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My 5K

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Today I did what is most likely my last practice run before the race. (After this I want to take it easy on my joints and do just elliptical or stairmaster.) I ran 3.1 miles/5K in 27 minutes and 36 seconds!!! By my race's results from LAST year, that would put me in 36th place overall (out of 75) and 14th female. Of course it is not fair to compare treadmill times with outdoor race times. I am hoping that the adrenaline factor of the race will push me hard though. I was KILLING myself to run that fast today.

After that, I just couldn't bear any more running, so I did 65 minutes on the elliptical. My heart rate would not go below 160 for over 20 minutes! I need a heart rate monitor, I'm sure my heart rate goes sky high when I run.

I plan on doing about 60 minutes of lighter cardio tomorrow and light strength training, then maybe 60-120 minutes of very light cardio on Friday. Lots of stretching. Lots of water and plenty of food (I earned 10 APs today!).

I realized something very obvious today that I used to know but had lost sight of. The more fruit and vegetables I eat, the more I can eat! That's because fruit and vegetables are very low in calories. Duh!!! But I still need to get in my calcium, healthy fat, and protein, so I can't just eat veggies all day long. Those healthy fats really add up fast. I eat 9 points of nuts every day! It's a yummy treat and very healthy, but I COULD just do my 2 tspons of EVOO for 2 points. Not sure if that would be enough fat. I'll have to experiment.

I should get going...wanted to do some errands and Jess wants me to stay in Boston tonight!


Feeling Better

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Well, it's late morning on my third day in a row of getting up at 10 a.m. and it turns out that a LOT of my issues were due to major sleep deprivation! Sleep is so important I just can't stress it enough. I have been sleeping about 11 hours a night the past few nights! I don't think I always need that many, but certainly I'm one of those people who do better the more sleep I can get. Considering I have to get up around 6:30 (give or take) on a typical work day, I need to be in bed with the lights out by 10:00 every night at the latest. That way I can take a few minutes to fall asleep and still get 8 hours. Even better, I'd give myself 9 or 10 hours by going to bed at 8:00 or 9:00. Of course I was TRYING to do that around the end of last week, but I wasn't able to fall asleep because of caffeine. So, obviously I need to stick to my rule - no caffeine after 12:00 noon. In fact, save coffee for special treats rather than having it every day. Do tea instead.

Clothing size: I just was able to put on those size 2 cargo pants I have. They were tight, but they closed fine and I could walk and sit in them. Holy smackers!!:) I also did a little research at The Limited a couple days ago. I got the same pants in every size from 2-10. They all fit, if by "fit" you mean you can button and zip them up without anything ripping and you're able to sit down (at the smaller end) and you can walk in them without them falling off (bigger end). The ones that fit best were the 8s and 6s. Honestly because of the style of these pants I prefered the look of the 8s, but in other pants I would have prefered the tighter look of the 6s. The 4s were the ones I tried on first and I was totally psyched to see how I could easily zip them up, sit down in them, walk in them, etc. But they weren't the most flattering choice for my butt. :)

I just went through my closet and had to remove a few more items. Some were borderline but I took them out anyway. They wouldn't fall off, but they wouldn't look good. I was less picky with skirts, a lot of my old skirts are big but not so big they'll fall off, they'll just sit lower on my waist and look longer. I do need new pants now, but I want to wait because I am definitely in that LMNO stage of the 2-4-6-8 pants, where you can quickly go from one to another to another just by dropping 5 or 10 pounds.

I want to lose 15 more pounds.

So my big race is this Saturday and the weather is going to actually BE NICE for a change. 60 and sunny - PERFECT!!! For the past several days it was in the 30s-40s and raining with a touch of snow thrown in. This is why I didn't run with Jason or watch the marathon or even walk around outside much with him yesterday - we mosty stayed in the Prudential Mall. The first thing he said to me was, "You've lost weight - and you've straightened your hair." :)

Back to my race. I would definitely say a nice big coffee is OK that morning. Well, either nice and big and EARLY or smaller if it's closer to race time because I don't need to be sloshing around in the race, or needing to pee either! I also want to have a substantial meal the night before - maybe even pasta! (whole wheat, of course). If I do, I will measure out 1 serving. If not, I want to have something else substantial like a sweet potato (mmmmmm) and other items to make it well-balanced. Then a good breakfast like a banana, yogurt, and cereal or something and water/tea. I have to be there at 9:30-10:00, so I'll have to have breakfast before that. The race starts at 11:00 so maybe I'll bring a snack to eat at 10:30, but I should probably stop drinking around then so I don't have to pee while I'm running. The race will only be about a half hour (god willing I can run that fast) so I shouldn't worry too much. Of primary importance is that I am well rested, not sore (no killer workouts Thurs. or Fri.!), and well fed/hydrated (just not too close to race time). I really think that having other people around is going to push me to new limits. I am starting to fantasize about actually coming in at a decent place for my division or whatever. So exciting!!!:)

Today I am going to run at the gym. I think I will try to run a 5K as fast as I can, then slow down and finish up an hour at a more comfortable pace. Probably this should be the last time I run before the race - lots of elliptical Thursday and Friday!!! That machine is so awesome, I'm glad I live in a time where the elliptical exists. Last night I used it for an hour at level 11 with no magazine, just watching my heart rate and speed. I went slower than I would on a treadmill - 3.1 miles (5K) in 38 minutes, but I think that's normal since I use resistance, go backwards, etc. I also have been using less resistance on the elliptical than I used to - used to use14, now I don't like how that feels. I think resistance around 11-12 feels more like running to me. The guy next to me put his on 8, I noticed. Anyway, it took me 10 minutes to get my heart rate over 135, but once I finally did, it was easy to keep it up. I actually got it up to around 156 for a long time, then toward the very end pushed it up over 160. Brought it back to 120 with the cooldown. In my pre-SP/WW era, it was easier to get a high heart rate. It would go up into the 170s when I pushed hard. This is real progress.

That reminds me - saw Pamela yesterday. She had a heart attack despite not being overweight, no high blood pressure or cholesterol. She has had stints put in and is on all kinds of meds. The reason for her blockage was STRESS! She discovered that that "fight or flight" feeling you get when your adrenal glands pump adrenaline (norephinephrine??) can actually cause plaque in your arteries! If you are feeling overwhelmed at work you can have that feeling many times a day. I am very glad to learn this, because it means that diet, exercise, sleep, AND relaxation/stress control are all equally important for your heart!

I think that deep down my heart is really my #1 reason for doing all this. I want to live a long, healthy, happy life.


Didn't Run with Jason :(

Sunday, April 15, 2007

There was a downpour all day so I didn't do that 3 mile run I'd been looking forward to. Plus, at the gym I was dragging a bit today. I am in pretty good shape, yes, but after skiing all day yesterday and recently adding so much to my routine, I need to feel OK about having days where I take it easy! Not skipping exercise altogether, but doing light workouts.


State of the Susan Address

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just felt like seeing where my writing takes me today. At this point I have been going strong for almost three full months and am probably on the longest stretch of my life. (Kinda sad I've never been able to stick to a health program for this long before...but the good news is that I am now!) At this point I probably have two main areas of focus:

1) Pushing myself to new accomplishments, fitness-wise


2) Figuring out how to make my nutrition program fit into real life permanently.

Wow, I hadn't realized how clear my goals were and how well they complimented each other until just now, when I wrote them down. That's what's so great about blogging.

Fitness-wise, I have really added variety while pushing harder with my core basics (elliptical/stair climber, strength training, and stretching). The variety comes from running (treadmill and outdoors) and biking, with other fun things thrown in when I can, like skiing yesterday.

Diet-wise, some days I just am going to be too active to stick within 1,200 to 1,300 calories. On those days, I will eat more, using the number of activity points I've earned as a guide. I might use some, all, or even go over and use flex, depending on how I feel. But no matter how much I need to eat, nutritious food is always better than junk, of course.

But in real life, over the course of my life, I want to eat healthy most of the time. Every once in a while I'm going to eat something less than perfect, like an ice cream cone when I'm walking through town on the Cape this summer, or a piece of cake at a party. And you know what I am going to do? I am going to get the smallest size I can, and not necessarily finish it, but I am going to enjoy it! I'm not going to draw any attention to the fact that I ordered the kiddie cone or that I left half the cake under the napkin, either. Just like Jess' cousin's thin girlfriend did at Easter, she took small helpings of everything but left a lot on her plate. She didn't mention anything about it, and she looked totally normal. I did well at Easter too, but I stood out with just turkey and fruit salad on my plate, and finishing every morsel. I need to start following the habits of naturally thin women. Because I am one now!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

Of course, the majority of days I should still stick with as close to 1,200 calories as I can handle, with all my nutritious food doing everything it can inside me to make me the healthiest person I can be. At least until I get to "my goal weight." However, I have a strong feeling that no matter what weight I achieve, I am going to want to aim for a lower one. The only way I might actually decide to stop losing weight would be if I hit the very bottom of the healthy weight range for my height. I don't want all my health efforts to make me UNhealthy, of course. But considering that the bottom of the range for my height is 114, I have quite a ways to go. So I have a feeling I might be following this plan for quite some time yet.

And even when I do decide it's time to actively try to maintain rather than lose, I still want to follow the plan. I will just add in the 4 extra points per day that WW recommends, and then adjust according to their plan (add points if you are still losing, take away points if you start gaining). I will track my food and attend WW meetings for life.

One last item that is absolutely crucial - sleep. I have known for a while now that I need plenty of sleep to succeed on this program, but what I am learning now is how caffeine can ruin my efforts to get enough sleep. On Friday afternoon I had a cup of coffee at 2 p.m. and some caffeinated tea later in the evening. I was VERY tired and knew I had a full day of skiing ahead of me, so I tried to go to sleep around 8:30. Between the caffeine and Jess having the TV on in the living room, I could not fall asleep until probably around 11. Then I was awake before the alarm on Saturday morning, a bit before 6 a.m., and got up. I was sooo tired at Mount Sunapee. Being tired is 100% counterproductive to a weight loss program because it makes you think you're hungry, want to eat, and NOT want to exercise/move your body. Plus it makes you a grouch so nobody can stand you! I did feel a bit better after lunch, which was HUGE for me lately (I estimate it was about 16 oz. of chili), and I had another coffee. But last night we went to sleep around 8 p.m. and got up this morning at 7:30. I was awake a lot, but definitely got enough sleep despite that. I feel SO MUCH BETTER now. And I am VERY grateful that I still weigh 139.4 despite the almost 2,000 calories I had yesterday. Phew!

So....NO MORE CAFFEINE after 12:00 p.m. sharp, let's say. That includes a ban on decaf coffee after 12:00, but I think decaf tea is still OK. (If I am still having trouble sleeping I will change that.) And I don't think I necessarily need coffee every day. Maybe I will save it for a once-in-a-while treat. I think having lots of tea is healthier anyway, and the less coffee I drink the more tea I will have. I could also try hot water mixed with milk and sweetener....not sure if I'll like it...we'll see. Just remember, sleep is AS IMPORTANT if not MORE than diet and exercise, because it's the first building block. If I'm not adequately rested, I can't do all the other things I need to do to stay/get even more fit and healthy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZESTYLADY 4/15/2007 10:43AM

    Enjoyed your post. Sleep depriavtion is my biggest trigger for screwing up. Can't under-estimate good ZZZZ"s!

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5K Race!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I just signed up for the 10th Annual Quincy Lions Club Run/Walk for Sight on April 21, 2007!!! What a day. :)


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