Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Mixed Bag

Let's see if I can stop eating long enough to write a blog post.  Ok, maybe things are not that bad but when I let it get all blown up in my head it feels that bad.  It's a balancing act, wanting to focus on making healthy choices and reminding myself of my goals but also not being too hard on myself, or overly restricting myself.  Not that there's any chance of the latter at present, it's been a lot of gentle reminding without a lot of change.  I'm going to keep on keeping on until that seems like it's not the right path anymore. 

It's Thursday night and I've had a successful week of exercise anyway.  I'm tempted to dismiss it as if it's not a big deal in light of the eating but I've been at this too long - I know better.  Anything I'm doing right, anything that moves me in the direction of my goals, deserves recognition and reinforcement.  So I'll say now - Good job, Michelle, you're making some good choices, you're paying attention, you're trying, don't give up, don't make this bigger than it is, keep at it, it will get better, your motivation will come back, it always does.

So now I'm talking to myself.  Well, at least it's positive stuff, right?  I'll move on to a quick gym recap.  Monday was 25 minutes on the bike followed by legs/shoulders/core.  My legs were not thrilled to be put on the spot after the run the day before but they stepped up to the challenge.  Pun intended.  Tuesday was a run day with a plan to do 3 miles on the treadmill.  But I got to the gym late and only had time to run 10 minutes, a bit over a mile.  I did back/biceps/core for strength training.  I got a text from Miguel that I could stay later if I wanted and thought maybe I should do the rest of my run.  But the truth was I felt tired and my legs were spent so I gave myself permission to go home.

Aren't they growing up so fast??
Wednesday was a rest day, from exercise anyway.  We hung around the house until we got bored.  I packed up some snacks and the kids and took them on a little hike.  The hike was short but was all uphill.  I was thinking as we were walking back down how grateful I am to be able to do little activities like this one and not only that, but that I want to do them.  I used those thoughts to reinforce why my choices are important, why this matters as much as it does.  And it does matter, no matter how many times I tell myself that it doesn't, how many times I throw out the old, I don't care before diving into some candy, I know the truth, it matters.  This is me, this is the me I want to be.

Insanely bitter is more like it.
Aaanyway, after the hike we went to the candy store.  Marek has not stopped asking for Angry Birds gummies since he saw them the last time we were there.  I bought some chocolate.  I've been enjoying 82% chocolate and wanted to try something closer to 90% to see how I felt about that.  They only had 99% so I tried that.  And woah - bitter as heck.  I had the tiniest piece and felt like I was eating melted used coffee grounds.  Of course I threw the rest away.  Not.  I'm gonna let my bitter memories fade a bit and then try it again.  Why?  Because I'm not a quitter.

I ate other candy too of course, but I'll spare you the drunk-a-log.  Suffice to say, we all had our fill and headed back home.  My mom came over to watch the kids while I helped a friend clean out an apartment.  It was solid manual labor and I again felt proud of my body.  I carried about 10 bags to the garbage and felt the muscles in my arms working.  The old me would have suffered and been sweating like crazy but the new me marveled at my strength and wondered if I could count it as an arm workout (no, is that answer to that question).  Still it was a long day and I missed dinner at home.  I made the probably inadvisable decision to have Taco Bell.  It's been a good long while since I've been south of the border and the probably good news is that it didn't taste all that good to me.  Have they changed their meat or something? 

Moving right along.  I got up this morning feeling a bit regretful but quickly told myself to carry on.  Today's food choices were a mixed bag including good things like quinoa and green beans as well as indulgences like frozen yogurt piled with toppings and after dinner snacks.  It's real people, I am a bit lost at the moment.  But I'll find my way, I know I will.  Not because I have to, but because I want to.

The gym was good.  I started with 25 minutes on the upright bike - a pleasant quad burning spin - and followed that up with chest/triceps/core.  I'm getting strong again, feeling like I am back to pre-pneumonia strength on most things.  That's another positive.  And on that happy note, I'm off to bed to do some healthy-lifestyle related reading that will, with any luck, motivate and inspire me.  Night all!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My First Running Accident and 8 Miles the Hard Way

I realized after I wrote my last post that I completely forgot to write about my run on Wednesday.  I know, I's not that hard to keep a fitness blog is it?  So a quick recap... I'd thought I wasn't going to get any exercise in because I was with the kids.  But I was at my friend Michelle's house and she said I could go on a quick run and she'd watch the kids.  Thank you Michelle!  I still had my gym bag in the car from Monday so I changed and hit the road.  I decided to run for 40 minutes and knew I'd likely cover at least four miles in that time.

I ran toward a country road and before too long I saw a trail that I'd read about but never been on.  Since I was only running for time I figured, why not get a little trail time in too?  I was running along - a bit quicker than usual (at least it felt like it, I didn't have my Garmin on to check) given I was working with two days' worth of pent up energy - when I thought, "this is the kind of situation where you'd fall."  It was the mix of sun and shade, the unfamiliar trail and the quick pace.  And sure enough, about 5 minutes later, Bam!, I was flying toward the earth.  I landed on my left leg and hip and threw my hands out to break the fall.

I got up, brushed myself off and took a quick assessment.  Big scrape on my leg, slight cuts on my hands, and dirt all over my clothes.  But nothing felt too horribly bad so I kept on running.  I did a glance back to see that I tripped over a tree root that was in the shade.  Fortunately I wasn't in much, if any, pain.  In fact I didn't even feel the sting of the scrape on my leg until about 15 minutes later when either the adrenaline wore off, or maybe sweat started dripping into the scrape.

I finished up the 40 minute run feeling that awesome post-run feeling.  So glad it worked out - that Michelle suggested it, that I dug in and found some motivation - which wasn't easy on a warm, relaxing afternoon that I'd already accepted was a no-exercise day - and that I had my gym stuff with me.  I should carry spare running gear with me at all times just for times like this.  Thanks Michelle for encouraging me, you were right, I did feel better after!!

Anyway, I had that scrape (which has been hurting way more than I would've expected), some bruised up hands and a sore hip.  Fortunately it didn't interfere too much with my exercise on Thursday and Friday.  Unfortunately I wore a dress that night to the mom party so it cramped my smooth style just a bit, though it did give me something cool to talk about.  This was another reason for my calling this past week the week from hell.  At least it's over.

So yesterday I took the kids to a kid birthday party.  I didn't get it together to pack myself a salad so I took some hearty snacks - a banana, an apple, and a Fage.  They had raw veggies so I munched on those too.  I did have a piece of birthday cake.  Such is life.  And a few pita chips, hummus and one dip of ranch dressing.  Oh, and probably the equivalent of a small pb&j after eating a few quarters.  This food thing can be such a cross to bear.

I had a "bad" food evening, staying up too late and eating too much.  Too many justifications for unhealthy behaviors.  I have a book on CBT for weight loss that I'd started but didn't finish, so I picked that up today and it's helping me.  We went to breakfast for Mother's Day - I was excited about a restaurant breakfast.  I ordered a 2 egg combo - bacon, eggs, toast, home fries and a pancake.  Well, the eggs and bacon were undercooked and the potatoes were mushy so I sent it back.  They let me keep the pancake so I had that and some fruit.  I'm glad I didn't eat it just because, what a waste of calories that would have been.  And I'm going out to dinner tonight too so it's all for the best.

After breakfast we came home and let the kids play in the kiddie pool while I read my CBT book in the shade.  I could have sat there all afternoon except I had an 8 mile run calling my name.  I was feeling tired but I put my big girl running shorts on and hit the road.  I planned to run to the soccer field where the kids were hanging out and bring them home.  I started running and it wasn't too bad in the shade but in the sun I quickly felt overheated.  So I was able to maintain a 10 minute mile for the first half of the run but gave up on that in light of how hot I started feeling.  "Just run", I told myself, "pace doesn't matter today."  I crossed paths with another runner (running in the opposite direction) and he gave me a wave, a small show of camaraderie that helped me carry on. 

Mile 5 was rough.  I was fighting to run up some small hills, I really wanted to walk but instead I ran at a snail's pace, "you know how to run, just run, as slow as you need to but just keep running."  And I drew on my Cinderella Century mantra, "You can walk when you need to but you don't need to yet." 

Funny how just a little ol' training run can force you to dig deep.  Sleeping in may not be worth these hot runs, they just sap my drive and energy and certainly don't help my pace at all.  In the end I was happy to average 10:18 minute miles.

Energy supplement wise I tried to skip Shot Bloks altogether to see if that helped my stomach but I needed something so at Mile 6 I had two and got a much needed boost.  I'd stopped at my gym for some water around mile 3 and passed a playground with a water fountain around mile 6.  I might need to start carrying water on these hot afternoon runs.  Or stop doing hot afternoon runs.  My stomach was just a bit upset post-run so maybe less carbs during the run is the way to go.  Anyway, I'm rambling, my brain is fried so I'm going to wrap this up.