The Very Warm Run…Indoors

Spent the last couple of days in Kansas City…Love that town.

Yesterday morning headed to the gym at 5:30 a.m. so I could get my morning run in to start the day off right.

I was on the treadmill running a very warm 4 miles.  It takes extra motivation to continue running after the first mile on the treadmill.  It’s so easy to begin telling yourself that you don’t need to run as far because you need to…

  1. Get back to the room and go over notes for today’s meeting.
  2. Check email.
  3. Run less since you don’t want to go to meeting with a red face.
  4. Allow extra time to get to meeting since not been to address before.
  5. Allow extra time to cool down.
  6. About 100 other reasons to stop running.

I always have to fight that inner voice.  I didn’t listen to it and still had plenty of time to get everything done and to my meeting on time.

After some strategic planning with some very dynamic leaders, I started out for home.

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Lots of snow to look at…Fortunately, not on the road.

What’s the weather like where you are running?

My Own 2012 Olympic Trials and the Treadmill Breakup

 I have not had an easy time getting back up to speed with my marathon training/ running since being sick.

Heat and humidity make it harder.

I have also rekindled my love/hate relationship with my treadmill and for a few days have not been on  speaking terms.  It may call, but I’m not answering and today…I showed it by running my  3 miles outside for the first time in a couple of weeks (and as you can see I have the red face to prove it).

Yes I know, my treadmill stood by me while I trained for my first half marathon.  Used it a lot due to snow and ice outside.  However, when I got back out on the road, it was harder.  I became accustomed to the belt pulling my feet along.  The steady and even strides, etc.  The road is different.  I think the treadmill (as my Mom would say) made me soft.  It is better than running in place though.  (I read recently where one runner ran in his bath tub with dirty clothes under foot to create resistance.  That is extreme).  

So, with that, I’m breaking it off.  We had our good times and bad times; Our ups  and downs.  We said some things we didn’t mean – especially when the speed showed 4.5 mph and I know I was running 6.5 mph (or felt like it anyway).   I didn’t really mean it when I said I was putting it up for sale on Craigslist.  Lost my head.  It can stay – I’ll go (outside that is).

Today’s running mantra…never give up!

Tomorrow 4 miles – in my pool.  I’m going to try this to see if I can build muscles back up with resistance of water running. This will help guard against injury and after watching the 2012 London Olympics, I’m even more inspired to try it out.

Bring Your Bicycle to Work Day – An Exercise in Cross Training

Did some serious cross training at 7 am thermometer read 85 degrees/humid and hot. Rode my bike to work with dress clothes in back pack (rolled not folded – doesn’t wrinkle).  Took me about an hour  due to some respectable hills. It wasn’t easy but will probably do again…on a Sunday – and earlier too. Only had to walk bike across busy intersections – didn’t want to spook cars. Then parked my ride in our office conference room – where it will probably stay until next Sunday when I ride it home.

It has been too hot in the afternoons to even think about riding it home from work. Yesterday it was over 100 and high humidity.

I read that bicycling is one of the best cross training exercises you can do when preparing for a marathon. It works some of the leg muscles that need strengthening to improve performance.  They feel worked too.

Here’s the data from the ride. Now on with the countdown.

Power to the She – Weight Loss Game On!

No messing around with this anymore.  Yesterday I re-enlisted with Diet Center to lose the pounds that continue to slow me down – running and in daily life.  I have had some things going on with blood sugar, hormones and a case of fooling myself about what I am eating, so I felt  it was time to jump in and get some help from a professional.

This is the place that helped me shed the weight I gained (35 pounds) after I quit smoking so many years ago and then again after I had Alex.  I kept it off for almost 2 decades.  However, the last 4 years it has slowly started to creep back on even though I felt like my eating hadn’t changed.  I’ve tried several things on my own but now am surrendering to what I consider the ultimate weapon – Diet Center.

I need to relearn how to eat properly…what my body needs and how much as well as how often.

I’m committed to seeing this through.  I’m tired of pounding the pavement and feeling like I can’t run faster or more without injuring myself because of my age and size.  My breathing is impacted too.  Who am I kidding.  I remember that breathless feeling when I was in the last months of pregnancy.  Not that I am feeling that big, but that weight does play a factor in such.

The first thing they do at DC is run a body fat analysis.  Okay, here are the painful stats:

Present Weight:  165   Goal:   140  

Fat Pounds: 53

Present  Fat %: 32    Goal: 20%

Present Lean Wt: 111

In January of 1994, when I paid my very first visit to DC my weight was 169 and my body fat was 34%.  After 4 hard fought months in which I traveled a lot, my weight was 137 and body fat was 18%.  I rarely ate out during that period, had no alcohol 😦 (all for the cause), exercised regularly and followed the plan to the T.  I used such a small amount of oil when I cooked (mainly olive oil) that a bottle lasted me a couple of months back then.  I’ve since been using more with seasonings that were higher in sodium than I realized.

They recheck body composition at least once per month.  To be sure you aren’t losing lean.

They also take measurements and then retake them each month.

My diet consists of:

1200 calories, 2 starches, 5 vegetables, 2 fruits, 8 protein, 3 dairy and 2 fats.  I was fooling myself with how I was eating before and realized it once she re-educated me on portions and the art of reading labels and judging the ratios of how many carbs per fat grams, sugar, proteins, etc.  What causes something to be a dairy and not a protein, etc.  Also, I had forgotten about the hidden sodium in even the smallest things.

Water: I drink a lot of water and never forgot about that essential to good dieting.  One of the many helpful tips my friend and coach Pat offered, is to drink a full glass of water before a meal – it helps to give you a full feeling.  “Thanks Pat!” 🙂

Exercise goes hand in hand with the diet too.  I’ve committed to running/walking 3 miles per day for 5 days per week.  Today, I’m going out at lunch.  All of this goes into the equation and all I have to do is follow it.  Learning along the way so I continue my good habits after each phase of the diet.

There is so much more and I’ll share along the way.  Ultimately, I just want to fit back into my closet full of clothes and be able to run like the wind come June when my training begins for the full marathon that I am running in October.  I have to admit I get scared thinking about that.  I am going to get a stress test too before that to rule out any hidden heart issues that could surface under that kind of stress and strain.  That is one of the reasons you hear of people that collapse and die after or during a race.  They had a condition they weren’t aware of before.

A recent study mentioned in Time Magazine (click here for full article)  found that many of those who had heart attacks during long distance races had thickened heart walls, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle becomes enlarged and less flexible, making it harder to pump blood efficiently. And because marathon runners tend to be older, many also had atherosclerosis, or buildup of plaques within their heart vessel walls, which can also impede blood flow.  Heart issues don’t run in my family – fortunately.  So I will be surprised if anything like that is an issue.  However, I am not chancing it.  Getting checked before training starts and everyone considering a marathon should do the same – especially those over 40 (or 50 like me).

There are other things that put a body at risk  – like conditioning and weight.  I want to cut out all of those risks.  So between my coach Pat and DC friend Stephanie, I will be successful.

My first challenge is a banquet I’m attending Friday night.  I’m going to call and request a special salad plate (lettuce, vegies, no cheese, no dressing and no croutons either – bringing my own dressing).  Also asking for grilled chicken on salad too.

*A little trick Stephanie showed me was to put 2 tablespoons of light dressing in a shaker and add either balsamic vinegar or water and shake it up – makes your dressing go further.

Push Through It!

Don’t let the news of the economy, fears of local impact of such, etc., get you down…push through it.  It’s easy to withdraw and not follow through with daily activities including exercise when fears, worry, etc., begins to creap into our psyche.  Don’t let it take hold.  Get up.  Get moving – do something.  Whether you have household chores, bills to pay or exercise, do something.  Then when finished do something else.  Sitting still, watching more than an hour of the 24 hour news – especially when its bad, which is almost always, has a negative impact on your mental well being.  Also, moderate exercise is the equivalent of an anti-depressant on our mood.  Read about it here .

Also, as you finish a task, you feel better – it’s therapuetic.  Start your day with a “to do” list.  As you cross things off you’ll feel better.  Also, when it comes to your personal finances, maintain control and communicate with creditors if there is a problem.  The “head in sand” strategy is going to make things worse.

Then finally, integrate prayer into your daily life.  Sometimes the challenges we face are nothing more than God calling us to prayer. 

It is no different than pushing through muscle pain or fatigue in a race…you have to push through it.

You’ll feel better and see things are getting done.  If you are overwhelmed and feel you can’t get on top of things because you let them pile up, create a two week calendar.  Write down one or two things for each day.  It’s your catch up period.  Soon you’ll be moving through stuff and getting your exercise back on track.

For runners training for a marathon or half marathon like me…create a forcefield around yourself to push out negative vibes and energy so that it doesn’t impede your ability to stay on track.  Sounds weird??? It’s all about visualizing.  Try it.

Go to work today with the attitude that you are going to positively impact your office and change things for the better.  Then, come home with the same attitude and feel great!

Run for your life and as always, have the best day ever – make it count.