Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weigh In!

First, hello to the new readers on here! I know some of you have come over from the Sub-30 Club and I'm so happy to have you here! Well, I assume that's what's going on, since I went from 6 or so readers to 20-something. I'm slowly getting through the other blogs posted, but I love finding new ones!

I have to say that I am loving the My Fitness Pal website. I logged my off-work days and found that if I was eating what I knew I should, I came in right around the calorie target. I logged a day of food for a work day, which wasn't required, just to see how I was doing then too. Turns out I was under eating quite a bit. This was absolutely not on purpose and I strongly encourage everyone to make sure they are eating enough. Clearly four light days where I am at work and running my butt off and then 3 days where I eat too much (and not always the most nutritious choices) was hurting me. Now I eat at least the minimum, but more on heavy workout days if I'm hungry. I also make sure I'm well hydrated since thirst, at least to me, feels just like hunger. It's actually worse, because when I'm really dehydrated, I crave salty and sweet snacks and not anything healthy. That's now my cue to chug some water.

Well, from Monday to Friday I lost 3 pounds! So, I'm back to 155. That's great, but I need to break through this point and keep on moving down. I do feel good about it since I have a plan and an ultimate motivation - a half ironman and a full ironman sometime in the future. I want to be doing these somewhere in the 130-140 range. I really have no idea exactly where since I've never been there. Well, as an adult anyway...

I had swim class today. I love my class and my teacher is great. There's rarely more than 5 or 6 of us so we get pretty detailed instruction for a very low group rate. The last two weeks, I've finally gotten to the point where everything is starting to click and I can glide more (or waste less energy). She's really happy with my stoke count across the pool (16-18 in 25 yds...not sure how that really compares in swimming) and how much my form has improved. I'm sure I have a long way to go, but for someone who was so scared of a group swim class that signing up had me sweating, that's pretty good! The funny part of the class was when the three of us that showed up were doing freestyle sprints. I get back to the wall and she's laughing. Then she says, "and Jillian swam the length of the pool and only took one breath after she started!" Haha....oops. I tend to do that if I'm not thinking about making sure I breathe more often. While she said she was impressed with my lung capacity, breath control and head position (which is easy if you don't move it to breathe!), she wanted me to at least practice breathing every other stroke for now. Sometimes I forget and do every three. At least if I get tossed around in my tri I know I can hold my breath for a while!

She aslo helped me with my glute pain. Turns out from what she said (from her experience) and what I now remember from others' experience, it is likely piriformis syndrome. UGH. Once she said that I'm sure it is. There's definitely sciatic nerve involvement. How did that not occur to me? I know enough people that have dealt with it. Anyway, the typical causes (tight hamstrings...DUH...among other things) are problems I have been dealing with so at least now I know how to deal with it. For now, running doesn't hurt it and swimming is the only time I don't feel it at all.

I'll keep you posted. Have a great week!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ouch! My butt!

What is wrooooooooong with me?! (yup, I'm whining)

I went to training on Monday. It was the same day we revamped my food plan. My left leg felt weird. It felt kind of like my hamstrings were sore, but also like someone punched me in the glute.  But it wasn't exactly sore, or tight or like a pull. I figured, whatever, I'm 33. I know that's not OLD but I definitely get sore and tight way easier than I used to and sometimes I really have to think to figure out why.

It was really strange though. All I did was swim, and if anything, I end up with calf cramps. That swim was the one time I felt fantastic the entire time! I was exhausted (and starving!) but not sore. So, whatever. I stretched and foam rolled and mentally blew it off.

Today it's starting to freak me out. It is just as bad, if not worse and when I foam roll, I can feel the knot popping back and forth as I pass over the roller. I can't figure out for the life of me exactly where it is. It's right where the base of my glute/butt meets the top of my thigh/hamstrings. Like, you know when a girl wears too short shorts and you think, "hey...I can kinda see her butt"? Right there! How the F do you get a knot there? Watching too much television? (oh.....hmmm...) When I can isolate the knot on the roller, my leg almost starts to tingle, but it never really does. I also can't isolate it to the point where it hurts in that awesome way that I can get rid of it. It's so WEIRD.

I'm going to go ahead and stay off google. It's bugging me, because I don't know how I did it and it doesn't feel like any other time I've have a knot or pull. ARRRRGH!!!

In other news, I went and tested out my new BA sunglasses on a run today:

They are SO awesome! I have been looking for polarized sport sunglasses that are impact resistant and look good for a while. I REALLY wanted white frames and red lenses and Oakley had exactly what I wanted! 

Confession: I have wanted to be one of the "cool" people who wore Oakley sunglasses like this since the early 90s. I'm still not cool, but now I can justify the glasses. Finally!

That's it. Sore butt and sunglasses. The run didn't make it hurt worse, but it still hurts. I was hoping maybe I could warm up and stretch out of it. Oh well!

* edit: I forgot. My eye has been twitching on and off since Tuesday morning and between that and my butt I am going to Lose. My. Mind.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No Guarantees

I was deep in a chain of hopping from triathlon video to video on youtube when I came across this video. It looked cute so I watched it.

Then I saw the website for her blog, and since I love finding new ones, I hopped on over there. And, hey, she's the same age as me!

I was sad and shocked at the most recent post title. I won't spoil it for you, since I think it's worth checking out for a few reasons.

It's struck me that I need to stop wasting time. None of us know what is going to happen beyond right now. I need to stop talking about it, stop reading about it, stop thinking about it and DO IT. Why didn't I run today? Because I'm going to go tomorrow. Just go today.

Monday, April 23, 2012

And now the food plan...

Today was my first personal training day in over a week. I usually see her two times a week, but Saturday's session was cancelled. That was fine since I was desperate to sleep in! Then I woke up at 7am and couldn't fall asleep again. Ugh.

I figured my weight would be at least where it had been, but maybe a bit lower. I stepped on the scale and it said:

"158!...LOL!" (I swear it was taunting me)


So we had what one of my friends calls a "Come to Jesus" moment. Haha. Mostly from my prompting. I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I'll make an okay choice, but not a great one. All of these little not great choices add up. For example, I know that I do not need to eat anything with added sugar. Plain yogurt? Good! Those delicious flavored Chobani yogurts? Good for a treat, but I know I can't have them every day. Some people can, but I know that at this point I don't have a lot of leeway with my choices. It's something I have to accept. I just don't need a lot of calories to keep me going. Of the calories I do need, they need to be really nutritious choices. I don't really even feel hungry that much. I just love food! So I eat.

We talked about how special occasions and events (hello, baseball games) can really derail me, because I get this attitude of, "oh, it's just today. I'll make up for it tomorrow." Except not. It never happens. I never make up for it. So here's the plan:

- I signed up for My Fitness Pal. It's similar to Livestrong, which I had been using, but this is easier for my trainer to check in on me. I like that you can have up to 6 times that you eat and label them as you want. Some days I have two mini breakfasts due to workouts and then also maybe a snack after lunch or dinner. It will also track sugar and sodium if you want, which I really like to do.

- Since it seems to be my days off that are a problem, I only have to track those days. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I kind of want to track all of them, but I'm going to go with what she says! My work day meals are really good. All we're doing now is breaking them up into smaller meals so that I have something on the way into work and then the rest of breakfast 2 hours later on my break. I'd normally end up eating 3 hours after I got up. Then, later, a smaller lunch and dinner with a snack in between the two. I probably won't need a snack after dinner on work nights since I don't eat until 7 and try to be in bed by 10.

- Two cheat meals a month. That means a birthday meal, holiday dinner, something at a baseball game, etc. It does not mean an all day free for all!

I feel good about it. You could say, cautiously excited about it. I want to be in good shape for my races. I can't talk about all these crazy workouts I do and not live up on the nutrition end. It makes me feel kind of phony. I needed to have some sort of plan and accountability and now I do. Weigh ins will be at whatever training session I have at the end of the week. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I have to say it like the lolcats do. Always...

I've missed my blog. I won't make any excuses or promises, but days turned into weeks and a month-plus and I knew it was happening. I think that I over think what I'm going to write and then don't do anything at all.

So, here's where we are:

- Weight wise, I fell kind of mixed about it. I weigh exactly the same, about 155. I'd say it's kind of a bummer but it's not. I know exactly why it's still like that and I know what to do to change it. I can't be all sad that some miracle didn't happen when I was drinking wine and eating Easter candy.

- I've done a lot of thinking and soul searching (that sounds kind of cheesy, huh?) about running. I've come to terms that there is nothing holding me back from these fantasies about running fast other than myself, my mental dialogue and my previous unwillingness to get extremely uncomfortable. I made my last breakthrough by running as much as I could at the speed I wanted to get to. I was running at 5mph and had been stuck there for years. My trainer ordered me to run at the 6mph I was hoping for, as long as I could, and then report back to her on how far I got. It wasn't long until I was close to 2 miles before I had to slow down. As I've said before, in order to run faster, you need faster!

- I started volunteering with Back On My Feet's Boston chapter. It's amazing. Please check out the link for more information. In short, it's a running program that supports homeless men and women who come run with us and in exchange, get a sense of community, purpose, a feeling of value and support. After attending for a length of time, with good attendance, they can also earn job training, housing assistance, etc. It's hard to put it into words though. It's so much more. I knew a lot about the program before I joined, since I had to wait a while for my schedule to work out so I could commit. I was still humbled my first day. I'll write more later since they deserve their own post.

- Training! Races! Well, the Boston Marathon was last weekend and I've been bit again. I have fantasies about running it that make me all misty eyed and sniffly. The reality is that I can run one single solitary mile at qualifying pace. I guess the good part is that It's one more than I used to. I'll never say never, but I have a looooot of work to do before I get close to thinking about it. It's work I'm willing to do, but I know it's a long haul and that I need to get out of my own way.

My triathlon is this summer! I am most likely (FINALLY! Yes! I know!) buying my bike next weekend. The best part of that, other than actually having a bike, is that I have to go out and see how fast I ride so my trainer and I can set a time goal. Yay! I wasn't sure we were going to do that, but she wants me to push myself. Well, so do I!

Since one of my friends ran her first marathon in March (youknowwhoyouare!), I am dying to run my first. It doesn't seem that there is one this year that will work for me, so I am pretty certain that I will do one in February or May of 2013.

2013 may end up being a big year! Most of you know about my Ironman triathlon obsession. My friend and I were joking about doing one of the 70.3 (Half-Ironman) races next summer and now it's kind of serious. Well, at least I am, but the recent trend has been the two of us talking each other into races (hello first tri for me...). I'm specifically thinking about doing the Timberman 70.3 at Lake Winnipesaukee, NH.

Running a marathon and doing a Half-Ironman in 2013 will hopefully get me ready for 2014....

...for a Full Ironman! I have to do it. I have to stop talking about it, stop obsessively watching youtube videos, stop having weird dreams about it and JUST. FREAKIN. DO. IT. It consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and ends with a marathon for a total of 140.6 miles. Now you see where 2013 is handy! Some people train for these right out of the gate, but I don't want to attempt it without doing at least one full marathon first. The 70.3/Half-Ironman is literally half of all those distances and will be a good hint at what the Full will feel like. I am so excited for next year and the year after that I have to remind myself to live in the moment.

Lastly, swimming and personal training have been great. I have been able to push myself more in training, but I still struggle with being in that mindset right out of the gate. I know I can kill these workouts but I don't actually do it until the second round. I need to fix this. Maybe coffee? Swimming has been a lot of fun and a great workout. Today, finally, everything clicked and I was able to swim with good form. Usually, if there were, say, six elements I was trying to focus on, I'd get 5 right. Today, I was able to have good hand entry, glide, extend my arm back properly, breathe at just the right time, etc. All of a sudden it was like magic! It felt so smooth and I could go so much faster with much less energy. EUREKA! Even my coach was excited. It was kind of funny. It really was just this moment where it clicked and now that I've felt it, it's easier to keep it that way.

- That leads back to weight again. I need to lose it. The majority of my motivation is that I want to be more competitive. I'm not saying I want to win anything, but I'd like to run 20lbs lighter! Maybe place in an age group in a smaller (not Boston you speedster!) 5K. I'm not sure what my ultimate goal is, but I'm aiming for the high 130s to start. Maybe that will be it. I can't really know until I get there. I do know that I have a big motivator now and that the upcoming increase in training will also help.

That's it for now! I have plenty more to say, but I think I'll space it out and try to write more than once every 6 weeks. ;)

(please excuse any typos for now...if I don't hit publish, I'll never get this done!)