Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My Big Why

Look how cute I am.
This post has been sitting here, unpublished, for years. It was full of self-hate in the disguise of "backstory". Forget that. DELETE. It's time for moving forward. Shit happens (and happened) and I have only myself and my future to own.

I wake up every day in my body and with my mind. I start my day with no confidence from the first few moments and I’m sick and tired of it! I don’t want my daughter growing up having poor fitness and eating habits modeled after me or my son's continued embarrassment of me. And hell, I want to be able to see them get married – and not only have energy for them, but pfor my (far in the future) grandkids too!

I'm fat but feel pretty awesome about myself even though I don't....
From May 4, 2014, the day of my first 10k:

DAY-UM! Look at these legs!
These legs just ran 6 miles. In a row!

What an amazing race. At times, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it. Mile five was a killer. My thighs were shouting at me for a sandwich. My magic beans got me through. Kalamazoo's running community is amazing. The last three miles for the marathon, half marathon, and 10k were all the same route. That was also where the first of the half-ers started passing me. Almost all of them had genuine words of encouragement as the passed me by. It's such a simple thing that meant so much to me as I was struggling along. I finished at exactly the time I thought I would, thanks to these few simple words. My family waited for me at the finish line. I had the best beer of my life at 11 a.m.

As I continue my journey as a runner, I'm so excited about what my legs can do. They have moved me around for over 43 years. They carried me around playgrounds and neighborhoods. They walked me to classes and through graduations. They walked me down the aisle to marry my best friend. They have helped me carry two babies. Now they carry me on my journey to fitness.

Didn't your mama tell U life was 2 good 2 waste?

I spent my early teen years like most do, listening to Top 40 Radio. songs from 1999 were played, I liked.

When I was 13, Purple Rain came out. My friend Tammy and I snuck into see it. (It was NAUGHTY, y'all!) I had a boom box in the bathroom and listened to the cassette every morning. I had to turn the volume way down when Darling Nikki came on. It was NAUGHTY, too.

I had the advantage of having a cool older sister who was up on all the cool stuff she had Prince's older stuff on vinyl so that's how I first heard For You, Prince, Dirty Mind, Controversy

Senior year in high school, I played It from Sign O' the Times over and over while programming my final project in BASIC. I'd get to the end of the song and hit rewind on my walkman in the computer lab.

In college, I got my hands on a bootleg copy of The Black Album. Not sure if I actually listened to it more than once or twice. But I had it!

For my 20th birthday, Steph took me to see Graffiti Bridge and gifted me with a bottle of Everclear. Now, that was a birthday!

That's when I became a Bad Prince Fan. The music wasn't my style. The songs on Come felt too personal, like I was reading his diary behind his back. I know he was stuck in a contract that he wanted out of.

For every time in my life there is a Prince record to go along.

Now it's time to purify myself in the waters or Lake Minnetonka.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hot Dog!

Last Friday was the Kalamazoo Hot Dog Walk! I learned that there is a bigger difference between 5 and 6 hot dogs than one dog....

Treat Street I forgot how to math and ordered the 1/4 pound dog so I only had half. They have the best buns but just eh dogs.
Nagle's Top Dog & Malt Shoppe They have an incredible variety of toppings and some interesting combos. This year, I stuck with Chicago dogs when they had them.
Dogs with Style These guys were new to me and were amazing! The best Chicago dog I've ever had! They also have a huge variety including pretzel buns, bacon wrapped dogs, and mac-and-cheese as a topping.
Coney Island My favorite place. They have the best atmosphere and great hot dogs.
Ray Ray's Italian Beef & Sausage reminds me of the "No Soup for You" Seinfeld guy.
Root Beer Stand Meh. They have been very accommodating to the walkers and the car hops are fun.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Over the next 14 weeks, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, I plan to meet several goals with my running group.

  1. Lose 10 pounds. This is really the minimum of what I'd like to lose but I don't have a great track record of losing weight quickly and I'd like to be able to achieve this one.
  2. Meet with the group for at least 12 times. This means both big runs with the whole group and little one-on-one runs.
  3. Mix it up! Do at least 3 different physical activities each week. Most likely that will look like a couple of runs, riding my bike to work, and attend my Thursday class. I'll need to get creative when I'm on my 2-week vacation!
  4. Just schedule a damn massage already.  

Make it SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Running for My Life

Last year as I was training for my first 5k, I realized that I had another one scheduled a month later. I took the opportunity and set a goal for myself to run one race per month for 12 months and I did it!

  • April (Actually May 5) Borgess Run for the Health of It: I ran whole thing. I ran slowly but I ran it all!
  • May 23 GOTR Celebration 5k: I ran this one with and for Maggie. She set our pace and it was awesome!
  • June 20 Cheetah Chase at Binder Park Zoo: Maggie came along for this one, too. It was a fun race, very cool to be in the zoo before it opened. It would have been nice to have some water stations on the course, though. this was also the first non-Kalamazoo race. I tell you, I missed Chris Lampen-Crowell's voice!
  • July 4 Volkslauffe in Frankenmuth: This was a long, hot race! Well, not actually any longer than any other official 5k, but the heat and humidity made it feel long! 
  • August 2 Color Run in Grand Rapids: This was so much fun! I was invited last-minute by my running buddy and had a great time. 
  • September 14 Peacock Strut: I trained with Gazelle Sports all summer and it paid off: I PRed this race. It was a lovely early fall morning and a really nice course.
  • October 12 Campus Classic: Somehow the course planner managed to make it 90% uphill an 90% into the sun even with the start and finish at the exact same place. Good run and another PR.
  • November 23 Turkey Trot: Still on campus but a slightly different course. It started snowing and I loved it!
  • December 5 Run Through the Lights: Not actually a full 5k, but so much fun! The whole family joined me and we all dressed in costume. I also won my Run Camp by having the most illuminated costume!
  • January 18 House of Hope: My birthday and Christmas present from my parents was a trip to Florida and I took advantage by running a race that happened to be taking place that weekend! I got to see some lovely residential areas of Panama City and had a great race. It was about 40 degrees and I wore short sleeves and capri pants and was a perfect temperature. All the Florida locals were worried about me being cold, though. All I had to say was, "Michigan," and they understood.
  • February 2 Girls on the Run TuTu run: Again, not officially 5k, but lots of fun! Ran this one with my neighbor and Maggie.
  • March 2 Winter Blast: This was a tough one for me. I was super sleepy for some reason and the snow was really hard to run through. I finished strong, though!

And, the icing on the cake, in May I ran my first 10k!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Making it Memorable

Where do I even start? I've completed my second Run Camp and ran my first 10K and it seems like a good time for reflection. There's so much bouncing around in my head. I need to start somewhere!

The idea of running has been bouncing around in my head since high school but I didn't think I could do it. I had so many terrible elementary school gym teachers that emphasized sports over fitness and I have to say it wasn't one isolated town: I went to school in seven different states during those years. We weren't a sporty or active family. I was never taught to love exercise. Add to that many years of happy marriage, work stress, and a couple of kids and I find myself very out of shape and overweight. I needed to do something.

Running started to pop up everywhere. Bloggers, friends, neighbors: everyone was running. In the fall of 2012, I downloaded a Couch to 5k app and started taking walk/runs. I'd do it after the sun went down so no one could see me. But then I started talking about it and I heard about Run Camp. Some very good friends talked me into signing up. At the orientation meeting, I had a full-on anxiety attack. I was sweating, my heart was racing, I couldn't breathe. I was a mess but I got some good shoes and went to the first official meeting. I was placed into a fabulous team and now I'm a runner. After 3 months of early, snowy Saturday mornings I ran every last step of my first 5K. It was an amazing experience and I'm still running!