April 08, 2012

Reader Questions & Answers #8

On Sundays, I will answer some readers' questions in a post. If you have a question that you would like me to answer here on the blog, just send me an e-mail at: SlimKatie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com with the subject "Q&A", and I may include them in a future Q&A post. They don't have to be about weight loss or running--anything is game!  (Remember, I'm not a doctor or dietician, or any sort of medical professional--I can only answer questions from my own experience).

Q. Have you always been a fast runner? I just started running in January and I just ran my first 5k this weekend and finished in 44:54 (my goal was under 45:00!) The next day you posted about the girl who walked it in 40 minutes! Did you get faster as you lost weight? As you trained more?

A. First, congrats on reaching your goal! "Fast" is only relative to each person. I'm definitely a "middle of the pack" runner, and a lot of runners would probably consider my pace on the slow side. But my definition of "fast" has changed since I started running. I remember that first, I was aiming for a 12-minute mile, which seemed fast to me. Then a big goal was a 10-minute mile, and then a sub-30:00 5K. Once I was running a 10-minute mile, the 12-min mile seemed SO slow. Now, I'm happy when I run sub-9:00 miles in a race. But if I compare myself to my friend Renee, I'm practically a turtle at that pace!

My point is, what is fast to you may be slow to someone else, and vice versa. So rather than compare yourself to other people, just look at your 44:54 time for the 5K as a baseline. You might make your next goal 43:xx, which technically WOULD be fast--for you!

To get faster, you need to run faster--sounds obvious, but if you never push yourself to run faster, then you probably won't improve. Also, adding mileage can help with your speed as well. My speed was constantly improving for about the first 7 months of running. I know I can still improve it with the right kind of training, but right now my focus is on the marathon (slow and steady).

Q. Does your husband read your blog?

A. The short answer is no, he doesn't read it. Once in a while, he will come home from work and say, "Hey, I read your blog today." I've been blogging for 12 years, and he's probably only read a handful of posts. I don't mind if he doesn't read it, and I don't mind if he does... but it's probably not very interesting to him! If he wrote a blog about something he found interesting (Star Wars, ugh) you couldn't pay me enough to read it ;)  (He was just reading this over my shoulder, and said, "You've been blogging for 12 years?!" Haha, my point exactly).

Jerry is extremely supportive of my blogging, however. When I'm trying to write a post or respond to e-mails, he will keep the kids out of my hair. He'll make me a cup of tea to drink while I write, and he listens when I tell him stories about my readers (yes, I talk about you as if you are my friends!) And he totally lets me steal the spotlight when it comes to our weight loss ;)  He's lost 75 pounds...

Q. When you were a big girl how did you get up the courage or nerve to start running? I am too afraid to even start!

A. Normally, I'm a very nervous person, so I'm surprised that I didn't have any anxiety about running. I talked to my friend Renee (my only "runner friend" at the time) and told her that I had a long-term goal to enter and RUN a 5K race. In the back of my mind, I really didn't think it was possible for me. Renee seemed very confident that I could do it, so I decided to go ahead and register for a 5K that was many months away.

I can't believe I'm posting this pic--this was
from after one of my first runs. *cringe*
Once I registered for that race, I knew I would HAVE TO train for it. I was kind of embarrassed to run in public, because of my weight, but I promised myself that I would do it three times per week, no matter what. I actually found that running in public was helpful--I didn't want to appear as if I was really struggling to run if I encountered someone else, so I faked being a strong runner until that person had passed me. "Fake it 'til you make it" really does work when it comes to running. I only got better at running, and smaller in size :)

If you're overweight and thinking of running, but afraid to start, I would highly recommend checking out Carly's story. She started running at 350 pounds, and she's had some AMAZING progress. 

And now a question for all of you...

What is your favorite Easter candy?

I am partial to Cadbury Cream Eggs--LOVE THEM. Not surprising, because I love frosting and chocolate. I also love the Reese's Eggs--the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter is perfect. Much better than the Reese's Cups.


  1. That's so funny about Reese's! My friend just asked me why they were so much better and I said- " it's the ratio"! :)

  2. Favorite Easter candy is tough, but I think I have to go with the Hershey's chocolate eggs. They are just the right shape and size to get a great bit bite of chocolate.

    Happy Easter!!!! :-)

  3. Cadbury Mini Eggs :)

    (But... this note wouldn't be complete without saying that the Reese's eggs are my absolute favorite of Reese's anything!)

  4. LOVE the Reese's eggs! My absolute favorite! But I also love Starburst Jellybeans. They're so juicy!

  5. Hollow Milk Chocolate bunnies. Hands down I LOVE hollow chocolate. It's the best! They have little hollow bunnies called "baby binks" that are fabulous and a much more acceptable portion size. If there is such a thing for chocolate bunnies. :) lol. I ate one today! Loved it! Cadbury eggs are close second. But for some reason it seems to me that years ago the filling was much more runny. Am I dreaming?

  6. I loved this post! (PS: NO ONE in my family reads my blog!) lol…

  7. I originally started writing my blog for friends and family and now I have all sorts of people reading and dropping me an occasional email. I love it! I too was embarrassed to start running. I started running at 196 lbs so I shouldn't really complain, but luckily it was winter and I hit my jiggles in a jacket and baggy pants. I LOVE Easter candy, so thank goodness I live in a country where I can't get my hands on it! I did indulge when I was home though. I love Cadbury minieggs and reese's eggs, but also like peeps and the chocolate eggs you get at See's Candy that's a milk chocolate egg shell with a white chocolate chicky inside. My mom has been putting them in my easter basket my whole life! haha. Happy Sunday :)

  8. hands down Cadbury Cream Eggs. They only come out once a year so that makes them even more special. Although I did see a blog post on how to make them at home but the filling looks much more solid so I'm not going to try them.

    Second place would be Trader Joe's chocolate peanut butter eggs sold in a box of three. Reese's PB Cups are my favorite candy overall (especially the dark chocolate) but I like TJ's eggs better than the Reese's eggs.

  9. I still haven't told my HUSBAND I have a blog, let alone my family. Favorite Easter candy? That's like asking me whether I like Charlie or Chelsea better... LOVE the Cadbury mini-eggs. There's just something about that chocolate in that hard candy coating... and anything Reese's.

  10. That's so funny about your blog, no one in my family reads my blog either, except for my dad every so often.

    My favorite Easter candy is Peeps!

  11. Easter candy is so pretty - I love to look at it and then eat it...all of it! Some favorites are Reeses eggs, Dove coconut cream eggs, coconut nests, jelly beans and malted milk eggs.

  12. Cadbury eggs are perfect and I completely agree with you about the reese's peanut butter ratio!

  13. Robins Eggs are my fav. But too be honest candy is not it for me. Make Easter Cheesies (Cheetos Puffs) and I am all over that! LOL

    Tell your hubby if he starts a Star Wars Blog I would read it as faithfully as I read this blog! Hooray for Runs for Cookies and Hooray for Star Wars!!! I love them both :-)

  14. I wish my hubby didn't read my blog. He HATES the internet. Thinks Big Brother is out there watching, listening and ready to pounce and steal our identities. He considers it an invasion of his privacy if I talk (complain) about him--even though I never use his real name! He spends hours and hours on the computer, however, playing solitaire. Sometimes I have to wait for him to go outside (he spends most of his time outside in warm weather) to get on the computer at home. At least at work--this computer is ALL MINE!

    I think it's great that you talk to Jerry about us readers as if we are your "real" friends. That's how I think of you. I have shown my hubby your pictures before and after (with Dr. Oz) and he is impressed and whenever I talk about Katie, he knows who I mean. We really are "REAL" friends.

    Favorite Easter Candy? Well yesterday g-daughter opened a Reece's peanut butter cup and got tired of it, so I finished it. I also ate a Reece's egg the other day. It IS better than the regular cups I think. But my all-time favorite is probably Russell Stover's maple cream egg. I bought one this year (I think I had one last year too?!) and since it's only 110 calories, I had it for a treat one day. I used to buy dozens of them every Easter. All for me. Those never went in my boys' Easter baskets. I guess that's why I weighed 328 lbs.!

    Loved the picture of you, as the BIG girl who ran. When I started walking (two years ago in March), I think I weighed around 280. Now that's a BIG girl walking! But we both got our butts out there and moved, and look at how much better we are at moving now. And we look better too!! Yay US!

    P.S. I had my son sample the Biscoff spread yesterday. He loved it. He asked what could you eat that on? I said anything. Then I confided in him that I had dipped two of the Biscoff cookies in it the other day. (That was a bad day--I was binging.) But it was seriously delicious. Almost worth the binge.

  15. mmm...I love the cadbury mini-eggs :) I'm sure I would really like the Reese's eggs - kind of surprised I've never had them. Probably not a good idea to go and buy some now, or I'd want to eat them all.
    I'm enjoying your Sunday posts of Q&A! Happy Easter!

  16. Trader Joes peanut butter eggs are my favorite!

  17. I just wanted to say that you have been such an inspiration to me! I just started Hal Higdon's Novice 5k Training Program and signed up for my first 5k!

    My favorite candy is the Reese's eggs and Starburst jelly beans:)

  18. Thanks for answering my question! I talk about my blogger friends as if they are people that I see in person, too. It's so funny, but my husband gets it, and he actually remembers which people are which when I am talking about them! I'm glad that Jerry is so supportive!

  19. I've let my anxiety get in the way of my desire to run. I went out and got shoes and everything and have only put them to use once because I get myself so worked up. Thanks for always being a reminder that it is possible and for sharing Carly's story!

  20. Well, I've just registered for my first ever 5k and I'm trying not to freak out about it. It's in 2 weeks, right as I finish my C25k training! There's no turning back now!

    Favorite Easter candy that I consumed entirely too much of yesterday? malted milk ball/egg thingys
    Love em!!

  21. Katie, you have no idea how MUCH I needed Carly's story! Thank you so much for sharing that. I am 100lbs overweight and trying to lose it and I don't want to keep thinking, "well when I get down to ___ I will start trying to run."

    Thank you, so much!

  22. HI,, Congrats on your success. i came across your blog today an it has been sooo inspirational. I am really hoping that your effort, dedication and success will motivate me.. I am a tiny lady.. just 5'2".. I was just 120 lbs .. after my pregnancy 3 yrs ago, I have gained and retained well over 20 lbs.. The truth is I have become to lazy and depressed that I am not trying .. more than anything , it is so uncomortable as all the extra 25 lbs is ust around my belly.. the utter lack of exercise has made me physically weak.. I seem to have no stamina .. my knees hurt.. what not.. I have been procastinating all along.. but you are so inspirational.. ihope to continue to read your blg for inspiration and start moving .. thanks a lot.. !

  23. Thanks for answering my question. My husband always tells me I have to push myself to get faster! I have been and am hanging around a 13 minute mile now, when before I was at a 15!

  24. Love questions & answers Sunday! Catching up on blog posts cos we've been holidaying in Wanaka, in the South Island of NZ (we live in the North Island). I've been running for 6 weeks, & went for a run around the beautiful lake - it was amazing!

    My fave Easter eggs are marshmellow ones, Cadbury - they're delicious :D


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