Friday, March 29, 2013

Scale Free: Take Two

Hello folks!

Sorry for my brief blog disappearance since the 5K race.  I honestly just didn't feel like writing.

Part of that was because I feel like I didn't have much to say.

The main reason though was because last week was a very weird week.  For some reason last week, I couldn't stop eating.  Some eating was out of boredom, but most was because I was STARVING.  Like, all the time...  I couldn't satisfy the hunger no matter how hard I tried, and believe me, I tried!

I stepped on the scale as a result and I realized that was a bad move...  Not so happy when I see the scale moving in the wrong direction.  So discouraging!

This week we are in Memphis and while I'm trying desperately to be good, there is only so good you can be in Memphis.  I've had a couple of BBQ sandwiches and I'm sure I'll indulge in fried chicken once, but other than that I'm trying to recharge this week.  I need to get my head back in the game!  Counting every single calorie that goes in my mouth and exercising 5-6 times a week.

I'm going back to the "Scale-Free" project that I previously tried and failed at miserably.  I have decided that I am not going to weigh myself again until the end of the tour.  Because it was my act of stepping on the scale after last week's quasi-binge eating that shouldn't have happened.  I knew I wouldn't like the number.  I knew it would upset me.  Yet, I got on that scale and started beating myself up for the slip backward.  I shouldn't be doing that.  Slip ups are bound to happen, and they are easily correctable if I get right back on track.  Of course, this experiment only works if I am indeed strict with myself and don't allow extra non-accidental binges because I'm not tracking my weight.  I need to still be strict with myself 99% of the time.  That way when I step on that scale again in May, I will hopefully see a number I've never seen before.

In terms of exercise, last week I was pretty good.  I've decided I'm going to try and bump up my mileage on one of my runs per week so that when I do start my half marathon training in May I won't feel like I'm completely overwhelmed.  My goal is possibly hit the 6 mile mark before training but that's really ambitious.  I had 4 milers last week and this week.  This week I've slacked off a bit this week and added some extra days off.  Not for any good reason, just because I decided I wanted them.

See what I mean?  These past couple of weeks have just been off.  Couldn't explain why.  Maybe I just needed mental reboots like I seem to require every so often.  Maybe that's what this is.  All I know is that I need to get my butt in gear!  I need to stop sitting around wallowing about my failures this week and turn them into positives!

Here's a positive: I'm going to have to retire another pair of jeans because they are just too big.  Also, I have the positive that I had a 4 mile run last week and this week.  I put on a spring shirt and realized that its a little bit loose now.

All positives.  And I'll have more positives soon.  Just won't know if I have a scale positive until the middle of May!

Keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Luckie's 5K Race Recap

Today, at the bright and early time of 5:30 AM, I got up to get ready for my first race in two years.

My last race was the Scotland 10K in New York.  That was the race where I hit the wall... hard.  I pretty much gave up running for a year at that point.  I didn't like feeling like a failure when I was always one of the last people finishing.  I got burned out.

But last April I started running again, slowly but surely, and my love for it came back gradually.  It was really hard at first, but just like last time, it got easier.  The big difference though is that when I was running before, it was all outside and mostly in Central Park.  This time it's been pretty strictly treadmill running.  I gotta say, I miss running outside!  But, more on that later...

As I made my way down to Centennial Olympic Park, it was still dark outside.  There were some festivities down at the park prior to the Marathon/Half Marathon start, but I mostly just took care of business.  I stretched a little to make sure my muscles were warm, I did my last minute bathroom break and I tried to get out of my head.  The night before I had started to get nervous.  I'd run 3 miles plenty of times since I started running again, but not outside.  I didn't want to be at the back of pack.  I wanted to have a time faster than 40 minutes.  I had lots of goals that I had placed on my shoulders and I didn't want to disappoint myself.

I watched the Marathoners and Half Marathoners start and I got inspired.  I couldn't wait to be one of them.  I felt the same inspiration at the Expo when I picked up my race packet.  I decided that I would try and find a Half Marathon that I could train for over the summer when I had plenty of spare time, and before I went back to work.  I was able to find the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Pittsburgh on August 4th.  It's perfect timing!  I will be back in NYC because I should be starting work around that time, but I will have gotten all of my long runs out of the way.  I can either fly or rent a car and head to Pittsburgh for the weekend and then head back in time before we start rehearsals.  I wanted something to work for over the summer.  I wanted a goal.  Now I have one, and I'm excited about it!

Anyway, back to the race...

After the Marathoners and Half Marathoners were off and running, it was time to line up for the 5K.  There were not nearly as many runners as I was accustomed to running with in the New York City races and I was happy about that.  Before I knew it, we were off!  I started my heart rate monitor, hit play on my music and took off at a comfortable pace.  I wanted to see what I ran naturally without pushing myself so I didn't use the Runkeeper app.  I didn't want the voice constantly updating me on my pace.  I wanted to be surprised when I came to the first mile marker.

I gotta say, Atlanta is HILLY!  More hilly than I expected.  Some long and gradual.  Some sharp and short, but each one more than what I had trained for.  My heart rate was higher than what it normally is when I'm on the treadmill and I blame that on the hills.  I was worried that the hills were going to ruin my pace and overall time goals that I had for myself, but color me happy when I reached the first mile marker and I had run it in 11 minutes and 30 seconds!  That's a minute and a half faster than what I run on the treadmill!  But, then the REALLY big hills happened.  I ended up walking up one really steep one, but other than that I just slowed down a little, kept my chin up and kept on chugging.

Before I knew it, I saw the CNN building in front of me and I realized that the end was near.  I couldn't believe it!  It seemed like nothing!  I picked up my pace for the last half mile and crossed that finish line STRONG.  It felt amazing.  I felt like I could have kept running for at least a couple more miles.  I like that feeling.

I really liked running in a city I'm unfamiliar with on a course that's mapped out for me.  I was able to just take in the sights and not worry about where I was going (or traffic lights either!) and just run.  I barely even registered what music was playing.  I love that.  I like having the music as background, but I don't like to rely on it to keep me going.

After I crossed the finish line, I was happy to get a medal placed around my neck.  Sure, it's not as fancy as those Marathon and Half Marathon medals that I see people sporting, but it's mine.  I earned it, and it's made me want more of them.

Now, for my official race/pace time.  I was happy to discover I finished the race in 37 minutes and 38 seconds.  Two and a half minutes faster than my goal.  My pace was 12 minutes and 7 seconds.  A minute faster than I've been running on the treadmill and a full two minutes faster than my last recorded race pace.  I finally have official times that prove that I'm faster and stronger.  I'm a mathematically minded person.  I believe in numbers.  You can't argue with numbers.  They don't lie.

I love my new numbers.  I look forward to these numbers getting smaller.

Today, was a good day.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Recovery Week

I won't be doing a weigh in this week.

Last week I was in Ft. Worth, TX which is where one of my best friends lives.  I hadn't seen him since last June and it was great to be able to spend the majority of the week with him.  Unfortunately it gave me the ability to excuse myself in my head for making horrible choices when it came to food.

I briefly stepped on the scale on Saturday and I was NOT happy with what I saw.  During the week I had done okay with exercise, but my time was much more limited between work and visiting with my friend.  I was able to get 3 or 4 (I can't honestly remember) days of exercising in, but it wasn't enough to counteract my horrible eating.

Tonight, upon my arrival here in Atlanta, a large group from the tour went to Mary Mac's Teahouse, which served up some AMAZING southern comfort food.  I allowed myself this one last cheat meal before I crack down this week (and next week in Des Moines as well) so that I can drop these pounds that I gained through poor food choices.

I'm know I will lose it all, and will continue down my path towards my goals, I just need to get my head back on straight.  That means exercising 5-6 times per week.  That means counting ALL calories. That means making tough choices.  But, I've done it before.  I can do it again.  I am staying off the scale so that I don't get discouraged in my progress.  I'm staying off for at least a week, maybe two.  We'll see.

In happier news...  My 5K race is this Sunday in Atlanta and I'm EXCITED!!  I haven't run a race in almost 2 years.  I have a secret time goal in my head, but I'm not going to share it because this race is not about that.  It's about getting out there and kicking my own butt and showing myself how far I've come once again.

After this week, I plan on doing another comparison photo.  I think it might be time.  I know I look different than I did this time last year.  I can see it in my face.

I guess I gotta get a good photo of my current self!

Until after the race!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday: 3/6/13 - The Weight Stays the Same Edition

Last week's weight:                    231.5
This week's weight:                    231.5

Weight lost this week:               ZERO

Total weight lost:                        78.5

Well... I guess I'm okay with that.  For the first few days following my amazing weigh in last week, I was still on a roll.  I was being good about my food intake, I was burning lots of calories, but then my Mom came up to Cincinnati for one last visit before I left.  We weren't horrible, but I snacked more and ate slightly worse.  Plus, I took that Saturday she left as a rest day because I had worked out five days in a row prior to her arrival.  During that rest day my body decided that it needed to eat all of the food.  ALL of it.  EVERYWHERE.  I was starving that entire day and no matter what I ate, the hunger would not go away.  That's honestly how I was a bit yesterday too.  I was surprised that I managed to pull out a maintenance week.  I was really expecting to have seen a gain to be quite honest.

I have a feeling next week might not be a loss either because my best friend lives here in the Ft. Worth area, where the tour is currently.  I haven't seen him since last June and we are going to be spending as much time as possible together this week.  I'm just praying for the will power to make good choices and to get in as much exercise as possible.

Last week's exercise was a struggle.  I don't know what it was, if my head just wasn't in it, but every single run was a struggle.  My heart rate would be higher than normal, I would be pouring sweat and I wouldn't be able to finish the tasks I set for myself.  Last night, at the gym in Ft. Worth?  I ran three miles like it was nothing.  Granted, the air conditioning vent was right above my head so I barely had a drop of sweat on me because of it, but I barely felt like I was working hard.  My heart rate stayed low for me and it wasn't a tough work out at all.  I wonder what the difference was...  Hmmm...  I don't know.

Well, I'm glad that I was able to complete the three miles on the treadmill yesterday because I have a 5K race in Atlanta next week!  I'm so excited!  I can't wait!  Next Sunday is the Georgia Marathon, Half Marathon and a 5K.  They all start/finish in Centennial Olympic Park which should be cool and I will finally get a medal for finishing a race!  My first race medal!  YIPPEE!!  The New York City races hardly ever give out medals because there are so many people at each race they would go bankrupt just from the medals needed, so I was always disappointed to see posts from people around the country sporting their medals for any little race.  Now I'll finally have one too!!

I talked to a plastic surgeon's office this week and got answers to the majority of my questions that I had posed in last week's entry.  She was very sweet and first and foremost congratulated me on all of my hard work.  She asked how I did it and she seemed even more impressed.  She said the majority of people that they do the skin removal surgery for is from people who had weight loss surgery, like gastric bypass, so I felt proud that I was in the minority.  She asked how much I had left to lose and I told her about 30 pounds.  She said that the doctor wanted me to have been at my goal weight for at least a couple of months before I even come in for an official consultation because of possibly weight fluctuation.  I had figured this would be the case, but I wanted to get the official answer.  So, that basically strikes the plan for doing that surgery this summer.  I did also ask about a breast reduction and since that could be covered by insurance, could that be done at the same time to alleviate some of the costs of the skin removal and she said unfortunately not because they were both such invasive surgeries and would have to be done separately.

After talking with her and thanking her profusely for all of her kind words and being so helpful, I've set my mind on next summer.  It will give me a year to save as much money as possible (she also told me about their financing plan which made me happy so I wouldn't have to pay so much out of pocket) and to finally get my ass as close to my goal weight as possible.  Now, if I were to be still ten pounds away from my goal weight next summer, you bet your butt I'm still going to that surgeon's office.  Hell, they would probably be removing close to ten pounds of excess skin at that point.  (TMI, I know... I'm sorry.)  I've looked at some of the before and after photos that this doctor has performed and it just solidified my decision.  A lot of those woman look similar to me going in (a lot of them were worse than me as well) and the finishing results make me excited for what my results would be.

Okay, I'm off.  Got a long day ahead of me full of press and other goodies for the show.

Until next week!!