Thanks to all for the positive response to my Ragnar team post yesterday. I am truly excited for this opportunity!
I find it interesting that as I approach the one year mark of my mile a day “Streak”, I’m also entering the two-week taper portion of my half marathon training – a time when I am supposed to be resting my body, rebuilding muscle tissue, and replenishing glycogen stores for the race ahead. Now, a mile a day is not going to wreck any of that rest – but once any runner starts running, for whatever reason, it is sometimes difficult to take it easy and not push a little harder than they should. I had 4 miles on my training schedule today but since I had a weigh-in appointment this morning, I had not exercised after the kids left for school like I usually do. From my appointment, I went down to see my dad and get him groceries, run errands for him, etc. Then the kids were already on their way home from school and had games and orthodontist appointments. Then we took my son out for a family dinner since his birthday is tomorrow. Next thing I know it is 9pm and I have not done my mile, let alone the 4 miles scheduled for today. Yesterday I listened to a podcast on my run which specifically discussed tapering and they clearly stated that any runs I do at this point are not going to make my race any better or faster. All the work has already been done. The main goal now is to take it easy and listen to my body. Fine. But I still had to run a mile for the “streak”. BUT, and this is a big BUT … it is dark and “cold” outside and I really just want to put on my pajamas. I considered getting on the treadmill but then it occurred to me that next Sunday for my half marathon it is going to be chilly in the morning. Probably about the same temperature it is tonight. Which, I’m embarrassed to say is actually not even remotely close to freezing…it is FIFTY-TWO DEGREES outside. That is how wimpy I have become. I’ve read Facebook and blog posts from my Ragnar teammates today around the country that have been snowed in for days and would kill to have a temperature of 52 degrees to go outside in, much less go for a run in. So, I marched upstairs and put on my warm running clothes. I also decided this was a good time to try out some of my new night-time running gear that I got for Ragnar as Christmas gifts. There are safety equipment requirements for each runner in Ragnar for running at night that include reflective vests and headlamps. Sadly, I think maybe that stems from a fatality of a Phoenix area high school student quite a few years ago – he was hit by a car and killed on a dark stretch of road running in a Ragnar relay. So, here I am, dressed like I’m heading out to run in the snow, wearing a safety vest and blinky lights. And, as usual when I least expect it, my run was fantastic. I felt great, my speed was easy and fast, and I got in a great rhythm early on. I only went two miles and stayed close to the neighborhood because I still get a bit freaked out by myself at night when I get out on empty stretches of road. I tried to run on streets where I had a few friends in case I needed to run to someone’s house. Unlikely, but I just feel safer that way. I wish I had run with my headlamp though because as I got out on some of the paths, it was pretty dark and I was nervous about tripping on uneven sidewalks. Fortunately, streets and sidewalks in Phoenix are all pretty new (compared to other parts of the country) so it isn’t too much of a concern.
And, to report back on my appointment with Dr. Ziltzer this morning, I woke up weighing slightly more than yesterday morning which was disappointing since I really watched my eating yesterday. Who knows what caused that, but there was nothing I could do about it. I am somewhat happy to report that I gained exactly 1/2 of a pound over the last month which included Christmas and all the goodies I consumed. Thank God I was running a lot during those weeks because it clearly offset a lot of the damage! But, I did weigh 172 pounds which is 2 pounds over goal and puts me right on the edge of the “green zone”. I have thought a lot about it today and I’m just not happy that I have been on the positive side of 170 lbs. much more than below it lately. I’m still very very happy that 9 months out from reaching my goal that I am still that close, but after my race next weekend I’m setting a new goal to get down to 165 lbs. and possibly go to 160 lbs. from there. The reason, my fat percentage is still on the high end and I’m still right at the very top of my healthy BMI range. I know BMI can be a load of crap, but I would still like to get more towards the center of the range. Not even the middle – I would be happy with 75-80% of it – I just don’t like sitting right at the top. I’ve put a lot of thought into this and I’m glad I held at my original goal weight for a long time. But, as I work towards fine-tuning my fitness and building endurance, I see the benefits of continuing to reduce a bit more of my fat mass for the benefit of my joints, if nothing else.
When I got to the Scottsdale Weight Loss office today it was clearly January – I think I was the only one in the waiting room in December and today it was packed. Lots and lots of people getting busy on New Year’s resolutions clearly! That’s great though, I hope they are on their way to a healthy new year! Consequently, my appointment with Dr. Z seemed a bit quick, but that’s OK. I didn’t have a whole lot to discuss with him. We talked mostly about the Rock n’ Roll half marathon and he gave me some tips for race day. He didn’t even bring up my weight gain (slight as it was) … in fact, we didn’t talk about weight at all, not even thoughts about lowering my goal weight – just running. I did manage to finally ask him how much protein I should be aiming for each day and he calculated it out for me while I was there based on my current body weight – 80-93 grams per day. I’m going to start inputting everything into MyFitnessPal again if for only the reason of figuring out how much protein I am getting. As I work towards my new goal of 165 pounds, I will use Optifast products but I also want to be very careful to not lose any more muscle mass. I think the best way to protect it is to make sure I’m getting adequate (but not excessive) protein. But, first things first, I have a race to run!