It’s not been a great week for me fitness wise. My dad visited last week and for some reason it was just super hard to get up early and do what I needed to do before the kids’ days began. Maybe it was because my dad is an early bird and he was already awake each time I would think about getting up to go to run or walk; I guess maybe I thought I should be sitting with him or talking or making him coffee or what have you.
I logged exactly ONE run/walk last week. And it didn’t feel great; I gave up about 1.7 miles into the run and switched to a run/walk. I still pulled about 3.5 miles but it just didn’t feel good. Like I was wimping out at the same time as not feeling like I could handle it.
Yesterday I got up early and decided to give myself a pass. I knew I couldn’t talk myself into a run, so I talked myself into a long walk. I was up at six and logged over four miles, but I walked it. But it felt GOOD. It felt really good.
So today when I was awake at 5:15, I told myself it was stupid to try to go back asleep. I might as well just get up because I knew I wanted to get out there and try a run. But my head is messing with me; I felt like I couldn’t hack it.
I decided, finally, that I would do a Week 1 run from Bridge to 10K. This allowed me to think about the few walk breaks that were every ten minutes. And so I went out this morning with that in my head. I could walk for a minute, every ten minutes.
It was GREAT. No mentally talking myself out of a good run. I did have to walk twice when the app didn’t tell me to, but not for long. I pushed through the last interval without a break. All told about 42.5 minutes of running (which means just simply not walking at some points…but I take the victories when I can get them, even when they come in the form of Super Slow Jogging).
There was the warm up, the few walking intervals and a cooldown (I was able to jog about three minutes of that) so all told, about 53 minutes of activity and 4.05 miles.
It felt so great to hear “Workout Completed”. I haven’t felt that sense of accomplishment about a run in ages. I think I’m going to use my B210K app for a bit for runs. There’s something about needing to get to that time deadline that makes me force myself to adjust my pace and get through it that I don’t get when I am just logging miles; I am more willing to give up and walk it.
Today feels good.
So, we all have our triggers. For me, it’s my evening drink. I love a glass of wine at night, with dinner. Or before dinner. Or after dinner. Maybe both. Or is that all three?
It’s worse when my husband is working late and not around. The first one tastes so good that I want a second. And then that warm feeling kicks in and feels so good that maybe a third would be even better.
When I have that second, or sometimes third drink, then I get the munchies. Especially if I am on my sofa watching TV. Which is pretty much every night unless I have some major work that needs to be done. Wine and cookies, they just go together.
Except that they are no good for me. Well, the wine isn’t terrible. If it’s just one. But the cookies are terrible for me. And the wine often brings the cookies.
I know what you’re thinking: just get the cookies out of the house (were you thinking get the booze out of the house? I’m sorry, we’ll never be friends, then). I never, ever buy the cookies. But every so often my husband goes shopping, and he buys the cookies. The kids looooove cookies, so why shouldn’t they have cookies?
Well, they can’t have them if I’m busy eating them at night after they go to bed and I’m boozing it up on the couch, I suppose.
My point here is that they are a trigger. The wine and then the munchies. And my point here is last night, I didn’t pull the trigger. I sat with my glass of wine, and finished it, and got up as is my habit to get a second.
Except, I didn’t. I stopped myself. Because I knew I’d have that drink and then maybe want a third. And then I’d want the cookies. And with the two drinks in my system I’d be less able to exercise my will power and resist them. So I talked myself out of it.
Which felt pretty good.
And then, without two (or three) drinks (and cookies) in my system this morning, I was able to run for 26 minutes straight.
Which felt even better.
So…it’s been five days since I did any sort of exercise, and five days before that before I had done any as well.
Which makes me feel alternately guilty and ready to throw in the towel. I actually debated with myself, laying in bed there this morning, all of the lovely reasons why I could just not bother. Not go out.
- It’ll be hard to run after basically two weeks of not running.
- It’ll be too hot out.
- It’s buggy and muggy.
- Your feet hurt.
- You had too much to drink in the last few days.
But, for some reason, the rational side of my brain won, and I hauled my butt out of bed at 5:35 am and got up. I told myself that I could run for as long as I wanted. If I wanted to stop after a mile, I could. It got me going. It pushed me out the door.
Which is good. I’m glad I got out there. I ran for about 15 minutes in the muggy 65 degree hazy weather before I said enough and gave myself permission to walk.
I know that’s a problem for me lately. I should start up again with my 5K app which would coach me when to run and walk; when I just give myself permission, I inevitably lose motivation sooner. Still, I ended up walking for 33 more minutes, which gave me a total of 48 minutes of activity, all before 6:30am. My RunKeeper GPS messed up (I hate that!) but I know my route, and I went about 3.2 miles altogether in 48 minutes.
It was enough, at least, to make me want to go out again tomorrow. And that, right now in the heat of the summer and the craziness of kids out of school and my work at home jobs, is going to have to be enough.
So I have been running several times a week since completing the Couch to 5K program in November. At that time 3 miles was still a big deal for me to do at one time, either running, walking or any combination thereof.
But not long after that I pushed myself into the Bridge to 10K program, and I was running 4 and 5 miles during my training runs. These were pretty slow runs, mind you, but I wouldn’t stop until I heard that voice in my ear telling me I could. I was pretty careful about the whole thing until finishing the program last winter.
Somewhere along the way, though, I feel like I stalled.
These days I can’t get through a 3 mile run without a few walk breaks. I am not sure if it is the warmer weather, or the four or so pounds I’ve gained, but I haven’t improved any on speed or endurance at all since doing Bridge to 10K. I’m still pretty much stuck around a 12 minute mile for my race pace. While I’ve pushed myself to go faster lately, it inevitably ends up with me needing more walk breaks.
I thought by building endurance for the longer runs the speed would naturally improve; it did with Couch to 5K. It was simple; the more runs I completed, the less walking I would do. But now it’s not so simple. I am still doing the same 3 to 5 mile runs and they still feel hard at the same hills and they still feel that slightest bit easier when I get to the downhill. All the same. Exactly the same, for months now.
It is frustrating to me.
I read in a Runner’s Magazine (at the dentist office, of course….I hardly consider myself a runner at this stage) that weight definitely slows you down. That thoroughbred horses can see a difference in run times with only a 3 pound weight gain. And these are thousand pound animals.
I am guessing the extra twenty pounds I am carrying is why I can’t seem to get any faster. My weight loss stalled right when my speed seems to have stalled. My body is used to my poky way of running. And while My Fitness Pal says I mostly stay within the calorie range I should to lose weight, for some reason, it’s just not happening.
Which is very frustrating to me.
I plan on going out in the morning and getting in at least three miles. Just writing it there will help me not talk myself out of it when the alarm hits at 5:30 tomorrow morning. Because you have to start somewhere.
So, I am no stranger to blogging. I have been blogging for years, writing small stories about my life.
But a year ago, when I started trying to be healthier, the posts about my journey never seemed to fit in with the focus of my blog. I have always meant to start a fitness blog for myself, and have tried a few times, but each time, the way I went about it just didn’t work out. I never kept it up.
Now that I have been selected as a FitBloggin’ Assistant though, it seems like the kick in the pants I need to finally start a real blog to talk about my fitness journey. I suppose it won’t make a lot of sense to people to see me signed up and then read about my kids school stuff and my life around town (although, maybe people would find that stuff interesting? Perhaps people with more boring lives than my own?).
So today, it starts. I’m sitting here sweaty from a run before the raging heat kicks in, so I’m All Up In The Zone of fitness blogging.
And, literally, as I typed that sentence, the entire house just woke up and life as I know it is over.
I’ll be back!