Friday, June 12, 2009
Today I weighed in at 152.8, which means that I have now lost 12.2 pounds and have 12.8 more pounds to go! I am being optimistic and thinking that this weekend, after sleeping in late, my weight will be down even more, so today is the day that I'm celebrating being halfway to my goal, even though I'm off by a few tenths of a pound. :)
By the way, it took me 9 weeks and 5 days to lose the first half of the weight. That is about 1.25 pounds per week. If I keep up this pace, I will be at goal (140 pounds) by August 21, 2009. :) :) :)
Also, as the math nerd that I am, I just did some calculating that I'd like to share, though I admit this is mostly for my own future reference more than for the makings of an interesting blog. A few weeks ago I wrote about my formula for determining 5K average speed based on total time: 186 divided by total time. (Example: 186 divided by 24 equals 7.75. This means that in order to finish a 5K in 24 minutes, you would need to run an average speed of 7.75 mph.) The number 186 came from 60 minutes times 3.1 miles (5 kilometers is approximately 3.1 miles).
Today I turned the formula around to figure out what the total 5K time would be based on average speed. This formula is: 186 divided by average mph. Record the number before the decimal for total minutes, then subtract it out to get left with just the decimal, and multiply that by 60 to get the seconds. (Example: 186 divided by 7.2 equals 25.8333333. Do 25.8333333 minus 25 equals 0.8333333. Multiply 0.8333333 times 60 which equals about 50. This means that an average speed of 7.2 mph would mean that the total 5K time would be 25:50.)
Here's what I came up with:
7.0 mph - 26:34
7.1 mph - 26:12
7.2 mph - 25:50
7.3 mph - 25:29
7.4 mph - 25:08
7.5 mph - 24:48
7.6 mph - 24:28
7.7 mph - 24:09
7.8 mph - 23:51
My probably-way-too-ambitious goal that I dreamt up a few weeks back was to finish my upcoming race in 24 minutes and that meant I'd have to run an average of 7.75 mph. As you can see in yesterday's blog, I have not been able to get even close to that yet, even though I'm training on a treadmill which is easier than running outside. The fastest I've been able to go lately is 25:45. If I want to beat that in my next pace training run, I should shoot for an average speed of 7.3 mph. I can do that!! Once I'm over this darn cold, and I'm well rested, well fed, and I've had my coffee, I can do that! Then the next time I can try for 7.4 mph and work my way up to 7.7 or 7.8 if I can get there in time - my race is only 16 days away and I only pace train once a week or so. Even if I don't have time to work my way up to that speed, I can still PR because my fastest official 5K RACE time was somewhere between 28-29 minutes (can't recall precisely). I will be happy with any PR at all, but I would be very proud of a sub 27 or 26 minute time, and my dream goal is 24 minutes.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I've decided to record all of my fastest 5K training times together in one place - here! So far, these have all been done on a treadmill. I know I have gone faster than this in the past, but it would take quite a bit of searching through old blogs to find my old best times. So these are just my best times since I started training for my 6/28/09 New Charles River Run 5K race.
I'm not sure if I can attain this kind of speed outside. Usually my tough runs are on the treadmill and my very long or easy runs are outside. I will have to try doing some speed or pace work outside! I also need to sometimes do speed work on the weekend, when I'm fully rested and caffeinated. I'm sure I could be faster than after a long day at school, which is when most of my pace workouts happen.
Also, a couple days ago I did my first hill intervals on the treadmill. I only had 12 minutes before I had to leave, so it was very quick and easy. I stayed at 6.0 mph most of the time, but I bumped it up to 7.0 at the end. I alternated between 0% incline and 4% incline, and each interval was four minutes. Afterwards, my knees hurt a bit, but that could have been a coincidence. Next time, I will try something similar, but with more speed.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I have come to the realization that there is not just one, but TWO dangerous paths to which I am prone, both of which I must try to avoid if I want to effectively manage my weight.
Dangerous Path 1: Do whatever I want, whenever I want, because it feels really good!
This is the path I took prior to SparkPeople and also during those periods of rapid weight re-gain. This is the mindset of the Susan who ate so much in college that a friend said, "You eat more than anyone I've ever seen." This is the Susan whose thinking gets so illogical that somehow eating one pint of Ben & Jerry's is a common precursor to eating a second container! This dangerous path is quite obviously unhealthy. Dangerous Path 2 is not quite so obvious, but is just as dangerous...
Dangerous Path 2: Aim for perfection.
This is the path that led me, in early 2007, from 167 pounds to 134 pounds in just four months, while also making me cranky and lethargic in the process. This is the path that leads to resentment, because while everybody else is having fun, I have to keep up with my multi-hour sessions at the gym. There is no listening to my body when I have this mindset; there is only following pre-set rules. Sure, Dangerous Path 2 gets me skinny fast, but there is no way that weight loss attained this way can be maintained, because this lifestyle cannot be maintained.
What got me thinking about this today was a slice of cake. A coworker will be leaving us at the end of the school year, so my school's special education staff (all six of us) got together this afternoon to present her with a gift and to share a chocolate cake decorated with frosting best wishes. I only found out that there would be cake a few hours earlier, and I went into the situation ambivalent about whether I would actually eat it. I ate my usual healthy lunch at the usual time, and then just before we met I had a nice crisp apple to take the edge off my appetite; I also brought a can of seltzer to the meeting with me.
While the cake was being cut I noticed that everyone was getting a queen-sized piece. I considered asking for just a sliver, but in the end kept quiet. I let my giant slice sit on the table in front of me for a while and up until the moment I took my first bite, I still wasn't sure whether I'd eat it at all, or whether perhaps I'd leave a few large crumbs behind (never a common practice of mine in the past).
Well, I ate that great big slice of cake. It was moist and delicious, and I didn't leave a trace behind on my plate. After we said our goodbyes, I went right back to my office and I entered SparkPeople's closest match (the SP database had chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, which must be fairly similar nutritionally to what I had: chocolate cake with white frosting), and then I went home and did three things:
1) I continued thinking about that cake, and that cake's implications.
2) I ate a little less for dinner than I normally would, to keep my daily total calories at a comfortable level.
3) I exercised a little more than I probably would have if I hadn't eaten that cake.
Two very important things I did NOT do were:
1) continue chowing down on anything/everything I could find (a la Dangerous Path 1), despite my natural inclination to do so which kicks in whenever I start to eat something "naughty."
2) deny myself the cake altogether, or skip dinner entirely to make up for it, or go for an unreasonably long run (unreasonable here meaning taking so long that I wouldn't be able to meet my boyfriend at the train station after he was done with work). These are choices I would have made if I were in the mindset of Dangerous Path 2.
I want to live in the balanced middle of the spectrum between complete food freedom and ultra-strictness. I want to be healthy AND live my life to the fullest. I cannot get there if I take either extreme approach. I need to occasionally have a slice of cake, guilt-free, and then go out for a fun four-mile jog!
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Wow, I've earned my rest day tomorrow - 5.5 miles yesterday + 7.5 miles today = 13 miles this weekend!
I need to list today's stats in two different ways - one for the running-only portion at the beginning, and one for the entire thing that involved a lot of walking toward the end.
It felt good and I didn't feel gross despite being covered in sunscreen. Once I stopped to walk my legs - muscles and joints - were feeling sore and tired, but nothing else was bothering me at all. It was a pretty day for running!
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Week 1 -1lb
Week 2 -2lb
Week 3 -1lb
Week 4 -0.4lb
Week 5 -2lb
Week 6 -1lb
Week 7 -lb
Week 8 -2lb
Week 9 -1lb
Yesterday evening I went on a FANTASTIC run. It must have been the perfect combination of ideal weather, being very well-rested, having had lots of caffeine (three cups of coffee - er - that's two more than I have most days!), and being well-fed. Before I went out, I told my boyfriend the route I planned to take and asked him to please give me an hour before picking me up. I ended up going about 5.5 miles, which felt nice and easy with some walking whenever I needed to use my phone. :) After I got picked up on the side of the road, I actually changed into a different outfit IN THE CAR, ha, because we were about to meet a friend for dinner. (I had originally imagined I'd have time to shower and all before dinner, but nope - don't tell anyone!) It was such a nice night to eat on an outdoor patio. I had just a garden salad with no croutons and half of the dressing (I asked for citrus viniagrette but got honey mustard, oh well), plus two glasses of pinot noir. I really wanted to go out for ice cream afterwards because there's a place near that restaurant that has fat-free soft serve peanut butter, but neither my boyfriend nor our friend wanted to, so instead we went to Starbucks and I had a small decaf skinny latte which was also quite the yum.
This morning it hurt to talk - I seem to only be sick overnight and when I first wake up, and then I feel fine the rest of the day. I am now at 153.4 and suddenly the 140s seems oh-so-close. Can't wait!!! :) :) :)
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