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Well, the inevitable day arrived. I woke at 5am to make sure I was ready and not rushed. Grabbed my heart monitor, my ipod, and the directions to the event. Check in started at 6am but parking looked limited on the map and I wasn't sure where this race was taking place. I hopped in my car, drove lost for a few minutes, found the check-in booth, got my ankle timer and event number, and reparked my car. Okay, I had an hour and a half before it started so I walked the couple of blocks to the nearest Starbucks, ordered my Pike Place brew and a low-fat coffee cake. That's when I realized my wallet was still in my work bag at home. Opps! Darn I really wanted that warm cup of coffee before the race. It was still very chilly along the coast at that hour! The nice guys behind the counter said to go ahead and enjoy my treat. Wow! Humbly I thanked them and savored every drop. Okay, now it was time to warm up, stretch and get psyched. Back near the Check-In tent a massage business offered free stretching. That sounded cool, so I waited for my turn. I laid down on the massage table where he proceeded to pull my legs this way and that. Wow, I knew I was tight but he made me feel as if I would just snap!  I was coffeed up, loosened up and ready to go! Only there was still a half hour to wait. I noticed a group of people pointing at something in the water. Two harbor seals were playfully putting on a show for the crowd! I thought this couldn't get better. A beautiful morning, generous people and a spontaneous seal show. Then the announcer called us to line up. Since I had a hard time following my training routine, I knew I should stay toward the back with the people who were a bit slower. I was determined to run this thing but knew I had better not push myself too hard.

 

The race was on. I started with a slow and steady jog along the Elliot Bay trail. Okay, this was going well. Slow and steady. First marker states 1K. Great, I'm started to sweat but doing okay. Then the side cramp kicks in. I look at my heart rate monitor. Gee! 168bpm! I slowed down to a fast walk and waited until the side cramps resolved. Feeling better, I began jogging again. Good there's the 2K marker. Awww. The sculpture garden. I had heard about it a couple years ago but now I get to run past it. Keeping the pace, I reach the fountain and my turn around point. I checked my HR again. 174!! Wow, I'm outa shape.  I walked for a bit until it lowered. I didn't want to walk though. I signed up to run and that's what I intend to do! More that half way there, the side cramps returned. More walking. Now home stretch is within reach. The photographers lined up at the finish line, the large timer off to the side, it was thrilling to know I made it!

 

After downing some water and checking my time, I realized I didn't go as fast as I had hoped. But here's my perspective. This event was my baseline for the year. A starting point for moving forward. I did, after all, complete the race in 50 minutes and enjoyed the comradery of my fellow racers.My heart rate concerned me. I hadn't measured it during training so I didn't know where I was at. It was a wake up call. Although I'm a little overweight, I had no idea that my heart had to work that hard to keep me moving. It's enough to motivate me to continue seeking active lifestyle and set new goals for myself. I am proud of this accomplishment though. It was a beautiful day and I couldn't ask for a more scenic location. Slow and steady, I will get there!

 

Gwendolyn

 

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I've been absent from blogging these past couple weeks because I got swept away with the storms that life can bring us. My focus needed to be redirected from my training while I sorted a few things out, but this time I've got a life preserver. The race is only a week away and though I'm short of meeting my goals, I'm determined to push on. Because this is my health, my future, that is directly effected by my choices in diet and exercise. Let me share about a friend of mine who inspires me. She has polycystic overian disease. If you're not familiar with this syndrome, it directly affects a person's hormones and can cause significant weight issues. My friend eats a strict low carb, low sugar, low everything diet, and works out for two hours, 6 days a week, just to maintain her weight. She can get discouraged when she doesn't see results, though she is so extremely disciplined about her health. In the few years I've know her though, she has fought to continue a healthy lifestyle, despite hormone irregularities, surgeries, and other health complications. I could only hope to have an ounce of the discipline she has to make the choices to live the healthiest lifestyle possible. I'm weak, and I bet there are many others, who like me, struggle with personal discipline. Participating in "Who Wants to Get Active 2010" has given me a reason to keep fighting. It has given me motivation, inspiration and determination. It has helped me, when I've felt like giving up, to come out the otherside a fighter.

 

Today, I'm still in the fight and yesterday's storms are past. Forcast is for Blue skies and I will come out a winner! We all are winners when we don't give up and continue to fight the fight. I've been reading the blogs of my fellow participants and know this to be true. We've all come from various life situations, whether in college, a young mom, or a person trying to re-invent themself. Goals are being met and the finish line is at hand, at least for this part of our life journey. What we do with this determination to "Get Active", will ultimately play out in the next several months as we continue to stay active, meet new goals and find new and exciting ways to enjoy the person we are becoming. Only a week away for the race, but really we have a lifetime ahead of us to look forward to!

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First day of Spring

Posted by ICURNpope Mar 20, 2010

In 5 minutes, it will officially be Spring!!! Bring it on baby!!

I'm blogging from work since I have some down time and want to take advantage of it. It's 11:55pm on Friday and the forcast for tomorrow is warm (65-70 degrees), clear skies and beautiful. When the sunshines in the Seattle area, you can't help but be outside enjoying it to the fullest!  After taking a quick nap in the morning, I'm going to gather my family and dogs to head out to Marymoor park. The park in Redmond has 40 acres of off-leash dog park along the Sammamish River and Lake that it drains into. There's a bird sanctuary also to enjoy. It's a great place to go running or go for a stroll with your "best friend". I love going there and plan on taking advantage of the great weather to exercise and celebrate the first day of spring!

 

It has been a great week for me. Though I've gained back some weight, I know I will loose it. And with the arrival of spring and warmer weather, I want to look great wearing less layers!! My challenge is eating when there is little in the way of a routine for me  due to my work hours. I'm a home health nurse. Since it's at night, and I have down time frequently, I've lately chosen foods that are carb heavy (in addition to Starbucks Doubleshots to keep me awake). I find that I crave carbs more when I'm tired, and since my schedule isn't going to change much, I need a plan. I bring carrots and other veggies to snack on but just can't bring myself to eat them at work. Tonight I have a footlong subway with Turkey and Ham. I've eaten half of it and am saving the rest for later. Now that I think of it, I probably need to eat more protein to sustain me during the night. Lowfat protein choices, anyone? One's that are quick to prepare?

 

One more month until our event! We can DO THIS!

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Never give up

Posted by ICURNpope Mar 16, 2010

Why, when we know how important it is to eat well and stay active, is it soooo hard to do that!! This week I thought of throwing in the towel because I wasn't meeting my personal expectations. I can be my own worst critic and get discouraged. I started last week with a great run. Full 35 minutes! I was so proud of that accomplishment! Then challenges at home hit, I got sick and ended up skipped a week of exercise and totally blew my diet. I've now successfully gained weight and not lost any! I was so upset at myself and even called Michelle to say I was thinking of dropping out of this event.  Calling her was the best thing for me! Even though I've had a set-back, she reminded me that we all have our set-backs. The key is to never give up, and to make it fun!  Self-expectations can be motivating and can be dangerous. I've learned that if I'm not having fun, then I will fail to meet my expectiations.

 

I do enjoy running, or at least love the endorphins that running produces. I think tomorrow I will try running in my neighborhood and leave the treadmill behind.

 

So, I'm back from my break. Tomorrow is a new day.

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I chose this blog title because one of my goals for pursuing running is to be a great example to my children. They are not as active as I was a child, playing outdoors, riding bikes and such. Now they'd sit on a computer all day if they had the chance. Since I've started training, my youngest has caught on to the idea and wants to run with me!! I'm so thrilled that he is seeing how important it is to me and that he is taking initiative to be more active as well! His personal goal is to speed walk on our treadmill for 20 min every day!  I also visited a new 24 Hour Fitness that just opened in Issaquah, WA. I found out that he can get gynm membership when he turns 12. I don't think he ever thought about going to the gym. That was always something that mommy did. He was so excited at that idea!

 

As far as training this week, I've worked quite a few graveyard shifts and have been utterly exhausted. I ran on Monday, and then again today (Thursday). I'm going to try a new strategy and workout when I get home at 8am. I'm hoping that will give me more energy to stay awake for a bit longer so I can get through the homeschooling lessons with my son. I'll let you know how that goes. I've had to be very creative with my time to manage this crazy schedule, but it's all so important to me. In the past, exercise would've been the first to go. But now it's a priority in my week! Running is my way of loving myself! (Even though the motivation can be hard some days!!)

 

Keep Active. Love yourself. Inspire others!

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Pushing Through

Posted by ICURNpope Feb 28, 2010

Training week 1 has begun! I'm so proud of my fellow athletes "Who wants to get Active"! I've read the other blogs and am amazed at all they have to overcome. You are strong and you can do this!!!

 

My first training session an eye opener! I wasn't in for the shock of how difficult it was to maintain running for 20 min at 4.5 miles/hr on my treadmill. Even with my favorite music, 20 minutes seems alot longer when I'm trying to push through. For some reason my right knee has been sore.  I think I twisted it slightly at work. I didn't want that pain to discourage me and be an excuse not to run, so I got on that treadmill and pushed through the initial pain. When I was done, my knee didn't hurt any more than when I had started, so I'm glad I didn't succumb to the temptation to skip out. I did feel dizzy a bit so I needed to turn the speed down for a little and walk, but after 3 minutes, I picked up the pace and continued my run. My second and third runs were similiar but I was more invigorated by the third run and felt GREAT afterwards!! I love endorphines!!! That run alone gave me hope to continue to push myself toward the goal!

 

On the downside, I did skip one of my crosstraining workouts. I was tired and just didn't make it a priority. I need to be careful not to slack off and cut corners. I want to feel great about my body and my energy level and cutting corners won't accomplish this. Also, I didn't monitor my diet. I've been in the habit of overeating and eating emotionally for so long, that this is another area of weakness for me. I had donuts, pizza, beer...etc. But I now have a plan and the junk food is leaving the house!  I have the great support of my husband, who also is changing to a more heart healthy diet. Of course my two boys, who crave sugar, are in for a shock!!

 

I want some input on the Active workouts for the Wii. I just bought a Wii today and am curious about the different fitness programs that are available for this system. Has anyone tried them?

 

Gwendolyn

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Overcoming excuses

Posted by ICURNpope Feb 13, 2010

I'm so looking forward for official training to begin! I've added workout times in my schedule and added the Lose It application to my IPhone to log food and activity. I've got a treadmill that has been dusted of cobwebs and a great Core Secrets exercise video by Gunner Peterson for my cross training days. I'm so sick of this soft middle tire that has developed! What other excuses do I have that could stop me now!!! I'm going to rock this thing!!!   Well, I do have other excuses and I still need to tackle them so my journey to a healthy life has no forks in the road. I've just started working the graveyard shift 4 nights a week (Sat-Tue)  as an intensive homecare nurse and have just started homeschooling my youngest son. Food is a way for me to cope with how I feel and when I feel tired, emotional, ect. and my resolve to make healthy food choices or to get motivated to exercise is seriously jeapordized. But since I'm a nurse, a healthy lifestyle is so important to me and is a value I want to instill into my family. I was talking to my husband last night. He is so wonderful and supportive!! I would not be the person I am without him and God in my life. We discussed how I need to structure my days backward. Just like most people work work full days and have to come home, make dinner, and help the kids with homework, I too will need to follow this schedule except the time of day will be different. I will set aside my work out time when I wake up...at 7pm, shower and go to work. When I get home, I'll have a good meal, and start my son's homeschool day. By 1pm I'll say good night and let him work independently (he's 10), until Dad comes home.

 

Crazy as this seems, I'll make this work and overcome all the excuses!! Thanks for all the other"Who Wants to Get Active" team members and trainers who will provide me the additional motivation  and direction I need to succeed!

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A Matter of Perspective

Posted by ICURNpope Feb 4, 2010

     I woke up this morning thinking it was a good day start my introduction blog for the upcoming training and race that I've entered. Last summer I entered a 5K race and trained using Active.com's Couch to 5K program. I had never run before. In fact, I downright hated the idea of running. Speed walking I was fine with but running? But this little voice in my head (I don't normally hear voices just to clarify things!) said you need to run. And I was able to run the entire race! Although most would've called it a slow jog, I was thrilled that I had completed my goal!!!

     Then fall and winter came around and my running went by the wayside, cobwebs on my treadmill and extra weight appeared around my middle section.

     January arrived and I was determined to get back in shape when I saw Active.com's challenge to train for a 6K! I was pleased to be selected as a participant for this event, though have never blogged before. It can't be too difficult right? It's just allowing the rest of the world to see your victories and failures, right?  Humbling.

     Well, I'll start by writing my goals for doing this. I just finished nursing school and see many overweight nurses with related health problems of high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. I thought isn't it hypocritical to be a nurse who encourages others to exercise and eat well when they themselves don't live by their own advice?  But nursing is a stressful job and many people deal with stress through food. I'm not obese but borderline overweight. I can see myself easily succumbing to the desires of the chocolate brownie or my favorite afternoon snack of butter round crackers with a chunk of cheddar cheese. Soon that adds up and Wah Lah! I've gained 10 more lbs!

     Another reason for me to pursue a fit lifestyle is for my two boys. They are skin and bones now but fail to be active due to the lure of video games and television. I haven't been a great role model for them and want to instill these good values before the video games completely suck them into cyber world. These are important goals for me but I think the most important reason for me to do this is for myself. I love how happy I feel when I'm training. I struggle at times with depression, but while training I found the motivation to eat well and be more active with my boys. I had a more positive outlook and I loved the person I was becoming. So for me, this training event is more than just reaching a goal or getting fit. It's about changing my perspective of life, love and happiness. (Okay, this last bit sounds corny but there you go. That's who I am!)

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