Health & Fitness.

Most Improved


For those of you who I know via Facebook, me finishing the race yesterday is as much of a relief for you as it is for me. (I use RunKeeper to update Facebook of all of my training runs. With comments such as, “Got home from today’s run and realized my shirt was on backwards!”) For everyone else: Here’s the story. Every Memorial Day our city hosts a big 10K. It’s on several running lists nationwide as it has this NOTORIOUS hill in the middle that I have driven up before, and it scared the crap out of me: IN A CAR. Every year that I’ve run the 5K I think about running the 10K and chicken out. I decided this was the year to do it.

Here is the RunKeeper graph showing my pace mixed with the elevation (in green) – do you see the hill? YES. You can’t miss it. Want to know something? I RAN UP THAT HILL.

A few weeks ago my boot camp coach made us run a different hill in town and that gave me the confidence to run the one yesterday. And you know what? Totally not a big deal compared to boot camp. And it was the one time in the race I was passing people! Heh. Most people walk the hill. I ran it. And then I walked through the water breaks. Because I still can’t drink water while running without A) Choking or B) Missing my mouth entirely. So, yeah. I ran THE HILL, but I walked at 3 different water tables. I like the juxtaposition of those two facts. It fits me.

And my TIME. That time has my pace a few seconds UNDER a 10-minute mile. That is faster than ANY of my 5+ mile training runs. I ran my 6-mile race FASTER than my 5-mile training runs and my race had a HILL in it. A HILL. A BIG SCARY HILL.

Can you feel my pride?

Beyond that…my best 5K time is 32:30. So My 10K time was at a faster pace than my best (and recent) 5K time. When I tell people boot camp has made me faster – THIS is what I’m talking about.

And the picture above. That picture was taken the last time I ran the Cotton Row (the 5K of course) but it might as well be a pre-boot camp picture from September. I basically had the same body and the same fitness level before I started boot camp. I’ve lost 15+ pounds on the scale and probably traded out another 5-10lbs of fat for muscle, if you analyze my measurements. This body is MUCH more fit and getting very lean but most of all? This body is proud. It’s not been easy at all. I always dreamed of being able to look back and say: At THIS MOMENT when I made THIS CHANGE or did THIS THING I lost weight and became fit. Unfortunately, that works for some people, but not for most of us. It started with boot camp, but it was months into boot camp before I lost any weight because I still was battling emotional eating. Hell…I’m still battling it…which is why the weight is coming of so slowly. But still…every month I’m a pound or two or five in the right direction.

And I’m PROUD. I crossed that finish-line yesterday and wanted to collapse because I pushed it so hard towards the end. And I finished 4 whole minutes UNDER my goal time. (My boot camp coach predicted 1:03, he was damn close.) I RAN THE HILL. I kept saying that over and over yesterday because – time, weight, muscles aside – the change in my body and mind that pushed me to run the hill that 90% of the runners walk? THAT is the change that makes me the most proud. I didn’t doubt myself. I didn’t say, “I can’t do that.” I said, “Let’s make this hill my BEEYATCH.” And I did.

41 thoughts on “Most Improved”

  1. Miss Zoot you rock! Well done 🙂 Good effort! I’m still trying to run 1k without stopping and dying!

  2. I am proud of you too! And I don’t even know you! Pictures are worth a thousand words and you look like such a confident badass in the 2011 one. (Also, I heart the graphic!)

  3. You rock! And you look great – I’d avoid you in a dark alley. 😉

  4. Ouch, as a long time lurker/reader and former facebook friend, just realized I was defriended on facebook after your post mentioned following you on facebook and I thought, hm – I haven’t heard anything on facebook lately. Bummer. 🙁

  5. You rock! The picture on the right definitely looks way more proud than the one on the left and you look totally fit.

    I need boot camp. I’ve got the running down. My times are really close to yours but I’m not as fit as I know I can be after two kids. Bootcamp or something other than running are the missing piece of the puzzle. It just doesn’t fit right now.

    I’m so proud of you though! Rock on!

  6. EEK. Sorry. Let me explain and hopefully you’ll re-send me a friend request…

    There’s this trend on flickr called “Orkut Fakes” (Google it if you’re curious) where basically people steal photos of little kids to create fake Orkut accounts…it’s mainly teenagers from Brazil and it started when flickr started getting popular. At first it was easy to spot/block them, but then they got smart and started creating real looking flickr accounts AND finding me on Facebook with real looking FB accounts, even mentioning my blog. So, a few months ago I started just blocking FB and flickr people I didn’t know FOR SURE were not these teenagers trying to steal my pictures. I’m sure I’ve lost a lot of “real” people in the process, but I think at the time I was just so wanting to get rid of anyone that could be a fake account, that I was just blocking (flickr) and unfriending (FB) without taking too much time to look into it. Basically, if I didn’t know the person personally or hadn’t had substantial enough FB interaction to know they were “real” I deleted. I’m really sorry. I’ve even been ignoring FB requests from people unless I get REAL messages telling me who they are. The teens don’t speak english well so they’re easy to spot after a few sentences. IT’s a weird thing, I even made all of my flickr pictures “private” because of it. ::sigh::

  7. That is so fantastic! I am so proud of you!!! I went through a similar running breakthrough in the last year with my pace finally dropping below 10-minute miles for 5K races and taking several minutes off my ten mile and half marathon PRs. Your 10K is faster than my fastest, so if I can run a sub-30 5K, I know you can too!

    Now, I just need to follow your lead on getting control over my eating habits. Seeing your improvement over the last few months has been so inspirational… I just need to figure out how to put it into action for myself.

  8. GIRL! freaking awesome! i knew you rocked it, but did not know you ran that hill!! my hero!!!

  9. That is AWESOME!!! Congrats on your accomplishment! You are looking HOT by the way!!!

  10. You rock Zoot! That is hard work and you should be very proud of your accomplishments. Slow and steady is tough but you are sticking with it and experiencing results to be proud of. You rock!!!!!

  11. You look AMAZING!

    Congrats on your 10K, that’s such an accomplishment.

    I’ve been reading for a while, I’m not much of a commenter, but I just want to say: you’ve totally inspired me. I feel like there are a lot of similarities in our personalities, and I’m learning a lot from what you are accomplishing, both with your fitness and your social endeavors. I’m trying to take on a “What would Zoot do?” attitude. I’m making changes too!

    So thank you, thank you for posting your struggles and achievements, you’re not just changing your own life!

  12. You look hawt! And that’s quite an accomplishment. Go on glowing for a few more days!

  13. Congratulations! So when you run, do you have your iphone with you to use Runtracker? (I am way behind on phone technology – I have a previousy used blackberry pearl)

  14. Congratulations! What an awesome feat – I know you must be over the moon proud! (and you look fantastic, too…)

  15. I’ve been reading along for years (since before Nikki arrived!) and, lady, you have every right to be so very proud of yourself!! Congratulations on making the tough changes you have and on sticking with it. You RAN THE HILL. Awesome.

  16. I am so proud of you too, Kim. You are who I think of when I get out of bed at 5 in the morning to go to the gym (to “eat my frog” early) and you are who I thought of when I downloaded the Couch to 5K app for my phone recently. You inspire others and you especially inspire me.


  17. I’m proud! Wow!
    Looking forward to the day that I can say that about myself.
    You look GREAT. You ran the hill. You are doing what makes you feel good about yourself. And that is incredibly awesome.

  18. That is awesome! Way to go, and you totally deserve to be proud of yourself, you worked hard!

  19. You are wonder woman, and I am proud to be the friend of such a powerful and amazing chick.

  20. Would you be able to do a post about what you think is working? I’ve been reading for a while and I thought you had been in a free fall, because that’s where I’ve been.

    It could be one of those things where I think you’re doing just like me, but you’ve been moved beyond my spot for a while now. So, in my head, the change was sudden, but in reality, it has been going on for a while. Does this make sense?

    Also, great job! Thank you for sharing. Love your blog!

  21. It has been amazing reading for years now and seeing the changes in your life. Congratulations on your PR. You’re an inspiration!

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