Weight Tracker

Monday, December 30, 2013

Breaking in the New Shoes

Ooft. So the holidays totally threw me off track. After the Reindeer Run, I didn't find another chance to run all week.

I did get a lot of awesome running gear for Christmas, I am totally decked out now. The best part was the box I opened with an old shoe in it. Inside the shoe was money for me to go get myself new running shoes! So Saturday, having not run a step all week, I went to my local running store and got myself fitted for new shoes, for the first time ever.

Yes, this is the first time I actually went and got myself fitted for shoes. Yes, it was an eye opening experience. I would now urge any beginning runners to, as soon as finances allow ( real running shoes are expensive! ) go get yourself fitted.

First off, I apparently have been wearing shoes two sizes too small. Yes. Not a half size, not even one whole size, two entire sizes too small. Also, I over pronate (which I knew) and I also do something called "supination" or something, where I run almost entirely on the outside edges of my feet.

So now I have spiffy new shoes, that aren't too small and will help with the weirdness in my gait. Yay!

All of this new stuff needed to be used, so Sunday, after not running for an entire week, I dressed and forced myself out the door. I had decided, after the fiasco of the hills at the Reindeer Run, that I would do some of the hills around my house. Since it was warm-sh out, I decided I'd do that now, even though it was drizzling, with intermittent heavier rain. I live on a hill, a big hill, almost at the bottom of the hill. I planned my route to run up the hill, across the top and then up a big nasty hill and around the top of Cobbs Hill reservoir, and then back. When I mapped the route on Map my run it came out to right around 3 miles. When I ran it, however, I totally couldn't tell where I had started the loop at the reservoir, and ended up doing an extra loop. The run ended up being just shy of 4 miles.
Elevation chart for the run. Note the Hill of Doom.

The hill starting out was brutal. Again, I'm not used to running hills, and it really uses different muscles than flat running. Also, my lungs were burning, and I wasn't really running that fast! I toughed it out on the uphill, and recovered on a short down hill and a (relatively) flat stretch. When I got to the big, massive, hill of doom, I walked. I just couldn't take that long steep uphill yet. Luckily there are very nicely spaced "do not park" signs all the way up the hill. I alternated running from one sign to the next, and then walking for one sign. The loop at the top is almost perfectly flat, which was nice. It's also got an amazing view, both of the surrounding area, and of the partially frozen reservoir. I was really enjoying the run, and kinda forgot where I had jumped into the loop. By the time I had figured out where I needed to exit the loop to take the road back down, I was already another half loop around. Like I said, I ended up doing a full extra loop around the top. I did stop halfway through the second loop to take a couple pictures, but other than that I ran the entire time.

The decent on the hill of doom was surprising to me. For as little as I've ran uphill, I've done serious downhills even less. I had a really hard time controlling my run on the down hill. I had to stop and wait for a light close to the bottom of the hill. That was a new thing for me as well, this is the first time I've run along streets with actual cars  on them and intersections I had to cross. I was lucky with my timing though, and that one light was the only one I had to wait at.

I wasn't really paying attention to my speed, and my app screwed up so there's no information on my splits. However, it felt ok, and my over all time gave me an average of 12:20 min/miles. With all the walking I did on that long uphill, I think that averages out to my normal running pace when I was actually running.

I did notice a BIG difference running in the new shoes. My feet never hurt, for one. I did notice that the sides of my calves hurt a bit while I was running, and are sore today. I think that's from the change in my gait. I'm going to hold off on wearing these for a long run until I get used to them. Unfortunately that means I'll be wearing my old shoes a bit more, but I think it'll be better for my legs to transition slowly.

With all the gear I got for Christmas, I also got a bunch of different gels, chews and honey stinger waffles. My parents basically filled my stocking with all sorts of different varieties. I've been taste testing them to see which ones I'll actually use, but so far I've liked all the chews. I haven't tried the gels or the waffles yet. I'm thinking I'll take a gel with me on my long run this week, and maybe try a waffle right after the long run.

I'm trying not to focus on the lost weeks over the holidays, and instead just get runs in where I can. I still have plenty of time to hit the half marathon distance.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hills are my enemies, but I will make them my friends

I think those hills hit me harder than I thought. That or the additional strain of chasing my daughter around the Museum of Play for two hours was just too much.

I woke up Sunday morning and my thighs ached. I took some advil, stretched, and went on my day. I had a busy day planned (we still had a bunch of christmas shopping left) so I was planning on doing my long run later after my daughter went to bed.

About an hour into shopping, the dull ache along the front of my thighs started to get worse. By the time we finished shopping I was actually starting to limp. Every now and then the dull ache would intensify into a sharp pang.

I kept hoping the ache would ease up and I'd be able to get at least a short run in, but no such luck. It's still a little sore today. I'm contemplating doing a short run later tonight if I have time, or just waiting until my scheduled run on tuesday and adding a couple miles on.

I've realized I may have trouble sticking to my run schedule over the holidays, so I'm going to try to stick to it as close as possible, but not be militant about it. Whatever happens I can just pick up again after the first and still have plenty of time to hit my distance goals by April.

The race this weekend was a real eye opener for me. On one hand, it was great to realize that I could run a 5k and not feel like I was totally dead afterwards. On the other hand, I'm really disappointed that the race took so much out of me. I do think most of it was that I had not prepared for hills....at all. So, i'm going to have to make sure to find a way to do hills in my training. Unfortunately the incline on my treadmill doesn't work, so I'll have to figure something else out.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Reindeer 5k Race writeup

I was a little nervous about this race. We stayed out too late Friday night having a great time at a friends house. I also had two glasses of wine, which may not sound like a lot but wine really dries me out! I woke up with a slight headache, so I had some coffee and advil with my slice of toast and peanut butter.

When we got there it was cold, windy and drizzley. The crowd was HUGE! We met up with one of my friends and her kid who was running in the kids race after the 5k, and headed over to the start line. Me and my friend kind of squeezed our way into the corral, a bit back from the front, and struck up a conversation with a dad and his kids. His kids wanted to run the 5k instead of the kids race, and were super excited.

I didn't hear the gun go off, but when the pack started shuffling, I assumed we were starting. It took a long time for us to get to the chip mats, and a while after that even to get enough room to get up to speed. It seemed like every time I'd get some room I'd end up stuck behind someone again after a few steps.

Once we turned the first corner, and headed onto the inter loop, the pack thinned out a bit and I was able to open up my stride a bit. The rest of the first mile felt good. Me and my friend Jen spent it joking about the cold and wet and talking about work (yeah I know weird, but we work together and that's a big chunk of our lives.) Jen is a much faster runner than I am, but she decided to stick with me for the race, which made the race a lot more fun, and kept me pushing myself the whole way.

At the one mile marker they had someone calling out times. He called out 11:20 when we passed him, and I was bummed cause I felt like we were running much faster than that, Jen pointed out that was the clock time, our chip time was most likely faster than that.

There were hills. Hills I was not prepared for. I'd heard the course was "relatively flat." I would say yes, if you compared it to a race like the Firecracker Five Miler i ran, but flat it was not. There was a long uphill right before mile one, and another one shortly after. There were a few rolling hills and at least three steep uphills.

I was really feeling it by the time we hit the water station, and decided to walk through the water stop so I could actually drink some water. I'm sure that affected my time, but I still think it was a good idea.

I felt better after the water stop, until the next uphill. The hills really took it out of me. I think I'm going to have to do a lot more hill repeats in the future. When we passed the mile two marker I was really starting to have to push myself to keep a decent pace. Honestly if Jen hadn't been running with me, I don't think I would have kept myself running at any decent clip at this point.

Right at the end of the run, there was a nasty sharp uphill (it's actually an exit ramp up,) and I really started pushing. I lengthend my stride and as we rounded what I thought was the last corner, poured what I had left into my legs. Then I realized the finish line was juuust a bit past the start and around another curve.

I slowed up a bit, but my lungs decided to crap out on me. I started coughing, and once I start coughing, I'm done. I spent the run down the chute trying to to puke on the course, and just keep my feet moving. I slowed up a lot through the chute, and once I crossed the first chip mat dropped back to a walk. I walked past the photographer, but I did not puke on the course.

The run was cold (although once we got running I was ok), wet (my shoes are soaked), and I was completely unprepared for the hills.

Even with all that, I came away with a PR. 34:47, and 11.21 min/mile average, vs my last 5k time of 36:32 (11:46 min/mile average.)

I really wish I could get my splits to see if what I think slowed me up is true (the walk through the water station, and the last bit through the chute,) but I think it was a solid race.

I'm going to work on adding more hills into my runs (yuck) so next time they don't hit me quite so hard.
Me on my way to the race, I am not a morning person!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Even a solid run didn't settle my nerves about Saturday!

I had a really good run last night. Watched the end of Avengers, More of Hellboy, and kept my average pace sub 11 minutes. I felt good, especially for the first couple miles. I was supposed to do Hills, but it turns out the incline function on my treadmill does not want to work. So I played with the speed a bit instead.

I only really felt it at the end of mile three and beginning of mile four. That was when I was switching from one movie to the next. You can see it in my pace on my splits. I decided to kinda punch it for mile four and just get it over with.

I'm more confident that I'll run a good race tomorrow, but I'm still super nervous about it. I don't know if it's just normal pre-race jitters, or the fact that I'd really like to PR, but I'm starting to get anxious. I mean, I know I can run three miles. I know I can run three miles faster than I did last spring. But I havn't been running outside. And the weather might not be awesome. And what if my legs feel dead? And and and...

I'm trying to stay positive, to keep it in my head that just this past sunday I ran seven miles. If I can do that, three miles should be cake.

Beyond the attempt at a PR, I've got some friends running this, so I'm going to try to have fun with it. I've got the Shirt and I'm gonna rock the Reindeer antlers. It's supposed to be cool, but not freezing, so I'll wear my long sleeve tech shirt under the t-shirt. I'm still going back and forth on long pants vs. capri's, that'll have to be a game day decision. It's going to be overcast so I don't think I'll need my customary hat or sunglasses, although it might be raining, so the hat might be a good idea. A lot of people dress up for this, but I didn't really think about it, so the reindeer antlers and shirt are going to be the extent of my "costume", maybe next year I'll think of something better.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Keeping toddlers happy can be great exercise.

Tuesday's run totally didn't happen. I had a sore throat all day, and by the time I got home it had developed into a deep chest-y cough. I contemplated toughing it out on the treadmill, but decided not to risk further illness, and let the run go. I'm 100% ok with my decision as I am now (as of thursday) cough free, and looking at going into the race on Saturday feeling good(ish.)

The only other thing of note was that my daughter was sick yesterday (Wednesday,) so I was home with her all day. Being home with a sick, but active toddler is exhausting. She's basically go go go all the time, and because not everything in the world is Toddler safe, needs to be watched. Also because she has this fascination with trying to knock all the needles off our christmas tree. So I spent the day in Amuse, Distract, Occupy mode. And then went and cleaned what I could in the house while she napped. So I think yesterday should count for something in the exercise department.

Tonight I'm hoping to get a nice solid 4 miles in so I can feel good going into Saturdays race. I'm super nervous about over using my legs and being tired on Saturday, but I'd rather get the run in then not.

Also, I'm facing a decision, I have a four mile run on the training schedule on Saturday, but the race is only (ha!) a 5k. Should I run the difference later?

Monday, December 16, 2013

A surprisingly awesome weekend.

We had a really busy weekend planned this weekend. And then the snows came. And a friend's kid got sick, and we miraculously found ourselves with a somewhat relaxing weekend.

Saturday we made some last minute plans to meet my Brother-in-law and Sister-in-law for brunch. This is notable for two reasons. One: some random strangers decided to pick up our check. They instructed our waitress not to tell us until after they left. It was such an awesome act of kindness, I'm still looking for a way to pay it forward. And Two: I had a delicious omelet that decided not to agree with my stomach.

So yeah I spent a hour(ish) curled up on the couch while my daughter napped. Luckily I was feeling good enough early enough to get my run in for the day before we went to my parents for dinner. It was a four mile run, on the treadmill. I continued my disjointed watching of the Avengers. About halfway through my run the really fun action in the movie started, and I was distracted enough that I almost didn't notice when I hit four miles. I've been having a decent amount of back pain after my runs lately, so I decided that instead of jumping straight into the shower to "ice" my legs, I'd do some yoga in the living room. My daughter really seemed to get a kick out of it, she kept climbing all over me and even trying to imitate some of the poses. I still had some back pain, but I'm hoping that if I make this a habit the pain will ease up.

Sunday was our scheduled brunch, and again I went and ate something I shouldn't have. I had eggs benedict, which was delicious, and I paid for it again. I was feeling so very off that I ended up passing out for about an hour. I haven't napped in the middle of the day in a long time. When I woke up I suited up and got on the treadmill for my long run. To be honest I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it. I wasn't feeling awesome, and seven miles sounded like such a long run.

I started a new movie to keep my mind occupied. I went with Hellboy, which I love despite the camp. Ron Perlman is awesome. As usual the first mile was a slog, well the second half mile really. I don't know what it is, but for some reason the second half mile of every run is when the "I can't do it" thoughts pop up. I pushed through that and focused on the movie. I remember feeling good after two miles, and three miles. At mile four I was starting to feel the distance, especially when I realized I was only a little over half way through my run. I buckled down and started playing with my speed, adding
in random short sprints to keep myself motivated. The last mile was tough, I was tired, and this was further than I have ever run. By the last half mile I was struggling, my legs just felt heavy. I suspect the fact that I did not have a water bottle had something to do with it, and I'm thinking
I may need to start doing a mid run refuel with my long runs now lasting more than an hour.

I finished out the seven miles and made myself go downstairs to stretch before hitting the shower. After a nice long hot shower I did some foam rolling and used my cool little spiky ball to roll my feet. I was REALLY thirsty when I finished my run, and I downed about half a glass of water right away. My stomach was not too happy with that, so I compromised and made myself a glass of chocolate milk and drank that, a little slower than the first half glass of water. It really did the trick, settling my stomach while also helping to alleviate the all consuming thirst I had developed.

I actually felt good after the run, my legs were a little tired, but I wasn't laid up or anything. I was even able to do the grocery shopping without feeling like I was going to die. I'm a little sore this morning, but nothing a little advil and some stretching can't handle.

I am still having a bit of back pain, I'm starting to wonder if it might have to do with my shoes. I know I am in sore need of new running shoes, I've put somewhere over 300 miles on the ones I'm running in now. (I say somewhere over because I haven't been the best on tracking the milage on these shoes.) I noticed when we were grocery shopping on Sunday that my hips were a little sore as well, which I've heard can be indicative of a shoe issue.

I had good news on the weight loss front as well. I had missed my weigh in last week, and I haven't had a lot of loss in the past month. I was actually feeling really down about that, and trying really hard not to focus on the numbers on the scale, so when I stepped on the scale yesterday I wasn't too hopeful.  I was completely overjoyed to see 169.8. I'm back in the 160's, and only about 5 lbs away from my next mini goal weight!  I'm still nervous about where I'll be by August (when my brother is getting married) but I'm trying to focus more on the fitness than the weight, and the running goals more than the size goals.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Nice Solid Run

I had a nice solid run last night. It was another one of those runs that could easily have not happened. Thursdays seem to be the hardest day for me to motivate myself (and find the time) to get my run done. Between making dinner and a toddler that has given up napping after daycare, I'm usually busy busy busy from the moment I get home until my daughter goes to bed. I ended up not having time to fit the run in until after 8:00.

I started up the Avengers where I left it after my last run, and decided right away that since it was a short run, I was going to run it fast. I started the treadmill out at the normal 3.5 (my treadmill's speed is off, my 11 min/miles are done at 3.5) then upped it quickly to 3.8. I ran most of my run at 3.8 with some quick minute long sprints up at 4.0 and once up at 4.5. I really pushed it and felt good about it. I was having fun with the random speeds, it kept the run interesting. I tried to time my sprints to exciting scenes in the movie, so I'd sprint through a fight scene, and slow back down for exposition. I was out of breath and tired by the end of the short interval sprints. By the end of the run, I was really pushing just to keep myself running and to keep my pace at 3.5.

I finished the run and took a look at my splits, and couldn't believe it. For some reason my app was showing my pace to be slower than the last time I ran, and not just a little bit slower, a lot slower. I'm thinking it needs to be re-calibrated.

I'm still happy with the run, despite the weird stats on my app. I know I ran it hard, and pushed my limits. I'm also happy to once again be at the place where a run happens, rather that having it not happen, when I'm faced with one of those "it's too late, i'm too tired" scenarios.

Unfortunately it looks like the weather around me will not be cooperating this weekend, so I'll most likely be running on the treadmill for both runs. I'm a little gun shy about running in the cold right now. We're about a week away from the reindeer 5k, and I don't want to go into that week coughing like I did last week.

Speaking of the Reindeer 5k, I'm kinda hoping to PR. Seeing how my last 5k time was 36:32 ( or 11:64 min/miles) I am relatively confident that I can beat the pants off that. I'm a little worried about the weather not cooperating, I honestly don't know how cold/snowy weather would affect my pace but I know that not ideal road conditions will.  I'm kinda excited to try to run a race where I'm actually trying to hit a time goal as opposed to just trying to finish.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Getting back on track

I finally got a good run in last night. I jumped on the treadmill for my scheduled three mile run, put on the Avengers, and cranked the speed. I had kind of a self imposed time crunch, since tuesday is the night we do dinner with my in-laws, and even though my husband took our daughter over without me, I still feel like I should get there as fast as possible.

I made up my mind to push my pace, since I didn't get my long run in, and I was running on fresh legs. I started out at my normal speed on the treadmill, but almost right away started upping the speed, until I felt like I was working.

I had my first *ahem* incident, while running. My stomach got really upset mid run and I had to actually stop the treadmill, pause my workout and make a detour to the bathroom. Luckily after that one mid run pitstop, everything was fine for the rest of the night. I have this mental block on pausing my workout, or stopping the treadmill, or even taking walk breaks. It always feels like cheating to me. This time however it was a necessity, and even though I technically got a "break" from my run, I felt completely justified pausing the workout recording. You can see where I paused the workout as a dip in the middle of my pace chart.

The run felt good, I could tell I was working, especially towards the end of the run as I pumped the speed. I felt good after the run too, and after a quick shower, actually felt like I had a decent amount of energy left in me. I didn't feel overly tired or worn out from the run. I'm feeling pretty good today as well, not sore or sluggish.

I'm happy with the splits, although that middle split is most likely affected by the pausing of my workout.  I'm particularly happy to have kept my pace under 11 min/miles for the majority of my run. Also, the negative split there at the end looks nice and pretty.

I really needed a solidly good  run to get my confidence back. That run did the trick. I feel like I'm back on track again, and in good shape, training wise.

I have 19 weeks between now and the half marathon. Even doubling up the weeks on my training plan, I will hit the half marathon distance well before the race.

I think after the disaster last weekend, I'm not going to try doing runs outside for a while. I can't afford, mentally, to take myself out of my training again for that long. It really did a number on me. This kinda sucks, because I enjoy running outside a lot more than on the treadmill. I think watching an exciting movie helps a lot during my treadmill runs, especially the long ones. Watching the Avengers was good, because it's faced paced, exciting, and engaging (even though I've seen it before.) I'm going to try watching a movie like that on my next long run, and see if it helps. I'm not really looking forward to trying to run 7 miles on the treadmill.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The running week that wasn't. But I'm ok with it.

Ok, I'm just gonna get this out of the way: I did not do my long run on sunday. In fact, last week overall was a total running fail.

That said, I did grind out a grueling four miles outside on saturday, in the cold, and the wind. It was windy enough that the return trip on my out and back was slow enough where at one point I was sure walking might be faster. I'm not sure what my actual pace was, because right after I finished my run, as I was hitting "save run" on my app, my phone died. So no record of the run saved.

I do know my lungs and legs were burning by the time I finished. It was a miserable run, but i keep telling myself, an awesome training run. I pushed myself and that's when the magic happens, right?

After that run, and a quick shower, we were off to take my daughter to an indoor "winter carnival" with my parents. So I spent another two hour-ish on my feet chasing an excited toddler. By the end of that I was starting to feel not so awesome, and I was coughing occasionally, which I chalked up to just irritation from the cold air on the run.

Sunday, I was dead tired in the morning at a work "brunch with santa", and the coughing was more prevalent, although I was still sure it was just irritation from the run. The brunch was awesome, although my daughter would have none of santa, bursting into tears and clinging desperately to my neck. Because I was so tired, I figured I'd rest and do the run later after I felt a little better.

By the end of the day though, I was more sure that I might actually be sick. When we got home from grocery shopping the cough was deeper, more in my chest than my throat, and I was bone tired. I even tried my trick of dressing in my running gear to try to pep myself up, but after having a coughing fit while climbing the stairs, I called it. A run, especially a long run, was not an option.

So I've missed my first planned long run. I missed two runs from my plan last week, so I'm repeating the week, and I'm letting it go. I feel surprisingly ok with this. I think part of it is that I redid my math on my training, and realized that I have (a little over) four months to add to my distance to reach my half marathon goal. That's 16 weeks. I've been adding a mile a week onto my distance runs. That would have me running 22 miles on my long runs before my half marathon. I can back off on that, or miss a week or repeat a few weeks without feeling any pressure. And I'm still really proud of finishing that run on saturday!

I'm still not sure if I'm actually sick or if I really just did that much of a number on myself running in the cold on saturday. I'm drinking tea with honey and trying to take it easy today. Hopefully that will be enough that by tomorrow (tuesday), I'm back in running shape.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Missed run and a general funk.

Last nights run did not happen. There were several excuses reasons behind this: the kidlet went to bed late and didn't nap, dinner had to get made, and then eaten and given time to digest, but mainly I was just really, incredibly tired. Like the kind of tired where you find yourself falling asleep standing up, or worse, while changing the baby.

I realized that had I managed to get myself on the treadmill, I had a 50/50 chance of falling off of it, or injuring myself in some way. So I gave myself a pass on the run. Well not a pass, I'm going to try to make up the run tonight. I'm not sure how good of an Idea that is, but it's the only thing keeping me from completely beating myself up about the missed run.

I'm feeling very defeated about it all. I keep trying to refocus myself on how far I've come in the past few weeks, but the continual missing of (usually) single runs each week somehow feels awful. I keep reminding myself that April is a long way away (and october is longer) and the key is to build slowly on my mileage, a missed run every now and then is not that bad.

I have increased the distance of my long runs by one mile each week, which is a major accomplishment, and one that I'm very proud of.  I'm confident that I'm going to crush the Reindeer Run in two weeks. I've increased my pace significantly since I started this training plan as well, something I was not consciously working on.

I think some of this comes from the fact that I still think of myself as a fraud. I'm not a real runner. I'm pretending to follow a training plan. There's no way I'll ever be able to finish an actual half marathon. All that gear on my christmas list? A waste. It'll never get worn by a real runner.

I keep hoping these thoughts will go away. They are self-defeating and completely not helpful. I'm hoping a couple of strong runs this weekend will help chase them back for a while at least.

My other hang up today is that I feel all sorts of lumpy. Maybe it was the missed run, maybe it was the tasty frittata I made for dinner last night, but I feel bloated today. It's frustrating to have been watching what I eat and running like crazy and not to see the weight loss I had hoped for.

I realize I'm most likely just in a funk, and need to work my way out of it. Right now, I'm just trying to stay on track and wait for the cloud to lift.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Awful, no good, very bad run.

I may have lost my mind. Yesterday, in a fit of madness and optimism following my perhaps ill advised registration for the Wineglass Marathon, I signed up for my first half marathon - To be run in April.  I did some quick calculations, and based on my progress with my training plan so far, I will hit half marathon distance long before the race. I've felt relatively good at the end of each of my increasingly long "long" runs, even with the disaster of a run that happened last saturday, so I was feeling really (over)confident in my abilities when I signed up for the race.

Last night I had an "easy" three mile run on the schedule (I still am not entirely comfortable calling a three mile run "easy".) Our weekly dinner with my in-laws had been moved to my sister-in-law's place. My husband decided to wait for me so we could drive together and also so that we could get the highchair and all the paraphernalia a kid requires to their house. I was feeling some time pressure to get the run over with so we could get there, so I planned on trying to run the miles a little faster than normal to get the run over quickly.

I got on the treadmill and put on a movie and started running. My legs felt like crud. Not heavy or achey, just, like they had no umph in them.
At first I thought it was maybe that I wasn't into the movie I was watching, and so was focusing on all the ways I didn't want to be running, but the feeling persisted even after I switched to a new movie.

I focused on just getting through the run. I kept pushing the pace to try to just get it done. By the time I hit three miles, i was completely done, and totally demoralized. I had just signed up for a half marathon and here I was struggling with three miles.

With a little distance between me and the run, I realize my legs were most likely still shot from the weekend. This run should have been a "recovery" run, and I should have kept the pace nice and slow. I did however end up with negative splits, which I'm pretty happy about.

My legs feel fine today, and today is a rest day on the schedule, so I'm hopeful that tomorrow's run will go much better than yesterday's.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A lot of runs over the holiday!

Ok, so a lot of running has happened since my last post! I managed to get all of my runs in, although one of them turned out a lot shorter than it should have been (according to my training plan.)

Thursday, I had a nice short 3 mile run on the schedule. My last three mile run had felt too easy, so I decided to push my pace for this run, and see how fast I could go. I've been slowly increasing my pace on my outdoor runs, but for the most part my indoor runs have been right around 11'20"/mi pace. I was beyond thrilled that I was able to get under an 11 min/mile for my average pace on this run! After that run, I didn't feel so guilty about thanksgiving dinner!

Saturday, I had a four mile run on the schedule. The weather was nice enough, a little cold, but clear with very little wind. I decided to try for an out door run. I bundled up and headed out to the canal path where I normally run. When I got there I found it had not been cleared, and was instead a mess of snow and ice. If I had been smart, I would have either headed home and done the run on the treadmill, or tried to find somewhere outside that had been cleared. I however decided to try to run the path. It was awful. It felt like running through deep wet slippery sand. I had to constantly watch where I was putting my feet, and even then would occasionally step wrong and my foot would roll or slide. I turned around way before the two mile mark, I had no idea how far I'd run at the time, only that I had already hit the one mile mark. 
I had hoped to hit at least three miles, but by the time I had reached my start point, I was so very done with that run. I called it and walked for a bit to try to stretch out my legs, which were really not happy with me by that point. I was disappointed with my distance and pace, 2.68 miles at an average 13:59 pace, but was kinda proud of myself for doing that slog of a run. I paid for it later, while I was at my parents house for dinner, my right knee (my "good" knee) was really stiff and started to ache a bit. I took some advil, propped my leg up and plopped a heating pad on it to ease the stiffness. It was feeling much better by the end of the movie (we watched Red2), and was feeling normal by the next morning.

My legs on the other hand were not. Sunday morning my legs were really sore.  I had changed my training plan already so that I had a six mile run scheduled (instead of the seven mile run on the plan, since I'm doubling up on this week - week 3 on the schedule.) I started having my doubts I would even be able to do that. After brunch, at which I unwisely chose a delicious eggs benedict, my stomach was almost as unhappy as my legs, and my run was in serious risk of not happening at all. I decided, once again, just to get dressed and on the treadmill. I decided I would try to just work out some of the soreness and see how it went. No pressure to hit a distance, just get something logged. After about a mile, my legs started feeling good. The ache kinda worked out and I hit my stride. I wasn't running very fast, I had set the pace slower than usual, but I kinda just let myself watch the movie that was on netfix and forget about how far I was going, since I was no longer aiming for a distance. When I hit three miles, I decided I felt good enough to go for four. At four miles, I figured I was close enough I should round it out to five. When I hit five miles, my legs were starting to get tired, and I thought about calling it, but I realized I was only one mile away from six miles, and I would be really upset with myself for not finishing it out. So I pushed through that last mile. I ran six miles. Further than I've ever run before. On tired, sore legs. Boo. Ya.

Sunday night we went to a concert, which required standing for hours (and because I love the band dancing quite a bit.) By the time we left my legs were pretty close to shot. Luckily my knees never really acted up. Today I am really sore, and really incredibly grateful that I have a rest day on the schedule today.

While we were at the concert waiting between the opening act and the main band, I checked facebook and saw that registration for the Wineglass Marathon was opening this morning. The Wineglass was my dream goal for this year. I'm aiming for a half in april, and I thought, maybe a full by October. I was a little panicked that registration opened so early, and it would sell out long before I made up my mind about a full.

After talking to a few running friends, I made the leap and registered for a full. Apparently if I decide later I won't be running a full, I can switch my registration to the half, but hopefully I won't need to. I'm not telling anyone I registered for it. I don't want the pressure of people knowing it's one of my goals. I'm a little terrified that I actually signed up, but my recent ability to up my distance consistently has given me a lot of confidence that I will be able to hit that distance in time.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Someday it will stop surprising me that I'm a runner.

Last nights run was easy, which still amazes me. I had a stressful day, our dog needed to go to the vet and had a 5:00 apointment. I get out of work at 4:30, so it was, run home, coax limping dog out to the car, lift giant heavy (turns out he's 88lbs) dog into the car, drive quickly to the vet, and proceed to sit in the waiting room for half an hour.

Turns out my dog partially tore his ACL. So bed(crate) rest and anti inflamitories for him.

I was super stressed about finding time to fit in a run, since I haven't been the awesomest on getting all of my runs in every week, but luckily I managed to get home before six, which meant I had time to run before dinner with the in-laws.

Like I said, the run was easy, I only had a momentary bout of "this sucks I wanna stop running" right around a mile and a half into the run. It passed quickly and I just kinda....ran. It's really weird to me to say that. That I just kinda ran three miles. I wasn't even working that hard, so I'm going to try to push the pace on my next three mile run and see how it goes.

I'm doing a one mile time trial tonight, and seeing as we've been blasted by winter weather around here, I'll be doing it on the treadmill. I feel good, my legs don't feel tired or tight. I should be able to push for a decent speed for the one mile. We'll see.

Since it's almost thanksgiving, and everyone has their "What to buy a runner" Gift lists out now, I decided to go through and update my wish list on Amazon. After puttering around on it for a while, I realized that almost all of the things on it were running gear. This is a very odd thing to me. My response to being asked to run always used to be "I only run if something's chasing me." Now, my holiday wish list is 90% running gear, and I'm seriously following a training plan, with realistic aspirations of finishing a half, and wild dreams of finishing a full marathon.

I've even set myself up with a DailyMile account, so I stop annoying my non-running friends with my constant "I ran this many miles! Aren't I awesome!" posts. I have no friends on there yet, so if you're on there, please friend (is that even the right way to say it?) me so I can brag to someone who cares!  My Daily Mile Profile Page!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend Running Win!

This weekend was a total running win. After missing my run thursday, and not being able to make it up on Friday, I was determined to get my runs in this weekend.

Saturday, it was drizzling and windy out, so I made the call and ran on the treadmill. I was only scheduled for a three mile run, but I was feeling so good, I pushed it to four. The run felt good, easy, and I managed an 11'05" average pace. I made sure to cool my legs down with some cold water, and to stretch and do some foam rolling, because I had a five mile run scheduled on Sunday.

Sunday, we were really busy, and I "waisted" the free time when the toddler was sleeping working on the dress I'm knitting her (it's almost done!) By the time she was in bed, I was so tired, and really just wanted to give myself an out and not run. I was so close to calling it, but instead I got myself upstairs, changed and on the treadmill around 8:30. Yes, 8:30 pm.

The run felt surprisingly easy. The only time I was really struggling was around mile 3, when I was just so over running. I wanted to be done. Not that anything was really hurting, but I was tired and cranky and why can't I be done with this already? Co-incidentially (or not?) this happened right around the time I switched movies on netflix. I switched up my pace for a short bit, and between that and the new movie got my mojo working again. I finished out the five miles strong with an average pace of 11'16", which is way faster than my last 5 miles.

Honestly, I'm really proud of myself for getting the run in on Sunday. It would have been much easier to just say "screw it it's too late and I'm too tired." In the past I would have. Instead I thought about how much better it would feel to have run, and how much it would suck to be beating myself up about not running. So I ran. I wasn't even sure if I was going to do the full distance, but once I got past the three mile slump, I really did not want to cut out early.

I don't feel as tired after this past weeks runs, and my legs aren't sore at all right now. I think I'm going to move on to week three this week, and see how I feel. Week three isn't that different from week two, except for the 7  mile run on sunday. I do not know if I can actually run for a full 7 miles. I'm not feeling too much pressure with it though, since I think I'm going to double up on week three regardless to let my body catch up to the distances. So even if I end up not hitting the 7 mile goal, it's no big deal, since I'm going to be trying again the next week.

The other change to this week is that on wednesday, instead of having a "rest" day, I'm going to be doing a one mile time trial. I'm supposed to run it outside on a track. I'm not sure if I'll be able to, but there is an outdoor track near my parents house, So I might try to use that. Otherwise I'll be fudging it on a treadmill. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Three miles....easy?!

Yesterday's run was amazing. Seriously! I went into the run worried. My legs were still sore from Sunday's epic five mile run, and I wasn't thrilled to be on the treadmill again. It was a three mile run on the schedule, and I had serious doubts about my ability to finish it.

I set myself up with my laptop to watch some bad tv, and made a deal to just do what I could. To try to make the three miles, even if I had to take a walk break. My normal show wouldn't load on netflix for some reason so I loaded up Mulan (I am a total sucker for animation...it's the illustrator in me,) and set the treadmill to 3.5.

The run felt good. I mean really good. My legs didn't hurt, and I only really felt like I was working for about ten minutes in the middle around mile 2.

The best part came when I checked my distance and realized I had run past three miles, without realizing it. It totally blew me away.

Here was the distance that I had trained to finish for months, and I had just ran it without realizing it.

I felt good. I was all sweaty, yes, but I was not tired. I was not worn out. I could have kept running. Instead I jumped into the shower and headed over my in-laws for dinner. It was amazing to me that I had just run three miles, and I was not tired, and I had increased my pace closer to an 11 min/mile!

At the in-laws I had a low point, where I walked in, totally elated about my run, and had the (possibly untrue) realization that no one cared. No one there would want to hear about my amazing three mile run.

Later that night Mr.FitDaddy (I think that's what I'll call my husband now!) asked me how my run went. I gushed for a minute about the run, then self consciously shut myself up. He looked me in the eyes and told me he was proud of me. For doing this, for continuing to do this. For doing this without anyone else helping me or keeping me accountable.

With everything over the past few days, I'm thinking seriously about setting a goal of a half marathon for next spring. I think I can do it. More, I think I want to do it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Five Mile Sunday.

I skipped Saturday's run, since my legs were feeling a little tired from the rescheduled run on Friday, and because I was anticipating the long five mile run on Sunday.

Sunday, things started looking kinda bleak. After brunch at my Sister-in-law's house (and some running related banter with her brother,) my stomach started acting up by the time we got home. Too much rich food I suspect. I spent the next couple of hours curled up on the couch, or sprinting to the bathroom. After a while I made the decision to put on my gear, and see how I felt. After dressing, I felt alright, so I decided I would go, and run, and just see how I felt. No pressure to do the whole run, I was already planning on redoing week two.

I ran with music for the first time on the canal path. The music pumping into my ears helped me feel good. The weather was warmer than I had anticipated, and I was definitely over dressed. I had put my UnderArmour long sleeve base layer on under my short sleeve tech shirt, and was wearing full length Yoga pants. (yeah I know, so not running pants, but hey, they're comfy.) There was some gusty wind, but it didn't feel that strong as I started out.

When my phone chirped in my ear, letting me know I had hit mile one with a 11:24 min/mile pace, I knew I had started out too fast. I was still feeling good, but made the decision to consciously dial it back. I think subconsciously this was the moment I really decided I was going to actually try for the full five miles.

The next mile felt hard. The wind gusts felt more frequent and stronger. The trail was also hillier on this section, and it's a part of the trail I am a lot less familiar with. Somewhere in this mile, the thought occurred to me that I could just stop, call my dad and have him drive me back to my car (the part of the trail I was running on was very close to their house.) Somehow, my brain dredged up one of those inspirational sayings you see on pinterest, overlaid on some grandiose image of a runner or amazing scenery. I'm not sure where I saw it, or who the quote is attributed to, but right then it popped in my head and kept me running.

It was simply "You will want to quit. Don't."

So when the little voice in my ear chirped that I'd hit three miles, I turned, took a walk break for thirty seconds, and then kept running.

The next mile felt alternately amazing and horrible, depending on the hills I was encountering. I did have to pause my workout and walk at one point, where the path crosses a road, and I just didn't feel my legs could take using the underpass and going up the stairs, so I opted for the ramp up to the crosswalk. Luckily there wasn't a lot of traffic, so I didn't have to stand and wait to cross the road.

When the phone chirped the four mile mark, I was really feeling it. The sun was starting to go down, and I was starting to worry about it getting dark with me still out on the trail. I was having a really low moment, contemplating walking, when I looked up and a huge flock of birds started flying over me. I had one of those moments where it was just...yeah, awesome. The sky was huge and filled with amazing cloud formations. The trail was empty, and there were birds everywhere in the sky. The setting sun kept peaking through breaks in the clouds on the horizon, casting golden light in intermittent streaks across the path. It was enough for me to hold on to for that last mile.

When I finished the run, I had a nice long one mile cool down walk back to the car. I was constantly doing self diagnostics to make sure I wasn't pushing myself too hard.  The last time I ran this distance, at the firecracker five miler, I put myself out of commission for two days, and was feeling the pain for many more after that. This time, I had enough left in my legs to walk that mile back to the car, and to go grocery shopping afterwards. True, there were no killer hills in this run, like there were in the race, and it also was not horribly hot and muggy like it was then, but I still feel really good about how I did on this run.  Not bad for a run that almost did not happen.

I am definitely sore this morning, and was out of sorts enough last night that sleeping was difficult. I'm hoping to go to Yoga tonight, and will at the very least do some foam rolling to try to rehab my muscles. I'm re-doing week two this week, since my schedule got messed up last week. We'll see how I feel tomorrow during the "easy" three miles. (Three miles still does not sound easy to me.)

I'll be back on the treadmill again tomorrow, but man did it feel good to be out on the trail for the run yesterday. Maybe I'll try to do some of my runs outside (with proper gear) through the winter.

Took this right after I finished the five miles!

Friday, November 15, 2013

First missed run of training.

Yesterday's run did not happen. I was home with a sick toddler, and as things tend to do when the toddler is sick, the run kept getting pushed off.

"I'll do it when she naps" (spoiler she didn't nap), "I'll do it as soon as my husband gets home" (he got home late and needed me to watch her while he cooked dinner), "I'll do it after dinner" (I was so amazingly exhausted by the time we finished dinner it was all I could do to manage the clean up and get ready for bed routine.)

In the past, a slip like this was enough to completely derail any plans I had for an entire week (sometimes longer.) This time, however, I am determined. I have only missed one run. Today is an "off" day on the training plan, a day for "Prehab strength training and stretching." Tomorrow is a "short" run (only three miles. Ha.) Tonight, I will (perhaps unwisely, we shall see) go for yesterdays run. I have my running clothes packed in the car, and my parents have the toddler today, so I will change at their house and go for a run, outside, near their house.

This is going to be a challenging run, since the area around my parents house is very hilly. It's also supposed to be a four mile run, which is a pretty substantial distance to me. I have a route I can run which will net me four miles, but it includes a few hills that are most definitely going to slow my pace.

I'm not sure how advisable my deviation from my training plan is. I honestly don't know what my best course of action as far as the missed run is, however I do know that if I don't get out there and run today, it will mountains more difficult for me to run on saturday. At least if I get out there and do this run today, if I miss saturday, I will still  have only missed one run and not two.

The other concern I have is the question of whether I should repeat this week again next week, since the schedule got all messed up. I guess we'll see how I feel after Sunday's long run.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A "short" three mile run.

I ran day one of week two of the training plan last night. Since it was family dinner night, my husband took the toddler over to his parents and I did my run before joining them. 

I plugged into my laptop so I could watch some bad tv while I ran, and had my arm band with my phone running the nike+app to track my pace and distance. I was a little nervous for this run, seeing as 3 miles used to be a very long run for me. Having it as my "short" run this week made me a little nervous. I kept telling myself that if I really felt awful, I could stop after two miles and just repeat week one again. I settled into the run and was feeling ok, but around 2 miles I started feeling it. I think it was mostly mental, because after I argued myself out of stopping, and powered through that last mile, I felt alright. I wasn't totally burnt out, only a little tired, and I'm feeling fine today.  I spent some time playing with my speed during the run, mostly because I was bored (maybe I need a new show to watch.) It'll be interesting to see what my speed is like the next time I get outside for a run.

I'm still a little worried about how this week will play out, I have a four mile run tomorrow (yikes!) and then a five (!!!) mile run on sunday. Five miles is the furthest I have ever run at one time, and like i've said before, it totally knocked me on my butt. True, I hadn't trained properly for the distance (or the massively, punishingly hilly course,) and it was really hot and humid on race day, but still, that distance put me out of it for not just the rest of that day, but a few days afterwards. I'm really hoping to avoid having anything like that happen again. 

I'm going to try to keep the same attitude with the rest of the runs this week that I had with the run last night: If it starts to get too awful, cut it short. I can redo this week next week. 

I like that what was an almost impossible distance when I started training last winter (3 miles) was fairly easy today. I realize that's not amazing progress to most runners, but I'm happy with it. Especially after the breakdown in training I had late this summer, where I was really close to just giving up on running all together.

I am confident that if I keep myself training, I will meet my tentative goals of besting my race times from last year easily.

I also really liked being able to run without worrying about the time crunch of getting to my in-laws for dinner. I think having my husband take off before me will be a weekly thing, especially as the runs get longer and I need more time for them. 

The longer I follow this training plan, and the more confident I get with my running, the crazier my "possible goals" get. Should I try for a half? What about a full? There are some really fun sounding races out there I want to do too...color runs, cosmic runs, warrior dashes...

I keep telling myself to wait and see where I am after the new year. I give myself permission to start signing up for races after January 1st, depending on how I'm running then.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week one is in the books.

I had a nice solid weekend of runs. Saturday was a short two mile run on the training plan, and it went quickly, even on the treadmill.

Sunday I had a daunting (to me) four mile run on the schedule. The longest run I've ever done was a five mile race that I under trained for, barely finished, and felt like it nearly killed me. I spent the rest of the day after that race curled up in bed miserable, and paid for it for the next few days. So I was less than thrilled to be attempting a distance like four miles on a day where I actually had to do things after I ran.

I set myself up on the treadmill and told myself to take it easy, walk if I needed to, and just started. I ran slower than normal (3.2 on the lying treadmill - worked out to an average 11:52 min/mile.) The run was actually easier than I was expecting. I felt comfortable until I'd passed two miles, then I started to feel like I was working, but still it wasn't too hard until that last mile. I did a few sprints throughout the last mile, just because I wanted to be done. All in all it wasn't a horrible run, and I still had enough energy left to go grocery shopping afterwards.

It feels really good to have completed the first week of the training schedule I chose to follow. It also feels really good to have run a distance that I would have thought unattainable a year ago, and to not have it completely wreck me. 

Diet wise I was not that good this weekend, but I managed to not go over my WW points. Mostly I think thanks to the extra "activity points" I racked up running this week. I've got my juice on this morning, and a (relatively) healthy meal plan for the week, including already made and waiting salads for lunches. 

I'm still trying to decide if I'll double up on the training plan weeks. I feel confident that I could do Week 2 of the training plan this week. The only two days I think might be a stretch are Thursday (4 mile run) and Sunday's 5 miles. I think I will attempt Week 2, and see how it goes. Since I was originally planning on doubling up the weeks, there's no pressure on me, if I can't quite make the 4 mile run on Thursday or the 5 miles on Saturday, I can just retry Week 2 next week.

I'm hoping with the meal plan I have in place that the time crunch and scheduling issues I've been having will ease up. I'm using a lot of crock pot meals and things that can be ready for my husband when he gets home so he doesn't have to try to make dinner and watch the kid at the same time while I'm doing a run. 

Thursday is going to be an issue though. I may have to try to either get up early to run (yeah, i don't see that happening), or run after dinner before bed (more likely.) I'm not a big fan of running after dinner, since I have to wait about an hour after we eat before I run (to avoid me feeling like i'm going to puke the whole time,) and I get super amped up after a run, so bedtime needs to be at least an hour after the run. Adding in about an hour for the run (it's a long run - for me,) and bedtime is going to get pushed back to between 10-11, depending on when we actually get dinner on the table. 

This week is going to be interesting.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Last night I decided to find out once and for all what was going on with my treadmill runs. I strapped on my arm band with my phone in it and loaded up the nike+ running app, which I have calibrated for indoor running already. I set myself up with my laptop to watch shows, and set the treadmill to 3.5. My goal, for the training plan I'm following was a three mile run.

I was comfortable at the pace I was running at and was able to get a little lost in the show I was watching, enough that the sound of the audible from my phone startled me a bit. When the app announced my first mile, the treadmill said no where near a mile.

By the end of the run, when the app announced I'd hit three miles, the treadmill was still saying two miles. My pace according to my phone was a little over an 11 minute mile (average). Way different than the over 16 minute miles the 3.5 converts to.

All of this felt wonderful. I feel vindicated. Those runs felt hard because they were hard! (well for me, an 11 minute mile is faster than I normally run.) And I wasn't wimping out right around two miles, I was hitting three or close to three each time.

The solution of course is to wear my arm band whenever I run on the treadmill, and listen to it and not the numbers in front of me.

Diet wise, things are going ok. I'm sticking close to my points, although tonight and tomorrow will really test that. Weekends are always my downfall.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The treadmill may be trying to break me.

Well I got my run in last night. I had to wait until my husband got home to entertain the so-not-napping toddler, but luckily he came home (relatively) early.

I managed to get in a solid half hour run on the treadmill, while watching a decently bad television show. Now, I'm almost positive that something is messed up on my treadmill. It says I ran for half an hour at 3.5, which really felt a whole lot faster than the 16 minute miles it's supposed to be. I'm sure I ran for a little longer than that (I watched the last bit of one episode and the majority of a second episode,) and I'm almost positive I was running faster than 16 minute miles. I was keeping the cadence I normally have running outside, when I do between 11 and 12 minute miles (yeah go ahead and laugh.)

I don't know. Maybe it is accurate, and my outdoor runs are not. I do know the treadmill runs always feel like a lot more work. I thought it was boredom, but even now with something to watch, I'm struggling. Maybe I need something else to watch? Maybe it was the time crunch I was feeling (my husband decided to wait for me to head to his parents for dinner)?

I'm going to try wearing my phone in my armband with the nike+ app running. It calculates my pace using the accelerometer, so maybe it'll give me an idea of how far off (or how accurate) the treadmill is.

Anyways, I got my run in, which was good, because I had a really hard time controlling my eating yesterday. There is a giant bowl of candy in my office right now. It is really hard to resist having "Just one fun size candy bar", or "Just one little bag of whoppers." There was also a big bowl of candy at the In-laws last night, which contained my kryptonite - Twizzlers. Twizzlers are one candy I just can't stop eating. It takes enormous feats of willpower for me to leave one un-comsumed.

I managed to keep myself to three mini pull-n-peel twizzlers. And one mini cookie. And dinner itself, which was pork loin, roasted carrots, soprasatta and light root beer. So only about moderately healthy. And over my points. Luckily I still have my "bonus" points for the week, so I just kinda cut into those. I know that Saturday will be an "over my points for the day" day, so I'm going to have to build up some extra points.

I'm going to loosely follow this training plan I found online to start to build my distance. I think maybe part of the reason my runs have been feeling so...blah...is that i'm not trying for a goal. I'm just kinda running until I want to stop, which is awful because I want to stop as soon as I start. So, I'm going to follow this training plan I found. Sort of.

I say loosely follow because the training plan is an 18 week plan to hit marathon distance. I'm not 100% sure I really want to train for a marathon, but I liked the schedule the plan followed. So I'm going to modify it, doing each week twice. That way if I decide that yeah I want to follow this plan all the way to the end and hit marathon distance, I'll just have made it a 36 week plan. Or less, depending on if I decide to drop the "do each week twice" bit at any point.

Last nights run was run one on the schedule. Tomorrow I run until I hit 3 miles. Treadmill be damned.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Yesterdays Pros and Cons

Yesterday was a pro/con kind of day.

Pro side: I made a delicious healthy dinner, I stuck to my WW points, I went to bed on time and so got an appropriate amount of sleep.

Con side: I had a lingering headache all day which constantly threatened to turn into a full blown migraine. This derailed any exercise plans completely. It's hard to even contemplate running or doing Yoga when it takes just about all my concentration to just stand up.

Pro side: The headache never really reached epic migraine proportions. I managed to keep it at the "this could be a migraine or just a really bad headache" level with the judicious use of advil, lots of water, and a couple of well timed bananas.

I made enough of the tasty healthy frittata last night that I get to have some of it for lunch today. I've set myself up relatively well for healthy eating this week. I'm hopeful that my short stint off the wagon is behind me, and I'm moving in a positive direction again. Having my juice in the morning really does help. It gets me off to a healthy start, and keeps me from delaying breakfast until around 10 and then eating some really calorie dense food because I suddenly realize I'm starving.

Since I was unable to work out yesterday, I'm going to try to squeeze in a run this afternoon between getting home from work and heading over to the in-laws for dinner. This may mean sending my husband and daughter ahead of me and meeting them there. It will most likely end up being a treadmill run, but hey, at least it'll be a run.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Last week, after starting out so well, turned into a complete disaster. I fell off the wagon, and hit hard. We were so busy last week (halloween, multiple car emergencies), that we never really had a chance to plan or prepare a lot of healthy meals. Between that, having a hard time finding time to exercise when I wasn't completely exhausted, and Halloween itself, I gained almost a pound and a half last week.

The first sign of trouble was that I was unable to buy juice last week, since the store we had gone to did not have the fresh squeezed juice available. I figured I would take a couple days off of the juice, then find some time mid week to go buy some. That didn't happen. So no juice all week.

Exercise wise, the week started off well. I got a run in on Monday night, but then nothing. Tuesdays and wednesdays are always tough for me to schedule exercise for, our schedules those two days are just all wacky. And then Halloween, and then too tired to move friday (yes I know not an excuse,) and boom, it's the weekend and I haven't moved a muscle.

The real problem was my eating. I totally fell off the tracking wagon, which usually helps keep me honest on what I'm eating. And when I know how much I'm eating, I eat less. Without that check in place, I have a feeling I over ate at Family Dinner on Tuesday, and I *know* I overate on Halloween, indulging in (more than) a few pieces of candy, and two HUGE slices of pizza. The rest of the week I was supplementing my diet with candy. I didn't really get a handle on it again until Sunday, when I started tracking again.

I'm hoping for a good week this week. I've got my Juice for breakfast again, and I spent some time last night making salads for lunches. I have a few concrete goals for the week. First: track accurately everything I eat and drink this week. Second: Get at least three days of 30 minutes or more of intense exercise. Third (less concrete): Drink more water.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Getting my butt kicked by Monday.

Mondays always kick my butt. Oh who am I kidding, almost every morning kicks my butt these days. I am terrible at scheduling my time. Lately, it seems like my schedule has spun out of control, and with the lack of time goes my time and energy to work out.

Every weekend now is packed full of things we want or need to do. Before having our daughter, it seemed relatively easy to find a day to have down time. Usually sundays were low key, just hanging around the house, relaxing. I think our lack of ability to get anything done during the work week has contributed to the weekends being so harried.

Even without special plans, our weekends blur past in a rush to get the grocery shopping, laundry, house cleaning done. We see my parents on saturday and have that standing brunch date with a friend on sundays.

This week there was a Halloween party for the kids on sunday (which was also a birthday party so necessitated a shopping trip to a toy store,) and the wasted time at the crossfit gym followed by more wasted time recovering from the anxiety attack. I still did manage to get the run in on Saturday, which helps.

I've been mostly successful finding time to exercise one day each weekend (usually saturday.) But by monday morning, I'm out of energy, and most definitely not ready to face the work week. I've been trying (and mostly failing) to attend a Monday night yoga group. It's at an awkward time for me (7pm), but I really do feel like when I go, it helps my overall anxiety level. Even if getting myself there can be an entire anxiety trip on it's own. (Nothing like showing up to a room full of skinny good looking 20 somethings, while wearing clothes that show off the fact that I am in no way a skinny 20 something.)

A lot of the time, I end up not going because things didn't get done over the weekend, and there is just too much to do on monday. I am too tired, too stressed, have to make dinner, husband has to stay late at work....blah blah blah.

And then it's a race to see if I can find any time all week to work out.

I usually find myself at Saturday again before i know it, having maybe worked out one other time during the week. I've contemplated waking up earlier to work out, but honestly I'm barely dragging myself out of bed right now to get to work on time. I've tried going to bed earlier, but then I lay awake in bed trying to sleep until my normal bed time hits. I am just not a morning person.

This week I have a plan, and we'll see how well it works. Tonight, Yoga. If Yoga becomes an impossibility tonight, I will force myself to run on the treadmill. No excuses, at least half an hour of exercise tonight.

Tuesday, if I went to  yoga, then I go for a run. If I ran tonight, then I will do a yoga video at home.

Wednesday is my off day, since I work wacky hours.

Thursday is Halloween, so I'm going to try to run, but it will most likely turn into an off day.

Friday, run. Saturday, attempt to drag my butt out of bed for a group training session at the scary crossfit gym where my friend is still trying to get me to do the biggest looser challenge. I'm going to try one more time I think, and then, if the anxiety is too much, give up on it.

This turned out to be kind of a scattered post, but that's how I'm feeling today. Scattered and honestly, really really tired.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Anxiety, a goal failure, and a redeeming run.

I tried to sign up for that Biggest Looser style competition today. It did not go well. I showed up at the place within the designated time frame to sign up (between 7 and 10 am.) I was not sure I was in the right place when I walked in. It was just a big room with some fitness equipment, and a bunch of very fit people doing cross fit in different small groups. There were a couple people sitting on a couch near the entrance. After standing around looking lost for a second I approached one of them and asked them if this was the right place. They had no idea, but said the trainer running it should be around somewhere, just go wait on the other couch. So I sat there. And I sat there. And I sat there. The people on the other couch got up and joined a few other people that had wandered in and started their own class. Eventually another class ended and the instructor saw me sitting there, and asked who I was waiting for. She called the trainer, no answer, texted her, no answer. Said she was sorry, and left.

I had now been sitting there for about half an hour, feeling completely insecure and stupid. I was the proverbial fat kid being stood up by the popular girls.

I left.

I had a complete meltdown by the time I got home. It had taken me so much to just get myself there, to put myself out there and walk in that door. Every second I sat there I felt a little bit worse, a little bit uglier, a little bit more worthless. Every time I saw someone looking at me, It was like I could read on their face what they were thinking. "What is she doing here? Look at her! So fat and ugly and stupid." I'm sure none of them were actually thinking that. I'm sure they're perfectly lovely people. But that's what my head said. That's what I felt.

When I got home, I couldn't explain to my husband why I was so upset, why I was curled up with my face in my hands sobbing. 

So we went for a run. We packed our daughter and the jogging stroller into the car, and my husband strapped his brand new, untested, knee brace on, and we drove to the canal path near our house. It was freezing and windy, and while we were setting the stroller up and strapping our daughter in I thought about calling it and heading home. But we went.

My husband is very tall and has very long legs. His natural walking pace is almost as fast as my normal running pace. He runs at a really fast clip. To slow him down, he pushes the Jogging stroller when we run together, but usually he still burns me out really quickly. This was his first run in a while, his first run with the knee brace, and only his second run since his knee injury. We wern't planning on going very far.

I kept up with him, feeling comfortable at the pace he was setting. I had some nasty heartburn for a while (I hadn't eaten yet.) But by the time we hit the one mile point, I was still feeling alright. My husband dropped back to a walk at that point, and I kept going for a while, about another half mile, before turning around and taking a walk break. When we hit the bridge which marks the one mile point again, we started jogging again for a while, about a quarter mile, before I was unable to maintain his pace. He said he was shot at that point anyways, so he started walking, and I slowed my jogging pace way down. I took inventory and realized I was just about out of gas, but decided I could make it to the 1/2 mile point. I sprinted the last bit of it, and then dropped back to a walk, and headed back to meet up with my husband. The walk back to the car was nice, although I had to ask him to slow down at one point, he really does walk fast.

The running part (including my walk breaks) was about 2.42 miles. Not a far run, but it was fast (for me) and doing a run in the cold, blustery weather made me feel much more hard core about it.

It helped my state of mind a lot to do that run, but I'm still having a hard time shaking off the anxiety from this morning.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Last night was a workout fail.

So my plan to run last night was a fail. After getting home, I changed into running gear, started defrosting the fish for dinner, started the dishwasher, and played with my daughter. She refused to go down for a nap, so no treadmill run. It was too cold and nasty out to drag her out in the Jogging stroller.

"That's fine." I thought, "I will run on the treadmill after she goes to bed."

Except I didn't. After dinner and play time and bed time, I was exhausted. So I vegged. I sat on the couch and watched TV for two hours and then went to bed.

Inexcusable, really. There was time there, at the end of the day. I just couldn't make myself get up and go run.

I did spend a good half hour dancing around in the living room carrying my toddler. It was definitely sweat inducing, but I wouldn't call it a workout.

I've been keepin' on with the juice in the morning and sticking to my WW points, so that's a plus this week. It will be interesting to see what my weigh in looks like this week.

Speaking of weigh ins, I was invited to join a "Biggest Looser" style "competition" recently. The first weigh in is this Saturday. I'm hoping that being involved in something like this will be the kick in the butt I need to make sure I get my workouts done.

Mentally this week has been rough. I feel completely frustrated with myself right now. I keep "re-comitting" to workouts, and missing them. Yes, I'm keeping (some) control over my diet, and I am exercising occasionally, but it's not where it should be. Life keeps getting in the way. I feel like it's impossible for me to save the time and energy I need to workout. The only time I seem to be able to carve out for workouts is at the very end of my day, when I'm out of energy, it's dark out, and all I want to do is just fall into bed. Any time I carve out for workouts leaves something else that I should have finished, undone. I feel guilty for giving up the time with my daughter, for not making dinner, for not being home to clean or do dishes or laundry, or even just to watch the kid while my husband does some of that.

I feel awesome after a run, but then, as soon as all the stuff I wasn't doing smacks me in the face when I get home, that feeling disappears, and I'm more stressed than ever. I need to find a better flow in my life.

I'm going to try to run tonight, try to make myself run. I think I really need it tonight.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

First treadmill run of the season

Last night I had to make a command decision. The temps were dipping close to 40 degrees and the wind was blustery cold. I could not, in good conscience, take my daughter out on a run with me in that weather. Oh, the weather was fine if it was just me going out for a run, but not for strapping my tiny toddler into her jogging stroller and pushing her along in front of me.

My run seemed doomed.

And then, miracle of miracles, my daughter decided she wanted a nap. An unusual (of late) afternoon nap. So I plunked her down in her crib, and set about unburying the treadmill.

Over the course of the summer, the back room where the treadmill sits has continued to collect....stuff. Basically everything we don't know where to put, ends up back there. It's a problem. There were stacks of boxes surrounding the treadmill.

In a fit of inspiration while moving said boxes (which were thankfully mostly empty,) I created a tower next to the treadmill where I could, oh so carefully, perch my laptop. I had, while complaining bitterly about the boredom of treadmill runs to a colleague, had it suggested to me that I try to watch television or movies while I ran.

"Yes!" I thought, as I positioned the laptop where I could see it, "I have Netflix, I have a computer, I have cheesy television shows my husband refuses to watch, this will work!"

And it did....sort of. About halfway through my run, while struggling to hear the puny audio from my laptop, I realized I could turn on the closed captioning. That was much better. It did not, however, distract me completely from the run.

25 minutes into the run (I forgot to check how far the treadmill thought I had gone), running at a steady 3.8, I was out of juice. I just, didn't have it in me past that point. I don't know what it was ( I do have a few theories ,) but that 25 minutes on the treadmill felt so much longer and harder than the last outdoor run I did, which I suspect was way longer.

I'm happy because I actually managed to fit in a run, but I'm upset about the quality and length of that run. I'm really proud of myself for not giving in and giving up on the run, for finding a way to get some exercise in, however I'm upset with myself for not pushing through it, and finishing a full half hour. I'm hoping to get out for another run on thursday, but it may end up being a treadmill day because of scheduling. Saturday I will most definitely be outside running.

The juicing is going so so. I was doing great this week, until today. The juice I had for breakfast today was vile. It tasted so bad it was making me ill to drink it. I choked down as much as I could (not much) and tossed the rest. What a waste. I'm going to have to make a late night trip on my way home from work tonight to pick up more juice somewhere, or risk not having any in the morning again.

I have been sticking to my WW points through this week so far. I made the effort to only have a small helpings at dinner last night, even though I did have a small brownie and a small scoop of ice cream, I managed to stay right around my points limit.

I have a hard goal deadline now. My brother and his fiance set a date for their wedding, and I really want to have lost at least a significant portion of the weight by then. Luckily for me, they chose August 30th, so I have 10 entire months (and some change) to hit my goal.

If I keep on the trajectory I'm on now (loosing about a 1/2 lb a week) I'll have lost 20 lbs by then, which is only about half way to my goal weight. So I have to kick it up a bit, try to up the weight loss to a whole pound each week. Yikes.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Outside Forces

Sometimes (often) the things that affect my ability to work out are completely out of my control. Last night was most definitely one of those times.

I was planning on attending a 7pm yoga class. Normally this is only a small scheduling issue. If I have dinner ready before I go, my husband can eat and feed the baby while I'm at Yoga, and I eat when I get home. Normally my husband gets home between 5:45 and 6:00, which gives me plenty of time to pack up and leave for class.

Last night he got home a little after 6:30.

I could have still gone. I could have shown up late I suppose, sometimes people do. But I'm one of those obsessively early people. I hate nothing more than walking in somewhere late.

"It's Ok." I thought, "I can still do a yoga video later after the munchkin goes to bed."

Except she didn't. She was up and wired until sometime between 8:30 and 9:00. For reference she's usually in bed before 8pm.

So I ended up, exhausted from toddler play time, collapsing on the couch and watching television in my yoga clothes.

I'm hoping to make up for that failure yesterday with a run today. It is incredibly windy out there, and I'm going to be running with the jogging stroller, so I don't have high hopes for a stellar run. But I'm determined to do something today.

I will not let the Blerch win.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall down 7 times, get up 8

Well I fell "off the wagon" big time this weekend. I ran out of Juice on Thursday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were a food free for all. I tried to eat well, and made healthier choices ( omlette for breakfast instead of eggs benedict, saying no to a second helping of crepes...) but I did not track, and I did not have juice for breakfast.

Saturday I was supposed to get up early (for me) and go to a free trial workout at 7am for a biggest looser challenge I want to do. Even though I went to bed (relatively) early (for me) I just could not drag myself out of bed at 6 Saturday morning.

After a tasty breakfast of homemade crepes with Strawberry Jam (and no Juice), I was feeling very....well for lack of a better term.... Blerchy. So I made a deal with myself. As soon as my daughter went down for her nap, I would go for a run.  It didn't have to be a long run, or a fast run, but I needed to get myself out there, and get some exercise.

I was kind of excited for the run, since I was planning on wearing headphones for the first time while running the canal path. The only other time I'd run while wearing headphones I had found that I ran further, faster and with less angst.

I could not however find the arm band required for carrying my phone with me. There was a moment, a dark tiny moment, where that was almost enough to derail my running plan. I decided, instead, to run without tech. For the first time in a very long time, I would go out and run without something tracking my every step.

I was planning on running on the Canal path, which I know very well, and where I know the approximate distances to various landmarks. This was enough to keep my anxiety about not knowing exactly how fast or how far from overwhelming my desire to run.

So I went. Without tech, without music, without knowing how far or how fast. And it was a great run. The path was practically empty. There was a light breeze blowing across the path and it was cool and partly sunny. The breeze was nice, and since it was blowing across the path, I wasn't fighting the wind on either the out or back. I really wasn't thinking about speed or distance, I just kinda ran.

Oh yeah, it felt the familiar awful on and off for most of the run. There was the ongoing argument in my head between the part of me ( the Blerch ) that wanted me to stop, and the part of me that refused to. I ran out to the first Lock from where I started running, took a walk break and ran back. Based on what I remembered about the distances I figured I'd run about 2.5 miles, give or take.

I was wrong. When I got home and entered my run into mapmyrun, I saw a number that I really wasn't expecting. 3.27 miles. Without meaning to, without planning on it, I had run further than a 5k. This was an epiphany moment for me. This was a moment where I realized that I can do this, that somehow, without me noticing, it got easier. I ran a 5k, my goal distance that I had trained to meet all last winter, without it feeling like a huge distance.

This morning, I'm back to the Juice. It feels healthier to be drinking it. It's almost 11 now, and I feel only minimally hungry. I still have a bit of juice left in my cup.

Tonight is a Yoga night. I'm going to need it, I did not do enough stretching after my run (and totally forgot to do any foam rolling), so my legs are tight and a little achey. I'm really looking forward to some time on the Mat and getting some of these kinks out.

But it was worth it, oh yes it was. If only to realize that I can do it.

I can run, and I can't stop me.