Tag Archives: running

Chunky Girl’s Guide to Running: The tortoise over the hare!

Photo of a Florida Box Turtle (Terrapene carol...

I know this is a no brainer but yes, starting off slow is the best approach to gaining a love for running. No..it’s not overnight. I started running because I wanted to see quick results without thinking too much. All I needed were some running shoes and a program to follow and I would run. I needed the flexibility to run whenever and wherever I wanted. I couldn’t be tied to a gym or someone’s class schedule. My life was just too busy to be that structured. I also didn’t join a running group right away either. So slow and steady was my goal and approach. My thought was I would give it a go for the committed time and that’s all. I didn’t want to get ahead of myself because I didn’t need another good intended failure. I just wanted to lose weight and topping the scales at the start at 228 pounds was enough. Time to get moving.

Tip: Goal Planning!!  Get calendar for your bathroom.

English: Calendar

I created a goal for each 10 lbs. I knew to lose weight it wasn’t going to be “Biggest Loser” style but just planned it out and work the plan. I gave myself 9 weeks to see results. I committed to the program. Commitment meant I had to do 3 days a week for 9 weeks. No excuses. My plan was mornings at 5am at least two days during the week and then on Saturday at a more reasonable 7am. If I was up late for a sick kid..I had to do it. When on vacation I had to do it. When I had a conflict(on Saturday) it won out. I focused on doing it and not on how well I did it. I followed the program and believed. If others could, then so can I. I just couldn’t get ahead of myself and start running like an Olympian. I’m a chunky girl in her 40s and as much as I would like to be a speed demon that wasn’t my plan. My plan was slow and steady is what wins the races. Accept the aches, ice the knees, take an aspirin and do it again.

Tip: Commit to yourself and don’t neglect it.

In future posts I will post some examples of my online journal I kept during the 5K training.

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Chunky Girl’s Guide to Running: Why Start? And keep remembering it!

56/365 morning run

Hi there, back for another note about running while chunky.  J   A few people asked me why am I labeling myself chunky and how that’s negative and my reply is I’m taking back the negative aspect of the word.   It’s better than obese, fat and overweight.  I also see the word as more transformative.  You can go from chunky to less than chunky.   All the other words have opposites like skinny or skinny or skinny.  I will never be a stick as God has blessed with thickness but I can strive to be less chunky.  But for now..I’m chunky and doing it!!!

Getting started:  I’m coming up on my 2 year “runniversary”     Yes, I started my Couch to 5K(C25K) program two years ago after coming back from vacation feeling like damnit.   You may be feeling like damnit for awhile but I had the perfect storm of vacation and lovely photos that happened to make the local paper because of my father. (that’s another story)  Here’s the perfect storm recipe:

1)      Eat everything on vacation

2)      Buy cute vacation clothes and believe they make you look thinner because there’s a size bigger.  Trust me,  what’s the different between a 22 and a 20.  Not much.

3)      Have photos taken in said clothes and still feeling good

4)      Get home from vacation and the scale registering 5 extra pounds gain over 5 days, feeling like crap because that’s basically all you eat.

5)      See yourself in photos of oneself, hence the word “damnit” escaping your lips and knowing there’s a newspaper that has pics of you..forever.

6)      Just do something and quick.

I’m too busy for joining a gym besides its June and the weather is nice.    Its summer, kids are out of school and plans are being made.  I decided to put me at the top of the planning calendar.  What was I gonna do for me this summer to not feel like damnit.



I started my research and found what was the most efficient way to drop weight and feel healthy.  I just wanted to feel better, stronger.  I just felt like an accident victim just out of the hospital..weak and not sure when standing on both legs.  Maybe you don’t think you’re a runner yet but that’s fine.  The goal is to just move and keep moving a little more as the days go by.

Google C25K, beginning running, run for weight loss and see what comes up.

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Now I lay me down to rest…

Ok..my hiatus on running will be a week old tomorrow.  I haven’t run since my 1/2 marathon on May 5.  This hiatus was purpose.  I almost want to take another week.   I wanted to just rest.    Yes, I wanted to sleep in a little and not be sweaty or achy.  Surprisingly, I was a little achy.  I know it’s expected after a run but not by Day 5 of recovery.  I guess that’s my age showing?  Sigh.

I had been going hard with the training for 17 weeks straight.  I had one hiccup with being sick for 4 days but that’s it.  I haven’t not run in over a week since I started in May of 2010.  I read in Runner’s World mag this great article about taking a break. I did walk with BusyKid #1.

Sometimes in all the busyness you just need to give yourself a break.

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First 1/2 marathon in the books!

½ Marathon in the books!

I would love to say I thoroughly enjoyed my very first marathon.  Almost..it came really close. I mean really.  I had a blast with the ladies from BGR.  I think if you’re gonna do a something like a your first ½ marathon then make it special.   I wanted to make it special with the whole family involved.   It was also great running with some ladies who also traveled to be there.  While we had some challenges going to Columbus, OH 1) my Michigan Alum hubby not wanting to be in enemy territory and 2) what was supposed to be a three hour trip taking over 5 hours.  We did get  there.  I was nervous and cranky because my pasta  meal was later then I wanted and I was tired.  I also went to bed later than planned.

The Start

Got there super early.   Earlier they I like to get to race.   I used to travel a lot in my career and before 9/11 we use to say there’s two types of travelers:  One who gets  to the airport super early and waits patiently at the gate and 2) the one who arrives at the gate as the plane is boarding and waltzing on in.  I was from the latter group and that can be said for races.  I was there by 630am for an 8am start.  I hated the waiting.  Sigh.

I was in the back on Corral E and it was nice not to be bunched up with elite/faster runners.  Us slow pokes in the back were gonna have way more fun.

Us in the corrals along the river

The race started about 20 minutes after 8am.  The elite runners were at Mile 5 by the time us slowskis started.    I forgot to count for the rolling start.  There were about 13,000 of us.  This was one of the most organized races I’ve ever attended.  I’ve been in bigger races (Detroit Turkey Trot) and that was ½ as organized as the Columbus Cap City Half.  37 bands and 18 DJs lined the course!  At least 11 water stations and they even had porto-pottys(not one but four) at every other mile.  Chocolate and champagne at the end..nothing better.   Wow.

I have to admit I was struggling from Mile 2-5.  I think it was the humidity and heat, I’ve been training in a balmy 30-40 degrees so race day was 63 degrees which was downright stifling to me.  I changed my outfit right up until that morning.  Additionally, being in a hotel I didn’t think to bring something for breakfast AND I left before the free hotel breakfast started.  I had some McD’s oatmeal tie me over, not a great substitute.

When I realized the time, I texted Hubby to let him know that I wasn’t going to be at  Mile 9 at the time I planned.  I was in the OSU area which had livelier spectators and a drumline that help me through the next couple of miles.  I know being a UMich alum I’m biased but from what saw of the campus it definitely wasn’t Ann Arbor but pleasant nonetheless.  I took a GU break, and more importantly I changed my playlist.  I had been listening to an audiobook and it was at a lull in the book and it translated to a lull in running.  By Mile 7 I was getting my groove back, thanks to Kirk Franklin and Beyonce.

I was to see my family at Mile 9 but I didn’t.  I didn’t mind because I didn’t like that area that much and hoped I see them closer to one of the more scenic areas of Columbus that I knew was coming up.  To my surprise at around Mile 10 I saw them.  It was the first time they have been at one of my races.  I’ve been in about 7-8 races over the last two years so this was great.    That and a quick peck on the cheek from Hubby gave me another gear to continue.

I thought about the next 3 miles wondered if these were going to be the longest but they weren’t.  I was getting giddy about finishing and I know my times picked up.  My pace was almost thwarted by a 3 block stint on cobblestone.  Quaint, yes but not so good for runners.  Many of us gingerly continued across.

The last mile has an incline that you can see off in the distance and I had been warned it was coming.  I wanted to run it but I ended up walking it with purpose and was greeted by a big chicken lady near the top.  At that point the finish line was right there.  I took this pic before and said to myself that when I see it again..I’m going for it.  I finished strong and did better than my time goal: under 3 hours!  By 7 seconds!  This was great especially since at Mile 2 I was thinking that I’d finish in 3:30 because of the way I felt.

I did it.  Done and done.  I have lots of lessons I’ve learned in the race and in the training. I’ll share those later.  I planned my race and I ran the plan.

Pre race pic

Pros:  Well organized race. Great spectators. (I like that my bib had my name printed on it)  They cheered for me which was great.

Cons: temperature was a little warm but at least it wasn’t raining and a long drive back home than same night meant extra stiff and sore legs.

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Running the long runs

gym shoes

As a busy woman, I have to run the long runs real early in the morning on Saturdays before I have to taxi kids to birthday parties or some sort of practice.  That means I get up on essentially my only sleep in day in the 4am or 5am hour.  I’ve been doing these “long runs” for the last 15 weeks of this half marathon training.  This is my last long run before the big race and I’m excited that it’s the last.


I know some folks love the long runs but I am not sure if I do and it’s not because of the run but the time needed.  It will take me awhile 2.5 hours to get it done.

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