Thursday, October 29, 2009

Know anyone who needs a wedding dress?

Because I've got a pretty one! My dream dress has been sitting in our back room in it's storage box (having been professionally cleaned and preserved) and is lonely. We talked and decided that even though I will miss her, she wants to be free to make someone else's dreams come true, too. Which is very convenient for me - because we're still scrimping and saving to put the money together for our trip to Disneyworld to run in the Disney Princess Half Marathon. :) I've got all the details posted in an ad on ebay... here's the link;

Maggie Sottero "Dion" Gown

And I've got some loverly pictures of her too!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

132 Days!

The course map is up - just thought I'd share. :)

Princess Half Marathon Course Map

A Fun Comparison

I thought it would be great fun to share some pictures of me from the past year, just to celebrate how healthy I'm getting. :)

This first one is a picture of me from August 30th, 2008. Daniel and Ethan and I had just ventured out for our first hike at the Glendoveer Fitness Trail. We made it one entire lap, walking and pushing the stroller, and I was absolutely exhausted. I believe by this point I was weighing in at about 220.

August 30, 2008 - 220 pounds

This second picture is from my first 5k race - the Oregon Road Runner's Club 4th of July race. This picture was taken after I'd had a chance to cool down after running the longest and fastest I'd ever run - IN MY LIFE - at that point. 3.1 miles in 38:09. I believe I weighed about 198 at that point.

July 4th, 2009 - 198 pounds (I'm on the left)

This last picture is my most recent one, taken just moments after I crossed the finish line at my first 10k. I finished in less than an hour and a half - which is crazy to me! When this picture was taken I weighed 186.

October 11, 2009 - 186 pounds

This will be a fun post to revisit in a few months after I've finished my first half-marathon. I'm really proud of my body. The Lord created it with some rather amazing abilities that I've never fully appreciated until I had a baby and started running. This body has grown an entire person from a couple teeny cells into a whopping 10lb 12oz newborn, then nourished (and is still nourishing) that little baby into a health 27ish pound (and 32" tall) toddler, and is able to carry me 6 miles all at one time... so far! I can't wait to see what else it can do as I take the steps I need to care for it the way the Lord designed.

In the words of the Psalmist;

I praise You (GOD!) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

May He continue to receive glory and honor from this little body He's given me!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weigh In Success!

I had another weigh-in this morning and am thrilled with the progress I'm making!

I weighed in at 180.5 lbs - down 5.5 lbs from my last weigh-in (186).
My body fat % was 32.4 - down 1.3% from the last weigh-in (33.7%).

I've lost another four inches over all, which is always exciting.
Some of those inches were from my waist, which is now 32" - which officially puts me 3" below the "increased risk" category. A waist circumference of 35" or higher is linked to increased risk for heart disease.

I'm not sure if I've shared what my goals are yet, so I figured this was as good a time as any!

I have several different goals I'm aiming for, but the primary goal is for my body fat percentage to be at "Fitness" level according to the American Counsel of Exercise's definitions. That means somewhere between 21-24% body fat. The exact weight I would be at (in such a scenario) is a little unclear to me at this point - as I've lost weight and my body composition has changed the little body-fat machine has been telling me that I'm supposedly losing lean body mass. The trainer I talked to at the gym told me this is highly unlikely because I'm lifting weights and eating healthy, but that it is more likely that the machine is "accidently" reading some of the fat surrounding my organs (the worst kind) as lean mass. Sneaky little fat pockets!

So, to reiterate - my ultimate goal is to acheive and maintain a body fat percentage between 21-24%. We'll see how that shapes up as I get closer to that, and I plan on celebrating several milestones along the way to that goal.

Like 1.4% more weight loss for my body fat percentage to be in "acceptable" range and out of overweight range.

Like .1 point drop in my BMI, which will take me out of the "obese" category and put me in just the "overweight" category. Which takes me out of the "high risk" category for weight when I have another baby. Good news!

So - stay tuned and I'll keep you posted!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Getting my miles in

I've been able to get two runs in so far this week, and thought it was time to share about it. I technically have four "extra" weeks in my training time, as the schedule I'm working from is a 16 week-er and there were 20 weeks between my 10k and the half.

The first week after the 10k I gave my legs a break from the pounding of running and spent some time walking/hiking at the Glendoveer trail one afternoon, and then doing weights and the recumbent bike at the gym two other days. The personal trainer I've been seeing taught me how to use the Assisted Pull-up machine (at my request) and I'm well on my way to acheiving my newest fitness goal: get strong enough to perform 10 unassisted pull-ups. Right now the machine is supporting 112 lbs of my body weight and I'm able to do a set of 10, then two sets of 8. I have no idea how long it'll take - but it's a fun little "side project" that finally got me excited about chest/back day at the gym.

(Aside: Did I really just have that monologue?!? Who IS this girl writing my blog???)

This week I was able to get all three of my weight training days in and have done a 2 mile run and a 3 mile run so far. I even found myself increasing the speed to 5mph (a 12 min mile) this evening during the 3 miler. I was doing fartleks (random increases in speed) and I think I did a half mile at that speed and then moved around between that and 4.3. It's fun to see myself getting faster, and feeling my body WANT to go faster and actually being comfortable there.

I'm hoping to get one more run in this weekend - hopefully a long one at 5 miles?

Running on Muffins & Love!

My first half-marathon is only 135 days away and I couldn't be more excited! I'm starting to realize that perhaps choosing for my first half marathon to be on the other side of the country might have been a bigger logistical task than I'd anticipated. I love Disneyworld - we went there for our honeymoon and then again for a "oh dear, we got pregnant by surprise! Quick, let's take a vacation while we still can" trip. Going back there for a half marathon was the motivation I needed to get me through my 5k training earlier this year. Now I love running enough that I'd probably keep doing it for fun - but having a trip to Florida and making it a big deal is still a fun idea.

That said, Daniel and I are doing our best to be wise with our financial resources. Daniel works his little butt off to provide for us so that I can stay home with our son, and we're committed to paying for this trip WITHOUT going in to debt over it. That means a couple extra projects for Daniel, and little ol me trying to figure out how to lend a hand. That's where the muffins come in!

When my grandparents came to town for my 10k, they brought us a huge box of apples from an orchard near their house in Yakima. We were very thankful, but a little surprised and not sure what to do with so many apples. We love fruit, but how can two people eat all those apples before they go bad? Ethan's not a big fan of apples (he prefers squish-ier produce like bananas) so it'd be just me and Daniel trying to eat through the entire box. Then I got a fantastic idea!

"What if I baked stuff with them, and sold them to help raise money for our trip?!"

I thought it was a novel idea that people would probably think was "cute" but not really be that into. But I figured it was worth a shot to throw it out there and see what the response would be. I found a great recipe for Apple Strudel Muffins (mmm!) and posted an announcement on facebook that I was selling them for $1 each. Almost immediately I got responses from my friends and family saying that they'd love to support me and putting in their orders. Over the last couple weeks I've baked over 200 muffins for family and friends. On top of that, my Mom and brother from South Dakota - who live much too far away to enjoy said muffins - are paying for me to bake an additional 200 and give them to various homeless outreach ministries. Can you believe it?!

The muffin-selling has been such a hit! Believe it or not, I've discovered that I LOVE baking. I must, to have baked over 200 already and still be thrilled at baking 200 more. I'm also excited t try new recipes. Perhaps a "Muffin of the Month" sort of deal? I'm thinking for November I will try Pumpkin Chocolate Chip. I'm even going to do a test batch using my own "picked it myself and carried it home" pumpkin. It'll be an adventure for sure!

Amidst all of the financial blessing that this venture has provided, it has given me an even more important gift. I honestly was not expecting to see so many people absolutely jump at the chance to support me. It has truly been a blessing to feel so loved and cared for.

My deepest hope in this whole situation is that someone would read/hear about my journey and recognize the power of God in my life and worship Him in response. This whole experience has really been a journey of me learning to apply the things I know to be true (in my head) to actual real life practice... like getting off my booty and using my body for what it's made for! The Lord made me to be strong, healthy and capable. And I really believe it now!

Running is a celebration of my God-given ability to move!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First 10k Update - Finally!

Hello Friends!

I'm finally sitting down to write about my first 10k experience this past Sunday at the Gresham Jazz Run. I've been avoiding it for a few days, as I haven't been sure how to put the whole thing in to words. I finished! It was hard, wonderful, fun, exhilarating and encouraging. I've almost been trying to "keep it to myself" in order to savor it for as long as possible. But now it's time to share, I think. :)

My adorable grandparents from Yakima came down for the weekend to watch me finish, and I was able to spend time with them on Saturday. It's crazy how much you can miss your family and not even realize it until you see them again! Having them here to support me, to cheer and take pictures and tell me they're proud - was probably the best part about the entire experience. They've seen me quit sport after sport (and paid for most of it) and my Grandma admitted that she was surprised when I told them I was going to start running. Yet there I was, finishing my first timed race with them cheering me across the finish line. Aren't they adorable?

We arrived at the Gresham Main City Park around 8am on Sunday morning, in one of those "hurry-up-and-wait" sort of moods. I was eager to get there as early as my family would allow me to because I was so anxious about not missing anything. It turns out that we were right on time and didn't miss a thing. We even got to wait around for almost an hour in the frigid weather (sorry guys!). Ethan was all bundled up in a fleece bodysuit and looked like a star fish. He got to play around in the park while I was running. Here he is with part of his fan club from Core Life Church (L to R - Joni, Kelli, Heidi, Kaylee & Ethan). These ladies also came to watch my training buddy - Sheri - and I finish together.

Lining up for the race was such a thrill! Because it was my first timed race I was especially aware of all the "stuff" they had around the start/finish line in order to time us. Though I have no idea what any of it was, actually. Just a bunch of cables and mats and stuff. :) We took off from the start line and followed the Springwater Trail along a familiar path toward Sheri's house. Most of the racers sped off in that first mile, and we found ourselves plodding along ever so faithfully and persistently among the speed-walkers. We actually trailed a pair of gals who were "power-walking" for the entire race and finally passed them in the last mile. Haha.

Things got hard when we got to mile 2 and headed off from the Springwater Trail into a residential neighborhood. The elevation map shows a 700ft climb in mile 2. I don't know if that's big compared to other races... but it certainly felt like it to us. I'd walked the course before so I was mentally prepared for how hard it was going to be, but that hill still kicked my butt. My partner and I made it almost 3/4 of the way up and then decided to power-walk the rest of it because we were both concerned about finishing the last 4 miles. But we made it! After conquering Walters Hill we went through another zig-zag of residential neighborhoods for the 3rd mile. The 4th mile happened to be along another trail that wrapped through the backyards of a few neighborhoods in Gresham. It was really twisty and bumpy and actually rather exciting. By that point we'd lost all the walkers (except for that pair we'd pass in the last mile) and runners (who passed us and were already finished by now... hahaha) and were really enjoying a scenic run through the trail area. Mile 5 went along the Springwater Trail - we'd looped around and were running back to where we'd started in Gresham Main City Park. The last mile felt challenging, but doable. We were both tired after dealing with the hill and rugged trail, but were so thrilled with our accomplishments that we had the strength to carry through. I was chomping at the bit to sprint to the finish line, but Sheri talked me down (she's such a good partner) and we held out until we were closer to the finish line. I'm sure if I would have struck out when I'd asked her to initially, we'd both have collapsed in sight of the finish line in a pile of tears and hyperventilating.

But - we didn't! We got to the finish line and were greeted by Sheri's roomates, my Grandparents, my husband and son, a couple of our friends from church, and my roommate from college. Our pastor even decided to walk down from Cafe D when he saw some of the pics someone posted from their mobile phone. There was much cheering and celebration. :)

I felt a little dizzy - like I did after my first race - when we finished, but I took a nice little walk to slow my body back down and that really helped. We stayed around for a bit to enjoy the race atmosphere and the thank everyone for coming. Then my sweet grandparents took us to lunch before they headed out of town. So sweet.

On our way home, Daniel bought me a little chocolate kitty (picture to come) to say congrats for my race. We ate them together right before I took my first ice bath to keep my legs from being in too much pain. I think they work - or my body is ridiculously more athletic than I thought. Probably the ice bath, though. It was cold, but after it was all over I never had any joint or muscle pain after the race.

So that's the story! Now I'm counting down days and getting started on training for my first half-marathon in March 2010. In Florida. In Disneyworld. That's right... Disneyworld! Talk about motivation!

OH - and I almost forgot. I finished in 1:23:38. Not Olympic material, but way better than the three hours it took me to walk the course a month ago. And better than I thought we'd do after walking for what seemed like "too long."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Marathon Wannabe'

My friend Kaylee ran her first marathon today! Her goal was to finish in under 4:55 - so that she could beat Tara from the last season of Biggest Loser. I haven't seen her official time, but I did hear that she finished well within her goal. Yay Kaylee!

For my run today, I actually planned to meet Kaylee at the 21 mile mark of her race and jump in with her to finish. I should have thought a little more clearly when I did the math during our planning phase (last night) and realized she'd be running at about a 10:20mpm pace. The fastest pace I've run - during a race and about to pass out - was 12:30mpm. I'm happy to say I made it with her for about 2.25 miles. Then I started feeling super dizzy and told her so - and she told me I should walk. So - I found myself walking by myself during the last few miles of the Portland Marathon today. Ha ha! I walked until I caught my breath and felt like myself again, and then alternated walking/jogging/stopping by the side of the road to try and find my friend Sheri who was running with our friend Janelle.

The crowd of volunteers and spectators was so encouraging! I clearly was not part of the race - I had no bib or chip - but everyone I ran by was all smiles and waving and cheering anyway. :) I kept having this battle in my head for the whole 5 miles; one side that was yelling at me to "stay out of the way!" because I was not registered. I was so worried I was going to get booted off the course and have my soul crushed. Haha. And the other side of me yelling at me for walking. Oh dear. Apparently I have a lot of angry/yelling issues that need to get dealt with. I do appreciate how running brings your emotional issues to the surface. :)

My REAL race is now less than a week away - WOOHOO! I'm actually feeling really confident and itching to get my run in... yay! Can't wait, can't wait!

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm still in the game!

My 10 weeks of interval training is officially complete, so I decided to start using a two-week training schedule generated by Runner's World's website. They have a tool you can use to create a custom training plan. All you need is a recent race time, and then you answer a few questions about how much you're currently running and how long until your next race.

This week involved an easy 2 mile Recovery Run at a 14:38 min/mile pace (Nice and slow!) and a 5 mile Tempo Run which included a warm up and cool down mile on either side of a faster-than-usual 3 miles. I held a 13:57 min/mile pace for all three miles - which was really envigorating. It was really encouraging to see and feel how far I've come in the past 6 months. My 10k race is 9 days away (well... 8 days, 9 hours and 16 minutes as of this moment... ha!) and I'm getting REALLY excited. I actually think I'll be able to do it. No... I know I can. What a crazy feeling. :)

Oh, and a couple more exciting tidbits!

First - 6 months of running = it's time for new shoes! My "hips-and-knees-and-feet-and-shins" (at least that's what I call them when I ask Daniel for a massage) have been telling me for the last two weeks that it's time for new shoes. I'm waiting until after my 10k to buy a pair, so I won't have to deal with breaking in a new pair during the race. But I'm really excited to have a fresh pair for Half Marathon training, and to officially retire my pink shoes to the Becca Sue Running Hall of Fame.

Secondly - today was also my 6 month weigh-in. Nothing super-official. I just weigh myself at home and Daniel takes my measurements. He's a trooper. I usually make him measure things two or three times to ensure accuracy, and if for some reason I haven't lost as many inches as I think I should have... he has to endure my pouting and accusations that he's "measuring wrong!" There should be medals for husbands who love their wives through training. :)

Anyway - I'm happy to report that I've lost another three pounds. Bringing the grand total (since January of this year) to 30 pounds of weight loss. It's all happened rather slowly, but I'm sure that's for the best... right? I was also delighted to find out that my body fat percentage dropped nearly 2%. So, even though on the scale it only looks like I lost three pounds, apparently I actually dropped 5 pounds of body fat and gained 3 pounds of lean mass. That makes sense to me, since I've made a point the last four weeks to actually do my weight training (I sort of wimped out on it for a while this summer).

Not too shabby!

As a reference point (for those who care) here is a chart on Body Fat Percentage Classifications for Women. I'm only 2.7% away from officially being at a healthy weight. Weeeeee!

*American Council on Exercise


Women (% fat)

Essential Fat









32% plus