Friday, October 12, 2012

Weekend Danger Zone

TGIF! Who doesn't look forward to a of couple days off and some R&R? The problem with the weekend, for me, is the temptation to overeat, munch on junk food, down a few beers and/or totally blow off my workouts. Ugh!

This is especially true when I have company from out-of-town, attend a party or go out to eat with my family. My weekend cravings and failings get full blame for why the needle on my scale hasn't budged since September 26th!

How do I remedy this situation? First, I need to stop taking a break from my calorie consumption goal when I'm off the clock. I do manage to sneak in one workout during the weekend already. It's time to push for a second even if it means getting up before my family so they don't feel like I'm neglecting them.

I saw this really great article from, "9 Eating Habits That Lead to Weight Gain." Check it out! I could identify with a lot of these habits, and while I've successfully curtailed some of the worst, it was an excellent reminder of other areas that need improvement.

Here's to a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Abdominal Help Wanted

My husband ran upstairs last night when he heard me "making a lot noise." By the time he got there I was face down on the floor recovering from two sets of ten sit-ups. 20 is definitely unimpressive, but I am working on it. If you'll recall back in July I was unable to do even one measly sit-up so 20 is progress.

I know I need to keep working on strengthening my abdominal muscles, but I feel pretty unmotivated to do it. I enjoy all the running and biking, but sit-ups and planks are pretty hard for me right now. Like most, I tend to want to do the things that come easy. I need to "suck it up" as my high school gym teacher used to bellow during class.

Anybody have any great suggestions or new improved workouts for abs? I wonder if I should buy an ab belt or one of those fat jiggling machines like my aunt used to have in her basement. Ahhhh... the easy way out?

Are those ladies enjoying vodka greyhounds?

Vodka Greyhounds
1.75 oz. 80 proof vodka (96 calories)
5 oz. grapefruit juice (60 calories)

Pour vodka and grapefruit juice into a highball glass filled with ice, stir well and serve. (156 calories)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Take Time to Enjoy the Scenery

What a beautiful day! I know there are only a few more nice days before winter, and I definitely took advantage of it. I went for a bike ride even though my legs were tired from yesterday's run. I think it actually alleviated some of the muscle tightness along the back of my legs.

As I set out, I determined right away that I wasn't going to push in terms of speed. Since I'm working to increase my cycling mileage, I need to extend my routes. So, today I toured my area in hopes of finding and exploring new trails. I definitely do not want to be stuck circling the lake in Central Park 20 times to makeup 20 miles. Maybe this winter if that's the only area cleared of snow I'll have to settle, but hopefully, I have another couple months before that happens.

I should mention that my husband recently bought me some new cycling wear. I am so thankful! Today, I wore a thermal soft-shell under an outer wind/rain stopper jacket, and it was perfect. The material successfully wicked away the sweat keeping me chill-free for the ride's duration.

My tour took me north along a familiar route around Lake Owasso in Shoreview, down to Roseville's Central Park and around Bennett Lake. Then, I started making it up as I went along. I took Victoria Street to the Reservoir Woods trail and from there to McCarrons Lake. I happened upon Villa Park and cycled through it ending up at Dale Street, Finally I headed back home. In all, it was 16.1 miles. It took me an hour and a half to complete. For a nice leisurely ride, I managed to burn 1053 calories.

Here's a link to my route - Bike Route 10/6/12

I'm not a world class athlete in training. I'm on this journey to lose weight, improve my health and relieve stress. I need to remind myself of that more often and take time to enjoy the scenery.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I Can Run for Miles and Miles and Miles

Okay, so I'm a little sore in the back of my thighs. I figure it's punishment for pushing my body to its limit today. I actually managed to run 10.2 miles. As most of you reading my blog know, I am NOT a fast runner by any means. That 10.2 mile was 2:15:00 of pure loco motion.

Every year the nonpublic school my daughter attends holds a "marathon" to raise money for new computers, sporting equipment and other things deemed necessary to educate and enrich the lives of its students. When we left the house this morning I didn't intend on running a full 10 miles. The furthest distance I'd run up until today was a little over 6 miles.

When we arrived my daughter checked in receiving her punch card to track her laps. One lap around the lake is approximately one mile. I bumped into an old family friend I hadn't seen in some time. She was shocked at my appearance. I have to admit that I have been getting this reaction a lot over the past couple weeks, and it feels SOOO good! I've worked really hard since January, and while I see it paying off on the scale and my clothing size is shrinking, it's so rewarding to have my weight loss recognized by other people.

My daughter decided to roller blade this morning, and we agreed to meet in the playground area after the event. Since I'm all about safety she wore a helmet, knee pads and wrist guards. I wasn't worried about her getting hurt with all the protective gear in place, and honestly, she was looking forward to ditching mom and hanging out with her friends. There was a lot of adult supervision since other nonpublic schools were also using the lake and park today for their own marathons. I felt completely comfortable splitting up. After all, I would probably lap her every ten minutes. She's not a speed skater, by any means.

With everything all squared away, I took off noticing right away that I was one of the only people actually running. Most were walking while chatting with friends, drinking hot coffee or eating hot dogs. Oh, well. I just felt the need to get in a good workout so I wouldn't have to take away from my family's weekend time. Although, that coffee looked good especially since it was barely 40 degrees out.

The first mile started a bit slow. I'm having a little pain in my right hip. A couple days ago, I was running at night with my headlamp and tripped over a heave in the sidewalk nearly crashing and burning. Miraculously, I was able to stumble out of the fall, but I tweaked my hip. That was a six mile run, and my graceless trip happened about mile three. I was able to finish that run, but I've definitely been a little sore ever since. Today, I figured if I just stretched the leg out a bit the pain would subside, and I was right. After the second mile, I was feeling really good and stronger than ever.

As I started on the third mile, I decided it was time to push myself a little further. I've been considering training for a triathlon. I've done a few 5K runs combined with a 12-mile bike ride. Today, I just wanted to gain some running distance. In my head, I set the goal at ten miles, but I didn't share that with my daughter until I saw her hanging out at the rest area after my ninth mile. As I ran past, I told her, "Only .9 mile left, baby." She had taken her roller blades and safety gear off. Excitedly, she fell into step behind me and ran/walked that final mile, too.

There were a couple women punching lap tickets for the kids that stopped me afterwards to ask me how I managed to run for so long. I told them that when I began my journey in January of this year I could barely jog one minute. One of the women immediately interrupted with a knowing nod, "Oh, you had a gastric bypass didn't you?" She was quite surprised when I replied, "No, it's been a lot of running, biking, exercising and believe it or not good old fashioned calorie counting." I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the look on people's faces when I say that!

Tonight, as I sit by a warm fire writing this entry I feel so happy. Believe me as I walked to the car and my muscles started tightening along the back of my legs I wondered if I had lost all sense. By the way, my car seat has a butt heater, and that was a lifesaver. I also had a long, hot bath after we arrived home.

I was really hungry all day, but I watched my calorie intake. I didn't want to blow the entire 1300 calorie deficit created by the run. Besides, this morning before we left for the marathon I ate pumpkin donut holes. I really try not to eat high calorie, low nutrition food. However, I'm going to credit them for giving me an extra boost.

Overall, I feel awesome both physically and mentally. This was definitely a confidence boost, and I'm looking forward to testing my new improved self to see what else I can accomplish.