Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Nothing to See Here

I know I have been MIA. But nothing good is happening around here. I mean, at least not with my weight. I have a few good days, my scale drops a few pounds. Then the weekend comes, or some other kind of event, and I eat whatever I want and my scale jumps back up.

I was busy working six days in a row last week, plus I was battling some kind of bug this weekend, and I didn't have time or energy to workout for three days in a row. It happens. But it's put me behind in my goal of 35 running-miles this month.

Now I am busy getting ready to go on vacation on Friday. I had a perfect day yesterday, but tonight someone is taking us out for our anniversary. It's hard to get refocused when you know you won't be tomorrow. Two steps forward, one step back.

And I know I will gain a few pounds on vacation. It's our anniversary. I plan to celebrate. Plus fluid retention just from flying. It's not going to be good.

And my pants are getting tight.

But I am going to come back. Stronger than ever. Just wait...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sometimes Running Doesn't Make Sense

I have had a lot of good runs lately. Which has been super good for my running morale. I made a decision in August, to focus on running more. I went from running basically once a week with Tracy, to running three times a week. Twice I run by myself. My goal was also to try to increase from running just 3 miles (and I don't mean "just") to running six miles again.

And I am getting there.

I made a chart, which has definitely been moved around and changed. I haven't increased as fast as I might have wanted. But I am trying to run each distance several times. I ran four miles three times before I increased to five miles. And I'd like to do five miles at least one more time before I attempt six miles.


I am also playing around with interval patterns. Tracy and I have been running a 3:2 all summer. And I really love it. But I know if I want to get faster, I need to be running more than just 3/2 of the the mileage. So I have tried 4:1 and I didn't feel like the one minute recovery was enough time. I should try 3:1 and see if I feel the same. I also tried 4:2 and the first time I did that, I hardly shaved any time off. which was frustrating, because I was running so much more. But I did it a second time and was able to shave much more time (39 seconds) off each mile, which got me to a 12:30 average.

The other day I tried a 5:2 and it was a complete fail. I did the first 4 intervals just fine. But then the mental game won out. My average was lower than my 3 and 4 minute averages, which takes a toll. Why am I running so much, so hard, so long when I am averaging a 13:30 mile. If I took my run down to only 4 minutes, I'd be able to average 12:30. Arghhh! Sometimes running just doesn't make sense.

Obviously there are other factors at play: weather conditions, trail conditions, how fueled my body is, how tired I am, how upset my tummy is that I almost killed my mom's boyfriend's dog. The usual things!

Perhaps it was just time to have a bad run again. It will make the success of my next 5:2 run so much better!

I am also contemplating trying to make the jump from minutes to distance. I always hate run-training with time. I hate the idea that no matter how fast you run, you still have to go for three minutes. If I was running distance (say half a mile) I could stop earlier if I ran faster. It gives you more motivation for speed. Which is what I am working on for my three mile runs.

It's tricky mixing your goals for speedier short distance, with your goals of adding mileage. Plus still trying to lift weights and not missing my favorite thing: kickboxing. But as I've said before, I only have a 8-12 week period of perfect running conditions. I want to make sure to take advantage of it.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dog Poisoning

This weekend we were dog sitting my mom's dog, Hannah and her boyfriend's dog, Ben.  They both stay at Steve's house and then we spend the night there while we take care of them.  Ben is not allowed to be left alone at my mom's house because he's so big and tall and destructive.  And that's fine with us because Steve's house is closer to our house anyway. Though, I always feel more comfortable in my own mother's house.

So they leave sometime Saturday morning and we have to stop by around five to let the dogs out. We hang out at Steve's house for a couple hours while we finish watching the Husker football game. And then we to decide it's time to go to dinner.

We eat at one of our favorite restaurants in that quadrant of town, and then we head to Barnes & Noble. We're probably gone about two hours.

When we get back to Steve's house, we're playing with the dogs, I'm getting the television figured out. And suddenly Dan  says, "good idea to put away the candy bars."  I don't know what he's talking about. He  reminds me that he found two candy bars in Steve's cupboard that he thought we should have for dessert when we got home. "I didn't touch the candy bars!" I say. When all of a sudden, we both realized that we left some candy bars on the counter and they are gone and the only 'people' there were the dogs.

Chocolate is poisonous for dogs!

I start panicking and I immediately call my mom to figure out what her and Steve want me to do. Do I need to take been to an emergency vet? Do I need to make him throw up? Have I killed Steve's dog?

After lots of research, and texting my dog-expert friend, we decide Ben will be just fine.

But I am sick to my stomach. I am up every every hour of the night making sure Ben isn't throwing up or having a seizure. I hardly sleep and I am sick to my stomach.

He turned out to be just fine. According to the Internets, a dog can eat .7oz of milk chocolate for every pound. Ben weighs 100 pounds. So he can eat 70oz before he gets poisoned. Seventy! He ate three!

I hope Steve can forgive us. I don't know if I can.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Big Five


After three weeks of running and succeeding with my four mile run, I decided it was time to go for five! I tried to talk myself out of it saying, Five is too long, just go for four-and-a-half. But to keep myself quiet, I told myself that I could walk the last half back if I needed to.

But I didn't need to.

It was perfect weather. A bit windy, but not so bad on the trail. I went to my new favorite spot to run. Long enough that I never have to turn around. It was after work, which is definitely my most favorite time to workout. It was a hard day at work, but that just fueled my determination. I used the restroom at the park before I took off; I knew I wouldn't make it an hour bouncing down the trail.

And then I started running. Right down the long trail. My legs felt like lead, probably from jumping on the trampoline with Samantha last weekend. But I just kept going and they started feeling better. I ran 3/2 intervals. I told myself I could go as slow as I needed, and sometimes it felt like I was just dragging my feet down the street.

I think it helped to tell myself I was going to run for 70 minutes. Not five miles. Just seventy-minutes. Fourteen intervals. I tried not to let myself count them. If I can lose count after the first two or three it is best. Because thinking you're almost done, and still having 11 more to go, seems daunting. But just working out for 70 minutes seems better.

I listened to an audiobook, which isn't usually my favorite. It wasn't even that good of a book. But it took my attention off the intervals. With music I usually think, this interval will be over before the song is and then when it isn't the time seems to drag on and on. I thought that I liked to sing along, but I didn't miss it. The book made the time pass faster. I am going to try it again.

And then I was at the half-way point and I turned around and I was doing just fine. And then I texted Dan that I was half done and headed back. And that took up a little bit of time. And then I was at four miles. And I saw a coworker of mine drive by, and I waved. And I realized what a huge accomplishment this was going to be.

I haven't run five miles in seven years. seven years and three months. I haven't run five miles since I was a real runner. And now I think of running as something different. Running five miles doesn't mean I can't walk part of it. Running five miles just means I set a goal and five miles later I have accomplished it.

Two minute recovery breaks are great. Sometimes I only need 90 seconds, and sometimes I let myself start running early. But sometimes I need the whole two minutes. But I never feel like I can't start again.

Then suddenly I was done. And I had run five miles. And even though I said that pace didn't matter, I actually had a better average than all of my four-mile runs -- 13:39 vs. 13:55. I think I probably could have done it with a 4/2 pace.

Maybe next time.

Most importantly: it was a really good run. I haven't had a lot of those lately. And I am really proud of myself. This is exactly what I am looking for. Not running any races. Not really even training for anything specifically. Just being better than I was yesterday.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In

Weight: 10.6 pounds

There's nothing good to say about this. Except that it's 2.6 pounds lower than last Wednesday and I survived another long weekend. So maybe things weren't as bad as I made them out to be.

But I still need to get my mind right. Ten pounds is not where I want to be. Having my jeans be too tight is not how I want to live.

But I'm one day in and things are going well. Once I get into a rhythm things start getting easier. It's just once I'm in that donut and nacho mentality it's so much easier to stay there.

So here's to another couple good weeks of eating before we leave for our anniversary trip. And a forgiving metabolism that allows this extra weight to just fall back off.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tough Weekends

I am having a hard time staying on track on the weekends. After my vacation ended last week, I had a good few days and my weight fell from 13 pounds to 12 to 10 to 9. And then the weekend came and I couldn't care anymore. I probably stayed below my 1900 calories but I didn't worry about macros. So my scale was back up to 12 this morning.

For the holiday yesterday, I literally ate: a donut and chocolate milk after my tough workout and then I shared nachos with Dan for dinner. Nachos and donuts.

No wonder I don't feel great today.

And my only pairs of pants that are tight "enough" are now too tight.

I need to stop eating junk food and start eating healthier things.

And I need to start caring. Because it doesn't matter what macros I say I am going to stick to, if the weekend comes and I just throw it all aside.

I did have a great long weekend. Very relaxing. I feel like I got some things done without being over-booked. We had dinner and watched the first Husker game with my family. And then Sunday we spent quality time on our favorite farm with our favorite McGhees.


We also made a new life goal of buying a half-a-million dollar house on Pine Lake. The only swimable lake within town. Now, how do I stop spending so much money.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Staycation

Staycations are my absolute favorite way to spend vacation time. I know it's good to travel and see the world and get away. But staycations are better for my soul.

  • There is relatively little stress. No travel. No real plan making. 
  • It costs a lot less to stay in your own bed. Which leaves more money to do the fun things. 
  • This allows you to take one or two a year.
  • When I travel, I always miss the silliest things about home. 
With the advent of Facebook, the term FOMO (fear of missing out) was invented. You see all the amazing things people are doing and you feel like your life is lacking. I never experience this. Except when I leave home. I seriously have FOMO for my life. We try coffee shops on vacation, and I just miss my regular baristas. We walk through parks and I wish I was on the Lincoln Trails. Sure there are cool things about other cities. But as Dan told my during our last vacation "how lucky for you that you live a life you miss so much."

So staycations are the way to go!
  • There are tons of restaurants to try in your own home.
  • There are probably tourist things you have never done.
  • It's still time away from work.
  • And it is 1/4 the price. 
Here was out 2017 Summer Staycation:

Since I was still in town, I could get up early and run with Tracy. That's a great part of staycations, you don't get out of your workout routine. In fact, you have more free time to workout.


We tried out several "new to us" restaurants. One was the Piedmont Bistro. We had lunch there and I'd give it a thumbs up. My chicken salad sandwich was delicious. I'd skip the chips next go, but the smoked gouda dip was amazing! Dan got the Bison Burger, which is always a favorite of his.


I took Samantha to her first (that she remembers) Saltdogs baseball game. We took her when she was 10 months old. But apparently memory doesn't work like that. She knows nothing about baseball and after about one inning had no interest in watching anymore. But we ate hotdogs and peanuts and snow cones. We sang Take me out to the Ball Game. We tried to catch t-shirts when they threw them out between innings (a nice man gave her one he caught and it totally made her day!) We played on the playground, she ran around the bases, and there were fireworks afterward. She was very excited to go back soon. Unfortunately the season is over for the year. Hopefully we'll get back before another five years go by.


Dan and I had donuts for breakfast next to this beautiful lake/fountain.


We tried out small-town BBQ. Average.


We went up to Columbus to see my aunts and Dad. We hung out at the horse races and gambled all our money away.


Real vacations always include Margaritas. This was the only drink I had. But since I never drink alcohol any more, I could totally feel this one.


We walked down to these beautiful falls.


We had Dan's favorite coffee and crepes.


It was wonderful and relaxing and five days off feels like such a luxury. I was ready to come back to work. But I am looking forward to our next vacation, which is only three weeks away. We're going to Quebec for our fifth anniversary. Hopefully I will find some good things about leaving town as well.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Weigh-In Wednesday

Weight: 13.2 pounds

You wanna know how to get your scale to stop reading 9.2 pounds every single day for one whole week? Eat whatever you want for five straight days!

That will get it to move!

Also the battery completely died. So I am hoping it's more accurate than ever before.

Though I am completely ashamed of that number, I expected it. I took a five day staycation and didn't track once during it. I ate whatever I wanted, though I tried to stop when I was full. And some days I ate a doughnut, a margarita and nachos. Probably not over 1900 calories. But no nutrients.

I still worked out. And I had a really nice and refreshing time. More on my wonderful staycation tomorrow.

But now it is time to buckle down.

I am contemplating doing three weeks (that's how long I have before my next vacation!) of something drastic: no sugar. Yes, it's too daunting. Maybe in October. So maybe for now, I cut calories a little bit. I stop carb-cycling, and just do higher carb, lower fat. Those days I have the most success. But am I only surviving the low fat days because I know I can have a delicious fatty treat in a few days? I want to get myself eating more fruit. And the only way I can do that is by increasing my carb requirements. But I don't want to make it so difficult on myself that I give up and just eat candy.

I am hopeful (as I always am) that this is just some bloat from additional carbs and salt over the weekend. I am hoping for a big loss by next week. I just have to get back to the grind. I can do this.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Weigh-In Wednesday: Week 3

Starting Weight: 12.2
Week 1 Average: 9.1
Week. 3 Average: 9.3
Week 3 Lowest: 9.2

This was the strangest week. My weight is up again. For the second week in a row. That might be expected since I finished my 14 straight days of hitting my macros and then I took the weekend off.

So you might expect that it would jump up a little and then maybe head back down while I got things back in line. But nope, that’s not what happened. I started the week (last Thursday) at 9.2 and that’s where it stayed. Every. Single. Day. Well except that one day when it jumped to 9.6. But then back to 9.2. It didn’t matter what I ate. High carbs. Low carbs. Lots of water. Chinese food. Nineteen-hundred calories. Thirteen-hundred calories. It didn’t matter. That scale said 9.2 pounds. 

I even wondered at one point if my scale was broken. My battery fell out once and maybe it’s not back in right. But then, why is it showing anything at all. I grabbed some heavy shampoo bottles and got on with them. It did climb up. And went right back to the 9.2 when I put them down. So that is where I am at.

I am not happy about it. If it was going to be stuck at some random weight, I wish it would be a 3 or 4. Every morning I tell myself this will the day it makes a big wave downward. But it never happens.

I don't know if I should try something different or not. I am pretty certain this is what works for me. But why am I so stuck right now? 

Right now I am preparing for a great staycation this weekend. I have five days off of work. I am going to keep exercising, and watching what I eat. But I also plan to indulge a little. I have some new restaurants I want to try. And I want to enjoy my vacation. But I also don't want to see a ten on that scale. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Things!

I bought a new car. I love it. Her name is Rosie. Because she's like a cute little elephant. And my favorite elephant is Rosie from Water for Elephants. Then I had to take my car back to get a few things done (which I had negotiated from the start) but it was still sad. I didn't even know I'd have to leave her overnight and I ended up being without her for six days.


Samantha started Kindergarten last week. Apparently she loves it. Though I haven't gotten to talk to her about it. I really wanted to start some sort of back-to-school tradition. We chose S'mores. I wonder if it will still be S'mores the night before her Senior Year of High School.


My Aunt Sandy came back for a visit. This is the first time she's been here in five years - since my wedding. Dan and I went up to Columbus on Friday and we all went to the horse races. I think we ended up losing like $10. Which isn't too bad. And it was good to see my aunts.


I had 14 days of good macros. And then I let myself eat a little more recklessly on Friday and Saturday, though definitely not over the top. On both Sunday and Monday, I ate well below my calories (1300-1500) and every single day my scale has said 9.2. Maybe it's stuck there?

Yesterday, we had a total solar eclipse. This was like a super-big deal. Lincoln was in the "path of totality" where the moon would completely cover the sun. People came from all around, hotels were booked months in advance. Library patrons ruined the experience for me with all their calls and questions. But I had the day off and we celebrated with my family with a picnic and lake time out at Wagon Train Lake.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-in: Week 2

Starting Weight: 12.2
Week 1 Average: 9.1
Week. 2 Average: 8.4
Week 2 Lowest: 7.2

This has been a weird week. My weight's been very steady in the 7-9 range. So it still shows a lost from last week's average, but the low isn't as low as last week.

I'm just happy to never see that 10 spot again.

I have stuck to my numbers well this week. Or I should say, I have stayed under my numbers well this week. And I am wondering if that's why it's a bit higher. I haven't always hit my carbs or proteins, and I just settle for being under. I don't know if actually hitting my protein every day helps, but staying consistent is probably important.

I've been doing okay with my workouts. I did buy a car. Which was a stressful part of my weekend. Then Samantha started Kindergarten, which was a stressful part of my Monday. Then my back has been hurting off and on. But I have gotten in some good workouts.

I have a four day weekend this week and a five day weekend last week. And I am super-looking forward to those.

Plus my first goal was to make it two 14 days of macros, and I am on thirteen and feeling good. I thought I might not make it through the weekend (with a family-reunion type thing) but it has turned out to only be one family meal together, and I am pretty sure I can make that fit!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 1

Starting Weight: 12.2
Average Week 1 Weight: 9.1
Lowest Week 1 Weight: 6.8

My weight steadily fell this week. After sky-rocketing to 13 pounds from my goal weight, it started heading back down rapidly 11,9.6,8.2,7.8,7.2, and this morning 6.8.

I am very happy with this. Part of my hopes that it just keeps plummeting. But I am pretty sure this is where it will stall for a while. That's okay.  I was very happy to see that six back on the scale. If I could get back to 3 or 4, I would be back to my low before the chaos of Summer Reading ensued.

I am back to my workout schedule too. Having both food and workouts on track, really helps keep my life in order. I am excited about working out, since I have new things to work on. That's exciting too. Somehow, I need to make sure my weights don't fall by the way-side during this 8 weeks of running. I still have pull-ups I need to do.

I also need to buy a car. I am in a little bit of a limbo, but it's going to happen soon. Hopefully. I know what kind I want now, and I just need to decide how much I am willing to spend. And find one that passes all the tests. And wait until Steve can take a look at it for me.

I am also doing well on my more sleep plan. Though I currently feel like ALL I do is work, workout, eat and sleep. But I definitely feel better when I get more sleep. And sometimes I wake up just a minute before my alarm goes off, which is awesome.

I am finishing up seven days of macros today and planning on 15 straight before I head to Columbus for a family reunion of sorts.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Five Days in a Row

I finally have my eating back on track. Last Wednesday, I told you that I had to get it together. And I didn't. I spent the day with Samantha, and we ate out and ate french fries and it wasn't good.

Then my weight was up to 13.2 pounds on Thursday.

Basically, I was gaining one pound a day, and it was a bad direction.

So Thursday I got it together.

And I had a healthy Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

We ate out a couple of times, but I logged it all. I stayed at or below my macros. We had a picnic, and packed healthy meals. We went grocery shopping, and I actually got things I need. I did some meal prepping, so I have plenty of chicken for lunches this week.

And my weight steadily fell. Until this morning, it was back to the 7 pounds it likes to stay around. Without trying to hard.

Which makes me feel much better.

Like I am going in the right direction, and like I can do this.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Four Miles was Hard

I made up my own eight week running plan. It looks like this:

I am still not sure if there's a reason to do the 6 mile race. Though having Sammie watch me complete a race is appealing. Though she already thinks I am so strong I could be the next America Ninja Warrior. So I guess I have nothing to prove to her. Do I have anything to prove to myself?

For now, I just need a plan and I want to run more. You know I love a chart. And "take another Combat class" doesn't really need a log. So I am going to try this. I completed Week 1 last week:

I skipped my weight lifting day and I took a Combat class instead of running the first three miles (but I thought that was a good "heavy cardio" replacement!) So I am already slacking. Other than that, I got my 5k with Tracy done on Friday. We did 3/2 intervals and my phone totally acted up and said we ran 6 miles. Luckily, we know where our path turns around and ends, so we knew we'd done 3.1 miles, and that was the approximate time.


On Sunday I was excited (yes, excited!) to run 4 miles. I wanted to see how easy it was. I added two more intervals to my run plan (taking me up to 11 intervals - 55 minutes) and was planning on about an hour workout. I started off fine. But that last mile was brutal. My run times went from 12:00 miles to 13:00. And my walk speeds slowed down too. It was my legs that were dead, not my lungs. The two minutes was enough time to get my heartrate down. I just felt like my feet weren't moving any more. I am sure it will take a few weeks to get used to higher mileage. My legs were saying, ummm, we just did this the other day. We're supposed to take a week off!


I listened to an audiobook. A lot of people have suggested this, and in the past it hasn't worked for me. I need the music to break up the workout and to give me a beat. It worked pretty good this time though. I think the intervals broke up the workout more. And I told myself it didn't matter how slow I went so I wasn't concerned with my step pattern. I thought I would have to turn it off half-way through and start my music. But I didn't.

On the other hand, maybe the run would have felt better if I had music. Or maybe I am just not used to being out there for an hour by myself. With nobody to talk to. People say running is this great "me time". Those people must be introverts.

I sent Tracy a link to the 10k. I said I *might* be interested. She said she *might* take a look and let me know. I'm not ready to commit to being a runner again.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

IF I were training for a race...

I may have stated earlier this week that I was considering following some sort of training plan. For running. A half-marathon. I know. That was crazy, right? Then I saw this interesting 10k coming up in September. I could run a 10k again. That's the sort of distance I could get behind. But it's only four weeks away, and most 10k training plans seem to be 8 to 10 weeks long. And assume I am already running 10-15 miles a week. I am not. 

The thing is: running intervals, is totally different than running straight. The first time I ran, I completely concentrated on running three miles without stopping and then running four and running five and finally running six. But running doesn't have to be that way. 

When I finish running a slow 3/2 interval with Tracy, I am ready to be done because sitting is more enjoyable than running, but I am not so dead tired that I must lay down. I could easily go another three intervals. And that would be 4+ miles. I'm sure I could do 3/2 intervals for an hour. And that would be close to 5 miles. So if it were race day, I could power through to six. 

But if I could already do it, than what am I training for? Speed I guess. And I don't want to worry about that. Really I just want the training plan to give myself a schedule. 

So here's what I found. A beginner's plan for running a half-marathon. It has three days of running. One long run and two other days that are 3-5 miles. I could easily add those into my week. It has a cross-training day that I would love to make my BodyCombat class. And then it has a second cross-training day that I could do HIIT and arm weights at the gym. It still has two days off. I feel like I could do this. Though I would never do the long run on my own. More than an hour out there and I would be bored out of my mind. 

I am nearing the best thirteen weeks of weather this state ever has. If I am going to devote time to hitting the pavement. It is now...