Archive for the ‘Healthy Living’ Category

Some thoughts on running

If we’re friends on Facebook, you probably know I’ve been running. I don’t remember if I’ve posted about it here in my blog before, but probably not in a long time anyway.

I’ve stopped and started running, mostly using the Couch to 5k program, a few times over the past couple of years. Last fall I even came within a week or two of completing the full 9-weeks before falling off the wagon. I started running regularly again in mid-October of this year, getting my butt out of bed before 5:00 and taking the dog with me. I’ve had my ups and downs, but when I’ve fallen down I’ve brushed myself off and gotten back up again.

I’ve been using the Runkeeper app on my phone, and for the most part it’s very reliable. The only problem I’ve noticed is that when it’s foggy (or maybe just overcast), the GPS doesn’t work too well. Since I use MapMyRun.com to map my route beforehand, this isn’t really that big a deal to me. Instead of strictly following Couch to 5k this go ’round, I chose one of the Runkeeper fitness plans for 5k training. I liked it for a while – it had more variety than Couch to 5k and was more distance-based than time-based. (The Couch to 5k plan ends with you being able to run for 30 minutes straight – that’s definitely an accomplishment, but that’s not a 5k for me at this point.) However, you lose the intervals most days, and I really need those intervals to keep me going. The days that do have intervals just increase the number of short intervals rather than having you run for longer intervals. (I’m aware that there are *tons* of training plans on Runkeeper – I can only comment on the one I’ve tried.)

So, I’ve come up with an alternative. I’m going back to the Couch to 5k model, but I’m customizing it for my needs. I don’t need to start over at the beginning, since I can already go 2-2.5 miles alternating running/walking. So I’m starting at week 3, which is: run 1.5 minutes, walk 1.5 minutes, run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Instead of just doing two repeats and calling it a day, I’m going to repeat it for 2 miles (which today was 4 repeats). Instead of changing it up each week, I’m going to continue with this interval plan, increasing my distance as I feel comfortable, until I’m doing 5k. Then I’ll move to what would be the next week of Couch to 5k. At that point, I’ll reevaluate.

Today’s run was really good. I was a little wary, as it’s cold this week. When I saw that it was 33 degrees when I got up this morning, I braced myself but didn’t chicken out. It was cold (very cold!), but it felt amazing. It’s still dark when I run, and it was perfectly clear this morning. I even saw a shooting star (part of the Geminids which will peak tomorrow night, I’m sure). I was actually looking forward to running early Friday morning in hopes of catching a nice meteor shower, but the forecast is for cloudy skies. Bummer. Maybe the forecast will be wrong!

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Making an effort

I’ve started an stopped the Couch to 5 K running program a few times now. The last time I seriously did it was about a year ago, and I made it to maybe week 7 or 8 before quitting. I was so close I could taste it. But school and work schedules just got too hard to manage, and something had to give. There just wasn’t enough time at the end of the day. Jimmy and I were doing it together, and since he has to be out the door by 6:30, us doing it together in the morning wasn’t an option.

I had several people tell me I was an inspiration while I was doing this. I’m not thin, and I’ve never been active. But I was doing it. It felt like a personal failure when I started gaining weight back and lost the muscle tone I had gained.

Then the tables turned. My friend started running and blogging about it. And she was getting her butt up out of bed, grabbing her dog, and going by herself. And she looks great. And feels great. And it shows.

D is now *my* inspiration. If she, who is the mom of a 5-year-old and works her butt off every day, can do it, so can I. So on Sunday I mentioned to Jimmy that I was thinking of getting up and running in the mornings, and his response was, “You should do it.” This was not the response I was expecting, as it’s still dark at 5 AM and he can be adorably protective. And now I had no excuse.

So, Monday morning I got my own butt out of bed, grabbed my dog, and went by myself. And it was good. Oh, so good! Our neighborhood is so peaceful that early. I only saw a couple of cars in the 30 minutes I was out. And I did it again on Wednesday. And again today.

I’m using the Runkeeper app and have the first week of C25k programmed in, so I followed that (5 min warm-up, 8 repeats of 1 min running/1.5 min walking, cool down) which takes 30 minutes. I covered 1.5 miles on Monday and 1.81 miles today! Today my phone crapped out on me (I confused it by opening a couple of different running apps, trying to find the one that announces the midpoint), so the last couple of intervals I had to guesstimate, so I’m not 100% sure if I did that in 30 minutes or just over, but who cares? I went further.

I don’t know how much I will follow the official C25k program. When I get past a certain time, I have trouble focusing mentally. Physically by that time I can run the distances, but I have to fight the ADD part of my brain. So I may find that magic number and run intervals the whole time. We’ll see. But I am doing this. And I *will* run a 5k before Christmas.

This Is Why I’m Fat

Besides the obvious addiction to baking, that is…

One of the most difficult things to deal with when it comes to food as a family is having to meet everyone’s dietary needs. Culturally, it is expected that as a family, we will sit down to meals together. As a family, this is our norm, too. What do you do when one person (or two or three) is hungry but another person (or two or three) is not? Traditionally, we as a family just eat. And this is a big contributor to my weight problems. I eat because it’s time to eat, not because I’m hungry.

Let’s throw another ingredient into the proverbial stew. What if you have a teenage boy who is underweight, who, unlike typical almost-14-year-olds, will just not eat unless prodded (rather than eat us out of house and home)? Who has been told not to skip meals? How does a parent deal with this situation when she herself isn’t hungry and the kid also says he’s not hungry. How do you keep from creating eating disorders and future weight issues by forcing that child to eat?

I want better eating habits. But I don’t know how to create these habits. I feel like I’m constantly swimming upstream.

Finding my mojo

You wouldn’t know it from most of my foodie posts, but I am actually on Weight Watchers. Well, put it this way, I pay for Weight Watchers. I lost 30 pounds last year, lost my mojo, and gained about 10 back.

It’s kind of embarrassing. I’ve been attending a 12-week weight management class at work, and I’ve actually gained weight…

I’ve decided it’s time to get back on track. I’m not giving up the baking; I just need to be better about getting it out of the house quickly. I will also track the points for whatever I bake.

Here’s what I did right today:

  • Ate only 1/2 of my waffles at breakfast
  • Dipped my waffles in syrup instead of pouring the syrup on – by doing this, I only ate about 1/3 of the little cup of syrup
  • Split a sandwich with Jimmy at lunch
  • Snacked on applesauce and a clementine
  • Bought a foam mat so I can exercise on our tile floor
  • Bought a few other exercise related items
  • Made a Weight Watchers recipe for dinner – sautéed chicken thighs with roasted green beans
  • Did the Just My Size yoga video that we used to do several years ago – cheesy video, but it feels awesome!
  • I have to chalk today up as a major success! One day at a time…