Traveling through life with a timer and sneakers

Posts tagged “friends

Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10k Recap

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Last Thanksgiving I was two weeks into the HMR Core program and planned on waking up early to cheer on the runners going past my apartment complex. Instead I stayed curled up on the couch enjoying a shake and watching the parade on television. My family went on a one mile walk that evening and I thought that was a lot of activity.

This year was going to be different. Several coworkers and I planned on running the Turkey Trot when our school had made the announcement we would try to get enough registrants for a company tent (we didn’t unfortunately) and a number of friends also signed up to run or walk either the 5 or 10k.

As debate season stretched on, I made my goal just to finish the 10k giving it my absolute best but my primary focus was having fun, not trying for a PR. I started talking to friends and was excited to have several friends who wanted to run with me! I have always felt too slow for most of my runner friends so it was exciting that I might start and finish with people I knew.

I worked the parking lot for packet pick-up the day before the race, so I already knew to expect an insane number of people on race day. Luckily the 10k started 40 minutes before the 5k which meant most of the crowds would arrive after we started.

My friend Susan met up at my apartment and we did a slow mile jog to the starting area in order to warm up for the race. We met up with our friends Julie, Pete and Kim. Susan and Kim were running the 5k and Pete and Julie and I were running the 10k. We met up in the front of the 8-9 minute pace area. There weren’t walled corrals and it was self-seeding but wearing bright colors and identifiable head gear made it easy to find each other. Check out my turkey legs!

The race started and somehow we ended up near the very front of the 10k starting line (less than a minute between gun and chip time). I was hoping to keep a sub-9 minute for as long as I could without making it impossible to breathe because I knew I had been doing it on my own time and now I had friends who could help me. In fact, every time I felt myself slowing down, one of them would pull slightly ahead which helped me do an internal check and realize I was totally capable of maintaining the faster pace. Gotta check the internal laziness sometimes!

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We race along folks holding signs and weaved around those slowing to a walk. Most of the 10k felts very similar to the Rock and Roll half course (well for the first segment) which helped me feel confident in my pacing.

When we reached the SAP center, we saw hundreds of 5k folks who had arrived who were trying to walk to the start line. Unfortunately it meant traveling through the height of the 10k runners as there wasn’t another way to get to the start from where they parked! A friend later told me she felt like she was playing frogger to get to the 5k (her first time at the Turkey Trot as well).

My shoe was untied at mile 5 which definitely meant a quick safety stop. But that quick pause helped me assess my energy level and I picked up the pace as we wound around through the neighborhood I call home.

During that 5th mile, Julie reminded me where I was at one year ago and suddenly I felt alive. I tried to hold back tears (don’t want to get dehydrated!) and instead funneled the momentum into my legs. I continued to push through in mile 6, shaving over 30 seconds off the previous mile and running my fastest mile in the race!

As we got near the finish, I wanted to push for a finishing kick but didn’t think I had it in me. Julie kept up the positive cheerleading she had been giving throughout the race and told me to follow her. She picked up the pace and I followed as we pushed through and finished strong.

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I looked at my Garmin when we crossed the finish and I had shaved over three minutes off my 10k PR from September! I couldn’t believe it! I also shaved 5 seconds off my 5k PR from October! My official finishing time was 54:59!!!

Aside from needing water right away from the cold dry air (I didn’t bring my own hydration on the course like previous 10ks), I felt amazing! When we walked through the finishing chute area and saw the start for the 5k, I almost wanted to join friends there and go around again!

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We made our way to the finishers village where we found a plethora of supportive snacks and then wandered out the other side to cheer on all of our friends at the 5k including my husband who rocked the race (and almost missed seeing me cheer for him). It was so much fun and I stayed and cheered the runners and walkers until the last few folks at the end passed by.

The group that puts on this race also puts on the Santa Run 5k on December 14. I can’t to dress up and enjoy another holiday jaunt around downtown San Jose!

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How to lose weight the easy way…

Cut off an arm!

But on a serious note, I have recently learned from friends that a few acquaintances have been overheard saying I am losing weight “the easy way” and my only wish is that I had heard them say it.

I am not big on confrontation, but I do think this is an issue that needs confronting. There is not an “easy” way to lose weight and I am so sick of all of the judgement that exists about various diet and health choices. From the stigma of weight loss surgery to the negative attitudes about meal replacements, I just don’t understand why people feel they have the right to label one method or another “easy.”

I have been on the HMR Diet for 227 days. That is 227 days where I have had to say no to all the delicious food out there in the world. It’s 227 days of eating the same general meals. It’s 227 days of dragging my butt to do some sort of exercise. It’s 227 days of mental and physical battles.

And yes, I have lost over 100 pounds in those 227 days. And yes, that seems fast. But to me those 227 days seem like years and years of struggling.

In truth, it has been years of struggle. My first attempt at a diet was in high school when I went with my mother to a Weight Watchers meeting. And I have been dieting in some form ever since.

I know how hard it is to count calories, points, carbs, vegetables, meal replacements, cups of juice, glasses of water, grams of protein and more. None of it is easy.

The difference this time is that I have found success because I have found something I can manage. Which makes it look easy.

However, I still have to fight to get every pound off. I have to take notes and learn in every health class so I can continue to form habits to keep the weight off once it is gone. I will have to continue my health education when I begin the long process of transitioning from Phase One Decision Free to Healthy Solutions and eventually to Phase Two. It is a long and time consuming process but it is what I need to do to be successful.

Ultimately when I hear someone say someone took the “easy way out” to lose weight, what I hear is jealousy. It is the same jealousy I could hear coming from my mouth years ago when I watched someone else be successful in their weight loss journey taking a different route than the diet I had prescribed myself to. I wasn’t successful. She was. Clearly her path was easier.

I was wrong about her path. And if you think my path has been easy, you are also wrong.

It sure as hell hasn’t been easy. But it does work for me. And I am healthier because of it. You are welcome to join me.


Juggling Jealousy – Dealing with those who can’t deal

“I need to eat now. I’m starving and all I have had is a coffee and banana today,” she said.

“Let’s wait until we get back to the hotel and have our picnic & chill by the pool time as planned,” I responded.

“I haven’t gotten to eat recently. I’m starving. You wouldn’t understand because you ate one of your meal things and had a shake,” she snapped back. “I want pizza now!”

“Your fancy coffee and banana had more calories than everything I consumed today. I know you are hungry, as am I, but the pizza will take awhile to make, time we could have spent getting back to the hotel so let’s all be happy and have what we planned.” I replied, my nerves near breaking point.

Everyone has at least one. The friend who can’t handle their own appetite and food choices and thus probably also can’t handle when you are finally in control of your health. Whether it’s ignorance or jealousy that inspires their actions, one may never know. However on my ninth week of the HMR Diet, I have been tested to extreme levels. And now I let it all out in hopes it helps someone else relate.

“I’m on a special diet. I’m gluten-free,” she tells the waiter. Then asks him twenty questions. Then once he leaves proceeds to tell me everything I already knew.

“I know. I have known you for many years. I have lived with people who have an even stricter allergy. I understand,” I assure her.

I do understand. And having had serious food reactions over the years, I can relate to the anxiety when ordering. However, once you explain you understand and you sympathize, you expect this will be the end of the conversation. Yet for her it continues. It manifests her every conversation. Did you know she couldn’t have gluten? Did you know other people don’t know what gluten is? 

I wonder if I was like this. If I annoyed people to no end talking about my food allergies and intolerances? I would hope it didn’t consume my life the way it had obviously consumed hers. 

Now that I am on HMR, I don’t talk about my food unless asked. I realize that there isn’t a reason to remind people I can’t have what they are having. I don’t need to make someone else feel guilty for the choices I am making to be healthy. What others choose to eat should not make me angry at the world. And I recognize that for her, it does. She is angry. She wants people to know she is special. She needs the attention that comes with the special need. And I resent her for it because in the constant nasal whine about her special needs, she has forgotten those who are with her may also have their own struggles.

Rather than assert myself at first, I let her make jokes at my expense:

“You can watch me eat and drool over it all,” she grins.

“I’ll drink and you can watch,” she reminds me.

“I’m so hungry I could eat just about anything on this menu,” she pronounces at lunch. “Too bad you can’t.”

Roles reversed and she would never let her audience hear the end of it. She has special needs and how dare you remind her she can’t have something. However, she sees nothing wrong with taunting me.

Why is it okay for her to do it?

It’s not. And eventually, I can’t take it anymore. In my head I talk openly how cruel it is that people would taunt people with things they cannot have. But in reality, I just use logic to prevail. We don’t end up at a pizza joint this time, however I suspect she will push again. And indeed the next day the passive aggressiveness begins:

“Well I guess pizza is out since someone here can’t handle being around it,” she huffs.

If the crust wasn’t gluten-free, the pot would meet the kettle. Instead I firmly assert myself. Saying that I wouldn’t go, suggesting alternatives to the sweet smelling pizza parlor, and finally suggesting she could go alone and the rest of us could go else where. With an eye roll and heavy sigh, she accepts one of the many alternatives proposed.

I am told by others that her behaviors reek of jealousy. And perhaps they do. She doesn’t have someone to be gluttonous with. To stuff face until our stomaches spill over our shorts. Instead she has someone who is working against those habits. Who is fighting for her own health rather than focusing all of the attention on the special one’s needs.

Her diet may define her. Mine does not define me. Food is not longer my whole life. And while I will continue to defend my needs, I will not defend to the point of it consuming my life. There is so much in the world besides food. And I am determined to experience it.