Author Archives: anestinthemaking
Blogging because I need to work some stuff out in my mind.
A few years ago a friend of mine started doing triathlons. She had never been a runner but she “suffered through.” Now she is a great runner. She posted on facebook about doing a zone 1 5k in 26 minutes. I am going to confirm with her that we are looking at the same zones. lol. For me, zone 1 is less than 114 bpm. And she ran it at a 8:23 pace. I mean, it’s possible, theoretically. It’s just amazing.
So anyway we got to talking. She said that last year zone 2 was difficult for her. She had to walk a lot. She said she would just run as slow as she could to keep it down, then stop when it went over and walk. It led to some very slow paces. She took pace off her watch so that she wouldn’t even see it. Now she runs everything in zone 2. She runs marathons. She is an ironman. Not to mention she looks incredible.
I am so impressed by how far she has come. I embraced Maffetone in the past, but found it too difficult for me mentally. I think it was hard to do the same thing every day. Plus, my big concern with my marathon is being swept. I worry that if I run in a zone 2 every single run, I’ll never be fast enough to finish on time.
So I’m considering a hybrid plan. Marathon training so far is fun. I use the Hal Higdon Novice Supreme program, and then do what I want for each of the runs. Lately that has meant 2 days of easy runs, 1 day of speed work (Yasso 800s or Fartleks), and 1 long run. After talking to her, I am going to attempt to do my easy and long runs in a zone 2.
I changed my watch to display HR, the zone slider, the distance and my current cadence. I want to keep my cadence up to avoid injury. My not-so-scientific-opinion is that I’m more likely to get injured if I drag my feet trying to slow down more. I also changed my workout log so that it no longer displays duration or pace. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. The data is there when I’m ready. It shows HR now as well.
Today was my first attempt at a zone 2 run. It felt great but it was mentally rough. I ran on the pasture which makes it more difficult. At the beginning I could do about half a lap before I had to walk a bit. After about 1.3 miles I could do 21 paces before I had to walk. Towards the end it was difficult to get my HR low enough, even when walking. I’m not sure I would have survived without my audio book.
The up side of this is that I will see progress easily. It will be a happy day when I can run a whole lap without getting my HR up. And then when I can run a whole mile?! Wow!
I figure it doesn’t matter that I’m jacking with the pace as long as I get the miles on my legs. That’s the point, and long runs are meant to be slow anyway.
All this to say, I haven’t actually looked at my data. I wanted to write this while I’m feeling positive. I did pause at one point to take a phone call from my son’s allergist. My watch said my average pace was 17 something. That’s running and walking and going slow. I’m just going to force my mind to focus on the HR and the cadence.
So I spent some more time talking to my friend. Her zone 1 is huge and her zone 2 is tiny. From what I can tell, her coach set zone 2 as +/-4 of her target heart rate. So I did the same. Zone 1 is anything below that. Zone 5 starts at my anaerobic threshold. Zone 4 starts halfway between Zones 3 and 5. So there you go. Unfortunately this was AFTER I did my first pasture run that I had to walk. Today, Saturday, I will be doing my first zone 2 run with the updated zones.
So I felt a little better* that she did an 8:23ish at a 151 heart rate… until I saw an IG friend did a “recovery” run at a HR of 95 and a pace of 7:30. Goal, right?
*I kid. My friend is on team USA for triathlons and my IG friend is training for the Olympic trials. I’m finding joy in my journey and not comparing – other than to see what is possible. Rachel and Amanda, y’all are awesome!
I stuck with my goal of 500 miles in 2017. The problem was, I was sick until the end of February. I actually went to the doctor after we moved the week of January 21st. I had bronchitis bad and was sick for another month or so after that. It was one of those fun “I’m better thanks to the antibiotics, but I’m still coughing because I jacked up my lungs.”
Anyway, I hit April having only ran 19 miles. I kept telling myself I could still make my goal. I said (jokingly and more than once) that I’d just have to train for a marathon. I was joking but it put the bug in my ear.
The problem with running a marathon was that I could only think of Cowtown near by, and I didn’t want to deal with the weather. Cowtown is in February and has been snowed out.
So I did some looking around for a fall marathon (train in the summer, recover when it’s cold), thinking I wouldn’t find anything close. Hello there, Fort Worth Marathon. This one is in November. It’s absolutely perfect!
So here I am. Marathon training.
I’m going to try to keep this to April. I ran a mile April 10th and then made all these drastic decisions. So official training started April the 12th. I chose to run Hal Higdon’s Novice II program (I have since switched to Novice I), and made up my own pre-training until the program started (I have since switched to Novice Supreme which includes pre-training).
I ran 20.2 miles in April, ending the month with 39/500.
New years mean new goals, right? My friend (and my son’s PE teacher) jokingly asked me to run 1000 miles with her in 2017. I said sure. That comes out to a little less than 3 miles a day. Of course it was January 4th-ish when I said this so I had already lost some time. Then it got cold (icy). Then I got sick. Then I got thinking.
In 2015 I ran 201.9 miles.
In 2016 I ran 297.2 miles.
In 2017 I think I will run 1000?
2015 was the year I was injured. I started running in June of that year and stopped in October when I got hurt.
2016 I didn’t start running until May. I ran steadily through November when I’m going to guess it got cold (I’m such a baby).
If I intend to run all of 2017 (except the really cold days) then it makes sense to jump a few hundred from my partial years of running.
So with all that being said, my goal for 2017 is 500 miles.
It will be a challenge because I can’t just stop and still meet my goal. I have to be consistent. It’s approx 1.5 miles/day, 10 miles/week, or 30 miles per month. The break down like that look easy, but it’s keeping it up all year that will be the real struggle for me.
As far as training goes, I have been trying to do my MAF training BUT I don’t think it’s working right. I think you need to be regularly training to see results in that and I am not at all. I will be the first to admit that I will not run with the kids if it is below 40 degrees. I also may choose not to run when it’s in the 40s because that’s just too darn cold and I don’t like being cold. I would usually at least have my Saturday long runs (as long as it’s not icy) but with the move and the farm I don’t have childcare for long runs. (Note: I’m kidding about “childcare.” Of course my husband watches the kids all the time, because he is a parent not a babysitter. I just mean that he has things to do on the farm and I don’t feel right leaving him to watch the kids when there is so much to do that can’t be done while watching a 2 year old dare devil.) Back to the point, I may be taking full weeks off at a time when it gets cold again. Instead of stressing that I’m not seeing results when I am admittedly not willing to do the work, I will just wait until spring to begin really working on my aerobic base. Summer brings it’s own problems with having all 3 kids home and not being able to run until after bedtime. For that reason, I will probably not do MAF training in the summer either. That gives me spring and fall to work on real MAF training and my aerobic base, and winter and summer to just run for fun (or for whatever plan I choose to run for). I feel good about this. It gives me flexibility during the seasons I really need it, and also helps me from getting burnt out at the constant slowness.
So today I ran 3 miles. My HR was really high. I’m going to keep tracking it because data! But I don’t know that I’ll really do anything with it when I’m not doing the MAF training. So I need to re-train my mind to stop saying “woah that is a high HR!” when I look at it because “yes! It is a high HR! Because I wasn’t trying to run with a low one!”
So that gives me 7.3 out of 500 for 2017. Only 492.3 to go!
So what happened to me? I was running every day and then… not.
I have my other posts about illness at the end of November, but really I kept pushing through until my last consecutive run on December 5th. I got one more in on the 12th at which point I gave up. ha! But let’s start back at the end of November.
My hubby was off work the day after Thanksgiving. A friend of ours was hiring him to build a deck on her new house (hubby is a home builder/remodeler), so we went over that Friday to bid it. I spent some time wandering around playing with the goats and the horse and just watching life at her place. When we left, I sent her a message telling her how much I love being over there. She is only a mile away (her back pasture backs up near my house), but the feel is completely different. She has 12 acres and feels more rural than my 2 wooded acres at the entrance to a nice subdivision. That’s where it all started. In the conversation, she mentioned that her recently widowed next door neighbor would be putting her small farm for sale sometime soon. I talked to Derek, and we decided to call her. She was a sweet lady and invited us over the next day to look at her place. All of this happened Friday, November 25th.
The next morning we all loaded up and went over to her house. It needed some TLC, but we really liked the feel of it. We also really liked the farm buildings. The property is 10 acres with a barn, a tack shed, a shop, 2 coops, 2 loafing pens, a round pen, and it is cross fenced with pipe, goat and wire fencing. There is also a fenced garden, a pecan tree, asparagus beds, grapes and a peach tree.
Stepping aside for a second, my husband and I have been talking forever about wanting to live out in the country with animals and everything. That was the initial goal when we moved from the big city, but somehow we ended up in this beautiful large house with small land. This is a great place and we don’t regret that decision at all, however we did start getting the bug for livestock pretty hard core at the end of summer. We had casually looked around, and couldn’t find anything. There were other barriers. Financially, we could afford the land/house but we wouldn’t have money to fence it. Or we could find fenced land, but wouldn’t be able to afford the house/improvements. There were smaller acreages, but it wasn’t worth moving if we were going to have to settle. We decided it just couldn’t be done “now” and to wait until all the kids were in school before we started looking for real. A few months after that, a friend moved into a little house on 50 acres and we fell in love with it. We talked about it more and more and dreamed about what it would be like in a few years when we got ready to move – later, not any time soon.
So back to the 26th: After leaving the farm, we called our realtor. He had sold our house in the city 3 years ago and we really liked working with him. He also worked out here in the country so we decided to get his opinion.
He came over on the 29th to talk and look at our house and make suggestions. At our city house, he had a laundry list of things we had to do in order to sell quickly for what we wanted. We did them, we sold quickly and got out of there. We were prepared to get the list from him and get it done, maybe finishing and listing by January. He wasn’t here at the house long at all before he suggested we list for more than we had expected. He suggested we do some landscaping in the front (we have minimal curb appeal because we just don’t go out there so we don’t think about it), and then just general fixing up things (paint touch ups, etc). That’s it. He said it wouldn’t be a bad thing to be on the market around Christmas as long as I was prepared to show the morning after Christmas and not be put out. I was suprised that he wanted to list so quickly.
We spent the next few days patching paint and cleaning up a little. On December 3rd we bought our landscaping for the front but we weren’t able to get it in the ground because of freezing weather. The woman who owns the farm had gotten a realtor and the realtor was out of town so we were just waiting around.
We went back to the farm on the 5th. My dad and his wife came with and looked around. This was our “official” showing of the house with both realtors and no home owner. We made an offer that night.
The next day was a little strange. We got a “no thank you” on the offer, not even a counter. So we tried again. This time we offered what she asked but wanted 90 days to sell our home. She had a set time she wanted to move out and didn’t want to give us so long. We finally settled on 47 days. Phew! Our offer was accepted on the 6th and we filled out the forms to list ours that evening.
The realtor picked up my listing forms at the elementary school on the 7th and the house was on the MLS that night. We were lucky to have had professional photos made when we first built our house. We were able to use those as the listing photos. I think it looks very different to see the house empty vs full of my stuff (and now Christmas decorations). We also used a few photos of the back yard (wooded) and one of a deer hanging out in the back yard (not an abnormal thing). The listing looked great. I wasn’t sure what to expect though. It hit Zillow that night. I remember seeing it on our way home from church. When we sold the house in the city it took a while. I remember being excited to get showings but I think it took a week or so for things to pick up. I don’t remember exactly.
The next morning I was in a tizzy (as is my nature). We didn’t have the signed contract for the farm yet, we didn’t have a sign/lock box at our house (I was told they would come Wednesday), and I just wanted to worry. I called the realtor after dropping off the kids (on my way in to town to get more keys made) and he said he was about to call me. We had a showing! Our first showing! In an hour! Yes, I was about 30 minutes away and no, the house was not ready at all! I rushed home and that is the fastest cleaning I have ever done. I scrubbed, I swept, I vacuumed, I washed mirrors and the dirtiest windows, I scrubbed toilets, I hid toothbrushes, I shined the sink, and I got it done. I was heading out the door with the baby and the dog when the realtor got there. Phew!
We ended up showing 2 more times that day and set up 3 showings for the next day (Friday) and 2 for Saturday. It was crazy and hectic and stressful and great! Also, my house looked fantastic! It was hard work but oh I loved it so much when it looked like that (notice the past tense… heh… we’ll get there).
Friday morning I got a text from the realtor that we had received an offer. What?! It was a full price offer, really clean. The only hold up was that we hadn’t had an inspection on the farm yet. We spent the afternoon hashing out lease agreements (they wanted to close 4 days before we were to close on the farm) and we went back to the farm that evening to do an “inspection”. Our lender didn’t require an official one so we did it ourselves. This is a perk of being custom home builders. I had the contractor (my husband) and even the boss/business owner (my father-in-law) look it over. The issues were mainly cosmetic, with the exception of some plumbing in the bathrooms. We had decided to remodel the bathrooms first so it didn’t really matter. We also had the foundation guy come give us a bid (oh yea, foundation issues, sigh) and it was within what we had expected. So we accepted the offer on our house that evening. We still showed all 3 times that day (We’re on Friday the 9th) but the people on Saturday eventually cancelled.
One perk of the weather is that we never did get those plants in. They were in the garage when the buyers saw the house. Because they were not in the ground, they do not have to go with the house. So I have a garage full of landscaping to put at my new house!
December 12th the buyers had the inspection done on our house. There was only one request we found unreasonable. We discussed (via realtors) and sent some documentation and they removed it. So on the 14th we were done with the signing of amendments. Phew!
So this is where we sit now. Everything is good to go on buying the farm. Everything appears to be good on selling our house. The only major thing we need to happen is the appraisal on our house. We are putting enough down on the farm that it could appraise for less than asking and we would be fine. The situation with the buyer is such that we really need a full asking-price appraisal. There’s nothing to be done about it though, so we wait. I haven’t heard anything about when this will be so I try not to stress about it.
Throughout this process we have given it to the Lord. I keep asking him to put something in the way if it isn’t to be. Everything just keeps working out and this is the last road block. I hope and pray that it goes well, because at this point I am much more invested. Through that first 2 weeks I was more than prepared to back away. I was completely secure that the Lord would lead us where he wanted us to go. Unfortunately I have lost that sense of peace as we have moved farther. I feel like the Lord is letting this happen (there were some details that had to work just right, and did) and so I would be devastated if the appraisal isn’t favorable. Not to mention the work of packing up our whole house for nothing. I have definite opinions about the whole real estate process. Our realtor said not to be surprised if we get a call January 2nd to set up the appraisal (we close January 6th). I find this ridiculous. The appraisal should be done ASAP so that both parties can move on with their lives. If this goes badly, both families will already have packed, we will lose the farm, and the other family will have lost a month of searching (they are coming from out of state and really need to get in a house quickly). It just seems so backwards that everything can seem so perfect and then, poof, it’s not – the day before we close or sometime close to). End rant. But seriously.
My house isn’t really show ready anymore, although it could be soon. It is full of Christmas, and 3 kids at home, and packed boxes, and packing materials. It’s like we finished all the hard stuff before we got too close to the holidays, which was wonderful.
So here’s the plan. First, Christmas! Then next week we are going on Tuesday to measure for carpet and other things. We plan to continue packing as if it’s going to happen. There isn’t time to wait for the appraisal before we start. We plan to close on the sale January 6th, close on the farm January 10th, and be moved by January 15th. We have carpet replacement and a cleaner scheduled for the 11th. That gives us 3 days to move everything! ah!There are a few other exciting things. We have been chatting with the current farm owner often. She has agreed to leave the barn cats and the chickens for me. So I will be moving in to a working farm (just chickens but still). That is so unbelievably exciting for me! One of the cats is super sweet and the kids love him. The other three are young and skiddish but I’m sure they will come around.Our plan is to get goats within a few months. For tax purposes we need to have them before 2018 but we want to get started sooner rather than later. We will raise goats for meat for ourselves and also to sell. We will keep the eggs for ourselves and for our neighbor who started this whole deal, but if we have extras I will sell those as well. We will seed the back with coastal and bale that for our goats and also for sale. Eventually (probably when the youngest goes to school, which, if you remember, is when we were first talking about moving) we will get horses as well. We wouldn’t mind having cows but right now we have a great source for beef (a friend) that is less than raising our own. It seems so crazy that this has all happened so fast. Christmas will make exactly 1 month since we first jokingly talked about doing this. When we move it will be less than 2 months from that first conversation. Crazy.The thing is, it is just so perfect. Right now we live 2 houses (3 large lots) down from my in-laws. We love being close and didn’t want to move far away. The new house is 1 minute 30 seconds away from their house. The house is zoned the same as ours now so my 1st grader will not be interrupted mid year, and my kiddo going to kindergarten next year will get the same teacher my oldest had. We are really no farther from town and church. There is no addition to my husband’s commute. Actually, you could argue it takes about a minute off based on the country road he takes to the highway. We have the 10 acres we wanted. We have the fencing (and while she took down the electric wire, she left the posts so we have those to reuse). The fencing is mostly goat ready (which is big because goats require specific fencing to not escape). We are set up for my dream of one day having horses with the loafing pens, round pen, multiple pastures, and 6 stall (electric and water) barn. We get the chickens and cats so we don’t have to worry about setting that up. We don’t have to worry about coops/yards/boxes for the chickens because it’s already there (AND the chickens already know where to be). There is water out to all of the pastures and she is leaving the troughs that are currently being used. There is a shop for my husband’s tools (we have a shop here that is full… the new one is bigger). There is a fenced garden (I didn’t have much of a garden this year, but I had a fenced garden here that I loved the year before). It just feels like we aren’t losing anything. The house is smaller and needs work, but we don’t mind that. So we get to keep everything we love about where we are, and translate that to actually being on farm. It’s like we kept saying, we wouldn’t move unless it was perfect and… it pretty much is. So that’s what is going on in my life. The other thing is that the kids are out of school and I don’t have a triple jogger so I can’t go run with all of them, but realistically I wouldn’t be running anyway. I plan to get started the first week of January when school starts again. I’ll have another post about this but basically I’m going to take it easy since I’ve been off for so long. I don’t know that I will start with a MAF test because we have so much else to do. I’ll try to run 3x a week, but I won’t freak out if I miss my Saturdays. There is much to do. Once we are in and established I will get more serious about MAF testing and getting on a schedule.
***NOTE: This is the first week of lowering my MAF threshold from 150 to 145. Also the first week of quitting BBG and running only. So the first week of running 4 days instead of 3. I am not writing in my walks, however I plan to walk any afternoon that I do not have errands to run (M-Th). Fridays and Sundays will be complete rest unless we do something as a family. I have tracked these in the past as “runs” but I won’t be doing that any more. My mileage may go down because of this (as recorded), but I want to differentiate between what should be a run and what was a scheduled walk from the beginning.
***ANOTHER NOTE: I missed my MAF test Saturday (family things happening and weather issues). It is possible I will not have another MAF test until February-ish. I will try to get one in as soon as I can, but a long run is easier if we have limited time on a Saturday.
And this is where I fell off. I’m not positive what week this was. It is possible I ran that Monday and it is possible I didn’t run at all that week. I haven’t run since.
Things have gotten crazy and I will update soon. I look forward to getting started again in January. I will re-number the weeks beginning at 1. I’m essentially starting over after an almost month long break. I’m also going to start with running 3 days and then move up to 4 after a while. I want to make sure I don’t wear out my legs by jumping in too fast, but I don’t really know how to know what is reasonable. There will be another post on this as well.
Merry Christmas to everyone!
Last week doesn’t count! I had a cold at the end of the week 11 and managed to get my race in BUT (big but there) I felt horrible after! So I skipped my BBG. I had a head cold that morphed into a chest cold. I also had all 3 kids home (2 seats in the stroller). I didn’t feel well until Thursday morning. I still wasn’t 100% but there was definite improvement. So I went for a run. I ended up cutting it short because my HR was shooting up so high and taking a while to come down. It is fascinating how my HR shows that I wasn’t really better, even though I felt much better than before. Exciting things happened starting Friday and I missed my run Saturday as well. So I’m beginning this week on a week of rest, and also with an extra BBG day (week 4 – Friday) to catch up with.
As to the exciting things, I cannot elaborate right now. I should be able to share (or not) within a week or two. In the mean time, I will not be increasing my long runs. I will still do my MAF test this week because data! However, I will keep my long runs at 1 hr 5 min. I don’t want to drop to less than 3 days a week of running, but I can’t afford to spend any extra time away from the home at this point. Exciting things!
In general, I’m excited to get back to running this week. I’m also a little nervous. I hope that an entire week of rest makes this week easier for me. Hopefully my body will be nice and rested/recovered and ready to jump back in to it. My fear, on the other hand, is that a week of no workouts will have killed my ability to “do it all” and I will struggle this week. I don’t really want to be exhausted! We shall see, I suppose.
Monday 11/28 – Planned medium run of 50 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 40 minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG (catch up). Completed 3.35 miles at 14:55 (Warm up 15:40, Work 14:28, Cool down 18:46).
I started out strong but had trouble keeping my HR down towards the end. It seems to be at the same spot (close to the park) where I start having trouble. The elevation data doesn’t work for some reason, so I can’t see if I’m right. It feels like we go downhill to that point and then a steeper grade uphill into the park. That means on the way back I get a short downhill followed by a gradual uphill the whole way back. It feels that way and my HR acts as if that’s the case. I can’t wait until I can run the whole way without having to stop so often to walk. I may try going over the tracks instead, but I think that way has steeper hills. There’s nothing particular to report about this run. I do feel like I went farther than my last 50 minute MAF run, but I had stomach issues the last time so it wouldn’t be surprising.
I also completed BBG week 4 (full body). I was not feeling well at all after lunch but I didn’t want to miss. I took my time going through the moves and got it done. There was no award for speed, but I’m proud of completing it.
I read somewhere (credible, although I don’t have a link) about push up form. I read that I was doing it wrong. My arms were too far out from my body. I didn’t understand why this was bad, and so I did some more research. I found a video discussing the shoulder joint and location of the bursa there. I learned that, if your arms are up at 90 degrees (the exact angle is less than that, but 90 is included), your bursa is ineffective and you can cause damage to your shoulder. For this reason, it is recommended that you keep your hands closer to your body while you do push ups. This keeps the angle of your shoulder down and allows the bursa to do it’s job. This made sense to me so I decided to make the change. Wow! It’s a lot harder to do push ups this way. I am assuming this is because I was using different muscles when I did them with wide arms. I hope that, as I get stronger, I will get better at doing them this way. It’s a little humbling. I could bang out the push ups before and now I am slow. I have to take breaks. Keeping my core tight is so much more challenging and necessary (I think that is a good thing). The morning after, my front shoulders (upper chest?) are so tight! I can feel that I did something different. It doesn’t feel bad at all, just like using unused muscles.
Tuesday 11/29 – Planned walk of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 40 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed BBG and my walk (forgot to start the watch).
Wednesday 11/30 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 40 minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 2.9 miles at 15:23 (Warm up 15:47, Work 14:21, Cool down 19:51).
Thursday 12/1 – Planned walk of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 40 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed BBG only.
Friday 12/2 – Planned rest.
Saturday 12/3 – Planned MAF test (5 miles). 10 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 65 minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate, and BBG. Rested.
Have you noticed that I change my workout plan nearly every week? I’m always adding or taking away or changing. I always have some great scheme of how or why or when I will do XYZ to make things happen. But nothing is happening. I’m not loosing weight or belly fat. Apparently this bothers me a lot more than I even realized myself.
I talked to my husband tonight about my workouts. With the big changes going on, I’m not able to leave my BBG equipment out. It would be easier (significant stress relief) if I just quit BBG and put the stuff away for now. But I don’t *want* to. I’m not enjoying BBG this time, but I do enjoy getting stronger. My husband said “You know I think you work out too much. I just stopped saying it because you didn’t listen.” What?! No I didn’t know that. Honestly, every time he said that I made changes. I explained that to him, and that because he no longer said anything I thought he was on board. He said I made changes but not reductions. I still work out 10 times a week. I pointed out that it was 6 times, but conceded the point.
If I cut out BBG (spoiler alert: I am) I will be down to 3 workouts a week. This doesn’t seem like enough for me. So I’m going to do 4. I will run Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday (when I can). I will walk as often as I can in the afternoons, no longer trying to stick to certain days.
My weight loss/exercise this past year jumps around a lot.
- Summer of 2015 I started running again. I did the Zombie 5k program and finished it about the time school started.
- Fall of 2015 I ran 5 days a week until I was injured in October. It was IT band related.
- I went from 136lbs to 128lbs. I did not do any strength training. I probably walked some because I like walking. Plus life.
- Winter of 2015/2016 I was on full rest. This stunk. My weight was sporadic but I bottomed out at 126 when I began BBG.
- Spring of 2016 I did BBG. Got down to 121. When BBG stopped in April, I took a break from exercise. I completed a half marathon in February (completely untrained) and possibly got a stress fracture in my foot. Finishing BBG was difficult because my feet hurt so bad. I stopped running and was relieved when BBG was over. I gained up to 124.
- My weight is sporadic throughout all of this. I track it daily and just look at the highest starting weight and lowest weight towards the end. I just say that to say my weight graph was not a steady down for the year. There was tons of movement, but the general trend went down 15 lbs.
- Also to note, I lost 4 lbs in the first week of doing BBG. I assume this was water consumption and watching my diet.
- Finally, lest you think I’m stuck on the scale, these numbers accurately reflect how I felt about my body at the time. I was soft prior to BBG. At the end of BBG my body was much leaner (dropped multiple jean sizes) and my belly was not nearly as flabby as it had been. I was also (obviously) much stronger, but this discussion focuses on my appearance and how I feel about it.
- Summer of 2016 I began running again (mid June). I started being “serious”at this point. I ran 3x a week (tempo, interval, and long) and lifted 3x a week. I began lifting heavy weights. I really enjoyed this and maintained it to school starting in August.
- July 30th I weight 127. I did not notice this happen, to be honest.
- Fall of 2016 I started running only. In September I ran 5x a week. Unfortunately I did not track my weight at all during this time. I completed my second half marathon at the end of September and took 2 weeks of rest. I started “heart rate training” in September, but in October I began using the Maffetone method. Prior to that I ran by HR but did not yet know about aerobic/anaerobic training. I weighed myself October 10th and weighed 131. When I began the Maffetone method for running I also restarted BBG. I wrote about how I wanted to lose weight doing this and how BBG had worked so well for me in the past. November 4th I was 132. That is about what I am right now at week 5 of BBG.
Things I notice:
- I saw the most improvement in my appearance when I did BBG the first time. During this time I was very careful of my diet/hydration. I also followed her program exactly, not adding any extra workouts. I originally said I lost the most weight then, but that is not true. The scale went down more prior to BBG when I just ran, but I was really happy with how my body tightened up during BBG. I never had abs or anything. I was still soft in a feminine way, but I felt good about how my belly looked.
- My logic in restarting BBG was that, with BBG plus running, I would surely have even more progress. That has not happened. I also haven’t stuck to my water or diet as well as I should. I’m not really sure what my diet should be for weight loss right now but that’s probably another post.
- When I started running right after BBG, I was significantly faster than I was pre BBG. I lost that speed over the summer.
- The biggest difference on the scale happened when I was just running. At the time I ran hard every time I ran (4 stroller runs and 1 long run). I pushed myself every single time and lost a lot of weight. I also got a significant injury. Great progress but not repeatable. ha.
- I did not have a HR monitor at the time, but I believe I was actually running my long runs aerobically. The times match up, and I worked hard to run slow so that I could increase my mileage.
- Since ramping up my exercise (summer and fall) I Have gained 11 lbs. More than just the number, I can see it. My jeans fit tighter. My belly is looser than it has been. I just feel soft in a not-good way. Like flabby soft, not feminine soft.
- I claim to want to try the Maffetone method, however I’m not really doing it. I imagine, if I were to sit down with him, he would give me a list of things I am doing wrong:
- I am too stressed out. I feel myself being short with my kids. I’m not sure what exactly is the main stressor, but something (or things) has me stressed.
- I am over training, possibly not for normal life, but in light of my stress I am doing too much.
- I am including anaerobic weight training.
- My target HR for my aerobic runs is too high.
- I eat too much crap – sugar especially.
- I don’t dink enough water.
I don’t have a big summary to this. I’m vomiting my current thoughts out into the internet (always a good idea). I suppose I’ll end this like I end pretty much every post, with a new plan.
- No more BBG. I feel like a “quitter” but that’s dumb and I need to get over it.
- Run 4x a week (M, W, TH & S). For now all of my runs will be the same – aerobic of varying distances. I will continue to build my distance, so eventually I will hit a point where my Saturday runs slow down to a more traditional “long run.”
Focus on drinking enough water.Track calories again. I need to figure out my goal, but I will keep track of my weight and calories daily so that I have better data to look at later.
- Side note: I know weighing daily doesn’t work for most people. It does for me. I honestly hadn’t looked at my past data until I started this post. It was fascinating to see that, when I thought I was really working out and doing great, I was actually just gaining weight and losing my progress on belly flab. I’m grateful that I had kept the data for the most part. I think it can be an important tool in analyzing what works for you, if you can handle not fixating on the daily number. Another reason I like weighing daily is that I can clearly see how my diet/water consumption affects me. As an example, I remember a day during BBG when we went to CiCi’s. I knew we would and planned ahead. I knew the calories in the pizza I liked and how many pieces I could have. I even had extra in lieu of dessert. The next day the scale had not gone up. I had successfully managed a “cheat” meal. Another time I ate something and gained 3lbs over night. Obviously that is impossible, but I knew that whatever I had eaten differently did not sit right with my body. I could also tell the days I didn’t drink enough water because the scale would inch up a little more than the usual fluctuation.
- All that to say, you do you. Weighing daily works for me but not for everyone.
It is silly because looking at this now it looks like a balanced workout schedule. However, when I started typing this I was anxious and upset about the idea of working out less. I still am when I put it that way. But I’m going to try this and see how it goes. Hopefully, if nothing else, my stress will drop. I love running and now I get to do a little more of it.
I’ve been digging in to the book but I haven’t gotten far. Really, I’ve just gotten to the test portion so pretty much the beginning. It has given me so much to think about though.
Here’s the thing. He says to lower your training if you are stressed. I am so analytical and detail oriented that I can become stressed just by figuring out if I need to lower my training! I am running 3 days a week and wish I was running more BUT I am doing BBG 3 days a week and I realize I need to make concessions for that. So I guess I don’t think I need to lower it more, but I do recognize that I cannot add more in.
Another thing stressing me out is my MAF heart rate. I chose to do 180 – my age with no modifier. The more I think about it, I think maybe that is too high. He says people tend to choose too high. When I first figured it out I went back and forth between dropping 5 more points (for allergies and random illnesses). He advises you go with the lowest if you are unsure. So I think I will make my HR goal 145 instead of 150. He says there is no harm in choosing the wrong number if you choose a little low. Ideallly you will be right on the money so that you can train at the highest possible range, but going over is bad. So being unsure, I could be going over for my entire workout and not knowing it.
I don’t feel like I’m making progress. That isn’t based on anything but gut feeling. I can list a bajillion reasons this may be: training with too high a HR, BBG (which is anaerobic no matter how slow according to the book), diet, personal stuff going on (stress), hormonal issues (hello thyroid), medications (hello thyroid again). Some of these can be fixed and some cannot. Some I choose not to.
- training with too high a HR – as mentioned above, I think I may be doing this. I will lower it 5 points and give it a shot
- BBG – I don’t want to quit midway. I am on week 5. I think I will finish out the cycle (which takes us to February) and then find something to do afterwards. I understand it may be hurting my aerobic improvement, however I do not understand what I can do instead. I’m sure the book will get there. I recognize that strength training is important, but it feels like (so far) he’s saying not to do any! But he doesn’t straight up say “don’t strength train.” So I’m assuming there is more to be addressed later in the book. I will choose not to adjust this right now, but choose not to continue with BBG after this round.
- Diet – tricky one here. Christmas is coming up. I want to bake and enjoy the holiday. I’m stressed out from so many other things that I’m not sure it is a good time for me to make big diet changes, even if it would be beneficial to my body. What is the trade off? Increased stress but better quality meals, or lower quality meals but not meal induced stress? I do plan to try the 10 day test after Christmas but depending on below this may have to wait until February.
- Personal stuff – I’m not going to go in to detail here. There *may* be big changes going on in my life. I should know yes/no in the next week or so. After that, either life will return to status quo (which is honestly quite appealing), or life will get even more hectic. If things get even crazier, they should level out around February. There’s nothing to be done for this. I am trying to put it in God’s hands and be prepared to accept either possibility. I am trying to do this with sanity and calm, but there is a lot of work and a lot of requirements of me. I don’t think it is reasonable to expect my stress level to drop considerably in the immediate future.
- A second point on this one. If this happens and I survive (heh) until February, I should be in a really good place as far as my home responsibilities go. That should translate nicely to our new, changed, existence and result in a decrease from even my “normal” stress levels with how things are now. It’s just a matter of surviving, right?
- Hormones and medications go together – if I don’t take the meds I lose my hair so they stay. Perhaps in improving my diet I can improve my overall health (that’s the whole point of this book, yea?) and no longer need to take these medications but until then… I also can’t take off my prenatal because I am still nursing so these I cannot or choose not to change.
So that’s where I sit. The things I can change are diet and exercise. I choose not to make many changes so really I’m just going to lower my training HR.
It’s hard to place my finger on why I think I’m not progressing. The thing is that my first test was a little bit of a dud. I felt good with it – a little bummed I was so slow, but confident that I had done well, but then my next run (a hilly out and back as compared to my test run on a flat quarter mile loop a few days after) was much faster. What? That makes no sense. So I consider it a bit of a wash. That’s actually a good thing because I can pretend in my head that I haven’t actually done a test yet. lol.
I’ve been struggling the latter part of my week day runs lately. I feel great going out but my HR struggles at the end. You can see it on my graphs as well. I’m decently steady going out, and then my pace is up and down as I run – walk – run – walk – run – walk and try to keep my HR low. I have this personal problem (does anyone else do this?) where I don’t really remember anything before. I’m not talking about long term memory loss, I do remember the past, but I don’t remember a few weeks ago. Really, I would say Thanksgiving is the cut off right now. I got sick the week before thanksgiving (Thursday/Friday ish) and ran that 5k sick. Then I was really sick Monday/Tuesday and walked with a friend. Then by Thursday I was feeling better and tried to run but my HR spiked and I came home. I didn’t run again until Monday. I haven’t ran on the weekend since then so only my Mon/Weds stroller runs. Every one of them (I think) I have had this problem. It’s like I’m great to a point and then my heart just can’t handle it any more. Is this because I’m still recovering from illness? How long does that take anyway? It was just a head cold. I suppose I should look at older runs and see what it was like before then.
I’m to the point where I understand my HR shows so much about my body (more than how fast I can go, and into how healthy I am) but I’m not knowledgeable (yet) enough to diagnose it. But I’m certain it means something. (See above).
So February. The holidays will be over, the personal stress will be passed (or nearly), the kids will be back in school, and I should be ready to tackle this again. I plan on doing a new MAF test, doing whatever strength workout is not going to hurt me, and really tackling this as a means of getting healthy. I will try the 10 day dietary test. I will go all out to try to get better healthy and aerobically. I will do what I can until then, but that will be my big kicking off point. I hate that it is so far off, but I think it is unreasonable to decide to do it before then with everything else going on.
These posts are always so rambling. I find myself with so many words and my husband gets sick of hearing it. I process by speaking though. If anyone is actually reading this (I don’t believe anyone is), I would appreciate prayers as our family makes transitions. Thank you.
The best laid plans right? I changed my mind again.
Monday night I was tired. Not just tired, but exhausted. Hubby was out working in the shop and after cleaning up from the day I couldn’t stay awake to wait for him to come in. I read a little of Maffetone’s book but couldn’t keep my eyes open.
One thing he said stuck with me. He talks about how over-training doesn’t necessarily mean your training is wrong or too much. He talks about how it’s all related to your life as a whole. So, while my training plan is sound, perhaps I am so tired because my life is crazy busy and a little bit stressful (the mental plays a part as well). So after having trouble getting up Tuesday morning I decided to make (another and hopefully final) change.
So here’s the plan:
- Monday – medium run at MAF heart rate
- Tuesday – BBG and walk
- Wednesday – medium run at MAF heart rate
- Thursday – BBG and walk
- Friday – rest
- Saturday – long run (see other post for that spiel) and BBG
- Sunday – rest
I am sticking with the idea that all of my runs are technically “recovery” effort because of the low HR. So there’s no need to double up my more difficult workouts on the same day to have a real rest. My most “difficult” run is a rest. The exception could be the long run, but that has to be doubled up anyway to allow for 2 rest days so it just works out.
This also works better with my life. 2 days a week I get to come home and do BBG in between kiddo drop offs. That frees up so much time for me (and mental stress from trying to fit it in) by getting it done early. Then I can go walk in the afternoon between kiddo pick ups. I’m already out, so instead of sitting in the car I’ll walk around the neighborhood by the school. I’m really excited to give this a try.
Monday 11/14/16 – Planned medium run of 50 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 40 minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 2.76 miles at 15:49. I turned the program off when I decided to walk, so I don’t have my usual data. My splits were 13:43, 14:53, and 19:43 (partial). I got really sick while I was out. I felt horrible. I ended up walking back to avoid a horrible bathroom embarrassment. Ugh! I haven’t felt like that in so long! Actually I haven’t felt like that at all since I started working out at a lower heart rate. For that reason, I’m assuming it was not related to the workout alone. I felt sick Sunday night but thought I was fine in the morning but apparently not. You can really see how poorly I felt in my splits. The fastest split includes the walking warm up. ha!
Tuesday 11/15/16 – Planned walk of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 2.19 miles at 18:52 (Warm up 18:54, Work 19:14, Cool down 17:16). I didn’t wear the heart rate monitor. It seems less important for the walks. Plus with all of those hills I don’t have much of a say. I’m pushing a hundred something pounds and going up hills – if it goes up it goes up. So maybe that will be part of the new deal: no heart rate monitor on the walks.
BBG went great! I got a little nauseous but I had a great time reminiscing on my first time through the program. I remembered how weeks 2/4 were the hardest for me. I couldn’t hardly do it. I hated them and just wanted them over. Today was fun though! I can tell I’m getting stronger and it just feels great that something that was so hard for me before is just another workout now.
Wednesday 11/16/16 – Planned walk of _ minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, _ minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 3.09 miles at 15:10 (Warm up 17:30, Work 13:49, Cool down 18:48). This run cemented my thoughts that Monday’s stomach issues were a one off. I felt great. I am noticing a few trends on the trail though. Past the train tracks, on the way to the park, there are a lot of up hills. I struggle to run this without my heart rate getting too high. It really throws off my groove, because I have trouble maintaining my heart rate after that which, in theory, should be easier because it is downhill. But it’s not. I struggle basically the whole way back. I’m sure it’s something about the hills hitting when am reaching a point where my body is more tired anyway.
I spent this run thinking about the 5k on Friday. It’s been a long time since I attempted to do anything fast. I really don’t even know what “fast” is to me any more. I don’t want to gas myself but I want to push myself and perform the best that I can. I really don’t know what that feels like. This is how I get stuck in my head. Anyway I’m going to talk to the hubby (we’re going to run together) but I think maybe I want to try an 11 min pace on the first mile and aim for negative splits. I’m really just worried about getting excited, feeling great, and gassing. I have not ran a 5k in over 5 years AND the only 5ks I’ve ever done were when I couldn’t run 3 miles. So this is basically my first 5k as a runner. I know I can run 3 miles – no problem. Now I just want to run it as fast as I can. It’s funny having done 2 half-marathons as my only races since I started running. It puts me in a really weird place mentally. I keep thinking I have to get my pacing right because there is no time to correct it. In 13 miles, if I start too fast, I have time to recover and then get going again. There is plenty of time to make changes and corrections. But a 5k will be done in less than 45 minutes if I walk (which I won’t). The other thought is that, with the Maffetone training that I am doing, I am not able to run fast EVER. It’s frustrating. In fact, I’m pretty sure this race is not approved but whatever. So I want to make the best of it. If I get one day in 6 months to go fast, darn it I want to go fast! Ha! Ok maybe I need a glass of wine or something to get out of my head. I just want to have fun!
Thursday 11/17/16 – Planned walk of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, _ minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 1 miles at 29:15 (wu 26:32, work 29:59, cd skipped) and BBG. We had 3 4 year olds walking with us. It was a lot of fun to walk with them and see them enjoy running around.
Friday 11/18/16 – Planned rest.
Saturday 11/19/16 – Coyote Chase Race 5k and BBG, maybe.
Sunday 11/20/16 – Planned rest.
Week 11: 13.1 miles
It was COLD this morning! We have had highs in the 80s for the last week or so, but last night a cold front came in and this morning’s race started at 39 degrees. I was freaking out last night because I didn’t really know what to wear. I was NOT prepared for this coldness!
We got there early and warmed up with a short walk/jog. Then we hung around waiting for the start. Derek and I ran together – kinda – but not really. We started together anyway. I saw the kiddos as we took off but I don’t think any of them actually saw me. I was past them when I saw and yelled for them. We were still in a huge crowd so I don’t know that they saw me.
Side note, this is the first time my children have come to an event. We didn’t try for Cowtown (cold) and they didn’t get to come to Plano Balloon Festival because of the storms. It was emotional and absolutely awesome to see them cheering me on and waving from the side. The second time we ran in to them, Derek was a little ahead of me. I saw him pick them up one at a time and spin them around. This cost him a medal in the end, but it was totally worth it to see them having fun seeing us at a race. So much love!
The first mile passed quickly. I was a little confused when my watch beeped. We started out up hill but my pace was great. Before hand, I had figured I would start at 11 minutes. That would be a fast pace but would allow me to have negative splits. It was really a shot in the dark since I had no clue what speed I could race at. I’ll be honest, running in my aerobic heart rate zone all the time messes with my head. I had no clue how fast I was capable of running. I just knew I didn’t want to gas. So that first mile I ran in 9:09. What?! A lady passed us telling her daughter “we’re going to try to keep a 9 minute pace” and I was like “why are you with me then?”
I did get slower, but that’s ok. Mile 2 was also uphill? In fact, I think the whole thing was up hill! Not much to report from mile 2. Derek was ahead of me a little bit. I took off my ear warmers. We ran in to the kids for the second time in this stretch. It was so cold out there but they looked so happy. I ran this in 10:44.
Mile 3 I started feeling sick. Apparently it was a bad idea to eat a big greasy breakfast before my first hard run in months. Who would have thought? I had to walk a little bit on a hill. I was actually looking at businesses trying to find a place to use the restroom but everything was closed. The stomach pain passed pretty quickly and I was able to speed up again. I finished mile 3 in 11:13.
I was pretty gassed at the end. We went up hill (again) and I was struggling. I saw the kids waiting by the finish line though and pushed myself through. I sprinted in at the very end (well as best I could with what I had left) and finished strong in 32:34.
This was big for me. This is the first 5k I have ran since having my youngest 2 kids. I ran the Mom Run 5k 5/7/11 in 43:52 (lots of walking) and the Dad Fest 5k 6/12/10 in 48:09 (mostly walking). So I PRed by 11 minutes and 18 seconds. Ha! I also came in First in my age division (women 30-34) so I got a medal. My personal goal was to run sub 33 and I accomplished that as well. The plan was to run 11 and then post negative splits, but I got there a different way. ha! So all in all it was a great race and a lot of fun. I can see how 5ks could be addicting and I’m excited that we get to do 4 next year!
I compared my runs of similar distances since “ever” and found something that shocked me. I knew that this was a good time for me now and it is by far a PR for official races, but I had no idea how I stacked up to before my injury last year. I ran a lot then and I always see last year as being a time when I was in “better” shape. So I searched my Running Ahead archives. I viewed anything from 3.0 to 3.5 miles (since we aren’t looking at races here) and then sorted by pace and… PR there too! My next fastest time was in August, then March, then June and THEN 2015. March was nearly a full minute slower and August was 47 seconds (average pace here, not total time since the distances are not exact). I remember August. That was before I started my Maffetone training. I was doing sprints, long runs and speed runs. For the speed run, I would either run 1 mile as fast as I could (the beginning of summer) or run 3 miles as fast as I could (August). I just can’t believe that this is my personal best time. I’m ecstatic and it makes me a little emotional. I’m proud of the work I’ve done and the progress I’m making. It’s back to the slow for me, but I can’t wait to see the progress I make in the next race we do.