Entries in 5K (14)


One on One with a Personal Trainer... Priceless!

Today I showed up for my Cardio workout and was pleasantly surprised to find that I was the only person in my TEAM who showed up! I say 'pleasantly' because this turned out to be an awesome opportunity. Meghan, the PT instructor for the class -- and a marathoner -- basically worked with me one-on-one for the entire 50 minutes! The best workout ever!

It turns out that she trained for her marathons with Chicago Endurance Sports and knows Coach Jenny! How cool is that! She told me a lot about their program, making my desire to train with them even greater now. She very excited that I plan to run a half marathon next summer and the full Chicago Marathon in 2013. Her support is a boost to my enthusiasm!

We discussed my running and fitness goals, what I have done so far, and most importantly, how to incorporate my TEAM Cardio workouts with my running practice time so that I can continue to prepare for the next 5K race while not overtraining. She also worked with me on my running form, heart rate zones, etc. For the remaining weeks of the TEAM Weight Loss program, she is going to alter my routine to include more jogging/running so that I can keep working on reaching a maintainable 3:2 run-walk interval for my May 22nd 5K race. (My last 5K was done in a 2:3 interval)

Because the TEAM program is scheduled for three days a week, I was concerned about how to fit in my running time into my week (I do strength training two days a week). So she figured if I do more jogging/running during the cardio program, then I can reserve Saturdays for my outdoor runs (weather permitting).

So my plan between now and May 22nd is to incorporate running into my TEAM cardio program three times a week and then work on 3:2 interval runs outdoors on my Saturdays. So this Saturday, I will do 3:2 intervals for 2 miles. Then the next two Saturdays, I will run the intervals for a distance of 2.5 miles. That will take me to May 14. After that, it will be a 'taper' week leading up to May 22nd.

My goal: to run that race at least 2-3 minutes faster than the 42:41 time I clocked last weekend. I feel good about that goal and I am going to reach it!


The Journey to Wellness began last May

It all started last May when I decided to lose all the weight that I have been slowly gaining over the past five years. I was tired of looking at myself in photographs on Facebook because they made me feel like I needed to purchase a bigger digital display just to see the entire photo!

I met with a Registered Dietician several times, talking about my eating habits, what I like and did not like to eat, and what I needed to change. Then he and I worked out a strategy and a plan for what I should be eating for good nutrition, how to count my daily nutritional consumption (and what those numbers should be), and what is considered an appropriate 'portion' by normal (not American) standards.

I also decided to go back to what works; I went back to Weight Watchers. This time, I went to their 'At Work' program where the weekly meetings take place at your office and your support group are people with whom you work. It was the most convenient solution I could think of.

From May to December, I lost 50 pounds! Just by eating more intelligently, making better food and portion choices, and pretty much giving up fast food and sodas (drinking mostly water, iced tea, and an occasional Coke Zero).

Starting this year, I started working out at a local fitness center. I do both cardio (treadmill biking) and strength training workouts and go at least five times a week. It is really making a difference in my endurance, strength, and my self image too. On April 4, I started a new program called Team Weight Loss which is a cardio program focused on weight loss and nutrition with a group of like-minded people. It is a challenge but it is kinda fun and the people are nice.

I am expecting good things from all this work! To date, I have lost 75 pounds. Very exciting progress, right? I am halfway to my goal so I have to keep things interesting so I can stay motivated. Variety in my exercise program, and setting both long and short term goals, are going to be my keys to success.

So I joined their 90-day Challenge, where you weigh in at the start and then are weighed again at the end. There are prizes for the biggest 'losers'. But the two big cool things with this are 1) there are two 5K races I get to walk/run, and 2) twice each week I get to do any of their classes for free. I plan to take advantage of that deal!

In fact, I am doing a total of four 5K races this year. Hopefully, all of my power-walking on the Treadmill since January and strength training since late February has prepped me for this. So far, things look promising! I ran 3 miles two weeks ago and clocked myself at 52 minutes. Then on the 23rd, I ran my first 5K (the kickoff to the 90-day Challenge) and finished in 42:41 -- a full 10 minutes faster! It felt great and I could've run farther. Now I need to continue my walk-run training program (thanks to Running for Mortals by John Bingham/Jenny Hadfield) in preparation for my second 5K on May 22nd -- the Weight Watchers 5K WalkIt. I hope to run most of that one.

I know that I work best when challenged. So I will be running the concluding 5K run in July for the Challenge. And in October, I will run the Chicago AIDS 5K. I am very excited about this run as it supports such an important cause -- fighting this terrible disease. If you are interested in supporting me in this event, please visit my pledge site and make a donation.

My bottom line goal is to lose another 75 pounds by this time next year and then to keep the weight off. I am going to be a lean, mean, fighting machine!

It is going to be hard work but it is so worth it! Pray for me, and stay tuned here as I chronicle my journey.

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