Running Start

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RUNNERS

Today Jessica and I (finally!!) took the Good Form Running class at Big Peach Running Co. I mentioned wanting to go before I started training for my half marathon, and I really wish I had taken the class before I started running to prevent the shin splints I had at the end of 2013. The class was super informative, and we both learned what we need to work on to be better runners. I learned I was running with a heel strike, and I need to stretch more to loosen up my calf muscles. I also surprised myself that I have more muscle than I think I do and having a weak core is not my issue anymore. By the end of the class, the instructor said I was running with a mid-foot strike. Success!

We went over the four basic principles of proper running form, which are posture, the mid-foot strike, cadence, and lean. I’ve watched video after video after video trying to achieve this running form, but I couldn’t put the skills into practice on my own. For instance, I couldn’t figure out how to get my body to run in with the mid-foot strike. In class, our instructor had us practice marching in place so we could feel how our feet should be hitting the ground. Then we starting running from marching, and we instantly had better running form. He instructed us to practice this move outside of class. A good trick is to march while waiting at a stop light to keep yourself moving and to remind yourself of the proper foot strike. For more information on proper running form, check out the Good Form Running website– I have it book marked!!

Jessica and I go back in two weeks for the second portion of the class. In the second class, we’ll go over proper stretching and core building exercises (which include one legged squats!). I am excited for the second class and to try out my form next weekend at my 5k. The timing on my classes couldn’t have been better.

Here’s to my running start on 2014!

… And my fantastic lunch today!

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Feeling Thankful

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Jessica is right. It is important for athletes and runners to see the crowd cheering them on during a big race. It is also important for me to be able to cheer on others who I look up to for their strengths and abilities. Therefore, I am going to cheer Jessica and Christina on at the finish line at the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. They were also so patient with me while I was starting out, and I am very thankful for their kind words during my time of struggle. I hope my cheers help them just a little bit to finish the race on their big day. I also hope the other runners are happy to see the big crowds, too. I made a Thanksgiving themed sign. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Please remember what’s important during this time of year– tell everyone you care about you love them and appreciate them– and do your part in inspiring others, as well!

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“Autumn… the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ― William Cullen Bryant

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The past couple of weeks have been a wirlwind! We had Halloween, my birthday (had a great friend breakfast and went to the World of Coke), a trip to Houston, and work has been crazy! I’ve been on IG a lot, because it’s faster, but I’ve missed posting here. I did crossfit in Houston with my friend, Barbara. I had a great time, and I really enjoyed the group aspect of the work out. I’ve also been working out with my trainer, and we went hiking at Kennesaw Mountain today. I had a blast, and it was a total workout! I’ve been working on my diet (trying to cut out sugar, especially).

I need to start working on my cardio routine again, though. I need to find a routine that works for me, but it’s all a work in progress. I’m trying to decide if I want to try crossfit or do this Blast 900 class which combines cardio and weights with interval training. Or I keep going to the gym on my own. I’m hoping I pick one soon!

I am trying to say no to all the extra holiday treats. This is a tough time of year to try to be healthy! I’m going to keep trying, though. It’s tough to say no to all the wonderful cookies the venders keep sending. Not going to lie. 😉

Here’s a ton of pictures of my workouts, hikes, food prep, and a few fun ones!

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Moving Forward

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Well, I have to admit I won’t be running the half marathon on Thanksgiving. It was too much on my body, and I worried I’d cause permanent damage to my ankle. It started to get to the point where I never felt rested, and I wasn’t building any endurance or strength. I may go back to training somewhere down the road, but for now, I need to accept I’m starting from the beginning. I’m still working out and eating right, but I’m running less. I was really sad at first, but I have to be realistic with my body. I may have been too ambitious, but I am still chugging along to get healthy. I have plenty of time to try and run a half marathon. 🙂

I’ve started working on the weight machines at the gym by myself, which I’ve always been too embarrassed to do. I really enjoy lifting and the weight machines. I’d pick lifting over cardio anyway! I made a yummy hummus wrap for lunch tomorrow, and I can’t wait to eat it! Also, I officially have a boyfriend. I just thought I’d throw that in there. 😉

Who’s that lady?

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This week I fit into size medium work out pants. I was super excited, because I was in a size extra large just a few months ago. I was pretty stoked when they fit (and looked good!). I’ve found with my weight loss it’s the little surprises that keep me going. It was easier to push myself the next day through my group run knowing I’m actually getting smaller. I am truly seeing if I stick with this, and keep on trucking, I will see results. Seeing results is awesome, because if I wasn’t seeing results, it’d be hard to stick with the routine (just being honest!).

I stuck with my work outs this week. I ran and did my homework for my training class, and we ran 8 miles on Saturday.  Let me repeat that, we ran 8 miles on Saturday!! That’s a lot!! This was the first week I did my training runs completely outside and not on the treadmill. Running outside is so much more difficult, and so much worse on my legs, than running on a treadmill. Once Saturday came, though, my legs were still sore from the week. I struggled to keep up, because my legs were so tight and sore. One of the coaches walked with me for a bit. We stretched once we were warmed up, and then we continued our interval running/walking until the finished. I was glad for the extra encouragement, and I learned I need to listen to my body. I can only push it so far before I push it too far, and I don’t want to cause any injuries (or permanent damage). I’ve become friends with my after run routine: stretch, foam roll, ice, and bengay. This routine is my life saver, and it really helps my legs! This week in personal training, my trainer had me do weights for my upper body. I loved it! It was difficult, but it was more enjoyable than cardio. I am looking forward to getting stronger, too!

My diet has been pretty good, and I’ve been on the hunt for new recipes. I think I need to mix it up a bit. I’m going to start tracking my food to really see if I’m getting all the nutrients I need.

Also, I’m getting addicted to IG. Check me out there @kimtoslim! I post a few times a day. 🙂

Here’s some pics from this week!

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10k? Check!

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I ran a 10k this weekend! Jessica, Christina, and I ran the Sandy Springs Lightning 10k. How cool is that? Me… A 10k? It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t quick, but I did it! And, really, who wants to be quick easy? I kid! The week before we did 7.34 miles in our training class, so I knew I could do the 10k, but I’m still really surprised with myself. I’m still really surprised I did 7 miles, too! It just seems like a such a large number. This weekend we are running 8 miles. I’m trying really hard to get my weekly runs in. I’d like to get faster. I know speed times time, but I do wish I could just snap my fingers and be lightning fast! I’ll get there, though. There was a time a few months ago where one mile seemed super, super hard. So, I know it does get easier.

It’s getting easier. It’s getting more enjoyable, too.

66 days to the half marathon!!

Magical Foam Roller

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I honestly haven’t gotten into the Youtube craze, but the more I work out, the more I appreciate Youtube. My calves have been hurting as I’ve been running and working out. I bought a foam roller last month. I questioned this morning if I was using it correctly. Who knew? Youtube has a ton of videos on roam rollers. There are so many work out tips out there, especially on Youtube, it makes me feel a little silly for ever saying, “I don’t know how to work out.” I can learn whatever I want just by looking around online.  Here’s the video I liked the best. The video focuses on how to use a foam roller to work out any knots or scare tissue on your calves. They’re magical!!

P.S. If you’re in Atlanta, get outside! It’s actually nice out today!

 

Me? A Runner? Yes!

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So, I’ve always secretly wanted to be a runner. When I drive by a runner, I’m always awestruck by their determinatoin and dedication. They just seem to have their life together and have the ability to stick to things. I know that’s a huge generalization, but I just assume if someone gets up and runs everyday, they probably excel in other area of their life, too. I’ve wanted to be that person, and I’ve never been able to become that person. Well, lately, I’ve been really trying to fix a lot of things I’ve screwed up in my life, and I’ve really been trying to get into better shape is one of the things I’m trying to fix.

My friend Jessica asked me if I’d like to train for the Atlanta Half Marathon with her in the mornings before work. Jessica’s best friend successfully lost weight a few years back, and now she runs and participates in marathons. I’ve always admired her for actually doing it. She did. She stuck to it, and she did it. I know it doesn’t sound hard if you’re not over weight and don’t know how it feels, but it’s literally painful to go from no exercise to a lot of exercise. When running in the past, I’d get winded and my legs would hurt. Once the pain kicked in, I’d stop running. I never stuck to it for more than a few runs.

This time we’re running together. I can’t ignore the clock at 4:30 AM, because I know someone is waiting for me (which is a huge deal because I am SO not a morning person!). We run two days during the week and on Sunday. Once my calves catch up, I’ll start adding in more days. The back of my legs hurt really bad, so we went and got fitted for proper running shoes. Jessica went with me Big Peach Running Co. I’m glad she went with or I wouldn’t have felt comfortable going on my own. As an overweight person, I don’t want to be the only fat person in an athletic store. I fear I’ll be judged, but I just have to get over that thinking and try anyway. To my surprise, they were really helpful and nice. They even showed me a new way to tie my shoes that’s more supportive on my ankles. I actually had a really fun time. They have a beginning runner class where they show you proper form and how to stretch. I am signing up for it.

I also went out and bought a foam roller for my calf pain. It really works! I feel like I can work through the pain knowing I have the foam roller to help with the pain after the run. I also got a water bottle that stays on my hand, supportive socks, and shorts. I never, ever, ever wear shorts, but it gets really hot by the end of our runs. Jessica bought us reflective wrist bands since it’s dark out when we run, and she brings her dog, Skipper, along with us. On our off days, I now find myself wanting to run! When I’m stressed out, I want to go run or exercise rather than devour a Big Mac. I know this won’t happen over night, but I’m finally seeing the changes in myself I’ve wanted to change.

I’m pretty proud of myself (and Jessica!). Jessica’s friend is joining us for the half marathon on Thanksgiving Day. We’re going to earn our turkey this year!

Check out the awesome new shoes!

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