Saturday, January 14, 2012

I'm Not Fat (or Obese)

I had one of those "moments" yesterday where I saw my reflection in a mirror and had a realization that I don't really look "fat" anymore.  Well, I'm sure according to some college guys I'm still a "fat chick" but by normal standards I look, well, sort of normal

And in other weight related news, I moved back into the "overweight" category on the BMI when I entered the 170's. No more Obese category for me!!  I've been getting a lot of comments lately about how much better I look and when I say that I have 24 more pounds to lose people are surprised.  They think that I look fine now or that I'm going to get "too skinny".  I stop short of lifting my shirt and showing them the fat that surrounds my core, or the fat on my thighs, or arms...well, you get the idea.  There are definitely 24 stray pounds for me to lose. And I just looked up my BMI and lately I thought 150 would put me into normal but it turns out I have to be 149 or less.  Did they change things while I was away? 149 is a weird goal weight.  I'm going to stick with 150 for now and see how things are when I get there.  I just did some research and as it turns out my old goal weight was 145, not 150, so no, they haven't changed things, I just got confused.  Anyway, for now I'm focused on my 158.8 mini-goal, which is what I weighed before I got pregnant.  Then I'll focus on those last pounds.

So, I had a fabulous run today.  The weather was perfect and I just felt good.  It was a 6 mile run and I did it in 1 hour, 9 minutes.  That means I averaged 11:37 minute miles!   I really am getting faster.  And that included 2 pretty good sized hills.  I ran up the first hill but I had to walk the second one.  The rest of the run was relatively flat.  I felt so friggin' good when I got home.  It's times like this that make me love running.  Who ever, ever would have thought I'd say that I love running.  If you've been following this blog for years then you know that's a dramatically different position on running.

One last thing.  Miguel is working today so I had to reach out to some friends to get my run in.  Having people around willing to support you, and asking for help, is so important.  Most of the time that person is Miguel but today it was my friend Laurie.  Thank you Laurie!  We did a run swap, she watched the kids while I ran, then I watched the kids while she ran.  It was perfect and I am so grateful.

Well, that's it from this non-fat, overweight blogger.  Tomorrow is a gym day and then Monday is a holiday both from work, and the gym.   I wonder what I'll cook up to do with the kidlets.  Something fun! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

On Third Thought

I called Miguel after work to let him know I was headed to the gym.  He wasn't very excited.  Then again, neither was I.  I got to the gym and was taking off my work shoes in the locker room when I started thinking about spending the whole evening with Miguel and our kids instead.  I put my shoes back on and headed out the door.  I just wasn't into it.

I got in my car and was driving out of the parking lot when in comes one of my mom friends (Hi Alison!!) who has recently started exercising.  Oh boy, I have to go back in.  She's at the beginning of her journey, still in those early weeks where she doesn't yet get the energy boost that comes from exercise.  But she's doing it and I just couldn't let myself drive away after seeing her.

So I re-parked my car and went back in.  Alison and I got to chat a little bit and then I went to do my thing on the upright bike.  After, I did back/biceps/core work and then some nice stretching.  When I left I still felt 50/50 about my workout but at least, in the end anyway, I erred on the side of fitness.  And when I walked in the door at home both kids squealed and I got big hugs.  I'm excited to spend the next few days with them over this holiday weekend.  And now I'm glad I went to the gym.

Speaking of this weekend... Miguel is working tomorrow and that means no long run...or does it?  Earlier this week I emailed my mom friends to see if anyone would have my kids over for a playdate while I do my run.  Fortunately this is a step-back week and I'm only running 6 miles.  Several offered to help.  I have the best mom friends!  So we're all headed to Monique's tomorrow and while the kids are playing (peacefully, I hope), I'll get to do my run.  Thank you Monique!! (looking forward to returning the favor).  Then Sunday will be a family day.  I'll go to the gym while the kids are napping in the afternoon. 
Sounds good to me!

Today was weigh-in Friday and I'm up .2 pounds.  I'm fine with that.  I've been losing every week for a while now so a miniscule gain is nothing to worry about.  

So my race bib arrive in the mail!!  I'm getting excited.  The neat thing is when I think about the race I have this calm sense of just running and running and running - but without stress.  I think because that's how my long runs feel.  Just run.

Well, that's it for me.  If this is a holiday weekend for you I hope it's filled with lots of fun, active and healthy stuff!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Optimal and Bottom Line Plans

"Going into every race, you should have two realistic yet achievable plans. The first plan is your optimal plan, what you fully expect to achieve, not a goal that requires an exceptional day but what you believe to be your best performance ability at that time... The second plan is your bottom line plan -- the minimum achievement for you to be happy with the race. No compromises, no excuses, this is the 'must have' goal for the race." -Greg McMillan (a runner, exercise scientist and coach).
My optimal plan:  Finish in less than 2 hour, 45 minutes. 
My bottom line plan:  Finish.
Good, that's settled.  Now on to today.  I did *not* get up before dawn to run with Karen (sorry Karen!) as was planned.  I woke up for the second day in a row with a headache and I just couldn't muster the strength.  If everyone around you is telling you the same thing, maybe you should listen.  Even a random nurse that I met today asked if I'm drinking enough water.  Okay, okay, I get it, I need to drink more water.  So, it's either dehydration or peri-menopause causing the headaches, that's what I've concluded.  I'll spare you all the gory details about my weird menstrual cycle, let's just say it gives me reason to believe this peri-menopause idea might not be so far off the mark. 
I took some time off work to get my run in.  I had a mom's club event tonight so it was the only way.   I did my 5 mile run and felt really good.  After that I did chest/triceps/core for strength training.  When I woke up this morning my right shoulder hurt like heck.  Fortunately it didn't interfere with my workout much but I hope it's better by the time I do shoulders again or I won't be able to lift a dumbbell for shoulder raises.  
So far I'm feeling like I want to go to the gym tomorrow.  Not only because I skipped yesterday but also because tonight at my mom's event I had a few cookies and ended up going out for a pint of beer.  It would probably be good to balance that out.

Well, tomorrow's weigh-in.  I've been terrible lately at predicting what's going to happen on the scale so I'll just wait and see.  Until then...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Staying Flexible

This being a weight loss blog you probably think I'm going to write about stretching.  Nope - I'm writing about skipping the gym.  It happens now and again and today was one of those days.  I had a plan to get up early and go to the gym before Miguel left for work.  But I started waking up with a headache about an hour before I had to get up.  Instead of getting up and taking aspirin as I should have I just kept trying to fall back asleep.  When the alarm went off I made a quick executive decision and bagged the gym. 

I thought I might go when Miguel got home from work but I didn't commit.  I just felt so stiff and tired.  Most times when this happens, as the day goes on I get to feeling better and I end up going.  But today I didn't change my mind and that's pretty much how I knew it was the right decision.  I have a tendency to be rigid about going to the gym so when I decide not to go I try to trust my instincts.  Of course as I'm writing this I wonder if I'm fooling myself into thinking it's ok to skip the gym.  But I know that's not true so I'm not going to sweat it.  Literally.

Tomorrow morning I'm getting up at 5am for my 5 mile run. That also makes me feel better about taking a pass today.  Those early mornings are hard, even harder when I'm going for an outside run.  I could, perhaps, go to the gym on Friday to make up for today given that Saturday's "long run" is a step-back to only 6 miles.  That will put me at 4 days in a row of exercise though, something I try to avoid.  Decisions, decisions.  All I know is that the details like this don't make such a huge difference in the big picture, as long as I stay on my path, and that means staying flexible, it will all work out fine.  We'll see...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bad Timing and a Too Empty Stomach

It's 9pm and I'm so tired!  I'm in bed already and if I didn't have a clock I'd think it was midnight.  Some days just feel this way, like I'm needing an extra full night's sleep to keep things going.  The good thing is I'm off to sleep shortly so I should get some good zzz's tonight.

So my menstrual cycle started a few days ago.   If I understand the way this cycle works it will start again in four weeks.  That's the day of the half-marathon.  The kind of good thing is my cycle has been all wonky and doesn't really start in the normal sense so I'm hoping I'll get by without having to worry about...what the heck do you call it?  Feminine leakage?  How do women deal with this?  Bathroom stop?  Ugh, this blog post is going nowhere fast!  On to a better topic.

Miguel was able to pick up the kids so I hit the gym right after work.  Only problem is, I wasn't really prepared and hadn't eaten since lunch.  I do best when I've had a snack a couple hours before.  Nothing in my stomach for over 4 hours usually equals a crappy workout.  And today was no exception.  I did 3 miles on the treadmill and didn't have the energy to push it beyond 5.0 mph and 1% incline.  I know I can run faster on a short distance like 3 miles, I just didn't have the energy today. 

After the run I turned to my strength training, legs/shoulders/core.  I tried to do lunges but my legs refused.  After a sad attempt I decided to try the butt blaster instead.  I don't like that machine but I just needed to work the glutes.  After doing that and some shoulder exercises I decided to try the lunges again (I'm stubborn that way).  This time I was able to do them.  What did I learn?  Do not attempt lunges immediately after a run, your legs will not cooperate.  I did all my other exercises but it was just one of those days where everything felt harder than usual and I'm pretty sure it was the 4+ hours with no food that was to blame. That reminds me, I need to buy more emergency food (that's what I call the Clif Bars I keep in my briefcase) for days like today.  I'll eat 1/4 to a 1/2 of one of those if I'm desperate with no other snacks in sight. 

Kristy commented that I need to post an updated picture of myself.  It's not easy to get pictures of myself, I'm always the one taking them.  Next time I'm feeling spiffy (which might be Thursday, I have a mom's club event and plan to dress a little nicer than usual) I'll try to remember to have Miguel snap a photo.  I do look noticeably different than when I started and most of my size 12 pants are loose enough to take off without un-bottoning them.  Size 10's are still tight though.  I guess I'm between sizes.

In a final bit of news - I have lost 25 pounds!  Thank you to Kristy for pointing it out, I hadn't even realized it.  I've been saying, "I have 30 pounds to lose" but now it's only 24.  Time is just flying by so fast I can't even keep up with myself!!  I hope I hang on to that 174 weight this week.  My cycle might temporarily mess things up.  But if it happens I'm ok. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Rest Day & 2012 Event Planning

Today is a rest day from exercise but not from fitness.  My muscles are busy building themselves.  I do a lot of reading about fitness and exercise and one of the big messages I finally "got" is that rest days are just as important as exercise days.  But sometimes it's hard on my stress level to take a day off.  So today I think I'm going to take a leisurely walk after I eat lunch just to convene with nature.  And by leisurely I mean not change my clothes, stop and smell the roses, not get my heart rate up and definitely not perspire.  I read somewhere that being in nature for even a short amount of time reduces the stress level.  And I need a hot bath.  I've been thinking about a hot bath for several days so maybe tonight is the night. 

I have some fun news.  Last week a friend emailed me a deal from for a discount on the Marin County Marathon races.  Don't worry, I haven't lost my mind and signed up for a marathon.  They actually don't even have a marathon distance. The options are half-marathon, 10k and 5k.  I signed up for the 10k for only $22.  I figure one half-marathon for my first year of longer running is plenty.

So here's what my year is looking like so far:

February 5th:  Kaiser half-marathon
April 7th:  Marin County 10k run
June 16th:  Tri for Fun Sprint Triathlon
November 4th: Marin County Olympic Triathlon

I feel like I need something in Aug/Sept to balance out the season.  And I think it needs to either be a swimming or cycling event.  Some options are...

Tiburon Mile Open Water Swim, Sept 9th. They have an hour cutoff.  It took me 13:20 to swim 500 meters.  If I were to maintain that pace, which is unlikely given I'd be going 4x as long, I'd need 51 minutes to swim a mile.  That's cutting it close.  And it's $140 entry fee.  Ouch.

Tour of Napa Valley, Aug 19th.  They have a 30 mile ride that looks like fun, a 65 mile ride that looks like a serious challenge with two major climbs.  Hmmm...30 miles sounds nice.  This event is resonating with me right now so maybe that's the way to go.  But they haven't posted pricing yet, something tells me it's $$$.

Ok, that's it for to enjoy the rest of my restful day.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Happy Knee

Probably the biggest problem I've had with running has been my right knee.  It aches off-and-on while I'm running and the day after a long run it hurts most of the day.  I've been reading about ice this, ice seems icing is the solution to everything so I finally broke down and did it.  I iced my knee on Friday night in preparation for the run (absolutely no idea if pre-icing helps, just wanted to do it) and then I iced it again soon after I got home on Saturday.  Miguel has this velcro ice pack that you can wrap tight around the knee so I could still walk around (which is almost required with kids).  Wow!  My knee hardly hurts at all today!  I can't believe the difference the icing made.  I am a true believer now.  I may even start doing this after shorter runs if possible.

So I did end up riding my bike to the gym today, which was nice.  Outdoors is so much more fun than the stationary bike.  I finally got to ride on the new bike path that was built on the way to the gym.  Previously you had 3 choices - 1, ride on the shoulder of the freeway (really!), 2, ride over a big hill or 3, ride over a giant hill (Yes Alison, you're hill).  I used to take option #2 but now with the new path you avoid those and ride over a nice, medium incline and avoid the hills (and freeway shoulder) altogether. 

I arrived at the gym feeling fresh and alive (how lovely is that?!) and did my back/biceps/core routine.  Then I hopped on my bike and started toward home.  Given that I felt I had it easy on the new bike path I decided to ride over a big hill to get home (Yes, Alison, you're hill, but it's slightly easier going north than south!).  It was a challenge but I was happy to know I can still get over it despite focusing so much on running.  I am a triathlete after all, can't let my other sports go altogether [wink].  I arrived home feeling relaxed and happy. 

So I've noticed something lately.  The fat roll around my stomach, what some people call their "spare tire" - or maybe it's the same as a "muffin top"? - anyway, it seems more pronounced lately.  And I think I remember this happening when I lost weight pre-pregnancies.  It's like the overall size of my stomach goes down and the fat roll becomes more obvious.  Despite my devil-may-care attitude these days I do find myself feeling a little self-conscious about it, more-so if I have a shirt that doesn't hide it well.  The good thing is it seems to be almost exclusively a workout clothes issue and so far isn't happening with my regular clothes.  Oh well, I need to just let it go.  It's not like people can't tell I'm on the chubby side. 

Ack!  I can't end my blog with "chubby side" so I'll tell you about my super-healthy lunch after the gym.  Basically it was a huge bowl of roasted veggies (squash, onion, bell peppers, mushroom) tossed with black beans and topped with a couple of healthy dollops of latino cream (sort of a salty sour cream).  Yummy!