Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Couch to 5K

This is me.  

Ok, not really.  For one, my arms aren't that hairy!  But I don't get enough exercise at all.  I will park as close as I can to the store, I will ride an elevator instead of taking the stairs...you get the idea.  

I am 35 years old, but I have trouble with my knees and hips and shoulders.  I ache on a regular basis.  I feel much older than I am.  I have 2 very active boys, one with special needs.  They need a mom who can keep up with them and be around for a long time.  That was not the direction that I was heading in.  I needed a life change.

I had heard of other people doing this program called Couch to 5K or C25K, but I am not a runner (see above) so it was passing information for me.  Good for them.  I have NEVER had aspirations to be a runner.  I had shin splints in high school.  I hate being hot...again, you get the picture.  A few weeks ago, a friend of ours, Alise, decided that she was going to start the C25K program.  Something was different this time.  I KNOW this girl and I wouldn't have thought that she would be a runner.  So, I'm not sure what came over me, but I thought, "What the heck?  I'm going to do it too!"  

Ok, the decision is made.  What do I do next?  I guess I get out there and do it, huh?  I went to the gym, strapped on my old tennis shoes and away I went.  The neat thing about C25K is that it's a 9 week program taking you literally from the couch to running a 5K...but, I made this decision with NO intention of EVER running a 5K.  The first week, you walk a 5 minute warm-up then alternate between running for 1 minute and walking for 1 1/2 minutes.  For a total running time of 8 minutes.  Seems doable, I thought.  I was right.  I was sweating my tail off by the time I was done, but I did it!  Wow!  What a rush!  Ok, this might be doable!  I was pretty darn sore the next day, which was entirely expected.  But 2 days later, I was on that treadmill again.  Ok, little harder this time with the soreness and I was feeling those shins act up again.  I didn't think there was much I could do about it though, so I just soldiered on.  For the 3rd run of the first week, I learned a valuable lesson.  If you aren't hydrated and don't stretch enough, you are going to get some horribly painful cramps!  Ouch!  I didn't finish that run at all.  Really, ouch.

Remember those old tennis shoes?  Well, I had several people telling me that I needed to get some new shoes, specifically running shoes.  I was terrified to go into a shoe store and tell them that I needed some running shoes just to be laughed back out the door.  I gathered up the courage and went to a local shoe store, told the guy that I had no idea what I was doing and that I was looking for running shoes.  He said, "They start here, wrap around and end here." Then started to walk away.  I really did not know what I was looking for, so I asked...is there anything I need to look for?  No, just try some on, pick what feels comfortable.  Really?  That's it?  What about these fittings that I had heard about?  I ended up going to Morgantown Running.  But was really terrified, this was a SERIOUS runners store!  What a difference!  I told him that I had just started C25K and instead of laughing at me he congratulated me!  The first thing he did was to put me on a treadmill to actually see my gait.  Then he went about explaining the difference in each type of running shoe.  Then he told me which type I needed and went about helping me pick a pair.  I made one comment about how cute one pair was and he was quick to tell me NOT to pick shoes by how they look.  But luckily, the shoes I ended up with a really cute anyway!  :-)  He was a fount of information too.  I asked about shin splints and he gave me some advice and gave me information for some 5Ks in the area.  This was a really amazing experience and it really inspired me.  

I have started the second week now after hurting my back and redoing the first week.  It is going much better than I ever expected.  I am now considering doing a 5K, even though, I am sure it would be a walk/run kind of thing.  I have now ran on a treadmill, on the Rail Trail and on WVU's track.  So far, I am liking the rail trail best.  I don't know if it's because I am running on dirt, but my shins seem to feel better there.  I have also purchased a Nike+ sensor because I am a geek and want to know how far and how fast I am going.  :-)  I have also started counting calories and logging my food at My Fitness Pal.  So far, I have lost 4 pounds!  I am not on a diet, this is a lifestyle change.

So, wish me luck and cheer me on because I know I can do this!  It's not the easiest thing I have ever done, but God willing, I will continue to work at this and make my life better for myself and my kids!  And let's not forget getting all sexy looking for the hubby either!  ;-)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chili Cook-Off results!

Rich and I participated in a chili cook-off fundraiser for a dear family, who happen to be great friends!  They are battling Mitochondrial Disease...here's more about their fight: Laurie Family.  Anyway, they need to go to a specialist and it's going to cost a lot of money.  So, another great friend, Jenny Susa, organized this awesome fundraiser for them!  I was blessed to be able to help out and be part of it!  

Anyway, Rich and I decided to both enter chilis into the competition and go head to head.  I used my ol' standby chili that I make for family meals.  Rich is a little more gourmet minded and headed straight for Food Network to find a recipe for his chili.  They both smelled awesome as they were cooking.  Yummy!

At the cook-off, things went wonderfully!  There were lots of chilis to try out and several people showed up to do just that!  There were some great cookies and brownies.  And to top it all off, there were some great things being raffled off!  Children's books, Mary Kay products, dinners to Cheddar's and Boston Beanery, pies, a 3 month gym membership...and more!  Wow!

I know you are just chomping at the bit for the results and the only thing I can say is that there is finally a reason that I can't lose any weight!  We just cook such great food!  Rich's chili won first place and mine got second!  :-)  Mike Susa's chili won third and Andi Bassett's won People's Choice, they were both wonderful! Yum!  We had several different chilis and I don't envy the judges...it had to be a hard job!  Everyone made such awesome dishes!

Thanks to everyone who made this a fabulous event for the Lauries!