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Bonus blog: Lessons from the ten mile

Sunday, April 01, 2012

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a run/walk yesterday. As I drove toward the starting venue, I observed several joggers out and about already between 7 and 8 a.m.

Most of the runners who commented on the weather were complaining of "the heat", and it was warm for March 31st, for sure. Consider last year we walked this in snow.

I met up with HOT4FITNESS at the start of the race, and we walked together the first loop around the building and to the beginning of the gravel trail that constitutes the largest portion of the race. That's almost the first mile, and is the first water stop. After the water, I took off jogging. I figured easy jog for a mile, then maybe walk/jog alternate miles. Got to the 2 mile marker, still felt good, and jogged on past the 3 mile marker before dropping to walk. Did not walk for very long in any of my later rotations, did jog slower sometimes, faster other times.

My legs started complaining after the halfway point, and I kept varying my pace in the hopes of finding a comfortable stride. But walking was harder than jogging by then, so a slow jog was pretty much in order for the remainder of the race. I shaved more than 20 minutes off my walking time from last year.

Things that happened, of note: you know that nightmare of driving and having a deer jump out in front of you? Well! A few of us discovered it can happen while running/walking/jogging, too. Right out of the bushes, maybe five or six feet in front of me. Thought it was a large dog at first, but NO... a very frightened deer. She (I assume it was a doe) dashed from the woods on one side of the path into the clearing on the other side and kept right on running... as did we.

Back at the start/finish line, I walked into the building in search of "the necessary", and overheard a man approaching a security guard, looking for the EMTs to help another guy who was in the men's room. Several minutes later I observed the ailing gent carried out on a stretcher. Let me remind you... road racing is a dangerous activity... it can uncover health issues. Prepare. Train. And don't be fooled by the adrenaline rush that happens at such events.

A smart runner I met? A young woman who knows she has a rapid heart rate, had her doctor's permission to run, and monitored her heart rate throughout the ten miles, dropping back to a walk until the heart rate went down, and then adjusted her pace up again once it got to a safe level.

She was among several folks I ended up playing tag with, thoughout the ten miles. During my walk intervals they would jog on by. During my jog intervals, I would catch up. In the end, I finished with a personal best for 10 miles, 1:47:28. And I have a plan for the next week... swim today, strength at least one day, get back to mileage building walk/jogs toward the latter half of the week.

It was a blast, people. Be careful, but don't let that stop you from doing what you dream. Do it smart, but do it! Spark on. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 4/3/2012 10:08PM

    emoticon on an emoticon time and finish! You listened to your body!

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_LINDA 4/1/2012 11:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Very well done! Wonderful you got the most out of the race you could without hurting yourself! You rock!!

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KARIDIAN1 4/1/2012 9:19PM

    Sounds like you had a good time at the run.

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MOBYCARP 4/1/2012 8:36PM

    Thanks for the view into how it looks to do a race when you're more than able to walk it, but not able to run the full distance. If I'm able to complete a HM on 4/29, that's probably where I'll be.

Gotta think about how to internalize not doing too much when there are other people on the course.

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SUNNY1432 4/1/2012 6:30PM

    Way to Go on cutting 20 minutes off your time!! emoticon

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CONCHA77 4/1/2012 3:23PM

    Congratulations to you and all the others. Amazing, as always. emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/1/2012 11:44AM

    Congrats on running a great/smart race!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/1/2012 11:15AM

    My, sounds like you had an adventurous run/walk w/HOT4FITNESS. Good for you. Wow, I hope that gentleman is alright! and good that the gal with the known heart problem took it seriously!

Have a wonderful Sunday, my dear.

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MNTWINSGAL 4/1/2012 10:10AM

    Sounds like a great day! And congrats on your new personal best! When do you race again?

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FITFABJENN 4/1/2012 9:58AM

    Such a descriptive blog, it was almost like I was there with you. I cannot believe a deer jumped in front of you. Makes for an entertaining story.

Congrats again on a marvelous time.

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MSLZZY 4/1/2012 9:39AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAGGIE101857 4/1/2012 9:26AM

    Sounds like you had a great 10 miler! Good for you and lots of good advice for others as well! I went out and did 11 miles yesterday - using intervals and feel great today! But you have to listen to your body or else you will end up with injuries - it's nice to know we can "fall back" to walking and not feel like we are letting ourselves down!

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WATERMELLEN 4/1/2012 9:18AM

    You and MOBYCARP clearly share the "be sensible" gene when it comes to fitness.

Thanks for your detailed comment on my "fat at work" blog: never thought before that being fat might signal commitment to work other than more frivolous pursuits . . . very very interesting! Sounds like your workplace had become more enlightened than many : and at least partly because of your own example!

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KATHRYNLP 4/1/2012 9:16AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Mental Toughness Training - Day 8 Homework

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Part of this morning's video was focussed on the question "what are you willing to do to achieve your goal". There is only one correct answer: "Whatever it takes". I've had "I'll do whatever it takes..." as part of my Spark page since the beginning. While I've said it, there have been times when I've forgotten that I meant it.

The opposite of "whatever it takes" is an attitude of "I'll try" as opposed to "I'll do".


1. How has negotiating the price of success hurt you in the past?

I'm trying to think whether I've ever done this. I must have? But I've been at the "whatever it takes" stage Steve talks about for a while now, and am recommitting to it. I think I have done well in the past but then NOT committed to maintenance, leading to the regains.

* I have in the past come to the conclusion that I wasn't willing to do what it takes and that brought me to the giving up, slip-sliding away place. I'm not sure if that qualifies as "negotiating the price of success", or walking away from the other fella's best offer.

2. Have you really committed to doing 'whatever it takes' to achieve your weight loss goal?

Yes, ma'am, yes, sir. I am committed to the current goal, which is maintenance within a range.

3. What tools, tips, strategies and resources have helped you most in this course?

Not sure if I've heard anything particularly new. I've been down this road. Some things I was already doing. Some things I have discovered from past experience are counter productive for me, personally. I would say what's helped me most is the videos: having a guy talking at me that I can talk back to and evaluate his message for how much it might really apply. That, and the reminders to USE tools that work.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PYNETREE 4/4/2012 8:12AM

    Thanks for sharing these. I am going to go back and read these. Good stuff.

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_LINDA 4/1/2012 7:56PM

    You have the will power to do what ever it takes! Go Barb!

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KASEYCOFF 4/1/2012 5:29PM

    Now that I'm onto these blogs, Barb, I'm going to go back and start from the beginning, and catch up.

Good stuff here, very helpful - and thanx for posting them!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/1/2012 5:29PM

    DEFINITELY believe in the "doing" vs. trying to or hoping to. Too much "wiggle room" with that attitude.

Great blog. I'm really enjoying them. THANKS!

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FITFABJENN 4/1/2012 10:31AM

    I'll do over I'll try. I like that. Whatever it takes.

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Mental Toughness training - Day 7 Homework

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Now today I found myself agreeing with him! It goes in waves... talking back or cheering "Yes! That's what I've learned!"

Today it was about maintaining momentum and the importance of consistency / keeping our goals fresh. Because things *do* change.


1. On a scale of 1-7, 7 being best, how good is your attitude on a normal day?

"Normal" day - during the week? 7. On weekends, I drift down at times to a 5. It's easier to feel deprived on those non-work days... and it has to be guarded against. Extra pep talks in order!

2. How have you used momentum to help you succeed in the past?

Oh, this is huge: keeping one small promise to myself motivates me to keep the next one. It's a snowball of woo-hoo! On the other hand, momentum of beating up on oneself can really take me the other way. And taking that first mis-step can push me way down the other way. Better not to start. At work... bypassing the treats table feeds staying compliant all day long. Being compliant one day fuels the next day's compliance.

3. Why do you want to be fit?

Being fit gives me a quality of life I only dreamed of when I was fat. For me, nowadays, it really is all about feeling good and being healthy. It feels wonderful!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUE_2U 3/31/2012 10:28PM

    This is such practical, simple information, but you know it is this that makes or breaks whether one stays the course. Thank you!

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WATERMELLEN 3/31/2012 9:13PM

    Absolutely never expected to achieve the level of fitness I have now: and would never ever want to give it up: yeah!!

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COMETER 3/31/2012 10:22AM

    Momentum can swing either way, that's for sure. Skipping the treats table...that's one my difficulties! Best wishes for your 90 days!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/31/2012 10:04AM

    Great self-reflection!

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1CRAZYDOG 3/31/2012 8:54AM

    Wow, we are definitely agreed on the reasons for being fit! I love these blogs. Thanks.

Stay strong.

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KATHRYNLP 3/31/2012 8:24AM

    Enjoy your Easter Weekend... emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/31/2012 7:42AM


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Mental Toughness Training - Day 6 Homework

Friday, March 30, 2012

I found myself talking back to the guy in the video today and I don't even remember which particular point I did... so I'm listening a second time. Sigh...

OH, YEAH! Now I remember. It was when he promised that you could achieve the body you ideally want... vision posters of movie stars and athletes. I think this could be very dangerous for young people putting up emaciated models as their goals. I think one needs a healthy dose of reality of what a healthy ME looks like as a vision.

His whole premise that you can have ANYTHING you want, with confidence and hard work? That's what had me talking back. Because you may NOT become a movie star even with talent and hard work. You may not become a CEO just with talent and hard work. But this much I do agree with: if you don't put it out there, the effort, for ANY reason/excuse... that is a recipe for failure.

And if you do put it out there? Gotta be better than if you never tried.


1. How have excuses hurt you in the past?

Excuses... I don't know as I've ever had "excuses"... more I've lacked motivation. I gave up in the past without having an excuse. Self-pity is not an excuse is it? Saying I don't care is not an excuse, is it? Well, if those are excuses, they truly HAVE hurt me in the past. They prevented me from living fully during the times I sank into them!

2. Are you 'swimming to shore' or 'treading water'?

Oh, swimming with all my might. (This had to do with an analogy he made in his pep talk... getting out of a boat 2 miles from shore and treading water, neither getting back on the boat nor swimming for shore...)

3. What percentage of the time is your mental energy focused on getting what you want as opposed to self-pity?

Eh... hard to judge. 80% at this point? Sometimes it's higher. Some days it's flagging. But we all have that cycle. For today... it's improving.

Tonight after work, packet pick up for tomorrow morning's 10 miler. Started thinking about dream times in the shower. Now, to let those go, and just do it!

Life is good... Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUE_2U 3/30/2012 5:56PM

    Well, I have to say that I agree with you on the FatLoserGuy and motivation. Not a good way to do it with those pics, which probably are air brushed.
I'd much rather look at pics of you doing ten miles! Now that is a goal to be proud of!

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MOBYCARP 3/30/2012 5:24PM

    10 miles. A respectable distance, and a worthy tune-up for your HM. Have fun!

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BARBAELLEN 3/30/2012 3:16PM

    I think I'm in the treading-water zone, but your "CliffsNotes" version is making me think about alot of things I should have been thinking about all along. Thanks for sharing your lessons.

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_LINDA 3/30/2012 12:33PM

    I would disagree strongly with being able to acheive the body you want too. You can't change the genes you were born with no matter how hard you exercise. I will always be a pear shape with big hips and stomach regardless of being at goal weight and no matter how many crunches I do..
Good analogy with the excuses. Self pity is always a constant threat with me and one I have to be constantly fighting against and diligent that it doesn't slip in the back door... Good for you swimming with all your might -I can easily picture that!!
Good luck with your 10 mile tomorrow!! Wish I could be there to cheer you on!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Go , Barb, GO!

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1CRAZYDOG 3/30/2012 9:31AM

    Great questions. I feel like I'm right with you . . . swimming with all my might!

As for our vision of ourselves, I have to agree. We are not meant to be the emaciated models! That definitely is a bad mental image for our young adults . . . and adults . . . to have.

In my book it's all about being @ a weight where you are comfortable, can do what you need/want to do comfortable and enjoy good health.

Here's to a great Friday!!

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MSLZZY 3/30/2012 8:17AM

    Lots to think about. Good luck on your 10 miler.
You are strong and emoticonHUGS!

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Mental Toughness training - Day 5 Homework

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today was about "letting go" of the reasons you got where you are, and the reasons why that doesn't have to be any more, and also a bit predictive about how you view your relationship with food. Here's the homework questions and how I answered them.

1. Why are you fat?

I *was* fat, I'm not any more. I *was* fat for many reasons. I know *how* I got fat (eating for reasons other than hunger). And there are a jillion emotional reasons why I got fat *again* having initially succeeded in taking the pounds off: fat was serving me. The fat was speaking for me, things I wasn't willing to say to others. I also remained fat because I didn't think I *deserved* to be thin and fit. Now I know better.

2. Why will you succeed on your diet this time around?

Because I *have* succeeded. Because I am entering my second year of athletic endeavors. Because I know that I am worth it, now. I know that punishing myself by regaining fat or stuffing feelings with food doesn't serve any purpose, for me OR for others. I will succeed in keeping it off this time because I know I want it, and I can no longer lie to myself by saying it doesn't matter to me or that I don't care.

3. In the past, have you seen food as your enemy or friend?

*Oh, I see now that he's asking "in the past". You know, I don't know the answer to that... food was a presence, and something I sought out for comfort or avoidance of other things... a tool of procrastination and sloth?

Today I see food as one of the great pleasures in life. I see food as a nourishing friend. But some friends can undermine you if you hang out with them too much! Certain foods qualify as "frienemies", right? Since becoming fit, I crave healthier choices. I quip that I'm eating less but enjoying it more. And it is true.

Two days off, then the 10 miler. Well, maybe not quite off... might do a little strength training tonight. Getting excited. This is my first timed outing since last October!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAKER1009 3/30/2012 6:51AM

    Thanks for the blogs on this. I've read through yours. A friend of mine are going to do this toughness training, I believe. Good to see what it's like!

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SUNNY332 3/29/2012 5:17PM

    Great post, Barb.

I did listened and did lesson# 5 today too.


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ROSEWAND 3/29/2012 5:13PM

    Thank you for sharing this part of your journey with
us. I am enjoying your blogs as you move this
process and cheering you on! emoticon

I completely agree with your discovery about eating
less and enjoying it more. I am truly enjoying eating
more than I ever have in my lifetime. I love savoring
the healthy foods I choose and the occasional treats
as well. I only eat what I really love and look forward
to every meal. I am trying new recipes and revising
old ones. I believe that finding that balance between
health and pleasure is a major key to successful
maintenance for me. emoticon

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WILMASOTO 3/29/2012 4:07PM

    Way to go Barb! You are emoticon and you will continue to succeed!

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1CRAZYDOG 3/29/2012 11:12AM

    Yup . . . I had to get myself to a place of eating to live vs. living to eat!

Great blog and GREAT questions.

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MSLZZY 3/29/2012 10:08AM

    Those questions really made me think and reflect
on my "past". But it also serves me in the "present",
so that my "future" is bright. Be friends with food,
but not so friendly that it turns against you.
Thanks for making me think today. HUGS!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/29/2012 9:11AM

    I'm learning so much from your blogs, Barb. And, as you might suspect, I see a lot of similarities in our thinking. Knowing that you've gone through it and come out on the other side healthier and happier gives me encouragement to keep on keepin' on.

Good luck with your event on Saturday. I'm excited for you!

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KALIGIRL 3/29/2012 8:36AM

    You will do fabulous!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/29/2012 8:37:05 AM

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