What a release!

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Friday, November 19, 2010

I have moved!

I have moved to blogging completely over at 

Hurry on over and follow me there!

I have a new post up reviewing Shutterfly!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Merging with A Tall Drink of Life

Rather than continue to manage TWO blogs, I have decided to merge Releasing Me with my original blog A Tall Drink of Life 

So click on over and see what you think!  Subscribe over there and continue to join me as I take a Tall Drink of Life every day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Race Report - Women's Half Marathon

I am so excited to be writing ANOTHER race report!!!
I knew immediately following my first half marathon that I would do another one and that I would be faster.  I am only a little bit competitive, so I was all over the thought of another challenge.  I had already eyed the Women's Running Magazine Women's Half Marathon
 Even better... It was local and had an amazing looking course... Much better than the more popular local Rock and Roll series Half.  On paper it looked to be mostly downhill.  Reality proved to be a bit different, but I will save that story.
When I made the decision to do this race, I started to talk it up at work, because I knew from being a part of Team Shrinking Jeans, that it was WAY more fun to train with a team!  Well, in the end our TEAM CARDON (Cardon Children's Medical Center) included all four of us nurses from the clinic, our phlebotomist, three nurses from our out-patient treatment center, one nurse & unit clerk from our in-patient unit, one of my friends, the parent of one of our patients and my sister in-law.  
Here are some of us in our Team Cardon shirts:
The runner figure on our shirts is in the shape of a yellow ribbon - the ribbon for Childhood Cancer.
My training went well.  Slow and steady without much drama.  I did a fair amount of my short runs on the treadmill and had to either run my long runs up north in a cooler climate or get up before the sunrise to get finished before it was too hot.  I did have some issues with my right thigh on my longer runs, especially near the end carrying less weight with a body that was ready to go faster and faster.  During the course of training, I released 15 pounds and went from averaging a 14-15 minute/mile to averaging a 12-13 minute/mile.  I continued to do run/walk intervals and couldn't believe how much time started ticking of my totals! I set two goals for the race... One realistic and one a "reach" goal
1.  Finish in under 3 hours
2. Finish in 2:45 or less

It was great to feel prepared not only from a training perspective, but also from a logistics perspective.  I knew what I needed to take and what worked and didn't work for me.  We arrived bright and early with much excitement.  Several of us were running or run/walking and the rest were walking - Most completing their first half marathon!
Still Dark Out!
Lara & I - adrenaline flowing!

7:00 came and it was time to get the show on the road... There were only 5 corrals, and we were in corral 4, so we were under way within a couple of minutes.  The first three miles were a great warm up and moved pretty quickly.  After mile three we spent about a mile on the canal and started our several miles of downhill running.  My right outer thigh and outer knee started to hurt around mile four, but it was manageable and would subside during my walk intervals.  It also held up pretty well on the downhills.  By mile 6.5 I was ahead of pace to finish in 2:45 and felt really, really optimistic that I would meet or beat this goal.  It was amazing to feel myself running at a comfortable pace and look down at my Garmin to see that I was running at an 11 min/mile pace... What a great feeling!  I maintained this pace through mile eight.

THEN came miles 9-12... This was the surprise of the course and the most grueling section of the course.  It was a loop that went past the finish line area, went over and under freeways and looped back around to the finish line.  It was fun to see friends that were ahead of me as I was going into the loop and then great to see the walkers as I was looping back towards the finish line.  This picture was taken as I was coming back towards the finish...
 There was a lot of up and down and right as I was going into the loop, my leg really became very painful and every time I started to run it literally screamed at me!  I fought it for a bit and really got pissed, but then I settled down and realized that I had already accomplished so much and that this setback wasn't because I ran out of energy or because I couldn't DO IT per se, but because my leg was holding me back.  So I walked a lot and ran a little, maintaining a 14 minute/mile pace, enjoyed my music and pushed through.  According to Garmin I finished in 2:53 and my chip time was 2:54.  Pretty darn impressive to take 20 minutes off my time from San Diego!

Here are several pics from the finish line...
 My sister-in-law Tierra and I - she is a running machine - finished in 2:22!

Sam and I - He was so proud and took such good care of me and my sore/aching body!

 Showing off my medal - COOLEST MEDAL!!! In the center there was a charm that came out and went on a necklace.  Very cool!

All of us from the clinic!  ALL Half Marathon finishers - Three, for the first time!

It was an amazing experience personally... It was also an amazing experience to watch a team that I put together ALL cross the finish line.  Ten of the thirteen finished their FIRST Half Marathon!  I was reminded of the BondiBand that says: "Run, walk, crawl... Finish" because our last walker came across the finish line at 4:23.  She was so proud of herself and so amazed that she DID IT!  THAT was incredibly satisfying for me!

This has become such a journey for me. While at the Expo on Saturday, I decided to buy a shirt that I had seen in San Diego and passed on, but that now held infinitely deeper meaning for me now.  On the back it reads this:

Whether you are 16 or 67,
the desire to hit the road
is not easily explained to those who
do not run.
We understand the pull of the road.
The joy of losing yourself in the solitude
of a good long distance run, 
or the sisterhood you experience
when you find that great running partner ~
Running is more than a feat of athleticism,
it is therapeutic. There is an unexpected
exhilaration that we experience
having challenged our personal limitations...
Finally proving to ourselves
that we can indeed make it to the finish line!
Whether you are here to win,
or here to experience a little more of who you are...
We salute you!

What a race!  I can't wait for the next one!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shrinkvivor Weigh-In #8

I made it to the FINAL SEVEN competing for the SHRINKVIVOR title!
Shrinkvivor Challenge at the Sisterhood!
I am still pinching myself and cannot believe I did it.  Yet in the same breathe, I set out to do this from the very first day of the challenge.  I have been so focused on getting to the finish line and accomplishing a big win!  I am thrilled to be in the last days and whether or not I take home the official title, I have absolutely WON!  I am blown away by all I have accomplished and all of the new and healthy habits I have created in my life.  You can hear all about it HERE on the vlog I created to "plead my case" for all who would be voting.

Selfishly, I absolutely want to win, but I have to tell you that I am surrounded by some amazing, amazing women in the top 7!  These gals have also created awesome results and have truly taken the opportunity to change their lives over the past 7 weeks.  It is great to be surrounded by motivated women who are taking on their lives!

This past week I have started to take it easy as I prepare for my race on Sunday.  I did six miles instead of eight for my last training run and really took the opportunity to listen to my body and stop while I was ahead.  I have been doing some yoga and lots of stretching.  I will do a bit of elliptical, but other than that I am focusing on hydration, rest and getting enough carbs loaded to feel great for the race. 

Eating has continued to go well and I am still amazed by how good I feel!  I was derailed a little bit on Halloween and did indulge in a few pieces of the pounds of candy that came into my house in the hands of my children and out of my house as I passed it out.  I got right back on track Monday morning and am doing well now, though.

The fitness challenge this week was to try something new and my "something new" was a new yoga video - Jillian's Yoga Melt Down and Holy WOW... as usual, she doesn't mess around!  She always means business and the way my body felt the next day was proof!  Sore, sore, sore - good sore, but SORE!

That is about it for this week...
I do have ONE last request... Go HERE and vote for ME!!!  I would love to have your vote!

Without further ado, it is time to share my stats!  Another great week!!!

Here are my stats:

Starting Weight
215 lbs
Starting Weight for this Challenge
Today's Weight
182.4 lbs

Change from last week
-2 lbs!!!!

Difference for the challenge
Total Difference
 -32.6 lbs

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shrinkvivor - FINAL SEVEN!!!!

Here we are and the Shrinkvivor competition over at the Sisterhood is coming to an end...  I found out on Thursday that I made it to the 
So, what does this mean...  It means that I get to plead my case and explain how I have grown and learned throughout the challenge AND talk about why I deserve to be the 
Of course the title and the amazing prize package would be incredible, but at the end of the day I am thrilled to be where I am and thrilled to have accomplished what I set out to accomplish.
So take a few minutes and listen to my video.  I hope it resonates and I hope you can understand why I have so much to celebrate!
So there you have it!

Shrinkvivor Challenge at the Sisterhood!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Send Me to Fitbloggin!!!

I am extremely excited that The Sisterhood is giving away two tickets to 
Can I tell you just HOW MUCH I want to join all of my amazing Sisterhood Sisters in Baltimore to party, play & party learn, network & grow in our fitness, health and blogging from some of the best known fitness bloggers?
Well, you are about to hear directly from me on my first ever vlog!

So there you have it!  Here's to hoping that Random.org will be kind to me!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shrinkvivor Weigh-In #7

I made it one step closer to the SHRINKVIVOR title!
Shrinkvivor Challenge at the Sisterhood!
Sadly, I ended up being the only official member left of the Maroon Tribe.  I say officially because we have unofficially remained a little team that has continued to encourage and support each other...  By far one of the absolute BEST Shrinking Jeans teams I have ever been privileged to be a part of!
At the beginning of the week, we found out that the tribes had merged and all of us that have not been sent to Exile Island have become Tribe OUTLAST!  How cool to have made it through the merge!  I have accomplished amazing things and stretched myself, while challenging my limits and am blown away by what I have created.

It was a great week.  I was able to adjust my pre-run eating to include several carb meals and it made a huge difference in being able to run my 12 mile long run on Saturday.  My run felt great and I was able to run some of my fastest miles.  I am so excited for my Half Marathon and so excited to see how much I improve and how much better my time is over my time in San Diego.  I feel great and can't wait!

Our fitness challenge was MILES again.  This is my favorite challenge.  It has helped that I am in the final weeks of preparing for a big race, but nevertheless, I really, really pushed myself.  I WANT IMMUNITY!!!  The first miles challenge, I really thought I was pushing my limits and couldn't imagine doing more than the 24 miles that I did then.  Well, then came this challenge and all that it meant.  I am ecstatic to have banked
34.03 MILES
this past week from Thursday-Tuesday.  Crazy, crazy!!!

Our non-fitness challenge was to be aware of trans-fats... I am eating almost NO trans-fat and it is amazing because I almost never go into my pantry anymore because I am eating so fresh and clean!  It feels great!

My eating plan continues to go well and I am feeling so great physically and mentally!  It is really amazing to me, what a difference no refines sugar and almost no carbs has made for me!  I have more energy and I feel so, so great!  It doesn't hurt that I am starting to fit into smaller clothes.  The feeling of extra room in things that used to be tight on me is amazing!

Without further ado, it is time to share my stats!  Another great week!!!

Here are my stats:

Starting Weight
215 lbs
Starting Weight for this Challenge
Today's Weight
184.4 lbs

 184.4!?!?!  I am now closer to 180 than 190?!?!
Change from last week
-4 lbs!!!!

Difference for the challenge
Total Difference
 -30.6 lbs
I'm Down w/the Sisterhood

Stay tuned for my first vlog this week... There is a little drawing going on over at the Sisterhood for tickets to Fitbloggin 11.  All of my SAH sisters are on their way and I want to go SO BAD!!!  So that I can be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing, I have to do a vlog talking about why I want to go.  Should be entertaining!