Saturday, June 30, 2012

Relay for Life

Yesterday my mom, my son Brady, and I did the Relay for Life walk. My mom found a lump in her breast when she was 27 and was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 28. She had a lumpectomy done on her right breast, which was more like a partial mastectomy, and also had to get radiation. At age 49, they found cancer in her right breast again during a routine mammogram. We convinced her to be proactive and get a double mastectomy done, and it ended up being a good decision because they ended up finding cancer in the left breast as well.

Mom had decided against reconstructive surgery the first time around, and lived 20+ years with two different sized breasts. Since she was getting the double mastectomy this time she opted to go with reconstruction. Due to the radiation done to the right side in the past, the skin had trouble healing and she ended up with numerous problems and infections. She had to get a latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction done (you can learn about that here: and is still recovering. Mom went through about five surgeries in all, and has gone through a lot of physical and emotional issues as a result. She says if she could do it all over again she would have opted not to have reconstruction, but she is just grateful to still be here with us.

When she asked us to do the walk with her, I agreed without hesitation. It's a great cause, I've participated in the past, and I knew it would mean a lot to my mom to have us with her. Not to mention the fact that I'm working on my fitness and extra walking will do me some good.

The DJ at the event played lots of good music and we walked at a brisk pace for two hours. They had a bouncy house for the kids and Brady had a blast and made a new friend. It was a great evening, and we would have stayed longer if it weren't for mom's sore foot and the mountain of homework waiting for me at home.

My legs are definitely sore today, but I expected that because I had also done the C25K earlier. I'm hoping the soreness will go away by morning because I really want to tackle W1D3! But for today the only thing I will be tackling is massive amounts of homework. Remind me never to take summer accelerated classes ever again.

 Mom and Brady - Relay for Life

Friday, June 29, 2012

Couch to 5K

I never utilize this journal for anything, and I've decided it's time to change that. I'm going to be one of the many on the internet that chronicles their Couch to 5K journey. If you don't know what the program is, I highly recommend that you check out this site and see what it's all about:

I decided to do this because I have never really been "in shape" in my entire life. When I was young I was always very skinny, but never had to do anything to achieve that. Yep, I was the girl those other girls hated - wolfing down Big Macs and not gaining an ounce. Then I got pregnant and my metabolism went out the window. I gained 88.8 pounds and gave birth to a bouncing 12 pound boy. Holy crap. I lost most of the weight gradually without trying, but the last 20 pounds hung on for years. I went through a stressful period when my son was about four and a half and finally got down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 145. My body is nowhere near the same of course, but to be able to fit in those smaller jeans again felt fantastic.

Of course, since I did nothing healthy to LOSE that weight, it eventually crept back on. I'm currently hanging out around 155 which is acceptable for my height (I'm 5'10") but I don't fit in the Silver jeans I bought ten pounds ago and damn it, I want to fit in those jeans. They weren't cheap.

I started off using My Fitness Pal ( and tried to make an effort to eat better. I quit my beloved Mountain Dew for three months. I logged my calories. This always seems to last about two weeks and then I fall off the wagon. I still want to watch what I eat, and try to make better choices - but going on an actual diet is just not realistic for me right now. Maybe I will have the willpower eventually, but I knew I had to try something else. I'm still using MFP though, it's a great way to keep track of what you're eating and to meet other people going through similar struggles.

My son is seven now - and I would like to be able to keep up with him. It's embarrassing that I'm not overweight yet can barely jog for 60 seconds (I'm a former smoker as well but quit eight years ago so I can't use that for an excuse anymore). Honestly, if I don't lose much weight from doing this program that's okay - REALLY. As long as I notice changes in my body. If I tone up and lose inches that way I will be thrilled. I have a bridesmaid dress to squeeze my rear into this September and I don't want to look all bulgy in it.

I decided to go jogging when my son was away at camp, and ended up alternating jogging and walking. I knew there was a program that did that too, so that's when I started to research the Couch to 5K. I don't like to carry my phone when I'm exercising, so instead of using an app I've opted to download the Chubby Jones podcasts on iTunes (free!) and put them on my nano.

The first official day, W1D1, I had Brady come with me on his bike. I'm not sure if it was the time of day I ran (afternoon) or the fact that I may have been trying to keep up with him on his bike... but I was full of fail. I did the first 60 seconds no problem. The second 60 seconds I finished. The third set... I stopped with 10 seconds to go and walked the rest of the podcast. I was so disappointed in myself - not to mention embarrassed. I can't finish W1D1?! I'm screwed!

Instead of giving up, this made me more determined than ever to keep up with it. I want to be able to run a 5K damn it, even if my "run" is slower than most people power walk. I'm not looking for speed right now, just endurance. I was going to do this every other day, but ended up skipping yesterday because the heat index was ridiculous. Forced myself to get my butt out of bed this morning (my preferred time to exercise) and went by myself this time - W1D2. I concentrated more on my breathing, which is why I couldn't finish day one... I was so out of breath, my lungs were on fire. This time I breathed deeply through my nose, and out my mouth. I made an effort to jog slower (turtles were passing me).

... and I finished!!!! Mia (a.k.a. Chubby Jones) didn't even warn me that it was my last 60 seconds running... she told me after I was done - and I bet I looked ridiculous walking down the road because I was grinning from ear to ear. I'm sure there are people laughing their butts off at me right now because hi, I'm only on week one. But it was an achievement for me and it made my damn day. I was winded but not crazy out of breath like last time. I felt the burn in my legs this time though, which didn't occur on day one.

Some co-workers talked me into signing up for the Packer 5K at the end of July. I'm signed up as a "walker", but this is kind of what got me started. I won't be able to finish this program before the 5K, in fact I may have to repeat weeks of the C25K - and I'm okay with that. But I'm just thankful to have found something to motivate me and I really really hope I can stick with it. All of my other hobbies (reading, gaming) are sedentary and I need to get off my butt. Plus I bought some cute workout clothes and I have to get some use out of them (I'm a big fan of Champion's Shiny Seamless Sports Bra and Adidas Perfect Rib tanks).

Our small town doesn't have a gym, so I'm already worrying about when the weather is too hot/too cold to run outside. I'm currently haunting Craigslist trying to find a good deal on a used treadmill (like, free). Wish me luck.