Posts Tagged ‘weight’

Taking Me Down a Notch

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

A funny thing about kids is how they take you down a notch, at just the right time, usually when you are feeling really good about yourself.

Yesterday, rather than do my usual run, I decided to do a little test of myself. My friends Natalie and Steph are both running the Hansgrohe Triathlon in a couple of weeks, and I had thought about doing it, but decided that I was taking on too much too soon and declined. I have always wanted to do one, because I love swimming and because I get bored easily, and I think training for three sports sounds a lot more fun than training for only one. In fact, before Nat and Steph decided to do this one a couple of months ago, I was already eyeing one for either May or June of next year (there are a couple that time of year just for beginners). In preparation for that, I had already starting swimming and biking on my cross-training days in my run schedule.

When I found out they were doing this one in August, I was so tempted to try it with them, but I am pretty glad that I decided to wait until next year. Travel, knee pain, and a host of other engagements between that time and early August would have made me a basket case. That being said, I have been following their training and getting very excited for them. Their last couple of posts have been about estimating their times in the race, based on trials they did in the last few weeks.

Well, I have many flaws, and one of them is a highly competitive nature; I haven’t met many games, matches, fights, or challenges that I didn’t like. Obviously, this can be a good thing at times, and it is not to say that I am not a graceful loser, because I am. One of the many lessons learned by playing sports as a kid is that there is always someone better. (I wonder at those professional athletes who are so good that they never had to learn this very valuable lesson.) But I really don’t like to lose, and I love the act of playing, racing, and meeting in competition. (By the way: One thing I do not like is to be chased, as in a game of Hide and seek or Kick the Can. It scares the bejeesus out of me, even if it is just a game. It is right up there with snakes, flying, and wet paper.)

An interesting thing about running was that I first took it up to a) lose weight and b) to give myself some competitive goals to shoot for, because I so miss the competition that I was constantly experiencing growing up. I am mentally a better person when my body is physically worn out. Odd but true. As I ran more and more, though, I realized that I was slowly morphing into a more competitive runner. I am not a good runner when compared with those who have been doing it for years, or people who are in tip-top shape, but I am slowly and surely beating my expectations for myself; I am improving.

Anyway, the point is that I saw that they were testing how well they were going to do in this triathlon, and I immediately felt the need to know a) if I could even finish the distance and b) what my time might actually be. So, when I got to the gym, I did the distances required to finish the sprint triathlon that they are running in August.

I didn’t push myself as hard as I could have, because I didn’t know how my legs would react to it on the run. I definitely could have done the swim faster. By the bike, i was worried about the run, so I put it on random hills, level 8 (because I remembered that is what Nat had done, I believe) and took it pretty easy, not remotely doing it at top speed. Also, riding a stationary bike is, frankly, fucking boring. I got distracted from my mission, watched a little Oprah, and forgot to push it very much. It didn’t matter that I took it slowly, because either way, my legs felt like i was wearing concrete fucking ski boots by the time I got to the run. That first half mile was sucky beyond belief, but after that, the legs seemed to come back to me and I actually ran pretty well.

My results:
Swim – 400 yds – 7 mins 49 secs
Bike – 13 mi – 39 mins 50 secsRun – 3.1 mi – 35 mins 02 secs

Steph posted a link to a site that calculates your estimated triathlon time based on time trials and your weekly training mileage. I could barely figure out how to use the thing (what the hell is a 20 minute time trial, and are they even talking about the bike?), and I haven’t really been training or keeping up with my biking or swimming mileage, but this is what I came up with. I plugged in my above times, except that for the bike, I had to figure out at what speed I could do 20 minutes of biking, based on how fast I did the 13 miles. (Why don’t they just have you bike the 13 miles and put that time in?) I put in the minimal allowed training mileages.

I came out with a final time of: 1:37:15. Not exactly on par with Nat’s or Steph’s estimated times, but then I didn’t expect to be on par with them – they run ridiculously fast compared to me. Evidently, the calculator also adds time in for the transitions, or something.

I really wasn’t shooting for a particular time. I really just wanted to do the distances and see how it felt, if it was harder or easier than I thought it would be. Mostly, I wanted to know that I could finish it. I learned both that I could pretty easily finish, that I have a lot of room for improvement through just giving it more, especially on the bike, and that my ability to improve on the run would vastly improve my finish time. Running is definitely my weak link – there are people who run 7 and 8 minute miles and I am still doing more than ten minute miles. And then there is the weight. I need to lose at least a good 30 pounds. All in all, though, I kind of like the idea of having plenty of room for major improvement. I also looked at the 2006 results for the triathlon they are doing, and I was a little stunned to see that I was right around in the middle of the times. I could do this, and not come in last. I could do well. So, of course, I am a little bummed now that I’m not doing it, but I’m just telling myself “think how much better I could be in another eight to ten months.”

I was pretty elated when I got to the restaurant for dinner afterwards. Todd had an after-work drinks thing, and I decided I was too tired to go home. We headed over to La Casita, where i ordered a modest, weight-watcher’s friendly meal, and a beer (not so WW-friendly, but light!) The kids ate their weight in beans and rice. I was feeling good, full of endorphins and accomplishment. I knew that if I wanted to do the triathlon, I could do it, and that I even had a base time to work from and strive to beat. I looked forward to taking the kids home, giving them baths and putting them to bed, and then showering and lounging on the couch, making love to Tivo and a couple more beers.

I paid the check, stood up, downed the last of my beer, and took Tiller’s hand to help her down the step on the patio where we were eating. As we came down to the lower level of the patio, she pulled up, stopping in her tracks. Then she projectile-puked all over the patio floor, with about six patrons looking on and in smelling distance. Like I said, just when you are feeling good, kids know how to take you down a notch. Fucking awesome.

Holy Crap. I Ran Seven Miles.

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

Wrote this up yesterday and forgot to click Publish:

Long day. Got up with kiddos at 7 am. Fixed breakfast and changed diapers. Waited till Todd got up and then went for my run at 9 a.m. Would have liked to go earlier, but Todd had only had a few hours of sleep the night before, so I didn’t want to wake him.

Anyway, did my 7 miler today. I am kind of amazed that I did it. If you had told me six months ago that I would be able to run from my house in East Atlanta, all the way to Grant Park, and back, I would have told you that was crazy talk. I walked parts (hill up Ormewood to Boulevard? Riiiiighht.. . sure, I’m gonna run up that thing. No problem.) But for the most part, I ran it. I conquered some smaller hills that would have beaten me a month or so ago, so that was good. Also, my pace was faster than last week’s six miler, although not as fast as the 6 mile run of a couple weeks ago. I brought water this time, and didn’t wait until noon. I am smart like that.

In other exciting parts of my run, I was allowed to refill my water at the lovely home of Carrie and Charlotte in Ormewood (many thanks to them – I miscalculated my water stops this time around), and I witnessed the Start of a race at the Brownwood Bike Rally, which probably messed up part of my time, but was kind of cool to see. There was a kid on a tricycle, and a guy on a unicycle. Pretty awesome.

I was back in time to just about kill myself getting myself and kids dressed for Scarlett’s birthday party, and to clean house in case random buyers wanted to purchase said house, which – let’s be honest – ain’t ever gonna happen.

All in all, a lovely day. Proud of me, proud of my ability to skip cupcakes after the 7 miles. Maybe I will lose a freakin’ pound one of these days.

Below, the resisted cupcakes, being consumed by husband and kids.

Yikes

Friday, June 1st, 2007

So, I pride myself on the fairly healthy meals we serve to the children. I cook most nights and we eat at home a lot, but I am not a nazi about it. My kids are really healthy eaters, and will eat a lot, including the good stuff. They eat broccoli, green beans, and even salad. No, I am not kidding. I am very proud of myself for having the balls to continue giving them things until they learn to like them, because teaching kids to eat veggies is not for the faint of heart.

We do usually eat out on Thursday and/or Friday nights. It is kind of a tradition in the family. Another tradition is that if the kids are good, I let them have the golden arches for lunch on Fridays. Sure, it is bribery (“If you are good in school all week, then you can have french fries on Friday.”) but every good parent knows that bribes are part of the game.

The problem with McD’s Fridays is that I have NO WILLPOWER when it comes to ordering them the french fries, and me the salad or whatever else is healthy on the menu. (I wouldn’t know what is healthy on the menu, because I’ve never once opted for the healthy choice when at a drive-through window.)

That may change, though. Call me an exercise anorexic or what you will, but I had the Quarter Pounder with Cheese Value meal (with diet coke, of course!) and I felt like crap afterwards. Decided I would maybe go to the gym to work it off.

Here’s the deal:

Calories in Quarter Pounder with Cheese = 510
Calories in Large Fries = 570
Calories burned in one hour of swimming (what i thought i would do today as cross-training, since i am doing my long run tomorrow) = For my weight, a little over 563 calories.

I would have to swim for two hours straight to work off that fucking burger and fries. I am never eating them again. Ever.

Tell me I said that if you ever see me eat that shit again.

Then duck.

Sign My Fat Ass Up

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

I wrote here about my workouts, and obviously, if you read Dogwood Girl, you know about my battle with my weight (which is really just a battle with my love for food and drink). Well, I read the most interesting article in The New York Times this morning about the fat-burning effects of interval training. Basically, that means that you alternate spurts of all out exertion with periods of moderate exertion in whatever activity you are doing.

I am so not a professional athlete; The workout for me is putting down the beer and getting my ass off the couch. Then, once I’m there, I just go (run or swim) for at least thirty minutes, but usually for an hour.

Not now! I am convinced that I need a day of interval training during my week. Because, according to the article:

After interval training, the amount of fat burned in an hour of continuous moderate cycling [for example] increased by 36 percent.

Thirty Six Percent. That’s a pretty big increase. Sign my fat ass up.

Now I just have to figure out whether I should add the intervals to my runs or my swims. And then i can eat more, right?

Woohoo

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

So, I am still running, although I have had difficulty running as regularly as I want to with the crazy stuff going on with my Mom, and being out of town, etc. I am really trying to stick with it, though, because I feel so much better when I get enough exercise, that it is almost like I am a different person. Just ask the people who live with me.

So, on Saturday, I ran the farthest I have run yet: 4 miles. This doesn’t include a few times that I have alternated walking and running for over an hour. I have done more distance, I guess in the past. I have definitely done longer hikes, but there is something so mentally challenging about making oneself primarily run a distance like that. It probably doesn’t seem like a lot to people who run a lot, and it probably sounds like an insurmountable distance to those who don’t run. (I know. I thought it was insurmountable a year ago.) But for me, it was big. I am at least 40 pounds overweight, and I did it. I ran at my in-laws in Dadeville, AL. They live in a golf community on a lake. It is huge and much of it is undeveloped woods. Lots of deer and buzzards. When I mapped it online, i just figured out how to do 4 miles in their neighborhood, and I didn’t know all of the roads I included in the route. Big mistake. Actually, if I had known what part of it was like, I never would have attempted it. I walked a couple portions. One was the hill from hell. It was fairly steep and went. on. for. ever. When I got back to the house, I gave my father-in-law the evil eye, because I had asked him if my route made sense, and when I mentioned that road, he didn’t even bat any eye or mention anything about the hill. Anyway, I did it, and it felt great.

The crazy thing, though, is how much easier it made my short run last night! I was just doing a 35 minute run, and I ran farther than i ever have before in that amount of time. Now, to be fair, part of the speed can be attributed to the fact that I live in the hood, and I ran from my house to the village, which requires running through what my cousin and I affectionately call “Little Afghanistan.” I am not sure the origin of this name, but it seems to fit, and what it comes down to is that if you are out running after 8pm, you do not want the sun to set on you in Little Afghanistan. Anyway, the 5K I ran back in October (I know! I need to run another!) was my first and I ran it in 35:06. Granted, the hills were from hell, and the weather was windy, whereas last night’s weather was awesome, and the route was pretty flat. But I still ran it in 33:24, even when sucking Marta bus fumes, and stopping for a little traffic at crosswalks, so I am happy that I am getting my time down closer to the 11 minute/mile pace.

Oh, and I started swimming about a month ago for my cross-training, to give my poor knees a break. I swam a mile this morning. It wasn’t fast, but it was easy as hell; Time permitting, i could have kept going forever. Which makes me feel pretty good.

Yay me!

Things We Should Have Learned By Adulthood

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

I went to the gym Thursday. I didn’t want to, because I have this stinking sinus cold thing, where my head hurts, and my snot is a nice, thick, brown-green, and when I turn over in the bed at night, I feel the air pressure in my sinuses changing and it makes a popping noise that keeps me awake. So, I took medicine, that day-time cold medicine, that doesn’t really make you feel better, it just makes you feel different in an “Is my head vibrating?” kind of way. Anyway, I wasn’t really in the mood for it, but I hadn’t been all week for the same reason, and I wasn’t dying or anything, so I went and I walked two miles. I had to walk two miles, even though I forgot my IPod, and exercising sucks when I don’t have music. When I found out I didn’t have my IPod, i thought about just grabbing the kids out of the nursery, packing them back in the car, and going right back home.

I didn’t do that, though, because when I brought the kids into the nursery in the first place, the same Goddamned well-meaning nursery worker who said it the last time after I had Rollie, and not right afterwards either, said to me:

“How are you and the baby doing?” she says.

I stare at her. I look at Rollie, then at Matilda, who is quite obviously a toddler now. I look blankly back at her. Then I realize.

“I’m not pregnant.” You fucking dumbass whore.

So, even though I didn’t feel like working out at all, and much less after her thoughtless blow to my self-esteem, I got my [fat to the point of looking pregnant] ass on the treadmill.

The moral of this story, in case you somehow don’t know this one, is the following:

UNLESS YOU SEE A BABY’S HEAD COMING OUT OF SOMEONE’S VAGINA, DO NOT ASSUME THEY ARE PREGNANT.

One simple rule that will serve you well.

Now They Tell Me

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

That ice cream increases fertility.

Too late for me to take advantage of that now, as we have hit the end of our childbearing phase of this life. But couldn’t I find this out back in 2002 or so, when we were having a little difficulty figuring out why we weren’t conceiving? I must note here that our “battle” with infertility was not fought for years upon years, that many people I know have dealt with infertility obstacles much greater than mine, but that doesn’t make it any less painful when you are in the throes of the despair and suspense and depression that difficulty conceiving brings.

In all seriousness, I don’t think the ice cream would have regulated my whacked hormones, the ones that made my periods do strange things, like not show for three months and make me think I was pregnant, or that made all my exercise and following Weight Watchers to a T be for naught – I still did not lose any weight and wondered what in the hell was wrong with me? I sat around thinking, “Holy shit. I am not only never going to have children, but I am going to be a hairy, menstruation-fucked, hormonal fat ass, too!”

My Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) will not be cured by ice cream, unfortunately. The only thing that cures it? Exercise and diet: “lifestyle changes” if you will, and those just aren’t as damn fun as ice cream. But then, who needs ice cream, when I have two lovely children (a complete set!) and the possibility of being thin again.

Go Me

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

I haven’t been running much lately. Up until last week, one or both of the kids had been sick every week since Thanksgiving, which has been fucking awesome, thanks for asking. Anyway, I didn’t make it to the gym much, because it pisses me off when other people bring their sick kids to the gym and to school, (and don’t even get me started on assholes bringing their sick kids into the well-visit waiting room at the Pediatrician’s office) so why should I stoop to their level?

Anyway, that just meant that I didn’t quite get much exercise in the last three months. Pretty pitiful, actually, but I made a promise to myself that since we are all better, we will be making it back to the gym regularly. So, today, I only ran 2.5 miles and it sucked. Why does it have to be so sucky to get back into the swing of exercise?

That being said, I have felt great today mentally, and I know it is the exercise. I know it is good for me, that it is good for my mind, and that it makes me a much better parent, wife, and all-around person.

So, i am back on the wagon. Go me.

I Have a Problem.

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Why does it have to taste so good? Why do we have to eat it at all?

This is the Mrs. Winner’s leftovers guilt talking. We have a lot going on around the house (we are putting it back on the market next week) and so Todd brought home a bucket of chicken for dinner last night. We don’t do this often (like, ever). There were leftovers. Mrs. Winner’s is not on Weight Watchers. I think that if you look up Mrs. Winner’s in the Dining Out companion that WW gives you, instead of points values for the chicken, it just says, “Give up now.”

I woke up this morning. I was really good. Coffee, with Splenda and fat free creamer. Breakfast bar to go as I walked out the door to take Rollie to school. Came home, went to pour one last half-cup of coffee, and stumbled across. . . I can only describe them as two buttery biscuits of love. That reminded me of the chicken leftovers in the fridge. Suddenly, I was putting a chicken wing and two biscuits on a plate and popping them into the microwave. At 10:00 a.m.

I quit smoking. I could quit drinking if I wanted. Food? I have a problem.

I Know

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

I should not look a gift horse in the mouth, or be ungrateful, but when you leave the vacuum cleaner, broom and dustpan, windex, paper towels, and furniture polish all over the house, it is pretty obvious what you think of my housekeeping skills. That is okay – I will overlook the insult as long as you keep my kids. Even if you did stock my pantry with vanilla wafers, double stuff Oreos, two kinds of jelly with sugar (even though we had two sugar-free versions already), a tin of Hershey’s kisses, Rice Krispies, and two new containers of pourable sugar (as opposed to the cheap bagged type I use). I mean, if I wanted my kids to eat that crap, it would probably be in the pantry already, but whatever. More with which Mama can sabotage her diet after 8 pm.

Seriously: I cringe at the thought of what has entered my children’s mouths throughout the various times they have been taken care of by their grandparents. I know it will not kill them, and the free time is worth a cavity or two, but the worst part? I cannot physically bring myself to throw out those Oreos. A full bag? I cannot do it. They will sit there and slowly ruin my weight loss until Todd comes home on Saturday, when they will succumb to one of two scenarios: 1)Todd shows extreme willpower and kicks them to the curb. 2) Todd goes out for drinks with the boys, and then comes home, skulks around the kitchen as the rest of us sleep, then eats Oreos in one sitting with a peanut butter jelly sandwich.

I know this is our weakness, and not theirs. Why does it have to be so hard?