Mar 30, 2010

New Day, New Outloook

I'm doing better today. Feeling good about myself, even with the hip injury. Made an appointment with the chiropractor for tomorrow, so I feel like I can see an end to this. I'm pretty sure she'll be able to straighten me out. This setback is merely a lesson in good eating practices; I'm eating smarter than I have been for weeks, and when I do get to add the exercise back, I'll be truckin'.

I just finished lunch, already entered in the dinner I plan to have, and I'll be at 1381 calories for the day if I stick to what's in the plan. I'll probably have an apple this afternoon too though, so that's about 60 more. Not too shabby. Just can't have 1800+ calorie days when all I'm doing is sitting around on my butt.

Had a great morning this morning with Tayan and Zene. Took Tayan to school, went grocery shopping with Zene, then the two of us sat down to (his second, my first) breakfast. Made a great Egg CoopMuffin with the help of a biscuit cutter sitting in my frying pan.

It was delicious. Note: adding fresh cracked black pepper to just about anything makes it Laymen Gourmet. In the words of Yo Gabba Gabba (which Tayan was singing to Zene this morning to get him to eat his pineapple): "Try it! You'll like it!"

After breakfast, Zene and I settled onto the couch to watch "Up"

 ...and then to my amazement, Daddy came home to relieve me of my duties, so that I could go to work, so now I only have to work a few hours this weekend. I love my family! They are awesome!

Mar 29, 2010

Bursitis... are you kidding me??

I'm feeling pretty crappy today, because I'm realizing that I most likley have bursitis in my left hip. I've been having this stinging pain on the outside part of my hip joint since Thursday. It hurts when I sit for too long, hurts when I walk, and hurts a lot when I try to sleep. I've been taking my mondo ibuprofen pills (which I hate to take), and trying to rest as much as possible. Looked up the symptoms today, and it looks like it's bursitis (an inflammation of the bursa sac on my hip).

And I'm just like, "what the heck?!" First it's stupid plantar fasciitis, which made me feel like there's no way I could ever run. Then I decide to run anyway, and lo and behold the foot pain starts to go away (correspondingly, I'm losing weight, so I know that helps). I get off the ibuprofen pretty much entirely, start to gain a little confidence in my ability to run a 5k in a few months, and now this. Pretty much excruciating hip pain, and nothing I can do about it except anti-inflammatory medicine, ice packs, and rest.

I just want to be healthy. I want to use my body, and I want to enjoy my life and this beautiful weather that's coming up. I want to be out there, doing stuff, accomplishing something new that I never thought I could do. I guess this is a time when I can envoke my old saying: "Did you think this was going to be easy?" Well, yes, I did think this was going to be easy, as a matter of fact. I thought I could make myself healthy with will and determination, but apparently my fat old butt will need a little extra t.l.c. before it'll become a full-fledged runner.

Okay, so deep breath. Good points? I'm okay, and this will most likely pass with a little bit more rest and ibuprofen. In order to stay healthy when I can't exercise, I'll have to pay more attention to what I'm eating. This is an opportunity to re-acquaint myself with my love for delicious and nutritious food. No more chocolate chip cookies here and there because "I'll exercise it off after all" ...for now. Gotta roll with the punches--er, the "lessons." This one is bothering me, but I can handle it.

Mar 25, 2010

Quick Thoughts

(Most days I don't feel like writing a big blog post, but I figure I can always spare a few sentences... So some days, I'm going to post some Quick Thoughts, and the bigger blogs will be interspersed between)

Running yesterday was splendid. My legs feel strong and tired, my lungs feel bigger. I'm starting to look at various paths around when I'm driving, thinking "I wonder if I could run that..." seeing people out walking or running, and being jealous.

I'm also starting to be startled by my body. Like, feeling under my chin, and there's no skin to grab there. My shoulders feel muscle-y and boney... I know it's what I was aiming for, but it's weird. It's like, who is this body around me? It's somebody else!

Mar 20, 2010

20-Minute Run & Running Outside

Last you heard from me, I was gearing up for my 20-minute run, and I had just accomplished my first 8-minute run. Well, the next day I prepared for that 20-minute run all day. I meticulously prepared 31 minutes of a running play list, I ate the food that I felt would be best, and most importantly I tweeted my butt off, letting everybody know what I was about to do, and asking them to hold me accountable to doing it. My dear sweet husband tweeted back words of encouragement, and when I saw that I knew I had to do it.

The time came, and I was pumped. You have to understand that running for 8 minutes two days before had been truly hard for me, and I couldn't conceive of how my body would physically do 20 minutes nonstop. Still, I set out to do it. I ran. I listened to my music, watched bits of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves with the sound down, and I just ran. When I needed to get a drink or wipe sweat, I told myself that somehow this was a *break,* like I could pretend while I was doing those things that I wasn't running, and somehow that made sense.

There were some times during that run when I had to tell my heart to relax. I was asking more of it than perhaps I ever had before, and it had been taken by surprise. It was pumping hard to get oxygen to everywhere it was needed, and I was having this little inner monologue with it, saying "Thanks for the hard work, keep it up, but don't freak out. This will be over soon, and we can rest." I also had to purposefully breathe. I remember learning that the physiological cue that makes us breathe is not so much the oxygen that is needed as it is the carbon dioxide that needs to get OUT of our body lest we die. Knowing this, I would purposely breathe out deeply, before then breathing in. I wanted to replace all the residual CO2-ey air in my lungs with more O2-ey air.

Somehow it worked. Twenty minutes passed, than thankfully I had run the whole time. It was a miracle.


Skip ahead to this past Saturday night. While watching the Big East Championship game (which WE WON! Woohoo!) at the timeshare condo at Canaan, I started thinking that tomorrow morning would be a good time to start trying to run outside. I commenced to making a playlist on my phone during commercial breaks. 

When the shortest day of the year dawned (stupid Daylight Savings Time), I set the big kid in front of cartoons with a bowl of cheese goldfish and a cup of water, and I went outside. It was cold, like 40. I wasn't sure how much I was going to be able to run outside on the real ground--"through space running"--as the Gomers say, so I just did a 5-minute warm up walk, and then gave it a go. 

Turns out, running outside is DAMN hard. Shew! I later drove the lap around the condo complex to find that one lap was 0.5 miles. I did 3 laps (1.5 miles), and a total of 1 of those was running (split into 3 chunks). That's all I was able to do that day. I felt good about it, but also daunted. I was thinking, "Wow, this 5k is really going to be hard." 

However, I had known this. The treadmill was only a starting point, and a necessary one for me, but eventually I was going to have to learn how to run 3+ miles continuously actually outside

So today, a week later, I decided to change the course of action on my Running Plan, and just back up a few weeks on the Couch to 5k plan, to where I thought I would be able to accomplish the requisite runs outside. Looking at my app, I saw that Week 4 Day 2 was "3 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes" (with short walks in between), and I figured I could handle that. I set up a fun running mix and set to it. Here are pictures of my views on this beautiful woody trail behind my work that I am blessed to have available: 

While I was out doing this run, my phone rang. It was a lady calling to urge me to call Congressman Rahall about the Health Care bill. She said that I sounded "very busy," and I said "I'm out exercising on this beautiful morning!" She said that indeed, it is a "gorgeous day." I told her I'd already called the congressman, and that I hoped she got to get out there to enjoy this beautiful day, too. It felt really good saying that to a stranger. She doesn't even know that a year ago, my biggest activity on a day like this might be to drink a beer in the sunshine ...and hey, I might do that before the day is out too!

Mar 10, 2010

My Running Plan

It looks like this running thing is really going to happen for me. I have been doing this Couch to 5k program for many weeks now, and am now on the latter end of Week 5. I repeated Day 1 of Week 5 several times over the last few weeks because I was dreading Day 2, which included two 8-minute runs. When I had started 3-minute runs, it was hard. Five-minute runs were next, and they were also hard. My mind looped around and around the thought of an 8-minute run, and wasn’t anxious to attempt it.

Well, yesterday was one of those Good Days. The kind of day when you know that it’s all in your mind, and if your mind is in the right place, you can do anything. With this in mind, I set out to do the 8-minute runs, and I knew that I wouldn’t die doing it. I didn’t die; in fact, I finished the whole workout, and when the guy in my ear said “cool down,” I was relieved, but I wasn’t dying to be done. 

I had been thinking the next day on the schedule (Week 5 Day 3) would be basically a repeat of yesterday's workout, but I am surprised to see that it requires a 20-minute run. Wow, that's a lot more than 8 minutes, but somehow I know that I will do it. I'm realizing now that this Couch to 5k plan at Week 5 is morphing from a "couch-sitter" plan to a "beginner runner" plan. These remaining weeks will be more of the short run-short run-long run type weeks of a regular style running plan. 

Okay, so I'm on board. I'm going to do this. And, my official 5k Race is on June 12th. I finally decided to sit down and look at my remaining weeks, and to fill them with actual running plans. I have 13 weeks to the race, and I'm putting in my plan already that I'm going to repeat each remaining week of the Couch to 5k program. After that I'll do a 6-week modified Beginner 5k running program. For specifics, here's what I've got:

I'll post the rest of my plan later, but for now I want to say that up until this point in the training I will be focusing merely on "minutes run," ending with being able to run for 30 minutes straight. I'll be able to use the C25k App on my iPhone to complete this, as the guy in my ear will always be telling me when to run and when to walk based on how many minutes have gone by. When I get to the end of the C25k training, I will not yet be able to run an actual 5k distance (which is 3.1 miles), because my speed will be slower than the 6 miles per hour required to run a 5k in 30 minutes. 

After I've completed the C25k training, I'll do my next 6 weeks of training based on miles run, and I'm going to figure out the best plan for working up to being able to run a 5k in a reasonably slow time (45 minutes, maybe?). I'll figure out where to put in fartlek runs (yeah, I can't believe that term either, but it's true; it's apparently Swedish for "speed play"), intervals, and tempo runs. I'm not even sure what all of these are yet, but I have some time to figure it out. 

Sorry for this plan-heavy post, but you know me. I'm a planner. And I need some accountability. So catch up with me sometime around the end of April, and see if I really am finishing Week 9 of the Couch to 5k program. Thanks!