Amanda Finishes a Marathon

September 19, 2016: The Finish

How to finish 26.2

How to finish 26.2

If you told me 9 months ago that I was going to not only train but actually run and finish a marathon, I would have said you’re straight up crazy! When I first started the competition I was running intermittently. It was a great calorie burner but I hated it. It hurt, it was hard and it was boring. At that time the only running I was interested in was on the treadmill, where I could control the pace and zone out. In February I was convinced to sign up for a 15k and started venturing outside for training. Now I hate running on the treadmill. Running outside is much more interesting.

I spent all of my summer training for

Metal Heads!

Metal Heads!

yesterday. 26.2 miles! I still can’t believe it’s true. I am reminded quickly every time I move. My body is very angry with me. Not sure if any body talks about the aftermath. But the pain I feel today is worth the victory I felt yesterday!

Last week I prepared my body, tried to eat the right foods and drink enough water to fuel my body for the run. I felt like I was getting sick so I doubled up on vitamin C and some pre cold stuff I got from Tirzah. I managed to banish the cold. I wasn’t going to let it get in the way of my run. Training was unusual. We hadn’t had a big run for a couple weeks and we had several short runs just to keep our legs working.

Early morning start.

Early morning start.

My nerves were getting the best of me and I didn’t sleep much the night before the run. I woke up several times throughout the night and couldn’t go back to sleep after I woke up at 2. Kristen picked me up at 4. Our run was in Boring. We needed to leave earlier enough to get there and pick up our packets.

The event wasn’t huge and elaborate. They had first aid set up every 2 miles or so. The volunteers were wonderful!! They passed out water or Gatorade, and had a table set up with snacks.  We had a pretty boring course, not so ironic since we were in Boring, Oregon and that was what they based all of their runs off of. We basically did a giant out and back looping through a couple communities on the way out and then down a separate trail out and back to turn around and do it all backwards. Faces started getting familiar because we would pass by each other through the loops.

Kristen and I started out together going strong and feeling good. I have discovered that if I slow down to much my body hurts worse than if I keep a faster pace. I have been gradually pulling away from Kristen in some of our training runs. My intentions were to stay with Kristen as long as possible because running by myself is so much harder! Kristen and I had previously talked about this and she let me know she was ok if I had to leave her. Neither of us had a time destination we both just wanted to finish. I started pulling away from her around mile 12. I even stopped and stretched at one point so she could catch up to me, and she demanded I not stop for her.

My mental state started breaking down around mile 20. I knew I still had a pretty big hill to go up and then back down. My quads began to spam a little bit, my right ankle kept twisting in on impact and my left knee was starting to ache. I knew my body was desperate for some salt. I wiped my forehead at one point and it felt like I was rubbing sand off of it. I had dried salt all over myself from sweating. Along the way I had been drinking water and Gatorade, I had a couple fig newton cookies from the stations and had taken a goo and some chews. My belly was not happy with all the sugar intake.

Marathon Finisher!

Marathon Finisher!

 

I kept a pretty good pace. My overall time was 05:23:42 for a pace of 12:21 / mile. I started slowing way down around mile 23. I stopped a couple times to walk and stretch out.

At mile 24 I got a message from Daniel asking how I was doing. At that point I wasn’t doing well. I was trying to figure out how the heck I was gonna finish this. My body was failing. I kept praying several times through the run. I told Daniel that I was struggling and not doing well. His response “you understand you will make it right? Do it. Cause you would not have 9 months ago. . .Do it cause you can and cause you control your body, your body doesn’t control you.”

That was exactly what I needed to finish. I came

And done!

And done!

around a bit of a corner right before mile 26 and there was Daniel and Tirzah! They ran the last little bit with me and watched as I sprinted to the finish. I finished!!!! 26.2 miles! I haven’t decided if I will ever do it again.

Everyone’s support has been amazing! I have awesome friends and family that have helped out with child care when Patrick was working. This wouldn’t have been possible without help from many of you. Thank you!!

I have a little less than 2 months left to take advantage of my free training and membership. My plan is to buckle down and focus on loosing the last 20 lbs so I can reach my goal when my time is up. It’s go time!

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Amanda finishes marathon training

August 22, 2016: Digging deep for the Marathon

Wearing a size medium!

Wearing a size medium!

Marathon training is hard work. Even more of a challenge when it’s super hot outside. We have been lucky with the weather until this last week. Thankful for an air-conditioned gym to get all the little runs in. Last weekend Kristen and I completed our first 18 miles. It was 90 degrees by the time we were done. We made several water stops and eventually started pouring water on our heads. The last 2 miles were a huge head game. Making sure I have drank enough water the day before and sometimes even two days before has been essential. 

Yesterday I ran 16 miles with a different group of ladies. Kristen was out of town with her family. It was fun to run with a group of ladies. We did a route I hadn’t done before with a few rolling hills. We started at 5 in the morning. It stayed cool and dark for the first hour and a half of the run. It felt amazing! It started getting warm towards the end of our run but it wasn’t to bad.

I’m trying really hard not to get discouraged when the scale isn’t cooperating. I know at this point of my weight loss it isn’t going to come off quite as easy. I have 18 pounds to go and some days I feel like I’m not gonna get there. My body is changing and has changed so much since I started. I am in total shock and sometimes don’t recognize myself.

Even with little movement on the scale my body shape has changed a lot in the last 3 months. I had a friend give me a couple workout shirts a few months ago. They were a medium and I kind of chuckled in my head thinking there was no way they would fit. I tried them on that night when I got home and I wasn’t comfortable in them, so they went in a pile that got lost in my room. I forgot about them until a couple days ago when I tried one on again. Sure enough, it fits! When I started this journey most of clothes were 2X. I’m almost half the size I was when I started!

If you are interested in losing weight and or getting healthy come check out the gym! They offer personal training, there are classes for any fitness level and the gym is open 24 hours. Everyone has to start somewhere. Where to Start is the place to go!

September 5, 2016: Training struggles

Toes with blisters taped up.

Toes with blisters taped up.

I’ve had a rough couple weeks. Last week I had a bladder infection and while I was still recovering from that I continued marathon training. We had our longest training day last Sunday at 20 miles. Wednesday I was still struggling to recover. My muscles were sore and tight so I decided to talk a bath with Epsom salt. I ended up having a weird episode shortly after the bath. My heart rate was high, I felt dizzy and weak. I didn’t know what was happening. My mom is a nurse so I called her. She said it sounded like I had a little heat exhaustion. I was also talking to my sister in law through text at the same time. She was looking stuff up online and suggested I have some chicken broth and or Gatorade. I had both and almost instantly felt better. My mom talked to one of the doctors she’s works with and later told me I had hyponatremia which is low sodium and is common in runners.

 

Ouch!!

Ouch!!

Drinking water isn’t sufficient enough when running long distances or working out for long periods of time. Gatorade or other electrolyte replacements are very important. Having low sodium can be very dangerous and can cause issues like muscle spasms, cramps, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headache and mental confusion. I had some of these symptoms including feeling disoriented, it was scary. I’ve always thought Gatorade was for high intensity sports and athletes. Turns out running for almost 4 hours at a time is pretty high intensity.

Painful blisters.

Painful blisters.

Training for a marathon is no joke! Long runs are something to work up to. I have found there are certain socks, shoes and clothes that I just can’t wear after a certain mileage is passed. I keep getting blisters on my big toes. I have to tape my toes to help with friction. This week I have experienced some knee pain for the first time. My left knee starting hurting a little on our run to Salem. After the run it was a little swollen and tender to touch but not to bear weight. After doing a bit of research it seems I may have “runner’s knee”. Seems like an appropriate name. Good news is it doesn’t hurt any more or less when I run. After taking a couple days off the swelling has decreased. I had a slow run this morning with minimal pain.

Running with friends!

Running with friends!

Friday, Kristen and I ran with a couple other ladies to Salem for brunch. Literally. It was fun! We ran to a restaurant called French Press. The ladies we ran with parked a car there earlier in the morning so we could drive home when we were done. We ran 18 miles. That was our last “long” run until race day September 18th. Our marathon is in 2 weeks! Hope my body behaves!

 

 

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Running in the Evening

34 Inches gone!

34 Inches gone!

July 31, s016

We did measurements on Friday. I’ve only lost 4 pounds from the last time we measured but I still lost almost 4 inches. That makes a total of 34 inches lost since January. That’s a lot of inches. It would be interesting to know what my numbers would be had I measured myself at my heaviest. Losing weight has always been a battle so I’m sure I could find some stats somewhere.

I have a silly summer cold. I’ve been taking it easy for the last few days and I’m going a little stir crazy because of it. It’s been 4 days since I’ve ran. Since marathon training commenced, I run at least 5 days a week. We run 18 miles tomorrow and I’m very nervous! We usually run our longer runs in the morning but due to some scheduling issues we will be running in the evening. It should be interesting that’s for sure!

Before and Now

Before and Now

My younger brother shared a memory a few days ago on Facebook. It was from a family get together 3 years ago. I was a little shocked to see the picture. I was at my heaviest. At the time I remembering feeling like I wasn’t that big. That was definitely a lie. The Capri pants I was wearing were a 20 and my tank top was a 2X. Today I wear a 12 comfortably but can fit into a 10. My shirt size varies between a medium-large/xl depending on the brand.

I have 20 pounds to go before I meet my goal. My progress has slowed down considerably but I’m still making progress. I need to keep my head on straight and continue moving forward. Thanks for all the support!!

 

August 7, 2016

It finally happened. Since I started running I have heard of runners having bad training days. I had been lucky until last Monday. Because of our schedules we weren’t able to run until Monday evening. I over analyzed everything I did on Monday. Questioned everything I ate, did I eat enough or too much? Did I eat early enough before the run? I basically had anxiety all day about the run. I felt fine when I started the run.

We got to about mile 2, I started having some chest pain. It felt almost as if I couldn’t catch my breath.  I kept checking my heart rate and it was normal, low even, for running. I was averaging 134-140bpm. I thought maybe I was having some heart burn. Everything feels different when you’re running. Around mile 7 we stopped at a bathroom where I threw up. I thought maybe that would help. I didn’t feel like I was working too hard, it wasn’t hot outside either. I really couldn’t figure out what the problem was. We ended up running by my parents house were we stopped to get some tums, still no relief.

Finally around 11 miles I decided to call it quits. We called a friend for a ride home. (Thanks Danielle!) When I got home I stretched really good and showered. It took me almost 2 hours to calm down.  After all was said and done I’m pretty sure I was having an anxiety attack through the run. I was very angry with myself.

I’m blessed to have a running partner that was concerned and compassionate. Now we know running long runs in the evening are not for me! We still have several long training days before the marathon. We called last Monday a wash and are adding a few more miles to this weeks run.

This last weekend was my birthday. My husband and I went to Seattle. I didn’t plan my meals out and just went with the flow. Ugh! I wish I would have made a better effort. While in the moment it felt good to not have to worry about what we were eating. After math was not fun. We went to a Mariner’s game where the only options were fried food or fried food. Needless to say I spent most of my birthday weekend not feeling well and sluggish. Lesson well learned.

Meal planning for trip.

Meal planning for trip.

I am going to Bend for a few days this week.  Monday, Kirstin and I are running 15 miles and I will drive to Bend when I am done. My meals are planned out and ready to go. To start I will have a protein bar and banana pre run. The remainder of the meals will look similar for the week.

I made 2 meals with salmon, brown rice and broccoli. I will have 2 protein shakes a day, one for breakfast and one for afternoon snack. I bought pre-made salads for convince and for snacks I will have almonds and an apple in the morning and a bag of veggies after dinner. I am more than ready to get this last 20 pounds off! I will hit my goal!

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Amanda and Kristen Training Together

Running Pals

Running Pals

July 17, 2016

I have been running a lot! Training for a marathon is hard work. I have come many miles since January and I don’t think I could have done any of it without my running partner and good friend Kristen. She has been right by my side for every one of the event races I have done this year, and we have done most of our training runs together as well. Having a friend to share this journey with has not only pushed me harder it has kept me accountable.

Amanda and Kristen at the Shamrock run.

Amanda and Kristen at the Shamrock run.

Kristen was chosen last year for the free gym membership and personal training. I intermittently joined her at the gym but mostly sat back and watched her work her butt off as she lost 90+ pounds. I was envious of her progress and weight-loss. I wished I had had the drive and determination to lose the weight like she did. I cheered Kristen on from the sidelines. We would kid swap occasionally and sometimes I would join her on late night workouts at the gym. While she lost an insane amount of weight I slowly managed to lose 25 pounds. I wasn’t all in.

Kristen inspired me. I was in awe of her. She made it work with a husband and 4 small children. She was focused and determined to get healthy. When it came time for the interviews to find a new client I couldn’t hardly wait. I decided if Kristen could make it work, why

Amanda and Kristen running at the gym.

Amanda and Kristen running at the gym.

couldn’t I? I wanted Kristen’s success to be something I could feel myself. She helped me realize there wasn’t anything holding me back. Actually, the only thing standing in my way was me. This is my year! Thanks to Kristen I believed in myself.

Kristen has most definitely been my inspiration! I am so proud of everything she has accomplished. She has been one of my biggest supporters. Fighting right along side with me to help me lose weight and get healthy. She has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zones and I know I would not be running if she didn’t push me. I never in a million years would have thought I would like running. Running is hard but it is so rewarding and I can say I don’t just like it, I love it! It is my new favorite hobby.

Amanda and Kristen

Amanda and Kristen

This journey has been so much easier because of Kristen. I encourage you!! If you have the desire to lose weight and or get healthy. Do it with a friend! Find someone to hold you accountable, find someone to do the work with you. It makes it so much more bareable. It makes it fun and something to look forward too.

I love you Kristen! Thank you so much for sharing tears, sweat, pain, encouraging words and hard conversations with me. I feel so blessed to have you in my life. You have become one of my best friends and I Thank God for you and your beautiful family!

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Amanda tries Miss Me Jeans

Amanda in goal jeans!

Amanda in goal jeans!

September 11, 2018

I am slowly but surely making progress. I have been very discouraged in the last month. The scale has slowed way down and I have been in the 170’s for about a month. Regardless of what the scale is doing I have continued making progress in other areas. My strength and endurance keep increasing and my body is shrinking. I tried on some clothes this past weekend and realized I can successfully wear a size 10 and I was able to put on a size 30 in a pair of Miss Me jeans. They are fancy jeans that in the past I have never even been able to try on. They didn’t make them big enough for me.

 I have decided to take a break from the diet plan I was doing with Tirzah. While I agree and support everything about the plan, I haven’t been seeing the result like I was counting my calories. For 7 months I have been encouraged by numbers falling off the scale. My progress for the rest of my journey will be slow. I only have 24 pounds to go. These last 20 pounds will be the hardest. I am going back to a 1200 calories diet. I don’t follow a specific meal plan I just try to make wise choices.

Tall box jumps.

Tall box jumps.

Summer has proven to be the hardest struggle for me. The kids are home and routines are hard to follow. I have managed to stay on track with marathon training. We run 14 miles today and will continue to increase weekly until we run a full 26.2 on September 18th! I am excited and terrified. I seen a workout shirt yesterday that said “until nothing is left” I feel like I work that hard every day and it is especially true in my long runs. I love what my body can accomplish and I am going to keep pushing!

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Amanda on Healthy cooking and marathon training.

IMG_0098June 21, 2016

The kids are on their first full week of Summer vacation. I am finding it hard to balance a workout routine with the kids being home. My friend and I have been doing kid swap and park trips to get our workouts in. My workout routine has changed a bit since I’m training for a marathon in September. We do 5 smaller runs during the week. Any where from 3-5 miles and one long run usually on the weekend. Right now our long runs have been 10 miles but it will gradually go up as the summer progresses. We will most likely do a lot of early morning runs to beat the heat.

I enjoy running outside now. In the beginning of my running journey, I felt more comfortable on the treadmill. I was able to keep a comfortable pace and could see the distance in front of me. Now that I am confident in my running endurance, I would much rather be outside.

The scale is slowly showing progress. I IMG_0481am almost in the 160’s!! I have started a new meal plan with Tirzah. I joined the In.form class she is teaching. We are learning about gut health and the benefits of detoxing our bodies from sugars. The class is informative and allows me to have some accountability. We follow week to week with a work book and there is a daily check off list. We eat lots of veggies, greens and proteins.

It is an adjustment for sure. The first few days I felt really good. The middle of the 2nd week I started to feel discouraged. I felt fatigued during workouts and didn’t feel like I could work as hard as I usually do. My body just felt weird detoxing. I’m excited to start feeling the benefits of a “clean” body. I haven’t been too adventurous in meal prepping. Mostly been eating the same things lately to get on a routine and getting familiar with the diet plan. My 3 favorite meals to eat currently are; egg muffins, burrito bowl salad and yellow squash, turkey sausage with marinara.

I pretty much followed this recipe

http://pin.it/E40JENK

For the egg muffins but I used turkey breakfast sausage and I used water instead of almond milk, although almond milk is allowed in the plan I’m following. I top 2 of the egg muffins with a sprinkle of mozzarella, a couple spoonfuls of pico de gallo and 1/2 of a small avocado. It ends up being about 330 cals.

For the burrito salad I make, I use 5 oz of romaine lettuce, 1/4 cup rinsed low sodium black beans, 4 oz of chicken breast, 1/2 small avocado, several scoops of pico de gallo and 2 tablespoons of a yogurt based salsa ranch. It is delicious and usually comes out around 380 calories. It’s big and very filling.

I found some Italian nitrate free chicken sausage links (in the hot dog section at Safeway) that go really well with about 9 ounces of yellow squash sliced and quartered in large chunks. I fry them together for a short amount of time in some olive oil and then top them with 1/2 cup of sugar free marinara sauce. This dish is about 290 calories. Depends on what kind of sausage and marinara you use. So quick and easy. Also very filing.

I am going to be trying some new recipes soon. I would like to make a pizza crust out of zucchini or possibly cauliflower. I’ve also seen taco shells made out of zucchini. That might be fun to try.

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Who is close to weighing less than she did in high school?

April 11, 2016

Running Partner

Running Partner

This week was bittersweet. The beginning of the week was a struggle. There was a death in the family. It was hard not to revert to some old tendency. People deal with grief in all sorts of ways. Some people drink it, some people dismiss it, some people eat it. I fall into the eat it category. Pretty much any time I have feelings: good, bad or indifferent I usually want to eat them. On Monday I allowed myself to do that. I ate some Easter candy that has been haunting me. I also indulged in some Chinese food. For about a split second I was full and felt “happy.” In reality I was still sad and grieving; then I added a belly ache. From Tuesday on I decided to take my grief to the gym. I went back to making healthy choices and logging my calories. On Friday the scale reflected my good choices. I am so happy to say that I am now in the 180’s!!

This past month has been a pretty big struggle. I was justifying not making wise choices because I was no longer in the competition.  I wasn’t eating terrible every day but I wasn’t logging my food intake either. If I am going to succeed with my goals I realize now that logging my calories is a necessary step. I was maintaining weight loss with a 2-5 pound difference for a little over a month. I had plenty of people telling me that I had reached a plateau or maybe I gained more muscle this week but the truth is I didn’t put it all the work. I’m not beating myself up, I’m very happy with my results so far. It’s time to move forward and keep making progress. Working out and eating right is not just a fad. It’s a way of life. It’s my way of life!

April 18, 2016

IMG_7592

Close to High School Weight

IMG_7627The scale is cooperating again. It helps to be all in. Planning and recording every meal is how I get the scale to do what I want. I have lost 45.8 pounds since January 1st. That’s crazy! I feel amazing. Exercises are starting to get easier which means I have to work harder to get the results I want. My next fitness goal is to run a half marathon. I haven’t registered yet, but me and a friend are fully committed and have started training for a half in May. I am equally excited as I am freaking out. 13.1 miles is a lot of miles!! So far the farthest I have ran was the 15k (9.3 miles).

I am about 8 pounds away from being the least amount of weight in my adult life. Possibly even preteen life. All through high school I was approximately 180 pounds. I have no idea what my weight was before high school. When I lost weight before my 3rd child the lowest I got to was 179. I am so excited to see what my final out come will be. I have been noticing muscles I have never seen on myself before. That’s super fun! I thoroughly enjoy seeing what my body is capable of doing. I surprise myself daily.

I am currently the most sore I have ever been during this process. No, I didn’t have a big run, leg or arm day. I played softball. Holy cow! I haven’t played in a legit softball game since sophomore year in high school. For whatever reason I was super nervous. My heart rate was up the entire time we played. Even when I wasn’t doing anything. My arms are sore from throwing the ball and swinging the bat. My inner thighs have been tight and cramp up with little movement. I must need to work on sprints. It was so fun! Despite the soreness today I can’t wait to play again!

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Amanda Survives Easter and Finishes Our Annual Run

March 27, 2016

IMG_7382 I am finally back on track!! After a gain 2 weeks in a row, I was ready to move forward! I weighed in on Friday and am down to 193.8. That means I lost a little over 5lbs since last week and now I’m 2lbs less then when the competition ended. It feels good to be in control again.

I was worried gym time would get tricky this week since I had kiddos at home. My step children were with their mom for the week and my middle child spent the week with my brother and sister in law in Bend. So I only had 2 kids to juggle. It was kind of weird! My oldest can be left at home for small amounts of time so I packed up snacks and coloring books for my youngest, and she joined me at the gym. She’s usually pretty reserved so it worked out well. I am thankful I was able to have her tag along. By the end of the week she was joining me with the workout.IMG_7401

I’m not a huge sweets snacker, but Easter candy is my FAVORITE! Specifically the Reese’s peanut butter eggs. YUM! I have been battling the craving since they first hit the shelves right after Christmas. In the past, I have eaten enough of them to make me sick, and then I ate some more. They are my weakness for sure!! I have been going back and forth, one won’t hurt right? For me, I felt even one wasn’t an option. I don’t think I could control it if I allowed the first bite. So I banned myself from them all together.

This has been the first get together family holiday I’ve had to get through since my journey has started. I was pretty nervous. I portioned my foods and counted calories for everything I put on my plate. I ate some ham with a big side salad and a little bit of yummy broccoli salad. We also had a large veggie tray. My sister in law made some really good dip and substituted Greek yogurt for sour cream (thank you!). I made a few deviled eggs subbing yogurt for mayo, they were a little bland but not to bad. I didn’t feel deprived and what’s most awesome is I didn’t feel gross from eating to much. I stayed away from dessert and I haven’t eaten one piece of Easter candy! Now I just have to avoid all the loot the kids brought home from the egg hunt.

For the next month I have started a new competition with a friend who also needed a little jump start. We are both putting $20 bucks in the pot and the winner gets a pedicure and lunch without kiddos! Can’t wait to see our results in 4 weeks!

April 4, 2016

IMG_7503This week was very frustrating. I kept track of my calories all week, I worked out every day taking Sunday off. When I weighed in this week, I was up almost 2 lbs from last week. This weekend was difficult for me to continue making good choices since the scale didn’t reflect my hard work for the week. I have a whole grocery bag full of Easter candy that I would love to dive into. I know I would feel guilty and like crud after I did but that doesn’t change the fact that I really want it.

IMG_7498Saturday, I did the Annual K9 run at Where to Start. It was a beautiful day for a nice run outside. My friend and I did the 9k. I am still trying to figure out if I like running. I’m leaning towards yes but it’s still hard. Running outside if much more exciting than being on a treadmill but it’s also harder.

I’m hoping for the scale will be nice to me this week. I could use some good news.

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Amanda Finishes a 15K

March 6, 2016: Reset

The competition is over and it’s time to ‘reset’.

After the final weigh in on Monday, Daniel told me to take a break from working out until Friday. So I did. Monday and Tuesday I was still recovering from having strep. I felt better but very weak. I don’t think I would have gotten through a workout. So it was nice to have a break. By Wednesday I was feeling stronger and starting to feel like a bum for not working out.

Friday, I jumped right back into workouts. I managed to run 4 miles. I was pretty nervous before workout, at that point I hadn’t ran in over a week. The 4 miles was tough but more of a mental battle for me.  Saturday, I ran a quick 2 miles and walked uphill some to finish out an hour of workouts. Sunday, I had set a goal with a friend to run at least 7 miles. The Shamrock run is only a week away!! I knew I had to get some miles in. So that’s just what we did. We went at the perfect time and decided to take our run outside instead of the treadmill. Somehow we managed to be the rain.

Eating right and working out go hand in hand for me. I didn’t plan as well this last week with food and although I didn’t eat terrible I could have eaten better.

I am excited to start a new week. Everyone in my family is healthy for the moment and I hope it stays that way. I will be making a meal plan and grocery list for the week as soon as I get the kids off to school in the morning.

Thank you for all the support from the last 2 months and continued support for the remainder of my journey!

March 13, 2016 – The 15K

Getting Ready to Run

Getting Ready to Run

Prior to the competition, I had been trying to lose weight. I would work hard for a month or so and then revert back to old habits. I did this for most of last year. I was doing really good when the school year started and I had gotten into a routine. I was regularly working out and had started a running routine. I had two close family members get ill at the same time around October. My weight loss focus was put on the back burner.

When the competition started, I hadn’t been to the gym or eating well for about 3 months. My endurance was gone and workouts, running in particular, seemed impossible. Shortly after starting, several people from the gym were signing up for the Shamrock run in Portland. My good friend convinced me that I could do the 15k with her. At that point I had ran up to 5 miles before but it had been well over 4 months since I had done that.

The run was only 8 weeks away. I wasn’t entirely sure I could do it. Daniel told me to get on a treadmill or go outside and run for as long as you can with the goal being 3 miles. It took a lot for me to get out of my head but I was able to do it. From there I took a leap of faith in myself and swiftly signed up for the 15k before I could chicken out.

As you know from previous blogs, I was sick a lot during the last several weeks so running in between colds, coughs and strep wasn’t easy, but I managed to pull it off. My training was mostly done on a treadmill with only a couple short and one long run outside. Not much hill training either.

Who doesn't want a medal?

Who doesn’t want a medal?

Today I started and finished my first 15k!! I was extremely nervous. I didn’t know how I was going to manage running uphill for most of the run. Our run started at 730…..in Portland….on the day we set out clocks ahead. Super fun! It was also a typical rainy day in Oregon. The rain didn’t bother me actually. We occasionally stepped in puddles but because it was raining so much our feet were already wet. I started struggling half way the hill. Mile 3-7 was like one giant hill! I started getting in my head trying to figure out how I was going to keep running. Every time I looked up I saw more hill. There were several water and snack stations throughout the run. I grabbed a clif shot energy gel. It was really thick and made me super thirsty so I only squeezed half of it down. Shortly after was a water station so I decided to squeeze the rest of the gel down and drank some water with it. I’m so glad I did! That gave me enough energy to keep going. I instantly felt a boost.

When I got to mile 8 I kept thinking…..one more mile! You got this!! Then I seen mile 9. Ok, only .3 miles left. I knew that wasn’t far but I couldn’t see the finish line and I freaked out a little. As I crossed the finish line I had a bit of melt down. I was overwhelmed with accomplishment. I had to fight back the tears because it was making it really hard to breath. I did it!!! I ran 9.3 miles without stopping! I’m still in shock. I’m so glad I have friends and family who believe in me and the things I can accomplish. I would have never done this were it not for you all encouraging me. Thank you!!

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Amanda Loses a Size and is Sick Again (With Strep)

IMAG0693Amanda Week 7 (New Pants):

This week has been full of exciting things for me! Half way through the week I was visiting with my sister in law and my mom. They both had made comments on how baggy my pants were. I had been wondering if the next size down would fit me, but I was too nervous to try. My sister in law pulled out some of her old pants. Guess what? THEY FIT! When I started this competition I was a size 18 in pants. I’m going to be completely honest and say I should have been in a size 20. So I was extremely excited when I pulled on the 16’s and they fit. I even need a belt on a couple of pairs!

The next exciting event was weigh-in on Friday. I am .4lbs away from losing a total of 30lbs and by next weigh-in I will most definitely be less than 200lbs. In the past I have problems letting the scale determine the kind of day I was going to have. If it was less than the day before I would continue doing well. If it didn’t change or went up it would usually have a negative impact. So in the beginning of the competition I had a friend take my scale from me. When I have my weigh-ins and the accumulative number pops up, it’s an amazing feeling.

To wrap up my week, I was able run 6 miles. There is one week left in the competition. I am so thankful for this opportunity. I am anxious to see what the final outcome will be but no matter what happens I will continue this journey until I reach my goals. Let’s get this!

Amanda Week 8 (Final Week and Strep Surprise):

IMG_7256The beginning of the week started out really well. I came up with a meal plan and prepared all my meals for the week on Monday. My friend and I decided to come up with a crazy 30,000 steps a day goal. I also ran my fastest mile at 10.24. On Wednesday it seemed like my numbers were off a little. I walked on the treadmill for 7 miles but my Fitbit only accounted for 6.42 miles from the time I got out of bed. After some high tech business I was able to manually enter my stride making my steps more accurate. On previous days when it felt like 30,000 steps was a lot I was probably IMG_7246doing more like 35k-38k.

Wednesday evening we went to my youngest daughter’s family fun night at her school. She had been kind of off all day but I couldn’t really explain it. We were there for about 20 minutes when we realized she felt kind of warm. Sure enough she had a 202.9 temperature, poor thing. My middle daughter had strep throat last week so we were confident that’s what it was. That night I had a terrible time sleeping and my throat was really bothering me.

Early Thursday morning I looked at the back of my throat and noticed it was irritated but didn’t look like strep. I continued through the day and pushed my workouts to the evening since I had a sick kiddo at home. Late afternoon I was doomed! Fever hit me and my throat was covered in strep. I was not able to go to my workouts.

Friday I made arrangements to weigh in. Up until Thursday, I had a really good week so I wanted to see were my weight was. I only lost 1.8 pounds for the week. I was already upset about being sick AGAIN! So this was a really big blow I wasn’t prepared for. With taking over 30K steps a day along with 3-4 workouts on top of that I was burning over 4,000 calories a day and only putting in 1200. I. was. Crushed! I instantly started crying. The math didn’t add up, and I just can’t wrap my head around why I didn’t lose more. Daniel tried to encourage me and told me to look at how far I’ve come, and that I was sick yet again. My weight-loss for this week, or lack thereof was due to my illness. In an ordinary scenario 1.8 pounds for the week is a good loss. I didn’t see it that way. I am in a competition and 1.8 pounds doesn’t take the win!

Feeling defeated I spent my weekend in bed. I had a fever all weekend. My husband is amazing and let me rest. I wasn’t able to use the weekend to try and lose a few more pounds. I am very nervous for weigh-in. At this point in the competition I have lost 30 pounds. That’s pretty amazing. I still have a ways to go before I meet my goal. Winning or losing will not determine if I reach my goal. Whatever the outcome is I will continue moving forward. I owe a big thank you to Daniel and Tirzah for allowing me to be a part of this competition. I can’t believe it’s already been 8 weeks! It’s been so fun!

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