Saturday, January 19, 2013

Running From It All

Ahhh, a rest day.  Though you know with two toddlers nobody's getting a whole lot of "rest".  I took the kids to playgroup this morning, that doubled as a birthday party for Ms Evangeline, who is turning 4.  I can't believe our kids are turning 4, we've been meeting since they were only weeks old and in some ways the time has flown by.

So with a birthday party comes snacks and cake, all of which I had.  Plus a mimosa.  That's how our playgroup rolls.

Party food!
I figured since I am running 11 miles tomorrow I could eat more than usual, which I did.  That also turned out to be lunch.

Bistro Shrimp Pasta (scarier than it looks!)
My mom came over in the evening so Miguel and I took the opportunity to get out of the house together.  We had some shopping to do and ended up at The Cheesecake Factory (TCF) for dinner.  Ever since first looking up the nutritional information on their website some years back that restaurant literally scares me.  They are able to get an unbelievable amount of fat and calories into food that you might not otherwise suspect is a days worth of calories.  And I noticed they "won" the Center for Science in the Public Interest's "Xtreme Eating Award" for the massive calorie count of their Bistro Shrimp Pasta (3,120 calories and 89 grams saturated fat) and their Crispy Chicken Costaletta (2,610 calories and 89 grams of saturated fat).  Both of these meals alone are more than a day's worth of calories.  Anyway, TCF always scares me.

I asked for their nutritional information when we asked for a table and they gave me a nice spiral bound notebook filled with most of the needed numbers.  But tucked into the menu was a "SkinnyLicious" menu with menu items all under 590 calories.  I guess this new menu came out in 2011 and I haven't been there since then.  So I had an ahi tartar appetizer and a pasta dish for my entree.  I didn't need the appetizer but again, I chocked it up to the run.  Oh, and I had a "skinny" margarita too but my stomach started hurting part way through dinner so I only had a few sips of it.  I probably got out of there for less than 1,000 calories, which isn't bad considering.

We had some other errands to run after dinner and I ended up bringing home a Three Muskateers bar for desert.  I had that and then starting taking bites from the birthday cake we brought home from the party (for the kids to eat after dinner, which of course they forgot all about).  A few bites later and I dumped all the cake down the garbage disposal.  I was pretty sure I was just seeking distraction, which is no reason to eat. 

All this eating and I feel like crap.  The good thing is, I have 11 miles in the morning to run as fast as I can away from it all.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Existential Hunger (or, Happy Friday!)

What I really want to do is write a rant-filled post about the number of people who have something to say about my face, my butt (or lack thereof), and my overall "skinny" body.  But, no, I am not ready to write that post, I'm not ready to go on ad-nauseam about how this is my body, these are my goals, and how this was never about pleasing others to begin with.  I'm not ready, or maybe I'm just too tired, either way it's not happening tonight.  Instead I'll write this somewhat passive-aggresive opening paragraph and then move on to the content of my day.  Wink.

Today was a bit unusual in the food department.  I had my standard morning cereal and coffee and jaunted off to work.  I was going to be on the road all day (as opposed to my office) and made a tactical error - or to use WW new 360° lingo, I didn't follow my routine - when I failed to pack snacks for the day.  My head is just a bit foggy these days.  Case in point, I backed into a partially closed garage door when exiting the garage this morning.  I hit the garage door remote and just a moment later started to back out of the garage and BAM!  My garage now has a lovely hole in it thanks to my lack of focus.  Anyway, in the car and on the road all day with no snacks.

But it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  I spent the morning with a client who was readying to go in for surgery and had no access to food so no poor choices made there.  Then while my client was in surgery I had lunch at a salad bar place and, to tell you the truth, my mind was so preoccupied I couldn't think about eating that much.  I really enjoy being in the city.  You overhear more interesting conversations, or at least snippets of them, and see stuff you just don't get to see in the suburbs.  Usually I loathe graffiti but today I made an exception.

Don't Let Your Dreams Be Dreams
A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart and for a moment today, I guess I carried a dream in my heart.  Anyway, enough existential meanderings, let's get back to food.  

On the way home we stopped at In-n-Out burger and I noticed my stomach was expressing a desire for food (aka as hunger, don't ask me why I write like that sometimes) so I opted for a cheeseburger (with ketchup and mustard instead of "spread").  No fries, and water to drink.  Lunch, Part 2, I called it.

In-n-Out cheeseburger, no mayo (11 points)
I was asked on FB how many WW Points were in the burger so I looked it up, 11.  Wow.  If I had skipped the cheese it would have been only 8.  WW is suggesting I eat 32 points per day, to put it in perspective.  So that means 11 points wouldn't be bad for lunch but I know normally a burger alone wouldn't have been enough.  I also considered a milkshake but between seeing one's nearly 600 calories (I love this new law about posting calories!) and my lactose-intolerance testing, I decided to pass.  The milkshake would have been 16 points, btw.  

Nice place to start a run, huh?
Pristine long run weather!
I went to the gym after with the training plan calling for a 3 mile run on the treadmill.  But around 1.5 miles my legs started to complain and I decided to wrap it up at 2 miles.  These last few weeks I've been doing the bike on Thursday and running on Friday but I don't think it's working out.  Next week I'm running on Thursday, on legs fresh off of a rest day.  Which reminds me, I need to go scope out my route for Sunday's 11 mile run.  I want to run along the bay in San Francisco, maybe start at Fort Point, or maybe even the north side of the Golden Gate and start with a run across the bridge.  Weather looks promising enough to include a bridge run.  That and mileage, parking, hills and whatever else will influence the final route.  I was going to do it tonight but I got sidelined watching a movie. 

Dinner was a mix of leftover chicken quesadilla, chips and guacamole and a slice (or two) of flan.  Normally we're pretty good about all sitting down to eat but tonight was entirely uncivilized, I stood at the counter and picked at this and that until it seemed like enough. Well, actually I picked until the food was gone.  But I wasn't overly full. 

Last thing, today is Friday so I did my "official" weigh-in.  138.8 pounds, down a little less than 1/2 pound from last week.  I'm not trying to lose weight, though clearly that's been happening.  I feel like I eat a good amount of food, and I'm happy with how much I exercise so I'll just have to watch and see what happens with my weight.  My husband asked me if there is a weight where I'd agree I'm getting too thin.  130, I will intervene if I hit 130.  I don't see that happening, I think my weight will settle soon. Eh, who cares, it's Friday.  Happy Friday everyone!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Food Is Not The Solution

I've you've been around the dieting world for a while you've no doubt heard the phrase, "If hunger is not the problem, food is not the solution" or something like that. Things are still fairly off in my world but I'm starting to believe there might be a light at the end of the tunnel, even though I can't see it yet.  The good news is, despite all of that, I'm still exercising and for the most part I'm not using food as a source of comfort. That's because, again for the most part, I've learned that I won't find the comfort I'm looking for in food.  It does not soothe my soul, it's more like a temporary distraction (with a downside).

Anyway, I've been eating my morning cereal with soy milk and coffee with soy creamer.  One of my FB peeps told me the soy milk made her nauseous so I Googled it to see what I'd find.  Of course as I type into the Google search bar...  You might remember I've had a cold, and it seemed to be getting worse again as of yesterday, so seeing "nasal congestion" piqued my interest.  Maybe my cold is not getting worse, maybe it's the soy milk.  I never got around to looking up soy milk and nausea.  Argh, so much to consider with all this.  After this 1/2 gallon of soy milk is gone I think I'll try rice or almond milk next to see if my nose clears up.

So I spent the day home with the kids and it was a rest day from exercise.  I had a mother's club meeting in the evening so we decided to have dinner at a nearby Chevy's.  I ate the chips while we waited for our food.  I was so rushed all I had time for was a bowl of their tortilla soup.  I expected to be hungry again later but no.  That didn't stop me from eating two buttered dinner rolls when I got home just because it seemed like a good idea (and I though the soup might not have been enough, despite my lack of hunger).

I got a fun little package in the mail.  The folks over at Green Layer Sports were giving away Marin County Triathlon polo shirts on Facebook a while back and I won one!

Happy to represent my hometown Triathlon !!

I requested a size medium and boy was it tiny!  It fits, but barely.  If I gain a few pounds I'll be in trouble.  I love the embroidered logo from the triathlon, so cool. 

Japanese Wasabi Bowl w/ Salmon from Pacific Catch
I haven't been getting enough sleep these past few days and last night was no different.  I'm also not feeling my usual joy of life these days and not getting enough sleep doesn't help.  Ugh, I'm sorry for all the doom and gloom.  Life goes on, right?  So I went to work today and had nice lunch plans to look forward to.  A reader of my blog, Cori, messaged me on FB and before long we were making plans to meet up for lunch.  We went to Pacific Catch and I had my standard Japanese Wasabi bowl with salmon (and wakame salad, avocado, daikon sprouts, cucumber, ginger, sesame seeds, shredded nori, soy-wasabi sauce).  They have a half brown rice/half greens option so of course I did that.  And it was as good as ever.  Though my taste buds are a little dulled by congestion so I added generous amounts of wasabi paste to punch up the flavor.  It was a lot of food and I ate a bit more than necessary but a slightly overfull tummy is not always a bad thing.

Meeting Cori was a blast!  She's on her own journey of self-discovery in relation to all this food and fitness stuff and it was fun to talk about the lessons we've learned, the lessons we're still working on and everything in between.  And of course we took a picture!

Hi Cori!
After lunch it was a busy afternoon of back-to-back appointments.  I left work a little late but headed to the gym to do what I could with the time I had.  Thursday spin class was starting and Glenn's smiling face was just what I needed.  So I joined in but only for 25 minutes.  I hopped off the bike and went to do legs/shoulders/core work.  I couldn't do all my sets but I hustled my butt through some jump squats, lunges, Arnold's, and leg extensions to name a few.  I stretched for about 30 seconds and then ran to my car to pick up the kids.

I had hoped to have a lean dinner to offset that big bowl of yummy from lunch but my husband made tipico and I was happy to eat it. 

Black beans (refried), avocado, crema, and a flour tortilla
I ended up eating another 1/2 tortilla in addition to this one but didn't finish all the beans.  After the kids went to bed I sat down to watch a little TV and write this post, and I broke into the flan that's been in my fridge for days.  A while back Miguel set up a friend's home wireless network so his wife made us a flan as a thank you.  In the end I had two pieces.  Only to be followed up with some Lay's chips a while later.  No, it's not soothing my soul but sometimes, it's just something to do that feels a little bit better than nothing.   

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Another Day, Another Training Run

Today was interesting, a mish-mash of events that had my head spinning a bit.  Food-wise it was a bit strange too.  I had Kashi GoLean with soy milk and used the soy creamer for the first time.  My coffee was not as sweet as usual but I've weaned myself off of overly sweet coffee over the years so I could handle it.

My stomach keeps me on a tight schedule and come time for my mid-morning snack I was quite hungry.  I haven't gotten so far as lactose-free greek yogurt (is there such a thing?) so I had some plain Fage 0% with a sliced banana.  Very filling.

Fage 0% plain Greek yogurt, sliced banana.  (+ vitamins)
Later in the day I got ready to go on my run, 5 miles are due up on the schedule. It was chilly outside so I wore two layers on top but with my standard cropped running pants.

Pre-run picture.  Don't I look happy?  Don't answer that.
I had an AccelGel because it'd been a good while since I ate anything and needed some energy.  I kept reminding myself to go easy, that I just ran 10 miles on Sunday, and hit the bike yesterday, and just needed an easy run to give my body a break.  

I felt I did a fair job of taking it easy.  There were times when started to push myself, mostly when running up a small incline, and I made myself back off.  But that last mile, my body wanted to take it easier but I couldn't wouldn't let myself slip below 9:30.  Darnit, I'm not good at the train smarter, not harder thing.  At least my pacing was pretty even over the 5 miles.  Full Garmin stats here

After the run I had to hurry to get ready for an appointment.  I didn't have time to eat a meal so I grabbed a string cheese and an apple and hoped they would keep me alive for the hour or so until I could eat.  Unfortunately when I could eat, a protein bar was my only option.  So I had that with some water.  It was definitely a case of under-eating but the circumstances didn't allow otherwise.

Dinner rolled around and I had leftovers from last night.

Beef stew and veggies.
The Beef Stew Council of America is probably going to sue me for these terrible pictures.  I'm not making it look so good but it does taste good.  Well, at least how I remember it because my taste buds are still a little shot from being congested.  Given my light lunch and my run I was hungry by the time the kids went to bed so I sat down to write this post with a big bowl of tortilla chips and some of the guacamole from last night.  I told myself to eat as much as I want, that my body probably needs the calories, fat, etc from the food.  And I've made a decent effort but I don't think I'll finish all the chips.

I am exhausted.  Today was a bit better than yesterday but still not what I'm accustomed to in terms of stress levels.  Hopefully each day will get better and better. Sorry for all the mystery, it's just personal life stuff, the kind we all deal with from time to time, and nothing I can go into here.  I need about 15 hours sleep but I'll be lucky to get 8.  I'm off to bed. 

p.s.  I realized I never posted the link to my Garmin stats for my 10 mile run on Sunday.  That's the kind of thing that wakes a blogger at 2am.  I can't imagine anyone cares but in the event there's a person as nutty as I am and wants to see them, here they are.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Soiled Fan

My life is not immune to the ups and downs everyone experiences.  And today was a down day.  There might be a fan somewhere with a bit of excrement on it even.  It's nothing I'm going to go into here, this is not that blog, but I'm coping.  And don't worry, life and limb are not in danger.

Soy Milk and Creamer
So I still had to go about my standard duties.  And unfortunately I have not become one of those people who loses their appetite under stress.  I had breakfast.  I decided to treat myself to my weekend cereal and had that with light soy milk. I checked the amount of sugar in regular 1% milk and the vanilla soy and it was comparable so I went with vanilla (in fact, I think the soy had less sugar).  I'm giving this possible lactose intolerance thing a test run.  I still had my regular coffee cream so it's not a full test as yet.  But I did buy some soy creamer so tomorrow I'll have that.

I don't remember having a morning snack but can't be sure.

Lunch was a Subway sandwich.  I went with my standard 6-inch on wheat, chicken breast, double meat, no cheese, veggies, jalapeno and oil/vinegar as my only condiment.  It did the trick.  My cold is not only hanging on but seems to be making a comeback before it was even gone and I can hardly taste anything anyway.

I didn't have an afternoon snack either, which is probably fine given last night's fried chicken dinner.  I had a slight headache for most of the day and I really needed to exercise to let off a little stress. I went to the gym after work and rode the bike for 25 minutes.  My legs were not thrilled, which I imagine has to do with yesterday's 10-mile run, but I did it.  That was followed by back/biceps/core.  I managed 3.75 pullups followed by 3 pullups.  Not bad.  I was rushed but got almost everything done.  It was a decent workout but nothing to write home about.

The beef stew was not as unappetizing as it looks, though admittedly I could barely taste it.
Dinner started with a handful of chips dipped in guacamole.  We had a bunch of ripe avocados to use up.  Oh, and I ate a half of an avocado while I was making the guacamole.  That's how I roll sometimes.  For my meal I had beef stew and sauteed squash.  It was dinner and, like lunch, did the trick.  I still have that lingering headache so I'm going to take some Advil PM and hit the sack.

Wish me a better day tomorrow.  And the take-home message is, don't use stress as an excuse to exercise, that's when you need it the most. 

*even though this post went up today (Tuesday) it's yesterday's post (Monday).  I wrote it and thought I hit "publish" but I guess not.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

10 Miles and a Busy Sunday

The song at our house would be more like, "Just another manic Sunday...".  It was an action packed day, which started out for me with a yummy breakfast, cereal and coffee.

Nature's Path Pumpkin Flax Granola ("weekend cereal"), TJs coffee creamer
I was doing some complaining to a friend about my GI issues, especially as related to the long run, and got the suggestion that maybe I'm lactose intolerant.  Hmm, something to consider.  Speaking of GI issues, while doing some online research on the matter I read about runners who take Immodium AD before a long run (or some take it after) and it fixes everything.  My pain was so bad last week I decided to give it a try.  It didn't hurt that I was already experiencing some, uh, intestinal discomfort, when I woke this morning.  It was also going to be in the mid-30's when I started running so I used my inhaler to help prevent wheezing.  Oh and my friggin' period is going on week 2...when will it end?

I drove to Mill Valley to run on the Mill Valley-Sausalito path.  I wanted something scenic since I'd be out there for a while.  I wore my cold weather running tights, a long-sleeved running shirt and a long-sleeved cold weather running shirt over that, and a headband that covers my ears.  Of course I did all the traditional long run stuff like using body glide to prevent friction and having an AccelGel about 10 minutes before I started running.

I did a little warm-up walk and then started running just before 9:30am.  Given my stomach upset and my still-a-bit-sore body (from Thursday) I started out at a nice 10:00 per mile pace.  After a couple miles of that I started feeling good enough to pick it up a bit, closer to 9:30 for the next couple miles.  I had two shot bloks at mile 3.  The sun was shining and the temperature had risen to the mid-40's, just beautiful running weather.  By mile 5 I was feeling spiffy enough to just run and my pace picked up to closer to 9:15 for the next few miles.  I had two more shot bloks at mile 6.  As I neared the 9-mile mark I decided it would be a fun challenge to try and run the last mile at a 09:00 pace.  I planned to have two more shot bloks at mile 9 but was so focused on my 09:00 plan that I forgot.

10 miles in 1:34:12 !!
Oh that last mile took some mental doing.  I was pushing myself but felt good enough to do it.  I was so happy with how I felt, my body was fully cooperating and I was loving it.  I got a few small stomach cramps but nothing that slowed me down.  Man I'm glad I stopped Friday night's run after only 1 mile, I think it saved today's run.  I ran the last mile in 08:54.  Yippee!  And boy-oh-boy was I happy to stop running.  Whew!  When I stopped running it was 48°, beautiful temperature if you're running, a bit chilly if you're standing around stretching.  I looked at my Garmin and o.m.g. - my overall pace was 9:25 for a total run time of 1:34:12.  Full Garmin stats here.  Makes my optimal goal of running Kaiser at a 9:30 pace seem attainable.  I just need the stars to align and my body (and mind) to cooperate for it to happen.  
  My stomach was not spared the post-run angst altogether but it wasn't nearly as bad as last week.  More like mild discomfort that I could handle with a trip or two to the bathroom.  Before long I was starving and ended up in a warm coffee shop eating a bagel with cream cheese and having a (soy) skinny vanilla latte.  I was cozy, relaxed and happy.  Happy, happy, happy.  I did a bit of window shopping at Athleta and a running store and then headed for home.

Miguel and our little man.
Baskin Robbins, kids scoop Pralines and Cream
The boys were at the soccer field for Miguel's game and my mom was home with Myra.  After a quick shower and a string cheese I went to pick up Marek, though by the time I got there the game was over.  He was having a blast at the field.  Miguel had promised him ice cream so I took him to Baskin Robbins.  I had to have my own too, a kid's size scoop of pralines and cream for me.  I muddled through the rest of the day but marveled at how good my legs felt, how good my whole body felt considering.  Of course I had TTOTM cramps earlier and had taken ibuprofen so that was probably helping alleviate any post-run soreness I might otherwise be feeling.

Tonight I had a bit of unusual fun.  The owners of my gym are doing some publicity photography and videos for their website.  They asked me to be a part of it.  Tonight was the photography and in two Sundays they are doing video interviews.  It felt really good to be asked.  They did a bit of prettying me up and then started taking pictures.  I was wearing my most fitted tops (per their instruction) and they still put clips on the back of my shirt to make it totally fitted.  I have none to share here yet (though I posted a few grainy preview pics on my FB page) but I'm quite excited to see the final images.  The whole process made me feel, dare I say, not bad looking.  I know, I know...I'm getting there.  

I came home and my mom had (at my request, no less) picked up Popeye's fried chicken for dinner.  I ate a hearty (but not heart healthy) dinner and called it a day.  Ice cream, fried chicken, a 10 mile run and a gym photo shoot.  That's a full day if I ever heard of one.