A Little Less Of Me

My quest to become thinner and healthier

7/30 Workout: Long Run 30 July 2011

Filed under: Feel the Burn — lennonzgal @ 13:35
Tags: , , ,

I honestly don’t think it was in the cards for me to complete 10 miles today, but I did it!  I spent a good portion of the run trying to psych myself out – around 3.3 miles, I was rethinking the whole half-marathon strategy: “I don’t REALLY need to run that race, do I?  I mean, if I just quit at 6 miles today, I can run 10Ks for a while and just get back into it when I’m good and ready…”  Around 4.5 miles, I was just thinking I should throw in the towel: “Really.  Its been 2 weeks since I ran any sort of valuable distance.  4.5 is more than enough of a start to get back into it.”  Thankfully at 4.5 miles, I still had about 1.5 miles to even get back to my door, so I just kept moving forward.  Around 8.5 miles, I was a short distance from home and could have gotten there in a brisk walk through a couple of backyards.  At that point, there was a baseball game starting in the field behind my neighborhood, and a little boy was beginning to sing the National Anthem.  As cliche as it sounded, that struck me.  I stopped listening to my own iPod and I kept going.  I kept going, thinking of every single person I know in the military.  I kept going thinking of how they had to run from bombs, bullets, etc.  I kept going thinking they probably ran 10 miles in boots, full gear, and backpacks.  And somehow, I finished those 10 miles.  Albeit barely 🙂

In the end, I finished in 2:21:30-ish.  My watch died literally 2 minutes after I got back, so I can’t double-check my time at the moment.  That’s an average of 14:09/mile.  Not too shabby for someone who hasn’t run anywhere near that distance in over 2 weeks.  I actually started running a new pattern – 3 minutes run, 1 minute walk, and I really think its making me faster, as backwards as that seems.  I think that I can move faster because really, what’s three minutes in the grand scheme?  Nothing.  So, I power on, and pound out a little more distance.  By the end, I was doing more 2 minutes run, 1 minute walk, but still … to come in lower than my last race pace is decent.  I’m hoping that as each week passes,  I can keep up the 3:1 ratio a little farther and eek out a PR for the race.  You know, assuming I don’t end up with bronchitis again … thankfully, I think this one was just a cold, and I think its starting to subside.  I should be able to breathe through my nose again for the next run!


7/28 Workout: Run 28 July 2011

Filed under: Feel the Burn — lennonzgal @ 11:43

My run schedule has admittedly been really off over the past couple of weeks.  Two weekends ago, I was too hung over to run – while I don’t actually get hung over in normal terms, I apparently can’t run without feeling like I’m going to throw up.  Lesson learned.  Last weekend, it was around 90 degrees out at 8am and not exactly conducive to a 10-miler.  I realize I may have to get used to the fact that its getting hotter and more humid, but even the heat advisory said specifically to not exercise outdoors, and who am I to disobey the weathermen?

I’ve been keeping up with my weekday runs pretty well – both of last week’s runs were in the wee hours of the morning to avoid the nasty heat, but they were definitely shorter than I’d have liked, merely because it was just too damn hot, even around 5am.  This week’s have gone much better, despite the fact that I’ve got a cold and cannot breathe through my nose at all.  I did a run on Tuesday evening and although it was most certainly hot out, it was tolerable because the humidity had been less than in the past week.  I managed 4 miles at just under 13;45/mile, which wasn’t too shabby.  Today, I did another early-morning run because Will has class tonight.  It was a shorter, 3 mile run, but I eeked under 13:45/mile again, which was great.  I’d been moving slower in the mornings, so it was nice to see that I’m at least somewhat getting used to it.

Will finishes grad school next week for good!  What that means to me as far as exercise goes is that the early morning runs are less a necessity now and more a matter of deciding whether I want to run in the heat or not.  I’ll probably still do a few morning runs here and there when the temperatures are looking nasty, but I always prefer running after being actually awake, and I definitely prefer running without a headlamp.

All in all, this morning’s run was decent.  I’m glad I was able to get out there and pound out a few miles – I really considered getting back into bed this morning.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again though: sleeping in my running clothes really helps.  If I wake up and I’m already dressed for the run, I’ll feel stupid getting out of those clothes when I haven’t used them yet.  It may be a silly motivator, but if that’s what I need to get my butt out of bed, then so be it!


7/21 Workout: Suckadelia 21 July 2011

Filed under: Feel the Burn — lennonzgal @ 11:22
Tags: , ,

Once again, up at 4:15am for a run.  Once again, it was so stinking humid that the sweat started pouring off of me the instant I got outside.  It was only in the 70’s out there, but the air was so thick that my headlamp wasn’t even able to project as far as it normally does.  I made it around 2.5 miles at about a 13:30 pace before I literally could not sweat anymore.

I could feel the sweat dripping down my face, so I tried to use the top of my shirt to wipe it off and ended up actually wetter than I had been with just the drips.  Go figure.  Normally when I run, I know I’ve been sweating because my arms may be dry, but they’re gritty from the salt that the evaporated sweat left behind.  Today, there truly was a layer of soak sitting on top of every inch of my skin.  When that happens, your body can’t push anymore out, and you start to overheat.  I probably could have gone another mile or so in a slower walk/run pattern, but I was getting dizzy at the end of each run interval and thought better of continuing.  I went home  to shower and wave to my neighbor who was on his way to work – if I hadn’t been drunk and flashed him this past weekend, I’m certain that the butt-early AM running would be the thing that made him  really think I’m nuts.  Thankfully, that ship has sailed.

I’m not sure how I’m going to handle this weekend’s long run – I didn’t do last weekend’s because I was some semblance of hung over – I don’t normally get hung over, and I woke up feeling fine, had breakfast, the whole deal … it wasn’t til I started pounding the pavement that I got a little nauseous and dizzy and thought perhaps a half-bottle of vodka the night before a long run was NOT the best idea I’ve ever had.  Actually, I had quite a few bad ideas after having consumed the half-bottle of vodka, so at least it wasn’t the WORST idea I’ve ever had … gotta take the good with the bad, I guess.  So, no run last weekend.

This weekend was scheduled to be a 10-miler.  Next weekend is supposed to be 8.  I was thinking about switching them, but really – what’s the big difference between 8 and 10 miles?  Not much, if you ask me.  Once you’ve pounded out 8, you can limp the next two with little trouble.  I think I’m going to wait until Sunday to do it because its supposed to be cooler that day, so I need to remember to hydrate and not drink on Saturday.  Good luck to me!


Counting Calories? 20 July 2011

Filed under: Musings — lennonzgal @ 11:40
Tags: ,

I was perusing CNN this morning (trying to get up the motivation to actually do my job…), and I found this article.

If you don’t have the time to read it, the basic gist is that at least 1 in 5 restaurants have calorie listings that are at least 100 calories below the actual count.  Personally, I’m not surprised.  I mean no offense to the restaurant industry, but come on … a) they damn well know that people are going to look at those calorie counts and potentially avoid their restaurant because it makes us feel guilty;  b) a lot of restaurants (I’m specifically thinking of a place like Panera here) have those foods made by a different person each time, so yeah … those counts are going to be a bit off based on the individual throwing your meal  together; and c) even if they’re given specific measurements, that’s not guaranteeing that all branches of the restaurant use the exact same brand of food in their offerings, and very often different brands means different calorie counts – I’d even be willing to bet that a lot of places know that and use the calorie count from the lowest-calorie brand they offer.  Not to mention, none of those counts usually includes things like cheese, condiments, or anything else that might increase the count.  Subway for instance posts their calories based on bread, meat, and veggies.  No cheese, no mayo, etc.  I don’t know about you, but on the off-chance that hell freezes over and I’m stuck eating at a Subway, I’m definitely going to use at least cheese to add some semblance of flavor to that roll.

While I don’t find it particularly surprising, I do find it rather annoying.  Although I’m not an avid calorie-counter, I will often try and figure out my POINTs for Weight Watchers based on a restaurant’s website when I can.  I always add a POINT or two just to make sure I’m giving myself enough leeway, but come on … the article said that one restaurant had a product that was around 1000 calories over what they reported.  You just can’t account for that, and talk about frustrating when you’ve been doing all you can and still gain weight.

Granted, that’s why Will and I maybe eat out twice a month, if that, but still … not everyone can get home and cook all the time.  And even we don’t necessarily “cook” so much as we sift through the freezer praying that there are leftovers to  be had.  A lot of people simply can’t find the time to cook when there’s work followed by soccer followed by swimming followed by baseball, etc.  Sometimes eating out is the only option, and when you have kids, you’re sort of stuck with a smaller variety of restaurants, so you just hope that the calorie counts are accurate.

Personally, I hope this is a wake-up call to those restaurants that do report their calories.  If you’re going to do it, at least try and be as accurate as possible in doing so.  I’d rather they over-estimate so that I’m pleasantly surprised when I lose more than I thought I would, rather than gaining when I thought I should lose …


7/19 Workout: Speed Run 19 July 2011

Filed under: Feel the Burn — lennonzgal @ 14:02

Today’s speed run was sort of pathetic. I’ve been averaging 13:00/mile for my speed work, and today’s eeked out just under 14:00/mile, which bummed me out. I blame two factors:
– The humidity. It has got to be like 300% humidity out there today. I started sweating as soon as I hit outside, despite the 70-something temperature. I was soaked through about a mile in. Doesn’t exactly make for a good run.
– The time. Due to the heat wave, I decided to do the she 4:15am wake-up for a 4:45am run. You just can’t speed up when you’re still half asleep.

So, I basically slogged forward, just hoping to manage 3 miles, which I did. The major problem with the morning runs is that I’m on a time crunch. I need to get to work by 6:30am because I need to leave by 4:30pm (I work 10 hour days to have Wednesdays off) to pick Liam up from daycare. With a half-hour drive time, that means I need to have run, showered, and packed my lunch by 6. Getting in a run that’s almost an hour long isn’t feasible with that timeframe. It’s definitely nice to avoid the heat wave, but on morning runs, I’m not getting the mileage in that I’d otherwise hope for. I prefer to keep at least one weekday run around half of my weekend mileage. That would put me normally at 4.5 miles for my speed run rather than 3 miles.

My main hope is that the wave doesn’t last log so that I can get back to more quality evening runs next week. That said, I’m still pretty proud of myself for managing yet another hideously early morning in the name of physical fitness!!


7/14 Workout: Hill Run 15 July 2011

Filed under: Feel the Burn — lennonzgal @ 10:56

Last night’s run was a ball.  Not because of the run itself, but because of the company.  Will and Liam were home yesterday instead of today because Liam’s school has a little show going on today that we wanted Liam to get to see.  So, when I got home and mentioned that I was thinking of running, Will asked if I thought that Liam could pedal as fast as I could run.  I smiled.  Of course he can – probably that kid can pedal faster than I can run … he’s a little hellian on that bike!  So, we planned for a family workout with me running and Will and Liam biking.  It worked out pretty well – when I did the hill bits, Liam and Will either waited at the bottom, or they went forward and biked a cul-de-sac until I caught up.  All in all, lots of fun, and I managed to eek out just under 14:00/mile, which is great for hill work.  It was just 2.5 miles, but my legs are definitely feeling it this morning!!  I can’t wait til we have another family run!


7/14 Workout: Speed Work 14 July 2011

Filed under: Feel the Burn — lennonzgal @ 11:23

Had a great 4.5 mile jaunt last night!  I really meant to work out earlier than Wednesday, but I can’t even begin to tell you how tired I’ve been.  Thankfully, Liam and I slept in a little bit yesterday, so I feel about a million times better.

The heat also seemed to have broken a little bit by last night, which was nice.   I don’t know that my run would have been nearly as good had it been 95+ out.  It was about 83 or so when I started, and there was a storm brewing, so it was even cooler than that by the time I was headed back to the house.

What motivated me the most were these three damn kids in the neighborhood (whose addresses I now know, should they do it again) who thought it would be funny to make animal noises at me as I passed.  I had JUST read an article in Runner’s World about hecklers, and here I was … being heckled.  How annoying.  I made a note of the house they were exiting, and used that irritation to propel myself forward even more.  I will say this though: if they do it again, I’m not continuing on … I’ll be knocking on the door of the house they’re at.  They biked off as I continued running, and one of the dumbass kids was pulling into his driveway further down the neighborhood as I was passing – he was not pleased to notice that I now knew where he lived.  I’m expecting that he’ll keep his big fat mouth shut next time.

The best part of my run?  Liam met me for the last .15 miles, and we ran them together.  He was cracking me up, running ahead of me and saying, “Mommy – you have to run WITH me!”  Its hard to run and laugh at the same time!  Honestly, having him there was an absolute treat.  It may have slowed down my overall time by a few seconds, but … WORTH. IT.

Overall, I did 4.5 miles in 58:50, which seems to have worked itself out to 13:30/mile.  I had averaged 13:00/mile til that last .15, so not bad at all.