Day 194 – 5K Saturday + 0.9 miles!

Run Jan 30 2016

If you look under the “Elevation Profile” in the bottom right, you’ll see a bowl shape. That was the 2nd mile of my run, when I dropped 150ft in half a mile and then had to climb the same 150ft.

Prep – I should have done a better job with this. I ate my oats at 8am and took off on my run about 11:45am. I did not think to eat lunch before running and kind of regretted it around the 3 mile mark. It was actually surprisingly warm, so I wore my warm weather tights, tech-T, and my running hoodie.

Pace – 12:30 min/mile – AWESOME!!

Walks – Not really any.

Water breaks – One, at the 3 mile mark. I actually stopped for almost a full minute, because I need to take off my hoodie in addition to getting a good drink of water. I’ll need to start carrying water with me once I up my run beyond these 4 miles.

Cars passed – two; it was a pretty peaceful run today.

How it felt – Hard. Getting in a full 4 miles means that I go all the way down to my favorite bridge. That requires running down the “Hill of Doom” and then running back up the “Hill of Doom.” I nicknamed it that because it’s a 150ft elevation change in half a mile with a false plateau in the middle. It has 2 switchbacks, and there’s no opportunity for a break, rest, or recovery during that half mile. It was miserably brutal, but I totally sucked it up and made it the whole way down and the whole way back up. The hill was the second mile of my run (½ down and ½ back up), and I didn’t think I’d make it beyond 3 miles based on how beat up I was by that stupid hill, but I kept running!

Notable – This is the first time I’ve run more than 3.5 miles! Completing a full 4 miles was really awesome! I’ll stick with my 4 mile long run for a while now, so that I can build up my mileage during the week more.

Calories burned – about 500 which I really enjoyed eating back when we went out for Mexican and then had cheesecake for dessert!

Day 194

Oh, yummy food, it’s a good thing I ran so much today! Dinner and dessert were delicious!

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Day 193 – MMmmm Mexican food

That’s right, I’m going out to eat tonight! This does not happen often around here. I actually looked back to see that I have not eaten out since Jan 1! I’m excited about this! It also means that I decided to move my high calorie day to today instead of yesterday.

Day 193

I’m counting this as “on-track.”

I’m also going to attempt a 4 mile run today! It’s supposed to be sunny and 45-50*F today, so it’s the perfect day to attempt a new distance. Prior to this, the farthest I’ve gone was 3.5 miles. I have built up to being comfortable doing 3+ miles one day and knocking out another 2 the following day. Four miles today should be totally doable. I’m really trying to build my running “base” in preparation for half marathon training. Oh yeah, and I know what the term “running base” means now too! Apparently, half marathon training plans are not written like couch to 5K. Apparently, the plans expect people using them to already be established runners (call me dumb, but that kind of surprised me). Most half marathon training plans expect the people following them to already be comfortable running at least a 5 mile long run and running an average of 15-20 miles each week. The more I read, the more I learn that the stronger and more robust your base, the stronger your training will be.

I currently average 12-14 miles each week with a 3 mile long run, so I have a bit of building to do. The good news is that I don’t have to start my training plan until the middle to end of April, so I have plenty of time. I’m really enjoying learning about running while looking forward to a summer of training and an exciting race. It gives my running purpose while still allowing me time to learn, try, and build-up slowly.

Day 192 – A lifetime to look forward to (and the scale)

Day 192

Another happily normal day!

The last two days of normality have made me realize just how off-kilter I was for the earlier part of the week. It’s not really anything I can put my finger on, but things just felt “off” to me. I felt swollen and tired and just not right. Getting back to a normal school routine and a normal eating routine has really helped (even if it’s been crazy busy!)

Thinking about how odd the week has been had me a bit nervous about the scale this morning. I’m not sure why I get nervous about weighing in, it’s not like I have any control over the actual number and those numbers aren’t the most important part of my journey, but I get nervous none-the-less.

22 Scale Jan 29 184.2lbs

I lost half of a pound!

I was just happy to see a loss this week. I have a whole lot of life left in front of me. There’s no reason for me to HAVE to lose ALL of the weight right now! I’m going into next week lighter than I was last week. So long as that is true, I’ll eventually end up where I want to be. It doesn’t matter if I lose one tenth of a pound or 3 pounds, as long as the scale is moving downward.

I was supposed to do my interval workout on the treadmill last night, but it was NOT happening for me. I did run 1.5 miles, though. I’ll do another easy run tonight, because I’m looking forward to a good long run on a beautiful Saturday!

Day 191 – Just don’t think about it

First of all, I must explain that we are having some technical difficulties at my house right now. Our internet has been in and out. It appears to usually work best first thing in the morning, so I may start posting then instead of in the evening.

Second, I have to say, “Thank you!” Writing on this blog forces me to stop and reflect, but more than that, it encourages me to step out of the moment and try to see things from an outside perspective. Writing my post for Day 190 allowed me to consider its ultimately small role in my overall journey. Reading your comments reminds me that I have good company along the way, so thank you for reading and for your comments. It makes a big difference for me.

As for today – I just didn’t think about it. It was a crazy busy day! We have not started school on time since January 15th, so the whole schedule has been more chaotic than usual. It was also the day of the school spelling bee (which I’m in charge of), and then we had an extracurricular, that I support, after school. I didn’t have time to even consider food or feelings, and I think that was exactly what I needed. I ate what I had planned. I didn’t snack. I walked my mile. It felt normal – which felt good.

Day 191

It feels good to see a green bar again.

Day 190 – Falling off the wagon

Every journey includes challenges – that’s an inherent part of going on a journey. Consider, for a moment, how insanely boring a book, movie, or story would be if the “hero” never faced any adversity.

With that in mind, I must confess that this week has been full of challenges for me. I can’t pinpoint why, but my urge to eat insane amounts has been unusually high this week. Maybe it’s because I added granola to my morning oats? Maybe it’s that my school schedule has been off kilter (with snow and delays)? Maybe… it’s just a tough phase? Whatever the reason may be, I have drooled over EVERYTHING. The urge to EAT has been crazy intense and completely unrelated to physical hunger. I had done well holding it together all week, but tonight… well… I lost the battle. I was doing well until I got home and ate and ate and ate. There is a part of me that feels terrible about this. My stomach is stuffed, and I’m disappointed. This same part of me is screaming that I have just undone everything I’ve worked so hard for. It’s yelling that I’m doomed to be fat forever, so I might as well embrace it and eat some more. In the past I would listen. I would continue to feel worse and worse. I would eat and eat. I would accept that I cannot change my genetics. I swear the mental side of losing weight is a million times harder than physical part.

I am committed to this journey – all of it. That means I can’t let that old voice be the only one in my head, and it certainly can’t be the one I focus on. There is another voice that points out (quietly, but logically) that one bad day will not cause me to gain 47 pounds. It points out that, since I only keep healthy food in the house, the damage done today was quite minimal. What feels like complete disaster is really only about a 2000 calorie day. It’s not the end of the world, and I am not a complete failure. I had a bad day. I made choices I regret. Life goes on. I can and will make better choices moving forward. Heck, I’m already doing that by walking away from the food to type this.

Those of you reading this who also struggle with food will understand (I think/hope) when I say that it’s the feelings that come with food that make conquering it so hard. Stuffing my face can feel good, and that can be followed (very quickly) by self-disdain, disgust, and regret that appears to only be alleviated by eating more. My changing habits (including how I shop and what I keep in the house) kept things reasonable tonight. That, in turn, makes it easier to stop and get back on track. But the loss of control is still… overwhelming? disappointing? upsetting?

When looking at the big picture, today’s 2000 calories will barely even appear as a blip on the radar (remember, I ate 3600 calories on New Year’s Eve & I usually have a 2000 calorie day each week). The dismay comes from how I felt about eating. I don’t feel like I made the choice to eat tonight. I feel like I was attacked by food shoving it’s way into my mouth. I suspect I will fight this battle many, many more times, but I’m not giving up, and I’m not letting one bad day stand between me and my healthy future. I refuse to allow the voice of doom to be the loudest voice in my head, so even though I’m terrified that I’ll gain weight, stop running, and go back to my old ways, I’m going to make my normal oats for breakfast tomorrow. I’m going to pack my yogurt, salad, and an apple for lunch tomorrow. I’m committing to no snacking tomorrow (because I know that’s always a problem for me). This is NOT the end for me – it’s a moment of adversity to add some excitement to my journey. 🙂

Day 190

This was not one of my better days.

Day 189 – My 1st snowy run

With all the snow falling this weekend, I didn’t get to do my long run. Shoveling the snow certainly made up the exercise, but I missed my run. I’ve really come to enjoy that long run (even if “long” for me only means 3-3.5 miles). I was thinking about attempting a long-ish run on my treadmill, but even the thought of it was torture. I wanted to smell the woods and feel the open road beneath my feet! When I ran trash out and realized that it was a beautiful 45*F and sunny as can be, I decided to go for it. I ran 3.1 miles outside, in the snow today! The roads are mostly clear now, and I expect we’ll return to school tomorrow, but the snow banks on the side of the road are really high and deep from all the plowing. I was worried that I would encounter a larger vehicle with no place to escape on the side of the road. Those were probably reasonable fears, but the 3 trucks that passed me were all going slow enough to give me time to get well out of their way without having to dive head-first into a snowbank.

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The roads aren’t totally clear, but they’re passable. The plows did a good job clearing all the way to the end of the road most of the time.

I really just wanted to enjoy being outside and stretching my legs, so I set off at an easy pace. I had my watch on and running, but I wasn’t paying any attention to pace or distance. I did keep an eye on time, but only because I knew if I didn’t get home by 2, my family would be out looking for me. I stopped a couple times to take a picture, and I admired the deer tracks while contemplating their agility even in deep snow. I listened to a few birds call to one another, checking on their neighbors, I suppose. Occasionally, I’d hear the rustle of a tree branch shaking loose some its snowdust, and I even had to sidestep out of the way of one large clump that landed right in front of me. It was just past that point, as I heard the whistle of the train passing through the area, that I realized I felt like a runner. Not a fat, lumbering blob attempting a parody of a runner, but an actual runner. Somewhere along the way, I picked up this new label and began stitching it onto my identity vest, and as of today, it’s firmly affixed for all the world to see. I am a runner.

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I don’t run fast; I don’t run far; and my obese label is still hanging on (though only by 1 corner); but as my sneakers ate up pavements, I felt good, and happy, and alive. Running wasn’t something I HAD to do today. It was a treat I offered myself to celebrate a beautiful day.

Run Jan 25 2016

This felt like a very comfortable, easy pace, so I was surprised to look down and see a 12 min/mile average!

Day 188 -Whole lotta nadda

Little Man had nightmares last night, so we were up (for good) at 5 am. As much as that sucked, snuggling up with him on the couch while he was all sleepy was awesome. He’ll be seven later this year, and he’s just getting to the age when he doesn’t often want to cuddle anymore. I always treasure the moments when he curls up under my arm offers me part of his blanket – even if those moments come before dawn and after being up more than once during the night.

Two solid days of shoveling, followed by a short night, an early morning, and laundry day made the last little section of the driveway feel like an uphill battle. My wonderful husband tackled most of it while I handled most of our normal Sunday chores. I’m definitely sore today, and I do not want to do my mile. I will, though. This mile challenge for the leap year is the perfect challenge for me. Even on days like today, I can manage to drag myself across the treadmill for 20 minutes, and I really want the Smashrun badges. For completing a mile everyday this year, I’ll earn 3 or 4 badges – one of which can ONLY be earned on a leap year! Silly as it is, it keeps me going. I’m 24 days in already, and I don’t want to have to a) start over again or b) wait 3 more years till the next leap year, so I’m committed. Though I must confess that I’ll probably trudge my mile while still wearing my comfy sweats today!

Hope everyone on the East coast is doing well today! (I hope the same for the West coast and everyone in between (and on other continents), but the blizzard hit the East coast – so they get the specific well wishes. Of course, Alaska got hit with an earthquake, and heaven only knows what other chaos escaped the attention of the media. Perhaps, I should simply wish you all well?)

Day 188

It’s been a slow, lazy, chill kind of day. I did see a picture tutorial showing how to make Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies, and I was VERY glad I can’t physically get to the store today. My urge to make and eat as many as humanly possible was almost overwhelming – I swear I could smell the chocolate and taste that little bit of saltiness that comes with a good, hot cookie. Ugh, stuff like that should be illegal!

 

Day 187 – Shoveling 1000 calories

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This pictures shows about 1/3 of what I shoveled today, and I shoveled just as much yesterday, as well (though it was only 5-6″ yesterday).

I do love a good snow storm. For whatever reason, I really don’t mind shoveling snow. It always makes me feel strong and accomplished. Our driveway is about 0.2 miles long and in the shape of a tear drop with a big (5-ish car) parking area at the top of the teardrop. We only shovel the gradual, curvy half of the driveway when it snows. The other side is straight down and too steep to be safe in the snow. Yesterday, Hubby and I cleared the whole section of the driveway and the parking area. Then we got another foot of snow overnight. So we shoveled again today. I cleared the whole parking area and about 1/3 of the driveway all by myself! I didn’t get too tired or out of breath. I shoveled just as long as Hubby did, and then I went inside and made lunch. It was great to feel so fit!

I’ve kept up my mile a day, though I haven’t don’t more than that, since we’re so focused on clearing the driveway. I am counting my shoveling as exercise, though entering it can be a bit challenging. MFP has it listed as a crazy high calorie burning activity, and I don’t consistently shovel. I work for a bit, admire the snow for a bit, work for a bit, yell at my son, work for a bit, laugh at my son for a bit, you get the idea. Anyway, I ended up taking my time outside, cutting it in half, and counting that. Today we shoveled for almost 2 hours, so I ended up counting it as 50 minutes and got over 400 calories for it! At first that really freaked me out, but when I think about it, it’s probably about right. I did work really hard, and it did feel about the same as running just over a 5K. I guess I’m just used to how hard it USED to feel to shovel. This year it felt easy compared to previous years. It’s still snowing out, so I’m sure I’ll be shoveling again tomorrow.

I’ve burned over 1000 calories in the last two days, so I’m enjoying eating a bit more. Yesterday was my high calorie day anyway, so I made French toast for lunch and pizza for dinner. We even made some really delicious baked apples for dessert last night. It was exactly what we all wanted after a day outside in the snow! Today I enjoyed more normal food, though my portions were a tad larger, and I actually put butter on my bread to make grilled cheese (instead of spraying it with a light coating of olive oil).

Day 187

I’m trying to keep it healthy and use my hunger as a guide when eating. I want to make sure that I have enough fuel to shovel, without eating just for the joy of food.

 

Day 186 – In case of disconnect

We’ve been told to prepare for 2-3 days without power, since we’re expecting 2+ feet of snow.  This isn’t really a big deal for us. Oh, sure it’s a storm, and we need to be prepared. That said, here in the mountains, it’s just not unheard of for us. We’ve lost power twice already this winter. We have a back up/ supplemental heater with plenty of fuel. We always keep jugs of water on hand. Since we don’t have cell reception of any sort here, our backup source of information is an old-school battery powered weather radio. We do have a true landline phone, so it works even without power. The news from the city – where people are scrambling to stockpile food cracks me up. I guess the world just looks a bit different when you’re always 45 minutes from anything. We also see more than a foot of snow at least once or twice every winter, and once you get above a foot, the difference between one foot and three feet just isn’t that much. Both mean that you stay home and build a snowman.

I remember a big storm when we lived in the city. We lost power, and people started looting the 7/11 by our neighborhood. 911 made announcements that they wouldn’t be able to help anyone. It was chaos. There is no 7/11 here, and 911 always comes with a 30+ minute response time.

Anyway, I wanted to go ahead an post my weekly weigh-in, just in case I don’t have internet later.

21 Scale Jan 21 184.7lbs

I’m less than 10 lbs away from being classified as “overweight” instead of “obese!”

This loss of 1.6 lbs tells me that I what I did this past week worked well, not only in terms of how I felt, but also by getting the results I want. I had some trouble setting up my plan for the week the way I wanted it. I like to do a high calorie day on Friday. I don’t want to eat the first 100 exercise calories I earn each day, and I don’t want to have to eat exercise calories on the day that I earn them. Since I often earn exercise calories at 7pm, I like to have the flexibility to eat them the following day. I’ve not found any possible way to set this up on MFP (or any other tracker), so I made my own spreadsheet.

Weekly Summary

You can see how I filled in this week, and the blank week I have set up for next week. It lets me look at weekly totals instead of focusing only on the day-by-day.

Day 185 – Snowy joy & treadmill woes

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This is what my driveway looks like now (sunset on Thurs). The chickens enjoyed the sun today. I’ll take more pics as the snow falls.

This morning we had a dusting of snow and some sheets of black ice, so they cancelled school. I was all about that! I did some dishes, … yeah, I got nothin’ else. I did the dishes! It was an awesome day off. I did download Hanson’s Half Marathon book. I’m pretty sure that’s the training plan I want to follow, and I wanted to start reading. Hanson’s training method is based on the idea that running should be a consistent thing – not something suddenly attacked on the weekends. The method involves running 4-6 days a week with several high-ish mileage days. There is a “long run” each week, but it’s never more than 25-30% of the total weekly miles. For half-marathon training, the plan will have me running 40-ish miles a week at the peak of training.

I know it sounds like a lot of running, but I like the idea of slowly building consistent mileage. Several people have recommended the program to me as a way to avoid injury, since the slow, consistent build of the training makes for less of a shock to the system. The whole thing just makes more sense to me. That said, I want to read the book to better understand the whole philosophy behind this method of training, since it appears so different from a traditional training plan. Reading it now gives me time to better prepare for training and to ensure that this really is the plan I want to follow.

So far it’s an informative, if dense, read. The plan is super-strict about pacing. The idea is that recovery happens during very slow, very easy runs in-between the tougher workout days. It’s actually the same principal that my treadmill book uses.

Since I doubt I’ll be running outside this weekend, I decided to attempt a non-interval, easy treadmill run. It was brutally hard. I hated it. I did it anyway. I managed to squeak out 2.1 miles at the slowest pace EVER – despite feeling like someone was trying to kill me the entire time! I also ran through my “strength training” sequence (you know, when I squat and lift my 10lb weights until I’m tired of it).

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I’m sad to say that I think this is actually one of my fastest treadmill runs, despite being one of my overall slowest runs. Stupid treadmill. 😛

Day 185

Today finished my week, since I’ll be weighing in tomorrow. I’m happy with how the week went. I’ll talk more about details tomorrow when I see what the scale says.