Sunday, February 26, 2012

Finding my motivation.

We've found a running groove.  We run after work once a week together, we run at lunch 1-2 times a week together. Our lunch runs have increased to four runners, using our lunch breaks to push ourselves and get away from the computers.  Occasionally, a longer run on the weekend.  It feels amazing. 

The downside: Our runs have been short.  2.5 miles, 3 miles. Finally up to 4.  The 10k is fast approaching...

I knew that if I didn't get the run on the calendar, and pay the fee, I would never to it. 6.2mi is much longer than 3 or 4.  So we registered:
  • Saturday, March 10th, 7:30am
  • 10k (6.2 miles) to run for Children's Cancer at the Grand Canyon University in Glendale:
Today, we set out to run 5 miles, what would be our longest run to date. The problem is, we have been running along the street, at the gym, next to the canal, on the "river" (i.e. dirt).  None of these places are beautiful and none of these places are motivating.  We don't like to cross our finish line only to have to loop past it again, it's discouraging, and it's frustrating.  But today, we found our place:
Tempe Town Lake

We ran a 4.56 loop today around the Tempe Town Lake. It is surrounded by happy families, runners, bikers, playful dogs, row teams, men and women of all ages out enjoying the gorgeous weather.  We ended up walking about 3/4 of a mile in the middle, but we completed it in 50 min.  It felt great! Not to shabby since we haven't run in a week, I was sick last week, and Christi is fighting off a cold now.

It gets hard to run, when your lungs and your legs are constantly telling your brain that you should stop. You want to stop.  No one will know. Well, I don't want to stop, and I will know.  I want to finish.  But sometimes it is hard to push through those voices.  A running coach told us this week that we need to find the reason we are running, and keep saying that to yourself in those moments when you don't think you can do it.
I'm running to prove to myself that I can.

 I think the lake is going to be perfect for us.  We have found a 5mi loop there that we can double in the future when we need a 10mi loop.  There's also pedestrian bridges that we can use for our interval sprint training.  Added bonus: They do 5k and 10k races there all the time, so if we ever participate, we already know the terrain.

I feel good. And I feel ready to push forward to prove to myself that I can be the athlete I never thought I could be. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

It's not rocket science!!

It's not rocket science...or is it?

I'm going to preface this by saying that I know I am not fat. I am perfectly healthy and I look fine.  By body image and self esteem is not in question here (I know I rock.)  However, with my birthday fast approaching, I have started to get frustrated that I have had the same body issues for the past (almost) 30 years.  It doesn't matter how big or thin I am, my problem areas are always the same: in my mid section, and around my thighs.  It also doesn't help that I am female, and we are genetically created to question such things.

In January I declared war on there problem areas and thus began my cardio regimine I have implemented until now.  However, when I step on the scale (not that I have ever been a big numbers person), I am not losing weight at all, just gaining it.  Yes, I am gaining muscle, which is great, however what I am not doing is burning fat.

Clearly, I am doing something wrong.  I finally have the motivation to be active 5-6 days out of the week, and I am aware that my core and strength training need to be amped up big time.  So that's something I can do.  But the food seems to be an issue....I spoke with a health coach at work who confirmed that my body fat has not increased at all in the past year, but while I am burning my calories off from the day, I am not burning the fat, due to the timing in which I eat, and what food groups I eat when.  She looked at my daily food and told me that my main 3 meals of the day should be about 300 calories, and then fill the rest with 300 calories in snacks (on the days I do not work out), for a total of 1200 calories.   FYI, it's almost impossible to stay under 1200 calories even in a 90% organic diet, unless you are eating nothing substantial.  My fitness pal says I should be at 1240 on the days I do not work out.  When I work out of course, I gain extra calories for the day.  Depending on the day, anywhere from 250-500 calories, and while this happens more often that not, I am still only "maintaining."  She told me I need more protein, and more fiber, especially early in the day before my run.  Less carbs, especially within 4 hours prior to the run.

However I am always hungry, and I'm always tired. I want to go to bed at 8pm. Granite, I work at 6:30 am but I draw the line at going to bed before 9pm, and I find that by the time I get home from work, run, make dinner and pack my lunch for the next day, I'm wiped out and not getting anything else done.  

I started becoming obsessed with my caloric intake, so much so that when I was hungry between meals, I was afraid to add additional snacks in between because I didn't want to add the extra calories. 

My sister, an amazing personal trainer (, told me I needed to stop counting calories and start counting vegetables.  Add more food fats to each meal and not worry about the calories, that I would see a better result. This sounds amazing.. but.. I'm torn! I have been liking the food journaling because it helps me stay accountable for what I am eating, how much I am burning,  and my progress.  But the numbers on the page are distracting! And when they go negative and the bad numbers are bold and in red, it does feel a little discouraging. 

Why does it have to be so difficult?? Eating should not be rocket science. I think what is frustrating is that it's not like I am sitting at my desk eating cheetoes; I don't eat fast food, I rarely eat anything fried, I make myself homemade food for almost all of my meals.  I eat a mostly organic pescetarian diet.  I am doing it right, so why isn't my body getting the message??

I know I'll figure it out, but I hope I do it before I'm seventy.