Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: 3 Mile Run Saved by 6 Year Old!

It seems that all of my posts start off the same way recently: Didn't feel like running, almost skipped my run, close call, etc. Today was no exception. After I picked up my child from her after school care, I said "So, would you rather go to the gym tonight or tomorrow?" And, as you may have guessed by now, her answer was "I would prefer to go tonight". So while my mind may allow me to let my body down by missing a run, it appears that it will not allow me to let my child down. She likes going to childcare at the gym.

It's not that I don't want to run. It is that I am dead tired by the time I can run. I wake up at 5:30 a.m. just to get DD and I ready to get to school and to the train respectively. Then I am off to work for the day and back on the train, only to head to my van and pick up the child from after school care. By the time I even get close to my house it is already 5:45 p.m. and neither of us have had any dinner. On running nights, I have to stop at home, get the child a snack, get my clothes and gear on, and then go to the gym. By the time I hit the track it is 6:30 p.m., and then we do not get home until about 7:20 p.m. Finally dinner, homework, bedtime for child, chores, and then I finally throw myself into bed around 10:30 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. I am just so tired all of the time from this crazy schedule day after day.

But it could be worse because at least I am healthy enough to keep it up. I remember all too clearly a period of four and a half years where I was too sick to leave my house for anything that was not absolutely required to take care of my child and pay my bills. I'll take this crazy schedule with arms wide open any day!

Now for my typical running recap: Good run, and very enjoyable. It took me awhile to gather my speed and my warm-up walk was soooooo slow, but then it looks like I had one of my best times at the mile mark, and another very good one at the two mile mark. So my running pace improved even though I thought I was having a leisurely run because my heart rate was not as high as usual and my perceived exertion was not too high.

Thank you, beautiful child, for kicking your mommy's behind to the gym tonight... I needed it!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I Think I Can't, I Think I Can

Today was my W5D3 run on OHR, and I ran for 38 minutes. Total workout with warm-up and cool-down was 48 minutes, and per my HRM I burned 699 calories during my workout.

It was a hard one for me. My heart rate was quite a bit higher than usual, and was even in the 180s for about 1/3 of the run. My pace turned out to be a good one, though, so that may be part of the reason for the increased heart rate.

I also ran into some Jedi mind trick stuff, though, and not necessarily in positive way at first. Just 10 minutes into the 38 minute run, I started having these "can't do it today" thoughts. I was looking at the time on my watch far too much, and it seemed to be crawling by so slowly.

Now 38 minutes isn't that much more than the 30 minutes that I have been running for almost six weeks now, but for some reason it seemed like hours longer today. My perceived exertion was much greater than usual today, but I found that the third mile in my run was actually at a faster pace than my second mile... so I did get a "second wind" in there.

When I finished the run, I felt great! It was one of those runner's high days post run, and I was proud that I ignored my mental banter and just did what I set out to do. It was a good run. :-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

What Have I Done???

I received an email at work about the formation of our annual company team for the Hustle Up the Hancock event in Chicago. It consists of a 94-floor stair climb in a landmark Chicago building, and is sponsored by the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago.

And I joined the team! OMGoodness! 94 floors of stairs! Craziness!

I now have about 5 months to prepare for the event, and I hope to lose a lot of my weight before that so that I have less to hustle up the stairs. Actually, I think it is a good thing for me to sign up for because I think it will be a different type of physical challenge for me, and I will get to know some of my fellow co-workers a bit better in the process. It will also keep me more focused on my running and weight loss through the holiday season because it will come upon me very shortly after them.

So Hancock, here I come! I am gonna conquer those stairs!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

If My Nike+ Doesn't Log My Run...

does it still count?!?

AHHHHHH... I forgot the receiver device that plugs into my iPod for my Nike+, and I didn't get credit! I am so upset about this because I was going to break the 100 mile mark with this run, and now I have to wait until Saturday.

You can laugh, but when I discovered this just as I started walking the track, I almost turned around and went home and rescheduled my run for tomorrow night! How crazy is that?! Then I realized that the real credit I need for each run is the credit from my body, and I took it as an opportunity to enjoy myself. Which I did. :-)

It's funny how things can get so mixed up. I love me some metrics and numbers and graphs and charts that show my progress. I am an excellent program follower because I like to check off my progress against a plan. But it seems as if I almost missed the mark on why I am really doing these runs. In all honesty, my disappointment only lasted for a minute or so and then I adjusted my attitude, laughed at my near miss at skipping my run, and just did it. Thanks, Nike!

After my run, I had to go to my daughter's new school and sign her up for Daisies. I had wanted to go home and change first, but my trip to and from the gym took a little longer than expected and I realized I would be late if I did so. So I went to her school with all of the other mothers in their sweat-free, non-workout clothing while I was in my gym clothes and doused in sweat. I figure that those who judged me would be the jealous ones because those who worked out would understand. Time is limited when you are a single parent with a full-time job, and that is that.

So now I am watching the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy, trying to figure out what to have for dinner, and feeling happy that I didn't skip my run for a silly gadget. You are right, Delane... this is one run that I will not regret because I DID IT.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Down in the Depths

One thing that drives me CRAZY is when people do not respect the lane designations on a crowded track. There is a reason that there are Walk, Jog, and Run lanes, and I swear that I am going to get a cattle prod and police the track soon if these jocks (read: jerks) don't start following the rules and stop interfering with my run enjoyment. Get the eff out of my personal space!

Can you tell that I had a crappy day??? Can you say BITCH?

Okay, so my run went pretty well. This was W5D1 (oh my gosh, I am almost half way done with the One Hour Runner program!!!), and so it was my typical 30 minute run. Thursday's run will be 32 minutes, and then on Saturday I will run for 38 minutes. It's definitely a doable schedule this week.

My eating has been erratic this week. We have vendors visiting from overseas at work, and thus I have been eating some high calorie food that I have typically been avoiding for a couple of months. I am also feeling wildly bloated, and do not want to go anywhere NEAR the scale for fear of tumbling into a massively depressed state when I see the reading on it.

And, on that note, I am now going to watch The Biggest Loser on my DVR and get some motivation for the rest of the week! Onward and downward!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


My car is acting up. It overheated on August 11th as I was bringing my daughter home from the hospital after surgery. My brother came to my rescue with engine coolant, and it has been pretty much fine since then. Until it overheated again earlier this week, and only went back to normal when I turned the air conditioning off. No problem. But then on Friday night as I was taking my child home from school, it overheated for no reason (air off, had only been running for about 5 minutes, not unusually hot outside, and I was driving at low speeds). I stopped at the store immediately and bought some coolant, filled up the tank, and thought the problem would go away. No luck... I was overheating again by the time I pulled into my garage 10 minutes later.

So, I felt trapped this morning. Afraid to drive my car because of the issue, but unable to afford the repair (which is a leak in my water pump, diagnosed two weeks ago at the car dealership). And when I felt trapped, I felt depressed. And the house is messy and that depressed me even more. Add to that no healthy food in the house because I need to do my grocery shopping this weekend, and a bad situation was brewing.

I started eating junk. Craving DD's frosted strawberry pop tarts. I was sitting around thinking about food, and not anything calorie-friendly. I was supposed to go to the gym to do W4D3 of OHR, but I was crabby and feeling trapped and having gastro-intestinal issues from all of the junk that I ate today. I saw a binge staring me in the face as I visited my cabinets and fridge over and over again just looking for trouble.

So I decided to get my workout clothes on, get in the car, and roll the dice with overheating. I figured that I could pull over and let it cool off midway there if need be because the gym is only about 2 miles away. And off we went.

The car made it there without overheating, so one good thing happened for the day! Then I hit the track, and did I ever feel ungainly. My right knee was hurting something fierce, and my left calf was very sore with each stride (why????). I could not get into a good rhythm, and felt like my pace must have been as slow as molasses by all of the people lapping me. Add to that the fact that this was my first 35 minute run after 4+ weeks of 30 minute runs, and things were not looking good for the run.

About 15 minutes into my 35 minute run, I was really doubting that I could finish all 35 minutes. I was even questioning 30 minutes, and was feeling bad thinking that this would be my first run since starting 12 weeks ago that I did not finish as planned. Then I remembered something that I have been hearing in the Inside Out Weight Loss podcasts that I have been listening to on the way home from work each day: Set Your Intention. So I set my intention for the rest of the run, that I would enjoy the rest of the run any way that it turned out.

And then I finished the full 35 minutes! Not every minute was enjoyable, but I came away with a sense of accomplishment and a pleasant memory of the run. And the biggest surprise of them all was that my pace was the best it has been in a couple of weeks! I deem this run a success. :-)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Taking It to the Next Level

I believe that my running will continue to improve as I continue to lose weight. And I am certain that it will be easier on my body to run at a lighter weight. That being said, I have lost about 20 pounds in the last three months which I attribute both to beginning a running program and tracking my calories on The Daily Plate. But I have been tossing around the idea of trying to speed up the loss a bit by trying a slow carb diet like the one discussed here.

Now I do not believe that I will really lose at the rate discussed in the title, but I think that it will speed up my losses because I find that I am eating so very many sweetened foods on a regular basis. Lower calorie, yes, but not necessarily healthy.

When I first started tossing around the idea last month, I told myself that I would begin the program after my first 5K on 9/27 (which has subsequently been canceled). Now I am trying to figure out if I can really do it with my lifestyle and eating patterns (and reliance on convenience foods LOL).

If I decide to give it a shot, I will treat it as an experiment and document my experience and progress here. I'm going to try to make a plan this weekend, and I'll make a decision by Monday. No more sitting on the fence!

As for my run, it was fine. W4D2 of OHR, so my next run takes me to 35 minutes after all of these 30 minute runs. I am looking forward to the progression again. One interesting note is that, sometime during my next three runs, I will surpass 100 miles logged with my Nike+ since I started using it on 7/7. That is pretty amazing to me, going from NOTHING to that milestone. I just love seeing the numbers pile up!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pleasant Run

It really was a pleasant run! I finished the W4D1 run of OHR this evening, and I enjoyed it. I ran a little slower than usual, and my mind wandered the whole time about a handsome man at my office... and I basically had a 30 minute daydream. I had a smile on my face for most of the run (of course, it was an open-mouthed smile since I was breathing through it at the time). Can't beat that!

While I run I always tell myself to run my own run and not pay attention to the folks on the track who are lapping me, but that is so hard for me to do. Today there was another woman who came on the track when I was about 25 minutes into my 30 minute run, and she lapped me pretty quickly. Now, she looked quite a bit younger and lighter than I, but was by no means in monster fit shape, so when she lapped me again for the second time in five minutes I started to feel a bit pissy.

Then it was time for my cool-down walk, and as I rounded the corner I saw that she was no longer running but was now walking. I tried not to feel a bit relieved because I thought to myself "Sure, I could run that fast for five minutes, but could she run even at my slow rate for thirty?" I know that I should focus on myself and my progress, but sometimes it is nice to know that there are even fit people who might not be able to run for 30 minutes straight.

At least I have gained endurance, even if speed continues to evade me!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On To Week Four, and Not a Minute Too Soon!

I just finished the last Week 3 run of OHR, and I am ready for Week 4! I am actually looking forward to the challenge of increasing my time since I just finished 4 weeks of 30 minute (30 minute, 30 minute, always 30 minute) runs. I even ran 31 minutes today just to mix it up a bit!

That's ironic, actually, because just a couple of months ago (less, actually) I found it hard to believe that I would even be able to run for 30 minutes. It seemed like a dream. And now I am feeling stagnant at it and hoping to move closer to my 60 minute goal. It just goes to show that goals are good things and they can help us reach further than we think is possible. Had you told me three months ago that I would be seven weeks away from running for an hour straight, I would have laughed at you. Yet now that is my reality, and I am even thinking about training for a half marathon next fall! And then... who knows where I will go (or, should I say, how far I will go)?

I'm all signed up for the Trick or Treat Trot 5K on 10/26, but I am a little nervous about it because I have not run in a race for 10 years! Is it okay to wear my iPod? Will I be the slowest one there? Will I finish? All of the fears coming back, but hopefully it will be great and I will be inspired to run more. The good news is that my friend, Delane, and my sister-in-law, Aimee, will also be running it, so I do not have to face this first one alone. :-)

That's all for now. It was a good run, and I am proud that I braved the rain to make it to the gym despite two detours along the way due to road closures for water on the road. I just need to keep my focus, even during the times when I am not all there. And a shout out to Carl, who helped me remember that today. :-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

What is Happening with Me?

Today I completed W3D2 of OHR. I don't feel like I have been running for over 10 weeks anymore. It's almost like I lost my focus and enthusiasm, and I am now finding it difficult to get myself out for a run.

I have been resting two days between my runs lately because my schedule has been crazy with my daughter starting school. Maybe I need to run every other day as much as possible in order to keep it alive in my mind. I just don't know... I am grasping at straws, really.

All I can do is keep myself on plan and hope this funk passes quickly because I really liked being excited about running. It gave me something positive to focus on, and I felt like I was achieving something and improving myself with every run.

The run itself wasn't bad... it was a mellow run and I did enjoy it. But my knees hurt and my muscles ached, and for no real reason.

All I can do is keep running and move past this, just like I move past the aches and pains that I feel at the beginning of my runs. Keep running running, keep running running, keep running running... just like the Black Eyed Peas sing to me about 15 minutes into each of my runs. ;-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bloody Run

No... I'm not getting all British on you... it literally was a bloody run. I noticed the pain about 20 minutes into the run and had a pretty good idea that one of my toenails was cutting into the toe next to it. And it just kept getting worse, but I ran through it. When I got home and took my shoe off, there was the evidence bleeding all the way through my thick running sock. Ouch.

I did W3D1 of OHR tonight. Tonight's run was not a great one. Not even a good one. It was just one of the runs that you finish and put behind you, chalking it up to a bad day. Frankly, I felt like I had never even started running for the past two days, like it was a totally foreign concept, and I was kind of afraid to go do my run tonight because it seemed surreal to think that I was going to run for 30 minutes. I don't know what was up with that, but it is like I totally disassociated myself from running in the span of two days since my last run.

But I hit the track and did my best... and now I really am going to put it behind me and look forward to better days. This wasn't one of them. Enough said.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Let's Get It Started

This was the workout that almost wasn't! I really had to twist my own arm to get to the gym for my run after sitting in the car dealership for 2 1/2 hours this morning and developing the beginnings of a migraine. But I went and got it done. Neither my best nor my worst run, but at least I finished it.

Next week is Week 3 of OHR, and the last week of all 30 minute runs. I certainly am seeing aerobic improvements in the early parts of my run, and my overall heart rate is down about 10 BPM from where it was at the end of the C25K program.

Here's to more inspiring runs for a more inspired runner in the future. And now I am going to enjoy my ice cream (okay, I admit it... I bribed myself with food in order to get off my lazy ass and run today... so what?!?). ;-)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Goes to Show You Never Can Tell

I did not want to run today. TOM showed up 4 days early this morning (what is up with THAT?!?), and I felt like Hades. I was trying to think of some way to give myself an out that wouldn't make me feel like a loser. I was trying to figure out a way to do my run tomorrow (no way... it's Parents' Night at DD's school) or Friday after work (again, no go because it is DD's back to school dinner picnic). So I came home, threw on my workout clothes, and hit the track.

Lo and behold, I had one of my best runs yet! Granted, my pace was a little slower than my past few workouts, but my heart rate was also about 10 BPM slower than usual and I felt so much more comfortable with the run. I felt like I could have gone for far more than 30 minutes! And I actually felt more energetic afterwards than when I started running. Who would have thought???

So, W2D2 of OHR is done, and I plan to do W2D3 on Saturday. The lesson for today is: Do, Even When You Do Not Feel Like Doing. I'm glad I didn't miss this run because it gave me hope that I can keep going and that I will become a one hour runner in the future.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The DOR Exists for a Reason!

Yesterday I did some speed work on my DOR, and today I paid the price. My knee was SCREAMING as soon as I started today's run, and it is still kind of achy even after a couple of hours.

Lesson learned... Respect the Day of Rest. My next run isn't until Thursday, so I am going to do only low impact things until then as my in-between workouts.

On a sad note, my first 5K (the PR Charity Classic scheduled for 9/27) was canceled this afternoon. It appears that the race route is part of a road construction area, and the city will not commit to having it done in time for the race. Oddly enough, I was really looking forward to it and didn't realize how much until I got the bad news email today.

So, my first race will be the Trick or Treat Trot 5K on 10/26. I should be nearing the end of the One Hour Runner program by that time, so hopefully my performance will be even better than it would be at the end of this month.

As I mentioned, W2D2 of OHR is scheduled for Thursday... but now that I think about it I will not be able to do it that night because of Parents' Night at my daughter's school. Shoot. So I am going to have to run on Wednesday and lose one of those rest days. But I am glad that I realized this now so that I did not totally blow my training for this week!