30 October 2015

the struggle is real

I don't really like calling it depression. I never have, mostly because I've never been clinically diagnosed. And while I've taken those little quizzes at the doctor or counselor and have been told I have mild depression and moderate anxiety.

Wait. Hold up. If I've taken those assessments at the offices of people in the medical field trained to recognize the symptoms and they tell me that I'm on the scale, does that mean I have been clinically diagnosed?

I realize that sounds super dumb but I think in my head I always thought for it to be, like, "official" depression it had to be severe and the kind that needs medication. But maybe not....?


Well. Certainly didn't see that coming.

So, anyway, this is my way of explaining that things this week have been....off and I haven't been blogging. I call it my autumnal ennui, a cyclical depression that hits every fall. Sometimes in September, often in October, never in November. So the timing is right: as summer sunsets into winter I fall into a sort of melancholia that burrows deep into my bones. Usually by the time the calendar flips to my birthday month I'm fine, which means once the weekend is over I should start to be able to peel back the covers and see light again.

For now, though. Well. This week I've done, like, zero exercise and my food choices have been horrendous. So much so that I didn't go to my Weight Watchers meeting yesterday.

I know, I know. That kind of goes against the whole "face the scale" thing, but I just couldn't. I wanted to wake up Thursday and start clean. Blind, I guess. I wanted to start blind. I wanted to be in a place where I made good choices and exercised because I want to, not because of the effect it would have on the scale. I mean, really, isn't that the ultimate goal?

On the exercise spectrum, I was up super early and made myself get out of bed and got on the treadmill for 30 minutes. It wasn't much, but after almost a week of sedentary days, it was a step in a positive direction.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

23 October 2015

Face the Scale Friday: Week Ten

Daily Points: 38
Weekly Points used this week: 49/49
Activity Points earned this week: 26
Points remaining at end of week: 22

Weight lost this week: +0.8
Total weight lost: -5
Starting weight: 259.8
Current weight: 254.8

Oh man, I was so on this week. I made good food choices, I worked out a bunch with my 10K training, I earned a bunch of APs and only ate a few. I did awesome work.

And gained 0.8 pounds.

Eh. Can't win them all. I mean, I know I made good choices even if they are represented on the scale this week. All I can do is keep on keepin' on. And, taking the long view, 5 lbs after 10 weeks is 1/2 a pound a week which, to be honest, is pretty average in a long-term kind of way so I can't be too upset about that.

Love from the ashes,

20 October 2015

10K Training Tuesday: Week Three

Monday: 20 minute walk
Tuesday: 1.5 miles
Wednesday: 1.5 miles
Thursday: Speedwork
Friday: 25 minute walk
Saturday: 3 miles
Sunday: Rest Day

The problem with Sunday races when you're in training mode is that when Monday roles around the last thing you want to do is go run some more. At least that's how it is for me. My training plan had me scheduled for a 30-35 minute run but as soon as I woke up I knew that wasn't going to happen. At least not before work. So then I told myself I'd just do it after work. That rarely works out either and sure enough I got home Monday and hadn't planned well because I had a podcast interview that night, too, and I luckily managed to squeeze in a short 20 minute walk that was really just me taking advantage of my Wii Fit but whatever gets the job done, amirite?

Of course, walking on Monday counted towards one of my cross-training days so when I woke up Tuesday I knew I had to run, no excuses. This, alas, meant skipping spinning but sacrifices sometimes have to be made.

For my speedwork on Thursday I tried something new: Mona Fartleks. For these, it's time based instead of distance based: 2x90 secs, 4x60 secs, 4x30 secs, 4x15 secs. Between each repetition you recover for the same amount of time (I walked). I surprisingly really liked it. I say surprisingly because I'm not used to running for that length of duration -- ever since I started doing intervals, the most I've run has been maybe a minute, but I found it wasn't too difficult running for these slightly longer periods of time. Plus, the fact that the duration of the run changed kept the speedwork interesting and not super repetitive and I was done in 20 minutes. I'll definitely be doing it again.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

16 October 2015

Face the Scale Friday: Week Nine

Daily Points: 38
Weekly Points used this week: 49/49
Activity Points earned this week: 24
Points remaining at end of week: 23

Weight lost this week: -1.2
Total weight lost: -6.8
Starting weight: 259.8
Current weight: 254

YOU GUYS. I went the whole week and only used ONE of my Activity Points! After weeks and weeks (and weeks) of not only eating all of my APs but eating above and beyond them, this is the best feeling and it definitely helped keep me on track for the rest of Thursday. I went out after work to one of my favorite restaurants and when it came time to ordering food I definitely had it in the back of my mind that I didn't want to lose my momentum and was able to have a beer and order something small and stayed within my daily points for the day.

Wednesday night I had the pleasure in taking part in a Google Hangout session with some of my fabulous FitBloggin friends. Specifically, friends that had also been part of the post-Ignite spontaneous chat in the lobby of the conference.

So here I am, three months later and, to be honest, I'm still not sure my weight is a priority. I want it to be, I think. I see pictures of myself and I'm not satisfied with what I see, but I'm still not putting in the full effort that I could be putting in.

Ultimately, I think I've finally accepted that this really is a lifelong thing. I know I've always said that from the beginning, but it's starting to sink in. So maybe it'll take me 10 years to lose 20 lbs. So what? That decade is going to pass anyway, maybe it's better to just keep doing things that support a healthy lifestyle like running and making good food choices and worry less about the weight loss that may or may not come with it. 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

13 October 2015

10K Training Tuesday: Week Two

Monday: 1.5 miles
Tuesday: Spinning
Wednesday: Speedwork
Thursday: 1 mile
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Walking
Sunday: Great Beer Chase 5K

This week of training was not very high energy. Most days it was like pulling teeth. Obviously I can't speak for all women but man, the week of my period just takes all motivation out of me. My speedwork on Wednesday was rough. So rough that I only wanted to do 2 sets and was ready to quit after that but I pushed through and made myself do the 3 I set out to do.

I'm also trying to figure out the right time to run. That is, the right time of day. With my schedule I can do it after work and have all the time in the world but by that time of day my legs are tired. I'm tired and the runs are always rough. I have a much better time in the mornings, but it's dark out and as winter comes it's going to continue to be dark out in the mornings. I do have the option of going to the Y in the mornings and running on the treadmill and just getting ready from work there and when it really gets cold and we start to get snow I'm sure that will happen.

With my new work schedule that has me home by 6 pm, I want to be an evening runner, but I don't know how to make my body adapt.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

12 October 2015

Race Recap: Great Beer Chase 5K

One of the best things about living in Cleveland is having first class access to Great Lakes Brewing Company. I live ridiculously close to their brewery, which means every winter I get to see crates upon crates of Christmas Ale being purchased from the gift shop on a regular basis. (I also fully admit to taking for granted how easy it is for me to walk into a grocery store and buying GLBC brew whenever I want. Of course, that also means that I'll frequently get texts from my sister asking me to buy stuff for her she can't get in DC!)

So when I heard that they were having a 5K as part of Cleveland Beer Week I absolutely had to sign up. Especially when I realized it was in October and would be perfect for this month's race!

Bonus, when I went to pick up my race packet I saw that thanks to the recent rebranding, Great Lakes was selling, at a discount, items with the old branding. Which means I got a metal poster of my favorite year round brew!

Sunday morning I headed over to the brewery bright and early. This race was interesting because it was called the Great Beer Chase and there was beer to chase -- along the course, five runners were designated and dressed up as five of GLBC's brews and if you ran faster than them you were entered into a drawing that won prizes during the awards ceremony at the end. It was kind of amusing, 'cause I was running along the course and saw this guy in a full-on old school Navy costume, including carrying a sword, and was like WTF....Oh, right. Commodore Perry!

The race was nice and flat and a basic out and back -- we ran from the brewery about 1.5 miles up the street, turned around, and headed back towards the brewery.

The whole race there was this women slightly ahead of me, walking the entire time. About two miles in I started to catch up with her in spurts, like during my running intervals. All of a sudden, whenever I started to pass her she'd start running. She'd been walking the whole time but at the possibility of being passed by me she'd pick up her pace and pull ahead. It was so bizarre but hey, I'll motivate people wherever and whenever I can!

Papa G. came to see me run, which was nice. About half a mile from the end I spotted him on one of the street corners waiting to see me and then he had to hurry back to the finish line to see me crossing it!

I finished in 47:30 which was a 15:19 average. Looking over my previous races, that's my second best in the past twelve months -- maybe that speed work I've been doing as part of my 10K training is working!

The medal was a beer bottle opener which, let's admit it, is THE BEST MEDAL EVER.

Obligatory post-race photo.

Because of course.

After, Papa G. and I went out to brunch and I spent the rest of the day lounging around. Naturally, I also had to work on my racing scrapbook page.

This is one of my favorite things to do after a race and it's always fun to go back and look through it to see past races as well.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

09 October 2015

Face the Scale Friday: Week Eight

Daily Points: 39
Weekly Points used this week: 49/49
Activity Points earned this week: 29
Points remaining at end of week: -1

Weight lost this week: -0.8
Total weight lost: -4.6
Starting weight: 259.8
Current weight: 255.2

So I'm clearly still struggling with OMG MUST EAT ALL THE FOODS, but I'm getting better and it's obviously not mattering as much (probably all those activity points from 10K training!)

When I was there I noticed they had pretty much everything on sale (I guess they are redesigning the packages) so I may have stocked up.

I keep a snack drawer at work because sometimes you just need a little something! 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

06 October 2015

10K Training Tuesday: Week One

Monday: 1.6 miles
Tuesday: Spin class at the Y
Wednesday: Speed work
Thursday: 2 miles
Friday: Kettlebells
Saturday: 2 miles
Sunday: Rest Day

First week of 10K training is in the books! As I mentioned in my latest podcast episode, my training plan this time around is a hybrid of plans from Jeff Galloway and Hal Higdon. The weekday schedule is Galloway and the schedule of long run distances is Higdon.

Part of my reason for doing this is because I'm training for 10 weeks. Most 10K training plans are 6-8 weeks while Galloway's is 13. But I've had such a high since the Akron Marathon Relay, I didn't want to lose it by waiting a couple weeks to start training. Plus, this way I can build my October race into my training!

Last week I talked about how I was adding in some speed work to help this slow runner be less slow and my Believe Training Journal came in super helpful with that because they have an entire section of drills. I decided to go with The Biter, only I adapted it slightly due to, well, mostly ability because running full on 200 meters is a bit out of my depth at this point.

That said, there is this small parking lot next to my apartment building with a sidewalk wrapped around it. I've started running there because it has the feel of a track so I don't have to worry about cars. It's smaller than a track though but I've measured it to be 75 meters per side so that's what I did. I followed the same drill only for 75 meters at a time and with only about a 20 second rest in between. I did three sets and walked a lap between each set. My plan is to slowly work up to longer distances.

The Galloway schedule has several Walk or Cross Train days, so I substituted one of those for speed drills. I like the flexibility of "walk or cross train" because it means that I can mix it up week to week, depending on how I'm feeling. During the winter especially waking up early is so annoying so I like knowing that if it's Friday morning and I am just so not feeling it I have the luxury of being able to go for a walk at lunch.

This Sunday is the Great Beer Chase 5K which is my October race and, of course, I'm training for the Christmas Story 10K which is in December. I'm about 95% sure the Turkey Trot will be the race for November. Not only is it one of the few races offered in Cleveland that month but the 5 mile distance fits in perfectly with my training. Bonus: I think BC might be joining me!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

02 October 2015

Face the Scale Friday: Week Seven

Daily Points: 39
Weekly Points used this week: 49/49
Activity Points earned this week: 36
Points remaining at end of week: -4

Weight lost this week: -1.8
Total weight lost: -3.8
Starting weight: 259.8
Current weight: 256

Between the Akron Marathon Relay and 10K Training, this was the first week where I wasn't panicked over eating through all of my points and then some because I knew I had put in a lot of exercise and movement to earn activity points. I was also pretty confident in the food choices I made this week and luckily it all paid off on the scale!

Of course, you'll also notice that +9.8 lbs. So I realized after weighing in that it's been one whole year since I recommitted to Weight Watchers and here I am, 10 lbs heavier than I was a year ago. So, y'know, there's that.

Whatever. I've learned to not focus so much on the big picture like that. I mean, okay, sure, I'm 10 lbs above what I was last year. But y'know what? Between October 2013 and October 2014, I gained forty pounds. So gaining 10 lbs between October 2014 and October 2015 isn't great, but it could be so much worse. A year is also the longest I've consistently been weighing in at Weight Watchers in quite awhile.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that success comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and sometimes you have to look beyond the more obvious definitions to define it for yourself.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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