Friday, January 16, 2009
With the start of half marathon training, new gym schedule and restarting strength training after taking a one month+ break all on the same week, I was destined on a one way road towards train wreck that may somewhat equate to that picture of red-lipsticked Britney sitting on the sidewalk crying.
In anticipation of a very hilly 10k (461' gain for a straight 2.75 miles) AND HM (703' minimum elevation gain - yikes!), on Monday I tried to run a new route filled with taunting hills. Result? My eyes brimmed with tears at mile 4 and I negotiated a compromise with myself to where I won't stop running if I cut out the second half of the hills I had planned. After the run, I was so exhausted to where I could not even pet my cat and my eyes were glazed and staring at the wall. You can say I was traumatized.
Tuesday: I woke up somewhat sore and it was hard to get out of bed. I attended a Super Sculpt class which seemed easy but that night, some more soreness came on. Good thing I skipped the Pilates class!
Wednesday: I could barely drag myself out of bed to get DH ready for work - and OMG my butt was so sore!!!! Just sitting bed made me wince. Could it be from all the butt squeezes in the sculpting class??? I went on a short run which felt like it took foooooooooorever but it helped shake out the soreness. I decided to skip a yoga strengthening class and opted for a stretching class instead. Ahhh!!!!!!!! Me likey.
Thursday: I did an hour aerobics that concentrated on legs in the first half hour and waist up in the second. TORTURE!!!! We worked on muscles I haven't called upon since the first half of December and my confidence plummeted as I took (gentle) orders from the super-fit should-be-on-the-cover-of-Oxygen-magazine instructor. She is no joke. I went home beyond exhausted - I collapsed in bed at about noon and didn't get up until about 6 pm. (DH didn't appreciate that I was bouncing off the walls at 9 pm though - heehee)
Friday: Tempo Run day: 1 mi slow jog, 3 mi 8:39 pace, 1 mi slow jog. I've been agonizing over this because I've been practicing on slowing my pace that I wasn't sure if I could do it anymore. In addition, I've been SO EXHAUSTED! To combat my fear, for the past few days I used visualization exercises, which calmed my jitters a bit. I decided to use my regular route. WRONG DECISION - my regular route is hilly!. At about mile 2.5-ish, I broke down to a walk (or "pathetic crawl," as some would describe it) for about 1/4 mile and from there, slooooowly jogged and completed fartleks instead (I even ran up to the 6:34 pace - wow!!!). Plus, did I mention that it was 75 degrees in the morning???? Holy cats. I finished the mileage (with a beet red face!), came home for a snack (I almost threw it up) and sat a good few minutes in shower on the floor. I wasn't sure about attending a yoga class an hour later, but I'm glad I did! Thanks to the class, I came out once again a relaxed, less sore, and a little more optimistic. Gotta love yoga.
Of course, I can't just vent and leave it as is. Tough times are excellent opportunities to learn and grow - and this week definitely fits squarely in the box called "challenge."
Firstly... (I got this idea from one of my favorite Sparkteams)
I ACCEPT that I bit off more than I could chew this week.
I ACCEPT that my body needs rest.
I ACCEPT that I am exhausted.
I ACCEPT that I am afraid of the elevation involved in the HM.
I ACCEPT that I can't hold up the 8:39 pace on a hilly route, and especially when I am exhausted.
I ACCEPT that I need to recover.
I ACCEPT that rebuild will follow breakdown.
I ACCEPT that I have a long way to go.
I ACCEPT that I need to learn patience.
I ACCEPT that this is hard because "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."
I ACCEPT that this time will pass at its own time.
I ACCEPT that my body has a timetable separate from my mind and heart.
I ACCEPT that I am turning 29, not 19.
I ACCEPT that I needed change and challenge, which will help me grow.
I ACCEPT that everyone needs to start somewhere.
I ACCEPT that I am not listening to my body close enough.
I ACCEPT the heatwave blanketing SoCal.
I ACCEPT that I need to work hard.
I ACCEPT that hard work does not always feel good.
I ACCEPT that the finish after hard work is delicious.
I ACCEPT that not every run will be glorious, but most will be.
I ACCEPT that my body may crave more nourishment.
I ACCEPT that the harder I work, the more my body needs me to listen.
I ACCEPT that I need to "trust the process."
Secondly, my plan.
1. With the exception of yesterday, I am not eating enough carbs. With the mileage I'm putting in, I should be aiming for 225-250g of carbs for energy and NEVER below 200g. The exhaustion could also be coming from the lack thereof as well. The body is like an employee - you can't crack the whip without extra compensation or risk your employee going postal on your booty. With this in mind, heavier training means MORE FOOD. I need to hammer this into my head.
2. Possibly find a new route to do the tempo runs. My regular route is hilly, but with long runs on the monster hills, it's too much for me right now. I need a flat stretch of road.
3. Use the iPod again? I ditched my iPod awhile ago because it was sooo much more fun to just run on my own, but never underestimate the amount and power of motivation that comes through music! I'm not sure about this though because I like to be aware of my surroundings and I feel a lot safer without it. Plus, music gets annoying when I'm trying to concentrate on breathing and form. Hmm.
4. TEA DOES NOT HYDRATE. What was I thinking??? I've been drinking my jasmine green tea first things in the mornings, but it seemed to do nothing but dehydrate me during my run today. Water rules!
5. Even though the classes are incredibly fun, I may need to scale back a few. Except for yoga of course. :):):)
6. Fall in love with running again. If running was my boyfriend, I'd guess you'd say we've been fighting all week. I hate that I'm looking at it like a calorie burner these days instead of an activity that I sing Lionel Richie songs to. I think it's time to hit the books about running again... Maybe find inspirational running quotes... Stories... Maybe even peruse my old blogs from when I did the C25k and One Hour Runner plans. Running and I need some darn good make up you-know-whats!!!
7. Implement a reward system into my training schedule? I'm atypical to where I don't respond to rewards, but who knows. It's worth thinking through.
Well that's it... I'm off to the spa for some r&r. Hey - that's a reward, isn't it? ;-)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I had a very discouraging run on Monday. In anticipation of the outrageous hill in both the upcoming 10k and Half Marathon, I planned this even more outrageous route for yesterday with hills that would make a rollercoaster jealous. Result? It kicked my booty so bad that I had to cut out half of the hills in order to finish the distance! It left me glazed and glassy eyed for the rest of the day, thus missing the yoga class I was so excited about, all because I ended up staring at the wall with no energy left to even type a single letter on this keyboard. It made me question if I wanted to honor those commitments... Or even running for that matter.
My confidence was half restored this morning when I went to a Super Sculpt class (DH got me a gym membership last week btw!!!). I was nervous when I stepped in because I am this super clumsy gal with ZERO coordination (see Note below). Furthermore, by the time I fetched a step, the other women already snaked all the spaces in the back, forcing me to take one in the front so that every one can see me possibly fall on my face - arrrrrgh!!!!
My anxiety level lessened when I caught the buzz from the women about how she was the best instructor in the entire gym... 1 hour later, rumor confirmed! I surprised myself by being able to keep up with the instructor on her instructions with zero mishaps. Whereas yesterday's run deflated my confidence in my fitness level, today's class put back a little spring that left my stride.
I am one of those pathetic people who couldn't catch a ball even if you *passed* it to me, so you can imagine my anxiety level when it comes to receiving instructions to do something even as simple as the grapevine. This is why I like running - no balls involved whatsoever! All I have to focus on is putting one foot in front of the other, which is enough work for me.
This week's workout schedule:
Sun. Jan. 11 - (off)
Mon. Jan. 12 - Run 7 miles w/hill training
Tue. Jan. 13 - Sculpting class
Wed. Jan. 14 - Run 2 miles, light strengthening class, stretching class
Thu. Jan. 15 - 1 hr aerobics/strengthening class, yoga?
Fri. Jan. 16 - Run 5 mi tempo w/hill training, yoga :)
Sat. Jan. 17 - Run 2 mi
Friday, January 09, 2009
I don't watch all the Oprah shows (I skip all the ones where she interviews celebrities - snooooze!), but I love the content on her show. With all the complaints everywhere about how sick people are of celebrities with unrealistic lives, etc, here is Oprah, confessing that even with all the money in the world, even SHE failed at keeping the weight off! If fat were a person, he/she would be the MOST non-racist non-class-ist nonjudgmental in the entire world. Her candid confession - something all of us can relate - on Jan. 5 was inspiring and once again, I was ready and raring to transform my life situation and spirit with challenges courtesy of Oprah.
I was SO excited to hear Oprah announce to her students that there was "homework" to be done. I thoroughly enjoyed the mental and emotional exercise though writing in the workbooks on the Oprah site during the A New Earth series, so there was no hesitation to click to create a new workbook for Bob Greene's weight loss series (he addresses maintenance - an area where content is rare!). The following are my answers to Bob Greene's 5 Questions to Consider, the first "homework" assigned before the live webcast on Monday. If you're interested, you can read more about it here: www.oprah.com/subtopic/health/weight
A before pic - Dec 2006
*What are you really hungry for?*
I am very hungry - starving? - for health. I deserve to be healthy!!! Yes, I deserve a strong body resistant to diseases, ailments and injuries. I also deserve the vitamins and nutrition that come with whole foods. My arteries do not deserve to be clogged and my heart does not deserve to work so hard just to go up one flight of stairs.
I am hungry for accomplishments that show that it's never too late to carve a healthier body out of a ragged body that isn't used to any rigors of exercise. I just started running in August but - even though people recently told me I can't - I WILL run a marathon this year. And this isn't just for people to see, it's for me to prove to myself so I *know* that I have the power to do anything I put my mind to - even in the physical/fitness area.
I am hungry to maintain euphoria, which is something exercise provides me on a daily basis. As long as I continue my workouts, I can battle the depression that plagues me every so often.
I am hungry for the skills to deal with stress so that even when the world crashes down, I can take a breath and say, "I accept that. Now, let's make a plan."
*Why are you overweight?*
I'm no longer overweight, when I was, on the surface I'd answer the question with "lack of exercise," however looking below the surface, I look back and say that I was slightly depressed by not knowing who I am. Since then, I found running and from there, I discovered confidence and became more self-assured. I am also stronger emotionally and mentally and less or a doormat. I can stand my ground now and less of a people pleaser - although I still am.
*Why have you been unable to maintain weight loss in the past?*
First of all, I didn't accept the necessity of exercise in one's life in order to not just maintain weight, but for good health. Exercise and diet meant fitting into a pair of skinny jeans and looking cute in my bikini in a few months, never health.
Since I never thought about health, I never connected issues like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis as possibilities in my future. Again, the skinny jeans and bikini: every bite I _didn't_ take was not about possibly preventing diabetes and every dollop of sweat I created was never about preventing a stroke in my future.
Put these these twisted thoughts together and you will understand why exercising 3 days a week were only a means to an end. The 4 days of "rest" did not mean a time for my body to heal the new tears I put into my muscles, but just relief that I get to sit back and do nothing all day. No wonder rest days upped the temptation for me to quit exercising. And I'd quit exercising, I'd go back to my old eating habits and a mind polluted with body-hating thoughts. It was a cycle and one that I hope to finally break this time.
*What in your life is not working?*
Right now, my strength training is not working. Right before the trip, I simply stopped. I need to get back on it. I need a plan.
Further down, I don't feel like my commitment skills are working. I'm getting married, but I am SO scared! My mind spins in "What If" circles and I seem to look for reasons to _not_ get married. The good thing is that I recognize that it's just me and not him. Right before I got married to my exhusband, my mind was screaming "NONONONONO" which obviously screamed that he was not the right person. My mind is not doing that now, it's just freaking out.
I also don't feel like I do anything. Running and SparkPeople fills the void, but I don't feel constructive towards anything "worthwhile." Maybe as I make friends at the gym, this will change. I'm also thinking about looking into Personal Training, for reasons unknown. Maybe I should take some kinesiology classes? Hmm... Maybe the lack of stress in my life is making me crave stress?
*Why do you want to lose weight?*
Before, I lost weight because I wanted to look good for 30, but now I'm burning fat because it's kind of fun! I'm doing what I love (running!) and I am so excited to see what I can turn my body into, without any expectations about who I want to look like - the reason why I never ever post pictures of celebrities I want to look like (pictures are fake anyway).
Whereas my spirit and excitement in experimenting with my body is what keeps me going, what keeps me from eating that extra piece of cake (my weakness) is my wedding at the end of this year. Same goes for my ST - or lack thereof. This is why I joined a gym yesterday. I just need a plan to get this going. (But of course, once I get back in ST, it will be about building muscle as for health rather than looking toned, which will be treated more as a cherry on top of the icing).
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
I am back from the cruise plus recovery. (Needing a vacation after the vacation... You know what I mean, right???)
Recovery as the surprise that struck me when I saw that I gained 5+ pounds from one week of gluttony... SIGH. That means I gained a little more than 25% of the weight I lost. SIGH SIGH.
Points from the cruise
- I ran 3 days around the ship, once during the gorgeous sun setting over the famously turquoise Caribbean waters - bliss! There was also an occasion where the salty water sprayed my face... But heck I didn't mind - I was running in the middle of the Caribbean!
- I took my FIRST spin class! It was headed by this Australian chick who could really yell and talented in the art of torturing from 6 feet away. After the class, I was completely drenched head to toe and ready for a HUGE meal and a nap. My crotch also hurt from the seat - ick!
- I exercised good healthy eating habits... for the first few days. LOL Towards the middle of the cruise I completely lost control and dove head first into every dessert station I could find at every meal, PLUS the midnight dessert buffet celebrations! Goodness, I was soooo bad.
- I got attacked by a sloth. Yes you read right - a SLOTH!!! It's a good thing he's really cute. The good thing about the incident is that it made me aware that my tetnus expiry date was coming up and so I marched down to the Medical Center on the ship and got me a tetnus shot (which, by the way, had my bicep hurting for a week - wah!)
I completely moped during the first couple of days I came back about the weight I gained, but something snapped when I woke up on New Year's Day. I mean, what's the point of acting depressed over a simple situation really and not do anything??? It was that very moment that I got my lazy butt out of bed and completed an easy 2-miler - and at one point, was running into the 7 minute mile area!!! I think it was that and coming home euphoric when the running bug bit me. The clouds of guilt dissapated and once again I was enthusiastic about fitness and clean eating again. HURRAH!
Oh oh oh before I forget, I wanted to make some updates on my running goals this year:
Feb. 8 - Firecracker 10k
May 2 - Palos Verdes Half Marathon
Oct 12 - Long Beach Marathon
Another change I made to my running program was to start running 5 days a week, with 2 of the days easy 20 min/2 mile runs. Moving my schedule around also allows me to run only once day on the weekend - a perfect compromise with DH, who felt a bit outed since I started my new relationship with running.
My running schedule for the week:
Sun Jan 4 - (off)
Mon Jan 5 - 60 min HR Zone 3
Tue Jan 6 - 20 min HR Zone 3
Wed Jan 7 - 30 min Tempo
Thu Jan 8 - (off)
Fri Jan 9 - 40 min HR Zone 4
Sat Jan 10 - 20 min HR Zone 3
I am so excited, 2009 will be the best ever!!!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
A few days ago, someone found a light switch and turned on a lightbulb in my head.
I've accomplished a lot of cool stuff in my life, but there are a very few select items that I can stay I've been doing for an extended amount of time. I get really excited when I start projects, but once I reach a milestone or get good at a skill, I drop it like a hot coal and I'm on to something else completely different. I've always thought that it's just me being a commitment-phobe, but a few days ago I found out that it was NOT that at all.
It's all about GOALS - it is exactly that that spins my hamster wheel at dizzying, lightening fast speeds. An idea pops into my head and I think about it for a little while. Once I decide to do it, however, my focus is locked on like a missile target and there is absolutely no possible way any one can say or do to convince me otherwise - and I can also tear a pretty chunk off a person if someone dares to tell me NO! Interestingly, if anyone tells me that I *can't* do something (ability-wise), it adds even more fuel to the fire. It causes heartache and headache for the people around me (my poor DH!)... You can also imagine the hell I put my parents through as a "rebellious" teen.
I feel so much better knowing that commitment was never the problem; I just need goals to keep me interested. I'm afraid of gaining the weight back, but just the fear itself won't keep this weight off; it's continuing to strive towards some direction that will keep me in line. I'm also afraid that I will never be that person who can say they've been running for x amount of years, but I see now that as long as I schedule milestones, I will do it! Furthermore, ANNOUNCING these goals to the public will mean there's NO WAY I will back down. Yes... This should work finely!!!
My Goals for 2009:
1. Complete a 10k Race on February 8
2. Complete a 10k Race in under 60 minutes
3. Bike the LA Marathon (still not "feeling" it yet... we'll see)
4. Complete a half marathon
5. Complete the Long Beach Marathon in October!!!! (I was considering running the LA marathon in May, but I think biking it with my DH would be good quality time spent - and that is important)
6. Get in shape for a photo shoot in November/December (this means gym time)... I want to document exactly how I looked at 29!
ULTIMATE Goals (my dreams!)
1. Qualify to run in the Boston Marathon (whether or not this stays on the list depends on how I do in the half and full marathon)
2. Do an ultra marathon!!! (Ditto. I noticed that I am more of an endurance runner than speed, which is why I have this one my list. Maybe that's why I was born with bigger legs? lol)
3. Do a duathlon
4. Do a triathon - (I have a fear of water, but I may try to conquer this with swimming lessons next year. Why is it that I won't let others sway me, yet I allow myself to believe that I can't do something? Shuuush mind!)
5. Do a century ride
6. Come in first in my division in any running race
BTW - CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT IT WAS JUST IN JULY THAT I WAS A COUCH POTATO??? Some days, I scare myself. I'm surprised my DH hasn't asked me what I've done with the woman he proposed to!
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