Wednesday, May 30, 2012

There is NO magic Pill

Source: via Madelaine on Pinterest

This weekend I got myself all dressed up to attend one of my friends weddings. I have to say I felt great in my little tight blue dress. Years ago I wouldn't have been caught dead in something so sexy, but now I have the confidence and the matching body to go with it. So many people told me I looked great..I got questions on how in the world are you looking so good, what are you doing, are you eating... the list goes on and on.

So here is the deal...I decided 5 years to take complete control of my life.  I don't allow my excuses to be bigger than my dreams.  It is funny when I talk to people and they say "Kathy I need help."  I sit and listen to them go on and on about why they can't make it to the gym or why they eat crap.  It is simple people.  YOU have to make time or you will keep getting the same results.  You will keep coming to me asking for help and you will keep coming up with the same excuses.  You want to change the person you have become, you have to start changing the excuses that you come up with every single day.

Everyone thinks being fit and eating healthy is easy for me.  This life I chosen to live is a hard one. I wake up making the same excuses as all of you make...I am tired, I will do it later, my back hurts, I can't run...blah blah blah... But then I put my big girl panties on and remember that those excuses will get me no where. 

Excuses piss me off!  No! There is no magic pill I am taking. NO! I don't starve myself.  No! I have not had surgery.  I eat almost 2000 calories a day, my magic pill is my weights and tennis shoes and the surgery I have had is only on my eyes. I didn't get the body I have now on excuses....I got it with sweat, blood and a whole lot of tears.  No one says being healthy is easy...losing control is easy.  Going to McDonald's every day is easy, sitting on the couch is easy..doing nothing is easy.  Stop taking the easy route, start doing the things that challenge you.  I can bet you that you will start having more self confidence, more pride in yourself and will stop making the excuses you hate so much.

I wish I could have told my friends at the wedding that I do have a secret pill but I can't.  My magic pill is my drive for success.  I hope that you can find it in you to have the same drive to reach your own goals.  Throw out those excuses... because we all know they are not getting you anywhere.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Its Marathon Training time....

A few years ago, the idea of running 26.2 miles was appealing to me. I figured why not give it a shot, cross it off the old bucket list. I thought I would only want to run 26.2 miles once...after all only crazy people would put themselves through that kind of torture more than once. Well...Once just wasn't enough for me! After successfully finishing 16 half marathons,I decided to take my running to the next level and complete my second full marathon.

 I found this on a blog today and felt that this would be the perfect opener to my new challenge. 26.2 reason why running is so amazing...

1. You have something to look forward to. When you register for the marathon and have it on your calendar, you have something exciting to look forward to. As the marathon gets closer and closer, excitement and anticipation build. You'll probably be a bit anxious, as well, but the anxiety is part of the excitement.

2. Emotional release. Angry? Frustrated? Stressed? Go for a 5-mile run and I guarantee you that those problems will just melt away. You'll feel so wonderful when you're done that you will temporarily forget what you were so upset or stressed about.

3. It's a good conversation topic. When someone asks you how you spent your weekend, you can say "I did an 18-mile training run". It's likely that the person will be in awe of you and you'll have something interesting to share rather than "oh I just relaxed and watched TV".

4. Runner's high. After about 4-5 miles (perhaps a bit more depending on the person) endorphins are released into your system giving you a pleasant "high" feeling. When you have runner's high, none of your daily stresses or problems seem to matter. You're on top of the world.

5. Toned legs. Running is great exercise for your legs. When you train for a marathon, everyone at the beach will be admiring how toned and muscular your legs are.

6. Your neighbor isn't doing it. Distinguish yourself! Fewer than 1 percent of Americans have ever finished a marathon, and you can be in that elite group.

7. You learn to love and respect your body. If you have a poor body image and often find yourself complaining about your body, training a marathon will give you a new respect for your body and what it can accomplish. When I started running, I could only run one mile, and it took me 11 minutes. I was exhausted by the end of it. I was truly amazed at how my body was able to run 26.2 miles when I put the effort into training it.

8. Weight loss or weight maintenance. With all the calories you burn from running so much, you are bound to lose weight. If you are already at your ideal weight, then running will help you keep the pounds off.

9. Mental freedom. Running can be your time to zone out and give your racing thoughts a rest. Or it can be a time where you are free to reflect on your feelings and gain perspective on your life. When you are out running, there are no distractions or demands being put on you by others. Your mind can wander freely without consequence. Just be sure to watch where you're going!

10. Physical health. Training for a marathon requires that you exercise 5-6 times per week. You will greatly improve your cardiovascular health and increase your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

11. Greater music appreciation. If you like music (which most people do), running gives you an opportunity to let the music flow through your body. I strategically choose my running songs so that they motivate me and keep me energized. Music is often something we play in the background of whatever we are doing. By running, the music will take center stage, and you'll have a greater appreciation of it.

12. Carbs become your friend, not your enemy. Are you sick of hearing about how carbs are so bad for you? When you run long distances, carbs become your best friends. They give you the energy you need to keep running for an hours at a time. Enjoy that pasta dinner while everyone else is ordering burgers without the bun!

13. You can race against Oprah Winfrey. Oprah ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 4:29. Even if you don't beat her time, you can have fun trying!

14. Demonstrate that you are a highly motivated and committed individual. Prove to yourself and others that you can do anything you set your mind to. If you're on a job interview, casually mention that you ran a marathon (or are training for one) to demonstrate your motivation and passion.

15. Bond with other runners. Once you've run a marathon, you'll feel an instant connection with other marathon runners. It's a unique experience, so you'll enjoy sharing experiences.

16. Improve your math skills. Marathon training requires quite a few numbers: your mileage, your pace and your overall time. Some runners even measure their heart rate with a heart rate monitor. You'll learn to pace yourself across a specific number of miles and you might find yourself doing math in your head.

17. Add structure to your life. Adhering to a training schedule gives your life structure and organization. For many people, this structure can stave off depression and give them a greater sense of purpose.

18. Boost your confidence and self-esteem. Running a marathon is such a fantastic accomplishment on so many levels. It takes athleticism, commitment, and mental stamina. Once you've finished your marathon, you'll feel wonderful about what you've achieved. It will give you the confidence to tackle other challenges in your life.

19. Enjoy the outdoors and the scenery. Spending time outdoors and having exposure sunlight is proven to stave off depression. When you run outside, you have a greater appreciation for your surroundings-- whether they are natural or industrial. If your marathon is not in your hometown, you'll have exposure to a new area.

20. The medal and the T-shirt. You'll have some great souvenirs from your race, including a medal that you can display in your home, and a shirt that you can wear that tells the world you ran a marathon. Most marathons also have photographers stationed throughout the course, and you can purchase running photos of yourself as additional souvenirs.

21. The carb-loading and celebratory meal. Before your long runs and a few days before the marathon, carb-loading (eating foods with a high carbohydrate content) is necessary to give you sustained energy. And when you finish the marathon, it's customary to enjoy an indulgent meal. Go ahead, you've earned it!

22. You'll be able to say that you "did it". For the rest of your life, you will always be able to say that you ran a marathon. This could mean a number of different things to you and others. But whatever it means, you know that you "did it".

23. You know someone who ran a half marathon. The half marathon is quickly rising in popularity. In fact, within the last decade many marathons have added a half marathon option to the race so that more people can participate. Typically, the half marathon has more runners than the marathon itself. Why? Because a half marathon is half the distance, requiring half the training, dedication and commitment. It's much more accessible. Running a half marathon is certainly an achievement, and I don't mean to minimize that. But having run both half marathons and full marathons, I can say that running twice the distance is twice as rewarding.

24. Making more time for yourself. Even if you train with other people, running is your "you" time. Throughout the rest of the day, you probably have people making demands on your time and attention. Running is one thing that you can do for yourself-- an escape from the stresses of everyday life.

25. You become more in tune with your body. When you train for a marathon, you become more aware of how your body behaves and how it reacts in different situations. As you walk around throughout the day, you might be more aware of your stride, or how your legs feel, or how your shoes fit. In the weeks immediately preceding the marathon, you will be especially in tune with your body, as you will naturally have anxiety about how your body will hold up during the race.

26. Crossing the finish line is a feeling like no other. When I saw the finish line in front of me at the end of my first marathon, I felt like gold. I had such a wide range of emotions all at once: pride, relief, excitement and amazement. I couldn't believe that I had actually run an entire marathon. If I could bottle that feeling and sell it, I would no doubt be a millionaire.

0.2. Experience the power of adrenaline. When you pass the 26 mile marker and you realize that you only have a fifth of a mile left, you get a burst of adrenaline. You may have hit the so-called "wall: during the race, and you may have had times during the race where you thought you simply couldn't run any more. But all of a sudden, you realize you are almost there! The adrenaline rush hits you like a wave and pushes you to the finish line.

So follow me on my journey.   I am sure I will have ups and downs but I will do it.  I will accomplish this goal! It is go time people!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

You eat a hamburger, you run like a hamburger...

"You eat a hamburger, you run like a hamburger." -Steve Riddick, sprinter

It's true: you've got to watch what you eat.  Although you burn up lots of calories when you run or workout, you can't just eat anything you want.  You've got to have a balanced diet and all that. When I trained for my first full marathon (26.2 miles) I put on 10 pounds.  How is that? It is simple...I was eating crap food and eating a lot of it.

I felt that since I was running up to 8 hours a week that my body could handle extra calories.  First, it was going out after every long run.  Then, it was treating myself with something really tasty every day.  Ice Cream, cookies, chips.. you name it I had it during my first marathon.  I was putting the miles on my feet and putting the calories in my mouth.  My body showed it too.

The main message here is, treat yourself but treat yourself with the good stuff.  I did not need to go out after a long run and get a hamburger, fries and a chocolate shake.  I did not need the ice cream after my short runs.  I been training pretty hard the past few months and it is showing.  Most importantly I been only allowing myself 1-2 treats a week.  One ice cream snack a week will not make me fat but 7 ice creams snacks will certainly show up sooner or later. 

I have said this before.. You can't out exercise a bad diet.  You just can't! It all starts in the kitchen and honestly that is the hardest part for many of us.  Throw the junk out but treat yourself.  Soon you will be happy with the way you look and not so upset you are not eating a super size meal from McDonalds.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pushing myself

Funny thing about goal setting.  Even before you achieve one goal, you start looking ahead to the next one. 

Prior to embarking on a major project, you may look at it in its entirety and think how difficult it will be to achieve.  But, you start anyways.  Once you get going and make the inevitable early mistakes, you find a way to do things that works for you, and you make progress.  After a while you make such a rapid progress that you can see the end progress.

Once that happens, if you are like most people, your dreams and ambitions do not suddenly stop.  You begin to look past the goal at hand-a goal that once seemed so difficult-and onto new, more adventurous goals for the future.

This must be what motivates marathoners.  Once upon a time a 1/2 marathon was tough for them to do.  Then, after achieving the near-impossible goal, they began to look ahead to greater challenges that would test what their bodies could do.

You may not want to run a marathon or even a 1/2 marathon.  But the longer you do run, the more your goals will inevitably expand.  This is a sign of progress, perhaps even a sign that you can test your body more.

I have my eye on two goals.  Columbus Marathon and the Goofy Challenge in Disney.  I am already looking for new goals to put in the mix.  One goal for me is not enough! I love pushing my body to the next level, to my edge.

So what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish?  Do you have your eyes on something that motivates you?  Achieve something! Set your goals high! 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

" was a painful and humbling experience."

For all my readers out there this post will be a lengthy one.  So grab some water to hydrate, some carbs to get you to the end and a soft place to read.  This post will be all about my two half marathon's I completed this weekend.  It probably will be lengthy and wordy but I have to share how the weekend went and how I feel at this very moment. Ready.. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.... RUN.

Cap City Half Marathon...

My plan was to wake up at 4:45 race morning to eat, drink water and pack all my clothes for my awesome weekend.  That did not happen! My alarm must have went off but I continued to sleep.  I woke up at 5:45.  In time to rush around like a mad women grabbing clothes and eating my normal pre-race breakfast. I will be getting another alarm clock for my next race just in case I decide to do that again.  It really made me panic.

I got in my car to head downtown to run my 15th half marathon with my good friend Lindsay Groom.  This was Lindsay's first half marathon and it was shaping out to be a perfect morning for her first experience.  We both trained hard together but what I love the most about this experience with her is we found our friendship again.  I was so glad I got to be there with her as she crossed the finish line and more important am so glad I got to watch her start this passion for running.


Cap City was a small race a few years ago but boy has this race has become a popular one in Columbus.  Commit to be Fit is what they call this amazing race! The temps at the starting line were in the low 60's and cloudy.  It felt warm to me but perfect for a race morning.  We talked about what our plan and what pace we should take. That plan ended one minute into the race! I knew Lindsay would fire out like a badass out of hell but I also knew that pace would soon slow down.  We started out running a 9 minute mile and it slowly went down to 10 minute.  We did what we said we wouldn't do and we were both completely okay with it.

If you are a long distance runner you know that talking helps you get to the end.  Since Lindsay and I talked all day on Friday at the expo and dinner.  We actually ran out of things to talk about quickly.  We were silent for most of mile 3 which never happens.  We decided this race would soon get boring if we didn't start talking.  Lindsay threw down the gauntlet challenge of clapping spectators hands.  At first it was a contest of who could get the most high fives but then turned into let's get 100 high fives by the end of the race. This for sure put the excitement back into the race.

If we high fived a cop that was worth 2 points, Army guy 5 points, Tough Mudders 10 points and all the all the others were 1 point.  It was exciting going up to people while we were still running throwing out our hand yelling high five.  It made the spectators smile and it made us forget about how far we had to run.  I actually enjoy this little challenge because it got the crowd involved.  Some people were taken back and shocked; of course that would only make us giggle.

My best high five was to a Army guy who was off to the side tying his shoe.  I had to tie my shoe too so I felt this was the perfect time for me to go up to him.  I shook his had first Thank him for his service and said "now get give me a high five." His smile was priceless and so was the chills I had running up and down my body.  I love moments like that!

Mile 11ish I would say I was completely over the high fives, I wanted to start focusing on my running.  When I start getting negative during my runs that is when the pain starts showing up.  I told Lindsay I didn't want to give out any more stupid high fives.. we both laughed and knew it was time to focus on the run.  I started to feel pain on the bottom of my left foot, a pain that I haven't felt before.  I knew I had a few miles left and I had to push to the finish line.

Lindsay wanted to speed up but I just didn't have it in me to run faster.  I knew she wouldn't leave me but I told her to run ahead and meet me at the finish line.  Another great thing about a running partner, they get when you are in pain and they will stay there till the end with you no matter what. 

Around mile 12.8 I yelled let's do this... so we picked it up.  When we saw the finish line we ran faster.  I wanted Lindsay to run in ahead of me as I wanted to stand back and watch her moment.  A moment like that is hard to forget.

Finished 2:14 minutes! Great time for her first race :) But most importantly 432 High Fives from complete strangers!

Here is a great picture of us at the finish line.  We both were pleased the race was over and started to talk about our next one.  That is what a finish line will do to someone that enjoyed the ride.  Lindsay signed up for the Columbus Marathon that night and I will be doing the same tonight.  We are ready for our next challenge and 26.2 sounds like the perfect one!

Lindsay thanks for being one of the best running partners I have ever had.  I love our long runs together and our silly race day challenges.  You are a special person to me.  I am so glad you enjoy running.  I am also so proud of what you have been able to accomplish since January.  You are now part of the running club! Welcome friend! I can't wait to run my 2nd full marathon with you and be there for your 1st.  I can't wait to bitch and complain about the aches and pains while enjoying every single minute of it with you.

After Cap City...
Now that I completed 13.1 miles in Columbus, I had to get into a car and head to Pittsburgh to do my 16th half marathon.  I felt great after the Commit to be Fit race.  Had a great lunch, awesome shower and a hell of a lot of water to help me get ready for part two of the weekend.

My cousins Diana and Angie arrived and was all smiles.  They too were completing their first half marathon and this would be my first half marathon walking.  We loaded up my car and headed to the steel city.  I was able to talk to my little cousins about what would happen race morning.  They were excited and a little nervous but ready for the challenge.

It took us 3 hours to get to Pittsburgh.  We got our race packets, walked the expo and loaded in the car for our final stretch to my Aunt Barbie's house.  We chatted, had pizza and called it a night around 10 o'clock.  Game plan was to wake up at 5:00 and be out the door by 5:45.  Since I was new to this city I wanted to be sure we had time to find a good spot to park, time to walk to our area and bathroom.  We made it in good time and was able to wait around for 30 minutes before the race started.

Here we are at corral E waiting for the race to begin.  It took us a good 20 minutes to get to the start line and once we were there we were off.  If you can't tell by the picture I am very short compared to Diana and Angie... so it was a struggle for me to keep up with these fast walkers.  Just like Cap City these girls took off.  I was like dang girls as I looked down and saw a 10:45 pace.  That is a walking pace no joke, I felt like I could die because 10:30 is my normal training pace for running... and we were WALKING.  I barely could talk because I was so out of breath.... thankfully we slowed down to 13:45 pace.

This race was beautiful race and I have to say that Pittsburgh is a beautiful city.  I do hate the Steelers so it is very hard for me to say those words out loud.  If you want to run a fun race put this one on the list.  We ran across 4-5 big bridges, every where you turned there was a huge bridge, which made the scenery amazing.  The only thing I did not enjoy about this race was the incline hills and the fact that they ran out of cups.  It was a hot day and the sun was in full force.  I am glad I had my water pack with me because there was plenty of water on the sidelines just no cups to drink out of.  This was a lifesaver for all three of us!

I was super surprised how well I was doing considering I just ran 13.1 miles the day before.  Had blisters on every toe and chaffing on my inner thighs.  I knew I would be using different muscles on this race then I did the Cap City but I never imaged how hard walking a half marathon would be.  It was challenging but I loved being there and enjoying the day with my cousins.

We had an awesome pace and felt that we could get to the finish line in 3 hours.  Our race goal was to get it under 3:15.  At mile 6 we felt that we would be able to complete this task as we were on target, but the hills were ugly and the sun was hot.  You could tell the excitement was starting to change around mile 9.5 all that matter to us now was the finish line.

I told the girls that the last three miles is always the hardest part of a race because everything starts to hurt and the mind starts playing tricks on you.  That is when it started to change for one of my cousins.  I was getting worried as miss fast walker asked if we could slow our pace down.  I took the water I had and poured some over her back.  She looked like she was fading and I didn't want her to drop this close to the end.

We slowed our pace down, I knew we would not get to the finish line for our 3 hour mark but I knew we would finish under 3:15.  I kept telling the girls come on we only have 1.3 to go, we got this.  The struggle continued and I knew we had to walk for something.  I said... okay girls let's do this last mile for Grandpa (God Bless him in Heaven on May 5th he has been gone for 14 years).  I prayed to Grandpa and asked him to send us the strength we needed to get to that steel finish line. 

I believe our crazy loving Grandpa helped all three of us because once we saw the finish line we knew no doubt we would reach it.  One of my cousins started to cry because all her hard work paid off.  Both of them never knew they could do something like this but deep down I knew they had the heart to do it.....after all we come from the same blood.  I even got teary eyed under my glasses because i was proud of what they accomplished.

Finished 3:06 minutes 

Angie and Diana you girls should be proud of that race metal and those sore muscles.  You did it and I knew you could all along.  I know you said if I didn't push you to do something like this you would have never took the challenge head on....You did the training, you walked those miles and now you have earned the membership of this unique club.  You both amaze me while your spirit and your great attitude.  I am glad to call you family but more importantly i am glad to call you my friends! I love you both and will cherish this day forever.


This weekend was one I will never forget! I got to be there for some amazing moments and I got to push myself past my own pain.  As I sit here in my bed looking at my two hard earn metals I can't help but smile.  These are memories that NO one can talk away from me.  Memories we will talk about for a very long time.  This is what it is all about for me.  Sure I love the race shirt, the food and the way my body looks when I run... but it is those moments where it feels like time stops and nothing else matters but being with the people you love.

This weekend was painful and humbling experience. My body aches all over but my heart is bleeding with pride and joy.  Nothing gets better than this people... this is what I was born to do inspire people to do something amazing.  I put on my Pittsburgh race bib "BeAmazing" instead of my name... why? Because when someone yelled "Go BeAmazing" They were not just yelling for me but they were yelling at everyone to do something amazing with their lives.  Message received! 

Now it is time for me to hang up the running shoes for a solid 30 days.  I need to give my body a break before training for the Columbus Full Marathon.  You can bet that I will be searching for another half marathon to complete this summer.... If your ready for the challenge let me know! I got three awesome people to do something they always wanted to do... YOU COULD BE NEXT!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


This upcoming weekend I will be taking on the challenge of completing two half marathons in two days.  I love pushing myself to the next level, it feels like I am pushing myself to the edge of the unknown. I am worried about my body and if it will be able to hold up for 26.2 miles. But I am trained and I feel great. As a runner there is so many things that factors in on how you will run on race day... the weather, your nutrition, sleep..etc the list can go on and on. Factors that are out of my hands but I have to welcome with them.

This week I have heard so many people call me stupid, insane and crazy. I just shake my head and think to myself you have no idea what you are missing. I have become a different person because of running. I am a little stronger, have more confidence and I am able to take a challenge more often than not.... all because I have decided to lace up a simple running shoe.

I understand why people think I am crazy but I wish they would be more kind with their words. Just because I am running two marathons this weekend doesn't mean I have lost it.. it just means I am taking control of my life and am doing something positive with it. Running is a special club; a gift. Everyone can join.. Louie my dog is even in the club. But you have to get yourself off the couch, you have to lace those shoes up and take that first step. Running doesn't get easier, you just get better. There are days I think how am I ever going to run/walk two half marathon this weekend. Running doesn't come easy for me at all. I fight with myself every single day to get out there and run.. but I do it anyways and I feel pretty amazing after.

You might not understand us crazy runners. I understand you will call us Forrest Gump...but what you can't take away from us runners is the feeling we feel when we reach that finish line. It is something that will erase all those negative comments, all those Forrest gumps cliches...the finish line feels like a little piece of truly is amazing. 

Welcome to the club all your first timers. Go out there and run hard....Welcome the pain, the rain or whatever obstacles race day might bring you. We are all brother and sisters in this strange world, and soon you will become part of the running club! Keep running and don't listen to all those people who say you are crazy...we all know they are the crazy one's who choose to not lace up and enjoy the road ahead of them!