Archive | February 2013

Progress

I want to talk about some exercise victory from yesterday today.

I have a few DVDs I use for strength training.  I started out a few months back doing them with three pound weights.  Then as I grew strong again I moved up to the five pound ones.  I’ve never moved beyond them.

But one of my DVDs showed me that I could “double up” on the weights doing certain exercises.  So yesterday, I combined them for most of the DVD, moving from 5 lbs in each hand to 8.  And while I couldn’t do that for the entire DVD, it worked for much of it.  I’ve hesitated to buy 8 lb weights, because I have never felt ready for them.  Now, I think I might be up for the challenge.

When I finished the DVD (it’s a short one, only 35 minutes including warmup and cooldown….this is both great when you’re busy and not good when you want more) I realized I wanted to do more.  I thought about the calendar this week and realized I could sneak in a short run.  I race on Sunday, which means I won’t want to run Saturday…so Wed/Fri I could run.

I headed down to my basement treadmill as it was pouring rain.  I figured a quick 15 minutes would do the trick.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find running on the treadmill harder for several reasons.  I am consistently slower on it.  It’s boring.  I get tied up in how much time left, how fast I’m going.  So while I can blow out a 5.5 mph pace on a flat surface for a while outside, I have never really run much faster than 4.7 mph on my treadmill.

Until yesterday.

That quick fifteen minute run was the longest I’d ever maintained anything above 4.7 mph on my treadmill, and the only time I’ve gone faster than 5.0 mph.  It felt good.  It felt really good to see that progress happening.

Thanks to that run and solid food choices yesterday I ended the day 68 calories under goal.  🙂

Wednesday Weigh In

Well, I met my goal this week.  I lost 2.4 lbs since last Wednesday.  Yay, me!  That not only erases last week’s gain of 1.6 lbs but adds another .8 lbs gone.

Since it worked so well this past week, let me review the week:

Wed:  Under by 336 calories.  I ran four miles this day.

Thu:  Over by 129 calories.  I did a strength training DVD this day.

Friday:  Under by 189 calories.  I walked 3.5 miles this day.

Saturday:  Over by 22 calories (but six drinks!).  I ran 4.1 miles this day.

Sunday:  Over by 195 calories.  I walked 3.7 miles this day (in the freakin’ rain!)

Monday:  Under by 477 calories.  I ran 5.7 miles this day.

Tuesday:  Under by 140 calories.  I walked 2.7 miles this day.

So, I was under goal 4/7 days.  That’s better than last week.  Overall, the amount of calories I was under by exceeded the calories I was over by, which likely makes the loss make some sense.  I was never over by more than 200, but I was under by more than that twice.

I exercised 7/7 days, so that’s better too.

I only drank alcohol 2/7 days, but when I drank, I drank too much.

All in all, a good week for getting back on track.  I think blogging every day worked for me, to feel like I am going to really put out there to the world what I am doing and not doing.  Writing about it is also helping me really think through my choices.  So for now, I will keep doing what I am doing.

Current Week:  -2.4 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  15.4 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date:  5
Age:  42
BMI:  28.4

Monday: Two Thumbs Up

This writing a quick post recapping the day before is actually really kind of helping my accountability.  I am getting a lot of going through each day and the choices that made it, so for now, I think this is going to be a regular thing.

Yesterday was a good day both food wise and exercise wise.  Nearly everything I ate yesterday was unprocessed, meaning I made most of it myself.  I have always found I lose better when I make food myself as opposed to buying it premade.  Two of yesterday’s favorites included:

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Homemade roasted butternut squash soup.  This is insanely easy to make.  I roast a large (3+ lbs) squash, peeled and cubed, in a 400 degree oven with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 40 minutes.  Then I puree it in a blender with chicken stock, in parts.  Then I pour the puree and the rest of the chicken stock (I use a box of it, so that size) into a pot to heat up.  I add some more kosher salt, pepper and some curry powder.  It is divine.  To keep it interesting I threw in some spinach, which wilted from the heat.  Yum.

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Homemade guacamole.  This is Tyler Florence’s recipe.  Essentially you take two avocados, mash them, and combine them with about 1/3 c red onion, one small tomato (diced), 1 clove minced garlic, juice from half a lime, about 2 tbsp of chopped cilantro, and some spices:  1/8 tsp of chili powder, 1/8 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and enough pepper to taste.  It is absolutely divine.  🙂  I had it for a snack with baby carrots, grape tomatoes and two Wasa light rye crispbreads.

Because I ran 5+ miles yesterday (with warmup and cool down walks a total of 5.69 miles, but who is counting) was 477 calories UNDER goal yesterday.  I am hoping this makes up for this weekend’s overages, but we’ll see.

Weekend: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

So….it was a mixed bag for the weekend.

The Good:  I ran my 4 mile race Saturday morning.  I felt strong and good about it, didn’t feel overwhelmed or that it was too hard (well, that one big hill….) for me.  I also took a long walk yesterday (didn’t want to run after the race).  My food choices were pretty good too.  Lots of whole foods, very little processed anything.  Even after the race, when I normally choose something carb-y, I opted for a banana and orange slices.

The Bad:  I was still over on calories on both days.  Not a lot on Saturday, because of the race.  By 195 yesterday.   We ended up going over to our cousin’s on Saturday night to celebrate her mom’s birthday, so there was food and booze and cake.   Yesterday I did really well, but again felt the familiar pangs around 5pm.  We had planned on eating early last night, so a little brown rice California Roll snack before dinner took care of it.

The Ugly:  Both days, I was over because of booze.  Saturday night I really blew it and drank six drinks.  On a race day when I hadn’t really eaten a lot, so I was really tipsy.  Four glasses of champagne (it was a birthday celebration) and two glasses of red wine.  Yikes.  Last night I had three glasses of red wine, mostly because my husband was going away for a business trip today and we felt like having a nice meal with wine.  Except I had one glass too many.

So…overall the weekend wasn’t a total washout.  Food choices were good, exercise was good.  But I must get back on the wagon if I want to post a loss this week  My goal is to not only erase last week’s gain of 1.6 but to go beyond that.  I’d like to see more than two pounds down on the scale when I step on Wednesday.

Going to push hard for a good two days here.

Sweetheart Race Recap

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So I finally got to run my four miler, two weeks late.  I’ve been watching the weather nervously ever since a blizzard dumped 30 inches on me, my race route and all of Connecticut.  I’ve actually never heard of a race being postponed; when you sign up for them, it’s always the caveat.  No refunds.  If something happens, whatever.

Anyway, more weather was expected yesterday, but when I got out of bed, I saw that the temperature was above 32.  Thank goodness.  That meant that I wouldn’t freeze out there, and it also meant that it wouldn’t be snowy or slippery on the route.

I got to the race site early because we were warned that parking was going to be a problem due to the enormous piles of snow everywhere.  I was a full hour early.  When I got to the registration table, they asked me if I wanted a race partner.  I had read this online, that this “Sweetheart Run” is supposed to pair people up in teams, and then not only do they award prizes by individual times, but by teams.  You can sign up with someone, or if you’re solo, they will try and find a partner for you.

I declined.  The woman seemed shocked and told me I was the first person so far to say no.  I told her I knew I was a slow runner and didn’t want to drag anyone else down with my time.  She told me that we didn’t have to stay together.  I told her that whoever it was that got partnered with me would be pretty upset when 52 minutes got added to their stellar time, and she stopped asking.

I figured a 13 minute pace for this course.  Yeah, that’s slower than I usually do for four miles, but this race was billed as challenging with some rolling hills and one really big one.  I figured if I beat my four mile trail run time I’d be fine, which was 53 something.  There were lots of hills on that route too.

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We finally got out to the start line and got started.  The weather was chilly and damp but fortunately not raining or snowing (yet).  We started out, just about 200 of us, a small group.  At first I was happy, thinking maybe the worries of the “challenging” route might have been overstated.  I slipped to the back of the herd and kept a happy, steady pace.  Until the first hill appeared, around mile 1.  It was significant, but manageable.  I dropped to a walk for about twenty seconds of it and kept going.

The second mile wasn’t bad.  Definitely a series of rolling hills, but I run in a neighborhood with rolling hills.  The walkers had peeled off and while I was in the back, with only  a few people behind me, I felt good and comfortable with my pace.  I walked through the water station at mile 2, my race rule, and kept going.

They had warned us that after you made the turn onto Chapel St., you would see the monster of a hill.  Just after mile 3.  And they weren’t joking.  It was such a steep hill, I can’t even believe they put it on a race course.  Seriously.  I was shocked that my RunKeeper didn’t tell me it was the most elevation climb I’ve done because it definitely felt like it was.  I had to walk for nearly a full minute to get to the top and then catch my breath afterward.

There was only about half a mile left after the hill.  Once I caught my breath, I really tired to push myself to the end.  I actually passed a few people, which was a good feeling.  It was also starting to rain, a cold damp drizzle, and I wanted to get inside and out of that as fast as possible. I was shocked as I turned the corner to the finish line and saw 49:50 on the timer.  Holy crap!  I wasn’t going to make it in under 50, but I was going to be just over.  I ran as fast as I could and got in at 50:05.  I figured 52 was a safe goal, but somewhere in the dark recesses of my brain I dared to think of a sub 50 as possible, and I was close.  Very, very close.  I was thrilled.

Well, until I got home and checked the race results.  I knew my time perfectly because I’d seen it, and also set up my RunKeeper app at the start of the race.  When I looked at the results I saw 50:46 next to my name.  It is definitely wrong.  I know what was on the timer as I ran through, and my RunKeeper, which I switched off well after clearing the finish, says 50:34.  I came in right after someone and there was no one right behind me.  I think that they must have made a mistake with the tear offs from the race bibs, and switched me with the next person in.  I’m tempted to email the company about it, but I won’t, because it’s only me that cares.  I know my time.  It was just seconds over the 50 minute mark.

Onto the Shamrock and Roll race next weekend.  I ran this one last year, and it is a nice, flat course.  Really hoping to see some progress on my time there.

Three In A Row and A Race Today

Three solid days of roundly good choices and really paying attention to my food and exercise.

Yesterday I ended under my calorie allotment by 189 calories.  This only because I earned 350 by walking….so if I hadn’t taken that long walk, I would have been over.  And this shocks me, because I was truly hungry yesterday.  Truly hungry in the afternoon between lunch and dinner.  Around 5 pm I really wanted to have something to eat, even though I was cooking dinner and I knew it would be on the table in less than an hour. Normally, I would snack at this time.  This time, I thought about it and made myself wait.

It feels good to feel in control and seeing the scale cooperate.  I stepped on the scale this morning fully clothed, with a heavy sweater on and flannel PJs, and I still weighed 1.2 lbs less than I did on Wednesday (when I was not, ahem, fully clothed).  So I’m probably down around 2, which would be awfully nice.  Need to keep this momentum up this weekend.  Weekends are always more challenging, as they are for everyone I suppose.

Today is a race day for me.  I was supposed to run the Sweetheart 4 Miler two weeks ago, but we had a blizzard.  They had originally postponed it until the next day, but with 30+ inches of snow, that just didn’t happen.  The town where it is to be held didn’t even have school most of the following week, the roads were still so bad.

I feel as prepared as I can be.  Fortunately this morning is not as cold as it has been.  I ran outside the other day when it was just 22 degrees and while I did it, it wasn’t exactly pleasant.  Right now it is about 35, which is perfect.  By race time it may be closer to 40, which would be fantastic.  We are due to get more weather here today, but it should hold off until I am done with the race.  This race is billed as challenging….there are hills.  So I will be slow and steady to keep my energy up for those hills.   I am hoping it isn’t any worse than the 4 mile trail race I did here, which was indeed super hilly and also, trails.  Either way, I plan on approaching it like my last race, the Central Park Run, and just go slow and enjoy and finish strong.

Today will be another good day.

 

Another Good Day

Two in a row.

I’m calling it a good day even though My Fitness Pal tells me I was over calories yesterday.  Here’s the thing:

I’m 5 feet tall.  That’s really short. I’m talking needs a step stool for everything short.  If you knew me, I’d likely be the shortest person you know (unless you know my sister too, because she is two inches shorter than me).  Which means my calorie needs and my weight are both supposed to be very, very small.

So MFP puts me on 1200 calories a day.  Which in a normal day, when I exercise, is not a huge problem to keep close to.  A run day will give me around 500 calories on top of that.  Even a good long walk puts me around 300 more, and I can work with that.  But on a day, like yesterday, where I do some strength training or a rest day?

It’s hard to stay under 1200.  Even when you’re having a good day, and being conscious of what you eat.

I’m not going to lie, yesterday was a struggle.  I was HUNGRY between lunch and dinner.  I nearly opted for frozen yogurt with the kids in between.  And I’m not going to lie, if they’d had better flavors in the tubes yesterday I probably would have done it.  But nothing tempted me.  So I was able to resist.

Even with eating hummus and carrots and unsalted almonds and Greek Yogurt and butternut squash soup and all of the good choices I made yesterday, even with 40 minutes of solid strength training, I still clocked in at 129 calories over yesterday.

I’m still going to call it a good day.