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

Low Carb Diet Underway

OK, OK. Let me start this post off by saying this: I’m a bit of a hypocrite.

I’ve been very good about not stressing my weight for several weeks, and just eating well (for the most part) and exercising, trying not to pay attention to the scale but focusing on how my body feels instead.

Well, after a weekend of binging on junk food and drinking copious amounts of Tequila, the scale was NOT my friend this morning.

And, coincidentally, I’m just 12 days away from my 31st birthday/.

Yeah, so, about that “peace with my body thing” …it’s crunch time.

My husband and I agreed to hold one another accountable to a low carb, moderate-to-high fat diet between now and Friday, July 10th to see if we can undo some of the damage (aka, spare tire chub) caused as a result of our weekend-drinking for the past few months.

We grilled a bunch of lean meats (chicken breasts, turkey burgers, etc) to get us through the work week, and stocked up on spinach, kale, and broccoli to make our meals as healthy as possible.

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STACK ‘O MEAT!

Between now and July 10th, we’re aiming to eat under 25g carbs per day (easier said than done, by the way — EVERYTHING has carbs!) and stick to 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day.

My lunch pal at work has 4 cups of broccoli, 3 chicken breasts, spicy deli mustard, and 2 cups of spinach.

For breakfast, I actually made my go-to egg muffins, which are just egg whites, whole eggs, turkey bacon, and broccoli mixed together and baked in a muffin pan:

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Just five minutes of prep and then 15 minutes in the oven to get a dozen of these little beauties, which are roughly 70 calories each and taste amazing!

My hope is to go from today’s weight (133.2 – yipes) back down to 127-128 in time for my birthday on July 11th.

Now, before you go saying, “Heyyyyy, you can’t safely lose that much weight in 10 days,” please know that I’m expecting to lose 2-3 lbs in the next two days purely from water weight.

My husband and I had a lot of salty and decadent foods this weekend, and it’s pretty normal for me to drop 1-3 lbs between Monday and Wednesday just from the shedding of the salts from my system. So, realistically, I’m aiming to lose about 2-3 lbs in the next 10 days, which is doable with moderate exercise and a clean diet.

I’m not going to go to any extremes; my goal is just to tighten up a bit between now and then to ensure I can enjoy my weekend on the beach, which has become a birthday tradition.

Wish me luck!

~ Tori

Life Returns to Normal

The time has come. My internship has ended, and my life is about to return to normal. Well, as close to normal as my life can be, that is.

Today was my last “official” day as an intern at The Daily Buzz, and moving forward I’ll be freelance writing for them from home. I no longer will have to wake up at 2am (to report to the studio by 3am) and exist on 2-3 hours of sleep per night.

It was a wild ride – and I LOVED the experience – but man, it took a toll on my body. I started the internship on 7/28 at 123 pounds, jumped up to almost 135 (when you don’t sleep, you eat), and have slowly been working to trim it back off ever since.

My hope is that I’ll resume my OLD regimen – clean eating Sunday-Friday (cheat days are Saturday!), gym 5-6 days per week, and outdoor running – and get back on track with my overall wellness.

My husband’s 31st birthday is this weekend, though, so I do plan to enjoy myself before recommitting 100%. A girl’s gotta live, right? 🙂

On that note… bon appetit, my friends and WELCOME BACK TO NORMALCY!

~ Tori

Last Month

Uh oh. Today is June 11th. Crap.

That means I’m officially one month away from my thirtieth birthday.

For the first few weeks of my Dirty Thirty Weight Loss Challenge, I had been very strict with my diet and exercise and the weight poured off. I went from 131 to 125 in the span of 10 days (a little fast), but have since stalled out and even gone backward a bit.

I’ve been REALLY into sweets lately and it’s showing on the scale – I’ve been stalled between 127-128 for almost two weeks. Seeing the calendar today was exactly what I needed: a swift kick in the butt and a reminder that I’m not getting any younger. It will only getting harder to lose this weight the more I postpone it, so I need to kick myself into gear and finish what I’ve started.

Starting today, I’m back on clean eating (with a small, daily cheat permitted – I am human) and a rigorous exercise program.

My goals will be to stay under 1,300 calories, stay moderately low carb, and to burn at least 5,000 calories per week through my workouts. That means intense gym visits, but I know I can do it.

The goal: under 120 by 7/11/2014.

Let’s make it happen!

Bon appetit, my friends!

Tori

Less than 4th grade.

It’s official.

As of this morning, I weigh less than I did in the 4th grade. The scale reported 132.8, which, to the best of my knowledge, is the least I’ve weighed since I was nine years old.

I attribute this to a combination of being ill, of working out 5-6 days per week, and my continued commitment to Paleo, not counting the dairy-obsession I’ve had on and off for the last four weeks.

My graduation is this Friday and, roughly six weeks ago, I purchased a size four dress to wear to the event (under the giant, shapeless gown, of course). When I purchased it, I could zip it – but it was like the casing on an andouille sausage. Not attractive.
As of this morning, it not only zips, it has wiggle room.

Delightful, beautiful wiggle room.

I will post a picture of myself in the dress on Friday, assuming I opt to take off the cap and gown I’ve worked 2.5 years to earn the right to wear. Meanwhile, I’m going to be avoiding salt for the next 72 hours and pray to God that the 6am alarm clock on Friday doesn’t get snoozed too frequently. Otherwise, I’ll be rocking a size four dress with my hair in a messy bun and mascara under my eyes.

On that note, bon appetit my friends!

~ Tori

Games With My Head

OK, now my body (and the scale) is just playing games with me.

As you may have seen with yesterday’s post, my weight jumped up six pounds in six days, a feat of fat-lardiness that had never been experienced before. It was a glorious fatxplosion of self-hatred and jiggle when I hopped off of the scale in the morning and I carried that stress/anxiety/anger throughout most of the day.

Fatxplosion (n): Like a regular explosion, only meatier. Photo Credit: http://images.alphacoders.com/528/52831.jpg

Fatxplosion (n):

Like a regular explosion, only meatier.

Photo Credit: http://images.alphacoders.com/528/52831.jpg

Understandably, I was freaking the *bleep* out yesterday.

I ate relatively well (except for a small bowl of coconut ice cream post-gym) yesterday and expected to see nominal difference on the scale today, because that’s just how my life normally works as a yo-yo dieter.

Consumed: 1,453 (damn ice cream) Burned: 999 (couldn't round up, could it?)

Consumed: 1,453 (damn ice cream)
Burned: 999 (couldn’t round up, could it?)

This morning, I was 135.6.

Granted, it’s not the beautiful 133.8 I was last Monday, but it’s down four pounds overnight (did the pudge-fairy visit last night?) and I felt somewhat better compared to yesterday. At least last week’s week-long diet faux-pas hadn’t truly destroyed all of the my success from the month.

So that’s something.

I am getting a bit annoyed with the head-games the scale (my weight) has been playing with me lately. The ups, the downs. It’s enough to drive a girl insane! I think I may try to avoid weighing myself again until Friday so I can actually see true change versus the “tide” movements of my water weight.

Until then, bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

One Month

Crap.

It’s June 11th.

How is it already June?

Hell, how is it already summer to begin with? I swear, yesterday I was still cleaning tinsel and pine needles from my carpets and now suddenly this blasphemous wall calendar is telling me it’s mid-June. What gives? I deserve at least another six weeks of May before we move into this horrible, no-good, very bad month.

Why am I panicking?

It’s one month away from my birthday today.

For most people, this is an exciting thing. Good things are on the way, right?

Presents! Cake! Friends! Celebration! Presents! Time off! Presents!

For me, the weeks leading up to my birthday tend to be stressful. For one, I’m not handling the whole aging-thing well. I know my face isn’t collapsing into wrinkles yet and I’m not standing in line for Botox, but I can definitely see the years moving faster and the toll it’s having on my body, my mind, and my heart – and it terrifies me.

 

keep-calm-it-s-almost-your-birthday-3

 

I have a list of goals a mile long and the time seems to be sneaking away faster and faster.

One of the goals I have [every year] is to hit my goal body weight. Amazingly, I was on track for more than the first six months of this year [birth year, not new year], but I lost my mojo right around the holidays and have yet to get back into motion.

More than ever, I’ve been yo-yo’ing up and down since December 2012 and haven’t been able to get back into a diet or workout regimen that I can stick to for more than a few weeks.

Well, now we’re officially one month away from my birthday and I’m sitting more than 12 pounds over my goal weight, whereas I was just 4 pounds away from it back in December.

To say that I’m mad at myself is a bit of an understatement.

I’m disappointed. I’m embarrassed. For such a driven person, why do I let food and my own laziness beat me so often?

Fortunately, I’m not a morose person by nature, so instead of wallowing in depression today, I’ve merely recommitted myself to my goals. While I don’t think I can get 12 pounds off in 30 days [not in a healthy way, at least], I do think I can dent that number pretty substantially if I set my mind to it.

So… here goes. [Boy, deja-vu with that statement, right?]

Today’s weight: 142.2

Ideal Body Weight: 130 or less

Let’s do this.

Bon Appetit, my friends!

~ Tori