Category Archives: Weigh In

First Run Post Injury

Today was a pretty awesome day. I went for a run. It was only one mile, but my ankle didn’t hurt. I huffed and puffed a bit more than usual, but I expect that to take care of itself in a week or so. AND, I didn’t lose any ground as far as my pace was concerned (today’s mile was 13:14) and I didn’t feel like I was pushing it at all.

June 11 Run Photo

I’ve already created my running schedule for the rest of the month. I’ll do two miles on Friday, three miles on Sunday, and then settle into 3-5 miles, three times per week for the rest of the month. Two days per week I’ll either take a one-hour walk or go to the local state park for a hike, and one day per week will be a rest day. I’m also plugging along with the 30 Day Ab Challenge. Although it’s June 11, I’m on day 10 because I completely spaced out and missed Monday’s workout. I figure I’ll just skip an upcoming rest day, so I should be back on track in two days.

In other awesome news, there is a strong possibility that the pound of doom is gone. I somehow managed to lose 2.6 pounds last week, bringing me to 172.2. This is .9 pounds below my April 8 weight, when I started battling the pound that would not get lost. Granted, I did not put up much of a fight … but I’m ready to focus on my goal. In 87 days I will be on a vacation of a lifetime, which includes a hike through a vineyard, a bike ride along the Danube River, and a hike around another German river … not to mention potential runs through gorgeous cities like Vienna and Prague. I set a random goal of weighing 160 for that cruise. To get there at this point, I need to lose about one pound per week, consistently. I can totally do that if I don’t eat junk and stick to my fitness plan. Then I’ll probably gain 5 pounds on vacation 🙂

Since I missed the mud run and Ragnar (boo!) I don’t have any races on the schedule at this point. I’m eyeing the Pumpkin Run, a local 10K in October. I’ve never run a 10K, so that might be fun. Frankly, I’m not looking forward to racing in the summer. Heat sucks. Maybe I’ll just sign up for the winter race series and a spring goal race, and keep the summers low key. Or maybe not. There’s talk of a Milwaukee Marathon for 2015…. 😉

The Pound of Doom Is Back

Today’s weigh in: +1.3 pounds. Right back up to where I was at the beginning of this month when I wrote about the pound that wouldn’t go away. I have no one to blame but myself. I was the one that didn’t do any running prior to injuring myself on Friday. I was the one that enjoyed the decadent dinner with my in laws on Friday night (which I don’t regret at all):

Farmer's Market Salad
Farmer’s Market Salad: Local greens & sprouts, sunflower, radish, pea, asparagus, chevre, fresh herb vinaigrette
Pinn Oak Ridge Farm Lamb Loin
Pinn Oak Ridge Farm Lamb Loin: Moroccan spice, ancient grains, eggplant, cucumber, apricot mint gremolata, chickpea fritter
Lime Custard Dessert
Lime Custard Dessert: custard, meringue, citrus sauce, apricot, encapsulated basil, micro basil, strawberries

I also was the one who couldn’t limit herself to a single sausage, purchased at the local Sausage Haus and smoked for a few hours in the backyard:

Smoked Sausage
Bratwurst, Polish, and Hungarian sausages

I had to try each one, of course. And some were so good (bratwurst!) that I had a few. Sausages were part of at least one meal on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I’m declaring the rest of the week sausage free.

Both of those things were treats and totally worth it … although I could have limited my sausage consumption more.

The way I ate today, however (jelly doughnut instead of fruit, the dreaded Twix bar in the afternoon), was not worth it. So, I tagged along with my husband to the grocery store and made sure I had the fixings for healthy breakfasts and lunches for the rest of the week. I’ll be having vanilla chia seed pudding topped with cinnamon and banana for breakfast, and three bean salad on a bed of arugula with carrots and guacamole for lunch. Lunch is out on Friday with some coworkers, and Friday dinner is another decadent “totally worth it” meal at Next in Chicago to celebrate Aaron’s birthday. Given my slip-up today, my meal plan on Friday, and my bum ankle, I will consider it a victory if I maintain my weight until next Tuesday. Then I really need to kick this pound to the curb for good.

I’m considering doing the 30 Day Ab Challenge (although I refuse to join the Facebook event with 1 million+ attendees—that’s just asking for spam) starting June 1. Is anyone else doing it? I think it might be a good intro to strength training while I’m still rehabbing my ankle. I’m also rethinking my race plans for the fall—I want to keep running, but I think the garden is going to demand more of my time on the weekends, and I’m not a huge fan of running more than a few miles in the heat. That makes half marathon training sound like drudgery, rather than fun.

Back On The Horse

I took an entire week off from running after my half marathon. That wasn’t exactly planned, but I don’t feel bad about doing it. This morning I woke up without an alarm prior to 7:00 a.m., so I made a deal with myself: If I got up and ran, I could have an asparagus omelet (first asparagus of the year!). So, that’s what I did.

Temps were in the high 40’s and set to rise, so I pulled on some capris and my half marathon finisher shirt and was out the door by 7:30 a.m. I didn’t have any expectations for this run, so I set my Nike+ app to only tell me distance (not time or pace). And, for the first time ever on a solo run, I didn’t take headphones. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining, and I just wanted to experience it.

I headed out on one of my 5K routes. It took me a bit to get used to not hearing music. I could actually hear my breathing, and my feet pounding the pavement. Early on, I ran into another runner … and he was the only person I saw my entire run. Was it really that early? I felt great when I hit the one mile mark. I kept waiting for my knees to hurt, but they didn’t. I pressed forward. As I ran, I was thinking about the Ragnar Relay, which I’ll be running in less than three weeks. I also thought about how I want to train for my next half marathon.

As I thought more and more about running, I ran faster. Without having my pace in my ear every half mile, I didn’t have any sense of how fast I was going. I was thinking that it would be nice to PR a 5K this morning, which would mean I need to be going about 14:00 or so. Then, after mile 2, I just kept getting faster. I was thinking about Ragnar, which I long ago had estimated I could run at a 13:00 pace. That would be a stretch for me right now. I decided to push it until I reached mile 3, and then walk the few blocks home (no .11 for me, so no 5K PR).

When I saw my average pace, I was a little disappointed. Only 13:49? I felt like I was going faster than that. Then I checked my splits. My last mile was definitely faster than that. It was 1:28 faster than my first mile.

May 18 Splits

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pace chart that continued to speed up so consistently.

May 18 Pace Chart

There was one other thing that was on my mind during the last two miles of my run—how much my torso itched! Note to self: Don’t wear a race shirt before washing it. I’ve done this before, but that was in the winter when I had another shirt on under it. I was pretty uncomfortable most of this run, and my upper body was completely pink when I took the shirt off.

Today was a good run. I need to jump right back into a regular running schedule (3-4 times per week) between now and the Ragnar Relay, and I need to take advantage of Memorial Day weekend to do some back-to-back and/or two-a-day runs.

May 18 Run Photo

Today was a good day! I was home and showered earlier than I got out of bed on Saturday morning. Then, I made a beef curry, cleaned the kitchen, got some gardening done, and made a delicious dinner. We had garlic sea salt sourdough crostini topped with morels, asparagus, and parmesan cheese, with a side of asparagus freshly harvested from my garden.

Morel & Asparagus CrostiniWeight loss update: I weighed in down .7 pounds on Tuesday. I’m still working on the pound that won’t go away. I was .4 pounds down from that before my run today. But, even if that loss sticks around until Tuesday, I’m still .4 pounds away from my all-time low on April 8. I can’t wait to get over that hump, although I’m not acting like it. I’m consistently going over my points each week, and not tracking everything like I should. Getting back to regular runs throughout the week should help jumpstart my weight loss, I think. That, and getting back to meal planning and tracking.

The Pound That Refuses To Get Lost

I haven’t been writing much about weight loss lately. Perhaps that’s because this is what my weight tracker looks like:

Weight Watchers eTools Weight Tracker

If graphs aren’t your thing, maybe this will get the point across:

Weight Watchers eTools Weight Tracker Table

Since March 25, I’ve pretty much been gaining and losing the same pound. It’s not hard to figure out why. In the last 4 weeks I’ve only tracked my food 14 days. And, I’m pretty sure there were days in there where I veered off course and didn’t track 100% accurately.

Now, I’m ELATED that I still weigh pretty much the same that I did seven weeks ago. At least I haven’t gained (I probably have the running to thank for that). But if I want to get to goal (which is at least 35 more pounds below where I’m currently at), I need to be more disciplined. I set a goal earlier this year to be at 160 before I go on vacation on September 6. That’s four months from today. Four months to lose 14.6 pounds…during prime ice cream season. That’s 3.65 pounds per month, or approximately .9 pounds per week. It’s doable, but would require discipline.

Discipline does NOT look like taking a delicious, home quinoa chickpea salad for lunch (like this)…

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Kalamata OlivesBut then making impromptu plans to go out to lunch. To the Indian buffet. And taking two trips up to the buffet followed by FOUR SCOOPS of mango ice cream. Nope, that’s not disciplined. At least I ate the salad for dinner. Oh, but then I had two pieces of Aaron’s pizza. BAD LIZ!

In all seriousness, work (while continuing to be awesome), has gotten increasingly stressful, and I believe that’s led to some of my less-than-stellar eating habits. I’ve also been skipping the unofficial Weight Watchers meetings at work. So, Internet, I’m telling you that I need to be back on track. I will log my food daily, and I will schedule walk breaks into my day to help increase my activity and reduce my stress. I would like to weigh in next Tuesday at 173.7 so I know I’m on track to hit my goal.

Weigh In & ‘Off The Grid’ Weight Watchers

I stepped on the scale Tuesday morning and was pleasantly surprised to see I was down 1.9 pounds! That makes up for the .8 pound gain last week, and adds on a solid loss. I still ate all my weekly and activity points (plus one extra). The only difference I can tell is I ate a lot more “real food.” My sweets for the week were mainly chocolate oatmeal cookies, but I made them myself and they were full of oatmeal, dark chocolate, walnuts…and not too much sugar. I also ate a lot of protein and whole grains. Better choices than pizza and ice cream 🙂

I  attended an informal weight loss group at work over lunch. When it came time for our Weight Watchers At Work session to renew, not enough people submitted payment to get a leader assigned to us. Turns out, some folks were like me and just didn’t like the new leader. So, now we’re meeting at the same time and place, but having a member-led meeting. Some of us are still paying to do Weight Watchers online or attending meetings in other locations, but we get together for discussion and to report our results. I actually like it a lot more so far—more people seem to speak up than when we had a formal Weight Watchers meeting. So, we’re off the grid, at least for now. I’m continuing with online so I have the tools I’ve been using to track my food.

Speaking of tracking food, here are my logs for the last two days. I’m traveling on business for the next week, so I’ll be heating hotel and airport food almost every day. And packing my running clothes 🙂

Monday Food Log

Breakfast: Morning glory muffin, low-fat string cheese, banana
Snack: hard boiled egg, 3/4 oz raw cashews
Lunch: Rice and bean bowl with corn relish, carrots, hummus
Snack: 1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt with strawberry jam, apple, 1 oz cheese
Dinner: Small baked potato topped with 1 oz cheese, 3 oz baked chicken tenders, 1/2 cup green beans
Dessert: 1.5 oz dark chocolate

41 Weight Watchers points

Tuesday Food Log

Breakfast: Morning glory muffin, low-fat string cheese, banana
Snack: Apple, 3/4 oz raw cashews
Lunch: Rice and bean bowl with corn relish, carrots, hummus
Snack: 1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt with strawberry jam
Dinner: Culver’s single butter burger, chili cheddar fries

46 Weight Watchers points

A Weigh-In In The Wrong Direction

It was bound to happen. I’ve been eating junk and continuing to lose weight, and I knew that wouldn’t last forever. This morning I got on the scale and was up .8 pounds. Looking back at my diet the last week, it’s pretty clear why this was. I ate all my weekly points, 37 activity points, and went in the red by 28 points.

I skipped a run, didn’t track some meals until a day or two later (which is bound to ruin my estimates), had takeout pizza AGAIN, ate a bunch of Twix bars, miscalculated the point value of the bread and cheese I had on hand (didn’t notice that until today)…. In an odd way, I’m glad I gained. I couldn’t go on eating all that junk forever. I could quickly get in a weekend XL pizza habit (instead of a sensible serving of Papa Murphy’s DeLite pizza), a daily Twix habit, and who knows what else.

So, I’ve undone one week’s worth of weight loss. Not too bad. I can be on track (or better) by next week. I’ve made some changes to my diet already this week. At the suggestion of a few readers, I’ve added more protein to my breakfast. I hard boiled a dozen eggs on Sunday night, and I have two for breakfast each morning along with a piece of fruit and nonfat yogurt sweetened with jam.

I haven’t shared a food log since Thursday, and I promised to do that publicly to hold myself accountable. So, let’s play catch up! I’m just going to warn you; the weekend was pretty ugly. I get 26 Weight Watchers Points per day, 49 weeklies, and earn about 35 activity points a week. If I were to eat all of those evenly throughout the week, I’d eat about 38 points per day.

Friday Food Log

Breakfast: Morning glory muffin, low-fat string cheese, unsweetened apple sauce, ginger tea
Lunch: Chickpea salad with greens, 1/2 cup ff yogurt with apple butter
Dinner: Dinner out at a nice restaurant with a friend. I had 2 glasses of red wine, a few bites of a fish & chips appetizer, half of each of the plates pictured below (pickled beet salad, arctic char in potato cups, squash pasta, cornmeal cake with rhubarb), and half of another dessert not pictured.
Activity: 30-minute brisk lunchtime walk

64 Weight Watchers Points

Wolf Peach DinnerSaturday Food Log

Brunch: Homemade chicken salad on a piece of wheat toast topped with micro greens, 4 mandarin oranges
Snack: 40g raisins (this was long run fuel)
Dinner: 1/4 of a 16″ pizza with pepperoni and pineapple
Activity: 8 mile run with warm up & cool down walks

30 Weight Watchers Points, earned 24 Activity Points

Sunday Food Log

Breakfast: 1/4 of a 16″ pizza with pepperoni and pineapple (I know, this was dumb)
Lunch: Homemade chicken salad on wheat toast topped with micro greens
Snack: Shredded mini wheats (didn’t measure, approximately 1.5 cups), 1/2 cup skim milk, 20g raisins
Dinner: Chickpea tomato soup with pesto, half a grilled cheese sandwich
Snack: Chocolate oatmeal cookie, apple, low-fat string cheese
Activity: Nothing

49 Weight Watchers Points

I made the chocolate oatmeal cookie recipe from the Runner’s World cookbook in an attempt to replace my 7-point Twix habit with a 4-point cookie made with healthier ingredients. The only problem is that they’re so good, I want to eat more than one per day!

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies Runners WorldMonday Food Log

Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs, 4 mandarin oranges, 1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt w/ 1 T apple butter
Lunch: Rice bowl (1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup black beans, 1/2 cup corn relish), carrot sticks & 2 T hummus, chocolate oatmeal cookie
Snack: Apple, low-fat string cheese
Snack 2: 1 oz lentil chips & approximately 2 T hummus (this was a surprise snack at staff meeting that I didn’t turn down)
Dinner: Asparagus ravioli with peas & tomatoes topped with parmesan cheese, beet & goat cheese salad
Snack: Chocolate oatmeal cookie (the second one was calling my name!)
Activity: 30 minute lunchtime walk

38 Weight Watchers Points

Asparagus Ravioli

Beet & Goat Cheese SaladTuesday Food Log

Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs, banana, 1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt with 1 T peach jam
Snack: Chocolate oatmeal cookie
Lunch: Rice bowl (1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup black beans, 1/2 cup corn relish), carrot sticks & 2T hummus
Snack: Apple, low-fat string cheese
Dinner: Chickpea tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwich
Activity: Nothing

39 Weight Watchers Points

Those cookies are calling my name, but if I publish this post without writing it down I should be able to resist!

 

 

 

Another Encouraging Weigh In & 4.5 Miles

I feel like I am tempting fate in regards to my diet and weekly weigh ins. First things first, the scale was very encouraging. I lost .8 pounds last week. How, I’m not quite sure.

Over the course of the week in addition to some healthy meals I ate Chinese for dinner twice (although it was fairly sensible broccoli with garlic sauce), three single-serving Haagan Dazs cups, a small order of french fries and a chocolate chip cookie from the office cafeteria, a full bomber of Crispin “The Saint” hard cider, a completely unportioned Thai dinner with friends that I guesstimated at 20 points, and half of a 16″ pepperoni pizza (over the course of three meals). And a chocolate chip cookie I got at the car dealership.

I also ran 11.5 miles. I’m really beginning to think that running is magical.

Still, the math doesn’t really add up. I consumed every daily point, all 49 weekly points, all of the 32 activity points I earned…and then 14 more points just for good measure. I tracked every morsel. I was completely on track on Monday and drank a lot of water, and was down pleasantly surprised with my weight this morning. I’m really going to focus on getting back on track and staying within my points this week. I think.

Food Log

A friend of mine sent me a Facebook message and asked me what I eat every day. Contrary to the junk I just listed, I usually eat pretty healthy. Since I’m going to stop going to Weight Watchers meetings (I don’t like the new leader at work) and focus on the online program, I think posting my daily menu here (after I eat it—not just what I plan to eat) will be good for accountability. So, here’s what today looked like:

Breakfast: Morning glory muffin & light string cheese (in the car) with black tea
Snack: English muffin & 21 g peanut butter (unplanned; purchased in the cafeteria because I was ravenous at 10:00) and about a cup of homemade, unsweetened apple sauce, Diet Coke.
Lunch: Chickpea & olive pasta salad with feta cheese, over approximately 2 cups of greens. Twix bar (unplanned, vending machine). Diet Coke.
Snack: 1/2 cup FF greek yogurt with 1T apple butter, 4 little mandarin oranges. Green tea.
Dinner: 4 oz salmon patty, 1/2 cup WW couscous, 1 cup broccoli, 1/4 cup homemade peach salsa. Raspberry Ice Crystal Light.

Total: 42 Weight Watchers points (daily target is 26 & I get 49 weeklies + activity points)

I earned some points as well, because I went on a run! My 4.5 treadmill workout took me an hour and 10 minutes, which earned me 11 activity points. I think I’m going to change my tracker to use activity points before weekly points so I have a better picture of what I really have left for the week. It’s depressing when the weeklies are gone after a couple days, but when I’m earning 30+ activity points a week that can be ok.

Today’s Run

I’m not sure if I can call today’s run a run. I definitely did some running, but I was so bored on the treadmill, my pace chart looked like this:
March 25 Pace ChartEverything over the middle of the chart was a run (including the whole first mile), but then I started playing games. My lungs and legs were fine, but I was staring at a post in front of me and didn’t know how I was going to mentally last 4.5 miles. I ran whenever Britney Spears came on, and walked at 3.5 with a progressive incline when the song was about butts (gotta work the glutes!). I was slightly conflicted when the song was about Britney’s butt, though. When the song mentioned running, I ran. When it was motivational, I ran. When it was sort of lame, I walked (and then skipped ahead to something better). At one point DMX was on, and I was thinking about how running to the beat of a song kind of feels like dancing (I’m much better at running with a cadence than dancing). What do you think other racers in the half marathon would think if I just busted out singing/yelling, “Ya’ll gonna make me lose my mind—up in here, up in here” while I was on the course?

Whatever it was that I did, I was a sweaty beast by the end of it.

March 25 PhotoAlso, lesson learned: Don’t go on a treadmill run in a shirt that’s just a smidge too small for you and pants that are just about falling off. The shirt will ride up while the pants fall down, and well… no one wants to see that.

 

Head Games on the Treadmill

So much for a week of running outside. We’re back in the land of the polar vortex…which meant I was back in the gym.

I don’t know about you, but I would be pretty excited if the gym was completely empty every single time I was there. I’d be almost as happy if it was packed in the weight/cardio area, but all the treadmills were empty. Because for some reason, I really dislike being on the treadmill next to someone. Actually, it’s being next to someone faster than me that I don’t like.

I arrived at the gym tonight to find an empty row of treadmills. Hooray! As soon as I grabbed one, someone else did as well, but in keeping with appropriate gym etiquette he didn’t pick one on either side of me. And he walked most of the time, so he actually made me feel good about my 4.0 run/jog. When I was 2 miles into my run (having taken two very short walk breaks, but feeling excellent), a guy got on the treadmill immediately to my left and was probably running at 6.0. For some reason, hearing/seeing his stride made me not be able to stick with mine. I tried turning up my headphones, looking slightly to the right, staring at the foggy window in front of me…nothing worked. I slowed to a fast walk. Then he slowed to a walk, so I sped back up. Then when he returned to a run I lost my rhythm again. We did this for about half a mile, until I got sick of the mind games I was playing and told myself I wasn’t allowed to walk again until I hit three miles (which was just another form of mind games, I know). At that point, he got off the treadmill, and I was able to finish my run in peace.

I had a similar experience sitting on the couch before heading to the gym (stay with me, here). I recently joined the Women’s Running Community group on Facebook (highly recommend!), and tonight someone posted a video of what they saw as a back of the pack runner at mile seven of the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I was aghast at how many people where so close to her. When I run races, the crowd usually runs ahead and I’m hanging out with a handful of people, but she was still in a crowd at mile seven. If watching videos of races and running next to someone on a treadmill messes with my head, how on earth am I going to do 13.1 miles on my own? I will, but it should be an interesting experience, that’s for sure.

In other news, today was weigh in day and I’m down another 1.1 pounds. I ate every single daily, weekly, and activity point I had last week. This running thing sure does pay off.

So, tonight I successfully completed my 3.5 mile run (Nike+ says 3.7 b/c it wasn’t calibrated perfectly for the treadmill). Tomorrow I will cross train instead of run, like I promised myself last week. Perhaps I’ll pull out Jillian Michaels, just so I don’t have to go to the gym. I sure as hell won’t be going outside.

February 25 Run Photo

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday!

Tuesdays mean two things: first run of the week, and a Weight Watchers weigh in.

Last one first…I’m down another 1.1 pounds, even after eating every single one of my daily, weekly, and activity points (and 7 points I didn’t really have. oops). I’ve made a conscious effort to refuel after my runs, and although that is a pointy snack (5 points), I think it’s helping with my metabolism and recovery. The receptionist at Weight Watchers asked me to speak up when I got my five pound sticker and tell everyone how many points I’d been eating. Hopefully that will inspire others to stop depriving themselves.

I had a great day at work today, came home to a super easy chicken taco salad dinner, and lounged around until my tummy settled. I went to check out my training schedule and was slightly surprised to see 3.5 miles on it. I’ve been running 3 miles every Tuesday for the last two months. I had to tack on a whole other half a mile?!?!?! 🙂 I dressed for the weather (long sleeve wicking shirt + tech shirt and pants), stepped out onto the porch and promptly came back for one of my lighter fleeces. It was already dark, and it definitely felt chilly.

For the entire first mile I was running on pretty dark streets (why weren’t the street lights on?), and the melted snow was just starting to freeze, so I think I was running on my toes more than normal. I can definitely feel it in my calves. I thought for sure I was moving at a snail’s pace, so I was pretty surprised when the voice in my ear announced my first mile at 13:41. I was running a familiar route, so I knew the distance was correct. Wow. I promptly took a short walk break 🙂

I walked once per mile for about .05 miles, but still managed to keep my overall pace at 13:54. I know my goal is distance and not time related, but it’s nice to see my pace improve. It probably doesn’t hurt that I’ve lost 16 pounds since I started running.

This run felt great. Can’t wait for the snow and ice to be gone for good!

February 18 Run PhotoOne last thing. Although the main purpose of this blog is to chronicle my journey to a fit & healthy lifestyle, I wouldn’t be opposed to it generating some income at some point. So, I’ve created a page that showcases the running-related gear and entertainment I use and like. Each product links to Amazon, and anything purchased through the links on my page will generate a small commission for me, and cost nothing extra for you. Check it out if you want (you can use the My Favorite Products link on the top bar to get there at any time).

I’ve also added some contact information and details about what types of products I’d be willing to review on this blog (which would hopefully result in a giveaway for my readers). Last, but not least, I’ll probably be applying to join an ad network once the blog hits its 3-month anniversary. If any of these additions every get annoying, please tell me.

I’m A Freezing Cold Speed Demon

The roads were 90% clear tonight, and there was hardly any wind, so I got to run outside! It was a balmy two degrees. 🙂 I dressed in cuddle dud tights & long-sleeve shirt, running pants, race t-shirt, and a columbia fleece. Winter headband to keep my ears warm. Thin gloves for the fingers….and I was off!

I set out at a comfortable pace, and was pleasantly surprised when the little voice in my ear told me I ran the first mile in 13:34! I decided to see if I could maintain the pace for the entire run. At 1.5 I was close, a 13:40 pace. There was ice on my eyebrows, and my eyelashes were freezing together…and then my phone turned off. NO!!!!!!!!!

I was determined to keep going, so I motored on in silence and decided to run the route as an out and back, which would be just under three miles. I ran all the way up the driveway and to the porch, flung the door open, and yelled “Quick—what time is it?!?!” It was 8:39. I had started my run at 8:00. I mapped the run online and it was 2.8 miles. So, my pace was definitely under 14:00. Maybe around 13:50 or 13:55? Since technology failed me, I have no record of it…just 1.8 miles at a 13:42 pace when the phone died. No matter what, I killed last week’s 3-mile pace of 14:35. My Nike+ challenge was to beat my average of 45:37. I CRUSHED IT.

This was the hardest I’ve ever run. The last half mile or so, my lungs were burning, but I knew I could keep going. I wanted to walk quite a few times, but I never stopped my running stride. I do remember thinking, “In 3 months I’m going to do this plus 10 miles…” but I need to remember that I’ll be a slightly different person—both mentally and physically— at that point.

February 11 RunCheck out my nice new running socks! After my run, I drank some water and ate a Lara Bar. I’m really trying to get in the groove of refueling after running…it’s tough for me to do since I end up running so late.

In other news, I had my Weight Watchers weigh in today. I’m down another 1.8 pounds! My current eating plan is “eat as much as possible while still losing weight, focusing on healthy foods most of the time but making room for ice cream.”