Losing Steam, and Fast

Fitness and Diet

Uh-oh. I’ve reached the 2 workout per week zone. That’s not entirely true, but I only attempted jogging TWICE last week. I did, however, add weight training back into the routine AND did a 10.5 mile walk/hike between Ballard and Magnolia on Saturday (that took me up a cliff at Discovery Park). My calves are still a little tender from that one, though I made it through the entire hike rather remarkably.

I purchased some size 12 jeans at American Eagle Outfitters on Friday, and am waiting for them to be shipped (I had to have them shipped due to my short stature.) This makes these jeans the smallest size I’ve purchased as an adult. My weight is still hovering above the 160 mark, but I stand at over 100 pounds lost, and have decreased from a plus sized 24-26 to a misses 12. This still puts me at about a 14-16 when it comes to modern fashion sizing, but still, it’s a pretty far leap.

I was just reading the latest Marie Claire magazine about a woman who did a relay with her husband across New Zealand (heck if I can actually find the web version). She started at a size 12 and ended up a size 4 – and I don’t want to say that my hope in fitness is a smaller size, but there’s a novelty in it considering I’ve been large my whole life.

I have yet to go to a Team in Training practice – and it’s becoming something that I avoid because I keep avoiding it. I’m worried about overtraining, and wonder if crazy athletics is what I want to go towards.

One thing’s for sure, though. Hiking up that cliff at Disco Park was one of the most fun things I’ve done in a long time.

Slowing Down More

Fitness and Diet

To say the least, I’m scaling back my intensity. On Friday, I went out for a 30 minute jog – then it started raining. It was already chilly, and I wasn’t really feeling up to a run anyway, but I went out hoping I could shake off some of the sluggishness.

Even though I hadn’t eaten in a few hours, I found that just a few minutes into my jog, I was getting some acid reflux. It was almost enough to make me want to just stop then and there. I moved on, and decided around 12 minutes into the run that I would just give up and head back, and make it a 20 minute jog. I paid attention to my heart rate, and kept it the lowest consistent bpm of recent – which is to say above 145, but below 160. My bunions were generally unhappy, and I was starting to wonder if I am developing arthritis(!).

A coworker of my husband’s who is currently studying Brazilian Jiu-jitsu had told him that all of the guys he trains with view running as a disastrously dangerous sport for the body. I know it doesn’t have to be, however, I’m trying to find a way to make it work for me.

In other sport news – I went to a softball practice for a friend’s corporate softball team. I ended up with tendonitis in my forearm after one practice, and am going to have to bench it for awhile.

The hell? Can’t I catch a break?

I know that really, I should perhaps be going towards gentler body/mind sports, but I like being able to run and be badass. It’s hard to find balance.

Still frustrated, still working. Considering an evening jog on a treadmill to round out the day.

Week of Rest Near End

Fitness and Diet

Tomorrow rounds up my week of rest since I came to the conclusion that I was overtraining.

So far, I’ve managed to do pretty well, despite the fact that I’ve been wanting to eat more despite not burning as many calories. My joints are finally starting to not complain as much, though the rain has made my bunions particularly painful when I’m walking outside.

A few friends that I’ve talked to have convinced me that I don’t need to run a full marathon. At this point (and after reading up on it) I’m questioning even a half marathon. I want to do it right – not just do it for the sake of doing it. I also don’t want to cause myself a lot of damage. I’ve already got painful bunions, I really don’t need a bum knee, wrenched back, or anything like that.

I hesitate, because part of me wanted to be awesome. I think that running is awesome (and fun), but I also have respect for competitive distance runners, who are perhaps more crazy than I, but have what it takes to get into the Boston Marathon. I’ve heard rumors that some old-school runners bemoan the fact that average times for marathons have decreased over the years, mostly due to people like me entering the sport at a lower level, and doing it for the sake of doing it, instead of elite athlete competition.

Let’s face it – our country could use more of the idea that being active is fun. For all of us who sit behind a computer, tv, video game for most of the day – it’s good to have a hobby that actually peels us up from our chairs. Competition and/or challenge and community are just some of what makes a hobby worth it. Not to mention the pride of completion, be it a sweater for your best girlfriend or a 5K. A friend of mine tried to convince me that swimming may be the best fitness, especially for its low-impact and high reward (if you really swim instead of just hopping in the pool.)

The past month or so I’ve been living off of endorphins. I’ve found out that I don’t get a defined high from running, but I do get a respite from my troubles. As another friend (I’ve been listening to a lot of friends) said to me, it’s a way to help you feel less pain so you can go the distance. Emotional pain seems to be another thing it softens, but I can tell you, the backlash these past few weeks have been horrible. Very topsy-turvy.

I look forward to my next run – which may be only 20 minutes long, and likely, on Thursday. I look forward to seeing how my body takes it, if my new Garmin was a good choice, and if I think that the Team in Training will be reasonable.

I’m still on the fence about the Team in Training, mainly because I need to take care of myself first. Mentally and physically.

Goal Oriented Rest Days

Fitness and Diet

A friend of mine recently proclaimed his pride in my fitness accomplishments. I’ve gotten this a few times recently as I’ve been talking more and more about my training. I shrug it off – for one, I’m a bit self-conscious, and for two – my accomplishments are often a benefit of my neurosis.

A few years ago, my doctor told me that I was “goal oriented.” She’s a rare physician that actually takes time to talk and listen to me, and frankly, this was the first time I realized that my compulsive need to finish what I start, when I have a goal in mind, could work to my benefit. I was over a hundred pounds over weight at the time, and I had a specific goal in mind (it was not scale related, but health related). I joined Weight Watchers that weekend with the goal being to just try it, and not to expect any other results but to just add some accountability to my life.

My inability to give up on a goal has led me to lose almost 100 lbs through Weight Watchers over the past two years. I’ve had some bumps and setbacks, but my compulsion to do it right (track what I eat, make the right choices for the given day/week, not over-do it) has paid off.

Now I have a new goal – to run a distance that in my whole life, I never thought I’d do. Frankly, even running a 5K or a mile seemed crazy. My current weight is what it was at age 13 (and I’m still overweight.) I’ve never had this skill until now. I’m shooting for my goal – and frankly, I’ve been training too hard the past couple weeks.

I know this because I ache all the time. I was jumping up to running for over an hour before I got really comfortable with just running 30 minutes regularly. I was excited. I realized, “hey, I can do it! It didn’t kill me!” But that’s not a measure for success.

Despite the fact that I want to run today – and tomorrow, I’m taking a couple days off before I start up with my official Team in Training schedule. I’m considering taking a yoga-for-runners class. I know I’ve mentioned it before – but being still is just as important as running, and is probably harder for me to do.

So this is a reminder to myself – and to those out there that are like me – rest days are important, and are goal oriented. You can’t train if you don’t let your body recuperate. Your body will fail you.

Day Off of Training (Plus note to readers)

Fitness and Diet

Today was a running day, but I was feeling absolutely beat. I ached everywhere – partially due to starting to do yoga again. Then there was the four mile run I did on Thursday, and the five mile walk I did yesterday. I’m just working myself too hard, too fast.

I decided to take a long bath and read again from the Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running. Again, I was reminded that I should be easier on myself, as a novice, train a little slower, and train for time, not for mileage. Instead of going out for 4 miles, I should be going out for 40 minutes. I need to just chill out, especially to keep my injuries to a minimum. I think I’ll do an easy run tomorrow, maybe just a 30 minute (and ignore the mileage) and just have fun. I need to not work myself so hard.

I have started to look at the Team in Training official marathon training schedule for the Fall season. It’s not unlike what the book I have recommends. Slow and steady, right? Injury prevention, right? OK. I’ll chill out. Do some yoga. Weight training.

In other news to my readers – I know that some that know me that come across this blog might not have an enthusiasm for running the way I do. If you find this blog triggering, or upsetting in any way, please don’t read it. This is the way I’ve found to cope with stressors in my life, one of the major ones being a consciousness of mortality, and a willingness to do what I can to put myself in the best odds. I don’t expect anyone to make the same choices I do. To each their own. Take care of yourself. This is how I’m trying to take care of myself.

Four Miles – and Team in Training Doubts

Fitness and Diet

Today I did my four mile run in the fastest time yet – just over 45 minutes. I even did some hills, even though today was to be a flat run day. You try finding a flat surface that’s more than a few blocks in any Seattle neighborhood! I can’t find it, that’s for sure!

I was sluggish on my run, but I think I did pretty well. I need to figure out my appropriate running food is. I think that some research must be in order.

As for the Team in Training – oof. I think I’m going to choose to opt-out. I’ll have more on this in my primary blog.

Saturday is my five mile run. I think I’m going to start looking for a local women’s running group (if Team in Training doesn’t work out, which is likely.)

BTW, if you’re reading this, holla!

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Fitness and Diet

Here’s a follow-up from yesterday’s post.

The other day I treated myself to a regular trip to Nordstrom Rack to try on ridiculously expensive designer jeans. Naturally, though I was feeling thinner, the moon was conspiring against me.

Not to mention, my body still ached from my first 5 mile attempt.

And that morning, I got a reply from a friend, on learning my pace for that 5 mile, that really, I’m not jogging, it’s more of a fast walk.

Oof.

Except that I know, despite my slow pace, I am technically jogging. In competitive speed walking, I recall people are disqualified for running, meaning having only one foot on the ground at a time. Even some of the beginning training programs I’ve found talk about your first jogging pace feels more like stumbling along as you work up your cardio ability.

I’m a bit sensitive, I know. I’ve dealt with a constant fear of not being good enough, and that translates both into competitiveness and defensiveness. At worst, it translates into me not even trying, or quitting before I really gave it a go.

The Tortoise and the Hare didn’t teach me what it was meant to. At the end, I was never impressed with the Tortoise, though he won. He was dull, slow, lethargic and single minded. He was also smug. The hare, though a bit of an asshole, I saw as ultimately being an interesting character. He’s overzealous, a bit of a braggart, but just seemed like more fun.

I’m hoping I’m neither – and that in the end, I’ll be more whatever animal relishes in fartleks. Here’s hoping.