Sunday, November 15, 2009
Four days without blogging?? What is the world coming to? What's sad is that I still have nothing to blog about.
We got hit with hurricane Ida this past week, except I'm pretty sure she wasn't a hurricane by the time she got here. Honestly, I didn't pay that much attention to the weather channel. We did get a ton of rain, but not much wind. We got something like 10 inches of rain, but over a 2 day period. Our lake flooded a little, but nothing major. No property damage. We stayed warm and dry and didn't even loose any tree branches. Thank goodness! After Gaston a few years ago, I'm a little paranoid about heavy rain.
I did have to skip one of my runs this week due to the weather. I ended up making it up at the gym on the treadmill. Good Lord, I hope I never have to do that again. I used to prefer to run on the treadmill, but no more! I have never been so bored in my entire life. Even with all that was going on around me, I thought I might fall asleep running. Luckily, the fear of my pants falling down kept me awake. Oops. I'd worn old shorts which fit just fine when walking around, but as soon as I started to run, down they went. I considered going to see if the gym would lend me a stapler so that I could staple the waistband to my shirt, but didn't want to loose the mileage I'd already racked up. I know, I know. I could have simply added 2 run times together, but there's something very mentally satisfying about seeing those miles add up. At one point, my ipod went flying. Still have no idea what happened, but one minute, it was in my hand, the next minute, it was pinging down the aisle bouncing off each machine it passed. Had to go retrieve it and hop back on the treadmill. Then my neck and shoulders started aching. I realized that the t.v.s that I was watching (I listen to the music and read the text on the t.v. to keep me entertained while treadmilling) were too high up. Rather than looking straight ahead, I was looking upwards, which was straining my neck and therefore my shoulders. Had to keep reminding myself to look at the wall. That just added to the boredom! With only a half mile to go, I hit the 60 minute mark on the treadmill and it automatically went to cool down mode. I stopped it and reset it for more time so I could finish my mileage. Of course, as soon as I'd reset it, a hot young stud comes and gets on the machine next to me and begins to run like crazy. I felt so ridiculous being as sweaty as I was and having my machine say I'd only gone a few tenths of a mile. I'm sure Mr. Hunk was NOT checking out me or my machine, but still. A girl can always hope. What ever. I finished my mileage despite the boredom, ill fitting pants and runaway ipod. I was pretty proud of myself. And best of all, I was able to still walk when I got off the machine! Back when I was routinely running on the treadmill, my legs always felt like they might not carry me to the locker room. That night, I felt like I could have easily kept going.
I have lost two of the four Halloween pounds I'd gained. I'm pretty irritated with myself for gaining 4 pounds. That candy was SO not worth it. Lesson learned. Maybe. Hopefully.
Lets hope I did learn the lesson. My daughter's birthday is this week and she's looking forward to going out to dinner with the family to a place that has awesome deserts. I'm not sure what I'm looking forward to less - fighting the urge to eat the awesome desert or the fact that my baby is going to be a teenager. I'm having a hard time dealing with that. I just can't believe my youngest is going to be a teenager. Granted, she's been acting like a teenager for years now, but.... actually hitting the number. Goodness! I feel old.
Well, if I'm going to get my run in today, I better go do it.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
My dad was an alcoholic and took a medication called Antibuse, which I'm not sure I'm spelling correctly. Antibuse was a pill that he took and if he drank within a certain amount of time after taking the pill, he'd quit breathing. A pretty good incentive not to drink! I just wish they had pretzel antibuse. I sure could use some.
I have found my running antibuse, however. Last week, I'd intended to run 4.25 miles but I got lost and ended up going 5 miles. My legs were exhausted for 2 days straight, but I survived it and decided to try it again. And once again, I survived! The second time I did it, my legs were still pretty dang tired for a couple of days, but they didn't hurt or cramp during the run. Woo-hoo!! So, with the new desire to run 5 miles at a time, the realization has come that my body is Not ready to do it two days in a row. I've also discovered that walking seems to help my legs feel not so tired or weak. I've also been experiencing that little voice in the back of my head whispering about increasing my mileage too much, too quickly may cause problems.
So, my new plan is to run the 5 miles on Sundays and Thursdays. On Tuesday, I run four to four and a half miles (haven't actually measured that route) and I walk on the days in between. I LOVE the new schedule. It feels great to my body and I'm getting out and off the couch each morning. The problem is how to force myself to walk? I've had a lot of problems with that in the past. That's where the running antibuse comes in. My form of antibuse is (1) my legs are too tired to run five miles two days in a row and (2) I'm just walking - not running. I don't need a ponytail or running shoes. I wear jeans and my old Walmart shoes and don't allow myself to put my hair in a ponytail. There's no way I'd run in that condition! So far, so good.
Now, if I could only discover some pretzel antibuse.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Ok, first, thereís the Thanksgiving concerns. We go to my sisterís for dinner every year. I always take a couple of deserts (a few of us only eat chocolate while a few of us donít ever eat chocolate), bread and something else, normally an appetizer. So this year, Iíll make the traditional deserts but Iíll also come up with something a little more diet friendly. As for bread, Iíll make the rolls that a few folks live for and maybe some whole wheat rolls or some kind of whole grained bread. As for the Ďsomething elseí I can easily come up with something healthy to take.
The big question is, how many something elses should I take? I donít want to offend my sister. We have a strained relationship. There are a lot of jealousy issues and she doesnít approve of my lifestyle and well, the list goes on. Whenever we are together, I always try to be as low key as possible and do anything and everything I can to please her. But, her style of cooking is beyond full fat. Not only is it full fat, but a lot of it is made with processed food items. Stuffing from a box, a rice dish made with one of those flavored (i.e. extra chemicals added) boxes of rice, a ham-hock in the otherwise plain veggie dish..... You get the idea.
So, what to do? It is Thanksgiving and I plan to splurge, but I donít want to splurge so much that I make myself sick. And the recent Halloween candy experience proved to me that a little splurge goes a long way and my body really, really, really doesnít like all that fat and chemical in certain foods. So, what do I do? Risk offending my sister when I show up with an entire meal of something elseís or just take teeny tiny servings of a few of her dishes and fill up on chocolate cake? And yeah, yeah, yeah. I know - I should eat before I go so Iím not hungry and donít over eat there. And I should lay off the chocolate cake. But that chocolate cake is part of the planned splurge, so just leave that out of your advice please.
My next question is about running. Iíve been doing the Jeff Galloway thing of run/walking and building up my running minutes and lowering the time I spend walking. Now that Iím physically able to run for several miles without walking, taking walk breaks no longer works for me. As soon as I take a walk break, it seems thatís all I want to do. Running becomes SO much harder after the first walk break. My body just doesnít want to run anymore and I have to struggle with that little inner voice that says Iím too tired, quit running and just walk home. Itís like eating that first little mini candy bar. One bite and you just want more, more, more! There are a few hills on my daily run that I have to walk, and I generally donít have too much trouble running again after walking up those hills but what about the rest of the run? Yesterday, I increased my distance (a bit further than Iíd intended because I got lost) and by the end of the run, my legs were pretty dang tired and beginning to cramp. I continued to run though because I knew if I started walking at that point, Iíd never run again.
So, my question is, how dangerous is it for a newbie to just run and not take those walk breaks? And perhaps I should say - before yesterday, four miles was the farthest Iíd run at one time. Yesterday, I ran 5 miles. Exactly. I was amazed when I drove the route last night and clocked it with the odometer. Whatís the likelihood of getting lost, running further than planned and finding that you ran exactly 5 miles? Another question - is it normal for my legs to be That exhausted after only one extra mile? My legs still feel tired today. Not sore, just weak and tired. Obviously, I have a LOOOONNNGGGG way to go before Iím marathon ready!
And if I can survive a 5 mile run, am I still technically a newbie? If not, what am I? While Iím definitely a runner - itís all I think or talk about - I feel a little strange saying Iím a runner without adding that ďnewbieĒ clause to it. And while Iím proud of the progress Iíve made both in speed and distance, Iím still extremely slow. So, what point do you graduate from being a newbie?
Next running question - my heart rate. The top end of my cardiac target rate is 151. Up until a few weeks ago, I tried very hard to keep my HR at or below 151 when I ran. But it was difficult. I shuffled along and couldnít seem to make much progress in the speed department. Then a fellow Sparker suggested a change in the way I move my feet/legs. Iíve been running the new way for the last 2 weeks and feel SO much stronger and faster. Itís a much more comfortable way of running. But it raises my HR to 160. But Iíve also noticed that while my HR is higher, I donít feel like Iím gasping for breath anywhere near as much. When I run the new way at a HR of 160, I feel like Iím actually running, not shuffling. I donít sound like a charging rhino. I donít even seem to get tired as quickly. And itís Much easier to say ďMorningĒ to the other folks I see while running. So, how dangerous is it for me to run the entire run at 160 instead of 151? I realize that the magic formula that calculates your target heart rate is not exact. Everyone is different, but 160 instead of 151? How dangerous is that? I also wonder if the higher HR is what lead to my leg cramps at the end of yesterdays run. Was I building up lactic acid because of my increased HR?
And what is ďrace paceĒ vs. your normal every day run pace? How much higher should you let your HR go when you are racing? How do you know when you are pushing too hard and wonít be able to finish your race? Or is that just something that comes with experience?
Next question - Everything I read says I should have 3 runs a week - one should be for speed work, one the long, slow run and the other, well, I guess it should be just a comfortable run. But when you are only running 4 or 5 miles and consider it a good day when you average 14 minute miles, every day is a long, slow day. In the past, Iíve run a particular course over & over until I could run it in 50 minutes then I add a quarter mile to it and repeat. Once I can run the new distance in 50 minutes, I add mileage. So far, itís worked well for me, but at what point does that become a bad training plan? Now that Iíve found my new, stronger, faster way of running and had the realization that walk breaks arenít good for me, Iím wondering if I need to revamp my running plan.
Final question - Does anyone recommend any running books for what ever type of runner I am? Everything Iíve found so far seems to be geared either for total newbies or for marathoners. Once you get past being able to run 1 minute, walk 5, the books seem to jump straight to very long distance runners. They all recommend you jog a couple of miles to warm up. I hate to tell them, but frequently my entire dayís run is less than their warm-up plan. Chi Running has been recommended and Iím on the libraryís waiting list, but there are 6 people ahead of me on that list. By the time I get the book, I might actually be able to run a marathon.
Ok, I think Iíve asked enough questions for today. If youíve actually stuck with me and read this whole thing, thanks! Hope you all have a great weekend. The weather here is looking like it will be fabulous!
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Gosh, I can't believe how quickly I reverted to my old, candy gobbling, anything I can get my hands on gobbling self. Sheesh! A few little pieces of Halloween candy and I instantly reverted back to my old ways. I ate those few candies on Halloween, and ok, so maybe "a few" isn't a very accurate description. It should have been though. If I'd followed my plan. But I had those first few pieces and that led to a few more, which led to a few more..... And all those few mores led to salt and red meat cravings. I just can not believe how quickly and completely I reverted back to my old ways.
I knew I had to stop so I threw myself an intervention yesterday. I knew all I had to do was go a full 24 hours without junk and I'd be fine. But those sugar DT's ..... gosh they are rough! Luckily, the intervention worked, the cold-turkey thing worked and I'm fine, ok, mostly fine, today. Except my husband is still a little irritated. As I said, those sugar DT's can be rough and apparently I wasn't my normal pleasant self last night. At the moment, I'm still craving salt, but I'm over the sugar and red meat cravings. As for the salt, I'd probably be fine except someone left the giant container of roasted peanuts on the coffee table and they are in plain view. I really should get up and move them, except I'm afraid if I touch the container I'll end up ripping the top off and diving in. It's probably safer to just leave them where they are. Next time the kids come walking through I'll ask them to put the nuts away.
Moving on to running news.... I was supposed to increase my run by a quarter of a mile this week. My earlier attempt failed miserably. I'd been thinking that the loop I was planning to add would be about a quarter of a mile but after I ran it, I realized that it probably wasn't even an eight of a mile. So today, I decided to take a whole different path entirely. And I got lost. Lost in my own neighborhood! Sheesh! As I've said before, I live in a lake community. The "main" road circles the lake. All the other roads loop off the main road, make a big loop and reconnect to the main road. And then there are the "cove" roads that go nowhere. Darn cove roads!
I took off this morning and instead of taking the loop that takes me back home, I went in the other direction. Because all roads loop back to the main road, I really, really hate to turn around. I just go until the road naturally loops back to the main drag. But the road I took today didn't loop. At least not for a long, long way. There were tons of little roads off the road I was on, but they all turned out to be "cove roads" that don't loop anywhere. They just dead end. Anyway, I ran and ran and ran and finally came back out to the main road. By the time I got home, I had traveled just a couple of tenths of a mile short of 5 miles. I was only supposed to go 4.25 miles. Oh well. It wasn't That much further than planned, although it sure felt like it. But what's exciting is that I did it in about the same time it was taking me to run 4 miles just a few weeks ago. Woo-hoo!
So, all in all, I'm pretty proud of myself with the exception of how I reacted to my husband's advances last night. Guess I owe him an apology, but he really should know better than to mess with a girl in the throws of the sugar DTs. Anyway, I'm proud. I kicked the sugar. Again. I'm back to craving chicken and broccoli. And I increased my run by a whole mile and survived it. Woo-hoo!
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