Murphy’s May

Can I just tell you how glad I am to be in a new month?

May was rough. Murphy’s Law hit us big time. It actually started late April with the dryer and washer breakdowns, then on Mother’s Day with the flooding under the house. The day after prom, when I was totally sleep deprived, I got this gem of a text from my 12 year-old (who is one tough wake-up on school mornings).

From the child who hates to get out of bed in the mornings.

Note the time of this text.

 

We had more flooding exactly two weeks after the first time. Apparently we are okay unless it rains hard all night long on an already saturated ground. But it sure does bring a family together when you’re working together to bail out water. The concern was to get it down enough so our entire first floor didn’t flood.

I started back on my Racing Weight guidelines to try to shed the 10 pounds that doesn’t seem to want to move. I set out for my 10k time trial – to get a base time – on Wednesday. I found out that I can’t run as fast as I thought I should be able to. I ended up calling it done at 4.5 miles. My legs were Jell-O. After my mile cool down, I got attacked by mosquitos on my walk back to the car. I was frustrated and disappointed in my pacing. Then I had to remind myself: patience, progress. I cannot pick back up where I left off almost 7-8 months ago (peak marathon training). I am still healing with the injury. I am trying to lose weight by eating higher protein and less carbs. Those three things will affect my speed, and I need to focus on what’s most important right now, and that’s to get my foot completely healed and drop the weight. The speed will come later. And that’s okay. Oh, and I have lost 3 1/2 pounds since March. Yay!

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So this is my base.

 

 

On Friday we had another heavy rain that lasted all night. I don’t know how much rain we got, but it poured for hours. I couldn’t sleep for fear of flooding again. I woke up every hour to check under the house and it seemed we were okay. Until 5 am when I planned to get on the treadmill. I learned how awesome my kids are, as they got up without complaint and helped me out. My husband was driving through that mess of a storm that stretched over 500 miles. He was worried about me. I was worried about him.

Thankfully, our heavy-duty sludge pump we ordered after the second incident came in that afternoon.

How many pair of running shoes could I get for the cost of this pump?

How many pair of running shoes could I get for the cost of this pump?

We were able to pump the rest of the water out in less than 5 minutes, and now the rain is out of the forecast for the next week. Of course.

Saturday long run was in the rain, but thankfully the lightning stayed at bay so we could get the miles in. 12 done to prepare for the Wounded Warrior half and I felt pretty tough splashing through puddles like a little kid. It did bring along some major Sunday soreness though. But I feel better going into this race with a couple of double-digit runs.

At least I feel I’m getting stronger, since I’ve been on the real-life cross-training/strength routine of dumping buckets of water, mowing and weed eating, dumping more buckets, and even more buckets of water. Whew!

I’ll be doing real push ups before I know it! 🙂

Bring it June!

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Eating to Run

I’ve put off writing this post for a few weeks. Like a disappointing race recap, I don’t want to talk about it. At the same time I want to be real here – as sad as it may be at times. It’s been easy for me to find other things to write about, as I pushed this post off for another week – races, running in the heat, strength training – but now I’m confessing my disappointment.

I wrote about a few major changes I wanted to work on this summer in order to prepare for my winter marathons. Losing the marathon weight gain from the first part of the year (along with the Christmas, two birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and Easter weight gain) was a priority. I set a goal after OKC to lose a pound a week which would take me where I want to be when my training plan officially starts in August. I even had a few extra weeks in there for a plateau. Let me preface the rest of my post with this statement: For the last two years (post OKC marathon) I have lost all the weight I gained while marathon training – and then some.

Eight weeks ago, I started my plan to get ready for fall training. I read this book which helped me set an initial goal for weight & body fat percentage. It’s a doable goal.

Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald

Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald

I started my strength training at the same time. My result so far with six more weeks to go? I haven’t lost a single pound. Not one. In fact, I’ve gained two.

What the heck???

Every week, several times a week, I have weighed in the hopes of seeing the numbers drop. I even considered cutting my hair short in hopes of losing a pound. 😉 And yes, I know strength training changes things. So before you say “muscle weighs more than fat” know that I’ve been tracking body fat every four weeks. The percentage hasn’t dropped.

To say I’m frustrated is an understatement. I’ve gone from someone who once rewarded 5 mile runs with an apple fritter to I don’t remember the last time I ate a donut. What has changed so that I’m not dropping weight? Other than working an extra 2 1/2 hours a day and snacking less, I’ve continued doing what I need to do to lose weight by following a higher quality diet. I eat whole grains, healthy fats (almonds, avocados), fruits and veggies. I keep my calories within the daily limits, and I’m training consistently. I even started a running streak on Memorial Day to see if that would help. My husband can sneeze and lose a pound, but my metabolism has always been slow. Thanks to genetics, yo-yo dieting in my 20s, and don’t mention what having four babies does to a body. For those who say losing weight gets harder at 40 – it looks like I got a jump start.

As my husband smartly pointed out, “What’s more important? The number on the scale or running fast?” Well, of course it’s getting faster. I just can’t help thinking I’ll be faster if I’m lighter.

I know I drive him crazy.

The positive notes about the past eight weeks:  I feel stronger and more flexible. I can feel my core strength propel me forward when I’m sprinting or doing hill repeats. A pair of jeans that stayed in my closet for six months is back in rotation again.

I’ve also been blessed with several opportunities this fall/winter that I never imagined – Houston Marathon ambassador, part of Team Chocolate Milk, and now my first pacing job.

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I know it’s not the stupid number that determines whether I’ll meet my big goal or not. I’m eating to run, not the other way around. I’m working hard to lay a foundation on strength and speed, and I don’t feel any slower (other than the heat and humidity factor). Overall, what matters most is not what the scale shows, but that I hang on to my joy of running.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing. But maybe I’ll throw in some extra time on the bike.