Sunday, August 26, 2012
First things first: I lost 1 pound this week. Pretty good, but not what I was hoping for. I was down 2 mid-week, which would've made 40 pounds lost total, but there were reasons out of my control that the scale went back up. Honestly! I'm not making excuses. I stayed entirely on plan but sometimes, the body doesn't respond immediately. I'll take that 1 pound and see the other pound come back off soon. [Also, I took a sneak peak at my measurements and I've already lost half an inch pretty much everywhere so that's awesome and makes up for the scale.]
Second: I went to the gym today to again attempt week 6 of 5K training. As I'd written previously, last week was a struggle and I couldn't complete the training as written down so I just did my best [mostly repeated week 5] and decided to try it again this week. Well, I can tell that giving myself an extra week was definitely the right decision. I was AWESOME at the gym today, and the 3:1min intervals were no problem at all. I finished 5K in 32:39, which is a record for the summer, so I'm looking really good for the actual 5K on Saturday. As I've been saying, I'm not looking to PR at this race [30:30 is my PR from way back in 2007... my one and only official race!] but coming close would be nice. I think it was a week ago that I was hoping to just finish under 40 minutes? So obviously, things have changed.
My plan for the week is to run outside Tuesday, back in the gym on Thursday, and then the race on Saturday. Depending on how I'm feeling all week and especially Saturday at the race, I might try 4:1min intervals during the race. Maybe even longer. Who knows. If I have other people to pace myself against, and the adrenaline of the actual race, I might surprise myself.
After the race, I plan on finishing the 5K training for real [two weeks left] and then my mom wants me to run another 5K on October 7th, so I'll focus on speed for that after I can run the whole distance without stopping. I'm hoping to PR at that race. If not, there's a Halloween 5K [costumes!] after that. [As a side note, I'm so happy that my mom supports my interest in running! Especially since it's her credit card that pays for them, and she has to drive me to the ones that are further away.] Then hill training throughout the fall. I've never done running in the winter, so I'm not sure how to approach that, but I know that I don't want to stop running for the 4-6 months that winter lasts around here. If I do, I'll have to start all over again in the spring.
Yay long term planning!
Friday, August 24, 2012
Yeah... this is a week I'm going to have to do over. That's okay. It happens. I wish it didn't happen just a *week* before my actual 5K but, well, what are you going to do?
This week's training called for 8 intervals of 3 minutes running, 1 minute walking. As a reminder, last week was 6 intervals of 3 minutes running, 2 minutes walking. So I wasn't increasing the amount of time running per interval, just decreasing the amount of time walking. And... my body did NOT like that. It was hard to recover after each interval and I felt worse than I've felt running in a month, at least. When I went to the gym on Tuesday, my first day of the "week", I managed to get through 4 intervals as prescribed but just could not do any more with just one minute of walking. So I fell back to 2 minutes of walking, since I knew I could do that, and finished out the session. Not bad, really. I still ran more than last week, so that's still improvement. I figured that by the end of the week, I'd work up to doing all of the intervals with only one minute of walking.
Except... that didn't happen. Yesterday, I went down to the track to do my outdoor running session and, I don't know, I was just having a really off day and struggled to run. I got through 4 out of 8 intervals, but with 2 minutes of walking between each one. But I just could not do the other 4. My leg was bothering me [but not my ankle!], I had cramps, and I was just struggling all over. I chalked it up to a bad day and figured I'd do better next time.
Today, I was bored and itching for a run so I went down to the track again. I know, I know, beginner runners should take days off in between running days [and I always do!] but I figured that I ran so little yesterday, it didn't really matter. I just wanted to finish out the intervals that I didn't do yesterday. And I was feeling MUCH better so I figured the chances of me actually being successful were good. Well, when I got down to the track, there was a bunch of hullaballoo going on. 6 police cars [we don't even have that many police cars, there were 3 from a neighboring city!], two fire trucks, an ambulance, someone from the morgue, and two news trucks. But was I going to let that stop me from my workout? No! Okay, considering they were presumably there for a murder [I have to wait for the news in 2 hours], I should probably find somewhere new to run but I figured I was safe this time with all these police around!
Anyway, today's run was MUCH better despite everything going on. I stuck to the 2 minutes of walking between running intervals, but I'm not too worried about that. But this was further proof that I have no idea how to pace myself-- or even how to gauge my pace. I didn't keep an eye on my RunKeeper app today, going solely by audio cues of when to walk or run, but I felt like I was running slower than usual. Which I wanted to do, I figured it would help! But, I got home and looked at the data on the website, and... yeah. You know how my average pace running outside is around 9.5-10min/mi? Today, I was running sub-9min/mi. Not exactly slower, there. Kind of significantly faster.
So, I've got my 5k next Saturday and although I was hoping to be up to 4:1min run/walk intervals for it, if I can actually do week 6's training all next week then I'll be happy with 3:1. Beyond that, I'm looking forward to finishing the 5K training and then I'm going to focus on adding hills into my runs. The 5K next week is on a flat course but that's really rare around here, so I *need* to get used to running hills if I want to do most of the races in the area. So... yeah, I need to figure out how to train for those. Huh. Most of the hills by me are super steep [like, 30-45 degree incline] and I don't think I can start out on those! But, that's still a few weeks away at least so plenty of time to come up with a plan! And then I'll be ready for the fall 5Ks like the Halloween Monster Dash and the Turkey Trot and stuff! [Ooh, I have to come up with a costume I can run in!]
Ankle-wise, I've had no problems with it at all. It feels completely normal now, even after runs, so that's great! I'm excited that it's FINALLY all better and I don't have to give it super special treatment anymore. I've been waiting for this for so long!
Monday, August 20, 2012
[Sorry, I just had to keep with the alliteration there!]
I need to face facts and admit that my nutrition hasn't been the best ever the past few weeks. I don't know why, I've just had a sudden disinterest in food. I normally *love* cooking and I have a backlog of healthy recipes to try out, but I haven't felt like making any the past few weeks. I've been staying within my calorie ranges [and, for the most part, within my macronutrient ranges] but not with the healthiest choices. I've been fudging my 5 fruits & vegetables each day, and relying heavily on... well, more processed foods. I haven't been *hungry*, so I don't eat much throughout the day and then suddenly, it's 6pm and I have 800+ calories to consume so I eat some brownies and call it a day. [No, seriously, have a look through my nutrition tracker and see how many brownies I had last week! They're my low calorie/fat recipe but still.] Like I said, not the best.
This was the second week in a row that I didn't lose much [0.2lbs added onto last week's 0.8 to make one full pound in two weeks... so, not my usual] and although I could throw a number of excuses at it [starting P90x so water retention, my body's evening out from two weeks of really big losses, etc.] I KNOW it's because of how I've been eating. It's not my exercise... that's been on point and, in fact, with the addition of P90X I've been getting strength training in regularly which was always hit-or-miss with me previously. Cardio's never been a problem with me... if anything, I'd had the mentality over the last few years that I could eat more [and of the "bad" stuff] just because I was so active. Well that's not true, as my starting weight is proof-- you can't out-train a bad diet!
I've also had way less energy-- I always wake up between 8 and 9am, but the past week I've been turning off my alarm at 9am and falling back asleep for another hour [at least! Yesterday I slept until almost noon!]. I was blaming this at first on the addition of P90X into my routine-- but I haven't done it in a few days [I took a break to get myself onto their schedule of the week's beginning starting on Monday] and I'm still lacking energy. I'm pretty sure it's because of the food I'm eating-- less fruits and vegetables, more added sugar. Ugh! I hate eating like this and feeling tired all the time, so why did I fall back into this habit?
I'm stepping up now and admitting this slight slip-up, and taking action to move on from it. Honestly, it's not THAT bad but I also don't want it to get worse. So I'm nipping it in the bud, and letting all of you know. Current mantra: more whole foods, less crap. It was working for the past six months, so why change now? Today was the first day back at the whole foods approach and it went really well.
Okay, my DELICIOUS dinner of peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and artichoke hearts on whole wheat pizza crust has finally settled into its digestive process so it's time to go do P90X.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
I wasn't feeling motivated to do much of anything today [even skipped the bike ride with my meetup group this morning] but I'd promised that I would go out for a run today due to skipping the bike ride. I wasn't aiming for an intense run, just a few laps around the track to continue getting my ankle used to outdoor running. Well, once I start, I can never do anything halfway so I ended up doing an "extra session" of last week's 5K training plan. Six intervals of 3min running, 2min walking. Since I didn't quite complete the training on Wednesday [my first attempt at running outside], I figured it made up for that.
I used a new app on my phone, trying out RunKeeper this time because I noticed that I can set my own interval training and it'll prompt me when to start running or walking, without needing to constantly look at the time. This is awesome! [The other app I'm going to try out, Endomondo, also has this feature but only with the paid app. Which I can't buy at the moment and don't want to buy without first seeing if the app otherwise works well for me.] So I loaded my new running playlists onto my phone before leaving the house and got to run along to my music with occasional, integrated reminders to start running, or that I'd ran another half mile, or such. The "coach" talked over the music, which was great because having my music be interrupted always messes up my beat a little. But not with this app!
The GPS and pace estimates were way more accurate than I'd been experiencing with MapMyFitness, so that was good to see. I kept pretty much on pace during the runs [with the exception of the last interval where I was feeling reeeeeally worn out all of a sudden], my pace stayed between 9 and [about] 10min/mi. Not too bad for feeling like I wasn't moving at ALL! [I'm used to the speed of bikes, okay?] When I got home and uploaded the info to the RunKeeper website, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they gave me a breakdown of my pace per interval! This really helps. Okay RunKeeper, you've made me fall in love with you [for the time being, at least].
[And then when I saved the data, foursquare gave me a 5K badge! Totally unexpected!]
I had no problems with my ankle, but my knee did have a slight discomfort at times [but that's nothing new, usually I just take some aleve before I go running but I didn't today...]. Actually, everything's been going so well that I did sign up for the 5K on September 1st, which I'd been putting off because I wasn't sure about my ankle. So, yeah, I will be doing an official 5K in less than two weeks... eeep! Maybe my mom will come and take horribly unattractive pictures of me [because who looks good when they're running, honestly? Did you *watch* the Olympics?]. I'm not aiming to beat my PR or anything, just to finish, preferably under 40 minutes [today's run was 40:59, so it's totally doable if I keep training the next two weeks]. But honestly, I just want to run and finish the race, and not let my ankle hold me back.
Look, I'm officially signed up!
If things go well with this race, I might sign up for another 5K two weeks later [when my 5K training is officially done!]. The thing is that the September 1st race is reeeeeally small [they're thinking they *might* get a thousand participants] whereas the one on the 16th is huge in comparison [almost 5,000 people ran it last year]. I've only ever ran in one race before, and it was small like the September 1st race, so I'm apprehensive about running with so many people. I'll do them eventually, but I was thinking of saving them until next year when I've gotten a few more smaller races done. So, we'll see. I have until the 10th to decide.
I just really love running and am so glad that I can do it again!
Friday, August 17, 2012
The Android market, that is. I'm looking for a new running/biking app for tracking my distance and pace. I've been using MapMyFitness for a couple years now and I've honestly had no complaints about it. But since I mostly used it for biking, I didn't keep a constant eye on it. Since I was running outside on Wednesday, I had the app going... and the current pace and distance were WILDLY inaccurate. The average pace and total distance did even out by the end of the workout, but I'd like to keep an eye on my pace while I'm running to see what I'm actually running at.
However, since I was running on a small track, I chalked it up to overlapping data or something. But today, I had to walk back and forth to the gym [my bike's broken... the wheel that I just got replaced a month ago? Yep, already messed up. Thanks for the shoddy craftsmanship!] and I kept an eye on my phone during the walk. The current pace/speed was ALL OVER THE PLACE. In the span of 15 seconds, it would say that I was "walking" at a 6mph speed [uh, yeah right, that's almost my running speed!], then drop down to 2.8mph, then up to 3.5. And it just kept doing that, for the entire two hour walk to and from the gym. That's not cool. Like I said, the speeds averaged out by the end so my average pace looks legitimate [19:06min/mi for 5.5 miles] but using it as a tool to keep up my pace while walking was useless. It doesn't bother me so much with walking, but it does with running.
No, seriously, this is my "route data" for today's walk to and from the gym. Um. This is not how I walk from point A to point B.
So now I'm in the market for another app. I [apparently] had RunKeeper last year so I downloaded that again [I don't think I ever actually used it, but I remembered my login info so there's that!], and I've also heard good things about Endomondo and Runtastic. So... is there one that's significantly better than the others? Or at least has different features? I'm browsing RunKeeper's website now and noticing that it has "training" for goals [like running a 5k] so that might be useful. Also, if an app has solely running features and doesn't have a separate option for tracking my bike rides, that's probably a deal breaker.
So... yeah. Any that you like more than the others?
[Also, when I logged into RunKeeper my weight was set at 201lbs, from May 2011, so it was great to change that to 183!]
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