Great Run!

At least one hundred times in the last three years, I’ve bumped into a neighbor in workout clothes and we’ve chatted about our mutual love of running.

Despite this almost daily interaction, we had never run together. I had often thought about suggesting it, but I was intimidated by her fitness level: she regularly competes in triathlons and, despite my Marathon success this past January, my weight gain has really crushed my self confidence.

A few nights ago, after we’d bumped into each other walking our dogs, she told me she planned to do an 8 mile training run Tuesday morning and asked if I’d want to join. I hesitated, embarrassed that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, but then told her I’d love to.

For two nights in a row, I panicked, worried she’d be so much faster than me or that she’d feel like she had to tone down for me to keep up, and I even debated canceling on her. I didn’t want to be that person, though, so when my alarm went off at 4:45am this morning to get ready, I got up, stretched, and put on my running clothes.

I met up with her and her friend, another super fit runner, and I could feel myself getting really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But they were so nice and friendly and excited to run together, I decided I would give it my all and hope for the best.

Nine miles later, we finished as the sun was rising over Lake Baldwin, and I couldn’t believe we were done. We talked the whole time and, except for a quick water stop, we ran the whole route. Because of the high heat and humidity, we committed to a 10:00 minute mile pace; and it felt perfect the entire way.

No pain. No stress. Just a beautiful run and great conversation.

I’m so glad I didn’t cancel, and this gave me the confidence I needed to know that my few extra pounds haven’t diminished my athletic ability or endurance. I can get this weight back off, and I can continue to get stronger and faster at the same time.

I can do this. We can do this.

Bon appetite, my friends!

– Tori

The Winter Park 10K Road Race

On Saturday, March 12th, I forced myself out of my warm, cozy bed to lace on my sneakers and head out to run the Winter Park 10K Road Race.

I remember lying there, trying to come up with a valid excuse to skip, desperate to go back to sleep. Despite my better judgment, I had stayed up late watching House of Cards with my hubby, and I knew I would regret it when the alarm rang at 5am.

Somehow, I forced myself out of bed. Honestly, I don’t know what made me do it. I could have easily lied and told my husband I overslept or, to be frank, told him the truth: I didn’t want to go.

But why didn’t I want to go?

I had registered for the race months in advance. I had stepped up my cardio at the gym, and I had no one to impress: my friends and family weren’t running it with me, so I had signed up to do it all on my own.

So, why didn’t I want go to?

I was scared I couldn’t do it.

Not physically unable, but mentally. I knew I could do 90 minutes of cardio at the gym (absorbed in a movie on my ipad), but could I run with 35,00 other people with nothing but my thoughts and the asphalt?

I didn’t trust my will power. I didn’t trust my resolve. I didn’t trust myself.

I was scared to see myself fail, even though no one else would ever know. And I almost skipped the run.

But, somehow, I did it. I got up. I got dressed. I choked down a protein bar and sipped some water, and I drove to Winter Park while my husband and puppies slept peacefully.

I was anxious when I parked. I felt nauseated when I picked up my race number and t-shirt. I debated heading back to the car a hundred times, but as I saw runners of all shapes and sizes arrive, eager to run, I realized that I was focusing on the wrong thing.

It didn’t matter if I had to stop and walk. It didn’t matter if I was slower than the other women my age.

I was already winning.

I was here. I was willing to try. I was doing more than the other quarter of a million people living in the Orlando-area who weren’t up at 6am, stretching their calves on a curb. I was going to run, or jog, or run/jog, or run/walk, or whatever it was that I was going to do – I was here.

I sang along to the Star Spangled Banner and took off with the gun shot, and I ran.Well, jogged quickly, as I was working my way through 3,500 people just to get to the real starting line.

Before we’d gone half of a mile, people started to walk. I passed people younger than me, and people who looked like they lived in the gym. I felt a little stronger with each person I passed.

When I hit the one mile mark, the clock read 10:08.

Now, 10:08 isn’t a record mile by any means, but everyone knows the first mile is always inaccurate, as the real race clock starts when you cross the starting line, so seeing 10:08 meant my real first mile was likely closer to 9:30 or so. That was a good pace for a 10K (6.2 miles, in case you’re not into the metric system), but was it sustainable? Most of my 5Ks were around 28 minutes, so a 9:30/mile for a 10K didn’t seem realistic.

At mile two, the clock read 19:35.

Wait a second. Did I get faster? That couldn’t be right. I must have misread it.

Before I hit mile three, I realized a lot of people had “dropped off” from the run. Not quit the race, of course, but they’d stopped to walk along the way. The people I was pacing with now were in it for the long haul. I spotted a middle-aged man, maybe in his early 50s, who was in great shape and holding almost the exact same stride as me. I decided he would be my mental-pacer, the person I would try to stay with throughout the rest of the race.

At the 5K (3.1) mark, the clock read 28:04.

Wait, what? I AM getting faster.

At mile four, there was a hill. Now, for anyone who knows Florida, we don’t have hills. At all. But Winter Park has a few baby ones, and one happened to be at mile four. It may have been small, but it BURNED. But I kept with my pace-buddy (did he think I was stalking him?), and I made it.

At mile five, the clock read 48:37. I have never run five miles in less than 50 minutes in my life. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I wanted to cry, but then I realized how silly it would be to start crying during a 10K and I kept going.

Did I mention I hadn’t stopped? I had kept running –and kept up with my pacer– for the entire time so far.

Mile six gave me a jolt of excitement. I could see the finish. I could hear the music. I had very few people around me now, and most of the “droppers” were gone. I was with the runners.

I crossed the finish line at 56:46. I ran 6.2 miles in 56 minutes and 46 seconds. How? What? Holy shit.

Race 56.46

Sorry about the ridiculous watermarks, but I can’t pay $28.99 for a single JPG. Seriously, Track Shack??

Come to find out, my official race time was 56:10. I ran the 10K at a 9:02/mile average pace, faster than I normally run my 5Ks.

Let’s summarize this a bit:

I woke up anxious. I spent the entire morning afraid I couldn’t run the race (regardless of pace). I had to give myself a pep talk just to start the run, and yet I set a PERSONAL RECORD?

I SET A PR!!!

prisoners

I’m glad I didn’t let my mind hold me prisoner on Saturday morning, for I never would have known just how strong I could be.

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

February 1-29: It’s DietBet Time!

You guys know I love using technology for tracking my health and fitness. I use MyFitnessPal to log my meals, RunKeeper to track my mileage, Jawbone Up to track my steps, and multiple Paleo apps to search for recipes and ingredients list for new dishes. So, it’s only natural that I would start using Instagram for health and wellness, too!

Now, I try to keep my account on Instagram pretty loose, in then sense that I do not want my profile associated with any one topic. So, instead of using my account to talk about my weight loss or workouts, I tend to post pictures of my puppy, funny gym shirts, and whatever delicious food I’m about to scarf down. However, I absolutely LOVE following people who are dedicated to their journeys, and that’s how I came across @AmyDown100!

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 11.22.33 AM

She’s this super cool chick who has managed to shed 100 lbs through healthy diet, exercise, and positive thought. She’s very real: she talks about the good days and the bad, just like I try to do on here. She recently underwent surgery for excess skin removal and, since the recovery period severely limited her exercise, she admits she gained a few pounds back. It’s human, and I love the fact that instead of getting upset or depressed about it, she’s taking charge. How?

With DietBet!

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 11.21.32 AM

DietBet is basically the real-life version of putting your money where you mouth is. You pay in $30 to join a pool of other dieters. Ultimately, the goal is to lose 4% (or more) of your body weight in four weeks.

Here’s the best part: it’s not like a tournament where only the top losers win (sounds oxymoronic, but you know what I mean). ANYONE who loses at least 4% of their money back is guaranteed to get back their initial investment ($30), and then they split the “winnings” — aka, the $30 investments of everyone who didn’t lose 4% — with their teammates!

I’ve seen people making $20-30 per DietBet they join — the investment keeps them motivated ($30 is a nice dinner out), and so they follow through with their exercise and healthy eating plans. You’re not limited to being in one DietBet at a time, either. You can join dozens, if you want to, as long as your willing to pay the $30 to get started per bet and you’re committed to working your butt off to ensure you don’t miss your 4% weight loss goal, since you’ll lose the investment for all bets simultaneously!

Amy’s trying to get herself refocused and shed those couple extra pounds that creeped up over the holidays and after her surgery, so she’s hosting her own DietBet challenge, starting February 1st through the 29th!

If you’re already struggling on your resolutions or just need a little extra umph to get you going through the cold months, I strongly suggest you join us on DietBet!

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s lose this winter weight together, and make money while doing it!

Bon appetit!

Tori

The Menu Tonight: Fish & Veggies!

As a joint effort with my husband, tonight we’re whipping up pan-fried tilapia, mashed cauliflower (using fat free, plain Greek yogurt, garlic, chives, and 2% cheese), and garlicky Brussels sprouts for dinner.

I got my Monday off to a bad start, snacking on three Hershey’s dark chocolate miniatures (135 calories) after lunch and three more (another 135, gah!) during a LOOOOONG meeting.

Fortunately, the rest of my day was very healthy (salad for lunch, non-fat yogurt for breakfast, and lots of fruit/veggies for snacks), so my hope is that tonight’s hardcore cardio workout will cancel out my little indulgences and let me go to bed feeling good about my day.

Also, a schedule change at my second job means I get to sleep an extra 90 mins every night — meaning I get closer to 4-4.5 hours versus my normal 2.5-3 — so that means my appetite should be better controlled as I catch up on my ZZZs.

I hope everyone had a great Monday!

Bon appetit,
~ Tori

Ode to the Elliptical

I know I should do more strength training, but I am hopelessly and madly in love with the elliptical training.

Whenever I can squeeze a workout into my already hectic schedule, I find myself irrepressibly drawn to the beautiful, shiny black elliptical at the end of the row. You know the one: perfect view of the front door, a machine to the right (but clear and open on the left), and one of only three machines that has closed captioning, which will let me groove to my music AND watch the movie streaming on the private TV simultaneously.

My favorite.

I know strength training would give me more caloric burn (over the course of the day) and the added muscle mass would tighten, firm, and improve my overall look.

I know that mixing up my routine will likely help me break through my plateau and start to advance my weight loss goals.

I know that I shouldn’t have a romantic love affair with a single piece of cardio equipment, but I can’t help it.

I love my elliptical machine.

elliptical

That is all.

~ Tori

Life Update

OK, I have been terrible about posting on here recently, but I did want to give some updates.

For one, I’m still having a hard time keeping my diet in check. I eat upward of 2,000 calories every day, though – except for candy – the majority of it comes from healthy food. With my 20-21 hour working days, I just can’t seem to control my appetite. I eat, and eat, and eat – and still want more food.

My weight hovers between 127-130, which really upsets me — considering I got down to 123.8 back in June — but at least it’s not spiraling out of control, which is how I FEEL about it.

I’ve definitely not being sticking with the Paleo diet as much as I’d like, though I’m pretty good about avoiding wheat (bread, pasta, etc), as I’ve never been a big fan of those carbs anyhow. I’ve cheated a bit here and there with rice and quinoa (Van’s Gluten-Free Mighty BBQ chips are an addiction), but otherwise my real weakness has been chocolate and overall quantity of food.

Chocolate. Jesus. So much chocolate.

I’ve also taken to drinking more… which is not good, but so good at the same time:

epcotdrink

My hope is to continue to seek balance and to get back on board with some sort of regimen before I really do lose control of my size/weight (more than I have already). I can feel/see that my tummy is a bit pudgier and my thighs jiggle-wiggle more than they did a few weeks ago, so it’s definitely causing panic.

Yikes.

On that note, bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori