Up by .2.
I’m a little surprised by this, but I think I know why it’s happening.
I have been much better about food this week. I’ve been careful about my snacks, choosing better, less carby options and I’ve gone back to tracking again. I had a nice celebratory Mother’s Day, but I also ran a 10K that day. Probably didn’t cancel out my celebrating but certainly mitigated the damage.
The only explanation I can figure on for the gain is water weight from the new workout program I started on Monday. I am sore in places I’ve not been sore before, and I’m guessing all of those muscles are holding onto some water while they repair themselves from the strenuous workout they got that day. I’ve heard this from boot campers, that the first few weeks are surprisingly “heavy”….even though you are doing a lot, the results don’t show up on the scale right away.
The trick is to stick with it.
My head feels in a much better place than it has since March. More in control, more aware, more able to say no to the things that aren’t going to push me towards my goals.
So while I find this trend over the last little while alarming (my 90 day progress overall is up, not down), I’m not going to let it mess with the good things that I’ve put in place in the last seven days.
Current Week: +0.2 lbs.
Total Weight Left To Lose: 18.4 lbs
So, my girlfriend joined this boot camp challenge last February. Actually she’s the third person I know who’s done this challenge and been super successful with it. The classes are challenging, very challenging. I’ve been curious about the classes for a while now, but they have always sounded too daunting for me to want to try.
I’m actually not a great exercise class person. I think that’s why I took to running so well. Out on the road, it’s me against me. Even in a race, I’m not truly competing with anyone but the time clock. I’ve always been too prone to compare myself to others in classes, and I get discouraged. I joined the Y a few years ago and did some classes, but never really enjoyed them.
So when my friend Sue started truly loving these classes, I thought, maybe. In three months, the classes combined with sensible food choices, she’s lost 25 pounds. She looks fantastic and just finished the Couch 2 5K program. Truth be told, she passed me the last time we were out running. It was the kick in the pants I needed.
I signed up for boot camp the next day, and the first one was this morning.
Yes, I know I ran a 10K yesterday. Normally today would be a rest day. But my friend encouraged me to come try it out today, and so I did.
The classes I signed up for are held outside, with minimal equipment. You bring your own yoga mat and weights. In the winter she runs classes at a studio (also, when it’s raining) but when the weather is good, she takes it outside.
I knew the class would be hard right off the bat when I got winded during the warm ups. We went from warm ups to an exercise I’d never done before: worm walking. You walk out to a pushup, do the pushup, and then walk your legs in as close as you can get them to your hands. Then you walk out your hands again from there, do the push up, walk the legs in again…you get the idea. Yeah, we did that up a hill.
After that we shuffled and did jumping jacks with resistance bands around our ankles. I got brave and put on the “harder” blue band. Why? I didn’t want to look like a chicken. It was hard, but not as hard as the worm walking.
After that, we were instructed to jog down a steep hill and then sprint back up it. Yikes. After the third time I was thinking I might vomit. Fortunately, as I was starting down for my fourth round, time was up and we went back for the “easy part”: ab work.
Ab work consisted of using a bench to do a sort of backwards pushup, sideways planking (I am still not sure I did that right), sit ups of various styles and contortions, regular planking (on a bench, no less) and then back extensions.
After that, it was time for cooldown stretching and class was over.
Overall, I liked the class. It’s challenging, no question. But the women were nice and friendly, and the trainer has a great rapport with everyone. It seems very personal. I think that probably is the key to its success: you’re not an anonymous person in the back. Everyone knows your name and pushes you onward.
I am looking forward to seeing how these classes, which are a great mixture of cardio and strength, help my running times. Plus, also, it would be awfully nice to get the scale moving back downward again. We’ll see!
The Reader’s Digest version of this race is that it started out slow, felt hard during and fantastic afterwards.
Got up before 6am this morning for the race; start time was 8am, but I wanted to get there early to put the race brochures from our 5K on the registration table. I was fine until I got to the race site, which was settled on a lovely local beach on Long Island Sound.
It was cold, rainy and registration wasn’t even set up yet even though I arrived 15 minutes after it was supposed to have started. It was not even 7am and I thought: it’s freaking Mother’s Day and here I am all alone in this parking lot with a bunch of strangers getting wet. What was I thinking?
Not to mention driving in past the mile markers. Um, 6.2 miles is not nothing. My head was not in the game, let’s just say that. I was worried about my lack of running mojo lately and thought about just packing it in and driving back home.
But then I saw the race shirt:
And if that wasn’t motivation enough, I saw my friend who was in Boston that day. He was here, running, his first race post Boston. How on earth could I not give this race a shot when there are people who, after that day, would give anything to be able to run, walk or shuffle through a 10K?
The rain continued on. I decided to take the guys up who had come to give people pre and post race massages. They didn’t have any takers in the rain. But I was already wet, so who cared? It was wwwonnnderful and got my head right in the game again.
With just a few minutes left until start time, I waited with the other runners under awnings. The more experienced told me this was mostly to keep our feet dry until it was time to start, because obviously no one cares about getting wet during race; you get soaked with sweat anyway.
Finally it was time. I lined up well in the back, looking for people that looked like me. Not too many at a 10K. Oh well.
The race started and the rain stopped. I found myself well behind the herd, as per usual. I started with a manageable pace and tried to just keep it steady. The first mile was no problem. I found myself weaving back and forth with a woman in orange. Her strategy was to run as fast as she could for a while, and then walk. We kept passing each other.
The second mile, and the rain was definitely gone, though I was being careful with my footing because of the slippery, wet roads. By this time I could still see the herd but they were well beyond me. At this point I was wondering where the water stop was, and it thankfully showed up just a bit after the 2 mile mark.
By the third mile, I was starting to get discouraged. While I could still spot a few people in front of me, I worried I would lose my way. I was in an unfamiliar area, and the herd was long gone now. Just about four or five stragglers ahead of me. I still had such a long way to go.
The fourth mile was probably the hardest. This was where the one decent sized hill was. I walked it. There was another water stop. I walked it. I was catching up with a few of the stragglers in front of me as their energy flagged. That felt good, but I was definitely getting tired.
By the time I hit the fifth mile, I recognized where I was; we were looping back towards the beach on the route I’d driven in on. I walked a bit and started to feel a bit better, knowing I was in the homestretch. I passed a fairly athletic looking guy, and then caught up with a woman who had been solidly ahead of me the whole way.
We hit the final stretch towards the beach, and I dropped to a walk for a bit to finish strong. I saw the woman in orange about a minute ahead of me. I guess her strategy worked. She, and the end of the race, looked so incredibly far away. I still couldn’t see the timing device. Finally, I forced myself to do the “looks like walking, feels like running” slow jog for the rest of the way.
Just after the final turn, where the park staff guy assured me I was “almost there”, I saw the timing device, and my family waiting for me. And I felt that burst of energy everyone who runs knows about when you’re near the end. You don’t know how you’ve got it in you after six miles and change, but somehow, you do. I ran for the finish line as fast as I could muster.
I mustered enough energy to wave at the family, smile and push towards the end.
Still waiting on the final times, but I am pretty sure I shaved off a few seconds from my 10K time in January of 79:22. Not as many seconds as I would like, because this route was flatter, but I’ll take it just the same. I think it will end up being around 79:15 or so (update: my official time was 79:10).
Afterwards, I recovered quickly. I saw my friend, who probably finished half an hour before me, and felt a little embarrassed when he asked me how it went. Here he was, a marathoner who placed third in his age category in this race. I must look like a bumbling fool to him, I thought. “Harder than I thought it would be,” I answered honestly.
“You’re here, you finished,” he said encouragingly. “That’s all that matters.”
Excellent point. Very excellent point. I finished, I wasn’t last, and I felt fine just a few minutes after.
I think maybe I found some of that lost running mojo out there today. Maybe just a little bit.
But sometimes, a little bit is enough.
So, two weeks ago in a fit of after race endorphins, I signed up for the Mother’s Day 10K in Norwalk. I felt fast, fit and good and enjoyed my little 5K race with my pooch and felt invincible.
That was so two weeks ago.
I don’t know what has happened to me in the last week, but I’ve had a series of slow, crappy runs that have left me wondering where my running mojo went and how to get it back.
I’m trying to figure out why the runs feel different, harder and I think it’s coming down to the transition from winter to spring in large part. Really hoping that’s what it is. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of things that don’t feel right lately in my runs:
1. Warmth. I have been running for about six months in sub 40 degree temperatures in the morning. Now it’s suddenly 60 or more degrees in the mornings, and I’m not used to it yet. We’ve had a slow start to spring here and I would say truly the last week or maybe two is the first time it’s been this temperature in the morning. I need to acclimate.
2. Allergies. On a run with a girlfriend this week, I kept coughing. I sneeze. I have gunk going on. This is interfering with my breathing in my runs and forcing me to slow down. Which is never fun once you feel like you’re finally, finally gaining some speed after 18 months of trying to be a runner.
3. Sour stomach. Can’t figure out why this is, but suddenly I’m having sour stomach when I run. It’s definitely related to whatever I ate that morning, so I need to be more careful about what I’m eating on my run days.
4. Blood donation. Really hoping this has something to do with my lack of energy this week. I donated blood on Saturday. I waited until Monday to run again, but I’ve felt definitely weaker. That has to be part of it, right?
5. GPS #$@#$. I don’t know what it is about springtime, but my GPS in RunKeeper did all sorts of wacky things last spring, and it’s doing it again. Routes that I know like the back of my hand, and that it has tracked beautifully for months are now coming in all wrong in the tracking. I’ll be five minutes in and it will tell me I’ve gone a mile because the GPS is all screwed up. This bugs me because I really like to know my pacing; it helps me understand if I’m feeling tired quickly or if I need to step it up a notch. It’s like running blind, in a way, and it’s driving me crazy.
I’m going to try and manage all of these as best I can for the 10K tomorrow. It’s supposed to be a flat course and starts at 8am, so I am hopeful that it won’t be too warm. The forecast is for rain today so hopefully that will damp down some of the allergens in the air.
Wish me luck.
So I’m up a little this week…. .8.
Honestly, I’m not upset. Sure, I would like to have gone down but I know it’s 100 % me and my choices as to why it was up. When you can own it, it isn’t as big a deal, I think. I indulged in some magaritas on Sunday, had plenty of Cinco de Mayo chips and queso, and have had a few two many peanut butter pretzel bites (they are, seriously, the devil). I knew the choices I was making when I made them.
Running felt good this week, and my 10K is on deck for Sunday. The forecast is for rain, although I think the hazy early morning one I saw just now said it might be “drizzly” in the morning. I could live with drizzly. I’m not sure I’d love slogging six miles in the pouring rain but I think I would still do it. I can’t quite imagine not running a race I’ve signed up for unless I was truly sick. Or it was dangerous out there (in which case they’d cancel it anyway).
I probably will have to go back to tracking soon, as much as it feels soooooo nice not to be wrapped up in the numbers. The trend is definitely an upward tick and that’s not good.
That’s about all I have for now.
Current Week: +0.8 lbs.
Total Weight Left To Lose: 18.2 lbs
I’m down 1.4 lbs this week.
Which is good, because I certainly don’t want to be up 1.4 lbs this week, considering last week’s weigh in was one of those “highest in a while” kind of weigh ins.
Still, this week’s weigh in, despite being down, is still higher than I want to be, and about where I was clocking in six months ago. Don’t get me wrong, it’s better than gaining. And I don’t hate where I am….I just need to find the motivation to eat better to get further down.
I started off this week tracking, but let it go after a few days. It feels honestly nice not to do it. Like I’ve said before, kind of freeing. But I also know not tracking is only as good as my choices. Which is why I plan on continuing my Wednesday weigh ins.
On the plus side, I have signed up for another 10K, which I mentioned in my previous post. It’s on Mother’s Day. Very excited about it, although I haven’t done a long training run in quite a while. So yesterday, I went out and told myself I would do 10K, just to be sure I wasn’t going to hate my experience next Sunday. And I did it. I did take a few water breaks (love my new water belt), but overall, while I was sore and ready to stop at the end, I felt good about the run. The course is supposed to be relatively flat, and where I run is not, so I think if I do another long run on Monday, I’ll be ready for it.
Onto another week.
Current Week: -1.4 lbs.
Total Weight Left To Lose: 17.4 lbs
What a fun race!
We adopted our dog Gizmo three years ago from a local shelter called the Danbury Animal Welfare Society, or DAWS. He’s a great dog, a big Shepherd Collie mix, and he runs with me nearly every time I go out. He loves the exercise, and I feel a little better knowing that no one will likely mess with me because I have this great big scary looking dog with me.
So when we saw the Run Your Tail Off 5K, my husband and I knew this had to be. I was a little nervous because Gizmo is a very nervous dog, and his nervousness comes out sometimes as aggression with other dogs, but Gizmo is also very docile and listens to commands well. So I went ahead and signed up for this one a few weeks ago.
Also, the whole family came to cheer me and Gizmo on, which was nice. The last race they came to was my Veteran’s Day 5K last November. It does make a bit of a difference knowing there are people there to support you and waiting for you at the finish line.
I wasn’t sure how it was all going to work. But eventually, we figured it out. They started runners without dogs first, and they must have started the clock then. A few minutes later (I realize now it was exactly six minutes later), they lined those of us with dogs up and got us going.
It was totally crazy at first! Gizmo is usually good about staying with me and not pulling, but with so many dogs around him, he wanted to keep up with them. And since I am a slower runner, this meant lots of people (and dogs) were ahead of me, even at the start. I could tell he was pulling me outside of my comfort zone, so my whole first mile was pretty much trying to pull him back until the herd thinned somewhat.
My GPS wigged out right off the bat, so at the five minute mark I had no idea how far I’d gone. Technically we started in the parking garage, so it probably couldn’t find a signal. Still, I knew the time was accurate so I just tried to get a comfortable pace on and go with the flow.
Around mile 1.5 was the water stop for both dogs and humans. I followed my usual race protocol and walked through the stop, and then gave the dog a minute to grab some water too. The water stop was during the first uphill of several, so it was well placed. I caught my breath and went on.
By now we were on the roads leading through the corporate complex and it was a gorgeous day. 50 or so degrees, bright and sunny, spring just starting to come out in the trees and flowers. I sailed through the next mile without ever finding the marker for mile 2. There were a few hills in there and I did let myself walk thirty second stretches during the two steepest ones.
All of the sudden I saw we were at mile 2.5, and I wasn’t sure at all how fast I was going with the GPS all messed up. I was hardly even paying attention to the voice calling out my time over my music in the RunKeeper, because I knew the mileage was all screwed up anyway. But then I saw the finish line, and could see 36 and change on the timing device.
Damn. I couldn’t believe I came in slow, but attributed it to the walking. I bolted for the finish line, determined to finish in the low 37s.
I ran through and went over to the side where the pans of water were for the dogs, figuring I would let Giz grab a drink while my family caught up to me. I reached over to my armband to stop the RunKeeper and saw that it said this:
What the what? How could that be? Yes, I knew the mileage was wrong but there was no way the time was. Sure enough, my daughter ran up to me and said, “Mom, you ran that in like half an hour!” So all that pulling Gizmo did really did speed me up. And I didn’t even stop my RunKeeper until a good 20 seconds or more after passing through the finish, so I reasoned that I possibly ran this 5K in the low 32s.
That’s insane! I think that possibly the course may have been slightly short, because I cannot fathom how I ran this hilly course three minutes faster than my best 5K time, which I did on a totally flat course. The course wasn’t billed as ATF certified, so it may not be a full 5K. But I suspect it is still a PR, regardless, because even if it’s a bit shy on mileage, it’s probably not short three minutes worth of running.
The race results show me with a time of 31:48, an average of a 10:15 mile. They must have started us six minutes later than the non dog runners. Holy smokes. Maybe I should consider some actual speedwork. It didn’t feel as hard as I would think that kind of time would make me feel. How about that?
I was so inspired by my time that I signed up for the Mother’s Day 10K as soon as I got home.
Overall, the race was a lot of fun. I think it was well run, with frequent water stops, poop bag stations (thank god I didn’t need one today) and great music pre and post race. Plus, it’s a great cause. Definitely plan on making this an annual event for me and my pooch.