Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Family Gets It...

Jacket, socks, shoes, Under Armour, Garmin.. my family GETS IT.

Naturally I had to run last night to test all of this out.  My fiancĂ© said "Call me if you get cold and need a pick up."  Later, he told me he was happy I had a hobby that made me so happy and healthy.

What a year it has been!

Merry Christmas or happy Chinese food and movie day to you!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Running through fields of snow...

I've been very open to trying new things this year, but I had mixed feelings about the Rudolph XC 5k I was registered to run yesterday.  We got snow on Thursday and it was cooooold!  I'm so glad I went, because I had a blast!

Running through fields of snow..  laughing all the way!
Definitely my first race where I had to be on the lookout for (rein)deer poo! I also had trouble with the hallow heel of my Mizuno filling up with snow - by the end of the race it felt like I was running in heels.  Something to think about before my next XC race!

Post-race pose with Santa

A great way to end my 2010 racing!  Looking forward to setting and reaching more goals in 2011!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Field Trip!

These were my favorite jeans at one time!
The incredibly patient and understanding Alan Ali from Sweating Until Happy asked me many, many moons ago to write a guest post for his blog.  After months (yeah.. really... no, I'm not proud!) I wrote about the my weight loss journey!  So, give me your permission slip, grab your lunch box, and head on over to read my story!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jingle Bell Run RR

Miserableness, be gone! Warming up by the fire in my Hero Hat, post race!

Honestly, I was probably due for a not-so-great race.  Was I mentally prepared for a not-so-great race?

Absolutely not.

I was really excited to run the Jingle Bell Run, which benefits the Arthritis Foundation. Most of my excitement came from being diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 6, and the support my family and I received from the Arthritis Foundation. This felt like giving back! This was giving back!  I excitedly set up a fundraising webpage, met my goal, and planned matching t-shirts with my favorite running buddy. My 5k PR is 31:17, and this was my last chance to try to get to 30:xx before 2011. I've been faster every time, so this will be easy, right? HA!

I self destructed before mile 1.  This race was HUGE compared to others I've run. My largest has been 200-300 participants. This had over 800.  I did not realize the effect this would have on everything. Instead of focusing on my pace, breathing, and then getting myself into a groove enjoying the scenery, I spent the first half of the race dodging, shifting, trying to move around people, and trying to move out of other people's way. I'm guessing this used up a lot more energy than I am used to.

As I bobbed and weaved through the (very friendly!) crowd, I started playing with the thought of taking a break from running. I could take a break and start again in the Spring, right?  What?  I love to run! I've never even once considered stopping. I was feeling miserable, and setting up a nice pity party for myself.

Before mile 2, I got a side stitch.  That's usually a sign that I'm going waaaaaaay too fast.  I checked my pace - nope.  11:07, slower than usual and much slower than what I wanted it to be.  I slowed my pace even more, hoping the stitch would go away.

Before the race, I was told this was a pretty flat course, adding to my hopes of a PR.  Not even close.We ran a paved trail around a lake, and it was hilly! Really hilly.  Colorado mountains hilly.  Overstating things there a bit, but hills - not my strength (I'm working on it!) and especially not when they roll one after another. I was starting to feel kind of crappy, so I started walking. Got rid of the cramp, got my breathing under control. Started running again.

This is my first winter running, and I'm still mastering how to dress.  The temps were in the 30's.  Before the race I was freezing, then I got really hot, then freezing again.  I'm not one of those people that handles cold very well, so I continued feeling miserable. I could not get my breathing under control.  I was tired. I started walking again, and I must have looked pretty bad because people were slowing down to ask if I was okay.

When I knew the finish was near, I picked it back up.  I fell in with a really nice couple, and told them about my diagnosis, and that I was obese a year ago. So, 25 years ago, I had trouble walking, using my hands.. A year ago I was OBESE. I was well over 200 pounds.  Here I am, in remission, down almost 70 pounds - why am I so miserable? Every race won't be a PR.  Some races might flat out suck! I'm out here on a cold December morning GETTING IT DONE!

My official time was 36:37. My GPS says 35:41.  Not even close to my 30 minute goal, and my slowest 5k time ever, but respectable.

Post race, I got a Hero Hat (felt special!) Arthritis isn't one of those sexy diseases with catchy sayings and cute ribbons. When you are 6 with RA, you are kind of a freak. I liked the hat, even though the teenage volunteer looked skeptical when I claimed mine. "You have arthritis?" Yeah.. I'm used to that! Got some water, an apple and some cheese, but skipped the free Starbucks line.  It was too long, even though it smelled amazing!  Warmed up by an outdoor fireplace, which felt HEAVENLY!

I was really bothered by this race for the rest of the day.  I was able to narrow down a few things that went wrong.

1. I lost 2 pounds this week, which at this stage for me is a lot.  I am have found that I am more tired and have difficulty with harder workouts after a big weight loss week.  Not enough fuel, I guess. (Weight loss is almost done, this shouldn't be an issue in the future)

2. I did not eat a good breakfast.  I usually eat Whole Wheat Cream of Wheat and 2 cups of coffee.  I had a banana and one cup. My body did not appreciate that. (Easiest to fix.  Eat breakfast, silly.)

3. I was unprepared for the crowd size.  One of those things you learn by doing! (Lesson learned)

4. I was unprepared for the course.  I did not mentally prepare myself for hills... constant... hills... (Be more mentally flexible - not one of my strong points!)

5. I don't like the cold. (Move to Hawaii!)

I have one more race on December 18, which is a cross country race. Not sure what to expect there, so my goal is to complete it and have fun!  Thinking of running a half marathon on my birthday in May, so I won't be taking that break I was thinking of during the race after all! :)

Have you had one of these races?  Gone in with high hopes, but ended up just being happy to finish?  Were you able to pin down why things went wrong?  Share with me please!  I'm learning!

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Christmas Fit List

Inspired by Kat from Kat Does Diets I am sharing my Christmas Fit List. These items are from my Amazon wish list, making it very easy for people in my life (cough cough) to get my exactly the right thing!

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New shoes!

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Sexy insoles!
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Garmin 305!

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Arm warmers!
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Stocking stuffer

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"Will run for margaritas"

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Keep those ears toasty!

What's on yours?

Weight loss... in pictures!

A picture is worth a thousand words. Here's a few thou for ya!
Before. Obviously.  Size 22.  June 2008
After! Size 6, post reindeer race 11/10! 65 pounds gone!

Nice little side by side comparison after 45 pound loss.

If I'm funny.. no one will notice that I'm fat.
Donated this swimsuit yesterday!  Isn't that an oddly placed roll?
It's gone!
He has ALWAYS made me feel beautiful, no matter my size!

Size 12, getting there!  I felt so good about myself when this was taken!
June 2010

Size 10/12, midsummer 2010

Size 10 jeans! August 2010

Size 8/10, October 2010.  Never would I EVER have worn leggings!
New me.. so happy!

Friday, November 26, 2010


2010 was a difficult year.

That is probably the understatement of the century.

However, instead of wallowing in the badness - I rose above! I'm really proud to be able to look back and see how I've been able to find healthy, productive ways to deal.

My beloved grandfather passed away in February.  Exactly one month later, my fiancĂ©s father was found dead in his home. He was only 58, and it was completely unexpected.  I'm so proud that I was strong for Mike and his 18 year old sister, while being able to support my mother (she had a really difficult time with my grandfather's passing.)  I'm amazed that I was able to deal with the police, medical examiners, out of town family, make funeral arrangements. That seems like something for REAL adults to do - I'm not one of them yet!

We also lost Mike's mom's twin... at this point the losses just seem like rubbing salt into a very raw wound.

That series of events through MANY things into my life into a tailspin.  Some are really personal, and not blog fodder, but know that March, April, May, June, and July were ugly, ugly times. We made our engagement official in May (yay!) and that little ray of sunshine helped to get me through.

I was very unhappy in my previous job (as earlier postings show), but instead of feeling bad for myself (well... I did that a bit too) I made moves.  Changed to a new school in a new city teaching a new grade.  I was TERRIFIED, but I did it!

In the midst of all of this - I lost 65 pounds.  I am a runner, and I think that is definitely part of what has kept me sane.  The alone time with nature, time to think, time to process has really helped.  I'm reaching goals, reaching them, and setting new ones. I always wanted to be a runner - and now I am one!  I've stepped out of my box to try new activities like boot camp, Zumba, and kickboxing.  I got up on a rainy Thanksgiving morning to run a 5k?  WHO AM I?

I am Bonnie! I am strong - physically and emotionally. This year (the past 7 years, really) has been so hard, but my growth has been nothing short of phenomenal. I know of at least two other people that have undertaken weight loss journeys thanks to my example.

 I think about my grandfather, and I hope I make him proud. I think of Mike's dad, and I hope he sees me taking care of his children.

I know 2011 will bring more joy and more pain.  I'm not scared.  I'm ready for what comes my way, and I know where to turn for support when I need it.  And of course, I will keep running!

Monday, May 17, 2010

"What's the secret?"

I have lost 24.7 pounds since January 4th.  Stress has helped it along - work sucks this year, my grandfather  passed away, Mike lost his dad unexpectedly.  A huge lifestyle change is what has really kept me moving.  I am working towards cutting out processed foods, I exercise 3-4 times a week... I obsess a bit.

Everyone wants the secret.  I understand, I totally wanted a magic bullet that would pull off the weight I gained as I ate my way through a very difficult time in my life.  I tried EVERYTHING!  Every fad diet known to man, tried and true programs - nothing worked!  Making healthy choices for my body made the difference.  So, as I get asked over and over, I have to give the boring answer no one wants to hear - healthy choices and exercise!

Physically and mentally, I am the strongest I have ever been.  My hellish time at work, helping my loved ones through crazy, stressful situations - I was the strong one! 

I really don't mind "What's the secret?"  because it reminds me that my changes show.  I can't see the difference in my body, except for the dramatic change in my clothing size.  I just wish I had a more exciting answer :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

A great teacher..

My Grandaddy was a great teacher. The very best teachers don’t teach by lecturing. They educate through example and experience.

By example, my Grandaddy taught me that mistakes can be blessings in disguise. When he joined the Air Force, an error was made in his paperwork. Transposed numbers resulted in a career path change from a telephone line repairman to a photographer. Instead of getting angry or fussing, Grandaddy went with the flow. That small mistake changed the entire course of his life.

By example, my Grandaddy taught me that the old saying is true. It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice. As a child, I eagerly awaited his frequent trips to visit out family in Maryland. He always had a list of activities in mind – local restaurants, of course, but also visits to landmarks and monuments. He would always stop and take pictures of people we didn’t know. I was confused, and he explained to me that pictures of entire families are priceless treasures, and if one member of the family is taking the picture, they aren’t in it. As I grew older, I followed his example. I get strange looks sometimes, but I usually get the shot.

While walking through a parking lot once, Grandaddy went over to an unfamiliar car and opened the door. Before I could say anything, he was in, out and closing the door. “They left their lights on,” he said. Although he was a highly respected, decorated war hero, he never expected better service or different treatment from anyone else. He didn’t brag. He was kind and respectful to all people, unless they messed up his change, forgot his receipt, or skipped him when he was waiting in line.

By example, my Grandaddy showed the importance of not wasting your life. My sorrow at his passing is tempered by seeing the lives he touched and listening to stories about the things he did – and wow, he did a lot! He wasn’t referred to as the Energizer Bunny for nothing! When asked how he managed to do so much, he explained “I just never sit down. If I sit down, I won’t get back up.” I will strive in life to say yes, accept unplanned detours in the road of life, and to do my best to show kindness to everyone.

This week, my Grandaddy taught me one final lesson. By example, my Grandaddy taught me that death isn’t scary. Death, to me, had been shrouded in mystery, usually heard of by a late night or early morning phone call. As his body grew weaker, I hesitated before answering an early morning phone call from my mother. I was honored to be with the family as my beloved Grandaddy left to be with the Lord. His passing was peaceful and as dignified as he always was.

My Grandaddy lives on through his wife, his three children, 6 grandchildren and great grandson, as well as other generations that will follow. How we live our lives, the choices we make, are the parts of him he left behind. Though I am heartbroken by his passing, I know that now he has truly “slipped the surly bonds of earth...put out his hand, and touched the face of God.”

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Let it snow!

The amazing amount of snow days this year (the school year I hate the most) is proof that God loves me and wants me to be happy.