Friday, April 24, 2015

Celebrating Small Gains

My thoughts for this post begin back on Wednesday...

but first I have to tell you, the weather has been amazing this past week. Wonderful, cool, morning temps, showed up right after my hot, 100% humidity race...gotta love it. 

Wednesday, hubby declared a rest day, which may have turned into a rest/cheat day. We went to O'Charley's. I usually try to be fairly healthy with my food choices even when we go out, but for whatever reason my self discipline went out the window. Those darn rolls...

Hubby however, is still on a roll making healthier choices in his diet and strength training.
That's us in April 2013               and April 2015
I am so proud of him! 30 lbs. lighter now and stronger. He has actually made big gains in his fitness level, the small stuff in this post is for me :) 


Somehow, my overindulgence turned out to be good fuel for my Thursday morning run. I went out the door at 5:25 a.m. and it was a delightful 47 degrees.  Perfect, crisp, bliss!

I ran a mile at a comfortable pace and loosened up my legs. When I heard the mile beep, I picked up the pace. I just felt on. The next mile beep, I picked it up again...
I was thrilled when I stopped my Garmin and saw I had knocked out four miles in 36:09. 
Trust me, I never run that fast! 

I didn't see my splits until later that day. I couldn't believe it, I was thrilled! It's just one run, but I am excited to see some gains, while I am still in rebuilding mode. 
9:44
9:20
8:51
8:05
My previous PR mile is 8:32
In a race situation it is 8:40

I could have kicked some tush, if I had that kind of weather during my last race.
Thursday evening, we got back to our routine after our declared rest/cheat day.
I was pedaling uphill, hubby was pedaling in front of me 
my legs were a little tired from my morning run

Busting it out
xoxo
I still had my runner's high going, I was ready for some heavy stuff. I am close to achieving some personal weight goals. 
I can now push up about 67% of my body weight, maybe one day I will actually be strong enough to do a pull up!


A PR curl -  20 lbs. happened for one set of straight curls. They weren't pretty, but once I can get a weight up, it's just a matter of time before it starts to feel a little easier. I have been doing hammer curls with 17.5 and 20 lbs., but straight curls feel harder to me, and I always have to do them lighter...until now (•◡•) One day I will leave those 17.5 lbs. weights behind for good...

I started this journey using 5 lbs. weights

When I joined Gold's Gym back in 2012, they did an evaluation and checked my body fat percentage.  I had been battling my weight for a few years at that point, and was making very little progress. In 2012, when I gripped the handles of the body fat reader (I betcha there is a more technical name) it diagnosed me clearly overweight. I wasn't shocked, I just hated to see it. 

August 2010  - about 25 lbs. heavier 

That's me on the end - July 2010 

October 2010
Recently, I grabbed the handles of the body fat reader again. I was a little apprehensive about checking it; I knew it would be better, but the reality is, I am still not a super lean person. I have made it into the healthy body fat percentage group...finally. Just barely, but I am in! I still have a lovely layer of padding around my middle. I have never lost all the weight, but I gave up worrying about it. I keep trying to push my limits, gain more muscle, and let the rest work itself out. I try to keep my focus on the small strength gains I am making.


Sometimes, it's really good to take a moment, reflect on your journey, and celebrate your progress. 

Currently, it's the small gains that build my confidence, remind me I am on a healthier path, and...e
ventually, the small gains add up!

No significant change comes without a series of small gains.  However, I am always mindful...

Fitness is a moving target!  You never really "arrive".  


When you achieve a goal, it is time to throw your focus toward a new one!  

Thank you for understanding my nerdy gleefulness over four miles. 
Please tell me you have felt the same :) 

When was your last happy run?!
Do you ever roll out out bed and start running? Have any current fitness goals you are working on? or have a small gain you want to celebrate?

41 comments:

  1. No such thing as a small gain. You're awesome!

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  2. NIce job on the gains! I don't usually just roll out of bed and run...there's usually some coffee first. I need my fuel...

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    1. Thank you! I understand, I usually do take a few sips of something caffeinated lol

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  3. Congrats on a great run! Look at that last mile! Wow! You and you hubby both look great. I love that you hit the gym together.

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    1. Thanks! I keep wondering if I will ever be able to run a mile that fast again lol We enjoy gym time together.

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  4. Yes, my weekday runs are straight out of bed. It's how I roll...hahaha. You had an awesome progression run with a fantastic finish. Both of you look so fit and healthy. I'm a little frustrated now because I can't make progress in this humidity. It was awful again today at the local 5k. And I'm going to training for a marathon in this? Oh no!

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    1. It's how I roll...lol, I do seem to do my best before I really have anything on my tummy and I am awake!
      It was nice to have some happy runs now, because the time is limited. I can't and won't make progress this summer, but if I can keep my self doing some runs super early hopefully it will be easier when Fall hits. The local marathon here would have me start training the last week of August. If September isn't awful I may be able to do it. We'll see...a March marathon is a better option for me for sure. I am a bit nervous about trying to bump the mileage again.

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    2. Disney marathon registration opened today for the January race. :) I'm in. You want to?

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  5. Karen! You are making awesome progress! From 5lbs to 20lbs. I am so proud of you! I agree- once you can get the weight up once, it gets easier. YOUR HUBBY LOOKS AWESOME!!!! He is doing such a great job. I love, love, love, love that you guys go to the gym together. You are such a freaking cute couple. And good job on your 4 miler! Morning = best time to workout for me!

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    1. Thank you so much Megan! Sometimes I feel I am stuck, or like I plateaued, but when I look back I realize I am making progress. Hubby thanks you :) He does look amazing, I agree!
      I do seem to do a lot better in the morning, except today. I slacked. lol I am not feeling that well today.

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    2. I hope you are feeling better. I get to plateaus too and sometimes feel like I will never advance but then one day I just DO. I think the heavier the weights get, the harder it is. I know that is true for ME anyway. Because it's not like I am packing on pounds and pounds of muscle (I wish!) to make it easier.

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  6. That is a super fast time! Way to go!! Awesome!

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    1. Thanks! Trust me, it doesn't happen to me often lol

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  7. That is fantastic progress!!! How cool that you guys workout together! Awesome job on the 4 miles!!!

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    1. Thank you :) I do enjoy working out together!

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  8. Incredible progress Karen! All of your arm pics are total inspiration. You are killing it!

    Your hubby is looking quite dashing! Congrats to him!

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    1. Thank you Kristina!! I am trying to keep at it :)
      Hubby thanks you!

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  9. You killed the run! Great job I bet that feels amazing. I run best in the morning too :)
    Great progress, I think the best gains and the most lasting ones aren't always the fastest ones. You are looking great and as always I love that hair of yours.

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    1. Thank you Christy :) I have been letting my hair "fade" gracefully, it's looking a bit whiter now!
      I agree, it's fast to have a really fast run, but I would love to be back to a place where 8 or 9 miles feels "easy". Right now 4 and 5 miles are still wearing me out! I don't have my old endurance back yet.

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  10. My God, you both look so different in those April 2013 and April 2015 photos, GREAT JOB! :D Just shows how much a few lifestyle changes can do. Seriously, I'm really impressed :) And as I keep reading this post I just get more and more proud of you!
    I'm not sure when I had my last happy run? I could say last Sunday, but those darn snakes just can't let me say it. I guess Berlin was nice haha :) Right now I'm just looking forward to being done with these darn stitches so I can really REALLY start running again. And I need to start getting back to being super healthy because I've been feeling really bad about my body lately which is never a good thing for me, and I really want to start strenght training so I get some muscles :)

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    1. Thank you sweet girl :) Just trying to combat the old age lol
      I saw your Berlin post is up! I will read it as soon as i get a chance :)
      Take time to heal and just think how much energy you will have stored up - time to pick some heavy stuff up and start working those abs when you feel good. I know it feels like an eternity while you are waiting, be patient and pretty soon those happy runs are coming!

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  11. Karen, so many things to say! (1) Congrats to your hubby on his BIG achievement of 30 lbs lost and looking amazing. (2) Did you get your husband to take a selfie of you guys at the guy?! (3) I know this is probably out of the realm of possibility, but because you are always commenting on the humid weather where you live and how it makes running uncomfortable, I highly recommend you move to San Francisco or near there... they have wonderful cool weather pretty much year round!

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    1. Hubby thanks you very much :) and yes we are total nerds taking pics at the gym.
      The humidity has been my Achilles heel, it's so long starts now until September. I would love to go to a cooler dry place! I have dreamed of Montana, but the winter would be rough...
      I don't think hubby is moving though.

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  12. Wow nice job on that run!! An 8:05 mile, I am impressed!! Way to get after it!! I love those happy runs when everything just clicks into place and it's like some higher power is doing all the work for you :)

    Congrats to your hubby, that is really awesome! And congrats to you on all your small gains! I, too, have to constantly remind myself that getting better at running (or anything else in life) happens in small gains, not giant leaps. Any goal worth having is worth waiting and being patient for.

    KEEP GOING, you are doing so great!

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    1. Live for those happy runs!!! I have no idea where a 8:05 came from, I looked several times. I am always afraid my Garmin broke lol It may never happen again, but it was fun.
      Amen...giant leaps usually get us in trouble, it the smaller steps that last ;)
      Thank you ♡

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  13. Wow! What a great week!!!! That is so fantastic you're in the healthy body fat range! P.S. those kinds of body fat readers are called Bioelectrical Impedance body fat analyzers :)

    How did you feel after that speedy run? Good? No pain!

    How great that your husband is doing so well, too!

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    1. That is a big technical name!! LOL I feel good about where I am now.
      After the speedier run, I didn't have any pain, just a little tightness, but I felt fatigued even two days later. It's fun to go fast, but I know if I slow down I can run more frequently.

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  14. Great job! I haven't had a great run in a while--I think mentally I need to "check back in" for that to happen! You and your hubby are looking great! It is awesome that you get to workout together!

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    1. We are enjoying the active time together :)
      How often do you and hubby get to run together?
      You should be thawing out, time to check back in!

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  15. You and your hubby look great! You've made great progress these past couple of years. I'm a trainer and I call it a body fat machine. You got me thinking so I just checked the box mine came in, and Omron calls it a fat loss monitor. :-)

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    1. Ha! Thanks! That Omron was my nemesis. and thank you for the kind words.
      Time to let that go and focus on trying to stay healthy overall :)

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  16. Wow, you've had some awesome work outs and great running times! My last "good/ happy" run was last November at RnR Las Vegas. Since then i've had nothing but "sad" runs because i've been injured! -M

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    1. I know, I hope you start feeling better soon! I sympathize, I hated being out. It is very hard.

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  17. Wow, you've had some awesome work outs and great running times! My last "good/ happy" run was last November at RnR Las Vegas. Since then i've had nothing but "sad" runs because i've been injured! -M

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  18. I think that you should always celebrate your gains and not worry as much about your losses. You have overcome a lot with injuries this year and I am so glad you are able to run again! I think you worry too much about speed and such, though, and should just enjoy that you are healthy:)

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    1. Thank you, I try :) The losses are harder to come by.
      I don't worry nearly as much since I can run again - I need to figure out how to not land in the injury camp again.

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  19. You two look fabulous! Congrats on all the hard work. Glad to hear your running is getting better. It's all about slow and steady. And I am wildly jealous of your 47! :)

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    1. Thank you EB :) I am enjoying being able to run again!
      Anything in the 40's makes me so happy, I am willing to get up early for it! I'll take 50's too, I dread summer.

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  20. I love that you workout together! So fun. Great job with your progress. That's definitely something worth celebrating!

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