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The Writer's Block Blog Entry

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I am so full of thoughts and energy, but have writer's block or something. This is a new sensation! So... rather than writing out a long narrative, here's some bullet points:

*I am becoming obsessed with running. Every day, I get so happy thinking about my next run! I've been sneaking in as much running as I possibly can, and now I'm also spending a lot of my free time reading about it. Reading can be so motivating, and I'm kind of proud of myself for "graduating" from the diet/weight loss/fitness section of Barnes & Noble and moving on to the "sports" section (which is where the running books are).

*I am seriously considering buying a Garmin Forerunner 405. Expensive!!! But if I get one, I'm going to use it to develop my best-possible training plan for the Tufts 10K that's coming in 14 and a half weeks.

*I'm only 8.8 pounds from my goal!!!!!!!!!! It's time to start mentally preparing for that. The closer it gets, I fear, the greater the temptation will get to lower my goal weight. I have to stop thinking along those lines (sure I might lose more someday - but only after I've really become comfortable maintaining 140) and buy new clothes when I hit my goal!

*Happy July. I shouldn't be talking about this before it happens probably, but I think my boyfriend is going to ask me to marry him sometime this month. If you've been reading my blogs for a long time you know I also thought 12/08 was the month it was going to happen. Well, it wasn't for lack of desire on his part that it didn't happen then - there were unforseen financial issues then. I am so very much in love with him and get tingly and/or teary-eyed when I even think about him proposing to me.

*Speaking of weddings, his 21-year-old sister's wedding is tomorrow, and then there's a big BBQ on Friday. I just hope I have time for full workouts both days, hahahaha. :)

*I need to learn to deal better with the idea that not everybody is as into health/fitness/etc. as I'd like them to be. I try not to say anything, but on the inside I get so self-righteous and annoyed when a friend SAYS she wants to lose weight (or run a 5K or whatever) and then her actions conflict with her words. This reaction does nothing to help, and if I give off any signs that I'm feeling that way, it mst make me seem really annoying to my friends.

*On the flip side, there is such a huge sense of self-power when my OWN actions DO match my words. I want to be as healthy, vibrant, happy, and alive as I can be, and so I live the healthiest lifestyle I can! It feels REALLY good!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOPAPGH 7/6/2009 6:57PM

    I just upgraded from the Forerunner 205 to the 305 for the HRM. It was $149 mail order from Costco. For my needs, I didn't think the 405 was worth the extra money.

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JENONTHEROX 7/5/2009 3:03PM

    hey I was looking at Costco online & they sell the Garmin Forerunner! It's been on my mind too as it's my next goal weight "reward". If you have a membership, check it out.

it's funny, I waver between those health books & the sports section (running) at the bookstore too! I just subscribed to Runner's World magazine (I LOVE this magazine!) in June as a gift to myself for my birthday.

love the last paragraph! Such a GREAT place to BE!

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SKYFYRE 7/3/2009 3:29AM

    Well, Susan, I logged on to get some inspiration and you didn't disappoint. I am that friend that says she wants to lose weight and then does nothing to make it happen. I don't want to be her but I've been lacking some serious motivation for the past several months. Thanks for continuing the journey in a sensible and committed way, you are inspiring! Oh and I hope he proposes soon!

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JESSTET 7/2/2009 2:51PM

    I'm so happy for your possible engagement. My husband and I just got married in is such a great time:)

Secondly, I have the garmin watch too! it's awesome and keeps your mileage, calories, etc. its great for races, to see your split times, to know how far youve come....and how much still left! :)

They are great...a little big...but great:) Great job with the running!!! :) I love to run too....ive done many 5k's, 2 15k's, 5 half marathons, and 1 full marathon. I have 2 more halves this year - January and May:) Keep up the great work! :) emoticon

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    "I get so self-righteous and annoyed when a friend SAYS she wants to lose weight (or run a 5K or whatever) and then her actions conflict with her words."

When an old friend of mine overheard me saying I wanted to loose weight for my sister's wedding, she asked me "if you are serious about it, let me know. I'll help."I did accept her help in the beginning. She pushed me hard, but it was worth it. Now I've decided to say the same thing to anyone I overhear. I know how to loose weight and keep it off. I know how to learn to run and to learn to lift weights. I am aware of a lot of good resources "out there" that I'd love to point others to, but they have to ask for my help.


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THEGR8LAMINA 7/2/2009 1:46PM

you're so close to goal! woo hoo
I soo hear you, it's different if you have friends who motivate you. I have a friend who got me into yoga and now I love it and love that I can talk to her about it. I have to many friends that don't do anything or starve themselves half the time. Argh! Seriously you can eat, just make time to work out!! ha ha

omg a proposal! its' so awesome that it's going to be a surprise proposal. I knew when my engagement ring was ready from the jewelrs bc I saw the pick up slip and was soo gitty everytime we'd go on a walk or something. ha ha I'd always be casually staring at his pockets to see if something was in there. but when it did happen I was seriously the most excited ever! I Hope it happens soon!

have a great weekend,

- Jeannette

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MBSHAZZER 7/2/2009 10:39AM

    HOORAY for loving running! FWIW, the Garmin was the BEST investment in my running that I made. I have the 305 and it's great (and costs waaaaay less than the 405). Have a great July!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 7/2/2009 8:49AM

    I forgot to say congrats on being so clsoe to goal!!!! I am picturing that telemundo guy from football (soccer) matches when he goes GGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLL!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 7/2/2009 8:47AM

    Have fun at the wedding! I'm assuming that you got shoes and accessories, in other words that you aren't going naked, lol!! Post pictures!

Glad the "I hate running" was a temporary sentiment, congratulations on your graduation in Barnes and Noble!

I hope your boyfriend proposes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SQUEEEEEE!!!!!!!

As far as your friends go, you'll get over that - b/c basically everyone is like that. Another reason spark is so great! You can find like-minded people! And I don't think it is a coincidence that a lot of people on here look way better than the majority of the population. Anotherannoying thing is when your friends completely understimate the work you do. Like they think if they "walk on the treadmill and do pilates once a week" they'll look like you. Or like when my friend Jill who suddenly thought she was a bada$$ because she was doinga bootcamp - which I thought was great- but what are doing after those 6 weeks are done? Anyway, she was all hopped up on her bootcamp and she asks me in a very self-righteous tone, "I know you workout but do you lift weights" Uh, yeah, biotch and I am about to lift you and throw you in a river. Seriously people have no clue. So just let them spin their wheels, don'toffer advice - that is actually the LAST thing they want. Justsmile and nod and say, "you're right, there is no way you have time to workout." Okay, sorry this is getting really long, my BIL's wife, so my dh's brother's wife, is the worst about this. She has gained a lot of weight. Like a lot. And she loves telling me and dh how it is her meds, her work schedule precludes her from exercise, we hear both of these things constantly. Well, every time we eat out with them Jake and I split an entree, they share an app and then each get their own entree which she finishes (I'm sure that has nothing to do with it, though, it is her meds, right?) and yesterday she texts me from the bar to ask me to meet them while I was at pilates and before I did cardio - CLEARLY her work schedule keeps her from the gym, right? You can't help them, just smile and nod, better yet, say "Good thing I'm just lucky" like you mean it ha ha !!

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KENSINGTONC 7/2/2009 8:42AM

    There's so much to this blog, and I have about 2 minutes before work to comment!! First off - !!!!!!!! re: your BF's proposal. How amazing... Second, GET A GARMIN if you can! I know a lot of people don't like them, but you and I are similar in our approach to running, and I've found Garmie to be soooo motivating and fun to use. Even my husband, hard-core elite runner that he is, like to use it. And third, I completely hear you about people's actions saying something different than their words. I don't have a good solution, except to keep role modeling healthy habits!

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TRACYZABELLE 7/2/2009 3:42AM

    emoticon good luck to your sister... July2 is my birthday so it s a good day! emoticon

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MARATHONER340 7/1/2009 10:43PM

    I love my new 405!!! Congrats on getting so close to your goal!!! Isnt' being obsessed with running fun? ;) Can't wait to hear about the proposal...(whenver it happens!) Enjoy your sister's wedding!

And I suck...I'm so one of those people! Well...when it comes to weight loss...a whole nother story for me! If I could just find the right balance of food that's right for me!

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ZIRCADIA 7/1/2009 10:29PM

    OOOOH :) regarding your Happy July note. :D Exciting. Also regarding the self-righteous annoyance at people who don't follow through on their health fitness mentions... yeah I get annoyed and or sad. AND AMEN ME TOO on your last paragraph! Also I'm thinking maybe upgrade to the Garmin when my current HRM dies or breaks or I'm super rich and want to just do it for the heck of it... haha ;) yeah right.

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BRUIN2 7/1/2009 10:28PM


I *totally* agree with the second last bullet about people saying they want something, but then doing the opposite. Frustrating. (Especially when that someone is me - saying I want to lose weight, but eating whatever's in sight...)

Have fun at the wedding - good luck fitting the workouts in!

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Summer is finally here!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Just when those of us in the northeast thought it was going to be chilly and drizzly forever, we finally got a glimpse of sun and the kind of humid hot air that makes you really sweat. I went back to the spot of yesterday's race and went for a gorgeous 94-minute jog/walk along the Charles River. I mapped it on SparkPeople's map function but then it didn't save! Grr! It was 7.02 miles and I went 4.5 mph. I alternated slow jogging with walking - that's the kind of running that feels good to me, heehe.. Oddly though, now my quads are sore. They weren't sore after the race yesterday. Maybe it's the length of today's workout, or maybe it's a cumulative effect.

After I was done, it was so pretty at the park that I sat on a bench and sipped my water and read a few chapters of _Once a Runner_. The speeds that the characters in that book can do are beyond me (for example, a 4:08 mile is good but not "spectacular"), but it's inspiring nevertheless!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIL_EZZY 7/1/2009 6:04PM

    Im jealous about the weather. Sounds like a nice workout you had. Congrats on your race. 4th place you did exceptionally well. I am so proud of you. You good thing. Hopefully I will eventually be at your level. Well done Susan you are a champ. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROGUE_1 7/1/2009 3:33PM

    Can we trade weather please? :) I was a whopping 107 degrees here in my neck of the woods this past Sunday so chilly & drizzly sounds like heaven right about now!

I love that you go for such long jog-walks. I want going to start incorporating that into my workouts once I'm done with my 10K training program. Usually I just run/jog, and so far, haven't pushed myself any further than 55 minutes which is right about when my legs were about to give out on me because they were so exhausted Adding a little bit of walking is just what I need but oddly enough, didn't ever consider. In the past, running was a form of torture to me, and since I could never do it because I was lazy and out of shape, I walked a lot in between running spurts, and as a result, walking sort of took on a negative connotation in my mind because I still see that out of breath walker. I obviously it is high time to re-think things and get rid of my old pre-runner assumptions and ideas....

Once A Runner...I'll have to check that one out. I'm always on the hunt for a good book!

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MBSHAZZER 6/30/2009 11:03AM

    YAY for summer!

FWIW, I find walking / running more difficult than just running. I think it uses slightly different muscles.

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SEEHOLZ 6/30/2009 10:00AM

    walking/running combo will do it to me--- like walking in Europe-- i was wiped out-LOL!
Also, the soreness usually hits at day #2!
I'm so glad you're enjoying the summer weather-- -- your walk/jog sounds so fabulous!
I hear you on the times... but who cares... the variety of speed/strength and natural ability is what makes the world rock! I finally came to accept that I'm slow these days, but also know that I got more speed in me... to tap into... and that, in itself is very motivating!
Enjoy your summer time!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 6/30/2009 8:18AM

    It could also be the increase in walking? I know I get sore after walking - as in - not after walking around, but if I walk at a cardio pace I am usually a little sore the next day because it uses muscles so differently.

We have had a heat/humidity wave that finals appears to have come to an end. Yesterday was 90 and less humid, as my husband said it felt like fall :P.

I haven't heard of that book.

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TRACYZABELLE 6/30/2009 6:17AM

    it has ctually been really hot now that all that rain has stopped.. i am loving the sun shining on my face when i get out of work--it makes me feel invigorated

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SKYFYRE 6/30/2009 12:07AM

    Way to get your pre race jitters gone! now you know the area!

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FITGIRL15 6/29/2009 11:39PM

    I know, don't'cha just LOVE summer?!!! I went for a run this am too, but it was only 25 minutes long! I don't know how you can run for 94 minutes STRAIGHT! I get SO BORED and everything starts to hurt! You GO girl!

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DAMIENDUCKS 6/29/2009 9:31PM

    that sounds like a spectacular run!

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New Charles River Run - FOURTH PLACE! ... and Week 12 Ends

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gun time 28:09
Net time 27:55
Pace 8:59 minutes per mile
Average speed 6.766 MPH
Overall place 212/750 (top 28.2666 percent)
Division women age 30-39 - place 30/172 (top 17.4 percent)
Division Filly Open (women up to age 39 who weigh 140+) - place 4/43 (top 9.3 percent)

You can just barely see me on the left here:

Showing off my medal!

Weight Loss Weekly Results:

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
Week 10 -1lb
Week 11 -0.2lb
Week 12 -1lb*
*And it would have been more - yesterday I was down a net THREE pounds for the week, but then I intentionally overindulged a bit to have a little extra oomph for the race. We went to the Channel 7 Health Expo yesterday at the Hynes Convention Center and I ate a bunch of little treats there, and then we went to an Italian restaurant and I had cod with linguini and a garlic cream sauce! Despite doing it on purpose for a good reason, I felt like such a cheater and was up two pounds today! So...I WAS in the 140s on Friday and Saturday, but not today... though I'm sure I'll be back soon. Though today I didn't track my food at all (other than breakfast) because after the race we had to go to my boyfriend's grammy's 90th birthday party. I made mostly good choices there - main dishes were spinach strabwerry salad and fruit salad, and I skipped the pasta/potato salads and also the burgers and dogs, but I did have a couple brownies and a chocolate chip cookie. Oh, and a small piece of birthday cake, which was an ice cream cake. Any tracking today would have been a total guesstimate though, so I didn't track. Will be tracking again starting tomorrow....though will have a tough time tracking on Thursday and Friday for the two-day wedding celebration for my boyfriend's sister's wedding. Gotta stay focused. It's so hard for me to let myself slip a bit because that's when I'm at risk for spiraling out of control. Can't wait to sign up for my next race - that'll force me to keep at it!

So yesterday a friend and I went to the place where the race was going to be to check things out, and ended up walking the entire race loop. Then we did even more walking around the city. After dinner I was exhausted! I guesstimate-tracked my day's food for a total of almost 2,800 calories - yikes - and then went right to bed - was fast asleep by 8:30 p.m.! I had a horrible dream about being late to the race and missing it... and then this morning that ALMOST came true! To get from the parking lot (which was full - my boyfriend had to drop me off) to the start of the race, you have to walk halfway around the route, because it's right on the Charles River and there's no bridge nearby. I could hear all the pre-race events, but unless I wanted to swim, I was nowhere near the start! So I actually jogged about 15 minutes to get to the start JUST in time! Forced warmup! I tried to go slowly so I wouldn't tire myself out, but I was worried that my body would get used to the feel of going slowly...didn't happen though...was sooo full of adrenaline that when it was time to start I just WENT! Several people were still walking to the starting line before the race had started!! I hadn't realized there were going to be seeds...I went to the 8 min/mile seed and was faster than a lot of people who started near me even though I did end up finishing my first mile in just about 8 minutes.

I will admit that during the race I was thinking to myself, "I hate running!" It isn't a pleasant feeling to push as hard as I can. But then when we went to the gym after the party this evening, after my strength training, I surprised myself by getting on the treadmill for two more miles of running! When I'm just taking it easy (6 or 6.5 mph) it's actually a very enjoyable activity. Especially since I just filled up my iPod with new songs with great driving beats (got a lot of ideas from Body Pump song lists!), so running was almost like dancing on the treadmill today. I love running...and even though it hurts while I'm doing it, I love pushing myself once in a while too! I am so proud of me! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROGUE_1 7/1/2009 3:23PM

Susan, congratulations on an absolutely amazing race! That is spectactular!

Oh my gosh, the morning of my first 5k I woke up from the same nightmare you had. I wonder if a lot of racers experience that dream?

Sometimes, when I experience a "bad" run where my legs are on fire and I'm tired or thirsty, or just have difficulty completing a measly 2 miler, I think the exact same thing: "i hate running, why the heck am I doing this?". But then once I am close to finishing or have completed a particularly difficult run, I ALWAYS feel so energized and that I have really accomplished something. I run for THAT feeling (not to mention all the benefits that go with running). And like you, music is a HUGE component for a good run. I've never heard of Body Pump, I'll have to check it out.

P.S. I am proud of you too :)

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RA4945 6/29/2009 4:21PM

    Congratulations Susan! You should be very proud of yourself! I love the pictures and you look fabulous!!! I always have weird/stressful dreams before races. It's so annoying. Oh, and I go through the whole "I hate running" drill when I push myself too, or when the weather is too hot. But overall, I do love running. Hehe. Congrats on EVERYTHING! You're on a good path and I know you will be strong this week. You have worked so hard to get here. You can keep this up!

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ELISEL 6/29/2009 11:57AM

    Good for you.

I ran the 7.5M yesterday and walked from the Harvard Square T stop. I made it to the start a minute before the race started. Very nerve wracking!

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ZIRCADIA 6/29/2009 11:21AM

    I feel you, on my recent 5K PR I was not loving that second half AT ALL. :P The first half was mostly downhill and into the wind so I felt like I was flying and then that second half... hahaha :D But YAY that we can really enjoy running 99% of the time, right? :D GREAT JOB IN YOUR RACE! WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!! :D And you look way too tiny and adorable to be in a "special big girl division" or whatever the heck.

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 6/29/2009 11:05AM

    CONGRATS!!!!!! THAT IS AMAZING!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!

You look adorable and small in your picture, too girl!

That Italian meal sounds FABULOUS! SO GOOD!

It also sounds like you had a victory at the birthday party, picking what was worth it and avoiding what wasn't! Two solid victories for Susan!

That is so funny about thinking that you hated running, so funny!

You're not going to spiral out of control, you have too solid a grasp on what you want, why you want it, and how you're going to get there. No spiraling.

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BRUIN2 6/29/2009 10:16AM

    WOW WOW WOW Susan!!!!!!

That's so friggin fabulous!!!!

Apparently the concious brain can only hold one thought at a time - so whenever I start talking negatively to myself, I just decide to stop and say something positive instead: this morning I was running and my mind was racing with family and work stuff, and my run was suffering. So I decided "enough" and just started repeating in my head "I love running. I love running". It worked, the rest of the run was much better!! Anyways, just thought I'd share!!

(I got that tidbit from lululemon's manifesto - check out

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JOPAPGH 6/29/2009 9:02AM

    Thanks for the comments of my first 5k blog. What a great time you ran!

I agree that it is hard to hang back when the race starts. I was so out of my zone only remember hearing two songs from my entire run.

Also great job on the weight loss!

Keep on moving,


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FITGIRL15 6/29/2009 8:32AM

    Congrats on a great race! You look great in your pics! and a medal, Yay!!! so awesome!!! emoticon

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LAB-LOVER 6/29/2009 6:13AM

    Congratulations! Awesome time! You should be very proud of yourself!

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TRACYZABELLE 6/29/2009 6:03AM

    You are looking good girl! Congrats on your race results! Keep on smiling..

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JENONTHEROX 6/29/2009 12:46AM

    you are beaming in that picture!!! I'm SO happy for you, you should be SO proud.
just yesterday I was looking in your photo gallery of some of your "before" pictures - it's just incredible, not just your physical transformations but also your fever for fitness that I admire so much.
It's easy to see how running can get so competitive with yourself/myself. I went into running again last year promising myself I wouldn't burn out & stop again AND that I would just be happy to be able to run. The ego vs. 'fun of it all' came across my mind a lot today. I think fun wins. . . but I need a bit of a challenge to keep it interesting & to push myself too. Such a fine line...

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SWEATONCEADAY 6/29/2009 12:08AM

    when i did my first and maybe last 5 k i hated every moment of it. however, i just ran my 4th 1/2 and loved every minute of it even though it was my slowest time by almost 30 mins.

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 6/29/2009 12:03AM

    I have a love-hate relationship with running, too. You are so right that good music makes all the difference, which reminds me that I need to make some changes on my iPod Shuffle. I have been listening to the same songs since I started running in March. Congrats on your race results. You are doing so good! As for the weight loss challenges, I find that running does nothing to help me in that department. I run for fitness. I watch my food for weight loss. Its difficult for me to focus on both. I hope you do better than me.


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SEEHOLZ 6/28/2009 10:30PM

    Your last comment totally summed up how I feel, too. I hate racing, but it feels great to push hard once in a while --- I have totally accepted for myself hat running slow and easy is okay... and part of my running journey. It somehow feels freeing- I think there is nothing wrong with eating a bit extra for a race-- you so burned it off!
Congratulations on such a GREAT, STRONG finish and I, TOO am totally PROUD of you!!!
Have a great recovery week!

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KENSINGTONC 6/28/2009 9:23PM

    Congratulations!!! Sounds like a great race. I TOTALLY relate to thinking "I hate running" while running in a race, especially a 5K where you try to push yourself...but how great did you feel crossing the finish?!?! What's your next goal? (I ask selfishly because I like tracking your progress...) :-) Enjoy tonight! Liz

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PAMELA984 6/28/2009 8:18PM

    Congrats on the race! You are an inspiration to many

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KJNE8O 6/28/2009 8:12PM

    YAY! Great job on the race! I always say the same thing when I run a race - that I hate it and why am I doing this?? But we keep coming back!

Dancing with the treadmill - LOL I like that.

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YOYOGAM 6/28/2009 8:02PM

    I think you are pretty amazing. Definitely an inspiration. Your blog was wonderful to read.

I ran the Charles River 5K today too. It was the first time I participated in a race. Maybe next year when I run it again my pace will be a little faster :)

Thank you for sharing your journey. I hope mine is as successful.

Great job on your race time! emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 6/28/2009 7:41PM

    Way to go! Congratulations! FWIW, I usually don't like running till afterwards! :)

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Final Week of 5K Training - Mid-Week Check-In

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm going to steal an idea from some other Sparkers - I'm going to re-post my workout schedule I wrote up for myself on Saturday so I can show how I'm doing with it so far!

emoticonSunday, June 21 (1st day of summer!): 60 minute easy run, lower-body strength training
emoticonMonday, June 22: 30 minutes on stair climber, strength training for back and shoulders, pick up race materials at City Sports
emoticonTuesday, June 23: 3 miles or 30 minutes easy run, strength training for chest and abs
emoticonWednesday, 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!

~~~Pace Training Results~~~

6/24/09 25:11*
6/18/09 25:31
6/11/09 26:10
6/02/09 25:45
5/29/09 27:15
5/24/09 26:59

*Today's run was mostly at 7.4 mph, but I dropped to 7.3 after maybe around 20(?) minutes. The 7.4 mph speed felt so easy for the first minute or two. After that it progressed to open mouth, to hard breathing, to sweating, to really feeling extremely hard! I really wanted to drop my speed far earlier than I did, but I pushed as hard as I could. I bumped it up to 8.0 mph for the last 0.1 mile.

I have been reading Tom Venuto's _The Body Fat Solution_. I agree with a lot of what he says, although I take offense to the tone he takes that suggests that he's "teaching" it all to you, as if there's no chance that you may have already known or been practicing the healthy habits he describes. He, like many others, advocates eating more protein than SparkPeople recommends... he purposely doesn't focus on macronutrient ratios (because he wants you to focus on the bigger picture of eating right rather than getting bogged down in the details), but he does suggest eating lean protein with every meal. In contrast, I have read in many other books and articles that there is no need for more than 15 percent of your calories to come from protein, and/or that it's fine to go totally without meat or to make meat a small part of the meal rather than the main feature. I tend to go with this latter approach, but I'm not convinced that one way or the other is preferable. I eat very little meat - salmon or chicken if anything - but get adequate protein by SP's standards (mostly from my soy milk, nuts, yogurt, and vegetables).

One thing that Venuto recommended that I actually needed to read (meaning I agree with him and see room for improvement in my own life) had to do with strength training - specifically about periodization. Periodization is alternating set amounts of time (he suggests month-long phases, but my boyfriend switches things up once a week) of heavier weights and fewer repetitions with lighter weights and more repetitions. I haven't been practicing this; rather, I tend to aim for about twelve reps for almost everything, every time (though I don't worry if I need to do a few more or a few less to really work my muscle). I see the benefit of mixing things up, so in the spirit of periodization, today I used slightly heavier weights than normal for my arm workout this evening. I still was able to hit twelve reps at times, but when that happened I didn't lighten the load for the next set, and then I'd hit fewer reps.

In general though I am happy with my strength training. I have been extremely consistent with it for the past 11 weeks and have noticed some development, especially in my biceps. Making major progress in strength or muscle development has not been a goal of mine - right now my focus is on running, of course. I think I fit in strength training pretty well as an "also" activity as opposed to a "primary" activity.

I hope this doesn't come off as braggy, but in general I've been really pleased with my healthy choices and feel like they are becoming progressively more ingrained in me. Good choices I make now without much thought are things that would have made me run to write a new blog in the past so that I could get a bunch of people to congratulate me for doing them. :) I LIKE my healthy lifestyle now. More than ever before, I see the changes I've made as permanent. Goodbye, roller coaster!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKYFYRE 6/27/2009 7:48PM

    So happy that you are living the good life! You are doing a such a great job with your workouts!

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JESSICAPAGE 6/26/2009 7:03PM

    Wow! Looks like you are doing emoticon ! Rock on and keep it up! You are an inspiration.

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RA4945 6/25/2009 4:09PM

    Wow Susan, seems that you are constantly improving on everything! I have yet to get the more consistent healthy choices ingrained in me. I'm still reaching for way too many sweets and the scale is showing it. You are doing great with your running as well. Thanks for inspiring me to run faster! I cannot wait to hear about your race. I know you will surprise even yourself!

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MBSHAZZER 6/25/2009 9:55AM

    You're going to do GREAT at the 5k! I am looking forward to reading your race report!

Also, I think it's awesome that your healthy choices are becoming ingrained. It's like learning to speak a foreign language... when you can speak it without thinking first, you're truly fluent. Sounds like you getting to the point where you can make good food & exercise choices without having to think about it first. That's great!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 6/25/2009 8:24AM

    That is so awesome that your healthy habits are becoming second nature! SWEET!!

I change my workout about every 6 weeks. I try to alternate (just like you said) between heavier weight, 6-8 reps, 3 sets, and slightly lower weight 12-15 reps, 2 sets. I also think it is good to switch up your training splits, like right now I am on a 4 days split (Tuesday chest/back, Wednesday legs, Thursday arms/shoulders, Friday abs, and then 45-60 mins cardio most days, and pilates Mon, sometimes Monday and Wed), before I was doing full body 3 times per week. I think my next workout may be Mon pilates, T: upper, Wed: lower/abs Th: upper Fri: lower/abs. I think it is also good to mix it up between more plyo type stuff and functional fitness exercises and isolation (as in conventional weight training) because they all challenge the body in new ways. What I do is write out a new schedule every 6 weeks and make a spreadsheet to fill in at the gym to track the amount of weight I did per exercise. Writing it out means that I make sure I hit every muscle, it recommits me to working out for another 6 weeks, and makes my OCD happy because I get to watch the little squares fill up, and I can make notes, like if I think I need to go up on the weight next time I write an up arrow next to the amount, it really helps me. My husband has never done this. I FINALLY got him to let me write a workout plan for him, got him to track, and suddenly he really started making gains. So, anyway I recommend it.

Protein seems really filling. I just try and eat a little fat, a little carb, and a little protein with every meal or snack. Doesn't always happen. But anything more specific than that and I get into disordered eating.

Congrats on the last day of school, WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Now you get some time to chill and where are you guys going again? I know you have the wedding next weekend. . . which we want pictures! I am guessing you ordered shoes (you're not going barefoot to this thing ;)).

Another ridiculously long comment! Have a GREAT last day of school!!!!

Comment edited on: 6/25/2009 8:26:38 AM

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TRACYZABELLE 6/25/2009 5:52AM

    Now that school is almost out, you most definitely will have time todevote to YOU! You deserve it for sure! Good luck!

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LIL_EZZY 6/25/2009 4:41AM

    YOu are a dedicated healthy fit woman. Props to you Susan.

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JENONTHEROX 6/25/2009 1:01AM

    Your last paragraph is great -- anyone who thinks what you're blogging is "braggy" well, LOL, SP isn't for them because as you know it's FULL of personal highs & lows. I know my own blogs sometimes feel just like affirmations to myself, where I'm thinking things through, checking progress or what's not working, etc.

Running at 7.5mph is ultra fantastic, I really think you have this 5K in the bag - but I know there is never room for being smug, anything can happen (well, hopefully not, that is!).

Too much protein has its negative sides too (hard on the kidneys & possibly the liver...) but like you, I get so much information & sometimes, like with protein intake, it varies... I do know that my married friends who are passionate marathoners (annoying right?! haha) definitely do NOT go the high protein route... in fact, it's all about carbs (GOOD carbs, of course) & often eat quite lightly. I remember being baffled that they sometimes use Weight Watchers recipes for their meals since they're lean & run a lot... & then in the last year I had this epiphany about it, kinda like "ohhh.. yeah, I get it now".

The weight training classes I take at my gym, the trainers seem to love working to "muscle overload" claiming our bodies "don't know numbers (reps)". One in particular changes it up constantly like you wrote of by changing the weights or even something like changing how long it takes you to lift the weight then lower (3 secs to lower, 1 sec up & vice versa). So if mixing it up is the best thing... I'm hoping one day I won't run out of options, haha!

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 6/24/2009 11:38PM

    Your times on the 5k are fabulous! Congrats.


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TERRIANGEL 6/24/2009 10:11PM

    WOW!! You're really SPEEDING UP,there girl!! NICE times! (I assume the training runs were 5K? am I reading it right?) I can't wait to see how you do on Sunday. Again - WOW!!

It sounds like y ou really have your plans together now and are finding exactly what works for YOU. So excited for you!!

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ZIRCADIA 6/24/2009 8:52PM

    WOOHOO! GOODBYE ROLLER COASTER!!! and congrats on setting a new PR in your pace training today. :D Can't wait to see what happens on race day! :D Soooooo many different opinions on macronutrient ratios, etc. From what I've read you can be healthy using pretty much any blend of macronutrient ratios as long as you're eating the right total amount of food. However, most agree that avoiding processed and refined foods is the key. Like there are cultures that live off of primarily animal meat, very little produce, and they don't have huge heart disease rates or whatever the heck. Lots of people are fine on a super low carb diet. Lots of people are fine eating VEGAN -- in fact there's like a vegan bodybuilder club of some kind and I've seen a picture of a vegan body builder that was a lean mean muscle machine. *shrugs* Who knows! I figure I'll just go with the majority and what makes sense to me the most for my current goals. Right now your focus is on running so I don't see that you would need to shift your macros for muscle building with tons of protein. I'm really trying to build muscle and get rid of some fat and so I've shifted my nutrient priorities as it were. All the time scientists are learning new things about how our diet affects our bodies so I just try to follow what a lot of people seem to agree on and what FEELS right for me. :)

RAMBLE IN A BLOG COMMENT -- oops. hahaha :D YAY for Strength Training and running and meeting your training schedule thus far.

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Week 11 Ends

Sunday, June 21, 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
Week 10 -1lb
Week 11 -0.2lb

Today's workout:
At the gym for about 35 minutes of lower-body strength training, stretching, and just a couple minutes on the recumbant bike...

...A few hours later, an outdoor run, in a misty rain, on a very hilly residential route near my parents' house:
5.52 miles
60:00 minutes
672 calories

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUN_LIFT_EAT 6/23/2009 8:39AM

    I've got to run outside! It has just been so hot here! It has been over 90 for several days and I still haven't gotten new running shoes.

Thanks Susan, I will take care of that today!

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JENONTHEROX 6/22/2009 3:06PM

    very nice break up of your workouts during the day...

you are right on track, I really admire your persistence & dedication (I like to think I'm the same way, ha!)

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 6/22/2009 11:46AM

    WOOHOO :) Great work!

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MBSHAZZER 6/22/2009 9:47AM


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TRACYZABELLE 6/22/2009 6:14AM

    You are doing great Susan! Keep up the good work

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SKYFYRE 6/22/2009 3:35AM


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SEEHOLZ 6/22/2009 1:59AM

    It sounds like you are rocking those runs!

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CREATINGMYSELF 6/21/2009 11:27PM

    Nice consistent and HEALTHY losses! Keep it up :)

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