Browsing "5K"
Oct 26, 2009

Helping to find a cure for breast cancer…

I participated in the Susan G. Komen Central Florida Race for the Cure yesterday morning and boy did it kick my butt!

I’ve been wanting to run in the Race for the Cure 5K for quite a while now, since before I did my first 5K. And it was everything I’d hoped it would be.

I didn’t do the competitive run, I just did the fun run, but I timed myself. My time was about the same as my first 5K was. Weird. Because that was 8 1/2 months ago and I’ve run another 5K and a 10K since then and I really thought I’d be able to run a faster time. I really pushed hard, too.

After the 2 mile mark, I had to start speed walking because my left knee started hurting again. Darn knee! It’ll usually start hurting after a couple of miles of running. But I speed walked for about 3/4 of a mile then I started running again. Pushed through the pain. Once I hit the 3-mile mark, I kicked it in gear and ran full out.

I thought I was going to die before I made it across the finish line. My heart rate went all the way up to 198. Ugh! I know, NOT good!! But I just wanted to push as hard as I could. I was totally inspired by the event and by the courageous women running with me.

They had these “back signs” that you could get (letter size pieces of colorful paper) that you could write down someone’s name on who either died from (in memory of) breast cancer or who has survived it (in celebration of) and pin them to your back while you raced. And the whole time I was running, I kept reading the back signs of the runners who passed me. Most of them would have a woman’s name but some said in memory of “my mom”, “my wife”, “my sister” and some said in celebration of “my mom”, “my wife”, and “my sister”. Whenever I saw these, they just lifted me up and encouraged me to keep pushing. Running in a 5K and being completely exhausted and spent is NOTHING compared to what they each had to go through or are still going through.

So when my heart rate got up that high, I just pierced my eyes on the back signs and kept pushing.

Through the whole race, I kept hearing what sounded like someone following me, like their sneakers were scuffing on the pavement behind me. But whenever I’d look back, there was no one there. Kept bugging me. I thought there’d be someone there but then I thought maybe they got around me before I could see them or something. Then just before the finish line I figured out what it was. It was my back sign. It was scuffing up against my back.

I had written down my husband’s aunt’s name on my back sign. She died almost 20 years ago of breast cancer. She was one of those who knew there was something wrong and didn’t want to go to the doctor for fear that there really would be something wrong. So it was way too far along to do anything about it by the time she went to the doctor.

Merle Odom was her name.

So about the time I realized that it was my back sign making me think there was someone behind me, it dawned on me that there was someone behind me—Merle. She was running right behind me in the race, I know she was. Then I knew I’d be able to finish and finish strong. And I did!

So what that my finishing time was a bit worse than my first 5K over 8 months ago. So what that my average heart rate was 178 beats per minute. So what that I just about passed out as I crossed the finish line. I did it! And I finished strong knowing that what I was doing was helping us get one step closer to the cure to breast cancer.

I think I’ll run in the Race for the Cure every year from now on. It’s really the least I can do, right?

If any of you would like to donate to the Susan G. Koman fight to find a cure for breast cancer, here’s a link to my fund-raising page. I’m trying to raise $150 to help find a cure. Just click on the “Donate to Cara!” link under my picture to donate online. You can also print out a donation form and mail in your check. Thank you for anything you can give. <3


Oct 24, 2009

From great disappointment to great victory (I hope)…

Weighed in this morning. Very disappointing. I gain one whole pound.

In the grander scheme of things, gaining one pound isn’t really that big of a deal. But I tell you, when I saw that “+ 1.0” I wanted to cry! I teared up a bit but quickly calmed myself down.

I know why I gained. That’s the part that makes me want to cry.

I’ve been doing it, every day, for the last year and a half—2 years, 5 months, 12 days—896 days for crying out loud! Why am I NOT at goal by now?!

I sat down the other night and did some horrible math! I mean, the math was correct, but the amount was horrible.

I added all of my losses each week, from Oct 2008 to Oct 2009, and figured out that I’ve lost a total of 46.8 pounds.

Good huh?

Some would say great!

Here’s the kicker…

I then added up all of my gains from each week, during the same date range, and I’ve gained 49 pounds!

I’ve spent the last 365 days—every day—counting my points, exercising (off and on), sacrificing (and indulging), paying close attention to everything that goes in my mouth, and I’ve gained a total of 2.2 pounds over the past year.


I know what to do. I know how to lose weight. Am I just choosing not to?

What the heck!!!???

Look at my weigh in stickers from last year and today as proof positive.

Do you realize if I’d have lost those 47 pounds and kept them off, I’d be 123 pounds right now? Well, okay, so that’s WAY to skinny for me. So I could have stopped losing weigh 10-15 pounds ago. Wouldn’t that be just darn sweet?!

I want to cry.

But instead…

Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to beat this. I’m going to win this war against the scale (I know, bad analogy). I’ve got a 2-part plan.

#1, I just went and dusted off my Weeks 1-10 books from WW (the one’s from 2 1/2 years ago, I can’t for the life of me find the 2009 books, I think I lost them in the move). I’m going to sit down and read through them—cover to cover—every page. Then I’m going to write down, in my cute little food journal notebook (the one that I didn’t write in at all this past week) the basic things I need to do, like the 8 Good Health Guidelines. (We talked about 4 of them in the WW meeting this morning.) So I can focus on exactly what I need to do, every day, and see it in writing in my food journal, every day.

#2, I’m going to move more this week. There were a couple of girls in class who encouraged me to join them at the gym or at a dance class this week. I’m going to email them for starts to see what they’re doing, and when, to see if I can join them. I’m going to go with my husband to the gym this coming week, too? I’m thinking 3 evenings this week would be good to start. Then whatever else I can squeeze in.

Those 2 basic things are a LOT! I know. But I know it works. I know, because those two things helped me lose the 100 pounds that I’ve lost so far. So I know they can help me lose the last 20-25 pounds I have left.

Care to join me? Click the link to read the 8 Good Health Guidelines and move more with me this week. We can do it, right?

Leave me a comment if you want to commit to these 2 things this week. Then we can encourage each other along. Tell me what’s going to be the hardest thing for you. For me, it’s going to be exercising and getting 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies in every day.

Oh, by the way, I’m running in the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure 5K tomorrow morning. The last 5K I was in, I couldn’t finish running, I had to walk. We’ll see how this one goes. It’ll be a lot cooler this time, so we’ll see. Race starts at around 7am, it’s supposed to be in the upper 60s then. Wish me luck!


Apr 18, 2009

Anyone up for a walking challenge?

I feel so bad that I haven’t been blogging lately. I’ve had so much I want to blog about but no time to blog it. Ugh!

Okay, so first I’ll start off with my weigh in today.

I lost 1.4 pounds!!!

Woo hoo!!!

I’m now down to 168 pounds (again—I first hit 168 last November).

I’m now 4/10ths of a pound from the lowest weight I’ve ever been (which I achieved last December 13th) and I’m 8/10ths of a pound away from getting another paper clip and I’m 2.8 pounds away from my ominous 100 pound goal!

Oh, wait, do you know what I mean by paper clip? Some of you who are new might not know what I’m talking about. Here’s a link to a blog post of mine that talks about it and shows a picture of my paper clip chain. Sad to say, that post was from Dec 13th, the last time I actually GOT a paper clip.


So I didn’t do any exercise this past week except for that mondo bike ride I had on Sunday. But I did stay on points. Yea!

Something cool happened this morning. At WW, our leader asked me and David to be co-captains of our class’s WW walking team. What it is, is WW is starting a new walking challenge called The Momentum Walk-It Challenge and what they’re doing is encouraging members to participate in a 5K event between Apr 12 and Jun 6. And they’re giving away a bunch of helpful stuff to participate. But besides all that free stuff, the exciting part is that we’re going to be team leaders!

I’m so psyched!

We passed around a sign up sheet and I got everybody’s names and email addresses so we can rally our team together to do a 5K event together.

And our leader has already found a great one for us to do. It’s on the 4th of July, which is a Saturday, which would normally be when our meeting is going on anyway, so it’s absolutely perfect!

I can’t wait to get started. We’ve been talking and I think what we’re going to do is create a blog for all of the participants to come to and check in to find out what’s going on and who’s doing what and when and where and all that. Because we’re going to have to have “training” sessions between now and the 4th of July to get ready for the big event. So we’ll plan when and where to meet and go walking to get ready.

Sounds like so much fun, doesn’t it?

Now we have to come up with a team name. Got any suggestions? Our leaders name is Ned and we meet on Saturday mornings and we’re in Lake Mary. Anything???

Okay, I’ll leave you with one last thought. I heard this on a TV show last week and it really struck me as profound.

Time is priceless,

Yet it costs us nothing.

You can do anything you want with it,

But you can’t own it.

You can spend it,

But you can’t keep it.

And once you’ve lost it,

There’s no getting it back.

It’s just gone.

So let’s not waste another minute. Who’s with me?

P.S. Herbalife Las Vegas, I made the background of my blog myself. I created it in Photoshop using many, many different graphical elements and using filters and color modes, etc. Thank you for the compliment! And Jinxxxygirl, yea, I haven’t mentioned the knee injury much. I was hoping it would go away. It only bothers me when I run, so. I do need better shoes, I know, but can’t afford it. So I’ll just exercise other ways until I can.


Mar 1, 2009

My weight loss week has started out okay…

I did something crazy Friday morning… I signed up for my first 10K.

Here’s the real crazy part… It’s in 2 weeks.

I know I can run a 10K, that shouldn’t be the problem. I mean, I’ve done it before. Once.

But this is a competition. I don’t know if it’s a run/walk.

The race starts at 7:30am and they have the awards ceremony at 9:30am. I hope I’m done running by then. I hope they don’t have a clean up bus that comes by and picks you up with they pick up the cones. 😀

David started a 5K challenge (you’ll see the badge on the right side) and I think I got carried away with it. I’m still doing a 5K with him in April.

So I went running this morning. It was tough. I think I run much better at night. I’ve been running with David. Funny thing is that his stride is so long that while he’s walking (very fast) I have to jog to keep up with him. Then when he does his interval running, I have to step it up into high gear to keep up with him.

It’s so cool, actually. I’ve been wanting to do some interval training to start increasing my pace and this will just do the trick. So when it’s just me running, I’ll run at my normal slow pace and go for longer runs. And when I run with him, I’ll do shorter runs with mostly shorter speeds but then with bursts of fast paced running. Absolutely perfect!

I did great with tracking my points this weekend. And I went running this morning, so my exercise is going great. And I drank all my water both days. So the beginning of the week is going great, so far.

I did actually go over my points both days, but I gained an extra 8 points for running this morning so its okay.

Mind over matter. I can do this. I just need to stay focused.


Feb 7, 2009

My 1st 5K… EVER!

I did it!!

I ran my first ever 5K!!!

This day was so huge for me. Look how far I’ve come!! If you would have told me a year and a half ago that I’d be running a 5K, I would have told you that you were out of your ever lovin mind! But here I am. I actually did it!! I still can’t believe I did it.

I ran the whole way. Never stopped once to walk. I placed 142nd in my age division and 1076th over all. There were over 1800 runners. My time was 45:01 and my pace was 14:29. Now that I’m a competitive runner, I know its important to know your pace. :) (listen to me … lol)

We had to line up at the start line according to our pace. I had no idea even what that meant. But I figured it out that it was how fast I could run a mile. I figured I’d be around 15 minutes. When I got there, they had a 6 minute mile pace marker, a 7 minute and an 8 minute. I figured I was WAY out of my league when I saw that. But it ended up that they were still setting up the markers and soon they added 9 and “10 minute and up” markers. Then I was the “walkers” marker and figured I was okay. Now I knew they wouldn’t start putting out the cones if it took me too long to finish. :)

I actually teared up a little and got a big lump in my throat as I crossed the start line. I was so proud of myself for being there and doing this. Then I took a big swallow and said “Cara, stop that! You’re not gonna let these runners see you cry.” Then I took a deep breath and started down the track/road.

I did great. I was so extremely nervous, though. I was afraid I’d over do it and then have to stop and catch my breath or maybe even drop out. I did get a little ahead of myself during the first half mile. I started breathing so heavy. I kept looking at my heart rate monitor but for some reason it was stuck on 118. I wonder if there’s something wrong with it. For the first maybe three-quarters of a mile it kept saying 118. Then finally I looked down and it said 174. That was more like it. I knew my heart was racing! So I took a deep breath and slowed my pace down some.

After the half way point, I started panicking thinking I wasn’t going to be able to finish. I wasn’t getting tired or anything, but I was just scared that I would have to stop. I don’t know why I do this to myself. But I kept remembering Audrey from my WW meeting saying “slow and steady wins the race”. So I kept saying that over and over to myself.

I kept passing walkers. Never passed a runner. But a few walkers did pass me. My pace is slow as you can tell (14-minute mile). It was a little intimidating but I just moved over and let the walkers go past me. I felt so proud, though, when I could pass the walkers. I’d see them running and then walking and then running again. And these were girls that were much younger than me and looked to be in much better shape that I was. But they were huffing and puffing. I just kept pushing on.

Then after the 2 mile marker, I started feeling in my muscles the effects of the panic and it started wearing me down. I reached deep inside me and then said “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. That verse took on a whole new meaning today. The word “strength” was literally just what it meant. I needed strength to finish. So I kept saying it over and over.

I’d never been to this neighborhood before so I had no idea when the finish line was coming up. And that last mile seemed so long. I finally started seeing some of the runners who finished before me walking back towards us on the sidewalks so I knew I must be getting close. Then I finally saw the 3 mile marker and new the finish line was coming up soon so I kicked it up a notch and started running real hard and fast for the last 1/10th of a mile.

I was so excited to see the finish line. I was looking for my daughter who was waiting for me at the finish line. I wanted her to take pictures of me crossing the finish line but I couldn’t find her anywhere. As I crossed the finish line I started crying again. I spotted her about 5 feet after I crossed the line. Whew! I did it! Then I swallowed the tears again. I ran to her and gave her a big hug and was so happy. Nothing could touch me then.

Wow, I still can’t believe I did it.

Here are some memories:

This was me just before the race started (above). Can you tell I was excited!! 😀

Here’s a glimps of how many women were there this morning. I couldn’t see the end of the line.

This was me just after the race. Walking on cloud 9!

This was another one of me just after I crossed the finish line and spotted my daughter.

What a day!!!


Feb 5, 2009

Getting ready for my 5K on Saturday…

I didn’t run on Tuesday, but I ran yesterday and today. I can’t run outside right now because it’s been below freezing outside in the mornings. Go figure! Florida??!! So I’m having to resort to the treadmill. You know, I think that’s my problem. I really hate the treadmill. It doesn’t feel like exercise. It feels like slow death.

Both days, I only ran for a half hour and then walked for a half hour. Still burned over a thousand calories each day, too. Woot!

But I think the reason I’m not able to run for an hour like I used to is because of my hatred for running on a treadmill. I think it’s more of a mental block for me.

Yesterday I started out saying to myself, “okay, there’s no way I can do this for an hour… I’ll shoot for 45 minutes.” … Then 15 minutes later, I’m saying “oh my goodness, there’s no way I can do this for another half hour, ugh!” … Then like 5 minutes later, I’m about do die and know there’s no way on God’s green Earth that I’ll be able to make it 45 minutes. So I negotiated with myself to run for only a half hour.

I did the same thing today except the negotiations started about 5 minutes into my run. But the weird thing was that while I was arguing and negotiating with myself, I noticed I wasn’t getting tired. I truly think my body would have allowed me to run the full half hour.

There’s just something about running in place. I feel like a hamster on a wheel.

I have the treadmill between the living room and dining room and the scenery is so boring. There’s nothing particularly pretty out any of my windows for me to look out of. And I don’t want to watch TV. I’d have to move the treadmill into the family room to watch TV because I don’t want to have to move any of the other TVs into the living room. Besides, I really love listening to my iPod while I’m walking.

I was listening to my pastor yesterday morning. I missed the sermon week before last and was just getting caught up on it. It was really good. He told a story at the end of the sermon about how he had been invited to participate in the inaugural Church service, the one that Obama went to just before he was inaugurated. And how he sat next to Mohamad Ali and had to help him (with Ali’s wife on the other side) stand. The story was so poignant because of how he’d come to the Lord. It was on the day that Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. Here’s a link to it if you want to watch it.

Then this morning I was listening to This American Life and it was an episode from the week before Obama was inaugurated so he was going across the country listening to what everyone had to say about this momentous occasion. And would you believe one of the people he interviews was my pastor? What a coincidence, huh?! (I’d give you a link to that podcast, but it’s no longer available online for free.) He was on there because he was the one who prayed at the event where Obama was officially nominated by his party (can’t remember what that was called) and they were talking about the similarities between him and Rick Warren who prayed at the inauguration.

But anyway… The good news is that I don’t think I’ll have any problems running the 5K on Saturday. On Monday, I was afraid I was totally out of shape and there was no way I could do the 5k, but now, I know I can make it. I just hope the weather cooperates. It’s been so cold lately. says its supposed to be sunny and 45 Saturday morning. That should be fine. I’ve run plenty of times when it was 45 degrees. No problem at all.

I’m weighing in tomorrow morning (Friday) rather than Saturday morning because of the 5K. So I’m going to be one day short so I know I’m not going to lose very much, if anything. I was so hoping to lose a whole pound this week. I just don’t think its gonna happen. I might be able to squeak out a smaller loss though. I sure hope so. Any loss would be tremendous at this point! I just want a loss two weeks in a row!