Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 34: Adventures in the Tree Streets

I returned in earnest to running today, and ran roughly a 5K in 42 minutes.  Not too shabby for just recovering from shin splints.  My goal will be to run a 5K in under 40 minutes by the time I run my first 5K race in July.  I can do that without actually running the whole thing, and I don't think being able to flat out run it is a reasonable goal for me at this point.  I will be able to do it eventually, though.  I'm just going to keep at it, and I know that I will eventually get there.  

Today's run was fun because it was an adventure to places I have never been before.  As such I ended up on a few dead end streets, but it was worth it.  I got lost, discovered a disused street with nothing but grass on either side, and came out by seven peaks.  I went back home, ran around Kiwanis park, and then stretched in the outfield of the baseball field before heading back to shower and go to Institute.

Very few people I know at work exercise regularly, and my family has never been good at that sort of thing.  I was just thinking about that today.  I can't imagine a life where I DON'T exercise at least a few times a week; it's so natural now.  Yet this time last year I struggled to get to the gym even once a week, if that.  And I certainly didn't take care of myself nutritionally.  I'm so glad I'm taking care of this before I'm married with children so that my future family doesn't have to deal with me having those unhealthy habits.  

Anyhow, not much to say other than that.

Tree Streets
3.06 miles in 42ish minutes
13:43 mile pace

Monday, May 24, 2010

Secrets of Success

The World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." That's what I'm trying to accomplish here.

In the past I have failed at fitness programs because my goal was merely physical fitness and avoiding disease, and more than anything, losing weight.  This resulted in a self-defeating mindset in which I would follow strict programs of various types.  I have tried salad diets, soup diets, calorie restriction diets, Adkins, and Fit For Life.  Something that all those diets have taught me is that dieting just doesn't work, at least not for me.  All those diets tell you what to eat and when, and the problem with that is that it's always a drastic change from what I was used to, and it's combined with exercising more than I'm used to exercising and eating much less than usual.  That all resulted in my body me, me hating my body, and being crabby and unpleasant.

Instead of weight loss, my goal is now achieving my ideal of total health.  It started at Lent with my desire to do something to amend my life and grow closer to God.  Forty days is the perfect amount of time to permanently establish a positive habit, and I used it to start a Couch to 5K training program.  When I've imagined a healthy person, I've always imagined someone who could run a 5K.  I felt like if I could run a 5K, I would say I was healthy, even if the scale said I was overweight.  So I made it my goal to slowly yet consistently work up to running 3.1 miles.

After a month of consistent running, I started changing my diet slowly as well, but that part was completely unintentional.  Okay, not completely unintentional.  Running made me realize that I have more willpower than I had ever given myself credit for.  I was just misapplying it in the past.  I began reading a great book called Eat, Drink, and Be Mindful, and the only thing I did was try to observe myself and pay better attention to my body and how I feel.  Running helped me notice things about my body.  When I ate I got full faster.  Rather, I noticed being full as I was getting full and not after the fact when I was miserable.  Eating right is something I'm still struggling with, but I feel like I have already come a long way, and I know that it's just small steps.  I'm taking off about a pound per week, which is really normal, healthy weight loss, something I'm experiencing for the first time.

And in a little over a month, I'll be experiencing something else for the first time: my first 5K, running through lavender in Mona, UT.  I definitely have seen that small things done consistently can have a huge impact on your life.  That kid who could barely finish the mile run in high school gym class will be voluntarily crossing the finish line of a foot race.  And I'll be happy to do it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 33: Seven Pounds

After my little break from working out, it was slightly difficult to get back in the swing of things, but I'm in this for the long haul, baby!

I swam laps today at Gold's Gym, which I enjoyed more than I thought.  First of all, I was the only one in the lap pool, which was perfect for my first time there to make me feel much more comfortable.  Second of all, I didn't have to worry about carrying my wet swimming suit out of there because they have this cool thing that spins all the water out of your suit for you, and so I went home with a dry swim suit.

Possibly tomorrow I will return to the water for another swim, and then continue running/walking on MWF.  Yup, that's what I think.  I also found a better place to go running that I want to try out.  It's all asphalt, but it's about a 20 minute drive from my house.  Tomorrow's a good time to try it because I'm pretty free Friday night.

Oh, and I weighed myself finally, and I've lost another 7.3 pounds.  At this rate (which is effortless), I will weigh less than I've ever weighed in my adult life by Christmas.  That is such a great motivation to keep it up.  It's been a great week, and I'm feeling good!  Maybe the week off was just the break I needed to get me excited about running again!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 32: Tibial Yuckiness

Yesterday I only ran/walked a mile because I suspected shin splints in my left leg.  Still not sure if that is definitely the culprit of my pain, but it is beyond the normal soreness I would expect, so I decided to cool it.

I have become more aware of my body in general, especially during exercise.  I could feel that muscle moving while I ran, and it was not pleasant.  I walked more of it than I really wanted to, and still beat my mile pace.  I don't know if I want to count this mile pace, though, because it does seem like the shorter the distance the faster my pace, and this is the shortest distance I have EVER run.

Still, though, even though my leg hurt mildly throughout the day, I was looking forward to going, and did it anyway, but in a "smart" way.  If it still hurts on Monday, though, I'm going to do something other than running.  Possibly yoga.  I've been thinking about paying a personal trainer just for the next six weeks to help me get in shape for the 5K in July, and going to the gym and arranging that could also be a possibility.

PS:  My abs are STILL sore from Thursday.  I guess that's a good sign, but wow, I didn't even think I did that much!

The Workout:
Kiwanis Loop
1.09 miles
13:16 min/mi

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 31.5 Help Wanted

I was antsy today and went to the gym to lift weights, but couldn't find very many exercises that didn't hurt.  I just wanted to go home and do my physical therapy and/or yoga.  From now on, that's going to be the drill unless I can get a personal trainer to help me with an actual routine I can remember.

Part of my goal in going to the gym was to weigh myself, and I didn't even do that.

Oh, and my left shin is sore.  Don't think they're shin splints, but it's still not terribly pleasant.  I'm just a ball of joy today.  And amazingly, my bad attitude is because I couldn't do the exercises I wanted to do and that the run that I will do tomorrow regardless will be less enjoyable due to my little aches that I have acquired this week.

Thank you, cloudy day for making my GPS go all buggy and tricking me into running too many miles...  Tomorrow I'm going to take it easy...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 31: Heart Burn

New caveats about the Strands program.  The GPS dropped out during the last half mile or so of my workout today, so I thought I had only gone 2.75 miles, and I actually went about 3.25 miles.  Uhm that's more than a 5K for those of you who were interested.  It's like the personal trainer who texts while you're doing lunges.  Anyhow, luckily I remembered what I did, and I estimate that I ran something like a half mile after my GPS bailed on me. says that I ran 4.09 miles, but I think that's too much because I finished it in 47 minutes, and that would be a lot faster than I felt like I was running/walking, so I'm going to go with 3.25.  I was going for shaving some time off of my mile pace, and maybe I did, but we'll never know because I don't know exactly how far I went.

I experienced something running today that I hardly ever experience running or not running: heartburn.  After a block and a half of running, I would get a burning sensation in my throat/chest that was just like heartburn, and then it would calm down when I walked, and then got worse again when I ran again.  I had a veggie sub from subway for lunch, and I guess it was the peppers on it that did that, which means no more of those on days I run.

Pretty good day, pretty good.  I'm looking forward to doing some more exploring around Provo on Friday!

The Workout:
All Over - 9th East, Campus, Kiwanis
3.25 miles (but probably more) in 47 minutes
14:30 (but probably less) mile pace

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 30

Loving the Strands running app.  I completely 100% endorse it to everyone, and also everyone should follow me on  It's like a twitter for physical activity, so addictive.  Today I almost didn't go running because we played capture the flag this afternoon, and that was kind of physical, but then it felt weird not to go, so there I went at 8:30 out the door with my running shoes.  I ended up only doing two and a half miles, though, because it started to get dark and I didn't want to end up running around the park after dark, although the areas I was running it were pretty well-lit and seemed like there were a lot of people around.

I think in a little bit I'm going to try a new route before I get tired of this one.  The good thing about this one, though, is that it's right here close so I don't have to drive anywhere - just walk out the door and get going.

I had a little bit of weird cramping in my left arch the last half mile.  It was weird.  It felt like I stepped on something sharp, but I hadn't, and it's fine now.  No idea what happened there, but I'd be so ticked if I were trying to run a race or something and that happened to me.

Oh, guys, and there's this 5K in July that my roommate suggested to me.   The course is on a lavender farm with lavender in full bloom.  I'm going to see how I feel about it in June, and then decide whether to sign up or not.

I'm over my slump and pumped up again!  All it took was getting off that blasted treadmill!

Kiwanis Park
2.46 miles in 35 minutes
14:07 min/mile