Saturday, July 30, 2016

Week in Review 7/30/16



Saturday: I had the Free-day Run for the Arts in the evening on this day.  The race started a smidge after 7pm and it was still extremely close to 100° (the “feels like temp” WAS over 100°).  Long story short, I ran just 10 seconds shy of getting a new 5K PR…woohoo!  (stay tuned for the full race recap…I’m going to try and post it in the next 2 weeks)
Then, because a 5K just wasn’t enough for me, and I wanted to hit my new and improved 15K step goal for the day, so on my drive back home from San Antonio, I stopped at the Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels and ran back and forth on the side of the parking lot away from traffic for 2 miles!
Sunday: I was a busy, busy little bee at the gym this day.  I did practically a little bit of everything.  3 miles on the tready, 11 minutes on the stairclimber for 45 floors, some strength training, an 800m swim, and then finished it off with walking around the parking lot until I hit 15K steps.  I love my new, higher step goal.  Some days it’s a little difficult to get all those steps in, but I try and I have hit 15K or higher 19 days out of the last 22 (at this point) days.  That’s pretty awesome.  In fact, that’s why I decided to up it because I was routinely getting 15K or higher the majority of the days. 

Monday: LONG RUN DAY!  I did procrastinate, but I had good reason.  I woke up to horrific news.  With all the police shootings happening, I have been affected, but now it’s gone and gotten personal.  Someone I know, someone that was a mentor and a teacher to me, happened upon burglars in his backyard breaking into his shed.  He gave chase and was overtaken.  Soooo, I ran this day’s long run in loving memory of Sgt Craig Hutchinson.  I dressed in blue.  And I did something that took personal courage: went without a shirt and was only in my sports bra.  Guess what?  No one cared!  My anxiety over it was ridiculous.  It was a smidge warm (mid 90°s) and at parts I wanted to quit and cut it short, but because I was running for Craig, I didn’t.  I pushed through it and did the things that were hard when I just wanted to stop.  There were tears shed during this run as I thought of Craig.  “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
Tuesday: another day of a little bit of everything at the gym.  I ran 2 miles on the tready, then 50 floors in 11 minutes on the stairclimber, then 25 minutes on the elliptical and ended with about 30 minutes of core work.  And then, later in the evening, I walked for 45 minutes to make sure I hit my 15K steps for the day!

Wednesday: just a 5.88 mile jaunt on the tready after the evening gym rush hour.  A decent run.
Thursday: no structured workout, just a day at the water park, so lots of walking and random swimming.

Friday: did 4 miles at *almost* marathon goal pace on the treadmill, so 10:00 pace overall.  MGP is 9:55 or faster.  Then I did bicep curls, shoulder press, low flyes, leg curls & extensions, and slow/fast calf raises.

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There was quite a lot of UP on the scale this week.  I gained like 10 pounds between last Friday and yesterday.  However, I can tell you, my body looked no different from one Friday to the next.  Why?  Well, a little thing we girls like to call TTOTM or TOM (depending on how you prefer to abbreviate it).  I’m sure you can figure that out.  Anyway, it’s something that makes us girls retain water and sometimes be bloated.  I wasn’t bloated, so I must have just been retaining water.  If things are all normal and well, then that 10 pounds should go away again and I should be back WELL BELOW my goal weight by next Saturday (seeing as how I lost 5.2 pounds since yesterday and am now officially back below my goal weight…YAY!).  Also, in full disclosure, I did not eat 100% “on diet” this week (hello, vacation), but I know I did NOT eat bad enough to gain 10 pounds.  So, therefore, I’m not worried about it because it’s not “real” weight gain.  I have a few meals out with friends next week, but I’m going to TRY and want to pick the better choices from the menus (but we all know I can’t resist the fish and chips at Sherlock’s…but instead of a full order, I can just get the half order and instead of fries, maybe I can get them to bring me a salad…see?  Better choices CAN be made while still indulging). 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Random Musings & Thoughts 7/27/16



I managed to get a couple really good nights of sleep last week in between working overtime and only getting 2 or 3 hours of sleep on my overtime days.  The days in between I got 6.5 hours and 7 hours, respectively.  And I didn’t even have to take a sleeping pill!  Both times I slept straight through and didn’t wake up once, not even to go to the bathroom!  Because of the sleeping in until 7:30am on those 2 days last week to make sure I did get a little more sleep, I didn’t get as many strength training sessions as I wanted.  I got a whopping ONE, in fact.  Normally I like to do 2-3 sessions per week.  Now, I did go to the gym 3 times, but one time all I did was do my swim (that was Sunday and I just wasn’t feeling it) and the other time I just had time to do my run as my time management skills leave a little to be desired at times.

All 3 shifts of overtime I worked last week, I walked and walked and walked and did my body weight exercises.  One day I did leg lifts, another day I did Bavarian split squats (one legged squats with your other foot behind you on a chair or some other elevated surface…makes it hit the hamstrings better) and the 3rd time I did tricep dips on the bench.

I got this YOR (that’s the brand name) Super Greens supplement from one of my coworkers.  They’re a little pricey.  The first day I took them, I felt pretty good.  I was tired before I took them and after they kicked in, I felt perked up and energized.  You can mix them with anything, but the package recommends cold water.  I mixed mine that first day with my coffee and it was actually quite tasty.  The coffee was caramel macchiato flavored (the coffee, not the creamer…I don’t do flavored creamers…they have sugar and are loaded with unnecessary calories) and when I added the Super Greens, it gave it a kind of sweet, herbal taste.  I really liked it!  Later in the first day, I mixed it with just plain water…wanted to give myself a little bit of natural energy while I worked the late night shift at work.  The second day, I mixed them with my glutamine and BCAA’s in water.  It was pretty tasty!  Couldn’t even really taste them over the flavor of the BCAA’s.
Last week, a LOT of people really started pointing out that they noticed I have lost a significant amount of weight and that it is definitely obvious.  I said a sincere and chipper “thank you” to soooooo many people because they all told me how great I was looking and congratulated me on my weight loss.  Then I told them that I’ve lost 30-something pounds since the beginning of May and they’re just flabbergasted.  Like, seriously, their jaws dropped open and their eyes almost popped out of their heads!  I have to say, I was pretty astounded myself when I turned a certain way and my oblique ab muscle just popped right out and said “HELLO!”  I was just like wow!  I really wish I had pictures from when I was training for bodybuilding (I never made it beyond like 4 months into the training…I just couldn’t stick to the super strict and bland diet…I bet I could now!  But I don’t want to do that.  That was what I wanted 11 years ago.  Now I’m a runner).  Actually, I just wish I had pictures from my 20’s and earlier 30’s.  I just don’t have many pictures of myself from beyond a few years ago when I first started trying to be serious about losing weight. 

One of my favorite races (last year was the inaugural event), the South Padre Island Marathon just posted their A and B options for this year’s medal.  People can vote on it and they’ll then pick a winner.  I love both designs and would be very happy with either one.  One has one sandcastle on it that’s a little cartoonish (but like a bronze color, like last year’s medal was bronzey) and the other has 2 sand castles that look semi-professional-like (also bronze).  I’m so excited for this race!
I decided this past week to up a couple of my FitBit daily goals.  I changed my 10K steps a day to 15K steps a day and, while I didn’t hit that every day, I did hit it MOST days.  I also changed my floors of stairs goal from 10 floors to 20!  I do love stairs.  Also, I really wish FitBit would make it so that you could manually add floors of stairs like you can steps, miles, kilometers, swimming workouts, and such.  It’s upsetting to me that you can’t add floors of stairs because FitBit doesn’t recognize that you’ve gone up any floors at all when you’re on a stair climber machine. 

I think it’s high time to replace my Garmin GPS watch again.  It doesn’t seem to hold onto charges (or maybe I’m an idiot that occasionally forgets to turn it off?).  But, it does say it has a low battery and dies when it still has between 12-22% battery left.  And there is the 920XT that has a race predictor that will help me stay on pace in races because it will show me in what approximate time I will finish the race based on my pace thus far and my pace at the moment that I check it.  I had this feature on the Polar M400 and that was pretty much the only thing I liked about the Polar.  So, I’m going to see if I have the money available on my next paycheck to buy it.  I will probably have to scrimp on a few things, but I think I can afford it.

I got my new vacuum this past weekend.  I assembled it and used it and I love it.  It’s actually not super loud.  I can still hear the TV over it!  I used both the floor head and the tube by itself and both worked fantastic.  I bought the Shark Navigator Lift Away Deluxe.
So, being a fitness fanatic and a FitBit fanatic.  And since I recently upped my daily step goal, I’m always looking for ways to hit that step goal and just keep myself moving, moving, moving as much as possible.  A body in motion stays at motion and I don’t want to be that body at rest that stays at rest because, to me, that’s just boring.  Not saying I don’t take my times to chill and relax, just saying, I like to stay busy.  Anyway, off topic there.  I like to walk and run and do anything that gets me more steps.  WALK ALL THE STEPS!!!  So, that leads into…yes, I play Pokemon Go.  Not all seriously or anything and I’m very inept at it, but I do enjoy finding new and fancy Pokemons and now that I’ve learned what Pokestops are and how to use them, it’s a little more fun for me as I ran out of balls the other day.

I’ve also decided that while I’m on vacation I will consume as little caffeine as possible.  So, I went and bought decaf coffee and some caffeine free diet coke.  I can’t be sure if how I felt on Sunday had anything to do with caffeine withdrawals, but I’m pretty sure it was mostly due to dehydration and having 2 alcoholic drinks when I usually have none.  So, I’m sure there was a tiny bit of caffeine withdrawal, but not much.  I decided to do this because I believe my body has become completely desensitized to caffeine and I needed to take a step back from it for a little bit and this was the perfect time to do it.  usually when I go on a vacation where I stay home, I at least cut back on caffeine if not completely stop consuming it.

This week in food, we have green waffles (spinach & banana...you seriously can't taste the spinach), salmon burgers,  watermelon, and lots of water!

I wanted to post some of the fitness and inspiration memes that really impacted me this past week.  I might make this a regular part of this post.  Nothing like ending a post with some positive memes, right?!?!


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Marathon Training Week #2



Tuesday: made up the 2 miles I missed on Sunday due to high temps making me decide to cut my long run short and ran 5 miles on the tready.  Felt really good the whole run and even bumped up the pace in the last ¼ mile.  My average pace for this run was 10:58.

Wednesday: forced rest day as I worked overtime on the late night shift on Tuesday night.

Thursday: I ran the 3 miles to the gym, did my strength training and then, I ran back home, but added an extra .2 to bring it to 3.2, making my running total for the day 6.2, or a 10K, thus earning me the Garmin Marathon’s 10K medal!  It’s so cute, it’s the Wizard’s hot air balloon and it says “10K” on the little basket that actually dangles from the balloon!  I felt really good on this split run.  The first 3 miles I ran at a 10:36 pace.  The second run of 3.2 miles, I ran almost a minute per mile slower, but I still felt really good.  It was much warmer out than it was for the first part of the run.

Friday: another forced rest day due to working overtime on the late night shift Thursday night.

Saturday: ran a fun Frida Kahlo-themed 5K at 7pm.  The temp was basically 100° (it was 97° with a “feels like” of 103°).  I wasn’t planning to run super fast and almost get a new PR simply because of when in the day and how hot it was when we were running, but I did.  I ran at a comfortably hard effort and felt strong the whole run.  There was also a brief “jog” to and from the car to drop off my sunglasses because I realized that I wouldn’t need them because the trail we were going to be running on was mostly shaded.  My official average pace for JUST the 5K was 8:47.  For the entire thing with the “jog” to and from the car, my average pace was 9:14 (yea, the “jog” wasn’t all that fast to and from the car as I wasn’t expecting my Garmin to die ¼ mile into the race so didn’t realize I’d be tracking everything ONLY on my FitBit…glad I have it as a backup, though).  On my drive home, I was all hyped up from the Free-da Run and wanted to run more, so when I stopped at Buc-ee’s on the way home, I ran 2 miles in the parking lot!  My pace for that 2 miles was 10:14.  Pretty decent pace for a visually boring run.  I guess I just really love running at night.  

Sunday: wasn’t planning on running, but had that itch again, so when I went to the gym I ran 3 miles on the tready.  Mostly slower paced, somewhere around 10:54, but then the last ¼ mile, bumped it down to 10:00 minute miles.  Mostly because the itch was thus scratched and I just wanted to finish out the 3 miles.  My average overall pace was 10:59.  I did do a minute of walking to start, I think…on accident.

Monday: LONG RUN DAY!!!  Since I was running that 5K on Saturday and knew I’d be running it hard, I decided to post pone my long run from Sunday to Monday because, hey, I’m on vacation, I can do what I want!  I wanted to do 9 or 10 miles and I also wanted to make sure I started earlier so that I didn’t have to cut it short again.  I did do 9, but only because I started later in the day than I really wanted to because I got some bad news right as soon as I woke up that kind of smacked some reality into me.  Anyway, this post is about my runs, I’ll get into what happened in another post.  Like I said, I started late, around 11:30am or so and was running until after 1pm.  It was in the mid 90°s, but the humidity was somewhat low and there was a breeze here and there.  For the most part, I felt pretty good, but did stop a few times to rest.  I hydrated as well as I could and supplemented my hydration pack with the occasional park water fountain (there aren’t many unfortunately).  I surprised myself with an 11:58 overall average.  I seriously thought it would be over 12:00 for my overall average.  Hooray for heat training!

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TRAINING NOTES FOR THIS WEEK:
I’ve decided I must be much better at hydrating than I was last summer and that’s a decent part of why the heat and humidity just isn’t really phasing me this year.  I know a good deal of it is because of my mindset.  Because you know what they say, the body achieves what the mind believes!  And if you believe hot and humid runs are going to suck, then guess what, they’re going to suck.  If you believe that you’re going to feel great despite the heat and humidity, then you’re going to feel great, or at least as close to great as is possible due to conditions.  And this year, I CHOOSE to feel great during my runs.  I CHOOSE to fully accept the deep and personal meaning that my favorite quote has for me: “we choose to do these things not because they are easy but because they are hard.”  But, yea, I believe better hydration and upping my daily ounces of water earlier this year are playing a pretty decent part in how I’m able to cope better with the summer conditions here in Texas. 

I really impressed myself at the Free-da’s Run for the Arts 5K by running just 6 seconds slower than my current 5K PR.  That just really goes to show that all this running in the heat and humidity is making me a stronger runner.  When I set that previous PR, it was on a 100% flat course and in 52°, so much more conducive to running fast.  But, the difference is, at that race I weighed 179 and now I weigh 157.  22 pounds makes a huge difference.  Well, that and all the heat and speedwork (even though I’ve been bad and slacking on it lately) that I’ve been doing.  It’s all paying off.  I can really see myself running 4:20:00 or faster at the South Padre Island Marathon in November!!!

Also, since this isn't just generic marathon training and there's an actual goal race at the end of it, I decided I should make a fun header, so I hope you guys like it!  #runSPI


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Week in Review 7/23/16



Saturday: I worked overtime on the later late night shift Friday night.  I had a goal to have over 13,000 steps by the time I got off work at 7am.  SUCCESS!  I had over 14,000! (ended the day with over 19,000!)  I also did 200 incline push-ups during my shift!  As a result of meeting my little goal for my steps by 7am, and the fact that I have a long run planned for early Sunday morning, and I had a really long week and didn’t feel like doing much, so I decided to not do any strength training and just hit the pool for another 800m.  Got it done in 20 minutes.
Sunday: long run day!  Went to my new favorite trail again for this run.  Even though it’s a long run, I was a little drained from running 6 days in a row last week (even though they were mostly short runs), so I decided a shorter long run was in order.  I did 8 miles.
Monday: worked the later late night shift for overtime on Sunday night (my day off), so I made sure to get as many steps as I could (was shooting for 13K+ again) before I got off work at 7am.  I ended up with about 11,750 steps by the time I got to my car after work.  I also did leg raises on the little bench they have where I was working and did a total of 15 squats and 140 leg raises throughout the night.

Tuesday: ran 5 decently paced miles on the tready.  Was going to do some strength post run, but it was almost 11 before I finished my run, so I nixed it because of lack of time.  I ended up having to charge my FitBit before I could leave for the gym and that delayed me about 45 minutes, so that’s where my strength training time went.  Oops.
Wednesday: overtime again Tuesday night.  So, again, a goal of 13K+ steps by 7am.  I ended the night with about 13,340 steps.  Also, I did squats again and ended the night with 200 Bavarian split squats!

Thursday: I ran the 3 miles to the gym, then I did bicep curls, cable crossovers, reverse cable flyes, leg curls and leg extensions.  I was going to do walking lunges as well, but 1) was running short on time and as it was already passed mid-morning it was just getting hotter and hotter by the minute, and 2) I didn’t think it would be much fun to run back home after doing a bunch of weighted walking lunges.  So I skipped the lunges for this day and will do them the next trip to the gym.  Then, I ran back home, but added an extra .2 to bring it to 3.2, making my running total for the day 6.2, or a 10K, thus earning me the Garmin Marathon’s 10K medal!  It’s so cute, it’s the Wizard’s hot air balloon and it says “10K” on the little basket that actually dangles from the balloon!
Friday: OMG!  Guess what!  Overtime again Thursday night.  Haha.  So, again, a goal of 13K+ steps before 7am.  I was able to get well over 14K steps by the time I got to my car after work.  And then I did the incline pushups again and ended the night with 300 tricep dips on the bench.

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Let me just start by saying that EVERY DAY I AM AT OR BELOW MY GOAL WEIGHT IS A GREAT DAY!!!  Now, with that being said, I’d be straight up lying if I said being at 155.4 on Friday and then up to 157.2 on Saturday didn’t at least mildly bother me on some level…because it did.  For about 2 seconds.  Then I moved on and told myself the whole every day I am at or below my goal weight is a great day line.  And I truly believe that.  Why?  Because it is.  I feel amazing, I look great, I’m more physically efficient, I recover quicker, and so many other things.  Those are the things that truly and really matter.  It really isn’t all about a number on a scale.  So, I lost 1.5 pounds this last week and that is still awesome.  I’ve lost over 100 pounds since I started this whole thing and that is…hmm…I don’t seem to have a grasp on a word that adequately describes how that feels…it flabbergasts and astonishes me.  Especially when I look at that TimeHop then/now picture.

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