I’m spending the first part of this week catching my breath from a whirlwind weekend. We survived the start-up of the boy’s sports season on Saturday morning. He played in one middle school basketball festival game (they won by at least 30 points) then we drove across the city to his first football game of the season (where they lost by about 30 points). Watching your son play tackle football is both exciting and scary – my emotions run the gamut as play stops periodically, players kneel to show respect to the fallen player, and parents run quick prayers through their heads in hopes that the injury is not serious. I saw my son take a helmet to the arm on one play and it looked bad. He stayed in the game – the coach was trying to talk to him, but I could see tears running down his face. Three plays later when he came to the sideline for a time-out, he was still crying but he never stopped playing. Two of the coaches were trying to help give him cues on stopping the play of a giant tight end on the other team and they kept yelling out instructions and encouragement from the sideline. It was the most attention any football coach had ever paid to him during a game, and it was nice. Except for a kick-off or two, and a couple of time-outs, he never left the field – playing offense and defense the whole time. Needless to say, he slept the whole, long way back to our house.
Saturday was also my husband’s birthday so we celebrated with a nice, low key dinner at a Mexican food restaurant with his mom and our kids. We came home to watch ASU lose in a close game to Notre Dame – a big bummer for my ASU alum hubby. Fortunately, his 2nd favorite team is Notre Dame, so it wasn’t all bad.
Since Saturday was such a busy day, I switched around my long run and short runs for the weekend. I went out and did a quick 3 miles on Saturday afternoon before we went out for dinner. So, Sunday morning I had my first 6 mile run waiting for me. I was a little nervous about it because my 5 mile runs during the week were pretty much horrible. But, I tried to start out a bit earlier and, fortunately, I had one of my best runs in weeks. I have sent back my TomTom Runner gps watch to wait for the new Garmin 220 release in a few weeks (more about this in another blog post) so I am back to relying on the MapMyRun app on my iPhone and, consequently, listening for the voice prompt to tell me when I have reached my mile targets since seeing my phone screen from my armband is difficult. When the ‘voice’ told me I had reached 6 miles, I actually felt so good I kept running a little further to the next stop light (maybe another .20 – .25 miles). Today was a 5 mile run and, again, it felt really good. I think maybe my bad runs last week were due to a combined double whammy of it being that ‘time of the month’ and my late start/afternoon overhead direct sun and heat. Anyway, I’m glad things turned around. This is my last week of 4 runs/week. Next week I go to 5 days on, 2 days off. Not gonna lie, it will be tough! 5 weeks of half marathon training down, 15 to go until the big day!
Oh yeah, one other thing I did on Sunday after running 6 miles … I (along with 3 other moms) cooked dinner for 160 teenagers to eat before their youth group meeting. I spent about 4 hours making 10 pounds of pasta and a HUGE pot of meat sauce – then schlepping all of it 20 minutes away to our church and getting it to the serving line right as the kids were filing in. Ack!!! Then we had to stick around for another 2 hours and clean up our mess. I was worn out! I registered an all-time high of 21,000 steps on my FitBit. This was more than I had after a day at an amusement park this past summer.
Since I’m running about 18 miles+ per week plus doing weights 2-3 times/week, my hunger is really a force to be reckoned with. I feel hunger pains and stomach growling about every 2 hours. I’m still in the habit of eating small meals that probably aren’t filling me up appropriately. I try very hard to eat healthy snacks – but it seems like I am eating all the time. My weight is OK, a bit higher than I’d like for a weigh-in week, but still sitting right at goal, +/- half a pound. So, since I pay $60 for my short visit with Dr. Ziltzer, I thought I should probably be a bit more prepared this week. Thus far, the main point of these maintenance “check-ups” has been to keep me on track and accountable. They are VERY good for this purpose alone because I do straighten up immensely the week of my appointments. But, I think this time I would like to get some specific information to help fine tune both my food selections and nutrient timing. So, being the engineer that I am, I just created a little spreadsheet to help me fill some specific ideas that Dr. Z has when I talk to him Thursday morning.
I know that my body needs both carbs and protein to refuel and rebuild after my running and weight training. I am getting a bit frustrated that my lean muscle level numbers are not rising, despite my weight training efforts. My levels have been flat-lined for months. I do feel, however, that I am a bit stronger now and maybe my next strength test will show a small increase. I know that for me, personally, I need something in my stomach before I start exercising. I know that after I am running for after an hour straight, I should also take some sort of an electrolyte/carb replacement such as GU or a ShotBlok. But I’m still not entirely sure what I should personally be doing. I am not an “elite marathon runner” but I am also getting into some distances where I need to maintain my energy level so I don’t get sick and maximize my training time. I am also continuing to take phentermine sporadically as an appetite suppressant. As I get hungrier and hungrier, I am thinking I should continue this but, also, timing comes into play as well. Not to mention, after running 6 miles, I also feel like I deserve to eat whatever I want. I know I need to correct this thinking but after burning 600 calories + exercising, I do have some wiggle room. So, I’ve got LOTS to discuss.
So, with that, I’ll try to update late this week with any tidbits of info I find out….