Saturday, January 30, 2016

Weekly Recap

Saturday: since I worked overtime Wednesday and Thursday nights last week, I missed a 4 mile run I was going to do either Thursday or Friday morning.  I had originally planned on running 13.1 for this day, but since I missed that 4 miles, I decided to up it to a 17 mile run so my weekly mileage wouldn’t be too low.  I did one whole loop of Ladybird Lake, then I did the 7 mile loop between Mopac and I-35.  I held an overall average of 10:46.
Sunday: I didn’t do anything other than household chores and crafting while watching Disney movies with my friend Amanda.  I didn’t even hit 10K steps. 

Monday: last speed session before the Austin Marathon!!!  I did my 4 miles of intervals.  It was about a minute slower overall than I was hoping for.  And I felt like I was clomping…my foot falls were really heavy.  But, I got it done and I’m happy for that.
Tuesday: I went to the gym.  I started off with 30 minutes on the elliptical and then did my strength training.  On the TRX straps, I did my superman to chest press, tricep extensions, pistol squats, leaning row, and ab tucks.  Then I did lunges with 25 lb dumbbells with my front foot on a small BOSU ball and ended each circuit with 15 side steps (each way) with the resistance band.  Then I got back on the elliptical for another 35 minutes.

Wednesday: went for a 10K hilly run.  My route was partially on a portion of the Austin Marathon route as it goes thru Tarrytown down Exposition.  Last hill workout before the marathon!!!  My pace was pretty steady the first 4 miles with splits of 11:10, 11:16, 11:11 and 11:18, then I was able to pick up the pace down to 10:56 for mile 5 and mile 6 was 10:29!  And the final .2 was at a 10:11 pace!  Oh yea!  I love that I can pick up the pace like that after some tough miles!
Thursday: I had planned to do my standard 65 minutes of elliptical and then my machines strength training workout.  However, at about the 30 minute mark on the elliptical I started feeling a little jittery and whatnot.  I cut the elliptical short at 50 minutes and completely nixed the strength training.  I decided that enough was enough and on my way home, I stopped a the store and picked up some unsweetened original almond milk so I can start making a protein shake before I go to the gym.

Friday: went to the gym again.  I was going to do my 65 on the elliptical and then strength training, but ran some errands and paid my bills before going to the gym, so I only had enough time to do my strength training.  I'm totally okay with that.  I'm just super happy I got my strength training done!  It's been a couple weeks since I was on the machines so I wasn't able to lift the weight I could when I used them last and when I would think that maybe I could just drop the weight a little bit because it was hard, I reminded myself that "if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you" and then would bump the weight UP a little bit.


This week, unlike last week, I was actually able to MOSTLY stick to my eating plans.  There were little things here and there that weren't on "the plan," but the important thing is that I TRACKED EVERYTHING I ATE!!!  I'm very proud of myself.  And, as a result of my tracking everything I ate as best as I could, I know that I only exceeded my calorie allowance and "earned exercise calories" on one day and even then, I only exceeded it by about 200 calories.  As a result of my diligence (and the plain and simple fact that I was tired of eating "wrong"...finally), well...just look at the scale!
5.4 pounds!!!  That's just amazing.  I knew that I had lost a good amount this week, or that I had at least lost inches even if I didn't really lose much weight, based on how my work uniform was fitting.  At the beginning of the week, my uniform pants were comfortable.  A little loose, but definitely not falling off of me.  By yesterday, Friday, my uniform pants were pretty much falling off of me!  YAY!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Tax Return Time

I’m sure most of you have gotten your W2s by now and I’m sure at least half of you that already have your W2s have also already filed their taxes.  As of Saturday, I have filed my taxes.  I’m getting a smidge more than I was expecting/hoping for…but only like $20 more.  I don’t have children or a house or make large charitable donations (and I don’t get receipts for the donations I do make because, well, making the donation and helping someone out is more than enough reward for me…and of course getting rid of stuff I no longer need/want is pretty rewarding too) or any of the things that make your tax return bigger.  So, I guess my return is probably around average…?  I’m not going to tell you what I’m getting back so I guess we’ll never know…ha!

Anyway, I have a couple plans for my tax returns.  I’ll be pre-ordering the new FitBit Blaze, buying an elliptical machine that I will install in my living room, and then financing my April trip to visit my friends and family in Oregon.  Hopefully there will be at least $300 left over after the trip is done and I can pay off a credit card. 

I was going to get the slighter smaller, more apartment-friendly sized elliptical.  But then I started comparing the features to the slightly larger one and I have to say, it doesn’t even remotely measure up.  The slight decrease in size isn’t worth the loss of all the pre-programmed programs and data that the slightly bigger one has.  The bigger one can sync with MyFitnessPal, which I already use fairly religiously.  It has a goal tracking program that I can use on their website.  It has a longer stride platform.  It has more resistance.  I can manually add an incline (the smaller one has zero options for incline) if I want to.

I will have to rearrange my living room to accommodate the new elliptical so that it can be set up so that I can see the TV properly.  I am going to flip-flop my couch and loveseat, which will give me room to position the elliptical in front of the TV without blocking off route of travel into the kitchen and dining room (and my desk and computer).

Here's the features & specs:

-SchwinnDualTrack™ two LCD window system allows you to monitor up to 13 different display feedbacks

-SchwinnConnect™ goal tracking and data export keeps you aware of your progress as you focus on your fitness goals

-USB charging port and data exchange to SchwinnConnect™ and/or

-22 programs, 2 user settings and goal tracking are there to keep you motivated and challenged

-20” Precision Path™ stride length

-10° manual ramp range with 6 positions

-Large articulating footplates with cushioning

-20 levels of eddy current resistance

-A high speed, high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel keeps workouts smooth and quiet

-Two integrated levelers and a center frame support for a sold workout platform

- Transport wheels allow for easy movement from room to room

- Oversized crossbar tubing for added stability

-Ergonomically placed static handlebars with grip heart rate for comfortable use with heart rate programs

-Angled moving handlebars let you find a comfortable hand position

-Acoustic chamber speakers for big quality sound

-3-speed fan to keep you cool 

I am so excited for this.  I honestly feel this will be a great way for me to keep active when I don’t have time to go to the gym or I don’t feel like leaving the house to exercise and I can watch whatever I want while I stride away on my very own elliptical in the comfort of my own living room!  And, one less piece of exercise equipment to buy once I’ve bought a house!  I am 100% positive that having my own elliptical machine will help me to reach my goals. 

Let’s talk practicalities.  The warranty on the slightly larger one is so much better than the one on the smaller one.  10 years versus 1 year.  Yea.  No competition.  And it’s only $230 more.  Also, free shipping.  I could pay the $110 for someone to come to my apartment and put it together for me, but I’m hoping I’m mechanically inclined enough to put it together myself. 

My next home exercise equipment purchase will be a set of generic TRX-style exercise straps that I can just wrap around my pullup bar and then I can start doing TRX exercises at home.  After that, I want to get a BOSU ball.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Weekly Recap

Last week, I skipped the scale.  I’m not exactly happy with that, but it sort of, kind of couldn’t be avoided.  I had to carb load for a long run and had to rearrange and set my weigh in for Friday, but then I worked overtime last minute Thursday night and that just threw everything out of whack.  After Saturday’s run, I started my 3-week taper leading up to the Austin Marathon next month.

Saturday: my final extra-long long run!  I wanted to run 20-22 miles.  I had made lunch plans with some friends and we settled on an 11:30 meetup time.  I set my alarm for 5:20am and was out of bed around 5:50.  I had my coffee and got read and left the house around 6:45…about 25-30 minutes later than I meant for.  I stopped at the bagel shop (and was very careful with how I stepped out of the car) for a bagel and some iced coffee.  I arrived, hit the bathroom, warmed up and then was running by 7:33.  I made my first 10 mile loop of Ladybird Lake in 1 hr 52 minutes.  I decided I wanted to negative split the second loop and then do a fast finish for the final 3 miles.  I got the second loop done in 1 hr 45 minutes.  Woohoo!  I did the final 3 miles at a 10:15 pace. 

Sunday: didn’t do anything, so rest day!  I didn’t even hit my 10K steps for the day.  Wah wah.

Monday: went to the gym with the full intention of 65 minutes on the elliptical followed by strength training, but apparently I’m still having some mystery issue (one of my coworkers seems to think that maybe my blood sugar is dropping, but that doesn’t make sense because I’ve been working out on an empty stomach for MONTHS and haven’t had an issue until now) and so all I did was the elliptical.  So frustrating.
Tuesday: was going to go to the gym and try again, but realized I should probably log some miles just in case of last minute overtime during the week.  So, I ran 6 miles at a 10:04 pace…woo!  Even though I’ve only been doing the speedwork and hilly runs for a month, I can tell I’ve gotten faster and that the faster pace is just plain easier to hold onto.  This run did not feel hard or like I was pushing myself at all.
Wednesday: went to the gym for a redo.  Tried a different approach this time.  Started off with 30 minutes on the elliptical, then went and did my strength training and went to log my final 35 minutes on the elliptical.
Thursday & Friday: happily picked up a shift of overtime on the night shift Wednesday night, so no workout.  Then, while working overtime Wednesday night, got offered overtime Thursday night, so boom extra money on my mid-February paycheck, and unfortunately no workout.


Today marks the end of the first week of my 3 week taper.  I cut my miles this week.  Last week, between Sunday and Saturday, I ran a total of 45.45 miles.  I have never run more than, I think, 38 miles in one calendar week before!  I’m very proud of myself!  This week, I was shooting for around 30 miles between Sunday and today, but these recaps run Saturday through Friday…and I ran 20 miles on Saturday.  During the taper, I want to focus a little more on making sure I get in my gym time and actually do more than just the elliptical. 

Last week, my food choices were “meh” at best.  I strove to make this week’s choices better.  I made my favorite salmon jerky over the weekend for my lunches this week.  I settled on apples for snacks and sweet potatoes for dinners.  And then, of course, my usual eggs for breakfast.

The foot is doing great, doesn’t hurt at all anymore, in fact.  So, I’m guessing what I did was bruise the tendon/ligament or whatever.  At any rate, it’s no longer an injury and that makes me happy.

Now let’s look at the scale.  I haven’t stepped on it since the week before last.
Ugh.  Just straight up ugh.  This basically completely negates the weight I lost between September and November.  Just great.  I do want to touch on something.  I am NOT being negative about my weight.  I am NOT beating myself up over it.  I am NOT being hard on myself about it.  I am being completely, 100% positive about it.  I know I can lose the weight again.  This is just frustrating.  I’m frustrated with the eating disorder that makes losing weight about 100 times (maybe more!) harder than it should be.  I will always, always, always pick myself back up, dust myself off, and start running again.  Literally and metaphorically.  Everyone stumbles.  Everyone falls.  But not everyone gives up and quits.  This whole process builds character.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rogue 30K Race Report

When I ran the Mustache Dache back in November, a friend that just happened to also be running it asked who wanted to run the Rogue 10K with him in January.  I said “ME!”  I then went home to register for it and discovered there was a 30K option.  Forget the 10K, I wanted do the 30K!  So I registered for it and prepared myself for the challenge.  Technically, this was just a long training run for the Austin Marathon…with perks.  HA!  I had discussed how I wanted to run this race with my “serious” runner friend and we agreed that I should do the first 3 miles at long run pace, then bump it to marathon goal pace (10:15-ish) until mile 14 or 15, then drop the hammer and bring it home.  I was excited to do that.

There was no expo for this race, just a very quick, uneventful grab my shirt and bib and done.  The shirt is very nice.  It’s a lime green long sleeved tech shirt.  It doesn’t specify that I ran the 30K over the 10K.  It just says “Rogue Distance Festival” on the front and then the standard sponsors on the back.  I got the ladies fit and it has a v-neck over a regular rounded t-shirt neckline.  I got the large and, honestly, I could have probably gotten a medium!

I went to bed a little tiny bit early and was able to wake up shortly after 5am without issue.  I had forgotten to go to the bagel shop to pick up my bagel and coffee before they closed, so I was going to have to stop on the way to the race.  I got dressed in the outfit I had picked out the night before.
However, I walked out the front door and the wind cut straight through the thinner white pullover I was wearing, even though I had another long sleeved white tech shirt underneath it.  I went back in and got the full zip fleece lined running jacket in blue and then pulled my INKnBURN Samurai Run or Die shirt over the top and I was on my way. 

I got to the high school where the race was starting from and sat in the car and got all my stuff together and ready to go.  Then I headed inside and used the restroom really quick before rushing off to the startline because I took a little too long in the car.  I did score a free Hüma gel as I was afraid that the 3 gels I brought weren’t going to be enough and I’d need a 4th (spoiler alert: I didn’t end up needing a 4th gel, so I left it in the console in my car as an “emergency gel”), so I was very thankful for that.  There were also Dunkin Donuts munchkins, so I grabbed 2 chocolate ones and THEN I was out the door!

I got to the startline and BARELY had time to do my leg swings, calf raises and calf stretches.  I was wearing a compression sleeve on my right calf because of the horrible cramp I had gotten after running a super hilly semi-long run in zero drop shoes the week before and I’m trying to make sure I don’t strain or tear the muscle.  They played the national anthem as I did my warm up.  Thankfully, I had turned on my Garmin while waiting in line for the restroom and had turned on my FitBit to find GPS right when I walked out the door of the school to head to the startline.

We were off!  At mile 2 we were all thrown for a serious loop when the mile marker for the 5th mile appeared on the side of the road.  The lady next to me and I both checked our Garmins in unison and looked at each other.  She said that the 10K ran part of the same course as us so that was probably the marker for the 10K.  I accepted that.  Until at mile 3 there was the mile 6 marker.  What the heck?  This continued through mile 15, where the mile 18 marker was located.  They sent out an email to all 30K participants that evening and explained what happened.  The lead cyclist turned right when he was supposed to go straight so the course directors had to scramble and beat the lead runners and throw together that 3 point whatever out-and-back bit right before the end.  And apparently, my Garmin was dead-on for the mileage as they said the modified course was actually about .5 mile longer than the original course, which was 18.76 miles.

I was a little upset that we had somehow gotten robbed of 3 miles.  But then, a very tiny part of me was kind of happy.  Why?  I had stepped a little wrong when I got out of my car at the bagel shop and there had been a quick pain in the outside of my left foot.  But I’ve done that so many times and nothing ever came of it and it just hurt really quick and then was gone.  Well, around mile 13, it started to hurt a little right where I had stepped wrong on my left foot.  By mile 15 the pain was pretty noticeable.  There went the plan to drop the hammer and bring it home for the last 3 point whatever miles at a 9:45 or faster pace.  Up until that point I had kept to the plan and all my miles but the first 3 were at 10:17 or faster.

At first I didn’t realize that the pain in my foot was from how I had stepped wrong.  The pain seemed to be at the front of the underside of my heel…so I was thinking it was a plantar fasciitis type pain.  I was thinking, what the heck?  I have never had any issues with my feet other than the muscles being tight after running a marathon and then I put some compression sleeves on my feet and they’re fine.  Or I’ll get blisters.  Blisters hurt, but I can run for miles with a blister.  This pain was different and it kind of freaked me out a little bit.  So I walked.  Walking made it a little better. 

The last 3 point whatever miles were an out-and-back bit.  That was torture.  I was getting frustrated and discouraged as we kept going and going.  I finally took my first walk break at mile 17.2 per my Garmin.  I walked for about a ½ mile and then the turnaround appeared in all its glory!  Finally!  I walked to the turnaround, stretched my foot a little then started running again.  I did good with the slow running for about a mile and then I walked again.  Once I got to the final stretch before the finish I started running again and ran it all the way to the finish line.  I finished with a 10:40 average pace overall.  Not bad considering the last 3 point whatever miles were all well over 12:00 minutes each.  That final bit I ran was at a 9:45 pace, so I’m happy I ended it at a good pace, even if I wasn’t able to do that pace for the final 3 point whatever miles like I’d originally planned to do.
Overall, this was a great event.  The aid stations were a little far spaced and there weren’t as many of them as I think there should have been.  They did have gels at the aid station near the 10 mile mark.  The race went mostly through residential neighborhoods, so there wasn’t a need for a huge amount of barricades or off duty police officers to guard major intersections.  As a result of that, and the fact that the only swag I got was my long sleeved tech shirt, and there were only 2…maybe 3…total port-a-potties on the course (and none at the start/finish area as we used the school facilities), I really think the registration fee should have been less than it was.  Now, to be fair, I did not go back into the school post-race and they may very well have had a whole post-race-expo thing going on.  So maybe the registration fee was totally justified and I just don’t know because when I crossed the finish line and got my medal (which is very attractive, by the way) I was so done and just wanted to go home.

I was 16th out of 25 in my age group, and 81st overall female out of 482.  Not too shabby!  Just goes to show you that my age group (35-39) is a populous one seeing as how I was back of the middle of the pack in my age group but was top 20% out of all females.  My official time was 3:25:41.  My Garmin was only 4 seconds off that…most likely because I waited until I was completely passed the guy taking photos at the finish line before I stopped it.

I will be running this race again next year as part of the Austin Runner’s Club Distance Challenge (of which I’m already registered for 2 of the 6 races for the 2016-2017 season).  Hopefully I’ll feel like sticking around post-race next year!
They did have free downloadable photos for all participants!

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