Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Time to Wake Up! {Weekly Summary}

Weight: I actually forgot to weigh myself. Oops?
Weekly Change: N/A
Overall Change: As of last week, -4 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: As of last week, 31.3 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: As of last week, 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 2
Total Running Time: 12 min.
Total Running Distance: 1 mile
Longest Single Run: 12 min./1m (NO walking!!))
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm still in Week 8 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 33 push ups and 66 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 10,659
Injury Report: Lots of busted toe pain. I wasn't planning to rest the sore leg, but since I haven't managed to run in nearly a week, that has happened anyway, and I've noticed much less pain. We'll see what happens when I resume running though!
Last Week's Goal(s): After another week of failing at all my goals, I've decided I am indeed trying to do too much. Though I want to keep working on all these different facets of fitness, I need to focus on just a few specific goals at a time, so when I get busy or overwhelmed, I'll know how to prioritize the different activities.
Next Event Goal: The Semper Fi 5K is less than three weeks away and I've yet to make a decision on whether I should attempt it. It certainly seems to be looking less and less likely...
Next Week's Goals: My new approach to goals will be to select only three per week. This week they are (1) Wake up at 5:30am to run at least once; (2) Get my bike into functional shape; and (3) Set a new PR for number of steps walked in one day.

Analysis: Last week was crazy busy for my family -- we had social events, sports events, school events, church events -- and then after all that, we also adopted two brand new kittens! On Wednesday night, I experienced a huge breakthrough with my running, when I finally ran a whole mile without walking! But then I didn't get any "real" exercise the rest of the week. I did still manage to get my 10,000 steps in each day, but I'm not sure if my pacing, marching in place, and dancing around the living room counts as a real workout. I'm torn on that idea, actually. When I do it all at once and not in short spurts, I do get my heartrate up and keep it that way for a while. And I can definitely feel the burn in my muscles afterwards as well. In fact, sometimes those living room workouts might be more intense than some of my treadmill walks! I guess going forward, if I do an improvised living room workout at a sustained intensity for at least 30 minutes, I'll count it as a "real" workout. Anyway, I'm not going to beat myself up over only running once last week. Instead I'm looking forward to the weeks to come, because an important change is happening. Now that I'm done nursing my baby (almost toddler! aack!) in the mornings, I'm going to start getting up earlier and doing the bulk of my exercise in the morning. This will allow me to run outside on nice days, and get back in the pool, and hopefully maintain a much more consistent workout schedule. First though, I have to tackle my natural inclination to be a night owl. I know that I can train my body to wake up and be active earlier (though I'll still be grumpy until I have my first cup of coffee), but it's going to take some time. This morning was my first attempt, and I went back to sleep for another hour. Tomorrow I will try again, and maybe only fall back asleep for another HALF hour. By Thursday, I should be able to drag myself out of bed at 5:30...but will I actually be able to run? We shall see.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Tale of Two Runs {Wordy Wednesday}

Note: This is about my Sunday evening run. I meant to post about it on Monday, but it has just been a crazy busy week!

It was the best of runs; it was the worst of runs. Well, it started off the worst and didn't achieve "best" status until the end, but it's crazy how the same experience can feel like both opposite extremes!

I was in a terrible mood at the start. The run was already two days late (Friday night I was distracted by severe storms and my 4 year old interfered with my attempt at a nice outdoor run on Saturday), and came at the end of an exhausting weekend. I was feeling frustrated about pretty much everything in my life. You know me -- I can be a little melodramatic at times. ;-)

Anyway, I didn't even want to run. I was tired and feeling, well, whatever the opposite of "empowered" is. There just wasn't any fight in me at all. I've been at this long enough to know running has a strong mental component to it, and if your head's not in the game, chances are you're going to fade when your body tires. So I knew the run wasn't going to go well, and I was in no mood to fight my way through it.

But I tried anyway. I figured I'd just quit when I got tired.

I thought about quitting a lot, actually. During my walking warm-up, I thought "Maybe I'll just walk to get all my steps in, and not run at all."

And then I ran anyway. I figured I'd walk as soon as I got tired, and then maybe not run anymore.

Got tired, walked, ran again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It took me about 45 minutes to run 15, and towards the end I was only running one minute at a time. The important thing is that I was still running. Not only did I finish my 15 minutes, but I ran the last two together in an effort to "finish strong." By then, the fight was back in me, and not just the fight but also the WIN.

Basically, it felt like I ran my first 5K all over again, only this time I did what I wish I'd done in that race: every single time I walked, I caught my breath, and I ran again. It was a painful, exhausting, miserable run, but because I kept at it, and never completely gave up, it ended up being one of my favorite runs ever!!!

I'd been feeling discouraged lately because my fitness progress has been coming along so slowly. My confidence was wavering. After Sunday's run, I felt strong and capable again for the first time in a while. And thanks to Sunday's run, tonight I was able to run a whole mile without walking, FINALLY, for the first time in over a year!!

I guess Sunday was just the best worst run ever.

On a (Slightly Painful) Roll {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 215 lbs.
Weekly Change: -3
Overall Change: -4 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.3 (obese) (using this calculator) (and just realized I've been using it incorrectly...I didn't realize you could enter fractions of inches in height, so I rounded my height up. heehee oops)
Waist Circumference: 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 6!!! (but only 2 were runs)
Total Running Time: 30 min.
Total Running Distance: 2.5 miles
Longest Single Run: 15 min./1.25m (broken up with walking)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm starting Week 8 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 32 push ups and 64 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 11,309
Injury Report: No real change with the busted toe, but I'm sad to report that now I'm experiencing leg pain in the same area where I had my stress fracture two years ago. That portion of my left leg has been more prone to pain than other places since then; I'm not sure if that's normal. This pain is worrying me because it feels very similar to the stress fracture, though not as severe. I'm going to start icing the spot after runs and after walking workouts as well, and I'll keep monitoring the pain. If it continues or worsens, I will have to take a break from running and see if it goes away. I really really really hope it doesn't come to that. :-(
Last Week's Goal(s): Man, I am NOT good at achieving my goals! Maybe there is something wrong with the goals I'm choosing? Maybe I'm trying to do too many things at once? I actually thought I had a pretty decent week, but I fell just short of most of my goals. I was short one run, short one day of 10,000 steps, and accidentally went four days without push ups or crunches. I did blog more, but not as much as I'd wanted. Biking didn't happen; eating only improved marginally, and I did not make a race decision.
Next Event Goal: (Still need to follow through on this decision!!) With less than a month left before the Semper Fi Fund 5K, I have an important decision to make. I know I will not be ready to run the whole thing in that time. I feel confident that I'll be able to run more than half of it by then, but I don't think I can hope for much better than that. So I need to decide if it's worthwhile to enter a race knowing that I won't be able to run the whole thing, or whether I'd prefer to save my money and wait until I actually can run 3.1 miles.
Next Week's Goals: I'm going to stick with the same goals this week, and if I fall short on most of them again, I will rethink them all next week! Three runs; hit 10,000 steps every day; only one day off from crunches/push ups at a time; start biking; blog more; eat better (vague, I know); make a decision about the Semper Fi 5K.

Analysis: So far, the walking challenge is still living up to my expectations! I have dragged myself down to the treadmill for a brisk walk many evenings when what I really wanted to so was sit on the couch and eat snacks. Not wanting to let my team down is much greater motivation for me than anything internal these days!! I don't know if it was the extra walking or the slight nutrition improvements, but my weight finally broke through the 216-pound threshhold! Now I'm just one pound away from my first mini-goal weight! I don't expect to reach that this week (for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that this is a very cakey week in my world, and I am powerless to resist cake. Mmmmmm CAKE.), but maybe next week I'll be able to lose one more??? I think my reward for finally getting to 214 will be to download some new music. I never did go buy "Stronger" like I said I was going to...that might be a good reward!