Thursday, May 30, 2013

Failure is NOT an option

I talked in my last post that I wasn't going to allow excuses in my life and that I had a plan to make sure that my snafu or not riding in the morning didn't mean that I forwent my planned ride.  I put my plan into motion.  I contacted my walking partner and asked her if we could delay our walk until 7:30.  That gave me a half hour to close up work, get home, change, grab my bike, my shoes for walking and get to the battlefield.  I would ride for an hour and then walk with Sherry after my ride.  It worked like a charm!

I got an hour bike ride in and I walked and got my chit chat session in.  It was all in all a good evening!

Soooooo I'm going to get the white elephant out in the open.  I bought my new bike and was so excited.  I knew it would be an adjustment but didn't expect too much difficulty.  Seriously, I ride my trek quite a bit...I rode it on Monday for 20 shouldn't be too difficult to ride a road bike.....right?   I however quickly figured out that my new bike threw me into a world of hurt.  Yes.  It's a painful experience.   It HURTS!

Lets start at the bottom. 

*My toes go numb when I ride.  I can't really say that it's anything to do with my new bike.  My toes go numb on my Trek I'm not too concerned about that.

* My left foot HURTS.  I don't know if we attached the clip into the shoe a bit off or something (I'm going to have my brother look at it).  I know that I've had some pain in this foot for more than a year, so it could just be a combination of that issue and a different use of the foot.  I ignore this pain. 

* Hills.  I typically ride the canal on my Trek (or a rail trail).  It's relatively flat.   Hills make the thighs SING and burn!!!!   Not too concerned, this is just a problem that will happen and will ease up as I build up the different muscle set that is conducive to hilly bike ridng.

* Back.  Yeah, I'm more hunched over when I ride my lite speed.  My back feels it.  It gets stiff and achy.  Once again this will ease up as I get used to riding a road bike.

*My arms and upper body get SOOOO tired and achy as my hands and arms support my upper body on the bike.  I ache.   Once again.....just building up the body, muscles and getting adjusted.   It's all good.

So yeah, I'm in a world of hurt with this.  But I will NOT fail.  I will NOT let the bike beat me!   I know it's just a thing of DOING it on a regular basis.  I just need to remember that it WILL get easier!

SOooo on the bike tonight I was riding along and hurting.  I carried on a two sided conversation in my head. 

MaryFran:  I want to quit!!!!
Voice: Why?
MaryFran:  It hurts!
Voice:  Are you dying?
MaryFran:  No

Voice:  Then keep going.  Suck it up buttercup.

And I did.  I kept going and I didn't die. 

I'm planning on going riding with Todd on Saturday (weather permitting and he doesnt back out).  I've suggested the Washington and Old Dominion Rail Trail.  I've told him that I plan on taking my lite speed and riding that.  I've already informed Todd that I will probably be snivelling and cryng by the time we are done! (ok, maybe not quite that bad)

I will conquer this.  Failure is NOT an option.  I will get to the point that I can ride with my brother and not hold him back (too much at least).  I will conquer this and knock these bucket list bike rides off my list.  I will WIN!


Drat but I hate excuses! I'm finding that I have no tolerance for excuses of late.  I hear the excuses why people can't exercise.  Some of the excuses are nuts too. Stuff like,  'My big toe has  a pimple on it so I won't be able to exercise for the next five days.'  and I just want to say 'so?'  Ok maybe the excuses are not as far fetched as that...but it sure feels like it.     Excuses have no place in my vocabulary. 

My spiel about excuses said, I'm struggling.  I ran yesterday morning and had a phenomenal run.  Seriously...I ran faster longer and more consistently than ever before.  I amazed myself.  (And ironically my original thought process for today's blog was to talk about how amazing our bodies are and how our bodies can do things that stun us if we only try....but I digress).  I went to work and my legs tingled throughout the day.  I could feel the muscles.  That's ok.  I'm not stupid enough to think it isn't going to hurt.  But my feet just ACHE.  My bone (a pain I've had since childhood) reared its ugly head.  It was rough.   But excuses are excuses so I went to Zumba last night and powered through.  I actually felt better when it was over.   (And not because it was body felt not as achy)

This morning is when I hit the wall.  I was set to wake up at 5:30...ride my bike from 6 to 7 then have a nice breakfast and run an errand or two and then come to work.  I woke up at 5:30 just fine.  (5:20 actually). And that's where it went sour.  I dozed and fell back asleep.  I moved and realized my back was really hurting (same area that went out a few years sometimes bothers me). My feet hurt and well....I listened to those darn excuses and bike ride for mf this morning. Grrrr.   It's stinkin' hot out today....and my time is tight tonight.   I swore I was riding today.   I've thought about making today a rest day and riding tomorrow.  I've toyed with lots....but I'm disgusted because I let excuses rule my decision.  

 Don't worry...I've got a tentative plan though!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The jury is out

The jury is out.  Am I certifiably crazy?   

I find myself in a very weird situation.  I don't know if I should be committed for  being mentally crazy or if I'm perfectly sane.    But either way I'm torn in two.

A month back I FINALLY had the money and found a road bike for myself.  I had been saving and looking for a good deal that was in my budget for quite some time. You see, I have long had some bike events on my bucket list.  Events that I really did need a road bike for.  I was super excited. I was going to be riding....I was ready and stoked!   It was roughly at that same time that I kinda started to fall in love like running. 

I was immediately torn when I got my new bike.  I want to ride my bike yet I want to run.  How does one decide what to do?  Ohh add into the mix that I love my Zumba.  Zumba has been a salvation of sorts for me. In a misguided effort to be the perfect wife and thereby single handedly save my marriage I had boxed myself into a corner.  I didn't do anything that might interfere with my marital responsibilities...heaven forbid me not be at the house waiting in case he called needing something while he was at work.  (yeah, really boneheaded maneuver on my part, I know that now...but it seemed like a good idea at the time) Zumba helped bring me back out of that bubble.  My friends that I made at Zumba helped me to realize and rediscover myself!  So dropping Zumba is really not a valid option for keeps me grounded!  :-). So in torn between biking and running.  Not so difficult, I can do both right? 

So I've read a few race reports about people doing half marathons.  I used to read them in awe...then a few weeks ago I read one and felt a tingle of interest that went beyond awe, it was tingle of recognition that maybe, just maybe I had it in me to complete a half.   The tingle grew and I think I want to aim for a half marathon.  Yeah...cue the little man with the straight jacket with my name on it...this is where he is needed!   Me do a half marathon?  ha ha ha.  I'm not committing, I'm just putting the idea out there because I think I could do it.   I must be crazy to even ponder this!!!

My biggest deterrent right now is the fact that I want to focus on riding!  I'm totally torn.  To run.....that is the question.  I could be happy doing either one...but will trying to do both hold me back from achieving my goals???

The only thing I will say about this before I move on.  I have tentatively found a few halves that I could conceivably run.  One in Hershey on October 20th..( There is also a half in Gettysburg on that same day.)to follow the Hal Higdon 12 week training I would need to start really training the end of July.  (and continuing running my 3 miles a few times a week until then).  There is one closer, to benefit Habitat for Humanity.    That one is in Hancock, MD on a Sunday in September (September 15).   (Ironically enough that race was already in my crosshairs as I was pondering doing the 5k race that day).    All of those half marathons are on Sunday so no worries about work (there is a half that goes right through the town where I fact it goes right by my work...but it always falls on the weekend I work...and this year is no once again this year I will be at work and cheering the runners on when I'm not inside with a customer!).    The Hancock half I would have to start training diligently the end of June.  Hmmmm.......

So commitment to anything...just thinking wild and crazy thoughts!

Meanwhile, this morning I went out for a run. I don't know what struck me but I decided to push myself further.  (it was probably sparked by all this talk about half marathons and such).   I ran 5.33 miles in just over an hour...That is 2 complete miles longer than I have EVER run in my entire life.  I did not stop to walk.  I ran every stinkin' step!!!!  My average pace was 12:34 (my fastest yet) and one of my miles was in 11:58  YIPPEE!   So not only FASTER but longer!  And I didn't die.....and my legs seem to be still attached to my body and working relatively well.  :-)  

Up tomorrow morning.....a bike ride!   But in the to work I go...followed by an hour of zumba!  WEEEEEEEE

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vacation Weight Loss/Gain Verdict

Well, I vowed that I would be active and ride my bike and do all sorts of things on this vacation and I would lose or at least maintain my weight.   It was a busy week.......
I ran a 5k and set a new PR for myself!
We went to Lancaster and ended up visiting the National Christmas museum again.  The first time was at Christmas and it was terribly crowded.  This time we were able to fully enjoy the museum.  That  is actually a quilt in this picture.  A quilt made of 1 inch pieces of fabric.  And yes, it makes me want to pull out my quilt and work on a project!
In Lancaster we also were able to enjoy a Chicago concert. (I also enjoyed a LOT of good food).
We hit up a variety of flea markets and antique stores through the week. This picture was taken in Strasburg, VA where we visited the Strasburg Museum which is a little gem of a museum.

We joined up with my family and went into DC one day.  We went to the National Building Museum and also to the Natural History Museum.
The strawberries started to ripen!!!
I took some pictures of a friends daughter.
We celebrated Memorial Day at a wreath laying ceremony and a parade (we supplied the sound system so that filled up quite a bit of that day!)
    I was able to get in one hike on a battlefield trail.
I wanted to ride bikes and do all sorts of fun rides, but alas we were so busy that we only got one ride in.  We went to Hancock and rode the Western Maryland Rail trail one direction and then hopped on the C&O Canal for the return trip.  We had a nice picnic lunch after it was over.
We also did a LOT of yard and garden include hauling 1700 plus pounds of junk out of the woods, planting more of the garden, mowing (twice...once push once riding) clearing brush and weeding.

I found that it was more difficult to push myself to formally exercise while on vacation.  It was also much much more difficult to eat within my 1200 calorie budget.  I did my best.  I splurged a bit on some days. But I held on to most of the healthy habits that I have been working to instill in my life.  I have no regrets.  So without further ado........

The scales say..........221.7.

That is one pound up from last week.  I am gritting my teeth a bit because yesterday morning I was 218.4.  I did indulge in a dessert BUT I also rode my bike for 2 hours and gardened for 2 hours (shoveling).  I worked that dessert off!  I do know that I woke up thirsty which is usually a sign that my weight is up.  (taco salad last night....high sodium in the seasoning and even though I drank close to 100 ounces, I guess it still got me!).   But I'm accepting it and moving onward!

I'm quite ok with that number (frustrating because it was lower..but ok).  I've been on vacation and had horrible weigh in results upon my return.  One year I lost all control during vacation.  Desserts were a common occurrence that year.  I gave up on drinking water and went right to the diet soda.  I didn't do anything overtly active after the first day.  So I will accept my weigh in results from this last vacation with a smile on my face knowing that while I may have slipped a bit, I held it together quite well!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Shoe snobbery

Vacation is rolling along.   I've not eaten perfectly by any means.  I've struggled some.  Tuesday was the worst day. Yesterday was shaping up to be bad also.  We were down in VA for the day and stopped for lunch.  For some reason I ordered without first putting in my calories in I didn't track until after I sat there stuffed and sated with food.....and then I realized that 1. I had no calories for dinner and I was in fact already 150 calories over budget.  And 2. I had only eaten one serving of fruit/veggie....I was sorely behind.

I pulled it together.   We got home and I went for a quick run and then walked a few miles.  It earned me enough calories to take me out of the  deficit and to give enough to eat dinner.  What did I have???  Fruits and veggies of course!  

Wednesday I did great and exercised a lot.  

Sometimes though, I just don't recognize myself.  I was heading into Zumba on Wednesday evening (I did a double...woohoo) and I leaned into the back seat to get my toning sticks....and my back seat looks ..well it's all exercise equipment.
So I get home and I kick off my shoes into the pile and literally start to laugh.  When did I become one of 'those' people.  I used to think one pair of tennis shoes was sufficient for all my needs.  Now I have. Zumba shoes, running shoes, biking shoes, regular tennis I shoes for everyday wear...etc.  I'm going crazy!!  (In a good way!)                
Vacation is starting to wind down.  Including today I've got four more days until I return to work.   Booooo!!!   However, it is so much easier to exercise and eat healthy when I'm in a daily routine!   So for that reason alone I will be happy to return to work.  

All this said, I'm thinking that this week will be a bust weight wise.  I am up a bit on the scales. Part of that is the monthly pop on the scales...but still.  I'm holding on and doing the best I can.  I've said all along that I would be ecstatic with a maintain this week....right now I'm second guessing even that and just hoping to not totally blow it and have a huge gain.  That said, I'm totally trying to see good things on the scale this week regardless of vacation!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Moving right along

Yesterday morning I was showing a maintain on my weight.  Life was grand.  Then Lancaster county PA happened.  About two months ago I navigated a day in Lancaster just fine.  Yesterday I folded.  I was more than a thousand calories over.  I still kept a reign on it..slightly.  (It was the desserts at the buffet that got me...I did good at the buffet...I didn't  go crazy  on bread, didn't have any in fact....but had two desserts off the bar..  )It would have been not as bad had I gotten up and ran before we went, like I had planned.    However when the alarm went off I was still just so sluggish and stiff from Mondays work.  Oh we'll.  One day will not be the death of me.  The most important thing is that yesterday's eating and behavior does not occur anytime soon.   I'm not trying to live in a perfect world.  There will be days like that.  It's ok, as long as they are few and far between!

In other news....I got a new hat to get all sweaty during my runs!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day three

I'm starting day three of vacation.  Day one I did great...ran my 5k and then came home and worked outside clearing brush for  about three hours.  I ate well but higher in sodium than normal.

Sunday morning I weighed myself.  Only one pound!   I was momentarily disappointed as I had seen two pounds on Saturday morning.  However Sunday is the official weigh day so I'm saying I lost 1 pound.  I wasn't sure why i was a pound up until I remembered the sodium.  Then I realized that the one pound water weight gives me a leg up (a pound advantage if you will) on my weigh in during vacation!  I'll take all the help I can get because I WILL not gain over vacation!!!

I walked with sherry on Sunday morning and then had a more relaxed day.  I visited with my brothers family and then once at  home I edited pictures for a few hours.  Todd and I went out to eat. Chinese....yummy!! I ate over my calories! Boo!   I felt stuffed and bloated on the drive home so I laced up and went out for a short run when I got home.  I went 1.5 miles.  I was running just to run with no focus on speed.  Turns out I did my 'average', a pace of 12:40.  Felt ohhh so much better when I was done!.  So yes, I over-indulged's out of my system...back on track today!  I ate every one of my exercise calories it was not a lose day..but a draw.  But I'm ok with that.   As long as it doesn't happen every day!

On to day three.  We are hauling garbage today.  We have a huge pile of stuff here and at the studio that we have to take to the dump.   Today's the day!  So manual labor for me.  We also hope to plant our tomato plants and some other basic gardening.   My hope?  I want to get in a bike ride!!!

Off I go!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Paws on the Pavement Race Report

Well, I wrote about my concerns and fears.  And here we go......MF faced her fears and put herself out there and pushed and this is what happened!

On Friday afternoon and evening I made a bit of a boo boo.  I worked around the house, cleaning and moving furniture.  Round about 7PM my legs ACHED!  I was nervous.  On no!!!   But undaunted I laid out my clothes so that I didn't have to think about what to put on early in the morning.   I set my alarm for 5:45 and knew that I wanted to leave the house at about 6:30.  I wanted to be there when the preregistered lines opened.  I was hoping to get a close parking spot so I didn't have to trek back and forth to my car.  I went to bed and fell asleep and fell right to sleep.  My sleep was interrupted when Todd finally came to bed but I was good.  

Saturday morning I woke up early, before the alarm.  I liked that.  It gave me the chance to lay in bed for a few minutes and wake up when the alarm went off I was ready to roll.  It didn't take me long to get ready and I even had a bit of time to sit back and relax while eating my breakfast.   After my last bite was chewed, my laces tightened and my HR monitor on, I headed out the door. 

I arrived at the location early and had GREAT parking.  I walked over to the registration and picked up my swag bag and my bib.  It was just a hop skip and a jump and I headed over to get my timing chip.  And then began the WORST part of the day.  I had about 50 minutes until the race started.  I affixed my bib and attached my timing chip.  My car was close (thank heavens) so I sat in my car and picked up my kindle.  Yes, I had wisely brought it along anticipating the long wait.  I read the time away.  My aunt walked by and talked to me for a few minutes, but she was with her friend so it was short lived.  I kept reading.    With about 10-15 minutes I moved to the start area. I of course chit chatted with a few people and petted some doggies (this was after all put on by the humane society so dogs were more than welcome).  Ironically enough, the start line had me positioned near my aunt and a lady that I know from the Sharpsburg area.  I chit chatted with them and then we were off. 

Immediately I was shocked.  I picked up my comfortable pace and I was weaving around people and moving forward a bit.  Yeah, there were a bunch of people passing me by but I was passing others by.  That kind of felt good.     Almost instantaneously my breathing went wonkers.  My first thought was "on no"   I looked at my HR monitor and yes, my HR was high.  I knew that I wasn't dying that I was just keyed up so I just settled myself down....breathed deeply and slowed it down a tick until I got myself under control. 

I was wearing headphones but listening low enough that I could hear the talking around me.  I saw a lady just ahead of me that was running my pace.  I kept pace with her until she started walking.  I wished her good luck and kept going.   I was still running and I was feeling good.  My HR was higher than I normally run but I wasn't concerned.  I heard my aunt behind me and realized that we were running about at the same pace.  I started to see, she ran a race last Sunday and did it in 37 minutes.  I kept going.   We had an incline and I ran up that puppy.  Admittedly I had to walk for about 10 seconds afterward.  No...I didn't HAVE to walk...I did walk and then realized that I was walking and didn't need to so I picked it back up.  I passed the first mile marker and kept going.   My aunt at the water station took a cup of water and threw it at me...I laughed and turned around and acted like I was shakin' my goods at her. I swiveled around and kept running.   I was just having run.

I then noticed all the young girls.  Elementary age......Girls on the Run was running in this race.  It's an elementary based program where they have a 12 week running program and then the girls run a 5k.  This was the 5k they selected.  Some of the girls were getting tired and I had fun encouraging them as I either I passed them or they passed me.  It was simple stuff a "You got this!"  or "You are doing great!"    It helped me.  I was keeping rough pace with a group of 4 of these girls and their mother.  (they were two sets of twins and best friends to boot).  They would run and then back off to a walk so we were leap frogging because I was running the whole time.    Every time I would come up on them I would say in a sing song voice "the old lady is catching up and passing you by"   They would take off and skip away and just laugh.  So I had some fun with them.  It helped the time pass and kept me going. 

I admittedly walked about MAYBE 30 seconds....TOTAL. 

Finally I saw the finish line.  I had done it.  I wasn't thinking about my time other than to know that my Aunt was still within spitting distance (she and I had leapfrogged through the run also as she walked on occasion).  I rounded the corner and came up upon the finish line and I couldn't believe my eyes.  The clock was showing 38 minutes!  What???? No way!! NOOOOOOO Freaking way!!!!!!  I finished strong!!!!!!!!

My official time 38 minutes and 20 seconds!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Slapping Fear Silly

Well, my next 5k is tomorrow.  Paws on the Pavement to benefit the humane society in my county.   I'm as ready as I'm going to be.  I probably shouldn't have come home today and cleaned so vigorously.  My legs are aching.  Oops.  Oh well..that's life. And I wanted to try to to have a clean house to start off our 10 days of vacation.   But back to the race tomorrow.   I'm nervous.  Not about running.  No, I will run as much and as hard as I can.  I will walk at a fast clip if I have to.  I'm not worried about that.  I am not nervous about reaching my goal that I set for myself (to run it in under 40 minutes). I know that according to the time on all my training runs that I won't make the goal. I'm still hopeful, but I'm not stressed about it.  I would LOVE to make that goal.  But  I will be happy if I get a better time than my previous 5k's.  But you know what.  I'm going to do it and be happy that I'm out there doing it.

So what makes me nervous and freaked out?   Doing it by myself.   Yes, isn't that totally irrational and stupid?  I admit it, it is asinine!!  I'm excited about my run.   However, the excitement at running this 5k (and if my dreams our met reaching a goal I've been working toward) is tempered with the fear of doing it alone.  (yeah, alone in a crowd ha ha ha).   I know in my mind that this is irrational.  What is going to happen to me because I'm alone???? Nothing.  I know this.  Yet this fear still overtakes me.  Why am I this way?????   I don't like it.

Ready or not...I'm facing this irrational fear tomorrow.  Would I have had more fun if I had a friend or two with me?  Possible....but that wasn't an option for this run and I'm OK with that. I'm still doing it and I'll come out on top at the end.....proud of myself for doing it...for accomplishing my run....for everything.

There is no room in my life for fear and I will banish every stupid fear when the opportunity arises!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Head issues

Todd and I went out early and played tennis this morning.  I had fun.   I only won 1 of 4 sets.  GRRRR  Just when I was hitting my stride our time ran out.  BOOOOOO   Zumba tonight!  Yippee!

So this morning when I was getting ready to leave I was putting on a ball cap.  I've been wearing ball caps to keep my unruly hair in place while I'm exercising (it's a tad too short to keep under control on it's own).  I looked down and saw a zumba head band.  I thought...why not!  I can be cool and wear a headband!  I put the headband on.   Halfway through the tennis time I figured out that there must be something wrong with my head...and also remembered why I don't wear them all that often.  The don't stay in place on my head.  Me and my poor misshapen head!  

And just a few thoughts words from me are necessary to introduce or explain!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

All rolled into one

I have a lot to say (ha ha ha, nothing new there, I could talk to a fence post!)  And I thought about writing separate blog entries.  I could stretch out what I have to say in maybe 3 or 4 entries.  I could have blog posts for the rest of the week done.  But I don’t like to do that.  I like to say what’s on my mind when it’s on my mind.  My posts are not written out days in advance and pondered.  They are me…raw and open and well….RAW.    My view is it’s on my mind for a reason…so say it when I feel it. Anyway,  I’ll separate these random ideas into different mini posts all within this big post…so here goes!
                   Fat Aunt versus Healthier  
              (Soon to be thin) Aunt
I’ve always been the crazier aunt.  I have fun with my niece and nephews (and my cousins too….which are roughly the same ages as my niece and nephews).  I’m not afraid to get down on the floor and play the part of the retarded idiotic Aunt.  Actually, I relish the roll of crazy aunt…we have fun (we being me and the kids….we may be slightly annoying when we get keyed up though!).  That role aside, I’m ashamed to admit that over the last 13 years that I’ve been an aunt I’ve been mostly the Fat Aunt.  I was  the Fat Aunt that has loved to play with the kids….but I was the Fat Aunt that when the play became a bit active, I would sit on the sidelines and watch and encourage their crazy shenanigans.  Hey, I was fat…that’s what fat people do right?   The two roles worked ok together.  Crazy Aunt and Fat Aunt co-existed peacefully.  Or rather, I pushed myself to do just enough activity to make them coexist peacefully……I felt like I was going to die some of those times because I was so out of shape, but for the most part those two roles existed happily together. 
On Sunday Fat Aunt didn’t stand a chance.  My brother and his wife took the kids to the park.  Of course I went with them….I love to be with them and there was no question in my mind.  I didn’t think about it at the time, but there was never a thought about sitting on the sidelines.   I laid the Fat Aunt role to rest.  I pulled out the Healthy Aunt role.  I played with the kids…..I played soccer (a bastardized version) for what may have been the first time in my entire life. (remember, I recently wrote about my excuse of this foot issue I have that kept me from participating in PE in school…or rather I used as an excuse to get out of it.) Healthy Aunt came out to play….and you know what?   It felt GOOD.   Bring it on!!!
              Running Shmunning
I’ve been writing quite a bit lately about how running has become rough for me.  I’ve struggled to simply run my miles.  My HR is crazy.  I’m not picking up speed.   My legs are heavy.  You name it…its happening.   I have been disgusted because I set a goal in my mind for my upcoming 5k (which incidentally is on Saturday of this week).  I think that doing that is what has been my downfall. I’ve focused so much on the number that when I show signs of failing, that my mental fortitude slips away and I want to quit (my mind thinks it and my body responds).   When I set myself back up in January to lose weight, I was very careful about not setting down and dirty goals.  There was no “I will lose such and such amount of weight by such and such date.”  I knew that when that ‘magical date’ starts to loom the feelings of failure and inadequacy emerge and they are self destructive.   I knew it and I guarded against it.  Yet I foolishly set a very specific goal for running and as the date gets closer and I show negative signs of meeting that goal. (I’m consistently running the mileage 2-3 minutes slower than I need to be doing in order to even come close to the goal).    It’s been self destructive…and my running has suffered because of my mental state concerning it.
Why is my speed not increasing?   I’ve heard it all.  It could be any one of those things.  It could be a combination of all of them.  One friend thinks my current weight of 221.7 (as of Sunday’s weigh day weigh in) is holding me back and that my speed will increase in direct correlation to my weight dropping.   My brother thinks that I haven’t crossed that ‘barrier’ yet.  What barrier?   That feeling that happens when I hit the wall and my body tells me that if I push further I will die… I stop. However, I won’t die and I shouldn’t stop. I’ve been told I’m possibly running too much (three times a week is where I’m at…sometimes four…but consistently three).   I’m pushing myself too much on my runs.  I’m not running enough…I’m doing this and that.  Who knows…and I wish I had the magical answer.  But I just have to accept the fact that I’m out there running and that I’m doing my best and be happy with it.   I’ve decided to run on Saturday and simply do my best.  Do I want to break that mark that I set for myself?  Yes. Will I be happy if I finish it?   Yes.  Ok, maybe I should say that at the bare minimum I want to finish it with my best time…..which is anything under 43:04.  I know that the adrenaline and whatnot will probably push me a bit faster.  I will hope for the under 40 but I just want to better my time.
So what did I do today with my running?  Today I decided that I had to get myself out of this ‘I have to walk because I can’t go on mentality’.  I’ve run the 3.5 miles before. It’s not a big deal…..or rather it shouldn’t be!  I decided to run on the C&O Canal to make it as easy as possible for myself.  (It’s easy because it’s flat….or relatively flat).  I decided that I would NOT stop for anything.  I ride my bike that way.  I make it a goal to not touch my feet to the ground when I bike unless it is absolutely necessary (something like stopping at a road and waiting for a break in the cars before crossing is somewhat necessary).  I don’t put my feet onto the pavement on hills.  I don’t put my feet on the pavement when I’m tired.  I keep pushing and those feet stay on the pedals (ha ha ha, even when they aren’t clipped in).  I decided that today I would take the same mentality.  I was NOT going to stop running.   Nothing short of a bear standing on the canal (yeah, it has happened…not so much in our neck of the woods…but it’s happened on the western section of the canal) would make me grind to a walk or worse stop.  Hey, maybe if I saw a bear I would set a new record as I tried to run away from it!!!!  Food for thought…maybe I could get someone to dress as a bear and chase after me????  Anyway,  I wanted to prove to myself again  that I could run the whole 3.5 miles without my body screaming that it was dying. 
I of course did it.  3.5 in 43 minutes.  And it wasn’t that bad.  It was actually relatively easy.  My mind was in the right place.

              Personal trainer
A month ago I met with the personal trainer that was going to take me on.  It was to be a mutually beneficial deal.  He would get experience and he would also receive before and after pictures to use in his portfolio to help him elicit more clients in exchange I would receive free personal training.  I was excited and quite optimistic about the experience.  The first few days he was in touch a few times.  We were supposed to start working out…but he never set a time and told me he would get back to me.  Time passed and I wondered…but I refuse to chase after him.  I want a personal trainer (even though it’s a free deal) that is gung ho and WANTS to do it versus someone that I’ve chased and kind of forced into doing it.    About a week or two ago he finally contacted me again and said “sorry I’ve been out of touch….I’ve had to move unexpectedly but we will start soon as soon as the move is over and I’m settled into my new place.”  That’s all fine and good.  And if he does contact me I will still take him up on the offer. Free personal training is a no brainer.  However, I’m not holding my breath anymore thinking that he’s going to contact me to do this.  If he does, good…..I will take whatever he has to offer in terms of exercise and advice. But you know what??????  I’ve lost 6.9 pounds since we had that first meeting…and I’ve done it on my own.   Nothing will stand in my way!!!!  With help…..without help….it makes no difference.  I’m losing.  If he wants to tack onto my determination and reap the benefits, than that’s good he can.  But I’m focused and I know where I’m going with or without him. 
When I leave my job on Friday at 2PM, I will officially be on vacation and have 10 full glorious days of relative freedom!   I’m so looking forward to the break. We have concert tickets and a trip to Lancaster.  We have a trip to DC.  I have a 5k planned, Todd has a Kidney walk, we have a parade one day (Todd runs sound for the town) and possibly a parade in the neighboring town a different day.  We have lots of stuff planned but lots of down time also.  It should be fun!   But part of me is a bit fearful.  I’ve been doing soooo well with my weight loss efforts.  I’ve been so consistent with my exercise. I’ve been just……doing well.  I have a two prong plan that I’m working on to keep me in the losing column.  
Part A:    Since money is tight, we are planning to eat a good many meals at home.  There will be 2 days where we will be eating out. Tuesday we will be in Lancaster County Pennsylvania…we have concert tickets in the evening….but will go up and spend the day. Friday the plan is to go into DC with my family for the day. So we will be eating out that day as well.  The rest of the time we are going to try to focus a bit more on eating at home.  SOOOOOOO, this week I’m sitting down and planning out meals for us to have next week (we are also trying to eat our freezers and pantry down…..way too much food stockpiled).  Today I plan on actually figuring up the calories for each meal.  I will place the calorie count on the list of meals so that when we plan what we are making at home that I don’t end up eating high caloric options each meal of the day.     This plan is not fool proof.  This plan is not in any way at all something set in stone. The sky is the limit for failure.  HOWEVER, I do hope that having the calories set and highly visible that I will make wise choices and be able to manage.
Part B:   Exercise the hell out of the week!   I plan on continuing my 3-4 times a week runs. I plan on attending zumba if at all possible (I know Tuesday night I won’t be at zumba as I’ll be in Lancaster)….but that still leaves Monday and Wednesday nights.  I plan on riding my Trek on the canal with Todd.  I plan on really getting out on the road on my lite speed and conquering this road biking thing.  (I’ve kind of pushed it aside this week as I’m still hoping to somehow magically meet my goal for my 5k on Saturday and right now road biking is painful so I’m focusing on running this week…and yes, I talked to my brother and he says that it’s normal, specifically because it takes upper body strength and lots of core strength…both of which are painfully absent in my body).  We have work to do around the house.  ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE.   SOOOO I may inadvertently through circumstances eat some extra calories. ……if I can at least burn a bunch of calories through activity then I may still lose…..or at least hold on to a maintain!   Crossing my fingers!  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Grocery store nightmare

I lost this week!   I passed the 30 pounds gone for this year mark!!!!  (shopping for my new charm will commence shortly!)   1.5 for last week.  I'll TAKE IT!

I committed the gravest of grave errors the last time I went grocery shopping.  I hit the store many hours after I had eaten.  Not only was there a long stretch of no food, but an hour or so of that time had me involved in running my daily mileage.  So I was HUNGRY!   We all know what that means!

I walked into the grocery store and the first thing I noticed was the table of cupcakes.  MMMMM  they looked so good.  My mouth watered, just thinking about the yummy icing and the taste of  a delectable morsel of cake in my mouth.  My mmmm, turned into a moan as I kept moving.  I didn't even break stride.  I was focused.....I was heading to the produce department.  The next table I passed held the containers of sugar cookies.  You know the type.  The pale sugar cookies with the thick icing on top.   Many times they even have sprinkles.  Have I mentioned lately that I love sprinkles?   I never really bought much stuff like that.  I would rather make my own cookies.  But I have had these goods.....people bring them to work for potlucks and customers delight in feeding us.   I looked at the cookies and a feeling of sadness settled upon me.  I wanted the cookies. I don't want to have to guard against the cookies and the cakes for the rest of my life and I admit that the sense of sadness bore down upon me the whole way through the grocery store.

Did I buy any of those delectably tempting snacks?   NO, not a one!   I headed straight for the produce department and I purchased lots of fresh foods.  I bought dairy products.   I bought healthy foods.   I may have been sad, but I did not waver in my mission!

I don't mind sharing what I purchased in the produce section.  I bought strawberries, (soon we will be picking strawberries..yippee), avocados, kiwi, carrots, sprouts and cherries.  I saw the cherries and I WANTED them.  I didn't think anything of it....UNTIL I hit the check out line. Do you see that in the picture???  I paid thirteen dollars and fifty four cents for that package of cherries.  Holy cow, they should be gold plated for that price.  My mouth dropped when I saw the price on the cash register.  Eii Yii yii!    I can guarantee you that there will be none of those cherries that end up in the compost pile because they got overripe before I could eat them! 

There are people out there that say that eating healthy is cheaper than eating junk.  I beg to differ.  Seriously?   $13.54 for maybe 6-8 portions  I could have bought a bag of chips for three bucks and had it last me the same amount of time. 

No matter.  The cost is worth it in my book.  I am worth it!   (Hopefully I won't be craving an out of season expensive fruit next week though!)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The urge to quit

The last week or two has been extremely difficult in terms of my exercise.  I have gone out to complete my runs. I've really attempted them.  However, they are just less than stellar. I'm frustrated at my progress.  I'm not happy with it.  I read one blog where the person said "I just worked to run faster each time I went out"   That's easier said than done.  I am running at 80-85% of my HR ....I can't push it harder or my pea pickin' heart will spontaneously com bust. (ha).   I have/had a goal set for my next 5K....a time goal.  This race is  looming very close and I am consistently running my 5k 2-3 minutes slower than I need to be.  I'm only hoping that the adrenaline and whatnot pushes me to a PR. 

Saturday for the first time in a while I actually felt like quitting.  (in fairness, these thoughts came after a treadmill run..and I hate treadmill runs)   It felt hopeless.  I am disgusted at the slow progress and honestly the fact that the last week I've struggled to actually RUN my miles and I have to constantly fight the temptation to stop.  I sound like Jillian Michael's in my head....I run and drop to a walk.  Immediately, I hear her voice in my head yelling at me to RUN....and I run. (she scares me!)   The urge to quit is heavy in my mind.  VERY heavy in my mind.    I don't want to quit.  I vowed to commit through the beginning of August.......but it would be SOO easy to quit.  I'm not going to.  I'm going to see this through.  I'm just praying for some visible and concrete progress.  

I got my bike.   The adjustment from my Trek Nav to my new bike has been not so much difficult but painful. (I only ride my trek on the canal...FLAT and no transitioning to hills isn't helping the adjustment)   It's  big adjustment.  I was talking to someone the other day ...a bank customer that saw me out on my new bike and when I mentioned the transition, he said "some people never adjust".  First I wanted to slap him silly for his negativity.  But then I started to think deep about it.....most people don't really commit TO adjusting.  It gets tough and they give up.  I'm determined to adjust  the pain will disspate!

I'm not a quitter anymore!  I will (as long as legs hold out...or more specifically the arthritic knees hold out) continue through at least the August mark.   Quiting may have been a fleeting thought (ok, it's a recurring theme in my mind), but it's NOT AN OPTION!

The sound alone

Yesterday I got home and my husband had left me a ‘good will gesture’ in the refrigerator.  He left me two of the 1 liter bottles of diet Pepsi.  I’m touched that he thought outside the box and got me something.  However, I haven’t had diet soda in ages.  I haven’t craved it either.  I sent him a thank you text and pushed the drinks to the bottom and back of the refrigerator.  I went into the living room and got settled in to watch the hockey game (Washington Capitals versus the New YorkRangers….game 5 of the playoff series).  I was fine with my water.  I don’t crave the diet soda.  I can see it and be surrounded and it doesn’t phase me.  I’ve been only drinking water for ages and I’ve been utterly fine with that.  However, KNOWING that there was ice cold diet pepsi waiting for me in the kitchen was more than I could handle.   It didn’t take me long to cave in to the pressure though. Yes, before long I was sucking down a diet soda.  In fairness, I didn’t even complete a whole bottle and left the second one safely in the refrigerator.  I thought all was done with it when I went to bed and subsequently woke up this morning.  I prepared my protein shake (my normal breakfast when I work in the morning is a smoothie or a protein shake that I sip on at work while I’m waking up) and filled my water jug for the day ahead.  There was no thought of diet soda.  I was done with it one diet soda…the first in a month or two was not a bad thing and would have no ill effect, right???
So I’m fine.  Not even thinking about diet soda or even regular soda.  But then my coworker twists the cap on his drink.  Shhhhhhhhh  Yes, if you drink soda you know the sound.  That sound of a new drink being popped open echoed through the office.  My mouth started to water and I could TASTE the effervescent drink in my mouth.  I could feel it tingling and burning as it went down my throat.  I actually reached for the bottle of diet soda sitting beside me……only there was no diet soda sitting beside me.  MY hand connected with the handle of my water jug.  I fell back to earth and realized how quickly the fat little mini me (that bad influence that helps bring old habits to the front and whispers in my ear to eat bad things and to skip exercise)  that resides inside me can pop back to the surface.
I’m ok.  I’m pounding the water and I’m not going to cave and drink that diet soda that is left in my refrigerator… least not anytime soon. 
On a similar note, my husband (who really is pouring it on thick….trying to make amends by his ‘giving’ not by correcting the issue though) is going to take me to lunch todaysince there is a brief lull between the end of my work day and the beginning of his work day.  He was leaning toward Mexican.   I started to put my food into my tracker.  My weight is down by only a half pound this week (and in fact it was up by 2 pounds the other day…but was back down this morning).  That doesn’t give me a lot of wiggle room in order to still show a loss tomorrow morning.  It also give me NO wiggle room if I want to hit the 30 pounds gone in 2013 on my official weigh day (tomorrow).  I really like Mexican food though…REALLY like Mexican food.  I swallowed down the thoughts of how good Mexican food tastes and texted my husband.  My text read… “Instead of Mexican can we do something else…..the calories are a bit high at Casa G’s and I have a big weigh in tomorrow.” (in fairness, since I don’t eat meat I end up eating a LOT of cheesy dishes at Mexican restaurants)  He texted back ‘sure’, so I’m not sure where we are going.  But I will rock wherever we eat! 

Friday, May 10, 2013


I vowed a long time ago to be open and honest on this blog.  A few months back I recommitted and said "I'm no longer hiding aspects of my life'.  So yes, I'm heartbroken today.

Yesterday the bubble that I had created around myself...that happy bubble was pierced.  It was pierced in a sharp and painful way.  It knocked me back a few feet and I'm not sure that my heart can heal from it this time.  I'm not sure what I'm doing or even what end is up right now.

I got home last night and the last thing I wanted to do was eat.  The thought of food turned my stomach.  I had my food planned out though, so eat I did. I knew that I needed to fuel my body even if my mind said not eat.   It was a light dinner so it wasn't a big concern.    I choked down my planned dinner and then curled up in bed with a book.  What better way to forget the world than with a good read.  

This morning arrived and I laid in bed.  I had a run scheduled.  I didn't want to move.  I wanted to stay in my bed and just vegetate.  Fridays are technically my day of rest so it wouldn't have been difficult for me to skip the run.  However, I took off Monday this week so really I've already utilized my rest day.  Finally at about 8AM I decided.  I knew that if I didn't run, that I would kick myself because I've been doing so good and..... well.....exercise has been my happy place lately.

I rolled out of bed, threw on my clothes and headed out.  The first mile was ok....I was so focused on my own internal thoughts that I forgot about what I was doing.  I ran up the hill that I normally walk up and I was just powering through.  (with a decent pace...for me).   But the second mile hit me hard.  I just lost my steam.  I dropped down to a walk for a few paces, to let my HR settle and tried to run again.  It just wasn't happening.    I thought about taking a shortcut back to my car, but I didn't.  I walked the rest of my mileage.   So there was a victory...I WENT out and exercised.   There was a failure....I gave up and walked.   But that led to a victory...I still completed my mileage, just at a walk.

So why did I run out of steam?   Well couple reasons.  One, my mind is totally preoccupied and lost in everything my mental game wasn't there.  Two, it's hard to run and cry at the same time (well, it is if you typically run at your max HR).  and Three (and I suspect three is the biggest reason).  Remember I didn't want to eat last night?   Yeah, I didn't want to eat this morning I went out on a totally empty stomach.  Literally I ran out of steam......

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Hot Dog!

I was so happy with my weight the last few days (because it was looking like I was going to hit my 30 pounds gone this year mark...because I was there, just waiting for the official weigh day) and then this morning I stepped on the scales and voila, I was right back up 2 pounds.  What the haymarket?????  Seriously?  I am trying to shrug it off.  I KNOW I woke up once or twice in the middle of the night thirsty and was too darn comfy to get up and get a drink.  Waking up thirsty is not a good sign, so hopefully it really is just water retention.  (and yes, when I wake up thirsty my weight is usually up...but not two stinkin' pounds!)  Oh  well....shrugging it off.  I'm healthier than I have been in a while.  I'm happier and more active than I have been in a while.  (Yes, for some reason drowning my sorrows in exercise really is working....the issues are there and  they still depress the living snot out of me...but I just ignore them and go for a run...or go for a ride...or go to zumba.  No worries then...all I can think of then is pushing myself just a little harder).   I saw a negative on the scale today and I'm in no danger of quitting, but there were times in the past that I would have quit just because it hurts and doesn't make sense.  No more....I'm still truckin' onward!

I got up and made breakfast for us. I made breakfast pizza which is supper yummy.  It is a bit high in calories (300 calories  slice)  but I wasn't worried.  You see, I had looked at the weather and decided that I could get in a ride this morning before the weather went south again.

I laced up my biking shoes (oops ratcheted them up as they dont' have laces) carted my bike out the door and headed down the road.  My butt hit the saddle and I wanted to scream.  OUCH!  Apparently the nether regions had not yet had time to recover fully from my last ride.  I briefly thought about cutting my ride from 10 miles down to 5.  But that is SOOOOO cheating and I knew it would ultimately lead me to feeling as if I failed...and honestly, it would have been a failure.  I did 10 on my last ride, I can do 10 today!  I pushed on!  I did the same loop that I did my last ride.   After my last ride my brother asked me how may hills I had to walk.  I honestly answered with an indignanat "none!" (who does he think I am???  Ok, maybe he didn't get the memo that there is a new MaryFran in town!)   I do have to admit though that I stopped three times for a breather/drink.  Yes, I clipped out and feet were on the ground for a breather for no reason other than I wanted to stop. (there was probably two more times that I clipped out that ride due to traffic/stop signs).    I am proud to announce though that today the only time I clipped out of my pedals was when I was crossing a major road.  (the traffic was with me through the other stop signs and turns)   I thought it would be advantagous to clip out and wait until a lull in the traffic...silly me!.  Otherwise, I stopped for nothing.  I may have gone slow up the hills.  I may have crept (the refrain a turtle sludging through peanut butter comes to the forefront of my mind again.....) through some stretches.  But I did it.   The ride was still brutal.  My hands went a bit numb and my arms are just sore.  I'm just plain and simple am used to riding my Trek Nav and well this is different.  I'm trying to loosen up my arms because that helps them, but then my back tenses up.  I know it's just a thing of getting used to a road bike so I'm not too concerned.  Besides, I WILL conquer it!  :-) Anyway, I got home, took the obligatory picture for my blog and called the ride complete. I carted the bike inside.

   I had grand plans to head back out for a run....because well, maybe I'm a glutton for punishment....or maybe I'm just plain and simple nuts.  But after the planned 10 minute break my legs felt heavy and I felt as if there was no way I could even build up to a trot much less a run.    If I waited a bit longer I could probably do it, but I do have a job (drat) and that means I must have time to shower and eat lunch before arriving ready to work at noon.   I walk with Sherry tonight when I get off of work.  Maybe I can try to sneak in a quick jog after we walk.....or if it's stormy and we cancel I'll go to the gym and run on the treadmill (gah, I hate running on the treadmill).    Even if I don't get in my run tonight, i'm not worried.  My bike ride is sufficient exercise for the day...anything else is just for my own mental benefit.    My HR monitor shows that I earned 666 calories.  That's not too shabby if I do say so myself!  :-)  (and yes, for those of you who are curious...I ate TWO pieces of breakfast pizza this morning!!!!!  So I simply burned off my breakfast!)

Where does my title Hot Dog come into play?   Really it doesn't.  I just didn't know what to title this blog post...I was toying with "jingle bells' as a title!  Although there was a little yappy dog that chased me down Sharpsburg Pike on my bike today and it certainly thought it was a 'hot dog'.