Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weeks 2 and 3 of 5k Training

What an adventure 5k training has been. Mostly the adventure has been finding the time to fit it in, but I will say I have been walking in some fun places too. Week 2 training was slow and steady. Week 3 training was a big fat flop. Oh well. We have to have those to make us stronger and better competitors, right?

So here's the breakdown for Week 2:
Week 2 started off our busy fall schedule with the TTM TX Throwdown for Haiti concert. At the beginning of the week, I was focused and determined on my training plan. By the end of the week, not so focused. While I managed to train for more time than the training plan called for, I could definitely see how I let my schedule and my lack of planning impact my training and eating. By mid-week my food intake was less on the healthy side, more on the 'do you want fries with that?' side. My sleep patterns were totally off (if you stay up til 4am, you are going to have to eat a midnight snack).

Here's where I really felt the slippery slope of not planning hit me the worst. On my second training walk at the track with our church group, I was running late so I didn't have my typical walking fuel-up: a rice cake with a tbsp of peanut butter and a tbsp of dark Karo syrup (hey it's my one and only way to enjoy this Southern goodness). Because I was running late, I ran out the door without taking a bottle of water. The night before the walk, I was running around and didn't eat dinner or drink anything (no water, no nothin'). By the time I got to the track, I wasn't feeling so hot. I started up my walk, and suddenly felt like I had a massive hangover from hades. My muscles felt like mush. My mind felt foggy. Everything felt awful. Then the words went through my mind, 'I should have listened to Caitlin's wonderful post on Healthy Tipping Point about cures for sluggish runs'.

I did manage to get in a great training walk with my walking buddy and a nice hike with my guys on my days off. We all have those weeks right?

And here's the breakdown for Week 3:
BIG FAT FAIL! I trained one day, and that wasn't even very good. I did a mile in 25 minutes, and I walked a quarter of that mile backward to take the pressure off my shin splints. For some reason, my shin splints do not like walking on the high school track. I can handle walking on concrete at the park just fine. I do great walking trails, but walking on the track is down right painful. Most of the time I end up walking the grass in the middle of the track or walking backward. I can't figure it out. Why don't my shins like the cushy track? I'm rebellious by nature, perhaps my shins are too...

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

They All Fall Eventually

Vices. Old habits. Comfort zones. They all put up a pretty good fight, and when they die (and, yes, they can die), they die hard. Some whimper out, but some go out with guns blazing, holding on to every little foothold they can hang on to - but they all fall eventually.

This week some old habits came back to rear their ugly heads. Last weekend started a downhill slide for me in my fitness and eating routines that seemed to last the whole week. I let myself get too busy to plan ahead and then too tired to put up a fight against my cravings. A week later, I'm still paying the price for my lack of planning and shall we just say laziness, but thanks to my handy-dandy food/exercise/life journal I can see how all of this "busyness" has affected me and what I need to work to correct.

Here's 5 things I've learned about myself this week by looking back at my journal:
1. As spontaneous and fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants as I like to think of myself being, my body really likes and needs routine - routine exercise, regular sleep patterns, and routine eating times.
2. Chelle + pizza + fast food = not friends anymore (no matter how hard I try) :-( Sad, but true.
3. Not drinking water makes me feel like I've been frozen in carbonite (How's that for a Star Wars reference? Yes, I'm a nerd.) Seriously, though, water is necessary for things to run right.
4. Not fueling your body properly when you are training makes you feel bad, which in turn makes you more likely to skip workouts or feel really awful when you do train. (Did I mention the training walk where I felt like I had a massive hangover and hadn't been drinking?)
5. Don't beat yourself up about what happened yesterday. Recognize what happened. Put a plan in place to overcome (sometimes that's realizing you have to set more doable goals). Renew your commitment to your goals, and resolve to do better today (better, not perfect. That's a whole other post).

I used to think that keeping a food journal was quite frankly one of the most annoying and boring things to do. However, I believe it is necessary for anyone who is trying to change their eating/exercise habits. It is a great way to look back at what is working/has worked to help you make progress toward your goals. A journal is also a great way to see what might be lacking or what needs to be eliminated. Working toward a goal is hard enough, being able to see what might be stalling your progress will help the process be less frustrating. Finally, a journal is added accountability, if you are willing to be honest with it and with yourself. It's looking yourself in the proverbial mirror and being able to say, 'I'm really doing this' or 'These were not good choices, but I'm going to change that right now!' Steps toward positive change everyday is what counts. Why not keep track of it?

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What A Weekend

Chas, C5, and I had quite a weekend. It was fun and amazing and uber (Chas' favorite word) busy. I love being busy most of the time. I like to be out and about doing things, as long as I get to be busy with my family. I was completely off my schedule, though, with eating. My stomach didn't exactly appreciate it, but I got through it.

I kicked off the weekend on Thursday night by making a Christmas ornament to give to my aunt and her new husband. They got married on Sunday afternoon, so I thought a Christmas ornament would be something fun. I've discovered this love for making ornaments, and this was the perfect opportunity to get back into it. Here's a picture of the ornament. Please ignore the messy playroom in the background.

Friday was a busy day and night. We were all over the place getting things ready for the TTM concert on Saturday. I did get to sneak in a little fun, though. A friend of mine had a Swag Swap on Friday evening, and it was so great. Not only did I get some good finds (who doesn't love cute free clothes?), I also won an awesome doorprize. The swag bag goodies were fabulous too! One of the goodies in my swag bag was a hair bow by Flirty Flair that I am totally in love with. It is so cute, and fun, and girlie. Of course, I had to sport it all weekend (nothing like standing out with a bright pink flower at a rock concert). It also helped me dress things up for the wedding on Sunday.

Saturday was quite the busy day! I started off the morning with a 5k training walk with the group from church. It was great. I intended just to do 20 minutes, but ended up staying an hour and walking 3 miles. Not too bad. I'll talk more about my training last week in another post. I learned some very valuable lessons.

After 5k training, I ran home to send the hubby out the door to get things ready for the concert that evening, and got myself ready to go out to lunch with my mom and sister. We had such a blast. I enjoy being with my mom and sister so much. Those two ladies know how to have fun and we always have a good laugh when we're together.

Saturday afternoon and night we spent at the TTM Presents: TX Throwdown for Haiti. It was such an awesome concert! Ten bands, lots of friends, and some rockin' music. We spent the evening rockin' out for Jesus and raising money for a wonderful cause (Hands and Feet Project for Haiti). It was great. C5 had the best time of all I think. At one point he was dancing and moshing (barefoot and shirtless). The boy loves his rock music and loves to dance. He cracks me up.

No time to rest on Sunday. We had church, and then we quickly headed to the other side of Dallas to go to my aunt's wedding. It was such a wonderful time. The bride was beaming and beautiful, and I love the fact that after the wedding they went bowling! I have a crazy big (or is that big and crazy) family, so every get together is something fun!

After a fun-filled, busy weekend, I was happy to have Monday off to spend with my two favorite guys.

Friday, October 8, 2010

You Gotta Think About What You Eat

My reasons for wanting to be healthy. Our day hiking at River Legacy.
My eyes were bigger than my stomach...or my cravings were bigger than my digestive issues. Whatever it was, I'm paying for last night's indulgence today. I won't lie. That Italian meatball casserole tasted oh so good, but about halfway through my second helping of the heavenly stuff the thought ran through my head, 'You really shouldn't have done this'. And by morning I was really wishing I hadn't.

I've always been the girl with the 'delicate' stomach and food allergies. They've done tests on me, attributed most of my stomach issues to either stress or allergy issues, and then the possibility of IBS (that thing we don't like to talk about in mixed company). I love food, particularly fast food. If it comes in a paper sack out of a window and I can purchase it 24 hours a day, chances are good that I'm going to like it. Most of my life I just ate mindlessly, indulging my cravings without regard for how it was making me feel.

About 8 years ago, after going on a hospital-supervised diet program, I had a horrible attack of food allergies. In a two month period I was taken to the ER three times because of allergy attacks linked to food. I had overloaded my system so much with pre-packaged diet foods whose primary ingredients were cheese, tomato, and mushrooms, the three foods that I was most allergic too. They were also some of the ingredients to my favorite foods - pizza anyone? Another food I tested positive for having an allergy to was wheat. Did I mention my second favorite food is bread? For a year, I took allergy shots and avoided these foods as much as possible. I lost quite a bit of weight and felt much better. After the year was over, I started reintegrating these foods back into my diet. Some foods bothered me and little "allergy patches" would pop up on my skin if I ate too much, but I got to where I would sometimes ignore these (I know. I know. Not a good thing.)

While I was pregnant with C5 (was this seriously 6 years ago?), my food cravings were those allergy foods. Amazingly enough, I never once had an allergy attack while I was pregnant. My food allergy issues seemed to be over. Yes, I had uncomfortable stomach issues occasionally, but I continued to eat my way through these.

Flash forward five years, and I'm back to having stomach issues. This time it's the kind of issues that I can't just ignore or mindlessly eat my way through. For the past three weeks, I've begun tracking everything that goes in my body, comes out of my body, how I feel, how I exercise it, what my stress level is...If it happens to me or around me, I'm documenting it. This is helping me see patterns of what foods to avoid, my pattern of eating, and the progress I am making. Yes, I'm actually making progress. Some of the highlights include: going 4 weeks without soda, exercising more, trying new and healthier foods, and not be afraid to prepare vegetarian meals.

All of this is a process. Sometimes I will have moments of weakness. Sometimes my cravings will be bigger than my digestive issues. But I'm feeling better, and I'm seeing a vast improvement in my health. Rome wasn't built in a day (sorry for the cliche), and my health/weight didn't get this way over night. There's no magic quick fix, and I'm not going to let that get me down. I am going to go out there and make positive changes every day, and I know in the end that this will be better overall.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Week One of 5k Training

Week one of 5k training is in the books. Last week Chas and I decided to start training for the YMCA Turkey Trot 5k. Chas and I have talked about doing this 5k for the past couple of years, but since it's on Thanksgiving morning, it has been difficult to make the time. This year we decided was the year to tackle this challenge. Having a group of friends from church training for the same event really helps. We're generally following your basic couch to 5k plan. Because of back and health issues, I'm going to be walking. I'm really happy with this choice.

Overall, the week of training went well. I approached the training enthusiastically. I know that I'm able to walk a long distance at a rather leisurely pace without being in too much pain, but I really have wanted to kick it up a notch by training for speed. The 5k training called for 3 days of walking 20 minutes. I knew that a 20 minute walk wouldn't be overly challenging for me, but I decided that I wanted to train for speed. The first two training days, I met a friend at the park to walk, and we maintained a 20 minute mile pace. I was happy to have this as a starting point. Today, we met with friends at the local high school track for an early morning training session. Instead of sticking to the 20 minute training walk my plan called for, I decided to take a 2-mile walk instead. I walked at an 18 minute mile pace, with a few stops in there for stretching and water. I was happy with my progress and can't wait to see how the next 7 weeks of training go.

This week of training gave me a good baseline to set my goals from. My goal is to finish the 5k in 1 hour, but I would like to finish in 45 minutes. Truthfully, anything under an hour will make me happy. This morning I learned that the route for the 5k has a lot of hills. I don't know how that will affect my time, but I know now that I am going to have to train at least once a week on hills to get my back and legs acclimated to the incline. Luckily, my folks live in a neighborhood with some major hills. I'm kind of wondering how pushing C5 in the stroller is going to go on the hills. We'll see.

In addition to walking, I've also been adding some yoga to my workout routine. Four mornings this week I did yoga (either for back or abs), and I can definitely see what a difference it has made. It helps keep me loose and relaxed, and also helps me recover more quickly from walks (especially that 2 mile nature hike we did the other day).

I'm excited about training for this 5k. I've had a lot going on with me health-wise, and having this training to focus on has really kept me grounded and cut down on the number of freak outs I know I would have had (so far only numbered at 1). I'll keep you updated on my training.

Have a great weekend!

Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty. Proverbs 21:5

Do you have any training suggestions about training for my first 5k?