Sunday, July 28, 2013

This Weekend

I had a good exercise weekend.  I wound up taking Friday off so I decided to do my long run yesterday and a 3 mile "recovery" run today.  It was tough, but I got it done.  The Fitbit stats for yesterday's run are above and the stats for today's run are below.

I am about to start week 4 of half marathon training, and it's kind of getting real.  Next week's long run will be 7 miles and the week after that it will be 8.  Before I started training for this thing I was contentedly running 3 miles a few times a week to help me lose weight.  I saw other bloggers doing their long runs and thought in the back of my mind that for me, running more than 3 miles would be impossible.  Even after I signed up for this half marathon I wasn't really sure I could do it.  

With every long run I finish I feel stronger.  I feel more confident in myself and my body.  I feel less like I'm posing as a runner and more like I can actually be one, already am one.  Am I moving slower than some people can walk? Yes.  Will other people judge me for that? Probably, but that's their problem.  Other people only see where I am now, but I see where I came from and where I'm going. When I started running, I struggled to run for a minute without stopping.  Yesterday I ran for over an hour without keeling over.  I only stopped when I had to restart the treadmill or take a short bathroom break.  I am stronger now than I was then and I will continue to improve. I won't be able to run my first half marathon fast, but I hope that if I stick with my training I will be able to run it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I Might Have Taken The Snake

I wanted to run tonight about as much as I want to be squeezed to death by a boa constrictor. Come to think of it, I might have taken the snake tonight if given the choice. That's how tired I was. Halfway through the season finale of Hell's Kitchen, I talked myself into going to the gym and watching the rest of the show while I ran 4 miles on the treadmill.  

I started my run later than yesterday so my dinner had more time to digest.  It was nice to not have to deal with side stitches while I ran, but starting later meant I wasn't done running until after 10 PM.  Not to sound like a little old lady, but that is my usual bedtime.  I made it through the 4 miles, but I was running on sheer willpower towards the end.  

I'm supposed to run another 3 miles tomorrow, but I also have to run a few errands after work. Hopefully I'll be bursting with enthusiasm (and energy) with the weekend upon me, but I'm not holding my breath.  I'm guessing tomorrow's run will be another slog.  But I could be wrong.  Bring it on Friday. I'm ready for you.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tough Run

I'm not really sure where this week has gone.  It seems like yesterday it was the weekend and I woke up today and discovered it was Wednesday.  Maybe the rest of the work week will go by quickly too. A girl can dream.  

Anyway, I ran 3 miles after work and got in 2.38 miles of walking during the day for a total of 5.38 miles.  I'm still following the Hal Higdon novice 2 half marathon training schedule, but I'm doing it loosely.  I'm aiming to get in all the scheduled runs this week, but instead of running on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday I am aiming to run Wednesday/Thursday/Friday/Sunday.  If I tell the internet my plan perhaps I will stick with it.

This run was really tough.  I ate dinner at around 6:30 and started my run at 8:00 when Big Brother came on.  The chicken tacos I ate for dinner were definitely delicious.  Whole grain corn shells, shredded chicken, taco sauce, fat free cheese, and a dollop of Greek yogurt is perfection on the tongue.

Running a little over an hour after big dinner, on the other hand, is hell on the stomach.  I had wicked side stitches going on and I had to take breathers between miles to let the pain subside.  I pushed through until the end, but I wanted to stop really, really bad.  Here's hoping tomorrow's run will be better.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What Hard Work Smells Like

After my run yesterday, I decided I wanted to make the Biggest Loser white chicken chili recipe. I've had it pinned on Pinterest for a while and I had everything on hand for the recipe but the chicken broth so I went to the store.  When I came out of the store, I had the horrifying insect-related experience to end all horrifying insect-related experiences.

I put my groceries in the car and started to pull out of the parking lot when I glanced at my windshield and noticed something dark just above the windshield wipers.  It took a second for my mind to process what I was looking at, but once it did there was panic and horror.  Not only was there something on my window, but that something was moving.  Ants. What must have been hundreds of ants.  On my windshield.  And that was the moment I knew my life was in peril because they were going to get inside the car somehow and eat me alive like on one of those freak nature accident shows.  Okay, so maybe that's a bit melodramatic, but I hate bugs of all sizes and descriptions and there were just so many of them and my skin was crawling and it was truly awful. I turned on my windshield wipers and killed most of them with the spray stuff you use to clean your windshield, but there were still about ten of them running around my windshield by the time I got back to my building.  I'm still not over it a day later.  

Despite my horrifying experience, I managed to get my groceries in and make my chili.  It was delicious, but it didn't really taste like chili to me.  It was more of a tortilla soup so I added taco seasoning to the base recipe and wasn't mad at the Annie's Cheddar Bunnies that went for a swim in my bowl.  Adding actual tortilla chips would have been a good decision too, but those bunnies just weren't taking no for an answer.  You know how it is with cheddar bunnies.

Since my knee was still feeling good today I ate breakfast and headed down to the fitness center to run 3 miles.  The run was great, but I realized about 2 miles in that I wasn't wearing real deodorant. So, if you are the guy who got on the treadmill beside me and then moved over a treadmill two seconds later, I apologize.  I did a quick pit check after my run and I'm not saying I smelled like roses, but real talk, buddy?  That's just what hard work smells like and I am not ashamed.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Character Withdrawal

After taking several days off to ice and rest, rest and ice, my knee is feeling better.  I decided to go ahead and do my 5 mile long run today and if my knee is still feeling okay I'll run another 3 tomorrow.  I made myself keep the treadmill at 4 mph for the whole run even though I kept wanting to bump up the speed.

I've had problems with my knee off and on since I started running last year.  I always wear a small knee brace called a patellar strap because I'm pretty sure the problem is runner's knee.  The strap seems to help.  I've also noticed that my knee acts up more when I try to run faster miles.  I think I might have exacerbated the problem over the last couple of weeks because I was trying to run too fast while I build up my distance.  Lesson learned.  I'm going to focus solely on building distance and not even think about getting faster until after the half marathon in September.  After all, the time limit for the half is 4 hours.  I think I need to just focus on finishing under the time limit and staying injury free rather than trying to finish fast and hurting myself.  

After my run, I devoted the rest of my day to catching up on my favorite televisions shows.  I finished watching Smash yesterday and it was really bittersweet.  I realized after I watched the last episode of season 2 that the show was cancelled and I had to go back to my regularly scheduled life. I hate series finales almost as much as I hate reading the last book in a series.  I always feel like I lost a close friend because I had to say goodbye to the characters. I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but character withdrawal is real and I will probably be going through it for at least a week.  I hope it's only a week, anyway.  I don't even want to talk about how bad it was after I finished the Deathly Hallows...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ice Ice Baby

I decided to take a rest day today and give my knee a bit of a break.  The twinge I had yesterday turned into a tiny pain after my run.  It made me nervous so I wanted to give it a day and see what it feels like tomorrow.  I think the problem is something called runner's knee and a couple of websites said that ice helps.  We'll see.  On a happier note, my outfit today made me happy.

When I was visiting family in Maryland for the 4th of July, I went shopping in a relative's closet. This dress is one of the new-to-me pieces I came home with.  I have a mild obsession with polka dots anyway and I like the color yellow.  The polka dots and yellow together?  That's the stuff dreams are made of.    

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

At Least I was Going

This is one of those days that really could have been worse, but also could have been better.  This morning I was running late and almost dropped my blush in the toilet.  It could have been worse--I could have actually dropped my blush in the toilet.  However, I would have preferred not dropping my blush at all.  During my run tonight I really wanted to watch Pretty Little Liars on the TV in the gym while I ran, but as it turns out the TV in the gym doesn't get ABC Family. It could have been worse. At least there is a TV in the gym.  But I would have preferred watching the channel (and the show) I wanted to watch.

Other than that this run was fairly uneventful.  I used my Fitbit for distance again and I think I will stick with that.  I've been feeling a mild twinge in my knee this week so I stuck with 15 minute miles and tried to focus on my running form.  I didn't burn as many calories as usual because I was going so slow, but that's okay.  At least I was going.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Coffee Date

  • Let's pretend for a second that you and I are walking in the rain (because it's always raining in Orlando anytime the sun isn't broiling you in your own juices that is.) We stumble across an adorable little coffee shop and we decide to rest our legs and stay awhile. 
  • If we were having a conversation in that imaginary coffee shop, I would tell you that I've really been missing Trader Joe's lately.
  • I would tell you that learning my way around a new city is an adventure, but I miss Tennessee more than I ever thought I would.
  • Maybe we would talk about how the news has been really depressing lately and it makes me sad.
  • To change the subject I would mention my summer television obsessions: Under the Dome, Big Brother, Pretty Little Liars, and Twisted to name a few.  You would probably laugh at my ridiculous taste in television and I would probably ignore you because you've just told me about some of your favorite shows and now I'm convinced you don't have any room to judge me.
  • I would mention that I officially started training for my half marathon and if I live to tell about it I might be crazy enough to set my sights on a marathon next. 
  • I would tell you that I want to start taking more fitness classes when I get back to school and maybe join a running group if I can find one that won't judge me for being slow as molasses and proud of it.
  • We'll eat something regrettable (that apple fritter kept calling my name) and we'll people watch until we think of something more to say.
  • By now, maybe the rain will have stopped and we will have finished our coffee. Introvert that I am, I'll probably tell you I need to get home.  We'll say our goodbyes and promise to do this again soon.  And maybe next week we will.  Until we meet again, goodnight.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Good Run

Over the weekend I discovered this show called Smash on Amazon Prime and I have been watching the first season obsessively.  It's about the making of a Broadway musical and it's full of delicious drama. I was up really late last night because I just had to know what happened next so I slept in this morning.  In my world that means I didn't wake up until 9.  Sometimes things get crazy around here.

Anyway, after I woke up I had breakfast and spent a little time reading my facebook newsfeed.  I dawdled for a while to let my food digest and eventually I made my way down to the fitness center to get in the first long run of the training schedule.  Since I haven't calibrated my Garmin foot pod, the distance and pace information it gives me has been really off.  I decided to use my Garmin to give me an accurate count of my calorie burn, but to rely on my Fitbit for distance so that I wasn't running further than the training schedule called for.  

I walked for 5 minutes to warm up then hopped off the treadmill while I checked the distance on my Fitbit.  After my warmup I was at 0.57 miles for the day so I knew that I would be done running when my Fitbit said 4.57 miles.   I set the treadmill speed at a pace I knew I could stick with and started running.  

The treadmills in my building are set to automatically go into cool down mode after 20 minutes so I had to hop off the treadmill and restart it a few times.  I felt really good while I was running so I kept the speed at around 13:20 minutes per mile for most of the run, but towards the end I wanted to be done so I started doing intervals where I set the treadmill at 5 mph (12 minute miles) for 1 minute then slowed it down to recover for 1 minute and 30 seconds.  When I had run 4 miles according to my Fitbit, I turned my Garmin off and walked for a few minutes to cool down.  

Since it's shark week and I get really bad cramps, I didn't have very high hopes for this run.  Turns out I was completely wrong.  This was one of those days when I mostly enjoyed the experience. After I finished running I devoted the rest of my day to running errands.  All in all it was a peaceful Sunday.  Back to work in the morning...

Friday, July 12, 2013

In Which Excuses Pop Out Of The Author Like Farts

I have been practically flatulent with excuses this week and I'm a little disappointed in myself.  It's okay that I let my eating get off track because what can one week hurt?  I don't want to run because I have cramps.  I already walked 10,000 steps today and that's good enough.  I have noticed a general lack of discipline going on lately, and I need to do better.  Starting tonight.

I had already had a somewhat off day by the time I left work. I woke up earlier than I meant to because of a minor stomach issue, I had two research projects to finish at work, and I made bad choices at lunch because I went to a lunch time lecture where the healthy choices were meager.

I knew I should not eat the pasta and I definitely should not have gotten dessert, but somehow they both wound up on my plate and down the hatch before I could rethink my decision.  Then by the time I came home and went to the grocery store, I had already gotten dangerously close to my 10,000 step goal for the day.

It would have been so easy to just pace around my room until I hit my step goal and call it quits.  I almost did just that.  But then I thought about how angry I would be with myself if I didn't get off my butt and get in a run.  I told myself I would feel better after I got off the treadmill.  I convinced myself that running was therapy and after the week I've had I needed it.  So I went down to the gym and I ran 3 miles.  By the time I was done, my Fitbit stats looked like this:

I do not know if I did enough to make up for the pasta indiscretion at lunch, but I was right about feeling better when I got off the treadmill.  I needed to clear my head and get my body moving.  I needed to feel like I worked hard and did something good for my body.  I needed to feel like I still have enough fight left to reach my goal weight and stay there.  I am so close that I can not let excuses get in my way now.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Enthusiasm Free

So, today's run went better than yesterday's run.  By "better" I mean I actually made it the full 3 miles.  It was still a struggle, though.  I didn't want to run.  I wanted to park myself on the couch with the rest of that Arctic Zero from yesterday and zone out for a few hours while I watch something stupid on Netflix.  That's right, Shakma.  I'm talking to you.

Notwithstanding my intense lack of enthusiasm, I dragged myself down to the fitness center and watched Gordon Ramsay's Best Restaurant on the Netflix app on my phone while I ran.  I started out with the treadmill set at 4 mph (15 minute miles), but bumped it up more and more as I kept running because I wanted to get done faster.  There were times when I had it set as fast as 5.5 mph which is blazing fast for me.  I finished running just in time to watch tonight's episode of Big Brother and dig into that Arctic Zero I was craving before my run.  

I got the exercising part down, but I am a little worried about my eating.  Normally I try to limit my grain intake, but this week I have been eating couscous obsessively.  My aunt gave me a box of the stuff from Trader Joe's while I was at her house because I enjoyed the couscous dish at McCormick & Schmick's so much.  I'm new to couscous, but I know that like rice, there is more than one variety. I'm fairly certain the restaurant served Israeli couscous but the whole wheat couscous from Trader Joe's is Moroccan couscous because it's smaller.  I actually really like the Moroccan couscous for one simple reason: it takes 3 minutes to cook in the microwave.  I've taken a couscous salad to work for the last two days and enjoyed it both days.  I kind of want to switch it up for tomorrow, though. I might take turkey burgers.  No buns.  We shall see.     

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

LOL Nope

So, this run didn't go as planned.  It's fine.  Hal Higdon said I should run 3 today, but my shins and the back of my calves were like LOL, nope!  I made myself finish a whole mile, but it was a struggle. I'm not concerned about it, though, because check out my Fitbit stats for the day:

Before I got on the treadmill I had already gone 10,000 steps today. Outside. In 92 degree heat. Because sometimes my life sucks like that. Between not running last week, getting in lots of walking earlier in the day, and still being tired from my trip I'm just proud that I made it 1 mile.  

I'm trying to get my eating back on track this week as well, so today I took a couscous salad, grapes, and a Larabar for lunch.  I topped some whole wheat couscous with diced tomato, fresh basil, onion, fat free feta, and chicken and ate it cold.  It was delicious and surprisingly easy.  I cooked the couscous in the microwave last night and put together the rest of the salad this morning before I left for work.  I also discovered the best thing ever on instagram the other day.

It's called Arctic Zero, and yes that says it is 150 calories per pint.  The brand got mixed reviews on Amazon so I went in with low expectations, but I thought it was delicious and satisfying.  I made it 1/3 of the way through the container tonight and had no reason to feel guilty when I was done. I will definitely be looking for all the other flavors!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Back To Reality

Today was my last day in Maryland visiting family and I will now be needing a vacation from my vacation. Traveling is exhausting! It took every ounce of willpower I had to get out of bed today. Last night a big group of my relatives went out to eat at a seafood place at National Harbor called McCormick & Schmick's. 

I wish i could say I exercised admirable restraint, but I was a bad bad dieter and I am ashamed.  I caved when I saw Cashew Crusted Tilapia on the menu. 

I ate everything on that plate but 3 green beans. It was delicious and I discovered that I like cous cous.  I felt guilty for not ordering something grilled with nothing on it so I drafted my cousin as my tour guide and we walked around and checked out some  of the stores and the   Gaylord hotel after dinner. I found a tea shop called Capital Teas. I meant to just window shop but the store clerk had me smell the Roasted Almond tea and it smelled like cinnamon, nuts, and heaven and I had to take it home with me because anything that smells like that has to be good. I was right and when I tried it I decided I made a good decision. 

My flight wasn't until evening so I went for a walk with my cousin this morning. The path we took was largely in the sun and as my cousin would say, that sun was beaming. We strolled at a leisurely pace and talked. It was hot, but I don't get to Maryland very often so I don't really see this part of the family as much as I would like. It was nice to catch up. We were born about six months apart and we are both finishing degrees and trying to find big girl jobs that will pay the bills, or you know, at least pay.

There is a great view of the Harbor from the trail and even though I hated the feeling of the sun beating down on me, I was glad I got out and got in at least 5 miles.  I had a great time in Maryland. It's back to reality-and my internship-in the morning.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

So This Is What Clothes That Fit Feel Like

I'm kind of liking this thing where I can blog from my phone even though it's kind of a pain to type on such a small screen. I won't have wifi access on my computer again until tomorrow so it's nice that I've still been able to update my blog.

Today was another epic walking day. I went back to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge again with my family and then we went to the mall. Yesterday I went shopping in my aunt's closet (read: I took a bunch of her hand me downs that were too small for her.) I still needed a few more filler pieces for work so we hit up a big sale at New York & Company.

I got two blazers, a cardigan, three tops, and a skirt. I was excited. I haven't bought many new clothes yet since I'm not done losing weight. My work wardrobe was pretty meager. I was wearing the same handful of outfits on a never-ending loop because only a few of my business clothes still fit. The clothes i originally planned to wear got super loose and by the time my internship started I looked like I had borrowed my fat friend's clothes to wear to work. It will be nice to feel and look a little more like myself for the rest of the internship.

We also stopped at Trader Joe's so I could get ingredients for a pizza.

I don't have a stove (or access to a Trader Joe's in Orlando) and it has been hard. I've been dying to bake something, anything, for weeks now and i settled on pizza. The one on the left is a standard pepperoni pizza and the one on the right is fresh basil and red onion. There's light mozzarella on both and I used a whole wheat pizza crust. I've already accepted that I will probably gain ten pounds this week, but I'm hoping I will take it back off fairly quickly since I will be starting the half marathon training plan in earnest next week. It's about to get real up in here y'all. Let's do this thing!

Friday, July 5, 2013

I Walked To Another State And All I Got Was Sweaty

I am attempting to blog from my phone so I'm going to keep this one brief. I still haven't gone for a run, but today I did the next best thing: I went for a 6 mile walk across the Woodrow Wilson bridge into Virginia.

It was a hot, sweaty one, but it felt good to do something active again after being sick earlier this week. I'm not going to lie though. Every time a runner passed me i looked longingly at their fuel belt clad body and felt a little jealous. I can't wait to get back in the swing of things!

My eating hasn't been terrible since i've been here, but it hasn't been great either. I've mostly been eating turkey burgers on whole wheat buns, vegetable radiatore pasta with chicken from Trader Joe's, and larabars because i could eat my weight in them for always. So far, i have managed to say no to cupcakes, peach cobbler, pound cake, grilled smores, my grandmother's blonde brownies, and fried fish. However, my family is hanging out tonight and there may be a wine cooler in my future. I skipped the eat part so there will be no guilt for my decision to drink and be merry.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Heading Out For The 4th of July

This morning, I woke up obscenely early to catch a ride to the airport.  I was up before 3 AM and was not fully functional as evidenced by my attempt to wear my shower shoes to the airport.  Early morning fail, y'all.  I made it though, and am writing this post from my terminal, because this airport has free  wifi and charging stations for electronic devices.  Orlando might have redeemed itself just a teeny little bit.  

In other news, I haven't done any working out this week.  I mentioned in my last post that I thought I had a virus, but I'm amending that self diagnosis to I think I had a partial blockage.  I probably should have gone to the doctor, but I read on several Crohn's disease forums that if I went to the hospital they would most likely give me IV fluids, anti-nausea drugs, and pain killers if necessary and then tell me to wait until the blockage passed on its own.  While I would have appreciated the anti-nausea medication, I wasn't in enough pain to make another bad hospital experience worthwhile. I decided I could just drink more fluids at home and wait it out in a familiar bed in my own pajamas without doctors, nurses, or their minions waking me up constantly to check my blood pressure, change my IV bag, ask me inane questions, etc.  In any case, I am now feeling better and I am hoping to get in a run or two while I am visiting family.  Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Coffee Date

  • Mondays are rest days, so I thought we'd have another coffee date.
  • It's a good thing I didn't plan to run today because methinks I have a stomach virus.  I'll spare you the gory deets.
  • I ran out of Larabars this morning and didn't have one to pack in my lunch.  I started to buy a Twix out of the vending machine because I always want something sweet after a meal, but then I started talking to one of the other interns at work about clean eating and my weight loss journey and I realized that I didn't want that Twix as much as I want to reach my health and weight loss goals. #Winning. 
  • I caught the first episode of this new show called Under the Dome last night.  It could either be eerily awesome like Lost or a total flop.  Not sure which way it will go yet, but it's based on a Stephen King book and I have mad love for shows based on King books. Ask me how obsessed I am with Haven.  If Nathan and Audrey don't happen soon, I. Will. Have. Fits. 
  • My hatred for Florida weather is real and everlasting.  Yesterday the weather was perfectly fine when I left for the grocery store, but it went to hell in a hand basket in the twenty minutes I was in the store.  I'm talking wind blowing the rain sideways crazy.  
  • Most of my skinny clothes are too big now.  This is a blessing and a curse.  Blessing for obvious reasons, but curse because I still plan to lose at least 10 more pounds and don't want to buy a bunch of new stuff that may or may not fit when I reach my ultimate goal weight.  I've basically been wearing the same five outfits to work for the last month and I'm over all five of them.  
  • It's a short work week for me.  I'm wearing my excited face now.