Day 98 – Running joy and chicken bullies

I’m back into a nice running routine, though I’ve added a small twist. I’ve started running 2 miles, then picking up my dog as I pass by the house. He joins me for the last mile or so, and we usually just walk it. It’s a nice way to break up the run a bit, and it keeps me going past my house. This means that I completed 3.12 miles on Friday (in 41 minutes). I did another 3.36 miles last night (in 46 minutes). I’m also excited to say that I broke a 12 minutes mile on Friday! I ran mile #2 in 11:25!  I did not repeat that last night, but did enjoy a wonderfully relaxing run.

This is at the 2.5 mile mark of my run. I was excited to see that the picture actually shows what I saw yesterday! (Usually, my picture taking skills leave something to be desired.)

This is at the 2.5 mile mark of my run. I was excited to see that the picture actually shows what I saw yesterday! (Usually, my picture taking skills leave something to be desired.)

Today, though, my legs are sore. This is new for me. After all the running I’ve done in the past 3 months, this is the first time my calves and hamstrings are really sore the next day. Since last night was NOT my fastest or longest run, I’m kind of wondering what’s up with that? Hopefully, it’s just a random thing that will pass. I’m planning to take today as a rest day, so I’ll have time to recover.

We have been struggling with our chickens recently. They have decided that one member of their flock is not approved of. She has had feathers pecked off, and they won’t let her eat! They are being big, bad, chicken bullies! A while ago, we separated her from the flock for a while, but we are not willing to set up a whole different coop just for her. Since it’s getting colder and they need some extra lighting now, we went ahead and put her back in with the others. Hopefully, they won’t kill her.

She has lost a bunch of her feathers from when the other chickens pecked at her.

She has lost a bunch of her feathers from when the other chickens pecked at her.

chicken 3

She also lost weight, because her flock wouldn’t let her eat from the feeder.

Day 95 – Scale, end of first quarter, and back on track

What a week it has been! The first quarter of school ended this week, and that is always a major event. Most of my students have done very well, so far this year. I love looking back over the quarter and seeing how much they’ve learned. I do have one student about whom I am concerned, but I’m taking steps to hopefully help.

I am back to running. I completed 2 miles in about 27 minutes on Wed, and I’ll run again this evening. The Turkey Trot we’ll be running is a very hilly course, and I’m starting to get worried. I know I need to add some bigger hills to my run (and I have one on my road), but hills scare the crap out of me! I’m trying to convince myself to put on my big-girl britches and just do it.

The flash would not work on the camera, but I think you can still read the numbers.

My 2 week plateau was crushed this week!

I was also happy to get on the scale this morning and see 203.7!!! That means I’m down 28lbs and am less than 4 pounds away from ONEderland! I really want to be comfortably under 200lbs by Thanksgiving, and it looks like I’ll make it.

As the school year gets busier, and the holidays get closer, I suspect my posts on here will be a bit scarcer. I will always post on Fridays, and I’m hoping to post at least once more during the week.

Day 89 – Weighing in & an AWE-some run

Saturday, October 17, 2015

            I had the best run, yesterday! I completed 3.1 miles in 41 minutes, and it felt amazing! I really do love running outside. Last night, it felt as good as my run started on Tuesday, but this time, I didn’t fall down. I even grabbed the dog and let him join me for the last mile!

My eating is pretty much back on track, and life is getting back to normal. I’m hoping that my downward weight trend will also return. For today, though, I was fine with the scale’s 207.6 lbs. Maybe I gained a pound from my unofficial 206.6, maybe Mother Nature decided today was a good time to screw with my weight, or maybe all the stress of the last two weeks meant I only lost 0.3 lbs. I’m choosing to go with the last perspective. Life has been looking pretty good the last few days, and I’m not going to lose sight of all the things that are going well for me. The weight will come off – it will just take time. Both of those statements have been true for almost 90 days now.

I'm counting this as a 0.3 lb loss from my last official weigh-in, two weeks ago.

I’m counting this as a 0.3 lb loss from my last official weigh-in, two weeks ago.

While enjoying time with Hubby last night, we both decided a nice cup of tea sounded good (I love chamomile). One cup led to 2, and 2 cups of tea led me to the bathroom in the middle of the night where I smashed and sliced my toe with the door. Sometimes, I think I should just wrap myself in bubble wrap. I’m not sure how I’ll run like this, and I’ll likely take a day or two off, but as soon as possible I’ll be anxiously excited to return to the road. Part of making a full lifestyle change means dealing with the falls, smashed toes, and stressful times along with the amazing runs, sunny days, vacations, and comforting routines.

Somehow, while trying to open the bathroom door in the middle of the night, I pulled it back and over my toe.

Somehow, while trying to open the bathroom door in the middle of the night, I pulled it back and over my toe.

It's actually sliced/ripped open all the way around to the bottom. It's not as swollen as I was afraid it would be, though.

It’s actually sliced/ripped open all the way around to the bottom. It’s not as swollen as I was afraid it would be, though.

Day 87 – Getting back up

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The past 2 weeks have been challenging, but those challenges the sugar that gives success its sweetness. On the family front, my husband has been sober for more than 10 days now. Every evening, after our son goes to bed, we turn off all of our electronics and hang out together. Recently, we’ve been playing cards, but last night Hubby also ordered a puzzle for us. We used to love doing puzzles together, but we haven’t done one since our first year of marriage. In many ways my marriage has been improving over the last 5 years or so. I don’t think I would have talked to him about his drinking the way I did, if we hadn’t already come so far.

It was cloudy and cool enough to be perfect running weather!

It was cloudy and cool enough to be perfect running weather!

Because of all of the family drama, my running has not been as consistent as I’d like. The sporadic nature of my runs has become regretfully normal, but I have not stopped running or walking. In fact, I went for a very nice run Tuesday evening. After returning from my grandmother’s on Sunday, I’d gone for a run, but it was tough. I hadn’t run in 4 days, and I hate going that long between runs. By Tuesday, I was back to feeling good about running. The evening was cool, my legs felt free, my spirit was light, and my 1st mile went so well, I decided to do a full 3 miles. I do a mile out and back followed by a half mile out and back the opposite direction, so I’m never more than 1 mile from home. Of course it was at that 1 mile point, as I made the turn-around that fell in a pothole.

I picked out most of the rocks, but some of the black tar from the road is semi-permanently stuck in the wounds - ick!

I picked out most of the rocks, but some of the black tar from the road is semi-permanently stuck in the wounds – ick!

Falling down sucks. Having to travel 1 mile home while bleeding sucks worse, but I did it. I fell down, but I got right back up again. Realizing that I did not rip my pants or roll my ankle made it much more bearable. In fact, my hand was the only injury I sustained, so I really can’t complain. I made it home and cleaned my hand. Last night, I put my running shoes back on and went back out there. I took the dog with me (and told Hubby that if the dog arrived home without me, he should come find me). We mostly walked, but I still finished 2 miles in less than 30 minutes. Tonight, I’m really excited to go for a run again. I loved how good it felt (until I fell) on Tuesday, and I want more of that. I have two meetings this evening, so I’m not sure I’ll get to go tonight, but if I don’t, I’ll be excitedly awaiting tomorrow night’s run.

Day 80 – Day by day

October 8, 2015

When I first began this journey, it was a choice I made day-by-day. Okay, to be honest, it was a choice I made hour-by-hour at the very beginning. After 80 days, it has become more of a week-by-week choice. Life is not perfect, and I’ve had to make room for those imperfections. I think of it like when you find that amazing small shop that you absolutely LOVE while hopelessly lost trying to find something much more mundane. There are now hours, and sometimes days, when I’m not perfect. Sometimes it’s for really awesome reasons like my weekend at the beach. Sometimes its for crappy reasons like the family stuff I’m tackling this week. Whatever the case may be, these moments are my opportunity to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle can’t just be about staying within a certain number of calories or exercising a certain amount. A healthy lifestyle involves handling all of life’s ups and downs in a way that works for me.

While far from ideal, my eating habits have still been better than they were before this journey began.

While far from ideal, my eating habits have still been better than they were before this journey began.

With that in mind, I’m happy to maintain my weight this week. I’m willing to accept a few days away from running (knowing that I’ll appreciate it that much more when I return to it). I’m at a point where my choices are being made hour-by-hour and day-by-day again. I started to lose control of my eating tonight. I found myself hungry, but never satisfied. I ate hoping to solve my problems (shocker – it didn’t solve anything). I also stopped. I ate more than I should have today. I ate when I wasn’t physically hungry, and I as I went looking for more to eat, I made the choice to stop. I may have gone over my goal caloric intake yesterday and today, but both days I made the choice not to give up on myself. I made the choice not to punish myself for being human, and that lack of punishment has kept my eating within a reasonable range. I refuse to view this week as a failure in any way. My family will be stronger for having survived this week, and I will be stronger for having made all of the tough choices I’ve made this week.

My husband has been sober for 4 days now, and I’ve been committed to a healthier lifestyle for 80 days. Tomorrow will come, and more choices will be made, but for now, I’m celebrating today’s success.

Day 79 – Changes

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

This post is a bit difficult for me, so please be kind. My husband has been sober for just over 48 hours now, and that’s a big deal. I’m not sure exactly how long, but I believe it’s been quite a while since he has gone this long without a drink. My son and I will be spending the weekend visiting my grandmother, both to celebrate her birthday and give Hubby and I some time and space.

Things blew up Sunday night, and as bad as it was, I think it was a good thing. I’m hopeful for our future together. I’m also relieved that I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I know that there will still be bad days. We have many hurdles to leap over, but I feel like we have taken yet another step toward a happy and healthy life together.

These changes, along with a medical emergency in my classroom this week, have made for an unusually exciting week. I did run yesterday, but it was not as long or steady as I’d have liked. All things considered, I’m considering the fact that went at all a victory. I took a rest day from my Plank Challenge Monday, but I got back to it yesterday with a time of 30 seconds. I’m still keeping up with my water intake.

Since I’ll be traveling with my son this weekend, I’ll not be able to run. I will be walking with my son, and I’m thinking about taking him skating. I will also not be stepping on the scale on Friday, and I debated just skipping the weekly weigh-in. In the end, I decided to check my weight today, and I’ll check it again when I get home. It will help keep me making healthy choices during a weekend of travel when I’ll have many opportunities to eat for emotional reasons. Today the scale said 206.6.

Day 76 – Gratitude

I’ve decided to be grateful for my treadmill struggles. When I let go of it and went back out on the road, I found a whole new appreciation for the joy that comes with running outside. I think the treadmill troubles really helped me remember the beauty and bliss of running outside. Yesterday, I ran 2.75 miles in 35 minutes. It felt so good! I averaged a 12:10 mile pace for the 2 miles I ran.

It was nice to have a destination during this run. I think I ran faster because I was really curious to see the creek.

It was nice to have a destination during this run. I think I ran faster because I was really curious to see the creek.

We’ve had tons of rain recently, so lower areas are flooding pretty badly. Since I’m up in the mountains, that wasn’t really a worry for us, though we have a nearby creek that flows under a low water bridge. I was curious about how all of the rain had impacted it, so I ran down the road to see. The bridge is between 1 ¼ and 1 ½ miles down the road, and I do mean “down.” Check out the red elevation change, and you’ll notice how big of a hill I walked back up.  The bridge was not overflowing – not even close, but there was more water than usual. It was cool to hear and see it moving so quickly.

This is the water rushing toward the bridge. It made such a pretty rushing sound!

This is the water rushing toward the bridge. It made such a pretty rushing sound!

I always like to race leaves and sticks under bridges - like Whinnie the Pooh!

I always like to race leaves and sticks under bridges – like Whinnie the Pooh!

I always think the creek looks pretty.

I always think the creek looks pretty.

I have been keeping up with my plank challenge. Thursday, I made it 10 sec, Fri – 12 sec, Sat – 18 sec, and today I stayed in plank position for 30 seconds!  Also conquered the treadmill today. Since I had such a great run yesterday, I didn’t feel any pressure to run too much today, but I did want to do a little bit of interval work. I ended up doing 6 sets of running 1 min and walking 30 seconds. My running speed ranged from 5 mph to 5.5 mph. I felt like I was working really hard, and I was gasping for breath by the end of each minute. I still don’t understand why, since that’s about my pace for a full mile or more on the road. In any case, I think doing most of my big runs outside and using the treadmill for short workouts like intervals once or twice a week may help me adjust to it without feeling like I’m missing workouts if the treadmill run isn’t a great one.

The complete lack of pressure today allowed me to be happy about how hard I worked without stressing over the specific numbers. It’s the same philosophy as working on making healthy eating choices without getting too caught up in the numbers on the scale.

Day 75 – The big picture

October 3, 2015

I have lost a total of 24.1 lbs and 1.8% body fat.

I have lost a total of 24.1 lbs and 1.8% body fat.

I did weigh in yesterday morning. The scale read 207.9 lbs. There was a big part of me that was disappointed by that. How dare my body only drop ¾ of a pound! I’ve been really good this week. My calorie goal is 1360, but I’ve always said that’s a general guideline. If I’m hungry (physically – not emotionally) I eat, and I’m really happy to stay between 1200 and 1600 calories each day. This week I stayed right in that range. I really don’t understand why I didn’t lose more, and I found myself starting to get really upset about it. About this same time, I was also putting my pants on – the pants that are now saggy and baggy and require a belt to stay up. And I realized that I LOST ¾ of ANOTHER pound!

The red line is at 1360 calories. The bottom blue line is 1000 and the top is 2000. I'm really happy with my recent eating habits.

The red line is at 1360 calories. The bottom blue line is 1000 and the top is 2000. I’m really happy with my recent eating habits.

Maybe I’m entering a bit of a plateau; maybe my running issues this week impacted my weight loss; maybe I haven’t been drinking enough water. Who know, and who cares? I’m within 1 pound of being down 25lbs. If I have a bit of a plateau every 25lbs, I’ll only see 3 plateaus in 100lbs of loss! That’s pretty freaking amazing. I constantly have to remind myself that, when trying to lose 100lbs, it’s a marathon, not a 100 yard dash or even a 5k. I have to live my life. I have to enjoy my time, and I have to remember that there will be good days and weeks, and bad days and weeks. A year from now, when I’m stepping into smaller pants and hopping more energetically up and down the steps, this week will be 1 small step of a very long journey.

With this marathon of lifestyle changes is mind, and in honor of beginning a new month, I’ve decided to do a few things:

This is what got me excited about doing a 30 day plank challenge. It's too hard for me right now, so I'll do a modified version.

This is what got me excited about doing a 30 day plank challenge. It’s too hard for me right now, so I’ll do a modified version.

  1. I’m going to complete a 30 day plank challenge. I found it online, and it got me excited. It’s a bit too tough for me at this point, so I’m going to make a few adjustments. I will plank (Can that be used as a verb?) every day for 30 days. I’m starting at 15 seconds and will add time each day – even if it’s only 2 seconds.
  2. I’m going to drink at least 60 ounces of water every day. This is on top of the 20 ounces of black coffee I drink daily (and yes, I totally count it as extra fluid intake – I once had a doctor tell me that it counts, and I’m sticking with that!)
  3. I will not step on the scale unless it is Friday for at least the next 2 weeks! I’m not really too bad about this, but I occasionally peek. I think I need to take my own advice and remember to focus on the things I can directly control – like what I eat and how much I exercise, instead of worrying about which little lights are illuminated on a cold glass square of technology.

I also went back and read my thoughts from Day 8 and realized that they are just as true now as they were then. This journey is about making healthy choices. Weight loss is just a likely side effect.

Day 73 – Running was my friend today

October 1, 2015

We have a one day window without rain, and I took full advantage of it. I ran and ran and ran just as far as I could, and it felt damn good. Then I grabbed the leash and walked the dog for another 1.2 miles. Now if only someone could invent a treadmill that lets me feel the crisp autumn air on my face, smell the burning wood and leaves and pine, see the forest change, hear the birds, crickets, and frogs, and even taste the exhaust of the rare passing truck.

I felt the bliss of running success!

I felt the bliss of running success! I don’t know how clear it is, but my first mile was 13:30-ish, my second 12:30-ish, and my third was 17:00-ish.