Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Update: 5K #2!

I ran my second 5K this weekend! Specifically, it was the Temecula 5K in Southern California. We don't live there, but decided it was a fantastic excuse to take a road trip to visit our friends. I ran the 5K with a friend of 17 years. We go way back.

Enjoying the hot air balloons before the run. Oh my, it was a GORGEOUS day.

My primary goal was to run my second 5K faster than my first, the one that I did in 41:55. My secondary goal was to do it in under 40 minutes.

Before my first 5K, I was running every other day with other cardio/strength in between. Before this run, I wasn't doing as much prep-wise. I was still moving but not doing formal training. In all honesty, I was a bit worried about meeting my goal. Before (and even during) this run, I began to mentally prepare myself for a tertiary goal...to finish without vomiting or passing out. 

The start line.

So, how did I do? 

Are you ready??

Approximately five months after I started this journey (from absolutely no running) I ran my second 5K in 37:10. That's a 12-minute pace people! I impressed my friend and I have to admit that I even impressed myself. 

Forgot to turn on my heart rate monitor until about 30 seconds in. Whoops.

I felt especially good about my time because the course was so hilly. Holy Hills, Batman! Seriously. Don't get me wrong, it was fun to run through the vineyards but it was very dusty and consisted of so many hills. I have to give a shout out to the stranger on the sidelines of the last big hill who yelled to me, as I ran by, "Keep going! There is wine at the end!"

Thanks to those hills, my legs have been yelling at me since Sunday night. Although, the pain could also be attributed to the fact that I busted out some sweet dance moves that same evening, playing Just Dance with our friends' 8-year old. 

This is what I stuffed in my face after the run.
An amazing grilled romaine, butternut squash & pecan salad from PUBlic House.

In addition to the salad pictured above, I also had delicious cream of mushroom soup and a very large beer.

Just keeping it real. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Imposter Syndrome

Now that I have lost almost 40 pounds (!!!), I am getting a lot of comments from people regarding my weight loss. The number one question has got to be: "How did you do it?!" I generally respond with, "oh, you know, just trying to eat better and be more active." Yep, I tend to completely minimize the amount of work I have put into becoming healthier. My response should be, "I'm working my ass* off! Literally."

I recently read Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In. First of all, I highly recommend reading it. Second, one of the things that stuck with me is the idea of the "Imposter Sydrome."

Sheryl shares:
This phenomenon of capable people being plagued by self-doubt has a name -- the imposter syndrome. Both men and women are susceptible to the imposter syndrome, but women tend to experience it more intensely and be more limited by it. 
Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made... 
She goes on to talk about how multiple studies have shown that women tend to judge their own performance as worse than it is, and are also more likely to attribute success to luck or "being in the right place at the right time." On the other hand, men tend to judge their performance as better than it actually is, and based on skill. This issue is both internal and external...women tend to be judged by what they have already accomplished while men are judged on their potential to be successful. Reading Lean In made me much more aware of how often I dismiss my skills and successes and struggle, like many women, to internalize my accomplishments. Hello, self-fulfilling prophecy!

I have come to better realize that while I may not have control over all of the external stuff, I can gain better control over myself. In mid-May, I made the decision to change, to gain more control over my health. I began erring on the side of lean meat, fruit and veggies, some dairy, and very little breads and such. Our grocery lists now consist of mostly unprocessed, whole foods. I also pay attention to serving sizes and track everything. With regards to fitness, I park farther away. I take the stairs. I schedule workouts, even if I can only fit in 20-30 minutes. I enlisted my honey and now we sometimes do a lap around our neighborhood after dinner. We make "fitness dates" with friends...

So...how did I do it? I worked hard for this. I continue to work hard. I am not an imposter.

*Sorry, mom.

Friday, October 4, 2013

14-Mile SF Walking Adventure

As I mentioned in my last post, I went on an epic walk with friends this past Sunday. It was inspired by The Bold Italic and their post regarding an exploration of the outer edges of San Francisco. This was shared with me by my friend Jason (aka "The Healthy Yelper"), who convinced my friend JenBen (his sister) and me to join him on a 20+ mile walk around the city's outermost parts.

First, a little friendship history. JenBen and I met in 6th grade so I have been friends with this sister/brother duo for over 20 years. Woah.

Back to Sunday's fitness date...

After spending hours in the first neighborhood on our journey, we realized that we wouldn't be making it through the entire 20+ miles in one day. However, we did walk 14 miles. (Yes! 14 miles. In one day.) Of course, I took lots of photos along the way so I could share our trip here.


Let's go!

My trip began just after 8 am, when I hopped on BART to meet JenBen and Jason in San Francisco.

From the Embarcadero station, we took Muni out to a neighborhood called The Bayview, located in the southeastern corner of the city. I'll be honest, the Bayview is not considered to be a tourist destination. I think most people would actually advise others to avoid it. However, we learned this past Sunday morning that the Bayview has a number of hidden gems to share.

Gem #1: Bayview Park. This was our first stop of the day, located just a couple blocks from the Le Conte Ave Muni stop.

Good Morning, San Francisco!

You're seeing what I'm seeing, right? GORGEOUS view of the city. Fabulous photo opportunity!

Here's another nice view...my friends Facebook updating and Instagram-ing the view...

After a nice hike around the park, we moved on to enjoy the best americanos and cinnamon toasts ever from (Gem #2) Trouble Coffee.

Photo by JenBen.

Seriously. That toast was incredible -- smothered with the perfect butter-cinnamon-sugar blend.

From our first food stop, we made our way briskly down 3rd Street to Flora Grubb Gardens (Gem #3) and the coffee shop inside, Ritual Gardens (Gem #3.5). There we spent a good five minutes taking photos of this wall...

...and then I snuck a photo of some of their plant life offerings while Jason got caffeine #2. 

Aaaaaand, we're still in the Bayview! From this green, peaceful spot we moved on to park #2 on the list, Heron's Head Park (Gem #4).

There is a bit of a walk out to the end but totally worth it. There are also benches along the way for sitting and soaking in the peacefulness. 

Can I take a moment to point out, if you haven't noticed already, what an absolutely beautiful day it was? It was absolutely beautiful. (Consult previous photos for proof.)

After Heron's Head Park, we finally made our way out of the Bayview. 

Next up...AT&T Park. No worries if you don't have tickets. They have a viewing area where, after a quick bag search and metal detector scan, you can peek through the fence and watch as much (or as little) of the game as you'd like.

After our short visit to the ballpark, we kept moving to the Embarcardo. JenBen tried to climb the bow and arrow and she was marginally successful.

Through the bow and arrow, you can catch a glimpse of the Ferry Building, our next destination. At the Ferry Building we quenched our thirst and rumbling tummies with goodies from Pressed Juicery, washed down with biscuits from Biscuit Bender

After our short break at the Ferry Building, we kept moving to Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, etc. I spent our brisk walk through this part of town looking back fondly on our earlier experiences that day...The Bayview doesn't have tourists.

Have I mentioned how fabulous the weather was on Sunday? Here's one more example, just in case you aren't convinced...

Seriously. We had the perfect day. We wrapped up our adventure by walking through Fort Mason and the Marina and ultimately ended up at The Blue Light for a drink. 

WHEW! Those 14 miles were both exciting and exhausting. Oh, and the remaining miles will happen at a later date and I will post Adventure #2 here...of course.