Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 2010 Tally

It's been a slow month.
27.1 miles Running
5 hours of Strength work
17 pounds lost total (5-7 more to go)
11 days since my first 5K; 3 more until the next!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Updates

The biggest update: I ran my 100th mile today.

The running has slowed down a lot since my race. I've only run 6.6 miles since then -- 1.5 miles last week and 5.1 so far this week. I have to admit, since the race, I've lost a lot of my motivation. Between traveling, and working a lot to make up for the days I went away, I just haven't had the time or energy I had at the start of 2010. This week I've been running faster than I trained before the race (since I've obviously proved I can run faster!), but I definitely have been dragging myself to the treadmill. Maybe once it stops raining, and I can run outside I will feel differently.

During the Phoenix girls' weekend my carb-counting went out the window. Coming back home, it was hard to look at my low-carb options quite the same. I have been sticking within 40-60 grams, but it's a lot harder than before... and the content of those 60 grams hasn't been the healthiest. I had pizza and a sliver of cake at my kiddo's 5th birthday party Saturday. I had a Filet O'Fish and some fries today from McDonald's.

I'm on a bad path... but it stops now! I finally went out and bought some Atkins shakes and bars so I can start substituting again. Despite the indiscretions, I'm still 17 pounds down. I didn't meet my goal of losing 22-27 pounds by the end of March, but I'm not totally discouraged.

Work and family stuff has me stressed out, which is likely affecting my motivation also. In keeping with my vow to enter my 30s in peace and happy, I am working on all of these aspects. It's just taking time and a lot of energy. I have started meditating again. Just a few minutes every couple of days, but better than nothing. I've also been making time for my nice hot baths, and my mint tea breaks.

My next race is supposed to be this Saturday - the 5K Bunny Dash outside of Chicago. I'll make a final decision by Thursday about whether I feel up to it. I'm going out there for a conference, so I may choose to just relax instead.
4/3 - Bunny Dash (Palatine, IL)
4/10 - Essential 2 Life, Jersey City, NJ (My Hometown!)
After the 10th, I have no idea when my next race will be. My work schedule is conflicting with all of the other races I was interested in. I'll do some more searching and post new races soon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Run Like Nun Other: Race & Trip Report (day 1)

So I did it! I had my first 5K. Zia, Rashonda and I landed in Phoenix Friday night. That's me waiting for Zia's flight to land...
We dined at the hotel and got up early early this morning to run in the 1st Annual Nun Run in Glendale, AZ.
I ran the 5K in 30:56, placing 15 out of 63 in the 20-29 female age group and 103 out of 490 overall.

It was so crazy... my adrenaline was pumping, and I just kept focusing on not going too fast so I didn't burn myself out.

Mile 1 felt good. We started in the middle of the pack, and I slowly passed a few people, but in general, I stayed steady. When I saw the folks in orange with the water cups, they were shouting, "You're at mile 1. Great job!" I looked at my watch and was shocked. It said 9:49. Are you kidding me? I've never run more than 10:42 on the treadmill and that wasn't on trail, nor the uneven rocks we were running on. Not to mention, 10 weeks ago, I could barely do my 1 minute run, 1 minute walk intervals without getting out of breath.

Mile 2 was okay. The first half, I was still buzzing off the fact that I ran under 10 minutes for the first mile. About halfway through, I started to feel a little winded, so I slowed down a bit and just focused on maintaining that speed. I got to the mile 2 water cup holders feeling just slightly winded. My watch read 20:13.

Mile 3 was rough. My left thigh started to ache, and I started to feel more winded. I made a deal with myself that I could run slow until 26 minutes, then I had to pick it up. I actually ended up picking up the speed once I could see the finish line, just before 3 miles. The next thing I knew, I was running through the finish line, and people were telling me where the food was and asking me for my chip.

My watch said 30:45, but my chip time was 30:56. Still not bad for my first race. It means I ran 9:59/mile.

We finished up the day with a nice brunch complete with unlimited mimosas and 4 hours of spa services.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2 More Days...

I took my 1-hour Group Power class tonight and I kept it easy -- heavy enough to feel the burn but definitely not the heaviest I can lift. The mantra was NO INJURIES!

After lifting, I ran 1 mile at 6.0mph (10:00/mile). The pace was a little uncomfortable and took some self-coaching on my part, but I got through and didn't feel like collapsing at the end. Maybe I am ready to start running faster.

I'm also a little nervous about running on regular roads, but I guess you have to do it at some point! Here's Saturday's course:

Net Carbs: 25 grams
Workout: Group Power/Running
Days Til 5K: 2

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shopping & My Last Full Run

Today was my last day off before the girl's trip to Phoenix, so I had to buy a running outfit (see pic), and a few pieces -- a tee shirt, a dress for going out dancing, and a pair of jeans.

Let's talk about these jeans. They were in the juniors section and were "skinny" sizes. After getting into a size 4 dress last week, it hurt my feelings to have to buy a size 11 skinny! Sigh... It's okay though. Everything else I bough was in the normal range (small or medium). The audacity!

This would hurt my feelings more if I wasn't so close (6-11 pounds) to my weight goal.

So, I was a big dud this weekend. After my highly motivated 4-mile run, I didn't do Saturday's or Sunday's workouts. I drove to and from Jersey twice this weekend. Saturday morning, there was a typhoon, and I got back to CT late for work which also meant too late to go to the gym.

I got off at midnight on Saturday and went to have drinks with a co-worker (which I haven't done in years), and by the time we got home and the clocks jumped forward it was 5am! Needless to say, Sunday's run didn't happen either.

Today I DID run, however. I ran 3.1 miles in 33:12 (I sped up the last minute to 5.8mph). I did it without my headphones and without my inhaler -- I wasn't experimenting, I just forgot to bring them. In some ways, it was good practice for me to run without the distraction, although I still intermittently watched the muted television as I ran. This was my last time running the full distance before the race on Saturday... I think I'm getting nervous!

Workout: Run, see above.
Days Til 5K: 4
Net Carbs: 73 grams (I grazed all day... 1/2 Dunkin' Hash Browns, 1/2 bag of chips at Panera, couple of skittles, fruit cup, egg&cheese wrap, salad...)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sports Bra Hunting - part 2

Enell sports bra 34D (label 0)/BlackYou remember my sports bra woes. Well, one friend posted on the blog about Enell Sports Bras for full-figured women. I checked it out, got my measurements and ordered one. It finally came in the mail last week.

I bought the black one so it wouldn't look so much like a regular bra poking through my running shirts.

I must say -- the bra fits very snugly. The girls don't move ANYwhere with this bra on. I actually had to unsnap the bottom two clasps because I couldn't take deep breaths and it was poking into my rib cage. Once I did that, it fit fine. The girls didn't move anywhere when I ran. And my silhouette still looks nice underneath my tank tops - not just flattened down as if I duct taped myself.

Two thumbs up for Enell.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Motivated 4 Miles

I am a motivated lady today. Given my slacking off the past two weeks, I feel like I have to make up that time this week.

After working from 11pm to 8 o'clock this morning, I went home, changed into my running gear, dropped the kiddo off at school and went back to the gym. Yes -- this technically qualifies as two runs in one day since right after last night's run (and Group Power class) I went to work, with no sleep in between. I was doubting my plan as my eyes blinked a little too long at the traffic light on the way there. I assumed the run would stink just off of sheer fatigue. Boy I was wrong.

Today's run was like night and day compared to last night's run.

I ran 4 miles total - the longest I've ever run! The plan was to do a 3-mile Tempo run... 1 mile @ my usual 5.6mph, 1 mile @ 5.8mph, and 1 mile @ 5.6mph again. That was my only goal. I met that... then my new goal was to run for 35 minutes... then it was to run to 4 miles.

I felt so good, I just wanted to keep going. My knees felt achy, but no sharp pains. So, I pushed it to the full 4 miles. The faster speed definitely tired me out, but not so much that I had to stop and walk.

So, why was today's run so different? It's not like I was well-rested. My thoughts:

1.  I ate about 20 grams of carbs (Dunkin' Donuts breakfast) 3 hours before my run (versus fasting all day and trying to run without fuel)
2.  I started hydrating 5 hours before my run and stopped an hour before
3.  I wore short breathable shorts (not the long, black yoga pants from last night)
4.  The air was cooler in the gym with less people around (I tend to overheat easily while running)

Days Til 5K: 8

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Back to Running

Today was the first run I've had in almost a week -- 6 days to be exact. I can't believe how time flew. I certainly needed to run, especially with eating on-the-go in New Jersey mixed with the carb-rich meals at the wake and funeral to the tune of baked macaroni and cheese, potato salad, sweet rolls... ah, the list could go on. Let's just say I definitely had one or two days of 80+ net grams of carbs in the last week.

But, in great news, I fit into a size 4 black Calvin Klein dress at Marshall's on Sunday (not exactly the dress in the pic but close)!! Sadly, I was buying it for my grandmother's funeral, but I was definitely surprised when I could button it up. I had the 6 on standby because I just didn't believe I could be back to a size 4 so soon, especially when the scale says I'm still 7-12 pounds up.

I still don't think I could fit size 4 pants with this hip and thigh action going on, but when I started this trek I could barely fit into a size 8/10 dress. So, despite the fact that the scale has been falling at what feels like a snail's pace, my body is showing me different.

My run today was hard. The first 20 minutes, I felt like a pro. But, the last 13 minutes I just ran out of steam and had to drag myself through the run. I finished 3.11 miles in 33:30. When I stopped, I couldn't even do my usual 5-minute cool down. I was so out of breath and lightheaded. I bet it has something to do with me sleeping in today and failing to eat before I went to the gym. I did hydrate, but I don't know what happened. I definitely plan to eat some carbs before the race next Saturday.

Since this is my first day working out this week, I have a lot of ground to make up this weekend. Here's the proposed plan:
Friday: Tempo run, 1 mile at easy pace, 1 mile at tempo pace, 1 mile at easy pace (if I don't sleep in)
Saturday: Kickboxing and Group Power classes
Sunday: 3-4 mile run

Net Carbs: 40 net grams (Boston Market, yum!)
Workout: Run, Group Power class - 1 hour
Days Til 5K: 9

Thoughts on Thursday

The last 11 days have been a roller coaster. My grandmother, who I was close to, went from recovering nicely from a planned surgery, to becoming critically ill to fighting to survive to having more surgeries to ultimately passing away. She was pretty healthy and active, still living by herself, still cooking for her family and coming to all the family functions. So it was shocking, to say the least.

True to the Kubler-Ross model, I watched myself glide through the stages of grief. At first, I just kept waiting for the bad dream to end... For the doctors to come back and say they made a mistake, and in fact, she would live. 

Next, I was pissed. Pissed that I spend my days and nights saving other people's grandmothers, yet mine couldn't be spared? Not to mention the nature of that medical training has kept me from spending quality time with my grandmother and the rest of my family. Time I can't get back now. Time that I thought I would have once training ends in just one... more... year.

I thankfully never felt completely hopeless and depressed. I had my moments of What will we [the family] do now?, Who will be our cheerleader?, Who will be that unmoving rock of stability and love and peace? But, a lot of those feelings came up during the funeral -- where I also got to hear how she not only had such a relationship with her children and grandchildren, but everyone. She exuded her peace and love and strength wherever she went. And I realized that she wouldn't want me falling apart. The best way to pay tribute to her and her life would be to learn from her.

I had an important interview less than 2 days after her funeral. I knew she'd want me to pull it together and kick butt. That's what she would say if she were here. That's what she would do herself. So I tried to channel the peace that seemed to come so easily to her and accept the fact that my Nana is gone, but her legacy and her love will always be in my heart. And that it will be okay. We will be okay. I will be okay.

So here I am. Keeping on... And yes, I got the position I interviewed for.

Thanks Nana for being my inspiration. I miss you.

Photo collage of Nana:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Week 9 Tally: 3/1-3/7

Yet another week of taking it easy in the midst of my running back and forth between CT and NJ (not literally). I have made strides in the weight loss department though.

6.2 miles in Run-walk drills 
15 minutes of Strength work
15 pounds lost total (7-12 more to go)
10 days 'til my first 5K

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Running & Enlightenment

After getting off the train last night from NJ, the first thing I wanted to do was run. 

One, I feel like a slacker for not running on my planned schedule over the last 2 weeks. Two, with all of the recent stress and grieving the loss of my grandmother I thought it would be a good idea to clear my head before working last night's shift.

I wanted to run 4 miles, but it wasn't in me. I got to 3.12 miles in 33:50 and just didn't have enough energy to keep going. I finished my workout by lifting weights on my own, mostly upper body. 

I'm honestly starting to get concerned that I've lost momentum by taking it easy these last 2 weeks. That run was much harder than I expected it to be. My 1st race is in only 13 days!

In good news, I lost 3 more pounds, bringing the total to 15... leaving me with only 7-12 more to go.

I also got to meet one of my favorite nonfiction authors, Dr. Judith Orloff today at a workshop in Hartford. We had a nice chat, she signed my new book, "Second Sight," and gave me a hug. 

I had emailed Dr. Orloff the day before about my interest in energy and meditation and my troubles centering and managing my emotions... and lucky for me, she answered. This was a big deal because I've been wanting to email her since I first bought the book, "Emotional Freedom" last year, but I was too nervous.

After hearing my rant yesterday about how I never got to email her, and now she's probably traveling and probably doesn't answer her own email... My mom said something wise about how not trying is halfway to failure. So I listened. Thanks mom! 

I consider that my risk for the day. Anne Marie at Goals for the Week says to take one risk daily. I worry so much about everything, so it's a good exercise for me to throw caution to the wind and take a leap here and there.

Net Carbs: 11 so far... still counting!
Workout: Off today
Days Til 5K: 13

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hills and Mountains

Due to a family emergency, I haven't been able to post for a few days. The last time I ran was Monday, just before I got the call.

Monday was my (treadmill) hill day. I ran at 1% then 2% then 3% incline for 15 minutes. I walked for 3 minutes, then ran at my usual 0% incline at 5.6 for the remaining 19.

I am certainly humbled by the treadmill's incline feature. When I got to 2% I felt like I was gonna slide off the back of the treadmill! By 3%, I was huffing, puffing and sweating so badly, I just knew I wasn't going to make it to 4%. My heart rate got up to 187.

The plan was to get up to 4% then back my way down to 3%, then 2%, then 1% for a total of 3 miles. Yea right... At least I made it half-way. Not bad for my first hill day.

I'm still with my family in NJ, so not sure when my next run will be. I packed my running sneaks, but failed to toss in anything else to run in (sweats, sports bra, etc.).

Net Carbs: 50 grams
Workout: Off since Monday
Days Til 5K: 16