Happy Friday! So, I survived my mega-run with Chris my PT on Wednesday. We were laughing a LOT because Wednesday morning it was soooo flipping cold! Thankfully by 2pm-ish, the sun had come out and by 3pm we were ready to rock. I was so nervous! This man runs half marathons like they’re 5k! We set off – him at a sprint, me following - utterly dismayed, thinking wtf have I got myself into? - behind. Mercifully, he was just winding me up, and he slowed down to a much more comfortable pace. We had a great run – the route was HARD, and involved lots of hills! Chris took charge of the route so all I needed to focus on was not falling over and breathing! Honestly, roads and pavements around my neighbourhood are so uneven. Shocking. To my surprise and delight, I was able to keep up with him and match stride for stride, although he did slow his pace to run at mine, but not by too much. I even managed a couple of hill sprints and a sprint finish! All in all we did 7 miles in an hour. Not too shabby! I was well buzzing! Another big indicator for me of my increased cardio vascular fitness level was that I was able to chat to Chris throughout our run, rather than wanting to pass out from not being able to catch my breath! IT WAS GREAT and I am really psyched to go out again. I never ever thought I’d be able to sling my runners on and get out there for 7 miles – it’s hard to explain but the very fact of being ABLE to do that totally amazes me. And remember, I haven’t been at this for ages, it was only January I was able to work my way back up to the 5k mark and I never thought that running for in excess of 30 minutes would become par for the course!! Just shows you what you can do if you set your mind to it (and get a bit clued up on how to do it by someone who know what they’re on about!)
So, yeah, suffice it to say I was pretty darn pleased with that little trot around the neighbourhood!
However……..then it was Thursday. Erm….OW!!!!!!!!! Dear Lord above I was in SO MUCH PAIN!!!! I have no idea HOW I managed to exercise before I knew about my IT Band! They were both super-tight the morning after and right into my hip flexors and even my knee caps too! I am decrepit! I stretched LOADS when I got in too, and Thursday morning! Gah! Thank God my PT is also a sports massage therapist. I went last night for a good going over on my legs. The pain is like nothing I have ever experienced. I know it's beneficial because this morning I feel GREAT but, seriously, the pain is intense...but kind of in a good way? That weird fine line between pleasure and pain? Just me?? haha! I dunno :) – I don’t know if you’ve ever had a sports massage, but ‘massage’ doesn’t seem to me to be the correct term for it. Massage should be all relaxing and chilled and indulgent. Perhaps a better term for what I experienced would be ‘torture’. At times there were tears in my eyes as elbows were prodded around various parts of my anatomy. Good grief. There is absolutely no room for dignity or prudishness either! Not when your trainer’s elbow is in your glutes. Howwwwww embarrassing! YIKES THAT HURTS! At one point I had to bite on my own hand, it was that intense. But totally worth it, because as I said, this morning I feel fine, and like I can run again which is good!
We chatted a lot about sports nutrition too (in between me yelling in agony and him laughing at me), and I have been reading about this a lot this week in my spare time, just trying to educate myself a bit more about what I need to put into my body to get the best out of it. You all KNOW that I adore ww, and that this way of eating and counting points and tracking suits me down to the ground. However, sometimes sticking to points means I don’t eat enough to fuel my runs/weights. And when I get in from 7/8miles I don’t want to cook a big meal but instead crave things like cashew nut butter on oatcakes – a big ww no-no because the points values are so high. So part of my adjustment into maintenance is going to be about looking more closely at the quality of what I am eating, and knowing how it will fuel the work outs, not just eating something simply because it’s low in points. Whole new world, people, a whole new world.
Whilst we’re on the subject of maintenance, allow me to update. I think it’s going ok. As I said, I’ve gained a pound since 13th Feb. Rachel says this is ok and that it’s all about experimenting really – trial and error. I think the main thing I have noticed is that I am bit bored with my food this week. I wonder if my system is getting too used to what I’m eating? Can that even happen? I feel the need to shake things up a bit so have pledged to do that next week. I tend to have the same ‘go to’ foods when I’m busy or distracted or focussed on something other than eating (rare!!) plus the fact that I am a creature of habit and routine so I get stuck quite a lot. Time to shake it up I think! This week, for example, I have eaten a lot of pineapple where before that I have been in an apple phase. Even such a little insignificant change has made it more interesting and changed my eating habits a bit.
This week in my office (where there are 4 other women, all of whom are in their 40’s and 50’s so, older than me) one of my colleagues had a birthday. So she bought in cake. Not just any cake. Carrott cake. THE cake of ALL cakes. To me, at least. I REALLY WANTED SOME! And because it was Sainsbury’s organic range it worked out that ¼ of it was only 1.5points – sounds crazy but is nonetheless true! I really enjoyed it. Before I hit goal I would have denied myself that pleasure – a sacrifice for the scale gods in anticipation of weigh in, but at maintenance it’s a different story. I feel that I CAN be less strict with myself these days. So, when my lovely husband bought me a glass of wine and small bowl of popcorn on Tuesday night as I was in the bath(TMI??!!!) trying to ease the post-run DOMS, I gladly accepted, whereas before I would have totally got mad at him and refused the treats because I HAVE TO LOSE WEIGHT AND DON’T YOU KNOW ME BUT AT ALL YOU GIANT DOOFUS STOP TRYING TO SABOTAGE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE or words to that effect.
All in all this is a much nicer way to be. And now that I have learnt to control my eating, a small treat is entirely different from a giant binge. It’s as if, I dunno, my perspective has shifted? This is the biggest deal about maintenance to me.
I have noticed too that my perception of what is beautiful has also changed. By this I mean that I have long been a subscriber to Vogue (UK and US if you must know). I get the whole health argument about not more size zero models, really I do, but you know what, in my head, a skinny girl is always going to look more beautiful than a bigger girl. I KNOW THIS IS WRONG PLEASE DON’T HATE ME! I AM TRYING TO CHANGE IT!! I have been conditioned (not solely by the media, before I get sued by Vogue!) to think that skin and bone and angles equates with beauty. Now that is shifting as I watch my own body transform and muscles become defined and my shape alters yet again and yes I fit into smaller clothes and I am more streamlined but toned and defined and almost athletic looking! It’s really REALLY weird! During the back track in BodyPump class on Weds (only done one class this week – go me! Not being obsessive! YAAYYYYYY!) I was mesmerised as I watched myself clean and press 6 times in a row. My arms look fabulous (even if I do say so myself!) sure, they’re skinny, but toned and defined NOT waif-like! Weird.
Having focused so much on outdoor running this past few weeks, I am really missing my gym time. So next week is going to be a ‘beast it’ week. Not OVER training, but pushing myself to workout everyday and put in some good solid hours at the gym, with my new programme that involves running a very fast kilometre in between each super set that targets a specific area. I am going to be cabbaged, but conditioned! So that’s next week – all the more reason to eat right over the weekend. I am going to try an early morning run tomorrow before weightwatchers to see how that feels - watch this space! And do a couple of classes on Sunday to kickstart my week. I checked my proposed schedule out with C last night and he doesn’t think it’s overdoing it so I’m gonna push on and see what happens.
I am so glad it’s Friday! The sun is shining, I have training tonight, and people over then Saturday I am catching up with my gorgeous friend Julie and her equally gorgeous baby, Bethany and then going to a fabulous party! Bring on the weekend!
Hope you’re all good, wherever you are, and that you have a lovely weekend indeed!