Archive | March 2013

Wednesday Weigh In: Wrong Direction

Up for a second week in a row.

I gave up, a little, this week.  And it shows on the scale.

It was a crazy week.  My husband’s parents were here, which always throws a wrench into the routine.  I work out less, they cook rich foods, we all drink more.  But it wasn’t just that.  My daughter was in a play at school, and got terribly sick.  Caring for her and tending to all of the myriad other things going on right now just made me tired and crabby.

And then there was the race on Saturday, and the emotional tidal wave that came along with it.  I didn’t think I overate as a result of it, but it was just another tick on the clock of the upward spiral.  I just didn’t bother, on many fronts.  I didn’t bother being careful.  I didn’t bother trying to watch the drinking.  I didn’t bother refraining from dessert or the second helping.   And then I just stopped tracking for a few days because really, what was the point?

All the while watching the calendar and knowing that I’m less than two weeks out now from my son’s wedding.  The day I wanted to stand in front of everyone feeling confident and secure and slim.  Knowing it’s too late to get there.  So why bother?

Not good.  Not a good place.

I thought about skipping this post.  But I need to own it and recount my frustration and try to translate that to positive action.  So here are the stats:

Current Week:  +1.2 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  17.4 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date:  1 (!)
Age:  42
BMI:  28.8

 

Sandy Hook Run for the Families 5K Race Recap

It is hard to put into words how moving yesterday’s race was for me.  But I will try.

This race was held in Hartford, which is a good hour from where I live.  When the race was originally planned, it was going to be held in Danbury; close to Newtown and not far from me either, I didn’t even hesitate when I signed up.  Of course I would run this race.  The planners moved it to Hartford when it became clear that many, many more people wanted to run this race than Danbury could accommodate.  Even so, the warnings of sparse parking and multitudes of people got me out of bed by 5:30 on race day yesterday.

5:55 am and ready to go.

5:55 am and ready to go.

I think maybe it was something more driving me to want to get up to that race early, to be there, to soak in every moment of help and healing and heartache that would go along with it.  I left my house just before 6am, and hit the road.  Without thinking, I turned left towards the north and headed towards i 184.  Normally I take a different route to Hartford, but today I just decided at the last minute to go the other possible way.

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It took me a few minutes to realize this alternative route would take me right past the school where the Sandy Hook students now attend, in my own town of Monroe.  It would also take me right through Newtown, through part of Sandy Hook.  I suppose my heart just wanted to pause for a moment there, driving through, and really give a moment of thought to what I was doing that day.  Why I was up so early, in the dark, driving alone for 50 miles to a race without anyone else, all by myself.  I cried a little, and kept going.

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The sun came up as I drove to Hartford and I made it there (as per usual for me), ridiculously early.  I wandered around the team area for a while, and started to notice all of the different team shirts.  So many different ones, all either representing a workplace (Newtown teachers, Danbury Fire, Target, Diageo, etc) or a person who died that day (Victoria Soto, Rachel D’Avino, Chase Kowalski).

Eventually I did see a few people I knew, including one friend who actually was my kids’ kindergarten teacher.  She went to high school with Chase’s parents and encouraged me to come over to their team area and become part of their team.

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So honored to be part of Chase’s team.

It was very powerful to be a part of that team.  I stayed with the team and listened to everyone talk to the group about this sweet little boy, and the purpose they all now have to honor him.  What a strong, remarkable family.  What an amazing group of people they have supporting them.  The love was free flowing and palpable.  Smiles through tears, but mostly smiles.  Just incredible messages of hope and courage and inspiration.  It was indeed everything about why I’d wanted to be a part of this event, suddenly made now much more personal and even more real to me.

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Eventually it was time to go to the race area, so I walked with my friend and we went over to the race start.  There were 15,000 people registered for this race.  So many that they had three different entry points to the race lineup, similar to the corrals they have at larger races.  I of course entered (thankfully, with my friends) at the slowest runner entry point.  It was chilly and cold, so we were all grateful for the close quarters.

They started the race with a bell tolling 26 times.  It’s hard to imagine how quiet so many people gathered together could be, but you could have heard a pin drop.  Then a moving rendition of the national anthem was sung, and many of us quietly shed some tears.  A moving convocation was delivered by the pastor of Newtown Congregational Church, who likened the race to life:  even when it gets difficult, you dig deep and find the strength to keep moving forward.  Such stirring words.  So powerful to be hearing them there with so many touched and affected and moved by that tragedy.

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Starting line.

It took me over four minutes to make it to the starting line, but finally, we were off.  With so many people, the first half mile was fairly slow going.  This race was unlike any other I’ve done, with so many non runners and walkers involved.  I, for the first time ever, found myself weaving and passing.

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Eventually I found myself with a bit of room to run.  I wasn’t sure of my pacing; if there were mile markers out, I never saw them with so many people around.  By the water stop at mile 2 I was tired; I was running fast because the route was so flat.  I forced myself to slow down and kept going.

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This shot, taken somewhere in the last mile, shows that the crowd was still very thick.  At one point I realized I couldn’t see where the people started or where they ended.  It was just a sea of people.

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Almost too quickly, I saw the finish line.  I was pushing myself, so I was glad to see it of course, but alternatively, I couldn’t believe the experience was just about over.  I took this shot as I neared the finish; if you look closely you can see the green banner.  The crowd thickened here but we were all pretty much at the same pace, so I ran hard till the end.

The timing service posted my race results to my FB page probably before I even had hit quit on my RunKeeper.  I was surprised to see 36:02.  With how slow I’d had to go in the beginning, I had feared I’d gone slower.  Of course there was that nasty negative voice in my head reminding me that it was 30 seconds slower than my previous 5K, but I shut it down quickly.  This race wasn’t about time.  It was about spirit.  Running it at my second fastest pace was nice, but really wasn’t important.

I walked the mile back to the team area alone, got lost a little bit and found my mind remarkably empty afterwards, almost as if I had spent all of the emotion of it pushing towards that finish line.  I connected with my friends again, drank a cup of coffee, and quietly left to go back home.  I drove again down I 84, going further south and west until I again went through Newtown, past Sandy Hook, past the school where the children now attend.  I said a quiet prayer for all of those who were the reason why I’d left my house seven hours prior.  It was such a moving, amazing, awe inspiring experience.  I am so proud to have been able to be a part of it.

Wednesday Weigh In: Up

Yep, I’m up.

I knew it was coming and I honestly don’t even care.  Things are crazy here this week.  My daughter is in our middle school musical, and the rehearsals are crazy.  Sure enough, in the middle of all of it, she got sick.  Really sick.  I sent her to school yesterday but she is home again today.  Tomorrow is opening night.  Her grandparents flew in from Michigan for the show.  What a mess.

I am fighting the same bug.  I am not full on sick but I am tired and not 100 %.

It is also “that time” for me, which is a lot of what I attribute this week’s bump up to.  It jumped up literally on day 1 and has been high since.  It’s not the whole reason, and I am not going to discount that I’ve eaten more and exercised less because I’m tired and we have guests.  But still.  It’s part of it.

We’re also two weeks out from my son’s wedding and tensions are high.  The stress can’t be helping things either.

On the plus side, I had a great 6.5 mile run over the weekend.  I am racing this weekend, a 5K in honor of the families affected by the Sandy Hook shooting.  It promises to be a really moving day.

So, another week in the books.

Current Week:  +2.4lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  16.2 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date:  2
Age:  42
BMI:  28.5

Wednesday Weigh In

I lay in my bed this morning, dreading the scale.  I hemmed, hawed and replayed the last week in my head.

I knew I’d been over on calories every day but one.  Not by a lot, but a 100 here, a 150 there.  Last week I posed a theory: if my weekly net overage was more than 300 calories, I would gain.  Last week, my net overage was around 600 and I gained .2 lbs.  Negligible, I know, but not a loss either.  If that theory held true, I thought as I lay there in the darkness, then today would be at least a pound gain.

I lost 1.8 lbs this week.

I’m totally baffled by this.

I exercised less this week.  I didn’t eat more (in fact, I probably ate less), but my net calories at the end of the day was over goal 6 out of 7 days.   How did this happen?   Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled.  I just need to know what I did right so I can keep going on that track!

Wed:  Over by 362.  Two meals out that day.  No exercise.  Alternatively, I had salmon and chicken pesto, decent choices.
Thu:  Over by 15.  OK not a lot.  This day I did a new cardio DVD and had some mall walking.  I also made a zucchini lasagna that was absolutely amazing (from Skinnytaste, you should try it!)  and had a huge veggie sub from Subway.  Not lousy choices, good choices.
Fri:  Over by 147.  Again, not terrible.  Another restaurant meal this day, and I chose fish, which was great and healthy.  It snowed this day so I shoveled snow and also walked on the treadmill.
Sat:  Over by 489.  A lot.  Birthday dinner for my daughter at home, including cake.  I did take a long walk with the dog though.Sun:  Over by 326.  I spent this day in New York City with my daughter and a friend seeing Wicked on Broadway.  More eating at restaurants.  I chose spinach pie and fish tacos, both good choices.  I also chose plenty of wine (we took the train!), but we also walked a lot.
Mon:  Under by 608.  A huge deficit.  I ran five miles on Monday so that is why there were so many extra calories.  For once, I didn’t eat them.  I still made low calorie choices.  This day I actually ate four smaller meals and it felt pretty good.
Tue:  Over by 196.  Didn’t have much time for exercise but I did squeeze in a quick DVD and some mall walking.  Had another restaurant meal and again chose well:  salmon salad.

I guess this is telling me that it isn’t simple.  That sometimes it isn’t just about the numbers but the food choices.  Even though I was over nearly every day, most of what I ate was still healthy, whole food.  And while I ran less, I did still exercise six out of seven days in some form or another.

OK even after going through it I’m still baffled.  But I’ll take it.

Current Week:  -1.8 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  13.8 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date:  3
Age:  42
BMI:  28.1

Sometimes You Need A Break

So the last five or so days have been a little off.   I’ve been pushing, pushing, pushing myself and I finally just let myself relax a little bit.

My food choices?  Not terrible.  But there’s been a little more than there should be, pretty much every day this week.  I don’t think I’ve had a single day since Wednesday that has been under goal.  Again, not terrible choices, but just not salads all the time either.   I went out with some girlfriends Friday night and had fish broiled and served with marinara and sauteed spinach….excellent choice.  But it was a good sized portion and I ate every bit of it.  Saturday, we celebrated my daughter’s birthday at home.  Steak and roasted potatoes and salad.  I held back on the portions, but then there was cake.  Again, not a lot, but enough to push me over.

I decided not to stress about it.  Part of the reason I’ve been over is that I have had to exercise less this week.  My left ankle has been twinging and I didn’t want to push it.  I definitely didn’t want to run again until I got proper shoes.  I did a few good walks, and the foot felt stronger by Saturday.  I did research, asked around, and finally got a new pair of running shoes.  I ended up with a pair of Brooks Adrenaline 13s.  They are made with a flexible, breathable fabric that I think will help my feet not rub and be irritated as I run.  The shoes are definitely wide enough for my feet.  They have good support and a bit of stability control, so they seemed like a good choice.

Today was the day to try them out.

I haven’t run in a solid six days, so I was worried about it.  At first I thought, I’ll try for five miles since I need to get some mileage back.  Then I thought, these are new shoes, maybe I should take it easy.  I finally bargained with myself to at least complete 5K, and then if things felt good, to keep going and see how far I wanted to go.

Right from the start, the run felt good.  So much better than my run last week.  I took it easy at first, and the miles just started to tick away.  I realized that my pace was picking up too, as I warmed up and got comfortable in the new shoes.  At the 5K mark I knew I could keep going to 4 miles.  And even after that, I thought, hey, you are still feeling strong here, let’s keep going.

I needed a good, strong run like this.  Even though I PRed my race a week ago, the run after it left me feeling like a failure and had me questioning if I really was still in the game.  I ended up running 4.85 miles this morning, and nearly all of it felt really, really good.  With my warmup walk, I logged 5.15 miles total, meeting my goal for the day.  My feet didn’t blister or rub or anything, which they have done in every other pair of shoes I’ve bought.  So I am very, very excited.

So I guess it is true.  Those tapers and rest days that people do really are necessary.  I didn’t rest enough after my last race and I didn’t pay enough attention to getting new shoes when it was time to do so.

The scale may not like my rest week this week, but my running stamina definitely did.

Not Much To Say

Not much to say about yesterday.  Other than finding out that my go to “fill me up with enormous amounts of food for next to no calories” food item was a myth, which was a bummer.

I had to go formal dress shopping yesterday.  My son is getting married (hence the ‘goal date’ in my weigh in numbers) in a month and it’s time to face the music.  I had hoped to be another ten pounds lighter by now, but it is clear that isn’t happening, so it’s time to suck it up and buy a dress.

Even though I’ve lost some of the weight, even though I felt great when I stepped on the scale yesterday morning, the reality of my body type and short stature made me glum and unhappy with the results.  I tried on many, many dresses.  Many didn’t fit.  The one that was exactly the style I wanted would have fit if I’d made my goal….but it didn’t….and so I didn’t.  I found a few good options, but not after my head started to swim.  In some styles I was a 12.  In others I was an 8.  The dress I bought was actually an 8, after all of that (so was the one I coveted and couldn’t even get over my hips).

After it was done, I was hungry and went to the food court to get something to eat.  I opted for Subway, thinking healthy choice.  I ordered my go to sandwich:  a footlong veggie on wheat with cheese.  For twenty years I’ve eaten these, thinking they are super low in calories and still filling.

When I got home and logged my veggie sub, it was over 600 calories.  Holy crap.  I was shocked.

The rest of the day was good, otherwise.  I did a cardio DVD to rest my ankle until I get some new shoes.  It was hard, which was good.   Even though I was slightly over on calories by the end of the day, I felt it was a good day of solid, healthy choices.  The scale this morning agrees.

Rest Day

I decided, based on my schedule and my body’s signals, that yesterday needed to be a rest day.  My ankle has been bothering me since Sunday’s race, and with an all morning meeting during the time when I normally exercise, I decided that was a sign it was time to rest.  I’ve gone two solid weeks with some form of formal exercise every day, and I wondered if my body was reacting.

Also, there is this:

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These are my running shoes after my Tuesday run. See, I have really wide feet.   Like double or triple E.  I also have what must be some pretty severe pronation going on.  My left foot always feels fine, but as you can see, that leg and foot turns inward when I run, so I overuse the ankle is an odd way.  It is more towards the middle of my foot, this turn.  On my right foot, the same thing must be happening, but it happens up near my toes, so I develop major blisters just under my right toe on the side of the foot.  Over time these blisters have formed a large callus there.  And that callous renders every new pair of shoes tight and uncomfortable on that foot.  Eventually I wear them in, and by wear them in, I mean that my huge callous starts wearing a hole in the shoe.

These shoes have had a small hole near my callous since before Thanksgiving.  I but I hesitated to get new shoes because I felt so good after wearing these shoes.  I wore them looking progressively worse for my Thanksgiving 5 miler, my 10K, my 4 miler, and this weekends 5K.  I think that may have been the last straw.

With me trying to achieve serious running goals, it’s time for new shoes.  Clearly I need to do some research to find the best ones for my issues.  Because while I enjoyed having a rest day, they definitely cannot keep happening due to injury.