Thursday, September 30, 2010

Consistency when faced with challenges

Today was a really busy day.

I had chosen to "sleep in" until 5:30 instead of going to workout at 4:45 in exchange for going to work early and working through lunch in order to leave early and go to the gym before picking up the kids and meeting a friend with all our kids for dinner.

However, as some days go, my day ran late and I didn't leave the office until after 4pm and had to stop once to take care of an email  - and with my commute, I didn't end up at the gym/changed and ready to work out until 4:45 (was meeting my friend at 5:45 and still had to pick up my kids in between).

Normally- I would have just said forget it and done something else to fill the time because if I could not do the WHOLE thing, then why do any of it?

The "new" mindset I have chose the better path - I decided that my strength training workout would take about 40 minutes if I really went at my normal pace. So- I cut one exercise out of the circuit and moved just slightly faster through my reps. Not breakneck speed, but a quick pace. I did this for 2 reasons- to get my heart rate up a bit more and also to get through it. I managed to finish the routine in about 32 minutes. I didn't get my normal ab work or cardio in- but it was better than doing nothing.

After dinner with the kids and getting some other things completed- I did my ab routine - and still feel that I got the full benefit of it. So, today I missed my cardio- but I still think i'll be just fine.

It feels good to know that I make the time, no matter what.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

They Can't All Be Great. . .

It would be easy to only talk about those runs or workouts where it all goes well and perfectly, but that't not real. We all know how frustrating a bad workout can be. I'm glad that I've been consistent enough to know that it is just one bad run and not something that will continue forever.

With the major cooloff that we've had here- I was excited to go running after work yesterday- but I either started off too fast, just felt sluggish or a combo of both- but between the shortness of breath (that was from running too fast at the start) and just a mental block- I did more walking than I would have liked.

Walking is still fitness too- especially when you're walking at a very brisk pace - my overall average pace was still 12:43mm - I just need to be consistent again.

I have a 5K coming up on November 6 - and I'd really like to run the whole thing and set a personal record for my 5K time.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall has arrived!

I am so excited that Fall has finally decided to present itself in Indiana - I thought those high-80 and 90 degree temps would never leave! This coming week is supposed to be highs just near 70- and I am loving that. I am planning a run for after work tomorrow and I am already looking forward to it.

This was a great weekend - started with a great workout with our trainer at the gym followed by an awesome spinning workout. I felt really pumped all day and even though my upper back was sore (but in a good way) from the weights workout - I felt very strong. We got some cleaning done in the house and then decided to go out for dinner. While that was an adventure all its own with 2 kids, we had a great night and then tried to come home and watch a movie- but I fell asleep. . .

Sunday- we got up and had breakfast and then I took my oldest daughter to the park to play. There were a bunch of older (10-12 yr old) kids on the big playground - but she wasn't at all deterred. My biggest issue with it is that they showed no regard for her petite size OR her petite ears - I could not believe the mouths on these kids! The worst part is that the things they were saying were things you learn at home, and no where else. Really sad. But after chasing my daughter around for awhile trying to make sure she didn't get run over by these kids - we went to another playground at this park and it was better- no other kids to run her over.
Then I chased her from tree to tree in dead sprints to "race" her and took pictures of her while she tossed leaves in the air:

After we came home and had lunch, I headed back out to our yard to cut down some overgrowth next to our garage and some ivy that crept around our back fence - with a new baby this year, yard work seriously suffered. I worked until I broke a great sweat and trimmed tree limbs and sheared bushes - it was great.

I came in and tried a new recipe - Apricot Dijon Porkloin - very healthy, very low cal and it was SO good and so easy to make. I co-roasted with with some fingerling potatoes and it was an awesome dinner. Add in a little clothes folding, a little football and a lot of family time - This makes Lola a happy girl! :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Self Talk- the Good, the Bad and the SHUT UP and Run!

Sluggish days - we all have them.
I've got 2 kids who never seem to both sleep all night on the same nights - so sluggish? yeah, I got that.

Monday was one of those days- we'd had a rough Sunday night with the teething 10 month old and then the subsequent waking of the near 4 yr old by that 10 month old. I think I was up 3x between midnight and 4 a.m. I finally got a little rest and got up at 6 for work.

By the time it was 3pm, I had hit a wall - hard. I was so sleepy and tired and then the voices. You know the ones:

"Don't run, just eat cake" or "You are so tired, you really should rest (and eat cake!) or, my personal fave "You'll never keep this up- just eat cake and give up already!"

So- at 3:45 I told myself to SHUT UP. Really. I said it out loud - "Emily, SHUT UP and GO". I knew it was supposed to be in the mid to upper 80s outside, but I had not been out of my office all day. So I wasn't sure if I would go run outside or do the treadmill or maybe spin bike for awhile. Once I had my clothes changed and stepped outside- it was warm but there was a wonderful, consistent breeze that made it very comfortable and I KNEW this was a run outside kind of day.

I told myself I'd take it easy, start off walking and run when it felt right and walk just the same. Sometimes- the music just really moves you - you think you're just going to stroll along until THAT song comes on, that one that makes you just have to pump it- have to boogie- have to MOVE! For me - that song has recently been Eminem's "Till I Collapse" - it's kind of my own personal running mantra.

This is not an official video- but wanted to share it if you're not familiar.

So I started running- then I walked and then I ran and then I walked - back and forth like this. But I was running - and then I'd get out of breath and start to walk for a bit to recover. I really tried holding myself back on pace so that I wouldn't be out of breath- but I think, as I've been cross-training, my speed has naturally picked up and my lungs are still catching up. It turns out- that even with lots of walk breaks- my pace was under a 12 min mile - and most running portions were about 9.5mm pace - I can hardly believe that I'm building towards being able to run a sub-10 minute mile. There WILL be a party when that happens.

One more thing - we took progress measurements at the gym this past week (it's been 6 weeks). I've lost greater than 6 inches total - but more importantly, I lost 2 inches in my waist and 2.5 in my hips. The scale has started to move (albeit slowly) again - so things are starting to go the right direction again!

Friday, September 10, 2010

~Why I Run~

Twitter. I love it for the many people you meet and share ideas or opposing views with - and I love when something someone says or asks makes you really think.

The question was (and I'm paraphrasing here):
"I don't understand running - it's hard, it hurts and it's boring. Why do you run?"

At first I puffed up my chest to say "Well, well, because. . .it's because. . . I mean, uh. . . " In my quick attempt to defend my new found hobby, I had to stop myself and really reflect on WHY I run.

I think that most people run for some similar reasons, but the individual drivers or motivations may be very different. I'm going to share some of mine - and I'd love to hear about yours (or, if you're so inclined, why you DISLIKE it so much).
  • I started running originally (on my first Couch-to-5K attempt in 2004) as a means to an end. To lose weight. I had just become serious about losing weight and signed up for the Indianapolis OneAmerica Mini Marathon. I quickly lost about 30 lbs and *BOOM* got pregnant with my oldest daughter. I did not do the race that year.
  • I re-started running in January 2009 to work on losing the rest of the weight I had gained with my first pregnancy (which was WAY too much!). I lost 26 lbs (still had 15 "baby" lbs to go after that) and *WHAM* pregnant again.
  • At 7 months pg with my 2nd daughter- I agreed to run the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay in June 2010 and I mapped out my training schedule to begin on January 4, 2010 (6 weeks after giving birth).
    • With this pregnancy, I gained a good amount of weight- but not nearly as much as the first and that was very helpful in the end! About 2 months after I had my youngest, the pregnancy weight was gone- still had 15 lbs to get to pre-kids weight.
but I digress. . .
  • I started with the Couch-to-5K program again. Keep in mind - I was very heavy, had adult-onset asthma and a newborn and a 3 yr old at home. But I didn't make it an option to quit.
  • I kept up with my training and though I didn't run the full mileage of my 3 legs in Utah, I ran more than I really would have expected.
After the Ragnar - I was a little burnt out on training and running - I had been so laser focused for that that I needed a break. That's when I backed off from running and added in strength training and swimming and elliptical (and other cardio) - moving on to spinning and others. What I found shocked the hell out of me - I MISSED running! I added it back into my rotation and now run 2-3 times a week. My mileage has backed way off - some days I run 4+ miles, some days it's around 2 - but I enjoy it and it makes me feel great!

I know that's a lot of background for the meat of this. . . .but. . . .I run:
- to strengthen my heart
- to lose weight
- to chase my kids better
- to improve my lung function (I hardly, if ever, use an inhaler anymore, just a daily Singulair)
- to compliment my strength training
- to prove to myself that I CAN run, when I always told myself "I CAN'T"
- to be an example to my kids that running is good
- to strengthen my bones and fight off osteoporosis (did you know that the 'jarring' of the bones stimulates the marrow and in turn causes the bones to get stronger?)
- to feel the wind and sun on my face (or the rain, or the snow- it all has it's place)
- to be the exception to the rule (nobody expects the "big girl" to really run - I've always liked to prove people wrong)
- to meet new people (through running clubs or races)
There are lots of other reasons- but I want to see what else others add. . .(and please do add- whether you read this the day it was posted or years from now- SHARE!)

Yes, it hurt when I started. Yes, I got shin splints and hip pain and back pain and chafing. But I climb stairs without huffing/puffing, I stand up straighter, I walk proudly - RUNNING has brought this out of me.

Yes- it can be accomplished through other forms of exercise- but running is the catalyst for me opening my mind to other forms and for rediscovering things (i.e. swimming) I forgot how much I loved.

That's why I run.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Making it count.

I've been quiet- not avoiding my blog, just so busy with other things that I haven't taken the time to journal it all. And aside from just listing my workouts and some accomplishments along the way- I wanted to wait until I had something to say.

It has been a long time since I actively and routinely had strength training as a part of my life. The last time I did was 7 years ago while I was engaged to my husband. About halfway through our wedding planning- we dropped our gym/trainer membership because of cost and time - we both put on weight (me more, of course- because he eats, I gain) and then the rest is history. However, when we were at that gym and working out together, I felt good- was wearing a pair of my then "skinny" jeans and it was great.

After fairly easily losing 60 lbs from Nov 2009 to July 2010- I hit a plateau. I had a very difficult time getting the scale to move at all, up or down. I played with the same .2-.5 lb every other week. Then we started working 1x a week with a trainer at our gym. Originally, I was against this set up- because at this particular gym, I thought it would be a very one-size fits all mentality with muscle-bulk being the core goal. I'm happy to say I was very wrong. As something we can do together, my husband and I are now going 1x a week together for joint training at the gym. Our programs and exercises are very different and our trainer is a very good match for us- motivating but also pushes us in our individual ways. He's also inspirational- 61 years old and in incredible shape. If one (or both) of us is in the gym and not in a session with him- he's happy to help us with something or give us some ideas on what else we should do. He's working my core in ways I didn't know possible. I'm feeling ab muscles I haven't felt since I don't even know when.

5 weeks of strength training - 3 sessions with the trainer so far. I finally was able to lose 1 full lb last week - and I'm hoping for good/similar results this week as well. I will then be confident that I am breaking this plateau. This coming Saturday-we retake measurements to see our progress. I can't wait.

Oh, and those "skinny jeans" from 7 years ago? Today- I pulled them on and zipped them up with no problem. Guess I'm going to have to find a new goal. . . .