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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Another week....

A few weeks ago I proclaimed that I wouldn't "care" about weight loss during half marathon training.  I've been trying really hard to not "care" but I pretty much suck at that.  It certainly doesn't help when I see the scale creeping back up.  The only thing keeping me a little bit sane about this is that I've been not only enjoying my half marathon training but I feel like I've been putting in solid training sessions.  I know that with the increased mileage that my appetite will (likely) increase as well but I'm trying to keep that in check by eating healthy protein, both to keep me satisfied as well as to help with muscle recovery.

In fact, someone posted a link in one of my Weight Watchers forums to the Kashi protein calculator recently so I used to to figure a couple of different calculations and the highest amount of protein it told me I should be eating is 140 grams and the lowest is 128 grams so I decided to average it out for 132-133 grams.  I am going to try getting in that amount of protein for a couple of weeks to see how I feel and if it impacts my weight.  I will admit that getting in that amount of protein and staying within my daily points target has been difficult.  I've had to make a few changes, for example, something like greek yogurt or cottage cheese for dessert rather than a cookie or ice cream.  Seriously, I love cookies and ice cream, this is a major change.

So... what's been going on with you?  How do you mix things up to keep the scale moving in the right direction?

Monday, March 25, 2013


Last Sunday night I checked the weather for the next couple of days.  I was hoping to get out on Tuesday to attempt my 10 mile run that I couldn't finish.  The weather report for Tuesday was high winds and I figured that running 10 miles was going to be exhausting enough and I didn't need to add 20 mph winds on top of it. The report for Monday was pretty good so I laced up my Brooks Adrenalines and headed out on Monday morning.  It wasn't the prettiest or fastest 10 miles but I got them done.

Oshkosh Half Marathon Training Schedule
Funny how old race day photos keep making
it into my weekly recaps!
Monday:  Run, 4 miles, easy
Tuesday:  Cross train
Wednesday:  Run, 4 miles, easy
Thursday:  Strength train
Friday:  Run, 4 miles, easy
Saturday:  Run, 4 miles, easy
Sunday:  Rest

And here's how the week actually went:
Monday:  Run, 10 miles @ 10:27/mi
Tuesday:  Bike trainer, 30 minutes
Wednesday:  Run, 3.41 miles @ 10:26/mi
Thursday:  Bike trainer, 30 minutes & strength training
Friday:  Run, 6 miles @ 10:00/mi
Saturday:  Run, 4 miles @ 11:40 (ran the first 3 miles and walked the last mile)
Sunday:  Rest

Running with my Team Challenge teammates this weekend was amazing, as usual.  This season we have a large group from AbbVie training with us.  AbbVie is the company that makes Humira, which I take to treat my Crohn's.  I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to run with an AbbVie teammate this weekend and he told me that he spends all of his time trying to make my life (and everyone else who has Crohn's/Colitis) better (really, those were his words) and I was humbled.  Had I been running when he said that I probably would have fallen over!  I didn't think I could be more thankful for having the opportunity to train with Team Challenge and then I meet even more fabulous people.  Seriously, if you aren't training with a Team Challenge group right now - RUN (no pun intended) to get signed up.

If you're not interested in running how about donating to the cause?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My name is Jen

And I have a food addiction.  Over the weekend we went to a St. Patrick's party thrown by our friends.  There was so much delicious food and drink.  Oh so much food.  That I couldn't stop eating.  Or drinking.  By the end of the evening I was so sick to my stomach.  On the way home Dan kept commenting on how good the food was and it nearly made me throw up.  Just the thought of food was too much for me at that point.  I certainly hated how I felt after eating all of that.  I got on my home scale on Sunday morning and I knew I'd be up (and I was) but it was over and done with so I could only move on.

When I got on the scale at weigh in today I was a little surprised that I was exactly the same weight as last week.  Neither good, nor bad.  Just.... the same.  My friend, Melany, asked if I ate corned beef over the weekend (uh... duh?) and said that I was likely still salty.  Who knows... what I do know is that I really need to get the social eating under control.  When we eat at home or even at restaurants I am able to control what, and more importantly how much, I eat by ordering what I want/need.  When the food is available in a more buffet like setting I have no control.  I definitely need to find some control in that situation.

Question:  Have you found situations that surprised you?  Workouts you loved more than anything?  Food situations that make you wonder WTF?  Have you mastered the buffet?  If so, how?

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Oh look! A random Team Challenge
race photo!  How'd that get here?
Friday morning I woke up intending to run complete my 10 mile run before seeing the fabulous Dr. Davenport, unfortunately, my stomach was a little wonky.  I went through my usual pre-run routine... peanut butter toast with banana, coffee, bathroom, etc... I headed out in fairly good conditions (30ish degrees with very little wind) so I was kind of excited about being able to run.  Unfortunately, a couple miles in and Morty (the name I've given my Crohn's disease) started acting up.  I paused for a minute and the pain (and desire to use the bathroom) passed so I continued running.  About five miles in the pain and bathroom requiredness returned and I panicked a little bit because I wasn't near my house or a public restroom.  Thankfully, I was near my sister-in-laws house so I stopped to use her bathroom.  I continued on but about a half mile later the pain and the desire to throw up were too much.  I stopped, turned around and started walking home.  I've had good runs and bad runs before but I feel like a huge quitter when it happens.  It does, however, remind me exactly why I run and train with Team Challenge.  So, while the long run this week was hard it definitely reminded me of WHY this is so important.  There is no cure for Crohn's and Colitis but the next dollar that is raised could be the dollar that finds a huge breakthrough!  Will you please help me raise money for this great cause?  

Oshkosh Half Marathon Training Schedule
Monday:  Run, 2 miles, easy
Tuesday:  Cross train
Wednesday:  Run, 5 miles, tempo (w/u, 3 mi @ 9:47, c/d)
Thursday:  Strength train
Friday:  Run, 2 miles, easy
Saturday:  Run, 10 miles
Sunday:  Rest

And here's how the week actually went
Monday:  Run, 3 miles @ 10:02/mi
Tuesday:  Bike Trainer, 1 hour, covered 14.7 miles
Wednesday:  Run, 5.73 miles (w/u @ 10:27, 3 miles @ 9:36, c/d @ 10:07)
Thursday:  Bike Trainer, 30 minutes + strength training
Friday:  Run, 6.38 miles @ 10:34/mi
Saturday:  Run, 3 miles @ 10:09/mi
Sunday:  Rest

How do you get past the mental anxiety of having a bad run and knowing that you need to try again?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Planning or predicting?

Thank goodness that we didn't have a huge snowstorm yesterday because it was fabulous to see my Weight Watchers meeting friends.  In case you aren't aware we got hit with bad snowstorms on the last two Tuesdays and the meetings were cancelled.  I was super happy to meet yesterday because I missed all my friends!  I had baked these Snickerdoodle Blondie bars and took a few along.  I thought they were pretty good (though raisins or a cinnamon/sugar topping would make it better, in my opinion) and they got good reviews from the ladies too.

Anyway... the topic this month is about planning.  As in planning your next meal so you know how many PointsPlus you'll spend as well as planning your next activity.  I thought planning being the topic was slightly ironic given my last blog post because it's almost as though I planned on having a weight gain.  I gained 0.4 pounds which is disappointing I know it is not the end of the world.  

I credit my buoyed spirits to solid half marathon training, more sunlit hours each day and the fact that my clothes feel good.  While the scale may not be moving (or moving in the wrong direction) I have been really hitting the goals on my training plan.  Perhaps it is due to the fact that I've been able to run in all sorts of conditions, including sunny long runs, but whatever the reason I've felt good about my training.  Being a little over five weeks out from my goal race this is definitely a good thing.  So I guess I'll just put up with the scale for now...

Monday, March 11, 2013


These are happy miles
Last Sunday I did my first long run in a couple of weeks, sort of.  The previous weeks that I had 6 miles on plan I'd missed or shortened them because of my cranky IT band but after a couple of treatments with the fabulous Dr. Davenport and some (read: more than usual) stretching before and after running I was scared out of my mind ready to try for my planned mileage.  My plan called for 8 miles but I was going to be "happy" with 7 miles if my hip started acting up.

Dan and I headed out to a nearby forest preserve that has about an 8 mile loop only to see that the paths were covered in several inches of snow.  I was NOT going to be able to safely run 8 miles like that so we headed home.  Once home I tried to map out a route that would not have me running a lot of loops (cause that makes me crazy crazier), filled up my water bottle with some nuun and headed out.  It was a fabulous day for running - little to no wind and the sun was shining.  I ran all through my subdivision, crossed the highway into the active adult community where I promptly got lost.  I looked at my watch to see that I was nearing 6.5 miles and I knew I was at least 1.5 miles away from home.  I had to actually stop and find my bearings to figure out how to get back to my side of the highway.  I finally made it back across the highway and back home.  I was so happy that my IT band cooperated for my run.  The next morning I woke up a little sore but once I got moving around things were fine.  I thought I'd ride the endorphin high from that run for the entire week.

Now to get better control over the warm-up,
cool-down and "resting" intervals
That was until I went out on Wednesday for speed work.  I had to plan another route because my usual route/paths were under several inches of snow.  Again.  So after a quick planning session I laced up my new pair of Brooks Adrenalines, grabbed my nuun water bottle and headed out.  This was going to be the fastest I've ever run for an entire mile (let alone doing it twice) so I was a little nervous that I wouldn't be able to maintain the 9:14/mi pace for a full mile.  Apparently I had nothing to worry about.  Basically I'll be riding these running highs for awhile!

Oshkosh Half Marathon Training Schedule
Monday:  Run, 3 miles, easy
Tuesday:  Cross train
Wednesday:  Run, 4 miles, speed work (w/u, 2 x 1600 @ 9:14, c/d)
Thursday:  Strength train
Friday:  Run, 2 miles, easy
Saturday:  Run, 9 miles
Sunday:  Rest

And here's how the week actually went:
Monday:  Run, 3 miles @ 10:58
Tuesday:  Rest (because I ran on Saturday with Team Challenge and Sunday for my long run I knew that I needed to give my legs a day to recover)
Wednesday:  Run, 4 miles (see stats in the above photo)
Thursday:  Fat bike ride (the weather was just too gorgeous not to ride!) 7.37 miles
Friday:  Run, 3 miles @ 10:04/mi
Saturday:  Run, 9 miles total, 2.5 miles (with Team Challenge) @ 10:00/mi, 6.7 miles (alone at home) @ 10:10/mi
Sunday:  Rest

Our Team Challenge group met at Running Away Multisport in Deerfield and then knocked out 2.5 beautiful and warm miles.  We had a great turn out and it was so nice to meet even more of the team.  When we got back to the store we did some cool-down stretching and then we were given a shoe/gear clinic by the Running Away Multisport folks.  It is always interesting to hear about the new shoe technology and and so much fun to hear ideas for how to prolong the life of your gear.  I didn't know that my running shoes needed 10-12 hours for the foam to decompress (for lack of a better word) after a run.  I did know that technical gear should not be dried in the dryer because it breaks down the synthetic fabric.  My choice for laundering all that running gear?  A little baking soda + Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin/Unscented laundry soap + cold water in the washing machine.  Once it's done washing I hang it up to dry.

How do you care for your work out wear?

There is still time to join Team Challenge if you're interested in running a half marathon!  Just leave a comment and I'll be happy to provide more information because the more the merrier.  There are some exciting destination races this year!  I'm excited to run in front of a home town crowd in Chicago in June.  I think you should join me... what are you waiting for?

If you don't want to train for a half marathon - how about donating to the cause?  You can use this secure link to make a tax deductible donation.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

More about choices...

A few weeks ago I wrote about choosing what is hard.  The last couple of weeks have been a little out of sorts for me because the weather has caused my regular Tuesday meeting to be cancelled.  I still made it to a weigh-in (but not a meeting) each week and this week I gained 0.8 pounds.  When I saw it on the scale I kind of laughed at it and said awesome.  The receptionist told me she'd gained this week but she didn't say awesome when she saw the scale.

The bit that gets me out of sorts is not only missing my meeting (and thus all of the friends/inspiration I get from my meeting-mates) but the fact that last week was such a huge loss at 4.6 pounds.  Maybe I gained the 0.8 this week because last week was such a huge loss?  Maybe not.  Maybe the increase in my mileage is driving me to eat more?  I feel like I am eating more food but I am trying to make healthy choices.  I suppose that's why I'm not really surprised or upset by a gain this week.  I'm not sure how I would have done things differently or whether this is just how my body is going to be.

The other thought, besides the food choices, that rumbles around in my head at least once a day is that maybe this is all the weight that I will lose.  I'm going to keep trying and see what happens but I'm not going to get all worked up about not hitting my next goal.

Have you lost weight during half marathon training?  Would you expect to or would you expect to gain?

Sunday, March 3, 2013


This week is the first week where I'm officially training for two half marathons at the same time!  (What have I gotten myself into?)  I just completed week 7 of training for the Oshkosh half marathon and Saturday was our first group training for the Team Challenge summer season.  GO TEAM CHALLENGE!!  The workout schedule/actual will reflect the Oshkosh half marathon training but I will also be talking about Team Challenge (a lot because it's just that cool!)

Monday:  Run, 2 miles, easy
Tuesday:  Cross train
Wednesday:  Run, 5 miles, tempo (w/u, 3 mi @ 9:54, c/d)
Thursday:  Strength train
Friday:  Run, 2 miles, easy
Saturday:  Run, 8 miles
Sunday:  Rest

And here's how the week actually went:
Monday:  Run, 3.53 miles @ 10:23 (the weather was beautiful so I ran more than what was on my plan)
Tuesday:  Bike trainer, 60:00 (about 15.5 miles - honestly I forgot to check but that's about my average speed)
Wednesday:  Run, 5 miles, (1 mi w/u @ 11:25, 3 mi tempo @ 9:44, 1 mi c/d @ 11:04)
Thursday:  Fat bike ride, 8.33 mi (54:04)
Friday:  Run, 2.68 mi @ 10:47; Fat Bike Ride, 5.42 mi (42:15)
Saturday:  Team Challenge Group Run:  2.52 mi @ 10:04
Sunday:  Run, 8 miles @ 10:36

Team Challenge Summer Season 2013
Our first Team Challenge group run is in the books!  We have 6 coaches in 3 different locations and 8 mentors (including me!) leading over 100 participants to raise money for CCFA (Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America) and train to run a half marathon.  The first week we generally plan to run about 1-1.5 miles but I went back out and ran a little bit more to help encourage anyone still on the course.  It felt great to be able to do that because I know I appreciated it when others did it last year.  I also got to run with Coach Mark (our western suburbs coach) who I likely won't train with much (if at all) so it was nice to be able to chat a little bit with him.  After the group run we had a clinic to talk about ways to approach fundraising and there were some great questions and fantastic suggestions provided.  I hope this means that this will be a tremendously successful season!!

There is still time to join Team Challenge if you're interested in running a half marathon!  Just leave a comment and I'll be happy to provide more information because the more the merrier.  There are some exciting destination races this year!  I'm excited to run in front of a home town crowd in Chicago in June.  I think you should join me... what are you waiting for?

If you don't want to train for a half marathon - how about donating to the cause?  You can use this secure link to make a tax deductible donation.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Choose your hard

The scale can be a bitch.  Honestly the last few weeks have been really difficult to deal with.  Seeing the scale creep down and then leap back up is frustrating when I've been mostly good about measuring, tracking and getting in activity.  A few weeks ago during the Weight Watchers meeting one of my favorite members, Diane, recalled a conversation with our leader, Karen.  Diane asked Karen if weight loss ever got easier and Karen responded that her leader once said "you choose your hard".  (That's what she said).

This quote has been rolling around in my brain for the last few weeks probably because it's so true.  It was hard being nearly 400 pounds.  It was hard just being.  It was hard to lose 200 pounds.  It was hard always being sick from either not eating healthy or from Crohn's.  It was hard to undergo abdominal surgery (twice) because I was obese.  It was hard to start walking.  And, guess what, it was really hard to start running.  So, what am I stressing about to lose another 26 pounds?  For the first time in my life I choose easy.

I choose to eat healthy.  I choose to run.  I choose to live in the body that I never thought I'd have.  Most importantly, I choose to be happy.  Even if I don't lose another pound.  I choose this life.