Friday, February 14, 2014

It's been HOW long??

If I were Catholic, I might start this post by saying "forgive me, bloggers, for I have sinned.  It's been over 90 days since my last post."  In case you hadn't noticed, I have taken quite a break from blogging recently.  Things got pretty darn crazy at work and something had to give.  OK, several things had to give.  But I'm still here, still doing my thing.  The past year has been quite a challenge in the weight department - as you can see here.

I had my lowest weight of the year back in April, when I was feeling utterly optimistic, and the weight steadily crept back on over the ensuing months.  Even with the training for my two half-marathons and all the exercise during the summer and through September.  It's certainly true:

I really can't outrun my fork.

I'm not quite back where I started, but it's a near thing.  Back in 2011 when I started this effort, I was just shy of 200 lbs.  In April, 165 and change.  This week's Sunday-morning weigh-in had me at 185.0.  During this blogging break, I have continued to exercise when I could, though through the months of November and December, that was often not possible.  And clearly, my food choices were not stellar and definitely didn't make up for the reduced exercise.  There was a lot of traveling, a fair amount of evening indulgence in wine, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit there was a LOT, I mean a L.O.T. of stress eating.

Since the new year, things at the office have calmed down significantly, while the weather has been ABOMINABLE.  Nothing short of torturous.  There's been very little outdoor exercise, precious little running (which is BAD, with my next half marathon just 10 weeks away...) but I have been making it to my gym a couple times a week, and I've relearned some at-home workouts that don't require any special equipment.

SERIOUSLY?  The low on that Sunday / HIGH on Monday?  
We have had entirely too many days like that since January 1 for this California girl.  
Days where I'm ready to chuck it all and move to Mexico.

I did actually run my first race of the year already!  Mid-January I ran the Chilly Chili Fun Run - the Lake Run Loop course that I'm so familiar with.  Not a great pace, and I had to do quite a bit of walking, but wow it really felt great to be out there again.

I joined a 12-week weight-loss challenge sponsored by my local Fleet Feet store (the owners are active members of my running club), and that's been a helpful motivator as well.  One other thing, I decided to do one of those 30-Day Challenges - the 30-Day Squat Challenge - beginning February 1.  I found an app for that one, so it's been very convenient and VERY difficult to forget to do my squats for the day.  I've enjoyed that much more than I really thought I would.  It's been challenging, for sure, but on days when I don't have time or energy for a "real" workout, it's nice to know I can still make time for, say, 75 squats in the evening (or at work!) and noticing both strength and soreness in my legs and butt has been really great.

I've been focusing on accepting where I am right now, not beating myself up for going backwards to the tune of 20 lbs.  And getting moving again.  With a manageable workload, the lack of physical activity has begun to really NAG at me, the weather that has hindered my ability to go for a run really frustrating.

One funny story that may encapsulate where I'm at right now, mentally... was on the first run I took in January.  It was actually the Chilly Chili that I mentioned early.  I did my stretches, took Coty with me, and we hit the pavement with a plan of running just 2 minute intervals.  OMG that was WAY harder than it "should" have been!  I started getting down on myself, thinking 6 months ago I was running 2 mile intervals and taking a 1-minute walk break; now I'm struggling - REALLY struggling - to complete just 2 minutes of running.This is sad.  Pathetic and sad.  But I broke out of my negative talk by reminding myself that it's a rebuilding process right now.  After a while, as is my wont, I found a way to find the whole thing a little funny:  "Get right back on that horse," they say!  "Just like riding a bicycle," they say!  You know, there's never any footage of someone ACTUALLY getting right back on a horse after they've been thrown or kicked.  There's no YouTube video of adult people riding a bike for the first time after 25 years!  

There's a REASON those aren't on YouTube - because it's HARD, and it's hard to watch.  It's necessary (which is, I suppose, why they say those things) but it's HARD.  And you are tough enough to do it.  You ran TWO half-marathons inside of a month, less than 6 months ago!  This will come back more quickly than you think.  It's just that right now, you're having to realize that you've lost more endurance than you thought.

Coty, before the Chilly Chili Fun Run

I will be training with my Ride the Wave group again this year - in fact, that program starts next week.  I'm VERY worried about how the first few weeks will go, with my endurance so low, I feel like joining the "advanced" group may have been overly optimistic.  But there you have it, I paid the registration so I may have to do some walking but I will be there and hopefully that extra push from the group training runs will be just the thing to get me ready for that half marathon I so blithely signed up for back in November.

I've also signed up as a group leader for the Catch the Wave program this year.  I intended it to be my "easy run" night, where I'll be leading one of the slower groups of beginning runners.  I'm excited to embrace my love of running and share it with some new folks again this year.  I really enjoyed volunteering last year during the Heat Wave program.

You can see, I've been putting a lot of energy into getting my brain and my body back on track the past few weeks.  I've also been doing a lot of reading, catching up with my favorite fitness and weight-loss bloggers and (with the help of my weight loss challenge group) begun to make some changes in the eating habits.  Cooking more at home, focusing on whole foods, reducing the amount of fast foot and packaged / processed foods I eat.

And the desire to blog has returned.  I get a lot out of exercising, tracking my food and exercise in the apps that I use, and the reading that I do.  But I have this intuitive sense that blogging, writing about these things, even writing about the specifics of what I eat and what I do to keep moving, may provide more than the apps and the internal tracking can do.  Sometimes, blogging feels like just another exercise in tracking, and that's not what I want, but I suspect that even if there are days when that's kind of all that goes into the post, I will get more from that process than I do when I log my food and activity on my phone.  In any case, I'd like to investigate if consistently writing helps me get to a new and better place in this process.  I intend to find out.

I'll leave you on that positive note.  I'm back in that saddle.

And maybe when it warms up a bit, I'll be riding my bike again.


  1. I am glad you are back! Always celebrate your progress. It's the little things like...I just a high protein meal after a work out- I'm awesome! You know focusing in those kind of things really help me. I like my wine too lol but I do skip a week sometimes when I am trying to get over a plateau. Your weather has been awful and that doesn't help, it's got to break soon though- hang in there!

    1. Thank you, F&F! Managed some outdoor activity this weekend and feeling GREAT as a result.


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