17 Down

I am about a week and a half out from my first 5k. I’m a little behind schedule on C25k, which kind of sucks. Originally I began it with enough time to practice running a 5k for about a week before the actual run, but it’s looking now like I may not finish the program before then. I am still going to do my best and give it all I’ve got.

Last week I had to run 20 straight minutes. I’m not gonna lie – it was hard. I failed the first time. The second time I did it, but only by decreasing my pace pretty much the entire time. I have been jogging at 4.8 MPH for a few weeks now. I ran the first 8 minutes at my usual speed and then turned it down to 4.4 for the rest of the time. I’m not very happy with that, but everything I have read about running says not to focus on your speed but your ability to finish and keep going, that you can focus on speed later. So, I’ve been trying to remember not to run myself too hard and listen to my body.

I decided to start taking progress photos. I took my first set the other day. I am down 17 pounds in this picture, which kind of makes me cringe because clearly, I have a lot of work to do. That just means I was really heavy. I’m kind of glad I don’t have any starting pictures. When I began tracking my calories on December 17th, 2012 I weighed 209 pounds. This is me on March 18th, 2013 at 192.

Like I said, I have a long way to go but I am happy with my progress so far. I am down 17 pounds in 13 weeks, and that’s pretty awesome. 7 weeks ago, when I began C25k, I could barely run for a full minute and now I’m up to 20. That is also pretty awesome.

 

What Would Michonne Do?

You should be excited, because this is yet another post about running.

If you don’t want to read another post about running, here’s another goat-screaming video.

These videos, unlike the Harlem Shake which I was obsessed with for about a day and a half, will NEVER GET OLD. EVER.

If you’re still here, I’m going to keep talking about running. So I’m on week 5 of C25k. Day 1 was easy enough, and day 2 scared me. It was an 8 minute (or 3/4 mile, whichever came first) jog, followed by a 5 minute (or 1/2 mile) walk, and then another 8 minute jog. I was scared. I wasn’t sure I could do it, as the longest period I had run before that was 5 minutes. I mean hell, that’s a three minute increase (just in case you can’t add. No judgments, third grade math level represent).

I originally said I was going to reward a 20 pound weight loss (still 6 pounds away) with a new pair of good running shoes. After careful consideration, I decided to bypass the wait and just buy some. I went to an athletic store and got measured, tried on about 6 pairs of shoes that the salesperson recommended after watching me walk and getting a little bit of running history, and before I knew it I was dropping more money than I would like to think about on my very first pair of running shoes.



That’s either the sound of a choir of angels singing, or my wallet crying. I’m not sure which yet. They are Saucony Hurricane 15’s, if you are curious.

I got to the gym, strapped them on, and could not believe the difference from simply walking in them. I was suddenly excited about my run. I won’t bore you with the details so long story short – I did it. Those 8 minute jogs? Not that difficult. Don’t get me wrong; those last two minutes were rough. I flipped my timer so I couldn’t see it, and just ran until my app told me it was time to walk. When I finished, I was drenched in sweat and was so proud of myself I was actually grinning like an idiot during my last minute.

After my run I did a little bit of strength training, including a core/ab/murder-cise that I saw Michonne on the Walking Dead do. She made it look super easy so I tried it. Let’s just say I am not as badass as she is, because I did five reps of what she did and then when I tried to do another set, my muscles were like LOL NO. Seriously, I tried to flex my ab muscles and they wouldn’t budge. I could barely get up off the floor. Every time I tried, I’d get my shoulders off the floor, shake like I was having a seizure, and then flop back down like a big flabby fish. I tried about five more times and even started hissing swear words at my weak abdominals under my breath. “GOYOUSUCKGOPIECEOFSHITSTOMACHNOWNONOWDOITAHHHH *flop*”
Note to self: do more Michonne exercises. She has survived the zombie apocalypse and OBVIOUSLY if you do the exercises she does, you will as well.

Anyway, tomorrow is my last day of week 5 and just like day 2, I’m afraid. Tomorrow I run 2 miles without stopping. They aren’t fucking around anymore. They were like “run 3/4 of a mile. You did it! Feel good about yourself? TIME TO RUN TO THE MOON, MOTHERFUCKER!” and I’m like “don’t be stupid. You can’t run to the moon. That would take too long and ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat”.

It’s daunting, but I know I can do it. I just have to ask myself: What would Michonne do? She would run those 2 miles and chop the heads off of like, ninety zombies on the way, that’s what she’d do. Maybe I should bring a katana to the gym. What do you think? Katana? Yes?

 

For the Love of Running

Somewhere between week 2 and week 3 of Couch to 5k, I began to love running.

Now, believe me when I say this: those are words I never thought I would say or type. When it comes to physical activity, I have always preferred the elliptical machine and cardio classes. But somewhere along my training I fell in love with running.

The first two weeks hurt. My knees hurt, my shins hurt, my feet hurt. I sped up my jogging pace, focused on how my feet were hitting the treadmill, and the pain subsided. I found myself looking forward to my running days (M, W, F) and dreading my elliptical days. The elliptical days are so boring. With my C25k, I have a goal. I am pushing myself to run farther, to run harder, to reach that goal.

I know that I’m not the fastest. My pace has slowly increased; when I began running my top speed was 4.4 MPH on the treadmill. I am now up to 4.8 with my first big goal being 5.0. I find that the stronger my legs get and the more accustomed to running my body becomes, a slower pace actually hurts my legs and knees more than pushing myself to a faster one. I’m on my fifth week of C25k. Wednesday begins day 2, which will be challenging… I have to jog 3/4 of a mile without stopping. I know that I can do it. I have to remember to breathe, focus, push myself, and realize that YES, I can breathe and NO, my legs aren’t going to stop working.

My first 5k is in a little over 3 weeks, and I am feeling pretty confident that I might actually be able to run the entire thing! I am planning on making my first weight loss reward to myself at 20 pounds a new pair of running shoes. Right now I’m using just my basic tennis shoes (which is bad, I know) but once I hit 20 pounds gone, I am going to go to a store and get fitted for shoes that are solely used for running.

What are your favorite running shoes? Any tips about buying my first pair?

 

ALL THE FITNESS and Also Goats.

Oh my god I have been the worst ever at internets lately. I opened my Google Reader this evening to catch up on some blogs, and I was so behind I just slammed my laptop shut and started weeping.

Okay I didn’t really do that but I wanted to.

So the main reason I’ve been so lazy with blogging is because I have been crazy busy. Working full-time is enough, but I’ve added at least 45 minutes of gym time to my routine almost every single day. Once I leave work I go to the gym. Then I have to drive to get Nellie from daycare. Then we drive home. Then I make dinner. Then I do bedtime with the girl. Then I flop on the couch and Josh and I zone out to whatever show it is we are catching up on (now that American Horror Story is over, it’s mainly Walking Dead. I am also obsessed with Downton Abbey but can’t watch the third season without paying for it. WOE IS ME) and then we crash at around 9 P.M.

WILD TIMES.

My workouts have looked mostly like this:
Monday: Couch to 5k
Tuesday: Elliptical
Wednesday: Couch to 5k
Thursday: Elliptical
Friday: Couch to 5k

Recently I’ve added strength training in on my C25k days. I just finished Week 4 (my Chicago trip and then a few days of feeling kind of sickie threw me off) and will begin Week 5 on Monday. So far, I am down 11 pounds in about 11 weeks. I only just started taking measurements, so I do not know how many inches I have lost and from where. I do know that the pajamas I bought for my Halloween costume (in case you need a refresher, here is my costume from this last year)

Are now fitting better. When I bought them, the bottom button struggled to close, and the top didn’t really fit down over my hips. Now when I wear them (because they are actually very comfortable – definitely a Goodwill win), they fall easily down over my hips and all buttons close with ease. So I have definitely lost inches in my hip region, and I am pretty sure my waist has narrowed a little. I have a habit of resting my hands on my stomach when I’m in bed (I got so used to doing it when I was pregnant, I guess I just never really stopped) and I noticed that last night my lower stomach is not as round as it once was.

Progress. Yay! The most important part of all of this is that I feel so much better. I feel strong, healthy, and I sleep better at night. I have a pleasantly exhausted sensation in my entire body most nights when I snuggle into bed.

I still have a long way to go. My last weigh-in was 198, which is nowhere near where I need to be physically but with every day that passes, and with every step I take, I am getting closer to a healthy weight.

I don’t have much more to say, so I will leave you with this video of a goat screaming at Taylor Swift.

 

After a Month of Silence…

It feels kind of weird blogging after almost a month of silence. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to talk about – by all means, I should really be writing something pretty much every other day – it’s just that I haven’t really felt like it.

I have been busy. I am going to the gym almost 5 days a week. When I leave work, I go before I head to Nellie’s daycare to scoop her up. Three days a week I do Couch to 5k and crunches/arm exercises and the other two days I usually do the elliptical machine. It’s funny, I’ve always hated running but since I started seriously getting into C25k, I have found myself actually looking forward to it. Once I got past the pain in my legs the first week and a half, I found my rhythm and my stride and kind of morbidly enjoy killing myself on the treadmill. I’m on Week 4 now, which alternates 3 minutes of jogging/2 minutes walking with 5 minutes of jogging and 90 seconds of walking…. I think… All I know is the first time I tried I quit after the first 5 minute run, because I thought I was going to throw up. I felt nauseated for a half an hour afterward. But on my second attempt, I did it. My shins are a little achey so I’m taking the weekend off and will start day 2 on Monday.

I’m down 11 pounds so far since beginning counting calories on December 17th, and joining a gym on January 15th. It’s a little slower than I’d like (even though it evens out to about a pound a week) and I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not in any hurry to lose this weight. It is frustrating to be busting my ass and still not be seeing huge results in the way my clothes fit yet. I have to keep reminding myself that in the past, it’s been more like 15 pounds when I begin seeing a difference on my body. Now, I can tell a difference in the way I feel. I have been sleeping better, can play harder with Nellie, and don’t feel like I’m about to drop dead when I haul her around. Yay!

My heart isn’t really in this post so I’ll end it here. I have more to say – last weekend I made an impromptu solo trip to Chicago to see my family so there’s a lot to tell about that – but I’m not really feeling it right now.