Saturday, June 20, 2009
Second blog entry of the day!
I went to many websites with 5K training plans to compare the final week of training suggestions. Here's my schedule, based on the trends I saw in all those plans, plus my own strength training schedule. Good nutrition, upped hydration, full nights' sleep, and stretching are a given each day.
Sunday, June 21 (1st day of summer!): 60 minute easy run, lower-body strength training
Monday, June 22: 30 minutes on stair climber, strength training for back and shoulders, pick up race materials at City Sports
Tuesday, June 23: 3 miles or 30 minutes easy run, strength training for chest and abs
Wednesday, June 24 (last day of school for students!): Tempo Run (five minute warmup, 5K at 7.4 mph - can alternate with 7.3 if necessary), 5ish minute walk. STRETCH. Also, strength training for arms.
Thursday, June 25 (last day of school for teachers!): 60 minutes elliptical, lower-body strength training with very light weights. Definitely stretch.
Friday, June 26 (first day of summer vacation!): SLEEP (but not late into the morning - earlier at night is better)!, strength train for back and shoulders, 30 minutes stair climber - easy pace is fine.
Saturday, June 27: walk just enough to warm up, then do some slow easy stretching. Go very light on caffeine - 0-1 cups of coffee total for the day. Come up with detailed plan for Sunday morning wakeup, breakfast and hydration, arrival to race start, warmup, etc. Go to bed early.
Sunday, June 28: 9 a.m. race! Time to PR!
I just made this...inventing it as I went along!
In a large pot, combine 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil with 1 serving of Bob's Red Mill High Fiber Cereal (or anything else that resembles whole wheat flour), 1 cup unsweetened soy milk, 1 cup low-sodium organic chicken broth, and any spices you like. Bring to boil, whisking constantly.
Reduce heat and add chopped veggies. I added sweet potato, onions, scallions, garlic, cauliflower, turnip, and celery. Add 1 can wild salmon.
Simmer on low heat for at least an hour, stirring frequently.
Mine made 7 servings, about 250 calories each.
Oh, PS - I'm back in my size 4 jeans. (They're tight, but not obscene.) YEAH. :)
Saturday, June 20, 2009
*TOM came today. Ever since I stopped taking the pill I have had incredibly long and unpredictable cycles, but this one was "only" 35 days, so it surprised me. I guess I can forgive myself now for having my weight be up a couple pounds. :)
*Elliptical: I could tell I needed a break from running today. I ran hard on Thursday and took Friday off, but my legs were still kind of achy this morning. So instead of forcing it, I used the elliptical instead. SUCH a good idea - my legs feel better now! It's so much easier on the joints. Also, I let go of any fears and just PUSH when I'm on the elliptical. (I guess when I'm running I have this subconscious fear of pushing too hard and then crashing and burning...I don't get that fear on the elliptical.) I finished the first 5K in 28:45, 10K in 56:49 (2nd 5K faster than 1st 5K, yay), and in an hour I went 6.58 miles. Then I did a five-minute cooldown and a nice loooooooong stretch.
*Mocha Latte: I believe I have found the world's best post-morning-workout treat!!! I got the idea from this recipe: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=63788 , but I altered it. I made mine with 1 cup of Dunkin Donuts cinnamon spice coffee, 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk, 1 packet diet Swiss Miss, 1 tablespoon cocoa, and a bunch of ice cubes. HEAVEN.
*Goal Weight: I have come to the conclusion that I am going to stick to my original plan of aiming for 140, rather than hitting ten percent (148.5) and maintaining for several months before continuing on. I get so much happier/more excited thinking about finally hitting my goal and going clothes shopping and really digging into permanent lifetime maintanence than I do thinking about the other plan. So I hope I'm not doing myself a major disservice by ignoring the advice to not lose too much all at once, but that's my decision!
*5K tapering: The fact that I was sore for over a day after my last pace workout tells me I have to have a plan for tapering before my June 28 5K. I did a little research online, and of course different articles have different suggestions, so I'm not entirely sure what my plan will be, and I bet I will feel quite antsy if I rest too much the last few days....to be continued. Suggestions highly welcome. :) Regardless of what workouts I end up doing, I like the advice I read in one article that suggested starting to up your rest (try to sleep an hour more per night - not sure if I CAN do this, but I can try!), hydration, and carbs the whole week before the race! Well, honestly for a 5K I doubt I need to change my carb-eating strategy much (I already get about 55 percent of my calories from carbs per day), but definitely more sleep and water have to help!
*Racing/TOM connections? I was curious about any connections between running and TOM, so I did a little research online, and luckily I found that it seems there either isn't much of a connection at all, or if anything that running helps alleviate annoying TOM symptoms.
Post-5K Goals: I'm already starting to think about my next goals after the 5K. First, I'd like to take a few days off to get my hair done! (I do a chemical straightening procedure once in a while that requires 48 hours of avoiding moisture - so that means no exercise!) Then, I have to decide when my next race will be and what distance to go for. I really like the 5K distance a lot, and will definitely be up for the Tufts 10K in October again... not sure I'm in the mood to take on anything bigger than that. To be continued.
Downloading music: It occurred to me today that I haven't downloaded any new music for my iPod in a really long time. Where do you guys get your music from? Do you do it the totally legal way? I used to use limewire, but I'm worried about viruses and consequences. :)
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Today's run was after dinner and I was totally un-caffeinated! I did get a good night's sleep last night, and I think that made a huge difference. (Yesterday I went running outside when I was EXHAUSTED, and it was awful.) Today's workout began with a five-minute warmup...first some incline walking (4.0, 2 percent) for 2.5 minutes and then some light jogging (5.0 mph, 1 percent). The run was at 7.3 mph and that felt fine - even easy - at first! Unfortunately about halfway through my shoelace came untied so I had to fix that which skewed my time a bit, but I tried to make up for it with a couple 8.0 mph bursts, including the last 0.1 mile. I think I can safely try 7.4 mph next time I do a pace workout.
A family issue just popped up this afternoon. I don't think I want to get into all the details, but it's about personalities clashing and it's awkward and embarrassing and somewhat hurtful, and my biggest fear is that it could spiral into something worse. Yuck.
So...that was on my mind while I was doing my strength training (still dripping sweat from the run), so I was in a somewhat vulnerable mood. A man who has annoyed me at the gym in the past came into the weights area that I was in, and proceded to take several dumbbells, all different weights. I thought to myself, "Ugh, now when I need a pair of dumbbells, he'll have one of them!" He was only using one at a time, so I thought it was rude of him to take them all as if they were for him alone. I take just what I need and then put it away before I get something else, out of courtesy for others!
So... luckily I didn't need any of the weights he was hogging for a while, but eventually I needed the 10-pounder that was sitting on the floor near his bench, along with the rest of his collection. So....I just took it! Is that bad?
He said, "I'm using that."
I said, "Oh, I assumed you were using that one," and gestured to the one in his hand.
He said, "Well, I am, but I'm also using that," gesturing to the 10-pounder I needed.
I said, "I'll be quick."
He asked, "Just one set?"
I was too annoyed to think, so I just repeated, "I'll be quick."
It turned out that I did only need it for one set, so in less time than the conversation took, I was done. I placed it back with his precious collection of just-for-him weights, and said, "Here you go."
He said, "We can share it if you want."
I said, "No, I'm all set."
Sorry for the trite details about a stupid little story... I'm not really upset about this... I'm upset about the personal family issue. Ugh. I need to watch a movie or something to get my mind off of it!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Last night I went to a Red Sox game with my boyfriend and some of our family members, and we also all went to the Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner beforehand. My observation? Food was WAY too central a feature! With the help of Sparkpeople I have come to realize that food should not be everything... it should not give events their meaning. I was disgusted by the central focus on food - junk food - last night.
The first thing I noticed was the Longhorn menu. It was mostly filled with grossly unhealthy choices, just listed there as if they were somehow normal and perfectly acceptable to eat. Some were accompanied with photos that really disgusted me, especially the one with the rare steak covered in a creamy sauce that was dripping down the sides of the pink beef slices. YUCK. I couldn't find a plain garden salad on the menu for the longest time, though I eventually found it listed as an option for a side with one of the steak dishes. For me it was a toss-up between that and the strawberry pecan salad, but my boyfriend convinced me to get the srawberry pecan salad so I wouldn't feel too deprived when I saw everyone else with their heartier dishes. Well, not only did everyone else have heartier dishes, but they were also all going nuts with the hot bread before the meal and then their wimpy iceburg salads. The dinner portions (other than mine - more about that later) were all way too big to meet the caloric needs of any one person for any one meal, and they were all salty, oily, not-fresh-looking dishes.
My dish was actually "side salad" sized, which meant that the portion was actually fine. However, it was drenched in dressing (I know, I could have ordered the dressing on the side, oh well), the pecans were candied, and the lettuce was iceburg. Not a nutritional A+ by any means.
While we were eating, dessert was served at a table nearby. A very tall slice of chocolate cake with a side of ice cream or something - I tried not to stare - was placed there. My boyfriend's sister sounded like she was seriously considering ordering it for herself, but in the end she decided to wait to get dessert at the park instead.
What? you ask. MORE food after a huge dinner like that?
Maybe you don't ask. Maybe it's normal to just eat all night long when you go to a ballgame, or just any old time. Maybe it's not even that bad for some people, who are already healthy and who exercise, like my boyfriend's family, who seem to somehow be able to eat like that and stay thin and healthy for the most part (though his dad was just diagnosed with diabetes, and his sister lost maybe 30 pounds a couple years ago). But it can't be good for many to constantly overindulge, so why is it so acceptable in our society??
The temptation was there at Fenway, of course. I knew I'd already had eaten my calorie quota for the day and never usually eat after dinner anyway, but it's just human nature to feel tempted when you're surrounded by workers walking up and down the stands screaming the name of their product, and you're smelling all the powerful aromas. All around me people, including the group I was with, were buying all kinds of junk - ice cream, popcorn, hotdogs, peanuts, Cracker Jacks, sodas. I wasn't a martyr myself - I had two red wines and maybe about 10 of the unpleasantly SALTIEST peanuts from my boyfriend's dad's bag - but at least those things have some nutritional value. Cotton candy was being purchased nearby (among all kinds of other junk) - soft big clouds of colored sugar - WHY??
When I tallied up yesterday's calories (didn't log until this morning) I was over 2,500! I can't imagine what kind of calorie numbers I'd be at if I ate like everyone else. It was eye-opening to me that this kind of gluttony was so appalling to me - it used to just be the norm. I'm lucky I have my boyfriend who doesn't overeat, and all my Spark friends who constantly remind me of what a healthy lifestyle means. We, it seems, are not the norm.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
One thing I love about SparkPeople is reading other people's blogs. Hearing about other people's triumphs and even their struggles reminds me to stay on track. And on a surprisingly regular basis, I gain valuable insight from other people's thoughts, or from articles they link and discuss.
Yesterday Run_Lift_Eat re-posted a link to an article about how to maintain weight loss. (She described how this has applied to her own journey, and had the photos to suggest that it's really working for her. She has posted this link before, so obviously this article has been meaningful to her.
R.L.E.'s blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
The article: www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-livin
The idea that worked so well for R.L.E. is a goal of losing no more than ten percent of one's body weight at a time. Lose up to ten percent, then maintain for six months before trying to lose anymore. Supposedly if you do this, your body will adjust to the new weight and you will adjust to the behaviors that allow you to remain at this weight, and your "set point" will adjust. This has got me thinking...if I'm REALLY serious about keeping the weight off this time, shouldn't I be willing to try this??
Just like the other two times I've started a weight-loss effort, I began this journey in the 160s - 165 to be exact. (Actually, I was a bit heavier before I started recording my weight again, but I think it was water weight because I lost it within the first day or so of eating right.) Ten percent of 165 is, of course, 16.5. So if I were to lose ten percent of my starting weight, I would weigh 148.5. That is somewhat higher than my current goal of 140.
Yesterday I went through a funk. I was hungry and tired all day long, ate at the top of my range, and took a nap. My workout felt tougher than normal. I overdid the sugar-free gum to compensate for being hungry and ended up with painful gas pains that hit me hard on my way home from the gym. (Sorry for the TMI, but I'm hoping maybe someone out there can relate to the downside of sorbitol.) I knew the funk was temporary and even blogged about the reasons why I was feeling that way, but it got me thinking. I have a strong suspicion that the lower my weight gets, the more desire I will have to overeat. I have read that this happens because your body wants to get back to its set point. So if it's possible to lower one's set point, it really would be in my best interests to do so.
I also noticed some physical changes yesterday. I wore a pair of formerly tight size 10 pants that were loose, and I noticed that my face looked slimmer. I was happy about these changes of course, but they made me realize that REAL changes are going on here. If I'm serious about keeping the weight off, shouldn't I let my body adjust to these changes before I pile on even more?
I haven't completely convinced myself yet. There is a part of me, of course, that cringes to think that I won't get close to my ultimate goal weight while it's still beach season. If I were to implement the ten percent plan, I'd have to stop in a few weeks when I hit around 148.5 and then maintain that for six months - probably until January (!) before attempting to lose any more. I know everyone thinks teachers have a lot of patience, but come ON, that kind of slow weight loss would require more patience than I think I have!
On the other hand, though, if I were to try this out, I'd probably feel better physically, be able to eat a bit more (maybe 300 extra daily calories?), I'd still be able to make progress in running and strength training, I'd wear size 6-8 for the next six months, and I'd have a consistent weight, which is more than I can say for any time in my recent history. Plus, and most importantly, I'd be more likely to make the weight loss permanent. And as a bonus, I might even be able to realistically shoot for an ultimate goal weight lower than previously imagined, as long as I'm willing to lose no more than ten percent at a time.
If anyone has any insight based on your own personal experience or research on this issue, please feel free to share!
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