My First 5K!!!

I did it! I completed my first 5K without dying of nervousness!

In fact, not only did nothing bad happen, I did super well (I think). I came in 7th out of the women and 25th overall (there were 60ish people there) with a time of 26:23. I thought I might place when I realized they were giving out prizes to the top ten finishers in each gender, and I was really glad with my time – my goal had been to finish in about 28 minutes (which the 9th and 10th ladies did, so I still would have placed). My prizes were a gift certificate to a local restaurant and a coupon for a free loaf of bread at some fancy bread store. I also won a GIGANTIC t-shirt when they raffled them off after the race. 

Yeah, this just cements that I’ll have to eventually make a t-shirt quilt out of race shirts in order to actually get some use out of this thing.

Ok, so a little more about the race. I had heard a lot of advice about what to do for your first 5K. One of these things was to either pick up your race packet the night before or come super duper early to pick it up in the morning. So I went in during the time listed the night before. No one was there. I was already nervous so this made me more nervous. Also, I was angry because I wasted a lot of time roaming around campus (I went to the location multiple times). So I decided to just show up when the registration table opened in the morning.

I guess what I didn’t anticipate was that because this was a pretty small, new race they didn’t actually have packets. When I showed up they seemed confused that I came early at all because I had pre-registered (though the one girl said she was always that early for races). They were probably really new to this whole thing, too, though – they almost forgot that I needed a bib! I even only came an hour early rather than an hour and a half because when I drove past an hour and a half before they were still like setting up! I was again slightly annoyed because I woke up super early to do this and it was freezing!

Speaking of freezing, I really underestimated how cold it would be. It was supposed to be in the 50s today (which it eventually was) but I thought it would be more like high 30s/low40s at race time. But it was in the high 20s. Ouch. I was really underdressed in a long-sleeved tee and shorts. Others were as well, though, and even those who were properly clothed were hanging out inside because they were freezing so I felt a little better.

Self-pic in the bathroom while I hid inside avoiding the cold.

Waiting for the race, I ran into another person doing her first 5K. She had been planning on walking but then showed up and found out most people were running and was nervous she wouldn’t be able to do it. I reminded her that even fast, prepared people run then walk sometimes. At the end I found her and she had ran the whole thing. She didn’t run it very quickly, but it was faster than I was the first time I tried running 3.1 miles at home, and I informed her of this! I also felt really encouraged as someone who passed me during the last mile came up and told me that I did a really great job! So there was encouragement all around. There was nothing to be nervous about.

They also had some pretty yummy food – bagels and donuts (and fruit, but  I already had similar fruits at home and was tempted by the delicious carbs). I probably ate a big more than I should have, but I think I’ll live. Next time I do a race they hopefully have slightly healthier choices, though – I knew bagels could be caloric, but this one had nearly 400 calories! WTF.

Also, on a random, wtf, note: someone stole my hamper. Who steals a hamper?!?! And I’ll have you know that they didn’t steal my Sam’s Club sized laundry detergent. They were not a very strategic criminal.

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Foods on Fridays

I’ve been having a meh sort of week, calorie-wise. On both Monday and Thursday I only went over a little bit, but both times were because of eating desserts that I wasn’t actually hungry for at restaurants, so I didn’t feel very good about it.

Also, even though I was like not hungry at all on Wednesday, which made up for it, on Tuesday I was like insatiably hungry all day. I ended up eating 4 slices of pizza for dinner and went to bed starving! I know that if I still felt that hungry after eating all that much there must have been something that my body was telling me, and that I shouldn’t feel bad about it, but I did.

So, while my calorie intake for the week will probably be ok, I don’t feel the happiest or healthiest about most of the choices that I made. I’m going out to dinner tonight, too, so I’m afraid that I’ll make a poor choice again. It seems like I’ve been doing worse since I came back to school because there are a lot of events and I eat at restaurants a lot. I just need to remind myself that in general, I made fairly good choices – for example, “treating” myself when I go out might be getting a 250 calorie side with everything else on my plate being super healthy (i.e. a 6 oz steak and broccoli with mashed potatoes being the treat). I just did so much better at navigating the land of college eating when I was losing weight (and had even fewer calories to spare!) than I am doing now that I am maintaining, and I’m not really sure why.

I’ve been doing better with the fear that going over by just a few calories will make me instantly gain back 100 pounds, but this week has brought back thoughts of regaining – every time I tell myself it’s ok to go over on calories is me slipping backwards in my head. It doesn’t make much sense – I weigh and measure myself, so I would know if I was having an upward trend and just do a small calorie deficit for awhile! I guess I’m just incredibly afraid of slipping backwards sometimes, especially with the statistics out there on keeping weight off (haven’t you heard that 95% of diets fail?!?!).

The good food news: those almonds I mentioned yesterday, and Wasa crackers. I had never tried Wasa crackers, but I saw someone mention eating them as a snack with lunchmeat and cheese (or something like that) the other day. I bought a box to try, and they are pretty good. I like having a crunchy receptacle for things like cheeses so I’m always buying crackers, even though they are not the most filling for their calorie level. These crackers, however, have only 40 calories per “cracker” (they are large, like the size of a graham cracker, not tiny like a normal cracker). I ate one with some garlic hummus, a cheese stick, and a beef stick yesterday and it was pretty good! I think I might have to start keeping these around instead of Wheat Thins/Triscuits.

Also, when I am actually eating at home, I have been making one particularly awesome choice. Lunch this week has been sweet potatoes topped with brown sugar chicken, with a side of mandarin oranges and steamed broccoli. I’m not really a recipe person (I don’t make them, I follow them), but here is how I do the potato-chicken thing:

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

1-2 teaspoons of butter/butter substitute

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sugar substitute (or sugar, its only 15 calories a teaspoon)

4 oz chicken (I used chicken breast tenderloins)

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tbsp brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a pan coated in cooking spray, brown garlic, salt, and pepper. Cut up chicken into small pieces and add to pan. Meanwhile, put sweet potato in to bake (if in microwave, if you bake in oven put it in first). Once chicken is cooked through, add brown sugar. You will need to stir it pretty frequently to keep the melted sugar from clumping up. Once sweet potato has finished baking, top with butter, cinnamon, sugar substitute, and the chicken.

This whole thing (covers almost an entire plate!) is about 270 calories, depending on variation in your individual ingredients (i.e. if you use a bigger potato or chicken thighs or something).

 

Boring Day

Nothing too exciting in terms of my health and fitness today, so I’ll just share something random: go buy some of those almonds with the dark chocolate baked into them like these, only buy them at your grocery store so that they are cheaper. They have almost the same nutrition info as regular almonds but with the added bonus of a chocolately taste! Yum!

Don’t thank me, thank the completely random stranger at the grocery store who saw me looking at trail mix and told me to buy these instead. Thank you, random lady. These have been delicious.

Also, as a mini-update on rest days: I don’t feel too lazy today, so hopefully I’m making a bit of progress.

What did I get Myself Into?

I signed up for my first 5K on Saturday, and I am super duper nervous.

This sort of relates to my nervousness about the gym – in general, I have a fear of being places that I’m not “supposed” to be. So, like I am afraid of standing in the wrong place while lifting at the gym, I am afraid of participating in a race. What if I show up to early? What if everyone else is running with teams? What if everyone else who shows up is a member of a particular organization? For example, the race I signed up for is put on by the business school at my university – what if I am the only non-business student/professor there?

Now that I’ve signed up, though, I have to go. I’d also be too nervous that somewhere there would know me and then notice that I didn’t show up. Plus, the people I’ve told would probably be disappointed in me.

The good news is that I feel pretty prepared for the race. The weather should be pretty nice, and I have been running a pretty consistent 9:00/mile pace, so I think I will certainly complete it, and hopefully in under 30 minutes. I’ve also read a bit about what I should expect at my first race, etc. My only question I’m still trying to figure out – my training plan had me running 3 miles on Friday and 5 on Saturday. So do I run 5 miles Friday and the 3 miles when I do the race on Saturday, or not do the long run at all and shift my long runs by a week (there is another 5K built into the program later so this wouldn’t change much). It will probably depend on how my legs feel on Friday. I guess I could always choose not to do the 3 mile run on Friday as well and then shift my long run to Sunday? We shall see. It’s not like I’m trying to do amazing at this race or anything – it’s just a trial run!

Sometimes I Hate Computers

So yesterday I woke up to this:

I don’t think I’m going to be running outside for a while! Too bad that snow doesn’t prevent me from posting, or I could use it as an excuse for my absence.

Actually, what happened is that I’ve been super busy. On Sunday, I went to a bridal shower out of town and then had to rush back before the snowapocalypse hit (I managed to get within 20 minutes of home before it turned into blizzardy conditions!). Then, yesterday, I was not supposed to be busy, but when I got home, my roommate invited me out for karaoke with some of her friends. But then, the karaoke place was closed. All was still well, though – we ended up going to a nearby restaurant where they got drinks and I got dessert (I was way too sleepy to drink). I had a piece of salted caramel cheesecake that happened to be gluten-free. Yum!

Speaking of food, yesterday I made a terrible mistake. Due to my busy schedule, I haven’t been to the grocery store in like over a week. I am therefore running low on my staple foods and ate a pretty crappy lunch. By the time I went to the gym to workout, I was STARVING. I decided to workout anyway because I would be eating dinner as soon as I got home. Of course, after lifting, I felt miserable, but I decided to run anyway. The whole time I just kept getting slower and slower and I almost tripped once. I should have stopped and just walked or eaten a granola bar from a vending machine or something, because even though I finished the workout, my head hurt soooo badly until I got home and ate and I was starving the rest of the night despite eating all of my calories. Just a reminder to myself that eating food as fuel needs to be taken quite seriously, I guess!

Now, on to the topic of today’s post: I hate computers. But only sometimes. Most of the time I am so happy that computers exist. If it wasn’t for the internet, for example, I never would have lost weight. Before it occurred to me that I could count calories and get support online, I seriously used to carry around a book with calorie counts in it and save them as notes in my phone everyday (also pre smart phones). No wonder I gave up!

But computers and I do not have a healthy relationship. My computers tend to die at least once a semester  usually before something crucial. Speaking of which, I should probably do a backup, as I haven’t done one since I got this new computer after my previous one finally died for the final time ONE DAY BEFORE CLASSES STARTED. I had to brave back to school traffic and shopping crowding to spend hours in Best Buy picking out an expensive product I had not researched at all because I had not been planning on getting one. Fun times.

With this particular computer, I seem to have trouble with the keyboard. I seem to bump buttons that do things to the computer that I don’t understand how to reverse. Like I somehow turn on sticky keys but then pressing shift repeatedly won’t fix it. Or, for some reason, there is a button or something I have not discovered yet, that always makes my web browser go “back,” and then I lose whatever I am typing. I think a lot of it has to do with my trackpad on this laptop being super sensitive so I like bump it with my wrist and accidentally click on things. So I am pressing buttons and clicking on things without knowing it and then all of the sudden Chrome has closed and I lost everything that I was typing. That is not what happened today, though.

Today, I was typing a post for here. A great post, too! It was going to be about the misperception that skinny people can somehow eat anything they want and stay skinny but fat people should really eat healthier if they want to be skinny (but then once they are skinny they can eat whatever they want again). However, I had to close my web browser for a moment (due to sticky keys being stuck on and I decided the best way to fix it might be to close everything and then try to turn sticky keys off), so I saved the post as a draft. I must not have clicked it properly, though, because when I came back, the post, which had been about 25% complete, had 2 sentences! Eek! I lost all my steam on the topic and decided to rant about how I am in my early 20s and apparently don’t understand technology instead. I’ll probably write about it later this week, though, because it is something that really bothers me.

At least I didn’t spill a whole cup of coffee on my computer the Friday before finals week this time. Yet. Finals week isn’t for a few weeks, I don’t want to curse myself :/

Exceeding Expectations

My run today was not supposed to go well.

First of all, I realized yesterday that I forgot my sports bra at the gym. I only own one right now (I know, I know) but I wasn’t that worried because I had ordered one online to be shipped to a local store and I thought that it might be in today and I could run to get it. It didn’t end up coming in, so I had to run wearing one of those tanktops with a built in sports bra. In comparison to my awesome actual cup sized sports bra, that thought was just laughable.

Furthermore, my legs were really really really sore from lifting. In fact, I was starting to worry that my left hamstring might be injured, as it hurt more than my other muscles and did not seem to be going away no matter how much I stretched it.

Finally, after heading out in my weird tanktop under an insulated shirt getup with my hurting legs, I realized I had forgotten my gloves and would have to run with my hands pulled up inside of my shirt sleeves. Overall, I was shaping up for a terrible run. I wasn’t even sure if I’d finish it!

I headed out, though, and somehow all of these things weren’t that bad. The sports bra thing wasn’t too bad, I warmed up quickly, and running seemed to actually stretch my poor legs out better. When runkeeper alerted me that I ran my first 5 minutes at a 8:45 min/mile pace, though, I attributed it to a fluke of being cold (I usually run my first mile a little faster due to being cold). I was still going to have a bad run, I thought.

Then, I finished the whole first mile in less than 9 minutes. Was I still cold and overcompensating, or had I really done that? I mean, I’ve only finished a mile in under 9 minutes once before, and it was after quite a bit of rest! I decided I’d try to keep up my pace and see what happened.

I ran 4 miles in 35 minutes.

Ok, it was actually 3.99, with a total run of 4.07 in 35:35. I was extremely surprised, actually – during the last mile I was definitely not running at a “conversational” pace even though I felt like I had slowed down and my legs were feeling super tired. I was sure that I had run it slower but I was still impressed because it is hard to tell from the free version of Runkeeper, but I was pretty certain I eeked out a 28 minute 5K in there, so I was cool with just that accomplishment (I ran my first sub-30 5K only 3 months ago, and my first sub-35 5K only 5 months ago!). Looking at my splits, though, this was actually my fastest mile, at 8:38/mile!!! No wonder I felt so tired during it!

Not sure what exactly led to this gain in speed today or if it was just a fluke. Perhaps it was my yummy protein pancakes I made for breakfast (a recipe from the NROLFW book). Speaking of which, today gave me a mini-experiment. I’ve been feeling super tired after lifting, but I thought it might just be from the protein powder (it can apparently make you sleepy). It wasn’t a perfect controlled experiment or anything (here is the academic in me coming out), but I ate protein powder in the protein pancakes, but I do not feel super tired now. It must be the lifting (or the combo of running and lifting). This makes me feel much more confident that the lifting is a “real” workout.

Stay warm during Virgil, guys. I’m hoping it’s dangers are greatly exaggerated as I have plans tomorrow, but I’m guessing that it will disappoint me, unlike my awesome run today.

Foods on Fridays

Other than my calorie confusion, this has been an amazing week!

In general, I’ve just been eating well. Greek yogurt for breakfast. Crackers, cheese, beef sticks and veggies for snacks. Turkey, hummus, cheese and spinach sandwiches with fruits and veggies for lunch. Stirfry, pasta, or just lean meat+steamed veggie+ rice for dinner. Only tiny treats like half a cup of sugar free ice cream or a couple squares of the fudge I got for Easter when I went home. These healthy choices have just made me feel great! Let’s hope I can keep it up through the weekend, especially as I’m going to a party!

I’ve also been doing okay-ish with my macros. I’m shooting for 40/30/30, but I’m more like 45/25/30. That is a vast improvement, though, and the protein powder usage has really been helping me.

In other news, I finished week one of NROLFW today, and I must say workout A was more challenging this time around! I most definitely was feeling like doing any more reps or weight would be too much. Hopefully I can make some progress and stick with this program. I’m sad I didn’t have time to run outside, though – it’s chilly but it’s sunny and beautiful! I had to go to a march that my department was participating in and I barely finished showering in time after quickly sneaking in my three miles on the indoor track. And then I got even more activity because the march was like 2 miles long! I had no idea we would be walking so far! At least I’ll hopefully get to do my “long” run (4 miles this week) outside before it snows this weekend.

Oh, also – not sure if this is good or bad, but I discovered that there is a scale in my gym’s locker room. Fully clothed, I was 131, so I’m guessing that’s more like 129. That’s in my goal range (125-130), but I’m hoping part of that is residual gain from my bingey spring break and my monthly bloating. I’ll try to restrain myself from weighing myself everyday, but at least I’ll be able to see what happens as I change my calorie intake and such.