Another bi weekly post, since I didn’t bother posting last week. So I’ll recap both weeks.
I’m down this week, both over last week and over the two week mark, which I’ll take. I had gained a pound last week, which is gone plus a bit more. So yay for that.
I’ve been working hard to get my head back in the loss vs. “I care but I really don’t care because I am making all the wrong choices” mindset. It came to a head Monday morning for me when I saw a number on the scale that I haven’t seen in a long time. Certainly not this calendar year. I’d dipped back into a different “decade” on the scale, and it was the wake up call I needed to be more aware and cognizant.
My weight has been steadily increasing since June and I’ve done little to stop it other than watch the march upwards. I’d even stopped tracking in My Fitness Pal, which I know always leads to trouble. So Monday, I started again. Tried making better choices. Haven’t always succeeded but I’m doing better than I was. Which is a start.
I’m honestly grateful the scale showed a loss this week because if it had showed a gain I am not sure I would be motivated to continue. I would be frustrated and angry, as I have clearly been over the last few months, and handled it the wrong way, the worst way: by throwing caution (even more) to the wind with my food choices.
So back to what I know works. I don’t need a cleanse, or pricey meal plans, or prepackaged foods to lose weight. I just need to follow what I know works for me: less processed foods, fewer carbs, more lean meats and vegetables, more water, less alcohol. That’s it. That’s all. If I just do that, I’ll lose, plain and simple. It seems complicated, I make it complicated, but it’s really not. It’s simple. Make one good choice. Then another. Then another. More good ones than bad ones. The choices get easier each time you make a good one. And then suddenly you’re on the right track again.
That’s where I need to be.
Current Week:-1.4 lbs over last week, .4 over two weeks ago
Total Weight Left To Lose: 16.6 lbs
I approached yesterday’s 5K with a a healthy dose of optimism and trepidation. On the one hand, I have been training for the 5K distance to improve speed since late August, so I knew I’d be prepared for it. On the other hand, I haven’t run a timed race for two months, which is one of the longest stretches I’ve gone. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
This race wasn’t on my radar, but through my work on our local Board of Education, I am involved with this local educational services group, which provides special education and school readiness services to students in all of SW CT. I’ve gotten to know the director a little because he runs, and I run, and we keep running into each other (pun intended) at races. Of course he is about 14 minutes faster than me on a 5K, but still. We both appreciate what it takes to roll out of bed early on a Saturday or Sunday and lace up.
The weather was beautiful, in the forties and clear blue skies. I got to the race site, a park right on Long Island Sound (I know, you’re shocked) and marveled at how perfect the weather was. I had high hopes.
I chatted a bit with the director about the course, which he promised was the flattest he’d ever run. Awesome! He also told me that the signups were lower than they’d like, less than a hundred going into the morning. I was shocked. This is the seventh year of this race, I am not sure why it hasn’t taken off. I’d actually met with him and his team this summer to talk about growing their race, but unfortunately the woman at the head of it resigned suddenly a few weeks ago. Too bad, because you simply couldn’t beat the location.
The park features one of the Sandy Ground playgrounds. For those not from CT, you may not realize that an organization called Where Angels Play, which consists mostly of local fire and police, took on a mission of creating memorial playgrounds for each of the Sandy Hook victims in areas ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. The events, as you recall, took place just over a month apart and hit this area hard. The playgrounds are a sign of hope and optimism out of two very real disasters. Seaside Park in Bridgeport features the playground dedicated to Josephine Gay. I snapped a few pictures and felt heavy in my heart about the latest school shooting just the day before, and how little our world has changed.
Finally it was time to line up at the start. A girlfriend from my town came to the race as well, and I sent her to the front of the small pack as I lined up in the back, feeling a sense of dread. In a small race it would likely mean I would be alone, being as slow as I am. I hoped the course was well marked so I didn’t get lost.
The race started right on time. They weren’t kidding; the course ran along the water the whole way, a truly flat course. Beautiful! I did my best to not get too caught up in the herd, but also not take it too easy, for the first mile. My Runkeeper was telling me I was going fast, probably too fast to be able to keep up with. The first mile was fast and I held an 11:11 min/mile pace through it.
I started feeling my energy flag during the second mile. Still, I was really hoping for a great time here, the course was seriously flat. I kept pushing. I slowly passed people who had gone out too quickly. And surprisingly, even though it was a small race, I had a group of three our four all around me. As we approached the water stop, I willed myself to keep going. I routinely run without water for a 5K and it wasn’t hot. I didn’t need it. I kept the pace mostly even, just dropping a little during mile two: 11:19.
I’m not sure what happened after the turnaround. It was the same course, beautiful and flat. But I really started to struggle. It was very sunny and even though it was 50 or so degrees, my long sleeved tech shirt seemed too hot and I was sweating a lot. There was a bit of a wind we were running into as well. All around me it seemed the people I was keeping pace with were struggling. A woman near me broke into run/walk breaks. I finally joined her at one point for 30 seconds, just to kind of hit the reset button and get back into a groove. I hit mile 3 not knowing where I was time wise, knowing that I hadn’t hit 35 minutes yet. Mile 3 shows the struggle: 11:51.
After the mile three marker, I expected to see the finish line right around the corner. But it wasn’t. It was still a good distance away, and I knew that the course had to be long. There was no way that was only 0.1 mile from that marker, it seemed so far away. Still, I pushed myself as much as I had left in me to cross, and was truly pissed off when I saw the clock turn to 36:xx as I approached.
Official time 36:12, which is about a minute slower than I’d expected I’d run the course.
When we all were cooling down afterwards, many told me that they too felt that the course had to be long. Everyone’s GPS tracked it at 3.17, 3.19, 3.2. Sure enough, when I spoke to the director, he admitted that the course was a bit short last year so they had moved the finish line. He too seemed surprised at how slow his time was because of the flat course, and realized that perhaps they had moved the finish line a bit too far.
Which made me feel slightly better, but still a little frustrated with myself that I didn’t run faster. I had hoped to get in UNDER 35 minutes, which should have put me somewhere in 35 and change even if the course was long. I’ve been working on speed for months, but I suppose since my weight is up and I didn’t plan out my week well (ate and drank plenty on Friday and did 1.5 hours of bootcamp) that might have affected my performance.
Even so, I’d definitely do this course again, just adjusting my expectations for the slightly longer course. It was truly flat and seaviews the entire time. Just beautiful. And my fears of being alone were unfounded; this isn’t an “elite” race so there were several people nearby all the time, which made me feel better.
My friend ended up taking second place in our age division since she’s Speedy McSpeederson.
So onto next week’s 5K, which has been my goal race for months to crack the 35 minute mark. We’ll see if I can do it with better planning and forethought this week. It’s the Vicki Soto 5K, which I ran last year. It promises to be an emotional, and special, day.
I haven’t disappeared. I’m still out here. I am not one of those weight loss bloggers that disappears when the going gets rough. I’m still here. I’m still trying. I am still plugging away (and sometimes, still sabotaging myself).
I honestly have stopped posting every Wednesday because it feels like rinse and repeat. I either brag about the miniscule loss I have been able to post at the scale or I complain about the gain. Back and forth, over and over. I discuss my headspace which is either in the game or out of it. I go up and down in motivation, I go up and down in food choices, I go up and down in exercise routines and levels.
I read a lot of blogs about health, running and weight loss and I find myself continuously amazed (and definitely jealous) of those that seem to have this all figured out. Ones that are consistently losing and really in control. Or the runners that are knocking out run times routinely that I only dream about. I feel like even when I have my stuff together, it isn’t ever really together. I just happen to have had a string of decent days or weeks.
I’m still way up over my numbers this spring, but I happen to have posted a loss this week. That’s likely because the number was elevated from a girls’ weekend the week before. I’m grateful for that and recognizing the positive choices I made last week to get the number on the scale lower. If it had gone higher I would have pushed into territory I haven’t seen for eighteen months, and that would be very disheartening.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I’m still here, still going at it, not giving up, but recognizing that this is a road I think I will always be on. I have to put in place the permanent kind of changes (no bread at meals, no second helpings, fewer carbs/grains in general, less alcohol) that are the difference between near my goal and nowhere near my goal.
I have definitely realized in the last few weeks that the exercise thing, which is always pretty consistent for me, simply is not the way I will lose these pounds. The food choices are where the weight loss comes in. I’m not saying the exercise isn’t important, because it is. It improves my cardiovascular fitness and energy and mood, but it isn’t going to help me lose weight (maintain weight yes, lose weight no).
So for now, my head is above water. I’m still here. And I’m still trying.
Current Week:-1.6 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 17 lbs
Well, I can paint this one of two ways: since my last weigh in post two weeks ago, I’m up 0.2. That would make me feel a little better about the number I saw on the scale this morning. 0.2 isn’t that much.
Except I didn’t write a weigh in post last week. If I had, I would have written that I was down 1.2. Great right? But if you put that together, that means I’m up 1.4 pounds over last week. YIKES! That’s a big jump, and officially puts me at my highest weight in the last 12 months. WTF is wrong with me?
I can tell it to you straight up in one word: wine.
I’ve written about it before, but seriously, I have got to get a grip. I’m drinking two glasses minimum a day at this point and I have to seriously break the habit. I’m so disappointed in myself. I have gained nearly eight pounds since my low point in March. This is how putting on weight starts. You get used to a little bit here, and then a little more, and then all of the sudden you’re up twenty pounds. I was pretty stable most of the year until the summer hit, and then I don’t know what happened. I am Off The Freaking Rails, people. It’s not a happy place to be, and I’m not sure where to find the motivation to fix it.
Not only that, but my beloved bootcamp studio closed its doors this week. The bootcamp studio where I finally learned how to be active and strong, where I finally found the courage to try new things, new exercises, feel capable. I feel lost right now. I need to find my way. I know what to do. I don’t need a diet plan or a meal plan or a cleanse. I know what to do. I just have to, HAVE TO, force myself to make the hard choices instead of giving up a little bit every day.
Which kind of tells you what September looked like. September was a crap month in terms of progress towards my goals.
1. Run at least one race a month.
I did not run a September race. I ran two races in August, and there just weren’t any great choices. I will run two races in October, a trail run that I will do “virtually” and then a 5K for a local education foundation.
2. New Goal: 5K in under 35 minutes.
I am still working my My Asics plan. I’m in the “Getting Faster” phase, and since I am working towards a 5K race, it means right now all of my runs are 2 miles, which seems weird after having gone for big distance goals earlier this year. But I do see the sense in it for improving speed. Right now all of my runs are either interval runs, where I am trying to maintain a very fast (for me) pace for 5-6 min at a stretch, or a “faster than usual” run, which means a steady pace but faster than what I have been doing. Right now those runs are showing some improvement in speed at the 2 mile distance. I’m hopeful that with a few weeks left to train before my next race, I will be able to hit this goal and maybe even shave another minute off of it.
Finally reach my goal weight.
Obviously I’ve already mentioned this. 😦 I am now sixteen and a half pounds off of what I have in my head as my goal weight. It was in single digits earlier this year. I’m so frustrated by it. I feel like I am in this vicious circle. What is it in my head that I had been tapping into and that I am currently not? It’s OK to be hungry sometimes. Cantaloupe can be just as satisfying as popcorn. And that’s the kicker, is that I really don’t eat a lot of crap. But clearly I am eating too much. Because I am so short, I pretty much have to either run a zillion miles a day or I have to eat very few calories. Because I know at the end of the day, it is always the food that will make or break your weight loss. My exercise is good, and I continue to blow away each goal I set for myself there. The weight is all about the food.
I have seriously got to get my head back in the game.
Current Week:+1.4 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 16.6 lbs