Sunday, April 7, 2013

Result: PR!

When last I left you dear readers, there was some dramatic "what happens next" music playing...

So where are we now with the goals?

1) Get my swim time for 2000m down to 50 minutes or less.
2) Get my body fat below 20%.
3) Improve my 5K time at each successive tri-club time trial (there are 3).
4) Reduce my waist @ the belly button measurement to 31".
5) Reduce my bicep measurement to 10".
6) Keep up with the back of the pack on tri-club group runs.
7) Find a race to aim for an age group top 3 finish.

Yes, I knocked another 1:13 (1:13!!) off of my 5K time.

To put this in perspective:

January 1, 2013: a 5K race with a PR for me of 31:30
January 13, 2013: the first 5K TT and a PR for me of 28:59
February 24, 2013: the second 5K TT and a PR for me of 26:50
April 7, 2013: today's 5K TT and another big PR of 25:37

That's almost 6 minutes off of a 5K in just 3 months. I am so happy with proud of these results.

Two things I did differently for today:

1) Normally I don't warm up or anything before a run, conserving every ounce of energy for the main event. But recall my post about my surprising brick run last month: Double Double. I ran such a good pace post-run that I thought Hmmm... what if I warm up the legs first? And so I parked my tush on the bike on the trainer and logged a sweaty 50 minute spin before heading out to the TT.

2) Just like I talked about in the previous post, I believed I could would beat the time. I didn't wonder. Or hope. I told myself I was going to. And on the run, whenever I started to doubt, I dismissed those thoughts and kept pushing.

To quote one of my new tri-club friends and an accomplished athlete: Don't Limit Yourself. New mantra, people. Words to live by.

Goals - Because That's How I Roll

At the beginning of each year, I set goals for myself. Not resolutions. But goals. This year I identified 5 goals, 4 of which related to food or fitness. (Maybe one day, I'll blog about the year's goals but that's not what I want to ramble on about today.) Losing weight wasn't one of my goals - partly because after my many-year plateau, I didn't want a goal that seemed so difficult to "control" and I guess partly because I knew that I was almost done chasing a lower number. But even though it wasn't a 2013 goal, I was still trying to lose weight. And it was one of the markers of the progress I was making with all my food & fitness changes and the value of the investment in a personal trainer. When I decided to stop trying to lose weight, I knew I would need to identify some goals, that were not scale related, but that were related to diet and exercise and were achievable in the short-medium term, something that I could monitor and get feedback on regularly -- not with the immediacy/frequency of the scale but not a one-day or end-of-year milestone. I came up with 7:

1) Get my swim time for 2000m down to 50 minutes or less.
2) Get my body fat below 20%.
3) Improve my 5K time at each successive tri-club time trial (there are 3).
4) Reduce my waist @ the belly button measurement to 31".
5) Reduce my bicep measurement to 10".
6) Keep up with the back of the pack on tri-club group runs.
7) Find a race to aim for an age group top 3 finish.

So I'm happy to report that for #6, I've been on a group run with the tri-club and been able to keep up with the folks at the back... actually some folks not quite at the back. And at the last time trial, I was the second one across the line, albeit we had a low turn-out. So I'm feeling like #6 has been achieved although I recognize that one is really dependent on who shows up for the group run, I don't feel quite so much like an imposter, which is how I felt after the first one. So we're down to 6 goals.

I just wrapped up another 10 weeks with my trainer and we did the weight/measurement check-in to gauge progress. My waist and bicep measurements are completely unchanged in 10 weeks. Booo hissss. You know what was not unchanged? My chest & hip measurements. Those continued to shrink. Yes, my trainer is turning me into a 12-year old boy. And the erosion of my chest & hips only serves to make my waist look that much thicker! Body fat percentage: 20.3%. So close. Not close enough. So if you're keeping track - we're still at 6 goals.

This morning I hit the pool for a swim. Was a little late arriving and had just 50 minutes on the clock before Lengths Swimming was officially over. I thought it seemed like a good time to check on goal #1. Result: 2000m in 51 minutes. But here's the thing: I didn't start believing I could make it until the last 500m and I don't know but I'm pretty sure that if I'd believed I had it from the beginning, I'd be marking this goal as completed. So yes, still at 6 goals but there's an important lesson for me in today's swim result, which in the random walk through of goal progress brings me to goal #3.

Today is the the third and final 5K run time trial with my tri-club. When I ran the first one, I ran my first ever sub-30 5K. Something I thought in my life I'd never do. Ever. And then I ran that baby in 28:59. I headed out to the last one wondering if I could beat the first time, but thinking how the first one was a pretty big deal for me. And you know what? I ran that one in 26:50. SHOCKING! I nearly threw up at the end I was pushing so hard. I was amazed I ran it that fast. So I have been thinking about today's run and wondering if I could beat (or even repeat) the time from the last one. Questioning. And based on advice from some accomplished athlete friends, and my experience in the pool this morning, I can't help but think that I need to be believing I can beat that time. Not wondering. Not questioning. Believing. I guess we'll find out in a few hours.

As for the last goal on the list, based on the last time trial, I've had a look through some race results for smaller 5K races and am contemplating a couple at the end of the year to try and achieve that lofty goal.

I've also set some goals for April - trying to focus on behaviours as well as results. Because behaviours you can control. April's goals:

1. Weigh myself only every other day. For why this is important, refer back to this post
2. Be green 100% of the time. This is a food goal. Essentially, to be green means I achieved my minimum targets for macro-nutrients & calories. There's more to it than that but I won't go into details today.
3. 5K time trial improvement... yup, dovetailing with #3 from the list above.

We're t minus 3 hours from the TT. Cue dramatic music: Dum dum dum....

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday #2

So who has been waiting with bated breath for the second instalment of What I Ate Wednesday? No one? Well, here it is anyway. Look. Love. Salivate.

1) Breakfast
Back to work and back to routine. This is a pretty typical weekday breakfast. Is it cereal or is it fruit salad? It's fruit cerealad. No? Well it's delicious anyway. Nature's Path Pumpkin Raisin Flax cereal (high calories but so worth it and a great, great company), a banana, strawberries and vanilla almond milk. If I'd had blueberries, I'd have put them in there too. You can't tell from the photo but this is an extra large bowl, bought just to accommodate my cereal and fruit combo. I can't help but look at this super sized bowl of yummy and think I've come along way since my breakfast-skipping days.

2) Morning Snack 1
An orange. No kidding.

3) Morning Snack 2
Liberte fat free blackberry Greek yogurt. I try to eat a serving of Greek yogurt each day, on the advice of my nutritionist, who is always pro-protein with me. Liberte is a favorite. Love the fruit on the bottom sundae style. My absolute favorite is President's Choice fat free lemon but it's almost always sold out. [sigh]

4) Lunch
Oooo fancy dishes! Ziploc containers and paper plates! A salad from home: romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomato, chicken, avocado in a homemade honey dijon dressing. And a bonus plate of fruit swiped from meeting leftovers: cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries. It may not be obvious but... I love fruit.

5) Early Afternoon
Grande soy hazelnut macchiato. Just like last Wednesday only this one was a treat from my former boss.

6) Dinner
This looks pretty similar to one of last week's meals doesn't it? Well it is, and it's pretty standard when I need to get in a protein and more veggies. It's also delicious and fast. And I'm pretty sure I've read out there that the habits of successful losers include a fair amount of dietary repetition. In this hash: sweet potato, red onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, broccoli, ham, and scrambled eggs. Topped with a smoky chipotle salsa.

7) Post Swim Snack
I hit the pool for 2050m and came home hungry. Swimming always makes me ravenous. Sliced up a pear and enjoyed it with 25g of Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese. This is one of the best things I've eaten in the last little while. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

Total calories: 1919