They Can’t All Be Great Days…Right?

Yesterday was a struggle. All. Day. Long.  It was one of those days where I clearly would have been better off pulling the blankets over my head and shutting out the world.

I usually have good days at work, but when they’re bad they’re really bad. I spent the afternoon being annoyed by and frustrated with countless people. I stewed about it all during my 25 minute subway ride home and kept stewing during the 15 minute walk from the subway to my apartment. Then I vented to my husband for approximately 45 more minutes before getting myself to the gym for the 25 minute run planned for the evening.

The gym was crowded. I was tired, annoyed, and distracted. I began my run at a slightly faster pace and just couldn’t relax into it. Lately I’ve been hitting that sweet spot where everything just feels right by about minute 7 or 8. Last night, that moment never ever came. I slowed my pace and even lowered the incline, but I just couldn’t get into it. I ended up walking for 90 seconds twice and then another minute near the end. Before I hit the halfway mark I seriously considered giving up and trying again another day, but I’m glad I stuck with it. Still, I was so disappointed when I finished. What was supposed to be 25 minutes of continuous running ended up being 21 minutes of running with three short walking breaks.

I lamented my “failure” to my husband when I got home and he just shook his head and laughed at me. He reminded me that everyone has good runs and bad runs, and that I was only a few minutes short of my goal. I knew he was right, but it took me a few hours to really let it go. It’s really annoying when that perfectionist in me rears her overly-critical head, but I can’t help it sometimes. If I’m not good at something after a few tries I usually quit. This was the first run I really struggled with, but I am not quitting this time. I enjoy it too much and I could use the “bad” runs as opportunities to silence my perfectionist inner-critic.

Tomorrow night is my week 7, day 2 run. It’s the same as yesterday’s – 25 minutes. I figure if I struggle again tomorrow night and on day 3, I’ll repeat week 7 until it feels good. Otherwise, I’ll move ahead into week 8 and see how it goes.

Friend Makin’ Monday: Q &A

It’s time for Friend Makin’ Monday again! I just realized I completely dropped the ball on this last week. Oops!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Questions and Answers

 

1. Did you watch the Oscars? If so, who did you enjoy seeing most?  I didn’t. I haven’t owned a TV for about two years now (I watch shows and movies on my computer after the fact). I did enjoy looking at all the photos and reading the recaps this morning, though. Almost everyone looked amazing. The dresses! The glamour! Swoon!

2. Do you drink meal replacement shakes, smoothies, etc?  I used to drink protein shakes made with protein powder, almond milk, and Greek yogurt following my workouts. I felt that they really helped reducing the time needed for muscle recovery and they helped keep me full so I ate less. The only reason I stopped was because I ran out of powder! It is definitely something I plan on starting up again.

3. Share one thing you have done to help someone in the last week?  My husband has been fighting a sinus problem the past few days and the medicine he had wasn’t working so I ran out to our drugstore to get him something stronger. Unfortunately, the pharmacy counter was closed so I had to go back in the morning and try again. Does that count? 🙂

4. What is the tastiest thing you ate last week?  I baked a delicious salmon dish marinated in hoisin and low-sodium soy sauce. It’s a keeper!

5. Think of one fun thing that you could do this week without spending any money to do it.  Curl up on the couch and watch a movie with my husband. So simple and so satisfying.

6. Share one place that you’ve been to and would like to visit again.  I’d like to see Montreal again. I went in March a few years back for a conference and I would love to visit when the weather is actually warm.

7. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?  I like them both, but Facebook is my preferred way to waste time.

8. What is your favorite vegetable?  This is a tough one. I really love so many vegetables. Right now, I’d say brussel sprouts, but I could list many, many more.

9. Share a goal that you have for the month of March.  I want to run a 12 minute mile by the end of the month.

10. Share a quote that inspires you.

This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor…Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
― Rumi

 

Now it’s your turn. Happy Monday!

C25K Week 6 Complete

So I finished week 6 today and I have to say I feel pretty accomplished! I focused on increasing my speed slightly for workout 1 and 2, and I was able to complete workout 3 (22 minutes of continuous running) at my new speed without having to slow down at all. I am seriously enjoying this program. I never thought I would be someone who actually likes to run, but I find myself looking forward to my runs. I just hope that continues after I finish the program 2 weeks from now. I think it will as long as I set small goals and challenges for myself. Increasing my speed will definitely be the first challenge on the list.

Now that I’m working my way up to longer periods of running I hope to start seeing some weight loss as well. I need to re-focus on my calorie-intake and workouts on my non-running days. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with all of these things when I first started the program because I knew I would get frustrated if I didn’t see the weight dropping and I didn’t want that to be a reason to quit running. So this week it’s back to basics: making sure I get enough protein, veggies, and fruits; limiting carbs and processed foods. Not that I wasn’t doing that already – it’s pretty much the way I eat in general – but I was having dessert more often than I should and my husband convinced me to get pizza with him a few too many times. 😮 I have to admit, it’s frustrating when I read about people who lost tons of weight by cutting out soda or walking everywhere, etc. For years and years now I  drink only water at home (coffee in the mornings), walk at least 2 miles a day on my commute alone, work out 4 to 6 times a week, and eat mostly whole foods and lean protein. None of that has ever lead to a huge weight loss! Sigh. I really hope that running along with a more vigilant eye toward my food choices will be the magic combination I need once and for all.

Here’s to a great week ahead!

New Look, New Milestone

I felt like it was time to freshen up the look of this blog, so I switched to a new format. I definitely like it better, but I need to find (or take) a better picture for the background. Please bear with me while I figure it all out!

Interesting week with C25K. Workout number 1 was pretty easy. I mistakenly thought that workout number 2 would be the same since all three workouts of each week had been the same up until this point. On Saturday I made the mistake of hitting the gym a little later than usual and actually had to wait for a treadmill. I could have hopped on one upstairs, but I’ve come to realize that I just can’t use the treadmill unless I’m looking out the window and there are no windows to look out of upstairs. After waiting for about ten minutes, a treadmill opened up and I happily started my workout not even glancing at my app after pressing start. After the five minute warm-up I was told to begin running and did so with no problem. One song went by; then two. “Hmm, that’s weird. I should be walking now, I think.” I glance down to see I still have 3 minutes of running left. “What? Am I somehow on the wrong week?!?” My next thought surprised me because I decided to just go with it and see what happens. When it was time to start walking again I picked up my phone for a closer look and saw that I was on the right workout, it was just different from the one before. “Sneaky bastards,” I muttered to myself with a smile.

I finished workout 2 just fine and then my jaw dropped when I saw what was in store for workout 3: 20 minutes, no walking intervals. Huh. It seemed like quite a leap to go from 8 minutes to 20 minutes. (This is the point where all you real runners are probably thinking I am a wimp and I will whole-heartedly agree. A runner, I am not.) Well, I spent all day yesterday and most of this morning psyching myself up for workout 3. I knew that I could do it physically, but that mentally was a whole other story. I even told myself that if I really, really feel like I need to walk I will let myself walk for 90 seconds once or twice. Somewhat surprisingly, I never walked! I made it through the whole 20 minutes and the only time it felt like a struggle was during the last 3 minutes or so. I was shocked and quite pleased. I still am!

And I’m really looking forward to Week 6, workout 1 on Wednesday. It’s back to intervals and now seems like it will be a piece of cake.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ah, Valentine’s Day: so many haters, so many fans, so much pressure on everyone…I’ve honestly never been a huge fan of the holiday, but I have to admit I am a sucker for all the hearts and flowers. I really wish more people would make it about love in all its forms, rather just romantic. Why not celebrate love of friends and family and self? I spent a lot of years being single and sad on this date angrily glaring at the happy couples walking down the street, rolling my eyes at the co-worker who had a dozen roses delivered to her cubicle. But as I got a little older I decided that I could enjoy Valentine’s Day with or without a boyfriend. I decided to enjoy the way the reds, pinks, flowers, and balloons gave the grey, cold city a little color and joy for a day or two. I decided to treat myself to that bottle of wine, that decadent dessert, that sushi for dinner from my favorite place. And you know what? It was awesome because it was exactly what I wanted and I had no worries of being disappointed! Heaven, I tell you.

happy-valentines-day

Lately I’ve been trying to view it as an opportunity to honor my friendships and to let the people I care about most know that they’re loved. That’s not to say that I don’t also celebrate the romantic aspects with my husband. Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated and special? We actually celebrated yesterday because he had to work tonight. We’ve agreed that in the future even if one of us is not working on Valentine’s day we will celebrate it either the day before or the day after – less crowds, no overpriced prix fixe dinner, etc.

So tonight I showed myself some love by getting to the gym and starting week 5 of the C25K program. Somehow I found this week to be easier than week 4. My guess is that it’s because there were less walking intervals so it wasn’t as difficult to switch back to jogging again. The best part was I got my pick of treadmills because the gym was pretty empty. My favorite spot is on in an area of floor to ceiling windows. I can’t get enough of the people watching!

I hope you all have (had) a great Valentine’s Day and showed yourself a little love regardless of your romantic situation. We all deserve it!

 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Personal Quirks and Habits

It’s a slushy, sloppy day here in NYC. I have never been so grateful for my Tretorn Skerry Vinter rain boots as I was this morning. What a mess!

As usual, it’s time for some fun with Friend Makin’ Mondays!

Don’t forget to answer these on your own blog and post the link on All the Weigh!

Personal Quirks and Habits

1. Share one unique character trait that sets you apart from your friends.

My patience with other people. Friends constantly comment on it. The thing is, I may give you a gazillion chances, but once you hit gazillion and one we are done and that’s that.

2. List at least two pet peeves that always aggravate you.

People who walk slowly at the bottom or top of the escalator. There are other people behind you! Get out of the way!

People who don’t practice umbrella etiquette on tiny sidewalks. We should all tilt our umbrellas a little bit when passing other people so we don’t ricochet off of each other. Geez.

3. Is there a word or phrase that you say so regularly that people expect to hear it from you?

Woo hoo.

4. Are you a risk taker, or do you typically play it safe?

I think I mostly play it safe.

5. Describe your life as it was in high school. Are you the same person? Have you changed?

I actually really liked high school. I was a good student, friends with lots of different groups and could move throughout the social sphere pretty easily. I’m more outgoing than I was in high school, and have more actual world experience, but I don’t know that I’ve changed all that much.

6. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done that you’re glad you did?

The first time I ever left the North American continent was on a solo month-long trip to Bosnia, Croatia, and Italy. It was an amazing experience!

The runner-up would be my trip to Indian-controlled Kashmir during a politically intense time. Seeing the magnificence of the place and getting a real sense of all of the issues there was life-changing.

7. Do you ever talk to yourself? If so, share an example.

Oh, all the time! I constantly mutter, “Okay, what’s next?” or “Let’s get this done!” throughout the work day.

8. Share something you did that unexpectedly helped shape your life.

I responded to a message from my now-husband on an online dating site even though it was clear he had very little time available for dating. It took me three days of hemming and hawing, but I finally wrote back to his very sweet message and the rest is (a somewhat bumpy, but triumphant in the end) history!

9. Do you follow a strict routine, or are you a free spirit? Are you somewhere in between?

I’m definitely somewhere in between. I do appreciate routines, but will usually say yes to an unexpected invitation or opportunity.

10. Share something about yourself that you hope will inspire others.

Hmm. This is a tough one. I’m not sure I’m there yet…

Post-Blizzard 2013

We had quite an end to the week here in the Northeast. Luckily, NYC and its outer boroughs weren’t hit too bad. I’d say we got about 8 to 10 inches of snow in my neighborhood. Parts of Long Island and Connecticut were not so lucky, and my friends in Boston are posting some amazing pictures!

The snow, as well as some other unexpected events, threw a small wrench into my workout plans for the week. I completed C25K week 4, workout 1 on Tuesday. Wednesday night my husband and I went to get our taxes done after I got home from work. Thursday night I was invited to happy hour with a few former classmates from my now-defunct Turkish class. It was so much fun and well worth the lost workout and extra beer calories! Friday night was supposed to be week 4, workout 2, but it was sloppy and miserable from the impending blizzard and I had absolutely no desire to trek to the gym once I made it home from work.

So, yesterday ended up being the day I completed workout 2, which means I won’t get to workout 3 until tomorrow (Monday) night. As long as I can stick to Wednesday, Friday, Sunday for week 5, I should be back on track. Week 4 has been pretty awesome. I feel really good during the longer jogging intervals. In fact, there have been times when I considered jogging through the walking intervals, but I decided to stick with the plan instead. I’ve discovered that the music choice really makes a difference and I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that Britney Spears seems to work the best for me. Seriously.

One of the greatest benefits I’ve realized so far is that I can really only compete with myself at this point. There is no way I can compare myself to the woman running next to me or the guy running down the street this early on in the game. I love that. It’s really very freeing and has helped me to lose any self-consciousness when hopping on the treadmill next to someone is easily going twice my speed and barely breaking a sweat. I’m able to completely shut that out and be happy and proud of my own performance at the end of each session.

I really didn’t expect to like this as much as I do. I’m excited to see how far I can take it!