QuarterLife Girl Gets Fit!

Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

I’m not sure how many people read this that don’t already follow my other blog, but for those who don’t know….I got laid off on Friday. It wasn’t exactly a surprise, I knew it was coming (just not when), and I’m ok with it, I guess. No anger, no panic (thanks to my savings), and to be honest….I was a tiny bit excited.

First one my reasons for my excitement: I can take some time off and have no excuses for not working out! lol. (I know, I’m weird.) Since I’d been expecting to get laid off for a few months, I found myself thinking relatively often “well, I’ll be able to do [this] once I’ve been laid off.” Anyway, since today was my first day with no work I decided it would be a good day to start back up with P90X. I’m following the “lean” schedule, so today’s workout was Core Synergistics.

In conclusion: I’ve either gotten way out of shape again, or something just wasn’t right because at one point I found myself getting dizzy (and almost seeing spots), and after that I had to wimp out on a lot of parts. Maybe I’m dehydrated? Malnutritioned? (I had french toast for breakfast though.)Either way, I’m going to try again tomorrow and hope it goes a bit better. Tomorrow is the cardio workout, so it’s a short one.

As far as my weight goes, while I haven’t updated my Weight loss tracking page on the site, I do have a very detailed spreadsheet on my desktop that’s tracking my actual weight versus where I should be if I assume I want to lose 1 pound a week. Right now I’ve been holding steady at 160 for a few days, but I’m hoping that goes down! As of next Friday I’m “supposed” to be at 159. How exciting! It’s been months since I’ve weighed in the 150’s.

So that’s that. I actually still have my running group tonight, but it’s been raining so hard all day that I’m not sure I want to go. The weather channel doesn’t predict that it’ll stop, however since they meet “rain or shine” there will still be a meeting. I’m feeling kind of lazy and running in the rain doesn’t sound particularly pleasant, however it would be a bit of an adventure. So part of me is leaning towards going. I’ll just make sure to take a towel so my car doesn’t smell like wet dog.

You’re probably wondering “what happened to Day 6?!” Well, I had to work late due to a deadline that was pushed up….that meant I worked until 7, and my running group starts at 6:30. (Plus it takes me an hour to get there in traffic.) So that was quite a bummer.

Day 7 was yesterday, Wednesday. I showed up feeling pretty good, energy-wise, however once I started warming up I realized I hadn’t had a real meal the whole day (I had “veggie pizza”, but that was basically a crescent roll covered in cream cheese….not the most nutritious thing). The second strike was when I found out the “two-one” group leader wasn’t there (the one that always stays behind to push me to finish), and instead we’d be running with only one (new) leader (we usually have two for each group).

I’m not sure if she started running faster than what we normally do, but by the first mile with the tw0-ones I was worried about not making it with them the full 3.8 miles and being left behind in the darkness. So, I stayed behind and joined the one-ones.

To make a long story short, I stayed with the one-ones, who were doing a 3.0 mile run, and by the end I was as tired as I had been with the two-ones. I’m not sure what my deal was…..perhaps its the fact that I hadn’t run at all in a whole week? The fact that I didn’t have a real meal? (Although I did have a protein shake 1.5 hours before, and a peach 1/2 hour before….or perhaps that was part of the problem too?) The fact that I felt disoriented with a new group leader? Either way, I wasn’t thrilled with my performance, although I did enjoy talking to some of the girls as I was running with the one-ones.

Anyway, next week I’m giving the two-ones a shot again. I’ll make sure to eat a proper lunch, and a carby snack a couple hours before. Oh, and more water…..I’m pretty sure I haven’t been drinking enough lately. I’ve convinced my BF to do a run with me on Saturday morning, so I’m fairly excited about that!

I counted out the days, and this was Day 5 of my Fitness 101 Training group! To recap the first days…

Day 1 – Ran with the one-one’s at about a 14:30 – 15:00 mile pace. Did great. Only in the last interval was I a bit winded. I felt gypped when I found out we only did 1 mile and every other group did 1.5 or more.

Day 2 – Ran with the one-ones. This time we went a bit further, 1.5 miles. I felt good throughout.

Day 3 –  Ran with the one-one’s again. This time our leader sped up to around a 13:30-14:00 mile pace. Much more challenging, but I was right there at the front of the group.  We ran 2.0 miles

Day 4 – Supposedly, the last week had been an “experiment” to get us to see if we could handle a faster pace. They encouraged us to step up to the next level if we did ok. I decided to run with the two-ones this time. It was a smaller group, and I was at the back. The first mile was ok, but after that it got tougher. Really tough. I thought I was going to die near the end, but I stuck with it and I finished! I was at the end of the group, but I finished with the group. We ran 2.5 miles. (Turns out everyone else had run more, but I was ok with my 2.5.)

Which brings me to yesterday, Day 5.

I was running late from work, and I thought I wouldn’t make it. As 6:20 rolled around, and I still wasn’t there (traffic SUCKED yesterday) I was debating just going straight home. I didn’t want to run in the dark by myself! I’m not sure what changed, but a few minutes later I realized it was dumb of me to skip my running day….first of all, I’m paying for it, and second of all I’d had a boatload of teddy grahams earlier and needed to burn them off. So, I got the idea that if I was a few minutes late it would still be ok. I could run slightly faster until I caught up with the one-ones! Perfect!

Well, I parked my car, and rushed into the store to change, and was slightly disappointed to find that they were just finished up their warm ups. Damn, I was STILL on time! So in the two minutes they gave out the day’s announcements/instructions I had a tough decision to make: Should I try to kill myself again and join the two-ones? Or should I take it easy for one day with the one-ones?

When they called out the groups, I had only a moment of hesitation….and I found myself walking towards the two-ones. Yikes! Apparently I missed the announcement where they said we had a choice between 2.5 miles (like last time), or 3 miles this time. Umm….no one else was objecting, so I didn’t want to be the only one saying no!

So, we started out. Already in the first interval I was getting nervous. (Oh, and did I mention I had a very rough day at work? I was emotional all day and almost had several anxiety attacks.) When the second interval came along and we stopped to walk, one of our leaders came over to give me encouragement, which is when I stopped to say “actually, I was debating whether or not I should drop back and join the two-ones”. Apparently he didn’t like that, so from then on he made it his mission to make sure I DID NOT drop back!

At the time I was slightly annoyed, and I’m embarrassed to say what happened next. During the next 3 minutes I proceeded to have a hissy-fit enduced breathing attack. It hadn’t happened in a while, but I guess my throat starts closing up, making it pretty hard to breathe without making a racket. I don’t know if he noticed, but I got kind of embarrassed at myself and forced myself to work through it. When the next running interval started, I went for it. Slowly, but I had made the decision to work through it nonetheless.

It was still difficult from then out, but I’m really glad he made me stick with it! And guess what….I ran the three miles! I didn’t finish as closely to the group as last time, but I finished strong. I must’ve gotten my 2nd wind because in that last interval I passed three people!

Anyway, yesterday proved to me that joining this program was what I needed to do. By the end of the 7 weeks I’m not sure I’ll be able to run a full 5k without stopping, but I have confidence that my running is going to improve greatly.

So last night was my first experience with my running training program! I’ll be referring to it as “Fitness 101” from here on out, since that’s it’s official name. Anyway, it was very interesting. I arrived ahead of time, had time to change my work pants (I’d worn a tank top under my clothes, so I was able to change shirts in the car….I wore 3 in total…it was cold!), pick up my packet, browse through it, then leave my bag before walking out to meet the group.

It was a pretty darn big group. I’m assuming over time the group may dwindle a bit as people lose motivation, but we’ll see. We did a group warm up (which was really funny since we all did it on a sidewalk in the middle of a busy shopping area. Drivers and pedestrians were staring as we shuffled and kicked and did all sorts of goofy stuff.), then we divided into groups. As I may have mentioned before, all groups would be doing an interval of running, followed by a 1 minute recovery walk. So we divided into the 3 minute runners, 2 minute runners, and 1 minute runners. While they said that you could always fall back in the event you start off too strong, I decided to stick to the one-one’s.

Since it was the first day they decided to just do a total of one mile. All in all, it was good. I didn’t feel too winded until the end when our leader “challenged” us a bit and made us run faster for the last interval. However, she made it clear that she had been taking it easy on us, and eventually we’ll be running at a 12-13 minute mile pace. (Keep in mind we’d been running a 15-minute mile pace, which is what I typically do.) When the other groups got back though, I kind of felt cheated….they had done two miles, while we only did one!

So, while I enjoyed myself, I’m totally doubting what I should do for the next session, let alone my overall “strategy”. I’m afraid that if I stick to the one-one’s there’s the possibility that I’m going too easy on myself, and won’t improve as much as I could. (And I may not reach my full-5k-run goal, like I want to.) However if I go with the two-one’s, that may be too much, and as our distances increase (and speed, apparently) I won’t be able to keep up. (And while they said we could easily fall back if we find it’s too much….I’m kind of scared of doing that because of how DARK it was!)

I have until Monday to decide what to do. In the meantime, I think I may go for one run and test myself running for two minute intervals for a mile and see how I feel.

Any advice?

Side note: I didn’t wake up for my workout this morning. In my half-asleep haze I recall convincing myself it was ok since I ran yesterday, and this morning was supposed to be a leg workout. I’m a little disappointed. However, if I work out this evening I don’t think I’d be in shape to work out in the morning….so I don’t know what to do!

Actually, I take that back. I think I figured out what I’m going to do. Tonight: legs and back as I was supposed to do in the morning. Tomorrow morning, if I feel up to it I’ll do Kenpo, as scheduled (which involves lots of kicking and whatnot….so we’ll see how I feel). Otherwise I’ll do Kenpo the next day and skip my “resting day”. That way I’ll be back on schedule!

It was really cold this morning. Well, by our standards here where I live in the south end of Florida. It was in the low 40’s!!! Even though I turned my heater on during the night, it was still pretty chilly when I got out of bed.

Either way, I dragged my butt out of bed at 4:30am….just to do Yoga X (part of the P90X program). The last time I tried it I had improved a bit from the previous time, so naturally I thought I’d do even better today. That was not the case. I don’t know if I’m doing things wrong, I give up too easily, or….I don’t know, a combination of both. Either way it felt disastrous. My glasses kept slipping off, and when I took them off (since I figured I could follow the instructions without looking) my balance felt off. (I’m extremely near-sighted.) I was also trying on my new yoga gloves since I’d previously had problems with my sweaty hands slipping on the mat…..but I was slipping inside the gloves anyway, causing some chafing on the heel of my palm, and pain between my fingers where all the pressure from the fabric was going. Epic fail….but I suppose sweaty hands weren’t a factor, so they kinda did their job. (This is primarily happening when I do downward dog….am I doing it completely wrong?!! Geez….)

Anyway, I know I’m being awful whiny right now. Considering half of the workout involves that sequence that frustates me, I feel like I’m not getting what I should from the workout. I feel like I’m not progressing at all! The good news is that the block I bought helped me a little. It just really sucks that half of the things on that workout are things I can’t do. (I can’t even do a standing leg extension! Argh! And a standing split? Forget it!)

Enough of the whining. The good news is I got up early to do it, and I did. I even finished “with time to spare”, and after the cool down all I wanted to do was curl up in bed again. Which I did. For too long. I ended up getting out of bed at 6:50, when I’m supposed to be at work at 7am. Oops.

As a side note, my triceps are killing me this morning! It’s awesome! For the first time I feel I really pushed myself with the arms and shoulder workout (yesterday), so hopefully next week I’ll see another improvement. It’s kind of funny how I always look forward to that workout the most….probably because we have to write down how many reps we did, with what weight. That way I get to see and feel an improvement right away.

Finally, I almost feel as though I can see a difference in the mirror already but the scale definitely isn’t showing it. Two days ago I was at 164, and yesterday and today I’m at 163.5 (although the scale wavered at 164 before shifting back down). I know I’m wanting to see more than I should be expecting, but I can’t help it. I feel good about how I’ve been eating lately. I’ve been kinda counting calories, and trying to balance out my food choices (a little bit of starches, protein, and veggies at each meal) and it’s amazing how much food I’m allowed to eat! I’m not fully there though, since I haven’t been writing things down at all, and it’s my snacks that may bring me over the edge in the end. Like the almonds I ate when I got home, before cooking. Or the chocolate orange slices I ate after dinner, or the mini-ice cream I had after lunch. Yeah, it suddenly sounds like a lot more.

Anyway, I have my first training session tonight. It’s a group training session, and after reading the trainers email from yesterday, I’m really excited! I have my bag ready to go. Once we get there we split into groups, the walkers, the “one ones” (running one minute, walking one minute), two-ones, and three-ones. I’m wondering if I should join the one-ones or two-ones. I know I’ve done 2 minute running intervals before, but I’m not sure how long I can sustain it, especially if they go a bit faster than I’m used to. Should I really push myself hard, or start off a little easier?

I’ll let you know how it goes!