult to write.  Ouch!
I realized how VERY easy it is to give in to those old habits of "treating myself" to unhealthy foods.  Too often.  Bad habits, no matter from how long ago, are so easy for me to fall back into.  I changed to a healthy eating lifestyle in August of 2013, so it's been a few years.  But, oh how easy I can pick up those bad habits.  At those times, it's easy to think of myself as someone addicted to food.  It can be a crutch.  It can be comforting.  It can be so much more (or less?) than a source of nutrition!

My bathroom scale and I have not been buddies lately.  BUT I'm working to change that.  I've lost half of that weight gain and I'm working to lose the remainder.

I, mentally, beat up myself for gaining those pounds.  I'm glad you couldn't hear those conversations with myself.
What if I can't lose those 5 pounds?
What if I gain more weight?
What if I, then, can't wear all the cute clothing I've bought?  My favorite jeans especially.
Buy a bigger size???  No.  Just...NO.

Eventually, I stopped that crazy whirlwind of negative and destructive thoughts. It took a while.

I'm sure I'm not the only person that gained a few, or more than a few, pounds over the holidays.
But, believe me, it's reason for concern and stress for someone like me.  Someone who worked hard and made many lifestyle changes, in order to lose 77 pounds and get healthy.  And working on staying healthy.  Yes, it is work...and always will be.  But it's very important work.

I know that I will lose those few extra pounds.  I know how to do it; I've done it before.  I'll do it again in the future...I'm sure.  This will be a lifelong journey.  And it won't ever be easy.  But it IS doable and it IS worth it.   So. Very. Worth. It.

I love this version of me, so I want to take care of her!  She's worth it.