Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Leaving it out there...

I think to say that I've been unfocused isn't quite right...  I simply haven't been myself the past couple days. 

Spring In2 Action

Today is Week 4 check-in for the Spring in2 Action challenge - we'll leave it at I've gained and I didn't get in all my workouts last week.  Do I feel guilty? Yes, a little.  But I also am trying to own the fact that I chose to be on vacation, which for me, meant letting go of some of my workouts.  That is ok.  Right? 

So why am I (as T so aptly put it this morning in an email) "depressed Ashley?"  The honest answer is that I'm not entirely sure.

Here is what I do know:
  • School is getting stressful.  I've got looming practical finals coming up that will require me to remember long intricate processes all done in front of my professor.  I'm nervous and its wearing on me.
  • T and I live 5 hours apart.  I do a lot of driving.  Every long drive literally reminds me of how far it is.  And I'm pretty sick of it.  Will it change anytime soon? Nope.  So I really need to stop dwelling on it.  It is what it is for now.
  • The weather until 2 days ago has SUCKED, and I am sick of winter.  Do I want it to be 100* yet? Not at all, but I'm sick of the rain, sick of highs in the 50s, sick of no sunshine.  Today is was almost 80* and it was glorious...
Our glorious weather lead to a mid-day run for me.  Normally I don't like to run mid-day, but I was willing to make the exception today and honestly my mood and emotional state needed it.

--
 I just bought new running shorts from our Nike outlet.  One problem with most shorts (running or otherwise) is that my thighs rub together and so they ride up.  This is annoying and uncomfortable.  The shorts I bought at Nike are tight.  They aren't spandex terrible tight, but they are tight, let me clarify, they are supposed to be tight.  Bonus though, they don't ride up, which is what I was thinking when I bought them.
 So when I got home from school and made the executive decision that I was going for a run I slipped on my new running shorts and an older lulu lemon top that I have.  I knew it would be hot so I was trying to minimize my discomfort.  I should have known better, what with the internal dialogue going on in my head recently, but I caught a peek of myself in the mirror before heading out the door.
-You're going to wear those?
-Gross ugly legs.
-Apparently its let your worst flaws fly in public day today?
Yeah, my internal dialogue didn't get any nicer with that glimpse.  In one swoop I didn't want to run anymore, I didn't want to wear these shorts anymore, I just wanted to stay inside and pout.  Productive.  Even before this moment I didn't really have a plan for this run so I went out the door with only the promise that I would do 2 miles.  That's all I was going to force.
I ran down our street and down another (whew, no cars yet, no one has seen me!).  I had to stop at one of the busiest intersections within a mile of my house to wait for the light, and I hated every moment of it (I just know everyone is looking and pointing and laughing at me and my stupid white, fat legs in these stupid tight short shorts, nice choice, Ashley).  I crossed the street and went down to the bike trail where I had planned to run and made an agreement with myself. 

I am not the things I tell myself I am.  I am a runner (athlete, triathlete), even when I don't feel like it.  I am strong and I am somewhat beautiful.  And I will run until I begin to believe at least some of this. 

So I ran.  I wasn't running to punish myself for thinking these negative thoughts.  I was running to prove the positive ones.  1 mile.  2 mile.  I decided just before the 3 mile mark that I'd make today's run an impromptu 10k.  It was not my prettiest run.  I never got my runners high, I never felt like I was running like the wind.  But I finish my 10k in 57:24.  I left the self-conscience-ness about these new shorts and my legs on the bike trail (doesn't mean they won't find their way home, but for now they are enjoying their time on the river).  And when I got home I felt like a runner, with proud runner's legs.

  I may not look like Kara Goucher but I do look like Ashley, which is who I need to come to terms with.  And today, after my run, I was pretty happy with what I was seeing in the mirror which is a step in the right direction.  :)

--
I want to give a giant shot-out to Christie O. at averagemomswearcapes.com and her There Is No Spoon post from Monday.  It was a good reminder that our own mind is often our biggest limiter.  Thanks for the reminder.  :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dare Devil Divas - Week 3 Check-in

Spring In2 Action

Well.... from my previous post you'll see that I've been taking it easy this week with being on vacation and being lazy enjoying hanging out with T.  According to the scale that I got on here in Pismo I've managed to maintain (small miracle) from last week.  I missed one day of week 3 of the push-up challenge this week, but was still able to do a 1set max of 16 today, up 10 from my first week's numbers.

As for workouts:
  • Wed (today): AM Swim 2000 1800yds (Was.Not.Feeling.It.)/PM Bike ride 1 hr Check and Check!
  • Thurs: AM Swim 2700yds/AM Run 3mi recovery Check and Check
  • Fri: AM Run 4+ mi at 8:50 pace; P/U W3D1 & NTC ab workout  I ended up doing 3.5mi at 8:00 pace, flaked on the push-ups and NTC (:-/)
  • Sat: AM Swim 11x200 on 4:20; Bike 1 hr optional (depends on how I'm feeling) Totally skipped it, but did do Sunday's long run and push-ups and NTC.
  • Sun: AM Run 10mi; P/U W3D2 & NTC ab workout Check but on Saturday
  • Mon: AM Swim 2000yds Run 3mi (optional) I got kicked out of the pool at 1600yds for Aqua Aerobics, which was kinda ok, I was soooo bored. No run.
  • Tues: Bike 1:15+; P/U W3D3 & NTC ab workout Nope, didn't do any of it. :-/
So when you add it all up I had a 57% completion rate this week for my workouts.  Not too hot, but I'm trying not to beat myself up too much about it since I am on vacation.  In reality I probably shouldn't have set the bar so high for a week I knew I'd be less than motivated to get to the gym.  But I've gotten there a couple times which isn't too bad.


As for the rest of this week... I'd like to make reasonable goals for the remaining 5 days I'm out of my normal routine and go right back into my old routine when I return to school Monday.  So here it goes:

  • Wed: 5mi Interval run; P/U W3D2 & NTC ab burner I've already done the run and the push-ups, so I just need to get the NTC workout in. :)
  • Thurs: Bike1 hr; Swim 2700yds - I should do this all first thing in the morning, that way its... DONE.
  • Fri: Run 4-5 mi- I need to have fun with this, go up and run along the coast. 
  • Sat: Bike 1:30; P/U W3D3 & NTC ab burner
  • Sun: Run 4 mi at >8:15 pace -------> Back home tonight :(
  • Mon: Swim 1800-2000yds; Bike 1hr
  • Tues: Run 5mi Intervals; P/U W4D1 & NTC ab burner
So there is my plan, I'm aiming to take a rest day every 10 days or so.  With the combo of the three sports usually I feel like I get enough of a break from each individually to not need anymore than that.  But of course I'm always paying attention to what my body needs. 


Hope everyone else is having a good week! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sooooo....

Yesterday I was supposed to swim and ride... and I only swam.  Today I've done nothing so far.  If you look down a few posts you'll see that this is not a part of my plan.

I'm feeling torn about my impromptu rest.  Part of me feels like its just what I need, and another part of me is feeling like that is a cop-out since its easier to brush off my workouts when I'm not in my normal routine while camping for Spring Break (we're talking 40' trailer camping, so its like a hotel, don't feel too sorry for me.  ;) ).

So I just can't decide.  Its a nice day today, though not as warm as I'd like, but should I head out for a ride, or over to the gym for an interval run on the TM?  Or should I just let it go and enjoy my rest?  I was just thinking that I'm feeling a little stir crazy, so maybe a workout is just what I need.

I'll let you know where I end up.  :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Moments of Bliss

My spring break isn't quite what you might imagine spring break being.  It is not sunny.  Its is not warm.

Today we are expecting up to 2" of rain and its in the mid-50's.  Even though (wishfully) I brought my bikini, I'm pretty sure it won't be seeing the sun this time around.

But that is totally OK.

Last night, and again this morning I was privy to those... moments.  Moments where I wish I had the photography skills of a professional so that I could capture the moment.  Because even then it wouldn't do it justice, but I might at least begin to capture the feeling.

A girl and her dog out on a deserted beach, its raining and the wind has churned up some moody surf.  But the girl laughing and the dog is running with joy across the beach, around, and back again.  There is no particular reason that this moment should be special, except that it is... perfect.

I don't have kids, but I have my dog.  I've had her through 2 break-ups, some of the worst depression of my life, and moments like this.  And moments like this remind me why I'm thankful for her.  Being a college student I have no business having a dog, but I couldn't leave her at the pound when I went with a friend looking for a cat, nearly 5 years ago.

Sometimes she is my running partner, but only if she can be off leash, otherwise she is too slow. :)

Most of all, she teaches me to enjoy the moments.  And often, the best thing you can do is take life moment by moment.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend, regardless of your weather. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dare Devil Divas Check In - Week 2

Lets cut straight to the chase...
Last weeks goals:
  • Continue keeping up with my planned workouts. 
    • Wed: AM Swim/PM Trainer Ride Check! Check!
    • Thurs: AM Interval Run 4-5 miles 5 min work/2 min recovery Check!
    • Fri: AM Swim/PM Bike Ride, if the weather cooperates this will be outside and glorious.  :) Check and Check!!! And it was GLORIOUS! ;)
    • Sat: AM Run Probably 6-7 miles 6 Miles, Check
    • Sun: Off Check! ;)
    • Monday: AM Swim/ PM Trainer or Outside bike ride (weather dependent) No swim, but rode the trainer. :)
    • Tues: AM Interval Run, repeat of Thursday's workout. Check
    • This actually give means I had about a 89% completion rate on my workouts for the week, which I'm considering pretty darn good!
  • Fruit/Veggie goal of 4-6.  My biggest thing is getting in a couple servings of veggies at dinner, I usually am pretty good on the fruit I know I didn't get these in over the weekend, or Monday and Tuesday.  Things have been crazy and I've been eating dinner "on the run" which means usually granola w/milk for dinner because its quick and easy (and delicious).
  • 100 push-up challenge on Mon/Wed/Fri with ab workout included. I got in all my push-ups, but only 1 ab workout.  I need to commit to doing something different about this.  I'm thinking the ab workout from my NTC app which leaves it as a no-brainer.
I also gained this week, not much and its approaching that girly time for me, so I'm not giving it much though.  Also, considering I ate copious amounts of garlic bread, German chocolate cake, and potato salad over the weekend I'm thinking my measly little gain is really a win.  I am unconcerned.  :)

 This next week poses all kinds of interesting possibilities... because I'm on SPRING BREAK as of tomorrow (Thursday) evening!  T and I are going to Pismo Beach with the trailer which I'm excited about, but here the possibilities... 1.  I will have lots of time to get workouts in, as many as I want in fact. 2. I won't want to feel like I'm spending all my time on workouts because I will want to spend a lot of time with T (what can I say, I somehow like the guy ;)) and 3. There will be copious amounts of all the yummy but not totally healthy foods available 24/7 for 10 days.  So whats my plan of attack?
Workout Schedule (already written in my calender)
  • Wed (today): AM Swim 2000 1800yds (Was.Not.Feeling.It.)/PM Bike ride 1 hr
  •  Thurs: AM Swim 2700yds/AM Run 3mi recovery
  • Fri: AM Run 4+ mi at 8:50 pace; P/U W3D1 & NTC ab workout 
  • Sat: AM Swim 11x200 on 4:20; Bike 1 hr optional (depends on how I'm feeling)
  • Sun: AM Run 10mi; P/U W3D2 & NTC ab workout
  • Mon: AM Swim 2000yds Run 3mi (optional)
  • Tues: Bike 1:15+; P/U W3D3 & NTC ab workout
I have the rest of my spring break workouts planned already too, but I'll leave that for next week ;)

As for handling all the food available, I'm thinking of keeping a food log that doesn't include calorie counting, just to keep track of the snacking, which I tend to mindlessly do.  I'm also bringing with me my protein powder so I can continue to do smoothies in the morning, and granola for another alternative for snacks.  Otherwise I've got a pretty packed workout schedule which I'm hoping will balance things out.  I also need to focus on my water intake as I enjoy the salty foods without the bloat. ;) 

Oh... AND I just registered for a 1/2 marathon on May 1st with Kirsten and Beki! I'm excited to meet these girls and the Reno Rock-n-River 1/2!  This is shaping up to be a really full racing season for me! :)

So what's everyone's plan for the week? 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Almost Spring Break!

Well, it's only about 2.5 days until the beginning of SPRING BREAK! I'm a little excited.  ;)  T and I will be heading to Pismo Beach to stay in the trailer for the week.  Sadly at the moment the weather isn't quite what I would hope for on spring break, but ultimately I'm just excited to not have school and get to relax with T for some quality time. Long distance is tough sometimes.  

I honestly have very little to confess this week, I stopped journaling foods, which has made a huge difference in my attitude toward.... EVERYTHING.

So what did I do this weekend? Well my best friend's parents throw a "Benny's Ball Feed" every year... yes this follows the mass castration of bulls into steers, and half the food offered had... balls in it.  I did not partake in any said ball eating, but the people watching was priceless and the non-ball food was good.  I even had some German Chocolate Cake (it was DELICIOUS) and felt no guilt.  I'm calling this weekend a re-feed if you will.  That was most of my Saturday, and it was wonderful.  My best friend and I don't get to spend nearly as much time together as would be optimal, so it was so so so nice to see her.  :)  Sunday the same friend's family opened a restaurant (it was a busy weekend) and I helped out in whatever way I could.  Did some serving, did some busing.  It was fun, things were a little crazy as they still need to work out the kinks, but generally the family is excited about the new business and have high hopes.  :)

On another note, the time change has me all screwed up still, keeping me up late when I need to get up early, so my planned swim Monday morning just didn't happen.  Its the way it goes, and I'm not stressing about it.

So now that we are officially into this week, I'm feeling pretty good.  How's everyone's week shaping up?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Week 1: Spring in2 Action

Spring In2 Action

Its check-in day for the Spring in2 Action challenge over at SJ!  My fellow Dare Devil Diva, Brooke, and I had a successful week, and are looking forward to week 2!
  • Stick to the 100 push-up challenge schedule.  I also want to do an ab workout every time I have a push-up workout, both are severely lacking in strength. I did all three days this week, but only 2 days of abs.  This is 2 more days then I had done for weeks prior so I'm not feeling bad about this fact.  :)
  • Stick to my tri workout schedule.  I have a rough monthly schedule written in my day planner, and at the beginning of every week I mentally plan out my workouts.  I need to do some double checking with tri plans I have, but I am pretty sure for now I'm right on track with the run and bike, and probably a little behind on the swim. I double checked with my books and with a friends old training plan and I am pretty much right on schedule for all three sports.  This week I ended up missing my Tuesday interval run due to my own personal sanity, but I'm making it up tomorrow, so I'm not really considering it "missed."  Otherwise I'm keeping up with school, workouts, and for the most part sleep, so I'm feeling super good about everything.
  • Make it to the pool a MINIMUM of 2x a week! Which means I've got to hit the pool tomorrow (damn!) along with a run.  Though they were back to back days, I made it to the pool twice this week, including one 2700 yd workout!  This week I hit the pool today, planning on Friday, and again Monday.  On the weeks I can fit in 3 swims (aka not driving around the state all weekend) I should be.  This is my weakest sport of the three and since it leads I'd rather not have it leaving me exhausted with 2 sports left to do.
  • Journal my eats 4-5x a week.  And not stuff my face just because I'm taking a non-journaling day. Its about balance and moderation.  With the amount of activity I'm doing I'll really have to go crazy on those 2-3 days a week I'm not journaling to get myself into trouble.  The idea is to avoid that. :)  I am NOT journaling anymore.  My sanity requires it.  As soon as I start journaling I get really negative and down on myself.  Which hardly seems like the point.  I might write down what I'm eating in future weeks without counting calories.  Just to keep the mindless eating to a minimum, but this week I need to get away from it all together.
  • Scale needs to drop 3-5lbs.  I'd really like to look like the athlete I'm starting to feel like.  That doesn't mean stick thin, but it does mean lean.  I weighed earlier this week - 139.4, and I'd love to break into the low 130s.  Again, its all about balance, I'd like to lose a few pounds without risking under-nourishing my body for the workouts I'm doing.
Weigh in time!
Last Week: 139.4
This week: 138.6
Lost: .8
I'm happy with this loss, over this 6 week challenge if I had every week like this it would total to a 4.8 lb weight loss which I'd be ecstatic about.
I also increased my single set max on the push-up from 6-10!  Progress is good! :)

Goals for this week:
  • Continue keeping up with my planned workouts. 
    • Wed: AM Swim/PM Trainer Ride
    • Thurs: AM Interval Run 4-5 miles 5 min work/2 min recovery
    • Fri: AM Swim/PM Bike Ride, if the weather cooperates this will be outside and glorious.  :)
    • Sat: AM Run Probably 6-7 miles
    • Sun: Off
    • Monday: AM Swim/ PM Trainer or Outside bike ride (weather dependent)
    • Tues: AM Interval Run, repeat of Thursday's workout.
  • Fruit/Veggie goal of 4-6.  My biggest thing is getting in a couple servings of veggies at dinner, I usually am pretty good on the fruit
  • 100 push-up challenge on Mon/Wed/Fri with ab workout included. 
 Bring on week 2, I'm ready to make this one better (mentally and emotionally) than week 1! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Honest True Confessions

I've been down in the dumps the past few days.  I'm stressed out over school and money, but I know that isn't all of it.

Truth is I'm starting to feel like I'm back in diet-mode again, and I'm not liking it.  For me diet-mode is not a happy mode.  Its a when I begin to label foods as "good" or "bad" and when I eat the "bad" foods I inevitably begin to view myself as "bad" too.  In the past week (or 2, or 3, or whatever) I've been more critical of me.  I look in the mirror and see only the things I don't like.  I'm picking out the flaws and ignoring the rest.  And then mentally beating myself up for doing things that might change these flaws.

Ugh I have such unattractive legs, they wouldn't be so unattractive if I hadn't eaten X, Y, or Z

See it really doesn't matter what X, Y, or Z is... Last week in my 3 tri sports I covered over 75 miles in just shy of 10 hours over 9 workouts.  I never had an out of control binge moment with food.  Did I eat "less than healthy" foods, yes.  I had potato chips and crackers, I even had 2 sodas!  But I also burned over 6,000 calories!  The logical part of my brain recognizes that I am not a slob, or a glutton, or whatever other terrible adjective I sometimes tell myself I am.  I am not lazy.  It is OK my eating isn't always perfect.  But this is all the logical part of my brain. 

The irrational, emotional, insecure part is making me miserable.

And something has gotta give, because I don't like feeling this way.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do next, I might stop counting calories and focusing on getting in a certain fruit/veggie amount each day and call the rest good.  There is a part of me that wants to wait until after stepping on the scale tomorrow morning before I decide.  Which probably also isn't the best attitude either.  But I will wait for tomorrow, good or bad the scale will read what it reads.  In the meantime I'll do some thinking and decide what is best for me.

 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mantra Monday


I'm getting this idea from Christie O. because I'm feeling this week like I'm in need of an extra push.  This morning I have ZERO motivation to get anything done.  I don't want to get my workout in, I have 2 exams to study for, and simply like a 4 year old, I DON'T WANT TO! I want to crawl back into bed, put on a sappy, feel-good movie and veg all day.  I just don't have time for that.  So I'm going to take it step by step.

One step at a time.
One foot in front of other.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. - Lao Tzu

I know a big part of why I want to crawl back into bed is that I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed by what I need to accomplish in the coming days (weeks, months, you can pick a time frame and I'm feeling overwhelmed by it).  So I need to break it down into its parts. Luckily I love lists.  I love marking things off lists.  

Step by step.

Because sometimes I forget its quite impossible to do everything at once.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring in 2 Action!

Spring In2 Action
Its time for a new challenge over with the folks of Shrinking Jeans! This time around there is both a scale driven and fitness driven component to the challenge, and we are partnered up!  I'm lucky enough to have my partner be Brooke who has been on vacation (in Maui!!!) and is ready to come back and kill this challenge.  We are the Dare Devil Divas, or Triple-D's for short (teehee).

I am sad to say that I am incredibly WEAK! We are doing the 100 Push-Up Challenge, but as of right now I am in complete failure at 6 push-ups.  Ask me to leg press something, I'm your girl, but apparently don't ask me to push my own body weight off the floor... Fail.  Sad.  But it also means I have a lot of room for improvement (silver lining, right?) when I stick to the 3x a week plan for push-ups.

Goals, goals, goals:
  • Stick to the 100 push-up challenge schedule.  I also want to do an ab workout every time I have a push-up workout, both are severely lacking in strength.
  • Stick to my tri workout schedule.  I have a rough monthly schedule written in my day planner, and at the beginning of every week I mentally plan out my workouts.  I need to do some double checking with tri plans I have, but I am pretty sure for now I'm right on track with the run and bike, and probably a little behind on the swim.  
  • Make it to the pool a MINIMUM of 2x a week! Which means I've got to hit the pool tomorrow (damn!) along with a run.
  • Journal my eats 4-5x a week.  And not stuff my face just because I'm taking a non-journaling day. Its about balance and moderation.  With the amount of activity I'm doing I'll really have to go crazy on those 2-3 days a week I'm not journaling to get myself into trouble.  The idea is to avoid that. :)
  • Scale needs to drop 3-5lbs.  I'd really like to look like the athlete I'm starting to feel like.  That doesn't mean stick thin, but it does mean lean.  I weighed earlier this week - 139.4, and I'd love to break into the low 130s.  Again, its all about balance, I'd like to lose a few pounds without risking under-nourishing my body for the workouts I'm doing.
I'm ready to have some fun with this challenge! Week 1 is on!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

True Confessions Tuesday

Honestly Monday kinda came and went without my even noticing it!  And how is it already March!??  Clearly my powers of awareness aren't what they should be. 

I went to visit family in Fresno this past weekend, which wasn't good for my diet or workout routine.  On Friday I told my cousin Bri that I had kind of a sweet tooth and she decided that meant she needed to whip up a cake!  I love sweets, and while I didn't eat my face off I did eat more than I probably should have needed to.  And she had ice cream from a local dairy.  And I didn't journal any of it... not a single bite.  I'm back to journaling today (since I only journaled about half of yesterday) and trying to ignore the nagging desire to go buy candy... or another cake.  Damn you sugar!  I also opted to skip my 8 mile run I had mentally planned for Sunday.  I'm gonna use the excuse that I was being helpful in holding my month old nephew so that my cousin could clean house, shower, make breakfast for her hubby (its the simple things that apparently go to the wayside when you have a baby), but really that's all it is, an excuse.  I made the conscience decision to skip it.  And now its on the schedule for this Sunday. 

I also left Fresno late Sunday night, and therefore got home late, got to sleep late, so I didn't get up early (4:45 was simply NOT happening) and go swimming.  I've been doing pretty good at fitting in both the running and cycling, but not the running, and this really needs to be remedied.  Now.  I'm planning on hitting the pool both Wednesday and Thursday mornings, so at least I'll get 2 swims in this week, even if they are back to back.

Monday I had my first exam in my Cardiovascular Testing and Exercise Prescription class.  I think I did ok, but I only studied for a total of maybe 2 hours for it.  Not real beneficial in my plan on getting straight A's this semester.  I need to make a study plan just like I make a workout plan, I'm more likely to follow something I already have written out.  I'll work on that tonight.

Whew, its good to get that off my chest.  Now if next week I don't have the same confessions I will be moving in the right direction! :)