Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tra la la! It's Halloween!

Before my butt goes completely numb from typing this from the couch, I've got a few pics of my moose self to post.

Here I am.  While I'm not too bad from the front, you can still discern some of my problem areas:  chub around my knees, big thighs, moose arms, and a ferret stowaway around my middle.

From the side, the thighs look better but there is some booty toning that needs to happen, plus my definite ferret stowaway problem.  Oh, and those gigantic arms. 

I took my measurements today and I have lost a few inches since I last took them.  The measurements, that is.  My last measurements were on October 7.  Since then, assuming I measured in more or less the same manner this time, I have lost one inch each from my bust, waist, and hips.  I also lost 1 1/2 inches from my thighs and half an inch from my moo calves.  Yay me!  Let's go get a pizza to celebrate!  ;)

Around December 1996ish, I bought these jeans.  They are a size 12, but from 1996 so I'd say today they would equate to a 10 (stupid vanity sizing).  I bought these jeans because at the time I was close to fitting into them.  I have never fit into them since.  I've come close a few times, but not even enough to zip. 

Wow, I hope I'm not standing up straight in this picture because otherwise there is some new weird crap going on with my spine.  Anyhow, you can see that these are pretty much mom jeans with that high waist.  I don't really plan on ever wearing them out.  But I do plan to fit into them.  In fact, I plan to fit all the way out of them, as in I will be too small to wear them rather than the other way around.  The main issue in the jean arena is my ferret stowaway, aka my belly chub.

Here I am trying to hold the belly chub in.  While I gain weight absolutely evenly all over (even my toes get the chub), I am what would be considered an apple -- I have much of my extra weight in my tummy area.  

I believe I am standing up straight in this picture.  I had to kind of lean back a bit to take these side view pics.

So, to sum up, it's been nice to see that something positive is happening.  I'd be happier if I had measurements to compare from August and September, when I was actively training; since my injury I haven't run much in October.  I can't tell if I've lost muscle from not running or gotten toned from running.  Oh well, plenty of time between now and May to figure it out.

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.  It's not raining and I am going to be heading out soon for a dose of puppy love and to chauffeur my friend to the bookstore (she had minor surgery earlier this week and isn't mobile enough to drive).  And it's Halloween!  My favorite holiday.  I saw a trick or treater on my way home from work last night.  Thankfully they didn't come to my door, because I may have felt compelled to point out that before Halloween it's not trick or treating, it's just begging. 

Spooky cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dis little plan of mine, I'm gonna let it shine

Why yes, I am just chock full of whimsy.  Why do you ask?

So.  I've been thinking about this plan of mine.  The calorie plan, that is.  (Not the one where bunnies take over the world and I sit at their right hand, handing out rabbit treats.  We won't mention that one.)  As I believe I've mentioned before, I wasn't losing weight when I started running and the two options for resolving that problem and therefore losing weight are:

1.  Eat more.
2.  Eat less.

Hence my previous post where I set out my plan.  Da plan, if you will.  And I will.  Oh, I will.

No, I have no idea what's gotten into me today.  Why do you ask?

Getting back to it, I calculated the BMR for a person at 190 lbs, moderately active.  I also calculated the BMR for a person at my goal weight of 145 lbs, moderatively active.  Throw in some other reasoning, presto chango, I am aiming for a calorie goal of 2000-2100 calories per day. 

But then I got to thinking about how much exercise is considered being "moderately active"?  Is it being alive + burning 300 calories a day at exercise?  + 500 calories?  What?  This goes back to my dilemma of, I am eating too little or too much?  I thought, maybe I should also calculate the BMR for a sedentary person at 190 lbs and 145 lbs, see what that comes up as. 

Using the same calculator, I come up with 1935 calories per day a 190 lb woman needs to be alive.  For 145 lbs, it is 1700 per day.  Okay.  Now I know.

Now what do I do with that information?


Well, let's think about this.  At 190 lbs, about where I am right now (187.6, actually, but who's counting?  I am, bitches!!), 1935 is still consistent with my target of 2000 calories per day.  But that should mean that I need to net 2000 calories per day, right?   I can either do nothing and eat 2000 calories per day, or I can eat more and then burn off the difference between what I consumed and 2000 calories.  Sounds logical, yes?  Except that 2000 calories appears to be what I need to maintain 190 lbs, rather than what I need to lose a pound a week, my target amount of weight loss.  But then if I am burning calories through exercise wouldn't I need to take in additional calories to fuel the exercise itself?


And what would running be?  Moderate activity or very active activity?  For me, the moose, I'm thinking maybe running is very active.  Gah!!!

Okay, off to consult the "professionals," in this case, the Mayo Clinic.  I was using the other BMR calculator because, frankly, it popped up numbers I liked.  But let's compare and contrast, shall we?

Mayo's BMR calculator says that for 190 lbs woman of my age and height, my BMR (using their terms) at inactive it's 1935; at somewhat active it's 2150; at active it's 2350; and at very active it's 2700.   For 145 lbs, at inactive it's 1700; at somewhat active it's 1900; at active it's 2050; and at very active it's 2400. 

Now here is the part that helps me out (thanks Mayo Clinic!).  It gives examples of light activity (walking or gardening), moderate activity (fast walking or water aerobics), and vigorous activity (jogging, bicycling or lap swimming).  Then, you have your categories when selecting your usual activity level of:  inactive (never or rarely do physical activity), somewhat active (light activity or moderate activity 2-3 times per week), active (at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week or 20 minutes of vigorous activity at least 3 days a week), and very active (large amounts of moderate or vigorous activity in your day). 

Based on that, I would put myself at the higher end of active.  When I'm training, that is. 

The end result of all of this -- and thanks for coming along for the ride, I appreciate it! -- is that I still believe a calorie goal of 2000-2100 average calories per day is a good target for me.  Also, I may well have been eating too little on average by up to as much as 500 calories per day.  That's an entire meal!  As I get back into a regular training schedule, I may need to up my calories accordingly.  But I think that in the short term (one to three months) that this will keep me satisfied food-wise and enable me to lose about a pound a week. 

Now off to finish my lunch!

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Thursday

Yes I know I said Fridays would be the random day, but that is the beauty of randomness, no?

I woke up to pouring rain and a request to do six Impossible Things before breakfast.  Okay, four Impossible Things to do before the end of business but the other sounds more poetic (and whimsical) so neener.  I did have to send a return message letting the requester know that Impossible Thing No. 1 would take at least all of today and that Impossible Thing No. 2 would on its own take at least another entire day.  In other words, some people have no concept of time relative to completing a task.

Moving back on topic, I hauled out the scale and weighed myself this morning for the first time in a month.  First, I had to update my age since my birthday was this week.  Then I hopped (well, stepped really) on and survey says:  187.6.  Not bad.  Last time I weighed myself I was somewhere just over 190, I think 190.3 or 190.6.  I am also soon to have the carnage in my pants (I love typing things that I expect will make men cringe, plus I just really like the word "carnage") which should mean I'm actually ferrying around a couple of pounds in water weight, at both weigh-ins.  I also need to remember to reschedule my doctor's appointment next week (that's carnage related.  Carnage carnage carnage!!).


Anyhow.  I expect today will be a somewhat high calorie day in the scheme of things.  The main feature of my lunch is a turkey, swiss and avocado sandwich with mayo.  Which apparently I bought real mayo instead of light mayo when I was last buying mayo.  I'm not sure why, but since I will be having a tablespoon of mayo on my sandwich, as well as having a whole avocado, my sandwich will be chock full of calories today.  About 95% good, healthy calories, but calories. 

And then there is the cake.  We are having my birthday celebration today at the office since I now take my birthday off, and there will be cake.  It should be chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and then more chocolate, because one of my hard and fast rules in life is that for your birthday you get to have whatever cake you want and damn everyone else if they don't like it.  So it had better be chocolate cake.  No filling, unless it is filled with chocolate.  No lemon poppyseed cake.  Which isn't really a cake in my book.  Just chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. 

There will also be liquor, champagne as always as well as pumpkintinis.  I plan to have a flute of champagne.  Nothing else.  Not looking forward to having to argue the point with my coworker, but there you go. 

Hmm, not much random in here today, is there?  Plus my break is almost over so I will just say a big cilley hello! to my newest follower Staci.  Hi Staci!  Welcome!  That brings the grand total of people who read this to seven.  Seven, seven, seven fans!  Ahahahahahaha!!

The Count is random, no?

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Making a plan

As you know, after being injured a few weeks ago it has been difficult to get back into my running routine.  The weather isn't helping; it has taken three days for my shoes to even resemble dry after getting soaked in Monday's downpour.  Add to all of that a feeling that I've been fighting off a bug plus my approaching TOM next week.

Also in the mix is that I haven't lost any weight since I started marathon training two months ago; in fact, I was slowly adding a few pounds.  I know it's from trading fat for muscle, but in the past few weeks my clothes started to feel less than snug.  I know I can be prone to going overboard with food (not a whole lot, just enough to trigger weight creep) when I don't feel well, either physically or mentally, and lately it's been both.  With the injury, the weather, etc., I've had a hard time answering the question of "why am I doing all this?"

So, I need to make a plan and set some goals that, ideally, can and will be met over the shorter term.  I've been thinking about it -- since I haven't been running much I've had the time -- and here's what I have come up with so far.  These are all one month goals, for the month of November.

Goal:  Keep a food diary.

Why:  I've written before that I'm not sure if I am eating enough calories or too much.  I've had success keeping calorie intake around 1600 calories a day on average -- when I'm not exercising.   Since I've started running I have more or less lost a clothing size but I've only lost maybe ten pounds max since January.  Which was the ten pounds I'd slowly added back on in the six months or so since I'd stopped keeping close track of my calories.  I think I eat around 2000 calories a day on average.  But again, I wasn't losing anything and I should have at least lost a few pounds because I was now burning around 1500 extra calories a week on average.  According to various calorie calculators, based on my weight/height/age/activity level my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is 2500 calories a day.  I should have been losing at least some tenths of a pound in a week. 

This goal will go through Thanksgiving, so that should be interesting. 

Goal:  Aim for 2000 to 2100 calories a day.

Why:  The calorie counter I checked today had my BMR at 190 lbs at 2498 calories a day.  2500 for simplicity's sake.   That would mean to lose a pound a week I would need to cut 500 calories a day, by intake or by exercise.  I also calculated my BMR for my goal weight of 145 lbs; that comes up to 2194 calories or 2195 for a nice round number.  Between those two, 2100 calories a day should result in a slow, steady weight loss. 

I'm not going to set a goal of what type of foods I will eat.  I try to be balanced and do okay in that respect.  I should eat a couple more servings of fruit and veg each day and definitely go for more variety but I have fruit and veg issues so I consider getting anything close to the USDA recommended daily allowance at all a good thing.  Plus as far as weight loss goes, it's only the number of calories that matter, not the type.  It might affect things like cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc., but not weight loss. 
I started my food diary again today to get back in the rhythm.  I just had a glass of milk and a Reese's peanut butter cup and am at 1779 calories for the day.  That should be it for today for me.

Goal:  No fast food drive throughs, with the exception of McDonald's breakfasts (but only on a day I have already done a run) and Taco Bell (but only on bellydance nights).

Why:  I always order more than I should eat.  And then I eat it.  But only if I have gone through the drive through and then taken it home.  I wouldn't sit in a restaurant and eat that much.  I wouldn't even order it in the restaurant to take it home.  I wouldn't order or eat it if I was with a friend.  Hence, the goal.

As for the exceptions, let's look at it one at a time.  For McDonald's, I can make the calories work, with or without doing a run first.  But the quality of the calories isn't what I want to eat on a regular basis.  Yet there are days -- not very often -- where it is an indulgence I feel I need, so if it works calorie-wise and I limit it to the rare occasion then I believe it is a workable exception.  Plus we all know that a draconian diet simply is not workable for anyone, particularly in the long term. 

For Taco Bell, my bellydancing class starts at 6:00 p.m. and I'm going there pretty much straight from work.  I grab a granola bar for on the way there but just don't have the time to eat more than that, plus I don't want to exercise on a full stomach.  So on my way home I stop at Taco Bell for a couple of burritos for dinner, which run about 800-900 calories and they are filling as well.  There isn't a good alternative to this.  If I don't pick up dinner then I'm inclined to eat junk (and a lot of it) instead, and much later than normal so that it triggers my acid reflux during the night.  If I went to another fast food drive through I would order way more than I should, and I would eat it all, and it would really trigger my acid reflux during the night.  Oh, and eating anywhere other than Taco Bell is kind of pricey.  At Taco Bell, I get two burritos for under two dollars.  Hence, the Taco Bell exception was born. 

So those are my goals for the month of November.  I think in another week I will add in an exercise goal, after TOM.  The crazy time at work is starting early so I fully expect that exercise will become a definite challenge to fit in through the end of the year. 

I think is enough for tonight!

the CilleyGirl

Monday, October 26, 2009

Missed it by thaaaat much!

Mom is in town for my birthday weekend and as part of the festivities we did the Run Like Hell Portland 5K on Sunday.  As you know, I've been waffling between walking it or running it.  Sunday morning, I decided I would run it.  I was hoping to be under forty minutes, which has been one of my goals since I started running.  Official rules?


Missed it by 42 seconds!!  Oh well, 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything.

I'm sure I could have made it if the last half K or so of the course wasn't a long gradual hill.  I didn't carry water with me and at the turn around point the cup of water I grabbed at the aid station just didn't sit well on my stomach.  I think it was too cold, or maybe I just needed something more like Ultima but I started flirting with a side stitch and feeling like I was going to yak.  That feeling came and went for the rest of the race and by the time I was doing the hill (the 5K course was basically flat but for that hill) I was really feeling like I was going to be sick. 

While the course was good, the race itself was not.  Very poor organization.  I walked back down the course until I found my mom (she walked it in 0:54:06 and then ran the last 20 feet or so to the finish) and then walked almost to the finish with her.  We watched some of people finish (the half-mrathoners were finishing with the 5Kers) and then I was getting cold and thirsty so we went to pick up my bag at the bag check.  There were at least 100 people -- I kind you not -- in a snaky line waiting to get their bags.  It took us over 30 minutes to get our stuff.  Apparently they hadn't put the bags, labeled with bib numbers, in any sort of order plus the people getting the bag weren't organized so at any given moment you had half the volunteers searching for the same bag while the other half stood around.  By the time I got my jacket and a couple cups of water we did not want to try the lines for food or beer so we left for breakfast. 

Maybe the next race I'll break forty minutes.  I'll need to get some weather proof running shoes and pants before I do; I went out this morning to run and right after I got to the track it started to POUR.  Pour pour pour.  I was feeling great in my run but the track started to flood, my shoes got soaked and felt like bricks and my pants were getting so water logged they were falling off.  I called it good after two laps and sloshed on home.  But hey, I went!

Mom is taking a nap and then we have pedicures scheduled for later today.  Tomorrow is my birthday and we're doing breakfast then she needs to head home while I go hang out with my friend S who will be nicely drugged up after having minor surgery in the morning.  Maybe she won't notice if I swipe some of her good drugs!  ;)

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The SickeyGirl

I'm starting to lose the battle against whatever bug I've been fighting.  It isn't helping that my boss appears to be sick again (and he's here in the office with it).  Plus I re-strained my leg at dance class this week; I will not be doing any more dance moves on my tippytoes, let me tell you.  Between the sickey blahs and a swollen Achilles, my great start to this week's running has fizzled.  I got about 11 hours of sleep last night and still I feel crappy.  And when I feel crappy, I tend to get comfort food; last night was bbq wings from Round Table Pizza.  And a pizza.  I could eat a birdzilla's worth of those wings.  Six feet across these wings could be, and would eat lots of them. 

Okay, off to home and to rest and get better.  Luckily I'm broke so no more eating out!

the SickeyGirl

Monday, October 19, 2009

Week 8 and Day 51: Let's do the timewarp again!

I am happy to report to all my cilley friends that my head is once again firmly reattached somewhere north of my armpits.  I am restarting my training, with my first injury behind me.

That makes today the second day of Week 8, so I'm on to Day 51 of my marathon journey.  As I reported in my spotty blogging (does that sound dirty?) over the last two weeks, since being injured on October 8 I have only been able to run a couple of times, logging in only 4.62 miles over a week's time where I was scheduled to run closer to 25.  On Saturday, I participated in the Catalyst Challenge, my first real run to see where I was at injury-wise.  I was originally planning to run their 10K but out of caution I switched to the 5K instead.  I didn't run the whole way, it was definitely not my fastest time ever, I overdressed for the weather and couldn't get my breathing right, but -- most importantly -- my leg did NOT hurt at all.  Sunday I sat down with my training schedule and decided I would drop back into my training schedule for the week before I was injured.  I undertook this training with the idea that I would have to make adjustments along the way, mainly for work and weather, so I have room to do this.  I am so glad that I do.

Today I ran my entire 40 minute run, doing just about the same distance I did on Saturday overall but about four minutes faster.  A tad demoralizing that, since I walked a good chunk of Saturday's 5K whereas I ran all the way today.  But still, about 1:25 faster per mile is nothing to sneeze at.  I do not foresee a problem doing my Wednesday and Thursday training; Saturday has 90 minutes on the schedule, my mom gets into town that day, and we're doing the Run Like Hell Portland 5K on Sunday so I will gauge how I and my leg feel before adding that much mileage at the end of the week.  I may do only 45 minutes on Saturday since I will be doing the 5K thang on Sunday.  I also may walk the 5K with my mom so she isn't all by her lonesome.

Break time is over.  Hope everyone is starting their week off in a wonderful way.  Big big congrats to Nicole for not only completing her first marathon but beating her goal time as well!  Yay Nicole!!

the CilleyGirl

Friday, October 16, 2009

Random Friday Cilleyness

Since I'm status quo with the running, I decided to dub Fridays as the day for "Random Friday Cilleyness."  So here are a few things about me.

Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine" always leaves me with the urge to watch the movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

I am a Kevin Smith fan, primarily his six Jersey trilogy films with Jay and Silent Bob (I have yet to see Clerks II however).  Yes, I know that six is more than three.  This is why I like Kevin Smith.  I haven't seen his conventional films yet.  I could probably do without Jersey Girl but I want to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno.  Because that's how I roll.

I get my cilleyness from my mother.  In high school, my mother packed me and two of my best friends into our station wagon and took us to Washington State University to check out the college for a weekend.  To get to Wazzu from the Seattle area, you drive across the state with your primary scenery being farms.  Driving along the freeway we passed a horse farm.  We all looked, we drove on.  After about five minutes, my mother says in a loud yet conspiratorial voice:  "Did you see those two horses back there having sex?"   Dead silence.  Then I said:  "Yes.  But we're too classy to say anything about it."  More than twenty years later, when I take a car trip with my mother or with those friends, we're still asking each other "Did you see those two horses back there having sex?"  Many people find me to have a rather raunchy, occasionally inappropriate sense of humour.  Then they meet my mother and say:  "Oh.  That's where you get it from".  This is particularly true if you take my mother and add alcohol.

I love you, Mom.  Wouldn't have you any other way.   :)

I get the crazy from my father.  That, and a propensity toward addiction.  Oh, and my eyes.  Thanks Dad!

My eyes are not one color.  Go ahead, I dare you to look and see for yourself.  My eyes are blue, grey, and green.  With a brown spot in the left eye.   Everybody says "But they're gree--- no, wait.  Blue?  No, kind of blue-grey?  But with a greenish tint.  And then there's that brown spot in the one eye."  They come from my paternal grandmother's side of the family.  I just put "green" on my driver's license and call it good.

My favorite color is the bluish-purple of a summer twilight. 

I had my first cup of coffee during an all-night study session the last semester of my senior year in college.  I didn't really drink it after that until I moved to Cilleyland and into a job with a Starbucks in the lobby.  I still rarely drink it; I'm a diet coke girl and there is something like three to five times as much caffeine in coffee as there is in soda.  Last week's coffee binge (I had four cups worth of coffee) left me jittery in a bad way with an acid stomach.  I always wanted to be a tea drinker because I thought it seemed cool.  I kept trying but tea tasted like crap to me until a couple of years ago when I went to a real British tea house (at least as real as you can get outside of Britain).  Now I've developed a taste for it, although I still prefer my diet soda.

The first job I had that I ever loved is the one I have now.  It only took twenty years out in the work force to find it.  I hope to keep doing it for a long, long, long time.

My phone's ringtone is the theme to Magnum, P.I. 

Is that enough?  Okay, good, because my break is almost over.

I'm still on track (heh) to run a race tomorrow, the leg is tight but doing well, but I am going to ask at today's packet pickup if I can switch from the 10K to the 5K.  I'm wearing my new pretties today and they feel good.  If I'm only doing a 5K tomorrow I might wear them for that.  They feel so much more supportive that my current shoes, even without insoles. 

I need to get my focus back and get back into training.  Let's forget about the Burger King I had last night.  My jeans are feeling nice and loose.  Am I ready to go down a size?  Or do they just need to be washed?  It is a toss-up, truly. 

It's less than 200 days to Eugene.  I can do this.  I will do this.  I am able to do this.  Go me!!!!  In my PINK!!!!!!! shoes!

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My rojo has been spotted in the area

I only had a brief glimpse but I know it's nearby.  It's been gone long enough to get a little skittish around people, so I've set up a few things at home in the hopes of luring it back:  Clif Shot Bloks, Ultima replenishment drink, a new long-sleeve running tee, and my beautiful new pink babies.  I'm sure with such temptations my rojo will be back home begging me to scratch behind its ears in no time!

After a bit of online retail therapy yesterday afternoon for some running gear (don't worry Mom, I didn't buy anything.  I'm waiting for you to buy it for me!!), as I was leaving the office last night I realized it was (a) a little over 60 degrees out, (b) still light out, and (c) not raining.  A package from New Balance on my doorstep containing my new shoes and tee clinched it; I went out for a run last night.

Excluding the ten minute warm up to the track, I did about 40 minutes for a little over two miles (I will update my dailymile counter soon).  I ran a couple of laps, walked a lap, ran a couple more laps, walked a couple laps, and so on.  I still feel like I'm fighting off some kind of illness so I was definitely breathing hard after the first couple of laps.  My Achilles and calf did really well, no problem with the Achilles itself and only a bit of twinging in the calf.  What really started to bother me were my shins.  So either I had my shoes tied too tight (a distinct possibility; feet are bigger in the evening) or it is time to replace my insoles and/or my shoes.  Luckily I have these beautiful pink babies just waiting to be laced up and taken out for a spin.  I still need to pick up some insoles though.

I'll get some pictures up of my pretty new shoes.  They are beyond fabulous.  I would not call them pink, however.  I'd call them PINK!!!!!!!    Fuchsia really would be the better description.  It is that rich, deep, dark pink that you get when you cut into a Muppet.  Or so I've heard.  The accents on the shoe are dark grey.  Just beautiful.

I really like my new long-sleeve tee too.  It is black (I need to get something reflective to wear soon).  What I didn't see from the online picture when I ordered it was that it is stripey.  All these teeny horizontal white pinestripes.  I kind of feel like the Hamburglar when I wear it.  Or that it's the latest in mafia running gear.  Wait until I add the pink shoes.  Excuse me, the PINK!!!!!!! shoes.  I wore the tee running last night, just by itself (well, I had pants), and was comfortable in it.  I think it will be great with a vest (I need a water and wind resistant vest now) or a jacket. 

I felt pretty good getting up this morning, although I did not go run this morning that I kind sorta thought maybe sorta I would.  Just too tired.  I even took an Ambien last night so I could get a good, deep sleep, and I got at least seven solid hours in, but still tired.  I guess all the vitamins and vitamin C I take daily is doing its job to keep me from being sick but I wish it would keep me from being sick at all.  Oh well.  If all else fails, I can switch to hot buttered rums.  It's about that time of year now, yes?

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Am I sick in body or sick in spirit? Or both?

I've lost my mojo.  My running mojo, that is.  My rojo, if you will.  Whatever you call it, it is MIA.  And whether it is cause or effect, I don't feel so well.

As you recall, last Thursday I strained my Achilles tendon or had an attack of Achilles tendonitis or something.  The leg, she is ouchie.  I had to cut my Thursday run short, and I've since skipped my runs for Saturday, Monday, and today.  Saturday I planned to take off anyhow.  Some time around Sunday, my rojo headed out for a pack of cigs and a quart of milk and hasn't been heard from since.

So now I'm trying to figure out how to lure it back.  It's really not helping that during the time I could not have run, the weather was dry and relatively decent.  Windy -- like the Wicked Witch of the West themesong windy -- but decent.  I planned to run on Monday but my leg was still stiff and sore and my tummy was grumbly (not in a good "feed me" kind of way) AND it was cold and raining.  Today, it was the idea that it could be cold and raining that kept me from heading out.  That, and I just do not feel well.  I'm sniffly, I have a bad recurring headache, and I'm more tired than usual.   I don't want to get sick so I doubt I will run tomorrow.

All this wouldn't be too troubling except that I'm doing a 10K on Saturday.  I'd rather not have that be my first day back after not running for over a week.  I think my leg will do okay -- stiff, but okay -- but I just have this deep down feeling that if I push it right now I'm going to regret it.  Coming down with the flu regret it.  But is it my body saying that or my brain?  Is my rojo hiding to protect me from myself?  Are these the blahs of depression or the blahs of "my body needs a break."   Even The Biggest Loser fails to inspire me right now because I keep waiting (hoping?) they're going to burn Tracey in effigy.  Or, you know, in actuality.  Either way, it's distracting.

On top of it all, work is ramping up much more quickly than it should.  Usually this level of the crazy wouldn't be happening for at least another month.  I'm ready to settle in to it by then.  Right now is just too early.  I've got things I want to do. 

And I think I'm coming down with something.

What do you do to get that extra little push out the door and into a run? 

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ballet: It's not just for breakfast anymore

I don't know what that means, it just popped into my cilley little bwain.

The ballet was great.  A bit of a pleasant surprise shortly after my last post:  I had been reading the seating chart incorrectly.  Or, at least, incorrectly for three out of the four performances.  My season tickets are the el cheapo, bottom tier nosebleed section tickets.  Except it turns out I'm in the nosebleed section (2nd balcony) only for one of the performances which is in a different theatre.  For the other three, I'm in the orchestra down on the floor but on one of the far sides.  My seat is in Row V, which is the mumble mumble letter of the alphabet.  Hey, it's less than 26 rows back, okay?  And I'm about in the middle of the row.  So the seat turned out to be really quite nice.  Nice people around me too. 

The performance was half Balanchine's Emeralds, then the rest was eight or so excerpts from other ballets they have done.  Everything from classical (like Tchaikovsky) to modern (jazz and hip hop).  My Achilles winced in sympathy pain every time someone went on pointe, which was about 99.6% of the time.  The lady behind me said her shoulders cringed (she'd had a series of shoulder surgeries) in sympathy.  I'm really looking forward to February's performance, A Midsummer Night's Dream.  I love Shakespeare.  One of the excerpts today was from that ballet, although I think the February one has all different sets and costumes based on the publicity stills I've seen.  I still need to arrange for Nutcracker tickets; they're not part of the season ticket per se although you get them at a reduced price.  My ticket today:  $12.75.  Kind of a bummer, though, that I had to pay $6 for parking. 

Watching the ballet renewed my desire to get healthy and stay that way.  With this leg, that means stretching.  I live in a very small townhouse; some friends joke that instead of a shoe, I live in a boot.  Shortly before I moved here, I had purchased four exercise DVDs.  But I have no room in my living room or bedroom in which to do them so nearly three years later they're still in the original packaging.  The only place where I have space to exercise is in my upstairs landing, which has no TV, and my den, which had no TV until yesterday when I set up an old one I was going to donate (it isn't digital and the cable connection is funky so the picture wasn't coming through clearly).  On my way home from the ballet, I stopped and got a cheap DVD player and some additional exercise DVDs -- yoga for beginners and a Jillian Michael's "no more muffin top" DVD.  Now I have room to stretch and reason to stretch and I'm going to do it.

But starting tomorrow.  I was planning to do it tonight, then I learned that last night's dinner is the gift that keeps on giving.  To distract myself from running out of Pepto, I'm going to bed after a few calf stretches.  My Achilles felt pretty good walking around downtown today, just a few twinges in my calf.  I'm planning on running tomorrow, a short 40 minute run.  If all goes well, I'll add a few more minutes to Wednesday and then decide what to do on Thursday.  Saturday I'm still signed up for a 10K and I intend to make it.

the CilleyGirl

Holding pattern: A day to watch other athletes

I'm getting a little bored without running, although ironically (no, I may not be using that term correctly and I don't care) I realized that I've only missed one run since this injury.  Yesterday would have been a beautiful, albeit a bit chilly and windy, to run.  Next week, the really crappy weather descends.  I predict my leg will be perfectly fine just in time for all of that.

I was on it a bit much yesterday, but two rounds of ice in the evening took away the swelling.  Today it is a little tight but no pain.  We'll see how it goes; I'll be walking around a bit downtown later this morning as it is the first performance for my ballet season tickets.  I got the very cheapest ones they had ($54 for their four performances during the season) as an early birthday present to myself.  Yes, if you are keeping count I probably have got myself two or three early birthday presents already.  There probably will be more.  I love October.  Anyhow, I'm looking forward to seeing these athletes perform.  I don't think I've been to a live ballet since I was a kid.

Before that, it is a special breakfast of real coffee with real cream and sugar and biscuits (homemade courtesy of Pillsbury) with honey.  I predict I will be bouncing off the walls later today.  Which is almost like running, yeah?

the CilleyGirl

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Holding pattern: Day 1

Until I figure out where I'll be dropping back into my training program, I decided there was no point in noting what day I am on overall.  And also because my training schedule is at the bottom of a pile of laundry and I'm too lazy to lift it up to get it so I don't know what day this is anyhow.

Since I can't run, chores are on the menu.  I spent five hours cleaning up my den to get ready for my mom to come visit in two weeks.  My leg was stiff and sore at first, but it loosened up a lot as I was moving things around, up and down off the floor, etc.  I still know the ache is there but I've got good movement without pain right now.  A good sign!  I'll ice it when I get back from the grocery store.  Maybe with ice cream ;)

Everyone go run some for me!

the CilleyGirl

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day 41: Off my leg and on my booty

I am happy to report that my leg is feeling much better this morning, such that my corresponding panic level is also much lower.  I'm also learning that I do not have the patience with an injury that I always thought I would have. 

When I've read about people having an injury and struggling to hold themselves back and rest in order to heal, I always kind of scoffed.  Probably because of all that couch potato time I've logged over the years.  I'm fairly good at doing nothing but lay around on my bum.  I figured that if I had an injury that was serious, or could become serious if I didn't stay off it, I'd stay off it and not push it.  Apparently not.  I was hassling my leg most of yesterday like some demented Verizon Wireless commercial:  Are you healed now?  How about now?  How about now?  My leg was not thrilled.  It was also swollen and painful.

But this morning the swelling has gone down considerably.  It is a little achy and definitely stiff.  My first thoughts were:  Hey!  Let's start stretching!  I bet we could walk a few miles tomorrow!  I did some fairly gentle stretching and within about five seconds my leg responded:  How about we don't!  Since my thoughts on this injury are ranging from I could do some walking this weekend and then I'll be able to do an easy run on Monday to I won't be able to do my marathon to I'll have to have surgery and will never run again, I am preemptively cancelling out my brain and deciding that I will not be walking or running this weekend.  Sunday I will reevaluate the situation.  If all goes well, I'll walk on Monday and maybe do a few minutes of slow jogging if my leg is pain-free. 

In other news, with my usual excellent timing, I finally told my mom about all this (the marathon, that is, although I also told her about my Achilles strain).  (Hi Mom!  You won't mind if I post that really goofy picture of you from when we went camping with Claire, do you?  Didn't think so!)   I told her on condition that she not tell my stepdad about it yet.  There are a couple of people I'd rather not tell right now, because I don't need the negativity, and he is one of them.  Well, I don't know how he'd react to the news so in the event he reacts like I think he would, I don't want him to know right now.  Particularly with this injury. 

Which got me to thinking about the Marine Corps marathon.  If I were going to run that, I'd tell him about that.  Provided that I'd already done one marathon.  I bet he'd be impressed by my doing the Marine Corps marathon.  I'd be impressed by my doing the Marine Corps marathon.  Which got me to thinking about what other marathons I might want to run.  I say "might" because I'm about 50-50 on running another marathon someday after I do my first one and running my marathon and then never running again ever.  Really, it's even odds right now.  Last night I caught the end of the Berlin Marathon and this weekend the Universal Sports channel is broadcasting the Chicago Marathon live.  I'd like to see what that is like.  Mostly the main pack part of it; see what everyone is wearing, and so forth.  I did watch the entire Beijing Olympic women's marathon when that was on.  I never would have thought I'd do that (watch the entire thing, that is), but it was strangely compelling.

Oops, break time is over.  Gotta go!

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day 40: Uh oh.

As I've mentioned before, Thursdays are becoming the most difficult day of training in my week.  It is the only day in the week that does not come after a rest day.  So far, the problem has been primarily mental.  My legs will be tired from the day before, but not so tired that I can't run; the evil white bunny in my head just tells me I can't. 

Today I was prepared to combat the Thursday training blahs.  I had a shorter run on the schedule, only 45 minutes.  I had some right calf twinges when I got up and as I walked to the track, but since I forgot to do my stretches last night I figured (and I told myself) that the calf would warm up and be just fine.  I started my run, hitting a good pace, and despite the need to keep a near-constant pep talk going in my mind it was going pretty well.

Then at about 25 minutes into it my right calf abruptly seized up and I had to stop.  It was one of those where in order to continue (even to walk) I had to change my stride (limp, really) so I tried to walk it out.  I limped about 100 meters and the pain kept getting worse.  I stopped and did some stretches.  With the stretch usually done for your hamstrings, it felt like I pulled out the cramp enough to where I could walk normally although my leg was still sore.  I walked about another 100 meters and it felt pretty good so I tried running.  Nope.  Got about 20 paces and it cramped up again, shooting down into my ankle, and I couldn't get it to stretch out.  I had to head home, trying not to limp.  I was kind of successful so long as I walked very slowly.  I hadn't been cold when I'd been running but I started to get very chilly once I stopped.

I iced it when I got home and took some ibuprofen.  I can walk without limping but it's still very sore.  As I was icing my leg, and later when I was glaring at it balefully, I noticed some swelling low in that leg, about two or three inches above my ankle.  I check my Achilles tendons pretty regularly, palpating along them to check for tenderness.  Today:  tenderness.  When I get to a computer, I start to consult Dr. Internet.  Self diagnosis:  it's my Achilles tendon that has been causing the calf pain and tightness, not the calf itself.  Yippee.

As I mentioned, I've been concerned about the distance I have been able to go for last weekend's long run and this weekend's upcoming long run.  It seemed like it would be too great of an increase in distance.  Since this calf pain really got started after last Saturday's run, I'm thinking I did too much too quickly. 

So, the plan.  RICE the leg today and tomorrow.  Plan for a five mile run on Saturday, no more.  It may still take me 115 minutes, but I will keep it to five miles.  I'm going to stick to the track so that if the leg does what it did today I don't have to walk a couple of miles to get back to my car.  I figured that in my training schedule I would have to make accommodations for work and weather so there is plenty of room to ease off of training in order to stay healthy and keep this injury only temporary.  In the interim, new insoles are definitely on the agenda; I forgot that I changed my mind at the last minute and didn't order insoles but instead opted for a nice warm running shirt that was on sale for cheaper than the insoles.  I think I'm going to go to the running store and look at their insoles; I like to feel the things before I buy them.  And new shoes are coming, in case I've underestimated just how much mileage I've put on my current ones (I still think it's just time for new insoles in those, they should have another 100 miles or so left on them). 

Cross your fingers for me!  I'd say cross your toes too, but that makes my ankle ache.

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Am I a bad girl for buying them or a good girl for buying in PINK?

Either way, I did it:  These beautiful pink babies are winging their way towards me as I type.  Unfortunately I can't find a pic of them to post here so you'll have to click on the link.  But notice that they are ON SALE.  I was going to see if I could talk my mom into getting them for me for my birthday but they were ON SALE.  So I decided to get them for myself now and see if I can talk mom into getting me some cold weather running tops instead.  I also got some insoles from New Balance that are supposed to be for flat feet.  I'm due for new ones either way -- I wear insoles underneath my shoe's existing insoles, rather than replacing them, that's how flat my feet are -- and I currently have Dr. Scholl's el cheapos.  They've worked pretty well, but I'm curious to see if spending $40 versus $15 will make a difference.  I still have the occasional shin pain with my current insoles, so if the pricier ones work the same no harm no foul!

Except that now I'm really broke....

the CilleyGirl

The Biggest Loser: Week 4.

I'm eating my lunch as I write this.  A lunch I packed myself from home, I'll have you know.  A lot of nights my brain says "we're too tired to take all that time to pack up lunch for tomorrow.  Let's do it tomorrow morning; we'll get up extra early!"  And the next day I either end up (a) being late to work, or (b) going out for lunch.  So, since I knew this week's episode of The Biggest Loser was all about healthy food choices, particularly when eating out, just for kicks I decided to time myself to see how long it really took to make my lunch. 

I didn't come up with this brilliant idea until I'd been doing what I do to pack my lunch for a few seconds.  Then I had to watch TBL for a couple of minutes to check out the dishes in the food challenge.  Then I forgot to turn off the timer when I was done.  So I had to guess a bit.  Overall, I estimate it took me seven minutes of reasonably focused on what I was doing time to make my lunch.  Ten minutes for so-so focused on what I was doing (making my lunch often involves tripping over my dogs as they beg for treats or try to get me down on the floor to rip my throat out and then get onto the counter to eat all the lunch fixings). 

Seven minutes to make up a lunch that is much cheaper than and usually much healthier than what I can get eating out.   I can do that.  Generally speaking, my lunches from home average about 600 calories.   Today's lunch is a ham and swiss sandwich on sweet dark (whole grain) bread with a small amount of light mayo and honey mustard (about a tablespoon total) with pickle chips (I get my veg where I can).  Carrots with low cal ranch dressing.  Just dabs of the dressing; I think two tablespoons is 50 calories and I have maybe two teaspoons of dressing.  I get sick of eating carrots without it, so the calories are worth it to me.  Green seedless grapes, about 15.  And fat-free chocolate pudding (I was tired of yogurt that wasn't Greek yogurt, which I just discovered).   Some days I save the pudding (or yogurt) for an afternoon snack.  I get off work at 5:30; I usually start thinking dinner will sound good soon between 4:00 and 4:30. 

But hey!  I'm supposed to be talking about The Biggest Loser.  And eating my lunch.  Let's try that.

As you know, Red team fell on their big fat swords to keep Shay in the house last week.  Shay is PISSED that they had to make that sacrifice and she vows never to trust Purple again.  Poor Mo.  Dr. Phillian is out in full force when the contestants tell them what happened.  She tells them they need to put themselves first in this, no matter what.  It's putting other first that got them into this.  Amanda talking heads that she must do well because she is America's Choice.  I am getting tired of that. 

Tracey sees Dr. H and he sidelines her completely for the week due to "muscle damage" and the toxic by-products of that.  A lot of other bloggers felt that cleared everything up, but not for me.  Which muscle?  Did she pull the crap out of a hamstring or are we talking her heart?  She didn't seem to be going quite that hard for the former so that latter seems most likely and that would be extremely serious.  She can't do any activity other than easy daily activity (like walking up stairs to her room) and Dr. H says he would rather she not even lose any weight at all that week.  Tracey talking heads about how eager she is to get into the gym and how she's a panther inside.  I'm wondering if panthers eat their young?  Cause otherwise that makes no sense.  Tracey tells Mo he is carrying the team for yet another week.

The contestant's kitchen is padlocked, stem to stern.  They're all extremely disappointed but I'm thinking that they're all heavy enough that any one of them could easily rip those doors off their hinges.  Don't tell me at least one of them wasn't thinking about it.  This week the contestants have to eat out and eat healthy all week.  I wave my Taco Bell grilled chicken burrito at the screen to emphasize Allison's words. 

Food challenge.  Three meals, the teams have to guess which one is healthiest.  Winner of the challenge gets free healthy groceries for a year.  Shay, with three jobs (and who could find time to work out with three jobs, eh?), is psyched to win.  I vote for the BBQ chicken as the healthiest, and I, along with all but three of the teams, lose.  The real trick in this one was that the creamed spinach on the healthiest meal was low-fat creamed spinach.  Me, I saw the creamed spinach and immediately said no.  There is a follow-up question (how many calories in the healthiest meal) and Pink wins it. 

The teams order out.  They're doing them on the phone, in turn; can you imagine the poor restaurant?  People are very clear about what they want and do not want in their orders, so of course they get their food and it's all screwed up.  Always tell them you are allergic to whatever you want to change.  That tends to stick in their mind for fear of death and subsequent lawsuits.  Nice product placement with the gum in these scenes, by the way.  By the way he's tapping it, I bet Danny is a smoker.

Bob and Jillian take them all out for healthy Mexican food.  Since they're not at Baja Fresh, good luck with that.  Jillian says she needs to teach them all how to be high maintenance.  Hey, Tracey's already there!  Poor waiter.  I hope he gets a huge tip.  Every one does pretty well with their meals.  There is a salad with chicken, avocado and mangoes that looks fabulous.  I go to my kitchen to get some sugar free Jello for dessert. 

Dr. Phillian makes an appearance at the table and imparts some good advice as she browbeats Rebecca (by the way, what the hell is up with Rebecca's hair?):  Unless the changes you make have a purpose behind them, it will feel like torture to do it.  Very true.

Physical challenge.  Basically, they are on planks above a pool holding up all of their own bodyweight by their arms.  Funky lifejackets, by the way.  I wonder if the challenge would have been easier to have been face down on the plank versus face up like they were.  Some one try it and let me know, yeah?  Shay is the last girl hanging, which good for her.  It gets down to Allen and Daniel and looks like we could be here for a while.  Immunity is on the line and Daniel went home last season in Week 4 so he is determined to stay.  Allen finally drops (did it look like he threw the challenge to anyone else?) and Daniel wins!  Orange has immunity.  Which turns out good for the weigh in.

Last change workout.  While Tracey sits forlornly at the dining room table, beatings commence.  Mo is wounded (pulled something in his back, I think, and he has my heartfelt sympathy) but limps back to push through.  Amazing. 

Weigh in.  Daniel loses a big fat donut hole, and charges of gameplay are immediately made.  Beats me, but it was a good week for him to have immunity.  Allen looks pretty fly already.  He must wear his weight like I do; equally, all over, down to fingers and toes.  Rebecca's hair really bugs me.  Toolio and the Brown team end up below the yellow line.  They plead their cases, tears abound, more tears at the vote, and Toolio is going home.  At home, he is below 300 lbs (299) and hopes to drop the remaining 99 by the finale. 

And my lunch is over.  Next week, the players go to black and blue teams.  Here's hoping that choice doesn't fall to psycho Tracey!

the CilleyGirl

Day 39: Victory!

Today's run went great.  Yay!  So much better than Monday.  Sure, there was the usual it's too dark to be up this damn early, it's too early to be up at all, it's cold out, I'm the only one running the track because it's too dark and too early and too cold.  But my calf was doing much much better, only mooing quietly to itself occasionally, and my brain was on board with the whole run in circles in the cold and dark when it's too early to be up, leaving me able to run the whole sixty minutes with the exception of the ten seconds it took me to take off my fleece vest because while cold out it wasn't freezing (50 degrees as opposed to 40 -- felt positively balmy when I first started out).  

I think the nightly stretching and icing really helped my calf to shut the hell up.  I'm definitely going to keep up with the stretching; hopefully I won't need the icing for a while.  I have felt like I'm taking Advil like chiclets, so after I make it through today (feeling fluffy has faded, leaving lots of rooms for feeling CRAMPY) I'm going to back off.  Stretching-wise, last night I started to wonder if perhaps my hamstrings didn't have something to do with my calf.  My hamstrings are very tight, or so everyone who has reason to mess with them tells me.  To me, they don't feel tight in the regular course of things.  But I do have chronic low back issues, which I'm told tight hamstrings can either cause or result from. 

Didn't go quite as far as I had hoped. I'd hoped to do five miles, simply because a week from today is when my training switches from time to distance and I'm worried about being able to do five miles on a weekday and not be late for work (like I was this morning).  Oh well, I got close and I was running at least 30 seconds slower per mile than I should have been.  Plus I don't have to do five miles until two weeks from today.  So I'll work on my speed (such as it is) and time management between now and then.  Or, you know, either be late to work or just quit training.  Late to work it is!

Tomorrow's run will be weird.  I did 55 minutes on Monday, 60 minutes today, and tomorrow is.... a big whopping 45 minutes.  Not that I want to do more tomorrow -- it'll be good for my mental health since Thursday is the only day where I've run just the day before -- but it seems odd.  Now Saturday, that is really going to be odd:  I'll be doing 115 minutes.  For the math challenged, that is five minutes short of TWO FREAKIN' HOURS.  What????   I ran over six and half miles last Saturday when I did ninety minutes; I should be able to do at least another mile and a half in 25 more minutes (if I'm still alive, that is).  That's what, eight miles?  And the long run after that is only six miles?  I hope you all attend my funeral this Sunday and note how toned my hips look. 

Saturday will definitely be a Gu try-out day.  I've never actually used Gu before.  Clif Shot Bloks, yes, although only once during a run (last weekend's run).  I got a bunch of the Shot Bloks as schwag from a run I did at the zoo (best schwag so far was at that run) but only had them after runs and to fight bad headaches (they work great for that).  I've got two packs of Gu at home and they're coming with me on Saturday.  Forecast is for 65 and clear on Saturday.  I think I'll try the Johnson Creek trailhead again.  If I'm running upwards of eight miles, I'm going to need more trail.  Here's hoping they have no bridges on them.

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 38: With apologies to a girl named Maria...

Ahem.  Tap tap tap.
I feel fluffy.
Oh so fluffy.
I feel fluffy and puffy and laaarrrrggggge!
And that is about the extent of my parody ability.  I only wish I had the gifts of say somebody like the amazing Jack Sh*t.  I do have a gift for limericks, however, so if you have a friend in Nantucket who you would like to immortalize in a limerick, I can do that.   For example:
There once was a girl named Cilley
Whose body had become quite hilly.
So she started to run.
It wasn't much fun.
Tho' at the end she would be quite a dilley!
Yeah, well, I'm ready for lunch and my second soda of the day.  But I am happy to report that I'm feeling a lot less fluffy today and the pants that felt a tad snug four hours ago now feel loose again. Yay!

I did my stretching last night, with a few assists from the Schmart Dog.  We have these things where I call out that I need looovvve! and Schmart Dog puts her head between my knees so I can scratch her neck and ruff and she pushes against me while I'm holding her hostage with my knees, or where I'm laying down and she sticks her snoot under my side or against my neck and rubs her nose back and forth against the floor as she gooses me (we call these "snooters").  Okay, maybe I need more of a life.  Anyhow.  When I am down on the floor stretching, she believes that it is time for looovvve or snooters and starts pushing me around or goosing me.  Last night, I was doing a stretch laying on my back where I brought one knee over and to the side; at this point I was facing her.  She came over and started doing snooters in my side and then as I turned to do the other side she pretty much pushed me over, lifting me up with her nose.  Very helpful.  And kind of schnotty. 

I got a few huge pops out of each ankle this morning (they felt all jammed up and they were), and my calf is feeling better (moo).  The worst (other than running) seems to be going down stairs.  I can't figure out if the calf muscle is stretched out too far or not enough and that's what's causing the pain.  Gah.

Today is my cross-training day which means time for bellydancing!  Also time for not much in the way of a post today since I tend to crash almost immediately after class to catch The Biggest Loser and that uses up all the energy I have left for the day.  But tomorrow you can dread look forward to my TBL recap, along with whatever else pops into my head.  Like bunnies.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting myself through a bad day (long post)

I started running in large part to get some damn sleep.  During 2008, I suffered through almost constant sinus infections and was on some serious antibiotics at least six times in that year.  Allergies combined with the sinus infections meant I wasn't getting a lot of oxygen into my system as I slept, leaving me tired and then exhausted each day.  For some reason (well, it has to do with the oxygen part of the equation), this then translates into insomnia.  So:  sick, exhausted, can't sleep, get sicker, more exhausted, really can't sleep.  Lather, rinse, repeat. 

I was tired (heh) of taking pills to fight this.  The allergy meds, the antibiotics, the sleep aids, Tylenol to combat the headaches from my sinuses and lack of sleep.  I'd drink more caffeine to fight the headaches and keep myself awake.  By the beginning of 2009, it was taking me at least three hours to fall asleep each night and to top it all off I wasn't sleeping well through the night (usually my insomnia manifests as difficulty falling asleep but not staying asleep).  This was frequently even with Ambien. 

In early January of this year, I was in downtown Cilleyland for some reason (I live and work in the 'burbs).  As I sat at a stoplight I noticed these banners on the lightpoles.  They were advertising the Fanconi Anemia 5K Valentine's run.  I kind of went, hmmm and made a mental note to look up "Fanconi Anemia."  About a week later, I was downtown again and saw the banners again.  Remembered this time to look up "Fanconi Anemia" and also the 5K race

Now, I've told the story about my evil junior high gym class and how I basically haven't run in any intentional way since 1984.  My only experience with racing came in May 1987 when my senior service club worked at the inaugural 1K (yes, 1K -- I remember thinking that 1K was really really long) on the Klahanie plateau in Cilleysquah where I grew up.  I still had the t-shirt until very recently.  Like, August recently. 

So, no race experience, no running unless we're talking axe murderers or illegal zombies (zombies should shuffle, dammit!).  But for some reason, looking at those banners, I thought a 5K race was something I should sign up for.  Other than I knew I'd have nothing else to do on Valentine's Day (ironically, the race wasn't on February 14) and that maybe if I started running I'd not only maybe get healthy but I'd also exhaust myself to the point where I'd pass out, I have no idea why I decided to do this. 

But I did.  And I've done about 15 races and a few walks since.  See my wall of shame fame:

I even have a couple of medals!

Through this all, I have not lost a single pound.  Not a single, solitary goddamn pound.  I know I've lost inches -- I went down a size -- but no pounds.  In fact, in the past six weeks (I declared a scale moratorium two weeks ago) -- you know, since I've started this training thing -- I was gaining weight.  Bastards.

All this leads to why I'm having a bad day.  At least, while I wasn't losing any weight I seemed to be getting faster.  Running was getting easier.  And then I came to today.  Running was tough.  I wasn't all that fast.  To top it all off, the first pair of pants I put on this morning felt a tad snug around the waist.  Bastards.

Part of the huge case of my blues is that I'm feeling fluffy.   If you're a woman, or a married guy type person, you understand that women feel fluffy once a month.  Some women even feel fluffy two or three weeks out of every month.  Thankfully, I am not one of those women.  I have a few fluffy days, and I know I'm having fluffy days, and then I move on.  The scale goes down, the clothes fit great and even feel a little loose, and so on.  But there is almost always one day in that fluffy time, one day where I feel fluffy extraordinaire AND I'm in a bad mood. 

Today would be that day.  It even landed on a Monday. 

To make myself feel better, I was googling things like "running but not losing weight."  Lots of reassuring stuff that I already know (but I'm feeling fluffy so I need the support) about how muscle weighs more than fat, people are prone to gain weight when they first start training, yadda yadda yadda.  Yeah, but crap, I've been doing this since January.

Except I really haven't.  I was running sporadically at best.  Often I'd only run on race days.  With the training, while my times haven't seemed to improve all that much on the whole I don't feel like I will die afterwards.  I can function later on on race day.  Amazing!

But after five weeks of training, nada.  I think I'm doing everything right.  My calories on average hover around 2,000 a day.  I don't eat a lot of sugar crap.  I work to limit my caffeine intake to two diet sodas a day, with leeway for a third on weekends.  I'm a little heavier on protein than I should be (meat is my downfall) but I still have a good ratio of carbs/protein/fat.  I rarely drink alcohol.  I should have more variety in my fruit and veg but I do eat them (at least two servings of fruit a day, around three servings of veg).  On this training plan, I run four days a week and bellydance for another. 

My lingering concern is that I'm not eating enough.  I'm due for my annual with my doctor, so I think in addition to the blood work I'm going to ask her about whether I should consult with a nutritionist.  It would mean keeping a food diary again; I hate to do it for the simple reason that you usually can't find what you're looking for.  I cook a lot and real food is the hardest thing to log in, particularly when your particular recipe (or no recipe at all) doesn't have nutritional data.  Like the chicken tetrazzini I made last night.  I'd have to input the entire recipe and then figure out my serving size to get even a semi-accurate calorie count.   Maybe I'd only have to write down what I ate and the size?  That would be ideal. 

Sigh.  Big sigh.  Well, I feel a little better having consciously worked through all I'm feeling.  Now I think I will have a banana.  And some water.

Cheers (more or less),
the CilleyFluffyGirl

Day 37 and a bad case of the ouchies

Easy to get up this morning, even though I soon realized it was butt-ass cold out (40 degrees).  Not so easy to run.  The calves are still twitching (mooing?) and it was hard to convince that voice in my head why we shouldn't take it easy today, that we could work harder next time (answer:  because we'd do that everytime and then never get anywhere).  Ended up walking more than I wanted, which while the twitchy muscles felt better when walking they tightened up that much more when I started up again. 

The only truly bright spot was that Chip came crawling back.  Good boy, Chip.  Oh, and I was running under a nearly full moon.   It got a little creepy with all the mist hovering over the track.  I kept thinking I was hearing somebody howl. 

I added a silk longjohn top to my gear this morning.  I also finally got a headband so my ears didn't threaten to fall off.  That kept my upper body warm, except I need to switch gloves.  I got a cheapy pair (under $2) when I got the headband, but they let in too much cold.  I think I'll be adding silk longjohn bottoms to the mix tomorrow; the temp is supposed to get down into the 30s tonight.   Oh wait, I don't run tomorrow!  Okay, for Wednesday then. 

I've made a goal of stretching every night to help with the ouchies.  Now if I can just convince my dog that I don't need any help doing it.  She likes to come headbutt me in the chest when I'm balancing in a stretch.  Maybe she wants to do some doga?

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Days 35 & 36: Holy cow, Batman! Week 5 is done, week 6 has begun!

And I'm still alive!

I meant to post yesterday on my first truly long run but I was fairly sore afterwards, a consequence of my cramping calves and a sore hip flexor, so I booked a massage and then passed out a few hours later.  In between, I just couldn't face having to park my bum in the hard kitchen chair to write something.

But look at yesterday's mileage!  6.67 miles!  At one time!  Chip was still off somewhere, not helping me out, but Lance Armstrong came on when I was done and told me that that was longest mile yet.  Well, no shit Lance, I (and my aching legs) already knew that but I appreciate that you were there for me.

I ran the Springwater Corridor trail again, starting at the Sellwood Bridge and heading into downtown Cilleyland and there were TONS of people out.  Apparently all this getting up early and running has been a bad influence on me; I was up at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday, fer cryin out loud, and out the door shortly after 8:00.  It was COLD and the day before the Portland Marathon but still, TONS of people.  I saw lots of past marathon shirts on the runners too. 

My long run was to be for ninety minutes.  Up until a couple of days ago, that seemed incredibly long and was kind of freaking me out.  Then I signed up for Eugene Thursday evening and as I started my run on Saturday it occurred to me that ninety minutes was nothing; I was going to be doing the Eugene Marathon.  I had to walk a couple of times because of my calves and I planned for a half mile cooldown period off the clock, but on the whole my pace was pretty good.  I started out much too fast and had to keep checking it until I was where I wanted to be, but it held fairly steady once I got there. 

I've seen a few mentions of folks calculating their various paces based on a shorter distance, so today I found one and plugged in my best 5K time.  It tells me I should be able to complete a marathon in 6:29:57.  Considering I barely trained before that to get that 5K pace and that I'm slowly getting faster, I know I can do this marathon in seven hours.

I've been gathering mental images to keep me going as I run.  Last weekend I was channel surfing and came across the 2007 Ironman world championship; last night I came across the 2008 Ironman.  Watching these people....  You know, if people who decide to do a marathon are crazy, the Ironman people are psychotic.  The conditions are brutal, simply brutal.  I doubt I will ever even do a regular triathalon; I'm a poor swimmer (like five feet winds me plus I have this thing about sharks which can be in freshwater rivers so don't laugh at me about that) and I'm convinced I will wipe out on a bike.  But I know for absolutely 100% certain that I will never ever ever EVER do an Ironman, much less the one in Hawaii.  The people who do impress the hell out of me.  There are people in their 70s who do this; one woman has completed something like 17 Ironmans.  Others do it with prosthetic limbs (one or BOTH limbs), or without legs at all; there was a guy in 2008 who did the marathon in a special wheelchair.  When I get tired and want to stop -- lately, if I want to walk when I know I can keep going -- these are the images that come to me.

Sunday is my rest day.  I have no religious affiliation about it, just want one weekend day to be able to be lazy and Sundays have always been my choice for that.  I was up fairly early (stupid week day training schedule) but haven't done all that much.  Now that I've established my training routine, I want to also focus on my diet and nutrition.  Today I cleaned out the fridge and the pantry, pulled some recipes to cook up for the week and made a grocery list.  Now I just need to get off the computer, into a shower, and off to the store.  Generally speaking, I make most things I eat, including the lunches I pack to work, but in the past few weeks I've done more fast food or just food out, particularly for dinner.  I've got to put together some guidelines and goals so that I know what I want to be doing each day.  Tonight I'm going to make chicken tetrazzini, ideally with a salad on the side. 

Okay, I'm off to clean up and get to the store.  Stay strong!

the CilleyGirl

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 34: The day I done plumb gone and lost whatever mind I had to start with.

Well, technically it was yesterday but today is the day I realized that I truly am nuts.

I've signed up for the Eugene Marathon on May 2, 2010. 

What am I thinking?

I was paying bills last night so since prices were going to be going up today I decided to go ahead and register.  I don't know why it took more than 12 hours after that for it to sink in but crazy people don't make much sense anyway, do they? 

It really hit me when I pulled up the list of last year's participants.  I wanted to see how long it took people in the bottom rung.  The course closes after seven hours, so that is one of marathon goals:  Finish in seven hours.  There were a lot of people in the sixes, and some in the sevens.  I don't know if the seven hour limit was in place last year also, although no one went up to eight.  That's still no more than a 17 minute mile, y'all.  For 26.2 miles.  In a row. 

What am I thinking?

I guess I'm thinking I can do it.  I'm going to have to believe I can do it in order to do it so officially, here goes:  I can do this.  I can complete the Eugene Marathon.  Short of some sort of medical issue (and I have none that I know about), I will complete the Eugene Marathon. 

Whatever I was thinking that got me into all of this in the first place (that's all kind of a mystery in itself), I know what I will be thinking until after 2:00 p.m. on May 2, 2010.  At 2:01 p.m. on May 2, 2010, I may be wondering why the paramedics are being so stingy with the good drugs, but that's just speculative.  For now, I can do this.

My marathon goal is to cross the finish line in seven hours without dying.  I can die after I cross the finish line.  Falling down dead on the finish line would also be acceptable as long as it counts as finishing.

When I signed up, it asks for your estimated time of completion.  I put down 6:30.  I was feeling optimistic.  But seven hours is when the course closes and then they drive you back to the finish line if you're still out there.  I refuse to set a target goal of anything under seven hours, even 6:59:59. 

If I were going to set another goal, it would be to finish in front of one other person.  I don't care who that is, I'd just rather not be last.  This is more of a secondary, all the stars have aligned and the gods have smiled sort of a goal.   It might spur me to a last great surge of energy to the finish line if it is between me and that other person.  If it doesn't, that's okay too:  I've got to have a goal for the next marathon, right?

Yeah.  What am I thinking?

Cwazily yours,
the CilleyGirl

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Biggest Loser: Week 3

For anyone who actually comes here to read my recaps, sorry that I am late with this.  It has been a tiring albeit rewarding few days of training and I just didn't have the time/energy to get to it until now.  For future reference, Television Without Pity has some great recaps of many, many shows, including The Biggest Loser (their recap this week for TBL is hysterical), so go check them out.  After you read my blog, of course.

So, since I am late and also trying to eat some lunch, this will be short.  Which is fine because (a) you can go to Television Without Pity if you need more detail and (b) not much happened this week.  To wit: 

Tracey went bug nuts.  Complete with the crazy eyes.  Perhaps her week-long hospital stay the first week was in the psych ward.  I don't know.  But she throws first Mo and then pretty much the rest of the contestants under a bus.  End result:  Red team (Antoine and Sean) go home and Tracey has a big ol' target on her back. 

Best parts:  Liz wishing for fried catfish under her plate in the temptation challenge and getting a (teeny tiny) cupcake instead; the way she says "Cupcake!" is great.  Everyone (except for Tracey and Abby, due to injuries) banding together to help Mo, the last one to finish the immunity challenge, to finish.  Everybody loves Mo.  Everybody hates Tracey.  Sean and Antoine look fabulous at home.  Sean still has that crappy haircut, though.  Wouldn't it be great if at the finale stylist Suzy from season 3 shows up and takes him backstage to give him a real 'do?  That would be fantastic.  Antoine and Alexandra are now in love and dating and it's soooo very cute.  Thankfully Julio -- whom I have dubbed "Toolio" -- is not much of a presence this week.  Actually, a lot of the contestants who had the most screen time in the past two weeks weren't this week's focus.  Most of it was on Tracey's crazy eyes.  Oh, and I don't think anybody vomited.  At least on screen. 

Up on next week's episode:  Karma may be making Tracey her bitch.  I seriously hope so.  Now I'm off to finish my healthy Subway sandwich.

the CilleyGirl

Day 33: Chip has disappointed me yet again. How very like a man.

The spoken feedback in my Nike+iPod is still not working properly.  I thought Chip had come back to me; he told me to walk around to active my sensor, he let me know I was beginning my work out (Chip can be quite obvious sometimes), he told me when I paused and resumed my workout (again, Chip=obvious).  But no interval updates, and no one minute-you're done! notice.  The bastard.  When I got back from my run (which went okay; had to walk twice because my calf was starting to cramp severely but I did a smidge over 5K) I googled the issue and found out several users have the same problem.  It seems to be related to the last few iTunes updates.  There doesn't seem to be a fix for it, but I did some of the things that were suggested that worked for a few folks and we'll see.  I really would rather not do a 90-minute run on Saturday without Chip.  I've come to rely mentally on his updates.  Even if they are obvious.

In other news, I have a new follower!  Hello to Lori-Ann the Amazon Runner!  She has a fabulous blog, so please scoot on over there right now (well, after you finish my blog) and check it out.  I promise, you will be hooked.  Seriously, I had to put down all food and drink while I was reading it, lest something choke me or shoot out my nose since I was laughing so hard (and so frequently).

With my calf ache I am very happy that tomorrow is a rest day and I can sleep in a bit.  I've been doing very well mentally with the early weekday hours; whenever I catch myself saying "but I don't want to go run" at o'dark thirty, I remind myself that I do want to run.  I don't want to get up early and go out in the cold and damp and dark, but I want to run and that's what it is going to take to do that.  And then I get up.  Yay me.

In yet other news, I think I've decided on my marathon.  More on that, and what went into the decision, by the weekend.

the CilleyGirl