Saturday, January 15, 2011
Last year my goal was just to run one 5k, something I'd never done before in my life. I ran two, months apart. So I focused on each one -- working hard, trying to do speedwork, tapering, and so on.
This year I plan to race more than last year. I'm not sure how many I plan to run -- not planning on going nutso -- but I've done my first race already and have loose plans for at least 3 more. Reading "The Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running" has helped me to look at racing in a whole new way.
Instead of focusing on each individual race, I'm focusing more on the "important" one -- my first 10k (altho I don't yet know when that will actually be). And here are the 4 steps the author suggests:
1. Base building
Just getting the miles in. Not worrying so much about the types of runs you're doing, just doing it, basically.
Basically, go longer and harder to build up strength.
Focus more on speedwork to get more speed.
Lightening up your workouts so you're fresh for your race
So that's one way you can break it down for your most important races. The other races? You can view them as training for the "big" one.
And for you non-runners, here's a quote that I think applies very well to our healthy lifestyle journeys:
"You'll need to practice your prerace planning, physical preparation, a positive attitude, self-control, wise choices, and yes, a bit of dumb luck."
Boy, if that doesn't describe the process of losing weight succinctly or what?!
And finally, I found this quote that really speaks to me about my own problems with my plateau:
"Of course you're going to feel tired. But quite often, if you can hang on through a rough segment of a run or race, you'll eventually feel fresher -- in fact, chances are that you'll go through such ups and downs in the course of a race. If you're busy destroying your momentum with negative thinking you'll never find your second wind. By becoming used to the sensation of fatigue and responding with assurance you can train yourself to run through it."
Good advice for running. Good advice for losing weight. Good advice for life!
Are you reading anything that's inspiring you?
Friday, January 14, 2011
I spend a lot of time running, and a lot of time explaining why I don't love to run. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I hate it; if I did, I wouldn't still be doing it after a couple of years. It's just that I don't love it like some of my other spark buddies do -- for instance, it would make me very unhappy if I could never swim again.
Can I say the same about running?
Maybe, actually. Because one of the things I love about running is how I feel after I run. Maybe not really a high, but I sure do feel good. Even when it's been a hard workout, I usually feel energized -- more energized than I think any other workout leaves me feeling. I certainly don't get the same feeling from walking, and I do love to walk (probably cause it isn't as difficult).
The other thing I really love about running is the efficiency. I have no trouble getting in all my steps when I run. I may not get them all in during my run, but the rest of my everyday activities usually insures I do get them in.
Let's take yesterday, for instance. I got up & did 2 fast miles with Leslie. Then I shoveled some paths in the backyard and the front walk & steps. Later in the day I did about half an hour of ST plus 20 minutes of walk intervals on the treadmill. Finished off by 30 minutes of swimming -- really easy swimming, easier than normal, cause I was feeling exhausted since the previous night (must be all that shoveling -- we had enough snow that we had to shovel more than once throughout the day).
The final verdict? Less than 10,000 steps. Obviously I don't get steps for swimming, but I really didn't push myself cause I was very tired. Used it more as a way to relax (unlike running, swimming for me is very Zen and leaves me feeling very relaxed).
So there you have it. And a question for all you runners out there: do you have a favorite running sparkteam?
And a question for the foodies to end. I was inspired by my WW meeting yesterday to try to work more power foods into my day. I'd already planned a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. This is something I almost never eat -- it's a real treat -- and I made sure it would fit into a healthy eating day.
After my meeting, tho, I decided I would bump up the sandwich with some tofu to make it more filling, figuring the tofu would bulk it up (full fat cheese, which is what I use, is highly caloric after all and makes for a very thin sandwich). So I fried up tofu slices without any fat, put the cheese slices on top to get them a bit melty, and then assembled & grilled my sandwich.
Not exactly a fail, but not a win, either. What can I do to the tofu to make it more tasty? Didn't take on as much flavor of the cheese as I'd hoped to, which was a bit of a bummer as the sandwich turned out just beautifully grilled -- you know how sometimes it doesn't brown enough or it gets a bit burnt? No, this was just perfectly grilled.
The only thing I've come up with so far is to maybe dredge the tofu in some nutritional yeast.
What do you love about your favorite form of exercise? Share it -- maybe it will inspire someone who hates exercising to try something new & fall in love with it!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Sounds like I'm setting up excuses, right? Or having a reaction to "The Black Swan". But no, this came from Runner's World Complete Book of Running for Women:
"If success were a certainty, you wouldn't have much of a challenge to begin with. There is little point in setting an easily attainable goal. Goals are meant to stimulate you and inspire greatness. A goal that is obviously attainable is without value.That means that any worthy goal comes with the implication that you might not meet it. Learning and growth come only in the struggle to attain your goal".
Remember my blog about baby steps vs big dreams? Now I think I get it! Yes, Virginia, you can have both -- but they shouldn't be easy. Yes, it's important to set yourself up for success, but not to the point that you are not stretching yourself out of your comfort zone.
And if you do fail? You learned something. Maybe you learned something not to do, maybe you learned that method or goal doesn't work for you, but you ALWAYS learn something. It's how we grow.
It's like kids. There's a fine line somewhere between giving kids awards for just showing up & trying, and motivating them without crushing their spirits when they don't attain their goals. It's the same for us. We're all just big kids.
In that spirit, my goal for my first 10k -- which may not be til October -- is to run it in 70 minutes. That may not be fast, but it would be fast for me. I'm not sure I can do that, but that is my goal. I already use that goal to visualize a finish line with that time on the clock.
And, of course, I still have a goal to get to my WW GW by my birthday. About a month away. Past experience says I can't lose that much weight in that amount of time -- not when I'm this close to my goal, anyway. Roughly 8 lbs. In a month. Which is a lot when you're that close to goal, but it CAN be done.
If I do not meet my goals, I will still have learned a lot along the way. Knowledge is power.
What are your big dreams and goals? What lessons have you learnt along the way?
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I have blogged, ad nauseam, it seems, about my oatmeal-cashini-chocolate chip habit. I know this doesn't sound healthy, but it truly can be -- in moderation.
Just as your body gets used to a certain type of exercise and doesn't have to work as hard at it eventually, so to does it adapt to eating the same foods all the time.
Much as I love this breakfast, I knew after almost 3 weeks straight of eating it it was time for a change. A savory change. I do tend toward sweet breakfasts: fruit & granola, fruit smoothies, oatmeal + chocolate chips, pancakes. All healthy.
So I made up some scrambled tofu for lunch one day, and had it for breakfast yesterday. Lots of veggies: broccoli, mushrooms, red onions, & avocado. Yum! And yes, it was back to oatmeal+cashini+chocolate chips this morning.
I believe you really do have to look forward to what you're eating. You have to anticipate it. I wrote a long time ago that food should be something more than fuel, and something less than comfort. But you should really enjoy what you're eating -- just don't get stuck in an eating rut!
Things have a way of working out. Since we did get our heating checked on Monday, and I was productive early in the day, that freed me up yesterday to go see "The Black Swan". If you're a perfectionist, this should cure you of that habit! I found it a bit odd, but thought provoking all the same.
And today the snow is really coming down, so I'll be on the treadmill again. And shoveling again (already shoveled some paths in the backyard, but they'll just have to be shoveled again at some point -- supposed to snow all day). A much shorter, but hopefully faster run.
I downloaded a new app: Running Log Free. It allows you do track your miles, automatically figures your pace, and a whole lot more. There's a more advanced version that only costs $.99, and I suspect this will be useful enough to spring for the full version eventually. Have I mentioned how much I love my Ipod Touch lately?
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Yesterday started out well. I've been making a habit of listing 3 to-dos for every day. And I got started on them early -- got the laundry in the machine, cleaned a litterbox. Then I got on my treadmill for a looooong, slooooow run.
Long for me, anyway: 7 miles. Slower than usual for me, too: a 4 mph pace. i know for some people 7 miles is still nothing, but to me it still seems hard -- and I keep thinking to myself seriously? You want to try doing double that?
But that's why I'm working on distance now. Cause it takes me time to work up to these things! I don't want to take 3+ hours to run a HM -- not just cause that's a slow time, simply cause I don't really want to spend that much time running!
I'm not even planning to run a HM til 2012. Yup, that's me, the planner. Slow & consistent.
Anyway, I did it, felt somewhat good about the accomplishment (hey, it's only been a couple of years since I ran my first mile after all!), and that is when the proverbial s$*# hit the fan.
A couple of months ago we made an appointment to have our heating checked. Had all sorts of problem just getting the appointment made. I didn't remember when the appointment was -- sort of thought it was today, but no, turns out it was for yesterday. Despite the fact that we made the appointment 2 months ago, they couldn't be bothered with a reminder call (a pattern is starting here).
Good thing my group run was canceled, as the window was 2-5. Only she wanted to know if he could come now cause he had some time. Well, no, I'm sorry I'm in the middle of something that can't be put aside (I was already in the middle of cooking my lunch). She seemed shocked that I couldn't just drop everything to accommodate them.
So she asked if I'd be there at 2 and said he'd come right at 2.
I rush thru cooking my lunch, rush thru eating it, and yes, you guessed it . . . waited . . . and waited . . . and waited.
At 4:15 the phone finally rings. Did I still want him to come today? The previous stop turned out not to have heat so he was running late.
Well, I was upset. Not that they were taking care of a customer without heat, that they couldn't call to tell me they weren't coming at 2 when they had made it seem very important that I be here at 2. Had they called, I would have been able to walk the dogs. They didn't get walked Friday or Saturday due to the weather, and we have more snow predicted our way for tonight & tomorrow.
The girl starts getting upset right back at me, seemingly forgetting that she made a big deal out of the fact he'd be here right at 2, kept quoting that our slot was 2-5. Then going on about how they were helping someone without heat.
Totally missing the point. All I wanted was a call when they knew they would be late! That's it; so I could have gotten on with my life.
Then she asks me if I wanted to hear how her day went. This was my chance to be a big person, but of course I said no, I really don't care, I'm YOUR customer not the other way around. I was not abusive to her, I was not mean -- I was annoyed however. And that is when the phone cut to elevator music.
Seriously? Are you s#*%%ing me? After listening for about a minute I hung up. Apparently she went to get her supervisor, who called me back. Who actually did remember we'd already had problems with them. To say I am unimpressed by this company would be a mild understatement (remember, we've only lived here a year & a half).
Well, long story short, the dogs didn't get walked, but the guy did get here at 5 pm (then took an entire hour -- probably cause DH got home soon after & chatted him up).
So, how did I eat in response to this? Well, I'd already planned some rather high calorie, leftover pasta for dinner. Pasta, butter, garlic, cheese. Not exactly healthy (but it's a small amount of butter and not too heavy on the choose either, about an ounce per serving). I had originally planned a dessert, too, but had decided earlier in the day not to have it.
Well, I did have it. I was hungry. Did I eat in response to my emotions? Maybe. But at least I thought about it. It was just what I wanted, and I savored it. I don't feel guilty. Of course I'll feel angry if there's another gain -- I know I'm pushing it with that dessert -- 7 miles isn't as much energy expenditure as you like to think it is (which is why it's easy to gain weight when training for a race).
Well, I know people love to hear how we're still human & all, so there you go. Very much human.
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