Posts Tagged 'exercise'

Never Say Never

Since I already bored shared with my Facebook friends my Turkey Trot pictures, I wasn’t going to bother posting about it.  But after my boys said I was slacking off a bit on my blogging, I decided to share the day with you, just to prove to you all that I’m not a total slacker.  And hey, I got nothing else for you.

I meant it with my entire heart and soul when I said I was done running 5K races.  The novelty was gone.   It wasn’t really fun anymore.  And even though I train more than I ever did, my time just keeps getting worse.  I’ve peaked.  It’s so sad. 😦

Meanwhile, the forces that be (like my active family) keep after me to stay young and healthy.  Sometimes I wonder if hubby is just afraid of what I’d look like if I didn’t run at all, knowing how much I love to eat!

Looks like fun, huh?

Anyway, Thanksgiving Day turned out to be a perfect running day.  Even at 9:00 in the morning it was sunny and bright, with just a nip in the air.  Youngest Son had picked up our race packets and T-shirts the night before and somehow got roped into being the Turkey.  He was the perfect turkey, handing out the awards at the end, socializing with the racers, and posing for numerous photos.  It was hilarious and I think he’s glad he did it…once.  He was overheard telling some people that “it was not a good life choice.”  The turkey costume added about 10 pounds to his athletic body and several minutes to his run time.  It was an ancient, hot costume with a plaster mold inside the head that gave him almost zero visibility since the only holes were the two eyes, and those eyes did not correspond to where a human’s eyes would be.Me and my boys before the race

Since I started the race somewhere in the middle of the pack, I completely missed the show at the start of the race.  The hard-core runners usually gather at the front, not wanting to waste any time getting stuck behind some slow runner and shaving minutes off their time.  These people actually have a shot at the trophies.  Youngest Son, being the star of the day and all, muscled his way to the front.  One reason was because he thought it might be safer up there with nobody in front of him, being that he couldn’t see and all.  What he didn’t realize was that even though they were in the front, people would cross in front of him.  Legs got tangled with his turkey drumsticks, and about thirty people went down, including the turkey.  Some people that witnessed it said it was like a domino effect.  I had no knowledge of this until I heard people asking the turkey how he was after the race.  I was too busy trying to make my breakaway in the middle of the pack.  I was boxed in on all sides and could barely break into a trot.

suffering on the final hill

I have to admit, I actually had fun, although it certainly wasn’t obvious from the expression on my face when I was climbing the hills.  The music, the camaraderie, all the familiar faces and the beautiful day made for a fun experience.  A lot of money was raised for local charities and many calories were burned for maximum turkey feast enjoyment.  I can’t say for sure if I’ll do another race.  And no matter what I say, there’s no reason to believe me.

Make A Change Challenge Finale

Yesterday was the final weigh-in for Tammy’s Make A Change Challenge.  I didn’t win the challenge.  I didn’t even end up with a net loss.  But I did learn that I can still eat a decent amount of food and not really gain if I do the higher intensity workout on my treadmill.  So that will be the plan.  At least two good treadmill workouts a week, and I may even be inspired to do another 5K.  The kids have been nagging me about it, and I’ve actually been thinking about it.  The last 5K Youngest Son ran, they had pizza and beer for the runners!  The one before, they had these yummy fat breakfast rolls stuffed with chicken or beef.  The races I ran, all they usually had was water and fruit!

Food!  My major motivator.  I’ll be sure to fill you all in on the details if I do run another race, or if my high-intensity workouts ever do result in an actual weight loss.  Stay tuned! 🙂

Make A Change Challenge–Week 6

Tammy’s Make A Change Challenge is in the final stages–only a couple more weeks to go!  Let’s just say I’ll probably never squeeze into size 6 pants again.  I’ll hang on to the size 8’s but I’m not even sure about them.   But I’m maintaining.  This is no small feat for a girl who loves food the way I do.  I’d rather run ’til I drop than give up the chow.

I subscribe to Jillian Michael’s (from Biggest Loser) newsletter.  One tip she had got me thinking:

Get Intense
Ever notice the color-coded exercise “zones” listed on cardio machines? There’s a “fat burning” zone, an “endurance training” zone, and so forth. The colors look nice, but how many times have you chosen the “fat burning” zone and watched as your fat stayed put? That’s because fat-burning programs keep you at a lower intensity level, when to lose weight you really need to burn big calories. That only happens when you exercise at a higher-intensity level.
Let’s look at the math. In a half hour of low-intensity exercise, you might burn 100 calories. Of those 100 calories, roughly 80 percent will be fat calories, meaning that you’ve burned 80 fat calories. In a half hour of high-intensity exercise, you might burn 300 calories. Of those 300 calories, roughly 33 percent will be fat calories, meaning that you’ve burned around 100 fat calories.

This seemed logical to me, and in fact, I’ve often told people I could walk a marathon and I wouldn’t lose weight like I do when I run even just a mile a day.  So even though I’m still eating like Michael Phelps, I’ve started using my treadmill and working on increasing my pace.  I alternate laps between a walk (at 3 to 3.5) and a jog (4 to 4.2), then walk, then slow run (5 to 5.2), and continue the pattern each time increasing the run speed.  So far I’ve made it up to 7 on the treadmill speed.  I can handle the torture for 1 lap so I don’t quit, but I’m getting a heck of a workout overall.  And I lost a pound this week, without denying myself any goodies!

Make A Change Challenge–Week 3

It’s hard to even write about this.  All I can say is, just like in Calculus class, I can not figure out the pattern.  This time the pattern that eludes me is my weight gains/losses.  It’s very random.

I think I run a week behind.  Seriously.  Last week I was kind of surprised that I lost 2 pounds because I hadn’t cut back on my eating too much and I exercised less than the first week.  If it does actually take a week for things to kick in, that would explain this week’s gain.  Because I was so good this past week!

I did my three-mile course at least twice this week.  I’ve curbed my eating considerably.  One night when I was craving seconds on dinner, hubby suggested I put the plate down and just wait it out.  I drank my iced tea and water instead of going back out to the kitchen to load up my plate again, and it actually worked!  The hunger craving passed.  I’ve even been eating boring stuff like cottage cheese or yogurt for breakfast.  I’m eating small healthy snacks in between meals like they say to do on “Biggest Loser.”  I bought a jar of peach slices and had some of those a few times.  I also spent extra to buy some whole grain chips which I snacked on, or I grazed on a few almonds.  I didn’t even pig out at the Mother’s Day Buffet we went to yesterday!

Yesterday afternoon, Youngest Son dragged me out to the track with him.  He pushed my weak ass to do sprints (for me).  For him, it’s barely a jog.  But I worked hard.  We even went onto the cold grass to do some exercises that he said would help my pathetically weak core.  You would think I’d have least lost some water weight.

As it stands right now, I’ve gained 1.4881% this past week (from last week).  Since the challenge began, I’m exactly where I started.  I’m sure Youngest Son will continue to torture me with killer workouts this week, now that he’s home from college.  He has a sadistic streak, I think.

Stay tuned next week to see if my theory on weight loss lag is correct.  If not, I may be throwing my scale in the trash.

Make A Change Challenge-Week 2

One of my favorite things in life is good food.  In fact, overeating is my only vice.  I don’t gamble or spend a lot of money.  I’ve had half-packs of cigarettes crumble away in my purse.  I enjoy a cold brew or a glass of wine, but then I worry about the calories.  I’d rather get my calories chowing down.

Unfortunately, the metabolism is slowing down.  I’m not exactly heavy, but I weigh more than I would like.  I heard once that it’s common to put on 10 pounds each decade, and this is exactly true in my case.  And I’m way more active than I ever was as a 20-year-old.  I’m in much better shape now, and some of that weight may be muscle, which we weight-watchers constantly remind ourselves is heavier than fat.  I’m not expecting to lose the whole 30 pounds I’ve gained since my teen years.  I could wear anything in my closet if I lost ten.  Fifteen would be amazing.

To help me reach my goal, I’ve joined Tammy’s “Make a Change Challenge.” It’s just somehow easier knowing that others are suffering along with you, passing over that third piece of pizza, running those painful miles.  And then there’s the accountability thing.  I really felt like a lazy slug last week having to report that I’d lost absolutely NO WEIGHT at all.  I blame it on all the Easter candy still laying around, successfully tempting me.

This past week, I exercised even less.  It rained several days, so I didn’t walk or jog as much.  And I started cleaning out some closets in earnest so I didn’t seem to have as much “me” time.  But most of the candy was gone, and I tried to eat healthier.  I usually go back for “seconds” (because I’m such a damn good cook) but I made them small portions and I chewed them slower and savored it more.

The result?  Two whole pounds shaved off last Monday’s weigh-in.  A respectable 1.47% loss.  I’m happy.  This gives me motivation.  If you have any tips that work for you (besides wiring the jaw shut), please feel free to share.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Big Daddy and Youngest Son are out giving blood today.  There was a time when I didn’t weigh enough to give blood.  That’s not the case today.  I just hate needles.

Youngest Son is so on a roll lately.  He actually got up early (for him) today so that he could run before he went to give blood.  One thing you don’t want to do, as Big Daddy found out the hard way this past summer, is to physically exert yourself after a blood donation.  It makes you not feel so well.

Youngest Son is in excellent physical shape.  He’s one of those strong-minded people that just never gives up.  That’s why he’s gotten straight A’s in 3 semesters of college (well, OK, the 2 English classes were A-minuses).  It’s why even the best high school soccer offense players in the region dreaded seeing him on their tail.  His calf muscles bulge obscenely.  He’s decided to join the college track team in the spring and he’s starting to prepare for it now.

I wish I had the same mind-set.  I can push myself at times, but only so far.  For a while, I was busting my butt running at least 15 miles a week.  Now, not so much.  I know part of it is the winter funk has set in.  I just want to hibernate when it gets cold.  And we’ve had too many goodies sitting around the house.  I don’t normally even crave sweets all that much.  But lately, I’ve had trouble passing them up.

Last night, when I stood on the scale, the dreaded number was reached.  This is almost the weight I was on the day I gave birth to one of my kids.  I can’t remember which one, but it was the only time I recall being weighed the day I gave birth.  It seems like kind of a cruel thing.  The number seemed obscenely large for me at the time.  For a lot of people, it’s a perfectly good average weight.  On Biggest Loser, it’s even a goal weight for some.  But for the girl who desperately wanted to reach 100 pounds in high school thinking perhaps then I’d get some boobs, it’s a scary number.

So, even though it’s cold as freak outside, I’m going for a short run.  I passed up the cookie tray this morning when I had my coffee.  I may have given up running 5K races, but I’m going to keep doing little things.  I just can’t turn my back on the good foods, but I will take smaller portions.  I’ll never be a size 4, but I’m determined to stay in the clothes that are now hanging in my closet.

Mama’s Many Pains In The Ass

So.  We were given a vague date about when Soldier Son would get home on leave from Iraq.  He was supposed to leave around July 1, so we took that to mean he would definitely be home for the Fourth of July.  Of course, the family wants to see him, so I planned to have a holiday barbecue here and kill two birds with one stone.  Well, I finally (after days) caught Soldier Son online today, and he will be held up in limbo at least until tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I offered to make a fruit salad for this picnic that my oldest son won’t be here for.  I’ve just spent a good hour and a half cutting up freaking fruit, and the stickiness is on me and the kitchen counters.  I like fruit, but it’s not worth the pain in the ass it is to cut it up to eat.  Tonight, I’ll be putting chicken pieces on skewers and no doubt stabbing my fingers in the process.  Something else miserable to look forward to.

But by far, the biggest pain in the ass is the very real literal pain in my ass.  Youngest Son served as my weight trainer yesterday and he showed no mercy toward his 50 year old mother.  I had run earlier in the day, but I’ve resigned myself to believing all the literature out there that says you must mix in some weight training along with your cardio to get rid of that ugly rounded middle-aged shape.  And now today it feels like a mule kicked each ass cheek.  And yesterday, I had to actually sit on my butt to go down the stairs.  It hurts to go up the steps, but it’s almost impossible to go down.  And my guys inform me that it will be even worse tomorrow.  Just in time for the guests.  I’ll be the hostess with the mostest.


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