Saturday, March 22, 2008

Six Word Memoir

This week I was punished by tagged by CDJ write my six word memoir.

Six words! To sum up my life! If you've read my posts before, you know I'm lucky to limit myself to writing six paragraphs on a run that lasts less than 30 minutes. Now I have to write six words to sum up a life that's lasted over 30 years? Hmmm.

Not easy.

No no, that's not my memoir. That won't do; it's only two words.

I had lots of false starts, many that summed up one small part of my life ("Overworked, underpaid; Calgon take me away!"), many that were true at one point but not so much anymore ("Why doesn't spell checking work, dammit?"), but I only came up with one that seemed to sum up many aspects of my life over many years. Drum roll please ...

"Without goals she would get nowhere."

So there you go! My life in six words.

Now I get to torture tag six people. Hmmmm ... how about Ashley, Briy, Sauchagirl, LoserIrene, MomOf3, and JavaChick. Are you guys up for the challenge?

Friday, March 21, 2008

I think the cart looks rather nice in front of the horse

I really need to focus on work today, because mid-afternoon I’m going to skip out of work early and go shopping with an old friend of mine. So what am I doing? Reading blogs and writing a blog post. Brilliant. At least I have my priorities straight.

Hooray for going shopping this afternoon. I haven’t reached goal yet technically, but you wouldn’t know it from how I’ve been buying clothes lately. Over the past two weeks or so I’ve been clothes shopping more than I’d been for the past year. Actually, that doesn’t mean a whole lot since I hadn’t been at all in the past year … but it’s safe to say I’ve hit about 5 different stores in the past few weeks, and I actually purchased things at most of them.

I’m not usually much of a shopper – when I’m not in pajamas working here at home, I live in jeans and t-shirts typically. But I’ve decided that I need to clear out most of my old tee’s and try for a more interesting look. If nothing else, I should aim to pair my jeans with cute tops. Over the past couple weeks I’ve gotten rid of approximately 4.6 million t-shirts and purchased 8 or so tops. It makes me happy to look in my closet and see fun clothing options. It makes me feel good to wear clothes that flatter my slimmer, fitter figure.

To make room for new, cute stuff that fits, I’ve managed to clear out quite a bit of my old clothes … the old stained and/or pill-y and/or stretched out and/or hole-y and/or too-big t-shirts are gone. The jeans and pants that are two big are sitting on my dresser waiting for a trip to the consignment shop. I’ve given some hand-me-ups to my Mom, some sweaters went to a friend, and I have some other clothes that are homeless but I’m actively looking for a new home for them.

I might be putting the cart in front of the horse to do this cleaning-out and shopping before I technically reach goal, but I’m so close. Over the past few weeks I’ve felt good about how I look physically, and any physical changes that’ll happen between 2 weeks ago and actually reaching goal (which will happen very soon) will be subtle to the point of being non-existent. And I tell you, it’s a lot of fun to go shopping when you’re comfortable with how you look! Trying on clothes and having some of them look flattering is a great feeling. Not everything looks great, but some things do. I've found that some jeans are still disturbing-looking, but some look good. Maybe today I’ll even have the guts to try on a bathing suit – I haven’t gone there yet. *shudder* Anyway, for the most part, shopping lately has been very fun.

So if I’m putting the cart before the horse, so be it.

Speaking of putting the cart before the horse, lately I’ve been contemplating what to do AFTER I finish the couch to 5k and run the April 19th race. I know, I know, I’ve got a month to go. But I’ve been wondering … what comes next? I think I’ll need to find a new goal/program. The couch to 5k has worked out so well for me; it motivated me to exercise in a way I hadn’t experienced before. I think the key for me is structure and having a solid end-goal.

I’ve been contemplating the Hal Higdon 10-K Training for a Novice program. I like it because it is a running program that isn’t ALL about running … I can actually cross train, so that (to me) means that in addition to running I can do aerobics or bike or something else I enjoy. The running has been fun, but I do miss the other things I used to do. Incorporating these other activities into a training program is really appealing to me.

I think I’ll have to come up with some “in between the couch to 5k and Hal’s program” program for myself, to work myself up to exercising 6 days a week … right now I’m only exercising 3 days a week. I’ll start mulling over what that in-between program will look like as the next month passes.

I’m not 100% sold on the Hal Higdon program, though. It looks good, but I’m sure I’m not aware of all my options. As someone new to running, I don’t really know what programs are out there. If anyone else has any suggestions for what might come next, I’m all ears.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Couch to 5k Week 7 Day 1: It didn't kill me

So much for going into the nearest office this morning – yesterday afternoon I got caught up in an urgent project at work, and I it ended up that I needed to be online bright and early this morning. That meant driving in to the office wasn’t an option. Maybe I’ll head out later this afternoon … I’ll call Mr. Computer Man and see if he thinks we can knock this “getting the laptop set up” thing quickly.

Anyway, first thing this afternoon I finally took advantage of the working from home situation when it comes to doing the couch to 5k workouts. I snuck out of here around 12:30 and went and did my week 7 day 1 run. With some working-late days last week, working over the weekend, and working late yesterday, I can’t say I feel bad for skipping out of work for 40ish minutes. And actually, at that time of day I can just claim it’s a lunch break anyway, right?

The run went OK – this was my second 25 minute run. It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t keel over so that’s a bonus. I think (don’t quote me on this) I have two more 25 minute runs before my time increases again. I’m glad, because I feel a little like my body needs more practice at the 25 minute level. Three more minutes … well, MAYBE I could have done it, but it wouldn’t have been pretty.

I accomplished something else this morning, too. My entry form and fee is in the mail to the 5k organizers. It’s official – 5k day is April 19th. It’s been official in my head all along, but I hadn’t managed to pay the money and make it official to the people organizing the race yet. Now that is done, too (well, it’ll be done once the postal service does its part).

Now that I’ve knocked out some decently long runs, I’m excited about the actual 5k. April 19th – that’s less than a month away! I can’t say I feel ready yet, but I feel like I’ll be ready by then. Or ready enough, anyway.

Quick subject change: I said I wasn’t going to focus on weight while I take off these last couple pounds, because the last pounds come off slowly and I was beginning to make myself crazy. And I’m NOT obsessively focused on them, although I am watching what’s happening on the scale. Do you see those scale numbers over there on the right? How exciting is that? I’m not at goal yet (remember, I need to average 133 or below for a week before I consider myself at goal), but I’m darned close.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Missing: One run

In my couch to 5k program, I made it through weeks 1 to 6 without getting behind in training. For the past six weeks I’ve religiously been getting my three runs per week in.

But this is week 7, and unfortunately I’ve officially missed a run for the week. Ugh!

This week I didn’t work out with the trainer on Monday – our trainer was out of town PLUS it was St. Patrick’s day. The plan was to work out last night (Tuesday) instead, which would keep me on track if I did the Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday/Monday schedule. But did I run yesterday? NO.

Instead, I cleaned the house. I couldn’t ignore the building chaos anymore. With working so much lately it was getting out of control … and yes, I’m here all the time, but when I work from home I’m working, not cleaning. If I could have done a run in the neighborhood I probably would have squeezed my run in, but it was raining like mad and I didn’t manage to get myself to the gym.

I’m quite annoyed at myself this morning. My options are to let myself fall behind in training, or to do two runs in a row without a rest day, which isn’t recommended. I’ve never tried to do two runs in a row – at this point in training it means I’d be running 25 minutes two days in a row. Yikes. Neither option sounds good to me, so … who knows. I’m going to see how the week plays out, see how I feel, and decide what to do based on that.

Not good news on the C25k front. Assuming I don't run two days in a row, I’ll still finish in time for my 5k, but I won’t have as much extra time to build speed and endurance.

On a brighter note, I just heard that a new work laptop is ready for me. Yaaaaaaaaay! I won’t be online tomorrow, as I’ll need to drive into the closest office and get that squared away.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Maybe the multi-tasking isn't so wise

I just re-read my post below and I am laughing hysterically.

Um. Yeah. When I said "I ran 25 miles!" I meant "I ran 25 minutes!"


I've got to stop working so hard. I'm completely losing it.

Where Am I? (Volume 8) … Answer: RUNNING!

Life has been kicking me around a little this past week. I’m overdue on the blogging and out of touch on the reading. Rather than having a fun-filled weekend, I ended up working all day on Saturday. Instead of socializing on Sunday, I did long-overdue yard-work (which is fun in a way, but I'm beginning to miss human beings). To top it off, neither my husband nor I are sleeping well … he has the “can’t get to sleep” insomnia and I have the “stressed out about work and waking up extra-early” insomnia. It’s a barrel of fun around here, I tell you what.

In the midst of all of this, exercise and eating are going pretty well. Let’s discuss the gory details, shall we? Because it is Tuesday … time for the “where am I in my weight loss exercise and wellness journey” stats check.

Exercise: My goal was 3x cardio via couch to 5k workouts and 2x strength training. I did my couch to 5k runs, but (once again) I only got one strength training workout in. I probably worked my muscles some by doing the yard work (it involved hauling heavy stuff around), but in my opinion that doesn’t count as OFFICIAL strength training. So, technically, I did not meet my exercise goal.


I’m THRILLED to say that I successfully ran 25 minutes this past Saturday! Woo hoo! Twenty five minutes! That’s a lot of running. I ran slow but steady and I got it done. It wasn’t even that bad. I think the run before it was harder (two 10 minute runs separated by a 3 minute walk), which makes no sense at all. Thinking about what made that run hard and the Saturday run easier, I bet some of it was the time of day. I ran the two 10-minute runs at the end of a very long, hard work day. On the other hand, I did my Saturday run in the morning, post coffee but pre- everything else. Plus, it was a beautiful day, and I was able to enjoy my own music for the first time, and … it was a good morning.

I am NOT a morning person, but maybe I could become a morning person when it comes to running. Hmmmm. I’ll have to consider it. I can always try it, and if it doesn’t work out go back to afternoons. Besides, if I keep waking up well before my alarm, I might as well get something done, right?

Today I run 25 minutes again, then I do it again on Thursday (come to think of it, Thursday would be a perfect day to try a morning run, since I’m busy that night), and then on Saturday I go up to 28 minutes! Wow.

I read an interesting post by MomOf3 - she’s also doing the couch to 5k program. She mentioned that sometimes when she runs for periods of time that she’s never run before, she has the urge to just STOP. She isn’t in pain, she isn’t incapable … but something inside her tells her to stop. I SO can relate to this. I’ve experienced that many times during this couch to 5k program, and it’s very odd. What is it that makes us feel that stopping is the answer, even when the messages from our body tell us that we really can keep going? I have no idea. But the good news for me is that during my 20 minute run, I didn’t hear that "time to stop" voice. I had no strange urge to stop running … and I tell you, those last five minutes were uncomfortable. But I REALLY wanted it, and I did it.

Again, another example of how mental this running thing is. Who knew?

Anyway, the running is going well, and every time I put those running shoes on I’m able to do more than I ever thought I could do. That feeling is GREATNESS.

Now, on to weight loss (which, if you recall, is not my primary focus these days, but I still have my eye on losing a couple more pounds) …

Weight loss since last Tuesday: 1.4 lbs (135.4 vs. 134.0). I’m glad to see I took off that 0.2 lbs I gained last week, plus more. More than I expected at this point in my journey, actually. I guess there’s something to be said for working your tail off all the time … if you’re heads down at work, you’re not out making bad eating choices. (Honestly, I’d still choose less work, though.)

Weight loss since fall 2007 (most recent leg of weight loss journey): 18.4 lbs (152.4 vs. 134.0).

Total weight lost (entire weight loss journey): 33 lbs (167 vs. 134.0).

All in all I had a good week when it comes to eating and exercise. No badges earned … but I earned the “I ran 25 miles!” badge that exists in my head, and that’s good enough for me!