Friday, December 16, 2011

Weighing In: Milestones - Twenty (two!)

*This post published last Friday, but was somehow dated in November. Good grief. Still all true though, but a few busy weeks have really derailed my lunch-time running regimen. Need to get that back on track!!

I'm celebrating two awesome "twenty" milestones. I've officially lost twenty pounds (twenty-two-ish, actually!) and I ran for twenty minutes straight today (nearly two whole miles)! I can hardly believe it and can barely believe that I'm only five(ish) pounds away from my goal weight. 

I've been working on Week 5/Day 3 of my running interval program since before Thanksgiving. The previous day, W5D2, had me run for eight minutes, walk five, and run another eight before cooling down. I successfully completed that set on November 14th. I proudly checking off sixteen total minutes of running (in two chunks) - a personal best. I expected the next day's program to be the same, or even a minor interval increase like "run ten minutes, walk two, run ten." But nope! Imagine my surprise when I started up W5D3 only to find that it wanted me to run for twenty minutes straight. I literally laughed at my iPhone, out loud, on the treadmill.

I rallied and gave it my best. On my first attempt, I made it fourteen minutes before I had to slow to a walk. The next try, I made it sixteen minutes before I hit the stop button. I thought the next day would be the one where I ran twenty minutes in a row, but I had a mishap with the "pause" button on the running app and it wasn't keeping track of my time, and then my knee started giving me trouble. Plus, I was late getting down to the gym, so I called it a day. Over Thanksgiving, I went for a few runs along the trail by my parents' house, hoping the stimulating scenery would get me all the way to twenty, but I had a hard time keeping my pace without the help of the treadmill and wasn't disconcerted by my clothing situation, since I'm not used to dressing for running outdoors.

Last week, after a relatively marathon post-holiday drive back from the Bay Area, I woke up feeling like I was coming down with something. Hoping to shake it with a little rest, I took last Monday off from the gym which somehow stretched into an entire week. Finally, this Tuesday, I was feeling well enough and had enough time to get back on the treadmill but had lost too much of my momentum and fell way short of twenty minutes. Yesterday, I made it a little further, but still nowhere near twenty. I thought I was going to take weeks, or that I'd have to back up and redo some of the previous days' workouts to get back up to speed.

Today, I hit eleven minutes and thought, "I can definitely do two more." I hit thirteen minutes and thought, "I can definitely make it to fifteen." I made it to fifteen and thought, "Just keep going, don't think about it," which worked for about one minute. I checked the clock at 16:30 and thought, "So close, I can DO this!" I checked again at 17:30 and and couldn't believe only a minute had passed. I checked again at 18:30 and said some bad words. And maybe bumped the speed down a notch or two. I checked again at 19:20 and watched it count down, willing my legs to keep moving. I counted down from 19:40 and practically counted out loud from 19:50. I hit the big, red "STOP" button exactly at 20:00. If I'd been alone (and my legs hadn't been like jelly), I would have jumped for joy.

I don't think I've mentioned this before but I am a terrible runner. The first day's workout on the app was something like: run 30 seconds, walk for 90, run for 30, walk for 90 (repeat for 20 minutes). When I started this training program, I couldn't even finish the first 30 second run. I have only run a full mile without stopping like, once in my life and it was a few years ago when I first attempted losing this thirty pounds. I never would have believed that I could run for twenty minutes, without stopping, and enjoy doing it. Though this app implies that one will be 5k-ready at the end of 8 or 9 weeks, I've been working on this since April and am still only on week 5. I don't actually have any plans to run a 5k but I might make some, or at least tell people that I do, since that's easier than explaining that I work out so I can have dessert and a beer with dinner...

Anyway. I'm trying to be extra disciplined through the holiday season so I can try to meet my goal-weight goal of early/mid-January. How do you combat the winter weight gain/holiday bulge??



  2. I'm so happy for you! Erin...this is HUGE! Maybe one day we can plan to run a Disney World or Disneyland 5K together :-) Although at this rate you would totally kick my butt because I still can't run for 20 minutes straight without needed a nap to keep going.

  3. This twenty-minute business is a one-time accomplishment so far. Though the running endorphins have actually had me entertaining visions of running triumphantly through crowds with a number pinned to my chest... I would love to run a Disney 5K with you, once we're both in fighting shape =)

  4. Please Senges - write a new blog post. Eli needs pictures of his lady friend, along with sweet anecdotes.


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