Monday, March 25, 2013

Training Progress Update

I am sad to say that I officially didn’t start my training until March 11th, not the 4th, like I had originally planned (the day I bought the shoes). And in those 2 weeks, I have only completed the first 2 days of the Couch to 5K Training.

The main positive thing is that I have at least started. I have the shoes, I have done runs, and I have officially signed up for the 5K! And although I haven’t been doing the runs on the program, I have at least been taking 2 separate 10-15 minute breaks during the work day (one before and one after lunch) to do some speed walking in my office basement. It’s air conditioned and there’s usually no one else down there. So at least I get some exercise, and I earn a Point each time. Plus, it breaks up sitting down at a desk all day. And if I have an hour lunch, I walk for the last 20-30 minutes of it.

So it’s not all bad - I am raising my heart rate 2-3 times a day by speed-walking around for 10 minutes (sometimes I add an exercise to lunch, if I am done eating). And I burn around 50-60 calories each time. I’ve been wearing my running shoes when I do that, so I can get used to being in them, and hopefully my leg and feet muscles get used to them as well. (Plus, walking in my work shoes could really kill me!!) I can usually get my heart rate up from about 90 to around 120-130 during the quick walks, and I can feel the onset of sweating, without actually doing so. I would feel disgusting after lunch if I ran or did an actual workout, so with these walks, I at least get some benefit to it.

I have had a few slip-ups– I do great during the day at work, because I have to structure my eating and walking around my work schedule. I can’t just sit and gorge out on food for an hour if I have a half hour lunch, for example, or overeat if I only brought 2 items in for lunch. And then when I get home, I have a fridge, freezer and cabinets of temptation and possibilities.

But, overall, I’m eating better and exercising more than I was 2 weeks ago, so I can’t be discouraged. I’m doing something, and that’s better than nothing.

Good news update:

- I weighed myself on the morning of the 11th, then the 18th, and again this morning, and even though I haven’t really stuck to the running program, I’m down about 6 lbs from my first weigh in!! I would say being down 2-3 isn’t a big deal because sometimes you can fluxuate that much in a day! But being down 6 means that I’ve lost about 2-3 lbs a week with just diet (even with the cheating!) – imagine what getting back into exercise regularly will do!!!

- Zach and I recently went on a 2 ½ hour hike the first weekend of my training, and I ended up “earning” 8 Weight Watchers activity points! That’s huge!!! That’s like a breakfast or lunch amount of points! We celebrated after at a brewery, but I kept myself to 1 beer, and 2 small chicken BBQ sliders (and perhaps some chips with homemade salsa). But I felt good about it!

- During the hike with Zach, he made a comment to the effect of “I am looking forward to climbing a ton of 14ers with you this summer”. This is very encouraging to me, because he wants to do more active things with me, and that he is planning on taking me on several of those climbs. So I have more motivation to get into and stay in shape!

So, all in all, it’s been an emotional up and down week with all the times I “cheated”, but since I mostly stuck to the program and I’ve seen a little progress, I’m excited to finally buckle down and do it for real and see a BIG improvement!

I follow a trainer on Facebook, and she always posts the best motivational pictures, and I really loved this one (helped me keep somewhat on track last week) -

Monday, March 11, 2013



I haven't run yet.  It's been a week since I got my new shoes, and while I've worn them around the house and out and about, I haven't done any actual running.

I also haven't been eating as well as I'd like.  I do great during the day, and then I get home from work, and it all goes out the window.  (Most likely because I'm at work so I don't have access to as much food as I do at home.)  And then today, I've already had a large coffee with probably too much creamer, and a bagel with cream cheese!  The bagel alone was 10 Weight Watchers Points Plus!!!!  Why didn't I just eat half?? I know better!!

Finally, I was planning on signing up for my 5K on Friday because it was PayDay - and I haven't signed up for it yet.  The deadline to sign up before the price increases is this coming Friday, so I'm ok there, but I'm still waiting to do my budget for the month before I actually sign up.

I am VERY disappointed in myself.  I am showing no self-discipline or self control in any of the areas I really need to - weight, money and training for my 5K.

So tonight - No more excuses.

First thing, I will start my running program.  Then, I will eat a 7 pt or less dinner (because sadly that's all I will have left at this point in the day without going into my extra points for the week).  Finally, I will sit down with my laptop, do my budget and sign up for that 5K.

It's time to make myself be a grown-up.  I don't think I've really been this mad at myself in a long time.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

And so it begins...again...

I’m excited to get started. That's surprising, and not surprising at the same time.  Each time I started training for a new race, I would be very excited and motivated.  Then, when the deadline passed and I was done, I would be relieved. So I expect something similar to happen this time, but since I'm also trying to stick to Weight Watchers again, hopefully I will see more/different results, and maybe stick to running again, for good!

Today is the official start day of my training. I will be starting out with my old running shoes, and on a treadmill, to start to get my body used to running again. I work with a guy, Shawn, who managed a Sports Authority store and who knows a great deal about sports and athletic equipment, and he told me that my new shoes are really meant to make you feel like you are running barefoot, so the first few times people run in them, their feet REALLY hurt. It is meant to use and work foot muscles people hardly ever use, and it usually takes people some time to get used to. He suggested I wear them around for a few days to start to get used to them, so I will wear them around my apartment, and possibly out running errands, etc.

Since I’m definitely not prepared to start running “barefoot”, let alone run at all (since it’s been a year and a half!), I plan on starting training with my old running shoes to slowly let my feet and my body get used to running again. Then, by the time I start to get familiar with running again, I will switch to the Merrell’s and hopefully it will be less of a drastic adjustment than if I had just started in them. Yea, hopefully…

Shawn also mentioned that you do not want to run literally barefoot in the Merrell’s Barefoot shoes, because you will quickly wear down the muscles and bones on the bottom of your foot. He suggested some kind of athletic sock with a small amount of padding in it, avoiding any cotton ones, if possible. I recently got some socks with the support padding in them, but they might just be cotton – that would mean that the more I run and the more my feet sweat, the soggier and more uncomfortable they might become. Fortunately, I don’t think it will be that unbearable for the first few times, and he said he might be able to get me some “free samples” from his old job for me!! That would be really nice!

Friday is PayDay, so I plan on officially registering for the Glow Run on Friday. Then there’s really no turning back!! I will have to start looking through my clothes and even discount clothing stores to see if I can find some clothes that will help me “glow” even more during the race! Fortunately, I have just under 2 months to search, so that’s plenty of time to find something cute!

I am going to try to run everyday. I am following the Couch to 5K program again, and they recommend resting between a few of the runs to allow time for the body to recover. However, it’s a 9 week program, and they usually suggest taking a week or two after to run the full 5K length, before doing a race. I have less than 9 weeks to get ready – I can’t do that! So I will do my best to run every day, knowing that there might be a day or two in between where I won’t be able to for whatever reason, and then I should be on track for the run April 27th. My friend, Dawn, who will be doing the race with me, told me that this one really is more of a “Fun Run”, and most people will be walking or just having a good time for the most part anyway, so there shouldn’t be pressure to run this entire race – I should just let it be a good way to ease back into running.

I plan on using the treadmill during the weekday runs, since it’s very convenient (within walking distance!) and that will help with my work schedule and any personal events. Then, on the weekends, when I will have a little more time to allow for transportation and getting ready for any personal events, like showering after, I will do my best to run outside. Parks, trails, maybe even around my parent’s neighborhood, where I used to run. The shoes I got are apparently really great on trails, and I really should take advantage of the great scenery where I am, so I really feel I should do them good and run on a few trails now and then!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Back in Shape!!

I’ve seriously been thinking about getting back to running – I’m definitely out of shape, and back where I weighed before I did Weight Watchers around 2010. I lost 22 pounds on the program, and I felt and looked much better than I do now. I could blame it on breaking up with a terrible ex-boyfriend and meeting a new guy and putting on the new relationship pounds over the past 2-3 years. But, I’ve always heard that there’s nothing to blame but myself. I knew I liked how I looked and felt about myself and how clothes fit me, and I just stopped.

I do remember how I did at least like having something to do when I had to do a “run” on the Couch to 5K program. Or every time I read an article on Dean Karnazes, I think “I wish I really had that desire to run; people who do it all the time seem to really love it, and I want to have that”. And every time Zach goes ski mountaineering, or skiing, or climbs a 14er, I think “wow I’m just really lazy. I don’t have anything like that. I want something like that”.

And running, I can do. I've done it before, and I’m still proud of it. So why not do it again?

Not that my life isn’t going well with a great boyfriend, a place to live, and a new job, but I really feel like I need something to make me feel good about myself again. Everyone seems to have their “thing”… And I don’t have one. Not to mention, my last home was in a flat neighborhood – so why didn’t I run there? And even though my apartment complex is in a very hilly neighborhood, they have a workout room with treadmills – why haven’t I run there? And, my new job even has a gym with treadmills – I should run there!!

Color Me Rad” is a run coming up in June that during the 5K, at different points of the race, the runners are pelted with brightly colored powder. It’s very similar to The Color Run which is a race I’ve always wanted to do. I really would like to do it with someone though, or at least have someone there to cheer me on! Zach doesn’t run, and I don’t really know anyone who runs just yet, so I just have to think about it. Plus, I really should be more active and it would be fun to do outdoor activities with him, so it would help me get into shape for climbing some 13ers and 14ers this summer! Which, surprisingly, I’m really looking forward to.

So I posted a request on a friend’s Facebook page to see if she wanted to do the “Color Me Rad” run with me. She was actually the person who initially inspired me to start running – I was doing the employee newsletter, and she had just finished her first marathon! She replied to my post, and instead invited me to do a Glow Run with her at the end of April! That’s barely 2 months away, which seems like a while, but I haven’t done ANY kind of jogging or running since October 2011, so that’s going to be a lot of training. But she is an extremely positive and motivational person, and isn’t taking any of my excuses!

Plus, I got really excited with the exchange I had with her on Facebook, and the Glow Run looks like a lot of fun…and I ran an errand at lunch so now I REALLY have no excuses!!

The only thing left to do is sign up for the run online (before the deadline increases the price!!). And then consider doing the “Color Me Rad” race in June. The first deadline is next Friday, but knowing how long it takes me to make decisions, I won’t make it. And it only goes up $5… so we’ll see.

I am also seriously considering going back on Weight Watchers. It felt really good last time to lose that weight, I already know it works, and I already know it’s going to take 2-3 months to really see some weight loss, and maybe 1 month to start seeing clothes fitting differently. This week I’m giving myself a trial run back on the program, to get back into the rhythm of things. Also, I want to see how it will go with having a new boyfriend, explaining it to him, and especially watching what I’m eating now that we eat out a lot more than I used to. I’m not so open that I would post a before picture just yet – I’d really like to see where the running and eating better get me, and I can post a before and after side by side, so you can really see the difference.