Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Excuses

Let's see, how many excuses can I come up with in one day?

Achilles aches
Allergy attack
Nightmares last night so poor sleep
Lower Back aches
Hamstrings feel tight
Weird pulling in my back
PMS, leading to
Tatas hurt
Toe feels funny
Big toe joint hurts
Too hot out
Eyes sensitive to sun
Too slow
Ran out of water
... is that enough?

Despite all that I did 5 miles, maybe 5.1. In 1:20, I might add, despite doing the first 2 in very fast time (for me.) I felt great for the frst half-hour, but truly lost it in mile 3 and 4, walked more than I ran, and didn't get it back together til the last mile. But I have to really push myself now to run farther, faster nad more often if this half-marathon is going to happen. November seems far away now, but if we hit August and September and I haven't doubled the mileage I'm doing now, I won't make it. Will a 5 mile run someday seem short and easy? Will I EVER get faster?

Lisa said something interesting in response to my post about my most recent race. I had grumbled that my time was slower than an earlier race, and she said " most of your races won't be your fastest, or your slowest." That sounds right, of course, but I'm still at such an early stage of my running career (I've only been running regularly for 2 years) that I believe I should be getting faster - I can't belie that a 12+ minute pace for a 5K is going to be my average over time!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bridge Run - done

Another 5k this morning. The alarm was set for six, but I was awake by 5:15. (That wasn't the earliest I'd woken up this week - I was roused at 3am by the local Sheriff a few days ago, when there was a break-in at work!) It was a lovely cool misty morning, and after stopping to photograph a baby great horned owl I met my Marathon project peeps and off we went.

This wasn't the world's best organized race - it started late (on a day that got hotter by the second) and the organizers didn't have bullhorns so you had to just notice when people were gathering or moving around), there was nobody standing at the miles so you couldn't tell your pace (I don't have a Garmin) and no water at the finish - you had to trudge up a hill and around the corner and then ask around to find out where it was. But there were lots of volunteers (and if you shouted out to them they'd point you in the right direction, otherwise they'd just kind of stare at you) and it was a nice course, following the Hudson river for a while. Somewhat hilly but not as bad as the last one we did. I struggled through - did much worse than I thought I *should* - 41 minutes, compared to 38 at the first one, and 43 last time. I really think I ought to be getting faster by now!

Weight Watchers update: hanging in there. First "official" i.e. recorded weigh-in on Monday, and if all goes well tomorrow I'll definitely have a 2 pound loss, maybe even 3. Looking forward to reading and implementing the Beck Diet Solution, which is all about how to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy principles to follow whatever diet one chooses.

One thing I noticed this week: I can't let myself get too hungry and then put myself in the way of temptation - I went semi-crazy at a Mexican restaurant on Friday. I've been great otherwise, but confronted with chips and nachos and stuff, on a day when I've had literally 3 hours' sleep and didn't compensate with overeating, I was helpless.

PS I'll be checking Ironman Live all day tomorrow to see how GeekGrl, Sweet Baboo and the rest of the triathlon bloggers are doing at Ironman Couer D'Alene - they are all champions!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day Four on Weight Watchers

What an eye opener! I used up my points FAST the first few days, eating much less than I normally do. Those little snacks add up really quickly. It took a few days to get the hang of it, and I've used up every activity point and all the allotted optional weekly points (I'm dividing the 35 evenly into 7 days for now) but I am getting into the swing now. The scale is starting to move and I am very optimistic. I'm hungryish, but I feel I can work with this way of eating and the structure and limits are better for me right now than South Beach or some self-devised plan. And the points are dead easy to track.

The new tools online are almost perfect - they work really well and have lots of gadgets and gizmos. Two comlaints: they don't give you a fat/carb/protein breakdown like on FitDay, and I tink the points values they assign to running ar bogus. EVERYONE (almost) does it this way: the amount of calories you burn is supposed to be related to how fast you go - so a 9 minute mile burns more than a 10 minute mile. To me that makes no sense - if I' m running AS FAST AS I CAN, and it's only an 11:30 mile, surely that burns more calories than for someone else who is doing 10 minute mile but it's a comfortable jog for them. Right? I've seen one or two sites that measure by miles covered - that seems a little better, but I think the best way is via effort. I don't know how to do that in the WW etools. Also their estimate for how many calories burned by swimming doesnt' seem to match up with other sites.

Small beefs though - in general I' m very pleased with the whole program and glad I finally took the plunge.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I've done it.

This blog is about to get really, really boring.
Here's what I'm going to do about my energy issues.
- get back to my multivitamins
- reduce caffeine
- practice relaxation and meditation, to help me sleep better, reduce anxiety
all of which I hope will reduce the amount of cortisol zooming around in my body, making it easier to control my eating, which I will further structure as I:
- join weight watchers and lose 20 pounds by Labor Day. That is very ambitious, I know. And to do it, I will have to be very obsessed, and I will blog way too often about all the little details of what I eat and don't eat. It's the only way.

But I plunked down my SIXTY-FIVE dollars for the three-month plan, so it's official. I am on Weight Watchers as of today.

Thanks, IronMisty, for the inspiration!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fake it til you make it?

If I keep on trudging - keep at those 2 or 3 or 4 mile runs, keep showing up at the pool and spinning class, will I start getting better at this? Will it start being more fun? I haven't had a good run in weeks - I'm hot, I'm tired, I'm achy or hurting, I'm just out of gas, all the time. I got nothin'. I walked the last mile of today's 4-miler. I kept trying to fake it - get that chi running feeling of freedom and fluidity, but I just couldn't sustain it. Do I need vitamins? WHAT can I do to get stronger?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Another day, another race

This one was supposed to be a 10k, but I'm just not there yet. If it hadn't been a 95 degree day (over 8o already when we started) I might have tried it anyway, but it was brutally hot and the course was quite hilly so I"m glad I stuck with the 5. As it was, I took five more minutes than I had in the race a few weeks ago - a 43 minute finish. WALKERS finished ahead of me. At one point I sat down for a moment in the shade, but a policeman directing traffic teased me. I started to tease him back, sayinjg "you're not out here running" but he pointed out that I wasn't out there in a heavy blue uniform protecting the public. Point taken - I carried on. It was another Marathon Project event - only 2 kids from our group went (the 2 best boys) - one placed 3rd overall and 1st in his age group, the other was the youngest kid in his age group so just missed placing but did very well. My colleague ran too but hadn't slept well nor eaten breakfast so she lost it after the first mile - she walked in and then felt horrible.

After the race, I went back and spent the rest of the day in the hot sun - now I'm sweating in front of a puny fan because I'm too lazy to set up the air conditioner. Maybe my husband will do it tomorrow - the weather is only supposed to get worse!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Next Generation

Today my daughter and I planned the perfect day. It was already perfect in that we had nothing, absolutely nothing, planned - no meetings, no lessons, no playdates or birthday parties. No obligations at all. Plus, even better for her, her big sister was away at a sleepover so she had all the attention from me. So we made a list in the morning of all the things we could think of to do, and then each prioritized them - first we'd do her number 1 thing, then mine, then her number 2, etc. To my amazement, she wanted to run with me. (She is a weird child - she also wanted to make my bed and clean out my car, both of which we did!) In the late afternoon we finally got to that part of the list, and off we went. She has such a natural stride - she practically kicks her butt with every step. We decided to go to a particular landmark, the town's clock tower, that is exactly 1/2 mile from our house, and back. She ran the whole way, took a short break, and ran most of the way back. Did I mention, she just turned SIX? We had such fun, and she wants to go again. Now I just wish I could teach her to ride her two-wheeler without training wheels - then we could all ride together on the rail trail. Lessons were on today's agenda too, and that did NOT go well!

The Rule of Threes Rule

Only now I recognize it, know it for what it is, and what kind of number it's trying to play on my mind, and I can counteract.

The last time I ran was Wednesday, which was an awful workout. Today is Sunday, which is let's see thursday-friday-saturday FOUR days without a workout. (Why? I wanted to rest, didn't make good cross-training plans, started to slide into a bad-me lazy-me why-bother mindset.) Sunday mornings my local gym has been having bike rides at 8:30am - they started a couple months ago but today was the VERY first Sunday when I thought I could go. But, I've been very anxious about riding my bike on the road (it's that 1983 road bike I got last year - drop handlebars, stem shifters) - and I hadn't installed a water bottle holder or anything else. So I lay in bed this morning for at least an hour wondering whether I'd make myself get up and go, or not. Luckily my daughter had come into bed with me and was tossing and turning and poking me (she slides her hands and feet under my body, and then just when I start to fall asleep again, she takes them out and then pokes them into a new spot. They should try it at Guantanamo Bay - it's foolproof.) While lying there not sleeping, the narrative in my head was: I can't do it, it's going to be too hard, I can't do the hills, I don't know where all my stuff is, I can't shift, I can't brake, it will hurt, I'm lazy, blah blah blah. But I also had another little voice saying, you've been here before. You know what it feels like to face down the voices, do the thing you think you cannot do (thanks Eleanor) and come home sweaty and tired and happy. So I got up, scrambled all the stuff together, and got to the gym just on time.

Nobody was there.

I sat there for a while, but by then I knew I was going riding. In fact I was glad because I could kind of split the difference - get the feel of riding on the road without having to commit to a 10 or 20 mile ride. So I went back and forth from the gym to my house (and a little farther) for about 20 minutes and learned the following interesting facts:

I like the bent over position, mostly. My legs and back like it a lot - I had dramatically more power and it didn't feel like my back would get achy even after some time.
I like how light the bike is - it's really noticeable on the hills.
The skinny tires were comfortable even on rough roads.

On the other hand,
Shifting is REALLY hard - the shifters take some oomph to move, and it's hard to shift my weight around to reach them, especially during the moments you most need to shift - going up or down a hill.
The biggest problem is my shoulders and wrists. It's a LOT of pressure on them. I guess I need to get some padded gloves, and do some little stretch and strengthen exercises. Because I need to cross train, I love to be out there on the bike, and this is the bike I have now.

It wasn't really a workout though - too short - so I'll do a run later too.