Yesterday’s Run and My Weightloss Journey

Yesterday’s race was such a triumph for me. I never thought I would be a runner, let alone, run in a race, even a fun race. I took the challenge to try to run faster than 30 minutes for a 5K, not really believing I could do it. It looks completely possible after yesterday, even this morning with my achy calves.

For those wondering, I raced in the FiveFingers Sprints, which got me at least one question before the race. As far as I could tell, I was the only person there running in minimalist shoes. I definitely think they make me look rather odd, having seen my race-day picture, but I’m definitely loving them. I look forward to next weekend when I run the 5K.

One of the main reasons my running is so amazing to me is because I have lost 100+lbs, and I’m in the best shape I’ve been my entire life. I’m still not near goal, but when I take a step back and look at where I’ve come from, and where I’m headed, it’s a bit amazing to me.

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, I’ve just been trying to lose weight for more than 20 years (I’m in my 30s!). I’ve been on multiple diet plans, read books, seen nutritionists and read a lot of the current news/research on weight loss and obesity and have formulated my own ideas on the subject. Always consult a nutritionist, MD or ND before making radical changes to your life/lifestyle. Seriously. I may even disagree with some of their beliefs, but this is what has worked for me.

Just for the heck of it, I used the Tools at Calorie Count to get an idea of where I’ve come from, and where I’m going. To be honest, I don’t use Calorie Count (I use Weight Watchers, which does the same basic thing, but offers meetings and a handy formula to simplify tracking) for my day-to-day tracking, but it is an excellent, free, weightloss resource. There are other similar resources available – Livestrong, Daily Plate, Spark People – just to name a few. The basic idea is to figure out what your normal calorie burn is for your usual day, this is your Base Metabolic Rate. Next is to figure out how many calories you should reduce (and/or how much exercise you should add) to lose up to 2 lbs per week.

Personal facts and Weight Loss Stuff:

  • At my heaviest, my BMR was around 2750 calories per day.
  • My current BMR (to maintain current weight) is 1700 calories.
  • The BMR of the weight I’m shooting for is 1580 calories.

1 lb = 3500 calories, to lose 1 lb/wk, that’s a reduction of 500 calories per day.

I usually exercise daily, in the form of walking or running, and for a burn of between 100 – 400 extra calories per day. On those days, I might eat more.

I eat roughly 1200-1400 calories per day, which means that I’ve gradually reduced my daily caloric intake almost by half over the past few years. It should be noted, though, I started by reducing my daily intake gradually (about 500 cals/day). The biggest change in the past 25 lbs is having to incorporate more whole foods in my diet to keep me from getting hungry. I could eat my daily calories in doughnuts (that’s about 3 doughnuts in a day). Or I could eat an abundant variety of food all through the day for the same calories. Doughnuts give me a nasty simple-carb hangover. Whole wheat pasta and homemade spaghetti sauce does not. In a way, I actually eat MORE food – but it’s the variety that I eat that makes the difference, and where I choose to say “No.” Scone at a coffee shop for breakfast = “No.” A cupcake at Cupcake Royale = an occasional after-dinner decadence worth waiting for.

And for the record, I don’t deny myself occasional beer, mixed drinks, chocolate, ice cream, bacon, cheese, burgers, french fries, pizza, etc. I just don’t eat them all in one day. I eat real food with real ingredients (hopefully, the fewer required to make the food tasty, the better).

It’s been a long road. I still have a ways to go.

Week 2 of Training

I decided, after a week of trying to train on my own that I needed an actual training program. Luckily, my Nike + SportBand links up to the Nike+ site, which includes a community as well as a Coach program, with choices ranging from just starting out to marathon. I chose the 5K training, and coincidentally, should get me prepped in time for the LIVESTRONG Challenge in June. I’m still coming to grips with the idea that by late may, I will be expected to run SEVEN miles in one day. It will be interesting to look back on this, if I actually can do the 5K in 30 minutes or less, and say “yes, this training worked.”

I am still on the hunt for a women’s running social group. I meant to dive into one of the running stores around Green Lake on Sunday to see, but was so exhausted after my 5 mile jog that I just went straight home.

As far as the fund raising goes, on Monday morning I was treated to another carrot to raise money for LIVESTRONG – every $250 I raise, I’m entered to win one of ten tickets to see U2 at Safeco Field the night of the run. I know I’ll get to my $250, but man – even if I don’t love U2 the way I used to, it sure would be nice to get free tickets to see the spectacle!

Today is my 3 mile run day. Wish me speed!


I started running at the point where I had lost about 65 pounds, which was June of 2008. I’m at an additional 30 pounds lost, and though I have not been running the whole time (probably about 8-10 months off), I’ve managed to stay in reasonable shape.

A few weeks ago, while in New York for a funeral, I picked up a new pair of running shoes, both to take part in some self-care, and to give me a reason to get rid of my battered Saucony’s, which were needing replacement. I got the award winning Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10. I was fitted for them at the Westchester Road Runner, which is a fantastic place to be fitted for a proper pair of running shoes. Right after purchasing the shoes, I did two days in a row of ambitious running. I say ambitious because I hadn’t been on a treadmill to run in months due to a calf injury (from sprinting) in November. I was achy, to say the least.

Flash forward to this past week. I woke up on this past Wednesday with an itch to run a 5K. I did the 5K in about 45 minutes, with about 10 minutes of that walking. On my route, I passed by a sign at the local Sons of Norway Lodge (did I mention I live in a Scandanavian neighborhood?) for a neighborhood fun run called the Leif to Leif 5K. I decided, since it was for the coming Saturday, to go ahead and do it. After all, I was just going to run anyway, right? It’s also hard not to be inspired by a friend of mine (and former gym buddy) who is undergoing a triathlon in Hawaii tomorrow. (GO EMILY GO!)

Yesterday, though I had a bit of a sore throat from seasonal post-nasal drip, I got up and out the door earlier than my usual and headed out to put in my registration and pick up my Norwegian flag. It wasn’t long before I was chatting with other people from the neighborhood, and after the race started, it wasn’t long before I realized that I was supposed to let myself keep a more relaxed pace. A few weeks of jogging does not lend well to sudden bursts of speed!

I was swiftly lagging behind as I left behind one Lief Erikson statue towards the other Leif Erikson up on the water. However, I was also in front of a few others, and managed to do the entire 5K in about 38 minutes, 7 minutes better than my time on Wednesday! After the run, there were complementary waffles with jam, and another bit of socialization, this time with a man who had lost 119 lbs, and this was his first time running ever.

It was great running socially, even if I wasn’t really paced with everyone else. The smiles were infectious, as was the completion as one of the organizers called to someone with a clipboard toward the end, “Twenty-three is coming!” Hey! That was me!

At my heaviest, I would avoid stepping up on curbs. Now I’m running, and it feels good. Sometimes it feels like I can out-run my troubles. So I’m going to keep on running.

Next up: Rock Riot Run 5K, to support the Eastside Domestic Violence Program, and the LIVESTRONG Challenge 5K, to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I’m raising donations for my LIVESTRONG Challenge 5K – but will not be posting it here (I don’t let my real-name and this blog mix. If you’re interested in making a donation, you can go to here and search for my first and last name and make your donation accordingly. If that fails, please contact me through the here and let me know that you’d like to make a donation.

I look forward to working my way up to a 10K. 🙂