Sunday, November 25, 2012

Never Doing THAT Again!

It's a holiday week. It's cold. Sandi's sidelined. Work is crazy.

Net result? I walked Monday...did a 20-minute stint on Tuesday...and didn't walk again until Friday. (And by walk, I mean being out at least an hour.)


Oy! Never dreamed that taking three days off would make THAT much of a difference! That's CRAZY!

It wasn't as bad as starting completely from scratch, but it definitely wasn't as good as it is when I keep steady with it. 

Five measly miles. That should be nuthin' for me at this point. But by the time I did that much yesterday, I felt like I couldn't take another step. In fact, after walking, I stopped by the grocery store and it was all I could do to get out of the car again. Sheesh!

So Monday I need to get out. No excuses. Regardless of the temperatures. Just bundle up. The extra layers will kill my pace, but I've got to get moving again. Three laps around the neighborhood, or a trip walking to Kim's and back. Something. Anything. Must...move....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Quintuple Whammy

Well, there it is.

I've officially lost ground.
Gained a couple pounds.


I saw it on the horizon. Saw it sneaking up to grab me from the rear. (IN the rear?) (No, FROM the rear.) (IN the stomach.) Like Hurricane Sandy, I saw the clouds out over the ocean and couldn't get far enough inland to escape.

I know two pounds...or three...may not seem like a lot when I'd managed to make it to the 30-pound mark. But it's not the number, it's the direction.

But at the same time, like Sandy, I'm in the middle of a perfect storm:

The days are shorter and generally cooler. Both of these cut down drastically on the window of time for me to get out and walk on any given day. It's often still too cold at 7:00 or 8:00...or even 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning. But I can't wait and go in the mid-to-late-afternoon because it'll be dark (or nearly so) before I'm finished. So there's a sweet spot of getting out somewhere between 11:00 and 3:00. And at that point, my day is in full swing and breaking away from it to go walking for an hour or two is tough to do.

As I said, it's getting cooler. And, at least for me, the cooler temps bring a caveman-like desire for carbs that will add body fat to get through the winter. Or at the very least, I want hot, filling foods that stick with me but are easy to fix. I want ravioli and mac'n'cheese and big cheeseburgers and fresh, hot fries and chicken noodle soup. It's winter. It's comfort food season. Or, at the very least, I'm less inclined to want salads and fresh fruits and veggies like I do in the summer. Those are light foods...cold foods...GREAT for the hot summer days, but definitely not tops on my list of Favorite Winter Foods.

Mine is a feast-or-famine job, and the last couple of weeks we've been feasting. Everyone in the group has as much as they can handle. And while I'm grateful for that fact, the deadlines for turnaround definitely make me have a stronger focus on sitting and typing than on getting out and walking. It's hard to get out for any length of time when you keep thinking, "I should be home doing..." (It's one of the few pitfalls of a job that has a large work-at-home component to it.) As a matter of fact, while many people are having a 4-or-5-day weekend, I'll be having a holiday but then probably working as much as I can on Friday and Saturday. And probably some on Sunday.

Not mine - Sandi's. She's been sidelined for a few weeks now with a back that's just not cooperating. And I've realized that she's very much my Jiminy Cricket - the one who nudges me to do what I should when I don't want to do it. Without her saying, "When are we going? Where are we going? What are we doing tomorrow?" there just isn't the push to get out and go.

We've had one Thanksgiving dinner already with our college kids. We'll be having another Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Then we get to December and the month-long celebration of gifts and special events and time spent with others - most of which involves food. It's the time of year when even non-cooks like me pull out the aprons and heat up the ovens to make special goodies to share. (Okay, maybe not the apron bit.) You want to give "a little something" to people who are special to you. But if you don't have the money to really shop for a bunch of people, or if you don't know them well enough to know what they would like, treats are the go-to option. So food is everywhere at this time of year, and it's not veggie trays.

At this point, I feel like the storm is bearing down and all I can do is hold on and ride it out. Work will ease up eventually - that's just what it does. The holidays will pass - that's what they do, too.

Sandi is due to have surgery next week to have a pain pump put in. Hopefully that will get my Jiminy Cricket back up on and on her feet. And once that happens, we can start going to the Y to walk, which will broaden the window of time each day that we can be doing our thing.

I just have to do what I can, refocus my efforts on what I'm eating, and try not to lose too much ground while waiting for things to get back on track.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pride Goeth Before A Fall - Literally


I went out this morning. Did the five miles out-and-back on the Clear Creek Trail. That makes 21 miles for the week.

I was by myself, and really wanted to do it under 1:15:00 - less than 15 minutes per mile average. That meant I would have to run. So I did.

Started off with a 3:20 stretch. That's the longest time I've ever run without dropping down to a walk. That was cool.

I walked about twice that long (6:20) then tried running again. Managed 1:20 for that stretch. Walked a bit more, then did another 2:14 running. Usually, after I have my initial burst, any running stretches after that are between 1:00 and 1:30. Getting a 2:00-and-some running stretch after my initial burst is rare, so I was really feeling pretty good about it all.

I got to the trail head at Tapp Road, which marks 2.5 miles. Rested a bit, watched the construction, and got ready to head back. Since I'd caught my breath, I thought I'd just run as long as I could and see how I did. No goals. Just running.

By the point when I was getting winded and thinking I'd need to stop running and start walking again, I saw it...shining like a beacon in the night (except it was about 10 in the morning). The sign that marked the half-mile point from the trail head. If I could just...reach...the...marker.......

Yep. I did it. Ran a solid half-mile stretch this morning. A new milestone for me - something I never seriously thought I'd be able to do. And I ran it in 5:47. Not a stellar time by any means, but y'know what? This was ME running...and ME ran a SOLID HALF-MILE!!!!!

Before the morning's work was finished, I ran another solid quarter-mile and yet another stretch that was nearly a quarter-mile. (I could've done a quarter-mile at that point, too, but it was the end of the trail.)

Then, as I was walking back to my car, thinking about how awesome I was and how I was going to write my blog about running a half-mile stretch, I wasn't paying attention. AND the sun was in my eyes. So I closed my eyes against the sun as I walked, but got too close to the edge of the asphalt path...turned my ankle off the edge of the pavement...and went down...scraping my leg on the blacktop as I went down and banging up the heels of my hands from trying to catch myself as I fell.

I couldn't do anything but laugh at my own inauspicious end to a really great walk. I guess that'll teach me.

Nah....probably not.


P.S. Keep my walking partner Sandi in your prayers, please. She had a rough round of chemo this past week, on top of the fact that her pain pills aren't taking care of the pain she has from the herniated disks (an after-effect of having tumors removed from her spine). She hasn't been able to be out with me at all this past week, which says a LOT, and I've missed her. Hopefully the doctors will be able to help her get back on top of the pain again soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monday Challenge

Sunday has been a day off since I started this insane journey, unless I had missed a day during the week and needed to make up some miles.

Ever since my daily standard has gone from four miles to five, Saturday has become either a "light duty" day or another day off, depending on how much walking I got done during the week and what our schedule is for the weekend.

So, when Monday rolls around, I usually feel like I could run a marathon. I can't, obviously, but the healthy 20-year-old with good knees that's buried somewhere inside of me thinks she can. All of this means that if I'm going to do something crazy and extreme, it typically happens on Mondays.

Well...except last week when I needed to walk to Kim's and it was only 28 degrees when I left the house in the dark at 7:00 a.m. That was extreme and not on a Monday.

This morning I had to take Jim to the airport, which meant it was later when I got out to walk. The temps had climbed to 49 degrees, so I wore shorts for the first time in a few weeks. Walking in the cold means wearing layers which makes it harder to get the job done. I wanted to see how well I could do being back in fewer layers, with less extra weight.

On top of that, I had time today. I didn't have to squeeze the walking in between or before or after anything else. So I thought, hey...
*it's warm
*I have less extra weight in clothing
*I have time
*the legs are fresh
*why not get crazy and try for 10 miles???

I did 10.25 miles by the time it was all over. It took me 2 hours and 42 minutes, with 18 minutes of that being jogging and the rest of it walking. (My previous best had been seven miles.)

And for the first time in a long time, I felt like I was really pushing myself again. By the time it was over, my back muscles hurt like they hadn't hurt in weeks...the legs were about as powerful as cooked spaghetti...each landmark was a welcome sight...I was having to talk myself through each step. 

When I finished, I got in the car. When I tried to get out again, I could barely stand. I've stretched, I've taken a hot shower, I've used my foam roller to roll out the muscles, and my legs STILL hurt with every step. So do my hips and my glutes.

But dangit, I walked 10.25 miles!