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!!!
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!
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! :)
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!
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!
~~~Pace Training Results~~~
*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!
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
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:
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