Saturday, January 25, 2014

Virtual 5K!

This morning I did a virtual 5K. If you've read many posts, you know that I'm a fan of Katie over at Runs for - she lost about half her body weight, and has kept it off for three years or more. Along the way, she became a runner, and her story reminds me that I can do this. 

Anyway, today is her birthday, and the second annual RfC Virtual 5K. Basically, you sign up on her site, say you want to run, print out a bib, and then run at some point. You can report your times, be entered in a drawing, and just have a little fun with it. 

This is obviously an "after" picture.

I set a 37-minute goal. It's been long enough since I've run the entire 3.1 mile distance that I wasn't sure I'd be able to do that -- my only 5K official time (from TWO years ago!) was 39:40ish. I've run 3.1 miles since then, but only used my Garmin to track time. I've never been below 38 minutes. I picked 37 minutes for this one, and knew I'd be happy if it was 37:59!

I did a tenth of a mile walking warmup, then set the speed at 5.5 mph. I'd chosen a route in Venice to view on the treadmill, because when I watch TV I tend to slow down so I can hear the dialog. I put on my headphones and pretended this was just an outside run. 

This was the map:

I wanted to take a picture of the actual view I was getting during the run, but that's really hard to do when you're, you know, running. 

I won't lie -- my knee was not happy with me and I really didn't know if I could do it. I took a few 10-second breaks just to stretch my knee. But I never went below 5mph -- stayed at 5.5 for the first mile, then dropped it to about 5.3/5.1 for the rest. When I had a half mile left, I bumped it up to 6mph just because I was so close to beating my goal and I didn't want to risk it -- I only stayed there for about a minute, then dropped it back down to 5 or so for the rest.

The results:

Hooray! I did it! It was amazing how having that very specific goal in mind kept me from stopping or slowing way down - my  brain really kept trying to tell me I couldn't do this today. It was wrong. :-)

Thanks, Katie, for the inspiration! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'm way more than five.

I've been avoiding this blog post like the plague.

I know it has to be done. I don't want to do it. 

Suck it up, buttercup, and go.

It's time to get back to the serious business of health and weight loss. 

Two years and two weeks ago (roughly), I made a commitment on this site to finally get to my goal weight. What actually happened was that I lost about half of the total weight I needed to lose, and stalled. For.over.a.year. 

On the up side, that means I maintained a 35-pound loss for a year. Yay. I've never done that before, so congratulations to me.

On the down side, that means I've not reached that goal weight yet, and the clock is ticking. I'm not getting any younger, and I am going to slay this demon before I die. [Morbid, yes?]

I've done a little soul-searching to figure out why my head wants to lose this weight when my body fights with every fiber of its being. I'm not 20 anymore, my life is pretty great -- why does it matter to me? I've earned the right to eat what I want, right? 

Except I don't like it. I don't like pulling out a pair of pants that fit last month to find they're tight. I don't like wearing loose tops to cover the muffin top. I don't like back fat. That's all about me. That's not caring what other people think, it's what I want to change. I want to like exercise (THAT is a huge hurdle) because I know I'll never be one of those "easily skinny" people--this will always be work for me, unless I get my jaw wired shut or stomach stapled. [Even then, I'd probably find a way to mess it up.]

Now that we've established I don't like having these 40 pounds hanging around, I've got to get serious again, or resign myself to basically staying put. And by staying put, I mean probably gaining back what I've lost, as that's the way it usually goes. NOT acceptable. 

I subscribe to a blog called Zen Habits, written by Leo Babauta. Just after the first of the year, he sent an essay called "The Child that Holds Us Back." Hopefully I'm not breaking any copyright laws here, and I give him full credit for what follows:
It took me a long time to figure out why I, and so many others, have difficulties changing habits and making lasting changes in our lives.
It all comes down to a little child. And that child lives within each of us.
I had a hard time quitting smoking in 2005, because I really didn't like the extreme discomfort of enduring the powerful urges to smoke. It was hard, and I kept trying to rationalize giving up. I kept wanting to give in to the urges, and make life easy again. At my weakest moments, I wanted to give up.
And I had given up, the seven previous times I tried to quit smoking and failed. I gave in to the urges, to the rationalizations, to the voice that said, “Go ahead and smoke — why are you making life so miserable for yourself? Life is too short.”
This is the voice that stops us from making lasting changes.
This is the voice that says it’s OK to have those pastries, those French fries, that fried chicken. Life should be pleasurable!
This is the same voice that says it’s OK to skip out on exercise, because exercise is uncomfortable and not fun and you’d rather be on Facebook or playing video games or watching TV. Life is too short for misery!
This is the same voice that causes you to procrastinate when you’re facing a difficult task. It causes you to skip meditation, or skip learning a language, or skip writing your book, because you’d rather be doing something easier.
This is the voice that keeps you from starting your own business, or pursuing the job you always wanted, because you’re afraid of failure.
It’s the voice that gives up when things are hard, and convinces you to give up too. It keeps you from meeting the love of your life, because you don’t want to go through the uncomfortableness of meeting new people. It keeps you from keeping the love of your life, because being honest with them is scary. It keeps you from learning to be alone with yourself, because that’s scary and lonely.
This voice isn’t you. It’s a little child inside you. It’s the younger version of you, perhaps when you were 5 or 6.
This little child, this younger you, doesn’t like things that are uncomfortable or scary or difficult. What 5-year-old does?
This little child likes things that are comfortable and safe and pleasurable.
This is the child that you were when you learned all your thinking habits, when you tried things and quit because they were hard. Who could blame a 5-year-old for being like that?
But you’re not 5 years old anymore. And yet your life is run by this 5-year-old. Mine was for many years, and sometimes still is when I’m not aware of what’s going on.
The trick is to notice that this 5-year-old child is telling you what to do. But don’t listen. Don’t obey. Don’t believe its rationalizations.
You can endure difficulty. You can learn to be OK with discomfort. You can face the fear.
And I'm not 5. I'm way more than 5. 

More to come later on what I plan to do. 

Who's running your life? What are you going to do this year to discipline your 5-year-old?