Okay, so the good news is that the scale needle is moving again, thank goodness:
OK, so happy Wednesday, everyone! Well, kinda happy. I am running, I am eating better, and this week we have another stall:
The good news
Last Saturday I ran my first 5K since my eye surgery! It was not at all my best time – not even close – but I still loved the experience and was so grateful for being able to run again, to have my vision still (most of it), and to still have the desire to get out there! I am running one again this Saturday and will surely beat last week’s time…
The not-so-good news
My Wednesday Weigh In yesterday is nothing spectacular – I am actually up a pound, and I’m not sure what that’s about. I’m not too stressed about it though – if I still don’t see any decrease next week I’ll reconsider what I’m doing and see where I can fine tune my eating/working out.
Since I’m returning to running after recovering from my (second) eye surgery, I’m readying myself for the race season. I’m very excited because entering races means I’ve gotten back into shape after the long period of bedrest/head-down recovery.
This season, I’m doing a lot of research into the mental aspect of competing or what many people refer to as ‘sports psychology’. I think endurance sports are rife for results based on what our brains are telling us. Attitude certainly must give us an edge, if it’s the right attitude.
It’s a huge subject, and I’ve only scratched the surface with my research, but here are some things I’ve learned so far:
1) Don’t operate on fear. Fear of failure prevents me from doing my best at anything. Thoughts that are based in fear will psyche me out. Instead, focus on desire or what you want to happen. For example, instead of thinking to yourself, “Don’t come in last – don’t make a fool of yourself!”, replace this though with “Start strong, but finish stronger!”
2) Keep thoughts positive. Any negative thinking has the potential to affect my physical feeling. When a negative thought comes into my head, I need to quickly ‘reframe’ it (popular psychology term) or think it with a positive spin. For example, instead of saying to myself that I am going to slowly, I can say to myself ‘I have the energy for a strong finish’.
3) Beware comparison. When I compare myself to slower runners, I may feel better for a moment, but there are more runners that are faster than me then those that are slower, so comparison is the ‘junk food’ of motivation. Instead of thinking that I will never be as fast as the woman who medaled during a specific race last year, I can instead observe her performance and say to myself, ‘I can medal as well, with the right amount of effort.’
I live in a small Texas town, so bike commuting to do errands is a very tempting way to workout and hone the ‘to-do’ list at the same time. However, I really don’t want to ride on our 6-lane road through town – I’d like to take the quiet back streets. Being a car driver I’m not that familiar with the back streets though – where do I start?
Ah, technology to the rescue – there’s an app for that! Here’s a few apps to get you on a safe fitness route:
1) Bike Maps (IOS, Android, Windows Phone). Search by keyword or address for destinations to plan biking routes. $1.99
2) New Route (IOS, Android, Windows Phone). Lets you plan routes for cycling, walking, running, or driving. You can plan your route via search or by tapping start points and end points on the map. The app will also tell you distance covered by your route. Free
3) Route Planner (IOS, Android, Windows Phone). This app accounts for changes in elevation when planning your run, bike ride or car trip. It also allows you to plan for intermediate stops and to send your routes to your contacts. 0.99
In order to take your bike with you on your trip around town or around the country, you need a bike rack for your vehicle. There are 3 main types of vehicle bike rack, and understanding the uses and beneifts of each type will help you make a worthwhile purchase. Here’s the skinny on each type of vehicle bike rack:
1) Hitch-mounted. As the name suggests, this type is attached to your trailer hitch. Hitch-mounted racks are the most popular option because you won’t have to lift your bike over your head, and you won’t experience the wind drag of having the bike on the roof of your car. The rack itself doesn’t adhere to the body of your car, so your paint job will stay intact, too. These can be difficult to install, however, so shop at a place that offers to install it for you. The disadvantages of a hitch-mounted rack are decreased visibility behind the driver and the possibility of bike damage during a rear-end impact.
2) Roof-mounted. If your vehicle has roof rails, a roof-mounted rack is also an option, though these work best with lower cars. This is the preferred rack for those who want to minimize the risk of accident-related bicycle damage as much as possible. A roof-mounted rack also gives the driver unobstructed sight while driving. The disadvantages are that you’ll have to get your bike(s) onto the roof of the car (if you’re considering a roof-mounted rack, try lifting your bike above your head to make sure this is a realistic idea), and you’ll experience drag while driving. Also, be sure to put a post-it note somewhere on your dash reminding yourself that your bike is on the roof before you pull into the garage.
3)Trunk-mounted. If you only need to transport your bike occasionally, this is a good entry-level option. Trunk-mounted racks attach to the back of your vehicle and hold the bike against your door of your trunk. These are by far the least expensive option, and typically easy to load. However, installation quality is the key to success with a trunk-mounted rack, so make sure you have done a quality setup. Also, trunk-mounted racks do not typically lock, so you should plan to not leave the vehicle unattended when the bikes are loaded. Similar to the hitch-mounted rack, driver visibility will be decreased in the rear, and there is a chance of bicycle damage in the event of a rear-impact collision.
Wait, wait!! Late breaking news… after the big run, I weighed myself before I got in the shower and it said 169!! Woot!!
No big loss. I don’t mean that in the I’m-secretly-glad-that-didn’t-work-out way, I mean this week there is no weight loss to report. Ugh. I know this is part of the process, but it’s fun to report another drop!
Ironically, I have a BIG run to do today (see my C25K post about my return to running), so there will be calories burned today!
Last year was not a good reading year for me – a lot of books got past me. Recovering from eye surgery rendered my vision gimpy for several months, and audiobooks only work for me when no one is home or I’m running.
So all of that to say that I’m getting caught up on what I missed from last year, especially in the health and fitness arena. Here’s what I found out that I need to read:
1)The Body Reset Diet: Power Your Metabolism, Blast Fat, and Shed Pounds in Just 15 Days by Harley Pasternak. This book features many celebrity endorsements, but don’t let that be a put-off. This man has a master’s of science in exercise physiology and nutritional sciences from the University of Toronto, so he knows a few things, and the every day verified purchasers over at Amazon give him high marks, too. Apparently, if you’re a fan of smoothies, this is a must-read.
2) The DODO Diet by Drew Price. Yes, I said ‘DODO’. In this particular case, we’re talking about an acronym for ‘day on, day off’. Price suggests alternating fast days with free days. I need to read this because I do think a cleanse day a week has been helping, but I’m not sure if this concept is right for everyone.
3) Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. Technically, this book was released much earlier, but it was released in hardcover in 2014 and got a whole new league of fans. People seriously rave about this one, especially those who feel like they were ‘stuck’ or ‘plateued’. Goes into food and workouts.
If you’ve read any of these, please let me know what you thought in the comments!
Running has been my workout obsession for the past year. It started when I was working at Spring Break Camp with the elementary school kids, and I got winded square-dancing with them. Square dancing. That’s not exactly an Olympic sport.
So I very slowly began running. My first plan was very simple: the first day, I walked for 5 minutes as a warm-up, then I ran for 60 seconds. I wore my phone and ran a distance-tracking app. When I finished that 60 seconds, I noted how far I ran. For the rest of the week, I ran that distance.
The next week, I increased the distance by 10% (which is how coaches agree you should add distance).
I ran my first 5K ever that June, and I was hooked from that point!
Then last fall, my retina tore in one of my eyes. We’re not sure how. I already had the right eye’s retina detacted and repaired the previous year – I cried when I saw the other one was going to need the same, major surgery (for an eyeball, anyway).
Retinal surgery required that I not run for 3 months, so I am starting over again with running with the Couch to 5K Program.
I am about halfway through – I use the Zen Labs C25K app for Android. I love it because I can listen to my own music and just sort of space out while I run/walk (well, at the end I’m not really spaced out anymore – it’s more like the survivor shuffle).
When I say ‘fitness uber-site’, I mean sites that are geared towards beginners and offer a little of everything: fitness tracking. food planning/tracking, etc. I like these sites because using them increases our chances of starting off in a balanced, healthy way, and often give us some online encouragement. These sites come in different styles – here’s a few I have found:
1) Sparkpeople – probably the largest out there right now in terms of membership with 16 million registered members. Sparkpeople offers an array of free trackers – fitness, meals, and water, – along with recipes and free meal plans. It’s gotten quite female, although it is technically for everyone. I like the personalized start page that allows you to update your trackers all in one place.
2) Workout-X – if your gym went completely online, this is what it would look like. This site offers specific workouts (down to number of reps of each excerise) along with meal plans and some trackers. There’s a free membership and a paid membership. It’s getting in shape simplified.
3) Nerd Fitness – I love this site, becuase it is so different from what we’ve come to expect from a fitness site! This site ‘gamifies’ fitness – meaning it puts your workouts and eating clean into videogame terms so you can ‘level up’, which is very motivating for short-term efforts