Wednesday, January 29, 2014

There Will Be Gain And I Must Be Happy About It

     Two weeks ago I was skipping merrily to Zumba classes and running on the weekends. As a matter of fact I finally ran six miles for the first time since my 10K in May. But when I went for a run the Sunday before last, I experienced pain in my leg in the first mile and was forced to walk home. My doctor said that it's my muscle and to take it easy for a while. I had a question for him. WHAT IS TAKE IT EASY? One of the things I don't like to do is take it easy. Of course I have rest days and I now realize how important they are because my muscles need to repair from there wear and tear. But several rest days in a row bring about another issue.


   After many years of being a Weight Watcher, the scale and I have come to an agreement. The scale does not hurt my feelings and I do not lose my temper. The scale is not out to get me, it's out to guide me. In the past I sat through many Weight Watchers meetings with my lip "poked out" screaming GAINED GAINED GAINED in my head over and over while my wonderful leader Melanie was trying to conduct her meeting and my fellow meeting attendees were celebrating their accomplishments. This was wrong. That anger caused me to close my mind to what was going on and what I needed to hear. My negative energy was not making my situation any better. It just made me mean. And I would say some horrible things to myself.
       After a week, the doctor said that I could try and do a few light exercises like walking. I also asked if I could do an exercise DVD and he said yes as long as I am not in pain.[These negotiations were necessary because I probably had the look of a recovering addict when I asked the question. I imagine I looked like Jamie Foxx in "Ray" scratching myself. My poor doctor.] I went home and dusted off my old Weight Watchers Walking DVD. I was frustrated while doing the walking DVD because I was used to doing so much more. I remember that when I started working out it was hard to get through a DVD. Later it was hard to do multiple DVD workouts a week. But I did my workout and I felt like I was on the road to recovery.
            I was able to take Zumba classes the last two days (modified of course). I expect a gain this week. I was averaging 40-60 activity points a week but this week I have 13 activity points. I will weigh in and access my next steps which PROBABLY involves eating less when I am not as active. It also involves a little more restraint around emotional eating.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Will It Go Round In Circles

          I like running. I may not like the first half mile or so but once that special feeling kicks in, I'm there. The weather has been pretty weird in New York City lately. One day it is Spring the next it is winter. I know we cannot have a mild winter every year but I could wish for one. A few weeks ago a snowstorm hit and completely covered the running path that I use near my home. Luckily it was a light snow and maintenance was able to clear the paths. So the day after the storm I talked myself into going for a run. I dressed in some warm gear and was on my way. Despite the snow it was not too cold outside so I started running my usual route. I made it almost all the way around the track and towards the finish line, there was a puddle. My "running high" brain told me that I could run through it. So there I was up to one ankle in a puddle of cold slushy snow water. Clutch my pearls! What was I supposed to do? The old me would have used harsh language and went back home. Okay, so I did use some harsh language, then I back peddled out and ran to the right into some more muddy snow. After a little more harsh language, I was back on dry land running towards my start/finish line and kept on going.
           When I arrived at the giant puddle, I chose to run left this time. The left lead me about a 1/4 of a mile away from the start line so I ran past the start line, to the end of the puddle so that the puddle became my new start line. Since I was missing the patch of ground that the puddle covered I felt the need to make it up some way. There is a small hill on my path that  I love but instead of going up the hill, I ran the 1/4 of the mile around the loop to approach the hill on the back end. Do you know what I found on the back end? A steeper incline in the opposite direction. The muscles in my legs twitched because of the unfamiliar hill. I liked the feeling so I turned around and ran it again and stopped at the bottom of my usual hill and ran up in my usual route achieving two incline exercises running around the same circle twice.
          The folly continued as I ran around the path. I figured why not extend my run by running around the playground near the path once and continue on the path that leads to the diversion at the large puddle. I ran this route many times (maybe a few times too many around the hills). What I initially thought would be a two mile quick run around the snow became a 5.73 mile run. I know what you runners are thinking. One more run around the hill and I would have run a 10K. But the moral of my running tale is that one bad puddle don't stop the run. My track measures .82 of a mile. I usually have to run around four times to complete a 5K.  I have been using my double hill and playground route ever since. I turned a .82 mile into a 1.20 mile and with a little extra circle hill running, I run five giddy miles.
         Of course I still have to talk myself into going for a run. But eventually I have to talk myself into stopping. And one of these days I will run six miles.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Push It

It's been a while since my last blog. I always feel like I am back in Catholic church when I say that. Forgive me blog readers for I have been lax. It has been two months since my last blog. And now on with the show.
Last May I did something next step for me. I ran a 10K. I did not go on and on about it because it was a weird situation.It was my first solo race without my racing buddy Cindy. It was a longer distance than I ever ran. Even after I paid for it, I was not sure I would run it or chicken out. My ambivalence was out of control. I did train for it. I told my manager at work about it and she told me that she ran it as well( in Central Park). She also warned me that there were some enormous hills and that I would have to walk a bit. I thought that all the training I put in prepared me to run the heck out of that race. I ran from one end of the park to the other thinking "wow I was able to run those hills and now all I have to do it run back". But I was wrong. There were real hills around the corner causing me to stop running and start walking.By the end of that race I was drained of energy and some of my spirit.
       The weather started getting warmer and I concentrated on running on the treadmill just a little bit at first. But little by little I ran a little longer on the treadmill. I even added a little incline and speed.When Summer came to an end, I realized that I had not been running outside and I wanted to  run the Hunts Point Hustle 5K with my son Jake in October. I had to suck it up and get out on the track again. Jake and I ran our annual mother/son race and we both PR'd . I was so happy. And now there was yummy cool Fall running weather. During my running hiatus I became addicted to Zumba classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. My weight loss stalled and I was looking for a way to boost my weight loss and get more running in so I decided that Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays were running days. I started out running 2 1/2 to 3 miles on those days. I wanted more.
     I created a small challenge for myself to push to run 10 miles every weekend. When you see the words 10 MILES you feel intimidated . But the truth is I am competing against myself. A challenge is a good thing if it motivates you to be a better you. A challenge should not make you feel weaker; it should make you feel stronger. As I grew stronger with my challenge I pushed myself to run 4 miles one day. The next time I decided to run 4 miles, I pushed myself to run 5 miles. Today that's as far as I plan to run in one day but who knows what next week while bring. I have been doing this for a few weeks and I checked my Garmin history for the amount of miles I ran in October alone. It said that I ran a little over 60 miles (5K included). I do not feel drained of energy or spirit anymore.

I don't have to be really more excited. I just have to be less discouraged.

Activity Week Oct 30-Nov 5 (59 Activity Points)
Wed.- Gym 45 min running on treadmill + 30 min weights in afternoon
Thurs. -exercise bike 30 min + two 45 min Zumba classes back to back in evening
Fri. - 30 min run on treadmill + 25 min weights in morning
Sat. run 5 miles outdoors
Sun- run 4 miles outdoors
Mon - run 3 miles outdoors
Tues. - Run on treadmill 15 min + weights in morning an 45 min Zumba class in evening