Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Zutter 11 for 2011 Winners & Inspiration for YOUR Goals

Zutter 11 for '11 Blog Hop
Thank you to all of you who visited my blog for the Zutter 11 for 2011 Blog Hop. It was quite busy here this past week. Thank you also for all the encouraging words about my fitness achievements! Many of you expressed similar goals for yourselves this year, so let me share with you how I got here and how you might approach it yourself.

First off, I didn’t set out to “lose weight” even though that was ultimately the underlying goal. My goal was to feel better and by that I mean be more fit than I was (which was pretty much non-existent). So I decided I would take on a new activity, and I chose running. Everything else I achieved grew from my slow-build dedication to running (it did not happen overnight believe me).

Running isn’t for everyone, so find something that you think will appeal to you. I don’t really have the money to join a fancy schmancy gym, and I don’t like exercising around a lot of other people in that kind of environment. I am sort of a solitary, semi-social exerciser.

I also needed inspiration. I only had to look at the desk next to me at work to see my co-worker Michelle – a runner and triathlete in training. I would speak to her everyday about her achievements and be so WOWed by what she was doing. I kept telling her “I wish I could do that….” and she would say “You can!” I didn’t believe her. After months of this type of conversation she told me about her all-woman’s running group that was starting up a new session in preparation for an upcoming race. What was great about this running group: all women, run by women, with women of ALL levels of fitness. I signed on with another co-worker, Raina, and off we went. Now if you had told me I would be getting up at 6AM on Saturday mornings to drive to various locations to run/walk in the cold/rainy mornings I’d have said you were crazy. But I guess I was the crazy one. I started slow, and it was painful. 
 Training run in the POURING rain.  Yeah, we're hard core!
We had 12 weeks to train for a 5k, and it felt and sounded like a marathon to me. But like I said, there are serious competitive runners in the group, who are a continual source of admiration and inspiration while I train, as well as beginning runners who I commiserated with over aches and pains and the “oh my gosh, another mile!” I also read about a running program called Couch to 5K which helped in achieving early goals. Raina and I would take little training runs at lunch or on breaks at the office. I would run around the parking lot 5 times….it was weird at first, but then after awhile I didn’t care. Pretty soon I was running all over the place and a mile didn’t feel so bad.
 Training race in my  neighborhood.
The excitement of running my first big race and the amazing feeling when you cross the finish line, is a something that can’t be beat. Somewhere between that first big race a year ago and this past summer I decided I really love to run. I like being outside and running along various trails and paths; I enjoy seeing what I haven’t seen – the outdoors – in a way I had forgotten. I also enjoy the camaraderie of fellow runners – much like fellow scrapbookers, we have shared experiences and stories that are universal. I also like running alone when I need time to think, zone out, or just have “me” time. When I first started running, I lost about 10 lbs within 3 months, and that is without really doing anything to alter my diet. Though once I did pay more attention to what I was eating, that’s when the weight came off without the dieting angst of old. Once I lost a bit more weight, the aches and pains of running dissipated and it was easier. Not easy…but easier. I wanted to eat better because that went part and parcel with getting fitter – my main goal.
At the start line for the Surf City 5k (2/09) - me in the middle with Raina and Marisol.
(and about 5,000 additional runners!)
Raina and I - "surfing" after the finish! 
A layout about my running life.....
Now I am training for my first half marathon that's less than a month away. I won’t be the fastest woman in my age group – not by a long shot…..but I will be just as pumped and excited as everyone else!  By the way, I am running for an awesome charity - check it out at the upper right on my blog. 

So if you are contemplating a fitness change….here are my golden FIVE:

1. Start with one goal that you think you can achieve and go from there. Me: Get fit – feel good

2. Find what inspires you and surround yourself with it. Me: My running group

3. Give yourself milestones to measure your progress. For me it was races. For you it might be how great you feel climbing a flight of stairs. Me Right Now: Half Marathon Feb 6

4. Don’t compromise these new goals. Find ways to keep this time for yourself sacred, and stick to your schedule. But don't beat yourself up when plans need to be altered...that's life! Me: My family knows that Saturday mornings are my group runs – don’t plan anything else

5. Lastly – there is no deadlines. The milestones helped me gauge my progress, but I didn’t set a deadline overall. I knew this was for the long haul, plus a deadline infers that what I am doing will end. I live with enough other deadlines and due dates in my daily life.  I don't need another one weighing me down.  Me: This will continue for as long as I am able
 I got the whole family to run the MLB All Star 5k in July.  We got to run through Angels Stadium!
The training journal I made last year.
Now with that….let’s get on with the winner of the Zutter supplies!  Congratulations to KK!  She was poster #149...just yesterday!
Congratulations! Please email me at with your shipping address so we can get you your goodies. Make sure you check all the other blogs to see who won!

Lea Sanders - Virginia  winner was drawn on the BIA Blog

Thanks again for joining me and the Zutter Zisters on our first hop of 2011!
And here’s to YOUR GOALS this year. xoxoxoxo

No comments: