Blogslackin’

Oh man, I have been severely slacking at keeping up ye ole running blog! And I’ve run a bunch of great races this year, all of which I have half-written recaps for, just waiting to be born. I’ll work on getting those up soon – in the meantime, I’m stoked to report that I finally broke one of my seemingly unattainable and hugest running goals this last Sunday in the Victoria BC half marathon – I finally broke 2 hours in the half, clocking in at 1:57:26!! I am kind of amazed, I never thought I’d be able to pull that off.

Photos and recaps to come…

Still sick! and musings on weight gain

Bah! Over a week later and I’m still fighting this thing. This almost seems worse than an injury because I can’t even cross-train – I can’t do anything cardio at all. That means I’m sitting around feeling weak and letting all my hard-earned fitness drain out of me like all the mucus fighting to get out of my face. TMI?

But truly, it sucks! I really hope I can pick the training plan back up again once i’ve slain this plague and not lose too much of the progress I made. I was really hoping to PR at NODM this year. As they say, if it’s not one thing, it’s another… Last year it was moving and relationship drama that derailed me; this year, my immune system decided to hide in a corner. Here’s hoping I can still pull off a miracle in the training time I have left!

I’ve also been experiencing (even more so as I’ve sat around sick the last week and a half unable to workout in any way, shape, or form) a creeping weight gain over the last few months. It was right around April last year that I cracked into the 130’s for the first time in around 10 years, but after my half season was over I inched back into the 140’s around October and have been steadily packing it on (in small increments, but still) ever since. I clocked in at 146.6 this morning and that’s a little too close to 150 for comfort, for me. I haven’t really changed my diet that much but I do think I allow myself a few too many cheater foods, more often than I should (as in, almost every day… dang Easter candy staring me in the face)

Weight is a weird thing to talk about when I “appear” to be at a good weight. A lot of people I know don’t understand the difference between “ok healthy weight” and “trim fightin’ shape” and tell me I don’t need to lose anything. They don’t know how great I feel around 139-138, how much lighter I feel when I run, and they also don’t see the flabby spare tire that coats itself around my midsection or the extra pooch to my thighs. I guess it’s the difference between “good enough” and “feeling awesome” – and not even for the physical appearance, but much more so how much better I feel. I would love to take off 7 pounds before June (NODM is June 2, incidentally) and I think I can do it, but it’s going to take getting over this nasty cough (and getting back on my 6-day-a week exercise schedule) and cutting out the dietary treats I allow myself a little too often.

I heard a lot of great things about MyFitnessPal from all kinds of sources and decided to give it a crack, and I can see why it’s so effective. I started tracking all my meals (and cheats, though those are painful to record sometimes) and hopefully this will help me stay accountable… you can see my food log here!

Wallowing in the land of sickness

Ugh! Just when I was getting in a pretty good routine with my training, some crazy plague sneaked up behind me and shanked me. Sunday afternoon and evening I started to feel like the energy was just sapping out of me – you know that weird, almost tingly feeling you get over your whole body when you start to get sick? – and my throat started scratching itself. Monday morning I tried to go to work and ended up coming home in the throes of fever and body aches – it felt like someone was squeezing me around the middle with an inner tube. I haaaaate that feeling of laying in bed and flailing wildly between chills and fever, hanging your leg out of the covers and then shivering in a pool of your own sweat. Yay sickness!

I stayed home Tuesday as well and went back to work Wednesday though I didn’t quite feel 100% – and I think I picked up another bug while my immune system was nursing itself in the corner, cause now this thing has morphed into a hacky, raspy, awful cough and runny nose, which wasn’t originally part of the package. I ran 4 miles Wed and while I felt ok while I ran (the cough seems to disappear when I’m doing something that gets my heart rate up), I felt extra tired afterward, like my body was shrieking “what are you doing, I needed that energy to fight off all these viruses you let into the place!”

It doesn’t help that I rarely get sick, so when I do, it’s like AMG END OF THE WORLD I WILL NEVER BE HEALTHY AGAIN! I’m not sure if continuing to try to train will be the best idea (per my training plan, I have 6 miles scheduled tomorrow) or if it will actually hurt my recovery. I just don’t want to get too far off track and lose all the fitness I fought for over the last month or two. GRRRR! Doing some fancy internet doctoring only reveals what I don’t really want to hear – with a cough, I probably shouldn’t exercise… it’s just weird that I feel ok WHILE I’m exercising. sighhhhh.

Well, guess I’ll continue to overload myself with vitamins and maybe pick up some Robitussin tonight…

New Years… goals

I hate “resolutions,” though I guess goals are pretty much the same thing, just repackaged. Ah well, goals you will get!

I finished 2012 somewhat better than I started – I began the year around 163 pounds and am currently probably sitting somewhere around 145-148 (I haven’t weighed myself since I came back to my hometown for Christmas, which is probably a good thing considering all the food I’ve eaten and exercise I’ve avoided!). Around July I’d actually gotten myself down to 138 somehow (though that number has continued to slip out of my grasp like a little snake ever since then) and my first goal will be to get back down there and maintain it – so:

1. Get to my goal weight of 138, and maybe less if I can manage!

This will require a bit more adherence to training… I seriously slacked off this year on the running/exercising and I’d like to step it up and run three times a week, and cross train at least one other day, so

2. Run three times a week and exercise a total of 4 days a week at least!

I did somehow manage to PR in the half this year (2:17) even with my crappy training, which I can mostly thank my weight loss for, so hopefully a combination of losing weight again and training better will help me to:

3. PR in a half marathon this year – with a goal of 2:10, and maybe less if I can swing it!

I’d also like to eat better in general but I can lump that in with weight loss – they kind of go hand in hand, after all. Another thing I need to seriously work on, though, is:

4. Pay off some of my debt and manage my money better overall.

I’m still wallowing in a credit card I’ve never managed to pay off and I’d really like to make a dent in it this year instead of falling back on it when times get tight. Ideally, I wouldn’t let myself get into the state of needing to use it (or FEELING like I need to use it) anyway.

Anyway, that’s all I’m going to lump on myself. In any case I hope to run a lot more miles in 2013 and get a lot more disciplined in general! Time to (finally) get life in a bit more order and maaaaaybe find a Mr. Courtney as well ;) That remains to be seen….

Bloggy fail

Clearly, I go through phases with blogging – when I first started I was meticulously detailing every run and every race as if someone cared to read about how my shins burned a little bit on week 4 of couch to 5k. But now I’ve actually run a bunch of races and haven’t gotten around to writing race reports for the majority of them – Seattle RnR half, the See Jane Run 5k, the Lake Union 10k, the Victoria BC half marathon (which was a fun weekend… I might go back and write that one), the Green Lake Gobble 10k. Clearly, runblog fail to the nth degree!

In both happy and depressing news I lost a bunch of weight this year (around 20 pounds.. huzzah!) and then gained some of it back (booo!). At my lowest I was about 136 back in July, but I started to steadily gain it back after my summer half marathons and I’m not entirely sure why. I’m currently sitting around 145 – which was my original goal weight, but I’d love to take off 6 more pounds and get back down to around 139 at least. The formula for weight gain is usually the same ol’ sad story – too many calories/bad food in, not enough calories burned off – but for the most part my diet hasn’t changed, I think I just started allowing myself more cheaty foods on a regular basis (instead of like, once a week) and started to eat more/fattier foods at dinnertime. I’m hoping to peel off 5 pounds in the last month of this year, which I think is a reasonable goal. Here’s to staying on the wagon! (It’s not JUST about the numbers – I really liked how I was looking/feeling when I was down in the high 130’s and not liking the encroaching bulge that’s threatening to take over my midsection again. Plus, I bought new pants for my smaller size and I don’t want to outgrow them… depresso)

Aside from that, YAY it’s Christmastime! Thanks to the evils of Pinterest I’m inspired to really clean up my house and decorate it all cute and Christmas-like. Guess I should finally finish unpacking from my move back in June….. >_> Purge mode, activate!

Christmastime is here

Why yes, it IS right in front of the fireplace!

My tree says hello! It sits in the only real space we can cram it into in our tiny living room that’s filled mostly with the giant hand-me-down couch I obtained from my brother – squished between the coffee table and fireplace. We don’t generally use the fireplace anyway, so don’t worry, we’re not in danger of torching the house down or anything.

I love Christmastime – I love all the lights on the houses as I go chugging on by at my pedestrian running pace; I love blasting awesome Christmas music (for the 25 days out of the year I can listen to it, and yes I feel weird listening to it even the DAY after Christmas), I love choosing gifts and wrapping them. I go back to my hometown every year for Christmas and I love seeing my mom’s completely awesome transformation of the living room into a Christmasy palace lit by tiny glowing bulbs. I love all the food and snacks and warm drinks and Christmas parties. I also love it when it snows, but up here you have to take what you can get in regards to that (I think I’ve had maybe ONE actual white Christmas my entire life!)

I haven’t been blogging about running much but my runs have been a kind of threadbare maintenance shuffle lately. I’ve been averaging around 8 miles a week (lol) and about 2 runs a week. I know that’s a wee bit pathetic but it’s where I’m at. I really need a race or a goal of some kind to drive me to run more often. I’ve even been considering buying a treadmill so I don’t have the excuse of “but it’s so COLD and WET and DARK outside!” to keep me planted on my bum when I get home from work. I hope to start training for my 2012 half marathon season in February, but I really need to start building a better base back up before then if I want to improve on my races from this year…

Regardless, no matter how out of shape I feel right now, I’m still going to enjoy this December and experiencing Christmastime as only a runner can – step by step, pounding the pavement in the dark to the ambient glow of tiny multicolored lights.

To go to bed late and get up early makes a man cross, mean, and surly

I’ve been thinking lately that maybe it’s time for me to switch to early morning running. As it is now I’m chasing the light to get my runs in before dark after I get home from work, and within a month or so they will ALL be dark after work. Running in the dark at night kind of freaks me out for a few reasons, but running in the MORNING darkness doesn’t sound as scary – the bad guy types probably aren’t early risers, after all. That, and it would be nice to get my run out of the way early and not have to worry about it for the rest of the day.

However, I’m also a night owl, totally not a morning person, and usually shower at night – so getting up early to run in the morning would completely throw off my existing lifestyle, if you can call it that.

The other option that I’m trying to avoid resigning myself to is running on gym treadmills all winter… but the mere thought of that is enough to turn me into Eeyore. (#firstworldproblems?)

Have you ever made the switch to morning running? What helped you pull it off – especially if you’re a night owl at heart?

I think I have a problem…

I’ve mentioned this before, but in reviewing race photos of myself I notice a disturbing and somewhat amusing trend:

just call me Gumby

WHY do I run like that?! And more importantly, how do I FIX it? ha

I guess I can say I’m not a heel striker, but I look like a rubber chicken. I’ve tried thinking about bringing my legs up straight while I’m running to get more lift out of my trailing leg, but I was attempting to employ that method the whole time I was racing in the See Jane Run half (the leftmost photo up above) and that one’s the worst of all, haha.

I’m naturally a bit bowlegged so it might just be something I have to live with… but I wonder if people watch me run and go “yikes, that girl is going to snap an ankle!”

In other news, I had a bit more exciting than usual bus ride home yesterday evening…

shredded!

We were cruising out of downtown like any other day when BLAM! the sound of the rupturing tire blazed through the bus like a shot. It was so loud we all thought someone had crashed into the bus. The driver shrieked and pulled over, and we all filed out of the crippled vehicle and walked to the next stop to await the following one. Of course, being rush hour, the following bus was already pretty full, but most of us managed to cram into it like sardines for a slow, personal-space-defying ride home.

Later on I went to the home of my most favorite cupcakes in the world for a little 500-calorie bomb of deliciousness. Was it bad for my diet? … clearly, but was it deliciously worth it? YESSSSS.