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The Running (Odd) Couple

Friday, September 02, 2011

I've been meaning to post this blog all week, but I have been so busy that I haven't had a chance to finish it until now!

Saturday night, our daughter slept all night long, again! She has slept through the night since she was about 6 weeks old - give or take a night here and there - until three weeks ago. In the last three weeks she's slept through the night just three times, now, tho two of them were this past weekend. We're hoping she's getting to the end of this particular phase, tho she woke up at 4am, Saturday morning (but I was able to get her back to sleep in 15 minutes). At the time we were seriously worried about her sleep regression - and also getting very tired from waking up so often. Fortunately, since then she's been getting back in the the sleeping through the night routine and mommy and daddy have been getting some much needed rest. But, anyway, I digress.

So, I followed my plan that I mentioned in my last post, and ran with my wife on Sunday morning in lieu of my Saturday morning run.

Running with my wife is definitely a little slice of the "Odd Couple."

I've been running for quite some time, now, plus I have a running background from when I was in school. My wife has a tennis background and chronic asthma (tho she's mostly outgrown it), and only began running for any real distance in the year before she got pregnant (my fault, of course, for killing her momentum, but hey, i'm not apologizing).

I do my training runs at a 9-10 minute/mile pace. My wife does her training runs at 13-15 minute/mile pace.

We ran together at the gym twice. The first time went well, but the second time she ran too fast (said she was trying too hard to impress me) and wore herself out before we got that far. I begged off the last time she tried to get me to run with her, but this last week she convinced me to run with her because that this was really how we needed to do our runs to fit into our weekend schedule.

So, we dropped off our daughter at nana's house and then went for our 6 mile run. We didn't start our run until 8am, so it was definitely going to be warm. The high for that day ended up around 108/110 and it was already around 85 when we started our run and had to have been well into the 90's when we finished it around 9:30.

As we ran I gave her some tips and we chatted about running and life and various things. We decided that instead of running a long out-and-back that we would do laps around the park down the street. Part of the run went by a section of the park where they have all the various exercise things like chin-up bars, push-up bars, monkey bars, etc. My wife discussed doing the monkey bars and she bet me that I couldn't do them. So, off I ran ahead of her and swung very clumsily across the monkey bars as well as I could with the bars being hot from the sun and my hands sweaty from running - But, I did them!

We had a good time, but it got hot and we were definitely glad when it came time to head back.

This was my wife's longest run, yet - not just her longest training run, so far, but also her longest run, ever, in her entire life! She was a good sport right up until the extra block I made her do to ensure she finished a full 6.0 miles (she HATES running *just* under when her gps shows 4.98 or even 4.99 like her previous two runs). We ended up running around a 15.25 minutes/mile pace, but she ran the whole way and was very proud of herself - as I was of her.

My mistakes on the run were fiddling with my fingernails on the first part of the run because I wasn't used to running so slow, and then the one time I stopped running and was walking nearly the same pace she was running. She said if she didn't know better that I was bored and trying to show her up. Oops! Definitely not good coaching if I'm making her feel bad. I'm the one who told her she should run as slow as it takes for her to be able to finish after I realized that the reason she was previously having a problem with not being able to run very far was because she was trying to run too fast. The rest of the run went swimmingly after I corrected those mistakes and quickly apologized.

Anyway, she continues to work hard and train hard and surprises herself every week. I tell her she doesn't surprise me because I knew she can do it as long as she commits to the training.

I have no worries about her not being able to finish her half marathon in December. She will be more than ready and I know she will surprise herself yet again. I can't wait to be at the finish line with our daughter to cheer her on to the finish!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRANDIMACD 9/6/2011 1:14PM

    You sound like a really great coach!

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SARAHMAC1978 9/2/2011 12:23PM

    So nice that you went running with her. When Mike and I run together, he typically takes off. I'm okay with that, though. I get too anxious about slowing others down.

I am like your wife in that I am not very fast. Although, once I started doing Jeff Galloway's run/walk intervals, my pace improved quite a bit. Has your wife ever considered doing his program?

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KKINNEA 9/2/2011 11:11AM

    So awesome!! Sounds like her training is going great! I gotta get my registration in gear so I have my slot for Las Vegas.

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Healthier Blood!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

If I didn't already know that I am healthier due to all my exercising, I've just received additional confirmation.

I previously had a list of a few health problems that I was worried about, and that was just from being 35 pounds overweight! My back problems with the shooting pains, burning, and discomfort down my leg (that I was getting pain management shots for every 4 months), mild sleep apnea, prehypertension/borderline hypertension, and a few others.

After losing just 15 pounds my back and leg problems started to disappear.

After losing 20 pounds the sleep apnea diagnosis went away.

After losing 30+ pounds my leg problems are nearly gone and my sleep apnea is definitely gone and yesterday I found out so more good news.

Two years ago my cholesterol level was 200 which is on the bottom of the borderline high range. Not horrible, but definitely something my doctor said she was going to watch. I know that I definitely did not eat very well for a long time and I hadn't really exercised much if at all since high school.

However, after two years, my total cholesterol level was re-tested just a couple weeks ago (when I gave blood). I got the results, yesterday, and it showed that my total cholesterol level has dropped to 173! Just from exercising more and eating better. Looks like all this running is paying off right and left.

Now if only I could get my bp to drop out of the 130's.
But at least I haven't had any readings in the 140's-160's!

One thing at time, tho, right?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 8/31/2011 11:27AM


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ELYMWX 8/31/2011 12:30AM

    Yup - the blood, heart, and lungs are healthier long before you've lost most of the weight. Congratulations!

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SARAHMAC1978 8/30/2011 2:02PM

    Yay, congratulations! That's fantastic!!

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FINALLY - Yet, blah.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

For the first time in two weeks... my daughter slept through the night! It wasn't pretty, but it happened. My wife put her in bed at 9:15, but just 10 minutes later she was standing up, awake, and unhappy. My wife went in (it was her turn) and laid her back down and patted her until she fell asleep. 10 minutes later she was standing up, awake, and unhappy AGAIN. So, my wife told 30 minutes this time to make sure she was asleep. So, at 10:15 we finally get to bed.

5:45 in the morning she lets out a little cry, but stays asleep. 6:15am and my wife and I give each other high fives, chest bumps, and a forearm smash. 7:15am and she wakes up, but this time she wakes up happy and talking and in a pretty darn good mood.


So, why am I so tired? Oh, yeah. It's from the previous two weeks that she woke up at least once or twice a night.

Even though I am going to run with my wife, tomorrow, on her 6 mile run, I still planned to get up this morning and do a run at my own pace of somewhere between 2 and 7 miles. Well, it was already 90 degrees and 8am and I had a clothesline to hang and consulting work to do and a house to clean... So, it didn't happen.

And boy do I feel like a sad, tired slacker. Even though I got in my 3 days of running last week and I'm just switching today's run to tomorrow, I have a bad feeling about this 3 days a week running schedule. Even though I like the idea of getting an extra day of longer sleep, the extra day of sleeping in seems to be making me MORE tired. Or maybe that's just because today is 3 days in a row of rest when I have previously been running 4 days a week and never scheduled more than 1 day off in a row?

Whatever it is, I don't like it. And for the umpeenth time, I really need to get some ST in. Wish my shoulder would finally get back to normal. It's feeling better than it has, but still is maybe only 70%.

However, I did borrow P90X from my friend for my wife and I to do together, so maybe that will get rid of this feeling. But we've had it for a week now. Just have to actually do it...

I have a serious case of the meh's right now.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMSMILEY88 8/27/2011 10:56PM

    First of all, congrats on baby sleeping through the night! And, it sounds like you have a great marriage sharing the workload & working out together! Hopefully, everything will get in sync, but sometimes life just feels crazy! Especially when there's a baby in ypthe house. Enjoy the craziness!

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KKINNEA 8/27/2011 7:53PM

    Sometimes things are meh - this too shall pass!

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Too Many Sugary Snacks

Friday, August 26, 2011

This week I went on Sugar over-load. Usually I am able to fit my sweet tooth cravings into my daily nutrition plan because even tho my calorie range on SP is 2400-2800, I usually eat between 2100-2500. I am also usually really good and substituting and re-arranging my snacks as needed. I can even eat out two or three times a week with not problems (tho, I usually only eat out maybe once or twice).

Well, I went overboard this week. Those Lofthouse chocolate frosted chocolate cookies I buy at Smith's are just too heavenly. I usually can buy the box of 10 and eat just one or two a day and share the rest with my boss. However, this week I ate FOUR of them on Monday. And my wife found a coupon for buy-one-get-one-free bags of M&M's thinking they were just the small one-serving size bags, only to find out at the store that they were for bags 9 oz or larger! And instead of saying "oh, well" and not using it, I bought two 11 oz bags of peanut butter M&M's.

So, needless to say, I've been over 3,000 calories every day this week except for Tuesday when I somehow managed to only eat 2,300. And it doesn't help that this is my first week back after my half marathon, which means I'm running lower mileage, plus I also just switched to running only 3 days a week instead of 4. So, I better finish off this last bag of M&M's and get back on track. I may be at a "healthy" weight, but I don't need to eat myself back into "overweight" status.

On the plus side, I haven't had an Large M&M Sonic Blast in at least 6 months, now. I used to have one almost every night. I also can't remember the last time I've been to McDonald's (I could look it up on my nutrition tracker, but hey, plausible deniability!). I'm also still happy that I'm getting 4 or 5 servings of fruits & vegetables almost every day. I used only get 1, maybe 2 if I was lucky. I also haven't had any coffee or any other caffeinated beverage in almost 8 months. I now drink a non-caffeinated soda maybe once or twice a week instead of every day, which I hope my dentist will appreciate.

This Sunday I will NOT buy any sugary snacks at the grocery store. That's my #1 goal for next week.

Goal #2? Figure out a way to get my daughter (who just turned 15 months, today!) to start sleeping through the night, again! I think all this sleepiness is affecting my will-power and tilting my slide into emotional eating. You're getting sleeeeeepyyy... verrrryyy sleeeeepyyyy....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAHMAC1978 8/29/2011 5:28PM

    I think we need a little light binging every once and a while, but only if we know we can get back on course easily enough. How much would it suck if we could never have those things that we crave?

Good luck on your goals - particularly the one about your daughter, since that might be the trickier one to control!!

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    I agree as well on the being tired and having it affect you eating! Evil sleepiness! At least you know your problem and have set a goal! W2G!

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KKINNEA 8/26/2011 1:45PM

    Yes, agree on the sleepiness and food willpower. Just keep doing the gentle course correction and you will get back on track.

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Sometimes My Body Needs Food!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

10 days ago I ran my half marathon and then I took the next week off. For most of that next week, however, I didn't lower my calorie intake to account for my lack of exercise.

The day of the race I ate right about the low end of my calorie range which is normal for me. For a couple days after the race I ate 200 or 300 calories less, but the rest of the week I was at least 300 OVER the high end of my calorie range which is a lot of calories.

Didn't matter. By the middle of the week after my race I had dropped 3 pounds (probably water weight my body had been storing up for the race). And after I finally went for a run on this Sunday morning, I was down 1 more pound. After overeating on Monday (took my nearly 15 month old daughter to her first baseball game on $1 everything night), then sensibly on Tuesday and running again on Monday morning and again this morning, I was still at my new lower weight.

My wife would hate to hear this because she already thinks I am getting too thin and also because when she eats badly for 1 meal on 1 or 2 days during a week, she ALWAYS ends up gaining at least a pound for the whole week, regardless of how well she eats for the rest of the week. And she's been yo-yo'ing for the past month.

On another topic... This morning I ran 4 miles. When I started my run it was 86 degrees shortly after 5am. And yes, that was the coolest part of the day! Reminded me of last summer when we had the hottest July EVER in Las Vegas and it never dropped below 90 degrees for a full week! Those were some HOT runs. And this morning was very similar.

So, I didn't want to do a full-blown speed workout this morning since I am still in recovery mode from my last half. Instead, I decided part-way through this morning's run that I wanted to try to do some type of speed test to see what I was capable of over a short distance and then to calculate how that would translate over a longer distance. What I ended up doing was running hard for the last quarter-mile of my second mile (exactly one block). I timed my quarter mile at 1:28 - which is approximately a 5:52 minute mile pace. This gave me a few flashbacks.

Towards the end of this burst of speed, I remembered all of why running track in high school was so difficult. I running almost completely on my toes. Arms pumping. Legs churning as fast as they could go. The lactic acid was strangling my leg muscles as those same muscles screamed for more oxygen. The back of my throat and my lungs were burning as they tried in vain to supply that much oxygen. And my mind only had time to think just one thought until I finished: "Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod!"

Then I finished that quarter mile and gasped for breath as I tried to manage a slow recovery jog on legs that were suddenly turning to jello. The burning in my lungs slowly faded, but never completely went away (I still feel it right now).

In the past couple years, when I'm doing a training run at a 10 or 11 minute mile pace, or racing a 5k between an 8 and 9 minute mile pace, or racing a half marathon (at around a 9:30 min/mile pace) and I sprint to the finish at a 6 or 7 minute mile pace, it feels like I'm superman and I can out-sprint anybody; and I wonder why I couldn't sprint like this at the end of my races back in high school.

Then I remember that in high school I ran my races faster than my current finishing sprint pace, and all those thoughts go away.

Some days I long to train to break a 5 minute mile. To prove that I really can do it. To prove to myself that my inner strength and confidence and maturity really has grown. But then I have a day like today, and I wonder why I want to put myself through all that work for a goal that won't have any real benefits or trophies. I'll only be able to say "I did it!" and that's it. What's the point of that?

I'm not sure, but I'll let you know what that point is if I ever achieve it. And whether I achieve it, or even decide to actually try to achieve it, remains to be seen. In the meantime, I still have my health, my flashbacks and my recent achievements to hold on to.

Thanks for reading.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAHMAC1978 8/24/2011 4:07PM

    I empathize with your wife. My boyfriend drops weight so easily, and if I have a single drink, it seems like I am up several pounds...for days.

Dude - if you run a 5 minute mile, I'll send you a trophy. emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 8/24/2011 3:49PM

    I don't have a track background & can't imagine looking back on those kinds of runs. Actually, the paces you run NOW are my dreamy, some-day goals!

As far as temps, I can relate! I joined a new group & we are running near 9 am. It has been 90 & 91 degrees when we finish...and about 1/4 of our run is in the sun! The low here has only been about 80. Dreaming of cooler weather...man, how fast we'll be then!

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KKINNEA 8/24/2011 3:06PM

    I always focus on the long term - I want to run for as many years as I am able. That usually damps down some of the zaniness.

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