Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Today Was A Good Day

Cindy and I before the race
              Last night I set my alarm for 4:30am so that I could get up and go on a morning run. To my surprise, I jumped up as soon as my alarm went off. I fed the cats, brushed my teeth and put on my workout clothes without waking my old man. Then I grabbed my MP3, keys and phone and went out the door. I was so proud of myself for actually leaving the house before 5am and not procrastinating like I usually do. But on this day I did not. I got on the elevator and went straight out the door into the darkness, into the ..........rain. That's right. I was so gun ho on running I didn't even look out of the window to see if it was raining. So what's a girl to do. She's awake, she's dressed, what should she do? I ran around my building for a long as I could stand it. Then when I could not stand it anymore, I tested the rain. It was light so I figured I could take a chance. I ran out to the track and ran around the track twice; counting six skunks in my path along the way( yes I gave them a wide berth). I ran all the way back home to get ready for work.


               A long time ago I would not believe that I would become someone who wants to run so badly that she would run in the dark or in the rain or with skunks. But it seems that I have become that person. I did not become that person overnight. I was a walker. I would walk as often as I could. I lost weight walking. But after reading an article that said if you can walk for miles, you can run, I thought can I really run? I mean running is only for thin people, isn't it? I did take myself out to the track and run around for thirty seconds at a time in the middle of my walking laps and I found out that I could run.              I will not lie to you. Running is hard. You will have aches and pains after running. You will need to make sure that your sneakers are in good condition. I found myself purchasing running gear. First there was clothes with wicking, followed by running hat, spi-belt, and even more running clothes. I also purchased a subscription to Runners World magazine, downloaded a book about running for women on my nook and joined the NY Road Runners Club so that I would have access to races.  Signing up for and then running races is a good way to keep myself on track. I know this from experience because after a race last September, I did not run again until January when I remembered that there was an upcoming race in April. I have been running ever since.  I try to run three days a week for training. I also try to run the distance of the race on the weekend.
Mile 2 marker
              Last Saturday, my friend Cindy and I ran in the Percy Sutton 5K in Harlem. I had been running for 3.2 miles to train and Cindy had been doing "hill drills" for hills. But two days before the 5K, I found out that some of this race had hills. So I decided that since I did not train for them, I would walk them. But that is not what happened. I found myself attempting to run up the hill in my slow running way. I told myself that I could stop when it became too much. To my surprise, I made it up the first hill. Right around the corner came a second hill. I was feeling exuberant so I ran up that hill too. Not terribly far away was another hill. I did not make it all the way up that hill. The only reason I kept running is because I heard one of the race volunteers say that the water station was up ahead. I forgot to take a picture of Mile Marker 1 because of thirst. All of that happened during the first mile. After the water, I just kept on running. On the last mile or so to the end came the downhill portion of the race. I remember my friend Cindy saying "going downhill is so much fun". It is not. It is a crash course in balance and pounding on your muscles and feet to keep from rolling down the hill like a tumbleweed. But I did keep on running down hills and the blocks to the finish line.
3 mile marker
             After the race, Cindy and her old man Pete made me climb more stairs than I do in a week to get to the other side of the park for breakfast. Do you know what I got for all this torture besides a bagel, a t-shirt and a piece of fruit that disintegrated in my backpack?  I found out that I shaved four minutes off of my previous 5K's including my training. I found that even though I did not do hill drills ( though I will start them now), I prepared my body to do the best that it could and it did even better than I thought. Now there is something to say about good running days and bad running days. The four miler in July almost broke my spirit because I had convinced myself that I sucked. But I also kept on training , knowing that another race was a month away.
           Running has become fun to me. It hurts. My podiatrist is making a fortune keeping my feet pretty. I own quite a few running clothes but not enough in pink. I have to talk myself out of bed and out on to the track to train. I have to suffer anxiety the days leading into and the day of the race. I constantly worry about whether folks are laughing at me or cheering me on when they see me running. Most of the time I try to stay in a focus/tunnel vision like mode when I am running. And of course there must be music even if it has to be in one ear because it is five o'clock in the morning and a skunk wants to cross my path. I feel the pull in my chest when I am doing walking laps. A voice in my head is saying run! But I am trying not to create injury because I want the running to continue.

Last Week's Activity
  • Wed.- walk 30 min
  • Thurs. - jog 42 min
  • Fri. - walk 40 min
  • Sat. - walk 1hr 20 min
  • Sun. - Jog 41 min
  • Mon. - walk with 3lbs weights 1hr 8min
  • Tues. 40 min weight training

Bobism: I have a friend who puts her fork down in the middle of a meal and says she's done and I don't understand that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Come See About Me

           Last week's WW meeting topic was about drinks and drinking smarter. I rarely go drinking. But when I do, I prefer to go to parties or clubs with dancing. Dancing is a wonderful way to earn activity points which you can cash in for a drink. Trickle down econimics , no?  My beverage plan goes like this.
Breakfast- coffee
am snack - water
Lunch - water
pm snack - water
Dinner- water w/sugar free flavor packet
           I know it sounds a little boring but I actually like water. I also taught my sons to like water since they were babies. My fridge is full of everyone's individual water bottles. When you open the fridge in my home, a bottle of water will reach out to greet you. We bring bottles of water to the movies and  to baseball games. I do occasionally drink diet soda. Soda tastes like a cocktail to me now. It is used as a treat. I do not drink fruit juice but I do eat fruit. What I need to learn how to add to my good health guidelines is some milk. I have fat free Lactaid milk in my fridge but I rarely remember to drink it. I use fat free milk to make oatmeal for breakfast most days but never pour myself a glass.
The infamous Bob

   We had out August 2012 5K Social Walk recently.This month's route was a straight line up and then down Park Avenue. The straight line was Bob's idea but it turned out to be an interesting one. I had no idea there was so much artwork on the median on Park Avenue. While gabbing away waiting for the light to change a gentleman stepped in between Tam and I. He politely offered his arm and said we were welcome to walk with him. But we told him he was welcome to walk with us for 3.1 miles. He thought we were kidding until we informed him that we do this every month. He applauded us but said there was no way he could walk that far.
golden beets
           This week at the farmers market I found golden beets. I cannot wait to try them.

This Week's Activity
Wed. - 40 min walk
Thurs. - 5K Social Walk
Fri. - 40 min walk
Sat. - jog/walk 42 mins
Sun - walk 1hr 14 min
Mon. - jog 54 min
Tues. - 45 min strength training

Bobism:When I get home at night and suddenly feel hungry, I tell myself that I don't need to eat. But then I talk back to myself.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Can't Let Go

         Last week was a little hard. I had so many things going on and a couple of late nights. It can be difficult to juggle work life, night life, family life and working out. What's a girl to do? This girl can't let go. I told you that I have been jogging so that I can keep up my running skills for races. But last weekend my knee started to hurt. I was nervous because last year I sprained my ankle and was not able to run all summer. So I pulled back on running and did some dvd workouts and walked. I also went to my doctor and asked him to check out my knee to see if there was any serious damage. He said that I had a strain. Before visiting him, I purchased a heat wrap that you can wear for several hours during the day and a pressure point knee band. He said that I was doing the right thing and that I should try to run now that I had given my knee a rest. I'm glad to say that my knee works.
Cindy & Tam calculating points

Tam, Cindy & Dena

          Two weeks ago after the meeting I went on a "field trip" with my friend Cindy to Trader Joe's. I heard about this grocery store for many years, especially in Weight Watchers meetings. But Trader Joe's does not have a location where I live. Bob was shocked that I had never been to the store. We tend to shop where with live . And those of us who don't drive have to take advatage of our neighborhood grocery stores. Cindy, Tamra, Dena and I did a "field trip to Trader Joe's after the last Wednesday night meeting.

           What I love about stores like Trader Joe's is the way they display the foods we should be eating. Produce is in your face the moment you walk in the door. Before you know it, you have a cart full of fruits and vegetables and no room for anything else. Nothing wrong with that. Everyone should experience shopping like that. Sure, it's easy to run into a restaurant and pick up food but to me there is something to getting ideas by holding beautiful, colorful and fresh fruits and veggies.

swiss chard
orange, yellow, purple & white carrots
           This brings me to another fun field trip to my local farmers market. It's only open on Saturdays through November. I like looking for veggies that are not sold in the local market like multi-colored carrots and the many sizes shapes and colors of potatoes. Last year the corn on the cobs was so sweet and fresh that I ate it raw like a treat. 

white eggplant
Last Week's Activity
Wednesday - some walking
Thurs.- jog 3 miles
Fri. - 30 min dvd with weights
Sat. - jog 3 miles
Sun. - walking
Mon. - bike 30 min
Tues. - Workout on Total Gym in doctor's office

Bobism: "I always weigh myself in my head before I get on the scale to see if the scale gets it right because I know what I did"

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Run To Me

      I know I have not blogged in a while but here goes. I was off track for a while there. I was on a roller coaster of weight gain and loss ( more gain than loss). I found myself a little discouraged. I was also overwhelmed with my life . Jake was in little league and I wanted to go to all of his games.Unfortunately a lot of the games fell on my meeting days and I missed quite a few meetings. Jake made it to the championships but my weigh-ins did not. Work has been out of control busy too. But these things happen all of the time. We are all busy and we all have a lot of things on our plates.
    I got complacent. I was not careful about what I ate. I ate things that I normally avoid. Not that you cannot eat almost everything on Weight Watchers because you can. You need to have control. If you have a day where you eat junk food, then you need to be more observant for the rest of the week. I was slowly giving myself bigger portions of food. And I was treating myself to snacks that I probably should not. I even started a Snickers peanut butter habit. Those things are so good they should come with a warning label.
     My workouts suffered as well. I was running three days a week to keep in running shape for my races. And then the heatwave struck. I was getting in quick runs in the evening but running when it's ninety degrees is not good. I seem to have forgotten that I have a stash of workout DVDs at home and a workout is a workout no matter how small or how hard. It was as if I forgot all of my WW principles. I needed help. When you find yourself in a deep hole, stop digging.  With little league regular season over, I started attending meetings again. I actually attend two meetings back to back. I downloaded "Weight Loss Boss" by WW CEO David Kirchoff which is a really cool book about how he dealt with his weight loss.
   I started paying close attention to what I was putting in my mouth. I am talking portions and types. And yes I have not consumed a Snickers peanut butter bar in weeks. That's not to say that there is not a bar in my freezer as I type, but it is there if I would like to have one not need one. It is obviously a trigger and I need to learn how to make it a food, not a drug or a reward. I also started running as regular as I possibly can. For me this could mean running three days in a row by getting up early in the morning before it's way too hot. I also have to accept that I am not up to my usual running yet and add walking in between sometimes. And on the days when the weather is not my friend, I whip out a DVD and get in a thirty minute workout. It must be working because after five weeks of gaining, I lost weight two weeks in a row.
       This week's meeting topic was about how each of us can achieve our weight loss goals. There was a phrase I COULD ACHIEVE MY WW GOALS IF ONLY... For me I need to focus on the tangible things like workouts and portion control. Also to engage in "positive self talk"; something I was lacking during my downhill slide. My WW leader Melanie said that people have all the resources they need and that we just need to identify them.
Me after the June race

Me after the July race

     I am still trying to do a race event almost every month.  Here is what I've accomplished so far; March - 2 5K's, June - 4 miler and July - 4 miler. These are things I never thought I would do but now I do. I even convinced my son Jake to run a kids race too and he liked it and said he would do it again.
Jake after the kids race
Wed.- walk 40 mins
Thurs. - walk 60 mins
Fri. - 30 min DVD
Sat - Run 3.2 miles
Sun. - Run 2.4 miles
Mon- 30 min DVD + strength training
Tues. - Run 2.4 miles in morning + bike 30 min in evening

     Bobism: I used to eat salad so I could have salad dressing.