Day 433 – Another day, another meal, another run

Today’s been a bit tougher to stay on-track, but not bad. I want to eat, but I’m not hungry. I suspect I haven’t been drinking enough water today. I did have a decent run this morning. I was only planning to do 3-5 miles, so I didn’t even take water with me. It was cloudy, cool, and lightly misting – perfect running weather! I can tell I’ve been eating better, by the way my runs have been feeling better. I actually started off really fast today and decided to run with it (haha).

I finished my first mile in 9:02!!!!!! That’s a PR!! By a good bit! My second mile came in at 9:08, and I started thinking about a 28-29 minute 5K PR! Then I hit the 3rd mile. I started to feel thirsty, and that does NOT work for me. For whatever reason, if I feel thirsty while running, I either need to drink water or I’m going to crash. And crash I did. I made it to 2.65 miles, and despite slowing to a 9:27 pace, I couldn’t catch my breath, and my legs were SCREAMING at me. I also couldn’t figure out how to slow down any more than that. I know it sounds silly, but it felt like my legs had settled into that fast pace and wouldn’t give it up. So I threw in the towel and walked home.

I have no regrets about any of it. It felt great to run that fast! I’ve never run anything near a 9 minute mile before. I was close enough to the 5K distance, that I know I can tack on that last 0.5 mile.

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It hasn’t been my easiest day, but it hasn’t been too bad. I have kept it on-track!!!

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Day 432 – Tackling DOOM, conquering Butt Crack, & Toeing the State Highway!

Today, I decided to do a long run on my own road. I’m kind of “over” the 45 minute drive down to the trail to run a long way out and a long way back before having to drive 45 sweaty minutes back home. Soooo… I decided to go all the way to the end of the road. Now let me explain, the end of the road is only 2 miles away, and the first mile is a no-brainer. It’s the second mile where things get tough. Half of that second mile is what I call “The Hill of Doom,” because it SUCKS. The second half consists of a stupidly steep hill. I’ve never actually made it to the top of that hill. I’ve made it half-way up, though, and I call that “Butt Crack Mountain,” because when it’s graphed on Smashrun, it looks like a giant butt crack. Today, I made it to the top and down the other side. I hit the end of the road and stepped on the white line of the state highway.

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Please excuse the scribble.

And then I turned around and realized that I had to go back up and down that stupid hill before tackling the “Hill of Doom.” Luckily, there was only one way home, so I did it! That put me at 4 miles when I saw my mailbox, and I kept going! I ended up clearing more than 7 miles today!

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Check out my elevation change! It was almost all in the 2nd and 3rd miles.

I was SO proud of myself for actually making it to the end of the road! I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll do it again – it was REALLY hard! But I did it!

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I ended up using yesterday as my high calorie day, since Hubby and I went out for date-night. It worked out well, since I did my long run this morning.

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Today has been great, and it’s felt easy. I haven’t been stupid hungry or had the desire to snack constantly. I also don’t feel like I “should” eat more, and that seems to help.

Day 431 – First week back on-track

Bad news: I ate pizza last night – like, real pizza from Pizza Hut!

Good news: It was yummy!

Bad news: I went into the red and broke my green streak.

Good news: I only totaled 1750 calories, so not bad for having pizza for dinner.

REALLY Good News!: I lost 3.7 pounds this week!!!!!

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I think this might be my lowest official weigh-in, yet!! It makes for a total loss of 78.6 lbs!

I really think resetting everything last weekend was exactly what I needed. Sending my child to a sitter 2 days/week is also proving to be a happy decision. The combination of consistently healthy eating with a return to a regular running schedule made for a lower stress week and a lower weight come Friday.

I plan to get back in the green today, and I’m excited to see the scale next week!!

In other news, I learned an important life lesson, yesterday: “Don’t snack on prunes in the morning if you know you have limited opportunities to use the restroom throughout the day.”

My mother also came into town last night, and she’s now down almost 50 lbs, herself! She looks amazing, and I can tell she feels good about it. I love getting to chat with her about the weight-loss process.

Day 429 – Airing my dirty laundry

There have been a lot of things about this journey that surprised me. One of the biggest has been the time commitment that comes with committing to running. Making running a priority means that I don’t do a lot of other stuff. There’s a reality there that I don’t want to sugar coat. When I read other people’s blogs, I always picture them in a perfect house, with clean toilets, tidy tables, and well-vacuumed carpets. This is not reality (okay, maybe it’s reality for them, but it’s not for me). My couch currently looks like this (but I DID clean the litter box this morning!!):

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There’s another load in the dryer, and it’s all been here since Sunday. The pile has actually gone down as we’ve picked out stuff to wear each day. (See, everything has an up-side!)

I have a really hard time not feeling guilty about stuff like this while I’m out running. There’s always that part of me thinking, “If I were a better mom/wife/person, I’d be doing more important stuff than running up and down my road.” But the thing is, I’m happier when I run! I’m more patient with my students and my son, I make healthier meals for my family, and I’m “less crazy.” (That’s in my husband’s words!)

At one point last spring, I was feeling exceptionally guilty about how much I was running, and I asked him what he thought. It was really interesting to hear his perspective. He pointed out that I’ve never been a superstar housekeeper (he said it in much nicer words), and reminded me that neither one of us sees folding the laundry, or cleaning bathrooms, as a major priority. Since my weight has gone down, and I’ve been running, he sees me as more energetic, smiley, and fun. I always used to be hesitant to do physically active stuff, so he always hesitated to suggest it. He told me that he loves that I now suggest stuff, and he feels comfortable planning active things for us to do together. (He also said he’d like to do an obstacle course race together someday, but I’m not so sure I like that idea… maybe if there’s one that doesn’t involve mud.)

I feel like paying a sitter to watch my son while I go run is a BIG step. Part of me feels really guilty – like I’m neglecting being a mom so that I can be a runner! But when I set aside what I think I’m “supposed” to do or who I “should” be, I love having that hour of time for myself!

I went through similar thoughts when I first started weighing and measuring everything I eat. I often felt embarrassed to be portioning my food. I felt like I shouldn’t need to do that. I’m pretty comfortable with it now, but it took me a while to get over it, and I still get a bit embarrassed when people I don’t know see me counting out chips! We have a new teacher this year, and she caught be using a measuring cup to portion out some yogurt the other day. She and I get along really well, so she didn’t hesitate to give me a funny look and ask what I was doing. I hadn’t thought about it, but she was SHOCKED to learn that I’ve lost more than 75 lbs! As soon as I told her that, she decided it was awesome that I was portioning out yogurt. Perhaps that should be me go-to comeback line when I feel guilty or embarrassed by making health a priority – “It’s okay my son’s with a sitter for an hour, I’ve lost over 75 lbs!” “It’s fine that I’m running while laundry is piling up, I’ve lost over 75 lbs!” “My mother can deal with dirty toilets when she comes to visit, I’ve lost over 75 lbs!”

I haven’t finished eating, yet today, so I don’t want to post my MFP total. I will post it tomorrow, though!

Day 428 – Slower than slow

I’m a firm believer that there is ALWAYS an upside (though sometimes we have to REALLY look for it). The upside to my Gamin not working is that Hubby let me borrow his TomTom to record my runs (this may have something to do with the crying, swearing, and throwing things that happened the other morning when my watch gave out). In any case, his watch has a heart-rate monitor!!

Today, while Little Man was at the sitter (which went awesomely!!), I decided to try keeping my heart-rate in the aerobic zone, or about 145 bpm.

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My average heart rate was 147, which is just what I was aiming for. I was sure to take a picture, because this will never happen again!

OH MY GOODNESS, did I have to go slow – like I was barely jogging and tripped three times because I was just shuffling my feet like my grandmother does – SSSLLLLLOOOOOWWWW.  If you haven’t seen Zootopia yet, you should; it’s awesome. If you have seen it, I will say that Flash would have breezed past me today!

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“What. Do. You. Call. A. Three. Humped. Camel?”

Pace is a relative thing. My mom has recently moved up from a 30+ min mile to a consistent 27 min mile, and it’s HUGE. (I’ll be walking her first 5k with her over Thanksgiving!! We won’t finish in the allotted 1 hour, but so what. We’ll keep walking; we’ll finish her first 5K; we’ll do it together; and it will be a BLAST!) I also know people who comfortably run 7 and 8 min miles, and I think they are impossibly fast. One of the things I love about running is that I only feel the need to compare myself to ME.

That said, I’ve spent the past year running my butt off (almost literally – haha) to move from a 13:30 min/mile to an 11:00 min/mile. Going back to that 13:30 felt exactly like that – going back to where I was a year ago. I can’t handle that! I’m not in a place where I can go back to being as slow as I was a year ago! I’ve worked to hard to move away from that!

So, there will be no more heart-rate training for me. I will run…run like the wind! (Ok, fine it’s probably more like a speedy turtle, but damn-it, I will FEEL speedy!)

It was really nice to run without guilt today. I didn’t feel like I was running when I suppose to be folding laundry (which didn’t happen), or when I should have been doing dishes (also didn’t happen), or when I really needed to be cleaning out the litter box (nope – didn’t happen), or even when I should have been making dinner (I totally did this – I swear! We had fish, broccoli, & sweet potatoes!). I ran when I suppose to be running, and that meant I wasn’t in a hurry or stressed about it. I was able to focus on the run, and it was AWESOME!

In other happiness, I stayed on track today, too!

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Still green!

In less happy news, my new Brooks must be returned. I’ve determined that they are the cause of my blister! SO SAD! I loved these shoes. *Sigh

I’m not sure if I want to try another pair of Brooks or if I want to stick with my trusty Asics.

Day 426 – Almost total reset

I’ve been struggling recently. I’ve had a few good days here and there, but I’m having to fight for them. I don’t have the … willpower? … strength? … I don’t know what, but I’m not willing to “fight” everyday for the rest of my life to try and stay healthy. Life gets hard enough; health shouldn’t feel like a constant and on-going battle. For most of this past year, it hasn’t felt this hard. So I know it doesn’t have to be a fight. Oh sure, there are hard days, but those should be the exception-not the rule.

Yesterday, I kind of snapped. It’s not just health stuff  that’s been challenging recently (though getting sick last weekend and the blister I developed this week have not made health stuff any easier); we’ve also had a rash of broken crap right after buying that very expensive camper. I have no regrets about the camper, but in the last month (since buying it) the exhaust has fallen off my truck, in fixing that we discovered part of my frame is rusted clear through, the water heater at our other house (that we rent out) blew up, my laptop died, my engine started smoking, our dryer quit, my school laptop got fried and then lost in the mail when sent off for repair, my phone quit working, and then yesterday my Garmin watch refused to work.

Through all of this, running has been my stress-reliever and time to think happy thoughts and find the bright side of things. With my watch not working and my ankle bleeding (my blister broke open), I realized, yesterday, that I was stomping through my run while cursing and swearing and bitching and moaning and hating everything about everything. So I decided to take a break.

I took the whole day off. Yesterday was our county one day fair, and it’s hosted by my school. I was signed up to help work some of the carnival games, so I spent the whole day there. I ate anything and everything I wanted. I refused to worry about anything. I just enjoyed the day. By the time I went to bed, I had a horrible stomach ache! I had eaten my normal oats, 1/2 a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread, a hot sausage brat with pepper and onions, a cheesecake brownie, 4 sausage links, 2 fried eggs, 3 plate-sized pancakes with real butter and real maple syrup, a snow cone, and several handfuls of nuts.

As I went about my day (and ate my way through the fair), I thought about the differences between fat me (ie – my behavior yesterday) and skinny me (the way I eat when I’m on-track, but not forcing it). I’m not sure exactly what the differences are, but I do know that I can’t manage my eating without tracking. At no point in time did I feel “full” yesterday. Even with all that I ate, I still would/could have eaten more! I also realized that I’ve been crazy stressed about how busy we’ve been the last few weeks. Every time I go run, I feel like I have to “hurry up and get it over,” so I can get back to my long to-do list. I feel like I’ve been fighting both my and my husband’s schedule to try and force running into the day.

Put it all together, and I’ve decided it’s time for a major overhaul and restructuring. I went for a nice 5.5 mile run this morning (wearing Hubby’s watch) and thought about what I want. Then I came home and set it up. Little Man will now be going home with a baby-sitter on Tues and Wed afternoons. I’ll go for a run and pick him up between 5 & 5:15. This gives me 90 min to get home, change, run, and go get him (so 45-60 min of running time).  It’s not a ton of time, and it’s going to cost me money I don’t have (see my list of broken crap above), but it guarantees me 2 mid-week runs without feeling like I’m neglecting other people or things. I think it should really help my stress levels!

I’ve also reset MFP. I set my daily goal to 1400 calories without adjustments for exercise. I set Sunday as a high calorie day (2000 calories), since that’s usually when I do a longer run. One of things I’ve struggled with is the inconsistency of being able to eat more on days I run, but then having to eat less on days I don’t run. I’m hoping it will be easier for me to settle into a nice routine if I’m always maintaining the same amount each day, with one day to eat a bit more.

Of course, with a new plan comes some new goals. I’m going to run at least 4 days every week (Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun) for a total of at least 18 miles/week. I plan to aim for an additional run on Thur or Fri to bring my weekly mileage up above 20 miles, but I’m not going to stress if it doesn’t happen. I’m also going to aim for 1350 calories/day. That’s what I was eating most of last year, and it was comfortable. I have MFP set to 1400 to allow for those occasions when I go “over” by 10 calories or whatever. My point is that every, single, day should be green! (For those who love math as much as me, I’ll point out that I burn about 100 cal/mile. At 18 mile/week, I’ll burn about 1800 extra calories. MFP recommends 1200 cal/day for me, or 8400 cal/week. Add my 1800 exercise calories and you get about 10400/week.  At 1400 cal for Mon-Sat & 2000 on Sun, I’ll be eating about 10400/week, so it actually works out to the same thing.) I’m also going back to only getting on the scale on Fridays. Part of this whole goal of a more steady and consistent week means that my weight should be a bit more consistent, too.

As always, I’ll be posting my progress here. We’ll see how things go! Sorry there’s not pictures, but I’m really done fighting with technology, for now. I’ll try making broken stuff work again tomorrow.

Day 424 – Forgetting my birthday

Last Saturday, I spent about 4 hours at school, planning for this week. Since then, nothing has gone according to those plan – starting with me getting sick Sunday night. Thankfully, not all of it has been bad stuff! There’s actually been quite a few really awesome surprises and things that worked out better than I had planned for. But every time something happens, I adjust my “plan” around it. This week, that has meant I’ve felt scrambled, stressed, and always like I’m hanging on by my fingernails (Have I mentioned that I really like plans and struggle with change? My principal actually warns me before fire drills, because she knows how much it upsets me to have a lesson unexpectedly interrupted – she learned that my first year here when I was all dressed up as Gregor Mendel and conducting class in character, and she pulled the alarm… I FREAKED!  and had to stand outside in front of the whole school dressed as an Austrian monk.)

Anyway, in all of the choas, I’ve rarely known what day of the week it is, let alone the date! So when Hubby asked me if I wanted to do anything Thursday night, I was horribly confused by the question. After he got done laughing at me, he pointed out that it’s my birthday (and that he should get bonus points for remembering it, even though I forgot)! What’s even more awesome is everything people at school did for me. My 7th graders sang to me during homeroom; my 6th graders sang to me before lunch; the 5th grade teacher gave me some wildflowers; and our 1st grade teacher gave me a small plant! After school, I went for a beautiful 5 mile run in my new Brooks running shoes before Hubby and Little Man took me out for Mexican food and ice cream!

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After wearing Asics since Christmas, I wanted to change it up. I’d like to have 2 different go-to shoe models to alternate between, since I’ve read that I’m more likely to get blisters and have foot trouble if my feet are always pounding the pavement in the exact same shoe. I wore Brooks Ghost in college, but now I decided to try the newer Launch 3. They are much lighter than my Asics, but still really comfy. So far, I like them!

Unfortunately, that meant I had to weigh-in this morning, after eating Mexican food and ice cream!

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Don’t panic! This is after a night of the abnormal eating! It’s not as bad as it looks, and I have the numbers to prove it!

This morning made me REALLY glad I’ve been weighing daily and tracking my average in addition to my weekly weight.

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I often have plans Thursday night, so Friday morning tends to be my highest weight of the week. See how my weekly weight looks like it’s going up, but my average is actually much more stable!

Focusing on staying on-track with my eating this week meant that most of my weigh-ins were between 154 and 155 all week. The scale jumped this morning, because of last night’s choices. I enjoyed myself last night. It was a special occasion, and I celebrated it with about 2800 calories of my favorite foods. I’m not going to feel bad about, or avoid, celebrating my birthday just because it happened to fall on a Thursday night! I really want to get right back on-track, and I intend to continue posting it nightly. That helped me a lot this past week! Hopefully, next week week it will show on the scale – even on Friday!

Day 421 – Back to it

Today has been a bit crazy. Coming back after having a sub always is. Thankfully, my kids are awesome, so things went very smoothly, yesterday. Today was just full of grading, revamping lesson plans, and dealing with some paperwork my principal requested (for some reason *note sarcasm!* she thought it might be good for the office to know where each student is during our final block when I have 3 grade levels (total of about 50 kids) spread across 6 classrooms).

Anyway, it’s been nice to get back to my routine. I’m feeling really good about staying on track this week! It’s tough, sometimes, but I keep remembering that my id is an idiot (I don’t know why but that resonates with me). Evenings are the toughest for me; they always are. It’s not the I’m hungry – I just have a habit of snacking at night. It’s a habit that I really want to break, so I’m working on it. Every morning, when I wake up, I’m proud of myself and glad I controlled my snacking the night before. It’s a great way to start my day.

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Green!

Since Hubby got to spend the evening in a meeting, I attempted to do my run on the treadmill. I made it 1.25 miles before remembering just how much I hate treadmill running. I had it set to 5 mph (12 min/mile) which is slow for me, but I still had trouble catching my breath! I don’t know what it is about the treadmill, but I always feel like I’m sprinting on it! I decided not to stress over it and did some strength training.

Day 420 – Medicinal coke

When I was a kid, my mom always gave me Coke to “settle my stomach” anytime I got a tummy ache. I don’t know if there’s any grounding in science, but ever since then, I sip on Coke when my stomach is upset. It’s the only time I ever drink soda (I gave up soda in college – 2002, and never looked back).

I took a sick day today (my 3rd in the last 4 years), and spent the day sitting on the couch, sipping on Coke. Sure enough, it made me feel better. I even ate a normal dinner!

I’m SO glad to be feeling better! I don’t even have words for how bad it sucks to try and come up with sub plans while sick:

Now that I’m feeling better, I’m really regretting not going in today. Tomorrow is going to be miserable, and missing today undid a good chunk of the planning I spent Saturday afternoon working on.

I did go over my calories today due to a combination of bread and Coke. I didn’t go far over, and I’m okay with it. Realistically, sticking with 1200 calories on days I don’t run is rarely going to work out. I feel like a net of 1200 calories on running days is good, but 1350-1400 is a better goal for rest days.

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I’m happy with this. I’m even more happy that everything I put in my stomach stayed there!