Wednesday, April 6, 2011

5k #4 2011


I have shaved 2:20 off my 5k time! Very exciting. The Fools 5k was my first outdoor 5k this year. Let me say, harder than the treadmill.

I've been preparing for the outdoors. My treadmill is set at an incline and my legs are toughing out the times, but still, I was sore. Much more sore than I have been with my virtual 5k's. I think part of it was because I was pushing it. That pushing it resulted in a 5k UNDER 40 minutes. Yes. I'll take that.

The other good news? I want to be faster. A co-worker who I consider to be a goddess in the running department has helped me work out a little schedule to become a little faster. That schedule? Speed runs. I winced a little when I said it. So, walking for a mile to warm up, then running AS FAST AS I CAN for one minute. Walk for two minutes to bring my heart rate down. Repeat. Three times.

I'm going to be doing a speed run once a week, a long run once a week and two easy runs. And by easy runs I mean runs that are comfortable, easy to talk during and don't leave me feeling fatigued. So I'm changing one easy run to a speed run and then adding another easy run back in there. We'll see how it goes! I think I'm going to do my easy run and then lift, at least for one workout, if not for both. That way I will be working out every other day and I'll be giving my body some time to recover. We'll see.

My next goal? To run a 5k in less than 36 minutes. I may not hit that goal by my May 5k, but I'll be on my way there. Then, when I hit that, I'm completely and utterly aiming for a sub-30 minute 5k. It's doable, completely doable.

I'm excited after this last 5k. I'm excited to keep training. I'm excited to see what my body can do this year when I really push myself on my running instead of haphazardly throwing it in when I feel like I should.

I have a July 5k set in Ames, but am still looking for a June one. I know there's one out there, but there's always the trust treadmill. It might even be good to treadmill it to give myself a slight break. Speed baby. That's the name of the game over the next couple of week. Who knows, next time I may beat a turtle!

Monday, March 21, 2011

There is a time

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-7
 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

Now is a tough time of year. It's officially Spring, but there is still snow in some places and more might be coming, according to the weather person. This is when my feet long to feel the pavement moving under them. This is when I want to cast out all the winter air left in the house and let warm breezes make it smell like lilacs and sunshine. I long for winter to feel like it's really over.

I have to remind myself that it's coming. There is a time for Spring, just like every other season and it's coming. Just as in the middle of Summer when I'm wishing for cooler breezes, now is the time to enjoy the surprises of the season, hard as that may be. It's one thing I'm not good at, wanting something and not being able to have it. Like most American I like immediate gratification. I like things when I want them. I'm trying to exercise my patience right now, hoping for Spring to get here but enjoying the Thunderstorms that may or may not bring a white dusting to my lawn.

The verse above, my favorite with one of my favorite songs to match, helps me remember that there is time yet. While I may be waiting for Spring to come, now may not be the time. When I get impatient and want to be healthy, fit and running 13.1 miles right now, it may be something to build up to. The time will come and when it does I will be ready. I will be ready for Spring, I will keep training and I will be ready to run. I'm preparing myself for that time. There is a time, and it's coming.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2011 5K #3


Easy run 2:1 intervals and WOO HOO! A nice run, not very much pushing on a pretty hilly course and I'm still down almost 3.5 minutes from my run a little less than a month ago. I'm loving it.

I'm trying to gain a little speed, hence starting over on my intervals because while I like running I want to be just a BIT faster. When I'm running I'm in between an 11 and 12 minute mile now, it's the walking that I need to work on. Just building up that endurance, but it's so fun to watch that 5K time drop every month!

I think I'm going to sign up for a real 5k for April instead of my virtual ones. It's nice enough out now that in 2-3 more weeks a morning run won't be horrid. Then there's also over 6 weeks before the 5K that I really want to run back home, so I won't be pushing myself too hard right before another race.

I've added weight lifting to my exercise regimen. Twice a week I'm doing a 45 minute workout and it's lunges, squats and everything galore. I did it after my run the other day for the first time and whew. I understand why that's supposed to build endurance. Here's the thing, I feel stronger. When I run hills it's slower than I'd like, but I feel myself pushing up those things and then coasting down.  When I run on flats I can feel my from and my legs just pushing forward and I adore that feeling. My breathing is good and as long as I don't go to fast right now no side pain. (The other day I went way too fast on a 2-mile run and oy. I walked a bit of that one).

I'm so happy with where my exercise is right now. I feel like I'm pushing but I'm not burning out. If I need to skip a run and do it the next day I can. If I need to cut my 3-mile run down to 2-miles I do. I'm listening to my body and just enjoying what I can accomplish right now. I can't wait until my final 5K in October because I'm excited to see where I am after running through the heat and humidity of the summer and then becoming stronger because of it. Who knows, maybe I'll tough it out and become a winter runner, too!

All in all, I'm ecstatic with my progress and hope to have more good news to share with you through the year!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Be motivation

We talk about motivation. About losing it, finding it, wanting it. As people wanting to change their lives and keep up the momentum motivation is a big part of a day, whether we realize that or not. We sometimes "need" to be motivated to work out and eat well. Sometimes I disagree with that and other times, when my butt is dragging on the ground from the moment I wake up, I see the truth in motivation.

What I realized last night, laying in bed waiting to doze off, is that we are motivation. Our actions and thoughts can move someone to change their life. I'm not saying all we have to do is say it and it will be, but someone seeing us in action and observing the benefits we've obtained through healthy living can cause a chain reaction and before you know it, your life has changed others.

Now, I'm not saying that my actions are the only reason these people have changed their own lives, but I'm saying it plays a part! I've talked about wanting to lose weight and wanting to be healthier for a long time. I've dabbled in it, going on diets, pushing exercise for a little bit at a time and sometimes I did pretty well. When I started this journey it seemed like everything fell into place.

Now, the SO has decided to run a 5K with me this summer and we both eat healthier than we did five years ago. After hearing about me running my first 5K near my hometown last year, a lifelong friend decided she was also going to reach for that goal. Last I heard she was running faster than me and well on track to having a strong finish in the May race. When I found out my father was diagnosed with diabetes, and thinking of the history of obesity, high blood pressure and all that comes with it that runs in our family, I decided to take my own first steps into making my life a healthy one.

We are motivation. Every positive choice to make, every decision that leads you to a better, healthier life is one that can lead someone else there as well. The days you struggle to work out and the days where all you really want is a chocolate chip cookie remember that. Remember the look on the face of someone you have touched. Remember that when you give it your all on the elliptical at your gym you may be giving someone else the inspiration to keep going, too. When you pick up carrots instead of cupcakes at your grocery store someone may see. Be motivation.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Knocking elbows down

I'm a little competitive. I'd like to tell myself that I'm not, but I enjoy winning like everyone else. The thing is, I'm not competitive because I want to win. I'm competitive because I want to be good. I want to be better and do better and sometimes, if I'm not, I feel like a failure.

I want to run faster and longer because it's a personal goal. But I also want to run faster and longer because I could "beat" other times from other people. If I don't reach those times or goals I won't quit. I don't know if I'll ever quit running because I get so much enjoyment out of it. But I do want my feelings of failure when someone else performs better than I do to become feelings of enjoyment for them in their victory.

Just because someone else does well doesn't mean I can't succeed. I try to keep telling myself this, but I think it's one of the areas I need to work on the most. My success doesn't mean someone else has failed, just like my failure doesn't ensure the success of others.

Unfortunately this doesn't just pertain to running. I know as long as I can show improvement and have room to grow that I will continue to try at  activities such as baking and bowling. I will continue to lose weight even though I'm not losing as fast as someone else, as frustrating as that may be. But this competitive "bug" is annoying me.

I want to look at something a friend has done and feel pure excitement for her accomplishments. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth because I want to be at that level so badly. I want to beat them and stay ahead of the game. I want to play chess with the SO and be excited for him that he's played a game so well, rather than disappointed in myself because I feel I played poorly.

They say practice makes perfect, so maybe if I perfect the art of losing (not on purpose) I'll become more relaxed about it. I don't need to be perfect, I just need to be me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Life gets in the way

Today I am struggling. I am sick. Well, I am on the verge of being sick. Swollen glands have persisted through the week. Not enough to bother me other than to think “oh, my throat’s a little sore” at times. Today it hit at about 10 a.m. Sore throat, headache, nausea and an overwhelming urge to bite everyone’s head off. I’m trying to just get through this. If for some reason I am unable to go to work tomorrow I want whoever has to take over all my crap to have the easiest time possible. I have all my extra work done. And I’ve accomplished the head-biting, but to the wrong person.

So I’ve been struggling. Did I mention that? I’ve been on task for weeks, working out almost daily, staying in my calorie range, even on my “cheat” day yesterday when it was my day off from exercise without any guilty whatsoever and where I got to eat fried chicken. I was still within my calories. Because I’m that good. I’m not really struggling with eating, although I guess that’s a struggle because I’m not hungry at all. I think it has to do with the nausea thing.

But at work, I’m surly, I’m grumpy and I’m trying not to show it because no one here needs to think I’m sick. I don’t want that. So, the first person who calls? The SO. Asks me a simple question and I bite his head off. Partially because I don’t want to tell him I don’t feel well in front of my co-workers and partially because I don’t feel well. Imagine that. Maybe I should just put my foot in my mouth, considering I’m not hungry or anything.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2011 5K #2


It's my new 5k time! I cut two minutes and six seconds off my time in LESS THAN A MONTH! WOOT! I know for some it's still crazy slow, and it's definitely a lot slower than I want to be. I'm headed in the right direction, though. Building up speed slowly.

Yesterday I went on a run outside. It's in the 40's! That's perfect running weather, right? Oh my goodness was I cold. I need to get some running mittens. Right now it would be perfect to have the thin ones. Just something to break the brain-numbing wind. Honestly I think if they sun was shining it would have been perfect, but by the time I headed out it was overcast. Blech. But I did it.

It felt so slow, like I was running at a snail's pace, but I just kept it up, one foot in front of the other, one hill at a time. I had to walk a bit more than I normally do on the treadmill, even though I've been training with it at an incline I think the road just puts more pressure on my body.

My normal pace right now is 15-minute miles on the treadmill. I got home, clocked in my time on the 2.3 miles I pumped out and BAM! 13-minute miles! So, if I run my next 5k in March (hopefully a regulated race, I won't have the snow excuse anymore) and keep it to that pace I'll shave SIX more minutes off my 5k time. IN THREE MONTHS! Can you tell I'm slightly excited?

I will say those 2.3 miles wore me out a little more than the 4+ on my treadmill! I know my pace was faster, but I think the cold just wore me down, too. And hills. Oy hills. Let's just say I better have killer calves after this!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Peanut butter binge

Last night I ate peanut butter cookies. And pizza. No joke. I went to add up my calories today, and guess what, for my crazy binge, I still only ate just over 1,800 calories. I can't call that a loss. I need to call that a victory.

It's a victory because I made the peanut butter cookies, and they were not big in any way shape or form. They were about two inches across. And did I mention they were delicious? Anyway, aside from that, there was pizza. I ate three slices. Of thin-crust pepperoni pizza. That's like one slice of a large Pizza Hut pizza.

The "binge" I went on last night won't even show me a gain on the scale today. Maintain, all the way. Did I go over my calories? yes. Did I eat way more fat than I aim to? yes. Did I eat 5,000 calories by eating an entire pan of huge monster cookies like I have in the past. He** no. (Btw, I really don't know if that was 5,000 calories, but it was definitely a couple thousand.)

So it's a victory. I went off plan, but because I had been watching what I ate the rest of the day the off plan didn't even break 2,000 calories for a whole day. I had pizza and cookies, and I didn't get the nutrients that I want in a day, but I'll live with that every once and a while.

My plan is not being perfect. I am not perfect therefore this weightloss plan is not perfect, but it works for me. I mess up sometimes. So what. It's life and one day out of thirty where I eat more than I want to isn't going to kill me. What it will do is make me stronger.

I cannot survive on a diet where I eat carrot sticks and nothing else. I'm not built that way. The way I'm built if you tell me I can't have a slice of cheesecake I'm going to whine and cry until I get a piece of cheesecake. Now, tell me now I can have cheesecake. I'll have a piece, I'll love every morsel of it, and I will keep my calories and exercise in check so that the cheesecake is counted. In my diet I can have whatever I want, I just know that when I have a food "treat" that somewhere in my diet something else is missing. I don't do it often, but I'm not deprived.

For the most part I eat healthy, unprocessed food. I'll have cookie and pizza when I want it, and then I won't eat two large pizzas by myself later on in the week. Victory.

Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 5K #1


That's my "official" time from the treadmill. Boy am I slow. I've realized that my legs can keep going, but right now my training is about my lungs catching up to the rest of my body. I can deal with that. My fastest 5K time was ten minutes faster, so that's my first goal. Then my second goal is to beat that! I have months upon months to get faster, I'm not too worried. You want to  know a secret? My ultimate goal would be to run a 10-minute mile, and then to run a 5K in under 30 minutes! Shhhh. Don't tell. That piece of information could scare my muscles away.

So on goes my 10 5K's in 2011.  So far this is a good plan for me.  A plan that allows me to keep training and to have a goal to focus on. I've learned that without a goal I flounder. I won't work out and I don't eat as well as I should. I need a goal, and just a goal weight doesn't do it for me since I really don't know what a good goal weight for me would be. The BMI tells me 144. With my build, that's not quite likely, for all I know 160 is the perfect weight for me. I want to measure my fitness in other ways and I want to succeed as a runner.

I ran for 25 minutes without stopping. WOOT! It's weeks before I do that in my C25K plan, so right now I'm ahead of the game and I can concentrate on building up my lungs and then getting faster on said plan.

I finished my race going faster than starting. I jogged at 4.0 mph, which is a little slow. I'm more comfortable right now at 4.5 mph but I wanted to pace myself because I haven't run this distance in quite some time (as in, run as much of it as I possibly could, not walk/run). But I actually finished the last couple tenths of my run at 5.0 mph. Gotta get that kick in!

I would deem my race a complete success. I finished, which is my first goal in ANY race. And I can see myself getting better. When the pound aren't dropping like I want them to be, it always helps to look for other motivation. This is definitely a motivator!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fake it 'til you make it

The team I'm on for my weight-loss challenge says this. It's for days (weeks) you lose motivation and Little Debbie snack cakes make you believe that the world will be a better place if you eat them. It's when your treadmill starts talking to you, telling you how hard on it you've been and how mean you are to keep walking/running on it every day. It's for when you can't think about doing another pushup or another plank without throwing up in your mouth a little.

It's for when you're starting this for the first (seventh) time and you're scared. Scared you'll fail, scared you won't be able to do it, and at the same time scared you'll succeed and then what will you do if you're not the fat person? Who will you be?

This is when you fake it. This is when you do an extra set of push-ups just to say you can, put more miles on your treadmill, throw the snack cakes in the trash and you start putting more vegetables on your plate and fewer chips. You don't have to be happy about it, you don't have to like it, but you still do it. This is when you take that first step onto the gazelle or elliptical or out the door. You do it.

It is not a choice. You do not have a choice to not work out, to not become healthier. You fake this healthier lifestyle until it's a part of you and you don't know what you would do without it. You fake it until that snack cake tastes like wax and not like clouds and sunshine. You fake it until you find yourself reaching for a strawberry over a ho-ho because it makes you feel so much better than the processed sugar ever will. You fake it because the exercise makes you a happier and well-balanced person and not going on the run causes you more sadness than stepping out the door that first time, scared out of your mind, ever did.

You fake it because you know the person who you see in the mirror is not who you're meant to be. You are not made up of fat and fat alone, you're brilliant and wonderful and you want to world to see on the outside what you've always seen on the inside. That you believe in yourself, that you love yourself and that you respect yourself. If you're 300 lbs. or 125 lbs., you are that person. You are such an amazing person and you deserve this. You deserve the life you want, the happiness you reach for and the love that surrounds you.

Fake  it. Fake it 'til you make it. Until it makes you so happy that you could burst. Until health oozes from you and onto the people around you and suddenly they change their lives because they can't help themselves. Oh yes. Fake it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

He's supposed to

Before I get started with my rant, let me fill you in on my morning. It has been a morning, that's for sure. It's snowing in good 'ol Iowa today, and I did not know it was supposed to. Bad me. Anyway, going to work and ran out of gas. Who runs out of gas anymore? Me. Luckily I have a loving SO who was not too displeased to be woken up a half hour early and was willing to come and bring gas out to me, oh, and a spare set of keys since when I got out of the car to make sure my hazards were on (they weren't) I also locked my keys in my car. Lmao! I had just passed a gas station, ironic, right? and I went there to wait. Lickity-split he's there and I'm gassed up and made it to work only a half hour late. Wowza :D So part of my exercise today will be shoveling, but until then I'm enjoying the warmth of being inside with dry shoes.

So, because of the amazingness of the SO, I want to make him something super special for supper.  We'll call this the Super Special Supper, or SSS. I asked my coworker what she thought I should make for the SSS. Her response? "He's your significant other. He's supposed to do things like that." Basically saying I shouldn't plan anything special because he's supposed to help me out when things like that happen.

In a way, I agree. That is part of what being in a relationship is. You do things for the person you love. You go out of your way to make sure they're safe, that their needs are met and that is part of the way you fill eachother's lives. I completely agree.

What I don't agree with is the fact that she was saying I should dismiss his actions because he's "supposed" to do them. Just because I love this man and he loves me doesn't mean that I shouldn't say "Thank you" (which, by the way, I did, about five times :D) But still, he went out of his way to be kind to me and I want to cook him supper. I want to show him that I appreciate what he did. I want to show him that, while his time and energy could have been put to better uses, like getting that extra half hour of sleep, I am glad he chose to come and help me.

It's just a gripe of mine, and I know I don't do it as often as I should, but I think the people we care about the most definitely deserve the majority of our love and attention. Just because we see each other for a good part of the day every day doesn't mean I shouldn't tell him how much I appreciate it when he does the dishes, snowblows the driveway, does my laundry, picks up the house or comes and bails me out of a sticky situation at 6 a.m. on a Monday morning.

Sometimes (rarely) he fishes for praise and I don't give it to him, even though I should. How much more do I appreciate it when he does something like today (and countless other times) and saves my bacon? He does so much for me, more than he probably even realizes. I can cook the man a SSS to say thank you. I love you. I love it when you rescue me. Now, for ideas?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Apples to Oranges

Sometimes I forget that this weight-loss journey is about me. It's not about my friends or my family, although they help and encourage me every day. It's not about who's doing more or losing more weight than I am. It's not about anyone else but me.

Today I forgot that when I read a post by a friend who is doing incredible things in her life. She is running. She is running and she is doing fabulous and I felt a twinge of jealousy because she's faster than me.

I've been running off and on for a while and I am still SO slow. I know I'm slow, I know I'm not ready to train to get that much faster yet. So I will keep running. I'm not going to stop. This is my journey and I alone can race down my road. But I want to be faster.

I am so happy for my friend. Happy that she made the decision to do this and is getting so good! I'm happy that she's proud of what she's doing and the accomplishments that she's made. I'm happy that she is my friend and I am proud of her and all that she's done. But we are different people with different backgrounds and goals and skills. Her path is not my path, nor is mine hers.

So today I had to take a step back and remind myself that the only competition I face is myself. I want to run faster than I have run before. I want to run farther than I ever have. I want so much for myself that sometimes it hurts because I'm scared I won't accomplish all of these things. That make me even more scared because what if I refuse to try? That is so much sadder, so much scarier than trying and failing. To not try, to not see what I'm capable of, just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes.

And I will try. I will race my races this year. I will train and grin through the good times and the bad. I will get faster, how can I not? :D And then I will keep going. Keep training. Because the thought of the wind in my hair and the pavement under my feet is enough to keep me going on any day. I do this for me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Working it

I hurt all over. I love it. No I'm not a masochist, but I am reveling in what my body can do. I pushed it hard this weekend, especially after letting it revel in the cold weather blues following Thanksgiving.

I push the weights up and think about how they used to be 3 lbs and now they're 5 or 8. I run on the treadmill and push myself harder because I'm running, not walking all the time. Yes I get tired. Yes I take walk breaks. The point is I'm not afraid to push myself and get better. I'm not afraid of what I can do.

I want this weight gone. I want to be at a healthy weight and love it. I can do so much more at 180 than I could at 205, and I'm excited for what awaits me at 150. I know that healthy eating will be a part of my life forever. That's what I want.

I want to take pleasure in the nutrients I receive from an apple rather than a Ding Dong. The taste of carrots with a bit of hummus is always more satisfying to me than a snickers. Dark chocolate, you are still my friend and I love that we can hang out together, but I also love that you don't rule my life.

I'm working it. When I feel my abs stretch I know I'm working it. When I notice the slight pull in my calves and hamstrings, I take pride in the fact that I'm working it. I'm working it for me. For my future.