Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another month gone by

I've always heard people say that as you get older time seems to pass more quickly. I can't imagine that it could get any faster! I just took Cutie for her 18-month check-up yesterday (she's happy, healthy and on her way to potty trained!), and Hot Wheels will be six years old in about five weeks. Wow! The boys have also told me that Cutie should be Princess from now on. She is in love with anything Princess, pink, and girly. So, Princess it is.

I remember only a month ago, I looked at the February training program and saw 5, 6 and 7 mile runs on there. I really wondered how on earth I'd get to seven miles before the end of the month. This past Monday morning I hit the treadmill and 82 minutes later I had completed 7.1 miles running and then a cooldown. For March I've got a recovery week followed by another seven miler, I think my longest this month increases to only 8 miles. The training program I'm following (from Runner's World on-line) has only a 10-miler for the longest distance run. It makes me a little nervous to leave an additional 5K un-practiced before the race, but this seems like a common thing. I'll know whether that works for me and I can always change it up before the September half. And by the September race I will have run the whole distance at least once anyway.

Overall, it was a great month. I ran a total of 52 miles, did my first tempo run, speed workout, and I did complete that 7-mile long run on schedule. I missed one run due to child illness and I missed one strength workout due to laziness. There was also one strength workout that was done on the Wii fit- not quite as challenging as it should have been. I have a little less motivation in the strength training department, not sure why. I'm up and motivated for all the running workouts, but I find myself dogging the strength a bit. I may go back to group classes just to keep me on track, we'll see. I'm just not usually interested in the drama of the group classes. On the weight loss front I did manage to lose a little more, Friday's weigh-in was 152.4. A few people have even commented that the weigh loss is noticeable, which I will readily admit is quite flattering and motivating. Overall, on a good note heading into a new month.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why the starting is easy

I think one of the reasons it's so easy to start new things is that it's so gratifying to accomplish a first. This week I completed my first 10K distance run. It was on the treadmill, and it took me 64:26 to get to 6.2 miles. But then I went on to finish a total of 6.6 miles, so I'm half way to the half marathon distance. This week also marked the most miles I've ever logged in a week, 15.8. Thinking back I can think of quite a few years where I probably didn't run 15.8 miles in an entire year, so I'm pretty proud of that accomplishment, especially coming off a stomach virus last weekend. I could see a point where for me, running the same distance would lose its excitement when it's not something new anymore, but maybe it won't, because I certainly hope to try to maintain a higher level of running than I have in the past.

I've figured out a few things that most people that are seasoned runners/athletes would probably read and say "duh", but it took some figuring for me. I realized that while I've been doing well with my weight loss so far (yesterday's weigh-in was 152.8, so I'm eight pounds down from the beginning of the year), I'm going to have to increase my calories from approximately 1300 the days before I run a longer run, and probably during the day after the run. On Tuesday I made sure I drank plenty of water, something I've been slacking on recently, and I ate closer to 1700 calories for the day. Wednesday morning I had a banana before my run and really, it was the best run I've had so far. During the day Wednesday I kept myself to about 1600 calories, but I felt quite hungry. Since I had burned off over 850 calories according to the treadmill tracker, I probably could have gone a little higher but I didn't want to. I think that for the rest of training I may have to accept that weight loss shouldn't really be a goal I'm focusing on if I want to effectively train for the half. The running and strength training will help with my overall body shape, I'm already able to put on and take off my size 10 jeans without even unbuttoning them. At Christmas they were feeling a little snug. So I know the change there is due to the toning up from exercising as much if not more than due to the calorie reduction. So, I'm going to have to efficiently fuel my body for working out, that might mean more calories but it will get me through tougher workouts feeling stronger.

I'm looking forward to this evening because my husband and I have a date. My parents are hosting "dinner and a movie night" for the kids at their house. We're going to an Italian restaurant for dinner where I'm sure I will far exceed that calories I need for an entire day, but I'm giving myself the night off from worrying about it. We haven't had a dinner to ourselves in many months and it will be nice to spend time enjoying our food without worrying about cutting or cleaning up everyone else's. I heard that the average couple only spends about 12 minutes a day actually talking to each other and that sounds about right in the case of our life recently. Happy weekend to all.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The week that wasn't

I knew I'd hit a bump the training road some time, I was hoping it wouldn't be quite so early in the training process, but, oh well. Monday morning was supposed to be my treadmill 10K and I was actually quite excited about it. Got on at 5:35am and things started out just fine. I usually cover the display with the towel so I'm not staring at the time that's going (or seemingly NOT going by). Especially when I entered 68 minutes for time it seemed it would never end. About 40 minutes in I was sweating more than I could wipe with my shirt sleeve so I took the towel off the display and wiped my face. Then I put the towel back in the small holder on the side of the treadmill. I didn't realize at the time that the cord for the magnetic stop button got wrapped up in it. So, when I went to wipe my face again at 4.75 miles I pulled out the magnetic stop. The belt stopped, I ran into the display, as I've done before. I was fine but when I tried to get started again I just couldn't get into it. Tuesday was a nice highlight to strength training as my three sets of full push-ups were 8,7 and 7. I was also complimented by another member on my push-up form, so that was nice. Wednesday was a 5K plus a little extra and it felt good. Yesterday's strength training went well, too.

Here's where the life-drama disrupts my plan again. Monday night Cutie was sick over night. We thought it was a reaction to fish sticks. Unfortunately for my wonderful husband, she had thrown up overnight and not even woken up so by the time he got her in the morning it had dried and covered her hair and much of her upper body. It took three days, four baths and finally a mixture of baking soda and baby soap mixed into a paste to get the awful smell out of her hair. Then yesterday morning I called home to find out that Hot Wheels had gotten sick early in the morning, in our bed and then in his room. More laundry for my wonderful husband. Last night Spiderman came into our room just before 2am and I realized, after he laid down in my bed, that he had been sick some time earlier and was also covered in it. So, it was into the tub for him with a thick baking soda/baby wash paste to get the smell out of his hair and off his body. I was up watching him for a while, afraid he was going to get sick again in our bed, since I'd already stripped the sheets off his bed. Needless to say, my planned 5 mile tempo run and Friday morning weigh-in at the gym just didn't happen. I went to work and work only to try and get a little more sleep between 4- 5:30am. I'm the only one in the family that hasn't gotten the bug yet, but I'm not feeling great so it's not looking like a 5-miler on the basement treadmill is in tomorrow's cards either. It's only one run, I'll be okay, but I'm still disappointed. My husband does deserve husband-of-the-year after the week he's had. He washed and changed each of the kids sheets and did our three times. Ugh.

In addition, my car ended up unworking and immovable in a parking lot last Sunday. My little Civic did give me 14 years and almost 150,000 miles so I really can't complain. We donated it and bought a brand new '09 Honda Fit Sport on Tuesday and I feel like I'm living in luxury with power steering, power windows and locks, I even have air conditioning, cruise control and remote entry. We got a decent deal and if it lasts another 15 years it will be well worth it. But I'm still a little queasy when I look at the bank balance now.

Sunday is the Penguin Plunge. The weather is forecasted to be almost 40 degrees with the water temp about the same. Should be a good time and it's for Special Olympics so it's a very worthy cause. Happy weekend to all.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

New month, new goals

My run mileage for January was 43 miles. That's the most I've ever run in a month in my life. This week I was feeling a bit drained, and the runs were definitely a little harder. My schedule right now is that my long runs are Monday, Wednesday is hills with a steady pace mile cool-down and Friday is a 5K or so. Tues and Thurs are strength with light cardio like the elliptical trainer. This week starts the tempo and speed work on the schedule from Runner's world. Monday is also going to be my first 10K ever. I'm very excited, although hanging out on the treadmill for 66 minutes sounds incredibly tedious. At least I'll have the iPod and random elevation program. My goal for February is 50 miles, that's an average of 4.1 miles per run, a lofty goal for me but I think I can do it.

The good news this week was that my weigh-in yesterday was 155.6. That's five pounds down since I started and I'm settled back into a more mindful eating routine. I think that's really the key for me, I don't need to write out everything I eat, I just need to be aware, as if I am going to keep track. That, and a 700 calorie workout Monday and 400 Wednesday and Friday certainly help.

Friday morning's run was the toughest, as I had a flashback to only a few month ago when Cutie still wasn't sleeping through the night. Thursday night I went to bed about 10pm, a little later than usual. Then, at 12:30am we were awoken by our dog having a seizure. He's had them before, but we need to sit with him to make sure he doesn't try to get around because he could run into the wall or fall down the stairs. So I was up for a while. Then at 2am, Cutie woke up screaming and I went in to calm her down so I was up a little while then. Finally at 3:15 Hot Wheels came into our room complaining that he'd had a nightmare and since I knew I wouldn't get back to sleep with my dear husband snoring like a chainsaw, I just told him to climb in my bed and I slept in the top bunk until the alarm went off at 4:30. Ugh. I thought about skipping the run entirely and while I'm glad I didn't skip it, I'm lucky that I only tripped once. And I was expecting it might happen so I didn't get hurt. I'm not sure how I survived almost six years without more than maybe a dozen nights of sleep without waking up at least once or twice overnight because someone needed something. But I'm not complaining, I'm just loving my sleep these days!

The week was tough on a couple fronts, I broke my self-imposed rule of not crying at work, fortunately it wasn't a complete breakdown in front of anyone. Trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my life is causing me a bit of stress and while I know that I've got to figure these things out for myself, I'm not used to being at such a loss of direction. I'll get through it and things will be fine I'm sure. Sometimes I just lose sight of that and the stress gets to me.

I'll leave you with a kiss from Cutie, it always brightens my day.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

I should qualify that....

Reading over my post from yesterday I would imagine it comes across as preachy and judgmental of others. Not really my intention, I include myself among the people that justify things about life. As Lisa pointed out, things like the BMI charts are also not accurate for many people with a large frame size. And, when I mentioned my mother weighing 125 pounds at 5'7", I do not think that people should aspire to waif-like thinness without any fitness. I don't want to be skinny, I want to be healthy. I'm not sure that at 125 pounds I would be able to run 4 miles or do a single push-up, I'd probably be eating only 1000 calories a day and I'd likely be hungry and weak. Or maybe not. Just because society has adjusted what is considered "normal" for size, it doesn't mean that people reap the health benefits they did years ago. I think our daily calorie consumption has increased by something like 20%, and for women more than men, and our lives have become increasingly sedentary. Just random thoughts to try and get myself out of "excuses" mode.