Tuesday, November 27, 2007

a little motivation

I'm sure many of you have seen this already as it was one of those featured stories on Yahoo today, but I found it to be very inspirational.

If in your past you experienced cold (or hot) weather as a deterrent to working out, this season holds the opportunity of a lifetime for you.

Make this year different. Adopt a true athletic archetype and feel your desire for fitness success emerge. You can use old obstacles as opportunities to gain strength - mental and physical.

Breaking through – that is your focus.
Not giving up – that is your motto.
Making your training a priority rather than a dispensable activity – that is your goal.
"Success is only a word, but achieving it is a lifestyle."

Make the decision - that’s what you have to do first. Decide that you want to maintain, begin, or improve your training this winter, then take steps to support (and reinforce) your decision.

Then, don’t give up no matter what. Act and think, in all areas of your life, like the athlete you want to be (and look like). Making your health and fitness a priority will be the best gift you give this winter to you and everyone else in your life.

"Try These Cold Weather Workouts" Debbie Rocker

This really helps me feel motivated to eat the right food today and make sure that I get my workouts in tonight... actually I wish I could go out for a run right now!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

"You're a runner now"

Webster Turkey Trot, ~4.4 miles, 11/22/07Sunday night: I check the weather for Thursday, there’s a chance of rain and the high temperature is predicted to be 51. The chance of rain isn’t ideal, but at least the temperature is going to be decent.

Monday: Thursday will now be in the low 40’s. Slightly more chance of rain. Great.

Tuesday: Temp will be in the high 30’s. It’s going to rain. Am I cursed?

Wednesday: It is currently pouring outside and tomorrow it’s going to be raining and snowing. Temperature between 9 and 12 is predicted to be in the low 30’s. Oh, and there’s also a winter weather advisory from 4am to 4pm. Do I even have the right gear for that kind of weather? I’d better go get a wind/rainproof jacket.

Thursday, 7:00 - It’s raining out but the temp is in the upper 30’s. That’s not too bad. I think I can get away with my technical shirts and my new coat – I won’t wear the fleece I had also thought I’d need.

8:00 – Breakfast. Greens & beans.

8:30 – Get dressed: short sleeved tech T, long sleeved tech shirt (with sleeves that turn into mittens), good running pants and another pair of pants over them. Grab new jacket and fleece headband on the way out the door. It is raining really bad. Cammie wants to come with me but has to stay home 

8:50 - Driving there I wonder if I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. Am I really ready for this race? Can I do it? I decide that I can. Last week I ran 4.25 miles and felt decent, just a few days ago I did 3.1 miles on the treadmill in just about 35 minutes. I’m prepared for this. But I still feel a little nervous.

9:15 – Arrive at the race. By the time I get my timing chip and head into the lodge to grab some safety pins I’m shivering. Fantastic. I spend most of the rest of the time before the race standing under the side of the lodge just trying to stay out of the wind and the rain. I wisely decide to go to the bathroom and when I come out there’s about 10 minutes before the race starts, I need to make my way to the starting line. My pants are pretty wet already…

9:58 – There are about 1500 people running today between this race and the 2.5 miler that I thought more than once I should have signed up for instead. But nervous as I was, I start up my ipod and get pumped. I am ready for this and I just want to start running already!

10:00 – Finally! We’re off. With all the people, it takes a while to get sorted out so there aren’t so many people around. The race starts off down a hill and then right back up and around a corner. I know I just need to keep going and I’ll be ok.

We run along the lake for a bit, it’s still raining and windy but doesn’t seem so bad now that I’m moving and generating heat. The main pack of faster runners finally gets far enough ahead of me that I can run without too many other people around me but I can tell that this race I am going to have at least some people near me, which is good to keep me motivated. I choose another runner who is a little bit ahead of me and tell myself that I’m not going to let her get away. We round the second corner and I take a quick look behind me. There’s a respectable number of people that I can see behind me and that feels good.

Before I know it I pass the 2 mile marker. It’s felt like a very short amount of time and I feel strong. As we head down the road I pass the runner ahead of me that I’ve been keeping in my sight, wooo!

And it’s mile 3… “Almost there! Well, just barely” I think and I feel so good that I try to kick up the pace. I don’t know if I really did but that’s ok. We head back toward the park and somewhere along the like my running buddy passes me again. It’s ok… but I’m not going to let her get away.

We enter the park and I know it can’t be too much further. We follow a park road around and go up another hill “keep going keep going keep going” I think to myself when I make it to the top. We round a bend and I can see the beginning of the “off road” portion I had heard about. It’s rained here for the past two days so I’m prepared for mud. We try to get down the short hill as fast as we can without slipping too much on the mud, cross a little bridge and then it’s still muddy and puddle-y and slippery but at least its still flat.

I do my best to stay out of the really muddy areas as we run across the field. I get so preoccupied that I forget how close we must to be to the finish line, until I look up and there it is! At this point I don’t care about avoiding puddles or mud. I take a straight line toward the finish (which surprisingly wasn’t too slippery) and splash through puddles and get totally dirty soaking wet feet and cross the finish line feeling completely awesome.

There’s no big clock at the finish line so I’m not sure what my time is but I’ll be able to guesstimate my time. It takes a few minutes to get back to the car. I take care to walk through as many puddles as I can in the parking lot to get the mud off my shoes. When I get to the car I put the keys in and it’s 11:01. It’s been easily 4 or 5 minutes since I finished… I’d be happy with 56 minutes!

And that’s the time I’m going with. I checked the race organizers’ website this afternoon to see my real time and due to all of the rain and mud, my finish didn’t get recorded. It’s ok though because I’m much more interested in feeling strong throughout the race and just running my best.

After the race I went over to my boss’ house for some tea, she had run the race as well but is a much faster and more experienced runner than I am so we didn’t run together. As I was on my way out to go home we were talking about how this race is a tradition and I mentioned how I know I can run in pretty much any weather now that I made it through this stuff and she says, “Oh yes, you’re definitely a real runner now.”

This Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for all of the usual stuff (a great family, awesome friends, Cammie, etc) but I am especially thankful for my new(ish) body and athletic abilities; it just feels so great to be able to do these things that not so long ago I never thought I would do.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Check-In

So this morning I am back down to where I was the last time I posted my weight (198), which is good :-) BUT I have the rest of today and all Saturday and Sunday before I "officially" weigh in on Monday morning. I am very committed to sticking to my challenge plan so I don't have to drive hubby's winter beater to work for a week... if it's not a Mini, I really don't want to drive it, I guess I am a snob like that!

Germaine posted a comment about craving bread-y types of things lately and I can completely understand what that's like! For some reason lately I have been wanting rice or a sandwich or something along those lines quite frequently. I know that this craving is related to my non-ETL detour and remember how that lingering desire for bread stuck around a lot longer than cravings for other things did. Other than salt, I think that giving up the refined grains was one of the toughest things for me to get over initially.

I now know that I can live (happily too!) without them. Sometimes you just get tired ot have a bad day and want to revert back to those old comfort types of food though. I have noticed though, even in just this past week, that those bad days are greatly diminished when one is working out and eating well - good reason to stick with the plan.

I'm trying to think of something tasty and nutritious to have for lunch next week, since it's a short work week it doesn't have to make too much, but I am kind of getting tired of eating a cold salad at every single meal. I've been craving garlicky greens & beans for a while now, I think that would be a good option, plus it's kind of like warm salad which means that it'd be the best of both worlds.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"don't get cocky"

Thank you to everyone who has commented this week, your encouragement has been very very encouraging!

I am happy to say that I am 1/2 way through losing the weight (obviously a lot of it was water weight) that I put on in my 2ish weeks of not caring/business trip in San Francisco. Say what you will about losing water weight and that it's not actual loss of fatty tissue and all, but it does feel good to step on the scale in the morning and see the scale going down. This kind of thing is what I need to feel re-dedicated. It makes me look forward to seeing new "lowest adult weight ever" numbers in the near future.

Food for this week has been smoothies for breakfast (except for this morning, I had carrots because I just didn't feel like making one). Hubby found me some frozen no sugar added mandarin orange segments which I've been putting in my smoothies for a little something different. I need to get into the habit of putting at least an ounce or two of kale into my smoothies for the added nutrient punch.

Lunches and dinners have been salads, lunches have been salads because we've had a series of business lunches with other colleges this week, and dinners have been salads because, well, I really really like my lettuce - red onion - walnut - bleu cheese - balsamic combo.

Running! The Turkey Trot is a week from tomorrow and I'm feeling good. I'm slower than I'd like to be but I think that as I continue to train and lose weight I will get faster. No matter what, it's cool to think that I can now go out and run 3 or 4 miles continuously when just this past summer I was running in 3 or 4 minute time blocks.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I'm not dead yet!

Tomorrow morning I have a doctor's appointment and I know I'll have to step on the scale. At that realization, the past two months of waffling around not being able to stick to the diet came crashing down in an avalanche of self loathing. I really have to work more on my self control and committment to being healthier and sticking to this way of living and eating.

The only thing that I've kept up with has been running, but even with that I've allowed myself to skip runs all to easily.I've just felt burnt out about spending so much time cooking and preparing food each weekend, I haven't felt like I have anything worth writing about lately either. I've just felt sick of trying and just want to go with the flow.

BUT... I don't want to go back to feeling horrible all the time and bad about myself. I want to be happy and feel good. I want to stop feeling so lazy and be full of energy and I want to know that I am putting 100% into achieving my goals.

So it's time for a challenge. A challenge that will get my confidence back and my spirits up that I can meet. There are 10 days from tomorrow to the day before Thanksgiving. I will eat perfect ETL (with the exception of the 1/2 oz of bleu cheese on my dinner salads) for those 10 days and will make all of my planned runs (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) and will walk Cammie (or use the treadmill) and do Yourself!Fitness on the non-running days. Hubby will keep me accountable and as a penalty for not completing the challenge I will have to drive his winter beater to work for a week and not my beloved Mini.

I feel better about myself already.