Monday, August 31, 2009

This is Jen, being honest and open.

I was contemplating posting about this, but then I remembered an email I got from a friend that reads my blog. The email basically went along the lines of...thank you for sharing, I'm glad you're so honest, and it's nice to know that I'm not the only one that struggles with running. Obviously not verbatim, but basically just thankful for my candid honesty.

Folks, as my blog title reads "No one said it was easy", it's not always, in fact, sometimes it sucks! Just plain and simple, sucks! Don't get me wrong, I still love running, but I still get those moments where I hate, hate, hate it!

Saturday was one of those days...

I was scheduled for a 90 minute run. Right now I'm running for time, and I set distance goals, but ultimately the time is the most important. My goal was to hit 7 miles, the longest I've run since my half marathon in February. I was planning to run outside. Friday night I mapped out a 3.5 mile loop, charged my Garmin, and drank plenty of water. Not wanting to wake up too early, I set my alarm for 9:30. I woke up, drank a glass of water, got ready, filled up a water bottle, got in my car, and hit the road.

I just woke up a little off, but tried to get myself in a good mindset. When I parked my car, I was uneasy, but once again, tried to shrug it off. Having the map memorized in my head, and the turns/streets written down on a little piece of paper, I was ready to go.

One thing you hould know about me, that would help explain this, is that I am horrible with directions. I realize many people say that, but I'm awful! I study maps, I write down directions, I've tried everything, I'm just bad at it. My brain doens't like directions for some reason. And when I don't know where I am I get very stressed out, almost panic-y type stressed!

Anyways, I got lost. Luckily I brought my running pouch and put my iPhone in it, so I stopped my timer, and pulled out the iPhone. Not only was I lost, but the streets I was supposed to turn on were NOT on the iPhone. I still don't even know if the roads exist, but to me, at that point, they did not exist. Believe me, I had some choice words, yelled allowed, at the road makers, city planners, satellite picture takers, everyone! I was lost, and I was stressed.

Trying to calm myself I thought about my options. I could keep running, but then how would I get back to my car? What if I run, get even more lost, and can't find my way back to my car? Unfortunately due to the heat, having hot water at that point, and the fact that I was so stressed, I called it a day. That, of course, made me more pissed!

I ran back to my car, the run lasted 20 minutes and was 1.5 miles long. Not good, in fact, it was very, very bad!

Honestly, at that point, I felt like s###.* I went home and broke down. I felt like such a hack. Like How could I run outside if I got lost? and What kind of runner can't even run outside? At that point, I was ready to quit. I was ready to tell running I was done. I didn't care that my next half marathon was only 6 weeks away. Luckily my wonderful boyfriend, and love of my life, assured me that I was a runner. So what if I had a bad run? He also reassured me that I said these same exact thing and felt the same exact way before my last half marathon.

Sometimes I still get in the funk. I can't run 5 miles without stopping. Honestly, 2 miles is hard for me. I'm slow. I still have weight to lose. Sometimes I don't feel like a "runner".

Luckily, Sunday, I had an awesome run! It was just what I needed. I woke up at 6:30 to beat the heat, brought a water and GU2O, and hit local track! I wanted to run outside, so that's what I needed to do to make it happen. The text I sent to my boyfriend after my run was: "7 miles. 90 minutes. 12:48 min/mi avg. 821 calories. I {bleebing}* rule." In which his reply was: "Awesome! You're a badass."

So there, that's it. That's me being open and honest. I don't ask for sympathy, I'm fine. I don't mean this to be a complaining or even venting session, it's just me, and my love/hate relationship with running.

I hope this helps someone out there that may be feeling the same way.

* Sorry if my bleeps or !@#$ offend you. I know it's not "lady like" as my Texan friends would say, but I tend to have a potty mouth in intense moments. I'm a very intense person, and sometimes in my frustration, anger, or even excitement I curse. So I really hope it doesn't offend you! I'm just keepin' it real! ;)

Friday, August 28, 2009

First Garmin Run!

Wow, this thing is freaking cool!

Last week I ordered my very first Garmin Forerunner 305 on It came in the mail on Wednesday, and yesterday was the first time I tested it out.

The run was interesting to say the least. For those of my Austin readers, you know the weather has been strange at best...

After work, I drove down to the lake, strapped on my heart rate monitor, Garmin on my wrist, ready to run! The temperature was 97 degrees with 45% humidity...miserable! Since this was the 5th run I've done outside since May, I had to walk a bit, which at first pissed me off, but quickly realized that I needed to take it slow if I was that hot.

I was scheduled for a 30 minute run. At about minute 18, the clouds rolled in and it started POURING RAIN! Temperature dropped to the 70's (so my car said), and I looked like a cute little runner girl/drowned rat...picture that! It was a pretty sight! ;)

Finished off the run for 2 reasons:
  1. I'm that hardcore! haha
  2. I was on a trail...not much choice but to run the lap!
Another toy I got in the mail on Wednesday, my new camera! I dabble in photography and was so stoked to get my new camera. I bought a Canon EOS Digital SLR Rebel XS.

I'm planning to take the camera out this weekend to a couple of spots I've been eyeing around town that I've been waiting to shoot until I got my new camera!

Here are a few shots I got last night...Winston was such a good sport in front of the camera! :)

You can check more here if you want: adrinahDESIGN - photography

Happy Friday!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I've turned my back on boxing for far too long...

OMG, I'm so excited!

A little over a year ago (before I started running) I picked up boxing. Not kickboxing, regular boxing! Boxing done in a boxing gym - with no air conditioning, even in the dead of summer. You know, with rings, and bags, and 3 minute timers, and world champ boxers...ya, that kind. Man did I love it! That's really what kicked off my getting in shape mindset. I haven't actually fought in a ring (despite my boxing coaches wishes) because I like my face, I've never broken my nose, and I don't think black eyes look good on me! :)

Sadly, I haven't boxed in about 4 months. It was very hard to keep up boxing towards the tail end of my half marathon training. I was finding such a hard time running as much as I was running and finding time to box, let alone having the energy all while preparing for our huge annual convention at work, working 10-12 hour days.

I've turned my back on boxing for far too long...

I've missed it. I have honestly felt like I was missing something. That's how much I love boxing.

Boxing is one of those things (running, you may want to stop reading at this point) that I truly love. I've never hated it. It's strange, because it hurts, a lot, but I've never hated it. Running, as much as I love it, and I will never leave it (hell, I gave up boxing for it), but I have hated it so! Seriously, there have been many times that I have truly, deeply, from the bottom of my heart HATED running...but, like I said, I'd never leave it!

So, on to the good news, the news that I'm so excited about! I've worked it out with my running coach (my dad) so that I can incorporate boxing again. I am so thrilled. I can't wait to wrap my hands, strap the gloves on, and go at it. Now that I'm losing a little more weight, I can't wait to tone my arms and abs up a little bit. Boxing kicks my ass! When I'm done, I feel on top of the world (much like I do after a good, hard run!).

This is what my new training schedule will look like:
Monday - run
Tuesday - run and box
Wednesday - life cycle
Thursday - run and box
Friday - day off
Saturday - long run
Sunday - day off

I hope I can find a happy medium between two of my loves: running and boxing. Hopefully they can live together in harmony.

Friday, August 21, 2009

This heart of mine

I was tagged in: "Show Your Heart" by Morgan over at Caution: Redhead Running. As promised, here is my heart!

The tag reads: "with as much creativity as you can muster, show your heart in: a picture, poem, a song (or piece of music), a phrase (or quote), an item of clothing, a place, and (just for fun) a Disney princess.

Here goes...hope you all enjoy!


This photo was taken a few years ago. It's my boyfriend (often referred to as "the love of my life" here in this blog). This might be my favorite photo of us. I love him so!

- - - - -


It's all I have to bring today
by Emily Dickinson

It's all I have to bring today,

This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget, --
Someone the sum could tell, --
This, and my heart, and all the bees
Which in the clover dwell.

- - - - -


The Day Before You by Rascal Flatts

I had all but given up on finding
The one that I could fall into
On the day before you
I was ready to settle for
Less than love and not much more
There was no such thing as a dream come true
Oh, but that was all the day before you

Now you're here and everything's changing
Suddenly life means so much
I can't wait to wake up tomorrow
And find out this promise is true
I will never have to go back to
The day before you

In your eyes I see forever
Makes me wish that my life never knew
The day before you

Oh, but Heaven knows those years without you
Were shaping my heart for the that day I found you
If you're the reason for all that I've been through
Then I'm thankful for the day before you

Now you're here and everything's changing
Suddenly life means so much
I can't wait to wake up tomorrow
And find out this promise is true
I will never have to go back to
The day before you

Was the last day that I ever needed alone
And I'm never going back
No I'm never going back

Now you're here and everything's changing
Suddenly life means so much
I can't wait to wake up tomorrow
And find out this promise is true
No I'm never going back
I will never have to go back to
The day before you

- - - - -


"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"
- Peter Maher, Olympian runner

- - - - -

Item of Clothing

I love my ASU sweatshirt. It's so comfortable. So soft. And it stands out in this town full of Longhorns! :)

- - - - -


This is a road just outside of Austin called Lime Creek Road. It's not necessarily THIS particular place that I love, it's all places out of the ordinary when the love of my life is with me, and I have a camera in hand. I love exploring new places, and even familiar places with a new lens!

- - - - -

Disney Princess

For me, that’s easy. Snow White! Growing up, she was the only Princess with fair skin and dark hair like me! So I love her!

- - - - -

Thanks for the tag, Morgan!

Tag - You're it; ladies, show us your heart! :)

5 Miles 2 Empty - just checked your archive, and saw that you too showed us your heart and even tagged me! So sorry I missed that!!!

Em over at Follow Emma

Mel at 2nd Chances

Meredith at Balance for MEre

JRTRUNR at 26 Miles to the Finish Line

Oh, it adds up so fast!

Since I made the total 180 degree change with my life, I've slowly become more and more healthy. In the beginning I didn't really follow a plan, I didn't have a regular workout or exercise routine, I was just in an all around healthier mindset. Simple decisions like: let's not get fast food or let's take the dog for another lap or two outside. Nothing like: I'm going to run 3 miles today or I won't let myself consume more than 1800 calories a day.

Well, the "all around healthier mindset" that I just mentioned (in my experience) can only get you so far. Sure, it's a great start, because, well, it's a start, but eventually (once again in my experience) you need something more strict.

So, by now, I'm sure you all know about my much healthier, stricter eating habits (it's not a diet, diet's don't work!). If you haven't, read this. Cliff Notes: I'm eating between 1500-1800 calories a day and eating lots of small meals. Not to mention my running...but that goes without saying by now!

Anyways, this has been such a major eye opener for me. I think the hardest part for me was eating out. I eat out probably 3-4 times a week (including weekends and buying lunch at work), but that 3-4 times a week can be dangerous. Since tonight is date night with the love of my life, we are going to do dinner and a movie (so cliche, but I love it!). I've gotten in the habit of checking out the menu of restaurants BEFORE I go to eat there. Almost every restaurant has an online menu, and many have nutritional information. If it doesn't you can break it down and get a good estimate of the nutritional information for each menu item.

Looking at the menu, I didn't see too many things that both appealed to me (I refuse to eat boring food that I won't enjoy) and was healthy enough.

Right off the bat I nixed all entree salads because of words like "crispy", "creamy", "sweet", etc. Those words are major red flags for me! My eye instantly went to what I thought was one of the tastiest "healthy" items on the menu. Definitely what I would have ordered in my "all around healthier mindset" days... Here it is, let my break it down...

Chicken Club - Ooooh Chicken, it must be healthy...right?!
  • Grilled Chicken Breast - 3 oz = 100 calories
  • "Sweet" Roll - my guess is 250 calories
  • Swiss Cheese - 100 calories
  • Bacon - 2 slices = 100 calories
  • Chipotle Mayo - at least 100 calories (restaurants go crazy with Mayo)
  • Lettuce, tomato, onion - 20 calories
  • French Fries - at least 250 calories
So, do you see how this "healthy" chicken sandwich isn't so healthy? Not including the fries, we're looking at about 670 calories...include the fries and it's more than 900 calories! 900 calories?!

So...I've already decided what I'm going to do. To refrain from being "that girl" at the restaurant that orders everything crazy-special, I'm going to order the Chicken Club with no cheese or mayo and order a side salad (with dressing on the side so I can control how much I use) instead of the ever so delicious french fries. Then I am going to proceed to eat it with a fork and knife with no bun...maybe I'll eat one side of the bun like and open face sandwich. I just cut that meal from 920 calories to about 420 calories.

People want to know how I gained weight? That's adds up SO fast, and so do the extra pounds. You think you're eating healthy but you have no idea just how unhealthy that chicken sandwich really is...not to mention portion sizes, but that's a whole other topic that I'm sure I'll blog about sometime.

A few things I'm excited about that I just bought/ordered...
  • CookingLight cookbook - 5 ingredient, 15 minute recipes
  • 200 recipes under 200 calories - cookbook (in line with my "lots of small meals a day" motto)
  • My very first Garmin Forerunner 305...yes, folks, it's about time! Yay, I'm excited!
And...I just found out that my redheaded runner blogging buddy tagged me in "Show us you heart". I will not let you down! Check back this weekend!!! :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Whoa, time out!

Seriously, I need a time out. Have you ever just wanted to pause life? Not stop and fast forward or rewind*, just pause. Pause for any amount of time you need: a day, week, month...whatever. Go and chill or thinking about things, then come an press play again.

That is SO what I need right now.

* Even if rewinding or fast forwarding life was possible, I wouldn't do it. I believe that everything that happens (good, bad, and ugly) all happens for a reason and that all of those things make up the person you are today. Take just one little event out, who knows what you'd be like today.

The past few weeks have been an insane dose of reality and adulthood. Kind of all at once. Honestly, I don't see it slowing down at all in the near future. In fact, I foresee it getting worse long before it gets better. I need a hiatus.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'm happy. I'm very happy actually. I love my life. I love my job, my boyfriend, I love running. Most importantly, I love myself, and am very happy with myself. I'm just a bit overwhelmed, or stressed. Not quite sure how to describe it.

Anyways, to celebrate me wanting (er, needing rather) a hiatus, I'm taking one. Starting at 4:30pm on Friday afternoon, I am officially on vacation for 4 days! That's right folks, it's well deserved, well needed, and way past due!

It's going to start with date night with the love of my life to my favorite spot in Austin. Don't laugh, but this is my favorite place to go in Austin.

When we moved here and I found out that they have a theater that shows current movies and serves you food and beer, I was like "SO COOL!" and now it's my favorite place! We are going to see Inglourious Basterds (the Quenten Tarintino movie). The Draft House always goes all out for movies like this, so it should be really fun!

Then, on Sunday, we are going to Sea World! Whooo, Sea World. Seriously, I'm so excited about this. I haven't been to Sea World in years. I'm excited to see all the animals. I can't wait for the shows. The rides. It's going to be fun.

The website says the first 20 rows of the Shamu show are "plash zones"...we will SO be sitting within the first 20 rows!

Just what I need! Hopefully I come back I'm refreshed.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Potpourri blog post...

Goodness, so much on my mind! I need your help!

Ok, here goes...


After my half marathon in February my training sort of slacked off (not making excuses, but here's why):
  1. I am an Association Manager for a large education based state association and our Annual Convention (over 4500 attendees and 200 exhibitors) was 6 weeks after my half marathon. I was working 12 hours days in the office, often working from home nights and weekends. I'm not the actual meeting planner, but I do all registration, exhibitors, printed materials, basically everything other than booking the Convention Center, hotels, AV, rooms, etc. Needless to say, I was VERY busy...
  2. I wanted to work on speed for my 2 planned 5ks later that summer, so my longest runs were 3 or 4 miles.
  3. I didn't have a long distance race to train for in the near future. My next half marathon is in October.
So, with that said, I feel like I need to plan way ahead in my races. I feel like if I plan one long distance race after the other, I'll be more apt to continue training, and not slack off. Therefore leading to me getting in better shape, getting faster, healthier, and losing more weight. Also, since I am a planner by nature, I like knowing what's next, and what's after that, and after that, and so on! To get to my point...I have quite a few races that I know I want to do in the future, ultimately leading to the PF Changs Rock 'N' Roll Marathon (my first!) in January 2011...yes, 2011...too far in advanced? Here are the races I have planned (not necessarily signed up for yet):

Is that too far in advanced? How far in advance do you plan for races? Note: I made it a goal to do a race in at least 2 states a year...

I started a race group called "Race for Strays." Here's a little background. I am the founder of Basically it's my mission to help raise funds and awareness for animal shelters across the United States. My dog, Winston, is a rescue from Lebanon. Long story short, he was abused in Lebanon, sent to a shelter where it was bombed. He was found wandering the streets of Lebanon when an American soldier picked him up. He was sent to France for vet care, then sent to the US where I fell in love with him! I am a firm believer of adopting pets from animal shelters, so this really is a passion that I hold near and dear to my heart!

It's my goal through the racing team that I raise awareness about adopting from shelters instead of purchases from pet stores or breeders while raising funds for a local animal shelter. For my upcoming race in Austin, I am teaming up with a local shelter (Lifelong Friends Pet Adoptions) for the October 11 USA Productions Run Austin Run racing series. Runners on the team can participate in any of the 3 distances: 5k, 10k, and half marathon. Each runner is required to make a minimum donation that goes to the shelter, and is encouraged to raise funds on their own.

Anyways, if you are planning on doing one of the distances in Austin on October 11, I encourage you to think about participating on the team. Or if you find it in your heart to make a donation (large or's all needed in these times and every bit helps) you can visit the website for more information!

While getting towards the tail end of your training, do you cut back on anything, like caffeine or alcohol intake? For some reason I have it in my head that I need to cut that out of my diet towards the end of my training. I don't drink that much of it. I have probably 3 coffees a week (skinny vanilla lattes from Starbucks) and maybe 2-3 glasses of alcohol a week (usually red wine or beer).

What are your thoughts? I really look forward to your input! :) Happy running!

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's a bitter sweet goodbye!

Today was a little bitter sweet. It marked the end of a love affair but the beginning of what I'm sure will be a wonderful and fruitful road!

Today I officially retired my very first pair of running shoes...

These shoes have carried me through so much. We've been through a lot together. They helped me escape. They helped me get healthier. All I had to do was lace them up and hit the road. They were always up for a run. They would sit there staring at me encouraging me to run when I didn't want to. They carried me through my first half marathon, then through two proceeding 5k races. I love these shoes. I'm sad to let them go. I tried to prolong it, but it's inevitable, shoes can't last forever...ooh that still leaves a sting! It sounds silly, but these shoes (to me) are a symbol of all I've been through to get to this point (the healthy point) in my life.

10/26/2008 - 8/14/2009 (355 miles)

The good news is, today started a new journey! Yet more proof to myself that I am a real runner! I tried them out today for a quick 1.8 mile run. I kept thinking, how new and fresh they felt, but just not the same. They didn't have that broken-in-molded-to-your-foot kind of feel. Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited to start this new love affair. They are new and shiny. I'm sure it won't take me long to break in these new kicks...I will fall in love with them all over again.


Before today's run I created a new playlist. I had been getting warn out of the same ol' songs, so I took some of your suggestions, found some new ones, and created a new list (keep in mind this was a short run).

  • U + Ur Hand by P!nk
  • Disturbua by Rihanna
  • So What by P!nk
  • Party In the USA by Miley Cyrus*
  • Use Somebody by Kings of Leon
  • Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon
  • List of Demands by Saul Williams
*I'm not so much a fan of Miss Cyrus, but I heard this song on the radio this past week and honestly thought "What a great upbeat running song" so don't judge! :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quick Thanks - Lift Your Sole

Today I got my charms from Lift Your Sole (my new favorite store). Here's my little review on Lift Your Sole...

To refresh your memory, I ordered:

The I (heart) 13.1 charm and 13.1 Shoe

to go along with the charms I bought from them in January: runner girl and 13.1 STRONG

and, because Jill at Lift Your Sole rocks SO much, she sent me this as a gift!

This magnet is going straight on my car first thing tomorrow morning!

Thanks Jill, you rock!

My dad, the best example!

My dad, such a great example!

I was reading a fellow blogger's blog 5 Miles 2 Empty and she blogged about track day with her son. She talks about how proud she is of him that he is growing up to live an active life. This made me think...

My dad has been such a wonderful example for me.

I've mentioned my dad before here or there in my blog. He's my coach. He's my example. He's also a great source of encouragement! In his teen years he started running track to help keep him in shape. After high school he joined the Marine Corps where (as you may know) you need to be in excellent shape! That's where he met my mom, fell in love, got married, and boom...I was born! Yes...both of my parents are former badass is that!?

Side Note: my mom is sweet, beautiful, caring, loving, gentle, but can be one badass tough cookie when need of the many wonderful traits I got from her! ;)

Through most of my adolescent/teen years my dad was very active. People said he was crazy, but in his 30's he decided that he was going to do an IronMan. Guess what? He did! And did another one, and another one, and more and more! I can't even count how many he's done, but it's rather impressive! My dad is a Marine and IronMan...I think that makes me cool just by association!

Loving it so much, and being the great teacher/coach that he is, he wanted to get his coaching certificate! He is now (and has been for a while) a USAT (USA Triathlon) certified coach! His company is called 3 in 1 Coaching.

I started running about a year ago. Not having the first clue about even the proper running shoe, let alone training schedule, I called my dad! Literally I asked him "Dad, I've never actually run before, there is a half marathon in 4 months, do you think I can do it?" His response "Of course you can!" He then set me up on a running/workout plan through his website (yes he can do distance coaching...we live in different states). He keeps a close eye on all his athletes and made sure I stayed on track. He encouraged me when I was having a hard time, and praised me on successful runs! There is a place to track all your stats including how the run made you feel on the training website. It even syncs with the Garmin...super cool!

I'm convinced that my success has to do with my dad. Not only has he been a great example of "'impossible' is nothing" but he's literally been my coach and encouragement through my "getting healthy and active" new lifestyle. I've got 1 half marathon, and 2 5ks under my belt. Another half marathon in October is coming up, a 5k in November, then we are doing a half marathon in December together! I gotta say, I'm pretty excited about that! I'm excited to start the race with my dad, and have him watching me cross that finish line (he's much faster than me!). The new talk is "So, Jen, when are you gonna do your first marathon?" I'd say probably the Phoenix Rock n' Roll Marathon in 2011 sounds good to me! :)

So to all you marathon/tri parents out there, keep up the good work. Your kids are watching! Although it may take a while to catch on (I was 23 when I started) your examples will leave a lasting impression. And dad, thank you for everything you do! You're the best dad ever!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Tunes

First, I want to say thanks to those who left positive, encouraging feedback on my Photos...lets get real! post. That was hard for me to post, but it was almost therapeutic! I've set up some even shorter term goals and rewards thanks to Meredith's idea! So check it out! I will be updating that page often. It's also linked up at the top of my page titled "Photo Journal!"

Lately I've been wearing my running play lists pretty thin! I feel like I've been listening to the same 15 or 20 songs over and over again and need a change. I always remember to create a new play list as i pull my iPod Nano out of my purse right before a that time I'm already in the running mindset and don't want to disturb it by firing up the iTunes and creating a new list. Here is what I have been listening to.

I really need some loud rhythmic music to listen to. I tend to like music that I would want to dance to but doesn't have to be.

What songs are a must for you to run to?

  • Untouched by The Veronicas
  • Points of Authority & 99 Problems by Linkin Park and Jay-Z (Collide)
  • Lying From You & Dirt off Your Shoulders by Linkin Park and Jay-Z (Collide)
  • Back That Azz Up by Juvenile
  • Lose Yourself by Einem
  • Real World by All American Rejects
  • Dance, Dance by Fall Out Boy
  • Fighter by Christina Aguilera
  • List of Demands by Saul Williams (check out this Nike Commercial - I love it! Favorite runnign song, and my favorite athlete ever is in it...Steve Nash!)
  • Walk this Way by Aerosmith with Run DMC
  • Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses (start every race to this song!)
  • My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson
  • Live Your Life by TI with Rihanna
  • Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolf and Lil Wayne
  • Where My Girls At by 702
  • Scotty Doesn't Know by Lustra (song from Eurotrip)
  • Brainstew by Green Day

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Photos...let's get real!

To help keep me on track, and motivate me, I started a folder in my photo's folder on my computer titled "Photo Journal." It's easy to follow a scale, but it's nice to see your improvement. I live in another state from all my family, so it's always a few months in between visits. They always notice and comment on how good I look, but it's tough to measure it visually, when you look at yourself in the mirror everyday. So, I started taking pictures to track my progress!

If you've gotten to this page of my blog, hopefully that means you've read the "How it All Began" page and understand that this IS hard for me to admit. I lived it. My family lived. You didn't. You didn't know how bad it got. People I've just met don't know how bad it got. So yes, it's a bit tough to admit. I just hope this helps motivate someone. Someone that thinks it's impossible. It's not! Someone that thinks they are the only one. You're not! I promise. Anyways, I hope it helps!

Note: I am 5'8"

November 24, 2005. I was 20. Junior year of college. I was the Made of Honor at my best friend's wedding. Don't know my exact weight, I'd say about 150-160.

December 15, 2005. I was 20. Junior year of college. I'd say about 150-160 lbs.

July 8, 2006. I was 21. I was a Bride's Made in another close friend's wedding. I was about 170-180 here.

May and June 2007. I was 22. This was at my college graduation party (black top) and right before I moved (pink shorts). I was 220 lbs (my heaviest).

This is right about where I decided something had to give (in December 2007). Also looked like I steered clear of the camera. Honestly can't find any photos until December 2008...

Christmas 2008. I was about 200 lbs. I was already 2 months into my half marathon training.

March 2009. Just finished my half marathon (2.15.09). I was 190 lbs and felt great!

May 2009 (left) and June 2009 (right). 180 lbs.

July 18, 2009. Another friend's wedding. 180lbs...still. See? I've plateaued.

Still working.

I will keep this updated every month or so as I lose more weight.

Short term goal: 160 lbs by December 31, 2009 (20 lbs from today 8.7.09)
Long term goal: 140 lbs by June 1, 2010 (my 25th birthday!)

EDIT: August 11, 2009

Short term goal: 170 lbs by October 11, 2009 (day of my next half marathon!)
Reward for 170 lbs: massage!

Short term goal: 160 lbs by December 31, 2009 (20 lbs from today 8.7.09)
Reward for 160 lbs: a new outfit from head to toe! (yes I like headbands and shoes!)

Short term goal: 150 lbs by March 1, 2010 (gives me 3 months to lose the last 10 lbs!)
Reward for 150 lbs: massage!

Long term goal: 140 lbs by June 1, 2010 (my 25th birthday!)
Reward for 140 lbs: piece of mind, pride, joy, a new body, a hotter body, a healthy body, satisfaction, and a new wardrobe

UPDATE - 10/27/2009

October 27, 2009 - 174 lbs

I'm trying, but it's not coming as quickly as I was hoping. The last little bit is always the hardest to lose. My goal was to be 170 by October 11...that did not happen. Close, but it didn't. I'm 174. I still want to stay on track for my December 31 goal of 160. I always plattue right before a race because I'm not running as many miles as normal but I eat the same amount. I need to be aware of this since I have two more races coming up before my final goal on June 1, 2010. Any suggestions?

Good news is, for the first time in a LONG time, I don't feel "heavy". I know I'm heavier than ideal weight, but I feel fit, I feel healthy, I feel strong, and I even feel thin. I'm still going for 140lbs, but at 174, I feel and look great!