Fat Gal Fitness

Theresa. 24. Alabama. I lift. I run. I've lost 100+ lbs and I'm not done yet. This is about a fat gal on a quest for a healthy life.

My mom is headed to NJ today for the funeral on Saturday. And I can’t go because I can’t get off work, but mostly because I have the triathlon Saturday. And I feel bad, and it feels wrong to not be there, and I feel guilty that I’m choosing the triathlon. But I also picture what he would say if he knew I was doing this thing. And I smile. Because he wouldn’t fully grasp the why, but he would smile and encourage me and we would talk about the summers he spent swimming in the Danube. And he would pull some pictures out of his fanny pack, and that hearty, full belly laugh would rise up as we talked about his life, and my life, and he would call me sweet Terike. He was an amazing man. And the army of Hungarians that just welcomed him to Heaven is incredible. And the vision of all of them singing praises to Jesus together is the only thing keeping me from a breakdown at work right now.

This is hard.

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Life is good. I might have days that I feel like garbage but thankfully I’m surrounded by people who encourage me and remind me how much we have to be grateful for.

This morning Caleb and Nick joined me for the struggle run. I focused on the bike, since I’m still getting used to the road bike (did I tell you a friend of mine is letting me borrow hers for the tri?? She is amazing and it is a SWEET bike!!) and Sam wanted me to practice drinking water while riding. He told me to take a sip every two minutes. Even though I obviously won’t drink that much during the race, it was a good practice to get used to the process.

It went pretty well. The first time I almost careened into a ditch, but I recovered and the rest of the ride went smoothly. I’m excited that I actually went a good bit faster today than I have been. I only ran like a quarter mile beforehand, since I was really focused on the bike, so I know that contributed, BUT I think I’m getting the hang of it as well.

I know my splits are strange, but it’s because those last 2 miles were me riding slowly up and down the river walk looking for a guy’s dog. Luckily, he had a tracker, so he was able to find him!

On my way back to the car I hit a patch of sand and almost wiped out HARD. But I recovered. And then when I caught up to them I slowed down and tried to step off my bike but my brain was like I CAN’T DO THIS so I almost ate it again. WOO I’M COORDINATED.

Aaaaanywho. I’m so pumped to have new people joining us to run. :D It makes everything more fun. Tonight I’ll pack everything up for the tri and we will head up to Cullman as soon as I get off work tomorrow. Then Saturday is the daaaay! :D


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Felt like garbage yesterday, so I decided the best way to deal with that was to look fabulous. I adore my anchor shirt, but it’s far too big. So I tied it up, did something with my hair for the first time in probably 6 months, and went to church. And wouldn’t you know it, last night was wonderful. My faith family is amazing. And dinner after was just what I needed.

Praise God for lifting us up.

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"You don’t have to feel good to race well."

Thank God for Sam. Really, seriously, I’m so very grateful that he puts up with all of my insanity and just continues to encourage and push me. I WANTED to swim this morning, but I was also tired from two nights of sleeping less than I should and frustrated from life stuff. So I got in the pool, complained a bit, and then we got to work. I felt like my sprints were slower than normal, but apparently they were right on par with my normal time. I felt like I was thrashing less, which made me feel slower. He said I’m probably just getting more efficient, so it feels smoother. My 200 was also consistent with last week’s, so apparently I’m figuring this out.

Then he told me, “Look. You don’t have to feel good to race well. Some of my best times were when I felt like absolute crap.” Our bodies know what to do. This is why we train. This is why we don’t rely on our emotions to get us through things; we condition our bodies to do the work, then focus our feelings to give us that extra push. Come race day, it’s going to be there. Hopefully my times are going to be even better than they’ve been in training. So I can’t be worried about being tired, or cranky, or anything else getting in the way.

I’m really glad that exercise has not only changed my physical health, but my mental health as well. I’ve always been crazy. My emotions live on my sleeve. Sometimes I think hmm, I should probably stop being an oversharer. But then my brain is like HAHA NOT A CHANCE. GO TELL THOSE PEOPLE THINGS THEY DON’T NEED TO KNOW. Yeah. So obviously that hasn’t changed (hi, I write a blog that includes far more detail about my life than necessary), but I have a positive outlet when the chaos in my brain gets too loud. I run, I lift, I swim, I bike, I stretch, I do what I need to do to shut it up for a while. I can calm things down enough to process them. Don’t ever take for granted how intimately intertwined your mental and physical health are.

Moving on from my insanity, Sam keeps telling me I’m a swimmer. And I guess today is the day I decide to accept that title? I was talking to a friend this morning about her running progress, and she told me she was running, well, technically jogging, and I had to stop her and tell her that if she was running, she is a RUNNER. If you run, you are a runner. Jogging is running. Doesn’t matter how fast, how slow, how far, where, when, how. And if anyone tells you differently, they should get the heck out of your life. It took me a long time to accept that about myself; If I could barely run half a mile, how on earth could I be called a runner? Because I didn’t quit. Because I kept striving, kept going, kept pushing until you know what? Last weekend, I ran for an hour and forty-five minutes. It took being a runner to get there.

So if I can change my view to accept the title of runner, why can’t I accept swimmer? Because I plan to keep pushing, keep trying and keep progressing. Swimming is so different, so challenging. I look forward to seeing where it takes me. I might thrash, I WILL have days that are not pretty, but ultimately, I’m in the water. I’m moving. I’m a swimmer.

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Struggle runners are increasing!

Haha I love my friends. Dane decided to join us this morning for our run. He’s been super helpful as Aaron and I get ready for the triathlon, since he’s done it before. It’s nice to have people there when you only sort of know what you’re doing.

This morning was good. I’m trying to not push too hard this week, since the tri is this weekend. Shorter distances, same pace. A friend of mine is letting me borrow her road bike, which is so much nicer and faster than my bike. I think my pace will be better in the actual race, since I won’t be dealing with turning around, avoiding cars, etc. Either way, I think I’m ready? Hopefully my run pace is going to stay just barely sub-11 or better.

Now I’m going to do some light upper body, then eat a sammich. Yay fitness! Yay food! Yay friends!

But really. Getting to share my enthusiasm with others makes it all so much more worthwhile. And shout out to all of them for being willing to trek across the river so I could actually get to work on time. You da best!

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I was going to wait until after the triathlon to post about this, but I had caffeine and I’m excited so I figured, why not?

After I finish the tri this weekend (AH IT’S IN FIVE DAYS!!) I’m going to start training for my first half marathon. Sam and I looked over the training plan I want to use and modified it a bit, since I’m not starting from scratch and hit nine miles this weekend. It’ll allow me to incorporate my lifting and some speedwork so I won’t just finish the race. Hopefully I’ll be able to focus on getting a decent time as well.

ANYWAY. I have picked out a half that is about 12 weeks out. It is the Run for the Redfish and it is December 6th in Panama City Beach. It is a ridiculously flat out and back course that runs along the ocean. How could you not want to run that?? I figured it would be perfect for my first half. :)

There is also a 5k that coincides with the half. NOW HERE’S THE EXCITING PART. I want ALL OF YOU to come with me to PCB. Whether for the half or for the 5k, I think it is going to be awesome. December in Florida by the ocean is going to be the greatest place to ignite your love of running. And the training leading up to it will be SO pleasant as the weather cools down.

Just picture it - me, you, our closest friends, spending a weekend in PCB running, having fun, hanging out at the beach (even if it is December) and celebrating the fact that we have run a half marathon or 5k! Both are HUGE accomplishments!

If this is something you are interested in, please let me know. I’d like to rent a beach house/hotel/something for that weekend and we can all head down Friday night, run Saturday morning, then spend the rest of the time hanging out. If we get enough people it will all be ridiculously cheap.

I will be using a modified version of the Hal Higdon half training. If you want to do the 5k but are unsure of where to start, the Couch to 5k program is excellent and will definitely help you succeed.

My real goal with my life is to help people. What I’ve discovered over the past few months (and the reason I’m trying to go to grad school) is that I want to help people get healthy. So this is the official start of actively doing something about that. I’m not a pro, I’m not a fast runner, I’m not anyone who is qualified to tell you what to do about your health. But I am someone who decided to take control of her own and managed to change her life in the process. So if I can help you start that journey, then I’m going to do whatever I can to do so.

Shoot me a message if you want to join in the fun. I’ll start a facebook group here in the next day or so just to keep up with training, motivation, etc. I’ll post my training schedule so if you want to train with me you absolutely can. :)

Now for links!

Run for the Redfish

Hal Higdon training

Couch to 5k

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Someone I love passed away yesterday and it hurts and I’m lost and I want the longest hug ever.

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I have a lot to say but I’m fresh out of words. Here’s hoping they’ll come out before my soul explodes.

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Apparently they weren’t lying when the said cross training improves your running. I hit NINE MILES today. WOOOOO!!

I haven’t been too concerned about my long runs the past couple weekends. As long as I’ve been active, I’ve been okay with it because everything else is so focused on the tri. (Speaking of…if anyone has a tri or road bike I could borrow for next weekend that would be AMAZING. I’ve topped out my bike and it’s just not fast enough.) So yeah, I’ve hit 5 to 7 miles the past few weeks. So today I figured I would just run until I didn’t feel like it anymore. I figured five or so. But the game day buzz is real y’all. And exciting. I ran past the stadium, downtown, looped a couple streets, then came back through campus, by the quad, down 15th, through Forest Lake, and finished off with a loop of Monnish. NINE MILES. I don’t know what possessed me to do that today, but I don’t hate it. Nine has been a mental block for me. I remember talking to a friend one time about wanting to do a half marathon and he said it was all fine until mile nine, when suddenly it all hits you and you hate everything. Hahaha so I was a little afraid of it. But the weather was right, the route was interesting and I decided to get after it today. :)

I’m also REALLY happy with my pace. The swimming and biking are obviously helping. I’ll definitely keep them up after the tri. I also are some of my monsters inc gummies about 3 miles in today so that may have helped. I hit a point where suddenly it felt really easy so I was like yes! Fuel now! I need to start figuring out how to run with water, though. I am PARCHED.

Anywho. I have something REALLY EXCITING in the works, and I should hopefully be able to share that with y’all in the next few days. In the meantime, marvel at just how sweaty I can get running for an hour and forty five minutes on an overcast day. Mmm so sexy.

Now I shall hit the farmers market, then hit the quad, then it’s game time baby. ROLL TIDE!!

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