Post Op Day 660 (week 94 stats)

167 this morning. Glad to lose that two pounds I added last week.

It’s interesting to me that it may really be true: the body craves consistency and will do anything to maintain homeostasis. I’d heard that idea many times in numerous weight loss and diet/health books but I don’t think I ever really fully understood it until now. Before I mostly understood the idea in terms of “I lost weight, why is it so easy to gain it all back?” and now I’m starting to see it from another perspective.

It’s also interesting that I finally feel like I’ve achieved a new “set point” for my body where it tries to stay at. Another thing I sort of understood, but experiencing it now it’s like the light bulb is finally on. Before it was a frustrating idea… I struggled with understanding how I’d managed to let my body’s set point be 250+ for so many years and then 300+ for so many years. “Why couldn’t my body have a set point of 150?!” is what I’d wonder about all the time but I could never maintain a loss for any amount of time to establish a new set point. I think they say you need to maintain a loss for like a year to re-establish it. And now I’ve finally done that.

FOOD

  • I mentioned yesterday that there are some days where I’m just plain ole hungry. And it’s new for me to just trust that and go with it and believe that my body is telling me what it needs. I guess it helps me to trust it when I’m mostly craving protein (I ate eggs twice yesterday!) and not mountains of cupcakes, lol.
  • I made my best batch of Egg White Bites everrrrrr yesterday. In fact, I made two batches of them and I’m glad I did. They are heavenly. Absolutely amazing hot, warm, or cold and so fluffy and flavorful. I could eat them all day long. I even have B on the egg white bite bandwagon! He was like ‘GIMME SOME OF THOSE’ once he’d had a bite of one. I’m telling ya… low carb, high protein heaven.
  • I have not been logging my food (other than one day last week after I’d gained) and just sticking to my ‘tiny meal (200 cal or so) every 2-3 hours’ thing and just getting on with it. Seems to work and keeps me at about 1600 calories every day.
  • I’m still 100% into salads with fish on top and recently reintroduced “tuna-cue” and I’d forgotten how tasty it is. YUM.

EXERCISE

  • Last week was a “cut back” week running-wise but this week I’m back up to ~40 miles. I’ve missed those longer runs so much!
  • I’ve been diligently doing my weights routines. I’ve been doing a lot of the free videos on Fitness Blender (they’re pretty good and I like that I can play my own music during them) or fitness videos on amazon prime video. After I get back from my work trip next week, B has agreed to sign up for a free 30 day trial of Daily Burn and then a free 14 day trial of Beach Body using his info, which will get me through February easily. Taking advantage I know.. but man, funds are tight and you gotta do what you gotta do!
  • Speaking of work trips – I’ll be on a trip Sunday through Thursday/Friday next week. There’s a team of us meeting up and I volunteered to lead a small group of us who will do the thing that involves very little sitting and a whole lot of walking around. Last year on this trip I was on the ‘sitting at the computer for 8 hrs every day team’ and this year I was like NOPE, give me something more active than that. So I’m not too worried about getting my steps in everyday. Butttttttttt it does mean 4am treadmill runs at the hotel and either video-free weights in the fitness center OR routines using resistance bands in my room. I may look into a cheap class pass that I could use in the evenings.. hmmm.. that might be a good idea.
  • I know I’m going to sound utterly whiney here, but finding time to do my “moves” (my prescribed corrective exercises) twice a day is tough. Essentially, it’s about 10 exercises that should take about 15 minutes to do. The only equipment I need is a resistance band and a mirror. None of the moves are hard but I rarely seem to get them in twice in one day. I do them once and then not again… which is shameful since some I can do from the couch. LOL. I think I may need to do some kind of reward for myself for doing them X days in a row or something.

MISC

  • The weather is still insane here — it is currently EIGHT DEGREES outside. EIGHT. The high is supposed to be a whole 21 degrees. Yet… by the weekend we’re supposed to be back to the 50s and 60s. There’s still a TON of snow and ice on the ground and my neighborhood is still covered – including sidewalks. No city services here. Which also means no outside running just yet. I’m hopeful that tomorrow will give me an opportunity to hit the snowy trails again, and if not then surely by Friday.

 

Recap:

Highest Weight Pre-Op: 331
Surgery Day: 322
One Year (Week 52): 168
18 months (Week 78): 168
21 months (Week 92): 167

Week 93: 169 (+2)
Week 94: 167 (-2)

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Post Op Day 659

Random things:

*******

It’s 3am and I’m wide awake. In fact, I’ve been wide awake since 11:45pm after having slept only 3 hours. I woke up from a dream in which I’d had a pizza delivered, it was cold, and I was berating the delivery man demanding that I get to keep the pizza but also get a refund. I really wanted that pizza! I woke up HUNGRY. I got up and ate a protein bar and drank water… I read for a while… then I got up again and ate some almonds and drank an entire bottle of water… and I read for a while longer.

It’s now 3am and still no mas.

I’ve been having a lot of food dreams lately… or dreams in general where I’m hungry and I wake up hungry (albeit rarely in the middle of the night and more often around 4 or 5 am, my usual wake up times or just a bit earlier.

I’m trying to go with it and trust that my body knows what it needs and is kindly asking for it. It doesn’t feel binge-y, nor is it sneaky eating, nor am I getting up to eat anything decadent (all things I’ve most certainly done in the past at 3am). It’s like legit hunger waking me up.

Weird.

*******

I saw my athletic trainer person yesterday. It was a really good session and super interesting to see some areas where I’ve progressed and even more interesting to see areas where I still struggle. Granted, only about 10 days had passed since my first appointment so not too much progress was anticipated!

Progress:

  • My single leg squat is SO much more steady and my knee is in a better position. Still a lot of work to do here.
  • My ability to resist pressure on my leg by firing from my hips and glutes has improved a fair amount.
  • My core strength has improved a bit – I’m no longer arching my lower back during leg raises.

Struggles:

  • A side plank with one leg raised is the hardest thing. 17 seconds is my max right now. I can hold a regular old side plank for a minute plus, but lift that leg and NOPE.

  • Single leg squats while keeping all of my toes in contact with the ground. It’s hard! I tend to sit back into my heels and my toes come up.
  • Thoracic spine twist on the floor… I’m ok with the 2 legs bent at the knee version… but straighten out the bottom one while keeping the top knee on the ground AND keeping the opposite shoulder on the ground.. NOPE.

I have a new set of prescribed movements to do for the next 10 days and then I go back for my last follow up. It’s been a really good experience so far and I hope that continuing to work on these adjustments will impact my gait in the long run. (ha)

I also have the book Anatomy for Runners and this quote is such a good reminder to work on this stuff – as tedious as it can be…

*******

I’ve been thinking a lot about meringue cookies lately and feel like making some is in my near future. I saw these chocolate protein powder meringue cookies recently and have been thinking about them a lot. I’m intrigued by these cookie-like meringue situations but also want to make some good ole traditional ones.  All meringue all the time please.

*******

Now it’s almost 4 am… still awake… and kind of hungry again…. ughhhhh

 

Week 18 Training Wrap Up

Twenty one miles this week! That’s about half of the previous week’s mileage. Honestly, though, it felt GREAT to have this cut back week and to give myself a break. I had SUCH long days at work this week that doing anything more than 3-4 miles during the week was just not possible. So go me for planning for that!

Here’s how week 18 went:

Sunday: rest day

I had to work today (on a Sunday, booooooo) and had no time to get a run into day. *cries*

Monday: 4 miles treadmill

4:33 am is what time I started this run. FOUR THIRTY TREE A.M. ughhhh. So I did the first mile at whatever pace and cadence felt good. Then during mile 2, I turned the metronome app on and match up my current pace with the app, which was about 155. Then I upped the beeps on the app to 157 and did mile 3 at that pace. Then I did it again for mile 4 and stayed at 160. I mentioned last week that I added the pod back to my shoe and used this as an opportunity to test it’s accuracy. It was SPOT ON.

Tuesday: 1.5 miles treadmill

UGH. Crash and burn this morning. Don’t even want to talk about it.

Wednesday: Rest Day

And man, oh man, did I need it. I was like the walking dead!

Thursday: 3 miles treadmill (11:18 avg pace)

Another 4am run. But since I took a rest day yesterday and got into bed at 8pm I felt a lot more capable this morning of getting my run on. Nothing really to write home about.

Friday: 6 miles treadmill (10:12 avg pace)

It’s so irritating to me when there’s a day that the weather can’t decide what it’s going to do. The morning started around 5am with pouring down rain. Resigned, I hopped on the treadmill at 8am to get this run in. While running, the sun came out. The skies cleared and for the remaining daylight hours it was cold – in the 30s – but sunny. Then in the afternoon, by 4 or 5pm, it was sleet and snow. So irritating. All that to say that I could have done this run outside, easily, but didn’t because no forecast said ‘sunny’ for the bulk of the day. Oh well. For this run, I ran the first mile with the treadmill set at 5.3 and ran however I wanted to. Then I kicked the metronome app on and upped the speed and did the next 2 miles at “157 bpm” and then the next 2 at “160” and then the last one I started at 160 but with the last half mile to go I upped the bpm to 170. Not gonna lie, I could barely keep up with 170 but I wanted to see how it felt.

Saturday: 7 miles treadmill (10:30 avg pace)

Snow snow go away, come again never. So I missed my race this morning. Besides the drama with B (which kept me up way late), the icy roads made me reluctant to get up at 4am and hit the road. B had went out on Friday and said our neighborhood was definitely slick and the roads leading to the interstate were slick in spots and that overpasses definitely were iffy….. so yeah. That’s a no go for me. I drive a prius that feels like it weighs nothing and while I do have pretty new tires, I’m just not confident in snow and ice for a 2 hour drive.

I was (am) annoyed that I basically threw away the registration fee (it was like $35) and that I missed the race – the pictures looked awesome that the race directors posted. Another time, perhaps. I’m thinking it may be a good spot to take a little weekend trip to and make my own plans to run there.

So anyway. Another long run on the treadmill. I did this one in the afternoon (rare for me) but I felt awful all day long it took until 3pm for me to feel human again. As I did on Friday, I started out at whatever speed/pace felt good and then used the metronome app to pace me for six miles. I have to say that I can see a huge benefit to utilizing that thing during shorter training runs. It really does keep me at a steady pace. I set the tone to a “two beat” tone so that the beep for my left foot is slightly different than the one for my right foot. That makes it easy to stay on tempo and I’ve noticed that it does make the run easier in a way. My milestone pod still says I’m heel striking, but I’m hoping that will slowly change as I inch towards 170 bpm on my runs.

Running wisdom says that one should only increase by ONE bpm per week to let your body acclimate. For a while now I’ve been averaging between 150 and 156 on my runs. So starting at 156 and building up to a steady 160, even, is probably going to take another 2-3 weeks. Then, what, another 10 weeks at minimum, to get up to 170? This is most definitely a long term plan for improvement!

Post Op Day 656

In my life, I’ve learned a few things that tend to be always true. They can be boiled down to:

  1. When people show you who they are, believe them.
  2. Everyone always leaves / The only person you can depend on is you.
  3. People will always (and only) do what they want to do.
  4. What goes around, comes around. Always.

It’s the first one right now that I’m really struggling with. It’s the one that is driving a wedge between B and I. It’s the one that for the past few months that I’ve spent time crying over and feeling overwhelmed about.

Here’s the thing. When B drinks, he’s not nice. He’s cruel and he gets mad easily and he slams doors. It feels like he’s inches away from exploding. He’s never hurt me, and I honestly don’t get any feeling that he ever would, but he does direct that anger towards me. He says hateful things and can not be reasoned with. Since we’ve been together, I’ve banned hard liquor from our house. And then beer. But then beer crept back in the last 6 months of last year – which is when a lot of this escalated. For a while there, if he was home without me during the day on a Saturday or a Sunday I’d hold my breath when I got back home and had to unlock the door – not entirely sure which B was going to be on the other side. Nice, funny, loving B or angry drunk B. After a pretty bad incident at the beginning of December, I told him: “no more, ever again or I will leave.” Then he drank during the day, unbeknownst to me, while I was out hiking on New Years Eve. I was furious and once again I said: “no more, ever.”

I’m struggling because I feel like I’m breaking Rule #1. He keeps showing me who he is and I keep not wanting to believe it. I can justify this in my mind by saying that he’s only like this when he’s had too much to drink, so all I have to do is keep any alcohol out of our house and then problem solved. I can fix this! Angry, hateful B is not who he really is.

But is that true?

Because here’s the other thing. If I upset him or if I get upset, he snaps. And fast. And turns into an angry, hateful, resentful person. He won’t even stay in the same room to have a conversation about something that is upsetting. He says he feels attacked so he needs to leave the room before he says things he’ll regret. He shuts down and then it’s days or weeks before I can get him to talk rationally about whatever it is. And even then, usually he storms out of the room 3 or 4 times during that ‘calm’ conversation.

Is hateful and angry who he really is? And I just didn’t want to believe that? Because he can also be so kind and thoughtful and loving and funny. Isn’t that who he really is too?

I guess it’s possible to be both. I guess I have to believe that he is capable of both. And decide if I can handle that. If this is who he really is and he’s continually unwilling to change… is that OK with me? Can I live with that? Can I love him?

THIS. This is so hard. And makes me feel so isolated and alone. It’s one of those topics that you can’t discuss with people who know us both. It would immediately change how that person feels about B. They’d have an opinion and wouldn’t be able to shake it. I stayed up late last night trying to figure out what to do.

I haven’t had luck with therapists in the past, but I do see that a therapist would be an objective person outside of the situation. But what I tend to do with therapists is this:
1. First session: cry, cry, cry, cry and tell the truth about how I feel
2. Second session: cry and listen to that person tell me strategies to use to fix or change the situation or how I think about the situation.
3. Third session: cry and tell them nothing has changed and they tell me more strategies
4. Fourth session: I lie and say I feel better and the situation has improved because I feel like I’m letting them down because nothing has changed or is better
5. Quit going.

I can’t even count how many therapists I’ve seen and went through this cycle with. A dozen, maybe? It’s nuts. And it doesn’t help. The only one who helped a teeny tiny bit was a grief counselor but I even stopped seeing her after a couple of months because I wasn’t feeling any better and felt like I was disappointing her by not progressing through the stages of grief.

But maybe I need to give another one a try just to get an outside perspective.

I don’t know.

(Sorry – I realize this is my “weight loss” and “running” and “workout” blog, but it’s also a space for me to process a lot of stuff and sometimes that stuff has nothing to do with weight loss. Sigh.)

 

Post Op Day 655

A list of things that no amount of chocolate or marshmallow can solve or fix:

  1. The weather. Is it going to rain? snow? sleet? is there going to be ice? is it safe to drive? I got up at 5am to run to the grocery store to beat this “major ice and snow storm” which has yet to materialize!
  2. My ability to get to my race in the morning. The 15k I registered for is 2 hours away, which when I signed up was no biggie. But now the iffy weather is making me stress out about how safe the roads will be at 4am tomorrow. I’m the most anxious driver already… you add wintery weather to that and I’m darn near paralyzed.
  3. B. It’s his birthday today and I’m so irritate with him and I snapped at him and he stormed off in a huff. His office closed today. My office closed today. I wanted to do a spur of the moment fun thing to celebrate his birthday this afternoon. He said he would rather just go in to the office. AND THEN HE DID. ughhhhhhhh.
  4. Step Kids. The fact that its a weekend with his kids, which always brings additional stress, drama and issues. I stay so far out of any of it I might as well be in another state, but some of it still irritates me to no end.
  5. Work. And the fact that Boss #2 just called and we were on the phone for 2 hours and she casually mentioned that I should totally be working today since I have all the tools/resources I need to do so. She said that when the office closes that just means don’t physically go there. UMMM??? NO?? Especially since Boss #1 emailed and texted everyone at 6am saying “snow day! enjoy your day off and long weekend and see everyone back at it on Tuesday”. So typical.
  6. Money. And lack thereof.
  7. The scale and the fact that it read 170 this morning. That’s the highest I’ve seen it in a long, long time. And I haven’t even gone off the rails! Yes, I’ve definitely been eating too much chocolate. For sure. But otherwise my meals and calories and carbs are in check. I even logged my food yesterday just to be sure that I wasn’t way off the deep end. I wasn’t!
  8. The treadmill. Whine, whine, it’s so boring and I never feel certain how far I actually ran. So for the past year and a half I have tried to figure out why in the world my watch (the fitbit initially and then the garmin) would record vastly different distances and paces than what the treadmill display would read. I’d set it at 5.5 (right at an 11 min mile) and just go. I wouldn’t change it at all nor take any breaks. After an hour the treadmill says I ran 5.5 miles. Easy peasy. But my watch would say up to a half a mile off – less or more. And never consistently! Only recently – since I’ve been using the metronome to try to increase my cadence – has it dawned on me that it’s entirely possible to run at different paces even if the treadmill stays at the same speed. MIND BLOWN. I can set the treadmill to 5.5 and if I set my cadence to 160 I can get right at a 10 min/mile. I can also set the cadence to 155 and run right at a 11 min/mile. All without adjusting the speed on the treadmill. It’s nuts! How did this never occur to me before?
  9. How good I feel about myself. Oh man, how I wish that the more chocolate I ate the better I felt about myself. I wish a good piece of dark chocolate really did solve all my problems and make me feel thin and pretty and light. But no. It just makes me feel yucky and puffy. And sad.
  10. My stupid hair. And lack thereof. And regrowth thereof. When I have it pulled back into a ponytail I have whispy bits sticking up and out everywhere. Long, like 3-4 inch long whispy bits, that make me look like a mad scientist with my hair all over the place. Whispy bits that are curly – wtf? – and don’t blend in with my existing very straight hair. I made an appointment for a week from today to get it cut. I’m so tired of dealing with hair loss.
  11. How overwhelmed and tired I feel. All the time. I have noticed that I really only feel rested if I get around 9 hours of sleep. And even then, sometimes I still feel tired. I’ve only been getting like 7 hours this week and that’s clearly not enough. I’m so worn down.
  12. All the stuff I need to do. Like laundry and then ironing. Like cleaning up the kitchen. Like putting away shoes and coats and other crap I’ve flung off right beside the door. Like vacuuming all of the hair up that still falls out and is everywhere. Like making a batch of egg white bites. And a batch of protein balls.

There’s more. There’s always more that I could add to this list.

I wish wish wish that chocolate made all that stuff better. But I made this list to remind myself that it does not. Not at all. It only makes some of the items in the list worse. Not better.

I was talking to a friend the other afternoon after work about weight loss and trigger foods. She’s been doing Whole30 for about 6 months and has lost 30 pounds or so and so we were talking about how over the holidays she’s been eating some of her trigger foods (bread for her) and it’s starting to lead her far off track. It made me think about what my trigger foods are. I’m not sure I have any. And I said that. If anything, I have “trigger emotions” not foods. I described how feeling overwhelmed for me is a trigger. How when I’m overwhelmed I fully feel like I need something sweet. Something sweet and soothing. Something that I can eat and just enjoy. Something I get to have all for myself and not have to share it or talk about it with anyone. It’s all I can think about when I’m overwhelmed: how good _____ would taste and how good it would make me feel. I told her recently how much I’d been thinking about marshmallows and how tired and over worked and overwhelmed I’ve been and how when I ate that giant peep it was like a soft, comforting, soothing hug.

She was like “you crazy” and I was like YEP. I KNOW.

 

Post Op Day 653 (week 93 stats)

169 this morning. Two pound gain.

FOOD

  • I really had no idea what to expect for my weigh in this week. I’ve avoided the scale to retrain myself not to step on it everyday.
  • I feel like I’ve been a snacking machine this week. Especially at the work event I’m at all week…. my schedule is off. Way off.
    Usually, I follow this schedule:6-7am Shake, 9-10ish Mini meal, 12-1ish Lunch, 3-4ish Mini meal, 7ish Dinner, 8:30ish Tiny snack if I’m really hungry
    All this week though it’s been: 4:30am Shake before/during my treadmill run, 7:30 Light breakfast at the event (fruit and eggs, though it’s been making me feel yuck so I’m going to stop doing this today), 11ish Lunch (I’ve been bringing a salad and tuna), 2-3ish Snack, snack, snack on nothing of value or coffee. Lots of coffee, 4-5ish Shake or bar on my way home, 7ish Dinner, 8:30ish Snack. Sweet snack. Not gonna lie.
  • I’m going to make a huge effort today, tomorrow and Friday to get as close as possible to my normal routine.
  • Oh. And this happened:
  • Why, yes. That is a giant Peep.
  • So yeah. Two pound gain? Not at all surprised.
  • Gonna get that in check, stat!!

EXERCISE

  • My trial subscription to Beach Body ran out yesterday and it makes me kind of sad. I really enjoyed the “Beast” workouts. They’re straight forward, focused on lifting, and have no rah-rah in them. In the two weeks that I had the trial I did all of the beast workouts except for a couple of the core ones. Amazon does have a DVD of the Beast workouts… but it’s $50. That’s kind of steep so I’m trying to decide if I like it that much. AND our DVD player is broken at the moment… sigh… so that’s not even really an option.
  • I’m going to do the free “Fitness Blender” videos for the next few days and then pick another service for a free trial when I’m not frantically trying to fit in a quick 30-45 min workout when I get home exhausted.
  • I am starting to see legit muscles in my arms the past few days. It’s like before I had to flex a little to see them… now they’re just there!
  • I got up and rocked out a treadmill run on Monday as planned. I crashed and burned yesterday morning though. I woke up aiming for 3 and a 1.5 miles in I just could not do it. I was light headed and super tired and my stomach was incredibly upset. I gave up and laid on the floor (no joke) for about 30 minutes before I felt alive enough to get up and get dressed.

MISC

  • I go back to my PT next week and am looking forward to hearing what he has to say. I’ve been doing the moves he ‘prescribed’ at least once a day and often twice. I don’t see any differences yet but I’m sticking with it.
  • I am SO READY for this week to be over with. Way too much work!!

Recap:

Highest Weight Pre-Op: 331
Surgery Day: 322
One Year (Week 52): 168
18 months (Week 78): 168
21 months (Week 92): 167

Week 93: 169

Week 17 Training Wrap Up

Seventeen weeks, y’all! I still sometimes can not believe that I’ve been so friggin consistent for seventeen weeks!! I’m really proud of myself. This is still just a “base building” plan, but still! It has included more structured runs than I’ve ever done in my life! Which I think is really starting to show in both my perceived effort and paces. Woo hoo!

Here’s how the week went:

Sunday – Rest Day.... but I went on a hike! And I saw these guys:

Apparently these “ice ribbons” are kind of rare and occur when it is really cold and the air whips around tall grass and captures moisture and kind of whips it up into these ice ribbons. From afar they look like trash (like a used tissue?) thrown on the ground, but when you look closely you see that they’re ice! Kind of neat.

Monday – 10 miles (10:31 avg pace)

A very very very very cold but clear day so I took advantage of it and did my run. And I basically froze. It was the first time I’ve had to wear a hat AND a neck gaitor pulled up over my ears and mouth. And I had hand warmers in my gloves. It averaged about 20 degrees during my run. I’m telling you: I’m not made for this kind of cold!! The run itself was uneventful. I was tired (for no real reason) and I stayed really consistent for every mile; right around 10:30. I’ll take it for such a hilly route.

Tuesday – 3 miles treadmill (10:44 avg pace)

So it was NINE this morning when I had the only opportunity I had to run… so treadmill it was. And you know what that means: PRETTY LITTLE LIARS! LOL. Such a good guilty pleasure series.

Wednesday – 6 miles (9:42 avg pace)

Another pretty but cold day – thankfully I had a chance to run in the afternoon during the warmest part of the day: a whole 34 degrees! And I found 26 cents! 🙂

This was supposed to be a tempo run with a warm up mile and then 5 at 9:44 min/mile. As you can see below, I didn’t quite do that. I don’t know what got into me after mile 2, and then I really don’t know what got into me for miles 4, 5, and 6. But it felt great and effortless and so I hung with it. It was almost a progression run. It was my normal neighborhood route, moderately hilly with the flatest parts in the first and last mile. So I don’t know why I was kicking so much butt, but I was.

Thursday – Rest Day

I was starting to feel the impact of yesterdays run AND my “Beast Leg Workout” that I did yesterday, too. So I was glad to have a rest day.

Friday – 11 miles – trails (12:53 avg pace)

Where I live there are definitely battles between mountain bikers and trail runners…. some systems are clearly signed “no bikes” and others “no running”. And people get really fired up when someone violates those rules. During the summer and on weekends, I 100% respect the signs and definitely don’t want to be in the way of anyone on a mountain bike. My brother mountain bikes and I know how dangerous it can be to come upon people running and need to stop or swerve quickly on a bike. So when it’s the busy season I avoid those trails. That said, during the winter and during the week and during the middle of the day when there is literally NO ONE on the trails I tell myself that it’s ok to sneak in a run on a mountain bike trail. (I can rationalize it!, haha) So yesterday I went to a mtb trail system I’d never been to before, but recommended by my brother. He said it’s rocky and hilly but with really long flat(ish) stretches that would be runnable. So I figured why not. I got there at noon and had the place to myself. The posted maps showed approximately 9.5 miles. So I bundled up (28 degrees out!) and set out.

The trails were super nice and dry and just as my brother described: rocky but long stretches of dirt that I could run. It was dry (thankfully!) and I didn’t have to deal with mud, but I did encounter a fair amount of ice. And tires!! The trail system skirts water and I guess when it floods the tires wash up? I don’t know… there were dozens of them!

And of course….. it’s not a trail run unless somebody is bleeding.

I managed to fall down around mile 6 or 7. Well I say “fall down” when actually I “fell UP” an incline. I tripped going up and really thought I was going to catch myself – I took another 2 or 3 steps – before hitting the rock pretty hard. My arm got the worst of it, but I did smack my chin hard enough on the ground that my jaw and ear hurt for a little while. Thankfully no bruising or bleeding there! It’s all part of it!

I did laugh at SmashRun’s “Run Fact”….

You can see that I kept it pretty steady for the first 9 miles and was thinking I was nearly finished…. but then realized that I STILL HAVE TWO MILES TO GO and my energy was starting to wane. It turned out to be 11 miles with 1900 ft gain / 1900 ft loss. That’s a lot of hills! I was tired.

Saturday – 6.5 miles (9:59 avg pace)

I got up and got this done this morning in the cold! Another clear bright day, with the temperature increasing from 19 to 23 during the hour I was out there. Almost warm! hahaha. Right.

So I’ve put the milestone pod back on my running shoes to try to get some additional data that the garmin doesn’t capture. Such as heel strike, impact, and leg swing. I know: data overload.

And I never like the data that the milestone pod gives me. It’s never good news. It never says “wowza, you’re doing great!”. Nope it says things like “you are 100% heel striking” and “your cadence is too low” and “your run is not efficient”. I KNOW MILESTONE POD. I KNOW. But I figured since I’m really working on it, it would be good to establish a baseline so I know where I’m starting from.

Anyway. I found 27 cents today. A total of 53 cents for the week. I call that a win.

And like Wednesday’s run, what the heck has gotten into me?!?!?! Those middle 4 miles are supposed to be my tempo pace! Not my “neighborhood hill run” pace! And yet, you can see that my heart rate was steady – actually lower! – during those miles so I wasn’t over working myself or anything. I was just going, it felt great, and I just couldn’t slow down! I stopped briefly at the end of the 6th mile to drink the last of my water and that slowed down my pace for the last half mile. But still. Who am I?! 9:45 is easy?! WHAT?

All in all a really good week!

I am scaling back a bit this upcoming week… I have a work event that is from 7-4 every day next week. I’ll be up presenting from 9-3 every one of those days. I’m gonna be worn out! And the venue is a 45 minute drive one way. So that means leaving my house by 6:15 every morning and not getting home until 5pm. I’m going to aim to get up at 4:30 every day and do an easy 3 miles on the treadmill every morning before getting dressed, and then do my weights workout + hip strengthening moves every evening when I get home. (Making the days even longer!) But then I have a 15K trail race on Saturday. I should be absolutely raring to go!!

The trail race ought to be fun. I’ve never run on the trails before… there’s a 1100 ft gain and 1200 ft loss during the course but no major climbs. I’m looking forward to it! It’s the same low-key company that hosted the trail run I did back in July and I really enjoyed that one. They limit it to about 300 people so that makes me happy… I like the small races!

All in all, my mileage won’t even reach 30 miles for the week next week, but that’s ok. A cutback week is a good thing every once in a while!!