Monday, January 03, 2011
So, last month I certainly didn't get any Consistency or 500 monthly points awards. I started December busy, got busier, and then when I finally had some breathing room, I got sick and then got the heck out of Dodge. I'm pretty sure I caught the flu right around December 19 or 20. We had our family Christmas party that Saturday night, and by Monday night I was miserable. It only got worse- fever, body ache, congestion, weakness. I had planned to drive up to my parents' house on Tuesday morning, but I felt so exhausted that I nearly passed out in the shower. I didn't make it up North until Thursday, and that was really only because I dosed myself up and pushed through. Needless to say, I was eating whatever I felt like I could deal with and wasn't exercising at all. A week later, though, I went for my first run in about two weeks. Five miles along the same road I did my very first five mile run on back in September. It felt so good!
I'm still hacking up some pretty gross stuff, though. I feel fine except for the phlegm and the cough. And the weird stuffy ear. I just can't clear my left ear. It hasn't been clear since Christmas day. I did a little research on it and it will clear up when the congestion is over. And it takes weeks to fully recover from the flu, so it's enough that I'm better. For now. I gained a couple of pounds over the holidays and I need to get back on track.
So, I guess the time is ripe for one of those "year in review" posts. What did I have planned for 2010? Well, I had hoped to get to my healthy weight and be 100% prepped for my half marathon. I didn't do either of those, but I did learn new skills in readjusting expectations! So, what did I do? Well, I lost 40 pounds, shrank by 4 inches each on my waist and hip, went down two band sizes and a cup size on my chest, traded my old size 18/20s for all 14s with a nearly successful try-on of a size 12 (buttoned, but unflatteringly tight). I realized that I no longer wanted to fade into the background and started wearing brighter color- and brighter hair!
I started running last January with Couch to 5K, gradually worked my way through the first few weeks over many more than a few weeks. Very mixed results and a lot of frustration. Then I took a step back to reassess my goals. I had always intended to do my half as a run/walk, so why was I focusing on running for three miles without a walk break? I switched to Jeff Galloway's method and was much more successful. I ran in three 5ks between August and October. Then, just when I was getting to the halfway point, a speedbump in my progress- tendinitis in my ankle, quickly followed by knee pain and a doctor saying that if he had knees that sounded like mine, he would never run. One amazing physical therapist, three months and a lot of hard work later, I am back running and back up to 5 miles. I have 55 days to build up my mileage for the Princess Half Marathon. It's a lot to do, but I think I can do it. That five mile run I took on Thursday? The first one since October without a single brace or support (I forgot to pack about half of my running accessories). It was slow. Lord, was it ever slow! But it was relatively pain-free and it was under the minimum speed. I can do this!
So what's on the agenda for 2011? Well, there's running the half marathon at the end of February. There's turning 40 in the middle of March. Other than that, there's a whole lot of taking things as they come and being satisfied with knowing that I'm working hard at getting healthy. I would love for that to include losing the 35 pounds between my current weight and my goal weight. Here's what I'm really focusing on: eating healthy food, exercising much more regularly, and staying motivated to change my life. If I take care of being healthy day-to-day, the rest will take care of itself.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
But I rock at so many other things, so I ain't worried about it.
Last night I went to the gym to run after about 1.5 hours of PT. I get discharged on my ankle this week, so that's a big "Yay!" Of course, I have evaluation/intake for my knee at the very next appointment, so it's not like I'm really discharged at all. My exercises will change somewhat and we're going to be doing some of the more basic stuff (stretching, therapy bands), but we've been working my knees the whole time. I'm definitely going to miss the exercises and the staff when I'm finally done with therapy, but I'm looking forward to getting my evenings back. Knee therapy is only two days a week instead of three for the ankle (my general practitioner didn't specify, so we went with three).
Running after therapy wasn't exactly a success, but I don't necessarily think that's all because of therapy. The chief problem I had was that I was just really tired. Some of that was muscle fatigue, certainly, but I think some of it was that I was too warm in a long-sleeve shirt, no matter how light it was. Another chunk was that my breathing was awful. It's so frustrating. I ran/walked for three miles on Saturday, but I had a hard time running for a single 1/16 mile lap last night. I'm still getting over a cold I had two weeks ago, and the one lingering symptom I have is congestion. It's hard to breathe normally when you're full of phlegm. On Saturday, I decided to just allow myself to be gross and spit (off the road, but still...). Couldn't do that on the indoor track! Bleh! I think I need to get some generic Mucinex and just kill the ick. I run again tomorrow and then on Saturday, I'm going to try 4 miles. Emphasis on "try." If I don't feel right about it, I won't do it.
And now, the rest of the story.
DECEMBER 6TH CAN SUCK IT, CAUSE THE WEEKEND IS OVAH
This weekend, I didn't do everything I planned on doing, and I feel kinda bad, but I won let it keep me down because tonight I promise myself publicly that _________*.
Does it count as a public promise to do something if I already did it? Anyway, yesterday I did 1.5 hours of physical therapy and half an hour of run/walk. I did not back away from any challenge my PT set for me, even when it seemed silly or felt hard. Even though I'd already done that, I stuck with my resolution to get back into running regularly and ran for what felt like the longest half hour ever.
My Weekend Victories...
I suspect I may have already posted about some of this on Saturday.
I ran/walked in the Jingle Bell 5K and didn't let the fact that it was my slowest time overshadow the fact that it was my longest run since Sept. 25. I'm as proud of my 45:00:07 as I was the 6 miles I ran on 9-25. I'm BACK, baby!
I "finished" decorating the outside of my house and accepted the fact that the inside is going to remain undecorated. I say "finished" because I'm still not 100% happy. I won't be until I figure out what's missing from the area in front of my fence. I strongly suspect it might be a pair of lighted deer.
I got my room as clean as it's going to get in preparation for my parents' visit the weekend after next.
I made a list of dishes I'm preparing for our family Christmas party and 5 out of 6 of my savory dishes would be considered healthy alternatives (the 6th item is onion-bacon tartlets... just because). The dessert offerings are a bit out of control, however. But that's dessert and I don't necessarily believe in lightening dessert. (That's why dessert for me is usually a piece of whole fruit or a small glass of port.)
Suck It December 7th!
Sometimes we get a little too lenient, a little too nice to ourselves and go from being kind and loving ourselves to just plain taking advantage of our own kindness. Maybe we have promised something to ourselves every day this month and never actually really did any of them. It's ok if this is true of any of you, but today you might need to be a littler stricter on yourself. Sometimes the best way to love yourself is to just stand up and do what you know you are supposed to do.
Since lately we are all about forgiving ourselves for slipping, and just concentrating on our victories, we are going to take 12 hours to crack the whip. If you haven't pushed yourself since December started, today is THE DAY to make up for it.
That's right. Today you HAVE to break a sweat. Even if you're a busy mom with kids hanging from her every limb. Before you go to bed tonight, you MUST break a sweat and report back tomorrow morning.
Tell me what you did yesterday.
Did you binge? What did you eat?
When was the last time you broke a sweat?
What is your biggest excuse right now?
Tell me what you did yesterday.
1.5 hours of PT and 30 minutes of running
Did you binge? What did you eat?
Nope. Yesterday, I had coffee and a waffle PBJ for breakfast; a sandwich, nonfat yogurt and a banana for lunch; an orange, a granola bar and two Tootsie Rolls for a snack; penne bolognese with two meatballs and beets for dinner; a pear and two ounces of port for dessert; and two tbsp of hummus and hummus chips for an evening snack. I did exceed my calorie allowance by over 200 calories, but I wouldn't call it binging. I probably should have skipped the hummus and chips.
When was the last time you broke a sweat?
Last night. Repeatedly.
What is your biggest excuse right now?
I'm too phlegmy to breathe properly right now.
Saturday, December 04, 2010
I meant to join YOOVIE's "Suck It" December challenge on time, but I was stuck in a classroom with several male co-workers looking over my shoulder all week and I ran out of time to post.
But I firmly believe that starting late is better than not starting at all. So here is my entry card, a brief day 2 recap, and days 3-5 all wrapped up in one post!
~!~SUCK IT CHALLENGE ENTRY CARD AND DAY ONE CHALLENGE~!~
1. Pick any 5 things to measure that you will measure again on New Year's Day. Post those current measurements here. it can be everything from how many modified pushups you can currently do, to a 5K time, to a bra size, I don't give a crap. Personalize it.
A. Weight 193 (gained a little this week)
B. Waist Measurement: 36.25
C. Distance I run: 3.1 miles as of this morning! Coming off PT for tendinitis means I have to rebuild my conditioning.
D. Average pace: 14.33/mile at a run/walk
E. Pant size: 14
2. Declare yourself. Do so by choosing one or more of the following.
A. Make your declaration of independence from imminent failure, guilt and pressure. Write a paragraph, a statement or a blog about how you will do your best, and not hate yourself if you fail.
B. Post a current body shot if you have not already posted one, or at least an updated one you can use as a before picture. This isn't a long challenge, only 4.5 weeks- so you may not make alot of progress in a body shot- but the goal here is to not backtrack in December, right?
C. Post an awesome profile picture of yourself, if you don't have one.
D. Put up your ticker. This is IMMENSELY helpful. it shows where you are now, which can be tough to admit, but its courage that makes all the difference. You know that's the truth.
E. Redo your sparkpage with flair and determination. Freshen it up. We're done with the tired same old same old.
I changed my sparkpage to a winter theme. I actually love winter, so I like the change. But I'm also going to write a brief paragraph about how I intend to measure success and don't view failure as FAILURE. Ahem...
This fall was particularly challenging for me. After having a great September and finishing up running 6 miles and feeling confident that I was on track for my half-marathon training, I developed tendinitis in my ankle and was unable to run for two months. I also had some ongoing digestive issues which not only left me feeling weak and worried, they contributed to me allowing my eating habits to become royally screwed up for a while. After all, what was the point in eating healthy if none of the food was going to stick around long enough to add pounds? I continued to lose weight while eating fattening food and felt guilty about it, to boot. But I wasn't getting enough of the good stuff. I also allowed physical therapy to become a complete replacement for other exercise. I have no doubt that I was working up a sweat and getting fitter, but as a workout, it isn't balanced enough. I told myself that PT three times a week made me too tired and busy to go to the gym. Not true. I kind of dropped out of the What the Fall challenge because I was feeling down and way too busy to deal with anything. I ended up feeling like a failure. No more. You know what? I'm not a failure. When I recognized that I was eating poorly, I worked to correct it. When I felt repaired enough to run, I ran. And I started going to the gym after PT, even though I was dog-tired.
The point of a challenge isn't how you finish, it's whether you continue. I will never be a failure because I will always continue. That's something you can take to the bank. It doesn't matter if I get to a certain size or weight or if I run my next 5K faster than before. What matters is that I keep trying.
3. Make the decision that no matter how many times you fall in December, you wont wait 24-48 hours to make up for it. Make sure your next act, after falling, is standing up straight. Immediately. State one victory you have already had today.
YOOVIE posted this entry card on Wednesday. This is what I accomplished that day: impressed my co-workers with my ability to adapt, packed my lunch for the first time that week, went to PT, prepared a healthy home-cooked meal with planned leftovers, tracked every food I ate.
4. Tell me what you are absolutely going to do right today.
DAY TWO (Thursday)!
Today, research your current obstacle and read a sparkticle on it. You get three points and hell you might learn something that can help you defeat it.
For fun, post here what obstacle you are researching so that someone that might be stumped as to where to start, can totally jack your idea.
That day, I was dealing with a lot of pain in my hip flexors. It appears that my stamina and will-power may not have fallen off too much in the past two weeks, but my body's shock absorbers were a little stunned by the return to activity. With a little help from my PT on Wed. night, and a little research on Thursday, I have some good new stretches to try and info on what's happening with my hips. Turns out that the chair I was sitting in all week was probably as big a culprit as the running. Also, that night I used my foam roller for the first time!
DAY THREE through FIVE
For today, post your favorite holiday recipe- but post a healthier version of it. OR post a recipe for something healthy that you want to include in your eating this month, that you have always wanted to try.
So, some article I was reading recently addressed the best and worst foods to eat on a typical holiday party buffet. They identified the beloved hot spinach and artichoke dip as one of the worst things you could possibly eat. It makes sense. When you look at the recipes, they're full of cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise. One recipe I found on Allrecipes.com was 306 calories and almost 27 grams of fat per serving! And that's just for the dip. It doesn't include chips or bread or crackers to deliver the dip to your mouth. So as has become my habit lately, I checked out Cooking Light for a "recipe re-do." This recipe has half the calories, less than 20% of the fat, and includes tortilla chips. Suck on *that*, holiday buffet! I know one thing I'm bringing to the family Christmas party!
From Sept. 2007 Cooking Light:
Yield: 5 1/2 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup dip and about 6 chips)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 (13.5-ounce) package baked tortilla chips (about 16 cups)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and next 6 ingredients (through spinach) in a large bowl; stir until well blended. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with tortilla chips.
Calories:148 (30% from fat)
Fat:5g (sat 2.9g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.5g)
Also, if you have never used the nutrition tracker on SP- use it today to track ONE meal- just bite the bullet and try. It's not scary, it's fun.
I use it whenever I can. It keeps me honest! And I think it's the reason for half of my weight loss.
Come up with a plan for the weekend. Go ahead and do it, and put it in font for all to see. Promise yourself you can do a plan just for the weekend. Its just 2 and a half days, and you are a grown adult, you can totally handle 2.5 days.
Friday- Pick up registration packet for 5K, eat healthy leftovers and set out running outfit.
Saturday- 9:00 AM, Jingle Bell 5K! I had my slowest race to date, but my longest run since October 2. I think that's just fine! I felt great! Tonight I'm eating more healthy leftovers, then cleaning my room for tomorrow's plan.
Sunday- my sister is coming over to help me fix my bed in preparation of my parents staying with me in two weeks. The bed slats fall through the frame, which isn't conducive to good sleep and makes my back hurt. She owes me, big-time, so she's planning to do everything herself, but I'm sure hauling lumber upstairs is in my future! While she's working on that, I'm going to finish putting up my Christmas lights and start cleaning the rest of the house. It's also time to start planning holiday menus and pre-preparing whatever I can.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
I had to continue the blog post I started on Tuesday so I could post it today. I have been ridiculously busy this week, so I just ran out of time to finish it!
This part was written on Tuesday:
At PT last night, I told Jennifer about my run on Sunday and she was neither surprised nor annoyed at me. I told her all about how I warmed up properly, let how I was feeling determine the intervals and how I cut off the run while I still felt good. She responded by showing me some stretches to add to my repertoire (a little more dynamic quad/calf/hamstring stretch which also works my IT band) and telling me that we'd be finishing up my ankle next week and moving on to the knee. We've been working on my knee the whole time, so I suspect there won't be a whole lot different- though we will be focusing on a different leg!
She also told me that she and some friends were going to be running the Jingle Bell 5K in Northville this weekend. It benefits the Arthritis Foundation, which is certainly something me and my crunchy knees can get behind! The way I figure it, I planned to get back to running my old half hour twice during the week and distance on weekends, with an eye on moving up to 3 miles this weekend. Pay 25 bucks, add a tenth of a mile and throw some bells on my shoes, and it sounds like something that fits in with my plans pretty well! I'll tell PT Jennifer about it tomorrow night and if she raises an eyebrow about it, I'll just tell her she's a bad influence. I don't think she will, though. She knows that I'm very well aware of my limits and I have no intention of jeapordizing my recovery.
When I got home last night, a package was waiting for me from Skirt Sports. I took advantage of their Black Friday sale last week and got myself the Lotta Breeze capri skirt in Midori and the Gym Girl Ultra skirt in Pink Crush Spinnin'. I tried on the Lotta Breeze first. Holy cow! I felt like it was 1985 again and I had simply misplaced my fingerless lace gloves and jelly bracelets. That skirt is very green and very bright! It's also very short. Not uncomfortably short, just unexpectedly short. I was definitely feeling a lotta breeze around my bum! I tried on the Ultra Gym Girl next and immediately said, "That's what I'm talkin' about!" It is super cute! I love the pattern, my legs love the cut, and my bum loves that extra inch and a half of length. Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to get tights either under or over those shorties to deal with the Michigan winter.
Actually, I have some ideas about that. I was looking in a few different stores for winter running gear (tights, tops, etc.) and ran across some "active" long underwear at Target that sounds promising. It's supposed to be wicking and warm. We shall see! It's certainly less expensive than the thermal tights and tops I've seen in athletic wear departments and sports stores.
This part was written today:
It's supposed to be about 35 degrees on Saturday with 7 mph winds and 60% humidity at noon (race time). I'm planning on lots of lightweight layers and my new fleece beanie hat. I'm also planning to wear the Red October Run gloves that my friend gave me from my last 5K. I told my PT that I was registered for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk, so she might get to see me in action on Saturday. She seemed pretty excited for me. I mentioned I was looking at Santa hats at the store, but hadn't decided whether I was going to go jingly-cheery-festive, or low profile. She encouraged me to go with the festive holiday mood of the run. Since I'm planning on my fleece beanie (it's white with pink, green and red stripes, so it kind of looks like hard Christmas candy), I'm just going to get some small jingle bells. I'll sew some onto the top of my hat and string some into stretchy bracelets and anklets. Easy-peasy figgy pudding-squeezy!
Monday, November 29, 2010
I've been feeling progressively better lately. My ankle still has the occasional twinge of pain when I've overused it, but my knee actually feels pretty close to normal. Well, normal for me, anyway. Which means really noisy and occasionally unstable, with a few moments of pain to remind me that my normal isn't like other people's normal. Anyway, I was feeling well enough yesterday that I went out for a run, my first since Oct. 2. It was a gorgeous afternoon, but really cold. I think it was 35-40 degrees yesterday. I went to my favorite spot to run, which is a perfect two mile block through a pretty neighborhood that doesn't get a lot of traffic. In fact, it gets less now than before. Two more businesses in that area closed or moved. It's a gorgeous mixed-use planned community, and boy, was it poorly located. In any case, it's wide lanes with well-tended pavement, clear sightlines and low traffic. It's great for running even if it's not great for business.
I couldn't find my Nike+ transponder thingy (the part that goes on my shoe) but decided if adding miles to my tally was that important, I needed to re-think my priorities. I started off with a ten minute walk, which is just about a half mile. A little bit of stretching and I was ready to run. It felt so much better than I expected, but my breathing stamina is totally shot. Part of that is undoubtedly that I'm getting over a cold and I'm still pretty congested, but a lot of it is being out of practice. It's not just a lack of running. I've been so busy with PT that I haven't done a lot of strenuous cardio for almost two months. I certainly work up a sweat and burn calories with PT, but I only do ten minutes of cardio during PT and that is on one of the easiest machines I've ever used. (It's the NuStep, which is kind of like a seated stair climber.) Instead of music, I listened to "This American Life" on NPR. It was their annual post-Thanksgiving "all poultry stories" episode. Very amusing and involving. I didn't use any regular run-walk-run intervals this time. I just ran for as long as I thought I could and walked until I felt like running again. I don't like to do that, because I do better with regular intervals, but it seemed like a good idea for this first run.
As I rounded the last corner and started the final stretch of two mile loop, I thought about what I wanted to do next. On the one hand, I felt pretty good, but I was starting to get fatigued in both my ankle and my knee as well as just feeling tired. I decided that, for my first run in months, two miles was plenty. I'd rather have a good two mile run than four miles of "that two miles felt good, this half mile is kind of painful, oops- I guess I'll hobble the remaining mile and a half back to my car, man, that hurts!" It was clearly the right choice to make. I feel great this morning, and I'm planning on another run on Tuesday. I have to decide whether I'm ready to brave a treadmill or if I'm going to stick with the indoor track. On the one hand, the track is easier to adjust my pace and running intervals, on the other hand, it's slightly banked and I don't think that would do me any favors. And honestly, part of me is balking at the idea of indoor running at all. I want to run outside as long as I can. But when you don't get home until after dark and hate to run on sidewalks, it doesn't really work that well.
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