Sunday, October 31, 2010
Today marks one of the greatest days of my Fitness Life. This is one of the greatest days of my Running Life! Today, on October 31st, 2010, I achieved one of my biggest, most challenging, most intimidating, and most meaningful fitness goals! I RAN A 5K!!!
Everything about the day was set up really well. I had my last long run on Friday, doing 3.5 miles, and I rested yesterday and ate healthfully. I drank a lot of water throughout the day so that I'd be well hydrated. And, quite to my surprise, I was EXHAUSTED at 8:30pm, so I went to bed very very early. I got a full 9 hours of sleep, waking up at 6am this morning. I had a big, healthy breakfast: Greek yogurt with fruit, Kashi Go-Lean and Almonds, plus a Luna bar a little while later so that I'd have the perfect fuel to keep me going. I only had ONE cup of coffee, not two, so that I would avoid mid-run bathroom emergencies, and I drank 18 ounces of water pre-race.
When I got to school (the 5k was a fundraiser for the 8th grade DC scholarship fund at work), I was a very nervous. Like... wedding day nervous! Very few of my friend coworkers were there, and they weren't running (they were volunteering)! In fact, I only really knew 4 of the runners -- the principal, two of our best substitutes, and the parent of one of my Rosie's Girls. But I chatted with my friends who were helping, and they were so encouraging when they found out it was my first 5k.
I took a few minutes to jog a lap around the building, then stretched for a while -- it was around this time that it started snowing on us. Luckily, I was prepared, with my new winter running outfit, wind-proof gloves, and a kickass new Shark Hat that Miles bought me. It was 9am before I knew it and time to line up! I was closer to the back, near the side, because I knew folks might pass me, and if I needed a break, it was best to be on the side. The race coordinator's kids announced the start, and we were off!
I was really proud of my pace. There was a small clump in front of me (Pier, a sub, and the group of girls she played coach to), and I used them to gauge my pace, keeping our distance apart consistent. It felt really comfortable, and I knew that my treadmill time really had paid off in the pacing department. My breathing was even, my footfalls steady, and while the snow was not glasses-friendly, I kept my eyes straight ahead the whole time.
About a mile in, a pulled ahead of a couple of the middle schoolers, who needed walk breaks. They were the only people I passed the whole race, but it still felt good to know I wouldn't be last! A few folks started to go past me in the other direction (it was an out-and-back course), and they all cheered me on, and I cheered right back! At the half way point, I heard, "9:16." At first, I thought she meant that was how much time had lapsed, which totally freaked me out because I could never maintain that! About 3 seconds later though, I realized she didn't have a stop watc, and 9:16 was the time of DAY. MUCH BETTER, hahaha. I was 1.55 miles and 16 minutes in -- a GREAT pace for me!
At the 2 mile mark, it started to feel hard. I pulled my hat and gloves off so I could sweat comfortably, and dug in. I told myself, "I know I can do this. I did 3.5 the day after high intensity intervals -- I can do this." I even remembered ASH's mantra: Run happy. Whenever I passed the student helpers, they cheered me on. I wouldn't let myself walk, because I knew there were four slower runners still behind me, and I didn't want to let them go past. I didn't want my students to see me walk. I wanted to PUSH MYSELF, to keep running. So I did.
With just .2 miles left, I was feeling pretty dogged. Greg (the IronMan coworker I've mentioned in older blogs) came by on his bike and said, "Way to go Madeleine, finishing your first 5k. You're doing great!" So I really dug deep for my last bit of energy, and picked it up (just a teeny bit, I wasn't sprinting) for a strong finish, with kids and coworkers cheering for me. I heard my camper yell, "YAY MADS!" over everyone else.
My time was better than I hoped. I figured I'd manage about 35 minutes, between and 11 and 12 minute mile, because that's what I average on longer runs and on the treadmill. But nope!
I came in at 32:12!!!! My mile splits were SO GOOD, and even though I felt like I had been slower the second half, I was actually the exact same speed!!!! PLUS, I was the only runner between the ages of 21 and 30, so I got a prize for being first in my age group, lol.
So now I'm home, with a big cup of coffee and an almond croissant, basking in my 5.8mph 5k.
I did it. I met the goal I set back in December of 2009, and I blew my own expectations out of the water.
And when we do the next 5k in March, I'll finish in under 30!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Last Sunday, I knew I needed to go for a run. I mentioned that in my blog, saying that a short run would be part of my last week of preparing for tomorrow's 5k. Well, when I wrote that, I was assuming that the weather would get better. It was a brisk 42 degrees out, raining a little, and the wind just chilled you to the bone. Every part of you cried out for a blanket, a good movie, and a cup of cocoa.
But instead, I put on my sole pair of ling running pants, a wicking tee, my running jacket, and my sneakers, and ran. I brought my mp3 player with me to distract my mind from the numerous obstacles during the run. I chose Electric 6, who never fails to make me feel fabulous and ridiculous and energetic and just a little weird.
Right away, I felt really into the run! My breathing was steady, my legs were keeping great form, my feet were solid as I navigated around puddles and slick piles of fallen leaves and the occasional snapped tree branch. My hands, which started out painfully cold, offered another thing to focus on besides the cold rain before quickly warming up with my effort. When my glasses were too rain-misted to be useful, I simply slid them into my coat pocket and continued on.
Of course, that run was also my first run in almost a week, and the first one I had taken outdoors in a week and a half... so after just 2 miles, I had to walk. I wasn't just feeling tired, I was feeling NAUSEOUS. (I blame the Chinese food, to be honest, as well as the cold) But I didn't feel down about having to walk the last half mile, not at all. I felt AMAZING instead. I felt BOLD. Tough. I normally run into a few other walkers or runners when I head out, but that day I was the only one. I finally felt like I was one "those" runners -- the ones I used to think were crazy, the ones I thought I could never relate to.
And that's what tomorrow means for me, too. It means I'm not a jogger any more, or some fat chick who wanted to lose weight for cheap. Tomorrow's race will help me cement my place in the world of RUNNERS -- people who love running more than looking normal, staying comfortable, or being dry. If running 3.1 miles in 40 degree temps on Halloween dressed in a shark outfit doesn't cement that, then what does????
Anyway. Yesterday I did my longest run yet: 3.5 miles. I've done that much on a treadmill before, but that always included 3 minutes of walking at the start and end to warm up/cool down, so it was more like 3.2 miles total running. But yesterday I ran a whole 3.5 miles without walking! I did stop once, at a port-o-potty, but I managed to keep going despite a couple of small hills, cold temperatures, and several puddles. It was HARD -- the last half mile, I could feel my thighs getting tired and achy (thanks, in part, to 50 squats/lunges and HIIT the day before) -- but I just kept pushing myself till the very end. I walked another half mile afterward to cool down, and I felt great. I knew that since I had conquered that run (with an 11:25 mile), Sunday's 5k is totally within my abilities!!
I even went so far as to buy myself a set of clothes JUST for running in WINTER, that's how committed I am! One year ago, I never would have considered such a move. But you know what.... I have to keep running. I don't dare stop now, because 5 months on the treadmill just sounds like punishment after everything I worked toward this summer and fall.
In the world of nutrition, I have to say this:
Low carb kind of sucks.
In one instance the past two weeks, my commitment to reducing sugar and refined carbs was a blessing. Thursday I was very tired, stressed, and hormonal after three days in a row of 7:30-5:00 work days and getting my period for the first time in over 3 months. I was also very HUNGRY. But I swore I would be good, and eat a little roast beef that we had in the fridge, instead of eating a handful of cereal or part of a cinnamon roll (Miles made a dozen on Tuesday). So I did that, and was still REALLY HUNGRY. I held off in the name of the wonderful quiche I was in the process of making.
Then I managed to spill half of the royale all over the counter, and the pie crust we had actually had a huge crack in it so we couldn't use it even though Miles had said it was fine, so dinner would be a half hour late and I was still SO HUNGRY.
All I wanted was to eat all of the candy we have for trick-or-treaters and finish the bottle of wine from Wednesday and go to bed.
But I didn't. Instead I screamed a bunch, put the quiche in the oven, and chewed gum and read 7days until I could eat dinner.
I'm amazed I got through that without eating candy, honestly. But I did, and I'm proud of myself.
So sure, low carb is going okay in theory, and it forced me to make a healthy choice in the face of freaking out. But it's not helping me lose any weight, and my appetite isn't satiated any longer than it was before. All that has changed is that I can't eat pasta or sandwiches, I can't even honestly be flexitarian any more, and my grocery bills went up about $20 per week because of all the meat and nuts and cheese we're buying. Oh, and also I eat about 10 more grams of fat and 100 mg more cholesterol every day because of said food items. Sure, I'm enjoying the portable burritos and salmon fondue (asian hot-pot style), and the beef stew I've got planned this week will be delicious. But I really miss pasta, butternut squash soup, bananas, pancakes, and eating Miles' bread without guilt.
I miss how it was a year ago, when losing weight and eating right just didn't feel this hard all the time.
I'm giving it one more week. I'm going to do this one last week, and if I haven't lost weight by next Saturday, I'm done with low carb. It's not about junk food, either. I really don't care about not getting to have cookies or apple pie or ice cream bars. But feeling guilty about a multi-grain roll, or pasta with creamy pumpkin sauce, or a bowl of Kashi Go Lean? That's just ridiculous.
Besides, runners need carbs if they're gonna run. And I plan to run.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Oh, I have so many things I want to blog about tonight, but there's just no time. I swear up and down to blog tomorrow, so here's what to stay tuned for:
~My first run in the cold and rain -- it made me feel like a REAL RUNNER, which was so powerful and affirming for me
~Commitment to exercise no matter what else this week
~Stress, and its impact on my mouth and the Hershey miniatures I bought.
~Low carb is finally feeling really difficult -- just one day of 200 grams of carbs makes me crash and crave for the next several days!
So while I can't get all my thoughts out now, I want to at least remember what needs saying. And also, I'd love a bit of advice:
I need some portable, high-protein, low-carb (20 grams or fewer, please) snack ideas that are also LOW FAT. I love my trail mix, I love string cheese, I love peanut butter, but those are all so high fat and while I know fat's not bad, 55 grams every day is a pretty high average when 50 is ideal for me. Any options for me? Egg whites and edamame sound all well and good, but those won't do when I'm out the door to the gym at 5:30am and on play rehearsal days, I don't get home till 5:30pm. I'd LOVE some recipes or inspiration.
Tomorrow is Friday -- YAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I was SO FLIPPING GOOD THIS WEEK. The worst I ever did food-wise was on Wednesday, when I snacked way too much at night. But even with that taken into consideration, I felt good about how I ate. I was reasonable about my choices while Miles and I were away and stuck to a range of 1600-2000 calories, choosing calamari on Thursday (which was the most amazing thing I'd ever eaten), letting Miles eat double what I ate of our dessert pizza (which was only about 150 calories per slice thanks to a paper-thin crust and dark chocolate), giving Miles 2/3 of my french fries at lunch, skipping the rolls AND the mashed potatoes at dinner Friday, and eating a salad at every meal. I exercised a lot this week, including walking on nature trails in Woodstock and running 2 miles when we got home yesterday.
I did allow myself a cocktail Friday, and last night we got Chinese food (I chose steamed tofu with loads and loads of veggies and a little hunan sauce, which has just 60 calories per serving compared to garlic or sweet-and-sour sauce, which is 150 calories per serving), so maybe that's giving me some bloating, but I don't see how ANYTHING justifies my weigh-in today:
I haven't seen that number since the HOLIDAYS last year!!!!!!!!! I weighed 162 at Thanksgiving, for god's sake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHYWHYWHYWHYWHYWHYWHYWHY DO I EVEN BOTHER ANY MORE?????? WHY IS MY BODY SO INTENT ON BEING BETWEEN 160 AND 165 INSTEAD OF 155????
It makes me not even want to try at all. I don't see any reason to keep trying because I just can't figure my body out any more. All my research says I have a BMR of 1500 and should eat 1900-2100 cals per day to maintain, but clearly I don't because I'm GAINING weight when I eat an average of 1700-1800 calories. WTF???? I feel like what I eat doesn't even matter any more. I could do Atkins, I could go vegan, I could eat all raw foods like a dumbass, I could live on protein powder and green tea and NOTHING WOULD EVER CHANGE because my body just doesn't seem to care. It gains and loses whatever it wants regardless of what I put in it.
I want to be good. I want to eat healthy food because that's what makes me feel energetic and positive and in-touch with my senses and surroundings. But I want it to change things, too.
But I have a big week ahead here -- Sunday, I'm running my first 5k! Just like I said I would this past January, I am running my first 5k at my job, raising money for the Washington D.C. trip scholarship fun. It's on Halloween at 9am, which sadly means Miles can't run it with me.... So I'm nervous, but determined to finish strong. It's going to be raining for the next 10 days according to the Weather Channel, so that sucks, but I will NOT LET THAT STOP ME.
Here's my week's plan:
~High protein, reduced carb meals and snacks; no alcohol.
~10+ cups of water daily
~Get myself a good rain jacket for running in.
~Cross-train Monday: strength training, elliptical
~Run Tuesday for 3.5 miles and do a killer ab workout
~X-train Wednesday: HIIT on the treadmill
~X-train Thursday: strength training and abs, elliptical and stationary bike
~Run Friday for 3.5 miles
I hope that the 5k helps me feel more encouraged. Because despite how well I THOUGHT I was doing this past week, I'm apparently not doing so well. And that's just not an option if I want my clothes to keep fitting.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
So, some things are going really well for me this week.
I've eaten between 1450 and 1700 calories each day. I've gotten cardio exercise in every weekday (I actually exercised TWICE on Wednesday because I promised Miles we'd run together) either at the gym or outside. I've strength trained twice, with higher amounts of weight, and I actually woke up SORE for the first time in months! I have SKIPPED DESSERT every night.... but to be fair, that's only because we don't have any dessert left in the house, haha.
Obviously, this is the best, most consistently healthy week I've had in a long time.
What's coming next though is going to be HARD...........
It's time to kick my carb habit.
Here's a rundown of my usual menu:
~Greek yogurt with strawberries, 1/2 cup Kashi and 1/2 oz almonds for breakfast
~Coffee with splenda and creamer
~Morning snack of a Kashi granola bar (it's 5 hours between breakfast and lunch. Gotta' have a snack!)
~Lunch is usually a serving of home-made soup (like Sqaush Bisque or Sweet Potato and Kale), a slice of Miles' bread, and either carrots and hummus or an apple with peanut butter
~After school snack is either veggies and hummus or an apple with PB (whichever I didn't have at lunch) or a small bowl of cereal
~Dinner is the one thing that varies the most. it's usually a double serving of veggies, a protein choice, and a whole grain.
By the end of my usual day, I've consumed about 2/3 of my daily calories in the form of Carbohydrates and only 15-20% as protein.
Now, I have to change that.
30% of my calories need to come from protein -- 90-120 grams, NOT 60 like Spark has been suggesting. And only 50-55% should come from Carbs, MAXIMUM, meaning between 160-230 grams of carbs, not 200-275.
This is going to take some new thinking Ė but Iíve got a plan! Iím thinking my make-and-take burritos will be great for lunches, with some veggies and hummus on the side. My morning banana will be replaced with a cup of low-fat chocolate milk, which has the right mix of carbs and protein for fueling runs and recovery. Granola bars will be switched out for trail mix, and afternoon snacks will be string cheese or hard-boiled eggs instead of cereal or crackers. Dinners will be loaded with protein, beans, vegetables, and small sides of whole grains (like barley and quinoa) or starchy vegetables (like winter squash, peas, and roasted skin-on new potatoes).
I know that this next week is going to be really hard, because Iíll basically be going through carb withdrawal. I feel like my maintenance made it too easy to enjoy more sugary/high carb foods more often, and itís led to more hunger pangs, cravings for baked goodies, and a flabbier waist line.
Wresting control of my appetite is going to be hard, and it might get ugly. But with a plan, support, and a purging of the kitchen cabinets.... I know I can do this!
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