Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Recovery Week Revisited

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Ok, what day is it? Yeah, I'm that tired. I've been staying up way too late these past few nights. So tonight, 11pm curfew. It's 10:40 now. Yikes!

Quick workout rundown... I recently looked at My Current Workout page and noticed I said I do a recovery week every four weeks. Uhh...right. I haven't done one of those in quite a while. No time like the present! So starting yesterday I did less cardio and fewer reps/less weight for strength training. Yesterday was the bike, I did 15 minutes on level 5. Easy stuff, though I did break a sweat. Then I did legs/shoulders/core, recovery style. I was in a cranky, cranky mood (which I now know was due, in part, to TTOTM starting up) so doing less was good.

My mood was better by today's gym visit. At least I wasn't hostile about being there. Today I ran outside, had a plan to run 15 minutes but once I got going, this loop around my gym seemed like a good idea. Except it was 80+ degrees out and the loop includes a giant (but short) hill. So to make the run easier I walked the steepest portion of the hill. I was out there for about 25 minutes, 10:30-something pace. After the run I did back/biceps/core, light.

One of the "big" weight lifter guys was there so I asked him about this recovery week concept. We chatted for a bit and in the end he recommended I take a week off, no weight lifting at all for 7 days, every six weeks. Whoa. That's deep. I don't know about that, "read up on it," he tells me. Ok, I will. He acknowledged he's sore when he comes back after the week off, "but it's the good kind of sore." Hmm, we'll see. The good thing is, you can up your cardio during that week if you need the buzz of a good workout, though he said really you should take it easy, give your body a break.

Random pre-workout picture from yesterday. Note the cranky smile.
Ok, exercise is going well. On to food. I'd give myself a solid B+ if I had to grade myself. It was be an A if not for last night. I blame my menstrual cycle. I started snacking - first I polished off the chips, then a protein bar, a string cheese...maybe more that I can't remember. I was hungry when I started eating the chips but not after that. I intervened on myself, sort of, but not really.

Even with that, I still get a high B because #1, I'm still tracking. That is a victory in-and-of-itself. Tracking can be a pain in the ass. And #2, it's the first time since I started that I totally blew away my calorie goal (4th of July doesn't count because it was intentional). Oh, and the biggest thing, #3, I'm feeling better about everything. The scale hasn't changed but I my clothes are a tad more comfortable and I feel better just knowing I'm taking back a little of the control that I'd lost, or given up really.

Uh oh, it's 11:01pm. Signing off...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Can't Stop Eating These Chips

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My last post was so chock full of weekend goodness that I forgot to tell you about the yummy lentils I made for dinner last night. I modified a recipe, Simples of Simple Yellow Lentils in The Indian Slow Cooker by Anupy Singla.

1 lb lentils (I didn't get yellow ones)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 small vine red tomatoes
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 green chile, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons turmeric powder
dash of cayenne pepper
8 cups water

I put the water and lentils on to boil. Once they were boiling I dropped in the tomatoes for easy peeling. Meanwhile I diced up the onions, garlic, ginger, chile, and sauteed them for a few minutes in a little olive oil. Once they were fragrant and a bit soft I added them to the lentils. I removed the tomatoes, peeled them, diced and added them back in. I dry toasted the cumin seeds for a few minutes (don't ask me why, just seemed like a good idea) and then added that along with the rest of the spices. Let the whole thing cook for 20-30 minutes in total (from when the lentils started boiling).

Served myself 1 cup of lentils over a 1/2 cup of white rice. Oh my yumminess. So good. Ok, that's my recipe share for the year, on to other things.

I went for a run this morning, as planned. I met up with Amber and Anne, a couple Marin Tri Club ladies. We ran along a levee that has some beautiful scenery. We were all together at the start and then I drifted off on my own, made a wrong turn and ended up having to backtrack. I had my Garmin but didn't look at it much. At around mile three I glanced and saw my overall time was close to 33 minutes, averaging around 11 minute miles. Oh come on, I can do better than that. So I picked up the pace.

And I kept picking up the pace. Mile five came in at 9:27 even! Fortunately the path is almost completely flat, running along the water and all. I was so happy with my final time, 1:02:09 for an average pace of 10:21 per mile. I'm inching my way back.

post-run smile
Speaking of inching my way back...I registered for a half-marathon, the US Half Marathon San Francisco in November. Finally got something on the books. While this will be my first time running this particular half-marathon, I've run in this area many times now, both in races and for fun.

It's hard to go wrong with a route that includes running over the bridge. So I have plenty of time to train, November 2nd is still 17 weeks away. But I'm also thinking about doing the Santa Cruz Triathlon again. Such a great race. That's in September. We'll see.

Back to the present. After the run I came home and we packed up the kids to take them to breakfast with my mom.

I'd already had my morning cereal before the run so this was pretty much my second breakfast, being it was still too early for lunch. I had a 2-egg scramble with onions and mushrooms, a slice of dry sourdough with jam and a bowl of fruit.

After breakfast #2 we took them to the pool. It's been a pretty warm weekend and they're starting swim lessons tomorrow so I thought it would be good to get them in the water in preparation for the lessons. We all had a great time, me especially because during one of the adult swim sessions I swam laps for 15 minutes., probably my first time swimming since Santa Cruz. My arms were aching at first but they settled into a rhythm before too long. I really do love swimming, so relaxing, especially the way I do it, like a casual Sunday stroll, but in the pool.

After the pool both the kids and I were sort of burnt out. We really packed a lot into this weekend. We basically vegged out for the rest of the day. I did household stuff, laundry and whatnot, while the kids fried brain cells watching cartoons between short bursts of outdoor activity. It was a cranky evening for all of us but we survived.

The tracking continues to go well. The biggest thing is that I'm still doing it. Tonight was a little touch-and-go for a moment when I was on the couch with a bag of potato chips (leftover for our 4th party). I had some, put the clip back on, took it off, had some more - you know the routine. And then I had the thought, "I can't stop eating these." I recognized this as a sabotaging thought that basically gives me permission to keep eating them. So I responded with, "Hey, maybe put them back in the cupboard, that would probably help you to stop eating them." So I did, and then I made myself a cup of tea. So far, so good. I logged the chips and that put me 16 calories over for the day. I'll take it.

Ok, so I stayed up ridiculously late last night, don't want to repeat that, gotta go to bed. Thanks for reading.

Four on the 4th + Tons of Fun!

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Oh wow, what a weekend so far. I think I packed more into yesterday than in the rest of the week combined. The day started with my talking myself out of bed to do the annual 4th of July Firecracker Run. I've done this run the past few years so for me it's become something a 4th of July tradition I guess.

I told myself I could run easy and that I'd feel better about all the holiday eating if I started the day with this run. I met up with a few fellow runners from Marin Tri Club and my friend Jackie (who's guest blogged here before). Here we are, pre-race. That's a pretty weird face I'm making.

Vince, me, Jennifer, Nancy and Jackie
For some reason they didn't have us sing the national anthem like they usually do. So the race got underway with a little less fanfair than usual but the point is, we got our butts moving. The route starts out following where the town parade will start in a couple hours so there's people out and we get a few cheers here and there, which are nice.

I didn't have my Garmin on, only my heart rate monitor, so I couldn't give a quick glance to check my pace. Jackie and I ran together for a little while, which was nice. But the hills, ugh. I still don't understand why they route a holiday fun run up all those damn hills. At mile one I checked my time, 9:08, or somewhere around there. Holy crap, I'm running fast! I decided not to check my watch at future mile markers, it would just mess with my head.

If I were still running fast, I'd use that as a warning sign for being too tired and slow down. If I were running slow, I'd figure I might as well take it easy and run even slower. Either way, I guessed it would slow me down to look. And since this race was so short I didn't really need to worry about bonking. I remember in past years really working hard during that last 1/2 mile and this was no different.

I ran toward the finish line (which they moved and I swear the course must have been a bit over 4 miles because they moved it like a half block away) and saw the time, 39-something. Yes! Under 10-minute miles!! I was happy. My watch said 39:22, my official time was 39:26.5 for a 9:52 pace. Awe-some. I was 14/23 in my age group and 82/130 overall. Not in the top 50% in either category. Damn these local runners are fast!

Got my finisher's cup!
After the race I hustled home to get the kids ready for the parade. Our other annual tradition is walking in the parade with my local mother's club. I've been doing it since Marek was just 4 months old. I think I might have missed one year.

We're ready for the parade!
This year Marek really got into it, he was handing out candy like he was the mayor! And what's with that pose? Isn't he a little young to be "cool"??

Marek (and a buddy in the wagon), Me, my buddy Michelle (waving) and Ms Myra
After the parade we had to hustle home because we were hosting a little 4th of July shindig. Nothing fancy, just a few friends over for a little bbq and kiddie pool action. Oh my goodness, I had the most wonderful day. The kids are at an age where they played all afternoon with their buddies. A hot dog, a few chips, an assist with the swim clothes and my job was done.

I spent almost the entire remainder of the day sitting on my rumpus drinking and eating and catching up with friends. Perfection. Oh, and I wore a bikini (top anyway, I wore shorts on the bottom). I felt naked for a little while, I mean, it's not like I was at a beach. But it was hot and we had the kiddie pool out so, why not, right?

That night after the kids were in bed I started thinking about snacking. I had the old, "Well, you've already eaten a ton of calories, might as well do what you want" f-ed up line of thinking. But did I fall for that? No. "Go to bed, it's true you indulged a lot today, which is fine, it's a holiday, and if you go to bed, you'll feel fine about how much and what you ate. But if you sit up eating a bunch of crap right now, when you're not the slightest bit hungry, that you will not feel good about. And you want to wake up feeling good, because you had a great day." It worked. I went to bed.

And I was right, I woke up feeling fine about my choices. The bbq chicken, the chips, the cookies, the wine, the sugary vodka drinks, all of it. But had I sat up eating goldfish crackers or kid granola bars or whatever other crap I would've eaten, no, not good. And this morning, I got up, started my day, and posted this to my FB page.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Wait, I did say it. Ha!

So today we hung around the house, enjoying absolutely no plans. I organized toys, went through the massive pile of mail, and I logged another great day. And when Myra came up and asked me to dance, I danced. I almost went to the gym this afternoon but I decided my body probably needed rest. So I'm all ready to go on a run in the morning. Oh crap, it's already morning. It's closing in on 1am. That's what happens when you start blogging while watching a Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy, you lose track of time. Ugh, I'm off to bed. Oh, and guess what? No evening snacking tonight! Winning!!