“We are what repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle

"At the starting line we are all cowards" Alberto Salazar

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Holy S$%#!

My greatest fear of being a long distance runner came to fruition today at mile 10.2 over the roar of Pitbull, a rumbling coming from the depths of my bowels was heard and felt that could only signal trouble…big trouble and within seconds my butt literally exploded! The first thing that came to mind was thank God I wasn’t running commando today! And then reality hit me hard and fast. I was still 1.8 miles from my car and 15 minutes from home. I have never ever wanted a Jennie in a bottle or magic wand more in my life than right at that very moment! As I began my slow walk UP the hill to my car I had plenty of time to think about the progress I had made. A year ago running 10.2 miles doing interval training up hills in 80 degree weather was not in the cards. I was simply too fat! I also realized that I wasn’t the first athlete and certainly not the last to have this humbling experience happen to them. Today my Milepost quote said “Unless you’re not pushing yourself, you’re not living to the fullest. You can’t be afraid to fail, but unless you fail, you haven’t pushed hard enough.” I didn’t fail today I simply push myself harder than I ever dreamed possible. Thank you MLFC ladies for always giving me the courage and the strength to keep pushing forward. Sometimes S#%$ just happens!

Picture #1-Beginning of my run, Picture #2 That “Oh S#$%” moment, Picture #3
A lovely reptile friend I almost step on while running. I may or may not have screamed like a small child…lol

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How 262 Minutes Changed My Life

Pre race:
The night before my first half marathon I was nervous, scared and worried. I kept asking myself, did I do enough work? Am I ready? Will I finish? I tossed and turned until early in the morning. My alarm clock rang at 4am and it was time to win the day. I hurried and took a quick shower and got ready for the race. My boyfriend got up with me, prepared for the race, and warmed up the car… oh how I love that man! Before leaving for the race I said a prayer and then held my “Pre” book in my hands, looked at the picture of Steve Prefontaine and thought about one of his quotes that has motivated and carried me along this journey. “To give anything less than you best is to sacrifice the gift.”  I looked at his picture one more time and said…”We got this!” I stepped outside and it was pouring down rain! It was as if the heavens had opened up and building an arc was the next order of business for the day.

 This is my pre-race picture...I can see the fear in my eyes...lol

Meeting up with four super heroes…Seriously I saw their capes!
I have always run alone. So running with four other women was some what intimidating not to mention that three of the four women in this picture were running the “Quadzilla” four half marathons in four days that’s 52.4 miles in four days…holy shit that’s cray-cray! But these women were warm, inviting, funny as hell, and made me feel like part of the group right away and that was really nice.

Here's a picture of my super heros! They are some cray-cray bitches!

It’s go time!
It’s almost time for the race to start. About 100 participants walked down this steep forest trail to the starting line and before I know it we are off and running. It was pouring down rain and I’m already soaked to the bone but my adrenaline is surging through my body and I couldn’t be more excited. I crank up my music and try to settle into a good running groove.

Mile four – the gratitude mile
As I approached mile four of the race I was over-come with gratitude. I began crying tears of love, joy and appreciation for all of the family, friends and Fit Camp ladies who have inspired me and supported me along the way. I was also humbled by the very presence of God and His unconditional love for me.

During this mile it felt like a flashing slide show of special people in my life. My 98 year old Grandmother who inspires to be faithful, compassionate and kind to everyone I meet. My Mother, who loves me, supports me and makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to do. My son who simply hung the moon and stars…it’s impossible to describe how much I love this young man. My amazing boyfriend who loves me, encourages me and is my greatest cheerleader. My friend Jason who lost his life several years ago in a flying accident he loved to run and always shared his love of running with me. Each and every one of the Fit Camp ladies who have shared their victories, struggles, challenges and joy…you filled my heart with gratitude. I will never, ever forget this mile as long as I live. I have always tried to live my life with an “Attitude of Gratitude” and now after mile four of this race I truly know what that means.

Anything is possible after getting lost…

As I began the eighth mile of the race two of women I was running with decided to slow down their pace due to injuries and told me to go on ahead. I said good-bye and began down the trail for the first time on my own.

This race was being held on forestry land and there were many, many trails to follow. Not until after the race did I realize that this is one of the smallest cross country races held in the state of Washington. Most of the participants are running in the “Quadzilla” and need this race to complete the four half or four full marathons in four days.

The rain began falling harder and the trails began to flood. All of the directional signs spray painted on the ground had washed away under 3-6 inches of water. I took a wrong turn and I was lost but had no idea I was lost until I came flying down a trail only to discover a man trimming trees, a forestry gate and a paved road. All I could say was F! The man trimming trees looked at my race bib and asked if I was running a race? I told him yes, he then asked if I’d like him to drive me back to the starting line? I declined and told him I would finish the race. So I headed back up the road to once again take another wrong turn that led me to a steep ravine. As I looked up I saw a runner pass by 250-300 yards up this ravine on the trail. I knew I had no where to go but up. As I stood at the bottom of the ravine with water rushing down around my feet I prayed hard to for a safe climb. I also prayed that my boyfriend would not have to use his search and rescue skills to come fetch my ass from the side of the mountain. As I climbed up the side of the ravine I began sinking up to my knees in mud. Each step gave way to new challenges but I went slow and used the strength I had developed with all of the hours I spent with Tony and P90X to get to the top. As I reached the top of this muddy ravine I knew no matter what challenges in life I faced I had the ability to do what ever life had in store for me! I took one more wrong turn and then saw my running buddies up ahead. I was so happy to see them! They pointed me down the right trail to the finish line and off I went.

This was "little" puddle at the beginning of the race. By the end of the race the whole trail was under water!

Seriously…Who ends a race up a hill?

I had just two miles left of this journey and most of it was climbing up the last hill to the finish line. I thought about my journey of weight loss and fitness and I was overwhelmed with pride. I pushed hard, it was cold I had been running and wet for over four hours but the top of the hill to the finish line was in sight. I sprinted to the finish line…I was done! I had finished my very first half marathon in 4 hours and 22 minutes running a total of 16.8 miles in some of the most adverse conditions the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Here's is my "Redneck" medal a little piece of wood with a sticker on it. I've never been so proud!

What’s next?
Someone once told me that a goal is a dream with a deadline so my next goal is to run four more half marathons in February, March, April and May with the long term goal of joining these fabulous ladies below next year in the 2013 “Quadzilla” 4 Half marathons in 4 days race. Here’s to winning the day! Because anything is possible if you just believe!

               2013 QUADZILLA OR BUST BABY!

Friday, November 2, 2012

"Fun Size" Candy vs. "Fat Size" Girl...Winning the Halloween Candy War

For 31 days I had been plotting and planning just how I was going to be successful on Halloween. I know my greatest weakness is a bag of chocolate candy especially those little “fun size” bastards that advertise just have a little bite, a little treat, a little pick me up. Not for me, one of those little bastards turns into one, two, three bags of fun and 1,000’s and 1,000’s of calories and extra pounds. That’s how I got to be a “Fat Size” girl.

This year I knew it had to be different. I couldn’t allow all of my hard work to go down the drain because I was powerless over a bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups. So I told my boyfriend that I didn’t want him to buy any candy until Halloween evening and that we only need one bag to take care of the few kids we have in our neighborhood. Simple instructions right?

What happens next is classic! He heard Halloween candy that’s it. He didn’t hear just one small bag. So he walks through the door with EIGHT HUGE bags of candy! And says “Baby I bought all of your favorites including extra Reese’s Peanut Butter cups” F-ME now! Really you can’t make this shit up! I just panicked...I began breathing hard. My heart was racing. I was sweating like a hostage. I had put a Halloween candy safety plan into motion and now he had ruined it without even knowing it. You see this amazing man can have a candy or two and then forget all about it for weeks on end. I also knew he wasn’t trying to sabotage my weight loss because he’s my biggest cheerleader and supporter. He just isn’t addicted to sugar.

I pulled myself together and handed out candy successfully to the kids. I then bagged up all the extra candy and shoved it into a safe spot knowing that I would be sending all the left-over candy with him to the fire station on his next shift.

This is where I lost it…my boyfriend heads to the grocery store the day after Halloween to get a few things he needed to cook dinner. He comes home from the grocery store with his supplies for dinner and TWO HUGE bags of Halloween candy bigger than the first eight bags! It was on sale for half off and he just couldn’t pass up that kind of a deal. All day I had been struggling with the knowledge that the candy was safely stashed away and now more candy! Seriously! I told him I didn’t care if the grocery store was loading up his truck with free candy he was to not EV.ER bring home another bag of candy. After my rant he turns to me and says “baby you are so much stronger than a bag of fun size candy”. No I’m not. I’m getting stronger but I’m not at a point where I can have chocolate in our home and eat it responsibly. For the first time I think he understood my daily struggle with sugar. He agreed that all of the candy would make its way to the fire station and it did.

I made it through my very first Halloween without eating one single Reese’s Peanut Butter cup. Seriously I think I came out of the womb with a fist full of chocolate in my hand and now I can honestly say nothing tastes as good as fit feels.

Here’s to winning the war ladies!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Don't Tell Me I Can't

I’ve always been athletic from the time I was old enough to throw a ball, swing a tennis racquet or lift a weight. I literally grew up in the gym, on the field or on the court. I was that girl who was ready to lace up any pair of athletic shoes and make it happen. I still am that girl she just got a little lost along the way.

Through the years my eating changed the way I viewed sports and physical activity. I was still ready to play but my larger size limited the amount of exercise I could do. And honestly it was just damn embarrassing to work-out, play tennis, hike or golf rockin’ a big girl body.
So less than five months ago when I decided I didn’t want to be “that fat girl” anymore much to my surprise I began hearing a lot of you can’t do that, you can’t still play that sport, you can’t run that  distance, you’re too old for that.

W-H-A-T! are you effing kidding me? You don’t get to vote on my fitness level, my commitment to my health, my desire to compete at a higher level, my guts and my determination. No, no, no, you do not have that privilege. Sometimes I’m amazed at what people will say. When I posted on my regular Facebook account and began talking to friends and family about the cross country half marathon in November I would be running I literally had people crawling out of the wood work telling me that at 50 I was too old, I was going to get hurt, I couldn’t run that far, I’d slow down the race. And best of all…what the heck was I trying to prove?

For starters don’t tell me I can’t cuz that’s when shit is gonna get serious! I’ve turned those “negative nellies” as my Grandpa would call them into my biggest motivators. Since those comments came flooding in I have shaved 3 minutes and 7 seconds off of my mile time and 18:50 off of my five mile time. I still have 33 days until race day and here’s what I know for sure...I will be lighter and I will be faster, and I will be that 50 year old Mexi-"CAN" girl that finishes the race vs. the Mexi-"CAN’T" girl that lets stupid  comments get in the way of her success.

We only get one shot at this life and it’s up to us to make the very best out of each day. As Steve Prefontaine said “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift”

 Let’s win the day ladies!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why Now? Why this Time?

My weight loss journey has been a long one, littered with successes and epic failures for the last 25 years. I’ve always eaten healthy but my portion control has been waaaayyy off and binging on food has been my “go to” coping mechanism. For the most part I’ve worked-out and played sports my entire life even at my heaviest. But the last 25 years has certainly been done half assed and with out focus or clear goals. I’d stop and start, a few pounds lost and then of course it was time to celebrate with food. And you can probably guess the rest. I’m spiraling out of control shoveling tons of food into my pie hole promising myself that I would start again tomorrow, on Monday, next week, when the planets aligned…ummm yea right! By the time I figured out that I had spiraled out of control I’d packed on an additional 10-15-20 pounds of weight

So why now? Why this time?

Something happened that caused me to realize that at 50 years old I either needed to get serious about my health and fitness or I was going to be one of those older women. You know the ones you see at the grocery store and at the mall. They look like they may have been pretty when they were younger but now they’re invisible and one step away from needing a Little Rascal to get around. Yea, didn’t think I wanted that for my future.

Sometimes it takes someone with the courage to be brutally honest with you to finally turn the effin light bulb ON! For me that person was my boyfriends Mother. Almost five months ago she and her husband were visiting my boyfriend and I. Uggh I just hate saying boyfriend at my age…seriously a boy friend is totally awesome when you’re 16 but not at my age in a committed relationship…it’s no bueno! And a significant other just sounds lame to me…anyway I regress! J

 My boyfriends Mother said to me that I needed to stop remodeling our home and spend that money on a tummy tuck. Holy shit did she just say that!!!!!! So I did what every good fat girl would do I began stuffing food into my pie hole at warp speed for a little over a week eating anything and everything in sight. Finally after a binge on pizza and ice cream I realized I didn’t need a effin tummy tuck what I needed was to get my health and fitness in order STAT! That was just the wake-up call I needed. I thank her each and every day for speaking up and making me see that I was killing myself one bite at a time.

In her defense she has struggled with her weight all of her life. She had gastric bypass surgery done almost 30 years ago and not a day has gone by since her surgery that she doesn’t experience significant medical issues from that decision. She is still 80-100 lbs. over weight and has a very difficult time getting around. I’m confident her comment came from a place of love and concern. It was up to me to either be bitter or better about her observation. I have chosen to be better.

So after 5 months I’m stronger than I thought I was, more focused and certainly healthier and lighter than I ever thought I could be. I look forward to sharing my weight loss journey with others. It’s up to us to WIN EACH AND EVERY DAY…so let’s get busy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thank you...

We must develop an attitude of gratitude and give thanks for everything that happens to us, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. When doing so, you will open yourself up to some very unexpected experiences in life.

So with that being said I must say thank you and express my gratitude to all of the remarkable ladies that are a part of Mama Laughlin’s Fit Camp for encouraging me to write this blog. This is certainly an unexpected turn in my weight loss journey.

I’m certainly not a writer. I grew up in the late 60’s and 70’s when “spelling it like it feels” was all the rage and grammar wasn’t all that critical for a little Mexican girl to grasp growing up in a small town.  So I’m sure you’ll find what I call “Mexican moments” throughout my blog when the spelling and grammar are somewhat questionable…what.ev  you’ll at least get the idea J So here goes ladies…