Half Marathon Training … Again

This fall I will be running my tenth half marathon. Half, yes, not full. I ran one full marathon… that was enough for me. I may be convinced, however, to run the New York Marathon thanks to a certain Arkansas business consultant’s review of it… we shall see.

The most recent half marathon I ran, and the one I’ll be running again in October: The Nike Women’s in San Francisco.

When I started running it was nothing short of horrifying. I believed, with all of my being, that I was not cut out to be a runner. My body was not designed for such things. I would never be able to do it.

Any time I tried to run a mile…ONE mile… about  one third of the way in I would feel like I was going to throw up.  This would lead me to lying down/passing out, panting, in random people’s front lawns. It was not pretty.

After the 2010 Carlsbad Half Marathon.

Then something changed. I don’t know what it was, but for some reason I decided to keep trying. Glenn had been running a lot and I envied this cool athleticism he now had.  One day, he invited me to join him on a three mile hilly loop around his parent’s house. I warned him that I may only make it a mile {or less…} and he said that was fine.  Somehow, by the grace of God, I ran all three hilly miles.

I will never forget that feeling of accomplishment.

The 2010 La Jolla Half Marathon. One of the most challenging and beautiful courses I have ever ran.

Once I figured out that I could run three miles, I felt like I could do anything.  I would push us to run farther and farther, until eventually I suggested “What if we train to run a half marathon? Do you think we could do it?”

We followed what is still my favorite training schedule: Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan. This is the program I am doing for this, my tenth half marathon, as well.

This time around, though, I am acting like it’s my first time training. I have set lofty goals for myself, but I am convinced I can do it. I’m training faster than I ever have, and am also {trying} to train in this OPPRESSIVE heat. It may kill me, but somehow I am determined to make it happen.

I’m nervous and a little afraid of failing {story of my life}. Even as I type this, my little heart is going pitter patter with anticipation! I know I am capable, though, and I know that this is a battle that is worth fighting. At least I hope it is.

Anyone else training for the first time, or training for a bigger goal than ever before? We can do it! Right?

~Kristin

Success

Thoughts of purpose, success, and how to define my life goals have been filling my mind lately. It could be because many of my waking hours have been spent listening to Oprah and thinking about the legacy I want to leave. It could also be due to the challenging words I heard during a recent Sunday church service: “Serve God where you are now, and let Him control where you go next.” I am realizing that I have, in some ways, buried my purpose since coming to Little Rock. I haven’t allowed myself to shine, I haven’t allowed myself to succeed, I haven’t allowed myself to serve others through my gifts because I don’t really want to be here.

I will likely share more of this with all of you in the coming weeks as I continue to process. For now let’s talk success.

According to Webster’s success is: degree or measure of succeeding or favorable or desired outcome.

Favorable or desired outcome. Is it just me, or does it seem like the favorable or desired outcome is impossible? Like success is impossible? Like failure is imminent? I think a part of me feels this every day, in one aspect of my life or another.

As I slowly learn and grow, as I push and drag myself to be the healthiest {emotionally, spiritually, physically, relationally} the more I realize I avoid goals. I shy away from telling people what success would be for me. Why? Because I have a deeply rooted fear, founded in lies I choose to believe, that I won’t get my goals. What if I don’t do it? What if I fail?

My heart is at war with my head. One side says Stop! It’s not worth the risk! You’ll never be able to do it! Why try when it’s impossible? While the other speaks truth: You can do all things {ALL THINGS!} through Christ who gives you strength. You are capable of so much more than you could even imagine! Success is only possible when there’s a risk of failure. You’re worth it!

Argh, the work that goes into being healthy.

What was the last time you allowed yourself to set a ridiculous goal, a goal you thought was close to impossible, a goal you very well may have failed at? Did you make it? Did you get close? Closer than you’ve ever gotten before?

That is success.

Sure, I wanted to have lost 20 pounds by today instead of 12… but 12 is a heck of a lot closer to my goal than 0 is.  Yea, I would have liked to have completely stopped waking up in the night with minor {or major… take your pick} anxiety. But waking up once or twice a month, and knowing what to do when anxiety comes, is significantly better than what used to happen 2 years ago. {Which was, in case you were wondering, regular illness and slight hysteria.}

And now for a happy story:

Last week I had a moment of undeniable success. I blew success out of the water.  I did something I honestly, HONESTLY, never thought was possible.

Glenn had challenged me to beat my “mile” record of 8 minutes. I know people run entire races at a faster pace than that, but these short little legs were pushing it to get 8 minutes. Glenn told me that if I could run a 7:50 mile, he would buy me two new pairs of the world’s greatest running socks. The Nike Elite Cushion Stability Running Socks. These socks are $14.

FOURTEEN DOLLARS A PAIR. For SOCKS!

Understandably, I have only one pair. I wash that one pair multiple times a week so that I can wear them on all my serious runs. Two new pairs sounded miiiiighty fine. But a 7:50 mile? That is fast. Really fast. And the last time I ran an 8 minute mile was over a year ago.  I was sure I couldn’t do it, at least no time soon.

For some reason, last Tuesday, I decided to try it. I was sick of living in fear of failure. I wanted to succeed. To prove to myself, and Glenn, that I could push myself harder than ever before.

I ran a mile in 7:47.

I ROCK! Aaah, the sweet taste of success. Aaaah, the sweet smell of new socks. It was a good day.

There is so much more I have to say about this subject, but for today:

May you acknowledge the successes you have already achieved, and challenge yourself to become who you are *truly* capable of being.

Love to you all,

~Kristin

The Bod: Update Numero Uno

I told Glenn that I would update the blog on my weight loss journey every time I lost 10 pounds.

I’ve lost 11 pounds! That’s more than 10!

Sometimes people say the first part of weight loss is the easiest, but that is not the case for me. It’s all hard… but I don’t think anything will ever be as hard as the first 10 pounds.

I am still using all of the same tools that I was when I started. I have also started running more {and faster than I ever have!} as I begin training for the 2011 Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon in October.

11 down. 29 to go. Woop-woop!

~Kristin

A Week of Breakfast

This is a segment called What Kristin Had for Breakfast. Welcome.

Sometimes I think it’s helpful to see what other people eat, especially if you are trying to focus on health and moderation. Oh, and especially if you’re trying to shed some of that “winter layer” that has somehow managed to stay on you for 2 years.  So here’s what I ate for breakfast.

Sunday: A handful of raw trail mix and a Starbucks passion iced tea. Oh, and a bite of #3‘s turkey bacon sandwich. Older sisters must always have a bite of younger sisters’ food.

Monday: A whole wheat English muffin with a smidge {and by smidge I mean 1/2 a tablespoon} of natural peanut butter on one side and raspberry jam on the other side. A hard boiled egg. Some sliced strawberries. Yumminess.

Tuesday: Breakfast date with Glennard! We shared a pancake breakfast at Mimi’s, so I had 2 pancakes, 2 slices of bacon, a scrambled egg, and half a grapefruit. Although the service and food at Mimi’s is decidedly mediocre, they have somehow figured out how to make pancakes extra delicious.  I am married to a true pancake lover, so it looks like Mimi’s will be in my life for a while.

Wednesday: Egg white omelet with green bell pepper and a sprinkling of goat cheese. I used to hate egg whites but now I love them. End of story. Light English muffin with 1 teaspoon of butter.

Thursday: Boulevard Bread’s fruit plate. We’ve talked about this. It’s delicious. I should try to make it for myself because it would save me lots of cash every week, but then I would have to buy myself a fresh baguette every week and that would mean I would be forced to eat an entire fresh baguette every week. It’s happened before. It could happen again.

Friday: Weigh-in day.  Beginning of a new week. My day to eat sweets and have a glass of wine. Since it’s currently Thursday and I haven’t eaten Friday’s breakfast yet, I am pulling this stuff out of my ear. Not my rear, my ear. Ears are family friendly. Rears are not. Back to breakfast. Maybe I’ll have a latte and some toast. Maybe I’ll have an egg sandwich. Maybe I’ll eat apple slices or a hard boiled egg. Or I might skip breakfast and have a brownie. Because I can.

Happy Almost Friday, folks!!

~Kristin

What I Did this Weekend

Hi friends!

Happy Monday.

When I worked in an office 5 days a week, Mondays were the days where everyone asked everyone else what they did over the weekend. In my office I generally had the best weekend stories. It was probably because I was unhealthily busy, but that’s beside the point. The point is, I miss being asked about my weekend, so I’ve decided to share it with all of you.  Ready?

This weekend I drove through flash floods. Well technically I rode through flash floods.  It was probably a bad idea. A very baaaad idea. We didn’t know it was actual flash floods until we got to our destination… we’re from Southern California, people. The sun ALWAYS shines where we live. We don’t know what flash floods are!

It felt like we were floating down a river the whole time, and there were white caps on Kavanaugh Boulevard.  White caps. Like in the ocean. Here is an image I tweeted Saturday night.

This weekend I got over myself and paid $22 instead of $125 for rain boots. I went to Walmart. I’m still hoping for the Hunter’s one day, but these navy blue galoshes on my feet are pretty flipping cool. Also: they block rain very well. I even did a little puddle jumping yesterday.

This weekend I watched more hours of E! than even I care to admit.  I could not get enough of The Royal Wedding. I was mildly obsessed. She is just so beautiful and they genuinely seem so sweet! I wish them the absolute best and hope they break the Royal trend and stay true to their wedding vows forever.

This weekend I decided to join a challenge. The Reshaping It All 65 Day Challenge. You guys might remember I mentioned this book in my first weight loss post. I adore this book, it has impacted my life greatly.  After eating my fill of Easter candy… it’s time to re-check the goals and re-read Reshaping It All. I’ve never really been a part of an online community challenge before, so I’m excited to see what it’s all about and maybe make some new friends. Anyone else interested in doing this with me?

Finally, this weekend our apartment flooded. Note: The lower floor of the building is great during tornadoes, not so much during excessive amounts of rain. More details on that soon.

A New Love: Hiking


On a recent hike with Glenn’s parents – they came to visit us – you should too!

Hiking has never been my “sport” or whatever it’s called. I grew up hiking all over the Alps {pause for me to stick my nose in the air and you to roll your eyes at my snobbery} and even had fancy hiking shoes we picked out at Adventure 16. They were grey, hot pink, and teal. Totally hot in 1993. Would have matched my neon yellow paint-splattered ski jacket I also used to wear when skiing {where else} in the Alps.

When we moved back to Southern California anything that was dubbed a hike involved excessive amounts of dry dirt, Mother Sun beating down on me and making me sweat until I had lost all the fluid in my body via my armpits and upper lip, and people who were far more physically fit than I was spelunking up and down cliffs that might as well have been the Grand Canyon.  Hiking, it seemed, was no longer my thing.

Fast forward to today: I am living in The Natural State, I call myself an athlete, I have come to grips with my excessive sweating, and there’s no sign of dry dirt from here to the Mississippi {which is not far away, btw}. Dare I try hiking again? I dare. Here’s why:

When you go on a hike, you see lots of pretty trees.

When you go on a hike, you feel strong because you walk up steep hills and climb over big rocks.

When you go on a hike, you eventually get to the top of the mountain, which results in a feeling of accomplishment and a pretty view of your surroundings. Both are good.

Yay hiking! Well, short hikes anyway. If you’re planning on actually spelunking the Grand Canyon, don’t call me.

Vitamins

I have never taken vitamins. Scratch that. I have not taken vitamins since 4th grade when I had a Flintstone’s multivitamin every day before school. I kind of don’t believe in vitamins. And I keep hearing that they make people’s tummies upset which is absolutely the LAST thing I am looking to do on a daily basis.

But then I found these gummy candies disguised as vitamins at Target and decided to try them out.  I will keep you posted on any changes I notice in my energy, healthy, and weight.

The Bod

Hello. I’m Kristin. I love food. Sometimes (ok, a lot of times) I am IN love with food. Food and I have a good relationship. Food treats me well. Never lets me down. Brings passion to my life. Food is kind of like my best friend. Until I step on the scale and don’t like what I see. Or when I eat too many fries and then feel bad about myself, obsessing over it all night.

I wrote a little bit about my weight on my old blog, which you can read HERE. I was doing well with Sensei’s guidance, but then our lives got flipped upside down and we moved to Little Rock, and I threw all ideas of health to the wind. Along with this “do as you will” lifestyle came 10 pounds. Oops.

“This is a problem.” I thought to myself. I felt like I was in a constant state of trying to lose weight and kept, in fact, doing just the opposite. I wondered if I was destined to be a chubby girl for life.

{Pause.} I feel the need to take a second and clarify a couple of things. First, I know – in my head – that I am not, nor have I ever been, fat. I have never even really been chubby. But knowing something in your head is very different from believing it in your heart. Second, this is a serious topic and it requires vulnerability and makes some people uncomfortable. I get that. I’m putting myself out there for all of the internet to see because here at Kristin Eats we love authenticity and vulnerability just like we love silliness and great food. {Resume.}

I had a problem on my hands (and thighs) and I didn’t know how to fix it. How does a girl who actually enjoys food get to and maintain a healthy weight? I was tired of dancing on the “slightly overweight” line of the medical charts, but I knew there was no way I would never eat another Levain cookie or give up fresh baked baguettes with cheese and wine for the rest of my life. Moderation, not depravation, was key. I had heard this from skinny girls around the world. The thing was, I thought I WAS eating in moderation. I ate vegetables every day, I shared meals, I only ate fried food once a week. If this wasn’t moderation, what was?

As I broke out the microscope, it became evident I was eating way too much. Not just every once in a while. Every day. Although I was counting calories and running half marathons like they were going out of style, I was eating up any calories I was burning on my runs and work outs, plus some.

Realizing you consume significantly more than you thought you did is kind of harsh. Very harsh, actually. It was my own personal This is Why You’re Fat. It meant swallowing my pride and admitting I needed to work harder. It meant re-evaluating my relationship with food, submitting my body to my mind {something my body does not like to do! it likes to be in control most of the time}, and pushing myself even harder during my workouts.

I’m 3 months in and it’s been slooowww. To date I have lost 6 pounds, which leaves me with 25-30 to go. I know I will get to where I want to be within time. I will be periodically updating you all with my progress, inspirations, things I’m learning or changing, and maybe even photos. If you have any questions please feel free to post them in the comments section, I will try to answer them so everyone can see. For now, though, here are some things I have done that have made a major impact on my life and helped me lose consistenly.

1. My Food Diary. I love this thing. I’ve been tracking my calories on here for about a year and it really makes things easy. I have an app for it on my phone and can also login no matter where I am, as long as I have internet access. My Food Diary includes a thing they call Recipe Builder which is a great way to know exactly how many calories are in the foods I make at home. I pay $9 a month for My Food Diary, but I know there are similar apps for calorie counting that are free, like Lose It! for iPhone.

2. I blogged about this in my February Favorite Things post, but the Moleskine Passions Wellness book is phenom. Yes I said phenom. Like really. I lurve it with all of my heart. It keeps me grounded in my goals and keeps my goals – big and small – within reach. I will never get rid of it, it has truly been a life changer.

3. Candace Cameron Bure’s book: Reshaping It All

Yep, that’s Candace Cameron as in DJ from Full House. Yep, it’s a book about Jesus and weight loss. Yep, some might think it’s cheesy but it’s totally worth reading. This book really broke it down for me and made me realize just how much I rely on food in unhealthy ways, and how much I let my body dictate what I do instead of making it submit to my mind. I will probably do a whole nother post on some of the life lessons this book has taught me, but for now just know that it’s grrreeeaattt and has given me the freedom to start to change my relationship with food.

4. Changing my calorie intake from 1500 to 1300 a day. This is the most recent change I’ve made, and it is a toughie. Although I was able to lose weight at 1500 calories a day, I am no longer active enough {believe it or not the full-time-writer’s day is not filled with a whole lot of “motion”} to be eating that number of calories every day. I usually have 1 or 2 days a week where I do go over 1300, but I try to do an extra hard workout the following day to make up for it. AND I remind myself that this is temporary – when I reach my goals I will be able to eat a little more to maintain my weight. Just keep in mind, if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.

5. Pushing it in my workouts. We are capable of so much more than we think we are. Pushing myself and working harder than I think I can is not always fun. Actually, it’s hardly ever fun. But the rewards outweight the pain every time. I have added a few sets of sprints to my workouts and I try to run faster or longer each time I do them. I have to remind myself that physical hurting is ok {unless it’s bones breaking, of course!} and will help me be stronger, leaner, and more self-disciplined in all areas of my life.

I hope this helps you, wherever you are on your journey. I am both excited and nervous to share my progress with you all. If you are interested in joining me on this trek, please feel free to email me at kristineats (at) gmail (dot) com OR leave a comment! Oh, and if you’re wondering how on earth I could lose weight while having 14 Layer Cake… I only had a bite. Now THAT took some self control.