the chronicles of my journey to a thinner me

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Mini Goal - One-derland

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday and I'm outta here...

First, my HYC Goals checkup:

  • 64+ oz water 7 days 3/7
  • Journal food 7 days 3/7
  • Stay on plan 7 days 3/7
  • 4/1 intervals 4 days 1/4
  • Earn 29 APs 10/29
  • Blog 4 days 3/4

Just a quickie...

On my way out the door to go run my 4/1's tonight. Hope it's not too hot and humid - yeah right.

I'm traveling for work on Sunday, so I have the challenge of staying on plan while on the road. I have yet to do well at this, but I am really determined to do it this time. I will have a car and will be by myself, and lunch is NOT brought in - thank goodness. So I have no excuse for not doing well this time. I think the working out will go well as the hotel has a gym and I'm used to working out every day now. So, it's just the food. Wish me luck girls, I'm going to fight with every fiber of my being to conquer the road monster. Oooh! And I got upgraded to first class again - saweeeet! Only a 1 hour flight, but at least it's in comfy seats.

Everyone have a great weekend! I'll be back to blogging on Sunday.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Me - 1, Hills - 0

First, my HYC Goals checkup:
  • 64+ oz water 7 days 2/7
  • Journal food 7 days 2/7
  • Stay on plan 7 days 2/7
  • 4/1 intervals 4 days 1/4
  • Earn 29 APs 7/29
  • Blog 4 days 2/4
Now, on to my big news....

So I told you that Monday I bumped up on my running plan from 3/1 intervals to 4/1 intervals. I did really well, but I did them at the bird sanctuary which is mostly flat. I kept thinking to myself, "yeah, but wait until I try it at the park" which is really hilly. Remember the awful time I had the first time I did the 3/1's and had to go back to doing 2/1's for another week? So I was kind of dreading the run last night at the hilly park, because I feared a repeat of that other incident where I huffed and puffed and suffered when I tried to increase my running time. Also, this is Houston. As Viv and Grumpy Chair can attest, it was hot and really humid yesterday afternoon.

Guess what? I did it! I did it good! There were only a few moments (running uphill for 4 min at a time) where I had to slow down in order to keep going. It wasn't that hard. I could not f'ing believe it. I still can't. I guess at some point I'm going to have to stop allowing those "this is going to suck" thoughts. I was out there doing it without looking like I might die any moment. AND I finished the 30 minutes way ahead (distance-wise) than I did with the 3/1's. I guess that means I must actually run faster than I walk - I walk fast, so that still surprises me. When I was a kid, I got paired with a boy to run the President's Challenge thing (that thing we did in the 60's/early 70's) and he kept complaining to the teacher that I ran too slow. I've always thought of myself as a slowpoke, so I just assumed my running would never be fast no matter how good I got. Now I am open to the possibility that I might not be that slow after all. We'll just see. That stupid little boy is probably fat and bald now. And that evil teacher who paired me up with a boy is probably long dead. I would be lying if I said I didn't snicker a little at that. ;)

So, I gotta run. I just had to tell you guys!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rearrangin' the furniture...

I've been moving some stuff around a bit on my blog to reflect the changes in my mindset lately.

Of note:
  • I created a virtual 'Trophy Case' for my fancy bling. Gotta celebrate those victories!
  • I added a Mini-Goals section for Fitness to be able to focus on things in manageable chunks.
  • I re-arranged my side bar so that my HYC goals stay first and foremost in view (gotta keep the map out if I'm gonna get to my final destination).
  • I moved my Fitness mini goals to be above my Weight mini goals, because (thankfully) that's how my brain seems to be working these days. I'm here to lose weight, of course, but my main priority is now my physical well-being more so than how I look. If I meet my Fitness goals, my Weight is sure to follow.
  • I moved my Progress chart after both of those because, while it's important to see how far I've come, I need to focus all of my energy on where I'm going. Plus, I still have the trophy case for the big picture on that front.

So, pardon the dust. Just working to improve things...

Weigh In, Tuesday May 27th

I'm a day late posting due to a day off from work, but can I have a drum roll please................

Weight: 210!

Woohoo! I weighed on Sunday and saw 210 after all of those days at 214. Then on Monday, it was up to 212. It's TOM, so I didn't worry about it. I'm glad I didn't because it was back to 210 again this morning. I even got on and off the scale about 4 times to make sure.

I am so excited. If you look left, you will see I am sporting a brand new badge to celebrate my now 30 pounds gone! I think I could fly around the room right now. I don't know if I finally broke through my exercise issues, or if the water helped, or if it was eating all of my APs, or what. I'm just going to do this week exactly what I did last week and hope to keep heading down a pound or two a week.

In other news, I 'graduated' to the next level in my running program on Monday. I ran 6 intervals of 4 min run/1 min walk. It wasn't even that hard. Granted it was at the bird sanctuary which is flat, as opposed to the hilly park, so we'll see how hard it is there - but I freaking did it! I even enjoyed it. I'm doing it again tonight, so wish me well. On the foot front, my feet seem to have gone back down to normal size and my shoes are fitting normally again. So, I haven't been having any problems there. That's good news.

Anyway, I've got to go for now, but I'll be checking in on everyone during lunch. I'm jonesing for a blog fix. :)

Week 21 HYC Goals

It worked so well last week, here I go again...

Water 64+ oz 7/7 days
Journal all food 7/7 days
Stay on plan 7/7 days
Run/walk 4/1 intervals 4/4 days
Blog enty days 4/4 days
Activity Points for Week 21 29 APs

I'm modifying the exercise goals because although I plan to exercise 45 min per day minimum 7/7 days, the weather may make that difficult on some days. I'm going to allow myself to 'make up' time if I need to on the weekends.

Wish me luck!

HYC Week 20 Goals - Results

Just a quick post (a day late) to update my results for Week 20 HYC goals:

Goal Checkup for Week 20
Drink 64+ oz water 7/7
Journal all meals and snacks 7/7
Stay on plan 7/7
Run/walk program 3/1 intervals - 4/4
Minimum 45 minutes moderate exercise 3/4 only 20 min on Sunday DH not well - did exercise every day though
Earn minimum 29 activity points by end of day Monday May 26 - 32/29 APs earned
Minimum 4 blog entries - 4/4

So, all in all, I did pretty well. I'll spare you all of the tiny details. I ate almost all of my APs. I think I had one or two I didn't eat. I went into my Flex Points by 20 - but that's not bad considering I did go out on Saturday and drink some beer.

I think this goal thing helped me a lot this past week, so I'm going to keep at it.

Sorry I didn't get to check in yesterday, I was off work and just didn't get to get online at home. I have dial up and I just hate to do it from there. Plus DH hasn't seen my blog yet, andI want to keep it to myself a little longer. I can't wait to catch up with everyone at lunch today.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Another day down...

Goal Checkup for Thursday, May 22nd

Drink 64+ oz water CHECK
Journal all meals and snacks CHECK
Stay on plan CHECK
Run/walk program 3/1 intervals - n/a not a run/walk day
Minimum 45 minutes moderate exercise CHECK
Earn minimum 29 activity points by end of day Monday May 26 - 12/26 APs earned
Minimum 4 blog entries - 3/4

Food Journal:

1 - 2 lite wheat bread

1 - WW cheese slice
4 - 2 eggs scrambled in non-fat cooking spray
1 - WW yogurt
2 - icky white bread slice (why on earth did I eat that?)
6 - beef
4 - tiny amounts of baked beans & potato salad (maybe a T each)
3 - biscotti (yummy and didn't make me feel like crap like that high point cake would've)
1 - WW cheese slice
0 - 0 point veg soup
6 - 2 English muffins with lite Laughing cow wedges
0 - big handful of grape tomatoes (realized at 9PM I'd had almost no veggies)

26 points + 3 APs = 29-29 = 0 points left

Yesterday was a regular exercise day. We got another late start, but it had cooled off some at least. We did a really brisk 50 minute walk around the hilly park and worked up a good sweat. I love that park because it really does give you a cardio workout if you walk very fast at all. We walk at a speed that's as fast as we can go without breaking into a jog.

Still having problems with shoes all of a sudden. I really think it's because they were puffy and it made the shoes not fit like they normally do. Anyway I hope that's what it is. My ankles look all fat and swollen again today. They haven't done that in months. I don't know what's wrong - no more salt than usual. Could the heat do that on its own?

Viv asked me if I'd been fitted for shoes. I haven't yet. In the beginning, I got a pair of discontued NBs on sale at Academy for 39.99. They've done me really well so far. I didn't want to spend too much money (that's been about 4-5 weeks now!) because I guess I couldn't believe I would actually be able to run, or even keep up trying. I didn't want to spend a fortune on 'one more thing I wouldn't follow through on', and to tell the truth I was too embarassed to walk into a running store and tell them I was running. I wasn't having any issues at all until Tuesday - which is the first day my feet have been puffy in so long. So, I don't think it's the shoes, I think it's my stupid feet. My gift to myself for reaching my 'run 30 minutes without stopping' goal is going to be new shoes - from a runner's store. That way, I should have developed a good wear on the NBs so they can tell how I wear on them and all.

So anyway, I'm running tonight and kind of looking forward to it. I hope it's not too hot. I'm off work until Wednesday of next week, so DH and I are planning on getting 2 workout sessions a day in. I don't think I can stand that much walking, so hopefully we'll do some cycling.

I'll try to keep up with my posting during those days, but we'll see...

To all my new American friends, have a great Memorial Day long weekend.
To my new friends in other lands, have yourself a great weekend too.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rollin', rollin', rollin'...

Goal Checkup for Wednesday, May 21st

Drink 64+ oz water CHECK
Journal all meals and snacks CHECK
Stay on plan CHECK
Run/walk program 3/1 intervals - CHECK
Minimum 45 minutes moderate exercise CHECK
Earn minimum 29 activity points by end of day Monday May 26 - 9/26 APs earned
Minimum 4 blog entries - 2/4

Food Journal:

4 - 2 whole grain f/f waffles with 1 t. butter
3 - 2 whole wheat lite bread with 1 lite Laughing Cow wedge and 1 oz turkey
8 - brown rice and pinto beans
1 - apple
0 - large salad w/big handful of grape tomatoes
1 - 1 T lite Ranch
3 - 5 saltines with 2 T peanut butter
3 - pre running Kashi bar
4 - 2 tiny wraps (2 - 2 for 1 pt tortillas, 1 slice WW cheese, 2 oz turkey, lettuce)
1 - apple

26 points + 6 APs = 32-28 = 2 points left

Race report (tee hee):

So yesterday was my second day to run 3/1 intervals this week. I have to tell you I was nervous. I had such a good experience on Monday, but I had the miserable one the week before, so I was so worried that after I went on and on about how great it was that I would fail at it just because I couldn't keep my big yap shut (I know, but this is how my brain works). Just to make things scarier, I got stuck at work almost 2 hours later than usual. It was really hot and humid. My feet and ankles were all swollen for some weird reason which is making my shoes not fit right, and I was starving but it was too late to eat and still run.

Now 6 months ago (if I could have run 6 months ago) all of these things would have triggered an, "Aw f*ck it! I'll just skip tonight because it's not fair that everything is so against me." So, I am proud to tell you that I did run. I ran faster than I did on Monday.

Yep. Good ol GWAP (GirlWithAProblem) hauled up her big girl panties, shut her yap, and just friggin' ran. I know! I can't believe it either. I keep asking DH, "Who is this person?"

It went great. It was easier than the run on Monday actually, even with my shoe bothering me. Here's what's really cool. The park I run in is not that big, so one loop from where we park back to the truck is just under the distance I run/walk doing the 3/1 intervals. Monday I got back to the truck and still had one 3/1 interval + the final 2 min run left so I had to double back. Yesterday I started running farther from the truck than I did on Monday, but when I got back to the truck, I had already done the last 3 minute run. I only had the 1 min walk and the 2 min run left! That means I did the same distance in 3 minutes less time - actually closer to 5 because I started the set farther along the course. DH said I was going faster, but it felt the same to me. That has to be a good sign doesn't it? After that, we walked some more for a grand total of 53 minutes including my running. I got 6 APs for all that. Woohoo!

Another good sign is that I felt better physically after the Monday and Wednesday run/walk routines than I did after the plain walking on Tuesday. I haven't had any pain or soreness at all (except where my stupid shoe rubbed), so that's a good sign that I'm getting fitter.

In other news, today was the first office cake day I missed. I told you how I normally make sure to eat cake just to prove I can - but lately I really haven't even wanted it. Well today, I went in there and looked at it, but all I could think of was how craptastic I was going to feel when I try to race walk for an hour in the heat and humidity this afternoon. I walked away. From cake. From cake with cream cheese frosting. Not because I was supposed to, but because I knew my body didn't want it and would not perform well for me later. OMFG I don't think I even know who I am any more. I think the body snatchers came and took my fat brain one night while I was sleeping and left me some poor athletic girl's brain. I just don't know any more.

Anyway, that's what's goin' on with me. What's up with you guys?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On track...

Here's a progress report of my HYC goals for this week:

Tuesday, May 20th

Drink 64+ oz water CHECK

Journal all meals and snacks CHECK
Stay on plan CHECK

Run/walk program 3/1 intervals - N/A I run on M, W, F, Sat
Minimum 45 minutes moderate exercise CHECK
Earn minimum 29 activity points by end of day Monday May 26 - 3 APs earned
Minimum 4 blog entries - So far so good

Last night we went for a 45 minute brisk walk in the very hilly park. It was 95 degrees and humid, so it was pretty uncomfortable. My feet were swollen when I put on my shoes, and so they just didn't seem to fit right. My left one felt like it was trying to rub a blister. After 45 minutes, we were drenched and decided to call it a night.

I did good on water. I had my 64 ounces in before I left the office yesterday. I drank probably another 32 that evening.


1 - 2 low cal/fat/carb torts (the little ones are 2 for a point - sweet!)
4 - 2 scrambled eggs
1 - 1 oz roast turkey
2 - 10 saltines
2 - 2 lite Laughing Cow swiss cheese wedges
0 - big salad with grape tomatoes
1 - 1 T lite Ranch
5 - WW Swedish meatballs
3 - biscotti
4 - pinto beans
4 - brown rice
0 - steamed broc/carrots/cauliflower
1 - sf popsicles & a sf Monster drink
28 points

26 points + 3 APs = 29-28 = 1 point left over

Yesterday I ate way more crap than I normally eat. I didn't cook on Monday, so I didn't have anything ready for lunch. I ended up grabbing an emergency WW dinner. I didn't have any fruit in the house, so my snacks are not my usual. I need to go to the store tonight as I did find one poor apple in the crisper, but that was it. Hopefully tomorrow I will have fruit for 3 of my snacks.

Anyway, I weighed myself this morning and it said 216, which I know is not true. I did NOT gain 2 pounds doing what I did yesterday. I'm sure it had something to do with the heat and sodium and my sudden hop back onto the water drinking train. I'm choosing to ignore that number because it's not mathematically/scientifically possible.

Thanks to all of you that stopped by and left comments yesterday. It never ceases to amaze me what a wonderful group of people the blogger community is. You guys are fantabulous! On the HYC check in yesterday I found some great new blogs that I have added to my list to make sure I stop by. I love hearing what you all have to say.

Tonight is another run/walk night. I'm excited. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Week 20 - Healthy You Challenge goals

My goals for this new week are:
  • Drink 64+ oz water every day
  • Journal all meals and snacks every day
  • Stay on plan every day
  • Run/walk program 3/1 intervals 4 days
  • Minimum 45 minutes moderate exercise 3 days
  • Earn minimum 29 activity points by end of day Monday May 26
  • Minimum 4 blog entries

Not quite a 5K, but not too shabby...

Weight: 214 (yes, still)

Running: woohoo!

It's the start of a new week and the scale hasn't budged, but I almost don't even care today. Why? Because I had an awesome run last night. So sticks out tongue to you Mr. Scale! I'll deal with you in the 7 days to come.

For now, let me tell you about last night. For those of you that have been following my progress, you know that I have been kind of stuck at running 10 2min run/1min walk intervals for 2 or 3 weeks (seems like forever, I can't even remember) and had barely survived my one attempt last week at moving up to 3/1's. That was the run that I huffed and puffed, felt like I was about to have a heart attack, almost puked, and seriously thought about quitting at least 4 or 5 times during the session. That was last Monday I think, and after that I went back to 2/1's for Wed, Fri, and Sun. Wednesday and Friday actually seemed a little hard on the 2/1's and I was beginning to doubt myself - but I was determined that I would continue this running program if I had to run 2/1's for the next 10 years. Sunday went really well. I did 2/1's, but I experimented with pace quite a bit since I felt really strong that day. I even did my last minute of running at the absolute fastest pace that I thought I could maintain for a whole minute. It went pretty well.

So yesterday it was 94 degrees and I was tired. I was still looking forward to running in that weird way that I seem to have now, but I hadn't yet decided if I was going to continue with 2/1's or try 3/1's again. Since the last time was such a bad experience, I was leaning toward the 2/1's. Before I left work, I decided to check in on some of my favorite bloggers. I'm so glad I did. Since one of them had not updated, I decided to check out her beginning posts to see where she had started (she just ran her first 1/2 marathon just over a year later) and I saw her posts where she was struggling with the 3/1's. She, like me, had decided the rate of increase that the running program was suggesting was just too fast for her and that she would decide on her own when to increase her intervals. Reading ahead, I saw that although she struggled in the beginning there seemed to be a point where she was increasing fairly rapidly. She mentioned something about running with someone who pushed her past her comfort point a little. So that's when I decided I would give the 3/1's another chance.

It was awesome! The first couple of intervals were not very difficult. (There are 7 3/1's and then a 2 min run) There were 2 uphill intervals that I had to fight through in a couple of places, but all in all it was challenging without being discouraging. For the first time I actually ran at a decent pace. Until then, I've only been concerned that I was always moving in a jogging motion, sometimes in place if I had to, but I was going pretty slow. Last night I picked up the pace and I think that helped. I think I found a comfort zone because I maintained that throughout the run except for maybe twice when I had to run in place a few steps on the steep hills. I even poured on the speed and ran my last minute as fast as I could. DH was shocked. He kept saying how 'impressive' that was and that I 'ran forever and just kept running'. He must have been impressed because he kept talking about how proud he was and that he never thought he'd see me run like that. I have to admit it, but I am also amazingly proud of myself. I could burst!

So regarding the weight. Meh. I could've lost a couple of pounds, but I didn't. I suspect it's partially due to the reasons I mentioned in a recent post, and partially because I have been slacking on journaling points and drinking water. So, I will take my 214 (because after all 6 months ago I never thought I'd see 214 again) and I will challenge myself to some better behavior for this new week.

In the mean time, I am giving myself a big 'Woohoo!' and a virtual high five. Thanks to all of you that have offered your support here. It means so much to me. Thanks to those of you that, through blogging your own challenges and triumphs, inspire me to go faster and farther than I ever dreamed I could. You girls rock!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Woohoo it's Friday!

Quick update before I fly out the door to a much needed weekend...

Thursday night was a 55 minute walk at a very brisk pace. It's weird, that one was hard too. I was so happy that it wasn't my running night. I hope I get over whatever this is and get back to a place where it's not quite so hard to keep going. We did do 5 laps around the little loop with the biggest hill last night. The first 3 were torture, but it did get better on the last 2. I just kept repeating, "I will not quit. I will not quit." whenever my legs were burning and tired. Near the end I came up with a new mantra that, when repeated fast, matches my pace when walking. I kept repeating it in my mind to try to disassociate my mind from my body, "Faster, farther. Stronger, lighter." I kind of like that one.

On other news, I haven't gone to get my bike yet. I think I will this weekend. It's just been to hectic to try to fit in an hour of exercise and dealing with that. Plus I've been so sweaty I didn't want to gross out the salesperson if they had to get anywhere near me to adjust the bike. :)

Oh, one other thing. The other day I went to buy myself some new workout clothes because I just didn't have enough things to not have to do laundry in the middle of the week. Anyway, I went to Academy and was looking at the Nike DriFit pants (I have to wear pants b/c my legs are still to chubby to run in shorts) which were $50 bucks (ouch!). I pulled out a pair of XL because that's what I always wear, unless it's XXL, and they looked huge. You know how workout pants always look like they're way too small? Well I was actually worried these wouldn't stay up when I ran. So I looked for a L to compare. They didn't have any, so I started digging through the sale racks to see if I could find something else. I did eventually stumble across 2 pairs of Nike DriFit pants in size L - on sale for 19.98! I then found 3 of the DriFit tanks in XL (they looked small) marked down to 9.98. I decided to buy them figuring that anything that was too small would fit me later. When I got to the checkout, she started pushing all these buttons after every scan and then looked at me and said "32.15 please". Huh? Miracle of miracles, they were an additional 50% off!!!! I ended up with about $180 worth of Nike DriFit for $32.15 including sales tax. Oh happy day!

So I had worn the pants already. How excited am I to be in Large pants? I had not worn the tanks because they were really form fitting to say the least. Last night I got brave and decided, screw it. If anybody doesn't like what they see they don't have to look. (yes, that was ME that said that - who am I lately?) I decided I would just take a T-shirt in case I needed to go in a store or something on the way back. After putting on my gear, I braced myself to look in the mirror and see how bad it looked...I was freaking shocked! I squealed out loud. DH called down the hall to see if I was ok. I ran out into the living room yelling, "Look! Look! Look at me!" He dropped his jaw. "Look at you! Where did you go?" he said as he headed over for a tactile inspection of my shrunken midsection. It was such a surreal experience. I could not stop feeling my middle. I looked SO much smaller. I didn't even look that fat any more. If I sucked in as much as possible, I almost looked svelte! How freaking cool is that? So, I went proudly out to the park in my skin tight Nike tank and busted my buns for the next 55 minutes. That did boost my resolve to keep going I tell you.

So, I gotta run now. DH is waiting for me to get home. Tonight is 10 2min/1min run/walk intervals. It's unusually cool and breezy today, so I'm hoping that helps make it a good experience. I don't want a repeat of Wednesday. Either way I WILL DO IT. How can I stop now?

One more thing - Thanks so much to all of you who have stopped by to say hello and to offer support. That means so much to me. I think of that when I want to quit. I think how I want to come back here and post the good news rather than some excuses. I think how I want to run races like my blogging heroes do. Thanks again.

Everyone have a great weekend! Wish me luck running tonight and Saturday.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Love and hate... (warning, this goes on a bit)

Weight: 214

Points: 26/26
AP Earned: 6
Flex Balance: 32

I love those New Balance commercials about having a love/hate relationship. There, I admit it. :) They ring so true - not just about running, but about exercise in general. I hesitate to call what I am doing 'running' just yet. It just seems a little grandiose - like hopping over a puddle and then calling myself a long jumper or something. I am a frequent exerciser though. I have been exercising to the point (or almost to the point) of fatigue 5-7 days a week for the last 5 weeks - and a little less strenuously, but 4-6 days a week for about 2 months before that. So, while I can't really speak to 'running' I can say that I have a love/hate relationship with exercise.

It's strange. I look forward to my nightly exercise, even when I know it's really hot, it might rain, or I'm too tired. I look forward to it and get really anxious at the thought of missing it. That said, there are moments (sometimes a lot of them) while I am exercising that I absolutely loathe it. During those times, it's sheer will that carries me through it.

Take last night for example. It was Wednesday, so that means I was scheduled to run/walk in 2min/1min intervals for 30 minutes. After that, I walk as fast as I can for another 30 minutes. I knew it was going to suck about 1.5 into the first running interval. Usually I feel almost springy for at least the first 2 or 3 intervals, then it gets harder, and then strangely enough it gets easier. Well last night it sucked at the beginning, it sucked most of the way through it, and it sucked right up until the end. It even sucked during the 30 minute fast walk afterward. If I had a dollar for every time I almost quit I could've bought a pizza on the way home. I almost cried at one time I hated it so much. My DH was laughing at me because I kept saying, "I hate you! I hate you!" interspersed with some 4-letter words. Note: the "I hate you" was directed at the hills, the workout, sometimes my tired legs - not my DH. None of that is all that surprising (surely everyone who works out has moments during some workouts where they just HATE it). What IS surprising though is that I DID IT ANYWAY. ME. The girl with a problem pulled up her big girl panties, sucked it up, and KEPT ON GOING. I kept repeating to myself, "I will not quit. I will not quit." I read somewhere the other day (paraphrasing), Life is a marathon. You can run. You can walk some of the way if you need to. If you sit on the couch, it will pass you by in an instant. Kind of scary, kind of cool, but it sticks with you.

I don't know why it was so much harder to work out yesterday, but I'm glad I made it through it. It really makes me much more confident that I can get better, stronger, and faster. It just feels so good to be able to say "I did it" instead of come here with a bunch of excuses as to why I didn't. As much as I hated that workout last night, I am looking forward to the one tonight. I'm worried the weather won't cooperate, but I'm walking for 45-60 minutes tonight unless it's pouring rain or lightning.

It's so strange. My body is changing, but so is my mindset, my drive, my spirit. I am being transformed. It's strange, but also very exciting. If I had to offer a reason for this, I would have to say it's due, at least in part, to the blogger community. Seriously. Reading about your victories and struggles taught me that there is no end to what I can accomplish. I learned that it's not easy for anyone to do this, but that so many of you do it anyway. I learned that the hardest part is not to let yourself say, "it's too hard". I see beautiful women in various stages of their own personal transformations not waiting to live their lives. I see runners and triathletes with big grins on their faces as they are crossing the finish line. Some of these athletes are at goal, and some aren't just yet - but they are setting goals and accomplishing them. They're out there DOING IT NOW, not waiting for some magic number to appear before living their lives to the fullest. All of you ladies inspire me daily to live NOW. Thanks to all of you for that.

I am on a mission. I WILL NOT BE DETERRED.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm doing it!

So, I started the running program I found in Runner's World 3 1/2 weeks ago It's a little more agressive than the Couch to 10K in that you run 4 days per week instead of 3, and I believe the distance/time increases more rapidly.

Week 1 - Run 1 minute/Walk 2, 10 times

I really thought I was going to drop dead from a heart attack the first 4 days I did this. My legs burned so bad, and felt like 2 huge cement pillars. This was hard. Really hard. It was shear determination that got me through it. By Saturday it was getting better, but it was still hard enough that I couldn't imaginge bumping up the running time for the next week. I then decided that since I wasn't training for an actual scheduled race, that I needed to focus on what was really important - continuing the program. So I made the decision that I would use their program as a guide, but I would let my body be the real determination of how far/how soon.

Week 2 - Run 1 minute/Walk 2, 10 times

The program had said that this week should be run 2 min/walk 1, but I didn't think I was ready. I decided to repeat week 1 instead. I was really excited when I started running on day 1 of this week. It actually felt a lot better. I was even enjoying it. By the 3rd day, I had stopped huffing and puffing and had only my tired legs to contend with. Then near the end of my day 3 run, I experienced 2 intervals where I felt absolutely WEIGHTLESS! It was the strangest sensation. I felt amazing. I felt like I was floating. I think I got hooked. On day 4, I ran 2 minutes on my last 2 intervals to see if I was ready to progress in week 3. I did it! It wasn't even that hard.

The only thing was that the scheduled plan for the next week was to run 2/walk 1 10 times for days 1 and 2. Day 3 was to be run 3/walk 1 7 times, then walk 2 min. Day 4 was to run 4/walk 1 6 times! I was very skeptical about all of that, but I do want to make sure to push myself and not get off too easy so I decided I would see how it goes and then make up my mind from there.

Week 3

Days 1 and 2 (run 2/walk 1 x 10) went well. When day 3 came, I was scared, but determined. The first 3 min run/1 min walk interval was not that bad. By the 4th one I was convinced I was in over my head. Where I run/walk is VERY hilly (some of the hills are hard enough to walk up) and it was just too much. I was struggling so hard. For the first time since the first 2 days of Week 1, I was huffing and puffing and out of breath. My legs were killing me and I could barely make them keep moving. I wanted to quit so bad. I almost did quit, but I didn't. I had made a good decision in telling so many people what I was doing. I knew that I had people that were going to ask me how the 3 minutes went. I did not want to go back and tell them I had quit. So I decided to keep going no matter what. Then I would go back to 2 run/1 walk for the rest of Week 3. The next day, I hurt everywhere. It was the first time I had any physical pain (other than just a little stiffness) from my run/walk program. If that wasn't a sign that my body wasn't ready, I don't know what was. So completed the week in 2/1 fashion, but feeling stronger and more confident every day. On Saturday, I decided that I was going to do another 2/1 week for week 4, unless it just got too easy and then I would graduate another minute.

Week 4 - this week

Last night was day 1 of week 4. I ran my 2/1's with a very even pace, good breathing, and only mild complaints from my legs on the upsides of some of the steeper hills. As luck usually goes, it just so happened that when the last interval came up, we were at the bottom of the steepest hill. I almost detoured to avoid it, but then decided to go for it. I took a deep breath and started up the hill, trying to maintain the same breathing pattern and cadence that I was maintaining earlier. I can't believe it, but I FREAKING DID IT! Yep, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. I was like Rocky running up those stairs. I even did the obligatory boxer's fist wave over my head at the end. Then something even stranger happened. I didn't want to stop running! (yes, me) I thought, well I can run another minute - it's down hill after all. Then I looked at my watch and I had 'accidently' run one minute 15 seconds. So, I thought "I'll just see if I can run another minute." I DID!!! I ran for 4 minutes instead of 2 during my 10th interval. I was really happy with my performance last night. I felt good during most of the run.

So, I think I'm going to still run 2/1's tomorrow. I'm thinking about throwing in two intervals of 3/1 if it feels right. Maybe the last 2. I am loving this. I am so pumped. I am really doing it. I am becoming a runner. One day soon I will run for 30 minutes straight. I have to think up a good reward for myself for that day.

Tonight I think we're buying mountain bikes. I'm thinking we will go walk for 45 minutes and then head to Academy to buy the bikes. I don't know how long they will take to put them together, or if we will have to come back for them on another day. If they get them put together before dark though, I'm going to stop back by the park and go for a ride.

Who is this creature I am becoming? I don't know, but I think I like her. :)

Long Overdue Update...

Weight: 214

You may notice that's only down a couple of pounds since my last post a few weeks ago. I attribute this to a few things.

First - I had some really awesome adventures during the last few weeks in which I was reunited with some old friends, and maybe even with the old me. The slightly less awesome side of this is that I behaved a little like the old me and drank more like a 30 year old than a 44 year old who is also trying to lose weight. So, I think regardless of what else I would have done, the extra drinks and the late night drunk hungries kept me from going down the scale any.

Second - I started my running program PLUS upped the exercise on the non-running days. See, I have never really eaten my Flex Points or Activity Points. Now that I am exercising pretty hard 40-75 minutes a day, I'm finding there are days when 26 points isn't enough food. So, I've experimented a little with using Flex and APs. This could also be one of the reasons I've not lost more.

Third - I have been reading about exercise (cardio especially) and losing weight. I've read that it is not uncommon for women to not lose, or even gain, weight when they first start a cardio program. Apparently we're designed to ride out a storm, and our bodies' first reaction to greatly increased exercise is to hold onto fat long enough to make it through times of physical stress and/or decreased caloric intake and particularly when those two things are combined. The good news is that supposedly this response will subside after 3 or 4 weeks if the eating/exercise regime is continued. So, it's one of those things that are so totally NOT fair, but I guess we play the hand we're dealt. Anyway, this could also be a contributing factor to my small loss of poundage.

LAST (I swear) - I think these 3 things combined may be the 'perfect storm' of weight loss inhibition. So, all things considered, I'm happy with my small loss. Hey, as long as I'm headed in the right direction, it'll all take care of itself eventually.

How's the running going? I thought you'd never ask... I'll put that in a separate post since this one's running on too long.

Anyway - can I hear a big 'Woohoo' for a total weight loss of 26 pounds to date? I am definitely on my way!