Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Well, I've been doing this thing I always do after a race, where I talk myself out of staying on my running schedule. Skipped my long run last week, went to the movies instead. Stayed in bed yesterday morning, had to cut my run short in the evening. I just feel like if I don't have an upcoming big race, I totally slack off.

But I did get in 4 miles yesterday after work, so that was good. I'm leaving tomorrow morning for church camp, and I'll be there until Friday. There will be some hikes and other opportunities to get some exercise, but I'm kind of taking a break from WW this week because I won't be able to calculate PP of any of the things we'll be eating. My weight has plateaued over the past few weeks, but I know it's because I have been going way over my allowed PP every week. So I'm lucky I haven't gained.

I'm having trouble with calculating activity PP. I use this calculator: http://www.exercise4weightloss.com/activity-points-calculator.html which works very well, but I can never figure out if my runs are moderate or heavy. I am definitely more of a jogger than a runner, and since I run longer distances, I generally try to stick to a pace where I'm not breathing too heavily, so that I can maintain for the full run. So that makes me think that I should calculate as moderate, but when I was doing that, I was losing like 3-4 lb per week, which I know is a lot faster than they recommend. But high effort seems like too many points for jogging. Anyone out there do Weight Watchers and have any tips?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

American Fork Canyon Half Marathon Recap

So, like I said in my last post, I ran the American Fork Canyon Half Marathon last Saturday. I was really nervous about this one, even though I've done 3 half marathons already. I started back up with running in January, and then my boss at work told me about this race. It's sponsored by my work, so entry was like $30 for employees (regularly $70) so I figured I'd give it a try. I trained really well for it, except for the last month (which is the most important....) but I had two floods in my house, and my grandpa passed away in that month. So I felt proud of myself for getting runs in, even though they weren't as long as they should have been. My longest was 8.5 miles, which was the week before the race, so I was worried about my endurance and ability to finish. I also had pretty bad hip pain on my longer runs, so I was nervous about that.

So, the night before the race, Chris, my parents, and I all headed to Olive Garden for some pre-race pasta. I went to bed around 8, since I had to be to the bus by 4:00 a.m. I woke up every hour, thinking I had missed it. But somehow, when the alarm went off at 3:00, I felt pretty rested. Ate my oatmeal and drank some water, took some ibuprofen, and my dad dropped me off. Rode a bus for about 30 minutes up the canyon, and when we reached the top, it was completely dark and freezing. I could tell who had run it before, because they were dressed in sweats and sweatshirts, with blankets and beanies. Note to self. We sat up there for about an hour or so, and then started down the path! The first mile was super steep downhill, so I was running very fast.

I tried to pace myself a bit for the next few miles, and when I arrived at mile 5, it was still freezing so I still had on my long sleeve shirt over my tank top. One photographer told me to do something funny, and the other one was yelling that he couldn't see my bib....so this happened:

The coolest thing about this race was that it was a benefit for patients in the area who have cancer, and 100% of the entry fees went to help cover treatment for those who can't afford it. Every 200 yards or so, there were signs along the course that had a quote from someone who had cancer, or whose family member had cancer. It was such an inspiring and motivational way to keep myself going. I loved it! The first 9 miles were completely downhill, so the flat roads on miles 9-13 felt a little challenging. 

Also, since it was down a canyon, the roads we ran on were curved and slanted, so the outsides of my hips got sore. It was a miracle, but the right hip I'd been having all that trouble with didn't actually hurt at all. It was a fantastic race, and I was able to run the whole thing, walking only through the water stops. When I got to the end, Chris and my parents were there to cheer me on and give me high fives, and it was just a great experience overall!

I am planning to do some speed work over the next 6-12 months, and look forward to running it again next year and beating my time!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

so, i haven't been blogging. it's probably fine, because nearly everyone i have on my list has a similar year in their last post as well :) but i miss it, and i've been reading TONS of blogs lately in an effort to keep up with my attempts to lose weight. so i think i'm going to come back, but add in more about my efforts, along with the other things that are going on in my life.

so, if weight loss blogs are super boring or awkward to you, feel free to skip out on mine going forward.

i gained back about 30-40 of the 100 lb i lost over the past year. bummer. it just goes to show that jim gaffigan was wrong: "when i see really fit people at the gym, i just want to tell them to go home. you made it. you won." i got too comfortable in bad habits, and ate way more than i needed...plus, with a knee injury and a general feeling of laziness, i wasn't working any of it off. so, shockingly enough, i gained weight! so here i am. one of my very favorite bloggers talks a lot about weight watchers, so i decided to give it a shot on my own. I found a free points calculator app, figured out how many i get per day plus how many i earn for my favorite exercise, and off i went. i do love weight watchers, because i think it's logical plus the easiest way to track. it's hard for me to remember that i ate 364 calories for breakfast plus 579 for lunch, so that leaves me with...how many? whereas points are just so much simpler. 4 points for breakfast, 29 to go.

i also started training for a half marathon, which is actually my 4th half marathon, but i haven't done one since 2009. i was training for the st george marathon that same year, and my knee was acting up so i visited a sports med dr who basically told me that the cartilage in my right knee was gone, and was fading fast in the left. he encouraged me not to run, and that's about when i stopped. i was frustrated and upset, but i didn't want to spend my 30s not being able to walk, and in that moment, it seemed like it was pretty serious.

fast forward to last year, when i got fed up of forcing myself to do the elliptical or stationary bike, so i went to a sports med dr who is completely non-surgical, and focuses on healing. he told me that my quads and calves are strong, but the muscles surrounding my knees are weak and that's causing my knees to take all the strain. he also told me that if i lose weight, the pressure on my joints will be drastically alleviated. (!!) so, i did 6 weeks of no running while doing daily strengthening exercises, plus i started taking glucosamine/chondroiton and calcium every day. and the fabulous news is that i can run with no knee pain!

i trained for and ran the american fork canyon half marathon (recap to come) and it was a great race. i loved it and can't wait to run it again next year. but i did notice that this time around, my legs were sore for much longer. i attribute that partially to the fact that the first 9 miles were downhill, so it used different muscles. but i also know that i am heavier than i was when running any of the previous 3 half marathons, so that's putting pressure on my legs. after the st. george training injury, i talked myself out of ever doing a marathon. but i'm now thinking that once i can reach a better weight, i will do a marathon. my body just can't take it quite yet.

so that's what's up! i have 2 10K's on the agenda, one in july and one in august. my goal for the next 6 months is to work on speed training with intervals. i have great endurance, and can run a long way, but am pretty slow. so i want to work on getting a little faster!