Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Treadmill Is Boring

So I did a Google Search on those terms and got back 150,000 hits. When I first started the c25k running program a runner friend asked, "How do you run on the treadmill? It's so friggin' boring!". For a long time I didn't know what she meant. It was mainly because I was doing these walk/run intervals and didn't get bored. When I started getting into the 20+ minute runs I started to have an idea. Then when I did my first outside longer run, the 40 minute one on Sunday, and the time went by so much faster, I realized what she meant.

As an aside, I posted my training schedule on GoogleDocs if you'd like to follow along. Whenever I mention the training log I'll link to it. Unless I get sick of linking to it. I also posted a link on the sidebar just below the About Me section.

So today I had a 26 minute run on the schedule. I decided to do it at the gym for a bunch of reasons (hot outside, weight training after run, etc). I started out with an easy 5 minute walk. Then I got to running (at my newly reduced 4.7 pace) and I was bored after 5 minutes, even with my iPod. And the TVs? Cage Fighting on one and the SciFi Channel on the other. During my last 5 minutes a woman changed one to CNN so that helped. I cooled off with another 5 minute walk. It felt really good to be able to run the whole time without difficulty. I'm going to stick with this slower pace for a while. Oh, and I realized when I updated my training log my run was 2 minutes shorter than it was supposed to be. I'll try not to invalidate the whole run because of that. I finished up with weight training, which felt different and fun. My new weight training plan is Thursdays and Sundays, after my runs.

So today is weigh-in Thursday! Oh, but first, I found a new "before" picture on Miguel's computer. Can you believe that? And this was taken on 4/16/07, 2 months after I started Weight Watchers! That means I'd lost about 10 pounds when this was taken. At least that's Fat Free milk I'm drinking. So Miguel was floored when he saw it, "I never realized you were that fat." Hmph. Not sure how to take that. Well, let's take it positively :)

Without further ado, my weight this week was...oh, hold on a sec'. I want to preface this with telling you I was up nearly 3 pounds at the start of the week. 3 pounds! I had a lot more social meals than normal this week. A lot. Besides my Ventura adventures I went to an Italian Buffet with a colleague yesterday and an Italian Restaurant for dinner with mom last night. I tried to make decent choices (seafood, whole grains, veggies, etc) but restaurant food is always tricky. It's hard to know what's in there.

I was expecting a gain this afternoon. Anyway, my weight is...160.2 pounds. That's a .4 pound loss. I'll take it! I'm really serious this time when I say I'm going to carefully track this week. I've said that several weeks in a row and not really done it so this time I'm serious! So my new total pounds lost is 73.6 pounds. Not a big change this week but I'm happy as can be with it. We'll see what next week has in store.

What's on tap for the rest of the week? I have an 88 minute training ride tomorrow. Miguel and I will ride together and maybe check out another part of the Marin Triathlon route. Saturday is a day off but this weekend Mom and I are going to do our Spa weekend redux. There's a fun bike ride on Saturday morning from 8-10am. I think I'm going to do that. Then to the spa to relax, maybe take a yoga class. On Sunday I plan to get up early and do my 44 minute jog before it gets too hot. Then to the fitness center to do my weight training. Then back to the pool. Doesn't that sound grand? I'm going to take Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion to read I think. And a bunch of magazines in case I can't focus on a book.

I hope everyone has a fun and fabulous weekend!! Oh and if you have a secret for dealing with treadmill boredom let me know!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

If I'm Not Fast, I Might As Well Look Good

Last night, after it cooled off (we're in the middle of another heatwave), Miguel and I headed out for my training ride. A 53 minute ride was on the agenda. We were going to ride our usual ride down Novato Blvd toward Stafford Lake but decided instead to ride toward Lucas Valley Road, a road I'll ride during the tri. Here's our route:

We did a little over 11 miles. On the way home Miguel wanted to take this shorter route over this big a$$ hill. Ah! No! Can't do it! Well, after a few minutes I started feeling like I could give it a try. I made it about 1/2 way up before needing a break - but I made it. Pretty amazing. Miguel declared the hill conquered but I will declare it so when I can ride up with no break :) At its worst it is a 12% grade according to Garmin.

And that's my new jersey!! It's Bert and Ernie. Isn't it cute? It's actually a men's jersey but I love it so I got it anyway. How cute is that?! I can't believe how blinged out I look in all the Pearl Izumi stuff. The socks are Miguel's. I couldn't find any of my socks I like to wear so I borrowed his.

My Polar said I burned 479 calories. Someday I'm going to have to wear both heart rate monitors (Polar and Garmin) to see just how inflated the Garmin numbers are. In general I trust the Polar. It always seems to give reasonable numbers. I have a Polar A5 if you were curious. I'm a big fan of heart rate monitors. It entertains me to no end and gives me some feedback on how hard my body is working vs. how hard it feels like I'm working.

Alright, I've been tagged by TallMama & Matty. [The rules: Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Write six random things about yourself. Tag six people at the end of your post. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.]

6 Random Things About Me:

1. I like Hamburger Helper. Ok, maybe like is too strong a word. I eat Hamburger Helper, and it's not bad. I make it with Lean Ground Turkey Breast and the Points are reasonable. A quick meal that will probably give me cancer one day due to being so heavily processed.

2. Documentaries are my favorite movie genre. Recent faves include Word Wars, For The Bible Tells Me So, 51 Birch St, and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.

3. I'm trying to be slender with long hair too. Each time I've gotten "in shape" in the past I have short hair. The thing is, when I start exercising hair becomes irritating. I end up chopping it all off. Thus, I've never been skinny and had long hair at the same time. I'm trying, but the urge to cut off my locks grows stronger every day.

4. I was honored by NAMI as part of their 2007 Mental Illness Awareness Week Thank You Campaign. A grandmother was really grateful for my work with her while her son was having trouble. She wrote a nice letter to NAMI and they acknowledged me. These things happen pretty rarely so I hung the letter in my cube.

5. I sunburned my a$$ at Kehena Beach, a "clothing optional" black sand beach on The Big Island of Hawaii. When I was 25 and in the best shape of my life (about 10 pounds less than I am now) this was the closest beach to my place by miles. It took me 2 months of hanging out there before I finally bared all, 1 month to take my top off, 1 more month for the bottoms. After a while you feel silly being the only one with clothes on. Well, I didn't think about the fact that my buns had never seen the light of day. I couldn't sleep for days because of the pain. That's a picture of the actual beach.

6. I'm not a tattoo person. I love them on other people, especially the really nice ones. But I fear I don't know myself well enough to make such a commitment. Isn't that sad? That said, if I ever do an Ironman, I'm getting a tattoo.

Well, there you have it. I'm tagging Megan and Kristy. Wait, you want more pictures?'s another one of the jersey in which you can see a bit of the back. Then a full frontal shot of the jersey. There are socks too! But I have to have my limits.

Weigh-in comes in only 2 days. Right now I'm actually up a little but hopefully if I continue eating clean until Thursday I can put together a loss. I'll update here for sure!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Exercise Takes on New Meaning

We drove home from Ventura yesterday morning. As we neared the Gilroy Outlets we started wondering if they didn't have a Pearl Izumi Factory Store. Sure enough, they did. We had to stop, right?

They had a lot of great stuff. It seems like most bike and sport stores have a lot of similar items. I don't see fun, pretty, unique cycling clothes in the stores very often. Well, I found a couple of cycling jerseys I really like. One was on clearance, which is good. The other was full price, which was not so good but I love it. The new jerseys will have to debut on here when I wear them on actual rides. But, I did snap a picture (shocker!) of one of the jersey's I thought was really fun. If I was made of money I would have purchased it but, alas...just a picture.

Isn't it neat? Those are straight jacket straps. It says Psycholist on the chest. Being a psychiatric social worker and all I find the straight jacket theme particularly fun. Not that I advocate straight jackets. Please don't take me seriously.

We got home around 7pm and I was feeling pretty wiped from sitting in the car for 5+ hours. Miguel drove the whole way so I'm sure he was more tired than me, at least I had a small nap on the way. But, I had a run on the schedule, 40 minutes. I've never run that long, ever. As soon as we hit our block I told Miguel, "I have to leave right away or else I won't go. Do you mind unloading the car." He told me to skip it, that I was tired. No can do Mister, "but I'll just take plenty of walk breaks." I went in and changed and started my warm-up walk. I was feeling very grateful that I have such a kind husband. He drove all that way and then put all our stuff away and started the laundry all by himself while I was gone.

Let me tell you about the run. After the 5 minute warm-up walk I started jogging. Immediately my legs felt stiff and moving them was not easy. I thought, "there's no way I will be able to jog for 40 minutes". I decided to just jog until I couldn't. One of the suggestions in my training guide says to take your walk break before you get tired. Since I don't really have that well established I decided to jog until I was beat and then take a walk break. The next time I'd take a walk break 2 minutes before whatever that time was. I was going to do a loop route that included a big hill but decided to do an out and back loop, turning around at minute 20. This way I could bypass the hill (do I need to face a big hill on my first longer jog? No, I'm not a masochist and I want to keep liking this) and have that good feeling after turning around of knowing I'm heading home. Psychologically that's powerful stuff.

I got about a mile out and started to think, "ya know, I might be able to do this." I think once my legs got warmed up everything seemed better. I jogged for 20 minutes and turned around to head home. I knew at that point that I would make it. I jogged the whole 40 minutes! And I could have gone longer. I know one factor, I was probably jogging a heck of a lot slower than I do on the treadmill. I just went and put my route into Gmaps Pedometer and figured out I jogged 3.75 miles. Then I found a Speed/Distance/Time Calculator and guess what? According to the calculator I was jogging at 4.755mph! I figured I was probably going, like, 3mph or something silly. That's not that much slower than the treadmill, where I jog 5mph and have to take walk breaks. I think I'm going to slow my treadmill down to 4.75 from now now. I liked being able to jog without stopping. Yay! I felt victorious when I came home. Being that the jog was outside and that I didn't have to stop the whole time and that this was my longest jog ever, I felt like this was my first "real" run. Double Yay!

So today, Monday, I had a swim and a bike on the schedule. Ya know, this training makes me feel totally different about exercise. I feel compelled to do it in a new way, with new drive, new motivation, and a new sense of the drive coming from within me, not from some outside, I should exercise kind of thing. And that feels good. So my training guide recommends splitting 2-a-days up into seperate sessions if possible. It does have some bricks in the weeks before the tri but for now, separate sessions if possible. So I got up this morning and was waiting at the pool when it opened. I did my 26 minute swim (well, 28). It felt really good to get some exercise first thing in the morning. Good lord, look what I've become.

Now I'm just waiting for the weather to cool a bit before I head out on my 53 minute ride. Miguel's going to go with me and we're talking about riding some of the bike route. It's so nice to be doing a local tri where I can train on the actual route. Alright, I have to go change. Oh, maybe I'll where one of my new jersey's :) Look for a picture soon if I do.