Thursday, July 30, 2009

How I got through a 3.0 mile run

I've written before, and I'm sure I'll write again, that for me, running is about having the right, positive mental attitude.

I'm sure I look silly, but when it gets hard for me, I have to pump myself up with a pep talk, and yes, I do talk to myself, just a bit, while I'm running. Last night, about half way through my run, I passed a family of four riding their bikes, and then I passed them again near the end. Both times, I was talking to myself, and with my IPOD on, I didn't realize how loud I was being. I'm certain the dad thought I was a complete lunatic as he watched me talk to myself, but oh well. Maybe he's a runner and understands!?!? She says, hopefully.

Last night's run was particularly hard for me almost from the get go. I'm not sure what was wrong, I have a feeling I hadn't waited long enough for my dinner to digest. So, I had to start early with my motivational speech.

I started out by reminding myself: "if you can jump around with Jillian for 45 minutes, you can run for 30." That seemed to work for about 1/2 a mile.

Then, I started to develop a "Runner's Side Stitch," which got really bad around the 1 mile mark, at that point, I kept thinking about all the websites I could visit to find out how it happens and how to prevent it. For an explanation of the runner's stitch, I visted for a description. A runner's stitch is a "pain in the side of the upper abdomen at the base of the ribs." It is caused by a spasm of the diaphragm. According to the site, getting rid of the spasm could be as easy as slowing down or stopping.

Well, I already run pretty slowly and stopping is not an option, so I just muddled through by trying to regulate my breathing and taking deep breaths. Much to my surprise, deep, rhythmic breathing is also one way to get rid of the runner's stitch, according to What do you know? I actually may know what I'm doing.

Once the side stitch started to calm down, my calves started to burn and my left foot felt like I was running on pins and needles. At that point, I started composing a post in my head about how good it felt to finish 3.0 miles for the first time in 12 or 13 years. I can't recall what I composed in my head now that I'm sitting down to type this entry, but whatever it was it got me through to the last phase.

I know I don't have a lot of people reading my blog, but I know there are a few of you out there, so let me say, "thanks," because it was you guys, too, who I thought about while trying to get me through my run.

As I closed in the home stretch, my mantra changed to "You got this! You got this!" I was, to say the least ecstatic when I reached my driveway. I'm pleased with myself and will try to keep it up!

He got up and ran

I just about fell out of bed this morning when my husband got up and declared that he was going for a run. Honestly, I love him dearly, but as much as I am not a runner, he is NOT a runner.

My husband claims that he used to be athletic. He tells me that in high school, he played basketball and was a decent pitcher on the baseball team, but that was 20 years ago. In college, he played on intramural volleyball and baseball teams, but that was 16 years ago. I did not know my husband during either of those time periods, so I have never known the athlete within my husband.

When we were in law school, the most athletic thing we ever did together was bowl, but I hate bowling. We also tried golf, but I'm better than he is, so that didn't work out too well for his ego. He also played one or two games for his firm's softball league, but he ended up separating his shoulder while throwing the ball from the outfield to home plate. He separated the shoulder a second time a few years later, and that had pretty much ended my husband's athletic career.

Sure, he's gone to the gym over the course of the years we've been married, but I've never seen him run, either on a treadmill or on the track, so today's development was somewhat surprising to me.

Perhaps I have inspired him with my latest attempts to run. I hope he keeps it up, because I would really like a running partner. Knowing my husband, though, I just have to quietly encourage him and not make a big deal out of what he is doing and let him go at his own pace, and I'll keep going at my own pace. Maybe one day we'll catch up to each other.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Does everyone sweat during yoga?

I know it shouldn't be such a major deal everytime I do it, but I got up this morning at 6 am and did 30 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes of pilates. I'm proud of myself. I've decided it's so much easier for me to psyche myself up and out of bed at 6 a.m. if I'm going to do yoga than it is when I'm planning to go for a run or jump around with Jillian.

As I mentioned last night, I went for a run in the evening. It was not exactly an enjoyable experience, (I'm not quite there yet) but I was encouraged by all the people who were out for their runs at 9 pm. Generally speaking, I don't like to exercise in the evening before bed, but I did sleep better than I have in awhile. I've always read/heard that exercising in the evening could keep you from getting a good night's sleep. But that wasn't the case for me last night. If I hadn't been awakened by a torrential downpour last night, I probably would have slept all night!

Finally, I haven't done yoga in about a week. As always, I am amazed at how much I sweat when I do my yoga practice. Shortly after I start my practice it's like a faucet gets turned on, and I just start dripping. Does this happen to anyone else?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A math problem = A weight problem

Question: What is 25 lbs minus 15 lbs plus 10 lbs minus 8 lbs?

Answer: For the past few days I've been trying to come up with a creative answer to the above question, but I keep coming back to the same answer: It is my weight fluctuation over the past 2 summers.

For the better part of the last two summers, I have been attempting to lose 25 lbs. Today, I am at a critical juncture in my attempt to lose weight. Since returning from our vacation, I have floundered around trying to figure out what to do next. I am rapidly sliding off the exercise and eating right train. I should probably admit that I'm off of it altogether, but I'm not ready to concede anything yet. I have not stepped on the scale, but I can tell by the way my clothes fit that I am starting to gain weight again, and I know I need to nip these gains in the bud. I need to get back into an exercise routine, and now!

The only thing that works for me when trying to lose weight is watching what I eat and exercising. I have never been able to lose weight by dieting alone and neither have I ever been successful at losing weight solely by exercising. So, let me write that again... the only thing that has ever worked for me when trying to lose weight is eating right and exercising.

But, eating right and exercising all the time is hard! Truthfully, I don't even think I eat that poorly. If I learned anything during my weeks at Weight Watchers it is that I have a problem with portion control. I eat way more than I should. So, even though I eat healthy foods, I'm eating way too much. I also have a problem with self-control, at times, especially when we're out to eat or at a party.

If I could give up wine, I honestly believe I could shed 5 lbs easily, but I just can't give it up. (See... lack of self-control.) I'd be fine Sunday through Thursday, it's those darn weekends.

I've started to run, but I need to get going more than 3 times a week, and I need to push myself harder. It looks like my plan to run in the Detroit Marathon relay with my neighbor isn't going to happen, so I'm thinking about finding another run to participate in. I just need to figure out what is a reasonable goal to attain within a reasonable time.

I was going to write that I'm planning to start over again tomorrow morning. But, as I was typing the sentence, I kept saying to myself, why wait until tomorrow? Go for a run tonight. And so I did. I made it 2.8 miles. I'm slow, but steady.

Tomorrow is yet another day, and I'm trying to come up with some strategies to get myself back on track.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I was supposed to run this morning, but I'm just not quite back to being motivated to get up early. I eventually got out of bed and did about 40 minutes of Jillian's Boost Your Metabolism. I know my problem is, like I wrote the other day, I'm bored with Jillian and need something new. But, if I'm going to run it has to be early in the morning before my husband leaves for work or late in the evening after dinner. My kids are still too young to be left alone while I go out for a run. I've never been able to exercise in the evening, so my only real option is to run between 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning, and I just haven't been motivated enough to do that. I hope to get runs in on Saturday and Sunday because I am proud of what I've been able to do, and I want to keep building on that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

65 Minutes of Pilates

I decided to do an old VHS Pilates tape today. I've had it for almost 10 years, but I have only done the tape a handful of times. The tape is split up into four 15 minute sections for abs, arms, legs, and hips. I've never had a strong enough core to actually peform the moves, but today I did a decent job a doing the moves. I even kind of enjoyed most of the tape. The legs and hips portions of the tape involve ballet moves. I never took any dance classes as a child, so these ballet moves are difficult for me, and I have no idea if I'm even doing the moves right or not.

I have to say that I was really sweating by the end of the tape, much to my surprise.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2.3 Mile Run

I won't embarrass the runners of the world and call myself a "runner," yet, but today I ran 2.3 miles. It took me 27 minutes to do it, so I know there's plenty of room for improvement, but I'm proud of myself for getting my bum out of bed at 6:00 am and going for a run.

I was supposed to do my run yesterday morning, but I did Jillian's "No More Trouble Zones" (quick version) instead. What I realized is that I'm getting bored with these routines, I need to change up what I'm doing. That was part of my motivation for getting up this morning.

I saw an infomercial for another new BeachBody series called Insanity with Shaun T. It looks almost identical to Tony Horton's P90X that I considered buying, but Shaun T promises results in 60 days. The workout series looks incredibly intense, almost "insane." My husband got sucked into watching the infomercial with me (what is it about those things that make us want to watch??) and he said he'd try it with me. If I actually believed that he would stick with it with me for 60 days, I'd take him up on it, but I know he won't. Maybe I should just call his bluff and see what happens.

For now, I'm going to stick with running every other day or so and see where that gets me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Post!

I did it, I got outside and ran for the first time in a looooong time. I gave myself a goal of running for 20 minutes straight which I'm happy to report I accomplished. Twenty minutes may seem like a long time for someone, like me, with very little running experience, but for me, running is all mental. I kept telling myself that if I can jump around with Jillian Michaels barking orders at me for 30-45 minutes, then I can run for 30 minutes. I just kept repeating that mantra, and before I knew it, my 20 minutes was up. I then walked for an additional 15 minutes. The ironic part is, for the last 5 minutes of my run, I was behind an older couple who wa walking at a moderate pace. I was trying to catch up and pass them. While I was running, I could not catch up to them, but as soon as I started doing my "sprint walk" I caught up to them in a flash and left them in the dust behind me. I guess that means I have to pick up my running pace considerably, but I wasn't worried about that too much yesterday, I just wanted to get out there and run. We'll see where it goes from there.

I plan to run every other day and alternate yoga and strength training on the days I don't run.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I bought a watch

I know, it's not very exciting news, but at this point, while I'm taking baby steps trying to get back on the bandwagon to lose the last 10-12 lbs, buying a watch is a step in the right direction.

I need the watch so I can run outside. I don't have a treadmill and I don't belong to a gym, so if I'm going to run, then I need to do it outside. If I'm going to run outside, then I need to keep track of my time. So, I bought a digital watch.

I have only exercised a few time since we returned from our vacation. Over the holiday weekend, I did cardio work on Friday and Sunday mornings. I did Yoga and Pilates yesterday morning, took this morning off, and plan to do a cardio workout tomorrow morning.

My husband is back in Norway this week, so I can't start running outside until Friday morning. (I can't leave the kids alone in the house; I plan to run between the hours of 6 and 7 am when the least amount of people will see me struggling.)

Still looking for anyone who has any thoughts on the P90X workout 13 DVD system? Anyone? Anyone?