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??

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Post.

I know everyone is in full Christmas mode but I'm only just now finding time to post some photos from Thanksgiving. We spent the weekend prior with Jon's family and had a pre-Thanksgiving family dinner and then headed up to see my family for the long holiday weekend. As always, we did a lot of cooking, eating, hanging out, playing with Alice, and playing games in general. My cousin and her husband were enjoying a vacation nearby and  joined us for the holiday dinner. It was lovely to visit with them and Jon enjoyed hearing all about his line of work, landing planes on aircraft carriers...

the holiday table. waiting (left) and full (right). My brother's girlfriend folded the napkins into chickens, but we pretended they were turkeys...
fruit, with wine.
Grandpa got a lot of playtime with the little munchkin.

Grandma gave Alice a sniff of her whisky. Maybe Alice is following in her (and her dad's) footsteps...
Following in her mama's footsteps and playing the piano. By ear, obviously.

More following in her mama's footsteps, a game of peekaboo with a dramatic flare!
We had a lovely holiday but I think I'd like to start celebrating Thanksgiving immediately after Halloween to give me more time to prepare for Christmas. I'm already well behind! Maybe next year, I'll actually start making and buying gifts in September, or earlier! I say it every year, perhaps that should be my New Year's resolution this year...

I hope you all enjoyed wonderful Thanksgiving feasts and that your house is fully lit and decorated for Christmas and all your gifts are wrapped beneath the tree already!