As I have said before my brain is wired to be an achiever. I like when I have big accomplishments and I love reaching my goals. Well the past week of my fitness journey has really been a rollercoaster ride for my achiever brain.
I hate moving backwards
One thing that really frustrates my achiever brain is when I move backwards from a goal. In my mind moving backwards feels like failing though it really isn’t. I have made great progress and I know that I can’t think of small setbacks as failures. But here we are….
I have a goal of deadlifting my bodyweight by the end of the year. I have done great with this goal so far. I started at just 110 pounds in September when I set this goal and have progressed very nicely. Last week I hit my new maximum weight and deadlifted 175 pounds for 6 repetitions. That is 90% of my bodyweight and I was super excited!
This week I stepped up to the deadlift bar with my trainer and I expected to keep ramping up the weight. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. I didn’t increase my deadlift weight at all this week.
Even worse than that was that I maxed out at 165 pounds this week.
I just wasn’t at the top of my game and my body said “no” and that makes me angry. This isn’t the only time through the journey that my body has let me down and I know that is just a fact of life. But none of that helps my achiever brain feel better about moving backwards!
I am also not a fan of not moving at all
While moving backwards from a goal is a terrible feeling for me not moving at all is almost as bad. That has been my experience over the past 3 months with my weight.
I became very accustomed to my weight dropping week after week and was excited when I hit the 130-131 pounds lost mark. However in September, October and November my weight pretty much held steady and I pretty much didn’t lose any weight at all.
I know that this is really not a bad story when I dig deeper. I have seen my muscles growing. I know my body fat percentage is at a great point. I see my body taking shape before my eyes. And I know that muscle weighs more than fat. So, with the muscle growth, I probably really have lost weight.
That’s not what the numbers say!
I also know that there is a floor to how low my weight can go for my frame and such. I also know that the rapid weight loss has left me with probably 10-20 extra pounds of skin that needs to slowly reabsorb. Also I have been playing with my nutrition a bit and ramping up my protein intake to 150 grams per day which means I have slower digesting food in me adding to the weight.
Trust that all of that makes total logical sense to me. Just know that logic sometimes does not resonate with my achiever brain.
But I love moving forward
This week hasn’t been all bad for my inner achiever…. there was one area that I made a remarkable step forward.
On Saturday I ran the Columbus Jingle Bell Run 5k to support the arthritis foundation. This race is also a god kick-off to the holiday season and is Christmas themed. So I decided to dress the part and ran in a Santa sweater.
As I was watching the weather leading up to the race I learned that one of my big fears, that it would be way too cold, wasn’t going to materialize. However it was going to rain. There was a 100% chance in the forecast.
Based on the weather forecast I had pretty much written off this race as just fun and not really competitive. I had decided there was no chance that I was going to get close to my personal record time in a 5k that I set just 2 weeks before. My previous record, set at the Hot Chocolate Run, was a pace of 9 minutes and 37 seconds per mile. That is a full minute less than the pace of my first 5k in June.
Saturday’s weather was as predicted: it was rainy and it was a little chilly. I even had to put on a rain jacket over my Santa sweater because it was pretty much pouring by the start of the race.
The race started and I was running a comfortable pace for the weather. Every once in a while I would look at my wrist to check my pace and found out that I was going a little too fast and slowed down so I didn’t run out of gas. I stopped to walk at 2 different times and completely stopped to adjust my falling pants once. So lots of extra things to slow me down.
When I crossed the finish line and stopped my run tracking I was pretty amazed. Not only did I do well but I had beat my previous personal record by a bunch! My personal run tracking said that my pace for the run was 9:13. That is 14 seconds per mile faster than my pervious record!
I was pretty excited about that and it made it worth feeling and looking like a drowned rat. So I ate my finish line pizza and drank my finish like bourbon (definitely some premium goodies at this race!) and headed home to dry out with my head held high!
Later in the evening the story got even better!
The official race results were published a couple hours after the race and I learned that I made a mistake with my personal race tracking. I started tracking my run too soon when we were just getting started but before I really started running and hit the official start of the run. Plus I stopped my tracking a few seconds after crossing the finish line after I had slowed down and stopped. Both of these mistakes added time to my run and slow time at that.
When the official race results were published my time was 9:02! I cut over 30 seconds off my time in just 2 weeks. It also means that I could have been under 9 minutes if I hadn’t intentionally slowed myself down a couple of times.
I am very happy with this result and my achiever brain couldn’t be more pleased! Plus the competition part of my brain is happy to know that I was in the top 25% of finishers.
This was a particularly good way to end the 2018 racing season!
But wait there’s more…
Not only did I set a personal record with my finish time but there was another record I set too.
My total calorie burn for this race was 471 calories. This is the lowest calorie burn I have ever had for a 5k and was my fastest time. This means my body is getting more and more fit and efficient every day. This is 100 calories less than my first 5k less than 6 months ago!
There is a downside to becoming more fit and efficient with my calorie burn and that is that I have to work harder to achieve the same results. But I will take that over moving backwards any day.
In short… I really earned my medal this weekend!
Plus my achiever brain ended this week in a happy place!
Thanks for reading!
Last week’s stats (11/19-11/25):
Distance walked/run: 42.5 miles (+7.4vs. LY)
Total calories burnt: 24,132 (-2,386 vs. LY)
Total calories consumed: 17,569 (+3,852 vs. LY)
Net calories this week: -6,563 (+6,238 vs. LY)
Weight change (week avg.): 2.8 pounds lost (-0.5 vs LY)