Someday, that will be me

I went with some of my DailyMile/FitMilwaukee/Twitter friends down to Kenosha early Saturday morning to cheer on the bazillion people I knew who were running either the half or full marathon.

I can’t adequately put into words what Saturday was for me. I saw friends complete their longest runs ever. I saw my friends triumph. I saw children looking at their parents with such awe, you’d swear they thought mommy or daddy was a superhero. I cried watching people I didn’t even know cross the finish line. I cried when my friends turned the corner for the last 30 yards to the finish. I cheered for people who struggled to finish the race. I cheered for people successfully completing their races. But most importantly, I saw what hard work and determination can produce. I could see on all my friends’ faces the pure euphoria they enjoyed when they finished the race. I’m no where near the end of my own personal race. But, step by step, race by race, pound by pound, inch by inch, I’ll get there. I’ll cross that finish line. And I’ll be thinking of how lucky I am to have people in my life who pushed me to finish this journey to a new me.

And now, a few shout-outs:

  • Krista, the way you run looks effortless. It looked like just a quick jaunt in the park for you. You are going to be absolutely fabulous at your upcoming races. You inspire me.
  • Tracey, you are a rockstar. You came floating down to the finish line with such a beautiful smile on your face. The fact that you didn’t even look tired is baffling to me. I can’t wait to cheer you on in Rockford! You inspire me.
  • Rochelle, I am so proud of you for rocking this half marathon. You’ve bounced back from your knee injury and showed that setbacks won’t keep you down. You inspire me.
  • Anne, I know I’ve told you this a million times, but you are such an inspiration. Your journey, your story, pushes me. I know that if you can run half marathons for fun after having been overweight, that one day that WILL be me. You make me want to push harder, go faster and be a rockstar. Because that’s what you are. You didn’t let your knee injury take you out. You showed it who’s boss. #lovefest You inspire me.
  • Sarah, I am so freaking proud of you. You bolted down to the finish line like a fiend. Your focus, your determination and your drive make me feel fortunate to call you a friend. You inspire me.
  • Cheryl, you were so determined to finish strong and I’m so proud of you for that! You are setting such a great example for your kids. They’re lucky to have a mom who’s so dedicated to staying fit! You inspire me.
  • Tony, you finished so strong! I know you’ll do many more of these in the coming years. You and Rochelle are so lucky to share something like this! It was great hanging out with you today. You inspire me.
  • Lindsey, I could see the pain in your face as you turned the corner. I admire your determination and the fact that YOU DIDN’T GIVE UP. You finished what you started, and even though you didn’t get the time you wanted, you finished with a great time. Didn’t you JUST start running like 3 days ago? 😉 Take care of your knee and rock it at your next half. You inspire me.
  • Marty, I am so lucky to call you a friend. Your determination, your speed and your smile at the end of the race were so inspiring. I’m so proud of you for crossing that finish line and showing it who’s boss. You inspire me.
  • Mike, your smile at the end of the marathon was infectious. You looked so happy and so proud of yourself for what you were about to complete. I’m so proud of you for rocking this race. Your hard work paid off and now you’re a marathoner! Your journey encourages me to push myself to one day run 26.2 miles. You inspire me.

The people listed above (plus the ones I know I’ve forgotten – Joe, Erica, Matt, etc) showed me what is possible if you work hard. For some, it was their first long race. They made the race their bitch. I’m lucky to call these people my friends. Seriously, I thank God I have them in my life – to inspire, to push, to encourage.

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Certifiable

Yep. That’s me. I’m certifiably insane.

Take a look at my upcoming races in the sidebar to the left. Yeah. what do you see on my race schedule? Three. Half. Marathons.

Two of them will be with Team Challenge for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. What? Yeah. You read that right. Not only am I training for the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon in July, I’ve also been asked to join Team Challenge as a mentor in the fall! The fall training season leads up to the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. Basically, just a few weeks after the Napa season ends, information meetings ramp up for the Vegas half. I’m really excited about the opportunity to train for another half, increase my pace and do more work to help find a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis! Not to mention, being able to mentor my teammates! EEEK!

I’ve known about the Vegas half for a week or two, but another one creeped onto my radar. I had promised my sister I would do a half with her in August or September and then I saw some friends on Facebook talking about doing the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in August. I’ve met a few of these friends, the rest are former or current colleagues. We have either worked at sister FOX stations in the past, or currently work for sister TV stations right now. It’s going to be a MyFoxHalfMarathon! There’s Steve and his wife who live in Chicago, Patrick and his wife from DC (formerly from St. Louis), Meagan from KC, Chip from Cleveland (formerly Dallas) and then me from Milwaukee. If any other current/former MyFox folks want to join us, talk to Steve B.

So, yeah. If you would have told me 4 months ago that I was going to be signing up for like 6+ 5ks and 3 half-marathons this year, I would have slapped you silly and probably laughed so hard my drink came out my nose.

Is this really happening? In the words of David, “Is this real life?”

The answer: Yes, yes it is. And I friggin’ love it. My life is turning around in a good way. I am excited for the future. I am excited to live. I am excited to run.

My first 5k!

Today I completed my very first 5k race! It was not without some hiccups along the way, but I feel such a sense of accomplishment! Here’s how it all went down.

Last night, I went to the Brewers game and tailgated heavily prior to the game. Got to bed super late, woke up with gutrot. Tried to eat some oatmeal but I was all sorts of nervous so it didn’t go over well. Got to the race in Brown Deer and received my race bib, timing chip and tshirt. Look!!! My first race bib!

I met up with some DailyMile and FitMilwaukee peeps before the race, but to be honest with you I don’t know what we talked about. I was so freaking nervous. My stomach was all over the place. I was praying I wouldn’t fall down, pass out or throw up. And you know what? I didn’t!

My goal was to finish in less than 55 min, with the super goal being to do it in 50 minutes or less (based on my current pace). And I DID IT!!! Of course, my knees hate me and my lungs were burning by the end, but I’m so happy with how this turned out. I was lucky enough to have the help of Rachel M as my “running” buddy. We’re both in a similar place weight and fitness-wise so we hoped our paces would mesh, which they did. It was nice to have the extra push. We ran the first 4 or 5 blocks then walked, ran a bit in the middle, and the ran the last 3 blocks or so. If you were only at the start/finish line, you would have thought we ran the whole thing, which was part of my secret plan. 😉 I was also happy to see more people behind us (even if they were doing the 10k)… because being the last person to finish would have been a bit difficult for me.

As it were, I was the second-to-last woman to finish the race. And you know what? I don’t care. I finished. I didn’t give up when it was tough. I didn’t say “oh this is too tough, I’m gonna sneak into this person’s house and hide til the race is over.” I finished with a consistent pace and couldn’t be more proud.

Here’s my official stats from the race results site:

I am so blessed to have you twitter/dailymile/facebook peeps. Anne and Rochelle came out along with Mike (who I just met today) to cheer us on. I held back tears as I was hitting the finish line because there were people CHEERING for ME! It’s so amazing to experience that. Thank you guys. Seriously, that meant the WORLD to me. #lovefest The only thing missing was my family and I know they’ll be there to cheer me on at many races to come. And, well, I may or may not have forgotten to ask them to come. LOL.

Stats according to my Garmin: 15:40, 16:54, 15:46 and the last .14 miles – 14:11.

Here are a few photos, courtesy Michael, Anne and Meghan:

PS – if you have a chance, congratulate my friend Tracey. She finished 2nd female overall and won her age bracket with a time of 22:52 finish. That means Tracey did the 5k in 27:08 minutes faster than me! Of course, to be fair, she’s been running for awhile and she’s the cutest li’l thing.

How Social Media (@dailymile @twitter @facebook) saved my life

Social media saved my life.

I’m not being melodramatic. I’m completely serious. Social media saved my life. No, I didn’t get lost only to be found with the help of friends on Twitter and an iPhone app. I didn’t use social media to help me figure out what terminal disease I had. Social media did so much more.

Social media saved my life in a way I could have never imagined. Social media encouraged me to take better care of myself. Social media guilted me into working out. Social media introduced me to some amazing people. Social media used these people to make me a better Amy Kant.

I know I’m not the only person to meet life-long friends through social media. When I first joined Facebook in college (it debuted at UWM my senior year), I never thought it would be more than a tool for me to reconnect with friends and coworkers. When I joined Twitter in 2006 (or was it 2007?), I didn’t expect it to introduce me to the most amazing people I’ve ever met (If I were to list all of you, this post would never end, so consider yourself tagged). When I joined DailyMile in January, I thought it would simply be a place for me to log my exercise. And when I started this blog, my only intention was for it to serve as a diary of sorts, where I could document my journey to being a better me.

They saved my life.

I know that if it weren’t for Twitter and DailyMile, my life would be fast-tracking to a bad place. I was on a downward spiral to dying young. I was 100+ pounds overweight. I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without running out of breath. I had a hard time tying my shoes. I ate too much. I never exercised. I always drove even if my destination was nearby. I ate what I wanted when I wanted and ate my food so fast I rarely enjoyed it. I frequently enjoyed greasy, fatty foods with little regard to their calorie counts. I drank tons of (diet) soda and coffee. I always had some type of snack at my desk. Second or third or fourth helpings were always a possibility. Usually, they were a probability. I hated going places with friends where I would have to walk with them because I knew I would have a hard time keeping up without losing my breath. I wore dark colored clothes so I wouldn’t draw attention to myself. I tried to stand in the back of group photos. I tried to be the happy fat girl. I wanted to not care about my outward appearance. I saw a therapist semi-regularly. I was bloated. I saw a bleak, lonely future. I was anemic. I had hypothyroidism. I had high blood pressure. I needed to get tested for sleep apnea. I was tired. I was scared. I was 27 years old. I was dying.

Now, while many of these statements are still true to some extent, I can confidently say that I am no longer dying. I’ve lost 13 pounds. I’ve lost 18.5 inches. I’m working out 5-6 days a week. I did a 5k. I’m training for a half marathon. I can walk up a flight of stairs without reaching for my inhaler. I walk if my destination is less than 1.5-2 miles away. I’m cutting back on the unhealthy food choices, in favor of eating better and in smaller quantities. My desk snacks are organic fruit strips or granola. Third or fourth helpings are out of the question. I quit soda and caffeine, except for the occasional coffee or Sprite Zero. My clothes are falling off. My therapy appointments are few and far between. My blood pressure is back to normal. I have hope. I see a brighter future.

How did social media save my life?

It was my Twitter friends who encouraged me to see the doctor when I was freezing cold and exhausted all the time last fall. It was the “you need to change your life” talk with my doctor. It was seeing all the DailyMile posts feeding to my friends’ Twitter and Facebook pages. It was FitMilwaukeeIt was you.

You inspired me. You encouraged me. You blogged about your own fitness journeys. You encouraged me to join DailyMile. You made me want to be a better person. Yes, you. You all did that. I would marry you if polygamy was legal. I am so humbled and extremely grateful for Twitter, DailyMile, Facebook and all of you bloggers. You are the catalyst that jumpstarted my life. You made me feel alive again.

Thank you, from the deepest depths of my heart. I wouldn’t have started this journey (or kept with it) if it weren’t for each of you. I owe you my life. #truth

Hello, waist! It’s been awhile

I stopped at Kohl’s yesterday because I wanted to treat myself to some new workout clothes. I got some great deals – the two trek tanks you see above, plus the pants and a sports bra – for less than $60 total. And, when I was trying things on I saw something I haven’t seen in years… my waist. I’m getting my girlish figure back! EEEEK!!!

And yes, those are TIGHT WORKOUT PANTS. They’re basically capri running tights, but they’re slimming in a SPANX sort of way.

Yesterday was a good day.

Coming up later: Weigh In Wednesday!!!

5 miles in 81 minutes

Remember when I walked on a treadmill at the RACC expo for 2 hours? I had a distance of 5.6 miles.

Today, I did 4.9 miles in 81 minutes.

In the past 6 weeks, I have increased my speed from 21.5 minute miles to 16.5 minute miles. I shaved off 5 minutes from my speed in 6 weeks. HOLLER.

Here’s some pictures from my walk today. It was gorgeous out. I couldn’t help but enjoy the sunshine!

If you’re viewing this blog in a reader, you’ll probably have to click through to the site to see the gallery above.

Race Report: Blarney 5k Run/Walk, a PR

(The FitMilwaukee gang-notice the beers we’re not-so-slyly hiding. Photo by Anne Munkwitz)

Saturday was my first official “race” – the 19th Annual Blarney 5k run/walk in Wauwatosa. I was a little disappointed that the walkers didn’t get race bibs. I was really looking forward to getting my first race number! Oh well, next time I hope!

The walk portion of this race was 2 miles… but I logged a total of 4.5 miles yesterday because of how far I parked from the start/finish line. I mapped it out and it was about .6 mi away. I had the pleasure of walking that route twice (once to take my race packet/shirt back to the car).

While most of the FitMilwaukee.com people were running this one, Kay and Anne joined me for the walk portion. Anne, Kay and I kept a pretty good pace (I’m guessing approx. 16-16:30 min miles) but “officially” my race time was close to 55 minutes. Why? Well we kept stopping to take pictures of our running friends, we stopped to talk with Mike and Marty who just ran about 18 miles each, and then when we neared the finish line, Kay grabbed a twelve-pack of beer from the car.

We met up with the other FitMilwaukee peeps and stood around drinking beer, taking pictures, etc. As we were walking back to the clubhouse someone said, “Hey, did you guys ever cross the finish line officially?” We hadn’t. So my official time today was 2 miles in 55 min, including lots of stops, photos and a can of beer. There’s nothing quite like crossing the finish line with a beer in hand. 🙂

I rock.

I know you’re all jealous of my PR.

This, my friends is how you race:

(Me, Lindsey, Sarah, Cheryl & Kay. Photo by Anne Munkwitz)

Someday, I’m gonna be hot enough to wear running tights like Sarah.

Action shot. We’re taking this seriously, can you tell? Photo by Anne Munkwitz

Weigh In Wednesday: Holy Inches Batman!

Today started as a rather crappy Wednesday. I weighed in at 265, up .2 from last week. I know .2 is nothing at all… but it’s frustrating after seeing that 263.6 two weeks ago, almost 11 lbs lost… to now seeing exactly where I was 2 weeks ago.

I tried to look at the positives, the non-scale victories (NSVs). I feel better. I have more energy. My pants fall off all the time. But then there were the negatives glaring me in the face: You gained 1.5 pounds in the last 2 weeks. What the hell? Why did you make those poor food choices? Did you really need that extra piece of cake? (sidenote: cake was awesome. See?) Did you really need to skip working out three days in a row?

I don’t have good answers for those questions. I screwed up. I keep trying to stay positive but it’s been hard. I’ve wanted to give up. Finally admitting that I need to stop trying to run was a huge emotional blow.

You know what helped me see that weight loss and getting healthy is more than just what you see on the scale?

This post from my friend Anne:

It’s just a number, I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with it. I had to quit the scale like I quit smoking, drinking, Red Bull (well not anymore, I had some last weekend). It’s easier just to never do it. Once I step on I may be sucked into that world of weighing multiple times a day. I remember some of the tricks I used to play with the scale:

  • Step on the scale first thing in the morning. Pee. Step on again.
  • Stand with my feet to the outsides of the scale to see if that changed my number.
  • Weigh myself with just my underwear on. Then naked.
  • Hold my breath.
  • Worry about the number allllll day.
  • It’s too high – skip breakfast.
  • It’s low – skip breakfast. Or celebrate with a huge breakfast. Or ice cream.
  • I don’t like the number. Don’t eat all day? Or at least set out with that intention and end up binging.
  • Weigh myself at home and then again at the gym.
  • Weigh myself every time I go into the bathroom.
  • Fret over a loss or gain of .2 and not understand why people laughed at me when I told them about it.
  • Search my brain for justification of why the number was too high. The cookies the other day? Salty dinner last night? I drank too much water? Too little water?

All in all it just became too much. I’ve got issues, sure. But I am hyper-self-aware and I knew this was all unhealthy and taking a toll on me. (By the way, I certainly don’t punish myself with starvation anymore.)

This morning when I weighed myself, I can honestly tell you that the majority of the bullet points above were things I either did or considered doing.

Wake. Up. Call.

I can’t keep focuses on the scale numbers. There are so many other ways to measure success.

The mirror is another way I obsess. Some days it says I’m fat. Sometimes I tell it “Don’t talk about me like that! Would you say that to someone you love?” And sometimes I don’t fight back at all. Those are the days when I try on 6 outfits and hate all 6. Tom calls it closet puke. He’s knows I’m having a bad self-image day when he comes home to see clothes strewn all over the place.

But some days, like today, I feel on top of the world.

{…}I put on a new set of pretties this morning and really looked at myself. My legs look toned, my arms are (dare I say) better than Michelle Obama’s, and I can see just a little tiny bit of muscle definition in my midsection. I’ve made some amazing changes. Can I just be happy with that?

Today, yes I can. I am happy with my progress. I am happy with myself. And at least for right now, it doesn’t matter how much I weigh. I looked in the mirror and saw myself, my progress, my own face, my own skin.

And I liked it. (link)

Here is how I measured success this week without using the scale. I lost 7.25 inches in the past 4 weeks, with a total of 12.75 inches lost in 8 weeks.

Oh. Mah. Gawd.

Holler at ya girl.

March 3, 2010: Weight: 265.0 | Neck: 14.25 | Bust: 47 | Below Bust: 40 | R bicep: 15.25 | L bicep: 15.25 | Waist: 45.25 | Hips: 51.5 | R thigh: 29 | L thigh: 29.25 | R calf: 18 | L calf: 18.25 | L knee: 18 | R knee: 18 | total -9.2 lbs | total -12.75 inches

I have now lost 2.5 inches of boobs. If I lost that kind of rate in the gut and bootay regions I’d be happy. Hey body, let’s lose in a uniform pace, mmmkay?

Weigh In Wednesday: Milestone, achieved

First things first. I lost 1.4 pounds in the last week, bringing my total weight loss in 6 weeks to 10.6 pounds. Not too shabby. 🙂 I updated my inspiration board too! I was e-mailing with my mom about this today and she said to me, “Do you realize that you’ve lost 10% of the weight you wanted to lose?”

Holy crap. I totally have.

I’ve also lost 4% of my total body weight in 6 weeks.

10.6 pounds is the equivalent of:

  • 42 sticks of butter
  • 5 liters of soda
  • 7 dozen eggs
  • 3.2 chickens
  • a 6-pack of beer
  • a 12-pack of soda

In case you were wondering… 🙂

Now, on to even BIGGER NEWS!

I started Couch to 5k this week. If you’ve followed my dailymile training, you know I’ve been struggling. Today was different.

I ran y’all. I RAN. I ran 100% of the time I was supposed to. I F*cking RAN. This is HUGE. The last time I did C25K, I averaged my running “speed” at 3.7-4.0. This is walking for y’all, but was jogging for me. Today I ranged between 4.1-4.7!!! It wasn’t until I was in the last running leg that I realized what I had just done.

I started sobbing, while I was running, on the treadmill, at the gym, during peak time. It didn’t matter. I was running. I did a li’l stretching then decided to head home. I got to my car. I started crying. I got home. I walked in the door, told my sis and started sobbing for a good 5min! She gave me a much-needed hug and said she was proud of me. It meant the world to me.

I ran today.

Hells yeah.

Weekend away not so great for the new me

I got back from visiting my friend Holly in St. Louis late last night. I had a great time catching up with her and all my STL friends, but the weekend was not necessarily kind to my new lifestyle.

I tried to eat as healthy as I could (getting a salad instead of fries, a grande latte instead of a venti, etc), but I still made some poor choices. I was on vaca though, so I get a free pass, right? Right?

So I’m home now and working on my food/exercise plan. I’m hoping to join a gym this week and today I spent a small fortune on veggies and other healthy goodness from Whole Foods.

Here are some of my ideas…

  • Go vegetarian or vegan approximately 1/3 of every month (just to switch things up a bit)
  • Eat mostly organic or natural foods (no artificial fillers, preservatives or other yuck)
  • No more fast food
  • Cut back on eating out
  • Pack lunch the night before
  • Meal plan a week at a time
  • Make better choices
  • Still enjoy my favorite foods, just less of them (PORTION CONTROL)
  • Continue drinking lots of water
  • Do yoga with my #fitmke #wlc buddy at least twice a month
  • Go to the gym 2-3 times a week (working up to 4-5x/week by April 15)
  • Workout with a partner 1-2x/week
  • Try some workout dvds (yoga, pilates, 30 day shred)
  • Run a 5k in 2010 (RUN… not walk)
  • Keep a food diary and work hard to have a balanced diet
  • Buy new gym shoes and workout clothes
  • Not be afraid of the scale… which means I need to change the batteries.

I’ve also joined DailyMile… you can follow me here. I tried SparkPeople but I think it might be too much for me to keep up on.