Friday, January 11, 2013

My Week in Review

My Week in Review

Happy Friday! This was my first full work week since the holidays and I am glad it is finally coming to an end!

Work was business as usual.

This was week 2 of my half marathon training schedule. I have adapted Hal Higdon's Novice 2 half marathon training schedule from 12 weeks to 18 weeks to cover the rest of the time leading up to my race on May 4th. Stretching out the schedule allows me to do most of the long run distances twice, which will hopefully build my confidence as I prepare to run the full 13.1 miles.

Side Note: I hope to have my half marathon training page up & running soon. Then you all can follow my progress and hold me accountable to keep up with my training :-)

Last night (Thursday) I missed my scheduled 3 mile training run. Why? Because I was so tired I could not drag my butt to the gym. Why? Baby boy Micah had woke up a little after midnight the night before & did not settle back down to sleep until 2:30 am. I was one tired mama yesterday! A little disappointed with myself that I missed my run, but stuff happens, right?

Still not sure if little Micah man had a nightmare or was in pain from the diaper rash he's had all week. Apparently the antibiotic he's taking for his ear infection makes his poop red & his butt sore - poor little guy.

The good news is both Micah & I slept well last night. And it's FRIDAY!

P.S. If you're eagerly awaiting the third installment of My Running and Weight Loss Journey, stay tuned. I am planning to get it posted over the weekend.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Running and Weight Loss Journey Part II

By the middle of February 2012, I had lost 12 lbs and could comfortably wear size 14 pants. My self esteem was increasing and I was starting to feel more and more like the self-confident woman I had once been. Weight Watchers was largely to thank for my success. I had been attending weekly meetings and adhering to their Points Plus program, which included the ability to earn Activity Points through weekly exercise. 

My weight loss efforts were going well and I was getting into my exercising grove! I felt better than I had felt in a LONG time. And... I was finding that I really enjoyed running! Over the last 6 weeks I had gradually increased my "running minutes" on the treadmill. Now, I was able to run for SIX solid minutes before stopping to walk! That may not sound like much to you, but for me that was a miracle. 

Then, something unexpected happened. 

I was tired. 

I was cranky. 

I was late. 

Yes - that kind of late. But I have struggled with PCOS and infertility for quite some time. We had just had our little miracle baby, Micah, in May of 2011 and we know we want another child. Due to my PCOS and the fact that we needed assistance from a fertility doctor to conceive Micah, we were not using birth control. Instead, we were trusting God that if we were meant to have another child, it would happen in His timing. 

... It was a Saturday afternoon in February. I had just TRIPLED my longest run. Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen, I had just ran for 18 minutes with no walking breaks! I was on cloud nine. As I left the gym and to headed to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for Micah, I was thinking about how much I was really starting to enjoy running. Then, my mind drifted as I began to think about how tired I had been the last week and that I was late for my period, although that was nothing new due to my PCOS. On a whim, I bought a box of home pregnancy tests. I felt kinda silly for even buying them - it reminded my of when I was taking test after test, month after month, when we were trying to conceive. Well, at least I would know I am not pregnant and the box contained a couple extra tests for when I was late again next month or the month after that...

When I get home, I kissed my kiddos and hopped in the shower. That night was date night for my and hubby and I was looking forward to (comfortably) wearing my new size 14 AE jeans. While I was getting around for the evening, I took a test and set it on the sink to wait the allotted 5 minutes while I continued to get ready. A few minutes later, I glance at the test... 


WHAT?! That can't be right... but it was. 

Of course, we were elated and I quickly adapted into pregnant mode. 

I quit Weight Watchers.
My nightly gym sessions were traded in for nightly naps. 

And I was SICK. 

The morning sickness was ridiculous. It was every day, seemingly all day. And went I wasn't yacking, my tummy was queasy. No cravings for me. Nothing sounded good. I lost more weight. 

And slept. 

I was EXHAUSTED all the time. 

But my doctor said things were good when she did a 7 week ultra sound. At our 11 week appointment she did not do an ultra sound check, but said the baby's heart was strong and we were "in the clear" meaning our chances of having a miscarriage dropped dramatically at 12 weeks. 

At the end of April 2012, 4 lbs lighter than when I got pregnant, I went in for my 4 month check up. I was 15 weeks pregnant. My husband did not come with me because it was just a routine check. There wouldn't be a need for an ultra sound... 

She couldn't find the heartbeat. 

I couldn't breathe. I was nervous. Anxious. Uncertain. Scared. I tried to concentrate on her words, "The baby's probably just hiding. Let's get you over to the other room for an ultra sound. At least you'll get to see your little peanut today." 

As I wait in the cold, sterile room where the U/S machine is, I had an overwhelming feeling of dread. Something wasn't right. This entire pregnancy didn't seem quite right. The last few weeks I actually had felt like something was very wrong. 

The doctor confirmed my fears. 

The ultrasound showed a little fetus with no heartbeat. 

We came to find out it was a "partial molar" pregnancy. Basically, a genetic abnormality where the baby had inherited an extra set of chromosomes. He or she didn't have a chance from day one. 

Micah & I on his 1st Birthday
On May 6th we celebrated Micah's first birthday. We were determined to focus on the blessings in our lives. Our children. Our families. Our jobs. Our health. We would get up every day and put one foot in front of the other and trust that there is a reason for everything in this life. 

One week after Micah's first birthday, I made the decision that I would go back to the gym. It was mid-May and I had lost 16 pounds since January, leaving me weighing in at 176 lbs - 4 lbs lighter than I was on my wedding day. 

I made up my mind.

Despite my grief.

I would keep on running... 

Stay tuned for My Running and Weight Loss Journey Part III.. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Running  and Weight Loss Journey Part I

My 2012 New Year's Resolution was to lose weight. At 30 years old I weighed in at 192 lbs. Having recently given birth to my second child, instead of "losing the baby weight" I had just continued to pack on the pounds. I didn't like the way I looked. I didn't like the way I felt. So on the evening of January 1, 2012, I found myself attending my first-ever Weight Watchers meeting. 

Before 11-11-11 Size 16
The Points Plus Program assigned me thirty-some "points" a day and allowed for unlimited "free" fruits and veggies. The first meeting was fun and I liked the idea of being held accountable with weekly weigh-ins. The program structure seemed very supportive and conducive to my weight loss needs. One of my favorites tenets of the program was that you didn't HAVE to exercise! 

This appealed to me because I was not a big fan of exercising. Over the course of my adult life, there have been a few brief periods of time where I would get on an 'exercising kick' and I probably even lost a few pounds here and there. Still, I despised exercising. It was hard. It made my body sore. It took a lot of effort. It was expensive. I didn't have the time. And, at the end of a long work day, I certainly didn't have the energy. (Sound familiar?)

It didn't take me long to realize that I was WAY off-base with the whole "no exercise" thing. While it wasn't required as part of the WW program, participants could earn extra Points, called Activity Points, for exercising. And extra Points = extra FOOD. I may have not been motivated to exercise for the sake of exercise, but the idea of having extra Points to splurge on that slice of pizza on Friday nights was sure motivating!

I decided it wouldn't hurt to exercise for 15-30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week. But, I was NOT going to RUN. Running was not my thing. No way. 

When I was in middle school some of my friends got the bright idea to join cross country. They did great. They loved gossiping back and forth as we traversed the trail behind the school. They held full conversations during those runs. Meanwhile I was red-faced and panting and praying I wouldn't trip and fall flat on my face. Eventually I would have to stop and walk while they ran on. In middle school cross country the races were only 2 miles but it took me the entire season to be able to run the full race without taking walking breaks. While my friends were running 7 minute miles, mine were 13 minutes. Needless to say that was the first and only season I participated in cross country. 

My only other running experience ever was a 5k race that I ran/walked with no prior training or conditioning. The race was sponsored by an agency I used to work for so I felt obligated by my role in the agency to participate in the race. Yeah. Probably the sorest I have ever been in my LIFE. 

No running for me. I would use the elliptical machine or walk on the treadmill to earn my Activity Points.

My husband was very supportive of my weight loss efforts. We stopping buying soda pop and began buying more fruits and vegetables. I would plan my meals in advance and log my Points prior to each meal. (I found it helpful to log the Points before I ate so I would be less tempted to overeat.) I started setting aside two or three nights a week to go to the gym. My husband would 'pick up the slack' by making dinner on those nights - which has become our new routine to this very day.

Slowly, I began losing weight. 

2-18-12 Weight Loss 12 lbs. Size 14
One day - a few weeks into my new exercising routine - I decided to run for one minute at the end of my treadmill session. Then next day I broke my 20 minute treadmill session into two, 10 minute halves, and I walked for 9 minutes and ran for the other minute. By February I was able to run for 6 minutes straight. It had been about 6 weeks since I started WW and I had lost about 12 pounds and I was feeling GOOD! 

Then, something unexpected happened and my Weight Watchers journey and my newly founded exercise routine came to a screeching halt... 

Read what happens next in the second installment - My Weight Loss and Running Journey Part II.