Tuesday, September 28, 2010

puttering along

I finally got around to loading my run from my iPod. I went on a run last night - if you can call it that - and felt a bit lethargic and defeated. I went to the track by what used to be the YMCA (after driving around for about 20 minutes trying to figure out where to go and to find parking). First of all, I went into  my run expecting to get through it easily. I guess I'm not as over my cold as I wish I was because it was so hard! My throat burned - even with my inhaler - my legs burned, I kept getting shin splints and my calves were seizing up. Besides that it was super humid and I was sweating really bad, and there were old ladies passing me, and a lady pushing a baby stroller. It was a bit humiliating and miserable.

I'm going running again tomorrow night. I really hope I can get through the week 3 run. I was hoping I could move on to week 4, but I want to get through week 3 one more time first.

In the meantime, I'm sitting here drowning my sorrows in a vegan brownie.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

V is for Victory!

Normally I don't like to post more than once a day. But today is worth posting about.

This is the dress that doesn't fit now :(
Tonight was date night. Paul and I haven't been out alone together in a long time and I wanted us to get to spend an evening doing something nice. I have this dress that I bought several months back (I got a fantastic deal on it! $90 dress for about $10!) and I wanted to wear it. So I tried it on and it just wouldn't fit right. I then realized that it was probably a bit too big and I was sad because I have yet to wear it, but excited that I might actually be a size down finally!

We're both sick so we decided to keep the evening low key. (Sorry dancing friends!) The initial plan was dinner and a movie. We looked up movie times and a place to eat. We got to the place to eat and it was closed for a private party. So we figured we'd try to go to the earlier showing of the movie and get dinner after. I thought we had time before the movie started so we went to Target to get Starbucks to tie us over until after the movie and so that I could get a smaller belt (I'm running out of holes on the belts I have and they're starting to get too big). Then we headed to the theater. We got to the movie and found out it had started five minutes before we got there. Scrapped the movie. We both remembered that we have always wanted to try Benihana, so we decided to eat there instead. I called and got us a reservation for an hour later. We decided to kill time at the mall. ( I swear this is going somewhere!)

I remembered that I had massive amounts of coupons for The Limited and I wanted to see if I was, indeed, down to a size 12. This has been a goal in the back of my mind for awhile and I wear their clothes often so it's a good gauge of where I'm at. I went in and bee-lined for a pair of size 12 jeans. My coupons were for a bunch of other items too so I looked around and grabbed a few tops to try on too.
Lo and behold, my dress was not lying to me when it told me I was too small for it and the jeans fit like a glove! I jumped up and down and did a happy dance in the dressing room haha! They were also 40% off! Win! All the large tops I'd grabbed swallowed me as well. I couldn't believe it. I ended up getting the jeans, a size small cardigan, and a medium sized undershirt. I think that your own clothes don't tell you as much as new clothes do about how your body changes. You gain a bit of weight and they stretch gradually with you. You lose a bit of weight and they don't really seem as big as they are. I think I may have to create a list of clothes and save up some money to have them tailored to fit me because I have some things I really like that I don't want to give up - like my dress.

Anyway, we made it to Benihana where we both had a lovely dinner complete with acrobatic food preparation. Everyone seemed to be getting ice cream with their dinner and I was a little bummed when I found out that it wasn't included. We'd done such a good job budgeting our meal so that we didn't end up with an outrageous bill - they can get expensive! So afterward we decided to split a slice of cheesecake at the cheesecake factory where our money would stretch a little further. I figured this was a great way to grow right out of the jeans I had just bought haha!

I also realized something else today. I think I'm lactose intolerant. I had an iced chai from starbucks and right before we got to Benihana I felt so bloated and gassy - yeah you all wanted to know that. I've been having this issue a lot lately and have been contributing it to the fact that I've been eating healthier foods, but I haven't really been paying all that much attention to know if this is true or not. For some reason I think I've finally connected the dots and I feel nearly sure that dairy has been what's causing these problems. This could be a very useful piece of information to have. I may be able to lose weight more effectively if I'm not bloated and crampy from dairy all the time and I'll feel much better in the long run as well!

Lungs of Fire!

I decided to finally press my luck and run today. I'm not totally recovered, but I can breath through my nose and my throat doesn't hurt anymore.

Running produced a lot of coughing and sniffling, and my lungs hurt so bad! It was like asthma on steroids. At least I know that when I am back to normal I'll be able to make it through my run easily and probably will be able to do the first run of week 4 after one more go through week 3.

I actually like week 3. There's only 4 run intervals, they're just longer than week 1 and 2. It gives you a bit more time to recover and it's halfway over before you're even thinking about wanting it to be over.

Hopefully I can get through the next couple weeks without taking any 2 day breaks between runs. It's hard to keep a routine when my schedule's so erratic! But if I want to not cry my way through the run like hell, I need to push myself!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Making Negotiations

As you may or may not know from my facebook stati (my choice pluralization of status) I am fighting off a cold. It's not really all that bad I suppose. I have definitely had worse. But I have learned to baby myself when I am ill. I have missed far too many classes and did poorly where I would have done well had I adopted this philosophy earlier on in life. Pushing yourself to maintain your normalcy when you are sick is just prolonging the problem. So it is with this attitude that I contemplate my running routine.

This cold is not that bad. My throats a bit sore and I sound like a man. My nose is a bit runny, but I can breathe. So I have to decide if it's better to wait it out a day or two (I believe I will feel better by then) or to try to run while I'm still sick.

I've heard different philosophies on this. One is that it's okay to exercise if your illness doesn't affect the neck down. I've done this before and ended up being ill from the neck down later on. Another is that if you can breath you should be okay. I've been told not to exercise at all when I'm sick so that I can recover faster. At this point I think I'm just going to wait and not take any two day breaks between runs like I normally do. I think I'll be able to catch up if I do this.

On another note, being ill has really suppressed my appetite. It's not that I'm not interested in eating, it's just that I'm too tired to try to make anything or get anything. So in the last two days my food intake has been pretty minimal..don't get me wrong I've been trying to make sure I take my vitamins, drink lots of fluid (juice = calories that I don't have to eat), and eat healthy whole foods like chicken soup and toast with peanut butter. The upside of this is that I weighed in at 172 this morning. We'll see if that sticks after I feel better and start eating more again.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Problems & Solutions

This day, although still near the beginning, is a great day! "But Bethany, why would you say that?" you might ask me. First of all, it's my mom's birthday and I'm a good daughter so I make that a priority. Secondly today is the one and only day that I will have run w3d1 of C25K for the first time.

Many things went through my head followed with the thoughts "oh, I should write that in my blog later!" And it is because of these things that I am writing this post today. So here is the list of problems and the list of solutions.

Problem #1: My headphones have been driving me nuts because they fall out every time I start to run.

Solution: I wore a thermal headband over my ears. This kept them in, but made my head hot. I will probably have to find a new solution next summer when it gets warm again.


Problem #2: My feet hurt like hell when I run!!!

Solution: I can't fix this. I've gone through months of chiropractic treatments, lost weight, and gotten very expensive custom orthotic insoles for my shoes. All of these things have vastly improved my pain levels when I run, but my feet are not going to stop hurting. So the only solution is to SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP!!


Problem #3: My favorite trail for running is under construction! Today I had to run up the side streets in the neighborhood just to have enough ground to run on. Also, the track next to my complex is only open for public use when kids aren't on it. I've gone to run there several times and had to find a less desirable place to run because a PE class was on the track.

Solution: I need to make a list of trails/routes and visit them all. That way if one isn't going to work for reasons beyond my control, I always have somewhere else I can go. It's difficult to stay motivated to run when you're having to run somewhere unfamiliar and the terrain is much more hilly than I'm comfortable with. It also sucks when you get to a place that's dangerous because there's no sidewalk or there's lots of traffic.


Problem #4: Negative thought activity. I get through a bunch of my run and then I start to think about all the things that are going to prevent me from reaching my goal. The worst of these thoughts is when I start to think about running the entire time versus with walking intervals.

Solution: This goes back to the mental training. On my run today I missed the introduction on my podcast that tells you what the intervals will be because I was busy fidgeting with my iPod and trying to read the sign about the trail being closed. So when Robert Ullrey said, "Alright, get ready for your 3 minute run" I almost panicked! But I got through it twice because I talked myself down in my head.

I'm sure I could come up with more, but these were the most prevalent today. The good news is that I'm fixing things as they become a problem and that is a good thing! It would be very easy to just give up and say "running's not for me, I'm going to do something else". But I have to keep at it or I'll never get anywhere!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Finding my Stride

Today is a good day for being on a diet. Why? Because I did really well today, and I didn't even realize it until now. I just calculated my calories for the day thinking that I probably was really near my limit and was pleasantly surprised to find that I'm still a couple hundred calories under my limit for the day. This is awesome considering I have such a hard time staying in my limits without tracking.

By the way, polenta is an awesome substitute for pasta. I like it best when it's broiled on each side so it's kind of crispy on the outside.

I've been running into something I haven't really experienced before. When I eat something that is blatantly bad for me, I get horrible stomach cramps and pain. Sunday night I decided to have a quesadilla for dinner because I was stuck at work instead of out celebrating with my dragon boat team. Paul had to bring me pepto bismol because my stomach hurt so badly. Today I had a bubble tea - which isn't really all that terrible but not great either - and I had to stop drinking it because my stomach was getting upset. Has anyone else experienced this?

I had to check on the couch to 5k website to remind myself how often to train. 3 days a week is the suggested amount. My legs are rather sore today and I really didn't want to run. The good news is I don't have to until tomorrow! It suggests that you have a day between runs to let your body recover. So, tomorrow is the second round of day 2 week 2, and friday will be day 1 week 3. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting My Run On!

Well, after a bit of procrastinating I got my butt out of bed this morning and got out the door! I decided to try to run week 2 of the c25k program just to see if I could. I actually managed to make it through the entire workout!

The whole concept of mental training has really made a difference. I think when you spend time around people that understand this and that you respect it helps to adopt their strategies. The trail I like to run, Fanno Creek Trail, is under construction. I had only been walking/running about 6 minutes and I got the the "end" of the trail. I was a bit bummed and when I turned around I caught myself thinking that I should just go back home. I caught myself thinking this sort of thing several times. But I'm learning how to stop this train of thought and to just keep pushing. There is so much you can do if you can learn this skill!

I'm going to do the week 2 run one more time and then move on to week 3. I've never done week 3. I've always convinced myself that I just couldn't do it. But if I'm going to do this 5k Run like Hell thing in 6 weeks, I've got to get through the whole program!

On another note I was way irritated by my headphones! I bought the nike flow ones  thinking they'd stay in better than earbuds. These were worse! I think they are meant for bigger ears or something. I can't really afford another pair right now either. So I guess I'm stuck being distracted for most of my run trying to keep my headphones from falling out.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Facing the Reality

Whenever I go on a diet I'm always happy when I get the results. Eventually the drive starts to wane and then I'm always surprised that I don't continue to lose weight when I stop doing the grunt work. I'm bitter in fact. Bitter that you can really never back down from working hard for what you want.

That fact was really driven home the last couple days. I've only been tracking my calories..two days maybe? As soon as I make sure that I'm staying within my range (even if it's at the maximum of that range) I lose another pound. On one hand, I should be happy. One whole pound in two days! On the other hand, I'm kind of irritated that the solution to my weight problem is really very simple and yet so difficult. I can't come up with a different approach or a more creative solution. I can't figure out a way to not do the work to get the results. There is one solution to my one problem and it will always be the same. Eat less - track what I eat to make sure that I'm doing it, move more - set goals and find competitive outlets. Period.

This truth may manifest itself differently for different people. Some people are just more naturally able to make sure that they are eating less. Perhaps they are more in tune with their bodies and their relationship to food. Some people exercise because they must. Because there is no other way for them to feel good. But many people, people like me, just can't rely on instincts and desires to manage their health. People like me need to keep daily food logs and constantly set goals. They need to be painfully aware of what they are doing in order to make sure that they aren't straying from a set system.

I think this may be one of the hardest things that overweight people have to realize. The person that does the work gets the results. If we are completely honest with ourselves, we know exactly why we haven't got the results we want. Even if we don't like the truth of the matter.

German Turkey Kielbasa Soup

This soup tastes just like German potato salad, but it's soup!


Makes 4 Servings

Hillshire Farms Turkey Kielbasa, cut into discs
1 Onion, chopped
½ Cabbage, chopped
6 potatoes (whatever kind floats your boat, I used red), cut into ½“ cubes
water
salt
pepper
vinegar
sugar (splenda)

Calories: 335.5, Fat: 8.75g, Carbs: 37.5, Protein: 22.75

Fill large saucepan or small pot halfway with water. Salt and bring to a boil. While the water is heating up, in a separate stockpot sauté onions with a bit of olive oil, pinch of salt and some pepper. When onions are transparent, add cabbage and sausage. Add a few pinches of sugar and a few splashes of vinegar to taste. Add a bit of water to keep it from burning. Turn burner down to low to keep warm. When the water in the first pot is boiling, add chopped potatoes. Boil until tender. When potatoes are done pour all contents into second pot. Add water, salt, and pepper to taste (if you like more broth, add more water). Let it all simmer together for a few minutes and serve. 

Note: I calculated the calories of the total recipe and divided it into 4. However, you could probably get far more than four bowls of soup out of this pot - like probably 8 - 10 bowls depending on how much water you use. Which makes it fewer calories per serving. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

awol

So...the girl with the good character. Yeah, she's been missing for a few days. Several days actually. I haven't tracked my calories for probably a week.

The good news is that I haven't really destroyed my progress yet. The bad news is that I'm not actively working toward my goals, and I still haven't met them yet.

So here's the shake.

Tomorrow's Thursday - weigh-in day. It's also the first day of my week for tracking. I'm going to start over tomorrow.

Christy called me out of my lackadaisical attitude toward my couch to 5k efforts and challenge me to get my butt into shape in six weeks for a 5k run. Given it's a run where you dress up in an Alice in Wonderland theme, but it's a run all the same. I think I need to do it.

So now I have two new goals. Track calories for a week straight and train for a 5k over the next 6 weeks.

Anyone else want to join me?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Athlete Transformation!

Today I did something brave. Today I sat in the second row during dragon boat practice with a near full boat and our regular coach running practice (I've done it before with about half as many people on board and the captain or one of the leads running practice). It was rather difficult. First of all, the rest of the boat depends on you to keep the timing. If you get off, everyone else does too. Second of all, I was close enough for the coach to actually see my mistakes immediately and close enough that I could hear him tell me what they were.
I really had to push myself. Initially I resented all the feedback. I had the coach telling me to fix one thing like the front of the stroke, and then I'd start to slip on another thing like timing and have someone behind me yelling to watch the timing. I realized about halfway in that it was exactly this feedback that was going to make me better. Even though it was a bit overwhelming, I was focused and working hard the entire time.

At the end of practice we did a race piece (500 meters). It went pretty well actually. I could tell when my timing was off and was able to correct it. My stroke was starting to come together and I was getting my blade in the water without a bunch of noise. We raced right past the dock and I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. Then the coach announced we were going to do another one.

The flood of mental spam starting coming immediately. I thought practice was over and we'd be paddling back to the dock. When he said to give it 100%, I did so believing it would be the last of what I had to push. There was no way I'd be able to get through it!

I caught myself in the act of mental negativity and I remembered a teammate telling me about being somewhere similar during hood to coast. She said that she hit this wall when she was running where she just thought there was no way she'd be able to go on, but she changed her mental state and started to push herself and got through more than she thought she could. I was inspired and I started thinking instead, this is my chance! This is the sort of rare situation where I get to really push myself more than I thought I could. I can really hone my technique to compensate for fatigue. I get another chance to improve my timing. And I managed to make it and push myself just as hard as I did the first time.

I'm proud of myself for this. It's so easy to get into an extremely mental state of mind when I'm doing something that's physically demanding and difficult. I've always had a problem with this with every sport I played. For the first time I was able to pull myself out of my mental funk.

Next weekend is the big Portland Dragon Boat Race. I'm looking forward to ending the race season and making use of everything I've been learning the last few months!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Weigh In Day

Well, I'm up two pounds. 177. It's better than I expected considering how bad I did with my food choices over the last week.

I've lost my steam for tracking. I've done a fairly good job at watching myself. I've been eating more fish, I've been taking my vitamins, and drinking more water. I'm trying! But I'm not absolutely certain that I'm staying within calorie limits that will lead to  my success because I'm not writing it down.

I reach this point every time I'm on a diet. The point where I don't want to keep doing the same thing that's been working for me anymore..but I'll keep doing most of it. This is when I need to fight through my apathy and really get serious about my progress. This is when it gets hard. And it's important to push through it because if I don't I'll just be back where I've always been. I'm going to start by writing down what I ate today.

Character is built by the quality and fervor of the work you do when you stop feeling motivated to do it. I want to be a person of good character.