Posts tagged fitness
Posts tagged fitness
Went on a hikety-hike with my brothers and had a jolly good time. We played baseball with sticks and pine cones and later did our best Sasquatch impressions. Mom would have been proud.
Funny though, I used to get anxious on hikes that I would become out-of-breath and need to stop, or be unable to keep up with others. I realized yesterday I had forgotten to worry about any of that. It was a good moment.
In other news, I’m buying myself a new pair of running shoes for my birthday this week. I’ve always worn Nike, but I’m open-minded (err… footed?). Send your recommendations at me; I’m looking forward to trying out the possibilities.
And I’ll put ‘em to use, too, as (drum roll please!) I’ve officially decided my next race! Since before the St. Pat’s Dash in Seattle I’ve been working through the Hal Higdon 10k Novice training program, and it’s going swimmingly. I’m in Week 8 now, the final week of training, and have a 6-miler (furtherst distance evah yo) on Saturday.
Originally I’d planned to run an official 10k this weekend, but with the Great Big Move I’m extending my training by two weeks and running a 12k! That’s right ladies and gents, two additional kilometers for no added price! My race of choice? Just a jaunt on May 1 through downtown Spokane (where?) with 50,000 of my closest buddies: Bloomsday!
I’m pretty excited, and working hard to
coerce encourage my Dad and brothers to join me (my mom, a former runner, is out of the game after a bout with cancer last year; she’s an awesome survivor and champion on a whole different level.)
Happy training to all!
That’s right folks: J is blogging for you now from a top secret compound (mom’s house) in a classified and very exotic locale (Eastern Washington state).
This weekend, in five points:
It was toward the end of February and I was feeling pretty accomplished, having eaten well for the month, run my first 5k and stayed active in general, so when I saw my weight rise 3 pounds on the scale, I chalked it up as a fluke. Then, when I appeared to have gained another two pounds by the next morning, I became worried. I weighed myself obsessively — more than once that day alone — and couldn’t focus on anything other than this strange, 5 pound gain that seemed to fly in the face of all that was right and good in the world.
The scale told me a number I didn’t like, and I couldn’t get over it.
Enter: No Numbers March Madness.
I joined the challenge because of this very situation; I realized I’d become dependent on the scale to determine my worth and success. I didn’t like that feeling, and decided a month-long break from weighing myself daily would be a good thing.
I was right.
I didn’t forego numbers altogether. I still timed some of my runs, and occasionally peeked at the caloric values of new food items I added to my cupboards. But I released myself from devotion to the morning weigh-in, and was surprised at how quickly I felt the resulting freedom.
I learned to measure my success in new ways: My body feeling strong, running further than I ever have, dropping pant sizes. Those tangible accomplishments have come to mean more to me than an arbitrary number between my toes.
So tomorrow, April 1, I’ll officially weigh in. But I won’t go back to weighing myself every morning. I don’t need to anymore.
I might always weigh more than 125 pounds, or I might not, and either way it’s OK. Because when someone asks me how much I weigh, I’ll tell them I weigh my options each morning: Should I run three miles or five?
When someone asks me what size I am, I’ll tell them I’m a size 8.5 - in running shoes.
What I choose to do for myself and my health every single day is what’s important. I have 365 chances each year to better myself, and to me, that’s the only number that matters.
It’s Size Six Saturday!
In yet another No Numbers March Madness miracle, or perhaps a dream in which Leo DiCaprio is spinning tops, or in some strange alt-reality from which Neo has yet to unplug us, I tried on a pair of size six jeans today…
And they fit!
Stranger things have happened, like that time when Hell froze over and Hades was all like “snowball fight!" And that other time when pigs started flying, or the day the sun rose in the West. Plus there was that one week with two Thursdays in it.
At my highest weight I had two pairs of jeans that fit (and by fit, I mean muffin-top-style snug), a size 20 and a size 18. I’ve been happily rocking my size 10s, looking forward to the days of single-digit pant sizes like a weary bandit in the desert sees the shimmering mirage of water on the horizon.
Only this time, it’s no trick of the imagination. It’s the product of many miles run and of many veggies eaten. And it feels pretty good.
[Photo: Left, Spring 2009, size 16. Right, Spring 2011, size 6.]
St. Pat’s Dash photos: The free, screen capture edition!
Seattle’s soggy weather on display at its finest.
(Be sure to check out my mad levitation skills in the second photo. Oh yeah, it’s how I roll.)
Now I go run four miles.
Ninety minute cross-training done before work. Now to
meet deadlines sail through the day with that already in the can. Boom son!
(Did I mention I PR’d on my 3-miler after work yesterday? Made it in 30:25, a 10:08 pace! [Insert jaw drop, fist pump here.])
In related news, and being the total stickler for breakfast-eating that I am, I got my protein shake on this morning. I normally prefer to eat fresh, organic foods that I cook myself (and, let’s be honest, I’d rather chew my food than drink it), but on the rare occasion (see: rare = at least twice a week) that I am late for work and don’t have time to whip something up, I go with one of these bad boys, which I buy at Costco.
I’m not knowledgeable in the muscle-building ways of my many weight-lifting superiors, and I don’t know the science behind protein shakes, or the pros and cons of drinking them. These were recommended to me as a way to boost protein intake, and I’ve stuck with them for their ease and deliciousness. (Priorities, right?)
[Edit: That’s my best “grrr-me-so-tough-drink-protein” expression. I don’t think the pearl earrings help my street cred.]
Seattle St. Pat’s Dash is in the books!
Official race time for the 3.8-mile course was 41:45, or 10:59 splits – my fastest to date! I’d never run this far before, my closest being a 3.6 miler in just over 43 minutes last weekend. I was nervous about this course since it’s got a long, uphill grade, but guess who huffed her way up that hill no problems? That’s right, this girl!
My goal was to make it under 45 minutes, and having finished this race with energy to spare, I’m excited to start setting faster time goals for myself in the future.
The race itself wasn’t nearly as difficult as I worried it would be. Hills are so tough mentally, but in this case the rush of the green-clad crowd pushed me through. Just past mile 3 I experienced a weird, sharp pain on my inner left knee. It quickly became really tight and uncomfortable. I didn’t want to slow down – I had less than a mile to go and was still cookin’ with gas! – but the pain intensified so I slowed to a weird skip/powerwalk/march move that probably made it appear I’d already started in on the Guinness. After a few minutes of alternating between that and running, my knee seemed to relax and I was able to pick up my speed through the finish line. Having to slow down was frustrating, but I think it was smart to listen to my body. I still worked hard to cross that finish line, soaked to the bone in raindrops but a woman improved nonetheless.
Six months ago I weighed 225 pounds and couldn’t run a mile. I was clocking 16-minute miles in January, not even three months ago. I was thinking about these things while walking home, when I passed a handful of guys on a street corner. They were smoking cigarettes and watching the traffic lights turn. One noticed my race bib and asked, “Didja win?”
Why yes. Yes I did.
On an altogether soggy Seattle day, the kind not so unfamiliar to most but made no more pleasant by the frequency with which they occur, a young lady set out into the city to acquire her race packet, containing time chip and bib and a finisher’s shirt woven with the luckiest threads of green.
'Twas then the young lady patronized local merchants, where she gleefully donned a size 6 dress (!?!) and was heartbroken by the price tag on a lovely pink sweater. Darting rain drops and dodging traffic, the lady then journeyed home for a hearty meal and an evening of wholly mediocre cinema, confident all the while of being on the cusp of something good.
[To be continued…]