Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ran 7K again today!

Since I ran 7K for the first time on the 31st of March, I've been running 5-6K two to three times per week. I tried for 7K again the day I got the knee pain and had to stop at 6. Then this past week I had some sudden knee pain and occasional twinges but this time in the left knee. What the heck? I was just sitting at my desk at work and the pain came suddenly when I stood up.

That was maybe three days ago and nothing since, so I got up this morning and hit the treadmill and after a five minute warm-up I ran just over 7K. I kinda felt like I could go for 8 but I don't want to push my luck. Maybe later this week I'll try for 8, we'll see. I must say I felt tired afterwards. Like I sat down to watch a movie after lunch and could easily have closed my eyes and had a nap. But I felt good and still do. Let's see how we go in the coming week.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The time I hoped to reach goal by is fast approaching!

I can't believe it ... it's coming up so fast. When I started this diet August 19, 2013 I had hoped to reach goal by the time I fly home to see friends and family I haven't seen in eight years. Well we've bought our tickets today! The countdown begins. In less than four months we will be flying back to the US and I'm so excited! But will I be at goal? Only time will tell.

I went for the PT consult and the program is still way too expensive, especially with the trip home so near. I discussed the four "free" training sessions and it turns out it was more like one, just half an hour, and if you signed up you got another free one plus a free nutrition session and something else I can't recall now. I ended up not doing it -- I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. I really feel the Callanetics are reducing my saddlebags, which is very encouraging. And these longer runs will become more frequent, or at least I hope so.

I went for another 7k run attemp on Tuesday and it was going really well ... I was feeling great and knew I was going to make it! Then just before I reached 6k I felt a twinge in my right knee. For a second I grabbed the handles thinking I might go down, then I let go and kept on. It didn't happen again, at least not like that, but I did feel a few more twinges. I hung in there till I hit 6k and then went into my cool-down walk. Bummer! I do have bad knees but they only bother me when I try squats and lunges ... never when I run, at least not till now. So I was worried a bit. Some research online indicated it could be a sign I need new running shoes, so I may have to get some. They are over a year old, so it's worth a try.

This is the monthly gain week and I have had an increased appetite so I don't hold out much hope for a drop this weekend. I have not felt well the last couple of days so I took a break from fasting but will go back to strict Phase 1 and 5:2 IF next week. I'll check in again soon.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Small drop this weekend, and free PT sessions

I did hit a new low this weekend - it's been a couple of weeks since my last record low of 77.1 kg. As reported previously I'd been bouncing between about 77.4 and 78.2 since then, so last week I did a 4:3 fast, which meant fasting for three non-consecutive days. I just wanted to give it a try, though I have read that it's not necessarily any more effective than a 5:2 fast.

I did drop this weekend but only to 77.0 kg which is a new low but only by 100g.  That brings me to 169.76 lb, so I'm still just dipping into the 160s and I really want to get a bit further entrenched. I'm not sure 4:3 necessarily helped much in that regard, though one week may not be long enough to truly evaluate how well it works. Still, I am thinking I'll either return to 5:2, or stay with 4:3 but eat something on fast days. On most IF programs, women can have up to 500 calories on a fast day and men 600 calories. I tend not to eat anything at all. It's easier for me to have nothing than to have a little. I'm a volume eater, I like to feel like I've had a meal when I eat. So if I do go that route, I think rather than spreading it out over two or three small meals, I'd save it for an evening meal. Anyway, I haven't really decided yet, we'll see how I go tomorrow.

I got in two 5k runs over the Easter weekend - I really wanted to try for 7k again but didn't have enough time due to holiday plans, but this week I'm going to give it a try again. On the two 5k runs I did, I knew I could have made the full hour again if I'd had the time and really didn't want to stop short but that's the way it goes.

I got a call last week from Vision Personal Training - you may recall I met with them in July last year and their program sounded like something I'd very much like to try, but the costs were prohibitive. Well they are under new management and are getting back to people who enquired but didn't join to offer four free training sessions. I agreed to stop in and meet with them this Wednesday, and then if it sounds good I'll schedule the four sessions after that. Why not? Even if it's still out of my price range, it can't hurt to take the four free sessions even if just to get some new exercise ideas to try. Anyway, I'll be sure and let you know how it goes Wednesday.

Daylight savings time ended here so it's brighter when I wake up now, but will soon start getting dark when I leave work. But now that I have my treadmill I need never miss a run again. I'll check in again soon. Hope you all had a lovely Easter.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I ran an hour, for over 7k ... OMG

Me! Ran for an hour!? Seriously, can you believe it?

After having run 40 minutes a couple of times at 8k (with 1 minute walks every 10 minutes) I struggled to do it a third time. Last week I did a treadmill program that took me from 5kph to 7 then 9, then back down and up again. I felt really comfortable at 7kph - it's not fast, it's a nice jog for me (I've got short legs, I'm not even 5'4"), and I enjoyed it.

So tonight I thought I'd put on a TV show rather than having an app telling me when to run or worrying about my speed, and I'd just go 7kph for as long as I wanted. The only show I had loaded on the iPad was the first episode of Downton Abbey, which was 1hr 6 minutes long. Since I've seen it, it wouldn't matter if I missed anything (it can be hard to hear over the ceiling fan and the treadmill even with my Bluetooth speaker). I walked for five minutes, then set the speed to 7kph and started jogging.

I love the show, and it had been awhile since I saw the first episode so it was easy to get wrapped up in it. Before I knew it I'd run 20 minutes ... then 30, then 40.  Next thing I knew I passed the 1 hour mark and the credits started rolling by.  I started my cool-down walk. I could not believe I'd gone a whole hour with no walk breaks -- I felt great!

Now, a couple hours later, I can definitely feel it and I'll probably be a bit tender tomorrow after a night's sleep, but for now I just feel freaking amazing. I think rather than worrying about my speed, I'm just going to work on distance for a while. Oh, and according to the treadmill I burned 500 calories my friend -- usually it says about 350. No idea how accurate that is, but it's a big increase either way. Fantastic!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Holding steady, and a big hike today

Just holding steady this week, bouncing between 77 and 78 kilos (169-171 lbs). I'm going to be mixing up my fast days next week and attempting a 4:3 fast rather than 5:2. So that means 3 days fasting. I'm finding it much easier to fast on weekdays when work keeps me busy rather than on the weekend, and I just want to give it a try for a week and see how I go. If it's too much then I can go back to a 5:2 but just keep them weekdays.  We'll see how I go.

Today we took a huge hike - we've been looking for interesting new trails to walk lately, and this one through Mt Keira ring track looked very scenic. We didn't know until we got there just how challenging it would be, at least the first half ... they recommended hiking boots and now we know why. Still, it was great exercise with lots of climbing and negotiating through thick vegetation in a rainforest setting. These are not my pictures, they're from a state conservation area website, but this is the area we hiked. But the vegetation was much thicker in many areas than what you see here, and there were pockets of mud to traipse through as well. It claimed to be 5K but it felt like more than that. It took about an hour and a half so it was definitely slow going in some parts.  Still, quite lovely and scenic. (Click photos to view larger.)

Not much else to report this week, it's been great weather this weekend so we gotta enjoy that while it lasts. Daylight savings time ends in another week or two -- mornings have been darker, and once the time changes it'll start getting darker sooner after work as well. Won't be long until winter is here -- hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Aging’s Effect on PCOS

I've been doing some interesting reading the last few days regarding how PCOS is affected by aging. I've noted before how after years of having an extremely irregular cycle, for the last couple of years I've been regular like clockwork ... if anything it's too frequent, and when weight loss has already slowed down as I approach goal, it's really frustrating dealing with monthly weight gain every 3-4 weeks. Here's some of what I learned:

As women age and transition through menopause, estrogen levels naturally decrease.

According to new research, it appears that reproductive hormones in women with PCOS differ from women who don’t have PCOS after menopause. In fact, the reproductive life span in women with PCOS has been found to extend beyond that of women without PCOS due to higher adrenal and ovarian androgen levels.

Surprisingly, women with PCOS are more likely to experience regular menstrual cycles as they age because of the natural decline in androgen levels that occurs in response to menopause. Women with PCOS reach menopause later than women without the syndrome and differ in reproductive hormones.

Older women with PCOS reported less hot flashes and sweating than non-PCOS women but reported significantly more hirsutism (64%) compared with controls (9%). Hirsutism symptoms such as unwanted hair growth and balding worsen with aging. These dermatological effects can be detrimental to a woman’s self-esteem and body image.

So basically I'll likely experience menopause later ... but when I do there should be less unpleasant side effects. That part's ok. On the other hand, the unpleasant side effects of PCOS will only get worse.

It's not enough I could never have children? That I have had to cope with years of hirsutism, insulin resistance and weight struggles, and now hair loss as I age? I've had weight issues my whole life but now, when I've finally gotten it under control, when I'm finally approaching my goal weight ... PCOS just has more unpleasantness in store for me? I keep hoping at least I'll be rid of my monthly visitor soon, but it would appear that's not likely. Ah the joys of PCOS. Well I'll try to focus on the one good thing ... when menopause finally does come, less chance of hot flashes. Hopefully.

Monday, March 16, 2015

I ran 40 minutes? What was I thinking?

I assure you I wasn't thinking I could actually do it. But as increasing my speed wasn't working so well for me, today I decided to try increasing my run time instead. I had no delusion that I could actually run 40 minutes, even with a one minute walk every ten minutes. I thought I'd keep it at 8kph and go as long as I could. Surely I could get through the first three sets ... I'm already running 30 minutes.

When the fourth set started I remember thinking I would try to get through three minutes ... then my music ran out and I wondered how I'd keep going because I sure didn't want to just watch the timer for seven minutes. So I focused on the part of the display that features a loop of dots that light up one by one to mark your distance. Once around the loop is 400 meters. So I watched the dots light up and did not look at the count-down timer until it got 1/4 of the way around. That made it much easier and before I knew it I'd finished!  I ran 40 minutes at 8kph with three 1-minute walks in between. And I felt freaking awesome!

You don't know what you're capable of until you try. All up I went 6.8 klm, about 1.3 klm of that was walking so that means I ran 5.5 klm. I can finally say I ran 5k.