Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Steady Progress {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 215
Weekly Change: -1
Overall Change: -4 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214 (Even though I have a new "big" weight goal I'm working toward, I will still have mini-goals along the way!)
BMI: 31.3(obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: still 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 5 (3 run, 2 swim)
Total Running Time: About 1 hour and 13 min.
Total Running Distance: about 6 miles.
Longest Single Run: 27 min./2.25 (no walking!)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I am starting week 2 of this 10K training plan
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 46 push ups and 92 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 17,138 steps
Injury Report: The ice and ibuprofen seem to be helping with my leg pain. It hasn't been as bad this week, even with a full running schedule. I will keep up the same routine and see how it goes.
Last Week's Goal(s): Ack, I came so close to completing all three goals this week! I did run and swim at least twice each, but I didn't find time to get on the bike this weekend. I did lose another pound, and I did take my "before" pictures and blog about my photo challenge. I'd call that a pretty successful week!
Next Event Goal: I need to make a decision on at least one 5K tomorrow, so I might have something to add here next week, but for now my next event remains the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in October.
This Week's Goals: (1) Run and swim at least twice each, and bike once. (2) Lose at least one more pound, which would mean hitting my first mini weight loss goal. (3) Make a decision about some fall 5K's.

Analysis: I don't have a whole lot to say about this past week -- it was a good one! My three runs were increasingly long and strong. My swims were still awkward, but it will take a while to get back into my groove in the water. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't ride my bike, but it couldn't be helped -- I was too busy watching lots of other people ride THEIR bikes...through the streets around London, to be precise. Once the Olympics are over, I'll have a little more free time for my own athletic endeavors. It felt good to lose another pound, but I don't think I will feel confident about it until I lose another one or two and start seeing the numbers consistently go down. I'm excited to keep working at it!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Watch This!! {Five on Friday}

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I'm a huge Olympics junkie. Ever since the summer of 1984, the Olympics have been very special to me!

Tonight the Games of the XXX Olympiad get underway in London, and here are five events I can't wait to watch!

1. Equestrian, especially the show jumping. I was horse crazy as a kid and never fully outgrew it.

2. Swimming. Phelps. Lochte. Speedos. I'm in.

3. Gymnastics. The first Olympic sport I remember watching...sweet nostalgia!

4. Soccer. Go USA women's team!!

5. Marathon. I like the other running events too, but there is just something special about an Olympic marathon.

Which sports are you excited to watch?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Extreme Motivation {Inspiration of the Week}

Have you seen Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition? If not, you should check it out. In each episode, trainer Chris Powell takes one morbidly obese person and works with him or her for an entire year to lose weight and make huge lifestyle changes.

I love this show because it's truly about these people's journeys to better health, and Chris works hard to help them succeed. There is none of the game-playing, manipulating, backstabbing drama that you find on other reality shows, so this became a great replacement for me after I quit watching The Biggest Loser.

The stories are incredibly inspirational...when I watch other people overcome the obstacles in their lives, I can't help but feel empowered to overcome my own! In one episode this season, there was a man who broke up with his fiance, was homeless, and suffered the death of his son, all within the year when he was supposed to be losing weight and getting healthy. I would not have blamed him one little bit for giving up, even for a little while, but he never did. He understood that his health was too important to let life get in the way, and he stayed the course. How can I complain about all the silly things I use as excuses to skip workouts or eat junk?

I've been watching this season all this week, and it's really helping me get in the right frame of mind for this stage of my journey. I'm making more of an effort to lose weight, and I'm running through some pain, and I've just added biking...I need to keep this momentum going! Thinking of the courage and tenacity of the people Chris has helped transform is driving me to keep up my hard work.

Also, it's worth mentioning that Chris Powell is pretty cute. :) So, you know, if that's the sort of thing that inspires you, that's another reason to check out this show. It airs on Sunday nights at 9pm on ABC and the next new episode is August 4th.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Worth a Thousand Words {Wordy Wednesday}

After I decided to increase my focus on weight loss, I started comtemplating ways to motivate myself. Shame seemed like a decent option.

I thought of how humbling it must be for obese participants on shows like The Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition to get on the scale wearing very little clothing, revealing not only an embarrassingly high weight, but also a gruesome visual image of how that number translates into physical appearance. I admire their courage for putting themselves out there, and wondered if I should do the same. Maybe forcing myself to face my reality and show it to others would be just the kick in the pants I need to really get serious here.

Or maybe not.

I've been pretty open and honest about even the most unpleasant parts of my journey here, but actually showing everyone how gross my body looks might be a step too far out of my comfort zone. While I was weighing (pun intended! ha! I love puns.) my options, a friend gave me a suggestion that I've decided to use.

I'm calling this my Photo Challenge, and this is how it works:

*My husband took some icky "before" shots of me this week, complete with ginormous belly hanging out in all its (grotesque) glory.

*Those pictures are being kept private for the time being, and will remain so, provided that I meet a weight loss goal I am setting for myself.

*My first major weight loss goal is 9 pounds in 12 weeks. I chose 207 as my first goal weight because it was the lowest post-baby weight I achieved last summer before I started gaining again in the fall. I'm counting the 12 weeks from last Friday, so I need to be at or below 207 pounds by October 12th.

*If I meet my goal, I can choose to either destroy the "before" photos, or post them alongside a much more appealling "after" photo.

*If I do NOT meet my goal, I will post the photos as is, and suffer the embarrassment of not doing what needed to be done.

If this challenge works well as a motivator, I might continue to use these scary photos as incentive to set and meet new weight loss goals. I'm generally not big on being this specific about losing a certain number of pounds by a certain date, but the lack of specificity has not been working for me this time around. If I had been losing weight steadily (even if it were slowly), I wouldn't need to do this. But I simply haven't been getting the job done, so I have to try as many new approaches as it takes to succeed. I made this first goal VERY attainable -- less than a pound per week! There is really no viable excuse for me not to be able to do this. Game on.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tour de Ouch {Tuesday Tips}

Sunday marked a huge milestone for me -- I finally rode a bike again for the first time in many many years! And since being able to ride a bike is sort of a prerequisite for participating in a triathlon, this was a necessary step on my overall journey here.

Practicing on the sidewalk until I got less wobbly:

Posing with a smile. Glad I took this pic before my workout, because by the end I was not so smiley...

Steady enough to venture into the street!

So how did it go? Well, in a nutshell, it hurt! I can definitely see why triathletes have such amazing physiques -- each event works a completely different set of muscles! I already knew this was true of running and swimming, but I was surprised to discover aches in all kinds of brand-new places as I rode along on my bike. And then there is also the seat...is there any piece of athletic equipment LESS comfortable than a bicycle seat? Yikes!!

Here is where I need some tips: How can I make biking hurt less??? I am limited by a few significant factors:
1. Biking is my lowest priority for right now, behind running and swimming, so I'm not going to be investing much money or time into it just yet.
2. My bike is a random mountain bike that the previous owners of my house left behind when they moved. It's not ideal for my fitness goals, but it's just going to have to do for now, so any issues that could be solved by getting a better bike will have to be solved in other ways.

I'm interested in any sorts of stretches, yoga poses, or simple strength-training exercises that I could do throughout the week to better prepare my muscles for my weekend rides. I'm also REALLY interested in any suggestions for making the seat less painful. It hurt to sit upright all day yesterday, and I'm still a little sore today. And I only rode three miles my first time out. Someone suggested padded shorts...do they work? Are they the only solution? HELP!!!!!

I'll close with a pic of my almost-seven-year-old son totally showing me up on his bike. He learned to ride without training wheels this summer, and Sunday was the first day he attempted it on the concrete. He's a cautious kid and had only been riding in our yard thus far, so this was a big step for him. We shared our important milestones together, and it was fun! Also, he was WAY less wobbly than I was. :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cautiously Pessimistic {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 216
Weekly Change: -1
Overall Change: -3 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.4(obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: forgot to measure, probably still 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 3 (1 run, 1 swim, 1 bike)
Total Running Time: 21 min.
Total Running Distance: 1.75 miles
Longest Single Run: 21 min./1.75 (with walking)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm switching from my Couch to 5K plan to this 10K training plan
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 43 push ups and 86 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 14,414 steps
Injury Report: Last week I had some mild calf pain that seemed too inconsequential to even mention here. Then I ran again, and it got worse. I decided to rest a few days to nip the problem in the bud, but the pain hasn't gone away entirely. I am concerned. There is pain in both legs, in slightly different yet similar places. It hurts when I walk, and sometimes even when I'm sitting still. Now that I've officially registered for an October 10K, I'm afraid to rest too much when I should be training, but I'm also afraid of ending up with a real injury that keeps me from the race completely. I guess my plan at the moment is to try running this week, and use ice and ibuprofen to cope with any pain that appears post-workout. If it keeps getting worse throughout the week, I'll go back to resting next week. Hoping and praying for the best possible outcome!
Last Week's Goal(s): I rode my bike!!! I really did!!! And now I need to ask for advice, so I'll write all about that tomorrow in Tuesday Tips. Meanwhile, I also lost a pound, so that's another goal accomplished. It may have just been a pound of retained water, but I'll take any loss I can get at this point. I guess I went 2 for 3, because I didn't manage to take a "before" photo and post about my photo plan. Keep an eye out for that this coming week!
Next Event Goal: Still haven't chosen any 5K's (on the verge of registering for a couple but afraid to commit the money while I'm having leg pain!), so my next event remains the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in October.
This Week's Goals: (1) Run and swim at least twice each, and bike once. (2) Lose at least one more pound. (3) Take a "before" picture and write a post about the photo plan.

Analysis: I'm back to struggling with mornings again, and having leg pain and the pool closed for four days for a swim meet didn't help any. It would have been nice to complete more than three workouts, but at least my work walking challenge keeps me somewhat active on the days when I don't get in any sustained exercise. Right now the biggest thing going on is my paranoia over my leg pain. I'm so afraid of injuring myself that it's all I can think about at the moment!! I should be rejoicing in taking a big step along this journey by getting on the bike yesterday, and I should also be working harder at weight loss, but mostly I'm just worrying. I really hope I can have a good run with minimal pain tomorrow morning to restore my confidence and allow me to refocus my mental energy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An App for This and That {Tuesday Tips}

My dinosaur days are behind me -- I finally got a smartphone! Naturally, I'm exploring the wild and wonderful world of apps.

Already I've started using MapMyFitness, which I can use to log walks, runs, bike rides, swims, and even my push ups and crunches. I can use the GPS to track me outside, or just enter the info from a treadmill run after the fact. I know there are many other features of the program too, but I haven't had a chance to explore them all yet.

I like the app so far, and I think it will suit my needs. However, I'm still curious about what other health & fitness-related apps are out there. What do you use? What do you like about it, and what do you dislike? Does it make it easier for you to achieve your fitness goals? Do you tend to post workout info from your phone to websites like Facebook?

If you also use MapMyFitness, do you have any tips for me? Are there any features I should try out, or any I should avoid?

Thanks for sharing!

Monday, July 16, 2012

One Foot in Front of the Other... {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 217
Weekly Change: +1 (but I'm pretty sure it's just bloat)
Overall Change: -2 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.6(obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: forgot to measure, probably still 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 4 (3 runs, 1 walk)
Total Running Time: 72 min.
Total Running Distance: 6 miles
Longest Single Run: 24 min./2m (NO walking!!))
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm starting Week 12 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 42 push ups and 84 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 15, 215 steps
Injury Report: No injuries of note at the moment, but a mild stomach bug is making life difficult.
Last Week's Goal(s): Okay, technically my husband accomplished my first goal for me, getting my bike functional. However, I decided to run instead of ride on Saturday, and then spent Sunday rather ill, so I still haven't actually ridden the bike. One step at a time... As for goal number 2, I'm not sure if I've come up with much of a strategy other than just to start paying attention to what I eat again, and make better choices most of the time. It's mostly about changing my mentality. If that counts as a strategy, then I accomplished that as well. And I also wrote three blog posts, so overall the week was a success!
Next Event Goal: Still haven't chosen any 5K's (though I currently have at least 2 in mind), so my next event remains the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in October.
This Week's Goals: (1) Actually ride the bike at least once. (2) Lose at least one pound. (3) Take a "before" picture and write a post about the photo plan.

Analysis: I wish I had a good excuse for not swimming last week, but I don't. I just couldn't drag my lazy butt out of bed those mornings. I think I made up for it with my runs, though! Not only did I manage to get up early to run during the week, but I also toughed out a miserable afternoon run on Saturday! And in doing so, I reminded myself why I only run outside at the crack of dawn in the summer. I am NOT a good hot weather runner. It took a lot of walking to get me through my whole workout, but I never gave up! I'm also proud of managing to run the whole 24 min./2 miles once this week without walking. That was Thursday's run, and it felt fantastic! Even though I verbally committed to a new focus on weight loss, I didn't really put that new focus into practice too much, but I'm working on that hardcore this week, so hopefully I'll have something to report in my next update!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Do I Need More Stuff? {Saturday Shopper}

If all goes well (and the weather improves), today I will go for my first bike ride in a long, long time. FINALLY.

I think I have everything I need for this first ride. I have a bike, which thanks to my awesome husband is now in working order. I have a helmet -- the first bike helmet of my life. That will be a strange adjustment for someone who grew up in the era before helmets became commonplace. At least I will be setting a good safety example for my kids, who occasionally like to sneak onto their bikes or scooters without their helmets when we're not looking!

Okay, so -- bike? Check. Helmet? Check. One functional pair of legs? Check. That ought to get me started. But what about going forward? Will I need any other gear for regular cycling?

Until I begin triathlon training (which I'm thinking will happen sometime in the spring of 2013), I most likely will be riding my bike once or twice a week on the weekends, either at local parks or just around the neighborhood. I probably won't be going very fast, and I have no idea how long these rides will last. For just that amount of biking, do I need any other supplies, like a water bottle that attaches to the bike, or anything like that?

I'm also toying with the idea of starting to bike to the pool in the mornings, for the extra exercise and to save a little gas. I'm unsure about it though, because it will take me down a very busy road on which people frequently drive way too fast. If I should decide to attempt that trip, will I need any extra gear? It may be a little dark in the mornings when the days get shorter, so will I need reflective clothing or accessories? And what would be the best way to carry my pool gear with me -- in a backpack, or in some sort of bag that attaches to the bike somehow?

You can probably tell that I know pretty much nothing about biking. I don't expect to get too into cycling as a sport -- I more or less just want to ride for some extra exercise and so I eventually can achieve my goal of completing a triathlon. So I'm not looking to spend a lot of money or buy things I don't particularly need. If you have any tips on items I really should buy, please share! Thanks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Actually, Size DOES Matter {Wordy Wednesday}

What is the simplest secret to losing weight? "Eat less; move more."

I've got the "move more" part pretty well under control at this point. I'm exercising regularly and making solid progress with my running. I can feel myself growing stronger and more fit.

When it comes to "eat less," however, there is no control whatsoever, and this is why I'm not losing weight.

Please don't mistake this for a whiny pity party. I'm not crying "WHY am I not losing weight??" I know exactly why I'm not losing, and the truth is I haven't actually been trying to lose. My focus has been on getting back into running (and swimming, and eventually biking) because I enjoy those activities and because fitness is about more than just weight loss to me.

What I was hoping was that as I started moving more and more, the extra calories I was burning would result in a very tiny but progressive amount of weight loss. As my weight has stalled at 216 lbs. despite my longer and more frequent runs, I'm realizing that my eating habits are simply too bad to be overcome by this modest amount of exercise.

For a long time, the lack of weight loss didn't bother me much. Like I said, my focus was elsewhere. The past month has brought about a change of attitude though, due to two main factors:

1. My baby turned one. When you celebrate your baby's first birthday, you have to face the fact that you can no longer call any lingering extra weight "baby fat." At that point, it's nothing more than "bad habit fat." There's a common saying about baby weight: "Nine months up, nine months down." In other words, you gain the weight gradually, so you can't expect to lose it instantly as soon as your baby is born. I get that, and have never expected to return to pre-pregnancy weight right away. Once you hit 12 months, though, and you weigh more than you did a couple of weeks after delivery, there is something else going on.

2. The weather got hot. When the weather got hot, I pulled out all the summer clothes I could find and discovered that almost everything was too small. I have a very limited summer wardrobe that fits me at this size, aside from maternity clothes. Having to wear maternity clothes when I'm not pregnant has been pretty damaging to my psyche in recent years, and I just couldn't bring myself to go down that road again. I tried to make do with the few items of clothing I had that fit, but it got too difficult and I had to pull out a few maternity shirts and shorts. How depressing. Shorts with a giant stretchy panel for a belly that shouldn't be this big without a baby in it were the straw that broke the camel's back.

It is time.

Please don't bombard me with your very best diet and nutrition tips. I may ask for recipes or other ideas at a later time, but I don't need that right now. I know how to eat better. I know what I need to do. For me, it's a matter of making the conscious choice to start making conscious choices. Make sense? I just have to get my head in the game and do what I know needs to be done. So I'm shifting the exercise side into auto-pilot for a bit (I'm in a good routine now, so I should be able to keep chugging along with little mental effort required.), allowing me to focus on nutrition and moderation and mostly good choices.

I am making a big dramatic announcement about this because I need to commit in some official way. The thing is, I hate to do this. I don't want to become completely obsessed with losing weight, because life is just too short to let a scale determine your daily mood. At the same time, I don't want to wear maternity clothes anymore. I don't even want to wear my "fat" clothes anymore. I have boxes full of perfectly decent clothes just a couple sizes smaller than I am now, and I want to wear them!! There is only one way to make that happen, and it's to work on BOTH parts of "Eat less; move more." I'm ready to do that now....even if it means eating a teensy bit less cake.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Oh? Was it Hot Outside? {Weekly Summary}

Weight: STILL 216
Weekly Change: N/A
Overall Change: -3 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.4(obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 5 (2 runs, 3 swims)
Total Running Time: 42 min.
Total Running Distance: 3.5 miles
Longest Single Run: 21 min./1.75m (NO walking!!))
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm starting Week 11 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 40 push ups and 80 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 16,568 (swimming counts as steps too but I'm only going to count non-swim days in this stat)
Injury Report: Toe hasn't bothered me as much. Leg and ankle seem to be doing better.
Last Week's Goal(s): Hmm I guess I accomplished my first goal, even though I also chose to sleep in. My pool was open on July 4th so I went for a swim around lunchtime. It was nice to both sleep in AND complete a workout! That was my second swim of the week, too, so with that I accomplished another of my weekly goals. The only one left undone was the bike thing. Again.
Next Event Goal: Still haven't chosen any 5K's, so my next event remains the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in October.
This Week's Goals: (1) Get a bike working. Seriously. (2) Come up with a weight loss strategy. (3) Write at least three blog posts.

Analysis: It was a hot week, but that didn't stop me from completing five workouts! One of them was a brutal treadmill run that involved LOTS of walking, but I toughed it out just like the last time I struggled on the treadmill. Right now I'm in a good place, psychologically, where rough workouts don't get me down and instead I feel stronger for doing the best I can and not giving up. I'm feeling so good about my slow but steady progress that I'm daring to dream of possibilities for the future again. At the moment, I think a triathlon probably isn't going to happen until next summer, but I have a really cool one in mind that should be worth the wait. Between now and then, if all goes well with the 10K in October, I may focus on running for a while and set some new race goals. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but I'm enjoying running enough now that I feel more confident about what I can achieve in the future!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

But there IS an "I" in "Inspire" {Inspiration of the Week}

"What's gonna work? TEAMwork! What's gonna work? TEAMwork!"

My apologies if you are also the parent of young children and now have Wonderpets music stuck in your head. I just couldn't write about what it means to me to be part of a team without hearing that enthusiastic song myself.

This post is actually a little late in coming. I'm at a different stage in my progress now, where exercise is fun and I don't need much more than the sheer joy of it to motivate me to get out there! A month ago or so, it was a different story entirely...

As I struggled to make myself run more than once or twice per week, and do any exercise at all other than running, one of the only things that helped me start succeeding was the walking challenge I started doing through my work. I'm on a team with six of my colleagues, and with our combined steps, we are competing against teams from all over our firm! I personally recruited one member of the team who wasn't particularly interested in participating, and another member of the team has been struggling to contribute while recovering from knee surgery, so I've had a lot of incentive really to do my fair share of the work. There have been many days where I was busy and tired and just didn't feel like finding a way to get extra steps in, but I dragged myself down to the treadmill or danced around my living room while watching TV because I couldn't bear the thought of letting down my teammates.

When someone else is counting on me, I am much more likely to come through than when the only person depending on the outcome is myself. This has been true in many aspects of my life. Since I don't play team sports and generally prefer to exercise alone, it's not often that I can use that sense of duty to further my fitness goals. This challenge has given me an opportunity to do just that!

The contest is long, and wearing the pedometer got old about a day after it started, but I'm proud of how hard our team is working! To my teammates Tyler, Meg, Liz, Sue, Gina, and Brina, thanks for inspiring me to get moving every single day! I don't know if I'd be as active as I am now if it weren't for you. Let's keep kicking butt and try to finish in the top 5! I believe in us!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Like Riding a Bike

The BAD news: I have been neglecting this blog for several weeks. I'm sure you've all been dying to know what's going on with me, right? Heh.

The GOOD news: I have NOT been neglecting my body during this time. I've kept up with running and walking and push ups and crunches and even resumed swimming (more on that later)!! I've just been too busy/lazy/distracted to write about any of it.

The AWESOME news: I'm BACK, with a detailed update and a promise not to abandon you again...well, at least until I get busy/lazy/distracted again!

Let's look at the stats and see where things stand:
Weight: Been holding strong at 216 for a few weeks now
Weekly Change: N/A
Overall Change: -3 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.4(obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 3+ every week!
Total Running Time: Last week, a total of 57 minutes!
Total Running Distance: 4.75 miles
Longest Single Run: 21 min./1.75m (NO walking!!))
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm finishing up Week 10 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 40 push ups and 80 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 17,666
Injury Report: Busted toe still hurts on and off. Leg pain comes and goes, but lately there has been more pain in the ankle than further up. I've been icing the ankle after every run and it seems to help.
Last Week's Goal(s): Of the last three goals I set, I accomplished two in that week: I got up at 5:30 to run, and I set a new PR for steps walked in one day. Since then, I have gotten better at getting up at or close to 5:30 nearly every day, and I set an even higher new personal best step count. I still have not gotten a bicycle working yet though.
Next Event Goal: Though I'm still not ready for a 5K, today I registered for a 10K: this October I will once again be running the Marine Corps Marathon 10K. I should have plenty of time to prepare if I keep up with my current training plan for a couple more weeks and then switch to a 10K training plan at the end of the month. I'm on the lookout now for a 5K or two to squeeze in along with my 10K training.
This Week's Goals: (1) Exercise on July 4th even though it's a holiday and I'll really want to sleep in! (2) Get my bike into functional shape; and (3) Renew pool pass and swim more than once (I would have left it at "once," but since I already did that this morning, it seems a little like cheating!)

Analysis: I'm really pleased with my recent progress. Running has gotten SO much easier, which is making it more enjoyable too! I think being outside has made a difference -- I am so happy to be getting up and running outside in the mornings now! I'd been procrastinating a bit on getting back in the pool, probably because I was a little apprehensive about it. I just didn't know what to expect -- would it be as difficult as it was the very first time I tried to swim laps? Would I have to overcome my fears and struggle to put my face in the water all over again? I'm thrilled to say the answer to both of those is NO!! Once I slipped into the water this morning, it all came back to me, and I was able to swim without struggle or fear. Of course, it was incredibly exhausting and I had to spend more time on my kickboard than on my own, but I know I'll build my stamina back up before too long. It was a really great feeling getting into the pool again, and I can't wait to go back!! Overall, I have lots of positive energy and feelings about how things are going, except when it comes to my weight. I'm thinking of devoting a whole post to that soon, so for now I'll just say that I don't think I'm content to let my weight be a secondary concern anymore and it might have to become as much of a priority as my other fitness goals.