Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It all adds up

A few years back, my employer enrolled us for HealthMiles, a voluntary program that rewards us for the activity we do.  We all got little pedometers to strap on, and log-ins to account for non-step related activity. (Swimming, etc.)  We get "points" just for wearing it, for reaching 7K, 12K, or 20K steps.  Points add up for cash rewards.  A pretty painless program!

When we first got these, I was at the peak of my weight journey (peak weight-wise, valley fitness-wise), and was elated on the days that I got 3000-3500 steps.  I was enduring severe plantar fascitis, and more activity wasn't likely.

Post surgery, I've been able to easily hit 7K most days, and 12K on more days than not.  20K is still elusive most days.  Last weekend, I discovered that the 8K/5 mile race ONLY accounted for 10K steps.  BUMMER!  I really thought I'd hit 20K that day.

Well, low and behold...I was out in the field for work yesterday...a couple of "short" trips, and before lunch had 15K steps!!!  Not only that - I wasn't even tired!

What a difference a year makes!  Those little trips really add up.  Moral of the story...more little trips!

WLS Athlete

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This is a quickie...but still good stuff!

I wanted to report on this past weekend's race - my first 8K!  The day was unseasonably rainy (yes, it's the Pacific Northwest - but it's also JULY!), and I was concerned.  Not to worry - rain makes the sweat less of a problem.  But, note to self, a hat would help the rivers running down my face.

Regardless, there was NO FEAR (remember, I let that go!), and I knew I could finish, in spite of the hill at mile 2.5.  I made it in under my 90 minute goal - with 43 seconds to spare!  WHOOT!  It was a really fun event, and I hope to be able to do the half marathon next year!

My other RED LETTER news for the week!  You'll remember (or not) that I spoke on behalf of obese patients at a brown bag luncheon at work.  Well, a few days after that, I was contacted by the local newspaper (not related to this luncheon) regarding an article they were doing on medical treatment of obese patients.  It was posted online today and will be in print tomorrow.  Enjoy...and comment, if you'd like!

WLS Athlete

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Being last doesn't kill

It happened.  I was last...and lived to tell about it.

I started out the race at the back of the pack ("pack" being relative in a race of less than 50 participants), but not last.  I made it up the big hill/half-way point with two ladies (and the SAG bike) behind me, but somehow they overtook me on the downhill.  I was TRULY fine with being last, and the SAG gal kept checking on me.  When I crossed the finish line, everyone clapped...which I needed...I was WIPED OUT! It was the HARDEST race I've done so far...temperature, terrain, and all.

I struggled most of the time, due to the fact that my RunKeeper pooped out on me about 13 minutes into the race (due to tree cover), and I had NO IDEA what my pace was.  I just kept pushing...knowing they weren't going to close the course without me - the SAG girl was with me.  My mom walked the last four blocks with me, and that was really fun.  Anyway, I crossed the line, and they called out my time.  I still didn't have a clue - because I keep track of my time per/mile, not overall.  I ignored everyone while I whipped out my calculator...and started bawling.  My time was 1:27 per mile faster than last month's race!  NO WONDER I WAS WIPED!  Not only did I finish with a great P.R., but they did awards by age group, sex, and walk vs. run.  I placed third (even though I was last!) in my group!  "Go, Chanda!"

Today, I headed down through the gorgeous Columbia River Gorge, and decided to tackle another previous "I can't."  I hiked clear to the top of the beautiful Multnomah Falls!  42 minutes to walk 1.25 miles at a very steep incline.  The trip was well worth the reward of the beauty at the fall's headwaters.  The trip down took a little longer, as I was concerned about rolling an ankle, twisting a knee, or another injury before my LONG race next weekend (8K).

What a monumental weekend!  I keep adding things to my "I did it" list, and am so proud of what I've done in the six months post-op.

Being last doesn't kill...and I'm LIVING MY FIT DREAMS!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Go Chanda!

One thing about doing these big races is the camaraderie.  The other thing is that there will, more likely than not, be someone behind you.

What happens, then, when it’s NOT a “big” race?  I’m about to find out. 

This weekend, I’m going to participate in the Athena, Oregon Caledonian Days 5K Run/Walk.  As of this morning, there are SEVENTEEN people registered!  I know, I know – there will likely be people registering the morning of the event…but SEVENTEEN?  It will be a little hard to blend in to the back of the pack.

On the upside…there are medals to the top five finishers of each sex in each age category.  My hope…that there are not more than five females age 30-39!  Or, that at least one of them is slower than I am.  Jodi (my partner in crime for this event) is faster than I am…so there goes my chance of WINNING, but at least a medal would be fun, right?

Regardless, it will be fun.  My mom will be there to watch me, likely with a home-made “Go, Chanda!” sign in hand.  For the daughter who never felt she measured up, this will be monumental.  My parents are proud of what I’ve done this year.  (Should it still matter what they think when I’m nearly 40 years old?  Not sure if it SHOULD or not – but it does.)

I’m proud of the work I’ve done.  Big event or small, trophy/medal or not, front of the pack, or dead last…I’m doing more than I’ve done in years.  My body is cooperating, my mind is getting in the program, and I know that I’m LIVING MY FIT DREAMS!

“Go, Chanda!”

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day

Yesterday I celebrated INDEPENDENCE!

Independence from 121 lbs. of "I can't do it," fear of trying, bondage of food addiction, and all that goes with that.

I was looking forward to an early-morning bike ride...and it was longer and more challenging than I'd planned.  As I chugged up a long incline (one previously in the "I can't" category - though I'd never actually tried), I kept thinking..."go as slow as you need to - but don't stop."  And, the even more exciting thought, "You get to ride DOWN it on the return trip!"  Not only did I make it...without any terrible leg burn, but when I got to the top, and older gentleman passed (was he there the whole time?), and said, "Good morning!"  Yes, indeed - it was...if he only knew!

Go as slow as you need to - but don't stop.  That's independence!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Still living the dream!

Yesterday, dear pup and I hiked for the first time.  (Six-month old Cocker Spaniel - Minnie Pearl)

I'm fortunate enough to leave in the BEAUTIFUL Northwest, and just minutes away from rivers, trails, and God-blessed beauty galore!  We chose Lucia Falls, a 15-minute winding road away.  I'd been to the park several times and admired the lovely falls, but never really explored the trails.  

There is an "established" hiking trail around the park, but there are also several "rabbit trails" that lead down to the water, over big boulders, or just to secluded, scenic views.  Pearl was a nut - she dragged me up and down places I'd never thought I could manage...but I did.  At one point, I was thankful that she was harnessed - rather than collared - as I had to "jerk" her up off a rock face.  SHE might have made it, but I wouldn't have.

THIS is what it is all about for me.  NEW adventures, NEW ways doing things, an DISCOVERING that I DO have it in me!  (Not to mention that the boulder climbing, and sliding down dirt trails is helping me prepare for Warrior Dash!)

What is YOUR adventure?