Jun 032013
 
Team Flower Power

Relay Team Flower Power!

 

Yesterday I ran on a 4 person relay team for the Minneapolis Marathon and it was fantastic!  My leg of the relay was 5.1 miles and I ran at a 13:19 pace, which is the fastest I have done since hurting my back 3 weeks ago and the LONGEST DISTANCE I have run since last September when I did a 10K.

I get such a great rush from wanting to do the best I can for my team, just the whole race atmosphere…a bunch of other people also trying to do their best AND tons of support and cheers, and  just looking forward to celebrating at the end!!!

My leg was so pretty…I ran on streets, walking paths, bridges and a brick road.  There were a couple hills, which I chose to walk up instead of run…I think that helped me keep my pace versus hurt me.  I took a couple walking breaks towards the end while watching my overall pace so I’d only lose a few seconds..which I instantly regained once I started running again (30 seconds of recovery is sometimes all we need to keep going strong!)

 

Hitching A Ride

Hitching a Ride from Relay Exchange 1 to 2!

My team overall did a fantastic job as well.  We all came in faster than our predicted paces AND we finished the marathon 26 minutes sooner than we thought we would, beating our record from last year! 🙂

We were all feeling a bit nervous about our run this year since we haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to training as we did last year.  Despite the hiccups in training, we all got our finishers medals and were super proud of ourselves at the end of the day.

I just love that rush of pride and joy of accomplishment at the end of a race and its 1 million times better when you did it with a team!

Not only were RUNNERS part of our team though, we had good friends Kris and Corryn providing tremendous support. We didn’t have to worry about taking relay shuttles, riding the light rail, parking our own cars, or even checking/lugging our gear around.

I truly hope this kicks of a fantastic rest of the summer and into fall running streak 🙂 I’m going to keep doing lots of stretching before and after races and I’ll be kicking up my cross-training, too!  I’m looking forward to getting my pace back to where it was early in the year AND to improving even more!

My next race is a 5K, its the Color Run here in the Twin Cities in July and I’m very much looking forward to it!

Oh, and as an update with my Emily Program treatment…I have been feeling much more confident with myself and my choices…its a slow process, but I feel myself getting better.  Positive attitude, which is enhanced by working out helps!! 🙂

<3 Merbear

 

Jun 032012
 

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It’s been a long and amazing day.

I could hardly sleep, eyes wide open at 7am. I checked into the marathon tracker app to see that Kelly, runner #1 on my team, started promptly at
6:30am on her 6 miles. She would be followed by Corryn doing 5.5 and then Amanda doing 9.2! I was scheduled for the last leg, 5.5 miles and I was pumped! I planned to get to my relay exchange point at 10am….I could have slept til 8:30, but there was no way!

I got dressed in the outfit I picked and laid out the night before and headed downstairs. I saw on the tracker app that Kelly had finished and she was FAST. For my own sanity I recalculated everyone’s leg start/finish times based on Kelly’s speedy finish and texted them to my team mates via Twitter, cuz I’m a geek 🙂

Ryan woke up and made me eggs and toast for breakfast. Then, I scrambled around making sure I had everything. I did, but I checked and double checked. Sunglasses, Road ID, race bib, iPod, Garmin……engagement ring & key necklace.

Why jewelry? Because running isn’t just about physical ability….it’s also mental…lots of determination and focus. I’m out there, just me and my thoughts. I want to not only think about one foot in front of the other….but also how awesome my life is right now. I’m a healthier weight, I can run, I have amazing friends, I am in love with a man who gave me the “key to his heart” aka the necklace and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. So that jewelry keeps me going with a big smile on my face!

We met up with my friends at my exchange point and I stretched, used the biff a few times nervously and chatted. Then, we saw her coming….I put in my headphones…..gave Amanda a huuuuge congratulatory hug…put on the relay chip, and I was off!

The path was beautiful…and kinda empty. The fast relayers were done, lots of full marathoners had finished, too. A lot of spectators had already left….but it was okay….I enjoyed the peace….getting into my zone….being pushed along every once in awhile by the cheerers that were there. I PR’ed the first 5K, did it in 37:45! Then I kept on trucking the final 2 miles and came in at an average of 12:40 min/mile for my 5.5! My team did the entire Minneapolis Marathon in 5 hrs and 12 mins!

As approached the finish line my team member Kelly, her husband Sean, and my good friend Mel ran me in! I felt so amazing and I got in about 5 mins sooner than we all predicted.

I feel amazing.

Goodnight.

<3 Merbear

May 272012
 

I’m getting married!!!!!!

I have 15 lbs or so left to lose on Slimgenics, I’m running in a marathon relay on June 3rd and I’m getting married!

I’m not going to post all about getting married or making this a wedding blog or anything like that here…but, its a big life change and obviously affects me so here and there you guys will definitely hear about how my wedding plans tie in with my weight loss, future weight maintenance, running, food, etc etc!

So first…here’s some engagement pics from Ryan proposing to me last night (May 25th):

 

My love

Happy Girl!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engagement Ring

 

Wedding Band

 

Other than this amazing development in my life..

….I’m going to run 5 miles on Memorial Day with Kelly she brought my Minneapolis Marathon Relay team together! She is such an amazing friend and an inspiration in determination to achieve goals. She’s been training since 2011 for the Grandma’s Marathon this summer. I am so proud of her, Follow the link and check out her blog!

My other relay team friends are Amanda and Corryn!

Apr 142012
 

So, what’s been going on lately? Lots!

I’m officially down 35lbs which feels really good. I can see the definition that I’ve been working on for the last couple years of weight lifting actually starting to emerge from under the fat. I’m really excited to finally see that change. I’m still surprised when I put on a shirt and my tummy doesn’t stick out automatically. My default stature so to speak no longer has a tummy pooch, it’s so weird!
My boyfriend said to me last night that I’m probably a lot closer to bikini ready than I think I am. Woohoo!

Per our initial Slimgenics body type, height etc estimates I still have 25 lbs to go…but I dunno, I can see 15 coming off my butt and hips, perhaps the rest is just here and there and internal? My body from my true waist up is pretty good, my trouble area is the bad-donk-a-donk and it has a bit more to go for sure 😉

This last week I had two days of Slimgenics “detox” and boy, a good way to appreciate the main Slimgenics plan is to be on two days of a stricter version of it! Detox days include a whole grapefruit as breakfast, lettuce only salads with apple cider vinegar and a bit of dressing with lunch and dinner, chicken and parsley for lunch, fish and parsley for dinner and 2 cups of cucumber slices with apple cider vinegar as a snack, plus two of the low calorie thermogenic snacks. I wasn’t hungry, but I also didn’t have enough energy to run, so I had to skip a day. I definitely did feel like the detox cleared me out and I definitely had a nice weight loss whoosh the day after I finished detox.

One of my counselors did advice that Ryan and I eat beef more often and we can’t argue with that, yum! It is a limited food item so we have to space it out, but now we are definitely including steak or ground sirloin into our meal plans at least once a week if not twice!

I was having trouble with being hungry and even getting headaches on the days when I ran…and Slimgenics now allows 6 ozs of Greek yogurt your milk serving and not just as a protein. So, we figured out if I eat Greek yogurt as a small breakfast before I workout, replacing my daily milk, and then after my workout I have eggs and then my 2nd protein for dinner….I’m refueling my body a lot better than a protein bar or starches can and it has worked out really well for me! Yay more yogurt and protein!

Last weekend I took a big step and cleared out all of the clothes in my closet that are too big. All that stuff was actually pretty nice because I bought most of it last spring, summer and even fall of 2011 when I was at my highest weight ever. Those clothes were not just baggy on me but literally wouldn’t stay on….so time to admit I would never be back in them and to get them out! My closet is pretty empty now, but at least everything in it I can actually wear. I am slowly refilling it with clothing items I have had stored away that are starting to fit again which is exciting! But, I’m kind of at a stage right now where the saved clothes are about 1 or 2 sizes too small…I may have to buy a pair of work pants to help in between, I’m thinking Old Navy sale rack! But boy am I looking forward to wearing my Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Express pants and tops again soon!

Since my PR in running outside two weeks ago I have successfully done more 3 mile runs with an under 13 min mile average and now my standard run length is 3 miles. Woohoo, my practice runs are 5ks, that makes me feel pretty cool. My first 4 miler is coming up next week if I don’t miss any runs this week. I hope I can do them all!

Tomorrow, for the first time ever in my life, I will be trying on a formal dress that is not a plus size! I’m going to be picking my bridesmaid dress for my best friend’s wedding, I’m sooooo pumped! For the wedding and that I have more choices and I just don’t have to go with the “kinder” dress styles, we have a few to pick from.

I want to give a shout out to my marathon relay girls – Corryn, Amanda and Kelly! We are SO gonna rock the Minneapolis Marathon, I’m so lucky to know you girls and I truly value our friendship and the fact that we can sweat together, too! Woohoo!

Okay this has gotten long, so I will say next week is a Slimgenics biogenic week then fresh start weekend so we get bigger protein servings, no starches and smaller snacks M-F and then unlimited protein, only green veggies and no starches on the weekend. I’m actually looking forward to it for two reasons #1 This week leads to a nice weight loss whoosh the following week and #2 It comes just in time for sushi on Friday night…woohoo extra sushi and a BBQ for my sister’s bday on Sun…yessss more steak and chicken please!

Hugs!
<3 Merbear

Apr 012012
 

On Saturday I had my first long run assignment from my Runner’s World Smart Coach program. As I’ve mentioned I’m running a 6 mile portion of the Minneapolis Marathon as part of a fabulous relay team of awesome girlfriends! I’m doing an eleven week 10k training plan.

So far on the plan I’m following the guidelines and pacing myself at an easy sustainable pace, but it seems I’m already getting used to the 2 miles and my 3 miles wasn’t too big of a stretch for the long run. I was prepared to run slower than on the treadmill cuz #1 outside seems more challenging #2 I hadn’t done a 3 mile training run yet and #3 my 5ks take me over 40 mins still.

But, I got myself out on Lake Calhoun and just thought, “Mer, it’s nice out here, you don’t have a goal pace, just a distance….you aren’t trying to keep up with anyone….just use this as an opportunity to enjoy the lake, relax your mind and just go…”

So, I did….and I ran the fastest I ever have for a sustained amount of time, with no stopping, no walking….just going…. 12:40 minute mile for 3 miles! Yaaaay MEEE!

<3 Merbear

Mar 252012
 

Hi hi!

I’m halfway through my weightloss at 30 lbs down with another 30 to go.  I’m actually not halfway through my weeks at Slimgenics though! My program with them is 28 weeks..and I’m on week 10…but halfway done losing! Woohoo!

My jeans started really getting baggy and awful and so I used a Living Social deal for the House of Amore & Fede in Edina and bought two new pairs.  One pair fits now, yay no more saggy! I also bought a pair that is another size down 🙂  The 2nd pair I bought are Miss Me brand and Amore & Fede lets you exchange them back in for an in store discount if they are gently used.  So when I shrink out of those, I can go back and get more with another discount!

My new Cowgirl Tuff Jeans!

 

I just wanted to let you guys know about how I was doing and that I’m so happy to have new jeans! Oh, they are 2 sizes smaller than my previous jeans! YAAY!

I’m also training for a 10K because my next race is a 6 mile portion of the Minneapolis Marathon on June 3rd.  I’m using SmartCoach from Running World Magazine to plan out my training and I love that, too! Plus, per usual I’m lifting weights twice a week.

<3 Merbear

P.S.

House and Amore and Fede and Living Social have no idea that I mentioned them or that I’m happy with the deals, I just wanted to share with all my readers!