Sunday, December 30, 2012

That time of year: Goal Setting for 2013

The end of 2012 is almost here, and its been an amazing year.  Hard to believe that I am finishing the year off tapering for my third marathon.  Hilarious given that my big goal of 2012 was to run one marathon, to just get up the nerve to do it ONCE.  I remember how many times it took me to attempt clicking register for that first one in May (barf!)

I've been "running" lots of ideas and plans through my mind this last month, thinking about next year and what kind of races I want to do and what my goals will be.  I've always loved making New Year's Resolutions there is something magic about them.  I started thinking of New Year's Resolutions and it led me to thinking of races.  I soon found my heart beating extra fast and myself getting carried away.  Needless to say I think I found "my thing," the thing pushes me and keeps me motivated.

I started a post a while back on setting up a race schedule for 2013...I never posted it.  It went something like...I want to do this and this and this...oooh this one too!  I may have gotten carried away. Me carried away? No!

So this is where I sit now, I am conflicted.  I am reading this really fascinating book right now, "Run Less, Run Faster."  The plans in the book will help you run your best performance.  They stress not how far, or how many times you have run in a week, but the INTENSITY of your runs.  The plan also stresses picking one or two key races and focusing on those. (ummm...not back to back races like I did this year).  The plan also talks about recovery time after key races (again...mmm...what's that?)

What has my heart racing, and so excited about exploring this book is the way the plan is set up.  You choose your training plan based on your current fitness level's 5km time.  So my current 5km time is 24 min (23 something in the summer).  The intensity of your plan is based on this!  Obviously my 5km pace is one hell of a lot faster then my half or full marathon pace!  This plan has me running 3 key runs a week (1 track, 1 tempo, and 1 long run). The key runs are pace specific and challenging. (the marathon plan has 5 -20 milers in it!) I also do 2 days of cross training (non weight bearing cardio, ie. swimming, biking, or rowing with INTENSITY, there's that word again).  You also do full body strength training of about 30 min 2-3 times week (love that they did not forget this key component and stress the benefits to your running machine).

Here's the real tease...based on my 5km and 10km times I could potentially reach the Boston Qualifying time for a Women's Age 40 category!  I'm 36 so it makes me think that this "pipe dream' is possible, that I could do this in the next few years.

The Qualifying time for Women 40-45 is 3:45.  According to this book's plan if you can run a 5km in 23:10 and a 10km in 48:30 and a half in 1:47.25 you can do this!

So my goal is to run the May Half Marathon in 1:47:25 to see if I have the potential to do this.

and then.........

Here's the conflict...I want to run Tough Mudder, and Spartan, and try a Duathon, and do the Army Run (my fav), and the TO Marathon, and do CrossFit and and and.....I want to do it all.  I want to play and sweat and hang out with my friends.

But I am slowly coming around to the idea of simplifying this year and focusing on two key runs.  A Half May Race weekend, 2 weeks recovery, and starting training for the TO Marathon.  (I could still run the Army Run half like last year as my last long run, slightly pushing the plan here but it's my favourite race and where it all started for me).  Committing myself to doing my very best, means not doing Tough Mudder even though I really want to.   It means following the plan, and being strict with myself (rest days, recovery periods etc).  It means being ok with picking my goal and setting my eye on the prize and cheering my friends on and not having to be "part of" EVERYTHING LOL!

So I am going to mull it over, prepare for Disney in two weeks and then set my Goals in stone so to speak :)

So go for it!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Getting Strong

For much of the last year my strength workouts have focused on full body workouts, with compound movements.  Strength workouts to keep me strong, and to to help me build a strong running machine.  My focus has been on lots of lunges, squats, and dead lifts for my legs.  I work my core a lot with the TRX and other exercises.  A strong core has really helped me on those 2 hour plus long runs.  My strength training has been designed for running and to fit into my training plan for the marathons.  But in the last month I have been changing things up a little and giving my upper body a little extra attention.

A group of friends and I have a 4 WEEKS TO FITT challenge going on with the idea being that we want to look extra awesome in our Christmas Party Dresses.  I say extra awesome, because we all look beautiful as we are, but a little extra bump on the shoulders sure is "SEXY"!  My goal was to have some definition and to rock some strong fit arms.  Arms are a big deal for me, my arms used to be a source of embarrassment and something to hide.  I would never have dreamed of baring them.  I had a shrug or sweater for every dress and top without sleeves.  Summer's were hot let me tell you.  

So bare with me when I share these silly pics of me in my bathroom trying to flex my muscles and looking like I am constipated (which I a sure you I am not, CHIA SEEDS!) because I am really excited that I have some muscle pops!! Now to figure out how to wear my dress and walk around looking like a sexy hulk woman while making the I have to poo face :) 

I still have some hanging skin under my arms, I don't think I can get rid of that, but I will wave them like VICTORY FLAGS!
This poo face is brought to you by, trying to hit the damn camera button on my phone with one hand in the air LOL!  
Seriously, this back shot makes me happy!  When I first started working out to Jillian Michael's the SHRED in my basement, my back flab slapped together when I did jumping jacks.  It was such an awesome noise, not.  

The best part about this last month of extra focus on "Strength" is that it is has also coincided with my break from the scale.  Instead of getting on the scale in the morning, I give my arms a little flex, and think STRONG, FIT, HAPPY and HEALTHY.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Muffins: A different Perspective

When I was little my nickname was "Muffin,"  I can't remember if it was my Dad or my Grandpa that named me that but it stuck.  I really did love muffins!  In fact, one of my fondest childhood memories is of being at grandparents house and my Nana baking muffins.  My Grandpa (who was always up to mischief) would sneak them for me while they were cooling and Nana would get playfully upset with him.  I have so many memories of eating muffins at my grandparents house, a place that was filled with love and fun and adventure.  My grandparents lived on a lake, Nellie Lake, and it was a truly magical place for my sisters and I.  After a long day of adventures outside, after we were scrubbed clean and powder puffed up, we would gather at the kitchen table for a bedtime treat.  My favorite bedtime treat was one of my Nana's muffins.  My Grandpa had this trick where we would take "his" butter knife (he had a special one with a yellow handle) and would scrape all the extra muffin stuck to the paper wrapper off it.  That's a lot of extra muffin goodness!

mmm...muffins..warm out of the oven, sliced in half and buttered on BOTH sides.  Filling.  Satisfying.  Comforting. Happy Muffins. 

So where am I going with "muffins"?  Well I had the opportunity to experience a Life Coaching Session with my good friend Jay Dziuba this week.  She is a life coach and well you just need to expereince the magic of what happens in a session.  We were meeting on Tuesday and I didn't really know what we would focus on in our session.  Would I choose to get help with growing my business, would we talk about running goals, I wasn't sure.  The neat thing is that it's a very organic type of session, what I need help with seems to surface on it's own and that's where we go.  This session ended up focusing on letting go of the "weighty" feelings.  "Weighty" being that tight constricted feeling around the heart, the racing heart, that anxious feeling, the worry, feelings of unworthiness that seem to cling to me.  I feel as though I am on the verge of another big change, ready to let go of the "weightiness" that is holding me down.  In previous posts, I've talked about the challenges of maintaining weight loss, and making the mental shift from weight loss to "healthy and fit".  In my session with Jay, we worked on finding perspective, so we talked about how I felt doing different things.  Like when I run.  When I run I am present and I  am connected to my body.  I feel fluid, like a machine, and happy when I run.  We talked about things like scrapbooking.  When I scrapbook I feel grateful because I am telling our stories.  Jay asked me to think of a happy place or thing and "MUFFINS" came to mind immediately.  Muffins represent the memory I shared with you at the start, that safe, content, satisfied, happy place with my grandparents.  So we took that "MUFFIN PERSPECTIVE" and from that perspective looked at the "weighty" issues.  Let me tell you the "weighty" issues look and feel much different from the perspective of muffins.  Do I need to get on the scale each morning if I am feeling muffins? No. Do I need to count and track what I eat if I am feeling muffins? No.  

The real AHA moment came when we looked at my upcoming Marathon in Disney from the perspective of Muffins.  (honestly, I have been doing really well with staying off the scale, and I have taken a break from counting and tracking etc, but the idea of this next race has really been weighing me down) So this was the real CHRISTMAS LIGHTBULB MOMENT right here.  If I RUN DISNEY from MUFFINS...I am running to celebrate the gift on this last year.  I am running to celebrate three marathons, to celebrate being healthy and strong enough to accomplish that life long goal. I am running because I LOVE TO RUN.  I am fluid, I am connected.  I am not watching my garmin.  I am not running to beat a time.  I am running simply what feels good, happy, joyfully, MUFFIN-LIKE.  I am running with my Grandpa.

Interested in finding your muffins?  I highly recommend looking into Jay Dziuba and her life coaching sessions.  You can send her a message through her linkedIn Profile here. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A year later: Maintenance

Dec 8th will mark a year since having lost 100 pounds.  I have been excited waiting for that day, to do a blog post with a pic of me in my workout outfit, looking all fit and Sh#t.  I wanted to write a post filled with words of wisdom on losing weight and maintaining it.  


I am tired of weight loss, and weight, and the scale, and numbers.  I am tired of every week thinking about what I will eat and all that jazz.  The truth is I have found this year of maintenance (and I am proud to say I have maintained) very challenging.  The 1.5-2 years that it took me to lose that weight, had a purpose, a focus.  I was driven to lose the weight, and rewarded with the loses.  Switching to maintenance and being ok with not seeing a DROP on the scale each week or two was something that took getting used too.  Learning to let go of the reigns and to not be so restrictive in what I ate and allowing things like wine, choc, carbs back into my regular nutrition took getting used too.  I really struggled with finding the balance between not eating to lose weight, and yet not binging on my favourite foods (and I have had many a Food Party for One). Throw training for 3 Full Marathons in there and fuelling for those and yep its been a bit of an experiment.  

It takes a lot of focus and determination to lose that much weight, and its hard to just switch that "mentality" off?  Not that its an ON or OFF way of life, I really have tried to set up a LIFESTYLE vs a short term diet.  I am scared of the weight returning, of the "fat" Katie coming back.  Most of all I am afraid of that old lifestyle and the way I felt coming back. Its silly really, because that girl is long gone.  That lifestyle is long gone.  My family and I have changed.  But the fear is still there.  Its the fear that get's me to stand on the scale to make sure I haven't gained that weight back.  I wrote recently on my Fit Mom in Barrhaven blog about changing behaviour and letting go of the scale.  I am happy to say that I have been doing well and have only been weighing myself once a week.  I want to move to once every two weeks and wean myself off it.  Like I said in the post, I don't "need" the scale, if I were to gain 10 pounds I would feel it in my clothes.  There are other ways to make sure that I am doing well, that are less harmful to my sense of self.  

This year has had many ups and downs.  In the summer, I needed to ask for extra help because I felt my mind slipping back into very restrictive thoughts and patterns.  I saw a counsellor for a few sessions and it was just what I needed to set myself back on a healthy course.  One thing that stood out in our chats was that I have an "Extreme Personality" (shocking isn't lol).  Running 3 Marathons in a 9 month period, is hardly extreme? But what I have learned is that I need extreme, its the way I am, the way I tick.  I just need to find "healthy extremes."  Being a size 4 and bulimic when I was younger was an unhealthy extreme, and being a size 22 and binge eating was also an unhealthy extreme.  So I think this year I have been trying to find what a healthy athlete looks like.  I'm certainly not a professional athelte by any means, but I like to think of myself in terms of an athlete.  The more I seek to move away from the idea of "weight" the more I find myself thinking of myself in these terms.  I find I treat myself much better when I do.  I think about how to best fuel this body of my mine to do the physical feats I want to accomplish.  A diet of fast food and sugar is not going to fuel my body, nor is a low carb diet.  So I eat to feel good doing what I love, which is running far, and pushing hard. I listen to my body better, as an athlete.  I rest, I scale back, I let my body rest and recover so it can preform better (where as before I would have kept pushing for the burn).  The more I make this mental shift the less important the number on the scale becomes.  Will gaining 5 pounds matter if it makes me stronger? 

The other truth, is I LOVE FOOD, and I like to eat.  I love choc chips, I eat chocolate almost every day.  I really love my oatmeal, and other carbs too.  I don't want to prescribe to a life without these things.  For me staying very active has allowed me to indulge in the foods that I love (did I mention how much I love cheese?) and to maintain my weight.  What I do struggle with though is that bloody idea of extremes again.  I struggle when my milage is really high at the height of my marathon training and I find myself wanting to eat 2.5hrs worth of running's calories.  I fully admit that one of the things that gets me through those really long runs is the thought of indulging in some of my favorite foods guilt free! (its not the only reason I run though, I truly love it all on its own). I struggle with "refueling" and "treating" myself and listening to the YOUR FULL NOW signal.  I tend to over eat on those days...but I'm figuring it out.  I am trying very hard to listen to my body and mind and what it wants and needs. 

So here I am, almost a year later, still just over a 100 pounds lost, 2 Marathons, and 2 Half Marathons under my belt.  I'm loving my runner's legs, and my strong arms.  I'm ok with my long tube boobs and "hang-y" mom pouch of a belly.  I think I can honestly say that I don't want wash board abs, unless they come with a magic wand option.   I am going to do my best to think of myself as an athlete,  to keep training and running hard, and taking care of myself.  I am going to share my love of sweat with my friends and with my clients.  I am going to live my most HEALTHY Extreme :) 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pushing it

This past Sunday was my third year running the Rattle Me Bones 10km race.  I did it with my hubs, and a bunch of my friends. My kids even did their first race and ran a 1km Jigglebones race.  My parents even came out to see us run (and watch the kids hehehe, thank-you Mom and Dad.

I set out to run this race, with a goal in the back of my that in all truth I really didn't think I would be able to meet.  But I went in with my PUSH IT till can't you PUSH IT anymore attitude.

My dad told me in the summer that his best time from back in his day, was 48 min and 50 some seconds.  All summer I had that number calling my name.  My best 10km training time so far was 52 min something and I was spent.  So I really wasn't sure how I would ever get to 48 min, especially 2 weeks after my 2nd marathon, and learning to change stride.

I started the race off fast..thinking GIVE a bit...PUSH a bit...and just keep going. I hit the 5km mark at 24:04, I felt great!  At 6km my hamstring seized up, I wasn't used to running on my forefoot and going that fast for that long.  So I switched back to my trusty heel strike and fought through the discomfort.  As long as I kept to short strides I felt pretty good.  Well it worked...I have to admit I was shocked to cross the finish line and see 48:28!  At the finish line a woman hugged me and thanked me for pushing her, now how cool is that.

I was really happy, and not just because of the time but because my family and friends were there.  I had girlfriends not only running their first 10km race, but some of them their first 10km distance.  Each and everyone of them KICKED IT!  Our little running club represented at RMB!

I felt really strong after that race, and relieved and happy that I have come off an injury and am healing really well, and am back in race form.  I'm excited so very excited to keep running.  I want to this to be a life long hobby of mine.  I look forward to running with my daughter at her first 5km some day soon.

I've come along way in 3 years......

RMB 10km (1:09:20) 2010

in your before pics you have to show the really unflattering one :) wink

RMB 10km (48:28) 2012 

...3180 km :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween Candy: Avoiding the Horror of the Binge

Halloween candy is already calling my name.  Its 3:00 pm and I find myself in shoppers, hitting the dreaded energy dive bomb, it's then that the howls and cackles from the halloween candy isles start calling my name.  The pull is so strong! This morning I was in the grocery store, having just finished up my workout and my glycogen stores were screaming at the candy corn...JUMP IN MY MOUTH! There is just something about HALLOWEEN candy that does my mind in.  I don't get like this at Easter and Christmas.  Yes, I indulge in the sweets but this obsessive  mouth watering pull seems to only come with Halloween.  

In years past I would succumb to the brightly colored boxes and buy the stuff early, I would "hide it" so I wouldn't eat it.  YEAH RIGHT!  I would then find myself balanced on a kitchen chair scarfing down PB cups and Twix bars from the back of the closet top shelf.  Or going into the cold garage for perfectly chilled choc bars....shaking my head. 

 So I find myself sitting here, reflecting and coming up with a plan to avoid the binge and guilt cycle this year.  I was looking at old halloween pictures and have to admit that this one really "surprised me." This picture is from two years ago, and at the time I was about 5 months into my new active life, working out 5-6 days week.  I had lost maybe 20-25 pounds?  I remember buying that halloween outfit and feeling so good about myself. For the first time in a long time I was ok with "showing myself".  Oh lord, I did not realize though that it showed so much of my giant hooters! LOL.  That was a good halloween, I indulged but not over board, and didn't feel guilty with what I did eat because of my activity level.  I wasn't overly obsessed with the candy, and found a good balance.  

oh my good lord my boobs were huge, I miss them LOL
Fast forward to the following year and I was close to my maintenance weight, and very focused on the losing part of my "journey".  I tended to avoid the candy at all costs, thinking of it as a "not allowed" food.  BAD IDEA!  Doing so gave the candy so much more power over me and I found myself obsessing about it.  Ryan was travelling a lot at that point and I found myself alone for a week, with two young kids testing the very limits of my patience.  The days were stressful and I found I started fantasizing about eating the candy.  For some stupid reason I had once again bought candy early and had it in the house.  I remember that week alone, was a very hard and difficult time for me for so many reasons.  I remember rushing the kids to bed one night and coming down stairs and making a giant pile of chocolate bars that I was going to eat.  I stared at it.  My anxiety was rising through the roof.  I bagged up the candy and threw it out, well that bit of it.  I had too.  I sat on the couch and talked myself out of the binge.  I called Ryan and talked to him.  I said a prayer. I narrowly escaped that binge.  The next night I found myself in that very same scenario.  I have a blog post written about it somewhere.  I faced down some demons that week.  I won the big battles but did lose out to some smaller binges of 5 or 6 little choc bars, little binges that led to big ugly guilt and renewed promises to not touch the candy.  Last halloween was very much the picture of someone that was stuck in an all or nothing, black and white kind of thinking pattern.  

So what will this year look like?  I think I will be taking a page from that busty girl's picture.  I will find a happy medium between some indulgences and putting down the candy bag.  I will wait to the last minute to buy the candy. I will decide ahead of time how much I will have.  When I find myself in Shoppers Drugmart itching like a drug addict for candy, I will buy my favourite Lindt Dark Chocolate bar and eat that.  I will dress up in costume and trick or treat with my kids, and watch really bad horror movies with my husband while eating this treat.  I have been eyeing it up on Pinterest for awhile.  I figure, why not, make something special enjoy it and get back to the sweating and chia seed eating after halloween.  

Super hero with binge fighting powers! 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Two out of three done!

Race kit pick up Saturday
Two out of thee marathons done! CHECK!

(seriously questioning sanity, during last 5km of Sunday's race was planning how to have Ryan take my Disney Bib LOL) 

Yesterday I ran my second marathon, 4.5 months after  my first one.  OUCH.  Yesterday's race was a lot different then May's.  In May all my training and all the emotion leading up to completing a life long dream kicked into place and I ran an amazing race.  
Ready to go! lucky 3123

Sunday was a "little" different, but now that I have had to time to digest it I see that it was a really really good experience.  For starters, waiting in the start coral, I had Ryan waiting with me.  I was so calm and happy to have him there for support. I didn't have the usual race adrenaline and nerves coursing through me.  I think because this is the first time EVER that I have gone into a race without a time goal.  My goal was to run it with as little pain as possible and cover the distance.  The gun went off and it felt like I waited about 15 min before I even got to cross the start line, and yet I was calm and just relaxed. 

I started the race off well, settling into a comfortable and slow pace.  Not worried about getting through the crowd in front of me.  In the beginning I tried to focus on my stride, short stride, feet directly under my body, mid foot strike.  The rain had stopped, it was warm out, and I was comfortable.   But by 2 miles in my IT Band started to tighten up and my knee started hurting.  My mind got stuck on the pain, and I was really worried it was just going to get worse and soon I would be hobbling and unable to finish.  My mind went right to the worst case scenario.  The mind is so much more powerful then your body and I knew I had to shake this or I would end up quitting.  I put on my special playlist, and I started to plan my Richmond Exercise Class, and the exercises we would do.  I envisioned the ladies doing squats and lunges and what kind of push and pulls we would do.     It did the trick, my mind left the pain and I let go of it and also gave my pre race Advil time to work.  I soon found myself feeling relatively comfortable again.  

The middle of the race was golden, the weather was amazing, I felt comfortable, and I so enjoyed running in a new city.  I did what I said I wanted, I ran with little pain, I settled in and enjoyed it!  Near the half way mark we went by a turn around point and I got to see the "elite" runners.  I couldn't help but stare at the women, each of them, they filled me with inspiration.  I kept thinking I want to be that person!  Someday I want to run like that.  It filled me with renewed motivation to get this IT Band/knee thing healed and to learn to run mid foot.  But what really really filled me with INSPIRATION was when I was on the other side of that turn around and I was watching the "caboose" of the race go by. Seeing the slower runners, running on their own, struggling, and yet pushing themselves with looks of determination that I have never seen before! Now that just filled me with goosebumps.  

I think it takes a lot more guts for those runner's to push through then it does for someone that running comes to more "easily".  The fact they had to push mentally and physically for all of those 42.2 km is pure inspiration! 

At the half way point, I took another advil wanting the pain to stay away.  I really was able to run most of the race pretty comfortably.  As long as I kept a comfortable pace I felt good.  I rarely checked my garmin for pace, which is so weird for me, normally I am constantly checking it to make sure I am on pace and pushing it.  Sunday I told myself that I would just listen to my body and run what felt good.  It was very freeing.  Every now and again a good song would come on and I would speed up to my old pace, and immediately my hips and knees would yell out in pain and I would slow down.  But I was ok with it, I was actually so thankful to be feeling good and not limping.  

I also did something else I don't normally I do, I walked through all the water stations.  I think that 30-40 sec break did my knees a lot of good. Mentally it felt so good, and the aid stations were every 2.5 km's. I broke the race down into those little breaks.  Funny enough, I had no trouble starting the run back up, like I thought I would and I always felt refreshed and renewed.  

Around 17 miles I got a wicked caffeine withdrawal headache, I was starting to get really bored and thinking holy crap I have a long way to go yet.  I pulled out my phone texted Ryan and posted a funny message on FB.  It was enough of a little teehee to get me back in the game. 

At 19.5 miles I started to wonder, am I going to be able to do this?  My hips, IT Band and knees were starting to get tight again.  I kept thinking my longest training run for this race was 19.5 miles! I am not trained for this, I'm going to go down hill fast.  It was such a mind game, I was talking myself into a bad place.  So I had a chat with myself, I may have only been able to train for 19.5 miles because of the knee thing, but I did train, just differently and I could do this. Again, I put on my special music and settled in.   I focused on the city and all the cool and different things to look at.  Heck I wasn't running down Woodroffe for the ZILLIONTH time :) enjoy it!  

I was nearing the end, the 35km mark and I had this HOPE that maybe just maybe if I picked it up I could at least finish just under the 4:30 mark.  I tried, oh man I tried and for a little bit I was running at my old power songs were on..I was feeling good. Then everything froze up and I was hurting.  I slowed....SLOWED right down.  Honestly, I should have been happy that I was still running, and doing pretty well.  There were so many people around me that were going downhill, hobbling and not looking well. But that stupid competitive part of myself was beating myself up. Right near the end of the race there is a BIG HILL, I mean who puts a giant hill at the end of a MARATHON?  I'm proud to say I am the only one that ran up that hill in my "group". I'm funny that way, love a good hill, just hate going down and yep going down hurt like hell!  At this point I just wanted to be done...and it just seemed to be taking forever.  The last 5km of that race was the hardest, the longest, and a total mind fark.  My Garmin had me finishing the 42.2 km when in reality the race still had a km to go (the course is marked for shortest distance, tight corners and not zig zagging). I started crying then, the big ugly cry.  I was crying because I was tired, I hurt, and I was sad and disappointed that I was over the 4:30 mark.  (way over).  

At the end of that race I let my mind tell me I didn't do well enough, I let the part of my mind that used to call me fat and ugly take away something I should have been very very proud off.  In my defense  running for 4 hrs and 40 min really does a number on your emotions.  I tend to be "a little" hard on myself.  I think I was a little numb after I finished, just sort of processing it all. 

I saw Ryan at the finish line, and that made me so happy.  He's been there at the end each time...usually just finishing up his own race, but there. Always there!  He had a giant crepe chicken sandwich waiting for me.  The best thing I have ever eaten!  He is just so amazing to have supported me through all this craziness.  

My parents called me right after I crossed the finish line. 

Driving home in the car, back to Ottawa, with my ice bags, I got so many incredible messages from my friends.  

I very quickly stopped feeling bad about my finishing time of 4:39:49 and feeling super blessed (because I did pray very hard for God to let me run and finish that race, and to run with as little pain as possible and I DID)!  

We stopped at a rest stop close to home and I was hobbling to the bathroom I passed to other ladies hobbling...and we looked at each other and "KNEW"...yep part of the marathon club :) We laughed and I felt so stinking happy!  

I am so proud of myself...I did it!  I didn't let my mind take over.  I kept training when I was hurt.  I kept running when it hurt.  I kept going when my mind said this sucks.  I had lists of excuses and I didn't give in.  (Truth be told I even started writing this blog post while in that first painful 2 miles and was explaining why I gave up and didn't finish.) 

I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in a time of 4 hrs, 39 min and 49 seconds!!!!!!


Badge of honor :) Have a few of these LOL. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

To be part of something....

Grabbing a silly pic while huddled in the car before a run in the rain
I've always been a solo runner, I have been quite happy and dare say even preferred to be out running on my own.  My pace, my race, my music....time to myself.  But just over a month ago my very good friend Laura came up with the idea of making a local running club.  It was a mix of friends as well as new acquaintances as the word spread.  It was a brilliant idea on her part, a way of rallying the troops so to speak to help her train for a 10km race.  But in doing so she brought together a group of women each week pushing themselves and cheering each other on to reach new heights. 

We are a mixed group of runners and paces but we all gather around in the end.  Last night we walked back to meet the rest of the group as they came in, almost had a race feel to it.  So neat to be hooting and hollering for everyone.  Funny thing is we are not that spaced out.   We have some great ponytail swingers in the group to boot!  Its seems like most nights someone reaches a further distance or best pace or most definitely that euphoric "I DID IT!" feeling.  

The thing I enjoy most about this group, is watching my friends find their click, watching their faces fill with pride at their accomplishments, seeing them excel!  Its contagious and fills me with a new kind of happy.  

Running is my happy place and I am so glad that I get to share it with this amazing group of ladies.  

Being part of something is pretty darn cool :) 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Messages to self

This coming Sunday I will be running my 2nd Marathon this year!  Its going to be a tough one, I haven't been able to train like I did in May, because of knee pain.  But that doesn't mean I haven't been diligent.  I have been working hard, training differently and am really hoping that all that work pays off and I have a good 42 km.  I have let go of my goal of a personal record, and I am hoping for as much of a pain free run as possible.  My goal is to cover the distance and be proud of those 42km.

So I have some messages for myself, thoughts to keep in mind as I cover those km's.

and then go further

and most of all Katie:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Taper Mind Games

So many times today I have written out my frustrations and worries and deleted them.  The fact that I keep typing it out makes me think I need to get it out.  I need to write out my worries so I can see that they are not rational.

I'm having a hard time recovering from the Half Marathon I ran on Sunday.  A run that was much less distance then what should have been on my training plan for the Marathon in Oct.  A run that normally should not have been so taxing (yeah because running 21km is no big deal LOL).  Yet here it is two days later, with one full day of rest and I am still in a lot of discomfort.  After I ran the Marathon in May I worked every day (light workouts) for a week before taking a rest day. I tried to go for a run today, thinking a light easy run might help loosen me up and work out the kinks.  I got half a mile and was in too much pain to keep running.  On the bright side I did get in a beautiful 8km walk on the trails.  ON THE BRIGHT SIDE I was able to walk 8km and have it feel good, without pain in my knees and I can bend my knee.  I need to remember that just weeks ago coming off a long run I couldn't even bend my knee for two days.  I need to remember that I went into the Army Run unsure if I would even have a good run and meet my sub 2 hr goal.  I did have a good run and met my goal.  The end was tough, I was really tight, but I was NOT in the PAIN that I was in while struggling on those long training runs. I am doing better.

I told myself that I wanted to give it my all in the Army Run and then I would rest and heal, that tapering for the TO Marathon might be just rest.  Tapering to begin with is a MIND FARK, you doubt your training, if you have trained enough, you question everything. I need to remember why we recover.  That all those long runs and the ramped up milage start to break your body down.  In May I remember feeling extra tired, slow to recover, and drained from simple workouts in the taper period.  I remember feeling emotional and hungry, and eating to feed my emotions.  I felt all that and wasn't struggling with an "injury".  Now I'm back in the taper period, coming off a Half Marathon Race (ie. emptied the tank, not a slow run), struggling with an "injury", and having run my first full marathon only months ago.  I guess I need to cut myself some slack.

BUT I miss the way my body used to feel when I ran.  I miss that ease.  I miss that fluid feeling of powerful strength.  I know I can find it again, IF I take care.  I'm continuing with my physio exercises, I'm stretching and doing yoga once a week, I'm foam rolling like a mad woman.  I'm cutting way back on the intensity of my workouts, taking more rest days, and I am eating really nutritious foods to fuel my body and its repair.  I have an appointment at Solefit on Monday to have a running assessment done.  I'm investing in making sure I'm running properly and avoiding injury.

In all of this I am surprisingly calm about the TO Marathon, I have let go of the pressure I was putting on myself to run it for a personal best.  Instead I am going to go and run easy, cover the distance and be proud that I have run my 2nd Marathon Distance.

What has me frustrated and anxious, is will I get that easy powerful feeling back again?  When the TO marathon is over how long will it take me to recover then?  I've been doing more yoga, in the last 3 weeks to help with recovery.  Last week I did a FLOW class that was very challenging in an athletic way.  It felt amazing.  I think over the coming months as I complete these next two Marathons, my training is going to change.  I see myself doing more yoga, changing my strength training up, and actually running less. I  feel more calm already having written this post, and I saved myself the money speaking with a therapist would have cost.   Now I can use that money to buy new running shoes!

I'm in the fugly orange hat :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Army Run Half Marathon 2012

Sipping a glass of red, waiting for dinner to arrive and icing my knees, perfect time to recap the day for my blog.  Funny thing, despite it being an amazing day full of friends and excitement I am POOPED, HUNGRY, a little grumpy and feeling very emotional.  I guess that's to be expected after all the highs of the day, I just wish my kids understood (yes Mommy can't move right now and neither can Daddy).

It's actually been a bit of a "Race Weekend" I warmed up for the half by doing a 5km Colour Vibe with friends on Saturday morning.
Nice and White before heading out to get my COLOUR VIBE ON
I ran with my very good friend Liz and we chatted the whole way, stopping to twirl in the color clouds.     It was truly the most fun run I have ever done.
Doing the Crazy Pussy Cat with Liz and Pam

Showing off my colours to the kids when I got home (that's Ryan in the background cleaning pee off the floor...yeah you heard that right lol) 

But on to the ARMY RUN.  So the day started with a high because of all the excitement online, so many friends were running or walking today.  Many of them first time racers.  I have to give a little shout out to my 5km friends:

  • Laura 
  • Jay
  • Tracy
  • Sue-Anne
  • Dorrie
  • Rob
  • Caroline
  • Mell
  • Jenn
  • Erin
  • Megan
  • Suzanne
  • Colleen
Then their were the Half Marathon takers:
  • Ryan (my hubby)
  • Rob
  • Kelly
  • Leigh
  • Stephanie and Marc (hub and wife team)
  • Barbara
  • Allyson
How inspiring is that?  I headed out to the race already pumped with everyone else's excitement.   

Pre Race 

Ryan and I hung out in the coral together and reminisced a bit over literally how "far" we have come since last year's Army Half.  I spotted my lucky BUNNY. I untied and retied my shoes 6 times (nervous habit) and finally the Cannon went off!  We shuffled forward and before I knew I was RACING!  

So here's the race breakdown (probably only interesting to me lol).  I was heading into it very unsure of how my body would respond.  I have cut back on running the last two weeks, been doing physio, and have been doing everything I can to heal an "injury."  But I felt very hopeful that I was on the mend and would make my sub 2 hr goal.  My plan was to run a 9 min/mile the first 6 miles and then speed up to an 8:45-8:50 min/mile.  I got caught up in the crowd, I was feeling good, and I was running fast.  I decided to stay fast not knowing what my body would do later and thought get as much distance as you can fast and you can slow down later.  My body felt good, good until 8 miles and then my knee started to hurt.  I popped an Advil and the pain eased up 20 min later. I also decided to take my gel earlier feeling like I was using up more energy going faster, then I took a 2nd and a third.  I over did the gels.  I only needed two.  The second half of the race was harder, I was getting tight, I could feel my glutes and IT Band getting tighter (but not painful, thankfully not painful!) I slowed down.  I felt like I was out of gas and that's part of the reason I took the 2nd and 3rd gels too close together. The 3rd was a bad idea and made me feel like I was busy digesting and I felt more sluggish.  My legs really felt heavy and my feet like lead in the last 1/4 of the race.  But only for portions, and I would slow my pace, recover and then push on trying to keep to about an 8:45 min/mile pace or better.    I pushed myself the whole race, I gave it everything I had, and made it in at 1:56:29! I did it I got my OFFICIAL Sub 2 hr Half! 
I thought I had a beaten my best training run time from the spring but nope...I was shy a few seconds. 

My best half time from a training run in the spring, but I did have a cold that day and took a cold pill...that baby jacked me up a bit I think LOL. 
I have to say, I was really in awe of the fast runners out there.  There was a SEA of people ahead of me, and I wasn't passing that many people.  I was right in my pace group.  I wonder what it takes to get to 1:45?

Ryan and I after the race, he had PB of 2:09:16
Afterwards, we met up with our friends, we celebrated with yummy food and delicious beers.  I have to say my favorite part of a race is the sharing of stories drinking beers after! That and the big fat treat meal and dessert for dinner!

So its "Taper" time for the next two weeks and the TO Waterfront Marathon on Oct 14th!  Next weekend we have a fun 5km race at night with friends, the word is we are dressing up as Super Hero's.  At the end of October we have the Rattle Me Bones 10km and the kids will be doing their first race (1km).  Lots of running and racing going on and ending it all with a bang in Disney in Jan with my third marathon.

Friday, September 21, 2012

It all started at the Army Run 2 years ago...

 Two years ago, a friend suggested I run the 5km at the Army Run, and I was so flattered that she would even think I could do it.  I had been working out at the gym pretty steady for about a month or so but hadn't run more then 10 min.  Well I tell you training for that first 5km with Ryan and running that race LIT A FIRE IN ME!  (thank-you so much Eva for thinking I could do it).

Working my way to that 5km race with Ryan was a lot of fun.  I remember we would come home from the gym and "brag" about our times on the treadmill and then try to beat each other.  The day of the race, I was feeling a little cocky and I asked Ryan if he minded if we split up.  He gave me this look and said SURE if you don't mind too.  We lost each other early on getting caught up in the crowd and excitement and before you knew it I was in my groove.  I was running faster then I ever had and feeling great.  In my mind I thought, I AM SMOKING HIM!  At around 3km I CAUGHT up to him, and couldn't keep up.  He beat me that day, but I must admit looking at his butt is a nice view.

That race really inspire me.  I remember running and wrestling with my shirt that didn't fit, even at the biggest size you could get.  It rode up and I ran with it under my boobs most of the run (thank goodness for a white tank underneath).  I really wanted my own shirt that said "watch this flab fly!"  I may have been a plus size girl but I tell you I felt like a runner, I really did.
The Army Run 2010, 5km (33min 12 sec)
Last year we returned to the Army Run to run our first half marathon togther.  It was an amazing day! We ran together for about 16km.  We didn't even feel like we were running in a race, we felt so good and happy, were checking in with each other and enjoying the experience.  My parents SURPRISED me on the sidelines, that was a tear jerker for sure.  After seeing them, I realized this was my time, my time to give it all.  So I gave Ryan a nod and went for it.  2:11:43 seconds and I wasn't sure if I would make 2:30!  Ryan wasn't far behind me at 2:16:26.  It was when I saw him cross the finish line that I lost it with the big tears. I was so proud of him and of us. We celebrated that night with ICE WINE and cheese in bed while watching a movie.  The day truly ranked up there with getting married and the kids being born.

The Army Run 2011, Half Marathon (2:11:43)

So Saturday I get to warm up for the Army Run Half, at the Color Vibe 5km.  Its going to be a fun happy run with my friend Liz, celebrating this fit healthy life and my friends.  This weekend so many of my friends are running, its seriously amazing how the happy endorphin bug has sparked!  Sunday, is the big day.  I'm coming off an "injury," I've been cutting back on the running, training differently and doing physio.  I am nervous at how my body will respond.  I am also super duper ridiculously excited.  I'm going to go and run my best race and be happy no matter the outcome knowing that I am blessed to be able to do this.

Wishing everyone running this weekend a great Race.  RUN HAPPY MY FRIENDS!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

9 Months...3 Marathons

While out running a very painful long run last weekend, I came to the realization that running a marathon is a lot like giving birth.  The end result is so euphoric that you forget about all the pain leading up to it.  I had forgotten just how challenging those final long runs are mentally and physically.  `

9 months...3 Marathons.  I was obviously still riding the post Marathon High, and chasing my next adrenaline high when I signed up for these (TO and Disney)

May Race Weekend was my first marathon and it was amazing, I felt strong and ran a great race. 4 hrs 17 min.   I cried much of the distance not because of pain but because of happiness. 

Oct 14th, I will be running my second Marathon in Toronto.  I am unsure how that will go.  I am trying to let go of my expectations and to be happy with getting there and finishing, covering the distance.  Last weekend I had a very tough 29 km run.  8km in I was feeling tight and painful.  It got worse as I ran, the pain was all in my right leg (really bad in the glute, and in my hamstring and calf).  30 min from home I stopped at a light and I couldn't bend my knee when I started up again.  I walked with a straight leg and tried calling home for a pick up a few times.  I didn't get ahold of Ryan, the pain lessened up, and I started to run again (aka..limp). I limped home stopping to walk a bit once more.  I finished the run, with Pitbull's words "Don't start what you can't finish".  That weekend things went from bad to a whole lot worse, as I was unable to bend my knee at all Sat and Sunday morning (mobility came back by late afternoon).  I rested all weekend, not even an upper body flex to be had.  I saw my physiotherapist Tuesday and in short have weak and TIGHT hips (very common) and my other muscles are compensating, getting tight and resulting in my knee pain.  Last weekend was a wake up call. I need to be way more diligent in my stretching and foam rolling.  I also need to change the focus of my strength training.  I have been working very hard this week to do al of those things.  I also had two 30 min massages, and did an amazing heated Yin Yoga class on Fri night.  I'm feeling much better not 100% but much better.  I am hopeful that if I keep up with the work, I will be ok. 

Last weekend, Ryan asked me if I would be ok if I can't run.  At the time I said I would be fine, that what would be would be. But as the weekend went on and my knee got worse. I PANICKED!  I was at a friend's cottage on the Long Weekend, in a horrible mood.  I have been training and working so hard to run these races.  I want to run them to collect my high at the end of the race, my prize.  But at the heart of my panic, is that I have once again tied my identity up in something external.  I have come to see myself as a runner and to therefore build my self confidence up in my ability to run.   I don't have an AHA Moment to share where I come to terms with that.  But I know that if its this important to me, I need to be as careful and diligent as I can.  I also need to realize that I might not be breaking and personal records. That I am ok with, I am changing my expectations.  

Katie's New Expectations:

1. I expect that I will take care of myself.  I will stretch, foam roll, strengthen, rest, and run.  

2. I will train to run the best half marathon I can at the Army Run in 2 weeks (changing my training up a bit to focus on this race and doing my best here, and will do what I have left for the Marathon Oct 14th).  

3.  I may start substituting runs for other endurance activities, to rest my over used muscles (ie. Sunday 75min spin class)

4.  Will do better with my strength training, changing the focus of it to focus on my weak areas (stabilizing my hips and strengthening them).

5. I am going to have more "fun" running, running to socialize and "play" (Thurs run club, the 5km Graffiti run with Liz, The 5km Moonlit Run with a group of friends) 

6.  The Disney Marathon will be a fun Marathon, I will stop and take pictures, and wear a princess costume, and after I will spend the week eating, drinking, and celebrating with my family and friends on CATION! 

Scary faced...WTF I'm soaked...pulling the chute 12km in to my 32km run this am...try again Sunday.   (taking a pic of myself while I wait in the rain to be rescued) 

10 things I don't do!

Surfing the web last night I came across this funny post called 10 things I don't do, what makes it extra funny is she is a bit "perfect" homemaker and a guru of money saving and home making tips.  Sort of refreshing to see that she isn't perfect.   I couldn't help but come up with a list of my own.  If you want to play a long post a link to your post in the comments.

1. I don't floss, it grosses me out, especially if bits of plaque get flicked on the mirror...ughh.  The only time I floss is if I eat popcorn, I should eat popcorn more often.

2. I don't rinse my dishes. Little chia seeed goo gets stuck to my glasses in the dishwasher because I am to lazy to rinse and rub them off before they go in.  The glasses come out of the dishwasher with dried on black dirt...and I put them in the cupboard...its clean black chia dirt! :)  DRIVES RYAN MAD!!!

3.  I don't DO THE PHONE...I hate talking on the phone, friends must sign a contract understanding that I will not talk on the phone :) 

4.  I don't answer the DOOR...I think I am part hermit and don't like having to respond to others.  If the door rings I don't answer it, the kids go running to it, and I tell them to stay away and hide.  Why answer it chances are its someone selling something?


5.  I don't diet! No fad diets.  No short term thinking, or magical solutions.  I do my best to stick to a Healthy Lifestyle that focuses on eating more whole real food then processed.  I eat lots of lean protein, complex carbs, a little fruit (I hate it), lots of vegetables, healthy fats and CHOCOLATE.  I move and get sweaty almost every day.  I indulge in my favorites like red wine and chocolate often and find healthy versions of my favorite foods.  I am far from perfect.  Sometimes I plain old over eat.  Sometimes I use food to mask my emotions.  But overall, I do my best to LIVE a HEALTHY life :)


6.  I don't do cards.  I am a scrapbooker and I don't make cards.  I don't even buy them.  Why?  I am lazy. Nuff said. You will not find a card attached to your pressie sorry :(   But I do appreciate the cards I get from others and even add them to my scrapbooks.


7.  I don't do sex scenes in books.  I'm not  a prude, by any means trust me! But the sex scenes in books just bore me.  Loved the first 50 Shades...but couldn't get into the other two.  All my favorite vamp books...yep I skip the sex scenes.  I blame it on Laurel Hamilton, I think she just over did it and killed my taste buds for it.

8.  I don't do DETAILS!  (I know big surprise LOL)  This is why I fub up recipes, why I can't knit or crochet, maybe its why I don't like the sex much detail about what went where and how it quivered?

9.  I don't sit and wait well.  I mess up my pedi's because I can't sit and wait for them to dry in the salon.  I hate getting my hair done in a salon, sitting in that chair for 2 hours is torture (even if its time away from being the whine fest at home I think I would rather be at home tuning them out wink).  I am like a kid when it comes to having to sit, wait and behave.

10.  I don't proof read very well, this goes back to the details problem. Now don't you dare go back and count how many errors I made in this post.  I have convinced myself that the errors add character to my writing voice.  Yes that's it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fall New Year: Sept Goals

There was some chat on Facebook last night about how Sept seems to feel like a new year, and a fresh start. The kids are heading to school, routines are going to slide into place, and my very favorite time of year is almost here.  So with that I find myself making a list of goals for Sept (eeee two of my fav things a LIST and goals!).  

So here we go, this Sept my goals are too:

  • to cut down on caffeine for REAL this time, to switch to decaf beverages in the afternoon
  • make a pot of homemade soup each week
  • try a new recipe each week (can you tell I am in a Martha like mood)
  • be diligent in my stretching and foam rolling to be in top running form
  • do yoga once a week (also part of staying running healthy) 
  • tackle one clean up/house hold project a week
  • blog more, I seem to have fallen out of the habit 
  • call my sister weekly, man I miss her (yes I did just say CALL lol)

What are your goals for Sept?  Are you feeling a little extra motivated with this new month upon us?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The whole family running

I just registered the WHOLE FAMILY for the Rattle Me Bones Race in October!  Ryan and I will be running the 10km race for our 3rd year in a row.  This was our first 10km race 2 years ago.
Super Pumped after running my first 10km race!  I even had trouble walking later that day! LOL
We ran the whole race together, even a few butt slaps along the way. 
Last year we did the 10km, after a dinner party at our house.  My first race hungover, oh the lead in the legs!  

We ran with our good friend Rob, it was his first ever race and a 10km at that!

Ryan and Rob :)
So this year Rob's wife and one of my besties Laura is joining in on the fun!  And I am so excited that I have the girls signed up for 1km Jiggle Bones Race.  Kay is super excited, and Kasey is less then thrilled LOL (she's says that's really far).  We have a babysitter set up that is coming to the race with us.  I figured, we need a sitter anyway, so why not make it a family day.  Kay has been meeting me after my runs dressed in her runners and ipod and eagerly awaiting a little jog together.  It makes me smile so wide in my heart.  I remember looking up to my Dad when he came home from his runs, so being able to do this as a family really makes my heart sing.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A paradigm shift

From the get go I have been pretty honest on this blog, sharing my story and all the ups and downs.  I think its important to share the real story, what makes us human.  A few weeks ago I was really struggling.  I was feeling a lot of anaxiety and even depressed.  I felt like there was a dark cloud over me.  It was an awful feeling.  I felt burnt out and most definitely at the end of my rope.  I had very very little patience for my children. Physical anxiety symptoms like a racing heart and nausea kept sneaking up on me.  The more "stressed out" I felt the more I relied on rigid thinking in regards to how I was eating and working out.  I tried to find some kind of control over how I was feeling this way.  I guess the dealing with stress with food part has not died out (whether it be overeating, or being rigid).

I was not myself.  I asked for help.  I told Ryan how I was feeling and that I needed a break, before I broke.  I told him I felt like I used to when I took Prozac or Paxil for anxiety.  I didn't want to go back to that (not yet) and that I thought talking to someone would help.  So I set up a counseling appointment.  Last Thursday I spent an hour talking to someone about myself, and what was bothering ME and I didn't have any children bugging me while I did it! It felt so very good.  I felt a huge relief in doing so.  I must pause and share funny tidbit as I was booking my next appointment, I made a Freudian slip and said I will need someone to watch the KILLDREN (oops...can you tell the kids are stressing me out? LOL) In my defense though I had a pic of Jillian Michael's up on my lap top and I refer to as KILIAN now. So it was a logical slip :)

Having opened up to Ryan, shared how I was feeling with some of my friends on Losing it in Ottawa, and even just that one appointment really "lightened up" my mood.  That night we went out as I blogged about and spent a great dinner out on a patio.  Last weekend was amazing, I was so much more relaxed.

I'm relaxing, I'm trying to find more balance.  Having delayed my long run last weekend from Saturday to Sunday was a big deal for me.  Realizing that it wasn't something that had to be set in stone and that I could indeed, sleep in, and enjoy a day with my family without worrying about fitting that gigantic run in was a AHA MOMENT for me.  This weekend my little one has a soccer tournament Saturday, I will be  truthful a few weeks ago that would have stressed me out.  I would have been getting up at 5am to fit my run in before going.  Now I see that I can take that day as my rest day and go on Sunday.  I know it seems so simple.  But I have have an extreme personality, there is an all or nothing quality to me.  Its part of the reason I have been able to run that damn marathon, its extreme like me :)  Training for a marathon (or three) takes a lot of discipline and I think I was slipping to far into the discipline side.            On a side note I was relieved when talking to the therapist about running and training for another Marathon, that she didn't see it as a negative thing.  That running has given me so much, and has done so much good for my mind and body.  I really do love it.  So finding life balance (ah that sneaky sneaky elusive balance) is the party trick.  Knowing that this weekend I can fit it all in, feels good, it feels good to not be stressing over how to make it work.

Now to find balance with the food.  Always the damn food. I guess you don't get to be a size 22 and not have a "few" issues with food.  I don't feel my emotions I deal with them with food.  But again, I am feeling a shift in my thinking.  I am relaxing with the food.  The trick here is to not go overboard.  Thursday night, the night of the Fried Pickles and Beer I ate way way too much.  Friday I indulged but not passed the point of full.  I think I will always struggle with the damn all or nothing, black and white thinking.  Finding the grey zone here is so hard for me.  But I am trying.  I totally over ate yesterday, I don't even know how it happened but I know it started with choc chips. The key though, is I didn't panic.  I did not berate myself.  I did not make promises.  I loved myself. I accepted that I ate to much.  I went back and had another cookie.  I accepted that too.  I told myself it was not the end of the world.  I told myself I was ok.  I believed it.  I went to sleep and woke up this morning feeling well.

My friend Liz said something that stuck with me, it was something like all we can do is OUR BEST, that there is no perfection, but we keep striving forward and to do our best.  I'm working on being MY BEST, taking care of me, being a happy and healthy me.  I am not the bulimic I was in my young adulthood, I am not the obese woman of my adulthood, I am me right now doing my best to be healthy and happy.