Tuesday, March 04, 2014
One of my New Year's intentions that I didn't share here previously was to do a better job focusing on my work when I'm at work. If I could be paid (at the same level and with the same benefits of course!) to be a professional blog reader, food and fitness tracker, and healthy living enthusiast that would be simply amazing, however, that is most definitely NOT the case.
It's easy to get caught up in reading blogs and articles and posting to the various social sites and before you know it, hours have gone by!! And you know, as relaxing as that is, it doesn't make me feel very good about myself.
So this year I really wanted to step up my game in the work department. I want to get to work on time and be present in the tasks that need to get done while I'm here. I want to dress and act professionally (I already do, I think, but even more so) but what that means in the long run is that I haven't been able to find much time to read blogs, track food and fitness, and be a healthy living enthusiast! So I hope y'all can forgive me for being less than active on Spark these days. It's for a good cause though!!!
Just some quick updates...
I'm still exercising on a regular basis and am even working on a streak that has been going since February 15 (10 minutes minimum each day). So that's actually over two weeks already!
I think I finally found my first marathon! I am looking at the Ventura Beach Party Marathon on September 7. The timing works great with my other races that will happen in October, November and January 2015 and the training fits in with my 10k in June, even though it overlaps just a little bit, but it is still in the early stage of training so it isn't too intense yet, thus totally do-able.
My eating is meh at best. I can do better that's for sure and I'm really working on re-focusing today, tomorrow and so forth. This is something I know I can do if I really work at it. I just haven't really been working at it.
I ran a local 5k this past weekend in Southern California's rainmageddon! Some of the strongest rains we've seen in the past several years and it appears they all decided to come right during the race time! So it was an unintentional mud run/5k...but I had SO MUCH FUN and I tell ya, there's nothing that makes you feel more like a bada$$ then running through the mud and hail in a torrential downpour! Oh yeah!!!
Well, that's about all I have time for at the moment! Just know that I'm still alive, still kicking! Hope everyone is living a SPARKED LIFE! Enjoy!
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Reposted from my offsite blog: thepursuitofaqualitylife.blogspot.co
I think I've convinced myself into believing that HARD is a bad word. That if something is hard, then it is bad. I shouldn't have to feel uncomfortable. I shouldn't have to feel like something is overly challenging. If the going gets tough, take a walk break seems to be my new-found mantra! But today I reminded myself that "hard" is NOT a bad word!!
I could feel uncomfortable and it was okay.
I could want to quit and keep going.
I could think it's too much, but push through instead.
I had to remind myself that my body is capable, it's just my mind that keeps trying to tell me that I'm not. Following my January half-marathon I ended up having some foot soreness so I dialed back a little bit on my workouts to allow some healing time and like I usually do, a little bit became a lot bit and before I knew it I was basically turning every single workout into a nice easy mode/pace...well, when the workouts actually happened, I should add! Because my February calendar has more red x's than blue check-marks for the most part.
But even when I've gotten the workout in, I totally and completely admit that it was pretty mellow. Looking at my Garmin data for the past month my average paces are in the 15 minute mile for the most part. There were a couple that I must have really moved it on because they were in 13 and 14 minute mile pacing. But you get the idea...I was becoming pretty complacent with an easier pace - which is OKAY, if I wasn't trying to meet some goals of getting faster. If I actually want to PR at the 5k and 10k distances in 2014 then I actually kind of need to...well, get used to running faster for those distances! Right? And that was the plan that I set for myself at the beginning of this year. And I've allowed myself to somewhat lose track of that goal.
I've mentioned before that I'm using a Garmin training plan for 5k (starting at the midway point since I'm not a beginner and because of 10k timing) and it is a wonderful plan for me. Lots of variety and not too aggressive. Four runs a week: one recovery, two speed sessions and a long run. Perfect plan! Here's a look at what one of the workouts looks like:
You see where it says "No Target" up there? Well, that's because it is up to me to plug in my threshold pace so that the watch alerts me if I am either too fast or too slow during each portion of the run. So that's actually today's workout and my threshold pace is at about 11:25, and my easy pace should be 12:23-13:01. But I haven't plugged in the numbers because I don't want that accountability if I'm being honest with myself. I could come up with lots of reasonable excuses like "I haven't had time" or "I forgot" or I could even really lie to myself and have an excuse like "I want to be able to run faster if I feel like it without it beeping at me". Really??? None of those are true. The truth is that I didn't want the accountability of my Garmin "yelling" at me if I was going too slow.
So today when I headed out with my mom & sister I knew what I had on the plan and I knew my threshold pace was around 11:30 and I knew that I wanted to try to keep it at that pace if possible. But I also knew in the back of my head that if I slacked, nobody else would care and the Garmin wouldn't yell at me. So I am cruising along and keeping an eye on my watch, seeing that I'm keeping fairly close to my threshold pace, but about halfway through it starts to get hard. I want to stop and walk for a few, I want to slow down, I want to take it easier for a bit but instead I didn't. I did walk very briefly two times and each time during that brief 5-second window I had a fierce internal debate raging! "You can take a short walk break, bring your heart rate back down, chat with mom & sister for a few, yada, yada, yada." But I pushed through and got going again...and you know what? It wasn't that bad! I didn't die. I didn't puke. I didn't fall over. I didn't hurt myself. None of those things happened and I reminded myself in the process that I can do hard things! It can be difficult and challenging, but I can push through.
I was anxious to get back and check the stats to see how I did and I'm not too disappointed with it actually!
Only 4 seconds off of my recommended threshold pace!!!
Turns out that "hard" is not a bad word, if you don't let it be anyways! In my case, hard was a good reminder that I have the ability to convince my mind that it can push.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Okay, so obviously that number is completely and totally made-up and random...or is it??? hahaha Just kidding. I feel like I've been doing nothing but fits and starts lately. And I suppose that isn't *all bad* because at least I keep re-starting, right? It would be a whole heck of a lot worse if I just did the quitting part. But I keep coming back and restarting and I'll continue to do so. And that's the thing...I'm in this healthy lifestyle...well, for LIFE. It's not something that I just do as a fad, it is how I live and sometimes are better than other times. So maybe it isn't a restart? It's a re-focusing on my efforts. :-)
So I've actually been doing pretty good even though I haven't been consistently blogging about it or even consistently tracking my food. My workouts have gotten back to being much more consistent and I'm (mostly) pushing myself when I am working out. I'm not where I wanted to be at this point in the year, but there have been some legitimate things like my foot soreness following the half marathon, and the half marathon in itself. Some not so legitimate things are the sleeping in past the alarm clock that went down last week and the candy consumption over the weekend.
So right now my weak points I need to work on are:
* Getting up in the morning when the alarm goes off
* Hand in hand with that one is getting better quality sleep so that I CAN get up in the AM
* Sugar cravings that are outta control
* Being more consistent in my workouts and pushing my limits when needed
My strong points that I need to continue to build on are:
* Not quitting but continually showing back up again and again
* Being somewhat mindful about my overall fitness and personal goals
I'll admit it - coming up with those strong points was HARD!! It was a heck of a lot easier to come up with my weak points, so perhaps that it something I need to work on - increasing what I'm doing right! But hey - I'm working on it!
Alright, that's all I have time for today, but don't worry - just like a bad penny I'll turn back up again soon. ;-)
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Okay, so before I get to my "regular" Wednesday blog post to keep me accountable there are two things that are burning a hole in my brain.
The first is a commercial I saw this morning for 1-800-DENTIST. Here's a screenshot of it that I want you to take a look at first:
Okay, let now that we have that image up there let me sum up the content. The gal on the left - you know the one wearing the zip-up hoodie and looking more frumpy - she says that she lost a filling while biting a crouton in her salad. So she asked her friend - the one on the right that is wearing the form-fitting clothes and looking all perky - for a dentist recommend. The perky one says "that's what you get for eating carbs". The frumpy one then talks about how she called 1-800-blah-blah-blah and now that her tooth is fixed she can eat anything she wants like...perky girl says "CARROTS"...and frumpy girl looks at her and says "No NACHOS".
Here's the whole commercial if you are interested in watching it for yourself: youtu.be/yWWoM2r-u84
So my #1 issue with this commercial is WHY IN THE WORLD DO THEY MAKE THE GAL THAT LOST HER FILLING FRUMPY, WHILE EATING "CARBS" AND NACHOS!?!? Tell me why that commercial couldn't have been just as effective if BOTH of the girls were nicely dressed and of similar shapes/sizes? It's just so sterotypical and doesn't do a single thing to make someone that isn't a size 0 appear to be healthy-minded. Am I way off base on this??? I don't think so. I called my husband to discuss and he knew exactly what commercial I was talking about when I barely even began explaining it and he thought the same thing. It's just rude and offensive in my opinion.
Okay, second item...I don't watch The Biggest Loser anymore for a couple of reasons. Primarily, it's because I don't have time to dedicate two hours to a single show. Plain and simple. That's why I stopped watching it. But I was reaffirmed about my decision when I later heard that they had the contestants running a marathon as part of the competition. I don't doubt that it is extremely inspirational for not just them, but for the people watching at home, to see them accomplish such a monumental task - heck, I haven't even done one yet because it terrifies the living daylights outta me! My problem with it is that they have them running this marathon with very little training. They just throw them out there and make them do it like it should be something everyone can do after a month of running on a treadmill. I don't think that is healthy. Okay...so if you do watch it - I'm not passing judgment on ya...I'm glad you enjoy it and hopefully get something out of it.
So I obviously didn't watch the finale last night, but I couldn't help but get sucked in this morning by the Yahoo headline on the front page about the shocked trainers.
Here's the link to the actual story: tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/-the-bigg
And here's a picture of what shocked the trainers so:
Okay, so unless you live under a rock you've probably already seen the discussions about this. I have a lot of thoughts on it...
1. I feel like this girl DID take it too far. She's 5'4" tall according to various sources, so if we use the standard BMI and weight charts, she is actually underweight. Not just charts though - I look at her pictures and feel like she is extremely thin.
2. I feel bad for her because instead of the world celebrating the accomplishment of her losing all that weight society is now saying she is encouraging eating disorders and bad body image. And I agree with that to a certain degree. Remember when Tumblr had those "anorexia boards" that were basically people thinner than thin and all these young girls were looking at them hoping to emulate them? I don't see this as much different. I get that she's an ex-competitive swimmer/athlete so you certainly HOPE that was healthy about losing the weight, but it does beg to question how much is too much and do we even understand when the line is crossed??
3. A lot of people are saying "well, she took it to the extreme so she could win the money". Okay...let's play devil's advocate for a moment. So now she got $250,000 but if she only went super crazy with the weight loss does she come out now and say she's going to get to a "healthier" weight...and then what does that say? That if offered a quarter million dollars we should do whatever it takes to get it? That this ideal is okay? There are lots of models and actresses that already starve themselves because of that way of thinking. We as a society should be doing better than this by now!!!! When are we going to stop equating thin with good and start equating HEALTHY with good???
Alright, I think I've said enough on it...I could go on but what's the point? This will be beaten to death in the media and nothing will be changed because of it except for a lot of people that say they will no longer watch The Biggest Loser unless they make changes to it. I agree with making changes, but I would rather see where people take off the weight in a reasonable timeframe than a group of folks basically enduring torture to be thin...never mind healthy.
So what are your thoughts on The Biggest Loser and this year's winner? Did she take it too far? Or are we just bashing her because we don't have the same results?
Now let's get onto the real reason for my blog today...
How have I done so far this week? I'm going to go from this Saturday since that was the first day of the month.
Saturday, February 1: I did an easy recovery run/walk outside with my Mom. My sister couldn't join us, and it was a recovery week for me so we took it really mellow. I did 2.14 miles in 35:28 for a very easy average pace of 16:34 min/mi.
Sunday, February 2: Rest...my DIL and I talked about doing a hike, but ended up having too much to do to get ready for Super Bowl. Darn!
Monday, February 3: Recovery Run on the Treadmill. It was an easy pace again and I did 2.07 miles in 32:35 for an average pace of 15:46 min/mi.
Tuesday, February 4: This was my hubby's birthday so I slept-in a little bit with him, but knew I had to get a workout in...so what was I going to do? I know! I did a Runch (run+lunch=runch!) on the track during my lunch. I actually REALLY enjoyed doing this and may do it more often until it gets too warm. It was nice to run outside in the day and last night when I got home I was the least tired I have been in a really long time. I had intervals on the schedule and did 2.69 miles in 36:19 for an average pace of 13:31 min/mi. Not too bad I do say so myself!! :-)
I will report on today next week, but the plan is for yoga/stretching so I think I'll do it before bed. I haven't been sleeping all that great the last couple of nights, so I'm hoping that I can get a good stretch and it will help me sleep.
What have been your fitness highlights lately??
Monday, February 03, 2014
Not everyone is in to setting resolutions each New Year, and typically I don't set "resolutions" either, but I have been setting some overall goals...and I absolutely love the energy that a brand new fresh New Year brings. There's something about shedding the old and embracing a blank slate, right?
And I did start off 2014 with all kinds of good intentions and some actual goals too! And what have I accomplished so far? Zip, Zero, Zilch, Nada. I actually went in the opposite direction.
I spent a lot of time in January reflecting on the fact that I've been stuck.
I want to lose weight!
I don't want to do anything to actually lose weight!
I know what to do to live a healthy lifestyle!
I know absolutely nothing that actually works for me!
I'm going to exercise my butt off - literally!
I find excuses - both real and imagined - to not push my limits!
I make a plan!
I do nothing with that plan!
I feel like I'm on a see-saw that never ends!!!!! It's frustrating, I tell ya.
So you know what? I'm giving myself a fresh start today. Not tomorrow, not next Monday, not next month...TODAY! Today is "my" New Year and I'm going to get busy and quit getting in my own way. Because I do realize:
I'm tired of saying these things again, and again, and again and then doing nothing about it. I'm tired of being stuck in a pattern of unhealthy behavior. I'm tired of letting myself down.
But you know what? The only person in the whole entire world that can do anything about it is ME. It's time...
So there's my NEW WEEK, NEW MONTH, NEW (TO ME) YEAR motivation!!! As the commercial slogan goes, "It's only weird if it doesn't work". :-)
Alright - so here's my goals I set for 2014 and how I'm doing and what I'm GOING to do this month to get me closer to them:
Get to my goal weight of 140
Cut base calories to 1,500: I haven't been doing this at all, so it is my intent to really focus on this during February. And honestly, if I logged in some of the crud I've been eating I would probably cry. No really...I'm not joking about that.
Weekly weigh-ins and monthly measurements: I weighed in this morning, but I may go ahead and just change this to only weighing in monthly along with measurements. So to that end, I am going to do my measurements tomorrow morning! And I'll update my ticker today with the ugly truth.
Track everything: haven't been doing this, but am starting fresh today.
PR in the 5k and 10k distances, and run a full marathon in 2014
STATUS: I had a slight set-back in that I was having some upper-foot pain following my half marathon so I had to take some rest time. I'm doing much better, but am watching it closely to make sure it doesn't get worse, and continues to get better. Last week was a "recovery" week on the calendar so it allowed me to slack off a bit more, but this week it is back to full training. I'm just kinda pissed because I was all fired up with the Nike Training Club app and my phone took a dump last night for no reason. So annoying...so I'm going to have to hope I can get it fixed/replaced quickly (it is only a little more than 30 days old!) So I guess the status is that I'm working on this. :-)
Blog on a more regular basis
STATUS: Non-existent so far; going to blog more consistently this month by going back to what worked for me: Goal progress on Monday, Fitness progress on Wednesday, and Food progress on Friday.
Set monthly goals
STATUS: Haven't done this yet, but will be setting some specific and measurable goals tomorrow or Wednesday (depending on time available)
Devotional or Bible Reading 3x each week
STATUS: I signed up for the Daily Bread to be sent to my email inbox so I'm currently meeting this goal
Be a better friend on Spark and IRL
STATUS: I sent a note to my daughter to give her some encouragement as she has been going through some rough stuff but I haven't been doing as good a job as I would like to, especially on Spark because my time has been limited. I will work harder at that this month.
Date night with hubby 1x each month
STATUS: We went to our son's for the weekend on the 25-26 of January and while there we went out to a movie so I considered that our date for January. I don't have anything planned for February yet, but will make sure something takes place.
Stay accountable to my annual goals by blogging progress monthly
STATUS: February - CHECK!
So I guess my earlier declaration that I'm doing zip, zero, yada-yada-yada isn't exactly 100% true because I am doing some things. I'm just not doing the HARD things...the things that take me out of my comfort zone and drop me into the war zone in my mind. The one that tells me that one cookie won't kill me, that I deserve a treat, that I can't do this, that I'll never achieve my goals. It's a brutal war zone in there...
Time to rise from the ashes.
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