Friday, January 18, 2013
Well, guys, it's week three of my Half Marathon training program.
Confession time: I've been so less religious in my adherence to it than I expected.
Here's how it's gone so far:
Week one: 3 mile, 3 mile, 3 mile - ALL DONE- YAY!
Week two: 3 mile, 3 mile, 3 mile - One three mile run, One two mile run, One Five mile run... is that acceptable?
Week Three: 3 Mile, 4 mile, 5 mile - One two mile run :(
OMG, what the heck am I doing?
Seriously, I need to stop with the free passes.
"Oh, it's so cold!"
"Oh, I'm so busy at work!"
"Oh, I just could watch another episode of the West Wing!"
I mean, I have to be honest here, the distances so far haven't been very difficult; but, I know if I don't start increasing my distances like I'm supposed to those later 8 - 10 mile runs are GOING TO EAT ME ALIVE.
I knew it was going to be difficult when I signed up to adhere to a training program in the dead of winter; I just thought that I was more stubborn.
I now know that I MUST be more stubborn.
In terms of diet over the last week I've kind of stalled. I mean, I haven't been terribly 'out of range'; but, I haven't come close to 1200-1300 calories. I'm not beating myself up about it, but I have to be honest as to why I can't complain about the scale not moving. After all, when you don't run as much in a week and you don't cut back on the calories it's hard to make that differential happen!
Alright. So. The plan is to hit the 5 mile training run tomorrow and prep to start next week on track with the training mileage. The plan:
1. Lay out all three of the week's runs clothes ahead of time. I own enough apparel. I can do this.
2. Put the runs in my work callendar so that no surprise meetings can sneak up on me.
3. Talk with the boss-man about what's going on. Hopefully they will continue to be as supportive as they have in the past.
Alright guys, time to get some real work done for today! Happy weekend, everyone!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Good Morning, Sparklers!
It's been a quiet past week.
Last Sunday was the Frigid 5 Miler here - and if the weather where I am is anything like where you are you'll agree it was anything other than frigid. With temperatures starting at 57 and climbing well over 60 by the time the race finished - I am stunned to say that I completed a run in January in a pair of capris and short sleeves. This is not typical weather for Southwestern PA, I assure you.
Today, however, the weather is much more typical.
The 5 mile race was challenging. Not for the distance; but, for the terrain. The race began on a gradual downhill. There were a few little hills around the 2 mile and 3 mile mark - but, mostly up until the last 3/4 of a mile it was all just easy terrain or downhill. As you can guess, what goes up must come down. Or, in this case, what goes down must come up! The last 3/4 of a mile is rated as a "Category 5" on map my run. Which means LOTS of us were huffing, puffing, and walking parts of it.
Honestly, that darn hill took my 11:20 pace and knocked it down to 15. No joke.
BUT I FINISHED.
There are actually some very, very funny (and less flattering) shots in the whole collection. However, that picture sums it up: I crush you, hill.
Last night was also the first meeting of Club in a month. It was good. We got our 6 month assessment results which are now two months old. Also, we got weighed in for the first time in a month and a half. In the six weeksI've been without close supervision I lost six pounds. Not too shabby! A pound a week? I'll take it. Why? Because I'm able to live comfortably, not obsess over my food intake, and not feel ridiculously pressured to squeeze in a million fitness minutes.
Downward progress is still progress.
What we also received were all of scans and statistics from our 6 month assessment. Basically one of the things they did was a body composition scan. They gave us our photos which were.. revealing. Lets just say I'm kind of surprised that I can see MORE of my fat rolls at my lower point than I could at my higher point. Maybe it's because the fat rolls are getting smaller and thus look larger in number? I don't know. The numbers, though, were great. I've lost 32 pounds while on the study which is 14% of my starting bodyweight. Now, what makes that even more amazing is that I've only lost 1 pound of 'lean' tissue.
When you lose weight through diet exclusively the body has a tendency to burn both your muscles and your fat. I forget what the ratio or percentage is; but, as you can guess, it's not a good idea to go and eat your muscles. So, when you have a 'proper' ratio of diet and exercise you are going to burn less of that 'lean' tissue. In other words, according to the scan, I'm doing 'it' right.
The other thing we talked about were some of the first results coming off of the armbands for tracking activity. You have to think about it, the whole idea of having a piece of tech that tracks fitness minutes is relatively new. Pedometers have been around forever; but, minutes counts? Level of activity? It's all been very subjective. It's me pointing at a chart and saying "Yeah, this is like a ten."
What they're finding is that there are definite thresholds for the 'checkmark' effect. On any weight loss program where you are at six months is generally the point where this effect happens. There are three possibilities. First, you can always maintain your weight at that point. Second, you can continue to lose weight. Finally, the dreaded outcome is gaining back weight. It's like a checkmark - you were going down over time, and now that line starts to rebound back up.
What they're finding is that the people who are most likely to rebound have around 175 minutes of physical activity a week in 15 minute increments. Those who maintain or continue to lose are doing greater than 200. It's amazing. I think I've talked about this before - how I believe that it's the level of -structure- required to do that target that causes the weight loss, not the literal number itself. It's the behavior change associated with meeting that number. At least, that's my opinion.
This morning, also, I finally cracked 187. I had been hoping to reach 185 for the end of this month. Hopefully half marathon training supports that.
Alright, time to get some more 'real' work done.
I hope you all are continuing on the downward path. If not, start thinking about how to get your minutes of activity up!
Friday, January 11, 2013
Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, I can't say that the year 2013 has started off quietly!
Work has been insane for the last two weeks. I can count on one hand the number of days that have been plain old eight-hour and not ten-eleven-twelve hour days. We have had a lot of reports due and new last minute task requests from clients. It's good for the business and my own personal utilization targets; but, it makes it hard for me to get all the exercise in that I want to.
Speaking of which, I'm going to the YMCA today and cancelling my membership. I don't need them. Well, I don't need to pay them $55 a month when I'm only in once or twice a week (If that.) I just prefer to run outside - and unless it's TRULY disgusting out I just won't go there.
In terms of my weight loss I'm half a pound under where I was before the holidays. Let me put this in perspective. My low weight before the holidays was 188.8 - which was AMAZING. Holidays happened, I saw my scale reach 192 and I had to battle my way back down. So, in two weeks I've lost four pounds. BAM. This morning the scale happily sat at 188 (in spite of it being a no-count week!) and I can't be happier.
Really, this is just a progress report as I don't have much to rant about at the moment.
I did, however, see a friend of mine on Facebook who announced her own weight-loss goals quite publicly. In short, she is turning 30 in April and wants to lose 55 pounds by then. I'm so on the fence on this one. I feel like I -know- what's going to happen. Due to her unrealistic time frame she's going to 1) be amazed when she feels like she's on target for the first week and loses 3-4 pounds. Then, week two it's down to 2-3. By March she's given up because 1) the weight isn't coming off as quickly anymore and/or 2) her goal looks impossible and/or 3) she's hurt/burned herself out on exercise.
The reason that her story hit me so hard is that 1) I weighed 230 pounds when I turned 30 and that's what got me moving and 2) I've done and said everything she is done and saying.
What do you guys do or say when this happens to you? I am unapologetically proud of the progress I've made. No joke. I am not ashamed to brag that to date I have lost 42 pounds. I've done it slowly (we're coming up on a year in March, and by then I hope to be down 50) and I intend to maintain it for life. I haven't done it through 'dieting.' In fact, when people ask what my 'diet' is I tell them that I'm not on one. I don't eat anything specific. I don't not-eat anything specific. I eat. In fact, my calorie range is so broad at this point that I'm even hesitant to say I have one. (1200-1600, maybe?) What have I done? I've increased the amount of general movement in my life. I walk more. I found an activity (running) that I find fulfilling. I've found a community of people who support me and been delighted with family and friends and coworkers who have been kind enough to do the same. Oh, and I stopped hiding from the scale.
What can I say, that's what's worked for me. I think, honestly, it's what would work for most people.
Monday, January 07, 2013
It's been busy over here!
Work keeps on exploding; though, I'm hoping that this week settles down some in comparison to last week. We want to have a lot of things completed in the next couple of days so I know today and tomorrow will be a little hectic; but, not completely unmanageable.
So, Friday was my first naked day.
I was on my way out the door - realizing that I'm running about 20 minutes late. drive down the block and I make it to the first turn when I realize that I didn't have my display on. More than that, I didn't have my BodyMedia armband on. It'd been about three weeks with it and already I left it at home.
Was I more active? Less active?
Frankly, I don't know.
I was just taken aback by 2 things: First, how off balance I felt without it on my arm. Second, how much I was disappointed when I didn't have any feedback at the end of the day. Sure, it still estimated my calories; but, it wasn't the -same-.
I do, honestly, feel like the armband has given me a greater degree of accountability and motivation. I like it. Although, I have to admit, the scale hasn't moved much.
Saturday is the Frigid 5 miler - which many people on the running club's website were complaining about. They kept calling the hill 'too hard' and stuff. Well, as I told them, I have every intention of punching that hill in the face and eating pancakes on top of it's corpse in celebration. That's right, will run for PANCAKES!
Alright, time to get some work done... KEEP SPARKING!
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
As I can imagine, all of you can sympathize with being completely consumed by the holidays!
So, I got totally consumed by the glutton-monster and wound up putting on a few holiday pounds. I hit my lowest point in December at 188.8 pounds and have since climbed as high as 195 and currently sit at 190.6 this morning.
Well, I ran my stats this morning. After some holiday carnage I wound up officially 40lbs down from where I was in March. I now have 30lbs to go until I reach my goal weight. On Monday I ran my last 5K of the year and pushed my total (tracked) mileage to 446 for the year. I ran six races in three months and improved my PR on the 5K from 37:11 to 36:55 on a challenging, hilly race. Yep, I've got lots to brag about and I intend to continue bragging!
Today, the day after New Year's day, is the test for all of us. Everyone who set a goal, today is the first 'real' accountability day.
So, I'll be at the gym after work, pounding out some calories on the Eliptical (Or, if I'm feeling crazy, I may actually try one of those scary ass tread mills..)
I wanted to write more; but, I do have some work to do. I hope you guys are primed and ready to accomplish everything you've set your big, wonderful hearts on.
Let's go get this!
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