Wednesday, February 6, 2013


First, the successes - - My running is going GREAT!!!  My partner and I didn't have compatible schedules on Monday which was just supposed to be a two mile run.  I was on my own, but I went anyway.  I'm paying attention to the instructions about pace and exertion on the virtual training schedule, so I saw that the schedule said the run was supposed to be at 70% exertion.  I don't really know how to calculate that based on how I feel, but I've got a dream pace I'm hoping for in the final race, so I figured I would try the two miles at ..... there was a long drawn out calculation there.  Anyway, instead of running at an 11:00/mile pace, I aimed for about 11:18/mile.  I totally surprised myself by running the whole 2 miles without taking a walk break and finishing a tiny bit before I should have, an 11:16/mile average pace..  Today was a three mile run, and I did the whole thing again without a walk break.  This one was supposed to be and "easy fun" run with no attention paid to pace.  I couldn't just NOT pay attention, but I didn't try to push it or anything.  I did it at 11:31/mile average.  Nice!  This second week is pretty much the easiest of all of them, since the runs are only 2 and 3 miles each time.  Last week even had a 4 in it.  It's doing a lot for my confidence, though, so I'll take it.

However (Why does there always have to be a however), I'm doing horribly in the food department.  Usually when I do one aspect well, I kick into gear and do them both well.  Not so much this time.  I'm eating horribly!  I'll do well during the day at work, but evenings and weekends are just so hard.  There are all sorts of reasons for this - - lack of planning ahead, lack of will-power, more lack of planning ahead, differing cooking styles between my husband and me.  Did I mention lack of planning ahead?  My birthday happened.  A Super Bowl party was in there.  All sorts of reasons, none of them helpful, though.

I decided to tackle the planning ahead part of the problem this week, though.  A couple of months ago a friend linked to a neat service called emeals.  I don't actually know if she uses it, but I went to look at it when she talked about it.  I signed up yesterday.  Basically, it's a meal-planning service.  You pay a monthly fee, and they send you  weekly menus and shopping list for dinners for seven days.  There's a main dish and a side dish for each day of the week.  You can select your style of cooking or meal preferences (simple gourmet, low carb, natural & organic, gluten free, classic meals, etc) and switch to another at any time.  The "portion control" plan is the one I picked and it seems to be compatible with some version of Weight Watchers.  They don't have the name brand on there anywhere, but it references popular national weight-loss programs and has a point value assigned to each menu item.  I'm not doing Weight Watchers right now, although I've considered it, but I can still remember about what the points are in my head from the last time I did it.  It would be nice if instead of the points they put the actual nutritional info.  That would help me as I use the food tracking system at SparkPeople.  I can work it out, though.  It won't take much extra time at all.

I was nervous about breaking the news to my husband that I thought we needed to change this up a little.  He does at least 50% of the dinner prep at our house, so it's not just going to be a burden for me.  We are used to cooking one meal, then eating it in leftovers for a day or two.  This will mean cooking something every night.  None of the recipes are that intensive or anything, but it'll just be a change. It means we won't just thrown spaghetti in a pot and then have that for dinner two or three nights in a row.  I can't eat like that and be successful.

The weird thing is that even as I pitched it to him and declared this is what we are going to start doing, I couldn't say out loud that I wanted to do it because I want to lose weight.  I can talk about it with my girlfriends.  I'm obviously getting better about saying it here, but I just can't bring myself to say to him that I don't like my body.  So strange to me.

Oh well, hopefully this will help me over probably my biggest food hurdle which is the planning piece and having ideas to even eat that are healthy and tasty.  The menus look good and for the most part very kid-friendly.  I'm not fired up about the ham and beans one, but I think we'll just skip that!  We don't do a lot of fish, either, but we like it.  We just don't really know much about cooking it.  There's at least one fish meal every week.  I think this will be good for all of us!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Accidental Success

My running partner and I have settled on our training program.  I've been trying to find just the right program (app) that will help me get from my (mental and physical) couch to running the half marathon.  I mean running the whole thing.  Without taking walk breaks.  So many of the training programs for half marathons that I see base each training session on mileage.  Run 3 miles this day, 2 the next, and 4, 6, , or 8 for a long run.  Seeing those mileages has always terrified me because I feel like I can't even run 3 miles without walking.

But then this week after doing another interval work out (run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute) for about 46 minutes, I think, I went 3.92 miles on the treadmill.  (Don't worry, I did another 44 seconds to get the even 4 miles.  On top of that I could still walk and talk at the end of it.  Well, hello!!!! My dream pace for the half marathon would be 11:00 min/miles.  I just did 4 miles at an 11:41 min/mile pace without intending to get there.

We scrapped the interval training programs and went to the mileage based one.  In fact that 4 mile run on the plan should have been a 3 mile run.  The next day's 2 mile recovery run was a breeze.  I ran about 90% of it.  Today I did 4 miles, which was on the schedule this time, at a minute slower than my dream pace (like my "virtual coach" said).  In about 48 minutes, I think I walked 7 or 8 of them, pieced together here and there, not even a full 5 minute warm up.

Next week are all 2 or 3 mile runs so I'll try to do at least the 2s without walking, but even if I do, who cares???  I'm doing it!

I've increased my training days from 3 days a week to 4 days.  I think that will just help me feel more confident and a stronger runner.  It also REALLY makes me appreciate my days off.  It also makes it harder to skip some days for some reason.  It's all a mental game for me.

My weight hasn't gone anywhere good, but at least it hasn't gotten worse.  I've been eating pretty badly.  I've got to get that back under control.  I'll have 3 or 4 days that are good, then blow it completely for 3 days.  Weekends are the worst.  I eat way worse at home than I do when I'm being more scheduled and thoughtful about it on work days.

Since my running isn't bad this week, maybe I'll make that a better focus - - well, after the Super Bowl party!