Thursday, April 29, 2010

Summer All the Time

My schedule has still been so crazy, I didn't do anything yesterday or Tuesday exercise-wise, except for painting cupboards. While granted that is more of a caloric expenditure then watching tv, it still is not exactly what I planned. Tuesday, I just didn't wanna, and yesterday I had to be into work early, and a meeting directly after work. I jumped off that lazy bus this morning and hit the gym, since I have another event tonight. My eating has been pretty good, so really, I'm doing the best I can. I know its going to be a few weeks until things settle down. Blah, blah, blah.

My main source of motivation right now is the 1/2 marathon, which is perfect. I know that I'm already in such a better place then I was last year, and I just want to continue to build on that over the next month. The race is in approximately 2 months! I know that may sound like a lot of time, but really, its not at all. I need to log at least an 8 mile run by the end of May. I do not want to slip back and lose any of the ground I've gained. That is my motivation.

Another source of motivation is the warmer weather coming soon. See, Seattle does this tricky thing where it doesn't ever let you know that nicer weather is coming. It sucks, especially for someone who grew up mostly in California. California gently eases you into Summer with this little thing called Spring. Seattle hasn't received the memo about "Spring" and proceeds to drag out Winter till approximately July 5th, and then BAM! Summer. There is no time to gradually let your skin get tan/base coat. There is no time to mentally prepare yourself for a bathing suit. Summer just shows up one day, and either you are ready or (most likely) you are not.

Well, I'm on to you Seattle. It only took 9 years (really? I've been here that long?) to figure out your little game. For the past 9 years I've fallen for the sun in April. You give us a sunny day above 65 about once every April, and I go outside in short sleeves, only to get horribly sunburned, and have it go away the next day. This burn/white pattern continues until September. I'm sure you think that's funny.

Because there is no "Spring" my body never understands the last minute push to get ready for shorter clothes. I end up beginning to exercise in July, and then by September, its time for jeans, sweaters, and fall comfort food. I'm going to be ready for when you surprise me with Summer this year. I'm going to be ready because I've been preparing since January. In fact, after this year, I'm going to be ready for Summer every day, because to me, that is what being healthy means. Being ready for whatever it is you want to do, all the time. Me? I want it to be Summer all the time.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Protein, Protein, Protein

I believe I have the solution to weight loss for people like me that crave bread, sugar, and white rice (just to name a few things). Protein. Now, I'm just working on a raw theory here, and I'm pretty sure everything I'm going to say has been said before in some form or another in the 1,000,000 books out there on weight loss, on any of the weight loss reality shows, and in every other blog on this topic, however, I still believe its importance gets overlooked time and time again.

Mostly I mean ignored by myself- someone who continually struggles with ups and downs of weight loss. If I had my way, I would eat nothing but bread, pasta, rice, and sweet doughy things followed by chocolate candy. Occasionally I would have fruit or veggies, but I could do just fine on a diet of all carbs. THIS IS HORRIBLE. I know this is horrible for me because when I cut these things out, I feel amazing. I have energy. I'm not consumed by thinking about when I'm going to eat my next carb. I feel more full, longer.

It is this sort of "experiment" I continually conduct on myself that leads me to believe that people who crave carbs need to eat more protein. You need to ween yourself off the refined carbs and sugar, and eat protein. I've noticed this week that I have been getting by (meaning going for long periods of time without feeling hungry or having a craving) on very little food. This is odd for me. So, I started to look at what I had been sustaining myself on. A bag of cooked off chicken parts that my boyfriend Dave brought home from work the other night. Also, some whole grain bread and hummus. There is an entire tupperware container of cookies that Dave's mom brought over the other day that I haven't even touched, nor do I want to. Protein!

Now, I'm not going to go off the deep end and start the Atkins lifestyle or anything like that. I just need to continue with my increased protein intake. Carbs beget carbs, and I've traveled down that road one too many times. If I want bread, I'll have whole grain. If I want something sweet, there is fruit. I've started researching the Paleo-diet types, and those are intriguing to me. I think I could slowly evolve (or devolve?) into a diet that is similar to what early man ate. I'm not a fan of dairy, so I could easily get rid of that...and nobody needs to be ingesting processed foods and high fructose corn syrup! The hardest part of eating paleo-style would be the expense of grass-fed meats. Like I would be a slow change if I do decide to go that route.

Perhaps I need to tattoo "Protein" on the backs of my hands as a constant reminder.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Don't Have to Cook a Salad

My plan for last week was this:

Monday- REST DAY!
Tuesday- Anti-Jared 60 minute elliptical challenge
Wednesday- run Greenlake
Thursday- Track run 6 X 400m and Shred
Friday- Greenlake
Saturday- Moving!! (my furniture is heavy!)
Sunday- 5 mile run (again)

In reality, I did this:

Monday- Rest
Tuesday- Anti-Jared 60 minute elliptical challenge
Wednesday- nothing
Thursday- nothing
Friday- Greenlake
Saturday- Moving/unpacking
Sunday- unpacking/paintoga (yoga as a result of painting)

Just as I anticipated, my routine was interrupted by house closing/moving. I ate a lot of bad food. I was expecting a huge gain on the scale this morning, but NO! It went down ever-so-slightly. Not quite to the 20lb loss yet, but within spitting distance for sure. That energized me to hit the gym first thing this morning and run it out on the treadmill for 30 minutes. It felt great. I am a little sore from moving/unpacking/painting and running helped me loosen up a bit.

Its going to be a little crazy for the next couple of weeks, but I just have to make sure I get my workout in. Probably the morning will be the best. My commute to the Y from my new house rocks! One day soon, I will try parking near the bike trail and running on that to substitute for Greenlake. Oh, and there is that school by my house with the real track, I can run that too.

My plan for this week:

Monday- Gym, 30 minutes treadmill
Tuesday- Wake 'n Shred (levels 2 and 3)
Wednesday- Bike path run?
Thursday- Track run 6 X 400m
Friday- Rest day
Saturday- Neighborhood run/explore
Sunday- 5.5 mile bike path run

Ok, so now that we are all moved in, there is no reason for me to not get right back into my routine. In a few days the rest of the kitchen stuff will be unpacked, and then I can make meals again. Fortunately, salads don't require any cooking, or very much kitchen equipment.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Trying to Keep My Head Above Water

Oh, boy. I'm just trying to hang on till tomorrow. I don't know why everything has to happen at once, but it does. I should just get used to that, and expect it. We closed on our house this week, and it has taken almost all of my energy. Work is falling behind. My duties on the Homeowners Association are ramped up this week due to a building investigation next week, and our monthly meeting coming up that I have to prepare for. I'm behind on my blogging/blog reading. There are boxes everywhere, and I can't find anything I need. After Saturday, things will be better, I will only be living out of boxes at one house instead of two.

I do want to give a shout out to my boyfriend, he kicks so much ass. As of now, he has done all the packing and moving into the new place. He had the day off yesterday, and moved all the boxes and little things he could. We are getting a truck tomorrow to move the big furniture. He ripped up the carpet in the room where it was covering hardwoods, replaced all the light bulbs with compact fluorescent, replaced all three door locks, installed window locks, had dinner ready for me when I got there (fast food, but still)...and then when we finally made it back to the condo last night, he packed up MORE stuff into the car and took it to the new house. Insane.

My job tonight is to pack everything else. Its mostly my clothes, dishes, and random decorations. The thought of having only one more night in the condo is kind of sad for me too. While it is small, and definitely not a long-term dwelling, it was the first place I bought. All on my own. I made it mine. Dave moved in and we made it ours. There are little things I will miss, like the proximity to Greenlake, the dog park, and summer time floating lake, and being within walking distance to so many shops/restaurants.

A house however, has been a dream of mine for years. I have been surfing real-estate sites since 2005. We started going to open houses here and there three years ago, and have actually been looking at houses with agents for over a year. It hasn't sunk in yet, that my dream is here. I own a home. Every time I go to my new house, I find something else to love about it. I just discovered the perfect Japanese maple in the front yard, and the two beautiful lilac trees in the back yard, along with 3 fruit trees...not sure what kind yet. I'm sure we will make it our own soon enough, and I will find more things about the area that I like. Last night we were driving home from the Home Depot, and about 2 blocks away from the house is a school track! A real one! I no longer have to improvise for my 1/2 marathon training.

Wednesday and Thursday I did not stick to my schedule. I didn't apply my strategies either for the challenges I faced. I knew that if I didn't wake up today and run, it would be a month before I ran again. I also knew that this morning would be my last Greenlake run for a long time. Two days of not working out, and a cheeseburger yesterday helped me wake-up before my alarm. I got ready, and ran around the lake. It was tough, but I'm so glad I did it. It was because I ran that I ate my oatmeal and strawberries today. It was because I ran that I had my chicken breast and pineapple for lunch. And, it was because I ran today, that I will be running tomorrow.

Deep breath...One thing at a time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My 60 Minutes of Fame

The stoopid YMCA doesn't allow anyone to program their machines for longer then 30 minutes, so above are the shots from my two back to back 30 minute elliptical sets. I know you can't see any time on my first set, because I let the machine run and it went to the "cooldown" anyway, based on the distance and calories compared the the picture where you CAN see the time, you can see they are almost identical. Takes a fricken detective to prove I did this.

Wow, it felt great. 60 minutes flew by so fast. Perhaps it was because of my friends Jay-Z, Eve, Missy Elliot, Eminem, and the Beastie Boyz. I feel now that between doing 60 minutes of Jillian Michaels, running for almost an hour straight (5 miles) and now doing 60 minutes on the elliptical, I have no excuse to ever workout for less then that amount of time. If I CAN do 60 minutes with ease, why NOT do it, all the time?

Most of all, I'm happy I could be part of something bigger. I really hope that Tony (the Anti-Jared) and Prior Fat Girl got the numbers they need to make the donation!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Moving Scares

Here is the plan I laid out for myself one week ago:

Monday- Jillian Michaels shred after work
Tuesday- run Greenlake (no short cuts, 3.3 miles)
Wednesday- intervals 6 x 400 meters (may have to find a real track this time)
Thursday- run Greenlake (no short cuts)
Friday- 40 minute elliptical
Saturday- rest day
Sunday- 5 mile run

Here is what I actually did over the course of last week:

Monday- nothing
Tuesday- Jillian Michaels shred after work
Wednesday- ran Greenlake
Thursday- intervals (did my best to run 6 X 400 meters)
Friday- nothing
Saturday- walked around Greenlake (2.7 miles), 60 minute, 30-day Shred Challenge (all three levels in a row!)
Sunday- 5 mile run

My run yesterday was by far the highlight of my week/my journey so far. To be able to run for so long, so relaxed and in control has been a constant goal for myself. I always have visions of just heading out the door for a run, and having it be so effortless, yet still a workout. I'm not quite there yet, as some runs are still tough for me, but yesterday was a glimpse into the world of running for pleasure, not just exercise.

For the past two weeks I have set training schedules for myself, I have for the most part stuck to them. It is nice putting it out there for you all to see, and is sort of like making an appointment for myself. Its harder for me to skip out on it if I have already planned it/told everyone about it. Here is my plan for this week:

Monday- REST DAY!
Tuesday- Anti-Jared 60 minute elliptical challenge (who's with me?)
Wednesday- run Greenlake
Thursday- Track run 6 X 400m and Shred
Friday- Greenlake
Saturday- Moving!! (my furniture is heavy!)
Sunday- 5 mile run (again)

This week, and actually the next couple of months are going to be a huge challenge for me. This week we are moving. Instead of exercising, I'm going to want to be unpacking boxes, and spending time cleaning and cooing over my house. My routine is going to be shot, as I transfer my life from one location to another, I will essentially be in "limbo" until I give the keys to the renter. This sort of shake up has been a downfall for me in the past. Anytime I have to give up one routine and invent another, there is some downtime and my body suffers the consequences.
I'm going to try something new, I'm going to list all the things about this move that could pose a threat to my routine, and a solution for how I'm going to deal with it. In case you haven't noticed, I like plans.

Threat #1- Unpacking. All I'm going to want to do over the next week is unpack and get settled as soon as possible. Living out of boxes is maddening.
Solution- Let boyfriend unpack, MAKE TIME for scheduled exercise.

Threat #2- Pots/pans/dishes packed = lots of take out food.
Solution- Grocery shop for new house asap. Unpack kitchen stuff first. Remember take out is more expensive then cooking.

Threat #3- New neighborhood, unfamiliar running routes.
Solution- Get out and make routes FAMILIAR!

Threat #4- Anything unforeseen that makes me skip exercise, or eat poorly for an extended period of time.
Solution- Take things as they come. Make as good of choices as possible. Remember how good it feels to be on track. FIND A NEW ROUTINE ASAP.

Any suggestions/advice on routine shake-ups and how to get over them fast is much appreciated.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wow. I showed my body who was boss this weekend. Yesterday was the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred Challenge, and today I ran 5 miles. I love how casually I say that, when in my head I'm screaming "I RAN 5 UNINTERRUPTED FRICKEN' MILES!!!"

Last Sunday I barely struggled through my 4 mile run. I was sore all over this morning from yesterday's workout. I did however have a lot of factors on my side today; 1) the weather. The weather was absolutely perfect, sunny, 67 degrees, perfect. 2) One mile was mostly downhill. 3) Found my other pair of Asics in my closet that are not as worn as the ones I have been wearing. 4) Overall good feeling, my breathing was controlled the whole time, I felt strong.

Tomorrow is going to have to be a rest day for me, because I have the Anti-Jared 60 minute challenge on Tuesday!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friends, I Has Dem

Every once in awhile, I have to sit back and really appreciate how lucky I am. Today is one of those days. It is all too easy to get caught up in the day to day small things that I tend to give WAY too much power to, like a driver talking on their cell phone who cuts me off, or when a co-worker steals my favorite pen off my desk. Without being conscious of it, things like these can be a trap for my mind to get caught in. When in reality, they should just be fleeting annoyances, brushed off like water on a duck's back.

What I should spend more of my thought-time on is how incredible my friends are. On Wednesday I sent out a challenge. The challenge was for myself, and I would be doing it no matter what, but I thought, what the heck, I'll invite any of my readers to do this with me. Two of my closest friends stepped up to the challenge. They didn't have to do anything. They could have slept in on Saturday with their boyfriends, and then enjoyed a nice breakfast before heading out to run errands, or stop at a museum, or whatever else the day called them to do.

Friend "A" (in case she doesn't want to be famous) completed the challenge first. As I was out on a walk, I saw her Facebook post. It simply said "shredded." I checked my e-mail a short while later, and she had sent me the proof of her efforts:
I love this picture. This might be the best picture anyone has ever taken for me. The sweat, the emotion, her beautiful face...Like I said, I am so lucky to have friends that will do this for me.

Friend "B" (I KNOW she does not want to be famous, and may even make me take this pic down) completed the challenge second. I received her picture as I was doing yard work at the house I don't quite own yet (story for another day). She took a picture after each level...very smart, except for some reason, she doesn't turn red or sweat apparently. She runs crazy amounts of miles, so that probably has a lot to do with it. This was her pic after completing all three levels:

I love this picture too, for entirely different reasons. She looks hot. Like men would be afraid to approach her hot. Its raw, its real, and again, proof that my friends kick so much ass.

Now it was my turn. I got home around 12:30 after walking 3 miles, running fruitless errands, getting coffee, and a visit to my almost house. My boyfriend left for work, I changed, and it was ON. Level one went by so fast. I noticed how much stronger I am then when I first started using this video. Level two started out really hard, and then my body must have checked out for a bit, because the next thing I knew, I was done. My whole body feels like jell-o, and I am soaked in sweat:

Thank you friends A and B for making me so lucky. Your support means so much to me. Oh, and by my calculations, that roughly 60 minutes of circuit training burned us each about 900 calories. I will take that any day.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Before you get too excited for this post based on the title, I should inform you that is the nickname we have given our dog, Pedro. Pedro weighs in at about 30 pounds, and craps more than any living thing I have ever seen. Last Saturday, when we went on that 5 mile hike? He crapped 7 times. SEVEN times!

So yesterday, keeping to my schedule, it was track day. 6 X 400 meters. I really liked how last week I brought Pedro along with me, and he was free to roam around off leash while I ran my laps. For the most part he ran along side me, but once in awhile would stop to sniff something, then have to sprint over to where I moved to. When I got home yesterday, Dave was cleaning the kitchen floor. Not too weird, but weird enough for me to ask if something happened. He said "dog just threw up twice." I asked when the last time he went out was. "Two hours ago." Normally the only thing that makes Pedro throw up is when he has to go to the bathroom so bad, he'll throw up. He knows that going to the bathroom in the house is a no-no, and will actually throw up if he has to go that bad (doesn't happen very often). Not sure which I prefer...

I began getting dressed for my run, it was so nice out, like 63 degrees and sunny. So much nicer than last weeks track workout day. I harnessed up Pedro, decided to bring my iPhone along for a stopwatch (my favorite exercise watch is in need of a new battery) and grabbed a plastic baggie, just in case. Dave said "he should be empty now." I knew better. I decided to jog to the field since it was so close as a nice warm up before the real workout. As I got up over the little hill, I noticed a lot of cars parked around the field. Uh-oh. I immediately knew what it was. Little league. They must have been rained out last week. I had to think fast. I couldn't do my planned workout. I had my dog with me (who is NOT a runner at all).

Since I had my phone with a stopwatch, I was able to guesstimate how long 400 meters would take me (2:15 min?) and just decided to run down the street for 2:15 minutes. Stop, repeat, and repeat again. Turn around, and repeat 3 times. That would roughly give me 6 X 400 meter legs. I completed one 2:15 minute chunk, and wow, was I out of breath! I was using this cool app on my iPhone called "Runkeeper." It uses a GPS to determine my distance and pace. I'm not sure that I trust it, since it was saying I was running my 400 meters at an 8:40 pace. That is crazy! As I was resting in between sets, my dog decides to take the BIGGEST crap I have ever seen him take. Right in front of someone's house. So, I use my baggie. I didn't want to carry the baggie while I ran, so I tied it off and stuck it in a bush to pick up on my way back. I ran two more sets, turned around, ran two more back, meanwhile my phone with the cool app died on me, so I was on my own pretty much. Apparently the GPS feature eats up the battery like no bodies business! Pedro and I ended up stopping at the same spot as the previous ginormous crap. I look over, and he's at it again! Huge crap number 2. I didn't have any more baggies, so I just covered it with some leaves and sticks. Luckily it looked like the homeowners were not home. Sorry! I did pick up the previous stashed "present" baggie and continue on my run. I just jogged it out the rest of the way home. By the time we got to my street, I was dragging poor little Pedro.

I was kinda disappointed that I didn't get to do my planned activity, but happy that I made the best of what I had to work with. I did afterall learn some things yesterday. 1) Pedro is not a running buddy, and 2) Runkeeper for the iPhone is awesome when you have a charged phone battery. I think I will be using it from now on. Oh, and I am 100% on track for my modified schedule this week, as long as I run Greenlake tonight after work. Its nice out, so that should be easy. Tomorrow is Shred Challenge, and Sunday is 5 mile run (gasp!).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

30 Day Shred 60 Minute Challenge

I like challenges. I always have. I am competitive by my nature, and nothing motivates me more then someone telling me I can't do something, or someone challenging me. It seems that recently there have been a lot of challenges floating around the blogshere, and I decided I would jump on the challenge bus.

During my run around Greenlake yesterday, I got this great (heh) idea. I know at least two of my readers own the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred video. If you are unfamiliar with this video (even though I talk about it ALL the time) it consists of three 20 minute workouts, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. I have done each of these workouts many times. Before obtaining this video, I had no idea it was possible to sweat so much in a 20 minute period.

So, as I was running, and having a difficult run at that, it was nearly impossible to think of running 13 miles when I was struggling at mile 2. I began thinking of ways to step it up a notch, not only my physical training, but my mental as well. I thought of the Jillian video, and how hard it was the first time I ever did it. Now, I can get through any of the three levels. Its a workout for sure, but not nearly the death I almost experienced on day one. I used the video as a metaphor for my 1/2 marathon training. If doing a 20 minute workout was like doing a 3 mile maintenance run, then, doing a 1/2 marathon is like doing the whole DVD, all three workouts!

The challenge was born. On Saturday, 4/17/2010, at around 1pm, I will be putting in my 30 Day Shred Video and completing all workouts. 60 minutes. Levels 1, 2, and 3 non-stop. I plan to skip the stretching/cool down after workouts 1 and 2, but will do all warm-ups. Who is with me? Oh, and one more thing...take a picture of yourself when you are done. Send it to me as proof. I want to see red faces and sweat!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday Becomes Wednesday

In case you haven't noticed, I've been toying with different templates for my blog. My original template was nice, but I felt it was too...elementary. I am really on a blue/brown kick right now, so this is the way its going to be for now. Sorry Claire and Lea!

I shifted the workout schedule I made on Monday ahead one day, since I didn't end up working out on Monday evening. So, as far as workouts, Monday became Tuesday, and Tuesday became Wednesday (you get the point). Today I ran Greenlake. Tomorrow I will be doing my track workout. Friday will no longer be a rest day since I took Monday off.

My run today was not my best, and really in confirmed my suspicions that I have not been running enough for my 1/2 marathon training. I think it has been at least 2 weeks since I last ran around the lake, and that is unacceptable. It was evident in every step I took today. It was as if each of my legs weight 1,000 pounds. My lungs felt fine, my legs were just SO heavy. I had to stop briefly (and I do mean briefly, under 1 minute) two separate times. I think the breaks were more for my mental focus then my body actually needed them.

Perhaps a crappy run today is exactly what I need to push ahead further. I DO NOT want to ever have a run like the one I had today again. How do I prevent that? Run more. Eat less. Keep doing what I know is right for my body.

Despite the difficulty of the run, I feel great now. I always feel great after I run. I feel great because even though I woke up a little later then I should have, I still ran instead of choosing to go into the office. I was late to work. I feel great because I didn't let any excuses stop me from sticking to my plan of running around Greenlake this morning. The sun was out shining. I had clean clothes to wear. I feel great because I think I knew somewhere deep down that the run today was going to be hard, and I did it anyway. Usually when I know something is going to be hard, I find a way around it. That is not a behavior that is going to keep me successful, in anything I do. Ever.

On another note, 6 days until we close on the house. I think we found a renter for the condo yesterday, so that means I can start getting excited for real! I just hope nothing delays closing...these 30 days have been soooo long.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Devils vs. Angels

My head is all over the place today. I have been staring at my computer for the last 2.5 hours trying to get it to do work for me. Including write this blog post. No such luck. I don't know where to begin, so I'll start with my workout plan for this week:

Monday- Jillian Michaels shred after work
Tuesday- run Greenlake (no short cuts, 3.3 miles)
Wednesday- intervals 6 x 400 meters (may have to find a real track this time)
Thursday- run Greenlake (no short cuts)
Friday- 40 minute elliptical
Saturday- rest day
Sunday- 5 mile run

The jumble of thoughts in my head today goes back and forth between how good I feel, how I'm going to furnish/decorate my house, whether or not we are going to close on the date we want to (8 days!?), finding a renter, doing my job, finding something to blog about, finishing my taxes today, and when I'm going to eat my lunch.

As of today, I'm still at 19 pounds lost, and if my body needed to take that month long deep breath before moving on, I'm ok with that. This whole journey is a battle between good and evil in my head. The evil is always going to be there, and represents short term pleasure, selfishness, and self-destruction. The good is always there as well, representing health, peace, and overall contentedness.

I often confuse being content with being bored, and that usually leads to the evil stepping up and offering me a way out of my "boredom." This battle will continue for the rest of my life, I know. I don't need to eradicate the evil, I just need to ensure the good wins 90% of the battles.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

1st Sunscreen Application of the Year

Last Monday, I set the following "ideal" schedule for myself:

Monday: 30 minutes Elliptical, strength train at night
Tuesday: 5 X 400 meters at the local school track (400 meter = one lap, I will be running pretty fast) 2 minute rest in between.
Wednesday: Greenlake Run (3.1 miles)
Thursday: 40 minutes Elliptical, strength train at night
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: Greenlake Run
Sunday: 4 mile Run

In reality, my week went like this:

Monday: 30 minutes elliptical, strength train at night
Tuesday: absolutely nothing (and ate pizza and ice cream)
Wednesday: 5 X "400" meter run eyeballing the distance
Thursday: 40 minute elliptical after work
Friday: 35 minute elliptical before work
Saturday: 5 mile moderately strenuous hike
Sunday: 4 mile run

I'm pretty happy that I was able to get in 6 workouts, but I definitely felt in my longer run today that I have not been running enough. At least not enough for 1/2 marathon training. I felt a little sluggishness, but that could also be due to the 5 mile butt-kicking hike yesterday. I feel good. I was really conscious of my sodium/food intake this week, and couple that with exercise, and I'm back to feeling like I'm in the swing of things again.

We had a beautiful weekend here in Seattle, and I notice that when the weather is nice, I'm SO much more motivated to exercise. I actually had to put on sunscreen today before my run. It was awesome. During the start of my run, I ran past a field where lots of owners bring their dogs to run around. As I ran past, there was this man with an older Golden Retriever, while he was opening the back of the car to let the dog in, the dog laid down in the shade of the car panting. It was comical. I smiled when running by, and looked at the man and said "I know how she feels." He laughed a little too hard, but I was glad to make someone laugh today.

I'm excited to kick up my workouts this week, and move forward with my training. I will be posting my tentative schedule for the week tomorrow.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Challenge-Support-Favor (courtesy of Tony, aka Anti-Jared)

I'm taking a break from talking about my day to day ups and downs to challenge all three of my readers to a 60 minute workout on Tuesday, April 20, 2010. Now, I can not take credit for this challenge. But by taking part, we will be a part of something big. Tony, over at the Anti-Jared is trying to get 500 people to commit to a 60 minute work out on the aforementioned date. If he and Jen (over at Prior Fat Girl) get 500 people to agree to participate they will each donate $250 to the YMCA Activate America Program.

I have the best readers in the world. Support healthy ways of life, join this cause with me! All you have to do is comment on Tony's post today, and say "I'm in." Or something to that effect. One hour. I know my three readers already do at least an hour of exercise almost everyday, so in reality, you aren't doing anything at all, except potentially aiding in a $500 donation to the YMCA Activate America Program.

Lastly, I'm asking for a favor. Let's do this. Let's let Tony and Jen succeed in their efforts to bring people together in the best way possible (exercise!). Click on the link, click to comment, and BAM! Done. Oh, and Tony is also giving away two heart monitors to TWO random people that agree to the challenge. But you have to comment for the chance to win.

April 20th has another special meaning to me aside from this challenge. It is the day that I potentially get the keys to my new house (if all goes well)! I have been counting down to April 20th for the past 2 weeks, so now, I'm adding another thing to be excited about on that day. What would even be MORE cool is if I could finally break through to that first 20 lb loss by then as well. I'm so close.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm a Crappy Friend

Yesterday I was in awe of how the little things can mean total derailment of a plan. Today, however, I am in awe of how some bigger (almost legitimate) things can't stop me!

In my post earlier today, I said I was not going to let yesterday's dinner get me down. I was going to pick up where I left off, and transfer my best intentions from yesterday into today. I followed through on that and ate my plain chicken breast and piece of roasted yam for lunch. I ate my grapefruit and had a granola bar before driving home so I would have no excuses (like hunger) to not run my 5 x 400 meter track workout.

I drove home in the pouring rain, thinking about how I was going to rush in, change into my running clothes, grab the pooch, and have a kick as run in the pouring rain. I had a lot to run off today, I needed to run as much for my emotional health as my physical health. As I was exiting at my freeway exit, my co-worker calls me (the one that likes to tempt me with bad food). She says "sooo...that boy that slept over last night forgot to put my house key under the mat, and now I'm locked out of my house till 10pm." I knew she was fishing for an invitation to come over, but I HAD to run. After few minutes, and she realized I wasn't going to give her an invite, our call ended.

Phew. Crisis averted. I changed into my clothes, grabbed the dog, and off we went. I drove to the school where I kept picturing the location of the track. Apparently, I had made up the track entirely in my head! There was nothing but two baseball diamonds. Well shit, now what? I racked my brain trying to think of a public track, and came up empty. It had to be a track since its a known distance. One lap = 400 meters. I drove to the empty field by my house, and decided I would just "eyeball" it. I'm not sure if I ran 400 meters each time or more, or less. It doesn't matter really. It was a good, challenging workout. I was running on a grass field, at a higher rate of speed then normal, and after each lap, I was winded/wheezing. After I completed 5 "laps" I walked it out for a bit, and then came home and made an awesome salad. Yay for me!

So there you have it. Apparently being hungry is enough to derail my plans, but a friend in need of a place to go when she is locked out has no effect. Huh. I'm not even going to try and analyze that.

The Hits Just Keep Coming

Yesterday was supposed to be an awesome day. I was going to be on track with my eating, and my training schedule. I got to sleep in a little bit because I had to do some field work, and it was easier to just leave from my house then to go to the office first. I had a nice morning, got to see my boyfriend, made myself some oatmeal, got a latte, and headed down to the project site. We didn't have any food in the house (we are practicing saving/starving for when we have a house in a month), and planned on grocery shopping at night, after my track run to get all my healthy eating essentials. I planned on making a kick ass salad for dinner. For lunch, I told myself I would stop at Subway, after all, its good enough for the contestants on the Biggest Loser. I was pretty excited for my day: Morning oatmeal. Half day out of the office. Track run for training after work. Much needed grocery shopping after run. Salad for dinner. Biggest Loser on TV.

Its so interesting to me how little things really can derail all the best laid plans.

In reality, my day yesterday went like this:
Woke up rested, got to spend some quality time with my boyfriend, made delicious oatmeal, got a latte, and headed to Tacoma for work. The 45 minute drive was painless and traffic free. I got to the project site, and was instantly stressed out. There are SO many gigantic semi-trucks driving on the streets of Tacoma (the project is located right between the port and the freeway, go figure). It took me quite awhile to get my bearings and figure out where to set up. The whole time I was there, I was annoyed, and was just trying to get my work done as fast as possible. When I was done, I was hungry, I felt I really deserved whatever I wanted since I had just put up with so much for stupid work. I was surrounded by every fast food joint possible. I had to pee real bad, so I ducked into a Wendy's. I left immediately after peeing. Subway I kept chanting. But Subway was not what I wanted. I knew the only thing to do was to get on the freeway heading north and drive to the Subway by my office.

As I approached the Subway by my office, I thought of just continuing on and stopping at my favorite Thai place. No. I thought of going to Jack in the Box because I could have gone in Tacoma, but I didn't. No. I pulled into Subway. I got a $5 footlong chicken breast sandwich. No mayo, no cheese.

I arrived back at the office to finish out my workday, and proceeded to pump myself up for my evening run/shopping/salad. So far, I was on plan. About 4pm I got an e-mail from a girl that wanted to come by and see my condo that I'm trying to rent. I told her anytime after 5:30pm was good. She said she would see me at 5:30. I left the office at 5pm and proceeded to clean up a bit for the potential renter. I laid out my running clothes to change into so I could be ready immediately after she left (which would be what, 5:45?) I got a call from her saying she would be there more around 6pm. Ok, still not a problem. I was ready, still planning on running after I was done showing the place to her at 6pm.

6pm rolled around, and still no site of the potential renter. I was beginning to get hungry. The kind of hungry there is no turning back from. The kind of hungry that makes me do things I shouldn't. There was no food in the house, no way for me to have a quick snack and quell the beast. I still had to run, and shop, and then PREPARE a meal, so already I was looking at well over an hour before food would be ingested. Things took a turn for the worst.

The potential renter showed up at 6:30pm. She took a quick look around, and was visibly not impressed with the place. As soon as she left, I grabbed my keys and headed out the the grocery store. No run. I went NUTS at the grocery store. I bought tons of veggies (lettuce, yams, green onion, cauliflower, peppers, onions), tons of fruit (pineapple, strawberries, grapefruit), chicken breast, ground turkey, frozen peas, frozen corn, crutons, whole wheat pasta, tomato sauce, milk, flour, butter...hmmm...oh, frozen pizza on sale? That will be a quick dinner. BOOM. In the cart. Oh, what's this? My favorite ice cream is $2.50 for a half-gallon? BOOM. In the cart. Fuck. Train derailed.

So I ate part of the delicious frozen pizza (not that long ago, I would have eaten the whole thing, keep in mind). I followed it up with a bowl of strawberries topped with my favorite ice cream, and finished just in time to watch The Biggest Loser. I was feeling kinda bad for eating like that, and just at that moment, Jillian Michaels was doing one of her "trainer tips" on the show. She said (paraphrased) "Tired of eating the same thing day in and day out? Well, try this: during the weekday, eat really well three days. Eat moderately well for two days. Take a break over the weekend. This way, it will be easier to stick to your plan if you know you can relax a little later on."

It was like she was speaking to me in my living room. I felt so much better. That one dinner, that one meal, is not defining my whole week. It is not defining my progress or what is to come. It was one fricken' meal out of a week. Sometimes I just need a little perspective.

As for today...I had oatmeal for breakfast like usual. I was able to pack my usual lunch today since I went to the store yesterday (and my bf was kind enough to cook off chicken breast for me last night when he got home from work). I am planning to pick up where I left off yesterday with my training. Today after work, I will be running my 5 X 400 meter track workout. I will be having salad for dinner. I am not letting last night's dinner run the show.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Week 14: Sodium and the Scale Gang Up on Me

I think I'm ingesting too much sodium. My scale decided to give me a giant middle finger this morning, and although last week wasn't my best week, it was NOT worthy of the treatment my scale gave me today. I have noticed that it has been quite awhile since I have been woken up in the middle of the night with the urge to pee. As I mentioned in an earlier post, that is a sure sign to me that my body is losing weight. I haven't cut back on my water drinking, so my body just must be holding onto the water.

This week I plan to be super conscious of my sodium intake. That should be relatively easy, since I make the majority of my meals. We keep an open bowl of Kosher salt on our stove to just "toss in" to whatever we are cooking. I never measure the amount I use, I pretend I'm a trained chef and just use my hands (I learned this by watching my chef boyfriend). Its funny, any time I make something for him, and I think I add a lot of salt to it, he says "this is good, but it needs more salt." I think he might be immune to salt.

Well, this week, I will be hiding that bowl of salt, and trying to reset the balance in my body. At the gym this morning I came up with a kick ass plan for my 1/2 marathon training this week that I'm pretty excited about too. My plan:

Monday: 30 minutes Elliptical, strength train at night
Tuesday: 5 X 400 meters at the local school track (400 meter = one lap, I will be running pretty fast) 2 minute rest in between.
Wednesday: Greenlake Run (3.1 miles)
Thursday: 40 minutes Elliptical, strength train at night
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: Greenlake Run
Sunday: 4 mile Run

I will be running 4 miles again this Sunday because I felt kind of robbed yesterday with the wind and all. It is a slight revision to my previous schedule where I was increasing by a mile a week. I think that is too aggressive, and just take it week by week.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Small Craft Advisory

Normally I'm not one to complain about too much wind. Wind seems all too elusive here in Seattle whenever its sunny, warm, and I want to be going fast in a sailboat. When I want to run however? Small craft advisories. It has been SO windy the past three days. Windy enough that I tried to use it as an excuse to not run my 4 mile training run today. Twice.

I hate running in the wind. One way is totally awesome, and the other way totally sucks. I found motivation for today's run by reading some of my favorite blogs. I mapped out my route to ensure I had a full 4 miles. I dressed accordingly.

Just when I decided the wind had subsided enough, I headed out. As soon as I rounded the corner of my block, I was hit with a huge gust. Damn, I thought. It was not my best run, but parts of it were good, (when the wind was behind me) and I did it. That is the most important thing. Just doing it. Now, its easier to watch what I eat. It will be easier to wake up tomorrow and hit the gym.

I was talking to my mom yesterday, and she was asking me what my plans were for Easter (today). I told her I didn't have any plans since Dave has to work, and all my family lives in another state. She said, "oh, that is good! Then you won't have to eat a big meal with crappy food! That's great." It's no wonder I'm so fucked up. I just rolled my eyes and let her talk. She then proceeded to tell me about the humongous meal she was making for my aunt and cousins that are coming over. Awesome.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

All There Is To It

Fuck shit fuck. That's all I have to say. I'm headed down that path that I have chosen so many times in the past. I had a few weeks in which I was not giving it my all, eating as I pleased, exercising sporadically, and here I am. Fucked. Square one. I need to start over from scratch with depriving my body of all the crap, (and too much of it) before I gain back the near 20 pounds I have lost. I just have to do it, and that's all there is to it.

If I have learned anything from all the blogs I follow, it is that there are no days off. There is no time when I just take a break from this lifestyle because I have other stuff going on. I know I can do this. Perhaps I need to read this blog from beginning to end. I just have to do it, and that's all there is to it.

I don't know. I just have to find the strength and pull it together. All of it. The morning exercise, the increased protein, the grapefruit, the lack of sugar/sweets, the water drinking, the resistance training. I just have to do it, and that's all there is to it.

Tomorrow I will be on track with my 4 mile run for 1/2 marathon training. Last year's race is too fresh in my mind for me not to train hard this year. I am starting from such a better place then I was last year as well. I can do this. I just have to do it, and that's all there is to it.