New Plans

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I’d like to say I took last week off because I was out doing great things and killing it as far as my health goes, but that would be a lie. Instead what I did was eat too much, drink too much, and just in general continue the bad habits that I’ve been fostering all year. 😮 Ah, well, I guess the first step is admitting you have a problem.

But then the second step is actually doing something about it, which is where I seem to find a failure point. I had a bad week a couple weeks ago, and gained a little over a pound, so last week I determined that I was going to track everything I ate and make good choices. I succeeded in half those goals. I did track everything. And it was not pretty. Here’s how my week locked when graphed out:


Everything below the line is bad. The farther below the line it is, the more bad it is. {Le sigh}

Is it any wonder that my weigh in last Monday like this…

As ugly as that is, it’s even uglier when you come to realize that that is the highest weight I’ve had to log in my tracker since April 2012. That was back when I first got below goal. 😮 Not good.

For reference, here are a couple of charts that show my weight at various times.

Clearly, there is a bad trend going on here. I have certainly gained weight during the summer over the last few years of maintenance, but I’ve typically lost it over the winter. That did not happen this past winter, and I’m continuing with the summer weight gain on top of that. Again…not good.

So something obviously has to change.  I’m working on it. The first thing that has changed is that I have started training for Detroit Free Press Marathon. I’ll get more into that in a minute, but just know that I have not been training for a race since I ran the half marathon in Detroit last year, and that is a first for me. I have trained for at least a half marathon, if not a full marathon, every winter since the winter of 2012-13. Obviously, the more I exercise, the more healthy I will be, so I’m hopeful that all this increased mileage will help me lose the weight. Probably not all of it, since marathon training is notorious for helping you pack on a few pounds, but I think the increased exercise will benefit me.

The second thing I decided to do just this past week was to eliminate all alcohol with the exception of one day, Saturday.  Sundays are the only day that I am not getting up to run right now (more on that in a minute), and I think that alcohol is not helping my weight, nor is it helping my running. I’ve always had a rule of no drinks on Friday night, because I run long on Saturdays, and I have found that my long runs don’t go as well if I have alcohol in my system, even a small amount. These last few weeks since I started my marathon training, I’ve felt very slow and sluggish. Coincidentally, I’ve had drinks almost every night (never Fridays). It’s not a lot, a half glass or so (it’s summer, and I like having a little wine while I’m in the pool with my book!), but I just feel that the alcohol is hindering my running and also adding to my weight problem, so I decided to cut way back. It was hard at first to sit in the pool with my book and not have a little cup of wine, but I’ve gotten over it, and I definitely think that it’s helped. I’m feeling better, and my runs have actually gotten faster this week!  And as a bonus, when I’m not wasting the calories on alcohol, I can actually fuel my body better for the runs— with actual food—so it’s definitely a win/win all the way around.

So that’s what I’m doing right now. I’ve only had five days on the no alcohol plan, but I’m hopeful that next week will prove to be better on the scale.

Now, as for my marathon training. If you are a runner, you might be interested in knowing what training plan I’m using. After much thought and deliberation, and recommendations from a couple of friends, I decided to forgo the plan I used for my previous two marathons (Hal Higdon) and try something totally different…and probably a little crazy.

For this marathon, I’ve been doing the Hanson’s training method. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a method that relies on lots and lots and lots of miles. Yes, most marathon programs have you run a lot of miles, but this one takes it a step further. For starters, it’s six days a week, which is more than I’ve ever run before. On top of that, there are a lot of days with lots of miles. Here’s a screenshot of my training plan.

The Tuesday runs are speed work or  strength work, and the column directly next to the work out description is the approximate total miles for that day. As you can see, there are going to be days where I have to run 10 miles…before work! 😮 Multiple times in a week! I won’t lie, it is very daunting, and I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to accomplish it. 😮

You’ll also notice that the longest run is only 16 miles. (“Only” 16, ha!)  But the 16-milers come a day after doing 10 miles.  Yikes.  It’s going to be tough, but I’m going to give it my best.  The reason I chose this marathon plan is because I’ve had two people tell me that while it was difficult to train using it, it resulted in a great marathon for them.  These people both said that they had their best finish times and they felt great while running it.  Or at least, as great as you can feel when running 26 miles.  For me, that’s really what this marathon is all about–finishing it feeling strong (instead of feeling like I want to die :-P).

That’s it for today!  I will leave you with some pictures from the past few weeks.

I had two kid-free days this week while one was at camp and the other was at my dad’s.  Two glorious kid-free days. 😉  I enjoyed a salad every night and one for lunch, too–this delicious summer berry salad from a local restaurant.  Yum!

This is me and Jamie as we were leaving the airport after he arrived home from visiting my family in North Carolina.  You can see which one of us was happy that he was back.

The sunrise I saw over the wheat field on the morning of July 4.  Love me some wheat!!

JJ has been doing his own off-ice conditioning for hockey.  This is him, sprinting away from me at the end of our run on the morning of July 4.

One of the many sunrises I’ve seen since starting marathon training. That’s a field of soybeans.

You might notice that my profile picture has changed.  The previous one was almost two years old and in desperate need of updating.  I had a chance to do a photo shoot after a hair appointment, but the only photographer around was Jamie.  He did a damn fine job, actually (in 95 degree heat! 😮 ).

I am actually sweating profusely in that picture, ha ha!

The photo below was his idea, and I kind of pooh-poohed it when he insisted on taking it, but I think it actually turned out kind of cute. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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