Thursday, August 30, 2012

2 mile run? check!

No epic sweat ring today. But I am glistening quite severely after that run. I pushed it just a little but not too much because this is supposed to be an easy day. Still felt great to get my workout in and done!

P. S. This may be TMA but... is licking the sweat off my lips count as electrolyte replacement?

Sexy? No?

1500y swim, 300 warm-up, 300 kick drills, 300 pull drills, 300 cooldown. Got through it despite all the people swim/walking in the swim lanes.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Did it!

Well, I did it - jumped on the stationary bike at work and jumped on the treadmill.  Did 12 miles on the bike and then 20 minutes on the run (1.5 miles).  I felt good and smooth on the run and was able to keep a nice pace.  I felt like I could have kept going for a while.  It was a good feeling to have.

We've actually got a pretty nice setup at work, but this is the first time I've used it - time to start using the resources that are available to me.  Since the weather and time will be changing eventually, I figured the setup at work would be a great way to get my workouts in - no excuses!

And check out the epic sweat ring I had when I finished - yeah, I was working it!

A fantastic dinner with some bacon to replace my salt and I'm ready to get to bed so I can get up tomorrow and start another day (and get my workouts done)

Low Carb'n it

As I said in a previous post I read "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" and totally clicked with it.  I put it into effect immediately.

It's been over a week and I still feel GREAT.  I've been testing my keytons via a urine test strip every day, but the book recommends using a blood tester, so I bought one - it came on Monday.  I tested my blood on Tuesday morning and today, and what was interesting was that it wasn't necessary for me to take my carbs down as low as I've been doing in order to keep my levels good (above .2).  Having those extra carbs to play with makes things a lot easier, not that keeping them that low was that hard either.  But having room for a bit of dark chocolate or a banana now and then makes me happy.  Funny, now that I know that I can have them, the craving isn't really there.  In fact I haven't been craving much of anything.  Ok I was craving my home made chicken curry, but I cured that Tuesday night by making and eating it.  Sooooo - needless to say I'm feeling grand.

And as far as results.  Well I'm seeing those too.

Starting weight:  225.1
Weight End of Week 1:  222

Loss:  3.1

Even better -- As of today I'm 219.6 - yeah, I BLASTED through the 220 barrier after hanging around it for over a month... HOORAY!!

Anywho - some stats from the first week...

The goal this week is to bring exercise and carbs up while still keeping my ketones above .2.  I got the first in my training done last night when I did a 3 mile run at work on the treadmill.  As soon as I finish typing this I'm going to go do a workout on the bike (followed by a run).  

Let's do this!

P.S. I forgot to mention that I was poking around on LoseIt and figured out I have been using it for about three years - here's my weight graph for those three years.

Yeah - that's not pretty, but I will turn this around!  You'll note that it's turning around right now (and has been looking much better since Feb this year.

Half-Iron? Nope

Well, it came.  The day when I was supposed to do a Half-Iron Tri.  Had I trained enough?  No?  Had I lost the weight I had planned?  No?  Was I scared out of my mind?  Well... Not anymore.  I came into the day feeling really calm.  I figured I would do what I needed to do and what happened happened.

The day started ok.  Got up, dressed, ate, drove 2 hours... the usual.  Then things got a little weird.  Unlike most triathlons instead of doing waves, they decided to have everyone start at once.  This was most likely because there were less then 100 people there, including those who were signed up for the Aqua-bike.  Normally, I in wave 5 or 6, and with 5 minutes between waves, that means I have 20 to 25 minutes after the actual start time before I have to be ready.  I didn't realize just how important those minutes were before.  Now I know.  On top of having to rush my pre-race, just as I was finishing laying out all my stuff, a volunteer came through and told me I was racked in the wrong spot and needed to move!  Geeze, you couldn't have told me that 30 minutes ago?

So, I moved all my stuff, started putting on sunscreen and then realized I had less then ten minutes to the start and I hadn't even taped my knees!

I did manage to make it to the start in time, but I hadn't really warmed up, and as I realized later, I hadn't finished putting on sunscreen (missed my face and part of my back).  Still, the swim is the easy part for me so  I was calm.

The race started, we were off and something was immediately, off.  I don't know what it was - maybe it's a 'first wave' thing but the water was SO CHOPPY.  There was no way that I could turn my head and not get splashed when breathing.  And it wasn't that I was surrounded by people slashing - it was just choppiness from people passing.  It's never been like that before and I've started with groups just as big in the past--- strange.  About 100 yards out I lifted my head to site, breath and a little wave came up and hit me right in the kisser.  I inhaled the water and immediately started choking.  Not the mild, cough, cough, but the cough - GASP - cough - GASP that makes you feel like  you've never going to be able to breath again.  My trachea felt like it had completely collapsed.  I didn't panic, but I didn't really know what to do either.  My brain was going, SWIM SWIM, but my body was going, BREATH, we must BREATH!  I finally flipped onto my back and did the breast stroke until I could take a deep breath without coughing, but by the time I was able to focus on forward motion again, I had lost about 30 seconds.  30 seconds that I never regained on the front runners.

By 1/4 of the way through I passed the slow people, by 1/2 way I had caught up with some of the back of the pack, but I never made it back to my normal place behind the front runners.  But that didn't bother me, I knew there was a lot of race in front of me still.

I climbed out of the water feeling great.  Even after a 1.2 mile swim I ran easily to T1, something I couldn't have done a few years ago.  I quickly changed, grabbed my bike, and headed out.  I hit the mount line started to mount and issue two became apparent.  Somehow, somewhere my chain had gotten knocked off the front gear.  Again, the compressed time pre-race had caused me to miss my normal checks and I had to climb off my bike, fix my chain and jump back on.  Luckily that didn't take me long and I was OFF!  Then issue three...

As I started on the bike I was feeling good.  I was easily holding a 15MPR pace (faster then goal) and I decided I should take the first of my bike nutrition... only... there was none!  I remembered that I had just started unload all my nutrition for bike and run when the girl had told me I had to move and I had never gotten back to it!  CRAP!  Unfortunately, that turned out to be the least of my worries.  Although legs, lungs and heart felt good, about mile 10 I started to have some serious issue with my stomach.  Rolling waves of nausea started assailing me.   I would roll for a while feeling fine and then the next second be sure I was going to need to pull over.  I pushed on hoping it would pass - as I said, I felt great otherwise.  It didn't pass.  At mile 20 I hit the first nutrition stop.  I stopped to refill my water bottle and was shocked to find that I couldn't stand up straight due to cramps in my stomach (above the navel).  I was also a little disappointed to find that the only nutrition they had at the stop was shot-blocks.  I was hoping that I could get a little 'real' food (like a banana) in me to calm my stomach down - it wasn't to be.

I continued anyway.  At mile 28 I had to stop - water wasn't staying down anymore.  SAG eventually came and picked me up and my day was done.

So, what have I learned?
1 - don't change my diet a week before a big race :)  I don't know if that had anything to do with my complete meltdown, but it is a question.
2 - That 20 'extra' minutes I get before my wave starts is time well spent.  I need to plan better if my wave is starting first.
3 - A DNF really isn't the end of the world.  Not even close
4 - It's ok to listen to my body.  It doesn't always lie to me to try to get out of doing something.  Sometimes I really do need to stop.
5 - I'm going to have to do a Half-Iron next year after all! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The week before the 1/2

The training plan for this week is:

Tonight, a 4 mile run after work.
Wednesday, 10 mile bike ride on the trainer at lunch
Thursday, 1000 y swim before work, 2 mile run after work

Then it's resting until Saturday

easy peasy

N=1 experiment continues

and my N=1 experiment continues

I know - it's probably a strange time to be changing things around in my diet/lifestyle; after all I'm doing a 1/2 Iron man 70.3 miles on Saturday.  BUT I'm so tired of putting things on hold and waiting on the right time.  I need to do what I need to do NOW.

That being said on Thursday  last week I finished the book "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance".  The whole time I was reading it I was thinking... "Yep, yes, uh huh!"  I just couldn't wait to get started.  So, on Friday I put my new low carb diet plan in action.  I realize that may mean reduced performance on Saturday because I'm not 100% Keto-adapted but honestly, it's not like I was going to win any awards anyway.

That being said, my keto sticks are turning pink (haven't gotten the ketone blood tester that's recommended yet) and I'm feeling really good.  Not much hunger, not too tired and generally feeling - good.  I did a triathlon on Saturday on restricted carbs - didn't eat during the race, didn't bonk and came in at least 1 minute faster then the same race 2 months ago.  So, I think there's not really a downside to this.  If putting around in ketosis for a while will let me do races while dropping some of the fat that's holding me back from REALLY improving performance then - yeah, I'm ready willing and able.

I also have been reading through William Davis' book "Wheat Belly".  I love this book.  The pure nurdiness of it appeals to me.  I was already aware the wheat wasn't good form my by my dabbles into Paleo eating, but the amount of data here somehow 'got to me' in a way the other books I read haven't.  So, Friday I gave up grains too (again).

As I said earlier there hasn't been an appearance of the low carb flue.  That could be because I've bounced back and forth between SAD eating and low carb so often that my body is pretty adept at making the switch.  Or maybe there's going to be a delayed reaction. We'll see.

That being said - 1/2 iron man on Saturday - O...M...G!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When I got home last night I faced a serious challenge...

I was tired, hungry, had a headache and dinner was no where near being ready.  It was day three of being on my eating plan and I was dealing with that day three 'crash'.  That day when your body says... "HEY, you're not eating like you normally do.  This is the third day of this and we need to remind you of who's in charge here...*poof* you will now feel like crap"

Since dinner plans weren't working out and wouldn't for the night I told the family, "Dinner is on your own tonight" and went out for my 4 mile run.

When I returned, not only was I tired, hungry and had a headache but I was starting to CRAVE.  The kids and hubby were happily diving into their self made meals; egg burritos, leftover chicken, leftover meatballs etc.  I could smell all the food cooking and the feast beast was shaking the bars of his cage and muttering, "you want an egg burrito too, and toast, egg burrito with tortilla and cheese and a side of toast with loads of butter"

I wanted to whip out a fry pan and start cooking.  I wanted to eat NOW!

But, just because the food I had on my plan wasn't going to happen tonight, I wasn't about to give in to that muttering in my brain.  I knew I had to put the feast beast in it's place NOW.  So, I drug out out computer, logged into my program, deleted the meal I had planned for the day and proceeded to plan a new one based on what was in the house and was quick.  It didn't take long and in the end, the food ended up tasting FANTASTIC.  And this morning I woke up another 2.2 (that's right 2.2) lbs down for a total of four pounds since Saturday. Take THAT feast beast.

On the other side of the fence I've been in an absolute PANIC about the fact that I only have 6 weeks until my 1/2 Iron Man.  The Fear Fiend has been hard at work sowing seeds of doubt, and irrational fear.  I only realized how irrational last night.  As I was on my run I again started to get those feelings.  "Only six weeks, only six WEEKS!" the fear fiend was chanting.  "Think how hard that 1/2 marathon was in June, or worse how hard that simple sprint triathlon was this weekend," he continued.  "You won't be ready!"

Finally it came to me.  "So, what!?"

What's the worse that could happen?  I might not finish.  So, is that such a terrible thing?  I'm still miles ahead of everyone at home sitting on their couch watching football.  It'll be hard.  So?!  Many things are hard.  Getting out of bed and going to work is hard some days, but you do it.  Even if it's hard do you really think you'll regret doing it in the end?  Will you regret failing as much as not even trying?

Holy crap!  That shut the Fear Fiend up.

Then, as I was looking over my training plan today it hit me.  It's not "only 6 weeks".  I have a WHOLE SIX WEEKS to prepare!  My bike ride planned for tonight suddenly got a lot more meaningful.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sunday I ran a half marathon.  And it was hard, and it was scary and I started to doubt weather I can do this whole half iron man thing.  I know I need to rid myself of those kinds of thoughts... But I also need to take a second, pull them out, look at them, acknowledge them and THEN toss them away.

Half way through my training, things started to go bad for me.  I can't really pin point why.  I think the main reason was doing too much too fast in a body that wasn't ready for it.  When our mid-week runs went up to 6 miles, my body started to break down and I never really recovered from it.  On top of that I did something weird to my knee and it started hurting - big time.  I didn't know what to do because I didn't want to stop running - I needed to finish this half marathon.  My psyche couldn't take another DNS.  I couldn't give up on myself once again.  

So, I started reducing or skipping my mid-week runs and just doing the weekend runs as written.  I also stopped dieting thinking that the low calories were contributing to the 'non-knee' related side of my breakdown.  And it worked for the most part.  I made it through my 12 mile run, the peek of my training plan, and then didn't run for thirteen days leading up to my race.  I don't know if that was the right thing to do, but it worked.  I was able to run relatively pain free (in my knee) for the entire race.  

Race day was beautiful.  It wasn't going to be too hot, or too cold (starting in the high 50's and warming into the low 60's) there was a breeze but not the strong winds we had be having for days.  Getting to the race was easy because the starting line was about 1/2 a mile from my house.  I simply walked out my front door and did a brisk walk to the starting line and I was there!  I wandered around, waiting for the start and visiting with a few friends.  Then it was a short walk to the street to line up and, we were off.

I don't do many foot races, and the majority of those are 5K's so I wasn't really prepared for what the start of a 1/2 marathon is like.  I'm used to having this HUGE mass of people go shooting off without me, while I start my plodding pace, that's the same speed I'll go the entire race.  This time I found that while there was a speedy bunch that zoomed off, there weren't many of them and there seemed to be just as many that were like me, in it for the long haul.  The number of walkers, run/walkers and just plain ol' slow people was a nice surprise.

The first few miles clicked off fairly easily, and before I knew it I was to the foot bridge that was almost at the three mile mark and I was still feeling good.  Four miles still felt ok.  My knee was good, my lungs felt great and I was in a happy place (as happy as I get when running).  Five miles was still ok - I was making sure to drink plenty of water and was walking through ever water stop in order to top off the water bottle I was carrying.  Six miles I was starting really dig in mentally.  I knew this was going to be a long race and keeping focus was going to be one of the struggles - my focus was slipping a little but not terrible.  I hit the 1/2 way point and got a  little happy.  I felt pretty good, but I was tired - bored of running - tired of fighting and the thought occurred to me that if I was doing a 10K I would already be done.  At that moment I promised myself that I would never do a run longer then 10K again...

The last 1/2 of the run was an exercise in pain management.  While my knee was behaving beautifully, my lower back had started to tighten and my hips (probably from the slow shuffling run I was doing) were killing me.  I stopped and stretched several times and basically talked myself through each 1/2 mile.  Looking back on it now though - I was never... exhausted.  I was in pain, but not terribly tired and that, at least, makes me happy and gives me hope.  The last half mile I decided to gut it up and just keep running.  And I did... a little before the finish I saw my family waiting and cheering for me - it gave me a burst of energy I didn't know I had and I started to speed up - I kept running faster with each step until I crossed the finish line.

I finished!

Two days later I'm still worried about how hard it was.  However, thinking back on it now, yes there was some pain that I had to work through, but the biggest issue was mental.  Figuring out how to not get (frankly) bored...  Physically I know I can do this - but I would like to do it and not have it be a 'punishment'  If I can figure that part out, I'll do alright.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Well - I know it's been a while, but I haven't given up.

The week after my Triathlon (in my last post), I suddenly found that working out was getting really hard.  My runs were getting further and longer and I was running out of energy to do them.  So - I upped my calories.  That seemed to help a little, but of course you give an addict an inch and they'll take a mile.  My "I need to eat more" attitude along with several birthday parties etc meant I stopped seeing progress.  I wasn't gaining really, but I wasn't losing either.  

So I managed to come up with a compromise that (so far) is working...Low calorie/low carb three days a week and more calories and carbs from FRUIT (not pastries and the like) on my running days (and Sunday).  Now, it's only Thursday (started on Monday) so I can't tell you it's a perfect plan, but I didn't have any issues running on Tuesday, nor going to the gym two days AND I woke up this morning at my lowest weight since my 'come-back'.  I'm below 220!!  219.2 to be exact and it feels GREAT to be over that hump.  214.x here I come!

Oh, and I'm wearing the same dress that I wore on the first day of work (Feb 27th) On that day I had to wear the belt on the biggest hole.  Today it fit two holes smaller and is lose on that hole!  Excited to being seeing progress and feeling like I'm changing my life for the good again!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hello bloggerland!

Just thought I would update you all on where I'm at.

2011 wasn't a great year health and fitness wise.  I pretty much let it all go to crap.  But, I do feel like I've learned some things along the way and I'm putting them to good use now.

I started a(nother) new job back in Feb and that started me back on the path of eating better.  It helps that I usually don't have a car here and that there is no fast food nearby.  I've been forced to plan ahead and bring my own food, and when planning ahead I make better choices then when eating on impulse (but then we all knew that, didn't we?")  Since I started my new job (2/27) I've lost almost 15 lbs!  I'm pretty proud of that.

I also set myself some pretty lofty goals for the year.  This was going to be the year that I FINALLY did a 1/2 Iron Man.  I figured I would make a commitment to it by purchasing my entry WAAAAY before hand.  I also decided that I would train for a 1/2 Marathon before then because I knew the run was the shakiest portion of the whole thing.  Training hadn't been going very well though and I was getting discouraged.  Then I got an email telling me that a training group was starting up for my 1/2 and that they would be meeting on that Saturday (3/17).  I figured I would give it a shot.

When I arrived I wasn't very happy.  The group seemed like the typical runners group.  Everyone so lean and fit.  Who was I to run with them - size 18 and well over 200lbs?  After some uncomfortable waiting I started to edge toward the door of the store we had met at but Monica stopped me before I could leave.  She said hi, talked to me a bit and then asked if I was here to run.  I tried putting her off.  Told her I thought I was in the wrong place; that I was supposed to be meeting with a beginners running group and that I had expected (and I quote), "A greater diversity in body shape".  She brushed off my concerns, let me know that everyone was welcome here and pulled me back into the store.  I will say that I will be eternally grateful that she did!

That day was a turning point for me.  She was right.  The Run365 folks were great to me, and still are.  They never let me run alone.  The encourage without making me discouraged.  They cheer with me as I approach being able to hold a pace UNDER 13:00 min per mile.  It's been GREAT.   AND I've stopped putting off and cutting short my training.  (for running at least).  I actually (almost) look forward to running days when I get to hook of with the girls and gossip for a few hours.  I almost feel like I'm making...friends.  

And yes, I am improving!  That first run was a shock to me (I was barely running 3 miles a few times a week).  "5 miles" they said  and I nearly passed out.  But I did it and everyone was willing for it to take as long as it took.  And it took 1:10:42.  I averaged a pace of 14:35min/mile.  The last time I had really done more then 3 miles was WAAAY back in Aug 2010.  

And I've been running more then 3 miles, 3 days a week every since.  

The 7th was my longest run (ever).  8 miles!  I, the girl who can't run, ran 8 miles!  And not only that, but I did it at a pace of 13:25min/mile.  Not only am I going longer, but I've dropped my pace a minute per mile already (it's just been a month).  That's pretty incredible if I do say so myself.

So - that brings us to this past weekend.  I did my first tri of the year.  A tiny thing called "Shortest Tri Ever" It's a local tri they hold every year in the little city of Emeryville.  100 y pool swim, 2.5 mile bike, and 2.1 mile run.  I figured this was the perfect way for me to start my new 'tri-life'.

I arrived early on a beautiful morning.  The rain that's been almost non-stop for months had cleared for the day.  It was cold, but by the feel of the air it wouldn't be for long.  It didn't take too long to get my number and race setup instruction.  It was going to be an interesting race because T1 and T2 weren't in the same place.  I dropped the few things I needed for the run at T2 and then walked over to T1.  There I set up my bike, clothes, towels and everything else I would need to move from swim to bike.  The only dark spot of the day was turning out to be my bike.  My regular road bike was in the shop to get some recently discovered major repairs done on it so I was stuck using my 11 year old mountain bike.  As I was transporting/racking it I noticed the back wheel was acting funny.  It would spin free for a short while and then the breaks would catch and it would stop.  I fiddled with it as much as I could but couldn't get it to stop doing it.  I finally figured I would just live with it - I wasn't like I was trying to PR or anything here.  I was just trying to get back into the flow of race day.

Before long it was near starting time and everyone wandered over to the (lovely) heated pool.  After a few race instructions (that way too many talked through) they were loading up the first wave of swimmers and the race was on it's way.

100 yards isn't too long a swim.  I don't think a single person took longer then the 5 minutes that had set between waves.   (unlike the Deer Valley Sprint I've done in the past where the swim is 200 y).  That was the 'good'.  The bad was that the women 40-49 group was the largest of the day and when we all climbed into the pool every lane had at least 4 people in it.  Let me tell  you, that's pretty darn crowded.  Everyone had self seeded.  The slower in the right lanes going faster to the left.  I put myself just left of the center lane. I know I'm a 1/2 decent swimmer, but I've also only swam twice outside of a race in 2 1/2 years!  I looked over the other swimmers and just by how relaxed they seemed had a good idea who was going to be the person to beat in the lane. I ended up being right.  One of the girls in my lane was doing laps as her warm up and as they counted down to the start of our wave we started to get nervous because she wasn't back to the start line yet.  She touched wall just as they said "GO" and we were off!  

If you ever get the chance to swim 4 across in a swim lane at the start of a race --- don't.  It was a disaster and because it was a disaster I hung back until everyone else had surged a bit ahead.  When I pushed off the wall and started swimming I quickly figured out how silly that was... It took me all of two strokes to catch up and then I was stuck behind a wall of three swimmers. (we were supposed to be circle swimming - uh, yeah).  I tried moving over - tried juking through - there was nothing.  The three hit the wall and turned to swim back and that's where I finally found an opening.  I had passed the slowest just as we had hit the wall.  Past the next in two strokes as she tried to maneuver around the slowest, and within a pool length I was out in front.  After that it was just a matter of staying in front, and that I did.  When I hit the wall and tried to pop out of the water I was pretty sure I was 3rd or 4th.  Unfortunately my exit out of the water was a little less the graceful and I lost time and watched a few people pass me as I struggled to pull myself out of the pool.

Once I got to my bike I changed as quickly as I could but I found I was having trouble remembering everything and getting to the rhythm of transition.  It took much much too long and I watched a few other people pass me with their bikes as I tied my shoes.  (No clips on my mountain bike).  But I was off without incident and quickly fell into a pattern of peddling.  The only incident was at one point a girl I was passing (on the left) decided she needed to take a left turn and almost bashed into me.  She yelled, a little confused because she had watched some others turn at that corner.  I yelled back, "Follow the cones!"  and pointed to the line of cones that clearly marked the bike route.  Yeah - they had explained that in the pre-race speech that many people ignored.

You can imagine that 2.5 miles on the bike doesn't take long.  It didn't.  I passed a few folks but not many.  I was passed by a few myself, but again, not many.  Those that did pass me were on sleek, light road bikes so I didn't feel so bad since I was on a 20 lb mountain bike with a draggy break.

I hit T2 feeling good.  In fact, I felt confident, probably the most confident I had ever felt going into a run.  I only had to run 2 miles and the weekend before I had just done 8!  No problem!  I dropped off my bike and helmet, grabbed my hat and took off.

My legs felt tired but not overly so and I forced myself to keep running because I knew the feeling would wear off eventually.  A few blocks later I started to feel better and I was smiling when I rounded the turn from the side street I was on onto the main street.  What I saw make me curse outloud.  A HILL.  But, I've been working all month on not being afraid of hills.  So I picked up my head, leaned forward and set my mind on conquering it.  Up and up it went.  Not really a hill but actually an over pass.  And overpass to take cars up and over the train tracks and the trains that ran on them.  Not just one set of train tracks but at least 4.  I just kept running and was surprised at how quickly the top came.  Then it was down the backside, a bit further down the road and poof there was the turn around.  A short diversion through a shopping center and it was back up the same road, up, over the hill, down it's other side and few blocks later, the finish line. In all I finished in  46:32 and was 10 out 20 in my age group; 41 out of 81 women.  Not bad!  Not bad at all!

All in all, a great start to the year and a race I will look forward to starting my season off with next year as well!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I guess Dora sent the fat fairy my way last night because this morning the scale ready 224.4!!  I'm holding off on getting too excited because it may be one of those false drops I get now and then, but I'm hopeful that this is the real deal and I'm on my way to below the 220's.  

I've been staying tight with my food (and feeling really good about it) and working my butt of exercise wise.  

Hit the gym on Monday and did legs, then did a 30 minute spin later that night.  I kept putting off getting on the bike but finally (because I had committed to it) did it.  It wasn't really fun or easy.  I've lost some of my... how should I put this... saddle muscles.  I know weight is part of the issue as it puts more pressure on, pressure points.  So, dropping some pounds and spending more time on my bike should fix me up in no time.

Did a chest workout yesterday at the gym it was frustrating because I had to use such light weights!  I really need to get my strength back, it was one thing I was really proud of.  I'm almost more frustrated with losing that, then I am at gaining the weight back.  Almost.

If you've watched the news much you might know it's been pouring rain here in Northern California.  And if you've followed my blog at all you know I'm training for a 1/2 marathon.  Last night was a track workout with my training team.  I was one of the few who showed up.  The coach showed up, took one look at the track and said, "We can't run on this, do you guys want to just go home, or do you want to run?" 

We all looked at each other, and someone said, "We wouldn't be here if we didn't want to run!"  That settled it.  

So off we went to run the streets in one of the hilliest cities I know.  Me and hills, well we don't really get along.  Running downhill isn't much of an issue.  In fact, I'm really rather good at it (heh).  But uphill.  I'm afraid of uphill and often I let myself 'quit' and walk up the hills.  But not tonight.  I told myself that I would never get over being afraid of running uphill unless I RAN UP SOME HILLS!  So I ran.  I told myself it didn't matter how slow I went as long as I kept running.

I was really really proud of myself in in the end.  Not only did I get out when 99% of the world was welded to their couch, but I got in a workout and adjusted a bit of my mental attitude.

On my way home, my husband called me and let me know our roof was leaking and that he had called the landlord.  He was going to send someone by in the morning to take a look at it. So, this morning I got up and headed to the gym planning to get a workout in early before they came.  BUT, I had only just got there and started warming up when my son called to say the guys were there already!  CRAP.  

Anyway, the roof is going to get fixed and we'll get the ceiling replace in one corner of our bedroom.  I'll have to get my workout in a little later then I would like - but I AM going to get it done.  I'm on too much of a roll right now to let something as small as this get in my way.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ok - every time I turn around there's something else cool that syncs with fitbit; including my new fancy shmancy scale.  I may just break down and get one.  If I do I'll run in side by side with my bodybugg for a while and see what's what.  If it's 'close enough' I'll drop the monthly subscription to my bodybugg and just transition over...
I know I haven't updated in a while.  I've been in a pretty black head space of late.  Best way I can describe it is anti-social.  (my poor husband).  And yet, despite myself, I've stayed on plan and have seen a little progress.  

Total loss for last week was 1.8 lbs.  It seems low to me for the amount of work I've been putting in, but I know that my body has been 'readjusting' this week.  All my clothes fit better/different  and it's more then a >2lb loss can account for.  My scale is also telling me that I'm losing body fat.  In fact, it thinks I've lost about 5 lbs of fat last week.  So, that cheered me up a bit.  Still not fitting into the top pairs of pants in my 'bonus clothes' but I did fit into (and pull out) all my next size underwear.  

Some other victories...

Wednesday hubby and I went out for a walk - we pushed ourselves and put in 6 miles!

Thursday I missed my group run, but forced myself out the door anyway.  I started easy and maintained a steady pace and ended up running the entire 4 miles that was in my plan.  That was a HUGE victory for me.  

Saturday I had another group run in The City.  It was cold, gloomy and rainy, but I went anyway.  I was happy and surprised to find that there was a good sized group running my pace and I stuck with them for the entire 6 miles.  Yes _I_ ran 6 miles (with some walking mixed in).

Sunday - well yesterday I was really struggling with head hunger, and black thoughts.  I think I'm hormonal.  I bumped my calories a little, but kept them all good fats and proteins.  That did seem to help, some.  My husband suggested I needed 'retail therapy'  I told him what I wanted was 'bon bon therapy' but I wasn't going to allow myself to go there.  I didn't and I was proud of that fact.

What's really strange is that even though I haven't noticed a huge spike in energy or anything like that, I've found that my 'bad mood' has made me restless.  I just can't sit still right now and my house is starting to get really clean :D  For someone like me to whom all housework is evil, that's a pretty big deal.  

Anyway - I'm alive.  I'm doing ok and I'm hoping that in a day or two I can be a little more positive and motivating...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Last night things fell in place on my run so today there was no doubt that they would fall into place and I would make it to the gym.

Lifting weights is my first love so making to the gym is a lot easier.  I spent a few minutes printing out a new workout - I'm starting a new 12 week periodized workout program which means each set is 12 reps.  I don't like 12 reps :D  But I'm doing it and it felt great.

Food is great - I'm back where I want to be mentally. Scale is stickin' but that's usually a good sign.  227.7 two days in a row.  That means the fat fairy is due to arrive.  There's a WHOOSH in my future.
Went to my track workout tonight.  I was getting more and more agitated about it as the day went on.  Worried I wouldn't be accepted.  Worried that I would embarrass myself.  Worried period.

I got off work early and drove home in record time.  There, I changed, grabbed some water, mixed my 'pre-workout' drink and procrastinated.  When I couldn't wait anymore I got in my car and drove to the track.  Unfortunately, I didn't leave myself time to 'get lost' on my way and that had me running late (cause I always get lost going to someplace new).  As I drove around looking for the place watching the clock tick later and later that little fearful voice in my head kept telling me how I should turn around and go home.  Kept replaying how terrible it was going to be and how much worse it would be because I was showing up late.

I ignored it.  I finally found where I was going, parked and headed up the hill to the track.  Just as I topped the hill and hit the edge of the dirt ring I heard a voice call out, "Hi Shawn!"  

It was my running partner from Saturday!  Suddenly all my fear and doubts were gone.  Just that one familiar, smiling face was all I needed.

Just as before, everyone else was just as friendly.  The coach was great.  She paid just enough attention to me to make sure I was handling the workout ok without making me feel like I was being singled out in some way.  She even pulled me aside at one point and complemented me on how good I was doing and how steady a pace I was able to run  (I did 6 laps of the track at almost the exact same pace).  

I also think she was a little surprised that I was able to make it around the track at all... I mean I'm not exactly svelte.  Seriously does this girl look like a 'runner' to you? 

Preppin' to Run

But I am!  

So, anyway - to make a long story longer.  I have a challenge for you all.  No matter your size, no matter your fitness level, no matter you age, no matter what that little voice in your head is telling you.  Go out there and do something that makes you a little uncomfortable.  You may surprise yourself and find your a lot more courageous then you thought; that your a lot more capable then your thought, that pushing your self actually feels GOOD!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I think that I've been feeling so good that I got a little overconfident yesterday. I stopped gut checking myself before grabbing for food. Granted I still stayed really close to my nutrition goals, but when I reviewed the day I realized the slightest feeling of hunger and I was running to food. Granted I ate things that were OP, but I was eating sooner and/or more often then was in my plan. I ended the day just feeling a bit, out of control. The kind of thing that left unchecked could move from 100 calories over my goal to 200 to... you get the idea. Today's been much better. I feel back in charge and I've put the Feast Beast back in his cage.

Hunger is not an emergency!

I've yet to resume serious (regular) exercise. I miss it! I signed up for the running team that I tried out on Saturday and I'm a nervous mess thinking about it. We've got a track run scheduled for tonight, and even though I met a lot of really nice people on Saturday, my stomach hurts a little thinking about going and seeing even more tonight. I'm sure I'll be fine. Tomorrow I work from home and that means it'll be really easy to get to the gym and get my workout done. I'll also have no trouble getting my schedule run done either. No excuses

Monday, March 19, 2012

My My My what a weekend! The fat fairy had decided to just flat out LIVE at my house! The weight has just been flying off! Saturday I woke up at 227.6! Don't have any idea where that came from! :D I was shocked enough to check several times to see if the weight was 'real'. It was, then I drove to meet up with a new group to try a group run.

I went off to my run feeling pretty good. Then I got there and one look at the people getting ready to run brought all my insecurities and negative thoughts scream to the forefront. When your a 230 lb runner, your pretty firmly in the minority. And when your a 230lb runner in the San Francisco bay area, the gap is even larger. I actually started to walk out but one of the coaches caught me at the door and talked me into staying.

Amazingly enough it was a good run! I did 5 miles (5 miles!! Haven't done that in ages). There were two girls in the group who stuck with me the whole time and I actually became one of 'those people'. You know, the people who chat while they run. It was fun and I went further and I pushed myself harder the I would have if I had tried to do it on my own. I'll be back next week for sure!

And the lesson in all this? We as fat people have to watch that we arn't discriminating against those skinny folks, just as they shouldn't judge us! I'm going to try to be better about this.

After my run, we cleaned up and drove to visit my mother-in-law.  It's always a stressful time because she's got alzhimers.  It's hard on my husband to see her in that state, and hard on me to see him suffering.  But, we got through the visit ok and I didn't once think about stress eating.

Later I went over to a freinds to celebrate St. Patty's Day.   There was crackers and cheese, salsa and chips and then later pizza. I had a few pieces of cheese while we hung out, but left the crackers and chips (and pizza). What was great was, at one point I started hunting for more cheese out of habit, but realized that I really wasn't hungry, so I told myself 'enough', and moved on.

After that, we went out to a local watering hole that happens to also have karaoke on Saturdays. I LOVE karaoke but usually end up going by myself. It was a blast to go and have about 12 friends along too. Not only did I get to enjoy singing, but I got to enjoy my friend's singing and we danced a LOT. At the end of the day between the running and dancing my bodybugg said I had burned over 4500 calories for the day (at midnight). Whew! The best thing is, dancing doesn't even feel like exercise - it's just pure enjoyment.   And, because I was the designated driver, I was able to keep my commitment to stay away from the alcohol, thus avoiding a TON of empty calories (and a hangover).  Although I wasn't easy, Irish Car Bombs are my #1 fav drink and what better day to have some then St. Patty's day!?

Sunday is my 'official' weigh in and I was at 228.4 - that's 2.1 lbs lost for the week and 9.2 since I started. (However I only started MF food on Wednesday). According to my body bugg I've averaged 3127 calories burned a day and 1208 consumed for a  1919 deficit. (my goal is 1500). I also averaged over 11,000 steps a day. My weight was a a little up from the day before, but staying up 'til two in the morning dancing might have had something to do with it. I'm not too concerned. My goal for the week was 228.5 and I hit that. I'm losing weight and feeling really really good. I'm happy, my self confidence is coming back I even was able to wear a pair of cute capri jeans that I haven't been able to wear in AGES!

Later in the day I went through my closet and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned!  i sorted through all my clothes and arrainged them by size (I have size 18W to 10 in there).  It was a little sad seeing all the pretty clothes that I've 'grown' out of, but also strengthened my resolve to see this through.  I want to wear those again!  What was really sad was finding the 'largest' pair of jeans and a shirt that I saved from last time I lost weight (I got rid of everything else) - they both fit!  Again, it made me sad but determined.  Somehow I had convinced myself that though I had weighed the same, I wasn't as 'big' as I was last time.  yeah... right!  It's time to stop lying to myself, really look at myself in the mirror, accept what's going on there and then move on.

I suspect that in about two weeks the first of my 'put away' clothes will start to fit, that'll really feel good.  I want to ride that feeling of success all the way to goal, and I will!

Today however, the scale had a big big surprise for me.  Woke up, checked in and it said 225.9!  Another BIG drop!  I guess all the dancing caught up with me!  I just can't believe I'm going to be seeing the lower end of the 220's already.  I'm ready! 

I've been really really good physically and mentally over the past few days.  I find myself in a good mood more often then not.  It's not that things haven't been hard and that I haven't been dealing with the normal 'stuff' that life brings.  but, I've been abetter able to handle it all.  Iv'e been actually dealing with/acknowledging my emotions and weirdly that seems to take less energy then trying to ignore/hide them.  I'm also seeing great results on the program so far, and that always makes me hopeful and hope makes me energetic.  I'll try to hang onto this as long as possible - may as well ride the wave for all it's worth!

Oh, and I'm dropping the 'no-diet pepsi' zone back to 3:00 PM this week.  Thing sare going to get interesting over the next few days.

Friday, March 16, 2012

I knew once the Fat Fairy figured out where my house was she would visit a few more times.  Today the scale said 228.7 - goodbye 230's!

We've been going through a lot at our house with our decision to give up our dog.  I've been corresponding the past few days with someone who was interested in bringing him into their home and family.  Then today I get an email that says, "Hey, I can't pick up the dog myself.  I'm going to arrange for someone to pick him up for me, but that person wants $600 to transport him. I'll tell you what, I'll send you $750 to your paypal, and you can pay for my shipping through western union..."

All of a sudden there are bells going off in my head.  A crushing bitter disappointment came over me.  This wasn't someone wanting to bring our beloved pet into their home.  This was a scammer.  Someone trying to bilk me out of $600 (or more).  So, I'm dealing with anger over this guy's actions and disappointment that I still have to find a home for our dog. And... and... I haven't had a single urge to eat over any of it.  If I can keep this up, losing this weight will be easy peasy. HaHa!

However, I know there will be days harder then this.  The Feast Beast is in there, waiting for me to be a little less diligent.  Then he'll start to whisper 'cheating thoughts' into my head.  I'll be ready for him though!  I need to find me some anti-Feast Beast spray, and some treats for the Fat Fairy so she keeps showing up.

In other news... 0 Caffeine after 5:00PM this week.  I've hit my goal of (at least) 30 minutes of movement a day (though it's been all dog walking this week) and I've been hitting and surpassing my 2500 calorie burn on my body bugg every day.  I'll have all the fascinating facts on Sunday my 'offical' weigh in day.  Can't wait to see what that turns up.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New goal! 

Next year at Wondercon (which is this weekend)  I want to go dressed as shehulk!

229.2!! Yay

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My MF food arrived today! What a relief. Now I can stick to a plan without actually having to have much of a plan. It was a good day.

I'm planning on doing a half marathon in June and today I got a message from the sponsors saying they are doing a group training over the next 12 weeks. The kick off is Saturday and I'm going to go and try it out. I wasn't happy with the group workouts when I did Team in Training. But I'm hoping this will be different.

Things at my job have been going great and that has helped my stress a lot, but home, not so great. Money's been tight with the job change. The transmission went out on our only car. I'm dieting and trying to cut back on diet pepsi (both of which make me really cranky) and we've an issue with our dog.

You see, when we first got him someone was home all the time. I was working from home most days and when I wasn't, my son was home. Well that's changed and now I'm spending 12 hours a day away and my son has recently switched to a full time position. That's when we discovers the dog suffers from separation anxiety. The 'eat through the door' kind. So lately every time we come home we don't know what kind of disaster we'll find. And to make it worse my husband (out of frustration) blames my son because he's the one who leaves him(to go to work).

So, tonight I get home to find my gym bag, gym clothes and running shoes are peed on, get into a fight with my husband and then have to be the one who finally says, "the dog needs to go to some other family".

I was NOT in a good mood. What was interesting was having the experience of having those feelings and observing my reaction to them. When I wanted nothing more then to crunch a handful of nuts, what I really wanted was to crunch the dog and my husband's heads. It was strange and empowering. I felt the feelings, the cravings, named them and let them go. I want to do this more often!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I just finished ready Freya Taylor's "Suddenly Skinny" and "Suddenly Skinny - Day by Day" both great reads.  I was inspired and entertained at the same time! (Freya lost 100lbs in 10 months on MF).  In looking for my next book to read I picked up ta book hat I bought a long long time ago, but never finished called "Life is Hard, Food is Easy" by Linda Spangle.  What I didn't realized is that this book has a forward written by the CEO of MF.  It's like the universe is reinforcing my choice to pick this diet and march all the way to my goal with it.

Been hovering just above 230 for a few days now.  Would really love to get past this deca-pound milestone!  However, I am right on track with my goals.  I'm tracking to hit 195 by my half-marathon in June and I'm pleased with that!  I'm also pleased that my MF food is due to arrive today!  Tomorrow my plan is going to get a whole lot simpler to maintain - not easier, but at least simpler.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The fat fairy finally arrived and took a bunch of weight with her!  weighed in this morning at 230.5 - that's 4.5 lbs down this week and I haven't even gotten my first shipment of MF food yet!

Feel good, feeling strong and loving seeing the results.  My clothes are already feeling better.  I'm standing taller, feeling stronger and feeling better about myself.  Here's to keeping this going for 100 more lbs!

Friday, March 9, 2012

I've been driving myself for the past two weeks.  A new job, weight lifting, training for a half iron man and putting a lot of emotion and energy into working through my food issues.  And then add the stress of our one and only car needing a new transmission right as our bank account is at it's lowest (job change ya know) and well, last night I was just so exhausted.  I zombied through making dinner, ate and though I was tired, had no desire to go to sleep.  I needed a brain break.  Some 'me' time.  So, I fired up the computer and watched bad TV until about 1:00 AM.  Strange thing is, even though I stayed up WAAAAY past my bed time, I feel rested regenerated and refreshed... Funny how something as simple as watching a little TV can change how I feel physically.

In other news, I'm still waiting for a visit from the fat fairy.  I know she's going to show up some night soon and take a chunk of fat with her.  

And my food is supposed to be here on Tuesday - *hoping*hoping*hoping*

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's like a test...

Only I'm not sure I'm passing just yet.
I was just exhausted last night.  I managed to grab some chicken from the crock-pot and some broccoli (which I ate with my fingers) as I packed my stuff for today, but that was it - I fell into bed and conked out.
Today, I thought things were going a little better.  I got to sleep in a little since I wasn't riding with hubby, and he took the dog for a walk since he was going in a little later.  Unfortunately, once I did get out of the house I realized I had left my lunch at home :|  I had a moment when I thought about turning around and heading back, but it was late and I didn't want to hassle with it.
So, I drove to the gym, did a killer back workout, changed and hit the pool for my first swim in a long long long time.  I swam for almost 30 minutes and did 1200 yards.  It's a little shorter then the 1640yards I'll need to finish an olympic distance tri and and way short of the 2112 yards to finish the Half Iron Tri I'm doing in August.  (August!! GLUP!)  But, it was an excellent start and I felt great.  In fact, I stopped because of time, not fatigue.  (if only running was this easy!)
So, I finished up my workout at about 10AM and was STARVING!  I hadn't eaten yet because I like to workout on an empty stomach, and I didn't have any food with me because I had left all my stuff at home - so I found a nearby Safeway and picked up a variety of things to keep at work that'll see me through any emergencies.  Easy to store, won't spoil, and MF friendly.  Once I was done shopping, I gathered up my bags and threw them into the back of my car, grabbing a cheese stick to munch on - cause I was STARVING.  Thing is, the cheese stick in my hand distracted me from the fact that my keys were NOT in my hand and my car has this lovely feature where in if you only open the back, when you close the back, it locks itself again.  Yeah...
So, here I was, running late, STARVING and locked out of my car.  Luckily I still had my phone in my hand, and luckily I had signed up for road side assistance just a few months ago.  A call to my phone company to get the road side assistance number (since the card was in my purse, locked inside the car) and help was on it's way.
Still the stress, frustration and worry got to me just a little - not to mention the hunger.  I ate breakfast/lunch when I finally got to work at 12:00 and may have overdone it just a smidgen.  Dunno yet as I broke my rule and ate before logging.  
Overall, I'm not too unhappy.  I work for a place that doesn't care that I came in at noon as long as I get my work done.  I got both my planned workouts in today and I have OP food here to eat.  Getting my keys out didn't cost me a huge wack of money, and I'm no longer STARVING.  It could be worse I suppose, but I don't need to find that out... really!  I know these stressful times are only teaching me good lessons about handling life without a food crutch, but I'd like a little break now, please!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Comfort Drinking?...

And no, probably not the kind you're thinking.

I've always known I was a comfort eater, but today I confirmed a suspition of mine that I also sometimes turn to drinks for comfort as well.  You see, I've been a diet pepsi addict for years now.  Years and YEARS now.  It's not uncommon for me to drink 4 or more liters in a day.  For the past two weeks though I've been working on scaling back and the first step in scaling back was to stop drinking diet Pepsi after 7:00 PM.  'til now I haven't thought much about it.  My little alarm/reminder goes off at 7:00 saying "No more Pepsi"  and I don't have any.  BUT today, I've had a really stressful eavening.  Missed my train home, my husband came and got me, found out my only car need $4800 in repairs or the transmission might quit and then it'll need $8000 in repairs, and got majorly overcharged for the rental that I had while the car was getting looked over and an estimate worked up.  When I got home I was tired, hungry and very very cranky (not to mentioned stressed).  I've given myself 'no-choice' to comfort myself with food.  If it wasn't in the plan last night, it doesn't go into my mouth, and since that avenue was denied me I have found myself SEVERAL times tonight opening the fridge and grabbing for a can.  I want that drink more then I want chocolate right now!  (PMSing too hahah)  I do know that if I'm going to make some long term changes here I'm going to have to find some better/healthier ways to deal with stress.  Here's to learning more about myself and to positive changes on the horizon.

PS - next week I'll probably roll the 'no diet pepsi' zone back to 5:00PM.  Whatever will I do then! :)
It's been an interesting journey already! :)  This morning, I got a good look at how different a place my head is in right now.  

I got up at five to take the dog for a walk.  I'm the designated 'morning dog walker' in the house since I seem to be able to get ready faster then anyone else.  (Go figure, right?  I think it's because I'm not a morning person and have spent my whole life trying to figure out how to squeeze out an extra 5, 10, 30 minutes of sleep - that or being the big sister/mom my whole life meant I was always getting other people ready and had to learn to put myself together as quickly as possible - or both.  ANYWAY...)  I decided Sunday night that since I was going out to walk the dog anyway, and he's used to coming with me on my runs at night, I might as well try doing my runs in the morning.  It would mean getting up a bit earlier, but give me some additional time in my evenings to relax.  So, we did that on Monday and it worked out OK.  Today was a 'run' day again so I took him out again but it was just 'One of Those Mornings (tm)'  We need to leave the house at 6:00 to have time to hit the gym, and Doughnut (the dog) and I didn't get back until 6:10!  Then it seemed to take forever to get my husband out the door and when we finally got out to the car at 6:20 and started to drive off I realized that I promised to loan my son $60 so he could get the breaks done on his car today and that mean a run to the bank and a run back to the house and... Yeah, at that point we decided hitting the gym was out of the question and may as well just stay home and shower.  And you know what?  I was MAD!  I was hot under the collar, crank pants, I wanna stomp my feet and whine all the way into the house, up the stairs into the shower, pouty MAD.  Because I was going to miss going to the gym and doing my weight training.

Seriously!  Who is this person?  I mean, I used to look for any and every excuse to skip a workout.  But right now, all I can picture is 2006, when I was the fittest of my life.  I'm so focused that every meal be a step toward that girl.  That every day has to be used to it's best advantage and I lost a little time today.  That feeling, that concept is so foreign to me!  I'm the, "Oh I'll do it tomorrow" girl.  I'm the, "I'll make up for it later" lady.  I'm the poster child for "Next time".  Or should I say, I WAS.  No more.  I like this focus, this drive, this feeling of, "Now now now".  

And, speaking of now, now, now... MF emailed me that my food is in the mail.  Can it be here now please?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I've decided that one of my goals for this summer is to get a tan on my back and legs, and not just my arms and chest. This means wearing less clothes (like maybe a bathing suit). And to feel comfortable doing that I need to drop weight and tone up. See how all this ties together!?
Second week of hitting the gym and I'm already feeling better about myself. Fitter, stronger, skinnier. I stand taller and the horrible bloating in my stomach that was making it stick out past my boobs is gone. Soon I'll stop getting those, "What are you doing In our part of the gym" looks from the guys.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I'm still here, still alive, kicking and looking everyday for a way to stick with a program. 

I'm pretty much at that "begin again" stage:  Weight is 235, fitness levels in the tank.  There are a few positives though.  I've recently started a new job (yes again!) and the hours/location have lent themselves to hitting the gym early, on the way to work.  I made it to the gym three times last week!  The other interesting thing is that I ride public transit to work, and there isn't anyplace to 'eat out' nearby.  This means I have to plan my meals and pack a lunch every day.  As I've known for years, planning my food is one of the biggest facilitators to weight loss for me.  So I have this amazing triple bonus of a new job that I really like and the means and modivation to eat well and excercise.  Imagine that!

Oh!  I we have a new dog.  A dog that has to be walked every morning before we go to work.  So, I take the morning shift and today I went for my run during my 'dog walking' time.  I was getting up anyway, why not take advantage of the time?  So, today I've already run 2.75 miles, did a leg workout and had an OP (on plan) day food wise!  And it's been easy!