This week I am truly stumped.
If you read my blog regularly at all you know that when I screw up and eat and drink too much and post a gain, I own it. Every so often there is a week where I feel like I’ve done things right and been careful and the scale didn’t cooperate.
This is one of those weeks.
I’m up 0.8 lbs, which makes it a whole four weeks of gains for a total of 2.6 lbs. WTF?!?
Last Friday I was two pounds less than I am right now. Sure I had some indulgences this weekend but nothing that I would think would make me post a gain of two pounds in such a short time. I ran my 10K on Sunday and five miles yesterday. In fact, I exercised every single day: four miles Thursday, bootcamp Friday, bootcamp Saturday, 6.2 on Sunday, bootcamp Monday and five miles yesterday. I dialed back on carbs, ignored desserts and made an effort to choose less salty snacks.
WTF? I don’t get it. But obviously I have no choice but to keep moving forward, keep trying for the better choices and get rid of these crappy few pounds that I’ve put on and get back down towards my path towards goal weight. I’m now three pounds above my lowest point, which I hit in March. Enough is enough!
Current Week: +0.8 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 11.8 lbs
So this was what greeted me when I arrived for my 10K this morning. The photo is a bit deceiving, I’ll admit. It was chilly this morning and those pretty clouds let out a bit of a drizzle as I pulled into the parking lot and waited for my friends to arrive this morning.
The drizzle led to this rainbow, a good omen. As I was driving down to the race course this morning, I got nervous. I haven’t run a 10K in almost exactly a year. I haven’t done very well in the three I’ve run in the past. The first was a total disaster, I hated it and didn’t run one for months after. That first one took me 1:26 to finish, I think. I walked significant parts of it and it was hilly. The second was much better, I ran it in Central Park in January of 2013. My time was 1:19:22, and I felt decent the whole race (well, the last mile was hard). My third was last Mother’s Day, and I hadn’t trained as much for it as I had my second. The last two miles of that race were very hard for me, and I felt awful during them. But because the course was flatter than Central Park, I finished in 1:19:10, just a few seconds faster than my previous one.
I felt reasonably sure I could beat 79 minutes, but I didn’t know by how much. I have been running 6+ miles for a few weeks now in my training so I felt confident that I was prepared enough to not hate most of the race, unless the course was super challenging. Was it? I didn’t really know.
I hung out with my friend and her husband killing time before the race. It was so nice to have them both there. She agreed to stay after they finished their 5K to wait for me. After my first 10K, which was also combined with a 5K, the food and water were so depleted after I finished the race that there was literally nothing more than a small paper cup and a jug of water left. I refilled it about eighteen times. It was so demoralizing. I mean, I already knew I was slow, but did they really have to pack it all in before I was even done? My friend agreed to grab a few things for me after she finished in case supplies ran low.
Finally, it was time to send them off on their race, which started near mine but ended up being a totally different course, not even a shared part of ours. They started ten minutes before me. As I saw the crowd thin out to just us 10Kers, I got nervous again. Everyone looked like a serious runner. I was probably one of the heaviest people there. I lined up at the very back of the pack and tried not to let it get to me. I was here to run my race, not anyone else’s. All I had to do was beat my last time. Even if that made me last. I just had to beat myself.
Finally, they started us out. I was immediately glad I’d changed out of my jacket and into a t shirt. The sun made it warm as I started to move and I knew I would have hated the extra layer. Before we even made the first turn I realized I was the last runner. The police guys on bikes rode near me for a while as the herd advanced onward.
I tried not to let it get to me. I needed to run my own race and feel strong, conserve my energy. At the five minute mark I heard RunKeeper tell me I was below a 12 minute mile. I had hoped to end around 12:30 min/miles, so I figured this would give me some cushion.
Finally I did see one woman, in pink, slowing down ahead of me. Thank God, I thought. If I pass her, I won’t be last. Sure enough, I passed her. Not long after her, near the one mile mark, I picked off someone else. I wanted to be sure they stayed behind me. I knew I was slower than the pack here, but I really, really didn’t want to be last.
By mile 2 the herd was well ahead of me, with a few stragglers, and I was mostly alone. I resolved to enjoy the amazing seaside views and run at the edge of comfort. I sailed through mile 2 and the water stop feeling really good. I even passed two more women who were running together. Unfortunately they caught up to me as we ran under I 95, but they stayed close for a while.
Around the 5K mark we encountered some rolling hills, nothing terrible. I had only stopped to walk during the water station and was feeling good. But then we got to the one big hill I’d heard people talking about before the race. I saw the two girls just ahead slow to a walk and I followed. I needed to have enough energy to get through the next few miles.
There were a few more hills during the fourth mile, one that slowed me to a walk again, and I watched the two women that were just ahead gain more distance between themselves and me. I realized they had really worked to be slow for the first half and were kicking it up for the second half.
I didn’t have enough energy to speed up by mile 5, but I did manage to pick off all of the hills, including the highway overpass back over 95, without walking. I felt stronger than I had ever felt at this point in a 10K, and I marveled at it. I honestly felt pretty good going into the last mile.
Somewhere around the one hour mark I realized that I was pacing well enough to more than beat 79 minutes. In fact, if I kept up the pace I was at, I had a chance of beating 75 minutes, which was a goal I hadn’t dare set for myself. I never thought I would be able to keep up a 12 minute pace for the whole race, but as I closed in on the last half mile I realized I had done just that, and I still had energy to keep going. Don’t get me wrong, I was tired and ready for the race to end, but the course was flat by that point and I knew I wasn’t going to have to slow down to make it.
The last bit of the race was right along Long Island Sound, very picturesque and peaceful. I saw a few people well ahead of me but no one close. There were lots of people leaving in cars and on foot. A voice in my head started niggling me about it, how slow I was that the race was practically over. I forced myself to stop thinking that way. I was running the fastest 10K I’d ever done and I was going to enjoy it, dammit!
As I rounded the final bend I could see the race clock. 1:23:xx. Shit! How had that happened?
And then I remembered there were two clocks. One for the 5K and one for the 10K. Sure enough, the 10K clock was ten minutes behind, reading 1:13:xx. Holy smokes! I was going to beat 75 minutes! I ran as fast as I could towards the finish, all alone, feeling like a million bucks.
And as it turns out, my friend and her husband had waited for me at the finish, with snacks and water and fruit. I was so grateful to see them. If I had been alone I might have given into the snarky voice in my head telling me how I was probably last or close to it. But they were there, full of congratulations and excitement, and we all ate and talked for a few minutes before we headed back home.
A text from the race told me before I even left that I had run the race in 1:13:44, over 5 minutes faster than my previous 10K PR (5:26 to be exact). The thrill of that makes the sting of knowing I was 385th of 387 people running that 10K today (ironically, my bib is also 385. This must be some cosmic good omen. Maybe I should play the lottery today).
I’m going to savor my PR and not let the third from last finish get to me. I swear, I am. For now, the first 10K of the year is done (my goal was two for the year). I’m already thinking about the next one.
Third week in a row of gains. Bad, bad, bad.
Again, I know exactly what I did wrong and why the scale is up. I’m up 0.6 this week, which makes my grand total of 1.8 lbs over three weeks. Doesn’t sound like a lot but if I’d been down by that much, I’d be so much closer to my goal. I’m frustrated with myself for not being better disciplined.
I went away this weekend and like I often do when I go away, I don’t pay as close attention. I’m usually good with food, not as good as when I am at home, but still cautious. That was mostly the case this weekend too. But it’s the wine and the fun and the celebrations that trip me up, every time. And then when I’m already up sometimes when I get home I just keep going, because that’s the new habit I’m in.
I’m frustrated. I’ve pretty much where I was when I started my bootcamp challenge eight weeks ago. I know I’m stronger and have more stamina and likely my measurements are slightly better, but the weight is static. And it didn’t have to be. I completely let myself fall off the wagon, literally and figuratively. Very frustrating, but I own it. I have to. It’s not like some weird thing happened and I don’t know why the scale is up. You simply cannot exercise your way out of bad eating. It’s that simple.
Current Week: +0.6 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 11 lbs
Up exactly a pound. Gr.
It matches my mood this week. I’m trying not to be cranky during my kids’ Spring Break, but i am. I’m fighting a cold, we haven’t gone anywhere while it seems like most of my friends have gone somewhere very sunny and very warm and to add insult to injury, it actually snowed here last night. Not a lot, but enough to cover everything and make it look more like February 16, not April 16.
I feel tired and cranky and it isn’t a surprise at all to me that I’m up a pound. I’ve not been as careful and I’ve been drinking more (sounds probably word for word what I wrote last week). I had vowed to buckle down but I didn’t. Instead, I had that extra slice of pizza, that extra glass of wine, that cookie here and there. And it shows on the scale this.
When I went to Weight Watchers and had a week like this, they would say: “It’s feedback, not failure.” OK then. It doesn’t erase my great race on Sunday. It doesn’t erase that I’m still taking my sorry butt to bootcamp on the days I’m not running. It doesn’t take away that I’m fitting into smaller clothes.
So I gained a pound. Moving on and trying to shake the cranky.
Current Week: +1 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 10.4 lbs
So, a friend of mine that is a local race director offered me a free spot in this 3.5 mile race a few weeks ago. It’s a 3.5 mile race, a different mileage point from most races. I was intrigued. As the date grew closer I decided to take him up on it.
I’ve been faithfully working on my marathon training program, so I wondered if I would see a difference in today’s race vs. my last 5K on March 22. Not so much in terms of time, as they really aren’t comparable unless you go pace per mile, but more in terms of energy and stamina. My long run on Thursday was 7 miles; I’ve only ever run further than that one time. So I wondered how today would feel.
And, since I’m doing these training runs, today called for four miles. So I knew I’d have to add a warm up run of at least half a mile to get that mileage in. OK then.
I got down to the race site about forty five minutes before the start, snagged a great parking spot, and went in to get my things. Unfortunately my friend somehow didn’t get me into the race system. I pondered trying to find him on the race site, but I know how crazy race day is for race directors. I decided to just go ahead and pay to register and run anyway. The shirt itself made this worth the price of admission. It’s probably the nicest race shirt I’ve ever gotten:
I put all of my race stuff back in my car and wandered around a bit before deciding to start my warmup. It was probably about 48 degrees, a bit chilly just to be outside in my short sleeves, but I knew once I started moving I’d be fine. I set out for my short warmup run, starting my RunKeeper, and intending to pause it when I was done until the race started.
I put in eight easy minutes, just starting to work up a sweat. I actually scared myself and got a little lost (the race was in a nice, downtownish area near the train station and it’s easy to get turned around) so I headed back.
Where I waited. And waited. And waited some more.
Apparently, there were several websites advertising the race. One stated a 9am start, the other said 9:30. Oops. They split the difference and sent walkers out at about 9:10, and told us we’d go 10-15 minutes later (their course started the same, but then varied, so this would essentially get them out of our way).
Then, possibly to kill time although it worked out well regardless, they had a trainer come up and lead everyone in stretches. I know there are varied opinions on stretching cold before a race, but since I’d already done a short half mile, I was ready to loosen up and get ready. Finally, shortly after that, they lined us up.
This race was intended to raise money in the name of Tim and Kim Donnelly, who were killed 9 years ago in a burglary on their family owned business. Tim was a big runner, and knew some of the people I know now that I’ve met running locally. A family member thanked everyone for coming out to support the family, and then started the race for us.
The start of the course was a slight uphill, which was hard, and made me wonder how I would do on this race. I did, after all, do back to back exercise classes yesterday and ran seven miles on Thursday. Had I overtrained? Should I have given myself a rest day?
But once we were over the hill, I was fine. I felt good, even. I tried to push myself a bit just to see how it felt. And I was able to keep going. I was actually feeling pretty strong. There was a woman ahead of me who dropped to a walk. I overtook her. Then there was a guy, slowing down. I overtook him. As we passed the first mile mark, I looked down at my RunKeeper. Somehow in pausing it between warmup and run I had stopped the voice that went off every five minutes. Which was fine because my time and pace weren’t going to be right anyway with the warmup included. But I knew that my warmup was a little over eight minutes, and when I looked down at the RK screen I saw 20 on the screen. Awesome. I was running a 12 minute mile. I had hoped to stay at that pace the whole time, which would put me at a 42 minute finish for this race. That was my goal.
As I kept running, I overtook a few more people. I looked behind me and saw just a few people, so each person I overtook meant I was that much further from last place. As I kept running, I would set my sights on people. Orange shirt lady? You’re gone. Purple shirt girl? Buh bye.
Just over the two mile mark there were some more serious uphills. Nothing terrible, but also enough to slow me down. I gratefully stopped at the water station and walked through it to catch my breath. I hadn’t planned on it, but I had been pushing hard. I knew it, because I had seen 31 on my RK when I looked at it for mile 2. That meant I was about 23 minutes in on the race, which meant below 12 minute miles. That’s pushing it for me, so yay.
Once we passed the hills, we were rewarded with some downhills. I couldn’t believe how strong I felt once we were past the hills. My energy was still there, I wasn’t getting that usual winded feeling I get a few miles in. It has to be the base building runs I’m doing. My stamina definitely has taken an uptick. I couldn’t believe, honestly, how good I was feeling. I pushed again on the downhills, trying to pick up some time. And also, to pick off that college aged girl right in front of me.
I got her right around mile 3. I started to do the mental math here, but I couldn’t figure out where I would end up at the end, what my time would be. And maybe it was a good thing to not think about the pacing, not hear the RK in my ear all the time, and just really focus on the run. I figured I hit mile 3 at about 34 minutes in. I figured 42 was definitely a safe goal. But then I realized, if I was running a 12 minute mile at that point, I could come in around 40.
When I thought about this race, I originally thought about 40 minutes, but when I did the math and looked at my recent runs, I figured it was impossible. I’d have to be well below 12 minute miles the whole time and I just didn’t know if I could swing it. Plus I’d stopped at the water station and had a few shorter walk breaks on some of the hills. I figured what the hell, it was what it was, and kept going.
Finally I could see the finish line and the time clock. It took me a few seconds to read it, but then I realized the first two numbers on it were 39. And then I realized it was ticking 27, 28, 29…holy crap! I was definitely going to make it below 40! I picked up the pace and went for it.
I am not sure exactly what my final time will be, but when I handed over my tear off I think the clock must have read something like 39:43. Even if it took them ten seconds to read the bar code, I still will clock in under 40. And no matter what the official time says (I heard they were having trouble with the timing) I know what that clock said as I went through the chute.
When I got home, I couldn’t help but compare the splits with my last 5K (which is also my PR for 5k):
Mile 1: 11:18
Mile 2: 11:24
Mile 3: 11:34
Mile 4: 9:05 (last .14 including final push to finish)
Total Miles: 3.14
Pace per mile: 11:19
Mile 1: 12:06 (includes slow warmup for about .7 of it)
Mile 2: 11:11
Mile 3: 11:44 (hills)
Mile 4: 10:53
Mile 5: 10:23 (only .23 of a mile but includes finish push)
Total Miles: 4.23 miles
Pace per mile: 11:25
So essentially based on these times I was pretty darn close to my 5K PR pace. If I took out the warmup run and just went apples to apples on the 3.1 I have a feeling I might have even beaten it. Especially considering that 5K course was extremely flat and today’s course definitely had hills.
All in all? Pretty happy with today’s race! I think the next one is going to be a 10K since I’m already logging at least that on my long runs. It’s definitely time.
Mostly static this week. Up slightly, 0.2 lbs. Which I honestly can interpret either way.
On the one hand, it’s a gain. It’s also not movement downward, which is what I should be seeing when I am running as much as I am and doing bootcamp on the days that I am not running. You would think that I’d be dropping at least a pound a week, and I was when I started my bootcamp challenge. But then I gained some, and then I grew static. Which tells me that I am slipping here and there. So I need to get that in check.
On the other hand, it’s the smallest gain possible, and considering I was away this weekend for a girls’ weekend, that’s pretty amazing that I didn’t gain. We didn’t exercise at all, and we drank. We drank a LOT. But then I also made mostly really great food choices whenever I was given the opportunity. So even though I wasn’t perfect, I did pretty well. So that’s actually very good. I could have easily gained two pounds if I’d blown my food and drank as much as I did but I didn’t. I was smart with the food and it paid off.
So all in all, it’s a good lesson for me. If I had not had my Girls Binge Weekend this probably would have been a big loss week. So maybe that’s on tap for next week as I get my head back in the game now that I don’t have any travel planned for a while. I’m still feeling good about how the clothes fit and how I’m looking in them, so that’s all good.
It’s all really mostly very good.
Current Week: +0.2 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 9.4 lbs
I’m down this week, and honestly I am calling it a gift. After last week’s sort of unexpected gain, maybe it’s the gods of the scale giving something back to me.
We went away this weekend for my granddaughter’s baptism. As per usual when I go away, I throw caution to the wind. Well, not that bad, really. My new habits are pretty ingrained at this point. I ate mostly well, other than one crab rangoon when we got Chinese food one night. It’s the drinking that is always an issue when I am away and it was without exception this time.
But other than those three days away, it was a good week. And when I came back I got right back on the wagon (literally) and things have evened out since then. So that’s a good thing.
Except I’m supposed to go away again this weekend, this time for a girls’ weekend. There will definitely be drinking. But since I’m going with pretty health conscious women, there will also be running and lots of active stuff so it shouldn’t be terrible.
All in all, liking the direction I’m headed in. It was nice to see people this weekend that I hadn’t seen for a few months and have them notice that I’ve lost weight. It is so much better than commiserating about being heavy.
Current Week: -0.6 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 9.2 lbs