Tag Archives: weight loss

Gotta Run One: Day 9

On Day 9, I did a short two mile recovery run and then p90x yoga! Today also marks the first time I’ve used my Heartrate monitor to get a more accurate calorie count. Suffice to say, life is full of disappointments. If my monitor is to be believed, I earned almost 60 calories less than any of my tracking apps said!

All in all, I would much rather KNOW this, though, than not know. As such, life goes on.

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Gotta Run One: Day 8

Day 8: 8.06 miles!

I drove to Scranton and mom and I hit the Heritage Trail. The weather was PERFECT — not quite overcast but definitely cool and breezy. The trail was nearly empty. The run was most excellent. We tried a new offshoot on the path which I think added about 0.25 to 0.5 to things which is also good and necessary if we want to hit 8 comfortably before making it back to the car. Otherwise there would be a lot of running some stretches 3x. Blah!

But yesterday’s run was terrific. I love running with my mom — I love running in general but ever since I was a kid I wished I could run like she did. Well, now I do. And we run together. And it is a celebration of life!

We decided in the picture to wear our Frog Togg’s like the awkward turtles that we are.

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Gotta Run One: So Far, So Good!

Howdy, ya’ll!

I’ve been working on my “Gotta Run One” challenge for, as of today, nine days. How has it been going? Has it been increasing my motivation or detracting from it? How are my little victory sticks doing with no official extended downtime? (Disclaimer: Every knowledgable runner I know said that I would be OK running daily as long as my rest day runs were short, slow and gentle.) Read onward to find out those answers and more!

1. How’s it been going?

So far, so good! I’ve really been getting used to the process of getting out there every day, which surprises me. Why? Certainly not because I lack an interest. Moreso because some days I genuinely do only have time for a single mile — and before this challenge, having only 15 spare minutes or whatever would mean that I just didn’t get my run in for the day. With this challenge, though, I am forced to take those 15 minutes and make it happen every single day. No excuses. And, to my delight, what’s been happening on days other than those time-crunch days? I find that once I’m already out there pounding the pavement, I’m usually inspired to stay out for more than my owed mile. Often it’s 5K for a shorter run; one day, it was 5 miles. I’m trying not to overdo it and overtrain, considering that I am a relatively “new” runner and my long run mileage is really ramping up quickly — I want to avoid injury! So I’m trying to do, out of 7 days, 2 “one or two” mile runs, a medium-length 5 miles or 10K, two shorter 5Ks, a “whatever I feel that day” run, and of course one long run. So far this little challenge has provided great reason to get out and stay out.

 

2. Is it increasing my motivation or decreasing it?

Yanno, I was really interested to see how this would pan out. I figured one of two things would happen: either 1) the mandatory mile-a-day would lead to me resenting running or 2) it would become the type of habit that I loved even more than I had previously. Thankfully, at Day 9, so far the latter seems to be the case. Rather than it being optional, it’s mandatory — that’s the point — and so instead of waging war with myself about “Eh, but this HEAT/HUMIDITY” or “Eh, but I only have time for like two miles which is barely worth it,” I’ve been happily going out there and doing what I can do, knowing that at least one goal — the goal of running every day – is being met. I actually think that’s where a lot of the joy in this is coming from: I’m being freed from my self-hewn prison of thinking that I MUST log bigger miles or I MUST try to keep a good speed every time I run. Of course, I don’t run as fast as I can every day or always run 10K or more. I have speedwork days, short run days, hillwork days, etc. I think what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been hard on myself — and, 30 lbs later, it seems that it’s been a good strategy — and that I’ve been disparaging of running very short distances. For example: the lone mile. This challenge is helping me reclaim that and is helping me find joy in the corners and hollows of the sport where previously I’d either not been looking or never noticed.

 

3. How do I feel?

This was the part I was concerned about before the challenge began. The good news is that so far, I am totally fine! Having rest days where I just jog a solitary mile has really been fine as a recovery method. Otherwise, because I’m tempering my speed and my courses, running hard(er) 5 days a week has been no problem. This week alone, on Monday I ran 5.2, on Tuesday 3.19, and Wednesday 8.18. No real soreness to speak of. Of course, today will be a 2 or 3 mile recovery run. The weekend will likely hold some shorter runs and maybe one longer one. Keeping it switched up. And on the shortest running days, I’m doing yoga as crosstraining. Gentler yoga one day, and more intense yoga (the P90X yoga actually) the other day.

4. So overall?

I’m happy, and not sore, and finding a lot of joy in the process. Stay tuned for more to follow! I’ve heard some people keep patterns like this up for a year or more… We’ll see where this journey leads!

MyFitnessPal Exploration

Howdy y’all!

So, remember how the other day I had dropped some significant pounds? All of a sudden they’re back.

This could be for a few reasons: maybe having several days of running in a row is causing water retention; maybe eating more carbs (even if they’re within my WW points) is causing some sort of retention; maybe I’m putting on muscle (this is doubtful).

The tricky and disturbing part is that I have religiously stayed within my points, and have only eaten half my activity points on any day. I used to not eat the AP at all, but now that they represent up to and sometimes over 1,000 calories within a day, I know I’ve gotta eat them.

I did have my gram’s birthday and my Mom’s birthday, but I’ve been saving activity points and never touch my weeklies except for weekend splurges — so even still, I’m within my points.

Yet here these mysterious five lbs have reappeared.

I’ve also considered water and digestion and all that. In my own analysis, I’ve ruled them Not The Cause.

So what’s a girl to do?

Today, I made a MyFitnessPal account. While I strongly disagree with it’s focus on calories, I appreciate its food database and I appreciate that it’ll easily and accurately count the nutritional information from my fruit.

I eat a lot of fruit, berries and veggies — WW doesn’t count them, but MFP does. I think for the next few weeks (as best I can with two bridal showers coming up where I did not prepare the food) I will try to adhere to what MFP dictates (while still tracking on WW, of course) and see what happens.

Here goes nothing!

Gotta Run One: Day 3

This morning, I reaaaally wanted to sleep in. It’s going to be such a busy weekend and Friday is usually my day to recharge before Saturday and Sunday (which, in our family, are always as busy as the weekdays!).

However: I made a promise to you and to me and to the Universe. I said I would get out there and run each day for at least one month.

Today is exceptionally busy: I have a staff meeting at 12 noon for which I need to leave by 11:30 and I am teaching at 3:30. So it’s a bit of a bumpy ride today. That made fitting in a run kind of tricky. Don’t want to have to shower twice, etc.

So I got out of bed by 9, and woke up a little and had a banana and water.

Then off I went!

I forgot to check my watch to see when I had hit 0.5 and by the time I realized, I was at 0.8 and near a familiar turnaround point. So I forged on, and clocked about 2.1 total.

The course was entirely flat, all sidewalk. The morning was cool, if a bit humid. I ran strong and steady, kept an easy pace.

The picture of me for today is supremely disheveled and sleepy looking. I was hoping to convey JUST HOW LITTLE I FELT LIKE IT today. The second, of course, is my Garmin shot.

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Summertime Size 6 Sadness

(To the tune of “Summertime Sadness”)

Squeeze me in before you go,
Summertime size six dress.
I just want you to know
I’d fit if not for my breasts.

I’ve got a tight bra on tonight;
You seem so possible in that basement light.
Slip you over my shoulders and my hope is slight —
I know if you fit, then the fit will be tight…”

You guys, there’s a dress and I think she’s tamed me.

As some of you already know, I don’t really do “short term” weigh loss goals. They don’t much appeal to me since I would rather see my progress as a continual lifestyle change that’s not in constant need of reward/validation. That being said: I have a dress that I used to wear in high school and it is the most lovely and wonderful dress. It’s this great tea length and has an awesome neckline and is just a delight. It is a Liz Claiborne size 6, and it has not fit me since early college.

Here I am, rocking it during a chorus cabaret senior year of high school:

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I have had my eye on this dress for a long time, since January. Before January, really, since I’ve always wanted to fit back into it.

This Monday night I was scrounging around the basement for something to wear for teaching on Tuesday (I am ONE DAY AWAY from having taught 20 classes without repeating an outfit! Cue my white girl delight!) and I spotted that dress coyly calling to me from a hanger near the farthest end of our clothes section in the basement.

It is my siren song.

Seduced by it’s beauty, I had to try.

Minutes later, I was bounding up the basement steps screeching for Chelsea to get her phone to take my picture. And she did: and the result includes me in a 90’s style headband hairdo, no makeup, the wrong bra… AND ME IN THAT GODDAMN DRESS I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW.

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It’s only one size six dress, I know, and the real litmus test will be to see if I fit that well into OTHER size six dresses and not just this one. However, let’s look at the basic fact of this moment:

Dress size in January: A snug 14
Dress size this week: A snug 6

(return to the tune of “Summertime Sadness”)

I think I’ll wear you forever,
From now until the day that I die.
July is better than never,
And even if you’re snug, I’m gonna try.”

I am extremely, extremely proud of this moment. I’ve been waiting a long time for that dress. In five more lbs, it’ll fit exactly right. And you KNOW I will wear it to the first day of teaching this fall!

SHARE IN MY JOY, people! SHARE IN MY JOY.

My Little iPod (To the Tune of “My Little Pony”)

I got a new iPod, gang.

This probably does not sound like a momentous occasion to YOU, but it totally is one. Consider this: how many iPods do any of us even buy over the course of a lifetime? Counting my original iPod (2006), iPod Touch (2008) and my first iPod nano (2012), I have only ever had three and they were all such different beasts that it hardly feels like three of the same thing.New iPod, then = big deal.

My purple iPod nano went missing a few weeks ago. I know it seems like I must have been careless but I really wasn’t — I kept that iPod safe, along with my Beats headphones, in the headphones’ case. Somehow it went missing. And it went missing JUST as I became willing to make the transition to running outside instead of on the treadmill.

For someone who needs to know details, treadmill running is great. You’re told your exact speed, your distance, your time, etc. And for someone who is very loathe to let other people see them run, a treadmill in a basement is great protection from prying eyes. I fall into both of the aforementioned categories, and over the past 5 months my love affair with my treadmill has reached Kim & Kanye status. JK – barf – death – more like Beyonce and Jay, everyone’s true spirit couple. As the weather has improved I’ve considered branching out to run outside, but had several concerns: 1) How would I know how far I’ve gone? 2) How will I know for sure how fast my miles are? 3) How will I even know where to run? 4) I don’t want to hold my phone while running. Hmph.

And so I hemmed and hawed. I stayed on my treadmill, locked away from the world.

But then, on my birthday weekend, my Mom and Chelsea and I all went running at the River Trail in Scranton. I LOVED IT. It was glorious and green and sunny and it was just the best way to begin a birthday weekend. It really was. The next day, Chelsea slept in and Mom and I hit Nay Aug Park in Scranton. That, too, was lovely.

I decided immediately that I needed to start running outside.

The Monday after my birthday, I wanted to attempt Vestal’s Rail Trail. It’s a four mile straight line, 2 out and 2 back, and on its best days — and in the fully florid days of spring, I think we can safely say we are in its best days — it is boring as shit. I wish it wasn’t, but it is. When I got to the Rail Trail, it was around 11 AM and about 80 degrees. OBVIOUSLY THIS WAS NOT THE BEST TIME TO TRY SOMETHING NEW, but like a Justin Bieber and his attempts to be seen as a man/taken seriously, I cannot be deterred from a plan even when all signs point to failure.

So off I went. I tried. But being so used to the treadmill, I was miserably bad at pacing myself. And then, it happened: my Beats by Dre VERY SUPER NICE HEADPHONES… died.

I was running in the 80 degree heat on a boring trail, having to hold my phone in my hand, and with no music.

Honestly: it was one of the worst runs I have ever had in my life.

I came home bitter and cranky and defeated.

I was so miserable that I took THREE DAYS OFF, which never, ever, ever happens.

But then, Thursday evening, Chelsea and I went for a walk around our neighborhood — we branched into areas I had never seen before. The street on which we live is set apart from the rest of the neighborhood, kind of, and we had never much explored. But when we did, I was delighted — Chelsea has always run in our neighborhood instead of the treadmill, so the sights were all common for her. But the unique houses, the beautifully landscaped gardens, the majestic old and huge trees everywhere…. I could run here, I thought to myself. Then, the best part of all: we discovered, as I’ve mentioned, a woodland trail near our house. It’s less than a block from our front door, but it’s cleverly disguised as a fence and a field. On the other side of the field, a path begins. We walked it out and discovered that it seems to be about 1.5 miles out and 1.5 miles back (it ends at a normal road), so 3 miles total. I HAD FOUND MY PLACE.

Friday morning, I gave my headphones one last dry. No dice. It was pouring outside. Furiously. Should I return to the treadmill? Sigh. If you know me personally, you’ll know that when I’m irritated or angry I can be very effective if I channel myself appropriately. I had a feeling that if I just SET OUT TO DO A THING that morning, despite my disgust about the weather and the headphones, I would have success.

So I put on my old shoes and a windjacket and sans music set into the neighborhood to run in the pouring rain. 6.3 miles later, I came inside feeling calm and immensely pleased.

I was hooked, then, on neighborhood running. But using MapMyRun on my phone was wildly inaccurate, and waiting until I got home to plot the streets was not helpful for while I was actually out there running, and plus MMR didn’t have the woodland trail on it. I needed a better way.

I felt the loss of my little purple iPod more than ever.

That iPod and I had only gone “running” together once or twice a million years ago. I listened to it at work often and in the car, it plugged into my auxiliary jack. I never used its workout capabilities; I only vaguely knew it had them. But when Chelsea gave her blessing to Project New iPod, I felt excited and invigorated and desperately anxious for the new gadget to arrive in the mail. I hoped to use it 1) for sound, 2) for mapping my runs and 3) calculating my efforts. As I waited for the mailman, I contacted the vendor through which I got my old Beats. They offered to send me new ones. I was ecstatic — new headphones, new iPod, new ME out there running.

The iPod and headphones arrived yesterday and my excitement cannot be overstated. I ran two miles by myself, then came home, waited for Chelsea, and together we ran about 3.5 more. 5.5 for the day. The iPod calculated our distances perfectly, as well as our times per mile, etc. The headphones, too, were ideal.

And me? Oh, I was hooked on it all. Finally, with all my concerns assuaged, I had something telling me how far and how fast. I also had something providing some noise so I wasn’t quite so bored.

Most importantly, though, I ran through the streets and didn’t feel like I looked like an idiot. Not because of the iPod, obviously, but because I’m over 20 lbs lighter than I’ve been in awhile and because I felt like ME as I ran along — not like someone pretending at being a runner, but like someone who just IS a runner.

Just like that, I became someone who runs in their neighborhood.

With a snazzy new iPod.

Also, ssssssick headphones.

To me, this is a transformation previously considered impossible.

So this is all to say that I got a new iPod, and it’ll make running easier. I guess this is also to share my delight at my neighborhood running. Mostly, overall, this is me saying that fitness is a journey that is constantly evolving and I love seeing the changes it brings.

Oh and one more thing: It was MY IDEA to actually go for a run with Chelsea. Me? Willingly running with someone else besides my mom? ME? The slow-poke? The amount of courage it took to do THAT will be a post for a different day.

RUN ON, friends!

Back in the Blogging Saddle!

Howdy, ya’ll!

Sorry I’ve been away the past two weeks. Two weeks ago was my birthday week, and last week was the final week of the semester — so writing papers, grading papers, all that. It’s been CRAZY. So I’ve not been blogging. I do hope you’ll forgive me.

I’m still being healthy — I know sometimes when people who are open about their health journeys fall off the radar, others assume they’ve fallen off the wagon. Not in this case! I am still on the wagon. Just haven’t had time to blog.

So what’ve I been up to? Well, the short version: My birthday and Mother’s Day were the same weekend. Both days, I ate my usual. Both evenings, we cooked WW-friendly delicious dinners with my family. I had DELICIOUS ICE CREAM CAKE BOTH DAYS, and I regret nothing.

This week is that annoying time of the month, and I am up about half a pound but I know it’ll go away. Always does.

Otherwise, last week I was down to 161.7. CLOSING IN ON THOSE 150’s, MAN. CLOSING RIGHT IN.

In the world of running: Ran every single day of birthday week but only 3 days last week. Had one AWFUL run outside at the Vestal Rail Trail — I’m still learning to pace myself when not on a treadmill, and at 85 degrees and too fast a clip, I was donezo — but two GLORIOUS neighborhood runs. I’ll post about those later.

Healthwise, though, all really is well. This post isn’t too interesting, I know; it’s just me popping in to say that I’ve only fallen off the blogging radar, not the health radar! I’ll probably post two or three times a week now that it’s summer and I’m trying to relax AND get ready for field exams all at once. I’ll be around though.

Don’t miss me too much. :-p