Archive | June 2013

Wednesday Weigh In

For the first time in I can’t remember how long, I didn’t gain or lose anything this week.

Obviously, considering all of the running I’m doing (32nd day on the #RWRunStreak is already in the books at 6:15 am!) plus the new bootcamp classes I’m doing a few days a week, should be making a dent here.  And it’s not.  So….back to tracking.

The good news about tracking is that MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper have linked up, so now I don’t have to enter my runs manually into MFP.  As soon as I hit SAVE on the phone, they’ll go to both RunKeeper and MFP.  So that’s something.

Started tracking a few days ago and I am going to keep at it for the next little bit.  I have been making more conscious choices, but at the end of the day, I am still stuck in the same three pound loop of up and down.

Other than the flat line on the scale, I am still loving the routine of the RunStreak.  With over 30 days in, the habit is formed, and I have to say that it will continue even after the streak is over.  Unless there is something big, I plan on trying to keep up with the mile every day.  Right now it works:  longer runs on days I don’t have bootcamp, just over a mile on days I do, and the 5K speed training to mix up the runs and vary them enough to not get bored.

Current Week:  -0.0
Total Weight Left To Lose:  17.2 lbs
Age:  42
BMI:  28.7

Stratton Faxon 5K Race Recap

After my race here in town was over, I was kind of itching to run a race since I hadn’t run that day.  When I saw the Race4Chase team was going to be running at the Stratton Faxon 5K and Half Marathon, and that runners would be helping raise more money for their foundation, it just made sense.  I talked to my two girlfriends and they were both interested in running too, so we signed up.

I’m also midway in my training plan to try and build speed in 5Ks, so this race seemed like a good time to check in on my progress.

With an estimated 1500+ people registered for the race, we knew we’d need to head down to the race site (at a beach on Long Island Sound) early.  I was picking my friends up at 6:20 am to be sure we would have no trouble parking.  As if I hadn’t learned this lesson a million times.  Because I’m so paranoid, no matter what, I always am there ridiculously early and always get a good spot.  Today was no exception.  Thank goodness my girls were up for it.

But I don’t mind getting to a race early.  I like soaking in all of the energy and excitement.  And with the race being at the beach, the scenery was ideal.  We checked in with the team, got our race stuff and settled in.

Pre Race....nothing like being on the beach at 7:30am.

Pre Race….nothing like being on the beach at 7:30am.

What is great about the Race4Chase organization is that you really feel a part of the cause.  You check in at their tent, everyone is given a shirt to wear so that it’s easy to quantify who is running with  the team, and then they talk to everyone about why these races are so meaningful.  Each mile we were running was going to mean dollars in the coffers of the Chase Kowalski Foundation.  It was inspiring to hear about all of the different efforts being done to “turn tragedy into triumph”. Plus, everyone is just so nice.  Everyone involved is just sweet and kind and has a great spirit.  It’s truly inspiring.

We posed for a big team photo before heading to the start line.

1500 people is definitely a big race.  Cramming us all into the small entry way into the beach was a feat.  We couldn’t even see where the start line was from where we were.  But the race organizers were loud and clear on the speakers, so we knew when the race began.  We slowly walked and then were able to jog up to the start.  Finally, we crossed it.

Honestly, for me, it was all downhill from there.  And not in the good way.

I don’t know if I set my sights too high, but I had a goal today.  I wanted to go below 35 minutes.  I thought it was possible based on my recent times in my training runs.  This course was flat and where I train has hills.  I started off strong, probably too strong.  I thought I could just push myself through and keep my pace low.  I weaved and bobbed through the crowd hoping that I could just maintain the sub 11 minute pace.

By the time I passed the first mile, I was struggling.  I skipped the first water stop, not wanting to lose the time.  The heat was starting to feel so hot (it was in the 70s and slightly humid).  I felt OK during the shady portions of the run but really hot in the sunny areas.  Still, when I crossed mile 2 I thought I would be ok.  The clock was showing me 24 and change, but I knew it had taken nearly a minute to get to the start line, so I thought I could pull it off yet.

I walked through the next water station, struggling to drink the water because I was breathing so hard.  I told myself to reset my pace or I was seriously going to have trouble.  The heat really was starting to feel like a problem and I just could feel my motivation waning.  I so wanted to PR the race, but I just felt so terrible at that point.  I knew both of my friends were well ahead of me by this point, having lost sight of one right away and the second somewhere after mile 1.  It was just as hot for them, what was wrong with me?

I slowed my pace, still thinking (based on what I now know was slightly erroneous information being gathered by satellites in my RunKeeper) that I had room to spare to at least PR the race (better than 35:35) if I couldn’t go below 35:00.  I finally started to feel better when we hit the homestretch.

Which, unfortunately, was in full sunlight.  I could feel it just baking me, I knew my face had to be bright red, and I slowed to a walk for a few seconds just to gain the final strength I needed to finish strong.  I rallied and pushed through to the finish line, feeling absolutely terrible but still hoping for the best.  My friends were waiting for me there, and we all gulped down water before heading back to the beach to see what we could find to eat or drink.

Seriously red faced and sweaty post race.

Seriously red faced and sweaty post race.

We eventually, after waiting for the crowds to thin, got some watermelon and juice before going back to the team tent and commiserating with everyone.  Weren’t those people who were doing the 5K today as a warm-up for the half marathon tomorrow nuts?   We caught our breaths, talked to team members as they came back, and eventually knew it was time to go.  We gave sweaty hugs all around and left the gorgeous beach behind.

When I finally saw my final time online of 36:14, I was devastated.  Not even remotely close to my goal for today.  I tried so hard, trained for this, and I actually was SLOWER than my last 5K.   Even if you took the 20 degree increase in temp from today over that day, it probably just accounts for the 18 seconds difference between the two.  So what gives?  I’ve been really doing my training runs, pushing myself doing speedwork, and RUNNING EVERY DAY FOR NEARLY A MONTH.  Why am I not getting any better at this?

I had myself a lovely pity party for a bit until I had had enough.  I didn’t run this race today to PR (although I wanted to).  I didn’t run it to prove anything to myself or anyone else.  I ran it to raise money for a foundation that honors a sweet little boy who was taken from this world too soon.  I ran in camaraderie with those who cared for him, loved him, meant everything to him.  And by that measure, I did everything I came to the beach today to do.  I ran hard.  I gave it my all.  I prayed for him and all of those angels.   I am lucky enough to be able to go out there and do this.  Did it really matter that I wanted to be a minute faster than I was?

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t.  I was lucky to be there.  I was honored to be there.  I was moved to be there.

The PR will come.  I will keep at it and keep training and I will not let myself give up.  Until then, I’m going to continue to do what I can to help these wonderful people make their vision become a reality.  With every freaking slow step I take.

Wednesday Weigh In

I’m down slightly this week, 0.6 lbs.  Which I’ll take, although as always, I’d like it to be more.

But I am seeing a bit of what people call the “NSV” lately, or the non scale victory.  This is my sixth week of the bootcamp classes I’m taking, and my third week of the RWRunStreak.  While I’m only going to bootcamp twice a week, I’m definitely seeing some changes in my body.  Clothes are fitting better, things are looser than they have been in quite a while.  So that’s motivating.

This is the last week of the bootcamp that I’d signed up for.  I figured I’d “try it”.  While I need to be careful of injuries, and while I still find it insanely hard, I definitely am seeing progress and am planning on continuing.  Probably still only two days a week, although if I can muster three, that would be even better.

I have stopped “tracking” my food intake altogether.  Instead, I’m trying very hard to simply focus on the quality of what I’m eating and stopping when I am full.  Will this type of food bring me closer to my goals?  Probably shouldn’t eat it.  Am I full even though there’s still food left?  Maybe I should stop.  I think I got too wrapped up in the numbers game and thinking I could have really crappy stuff as long as I tracked it.  So we’ll see how this goes for me.

Still hovering in the same place I’ve been in the last six months, but hoping the next few weeks, with the changes I’ve made in exercise and food, will push me out of the slump.

Current Week:  -0.6
Total Weight Left To Lose:  17.2 lbs
Age:  42
BMI:  28.7

Can’t Believe I’m Missing Fitbloggin

I'm in this one...but I won't be in the next one.  :(

I’m in this one…but I won’t be in the next one. 😦

Before I attended Fitbloggin’ last year, I didn’t follow any fitness blogs except for Ronisweigh.com.  I had for a while followed a very few weight loss blogs, and that was actually the initial reason I was reading Roni’s blog….it started out as a weight loss blog, not a fitness blog.  In fact, fitness came after she’d lost most of the weight she’d set out to lose.

When she posted on her website about the chance to get a free ticket to Fitbloggin’ in exchange for an hour or two of live blogging, I knew I wanted to go.  It honestly made no sense, when I think of it now.  I didn’t follow any other blogs, knew no one else attending, and the only real attempts at fitness I was engaged in at the time was running.  I did enjoy that, at least, but didn’t really do much in the way of reading about it or training in any formal way other than the 3.99 app on my phone.  But Baltimore was driving distance, the kids would be in school, and I really wanted to step out of my comfort zone and learn more about the online weight loss/fitness community.

Fitbloggin’ opened my eyes to a whole new world.  Not only did I meet so many wonderful bloggers, but they were engaged in so many different elements that I found interesting.  Yes, there were weight loss bloggers.  There were also fitness bloggers, food bloggers.  There were classes and types of exercises I’d never tried before.  There was food I’d never tried before.

I really felt for the first time that the journey that I was on wasn’t filled with failure.  Just because I’d lost weight and regained it didn’t mean I still wasn’t healthier than I had been.  Just because I ran slowly didn’t mean I wasn’t a runner.  Just because I’d never tried CrossFit or Zumba before didn’t mean that I couldn’t.  I could do new things.  I could hang out with people I always thought would judge me for my looks or my body size.  I discovered that while I always worried about people making assumptions about me, it was really because I was terribly busy making assumptions about them (she’s so skinny she won’t talk to me, she’s such a fast runner she must think I’m an idiot, she’s so well put together that she can’t possibly have anything in common with me).   It really was an amazing thing to discover that if I stopped judging people in my head, I would be open to so many more experiences and people that I might be closing myself off from.

I was crushed when, at the end of the blogging conference that I enjoyed so much, it was announced that the next one would be in Portland, OR in June, 2013.  I knew there was no way I could get there.  It was so far away, it was during my husband’s busy time at work, it was when the kids weren’t in school.    All of these great people that would never all be in the same place at the same time…..all of that fun we had together, all of that camaraderie that I was leaving with….I wouldn’t get it back.

In the months since, I’ve faithfully followed so many of the bloggers I met at Fitbloggin’.  I’ve taken on new challenges and pushed myself to become more active, more fit.  I haven’t lost a huge amount of weight, but I have gained a lot more confidence and security in myself.  I put together our town’s 5K since Fitbloggin’.  I started bootcamp classes that I’d always shied away from.  I’ve finally committed to a training program to improve my speed in running.  I’m doing the RWRunStreak and actually enjoying it.

So when all of those people converge on Portland in ten days, I won’t be one of them.  I’ll be sitting at home, watching those Twitter feeds scroll by and looking at all of the photos posted to Facebook.  I’m not going to lie, I’m really sad about it.  But I’m going to try, really try, to rather than just embark on a path of insane jealousy of anyone lucky enough to go, to really soak up all that I can from afar.  I’ll try to remember that the best thing I took away from Fitbloggin wasn’t the swag (although that was honestly pretty damn awesome), it wasn’t the classes, it wasn’t the workshops, it was the sense of being connected to a community of like minded people that was so much larger than myself.  And that connection won’t stop just because I can’t hop on a plane in ten days.  It’ll still be there.   And I’ll still get to be a part of that community online, even if I can’t be there in person.

#RWRunStreak Check In: Day 19

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So I’m just about done with the third week of the RWRunStreak, and I have to say I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve done with the challenge so far.  It hasn’t been hard at all to fit in one mile a day, even on days when the schedule is busy.  It only takes a few minutes, really.   The only day I missed an “official” run was two weeks ago for my big race, but I definitely walked a mile that day doing everything that needed to be done.

My RunKeeper now tells me after every run that I’ve set a new record for activities, which is funny.  Because my distance isn’t that much greater than when I ran three times a week, because I was logging three or four miles each time (sometimes more).   Still it’s only the 15th, and the consistency I think will definitely push my mileage per week to new heights.  Especially now as the weather has gotten warmer and the kids will be out of school soon.  That was when I really fell off the wagon on running last year, and I am definitely committed to making sure that doesn’t happen with the streak.

I’m also really starting to see a difference in my attitude when I run.  I can push myself a little bit harder knowing it’s a short distance, so my speeds are coming up.  I am so curious to see what happens at next weekend’s 5K.  I think it’s the same course I ran last September, after not having run for over a month.  I logged that 5K in 40:03, one of my worst times ever.  If it is the same course, it should be flat, and I am truly hoping to PR it.   My run this morning, on a hilly course, averaged 11:20 min/mile.  If I could keep that pace in next week’s flat course, I would go sub 35, which would definitely be a PR (my best is 35:35).  So I am really going to try for that.  It would be great to knock five minutes off of last year’s time.

So overall I am super excited that I took up this challenge and I’m seeing real benefits.

Week 1 mileage:  14.6 miles
Week 2 mileage:  12.3 miles
Week 3 mileage;  14.7 miles

Total for the streak: 41 .6 miles in 19 days.  I’m averaging 2.2 miles a day (double the challenge!).  I’ll take it!

PS:  My side is still sore but definitely on the mend.  I was able to do bootcamp yesterday with just a few slight modifications.  I’m hoping to be injury free by next weekend’s race.  🙂

 

 

Wednesday Weigh In: Injured Edition

I’m up slightly over last week, 0.4 lbs.   I’m not terribly surprised by it, though concerned because as of Saturday I was down 1.8 lbs from where I sit today.  I can think of the several instances where my choices weren’t ideal.  But I’m more concerned about something else this week.

I’m injured.  I don’t really know what’s wrong and I am really hoping it works itself out soon, though it’s gotten worse, not better, since I started noticing the problem last week.

Around Wednesday or Thursday last week I noticed a slight pain in my left side, near and kind of just under my rib cage.  I would feel it, like a stitch in my side, when I breathed deep, stretched or moved the wrong way.  Not terribly painful, but definitely there and slightly annoying.  I kept going about my usual routine with the running and the bootcamp.  I worried about bootcamp on Saturday morning, telling myself that I would modify anything that hurt.  But nothing did.  I got through two hours without making the problem worse and didn’t think much of it.

By Monday morning the pain was still there, but not terrible.  About the same.  It was annoying on my four mile run on Sunday, because your breathing is such an issue when you run distance.  But still.  I got through it.  I went to bootcamp Monday morning.

During bootcamp, something happened.  I went to do a burpee and as I jumped my feet back, I felt that pain in a much different way.  It jabbed, white hot.  Like I definitely tore or pulled or did something right in that moment.  It took my breath away.  I tried to keep going through the rest of the hour long workout, but it was hard.  I definitely should have stopped right there but I didn’t want to walk out of class.

It’s been really sore ever since.  It was slightly better after I took some ibuprofen and iced it, but still definitely there.  I’m wondering how long this goes on before I go to a doctor.  And if he can really tell me to do anything other than to rest it?

For now, I’m still doing my run a day streak, but slowly.  I don’t feel like the runs make it worse.  Beyond that, I’m going to wait to go back to bootcamp for a few days to see if I start to feel better.  When I do, I will ask the instructor how to modify the exercises.

You sure don’t appreciate all your body can do until it can’t do.  😦

Current Week:  -+0.4
Total Weight Left To Lose:  17.8 lbs
Age:  42
BMI:  28.9

RWRunStreak Check In Day 15

So I thought I would check in on how this is going.  I was posting on social media for the first few days, but it just seemed silly since most of my connections there are not fitness types, they’re my friends.  And I know how annoying (or braggy) it seems when I see people constantly posting about their exercise.  Plus, as we all know, I’m not exactly the fastest runner out there, so it seems a bit much to talk about it.

But, this is my fitness blog after all, so I wanted to put some thoughts down about it.

First, I am loving the accountability of it.  It is forcing me to get out there even on days when it seems like the schedule is tight or I’m not feeling all that great (today, for example).  But a mile is hardly a blip, so I can always get in a mile.

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This guy is loving the RWRunStreak so far.

I did technically “miss” one day, the day of my big race.   I had to be at the race site by 6am, and while I thought about squeezing it in prior, it was already hot and I knew I’d be doing so much that day.  To be fair, I’m sure I walked a mile that day, but I didn’t officially get a run in.  I felt a little bad about it, until I realized I’d run four miles the day before.  I also added a bit to my run the day after to “make up” for it.  But other than that, I’ve been very consistent with the runs.

 

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A cool thing happened this day.

I used to always subscribe to a “never run two days in a row” idea, not sure why.  Maybe it came from my Couch 2 5K training.  But I never did.  Now I’m running every single day, and I do see some small improvements on speed in these shorter runs.  During one of my runs last week, one of those where I wasn’t feeling terribly good, a woman in her car pulled over.  I generally run in the same neighborhood all of the time and have been since I started running nearly two years ago.  The woman rolled down her window, said how much she has loved watching me learn to run, and that it was very inspiring to see my transformation.  She wanted to know how much weight I’d lost.  And I realized, since I started running, probably about 15 pounds.  Because I’m kind of stuck right now, I’d lost a little sight of that and how far I have come.  She was so nice and it was a really sweet thing to do, to take time out of her day to give me a compliment.

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Treadmill on rainy days.

I’m not a fan of the treadmill run, and I always seem to run slower on mine than I do outside.  You’d think it would be the opposite.  But it’s nice to have the option when the weather is crappy or the kids are sick (both of which happened in the last week).

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The four mile loop I just invented.

I am combining the mile a days with boot camp and a 5K training plan that I am hoping will boost my speed.  Generally, I stick to just a mile and change on days I am going to boot camp, and then do the longer runs on the off days from that.  It generally has not left me with much in the way of “rest” days since I started this challenge, so we’ll see how it goes.  I am running a 5K in two weeks so I’m curious to see if the speed is starting to pay off.  I think it is on my short runs, but yesterday’s four mile loop threw me.  I almost wonder if I’m losing a bit of the ability to pace myself on the longer runs by going a little more “all out” on these short ones.  We’ll see.

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For now, I’m loving the challenge.  And it’s nice to see my RunKeeper blowing up with all of the activity.   We’ll see how well I maintain it when I travel later this month, but I am determined to make it work!  🙂