Tuesday, August 11, 2015

FroYo 10k Recapped and Getting My Head Back in the Game (and My Butt in Gear!)

I have not been on my game lately. Obviously... since it's been so long since I've posted on here. There have been other things that have seemed like a greater priority than keeping this updated. But unfortunately this blog isn't the only thing that's gotten put on back burner.

But first things first…

I told you about the Liberty 5k in my hometown on the 4th of July. Well, the very next Saturday, my niece (Jennifer… the same that ran the 5k with me) and I ran a 10k. It was a first for both of us. I've been doing more dedicated running than Jen has. But she was an athlete in high school, and running was one of her sports (cross-country). So, even though motherhood (and adulthood in general) has taken it's toll on how much time she is able to devote to running these days… she's still a step ahead of me in her running abilities.

Hanging out and getting warmed up and
pumped up beforehand.
And just an interesting side note…
The amount of weight I've lost is the
same amount that Jen weighs.
Someday I'll actually remember to bring
my "before" shirt and see if both of us
can fit into it!
Anyway. Jennifer lives about an hour away from me in a suburb of our state's capitol. The 10k was in her neck of the woods… actually in the capitol city. I picked up Jen at about 7:15 a.m so we could make it to venue in plenty of time. It was a fairly big event. Definitely the biggest that I've been a part of. It offered both a 5k and 10k distance. And it was extremely organized and "official." Lines of porta-potties, complete with hand washing stations. Music, contests, Zumba warm-ups every half hour. You get the picture. They offered water stations every mile… which seemed overkill for a 5k, but it was certainly nice for those of us doing the 10k. Anyway… There were enough people running that they had to start us in 3 separate waves. Jen and I lined up with the run/walk crowd and we were still in the last wave. We decided that we are lining up with the runners at the front next time. See if we can start out ahead of the crowd. It was a little crazy for the first little bit running with so many people… or rather trying to run with so many people. Jen started out walking for the first 5 minutes and I moved up ahead of her. But once she started running, she caught up with me and then was actually ahead of me for the rest of the time.

Swag bag. It included a free frozen yogurt
at the end. It didn't last long enough to
get a picture of it! :-)
The best I can say is that it was a valuable learning experience. Long around mile 4 (leaving behind all the 5k runners)… I was dead last. And I was dying! I knew I could keep going. That wasn't the question. But the idea of putting on some speed so I could catch up with even the people closest to me seemed impossible. But I started getting smart. I was watching these two girls that were the closest ahead of me. They weren't terribly fast. And they were taking walking breaks. Up to this point… I hadn't taken any walk breaks. I'm a slow runner, but I'm a fast walker. I can pretty much out-walk anybody. So, I started taking walk breaks myself. But timing them according to the people ahead of me. Doing that, I was able to catch up to them… even pass them when they were on their walk breaks. There was another girl close by too that I was able to pass when she was walking. There was a girl just a few paces ahead of me as I neared the finish line. Jen was waiting at the finish line for me and having her there pushed me in to a sprint so that I crossed the finish line about two steps ahead of that girl. When the official results were posted online… I found out that I was actually 4 from the last. My time was 1:24:54. Jen finished at 1:19:14. So we weren't that far apart from each other.

A screen shot of my official results.
You had to register online to get
your time posted by name.
Otherwise, it would be by
your bib number. 
Anyway… Like I said… valuable learning experience. Apparently I do better when I take walking breaks. So, I have started to incorporate that into my half marathon training. I have a cousin who's a pretty hard-core runner. Well, she's hard-core in my book. She's qualified for and ran Boston. That's hard-core to me. But when I told her I was training for a half marathon, she mentioned that she is a big advocate of the run/walk method. She's done all her marathons using that method… and that was how she qualified for Boston. That was enough to convince me that run/walk methods are not a cop-out. They are actually a very smart method of running. And then my experience at the 10k proved to me that it would be a good method for me to employ.

But like I said, I haven't been on my game lately. I did okay the week after the 10k, but then things started falling apart at that point. I have not been eating the way I should. And it seems like even on my runs… my head just hasn't been in the game. I got in an 8 mile long run the week following the 10k… but then… nada. Okay. Not exactly nada. I've still been out there. But I haven't been able to match my 8 mile distance.

I'm still debating about how to preserve
and display my bibs and medals from
my various races. 
The weekend of August 1st and 2nd were A JOKE as far as my eating goes. I mean ridiculous. The worst I've had in a very long time. But maybe it was a good thing, because it opened my eyes and made me realize that I had seriously slacked. On Monday (the 3rd), I woke up way late and didn't go work out. But I cleaned up my act as far as my eating goes and managed to stay under my calorie goal even without a workout. The rest of week was on point as well. I realized that I had actually registered for this half marathon. I had paid money for it. My niece was counting on me. This was happening. And if I had any hope of being ready for it… I better get my butt in gear. Not just with my workouts… but that every pound I piled on (even if it's just water weight) would only slow me down. I needed to be in the best shape of my life when October 11th rolled around. I needed to slap myself around a little bit and get back in gear. I could do this. I just needed to DO it. So, the last week has been better. Good workouts the rest of the week. On track with my eating.

In interest of trying to figure out why I allowed myself to get so far off track… I've been doing some thinking about what my problem was and what I could do to get back on track and stay there. I've decided to revisit the "cheat day." I've decided that one day a week… Saturdays… I would allow myself to eat what I wanted to eat, when I wanted to it and not log it. I would try to moderate of course. I wasn't going to use it as an excuse to go hog wild. But I am hoping that by giving myself a day "off" that staying on track won't feel like quite such a chore.

Remember my little "celebrity crush" on Jackson Carter? I follow him on Facebook. And I remember reading his blog once where he stated that eating clean throughout the week and having his weekends "off" is what made it sustainable for him to be able to keep his weight off. So, to be honest, that is one of the main reasons I have decided to revisit the "cheat day."

This past Saturday was my first revisited designated "cheat day." And you know… I feel pretty good about it. I moderated fairly well. And knowing that I didn't have to log it… was a nice mental break for me. I also think it gave me back a sense of personal control. Rather than feeling like I had to answer to MFP. Which I know is ridiculous… but that's kinda the way it felt. Knowing that I didn't have to log. Didn't have to answer to anybody else for that day… gave me back that feeling of control. And when I was in control… It was actually easier for me to moderate than it would have been if I would have been tracking everything religiously. We'll see how this goes as time goes on… but based solely on how it felt to me… I'm going to call it a very wise decision on my part.