Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mustang 50th Half Marathon

Last week was the 50th anniversary of the Mustang. Last fall notices started going up that there was going to be a one time only half marathon/5k to commemorate this occasion. All who raced would be entered to win a 2014 Shelby GTS convertible. To date in my racing career, this is the only race my husband has actually condoned!

Last fall, my niece, Kirsten, decided she was ready to register for a half marathon so I convinced her this was the one and I would run it with her. Even with having a car wreck during training time, she trained very diligently and was excited, nervous and ready to roll when we left town Thursday night!

We got to Las Vegas Friday to pick up packets at the Mandalay Bay.  What a disaster. I haven't been "downtown" Las Vegas in years and Good Friday was not the time to try it. We spent over an hour trying to go 4 miles on the strip. Lesson learned!
After picking up packet, we headed to have our pre-race dinner. Of course it was my go to meal - pizza!
We hit the sack early since the alarm was going off about 4:30 am. We had decided that we would head straight back to St. George after the race since we were already going to be on the north side of LV so we packed up the car in the morning and headed off to the Las Vegas Speedway. It was a beautiful morning.

The temps were already pushing 70 degrees at 6:30 am so we knew we were in for a warm day. And did I mention the Las Vegas Speedway? Looking back, I'm not sure it was the most brilliant of ideas to run 13.1 miles all over the asphalt tracks at the speedway. But it was fun to be inside and see where the action happens.
There is room for a lot of crazy Nascar fans inside!  There were about 3000 race participants and as many spectators.  Kirsten had decided she didn't want me to run with her so we made plans to meet at the finish line. I was using this as a training run so wasn't expecting to push it much and set a goal on my IPod for 2:29 (because it sounded better than 2:30).
We started and everything was going fine for the first 7 miles. I even though I might finish closer to my pr time of 2:10 at one point but that quickly changed as the temps climbed. There was no shade and it just kept getting warmer. I was happy to finish with 2:27 and settled in to wait for Kirsten to finish. She texted me at about mile 12 so I was ready to capture her finish.
She did great! But since it was so hot, she was feeling it and wasn't sure she would be able to walk back to the car, which we all know just has to happen - no other options!

She told me she was never going to run again and didn't want to talk about it so I quietly waited her out and sure enough a half hour into the drive, she started talking about how her training could have been different and maybe she would have to try again to see if it would be better. By the time we got back to St. George, she was ready to register for another half marathon.

I tell this story because most of us have gone through similar situations when we have challenged ourselves and it is normal. I kept telling her before it was like childbirth and she will forget the pain and remember the accomplishment.

I am very proud of her and can't wait to cheer her on again! (Oh and by the way, neither one of us won the car!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Weight Loss

I just love April - and not because it's my birthday month (as my husband says!). It's such a time of renewal and flowers, lots of flowers!

It was mostly a good week last week. Started celebrating my birthday on Thursday with a lunch and ended it Saturday night with dinner - cheesecake every day! I brought cake bites from My Sweet Tooth Fairy to work on Friday and ended up eating quite a few of those too. This is so abnormal for me but I didn't feel too guilty. :)

Sadness hit Saturday morning when I had to put hubby on a plane to go back to work in Saudi Arabia. It will be a long five months since there are no plans for him to return until September. It's a good thing I have a full schedule of racing, otherwise I might be sitting home feeling sorry for myself.

I wanted to talk a little about weight loss. I have had several people recently ask me again about how I have done it. Let me start by saying that I am not a nutritionist and everything I say is just based on my experience - you should always check with your health professional before trying anything too out of your normal.

In the 30 years of my 20's, 30's & 40's, I tried everything to lose weight. I've been trying to remember everything that's been out there. Jennie Craig, Nutrisystems, Weight Watchers, illegal drugs, HCG, cabbage diet, diet pills, crash diets, starvation diets. This list goes on and on. I have lost weight on some of these diets but it never stayed off. I don't recommend any of them except maybe Weight Watchers because it goes on the principle of writing things down. For as long as I remember, it has been recommended that one keep a food diary. Write everything that goes in your mouth down regardless of what it is. I'll come back to that in a minute.

When I first met with Neil Anderson (GPP Fitness), six plus years ago, I remember very clearly telling him that I didn't care about losing weight and that I just wanted to be healthy. I said this because of my lack of success in oh so many years. He didn't laugh at me but I'm sure he was thinking I was crazy. I needed to lose weight. I was just over the 200 pound mark and I am 5' 7".  So for the first few months, I did not alter my eating at all but I started working out at gym for the first time in my life. A chain reaction started because as I started feeling better about my physical "fitness", I wanted to start eating better. As I started eating better, I was able to do more on the "fitness" side.

This went on for several months and slowly, very slowly about 20 pounds came off just from the small changes I was making. When I made it to 180#, I figured that was it, I was never going to break that barrier. Never have, never would. GPP started a challenge on becoming healthier so I decided to jump on board. This meant some strict eating for 6 weeks, which I extended for 12. And lots more of working out! I made the commitment to myself and on the website and I was able to stick to it. 5 more pounds came off. Woo hoo! I weighed less than I ever had in my adult life. The greatest thing about this was I kept it off for a couple of years. I had begun my life in the racing world, running half marathons and competing in triathlons (i.e., shoving myself in a tri suit!).

Last year, after I had registered for a half ironman, I decided that I needed to get into a better place in order to help me get to the finish line. I met with a nutritionist (thanks, Breanne) and through several meetings, I figured out where my deficiencies were. Back to writing everything down - I know this is a tried and true method but I'm the worst at it. I was introduced to and started recording everything that went in my mouth. The great thing about mfp is the database is huge and you don't have to calculate the values. I also found out that I was starving myself on my heavy training days but that's a whole other blog!

I had set a goal to lose 10 more pounds but to my surprise I was able to drop 20 in about 4 months. I attribute these to "being aware". Being aware of what I was eating and when I was eating. The other thing that I believe helped me was adding probiotics and prebiotics to my daily routine. This may be a little gross to some but If you're not recycling the food you're eating, it's not healthy! That's all I will say on that subject.

After all the rambling, I'll get to my point of today. If you want to lose weight the healthy way, you need to record all that you are eating. My suggestion to anyone who wants to start, is to sign on to and just record everything for two weeks. Don't worry about changing anything during these weeks. You've got to have a starting point. Once this is established, just start cutting out 10-15% of those calories each week. If you are able, add a little exercise as well. Walking 15-30 minutes 5 days a week will help. The biggest thing you do not want to do is make a huge change all at once. It can become overwhelming and won't be sustainable. Also, if you have a day where you can't stick to it, don't give up. Tomorrow is always a new day!


Monday, April 7, 2014


Someone posted this on the Ironman TX Facebook page this morning. I was humming along this weekend knowing it was about 6 weeks away but for some reason this started the butterflies in my stomach going again.

I headed south again this weekend to get a long ride in warmer weather. The plan was to get it done on Saturday and enjoy my Sunday. I woke up Saturday with a bad, out of sorts attitude. Wish I could pinpoint the cause but all I can come up with is two nights of not very good sleep. I hate that something so simple can cause my world to misalign. I made it to the pool for a half hour swim, which felt really good but knew on the way home that the ride was not going to happen. After scrapping that plan, we decided it would be a perfect day to golf. A little wind and rain could never dampen our enthusiasm for that sport. Hubby is home for a two week visit from Saudi Arabia and it was fun to spend some non-training time with him.
waiting to tee off
You know it's an off day when the better golfer tries to let you beat him and you can't close the deal! We had fun, though, and my bad attitude was gone for the day. We even went out to eat dinner with Mom and I was able to get a pic!
He doesn't like pictures and it's usually hard to get a smile!
Sunday morning I was up and ready to head out the door by 9 am. My ride was supposed to be 5 hours and relatively flat.  I had several thoughts as I got about an hour into the ride:

1. I hate the wind
2. The City of Hurricane is aptly named
3. I really don't like the wind
4. There are no "relatively flat" long rides in the St. George area
5. I am slow and do not put out much power
6. I am much stronger than I've ever been

For all you non-Utah peeps - a relatively flat ride here is about 2500 feet of climbing. We do have the best scenery!

Four hours later I was done. As you probably guessed, the wind was blowing. If my purpose was time in the saddle, I failed; but if my purpose was mental toughness, it was a success.

Note to self - doing a ride like this and jumping in the car to drive 4 hours home is probably not the best idea.

Less than 960 hours to go to the big day. Coach Lizz says that I'm ready and we just need to keep me healthy. I will live on her belief for now since I'm having a hard time believing it myself!