Day Off

Yup… This cowgirl is going on day two of not exercising. It’s amazing how good I feel. I’m getting all healed up. Bruises are losing their vibrancy, joints are less hurty. I felt like I could run today, but I forced my hiney back down into the hot tub for more soaking. Rest through tomorrow, then I can run again. I’m looking forward to it.
I get a little, well, manic when it comes to getting my burn on. On a no exercise day like today it will get to 8:00 at night and all of the sudden I’m either changing into my running gear or I’m reverting back to being eight years old, pouncing on my kids and getting all wild with them right before bed, OR I’m aggressively challenging Bradley to tickle fights, king of the mountain trials and wrestling matches. You think I’m kidding? Talk to the hubs. I have gas in my tank, my babies. I have to move.
Several days of this and I really do remember what it was like to be that crazy kid who could rollerskate for hours then talk a million miles an hour in a made-up language to my BFF while turning cartwheels in the front yard after spending the day swimming and riding my bike around and around the block while singing camp songs at the top of our lungs. Think I’m kidding? Ask anyone I graduated with who lived in my hood. All of my neighbors. They all heard me.
For years I was told to calm down, to settle down, that I was like a fart in a skillet, that I would spin like a top, that I just. Never. Stopped. Miss Wiggle, squirmy wormy, that was me. I eventually ended up doing an excellent job of settling down. But I won’t ever do that again longer than a day or three. All of that energy that was inborn was for a reason- I need to move or I get unhealthy. Now that I have my chutzpah back I’m determined to keep it.
I really pushed myself during the past two weeks. I took that weightloss warrior thing to heart and didn’t take a day of rest for the entire time. This rest is good, but I’m anxious to get back to training. Squirm on, wiggle on, and just. Never. Stop, lady.

Sunshine

Sunshine. We are getting a real dose of it right now, and usually we don’t have this much. The result? We are staying outside until all hours playing then dropping into bed exhausted and crashing to sleep. It’s a good feeling, but one that doesn’t lend itself to keeping a blog!
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We headed out to the beach on Monday. It is the earliest we have ever swam before, which made frightening visions of global warming go through my head (so sad that I can’t just enjoy the sun- I have to shame myself about global warming on a gift like that day). The beach was beautiful, the sun was shining, the kids were splashing, and I wore my bikini to the public beach. Guess what? Nobody laughed or pointed. Nobody stared. Nobody cared, even when the dude’s dog came and dropped a ‘package’ 3 feet from my hip and he apologetically came over and conversationally cleaned it up- he didn’t care! It was no biggie to anyone- except me. Enter bikini season!
I sit in a funny place in the fat acceptance movement. As I have said before, no matter what size I have been, I have always liked myself. My husband has always been crazy-nuts for me since the moment he first saw me. (he can tell the story sometime, I was a size 20/22) While my weight did keep me from doing some things, it wasn’t from worrying about embarrassment (usually), it was actual physical limitations.
I was thinking about how I fit into the fat acceptance movement now, and realized that my current size will never matter. I can support my bikini wearing brethren no matter if I’m fat or thin. Certainly, the fact that I’m choosing my weight right now (and that it is a lower weight) is helpful in allowing me clarity to advocate and understand my place, but shouldn’t we all be able to wear what we want regardless of our size? Shouldn’t a ‘bikini body’ just be a body with a bikini on it? Why was I so scared to go do that?

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So far I’m keeping with my goals for the week. I am letting myself have my miles from Sunday’s hike as part of my mileage this week. Before you call cheat, let me just explain that the hike really took it out of me and has required a bit of muscle swelling and bruised joint healing. I have managed to run both Monday and Tuesday nights, but just once around the big block (1.8 miles)*. Add the heat to my recovery and running has been tough this week. So at this point I’m at about 9 miles for the week. Clearly I’ll make my goal, hopefully I’ll pass it. I’m starting to think I will have to be a morning runner this summer. The heat really makes me feel sick right now. I’m hoping that will pass once I’m at a lower weight and every step I take isn’t quite as difficult. I keep wondering when I will start to feel like a normal runner- one who is not sore all the time and who can walk up and down her stairs without doing some weird hurky-jerky sideways step to save her aching muscles and joints. I’m assuming that will happen when I hit around 200 and I’m not having to work quite as hard.

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I also made a goal to do my abs workout five times this week. So far I’m at two and holding strong. My ab workout is starting to feel easier which makes me fear the change-up and how it is going to change as I amp it up. I was looking at pictures of myself realizing that my legs are looking pretty skinny, and my torso is not shrinking as fast. I recognize that this may just be the way I’m losing weight, but I also think it has to do with my exercise of choice. I use my legs to get the burn, and I need to burn the belly more. So that’s why the big ab push- get that shape going so I don’t look like a jelly bean on stilts!

*Yesterday a friend of mine pointed out and we laughed about the following statement: I went out and ran a quick mile. A “quick mile” has such a casual sound to it. Just a mile, a quick mile- any phrase implying any amount of ease with running is pretty funny considering what kind of runner I was at the beginning of this year! I laugh at some of the things I hear myself saying now.

Wallace Falls

We did it! We headed up the mountain, past the first level, past the midpoint level and all the way to the top to the difficult, high level! We did it! All totaled, we put about 7 miles under our Lj feet, including the hike in from the car. Most importantly, though, we had a great time.

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But now I’m tired. We came home, hot rubbed, I painted toenails and I could just about fall asleep. Yaaawwwnnnn…
🙂
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Before I go- I made a new goal. My legs are shaping up nicely, and I’m starting to look disproportionate. To move things along I need to start working my core a lot more. So, daily abs. Every day this week should have an abs routine. Day one? Check.
Now, yaaaawwwnnnn….

Fry Like Bacon

The heat and I are pretty tight when it comes to laying in the sun, sitting in the hot tub, curling up in bed… But when it comes to exercise, I have not been a fan in the past. Today it was beautiful out.

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Enjoy my derpy face?! I think I look funny when I run, but don’t really care too much. For some reason I continue to feel the need to photo document my runs so I can include a picture here as often as possible. 😉
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We rallied the troops and, after taking advantage of the double bonus: Free Comic Book Day coupled with Unofficial Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you), we headed to the track to hit a few miles. Gigi has a goal to hit a marathon over the next few weeks and I had 1.5 miles before I made my weekly goal of 12 miles.
Today is the first beautiful day in Seattle. I was hoping that at my new weight the heat wouldn’t affect me in the same way- like I would cool off faster now. I do cool faster but not fast enough! Running in the heat made me nauseous. I had to stop a bunch to drink water, and I walked more during these miles than I have in a long time. I also ran way slower than I have in a long time. I started out by trying to push myself and then realized my folly when my back, arms and neck started cramping up. By the time everything was said and done I ended up walking about a quarter mile of my 3.6. Today I was totally cool with that! Plus, I MADE MY GOAL! Scratch that, I BEAT MY GOAL! I actually made 14 miles this week. Color me happy. I’m keeping my goal of 12 miles again.
I also realized today that I’m not a big fan of track running. Going around and around that circle is a little boring. I definitely like the variety of running on the street and being able to people watch, observe pretty little houses and marvel at nature. Not to mention the track seemed to hold the sun’s heat, coupled with no shade and the whole place was broiling! While the track is level and better on my knees, I missed the hills. I like climbing them, and I like heading down the other side.
Downhills always seemed like a cheat to me when I was not a runner. It was the part I would pick if I ever did have to run because I could keep my breath a little easier on the decline, of course. That was all that mattered. Now, though, I see the downhills in a completely different way. I have the breathing endurance thing down somewhat, so the downhills became something different. They became where I get to see my potential. That little bit of gravity helps me to extend my stride as I get pulled down the hill and I fly! It is thrilling. And as the bottom of the hill levels out, I feel my thighs and calves working, striving to extend and I feel strong, incredible, powerful. The downhills leave me breathless and tired, just like running uphill.
So I guess I’m saying the track is just not as exhilarating or exciting. Given the choice, I think I would usually pick the streets. 🙂
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We bought the domain www.tamarashazam.com today!
Just a head’s up that the address will be changing. There should be a redirect in place, but it’s fair to let you know if things all of the sudden look or act strange.

Why I Chose Running

It seems totally contrary to what I should be doing: running. Running is notoriously hard on your knees, the slamming impact bursts your joints, not to mention the discomfort of flopping skin and burning lungs… And I am not a tiny person to be running around the block at 250 (or now, 240).
At first it was the bad-assery of it that made me want to run. People who are serious, run. None of this pansy assed walking or sauntering, or machine exercise – as if?! Run on the street, run for a goal, no walking – it’s hardcore and romantic, right? So at first, it was just to see if I could. Guess what? I can.
After I established that I can do this running thing, I started noticing a side benefit: calories burned! When I ran, I could come home and eat a giant sub sandwich and STILL not have met my calorie allowances for the day! Running burns calories like nothing else! I run for 20 minutes and I’ll burn over 600 calories. Usually I run for about 40 minutes, so I’m really burning a lot! As I lose weight and my chassis is weighing less, I’m also burning fewer calories, but running is far superior to any other activity that I could find. Then I found this little graph:

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[I have to be honest and say I don’t know the original source for it – I found it at another running blog, so please A. don’t take this to your doctor as scientific fact or B. sue me for copyright. I’ll take it down if you ask.]
The numbers align somewhat with what I supposedly pull and comparatively it makes me feel like I’ve made a smart choice in exercise to assist the rapidity with which I would like to shed the pounds. Remember: 40 before 40!
Which brings me to my last point… My obsessiveness with weighing myself has turned into my obsessiveness with burning calories. I have to run. I MUST run. Back in the day when I walked and Bradley ran, he would walk with me often but never officially count it as his exercise. It always seemed somewhat insulting- unintentionally, of course. Now I understand. According to this graph walking burns less than half the calories as running. Unless I run, I feel like I haven’t worked out for real. The stationary cycle seems too simple, walking seems too unsweaty and the Wii fit, while fun, seems mostly just fun now. I must run every day, it seems like. That drive is exciting, but I need to keep it in check so I don’t injure myself.
Yesterday I just had to run and forced Bradley out the door with me. I needed to burn some calories or I was going to pace like a panther all night. Because we were going for a shorter run,* I asked Bradley to push me to a better pace. He did. My second mile was at a 10:30 pace, but the first mile was in the 9:40’s! Both miles kicked the booty of my previous miles, telling me yes, you can, girl. Yes, you can!
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With that run, I hit 10.75 towards my goal of 12 miles this week. If I take a 5K on Saturday I’ll exceed my goal. How proud would I be?
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I’m tweeting my runs these days if that sounds like something you’re interested in. Follow me, if you want to know my mileage and splits and all that good stuff.
Twitter
@tamarashazam
(Someday we will activate the twitter button, but for now you can play it old school)
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*I laugh inwardly all the time about how I call half a mile ‘easy’ now, how a short run is ‘only’ running a two miler. TWO MILES?! Who am I? Sorry, but what the hell is happening with me?! Ha ha ha!!!

Eat Your Vegetables!

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So… This was the good shot from the set. No, you may NOT see the others. I just snapped them real quick as we were trotting along, that magnificent, beautiful husband and I, and I didn’t bother to see if one was better than the rest. Oh well. But my husband? Meow.
We did 3.6 in 41 minutes, though the last .4 was walked. I paced slower this time, pulling our speed down to 11:00ish for all three miles. For some reason I had a really hard time catching a complete breath. I was doing fine, but it made me anxious enough that I stayed really careful and didn’t push at all.
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Today my scale read 244.2! Finally going down. It is weightloss warrior week, after all.
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I realized this weekend that I haven’t made any firm new goals of late. My diet is a non-issue. I suppose I could work more vegetables into it, but who can’t. I keep on my calories and when I ‘cheat’ it is within my allowances. My exercise is pretty spotless – I’m exercising hard every other day with a mid-level aerobic and weights on the off days. I’ve been making sure to rest when my body hits a stress point and I seem to be doing well.
I think my immediate goal this week is to work more whole grains into my diet. While I do a pretty good job, I should be making sure I’m loading up on more oatmeal instead of cereal, brown rice instead of white, that kind of thing. I also need to get back on the drinking water. Caffeine is so appealing that I fell off the wagon and into iced tea-land. But I don’t drink straight up iced tea- I like the crystal lite kind which has sodium in it, not to mention a plethora of other crap that is not good for me. So there you have them- water and super strict food. If all goes well this week, I might be in the 230’s by next week. We’ll see. I wouldn’t mind sitting at 238 for the next little bit…
Cheers!