runner girl: week 3

Now it feels like we’re beginning to make some progress. Three weeks is a significant benchmark in any habit change process.

EXERCISE

We completed the third week of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule. Jogging three consecutive minutes at the top of each interval was tougher than I had hoped. My body just couldn’t seem to find a groove for some reason. I tried to remind myself to go slow though. The husband stayed in the back of our little formation, which helped some, although it was somewhat stressful to hear so many foot strikes behind me.

The workout on the 18th was the most difficult. We had to go downhill, with the wind on the outbound part, and uphill into the wind on the return. The 15 year old remarked that if we jumped into the air, the wind would probably push us backward. My legs were screaming during the fight to maintain some semblance of a jog. Plus, it appears maintenance has dumped a bunch of rock/pebble/sand on the trail and it felt like we were constantly battling tripping/twisting hazards and sand pits.

So, I know this sounds totally negative, but again we felt like rock stars because we only encountered one other runner on that morning. I told the kids, “This is what makes you a runner – when you get out in these conditions and tough it out to the end.” Hopefully next week will be a little easier.

I was genuinely trying to earn a couple of available Garmin Connect Badges this week and walked away with the 20K Steps Badge, I Am The Night Badge, and Challenge Champ Badge.

I have been very sore and probably need to be more diligent about foam rolling.

NUTRITION

28 days on the nutritarian diet. I think, for the most part, the cravings have subsided. If they come, it’s a very fleeting thought. Another thing I noticed this week is that I am finally sleeping better (and through the night most nights). Thank you, Jesus!

My eyes look brighter most days, but I’m still battling “fat eyes” frequently. I struggle with the fact that all I can see is how overweight I am (I call this fat eyes). I get it no matter how big or small I am, so I must renew my mind and talk to the Lord about it frequently. The enemy and my flesh try to convince me that I’m not doing enough and I should be looking better faster. God reassures me that I am doing all I can and I need to trust Him with the results. Before I weighed Friday morning, I was convinced I had gained weight. You see, I don’t feel like I look any different than I did four weeks ago. Even though some of my clothes are clearly too big for me now, I just cannot see it yet.

My body released another 1.2 pounds this week, which is a blessing considering I’m working with a crazy thyroid. That’s 11 pounds in less than 4 weeks (weighed Friday), so clearly something must be getting smaller even if my eyes try to convince me otherwise.

runner girl: week 2

It feels like the weeks are flying by faster and faster… I sure hope not though!

EXERCISE

We completed the second week of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule. I did not enjoy the third one (5/12) because I felt like I couldn’t breathe through the whole thing. We were running at a slightly higher elevation and the grade was slightly steeper, but obviously at a faster pace too. The husband pushed us a bit without realizing it, so I think he’s either going to jog at the rear of our little group or jog on his own in the future. After that workout I am dreading the next one, and I don’t need that mental hurdle right now.

I’ve been feeling really sluggish around 2 pm every afternoon and Tuesday was really bad. I can probably thank my thyroid issues for this, but normally I would go to the kitchen for some kind of “pick me up” to make it through the rest of the day. Since we’re not snacking between meals… and 2 pm is obviously not a normal mealtime… I crashed on the sofa. I didn’t know what to do about it, I just knew I felt miserable. So, I spent some time working on my Bible study and I prayed. I ended up googling thyroid stuff for a bit, but just couldn’t find anything in cyberspace to help immediately with the intense fatigue.

Then, as I lay on the sofa in lethargic frustration, the thought came to me that I haven’t done a T-Tapp workout in a while. I argued with myself that working out requires energy… energy I didn’t have. I don’t know if it was divine intervention or what, but I found myself rising and heading for the TV remote. I loaded up the 15 minute basic workout (plus). Normally, I would fast forward through the intro, but I didn’t that day. I’m sure I listened to the intro when I first got the DVD, but I didn’t remember her saying that the workout helps with autoimmune disorders… thyroid… etc. I know her book talks about those things though so it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Suddenly, my “can’t want to” changed to “I’m willing to try”.

Painfully aware that it had, in fact, been a while, I pressed through to the end, and by the time Teresa Tapp announced we were finished, I felt much better. My eyes were brighter even.

On Sunday, when the fatigue hit, I just gave in and took a nap (which I rarely do).

NUTRITION

Another week on the nutritarian diet. One thing we’re realizing is that we can celebrate without it being centered around food. We had a date night… we stuck to the plan. Our oldest daughter came home from college for the summer… we stuck to the plan. Mother’s day was Sunday… we stuck to the plan. It was actually nice not to experience a food hangover or worry about how what I ate might affect the scale.

I’m not saying off-plan foods didn’t cross our minds, certainly they did, but it really wasn’t that difficult to resist the temptation. I like feeling better more than eating those old foods. Plus, renewing my mind about why I wanted them really helped me see that the reasons were silly and fleeting.

My body released another 1.6 pounds this week, and I’m certainly happy with that. I think my clothes feel looser… at least some of them anyway.

runner girl: week 1 (take two)

My emotions have been all over the place this past week… taking its cues from the weather I guess. Crazy weather (crazier hormones), but we managed to stay the course.

EXERCISE

We got in all three scheduled workouts (The Beginning Runner’s Handbook), and added two more people to our little walk/jog group. We ran in the cold and rain this week, and decided we felt hard core for doing so. Plus, we had to work around an out of town jaunt to experience the Newsboys united tour concert.

I’ve added my daily step total to the spreadsheet. Obviously, I do more walking than what is indicated by formal workouts. Since I’m actively trying to reach my step goal now (10K/day), I thought it should be listed. Nothing super exciting to report from this week, except that attending a concert is very conducive to racking up steps.

I did earn a few more Garmin Connect Badges in the past two weeks. I think the coolest one was called “well oiled machine”, which I received for improving my running VO2Max levels.

I’m not paying attention to those numbers right now (although, eventually I will care), but it’s cool to get notified that something improved.

NUTRITION

Yes, we’re still doing that nutritarian diet thing. Even more impressive is that we were able to do it on a weekend road trip. How? We took our meals with us. That’s right, I planned ahead and packed all our food for two days.

Normally, we eat in the car, but it’s rather difficult to eat a salad while you drive, so this time we built in a little extra travel time to stop and eat lunch both days. We ended up eating outdoors in the sunshine and it was such a nice break in the drive. One of the times we even ventured off the beaten path to a quiet little park… birds chirping… breeze blowing… lovely.

I cannot tell you how badly I wanted junk food over the weekend though… oh my goodness! Clearly, snacking while on a road trip is heavily ingrained in my system. We did chew gum, which helped a bit.

After the concert, we were exhausted and my mind kept going to our normal routine of grabbing take-out on our way back to the hotel. We had eaten the Tailgate Chili I brought at the hotel before we headed to the venue, but we were so hungry after hours of worshiping with the Newsboys.

Of course, after singing about breakthroughs (Zealand) and being free (Peter Furler, Newsboys), I certainly knew I wasn’t going to cave, but I was genuinely famished… and sweating (Texas is warm). Fortunately, the 14 year old had made us a “strudel” recipe she found in my Eat to Live Cookbook. So, we had that instead instead of our usual junk feast. Yum!

Sunday, when we rolled back into town, we had to shower and head back out for the 15 year old’s piano/voice recital. I cannot even begin to describe how strong the urge for french fries was. I was whining about it to my husband, but mentioned I was afraid I’d gain weight if I ate them. He replied by asking me if french fries were good for my thyroid. Um, no, not at all. Well played, Husband!

Plus, I truly feel God has asked me to give up certain foods for now and eating french fries would certainly be acting in disobedience for me. We didn’t have french fries, but we did have a frozen fruit “dessert” that the 14 year old made in our own kitchen that night.

So, how did the scale pan out last Friday? My body released 1.2 more pounds. At first I was a bit disappointed, but then I renewed my mind about the scale and was able to thank the Lord instead of grumbling. The fact that the scale is actually moving should be a celebration when you’re working up against thyroid issues.

Another week has passed, and now it’s time to focus on the current one.

runner girl: walking resumed

Well, that illness really knocked me back a bit, but I’m thanking the Lord I was able to resume walking, plus, pay closer attention to what I stick in my pie hole… which wasn’t pie this week (more about that later in this post).

EXERCISE

I hadn’t planned to walk 7 days, but the weather was so incredibly nice after we got out of church on Sunday. The sunshine called my name and I just could not refuse.

Still not a speedy walker, but you know what, I don’t care. It felt good to move. There’s nothing like forced rest to really make you appreciate the ability to exercise. Remember, this runner girl wants to run again and our journey through The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule should start over next week… so exciting.

NUTRITION

I did a lot of praying as we resumed the nutritarian diet because I know it isn’t an easy program to adopt (I was doing this before our house flooded April 2017). The husband agrees that I’m in charge of the food… so, using this power, I’m being very picky about what I purchase. Have the kids complained? A little. Overall though, they’ve all been very supportive.

One thing I do differently, I allow for some raw honey (my parents keep bees). While sick, I began having a morning cup of hot lemon/honey water instead of decaf coffee. I needed to eliminate coffee anyway and this is a better option for me. Besides, it’s not that much honey… especially when compared to the amount of refined sugar I consumed before. If you’re thinking, but won’t that affect your weight loss, check this out…

My body released 7 pounds in the first four days. Soooo, clearly the honey wasn’t my problem. I normally weigh on Friday so I had the husband check the scale and tell me the difference. He thought it was for a week and said, “Wait, what? This is just in four days?”

We ate a lot of salad and I made two batch soups for the week (we have 4 people in the house doing this). The thing that changed from day to day was breakfast and maybe “dessert” (blended frozen fruit based stuff). Doing a salad bar prep a couple of times a week was so helpful and I will continue it.

There were a couple of times I mourned the loss of my old favorite foods, but thankfully I was able to renew my mind and move past it. Seven days off my old food drugs and feel more in control of my thoughts and actions.

Ok, another week down… moving on!

runner girl: cough, cough

I haven’t been this sick in a really long time. It’s been over a week, I’m still dealing with it, and it’s moved into my chest now. I spent most of the last week laying around, but I wasn’t completely unproductive (more about that later in this post).

Needless to say, my quest to complete The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule is off to a rocky start. At first, I was really angry about this, but it’s a good thing I’m currently going through Barb Raveling’s new Bible study, RALLY. The Taste For Truth Support Group (Facebook) is going through this and last week we were on the chapter about letting go of your “have to haves”. Realizing the reason for my anger was my death grip on my “have to haves” helped me to relax a bit and just rest.

So, as you might have guessed, my spreadsheet was rather unimpressive this week:

The plan for next week is to get some walking in and pray this nasty bug leaves soon. I’m also returning to a nutritarian diet. My immune system seems to be out of whack, so merely being vegan isn’t enough. I’ve read several of Dr. Fuhrman’s books, but recently checked out The End of Dieting as a means of reigniting my motivation. During the foggy days of illness, I’ve also been perusing Kristen’s site, Hello, Nutritarian, for added inspiration. Love her fridge photos!

In February, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and while I don’t agree with her spiritual views, I’ve been “magical tidying” my house since February 5th. It’s not a quick process, but lately I’ve been working on my “Kitchen Komono” (as she calls it).

Using Kondo’s method of “Tidying Up” (keeping only what sparks joy), Kristen’s inspiring fridge photos (which are gorgeous), and other tips gleaned from the myriad of books I’ve read, I am starting the day with a fridge full of veggie goodness:

And my dry goods “pantry” organized:

I’ve placed most of the non-nutritarian stuff out of immediate eye-sight to keep the temptations at a minimum as well. I also have a small pantry pullout with canned beans/veggies for convenience meals, but most of what I eat will come from these two places. This little bit of organization took me a week because I’d work for a few minutes and then have to rest… of course, there were whole days where I hardly got out of bed.

I had the husband record my weight this morning, but I don’t plan to look at the scale for a bit myself. My goal is to eat for health and let the weight-loss be a nice side effect. So, while I do want to know what’s happening there, I’m hoping weighing blind will lessen the scale’s impact on my life.

Well, that was last week 🙂 Hoping to get this runner girl back on the road soon!

runner girl: week 1

Well, the first week of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule began great, and then we had a weather detour in the program. Still we managed to complete all three workouts this week.

I feel like I probably look ridiculous when I “run” as I’m trying to keep it slow. I looked up several videos on how to focus on proper form and go slow. I’m convinced I look silly, but I didn’t care because I was getting out there and doing it.

The husband and I felt a little under the weather, but it didn’t seem bad enough to skip getting in the workouts. In fact, I felt recharged after, which is highly unusual for me when I’m first starting back to running. Usually I feel pretty worn out and am dreading going out again, but not this time. Going much slower proved less taxing and more motivating.

Plus, my new Garmin Forerunner indicates I’m getting stronger – that’s always encouraging. I even added a bit of jump rope for good measure.

Unfortunately, the week didn’t end as well as it began. Frigid weather (and snow) blew in again on the 13th and we probably should have forgone the workout in the cold on the 14th (although Garmin gave me a Frosty Badge for that one). The workout itself wasn’t difficult, but my body went through some dramatic temp extremes during it. It didn’t once cross my mind that I might have already come down with the 15 year old’s cold (had already gone through the husband and the 13 year old) and any bit of strain would push me over. Well, I was down for the count shortly after we got back and spent all of the 15th in bed.

I hoped this would help me recover more quickly than everyone else, but you’ll have to wait till my next post to find out if it did. Most of this week, I stuck very close to eating Nutritarian… not perfect, but close. That came unraveled once I realized I was truly sick though. There are go-to foods that being sick triggers a craving for and I gave in.

runner girl: returning to the land of the living

I’ve been away dealing with life and surviving… for the most part anyway 😉

I’ve read quite a bit already this year (I’ll consider sharing my reading list soon), and I recently read a book recommended by one of the Taste For Truth Support Group members titled, Every Body Matters. This was packed full of conviction about my lack of consistent exercise.

So, I decided to make a change. Yes, I need to move more, but specifically I want to run again. I feel like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life when he cries out, “I want to live again, please God, let me live again.”

I want to run again, please God, let me run again.

I’m starting from the beginning and will be baby steppin’ my way through this process. I picked up a copy of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook to get myself into the mindset of being a true beginner. I’m trying to wipe out my preconceived notions and reservations from injuries past. I’m refusing to look back wistfully at my “glory days” and choosing to accept that I am starting from a place of excess weight and lack of consistent conditioning. It is what it is.

No amount of whining is going to change the present facts, but devising a plan and taking it one day at a time will likely change my future. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve begun walking more consistently to prepare for the training schedule outlined in  The Beginning Runner’s Handbook. Here’s what those walks looked like:

As you can see from those average paces, I’m not fast. On April 2nd, I made the mistake of trying to hit 3 miles in a time constraint I had. I shouldn’t have been doing any jogging yet. I was overdressed, got overheated, and then got sick. Now, if I can’t carry on a conversation, I slow down. I’m not trying to win any races, I just want to slowly build up and avoid injury in the process. Plus, I don’t want to dread going.

Yes, that’s correct, on the 6th, I stopped to pet a donkey. If you’re following my “God delights my heart” photos on Instagram (@ImBJuled), you’ve already seen this little darling.

Sometimes I get distracted during a workout, but hey, I’m trying to enjoy life a bit more these days… some might call it stopping to smell the roses, but in this case, I just had to stop and pet the donkey.

When I first started walking again, I had to renew my mind about it every time because I really didn’t want to go. I was in the mindset that walking a couple of miles wouldn’t really make a difference anyway, but that was a lie. Thankfully, I didn’t listen to it because now I look forward to walking. Plus, now I’m not missing out on as many sunrises, sunsets, and donkey encounters.

sidelined runner girl

 

Well, I repeated Day 1 of Week 2 in our running plan and that was it. My hip, knee, and foot swelled up pretty bad. It has bothered me all week. As much as I don’t want to admit this, my body is just not ready for running.

I used to have a personal “weight limit” for running. I wouldn’t run if I was above it because I would end up with serious knee pain when I did. I’m currently above that limit; However, I am hopeful that as I continue to release weight, I will eventually reach a size more conducive to running again.

Until then, I plan to walk and do pilates. We’ve suspended our gym membership for a few months, otherwise I’d probably return to spinning as well.

So, I’m sidelined for now… but not for good.

 

beginning runner girl: week 2 stats

Let’s just be honest, this was not a week to write home about. I didn’t even see the point in posting about it, but decided there is a point afterall. What is it? Well, to show that we are going for progress, not perfection. There’s not much to say because we only completed two workouts this week, so let’s get to it.

WEEK 2

Day 8

DAY 8(52 degrees, 6mph winds, fair) Perfect weather, but I felt horrible. It was as though I had lead in my shoes. I couldn’t believe how heavy I was breathing… going as slow as I was. I had trouble recovering fully during the walking minutes too. I wanted to cry and say, “I can’t do this today.” It is days like this that make me want to quit. I do know it isn’t unusual for me to feel this way at this point in my cycle. This helps me realize that the feeling will pass, but it doesn’t eliminate the mental/physical struggle.

Day 9

DAY 9(52 degrees, 5mph winds, fair) Another beautiful morning, but I seriously could not breathe. I want to say it seemed slightly easier than Day 8, but I just don’t know. I kept thinking, “Why am I doing this to myself?” This is miserable. It’s one thing to be miserable when you’re going fast, but to be miserable going slow… it’s frustrating. The husband wasn’t breathing heavily at all of course (yeah, I’m a little jealous). Two crummy workout days in a row and I was seriously thinking maybe I’m not ready for this. Naturally, this seems so ridiculous, it’s TWO consecutive minutes for crying out loud. People in much worse shape than me can run for two minutes… and faster too.

I don’t know, outside of a miracle from God, how I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I had a headache the rest of the day, and I feel like I may have a fever. Maybe I’m sick? Maybe it is wicked PMS? Whatever it is, I hope it passes quickly. I’m not looking forward to the next increase.

OOPS

And that’s where week 2 ended. We didn’t do anything the rest of the week. I began to feel worse, and the week was busy… and then my motivation was completely gone. So, we will be repeating week 2. I’m trying not to be too frustrated with myself. I’m trying to move on. I’m also trying to think positive thoughts about running.

beginning runner girl: week 1 stats

Whether you’re returning to running after a long break (like me) or just taking up the activity for the first time, I hope this post series encourages you in the process. There is no shame in starting slow… I mean, the tortoise always beats the hare right?

Our goal is to avoid injury. Or at least minimize the risk. It’s difficult to become a runner if you can’t run. So, let’s check our egos at the door.

quote

The husband and I used this 8-week program as inspiration for drawing up a plan that better fits our schedule. Plus, we have a bit of The Hanson Method still looming in our brains. One of the things we really liked about their plan was the variety. It wasn’t the same thing every day.

So, we’ve added our own “freestyle” workout once a week to break up some of the monotony of increasing running minutes. This workout appears on day 6 of our schedule. It’s basically a 5 minute warm-up of your choice followed by 30 minutes of walk/run. You decide how many minutes you run at a time based on how you’re feeling physically. This would be the day to push yourself to go longer if you’re up for it, but remember, we’re still keeping it an easy pace.

I’m calling this “freestyle” because I don’t plan to look at the clock, distance, pace, steps (until the end). I’m just jogging for the fun of jogging… walking when I need to… and jogging some more.

Let’s get to it. This was the first week of our training plan:

Day 1

DAY 1 (66 degrees, 9mph winds, cloudy) I didn’t want to go, but I decided to focus on how good it would feel to accomplish the workout… to check the “done” box. Left leg/hip feels stiff. Tried to keep it slow. Sped up at one point to pass a walker. Overall it felt awkward, but the truth is that it won’t feel this way forever. “This too shall pass.” 

“…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
~Hebrews 12:1a-2

Day 2

DAY 2(52 degrees, 10mph winds, fair) We had to get up earlier to get this in. It was easier than yesterday to get out the door. The left leg/hip felt a little better, but still achy. Also, my arms are sore, but I’m not sure why. Even though we were focusing on keeping it slow, the cooler temps seemed to cause us to pick up the pace slightly. Still feeling awkward but not as bad as day 1.

The husband and I were a bit defensive with each other – maybe it was getting up earlier and the stress of the day ahead. Maybe the dog was just a bit too excited. Whatever the cause, this didn’t make it an enjoyable workout, but we did apologize to each other. We’re going to have days like this, that’s just life.

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” ~ Ephesians 4:32

Day 3

DAY 3 – Can you even call it a “rest day” if you’re on your feet all day? I forgot to wear my fitbit but I’m guessing I easily hit 6K+ steps without having an official workout.

Day 4

DAY 4(64 degrees, 8mph winds, mostly cloudy) I wore my new shoes today. They felt stiff. Had some pain in my left foot/hip when we first started. I should have gone sleeveless because I got a little too warm. We encountered a crazy dog so we had to speed up to get past him as quickly as possible. My dog is pretty well behaved (can keep him off-leash most of the time), but when another dog is lunging and barking at us, he gets distracted so I had to leash him for a bit. The sunrise was gorgeous though… beautiful pinks and purples. It was purely delightful. 

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” ~Psalm 37:4 (KJV)

Day 5

DAY 5(81 degrees, 12mph winds, mostly cloudy) Just an easy walk to stretch out the legs a little. Easy days are important for “active recovery“. It’s true that active recovery workouts aren’t absolutely necessary when you’re building a base. It would seem we could skip these workout days, but that would be a mistake. We know that a body in motion tends to stay in motion, so by doing this walk we are feeding our motivation. There is still some physical benefit of course, but at this point, the benefit is largely psychological. Plus, this helps me break in my new shoes a bit.

The left foot is still bothering me and my left knee felt tender when I got up this morning.

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” ~Psalm 139:14 (KJV)

Day 6

 DAY 6 (61 degrees, 2mph winds??, fair?) Um, I’m fairly confident the wind was blowing harder than 2mph. I was going to guess closer to 15 mph and it was mostly cloudy, not “fair”. Bizarre.

These numbers are estimated because I forgot to stop my workout and it logged the entire drive home. Next time I’ll set it as a timed workout so it will shut off automatically. I know I had more consecutive running minutes than the previous workouts, but they were slower for a few reasons: A) I was going slower so I could do more consecutive minutes. B) I was on a part of the trail with a more dramatic incline. C) I ended up running with the 11 year old who hasn’t been feeling well. She needed to go even slower and walk more frequently. D) The wind was definitely much harder than 2mph and right in our faces while going uphill.

For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.”
~ Psalm 18:29 (KJV)

Day 7

DAY 7 – Another rest day. Not much more to say about that.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…” ~Psalm 37:7a (NIV)

Well, that’s week 1. It’s fairly simple, and right now that’s exactly what we need. Join me next Sunday for week 2.