Monday, March 28, 2016

More Like a Running Blog

Ladies' night out with some of the Running Pack! It's weird to see each other in real clothes and pretty hair and stuff.

Lately it seems like my focus in this blog has been on my running more than anything else – I guess because I feel like I have so much more control over it. Eating is, well... as I may have mentioned previously, I have a good week where it all feels comfortable and easy, and then I fall back into old habits that are really best left behind. I know this intellectually, and there are all sorts of reasons why I want to lose more weight, but it just isn't happening in a consistent way and I am trying to be kind to myself about it so that I don't totally go off the deep end. I guess, every other week of being in control or feeding my body in a good way is better than none, yes?

A terrible photo of an amazing tennis outfit I got from Tory Burch Sport. Luxury! (gift card!) Inspiring!

It's so tough because I really, really, really want to lose more weight. I know I will. But when am I going to get my mojo back? I've got so many reasons, and lately they seem a little more superficial, like the above outfit I picked using the gift card my dad and stepmom gave me from Tory Burch Sport. Good gravy, those clothes are so luxe. I really couldn't believe it when I opened the package. I had no idea. The scoop is that both the tank top and the tennis skirt are size XL, the largest available, and well... I have a little ways to go in order to wear these pieces in public. Not too far, mind you; I can wear the top but it's a little too snug for public consumption, and the skirt almost but not quite passed my hips. I didn't want to ruin it by pushing it. So, probably another 20-30 pounds and I'm in.

Tennis season approaches quickly and we're anxious to get on the courts... and I am anxious to wear my precious new outfit.

Well? I either make it happen, or I don't. But I have to. I want to.

All right, so back to running. It's become a big, important part of my life and I really enjoy it even when I am hating it, if that makes sense.

This past weekend I was thrilled to finally blast through a major mental block that was the 10K (6.2 miles) distance. We had a 5 mile group run on the schedule, but since I missed the 6 mile one the week before, I really wanted to conquer it once and for all... and while I was at it, shouldn't I just make it an even 10K? I mean, really!

With the help of mentor Vanessa this time, I did it, and I did it with mostly negative splits, too. It was on the slower side with an average pace of 15:12, but that was to be expected. I am very happy about it. The best part? The thing that has been worrying me about getting past 6 miles, my knee, has been FINE. It was fine during the run, and best of all was fine after and since. In fact, I'd wager to say that my knee has been feeling better than it has in a while.

From here on out, I know that I can, as long as I keep training smart, run any distance that I set my mind to. 10K feels like a major milestone that is also a kind of entry to a new kingdom. I'm not such a beginner anymore. It feels amazing.

The past few weeks I have been upping my mileage. One reason for that was to follow the training plan I had in place when I had the half marathon in June in mind. Another reason was, honestly, because I tend to be competitive and I've joined various online groups that keep track of mileage (walking/running/whatever) and I try to best myself and others – all in fun, of course. But today I was thinking more about this and realized that so many miles is not always needed, and it is not always good for you.

I've been shooting for 15 running miles each week, until today when I had to ask myself, why 15? I'm no longer following the training plan for the half, which would be taking me higher than that. I stopped and thought about what my goals are for spring and summer, and realized that I don't need to push it so hard, so fast. That maybe my mileage could be pulled back, and that would allow me the time and energy I want and need to incorporate strength training and stretching into my routine.

I was supposed to run two miles today, but was quite tired this morning and favored sleeping in. I thought then that I could walk two on my lunch break, but I stupidly left the house without a jacket and it was quite blustery and chilly today – not sure what I was thinking. Wishful, I guess? Long story short I made the executive decision to take the day off and fit in the miles somewhere else in the week.

But now? Now I am thinking, eh. Do I need to run five days a week? Maybe sometimes I will do that when I'm really feeling it, but I don't want to risk injury, and I want to keep it fun, not a chore.

So I guess for the time I have left in NoBo 3.0 (about another month), I'll just follow the plan and do the four weekly runs – two group runs and two homeworks – and just work on consistency and the eight miles that the program leads to. I'll have about a month off then before the next session of HFM begins (that's Half-Full Marathon training), a 14-week program that offers workouts for beginner and advanced half marathon and full marathon training. I'll be honest, I'm a little nervous about doing it in the heat of summer, but I also know that it will get me ready for the Wineglass Half in October. And, I mean, I did 2.0 in summer last year and I didn't melt. I know how to dress and prepare for that kind of weather. And I can always go back to 3.0 if I need to – though that is exactly the same thing I said as I was getting ready to start 3.0, and HELL NO am I dropping down, LOL!

Yeah. In the meantime I have a couple longer races I'm signed up for, and a couple 5Ks (see my "Races" button up top there). Maybe I will just focus on running those stronger, being more comfortable up to a 10K.

And in the meantime, how about I really get down to it and start losing weight again??? If I say it enough maybe it will finally stick?


Thursday, March 24, 2016

It's OK to Change Plans

Fear has been getting in the way of my running. I finally fully realized that after a good chat with my pal Amy F. tonight. I'd been hashing it out internally for weeks, but after spending some time working my stuff out with her guidance, I've decided that I am going to skip the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon this year after all. 

The reality is that I need to get more comfortable with the things in between first. I'm excited about the couple 10Ks I'll be doing in the coming months, and I am all signed up for the Wineglass Half in October – and I know that by then I WILL be ready, mentally and physically, for it. I can't tell you how much weight is off my shoulders now. I am all set to dive back into my training and focus on closer goals. 

Initially I felt embarrassed to admit I wasn't going to do the NFWHM after all, but then I realized how silly that was. Even though I know that I could walk as much as I would need to finish the race... there was something about the training schedule that was freaking me out lately. I've now sabotaged myself twice to get out of training runs (can anyone say "hangover"? I know, super dumb), and I knew it had to stop. 

I know that I CAN handle the work I am doing for No Boundaries – the two group runs each week (one evening of speedwork, one long run on Saturday morning), and two homework runs of about 3 miles each. For now, I am going to focus on that and working up my endurance for the 8 mile distance we'll be working up to by the end of April. Beyond that I'll keep working on building that up. There's a 10 mile race in August, and then... October with the Wineglass Half.

I've also been talking myself up today about losing more weight. It needs to happen. There are tennis outfits I want to wear, and faster running I want to do. Even 20 more pounds off would make such a big difference. I'm resetting as of... NOW.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A New Week, Another Chance

On Thursday after work, I just didn't wanna! Kristen talked sense into me, and even though I wanted
to do four and a half and only did two, I took a victory selfie anyway!

This week, I'm mostly focusing on getting my running miles in. On my training calendar, 15 miles is the goal and so that's where I'll be. Day by day, it looks like this, totaling 16–18 miles:

Monday: 2 miles

Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday: Rest (maybe some walking)

Thursday: 5 miles (2 in the morning, 3 in the evening)

Friday: Rest (maybe some walking)

Saturday: 6 miles

Sunday: 2 miles, maybe :)

I'm still generally keeping my individual runs to less than 3 miles generally. 3 miles now feels fairly comfortable and easy. I did just over 4 miles this morning and it was challenging, though I realized that I was also working under a food and drink hangover. My eating week was not that great, not very careful and just indulging – man, that comes and goes. As a result I am back in the high 270s, teetering on 280, which I hate. But even though I didn't do all the things I had in my workout log last week, I still managed to get just under 15 running miles under my belt, and I call that a win.

This coming week I'm going to try to find balance. How can I get done what I need while not totally exhausting myself? Is that even possible?

I've been having doubts about my ability to run longer distances lately. Because of my struggle today especially, I just can't help but feel like, hm... maybe I am expecting too much of myself? I still think I will be able to run a half marathon in October, but maybe it was silly to think that I could do it in June, run/walk or not. I still haven't been able to get myself to the 10K distance yet!

Yesterday at NoBo 6 miles was on the schedule and I was looking forward to it, but also scared. I ended up sabotaging myself on Friday night by drinking too much. I had a hangover and there was no way I was going to make it to meet the group at 8am to get it done. I paid for it for the rest of the day, feeling really down on myself and just generally blah. So, I resolved to head out today with the Old Falls running group that meets just five minutes away from my house on Sunday mornings. I knew doing it would make me feel better, but it still felt impossible to get out of bed and just do it. Thanks to my partner, who reminded me that it would make me feel better, I did it. I wanted to get those six miles done, but truthfully I really didn't feel that great and I did what I could, which amounted to just over four miles. Not bad, and I gave it my all – a pretty good average pace of 14:30 and negative splits for each mile.

Notice that I still haven't managed to get back to the weekly yoga I planned on, nor fit in any strength training that I so desperately need. I'm not sure what it is going to take, but I do know that I need to make sure to stick to my weekend plans so that my Sunday doesn't get messed up. I am wondering if deciding on a set routine for strength would be a good idea, something as simple as picking set of exercises, a number of each, keeping it short and easy so I am sure to do that.

In other news, I got a promotion at work! Lots of stuff going on.

Monday, March 14, 2016

A New Week, A New Plan

I had a very active week last week and stuck to plan except for Sunday – I had planned on going to a yoga class and doing a wee bit more running. But, I was in the kitchen almost all day trying to get ready for a Pi/Pie party I was going to attend... and ended up exhausting myself. Post-race and in the middle of a bad period (the first bad one I've had in many months, I can only hope it will be short), I just couldn't drag myself out for any more activity, yoga or party.

(I did end up with a delicious pear pie and a Tourtiere du Shack, though – we are set for the week!)

Anyway, I am going to pre-plan my weeks' activity every week. It seems to really help me get motivated and excited about what I can achieve. Plus, the activity ends up feeling like set dates that I don't want to break once they are typed into my log. Here is this week's; it's packed!

Click to enlarge!

This morning was my first Monday running date with my friend Janice, who runs a little faster than I do for short runs but is fine running at my pace (Yay!). I have been wanting to squeeze one more running day in (4x/week), so this is perfect – it helps so much to have a buddy not only to keep you company, but also to get you out and going in the first place. We met at a park in the town she lives, about halfway between where I live and where I work. It's a lovely park that has a dedicated pedestrian and bike path that runs right along the Niagara River. I figure I will generally aim for two or three miles on my Monday runs. Today was two, mainly because I will also be running tonight at Fleet Feet for a special public group run to celebrate Pi day. 3.14 mile route and pie to eat afterward! I couldn't resist participating in that. 

Janice and me post run! A very happy just-over-two-miles at about a 14:30 pace.

Big shout out to Janice, by the way – she gifted me with her older Garmin Forerunner 15! I guess she has a newer model Garmin and asked if I wanted to try it. I was then going to buy it from her when she told me she just wanted me to have it. A thousand thank yous aren't nearly enough, right? What an amazing gift. I still need to figure out how to use all its features, but I love finally having a GPS watch of my very own!


Another addition to my exercise schedule is twice weekly strength-based workouts, which I really need to get back on. Having experienced an injury because of certain weak muscles, I know how important it is to keep your entire body conditioned and strong in order to run well and run healthy. 

My weight hasn't really budged. Still fiddling in the 275-277 zone, but I'm OK with that for now, especially now that it is TOM and all. However, I've had mostly good eating days the past week and I'm still riding the wave. It's getting easier again, and I will not take that for granted!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Race Report: Shamrock Run 8K in Buffalo, NY

I was so nervous heading into my first race over a 5K distance this morning! 8K = 4.97 miles. Of course I've run that distance before (and more!), but not consistently and not very fast. This even turned out to the best one I could have chosen – lots of walkers and run/walkers and so I was never alone the whole route. That was really nice!

I'll start from the beginning. I met up with Kristen at the Fleet Feet store so we could drive to the race site together – at close to 5000 participants we figured it'd be better to carpool and get there early. Amy F. was hosting a tailgate party out of the back of her truck, so we headed over there to hang out and wait for the rest of our crew and for the race to begin.

Here's a bunch of us!

It was perfect running weather – who'd have thunk it in early March in Buffalo? It was a little chilly, in the 30s when we got there, but it was sunny and clear and there was no snow or ice left anywhere. And for there to be so many runners and walkers participating, it was totally manageable for this crowd-phobic gal. It really helped to have our own little enclave at Amy's truck, no doubt, but in general the crowds seemed very well behaved and managed. I won't be afraid or put off to run in big races anymore for sure.

One thing I did want to make sure of was to stay way at the rear for the start of the race so that I wouldn't impede any faster runner's path. Honestly, I was really worried about this race after having made the mistake of reading a couple race reports from previous years in which the writers bitched about having to navigate "would-be runners and joggers" and plain old walkers. Hey, I get that where that might be annoying when people don't know any better to try to stay out of the way (I think a lot of walkers in this kind of race are just doing it for fun with their friends and don't know much about the etiquette), but why do you have to belittle those out there like me who are slower runners by calling us "would-be" or "joggers"? It was a rude awakening for me to read blogs like that after having mainly read more inclusive ones, and certainly participating in a segment of the running community that is so welcoming and encouraging of all paces. 

Anyway, it didn't get in the way of me having a really good time. My friends helped me put it out of my mind, and soon I found myself lining up and ready to go.

I'm ready to go!

The only thing left that was weighing on my mind (and my body) was the fact that I got my period overnight, and was feeling it. Cramps the worst I'd had in a while, and despite having fueled up a bit (a few bites of a breakfast sandwich and a small Dunkin' Donuts iced Dunkaccino), I felt queasy and a bit weak... I worried quite frankly that I might pass out at some point. 

But! (spoiler alert) I didn't. 

It took me a few minutes to get to the starting pads once the race started, but once I got past that I took it easy, trying to be careful not to get caught up in the throngs. Of course, I'd positioned myself among mostly walkers and so that slowed me down a little bit, too – but I wanted that. I wanted to be able to run the entire distance and finish strong. 

Within the first quarter to a half mile I started feeling better and the queasiness went away. People started spacing out and I was able to find my pace. After a mile, I was pleasantly surprised that I was well under a 14 minute pace – right around 13:30, in fact. Very speedy for me, but I'll be darned that I didn't feel it. In fact, for most of the race I felt really strong, especially after mile 3 and despite the three hills. The last one was a surprise as I thought that there were only two hills, and to make it worse, it was about double the size of the other two. Still, my training served me well and I tackled them with no problem.

I had an all-David Bowie playlist to run to, and the miles went by quickly. I even thought that there would be a small chance I could meet my lofty goal of finishing in less than 1:10:00. Well, not quite, but I'll take it – my chip time was 1:12 and change. My average pace according to MapMyRun was 14:06, though official race time made it 14:35. Either way, I couldn't have been happier to maintain well below a 15 minute pace for the whole five miles, with negative splits every mile beyond that extra speedy first mile.

With my gals, Amy F. and Angela post-race. They have been a great support and inspiration to me as
 I've developed as a runner! (Doing my best not to really hate on my stomach. I know, I know...)

I was surprised to have enjoyed this big race as much as I did, and plan to make it an annual tradition, tailgating with friends and all!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

It's a Beautiful Day

This morning, against all my body and mind's will, I woke up early, geared up, and met my friend Kristen for our weekly Thursday morning run. It turns out that both of us had come thisclose to texting the other to cancel!

I say "It's a beautiful day", but I am not talking about the weather. It has actually been grey and rainy all day, including during our run! But the runner's high I got today has just made me sail through the hours at work. It's the most incredible feeling and it's what keeps me coming back.

Kristen had victory selfie duty today. Turns out it's a better angle for both of us since she's the shorter of the two. ;) I really like this photo!

Excelsior! (Rainy days = foggy glasses)

There was an older lady (on the larger side like me) out who I passed by a couple times doing some walking. As I was about to leave the park, I saw her run a few yards and I couldn't resist going up to her to cheer her on and just give some encouragement. When I had said hello to her earlier she looked like she had a kind face, so I took a gamble on coming off intrusive. However, our exchange was really great. She was wonderful and I think appreciated my encouragement. We ended up hugging (!) and she sent me off with a "God bless you!" to which my atheist self replied, "YOU TOO!!! and I really meant it for her. I hope I see her at the park again doing our thing one day. 

Anyway, I wanted to do 4 miles today. Officially, the training schedule has 3.72 on the docket, but I figured, whatever. I like those round numbers! I thought it was going to be extra hard because I ended up forgetting my earbuds for inspiring music, but I was just able to enjoy my surroundings and have the music playing in my head be enough. At the very least I wanted 3 miles, so I followed the same route I did last week – and then I ended up exploring the path I was on beyond anytime I've gone before. It turned out to be lovely and I'm looking forward to doing it again, taking me back behind the History Museum where there is a Japanese garden and pond! Wow! By the time I got back to our starting point, I'd logged 3.25 and was OK with that. I met up with Kristen and we cooled down a bit when she decided to push herself a bit more, and with that, so did I! All told, I'm pretty sure I ended up with another mile total, though I made the mistake of forgetting to un-pause my app. But all the running and walking combined, it's definitely somewhere around there. Super excited about that, especially with the 5 mile race coming up on Saturday. I'd love to run the whole thing, but without someone on my tail and pacing me like I have in NoBo sessions, I'm not sure I will do that... but I suppose if I can under those circumstances, I should be able to by myself, too, yes?

Whatever. I just want a strong finish. 

Well into this adjustment week of getting back to regular exercise again, one thing I can say definitively is that my mood and overall attitude has improved noticeably. Note to self: Keep exercising a priority, if only for that reason! I feel happier, more confident, all that good stuff.

I know they say that exercise isn't necessary to lose weight, but if you ask me? It is a real game changer as far as your outlook goes. It makes your body and your mind feel good, and once you have that, the rest follows.

I love how that even after almost two years I am still figuring things out. Never lose the desire to learn and explore, inside and out.

This post brought to you by Runner's High.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Attitude Adjustment

I picked up my race bib and shirt today on lunch break! I am ready to rumble on Saturday!

It's only Tuesday, I know, but the week is going great so far. I've really needed to get a couple good days under my belt again, for my own sanity. I was feeling so down on myself the past little while. Setting up an exercise schedule again couldn't have been a better idea – stepping things up just a little bit is making a huge difference. Being more active for just these couple days has boosted my energy, my confidence, and my ability to deal with food. It's pretty amazing. Some light switch got turned on again.

I'm embracing this feeling and I will try not to take it for granted ever again. I remember when I was bitching about weighing 271 for a week, and now? What I wouldn't give to be there again... I cannot take any of it for granted anymore. I'm really trying to focus on how great it really is to have maintained most of my weight loss for over six months – I mean, that is something that I have never done before, not at least that I can remember. I'm 99% sure because most of my life I've been yo-yo dieting. I never kept losses off. Obviously. So yeah, it's a pretty huge thing, right?


Now that No Boundaries is in full swing again and I'm taking my running to the next level, I am thinking more about how much losing more weight would help me perform better. I mean, if I can do what I am doing now at 270-some pounds, what the what could I do with 20 pounds off? 50? 100? By the time I reach any of those goals, I'm going to be kicking some hard ass as a runner. I am now. Think of it. I am 27– pounds and I can run five miles.

Running is saving my life.

I've been working on eating better and less this week, so far, so good. This means not getting lunches out, which really helps. Probably not much dinner out, either, if at all. I'm also kind of trying to limit my intake of obvious sweets (chocolate, donuts, etc. – processed things, not fruit); in fact I am trying not to eat it at all, but today I had a few nibbles of those mini candy bars that my co-worker always has at her desk. Mainly it was because I knew I was going to get about 4 miles' worth of running in (in fact, I did 4.4! Yay!), so whatever. But I'm also just thinking about trying to get the taste out of my mouth, if you know what I mean. The less you eat it, the less you crave it kind of thing. I just don't want it to backfire on me!

Anyway, group run tonight was great. It was challenging, but in the end I am always happy to have completed it. Tuesdays are speed work, and tonight's was intervals with 3 minutes of hard fast running and 1 minute recovery (walks in my case), x4. Plus a one mile warm up and one mile cool down. Even before all that I did a quick mile with a couple friends just to up my mileage. To say that I am tired and will sleep like a baby tonight is an understatement. I'm pretty thrilled at what I was able to do.

By week's end, according to my workout log, I'll have 20 miles' worth of running and walking in, the most in like, forever. I'm going to crush it.

This week is MINE.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Setting the Stage

I'm all set to start the week off on the right foot. After such a great weekend, I am feeling like I have my direction back and I am ready to try again. One thing that helped my resolve even more was reading almost all my blog entries from when I re-emerged back in May 2014. Turns out – and how quickly we forget – that I have been having the very same struggles and complaints all along. Stalled weeks (and months), slipping back into habits I didn't want to slip back to, etc. etc.

It's been the same way all along. I've had great moments, good moments, and plenty of not-so-good moments. The point is, I get back on the horse every time, and have for almost two years now. That means: PROGRESS. I'm still doing OK. I still want the same things for myself.

Today I am focusing on having one good eating day and I'm even logging it. I've got it all planned out already, so nothing to worry about for the rest of the day. I know what I am getting. Another step I took this morning was to pre-log all the exercise I'd like to do this week, and here it is in all its Workout Log glory:

(You can click to enlarge!)

Obviously once I actually do the stuff, the durations will get filled in as well, but for now – this is the plan. I'm going to start walking on my lunch breaks again, which will be very nice and just plain get me moving more. I've tacked on a yoga class to my Sunday rest day, and have put that on my schedule every Sunday through June so far. That's something I've been wanted to get back to forever, and that late Sunday morning will be the perfect time to recharge my batteries. I'm really looking forward to it.

Truth be told, I was going to get up early this morning and do the training that is on my schedule for Tuesday, but I can easily make Game Day with my NoBo training be part of that on Tuesday evening. We do 3 miles on Tuesdays that include a one mile warm up and cool down run, and a mile's worth of speed work (YUCK! LOL), so my plan is to get there early and run an extra easy mile beforehand. I was just SO tired this morning. The weekend really kicked my butt, so I don't feel too badly about wimping out. But I knew after that that I needed to come up with a good plan and make dates with myself and really commit to being as active as I like to be again.

So. Wish me luck!

Hoping to drop a few pounds this week and get firmly back on track.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Getting My Mojo Back

I've been struggling, I make no bones about that. But let me tell you, running has been my savior, even when I'm not super consistent with it.

February was especially challenging because I was working almost every bit of my free time preparing for a pretty big exhibition of my work (a two-person show with fellow artist Patrick Robideau, whom I greatly admire). All my focus went to that, and my eating suffered and my training suffered – but, I still hung on the edge of the cliff with the tips of my fingers. I am pleased to say that I got everything finished in time and that we had a stunning and very well attended opening reception last night. It was totally worth it.

Funny enough, a couple of the best things about last night were the comments I received not only about my paintings, but about my appearance and my fitness efforts (many folks read about my running on Facebook). Even though I've gained a little of what I've lost back recently, I still got a lot of positive feedback and I'll admit it, it made me feel good and helped cement the feeling that there is no way I want to go back to the way I was. Second, much to my surprise? Some photos that a friend took of me and Pat. I actually do not hate the way I look, and that is HUGE. I see progress despite my setbacks. I see the future and what I can be.

Me and Patrick Robideau as the proud artists. Photos by Matt Kenny.
Looking like bad-ass artist-intellectuals. That's Pat's sculpture hanging to my left, and a couple of my paintings over by Pat.

I mean, yes, I still have a ways to go. Maybe I still don't love my belly or my double chin. But those things are much improved. It's actually fun to see my whole body like this in a more casual, typical pose instead of my usual in-the-bathroom-at-work progress shot. These photos have done a LOT for my self-esteem. I'm pretty excited. It was the total icing on the cake of having a very successful art show opening and seeing our work come together in a beautiful gallery space.

Another recent photo was a nice surprise. My co-worker Kristen and I have agreed to meet before work every Thursday morning for "homework" runs. She's a lot faster than me so technically we don't run together, but we do hold each other accountable and we know we're around doing the same work, which is awesome (In fact, she is the fastest member of the group we're in, and I am the slowest!)

This past Thursday, she posted this sneaky photo on Facebook, which I loved. 

Kristen's selfie with me in the background!

I was all like, "Hey! I almost look like a normal runner"! I know, using that terminology is problematic and is disordered thinking, i.e. what does "normal" mean and why is that assigned a positive connotation vs. me viewing myself as someone who is fat and runs? I grapple with this all the time, but in the interest of honesty, I am sharing my immediate reaction. I guess my point was that, again, the photo is one that allowed me to see progress in the shift of my physical state.

Long story short, I am gaining my confidence back. This morning I was happy to see that I was just a smidge into the 270s again, which is a big relief. Even better than that was that I crushed our five mile training run with NoBo! We were out there at 8am. Here's how I did.

Vanessa later texted me to say that "FYI my watch had our average moving pace at 14:22 and total time (not including our break) 1h 11m!", so YAY!

It had been my goal to complete the 5 miles in under one hour, 15 minutes, and I did it. Next weekend I will be all set and confident when I do the Shamrock Run, which is an 8K (5 mile) course! Really excited now that I know I can still do this distance. Even better was that this time around felt the best of all those I had done previously (I think about 3 or 4 times total – and the first time was brutal!!!). MOAR progress, baby.

I can do this.

This, of course, being the half marathon distance. I just have to trust the training. I have to do the work. And if I get back to losing more weight, it'll be easier and faster. 

Really proud of myself right now.