Saturday, April 26, 2008

Automatic PR

This morning was my first ever stand-alone 5K. Going in I had three main goals:
-Pace myself so I could run the distance the whole way.
-Try to make it in under 29 minutes.
-Beat my husband- as a stretch goal.
Most importantly I wanted to enjoy myself.

Short story is that I had a great run, came in #98 out of 176 participants and my time was....
27.38, an 8:56/mile pace. WOOHOO!!! I think I actually ran a little more conservative than I should have, I recovered much too quickly. I didn't beat my husband, he came in at 26:26, but I enjoyed myself so much that I didn't really care about that goal after the race started. I was very nervous before the run because I hadn't gone to the bathroom this morning and I was afraid I'd have intestinal distress but things turned out fine.

I can't even really explain how good that felt. I've never felt like that in a run before and I actually enjoyed myself.

Unfortunately Hot Wheels has got something nasty fighting him, he had a fever for the past two days and has barely eaten anything. He woke up this morning looking better and said he wanted to run his kids race. The boys were the last two finishers in the under five category and walked a good bit of the lap with me. But they did it and they are so proud of their medals, they've worn them all afternoon. A great morning overall and after the race Outback provided chicken and salad (and steak and salmon for those that were interested) with cheesecake for dessert. I don't even care that I ate more calories than I burned, that was some good cheesecake.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Take that, b!tch

Here are the kids again...
Tuesday was hill workout #4 with the work running team. The repeats were 45, 60, 75, 90, 75, 60 and 45 seconds. That was tough. I'm not sure I've ever just run up hill for 90 seconds before. It gave me some insight into how the kids feel when I tell them they have to wait one minute before I'll get them a snack or drink or do something they want. One minute can be a l-l-l-o-n-n-n-g-g time. Then, on the way home we have to run up a hill known as The Bitch. I had yet to make it to the top of The Bitch without stopping and I finally made it on Tuesday. I'm not quite sure how much I've improved because of the hill workouts but I know I'm getting just a little farther on some of the repeats than I did just four weeks ago.
Yesterday was also my retest for the 12 week "New You" program at the gym that started in January. I was on the strength track- weight loss and flexibility were also available. At my first test I was able to do 11 pushups (yes, on my knees) and 4 pull-ups with 80 pounds of assistance. Yesterday I was able to so 12 pull-ups and 22 pushups (yes, still on my knees). Had I not done the pull-ups first I'm sure I could have done 25 push-ups. I'm moving up to toe push-ups now. Also, initially I weighed in at 168.8 and yesterday I was at 153.2- a 10.1% weight loss. Overall I'm pleased with how things are going, despite some days of low motivation and frustration I know I'm headed in the right direction.
I've managed to put some miles on the bikes in the past few weeks. Most recently, this morning on the recumbent bike. I used to think the exercise bikes were just for lazy days, but I was concentrating on keeping my RPM above 80 and on the hill program that was a workout with some tough spots. I ended up somewhere in the 20mph range, but that doesn't count on the exercise bike. I did forego the Thursday 5k today because I'm hoping for fresh legs for Saturday's big race. Unfortunately, Super Dad isn't feeling so great lately, so if by some miracle I'm able to beat him, it will be a tainted win, with him at less than 100%. I'll do my best and see how it goes. I think I'll leave my watch at home and just go by feel. Can't hurt and it will be interesting to see what my training has produced.

I'm closer to back on track with my nutrition, got back into tracking at and I'm under 154, finally. The three week plateau was frustrating, but it was my own doing.

The weather is just spectacular lately and we're enjoying evening bike rides with the boys. Superman made the whole loop last night- just over half a mile, without a single push from me. Just a couple weeks ago it seemed I was pushing him the entire way, which was tough with Cutie in the carrier in front of me. She's moved up to the stroller and really seems to enjoy sitting there and watching what's going on. She's so amused by her brothers lately and of course they are very encouraged by her laughing to just get sillier and sillier. Not good while on a bike, but we haven't had any major spills yet. I know they're coming, though.

Not much from here, really. Just daily reminders that as the t-shirts say "Life Is Good".

Friday, April 18, 2008

Growing Up

Here's Hot Wheels from his five-year-old pictures. I'm a department store pictures fanatic, we go for all the kids birthdays and then some random times as well. I'm struck by how old he looks at times, no more baby faced boy. He's such a sweet kid and the first four and three quarters years with him were so easy. Just recently he's started feeling out his boundaries, a little talking back here and some testing the limits there. He's easily corrected and responds well, although he sometimes can be very sensitive when he's done something wrong. At times the testing drives us nuts because it's not his usual good behavior but I know that it's his way of growing up and learning that he can be independent, so I try not to be too harsh about a little attitude from him here and there. He's very gentle and caring, and he has a silly streak that can crack us up. He's really interested in so many things around him and is very aware of other people and their actions and feelings. I worry sometimes that he's so easy, he might get passed over in the shuffle, even in our house where Superman demands more attention and Cutie still needs more because she's a baby. But Hot Wheels takes it all in stride and smiles. He's a Star Wars fanatic, he can build for hours with his Legos and TinkerToys, and he's really into riding his new Spiderman bike. There's a kids' triathlon in June, allowing ages five and up. He can use a floatation suit for the 25 yard swim and then it's a 1-mile bike and 0.6 mile run. He says he wants to do it, but I need to have him try the bike and run distance back-to-back before I sign him up. The last thing I'd want to do is sign him up if it's too hard for him, that would just leave him frustrated at his first experience, not something I want to do. He's adamant he wants to do it, but after the practice run this weekend on the bike and run we'll see what he says. There's always next year.

It's amazing to me that each of the kids is so unique and I love them all so much, but so differently at the same time. To my first baby, the one that gave me the best name I'll ever have- Mom, your smile lights up our lives and you're a joy to all of us. We love you, Hot Wheels.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I knew it was going to happen. I had a nice little graph with a negative slope going for quite a few weeks- 13 actually. It's now been three weeks at a basic plateau, at 155. I saw that lovely 154.0 once, but not since April 2nd. I guess I'm at where I've been before. I know what I need to do, but I'm not currently willing to do it. I'm 39 pounds less than I was at my highest weight of 194 and I'm pretty happy with that, but it's not really where I want to be. Eventually. But maybe for right now it's okay enough and then when I'm motivated again I'll get below that glorious 150 mark! I'm usually fine with the bag of dark chocolates in my desk, I eat one every day after lunch. Except today I've had four. And yesterday, I ate a 230 calorie candy bar from the break room. And I didn't even enjoy it. I'm doing the eat-because-it's-there-not-because-I'm-hungry thing, and I even know I'm doing it, but I don't stop myself. I tell myself it's to deal with some of the stress I've got going, except that I feel like I've got no real stress. So this is just a dip in the road, I'm not going to beat myself up, I'm going to ride it out, hope it's a short phase and then get back on track! That's it. Now I've got three more hours to not eat more chocolate in my desk, enough of a challenge for today.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Great week

Hot Wheels turned five last weekend, wow does time fly. (Hard to believe it's been over five years since I regularly slept through the night! He just started sleeping through the night regularly about two months ago, so now it's just Cutie up overnight. Maybe some day they'll all sleep- just in time for mom to have hot flashes and insomnia. But I digress...) He got his Spiderman bike, with training wheels, for his birthday and on Wednesday afternoon we took our first trip around the neighborhood with both boys riding bikes. Superman took to it really quickly and if the wheels on his bike weren't 4" smaller than Hot Wheels' bike I think he could have kept up. He did fall twice, which scared him, but he got right back on and kept going. Hot Wheels discovered how much he likes going down hill- fortunately they're small hills, and I think he's headed for a major wipe-out before he realized he has to keep himself in control. He was cute, though, and he kept asking me whether he can have training wheels on his bike when he does his first triathlon. There's a kid series that he had do next June if he can swim a length of the pool by then. I told him he'd probably be good enough to have the training wheels off by then and he seemed very excited about that.

Tuesday was the second hill interval workout with the running team. I managed to pull my quad muscle last weekend while picking up Superman (not sure how those actions were related), so I had to hold back on the hills, but it felt pretty good. I'm right with the back of the pack of runners, closer than I thought I'd be to anyone else on the team so I was encouraged. On Wednesday I decided to hit the spin bike and that made me realize just how far out of biking shape I am. Since they stopped offering morning spin class at the gym, I haven't touched a bike in a little over a year. Ouch. It amazes me that when I first signed up for my triathlon it was four months away and I hadn't biked in years, yet I didn't think much of it. It's four months to the triathlon again and I'm a bit worried about the biking now, of course it's only 13 miles, I should be fine. I skipped the Thursday 5K because of the quad pull, this morning was interval boot camp. I had a little trouble with the repetitive step motion and my quad, but I think after resting it this weekend it should be fine. Only two weeks until the 5K!

The past two afternoons have been gorgeous! I love all the seasons and it's nice that in New England we have all sorts of weather. I think that spring's my favorite. Yesterday afternoon it was in the upper 60's with a nice breeze and we headed down to the boardwalk on the beach for a two mile walk. Then we had our first dinner on the porch since we moved to the house. We ate on the porch almost all summer at our old house and I think we'll do the same here. The only bad thing is that we appear to be infested with ladybugs. They're everywhere on the porch and they're in Cutie's room as well. I keep bringing them outside to free them, only to find more. I guess everyone wants to get out and enjoy the spring. I'm just not sure where they were hiding in the house all winter- yuck.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The highs after the lows

Thanks for the comments that brought a bit of optimism to my month in review post, I wasn't fishing for compliments but they were nice to read. It's funny that most days I'm really pretty happy with how I'm doing and then some days I feel like I'm never going to get to where I want to be. Not even sure where that is. Weight-wise, fitness-wise, I've just got to see where I end up, and getting there is the most important part, I've just got to be patient.

The funny thing is I got on the scale at the gym on April 2nd and it read- 154.0. So I was only two days behind. Then, yesterday was Thursday treadmill 5K #5 and my time was - 28:38, that's 6.5 mph pace the whole time. So I accomplished some goals this week, and I'm back to reality. I'm going to be a back-of-the-pack age grouper, and that's FINE! I'll still be faster than everyone home on their couch. I'm so incredibly lucky to be able to live the life I'm living; my awesome family, my great house, I've got a good job and we're all healthy. I guess I was just having one of "those days" when it didn't feel like enough.

Another nice thing about this week was that I went to the running club group workout on Tuesday. I went with a coworker I really like, she's a back-of-the-packer as well, her running pace is about 15 minute miles. I jogged over with her to the hill called "the bitch", about a mile and a half from work. We did 6 x60 second repeats up the hill. The two of us got there early and we did three on our own before the team showed up. I felt really good for those three and the first one with the group. However, they did them on so little recovery time that the last two I was sucking wind a bit. For repeat #4, though, the first one with the group, I was actually keeping up with the back of the club pack. I was really excited about that because a lot of them are FAST. They're nice people, but most of them are very serious runners, so I feel a little out of place.

Back to the goals thing, I've got to set some for this month.
Weight- 4/1- 155, goal for 4/30- 151. (sort of cheating since I already got down to 154.0 on the 2nd)
Running- 5K on 4/26- finish under 29 minutes. The 28:38 yesterday on the treadmill was really pushing for me. And I still don't know what that would translate to outside when there's wind resistant and some hills, although they're small. I may not even wear my watch and just see what I can do by feel- we'll see.
Distance- I'd like to complete a 4.5 mile treadmill run. And I'll attend the hill workouts on three of the four remaining Tuesdays.
Strength training- At least twice a week, once in boot camp class, once on my own.
Biking- yes, biking- time to get back into it. It will be on the spin bikes until it's light at 5:30am, at least once a week for now.

Phew, I think that's enough goals for one month. Happy Friday.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Another month in review

Really, another month has gone by? Guess so. Here's the breakdown on how mine went.

Weight assessment: Weight 3/1- 158.2, weight 3/31- 155.0.
My stated March goal was 154 by 3/31, so only 3/4 of the way there. Better than nothing, I guess.

Gym goal- 21/21 days. Result- 14/21 days. Yikes. Didn't realize until just now how poorly I did on that goal. I did also have Saturday's race, so I guess that would make it 15/21, but that's still only 71%. Not good.

Tracking goal- at least three days a week tracked at Sparkpeople. com. Result: tracked three half days all month. Complete failure on that goal.

Running goals- 4 miles at 6 mph and 3.1 miles under 29 minutes. Results: made the 4 mile run, only once, though. The 5k time only came down to 29:32- the one with the bathroom break- I was sick for the 5k last week, but I still don't think I would have been under 29 minutes.

Strength goal- Strength train two days a week with short cardio prior. Result: Completed 6/8 strength sessions, although a couple were half-hearted.

Overall for the month, I give myself a D. Not an acceptable grade and it's time to stop making excuses if I really want to see improvements. Of course if I'm not really all that concerned about improvements, I can spout excuses until the cows come home, I've got plenty of them around. I've got to take a really hard look at things and decide how serious I really am, and about what.
I'll get back to myself on that.