Yeah, I know the calendar reads Thursday. You know what that means. When it has been two weeks since I post about a weigh in, and I finally am forcing myself to do it a day late it can only mean one thing: the scale is up.
But I refuse to be one of those bloggers that simply disappear when the going gets tough. Yes, I have gained one pound since last week. Yes, I am hitting panic stations with my weight. Yes, with the cooler weather my pants that fit so nicely last spring are on the snug side. Yes to all of that. But that means that I need to really be forcing myself to think about why that is and really hashing that out. Not ignoring it. Ignoring it means that I just keep on keeping on, and that isn’t working so well right now.
So why am I not making better choices? Because when it comes down to it, it’s the food. Exercise has been pretty great all year, even with my summer drop off in running. I’m working on a new 5K training program to improve speed, and while it is HARD, I am doing my runs. I am not slacking off. I am not skipping out on what i need to do. What is different between that and food?
I honestly don’t know. I know how great it feels to drop the weight. I know how great it feels to eat healthy, unprocessed food. But some times, too many times, the little voice in my head says, “Just go ahead. One more won’t hurt. A little more is OK. You might as well finish it. It’s no big deal. You can do better tomorrow.”
And then the vicious circle stuff kicks in. Today I actually looked at my reflection and thought, “God, I wish I’d been born pretty. How different my life would have been if I had just been more attractive.” The self loathing teams up with the questionable self control and before you know it, it’s a battle of wills that usually ends up somewhere in the bottom of a bowl or glass. “Well, I might not be pretty, but at least this popcorn/granola/chardonnay/cake/whatever makes me feel good.”
Somewhere, somehow, I have to quiet the crap that lives in the dark recesses of my head and remind myself of the good stuff. The healthy patterns that lead to healthy thoughts and healthy living. I have to find the lightness of heart that will help me bring the lightness back to my body.
Current Week:+1 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 16.4 lbs
The end of another month. Another mixed bag in terms of my progress and goals. It’s an odd feeling to be proud of myself and frustrated with myself all at the same time, but that’s where I am at the start of the ninth month of the year.
At least I didn’t gain this week. That’s a plus. It still puts me at my high point for the year, but the high point hasn’t elevated any higher. 😦 I didn’t lose either, but after a frustrating few weeks, I’m happy with simply not gaining.
In terms of progress towards my yearly goals, here’s where I am:
1. Run at least one race a month.
I actually ran two races last month, the MADD Dash and the Newtown Road Race. I was unhappy with my performance in the MADD, but really psyched about my results at the NRR. Both inspired me to work specifically on 5K race times.
2. Distance Goals.
My 2 10Ks and my half have been done for a while. Which is why I have devoted the last part of this year to improving my speed.
3. New Goal: 5K in under 35 minutes.
I have yet to run a 5K in less than 35 minutes. The closest I came was last March on a cool day and a flat course. I have another race coming up on 11/1 that should be similar. I am now using a My ASICS training plan to help me reach this goal. More on that in future posts. Right now the plan is slowly building me up to running faster. Today’s run will be three intervals with negative splits per mile.
1. Finally reach my goal weight.
I am actually up half a pound over July, so obviously wrong direction. 😦 I only have three months to now shed 15 lbs so this goal is not looking likely. I struggle with why of all of my goals I just can’t seem to commit to this one. I keep thinking maybe I need to do some sort of a whole foods cleanse (I don’t believe in those shake kinds) where I really get back to whole, unprocessed food with less sugar and carbs. I want to look into this over the next seven days.
2. Cut back to one drink a night on weeknights.
Blew this one badly this month. Basically managed it for a week. 😦 Sigh. I know it works when I do this, so I need to recommit.
3. No snacking after 8pm.
I haven’t done too badly here unless I’ve been out at parties or gatherings with friends. But I need to make it a hard and fast rule in my head, and like most of my food choices lately, it’s felt more like a very flexible guideline.
4. 3 Salads As Meals Per Week
I’ve been doing very well with this one. I can turn most leftovers into a salad. I’ve definitely been doing this at least three days a week if not more.
So that’s where I am. Still pushing forward with fitness, still struggling with food and weight. Really need to find some inspiration and fun ways to get myself back on track with the food. Because it all just seems great for a few days and then goes to pot. I can’t really understand why I am so disciplined with my fitness goals but less so with my weight goals. I seriously need to find a way to make the food choices as fun and rewarding as I find the fitness.
Current Week: 0 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 15.8 lbs
I ran the Newtown Road Race last year for the first time. It was the first time I had simply woken up and just decided to run a race that day, without pre registering. The day was hot, humid and while I was glad I showed up and helped a great cause, I was very disappointed with my time.
I hoped to run it again this year and vindicate myself, but after my awful performance in the MADD Dash two weeks ago I wasn’t sure if I should. I had decided (and meant to post about it but haven’t) that after that race I was going to seriously concentrate on getting my 5K times down. I’ve done the distance goals I set myself for this year, and now I have a new goal: running a 5K under 35 minutes. I started a My ASICS training program towards that end two weeks ago, but I’m only two weeks in. I knew running this race, which is a hilly course, wouldn’t be anywhere close to that. Should I go or should I skip it, and get some more training in?
In the end, when I mentioned the race to my son who is visiting from DC this week, he wanted to run with me. We’ve talked a lot about my newfound running habit, and he had even started running a bit himself before the birth of his daughter. We’ve always talked about running a race together, and this seemed like a great time to do it.
After last year’s hot and humid day, they moved the start time up to 8am for this race. I was glad for it, and wish more summer races in this area would do the same. That hour on a summer day can mean the difference of five to eight degrees, and that can be a serious thing out running. So we got up at 6 and got to the race site by 7 to register and get ready for the race.
My son had asked me if we would see anyone I knew. I remembered last year that I hadn’t really known anyone at the race, which had been a surprise since Newtown is the town right next door. I told him I didn’t think I would, but sure enough we ran into a few people that I know from other races. We spent the wait time amiably chatting with them. It was nice to have someone there with me to pass the hour and it went very quickly.
Finally it was time to head out to the start line. I asked my son what his goal was and he said he wanted to run the race between 25 and 30 minutes. Wow! I was surprised at the ambitious goal for someone who doesn’t run regularly, but hoped he could do it. As for me, I had in my head last year’s time of 38:41, and last week’s time of 38:24, and hoped to beat them by at least a minute to feel better about both of them.
The race started right on time and we were off. There’s a hill in the first quarter mile; you can actually see it from the start line. It looks honestly bigger than it is. People who ran out hard were already stopping for a walk and we weren’t even that far in. I hardly noticed it because I spent most of the first few minutes trying to get my RunKeeper to find it’s GPS groove. I stayed with the pack and probably ran faster than I normally would have because I wasn’t paying so much attention. I felt it at the top of the hill, slowed a bit, but kept going.
It was a lot cooler for this race than the previous year, and the sun actually disappeared pretty quickly behind the clouds. This made all the difference for me. I had my hat on, but honestly didn’t need it to keep the sun off my face because the clouds took over. I spent most of the first mile just really trying to maintain a faster pace than I normally do. At some point I thought: let’s push and really see how long we can keep that up.
I kept it up for about a mile and a half before I really started feeling it. And then I started thinking about a training run my friend and I did this week. We ran/walked intervals and when it was over, I was surprised to find how fast our running intervals were. They were faster than I thought they felt, likely because we had the recovery of the intervals. So I told myself I was going to use some well timed intervals (aka hills) to try and see if I could gain some speed.
By mile two I was feeling tired because I was pushing hard, harder than I normally do. But in my head I knew if I kept it up, I could really score a much better time. I started using 30 minute walk breaks to keep my speed up for the runs. People were slowing all around me, and I started playing a passing game with several of them; we were all doing the same thing, using run and walk breaks to power through.
The last mile or so of this run is on a trail. You really have to watch your footing and be careful because it is rocky and not terribly smooth. I kept my head down and paid attention because I could easily see twisting an ankle or something. This portion of the race seemed long, but what was great about it was that once you hit the pavement, you were at the three mile mark. I was surprised, and grateful, that the finish line was right around the corner; not far at all.
I ran as fast as I could towards it, mustering below a 10:00 pace for that last bit and crossing at 36:34, well below last year’s time. I was honestly shocked at how much faster I’d run it. Even faster than my race two weeks ago, by nearly two minutes, and that was a flat course!
I know part of the reason for the speed was the weather. The cloudy, cooler day was definitely part of it. Even two weeks ago was warmer, sunny and I hadn’t remembered my hat, and I felt it. I also have been running regularly the last two weeks and I hadn’t before that last race, so that’s part of it too. But still. Part of it too was definitely my head space: I mentally pushed myself to run harder, faster, and it showed. Finally, I think allowing the intervals helped. I know Jeff Galloway is popular for a reason, but I think there’s something to well timed intervals that can help you power through.
When I crossed the finish line I saw my son and friends waiting for me, and was grateful that I’d scored a more respectable time. When I finally got to the food area and had water and a banana in me, I asked them all how they did. My son, who isn’t a regular runner, came in at 27:53. Wow! I guess that’s what being 25 and in good shape overall will get you. He of course wants to train now and see how much faster he can get. My other friends all were happy with their times too and we all took sweaty photos together to celebrate.