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ElJay

El Jay's race to be more awesome

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Time for my first challenge, y'all! We'll see if I've done this one right.

Race: Pegasus

Profession: Scout

Starting Point:

STR: 2

DEX: 2

STA: 4

CON: 2

WIS: 3

CHA: 2

Goals:

  • Run a sub-2:05:37 1/2 Marathon. This was my pace and PR in March, and I wasn't thrilled with my time. I have another chance to beat it in May - so let's do this! STA: 4
  • Deadlift 160lbs. My best 1x from around a year ago is 155, and I started Stronglifts last week. I think it's a reasonable expectation to lift more. STR: 4
  • Run a sub-25:00 5k. Where as the half is testing my endurance, something I have been working on for a while, leaving endurance at the door and going for sheer speed is relatively new for me. This will be a PR pace. DEX: 4
  • Put on makeup, even if just some lipstick or eyeliner every weekday in an effort to be less stuck in the momzone, and dress in a way that I feel proud of. I don't have the budget for new clothes right now, but I will make an effort to make myself look more put-together when I'm out and about. Is it a bit petty? Maybe, but it goes a long way in making me feel like I am part of the world and not just part of my 2 kids' worlds. CHA: 3

Glad to be part of the group! Other minor things I'm working on, but not part of this challenge: I have been 90% paleo for two weeks now, after a start and stop at the beginning of last month. I'm feeling good, and hoping to start the process of leaning out a bit. I'm 146lbs and 5'7", but with 34%BF. I don't care about dropping pounds, but I do want to get my BF% down, and so along with the paleo, I started Stronglifts last week. This will be week 2, and it feels great. I'll update with my progress for sure.

Edited by ElJay

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Great goals, LJ! It'll be interesting to see how the Paleo diet affects your half-marathon experience. If you're keen on reducing your 1/2 marathon time, have a google for 'negative splits'.

Welcome to the Scouts!

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Oh I am allll about negative splits. My mom was a runner well into her 50s, and has begun to pick it up again now in her 60s. That was the biggest lesson she imparted to me. I never ran as a kid, but picked it up, doing short races on my own about 6 years ago. In the last 2 years, I've started making it my passion to improve as well. She ran her PR 1/2 in 1:43 at age 37. I have 2 years to get there! ;)

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Thanks!

I ran a 10k goal race (worked on my speed all spring) and got a PR of 50:32, so I was very close to getting 25 minutes in the 5k on that. I figure with my estimation, if I am doing a 5k only, then I should be able to get 25:00 or under if I haul ass. We'll see, since the 5k I have targeted is an out and back with an ever so slight uphill coming back.

I'm running the Brooklyn Half on May 19th with my brother. I did the Rock n Roll half in DC, and felt awful, back in March. It was a relatively hot day and a hilly course. I got a PR of 2:05:37 at that race, almost 5 minutes better than my fall half marathon in September, but it was UGLY. Brooklyn is at least a net downhill course as well. It's a long goal, but my brother is a bit faster than me, and if I can get to a 9:00 pace, then I'll nab it. It's a very long reach for me - but gotta be in it to win it, right?

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Wow, you got a lot of races there, good luck

Without question. I do a lot of local races through my club here in DC. I get something like 15 races for free with my membership, or something like that. I love racing, it's so invigorating (except when I have the occasional terrible race, which then bums me out for a while).

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On Sunday I had a phenomenal race, so today, it was gray and I was wiped. Luckily that fatigue didn't hit me until after I got my workout in.

1 mile warmup: 8:04 pace (all runs at 1% incline unless noted as being outside) - It was an aggressive pace, considering I had raced yesterday, but part of me is trying to make this my new comfortable pace. Not my easy pace for a long run, but definitely want to get faster, and that means running faster. I have a longer term goal of getting a 1:43 half marathon by age 37 (my mom's PR), so it means making my body tougher.

Stronglifts Day 4:

  • Squat: 60lbs
  • Overhead Press: 45
  • Deadlift: 105

I had failed at the first day of OHP, missing the last rep on the last set, so today I took extra time to rest between sets. I moved from 90 seconds to 2 minutes, which definitely helped. I may be 4 days in, but I can see how if I don't watch myself now, my form will suffer. So that's going to be something to really keep an eye on. I love it though, and I think all of this will help make me a stronger runner down the line.

Mile finish: 7:31

I'd call it a cool down, but that's certainly not accurate. Running fast (I used an increasing pace every .1 mile on the treadmill) after weights is a good way for me to feel what I just worked on. There's no question that my hamstrings are torched by the end of a session. My overall pace for these two puts me at 7:48/mi, which puts me around a 24:14 5k. However, these miles were split up. As the challenge goes on, I'll use non-lifting days increase the duration of the time I can hold my pace. I can run a mile at 7:31, but I certainly am not at a point where I can run 3 that fast. Basically today I worked on speed, but over the next few weeks, I'll have to get my endurance going faster for longer.

Object: De-lazy my look

My husband's been working late on a project this week, when generally he's home by dinner, and a few housekeeping things have fallen to the side...like laundry. I wash, but haven't put things away. I put on makeup today, but still picked lazy lazy clothes that didn't help to make me feel like the powerhouse I am. So I'm going to go back upthread and modify my goal to reflect that I want to have an overall appearance that I feel proud of each day. It's so easy, when you have a 3 year old and a 7 month old to not care that there's food all over you and just go get things done, but the What Not To Wear folks in my head are tsking me for not making myself a priority outside of the gym. Being me doesn't end just because I took off my sneakers.

Food/Body Metrics:

When I weighed in this morning, I was 145, a weight I haven't seen in about 3 years (and that was from the exhaustion of kiddo #1, not from anything I was trying to do), and a weight I haven't held since getting set for my 10 year reunion 8 years ago. I started that at 158 and got down to 127 (high school weight!) over 6 months with standard calorie counting, running, & weight machine circuits on my own. I wasn't following any plan except to eat less than I burned. It worked, but I was HUNGRY. Add in medical stuff a few years later, and I was back at 156 again. This time, I'm doing it right, and am not ravenous at the end of the day. More importantly than the 145 was that my BF% on the scale dropped below 33%, and that's the number I want to see peel away, regardless of my weight.

Forward glance:

I ran in my vibrams, since they're easy to lift in. But after a race on Sunday (non vibrams) plus fast miles on the treadmill (vibrams) means ever so slight shin splints today. I may bring two pairs of sneaks to the gym, since I don't think they'd love me lifting barefoot after running warmups on the treadmill in my regular sneaks.

I'm traveling Friday-Tuesday, & have appointments on Wednesday, which means I can't do my scheduled Stronglifts on Wed & Friday like I would normally do. Since I'm still so early in the program, I'm cheating a bit, and doing Wednesday & Friday's workouts on Tuesday & Thursday. I would never make a habit of lifting two days in a row - not at this beginning stage. Since the only thing I'm repeating is squats, I'll take extra rest time between sets. I've already scoped out a gym near our hotel where I can lift on Monday.

I'm also getting my hair cut and colored today. Again, it sounds so petty compared to some life goals, but I remind myself that I can be a better caregiver when I care more for myself and take pride in my appearance. Petty thought #2 on that - I have long hair for the first time in I don't know how long. I'm not ready to cut it shorter again, but it gets so stringy at this length, so hopefully the cut will help me out a bit there. One wrong cut and I look like Mariah Carey circa the "Someday" video, except more of a hot frizzy mess.

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Adding pictures of me from January 10th (before losing any weight) and today (two solid weeks paleo, and toying with it for about 3 weeks before that & have been doing body weight exercises along with usual running since January). The front on pictures are hard to see much change, but even I was pleasantly surprised by the side photo. What will the next 6 weeks bring?

Before2.jpg

Before1.jpg

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I knew that doing strength twice in a row would be a challenge, but you know what? Life is a challenge, and it beats not showing up.

Stronglifts Day 5

  • Squat: 65lbs
  • Bench Press: 55
  • Barbell Row: 75

I felt a bit tweaky in my right shoulder from the low bar position. I'm pretty damned flexible, BUT that means it's easy for the bar to pull my arms wherever it wants. If anything this was the only tough part of two strength days in a row. Wednesday is a day off, and in the worst case, I can keep the bar a bit higher for Thursday's squats. Then I have an extra day built into my weekend, since I don't lift again until Monday. (Gotta find a gym I can drop in at - but I have a lead on a few. Hotel machines won't cut it!).

Bench press was still easy relative to the other two, but starting to feel the weight a bit.

Barbell row was an abomination for pulling it up all the way. I can pull halfway, but not all the way to my chest, so I'm happy to repeat it next time, and deload if need be. I'd rather have good form than half-assed gains.

On a mega plus: There was a trainer there with a client (on the squat and leg press machines, sigh.). He actually watched my row set while his client rested between sets, and remarked how perfect my back position was, even with the weight not getting up. That compliment made me feel so great - because I can tell I wasn't pulling all the way, but at least I wasn't breaking form to get there!

Mile warm-up at 7:29, cool down at 7:54

I won't push this hard on my runs every day, since I need to also make sure I'm getting my distance in as well. Only 2.5 weeks until my half. I have a 12 miler on Saturday. Traveling with my husband for his work, and the office has an organized long run for all the out of towners coming in. I'm hoping to get a bit over my goal race pace, but we'll see what the pack does. A long easy pace won't hurt me either.

Project De-funk

Errr, my pants are getting a little loose. Luckily I have smaller shorts and jeans. Pants? Oh well, it's summer. Who needs pants, right? My hair is all shaped up and roots touched up. And though I really wanted to skip makeup yesterday, since I was cutting it close on time, I'm glad I didn't. It takes less than 5 minutes, and I feel better about myself.

Wednesday is a "rest" day from exercise, but really only because I have a ton of things to do today during childcare hours at the gym. But on the plus side, I think it's a good thing for me to take today off anyhow. I am the WORST about taking rest days, because exercise feels so good to me.

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I'm inspired by your before and after pictures! I've been toying with going paleo, too - everyone seems to get amazing results with it.

Two of my goals are similar to yours - I'm making myself presentable every work day and shooting for a sub 26 min 5k. Looking forward to following your progress!

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I'm inspired by your before and after pictures! I've been toying with going paleo, too - everyone seems to get amazing results with it.

Two of my goals are similar to yours - I'm making myself presentable every work day and shooting for a sub 26 min 5k. Looking forward to following your progress!

I was RAVENOUS at first, but I listened to everyone who said to add more fat to breakfast and lunch to stave off afternoon hunger, and it totally worked. I rarely even snack now. It helps a lot, for me.

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Awesome goals and progress! Can't wait to hear how the Brooklyn Half goes. My boss (who actually got me into running) is flying out for that one.

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Awesome goals and progress! Can't wait to hear how the Brooklyn Half goes. My boss (who actually got me into running) is flying out for that one.

I'm actually pretty psyched to see how it goes. My brother ran it last year when they only had a field of 3-5k or so. This year it's 15k runners, so it'll certainly be a bigger deal.

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This was a rest day, so aside from running around to parent-teacher conferences and the like, no exercise for me. I will say that it's the first day since going paleo that I struggled to eat enough calories. On a one-off day though, I'm not terribly concerned. It's amazing what dropping my morning sweet potato will do to the overall total. I just wasn't hungry for more. Also, I have a big travel weekend ahead where meals are being provided for all of us. I'm not planning on eating poorly, but my options may not be phenomenal - OR there will be a lot of temptations for snacking.

I did dress up again, and people certainly noticed. Usual playgroup attire is a tee and jeans. I had on nice slacks and a pretty blouse, makeup and all. I even told the other parents my goal to be presentable, and others chimed in that they wished they could. With a snotty nose rubbing on my clothes the whole time, the temptation is there for sweats, but I was proud of myself for dressing the part of a confident woman.

On tap today? SCOUT CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Granted, I'm not gonna break any records, especially doing all three activities PLUS Stronglifts in one session, but doing all three of swim, bike, run is pretty cool, right?

Oh, and funny story. I've been reading the IF/Leangains thread and trying to find out what it's all about, since I am trying to lose fat and gain muscle, at a current 33% BF. I'm apparently inadvertently doing it a bit without meaning to. On workout days, I don't eat until 10:30, after my workout (though I eat RIGHT after my workout based on that magical 15 minute post-run window I had heard about), and my last meal is over by 7:30. That's 9 hours. I also eat less carbs on non-workout days. Now, I haven't gotten into the macros and what not, but it was interesting to see.

Edited by ElJay

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This was a rest day, so aside from running around to parent-teacher conferences and the like, no exercise for me. I will say that it's the first day since going paleo that I struggled to eat enough calories. On a one-off day though, I'm not terribly concerned. It's amazing what dropping my morning sweet potato will do to the overall total. I just wasn't hungry for more. Also, I have a big travel weekend ahead where meals are being provided for all of us. I'm not planning on eating poorly, but my options may not be phenomenal - OR there will be a lot of temptations for snacking.

I'm never perfect when I travel, but it certainly gets easier with practice. Just staying away from the really bad stuff I used to eat on the road was the first step for me. I'm sure you'll do great!

I did dress up again, and people certainly noticed. Usual playgroup attire is a tee and jeans. I had on nice slacks and a pretty blouse, makeup and all. I even told the other parents my goal to be presentable, and others chimed in that they wished they could. With a snotty nose rubbing on my clothes the whole time, the temptation is there for sweats, but I was proud of myself for dressing the part of a confident woman.

I love this goal, by the way. I work with a woman who has been doing the same thing since about New Years, and it makes a difference. You can tell that her overall attitude is better.

Oh, and funny story. I've been reading the IF/Leangains thread and trying to find out what it's all about, since I am trying to lose fat and gain muscle, at a current 33% BF. I'm apparently inadvertently doing it a bit without meaning to. On workout days, I don't eat until 10:30, after my workout (though I eat RIGHT after my workout based on that magical 15 minute post-run window I had heard about), and my last meal is over by 7:30. That's 9 hours. I also eat less carbs on non-workout days. Now, I haven't gotten into the macros and what not, but it was interesting to see.

How are your workouts structured now? Are you doing Stronglifts and running on the same days? Or are you breaking those up? Right now I'm lifting MWF and running TuThSu - the lifting days are my "workout" days and the running days are my "rest" days. I've only been doing this for a couple days, but initial reaction is that it is going to be very difficult to eat enough calories/carbs on workout days. Anyway, check out this calculator if you want to play around with your macros a bit. Not gospel by any means, but helpful to get started with. Also, I'm not sure if you got this deep into the IF thread, but Catspaw wrote up a great summary here. Let me know if you want some help playing around with the calculator.

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How are your workouts structured now? Are you doing Stronglifts and running on the same days? Or are you breaking those up? Right now I'm lifting MWF and running TuThSu - the lifting days are my "workout" days and the running days are my "rest" days. I've only been doing this for a couple days, but initial reaction is that it is going to be very difficult to eat enough calories/carbs on workout days. Anyway, check out this calculator if you want to play around with your macros a bit. Not gospel by any means, but helpful to get started with. Also, I'm not sure if you got this deep into the IF thread, but Catspaw wrote up a great summary here. Let me know if you want some help playing around with the calculator.

I do Stronglifts MWF (two weeks in the books!) , and have been doing a quick mile pre & post just for fun, but I'll likely slow those junk miles down once my summer running program kicks off on 5/15. Depending on what the coach puts on there, I'll be running Tuesday nights and long runs Saturday mornings, with another run probably on Thursday to get my mileage in. I haven't done too much more than notice I was inadvertently doing IF, and definitely don't want my runs to suffer as a result. I still have plenty of BF% to lose, so I may get more intentional with IF down the road, but for now, Paleo is enough of a radical change for me on it's own. Plus, I really love having the increased fat in my diet. It'd be so sad to chop it down now! Hahaha.

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I am so impressed with your before and after pictures!

How goes the race prep? Are you starting a taper or anything?

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Not really - my main spring goal race was this past Sunday, and was a 10k, so my miles are already lower than I'd love for a half. I'm doing a 12 on Saturday, and will throw in another shorter run the week before the race, but I'm already mini-tapered. Eep.

And thanks for the kudos!

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Day 4 & 5

I've been up since early o'clock with travel, and yesterday was a lot of pre-travel stuff. Nonetheless tons of good stuff.

I'm now through two weeks of Stronglifts! I definitely am finding that 90 seconds isn't enough rest on some of my weaker areas, like overhead press, so I'm starting to stretch the rest intervals to closer to 3 minutes where it's warranted. Definitely still fine at 90 seconds with the deadlift, so I'm still on target to get to my goal.

Bigger excitement was taking part in the scout challenge. I can honestly say I wouldn't have tried to sprint a mile right now if not for this group, but I am so glad I have done it. I ended up running a total of 3 miles (1 pre-lift 2 post), then biked the mile on a gym machine (not recumbant), and then dove right into the pool and swam my four laps. Now, at the time I go, the other folks in the lane were PAINFULLY slow, enough that I won't swim much unless I have to, but it was nice to get back in. I swam a bit in high school, and was always in the slow lanes, so it's nice to be the fast one for once. The biggest coup though was that mile. 6:42. Unfathomable. That was without a warm up, and knowing I had a full workout ahead. I'm so excited to see where I can go with this. If I can get it down to 6:28, and hold it for another 2.1 miles - damn. That's a 20 minute 5k. I had no idea I could do it, and now I'm just...getting speedy! Not too bad for someone who was running 10:40 slow runs for her marathon last year.

Today was a travel day, but I did about 2-3 hours of walking and exploring. We'll see if that bites me in the ass tomorrow, when I have my first 12 mile run in about a month (I've done other runs in that time, but had cut back a bit to avoid an injury) and a 'prom'-like event for my husband's work all night. I think tomorrow afternoon I shall sleep. A girl can dream, right?

Edited by ElJay
wow, my writing is gibberish when I'm exhausted

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Still traveling, and luckily got access to my husband's corporate gym. I had asked about them having freeweights and bars, which they said they had.

They do. Kinda.

Tons of dumbbells. Pulley machines. A smith machine, and a curl bar.

So, I did the best I could with Stronglifts today. I used the smith machine for my squats and bench, and the curl bar for my barbell row. The squats, I realized, I had 20 more pounds on than I thought I did. I kept it there though, since I hear it's up for grabs how much assistance the smith machine gives you. One thing's for sure, I need to work on my arm position. My hands are narrow enough, but they drop down, along with my elbows, and then my shoulders feel tweaked. So I dunno, I was supposed to do 75lbs today, but I ended up doing 5x5 of 95lbs but in the smith.

The bench press, I was up to 60 today, but put 65 on the bar, again, since I have no idea how much extra help the machine gives.

Barbell curl I did at 75 (I think). I weighed the bar on the scale and it was around 20-25lbs? It was a doctor scale and the 100+50 did not equal the straight 150lb measure, and me + bar have to cross that barrier, if that makes sense at all, so I wasn't quite sure.

At least I got the workout in, and it's back to my real gym on Wednesday.

------

Saturday and Sunday was a lot of running around, literally and figuratively. On Saturday, I ran long for the first time since the beginning of April. Got 12 miles in around some gorgeous lakes here in Minneapolis. I got a bit turned around trying to get back to the hotel, and so I lost a little time on the pace, but overall kept around a 9:35-40 pace, which bodes well for the half in a few weeks. Sunday we did touristy walking around, about 8 miles worth, all in all, which was nice.

Got all dressed up on Saturday night for his work "prom" - no joke, big ball gowns for some people and everything.

-----

Eating's been feast or famine. Not too much in the way of eating off-paleo, which has been good. Or at least as paleo as one can be when meals are being given to you. It's both liberating and terrifying being away from the scale. I think I'm doing alright though, for the most part. I try to eyeball and overestimate what I've eaten where I can for MFP, and then go from there. But yeah, breakfast has been scraping the bacon and egg off the bagel, lunches of bunless burger, but dinner - like a queen. Last night we went out on our own and I got an appetizer of two sausages, a salad (though it had some sort of dressing all over), and a petit filet some sort of broccolini, onion, and reduction. My foodbaby was so gigantic after the lack of big meals for three days prior!

Today, I'll have to do something similar at lunch. I know that breakfast will be coffee and some sort of egg that was once on bread thing, without the bread. Tonight we're going to a Twins game, and though we're in a corporate box, it still means likely that I'll eat a burger or sausage, without bun. Lunch - I'll have to make lunch epic.

Edited by ElJay

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]3149[/ATTACH]

I'll just leave this here. The alt text on today's Natalie Dee comic is "pshht. That shit is easy. Show me the unmodified one."

post-4314-1356724378848_thumb.jpg

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