A new journey has begun

When last I posted, I was training for the Maui Marathon.  True I’ve not posted in over a year so a closure post is probably not needed, however, I wanted to post today to finally close this journey. Have I  met all my health and fitness goals that I’ve set and posted on this blog?  No.  I am still working to complete several goals and I have some new ones in the works for next year as well.(does one ever really stop working on their health and well being? I hope not). I may or may not blog about some of the processes and journey’s to these new goals in the future but it is time to bring closure to the transformation documented here in this blog. So this will be the last official post on MissJ’s blog.

 Most of you know the journey I’ve been on the last five years and if you do not, you can go back and read about it in past posts.  This journey took me from almost 380 to under 200.   From not really living to completing a full marathon. A journey that required me to change more in my life than I ever thought to bring my life back to a place that I could really live.

Ten months ago, after completing(surviving really) the Maui Marathon in September,  I left the church I had been a part of for 4 1/2 years (and in some ways over 10 years) and set out to find what God would have for me next in both ministry and life.  In living that new life, my prayer was to find someone to share my life and a new place to be planted in ministry. I was looking for the next chapter and knew that I had to take a step out of what was comfortable and begin to step into the unknown.  At one point I thought I had found that church and was working to get involved in ministry and building new relationships.  Then I took different step toward that relationship goal and drove over a bridge to meet an eharmony connection in Gig Harbor.  That day changed my life.

On Feb 8th, 2014 I met Hugh Sutherland and began what has been the most incredible journey of my life. Without a doubt I know that God has brought this wonderful man into my life.  The love that we have is ever growing and ever changing.  Daily we are working to build a strong foundation in our relationship.  I’m amazed at how God is continuing to bring us closer and make us stronger. After visiting his church in Gig Harbor, I felt that this was a place God could open doors for ministry. A place Hugh and I could serve together and touch lives.  I do not yet know all the ways that those doors will open but I have so enjoyed getting involved with the worship and getting to know the wonderful people at Gig Harbor United Methodist.

The last six months have been full of new, challenging and exciting changes. Tonight Hugh and I are able to enjoy a wonderful dinner to celebrate these past six months, all that God had done to bring us together, the relationship that He is building and the love that is growing in our lives.  Tomorrow begins the next phase in our journey as I move to Gig Harbor.  The move will put me in the community where God has already moved my heart.  The move will give Hugh and me even more ability to grow and strengthen our relationship for the future.  To better enable us to support each other in life and in ministry. A solid foundation is our goal for the future we are building and planning.  So as I end this journey, I’ve already began a new one.  Thank you to all who have read and supported this blog over the last several years. I hope and pray that in some small way this journey has been a help to you in your own journey to become who God has created you to be.

Psalms 16:11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever.

God Bless – Janelle






Month One went way too fast

I really didn’t mean to miss posting last week, time got away and even though I opened wordpress a couple times last Monday it just didn’t happen.  Training is going good.  So far the distances are not too much and I’m able to complete the runs.  Wednesdays have been the hardest.  Not sure why, so I’m going to change it up this week and try to run in the mornings.  I do not know if running in the morning will be better or not.  I think the Wednesday difficulty my also be mental.  I’m talking my self into not being at my best by the afternoon when I’m schedule to run.  If I can switch it up and run in the morning, maybe I’ll be fresher and more able to push myself on these runs.

Last Saturday’s Cinco De Mayo 8k in Snoqualmie was “almost” fun.  The sun was out and the course was flat.  If not for a bathroom break I would have had a personal best.  Next time that PR is going to fall.  I have found that I do better running with others, so I’m looking to fill in a few more Saturdays with some events. The bank account won’t allow for too many more than I’ve already signed up for to date so I will be picky.  Still need to come up for a plan on how to complete the long runs coming in August. I’ve got a bit of time but those runs scare me.  Thank goodness I’ve planned a full six months to get these distances up as I don’t think i could have done a shorter training schedule. I’m just not a good enough runner.

Still trying to figure out how to get off another 20-30lb before Maui. I believe I can do it, I just have to get the right mix of calories burned and nutrition to see the weight drop a bit faster. One change will be to add more strength training in the coming weeks.  I think a better balance between cardio and strength will help overall. One fear is in changing what worked so well for so long. The one area I’ve stayed very consistent is the two cardio workouts Mon – Fri. and I’ve tried to not mess with that too much.  So small changes, some shorter cardio on my cross-training days with more strength.Building more muscle with more consistent strength workouts will help burn fat (so all the “experts” say).

This week the weather is cooperating I’ll be doing a (YIKES) 7-mile run early on Saturday morning before I’m spending the day taking photos for a friends wedding.  No sleeping in this weekend.  My next event is the 15k Seattle best at Lake Union in two week.s  Last 15k I did I fell a bit short of the full event in a “run” so that is my goal for this upcoming event.  Just keep that run stride for the whole race.  Weather needs to stay nice this month!

Miles ran week 4 – 15.5 miles

Miles ran week 5 – 16 miles

Miles planned week 5 – 17 miles

152 days and counting…

I promise not to use the number of days left as my heading each week but it was interesting to see it up on the marathon site.  Really not that long and I know the time will fly. Not time yet to get anxious.  I’m going to stick to this training plan and prepare with the intent to enjoy as much of the run as possible.  Even if I do another marathon in the future, running an event like this for the first time in a great location only happens once.

Completed week 3 strong.  Ran the Seahawks 12k on Sunday (which is 7.46 miles and above the training plan technically) in under 1 1/2 hours.  That was my goal and it is the first race that I have beat my personal goal.  Usually I’m right at the mark I set or just over.  I had a few splits that were also personal bests.  The 5 mile split was under 1 hour and my 10k was right at 1:10.  Both about 5 min. faster than my last events at those distances.  I’m also feeling better at the end of the runs.  Not only did I run the race without walking breaks, I felt that another mile or so would have been doable.  Don’t get me wrong, I was tired and ending the race was no hardship.  It simply feels good to know that pace and endurance are improving. There were plenty of times during the race that I had to keep focused to not give in and walk. I kept reminding myself that I ran 5 miles in the mud and rain two weeks before so hitting 5 miles again was going to happen. I had to remind myself that I ran 6 miles last week, so not stopping at 5 etc.

I had a few “cool” moments during the run as well.  First, my playlist is random so I never know what is going to come up next.  Not to long after mile 3 a song came on called “I’m Running”.  It is a upbeat, worship song that was exactly what I needed at that time.  I was coming up some inclines (I won’t call them hills as that would be too generous) and needed that extra push a good song can give in the middle of a race.  Also, not to long before the Seahawks training facility the Renton SWAT K-9 unit passed me.  4 men and their dog running the race.  After the events of the last week in Boston, I knew that we would see some new measures at the race.  This was a nice surprise and the runners were thanking them all day for what they do to protect everyone and not just on the race.  Finally, running through the facility and having Seahawks at the water station and the Blue Thunder drummers playing away was fun.  Helped lighted the race atmosphere just when the racers were needing a pick-me-up. Also really cool of the Seahawks that were signing autographs to stick around until the line was done.  It was raining at that point and a bit cold but they were there even when the tents were being taken down.

So this week is going to be fairly “easy”.  My mid-week doesn’t change in distance for a few weeks so I’ll be pushing for better pace.  Long run is set for 6 miles on Sat. this week as well.  If the weather holds I’ll be out at Alki or some other trail enjoying spring. Suggestions for good trails?  I’ll take them.  Partners, I’ll take you too. 🙂

Miles Ran in week 3 – 17.5 miles

Miles to run in week 4 – 16 miles

Exercise Fact: If you are not a regular exerciser, by the time you are 65 you may experience as much as an 80% decrease in your muscle strength.

Marathon Training

Fair weather runner….

Well week two done and completed.  I did not run outside on Saturday as was my plan.  I know I will have to bite the bullet one of these days and hit the road rain or shine, wind or calm, cold or warm.  Saturday was not the day.  My Dad was even going to meet me at one of the trails if I didn’t have another running partner but I bailed completely(sorry Dad!).  Gym and treadmill for me as it was just plain TOO COLD!

I can tell you that running 6 miles as a hamster is not overly fun.. Treadmill is just plain boring no matter what you do to improve the workout.  I had music playing, the tv set to a decent show with sub-titles (multi-tasking to keep my mind somewhere else) and it still dragged on. Really do not want to do that long of a run again so please weather warm up and dry out for me..okay..for all the runners who want to run outside but are weather wimps.

So far in April I have ran over a full marathon(28.75 miles).  Now to do this in just a few hours.  Still very daunting and challenging.  I feel good about starting this far out.  Yes 6 months is a long time for a training plan but I’d rather have weekly, consistent goals to meet now versus trying to push the training in a shorter timeline.

I will have no choice but to run outside this weekend for my long run as I’m participating in the Seahawks 12k on Sunday morning.  I’ll be running along Lake Washington so I’m expecting if to be quite cool.  If I maintain a run stride for the whole 12k it will be my longest official run to date.  I did a 15k in January where I was able to maintain the run stride up to mile 8 before walking(or nearly dying as I faced yet another hill that I just couldn’t keep running).  With the flat course this week I know I’m up to the challenge.

As I post this simple update on my training, I’m fielding emails and inquires about the Boston Marathon.  Friends verifying that I didn’t run or asking if I know anyone running.  Personally I do not think I know anyone at the event however I have several friends and family members that do know people who ran.  So far all reports have them safe.  This is a sad and tragic day for this country.  My prayers are with the families of all those affected.  As I continue to participate in events between now and Maui, I’m sure this event will be on everyone’s hearts and minds.

Miles Ran in week 2 – 15 miles

Miles to run in week 2 – 17 miles (Include Seahawks 12k at Renton Landing on Sunday)

Exercise Fact: Dancing is a terrific and fun form of exercise that can improve cardiovascular fitness just like any other more formal type of exercise.

Marathon Training

One Down….

Meant to post a week one update yesterday and time gotta away.  Week one training is complete.  The Tulip Run on Saturday did turn into more of a Tulip Mud Run.  I’m not a fan of running in the rain but I do have an “if I paid I play” policy for races.  I have a feeling that I may need to invest in some rain running gear as this is Washington and once these miles start building up the treadmill at the gym will not be an option (they have an 1 hour limit.)

I am looking for run/workout buddies.  I prefer to run outside as weather permits and would love some company.  I’m a slow runner (around between 12 – 13 min mile) and currently my miles are fairly low.  This Saturday I’m looking at a morning run and showers are “likely” but it does look like one of the lighter rain days for the week. Probably be dodging the raindrops. I’ve not yet decided on on the location and I’d be up for suggestions.  Run distance on Saturday is 6 miles.

Miles Ran in week 1 – 14 (5 mile Tulip Run time 1:01.14)

Miles to run in week 2 – 15 miles

Exercise Fact: If you are not a regular exerciser, by the time you are 65 you may experience as much as an 80% decrease in your muscle strength.


A New Day a New Journey

Almost 3 years ago I set out on a journey to lose 100 lbs in 1 year. Today I’m starting a new journey.  This one is definitely a huge challenge.  Sept. 22nd I have signed up to “run” the Maui Marathon. Yes you read that right.  I will be finishing a full, 26.2 marathon (over 17 miles along the ocean) in the beautiful location of Maui, Hawaii.  I’ve never done a marathon and I’ve never been to Hawaii. Combining the two will either be genius or certifiable and I have 6 months to figure out which will prove to be true. I learned from my weight loss journey that blogging regularly, putting my goals and progress in writing, really kept me accountable. So I’m doing it again.  I will be posting my experiences, struggles, challenge, victories and thoughts for the next 6 months.  Along the way there will be some interesting stories, possible insights and hopefully a laugh or two for everyone reading.  So this week the 25 weeks training plan has the following on tap for me:

Week Date Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
1 1-Apr Cross 3M 3M 3M Rest 5M Tulip Run Cross

There will be not weight tracker however as this is ultimately a fitness challenge and goal not a weight loss challenge. Maybe it is wishful thinking that changing my focus from weight loss diet to the physical will kick start the body out of the weight loss funk. Out of sight/out of mind.  Not that I will not be working on my diet, tracking my food and keeping up with my nutrition plan.  All that is still going to be happening and some of it will make its way to the blog. Expect though to read more about the workouts and running events than the weight.  This blog will not be as much about weight loss as my original but I am working toward dropping about 20-25 lbs before the race.  That would put me really close to my final weight goals so that is a plus to all this running.  I’ve struggle over the last year, not to maintain but to keep the losses coming regularly.  This change in focus hopefully will result in a change in weight as well.  Last weigh in I was 188 lbs and I will post progress within my posts (either way) over the coming weeks.Cross will be anything that isn’t running or walking.  Most likely I’ll be on the elliptical at the gym.  I’m still finalizing my strength training plan to accompany the cardio with my training. If any of you are in the Burlington area, come out to the Tulip Run on Sat. http://www.tuliprun.com/ There is a 2 mile fun run along with the 5 mile run.  This is my 3rd year for the event and it is becoming a tradition.  This year I will complete 5 miles without walking!!!  Far cry from the first year when I barely made it to the finish line.

I will be putting a mileage tracker however where I’ve logged the miles ran each week once I find a site and figure out how to add the tracking.

Goal – 26.2 miles

Goal Date – 9/22/2013

Miles to run week 1 – 14

Exercise Fact – If you had every single muscle in your body work together at the same time, you could lift about 50,000 pounds.

Marathon Training 

I’m just not in the mood…

This is about a trainer at another gym (one I do not go to but I read this story and wanted to share).

His name is Jeremy. He’s 19 years old.  A few months ago he won 1st place in his weight class at a national bodybuilding competition. Less than 2 weeks after that win, he collapsed, unable to breathe, and was rushed to the emergency room. He was diagnosed with a collapsed lung, and no one could figure out why a 19 year old in prime physical condition would have such a thing.

After extensive testing, it was determined that he had Melanoma (the most deadly type of skin cancer) and it had metastasized to his lungs and formed tumors there. The tumors are inoperable, the cancer is Stage 4, and the doctors have given him almost no chance of long-term survival. They are going to try a certain type of chemotherapy, but it has little hope of working.

He had no body fat to spare, he lost 30lbs in a month that was pretty much all muscle. He is at home now, but he needs oxygen at times, and he has to go to the hospital regularly for chemo treatments and other tests.

A fellow gym member was surpried when working out one morning, he was there as well, working out. He isn’t the physical specimen that he was just a few short months ago, and his strength has diminished dramatically, but he was THERE… trying, working, refusing to give up.  They had never seen any sight, in the gym or out of it, that inspired them as much as his simple presence at the gym.

He was wearing a custom-made T-shirt. When asked about it, and he said his best friend had it made for him. It had a picture of him at his bodybuilding competition, and above that were these words—

 You can’t stop me. You WON’T stop me.

So, no excuses. No, I’m not in the mood, or I’m too tired or too sore. Not today. Today, the only thing I can feel is this…..

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.(NLT)

Oh and an update on me…well the scale wasn’t pretty at all  but I’m making headway.  There won’t be the detailed list of results like in the older blogs.  I really want to focus less on the number on the scale and more on my size.  The numbers though are the only tangible tracking method though so I did update my ticker numbers and change my final goal from 150 to 160.  Not that I’m not still hoping to hit 150 in the future but since this part of the journey is about reaching size 10 and I know that size 10 will be in the 175-165 or so range, I made the adjustment.  This morning I was at 193.  So 12 up from my low but I was around 15 up last week before a weekend full of activities that included eating out and a potluck. Feel good, focused and determined.