Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3 lb down, Week 3 Day 1, Take 2

Yesterday was a pretty good Monday. My boss took me out for my birthday, we just could not get on the same schedule until now. I ate a Kobe hamburger with blue cheese utilizing a fork and knife. I am weird about getting food in my teeth anyway, I smile too much, so the food, if stuck, is obvious. I skipped the bun but did indulge in the garlic fries. I think he was surprised I did not want desert, since it was my bday. But I was full after a meal so early in the day, as my non-MF meal is usually around dinner time. It was a really nice time. I will definitely be back there, the menu was expansive and there were some good options. Of course, its a brew house, so it will have to be on my running days.

After work I went to Yoga, got a good work out and found out one complex move that I can do with ease. I think its due to my stretching for running, as it's a similar form as one I use. My Yogi was extremely impressed with my form, I just needed to arch my back more. She even came to talk to me after class about how impressed she was. I was not paying attention to the rest of the class, so maybe they couldn't do it. Some day I will get to the Peacock pose. Someday. 

I did give up Zumba. Zumba days are now my running days. I am a bit sad. Very much so. But my knees are not hurting, still, yay! and so I will continue to wait.

Post Yoga I went to a friends for some hot tub time and a few drinks. It was so relaxing and fun. I think that might also have been my first time drinking Crown Royal. So I saved all the beer and wine calories and carbs. But I actually did not get to eat after lunch, so I missed another two or three meals. I was actually fine, lunch really filled me up.

We both were yawning but I didn't realize it was 3 am! I went home shortly after even though she prepared a bed for me, next time. We agreed to go to lunch and get our shopping trip in since it was postponed when I was sick after Thanksgiving.

The next morning, with very little sleep on my day off, I felt very skinny. I even tried on my favorite blue dress. I have posted about it, probably a year ago. It was very promising. Not sure if there is enough room to sit down, since my belly is the biggest part of me. So that went back into the closet and I decided I felt great and hopped on the scale. Minus 3 pounds!!!!!!! Holy Cow! I need to do some hot tub time more often!!!

I wanted to get on the treadmill before we did lunch but I was dragging and listlessly walking, exhausted. So I jumped in the shower and headed out.

We tried a new Mexican restaurant. Minus the rice and "fried" beans, which I thought were good but left most of, the chicken was all white meat. I was impressed and would go back. I saw no oil slick, and the portion size was well worth the minimal price. I didn't feel gross, as I have at my recent fave restaurant. However, my friend was unimpressed, the one in the gas station closer to her had much more flavor. Oh well.
A few hours at the mall followed by a short and disconcerting trip to Walmart-not only no sushi (there is a restaurant in the same parking lot), but a horrible selection of woman's and girl's clothing- which led across the street to Stein Mart. I might have tried on half the store but left empty handed. One dress was just a bit off, too bad! I looked like a million bucks in it! Even took pictures, that's how hot I am now. It was a good day. I almost bought two camis/tanks with large, fancy lace sections on front. I really liked them, but they were meant to be exposed a bit more than I am comfortable with  my rolls and the fabric was very thin. I might go back for those. A shirt I tried on three times and decided I did not like it and a second one, long sleeved, I loved but decided not to get it. I just was not in a buying mood. But glad I went for the wow factor dress.

I got on the treadmill immediately after I came home. Take 2, my body is better at running, my breath was jagged but found a pace. Unfortunately, I got a cramp in my right side somewhere around the first 3 minute run. The walk helped it but I struggled with that the whole way through. However, I over ran the first run, and both three minutes were not bad at all.

Dinner was a big salad followed by *whispered* store brand spaghetti o's a few hours later. I was just too exhausted to make something else and far hungrier, or thirstier, than I thought.

Let's hope I can keep off the 3 lbs! What a pleasant surprise. Oh, and I almost forgot, one pair of jeans is far too large and baggy to wear anymore! Score!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Week 3 complete. Couch2 5K

Completed Day 3 of Week 3 today.  Day 2 was Thanksgiving, figured I would burn a few calories before I consumed.

This week was tough. Day 1 had more walking than I was used to because the running was consolidated and longer. The 3 minute run was hard, but it was the longer walking that did me in, oddly enough. Day 2 I got a stitch in my side towards the end. Luckily, I had a long time to walk it out. Still cramped my style. By the long run I was begging for no more. When I realized it was the final one, I was never so glad. That's not true. My knees are no longer bothering me (knock on wood! fingers crossed!), that is what I am most grateful for. And, of course, our free treadmill.

I was was ready for today's run. Wanted to hit it head on. As with everything else lately, even thought I got ready early, I did lots of other things instead. I decided to dust the fans, sweep the kitchen, and wipe down all the floor tile. I decided it would be a good idea to get my body moving before jumping on the treadmill. I still felt I needed a longer warm up walk. And by minute 17, which happens to be the long run, I was so ready for it to be over.

So next week will also be Week 3.

My breathing was off this week also. Today, for a few strides it was totally in sync and I knew it. It was wonderful. Then it was off and back to working. I need to call my marathon runner and ask for pointers.

I was talking to a friend, complaining about how my mind is just not up to par with my body on this run. She said she had the same problem. In fact, she never got over it, she hated running every minute. I think once I am done watching the clock to switch between running and walking I can focus on my music for timing. Of course, if I run outside, things might change. Let's hope.

I had a stomach bug or ate something off was was horribly sick all Thanksgiving night continuing through to today. Everything was literally out of my system by 3 or 4 am that night/next morning. So glad I ran on Thanksgiving and figured I was pushing it today, but it was fine.

However, after all of that nighttime loss, I would have thought I would be down at least a pound! Not a chance. Water weight I guess. Figures.

But I noticed a lot more shape to my calves and my thighs. Not to mention  I can now buckle my way too old sports bras. Hugh non-scale victory, as they say in my diet food support. Speaking of that, since I am not losing, and clearly not strict to it, I might push my reorder date back.  Holidays are hard and while it seems like a crutch, this TDY is also throwing a wrench in everything. Its just easier to do take out, or not portion correctly. Especially since everything, except some packages of chicken, were proportioned for 2. Or I'm not hungry and so try to snack. Or I am starving and overeat. Just not in the same day.

And as I already said before, I am tried of the diet food. But! I pulled out my old recipes and bought some cream cheese to try to get rid of the nasty orange drink I have. It tastes ok, its the thickening agent that never mixes well. So I am going to try to make it into "frosting" for some MF brownies I have left. It was originally done with pudding. I am hoping if I use less water, or boiling water, it will mix better.

I can't believe the scale hasn't moved. But I feel much healthier. I guess that is what matters in the end.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kickin' it up a notch: On to Week 3 Couch2 5K

I finished Day 3 of Week 2, Take 2, Again for the Couch2 5k and I think I am ready to start Week 3. Mentally, I am not really there yet, still bored between minute 15 and 17. But I felt like my body could have run for slightly longer periods of time. I had accidentally added 30 seconds twice because I was so into my jams.  Actually, my body was really jonesing to get moving. It was as if I couldn’t contain it. Such a great feeling!

I need to get my arms really swinging to help with the motions. Really pumping to help my stride. Maybe it’s the limitations of the treadmill. I also laced up my shoes utilizing each hole, even the far top back one. I think the shoes felt better, more secure.  If only the shoe laces were a bit longer.

I really did not sweat this time. So, I think it is time to try kicking it up a notch. My left knee felt loose today, while the right one felt rather tight. So instead of one set of leg lifts to help strengthen my inner thighs, I did two each and then an extra one on my left side.  I am trying to work up to it. And incorporate it into my run routine, which today took 2 hours: stretch before, 30-40 mins on, stretch after. I may have calculated that wrong, will have to check it out later on and actually write it down to be sure. 

I have to admit I did have one fan on today. I originally started out with the ceiling fan and a stand fan to help cool me off. But two months ago it was still summer heat. Somewhere in between I figured the wind doesn’t always blow so I might as well practice in the heat of the moment.  Before I started this whole situation, I had visions of me training with a camelback on. I think I will save that for when 5ks become boring and I need to train harder. Fingers crossed!
While I think it is ultimately the yoga, running and the associated stretching are really helping my posture. 

If I change my run schedule from M, W, F, something like that, it throws the gym off. I am planning on skipping my beloved Zumba for now because of the twisting on my knees. So if I run on Tuesday instead, and not do Zumba at 6pm, right after work, the next thing is Yogalates at 7. So I might get to eat dinner early and have it out of my belly by the time I get home and run at 830/9pm. I really don’t want to run that late as it does keep me up at night, but I want to get as much gym time as possible. Paying for it, right? I still need to jump on those machines and get my classes in.

Of course, I am trying to figure this out with a holiday in the middle of the week. So maybe it won’t be so hard, for now. I was actually thinking of adding some walking in on the days I am not running, as extra exercise. Depending on the type of yoga, I do end up soaked. It is definitely not all relaxation and meditation. But I don’t know how many cals I am actually burning. My diet website only has hatha yoga and says 1 hour for me is 320 calories.  For how much I can sweat and work at it, there has to be more gain than being able to contemplate joining Cirque du Soleil.

So maybe since I am usually sweaty after, I can jump on the treadmill  for a run and then into the shower. Then tackle dinner. But really, I am so exhausted and lazy by then I will probably end up skipping dinner and be starved the following day. Unless I had the day off, in which case I would have ran earlier, anyway. 

I think I am seeing lots of slow cooker meals in my future.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Couch2 5K trials

I finally got the motivation to get on the treadmill and get moving. A number of my friends (from our last home) started running and have even run some pretty serious mileage. One did a couch2 5k and it got her out to actually "run" a 5k.

So here we are. Week 1 I definitely ran more than 3 days a week, and probably back to back. I am sure we were still going to the Y, so add in a few Zumba classes, also. My knees were seriously not having it. It was to the point where they were giving out on me. I stopped activity altogether (Zumba, is really bad on bad knees, I learned). It was to the point where I was in constant non-stop pain, and DH actually suggested to call the Dr and stop holding out. The earliest I could get in was 1 month later.

For those who don't know, the Couch2 5K is a program designed to get people off the couch (i.e. no exercise) and up to be able to run 5 kilometers... in an hour? The program I printed out trains only for 30-40 minutes. I will just have to let you know when I make it to the end. It alternates from walking to running. At first, the run is only a minute, then a minute in a half, then less walking, then eventually, its all run.

The wise and practiced DH thought getting out onto pavement would be better than the treadmill. For one, the races are not on the treadmill, and two, propelling yourself is much different than staying up on a moving surface. I very much agree with him and was going to suggest we go together, because I need a buddy or I'll laze out, but then he went TDY and I am struggling to get back on that horse...

In the time I waited to see the Dr, I stopped all serious exercise, maybe a bit of light walking, and yoga to stretch everything out. I bought new shoes, because that is everyone's go-to answer. I probably needed them anyway, but it was not the quick fix promised. I didn't think it would be, but I was glad to finally get some obnoxious colors. I always had some kind of gray or brown scale, now its purple with electric green laces. Ice helped a bit, as did otc pain reliever. By the time the appointment rolled around there was no pain.

In the interim, I had talked to a friend who did marathon training and it turned out we had a lot in common. She gave me some stretches to try and offered a few pointers she learned along the way. I talked to another marathon running friend, who is currently training for a triathlon, and she mentioned her friends sometimes tape their knee caps into place, which I remember from therapy on my knees from way back. I would have tried it but I couldn't remember which direction to move it. Best not to mess with those kind of things.

I started the couch2 5k again. The stretches really did help but my knees were still bothering me. It was, however, much improved. I made sure to run the morning before my appointment so if there was pain I could point to where. My Dr. knew what I was talking about and was surprised that there was no pain at the time or where she pushed and prodded. What she thought it was is in fact extremely common in women and unsurprising. Apparently my outer thigh is stronger than my inner and is pulling my knee cap out of alignment. She explained a few things to try and ways to tweak the machines at the gym to help out.

So far as yet I have not used the machines, but have done a few moves at home. Now I only feel a bit of something, I hesitate to say pain, in my left knee. I would say its phantom, but its only in the one, so it has to be real.

Unfortunately, I have much less motivation, by half, than I did the first time around. I am sticking with the three days only of running so as to give everything time to relax and heal in between. But Week 2, Take 2 was spotty and extended into Monday of Week 3. So I decided to do Week 2, Take 2, Again instead of going on to Week 3. This one has been spotty also. I tried to incorporate Zumba back in, because that is a sweaty workout for me, but the twisting at the knees is not for me yet.

I should interject here to add the fact that I had gone down to 178 lbs before the running (Woot Woot!) and then popped back up to 183. It went as high was 185 and as low as 182. I just can't get past 182, though. I am not strict on my diet right now, so I am not surprised. I am so sick of this food, and with DH gone, trying to make only enough food for one, or enough for two meals (I usually end up with not enough for meal 2) it a bit hard. I need to pull out my MF recipes and start mixing and matching the diet food. I was actually tempted to bring a real food lunch to work because I never seem to eat my afternoon "snack" meal and so am starving by dinner. But I can't eat if I am getting on on the treadmill or going to the Y class, which ends up with dinner around 730 to 9 pm.

Actually, I have had to bring my clothes recently because I am not making it back to our neck of the woods before 5 pm anymore.  Before I would run home, change, and DH and I would go together. I save a few extra miles because I get off the highway somewhere near the gym (although this is debatable because construction closed a bunch of exits that I need, so I end up back tracking). And with my birthday, I have forgotten to take out meat from the deep freeze, sometimes skipping dinner altogether, so the week was kind of shot and filled with take out. (And I managed to lose 2 pounds as of this am, water weight no doubt.) I must say, one thing I learned through this diet program is healthy choices, so I always have a veggie, maybe not enough, or at extra cost, but I always have them.

Secondly for the interjection, I know part of the gain is from muscle. My calves are now quite large. Not a fan of that, but I like knowing its muscle and not fat. And my thighs are much bigger, also. I am not sure how much abs and back muscles play in but I can definitely say those are much improved. So maybe that's part of it. And for those of you under the misconception, fat and muscle apparently weight about the same, the density is the difference. Correct me if you know otherwise.

I might as well add that I can now feel my pelvis bone stick out when I bend over and I noticed a weird ripple in my upper thighs. That ripple, I realized, is my fat moving itself around thanks to my running and muscle building. While its not as pretty as a smooth, huge leg, I will take an ocean of waves because it means I have succeeded in moving it around!! Booya! However that is spelled...

Yoga stretches really helped and I actually incorporated a couple into my pre run stretching. I also found, early on, that my breathing was hard to manage; I always seem to have had this problem. So while I stretch, I count the holding to Yoga style deep breathing. It was like night and day after. It might also help that I started over at the easier level for running. I still think it was a win-win.

My body took to Take 2 like an old hat. It was ready. My breathing wasn't (pre yoga style) and my boredom wasn't. No matter what I was DONE at 15 minutes, it was a struggle too keep going. Flat out bored. Like clockwork. Week 2, Take 2, Again actually got me to minute 17 before I was thinking, "I am sick of this, how much more do I have?"

A while ago I switched from listening and watching television to muted watching and listening to my Wake Up mix on my iPod. I hate commercials. It's kind of like an inside joke with DH because I miss great shows, and know it, because I can't sit through commercials. Good thing we shelled out the moola for dvr like recording. The music really is a great help. I noticed one runner friend uses chill, relaxed music, whereas mine is get up and dance, club style. Maybe, when and if I make it to half marathon, the chill and more relaxed music will help to pace myself.

I have grand plans. I figured a route to a friends house, not using the highway, that would get from here to there and it happens to be a half marathon length. That is my plan: to "run," more like jog to her place and maybe eventually back to mine. Actually, honestly, even if I walked the whole way there it would be worth breaking out the low cal champagne for. However, my point in this side story is that I need foreseeable goals. If I can plan to get to her house, the Disney Princess Run is in sight also. My favorite part is seeing the guys dress up. Some as princesses or in tutus, you know they have to have a sense of humor! One friend has some great pictures of guys really getting into it.

She (house friend) and I plan to do the Color Run and the Dirty Girl, both 5ks, the latter is an obstacle course. I had originally planned to attempt the Color Me Rad, similar in name and in that they throw crazy color on you, for my birthday. I would have cut it a bit close, missed it by a week or two in my training, but it was the motivation I needed to actually start.

With the month long hiatus, this was out the window. A facebook friend mentioned the Color Run in February, also the time of the Dirty Girl. Hey, whatever others like me need for motivation! Of course, they cost quite a bit of money, but at least getting me out there would be worth it. If I could finish without riding the golf cart I would be ecstatic. That is one thing I liked about the Color Me Rad run, it was an all day thing. The website said as long as you make it to the finish line by night fall, you're good. I liked that. I liked that I could pace myself and recover without the pressure of finishing when my body can't do it that soon. I believe the Color Run might be like that also.

Yesterday I got on the treadmill shortly after I work up and really needed 20 minutes of walking to get up to my body loose enough for the walking speed of the program. My body is so ready for the run, my mind is just not there yet. But focusing on the time element of each walk/run phase helps to get past the boredom. Rockin' music helps, too.

So as of today I think I have one more run for Week 2, Take 2, Again. I would need to do it Sunday, but that throws off my nice schedule. I wanted to run after the yoga stretching, because I don't want to stretch for another half hour. Maybe I will do it after my scaled down Zumba, or skip Zumba and just do some weight machines for my thighs. I know a local mil spouse who has also been trying to go the gym in the am. We kind of try to coordinate, with my job being flexible, I usually forget until the morning I sleep in, and then I have missed my Tai Chi class and giving her advanced notice. But if I can incorporate some Tai Chi, I can knock something else off my bucket list!