Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy New Year! (oh wait it's already February)

Hi all! A late update is better than no update right??!!?? :)

December was a total blur! I turned 45, and then on Christmas Day we drove down to the Florida Keys to celebrate my husbands 50th. This was a first for both of us to not be with family but we enjoyed every minute of our week in the sun! The weather was gorgeous and this was really my first beach vacation as a normal sized person and I took advantage of all the awesome new things my body can do.
my first stand-up paddle board (SUP)!

An amazing kayak adventure all by myself!

Why not plank while on the pier? I even did one on the SUP but with no one to take a picture!

And of course the challenging 8ish mile run around the island!
It felt absolutely amazing to be so active and see this place in a way I've never been able to see it.

There were a few other victories as well...
Wearing a dress comfortably!!!!

Wearing a tank top in public!

Best. Vacation. Ever.

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 Then it was back to reality and a 50 degree temperature change.
Tina Tip: if you spend a ton of money on cold weather running gear you will be more likely to force yourself out the door to go do it :)

I'm honored that I was chosen to be a run leader again this year for the Track Club. I'm starting with coaching the "women on the move" group which is an amazing group of over 100 women getting ready for the Atlanta Women's 5K at the end of March. Some of them have never run before, others are trying for a PR. We even have 13 year old twins who will probably win Boston one day :) I will be committed to this all year with Peachtree Road Race training next then fall half marathon training. Coaching has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It gives me so much joy even when my alarm goes off at 5:30 every Saturday.
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Speaking of Track Club, they had a fundraiser called "Suits and Singlets" - formal wear meets running wear - and of course I went all out...

The mylar blanket pashmina was a last minute inspiration and I also loved wearing my Mizunos with fishnets - I hope I get that opportunity again!!

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Hot chocolate race was next - I chose the 15k. I've never done it because I think it's kind of gimmicky and expensive but my half marathon trainees from last year were going to do it so I joined in. It was cold of course but it was so fun to run with the ponytail posse again!
It was a good race. Cold and hilly but the hot chocolate and the chocolate fondue at the end was awesome. They had stuff along the route but I can't fathom eating chocolate while running 9 miles!

Like I said the race was good but the expo the day before was THE WORST. I had just come back from a week long business trip and was WAY over-committed. I had to coach in the morning, then attend a big shopping event with a friend that was planned for months, then I had to go to the expo since they don't mail numbers and ended up abandoning my car 3 miles from the expo in gridlock traffic and walk. 6 miles round trip. Did I mention the race was the next morning? All in all I was out for 12 hours 6am - 6pm.

Here's where we come to another Tina Tip:
NEVER and I mean NEVER wear your sweaty sports bra for 12 hours. Change your clothes. Even if you have to do it in a Starbucks bathroom.

2 days later (during an unrelated uterine biopsy which turned out to be nothing thank GOD!) I mention to my doctor that I have a painful lump in my left breast that wasn't there just a few days ago when she examined me. She sent me straight to the breast specialist to make an appointment. I was SUPPOSED go 2 days later but got super busy with work and just couldn't do another doc appointment that week blah blah blah....

Over the weekend it turned into a RAGING infection. A tangerine sized abscess on the inside. Debilitating pain that was so bad it made me sick a few times. I would wake up at 3 in the morning and just cry and get ready to go to the emergency room but I knew they would only give me meds and couldn't do anything about it until I saw the specialist. I hung in there and they luckily got me in first thing Monday.

This was 3 weeks ago and I've been a complete mess. I could barely walk or bend over or move my left side much less work. I tried to work and did a crappy job and got yelled at which made me feel even worse. Oh and I paid my entire $1500 deductible in 3 visits.

Saturday was the Hearts and Soles 5k with a valentines theme costume contest and I never miss a chance to dress up so I walked it with some friends including my awesome friend Stephanie who is recovering from skin removal surgery. Much more on that topic to come in a future blog post....

I'm FINALLY feeling better and am hoping and praying that tomorrow's visit results in some good news. I HATE not exercising. It makes me feel like my "old self" again. I also have to be VERY careful about what I eat as I'm up a few pounds due to the holidays and then a few more due to inactivity. I just went back to basics during this time - lots of protein, little carbs and tracking everything. Seems to be working and I'm still very much in control but as you can probably tell,  I'm ready to be feeling 100% again! I've got a half marathon at the end of March so I'm going to have to log some miles to feel ready for that.

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Other than the boob, life is good. January 29th was my 2 year surgiversary and I couldn't be more grateful for the chance it gave me at my new life. It's not a magic solution It has most certainly been tough – probably is more of a challenge now than ever – but I'm never going back!



Monday, December 1, 2014

Monday Mix Tape - Holiday Leftovers edition!

Happy December blog readers! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and it's been pretty monumental in my journey. I ran across this blog post from 2011 when looking for a photo and I'm really glad I did because it set the tone for my most grateful Thanksgiving ever. It's short but if you don't want to read it the part that really hit me the most was
Yesterday started with cheering on a friend in the Thanksgiving half marathon and it was really inspiring. There are so many fit people in this town and I've always had this burning desire to be one of them....
Looking back on that I TRULY was inspired because the following year I did the 5k.
Seeing this picture is always strange. I look like I'm trapped in someone elses body and that's how I felt! I was horrified when I got these photos and even more horrified when I had gained weight after. If I had a last straw that was it and shortly after that decided to have the surgery.

The following year was my big transformation year and most of that was spent training for my first half marathon. I was a newbie and I was nervous but I don't think I have ever been more proud of anything. Ever!


This year was again, amazing. A dream come true really.

Instead of being the fattest person at number pickup, I was a Track Club ambassador answering questions and helping people get ready for the race.

I ran the whole race with this amazing group of women who I was honored to help coach for 16 straight weeks. There are hardly words to describe how inspiring it was to take them from 4 miles to 13.1 in 4 months. We ran a lot of miles through every part of the city, had a lot of laughs and as like to say "gave a whole lotta guys a whole lot to look at" during our training. We finished in 2:27, happy and healthy!
It really doesn't get much better than that. I'm so so so so thankful for my new life and for all the people who have inspired me along the way. I hope to keep coaching to give some of that back!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday Mix Tape - Catching up!

Helloooooooooo! Is anyone out there? I'm a terrible blogger and the longer I go without writing the harder it is to face it but it's REALLY good for me and I'm going to keep trying!!!

Life is awesome and even though I've been at my goal weight for almost a year, it still doesn't seem real at times. I never thought I'd love clothes so much and don't even get me started on the boots. I'm the proud owner of my 2nd pair of Frye's now thanks to my sweet husband :)

I've been struggling with gaining a few pounds during half marathon training but since it seems like I'm always going to be training for a half marathon, it's just part of the learning process I suppose. My body wants carbs all the time when I'm running this many miles and sometimes I give in a little too much. I quickly shot up to 130 and scared the crap out of myself so I reigned it in an little and have settled back in at about 124 which is fine by me. I promised myself if that ever happened I'd start logging in My Fitness Pal again and that's exactly what I did. I'm scared to death of gaining it all back but maybe that's not a bad thing really.

This is why this surgery is not a magic bullet. The first year and a half or so was pretty easy for me and now it's all me. I still have restriction and can't eat a lot at a time but I can certainly eat often and I can most definitely make bad choices.

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So I did this thing where I purposely ran up Cardiac Hill (hills with names are never good) twice in one month at 6:30 in the morning. It was a free workout put on by the track club and it was REALLY good for me to face that challenge. We ran that mile long hill twice each time at various intensities and it ended up being really fun. It's good to break out of the distance routine sometimes and work on speed or hills. I'm so grateful to this community for helping me learn so much and grow to love running even more!
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All that hill running was getting us ready for the big October race in Atlanta - the 10 miler.

It was a beyond GORGEOUS morning and I was more than ready but I was still nervous about all those hills.
I wish I could take credit for this picture - don't know who took it but it's a good one :)
It ended up being a great race which I finished in a respectable 1:41! and this picture pretty  much sums up how I feel in general.....
Best finish line photo ever. I'm not even touching the ground!!


I got to celebrate that night with my new friend Stephanie who also had VSG and has lost well over 100 pounds. It's been SO wonderful to find a friend who really gets it. We don't see each other often enough but she's just a Facebook message or a text away - she's been a savior and an inspiration!
240 pounds less of us!
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We are 14 weeks in to 16 weeks of half marathon training and being a coach has been the single most rewarding thing I've ever done. This past Saturday was 11 miles in 26 degrees with 25 mph winds on the day after Halloween and I was so proud of my trainees for showing up. I call the group I run with "the bouncy ponytails" or the BP's :) They inspire me all the time. Even when I'm not with them!
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October finished with a bang by me meeting 2 big goals. One was to run a hundred miles for the month
Oy that was not easy.......

and the other was to not eat any Halloween candy before actual Halloween. In the old days I would buy 2 huge bags and eat it all before buying more for trick or treaters. I kept telling myself "Halloween is a day not a month". It worked. I ate way too much on actual Halloween but whatever, I ran 11 miles the next morning :)

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Speaking of Halloween, I finally got to dress up for the first time ever without my weight being a consideration. Our neighbors had a "CarnEvil" theme party so I went as a sort of dead tight rope walker. Really I just wanted to wear a tutu.

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So that's about it! The next big event is Half Marathon on Thanksgiving. After that I will do Sarasota again in March then on to my first INTERNATIONAL half marathon in Edinburgh, Scotland in May. I can't wait for that!!! In the meantime I'll be running and trying not to think about bagels the whole time :) I'm REALLY going to try harder to update more often so stick with me!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Mix Tape

Hi y'all it's FALL here in Atlanta today and I couldn't be happier about that after the single most humid running weekend of my entire life. Overall it hasn't been a bad summer but these 90 degree 90 percent humidity days make me question why anyone would leave the house much less run :)

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Saturday before sunrise I was up for hill work day with my half marathon trainees. I had my first fall off the bike the Wednesday before and was nursing a very sore and scraped up elbow but I went anyway. This was the first time I had ever done something like that on purpose. We ran 6 miles and I made it up that hill 10 times.

It was so humid you could see it beading up on my clothes but we had a great guy leading the run that had some really great advice. Adding to the list of things I never thought I'd hear anyone say ever, he was running with me for a minute and said I had an advantage on the hill because I was a "compact runner". I could have jumped for joy but I had to keep my perfect, compact hill running form :)

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Sunday, again before sunrise, I was up to run my second ever relay race with the same awesome team I had last year. There are things about the team aspect that love and some that I don't. It's so much fun before and after but I put so much pressure on myself and work so hard that I end up running 9 minute miles on the verge of death :) I'm going to continue to justify it as a character building activity and try not to do that too often!





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In other news, I finally decided what to do with all my race bling. There's never going to be enough space to hang up all my bibs so I put the special ones on the wires with the medals and all the other ones on a ring on the end.


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It's getting close to a year since I hit my goal weight but things but there are some things that still stop me in my tracks.


This is the robe that I put on when I go to the salon to get my hair done. This exact robe used to not tie around my giant waist. I could close it at the top but the gap below was so big I had to hold it closed the whole time so no one would notice. Now it could wrap around me twice. How is that even possible?!?



This one, I'm not even really sure what to say about. Never would have dreamed it. Never necessarily wanted it but hell I'll take it! I'm totally that girl that walks into a store and is all like "do you have this in a zero?" LOL.

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I'm inspired and life is awesome. Have a happy, healthy week!!






Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday mixtape - longest mixtape ever edition!

Sorry for being such a bad blogger y'all. As I've said before, I'm just busy living this crazy, wonderful new life of mine. I never sit still unless I'm working and even then I'm itching to be doing something. 

I asked my mom if she thought I was crazy because I get jealous when I see other people running and I've already done my run for the day. It's probably very crazy (Dr. Ritz do you read this?? :) ) but my mom compared it to a new love that you always want to be with so I choose to think of it like that. I hope I'm as in love with running as I am in love with my husband 10 years later!

So much has happened over the last 3 months.....

13.1 v3
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As I last posted, I was getting ready to head to Duluth, MN for my THIRD half marathon. Duluth was the 3rd stop on my challenge to run a half in all 3 of my hometowns. It was also my moms 65th birthday and we decided to make a mini family reunion out of it. 

It was also a chance to see my beautiful Grandma and when I looked up the race and it was called "Grandma's Marathon" nothing was going to stop me! I got to celebrate my moms birthday with her mom on my way to my 3rd half marathon. Doesn't get much better than that!
Mom, Grandma and Stepdad. We know how to have a blast at the nursing home!
We drove "up north" the next day to BEAUTIFUL lake superior to stay at my aunt and uncle's lakehouse which was such a blast and a true blessing as their are no hotels for 30 miles - it's that big of a race!

What I was not expecting was the temperature - 41 degrees - in JUNE. They said it was going to be chilly so us silly southerners brought hoodies. This was down jacket weather!!!
 
The next morning at 5:15 my amazing husband and sister drove me to the bus to the start. It was this cold
That says "risk of hypothermia" in JUNE!!!!!
The course was amazing so the cold and wet was worth it. The fog never let up but it was gorgeous and I was FAST.

My signs at the halfway mark. I have the best friends and family in the world!



And I finished in a RECORD time of 2:11:47. Absolutely freezing and shaking like a leaf but found my husband and sister who had a table at a restaurant where I enjoyed, coffee, beer, tequila, pancakes and eggs. 


And then I did this.....

I wish you could see that is says "no running" on the window.
 And braved Lake Superior for like 3 seconds.


Then we went to Wisconsin to see my other family where I did this....
Fried cheese curds - when in Wisconsin.......
and this!

I had the time of my life! Traveling for races is tough. I'm so worried about having all my gear and the right clothes and not knowing the course and blah blah blah but I love it so much I intend to keep doing it!


Daisy
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I'm not going to dwell on this subject for very long but it's important for people to know it's not all unicorns and rainbows in my world. Right before we left for our trip we found a matted, hungry, stinky stray dog while out on our bikes. We took her to the shelter but found someone to adopt her once all her medical stuff had been done. The day I returned from Minnesota, the new owner called to tell me the dog was sick and she couldn't take care of her anymore. There was nothing I could do but go get her and rush her to the vet. She had bronchitis, then she got an infection in her spine from the heartworm treatment she had at the shelter. She lived with us for about a month as I tried to nurse her back to health. I had to keep her separate from our dogs and ALL I did for a month was take care of her. It affected my work, it affected my marriage but we couldn't take her back to the shelter. We just couldn't.

We went to the vet constantly and spent way too much money but finally found her a new home with a wonderful lady. The day after we met her knew owner, the spine infection got worse and 2 days later she had to be put to sleep. I'm a firm believer in "everything happens for a reason" but I still have no idea why I was meant to go through this for such a long time. SO full of hope one day then more bad news the next. I may never know but I do know that this was one of those times I could have really turned to food. Believe me I tried -  a chocolate chip cookie and it just "didn't work." The old me wanted a dozen cookies but now I can't (thankfully) because of the surgery. It will make me feel awful if I stuff my face with crap. It's only happened a few times but it feels like the flu and I have to go straight to bed. I had to face my sadness full on without numbing my brain with food. It was a vital step on this journey for me and I'm feeling a lot better after some good old fashioned grieving!
Miss Daisy/Daisy Duke.
Peachtree Road Race v3
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As I mentioned in previous posts, I'd been coaching a group training for this years Peachtree and was completely inspired by my trainees. I thought I was there to inspire them but in the end it was them that inspired me!

This was the back of my car on training days - closest my car will ever look to a mom car :)
 Just a few days before the race I got a call from Fox 5 wanting to do a follow up story on progress. Of course I NEVER pass up the opportunity to be on TV :)




The day before the race I volunteered at the Atlanta Track club booth at the expo. I expected to just smile and look cute but it was WORK! We signed up tons of folks and I had a blast. 

Me in front of a picture of me at the booth!

 So, with all the excitement leading up to the race I barely had time to be nervous. I had just announced to the world that I wanted to run it in under an hour. It was a PERFECT morning 64 degrees one of the lowest temperatures on record! 

moving on up!

With my usual partners in crime!
The great weather and all my coaching and training made for a personal best!


This was just about as fast as I'm ever going to be able to run - basically as fast as I could run without throwing up! :)

The tradition lives on!




The journey continues.....
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I loved my coaching job so much that I'm back at it and helping out with a HUGE group of over 100 people training for the Thanksgiving day half. A few of our Peachtree trainees came back for more < insert evil laugh here > and I'm so proud of them for making such a big commitment. It's going to get hard as it's darker and colder and we're into the 11 and 12 mile Saturdays but I'm determined to help them enjoy every minute of it as I did last year!


I had to take this picture because it's a perfect example of my life right now. Remodeling is coming along - may be forever but nothing worth having is ever quick is it?
If you can't tell what this is, it's a sports bra flung over some patching compound and paint supplies

The addition is done but the deck will sit half done for a while - siding is next!
I had my first fall after trying to kick a stick out of the way and I learned that I can indeed run six miles while bleeding on my lululemons!

ouch!

All better!
 And finally, the elusive Betsey Johnson dress. I've always wanted to be able to wear one of her dresses and yesterday I bought one in a size 2. On sale at Nordstrom Rack even!

If you're still reading this you're a champ and I thank you!! Take care peeps. Back for more updates soon!