Friday, September 16, 2011

My 40 year old Body

Aren't I a little young to be breaking down all the time?  I'm only 40.  And 40 is the new 30, right?  Well, according to all my 40 year old friends it is :)  Anyway, I woke up yesterday with my back hurting like heck.  I took some tylenol, and later some ibuprofen, and it pretty much hurt all day but at least I could stand up and walk somewhat normally after all the pills.  I was on the fence about going to the gym but finally realized I'd be dumb if I went.  Grrr, I'm so irritated.  I feel like whining like my 2 year old, my baaaaaack huuuurts.

Today (Friday) was a bit better and I was planning to go to the gym.  According to my schedule I should ride the bike and do legs and shoulders for strength training - nothing that would be too hard on my back.  But Miguel talked me out of it.  "What's one more day?  If you go and hurt yourself more you'll be out for longer."  Ok, I was a bit tired, it's Friday, and I mostly agreed with him so today was day 3 with no gym.  Speaking of no gym, today was weigh-in Friday.  Another ugh.  I am up 1.4 pounds from two weeks ago.  My body is definitely doing the two steps forward, one step back thing.  This is the second week in a row with no loss.  Two more weeks like this and it's back to Weight Watchers for me.

Prior to the back fiasco things were going well.  As you may recall I had a fabulous workout on Sunday.  On Monday I rode the bike and did back/biceps for strength training.  On Tuesday I did c25k, Week 6/Day 1 on the treadmill.  Oh, here's more news.  When I started my run on Tuesday it was hard.  I couldn't figure out why it was so much harder on the treadmill than when I'm outside.  I realized I probably run slower outside.  So I slowed down the pace from 5.0 mph to 4.7 mph.  Much better.  But I hated it.  I want to run a 12 minute mile for crying out loud!  How much slower can I get?  I read somewhere that the definition of running (vs. walking) is when there is at least some point during the stride that both feet are off the ground at the same time. Hmph, I wonder if that happens at 4.7 mph.  Why do I let these things even enter my head?  As if this working out and trying to lose weight thing weren't hard enough I have to go around looking for ways in which I am inadequate.  What was that John Bingham quote??
"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run."
Of course, I'm not sure if I meet the exact definition of running and without a video of myself I'm not sure how I could know (I certainly could not trust someone else to tell me, "yes, both your feet are off the ground at the same time for a millisecond").  But really, how ridiculous is this conversation I'm having with myself right now?  Ack, stop, stop, stop.  I am a runner because I run.  I run, I run, I run.  I know John Bingham would agree with me

I am 99% sure I am going to the gym tomorrow, even if it's just to do my cardio on the bike.  The air at the gym does something good for my brain so I need to get there no matter what.

On the eating front I'm trying something sort of different.  I eat Special K Protein Plus for breakfast sometimes and I was reading the back of the box.  It suggests eating their cereal (there's a shocker!) for two meals a day to kick-start weight loss.  They suggest breakfast and lunch but dinner makes more sense to me since dinner (and after) has been when I'm overdoing it lately.  So, as I feel like I could use something like a kick-start I decided to eat that for dinner for a week just to see what happens.  I might not always eat it for breakfast (I love my Grape Nuts too!) but if I can stick to eating that (and only that) for dinner I might nudge some of this fat off my body.  Lunch will be the biggest meal of my day, which I've heard is better anyway, and I'll be sure to have a late afternoon snack, I don't want to slow my metabolism down by not eating enough.  #1 - I'm curious to learn if I can even stick to it.  It's only a week so hopefully I can.  #2 - I hope it will help me break some of my after dinner snacking habits I've fallen into lately.  #3 - Maybe I will actually lose some weight??

I'm beat.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Running Down a Dream

What can a single workout do for you?  Can it vanquish self-doubt?  Can it re-light that fire of motivation?  Can it turn that frown upside down?  Yes, yes and yes!  If you can't already tell I had a fabulous workout today.  I was home with the kids this morning while Miguel played soccer.  I've been struggling with a lack of control in my eating and that, coupled with the consequent weight gain, has left me feeling a little off track. Also, because Miguel wasn't able to come home until after dark (gym was closed and too dark/too tired to run) I didn't get to exercise at all yesterday.  For the first time maybe since I started I only went to the gym four times last week.  Well, after a killer workout I am firmly back on track.

This morning when Miguel came home from soccer  I promptly changed into my cycling clothes to ride my bike to the gym.  This is the third time since I started back that I've gone over a biggish hill between my house and the gym.  This is the first time I didn't have to use my mental hill tricks to get up and over it.  Being on my bike felt incredible.  I got to the gym and decided that, despite my Week 6/Day 2 stumble this past Thursday, I would forge ahead with Week 6/Day 3 (26 minute run, no walk breaks).  I got on the treadmill and after a short warmup walk I started jogging.  Just thinking about 26 minutes on the treadmill made me bored as soon as I started.  By the time I got to the 1 minute mark I had decided to do my run outside.

The temperate weather felt perfect for a run as I headed out the door.  I jogged around the neighborhood surrounding my gym while I took in the beautiful trees, flowers and fresh air.  I even chose to go up a little hill.  There is almost no comparison to running outside vs. the treadmill.  When you're outside you can pace yourself accordingly, you get the distraction of the outdoors and the time just flies by.  I didn't even have to think about a walk break, the 26 minutes went by like that [snap].  I got back to the gym feeling great!

I briefly considered re-arranging my strength training routine since legs and shoulders were due up.  Considering that I rode my bike there (and would need to ride it home) and did a 26 minute run I thought working my legs might be pushing it.  Ah, what the heck, let's push it!  I worked my legs and shoulders but I did decide to skip the 5 minutes of stair climbing I usually do at the end.  I was feeling the effects of all the exercise but I also knew I had plenty left in the tank for my ride home.  I left the gym and cruised on home, my legs were fine, and I even sort of wished I had more riding to do.

Now that is a good way to start the week.  My eating has been good today, I had a bowl of Special K Protein Plus for breakfast and a 1/2 of a PB&J for lunch (on some seriously hearty whole grain bread and I'm generous with the peanut butter on my sandwiches).  I also had an AccelGel.  When I got home I ate a banana and still felt hungry so I had some tortilla chips and hummus.  I even weighed the chips to make sure I only got one serving.

Ladies (and possibly gentleman?)...I am back!  I am ready to face this week, I am ready to overturn my weight gain from last week, I am ready to train for the sprint triathlon.  I am even ready to deal with my toddler's tantrums.  Wait, that might be going too far, I'm never ready for that.

Speaking of triathlons. I called about wetsuit rentals and learned it is $25 per week or $50 per month.  My plan is to rent one soon for a week and do a practice swim.  Depending on how that goes I will rent it again for either the month or week before the triathlon.  It is now roughly 7 weeks, or 55 days, before the sprint distance Marin Triathlon.  Can I do it?  Oh yes, I have no doubt.

I can't close without recognizing the date, 9/11.  10 years since that day.  I will never forget.