Legitimate Long Runs

Last week Cliff and I had, what I would call, our first “legitimate” long run.  Due to a horrible bout of sun poisoning I had skipped my 6 miler the weekend before.  So this past Saturday we had 7 miles on the calendar.

Needless to say, I was terrified.

I felt a lot better knowing that I was going into it without a time goal.  7 miles was the farthest I had ever attempted to go, even walking, so my goal was to simply finish.  I wanted to keep it under an average of 18 minutes miles, but even then, that was secondary to finishing.

We decided to go out to the path we had been using in the South end of town because we thought it would be neat to tie two landmarks together.  The city of Louisville is currently developing a pedestrian path called The Louisville Loop and it’s supposed to be more than 100 miles long by the time it’s finished.  We’ve been running on top of the levee at a park called Farnsley-Moremen.  Up to this point we were just doing 1-2 mile out and backs and starting at different points depending on how far we would get on our previous run.  This time we were able to go the entire distance between two different starting points we had been using (which means we technically went 8 miles, but that last mile was SUPER slow).

We had such a great time!  We were able to run the first 5.5 miles at a 9:1 ratio and then 5.5 to 6.5 was about half and half, and then we walked the rest.  Our average pace was 15:30 which was WAY under the 18 minute mark that I was hoping for.  It was definitely one of the proudest moments in this weight loss journey.  I’m not sure what it was about that 7 mile mark but now I feel unstoppable!  Only 5 weeks left to race day!

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I finally decided on a goal for 2016.  Originally, it had been to do a triathlon, but that was before I discovered that swimming just isn’t for me…at all.  Not even a little.  I don’t mind being in the water, but putting my face in the water just brings on too much anxiety.  At first I felt like a big wuss and tried to tell myself to suck it up, but after three practices I determined that it just isn’t for me and that’s ok.  So, instead I’m going to keep up with the running goals, but this time I’m going to focus on speed instead of distance.

My 2016 goal is to run a sub 10 minute mile.  🙂

I’m actually REALLY excited about that goal.  It turns out that I really enjoy 2-3 mile runs, but anything over that can go either really bad or really good – but if I stay in that range, it’s almost always a great run.  Plus, it turns out that I actually liked the speed work that I was doing at the beginning of my training (I, ultimately, decided that it wasn’t a great idea to focus on speed AND distance right now, so I stuck with distance).

In addition to my sub 10 minute mile I also want to make a biking goal.  Cliff and I are planning on getting road bikes soon and I would really like to do some sort of bike race next year.  2016 is going to be a lot of fun!

But I gotta get through this half-marathon first.  😉

Day# Who Even Knows/Cares

So, I took a  four month hiatus.

Luckily, I have some amazing friends that reminded me that I have always done my best when I’m writing and sharing my journey.  Call it accountability, a cathartic release, or a spiritual awakening but whatever it is, it has served me well in the past.

So the last time I posted we were coming up on Cliff’s birthday and I had totally kicked April’s ass.

Well…I’ve done that a couple more times since then.  Anyone seeing a pattern here?

Completely lost it diet/exercise wise in Chicago.

Gained 20 pounds, lost it, gained it back (see below), and lost it again – and was down to 186.9 on August 1st.

I have since gained it again.

Sigh.

In my defense, there have been a few things causing the fluctuations.

**Warning, I MAY be about to drop a bomb on a few of you**

Cliff and I decided to begin IVF treatments back in May.  While we have definitely hit a few bumps in the road, we are currently on pace to do our transfer after my half-marathon in October.  The first thing we had to do was get my thyroid under control.  I’ve never had thyroid issues before and don’t really have issues now.  My levels are considered normal; however, the doctor wanted it slightly lower than it was just for the duration of the treatments.  I was put on a low dosage of Synthroid and even though it is normally supposed to help people lose weight it had the complete opposite effect on me.  For weeks I was anxious, starving, and just in a horrible mood (which led to even more emotional eating).

It got to the point that Cliff took the scale away from me and wouldn’t let me weigh for weeks.  We agreed to weigh once a month, which meant I didn’t weigh from the first week of July until August 1st.

And it worked!  I weighed my lowest weight (as an adult) on August 1st.  I was thrilled, elated, and just overwhelmingly happy.  I thought to myself, “This is the ticket!  I’ll just weigh once a month and then I don’t have to obsess over every little thing.”

Fast forward to August 15th.  Time to leave for vacation!  I was psyched!  I planned all my workouts, the resort had great running paths, and I was finally going to fulfill my dream of running along an ocean.

And I followed through with ALL OF IT…for days 1-6 of 8.

On Friday (Day 7) of our vacation I did my first real “long” run of 5 miles for my half training (BY THE OCEAN!!!!)  Not only that, but Cliff and I walked the 3 miles to and from a Jet Ski rental shop.  My end total for the day was 23,000 steps (equivalent to 11 miles per my FitBit).

So, I rewarded myself…with food and booze and a WICKED sunburn.

That turned into sun poisoning.

And lasted for 5 days.

And ended with a steroid shot and 10 days on prednisone.

Sooooooo, the last two days of our vacation were amazing, albeit a little hazy since I discovered vodka and tropical Red Bull…but also filled with some pretty terrible food choices.

I got the steroid shot yesterday and was immediately ravenous.  Blizzards AND ice cream cones might have happened.

I also stepped on the doctor’s scales while I was there.  I specifically closed my eyes and told the nurse not to tell me because I knew I would be a few pounds up.

I checked my email this morning and they had sent me a link to my patient portal.  Without thinking, I registered and went over what the doctor had put in my chart.

Which included my weight.

Which was 207.

Sigh.

So, a few things – I was fully clothed, including sneakers.  I have had a TON of sodium lately.  I have been super burned for days and retaining water like crazy.  So, while I know it isn’t a real 20 pound gain – it was still a lot for my brain to handle first thing in the morning.

<By the way, I stepped on MY scale this morning and was already back down to 200.1, so I’m just gonna go with that>

I do know that I do so much better when I’m writing about our journey, so I’m going to try and be better about that.  While I am frustrated with my weight, this year has still been one of the best years of my life.  I definitely want to chronicle not just my weight loss struggles and achievements, but also just how truly fortunate I am to be in the place that I am and have the people in my life that I have.

Be prepared for many more updates on weight loss, race training, and baby making!

I knew 2015 was going to be epic.

Here’s just a few shots from vacation, because what post would be complete with random photos?

Our first trip to Universal Studios!
Our first trip to Universal Studios!
My Kentucky Center Peeps!  Some of the BEST people I've ever met.  I feel truly honored to have traveled with them.
My Kentucky Center Peeps! Some of the BEST people I’ve ever met. I feel truly honored to have traveled with them.
I finally fulfilled my dream of running along the ocean.
I finally fulfilled my dream of running along the ocean.
Cliff and I at New Smyrna Beach where we got married.
Cliff and I at New Smyrna Beach where we got married.

Days 28-30 (Challenge Complete!)

April Rocked.

Like R-O-C-K in the U-S-A rocked.

As a reminder, here were my guidelines and goals that I set back on April 1st.

Guidelines:

  • Tracking every single calorie in My Fitness Pal (check!)
  • Drinking 100 ounces of water a day (check! – even squeezed in a gallon one day/week)
  • No white bread (check! Actually, I forgot that I made this just no white bread and stayed away from white flour all together!) 
  • No ice cream (check! – hardest one by far)
  • No restaurants (with the exception of the 8th – 11th. We’re currently on a 25 day challenge right now and were planning on coming off after the 8th, but I’m just going to lift it for me for a few days and then go right back to it). (Almost made it – just one extra restaurant) 

Goals:

  • A goal – 175 pounds (23 pound loss)
  • B goal – 185 pounds (13 pound loss) (Ya know?  I’m gonna just go ahead and call this a check because I got down to 187 and because it’s my challenge and I can).
  • C goal – screw the scale but I still look good in the outfit (check! The outfit fits perfectly and I even bought a few new (and smaller) outfits).  

Monday

Completely glossed over this one.

Work.

Class.

Sleep.

Day 27 Activity:

  • Pump and Shred (45 min)

Total burned – (345 calories)

Day 27 Food:

  • Breakfast – Banana Chaiburg (250 cals) – I can stop anytime I want!!!  I DO NOT have a drinking problem.
  • AM snack – nothing
  • Lunch – Shakeo (195 cals)
  • PM snack – Nothing
  • Dinner – Ham and cheese sandwich, popcorn, cheese & grapes, fruit cocktail (613 cals)
  • Dessert – nothing

Total – 1,058 calories (couldn’t be helped, just wasn’t all that hungry)

Tuesday

Man.

Tuesday was the best day of the whole month.  By far.

Cliff ran his very first mile.  Ever.  In his entire life.

That memory will be with me until I no longer have memories.  Sharing that moment with him (regardless of his lack of enthusiasm 😉 )was probably the proudest moment of my entire life.

Since I’ve known Cliff he has managed to overcome things that some people would have trouble even imagining.  As soon as I met him I knew he was something special, but I had no idea just how special until the last five years.  He went back to college (on his own dime) and earned his Bachelor’s degree, but that wasn’t enough.

So, he went back and earned his Master’s degree.

Five years ago he stopped drinking soda to lose some weight.

Now, he’s lost 330 pounds and is still going.  On his own.  With diet and exercise only.

He built a prestigious career in the same amount of time going from tech support to a Database Administrator for The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts (and I’m sure he won’t stop there).

I’ve watched this man, who I’ve been lucky enough to call my best friend for the past 14 years, turn into such a remarkable person.  There is absolutely nothing that he can’t do.

I know that we’ll only share a few miles together on the pavement before he is much faster and stronger than me, but I will cherish each and every one of them.

Congratulations, my love.  Meeting you was the best thing that ever happened to me.

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Day 28 Activity:

  • Run w/ Cliff – 3 miles
  • Barre class w/ Whitney (it was Derby hat day!  Isn’t our instructor adorable!?)

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Total burned – 704 calories

Day 28 Food:

  • Breakfast – Guess. (250 cals)
  • AM snack – Nothing
  • Lunch – Progresso Chicken w/ Rice, wheat crackers (120 cals)
  • PM snack – Nothing
  • Dinner – Homemade pizza with BakeSense rolls (545 cals)
  • Dessert – Rainbow Sherbert (100 cals)

Total –1,195 calories

Wednesday

Wednesday was also a very important day.  I learned an extremely important lesson.

So important, in fact, that I think it deserves its own blog post, so be sure to check back for that.

However, I will go ahead and share my final weigh-in for the month. Considering the timing I’m not really counting it as my final because it isn’t accurate.  After weighing in for nearly two years, every week, and tracking it – I’m pretty familiar with trends.  I won’t see the real loss from the last part of this month sometime between May 6th – 9th.

But, with that being said, I’m still happy with an almost 10 pound loss for the month.

Especially a month that consisted of family visits, road trips, and a gigantic fair-like excursion.

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Wednesday was also my weekly run with Lauren and it was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it.  That girl gets me.  And I REALLY needed someone who got me, get me?

Thanks Lauren.  You are a terrific person.

Day 29 Activity:

  • Run w/ Lauren (2 miles)
  • Pump and Burn (30 minutes)
  • Yoga (30 minutes) – hurray for unplanned triples!

Total burned – 619 calories

Day 29 Food:

  • Breakfast – Shakeo (195 cals) – SEE!  I told you I could stop!  Fine, fine, fine.  They were out of bananas.
  • AM snack – Wheat cinnamon bread w/ natural peanutbutter (255 cals)
  • Lunch – Chicken chowder w/ wheat saltines (360 cals)
  • PM snack – nothing
  • Dinner – Taco salad w/ veggie chili from McAlister’s (490 cals)
  • Dessert – Sweet Savannah’s Frozen Yogurt (360 cals)

Total – 1,660 calories

Thursday

We picked up Cliff’s running shoes on Thursday!

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(And just an FYI – that dude ran 4 miles on Saturday.  Insanity).

Other than that, it was pretty uneventful.

Except for the fact that it was the first day, all month, that I went over my calories.  I felt slightly bad about it, but only for a split second.

Overall, I’m really pleased with how the challenge went.  I’m not too thrilled about the timing of when it ended, but as far as my performace is concerned, I’m stoked.  I think I’ll take it a little easy in May and then ramp it back up until the race in October.  Training starts June 29th and I’m so excited!  Cliff and I are also considering starting a ONE HUNDRED DAY no restaurant challenge after his birthday (May 24th).  I think that would be so amazing to accomplish – and also really effing hard.  Ideally, the challenge would run from June 1st (I LOVE starting challenges on Mondays and “1sts” and June has both) to September 9th, right about the time my long runs really get going.

Perfect.

Day 30 Activity:

  • Hard Core Abs (15 minutes)

Total burned – 115 calories

Day 30 Food:

  • Breakfast – Almond milk mocha (220 cals)
  • AM snack – nothing
  • Lunch – Chopped Chef Salad from The Chop Shop (~586 cals)
  • PM snack – new protein shake (Gold Standard 100% Whey Extreme Chocolate) mixed with PB2 and skim milk and some popcorn (344 cals)
  • Dinner – Ham sandwich on wheat with minestrone (345 cals)
  • Dessert – Orange sherbert cup and more popcorn (I’ve been super snacky lately)(191cals)

Total – 1,686 calories