Friday, October 5, 2012

Merry Christmas, Baby

I'm in an incredibly good mood today, and since I feel the need to overshare why, and the why is far too long for a Facebook status, and because I'm obviously not blogging about running right now, but I know you're all desperately curious as to what's going on with me...I thought I'd blog about my incredibly good mood.

I had a very strange dream last night. I watched the newest episode of Bones before bed. It involved some weird explosions in a Big Gulp cup. I guess that carried over into my dream last night, which started out as a nightmare. There was a man in my apartment playing a creepy game with me. There was something in my bedroom that would trigger an explosion, and if I didn't find it in a set amount of time, the explosion would just happen.

I was very confused in this dream, not entirely sure why I was targeted by some psycho pyro. Eventually, he restrained me so that I couldn't find the detonator...then things got weird. Jason Segal showed up to help me out. He was in this great mood talking about a surprise. This horrible weird nightmare segment of my dream was a ruse, because someone was planning something special for me. I eventually made it out of my bedroom and into my living room where Eric had turned the entire apartment into a magical Christmas winter wonderland. There were about 4 Christmas trees in the dining room, baked goods in the kitchen, wreathes hanging on the walls, Christmas pillows on the couch, garlands hanging over the TV, bowls of candy, lights everywhere, and porch was filled to the brim with more trees and bushes, lit up and decorated with all of my favorite ornaments from childhood. It was so romantic and wonderful. And so, so weird.

I woke up in the best mood.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In (k)need of an update?

I apologize for the horrible pun, but I wanted to give you a heads up that this post will be all about my knee!

I hate my knee. And my knee hates me. We aren't on speaking terms right now.

I bought a brace. The brace worked alright. It's made out of neoprene or whatever it is that wetsuits are made from, so it gets very hot and very tight very quickly. I was full of good intentions when I first got it. Start walking again. Do some light weightlifting. Anything to get active and build up some muscle to support my temperamental knee. But, you know. Once you have an excuse to be lazy, you sort of make lots of excuses to stay lazy, so exercise and fitness remained on hold.

And then an embarrassing thing happened on Sunday. I stood up from the couch and broke my knee.

Okay, it's not really broken, but it felt that way on Sunday. I hobbled around for most of the night in pain, which was a hilarious sight for Eric and Johnny-dog. It was throbbing so much that it actually woke my up a few times. I promised Eric that if it didn't feel better by Friday, I'd call a doctor.

Then I went to work on Monday. An hour long drive in the rain. By the time I got out of the car, my knee was so stiff that when I went to straighten it I almost buckled over from the pain. Not good. Luckily, I work about a mile from my PA's office and they open at 8:00 a.m. I called immediately and made an appointment for the afternoon.

My PA was out, but a saw a great NP who tested for a meniscus tear and said she didn't hear/feel the normal signs. She diagnosed me with Patellar Tendinitis, prescribed me some hard drugs, told me to ice it regularly, and said that PT was no longer an "option". As in, if I want to be active ever again, I have to go. Cost is still something of an issue, but I've called today to work out a schedule, and I'm hopeful to begin in a few weeks.

Running at the moment is completely out of the question. Walking for more than 10 minutes is still kind of laughable. But, I have a plan and a wonderfully supportive boyfriend, so hopefully I can stop being a lazy asshole and start getting better.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Still not dead

Still not dead, but sad. Here's what's been going on.

When last we spoke I gave you a recap of my running adventures while on vacation in NC. I still haven't run since 6/19.

My stomach was in a bad way for quite a while, so I finally went to see a doctor. I went mostly lactose free for a few weeks and took some meds, and it's finally starting act close to normal. I still feel uncomfortable more than I'd like, however, so I'm thinking of trying one of those fancy cleanses I've been judging for years. I don't know. I need to do more research, but clearly I'm putting stuff into my body that I shouldn't be. Just not quite sure what it is yet.

My knee on the other hand - I don't know. While I was at the doc's for my stomach, I brought up my knee. This appointment was back on 7/9, and my knee was still swollen from my fall on Memorial Day. The doctor recommended I see an orthopaedist, so I scheduled an appointment with one who specialized in sports medicine. Basically, I felt very rushed through the appointment and I didn't feel like all my concerns were addressed. He took x-rays, but didn't review them before prescribing an MRI and PT (neither of which I can really afford right now). I did find out that my knees turn outward, which is common in women, and that taping them or wearing a brace could help, but I have some pretty, um, massive thighs, so I've had trouble finding a brace that fits.

So my knee treatment has been put on hold. SAD FACE. Which means my running has been put on hold indefinitely. VERY SAD FACE. Which means no half marathon. Again. UGLY CRY SAD FACE. Also, my knee is only getting worse. I walked the Peachtree Road Race with my friend Jenn on July 4. It's a 10k, and I could barely walk for the rest of the day. I also walked a 5k for work a few weeks ago and same story - pain for the rest of the day.

I finally started putting real effort into find a good brace for active people that comes in larger sizes, and ended up ordering this from REI (thanks to a rec from Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point). It's supposed to arrive in my store for pick up on Thursday, so Johnnydog and I have a long walk date that night, and we'll see how it goes from there.

Hopefully it ends up being a miracle cure, but I have my serious doubts. I'll keep you, yes you, my one single reader, posted.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm Not Dead

I haven't posted since June 11. Wow. A quick look back at my DailyMile shows the following workouts:

6/12 - 3.2 miles, 42 minutes
Again, not a great run. The heat is really getting to me. I used my CamelBak for the first time this year, and it didn't bother me. Ran with my cousin's wife, Amy. She told me my intervals were too long, and gave me a Jeff Galloway book to read. Will adjust accordingly and try again on Thursday.

6/17 - 4.47 miles, 55:37 minutes
Beach Run with Kate. Much better than I expected. Tried Jeff Galloway's intervals. 2:30/1:00.

6/19 - 1.69 miles, 21 minutes
Beach Run Solo. Hot as balls and my calves were super tight.

I haven't run since then. I did walk on the beach every night after dinner, sometimes early in the day too. I didn't gain any weight on my trip, which seems incredible to me.

I've met a few roadblocks that I'm having trouble overcoming. Firstly, the heat. Georgia is in for an incredibly hot weekend (highs in the 100s), after an already incredibly hot week. Running outside has been out of the question. The treadmill is so hard to handle mentally, but I'm really going to try on Saturday. My 6/17 run was amazing, and I can't lose all of that momentum.

Another problem I've had recently is my moods. I've been so up and down, and unfocused for (seemingly) no reason. One minute I'm feeling great, life is perfect, I don't want to change anything, and the next I'm down, self-conscious, and sad. My body is also in some kind of weird funk. My stomach hasn't been right since the trip, although my diet hasn't changed so I'm not sure why. I'm also having random pains that jump from joint to joint. My wrists, my neck, my knee, my hips, my ankle. It's so weird. I've also been getting a lot of headaches and my eyes are constantly twitching. I don't know what's wrong, or if I'm just incredibly tired and dehydrated. I'm hoping it passes, but I think if I feel the same way next week, I'll have to go to the doctor. Not happy about that.

And lastly, my knee is starting to worry me. At first, it was only mildly sore after a run. Then the pain started to increase slowly, so I would stave it off with Ibuprofen and ice. Then Kate and I went for a long run early in our trip, and my knee never really recovered. Walking up the stairs to my bedroom was a challenge, and on one walk along the beach with Eric I had to ask if we could go back because I was in too much pain. I'm starting to get worried, but Eric's dad is a former surgeon and present acupuncturist, so I'm hoping he'll be able to give me a little bit of guidance. Perhaps I didn't rest my knee long enough after my little tumble? Hopefully it's not anything serious. I don't feel like I'm active enough for a serious problem, but I'm probably heavy enough for one.

So that's what I've been up to. I'm ina  down swing with my mood right now, so I'm sorry if this post is a little depressing.

On a positive note, I met with a personal trainer friend yesterday, and he walked me through a new weight lifting regimen. We're starting very slowly, and we'll reevaluate in a few weeks, but I'm excited.

Monday, June 11, 2012

W3 Recap Wrap Up

Days 1-3 (Run, Rest, Rest)
Day 4 (Run)

Day 5: The schedule called for a walk, but I had theater plans with a friend, so took a rest day. Again with the cross-training failure.

Day 6: The schedule called for 3.5 miles. I should get this out of the way - I've been putting off writing this recap because I felt so defeated on Saturday. I failed to run 3.5 miles, and while there were several factors that lead to the failure (heat being a major one), mostly it was just my poor planning and preparation.  I've been trying very hard to take my long runs seriously, but I just let it all go Friday night. Kristy and I had tickets to see Illyria at Georgia Shakespeare. We picnic'd beforehand, and shared a bottle of wine between the two of us. Dinner was light and delicious, but we definitely got tipsy.

I guess I should add a side note here that I've been involved with GA Shakes for almost a decade now in some capacity. I started volunteering in the front of house when I was 18, and worked there as an employee for several summers, even after college. Once I moved into the corporate world, I still came back to volunteer and see the shows, and in 2008 or 2009 I began taking photos for their publicity and archives. For as long as I've been associated with them, GA Shakes was always home to me, with familiar faces, stories, and routines. But for varying reasons, many of the folks who have been with the company for ages have moved on, and it felt strange and sad on Friday. The company itself is still a wonderful creative haven for theater folks, and the new people are definitely as passionate and invested in the theater as anyone who came before them. But on a personal level, I felt out of place, old, and sad. Georgia Shakespeare continues to revitalize old classics, and bring some of the greatest plays to the masses in fun and innovative ways - but it's not my home anymore.

So Kristy and I decided to drown my sorrows out at a bar. First we stopped by a new place called Blind Dog Pub. We walked in, took one look around, and walked right back out. It was far too bright, the layout was very confusing, and there was absolutely nothing inviting about the place. We decided to try our old stomping ground, Pub 71. There were two seats at the bar, the crowd was pretty mild, and the bartenders recognized us and brought us our favorite beers immediately. Everything felt right. We even ran into one of Eric's old roommates, and belted out some Backstreet Boys with him and his friend.

...We stayed out until 1:00 a.m. On a normal night, I would say I didn't drink too much. I certainly didn't get drunk. But because I was running the next day, I should have stuck with water. I know that now, but I was just so sad on Friday, and I wanted so badly to feel...I don't know, something?  A recognition of how life used to be? I always say I hate change. If I was in Game of Thrones, that would be my House motto. And it's so bizarre to stay in the same place and watch everything around you change. I have lived within the same 5 mile radius of Oglethorpe for the last 10 years, and yet very little is recognizable. So Friday I was sad, and that funk carried over to Saturday. Saturday I slept in until 10:30 (which is pretty late for me), and by then temps were already rising. I decided to wait until sunset to run, when temps start to dip. I cleaned, drank some water, and eventually joined Kristy down at the pool.

That's right. Already dehydrated from alcohol consumption the night before, I thought it would be a good idea to bake in the sun for an hour and a half. During that time I drank maybe a cup of water? Maybe two? Around 5:00 I decided it was the perfect time for a run. Because I am dumb. So I gulped a few more drops of water, readied for a run, and started out. And it was awful. I was out of breath almost immediately. Well, here's the DailyMile recap:

So yeah. That blew.

Day 7: Yoga. Which I didn't do. I was going to try the 3.5 mile run again, but my knee was not having it. So I'll have to try tonight. Everything I read about training says you can miss most other workouts, but not the long run. So...yeah. I'm drinking tons of water and plan to bring my CamelBak with me tonight. May seem silly for such a short run, but I'd rather be silly and finish it than be too proud and fail. Again.

Yeah, I'm still in a funk.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

W3D4 Recap

W3D4: Run 2 miles

I did it! I did it!

Let me back up. I woke up this morning at 6:something a.m. and I was exhausted. I don't know why I was exhausted - I didn't workout yesterday, I went to bed at a decent time, and I slept through the night (something I can't say for any of the previous nights this week, actually). I should have been pretty well rested.

I had coffee this morning, drank plenty of water throughout the day, but nothing helped. By the drive home, I was nearly falling asleep at the wheel. Once I got home, I took Johnny for a walk, and then promptly fell asleep on the couch for an hour and a half.

I woke up around 7:45 p.m. and argued with myself for a good 10 minutes. Part of me wanted to go back to sleep and the other part of me said "REALLY? Only 3 weeks into this training program and you want to cut corners and make excuses? Don't be lame, a**hole."

So I did that thing where I told myself I only had to run for 10 minutes. Once I a half a mile out, I decided to just keep going. I ran 2.07 miles in 24:41 (11:55 min/mi). Not bad.

Tomorrow will probably be an off day, and then 3.5 miles Saturday!

W3 D1-3 Recap and Photos!

W3D1: Run 2.5 miles

When Eric and I first started dating, we tried running together, but I could not do it. It was awful. We lived in a supremely hilly area, and Eric liked to start the runs immediately with the biggest hill in the neighborhood.

Then we tried hiking together, but I wasn't very pleasant. I'm not sure if you're aware, but Georgia is frickin' hot in the summer time, and trying to hike 5 miles around Stone Mountain with nothing but a bag of Cheerios and a bottle of water is a bad idea. For me.

Once we moved into our apartment complex, Eric came with me to the gym once. The treadmill restarted and lost all of my data, and my headphones would not stay in my ears, and I kind of had a mini-meltdown. It had more to do with my self-esteem (being overweight and not being able to run a mile was embarrassing) than the actual workout, but Eric gave up. He said he wouldn't try to work out with me anymore because I'm crazy and mean. Well, he didn't use those exact words. In fact, he was much nicer, and said something about me doing this for myself, blah blah blah, one day I'll reach my goal, blah. But I can translate.

Then I started up with C25K again (for the ::mumblemumble::teenth time) and I forced myself to appreciate every run, and take pride in any progress. I forced myself to be positive. Then I forced Eric to join me. In the last 5 months, he's run with me once, I think. So Monday, I made him do it again. We ran 1.25 miles out an back for the 2.5 mile total. Eric did really well, and he almost beat me home, but his knee started to bother him about .25 mile away from the apartment. I had set up RunKeeper to do 6 min run/90 second walk intervals. Eric ran the intervals as well, but he would run pretty far ahead of me. As I stopped for my walking breaks I'd have to gasp for air and then yell out down the sidewalk for him to stop. We'd catch up with each other, and it would be time to run again. It worked out pretty well. I didn't listen to music, and I didn't really have company since Eric would take off, but my timing was still good (for me).

 Check out that pace! Pretty speedy.

I had taken an Ibuprofen before the run to head off any knee inflammation, and it worked for a few hours. But later in the evening I started to get a sort of sharp, sort of sore pain, and asked Eric to try to massage it away. I kept moving his hand higher and higher, trying to find the source of the pain, and finally he was all "Nope. Now you foam roll. That's what it's for." Because he hates me and thinks I killed his cat or something.

Seriously. FOAM ROLLING IS THE WORST. It doesn't hurt so good. It just hurts! Like some is knuckle punching you repeatedly in a bruise. But I did it. I don't know if it helped, but it didn't make it any worse. It's cool. I'm going to shave Eric's eye brows off in retribution. Just you wait.

W3D2: Yoga

I did not go to yoga on Tuesday, as I agreed to take photos for Georgia Shakespeare. I did end up taking a few photos at home first, to test out my new memory card.

Illyria 002
Eric looks pensive, but he's really just trying to beat someone in Mass Effect 3.

Illyria 003
Johnny Dog! He's happy to see you!

Illyria 004
But he is shy.
Illyria 005
But not too shy!
W3D3: Walk 2m

Yeah. I ended up going out and playing trivia instead. I've got the running down, but this cross training business kind of bores me.

Monday, June 4, 2012

W2 Recap

Day 1 (Run)
Day 2 (Yoga)
Day 3 (Personal Trainer)
Day 4 (Run)

Day 5: The schedule called for a 2.5 mile walk, but because my body was still pretty exhausted from Wednesday's PT time and Thursday's run, and because I was in a time crunch, I took a rest day.

Day 6: 3 mile run - actually ran 3.22 mile at 12:52 pace. Not fast, but I got it done. I was pretty burnt out for the rest of the day, and ended up gorging myself at dinner (a birthday party for Kristy!).

Day 7: Schedule called for yoga but my knee was killing me. And I was hungover. But also my knee was killing me. Didn't make it to yoga.


Today calls for a 2.5 mile run, but I may also try to hit up yoga at my new gym. The class doesn't start until 8:00 though, so we'll see if I can get my ass in gear and get to the gym so late.

Two weeks completed! Woohoo!

W2D4 & Misc

(This was written on Thursday, 5/31)

Okay. So I'm sore today. That doesn't prove anything. Except, like I said, my workout yesterday was pretty swell, even though it wasn't what I was looking for.

So today called for a 2 mile run which made me happy because I haven't run since Monday. I decided to risk it and use only RunKeeper to track my time. While it was a huge ego boost - it miscalculated my time. It said I averaged 10:55/mile, which is a load of horse phooey. In reality, it was closer to 12:01/mile, which is still pretty fast for me. I ran 5:1 intervals, running:walking. It seemed to work out pretty well, and I'm sure if RunKeeper HAD been working, it would show I had a negative split, since I didn't take my last walking interval.

So that's that. Tomorrow the schedule calls for a 2.5 mile walk, but I may take a rest day since I also have a time crunch tomorrow evening. We'll see.


Eric and I have a friend who used to live across the hall from us. We'll call him...Morty. So Morty is a personal trainer, and he was coming over tonight to play COD with Eric, so Eric decided to bring up all of my fitness and weight loss goals with him.

Now, the biggest thing I've realized about myself and my goals over the last 5 months is that weight loss isn't actually that important to me. Do I want to be fit? Sure, who doesn't? But the number on the scale, and the shape I see in the mirror? They don't bug me so much. I like running. I LOVE the runner's high. I don't get to enjoy it too often or for long amounts of time because I'm not really at that level. But I realized yesterday, talking to the LA Fitness PT, and talking to Morty today, that my biggest goal is finishing the half marathon. I could weight 120 lbs and have 15% body fat, but not crossing that finish line would still make me feel like a failure.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Personal Trainer and W2D3

So I joined LA Fitness on Tuesday and with that comes a free fitness assessment with a personal trainer. Now, obviously I know I'm not super fit, super thin, super muscular, etc. But wow. How depressing. I already knew my weight since I weigh myself weekly, but my body fat percentage was...embarrassingly high. I honestly thought with my healthy habit changes this year it would have gone down some. But no.

The experience was kind of expected. I met with a woman who was sweet and fit, but sort of already had an idea of what she wanted to do with me. She listened to my goals and expectations, and what I would want out of a personal trainer. I told her I'm planning to run a half-marathon in October, that I have a training schedule already, running 3x/week, yoga at least once. And that I would like to incorporate light weight lifting (not pushing so I don't overexert or injure myself). The weight lifting is what I would really need the personal trainer for, since I've never done it before. I like running, and plan to do that, walking, and yoga as my cross-training.

...And then we went through a sort of cross section of different cardio exercises I could try. I didn't enjoy them, and I was annoyed to spend an hour in the gym and never touch the weights.

Then she went through the sales pitch about cost, and I told her I wasn't interested just yet, due to the fact that I'm paying for two gyms for the next 33 days, it's not really in my budget, and I'll be out of town for a significant portion of the month. She asked her supervisor to join us, and that's when I started getting frustrated. Not because of the sales pitch - I was expecting that, and truth be told, I really do want a personal trainer during my half training, so knowing the costs will help me budget. I was frustrated because all the supervisor would talk about was the significance of the strength training and that my cardio plan wasn't enough to decrease my body fat. They weren't listening. Obviously I know strength training is important - that's the ONLY reason I want a personal trainer. I spent over an hour NOT doing strength training, and then another 30 minutes being told I need to strength train. And I still don't know how to use the machines properly. Awesome.

I will say that the cardio we did was a good workout, so I counted that as my W2D3 cross training instead of walking. I didn't get home until 9:00 (my appointment was at 6:30), and by then I was starving and Eric was on his way home.

Tonight is back to running - 2 miles. Woohoo. I'm in a bad mood today, so hopefully that will help.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The End and W2D2

It started with a simple inquiry: does Planet Fitness offer yoga classes? (The answer is no.) Eric's cousin and uncle, whom I consider pretty awesome people to hang with, are members of Planet Fitness, a decent chain of gyms with a significantly reduced membership fee. Currently, I pay $80/month at my gym, but I've found it harder and harder to justify over the last few months. I've started running outside more and more, and I barely make it to yoga. I'm not a fan of the other classes that I've tried, so I only go to the gym maybe 2-3 times per month.

So I looked around, put some feelers out on Facebook, and came to the conclusion that the newest LA Fitness a few miles from my house is actually a good option. It has plenty of equipment, and most of the same perks as my current gym. The only true downside is that I won't be able to take Laurie's yoga class anymore. It's a significant downside, to be sure, since I would also get to see Nicole on those days, but the wallet wants what the wallet wants, and the wallet wants some relief.

So I'm a member of LA Fitness now. We'll see how it goes. I have a fitness evaluation tonight - not psyched for it.


W2D2 called for yoga.


So, yeah. My Vista Yoga pass actually expires next month, so I should probably get on that. Like this week.

Tonight calls for a 2 mile walk. Sounds like J-dog is getting the exercise he so richly needs (and...deserves...bad mommy).

Monday, May 28, 2012

W1 Recap and W2D1

I've already posted about most of my workouts here, here, and here. I took Thursday and Friday as rest days. Eric and I headed up to Cashiers Friday afternoon, and we were running late so I couldn't get the run in that I was hoping for (but it wasn't on the schedule anyway, so it's probably for the best).

Saturday, Kate and I went for a walk to the waterfalls close to the house. It was a pretty easy/nice walk, but I have issues putting one foot in front of the other and ended up tripping over a root, planting my right knee firmly into a rock on the side of the trail. We finished the hike, but when we got home, I knew that was probably the end of my outdoor activities for the weekend. My knee had started to swell, and I had some sharp pains whenever I moved it for the first couple of hours. Everyone else ended up going for a hike to Whiteside Mountain later in the day, but my knee was killing me just trying to make it up the stairs, so I was out, sadly. By Sunday most of the pain was gone, but it was still pretty sore, so skipped out on another hike. We ended up leaving pretty early yesterday, which was a bummer.

I had a great time over the weekend, but I'm really sad to have missed out on all of the hiking. Boo.

So that was my week. 4.5 miles of running, one day of yoga, and a treacherous walk. Not too bad, but definitely hoping for better luck this week.


W2D1 Recap: I was up this morning by 7:15, but farted around the house for an hour before I got out on my run. The temp right now is only 73 degrees, but humidity is (also) 73%. It was a rough run. I was mildly hungover, mildly dehydrated, not smart enough to eat breakfast, my calves were incredibly tight and my knee was feeling very wonky and unstable - but no pain. 2.6 miles, 33 mins, 12:43 pace. Those are definitely pretty average numbers for me, but it felt much harder. I'm icing my knee now, hoping to stave off any soreness later.

Schedule calls for yoga tomorrow and walking on Wednesday before another run on Thursday. I'm down with that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Training Plan: W1D3

Don't get excited. Just because I updated about D1 AND D2, and now I'm blogging about D3 DOES NOT MEAN I WILL BE A DAILY BLOGGER ALL CAPS OMG.

Because I can't handle that kind of pressure, clearly.

But anyway. So today was day 3, which meant a 2.5 mile easy run. I decided to mix up my route and run through the neighborhood. INSANE HILLS. Well, normal hills I'm used to and then 2 INSANE hills. RunKeeper said it was 2.46 miles at a 12:57 min/mile. But DailyMile said it was 2.54 miles at a 12:33 min/mile.

Now it's time to rest up. Possible yoga or hiking over the weekend and then the real training begins!

Treadmill N00B

So. I was looking at this handy treadmill pace conversion chart to figure out what I should set the treadmill to when I attempt my 2.5 mile run tonight. I was feeling pretty defeated from my run on Monday, wondering why I felt like I was overexerting myself running on the "easier" treadmill.

Then I noticed the the pace conversion chart had different, higher paces based on the incline. I was running on a 1% incline, so instead of running a 12 min/mil pace, I was actually running 11:44. No wonder it felt harder!

So then I found this handy dandy calculator and figured out my correct pace (based on equivalent effort or something like that...math). Here's my converted pace for Monday's run (26:01 min, 13 min/mi, 1% incline).


I feel much better now. I'll slow down tonight.


W1D2: Yoga

I guess since I'm already blogging today I may as well recap yoga last night. It was great to be back, and it was definitely needed. Laurie REALLY worked on the hips for most of the practice which felt great. I struggled with some of the vinyasas since my arms haven't had to work like that in a few months. So physically, it was an awesome workout.

Mentally though, I could not concentrate. I was very distracted and stressed out and I couldn't really let it go. I'm not sure why or what happened.

Since we're going to Cashiers this weekend AND Laurie will be in Cashiers this weekend, I'm crossing all of my fingers and toes that we might be able to do a practice up there. She has an amazing studio space that fits about 4 or 5 people. If it doesn't workout though, I'm looking forward to next Tuesday.


So that's 2 days out of  154 done. That's a good start, right? :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Training Plan: W1D1

Don't let the title fool you. I have no intention of blogging every single day of my training. I'm going to try to do weekly updates at least, and then blog particular training days when I feel like it. It just so happens that today...I feel like it.

So today I ran 2 miles on the treadmill in 26:01, avg pace 13 min/mi. I'd run 5 mins at 5mph, then walk for 1-2 mins at 3.5-3.7 mph, and repeat. Not great, not even by my standards. I thought treadmills were supposed to be easier. It wasn't even a mental challenge to stay motivated today. I really think, and I'm not trying to make excuses here, that the treadmill must not have been calibrated correctly. I was sweating buckets after 5 minutes with the speed set to 5mph on a 1% incline. I can run a mile at an 11+ min pace no problem. Color me confused.

Anyway, regardless, I did the first day. Tomorrow, God willing, I'll make another mighty return to yoga. Pretty excited about that. I haven't been in months, but it's something I absolutely love.

Anyway, that's it. I just wanted to vent about the treadmill. If it's not wrong, if I really was overexerting myself at a 12 min/mi pace...that confuses me, but I'll take it. 26 minutes of pure sweat ain't nothing to gloss over. The end.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where do we go from here?

Alright. So the 5K is officially conquered, after over a year of trying. The next logical step is to attempt a 10K, I would guess. Hal Higdon's Novice 10K plan seems to be the right fit for me. If I stick to my plan, I'll complete it by 7/21.

Atlanta is pretty hot in mid-July, not great for racing 6.2 miles. There's the obvious Atlanta favorite, the Peachtree Road Race, but aside from that 10Ks are slim pickings. I don't have any plans to register for one at the moment. Instead, as soon as I finish that training, I'll jump into half marathon mode, as I attempt to run the Athens Half Marathon again, to benefit the summer favorite, AthFest.

Basically what it boils down to is that I've created a 22 week half marathon training plan. I'm going to work at it for about 6-8 weeks before I commit to running the half. By week six I'll be running 5 miles, something I wasn't able to do last year. If I can get that far, I feel like I'll be ready to commit. If not, I'll continue running for fun and training for a 10K in the fall. I don't want to set my sights too high and get burnt out too quickly like I did last year. I'm trying to be more realistic. We'll see how to goes. For now, here's my training plan.

Training Program - Sheet1

So wish me luck, I guess.

Brookhaven Bolt 5K Recap

Well. The big day finally came and went. And it was awesome. But let's go back to Friday night, first.

Kate and Ward came into town around 6:00, just in time for dinner! I made your standard pre-race spaghetti meal, and we drank a some wine and had a grand old time. We were joined by my best friend, Kristy, who gave us lots of encouraging words in lieu of her presence at the actual race.

Once Eric came home, he and Ward set about making signs to inspire us along the course.

worst parade

I drank a few glasses of water and went to bed around 10:30. Kate followed suit shortly after, but the boys stayed up until close to 1:00, perfecting their race day signs.

We were all up and out the door by 7:15 Saturday morning. Once we arrived, it was a short walk from the MARTA station down to Bolt-central. Kate and got our bibs in no time, and decided to hit the Porta-Potties before the race. This is a small, local, neighborhood oriented affair, so there were only about 1200 participants. However, felt like 4 or 5 Porta-Potties weren't nearly enough.

Anyway. We had enough time to catch back up with the boys, joined now by Eric and Kate's sister, Lilli, and drop off our things. We lined up and waited for the starting gun. Kate asked me (again*) how hilly the course was, and I reassured her that it was pretty gradual uphills, followed by some lovely downhills. The worst part of the race is at mile 3, right before the finish, there's a pretty steep uphill.

The starting gunshot or buzzer or whatever it was happened and we were off. Kate and I kept with each other for all of 3 minutes before I realized I was going far too fast to maintain. I slowed down and moved to the right, trying to focus on my breath. When I hit mile 1 (after a pretty steep climb) I felt pretty good. Good enough that I wanted to keep going, but I knew I had to take a walking break. I wanted to finish strong, so I had to hold myself back at the start. I walked for about 30 seconds, and then sped up again.

I came to the water station and decided to drink about half a cup. Another walking break (and did I mention another hill?). Sped up again until I hit mile 2. I walked for maybe another 30 seconds, and feeling good, started a pretty steep climb. I ran almost until the end. Another hill, right before the final one, I had to stop. Maybe 15-20 second. My ankle started bothering me, so I shook it out and finished the climb. Turned to run over a bridge, and then the final hill. Kept at my running pace all the way. As soon as I hit the top, I turned right for the final stretch. I saw Eric, Ward, Lilli, Kate (who finished with 33:17 - awesome!), and unexpectedly, Claire! They were busy deciding which signs to hold up now, so I leaned towards them and yelled "CHEER ME!" So they did. As I got closer to the finish line, I saw the clock reading 38:xx and I knew I would PR. I felt a bolt of adrenaline and sprinted across the finish line. My "gun time" was 38:09, but my chip time was 37:33, beating my previous PR by 5:04.

I know that a 12:06/mile pace isn't terribly fast by most standards, but it's downright speedy for me. I'm so dang proud I can't stand it!


*So clearly I didn't remember anything about the terrain of this race from last year. Kate asked me when she signed up how hilly it was, and I told her it wasn't that bad. She asked again last week after she PR'd in a 5K in Louisville. Apparently that course was very flat, so she was nervous about this one. I was all "no, it's totally easy breezy". Sorry, Kate! I have a horrible memory!


After the race, we all headed back to the apartment, made a delicious brunch, drank mimosas, and then I took an epic 4 hour nap. That's how it's done, ladies and gentlemen.


I'm feeling pretty good about myself now, so I'm giving myself a new goal. More on that in my next post.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Back on the Wagon...Again

Hi, again. Yeah, I went to the NRA Show in St. Louis for work and it was simultaneously the most soul-crushing and career rejuvenating experience of my life.

I didn't run for 2 weeks.

Then I didn't really have the motivation to start back up.

Then Eric's sister rightly called me out on Twitter for being lazy.

Then I went for a run.

Then I didn't for another week.

Then I did.

And again.

And then yesterday I ran the fastest 3 miles of my life. Avg Pace: 12:46. That is pretty subpar when compared to even your average runner, but for me? It's pretty spectacular.

How it happened.

I left work with a goal of running 2 miles. The weather was absolutely perfect for a run, and it's not sticking around for long. When I got home, I puttered around for about 2 hours, waiting for the temps to drop just a little further. Right up until about 6:45 I was debating whether or not I still wanted to go. But something just clicked and I knew I had to run. Kate and I are running in a 5K next week, and I really want to keep up with her for as long as possible.

So, I got dressed, laced up my sneakers, and was out the door just before 7:00. I decided since the weather was incredible, it'd be a good time to try to run a little further than normal. My route was measured perfectly, 1.5 miles out and 1.5 miles back, exactly. My warm up is usually just walking to the gates of my community, and up the hill to the road (about 3-4 minutes). Once I started running, my body revolted for a few beats. It was as if it was saying "Hey. I thought we were done with this! What are you doing?" I made a deal with myself that if ran for a 1/2 mile, I could take a walking break for as long as I needed. Made the 1/2 mile mark and I ended up walking for about a minute. Ran another 1/4 ish mile, and started cramping up. Let myself walk for a little while longer, and then I ran the rest of the 1.5 miles. It was somewhat hilly, but I started feeling really good. I told myself I could walk again after I got to the turning point, but once I was there, I felt like I could keep going. It was down hill for a good tenth of a mile or so, but I'd say I ran maybe another 1/2 mile before my next walking break. Walked for about 30 seconds, ran to the next stoplight. Turned onto the road back to my apartment, and walked for a moment. As I was running the final stretch to my apartment, I started to feel a little tired. It was weird - I wasn't out of breath and my legs weren't hurting. I just wanted to stop. So instead I pushed harder. There's a spot about 100 feet from the entrance of the complex where I usually grab my phone to stop the timer. All I wanted to see was a number less than 39. I wanted my avg pace to be less than 13 minutes. I've run a few 5Ks in the past and never come in under 42 minutes, so I knew 39 might be a challenge. But I grabbed my phone from my arm, looked down and saw 37! So a bolted. Ran as fast as my legs could carry me, and stopped right as the timer hit 38.

I'm not a speed demon, but damn. That felt fantastic. It's a personal achievement that I'm incredibly proud of. It makes me want to work harder, run faster, and go for longer. Last night was very exciting for me, and I'm hoping it just carries me to bigger and better goals.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Plan: 4/2-4/8

Monday 4/2: C25K W6D3; Walk 15 minutes
Tuesday 4/3: Yoga
Wednesday 4/4: C25K W7D1; Walk 15 minutes
Thursday 4/5: Walk 30 minutes (weather permitting)
Friday 4/6: C25K W7D2
Saturday 4/7 and Sunday 4/8: C25K W7D3, Yoga, Walk 30 minutes

1. Walk J-dog at least 3 times/week.
2. Stay within WW daily points + activity points. Try to use as few weekly points as possible.
2. Lose 2 lbs.

I guess I hit a threshhold with WW, because they dropped my daily points from 30 to 29. Next week I have a business trip, so I want to focus on a little more loss this week so I can just maintain next week. I imagine getting workouts in and eating healthy will be difficult when working 18 hour days. :/

Weigh In - 4/2/2012

Starting Weight: 185
Last Week: 179.6
Today: 178.6
Weight Loss/Gain: -1lb

Sunday, April 1, 2012

More Thoughts on Last Week

Monday was an amazing day. Let's just get that out of the way first. Monday, I weighed in and had lost a majority of my weight gained over the last two weeks. And ON TOP OF THAT I ran a pretty stinking fast 1.81 mile(s?)*.

The rest of the week was a little rough, because for some reason my stomach was bothering me like crazy. A few people have suggested that it's just my body getting used to a new metabolism? I don't know. It seems to have calmed down a bit, but that's the reason for the lack of C25K workouts. I didn't want to go for a full 30+ minutes a few of those days, but I didn't want to lose my momentum, so I just went out and ran what I felt like I could do. Seems to have worked out. My run today felt pretty amazing. I started out going slow, ran for 10 minutes, took my 3 minute walking break, and ran back. I had a minute left of the work out so I sprinted to make it back to the entrance of my apartment complex. The fact that I had energy enough to sprint, and truthfully could have kept going for another few minutes felt fantastic.

A few things that really helped with my runs:
1. Using my Yurbuds. I'd been using them at the gym, but I haven't gone to the gym in a few weeks. I was nervous to use them when running outside, because I wanted to make sure I could still hear what was going on around me. Since I've started sticking to the sidewalks and not neighborhood roads, I've been less worried, and thus had my music back. Hello Glee. I've missed you.
2. Speaking of music, I cleaned up my playlist. My playlist consisted of around 4 full albums, and then random songs from other artists sprinkled in. I found myself wanting a more dynamic playlist, so I just picked one or two songs from the albums and deleted the rest. Now those sprinkled songs have become the focus, so I'm getting to hear a variety of beats and genres. I guess I like that for running, because it's helped me stay focused, weirdly enough.

Tonight I'm going to think long and hard about my goals. I don't feel like I need to make alcohol a focus anymore, because I've cut back tremendously. I'd like to keep my weekdays relatively alcohol-free, but I don't think that should be a goal-oriented thing for me anymore. Making it a goal served it's purpose, and now I need to find new goals. Or stick to the old ones I haven't conquered yet - like walking my damn dog for more than 10 minutes. I'm awful. He should just run away.

Actually, the reason we didn't go for walks this week, besides the fact that I'm an awful and lazy pet owner, is that he's been favoring his right front paw. He's been favoring it since we went on a 3 mile walk, but it's become more pronounced over the last few days. I'm waiting it out to see if it's just sore or overused or something, but if he continues to limp this week, we'll go to the vet.

Lastly, I've talked Eric's sister, Kate, into running a 5K with me in May. I ran it last year, and it was super fun. It was much earlier in the year (March, I want to say?), and ended with brunch and bottomless mimosas. Eric was a fantastic cheerleader, as was my bff Kristy. Seems like this year will be pretty awesome too, and if I can keep up my workouts I might even PR!

Anyway. That's all. My blog used be much more interesting. Now it's kind of boring and lame. Sorry about that.

Update: 3/26-4/1

Monday 3/26: C25K W5D3 (run 2 miles) Ran 1.81 miles (11:33 pace - personal record!)
Tuesday 3/27: Yoga Nope
Wednesday 3/28: C25K W6D1 Ran 1.66 miles (12:18 pace)
Thursday 3/29: Rest Completed
Friday 3/30: C25K W6D2 Nope
Saturday 3/31: C25K W6D3 C25K W6D1 Completed
Sunday 4/1: Rest C25K W6D2 Completed

1. No alcohol Tuesday-Thursday. Meh. Alumni Event + Family Times = Alcohol on Wednesday. No big deal.
2. Walk dog. At all. Seriously. I don't want to talk about it.
3. Lose 2 lbs. Weigh in is tomorrow, so check back then. Looking like a possibility though. :) Also considering doing a separate post for weigh ins.
4. Run 2 miles straight. Not yet but getting close.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Notes on Last Week

Last week was a pretty rocking success. I lost most of the weight I had gained over the last two weeks. I stuck pretty faithfully with WW, and only really stopped tracking on Saturday. I had a birthday party for a 4 year old, and there was a lot of BBQ type foods there to try. I ate a small serving of everything, but didn't graze just because it was there. That's a big problem for me, grazing because I'm bored. I've started to overcome my portion size problems, but I realize when I'm home watching TV, or hanging out, especially if I'm alone, I start to think about food, even if I know I'm not hungry. It's really helped me to drink a glass of water and take 20 minutes. If I'm still "hungry" then I'll eat, but about half the time, I feel better.

Anyway, again, this is a difficult road because I've never really denied myself food before. It's not a punishment (or a reward). It's tasty nourishment, and I have to stop thinking about it like it's something more.

Last week I had even more success with C25K. I was able to run 20 minutes straight on Saturday morning, and even improved my pace! I felt pretty great. Spoilers - this week is even better!

I don't have a lot to report other than I'm happy with my successes. I'll cover this in another update, but this week I've improved my running pace even more AND dropped another 2 lbs and it's only Wednesday. I'm exhausted, and gave myself  a much needed rest day yesterday, but otherwise I just feel pretty great. Healthy. Pretty. I like it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

PLAN: 3/26-4/1

Monday 3/26: C25K W5D3 (run 2 miles)
Tuesday 3/27: Yoga
Wednesday 3/28: C25K W6D1
Thursday 3/29: Rest
Friday 3/30: C25K W6D2
Saturday 3/31: C25K W6 D3
Sunday 4/1: Rest

1. No alcohol Tuesday-Thursday.*
2. Walk dog. At all. Seriously.
3. Lose 2 lbs.
4. Run 2 miles straight.

*This is a cheat since I usually post on Mondays, and I'm a day late, and I already know I drank wine last night.

Update: 3/19-3/25

Monday 3/19: C25K W5D1 Done, 2.06 miles, 14:04 pace
Tuesday 3/20: Yoga Done
Wednesday 3/21: Rest Done
Thursday 3/22: C25K W5D2 Done, 2.24 miles, 13:50 pace
Friday 3/23: Rest Done
Saturday 3/24: Rest C25K W5D3 Done, 2.05 miles, 13.39 pace (running only was 12:04 pace)
Sunday 3/25: C25K W5D3 Rest Done

1. No alcohol Monday-Thursday. Complete, but I did drink a glass of wine on Wednesday with dinner
2. Walk dog AT LEAST 4 times for 15 minutes. REALLY got to work on this. Fail.
3. Lose 2 lbs. -4.6 lbs1!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More Notes on Last Week

I'm beginning this post with the aspect of the week that I feel completely awful about. I'm going to start using real numbers here because, a) I doubt many people read this, and b) those who do probably don't care how much I weigh, but also c) it will be helpful to me to speak with specificity about what's going on.

So basically about a year ago I reached my highest weight, 193. I'm 5'7" so that put me at just over "obese" on the BMI scale. I know there's a lot of controversy surrounding BMI and how accurate it is, but it's really the only way I know how to measure my health based on weight. I didn't feel obese a year ago. I definitely didn't look the way I imagine obese people to look. But I knew I didn't feel good. I started C25K again (for, like, the 5th time) and started going to the gym again (for, like, the 5th time). I think I dropped about 2 or 3 lbs overall. Then I switched jobs. My new job was far more physically active. I was constantly walking around the office, or running around the warehouse. By December, I was down to about 185, and I've pretty much been there ever since. I'm not going to say I was feeling great about my body, but I didn't have a whole lot of self-loathing, and my ASSETS from Target certainly helped during the holidays when I had to wear form fitting dresses.

Anyway, fast forward to mid-January when I started Weight Watchers. Immediately, I dropped 2 lbs. I stayed around 182-183 for about 2 or 3 weeks when I wasn't really taking it seriously. Then, in February, I became religious about tracking my food and getting my workouts in. About 2 weeks ago I was down to 177, the lightest I'd been since Eric and I started dating. And in 2 weeks, I completely destroyed all of that hard work. I've binged the last two weekends, and told myself it would be fine since I had saved up my points. That was BS. I felt gross and guilty and refused to track, because I knew that I'd gone over even my activity points. Besides that, my body was trying to get used to a new, healthy way of eating, and I was sabotaging it over the weekend. I'm back up to 184.2, and I know exactly why. It sucks, and at times I feel like a failure. I had finally lost that hint of a double chin I'd been seeing for the last year, and in two weeks I got it back.

I've found these last two weeks to be a wake up call. Weight Watchers really is about creating a new healthy way to eat, and I can't spend the weekdays thriving and the weekends reverting. I HAVE to stick with it all the time. Sure, a drink here or a second serving there won't kill me, but if I'm being honest, these past few weekends were about 3 drinks here and several servings, oh and the popcorn, and the Coke (I gave up soda 2 years ago), and the Doritos (I hate Doritos, so I can't even explain this one).

No. I have to be more strict with myself. I know that now. It's going to be harder than I first thought, but I WANT this. I need this.

Letting go of alcohol is harder than one might imagine, but not necessarily for the reasons one might imagine. During the week of March 5 I said no Weekday Alcohol. And I stuck with that, easily. That's also the week I hit 177. I figured cutting out alcohol would be a great and easy way to help myself drop a few pounds. Eric once explained something sciencey to me about the way that your body will burn off the sugar from alcohol before it starts burning the rest of your caloric intake because it's easier to burn the sugars. The way I interpret that (which may be totally false) is that, if I eat dinner and drink a beer, when I work out I'm only burning off the beer and not any of the food I ate. I don't know. To me, this seems silly, so I might as well cut out the beer, right?

Alright, so that first week, it went well. Then the weekend came, I didn't just have a drink, but like 12, had the drunk munchies, then the hangover munchies, then packed on 5 lbs. 5 lbs in two days. REALLY, JENNY?

Well then this past week happened. I had planned to stay within my allotted daily points and not dip into my weekly points, so I could use them over the weekend. But Monday we went out with some friends to Taco Mac, and everyone ordered a beer. Tuesday was a bad day for Eric, so we went out to one of our favorite pubs, and everyone had...well several beers. Thursday we had a friend over for burgers, and they had wine. There's something about being the only one in a social situation not drinking that makes me feel awkward. And it's REALLY stupid, I know, because every single person we hung out with this week is super supportive of my attempt to lose weight. And it is definitely super self-involved to think that they would have any opinion whatsoever on what I'm drinking with my meal. But, when everyone around me is drinking, I feel the need to join in.

So anyway, as a way to avoid the self-inflicted awkward situation, as well as help my diet in general and my budget, I'm just going to avoid eating out on weeknights. It's much easier to control myself when I'm home, so for now that's what I'm going to do.

I have to say, with all of the failure lack of success this week, I am very thankful that I gave myself a non-weight related goal. Tracking C25K and completing each workout makes me feel so accomplished. I feel especially great this week since W4D2 was apparently such a challenge on the dreadmill treadmill. My problem is that I try to maintain an unrealistic pace (12 min/mi) during the jogging phase because I can see the number at all times. I refuse to slow down until I'm too exhausted to continue, and then I can't finish. Moving outside to the road, there are no numbers to maintain, so I just go as fast or as slow as my body will let me. Once I hit the road, I was able to finish D2 and D3. And, since the weather has turned to spring already, it's nice to have a reason to be outside, and to get some sun.

This week, the running intervals are increased to 5 mins x3 with 3 min walking intervals. By this weekend, according to the program, I should be able to jog 2 miles or 20 mins without stopping. That's something I've literally never done in my entire life, but after this weekend, I feel like it's totally possible. So while the scale may not be moving in the right direction, and my will power is made of Jello, I did accomplish some great things this week with my running, and I'm really excited to keep going.

On top of that, I've also been keeping track of my miles, and I logged over 10 this week. It's just really nice to have something outside of weight loss to focus on and be proud of.

This is hard. Much harder than I anticipated. But I will win. I will be healthy. It will be awesome. On the plus side, Eric has been extremely supportive over the last two months. He comments almost daily about how toned I'm starting to look (mostly just my legs), and how happy I seem. We love each other, and are clearly attracted to each other, but it's no secret that we're kind of a chubby couple. Finding the right balance of support without being offensive is a serious skill that he's mastered (and I'm still trying to figure out). He gets an A+ this week.

Monday, March 19, 2012

PLAN: 3/19-3/25

Monday 3/19: C25K W5D1
Tuesday 3/20: Yoga
Wednesday 3/21: Rest
Thursday 3/22: C25K W5D2
Friday 3/23: Rest
Saturday 3/24: Rest
Sunday 3/25: C25K W5D3

1. No alcohol Monday-Thursday.
2. Walk dog AT LEAST 4 times for 15 minutes.
3. Lose 2 lbs.

Update: 3/12-3/18

Monday 3/12: C25K W4D2 Treadmill, but couldn't finish the last 5 minute jogging interval
Tuesday 3/13: Yoga Completed, and it was awesome; also attempted C25K W4D2 on treadmill again, still couldn't finish
Wednesday 3/14: C25K W4D3 Walked 2.8 miles
Thursday 3/15: Rest C25K W4D2 in neighborhood with Eric, completed!
Friday 3/16: C25K W5D1 Rest
Saturday 3/17: C25K W5D2 Rest
Sunday 3/18: Rest C25K W4D3 in neighborhood with Kate, completed!

1. No alcohol Monday-Friday Failed, mostly because we either went out for dinner or had company over, and it's weird not to drink in those situations. More thoughts on that later.
2. Walk Johnny 5x/week for more than 15 minutes Fail, it was more like 3-4 times for at least 10 minutes.
3. Lose 2 lbs Total fail, up 2 lbs.

More thoughts to come later. Even though I didn't succeed at my goals, I do feel better overall. But being back almost at my starting weight is a real kick in the ass and sucks A LOT.

Monday, March 12, 2012

More Notes on Last Week

I love running outside. I've been terrified of doing it for a long time. Hills! Cars! People! No sidewalk! I've tried running outside before, obviously, as I've done a few 5Ks, but I was never ever comfortable with it. Until now. I don't know what it is about my neighborhood, but I love running up and down the streets. It's so green, and the houses are all so different. It's nice to just be outside, even if I know I'm super slow and don't look anything like the career runners I usually pass.

C25K is going well. It's hard, but not one said it would be easy. I ran outside with Kate on Saturday, and I feel sort of like I had a breakthrough. I missed the first running prompt by a minute, but ran through the first walking break, which meant I ran (at probably a 13 min/mile pace) for 8.5 minutes. So even though our pace was pretty slow, I still feel like I'm making good progress and can see myself running 3 miles by summer.

I know a big part of weightloss is decreasing alcohol intake. I've been a pretty regular drinker for about 2 or 3 years now. I wouldn't say it was a super unhealthy amount, but I definitely like a glass of wine (or 2) or a beer with dinner. To be honest, out of all of my eating habits, that's probably the biggest contributing factor to my weight gain. Last week I skipped the spirits during the week, ate healthy, and saw my weight drop 2 lbs in 4 days.

Then the weekend hit, I drank several beers on Friday, and a ton of wine and whiskey on Saturday. Saturday's drinking led to binge eating and hangover cravings on Sunday. I saw my digestion take a plummet, and my weight was back up.

I don't want to quit drinking completely, just for the sake of weightloss. It's a social thing, and I like a cold beer with tacos, or a nice glass of red with pasta. But that's just it. I can't save up all my points over the week and go absolutely crazy on the weekends. It needs to be moderation in the truest sense of the word, not just my warped and bias fake definition. I've been able to control my food portions, which I thought would be the hardest aspect of losing weight. I've even been able to stay in control on the weekends. I just need to relay that willpower to the drinking.

I don't know what else to say. I'm proud of my runs and most of my eating. I had a few missteps that cost me some pounds, but overall I'm feeling really good, and that's really what this is all about. Obviously I don't want to gain any MORE weight this week, because then I'll be back to square one, but I don't mind the weight gain and the setback, and I won't let it get to me. It's my fault, and I'm pretty sure I know how to fix it.

PLAN: 3/12-3/18

Monday 3/12: C25K W4D2
Tuesday 3/13: Yoga
Wednesday 3/14: C25K W4D3
Thursday 3/15: Rest
Friday 3/16: C25K W5D1
Saturday 3/17: C25K W5D2
Sunday 3/18: Rest

1. No alcohol Monday-Friday
2. Walk Johnny 5x/week for more than 15 minutes
3. Lose 2 lbs

More thoughts on the last few weeks to come.

Update 3/5-3/11

Monday 3/5: C25K W2D3 Completed W3D2
Tuesday 3/6: C25K W3D2 Not completed, Rest
Wednesday 3/7: C25K W3D3 Completed W3D3
Thursday 3/8: 45-60 minute walk Completed W4D1
Friday 3/9: C25K W4D1 Not completed, rest
Saturday 3/10: Yoga and 45-60 minute walk Completed W4D1
Sunday 3/11: C25K W4D2 Not completed, Rest

1. No alcohol Monday-Friday Mostly accomplish. Did have 1 glass of wine on Thursday.
2. Track all food and drink Accomplished until Saturday night.
3. Walk Johnny 30 minutes 5x/week Fail, because I am a terrible pet owner. We walked 3 or 4 times for 10-15 minutes. Not enough.
4. Lose 2lbs Fail. Gained 2.6 lbs.

- I skipped redoing any C25K workouts and skipped straight back into W3 without too much of a problem. I forgot to set the incline on the treadmill on Monday, making it feel too easy.
- My W4D1 run was outside in my neighborhood with Kate. It was pretty slow, but very enjoyable. The hills were killer.
- I stuck to the diet all during the week, and had actually lost 2 lbs by Thursday.

- No yoga at all.
- Definitely not walking my dog enough.
- Weight gain. The issue here is that I saved all of my extra points during the week and binged this weekend. I'm sure that's what lead to the weight gain, even though the points were technically budgeted. I also think that digestion played an issue this weekend. I didn't drink any alcohol and ate mostly whole foods for the first few days, and then drank lots of beer, wine, and even some whiskey this weekend, and my stomach rebelled. Rethinking the weekend strategy for this week.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More Notes on Last Week

I've definitely been cooking more at home, and I'm careful about what I buy, but I haven't really had the opportunity to go grocery shopping since we were out of town. Still feeling pretty good about not eating too much junk and processed food though.

Last week I worked on C25K W3. I've been doing pretty well, but as expected, our trip to the mountains put a little kink in the plans. I'm not stupid, so this week I know I may need to do an extra workout or two to get up to speed (pun intended) for W4. Also, at least once a week I forget to set an incline on the treadmill so my workouts feel much easier than they should. All the more reason to run outside, I suppose.

The first part of last week I stuck to WW pretty closely. I didn't go over my points at all Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday I only went over by a handful. I worried about vacation. We anticipated being rained in which meant a) no physical activity and b) eating and drinking out of sheer boredom. I was happily wrong about no activity. Never underestimate the power of an intense living room dance party with your best friend. Also, we weren't rained in on Saturday and were able to walk around Highlands. As for the eating and drinking out of boredom, well yes. That happened. But you know the strangest thing? I didn't eat too much. In fact, come meal time I always ate just enough. I made chili on Friday and had only one bowl. We had tacos on Saturday and I had three. I didn't snack too much. I definitely drank quite a bit, but it was mostly light beer and a few glasses of wine. I'm not sure how, but as a result, overall I lost over 3 lbs last week. Which brings me to:

The weightloss right now is motivation enough to continue eating right. I've lost 5lbs so far (14 since this time last year). I've hit a number on the scale I haven't seen since Eric and I first started dating. I'm starting to recognize my face again. That's a huge thing. When you start putting on weight, and it's so slow at first, you don't realize the small changes that happen until one day you look in the mirror and a girl with a double chin and hollow dark eyes is looking back. I know some beautiful women who carry their weight well. I'm not saying a size 4, 6, or 8 is perfect for everyone. But the size I was a few short weeks ago, it didn't feel like me. This minor weightloss has really kicked me into overdrive. I miss my body. I wasn't thin in high school or even college (I fluctuated between size 10 and 14), but I was me, and I haven't been me in a while. It's hard to express really, but suffice it to say, I'm just feeling better.

Motivation to keep working out on the other hand - that's a different story. I need to give myself a goal to keep with the C25K plan. A few weeks ago Old Navy was having a sale on their jeans. $19.99 for any pair, and get a coupon to lock in that price through May. I tried to buy some jeans at the time, but they didn't have any in my size. I told the sales associate, and he gave me the coupons anyway, so I could try my luck later. My goal is to complete the C25K plan and run a 5K. Upon completing the 5K (running w/out stopping unless absolutely necessary), I can go directly to Old Navy and use my coupons. At that point, I may even be down a jean size or two. :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

PLAN: 3/5-3/11

Monday 3/5: C25K W2D3
Tuesday 3/6: C25K W3D2
Wednesday 3/7: C25K W3D3
Thursday 3/8: 45-60 minute walk
Friday 3/9: C25K W4D1
Saturday 3/10: Yoga and 45-60 minute walk
Sunday 3/11: C25K W4D2

1. No alcohol Monday-Friday
2. Track all food and drink
3. Walk Johnny 30 minutes 5x/week
4. Lose 2lbs

It's a pretty intense schedule, but I took some time off last week and need to build up my running intervals quickly to stay motivated. My friend, Jenn, told me about a free boot camp at Stone Mountain that I may try on Saturday instead of yoga. We'll see. Pretty excited to get back on schedule though.

Update: 2/27-3/4

Monday 2/27: C25K W3D1 Complete
Tuesday 2/28: Yoga & Optional 30 minute walk Not complete
Wednesday 2/29: C25K W3D2 Complete
Thursday 3/1 - Sunday 3/4: Hike/Interval Running/Walk, weather permitting Not complete

1. Complete scheduled workouts for Monday-Wednesday Mostly Successful
2. Track all food and drink FAIL
3. No alcohol Monday-Wednesday No alcohol Monday or Tuesday, but met Eric for drinks Wednesday
4. Maintain weight Lost 3.8lbs!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More Notes on Last Week

I pretty much cooked or ate leftovers every night last week. I started with an ambitious Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese (which is not terribly WW friendly, but in small portions it's alright - and it's definitely one of the tastiest things I've made in a while). Then I tried a clean eating Loaded Bowl. I messed up both recipes by forgetting ingredients, but I think they turned out alright. Then last night I made a Lasagna Soup which was absolutely delicious, WW friendly, and probably my new favorite comfort food.

Eric has been really supportive of my clean eating efforts. We went grocery shopping together and he didn't balk at the price of organic meats and cheeses. Neither of us thinks it's realistic to eat clean foods 100% of the time, but we both agree that there can't be a negative side effect of doing it as often as possible.

I went to yoga for the first time in months on Tuesday. It felt wonderful, and I was surprised at how well I did. I haven't lost all of my "flexibility" (like I ever had any), but there is and has always been room for improvement. The class itself was perfect and I left smiling. I was sore for a good two days afterward, but the good kind of sore where you can feel your body changing.

Lastly, I did a C25K workout on the road Sunday afternoon. I've always done my workouts on the treadmill because a) it makes me feel faster, b) it's easier to track stats like mileage and c) I'm not sure why but I feel more confident in the gym than in public. BUT. I think I'm going to make running on the road a weekly habit. Firstly, there are hills, which should be incorporated into my running anyway. And secondly, I really felt like my workout went by so much faster. It didn't, and in fact I was a good 30 seconds slower per mile, but the weather was perfect, the neighborhood is gorgeous, and it was just one of the most pleasant experiences I've ever had while working out. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to do days 1 and 2 of the week in the gym, and make a habit of doing day 3 on the road over the weekend. I'll plan it and look forward to it like distance runners do with their long runs.

ALSO! I've talked Eric into running with me. I don't think I'm ready for him quite yet, but in about 2 or 3 weeks I'll be at a point where I should be able to run 10 minutes at a time. As a couple, we've had a love/hate relationship with exercising together. Two years ago, when we first started dating, we used to hike together a lot. We never timed ourselves or worried about improving. We would just spend 2 hours on the trail at Stone Mountain talking. It was GREAT. And studies show that couples who exercise together form better bonds. Plus sides all around. But then I got the genius idea to start training for a 5K, and having never run before, I was really hard on myself. Like, REALLY negative. And it wasn't much fun for Eric to be around anymore. I was embarrassed about how out of shape I was, and I would get frustrated at the slightest misstep. God forbid my earphones fell out, or I accidentally hit stop on the treadmill resetting the stats.

I'm not training for anything now. I'm just losing weight, trying to get healthy, and I think that's something Eric can help me with, be supportive of, and reap the benefits at the same time. And he's already proven to be super amazing, telling my how proud he is every time I finish a workout (and especially if it's on a weekend and I did NOT want to get out of my PJs). He even said he'd run with my in NC over the weekend, just to help motivate me to do it.

So pretty much, even though I totally sabotaged my weight loss efforts with wine, I had a pretty positive week. And that's what I wanted to share.

Monday, February 27, 2012

PLAN: 2/27 - 3/4

Monday 2/27: C25K W3D1
Tuesday 2/28: Yoga & Optional 30 minute walk
Wednesday 2/29: C25K W3D2
Thursday 3/1 - Sunday 3/4: Hike/Interval Running/Walk, weather permitting

1. Complete scheduled workouts for Monday-Wednesday
2. Track all food and drink
3. No alcohol Monday-Wednesday
4. Maintain weight

As you can see, this week is a little different. We're going to North Carolina on Thursday. The weather forecast looks awful, but sometimes that kind of terrain is able to thwart bad weather. We'll see how it goes. I'm trying to keep my goals realistic for the weekend. I'll still track everything I eat and drink as a way to motivate me to not go too crazy, but the fact of the matter is, weekends like this are usually full of delicious food and massive quantities of alcohol. And bad weather in the past has lead to boredom eating and drinking. I just want to make sure I don't set myself too far back and that I am back in the gym on Monday afternoon.

Update: 2/19-2/26

Sunday 2/19: Walk 30-60 mins or 3 miles, Rest if it rains Rest
Monday 2/20: C25K W2D1 Complete
Tuesday 2/21: Yoga Complete
Wednesday 2/22: Walk 30-45 mins or 2.5 miles C25K W2D2 Complete
Thursday 2/23: C25K W2D2 Walk
Friday 2/24: Walk 30-60 mins or 3 miles, or rest if needed Rest
Saturday 2/25: C25K W2D3 Rest
Sunday 2/26: Not scheduled - C25K W2D3 Complete

1. Complete all C25K workouts Achieved
2. Complete at least two add'l workouts Achieved, Yoga and Walk
3. Track all food and drink Achieved
4. Stay within WW allowance Failed
5. Lose 1 lb Failed, gained 2.8 lbs

Total Miles: 7.76
Total Fitness Minutes: 206

So, firstly, I've decided to do updates on Mondays since that is my WW weigh in day. Secondly, I'm pretty proud of the numbers I put up this week considering how busy and stressed I've been. I can feel my body trying to make changes, too.

I'm sad to say I know exactly where I went off track this week. Wine and beer. I have this terrible, terrible habit of drinking a glass of wine or a beer while I cook, and then another while a eat. ...And then possibly another when Eric and I sit and watch TV before bed. I associate cooking with wine, and I always have. Unless it's taco night, and then it's a refreshing beer. It needs to stop. It's far too much alcohol for me anyway, but it's definitely throwing off my game. So this realization will be incorporated into my goals for this week. More on that in my next post.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.

I think this is my new mantra.

I lost weight this week. I don't know how, but I did.  I lost 4LBS! Holy balls, I lost 4 lbs. Let me explain why this had me running into the living room squealing like a little girl last night.

You see, I've tried a million times to get on the right track. I've started Couch to 5K probably 4 or 5 times. I've been on SparkPeople. I've tried yoga and cross training. I've set goals. I've tried portion control. Nothing worked. It was either too hard to stick to to begin with or I didn't see any results in the first few weeks (that's plural...weeks), and I'd give up.

So I joined Weight Watchers about a month ago. I did it for a week before a work trip and lost 2 lbs. When you're first starting out 2 lbs feels like a real achievement. Then I went out of town, and didn't bother to track anything for several weeks.

Then I realized that was a waste of money. I joined WW for 3 months, and I'm paying the fees. I'm also a member of a gym, and I'm paying for that as well. So last weekend I decided to go ahead and start following WW again, and try to head to the gym a few times. I want to be a person that can run 5 miles, no problem. I want to be a person who can train for a half marathon and feel that accomplishment when I cross the finish line. The only thing holding me back is my own lazy attitude.

"But wait!" you say. "Your update on Saturday said you failed miserably to stay within your allotted WW points. What gives? And side note, what does any of this have to do with your mantra?" I imagine you wondering. It's true, I spent my points and then some. BUT! I was spending them on mostly whole foods. Fruits, vegetables, yogurt, pasta and rice. I ate a few frozen meals for lunch, to be sure, but overall I ate fresh, unprocessed foods. I really think this fact has a lot to do with the reason I lost weight while exceeding my WW points (by a ridiculous amount, seriously).

So, my sentiments yesterday about wanting to eat more whole foods and less processed and pesticide riddled foods - definitely getting reinforced today.  And that minor victory - seeing the scale go down so quickly - actually makes me excited to get to the gym, to stay on track, to eat right. If I can see such a significant change in such a short amount of time by only barely following the guidelines, imagine what will happen when I hunker down and do it correctly.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Whole Foods?

I'm considering moving towards a whole food diet.  I've heard nothing but good things about about it, from the health benefits, to enjoying the taste of food better. The only negative I've heard is that it can be more expensive, but I imagine since it will involve cooking and eating at home more, it won't be a problem budget-wise.

I'm not the kind of person to go "all-in" on something. I've learned that about myself over the years. It takes time to gradually form a habit, but I'm the kind of person that has to seriously ease into it.

Here are a few resources I'm looking into.
Clean Eating Magazine
100 Days of Real Food Blog
100 Days Recipes
NHerShoes 100 Day Challenge

I'm also not a wasteful person (or at least, I try not to be). I have plenty of processed food in my refrigerator and pantry that I need to eat, but I'm going to slowly introduce more and more fresh fruits and vegetables, and hopefully make a transition over the next month or two. We'll see. It might be too hard. I'm a pretty lazy person, and if preparation becomes too much of a hassle, I can see myself caving and just ordering take out.

I also can't imagine doing this whole hog. There's family sushi nights, mom's steak and cheesy cauliflower, and Taco Tuesdays to consider. But even making a moderate change has to be a good idea, right?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Plan: 2/19-2/25

Sunday 2/19: Walk 30-60 mins or 3 miles, Rest if it rains
Monday 2/20: C25K W2D1
Tuesday 2/21: Yoga
Wednesday 2/22: Walk 30-45 mins or 2.5 miles
Thursday 2/23: C25K W2D2
Friday 2/24: Walk 30-60 mins or 3 miles, or rest if needed
Saturday 2/25: C25K W2D3

1. Complete all C25K workouts
2. Complete at least two add'l workouts
3. Track all food and drink
4. Stay within WW allowance
5. Lose 1 lb

UPDATE: 2/12-2/18


Wednesday 2/15: Gym - C25K W1D1
Thursday 2/16: Gym - C25K W1D2
Saturday 2/18: Gym - C25K W1D3

1. Complete 3 workouts
2. Track all food and drink
3. Lose 1 lb


Wednesday 2/15: Gym - C25K W1D1 Completed
Thursday 2/16: Gym - C25K W1D2 Completed
Saturday 2/18: Gym - C25K W1D3 Completed

1. Complete 3 workouts Achieved
2. Track all food and drink Achieved, but the results were horrendous
3. Lose 1 lb  Check back on Monday Lost 4 lbs, bitches!

Monday, February 13, 2012

PLAN: 2/12 - 2/18

Wednesday 2/15: Gym - C25K W1D1
Thursday 2/16: Gym - C25K W1D2
Saturday 2/18: Gym - C25K W1D3

1. Complete 3 workouts
2. Track all food and drink
3. Lose 1 lb