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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Weekly Results: 6/20-26

Exercise:

  • Monday - 2 miles (speed work intervals) and Kettle Fit
  • Tuesday - Yoga, Abs class, and Turbo Kick
  • Wednesday - 5k tempo run and Zumba
  • Thursday - Spin and Turbo Kick
  • Friday - 45 min on Elliptical
  • Saturday - 5k race (30:37)
  • Sunday - Rest day
Diet/Weight:
Diet was pretty good. I had gone back down to 182.6 which is my low weight thus far. But I haven't yet checked it for the start of this week. Right now I'm feeing anti-scale. I had an eating frenzy Tuesday night. My stomach was a bottomless pit. Must be hormonal as I'm not experiencing any other emotional eating issues right now.

I bought my second pair of size 8 pants - this time trouser slacks for work. They're a little tight in the waist and thighs but not so much that they're obscene. It just shows how much better the cross training has been for me in terms of body composition because I previously was just barely fitting into tight size 10's when I was this weight 6 years ago.

This Week:

  • Monday: traveling, ended up having an extra rest day
  • Tuesday: Yoga, meant to add another cardio exercise to this but never got around to it
  • Wednesday: Weights plus 2 mile intervals and Zumba
  • Thursday: Spin
  • Friday: TRX and elliptical
  • Saturday: Zumba
  • Sunday: 3-4 mile interval run
On Monday I picked my kids and husband up from Atlanta's airport. They have been gone for the past month visiting his family. That's why I was able to tack on all the extra classes for the past few weeks - no one had any demands on my time (besides work of course). So this week my workout schedule might be less than what I have listed above. It will depend on how they're adapting to the time change again (they travelled internationally) and our family schedule. 

The TRX class is new to me. They just started offering it at our rec center but I haven't been able to fit the class in yet since it conflicts with other classes I enjoy. But now they're offering it on Friday in place of Friday's Kettle Fit. I've heard that it gets a little crowded in that class so I'm going to check it out and then see if it's something I'll add onto my regular rotation. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Doughboy Challenge 5k - 2016


Alternate blog post title: 90% humidity and no wind.

But it was overcast - small miracles. Still lots of sweat (as you'll see later when I force Pop-N-Fresh to stand by me).

The really nice thing about local 5k's is that you don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to prepare for them. It almost felt too easy to walk out of the door this morning without a bag full of crap to bring with me. I ate a PowerBar for my pre-race breakfast and tried to drink water. I saved the coffee for post race. I had done packet pick up the day before so I was ready just to roll up to the start line and go. I still got to the race area a bit early since I didn't want to deal with all the closed roads.

Last year I was blown away by the swag bag for this race. This year I was disappointed. Still free Pillsbury products but they put 5 boxes of Dora Fruit Snacks in along with a few handfuls of "fruit by the foot" type snack packs. While my kids will be happy I wanted more of those awesome Almond Dark Chocolate Nut Crisp Bars. Or other snacky goodness.

Oh well.

And I got my best race number yet: #2. I don't know if it's because I'm early in the alphabet or if I was seriously the second one to register for this thing - I did register very very early so it's possible.


Anyway, I did my pre-race "should I be running around to warm up?" pondering to which, as always, I answered, "nope" and waited for 7:30 to finally hit. I was glad I hit the port-a-potties when I did because soon the line stretched out for quite a while (my experience today in them was not as traumatic as last week).

Let's do this.

They mark this race by each kilometer rather than by mile. So I set my hopes on maintaining 6 minutes per kilometer to see if I could get a sub 30. I still wasn't hopeful because of the weather but my body felt good going into the race. Last year when I did this my leg cramped up right at the 1st K marker and that was awful. Thankfully - no such issues this year.
  • 1st K: hit it in about 5:30. Took a 30 second walking break since I knew I was going too fast
  • 2nd K: was going to hit it in about 5 minutes so I took another walking break - I was really feeling it now.
  • 3rd K: struggle, struggle, struggle. I made myself keep running but I was going slower. Still managed to get to 3K in just under 18 minutes (overall)
  • 4th K: Got to this one around 24:10 and was spent. Still possible to get under 30 minutes but not probable.
  • Finish: Realized that I couldn't up my pace to get under 30 but I was running under 10 minute miles so I was proud of myself for that. Hit my watch at 30:37. Official results haven't been posted yet and I didn't look at the print-outs post race.

So no 5k PR but the best I've done in a 5k for a long time. I felt wrecked as I crossed the finish line. It took me a few minutes of pacing around to get back to normal.  There was a friend there that I didn't go up and say hi to because I was afraid of passing out or throwing up if I tried to stop and talk. I eventually felt better and walked around the farmer's market to get some eggplants and peaches. This was the first pic I tried to take after taking my phone out of its arm holder - it shows how foggy my lens got from the humidity. Ha!


I was heading out after that because I also had to go into work by 9:30 and needed to shower first. But then I realized that I needed my obligatory photo with the Pillsbury characters. I also got half a bagel because my stomach could think about food again.

Here I am last summer with Pop N Fresh:
I had already lost at least 25 pounds in this picture.

But here I am now:
Sorry buddy I know I'm super sweaty and gross - I hope you're not dying in there.
After surviving work I then treated myself to a Blizzard. Because it's not all about losing weight and good diet choices... :)


Next race is 4 on the 4th (four miles on the 4th of July of course). I don't think I'll "race" this one but will rather do a walk/run option since it starts at 8:30 in the morning and will still be gross hot/humid. So that puts my next real race over Labor Day weekend when I do the 10k.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I'm too delicate for this!

At 8:40 this morning the temp outside is 85F and it feels like 92 (humidity is at 66%). The high today will be 97 with heat indexes in the 100's. Saturday's forecast has the same high and humidity predictions.

Lovely weather for a 5k race!
For those of you saying, "Duh - you're in the south what do you expect?"
It's been gross all week. The rec center has stayed pretty warm too. I did my mid-week run yesterday on the indoor track and it felt like it was in the 80's even inside. I wanted to see how close I could get to a 30 minute run with the 5k distance. 20 laps on the track is 3.08 miles so that's what I went for. 

Mile one was done in about 9:30'ish so I gave myself a 30 second walking break. Mile two was right around 19 minutes so I got another walking break. At about mile 2.85 I got a side cramp so I took another short walking break but I did get to mile 3 in under 30 minutes and to the full 20 laps in 30.11.

The 1:51 at Lap 19 was my side cramp.
This was a tough run even with the walking breaks. I probably could have just slowed my pace a little to run the whole thing without walking and done a little better with time. I started around a 9:15 pace and ended at a 10:00 pace - if I had just adjusted a little it would have felt more comfortable.  But it was so hot even being inside. Afterwards I had to use my towel on my legs to even grip them close enough to stretch without them sliding around like a slick pig.


So I don't know what to predict or aim for this Saturday. Part of me really wants to go for a sub 30, part of me just wants to walk the whole damn thing. In the end it will really just depend on how my body is feeling. And in the meantime I'm still a hydrating fool.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekly Results 6/13-6/19


Exercise:
  • Monday - 2 mile run and 11 min of rowing
  • Tuesday - Yoga, Abs class, and Turbo Kick
  • Wednesday - 5k indoor run and Zumba
  • Thursday - 2 mile intervals, arm weights, and Turbo Kick
  • Friday - 45 min of easy elliptical
  • Saturday - just a little 10 mile race
  • Sunday - Rest day: 4 hours of yard work 
My legs and energy levels felt good for the race on Saturday so all of this was good prep leading up to it. More importantly, I felt really good post race as well. I could have done a regular workout on Sunday but I forced myself to take a "rest day" - not sure if 4 hours of yard work counts as "rest" but it HAD to be done. My side yard was getting out of hand. 

Diet/Weight:
A couple pounds of weight gain this week since I've allowed extra calories which included movie theatre popcorn and take out. It will balance out as I eat normally again. But it's not looking good to get into the 170's before my early July annual check up.

I think I've had too high of fat grams over the past couple of weeks. It's been good fat - like what you get from a hard boiled egg or pumpkin seeds but still probably more than I actually needed since overall my weight has stayed the same throughout the past couple of weeks (not counting this weekend bump). Or it could be a dozen other factors.

I popped into Old Navy on Sunday afternoon to check out a tank/shorts sale and decided to try on some jeans. All of my jeans are size 12 or up and although it's too hot/humid for me to wear full on jeans right now I wanted to check some smaller sizes out anyway. I've noticed on the past couple of shopping trips that SOME size 10's are loose enough for me to consider a size 8. This is more of a brand issue than actual measurements since there are other brands where the 10's are way too tight (aah the joy of women's clothing). But just for S&G's I pulled out a size 8 to try on at O.N.

They fit.

I'm willing to admit that these are probably generous size 8's but heck yeah I bought them. Now to wait until October when it's cool enough to wear them....

This Week:
  • Monday: KettleFit and 2 mile intervals
  • Tuesday: Yoga, Abs, and Turbo Kick (I really like this combo)
  • Wednesday: 5K indoor run and Zumba
  • Thursday: Spin and Turbo Kick
  • Friday: 2 mile easy intervals and arm weights
  • Saturday: 5k race
  • Sunday: 3 mile walk and Ultimate Sculpt video
This will be the last week that I'll get to do Turbo Kick on a regular basis. I still want to join in when I can but it will get more complicated with my family's schedule. But it's been a really fun cardio class. I'll have to see how KettleFit goes - I've missed quite a few recently due to my work schedule and I think they've also had instructor issues. I'll just do my own leg/arms/abs work if they don't have the class. 

I want to get some runs in this week but nothing longer than the 5k. Once again, I want legs that feel good going into the race. Even though 3 miles are a lot easier to contemplate than 10 miles, it's a much faster 3 miles - no more 4/1 intervals for this one. As with the 10 mile race, it's a matter of not going out too fast because of there being hills more at the beginning than end (though the "hills" for the 5k are laughable in comparison to the 10 miler). Thankfully the majority of the last mile is all downhill. I don't think I'll get a sub 30 but I hope to be within 31 minutes. I'm looking forward to this race.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

RC Cola Moon Pie 10 Mile Race 2016


As any veteran blogger/exercise expert extraordinaire would do, I did all my race prep the night before so I could roll out of bed and walk out the door without trusting my brain to remember small details. The 5 a.m. alarm was especially obnoxious - this is probably why I don't do more races, I hate early wake up calls. I whispered to my bed, "don't worry I'll see you later!"  All went well with getting ready and I was out the door and on the road right at 5:30.

It was already 71 outside but the day was pretty cloudy. I prayed and prayed and prayed that the clouds would stick around through the whole race.

As I zoomed down the near empty roads this came on the radio and I felt it was an excellent sign for the day's activities.


Knowing that I needed cash for parking was helpful this year - even though the cost of parking has gone from $5 to $10. Thankfully I had enough on me. I parked and grabbed just a couple of things so I could go do packet pick up. Once again, super smooth and no issues. I met up with a few people I know which made me happy. I hate to be by myself at a race but I've done it plenty of times before.

I went back to the car and really got my stuff ready. As I started walking back to find port-a-johns I realized that I left my watch in the car - very much needed if you're doing interval runs. So quick back to the car and then on to the ports. They, of course, were disgusting. 

Beyond disgusting. People have some serious GI issues out there. 

I walked out of the johns and checked my "hidden pocket" in my shorts for my key and it was gone. I checked my other pockets where I otherwise stash my key and no luck. I figured it fell out on the port-a-john floor and went back to check (while assuring the people that I was not cutting in front of them). But no luck there either. A bit of panic set in as this is the ONLY key for that car. I traced my steps back to my car and the only thing I could think of was that I left it in the damn car door when I went back to get my watch.

Thank goodness I was actually that dumb because there it was just sitting there, waiting for me.

Yes, but where did I leave my key?
So panic over, 12'ish minutes to race time, and all is well again. I found a couple more people I knew before the race started and just waited for the first several hundred people to go through the start line once the gun went off. Lining up for this race is a bit chaotic since the group either gathers on one street or another - but in the end I knew I was in the back so it was just a matter of letting most everyone else go first. And off we went. I knew there were hills right at the start of this race and more hills in the front half than the back.


I also knew that I was going to feel weird about stopping after only 4 minutes into the race to walk my one minute interval.  I thought about skipping that first interval, you know proving I don't need to walk. But thankfully common sense prevailed over my sense of pride because I did need to walk. Those beginning hills are crazy. I remembered rolling hills but not as many as we actually went through. The ones around 3 and 9 miles I had completely forgotten. I won't bore you with a mile by mile commentary but I stuck to my interval plan and maintained splits between 11:20 and 11:40 for most miles. Each mile marker I came in under the 12:00 pace (overall) so I was staying on track even on the portions where I had to walk more than my allowed 1 minute (due to those hills). 

There was extra walking - and a lot of dodging people throughout the whole race. There was a group of about 10 of us who stayed within close range of each other. I don't think they/we were trying to - it was just we all had the same pace. We also had to dodge more cars this year than I remember from before. It was fine - the cars were courteous but it meant switching from one side of the road to another throughout the course of the race.

I walked, briskly, up THE BIG HILL. That thing is seriously straight up and down. Even walking it got painful. You rejoice so much at the top. And it was miraculous that the clouds stuck around for the whole race. It was warm but I never felt overheated at all. Far better than my 8 mile run last Sunday.

Area around the finish line.
The last 3 miles felt harder because I started to get really hungry. Like the hunger that makes you feel sick to your stomach. I was also getting tired of the hills, as mentioned above, that one at 9 miles is a real bastard. But I was still looking good to get under 2 hours overall and beat my previous time so I stuck it out and trudged through the last mile.


Boom baby! Almost 3 minutes faster than the other time I ran this race. I got my food: biscuit, moon pie, banana, grapes, and RC Cola and chatted with the people I knew. One of the gals had a chance to place within her age group so I decided to stick around for the awards ceremony (which I don't often do since I'll never, ever, win anything).  

First, it was back to the car to drop off my crap and switch into my flip-flops. My heals blistered up again and bled through my socks. I really do need to see if a different brand of shoes rubs my heals better. I wear higher ankle expensive tech socks and prep with band-aids but they still get rubbed raw.


I got stuck waiting for this train to go by but it gave me a few minutes to sit and check my phone. Cell reception in Bell Buckle is awful but I could occasionally get enough of a data signal to update my Facebook app. Then it was sitting around and waiting for the awards ceremony to start - it started at 10 which is like 2 hours after most of the winners had finished the race. That's asking a lot of people to stick around that long but most did. While we waited there was entertainment:






Yes, all the runners muttered "it wasn't a 10K it was 10 miles!"

Lots of fried food options.
I saw my friend get her award and then went ahead and took off. While it was cloudy for the race it was no longer cloudy and even though I felt pretty good overall - no extreme soreness or fatigue - I was ready to head home, shower, and say hi to my bed again.

I got one last picture and headed out.

Official Results: 
Gun Time:1:59:13, Chip Time:1:58:27, Overall Pace11:51

This put me about 2/3'rds back in the pack. I don't care about winning but I always do like to have a good number behind me. :)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Then and Now

I've been reading some of my old posts from 2010 leading up to the other time I ran the RC Cola Moonpie 10 Miler. This weekend is looking much like that weekend was weather wise so at least I know what to expect on that front. I'm still hoping for a decent amount of clouds and a tail wind since it will be breezy.

Back in 2010 I was a faster runner than I am now. Two months before the 10 miler I had ran a 15K race with a 10:14 average pace. Even with all my strength training over the past 9 months I'm still not able to match that today. I can do the 9:30-10 m/m pace for 2-3 miles but not beyond that. With the added heat and hills my pace for the 10 miler in 2010 was 12:10 (faster in the beginning and then slowing way down for miles 5-8). So my hopes to match or beat that pace this year make me a bit nervous.

My strategy for running is different though. Back then I ran for as long as I could and took walking breaks when I couldn't handle running anymore. So it made sense that my pace slowed down drastically over the course of the run. I will be sticking with my "run 4 minutes and walk 1 minute" plan tomorrow. It will be annoying to have loads of people pass me in the beginning of the race but it does help with my overall energy and motivation levels to know that I only have to get through 4 minutes at a time. I also am more familiar with the course profile now so I know that the first half has more hills than the second half and that will help me not burn out by trying to keep a faster pace at the beginning. I will line up at the back of the pack and force myself to go slower at the beginning.

For the 2010 race I wore my black running Capris, a white singlet, and my neon green viser. I still have all of those clothing items and will wear 2 of the 3 tomorrow. I'm switching the capri's for shorts because I have a pair that I like now and would never, ever, run in capris in this heat again.

Fueling plan is pretty similar to 2010 except I won't bother with a hydration belt. I've grown to prefer a hand-held bottle more. There are water stops every two miles which I plan to use to both drink and dump water on myself. There should also be a couple spots in the race where the locals set up spraying equipment for us to run under. That was a Godsend in 2010 and I'm looking forward to it for this year as well - except I now know not to dunk my head under because sweat/sunscreen runs into your eyes and blinds you. I never got a chance to try fueling with TailWind so I won't experiment with it tomorrow. I'll keep my Gu Energy Chews for during the race. And I've been trying to hydrate like a crazy woman all week. I've also allowed myself higher carbs this week in an effort to start with better reserves. I'm most looking forward to the Moonpie(s) and biscuit(s) at the end.

I've been smart about my exercise this week. I'm feeling good leg muscle wise (my arms are a bit sore from Thursday's workout but they don't matter for Saturday).

Mileage this week (all indoors):

  • Monday: 2 miles around a 10 m/m pace
  • Wednesday: 5k, finished at 31:21
  • Thursday: 2 miles, intervals (run 90 sec, walk 2 min)

Then there was Zumba and TurboKick for higher intensity cardio which took the place of any speed work. My shortfall in training this year was not getting enough hill work in but I have done a lot more work in general on building up strength in my hamstrings, quads, and glutes so my hope is that the hills won't crush me. I plan to walk the major hill at 4.5 miles.

I now know to bring cash so I can park closer to the race. I plan to get there around 6:15-6:30 instead of at 5:30 which I did back then. I'll eat my standard Eggo waffles and peanut butter like I always do before a race. I hope my stomach doesn't rebel - I don't normally have issues but the early mornings and anxiety aren't exactly friends with my GI tract.

The biggest thing is that in 2010 I had a lot of fun with this race. Yes, the hills were hard and the heat was awful but I had a great time. It's why I signed up for it again. This is not a race to PR or prove that you're better than other people. It's just one to say, "I think melting in the sun for 2 hours is fun don't you?"

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Namaste Y'all

I adjusted my work schedule on Tuesday to fit in a morning yoga class.

I'm pretty picky about yoga. I love it but I'm only interested in stretching/relaxation yoga - not Hot Yoga, or Power Yoga, or anything that makes me think "this sucks" while trying to be all Zen.

But we have a yoga instructor here that offers the kind of classes I like - just not at times when I can normally get to them. But I may be able to get to these Tuesday morning ones over the summer since no one comes to see me in my office at 8:00 a.m. in the summer.

And it was a delightful class. I felt very peaceful and happy. Then I had to deal with work stuff and the good vibes eventually leaked out. But such is life.

I fear that I'm beginning to fight a cold or something. It's in the beginning stages where it could evolve or go away. Obviously I'm hoping for the latter due to the race this weekend.

Speaking of which - I'm still not enthused about running in the hot weather. The current forecast now says no rain and less humidity but still up in the high 80's/low 90's for that day's high. If it sticks in the high 60's/low 70's for the race that will be ok but I was hoping for more cloud cover.



Although, I am unenthused - I am looking forward to this race if only for the fact that once it's done I can focus on 2-3 mile runs and not feel bad about low mileage anymore. The 5k race on the 25th has very similar weather predictions right now so I'll keep my time hopes on that one to 31-33 minutes overall. I could probably aim for 30 minutes in better conditions but coming off a longer race and it being this hot I don't want to set myself up for a disappointing run. It would be nice to get under 30 minutes again for a 5k but I don't think it will be this summer. Maybe later in the fall I can aim for that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Husk and Harry

Sunday night I went up to the big city for an amazing night of food, drinks, and music with one of my good friends.

I first heard Harry Connick Jr back in the early 90's and fell in love with the big band sound and his voice. And my love has grown over the years with his various albums, t.v. shows, and movies. I mean his character in Hope Floats? Who doesn't love Justin Matise?



So when we learned that he would be at the Ryman in Nashville we bought tickets and eagerly awaited June 12th. Then we upped the evening a notch by making reservations at Husk, which is regularly listed in the top 10 restaurants in Nashville. It's pricey but not ridiculously so.


We had early reservations and enjoyed their impressive bourbon selections along with amazing food. I didn't do the food porn photography thing since I thought it would be tacky in a nice place like that but this is what I selected from that night's menu (menu changes daily and is seasonal):
  • Starter: Aged Beef Tartare, Asparagus, Cured Egg Yolk, Buckwheat Groats
  • Supper: Bear Creek Farm Pork Prime Rib, Cabbage, Pecan Butter, Molasses Vinegar, Popped Sorghum

We call this the Batman building.
The popped sorghum was really neat - it was like teeny tiny pieces of popcorn. I am not a big cabbage fan at all and when a big wedge of it came out (instead of the slaw like I had envisioned) I was a bit disappointed but I gamely tried it and loved it. It also had feta cheese in it which they didn't mention on the menu. I talked with the waiter about it and he said that they braise the cabbage with vinegar that is made in old whiskey barrels. And thus - since you usually will have my attention at the word "bourbon" I was convinced that it must be the reason I liked that cabbage.

I was warned that the pork prime rib came with a big hunk of fat but it was all delicious and I didn't care a whit about the calorie/macro content of this meal. A place like this you just appreciate the artistry that goes into the cooking.

Since we had free and plentiful parking at the restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed our drinks we then called Uber and had them drive us the mile to the Ryman. This weekend was the CMA Festival which turns downtown Nashville into a zoo - parking is overpriced and crazy and 75% of the roads are blocked. Spending $5 on Uber was way worth it - neither of us wanted to walk through that either. Plus it was super hot and humid.


Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl 

Dress I got for this event.
You couldn't take pictures or videos of the concert and the ushers were pretty militant about catching people with phones out so you'll just have to believe me that Harry and his band were amazing and everything I hoped for.

He played a variety of songs that represented his various musical influences and styles. He really showcased the amazing talent of the band rather than just keeping the focus on himself. He was funny and charming - all the women were putty in his hands.

Even when the drunk/crazy lady rushed the stage he was gracious and charming to her and even allowed her to come up on stage so he could sing happy birthday to her. But even better was the attention he gave to a cute 9 year old who was there with her parents. 

I walked out floating and even more in love with him than I was at 17 years old when I first discovered his music.

But I've had quite a few late evenings lately and I'm really an old fuddy-duddy at heart. My bed sounded like a perfect ending for the evening. And the shape wear that helped make that dress looked good was beginning to feel very restrictive. 

I dragged myself home and realized that while my senses were amazed at the meal, my digestive track had other feelings. I took some medicine and fell asleep but the next morning reminded me that while I might have said "screw macros!" for this meal my body was really not happy with the amount of fat and meat that I ate in one sitting. I happily made boring oatmeal and a basic salad to help things settle down again.

And so, back to normal life again. But it's fun to live it up once in a while.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Weekly Results: 6/6-6/12

Exercise:
  • Monday - Kettle Fit and a short easy walk around my neighborhood
  • Tuesday - Abs and Turbo Kick
  • Wednesday - Elliptical, Rowing, and Zumba
  • Thursday - Spin and Turbo Kick
  • Friday - rest day
  • Saturday - Zumba, Run/Row workout, weights, and abs
  • Sunday - 8.24 mile long run and 1.25'ish walk
I was supposed to run on Friday but left my shoes at home and didn't feel motivated enough to go home to get them and go back to exercise. I probably needed a rest day anyway. I did feel pretty normal again on Saturday after being sore for the majority of the week. I threw in some extra exercise on Saturday to make up for some of the lost run.

Diet and Weight:
The scale stayed steady all week (at 182.8-183.0) until I ate an absurd amount of pizza on Friday night. I'd rather not talk about it...


This Week:

  • Monday - Kettle Fit (if the right instructor is there, otherwise run and weights)
  • Tuesday - abs and turbo kick
  • Wednesday - weights and Zumba
  • Thursday - 3 mile intervals and turbo kick
  • Friday - elliptical
  • Saturday - 10 mile race
  • Sunday - rest day
I'll avoid "the sub" if he teaches Kettle Fit this week. I just can't risk the extra soreness. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

In summer!

The real heat has finally come to middle Tennessee. Just in time for my 10 mile race next weekend. Hooray! No, not really...

So far the forecast for next weekend isn't as bad as this current weekend (90 versus 99 today) but what's a few extra degrees in the end?

Ugh.

My longer distance training has taken a bit of a nose dive in the past 3 weeks. I'm still getting lots of exercise; both cardio and strength training but really low mileage.

As a result, in a matter of 3 weeks my hopes for this 10 mile race have gone from getting as close to a 11:00 m/m pace as I can to, "crap, I hope I can finish under 2.5 hours?"

I really didn't want to run this morning. I didn't set an alarm to wake up super early because it's going to be a long day and I figured the temps wouldn't change a lot between 6 am and 7 am. And they didn't but they sure did between 7 am and 9 am.

Temps and humidity at beginning of run.

And temps at the end - at least humidity went down.
I gave myself an out however. The plan was to run a 10 mile long run today but I knew that wasn't strictly needed. I decided to go about 8 or 9 miles and see how I was feeling.

The run was hard from the very beginning. It was hard to breathe for one. I have an inhaler that I use before my long runs and was thankful that I used it this morning but even so, the air was just heavy. I stuck to the shade as much as I could, all the while remembering that a good portion of the 10 mile race course is NOT in the shade. That didn't help my mental outlook. I went slower than usual. My watch screwed up and I ended up with a couple of longer walking breaks before I fixed the issue. I was quite content with a pace around 12:10 for the majority of the run.

I got to mile 8 and had about 1.5 miles left (if I went down one path) and I was going to try and keep going but I was definitely out of steam (figuratively). I was also out of water (literally) and knew there was going to be a significant portion of those 1.5 miles in full sun. Then fate smiled down upon me and my husband (who's been out of town) called. I took the call and he offered to call back but I insisted that we keep talking because quite frankly - I was done. So I finished my run at 8.24 miles and then walked while we talked. It was a little more than a mile back but on a shadier, mostly downhill, route. I had more water (with Nuun) in my car which was downed pretty quickly. I will for sure be making liberal uses of the water stations during the race next weekend.


My hope is that it will at least be cloudy and/or rainy next Saturday. Last year they lucked out with pretty decent weather for this race and when I ran it before there were some clouds which helped for a while. In the back of my mind I still hope to get done in under 2 hours but if it feels like today's run it will probably be closer to 2:10. In any case, I'll do it and have the experience and then move back to shorter distances again. Each day is like a confirmation of my right decision not to try and tackle a half marathon again.  Because I'm really more about finding joy in my exercise plans than suffering through mileages that I don't want to do at all. It's not about avoiding suffering because there is plenty of agony in some of my exercises but it's agony I feel good about once it's done. Right now I'm not finding that with longer distances. And I'm a fair weather runner - I really only like to be out there when it's about 50-60 degrees with relatively low humidity. So until October rolls around again I expect to still complain a lot. Feel free to skip those blog entries if I start to annoy you.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Soreness is not forever

My original plan for Monday's exercise was to do Kettle Fit at lunch and Zumba that night. I was excited to go to Kettle Fit as I had not been able to go the week before and I like the instructor (he was my trainer during the spring semester).

Of course, life never turns out the way you plan it.

We had "the sub" (cue ominous music).

You know, the sub that I have purposefully avoided in the past but that I've also sucked it up and dealt with too. I guess I could have skipped class on Monday (I saw him before I walked in the door and committed myself to staying) but I was feeling remarkably self assured and wanted to take him on.

It had it's moments of pure hell but I always leave feeling proud of myself for making it through. And I really did make it through the whole class and pushed myself the whole time. There was no slacking.

But there was NO Zumba that night or any other exercise besides a slow walk around my neighborhood that night. There WAS however about 20 minutes of me collapsed on my office floor (right after class) and much in the way of shaking muscles for the remainder of the afternoon. Then a lot of soreness and a overstretched left hamstring. Honestly, I can't even remember what exercise even pulled my hamstring. There was a lot of squats which normally don't hurt those muscles but I guess that whatever we did it was a doozy - I've probably blocked it out for good reason.

I haven't let it bring me down for the rest of the week. I did switch weights for time on the elliptical and rowing machine on Wednesday because I really couldn't handle more soreness and I needed the joint friendly elliptical to work through the lactic acid build up. Spin was particularly hard as I wanted to still favor the sore hamstrings. But I've kept on going and I'll finish out my plans for this week.

I don't plan to "taper" exactly before my race next weekend but neither will I push it as hard as I have this week. My legs have taken a beating over the past couple of weeks and need a slight recovery anyway. Since I have the 10 mile race on the 18th and the 5k on the 25th I need to focus on keeping my muscles active but not beat up.

Since I did decide not to train for/run the half marathon in October I instead signed up for a 10K over Labor Day weekend. The weather will suck but I can get over that. So after the 25th my long runs will be capped at 6-7 miles and I hope to get back into shorter 2-3 mile runs during the week that focus more on speed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

On to the 2nd year

I don't remember the exact trigger that made me get my brain and body on track a year ago. I knew I was tired of feeling heavy and slow. I know I was eating beyond hunger - just mindlessly filling my body because I was bored and unhappy.

I didn't have a significant event that caused me to stop exercising. I just got busy and it became less important to me.

I looked at pictures of myself and hated them. The mental picture I had of myself did not look like that. When I looked in the mirror I didn't see someone with a face that wide and full. Or those stomach rolls that I thought were not as noticeable in the shirts I picked out and cardigans I covered with.

I started with diet (Beat It). I re-activated an account on MyFoodDiary.com. I avoided the candy and chips and stopped mindlessly eating and eating and eating. It wasn't always perfect. There were days and times when I slipped back into bad habits.

I picked up on exercise again. I slowly built up endurance. Couch to 5K plans and many hours on the elliptical were my main go to's at the beginning.  I went back to Zumba. I tried a spin class again. I avoided the boot camps. I signed up for a personal trainer after a couple of months of doing things on my own. I ran my slowest ever 5K.

I dropped weight rapidly at the beginning. I made grand plans to hit my goal within 6 months. I got cocky. And then I stalled. First it was just slowing down. It took 3 months to lose 15 pounds. Then it took 3 months of gaining and losing the same 5 pounds. Finally it got going again but I'm still not at goal weight 12 months later.

I had surgery, the removal of my thyroid, that took me out of exercising for the month of December. I had to build back strength and endurance afterwards. I had to deal with medication changes and the fear of cancer. But I've also been blessed and have had no other injuries or set backs. Twinges, aches, blisters, weird cramps - yes. But nothing that's made me have to sit on the sidelines and recover beyond the surgery. I credit increased strength training and limiting my long runs.

I've lost 55 pounds. I've gone from an XL to a Medium, or from a size 16 to a 10. I've lost 9 inches on my waist and 5.5 inches on my hips. I don't live in flowy/comfy clothes anymore. But I'm also more aware of my remaining pockets of fat and skin flab. The stretch marks from both fat and pregnancy that remain. My own body insecurities that make me long for "Cool Sculpting" or other transformative surgeries to take away these issues.

I still have 17 pounds left to reach my goal of 165. This goal was created solely for the reason of being a couple pounds under a BMI of 25 and therefore in a "normal" weight range. I know there's more to body composition than BMI but I'm tired of insurance companies judging me solely for the scale versus height. I also want to be under 27-28% for fat. I hope to end up at a size 8. I don't want to diet forever. But sadly, I know that I'll still be critical of my body even if I hit those goals.

I want to finish a triathlon again. I want to get under 60 minutes for a 10K. I want to do military style push-ups and to do a few pull ups. I want to have defined muscles and keep up with anyone in the gym. I love being strong.

I eat a lot more protein now. I'm making my peace with good fats and the need for carbs when you do a lot of cardio. I still have sugar indulgences but they aren't all day/every day. I try to eat for fuel and nourishment. I still love to drink.

I'm proud of myself. I'm happy with where I'm at but I know there's more I can do. So here we go - upward and onward.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Weekly Results: 5/30-6/5

Exercise:

  • Monday - 18,226 steps according to my FitBit (i.e. lots of walking around Chattanooga)
  • Tuesday - Spin & Turbo Kick
  • Wednesday - Weights and Zumba
  • Thursday - 2 mile run and Turbo Kick
  • Friday - Elliptical (30 min) and Rowing (11 min) 
  • Saturday - 2.6 mile run in rain and 2.4 mile intervals later that afternoon
  • Sunday - 5.5 mile walk and random weight exercises while watching t.v.

So I didn't get my whole long run in this weekend due to the weather. I thought about trying to fit it in today (Monday morning) but didn't want to wake up early enough (shocking I know). Last week had a lot of "I tried to do this but it didn't work out so I did this instead" moments. The weights on Wednesday really did make me sore for a while so I need to be working more on those muscle groups.

Diet/Weight:
Diet went well overall. I don't feel bad about Happy Hour or brunch on Sunday (where I think I ate the equivalent of 4 avocados) because I'm beginning to feel comfortable with eating great 90% of the time and allowing myself to enjoy life and decadent pleasures in the other 10% (roughly it's not like I monitor those exact percentages). I'm still trying to aim for the 30/40/30 (fat/carb/protein) ratio but my carbs are averaging closer to 45%. Which is also fine since I do a lot of cardio. Since I'm still losing weight at this point it's good.

My "official" Monday morning weigh in was 183.0 which I'm really pleased with. A little above my low weight last week but way below last Monday's "official" weigh in (3.6 pounds down). It puts me at a good place to start this week. My hope right now is to be at my next mini-goal (176) by my annual check up on July 6th. It's just a hope rather than a goal because while weight loss is going well right now I've been at this long enough now to know that I might have a stall. Speaking of "being at this long enough", Wednesday, June 8th will be my one year mark for this latest attempt on staying on track. I think this will really mark the longest I've stayed consistent with diet and exercise.

This Week's Schedule:
  • Monday - Kettle Fit and Zumba (this is a different Zumba class than my normal and one I won't normally go to but I thought I'd check it out)
  • Tuesday - Abs and Turbo Kick
  • Wednesday - Weights and Zumba
  • Thursday - Spin and Turbo Kick
  • Friday - 5 mile easy run
  • Saturday - Run/Row workout, weights, and Swim
  • Sunday - 10 mile long run and Harry Connick Jr heart palpitations 
You'll see that I'm switching up mid-week runs for other fun cardio. I'm so ready to be done with my race in a couple of weeks and go back to shorter long runs. I'm feeling good about not signing up for the Middle Half. Sunday is the HCJr concert which should be a lot of fun and include a good meal before hand as well. Since I'll be up in Nashville I'll check out the Athleta store up there for a new swim suit as well. The time has come.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Thunder and Bourbon


Happy hour is fun.


I tried to run 9 miles. I only got about 2 in and gave up because the rain was getting worse and there was thunder and lightning. Completely soaked and not in sweat this time.


This was driving home - could barely see the cars in front of me. Will finish up with other exercises for today and try to get a 9 mile run in either Sunday or Monday. Sunday is iffy because the rain predictions are even worse.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday reflections...

Who knew Skeleton would fill us with such hope?

First off - new scale low: 182.6 (54.4 total loss).

Boo-yah! And second, that won't last long because I'm going to happy hour tonight.

Third, my hamstrings hate me right now. Those weights I did on Wednesday did far more than I felt while doing them.

Fourth, I survived a second round of TurboKick. My shirt was completely soaked with sweat. So gross. I've now become the "sweaty" person in the gym. But I do use a hand towel and spray equipment/mats when I'm done so at least I'm the considerate sweaty person.

Fifth, I thought I could do 20-30 minutes on the rowing machine. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ten is my limit.

Sixth, tomorrow's run is going to suck. I've only ran 2 miles this week and it was super duper hard. Not looking forward to 9 miles in the heat and humidity.

Seventh, and last, so I'm not going to sign up for the Middle Half. I'm back to thinking 4-6 mile runs are perfect.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Let it be known!

That I woke up early and made it to Boot Camp even though I didn't sleep well last night and really rather dreaded it.

AND

No one was there - the instructor was apparently around somewhere but I couldn't find him and I certainly didn't want to do a class if it was just me and him. So I had 45 minutes in the weight room instead.


Turbo Kick was HARD last night. Sweat dripping everywhere. Probably more effective than speed work when all is said and done. It's good to confuse my body.


Finally, registration opens today for the Middle Half. Part of me wants to sign up and part of me doesn't. So I still haven't decided on that one.