Friday, October 23, 2009
You know, it all starts off innocently enough, with a bad day or a small excuse. In my case, my whole family was saddled with some mysterious illness that started with feverish-ness, then some nasty GI related troubles, followed by coughing and sinus pain...oh my! (Was it the mysteriously frightening H1N1? We will never know for sure...) In any event, we're physically recovered from whatever nasty surprise nature sent our way, but now it's time to climb back on the wagon.
While I was sick, healthy eating kinda went by the wayside. Y'know, when you're barely able to keep any food down, making sure you get the right balance of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains is NOT your top priority. Earlier in the week, I was craving good ol' Kraft Mac and Cheese and OF COURSE, I no longer keep any such thing in the house. I tried to make up some organic whole wheat alfredo pasta that I DID have, and it just didn't do it for little sickie me. Anyway, the little food I did eat was my sickie comfort food, not the stuff I had taught myself to eat on Weight Watchers. Now that my appetite's back, I'm trying to wean myself back on to the food I'm *supposed* to be eating. That's kind of a trip! I'm still very much in transition between "sick" and "healthy" food, but hope to be back on track in the next day or so.
My Couch to 5K program also had to sit on hiatus for a few days, and I was most disappointed! I generally don't even look forward to rest days because I am (seriously) enjoying my running THAT much, so several in a row was NOT a fun prospect. I needed the rest though, if I had ANY hope of having the energy for this weekend's fun run. I finally got back to it (gently) on Wednesday night. I'm up to running for 25 minutes at a time, and am in week 7 of the program. Since my illness, my running has been slow, but steady, and I feel 100% confident that I'll finish tomorrow's two-mile fun run. Tonight I did hit the gym but did some easy cross-training to ensure that my feet would be ready for two miles of pavement!
I checked out the weather forecast, and at race time there are supposed to be light snow showers. EEK! I do have nice cozy, warm running clothes and it might actually be kind of fun to run through snow. I'm very excited at the opportunity to support Gilda's Club tomorrow morning. Wish me luck! I hope I have a good race report to post!!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
It's been kind of a roller coaster of a week! I work in IT and my main client is upgrading this weekend, which made my work week busy, busy, busy. I'm also on-call this weekend in case any crisis should arise. I'm hoping that the big event goes smoothly all around. Complicating my week was having my son get sick with some flu-like bug (maybe the flu) on Thursday and feeling some of the symptoms myself on Friday. He is on the mend now, and I am OK, but it wasn't the best timing for sure!
Today also marks two weeks of maintenance on Weight Watchers. Maintaining my weight feels like a mental game in a way. The idea of "maintenance" is that I'm supposed to remain within two pounds (either way) of my goal weight for six weeks, and then I earn something called "lifetime membership" which means I can attend meetings for free. The challenge for me is that going onto maintenance entails eating more, and I've really found it tough to add food to my diet. Call me crazy, but I just don't feel all that hungry now that my body has adapted to eating smaller portions and more filling, healthy foods! Also, since I've been continually ramping up my running program, more weight still seems to want to come off. I won't object to losing a couple of more pounds, really, but I do want to find a healthy balance since I don't really need to be losing anymore.
Running is going GREAT, by the way! I finished up the Couch to 5K week 6 workouts without any major problem. The 25-minute W6D3 workout was a bit daunting just to think about, but when I got outside and just DID it, I survived it just fine. It was cold out and I was keeping a bit of a sluggish pace to get all the time covered, but I was proud to finish. I covered 2.25 miles in 25 minutes, which isn't bad for a newbie runner who could barely run for 60 seconds straight a few months ago! I feel confident that I will be ready to run my Thanksgiving Day race with NO problem, and am hopeful that I'll be able to keep a 12-minute mile pace throughout - maybe even faster since it is still a month and a half away! I had also been hoping to find a race to run this month, and today I got a lead on a two-mile fun run for Gilda's Club, which is happening NEXT weekend! I think this race is PERFECT because I'm not quite ready to run a full 5K, and two miles is about the distance I'm comfortable running at this point. COOL! Assuming that my upgrade project goes over smoothly, i.e. no massive cleanup/damage control to do next weekend, I'm 100% IN!
And I have some good times coming up right after next weekend. My dad is coming to visit, and he's very excited to see his grandson for the first time in months. After that, we're all traveling down to Florida for a week of sunshine and Disney World! I'm stoked! Disney is my favorite place in the world, and this is such a fabulous time of year to go. My parents assured me that it would probably be cooling off from the 90 degree heat they've been having in Central FL. We're probably going to stay at the Coronado Springs resort, and have plans to attend the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival, the awesomest event that Disney does in my humble opinion. Did I ever mention that I LOVE food???
Of course the trip will present with a few challenges, mainly food, food, and food, but my plan is to carefully track my food (as ALWAYS!), keep up my running schedule, even if it means dragging my rear end out of bed early in the morning to do it, and staying well hydrated. I can do this and it will be GREAT!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
This week marked a landmark in my Couch to 5K training program. As any C25K'er or C25K graduate knows, week 5 day 3 is a "big" run, twenty minutes straight. It's the first "long" run after several weeks of building up with shorter intervals. Two months ago, if you told me that I'd be able to run 20 minutes, or two miles, straight, I would have laughed and told you that you were crazy. Me? A runner?! As if!
And then I saw a dear friend run the C25K and she inspired me to give it a try, especially since I was looking for a new fitness challenge. I went through the workouts week by week - taking my time and going at an easy pace - and this week I found myself faced with the BIG run! I had heard the chatter about w5d3. I was nervous, and I was reluctant to believe the "mind over matter" comments that more advanced runners had offered. When I got going after five minutes of warming up, I was still skeptical if I could even do it. BUT I DID!
I'd be lying if I said it was easy to run two miles in one go, but there was something satisfying about hearing Robert Ullrey tell me that I could finally slow down to a walk. I nearly jumped up and did a big WOOHOO right there where everyone could see. I realized in that moment that I'm not a wannabe runner. I'm a RUNNER. I can do this! I am slated to run a 5K race on Thanksgiving, and my #1 goal for this race is to run the WHOLE thing. I was feeling some nerves as to whether I'd succeed or not, but the twenty minute run helped me see that I can and I WILL make it.
When I think about how this program has already transformed me, I get excited. Even though the me of six, or even four months ago, would have never imagined myself running and LOVING it, I really, truly do.
There are so many reasons why I run and LOVE it.
I run because I was looking to challenge myself in new ways during my workouts. I hoped to really boost the intensity of my workouts and get in the best shape of my life. Running is getting me there.
I run because, well, just because it's fun! I always looked at runners and thought "wow, that does look kind of like fun" but I was terrified to give it a try. Maybe I feared I would look stupid or clumsy, or maybe I worried about being slower than other runners, I don't know. But when I let go of my fear, I realized that (at least for me) running really WAS as fun as it looked.
I run because it really boosts my confidence. After a good run, I truly feel like I can do anything!
I run because it is my favorite way to de-stress after a difficult day or celebrate a GREAT day.
I run because it gets me into the great outdoors. I love running through the neighborhood and enjoying God's creation.
I run because running feels like flying.
I run because it just feels good.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
I've been hovering in the mid to low 140s for a few weeks now, but when I went to weigh-in at this morning's Weight Watchers meeting I got a nice little surprise.
I'm at GOAL!!!
Soooo excited to be here. It's the first time I've seen the 130s since before I got pregnant with my 2 1/2 year old. I was recognized in front of the group, and now I'm officially going to move onto the "maintenance" phase of Weight Watchers. That means I'll receive more points to eat every day, and after six weeks have passed, if I am still maintaining, I'll earn my lifetime membership. Good times!
Over the past sixteen weeks I have worked hard to shed 31.6 pounds. It was hard work and I had to make quite a few changes to my lifestyle, but it was 100% worth it. This program really worked for me and the many things I learned will stay with me for a long time.
I rewarded myself not with food, but a hard-earned pair of NEW running shoes from Fleet Feet. I took them on their maiden voyage around the neighborhood this afternoon.
Now, back to work, continuing on with my new healthier lifestyle!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
It's been quite a busy month for me! My time to blog has been a little bit scarce, to say the least. Anyway, thought I'd at least make an effort to post something new once a month on my progress, what I've been up to, and so on.
Weight Watchers is going pretty well. I am down to 144 pounds, as of Wednesday, so that is a 26.6 total loss since June. My weight loss is going at a pretty brisk pace, although I think I can attribute at least some of this to starting a running program right at the same time. I have done GREAT with tracking all of my food intake, although not as well with meeting all of the nutritional guidelines, like eating five fruits/veggies every day. I was doing very well in the first two months, but the last month, I have dealt with a Labor Day vacation and my mom coming to visit, which meant a LOT of eating out and "special occasion" type eating. I got a little careless and overate a little here and there, and fell back on a lot of pre-packaged (not so healthy) options, but I didn't pay too badly on the scale. Again, I probably have running to thank for that. The next several weeks, I want to pay special attention to how I do, especially with my whole grains and fruits & veggies. I also want to try and cut out the pre-packaged snacks because those things can turn into such a slippery slope, at least for me. In better news, at least I have managed to avoid a lot of my vacation pit falls, like fried cheese curds, ice cream, cookies, sweets, and baked goods for the most part.
I've been moving along nicely with the Couch to 5K program. I have been doing each week of the program twice to build a strong foundation, and this puts me at the beginning of week 4. Every week starts off a little bit slow and difficult as I add more running to the mix, but I'm getting it and making progress with just about every running workout I do. Most of my running is on the treadmill, usually on a 5K program, and I have logged a personal best 5K time of 37:39, which includes about 1.5 miles running and the rest brisk walking. Today was a HUGE milestone for me...my first 5K event!!! This was a run to benefit the local zoo, and I registered as a walker, meaning that I wouldn't be "competing" or timed officially, just doing the course with the racers.
It was GREAT fun, one of the best things I've done in a long time! The weather was gorgeous - sunny and not too hot - and there were over 1200 participants. I was encouraged to see people of all ages, body types, experience/skill levels, and both genders there. Since it was a run for the zoo, a lot of people were wearing silly animal hats and costumes (including me!) and everyone was in good spirits. It was very family-friendly, and I saw lots of kids (older grade school and preteen aged) running with their parents! Anyway, when the starting sirens went off, we all ran out in a big mob, and the spectators were cheering, clapping, and ringing cowbells. Such positive energy to push me forward! I ran for the first several minutes, and alternated walking and jogging as needed. As I got near the end, I was POOPED but not hurting at all...even though I was running on pavement for basically the first time. But I mustered up the energy to run through the finish line because, well, I REALLY wanted to run that last little bit! I was so excited to hear the cheers and clapping as I approached the end. I was not dead last, although in one of the later clusters of racers. I guess we were the run/walk and slower joggers group, and we had kind of hung together through the whole course. When I crossed, the race clock said 42:15, so that's as close to an official time as I get! I felt such a sense of accomplishment to finish, and if I added it up, I guess I'd say I ran about a mile of the course. Not too bad for my first time. I can't wait for my next race! I already signed myself up for a Thanksgiving day "turkey trot" race. Since we don't have family in town or a lot going on that day, why not?!
That's the update for now! My goals for the month are as follows:
1 - Stay on track with WW, and keep slowly working towards goal. My main objective is not to GAIN, but if I don't lose that much it's OK since I'm only four pounds from my WW goal now.
2 - Work on eating fruits/veggies more consistently and less pre-packaged snacks and convenience foods.
3 - See if there is an October 5K I can join! Since winter is not far ahead, I'd love to squeeze in three races (today's, the Tgiving one, and another) before I'm stuck with the treadmill for the season.
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