Saturday, January 5, 2013

What Rest?

Friday night wrapped up with a trip to Costco.  I wanted to wait and eat my own dinner at home but I was too hungry.  So I got the Chicken Caesar Salad.  Costco lists the nutritional information with the dressing at 640 calories and a whopping 40 grams of fat, 62% of the rda for fat (based on a 2k calorie diet).  So I skipped the croutons (they are packaged separately so that's easy to do) and dipped my salad in the dressing, which meant I ate maybe 1/4 of the dressing.  It was a generally bland, dry meal but it did the trick and I wasn't hungry anymore.  But later at home I got hungry.  And the first bowl of cereal satisfied that.  The second bowl?  Well, I have no defense for that.  I've been trying to work on the late-night cereal and one good thing last night was that I ate smaller portions than I usually do.  Progress, not perfection.

Our spitfire, Myra Lynn.
Today started out like all Saturdays should, coffee, news, relaxing in my pajamas for a good long while.  The kids were in a good mood and everything just seemed to flow.

But because Miguel doesn't know how to sit still for very long we eventually started in on household maintenance stuff - organizing toys, clearing out random piles of paper.  Then it was nearly time to head out to birthday party #1.  Our neighbors' son Thomas first birthday.  There were lots of snacks and pizza and cake.  And I didn't show much restraint in the food department.  We had a nice time catching up on neighborhood news while the kids played.

My little prince.
Then home to put our little ball of joy down for a nap.  I went out for a quick trip to the grocery store before returning to take Marek for a haircut.  I know it's a cliche but he really is growing up so fast.  He'll be four in March, just a few months away.  He's my little negotiator.  Every time I set a limit, he's at the ready to make a deal with me. Generally I'd say he gets that from his father, who always has an offer you can't refuse. 

Party girl !!
After the haircut it was a quick run back home to pick up Miguel and Myra for party #2.  A friend of mine was  celebrating her birthday today and I haven't seen her (or her kids) in way too long.  So it was off to her house we went.

More snacks, more junk-type food for dinner, more sugar.  And I even had a drink.  ONE drink, mind you.  But I needed something to take the edge off after a day of running from one thing to the next.  Believe it or not I actually started today feeling like I wanted to exercise but now that the day is nearly over...well, thank goodness this was a "rest" day because all this rest has me exhausted!

I'm feeling very sinful and a bit regretful with the food intake today.  Of course I know all will be forgiven when I run tomorrow.  Well, maybe not all because I'm sure I did a number on my average daily intake with today's calorie count, not to mention last night's cereal.  But I'll just buckle down a bit early in the week, as I tend to do after a food-filled weekend, and it should all balance out in the end.
From a 2008 hike I took out there.

Speaking of tomorrow's run...the Marin Tri Club is doing a run in Point Reyes starting at Bear Valley out to Arch Rock and back.  Guess how long that is?  Yep, 8 miles.  Seems almost like destiny doesn't it?  If it weren't for the rain in the forecast I'd be jumping up and down with excitement.  But even with the rain prediction I'm still pretty excited for the run, that's what all the fancy running clothes are for, right?

But my girlfriend's husband is flaking so now I'm busy trying to hitch a ride with somebody else from the group.  Yes, Victor, I called you a flake. 

Well, it's already 10:30pm and I have to get to bed.  I have to be on the road by 8am and then run 8 miles, possibly in the rain, and almost certainly through some mud.  Going to get my clothes, running gear, energy gel and other stuff out before bed to decrease the likelihood that I'll flake myself in the morning. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Diet Research Run Around

There have been a lot of articles out recently on topics such as weight loss, exercise, and the national BMI.  I usually read the ones from The New York Times (NYT) because I've "liked" their Well Blog on FB and get links to the articles.  And then there are the magazine articles in Fitness, Women's Health, etc.  The magazines are typically trying to motivate/inspire a person to lose weight, improve health, etc.  The NYT articles regularly seem to be challenging the status quo.  I guess it is the NYT so that should come as no surprise.  In any case, the first one I read that got me riled up was The Fat Trap, so much so that I wrote a whole blog post in response to it.  In my prior post I summarized it like this, "it proposes that once we become fat our bodies strive to re-gain the lost weight.  That hormonally we are driven to seek out those lost pounds, otherwise we stay in starvation mode."  Ugh.  I won't re-hash my whole response here, you can read that post if you're interested, but suffice to say I took issue with a lot of what Tara Parker-Pope wrote.

Yesterday I read another NYT article, Good and Bad, The Little Things Add Up in Fitness.  It was a review of the author's reading of 2012 fitness research.  I agree with much of what the author says but I could also challenge some of it.  For example, she notes that people in a study who did more vigorous exercise (than the other study participants) subsequently were more sedentary the rest of the day.  What the article doesn't say is whether these participants were fit, active people or if they were just starting a fitness program.  She's reading this to mean that the "sweet spot" of exercise is a little, but not too much.  Maybe that's true, but maybe it's not.  Anyway, that's not my point, my point is that these articles can make me feel like I'm getting the run around.   

How long have we been reading about the "obesity epidemic" in this country?  And then we get this (admittedly op-ed) piece Our Imaginary Weight Problem (which seems to have changed titles to Our Absurd Fear of Fat?).  The "science" of diet and exercise, or maybe it would be more appropriate to say the reporting of the science, can be very confusing.  I can't imagine how it must be for someone trying to figure out the "right" thing to do to get healthy and stay in shape.  More exercise?  Less?  More protein?  Less fat?  What about "good" fats?  It can feel like a barrage of mixed messages and over-simplified yet conflicting information.  

I'm just venting.  I have no solution or recommendation.  Well, maybe I do.  Find what works for you.  Try not to read too much into these articles or the "latest research".  Start with what feels attainable (and maintainable) and build from there.  Just because an article says 30 minutes of vigorous exercise five days a week is the recommendation of such-and-such committee doesn't mean that's what you should do.  If 15 minutes a day three days a week of light exercise is what feels doable to you right now, then do that.  Remember, when you're just starting out it's more about the habit than anything else.  You want to build and maintain healthy habits, how you go about that is really a matter of personal preference.  Later, when you've established a fitness base and are looking to fine-tune things, then maybe you can start trying to glean something for yourself out of these articles. 

When I finally realized I didn't have to do 45 minutes of cardio it was like breaking free from a cardio machine prison.  I had read somewhere that 45 minutes was the minimum to do somethingorother and had that stuck in my head as what I had to do.  I would get so friggin' bored on those machines.  Thank goodness I broke free from that idea or who knows, maybe I would have given up altogether just to save my sanity!

Anyway, I'll continue to read the articles for the nuggets of wisdom I gain here and there, and for the motivation.  Just reading about diet and exercise keeps it on the front burner, even if it does sometimes rile me up.  I also really enjoy reading the comments on the articles, they are sometimes more informative and interesting than the article itself. 

Shifting gears...I had a great run today.  30 or so minutes of a lovely mix of road and trail.  I did the run that leads onto a trail and to a small waterfall.  I kept the pace easy (though I wasn't wearing my Garmin so I can't say for sure) and just enjoyed the engaging surrounds.  And I paused for a second at the falls to take in the moment before turning around to run back to my car.

I've already done my three weight training sessions this week so once the run was over it was back to my day.  Oh, and I had a better-than-usual lunch.  I went to Jennie Low's with a friend and had spicy green beans with shrimp and brown rice.  It came with a bowl of soup and one fried shrimp, both of which I happily ate.  A bite or two of my fortune cookie and I was a happy camper. A full, happy camper.  I'll be mindful to eat a light dinner given the high calorie lunch.

We have no plans for tonight so not sure what will develop.  Given this lingering cough and cold I might stick close to HQ.  Tomorrow is a kid's birthday party during the day and a grown-up one (with kids) in the evening.  Sounds like a fun day.  Sunday is the long run, 8 miles, and rain is in the forecast.  Oh well, at least I know I have the clothes, and the fortitude, to run in the rain.  But I shouldn't be misleading you, running in the rain only seems like it takes fortitude, it's actually quite lovely. 

Oh, I almost forgot, it's weigh-in Friday.  I hopped on the scale this morning expecting a TTOTM bump but was surprised to see a low of 141.4 pounds. Maybe it was all the purging on Tuesday. Anyway, I had to keep my shoes and sweater on later at WW so I wasn't under my goal weight by more than two pounds.  I couldn't stay for the meeting so I plan to celebrate getting lifetime status this time next week!

p.s.  Thanks for the tip on what to do with the extra bacon.  I always forget about the freezing option.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Surplus of Bacon

Unfortunately I stayed up a little later than I should have last night.  That, coupled with the cold I seem to have, along with starting TTOTM last night, and I was dragging this morning.  So I popped some cold medicine and went about my day, hoping for the best.

This is going to be a bit of a food diary post.

Breakfast:  Special K Protein Plus (1 serving) + 5 oz 1% milk

Mid-morning snack:  apple, light string cheese, water, vitamins

Lunch:  When I eat lunch at work I have no idea of ingredients, etc.  I just have to eyeball the food and make the best choice I can.  I always fill half my plate with salad.

Veggie lasagna, salad with raspberry dressing, carrots, lentil/veggie soup.

I went to the gym and did another lite workout - given the cold and all.  I also realized that this is actually supposed to be a recovery week so it's worked out kind of perfectly.  I started with 20 minutes on the upright bike, level 5.  Then I did chest/triceps/core for strength training.  I'll admit, I did my normal strength training routine instead of a recovery week version.  I have no good excuse other than I felt good.  I wrapped up with about 10 minutes of stretching/foam-roller time (67 minutes, 446 calories - why I write this down, I have no idea).

Afternoon snack:  Apple (I wanted more but that was all I had on me, chock that up to poor planning).

I had planned to make turkey burgers with sweet potato fries for dinner but the idea needed some punch.  Bacon!  Bacon makes everything better.  Bacon is one of those things I never, ever, EVER have in the house.  Like, ever.  If you are an obsessive fan of mine (and, really, who isn't?) you might recall that I like to take bacon camping and have it as a special all-you-can-eat camping treat.  But things are changing around here, a food liberation is underway, and as a result I'm enjoying things I never would have had before.  In moderation.  And I seem to be capable of a bit of moderation, which remains quite the shocker and something I'm still carefully watching given my food junkie ways.

Anyway, all that to say I picked up some bacon on the way home.  I snacked on leftover steamed green beans and broccoli while I prepared dinner.  I cooked four slices of bacon, two for my burger and two for Miguel's.  I even put a teaspoon of mayo on my bun.  Gasp!  I usually buy ground turkey and concoct my own burgers but today I had the Jennie-O Turkey Store Lean Turkey Burger Patties.  You have to be careful not to overcook them, they dry out fast. 

Turkey burger on Orowheat whole wheat hamburger bun, 2 slices bacon, 1/4 avocado, sweet potato fries, tomato salad
The tomato salad is an appreciation I gained from my dad.  He used to slice his own garden-grown tomatoes, sprinkle them with seasoned rice vinegar and add salt and pepper.  I still love eating tomatoes this way but I usually skip the salt and pepper.  You might think that's a paltry amount of sweet potato fries (from Trader Joe's frozen aisle, baked in the oven) but don't forget about the hamburger bun.  Anyway, that's my dinner.  And the burger was SO good.  The only other thing I've eaten is half of a bite-sized Take 5 bar I shared with Myra.

For those that are bored beyond comprehension by my food intake, don't despair, I'm not that fastidious of a blogger and I know I can't keep this up for long.  But I am making an effort to share "how I eat" for those that have asked.  If you are wondering about Points or calories, I'm sorry, I have no idea.  I stopped tracking at least 6 months ago, if not more.  It stopped seeming necessary and I kept losing weight, and now maintaining (so far) without it so I figured I've "learned" to eat without tracking.  So far, so good.  But if I were to go over my goal weight for more than a week I'd have to tracking just to reel things in.

Hobbs' Applewood Smoked Sliced Bacon
I'm not sure what to do with the rest of that bacon.  I actually wanted to just buy four slices from the meat department but that bacon looked like 99% fat, worse than the packaged one I chose (pictured).  I don't see this becoming a bacon-friendly household so something tells me it might go to waste.  I know, I know.  I hate throwing away good food too.  But I always remind myself, it's no less a waste to eat food I don't need than it is to throw it away.  At least the latter doesn't come with negative consequences to my body.  And as much as I hate wasting food, I've wasted tons over the years through over-eating and that never seemed to bother my conscious, so why should this?

p.s.  I still have the cold so I'm planning for a short, easy run tomorrow followed by a day of rest on Saturday. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Spa Day and The Lite Workout

I woke up feeling a thousand times better than yesterday, though still not entirely back to normal.  Deb and I had our spa day planned so I was out the door before 9am for our 10am massages.

The entire spa was underground.  Good thing I'm not the claustrophobic type.
Navigating our way to the spa was tricky because the hotel was huge, but we eventually found it.  And before too long, we were all cozy in our spa robes and enjoying the lavender-filled spa air.

Spa day!

The massage therapist told me I was getting a Swedish massage and asked if I wanted light or medium pressure.  Medium please.  I could have used a bit more pressure even, and at one point asked for as much, but mostly it was good.  I wasn't really in the mood to be tortured, though my muscles probably needed it.  After the massage we sat down for a cheese plate and a glass of champagne.  As you can imagine, I barely touched the champagne.  But I enjoyed the cheese, crackers, fruit and nuts.

We spent the next couple hours enjoying the jacuzzi, reading magazines and talking about kids, running and life in general.  We finally got hungry and had a late lunch at the restaurant.  I had a turkey, bacon, avocado sandwich with french fries on the side.  Yummy, crispy fries.  I didn't finish them though because they weren't as good once they cooled off so I told myself to stop eating them, "you're not enjoying them anymore, you're just eating them because they're there."  The good news is I managed to eat most of them before they cooled off.  And plenty of water, I was hydrating all day trying to get my body back in balance.

I debated with myself about going for a run to make up for yesterday's missed 4-miler.  Nope, my body was still tired and I just felt like I needed rest.  So I went home and spent some time playing with the kids.  I had a plan for dinner but it kind of fell apart so I ended up making chicken-and-rice.  I've been getting a lot of questions lately about how I eat so I'm going to try and post more of my meals.  This was what I had for dinner.

Chicken thigh (cooked w/o skin), rice, zucchini/bell pepper saute, steamed broccoli.
I'd eaten some of the chicken, half the rice and some of the veggies before I took the picture but you get the idea.  This is a very typical meal for me.  I cooked the chicken and rice together, a very easy, quick and versatile meal.  You take the skin off the chicken (and I try to remove as much fat as I can) and then brown both sides.  I don't put any oil in the pan because before long the chicken provides that.  Then remove the chicken, put the cleaned rice in (and any veggies/spices/extras you might want with it), add liquid (I like to use chicken stock), stir, put the chicken back on top, cover and cook until the rice is done (20-30 minutes).  So easy.

I felt really good after dinner and started itching to get some exercise.  Miguel gave me the green light so I changed and headed for the gym at 8pm.  I knew I shouldn't try and run the full 4 miles I missed yesterday, and I also figured I should try and take it easy given my tentative recovery.  So I did what I call a "lite" workout, less time, less intensity.  I ran 2 miles on the treadmill in 18:26, mostly at 6.3mph with two, 2-minute intervals at 7.3mph for good measure.  After the run I did legs/shoulders/core for strength training.  In total I was there for one hour and felt great when I left.

Lite workouts are great for when you are pressed for time or don't feel up to doing your normal routine for whatever reason.  People like me can have that all-or-nothing thinking and often forget that something is better than nothing.  This is especially true when you are first building regular exercise habits.  In the first 6-9 months of establishing your routine it's more about building the habit than anything else anyway.  The habit will keep you going over the long haul (as in, the rest of your life) so I like to tell people just starting out, "it's the habit, not the calories."  I don't care what you do, just do something.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! (or: how *not* to run/swim on 1/1/13)

Whoa is me.  I had a rough go of it today.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let me go back to yesterday.  The day started out with a bang.  I worked but it was a beautiful day weather-wise and just all the way around.  I had a drive out to the Point Reyes area and found myself getting lost in the beauty of it all.  I wish I'd had my camera so I could post a few pictures of the sun breaking through the clouds.  I guess I could have used my phone camera but truth be told, I was mostly focused on other things.  Still, it was a beautiful day.  Afterward I hit the gym.  It was my last workout of 2012 and I didn't want to end the year on a whimper.

I started with 25 minutes on the upright bike.  My music was rocking as usual and I had a grand time pushing myself.  After the bike I did back/biceps/core for strength training.  The highlight was when I was doing my second set of pullups.  A gym-regular was standing there and I said, "I'll only be a second, I can only do two on my second set."  So he asks if I want him to "spot" me so I can do more.  How do you spot someone doing pullups?  Now this is funny, you bend your knees a bit and wrap your ankles together and the spotter basically holds your legs and gives you just enough of a lift so you can do more.  Another guy and I might not have gone for it but I've seen him there tons and he seems like a very normal, older guy.

This guy is probably a "senior" but in any case, there wasn't even a hint of anything untoward in his behavior.  And I liked being able to push myself.  I think I did another 5-6 pullups with the assistance.  He said that's the best way to get stronger, to be able to push your muscles beyond what they can do normally.  Sounds good to me.   I also threw in a few intervals of jumping jacks between sets when I had nothing else to do.  An hour-and-a-half and 593 calories later and my workout was complete.

I wanted to stop at Starbucks for a latte because it was going to be a long night.  We managed a somewhat last-minute deal with Catherine to watch the kids so Miguel and I could go to a friend's New Years Eve party.  We were planning to be the 5-9pm crowd with kids in tow but I was now really excited about being the 9pm-midnight crowd sans kids.  Anyway, I ended up making a latte at home, something I haven't done in years.  We used to make them all the time pre-kids.

Latte fixings.  Scored that coffee at a White Elephant party.
So I had a weird dinner - a slice of veggie pizza, a teriyaki chicken thigh, a few bites of rice and a 1/2 of an avocado.  I was full and figured that should help me from getting too tipsy at the party.  Boy was I wrong.

We got to the party around 9pm and things were well underway.  I got to hang with some great mom friends and meet a few new people too.  This post is going to get picture heavy at this point.

Susan, me and Lauren all dressed up with somewhere to go.
Miguel and I.
See that huge wine glass?  I have decided the size of that glass is partially to blame for my state today.  The thing is half the size of my head!  I started out with a few glasses of wine inside the house while talking with all the ladies. 

About this point this wheels started to come off.  Normally I count how many drinks I have to make sure I don't go overboard but unfortunately not this time.

10, 9, 8...Big Thanks to Erica and Dave for a great party!!
After midnight I joined in the poker game that was happening in the garage.  I think it's fair to say I was outright drunk at this point.

Lucky hat.
I don't know how but I managed to win a bunch of money playing poker.  At one point I was in a pretty big hand, over $80 in the pot, and I thought I had a straight.  So a guy goes all-in, I call and lo-and-behold, I don't have the straight...yet.  I needed a King or an Eight on the river to make the straight.  Lucky me!  I got the eight.  I went home with over $100 in winnings!!  What a fun way to end the night. The rest of the night was a blur but I think I was sleeping by around 2am.

I woke up this morning and was feeling giggly at first, probably still a bit drunk.  I was hopeful I could do either a swim or a run to welcome 2013 and I had a babysitter scheduled from 11am-2pm for that purpose.  But within an hour or so it was clear that wouldn't happen.  I spent the entire day being sicker than a dog and it was not fun.  I'm frustrated with myself that I let the alcohol intake slip away from me.  I couldn't eat or drink anything and my head was pounding all day.  The babysitter ended up watching the kids while I suffered in my bedroom in peace.  Miguel was out playing golf but fortunately came home around 2:30pm so I could continue my suffering.

By around 5pm I was able to hold down water and eventually some bread.  Took some aspirin around 6pm and my headache finally went away.  And then Catherine texts me that she has vegetable noodle soup for me.  My prince of a husband actually took the kids over to her house to pick some up for me.  I ate the whole container and a few more pieces of bread and started to feel human again.  Needless to say, it's going to be a good while before I drink more than one and hopefully I've learned my lesson and never have to experience a day like today again.

Tomorrow I'm spending the day at a spa with a mom/runner friend, Deb.  We were genius to book this back in November as a post-holiday spiffing up.  Genius, I tell ya.  I think I'll feel just good enough to relax and enjoy a bit of peace and tranquility.  Not to mention I'm in dire need of a massage.  I'm going to take my running gear just in case I can manage that somehow too. 

That's all I got.  Happy New Year everyone!

p.s.  Justice Garoutte was the winner of the Weight Watchers scale.  Thank you all for entering and let's hope I can do more giveaways in 2013!

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Year in Review & 2013: Goals!

Well, it's the dawn of a new year.  2012 was a stellar year for me and as such, it deserves a little reflection.  I think a list is in order.

Notable events in 2012:
  1. I changed shoes.  At the Marin 10k I did a video run analysis and the guy recommended I try out shoes with a low heel-to-toe ratio.  Most shoes are 8mm offset but my new Brooks Pureflow (which aren't so new anymore) are only 4mm.  They've served me well.  
  2. I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma.  I'm still learning to manage the wheezing, and fortunately for me it isn't a huge interference.  But I think using the inhaler before a run (when I remember) makes a big difference in my performance.
  3. I fell in love with running.  It wasn't until I started training for my first half-marathon, when I started doing long runs, that I started to enjoy the tranquility, the quiet satisfaction, the exhilaration that can come from a good run.  Yeah, I'm sure I finally got those endorphins, or "runner's high" that everyone talks about.  I spent years hating the run, so this is a pretty big deal.  And I also realized I can run at an average pace (whatever that means).  I figured I'd always be at the back-of-the-pack, but now I know the middle is totally attainable for me.
  4. I tried a bunch of new things.  Pilates, Crossfit, Dailey Method, Boot Camp - all new ways to exercise that I tried in 2012.  And 2013 is going to bring a pole dancing class!  Other things I want to try in 2013 are Stand-Up Paddleboard and maybe re-visit yoga.
  5. I celebrated 5 years of blogging.  That's probably more like 20 years in blog years.  And 5 years of blogging means 5 years of commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  Mixed in there were two pregnancy-related hiatuses but each time I made a comeback and I think blogging helped me do that.  I couldn't disappear into the blogosphere!
  6. I conquered Marshall Wall.    I never thought I'd have the ability to ride up a seriously big, long hill.  But I realized I could probably ride up a not-so-serious big hill and on that day, I decided to  go for the real deal.  A hill with a name.  Marshall Wall stood out in my mind as an impossible climb.  But climb it I did, slowly but surely.  Hills don't scare me (or my bike) anymore.  Well, except for the downhill part, but I hope to work on that in 2013.
  7. I started taking vitamins.  People have been telling me for years that they would help but I was stubborn.  Plus, I'm not good at taking a pill every day, though the payoff has really helped me to remember.  I'm not tired at the end of the day like I used to be. Now I'm taking a multi-vitamin, a B complex, a Glucosamine/Chondroitin pill, and recently added CoQ10.  
  8. I took a backpacking trip in Yosemite.  I've always wanted to backpack.  I did the customary train trip across Europe in my 20's but that's not the same as a backcountry outing.  I got to meet and spend the weekend with some super-fun women and experience a peaceful commune with nature.  It was a high point of the year for sure.
  9. My blog hit the big-time!  Ok, maybe not the big, big-time but big enough for me.  I was listed on's 10 Weight Loss Bloggers You Should Follow and I was interviewed by the Half Size Me show.  I added a Facebook page and I absolutely LOVE my FB peeps!  They inspire and encourage me on a daily basis.
  10. I ran a half-marathon!  Not only did I do my first half-marathon, the Kaiser half in San Francisco, but I went on to run another before the year was out, the Livermore Grape Stomp.  In fact, it was a great year for race events. I survived the Cinderella Century, a mud run, the Marin 10k, threw in a Tri for Fun, and had a memorable Marin Sprint triathlon too (I still can't believe how smart I was to switch to the sprint distance).  Oh, and I ran my first Turkey Trot, something I hope to do every year.
  11. I reached my goal weight.  After 5 years, 8 months and 25 days, on Friday, November 9th 2012, I finally hit that number, 145, to which I'd been aspiring.  Some of you have been following me since my humble beginnings.  Thank you, my fine readers, for all the support, ideas, encouragement and inspiration.  Every time I've needed a cheer, or feedback, or advice, or even a kick in the pants - you've been there.  I can't underestimate the power of this blog as part of my journey.  Weight Watchers recommends Anchoring, a process for creating cues and triggers to remind yourself of your weight goal and the inner resources you have to achieve it.  This blog is my anchor, and everyone that reads and comments are part of that.  Ack, this is making me emotional!   
Wow!  What a year.  When I started this post I didn't appreciate how much I accomplished this year.  If 2013 is even half as good, I'll be happy.  

Which brings me to goals for 2013.  Without further ado...
  1. Swim, bike, run...with a number on me.  I have a lot of races planned for 2013, first of which is the Kaiser half marathon coming up soon.  My goal for 2013 is to do all the races I can, to strive to do my best, but most important, to have fun while doing them!  And I also plan to try more new things in the coming year, like the Stand-Up Paddleboard and the pole dancing class I mentioned.
  2. Reach 25% body fat.  Although 145 was my goal weight I've always thought that would put me at 25% body fat. But according to my Tanita scale I hover between 27 and 28% body fat.  I want to gain more muscle and lose a bit of fat.  I want to get stronger and leaner.  Not because I want to lose weight, or get smaller, but because I want to see more of the muscle I've worked so hard to get.  Oh how I wish I could include getting a tummy tuck in this process but that's probably not in the cards for this coming year.
  3. Maintain, maintain, maintain.  From the very beginning I've said that "Maintenance is the only reason I'm back."  Well, 2013 is my year to maintain.  This past year I had my first birthday at goal weight.  Next year this time I plan to be wrapping up my first full calendar year maintaining that goal.  I don't yet know what challenges I might face in the coming year, who knows what the cards might hold, but change is inevitable and sometimes life throws us a curve ball (or we throw life a curve ball).  If either comes to pass, I plan to hit it out of the park...or at least not get knocked down by it.  
There you have it, my goals for 2013.  I'm thinking of doing 30 posts in 31 days to kick-off the new year. Not going to make a firm commitment to this because blogging sometimes gets pushed down the priority list in the face of other things but right now it sounds like a fun idea. I'd love to hear your resolutions or see links to your goals/resolutions if you have them.  A goal shared is more likely to be reached.  Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

I'm a Runner Too!

Sunday can only mean one thing during half-marathon training...the long run.  Today I had a 9 miler on the agenda.  I did a bit of, ahem, carb loading last night by way of a late night bowl of cereal.  I tried to go to bed early last night but that didn't happen.  I think I managed about 7 hours of sleep though, which is plenty enough.

I got up this morning and had my coffee and fed the kids.  Miguel had gone to his soccer game so I was on my own.  I wasn't all that hungry so I wasn't in a hurry to have my own cereal.  Next thing you know Miguel is home with an armload of pupusas.  Of course, that changed my breakfast plans.

A pupusa, cabbage and salsa.
Is a cheese pupusa good running fuel?  Guess we'll find out.  I was going to run with my buddy Catherine but she couldn't run until 3:30 and I was so antsy I could barely stand myself, bouncing around the house like a toddler.  At 12:30 I couldn't take it anymore so I took off.  I did a loop run from my house that had a pretty good sized hill in the first two miles.  But it was nice to get it out of the way early.

I took 6 shot blox with me with a plan to eat 2 every three miles.  But at mile 3 I didn't really feel I needed it.  So at mile 4 I had two.  My run was going along smooth, I was pushing myself but feeling up to the challenge.  I had two more shot blox, at mile 7 I think.  And I started cramping right about that time.  Fortunately I was passing near enough to my gym to stop in for some water.  The cramps took a while to go away but with plenty of belly breathing they finally dissipated after a half-mile or so.  I was passing a driveway and a car was exiting.  He waved me by and then hurriedly rolled down his window to tell me, "I'm a runner too!"  How cool is that?  I needed a little boost to morale and that gave it to me.  I'm a runner too.  For some reason I just really liked hearing that.

Reminds me of the time I was running in 2000 when I was in the midst of (what turned out to be a very temporary) fitness effort.  I was running down the street and neared a group of people.  One man said to his group, "move over, a jogger's coming."  Did he mean me?  That stuck with me, I had no internal sense of being a jogger (a word I now avoid, we're all runners!).  We really need to reinforce any positive feedback we get.  Most of us have a tendency to focus on the negative but it's the positive that needs your attention.  And the positive that will get you where you want to go.  Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right.  Henry Ford gets credit for that one. 

Despite all that mental mojo my body was getting tired and I had to do some self-talk to get me through the last few baby hills, "You can do this, you are strong enough, your mind might doubt it but your body is ready."  That last one really gave me some umph.  Finally I was looking at downhill/flat for the rest of the way home so I mustered all my strength to finish strong.  And I did!  My last mile was my fastest, 9:10.  And that included those baby hills!

Check out that overall pace, 9:31, I was thrilled!  I was working a little harder than I'd like, an average heart rate of 166 is a bit high. Anyway, I'm still hopeful I can pull off 9:30 for the half.  With plenty of carb loading, a taper, and hardly any hills - it seems totally possible.  I just hope the stars align.  Ok, here's the full story for anyone that's interested.

Yesterday at the mall GNC was giving out free stuff.  I got a bottle of Amplified Recovery Fuel. The whole thing has 290 calories.  That seemed like a lot so I had half after my run, I really like the sound of amplified recovery.  I must admit, I feel pretty good now several hours later.  After a shower I had another pupusa for lunch.  I also had a string cheese.  It's a heavy cheese day I guess.

I feel so much better than I did last week after my run.  Maybe it was the nicer weather, the recovery drink, or maybe last week was just a hump I needed to get over.  In any case, I'm a happy runner.  My toe didn't bother me at all, though I did get a small blister on the side.  I have to remember to wear seamless socks on long run days, makes a difference.

Tonight we have a houseful of folks leftover from their watching the football game. I haven't started drinking but that's a possibility given the loud rancheras and the beer and vodka that are now freely flowing.  The guys are grilling carne asada, chicken and all the fixings so I'm sure I'll have a filling dinner.  I've already had a couple oreos and some tortilla chips.  I wasn't really planning for a party tonight but it seems to be happening around me.  Oh well, it's kinda, almost New Year's Eve, right?  Part of the lore of the long run, at least for this woman, is that I can eat and drink more than usual with no negative impact on the waistline.  And while this may be true, there are limits to that truth.  Don't overdo it Michelle, you feel better when you eat and drink a reasonable amount.  Yeah, talking to myself again.   What can I say, it works!