Monthly Archives: January 2014

I Feel Like I’m Starting Over

It’s so easy to forget how far I’ve come in such a short time. 3.5 months ago, I had never gone on a run in my life. Today I ran for the 44th time.

But I felt like I was starting all over.

Well, not exactly I guess. My first running interval was 10 minutes, compared to 1 minute on my first day. My total distance was 3 miles, probably 10 times the distance of the running portion of my first run. But it sure as hell didn’t feel like I’d done it 44 times. I was sweating like crazy, my legs felt like lead, and I remember distinctly thinking that I wanted to quit when I was 13:00 into it. I was going to have to huff and puff for 37 more minutes before I hit the three mile mark. My average pace was 16:53 per mile. There are many people that walk faster than that, but I was running.

The rational part of me knows there are two, possibly three reasons for this. One, I’m running on a treadmill with an incline. For some reason, I find this much harder to do than running outside. Seeing as how the current temperature is right around zero degrees, the treadmill is where I’ll be.

Two, I have unrealistic expectations of my pace. When I got to the end of my beginner 5K training program, I was using Nike+ to measure my runs—but the GPS never worked. I kind of wondered why it never showed me a map! 🙂 Instead, it was using the accelerometer in my phone to measure my distance, and it was grossly over-estimating it (which is why it clocked my first 5K at 3.55 miles—I later found it was a perfectly measured course). It had gotten me used to thinking I could go for a 3 mile run and stay in the 12:00 – 13:00 mile range. That’s not true. I know I can run a mile in 13:30, but I can’t run three in a row at that pace. So now that I know my true pace, I feel slow. Also, I wasn’t really racking up the mileage I thought I was in December, since I was using the Nike+ numbers (I’ve since updated my iOS and reinstalled my app, and everything seems to be working correctly).

Third (maybe), I ate a steak dinner before I ran. I always eat dinner before my weeknight runs, so that may or may not have anything to do with it.

Anyway, after minute 13 when I felt like quitting, I just kept thinking about how I had to make it to three miles. Not only had I tweeted that I needed to do three miles and asked folks to hold me accountable, but I know I need to be comfortable with regular 3 mile runs so I can start my half marathon training next month. This is completely mental. I know I can run three miles. It’s just so much easier to run them when I have a 3-mile loop outside than when I have to run in place for 45 minutes.

Tonight I had a mental image of me completing my half marathon in May (this is easy, because when I work out at night I stare at my reflection in the glass, so I know exactly what I look like when I’m running). The image was not pretty. I pictured a sweaty mess that could only run in short spurts and finished in well over 3 hours. That might be reality…but I need to start focusing on the fact that I will finish. The time doesn’t matter. How graceful I look doesn’t matter. What matters is that just over 7 months after going out for my first run, I will run 13.1 miles. And I will take a smiling picture when I’m done. It might look something like this, but with a sweet race medal around my neck.

Three Slow Miles

Holiday Weight Loss

The holidays are over, and I’m happy to report that I weigh a little less than when they started. 🙂

Here’s what the holidays looked like for me, in Weight Watchers terms.

  • Nov 26 (last weigh-in before Thanksgiving)
    • Weight: 186.1
  • Dec 3
    • Weight: 187.2 (+1.1)
    • Earned 49 activity points
    • Ate all weekly points
    • Ate 13 activity points
  • Dec 10
    • Weight: 184.5 (-2.7)
    • Earned 33 activity points
    • Ate all weekly points
    • Ate 22 activity points
  • Dec 17
    • Weight: 185.4 (+.9)
    • Earned 25 activity points
    • Ate all weekly points
    • Ate 24 activity points
  • Dec 24
    • Weight: 185 (-.4)
    • Earned 20 activity points
    • Ate 47 weekly points
  • Dec 31
    • Weight: 183.9 (-1.1)
      • I lost another daily point after this weigh in. I’m down to 27 PointsPlus per day now! It’s always bittersweet when that happens.
    • Earned 26 activity points
    • Ate all weekly points
    • Ate 8 activity points

(I’m fairly certain I didn’t do any damage on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, so I’m calling this good.)

Overall, I had a net weight loss of 2.2 pounds, just shy of my average for the last year of .4 pounds per week. I made it through the holidays just like they were normal days! I made good choices most of the time, indulged in moderation, and maintained my activity level. As you can see, I don’t lose steadily each week. I have big losses followed by small gains and then a small loss and then….well, who knows. I see no correlation in my eating/activity/weight loss. All I know is it has averaged out in my favor, so I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.

Aaron and I took a cute photo on New Year’s Eve (yes, he’s crazy in most of our photos). I received a bunch of positive comments on Facebook about it. People are telling me that they’re starting to notice my weight loss. I’m pretty excited about that.

Aaron & Liz New Year's Eve 2013If you’re on a weight loss journey, I hope you maintained or lost over the holidays. If you didn’t, pick yourself back up and start again today. Right now.

New Year’s Eve 5K

Yesterday I ran my second 5K race. When Aaron and I arrived, we were only milling around for two minutes when I was greeted by Annie. She’s a local runner that I’ve been talking to on Twitter for years, but have never met in person. It was great to meet her and a few other tweeting runners. But soon, it was time for us to shuffle outside and run.

According to the race website, I ran in “the most EXTREME conditions.” The temperature was in the single digits, and the wind chill was below zero. The route was snow-covered and icy. See how snowy this corner is?

New Year's Eve 5KI’m the blue jacket just about to run out of the frame. The first mile felt like it took forever…I think I used an entire different set of muscles to keep myself from falling on the course. Even though it was freezing, about .75 miles in I didn’t need anything over my face (if you can find me in the photo below, you’ll see my scarf hanging below my waist). 
New Year's Eve 5KI ran the first mile+ without walking, but then I was all about the walk breaks. This course was hard. It would have been awesome if it was 45 degrees outside, but I had to run over ice, snow, slush, puddles….my time was even slower than my first 5K (which also included snow and ice, but not this much). Rather than get discouraged, I told myself that at least I ran the race. Last New Year’s Eve, I was on the couch. This year, I ran a race. Annie was waiting at the finish line (over 10 minutes after she had finished, in single digit temps) to cheer me on. Runners are awesome.

RINY 5K Results
Time: 47:34.83

And then this morning, I ran again. (On the treadmill, at the gym.)

New Year's Day RunI need to get used to running on tired legs, so my goal for January is to get into a Tue-Wed-Thur-Sat run routine. By the time February rolls around, that distance needs to be 3-2-3-4. I’m not far from it, and I look forward to getting there.

I’m nowhere near the fastest runner in the races I’ve run. In fact, I am almost the slowest (30 people finished behind me yesterday). But I show up and run.

Edit: I forgot to add that for the last mile, my eyelashes were frozen together at the corners. I could see the ice out of the corner of my eye. It was so weird, but it sort of made me feel hardcore.