countdown commences

I had been putting if off for too long.  It was something I needed to face.  Something that needed be out in the open.  Something that I simply couldn’t ignore any longer.

I stepped on the scale this morning. Cue the screaming.

The number that was displayed wasn’t horrific.  It was actually one pound less than I was expecting.  But that missing pound was misleading, as I had barely eaten the day prior.

Now is the countdown.  A little less than 13 weeks till a half marathon.  I am sorely out of running shape.  I caught a glimpse of my shadow on an outdoor run two weekends ago and was horrified by what I saw.  My hips looked enormous.  I’m sure my self perspective is out of whack.  We are all our own worst critics.  I’m not the heaviest I’ve ever been.  In fact, I’m probably only 4, maybe 5 pounds heavier than I was when I was in my peak running shape.  But, I saw the shadow.  I jumped on the scale.  Neither was particularly bad.  But they weren’t good.

I need to fix this.  In two main ways.

Numero uno, I need to get back to running consistently.

Yes, that's me crossing the finish line of a race last September

On Sunday, I finally picked up my self-proclaimed fat ass and went to the gym.  Despite an “overly ripe” older gentleman on the treadmill next to me (unfortunately it was the only open one at the gym at that time), I was able to crank out a good, easy 3.1 miles.  Good in the sense that I did it without once having to take a 20 second walking break.  Easy in that I never once felt tired or out of breath.  This was a really positive thing for me, given the fact that I have run twice, maybe three times, since the new year.  Pathetic.

Since the official countdown has begun (even though I will follow a 10-week training schedule), I want to be able to comfortably run the 3.1 miles before the training starts.

Numero dos, I need to alter my diet.


I’m not going to eliminate all of the things that I love to eat, but I’m just going to make healthier choices in my every day and indulge only occasionally.  The nutella rice krispie treats or toffee blondies from Our Little Brown need to stay out of my grubby little hands.  The blocks of cheese need to stay out of my fridge.

The end result that would make me the happiest is if I could get down to 115 pounds.  That means losing over 10 pounds.  I’m only 5’2.  That is a normal weight for someone of that height and in my leaner, younger days, I tipped the scales at 110.  I’ve always been curvy, but in an athletic way.  I will always be hippy with a full ass (the JLo butt, as my mother so eloquently calls it), but I have strong legs, small waist and broad shoulders.  I love my curves and would never want to lose them.

I’m not entirely sure I can get down to that goal weight with the way my body has changed with age (especially those child-bearing hips that widened).  It doesn’t take little more than common sense to know that the less weight you carry, the easier it will be to run and the less impact on your aging joints.  Therefore, to be able to put in my best effort with running, I need to lose weight.

So, yes, 12 ½ weeks till I pound the pavement and conquer the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  Once again, it’ll be me versus Prospect Park and Ocean Parkway.  Our last encounter ended with me winning (finishing in an upright position), but badly bruised (ego).  It was probably the worst race, of any distance, that I have done.

I knew by the third mile it was going to be bad.
By mile 5, I was getting sharp pains shooting though my abdomen.
By mile 8, the pains went away, but I was nauseous.
By mile 9 or 10, I had a major blister on my foot that required me to stop in a medical tent and take care of it.
By mile 11, all I wanted to do was curl up in the fetal position and cry.  Oh, wait, I did almost start crying…when I saw that the mile marker I expected to say “12”, only said “11”.  Talk about being shot down.
By the time I finally was on the Coney Island Boardwalk, the only thing I could think about was not tripping and skinning my knee on any of the loose boards and/or nails sticking up out of the boards.
When I finally hit the 13 mile marker, I tapped into the sad depleted energy reserve I had and sprinted the last 0.1 miles through the finish line.  I smiled for the cameras.  I could hardly raise my arms up in celebration like the photographers were trying to get me to do.  Instead, I looked like someone who had been on the lam, running for 8 days straight, with a sheepish “I give up” smile on their face, arms barely elevated in the standard “hands up” position used when the cops finally catch your sorry ass.

Happy to finish, without puking or collapsing in a heap

Brooklyn will be a challenge for me.  More of a mental challenge than anything, since last year it kicked my ass.  I may have finished, but it kicked my ass.  I had wanted to spend an hour or two in Coney Island after the race to ride the Cyclone, eat some Nathan’s hot dogs, sit on the beach.  But my nausea and exhaustion prevented any of that from happening.

I was prepared for the race, but enough.  This year, I want to be more than prepared.  I want revenge.  Revenge on the big, long hill in Prospect Park that you have to run twice.  Revenge on the tedious, boring, straight 5 miles of Ocean Parkway.  Revenge on the rickety, dangerous Coney Island Boardwalk.  Revenge on not being able to raise my arms up ecstatic celebration.  Revenge on not being able to find where all the baggage (and my much needed flipflops) were.

This time, I not only want to finish the Brooklyn Half, I want to kick its ass.



  1. Grey Goose, Dirty

    I have the utmost faith that you WILL kick the Brooklyn Half Marathon’s ass Amy! This is going to be a great year for you and you’ll show that stupid marathon who’s boss!

    I did the scale thing yesterday too. Uh, yeah, I guess 4 consecutive weeks of ‘I’ll start on Monday’, have finally caught up to me! Boo ……

    • Thanks, Grey! I’m more than determined to do more than just survive it! And in any case, however I do, it has to be better than last year 🙂

  2. I am completely sure that your own sense of self-image is completely out of whack, as is mine 😉 If you are anywhere near 115 lbs already, I am jealous 😉 I actually don’t weigh myself because I concentrate far too much on the number, so I give you credit for doing that! Your plan sounds great and I KNOW you will do awesome at the half! Good luck!!

    • No, nowhere near 115. I haven’t seen 115 in about 10 years. I should just concentrate on how my clothes fit and how I feel – not on numbers. Thanks for the support! When is your next half?

      • I am not sure yet…might do the same as I did last year (in Sept) or the Healdsburg Half in wine country in late Oct!)

  3. I’ve been avoiding the scale, but hoping that since my clothes fit…I’m ok. 🙂 I’m having minor surgery next week, which will take me out of running for a few weeks… Let the scale tipping begin!

    Good luck to you in your training! As a runner myself, I know this revenge you seek…and it shall be YOURS! Also, I’m not sure I’ve ever raised my arms at the end of a half or full marathon. Good for you! I’m usually looking for the nearest bottle of water.

    • Thank you! I really hope you have a speedy recovery. Being out of commission (involuntarily) for that long sucks! At your next half or full, raise your arms. You’ll feel like an idiot, but it makes for funny pictures.

  4. You are going to do great! You are already getting into gear ahead of your training schedule and altering your eating habits. I’m sure by the time you get to the finish line, you’ll be ready to kick major half-marathon booty! 😀 It’s amazing to me you’ve already completed this half once!

    If you can run 3.1 easy miles, you already have me beat. The best I can come up with in any running situation is a quick 200 meter dash before I lose most of my steam. My problem is too much weight on my joints and arches, along with general laziness. I weigh more than you, and I’m 4’11” (I won’t say how much but to me it’s horrifying, though I don’t look obese, just “thick”–a misleading misnomer). I’m returning to the fitness track hopefully I’ll be a much leaner me in the coming weeks as well.

    • Thanks! It’s tough for me to run any length race – 4 miles, 5 miles, 10K, half. But I just really need to get back to running at least 4x a week and logging the miles.

      I have no doubt you’ll be back on the fitness track in no time. It is really hard to get started. Especially when you feel shlumpy (I’m speaking for myself). I’m a bit impatient when it comes to waiting for results, so when they don’t happen right away, I get irrationally discouraged. Good luck with your fitness goals!!

  5. Is it bad that I read your post while eating six (fine, seven) thin mint Girl Scout Cookies? Good luck! Anybody who attempts, let alone completes, a marathon is a winner!

    • Yummmmy, Thin Mints. Thanks, CF!

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