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.

3 comments:

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

enjoy your date!!

kodiacbear said...

Keep at it--I am back in the swing of things routing you on!! Totally agree with the firsts--I just signed up for a half IM myself on June 7th and my first 10k race on March 21st---and I am chugging away at it...

Spellbound said...

This is a great post and hits some nice points. I've always been a good starter as well and am feeling a plateu coming on. It certainly feels like you peeked and that you won't be able to top what you just did. I'll surely be looking for new ways to get through it!

Although some body fat reduction was my goal as well I have not allowed it to come as an expense to performance. One of my largest efforts has been to put performance based nutrition as the base of my program. It has seemed to be that if I eat the right stuff in specific proportions and perform workouts that dramatically increase my metabolism, everything else follows. Without the fuel you don't have the energy and can't do the work needed to make improvements.