Friday, February 27, 2015

Longing for Daylight

It is so time for the days to start getting longer so I can do my runs outside. I'm starting to hate the gym. And I don't want to.

My personal opinion is that it's time to change up my workout routine. Shorter more intense workouts. No treadmill. I would love to only be going to the gym 3 days a week for weights and maybe some steps. Maybe. And make the other three days running days.

Daylight Saving Time starts on March 8th… That will give me an extra hour in the evenings right off the bat. Wake up a half hour earlier… and I should be able to get in my run in daylight hours. I'm hoping I can hang on for that long.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Post C25k Run = SUCCESS

There was snow forecast for my city this past Saturday. Which is hardly a big deal. It is February after all. And it is Northern Utah after all. But we have had such a beautiful and unseasonably warm winter so far. I don't think we've seen snow at all since New Years. And Saturday has become my day to run outside. When I saw snow forecast for the morning hours during which I would most likely be taking my run… I wanted to cry.

Luckily, the snow held off until later that day. It was a bit chillier than it has been… but otherwise, beautiful. So, I bundled up for my first post- C25k run.  Everybody I asked had different ideas, but the general consensus was that since my ultimate goal is distance… then it might not be a bad idea to spend a little bit of time upping my distance before I did the 10K plan. So, I set out on Saturday to run… but with no program. No real plan for what to do except just go longer than the 30 minutes. And that's what I did. I kept going for the full 30 minutes. Then I kept going. And I kept going for as long as I could. I wasn't trying to be a hero. I wasn't trying to prove anything to anybody. Even to myself. And I was careful to pay attention to how I was feeling so I didn't push myself too far too soon. But without a plan… I just kept going. The fact that I was on a (very slight) downhill stretch for the last 10 minutes or so probably helped immensely. But I went for about 40 minutes, I'm guessing. I probably could have gone longer, but I came upon a huge hill. I tried jogging up it… but I think I only lasted 15 seconds before I slowed down to a walk. I'm not sure of the exact distance. But I'm guessing it was about 2.9 miles before I stopped. I was very satisfied with that for the first run post C25k.

But what thrilled me even more is that I found myself enjoying it. That downhill stretch at the end probably had something to do with that… but I was loving it and I was feeling good rather than constantly wondering when it was going to be over. And that's what I've been waiting for all this time was to get to the point where I loved it. I was excited when I realized that the possibility of snow made me want to cry… simply because it would have moved my run to the treadmill. That was huge for me to realize how much I preferred being outside. It made me feel more like a real runner. Then when I was was able to just keep going and not be counting the minutes until it was over, that was even more exciting. And when I realized that I was actually enjoying it… and not having to focus solely on putting one foot in front of the other… that was a breakthrough. Because that is what I've been wanting out of running. I wanted to learn to love it.

And now I'm excited for next Saturday when I can get outside and run again. I'll change up my route just slightly to avoid that huge hill and see if I can make it the full 3.1 miles. I am loving the idea of being a runner.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Laugh For the Day and a Question

So, here's your laugh for the day.

I was on my way out the door to go to the gym when I almost literally ran into my sister and her roommate coming in the door. (I live with my sister… but I rent the top half of the house and she lives in the basement. We share the kitchen and the laundry room, but that's it. So, while the roommate is a friend of mine… she actually is my sister's roommate, not mine.) The roommate (Li) asked me "will you please take piss and vinegar with you?! (referring to my sister)" Apparently she'd been "on one" today. And my sister did recognize that she's been kinda sassy and a jerk. I asked her if I needed to take her to the gym with me and work some of that sassiness out of her. She hates the gym. HATES it. But after telling her it was weights day and promising she wouldn't have to get on a treadmill, she agreed to go with me for a half hour. She drove separately because I go for longer than that.

She was quite athletic in high school and took some weight lifting classes herself. One year she was voted "most muscular" in the yearbook polls. She has forgotten more about weight lifting than I've ever known. So I gave her the option to do her own thing or she could follow me around and do my routine with me. She said would follow me. "If I did want I wanted to do, I'd be sitting in front of a movie with a bowl of popcorn." She's lightly active when it comes to her everyday activities… but she hasn't done any exercise (either cardio or strength training) in years.

So I walked her through my routine. She kept up with the weights I put on for myself… but she didn't add anything heavier. And I think in a couple of situations, she struggled more than I did. She said periodically that she was going to be sore. That she was using muscles that she has never used. After we got done with weights, she had about 2 minutes left before she told Li she would be home. So, she did 2 minutes of the steps with me. I asked her before she left if she was going to be nice to Li now. She said yes. I told her if she wasn't… I would bring her back here tomorrow.

When I got home I asked her how she was feeling. She said she was okay but that she came home and told Li that she was never going to be mean to her again! I told her I changed my mind though… I wasn't going to take her back to the gym, I was going to make her run with me. Tie a rope around her waist and make her keep up with me on my run tomorrow… which is the last week of C25k. I think that scared her worse! But Li loved me. She started singing "What a friend we have in Jesus" and substituting my name in there.

Speaking of C25k though… now that I'm entering the final week of it… I'm trying to decide what my next move is. C25k takes me to where I can run for 30 minutes. But that isn't long enough for me to actually finish a 5k with my speed. So, I'm wondering if I should go on my own for a few weeks/couple of months and gradually increase my miles and time until I can actually go for a full 5k (3.1 miles) and then move on to the 10k running program. Or should I just go straight into it?

I'm not worried about my speed. I know that will come with more miles and better fitness. But would there be an advantage to actually be able to run a 5k before moving on to the 10k program? Is the distance important or is my 30 minutes sufficient? Any thoughts?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

On Becoming a Runner

I have decided that I want to be a runner. 

I'm not sure where that came from. I don't know why I chose being a runner as opposed to any other sport or weight lifting. I just know that's what I want to be. I've already stated that I want to run a marathon someday. But this is more than that.

I want to love to run. I want to be one of those people who feels at one with the pavement. Who feels at home there. Who gets their best thinking done when running. Who deals with stress or anxiety or worry by "running it out."

I already love walking. Maybe not to quite the same extent as I've just described… but close and getting there. And I figure if I already love walking… then loving running is really just a matter of time, miles, and improving my fitness. Where running becomes just as easy to me as walking is.
It's coming. I can keep myself awake for hours dreaming of running. Of planning my training sessions. Of dreaming about different routes I can take. I am living for the spring. Not new for me as I loathe the winter with all the energy of my soul. But the reason I'm living for spring is for the warmer temperatures and the increase of daylight hours so I can take my running outside instead of the treadmill. This winter has been beautiful and unseasonably warm, so I've started doing my Saturday runs outside. And this past Monday, I walked to the gym… using that as my warm-up and cardio time instead of driving there and getting on the treadmill. Monday is a weights day… so I don't want to just skip the gym altogether. And I'm not loving night running during the winter because even though it's been beautiful lately… the nights still get a little chilly. So, I'm still hitting the treadmill on my running days. But I dream about the return of Daylight Savings Time and the longer hours of daylight… when I  can skip the gym altogether on those three days. 

I visualize myself as a runner. I'm thin. I'm athletic. And I can run a respectable pace. Maybe not a fast pace… but a respectable running (jogging) pace. In my mind, I see myself as those runners in magazines and on running websites. I don't see myself as 246 pounds and slogging away at what is really more of a brisk walk than a real jog. Which is where I'm at now. But that's okay. Because I have to start somewhere. And at least I'm starting. I saw a quote on Pinterest that read "Dead last trumps did not finish, which beats did not start."And that's what I'm doing. I'm starting. And since I'm a believer in The Secret… I believe that my visualization of myself at where I want to be instead of where I am is a good thing. 

And I believe that I can get there. 

*Note: When I was typing this blog, the emotion and passion I was feeling seemed to lend itself to a different format than I usually write in. I try to keep my fonts legible and my formatting easy to read. It's part of what I look for in blogs. So I sincerely apologize is my "centered" formatting throws you off. If it's a problem, let me know and I can reformat it back. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Misc. Photos

Among other things, for Christmas, I received a few gift cards for places where I could buy clothes. Any money I've saved by eating less, I've spent (plus more) on buying new clothes as I shrink out of them rather quickly. The gift card to Target was spent on workout clothes. Which, I love… by the way. Somehow I feel thin and athletic in these new workout clothes.
It's not a great pic… but I
particularly like the look
of myself in profile when I'm
in my workout clothes. 

When one of my friends on MFP requested updated pictures, it was pics of me in my new workout clothes that I wanted to post. It actually never happened. But I did take them. They aren't brilliant. Selfies never are. But here you go.

Ignoring the arm of
my roommate who was
adjusting the light for the
pictures… this is one of my
favorite shots. One, this was
not posed. My sister just
managed to capture this
moment. And two, do you
have any idea how long it's
been since I could cross
my legs like that!?
Next up are pictures of my latest hair color job. It seems like everybody really likes my hair long. And I admit… I do too.  I'm supremely lazy when it comes to fixing my hair. If it takes longer than about 30 seconds, it won't happen. And I loathe having hair in my face. Like any at all. So, I have to be able to pull it back. So, having it long seems to be the best fit for me. I usually go blonde when I color my hair… but having lost 135 pounds, I decided I could probably rock any hair color I chose. So, I chose brunette with copper highlights. A more drastic change than I've ever gone before. And I love the way it turned out. So, the day after the salon visit, I took some time to do my hair up cute and put on a nice outfit and I asked my sister to take some pictures. She's really a pretty good amateur photographer as she has an eye for good shots.

And finally… there is a picture of this little pin that says 100 on it. The hot guy at the gym gave it to me. Apparently he sells Herbalife and this is the pin you get when you've lost 100 pounds. I have never done Herbalife. I have no idea what it is actually. Nor has he ever tried to sell me on it… or even brought it up. But he gave me the pin as a way of saying good job and keep it up.

The whole pin thing is very reminiscent of AA. Which I'm extremely morally opposed to. So, there is a part of me that wants to toss that thing! But the part where it came from the hot guy at the gym… Who really has been one of my biggest cheerleaders through it all...yeah. I can't toss that. So, it is pinned to the little pouch that holds my earbuds. I use those earbuds everyday. And I take that little pouch with me to the gym and when I come home, it goes in my purse so I can take them to work and use them in my laptop. That way, it's still highly visible to me. And I can appreciate the sentiment behind it. But its also inconspicuous.

I've had a lot on my mind lately about this whole process and my thoughts and feelings and beliefs about the whole thing. But now that I'm taking the time to actually write out a blog post… my mind has gone blank and I don't know what I was going to say. So, you get the picture post. And hopefully those thoughts will come back to me.