Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Quickie post today. Just wanted to give props to my waist which surprised me by measuring 29.5" halfway between breakfast and lunch today. In fact, it was after my morning snack, so maybe maybe maybe it will stay under 30". YAY! My waist gets most improved student award today.
Also, at lunchtime, I had alotted myself a baked chicken drumstick (with the crispy skin, 'cause a girl's gotta live it up once in a while!), 1/2C mashed potatoes and 1/2C corn kernels. These were all leftovers from one of my weekend dinners. I pulled out the containers of leftovers, looked at the potatoes and thought "That's about exactly 1/2C." I pulled out the corn and thought, "Hmmm...maybe that's about 1/3C, but not quite 1/2C." I was wrong on both counts but to my advantage! I measured both. It was only 1/3C of potatoes and 1/4C of corn. So my eyes tell me that less is more! That's great news because, while most of us don't have accurate visuals of how much food we're eating, at least my eyes are estimating a portion in the wrong direction. When I go out, I'm more likely to be overestimating how much I'm eating, which is good, I think!
I was supposed to go for a long walk yesterday but the weather was so icky, I slugged out of it. My eating has been great and I'm beginning to like working with weights for my upper body just a little bit. I don't think that it's getting to easy for me, but that I'm starting to see a tiny bit of definition in my shoulders and upper arms (tiiiiiiny) and it's got me motivated to keep it up. Even the abs are showing signs of hope. I have some nice vertical shadows starting to appear down the left and right. Now if I can get some more fat off of 'em, maybe that will really look like something!
Well, I'm going to be running around the house cleaning and making everything perfect for DH's return tomorrow. DH was an Academy boy and he likes neat and tidy. I always let things slide a teeny bit when he's gone and then scurry around, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, and dusting in the last hours before he gets back. hehehe I look at it as more opportunity to burn some calories!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The lightest I got in 2008 was 125.1. I saw it once for one day, but it WAS there. That was the lowest I had been since 2005 when I had maintained at or below 125 for about 4 months. A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting online with HOLLYK08 and I was all fired up. I was saying, "I know I can do this. And maybe when I get to 116, I won't be satisfied. If I really get on a roll, maybe I could try to get to 110." Ever the voice of reason, her response was something like, "Well, just try to get to 125 first." Good point.
Mini-goals are important but it's so hard for me to set them. The only one that has ever been significant to me is getting under 130 because I once had a plateau at that weight for a long time. I have often said that 130 is the weight my body likes, so when I get under 130, that's always meaningful. The day I got married, I was 126, so that number has some significance, too. When I get to 126, I'm always happy to say that I weigh as much as I did when I got married. I had worked hard to achieve that number for my wedding day, so I never feel there's any shame in being there, either.
As a result of 126 being another "OK" number, 125 could very well be my Holy Grail. To get there, hang on, and get under that mark and STAY under will be an achievement. When DH went out of town almost 3 weeks ago, I had this fantasy idea that maybe I could be 125 by the time he got back. I like to dream big, I guess. I weighed almost 130 at the time. Now that he's 48 hours from returning, I wonder if I might as 125-point-anything by then. It will be close. I was flat 126.0 yesterday. I'm looking to lose just a few ounces. It seems so ridiculous, yet if I can do it, it would be so fabulous. Yes, I do want to see 116 and that number looms large in my legend, but oh, 125, I'd be SOOOO happy to see you!!!
I have decided that there will no cheating in trying to accomplish this, either. I will not starve myself or weigh myself dehydrated. I won't quit my weight training. I'll just keep on going and see what happens. It really is a motivator to not mess up tonight, tomorrow or Wednesday! Mini-goals can be such a pain to me because you work so hard to get "there" but then it's like, "Oh, carp, I'm not done!" hahaha I know, I know...we're never truly "done," but you know what I mean. You just want to get out of losing mode and into maintaining again.
I know if I don't see that magic number in two days, that I might see it by this weekend. I'm absolutely confident that I can. I guess my problem is that I'm so fixated on 116 that I often don't really feel like all the numbers before it deserve celebration. The thing is, when you don't have much to lose, your final figure really does seem tantalizingly close. At this point, I'm 10 pounds from that number. I know every one of them will be hard fought and not easily earned, but still...it's "only" 10. I need to lose a sack of potatoes. Maybe if I had started this game when I needed to lose 4 sacks of potatoes, I would have needed the mini-goals in between. But being 10 away, it does seem to help my momentum to keep telling myself, "It's only 10 pounds. Easy! You can do this!" Which begs the question "Then why haven't I done it before/already?" LOL
Every morning as I take my vitamin, get dressed, make the bed, unload the dishwasher, I kind of send prayers up for assistance with the day. Give me patience and perseverance. Make me strong and make me stronger and better everyday. When I'm weak, bless me with fortitude and a gust of wind at my back. There's a higher power to help me along. There are friends who care and family who are happy for me when I do better. The battle is individual but it's fought alongside empathizing souls. There are always healthy alternatives to eat in my house. There is no reason I can't go for my sunset run or walk, even if I'm begged not to. I can deny the suggestion to go out to eat or I can choose healthy options when I get there. I will not be forced off my happy little wagon.
My strategy at the moment is a really weird one. First, I don't think DH will notice my weight loss. He just never really looks, to be honest. All the odd comments he has made about my need to lose weight have been made without him really giving me a good look over. He just assumes I'm overweight. So for the most part, I'm just planning to be evasive. Yes, I am training for a 10k and he knows that, but I don't have to admit to losing weight. I'm tired of reporting on how much I weigh. It just makes life difficult. So I'm just going to say I'm not exactly sure how much I weigh, but I'm not obssessed with it because I'm more interested in my fitness, which is not measured by only the scale. It's a white lie. I measure myself by two things - a stopwatch and a scale. That number IS important to me, but reporting it is not. Not when I get nothing but stress from it. So my answer will be "I couldn't tell you how much I weigh right now, but know I'm running a lot faster." And that's that. He's just going to have to start measuring my progress with his eyeballs and stop worrying what the scale says.
So I have 125 in my crosshairs. The world's worst-kept secret between me, my best friend, and my SparkPeople peeps. It's my secret mission but it's NOT impossible!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Registration for the Ford Island Bridge Run started today. I had been waiting to see it advertised so I could run and sign up. I was the first one to run breathless into the Athletic Office on Pearl Harbor to give them my dough. Unfortunately, they reserve the first several numbers for dignitaries or something. The director told the girl processing my registrations (for DH and me), "Surely we can let her have numbers in the first 10!" They asked which numbers I wanted. I asked which ones were reserved. They said we couldn't have 1-3. I said, "Well, I've always liked Brett Favre and since the race is on 4-4, why don't you give me #4 and my DH #5?" And so they did. Little things like a low bib number make me happy. hehehe
After I signed up, I drove over to Ford Island for my first practice at running the bridge itself. The race goes over the bridge, onto Ford Island for several miles, and then returns over the bridge to the finish line. It's a 10k. Where I normally train, it's as flat as Florida. The bridge is pretty hilly. So the only way I'm going to be ready to tackle the bridge on April 4 is to tackle that sucker 30-45 minutes at a time every Friday between now and then. I think my DH thinks I'm nuts. Last year, I was not prepared for it. Muscles I had not normally used cried out in pain. I remember taking Aleve for a day or so afterward. I remember it was a wake up call.
My trial run today showed me that the final trip back off the island is much steeper than the initial run onto the island. I ran outbound in 11:45 and inbound in 8:50. That's a pretty big difference. Considering the bridge is only 0.86 mile (the main part that I ran, anyway, so sayeth MapMyRun.com), that really stinks! My overall average was 12:14 miles. Yug. I started at 0 ft (sea level) and climbed to a height of 52 feet. Double yug.
Since my overall goal is to run the 6.2 miles in 1 hour or less, my flat miles would need to be about 9 minute miles for me to accomplish that. I'm no where near that right now. I'm doing more like 11 minute flat miles. I don't know how I managed 1:04 last year. I must have had a LOT of adrenaline pumping. But I know that this year I will be better prepared. Starting earlier and actually working that bridge into my training is going to help a lot. Oh yeah...and I already weigh less than I did on race day. It's amazing how much faster your body can move when it isn't lugging around extra pounds of chunk!
The race is 10 weeks from tomorrow and I'm on an 8 week training program to increase my speed, so I have a fair enough mount of time for improvement. I need to really focus on this now. I so badly want to beat last year's time. I think my DH ran it in 52 minutes last year. I admire how fast he is. I still dream of running across the finish line with him someday. I would frame a photo like that!
I'm committed to reaching my weight goal now in great part because I know it will benefit my running so much and the flip side is that running is helping immensely with me reaching my weight goal. My birthday is Sunday and with it, I have been moved up to the next age class for women. Sad is that is, it also means I'm among the youngest in my group. I hope that gives me some meager advantage. hahaha I know I'll never be super speedy but I'd like to place well for once. I don't want to half-ass my training one bit. Whatever time I get, I want to know that I really trained hard and gave it my best shot. If I miss my goal, I don't want to wonder how much better I might have done had I trained better. I don't want to settle this year. I want to fly like the wind!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I was thinking the other day about how this time last year, I was just above the 130 mark and struggled for an entire month to get under 130. When I finally got solidly under 130, I was tired out. I kept losing weight while I was training for a run, but as soon as the run was over, I started maintaining and effectively took a break. I still got some activity, but I let slip on weighing and measuring everything, logging it all, and drinking as much water as I should. It all just started to slide a little until I return from vacation in September and realized I had bounced back up over the 130 mark. Then I got back on the wagon and brought that number down again until the holidays when I decided it was OK to maintain or even gain a pound or two, but holiday foods, even in moderation, can add up and I did not want to give up everything.
Today my scale is saying 127.6 and instead of feeling challenged to get under 130, I feel challenged to get and stay consistently under 125. My mind has wrapped around the fact that 127, though it looks pretty nice and certainly better than 137, is not where I want to be. I can see the fat that I want to lose and I still have a 30" waist. So while last year, 127 might have been an admirable number, it has slowly become my new "fat" number. If you're a football fan, you may have become familiar with the term "moving the sticks." It means you got to your 10 yard mark to get a first down and now the guys on the sidelines with the fluorescent orange markers move down field to keep measurement of where you need to go next. Well, I have effectively moved the sticks mentally.
As of today, I feel like I'm re-starting where I left off last year. I have new energy and a renewed commitment to the battle. I am grateful that I started the new year much lighter than I did last year. I don't want to dally and be at this forever, but I'm happy that I've moved the sticks and now I'm ready to focus on getting those next 10! It's all baby steps, of course, and I know I'll treat myself to some new candles when I reach 125, but I wonder how long I'll be this driven again before I need a break. Will I get to 116 first? Will I slack after I run my 10k in April? I hope not.
There's a half-marathon in June that I had wanted to do but I now realize that I will be gone on vacation at that time. I'm going to try to find another event at my vacation location to run in so I have no excuse to slack.
I keep telling myself that last year, I was soooo much further away from goal than I am now. I am glad to be losing slowly so I have time to adjust and wrap my mind around the new numbers, but I tell myself I have "only" 11 pounds left. My trek to goal should NOT take me another year. It has only taken this long because I fit in some of my old clothes and lost incentive. Well, no more. "Good enough" is not good enough in 2009! I think there is some truth to the last pounds being the hardest but I don't want to accept that. I prefer to be challenged by that and tell myself it's all the more reason to go running further, longer, faster and to increase the amount of weights I lift so I truly feel some burn in those muscles. You don't see football teams saying, "Hey, coach, we made three first downs. We'd like to take a break now." Nooo!!! You don't walk off that field until you score that touchdown no matter how tired, sweaty, and muddy you get. I had my break. I drank my Gatorade. Now I'm not getting off that field 'til someone smacks me on the ass and says, "Good game!"
Sunday, January 18, 2009
My next race is 4/4/09 - the 2009 Ford Island Bridge Run (10k). My goal is to run it in under an hour. Last year, I did 1:04 but I KNOW I can do better. I have a couple of factors working in my favor:
1) I'm already running for distance and endurance. Last year at this time, I had just started out and was barely running a mile or two without walking. I've progressed beyond that, so my next 2 1/2 months can be focused on getting faster rather than just dealing with distance running itself.
2) I'm lighter now than I was a year ago. Last year, I weighed on race day what I do today. I've been down a few, up a few, now back to the same weight. I currently am back in "weight loss" mode and, with consistent training, I should be building muscle and losing fat between now and race day. I think 10 weeks is plenty of time to get in prime shape for the race.
3) I'm doing speed training at least 5 days a week. I found a great regimen from my September 2007 Cooking Light magazine that incorporates sprints and weight training. It's designed to build muscles in the legs and increase speed in 8 weeks. I started the program last week and have felt stronger and faster on every run. Maybe it's all in my head, though. Part of the program is that you time an average 5k (10k in my case), and then you throw away the stop watch for 4 weeks. Then you time yourself again, throw it away another 4 weeks, and time yourself at the 8 week point to check your progress. I have been pretty attached to my stop watch lately so it was hard for me to give up, but I'm confident this program will help so I'm doing what the trainer says.
4) I'm conquering the bridge! The hardest part of the race is a steep ascent over the bridge at the beginning and end of the race. Part of the speed program is to incorporate hills in my run. Where I live, it's as flat as Florida, so the "hill" on the bridge is the worst I will have to deal with on race day. So what am I going to do? Every Friday afternoon, I'm going to drive down to Ford Island and run that bridge back and forth three times! This way, I will have run that sucker 60 times before race day. The incline of the bridge is hard but it also seems to be a psychological barrier. Last year, I couldn't help but think, "Uh oh, here comes the dreaded bridge." Not this year! This year, that bridge is going DOWN!
So that's the master plan. In addition to the physical training, I'm a lot more vigilant about counting my WW Points, taking my vitamins, drinking my water, eating my f/v and all that fun stuff. That's not a big deal for me. The thing that really has me strict is that I've jumped back on the Wendie Plan. It's a high-low variation of Points consumption throughout the week similar to calorie cycling and it works, but you can't just eat what you like on any given day willy nilly. The last time I did it, I lost 4 pounds in my first week. I don't imagine having that kind of victory so fast this time around since I don't have much to lose, but I do think it will kick start my losses and keep me from plateauing. I imagine my loss rate might be between a few ounces and a pound each week, and I'd be quite satisfied with that.
The other cool thing is that the Submarine Birthday Ball is 2 weeks after the bridge run, so my training will have the dual effect (I hope, right?) of having me looking smokin' for the big event! I bought an evening gown I found on clearance that fits me perfectly right now and I have another one in my closet that will fit me if I lose some inches off my torso and thighs. I am prepared for either possibility. It's not that I have an Elvis closet. It's just that I once upon a time bought an evening gown that was (oops!) way too small for me and it has been my dream to fit into it for the ball. This is the third year it has been taunting me from its hanger and I really would love to finally wear it. Besides my wedding dress, it's the prettiest dress I've ever owned and it pains me to see it hanging there waiting for Cinderella to wear it to the ball.
Other news: my DH has been gone for work for the last week and won't be back home for over another week. I have written before about his - how to put it nicely? - "persistence" about me losing weight and my competitiveness with him to get fit. It seems he has been losing the battle recently. He just went up from 30s to 32s in pants and hasn't worked out consistently in months. No bike rides to work. No Tuesday-Thursday workout group. He has only gone running with me twice and played racquetball maybe 3 times since...Halloween? I can see he has a few pounds to lose (couldn't tell you how many...he insists on knowing how much I weigh but hasn't told me how much he weighs these days), but it's not the end of the world. I know he'll shave them off in record time when he sets his mind to it. Meanwhile, if this is a race, it's one that I'm presently winning and not feeling one bit guilty about it. I imagine when he gets home in a couple of weeks, he'll zoom past me like I'm standing still. I'm enjoying this leg up while I've got it.
So with Cake's "Going the Distance" pumping in my ears from my little Shuffle, I'm off for an exhilarating power walk. 2 months, 16 days, 22 hours and 2 minutes to race day! (The countdown is on my screen right now - downloaded from timeleft.com for free!)
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