Day 553 – Yummy food & running break

Does anyone else get super excited about new food in the house?

I went grocery shopping yesterday, and now I want to eat all of the new, yummy food at once! I got prunes, almond butter, my favorite Greek yogurt, chips and salsa, cream cheese, salmon, and English muffins. I also got bananas, mangoes, and green grapes along with tomatoes and feta cheese. With the exception of the chips, it’s all pretty healthy. (Ok, fine, cream cheese isn’t “healthy.” But I pair it with salmon and English muffins for my lunches, so it’s not too bad!) I’m just so excited about all of it, that I want to eat it all NOW!

Maybe it has to do with only grocery shopping every other weekend (the store is 45 minutes away!), or maybe it’s PMS. Who knows, but I’m struggling to remind myself that I do NOT need to eat my normal meals plus prunes, almond butter, a banana, a mango, grapes, tomato feta salad, yogurt, and chips and salsa all in one day (good heavens, can you imagine the ensuing digestive issues??!!?).

In some ways, the timing couldn’t be worse. After a fellow teacher commented that I was limping (when I tried to deny it, she laughed at me!), I decided that perhaps that pinched nerve in my hip is bad enough to warrant a few days off from running. It’s been impacting my gait (as evidenced by my limp) and creating pain in my knee and ankle, as well.

This means I’ll miss my running goals for January!

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This might be a little over-dramatic, but seriously, I HATE not running almost as much as I hate missing my goals! Humph, I know it’s for the best, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it!

I can take off today, tomorrow, and Wednesday. Then I’ll pick up with Thursday’s regularly scheduled rest day before returning to running on Friday. That should be enough time for my leg to figure itself out, and I should still be able to hit about 95 of my 105 miles.

Well, Happy Monday, one and all!

Day 551 – Failure is always an option

The Mythbusters really know what they’re talking about! If you aren’t familiar with the show, it’s a bunch of nerds who test the scientific accuracy of myths, movie scenes, and viral videos. If what they are testing proves scientifically impossible, they go to extremes to figure out what would be required to make it possible. It almost always ends in an explosion!

Of course, they’ve also shot a cannonball through some poor families home, missed video of their largest explosion ever, flipped head-first over the handle bars of a bicycle, gotten their lip stuck in a vacuum cleaner, and suffered numerous cuts, bruises, and embarrassments. They live by the motto, “Failure is always an option!” because they recognize that we often learn more from that than we do from success.

By Mythbuster standards, I learned a lot this week!

When I woke up Thursday morning, I was fully committed to cutting out all the treats. I was psyched! It was going to be a great day, and my little calorie bar was going to be green!

Then I went to the teacher’s lounge for lunch and thought I’d just eat 1 chocolate covered peanut… 3 large handfuls later, I managed to drag myself away. As I walked down the hallway, I told the teacher friend that I would NOT be eating in the lounge on Friday, and I invited her to join me for lunch in my classroom – where there are NO chocolate covered peanuts! Lesson learned.

I let it go, didn’t punish myself, and decided to move on… until I walked in the door after school and saw the brownies still sitting on the counter. Halfway through my 3rd brownie, I threw it away! VICTORY! (Okay, so it was preceded by massive failure, but I threw away half a brownie! I totally get credit for that!) I wrapped the remaining brownies in individual portions and labelled them with my husband’s name. They are no longer mine, and I have no right to eat them. Brownies conquered!

By this point, I knew my day was screwed, but I also know that every choice I make is an opportunity to choose health. I’m proud to say that I was not letting myself feel bad about any of it! I had a healthy dinner and enjoyed my evening. I eventually wanted a bit of a snack and decided that a few banana chips would be a reasonable sweet that I was okay with. When I realized that I was finishing my second portion of them, I threw them all in the trash! I was mindlessly munching on them, and it needed to stop!

I made sure I tracked everything, and the damage totaled 2092 calories. Absolutely NOT my worst day – not even my worst day this week!

Everything I learned on Thursday paid off on Friday. Even with tacos for dinner, I only hit 1737 calories! I ate lunch in my classroom, and didn’t eat any “treats” all day!

Unfortunately, my run did not go well. I was tired, sluggish, and after 2 miles, I was still miserable.

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I decided to listen to my body and give it up after 2.5 miles.

I think my “knee pain” is actually a pinched nerve in my hip from sleeping funny. I realized last night that I was waking up a lot because my right hip hurt. As I tried to stretch it out, I realized the pain was actually traveling from my hip through my knee and all the way to my ankle. In the middle of the night, I actually spent about an hour stretching REALLY well, and it does feel better this morning!

I’ve got 9 miles on the schedule, and we’ll see how it goes!

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I did get on the scale, and my weight is back to where it was on Jan 6th. 

Day 549 – What I want

My biggest food-related goal for January was to track everything, everyday. I know I need this month to rebuild that habit, and I’m proud to say that I’ve been doing great with it! It’s something I’m committed to, so I’ve done it even when I didn’t feel like, or didn’t like what the numbers show.

But I need to do more.

I also had a goal of getting back under 155 lbs this month. It only took me a week to gain the weight, surely four and a half weeks should be enough to lose it! At least, that’s what I thought 19 days ago… now I’m not so confident. YIKES!

The thing is, what I eat affects what I weigh, and I like to pretend that isn’t true. I like to believe that I can eat chocolate, cookies, and brownies and still see the scale go down. The harsh reality is, I can’t!

My diet has improved GREATLY these last 3 weeks. My “treats” are reasonable; I feel healthy and energetic – unlike December when I was eating mostly junk and feeling like my legs were made of lead!

But I’m still eating at least one, and many times several, “treats” every single day. That needs to stop, if I want to see the scale go down – and I do want to drop some weight!

I’m a bit of a science nerd, and sometimes my biggest motivation to get started is curiosity (it takes a lot more than that to keep things going long term, but it’s a great way for me to get started). Right now, I’m curious about my right knee.

It’s given me problems for most of my life, but over the last year and a half, I’ve learned that those problems change with my weight. At 232 lbs, it ached all of the time and sometimes gave out when I tried to step up or down on it. At 185 lbs, it could bear my weight to step up and down, but it felt tight and I had limited range of motion. At my current weight, it twinges anytime I do more than 8 or 9 miles (or 30 miles a week, but really, if I’m hitting 30 miles in 1 week, there is an 8 or 9 mile run in there somewhere!!).

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This picture made me realize that legs look funny when crossed! But it’s a nice view of the KT tape I use.

KT tape keeps me running, and I’ve been reassured by several doctors that I’m not doing any damage. I’m told that my knee just sucks, but there’s nothing “wrong” with it. (I didn’t believe the first doctor, but after the 3rd… it’s hard to continue to argue, and it’s an issue I’ve been dealing with since I was 12.)

So I’m curious how my knee will feel closer to 140 lbs. While running in college, I weighed about 130 lbs, and I don’t remember any knee issue. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have any – it just means that if I did, they weren’t bad enough to impact what I did.

I’m also curious about how much faster I will be able to run if my weight is in the low 140’s. That would still be 10 lbs above my official “goal” weight, but it feels more realistic right now.

So that’s my goal. I want to get under 145 lbs, and that means that I need to stop eating treats every single day. I can have treats on days that I do a long run, or if we go out to eat (which we do an average of once a month).

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Yesterday’s treat was brownies, and I may have gotten a bit carried away.

Day 548 – Backed into a corner

I’m now paying for that week of icy of weather when I was a super-slacker.

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Look at how far behind I was by the 13th!! OOOPS!

On the 7th I dropped 6 miles from my run. I dropped 2.4 miles on the 8th; and completely skipped the 3 mile runs scheduled for the 9th and the 11th – putting me almost 15 miles behind! I have a plan to catch up, though (and you can tell by the graph above that I’m already working on it).

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This schedule would put me right at my 105 mile goal for the month of January!

During last summer’s HM training, I learned that going above 30 miles/week or 5 days/week was too much for me. Part of me looks at running 6 days/ week for the next 2 weeks and thinks, “I can’t do that!” But then I remember that this isn’t last summer. I’ve gained 6 more months of running experience, since then. Maybe I will find that this is still too much for me, or maybe I can do it now. In either case, I won’t know until I try, and if I miss my January running goals it WON’T be because I didn’t try!

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Yesterday, went pretty well.

Banana chips are an issue for me right now. I bought some last week, pre-portioned them into individual bags, and put them in my classroom for snacks. Yesterday, I ate 3 bags of them! At 160 calories per portion… well…

On the other hand, I had no problem ignoring the cookies in the teacher work room, so maybe banana chips are the lesser of 2 evils???

Day 546 – So hungry

Occasionally, I seem to have these days when I’m so hungry. It’s like I just want to eat and eat. I tried to keep my choices at least somewhat healthy, though we did have French toast for dinner, so…

Meh, I’m going with it.

Tomorrow, I’ll make salmon for my lunch, and things will get back to a more “normal” routine.

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I did not drink enough water today, and I know that contributed to my hunger

Day 544 – Fast friend & feeling good

I have a running friend!!!

I know that sounds childish and silly, but it was really nice to have someone to run with on Friday! Most people in this area refer to me a the “crazy teacher who actually jogs up and down the road.” Running is NOT a popular thing around here. It’s not that they don’t support my healthy habits, they always slow down and often honk and cheer when passing me, but the locals aren’t generally runners. There are 3 cyclists in the community (counting my husband), and lots of hikers, but no runners.

The guidance counselor at school is a runner, but she’s only here during the week, usually. She spends most of here weekends, summers, and breaks in a nearby city that she calls “home.” She’s about my age, but single, and has been running for 10 years. She’s a consistent 10-minute miler, though her longest distance is about a 10k.

She and I have talked about running together, but never did – until Friday! She pushed my pace and pushed her distance as we did 6, 10-minute miles! IT WAS AWESOME! We didn’t talk much, because we both like to listen to music, but the companionship was great. We did both turn off the tunes and hang out for the last mile, which was also nice. It made the miles pass quickly, and I think we’ll be doing it again.

Getting outside on the beautiful Friday afternoon, especially with a friend, totally pulled me out of my funk. I’m back to eating healthy and running happy, and can I just take a minute to express my awe at the close connection between the two. My terrible diet over Winter Break had me feeling funky and sluggish. Getting back to healthy eating, after the new year, turned that around for me. I hadn’t fully recognized just how huge a difference it makes until I ate the pizza and candy this week. Combining crappy food with limited running made for feeling blicky. I need to remember that!

Today has been a high calorie day, but I ran 6 miles yesterday (@ 10 min/mile), another 5.5 miles today (11:30/mile), and tomorrow I’ll do my long run of 9 miles. The calories I’m choosing are healthy – I’m just eating a lot of them. day-544

Day 543 – Funk

Well, we did not end up going to school Wed, and I think all of the indoor, non-teaching, treadmill time finally got to me. Wednesday and Thursday, I was in a funk. We ended up ordering pizza on Wednesday – which we almost never do! I also snacked on a fair bit of chocolate candy in the teacher work room on Thursday. It started with me just feeling really restless, but after eating crappy food, I started to feel bad all the way around.

I will be running outside this afternoon, so I’m thinking that will be a big help! Being stuck on the treadmill meant that I’ve run less than 10 miles in the last week, instead of my normal 20-ish. jan-6-12-caloriesjan-6-12-net-calories

I felt like my week went really well, until Wednesday and Thursday. Given those 2 days, I wasn’t too surprised to see the scale this morning.

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I’m not happy about the gain, but I’m not going to freak out about being up 0.9 lbs after 2 rough days during a week when I only managed to run half my normal miles.

I’m determined to pull things back together today!

Day 540 – Back to school?

I totally got sucked into a good book last night, looked up, and realized it was after midnight!

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It feels so good to be consistently eating healthy food again! I’m really happy to have the holiday treats behind me.

The late night wasn’t too big of a deal, since school was closed again today. The back roads around here were still a mess today. They were much better this afternoon, so I’ve got clothes picked out for tomorrow and my alarm is set. Of course, they’re forecasting freezing rain overnight, so the phone is on my nightstand. I’ve enjoyed the 2 days off, and now I’d be happy to get back to classes. I would prefer not to cancel school again tomorrow, but I’d take that over a 2 hour delay. Since my planning is first thing in the morning, a delayed start just means I don’t get any planning or prep time – which is a nightmare when returning after snow days! In any case, I’ll deal.

I’m really proud to say that I got on the treadmill today! I ran a full 5 miles and completed my interval workout (from Sunday) all the way through – forward and back! It was tough, and I’m looking forward to getting back to running outside (Assuming we have school tomorrow, I’ll be running outside while Little Man has B-ball practice). I felt better for having run, though. I always do!

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Today went pretty well. I ate well, made healthy choices, and enjoyed my day!

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Day 538 – Snow day!

School is cancelled for tomorrow! Yippee! Unfortunately, it means another day on the treadmill. The upside to that is me learning to deal with it. Of course, I only managed to pull off 1.9 miles Saturday, and 2.75-ish today, but I really think tomorrow could go much better.

In fact, today’s treadmill nightmare actually started off really well! I ran a mile to warm up and worked my way up through my speed intervals. I was enjoying my 2 minute recovery before working my way back down the intervals when I tried to adjust the fan speed and hit a wrong button and cancelled the whole workout, shutting down the treadmill and making my time and distance DISAPPEAR!!!!!! I got so pissed off, that I got off the treadmill and walked way; I don’t need that shit!

Anyway, I know I was on the stupid contraption for 30 minutes – which is pretty good for me! I think I made it to around 2.75 miles. I’m going with it!

I will say that I was really enjoying the run! Here’s what I did:

  • 12 min @ 5 mph -warm up
  • 90 sec @ 5.4 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 5 mph
  • 90 sec @ 5.6 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 5 mph
  • 60 sec @ 5.8 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 5 mph
  • 60 sec @ 6 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 5 mph
  • 45 sec @ 6.2 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 4.5 mph
  • 45 sec @ 6.4 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 4.5 mph
  • 30 sec @ 6.6 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 4.5 mph
  • 30 sec @ 6.8 mph followed by 1 min recovery @ 4.5 mph
  • 30 sec @ 7 mph followed by 2 min recovery WALK @ 3.6 mph

I had planned to repeat the whole thing in reverse, so that’s what I’ll do tomorrow… when I’m on the treadmill… again… for the 3rd day in a row!

I AM very excited to have the day off school, though!! I’ll be reading and playing Minecraft. I’ve also been spending a lot of time playing Stronghold Legends recently. It’s an older game, but one of my all-time favorites!

Overall, it’s been a good day!

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Maybe someday I’ll actually stay within my allotted calories? Maybe not. I’m happy with the choices I made today!

Day 537 – Weekend snow

It snowed last night. Friday night snow should be illegal. It did not get me a snow day, but it did prevent me from grocery shopping and mutilate my long run into 2 measly, miserable miles on the ‘mill.  Not cool, Mother Nature, not cool.

It’s supposed to be below zero tomorrow, and I plan to run outside. There’s supposed to be about 2 hours tomorrow afternoon when it will “feel like” 8 or 10 degrees F, and that’s my window. I’m going to run laps around the parking lot at school (assuming it’s been cleared) so that I don’t have to worry about cars. I doubt I manage my scheduled 9 miles, but I’ll get something in. If the parking lot hasn’t been cleared, or if the temps never peak, or the wind never takes a break, I’ll be back on the treadmill. At least it’s only week 1 of HM training.

It has been nice doing nothing today. I’ve played Stronghold Legends; I made pork chops with baked apples and fresh bread for dinner, and I did dishes. That was pretty much it. It was a good day!

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We had a delicious brunch, so all of the calories are foods that I’m happy to have eaten (not junk food).