I never thought I’d be so excited to buy spandex

I just bought these running tights last night… in size LARGE!!! Not X-LARGE… but LARGE!!! I bought spandex and was happy about it.

I remember at the Blarney run thinking, “My goodness, there is no way in hell I will ever wear spandex running tights like Sarah…” The plan was to someday wear running tights like her. I thought someday was years away.

Seven months later, I ecstatically purchased them.

My, how things change.

The pros and cons of losing weight

Pro: My clothes are getting too big
Con: My clothes are falling off

Pro: I have to buy new shoes regularly
Con: Running shoes are expensive

Pro: I’ve met some of the most amazing people who share my getting fit/staying fit aspirations
Con: I’ve lost or found some friends distancing themselves from me as I get fit

Pro: My health is improving (yay for no high blood pressure!)
Con: I’ll be paying off those medical bills for awhile

Pro: I get sick when I eat super fatty/fried/unhealthy foods
Con: I get sick when I eat super fatty/fried/unhealthy but tasty foods

Pro: I can finally start to purchase clothes in the regular women’s section/”normal-sized” person stores
Con: New clothes cost money

Pro: Working out is getting easier
Con: My trainer is going to up the ante

Pro: I want to soak up as much running/training/working out/fitness knowledge
Con: I don’t want it to consume my life

Pro: I don’t drink as much/as often anymore because of how it affects my training (BONUS: Saves me $$)
Con: Sometimes people give me a hard time when I don’t drink like I used to

Pro: My priorities in life are changing (for the better)
Con: I feel guilty about this

Pro: I am more self-aware now than I have ever been
Con: I can tell I gained some weight back without even stepping on the scale

Pro: People are starting to really notice/comment on my physical changes
Con: I don’t know how to respond. The compliments are awesome, but I’m just not used to getting them.

Pro: I’ve had a taste of what a happy runner is.
Con: Injuries. Setbacks. Sadsies.

Pro: My favorite Wisconsin T-shirt is too big for me.
Con: My favorite Wisconsin T-shirt is too big for me.

Pro: People ask me for fitness/working out advice.
Con: I feel very unqualified.

Pro: I can walk up flights of stairs without getting winded.
Con: There is no con for this.

Will run for pizza

I was craving pizza. I was procrastinating. I was trying to avoid working out tonight.

But then I decided I should run TO the grocery store for a pizza (or three).

I am such a freaking genius.

I did a warmup walk then started running. And I kept going. And going. And going. It was just me and the pavement. I realized I had been running for more than half a mile and made the decision that I wasn’t going to stop running until I hit the 1 mile mark. I didn’t pay attention to pace and didn’t have music to keep me going, since my ipod battery is dead. I checked my Garmin every so often to see how close I was to the 1 mile mark. Then I started taking weird streets, in an effort to stay near the grocery store. Then I saw I was at .99mi and 12:45 so I sprinted til my Garmin beeped it had been a mile. Then I gasped for air and refrained from attempting a cartwheel on the corner of Pleasant and Water.

Then I walked to the grocery store, sweaty, smelly and all. I bought three pizzas and a six pack of diet 7up. Then I walked home.

And it was awesome.

Race Report: Starting (and finishing) my first half marathon

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
– John Bingham

It started out like any normal Sunday. Well, any normal Sunday where you get up at 4 a.m. to get ready and catch a bus at 5 a.m. to your first half marathon. You know, the usual. My first half marathon experience was nothing short of amazing. God spoke to me through Freddy Mercury, I never stopped to use the bathroom, I ran about 3 miles, I kept smiling and joking throughout and got to see almost every single teammate along the way. I am so grateful for this experience.

Me and Coach Anne – the cool kids in the back of the bus.

Team Challenge Wisconsin met for one last team cheer before the walkers nervously boarded our fancy bus to Napa. I was a ball of nerves. Yes, I’m smiling in the photos above, but my stomach was in knots. What had I done? Did I really sign up for this? What the hell was I thinking? Who in their right mind – at 249 lbs – would do a half marathon? I mean, really…

Well, I guess I’m that crazy fool.

Shortly after we boarded the bus, Dave, one of my teammates, said to me, “You look nervous.” Duh. Of course I was nervous. I had been dealing with an upset stomach all week leading up to this moment. Continue reading “Race Report: Starting (and finishing) my first half marathon”

This has to be a joke

My parents have asked us to go through all our boxes at their house to decide what we want to keep and what we’re ok getting rid of. As I worked my way through one of the boxes filled with trophies and breakables from my youth, I came across this:

I would like to note that this is how I wrapped up a bunch of ribbons from gradeschool… in protective paper and in a box with breakables. Hilarious. These are the athletic ones I found (there were also some science/art fair ones):

I would like to point out something here. There are five – count ’em – FIVE first place track and field ribbons. FIVE. Plus four second place and two third and one fifth.

Want to know what they’re all for? Well too bad if you don’t, because I am sooooo bragging about this right now.

Softball throw. I pretty much rocked at this.

Long jump.

Every single one of these is for running. YES RUNNING. What the heck?

Apparently, in 7th grade I did the 100 yard dash in 15:31.

Not too shabby at the 220 and 440…

And the 880 and I think the other one is a relay of some kind?

Now, these awards are from about 12-15 years ago, but it’s still cool to see that I did succeed at running at one point in my life. Oh, and before you get too impressed by these awards, I should point out to you that I went to a very small private gradeschool. Our track meet was with two other very small schools… so it’s not like I beat out a ton of people for these awards.

I owned 10 miles

(This was written Sunday afternoon… which should explain all the references to “today”).

I can’t even describe the sense of accomplishment I feel right now. I did 10 miles today. Without stopping. (well, I made a couple of water stops but that is expected – no stops to stretch or rest though!)

My body hurts so much its almost laughable. Seriously. It hurts so bad I can’t help but chuckle. Why do I do this to myself? My feet, my ankles, my calves, my knees (oh lordy my knees), my hips, my core, my neck… everything. hurts.

I would SOOOOOOOOOO go sit in an ice bath if there was enough ice in this house. Unfortunately those two trays won’t be doing much for me.

Today’s run/walk started out horribly. I totally psyched myself out this morning while I was eating oatmeal. I almost threw up I was so nervous. I’ve never done a double-digit workout (well except for biking)… and I know how much I’ve hurt from the shorter distances (6,8)… so I knew today was going to be horrible. Then I realized I didn’t charge my Garmin so it was going to die mid-run. Then I couldn’t find my inhaler. Then I couldn’t find the sunscreen. Life was anti-amy this morning. I got pissed at my Garmin for not being charged and tried to get it off and in the process completely ripped the watch band. So that meant absolutely NO Garmin today. I ended up using an app on my phone I used in the pre-garmin days which kept a decent record (timing at least) and only looked at it twice the whole route today… but of course that’s cuz I got some encouraging text messages and tweets from my family and friends. You guys rock.

I got to practice late, waited for Coach Anne to tell us the route for the day and then I took off without the rest of the team while they were talking. I just wanted to get today over with, and chatting wasn’t going to help anything.

I walked the first half mile or so then ran down the hill for just over half a mile… walked for a bit, then ran another half mile or so… then Stephanie caught up with me. She’s a runner on the team but didn’t have childcare this morning so she was going to walk while pulling her kids in a stroller. We walked together at a good pace for a couple of miles and then the rest of the team caught up with us as we headed out this little point off veterans park. Then we headed back towards the Art Museum where we lost Marge and Dave.

Stephanie, Anne, Kevin and I went through Lake Shore State Park to the red lighthouse and when we turned around we saw Marge. Anne broke away and continued with Marge, Kevin stopped for a bathroom break and Stephanie got held back for a bit with the kids… I knew if I stopped I wouldn’t keep going so I just went. I ran back through the park (half mile or so) and into Discovery World, down the hall to the bubbler to refill my water. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy but I didn’t want to fall behind the group.

I saw Stephanie and Kevin up ahead by the Art Museum and ran until I caught up to them and walked along Lincoln Memorial Drive with them.

At the entrance to Veterans Park, we found Anne, Dave and Marge and kept with them to the bubbler by the tennis courts and then north along Lincoln Memorial. At some point (I think near the Northpoint custard stand), Kevin and I lost the rest of the group and kept going towards Lake Park Bistro. I had already decided that I would do 10 miles and forego the final mile in lieu of the stairs. OH MY GAWD. Climbing up the stairs at Lake Park Bistro AFTER having done 10 miles was brutal. Absolutely brutal. It hurt so bad to lift my legs up the stairs. Kevin and I got halfway and cheered on the rest of the team who was heading up the hill.

I got to Becky and the picnic table and collapsed… stretched… drank water… tried to wrap my head around what I just did. I got into my car and almost sat there crying but I didn’t want anyone to see so I headed home.

Today was magical. Today was horrible. Today was awesome.

I can hardly walk now. But it was worth it.

I owned those 10 miles.

I’m going to own 13.1 in 4 weeks. Scratch that. I’m going to make 13.1 miles my bitch.

Weigh in Wednesday: 20lbs!

It’s official.

I’ve lost 20.2 lbs since starting this journey January 6, 2010. Sure, the weight hasn’t come off as quickly as I had hoped, but I’ve kept the weight off, which is a huge accomplishment. I’ve never stuck to a nutrition and exercise plan for this long in my entire life. I’m working out 6 days a week.

I am 20% of the way there to achieving my goal of losing 100 pounds. I hope the next 20 doesn’t take as long as the first, but if it does, I’ll be ok with it. My life has changed for the better.

23 weeks ago, who’d have thought I would be just a month away from completing a half marathon?

And yet, here I am, preparing for my 10-miler on Sunday, and a 12-miler the following week.

Life is good. God is good. I’m so grateful.

The one where I accidentally run .85 mi without stopping

It started off like any other hot, muggy, late-night run. I walked a .25mi warmup (about 4-5min) and waited for my Garmin to beep at me that it was time to start running. it just wasn’t turning over.

You see, I had set up this great program for myself tonight – a bunch of intervals to work on speedwork on my favorite route from my house to downtown Milwaukee. I created the workout in my Garmin training center program and uploaded it to my Garmin. What I didn’t realize until, oh 15-20 min into the run was that my Garmin never connected to the satellites, so my plan to run a quarter mile, then walk for a min and so on was never going to happen.

Hence the title, the one where I accidentally run .85mi without stopping. You should also know I did this in 9 or 10 minutes. I don’t know what happened. I really don’t.

I started the running portion near Humboldt and Ogden… and it wasn’t until I was at Prospect and Wisconsin (and running out of air – literally) that I realized that the satellite thingamabob wasn’t working. There was nooooooo way I hadn’t gone less than a quarter mile. I’ve done this route before. I just got in the zone and bam. Perhaps it was the sheriff’s deputy who waved at me as I ran past Juneau Park. Perhaps it was the desire to get this run over with ASAP because it’s so freaking humid out. Perhaps it was none of the above. Perhaps, just perhaps, I’m awesome. Your guess is as good as mine.

Regardless, I ran my longest distance ever without stopping to catch my breath or to walk. A non-stop mile is not far away. Hell, running an entire 5k without stopping isn’t far away. Speaking of which, I have one in 2 weeks. 😉

Now I’m off to shower and cuddle with this gal.

I’m Amy and I’m a runner (Hi Amy)

Me: Hello everyone. My name is Amy and I’m a runner.

You: Hi Amy!

Me: It’s been 12 hours since my last run.

You: Wow. That’s awesome.

Me: I don’t know if I can resist the temptation to run anymore.

You: Don’t fight it. Celebrate it.

Me: You got it. Hey world, I’m a freaking runner! Did you hear that? AMY MARIE KANT IS A RUNNER.

You should know that I made it Dailymile official (see Facebook official). I am no longer a “Walker.” I’m a “Runner” and it’s not going back. Ever. Even if I do walk during my training, I know I’m a runner now. No one can take that away from me, unless they cut my legs off.