A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Oops I missed a run! Now what?

I promise I was thinking about this topic due to last week’s missed run with the storm, not because I haven’t logged today miles yet (7 am meeting!). Today’s 3 miles will get done. Pinky swear🙂
Gorgeous but stormy morning

It happens in every training plain – runs get missed. It can be due to schedule changes, oversleeping, illness, injury or any of a number of other factors, including just not feeling it. How should you handle it?

What kind of run was it? Was it a long run or an easy run? If it is an easy weekday run, I find it easier to just let it go rather than reshuffling my schedule to get it in. If it was a key workout, like a long run, I’ll look at rearranging things to fit it in. If I’m going to mix things up to make up a run, I try to stick to an easy-hard-easy-hard pattern to avoid overdoing it. For example, if I can’t get in a Thursday hill workout and have a long run Saturday, I’ll move my long run to Sunday so I can do the hill workout Friday with a day of recovery between.

Why did you miss the run? Injury or illness is going to affect things differently than it if was a schedule or oversleeping issue. If I’m injured or sick, I just let those workouts go and focus on recovering. If I didn’t get it done because of a schedule issue, I try to at least walk the miles to get the time on my feet if I can’t make up the run or I split the run into smaller chunks I can fit in the day if I can’t reschedule the workout all together. Something is better than nothing.

Where am I in my training? If I’m close to race day, I definitely don’t want to push too hard to make things up during time I should be tapering. It takes 10 days or so to see the benefit of your training, so it’s unlikely that last minute workout will really help my performance and yet it is very possible that pushing that much could negatively affect things in terms of fatigue or worse, injury. One of my favorite pieces of running advice is that it is better to toe the line a little undertrained than overtrained.

My priority for this training cycle is the long run. I’m reaching for new distances, so getting those miles in and letting my muscles and joints adjust to the added time on my feet is crucial. If the long run gets missed and I’m not too close to the race day, I will work hard to shuffle my schedule to get it in even if that means waking up super early on a workday or splitting the run before and after work.

Most of what I’ve read has reinforced the idea that missing the occasional run isn’t catastrophic, but pushing too hard to make it for it might be. I’ve linked a bunch of articles below that might help you come up with your own strategy for handling missed runs. Of course, all of this is based on missing only the occasional workout. Missing big chunks of training due to illness or injury would require an entirely different approach most likely.

How do you handle missed runs in your training plan?

 

For more reading:

How to keep up training when your plan fails (Shape.com)

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Why should I care about waist circumference?

Recently I wrote about how I was going to focus on things other than my weight during my training plan because I didn’t want to restrict my food and underfuel. I’d like to avoid going too far in the overfueling direction, so I’m going watch things like how my clothes fit, body fat and measurements.  A commenter pointed out that waist circumference is really the only thing you need to measure and I thought it would be good to talk about why that might be true.

imageWe’ve talked in the past about the limits of BMI (more here and a great recent online article here). Why would we expect waist circumference to be any better?

Waist circumference has been shown to provide information about risks of obesity-related disease above and beyond that provided by BMI alone. Specifically, it is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cholesterol and triglyceride abnormalities, high blood pressure, heart disease and overall mortality. This is particularly true in patients in the overweight to obese range, with BMI less than 35. It helps us answer the question of “overweight but healthy” people like me, with BMI in the 26-27 range but no apparent health problems and a healthy lifestyle.

Why might waist circumference be a better measure of risk? It has to do with where you have your body fat. While overall obesity is associated with an increased risk things of like heart disease, fat that we carry around our abdomen is particularly high risk. Other advantages of waist circumference are practical. In some patients, we can’t measure height, which is a key part of the BMI formula. Even when we can measure height, we often don’t. Most clinics I’ve been to just ask how tall I am and my self report could skew my BMI numbers.

So where do you measure?

Graphic of Measuring Tape Position for Waist Circumference

This graphic is from the NIH (here), showing where you should actually put the measuring tape. Stand up straight and ideally, measure first thing in the morning before you eat or drink so you’re not measuring breakfast. Don’t suck in, no matter how tempted you may be.

I have yet to have my waist circumference measured at a doctor’s office, but that day may be coming. In the meantime, it’s an easy and an important thing to measure at home with my handy dandy measuring tape. If you want to read more about the science behind waist circumference, check out this extensive review from the WHO.

Do you measure your waist circumference? Have you ever had it checked at a doctor’s office?

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Downsizing race memorabilia

This week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is race memorabilia: What do you do with it? Thanks as always to Patty, Marcia and Erika for hosting!

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When I first started running (4 years ago this week!), I kept EVERYTHING. I even have rocks somewhere that I picked up on those first runs. I kept everything I got with my very first race and was so proud to wear that first Commitment Day tee to the gym to work out.

In the last year, I’ve finally started letting go of some things. A) I’m accumulating too much of it – I’ve done LOTS of races now and B) I’m finally convinced that this is an on-going part of my life, not a brief period I need souvenirs for. I’ve always been good about tossing things like race programs and other things that come in the packet at pick up, but tee shirts are a different story. I have a ton of race shirts that I never wear and if I’m honest, most of them are not meaningful enough to me that I wanted to make a quilt out of them or anything like that.

If it is a tech shirt, I usually keep it because I can use them to work out. I wore this one (plain but surprisingly comfy for running!) this morning.

Not a very exciting shirt (and not half marathon specific) but at least the colors are good.

Not a very exciting shirt (and not half marathon specific) but at least the colors are good.

I wear some of my Disney shirts as casual wear rather than running wear because they’re so cute, especially the Star Wars shirts. Oliver’s “art shirt” at school is an old race tee shirt of mine, too. I made myself go through my big drawer of race shirts critically this summer and donate everything I don’t wear, which turned out to be a LOT of shirts. I only kept shirts that were cute/comfy enough to wear casually and of course that first race shirt.

What else do I keep?

  • Bibs: I write my time, the race and the date on the back and keep them in a binder (slipped into those clear sheet covers – easy peasy). I have O’s in there too, with his approximate times.🙂
Every finish should be celebrated!

Every finish should be celebrated!

  • Medals: I love my medals. I look at them and they make me smile. They hang in my little closet-office as a reminder of fun times and hard work. I confess that I do struggle a bit with where to hang them, because there’s no where in our house that feels like a good place to hang mementos of such personal achievements. Any one else have that struggle?

Medals

I also keep anything that’s practical, like water bottles, drinking glasses and socks. I’m looking forward to the Peak 2 Peak 10 mile race next month because they always give practical mementos!

What do you do with your race memorabilia? What even counts as race memorabilia anyway? If we counted the safety pins, I have about a million that are all over my house and car!

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Weekly Wrap Up: First week of school!

Big day!I officially have a kindergartner. Gulp.

I know that this phase of training is targeted as much at the back to back half marathons of the I-35 challenge as much as it is the marathon, but I spent a lot of time this weekend reading recaps of prior Walt Disney Marathons and getting excited! And a little intimidated if I’m honest! I think I may need to read some of those every weekend just to keep myself motivated when the going gets tough!

This week was pretty good. I missed one run, but otherwise got in my miles (11 total instead of the 14 on the plan), cross training (three times) and strength training (twice), plus some yoga. I ended the week with legs that feel like they’re getting the hang of this running thing again.

Workouts

Monday I got in a good 30+ minutes of hilly walking back and forth to Oliver’s school for open house. I gotta tell you, seeing my baby’s name on a kindergarten desk was a jolt. I know this is the best for him, but I also know time is going to fly now and before I know it, I’ll have a kid going to college. Thanks to all of these emotions, I slept horribly.

Tuesday I was up really early (thanks to the poor night of sleep) and ready to go run 3 miles. Unfortunately, it was storming. It made for a gorgeous view of the sun trying to rise beyond the storm, but there was enough lightning and thunder that I had to scrap the run. Oh for a treadmill at home!
Gorgeous but stormy morning

I planned on getting in a treadmill run at the gym before I picked up O, but ended up with a horrible migraine and had to settle for a walk instead as I could barely keep from throwing up. Sigh. I blame that poor night of sleep.

Wednesday 3+ miles of walking and the official first day of kindergarten. My kiddo didn’t even look back, which made me proud and heartbroken at the same time. I’m so glad he’s loving it though – we definitely did the right thing getting him in a little early (his birthday is just past the Nebraska cut off). He got a “smiley” on his school work during this first week and told me so proudly that he got that because he “did a GREAT job” and pointed out to me how carefully he’d colored to answer the questions. Sigh. My guy is totally in love with school. He even said his favorite thing about the first day was homework!
First "graded" schoolwork

Fingers crossed that he keeps this love of school. I suspect he will since his mom is a big geek too. I’m grateful it was a smooth start for him.

Thursday I was determined to get my run done since I’d missed Tuesday’s and I’m happy to say that I hauled myself out of bed for 3 miles. Woo hoo!

Friday Strength training and some yoga stretches

Saturday Four miles in the afternoon – thank goodness it’s cool enough this week that it wasn’t brutally hot to be out there at 4! I’m getting old, guys, and tweaked my back putting a freaking jelly jar in the recycling Saturday morning. Sigh. Some stretching got things worked back out enough that I could run Saturday. I also decided this was a sign that I needed more strength training, especially core work, so I got that in.

Sunday Four more miles and my fastest miles of the week! I attribute this to the fact that I was wearing my freshest shoes (and maybe, just maybe, that I’m remembering how to run). This run felt good.

I got a bonus workout in as I had to chase Oliver’s basketball through my neighborhood Sunday morning. Omaha is hilly and that thing rolled down hill LITERALLY a quarter of a mile, around two 90 degree turns, before I caught it. My brilliant son thought it was a good idea to throw his basketball at the hockey puck he’d also lost in the road, to keep the hockey puck from rolling anywhere. Boys. Sigh.

All in all a good week. While my food choices weren’t perfect, they were better and I finished the week feeling good about my improvement. My NSV is leaving lots of things unfinished this week that just weren’t worth it or when I recognized I was full. HUGE victory for me.

My good deeds this week have largely been of the donation variety, but I feel helpless to do more to help my home state. Louisiana is tough and her people are amazing, but this is a lot.

This week, I have 3 miles on Tuesday and Thursday, a brief work trip out of town (overnight only thankfully!) and long runs of 8 and 9 miles on Saturday and Sunday. I need to remember to wear my compression socks after those long runs! That really helped back in the Rebel Challenge training phase. Other than that, my goal this week is to navigate the food choices at my work meeting as best I can and avoid too much drinking. My social anxiety makes me drink too much sometimes, which leads to bad food choices in addition to all of those unnecessary alcohol calories.

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link up!

weekly wrap up

Do you find race reports to be motivating? I love them, especially if there are tons of pictures!

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Running Selfies, Photobombs and a Handful of random reviews

It’s not quite Tuesday, is it? Horrible migraine yesterday, I suspect brought on by the stress of starting kindergarten and bad sleep. Missed Tuesdays on the Run and missed my actual run! Boo!

This week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is race photobombs, of which I cannot recall ANY other than this weird stuffed tiger in my mid-run “ugh blisters suck!” selfie from my run this weekend.

WTF is that big tiger doing there?

What is that doing there?!

Instead, I thought I’d do a quick review of a handful of new products I’ve tried out lately (all purchased myself or gifted from someone else – no compensation of any kind for any of this) .

– I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned how much I LOVE Win’s sports laundry detergent. It does a great job getting rid of the stink in summer running clothes, even when they’ve sat around for a few days before I wash them.
Ignite reload

– I won these Ignite Reload gels as a door prize at the running retreat I attended in July. I was skeptical (as I naturally am of anything marketed as “healthy” and “natural”, weirdly enough) but I actually like these a lot. These texture is a little thinner than Gu, with no grittiness – which is what I don’t like about Clif gels – and a nice sweet, fruity flavor. They settled nicely on my stomach and the flavor was a nice, summery change of pace from my usual salted caramel Gus.

– I signed up for a race that happens to be sponsored by the Bulu Box people, which meant I got a 3 month Bulu Box subscription with my registration. Bulu Box describes themselves as the “Monthly Box of Healthy Discoveries that will Upgrade Your Health.” Each month, you get a box of samples and if you like something, you can go to their website to purchase a full size. There are lots of services like this now, for snacks and for particular sports interests.
New treats to try

The Trail Chips were totally unexpected and delish! I thought it would be a savory chip but there’s definitely a lot of sweetness to them. Ingredient-wise, they start with whole ground masa corn flour and rice flour as their primary ingredients, plus sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, blueberries, chia, quinoa and pumpkin seeds. They were a great afternoon snack for 125 calories (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 3 g protein) with a mix of salty and sweet that hit the spot mid-Monday afternoon. I’ll definitely be looking for these around town.

Think good thoughts for my baby today as he takes on the big kid world of kindergarten for the first time. I know he’ll be great and am excited by the kid he’s growing up to be, but it’s definitely hitting the mom feels today. He walked into school without looking back or waving today, so I think he’s ready.

All backpack!

Thanks as always to Patty, Erika and Marcia for hosting Tuesdays on the Run.

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Weekly Wrap Up: Blisters ?!

It feels weird to still be encountering “firsts” when I’ve been running for several years now (coming up on my run-i-versary!) and this was definitely not a good first: My first blisters! How I have run for 4 years now (4!?!) without a significant blister issue is a mystery to me, but this weekend I actually had to stop my run because of a huge blister on my heel. Ouch! Now I’m not sure how to handle the rest of my runs this week. Any tips?
Rescued

Thankfully, my heroes came to my rescue midrun with new shoes, new socks and BodyGlide. There’s a grumpy Oliver behind that window because I interrupted his “Mama’s running – time for TV” time. I think the problem was with the socks. They were a pair of Balegas that I don’t like and actually thought I’d thrown out. Now they’re trashed and I’ll stick to my tried-and-true Feetures socks. Definitely stick with what works for your particular feet!

Workouts

Cross-training: Walking on several evenings, which is becoming O’s new favorite thing. It’s great to get all of us out of the house! I also did yoga on Saturday after my run, which was nice (as was my post-run nap! That’s cross training, right?)
Walks around the block always end with a race

Strength training: Only once this week, which definitely is something I need to work on. I’ve written it into my to-do list for two days this week, which will hopefully help. I need someone to follow me around and poke me until I get my strength training done each week.

Runs: Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I woke up for 30 minutes of easy runs. This week, my running goal is to both speed up my morning routine and my pace on these runs enough to get three miles in each of these days.

Saturday, I did 7 miles and noticed at around mile 1.5 that I had an irritated spot developing on my heel. It got bad enough that I slowed to a walk and called Darrell and Oliver to the rescue. I’m not sure if it was smart to keep going, but I was determined to get my run done so I headed back out to finish 7 miles once I had new shoes and socks and things were much easier. The blister is a little bigger than a quarter, over my Achilles tendon on the right. Grrrr. At least I got my run done though, right?

Saturday morning, we were out for breakfast and at the table next to us, a woman was coming in to meet her family after finishing a 20 mile run (as I overheard from her husband proudly telling the waitress). When she came in, I congratulated her and said I couldn’t imagine running that far but would be trying it soon since I was going to run my first marathon soon. She said she couldn’t have imagined 20 miles 6 weeks ago, but you’ve gotta trust the training and it works. I’m grateful for this boost of motivation and good advice!

Sunday, I did 7.5 miles and put a band-aid and BodyGlide all around the blister. It didn’t rupture or cause any pain, which was good, but I was definitely babying it a bit which caused some foot pain until I figured out how I’d altered my gait. The bigger issue with this run was chafing under my bra strap, which I’ve had with my Moving Comfort bra the last two times I’ve worn it for long runs. I’ve worn these for years without trouble! I don’t know if it is the weight I’ve regained or if there’s a change to the styling of these bras (as the one that has been causing trouble is new in the last couple of months), but my back is raw. I didn’t have any trouble with the Soma sports bra on Saturday’s 7 miles, so I think I may have to switch to those for at least a while.

14.5 miles over two days and none the worse for wear other than the chafed spot and the blister, which is pretty awesome. My muscles feel fine, which is fantastic. I need to remember the things I learned from my back-to-back race training for the Star Wars races and stay diligent about yoga, stretching, foam rolling and fueling after these weekend long runs. I also have to keep reminding myself that this is really the base of my marathon training, so staying injury-free is of paramount importance here!

Quieter birthday celebrations

I’ve had lots of treats in my life for the last two weeks, with Oliver’s actual birthday and his birthday party, plus work celebrations. Thankfully, that’s all done now and I can focus on cleaning things up to better support my training. My NSV this week was immediately packing up the leftovers of Oliver’s second birthday cake (a smaller, less elaborate double chocolate chip cookie skillet cake for just the family on his actual birthday) and sending them to work with Darrell. Temptation removed! Even better, all of our M&Ms went with that cake. M&M’s aren’t exactly high quality fueling and yet they’re oh-so-tempting. Better to get them out of the house! We can count all of the goodies I’ve shared with Darrell’s job as my good deed this week. Really, my good deeds lately have been lots of little thank yous and door openings and litter gathering, but that’s okay because of the little things add up to good things.

All in all, I’d give week two of marathon training a solid B+, even with the blister. Points off for the lack of strength training, but otherwise I feel good and feel like I’m settling back into the groove of training. Bring on week three, with strength training, better food choices and longer weekday runs!

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link up!
weekly wrap up
Any advice for running with a blister?
**Please send all of your good vibes and any resources you may have to help the thousands who have been displaced and injured in the floods in Louisiana. So many have lost so much and I cannot imagine how terrifying this time for them. Here are links to ways you can help:
How to help Louisiana flood victims (CNN)
How to help victims of Louisiana’s historic flooding (nola.com)
How to help Louisiana flooding victims and families (IBTimes.com)
Always evaluate any charity carefully, as there are unfortunately many who take advantage of good intentions during these times. All of you affected have my prayers and my thoughts. I cannot imagine what this is like for you and hope that the water stops rising and recovery starts soon.

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Thinking out loud

I occasionally see a “Thinking out loud Thursday” post and that’s definitely how my fragmented brain is feeling today. I have meetings at 9:30, 11-12 and 1-2, all across campus from my office. That kind of fragmentation just kills my productivity. Thank goodness for the internet and my ability to set up a little mobile office to get some work done between these meetings.

Thank goodness, as well, for the prospect of marathon training to distract my mom brain a bit. We’re less than a week from having a kindergartner. There are a whole new set of logistics to consider now that daycare and preschool didn’t cover. Not to mention all of these reminders that I’m going to be old by the time this kid graduates from high school:
2029? Really?!

Oliver is getting a kick out of the fact that his teacher’s dog’s name is also Oliver (and adorable!). There’s a class website that has info and pictures about the teacher and her family that is helping Oliver feel like he knows her a little already, which is great. Send good vibes for me next week as we navigate the first week!

We had a school orientation event on Monday night where we were asked to sign up for Parent Teacher Organization committees. I told the president (who was manning the sign up sheets) that I could help with anything with enough advance notice so that I could block my schedule. She asked what kind of work I did and after I explained, she had me sign up for the Teacher Appreciation committee where apparently all I’ll need to do is donate gifts cards and food. One little part of me wondered if I should be offended that the presumed place for a working mom to serve is to buy stuff (after all, I can participate in a hands on way with advance notice) but with everything else going on with the start of school, I decided to just be grateful for an easy PTO task.
FlashStar

Oliver created this mask and named himself “FlashStar” at his birthday party. When his Nana asked what he wanted for his birthday, he asked her to draw him a picture. That threw her for a loop at first, but now she’s decided to draw him a picture of FlashStar the super hero. I’ll be sure to share with you guys how it turns out since she’s much more artistic than I am! (Most snails are more artistic than I am)

I feel like I should get a gold star for waking up early to run before work, even if those runs are still shorter than they should be. Next week, I’ll up the pace and wake up a little earlier so that I get in the full 3 miles but for now, I’m giving myself credit for just getting out there for these weekday runs. Everyone’s allowed a little warm up into their training plan, right?

What’s on your mind today? If I were able to take the whole day off for the first day of kindergarten, I might host my own booze-included first day of school brunch for my neighbors because I suspect I’m not the only one feeling a little scattered with the onset of school.🙂

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Tuesdays on the Run: Runs that go wrong

This week’s Tuesdays on the Run is all about runs and races that didn’t go as planned. Thanks as always to Patty, Erika and Marcia for hosting!
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I’ve certainly had lots of running mishaps on training runs, including:

– getting lost

– not closing my water, so it jostled out all over my back until there was none in my bottle (boo!)

– falling down (more than once!)

– getting scared by dogs and just this weekend, this hat on a pole that made me think there was someone lurking behind a dumpster:

Spooked me

Literally jumped at that one. While trying to navigate a run down a hill. Things like this are probably why I fall down a lot.

Thankfully, race day usually goes more smoothly. Once I forgot my phone and had to borrow my husbands for some running music. Unfortunately, a) I could never figure out how to make the camera work so no photos for the blog – boo! and b) he didn’t have any music downloaded, so I had to go with Spotify which kept cutting out. Double boo! Now I’m diligent about checking for MY phone.

As clumsy as I am, I’ve of course also fallen down during a race (my first 5K) but most of the mishaps I can recall involve clothes. I’ve had shirts I had to constantly tug down and skirts I had to constantly pull up when I had too many things in my pockets. I’ve also had bad sports bra choices where I either had to adjust for chafing or felt the need to wrap my arms around my chest because the bouncing was out of control. You’d think by now I’d know to only wear an outfit I know works well for me! Sigh. Especially when I know there are going to be photos involved! Double sigh.

My biggest race mishap has to be breaking my toe right before the Princess Half Marathon. There’s no way I was skipping my first half marathon after all of the work I’d put in! I have to say, I would never recommend to anyone that they run a race with a broken toe. I can remember debating between running with it taped and risking chafing or running without tape and risking increased pain from the lack of stabilization from the tape. There was a little voice in the back of my head that was saying “If you’re having this conversation, you know you shouldn’t be running right?” I ran. It was fine. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else though.

image

Sorry for the runner feet!

What’s the biggest running mishap you’ve dealt with? Also, anybody else watch Michael Phelps’ face during the Olympics last night? Hilarious! I could have watched that all night and I hope he smokes that guy in the final.

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Week One Always Hurts a Bit

Nothing like the first week of real training to remind you how much difference there is between being “active” all summer and actually running regularly. Add in the summer temps and it was not the prettiest (or fastest) week of training, but all of the workouts got done and that’s a win.

Workouts

Monday Cross training on the schedule, which meant strength training (body weight exercises with a focus on my hips because I know that’s a trouble spot for me) and an evening hilly walk.

Tuesday I woke up, got ready to run, and realized it was storming outside. Boo. By the time I realized all of that, I didn’t have time to fit the gym in before the crazy day started. I wish I had a treadmill at home.

Wednesday Since I’d missed Tuesday’s run, I made sure I could get it in on Wednesday. I finished up my work a little early so I could hit the gym for some treadmill time before and during O’s swim lessons. This is the first time I’d thought to ask if I could go work out during swim lessons, instead of sitting there watching. While I like watching, it’s nice to know I can run upstairs to get some work in too. This might make a good weight training time since we do swim lessons at the gym and I know I’m going to be there at least once a week for 30 minutes anyway. Proud of myself for getting it in!

Thursday I woke up early to run again to get in my two weekday easy runs as part of this plan. I was short of my 3 mile plan, but at least I woke up and got outside. It’s a win!

Friday I went for a walk Friday for my cross training and also had a little NSV in that I treated myself to new bras and underwear. It’s time to admit that enough of the weight I’ve regained has settled on my chest to make me a walking wardrobe-malfunction-waiting-to-happen, so I went ahead and bought new bras. I feel much more comfortable about my clothes with just that one change. It’s okay to get a bigger size and feel like your clothes fit.

Treating myself

I also got one of the new Soma sports bras to try out and liked it. I used it on Saturday’s run and while there is some upper bounce, there’s no under bouncing thanks to the underwire and NO CHAFING – big wins. It was comfortable overall. I’ll try it again this weekend for a longer run and see if it still holds up well before I invest in another one, but promising so far.

Saturday We went out to breakfast as a family and I wore my running clothes so that I could run home. That worked really well and gave me a slightly different spin on the run, so that it didn’t feel like I was running the same route two days in a row. Since I’ll be running on both Saturday and Sunday for the next couple of months, anything to break up the monotony will be good! I ran 4 miles – definitely with lots of walking, but I told myself not to get down about it because A) I had 6 miles to run the following day, B) it was hot and muggy – always slower in those conditions and C) this was just the beginning of training, not a reflection of where I’ll be on race day. I also did some strength training as soon as I got home so I didn’t put it off in the midst of a busy day.

We spent the afternoon at a friend’s pool party, so I also got in some swimming and lots of pool walking. Even after all of that activity, Oliver wanted to go for a walk (complete with Batman sunglasses) when we got home, so it ended up being a very active day!
Batman

Sunday Another crazy busy day, as we had Oliver’s birthday for his friends (not yet his actual birthday). I woke up to run 6 miles, then decorate his Captain America cake. I’m proud of myself for prioritizing my workout rather than just saying I had too much “mom stuff” going on to get it done. I managed to do the run, get a shower and get the cake and cupcakes decorated in time for the party. Thank goodness I have great helpers in Darrell and Oliver! I’m grateful for my helpers and for the fact that we successfully navigated our first official birthday party.

Oliver had a great time at his party, which is really all that matters. We were worn out after two parties in two days, but he had so much fun at both – and was so well behaved at both! – that it was worth it.

This week, we start all of the back to school stuff. I can’t believe I’m about to have a real kindergartner. There may be lots of wine this week. Our school is actually hosting a “Boo hoo, Yahoo!” party for the kindergarten parents on the first day of school so that we can offer each other moral support after we drop our kiddos off for the first time, which I think is cute.

Other than birthday cake and some cookies at the party that I should have resisted, my food choices this week were good so I’m happy about that. I think the “training” mindset will definitely help steer me in the right direction. This week, I have a plan for morning runs on Tuesday and Thursday, cross training and strength training on Monday and Friday and then 7 miles / 7.5 miles on Saturday and Sunday. At this point, I’m reminding myself that all that matters is getting in the time on my feet. My pace will pick up as I get used to training again and the temperature drops. It’s a relief to finally get this training cycle started!

While this weekend’s runs felt tough and plodding, the really cool thing is that I did them knowing with absolute certainty that I could complete the miles and that I could go even further if I needed to. A couple of years of running has now instilled a really cool kind of confidence in me that I never had before, certainly not about my body. It can do stuff. Maybe not fast, maybe not sexy, but it can do amazing things.

What has running taught you about your body?

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link-up!

weekly wrap up

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Tracking your “weight” without a scale

We’ve talked about how I’m trying to weigh in less often so that I can focus on “fuel” rather than weight loss during training for my first marathon. So far (all of 2.5 days in!) that’s going well, but if I’m not weighing in as often, how do I tell if I’m fueling a little too much and ending up in the far-too-common scenario of marathoners who gain weight during training?

Some weight gain, of course, could come from glycogen stores holding onto water (a good thing for long distance) and muscle mass (a good thing) but far too often it comes from over-rewarding ourselves or even eating too much of healthy foods.

Here are the strategies I’m going to try:

Functional measures: I’m going to use my training guide to keep track of things like my average mile time and how easy things feel. If those things are improving, that’s definitely a sign that my fueling and my training are going well!

Selfies: Oy, taking full length photos can be painful. However, sometimes you see things in pictures when you look over time that you don’t notice in your day to glimpses of yourself. You can see muscle definition and shape changes that reflect the hard work you’re putting in, even when the scale doesn’t show it. As a demonstration of the supreme trust you can build with “imaginary” online friends, my online support group has a thread of daily selfies that we’re using to track progress over the next few months. I’m curious to see how those photos change over the next few months!

A picture can say a thousand words, for sure

A picture can say a thousand words, for sure

Measurements: Hopefully, this weekend I’ll have Darrell help me do some measurements to see how inches change. Another measure of this would be how your clothes fit – and now that many of my clothes are tight or don’t really fit at all, I’ll be able to tell progress in that direction (good or bad!) for sure.

Body fat percentage: I have a body fat analyzer that I can use as well, to see how things move up or down as I hopefully increase some muscle and lose some fluff.

Hopefully these things will help me track my progress without stepping on the scale so often during training. I just have such a strong association between the scale and “dieting” that I don’t want to let that mess with my head when my nutritional goals should be focused on the marathon. I have a feeling that going cold turkey may be more successful in that regard than just trying to check in periodically. The scale tends to suck me in.

It can be surprisingly hard to make peace with the scale.

It can be surprisingly hard to make peace with the scale.

How do you keep track of your “weight” without really stepping on the scale?

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