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Me? A Runner? Never in a million years...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

At least that's what I used to say. I never in a million years thought I'd be a runner.

It was a chum at work with whom I walked around the campus on lunch breaks that got me started. Because his brother got HIM started. My first "official" event was in 1991, I think. It was part of a corporate challenge and they had to have a certain composition for the team to enter... mix of men & women, that kind of thing. My event that year was the predictive mile: no watches allowed. You estimate how long it will take you to cover that mile, and then whoever comes closest to their prediction wins.

As usually happens with such an event, adrenaline kicks in. Most of us finished faster than our predicted times. There's a side effect to that... it made us want to participate in events measured differently, and the next Spring, I found myself at the starting line of my first 5K. I had to drop back to a walk a couple of times in that one, but my work mates kept encouraging me... and over the course of the next couple of years, I became a regular entrant, striving for my personal best.

Life happens. Years passed, that fell away. I gained the weight back (several times) and lost it again (same number of times). I'd been a spectator of our local marathon, and every time I went out to cheer others on... this little part of me wanted to wear a bib again, to get an official time. I resolved that in 2010 I would run in an official 5K. That happened back on my 58th birthday.

But I still didn't get an official time (that one was a charity event, not a lot of measuring went on). Believe it or not, that's part of the mystique. Sometime this year... there is another 5K in my future... beyond the half marathon speed walk.

Me? A runner? Never in a million years. emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 3/30/2011 2:35PM

    Keep on running! I would love to run too but my bladder gives me trouble when I do....Thinking about having that fixed soon.
Keep running, Barb. You are inspiring! Have a great day.

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DEBRITA01 3/29/2011 6:24PM

    Never say never, right? Good for you...enjoy your running! emoticon

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REJ7777 3/29/2011 5:30PM

    I think you're getting younger! I guess that's what getting fit and strong does to a person. emoticon

My own doctor told me, "I think you're getting younger." during a visit, after I'd lost over 50 lbs. And according to Dr. Oz's "Real Age", it could be true. I'm not a runner, but I am a walker and hiker. And who knows what the future holds, with the motivational friends I have on SP! emoticon

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MELISSAISAFOX 3/29/2011 1:59PM

    I never thought I could be a runner too. If you told me a year ago that I was a runner I would have laughed, but strange things happen when you put your mind to it!

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STIPER23 3/29/2011 1:43PM

    I never thought I would call myself a runner either.

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DRB13_1 3/29/2011 12:49PM

    I like the idea of estimating your time, then surpassing it!

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JHADZHIA 3/29/2011 12:41PM

    I like the idea of an alternate way of measuring. putting down how fast you think you will do a mile is a fantastic idea! Your blog points up how wonderful it is to have someone else pushing you to try and motivating you. Its awesome you are not giving up on running an official 5k. That half marathon speed walk will be a tremendous challenge! Seems to me you won't have to worry about putting the weight back on again. You are embracing the love of exercise!
Full speed ahead! You go girl!!

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 3/29/2011 9:39AM

    Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
have come
With your chrome heart shining
in the sun
Long may you run.

-Neil Young

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SUNNY332 3/29/2011 9:35AM

   
Woohoo - yes, you are definitely a runner.

Hugs, Sunny


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WATERMELLEN 3/29/2011 8:14AM

    Great blog: I love the fact that life remains full of surprises -- and we surprise ourselves most of all!!

Keeps things zesty!!

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DONNALYNN22 3/29/2011 8:11AM

    Absolutely fabulous blog! Loved it! I liked hearing how it all began and what sparked you to do it in the first place. I think if I lost a considerable amount of more weight and have the breast reduction, I'd give it a go...even tho' I've never run in my entire life...RUN? Who me? never. BUT never say never. You have no idea what is in store for you, do you?
THANKS for writing this down, I super enjoyed it!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FITFABJENN 3/29/2011 8:11AM

    I've said the same thing but I think I am going to try to change that. Thanks for your inspiration.

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SAMI199 3/29/2011 7:57AM

    You rock!!!

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MSLZZY 3/29/2011 7:55AM

    You surprised yourself and are such a winner!

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MEANCARLEEN 3/29/2011 7:55AM

    emoticon

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Strength

Monday, March 28, 2011

I took yesterday as a rest day, completely. I even made it a point to eat extra calories to make up for the huge deficit the 10 mile gave me on Saturday, and watched movies and read a book, very little fitness, just a little walking to get the kinks out.

Today it was back to my normal work-day break walks, and this evening some strength training. I had gone about three weeks without a strength workout until last Friday. I noticed its absence... mainly in the number of push ups I could easily pump out. So, tonight, strength workout.

Tomorrow, back to the mileage on the treadmill!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUGGYS 3/29/2011 10:28AM

    It's so easy to slack off but good for you for getting back in there and doing the strength exercises, Barb! You'll have no trouble maintaining!!!


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SUNNY332 3/29/2011 9:34AM

    Good for you. Thanks for the inspiration and keep up the great work.

Sunny

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REJ7777 3/29/2011 7:25AM

    emoticon You're really in the groove! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/28/2011 11:05PM

    I am in awe -- you truly inspire me, Barb. Good for you!

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MSLZZY 3/28/2011 11:02PM

    Good plan to rest one day and then get back to business-hugs!

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 3/28/2011 10:09PM

    I need to get back to strength training. Am getting back into a regular routine of walking this week. Glad you got the much needed rest.

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SLENDERELLA61 3/28/2011 9:52PM

    Hey, I did strength training today, too, and felt unusually strong!! Sounds like your plan is working well. Good for you!! -Marsha

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WATERMELLEN 3/28/2011 9:44PM

    I had a good ST workout this morning also -- love the way it makes the muscles feel in my back and arms!!

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Encouragement and others on the journey

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yesterday's ten mile race was a pure out and back route, on a limestone bike trail that leads out into some beautiful prairie countryside. It was cold, but the snow held off for the most part until about mile four. Even then, it didn't stick, and by the time we got all the way back, it was pretty light. Deanna and I discovered that we pushed one another along a little faster than we might have gone alone on a regular workout walk, and I was pleased to find I had a little kick left at the end... those workouts must be helping!

One of the most motivating things was as the runners (real runners) were heading back "home", having completed over half the race. We encountered the leaders somewhere around mile 3, I think. We shouted encouragements to one another... they would tell us we were doing a good job, or looking good, we would tell them they were looking strong, to keep at it. As we got closer to the turnaround, those comments became "You're almost there" or "You're halfway home".

This is such a great feeling... we're following the same path, some are ahead of others, but we all share the journey. And we all wish one another success!

How... Spark-like, don't you think? We, too, are all on sort of the same journey: to life-long healthy habits. Some of us are closer to it than others, but we all have moments when we need encouragement.

So, my fellow Sparklers... you're lookin' good. You're looking strong. You can do this!

emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 3/29/2011 7:23AM

    Why, thank you! You're looking pretty good yourself! emoticon

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DONNALYNN22 3/28/2011 11:02AM

    I am always amazed at folks that run...i never could do it, I am too busty and it hurts. Besides, it involved a lotta stamina. I have a problem walking to my mailbox!
I am just in awe of your journey and your spunk and effort!
Gosh, to be able to do THAT!
How wonderful and pride-instilling it must feel!!!!!!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ARTSY_CANDICE 3/28/2011 9:56AM

    emoticon emoticon You guys sound like a great team!

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SUNNY332 3/28/2011 8:22AM

    Isn't that wonderful about the runners. Encouragement comes in all areas of our lives. My supervisor could have written the book on encouragement. No matter the problem, she could find something positive in it.

Have a GREAT week.

Sunny

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LINDAJOYWK 3/28/2011 6:32AM

    emoticonfor you & your friend! As always,you are an inspiration!

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BOBF15 3/27/2011 4:01PM

    emoticon What a great observation, what an Aha moment. emoticon

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777GRACE 3/27/2011 2:42PM

    Wow you are so right. I did my first 5 k and e were doing that too!! No one seemed competative, we were all winners!! You are too!!!!!!

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JHADZHIA 3/27/2011 11:53AM

    How cool is that? I do envy people enjoying the camaraderie of races and friends.
Sounds like an interesting trail, so glad you didn't get cold from the weather!
Enjoy your Sunday of rest, you have earned it!
I do love that Spark attitude!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
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FITFABJENN 3/27/2011 10:42AM

    Congratulations on your strong finish!

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LJCANNON 3/27/2011 9:09AM

    emoticon emoticonThat's what Friends are for!!

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MSLZZY 3/27/2011 8:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 3/27/2011 8:42AM

    What a great feeling you must of had. And such an inspiring story too. WTG Iron Woman! emoticon emoticon

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HOT4FITNESS 3/27/2011 8:28AM

    Awesome blog!!! And you did very well I am so proud of you and your finish, you stayed strong. We will keep pushing each other along for the next race ahead. I look forward to motivating each other in our training and half marathon time, we will be stronger than ever!!! The snow was beautiful and made the race even a fonder memory. See ya at the half!

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No photos, just great memories from this morning!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blessedly, the brunt of the storm went North of our fair city, and while it was cold, and while we had some very pretty flakes drifting over us from about mile 4 onward, it was really pretty decent weather and footing, all in all. There was only one pretty sloppy spot, after the tunnel, close to the turnaround point at mile 5. But other than that, the trail was in great shape.

Deanna (HOT4FITNESS) and I managed to find one another at the back of the pack at the start. Her daughter participated in the 5K, and her husband ran the 10 miles. She and I made a very respectable time walking ten miles. OK, I kind of cheated... she waved me on sometime in the final mile and I did jog portions of that last loop around the State Farm building to the finish line.

The big gun time clock timer said 2:10:32 (two hours, ten minutes and some change) when I jogged under it. I went back and walked the final tenth of a mile a second time with Deanna and her daughter who also went out to accompany her mom in the last bit.

I must say "that was great!" There is a HUGE high associated with completing a goal, as all good Sparklers know. And now, it feels great to be able to say I've achieved another: I've met a Spark friend in person. Thanks for "daring" me into this, Deanna!

As for meeting Spark friends, the first doesn't mean the last. Hopefully one day I'll meet other local Spark friends as we continue our healthy journeys.

In five weeks, Deanna and I are committed to do it again... in the Half Marathon. Wow! What a ride. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOTTAMAMALOU 3/31/2011 4:31PM

    YOU GO GIRL! WHAT A FEAT YOU ACCOMPLISHED AND HOW PROUD YOU MUST BE. I THOUGHT OF YOU SATURDAY AND WONDERED HOW YOU WERE DOING. NOW I KNOW. YOU ARE EXTRODINARY!
emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 3/26/2011 9:11PM

    Congratulations! This is such a high!!



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CHRYS13 3/26/2011 7:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DRB13_1 3/26/2011 6:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 3/26/2011 6:39PM

    emoticonSo proud of you, and GLAD that you are sharing this Journey with me!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/26/2011 5:45PM

    Congratulations, Barb. And gee, wasn't there a blog a few weeks back from someone (hum-hum) think she bit off more than she could chew? I knew you could do it because your determination and commitment wouldn't have it any other way. And to sign up to do it again? AWESOME!!

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YOGATIME 3/26/2011 5:02PM

    Great Job!! You should be soooo proud of yourself and your new body!! emoticon

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CHRISTURTLE 3/26/2011 4:47PM

    Sounds an amazingly rewarding day, with even the weather being kind to you. You are such an inspiration, and just look at you - absolutely wonderful!

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SUNNY332 3/26/2011 4:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/26/2011 4:38PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBRITA01 3/26/2011 4:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BUGGYS 3/26/2011 2:46PM

    CONGRATS, BARB! Great accomplishment...you should be very proud!

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MSLZZY 3/26/2011 2:34PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAISY443 3/26/2011 2:32PM

    What a super goal to achieve! You rock!

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SLENDERELLA61 3/26/2011 2:27PM

    Enjoy your well deserved HUGE high!! Way to go!! -Marsha

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For those who asked...

Friday, March 25, 2011

The people who currently grace the background of my Spark Page are my work mates, or a good portion of them. We have one gent, who's in the center and you can only see him in the flash while the page loads... who is color blind. Consequently, he almost always wears the same thing: khaki/tan pants and a white or off-white button down shirt.

Three years ago, as we are something of a group to have a bit of fun with one another, someone got the bright idea that we should all dress like him on his birthday. And we did. This Monday was a bit overcast and chilly for the photo, but this is the third annual "dress like John" day.

Funny thing, as you look at the photos over the years, you can see me shrink: 2 years ago follows. I'm hiding behind John, and all you can see is my head! Another interesting thing: others of us have shrunk, too... note the gal on the far left hand side of the front line in this one...



This year, in full, she's standing next to John, who has his hands in his pockets in this shot. She's also been part of the "Walk this way" program with me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 3/26/2011 9:14PM

    I really like this: talk about respect for diversity!! (or respect for monotony in a good way). My "uniform" is pretty often black. Yeah, love black!! When I spill my black coffee, it doesn't show at all . . . Monochromatic works, or maybe with a jolt of colour: say, bright blue shoes.

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CHRISTURTLE 3/26/2011 4:52PM

    Must be a wonderful group of people to join in to do something as off the wall as all that, not just once but for everyone of his birthdays since the initial surprise. I can only imagine how John looks forward to his birthday each year - no way he would consider taking the day off just because it was his birthday - too much fun going... emoticon ...definitely a great workplace atmosphere...

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KATHRYNLP 3/26/2011 9:34AM

    Sounds like you have a great work place, and fun team-mates! Thanks for the explanation.. I was wondering too. Thought you were all Camp Counsellors.. HeeHee! emoticon emoticon

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BUGGYS 3/26/2011 9:08AM

    Fun!!! You look great, by the way! emoticon

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SUNNY332 3/26/2011 9:06AM

    Loved the post today. Loved the photo.

Best wishes on your 10K. I will be thinking of you.

Sunny

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CONCHA77 3/26/2011 8:18AM

    Just like Family-Love the photo.

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DEBRITA01 3/26/2011 7:58AM

    Dress Like John Day was a nice way to honor your co-worker and bond with the group. Sounds like a fun work environment... BTW, you look great in the photo!

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DAISY443 3/26/2011 3:41AM

    These are the thngs that make going to work enjoyable! What a great idea!

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MNTWINSGAL 3/26/2011 1:34AM

    I love it!

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SAMI199 3/25/2011 11:26PM

    Awesome!!!

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FITFABJENN 3/25/2011 11:24PM

    That's terrific! Great pics!

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REJ7777 3/25/2011 10:46PM

    That's very interesting! Sounds like you work with a great bunch of people. Happy birthday, John!

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MSLZZY 3/25/2011 10:15PM

    Wow, what a group and what a transformation in 2 years! Great!

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DRB13_1 3/25/2011 10:04PM

    Glad someone asked! Cute story, great pics, and good going on the shrinkage everybody! emoticon

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CATLOVER110 3/25/2011 10:02PM

    I loved reading about Dress Like John Day, and seeing the pictures. Thanks for brightening my day! emoticon

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