Tuesday, July 03, 2012
I have a goal to hit a 16 minute mile by September 1st. This is a time I've hit in the past, but not on a regular basis or really all that often (sad, right). This is one of my goals for the real life challenge we are doing this summer. On September 1st we actually have a 5K...the Awesome 80's Run (time to bust out the neon). Sounds like SO much fun and there is a finisher's medal (rare for 5k) shaped like a cassette tape (like, totally awesome duuuuuuude! ) If I hit the time and sustain it for 3 miles I'll 5K PR. Awesome, right?
So, I'm not fast AT ALL and I need to do something to try and get faster. Fartleks are great, but I'm terrible at them. The long, slow run, helps with endurance and just plain old getting out there is the best training. This week I'm trying something new and not recommended for the most part. Running (almost) every day.
I'm giving it ONE week to see how it goes. My goal is 1 mile, that's it, 1 mile, running. Sticking to the 1 mile will be the hard part. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is a day off in preparation for a "long run" on Saturday (this week probably only 3 miles), and I'll probably walk part of that (maybe not, see how it goes, Saturday is a ways away).
It actually works out great. I live on a really big block. I can walk a good distance to the corner as warm up. Then down the street and back is 1.03 miles. Perfect! Then a nice slow cool down walk, which tracked at .35 miles, home. Tonight's pace was a 16:58. My initial pace was 17:34 (shin splints slowed me WAY down).
The good news is that a) I had no shin splints today and b) I felt good today despite some muscle soreness left over from Saturday's hike. The majority of the remaining soreness is settled solidly in my calves and once I started running was not noticeable at all.
Now, the REALLY interesting part of today's run was that the dog AND all three kids were along. The kids were the easy part, except having to yell at them for not stopping and looking at a street where a car wanted to turn in (not actually a "street", this is an entrance to a mobile home park and more resembles an extra large driveway, but still street enough that they should have known how to behave). The driver, fortunately, saw the kids from a long way off and was totally prepared to stop and wait for them to cross. I don't think they'll make that mistake again. The dog was super sniffy tonight (a beagle, this is a common ailment, but more than average tonight) and I had to keep yanking his leash (number one reason we switched from collar to harness, not choking the dog when yanking the leash to encourage him to move after "go" or a whistle fail) and occasionally stopping still while he did his "business" (I jogged in place, like an idiot, but didn't want to lose my momentum-lol). The dog (Baxter) is going to have to learn to a) empty all in one shot and b) not be quite so sniffy-lol. The kids LOVED being out on their scooters and had a great time on our little excursion. So, I'm thinking that Monday and Wednesday evening will be our time to get out and have fun. I love the road I can take them on. This street we travel has no houses facing the road AT ALL, not one. There is a big open field on one side and on the side we travel there is an extra wide sidewalk (like 1.5 of a normal side walk) and only that one drive for cars to pull into so it is a great, long expanse of NOTHING to cause problems. I feel very safe taking my kids on this road and letting them go. Especially after reminding them, forcefully, about stopping to look at the drive.
That's what I'm up to this week and we'll see how my 1 week of daily (almost) runs works out. If I decide to keep them they'll stay short and only grow gradually. Not sure daily running is my thing, but I'm looking into new ways of upping my fitness level and there are TONS of people who run daily so....maybe. We'll see :).
Hope everyone has a great week ahead :).
Thursday, June 28, 2012
A little bit about me...
1. It is my last day as a 42 year old.
2. If you've been reading my posts for awhile you might remember that the year I turned 40 was HORRID. I went through a wringer and was very psyched out for a bit. Then I started running.
3. I've been "running" for three full years now and moving into year four.
4. I have enough race t-shirt to make a quilt.
5. I'm still not svelte and I'm still not toned and I'm turning 43 and couldn't care less. It is just a number. Woot. I have come a long ways in 3 years.
One thing that didn't change for a very long time and still isn't completely there is my ability to self sabotage and the mind set that the scale rules the world.
Wanting that scale to move and having it not do so has caused more than one set back as I got depressed and stopped whatever I was doing and moped. Not very smart, right? See, self sabotage...I warned you.
So, what I've been working on for the last little bit it a true change of attitude. 1. That I will work out no matter what everyday (except 1 rest day) baring injury or extreme illness (and if you read a recent post you know that I've had 1 success here already). The scale is a nice tool, but more important is how I feel about myself and what I'm doing. That's a pretty major change and it isn't perfected, but working on it. The mind set has gone from "be skinny" to "be strong". Of course I WANT to lose weight, but focusing on losing weight wasn't getting me anywhere. So, I'll focus on being fit and see where that road takes me.
To help me do that I've gone back to some childhood roots. See, I've always wanted to be badass. Granted, I never would have called it that, but essentially, that is the gist of things. My idols have always been somewhat unconventional. I did have some of the standards, I mean really, what girl hasn't put on her bathing suit, tied a towel around her neck, wrapped aluminum foil around her wrists, grabbed her jump rope and pretended to be Wonder Woman? But, as I grew and read and learned, my heroes became real, true-life people who rocked and frankly were totally badass!
Amelia Earhardt: One of the earliest and most daring female pilots, set off to do what nobody had ever done, male or female. She disappeared and went down in the history books as a total and complete mystery. She was badass. She was a woman who knew what she wanted and wouldn't let anything get in her way. I have written more than one research paper on this daring female.
Annie Oakley: I mean really, you gotta be one badass woman to have musicals written about you. The woman was killer with a gun from the time she could hold it. She could shoot better than most men in her day and not many could sit a horse the way she could. She was badass. She lived a life that was full of adventure. No timid attitudes here.
Clara Barton: Nurse extraordinaire. Founder of the American Red Cross and brave beyond belief. The American Civil War was a nasty business with nasty results. She organized a nursing corps that is still revered today. She and her nurses did their best to improve conditions in hospitals and worked hard to piece back together bodies torn apart. Wonder how many times she had to stare down a ranking officer, towering over her and tell him he was wrong and it would be done her way, period? She was pretty badass.
Laura Ingalls Wilder: What's that you say? She wasn't badass? You bet your britches she was! All the frontier women were. Unless you've ever slaughtered your own dinner, don't tell me she wasn't badass. My sister has me pegged that is for sure. She recently told a mutual friend that I've always wanted to be part of Little House on the Prairie or Bonanza...YEP! The women of the frontier were all badass chicks. With the exception of Ben Cartwright's wives who always managed early and tragic deaths (3 for 3 is a horrible record).
I've always wanted to be badass...my heros have all been badassed women. I'm never going to fly around the world at it's equator (the adventure in that has been conquered anyhow). I'm never going to be a sure shot with a rifle (though the one time I've held one and fired it...I felt badass and even killed the steel bunny-lol). I've discovered that nursing is NOT up my alley and the frontier has mostly been eradicated and replaced with Wal-Marts (though my dream is still to live, much like the Pioneer Woman, on a ranch with horses and animals and open fields and home baked bread from my stone oven). What frontiers are there for a nearly 43 year old?
The frontiers that are left are the ones I create for myself. 15 minute mile is a frontier I have yet to conquer since my last 12 min mile test waaaaaay back in college. A 1.5 minute plank is still elusive. An entire set of biceps curls using 8 pound weights....oh wait....DONE!! Frontier met and conquered. And yes, that felt pretty badass (okay I am using a word I NEVER use way too much here....my apologies).
There are still LOTS of frontiers for me to conquer and to show that I am worthy of hanging with the awesome chicks. My weight may keep me back from some of them, but what's badassedness without a few mountains to climb. Which reminds me....starting to feel the call of the mountains, might be time to climb another one of the real mountains. So, I can't say that I've accomplished huge and amazing things that will put me in the history books, but I can be badass in my own way. 43 is calling me and 43 is going to be awesome and to kick off this badass year I get to go see a movie about a badass princess with my kids. Birthday treat from Mom is a family trip to Brave :). Wonder where, around here, I can learn archery?
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Not sure what I was expecting to happen, but hey, I spoke up and that's what matters, I guess.
So, here's the tale...recently I stumbled upon a link to a thingy being run by Under Armour, you know the fitness wear people. They were/are running a promotion/contest titled "What's Beautiful". It's a pretty cool challenge and a video they have posted on the page is pretty inspiring. But, the problem I have is that these women are all already fit and in my opinion beautiful in the normal everyday sense of word...in other words exactly what you expect to see under the heading "beautiful". When you are done reading click over and check out the page and the video. whatsbeautiful.ua.com/ I'm don't want to take away from what all the women who did this accomplished and are accomplishing. I LOVE all the things women all over the world and of every shape, size, and color are showing is possible. There are inspirational stories EVERYWHERE and this is one small drop in the inspirational bucket, but it's still cool.
Here is where I had the difficulties that resulted in a letter to the company. I am not beautiful. Okay, before you get all hot under the collar in my behalf...I'm not, don't know really how else to put that. I'm fat. I'm not in shape. My hair is in DESPERATE need of a cut (can't afford even the tip). I don't put on makeup on a regular basis. My clothes are HORRIBLE. I'm in serious need of new clothes, but a) can't afford any and b) don't want to pay for even one more thing in the current size. Nothing in society or the world would give me any indication at all that I qualify for beautiful. So I click over to see what Under Armour is up to with "What's Beautiful" and find a fitness based "challenge/contest" and think "hmmm, okay, that's cool, encouraging others to be fit". And then I get distracted. I've been to the Under Armour site before looking for stuff to wear while working out and running. They are an awesome company and make excellent gear, but....Huge but....not in my size....in fact in the women's section (maybe I got discouraged too soon?) there is nothing over a size XL and a search for "plus size" pulls up men's wear only, where they do, indeed, make items in XXL. So, to me, it was fairly obvious that in order to even start qualifying for "beautiful" you had to be an XL or smaller. I currently want my shirts to be XXL (especially for working out since I like to be able to have full range of motion and don't like my shirts to pull up too much). Pants are at least a 2X, sometimes 3X depending on the pants, the fabric, the cut, etc. (I am very, very hippy, even without the current layer of padding).
The total lack of any option for a person of my size prompted the letter...here is what I wrote:
"I've looked a UA products in the past, but you don't carry my size. I clicked over through your What's Beautiful campaign and can see that you still don't understand that beautiful also comes in larger sizes. The obesity epidemic is a real thing and many of those who have, for whatever, reason become "larger than life" need good, quality gear to help them get into the sizes you currently make. If you REALLY want to address the question "What's Beautiful" start making sizes for more robust women. "
I must have contacted them through JUST the What's Beautiful campaign and not the company itself, because here's the answer:
"Thanks for your email. There are many steps to take in redefining beauty and it's a mission we feel strongly about. For feedback on our clothes, please reach out to us via our support page of our website.
Well, that wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Not sure what I was expecting, but that wasn't it-lol. That line "there are many steps to take in redefining beauty and it's a mission we feel strongly about" kind of bugs me for some reason. Are there "many steps" to redefining beauty? I'm not so sure about that. I think there is one step...start showing women of diversity on a regular basis in the media. But, yeah, I can see where, in a business, they would have a lot on their plate in redefining beauty. I guess I just wish that more companies would be more serious about making products for real women of every type and part of this is my own personal hang up about "brand names". Does wearing a certain brand make me more of an athlete? No. Does wearing a certain brand make me FEEL like more of an athlete? Well, kinda. Might as well be honest, right? Not that I can currently afford one single thing in the Under Armour catalog, but the point is it should be available in my size (especially workout bras...common folks my boobies are in much more dire need of a good sports bra than some tiny little A cup..that A cup is never in danger of getting out of bed in the morning and stepping on her own boob).
So, there you go....my effort to change the world did nothing. I'm going to send the message to the RIGHT contact now, but I still don't expect to see size 2X on the UA site anytime soon.
Should you have the desire to also try to change the world here is the contact address as a link:
Have a great week and do something to change the world even if it falls flat :).
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
When we last saw each other I was not feeling well and we were coming up on daughter's birthday party.
Saturday morning broke bright and early at a little before 5 a.m. as I got up to get ready for my morning run. The kids had spent the night at their grandma's and were getting dropped off so that my mom could get in a little running before she had to go to work. Saturday we planned on doing hill repeats at our favorite hill aptly named The Beast. So Mom leaves the kids with my hubs and she and I head out for The Beast to meet up with my sister and our friend. I was feeling better, but still not 100%. Warm up went great and then the repeats started and for the most part it was awesome. At the bottom of the hill after one trip up I did have to stop and take a slightly longer break while my gut threw a minor tantrum, but other than that it went well and I managed 6 trips up and down before saying good enough. Went home and actually made the bad decision to fall asleep for a little while, then it was rush, rush, rush to finish getting ready for the party. My sister was so kind as to host the party for us (our house is WAAAAAY small). Due to feeling like crud all day Friday I did not sew the hand puppets the kids would be decorating, oh wait, I didn't even cut them out-lol. I had to quickly rush and cut and then sew some hand puppets, luckily they are SUPER simple. Unluckily I broke the needle in my sewing machine and had to waste precious time changing out the needle. By the time I was done it was rush, rush, rush to get everything in the car and get down to my sister's in time to decorate and get ready, but we made it and were just ready when the first guests who were not family started to arrive. (Doesn't it seem that family is always early when you'd rather they were just a little late? lol)
The party went SUPER well and daughter had a great time, as did her friends. We made puppets and told stories and had fun acting out "If You Give a Pig a Party". The kids went crazy on cookies, cupcakes and chocolate or strawberry milk and ice cream. We let the kids frost their own cupcakes and they LOVED that. Funny how exciting spreading frosting on your own cupcake can be.
Once the party was over and all the stuff back home I was BUSHED. That party really took it out of me so I fell asleep. Then was really grumpy when I had to get up and run some errands that I should have done earlier in the day.
Sunday was a nice rest day and today was try not to kill the kids day. Lol-the weekend festivities got them a bit too riled and attitudes were running high. Luckily daughter got to go to a friend's birthday party and it was nice for a couple hours. Now it is time to work out and get some more cleaning done before bed :).
Overall, a successful weekend and start to the new week.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Maybe, sometimes, maybe a little today.
Sorry I haven't been around much lately. I have been checking in almost every day and I've been tracking my fitness and did notice the changes to that. (Interesting is all I'll say...despite being a HUGE proponent for this change I'm still not sure they got it right, but it is a step in the right direction and maybe I'll like it more as I get used to it (still think their calculations are WAAAAY on the low side for calorie burn and think that the way they have it set up encourages false readings to the extreme, but that all is a topic for another discussion.)) I've been working out and trying to eat better on a more regular basis and trying to keep the kidlets from killing each other during summer break. All my energy has been going to those things and I guess I just haven't had much to say in the blog forum lately. I'll try to change that.
So, today, I wake up, take my meds and go sit to check all the fun stuff while I wait for being able to eat breakfast (when you take synthetic thyroid you have to wait a minimum of 1 hour to allow your body to absorb the hormone since the body does not readily take it up and if it has to compete with food the body chooses food over hormone (drat)). So, almost as soon as I have a seat I'm struck by the first of what would be many cramps. Not the monthly kind, the lower gut, something I ate is trying to kill me, kind. The last two days I've been hit and miss with eating, period. I haven't had much food and it was pretty easy to pinpoint what was attacking my gut...pretty sure it was the salad I had for lunch yesterday. Not sure WHY a salad would be attacking me, but I'm fairly certain that was it. Maybe I haven't been eating much because something was coming on and the salad was the catalyst that made it hit? I don't know. I do know that for much of the day I felt pretty incapacitated by the pain in my gut. Luckily it could have been much worse...the ONLY symptom was the cramps..none of the other icky stuff that can come along for the ride. Every time I thought they were done I would get up and try to get something done and they would come back. Now, generally speaking, I'm a tough cookie when I'm sick, but this had me on the bed grabbing my gut and wishing it'd just stop.
All this time, all I can think about is "I've got to work out". Yeah, kinda sick in an entirely different way. Why couldn't I just sit and enjoy my illness? Well, a couple of things really.
First, maybe, if you read 4everadonegirl or Aweise, you've seen something about a challenge they are currently doing....me too. My sister (4everadonegirl), our mother, my sister's son and DIL, my sister's bestie, Aweise, and myself all live in a close geographic area and have gotten a group challenge together. Another niece-in-law is also participating via internet as she is a bit farther away. The object of the game is to rack up as many points as possible. Points can be earned by doing cardio (1 point for each 20 min session up to 5 points in a week), strength training (1 point for each session up to 3 a week), drinking water (1 point for each day up to 7 points) and then up to 5 additional points for fulfilling an extra credit choice (choices are grouped by difficulty 1, 3 or 5 points). (I've mentioned all this before, but just in case you missed it). I am currently trailing the leader (my sister) by 3 points. The "winner/s" each week gain 1 additional point. So, I need every single point I can muster. Now, in all actuality, I could have missed today and still garnered all the points....EXCEPT...I needed to do 1 more plank to earn my 5 extra credit (5 planks over the course of the week for 60 seconds each for 5 points). I figure if I have to do the plank I might as well do all of it right?
Second, I have a great set going....I've done SOMETHING every single day this month, except on Sundays which are my rest day. I didn't want to lose that over some gastro-intestinal trouble.
So, I did it, I waited until late in the day and I hadn't had any gut-clutchers for awhile and then did my 30-day shred and then my scheduled strength training. I SERIOUSLY adapted Jillian. I did maybe 3 jumping jacks and then turned every jumping jack into a butt-kick with a weird flapping arm thing kind of mimicking a jumping jack but without so much jarring (I am certain I looked absolutely ridiculous). I didn't do a single side lunge...I stayed on the floor after doing the chest flys and sort of lifted my arms up and down mimicking a front arm raise without standing up...I felt kind of lazy...but it still worked my arms-lol. I have to say that during the workout I felt fine, except that I felt warmer than I should have (maybe a tiny fever is going along with this?) My strength training felt weak and I felt like I was working harder than I should have been, but I did everything except the scheduled step-ups...felt that would be just a touch too much.
Now that I've been sitting for a bit, I feel okay....my gut is still cramping, but not as severely as earlier and I'm pretty sure I'll be fine by tomorrow. Which, by the way, is my daughter's birthday party. Hubs was awesome today and baked batches and batches and batches of cookies and cupcakes for the party tomorrow. I was supposed to do it, but he is pretty awesome in the kitchen and let me be miserable while he baked. What a great guy.
So, in the end, the verdict is...working out can sometimes make you feel better if you are feeling crappy, but know your limits and make adjustments. I'm sure if I had tried earlier in the day I would have failed miserably, if I couldn't breathe because of chest congestion it would have made a difference, if I were puking that would be another limitation, but it wasn't any of that. But, I'm also sure that in the past, I would have called it quits on today and then wouldn't have felt better or worse, just lazy. I might have even let it affect tomorrow, but at this point I'm still planning on running and enjoying it...if my gut agrees, if not I'll still walk or do Jillian or something, because it won't make me feel worse.
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