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Indoor vs. Outdoor Running

Monday, August 27, 2012

Until a couple months ago, I did most of my running on the treadmill. I emoticon the treadmill! It tells me how fast I'm going, how long I've been running, and if I'm working too hard. emoticon emoticon emoticon the treadmill!

But this little nagging thought in the back of my head told me I needed to move it outdoors for oh-so-many reasons:

1) All races are outside. Why not train for a race in the same outside environment?

2) It's good to be outside when the weather allows. Up north where I live, the weather is TOO COLD so many months of the year. But summertime? GO OUTSIDE!

Hm, I can't remember any more reasons than that. But these two are compelling enough.

So I've been running outside. It's been great! I know I'm slower outside, maybe partly because of the heat, partly because of hills, partly because I worry about my knees. Who knows. I kind of like just running for fun and exercise and not paying any attention to all those numbers. NOT trying to hit any new speed goals. JUST RUNNING!

But, like I said, SLOWLY.

So tonight I got on the treadmill again. Hm. I cranked up the pace to where I was a month ago when I was on the treadmill more. It was tough! I felt like I was booking it! It made me really realize that my outdoor running was lollygagging. I need that treadmill running to build up my stamina and speed.

My new plan is to run on the treadmill twice a week and then do a longer run outside once a week. I'll let you know how it goes!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMANDAROX 8/28/2012 10:57AM

    Interesting find! I often go back and forth for the same reasons. I love being outside but if its too hot, I'll go indoors. When I do run outside I have to walk occasionally due some hills...which we encounter in actual races, but in racing we tend to push ourselves harder.

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I Quit

Monday, August 27, 2012

True confession: I like beer.

I like that they've said (doctors and other health types) that having a drink a day is good for you. (Did you see that? It's not just red wine. It's other stuff too.)

I like that I was able to lose 30 pounds without giving up my "treats," including beverages. I just didn't overdo it. I tracked everything.

Trouble is, sometimes one drink leads to two. Or three. And once you hit a certain point, you don't care if you blow your calories for the day.

I've been telling myself for a while that I need to cut back. Not quit. Whenever I think I have to quit something I just want it more and do in fact *have* more. Which is what I've been doing.

This "cutting back" idea isn't working for me this time. I decided that I am indeed QUITTING for the month of September, to see if I can break through this long plateau I've been on. And by "plateau," you might think I mean I've been really dedicated but the weight isn't coming off. No, I haven't been really dedicated. I've been good for weeks at a time and then blow it again for weeks at a time. And by September, I mean starting yesterday.

There. I said it. I quit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SURLYGIRL 8/29/2012 11:12PM

    I think this is a great idea. After all, if you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done.

I used to drink beer too - once or twice a week, 2-4 beers at a time. Then I switched to Red Wine and cut way back, but still had a glass or two 2-3x a week. When I got serious about losing weight again, I decided that the alcohol (in any and all forms) had to go.

I quit for a month (no problem) and now I have a single glass of red wine 2-3x a month. It's a helpful strategy to lose weight and it's nice knowing that I don't need to have a drink.

Hope this works for you - Good Luck !

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KFEASEL13 8/27/2012 1:50PM

    I believe in you! emoticon

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ADRIENNEEB7 8/27/2012 1:36PM

    You can do it!

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AMANDAROX 8/27/2012 11:06AM

    I think you will find that it will make a difference. I know its hard, I struggle with the same, especially on the weekends but now that I've gotten back from vacation, I will be joining you in the goal!

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TBOURLON 8/27/2012 10:03AM

    WOW, you're inspiring!!! I wonder if I could ever give up chocolate for a month - doubt it, hmmm.... emoticon

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MIMIDOT 8/27/2012 9:17AM

    Good luck!!! You can do it!!!!

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SKINICOOK 8/27/2012 9:12AM

    Best of luck with an alcohol free September! I bet you'll notice a huge difference in your weight loss once you cut out the beer. Even cutting it out for one month will help you to break the habit, whether that be a nightly or weekly habit, and give your weight loss a kick start.


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Sugar Reduction

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A week into this "Low-Sugar Thing," I'm doing a good job of keeping those carbs in check. What have I changed?

* NO MORE POP! I haven't missed it, except for one day at work. The thought popped in my head to go grab a Pepsi. Oh yeah, I don't drink that anymore. So I had a tea instead.

* Fewer/smaller treats. I know I said I was eating only half of my lunchtime cookie. Somehow I've forgotten about that the last few days. Hm. I'll try to remember!

* Less baking = less eating. A baking mood came over me this summer. I found basically the world's best brownie recipe, and I kept making them over and over and over again. And then I just had to try a lime curd tart recipe I saw on TV. It was delish, and much to my regret 603 calories per serving, which I found out after enjoying a piece. Lesson learned. Bake less, and if you do bake, figure out calories BEFORE eating it (and adjust your serving size accordingly!).

* Less sugar in my coffee. This is a big one. I really don't care for coffee, but it's pretty good with cream and sugar. I'm cutting back.

I'm happy with my first steps toward reducing sugar in my life, and I'll be looking for my next steps.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THEBETH43 8/21/2012 9:26AM

    I quit pop a few years ago & don't miss it. Surprisingly, my dentist noticed improvement on my teeth immediately. I now only drink ice water & tea. It'll take a month, but after that you'll no longer crave pop.

Reducing sugar is a smart move. I've taken the no sugar plunge & I'm feeling better although I'm tired a lot. Still worth it though: I've lost weight & sleeping better already.

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JAOTAO 8/21/2012 9:18AM

    Good for you! Sounds like your steps are great! The pop thing is also bad for the bones - leaches calcium. I, too, switched to tea many years ago.

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Fat Perception

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I've been thinking a lot lately about perception, namely my own perception of my own fatness. When I was 30 pounds heavier, I viewed myself as very fat. When I lost 10 pounds, I instantly felt pretty good, maybe even thinnish because by comparison, I was. 20 pounds down, even more thinnish. 30 pounds down, nearly goal territory!

That was all fine and good. 30 pounds down and people were complimenting me often, I needed new clothes, and I felt great. I was exercising routinely and felt more fit than ever before. I fully intended to lose another 10-20 pounds, but in general I felt very good about my weight and size.

A year goes by. I gain and lose the same 5 pounds a few times over. It's been harder than I expected to lose more. My dedication waned. I still run, but my eating is not always the best. And I'm back to feeling fat, and this is kind of odd. I am the same size -- the smaller size, 30 pounds down. I just *feel* different. Blubbery.

I'm roughly the same weight and precisely the same size, but I *feel* fatter. It's all a mental thing. I no longer have that great "I just achieved something awesome" feeling. I have that "I need to achieve more" feeling.

A friend of mine tells me that I have a distorted body image. I think she's right. Is that something a person can change? I'm in no danger of becoming anorexic, but I understand that mentality: looking in the mirror and seeing only the fat that MUST GO. Maybe I won't feel that way anymore when I have less of it. Fat, that is.

For now, I'll just keep doing my best and try to remember that I have come a long way. I'm *not* still that overweight woman in the baggy clothes. I am... "thinnish."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JODROX 8/18/2012 2:55PM

    Thanks so much for all the comments! I appreciate the encouragement and the advice!


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BARBARASDIET 8/18/2012 2:47PM

    I have much the same issue. But I have days when I feel so thin that it is a shock to see myself in the mirror and find that I am not thinner than I was yesterday.

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MOBYCARP 8/18/2012 11:52AM

    Your blog touches on two of the things that make maintenance difficult.

First, how do I know what weight I should maintain? It's a no-brainer to work to get into the healthy BMI range, but that's a pretty broad range. Once there, how do I figure out exactly where in this broad range I need to be?

Second, maintenance is psychologically different from the weight loss phase. When we're trying to lose, success and failure are obvious. The scale moves down, that's good. The scale moves up, that's bad. We set goals - get the weight to X. That's a lot harder to do when the idea is to make the weight trend move sideways.

If you want some different perspectives on this and similar issues, you should check out the At Goal and Maintaining team. You're not the only person who wrestles with this stuff.

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AMANDAROX 8/18/2012 11:42AM

    Interesting thoughts. I've been trying to lose 5 - 10 pounds myself and its definitely a struggle to lose just 2. I have to do everything right and nearly starve myself. But sometimes when I have been doing everything right, I feel better about myself...I think that is the most important of all. The 2 pounds can be any number of things from water weight, muscle gain/loss, or true fat loss. I try to focus more on measuring my waist instead of the schedule. Still, I feel your pain as its harder to lose weight when you only have a "smaller" amount to go.

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JAOTAO 8/18/2012 11:01AM

    That is really hard to overcome - at least it is for me - when I was a teen I thought I was so fat because I weighed more than my friends ... not understanding that at 5'10" (then) I was the perfect weight. Everytime I lost weight I couldn't see the 'real' me. It helps if you have before/after pictures and clothes to remind you of where you where and where you are now. Look at yourself in a mirror - really look. Check the scale weekly, keep a log - anything to keep you in the present.

If this doesn't help you, you may need therapy to help you move past the sense of self you are stuck in.

Say your mantra daily ... I'm *not* that overweight woman in the baggy clothes. I am... THIN....

Best of luck to you on your journey. You've done a lot of work to lose 30 lbs... you know how to do this!

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Pushing Past the Pain

Thursday, August 16, 2012

After my bold statement (I Will Run... No Matter What), I am taking a break from running. Why, you ask? Let me tell you.

Last week I was getting some random stabbing pains in my foot, right in the ball of my foot by the big toe. My knees have also been aching since I recently amped up my running. I was becoming concerned about that, but, as easily as the old me took the first excuse available and QUIT, the new me sees those excuses as something to overcome.

So I asked my neighbor, a marathon runner, about my knee issues. She laughed and said that yeah, she hurt too, and you just have to push past it. Great, thought I! I can keep on running. Once I get going, the knee pain fades, and I'm fine. Hurrah! They just ache starting up and during non-running times, like walking up and down stairs.

But then, hm, I read more about knee issues here on Spark. And it seems a lot of folks disagree with this "push past the pain" mentality. I googled and read more. I've come to the conclusion that pushing past the pain is probably fine when you're dealing with sore muscles. They're sore because you're pushing them to their limit, but if you can persevere, you'll reach your goal and your muscles will recover, and life will be grand.

If, however, you're dealing with something beyond muscle pain, pushing past the pain is probably not a good idea.

So, back to my Toe Story. Last week, just randomly while walking along in no pain whatsoever, I'd get this shooting pain in the ball of my foot and up through my toe. Random. Annoying. Perplexing. It started coming more frequently. I started massaging it, trying to pinpoint the pain. I googled. I read. I pondered pushing past the pain. I ran a few more times with the pain, and again, the pain would fade once I got going.

Yesterday the pain was more constant, perhaps because of all my massaging. I iced it on and off all day. I ran my foot over a tennis ball on and off all day. It felt somewhat better today. I had fewer stabbing pains. Then I went and got a 15-minute foot massage. I told the masseuse about my foot problems. The massage was great and at times painful. She found pain I didn't know I had -- in my arch, deep inside the ball of my foot. There was a spot in the ball that was particularly nubby and painful. She thought it was an enflamed tendon. Now, I feel 10 times better.

Oh, I hope it's that quickly resolved! I'm not going to run any more this week. That's skipping TWO RUNS ("I will run no matter what!"). Guess what -- resting (when needed) is every bit as important as dedication.

I will take care of me. No matter what.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELLYBEANS0919 8/17/2012 3:05PM

    Listening to your body is so important, glad you did and took care of it right away. I hope you are able to get back into running more.

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