Friday, October 31, 2008

149.6 - Happy Halloween

Well the bad news is, Luke has a sinus infection and threw up once last night. The good news is, we live in modern times and he has an antibiotic (I thank God every time one of the kids is sick that we live in the 21st century...can you imagine how horrible life was before antibiotics?). And he slept through the night and has no fever this morning. Looks like we'll get to take him trick or treating after all.

And, more good news--I got to go to yoga last night!

I took Sophie to swim lessons while mom watched Luke, and I noticed there was a yoga class at 4:30. Since I'm disliking the treadmill more and more, I was dreading a run indoors. When I noticed the "Yoga Flow" class on the October schedule, I was thrilled. Just what I needed. Some mindful, in-the-moment exercise.

The instructor was wonderful. I felt relaxed during and after. Really worked my upper body, especially my upper back and shoulders.

After I got Sophie out of the pool and dressed, we raced home and I dropped her off with Mom and picked Luke up for his 6 p.m. appointment with the doctor. An hour and half later, we were home with an antibiotic, Sophie had had her bath and was working on her homework, and I wasn't completely insane because I'd had that magic hour for myself.

So today, I'm home with Luke for the morning until Mom gets here (she works half days on Fridays), and then we are going to see Sophie in her school Halloween play, and then I have lunch with a friend, and then it's Trick or Treat, and then we will go over to our friends' house for soup & chili.

Tomorrow Sophie has swim team again at 9 a.m. and I plan to take the Group Power class at the same time. Then we have our church friends' Halloween party, which I am SO looking forward to (because there will be massive amounts of margaritas consumed, by me).

I have no idea what we are wearing yet. It's a "beg, borrow, and steal" party. Tonight we'll each put 3 items on sheets of paper, then put them in a hat, and we each draw out 3 slips of paper. Whatever items we draw, we have to incorporate into our costume. And we can't buy anything--we have to beg or borrow (I'm assuming there will be no stealing involved) whatever we don't have. Can I just tell you I'm completely stressed over this? Not so much for me--I could care less if I meet the qualifications of the costume. I am hoping Mark doesn't care that much and doesn't end up spending all day trying to figure out a costume. Anyone who spends 3 hours putting on a Viking beard is likely to make a big deal over this thing. We shall see.

I really cannot believe it is November tomorrow. Especially since it's going to be 70 degrees today, which is awesome. I love being able to trick or treat without coats. The kids should have a blast.

Hope you and yours enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Plug for Roni

Roni from GreenLiteBites wants to be the next Food Network Star. I visited the Food Network's website and commented on her video. If you love Roni like I do (and I do! Like I told Food Network, I go to her website first for recipes...always), then go to this link and view her video and comment. Wouldn't it be fun to see her on TV? Thanks!

Thank you all for your nice comments on the costume. It does feel good to be able to wear that kind of outfit for Halloween now.

And now for some whining. Luke got sick yesterday after he'd only been at daycare for an hour and a half. Low fever, not sure what else is wrong with him other than a stuffy nose. He tends to get a virus and have a fever for a day, then is fine. My mom is keeping him today while I'm at the office.

I didn't get to workout Tuesday night because Sophie wasn't feeling up for swim lessons, and I didn't want to dump them both in Kids Club when she was supposed to be swimming. I didn't get to workout yesterday because Luke was sick. I haven't run since Saturday.

And I seriously am losing my mind.

And eating way too much for comfort (in every sense of that expression).

And am planning to remedy all this tonight.

IF the rest of the world cooperates.

Ice cream and cookies just don't do it for me anymore like a long run does.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

148.2 - Viking Pic

Here we are before Saturday's Halloween party. I took the wig off half way through the night, and Mark said I looked cuter with just my hair. Wish I'd known that from the start!

It took Mark 3 hours to put on his beard. He glued it on piece by piece with spirit gum. The man really gets into Halloween.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

150.6 - Rambling Recap

I'm feeling really spacey today--can't seem to put any coherent thoughts together--so this is going to be just a recap of the past few days.

Friday--John Prine was excellent. I didn't know one of his songs, but it didn't matter. He's a storyteller, and the stories were poignant, funny, and entertaining. I've never been to a concert where I sat on my butt the whole time, which we did at this one, and I really liked it. I'm getting so old! We'd had a big dinner--yummy arctic char fish & creme brulee for dessert--and I had a margarita too, so sitting down for 3 hours was fine by me.

Saturday--I slept until 10:30. Total awesomeness. Then I read my book a while. When it was nearing time for my haircut at 1:30, I decided I'd run there instead of drive. I'd guessed it was about 4 miles there, so it would be a nice run, then a rest while she cut my hair, then a nice run back. Ended up being only 3.1 miles there, and 3.4 miles back (took the long way home). I cannot express how stinking cool it was to run with a destination and a purpose, and leave the car in the garage.

The Halloween party Saturday night was fun. Lots of great costumes. The best was a couple who were Sara Palin & Barack Obama. She was a dead ringer for Palin. He wore a full-head rubber mask of Obama. And here's the best part (forgive me if you don't think this is funny)--the idea was that they were a couple, and she carried a newborn black baby doll. Can you imagine?

Sunday--Halloween party at church for the kids, then lunch at Bob Evans. Then pass out on the couch in the afternoon while the kids watch TV. I was so fried Sunday afternoon. Too much entertaining drains me, and I was out of it completely.

Then Monday--I felt like I was hungover even though I'd had nothing to drink the night before. All day, I was just in a fog. I left work early and went home and cleaned (everything was a mess from my nonattentiveness over the weekend). Then got the kids and went home and lit the first fire of the season in the fireplace, and made grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Needless to say, my weight has gone up.

I feel like such a yo yo right now. My body's a temple during the week; a playground on the weekends. And it's not likely to get better any time soon. We are going into the holidays, afterall. I'm going to have to run and lift weights--a lot--to make sure I keep things under control.

Tonight is Sophie's swim team, and I'm hoping I can swing it so I can do the 4:30 weights class. I'd like to run, too, but there's just not enough time.

And man, autumn has come on with a vengence. It was 40 degrees this morning at 9:30. Brrrrrr.

Friday, October 24, 2008

So, about the weekend

Tonight we are going to see John Prine in concert. Woohoo!

Okay, I have no idea who John Prine is. Mark is a fan of his, and I've heard, I think, one song. Something to do about a picture show. Anyway, it's a night out without children in a grown up setting. I will not complain about that. It's at 8 p.m., so hopefully we will have time for dinner out before hand. But who knows. Mark doesn't have time to talk with me during market hours in times like this. We'll figure it out around 5 or 6, I'm sure.

(Tangent: I am so sick of the words lever and de-lever. Sick sick sick of hearing it over and over and over again. Can you tell I watch CNBC all day?)

Then Saturday I'm getting my hair cut at 1:30. This is good and bad. Good, because I haven't had my hair cut in oh, about two months. Bad, because I was supposed to get it cut AND colored on Wednesday and she cancelled on me. I'd had that appointment for 6 weeks. And wanted to be pampered that day. And wanted a new hair color. Instead, I was disappointed and had to color it myself on Wednesday night. I have always colored my hair myself, and the last time I got my hair cut I'd decided to have her color it so she could make it darker & different. Her loss, my gain. It probably saved me $75. And my hair looks great (thank you L'loreal Colour Expert, color=biscotti).

And then Saturday night we have a grown up Halloween party. Mark is very picky about costumes--he's the creative one, I'd prefer to just go as myself. So even though I gave him some great ideas--Neo & Trinity from The Matrix (I have *always* wanted to be Trinity. She kicks ass), George & Jane Jetson, or Medieval Prince & Princess, he chose.....

Y'all don't really care what he's wearing, right? It's a boy viking costume, obviously.

I ordered the Large in this, because after the Wilma costume from last year (my first EVER feminine, "regular sized" Halloween costume out of a package) I knew they run small.

The Large is a little big! But it looks OK on me. I can't wear the leg things though because I'm only 5'5'' and apparently this costume was designed for women with legs like Julia Roberts. There is no leg exposure between the skirt and the boots on me. So I'm going to wear my brown boots I got from Dress Barn last hear, and maybe will cut the white stuff off the top of the costume boot covers and attach them to the insides of my boots. If I have the energy and time, that is.

And I need a wig. Gotta get that between now and tomorrow night. No sword for me, though. Mark's carrying the sword. Oh, and I won't have that cleavage going on! (Even though, y'all know my 34Ds could pull it off, hahaha.)

The kids will be at my mom's tonight and then she's bringing them back tomorrow so they can see us in our costumes, and she'll stay with them at our house Saturday night (my mom is a champ). Then Sunday we have Halloween at our church. The kids get to wear their costumes, hear the story about the origins of Halloween (our Christian Education director does an awesome job explaining the pagan and religious implications. I love that we don't eschew Halloween like so many other churches around here do), and then there's a little carnival and they hunt for candy in haystacks (candy hidden in bales of hay that have been scattered into haystacks). We might then go to our gym's Halloween party at 1 p.m. We'll see how the kids (and us) are holding up at that point.

On the food front--suckage! I totally caved & ate terribly last night, and then this morning Luke was up at 4:30 a.m. with a soaking wet diaper that had leaked, and I of course had to eat a bowl of grapenuts when I was still awake at 6 a.m. Didn't even bother weighing this morning. Just didn't want to face it.

I did run yesterday while Sophie had swim lessons. 2.5 miles, which isn't much but I'd taken 10 days off and was indoors, and I'll take it. I seriously cannot even do more than a mile on the treadmill anymore (which is what I did, then ran 15 laps on the track). And to think I once ran a 9 miler on the "dredmill." I'd rather run 90 laps around the indoor track now. I also did a pushup-challenge-esque pushup series, which was 7-5-5-5-7. And man I can feel it in my chest this morning.

I might run tonight. I don't know. I've still eaten poorly today (chocolate pie for lunch! OMG, I've lost it completely, haven't I?). And I just don't know if it's in me. Tomorrow, for really reals I'm going to the 9 a.m. weights class. I miss lifting weights so badly. Hopefully I'll remember that when it's time to get up tomorrow morning.

So that's the dealio around here. We're all healthy right now, which is a big deal and I'm thankful for it. I'm struggling with worry, though, which I hate because I know it's stealing my joy. When I hug my kids every morning and every night, it brings me some peace. They are such a gift.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

147.6 - Quickie

Had to post that weight today, before it goes up on me again.

I have little time to post right now, but I don't like going a long time without an update. Y'all might think I jumped off a roof because of the stock market continuing to crash, and I sure don't want you to worry if I'm gone too long.

You would worry, right?


So I have yet to do any kind of workout since the half marathon. I feel all squishy again and hate it that I've been so inactive for so long. TONIGHT while Sophie swims, I will run. And do some pushups.

Food is OK. Not perfect, but 90% good, which is alright by me for the time being.

Today I have the first grading period teacher's conference with Sophie's teacher. She got her report card yesterday and they always have conferences with every parent the first report card. She did great--only needing improvement on "listens attentively" and "organized & prepared." She gets both those issues from her dad. haha

We (Mark and I) have big weekend plans--without kids!--and I'll update you on those tomorrow. I'll check in with you all when I have some time.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

149.6* - Cooking as an Investment

When my husband and I talked about what he needed to do to improve his health so he could avoid having a heart attack like his two brothers have had recently, one of the things he said he needed was a personal chef. He just doesn't have time to cook for himself. Hell, most days he barely has time to even eat. (Seriously. He'll go all day long until he gets home after 6 or 7 p.m., and not have eaten a thing because he was "too busy." Oy.)

Since we aren't Oprah, there was no personal chef to be hired. So I appointed myself as his new food preparer extraordinaire.

This is no small feat. I'm not a natural cook. I usually only get enjoyment from cooking when it involves sugar, flour, butter, eggs, chocolate, and the oven (I like to bake. A lot). I do, however, have a vested interest in keeping my husband of 13 years and the father to my two young children alive and healthy for as long as possible.

And I'm learning to love cooking. I'm cooking with love. Even if that means the only time I can cook is at 10:30 p.m. on a Monday night.

The weekend being what it was, I didn't have time to grocery shop. So after the kids were in bed last night, I headed out with my mile-long list and bought healthy food at 9 p.m. at night.

Home and with groceries put away by 10 p.m., I was ready to collapse but knew that if I didn't make something healthy, I would be falling down on my commitment to the hubs' new lifestyle.

So I put on the rice cooker (extra long brown rice) and set to opening cans and measuring spices. It was a simple recipe I found on, for Black and Red Fiesta Beans and Rice. I've never made it before, but I found two cans of red beans in the cupboard and needed to use them since they expired in August of 2008 (what? they were fine).

I think it only took me about 10 minutes to assemble the food, and I let it cook about 20 minutes or so. The rice cooker did its thing while I watched Alton Brown on Good Eats. And by 11:30ish everything was done and put in the fridge, ready for several meals over the next few days. (And the beans and rice ROCK. I had some for lunch and I highly recommend this recipe. I tweaked it a bit, thanks to the comments on the website. I used 6 oz tomato paste instead of tomato sauce, and I used a can of Rotel Original instead of salsa. And instead of cayenne pepper I used paprika.)

This is the third new recipe in a week that I've made. Last week it was Roni's turkey burgers and turkey chili (both turned out awesome, as all Roni's recipes do).

And I'm secretly starting to enjoy cooking, even though it doesn't involve dropping cookie dough by rounded spoonfuls. I even looked for butternut squash last night at the grocery--they didn't have any, what's up with that?--and if I ever find some, I'm going to make Roni's butternut squash soup.

Why the new found joy of cooking? Perhaps it's the thrill of taking a bite of something *I* made and having it actually tastes good. And knowing I'm doing my husband some real good by feeding him healthy meals. And realizing I'm hopefully giving my kids the gift of more years with their dad by helping him get healthy.

It's a strange thing, learning to love to cook at age 38. But then, it was strange for me to become a runner at age 37, too. I'm learning to love the strange things in life.

Which better include a N. man who lives well into his 90s.

*I had a massive migraine this morning. One of the worst I've had in ages. I think I know why, and I'm embarrassed to admit I had 8 Oreos in the middle of the night. Yesterday was a stressful day, I still feel kind of crappy from last week's sinus infection, and I woke myself up with a coughing fit. I went to pee and then the Oreos sang their siren song. I've never had an Oreo headache, but I have had dark chocolate headaches, and I'm thinking my body is developing yet another aversion to food that's bad for me. First it was Taco Bell, then McD's salads, now it's Oreos. It's a bloody bad food mutiny, I tell you!

Okay, so here's the reason for the * in my title today. Even though my head was about to explode, someone had to get Sophie off to school, and that someone was me. I weighed after my first morning pee, as usual, and got 149.6. After Sophie got on the bus, I lost it and had to lay down with an ice pack on my head. Mark took Luke to day care, and I napped for about 45 minutes. 3 advil and 3 tylenol later, the pain was mostly all gone. And before I got in the shower, I weighed again, because it's what I do. As I've seen before, napping causes weight loss. My 2nd weigh in was 148.4. Isn't that a hoot? The body is a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

Monday, October 20, 2008

151.2 - Trying to get back to normal

Last week was so far from my new normal, it went full circle back to my old normal.

Bad food (oh so much bad food), no exercise, not enough sleep, and lots of stress.

I don't like the old normal. At all. It's scary how easy it is to fall back into old habits. Turns out, no matter how long I've been "good," the bad habits are not far under the surface. All it takes to let them out is sick kids, my own sickness, and an out of town husband.

Rarely am I excited about Mondays. But today, I was. The hubs got home last night at 9 p.m. I finally am starting to feel better. The kids are all better (knock wood). The weather is gorgeous. And today is a fresh start for my new normal.

My food today is carb down style, since I ate my young son's weight in sugar and starch this weekend. I'm planning for a few carb down days to get the water weight off and get my body used to good food again. Exercise may have to wait until tomorrow. We have a client coming in today at 4, so I can't run until after the kids are in bed (unfortunately, the grocery store wins out over the gym at 5:30 p.m. today, because we need some good food in the house), and I'm not holding out for that to happen.

I'm not letting the weight gain bother me. My clothes still fit. One week off isn't the end of the world. If anything, it taught me a good lesson. I felt like crap eating all that junk and not working out (of course, the sinus infection/cold didn't help).

And I don't want the old normal to become my normal normal, ever again.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

148.4 - Feed a cold, and other ramblings

It's the best of seasons. It's the worst of seasons.

I love this time of year. But man, the germs do come on with a vengeance.

My mom took the kids to McD's playland last Friday when she picked them up from school. I had neglected to tell her that we don't go to places like that any more. No Chuck E Cheese's (a.k.a. Yucky Sneezes), no McD's playland, no Pizza Hut indoor playground, no Simon Mall indoor playground. Every single time we take the kids to one of those things, one or both of them get sick.

Sure enough, Sophie and Luke were both extra snotty (their heads, not their behavior) this past weekend, and Sophie had a scratchy, coughy throat. The kids are both better--just the regular allergy stuff now (despite their nightly zyrtec & benadryl doses; I can't imagine what it would be like without those meds). Mark had a bad head cold yesterday and stayed home from work, and mine started late last night.

Just in time for me to feel sorry for myself and, you guessed it, drown myself in junk food. Feed a cold, indeed!

I've not run since Sunday's half. Didn't have it in me to run in the extra warm temps yesterday afternoon. And I'm sure the lack of endorphins is part of the reason I ran to the food in the first place. This afternoon if it doesn't rain, I plan to remedy that situation and get in a nice healthy run.

I also have been pretty much off my Crack Diet plan since the 2 days before the race. I'm eating semi-on-plan during the day, but every night I've had minor discretions and last night was a major one.

The reasons for my food ambivalence are varied & complex.

This is gonna sound weird, but I'm afraid to lose much more weight. Mark is really struggling right now with his weight and lack of opportunity to exercise, and I remember when I was over 200 pounds and he was teaching kick boxing and was super fit & skinny. I resented the hell out of him. I think now, the tables are turned and while he appreciates and enjoys my new body, there seems to be an unspoken limit to how thin I "should" get.

He and I had a big talk on Monday night, when he had an emotional break down (and I had a food meltdown that night, too). Today he's leaving to visit his brother in Colorado who had the heart attack a few weeks ago. The imminence of a heart attack is terrifying Mark right now, which frankly is a good thing. He's serious about changing his food intake (and he just went to the doctor and got his cholesterol Rx increased). But he's scared because he said he doesn't know how. And of course, he's scared he could die in as little as 5 years time (his dad died at age 51, and Mark is 46). I told him I'd cook for him and provide his food, and he needs to stay away from fast food. So far, it's working.

Even though it should be natural for a wife to cook for her husband, that's never been the dynamic in our family. Mark is the chef; I cook by recipes. I have no natural abilities in the kitchen and can only make things turn out well when I follow directions. Which is fine, if your tastes (like mine) are simple. Mark, on the other hand, has very complex tastes & is finicky about food. He's like the rat in Ratatouille... tasting his way through a recipe and making a fabulous dish out of next to nothing in the fridge.

But. He has no time for this. So he's going to be stuck with my recipes and my food, until he figures out another healthy way. And I have to give big props to Roni, who is my go-to recipe source. I cooked her Southwestern turkey burgers last night and they are awesome.

So I've got this mindset that I better just get in maintenance mode for now, and keep my weight around 147-148 for a while. Perhaps in the spring I'll shoot for another 8 pounds down. I'd really like to weigh 140 for the Indy half in May so I can see how much faster I can run (yeah, yeah....better, stronger, faster! It's the American way =).

This weight seems to agree with me right now, and I'm happy here.

But we all know that maintenance is a bitch.

And the bitch session is ON!

Debby, Gu's are an energy gel that runner's use to keep on keepin' on during long runs. I use them when I run longer than an hour. They've got about 100 calories each and provide fast energy to the body via sugar & (with some flavors) caffeine. They're syrupy goo (hence, the name Gu) and are in little pouches that fit in small pockets in running shorts. There are all kinds of different brands, but my favorite is Gu's Espresso Love. It has extra caffeine! And it tastes yummy, as far as these things go. I had a vanilla one once, and it was disgusting.

EDIT: Dang it, I feel miserable. Sinuses are on fire, scratchy throat, headachy. No run for me today. I can barely keep myself upright at my desk. It's gonna be a fun night with just me and the kids tonight... I'm sure chocolate will be involved in one form or another.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

148.8 - Race recap

I'll try not to bore you too many race details. My Indy Half report seriously was the War and Peace of blog posts. Won't do that to y'all this time.

Here's the official stats from the race results website:
overall place: 945 out of 1930
division place: 61 out of 160
gender place: 339 out of 1035
time: 2:15:42
pace: 10:22
5k time: 31:47
10k time: 1:04:20
15k time: 1:36:12

Pretty cool numbers, eh? I'm going to be able to get seeded for the Indy Half next May quite a bit closer because of this faster time, which beats my first half by almost 14 minutes.

How about a one paragraph recap: Got up at 5 a.m. Left the house at 5:45. Drove downtown in 10 minutes. Parked easily. Rode a school bus 15 minutes to the start (haven't been on a school bus in over 20 years!). Walked around in the chilly air for 45 minutes before the 7 a.m. start. Peed twice before the start. Needed to pee again at 6:55 but too late for another pit stop. Lined up between the 10 and 11 min mile pace corrals. First 3 miles were hilly, and I ran every single hill. Peed at mile 2--no waiting at the portapotty, woohoo! Hit my inhaler twice during the race, once around mile 5 and again around mile 10, and that helped my breathing big time. Took 3 Gu's total--one 15 minutes before and then every 45 minutes after (just like the GU package says to do! I'm so easily influenced). Felt really strong the entire race up until mile 12, when I was feeling the ache in my feet & legs. Passed people like crazy from mile 11 on. I walked only during the water & gatorade stations and when I took my Gu's and inhaler hits. I ran this race. The whole blessed thing. And the course was beautiful. I live in a great town.

I am still on a high and can't wait to run the next one.

My Garmin splits tell a fun story too:
Mile 1: 10:22 (hills!)
Mile 2: 9:29
Mile 3: 9:19 (downhills! and felt a little rested after my quick pee break)
Mile 4: 10:04
Mile 5: 10:11
Mile 6: 10:10
Mile 7: 9:41 (yeah baby!)
Mile 8: 10:16
Mile 9: 10:17
Mile 10: 10:48
Mile 11: 10:35
Mile 12: 10:07 (put my head down and sucked it up...this is when I started passing people like mad, and stopped taking water station breaks)
Mile 13: 10:00
Mile 0.1: 10:02

Total: 2:12:26, Avg pace: 10:06

I pretty much ate whatever I wanted on Sunday, and did a whole lot of nothing the rest of the day. Monday my quads were pretty sore but today I feel back to normal. I can't wait to run on Wednesday.

I'll post tomorrow about my food melt down last night--gah!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


What an amazing race today! I blew my goal out of the water, unofficially finishing in 2:12:36. Officially it will be around 2:17....I had to pee at mile 2 and my actual mileage at the finish line was probably closer to 13.2. I stopped Garmin at 13.1 miles, though, so I'm not sure exactly how much extra it was.

According to Garmin, my average pace was 10:07 min/mile.

The first 3.1 miles were my fastest 5k yet--30:05.

I ran the last mile in 10:01.

Those are the digits I remember. Garmin's battery's dead so I'll recharge it tomorrow and post more stats & a longer report.

I just got back from Bob Evans where I had cinnamon hotcakes with Mark & Sophie (Luke's at my mom's).

All in all, it was a most excellent day.

Now it's time for a nap.

Friday, October 10, 2008

146.2 - A new low

And I'm not talking about the stock market (although it's obviously there, too, but that's nothing to be happy about).

I was so shocked to see that weight this morning that I got on and off the scale not my usual 3, but 6 times. How does a body lose 2.6 pounds in one day? It's as big a mystery as when the Dow is going to stop falling.

Needless to say, my food yesterday was spot on target--no cheating, no night eating, lots of good protein and veggies--and I ran 3 miles at the gym while Sophie had swim team.

And this morning I'm comfortable in my size 6 Old Navy jeans. I could wear the size 6s anytime I got to around 152, but they were a little snug. Today they are comfy, even a little loose around the waist line. Crazy stuff!

I've got two days of rest today and tomorrow, and two days of filling my glycogen stores back up (aka carbo loading) in anticipation of my race on Sunday.

I'd hoped to be at 145 by now, but 146.2 is close enough for me. I think it's going to be a good run. An early run--7 a.m. start!--but a good one.

I'll be sure to pop in on Monday at the latest to post a report.

And the markets? I told Lori I'm now at the point where things are so ridiculously scary, I can pretty much just sit around and laugh maniacally. I watch CNBC on my PC while I work, so it's in my face constantly. But at this point I'm just metaphorically putting my hands over my ears and singing "LALALALA" until things turn around. They have to soon, or we will be at ZERO in about 12 days at the pace we are headed downward. Men who are smarter than me are saying we are near a bottom, but who the heck knows. Nobody does. So LALALALA and at least the markets can't go lower over the weekend.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

148.6 - When you least want to... when you most need to.

That's what I reminded myself of yesterday when I finally made it out for a four mile run.

Wednesdays have become "my afternoon off" from the kids lately, when DH picks them up and does something with them (tangent--how is it fair, in any way whatsoever, that when Mom picks up, it's grocery store/ Target/ swim lessons/ the gym/ and/or home for homework, dinner, play/TV, baths, go to bed. But when Dad picks up it's pizza place/ the park for a picnic/ or (last night) the Fall Festival for carnival rides? Dad = fun & games. Mom = all work & no fun. Bitter much?)

Anyway... I changed into my workout clothes & left the office after 5 p.m. I ran to Target to return some too-big clothes for Sophie (sizes for kids are just as messed up as they are for us women!) and some defective sprinklers, and then of course had to shop for a few things. The entire time I'm walking around Target I'm repeating under my breath "I don't want to run. I don't want to run. I don't want to run." This attitude was entirely influenced by hormones. I'm in the midcycle BLAH session, which totally bites, as any woman older than 35 well knows.

So my hormones are through the floor and screaming at me "BUY CANDY NOW" and "DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RUN." I bought some candy--my fave, candy corn autumn mix--but I didn't open it (still haven't) and got my ass in my car and drove to a friendly neighborhood street and hit the road.

I hated the entire first mile. Hated it so much that I ran myself into the ground and finished it in 9:30. That's what happens to me when I run mad--I run faster to get it the hell over with. The next 3 miles were alternating slow/fast/walk. I was all over the place. By mile 3 I felt much better and by mile 4 I was a new person.

41 minutes of running = happier, healthier, less bitchy Laura. See, this is why I need the night off from the kids. Imagine my poor family had I not gotten in that run. They'd have a lot more to tell Oprah one day had I gone straight home and not let the endorphins kick the grumpy hormones to the curb.

On a high from the run, I got home (the family wasn't there for another 30 minutes, woohoo!) and changed & cleaned the kitchen & made dinner for everyone. I ate on plan. Put the kids down for bed, and while DH talked with his sister on the phone*, I went to the family room and watched my TV boyfriend, Alton Brown. I *heart* Good Eats & DVR it every night. Of course, watching episodes of pancakes & waffles probably isn't the best way to end an evening. But hey, that's what my boy had to offer so I enjoyed every minute of it.

I fell asleep in the recliner which is a big No No on my "no night eating" plan. Wouldn't you know it, I woke up at midnight and ate 6 oreos (double stuffed!) and 2 chips ahoy. Not horrible, but it broke my weeks long streak of no night eating.

So. I'm back on the wagon today. Eating a carb down day in preparation for my carb up days tomorrow and Saturday before the Half on Sunday. I'm just hoping I don't go completely mad and wreck my mental focus on good food. Once it starts, it can be insidious. It's so easy to let a little slip here and there add up to going back to horrible habits.

Today I'm planning on running 3 miles and then the next two days I'll take off. I have to share this new ugly fact--I have a plantar's wart on the bottom of my foot, just south of the ball of my foot near my arch. Just this week have I noticed it, and that's because it hurts. I can't walk barefoot in the house is how bad it hurts; it's OK when I wear my cushioned flip flops. I didn't notice it much on my run yesterday, and I'm hoping that it doesn't get worse before Sunday. Next week I'll get it removed at the doctor, but I'm afraid to do anything with it before the race for fear it will hurt worse.

*DH is going to Colorado next weekend to visit his brother Jeff, who had a heart attack a couple weeks ago. I didn't mention it here before because, well, it just didn't affect me that much yet. Other than, of course, it's just one more thing for me to worry about. Heart disease is a freaking nightmare in DH's family. His dad died of a massive attack at age 50. His brother Keith is 58 and has had 2 heart attacks already. Jeff is only 53, and exercises a lot & is in pretty good shape (of course, he had untreated high cholesterol and a taste for rich foods, so add that to his genes and I guess it's not impossible to imagine him having a heart attack). DH is 46. And about 20 pounds overweight right now. And has a fairly horrible diet (I'm trying to feed him lunch now, but he won't eat what I make for dinner, the doofus). And isn't working out like he wants to. And has massive stress in his life. Recipe for a heart attack? Absolutely. Scary, scary stuff. He is on medicine for cholesterol, but how much that can avert is anyone's guess.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

148.8 - Off the rails

I completely lost it last night. Had a great day food wise up until after I put the kids to bed. Once I started eating, I couldn't stop.

First half a tub of cool whip free. Next, finished the cookie dough. Then chips & salsa. And finally 2 no pudge brownies, which are in no way no pudge when they finish off a binge like that.

Mentally, I've had it. And it's all work related. Even though I've tried to put it into words, there's really too much "thou shalt not blog about" stuff going on. So I'll just leave it at that.

The painful part is, we are no where near being close to the end of this. And it's scaring the pants off me.

If I can't get myself under control, those pants are going to be 5 times bigger than they are now.

Monday, October 06, 2008

148.4 - Five and Ten

For a diet and running blog, there's not been much running going on lately. And you sure wouldn't know I had a half marathon on the calendar in October by my recent mileage.

But Friday and Sunday I finally got in some decent runs.

Friday was, I dare say, one of the best runs I've ever had. It wasn't just the speed--even though the speed is definitely a major plus. It was the whole experience. Cooler temps, a breeze, mentally I was totally into the run, and the time just flew by. Even in running, time flies when you're having fun.

The splits:
5.01 miles in 50:00, avg pace 9:59
mile 1 - 10:21
mile 2 - 9:55
mile 3 - 9:56
mile 4 - 9:55
mile 5 - 9:50
the last 4 seconds - 7:36 :)

Sunday afternoon I ran a I have to get this darn run done run. And the splits tell the story on this one, too. I started the run at 3 p.m. with a temp around 80 and a very strong sun. I sought out shade to run in, but obviously there were long stretches in the sunshine. Also, I ran 2 significant hills, in mile 3 and mile 4. At mile 6 I was about to call it quits. I went through the whole mental dialog that runners go through (I guess other runners do it only me?).

Why are you doing this? You are so tired, just go home. No, I can't quit now. I'm over half way done! But you're hot and tired and only a mile from home. 7 miles is good enough. You'll still be able to run the half next week if you stop now. NO! I'm not quitting. What kind of loser would I be if I quit because I'm hot and tired? So shut up and get moving.

I should note here that my food intake before my run was about half healthy, half crappy. Saturday night I had fresh baked chocolate chip cookies while watching a movie with DH at home, and Sunday after lunch I had some chocolate chip cookie dough straight out of the container (Sophie's school fundraiser cookie dough came in last week. I avoided it until the weekend, and then it kept calling my name over and over again). I have no doubt that the food in my body wasn't good enough for 10 miles, and it's a good lesson to make sure I carb up this coming weekend with healthy carbs so I can have a healthy run on Sunday.

The splits:
10 miles in 1:54:38, avg pace 11:28
mile 1 - 11:07
mile 2 - 9:47
mile 3 - 11:01
mile 4 - 10:52
mile 5 - 14:19 (walked & took a Gu)
mile 6 - 11:29
mile 7 - 11:25
mile 8 - 11:33
mile 9 - 12:08
mile 10 - 10:56
the last 3 seconds - 7:55

I'm a little sore today, primarily in my quads & hips. Mostly I'm just relieved I got the run finished. I think as long as I'm well fueled, hydrated, and rested, and if the weather is cool and not rainy, I should kick some serious ass on Sunday. The five miler Friday gave me a real confidence boost in my ability to run fast through a bit of distance. In a race environment I think I can pour it on and get a decent finishing time. My goal is to finish in 2:20. My super secret goal (which of course I'll share with you guys) is to finish in 2:15.

Back to crackalacking today. My carb up meals this weekend weren't planned. They were "oh it's there, why the hell not eat it." And Sunday afternoon after I ran 10 miles, I was pretty hungry and felt "entitled" to eat a hamburger and a little baked corn casserole and a brownie and a no-bake cookie, at our church's annual fall picnic. I got back from my run, showered and changed, and went to church with the family within 30 minutes of walking in the door. I was exhausted and wanted to lie down, but instead I stood up for another hour and a half and talked & watched my kids play.

Oh! I forgot to tell you that I got a Champion running skirt at Target on clearance for $4.98, and I love it. Love it! I still wear my Shorties under it because the boy shorts aren't long enough to cover my chub rub and I am emphatically anti-chafe. But the skirt is awesome. I don't have to pull my shorts down from creeping up between my thighs. Now I want a better skirt--this one is OK, but it does pooch out over my tail bone a little because my hips are too wide I guess, I don't know--and I don't want to run in shorts any more. I'm going to run the half in a skirt. Whooda thunk it?

Friday, October 03, 2008

147.6 - New habits

I was pleased to see only a one pound gain after yesterday's carbing up. I've read of other people getting frustrated at losing the same pounds over and over on the carb down/carb up thing, but I'm still moving in a net-negative direction so I'm OK with the fluctuations. My excel spreadsheet that I track my weight in daily (which I started in March of 2007) really helps keep the numbers in perspective, too.

One of the best things this new way of eating has done for me is helped me kick the night eating habit. It's been 29 days of stopping my eating for the day with my last meal or planned snack, usually around 8 or 9 p.m. and sometimes as early as 6 or 7 p.m., depending on the day and the meal plan.

Of course the "21 days to form a habit" has come into play. My brain, my body, my way of life are now accustomed to not having to nosh on cookies & chips while watching TV. So my mind isn't filled with thoughts like "must eat chex mix NOW" like it used to be.

I also have changed my evening habits to help keep the night eating at bay, and those have stuck around too. I do chores most nights, at least for a little while, instead of just flopping down in the recliner to watch TV after the kids are asleep. When I want something to eat at 10 or 11 p.m. while I'm reading a book or watching TV or finishing a chore, I remind myself that breakfast is a mere 6 hours away and won't my Ezekial bread french toast taste so much better if I'm actually hungry? I used that self talk just last night. And I fall asleep in my bed instead of on the couch with the TV on, which keeps me out of the kitchen in the middle of the night (family room & kitchen are one big room at our house) and helps me be better rested, too.

It's not just the lower carbs/better carbs that is causing the weight loss. Night eating has been a demon of mine for years and years, and obviously not filling my body with food at 11 p.m. is a positive step for weight reduction.

It's also interesting to note that when you aren't eating junky carbs, you don't crave junky carbs. Yes, I still have cravings. I physically crave chocolate a couple times a month, and on carb up days I notice that I want more sugar after I've had some sugar. But on carb down and baseline days, I'm really balanced. When I notice I'm craving something, I look at the clock and realize, hey it's time for my protein snack. So I eat my planned for food, and I'm good.

Which brings me to another habit--planning. I have never been on a diet where I've had to plan so much for what I put in my mouth. Some people could see that as a disadvantage. Perhaps it is. But I would say that anything that has me eating real, whole foods, and not going to a fast food restaurant for a "healthy" salad, is a very good thing. I have a limited menu and eat the same things again and again, but it's OK right now. I like those things. And it makes the planning and preparing easier.

I've not been perfect the past 29 days on this plan. I've had a few slip ups, but I got right back on track and it wasn't even that hard to pick it up again.

Sunday begins week 5, which is the "accelerated fat loss" cycle. I can't wait to see what happens next.

If anyone is wondering, as Jenn mentioned in the comments of my last post, I will carb up for 2 days before I run the half marathon on October 12th. I want to lose weight, but I want to finish this run strong & healthy and I know my muscles need every drop of glycogen they can get.

And yes, I'm happy they passed the bail out package. Did I expect the market to rally today? Yes and no. I'm not at all surprised we are where we are right now, because things didn't get all better just because the President signed a new bill into law. But. At least the banks will likely stop failing and people will be able to get school loans and car loans and businesses will be able to make payroll. We aren't anywhere close to being out of the woods on this economic crisis, and it's going to be a rough couple 2 or 3 years, regardless. And if you have another opinion on the whole bail out thing--I'm probably not the best person to share it with. =)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

146.6 - Pumpkin/Run/Anniversary

I just got back from lunch with my girlfriend for her birthday. We went to the Grand Traverse Pie Company, and I had the best pumpkin pie I've ever had.

Of course, thinking it was the best pie I've ever had has nothing to do with the fact that I've been looking forward to it for over a week. Haha.

I love pumpkin and look forward to pumpkin foods every year in the fall. Today's pie was just the first of many I'm sure I'll enjoy over the next couple of months. And since it was a carb up day for me, I enjoyed it with no guilt or remorse. And I don't even feel stuffed.

Yesterday I got in a fabulous run. It's unreal what a difference the cooler temps make. I ran 4.7 miles and averaged (ready for this?) 10:07 min/mile. That's a great pace for me over a longer distance. I am beginning to think I could possibly hit my time goal for the half marathon next weekend. If the temps stay low, that is.

And I am in no doubt that my lower weight is also helping my speed improve. Losing these past 9ish pounds has been a real gift to my running, not just my waist line (which is hovering below 30 inches now. woohoo!).

On October 1, 2007, I hit 155 pounds for the first time since my 20s. So I've officially hit that magic "one year" of maintaining my weight loss. If LA Weight Loss were still in business, I'd have graduated this month. One year is supposed to mean I have a greater chance of keeping off the weight. At least for now, I certainly feel like I'm headed for a lifetime of a healthy body.

(Loving the scale today. I am so close to my goal. I really think I can get to 145 by my half on October 12th, which is a full 10 pounds less that I'll have to carry around for 13.1 miles than I did at the Indy half. I'm sure my knees will thank me for that.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

147.0 - Control

Today is day 3 of carbing down, and this is scary to say but I kind of like it.

I love knowing that the scale will be lower tomorrow because I ate fewer carbs today. I am thoroughly looking forward to my carb up day tomorrow (pumpkin pie at lunch!), but am already disappointed in knowing that Friday my weight will go back up.

This is a dangerous little game, don't ya think?

I've never thought I could have an eating disorder. And don't get me wrong--I don't have an eating disorder now, other than, you know, I weigh myself every day and record everything I'm putting in my mouth. But that's called successful weight management, yes?

In all seriousness--I can totally see the attraction to controlling food intake and feeling more in control by eating a certain way. I *like* that empty feeling. I *like* eating clean food. I like how I feel, how I look, how my clothes are fitting looser when I'm not eating junk food.

I'm not in that "I won't eat so I have control" mind set. I'm in the "I won't eat junk food so I have control" mind set. Is there a difference?

I think so. I hope so.

Anyway, I'm not making myself throw up and I'm eating every 3-4 hours, so clearly I'm not bulimic or anorexic.

Just wondering out loud about eating mentality.....