Tag Archives: exercise

Chubby Girls Run – By the Light of the Full Moon

Full moon at start of run

So bright at 5:15 that I didn’t need streetlights

Last Thursday,ย there was a huge full moon out when I left the house. My phone’s camera doesn’t take good nighttime photos, but it was still fun to take a couple pictures at the beginning and end of the run.

Even though I had to temporarily stop doing my circuit training on non-run days, I was absolutely exhausted last week. I ended up only running two days instead of three. Darn. Well, I run like crap when I’m exhausted, so hopefully I’ll start running better now that I’ve gotten some sleep. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

The other major, stupid thing I did last Monday as I was doing the “Total Abs” workout that John told me about was to push myself too hard, especially on the “supermen” exercise. I really did in my lower back. I haven’t been able to lean over and touch my toes without hanging onto something and grimacing. I’ve been stretching every which way trying to get those muscles to relax, and John massaged them last night, so I’m feeling a little better every day. But wow, what a dumb thing to do! I know better, but now I’ll really remember not to overdo it again! (I didย not do that exercise today!)

Full moon after run at 6am

Still big and bright at 6am when I finished

Otherwise, things are going well. I feel really good at 6 miles, but without the circuit training the last few weeks, I can tell the difference. I’m not going to gain any speed until I build my strength. So I’ll try to get more of that into my schedule. (I’m so busy with work! That’s why I took it out.) I’ll wait to add an extra mile until I’m doing better with 6 miles. I don’t want to hurt myself, and that is so easy to do when you’re running.

Most days I head out (in the dark!) and think to myself, let’s go enjoy this run. The mindset helps a lot, and I do enjoy myself – which gets me out again the next time. Also, my Facebook friends have been awesome about encouraging me whether I’m doing great or falling down a bit (like with my diet this weekend). I also thank God for endorphins, without which I don’t know if I could keep adding more miles! LOL!

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 32

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 30 pounds!

Laughing and pointing emoticon

Okay, so this is pretty hilarious! I’ve been procrastinating putting this post up because I was so irritated that I’d gained a pound. But I don’t know what number I was comparing it against because I weigh 168 as of yesterday (the first day this week I could weigh myself) and that is down 30 pounds from Day 1.

WOOHOOO!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

By the way, it took me five years to gain that 30 pounds, and 7 1/2 months to lose it. I think that’s pretty good. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I now weigh what used to be my normal weight for over 10 years. Yay! (And when I get to my goal 20 pounds from now, it will be just three pounds over my wedding day weight!)

I haven’t been able to do the strength training exercises the last couple weeks so I’m concerned about both not losing fat, and losing muscle. But I’m crazy busy with work, so at least I’m keeping up my running.

Did sprints and hills this morning and all I want is sleep! ๐Ÿ™‚ ย My muscles hurt and I need to take much more time to stretch than I have been. I’ve been doing “superman” core exercises along with seven other abdominal exercises and, boy, do they make my lower back tight! I could barely bend at the waist this morning. But…I guess at least it reminds me I need to stretch more…?

Okay, deep breath, here we go, hopefully another pound gone by next week!!

Chubby Girls Run – Against the Sun

I’m hearing that Bob Seger song “Against the Wind” in my head as I type. I would’ve enjoyed some wind, even a breeze, but on Friday, it was definitely a matter of running against the sun.

I’ve told you that I usually set my alarm for 4:30 or 5:00am on running days so I can complete my miles before the sun heats up the day. But Thursday night was the big Perseid meteor shower, and John and I were sitting outside watching until midnight. (Some amazing displays!)

So the earliest I could pull myself out of bed was about 7. Add togetherย the facts that I was super tired to begin with, a hotter weather system had moved in, and I was supposed to run an extra mile – Friday was a rough run!

I’d go into all the details about how I think I sweated more than the water I drank, my stomach started growling halfway through, there was no shade on half of the new route I’d taken nor were there sidewalks on part of it…but those are all the reasons why the run was difficult.

If I keep focusing on all the things that are hard about running, I won’t keep doing it, especially if the plan is to add another mile every 2-3 weeks.

So here are the good parts of my 6-miler on Friday!

  1. Even though I lay in bed thinking about not wanting to go out, posted to Facebook about not wanting to go out, and dilly-dallied even after I dressed in my running clothes – I went out and ran the 6 miles!
  2. It was super hot (for running, about 70 degrees), but I didn’t walk any more than usual. I ran the whole way. (I run in a 5/1 method – 5 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking.)
  3. I ran slower to make sure I had enough energy to make the whole trip, proof that my attitude had improved by the time my Nike’s hit the sidewalk. I was determined to just do it!
  4. I DID IT! I ran 6 miles for the first time in five or more years! In the end, this is the part that matters – I went out and did it anyway, regardless of how I felt.

SUCCESS!!

I’m a strong believer in celebrating your successes because it make the neurons in your brain make connections that say, “Oh, this is good, she wants me to do this again. Okay, let’s wire things up here to make this happen again.” Your brain is so freaking awesome – it will try to do what you tell it to do. So celebrating helps you get ready to do it again!

Which I will, tomorrow! Look out, world, I’m going to run my 6 miles faster tomorrow – because Friday proved to me that I could do it! But I’m going to do the vampire pre-dawn thing again and stay out of the sun. ๐Ÿ˜€

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 31

Excited smile emoticonRESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 29 pounds!

After some really difficult weeks, I’ve been amazed and entirely grateful for a week that wasn’t as hard. Even on the day from hell when I came home and had a double-shot margarita with chips and cheese, I was only about 100 calories over my “allowance” – because I had an extra 600+ calories from running that morning.

Friday, I even had pizza and cheese bread for dinner (Thanks, Doug!) because I hadn’t eaten that much earlier in the day. Awesome! Seems to me that guilt-free pizza is a great way to dig in and keep working hard. Haha!

I’m more than halfway to my goal of 50 pounds in 50 weeks, and so close to being on target. I still can hardly believe that it’s happening! Seems like almost every day I’m putting on clothes that are just about too big and need to be put in the giveaway bag, or clothes that I haven’t been able to wear in a few years, or I think about where I lived and what I was doing the last time I was at this weight or that weight.

And I can tell when I’m running how different it feels to run with less and less weight to move around every week. That’s pretty awesome, too.

So…here’s to another week of both of us making progress!

Chubby Girls Run – For the Joy of It

Post-run sunrise

Post-run sunrise from the backyard July 25, 2016

I’m running with a plan mostly – to get ready to run another half marathon in January. But sometimes I’m tired and stressed about other things and a run just sounds like such a great way to get away.

Friday I felt that way. Thursday night, actually. I decided that I would get up early, but not before dawn, and I would run my full 5 miles, but not to try to gain speed. I just wanted to relax and run. To feel the breeze, to feel my muscles move, to not think about anything I’d left at my desk.

So I “slept in” until 6:30 and got on the road with a full two extra hours of sleep. I didn’t try to run fast or breathe in a certain way that would help me run faster. I just ran. (I did stay focused on my posture because it helps me not to have an aching back after.)

Post-run sunrise

Post-run sunrise August 3, 2016

I took along two of my new friends, Mark Dawson and James Blatch of The Self Publishing Formula Podcast, because they always amuse me as they tell me about new and interesting things.

And together we ran.

When I got to my only hill in mile 2, I decided that since the sun was up and I shouldn’t have to worry about cars whizzing around the curve at the top of the hill and not seeing me, I’d run farther up the hill. (No sidewalk there.) It felt good to push myself because I wanted to and not because my running plan said to do it.

When I came to slight declines in the sidewalk, I ran faster to take advantage of the downward slope just because running faster feels so good.

Post-run sunrise

Post-run sunrise August 3, 2016

And when I got to the end of my 5 miles, feeling so much better than earlier in the week, what a surprise to see I’d shaved a full minute off my time! Wow.

Times like those I see so many parallels between writing and running. Friday I was reminded that doing something for joy, even if it’s also part of a bigger plan (run a race, earn a living), those are the moments to shoot for. Those are the moments we need to nurture and look for ways to make happen more often.

Because doing something that God has gifted you with, doing it with passion and joy, that’s its own form of worship and gratitude. ๐Ÿ™‚

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 30

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 28 pounds!

Kitty July 2016 - a little thinner

I can see the difference in how I look!

Can you believe it’s about 60% of the way through 2016?! Today marks the 60% mark of my journey to lose 50 pounds in 50 weeks – and it’s still shocking to me that I’m pretty close to on target! ๐Ÿ™‚

In addition to counting calories, I’ve been exercising regularly – running, circuit training, and abdominal exercises to increase my core strength. The hardest part is not eating more after exercising when I’m hungry. But the more protein I consume, the easier it is to stick to my current limit of 1510 calories per day, even after the exercise.

I say “current” because it used to be more when I was heavier. It was easier to lose weight when I was heavier. I could make some mistakes and still lose when I was heavier. That is changing now. And I see better why I didn’t lose weight when I tried a few years ago when I was at my now current weight. I really didn’t understand how few calories I could consume and still make progress.

The most shocking thing that occurred this week was trying on clothes that haven’t fit in two or more years – and finding many of them loose! And for the first time in two years, I put clothes in the giveaway pile because I didn’t like them, not because they didn’t fit. I had far too many clothes I didn’t like that I wore because they were the only items that fit.

I think it’s the clothes thing that is giving me the most willpower to keep going! ๐Ÿ˜€

One more day, and one more day, and one more…

Chubby Girls Run – Like a Vampire

running vampireI can’t help it – every dark 5am that I find myself outside and running around the neighborhood, every time I look at my watch to see how long until sunrise, wondering if I will finish before the sun peeks above the hills, all I can do is giggle and think I’m like a running vampire.

This last week, I added a mile so I really had to make sure I didn’t sleep too late. On Wednesday, I decided to go at an easy jog since adding a mile to my four-mile training meant adding 25%! Eek! (All the training advice I’ve read says not to add more than 10% per week.)

Surprisingly, my lungs never felt the extra mile and, in fact, the slower pace had me breathing easier the entire way. My legs, on the other hand, felt much worse – and not just for the last mile, the whole time. John mentioned to me before that jogging too slow makes his legs hurt worse than at a faster pace. This was the first time I experienced that.

And so on Friday I decided to try to run at my normal pace (currently about 13 minutes per mile) for the five miles. I figured it would be difficult, and it was a beautiful, quiet (dark!) morning, so I didn’t turn my music on. From the first step, I focused on posture and breathing.

I read an article in Runner’s World magazine recently about breathing every five steps – inhale for two steps, exhales for three steps. This helps you to never be hitting one side of your body harder than the other, the author says. Because I was so fully focused on my breathing and trying to keep at my regular pace, I actually ran a bit faster! (I think this was partially since I didn’t have music on, which usually has four beats, not five. It was difficult to breathe every five steps with music before. I’ll let you know if that changes with practice.)

Pre-sunrise MenifeeI was tired when I was done, but I felt really good about my accomplishment. And I even finished my run just before the sun hit my eyes. (I took this picture after running up an incline at my downhill pace. Awesome!)

Now the next thing I have to do is interval running – sprints and hills. Ack! I really don’t want to! It sounds so hard! So I’m going to do it tomorrow. I am. Because it’s going to help me get stronger and run faster.

And in the end, that’s what I want.

Chubby Girls Run – And Do Circuit Training

So after a week away from home – with only one run, but on the flattest land I’ve ever run on – I’m finally getting back into my exercise routine. I’d decided to run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and do circuit training for 20-30 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was also looking to get a little yoga stretching in to stay limber. (So far, I’ve done very little yoga over the last seven months, but I’m trying to make time for it.)

Full moon while running in darkI like running outside (I’m not a fan of treadmills) but I hate being hot. Yeah, I know, I live in Southern California, no way to get around summer heat. So I’ve been setting my alarm to get it done at the coolest part of the day. It’s crazy hot – about 68-72 degrees (20-22 C) at 4:30 in the morning! Whew! I have to get back before the sun rises or I’m just too hot and exhausted to keep going. A couple days ago, I took this picture about 4:50am of the full moon – my only light while trying not to trip over the cracks in the sidewalk. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Gorgeous. Don’t get that on a treadmill.

And because it’s been so hot outside, it’s also hot inside. So I don’t want to do my circuit training either. It was easy for a few days to say i was too busy to do it, but Saturday I saw Doug exercising on his indoor bike and I thought – just do it, Kitty! I am not running very fast and I want to, but I won’t get any faster if I don’t get stronger.

Kitty tired after circuit trainingSo I hurried and put on my exercise clothes before I could think about it. The air conditioning keeps it at 76 (24 C) inside, which is very pleasant if you’re sitting still at your computer or watching TV, but it’s still hot when you’re exercising hard! I thought I was about to pass out once during my workout yesterday, but…then I decided that it was a great opportunity for a ridiculous funny photo. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย I was breathing like a freight train and tried to smile like it was fun.

Hope it made you laugh!

Keep going! Don’t quit! ๐Ÿ˜€

Chubby Girls Run – More Than I Have Since 2013

One of the Michigan back roads where Run for CHUM takes you. Most beautiful run I've ever done!

One of the Michigan back roads where Run for CHUM takes you. Most beautiful run I’ve ever done! Sign up now for September!

I just finished my third full week of training for my upcoming half marathon in January. I was a little nervous to move from 3 miles per day (for the first two weeks) to 4 miles per day. But when I saw my stats in Map My Run after my workout, I was tickled pink! I ran at a good pace for me!

Even better – and more surprising – when I wrote in my running journal about my 4 miles, I paged back to find the last time I ran that much. I knew it’d been a while, but what a shock to see the last time was in September 2013! The day I ran my last half marathon, the Run for CHUM charity run for my sister’s therapeutic riding facility in Michigan.

Wow.

Strangely, I was nervous again on Wednesday. What if I was tired now and much slower? I was so nervous that I’d suck, I skipped my circuit training on Tuesday to regain my strength. But Wednesday was great, too! I decided to do my circuit training on Thursday because I must get stronger in order to run faster, but I knew I might be slower Friday just from being tired.

I did great Friday, too! (And so I made up my missed circuit training session on Saturday. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

My body is really beginning to show me that it’s happy to be getting stronger, even though sometimes it’s not fun to try to do exercises I can’t do for the 40 seconds per circuit round. Forty seconds, guys. Sheesh. But…every week I’m a tiny bit better. I can see small changes when I look in the mirror.

And once I started envisioning myself running faster while trying to do a 60-second plank, I was able to stay up and straight for the whole 60 seconds! The more I envision myself getting stronger, the stronger I get. It’s so cool! (For more information on cool things your brain can do, read You Are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza. Awesome book!)

If you’re working on improving your health, exercising more, training for a run, or anything that requires a lot of effort for small changes, keep going! Don’t give up! Together, we can achieve our goals. ย ๐Ÿ™‚