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Shaving 8 minutes off 5K time
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Jeanette Balmut has been selected to participate in the Year of You, a fitness challenge hosted by The Manteca Bulletin, CalFit Manteca and CORE Athletic Performance. Balmut is keeping a weekly journal, highlighting the strides and struggles of her fitness journey.

Day 303
Feeling better about myself.  I am back on track, over the fact that I cheated and ate half a cupcake.  I have since way burned that off.  I have been over the top with my work outs.  Mainly because weigh-ins are in two days…
I get to the gym and jump on the elliptical and get to work.  I crank up the level and plug in my earbuds and do my thing.  I finish with 5.5 miles and a good sweat.  I move to the back room and hit the mat and do 50 full sit-ups (yes, full…real sit-ups) and then 40-long arm crunches and 70 squats.  This daily challenge I keep adding more and more each day.
I get home and it’s just Mike and I and we have plenty of left overs.  I toss a salad and eat our left over shredded pork over the lettuce.  Nothing else needed.

Day 304
Training day….that means it’s going to be hard.  Ok, I have said it in the past that things are hard, that I had to do this and that and that I can’t believe I could even do this…..but today…..I MEAN IT.  If I could have broken down and cried, I would have.  I really mean it.  I had to look around and see all the people in the gym so that I could hold it together.  Am I proud of myself for getting it done?  You bet I am!  I am more than proud, but it doesn’t take away the fact that a workout like today really makes me feel OLD!  Legs, all legs.  So hard!
I finished with a one mile, level 15 incline, treadmill romp! And then of course, the daily challenge.
Raced home to fall into my bed and die but nope, had to make dinner instead.  I made a pork loin, asparagus and a big salad with yogurt dressing.  Perfect end to a hard day.

Day 305
WEIGH IN DAY.  I always have mixed feelings about this day.  I am both excited to know my results and nervous to know my results.  I get on the scale this morning and was pretty excited to see 195.2. That means I have lost 3.6 pounds since last weigh in.  It also means I have officially lost 66.8 pounds.  I have 39.2 pounds to go to hit my goal.  All my measurements were taken and overall I have lost 36.5 inches off of my body.  Crazy huh?   The only thing that went up was my core. I gained a half of an inch.  All the others I have lost.  I am a half of an inch away from losing ONE FOOT from my BUTT!  Now that makes me happy!  Like my niece said, “you are civilian size again”.  It was her way of saying I am back to a regular size person again instead of monstrous!  The best feeling is knowing I can buy clothes at a regular store, and a regular size…with no more “extra” on the label!
I am hoping the extra half inch I “gained” in my core is from the daily challenge I have been doing.  I have done it every day since the first of the month.  Since Nov. 1 I have done 540 full sit-ups, 520 crunches (variety of crunches) and 875 squats.  I will keep it up till the end of the month and see if it’s changed my body at all.
Today I head to the gym for straight cardio.  After yesterday, it will be a breeze!

Day 306
I can hardly move.  I have to throw my legs out in front of me in order to walk, lol!  It’s all from that killer leg work out on Wednesday.  I arrive at the gym and Javi basically just says “suck it up and quit whining,” We get right to chest and biceps — another killer workout.  I end with my cardio and my daily challenge. 75 sit-ups, 75 crunches and 70 squats. 

Day 307
Saturday is clean, laundry, chores day.  I do all of them and then sit down to watch some college football.  I really want to stay here all day but I know I have to get in a workout.  My legs still hurt so much and I know the only thing that will make them feel better is to work it out.  I do just that!  I do a round of cardio and then my daily challenge and call it a day.
We are both lazy and don’t want to cook so we settle for Luu’s Chicken bowl.  Chicken and veggies only, hits the spot!

Day 308
I get up early, get ready and sneak out.  Mike says as I am leaving “you sure are going to the gym early”.  I don’t tell him that I am off to the Heller Lipsett Memorial 5K.  Mainly because I don’t want to let him down.  I haven’t done a 5K since June (the Lupus run) and I am hoping to better my time.
As I arrive I am greeted with A LOT of followers of my blog.  They are full of encouragement and exactly what I needed to tackle this today. 
The race begins and off I go. I keep pace with a mom and her young daughter and another younger woman who stays about 5 strides in front of me.  The four of us stay within feet of one another.  We get to one mile and I have to stop and tie my shoe. It takes just seconds and back I go.  Catch right back up to the same women.  We all stay together till mile two and then I just seem to pull away.  Not on purpose, it just happens.  I am now all alone, no one around and no one to push me. I get in a zone and just keep going.  Each corner I tell myself that I’ll stop at the next corner, nope the next corner.  At 2.79 miles I slow to a walk and within one second I hear “come on girl, I have been chasing you the whole way, don’t stop now”.  It’s exactly what I needed…back to running.  Thank you, you know who you are….I NEEDED YOU AT THAT EXACT MOMENT!!!!
I finish with a burst of energy at the end and a time of 35:03.  That is over 8 minutes faster than my last 5K.  That was the goal, I did it!
Thanks again to all of you for the support, it was so needed and much appreciated! 
Eight full weeks left for this competition, but a lifetime on this journey.  I can never stop, this is a lifestyle change.  I am making a commitment to myself to always be in this!