SORRY. I CAN’T HELP IT, I’M JUVENILE.
I’ve completed three runs since we last spoke, three days in a row because my “rest day” was moved up to Thursday. Though, considering whom I was with and what I did, I’m not sure that can qualify as a rest day either. Friday made up for Thursday’s skipped 4 miles, yesterday was my regularly scheduled 3 miles, and today was the dreaded 5 miles I sucked so hard on before.
I’ve only just started taking running seriously, so it seems like every time I complete a workout I’ve broken some sort of personal record. Something weird about my after-work runs; I seem to have so much energy and can easily go nonstop. The 4 miler on Friday is probably the longest distance and duration I’ve gone without having to rest. It also helped that it was only about 3:30pm and the park was empty.
Saturday’s record breaker was time and average pace, though I did stop a bunch of times. Makes me wonder how fast I could have gone had I not rested, but then again it all evens out in the end. This morning I was determined to have a good 5 miles. Last week I had basically already given up hope before I even started, hence the horrendous pace and total time. Mission accomplished.
So grateful to give running a rest tomorrow so I can do some hardcore weight training. I’ve been slacking in that department because I’ve unwittingly become a cardio queen. NO! Must…pump…iron. Or at least Sworkit for an hour. I might even do it later because I have the energy, and I’m going to need all the extra calories I can get for many beers will be consumed tonight.
Lately all I’ve been talking about is working out, but my nutrition has been pretty stellar lately, too. You know what? My daily habits in general have seen much improvement. During my slump, this type of behavior was not uncommon:
- Ordering takeout almost every night
- Eating said takeout in my bedroom, on my bed
- Getting home from work and immediately changing into my pajammies, and watching TV in bed or dicking around on the internet until bedtime
Since the beginning of May, I have not eaten a single meal or snack in bed. I can’t believe I have to brag about something like that, but I’m proud of myself nonetheless. I may still lie down after work and cuddle with the dogs for a few minutes, but I don’t stay there for hours until it’s time to go to sleep. Also? I don’t think I’ve even turned on the TV in the bedroom this whole month. Could also be because I can’t find the remote but whatev. My laptop hasn’t seen my bedroom in a while either. My bedroom has only seen bedroom-appropriate actions this whole month. Imagine that.
I weighed myself at the beginning of the month and it was, again, about 10 pounds higher than my lowest recorded weight. So annoying; 159lbs must be my set point or something. I got on the scale again Friday morning and I was down to 154.4. I really feel like I’m back in the game now. Eating healthily and working out feel natural again, and not such a struggle anymore. Yay.
While I didn’t run the whole thing nonstop, my overall time and average pace improved, which pleases me. I honestly don’t ever see myself ever having a sub 10-minute pace for a long duration. That’s like, my sprinting pace. Seriously, I have short stumpy legs and I feel like I’m carrying 300 pounds when I run that fast, though it’s more likely that all those years of smoking have ruined my lungs.
The strange thing is, I now look forward to my running days more than resistance days. It has always been the other way around. Running outside is much, much less painful[ly boring] than a treadmill. Just looking at the treadmill in my dojo makes me cringe, so I put it on craigslist. No hits yet though. Anyone in LA interested? …after I just gave the treadmill a glowing review? Ha.
In other workout news, after two weeks of solid effort, I’ve made the executive decision to stop going to boot camp. These are going to sound like excuses, and I guess they are, but: 1) my work schedule is 7am to 4pm. Boot camp ends at 7am so I’m not getting to the office until closer to 8. 2) My fling with the morning workout has ended. Back to evenings it is for me. 3) I think I’m just better at working out solo. HA! As I’m typing this I just got an email for a $50 off coupon, plus $25 off returning student discount for the next boot camp session. It’s like they know…
But wait! That doesn’t mean I’ve quit completely! Not even a little bit. Yesterday it dawned on me that I have put in a solid to intense workout 15 of the last 17 days, and 11 days in a row. The other night I discovered my new favorite workout app: Sworkit! You choose what you want to work, how you want to work, and how long you want to work it. A series of 30-second workouts flash on the screen with a timer, and audio cues guide you through it so you don’t have to keep one eye on your phone while you’re spazzing about doing burpees.
Monday night I did 20 minutes of cardio followed by 20 minutes of strength; all body weight exercises like jump squats, wall-sits, push-ups, etc. Basically everything I did at boot camp, with the same intensity and burn to boot. Last night I did 15 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength, all while watching the OKC/MEM game so it seemed to go by really quickly. I love this app! There is a free version, or a full-featured version for only a buck. Really can’t beat it.
Tonight I have a 4-miler on the schedule, and tomorrow I will begrudgingly take a rest day. Yes, rest days are important. The old me savored and looked forward to rest days. The current me is on such a roll that I’m really and truly scared this one day of doing nothing will ruin my momentum.
I won’t let it, though. Maybe I’ll have a hot date with my foam roller tomorrow night. Can I foam roll my chest? My boob muscles hurt from all the bouncing when I run.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still proud of myself for even attempting running at all, and I find my steadily increasing pace time more humorous than disappointing. After that kickass nonstop run last Thursday, I thought I might at least match my time on Saturday’s (3 miles) and Sunday’s (5 miles) scheduled runs.
That was not the case. It may only be spring on the calendar, but it’s hot as all hell in Los Angeles right now. I got off to a later start than I wanted and the sun was already way up in the sky and shining brightly down on me.
Maybe I didn’t eat enough the previous day, or that morning, or the heat just got to me, but as soon as I began running I could already tell it was going to suck. Instead of circling the track the entire time, I ran around the entire perimeter of the park and down some side streets to vary the terrain. I walked more than I wanted to, but was pleased that I still finished in under 40 minutes.
It seems cruel to make me run five miles the day after I struggled to finish three, but I put my big girl pants on and got it over with. Again, later than I wanted to; it was already in the upper 70s by the time I began.
The park was so fucking busy; I was dodging rowdy dogs on leash and their oblivious owners, flying soccer balls, Entourage style walkers blocking the running paths, and children on bicycles who should have been administered field sobriety tests. I suppose if I ever do think about running a race that I should get used to stuff like that. Not those exact things, but obstacles that may slow me down.
I walked a LOT this time. I tried to make up for it by throwing in some sprints here and there, but at every five minute mark, the app would chime my pace in my ear and it kept getting worse and worse. My lungs are so, so, so weak. I truly admire people who have the endurance to run long distances on a regular basis. I know it’s not “easy” for you guys either, but the difference is you get it done while most of us do not.
My next run was to scheduled for this morning, but I had a hell of a two-a-day yesterday and was too sore to even get out of bed. I’m definitely not skipping it though. I’m hoping the heat won’t be too unbearable tonight. Oh, and if you’re getting bored of my workout posts, you’re in luck because tomorrow I’m going to have another one (with an iPhone workout app review) tomorrow or the next day too. Hey! I’m on a freakin’ roll and I never thought I’d be back here again, let me enjoy it!
On a closing note, check it out! I’m in with some great company here.
One can always tell when I’ve been working out regularly, because I will bomb your social media feeds constantly with Polar HRM pictures. Why? Because everyone knows a workout didn’t really happen unless you have the HRM proof and share it with the world.
Week 1 (April 29th-May 5th)
Monday: Cardio Body Sculpt
Wednesday: Boot Camp
Friday: Boot Camp
Sunday: 4.26 Mile Walk/Jog
Even during my peak, those workouts would have been considered a solid week, if not a little overkill. But a wise spin instructor once told me, “It is okay to slow down if you get tired, but whatever you do, keep moving your legs. It is much harder to get going again once you stop.” If you’ve ever taken a spin class, you will know that this is true. Take all the resistance off if you have to, just don’t stop pedaling. This is also true for working out in general.
Clearly I had been struggling to find some sort of routine, but it’s been two weeks of my best behavior and I’m ready to call it a comeback. This is a critical period for me; I’m in a groove so I cannot stop moving. If I have the energy, why not fill in the spaces between? So I revisited my old nemesis: running. RunKeeper has all kinds of workout plans depending on your goals, and I casually chose the “Beginner Half Marathon” one.
NOT because I’m training for a half marathon. Not out loud anyway; remember how my plans always fall apart when I declare my goals like that? But really, I’m not. It’s not a big deal. I am just looking to improve my distance capabilities and endurance. The plan was seemingly made for me, since the runs are scheduled on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Convenient, right?
Week 2 (May 6th-in progress)
Monday: Boot Camp
Tuesday: 3.14 Mile Walk/Jog
Wednesday: Boot Camp
Thursday: Spin & 3.1 Mile JOG!
Friday-Sunday: in progress
I could be proud of the fact that, even though I woke up too late Thursday morning to get my run in before work, I decided to hit up the 7am spin class instead. I could be even prouder that I didn’t skip my run completely and laced up to get it done when I got home from work. But what I am proudest of, is that I ran the entire thing. I knew I had the 30+ minute continuous runner in me; I’d done it a few times before, but I thought I had a long way to go before I got back to that point.
I warmed up by briskly walking to the park, which is about half a mile from my house. The park has dirt track that loops around a couple baseball diamonds; one loop = half a mile. My workout called for an three easy miles (slow pace), so that’s six times around the track (math whiz!).
My boot camp instructor sometimes has us warm up by running one loop around the track within five minutes. For those who can’t run a mile under ten minutes, the modification is a run to the corner of one baseball diamond and back, then laps around the basketball courts until the five minutes is up. I don’t like having to do the modification, but I also don’t want them waiting on me while I schlep around the track.
At the beginning of last night’s run, without any pressure from the boot camp sergeant, I set one goal for myself: you don’t have to go fast, you don’t even have to beat five minutes, just make it around the whole thing without stopping. RunKeeper chimed in my ear at the five minute mark, and I was closer to the end of the loop than I thought I’d be, and I easily met my goal.
But why stop there? I set another goal: run the first mile without stopping. Boom, done. I continued to set these small goals in my head, which must have distracted me enough from my crying lungs and achy legs, because before I knew it, I was rounding the corner on my sixth lap, then sprinting a final 0.1 miles to log an even 5K. If I wasn’t in a public place, I would have thrown my arms up and crossed an imaginary tape, then collapsed to my knees and wept.
No, I wouldn’t have. I mean it was just three miles for Pete’s sake. A slow three miles. Many of you lovelies can do that in your sleep, or on “rest days.” But this is me, the hater of running, and I am infinitely proud of myself.
I skipped boot camp this morning because I had an early meeting at work, and I really should take a rest day, but I might do something low impact to keep my mojo going. Tomorrow I have another three miles on the schedule, and Sunday I’ve got spin in the morning plus another five miles. And you know what’s weird? I’m really looking forward to it.
Exactly two years ago, my company decided to throw a “Mae Appreciation Day” party for no reason in particular. I think it was just a completely random act of kindness orchestrated by my boss; I wasn’t threatening to quit or throwing fits or anything. From that day forth, May 9th was to be known as “Mae Day,” and while we never celebrated it again, I celebrate “Mae Day” for a completely different reason: it was Day 1.
When I sat down to write this entry, I was going to say something along the lines of “I have no profound words, yadda yadda yadda” but laughed when I saw that I had already written something like that last year. Guess some things never change. I’m going to glaze over the fact that I am only 12 pounds lighter than I was a year ago and focus on the good things. Good things, like I am not 12 pounds heavier. I’m also going to venture a guess that I’ve got much more muscle tone and athletic ability now versus then. Not much, but more nonetheless.
Here’s the picture I posted in my 1st anniversary entry compared to present day. What do you think? Any difference? I think I see it most in my face. And maybe my super ripped shoulders.
I wish I could be more upbeat and positive with this entry, but the truth is I am not terribly proud of anything I’ve done this second year (difference of 12 pounds) compared to my first (difference of 114 pounds). Is it a sophomore jinx? Complacency? Abundance of attention? The good news is I’ve had a really good two weeks, which is the longest well-behaved streak I’ve had in recent months.
Once again, I am contemplating tracking solely with WeightWatchers again beginning this weekend, and maybe…just maybe even reactivating that ActiveLink I disliked so much. My main workouts are boot camp and running now, which involves a lot of movement, so I am curious what kind of APs they will award me. I refuse to believe that white piece of plastic is THAT useless.
Hopefully Mae Day 2014 will bring much happier, and goalier, news.
Remember when this happened? Honestly, I sometimes forget it happened too. That was last October, at the height of my “weight loss career” (because let’s face it, this shit is a full time job). Since then I’ve put out a few singles that have made the top 40 charts, but haven’t had a platinum record in a while.
The reason I bring it up is because yesterday, my friend Danielle rang me with what she called exciting news to share. She works at my company’s franchise location in NYC, which is also where WeightWatchers’ headquarters is. She was signing up a parent for classes (we do Mommy & Me type classes), and when Danielle learned the parent worked for WeightWatchers, naturally she brought me up. The parent mentioned that, at the WW office, they have a wall decorated with all of their favorite success story photo shoot alumni. Danielle gave her my name, she looked me up, and lo and behold, I made it to the wall!
This was my first time seeing a finished product of my shoot. I don’t remember my dress being that short, nor my legs being that tanned. I’m not on the website or published anywhere else as far as I know; they said they’d give us a heads up before our stories went live. My friend and fellow success story Trixie says it took them over a year to post hers, so I’m not holding my breath. To be honest, appearing on any WeightWatchers marketing materials is just an afterthought at this point. All of the pride, honor, and fun already happened. Still cool seeing my shit eating grin plastered on the wall nevertheless.
Oh WeightWatchers, you just love to love me, despite how badly I treat you. One day, after I’m done sowing my wild oats with MyFitnessPal and the like, I’ll realize that you were the best I ever had.