After being so excited to share my results last week this week was kind of a let-down.
My half marathon last weekend was great, my clothes shopping experience was pretty cool and I had quite the success high. Unfortunately this week wasn’t anywhere near as successful and highlighted some opportunities for improvement.
Bad Habits Creeping In
I have noticed my average daily calories starting to tick up a little bit. This weekend at the lake I had back to back days of exceeding my target calorie budget by several hundred calories. This is something that is new to me on my journey. Over the past 15 months I have not allowed myself to exceed my target like that but I am letting myself do it now. I need to stop that immediately!
It is harder to achieve the level of calorie burn now that I did last year. I am smaller and my body burns fewer calories at rest. The same exercises also burn fewer calories as my body becomes more efficiency. Plus I don’t really have tons of opportunity to increase exercise beyond what I am doing now because I exercise quite a bit. So I need to work more diligently at managing my habits and ensuring that I stay focused.
For example, sitting at a bar and watching football all afternoon like I did yesterday results in my caloric intake skyrocketing. Snacking and drinking are both bad habits that risk undoing my progress if I am not careful. I need to work on altering my approach to both over the next few weeks.
As a result of my habits, my weight has pretty much stalled. I fluctuate up and down through the week based on my daily sodium intake but am not losing a material amount of weight overall. I am still about 7 pounds from my final goal when I will switch to maintenance mode, so I have to get back on track.
I have to remember that it is our choices that shape our destiny. So I need to make sure I am continuing to make good choices just like I have done for the past 15 months. I am not taking my foot off the gas now!
Some Runs Suck
As I have talked about often I offset my calorie intake through exercise. My go-to exercise has become running and I try to run at least 3-4 times per week. Usually Monday morning before work, Wednesday morning before work and Saturday morning long runs are my minimum amours of running. Tuesday mornings I am in the gym with my trainer focused heavily on weight training and HIIT circuit training. Thursday’s are kind of a coin toss if I run, walk or lift. Friday’s are usually rest days to prep for Saturday long runs. Sundays are also usually rest days for recovery, writing and relaxing.
Last week I had a phenomenal long run on Saturday that really built my confidence for the Columbus Half Marathon in October. I was able to run the full half marathon distance last Saturday unexpectedly when I had only planned to run 11. As I mentioned last week, when I say “run” for the marathon I mean alternating miles of running (under 10-minute mile pace) and walking (about 15-minute mile pace).
So, coming off that running success high, I went out Monday morning for my run after using Sunday for rest and recovery. It sucked! Everything hurt, I was uncomfortable, I was slow and I hated every minute of my run. It was too hot and humid even at 6:15 in the morning which just drained my energy. Plus I should have given myself multiple recovery days after the 13.1 miles plus on Saturday.
Then came my long run Saturday again yesterday. I am putting marathon training on the back burner because I have another race sooner than that. This coming Friday evening I have the Columbus Oktoberfest 4-mile run. This run is at 6:15 on a Friday evening, goes 2 laps around the Ohio state fairgrounds and ends with sausage and beer. So I need to prepare for that race before continuing my marathon prep which is still almost 2 months away.
Just to be clear I have run 4 miles before so this isn’t completely new to me. Plus my go-to distance for some time has been a 5k run with is less than a mile short of the 4 mile run. So preparing for this run should be easy, right?
Saturday morning I got up (after a late Friday night of beer and bourbon) and ate some breakfast. I drank some water and a cup of coffee. All of these are my normal pre-run preparations so I didn’t change anything here. I wasn’t experimenting with anything and I was sticking with tried and true.
I started with a walk to get warmed up and then stopped at the park to do some lunges, push-ups and jumping jacks. So far I am still following my normal routine and not mixing it up or anything. This stuff works for me and I stick by it.
Then I started running around the island chain at Indian Lake. My goal was to run a full 4 miles without stopping to walk. After 4 miles I was going to push myself to go further until I couldn’t go any more. I had my running music on and I was feeling good and started out at a good pace of around 9:30 per mile. That is a little fast for me but not too bad and I could slow down if I needed.
I didn’t even make it 2 miles before having to slow down to walk for a short distance. That was very disappointing!
I don’t know what my problem was but I was running out of gas pretty quickly. It wasn’t even that hot but I felt sluggish and tired. In retrospect I think I had not had enough water in me and started off a bit dehydrated and it was all downhill from there. I ultimately finished the 4 miles and then some, but my speed was bad. I was just over 11 minutes for my average mile instead of my goal of under 10.
I am going to give it another try in Monday since it is a bonus long weekend day and I don’t have time pressures. Hopefully my Sunday rest day and being plenty hydrated will fix my problem.
But the big lesson learned here is that some runs just suck!
Check back next week for more!
Last week’s stats (8/20-8/26):
Distance walked/run: 43.6 miles (-0.5 vs. LY)
Total calories burnt: 23,139 (-7,859 vs. LY)
Total calories consumed: 16,651 (+2,272 vs. LY)
Net calories this week: -6,488 (+10,131 vs. LY)
Weight change: 1 pounds GAINED (+4.8 vs LY)
Best Weight Day: Tuesday/Wednesday, -128.6 total pounds down