Sunday, February 26, 2012

Here's the video of my 2011 marathon finish. I'm including it here not just to prove I finished though many of you have probably wondered about it. But because the finish line announcer gave commentary on my marathon outfit. I though it'd be a good follow up to my previous posts about my favorite running outfits. :) 

Another funny thing about the video is that right behind me is a group of about six women. I think it looks like they were chasing me! LOL! Hey what ever it takes to get over that finish line! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Only Run For the Cute Clothes!

I think I'm the only American woman who doesn't like to clothes shop. I hate it. It takes too much time and I can't put outfits together to save my life!

Remember Garanimals from grade school? They sold them at Sears. Why don't they make them for adults?? That's what I need. 

But when it comes to running clothes, I could shop for days! They make the cutest athletic clothes today! And they come in big girl sizes! I love running skirts and dresses especially. But I have some favorite tops too. Here are pics of some of my favorite pieces! :) 

My sister gave me this top. I love pink
and the flowers are cute! 
This top is mesh. So it let's you 'tan' while you
wear it. I shouldn't be trying to tan. I have no
melanin. But I still think it's a super cute top.
(Heather likes it too).

This is my first running skirt. It's a Hawaiian
style pattern and of's pink! :)
(This was my first 10k race).
This was our team skirt for the 2011 TNT
marathon in San Francisco. One of my favorites! 

The other girls from my team. I think this was right before
we headed out on our 20 mile training run. 

I added this pic, just because.
This is a coach on the 2011 marathon course. Nice outfit eh? 

My very favorite running dress by Sheila Moon.
It's actually a biking dress but I use it on my runs.
So, how about you? What active wear is your favorite? Share pictures if you have them!!! :) 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Here's proof that Sigma Chi guys get a lot of action. :) Well done gentlemen. And Thank You!

(Damn I wish I wasn't old enough to me your mother!)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hi. My Name is Jill and I’m a Big Girl Athlete

I’ve posted before that I haven’t considered myself an athlete for most of my life. Mostly, because of my body size. I don’t look like an athlete. But there’s no denying that I am. 
My trainer mentioned the other day that a friend of hers (who happens to be a big girl) gets frustrated when people act surprised that she’s an athlete. I see where she’s coming from. I mean, you don’t have to be tall and skinny to be an athlete. I can totally understand someone getting frustrated that someone assumes they’re not an athlete because of their size. Don’t judge a book by its cover. (You should read me first. I have a great plot line; and a surprise ending!) 
But I happen to enjoy watching the surprise on peoples’ faces when they find out I run marathons. It kind of fun to watch the expressions pass over their face as they: size me up, try to decide if I’m joking. Then the eye brow raise when they realize I’m not, followed by the smile of awe that a big girl can run marathons. 
I like breaking people’s stereotypes. But even more, I like being an example of what people can do. After they say, “Wow.” I say, “Yeah, I love it. So what do you like to do?”
Rarely, do I get the answer of, “I run too.” Or any activity for that matter. I do sometimes get, “Well, I wanted to start running  but....” But I find it odd that I don’t know a lot of people who have a passion for an activity. 
Why do I care? I don’t care so much what people do with their time. But when you have a passion for something, you don’t want others to miss out on the joy you experience. You know what I mean? Like, if you are really into stamp collecting, then you want others to know how fun it is because you are sure they’ll enjoy it as much as you do. 
Of course, not everyone will enjoy stamp collecting. But it’s hard to understand that when you are a hard-core philatelist. 
So it’s hard for me to understand why other people aren’t into regular activities either. People will tell me they don’t have time, they are too old, too fat, they have kids, etc etc. But I keep thinking if they knew how good it makes you feel and how fun it is, they will make time for it, not worry about their age or weight and they would take their kids with them to enjoy the activity too. 
I know it’s hard to move from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one. But for me, it was just about finding the activity that made me feel good. The trick however, is to give activity a fair chance to hook us. After listening to me expound about the joys of endorphins for about the millionth time, a friend of mine went to a cardio class. He came back and told me, “I don’t know what you are talking about! I sweated for an hour in that damn class and the endorphins never showed up!” 
My husband and I chuckled. Endorphins usually don’t show up the first day. The first day your body is just trying to survive this new assault on its status quo. It doesn’t know what is happening or what to do about it. It’s not until you repeat this process several times that the body realizes you are going to keep doing this crazy thing. So it better do something about it. That’s when it starts pumping out the endorphins. That’s when you get hooked. 
It’s like budging a boulder downhill. It takes a lot of effort at first. But once you get it rolling, there’s no stopping it! 
So go out, try something. Give it a good push! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In the Middle of a Group of Fit is Not Always the Best Place for a Wanna Be Fit

I hope this blog encourages people to get out and move in whatever way they want. I hear a lot of people say, “I always wanted to start running. But I think I should lose weight first.” or some other version of the same sentiment. It usually opens with a desire of athleticism and ends with an ironic reason why they can’t. 

Why wait? Running may help you lose weight. Don’t you see that? Or maybe these people just need an excuse not to change. 

Some other things I’ve heard: 
“I’d like to start a walking program. But I have asthma.”        

“I’d like to exercise more but I have a heart condition.”

I am very sure if any of these people talked to their doctors and said, “I’d like to start a walking program but I’m worried about my asthma.” or “I’d like to exercise but I’m worried about my heart.”, their doctors would have them on an acceptable program before they left the office. 

I mean really have you ever heard of a doctor telling someone they shouldn’t exercise? Ever? I highly doubt it. Even with my past running injuries my doctor didn’t tell me not to exercise. In fact, he prescribed MORE exercise! And different exercise. Biking instead of running for the first couple weeks while I ADDED strength training exercises. 

So to tell me you can’t pursue activity for any reason doesn’t hold water with me. Maybe you can’t climb Mt. Everest. But you can do something and boy will you love it once you get in the ‘groove’. Seriously, when you get into an activity you’ve always wanted to try but never made the change, you will feel like a badass! You’ll wonder why you waited so long to start. 

I heard a new reason that can make it hard to get started on a new activity and I could relate to this one!

This weekend at our first team run for Team In Training a couple teammates and I were talking about our performance on the course that day. (As usual, I was the last runner in). One of the gals said that her house is full of fit people and she feels like she can’t keep up. They’ll invite her on runs or other activities and she’ll decline because she knows she can’t keep up with their level. 

“Yeah,” said another teammate. “And I don’t want to hold them back. You know? Like I’ll tell them to go ahead. But someone will stay behind and I hate the feeling that they are holding back because of me.”

That’s exactly how I feel! I think a lot of my running is solo just because I don’t want to lower someone’s training intensity because they’d feel bad ‘leaving me behind’. I HATE the thought of someone lowering their performance because I can’t keep up. (This doesn’t keep me from getting out. I’ll still go out on my own. But I am slow to take peoples’ invitation to join them for runs). 

But is it our responsibility to ensure they are training at a certain level? Of course not. If they want to hang with you let them. Sometimes they want an excuse to scale back. We all need an easy day here and there.

So if someone says, “Come on out with us. I’ll hang with you.”  I recommend making it clear that you don’t expect them to stay with you.  Then, if they do, don’t feel bad about it. It’s their choice.  And one caution; while it’s good to push yourself a little, be careful about your pace. Because no matter what you are doing, walking, running, biking hiking, swimming, if you are too fast in the beginning you risk running out of steam before the activity is over. So keep your eye on that. Go the pace you need to go and let them decide to stick with you or go on. 

So, no excuses right? I’m curious. What’s the craziest excuse you’ve heard somebody use to not take up an activity they say they want to do? (It’s ok, you don’t have to admit if it’s your excuse). :) I’m interested to hear what the craziest excuse will be. Please leave a comment and let us know.