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?


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?


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. 


Friday, August 22, 2014


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


Skinny (ps- I'm not and have never been skinny)


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).


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".


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?


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!!! 


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. :)


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.


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


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?


Wednesday, August 13, 2014


What extraordinary thing have you done?

I was asked this week what I've done that is extraordinary.

My mind immediately flashed to my kids. They are FREAKING AMAZING! I don't know what I did before them. They are an incredible gift.

I didn't answer my kids. I bravely answered my weight loss, but not just the loss, but rather the change in who I am. My answer was brave because these people didn't know my "before". They just knew me as me.

I lost 165 130 125,honestly I don't know. I lost a butt-load of weight.

I went from doing water aerobics to running half marathons.

I am down from a size 32 dress to a comfy 16 (or 14 in generous fits).

I now exercise for "fun".

I eat for fuel instead of comfort. (Ok, not all the time, but most of the time).

I use to run on the the end of the row...with my headphone all the way up. I now run with a group and even post my times for the world to see.

I continue to work towards my goals, even when it's hard and I don't always see results.

VERY small changes over time transformed me in to what I am today. I never, never, never set out to lose a butt-load of weight or complete triathlons. I just wanted to be able to use the regular scale at the doctor and buy clothes without a 3 in front of them.

My extraordinary came in making ordinary changes day after day.
My extraordinary came in waking up at 5:30 to exercise before work because the kids have sports at night.
My extraordinary came in having one slice of pizza instead of 3.

The extraordinary comes out of some very ordinary commitments.

What makes you extraordinary?


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Kid Tri report


My daughter, MINE, completed her first triathlon yesterday. She did a 50 yd swim, 1.78 mi bike ride, and a .75 mile run.!

What's amazing about this is that 5 years ago I was a 356 pound mom that hated doing anything with them beyond taking them to the park while sitting on a bench. I still love those rare times where I can just watch or read a magazine, but most often I am playing alongside them. Now we swim, bike, and run together on a regular basis. Sissy hates the run portion, but will do it just because we are "training". I wonder if she'll run with me again without being signed up for a race....

We got to the race with plenty of time. She played on the merry-go-round. I fretted. I could do the swim and the run with her, but she was on her own for the bike course. What if she gets a flat? What if her chain falls off? What if she missed the turn-around point? 

We tested the lake water. Thankfully it was very warm and comfortable. 

Pre-race meeting. Parents listened intently. Kids played. 
(I want to be a kid at all of my races from now on!) 

Parents were allowed to swim along with their kids. Most of the parents waited on the shore. Sissy wanted me right by her side and that is exactly where I wanted to be. I pointed out to her what the older waves of swimmers were doing (run in, start swimming as soon as you can, stay to the right of the buoy). 

Our turn! She rocked the swim, putting her face in the water right away and starting crawl stroke as soon as possible. We got about half way and her goggles fell off. UGH! She stuck with it. I fixed her goggles and we were off again. She swam the entire distance. 

I was able to help her with both transitions. 
We got ready for the bike and she took off. 

Run and done. 

She finished the bike strong and we started to run. We had agreed on a 2 min walk/45 sec run plan from the beginning. We started out running. She protested. :) That's not the plan. Thankfully there was a water spot a few hundred yards in. We agreed to run to that water spot and then start our interval running. 

She enjoys running least of the 3 sports (me too). After some water and Gatorade (she was so excited about the Gatorade!) 

The run got a little uncomfortable for her. I reminded her that we grow when we are uncomfortable. I told her to think about post-race food. That always helps me. She picked Olive Garden. We talked about breadsticks while running. She is for sure my daughter. :)

They had great course support and all of the volunteers were so encouraging to the kids. Rounding the corner to the finish line I told her this was her race and she was going to finish alone. She bolted through that finish tunnel. Beaming. Both of us!

My daughter completed a triathlon.
5 years ago I never would have considered that as an option.

I am so proud of her. She reports that I told her that about a 1,000 times yesterday. She wants to do it again. That excites me. 

All day my Bug kept asking me why I wasn't racing with the adults. He said that I should be out there. I love that he sees me as an athlete that can compete. 

Congrats Sissy!!!!


Monday, August 4, 2014

June/July Running Update

I let another 2 months go by without updating my running today. June and July were low in the running department. I did have 3 extra runs in July (while on my cruise) that didn't get recorded. Tri training definitely reduced my running time. 

Still on track to meet my goal of 400 miles in 2014!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Spartan Race Aug 2, 2014

Aroo! I was lucky enough to compete in my 2nd Spartan Race yesterday. My experience was similar to last year, so I won't go in to all the specifics. Want more Spartan info? Look here for my VERY detailed 2013 report. 

 2014 Differences:
- We had a team of 6 (+ or - 1 at throughout the course) instead of 2! We brought along 2 strong guys to help gets us over the walls. This made a HUGE difference. I was thrilled to see that I was able to get over the first set of walls all by my self. My friend Andi showed me an even easier way and I COULD DO IT! My team was: Julia, Chris, Andi, Nick, Dallas, and (a complete stranger!) Allison.
- The course was in a different order. I loved the new arrangement. The downside of the new course was that it added another mile to the race. My 5k course was reportedly 4.75 miles. Not.a.5k. 
- More water stations. Hurray!
- I also packed a bottle of water and my snickers bar. This helped a TON. 
- We picked up a member to our team early on that was running the race solo. Can you imagine?! That's one brace chick. She struggled and needed to rest often, but that was ok. Our motto from the start was that we were there to have fun. 
- This year I skipped the slide and uphill climb. The lines were SUPER long (people were reporting waiting an hour to slide). We didn't have a penalty for the slide, but I did do my set for the uphill climb. It was late in the day and we wanted to be done. 
- We ended up spending MORE time on the course than last year. 4 hours and 15 minutes. I didn't expect that, but IT"S OK. I was one hungry girl when we finished.
- I didn't get sick this year. This was a combination of me bringing fuel/water and stopping to rest when people in our team needed a break.
- Trail running for the past year really helped on the course. I felt so much more confident on both the up and down hills. I am sure my trail shoes also helped!
- 30 burps each for: transverse wall, rope climb, uphill climb, spear throw, and slippery wall at the end. 150 total. Truth be told I did some jumping jacks in there too near the end. Burpees were making my dizzy. No need for that! 

The best part of this race was the Sissy ran her first Spartan Kids and had a blast. She climbed walls. She slid in mud. She fell. She rocked! She told me afterward about all the things she did. She was more proud of the time that someone on the course offered her help and she told them "No, I've got this". Guess what?! She had it and made it over the wall herself. 
I'm more proud of her because she stayed behind to help another little girl that was racing. 

She says to me, "That's what Spartan's do". Yes, yes it is!

My favorite picture of the day! THIS is what Spartan's do. 

I'm sore today. Very sore. Sorer than I remember being last year. My training this past year has definitely lacked in the resistance training department. 
I don't regret for a second running that race. It was a great reminder of how far I've come and how truly capable I am. 



About Me

My photo
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.