Monday, June 7, 2010

Fitness Coach

Check out my video blog about my journey through weight loss since January 1st of this year. What a great journey so far and I am still on that journey! I am feeling fantastic and enjoying the process! I have also recently become a fitness coach. You can find out more about coaching by e-mailing me, or checking me out on Facebook at or follow me on twitter at Coach_Kami or at my beachbody website .

Keep checking back to my blog weekly for more video blogs of my journey! And, I'm working towards a Tri-athalon in August! Whoop whoop! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010



I completed 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 16 minutes, on April 25, 2010! Brian and I finished the race despite the cold, misty, foggy conditions. My wonderful husband completed the race in 2 hours and 2 minutes, and I followed 14 minutes later! I am pleased with my time for many reasons. First, I shaved 35 MINUTES off of last years time of 2 hours and 50 minutes!!! Second, once again, I did not walk at all, I ran the entire 13.1 miles. And I just feel GREAT! My body feels so much stronger and faster than last year, and also LIGHTER (20 pounds lighter to be exact!) Thanks to my wonderful friends (Kristen) who get up with me at 5am to work out, the AWESOME exercise class instructors at Urban (Jenelle, Tony, Angie and James!), and the AMAZING people and leaders at Weight Watchers! And of course my running buddy, and my husband Brian! Thank you ALL for being so wonderful and supportive.

Before this race, I swore this would be my last because I haven't seen weight loss results from running as I do with the exercise classes at Urban active, and because of the physical wear and tear on the body. HOWEVER, this race went so smoothly, and I started wondering...if I can reach my weight loss goal (25 more pounds) how much more time can I shave off next year? And how much better will my body feel during/after the race? So, we will just have to wait and see if this girl will make another showing at the Glass City Marathon in 2011!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

11 Weeks, 11 Pounds, and 12 Inches...

I'm drinking hot tea looking out my back window from the comfort of my couch. It's snow day number two, and we've got an incredible 12" of snow on the ground. I'm feeling great for many reasons, number one being school has been called off for the second day in a row, number two being that the snow hasn't stopped me from getting in my workouts, and number three I've lost 11 pounds in five weeks. Then the sense of accomplishment fades and a slow panic sweeps across me as I remember there are only 11 weeks left until race day!

In the short amount of time since January 1st so much has happened. I've made working out and eating healthy my number one priority and I feel excellent. It just so happens that when you commit yourself 100% to making those two things your number one priority, everything else seems to fall into place and everything becomes even better than before. Let me explain. I've always been one to workout and eat healthy, but I would say I did it when it was "convenient" for me, and could fit into my schedule. Well now, it is my first priority and it IS my schedule. I used to workout after work here and there, and eat healthy as often as possible and so forth. Now, I'm getting up at 5am, working out harder than ever, counting my calories more strict than ever, making sure I am prepared and planning meals ahead of time and following my Weight Watchers program to the tee. No excuses! When I do that, I not only see results weight wise, but I have so much more energy. I feel like I am a better teacher, a better wife, a better friend, and a better person. I just hope and pray that I can and do keep this up!

Now, when I say I've been working out like crazy, let me elaborate. I've been going to 6am classes Monday through Friday at Urban, which consist of three days of spin and two days weight lifting. On Saturdays I've been doing three classes at Urban and on Sundays I do my own work out. And then there's running...almost forgot, I'm 11 weeks away from the half marathon right? When do I fit in running you say? That's an excellent question I've been asking myself see, I'm in LOVE with these new workout classes and they are yielding results! I didn't lose weight last year through the whole marathon training process, and I'm not sold on giving up the new classes for that reason. So there in lies my dilemma. What I've been trying to to do is fit in my runs either after school (yes, that means working out 2x per day), on snow days or delays (which total three thus far) and on Saturdays and Sundays.

It's a 12 week training program and I'm already behind...but I'll find someway to do just looks like working out twice a day is going to have to be the answer for me until the race is over. It can't hurt, right?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back in the saddle, again...

Happy 2010 everyone! I cannot believe that a year has gone by since I last updated my blog! My apologies to all my followers as I have been slacking in the writing department. Let me update you on my adventures since I've last written (pay special attention to #2):

1) completed student teaching (January '09 - May '09)

2) completed my FIRST half marathon (April '09)
3) received teaching license (June '09)

4) accepted teaching position with Maumee City Schools (July '09)

5) been crazy busy teaching K-1 students with special needs ( August '09-current)

6) back to training for 2nd half marathon (December '09- current)

One of my (many) New Year's resolutions is to be faithful to this blog and update often. Girl Scout's honor.
Last year my sister-in-law, Kristen, and I trained for the Glass City Half Marathon and finished in just under 3 hours. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have had in my life, and I am hooked! This year, my husband (after hearing me go on-and-on about how AMAZING the race was) signed up to run the Glass City Half Marathon as well. We are starting to train, so here comes the pain!!!

Before I get to the pain part, let's talk about the half marathon Kristen and I completed in April. We trained. We trained more. And we trained, and trained and trained. We were running on our own during the week. If I wasn't running at least 4 miles each day, I wasn't happy with myself. My time stayed right around 9'30" per mile (which I hope to improve this year). On the weekends Kristen and I would run our "long" run, which started off at 5 miles, then 6, then get the picture. The most we ever ran (and the most that was recommended before the race) was 10 miles (that day I was sick all day after running- shaky and throwing up- YUCK!) and the half marathon was the following week. I started to think, if this is what 10 miles does, then how am I going to do 13?

The day of the race I ate what I normally do (and still do) one egg and one english muffin (only three points on weight watchers by the way), and carpooled with Kristen to the race. We were nervous and thinking "What did we get ourselves into?", "Did I hydrate enough yesterday?", "Are we gonna make it?", and thinking to ourselves "Holy crap, everyone here is really thin and buff! Why doesn't running do that to my body?"
The day before the race I had picked up my race packet my number and my tracker. We attached our numbers to our backs, and the time trackers to our shoe laces. The time trackers have a microchip in them that keeps track of the time you cross the start line, and cross the finish line. I also used a saftey pin to attach a small ziplock baggie to my back with the following enclosed: asprin, lip balm and "goo".

We approched the starting line with thousands of other racers, all giddy and rearin' to go! And slowly but surely (like a heard of cattle) the race began. It was awesome to see all of these people with the same goal: to FINISH. The race took us through some really beautiful parts of Toledo and Maumee (right by my future place of employment- little did I know at the time), and some not so great parts of Toledo. Kristen and I kept a good pace and were running on pure race day adrenaline which got us through about mile 6. After that I had to stop and use the port-a-potty so I found myself running pretty much by myself, all alone, through the "bad" parts of Toledo. I wasn't sure I was even in the right place until I saw the policemen and women guiding us through the route. It was starting to get hot and at one point I ran by a guy who was washing his car, I asked him to spray me down, and he happily did so.
I was getting very tired and my legs felt like lead. I remembered I had purchased some "goo" (basically liquid energy) the day before and really needed to take it around miles 7, and 9, 11, and 12. The "goo" would give me instant energy and I would feel great, but I could definately tell when it would wear off, at which I would feel the need to take more "goo", I guess it's just as addicting as narcotics. But thank goodness there were nice cheery volunteers who had water and gatorade waiting at every mile (which I gladly drank) along with much needed words of encouragement.

At mile 11 I started to see crowds of people cheering us on, and this is about the time I started to cry, out of joy, and then I thought, "you can't cry yet, you have two miles left!", so I sucked it up. At this point my body was so exhausted I think people walking could have passed me, but I still kept my "running" stride. The whole race I kept around a 10 minute mile give or take (the best miles after I took the "goo" but then the next mile would be horrendous until I took more "goo") but the last two miles were about a 22 minute mile (seriously, walkers could have passed me) but I was determined to keep a "running" stride and to not walk.
The last half mile I picked up the pace as more and more people were cheering, and I could see the finish line. This was pure adrenaline, it's amazing what your body can do even when you think you can't do anymore. This is when I told myself it was okay to cry, but I think I was so dehydrated that the tears wouldn't come! Plus I was too excited and happy to see my wonderful husband at the finish line video taping the finish. At last, I reached the finish line! I immediately gave my husband a hug and said "water, please!"

What an amazing experience. To train, and to put your body through the fatigue and pain, but in the end, you can do anything you put your mind to, and your body will follow suit. It is an amazing feeling to accomplish this feat, something that not everyone can say that they accomplished. It takes dedication, mental strength, and determination, and I cannot wait to do it again. This time right beside my husband, experiencing it together.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

9'52"...will that beat the elf?

Finally after taking (some) time off, my shin splints are no more! I did eat a lot of bananas, and just took it easy in the running department. Not really by choice, though. I tried to run actually, but I physically couldn't do it so I was forced to take it easy.

While I was at home this week for Thanksgiving, I worked out every day. My mom and dad have been walking three to four miles almost every day at the track. Every morning, we would wake up, have eggs and toast and make our way down to the track. The first day at home my shins were still acting up, but I ran any way. At least, I tried my best to run. I ran three miles at about a twelve minute pace. That's back to where I was when I started running. On Thanksgiving, dad and I walked four miles and after that my shins felt normal. The following day I ran 3.75 miles, with normal shins, and back to my normal pace. What is my normal pace? I was asked this on Thanksgiving, and I haven't really been paying much attention, just really trying to get through my runs and increase my mileage. After looking at the data from my NikePlus armband, my normal pace is a 9'52" mile. If I pick up my pace, I clock an 8'13" mile. Pretty good, considering I was a consistent 12'21" mile at the start of this journey. AND my all time record is a 7'24" mile, which was in high school when I was in the best shape of my life (and that was a single mile). My goal is to run a consistent 8' minute mile.

I feel great right now. I feel revitalized, rejuvenated and ready to run! I feel like I overcame my first big hurdle (of many) in my training. I was getting very down because of my shin splints plus the cold weather. Getting outside and running this week really helped me to realize that I can run in the cold and I should stop being a big chicken. The only other obstacle I have to running outside right now is the lack of daylight when I get home from work. But luckily, I will be teaching beginning in January so I will be home earlier and I will have more daylight to work with. That will be really great because I prefer running outside much more than running on the treadmill.

Keeping this blog in addition to my NikePlus armband both help track my progress so I can see on paper how much I have accomplished thus far. It is very motivational to see the progress, and it is more motivational when friends and family keep me in "check" by asking how the training is going. If I am having any doubts about myself, there's nothing like a friend or a family member asking about my progress to get me motivated again. Letting myself down is one thing, but letting my family or friends down is unacceptable.

This coming Saturday, December 6th, I am running a 5k. It is the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis. I am very excited for the 5k, it should be lots of fun. Everyone ties bells to their shoes to run, and wears silly outfits. I actually wish I had an obnoxious Christmas sweater to wear in the run, it would be great. An elf runs in the 5k too, and if you finish before the elf you get a prize. Pray for good weather, pray I beat the elf, and pray my iPod works for the whole run, because 3.2 miles of jingling bells will definitely drive me crazy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I've got a lovely bunch of...bananas?

I have shin splints. They hurt. I've always been prone to shin splints since I started playing soccer in 6th grade. I used to get them in the beginning of the season, then they'd taper off and I'd be fine. They started about a week ago, and I've just been running through it as best I can.

I was doing some research and there are several reasons why people get shin splints. Shin splints are an "over use injury" to the leg. According to Medicine.Net, the primary culprit causing shin splints is a sudden increase in distance or intensity of a workout schedule. Hmm, yes, that would be me. This increase causes inflammation of the lower leg muscles, those muscles used in lifting the foot (right along the front part of your leg- your tibia). Some people also have a tendency to pronate the foot (roll it excessively inward onto the arch), which I am not sure if I do this or not. The kicker is that weak ankles help the development of shin splints. Ding, ding, ding! That would also be me, too. I have had weak ankles ever since I sprained them (several times) during soccer in high school, and continued to run and ignore the injuries (I once sprained the same ankle twice in a month- I never let it heal). I am suppose to wear these nifty ace ankle braces, but have not been doing so...shame on me.

Which leads me to this situation. I've been eating lots and lots of bananas, which is an old home remedy that seemed to help in the past. Maybe it was only psychosomatic, because it is not seeming to work at the current time. Runner's World basically says take an ibuprofin, and get over it. Well, I guess they don't really say that, but it's a very common injury and that was the vibe I was getting from their website. Once I read on a little further, I guess they did have some good tips. Bicycling is recommended, so I think I'll go with biking for a while. Icing is also helpful, which will put my ice pack from my sacroiliitis (horrible back injury from kickboxing) to good use. Stretching is a must, and I already do Yoga once a week, so that's gotta help, right? (Come to think of it, Yoga is the only fitness routine in which I haven't injured myself; maybe I'm cursed for all other sports.)

Apparently, I'm only allowed to get back to running when symptoms have generally resolved (usually about two weeks) and with several restrictions:

  • A level and soft terrain
  • Distance is limited to 50% of that tolerated preinjury
  • Intensity (pace) is similarly cut by one half
  • Over a three-six week period, a gradual increase in distance is allowed
  • Only then can a gradual increase in pace be attempted.

What? Are you kidding me? I guess I'll be back at square one. You know, I really thought that I was doing very well to not "over-do it", as my mom would say. Honestly, it will be very hard for me to adhere to these guidelines, as you can see from my previous compliance to taking it easy during an injury. I will try my hardest, but I can't promise anything. My heart (aka stubbornness) is telling me to hell with Runner's World, what do they know? I'm sticking with my bunch of bananas...that'll get me through. Right? Right.

Monday, November 10, 2008

God loves a chunky monkey

It's getting cold. Apparently the older I get the less resistant I become to the cold weather (aka I'm becoming a wuss). I keep telling Brian we need to consider moving to a warmer climate. It is really sad that half of our year seems to be spent indoors, when I love being outdoors so much. I know we can still go outside, we just have to bundle up, right? But it becomes very difficult to leave the warm house and warm blanket once your all snuggled in and comfortable. I'm stuck to my blankie like glue (yes, I have a blankie, I'm just like pig-pen- I carry it all around the house) on these cold and dreary days. The grey skies seem to loom over like a dark omen, and shutting yourself inside seems like the best, smartest and easiest alternative....

Ahh, but I am training for a marathon still, right? Yes, I have been running, all though it has become much more difficult to get motivated due to above mentioned hurdles. I have purchased some nice winter type running clothes, and once I get outside and running it seems to be okay- it's just the getting outside part that is the problem. I've been back to the gym now that it's colder outside and dark when I get home from work. I was really dreading the monotony of running in place for long periods of time on the treadmill. However, I was quite happy with the end result from the treadmill. What I do like is that your pace is set, so it's always constant, and I seemed to do well with that set pace. I made it through, but I still prefer running outside. I've also gone back to going to Yoga consistantly and that is an extra motivation to get to the gym. The Yoga and the running really go hand-in-hand. Stretching is doing wonders for the hips, the back and the mind.

One thing that I definitely can recommend to fellow runners (or runner-wanna-be's like myself) is to invest the money in some good running shoes, good running socks, and quality running clothes. The shoes help tremendously, especially with my back, hips and knees. The socks help my feet (obviously) because I had started to get blisters, and that is not fun! I think the clothes just make me feel like I'm a real runner, and if you're going to be working out and running for long periods of time, you want to look good right? Seriously though, the running clothes make a big difference. They seem to keep you warm when you need to be warm, keep you cool when you need to be cool, and most importantly dry when you are sweating.

My Nike Air Pegasus Livestrong Shoes, and my favorite running/yoga pink Livestrong shirt. The shoes also have a pedometer sensor underneath the shoe liner that sends signals to the Nike Arm Band. They were sold seperate, but well worth it. The arm band keeps track of my miles ran, time, average mile pace, and calories burned. Well worth it!

Under Armour apparrel. Helps keep your body temperature under control, dry, and lookin' good.

So let's get down to business- the running details. I'm running between 20-30 miles a week consistantly. An average run during the week is about 4 miles, and the runs on the weekends are longer. It's been that consistant for a while now, I haven't moved up much in mileage, but I'm definately starting to see an improvement on my mileage time and my endurance. My iPod has finally been updated, thank goodness. I downloaded the entire 90's Jock Jams CD with classic songs such as "Everybody Dance Now" and "Tootsie Roll". My iPod is a Godsend. I really don't think I could get through the runs without it. Running in my opinion is 75% mental and 25% physical. It is all in your mind, and the iPod really helps with the motivation, and sometimes the distraction. I have been and will continue to be surprised and what my body can do when pushed.

I'm not going to lie and tell you all is hunky-dory...this is hard. Very hard. And yes, I've been struggling. As I stated earlier, the cold is NOT helping. I'm having my own internal battles as I always do about this time. I'm starting to really feel the self-doubt and the frustration. I'm frustrated because I'm working out, harder than ever. Eating healthier than ever (with a few slips here and there). I'm getting the required amount of sleep, I'm keeping hydrated, and I've even significantly reduced the amount of alcohol I consume. In fact, I don't even really have a desire to drink a glass of wine or beer. So, I'm doing all those things right, and I haven't lost a single pound. And yes I feel great, and yes I know I've gained muscle, and yes I know it takes time- but I'm frustrated! Maybe God's plan is for Kami to be a chunky monkey, regardless of the ump-teen miles ran weekly. I guess all I can do is keep faith. And keep running. Tomorrow is a new day, I shall rise to the occasion.

I will run. I will blog.