Wednesday, December 31, 2014

4 months = 25 pounds

Four months ago I got a new job. Not really a new job. Same job, new building. Due to the nature of my work, a new building really does equal a new job since my work is all about the people and each individual requires something special. 
I'm not complaining. I love my work. I love the challenge. In my new building I have found a renewed spark that I had lost before. Guess what else I found?! I found 25 pounds. Yep, you read that right. In 4 months I gained 25 pounds. WHAT?! I track my weight on My Fitness Pal and was looking at my weight graph yesterday when I realized this astonishing trend.

I gained weight because I'm unhappy. Right? Nope! Totally wrong. I'm love my job, my staff, the students, everything (uh, almost everything) about my new place!

I'm an emotional eater. I totally own that. What I've never owned, or realized, until yesterday that it's not just that I eat when I'm sad. I also eat when I'm happy or content. My "laziness" in my eating wasn't really lazy, but more of a relaxed, whew, I can breathe sort of eating. I overate out of contentment. I know that sounds odd, but it's true. 

Another reason for my gain was that I no longer had people "watching" what I was eating. In my old job, I was surrounded with people that had seen me go from 356 pounds to 193. They knew my struggle. They knew what/how/when I ate. They knew it ALL! I'm now in a place where no one is watching. Kari had 2 donuts, no big deal. Just because no one is watching doesn't mean that the calories don't count or don't effect how I feel. The games we play in our minds! 

(Totally not telling my new staff to watch me eat all the time. I love not being asked, "Can you eat that?". The answer is Yes, yes I can. Should I? Maybe not.)

I'm back. I've recorded for the past 6 days. I feel healthy and strong. My mind is once again focused on the prize- health and strength. I'm working on a plan for how to attack being back at work and eating healthy (food prep is the key!). I probably won't lose these 25 pounds in just 4 months, but they will come off. I've faced my biggest fear- I gained a significant amount a weight. I will lose it again. The best part of this is that I've learned a little more about myself and how I adjust to a change in environment and how I celebrate with food.
All good stuff!
Change is growth!


A work in progress,
Kari

 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Facing Fears

I weighed myself today for the first time in months. 
The world didn't end. 
I didn't even cry. 
I laughed.
I didn't laugh at the number. I laughed at the fear that that stupid number has had over me for way too long. 

Here's my reality- I've gained 62 pounds from my lightest weight.

Since being at my lightest weight, I've also-
- Completed a 2nd half marathon
- Completed 2 sprint triathlons
- Inspired others in their own weight loss success stories
- Modeled an active lifestyle for my children
- Prioritized fitness to the point that I now get up at 5 AM so that I am sure to fit in my activity

When I lost my weight, I promised myself that I wouldn't be THAT GIRL that gained it all back. I haven't gained it all back, but am well on my way. 
Timehop has been all up in my weight loss business lately. 3 years ago was when I was at my lowest weight and those pictures/status updates have been popping up daily on my phone. I'm actually healthier (in some ways) today that I was in those pictures. I no longer live on diet coke and cheese sticks. My hair isn't falling out. My nails are strong. 

I need to lose some weight. I'm not buying new pants and I am training for a freaking Olympic Triathlon (in 197 days!!!). I've got work to do. 

I'm not sure where my body will "settle" in terms of the scale. At 2 pounds a week, I could feasibly be 56 pounds lighter for the race. WOW! What a difference that would make. I know that my body does not always work in a 2-pounds a week guaranteed. Even if I only lost a pound a week, I'd still be 30 pounds lighter by the race. That would still be very significant. Imagine swimming a mile, biking 26 miles, and running 6 miles with 30 pound weights tied to your ankles. 

I recorded yesterday. Yep, Christmas day. :) Are you on My Fitness Pal? Add me as a friend- weighting_place. 

On a high note- I am still 101.4 pounds lighter than I was 5 years ago. BAM!
The scales is not the end all. If I was eating healthy and a moderate amount of calories and the scale didn't move, that would be a different conversation. The reality is that I haven't been. My body easily gains weight. That's my reality. I'm owning that and moving forward. 

I didn't cry today when I weighed myself. That is HUGE growth from 5 years ago. The scale doesn't scare me. 

Rest day on the docket. The kids and I are headed to the gym to go swimming (really just bobbing under water over and over again to say "hi" to each other). I'm hoping to sneak in to the sauna for a few minutes while they play.

Oh, and I already recorded my breakfast. 

~Kari





Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Gift for Me

A few weeks ago I decided to take a week and record my food, once again. It felt amazing. I felt in control. I wasn't starving, but had moments where I was actually hungry (you know, like we are supposed to be). It was a great week. 

The week ended.

Here I am....3 weeks later....still overeating....never hungry....training my tail off and seeing little progress because I am swim/bike/running with a butt-load of extra weight. 

I tried to put on a belt today and my belt doesn't fit. 

I feel uncomfortable in my own skin.

I can tell you exactly why I've gained- I've become lazy with my eating. I'm in a new job (food environment) where it is easy to overeat or not eat all day long. I get a candy bar while grocery shopping. I've turned back to old habits that don't support my goals. 

So, what now?

It's Christmas Eve and I am giving myself a gift! 

I'm giving myself a fresh start.
I'm giving myself permission to own the weight that I've gained and move forward.
I'm giving myself the the time that I need to return to me comfortable weight. 1-2 pounds a week. Over and over and over again.

I have the tools that I need to be successful. I know what and how to eat. 

This time will be a little different. I'm committed to
- not resorting to "diet" or "light" products just to meet a caloric goal
- not consuming fewer that 1800 calories a day
- guesstimating my food to the best of my ability when I'm out instead of avoiding going out for fear of not being able to record/measure my food
- weighing myself once a week (Friday are my weigh-in days)

Starting on Friday Why wait?! Starting tomorrow, Christmas day, I will start recording again. I will record what I can, guesstimate the rest, and move forward. Friday morning I will weigh myself, accept it, and move forward. 

I'm looking for a few people that I can "check-in" with as I get back on track. Knowing that I am telling someone else about my successes helps me to keep going. That's why I love my running coach so much- I rarely skip cause I don't want to tell him that I skipped or quit.

Here we go again.... :)

~Kari




 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Scaling Back- Week 1

Hi friends!
Thank you for all of the encouraging words after my last post. To be honest, I didn't read your comments until today. It hurt too bad. Publishing my last blog and actually "dealing" with it were two very different things. 

Another week has gone by. I'm still spiraling. 

Yesterday I had the crazy idea that I would weigh myself, but not look. I told the husband that he was in charge of tracking my weight. It seemed like a good idea, but then last night I kept waking up and thinking about it. 

I need to regain control of my eating, but I can't use the scale to measure that success.

When did I start to regain? At 192 pounds. 192 pounds. That number haunted me. I could not get past that number. Eventually the constant 192 pound read out on the scale stopped validating my efforts. It would happen again. I would get down to XXX pounds and, once again, lose motivation after the weight loss stopped. 

All night I wrestled with how do I know if what I'm doing is working without the scale telling me. 

I want to wear my jeans to work. I can't. I have a pair of 14s that are MIA and a pair of 12s that go over my hips, would wouldn't button even if I laid on the bed and had a kid sit on my stomach before trying to button them. Ouch! They use to fit comfortably.

So, I start again. I have the tools. I KNOW what to do. What I don't know is how to measure success without the scale. 

Today is Tuesday, so I start on Tuesday. My plan is to make a simple goal for each week and then build on that goal.

Week 1 goal- Record 5 out of 7 days this week while staying is a 1800-2000 calorie range. I know that recording works. I've seen my body change in amazing ways as a direct result of recording. 
Sub-goal- Find my size 14 jeans! I want to try those on weekly to help track how my body is changing. 

When will I be at goal? Never! That's the great and terrifying part. This is a forever process. I'll make progress. I'll slip up and get to start again the next day. I'll wear jeans to work. Drinking water instead of pop will once again become normal. It doesn't end. I don't finish this race....and that's ok. 


~Kari






Sunday, November 16, 2014

How are you?

The question "How are you" strikes fear in my heart.

Do I tell the truth? 
Do I answer "fine"?
How do I answer this without sounding like a failure?
How am I?

Well....

I'm driving through and getting fast food more often than I am filling up my water bottle.

I just bought a candy bar at the store (ate it!) and then got a hot chocolate on the way home.

I'm eating out of bags instead of portioning out a serving.

I can't remember the last vegetable I ate. 

I eat until I am full, and then have another serving. 

I had pop this week on three different days. I don't drink pop!

I'm anticipating exciting future events that are causing me to struggle to focus on the right now stuff.  

Here are some other truths....

I'm running farther and faster than I have in a long time.

My swims have been solid.

I went for a 30 mile bike ride on Tuesday for "fun" and actually loved every.single.minute.

I am having a TON of fun at my new school (job).

WHAT IS GOING ON???

I've thought about this a lot over the past week or so. I wish that I had amazing insights/answers to share with you.
Why have I slipped so far in my healthy eating habits? 

The truth is pretty simple. I've become complacent in my nutrition. It's easier to eat lucky charms for breakfast than it is to make oatmeal. It is easier to eat a bag of chips than it is to count out a serving. 

I suck at balance. I'm such an all or nothing girl. Deprive myself and eat 1200 calories a day AND workout 6 days a week? DONE!!! Forget it all and eat 3000+ calories a day? DONE!! Live in the middle? How? 

Dying to know what I weigh? Not me! I have NO idea. 
I let my weight define me for so long. When I was morbidly obese I defined myself as the 
"big" girl. When I was losing I was that "skinny" girl. I don't know how to live in the middle. What I weigh can not be who I am.   

So, how am I?

I'm excited about my new job, challenged in my workouts in the most awesome ways, loving the fall temperatures, looking forward to seeing some friends tonight for dinner, looking forward to connecting with Emily next weekend, and scared to death that I can't get my nutrition under control and that I will return to that morbidly obese girl. 

How are you?

~Kari



Thursday, October 23, 2014

5 AM

5 AM is my new normal. I go to bed between 9 and 10 and am up at 5 every.single.morning. Yep, even weekends.

Why 5 AM?

The husband goes to work anywhere from 6:40-7:00-not at all. His job is on a day by day basis and I never know when/if he'll need to leave.

My work requires many evening activities that make it hard to plan for after school stuff.

5 AM is the time where I know I can work out, watch a TV show, or just be still. Everyone is still sleeping. The world stops for a few hours.

I LOVE IT!

I woke up at 5 today and the plan was to run 4 miles. I just couldn't do it. Not today. Instead I watched an episode of Criminal Minds (a super gross one with bugs- yuck!), drank an extra cup of coffee, and read some blogs.

This has been a yucky week of emotionally charged why-can't-I-stop-crying and feeling so inadequate sort of week. A week where I just want to get together with some friends, watch chick flicks, and just be. I need more 5 AM's in my life.

Skipped my run this morning. I'll run tonight...not because I have to, because I WANT to.
I just didn't WANT to this morning. I'm learning, slowly, to name what it is that I need and make that happen. There is so much power in being honest with yourself and others about what you need. It's odd that naming what we need can feel so selfish and, yet, we insist that those we love speak up about what they are needing.

It's 7 AM now...kids are up. They want to eat. Work is waiting for me. Lunches need to be made. Did we do homework last night? Did Bug's clothes get put in the dryer last night?
Life will go-go-go for the next 13 hours.
I will run after work. It's what I want to do. :)

~Kari


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Trigger Foods

Goal set- Eat healthy food that will help me be a stronger triathlete.

Someone brings you a Cinnabon that they bought just.for.you.

You have to eat it.  Right?

I had to eat it.

Up until that point my eating was in check for the day. After the Cinnabon things got ugly- marshmallows, peanut butter on a spoon, "fruit" snacks. UGH!

Did you know that a classic Cinnabon roll has 880 calories? Nope, I didn't either. I inhaled that thing in probably less than 10 minutes. 880 out of 2000 calories in less than 10 minutes. 

Here's the thing... It's not the 880 calories, it's how I felt after eating it. How I CRAVED more and more processed foods after eating it. I've never considered foods to be "trigger" foods for me, but after really thinking about my eating yesterday I realized that I do, indeed, have some triggers. 

But he bought it just.for.me. How can I turn that away?

Goal set- Eat healthy food that will help me be a stronger triathlete.

I *could* have had a few bites and saved the rest to share with the husband later. But I didn't...

Food isn't "bad", but if it causes me to lose track of my goals, then it is "bad" for me at this time in my life.

How do you pass on "special" foods?

~Kari

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Recording reboot

It's been a long time since I shared my story with a group of strangers. This week at work I had the opportunity to share a little bit about my transformation and it came as a result of my arm scars. To me they are barely noticeable. I forget about them. 

I shared about my weight loss, my surgery, and that the struggle continues.

After sharing I had several people come up to me privately and share their story. It was an amazing reminder that we all have a story. MANY people struggle with weight loss...gain...food control issues. Struggling with food seems to be such a lonely road, but in reality it's one that many of us have travelled. 

My Fitness Pal (MFP) has been an incredible tool in my never-ending plight to control my portions and calories. I need to go back to a recording system, but am dragging my heels to return to MFP. It works great, but I find myself obsessing over the calories to the point that it became unhealthy. I had my goal range and would either (A) eat even though I wasn't hungry or (B) stop eating even through I was truly hungry in order to meet my goal. I'm a goal oriented girl and I usually meet any goal I set. 

I tried just watching my macros. I can't get enough protein without some sort of powder substitute and I really want to eat real food. Not meeting my macro goals every day led to pretty extreme frustration.

Why can't I eat normal and not be morbidly obese? Not saying I'm morbidly obese at this very moment, but if I continue to just eat what/when/how much I want, then I will be back in that spot again.

What is your goal? Deb asked me that question this week (THANK YOU!) and it really helped to put things in to perspective. My goal is to eat in a way to allows me to perform as a stronger athlete and keeps my body functioning in a healthy manner (blood sugars, cholesterol, all that good stuff). 

Tracking keeps me accountable...I need that accountability.

At this point I'm considering:
- Going back to MFP
- Paper recording in a journal with an actual pencil
- Focusing on Macros and trying to figure out how to get more protein
- taking pictures of what I eat (I HATE this idea, but some people love it!)

Do you record your food? 
Have you found a tool that works well for you? 

~Kari


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sharing my heart

If I was writing my heart right now, I'd be writing about how frustrated I am that I am training SO hard to see such small gains and how I wish that I was lighter so that running would be easier. I'd be writing about how my race time yesterday, while it was my personal best, it was only 30 seconds faster than 2 years ago when I did the same course. I'd share about how I looked up previous race times last night in hopes that I'd be inspired with my growth, but instead only realized how I am going no way really, really, really slowly. 

30 pounds heavier and 30 seconds faster. *Stomach drops* I want to see more improvement. 

Truth be told, I'm angry with myself. 

I ran strong yesterday. 

I'm sore today in a "I worked really hard" sort of way. I left it all on the course.

30 pounds and 30 seconds. 

I had a new PR yesterday and all I can think about is how much faster I could be if I was skinnier.

--------------------------

Today should be a race recap, but that will have to wait. 

I was sharing my heart with the husband last night and he pointed something out. I AM 30 pounds heavier and I RAN 30 seconds faster. Not only that, but I ran with a strength that I have not had in any other race. 

I think about how I could be faster if only I was skinnier.

I was skinnier. I wasn't faster. I definitely wasn't stronger.

Where do I go from here? 

I've struggled with this skinny vs strong vs healthy vs being a size medium for so long. I want to be a faster, stronger athlete. Can I be that person at my current weight? If not, then how do I get to a lighter racing weight without going back to the person I had to become to get down to a still "overweight" but closer to "normal" than I am now? 

Do I just accept that this is it?


Race recap coming soon. It was a good one. :)

~Kari

Monday, September 15, 2014

Black Diamond Sprint Tri

I have a new event to add to my "must-do" races! 
It's the Black Diamond Tri ran by AA Sports. Such a great race! 
Well organized, helpful on course signs, and fantastic post-race food. 

I've been trying out a Bia watch over the past 2 weeks and used it for me race. I'm still not sure if I love the watch, but here are my splits from the watch report. They are spot on with the race splits. 



This tri had some odd distances. The "race" distances were .50 mi, 11 mi, and 2.8. Looks like the GPS in my watch is fairly accurate. 
On to the race...

SWIM
I felt ready for the swim. I got in the water. I warmed up....not enough.

The race started and I started to panic. I couldn't breathe. The water was cold (yes, even in my wetsuit). I stuck with my stick near the back strategy and waited for the crowd to clear. All I could do was breast stroke for the first chunk. Still can't breathe. How am I going to get this done. The doubts begin. 

Near the first buoy this very sweet girl (who I'm sure saw that I was struggling) says, "It's ok, I'm not a  strong swimmer either. We can do this". Her sweet comment really fired me up. I AM a strong swimmer. I took a deep breath and took off. I can do this. I told myself that I could breathe every single stroke but that I had to get my face in the water and start swimming. I swam strong the last 2/3rds of the swim.

Feeling tired and accomplished!


Transition 1- I AM SOO SLOW at this transition. Sigh. It beats my 8 minutes from last year, but it's still badddd.

BIKE
The bike course was beautiful out and back along a country road. Police were directing traffic, making the course feel super safe even through the roads were "open". There were two hills that were challenging. At one point I considered getting off my bike and walking up, but was able to talk myself out of that. 

My bike performed just like it should. :) I always spend my race rides worried about some sort of mechanical failure. 

At mile 9 I started thinking about my run. I heard my coaches voice telling me to find my easy pace and run the 2.8 mile run. Did I have it in me after the swim and bike? Could I maintain a slow and steady pace? 

Felt great after returning from the ride. 
I was having so much fun!

RUN
Dismounted, threw on my tank top and started off on the run.

Slow and steady. Find my pace. Run my race.

The run course was twice around the lake. The trail was dirt, but not super technical. There were a few up/down hills. Not my normal sidewalk, city roads conditions that I normal run. I pressed on. I was still running. 

First lap done. I didn't walk. Yet.

Second lap started. I decided to walk up this one hill to try and catch my breath so that I could haul to the finish line. 

I wanted to stop running around mile 2. There were great direction signs for the run course that just said "runners" with arrows. My new mantra started- runners run. I had to run. I'm a runner. Runners run. 

I ran...and ran...and ran. I found and maintained my "easy" pace. I maintained a 13:00-13:30 minute pace for all 2.8 miles. 

WHOOP! 

There are my babies (in the purple and green shirt) cheering mommy on to the finish line!

I had a great race. 
I swam, biked, and ran strong. 
I finished with gusto and didn't die post-race. 

The little voices that tell me I'm not enough or don't belong were minimal. 
I'm not built like an athlete. I did notice how much smaller most of the athletes were than me. It takes a lot more to run 220ish pounds up and down those hills than it does if I weighed 120. 

I may not "look" like I triathlete, but I am one. 

Highlights of the race were racing with my friends son and husband. It was her son's 16th birthday. 


Who would have guessed 16 years ago that we'd be racing together. The other BIG win for the day was that the husband and the kids were there for the entire race. We were all up and 6 and off to the race. I love them SO much! I could not do this without their support.

Best support crew in town!
Can't wait to do this one again!

~Kari






Friday, September 12, 2014

Sads

The truth is that lately I've had the sads. Nothing major, just small periods of sad that seem to go on for days. Things are GOOD right now. Job- good. Training- good. Food- getting better. Kids- good. Things are good.

Why am I sad?

(I've stared at this question for several days.... )

I think that my sad is really more of a little lost or a lack of direction.

I'm a goal focused type of girl. I follow a plan.

My last tri is this weekend. The training is done. I have some "pre" post race blues.

My son had a BIG doctor appointment (he's fine) looming in the future. The appointment came and went. 

I'm in a new job and am starting the real meat of my work next week. I'm READY to get going and have to wait.

There are no "big things" on my horizon and that has me feeling sad lost unfocused .... I can't describe it. 

So I press on. I keep doing what I know to do. 

I eat to fuel.

I exercise for both mental and physical stability.

I love my family and friends.

I make people smile.

How are YOU? Really, I want to know.

~Kari

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Insecurities gone WILD

It always works out for Kari.

It's true. Almost always.

I am incredibly blessed and almost always things have a way of going in the direction I want/hope/pray/wish for.

Over the summer I applied for a job and I didn't get it. I was pretty sure it was a sure thing and they chose someone else. That rocked my world. I've never interviewed and not been pick. (Poor baby, I know!)

I've gained back some weight. No big secret there. I always swore that I wouldn't be THAT girl. The girl that gains and loses 150 pounds over and over again. I'm on my way to being THAT girl and it sucks. Honestly, I think the reason it took me until the ago of 33 to even consider losing weight was because I didn't want to try something that I was confident I'd accomplish. 

I work out VERY consistently and am always in the bottom of my age group. It's frustrating to know that your all is in the bottom quartile of others. I often question if I'm meant to compete. I LOVE it. Do I deserve to even show up to play? Should I just go back to my fitness classes at the gym? Glue my bench to the floor and never move again.

Over the past few months I've made some MAJOR changes....

I didn't get the job that I initially applied for. I got a better one. The first one was a "it will be fine, I just need something new" sort of job. The one that I ended up getting is a "this is exactly where I am meant to be" sort of job. I'm glad I didn't get the first job, but not getting it has made me really insecure in my skill set.  Being in a new job also has me a bit on edge. What if they don't like me? (They have been very vocal that they do!) What if I can't live up to their expectations? (I KNOW in my head that I can.) 

I'm working on the weight gain. I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm focused on eating healthy over eating to lose. What if I can't get this under control  What if I'm destined to be morbidly obese and there is nothing I can do to stop it?

I took the next step in fitness and hired a great coach. I'm seeing gains in both my speed and comfort level, but I constantly feel like it's not enough. I look back at my times thinking I will see big drops in my pace, but it's not there. I can tell you that I FEEL so much stronger when I run. One of my goals when I started working with Kyle was that I wouldn't feel like death the entire run. I am getting to that place, which is exciting. We've only been working together for a month and I need to cut myself some slack. I worked out before school every.single.day last week. That alone is a miracle the first week of school.

Why share this? I guess to remind myself that my insecurities (and yours!) don't have to drive my actions. Suck it up buttercup is frequently my answer to my babies when they don't want to do something. My insecurities put me in this 
"I don't wanna" place. Not doing what I KNOW I need to do will only fuel that insecurity. 

My name is Kari and sometimes (ok, pretty often) I'm insecure about my skills or qualities that make me amazing. I'm a work in progress....

~Kari

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hold My Hand

Will you come hold my hand?

I'm working my tail off during my workouts and then punishing my body with crappy foods and way to much food. I'm seeing gains in my workouts. How much more would I see if my eating was in check?

My fridge is full of wilting vegetables. I have the best of intentions. They are even cut-up. I still grab the snack size bag of oreos.

There always seems to be *something* coming up.

Monday is my birthday (I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!). Can't record that day. What if someone gets me a cupcake. What if the family takes me out to dinner? Why should I have to limit my food on MY birthday?

Tuesday we are going to the fair. I must get a scone. Right? We can pack lunch, but have to eat dinner there. There are NO healthy choices at the fair. Right?

Wednesday. Ok, Wednesday I can record. 

Then it's  TGIF....then a concert...then another round of family birthdays...then the holidays...

I need someone to walk around with me, hold my hand, and tell me over and over and over again that the amazing food (that often really isn't that amazing....) won't fulfill me or help me achieve my fitness goals. 

It's no longer about being skinny. There is a great freedom in that.

I don't know how to measure progress without a scale.

Recording (come friend me- weighting_place on MFP) keeps me on track with my calories and overall food consumption. It really does! The battle between this is too hard vs I feel so good when I don't overeat vs why can she have a donut really sucks.

As you hold my hand, will you please remind me that what my body needs is unique to only me and that I can't spend my life comparing myself to others.

Remind me of how far I've come. 
Remind me of the girl that would eat a double cheeseburger while waiting to go in to the gym.
Remind me of the first time I crossed a finish line after a 5k and then nearly threw up because it was so very hard.
Remind me of the little girl this summer who said that she wished her mommy would play with her like I play with my babies.
Remind me of how very, very, very hard it was to only buy clothes in the big girl shops and often not find anything that was big enough. 

One last thing, while you hold my hand, whisper my goals to me over and over again so that I don't lose my focus just because I'm having a bad day...or I'm tired...or I'm celebrating...or I just forget.

A girl can dream!

~Kari



Monday, September 1, 2014

August Running Update

Hey! It's September 1st and I'm doing my monthly running update. I think this is some sort of new record.

Here it goes:




 In August I ran 50.6 miles. None of them were on trails. :( I miss my trail runs. I need to figure out a way to fit them back in, but not until after my 5k on 9/27. I've got some serious goals for that race and trails won't get me there right now. 

My goal for this year was 250 400 miles in 2014. I am currently at 346.9 miles for the year. Wowza! I had a little slide in June/July, but am back up to where I want to be in August. 400 is a VERY attainable goal at this point. Whoop!


What else running related? I have a new foot brace and after a minor bout with a major blister it seems to be working great. My ankle is holding up nicely with only occasionally irritated tendons. 

My Nike's are starting to show signs of wear on the toe area. It's been almost a year since I bought them and they are both my run and bike shoe. It's probably time to start shopping. I'm thinking about switching to a clip-in bike shoe but am awfully scared of falling.....

One more cup of coffee and then I'm off for a run. ;)

~Kari

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Holy Splits Batman!

I'm really digging this running thing right now.

I've found a comfortable pace. (I still don't think any of it's "easy")

I no longer feel like death on every single run.

I'm not running significantly more miles than I was before I started working with Kyle, but my running has more intentionality. I'm passed (on most days) getting it done and have a focus and a goal on my runs. 

On my last run my goals was 4 "easy" miles and 2 moderate miles. I ran with a friend so I knew the easy would fly by! Running is so much more fun when i can gab and run. Right before 5 miles we split up so that we could each do our own form of moderate. 


According to my good friends at Nike my mile 5 was a 10:45. WHAT?!?! I would have liked my last mile to be a sub 12, but honestly I had NOTHING left in the tank. It was still my 2nd fastest mile, so there is really nothing to complain about. 

I'm feeling really good about my runs lately. 

I didn't realize it, but I have my last sprint tri in 2 weeks. I thought it was still another month out until I actually looked at the calendar. It's a slightly lower distance sprint (.5 swim, 11 mi bike, 2.8 mi run) but the website calls it "challenging". There are definitely some rolling hills on the bike. 

Here's the elevation map for the bike. I'm the light blue. There are like 4 races going on over the course of the weekend. 


It looks like a pretty big up and then steady with two big up and downs in the middle and then a big down at the end. Tell me it's not too bad.... Please! ;)

Rest day today- woo hoo! School starts back officially this week and I've been adjusting once again to my 5 AM workouts. It's really the only way to fit it all in and still have energy and time at the end of the day. 

Any more races for you this summer?

~Kari




Friday, August 29, 2014

Plugging along

It's been a week since my last post. 

I recorded really well for 3 days.

Then I stopped.

Overeating returned.

Right now is a crazy busy time getting ready for back-to-school while being in a new-to-me building. There is lots to do! It's definitely survival mode at this point. 

True confession- I ate THREE donuts yesterday because I hadn't packed enough for lunch and was too busy to leave work to get more food. I don't tell you this to shame myself. It's reality- when we don't plan for healthy foods, we are really planning on unhealthy choices. Healthy eating takes work and planning. If I had brought yogurt or nuts or rice I would have had that to eat. But I didn't bring those things. No big surprise- I was toast by the end of the day. Completely exhausted. My fatigue was partly from work, but also from poor nutrition. (Did I mention that Costco hot dog for dinner. Oy!)

It's a new day. I have a food plan. Snacks are portioned out. Healthy breakfast being eaten at this very moment. Today my food choices are going to rock. They have to..... long run tomorrow.

Speaking of runs!

I went in to working with a running coach VERY skeptical. Could I really improve? Could I be faster? Could running suck less?

YES! YES! YES!

A few weeks ago he said to run at an "easy" pace. I replied that I didn't have that speed. :) Truth is, I didn't. Running was always hard. I have found my easy pace. When it starts to be hard I remind myself to find my easy and it works. I slow down, listen to my body, and regroup. I am now comfortably running 3 miles without walking on my short runs. 

I'm even starting to get faster. *She says in a whisper* 

Off to work and dreaming of a 3 day weekend where the building will be closed and I can't go in. 

~Kari

Friday, August 22, 2014

Athlete?

Over the years I've been called a lot of things when it comes to my appearance and exercise habits....

Obese
Fat
Huge
Lazy
Slow

Eventually...
Skinny (ps- I'm not and have never been skinny)
Thin
Strong
Muscular
Dedicated
Toned

Athlete.

Being called an athlete makes me laugh. I don't consider myself an athlete (but I'd love to be one). I'm not fast (but I do always finish). I'm certainly not the strongest (but I can hold my own). I don't eat-drink-breathe fitness (but I do exercise/play 6 days a week).

BUT

It's interesting that with all of my reasons that I'm not an athlete I also have a little disclaimer. I see in myself athletic tendencies but feel very uncomfortable being called an athlete. 

There is this little part of me that is uncomfortable with being called something that I view as amazing and unattainable (like when I'm called beautiful. Don't even get my started on that one).

Somewhere along the line I decided that desiring to be athletic was so far out of my grasp that to even attempt would end in disaster and embarrassment.

The fear of failing is almost sometimes stronger than the fail itself.

I weighed myself this morning. I know, never a good idea. ;)

My first thought was, "If I lost 10 of these pounds I bet I could be faster".

WHAT!?

Not skinnier. Faster.

I bet I could be.

I know how to lose weight. I know how many calories I need. Never again will I be working out 6 days a week and eating 1200 calories a day. Not.gonna.happen. 

The athlete in me (yep, I said it) wants to drop a little weight to be faster for my next race.

I've got this!

Wondering about you- How do you describe yourself? Are there descriptors that make you feel uncomfortable?

~Kari




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Run Like a Viking 5K

So.... I PR'd on my last 5K. Yep, I did. :)




36:45- WHOOOP!!! My previous best 5k was 37:58 at the Turn Back the Clock race. Shut up! That's over a minute improvement. 

Was it my new magic running coach? Probably not thing soon....or was it? The entire race I kept thinking, "I'll have to tell Kyle if I walk" or "I know I can go a little faster. Let's go faster for 30 seconds" or "I know I can run up this hill. I've run up bigger hills". There is the physical aspect of running, but also the mental game that I am learning to play better.

Race Recap:

This was the inaugural event for Run Like a Viking and I have to say I was very impressed. Packet pick-up was really organized. When I got there for the race there was great signage to show people where to park and how to get to the starting line.  There were between 150-175 runners. (I'm not totally sure because some chose not to be timed, but were there and not recorded.) 

Things I loved about this race:
- Started right on time! Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait to start.
- Clearly marked course
- Volunteers at parts of the course the turned or split
- Beautiful views of the waterfront for most of the run
- Great post race snacks: bagels, apples, and water
- Fun costumes, stroller friendly and walker friendly
- You get a medal for a 5k- LOVE! 

Things that could have been improved:
- Hmmmm.... I really can't think of anything. It was a well organized and supported race. The bathrooms were a ways from the start. I would have liked a closer port-a-potty, but that's really not a big deal for a 5k.

There you go! I'd totally recommend the Run Like a Viking 5k. 
I almost forgot to mention that the race was FREE to me because I won an entry on Gametiime. Love me some Gametiime!!! 

~Kari

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hill Repeats

I don't didn't do hill repeats.
I read about them.
I knew they were important. 
I didn't do them because they were "too hard".

Today I did some hill repeats.

They were HARD!

I still did them.

I felt amazing!
I didn't throw up.
I was giddy each time I climbed the hill. 
I ran home afterwards.

Thank you to everyone who was so supportive after my "big secret" announcement. It's always scary to put things out there that make me feel vulnerable. I don't know why, but am always surprised with the support that I receive. 

My food is starting to get back on track. I'm on my fourth day of tracking and feeling in control again. Thinking about how my food choices will make me feel on my next workout has really helped me to choose wisely. I love that my focused has shifted from what I weigh (I still think about it...) to how I am feeling. I have a doctor appointment on Wednesday and am dreading the "So, I see you've gained XXX pounds over the past year". Thinking about asking her to not tell me my weight. That being said, not knowing what I weighed 5 years ago got me to a really ugly place. I have recognized that I need to do something to get back in control and that I am doing something about it is enough for this check-up.

See you at the top of the hill. :)

~Kari

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My BIG secret

I coach for a living. I work with amazing teachers that are interested in improving their teaching or are "stuck" on a student/curriculum/organization problem and would like some support. They are teachers long before I enter the picture. Some people don't want to work with me as their coach. I get it. They have different reasons. I get that too. Sometimes it has to do with me, sometimes them, and sometimes factors out of everyone's control.

When a teacher decides they want to work with me a few things have to happen:

1.  Extreme vulnerability- Teaching is a solo activity and to invite someone in to see what you are doing in your classroom really opens up your skills for criticism. (I don't think I have a reputation of being critical, but the fear is still there.)

2. Have a willingness to change- An attitude of "I'm the best and don't need help" will never foster a positive coaching relationship. We all need to grow. I've learned so much from my teachers about my own teaching. 

3. Commitment to the work- For a coaching relationship to work both sides need to be committed to the same goals. If one side doesn't do their part, the goals will not be met. 

Coaching requires me to be:

1. Adaptable- Teachers all have a different style of teaching. Think back to your teachers. Did you ever have 2 exactly the same? The best part of my job is that I get to see so many different styles that still work. My personality will shift based on the teacher I am supporting. I have one that I tell her "let's play today" (meaning teach her Kinders to the best of our ability) and I have another that cringes every time I say "play". 

2. Patient- There are times where, for lots of reasons, growth doesn't happen as quickly as either side would like. Change takes time. 

3. Consistent- Education is full of mandates and expectations. I need to be consistent in my message and support. I can't tell one teacher "I love walk to read" and tell the other one that "walk to read is the worst thing to come to public education". No one wants a wishy-washy coach.


WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH WEIGHT LOSS/FITNESS/HEALTHY LIVING?

I have a secret. It's not really a BIG deal, but I've made it one in my head. I told a good friend my secret this weekend and she said, "Kari, the entire world knows what you weigh, but you won't tell them this?". Good point E, good point. 

(Runs to get another cup of coffee....)

I've hired a running coach. There. I said it. No big deal, right? 

For me it is a big deal to share because for some reason it is embarrassing. Why? Because I'm not an athlete (working on this one...). I'm not going to be winning any races. I'm certainly not making money off of my racing career. How in the world can I justify spending money on a coach for my hobby? Who am I that I think I deserve to have special attention paid to my running. I totally see the irony in the fact that I think EVERYONE (even the REALLY good teachers) can benefit from an instructional coach, but don't think I'm good enough for a running coach.

Kyle (that's my coach) and I have been working together for just 2 weeks and I'm really digging it. He sent me my first workout and I sent him a thousand questions. He modified my first workout. It made me giggle. He didn't say this, but my guess is that he realized I needed WAY smaller baby steps in to this running thing that what he anticipated. I only think that because with my own teachers I've done the same thing. Poor guy probably didn't realize I'd be analyzing his coaching moves.

I decided to start working with Kyle because I really want to become a stronger runner. I feel confident in the swim and on the bike. Not fast, but confident. I want that confidence on the run. I'd also like to be just a little bit faster. I get that I'm a bigger runner, but believe that I do have the ability to be faster. 

Two weeks ago I was convinced that I had one running speed, survival. I've done a few workouts with a tiny bit of speed work thrown in. It didn't take me long to realize that I actually had different speeds. 

My hips hurt after a longer run. I whined to Kyle. He sent me hip strengthening exercise. It NEVER occurred to me to strengthen my hips instead of just whining about how they hurt. DUH! That's what a good coach does- they help you see things that you can't consider when you are entrenched in the work. 

There you have it, my big secret. I've hired a running coach. I still don't feel like I *deserve* one, but I've got him. 

Lots more to come about this running coach business, I promise. 
In the meantime, go check out Kyle's site

~Kari




Friday, August 15, 2014

Not this again...

My Facebook post today

I keep playing this record in my weight loss story and it's getting REALLY old. 

I've had a series of "big" events over the past few months that have really derailed my recording and therefor have caused me to make unhealthy choices with my food. I'm not a conscious eater. I eat what I want. When I'm recording I still eat what I want, but I eat it with a different lens. I eat to fill my nutrition needs. When I'm not recording I eat to fill a void, pass time, or just because I can. The idea that it doesn't count because I don't record is straight up stupid. 

I know recording works. It works like brushing my teeth keeps the cavities away. It works like tying my shoes keeps me from tripping (usually). 

I've been pondering the word athlete a lot lately. So much so that it deserves it's own blog post....soon. 

Here's my dilemma- Recording today means having way less Froyo that planned and making a healthier choice at dinner, not recording means another day that I've lost in moving towards my goals. AHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Ordinary choices become extraordinary changes.

Sheesh! I know what to do. Off to record.... Anyone know how to record Froyo?

~Kari

About Me

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On June 19, 2009 I started my weight loss journey. It has become quite the journey! As of today (2-1-11) I have lost 162 pounds and have gained a whole new life. This blog is a continuation of my journey. I hope to inspire and encourage others through my process.