Wednesday, September 22, 2010
So you know how I said my scale was a big tease yesterday? We've patched things up. I saw 199.5 again this morning (three times- I'm so distrusting) and this time it definitely wasn't a fluke!
So, I had resolved a while ago that I would come clean about how I've been cheating on one aspect of my diet since the end of June, and how it has contributed significantly to my weight loss. I haven't been secretly downing laxatives, or spending hours in the gym without entering the minutes, or anything you could possibly, in any stretch of the imagination consider self-destructive. Nope, the way I cheated was I gave myself my "Onederland" reward when I was still about seven pounds away from earning it.
See, I had this coupon for $15 off electronics purchases over $150 at Target. I had intended to get under 200 by the time it expired, but it didn't happen. Not buying my iPod Nano before the coupon expired would have been like throwing away $15, and I'm just not down with that. At first, I considered buying it and then leaving it in the packaging, unused, until I actually reached my goal. Nope, forget that stuff, I thought (with possibly saltier words), that iPod is a training tool and I should put it to good use. Plus, it has a radio, so I don't have to miss any of Prairie Home Companion or Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me when I run errands on weekends. My iPod Shuffle didn't work well for running, because it was hard to navigate. And my old Sony Psyc didn't have a whole lot of space for running tracks. The Nano seemed like the perfect running companion.
A couple of weeks later, I bought the Nike+ running add-on and incorporated that into my training. It has done wonders for my running. I find it so easy to keep track of my running history on that thing, and it inspires me to keep improving. The only thing I don't like about it is that, since it measures distance as a accelerometer, when I get tired or run up hills, my stride shortens and the Nike+ loses accuracy. I made up some running mixes in Audacity and added a chime at my intervals for audio cues, so I'm not always watching the time. And the Nike+ has this encouraging voice over to let me know my stats at the touch of a button. She also tells me when I'm at the halfway point and counts down the remaining minutes or meters when I'm close to the end. And if I get a personal record, I get a message from a sports celebrity congratulating me. So far, I have had Joan Benoit Samuelson, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong. I can also set goals for myself or participate in challenges on the Nikerunning.com site. I'm currently at 174th place in the "Green by 2011" challenge. It's not an eco thing- it's getting to the green level (249km) by the end of the year. Although my running history says I've run 69 miles, but my challenge history says 60, so I sense shenanigans there.
I haven't been feeling really great about running lately. I think that's been pretty clear in my blog posts. I still love running, but I'm frustrated by my lack of progress and by the toll it's taking on my knees. I ran last night and was getting more and more frustrated because it hurt too much to run for the full two minute intervals. When I had only about eight minutes remaining I decided to try something. I paused my workout and took off my knee supports- both of them! I figured that it probably wouldn't be any worse and if there was a problem, I could just walk for the remaining time. Hmm. That felt a lot looser and more natural. My knees felt more springy. What's this? You mean I *can* run for two minutes straight at the end of my run? I would call the experiment a "cautiously optimistic success." See, I was able to run without them and it felt pretty comfortable, but I went to Target afterward and limped my way through the latter half of my shopping. I feel pretty good this morning, though. I think that when I go on my run on Thursday, I will bring the supports and keep them handy, but not put them on unless I need to. And really, if I need to put on the supports, I probably shouldn't be running.
I'm pretty hopeful, though, that the solution to my knee pain may actually be trusting the hard work I've put into making my quads, hamstrings and calves stronger and more flexible. I certainly wouldn't miss having to run in supports. They look stupid and I could do without the smelly post-run sweatiness.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
This morning I got ready to step on the scale and I just had a feeling that I'd lost weight. I often take stock in how I feel and estimate how much I weigh before stepping on. My guesses are usually accurate, although sometimes I'll err on the heavy side so that I'll be pleasantly surprised. But this morning, I just knew I'd lost weight. Could it be that this would finally be the morning I'd see a one on the number instead of a two?
The number said 199.5. I just stood there on the scale and stared at the number until it turned off again. I was afraid to move, for fear that it would change. I wanted to see it again, so I turned it back on and stepped on. 200. Darn it! Step off and wait for it to turn off. Turn it back on and step on again. 200. RAAHR!
On the one hand, I'm guessing that the first number was a fluke and I really weigh 200. On the other hand, I think I'm now even more inspired to work hard because I loved seeing that number and I want to see it again, soon. But my scale better stop teasing me with this, or we're going to have words.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Okay, so on Wednesday night last week, I decided to skip the gym and go shopping instead. I wanted to try on new fall clothes and look at boots. I was also curious about something, because not one, but two different women's magazines stated that anyone can wear jeggings and look good. I doubted this was true, somehow and I cringe at the portmanteau name, but like I said, I was curious.
I didn't see any boots I really loved, and I didn't see a lot of fall clothes I had to have. However, in the clearance section I found a pair of medium gray jeggings that were on sale for $15. The store was closing, so I didn't try them on. They were juniors XXL, so I figured they'd most likely fit pretty well through the hips, but the waist might be big. That was exactly the case. When I got home, I put them on and decided to try them with my brown riding boots instead of my black boots. Then I proceeded to become mesmerized by my own butt and thighs.
I swear those things hide all the flaws in my tummy and show off all the hard-won muscles in my legs. On Friday, I threw caution to the wind and wore them to work with the brown boots and a big green cable sweater. I work in an odd office. It's a major auto company, so it's pretty corporate. On the other hand, almost everyone wears jeans on Friday and people tend to be pretty fashion-forward. I have never seen so many women wearing stilettos to work! So, I felt a little bit naked, but decided to pretend I was more confident than I was. Who cares if I'm on display? What's on display is hot!
So, when I heard about the party at the Irish pub, part of me thought, "I'm wearing green, I'm dressed for going out, and my butt looks amazing. Of course I want to go!" At various points that night, I was told I was a "pretty girl" by a sweet older gentleman whose space at the bar we invaded; and a "hottie" by some drunk younger guy I accidentally struck up a conversation with when I misunderstood something he said. And of course, our band friends continue to flirt up a storm.
I danced wildly in my jeggings and boots to Celtic rock. I drank 850 calories worth of Guinness (!!). I had a blast!
Monday, September 20, 2010
~*~ WTF??? Template for 9/20-9/25 ~*~
Part One - Exercise & Nutrition!
Last week, I was able to do 8.5 miles of running and ate pretty well on most days, which I am most proud of.
This week, I know that I will be able to do at least three runs and two strength training sessions.
My exercise focus this week will be on knowing my limits and not pushing through injury.
My nutrition focus this week will be on getting five fruits and vegetables per day.
Recovering from a "fun" weekend of diet failure is my reason for being extra determined this week.
Part Two - Happiness and Well-being
Come up with an idea for a ritual that you can do for yourself once a week, whether it is a run, a bubble bath, a meal, an indulgence, anything.
Describe it here in your template now, and do it this week- and if you can, blog about it.
I'm going to make a list of household tasks that need doing and can be completed in an hour or less (i.e., hanging a picture, cleaning out the pantry, straightening up the linen closet, taking things down to the basement) and do one of them per week. It may not sound like something I'm doing for myself, but the state of my home bothers me and is adding to my stress level. Doing just one thing at a time will allow me to improve my home without feeling burdened.
Motivate me this week by reminding me that taking it easier for a week or so could mean the difference between success and failure in the long run.
Monday, September 20, 2010
This weekend could be considered a weight loss fail of monumental proportions, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I had a great weekend.
On Friday, I found out that a band I like was playing a "Halfway to St. Pat's" party at a local Irish pub. I tried to talk myself out of going for any number of reasons (lack of money, lack of willpower against Guinness, lack of willpower with musicians), but in the end, I called up my friend and we met up at the pub. Dinner was a couple of slices of Granny Smith apple with a couple of pieces of brie on Carr's crackers, and about a tablespoon of hummus and flatbread crackers. Oh, and Guinness. Lots of Guinness. As is rapidly becoming our habit, we ended up hanging out with the band during their breaks and after the gig. We know some of the same people and we all like to talk about music. And I am an unusually friendly person. Not like *friendly* friendly, but in the "I've never met a stranger" way. I would have made an awesome cruise director.
Anyway, Saturday was kind of a blow-off day. I got my haircut, went back to sleep for a while, cleaned my house a bit and watched a lot of TV.
On Sunday, my friends came over for a girls' night in. One of them is having bariatric surgery tomorrow, so we were doing a kind of "last hurrah" dinner at my house. Beer can chicken, roasted potatoes, roasted garlic and tomatoes (mostly from my plants), French bread, lava cake and taco dip. Oh, and little cucumber wontons. Those were interesting. I think we ate continuously from 4:00-9:00 PM. It certainly felt like it.
My friend, Kristin (also the Irish pub meet-up friend), came over earlier in the day so we could go for a run. It was supposed to be my 5.5 mile long run, but with all the problems I've been having with my knees lately, I decided to do what I could and try to get my knees feeling better. I don't have a lot of margin for error in my training, but I think it would be better to take an easier week than planned now than really screw things up and miss several weeks later. My right knee buckled a few times on my run, mostly while running down hills. It doesn't hurt much when it does it and it doesn't last for more than a single step. The momentum of running means that it doesn't really have much effect beyond surprising and worrying me. A little research tells me that running downhill is potentially more dangerous than running up or on a flat surface. I can see that. In any case, I ran about 3.5 miles and called it a day.
So, naturally, today I feel pretty good. I have my typical, day-after-running muscle soreness, but my knee doesn't feel like it's going to mutiny. Last week, merely twisting my leg while opening a door was enough to cause a nearly-scream-inducing sharp pain. I'm going to try to stick to my usual half-hour weekday runs this week, but on a nice flat surface. I'm also going to start working on my adductor and abductor muscles in my strength training. And when faced with a downhill run, well, that's probably a great place for a walk break!
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