Sunday, April 21, 2013

By Jove...

Good day to all my readers and followers out there.  I hope you are all doing well.  I'm doing really good.  Another week down, and I'm still going strong.  It was a pretty productive week, and I finally feel like I've hit my stride.  Literally!  I've finally found my running pace.

I've been paying a lot of attention over the past few weeks of how I've been feeling during my runs.  When I'm on the treadmill, the run is very short so I'm able to run short intervals at 5 mph and above (3-4 minute intervals).  I walk for 1-2 minutes.  I usually don't run for more than 55 minutes during the week.

My long runs are on the weekend.  When I attempt the same pace (5 mph), I have a much harder time going the distance, and I think it's because I'm running for distance and not minutes, so I fizzle out pretty quick.

This week, I tried something different. I took my run pace down to 4.7-4.8 mph and did a 3/2 interval (3 min run/2 min walk).  I was able to run on the treadmill rather easily, and today I did the same
thing during my 9 mile run outside...  AND I KILLED IT!

I paced myself well today, and I was able to last all 2 hours and 6 minutes at this pace and get nine miles in without much fuss.  I'm beyond tired right now, but I feel fantastic.  I feel a lot better about my plan to run the half marathon, which will be here in FOUR WEEKS.  I'm glad I have a plan in place because I was quite worried about it.  After I finished, I also felt like I could still keep going.  That's important since I'd have 4.1 more miles to go before I hit the finish line.

I only have one more long run before May 19th.  This coming weekend, I'm going for 10 miles.  10 miles!  I still can't believe I'm doing this shit.  One year ago, I was just starting to run.  I remember thinking I couldn't do it, but I did.  I must have started around 3.25 mph or something like that. Now, I'm walking faster than that speed.  It's unreal.  I have a hard time believing what I'm able to do sometimes... Especially since I deadlifted an all-time best of 225 pounds on Thursday.  That's more than I weigh.  I deadlifted myself!  That's crazy!

It's important that I keep on with these challenges.  It keeps my workouts varied so I rarely get bored, and my body doesn't get used to any one move.  Tomorrow, I'm taking a break from running and taking Kick 45.  I'll get some cardio in by jumping rope and rowing instead of using on the elliptical machine.  My box jumps are improving so I'll be attempting 5 risers instead of 4 in the near future.  I still have personal training twice a week, and I swear I've never done the same workout twice.  Sure, we see some of the same exercises (deadlifts, push presses, thrusters), but they are never paired the same.  I really love that.  My trainer... she's the best.  She knows me so well.

I guess I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today. I've been looking back at my weight loss photos and looking at some of my old pics on my Facebook page.  I know I've mentioned this before, and maybe it bears repeating.  It's hard looking at those pictures because I don't feel like that woman anymore.  I was in so much pain - both mentally and physically.  I was lonely.  I was tired. 

Such a big difference from even a year ago.  I'm so different on the outside, but I'm still the same girl I always was.  All I can say is... How You Like Me Now?  LOL!  I'm doing alright. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Getting Back On Track

Hello Readers!  I feel like I've done a complete 180 from last week.  It's amazing what a week of horrible eating and reflection can do for you.

Last week I felt like I was standing on the edge of a precipice.  Directionless.  I wondered how did I get so far off track.  I allowed these distraction to take control and move in a direction that I knew wasn't good for me.  I knew this.  I even asked myself while I was stuffing numerous hot tamales in my mouth, "What on earth are you doing to yourself?"  I used to ask myself this questions when I would binge.  I'd never answer the question though because I don't think I knew the answer to be quite honest.

The difference this time around was that I stopped it.  I stopped the behavior.  I thought about why I was doing it.  I also thought about if the result of eating all that candy made me feel better.  It didn't.  It never made me feel better. Back then, it just made me feel numb, which was better than feeling hopeless.  This time around, it just made me feel sick.  That's way better than numb, and I stopped it.

This week, I committed to eating better.  I got rid of gluten - so that meant no wheat products - and my hip pain disappeared by Saturday.  I took a week off from running and concentrated on tough strength workouts.  Tuesday, I created my own WOD (Workout of the Day).  After warm-up, I did four rounds of:
10 burpees
15 thrusters with 30 pounds (15 lb each hand)
20 plank with press (15 lb each hand)
30 box jumps
I cooled off with 5 minutes of rowing.

I thought it wasn't too much until the next day.  My legs were sore and my triceps were killing me.  No rest for the weary. My trainer put me and my workout buddy though some tough activities that really made me realize how hard I worked myself on the prior day.  No pain, no gain.  Right?

Thursday was another personal training day.  She took pity on me and we only worked on strength training -   deadlifts and bench presses.  Can I just say how badass I felt when I deadlifted a personal best 215 POUNDS!  215 POUNDS!  I haven't bench pressed in years and I got up to 75 pounds.  What an amazing accomplishment.  I felt fantastic.  My thighs were burning later that night, and I swear I passed out by 8:30


I finished the week up with a 8 mile run yesterday.  I really should say a 8 mile walk.  I walked/ran for the first 4, and I fast walked for the last 4.  The rain/snow caught me so it was pretty nasty that last mile or so.  I wasn't happy with it at all, but I'm just glad I did it.  I'm realizing that running isn't all it's cracked up to be.  I don't like how beat up I feel after running hard for a long distance.  So, I'm pretty sure I'm hanging up my long distance running shoes after this year.  It will be nice to say, "I did it," when I cross the finish line at the Cleveland Half Marathon on May 19th.  I'll get a sticker/magnet for my car and look at it with pride... I don't want to suffer knee, hip and back issues. I need to keep those strong for all the weight I'll be lifting in the future.  I'm definitely feeling Stronger.

I'm glad I was able to get myself back on track this week.  Good health and fitness really begins in the kitchen.  Eat well, sleep well, and work it out.  We all have roadblocks that can stop us if we let them.  I feel a true test of your fortitude is based on how you handle them.  I'm proud of what I did this week.  I'll make sure it continues.

I totally earned wearing this shirt this week.
Check out !
 It's a great website for paleo living.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Humility Returns

Hey everyone!  Sorry I didn't post last week.  I didn't have the best weekend, and I felt completely out of it.  I also fell off the wagon.  Not completely, but it was enough for a wake up call.  I've been doing a lot of self-analysis over the last week to figure out what my next step needs to be.  It was very humbling.
Over the last year or so, I've been on a journey to change my life and improve my health. I was tired of sitting on the sidelines watching others enjoy life and wishing I could be them.  I've talked about this before in prior posts.  I wasn't living.  I was tired of eating my emotions, and food just wasn't filling the void anymore.
So I got off my unmotivated, lazy behind and got to work.  I started tracking my calories, working out and researching.  I wanted to know what I could do to keep my metabolism burning and get the weight off.  I had plans for what I would do when I was successful and looked forward to getting those charms and celebrating my success.
What happened was not what I expected.  The weight came off easily.  Weight lost came quickly and consistently.  Sure I had a few hiccups along the way, but nothing that I couldn't get past.  I read about so many people who were losing weight and found themselves fighting through those dreaded plateaus that can last for very long periods of time... eventually, some of those folks gave up.  The weight came back.  I swore that would never happen to me.  I got this.  Or, do I?
I've been plateauing on and off for about four to five months.  Four to five months.  No joke.  My weight goes up.  My weight goes down.  I'm still on a relatively downward path, but it's not steady and consistent. I've tried many things to get past it.  Calorie variances (some folks call them cheat days... I hate that term).  Not counting calories.  I didn't know what to do.  I was still exercising heavily and weight lifting.  I varied my workouts.  What was wrong?
I realized that my diet was poor, and decided to change it introducing the Whole30. It was a very eye-opening 30 days.  After my 30 days, I lost seven pounds, and I felt great.  I was satisfied with my results, and I was ready to move on to the next step.  So, I reintroduced foods.  I ate cheese and grains.  I ate sugar and dairy.  After that first week, I gained five pounds, and I didn't think too much about it.  I did notice that I wasn't feeling the best.  I felt sluggish, and my workouts weren't the best.  Running was tough.  I didn't have the best weekend emotionally, and I let my emotions control what I ate... which was everything.
This week was horrifying.  Absolutely horrifying.  Sure, I still has good breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  But, I also ate a ton of sugar....candy.  Why?  Because I was sad and upset.  And, even though I got everything resolved earlier in the week, I still wanted candy and sugar, and I ate a lot of it. 
So, what do I have to show for it.  A large weight gain over two weeks... Two weeks where I still exercised 6 out of 7 days, and walked/ran over 30 miles.  That hip pain that miraculously disappeared during my Whole30 is back.  Knee pain when going up and down the stairs in back.  And, humility returns.
How am I handling all this?  Honestly, not bad.  It happened.  I did it to myself. I realize that good health really begins in the kitchen and not in the gym.  I just made a decision to ignore that over the last two weeks and do whatever I wanted.  Am I feeling like I'm glad this happened?  No. Absolutely not, but I'm not going to beat myself up over this.  If I do, that will just send me back in my downward shame spiral where I eat my emotions.  Grains and sugar aren't working for me.  The knee and hip pain show that plainly.
I got myself in this. I'll get myself out.  I'm still fighting through my plateau.  I've derailed a bit, but the train didn't completely fall off the track.  I still have a half marathon to train for, and I'll be running a 5K at the beginning of May just to get some practice.  Next Saturday, I'll be running 8 miles.  Life goes on.  I will always have bad days and bad weeks.  I must learn how to handle these periods with something else other than sugar.  I had tamed that sugar demon, but I brought him back.  I need to put him down again.
Humility is good for me.  I don't have this beat.  I never will.  It doesn't mean I give up and quit.  I have to Raise Up and fight.  I'm not done yet.  God does have plans for me.