To say I'm surprised is an understatement. Me and my lil' ol' ramblings here. ;)
Thanks Fran for informing me and THANKS Broken Hearted Runner for including me on your list. There are some AMAZING blogs listed there and I'm honoured.
Recently I've mentioned a few times that I had been struggling with eating too much, incessant hunger, and of course the expected weight gain.
I've been actively trying to lose a little more weight again since Boxing Day. Two weeks later I was down 2 lbs and happy about that. In the next eight days that followed I gained 5 pounds. FIVE FRICKIN' POUNDS ... in EIGHT days.
For those eight days I could not stop eating. I was ALWAYS hungry. My choices were NOT optimal. However, even with the extra I was eating, I knew that in 8 days I did not consume an extra 17,500 calories above what my body needs (approx 3500 calories equals a 1 pound weight change).
Now, I kinda had it in the back of my mind that hormones might have been playing a little role here. Typically, I'm not THAT affected by those things. In the last while though I have been.
And wouldn't you know it ... a few days later - WHAM! Intense hunger - gone! I literally woke up one morning last week and felt human again. Normal food levels are satisfying me ... and my weight dropped SEVEN pounds in 4 days. CRAZY!
That leaves me 4 lbs down in a month, which is ironically exactly what I was hoping for. But what a rollercoaster ride along the way. The loss is great, but I sure hope it doesn't have to be such a wild ride each month. That would take some getting used to.
I placed 4th out of 12 in my age group, and 8th woman overall. Not so bad I guess.
Comparing times to last year it would seem the majority of runners were 1:30 - 3:00 slower this year compared to previous years. I already pretty much knew the course conditions were a huge contributor to my 50 seconds slower, but it's kind of nice to know that it affected many others by at least this much too.
The next race is Feb 6th and I know that course will definitely have good conditions. We'll see what I bring to that one.
Yesterday I took a rest day. My legs were definitely tired from the race. Also, my son had a soccer game last night that was awesome so I'm glad I didn't miss it. I'm sure going to be sad when he's not playing next year. :(
On another note ... does anyone know if the sun still exists? Or has it become extinct? I've seen nothing but gray since I don't know when. YUCK!
Sunday was race #2 in the trail series I'm doing. For me it's the toughest course of this series. And today some of the footing was insanely horrid.
We lined up for the start and the race director informed us "there is water out there, you can't avoid it so don't even try."
Hmmmm .. apparently he hasn't met stubborn Heidi. :) Does he not know that I havee pretty much BRAND NEW SHOES ON!!! I can't be getting those babies soaked to the bone. I knew they'd get muddy, but soaked ... I don't think so. I actually looked at my husband and said "Wanna go home?" I was half joking, half serious - not that he'd ever let me leave - LOL.
So, race starts and I got a clean break. Last year at this race I got caught in a mob. Really throughout the whole race I had my own space which was great. My pace was a little slower than I would have liked to start, but it was steady and I figured I could hold it throughout the whole thing.
This route goes along a crushed gravel path that is slightly soft packed as it's a shared horse trail. Just after the 3K mark you turn off this trail to a single track narrow dirt trail. Quite narrow, fairly slippery, some logs to jump over or duck under. There were a few little puddles but nothing worth the description the race director gave us - until ......
About the 4K mark the trail is completely closed in with blackberry bushes, grasses and trees on both sides. There is nowhere to go except through the trail. Suddenly in front of us is the mother of all puddles. My sweet, dear, loves-me-without-question husband stops, squats down and instructs me to HOP ON.
He CARRIED me through the muddy part. And when I say muddy, understand that we're talking 8" or deeper swamp puddles with deep, soft, slippery mud and tree roots ... for about 150 feet. He didn't even hesitate and I didn't ask him to do it ... nor did I turn down his offer either!
After that section it was super muddy for another 1/2 Km. We were slipping everywhere and I'm still shocked I didn't go down. There was some walking required to get through safely, alot of very careful tip toeing. Certainly not ideal conditions.
And once you broke out of the muddy single track trail and came back onto the gravel horse trail ... up you go. Though the more I run that hill, the easier it gets. The first year it nearly killed me, today it just slowed me down some.
And when you get to the top ... you get to do it all again. Yep, that's right, two loops through the mud bog ... and hubby carried me both times. Can you say love??? Can you say awwww?
My time was slower than last year by 50 seconds, but I'm not surprised. I had hoped to improve, but given the conditions I'm pleased. It was not the day to PR on this course.
If you ask any of my family or close friends I think I could pretty much bet my kid's lives on them all including the word "stubborn" when describing me. I know my Mom & sister will be laughing and nodding their heads frantically when they read this.
I am stubborn. Though stubborn isn't always bad. ;) Sometimes I'm bad stubborn, but sometimes I'm good stubborn. If I really believe in something strongly you'd need a bulldozer to move me, and even then good luck!
Since I've been struggling so much lately I once again pulled out a bunch of my old journals and poured over them last night. Back in 2001 (yes, I've been at this a while), I had a ton of success - so I concentrated my efforts there.
What struck me was that for months and months and months I stayed within my Weight Watchers points range. I was eating substantially less food/points than I am now, and it was enough. I was exercising at a pretty high level then too - not quite as high, but close enough. And you know what? I was just fine. I didn't die of starvation. I remember being comfortably full and rarely ever feeling hungry. I had plenty of energy. And I lost weight.
There is absolutelynoreason for me to be eating as much as I have been lately. I DO NOT need that much food! Time to apply this strong personality trait to this area of my life. I'm starting to get mad and that's gonna fuel this fire.
Lately I have been SO unbelievably hungry. Especially the last two weeks I'm just ravenous, HUGE hunger pains. Not just twinges or cravings, but pain. I think I'm getting adequate protein, fibre, fat and all that, but yet I feel like I'm constantly starving. Even with my activity level I'm eating way too much because I can't seem to feel any fullness. And I've gained weight like crazy this last week. Sure hoping it has something to do with hormones and it balances itself out SOON! I could use a few more fresh veggies maybe (though I am still reaching the minimum) ... which leads me to my next point.
Why does fresh produce have to be so stupidly expensive and horrible at this time of year? Broccoli (my favourite) $1.99 per pound. Cucumbers - $1.99 each. Red Pepper - $3.49 per pound. Grapes - $4.59 per pound. Bananas - .89 per pound. I do NOT like frozen produce.
Why does meat have to always be stupidly expensive in Canada?
When, oh when, will my local Walmart finally finish becoming a mini Super Walmart. They've been working on it for a good year now and it doesn't seem much closer to completion. Walmart, fresh veggies that are usually cheaper than the rest, more groceries to choose from - win-win! HURRY UP ... I'm getting IM-PA-TIENT!
Tonight I'm having a movie date night with my treadmill. It's gross and raining. I have no victims friends to run outdoors with. I'd have to specifically drive to a safe neighborhood to run. So it'll be me, 7 or 8 miles with a little speedwork, and a chick flick. I'm thinking Charlie St. Cloud might be a good one.
At one of my most recent massage sessions, my therapist recommended that I do ice baths to help reduce swelling & inflammation from a long run.
I don't think I quite got the concept down.
First I'm gonna back up.
Friday night - 7 miles including 2 x 2 mile pace intervals and 4 sets of strides ... all while watching a movie on the laptop that I rigged up on a stand in the gym. YAY me! The movie was so-so (Juno), but I was rather proud of my set-up and I am actually looking forward to the next long-ish session on the treadmill.
Saturday - did a nice, easy pace 2.6 miles outdoors. I have not run outdoors in so long and it felt so great. Though I had to keep forcing myself to slow down as this was supposed to be a very easy run.
Then came Sunday!
My friend is back from her Goofy Challenge and I wanted to run 10 miles with her. In the morning the skies were fully open and it was downpouring. There was no way I was going out in that and I resigned myself to a movie sesh on the mill.
However in the afternoon it cleared and it looked like we might get a small window. She bootied over to my place and we left pronto. The run felt fantastic!
About halfway through we stopped for my expected "pitstop". A lovely little bushy area alongside a river. The river was high and flowing fast. But, at least it offered me the ability to wash up. I found myself a nice, wide, flat, stable rock right near the edge of the river. Perfect!
I'm standing on said rock and lean over to dunk my hands in. My left toe slips off the rock, and dips into the water. CRAP! My brand new shoes!!!! So I snatch it back as quick as I can to minimalize damage. Of course this causes me to lose balance and I plunge forward.
My right hand ... ever so gracefully ... enters the water and I await to hit the riverbed. And I wait. Annndddd I wait. I'm sure it was only a mere second, but it felt like a lifetime. Next thing I know I am entire shoulder deep and my face plunges into the water - just as the foot I was trying to save from getting wet slips in as well, up to about mid calf. Next thing I'm sprawled flat on that wonderful nice, wide, flat, stable rock.
The only thought going through my mind is "Crap, I'm gonna drown and my friends won't even think to look for me for a couple minutes".
I get up and make my way to the top, and am now laughing my shorts off. My friends see me, and notice water dripping from my hat. WTH?! Seriously, the whole event kept me laughing for the next mile or two - which was a good thing because otherwise I would have noticed how disgusting one wet sock and one wet shoulder feels.
I'm guessing THIS is not what my therapist was recommending when he suggested an ice bath.
Today's post is brought to you by an old forgotten favourite sweet snack.
Mmmmm ... jello! Or more specifically ....
Jello and light whip cream!
Last night I was still being beaten down by the sleep deprivation and chose to skip my run for the night and go to bed early. But FIRST ... I decided to plan ahead and make a little sweet snack that I could have in moderation. Four 1/2 cup containers, plus extra for the fam. This is the full strength stuff - no aspartame crap for me!
I'm thinking maybe I need to stop worrying about the fact that I eat something sweet EVERY day. Trying to avoid it just leads to me seeking it out, and usually eating more than I should. Instead I just need to plan for it and just have it each day and enjoy it. No guilt!
Put a stop on the munchie monster yesterday! I knew it would be a bit of a battle with being so tired and all.
I had not packed an adequate lunch, so by early afternoon I was hungry and sent my boss a message begging (half-joking) for some snackies. He spoils me rotten so I wasn't surprised when he came back with yoghurt and a bag of pretzels. I devoured the yoghurt first, then when I felt I was getting carried away with the pretzels I literally threw them across the office to my boss and told him to ban them from me.
When I got home the munchies hit again and I found myself with my hand in a bag of potato chips I found at my MIL's. After a couple of handfuls I shook my head and went and ate an early dinner. I actually recognized that it wasn't true hunger that was fueling the munchies.
After that was the MUCH needed nap, then I squeezed in a short, easy 3.3 mile run before crashing for the night. I'm kinda proud that I didn't let it get out of hand, and that I still fit in my scheduled run.
Today I am still a bit tired, but recovering. I'm sure it will take a couple days to catch up, but I'll get there.
Day 1 of Half Marathon training went well. At first it felt like it would be a little too easy, but halfway through it was just challenging enough. Speedwork rocks!
Tonight is an easy 4 miles. I didn't get enough stretching in last night so that will be a big focus tonight.
I'm am STUPID tired this morning. My husband does snow removal and we got a decent dump last night. However, it was to be followed by rain in the morning and alot of the customers were holding out to see if they could get away with the rain washing away the snow. This meant we were on edge all night, waiting to go - me not going to bed until midnight, my husband finally coming to bed at around 2AM.
Eventually the call to go came at 4:30 AM, which thankfully I was semi-awake to hear as my husband was out cold. For the next hour I could hear him getting everything ready, then I finally got a short sleep that was disrupted by strange dreams, until I got woken up by a phone call from him at 6:30 with a change of plans and things I had to do.
I'd estimate I got maybe 2 hours of restless sleep, if that. Gonna be an early night tonight with maybe a nap. Good thing soccer is cancelled tonight so I don't have anything I have to do.
My only plans tonight are to make dinner, get in my easy run, stretch, and sleep!
Of course, being this tired my munchies are in overdrive. I'm going to have to keep reminding myself that food is not the thing that will give me the energy I need. Chocolate & sugar will NOT help. I just need to get through the day and then catch up on sleep, that's the only thing that will help.
Hello .... my name is Heidi and I am addicted to sugar.
It seems that over and over and over again I fight this war but never seem to get anywhere. I try to kick at it from different angles but never seem to knock it down.
I've challenged myself from certain things (sweet coffee, licorice, bulk candy), and succeeded for the short term, but never the long term. I've learned to enjoy things like tea without any added sugar, but still crave sugar. I've even given things like the South Beach Diet an attempt. This does help, but that sugar monster always comes creeping back in.
Sweet treats have been removed from my grocery lists ... but I'm far from the only sugar addict in my house and even if I don't buy it, it still ends up in my house. Not having it around is not a solution. Somehow I have to tame this on my own and with my own control.
About a week ago I spent some time going over my old journals ... from years and years ago until now. I've kept journals for the majority of the last 10 or so years, so finding patterns is not too hard. Almost EVERY day I have a little somethin' somethin' and some days I have A LOT o' somethin' somethin'. It is my biggest weakness.
Last night was another bad episode. Of course yesterday the hunger monster raged it's ugly head and I just could not feel satisfied, even with a good amount of protein and veggies throughout the day. After dinner my MIL brought over some blueberry cake and somehow I ate 3 pieces. Then in the office there was a box of Toffifee and four pieces of that called my name until my stomach hurt and I wanted to hurl the box across the room.
Of course I was tired yesterday, and I hadn't drank enough water. After consuming the above I had a half hour nap then woke up with incredible thirst and drank 4 glasses of water (definitely thirsty!). I should know the signs. I can give the advice. If this were anyone else I'd recommend having the nap and the water BEFORE consuming the junk. Somehow that doesn't compute in the moment and I don't know why. Very frustrating!
The Easy Stuff
Tonight begins the first run of my training plan. It's 1/11/11 ... somehow that's fitting for a new beginning, isn't it?
The plan calls for some speed intervals and I'm very much looking forward to it.
.75 miles @ 8:46 pace (6.8 mph)
.25 miles recovery
.50 miles @ 8:12 pace (7.3 mph)
.12 miles recovery
.50 miles @ 8:12 pace (7.3 mph)
.12 miles recovery
.12 miles @ 8:00 pace (7.5 mph)
.12 miles recovery
repeat steps 7 & 8 four times total
Total Distance 3.2 miles
I'm going to add in a 1 mile warm-up and possibly a 1 (or half) mile cool-down at a steady, easy pace.
The running & training is the easy part. If I could do only that and have success in losing weight it would be a snap. Exercise is a very important key in loosing and maintaining weight, but you gotta have the diet on board as well. I know this alltoowell from experience ... sigh.
I'm officially entered in a Half Marathon for this year. March 13th! The only one I did last year is on this same weekend, however I have decided that I'm going to try a different race that is hosted by a company that I much prefer over the other one. It's an inaugural race, but the race hosts have put on many, many successful races so it should be fine.
It's kind of exciting because part of the race will be run over a new bridge that was completed just over a year ago. The bridge itself is about 2.5 km long and the route takes you over and back, so 5K of the race will be on that bridge. Pretty cool. Should be quite the views!
I was thinking that concentrated training should probably start soon. While I have trained for a half before without a real plan, I have some pretty specific time goals I want to shoot for this year. So, I started searching for some training plan ideas and came across this Half Marathon Training Plan from Runner's World.
It's a 9 week plan ... and whatda ya know .... the race is exactly 9 weeks away. Destiny! Looking at it, I think it's something that I can easily fit into my life and will give me some guidance and push me towards that time I'm seeking. I like the idea of the speedwork involved.
The only change I intend to make is the distance of the long runs. Personally, I prefer to run at least the full distance before a race. This plan only takes you up to 11-12 miles. I have a decent mileage base and am very comfortable running the longer distances. Therefore, all the long runs will be increased by 2-3 miles.
This weekend didn't go quite as planned. Saturday I got P.O.'ed at my daughter's soccer coach (jerk!) and spent a good part of the day composing my thoughts so I could send him an e-mail. Don't piss off the Momma Bear! In retrospect I should have gone for a run because that's the best way to think clearly. Anyhow, by the time I was done, the weather turned kinda ugly and the daylight was running out.
Sunday morning started out with a little excitement as the temperatures dropped and the roads were icy and we got a dusting of snow. Two vehicles crashed in the intersection down the road from me and an air ambulance was brought in for one person. I sure hope they are OK. I had plans to go out for a morning run, but was a little apprehensive to drive until it warmed up a bit. The roads were s-l-i-c-k! I spent most of the day in major house cleaning mode, which feels so much better to have a clean house. Late afternoon I decided to squeeze in a run but got halfway down the driveway and my niblets were freezing off and the wind was howling through every layer of clothing. I decided that this just would not be an enjoyable run and returned to the house. Later that evening though I did hit up the treadmill (not a dreadmill today because it's times like this that I have alot of love for that baby). Did 5 x 1 mile intervals with weights between sets and negative splits on each mile. I'm getting my speed back - YAY!!!! The last mile was run at a 7:39 pace! YIPPEE!!! I haven't even been able to run that fast for even a quarter mile in quite some time.
Mile 1 - 9:14
Mile 2 - 8:58
Mile 3 - 8:41
Mile 4 - 8:27
Mile 5 - 7:39
TOTAL 42:59 - Average 8:36/mile
That makes me happy!
Tonight I have another stretchy appointment (massage therapy). Hopefully it's my last one. I've been a good patient and have done my stretches almost every day.
Today is officially Day 1 of the training .... and it's a rest day. How appropriate. :)
Ran 5 miles on the treadmill last night, doing negative splits .... and no pain! Teensy bit of stiffness in the left knee, but I almost have to feel for it. It could be easily ignored (but won't be).
I'm trying to be a good patient and doing all the stretches my doctor has recommended. Really it's not much of a hardship. Stretching is very relaxing ... well moreso now that I'm finally loosening up and it doesn't hurt so much.
This weekend the torrential rain is supposed to go away (we've had something like 100mm/4" of rain in the last 2-3 days) and leave us with cold, crisp, sunny skies. I'm planning to take advantage of that and get some enjoyable runs in outdoors.
Been moving my office the last couple days at work. Surely I'm burning a ton of calories carrying all those boxes and furniture. However, the binge monster has gotten a hold of me and large amounts of chocolate has been consumed. Will I ever get control of that???
Anyhow, just taking a quick break from cleaning and organizing the new office. Haven't had much time to check out everyone's blogs but should be caught up again soon.
Today was one of those days. Didn't sleep so great last night (no reason .. just awake). Then the day was spent packing up my office and ingesting unhealthy amounts of dust. When my son's soccer coach called to cancel practice for the night I knew right then that I would also cancel my run plans. We're getting stupid amounts of rain today, and the next few days, so I really wasn't wanting to run outdoors anyway. It's been dark all day, drizzly, cold and damp. And I just couldn't face the treadmill tonight. Besides ...... I needed a nap!
I hate to get behind in my plan already, but I don't need to be getting rundown and getting sick. There is no time for that! :)
Almost 2 hours was spent snuggled in a blanket with the dog in front of the woodstove .... ahhhhhh, HEAVEN! And now I'm going to turn in early too. Tomorrow will be a crazy day, hopefully ending with a run.
Is it still too early in winter to be dreaming of warm, sunny, spring & summer days?
Sure seems to be taking me long enough to post my goals for 2011.
Alot going on these days and I'm finding it hard to get to the computer for a little quality time :). I'm considering giving up sleeping. Good idea??? It's been a busy last few days getting back to work & the kids to school. To top it off, my boss decided we're moving offices ... tomorrow! At least I'll be getting lots of activity in packing up the whole thing and moving furniture & boxes.
Without further ado ... here are my goals for 2011!
Run 2011 Kms / 1250 Miles - This year, I will run 2011 Km (aka 1250 miles), along with my buddy Syl who has already pledged to do the same. And my friend Fran will be joining us with 1011 Kms. In 2010 I originally planned to run 750 miles, then decided to changed to 1000 miles. Unfortunately I fell just a hair short on that (943 miles), but I did learn some lessons along the way. I will NOT fail on this goal this year!
Set some PR's - I want more PRs this year. I know I have it in me to improve upon my current PR's. This year there will be more speed work, more hills, more intervals. I want to improve on everything from the 5K to the half marathon. The times I'm aiming for are not significantly faster, but I know that even this little bit will be an achievement.
Conquer the Half Marathon - I was only able to enter one half marathon in 2010, and it didn't go so great. I WILL conquer this one this year, and I will do it well too! This is the one goal that is a MUST for me this year. If I can pull it off, I'm hoping to do a very special half marathon this year with a fellow blogger.
Cross Training - This year I'm putting more emphasis on cross training - most specifically weights. Lately when I've done a bit of weight work I feel it ... big time. This tells me that running alone is not enough. Also, not that I've had alot of injuries, but the one's I've had, alot can pretty much be pinned on muscle weakness. Stronger muscles throughtout my entire body will help me run faster. My butt & abs are usually the first thing to get sore on a challenging run. That tells me something.
Along with the weights, I want to venture more. I've found a fantastic, willing, eager exercise partner who loves to go, go, go ... and I intend to go, go, go. Once the weather allows, I want to be hiking the mountains more, riding my bike more ... maybe even try kayaking or canoeing for something different.
Lose Weight - For the last year I put very little effort into further weight loss and have even gained a little bit. That is changing this year. Dec 26/10 my weight was 153.2 and by the end of 2011 I will beat least 10 lbs under that. This is going to be an even bigger focus than running this year. Lower weight generally means faster/easier running so by losing excess weight my running should improve.
In summary, while running is the most important to me, I'm going to put more effort into other areas of my life which will naturally help the running to improve (weight loss, cross training, runningdrills). Last year was mostly about distance covered and nothing else. That is great, but just covering miles isn't enough for what I want to achieve.
After spending New Years Eve with a couple different friends, and driving the kiddos all over the countryside so they could hang with their respective friends, we kicked off New Years Day with another race!
This is the same one I did last New Year's Day (Resolution Run 2010). An 8K / 5 mile trail run. Finish time was 20 seconds faster than last year. I'm pleased somewhat with that, but not entirely.
You see ... I quit on myself and for that I'm very disappointed. This was a huge lesson on "Why you should not always trust your Garmin!".
Since I've been spending the last two months training alongside my friend for her marathon, my pace has dropped dramatically. Then the last two weeks have been injury recovery from over training. Honestly I didn't expect a whole lot out of this race and really did not think I would improve my time. I figured it would be 2-3 minutes slower than last year. So, for that, I am very pleased with the results.
However ... back to why you shouldn't always trust your Garmin and why I was disappointed in my performance.
Hubby and I warmed up with a nice little 1 mile easy jog. My breathing was a little heavy and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to "race" or just go for a fun run. It was BLOODY cold out (-4°C / 28°F), although gorgeous sunny & clear. The race started and I felt FANTASTIC! I haven't felt like that during a run in a while. It felt like flying. Nothing hurt, my movement was floaty and light ... it was wonderful.
I'm running along, feeling fantastic, but also noticing that my Garmin has not yet beeped the first mile. I have a pretty good feel for pace & distance and was sure that it had been more than a mile. Eventually it beeped and I looked down and saw a 9:53 mile. I actually exclaimed outloud, "Are you f*%&ing kidding me?!". That is only slightly faster than what we have been marathon training at. It felt SO much faster than that.
A few minutes later I checked it again and it said average 9:58 pace - apparently I was getting slower. I got mad! I swore that I'd never run/train for a marathon ever again. The shorter distances, faster pace is just too important to me. It's not worth it to me to throw that out the window just to run a marathon.
Then I shut down. I quit! My heart wasn't in it anymore. My time was gonna suck, I may as well walk a bit. Though I didn't take it quite that far. After beating myself up for a bit I finally decided just to do what I could on that day and hope to improve on the rest of the course. Not long after that I saw the 4K marker. Huh??? Something's wrong here! The distance on my Garmin was about 2 miles which is only around 3 Kms. Somewhere I'd lost almost a Km.
This revved me up a bit. I stopped paying attention to the distance on my Garmin and just ran. I missed seeing the last 3 Km markers and picked up my pace at the end much too late ... but I still beat my time from last year. In the end my Garmin read about 1/2 mile/1 Km short. My friend has the newest Garmin and hers also read the distance short. Though I asked another lady who had an older version than mine and hers was 100% spot on. I'm not impressed! There was a fair bit of tree coverage, but being winter it was not solid.
Never again will I rely solely on the distance on my Garmin in a race. I knew in my mind that I was running faster and should believe in myself. Technology is only a tool. I still love my Garmin, but the trust is broken a little. It's funny how every race teaches you just a little bit more. I also need to learn to push through and not shut down when the going gets tough. I push through so much other crap in other areas of my life and don't quit, but when it comes to my abilities it's a personality trait I've been fighting against for years (and years). When I was a kid, if I wasn't among the best, I didn't do it - end of sentence, not to be discussed. As I get older I'm improving on that, but it's still a ways to go.