Tuesday, January 10, 2012
So Monday we were scheduled to do 5-6 miles at "goal pace". I called my daughter when I got up at 4pm to see if she wanted me to pick her up on my way to the gym, and then proceeded to get it in gear.
Pre-training breakfast - Quaker Weight Control Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal, made with 3/4 cup of skim milk, and a banana (didn't forget the banana this time).
I'll admit it. I was NOT feeling it. Have I mentioned that running is really NOT my favorite cardio in the world? Yeah, I know...then why am I doing this, right? It's that whole "I did a half, I want to do a full marathon before I turn 50" thing that's driving this ENTIRE process. I apparently am driven when I've got a goal, even when it's not an especially enjoyable one. I can knock out a 5K in 45 minutes or so and feel accomplished, and make my calorie burn. But 5-6 miles on a treadmill? Meh. I'd rather do that outside. BUT, it's been several weeks since I've been on a treadmill at all, and I wanted to get a feel for where I'm at when I'm not dealing with hills and cold temperatures, particularly after Saturday's less-than-stellar pace. So there ya go...it had to be done. Suck it up, Buttercup.
Picked up my daughter, drove to the gym, and immediately regretted it. *sighs* I REALLY hate January at the gym. I was NOT surprised, after seeing how full the parking lot was, to see that most of the machines were occupied. BUT, there were two treadmills on the end of the back row open, so I told my daughter to "boogie" and went to put our gear in a locker. Only to realize I'd forgotten my headphones in my "outside running gear" (the water-bottle fanny-pack thingie I got from the TTES folks in the way back). At that point I hit a wall - I was angry at myself, and ready to just say "F*ck it, I'm going home!" BUT, we were already there, the mileage needed to get done, and it's not like I live that far away. SO, I got my daughter going on one of the treadmills (her first time EVAR...I am SO proud of my girl right now), drove home real quick to get my headphones, and was back within 20 minutes. Of course, the treadmill next to her was occupied by that time, but there was ONE of the treadmills I like (the ones with a fan...I sweat FAR too much when I'm running to go without, I've tried the other treadmills and it's brutal) open about 3 machines down the row, so I checked in to make sure she was doing okay and then I snagged it real quick, and got started.
And THEN my night did a 180 for the better. :D My trainer buddy DOLLFITNESS was there (not working, just working out) and she'd just walked over to the women on the treadmill next to me to talk for a second, so I FINALLY (I've been waiting for this all week) got to tell her I'd hit 80 lbs lost.
She hi-fived me, and her friend next to me said "Way to go!", and then DOLLFITNESS called out to one of the guys she'd been working out with to tell HIM (not quietly *grins*), so I got all kinds of kudos. Then I told her that we were there because we started the Bob Roncker's Flying Pig training this past weekend, and she asked "At O'Bryanville? But I was there - I didn't see you!" I laughed "We're slow sweetie...we were in the run/walkers group upstairs," (remember, DOLLFITNESS was the female winner of the Cheetah Run we did 2 years ago...she is NOT slow). So we talked about where the training was this weekend and she said she'd look for us. So I was all kinds of happy, and THEN the lady on the treadmill to the OTHER side of me asked "You're doing the Bob Roncker's training program? So am I!" and asked if I was doing the full or the half, and we started chatting (she's doing the half, and was all kinds of encouraging about starting out run/walking and she's got the same goal I do - to do a full before she's 50, how cool is that?). SO, being friendly, I introduced myself - "I'm Lisa by the way, though I usually go by Euphrates..." and she looked surprised all of a sudden, and then got this HUGE grin on her face. "I'M ON SPARKPEOPLE TOO!"
LOL I'm apparently notorious. All she had to hear was "Euphrates" and she knew EXACTLY who I was.
See why I love my gym family so much?
*does happy dance*
So yeah, my mood went sky high, and I was READY to knock out those 5 miles.
Which I did, but it was brutal. I'm not sure why, but I was really struggling with my heart-rate - usually it goes back down closer to my target range after I walk for about a minute, but for some reason (and it COULD have been the treadmill, but since I was physically feeling it, I don't think so) it just didn't want to head back down to the range I like to see when I walked. For a while I tried to push it (as it was, I'd upped my speed from my usual 5.4 when running to 5.5, and I was trying to walk at 3.8 instead of my usual 3.7...gee, thinking about it that might have been the issue - DOH!) because having gone home and back, I was REALLY worried about getting home in time to get ready for work and I didn't want to take forever with those 5 miles. Eventually I started mostly power-walking at a 4.0, just to get it done. It took me slightly over 30 minutes to do 2.3 miles, and I started doing the math and getting REALLY frustrated with myself. At THIS pace, I'd barely get 5 miles done in an hour, 10 miles in 2 hours...26.2? Gods, how was I EVER going to complete a full marathon?!? But as I kept going, it hit me. I've got 5 months. That's the whole POINT - if I was already *there*, I wouldn't need to TRAIN for this. I'll get there.
So yeah, the emotions were all over the place tonight (gee...and it suddenly hits me, PMS much? *headdesk*). BUT I did it.
My daughter (once again proving my kids are smarter than I am, since I rarely remember to stretch) had gotten done about 10 minutes or so before me, so she went over to stretch while I cooled down for 5 more minutes. Did I mention how incredibly proud I am of KITTYWULF? Let me give you a little context - my girl had never run intentionally, except for the occasional sprint to the bus stop, until Saturday. And though she'd been walking 4-5 miles home from work as often as possible (she's been racking up those spark fitness minutes), she hadn't really been going at any kind of racing pace. And again, she'd never been on a treadmill before. I'd told her to give herself about 5 minutes of warming up and told her the speeds I usually aimed for, and told her to just see what felt comfortable. She did HER 5 miles in 75 minutes, using intervals of running 2 minutes and walking 3 minutes. I AM SO RIDICULOUSLY PROUD OF MY GIRL!!! And she was pretty proud of herself, too (though she was also hurting, her legs are NOT used to this yet...I sent her home with instructions to take some ibuprofin and a warm shower to ease her muscles, and make sure to stretch a bunch. She's been doing yoga in the mornings and the evenings, which should help too.
My ending mileage for the day:
Sunday, January 08, 2012
[I've decided to blog this process from start to finish, both for posterity (and to have a record of what we did and my thought processes as we go along) and in the hopes that going through the training "virtually" along with me will help any fellow sparkers with an interest in marathon training. Here we go!]
Yep, when the alarm went off at 5:30 AM this morning, those were the first words that crossed my mind. I reset for 15 more minutes (because having partied with the 21-year-olds the night before and dealing with a "severely in his cups/passed out drunk" mate overnight, I'd not gotten nearly as much sleep as I'd intended the night before), but found myself prepping in my head, so after about 10 minutes I got up and started pulling myself together.
Before Training Breakfast - Quaker Oats Weight Control Banana Bread Oatmeal, made with 3/4 cup skim milk. (I'd intended on a banana too, but forgot so I had that as a snack when I got home later)
I picked up my daughter KITTYWULF at her dad's house (and dropped off the eldest, who'd played "paparazzi and ground crew" for the 21-year-old booze fest the night before, and needed to get SOME sleep before a meet up he had planned at 4pm today) at 6:45 AM, though she needed a couple of minutes to finish getting ready so we didn't get on the road to O'Bryonville until just after 7AM, which made parking a little dicey (the school lot they'd told us to use was FULL, so we ended up in the pay lot down the street). KITTYWULF started stressing out that she'd made us late, but we got there okay and the group hadn't taken off yet, so all good. Though they'd run out of route sheets when we got there - happily someone else decided to share with their partner and passed the extra one along to us, a good thing as I'll detail later.
We are in Group A - 9:30 pace and higher, and "Run/walkers". They had the run/walkers (that's us) meet up together by the office before taking off so we could "synchronize our watches", which gave me a bit of pause since when I run outside I listen to my body and don't pay that close attention to my actual timing. But I explained that to the coaches and they were totally okay with us handling things in whatever way we were most comfortable (another good thing). There are 2 run/walk coaches, Dennis and (I think? she ended up with the front of the pack so we didn't interract that much) Lisa.
Here's the route we took. The blue dot in the upper left hand corner is the location of my ex-wife's house (where my two oldest heart-sons live) - I thought it was VERY cool we'd be going right by them! (Thought about calling her so she could tell the boys to wave at us, but considering the time of day figured it'd be silly, as it was unlikely they'd be up that early on the weekend.)
As I expected, we fell behind the pack pretty quickly - I don't usually start out running, but warm up a good two minutes first, but that wasn't the plan - the group was doing "run 3 minutes -walk 1 minute intervals" and started out with an easy jog. We kept up for a minute or so, but then I needed to walk, so we walked. As we went along, there was ONE other runner who seemed at about our pace - I introduced myself and my daughter and she introduced herself to us as we were going. Unfortunately she didn't last a full mile - I could tell she was trying to keep up the intervals (she kept checking her watch) but was struggling, and when we lost sight of the group at one of the turns back onto Madisonville Rd she got frustrated, turned around and said "I don't even know where I'm going, I'm done," (I suspect she didn't have one of the route slips, but even more I suspect being at the back of the pack so far really had her discouraged). I tried to encourage her and told her she could stick with us, we had the route but she declined and started heading back. We just kept trucking along, running whenever I was ready to run again and walking when I needed to. At one point Coach Dennis came back to run with us a bit, so we told him how we were doing and he was all good with it - he ran one of the small roads with us and when it turned back towards Madisonville he headed straight instead of taking the turn to catch up with the rest of the pack, promising us that he'd be back to check on us later (which he did...he gets an A+ for his coaching for the day from me).
The first major set-back happened as we turned back onto Madisonville Rd. the last time before the long stretch along Woodburn, Montgomery and Dana. We'd gone a few feet, and somehow I missed the fact there was a ramp in the sidewalk that extended far enough across the sidewalk that there would be a dip where I was running...and it got me. I tried to catch myself, but as we were running the momentum was more than I could correct for, and down I went. Banged up my right knee and shoulder a bit (I haz bruises) and scraped my right pinky finger, but the *big* damage was to my glasses - the "bending" that had started with my fall in August was FAR worse, and I really couldn't fit my sunglasses over them later when the sun came out. That and having bonked my head a bit, I had a bit of a headache to deal with for the next half a mile or so. I started *really* wondering what the heck I was doing, and maybe we should just turn back and re-evaluate this whole thing (got choked up and nearly started crying feeling REALLY frustrated with myself), but I walked it off to the point I felt okay, and dammit I don't give up that easily. So we kept on going, just taking it easy for a bit until my head stopped pounding (which really didn't take that long, so I didn't hit all *that* hard). SCARED my daughter though, and she started pointing out every crack in the sidewalk. LOL At least until I let her know I was okay enough to run again and had been going for a while - that seemed to make her feel better. Need to remember to watch my footing when I'm running on unfamiliar roads - I know *exactly* where the trouble spots (broken pavement, odd slopes, etc) are on my local route, so I don't watch the road all that closely anymore. I no longer have that luxury (or at least I won't on these training runs for a while, until I get more familiar with the area again).
So on we trekked. I took a picture of the ex-wife's house as we went past, just 'cause (it's the blue house).
As we were getting close to Dana Avenue my daughter started getting a stitch in her side (she had a hard time shifting into "jog mode" when we were running - usually if she runs, it's a sprint to the bus - so I think maybe she'd been pushing a little hard), so at that point we swapped roles. Instead of her waiting for me to say I was ready to run, I'd wait for her. Which was kind of cool actually - we ended up feeling like we'd both been encouraging the other and like we made a really good team. Coach Dennis showed back up just as we were turning onto Dana, and stayed with us the rest of the way, and as we got back to Madison Rd. the "main" coach (the one who'd been coordinating things before we all set out) joined us too - I suspect because we were the last ones out on the road. Whereas Dennis knew our strategy, she did not and at first I was feeling a little pressured (she tried to get us to run a bit more often than we had been), but as we went along I started noticing that her style of coaching was actually *working* for me ("Come on ladies, let's try another one okay? Just one more hill to conquer and then it's all downhill back to the shop, and we want to come in running right?"), so my annoyance evaporated. And WE DID IT - completed the whole 5 miles! Last, sure, but hey...first time out not knowing what to expect as a run/walker, I'm pretty okay with that. (Okay, I'll admit that at first I really wasn't, but the more I thought about it the "okay-er" I got.) The coach suggested that at the next group run, KITTYWULF and I should head out *exactly* on time (before the rest of the group heads out, if there are any announcements or discussion going on) to give us a bit of a head start, and also said to make sure we always have a route sheet with us so we won't get lost when we lose sight of the pack - good suggestions. I promised KITTYWULF we'd make a better plan to be there *early* next time, to make sure we're all set.
Unfortunately KITTYWULF forgot to stop the timer on her watch (she'd started it when we started running, so we'd know how long the route took us) when we got back to the shop, but we estimate the whole thing took about an hour and 20 minutes. Not the BEST pace (I've been doing a lot better than that on my local 5K route, but then again I'm more familiar with it and there was the fall that slowed us down a bit for a while), but within the "sweep you off the course if you're not walking faster than X" safe-range, so I'm not complaining.
Mood afterwards - somewhat deflated, and a little concerned. Today we mostly ran the downhills and power-walked the uphills, like I normally do, but I know the Wednesday runs will tend to concentrate on REAL hills (because it IS Cincinnati, and the Pig is a hilly course), and I'm a little nervous about how that will go. And I'll admit, I'm wondering if maybe I've bitten off a little more than I can comfortably chew here. Maybe the running is too much and we should scale back to walking? Maybe this year we should go for the half marathon, and do the full next year (which would still mean I'd complete a full 26.2 miles before my 50th birthday)? We've got until the end of the month to register for the race before the rates go up, so I'm going to give it a few more sessions and see how things go.
All in all? Proud of myself, but trying to assess things realistically. It's a learning process, and we've got time.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!
This is a milestone folks.
The lowest I ever got with Atkins (back in 2003, before I did the half marathon at Disney since I'd already started gaining it back by the time we did that race in January) was 180 lbs (down from 244 lbs at the time, so the most I lost back then was just shy of 65 lbs).
This is the lowest weight I've ever been, well ever since I had kids anyway. Which means my lowest weight as an adult (judging adulthood starting at 21, since said first baby was born when I was 20).
Last winter, I tried on my "winter training pants" from my TTES days (TTES is Train To End Stroke - a program similar to Team in Training for Leukemia, but focusing on fundraising for stroke research and prevention) and I couldn't get them past my thighs.
Yesterday, in anticipation of starting the marathon training program this weekend, I tried them on again. Not only do they fit, I can even get my hands in the pockets (which was dicey even back when I first bought them...they fit in 2003, but just barely).
Yeah, 2012 is MY YEAR mutha fukkas! Just watch out, you 30 pounds still hanging around! Your days are numbered!
I'll say it again...
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
I've seen a few of my spark friends (okay, a lot of my sparkfriends) posting goal blogs for 2012 in which they declare a "word of the year" or "theme of the year", and it got me to thinking. See, I expect a whole lot of transition this year and it's really hard to project past June (when I expect - if everything goes according to plan - I will have a change of employment). But I have some definite and specific goals I'm working towards, particularly in the first half of the year. So I think I've decided to break the year into two pieces, and considering what those goals are, it dovetails *really* well with the title of my Spark Page. :)
January - June: Year of the B.A.M.F! (Bad A$$ Mo' Fo')
The first five months of the year (starting this Saturday! W00T!) will be devoted to training for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon in May. Yes, the full distance of 26.2 miles (and yes, that means I'll accomplish my goal of completing a full marathon before I turn 50 with a good 18 months to spare). I am SUPER excited about this. I've wanted to do the Pig since I did the Disney Half in 2004 - my sister and I went down to cheer on the crowds that spring, but she wasn't interested in training for anything right away after Disney, and I still wasn't confident enough to pursue things on my own. Of course I'm not doing this on my own either - my daughter has decided to do it with me, so we are reprising our "Rose's Girls" team (what my sister and I had on our shirts at Disney - we did Train To End Stroke in honor of our mom). My sister has actually been considering joining us (though when we talked about it on NYE she was leaning more towards cheering us on - the new background image on my sparkpage is the image for January on the pig calenders she gave me and my daughter, the more I look at this calendar the more I like it even if it IS pink LOL).
And after THAT, I'll be doing the Warrior Dash in Ohio the first weekend in June (haven't signed up yet because the crew - likely including the same wonderful teammates from this past June, AND most of my family - hasn't come to a consensus on which day or what time yet, need to nail that down soon). I started the 100 Push Up Challenge on New Year's Day (okay, restarted - I'd done 2 days of it a week or so before but with the holidays it kept slipping my mind) to help improve my upper body strength, and in March I'm hoping to start some serious personal training at my gym with the personal trainer I know did the WD last year (she's the one who recommended push ups).
So yeah - the first half of the year is ALL about being Bad A$$!
June - December: Year of the M.I.L.F!
I've got 30 lbs (and some change...didn't *quite* get to 180 by the end of the year, but I'm close enough to taste it and with any luck I'll hit that REALLY soon) to make my initial goal weight of 150 lbs. That still puts me "officially" as overweight according to most BMI charts, but that's okay. I haven't been *under* that weight since I was in 4th grade, so I decided a long time ago that I'd make 150 (or a size 14, whichever comes first) my goal, and then evaluate from there if I'm happy at that size or if I want to go any lower (within reason, I haz curves and I intend to keep them, thanks). I expect to make some progress towards that goal during the first half of the year, though my primary focus during those first 6 months is training and staying healthy (which includes fueling my body for accomplishing 26.2 miles, and I've heard that marathon training and weight loss don't always go together). So once June comes around, we'll see where I am and the focus for the rest of the year will be to reach that goal weight/size - or as close to it as possible - by my birthday, December 15, 2012.
So by the time I turn 49, I'll totally be able to claim both titles of B.A.M.F and M.I.L.F! In the words of the inimitable Vida Boheme "I think that's healthy!"
Meanwhile, having broken out the winter clothes a few weeks ago, I totally wore one of my favorite sweaters (it was my mom's) to work yesterday, and I was pretty amazed at how it looked on me. I can't remember if I tried it on last year (being white I don't wear it often, but yesterday in honor of snow and since it was so ridiculously cold, it just seemed appropriate), but WOW. Check it out (please forgive the wrinkles...I'm not used to this one being loose enough on me to SHOW wrinkles, so it hadn't even occurred to me that they'd be so obvious):
Yeah, I think 2012 is going to be a GREAT year!
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