Tuesday, October 22, 2013

So, it's the Tuesday before my last race of the year. I'm pretty excited, to be honest. I am looking forward to running the event (Legs for Literacy), to get my third piece of the Tri-City Medal, and to just be done racing for the year!

My last half was really good. I actually got in the paper! Glad I was wearing my Phoenix socks from Proud Runner!! I received the honour of being called "Person on the Run" or "Runner of the week". I was so surprised! Definitely proud of that one! My time was 2:53 for the half, which is a 21 minute improvement on my first half that I ran in August. I hear the course this weekend is really flat and fast, so let's cross our fingers and hope to improve on that.

Running half marathons is grueling when you're about 60 pounds over weight. It's a harsh reminder once I hit the 14 or 15k mark and my knees are screaming at me. It's worth it in the end, but the reason I'm happy to be over with the racing for 2013 is so I can lose this weight so next summer, I won't be in so much pain. Also, I'll be fast and that's always a bonus! But I'd like to have a few months of just working on losing weight, maintaining my current level of fitness (or better) and just trying to reflect on what I've learned this year and plan for next. I'm definitely not the same person I was this time last year!

Now just for a quick review of a couple of things.... The socks mentioned above....AMAZING! First off, I'm easily a 10-10.5 shoe, these fit my foot. My calves are larger than most girl's, they fit my legs quite nicely. They didn't fall down, and were light enough I wore them over my other socks (I didn't feel like testing out whether I'd blister or not so yeah). I got a lot of compliments on them and they're just overall awesome. Plus, I'm in Eastern Canada and had these within a week. Kudos to these guys for being so awesome!

Another thing....Emily Bites Deep Dish Sloppy Joe Casserole . Oh. My. God. I made this last night and it was nothing short of brilliant. It was so delicious and tasty....Follow the recipe like she says to and you'll be amazed at how quickly it all comes together and how delicious it is. It's like the Manwich stuff my mom used to use for sloppy joes, only a million times better, and from scratch! So you know what you're eating! Oh man....it was just great. Please try this recipe!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

So, I'm on day 3 back on the wagon and I'm really happy about it, to be honest. Even if I'm not being perfect, putting down what I eat on paper makes me feel empowered...more in control. Both Monday and Tuesday I went over my daily allowance. However, that's what the weekly allowance is for. I'm not back to 100% just yet, but I'm going to get to bed early tonight and hopefully wake up feeling fine. I swam on Monday and Wednesday. I didn't run on Tuesday - I'm trying to rest up for Sunday. It's not exactly according to any plan, I just happen to know I run well when I'm rested. I'll run tomorrow, maybe Friday, and *maybe* a very short easy run on Saturday to relax me. I'm not scared of this run. I'm really looking forward to it, actually.

Today, I am trying a new recipe....It's from Emily Bites: slow cooker meatballs in marinara sauce. Holy crap is it going to be amazing!!!!! I made some minor adjustments to the actual method, however. For instance, I didn't brown the beef beforehand and I added a spaghetti mix I got at the grocery store (it has peppers, onions, and celery in it) just to get even more veggies. The meatballs are a great size, in my opinion, and the sauce was pretty thick before it even started cooking. I put it on high for 8 hours instead of low since the meatballs were raw, and since my day runs longer than 8 hours, it's going to be on warming by the time I get home - still super hot though! I can't wait to try it out. I can't wait to get home and smell that and all I'll have to do is cook up some spaghetti and voila! Supper is prepared. And probably lunch for tomorrow as well :) I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Monday morning, October 7th. I got on the scale and I'm gaining weight at a vulgar rate. Shit. Just. Got. Real.

Compared to how I ate when I was actually losing at a steady rate, I'm like a hungry hippo gobbling up everything in sight. It's really hard to not want to reward myself for a job well done. Friday, I took off from work so I could do my last long distance training run before the half marathon coming up on the 13th. Then, on Saturday, I cycled approximately 50k for a charity ride. I get so hungry and instead of turning to healthy fare, I eat the worst food you could imagine. I've got to stay more aware of traps like this and have things available to me that aren't going to completely wreck the work I've done.

I'm like the prodigal son returning home after months of hardcore debauchery. So yeah, we're back on the weight watchers wagon. I have to check myself before I wreck myself. With all the training I do, I shouldn't be gaining weight. Maintaining, maybe. But gaining? Not cool. I'm putting the dunce cap on and resigning to my corner. I have goals for myself - to lose weight, and to become a fairly decent athlete. They go hand in hand. I can't expect to be a faster runner when it takes so much energy for me to move. And I'm so much more prone to injury. Plus, I have a a 6 month blood test coming up in November. It's to check my diabetes and I want to make the doctor happy. I want to just be a diet controlled diabetic. I haven't been taking my meds for a few months because I just kept forgetting to take them, but I'm not feeling the ups and downs like I used to. It might be because my sugars are behaving themselves - although they really have no reason to. So another reason to get back on track.

Ugh. So back to tracking we go! I feel like I'm getting a cold....I just want it to subside until October 28th, then it can do whatever - I just need to do the next two halves and I'll be happy!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

One weeks since clean slate and no loss. However, I think it's to be expected. Sure, I ate super healthy during the day, but the evenings and the weekend were a bit....rough.

Last week, I swam Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday mornings. I ran Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday. So honestly, I'm happy with the amount of activity. While my running plan has me out 5 times a week, replacing one of those runs with swimming isn't going to hurt me and I took an extra day off as well just because I'm trying to get used to being back on schedule again, which has made me a very tired girl.

My LSD run yesterday really sucked. It was only 12K but the first half, I was ROASTING. The shirt I was wearing sealed it all in and it made me very irritated. Add to that, my hair was bothering me - it's just in between that stage where it doesn't have to be put up and it should be. As well, I was running at a pace that I found uncomfortable and I really just wanted to be alone and listen to my music but was with a group of people. I don't think running with a group is for me. I like to zone out and relax my mind and I can't do that if I'm listening to people talk. But if I tune them out, then I can't relax my mind because I have nothing to distract it. So music, although it might not be the safest option, is my best bet because I choose the songs I listen to and it takes me away from me, I guess you could say. I think because of the pace I was going at, everything was bothering me. My knees hurt, I was sweating too much, I was breathing too hard, everything was bad. We were doing two loops around a park, so I stopped half way, drove home, changed my shirt, went back to the park, and did my second lap on my own with my music and it was MUCH more enjoyable. When I got home, I took a nice hot shower because I was cold and tired, put on some comfy clothes, put Voltaren on my knees because they hurt, and relaxed on the couch with my dogs, watching movies while it rained like crazy outside. It was so nice to get some snuggle time with them. Then I iced my knees early evening, then put the Voltaren on them before bed and they aren't hurting this morning. I think I may very well give them a bit of a break though....which is to say today I swam, tomorrow, I'll either cycle or run on the treadmill (I might go out in the morning for a run, I don't know), swim Wednesday, maybe cycle Thursday, take Friday off, swim and run Saturday and then I have an 18K run Sunday morning.

My plan for the 18K is to go out and actually run on the course so I can visualize the run. It makes me feel so much better when I can do that. I can picture starting and finishing it all. On Saturday past, I actually woke up and did a 6K run before I went to the pool. I had to be at the pool for 730am, so I was out running at like, 6am! I was some tired. I might not bother running Saturday, I don't know. Swimming isn't running, but it's cardio, but not the same muscle groups. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I wonder how many people were Googling "LSD" and "runs" and got this blog haha! Oh jeez.

So it's Thursday and I'm pleased to say it's been an alright week. I swam Monday and Wednesday morning and ran Tuesday morning before work. Unfortunately, I had planned to go this morning but couldn't get my butt out of bed on time. However, I have been up early doing something like running or swimming every morning since Saturday, so I suppose it's alright to have slacked one morning. Tonight, I'll make up for it with a 7k steady run. I'm taking tomorrow as a rest day, and then I'm at the pool Saturday morning for swimming with the triathlon club and then a 6k run, then Sunday is a 12k LSD run. I never thought I'd see the day when 12K was considered a nice short run, but compared to the 16K's the past 2 weeks and the 18K's for the next 2 weeks, it's a break!

In terms of eating, I haven't been a perfect angel. I've done well at taking my lunches and breakfast and loads of snacks, but I feel like I want to eat everything in sight. I think it will subside, but last night, I went right to town on a big serving of spaghetti. I should've had half and saved the other half for supper tonight, but I didn't. And then I ate tortilla chips with artichoke and asiago dip....So not perfect, but better! I'm hoping that my body will feel back to normal by the end of the weekend so I don't feel like a bear that just came out of hibernation.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Clean Slate!

Alright guys, it's been over a month since my last post. Nothing has really changed per se but I thought I'd clean the slate and "start over". I never stopped....I mean, I might not have been focusing much on losing weight, but I've been working out a fair bit more than I was in late August. I'm training in preparation of 2 half marathons in October, so I haven't been racing and have started going to the Running Room on Sunday mornings for the long slow runs (LSD runs). They're called LSD runs because you run them at a slightly slower pace than normal, but it's where you do your most distance. The purpose of these runs is to get your body *and mind* used to being on its feet for extended periods of time and to increase your anaerobic threshold. For example: When you're running and can talk fairly easily, this is aerobic. The faster you can go while maintaining this, the better. You'll be able to handle running at this pace for extended periods of time. If you were doing a tempo run, where it's not as easy to talk (ie. you can't say full sentences while you run), you can imagine it would be very difficult to maintain this pace for the entire 21k run. Regardless, I've made some changes in my routine and, with that, a renewed focus on my weight loss goals.

For starters: I'm training for 2 half marathons next month. The first one is October 13th and it's in line with my training run (plus one kilometer). So I'm treating it like a training run. My goal is around 2:45 for it. Regardless, being a training run, it isn't my official "test" or "measurement". Thanksgiving dinner is later that day and my goodness it's going to be something awesome! My official measurement of how far I've come will be October 27th at the Legs for Literacy run. I've treated myself to a stay at the hotel right where the race begins. I'm thinking the easier the morning of is for me, the better. I won't have to worry about parking or getting there on time or traffic. Then, on November 5th, I'm going to treat myself to an actual half marathon clinic put on by the Running Room. It's in preparation for the Hypothermic Half. From what I've heard, if you can do this run, you're pretty tough s**t. So that's what I will be. Plus, it'll keep me running outside in the dead of winter when it might be more convenient to be inside on the treadmill. I can't wait!!!!

Also, I treated myself to a new bike. Yeah, I just bought one back at Easter, but it just wasn't cutting it for me! I genuinely feel like it was a well deserved upgrade. So I'm currently rolling a 2013 Trek Lexa SL. I got it in crystal white and teal. I LOVE it. The increase in performance is just amazing. Hills that I would attack at 8kph I take on at 18kph now. It's a women's specific bike and more of a racing form. I plan to ride outside until it's too cold then take it inside and set it up on a trainer.

Also! Masters swimming started this week. I am SO pumped to be back in the pool. Although it's going to take a couple of weeks to get back to feeling relaxed in the water and everything, I just know that, by the time triathlon season comes around again, I'm going to be able to handle it and be competitive. While I like to maintain the thought of "complete not compete", it is nice to know you can hold your own and not be last. Trust me, I've been last, and it's kind of disappointing no matter how much you tell yourself to be proud.

So essentially, in terms of my fitness goals, I plan to attack triathlon season next year with mass vigor! Half marathon distances won't be a big deal, and I can complete some olympic distance races as opposed to sprint distances. I'm working on becoming a faster runner as well. It's a multi-pronged approach, I guess.

Regarding my weight loss goals, it's not realistic to think I'll be at goal by the end of the year. When I first started all of this in January, it was possible, but I really have been in the same spot for 3 or 4 months now, so I have to readjust my expectations. I have about 60-65 pounds left to lose and I'd like to lose as much as possible between now and the end of the year. I genuinely believe the reason I haven't lose over the summer is because I'd eat anything in sight after a long run or bike or race. This included a lot of chips and a lot of huge massive meals. I've started thinking about when my next workout is and how I want to fuel myself. If I'm running in the morning, do I want to eat really badly the night before? Fuel from Burger King just isn't as efficient as a healthy home cooked meal. Honestly, it's not the same quality and can wreak havoc on your body while running (belly issues if you catch my drift). I'm trying to stay away from eating out and just preparing my meals ahead of time. This past weekend, I made applesauce in the slow cooker (no sugar added) because you can eat it without guilt as a sweet snack. I also made steel cut oats in the slow cooker. It's colder in the mornings now and it's very satisfying after a workout to tuck into a bowl of it. Again, no sugar added - just some raisins and I like to add some peanut butter for sweetness and protein. Lunch is a ham pita and a nice salad (it's a superfoods salad from Costco - AMAZING!) and you know, some cut up vegetables....I keep it simple - carrots and celery because I'm not a huge fan of broccoli or cauliflower or peppers in the raw. So I've got my snacks covered as well. As for supper, I just need to steer clear of the drive thru. We have loads of stuff at home that might not be perfect, but are definitely what I would consider to be safe to eat.

Anyways, there you have it! I wiped the slate clean and started over as of yesterday morning. I'm swimming Monday and Wednesday mornings, running Tues, Thurs, Sat, and Sun mornings. I started running this morning (as opposed to the evening) and it was glorious. I really missed starting my day with that and made great time, to boot! The goals are to lose 60-65 pounds and be ready for next summer's race season, as well as complete 3 half marathons (2 in October, 1 in February). I'll post regularly how it's all going.

If anyone has meal ideas or suggestions, by all means, please feel free to add to the discussion!

Monday, August 26, 2013

It's been 2 weeks since my last post. While I feel great for having done my first half marathon, I've just been having a blah time. My weight loss has completely stopped, I haven't been tracking or eating right, or training as much as I should, getting enough water, getting enough sleep, you name it. I've gone totally rogue and it's only hurting me.

In an attempt to work on my running, I decided to start running with the Running Room on Sunday mornings. That was definitely a positive. Last Sunday, I went out and ran 12K. I'm training to do the KV half marathon on Oct 13th as a training run and then the Legs for Literacy half at the end of October. It's sort of my final race for the year...a measurement and testament to how far I've come. It's symbolic for me, really. So I am pleased to have started doing that. Now to just fill in the rest of the blank days with training and we'll be set! Really, I should be doing my LSD on Sunday mornings (long slow run), then I go to track on Tuesday nights for tempo and speed work, and then get in at least one or two steady runs and some cross training and we're golden. So essentially, aside from track and the Running Room, I need to squeeze in 3-4 more workouts in there and make sure Mondays remain as rest day.

I competed in my first duathlon on Saturday. I ignored my gut feelings about checking my bike and paid for it dearly. I fought with it the whole 20K and my tires were soft. I didn't check the air and it was dumb of me. It resulted in me coming in last. It was embarrassing, to be honest. A bad race, to say the least. They happen. It was self-inflicted.

So after the shoddy weekend, I feel like crap. I'm going out of my way today to get back on track with WW and just do it! I've got a ways to go, but I've done well! I'm proud of myself, but I'm not done. So back to it. I'm going to post more often to try and keep myself honest. Wish me luck, peeps!