Saturday, August 28, 2010

First 5k!

I did it! I finished my first 5k this morning. It was a cross country/trail run, and boy was it hard! I honestly did not expect the amount of incredibly steep hills that were involved. Add that to the fact that most of it was on a narrow trail, and my time suffered, but I am still proud of myself! I set out aiming for under 30 minutes since my PR 5k time during practice is 31:15. I ended up finishing in 35:59, which put me at 5th in my age group. I was happy with that because the 4th place finisher was 5 minutes ahead of me, so there was no chance I would have caught her. I totally almost puked going over the finish line! I laid down on the track and swore that I would never run again. I'm feeling better now, though, and am looking forward to my next 5k on Labor Day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Illness and a break.

I had my first run today in a week. It was rough. My shin splints have healed, but I ended up catching an upper respiratory funk last week from my 4-year-old. I just can't seem to shake it despite copious amounts of medication. I think I'm going to head to urgent care tonight after I take my daughter to gymnastics. I need antibiotics to clear this since I've been fighting it unsuccessfully for over a week.

It's been so hard to take a break from exercise, but I think the sickness actually helped me heal the shin splints. I probably would have attempted to run much earlier had I not been laid out with the sore throat, stuffy nose, etc.

I do have big news, though! My first 5k is this Saturday! I'm so excited and nervous. I'm aiming to finish in under 30 minutes, but I'm afraid that that may be setting myself up for failure, especially considering how rough the last week has been on me physically and mentally. I have to get over this hurdle before Saturday! I have a definite perfectionist side to my personality, and it has now transitioned into my running. Up until now, I have mainly obsessed over perfect grades, but now I feel like I need to hit certain times in my upcoming races to not feel like a failure. I'm definitely working on getting past this with help from my wonderful husband.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Before and after pictures

I have to thank my friend Mary for actually taking pictures of me- something that I frequently fail to do. I don't have real full-body before and after shots. I've taken before shots many times in the past, but I never followed through with my weight loss. I didn't take before shots this time because I felt like I was setting myself up to fail by doing so. I had to steal these pics from Mary's blog. I chose related pics so maybe the difference is more evident. My weight loss has been so slow and steady that it sometimes feels like I'm still my old self. I have to look at the scale and my clothes to know for sure that there is a difference. I'm down 28 pounds now since January, and I've gone from a size 10 to a 4/6, although I'm mostly in size 4 as of late. I hope you can all see the difference even if it is subtle. In the before pics, I am sitting on the stool wearing black drinking a beer and eating cake in the second pic. I'm in the middle in the after pic, and I also included a pic Mary took of me with my crayfish from dinner. Mary has a strange tradition of photographing me with food, as you can see.

In other news, I am injured again. My run on Saturday gave me a bad case of shin splints. I attempted a four mile run yesterday, but I had to quit after mile one because of the pain. I am hoping to get back to running by Saturday, but all I can do for the moment is rest and apply lots of ice. I've become so accustomed to working out and running that I had a slight freak out yesterday over having to rest. I called my husband in tears because the thought of not being able to exercise was so overwhelming.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

IT issues and pacing

I skipped one run and one workout this past week. I felt awful about it. My IT band has been really tight lately, and it was starting to ache after my 2-mile sprint training on Tuesday. I moved my rest day to Wednesday to give it a day to heal. I intended to do my 3.5 mile run on Thursday, but my leg was still hurting and my schedule was packed. My friend called and asked to meet for coffee on Friday morning. I skipped my Friday workout. By the time Friday night rolled around, I was in a bad mood. My faith in my running abilities had bottomed out. I was convinced that I should quit my half marathon training. Isn't that crazy? I skip a couple of workouts and am instantly convinced that I suck.

I had my alarm set for 6am to get in a 5 mile run this morning. It didn't happen, at least not at 6am. We had an awful night last night. If one kid wasn't unhappy and screaming and crying, then the other one was. I didn't get to sleep until after 2am, and that was with me sleeping at the foot of my bed with my 4-year old crammed against me. It was really bad. I instantly turned my alarm off at 6 and went back to sleep. I finally got up at 9am, but I didn't feel like going to the track. All of my outdoor runs have been at the outdoor track at my local Y. It's convenient and helps me pace myself. It also helps that I can put the girls in the childcare area if they are with me. I decided against the track this morning and mapped out a 5 mile run in my neighborhood and the neighborhood next door to mine. I was so nervous! I figured that my time wouldn't be so good since I hadn't done any hill training. The two neighborhoods I ran in are very hilly. I had to walk a few hills, and it took a lot of concentration on the way back down not to fall.

I started out and ran my first mile on the most straight and flat stretch of road. I had a really hard time pacing myself, which was obvious when I finished my first mile in 9 minutes! I have yet to break 9:15 on my fastest mile, so I guess I set a new PR! I knew I was in trouble because I had to slow down or I would burn out, but seeing my time at that first mile renewed my energy. I finished my second mile in 11 minutes, and miles 3 and 4 in about 12 minutes each. I sped up my last mile and managed to do it in around 11 minutes. My total pace ended up at 11:11 per mile, which is 17 seconds faster than last week's 5-miler! I was psyched when I saw my pace time. I feel like maybe I haven't been pushing myself hard enough at the track.

I feel so much better now about the half marathon. I no longer want to drop out of training. My determination is totally renewed!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Pita pockets have been such a great help since I changed my diet. I found a whole wheat brand that tastes wonderful, and the best part is that my girls love them. I stockpiled Toufayan Whole Wheat Pitas last month. I have six or so packs in the pantry right now. That's how much I love these things! We use them for tons of things, but I think the most cost effective use is to replace pita chips when we have homemade hummus for a snack. Amy's seems to be one of the only companies making pita chips, and the prices they charge for their chips are flat out absurd! It's so much cheaper to buy pita, cut it up and toast it yourself. It takes all of five minutes.

I've done a ton of pita pockets for lunches and the occasional dinner lately. Here's a few of the combos I've come up with:

Bean combo: drained pinto beans, avacado, cucumber, tomato, monterey jack cheese
Tex-mex combo: chicken cooked with cumin and a little chili powder, black beans, avacado, tomato, cheddar cheese
Greek combo: chicken cooked with greek seasoning, black olives, tomato, cucumber, spinach, feta, hummus
Italian combo: chicken cooked with basil and green onions, roasted red bell peppers, tomato, spinach, mozzarella cheese

I had a five mile run yesterday, and it was rough! It took me two miles to find my groove, and even then I felt off. I finished in just over 57 minutes. I was kind of disappointed because I didn't get that high I usually get after finishing a long run. I came home, showered, had coffee and yogurt, and moped around. It took me a good two hours to get around to entering my run on I was shocked to see my results. I ran at an 11:28 per mile pace. That's about 10 seconds faster per mile than my last long run, which was only 4 miles. So, I ran 1 mile further, and did it 10 seconds faster per mile. I guess I am making progress!

I did decide to eat, or rather drink, something before my run. I usually get 2-3 miles in and get hungry when I skip breakfast before my long runs. It's not as big of a deal on a 4-miler, but I was afraid I would run out of energy before 5 miles. I drank a Gatorade Prime 15 minutes before my run. I guess it helped since I beat my old time and lasted the entire 5 miles. I also bought these Power-Ade energy gels. Bad idea! I shoved a few into my pocket before my run with the intention of eating one at every mile or so. Running and trying to chew the gel at the same time was not good. It took me 1/4 of a mile to fully finish the first one. I didn't eat another one after that. It totally screwed up my rhythm. Next time I'm going to try out Gu.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Overnight oats

I have never been an oatmeal lover. I've tried to make it a million different ways, and I have never been able to stomach it. That all changed a few weeks ago. I fell in love with overnight oats! I purchased a bag of steel-cut oats at Earthfare back in January, and they just sat in the pantry waiting patiently. I finally got around to trying them after reading about overnight oats. It's so incredibly easy to make, and the texture is out of this world! The recipe I found calls for equal parts steel-cut oats, yogurt and milk. I use Fage 0% for the yogurt and skim milk. I also mash up a ripe banana for sweetness. Mix it all together and let it sit overnight in the fridge. I eat mine cold the next morning with an assortment of berries, peaches, bananas and a little drizzle of honey. The oats stay chewy and are so delicious.

My running is progressing nicely. I'm on week three of Hal's novice half marathon training plan. I managed to get 3.5 miles in today, the first 5k of the 3.5 miles was over in 31:15. I'm really hoping to break 30 minute mark at my 5k on August 28.

My baby has another appointment with the orthopedist today. It's really hard to tell the she fractured her arm. She only favoring it a little now. We'll see what they say today after another round of x-rays.