Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Half Marathon Training...

I started this half marathon training program (above) on July 28th, because my half marathon is October 20th.  It's a 12 week program, and there are several runs that I'm supposed to do every week.

However, you know me.  I modify things to suit my needs.  That's just something that I have figured out is best for me in situations of diet and exercise especially in order to not get too structured.  Too much structure with food and exercise = a no-no for someone recovering from EDNOS.

So here's how I've modified this plan to better suit me.  First of all, I was giving myself such a hard time for not increasing my running distance.

I started training for a half marathon in  January, and gave myself weekly goals to increase my running distance a little bit every week.  They were very realistic goals, and I was super excited about it.  When I hit my goal, I was exuberant.  When I didn't hit that goal, I felt like a failure.

I had started to be too strict about my running.  If I couldn't hit that day's goal, I would feel badly about the workout and would be more likely to skip the gym the rest of the week.  (It's possible that I still have some leftover all-or-nothing thinking).

Anyway, when I started this half marathon training at the end of July, I decided that I would do so with some modifications.

1) I don't worry about the day of the week.  At the beginning of the week, I write down all the distances, and I make sure to hit those goals every week.

This week's goals
(on my awesome Buffy calendar)
2) ...unless I don't, and then I'm totally cool with that as long as I did at least two of the shorter runs and definitely hit the long run.  Sometimes it's just not realistic to run 4 or 5 days a week.  I figure that the long run is the most important one to be sure to hit, and the two to four shorter runs that I do that week help me to stay in running shape between the long runs.

3) I am taking walking breaks.  I realized that I'm really great at running a mile.  And I realized that it's okay to take short walking breaks between each mile.  I don't think that running 5 miles straight is any more impressive than walking a quarter mile to warm up, running a mile, speed walking a quarter mile, running another mile, speed walking another quarter mile, running another mile, speed walking another quarter mile, running really fast for 3/4 mile, and cooling down for a quarter mile.  Seriously, both are 5 miles.  And those walking "breaks" help me get through the long distances.

So those are my modifications.  I'm still doing the training program, but it's not quite as written.

And I love my walking breaks.  Why not run a mile, walk a quarter mile, if that's what gets me to run?  It's how I enjoy my running the most, and those running miles add up, eventually to a half marathon.  :-)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How I'm going to lose the weight (again!)

my new "before" shots

As promised, here is the "how" portion of my new weight loss quest.

I thought that I would start with telling you how I'm not going to lose the weight: I'm not going to do anything revolutionary, fad-ish, or difficult.  I'm not going to have strict calendar goals.  I'm not going to  hate how I look as I lose the weight, or fantasize about how I will look once I've lost it.

And I'm not going to do anything to lose this weight that I'm not comfortable doing.  Also, I'm not going to be strict about anything.  What works one day may not feel comfortable the next day.

Anyway, enough of what I'm not going to do.  Here's what I am going to do to lose the weight this time around.

First of all, as stated earlier, this is a flexible plan.  I'm not going to say "Here's what I'm going to do!" and force myself to stick to it for any specific time period.  Instead, I'm going to go one day at a time.

Crap, I started with the "I'm not" statements again.

Okay, let me start over.

For now, this is my "plan":

  • I'm going to track calories at least 4 days a week on My Fitness Pal.  
  • I'm going to try really hard to listen to my hunger signals every day, but especially on the days that I choose to not track my calories.
  • I am going to weigh in once a week again.  
  • I'm going to take monthly progress pictures. 
  • I'm going to follow a half marathon training program.
That's it.  No specific foods to eat or stay away from, though I am considering starting to take a daily vitamin again just to try to keep myself healthy on the days that I don't eat a lot of nutrition.

Also, I don't have a scale right now, so I don't know my start weight, but for now I'm going to assume that (hope that!) I haven't gained any weight since my doctor appointment in June, at which point I tipped the scales at 218.

I do have a couple of specific weight loss goals in mind.  One is that I would love to get back down to 165 pounds or so, which is when I looked like this:

Atlantic City vacay!
May 2012

Still 11 pounds overweight by BMI standards and still a plus size by the fashion industry standards (size 14), but I was comfortable at this size and was able to maintain it pretty easily.  

My second goal is to get there by my 30th birthday.  So yes, a calendar goal.  But it's not a crazy unrealistic one.  My 30th birthday is October 7, 2014.  So that is 14 months to lose about 50 pounds.

And wouldn't it be cool to be done with weight loss by my thirties?

Anyway, I actually love the way that my body looks right now, too.

on my way to the pool

But, my thighs rub against each other and I get bad chafing whenever I run in shorts.  And my knees and ankles are having issues from my running too, which may get better with less weight bearing down on them.

So, whether or not I get back to weighing 165, I will be thrilled once I get small enough to enjoy running a little more.  I don't like my body betraying me, making it hard to do something that I love so much.  So my short term goal is to lose as many thigh inches by my half marathon as possible.  I believe that this is possible with calorie counting and half marathon training.

I will try to do a regular post about how my weight loss quest is going.  Yes, that's what I'm calling it this time, because I think that "quest" sounds so much more fun than "journey".

Otherwise, I will continue to also blog about health, EDNOS recovery, and other happenings in my life such as grief, school, moving to NYC (!!!), etc.