Monday, July 30, 2012
Welcome to Monday, all!
This weekend wasn't quite as exercise-riffic as I wanted it to be on Friday. This happened mostly because on Saturday I got sucked into getting things done in my craft room and then ridiculous thunderstorms came through.
At least I can say I must have climbed my stairs about thirty times.
On Sunday I almost didn't go for my ride. I'm working on a rather frustrating costume piece of female body armor at the moment - and let's just say I'm having a hard time not giving whoever wears it a uniboob. Oh the joys of turning an animators art into real-life!
Sunday's ride was awesome. I had wanted to do a full two hours but I found myself really strugging about the hour and a half mark so I high tailed it back. 105 minutes and 13 miles, I'm pretty proud! Of course, my ride did leave me with a few tips I'd like to give my fellow riders. You see, here in Pittsburgh we're in the middle of a bit of a culture war. We have a burgeoning cycling population alongside a motorist culture that (like most) is impatient and resentful of many cyclists.
I can completely sympathize with the motorists and pedestrians, neither of which want cyclists on their roads or sidewalks. Why? Because three-quarters of the cyclists I encountered this weekend were completely rude, law ignoring, and dangerous. Yes. Dangerous. I'm talking passing without warning, not stopping at stop signes, and veering in and out of traffic. Four times I rang my bell to let someone know that they were about to be overcome by a cyclist who flew up past me.
It made me ashamed to be a cyclist.
These are my personal rules of the road, I'm sure most people would agree with some and a few people will agree with all.
Cycling for the Patient and Prudent
1. Just because the law says you can ride on the street does not mean it's safe for you to do so. Can you keep up with the speed and flow of traffic? Is there enough space for you to share the road safely with automobiles who may want to pass you? If not, you may want to choose an alternate route or utilize the sidewalk.
2. The sidewalk is there for pedestrians, if you must ride on it, be courteous - call out that you're there, invest in a bell, or simply walk your bike.
3. Do not assume people can hear or see you. Just because you can hear the click-clack of your wheels as you roll along does not mean that someone else can. Get a bell. Call. Don't just assume that someone psychically knows you're going to pass.
4. "On your left!" Use it. Always. Cyclist, pedestrian, crawling baby. Let people know where you are or where you will be.
5. When people move for you, thank them - it encourages the behavior from the pedestrian for other cyclists.
6. Stop signs. Traffic lights. Cross walks. Lane markers - they all apply to do. Do not ignore them. I have never seen a road sign that says "Except Bikes."
7. Share the road. Sure, it's nice to ride beside someone, but if you see someone coming in the other direction, make some space.
8. For the love of all that is holy do NOT wear headphones. You have a responsibility to be more aware of your surroundings than your average jogger - and taking away your hearing while travelling at 10+ miles-per-hour only puts yourself and others in danger.
Alright, I've ranted enough. I hope everyone is safe out there if they choose to bike!
Friday, July 27, 2012
Welcome to Friday, everyone! It's a rainy, humid, and a bit chilly at the moment here. It's alright, I like to run in the rain :)
The great news for today is that my scale again says I'm living in Oh-Burbia. I don't want to stay in Oh-Burbia forever, I'd much rather be in One-der land; but, I'm kind of enjoying the ride. For example, this morning I did my usual check of back fat. Yes, it's a very scientific method where I just feel back and see what's hanging out (literally.) For a while, I could get up toward my second knuckle. Now I'm just barely able to get past the first. My body is liking all this work I'm making it do! Other casualties of portion control and increased exercise are my double chin and the start of a dimple in the side of my thighs. Big butt, this is your official warning, you will be vacated!
Today I'm running C25K week four day three. I crushed my run yesterday and I feel confident that the rain and humidity will do nothing to make me falter today.
What is killing me today is that it's Food Day at work. This is worse than a buffet at a party - because everyone wants you to try THEIR dish. Yes, theirs. You must have egg bake, and fried sausage biscuit thingies and french toast! So far, I haven't suffered too badly. I don't think I'll be eating much for dinner tonight, though.
(I should also note that I did bring everyone cupcakes, because even though I can't eat them I would appreciate others being able to enjoy them!)
There are still eight pounds between me and John Barrowman! Time to step up the training!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Welcome to Wednesday, everyone!
I've been proudly proclaiming my visit to Oh-burbia on my journey to One-der Land lately. It's been quite a few years since I've been here. I can remember the thoughts as my weight got higher. First there was the shock in college of weighing 180. Then there was the denial of 190 with the supplement of, 'Well, at least I'm not 200.' Then my weight hit 200 and eventually 209, and I started to simply accept it with the mantra of, 'well, as long as my clothes still fit.' Eventually as I passed from the teens into the twenties and thirties I started thinking, 'As long as I can still shop at normal stores...'
The journey in reverse has been sort of interesting. When I got down from 230 to 220 it didn't feel like that big a deal, I still didn't feel well. While I hung out in the 'Teens I started thinking about the progress I made - that those pounds took me years to put on and weeks to take off. Now as I hang out in Oh-burbia (with the scale occaisionally threatening to take me back to the land of Ten) I think about how much progress I've made and what I can feel. I can run for five minutes straight. I can fit activity into my lifestyle. I can sleep better and generally feel better. I don't think I felt this good last time I travelled through Oh-burbia, but that was probably because I was headed further and further away from where I should be.
Coming home is always a more fulfilling trip.
I did want to do a brief outline of the Apps I've tried, the Apps I still use, and what I liked and didn't like about them. For today I'll focus on exercise tracking and training apps.
EXERCISE TRACKING APPS
I've talked about doing the C25K program and how much I adore it and I've used two different Apps for it. The first App I tried was actually called "Couch to 5K" in the iTunes App store. I got the free version and I found I didn't like the interface. I also didn't care for the voice prompts (they were to robotic for my liking.) Also, at the time I was using an iPhone 3G - which made it cumbersome to do music and the app at the same time. They may have improved the interface since I initially used it.
I have since graduated to the C25K App called "Get Running" available on iTunes and the Google Play Market. I love this App. LOVE. First of all, the interface is sleek and easy to figure out. It's also kind of cute (if that matters to you) in the navigation field. What I really appreciate is the large, highly visible timer when I'm running. I try not to check it often, but when I do it's fantastic. The voice prompts are more fluid and conversational (and I appreciate the little motivating moments of 'ten more seconds to go!' and progress reports.
GENERAL WORKOUT TRACK (DISTANCE AND TIME)
As time has gone on and I'm preparing for my first 5K in September I've found that distance does matter to me. I also like the feeling of being able to say "Yes, I jogged two miles!" So, for that I needed yet another App.
I'm currently using Endomondo (FREE, on iTunes and Google Play; available to upgrade to Pro.) I appreciate this App even though I carry a second device around in order to use it. Endomondo maps my run and tracks my pace based on GPS. It also provides graphs over time and distance of my pace, which I love seeing. I use this App also when biking to get a better estimate of how far I've gone in comparison to what my onboard computer says. The interface for this is nice, and there are great voice prompts (though robotic) that tell you your pace, timing, and if you beat your personal best times. What's also cool is that while you're working out people can log onto your feed and cheer you on - those feedback snipits are played in real time as received. Endomondo also logs your stats for really cool statistics.
SparkPeople Map My Run (not an App.) I know a lot of people who probably wonder why I don't use this to track my exercise. Well, I found the interface too cumbersome. It doesn't let you double back easily and takes a lot of effort to be precise.
Now, if I could find an App that maps my distance and gives me C25K voice prompts, I'd be stoked!
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Well, for the first time in my journey I gained a pound.
One whole pound.
I never thought such an insignificant number could feel so... devastating.
Maybe because it's I feel devastating feelings brought it on.
I've been terribly emotional the last couple of days (for reasons that only became clear today...) Last night I stood in my kitchen and ate three stupid Fiber One brownies with the distinct thought 'I'm sabatoging myself' - and I did it amyway. Then I washed them down with a handful of walnuts.
Magic Thursday was not so magical.
So, I know that a few poor food choices probably don't lead to a pound gain overnight; but, I can't help but feel that even though my emotions were brought on by hormones, I can't help but remember the feelings.
I felt alone.
I felt like a failure.
I felt like an emotional eater.
I felt out of control.
I felt like I never would be in control.
Even now, I look at these feelings and I know they're ridiculous. I know I'm doing great, disciplined work. I know I'm not usually an emotional eater or saboteur. The feelings of loneliness are hard to shake though. I live alone with my dog in my big old house. I go to work, I come home, I post on spark. That's it.
Makes me depressed just typing it.
I guess the problem is I don't even know what to do about it.
For someone who's good at plans, I'm not feeling like I know even where to start right now.
I'm floundering emotionally as my weight loss progress seems to teeter.
Ugh. I just need these hormones to stop.
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