Tag Archives: exercise

Training Overview #sftsRUNS

18 Aug

Welcome to a half-hearted installment of my 10K Training Overview!  This is a weekly practically-defunct series in which I document my weekly running progress, nutrition, photos, and mileage as I train for Pittsburgh’s 2014 Great Race on September 28th.  If you are on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook – you can also follow along using the hashtag #sftsRUNS.   These overviews are intended not only for me as a way to document my fitness journey, but also as a means to inspire other newbie runners who are ready to move beyond the 5K distance.

Training-Overview-SFTSRuns

Weekly Overview:

Well, well, well.  So we meet again Weekly Overview.  Tbh, I thought of you as my nemesis for a few weeks there, but it’s time to face those fears.  I literally (and by that I mean, in theory or probably or supposedly) have a psychological condition in which I put so much pressure on myself to do something that I freak out and sabotage myself.  I think I have a fear of being successful.  Sad, really.  The worst part of this psychological condition is that it’s made up, so the only remedy is to get over it.  Combine that drama with a few weeks of depression and it made for a whole lot of un-training.  Or counter-training.  Per my usual routine, I took a two-week break from running right smack in the middle of my training program.  I didn’t run a single mile from 7/27 – 8/9.   You know, just long enough to lose fitness and want to shoot myself in both feet.  Unluckily, I was born with the gene that loves to make myself suffer, but LUCKILY it came with the freakishly competitive gene that has to come out on top.  So my training program, my overview posts, my dignity, and my goal will all be salvaged.

Training Plan:

Since I’ve taken 2 weeks off, this section is insignificant this week.  I will be writing a TON here next week I’m sure as I reevaluate my training program yet again.

Weight Change:

My weight loss goal is 150 lbs.  By August, my goal is to be down to 175 lbs.  I weigh in immediately after I wake up on Monday mornings.  This morning I weighed in at 185 lbs.!!!  Only 10 lbs. to go by the end of the month.  Since I’ve been mostly sedentary, I know that reaching my summer goal weight is still very much a reality.  Over the weekend, it felt phenomenal to go shopping with my sister and know that I wasn’t relegated to the small sections marked “XL” anymore.  I actually bought a pair of size MEDIUM yoga pants from Victoria’s Secret.  Last summer, I couldn’t even wear the brand at all – this was a huge victory for me!!!  I’ve said it a hundred times and I will keep saying it:  progress happens in the kitchen!  Clean eating is 100% responsible for my continued weight loss progress.

Physical Condition:

I went for a 2 mile walk yesterday with my mom and I felt like it was the jump-start I needed.  I was actually winded from walking up a baby size hill and that scared me.  Turns out, I think it was just my allergies, but it lit that fire under my ass!

Mental Condition:

I’m getting there.  It’s true what they say:  the more active you are, the more active you want to be.  The reverse is also true, the more lazy you are, the more lazy you want to be.  I know that each decision I made to be inactive fueled the vicious cycle of inactivity.  Our habits really are just a series of decisions that create results.  It’s a big powerful thing when you realize that you pick the results you want by simply making the decision that matches up.   I think that’s why healthy living suits me – the practice of it follows the same principles that the practice of sustainability does.  Be mindful, be accountable, and think of the bigger picture.

Nutrition:

Even when I’m not sticking to my clean eating routine, I still eat pretty healthy.  Even on a bad day, I’m having a better day than most people.  Even though it took me YEARS of trial and error to teach myself how to eat/think about nutrition, the struggle is worth it.  The journey has been hard and it will never really be over.  I imagine that little itch, EDNOS and/or binge eating, will always be in the back of my mind, always too far out of reach to be scratched.  The last 2 weeks took a significant downturn for me and I was finding myself stuffing my face with Nutri-Grain bars (1 is healthy, 4 at one time not so much) and Chex Mix Muddy Buddies.  I ate my favorite meals over the weekend and now I’m mentally ready to buckle down.

I spent the weekend reading about the paleo diet and I’ve decided to give it a try.  More on this during the week!

Non-Mileage Training (but still running related):

I continued to attend yoga throughout my running break, along with riding my bike a few times.  This week, I’m focused on mentally pushing myself to get in every training run.  That’s my #1 goal for the week.

Impact On Real Life:

I’m just happy to not be curled up in a ball watching Lifetime movies at this point.  One day at a time!

Action Plan:

Obviously, I need to be very specific with my goals.  This week, my goal is to stick to my training plan 100% and not skip anything.  That’s all I can ask of myself right now!

 

Why You Should Try Something New

15 Jul

I did that thing again where I disappear for a few weeks, huh?  I’ve been taking the last week to recharge after 4th of July weekend.  Having an extra day off and a weekend full of festivities sure did feel like a momentum stopper.  The Monday after the holiday weekend, I started a 4 week challenge in a secret Facebook group.  It’s been really fun and honestly I’ve been seeing some really great progress.  Since we have to post in the group 2 pictures of food we’ve eaten during the day, 1 picture of us being sweaty (I don’t post very many of those!  #notphotogenic), and 1 picture of our protein shake.

The group has helped me in a few ways:

1.  It forces me to be accountable.  I would die of boredom if I was one of those bloggers who posted every day about every single thing they ate.  Snooze town, right?  The FB group setting has kind of a revolving door feeling where people just stop by and photo dump, then move on.  It’s a great place to get ideas, encourage others, and also BE encouraged by others in a way that feels like real-time.  It’s like a little positivity bubble!  I think that’s what has made me excited to reach my goals for each day, which are simply:  eat clean, hydrate, and be active.

2.  I’ve upped my water intake to a gallon of water a day.  Yeah.  The struggle is real.  The first week, I’m certain that I wasn’t getting my full water goal in.  I’m not denying that I was hydrated because HOOBOY was I hydrated, but why half ass it?  Based on a suggestion from one of the group members, I replicated her “Water Bomb.”

water-bomb-hydration-motivation

3.  I’ve been drinking protein-powder fruit smoothies every morning.  I’d never been all that consistent with protein powder.  If I remembered to drink a recovery shake after a workout, I remembered.  Usually not.  Since this challenge started, I’ve been drinking a fruit smoothie with protein powder every morning.  Having a full banana, a handful of strawberries, and at least 1 large handful of spinach (usually more!) has had DRAMATIC results for me.  I’m getting 2 full services of fruit and a serving of vegetables in 1 drink, not to mention all of the nutrients, calcium, and added protein.  My appetite is much more easy to manage during the day and I have had so much more energy.  Plus, I’m constantly wanting to try different variations based on the group member’s suggestions (tofu & avocado wouldn’t have occurred to me).

I lost 2 pounds the first week!  I can honestly say that I’m really glad I tried this – who knew that posting my pictures to some random strangers/ex-classmates would be what I needed to get through my weight loss plateau?!  It never hurts to try something new!  Don’t worry, I haven’t given up on my Monday Training Overview posts and I hope to be back on the bandwagon this week. 🙂

 

In other news, I dyed the underneath of my head peacock colors:

peacock-highlights-mermaid-hair

I’m kind of obsessed with it.

 

Woop! Woop!

14 Jan

Sound the alarm!

I woke up at 5:30.  In the morning.  Which still felt like the night.  Got dressed, got in my car, and met up with a friend to run.  Oh and did I mention it was raining?  I found it to be hugely gratifying.  After all this cold weather/rain/snow/freezing rain/hail nonsense I’ve been dealing with, I finally feel like a legit runner.  We did 2 easy miles at a slow walk/jog pace – can’t scare my new running buddy off!

photo(3)

Not long after snapping this beaut, a homeless man happened across our path on his way to use the bathroom in the woods.  Pretty much it was a good morning to be running with a buddy.  I ran the last half mile with some extra pep in my step, let’s just say that.

Also, I rather easily talked my friend into doing the Brave American 5K with me in the beginning of March.  I think this will be her first 5K, and I plan on using it as the test 5K in Hal Higdon’s Intermediate  5K Program.

Cold-Weather-Running-Nike

Sunday Runday

13 Jan

I was dealing with some serious internal conflict on Saturday night about what distance I should run on Sunday.  First world problems all up in here.  Earlier that day, I had decided that my 2014 inaugural race should be the Ole 5K again.  I plan to train harder than I did last year as I think I’m a bit more advanced this time around as the beginner program seems too easy now.  So, Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 5K Training Plan it is!  The problem is the first week’s scheduled long run is 5 miles.  I’ve peaked at 3.5…

I was hesitant on Sunday because I had been on the treadmill all of last week.  I had serious doubts about 2 miles.  But, if I want to build up to 5 miles before training begins then I have to jump up to 3.  There was really no point in putting it off, so I knew I had to swallow my fear of failure and just try as hard as I could.  I took a water break after 2 miles at the car, then pushed onward into Frick Park. #blueslidepark

Frick-Park-Pittsburgh

And guess what?  I friggin’ did it!  I’m not putting any pressure on myself about it.  For the next 27 days I will see how far I get with base building and go from there.  With a little practice and a lot of persistence, I just know I can beat my previous time for the Ole 5K.

I went home and rested for a few hours, hydrated, and watched some extra greasy reality TV.  A few hours later, Liberty and I hit the road to meet up with some of our friends.

Riverfront-Park-South-Side-Pittsburgh

Actually the dogs had never met before, so they weren’t friends before the walk.  Katie was my roommate in college for a few years and is one of the only people I am still in touch with.

Dog-Walking-Pittsburgh

It was really fun! We discovered some homeless people camps and also a dog park, which was super muddy.  Just the way Liberty likes it.

South-Side-Dog-Park

This trail is part of the Great Allegheny Passage, which I’ve written about before.  If we had kept going, it would eventually connect with the trail that I run down at the Waterfront.  Pretty neat!  Since we were walking with absolutely no concern about speed or distance, I was able to give my muscles a nice cool down.  I am going to stretch out like crazy tonight after work and hopefully get 2 in in the morning!

Just a bit of self reflection…

10 Jan

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed that I still get that knot in my stomach as my car slowly climbs the hill leading to the gym.  It’s a nervous, excited feeling that I get anytime I do something new or am faced with a decision.  It’s a strangely good yet uncomfortable feeling:  like butterflies exploding followed by a feeling I can only describe as swimming to the surface of water but being jerked back by something.  Anxiety is fun, isn’t it?  It’s a constant battle within myself.  Do I want to take the risk of what could happen?  Will I sink or will I fly?  Oftentimes, the situation results in neither.  Instead, I am gifted an anti-climactic exhale in which I realize I have again made a big fuss about nothing.

I parked my car, climbed all of the stairs, and entered the gym last night.  I could feel my breath get caught in my lungs as I realized that there were NEW PEOPLE there.  New to me anyway.  Did I mention that I get the sinky feeling every time I have to deal with change as well?  Change and choices.  Thank God those aren’t common.  Fun times up in here!

The anxiety-riddled half of my brain is off-set completely by the other ultra-competitive half.  A few of my acquaintances have been talking about working out on social media and I mentioned to a mutual friend that I didn’t think the one girl (I’m not in her fan club, let’s just say that!) would stick with it.  My friend disagreed, stating that the girl in question happens to be a very determined person and once she set her mind to something, she usually achieved it.  I was immediately offended, of course, because who does she think she is prancing around leaving FB statuses peppered with all that determination.

frenemy-somecard

I began 2013 feeling  determined, but ended feeling like I had forfeited along the way; obviously this has left me feeling resentful of other people’s success.  It was now up to me to out determine my so-called “determined” acquaintance because obviously I have to do better than her.  Oh, wait, you mean that’s irrational?  Don’t care.  When I wanted to bolt from the new gym people, my mind flashed to her and I picked my favorite treadmill despite there being 2 people in its circumference.  In your face, Facebook friend.  Bonus: anxiety completely forgotten.

Have you ever had a full conversation or debate with your organs?  A mile into my run, my brain said You did great!  You can totally stop at 1 mile, pat yourself on the back and go home feeling good!  and then my legs said Feeling a little sore, but we can def go another mile…  and then my lungs said We are 100% fine!  We’re not even out of breath!  and so then I’m confused.  My brain is feeling like I want to stop, but the rest of my body wants to keep going.  I kept running, taking a mental step back to inventory the situation.  This is what running is about, really, why I chose it.  There will be times when you are done mentally and times when your body will give out.  But I chose running so that I could challenge that little voice inside of my head when she tries to fill me with doubt.  I am addicted to the feeling I get when I rise above that voice, when I chose not to let my fear of flight keep me from taking off.  So, I kept going.  Really, I kept going because of my silly competitive psyche.  That alone would’ve kept me going.  But, I also kept going because I managed to muster up some mental toughness and shield me from my doubts, uncertainties, and that smug bitch in the back of my head who wants me to fail.

running-pinspiration

This isn’t just a little story about how my competitiveness overrode my anxiety, it’s the story of how my biggest weakness provided me with a goal.  I hope that in 2014, I am able to manufacture more of that.  Determination.  Toughness.  Mental grit.  I can’t think of a better replacement for all the anxiety and doubt that’s bottled up in there now.

%d bloggers like this: