Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Do you love them or hate them?  Generally I love a good hill workout, everything from the battle to keep going to the accomplishment you feel when you are done & not to mention the street cred.

Today for example, I was out around 11 hitting my hill workout, on my way back down from the first effort I passed a guy on his way up to catch the running trail.  We met up again as we were both coming back down the hill for the last time - me after my 6th effort & him after his trail run.  He looked at me & said, "Were you running hill repeats on this hill?"  I looked him square in the face, smiled & said, "Yep, 6 of them on today's schedule."  He replied with a, "That's impressive."  I finished my run home - up a hill & felt great the rest of the day.

There was even a happy little tree to greet me with all it's gorgeous leaves. Really it was prettier in person

This is the start of the hill, it's 200 feet of gain in .23 miles, it's a good one.

Here are the details:
7:25 warm up run from my house to the hill
3:50/5:00 1st effort
3:39/5:00 2nd effort
3:30/5:00 3rd effort
3:40/5:00 4th effort
3:30/5:00 5th effort
3:22/5:00 6th effort
Then I stopped at the bottom to take a picture or two of the hill.
8:02 run back home.

Friday, October 7, 2011

aha moments

Do people ever ask you why you run?  I have people ask me all the time why I run... I never know how to explain it to a non-runner.  It's tough right?  I've just recently started calling myself a runner - if the shoe fits correct?  Let's face it, I have rainy day running shoes, my shoes for the gym only, a pair of oldies but goodies for superstitious days & new ones that I am breaking in on my long run day.  I think anyone with that many running shoes that look like they get used - is a runner.

I was ready for today's workout - or rather I thought I was.  I was rested, I had some time to myself this morning to properly stretch & go through the motions.  By "motions" I mean my son woke us up at 7:10 because our alarm didn't go off & he was 10 minutes away from having to be at the bus.  Naturally we ended up driving him  (enter race long sleeve tshirt, running hat & a pair of throw away sweats) - fashionable right.  So awesome I wore it to Starbucks to get coffee before dropping off the husband.  I got home around 8:30 & spent the next few hours mentally prepping for my hill repeat workout i.e. catching up on DVR'd episodes of Private Practice & half of a Big Bang Theory episode that I conked out during last night.

After some dynamic stretching I got dressed for the gym & headed out the door.  Hopped on a treadmill, entered in my options & got started.  Somewhere into that first hill cycle that damn wall popped up.  We runners know what I am talking about.  The wall that pops up & tells you to stop, to stop what you are doing right now, that you don't really want to be doing what you are doing.  Sometimes I get through that feeling by getting through a few rounds & forcing the thoughts out of my mind.  Sometimes I bag a workout knowing that the next one will be better.  Sometimes all an intense workout will do is bring up everything that has been bubbling under the surface.  Today that is what happened.  I couldn't force it out of my brain.  I wanted to give up or rather the little voice - negative nelly - wanted me to believe I wanted to stop.  Stopping would not get me to my goal though, so today I regrouped - I told myself I would at least do 3 of the 6 efforts I had planned & see how I felt then.  Then effort 4 reared it's ugly head.  I gave up half way through... but I battled to stay on that treadmill, tried again on effort 5 - made it 2 minutes into my 3 minute hill.  I ripped out my earbuds & stopped my music & just walked to the beat of my own thoughts.  I prepped myself for the 6th effort, I told myself I would at least do 2 minutes knowing I would push for that 3rd minute & complete my workout on a strong note.  I did complete the 6th one, there were a few seconds around 1:30 or so where Nelly tried to tell me 2 minutes was enough... but I knew I wanted the 3 & I got it.

It's not that the workout was too tough physically.  Although now my legs are saying to me - hey smartypants yesterday's circuit class + an hour of PT (hamstring & glute strengthening) wasn't maybe the brightest before an intense hill workout? Maybe possibly?! There are times where I still struggle between the nearly 300lb me & this me.  Today I was the new me, the strong me, the me that goes after her goal & doesn't back down when it gets hard.  So that is why I run, it makes me tough - mentally.  And well, if the zombies ever do come for us... I know that I won't be the last one in the race to get away.

Why do you run?

How do you get through a challenging workout?

Monday, September 12, 2011


Ugg, I have been dreading today's weigh in all week.  A few weeks ago after my return from summer vacationing, I decided I wanted to make the final push & solidly get into the 150's.  After giving my body & mind a rest & letting it adjust to this new normal I am ready.  Why do I want to loose more weight?  Shouldn't someone who has lost 120lbs +/- given the time of the month day be good with that?  Well, honestly, no, not me.  I want to be better, I am trying to get to my best self & specifically I want to run better. One of my running goals is to get faster, well who doesn't have that goal you ask? However I am a slow runner naturally & I have let myself run slow for a year & it's time to put on the pepper. I want to get into the 10 min mile range & I would like to do it safely without putting too much stress on my body.  Running at a lighter weight is easier then running at a heavier weight, you simply have less mass to move.

Back to that weigh in, I knew not much had changed.  By now I know my body pretty well & I can tell when I am up & when I am down.  I've maintained a steady 160-165lbs for a year now give or take a few pounds up or down & while that may seem like a large number for a gal who is 5'3" - let us not forget where she started at:

 I think this would be at my heaviest - May of 2008 at home in ND. This is well above my 2009 documented high weight of 282lbs, if I had to guess I was pushing all of 290-295lbs & I had no idea.

While I know that loosing 120 lbs (I don't count what I don't know over the 282lbs from my pre loosing weight physical) is a major accomplishment, I also know that I can do more - I can tell from my body that there is more to go. While I feel great in every marker of health I still fall into the overweight category.  Who stops at overweight?  Not this Type A lady, that's for sure.

 Weight loss transition photos - Oct of 2009 - Oct of 2010. Starting weight 252lbs ending weight 165lbs.  I lost approx 87lbs in 12 months.

So, how am I going to do this?  I lost the majority of the weight loss by following a food plan, counting calories & working out with a trainer as well as on my own.  I am going back to counting calories & will be sticking to 1200-1300 calories daily but am giving myself the option to go up to 1500 calories if an event comes up.  I am going to sneak in a few extra cardio sessions a week in the evening & I am going to try to get at least 5000 steps a day on my pedometer.  Hopefully by the end of November I will be in those 150's & if not I will keep moving running in that direction.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekend Plans

Yesterday evening at the pool at our complex this little exchange went down:

Me: So Ran were you serious about getting out of town this weekend?
Ran: I what?
Me: You said we should go do something out of town this weekend.
Ran: I did? Really? What would we do
Me: I thought Great Wolf Lodge would be fun, we've never gone & Jack would think we are pretty cool.  Plus the room comes with 4 water park passes (really selling it here) so Uncle Will could come with us.
Ran: How much? (See right to the point)
Me: Well don't forget we get a discount on the room rate & we can start riding the water slides before we check in & all day on Sunday up until they close.  Deep breathe, speak the number.
Ran: OK yeah lets do it.

This morning - confirmed he really wanted to actually spend $$ & booked the room.  Apparently there is a 72hr cancellation policy so there is no backing out now.

Now I just have a pesky TRX workout in the morning Saturday.  Sunday I am looking forward to my 3 miles somewhere new.  I wonder where it is safe to run outside there...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Coming Back

I'll admit it, this hip injury has me down.  I am just back to running a full 5K distance & starting over from square one is not easy physically & mentally.  I keep doubting myself, I feel my hips get tight & I get scared, I worry I am going to hurt myself more, I wonder if I should push harder or ease up.  Lately I've been taking the ease up route & well that's not doing much for the mental game. 

I'm practicing being nicer to myself.  I think on my long run this Sunday I will not wear a watch.  I am going to go by how I feel & try to pick it up when I can & ease off if I need to.  We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

RnR Recap

OK - so it was 2 weeks ago already, but I have been busy getting us packed up for J & I's annual summer extravaganza part 1.  I am starting to find that I am forgetting little parts of the race & really I can't let that happen.

The race, was amazing.  I just couldn't believe how happy I was the entire time I was running.  Those first few miles always take my body a little time to settle in.  However once I found that stride a certain part of me just takes over.

Eve of the race: I set out all my clothes, packed my gear check bag, got my Dtag on my shoelaces & double/triple/quadruple checked everything.  I also made the mistake of passing time by reading the medical pamphlet that stated I should eat salt packets after I was done running.  Um - what?? Salt packets... I figure that must be for the really fast Kenyan's... I am pretty much turtle slow in comparison.

I watched this video a few times to laugh through the nerves:

Morning of the race:  Wake up at 4:15 to have my pre-race breakfast of toast with peanut butter & egg+extra egg white scramble.  Make my NuuN & get my trusty hand water bottle ready to go & in the fridge.  Pack my super cute race pack belt with shot blocks & extra pieces of gum & my phone.  And well to also get the bathroom business taken care of, because porta potties are my arch nemesis.

5:15am force Randy & Jack into the car to drive me to the start line where I was meeting up with my running friends.  Hop out of the car in my super awesome pre-race sweats & waaaaayyyy too big fleece zip up that I was "donating" on the course.

Sometime around 6:15am I meet up with my friends at the gear check trucks to check our bags & hope in a porta potty line... sometime around 7:00am we realize we are in the handicapped accessible honey bucket line & we run off to another line.

After that business is taken care of (GROSS!!) we go hop in our corral & wait for our turn to start running. 

8:00am - I realize we are at the start line... I then realize we are in the front of our corral... Um, what?! Wait! I am slow, I should not be in the front.  Start to panic a bit because I forget to run my headphone wire through the pack of my tank top.  Luckily Sara had me put together in no time.  Suddenly we were off & running.

Mile 1: Had to stop to potty - I know but I just got all shy in the potties before the race & couldn't.

Miles 2-3: Pretty much uneventful, we were running through some industrial parts of South Seattle.  As we turned to cross over I-5 I pointed out to Sara some guys that were off under the over pass peeing instead of waiting for the next bunch of honey buckets - dudes, they have it easy that way.

Miles 3-5: We started to run in more of a residential area - uphill.  At the end of this leg you turn down to run down along Lake Washington... my stomach started screaming at me.  I think I ate too early & I was starting to cramp up.  My knee was feeling a little crunchy so I told Sara I was going to have my snack, some NuuN & walk down the hill & would try to catch up.  I got to the bottom of the hill, turned & took off again - searching for Sara's blond ponytail.  I also noticed just how far the I-90 bridge is from Seward Park.

Mile 6:  Whoops! Should have stopped at those porta potties, my stomach was really yelling at me - in fact it was getting pretty shouty/stabby.  However there was no place to stop, so I decided to push through & see if things would settle.  Singing in my head, "Don't poop my pants, don't poop my pants."

Mile 8:  Nope... better pull over & stop.  I hoped in line & noticed the 5 people in front of me didn't have bibs on in fact, they were spectators.  Hey! Jump out of line & let the racers go in front of you.  So there went like 5 minutes.  Took some water & took off running again.  Wonder for a split second if I remembered to tie my shorts... I must have because I didn't flash anyone.

Mile 9:  I start to see the flags for the fallen soldiers & I start to get a little choked up.  The Run to Remember team was really large & it seemed like everywhere I looked I could spot someone running in their group.  We turned to go uphill to catch the access path into the I-90 tunnels.  This is also where the full marathon splits from us half-ers.  They get to run the length of the I-90 bridge before turning back. So into the tunnel I ran & it felt hot & loud.  I decide just to book it through the tunnel & once I see the sign for mile 10 I know I am clear.

Mile 10-11:  I seriously started to question myself for a minute or two.  The doubting thoughts started popping into my head, I wondered for a minute why I was doing this.  Then I passed a walker who had to be close to my old weight.  I remembered why I was doing this, because I can & I always wanted to.  I checked my time, I didn't like it.  I decided I better have the last half of that shot block bar & some more NuuN.  I walked for a few minutes & then that voice in my head said, "Run Kristin it's what you want."  I ran down the off ramp onto 4th AVE & I start scanning for Randy & Jack.  Hey! Hey! I see them, wait I don't think they see me... I got really excited & started jumping up & down & waving my arms.  They saw me - Randy was fiddling with the camera, I think to myself he better have gotten a picture.  I will be so upset if I run this whole thing & there is not one picture I like.  Jack starts screaming, "Go Mom & holds up his sign."

Mile12:  I am starting to feel like I am almost there.  Running on the Viaduct now - up the ramp I spot a runner with a remembrance tshirt saying she is running for her Grammy Helen.  I ran right up to her & told her I had a Grammy Helen too & then kept on going.  It was one of those tingly moments where I feel like Grams is right there with me.  I see her face, her knowing smile & her twinkly eyes & that was all the surge I needed.

Mile 13: !!! Almost there, I just keep thinking to myself, one more mile, pick it up - kick it in - pick up your legs - run faster - push through your glutes.  I turn the corner to run into the finish area & I sprint the whole way.  I see the cameras & think, "Look cute, look up, smile, raise your arms when you cross."

I see the clock & it is 3:00:18  I feel like it is a sign, my first big race & I finish in nearly 3 flat... my first race every I finished in 38:00 flat.  Both not fast by any means, but I did it.

I see my friend in the finish area & we grab bottles of water, Cytomax, bananas & head in to look for Randy & Jack.

After grabbing our gear we do some stretching & get some food in - I finish off a protein bar we walk around some more, I just keep telling myself to keep moving.  We figure out what mile our friend is at on the full course & start heading to the finish line to cheer her on.  I'm in awe over how good I feel.  I mean I feel pumped, totally amped up.  This must be that runners high.  I would now like to apologize to the lady standing next to us as we were cheering... I must have been really loud when I was cheering for .

me, sara & kacie

Post Race:  Sara drove us home as Randy & Jack bussed down from Bellevue rather then deal with parking.  It took us awhile to find her rental car in the garage.  Randy took a nap! I was the one who ran & he napped.  Honestly when we got home I was too amped up to sleep.  I worked on editing some pictures.  Had a peanut butter sandwich & a well deserved beer.  Finally got a 45 min nap in before heading up to Woodinville to meet Sara for a post race burger at Teddys.

Will I do it again? I am already committing to another half  on Labor Day.  It's not so much that I am addicted, I think it is that I figured out how to have my cake... and eat it too.

Friday, June 24, 2011


11 weeks sure flew by:
~ i ran that 10K & it went so well, in hindsight i was glad to have the bad run out of my system - who knows why they happen but they do & i am learning to appreciate them because that is when my body is pushing & growing stronger.
~ i worked my long runs up to 12 miles & had time to taper down to 6 miles
~had an awesome visit with my super cool sister & her husband
in 24 hours if everything is going right i should be right around mile 9 with a little over 4 to go.  yesterday i picked up my race packet & bib number at the expo.  the seattle rnr is my first real "big time" race & to say i am starting to feel a little nervous is an understatement.  i will be running with my good friend sara & we are planning on having a good time & just finishing it together.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

8 miles

and i felt every single second of every single mile. this running every sunday challenge is starting to stack up. realized i have 11 more training runs until my first 1/2 marathon.

next weekend: Bellevue 10K & I am looking forward to only having to run 6 miles next sunday.

today's route

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

finally updated

today is:
contemplating possible maxi dress purchase for summer
swimming with jack
putting off cooking dinner