Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Two days until Thanksgiving, and I'm grateful for an extra day off from work...and it is just one of my favorite holidays of the year! The bummer is that our nearest family is 1000 miles away, and none of us are able to travel this year, so it's just me, hubby, and son, but that won't be all bad. We're planning to attend a community Thanksgiving dinner at our local church, so we'll have lots of company!
I'm gearing up for my Thanksgiving Day 5K too. It's at 9 am, and the Weather Channel is forecasting a high of 42 and SNOW showers. Jeepers! I guess the snow had to come sometime, being that we're in Southern Wisconsin, but I kinda hope it doesn't pick Thanksgiving. Then again, it may be kind of cool to run through falling snow. I mean it's going to be cold anyway, so why on earth not?!
I've been doing well with my running. Since last weekend's disastrous outdoor run, I've ventured outdoors twice more and it has gone much better. I'm figuring out the right amount of clothing to wear, the right pace to use, and just how to feel more comfortable out there in general. I still don't LOVE the cold and probably never will..and after my last race of the season, I'll probably train indoors for the winter, but at least I can make it work! I've also recently discovered Jeff Galloway's run/walk/run approach to training and racing, and I feel like it's a a great fit for me. I did recently graduate Couch to 5K and managed to do the 25-30 minute (straight) runs, but the whole concept of throwing in short walk breaks to avoid exhaustion and build endurance is working well for me. My last week's worth of running has been with 3:1 run:walk intervals, and yesterday I actually managed to complete a mile in 10:31! That is FASTER than I've ever done with straight running, so cooooool! I will probably use this approach for my 5K. I hope for a sub-36 minute time, but whatever I get, that's cool. I figure I'm just out there running a race rather than sitting on the couch, so there.
Things are going well with Weight Watchers/maintaining my weight. I earned my Lifetime Membership on Veteran's Day, and was very proud to reach such a significant milestone! I'm just proud that I got to my 31st birthday, realized I needed to make some changes, and got out there and just MADE them rather than making excuses. After five months of hard work, I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin and feel like my confidence about my body/fitness/health has oozed over into other areas of my life, like work! Anyway, maintenance has been a little tricky since I'm transitioning from actually trying to lose weight to just trying to stay put. It's easy to become complacent and do "anything I want" but that's how things went in the past when I "dieted" and gained back the weight (plus some more!) I'm still tracking my food/points, because I think I really NEED to in order to stay accountable and avoid slipping into old habits, and so far it's really working for me. I'm staying active and really keeping in mind that all the work I have done with Weight Watchers and SparkPeople is a LIFESTYLE, not just something to drop once I've reached my goal. I'm excited to see what the next few months bring!
All that said, I wish all of you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
This morning I think I had one of my WORST workouts since I started running (three months ago). I set out on a two-mile run outside. It was about 50 degrees out, so pretty good conditions, if not a tiny bit cold. This was supposed to be an "easy" run since most of my recent training runs have been 3 miles, or 5K. Here's the thing, though, normally I don't struggle with two miles anymore, but I got to 0.89 miles and realized I was having a lot of trouble catching my breath. A LOT. I don't know if it was the cold or what. So I slowed to a walk for about 0.1 miles and then tried a slow jog again, but only got 0.6 more miles in before I had to stop. Yes STOP. Not like walking, but like stopped on the corner gasping and panting. WT...? I suddenly felt SUPER out of shape, and this is so weird for me. Nothing in my body hurt but I could barely even breathe. When my heart rate finally dropped back down into the 120s, I walked slowly back home. I did a total of 3 miles, but only 1.5 was running...so I didn't even make my two mile goal. Bummer. I'm just resting for now until my body recovers. I don't know WHAT happened. I've NEVER had a run like that! (Possible that I'm getting sick?! My DH said I was sounding very congested this morning after I came back...)
Please tell me it's normal even for a seasoned runner/fitness buff to have a crappy workout like this! I don't know, I know this was just one day but it really made me feel terrible and I started questioning everything about my running. Am I going to be able to finish my 5K on Thanksgiving? Am I stupid for considering another 5K in December? Am I INSANE for contemplating half marathon training next year?! Everyone has a bad day, right?! I don't have to question myself based on this one workout...do I?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Isn't it always sad to return home from a fabulous vacation? My trip to Florida last week was one of the best EVER, so it was kind of a bummer to see it come to an end on Sunday afternoon. We had a BLAST at Disney World, and I would HIGHLY recommend the Coronado Springs resort, where we spent a couple of nights! And the Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT was everything I hoped it would be. YUM!
As for staying on track during the Disney part of the trip, it was a mixed bag. I found that once I was on the property, where nutritional information isn't readily available, it wasn't so easy to track. I pretty much gave up on tracking Weight Watchers points right away, but went with the compromise of writing down every single thing I ate. I figured that having it on paper would at least keep me accountable and make me mindful of the (approximate) quantities of food I was eating. And it worked...I passed on a lot of desserts, candies, snacks, treats, etc. that I might have chosen had I not been accountable to anything or anyone. At the festival I indulged in some splurge foods, like spanakopita, baklava, bread pudding, chocolate cake, and pasta, but they were all tasting portions and I actually shared a lot of them with my family, so it wasn't a LOT of food. And I did take the chance to eat fresh fruits and healthier snacks when they were available to me. Also, fewer food splurges saved me some $$$ for souvenirs like Disney pins and a pair of Christmas mouse ears to wear to my Jingle Bell run in December! (Thanks for the great idea, Laurie!!)
My other saving grace was that I kept SUPER active the whole week. I was out jogging or walking pretty much every day, and I estimate that I logged anywhere from 15-20 or MORE miles walking through the parks over the course of three days! I have to say that my evening jogs on the Coronado Springs track were some of my best runs EVER. It was so scenic and peaceful and we had PERFECT running weather...so all good! During my time in FL, I got within one workout of graduating the Couch to 5K program (and did the last workout once I got here...making me a graduate now!)
I was still nervous to face the scale when I returned home just because you never know what vacation can do to you! Yesterday evening I was at 135.5, meaning that I LOST weight - just a bit - during my week in Florida. How about that?!
Monday, November 02, 2009
Well, I've been waiting for this week to come for MONTHS. I am finally on vacation in my Central Florida hometown! It is wonderful to get a break from the stress of work, the Wisconsin fall weather (which has for the most part been drizzly and gross), and day-to-day life. The only thing I was a little nervous about was staying on track. I knew we'd be eating out a lot and that can be dangerous to any diet/maintenance plan, and I wouldn't (for the most part) have access to a gym and I knew it was going to be HOT outside, so I wondered how much exercise I'd realistically end up doing.
I've now been on vacation for two days and so far so good! I have splurged here and there, but I have been tracking my food as normal. Boy, does THAT keep me accountable! And I really haven't overeaten, which I'm proud of. On Saturday, we were traveling for the morning, so I brought my own breakfast foods in my carry-on. The airline I was flying usually serves chocolate chip cookies and I knew I would be tempted. Thankfully, since it was a morning flight they didn't have them! I am glad I didn't have to stress over that decision!! For lunch, my mother and I went to the Cheesecake Factory, but I kept my consumption to half a lunch pizza...still a pretty big meal but could be a LOT worse. I just looked at the cheesecakes in the display case, and didn't even take the free sample of pumpkin cheesecake they offered us. I know cheesecake is about one of the worst things you can eat! Dinner was pretty "normal", a small plate at Cracker Barrel with lots of veggies. Yesterday we actually did eat at home all day, so that made it easier. We loaded up on organic produce from the Fresh Market, and mmmmmmm it was GOOD!
As for exercise, I've been doing well. After a day off on Friday, I went jogging around the neighborhood on Saturday. I did a week 8 C25K workout - 28 minutes of jogging - and it was HARD in the Florida heat! Wow, what a difference that makes, and I also had to dodge lizards while I ran, something I'm not used to anymore. I still made it, sweat and all, so I'm proud of that. Yesterday we went to the beach, and I went for a walk/jog along the biking path, about 3.2 miles total. So I'm getting things done!
Tomorrow we head out for a couple of days at Disney World. I'm excited about this since WDW is my favorite place in the world, but I know I'll have to watch what I'm doing. There is a LOT of great food at Disney World!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Madison's second annual Gilda's Club Run,was my first timed race! I was so excited about racing that I was at the race site right when the registration/packet pickup tables opened up, two hours before the start. I got my things, and then took a little while to walk slowly around the area, to warm up a bit and familiarize myself with at least part of the course. It was chilly outside, so after twenty minutes of walking, I went into the "home base", which was Ruth Chris's Steakhouse (swanky!!) and hung out in a booth and talked to my husband and then my mom on the phone for a while. There was a really good vibe among the racers, and it was a real pick me up just to be around them. About fifteen minutes before the race, I pinned on my bib and tied my timing chip onto my shoe. I felt so proud to be wearing a REAL LIFE timing chip! I felt like a REAL runner. (Lame, huh?!) Then everyone wandered outside, where thankfully it had warmed up a bit and it wasn't snowing, and gathered by the inflatable start line. A local DJ was pepping the crowd up and playing music, and people were jogging in place and jumping up and down to stay warm. I'm just glad it wasn't SNOWING!
At ten o' clock, the five mile racers (the larger group) took off, and then the two mile runners and walkers lined up at the start. A few minutes later we were off! The first half mile went great. The course was relatively flat and the pavement nice and smooth. It was kind of cool to be running in the middle of the road while the police stopped traffic behind us. About a half mile in I felt my tummy growl ferociously...uh oh...last night's dinner! For several minutes, my digestive system and I were at war, but I continued running down the path. I kept thinking to myself "thissucksthissucksthisSUCKS!" as I ran and prayed that my tummy would quiet down, at least until the finish line. Thankfully sometime soon after the mile mark, it did settle down, but I made a mental note to be VERY careful about what I eat the day before a race from now on! By this point in the race, we were running through a pretty little park, and there were some damp leaves on the path that made it slightly slippery in spots, but no mishaps for anyone! I was cruising at a nice speed and playing "tag" with a college-aged girl in a bright orange shirt. We kept passing each other throughout the whole race. By the time I got to about 1.75 miles, I was starting to feel pretty tired and anxious for the finish. Thankfully it came quickly, and the girl in the orange shirt sailed in right before me. I'm proud to say I didn't walk even ONE step the WHOLE time. Even when I encountered a steep little uphill stretch in the park, I just slowed it down a bit but I kept right on running! When I stepped over the finish line, the race clock said 29 something, but since it had started with the five milers I couldn't really rely on it for any accurate picture of my time. After crossing the line, I gratefully slowed to a walk, and a volunteer cut my chip off. I wandered inside of Gilda's Club to take a tour and have some refreshments.
I have to say that Gilda's Club was such a gorgeous place and seemed to be a vibrant, supportive community! They have a lot of things going on for the patients, and everyone who works/volunteers there just seems so energetic and really believe in what they're doing. They had set up a small buffet of burgers, chips, fruit, and cookies for the runners, so I ate an early lunch while I waited for the race results. Sooooo...my final time was 21:28, a 10:44 pace. I was pretty proud of that, and it's right in line with my C25K training pace. I was DEAD in the middle of the pack. My overall rank and my rank within my division (30-39 year old women) was smack bang in the middle. I can't wait to see how I'll do once I have more experience!! I didn't win any awards this time, but I was proud to have finished the race with 100% running and to have earned a decent time. I hope to participate in Gilda's Run again next year, maybe as a five miler!
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