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It’s time to train…..

It’s time to get serious again. I like training. I like plans and order, and clear expectations, and training fits that better than just “going for runs”. I also like the things I learn while training, and the improvements I see, so it’s win-win. (I’ll try to remind myself I wrote this, when I’m in the middle of hill repeats or intervals) I also need the accountability. It’s too easy to blow off a run when it’s “just a run”. The excuses are endless, and all good ones. I should spend the time with the kids, the house needs work, my volunteer activities need my attention, I need some sleep, my leg/back hurts, and on and on. But when I’m training, I feel like I have a set of rules to follow, and the excuses get weaker.

I’ve also gained a solid 10lbs in the last 6 months. This is a combination of not running, holiday eating, and stress eating. Running helps me burn off stress, and makes me feel good about myself. Eating crap is a (lousy) coping mechanism I have for stress and feeling low about myself. So I have high hopes for an improved physique, along with improved pace. I’m giving a vegan diet a go right now as well. We feed our kids vegan, but I had been clinging to milk in my coffee, and eggs and dairy as treats when out and about. We’ll see how that goes, it makes junky eating a little harder, that’s for sure.

I’m excited about this. I met with my coach and laid out the plan. He’s calm and confident, and a scientist, so we work well together. I’m all about rules and plans and details, so I need that mindset to do my best. The 10k in April is our first goal, followed by a

HALF MARATHON!!!!

in October. Seriously. I’m still coming to terms with the fact I’m doing this, more than a little scared, but so excited to think about actually doing it.

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Still hurting

I’m beginning to wonder how much pain I’ve been ignoring all along. I feel like now that I’ve stopped pushing, with the goal of fully healing my body and getting rid of the nagging pain, I notice so much more pain. I don’t think I’m severely injured, so much as finally paying attention to the hurting. My back is seeing some improvement, after the 3 chiropractor visits I’ve had so far. It’s still not right, though. It’s been not-right for a long time, so it may take a while to get it right, I understand this. It’s still frustrating. I want to run, and I want to run without pain. It seems my IT band is acting up, as well. So there are a lot of different spots that hurt all down my right leg. It’s not fun.

I’m not running at all right now, as that seems the best. But I hate it. I miss running physically. I miss the mental break, and the lift I got from it. I miss the emotional release. And I really miss the metabolism boost. I love food, and I’m scared of gaining back some of the weight I’ve worked so hard to lose. I eat when I’m stressed. It’s kind of a double whammy, since I’m not running to deal with stress, I eat more, and since I’m not running to burn the calories, they matter more. Ouch.

I’m going to try water running tomorrow, I think. I’ve never done it, I’m not much of a swimmer, but I’m getting desperite. It’s less convenient, as I can’t just walk out the front door and start, the way I can with running, but I need to do something, and soon.

I Need a Plan

I work better with a plan.  This holds true in most areas of my life.  I like to have at least a loose schedule for the weekend’s plans, I need a to-do list to be organized in getting things done, and when it comes to diet and fitness, a plan is a requirement.

I’m noticing that if my diet and fitness aren’t “on plan” then I am distinctly “OFF PLAN” and that’s not a good thing.  Motivation wanes, poor diet choices replace the good ones, and it just slowly falls apart.  Being “on plan” doesn’t mean perfection or even rigidity, though.  It’s come to mean having a goal and planning the choices that help me get there.  Scheduling training runs and other fitness activities doesn’t mean they happen 100%, but it means I’m motivated to do them rather than finding excuses I don’t need to.  A plan helps me succeed.

My diet’s gotten way off track in the last week or two.  I’m not “on plan” with what had been working for me, so I’ve kind of given up and not bothered at all.  Making all these poor food choices,  I don’t feel good, and I know it’s not good for me.  I can’t seem to just step away from the junk food, make better choices one at a time, because I don’t have a plan, and I need goals and some structure.  So here’s the plan, what worked well for me before, and I’m confident will work well again.  Back to my regular breakfast of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced fruit, or a protein smoothie or oatmeal.  Fast, easy and nutritious.  Snacks back to fruit and veggies, carby things just get me mindlessly snacking and don’t pack the same nutritional punch.  Treats are for special occasions and to be enjoyed, not eaten because they are there.  And water, WAY more water.  I’ll feel better when I’m eating welldiet, and I’ll perform better.  I’m even thinking about cutting out dairy for a couple weeks.  I hear some people find a real improvement in their skin with this change, and I could certainly use some improvement there.

Since the TC10k, I’ve taken a couple weeks off of running.  My back and leg still don’t feel right, and I’d hoped a break from running might heal me up.  I think going “off plan” with my running is dragging my eating off plan as well.  Hopefully starting running again will settle things back into the routine I’ve been into the last few months.   My leg is still bugging me, but I’m working with a physiotherapist and she says I can still run, so run I shall.

Balance!

I’ve noticed that my higher (and more intense) energy expenditure lately has afforded me more freedom in eating. During 2010 I worked pretty hard on revamping my eating, along with adding activity, in order to lose some weight. I was successful in dropping about 30lbs, and have been feeling much better about my health and size since. Then I started training for the 10k early this year, and slowly relaxed my eating as I increased my training. More treats snuck in, as well as higher portions. But I wasn’t gaining weight! My smaller clothes still fit. After a few weeks of not-very-good-eating-choices, and no real change in size or weight, I realized I’d finally achieved something magical. That point where I could “eat what I wanted and not gain weight”!

What I want to eat has shifted a little over time. More apples and less crackers find their way into my day, I’m consciously trying to increase my protein at each meal, but I’m not being strict about it. Plenty of treats find their way onto my plate, especially over holidays. But that’s ok. I can relax about eating, and not gain back that hard-lost weight! For a gal who has always been big, struggled with eating and weight loss, this is fantastic.

Going forward, I’d like to lose another 10lbs or so. I feel more confident about it now, knowing it’s possible, and not requiring horribly restrictive eating to accomplish. Part of my next training plan will be a better look at my eating, and better nutrition planning to fuel my body well, and I think that a little more weight loss should just happen. If I train hard, and eat well, my body will do what I need it to.