3 behaviours I don’t want to repeat from my first half marathon of 2016

Disclaimer and/or fair warning: this entire post is a big, fat WHINE about why I didn’t do better on my first half marathon of 2016.

I hadn’t planned to run the Hypothermic Half in February, but the distance fell in nicely with my training plan so I decided to sign up so that I could see how things were shaking down, performance-wise.

Day of the race, the weather was beautiful – a balmy 4 degrees Celsius with sunny skies – and I knew the course from volunteering two weeks prior.  The race had three start times, and I chose the SleepyHead start at 10:00 am.  Ready to run!

Well….

1. I went out too hypothermic half 2016fast. SUCH a rookie mistake. I got completely sucked in to keeping up with the Joneses.  Even the back-of-the-pack Joneses.  Fueled with adrenaline, the first 3 miles were a pleasure – wow – look at me! All that training has paid off! I can run faster than I thought!  The next 3 miles slowed down a bit – very realistic though, and still feeling strong. The following 3 miles were back to my normal, distance-training pace. The last 4 miles? Crash cart required. Wheels came off. Walking, walking, ridiculous amounts of walking.

2. I was obsessed with time. It’s my first half mara of the year and I’ve been training for the distance, not for time, so why I expected to beat my other half marathon road race times…I don’t know.  Mostly a lot of hubris, I suspect. Throw in that over the winter I packed on weight, and boom! I came in the slowest I’ve ever done a half. My chip time was 2:58:41. Yep. Time to get over it. It’s part of the training process. I must move forward trusting the process.

3. I dropped the motivation ball. In the latter half of the race, I got lazy and my brain totally talked me out of any ambition. Albeit, I was tired, too, but instead of sticking to my walk/run pace, I started to just walk…a lot. In the last 3 miles, I saw a very fit-looking couple just up ahead of me who were walking for ages, and figured if they could do it, I could do it. I would run when they would run – which was not much.  And why bother trying to pass them?  What a silly goose decision on my part. I needed to stick to my training methods and I didn’t.

Hypo run mapTrust, motivation, determination…time to dig deep!  I actually have nothing to whinge about. I completed 13.1 miles when the training schedule only called for 12 miles.  I lived.  I got a tan that day.  I burned a crapload of calories.  I drank a lot of free orange juice post-race.  My only sore bits were my left hip and right calf (related?).

However, since that race, I’ve only been out running twice. I’ve completely allowed the (perceived) poor race results and stresses of life to scuttle my training schedule, putting me two weeks behind now.  I think the pity party is over.

Back to it.

Mid-year goal check-in —-> are we there yet?

WELL – I’m having a GREAT summer so far!!

I’ve run a race in the mountains, been camping with old friends, hiked the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales, gone on two multi-day backcountry hikes, enjoyed time with family and friends… quite spoiled, really.

But … in terms of dropping 50 pounds, I’m totally not there. At all. Not even close.

I’d actually forgotten I’d written that down as my 2015 goal to get lean (by 50 lbs!!!!) this year. Sooo July is done, and that’s a little more than halfway through 2015. In other words, I’ve not seriously been pursuing weight loss goals up to this point. That leaves me 5 months to get back on track.

What’s the plan? Damn good question!

My race training has been totally off lately due to all the hiking (and laziness).  My workouts have been hit and miss. My post hiking food has included a lot of grilled cheese and fries.  Mmm grilled cheese.  Sooo it’s time to turn that around.

My goal this week (baby steps) is to schedule my workouts and plan lunches & dinners for the week.

Boring, right?

But I know if I stick to it, it will work.

Stick. To. It.

One day at a time.

Food police. Not to be mistaken with the Dream Police.

My obsession with eating clean, getting in shape and losing weight has me on the verge of orthorexia nervosa.

I’m not quite there, but I can see this going down in a pretty ugly way. For the past two weeks, sticking to my exercise training plan and my food plan, I’ve become ridiculously fixated on righteous eating.

My life has begun to orbit around my food rules. When to eat, what to eat, how much to eat. Packing my lunch. Tupperware, Tupperware, more Tupperware.  Sizable lunchbags to compete with those at a construction site. Chaos and mayhem if my carefully orchestrated menu is disrupted by the daily comings and goings of family, friends and work, God forbid. Cancel ALL social situations revolving around a meal/snack time, which is, really, ALWAYS unless you catch me in some lucky 2-hour window before my next broccoli break.

“I’m TRAINING,” was my answer. “How do you expect me to get in shape and lose weight if I make exceptions every five minutes??”  If not the plan, my SHEER WILL will certainly burn fat.

And even worse, I was channeling not only my INNER critic but the words were marching to the edge of my tongue and preparing to dive off: “Um, you really shouldn’t eat that you know, because …. it’s full of sugar/fat/processed/etc.”  Hello?? I’m the one with the weight problem, not them. Let them have their doughnuts, pizza, and ALL that dressing on the salad with the chicken that STILL. HAS. SKIN.   P.S. Elevators are for sissies.

Time out. TIIIIIME OUT.

Musical interlude: And now I’m caught in a trap. I can’t walk out. Because I love you too much, baby. Why can’t you see?  What you’re doing to me?

And THEN – so I allowed myself a rest day or two where I ate lasagna – and M&Ms (it’s like, if I’m not being very, very good, I’m simply being horrid) – and then felt the need to jump up and work all that off before it could settle gleefully onto that tire around my waist. Argh!

So. Yes, okay, I don’t really have orthorexia nervosa after only a week or so, but I get how easy it is to slip into the rut.  I feel like I’m the food police and I’ve GOT to ease up..

I need to be Zen about this for the rest of the month.

Proceed.

Peace.

 

Train your brain – 3 Day Refresh

So, April, I’d decided to push a little harder with my fitness goals.  (Gilmore Girls and ice cream drove me to this point).

I gave the 3-Day Refresh, a little Beachbody kick start product, a whirl to get the bod back on track.  I did it with the ever-amazing Miz J. as a rather spur of the moment kind of thing the Tuesday right after Easter. (What!? Huh?! Eeek!) We both happened to have the kit, and it was a huge “no time like the present” move forward.

(Admittedly, for me it was a desperate psychological ploy to make progress in my fitness regime.  I need to see results.  And I did – I got them.)

The Refresh has fibre and protein components, and the holes around it are filled with loads of water, green tea, fresh fruit and veg.  We did it bang on in the middle of the week  – Tue/Wed/Thu – and that helped with keeping busy and not sitting around waiting for our next feeding time.

Day 1 – Tuesday convo outtakes
“I’m at work surrounded by the scent of chicken fingers and a tray of sushi.”
“Two more days! We can do it!!!”
“I was grumpy between work and dinner.”
“Family wants Easter ham and blueberry waffles…I’m eating cucumbers and tomatoes.”

Day 2 – Wednesday convo outtakes
“I couldn’t resist, and I did weigh myself this morning… am down…! But don’t want to speak too loudly about it as I really need to keep this off. No more yo-yo stuff.”
“Woke up hungry this morning. Wanting coffee.”
“Tracking the food keeps me more honest.”
“Vinegar is my new booze. I just dumped it all over this salad and shot back what was left.”
“Made it [to the end of the day] … food all okay. Workout done. Self tanner on face to raise self esteem.”
“24 hours [left] – whooohooo!”

Day 3 – Thursday convo outtakes
“Empty colon” [check]
“For my healthy fat I brought a chunk of coconut oil. BLERGH. Like eating wax.”
“I’ve just had that fibre sweep and am counting down the minutes ‘til I can have lunch.”
“Good thing I have to stick to this strict plan. Mindless snacking would have started…”

In the end – we both lost weight (5 lbs each) in the three days, but this should be expected when, as mentioned above, our colons were empty and we were peeing every hour with all the water.  We kept up our exercising throughout the Refresh, and walking a lot.  And having a partner in crime made a huge difference…no man is an island.

Moving ahead, cautiously optimistic – suddenly I was panicked… what do I eat now??  With such a clean slate, I felt like I couldn’t possibly bring precious food into my system.  I agonized over every frigging thing I ate on Friday. It truly was a case of obsession. Today, I’ve relaxed a bit more, but boy – I think about everything before eating. That’s probably a good thing. It’s like my brain has been re-trained.

Overall, I feel less bloated in the tummy, lighter, experiencing clarity (right??) and as for cravings – like for SUGAR – are actually gone. Onward. Ho.

Weight update
March 30: 214 lbs
April 11: 207 lbs

Whiny McWhinerton

Tonight I took ice cream to bed and watched Gilmore Girls – endlessly – on Netflix.

Mmm sexy.

Full disclosure… I gained weight at Christmas, and then boom! January – even MORE.  I’ve been trying like hell to get back on track.  And the crazy thing is that I’ve been soooo good about making healthy choices: hitting the food groups, getting the portions right, mixing up my workout routines, and last week I even cut out all sugar for 7 days…no luck.

The yo-yo machine is making me nuts.  No beer, no cookies, no nachos, no cream/sugar in my coffee…and still, the weight is merciless.  I used to be frustrated about plateauing at 200 lbs, and now the dial is frakked up at 214. Seriously…

That’s all I’ve got for today.

Blergh.

 

Backcountry hiking, half-marathon running, fat-reducing is-it-summer-yet PLAN

I love winter.

I really, really do love winter. I play outside on my snowshoes. I find excuses to buy really awesome winter socks, and I now own three winter coats. I like frost and cold. I love the stillness of being in the woods, branches heavy with snow.

And, in the depths of this delightful deep freeze, I love, really love, planning for the summer.

I’ve had my maps out since December trying to figure out where to hike this summer, and how to work those trips around my running schedule and my girls’ adventure to Iceland and Scotland…

And the over-arching issue for all of these grand plans is simply to get in shape.

So, starting with my fabulous 37.9% body fat (erg – I should really just be calling that 38%) I need yet another plan…

Having blogged for about a year now, I’m seeing a bit of repetition… that there’s more plotting and planning than actual DOING going on a lot of the time. But being in a bit of a bind – getting chubbier again and having some big goals to kick this year – I need to get on with that DOING part.

The basic strategy for the next few months is to increase weight training and cardio while cutting calories via “clean eating”. Tah-dah. Yep, that’s it.

I’ve gone old school again, and printed out a calendar, upon which I’ve penciled in my workout schedule.  The training is essentially worked backwards from my half-marathon trail race in July and my half-marathon road race in August.  And the best part is that I reward myself with stickers on the days I work out. Oh yes, stickers work for me. And I work for stickers. (Who doesn’t love happy face stickers??)

So far, I have FOUR stickers!!!!!!!  WOOT!  And let the positive visualization begin 🙂

Inside out: the real workout plan

Soooo thinking about mind over matter, getting fit, yada yada yada…

It really is all on the inside, isn’t it?

Like, when I have logical discussions with Brain, and Brain is, like, “You should really relax with Netflix tonight and skip that workout. After all, that could be a cold coming on.”  Or, “You really deserve that birthday cake TimBit. After all, you’ve HEARD the rumours, they might DO AWAY with TimBits and this could be YOUR VERY LAST ONE. Ever.” Or simply, “Why bother.”

I coasted through last year depending on a lot of weird motivations to get me through.  Some of it was about not letting my friends down. Or being a good example to others who also wanted to get in shape and lose some weight.  Some of it was about saving face all together, or not dying in the wilderness.  {I don’t think I really was alone to battle it out until I ran that half marathon road race in the Fall.  That might have been my proudest moment of 2014.}

I’ve been trying to pin down my exact WHY behind everything. And every time I speak about it, or write it down, it doesn’t quite seem solid or motivational enough. Digging deep. Etc. Blah Blah.  But how does one start that journey to discover all the answers that are (apparently) on the inside [seriously, how do I get there?]?

The body – whole foods, good stuff only is allowed in.  Okay, that’s a start.  I know what to do. I just need to be consistent. Nourish the body and Brain.

The mind – [Are you listening, Brain???] happy thoughts, happy thoughts…. visualization, meditation, yoga?  Positive self talk?  Maybe I need some Stuart Smally affirmations (I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me…) or some Help help (you is kind, you is smart, you is important…).

The emotions – believing in oneself…right? Confidence? Ditch fear and embrace the unknown? Surround myself with people who genuinely want me to succeed, and learn to accept praise.  Explore some personal development…oh man, do I need to visit that section of Chapters??

So, there are some categories to work on. Somehow. Notes to self.

And when in doubt, there’s always Crave cupcakes. Alright – I know. Not the solution. But I did eat this over the weekend. Um, Brain said I deserved a treat…  Confessional over.

Cupcakex