Monday, March 25, 2013

How not to see your fiance

Wake up at 1pm. Nick's still asleep because he got home at 7am. Do a little housework, breakfast, ride the trainer, make lunch, and shower. Wake up Nick. Say hi, bye, and go to work. Work. Come home at 5:30 am. Nick's not home because he's still at work. Go to sleep. Repeat. Try not to be sad. I hate to keep complaining about this, but we're on day 35 of me being on nightshift, and his nights schedule is just now starting. It'll be over soon enough, and as my mom pointed out, we'll be seeing plenty of each other when we're living together in a campervan for 2 weeks in NZ! I'll be patient, but I will probably complain at least a couple more times. I know lots of my coworkers are missing time with not only their spouses, but also children and pets, so I should consider myself lucky. Blah blah blah be grateful.

In a decidedly not grateful moment, I had my own Bridezilla episode the other day. It was my first, and hopefully my last. I was at my second (and final) dress fitting, and the seamstress just was not getting it. The dress was big on me, and wiggling around and since it's strapless I felt like I had to hitch it up all the time. Kill  me now, this is why I didn't want a strapless dress in the first place, and I'll be damned if my main memory from my wedding day is being worried I'm gonna flash some kiwis when the helicopter starts up (yeah, we're riding in a helicopter to the top of a mountain to take pics after we get hitched. No big deal) (disregard the fact that there will not be kiwis on a mountaintop) (Mountain top!). Anyways. I explained nicely to the seamstress that it wasn't working. I explained to the salesperson that it wasn't working. They both told me I was crazy. I AM NOT CRAZY I JUST WANT EVERYTHING TO BE PERFECT WHEN I GET MARRIED. YOU WOMEN MUST BE ELDERLY CAT LADIES WHO DON'T UNDERSTAND LOVE. I actually had that thought. But what came out of me instead was a stream of tears and saying I just want to be comfortable! Comfort! And an itty bitty waist! Not too much to ask. The tears worked, I got the alterations I asked for, and life went on. Still, I was pretty embarrassed. My mom consoled me by saying that I don't have to be friends with the woman tailoring my wedding dress, and that my parents are paying a ton of money for it, so it needs to be as perfect as can be. That made me feel better.

My countdowns just keep on ticking away. In 6 days I'll be in Europe. In 19 days I'll be in New Zealand. In 22 days I'll be a "Mrs." That saying bothers me so much, by the way. It makes me feel old and stodgy. Can I just be Ms. Nick's Last Name? Please? Also, I Googled "Maryland name change process" and got a terrifying link to half a dozen documents, including a court order and a requirement to publish the name change in the newspaper for public comment. Say what? The public does not care about my name. Not one bit. Luckily, I just have poor attention to detail, and there's a whole other page about name changes in the case of marriage. I basically just go change it with the Social Security Administration and call it a day. I know it's over a month until I even have to worry about it, but I'm really excited for that step in the process. It's cheesy, but I imagine it'll reinforce the feeling of being our own little family.

Man, I can't wait to get married to that guy.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Knowing my limits

I'm a little stressed right now. So I went out and ran these splits:
A mile split that starts with a 7.... I'm a crazy person.

It helped that the weather was like this:

It was a beautiful day, and I had coffee, so my legs were antsy. Obviously. Mile 1 was comfortably hard, but I wasn't pushing my limits or anything. Mile 2 started to feel hard. The roads I ran on are hilly, and the wind was gusting. I know I should plan out runs, but today I was playing it by ear. When I put down 2 8 minute miles, I figured I'd try for a 3rd, and try and run a little farther, total, than I did yesterday. That meant 3 8 minute miles, then dialing it down for 2 more. I did just that, surprisingly, keeping an even 8/mile for 3 followed by 9/mile for the last 2. The last quarter mile I killed myself and came home wheezing and feeling almost like I do after a 5k.

This run was nice because I felt uncomfortable, and I haven't really felt that lately. Intervals are hard, sure, and I've tried to do 1 or 2 interval workouts a week, but they don't kill me like this did. After I got past the mild desire to puke, I got some crazy endorphins and wanted to do it all again. But not really. It also made me want to do a 5K REALLY badly.The only problem is, I get off work at 5 in the morning, and the only local 5K starts at 9. I'll find another race soon but I sort of wanted to capture this speediness while it lasts. I know it won't last forever. A run like this was nice to remind me how it feels to push my limits.

Fast forward to the day after that run, and my shins hurt like crazy. Thanks for reminding me I'm not a superhero, body. I did HIIT stuff on Thursday and took Friday off. Saturday morning, shins still ache. Not as terrible, but it's definitely not a great feeling. I'll take it easier this week because I definitely did jump up my mileage and run back to back days more frequently. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I'm not freaking out....

I'm not freaking out... I'm not freaking out.

Just kidding. Totally freaking out. Nick and I leave for Brussels 2 weeks from today, and leave for the wedding less than 4 weeks from today. I'm giving an industry presentation in a foreign country in just over 2 weeks. And then I'm getting married. I wrote my WEDDING VOWS. It all is coming up so fast! I knew that April would be an insane month, no matter what. Here's a little plan.

March 27 (approximately): last night of nightshift
March 28-30: laundry, clean everything, packing
March 29: pick up wedding dress (hopefully!)
March 31: travel Brussels
April 2: present in Brussels
April 5: return from Brussels
April 6-10: laundry, clean everything, dye hair, get a haircut, pack
April 11: travel to NoVA for dinner with folks, then hotel in NoVA
April 12: fly to New Zealand
April 16: Wedding :)

Oh, and 4 weeks after we come home from the wedding, I'm running a half marathon (same one I majorly PR'ed on last year in 1:58). So I'm kind of trying to keep some semblance of running fitness during this time too. Oh and not totally piss off my GI tract so I can feel like a normal human being on my wedding day and honeymoon. I am not so sure that is even possible between travel, nerves, nerves about travel, and weird plane food. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Good sore vs. Bad sore + GI update

Most important things first: I bought a new phone. This is a picture of me, taken with my new phone. Turns out you can't take a picture of a phone with itself. That feature needs to be developed.

Today, I am sore. Yesterday, I was more sore. On Monday I ellipticalled at the gym and then had tons of time to spend lifting. So I chose a bunch of upper body moves and alternated with lower body moves and did the whole circuit twice. I was absolutely beat by the time I was done. I was overall tired, and my individual muscle groups were pretty noodley-feeling, but I didn't think I had pushed myself way too hard. When I woke up the next day, I was achey and as the day went on my body started getting terribly sore. It seemed to get worse by the minute. I almost took painkillers at one point, I was that miserable. I powered through, whined while I went up stairs (and contemplated the elevator many times), and generally felt stiff and grouchy. Today I'm still achey. At the gym, I tried to do some shoulder presses and found that my shoulders (even though I didn't directly work them on Monday) were still not recovered. Squats were also more challenging than they should have been.

I never know what's considered "good" sore and what's "bad." Like, if my right hamstring is throbbing and my left is just normal sore, then is the right one maybe injured? If I want to scream when I stretch and going up 2 flights of stairs is the hardest thing I've ever done, have I overworked something? I never know. I know soreness is good because it means you've torn muscle and your body will rebuild it stronger, but... it's a balance. I love being sore. I know that. Maybe just a little less sore.

GI update:
I've been mostly good. Mostly great, actually. I've reincorporated bell peppers, eggs and tomatoes into my diet and things are... fine. Until yesterday. I had the grand idea of eating the remaining flourless almond butter cookies for breakfast (there may have been 4... or 6... left). I immediately regretted that decision, but I figured, eh, I'll run off the impending icky feeling. 7.5 miles later, I felt better, but still slightly off. The rest of the day got worse and worse. I had veggies, soup, quinoa, beans and salad, so nothing out of the ordinary, but my stomach was busting out of my pants, I had cramps, all those terrible things I haven't had to go through too much lately. What caused it? Too much sugar? Cornstarch in the cookies? Longish run? All I know is that it is the worst I've felt since wine 3 weeks ago. Even today the discomfort is at a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. Maybe this is a reminder from my stomach that just because something doesn't have any ingredients that instantly trip my stomach, it doesn't mean that eating an unreasonable amount of it won't still make me feel gross. Noted.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

February totals, just 2 weeks late

As nightshift has been known to do, it's given me a renewed focus on running for a few weeks now. I don't have normal errand-running time, so I just wake up, work out, and get on my merry way. That's reflected in this month: more workouts on average, more running workouts, and more miles. I know 85.5 is still sad, but it brings me up above a 900 mile year if I keep up this average. Which is ever so close to 1000 (I mean, that's an extra 10 miles a month for the rest of the year. Please).

February 1: 1.0 @ 6.5, then 0.2 at 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, then 1.0 @ 6.6, and 0.2 @ 6.7, 6.8, 6.9. 7.0 and cooldown. 4.05 miles, 39:11
February 2: off!
February 3: 7.5 @ 6.5 plus cooldown. 1:12:15, 7.75 total
February 4: 40 minutes elliptical and weights
February 5: 0.1 @ 6.5, 3.25 @ 7.0 and cooldown. 31 minutes, 3.6 miles
February 6: Tabata, 20 minutes and abs with Nick
February 7:  tmill. 5.2 @ 6.8 and 0.3 @ 8.0 plus cooldown. 5.75 total, 51:08
February 8: tmill 1.0 @ 6.6, then 0.2 @ 6.7, 6.8, 6.8, 7.0, 7.1, 1.0 @ 6.7, then 0.2 @ 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2 and cooldown. 4.25, 38:21
February 9: off
February 10: ~6.4 miles outside. Garmin died, but first 5 miles were done in about 42:30.
February 11: "walking workout" on the tv. She said we did 3 miles. My knee was swollen, ugh
February 12:3.5 @ 6.6 plus cooldown. Horrible run. 3.75 total in 36ish minutes
February 13: 3.75 @ 6.6 plus cooldown. 4.00 in 39something
February 14: 40 minutes on the trainer. Guessing 10-12 miles? Hard ride.
February 15: 5.6 miles outside, 9:50 pace (yikes)
February 16: off
February 17: 4.5 @ 6.6 plus cooldown. 4.75 in 43:55. Not terrible
February 18: elliptical 45 minutes plus weights
February 19: Treadmill- 0.9 @ 6.5, 0.1 @ 7.0, 0.8 @ 6.5, 0.2 @ 7.0, 0.7 @ 6.5, 0.3 @ 7.0, then 0.1 @ 6.5 and cooldown. Felt terrible. Somewhere around 3.3 in 29ish minutes. Then weights. Then (0.1 @ 5.0/0.1@ 8.0) x 5 + (0.1 @ 5.0/0.15 @ 8.0 ) x 4, 2.1 more miles, 20 minutes
February 20: Run outside, 5 miles, 43:52 (8:46 pace)
February 21: 60 minutes on the trainer. 15 miles?
February 22: off
February 23: 4.55 miles @ 6.6, plus cooldown. 44:21 for 4.8 miles. Not bad.
February 24: 5.05 miles- fartlek-esque. mile 1- 0.9 @ 6.5 + 0.1 @ 7.0, mile 2- 0.8 @ 6.5 + -0.2 @ 7.0, mile 3- 0.7 @ 6.5 + 0.3 @ 7.0, mile 4 0.6 @ 6.5 + 0.4 @ 7.0, mile 5, 0.5 @ 6.5 + 0.55 @ 7.0. plus cooldown. 5.30 miles in 48something. Not terrible
February 25: "1000 calorie" Fitness Blender workout. ~30 minutes of HIIT and 40some minutes of strength and abs.
February 26: 3.3 miles in 32:30 plus 1.8 miles in 18:29. It was rough. Legs were tired. 5.1 total.
February 27: 4.0 miles outside. 33:55 (8:28 pace!!). tough at the end but not bad overall.
February 28: 6 miles outside with Nick. 53:13 (8:52 pace!), overall not too bad. Ended nice and quick.

February totals: 85.5 miles running, 17 times plus 2 x elliptical, 3 x TV workout, 2 x trainer

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Running Late(ly)

How has my life been aside from eating boring-ly and fretting about food? Weird. I'm on nightshift, so I get home when Nick is asleep and wake up when he's at work. If we're lucky we get in a workout together at work before he heads home and I start my shift. This is how everyone who's getting married in exactly! 6! weeks! should live life. Not.

My daily schedule is weird- instead of waking up just before work like most people do, working, then coming home and killing time for a few hours, I've been doing the opposite. I wake up around noon, eat breakfast and prep lunch, do laundry/housework/screw around on the internet while my stomach settles from breakfast, workout, shower, and go to work at 4pm. At work, I eat both lunch and dinner, then come home and head straight to bed around 3:30am. This has meant I get more afternoon hours with Nick on the weekends, since we both can sort of wake up around the same time. It also means working out when my body thinks it's the morning. That is both good and bad. On one hand, I hate working out "early." My legs aren't awake yet, I feel sluggish, and generally fuzzy. I'm not a good person first thing in the morning, and that goes for running as well as all other life things. On the other hand, being able to come home and not worry about working out or having it hang over my head all day is a wonderful thing. Plus, I have had excellent energy levels these past few weeks, despite getting subpar daytime sleep.  And not ingesting caffeine. I repeat, I have not felt sleepy during my days for over 2 weeks without coffee. THIS IS A BIG DEAL.

Am I going to become a morning exerciser? Hell to the no. It's totally different when your "morning" lasts 4 hours before work, and you have time to eat, digest, and laze about. My normal mornings (on dayshift) are a wee bit shorter. If I have to be presentable and walking out of the house, breakfast eaten and lunch in hand, in less than an hour, that's a little different. But it is really nice to know the effect a run or other workout early in the day has on my body. I have had some reallly crappy runs lately. That might be partly due to forcing myself to workout in the morning, or my diet, or whatever, but either way it's paid off later in the day.

So let's talk runs lately. On the treadmill, it's mostly been misery, but on the days I get outside I've been on a roll. If you check out my handy Workout Log 2013, you'll notice 4 outside runs in the last 2 weeks at 9 min/mile or faster. Have they been easy? Not at all. I did 4 miles yesterday that nearly killed me. I'm kind of seeing treadmill runs right now, because they are so boring and tedious, as endurance opportunities, both mental and physical. My outside runs have been around the same distance but they are much speedier. Going fast outside, with hills to help out, has been coming more naturally. I'm a sucker for a negative split, so glancing at my watch at the turnaround point and trying to beat my time has been keeping me motivated.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Day ?- I'm over this...

Summary: What we need is results, people! Results!

Workouts: a bunch, inluding 6 notably pleasant miles with Nick outside.

Tummy: Hate and discontent. The joy. Then hate again.

The aftermath of soy day was... well, I called it an aftermath, so you can probably fill in the blanks. But really, it was just a lot of unpleasantness and discomfort. I bought new jeans that were a great fit on Friday, and then Sunday, I'm magically 12 lbs. heavier. Really, TWELVE POUNDS. From soy? How does that make sense. I'm tracking my calories pretty closely in order to 1) make sure I'm eating enough and watch my very sad protein intake and 2) be able to fit in my wedding dress and not get fat and happy with all the delicious snacks around at work right now. So I know I didn't spontaneously gain 12 lbs. from overeating for the last 2 weeks. I'm frustrated. The only thing I've gotten out of this whole experiment so far is when I eat super clean, lower sodium, no crap, lots of fruits, veggies, legumes, etc., I feel great. When I don't eat that way, I don't feel great. That's it. I wanted some crystal clear "do not pass go, do not eat gluten ever again" sign, and it's just not happening. Yet. I gave it a few days and had 2 eggs on Wednesday night, and then had more on Thursday for the next test. I've really been having trouble getting enough protein while doing this test, so having eggs back in my life made it a little easier. Eggs were really not a problem for me.

One positive thing that I'm noticing is that I think twice before eating stuff. I was coveting some snack mix (mmmm sesame sticks) tonight and strongly considered having some. Salty deliciousness. But then I actually thought for a minute about the myriad issues that would probably result and decided it wasn't worth it. Just being more mindful about what I'm inhaling is a good thing. I mean, I've always known that dairy was a no-go for me, but only recently have I taken any time to avoid it. And even then, I have been known to say screw it, I want pizza, and suffer as a result. Maybe this whole experiment will make it more obvious just how good I can feel if I put some effort into not eating junky. This did not prevent me from drinking more than one gluten free beer on my off night, even though I suspected it would screw me up. It did. Side note: gluten free beer is not terrible, but not awesome either.

As I near 3 weeks of this whole experiment, I'm thinking about what the future of eating will look like for me. Fewer cheerios. No sandwiches (I haven't had any gluten free bread yet, I'm a little hesitant). Stricter about dairy. No tofu. No TVP (tear... I loved the potential TVP had!). More nuts and beans. More millet and quinoa, less pasta. I don't see myself going strictly gluten free or anything, but just being mindful of what I'm eating. If that's not enough, maybe I will be stricter... Ugh, I don't know. Another thing on my mind is needing to buy all new stuff... new flours, weird things like xantham gum and chia seeds? Meh. Not excited about that. I'm a reliably good baker with the things I'm used to, I'm worried gluten free baked goods just won't be the same... first world problems right here.