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Today is Thursday, May 25, 2017



Ugh.. so I have sort of fallen off the wagon lately but it has been a very very hectic couple of weeks.

First off, I got a promotion! Which is great but it has also meant a couple of very busy and stressful weeks and I've mainly been preoccupied with finding a replacement for my old position since I am moving into my manager's shoes.

Speaking of shoes, I was in Miami last weekend and went to Footworks Miami. They were mostly really great helping me pick out a new pair of shoes; I got a stability shoe, New Balance 760s to replace my old NB 854s. I did my first run in them on the treadmill the other day and they felt great- no more shin splints! I also did my first good road run the other day and managed 5K fairly easily. They're not the most stylish shoe but in terms of comfort they put my old shoes to shame (they are literally falling apart now).  I also bought a heart rate monitor from Footworks, which I was less happy about - I was under the impression I was getting one that recorded calories and logged runs, but it actually only performs the basic function of telling me what my heart rate is for that particular moment in time. Obviously there was some kind of miscommunication but I'm thinking about selling it on since I've only used it once, and can't return it since I don't live in the US. Anyway! I'm happy with my shoes which is the main thing.

I have been a bit slack lately, I'll admit. Especially on the diet front - I haven't exactly been eating healthy food and have lost no weight at all lately. And I haven't worked out or anything for the last 2 days. I went to the supermarket today and stocked up on good, healthy food so determined to be good this week!

I also discovered this great website today, DailyMile. It's part training log and part social networking site. Any other runners out there using it? I don't have any friends using it yet!


Weekly Round Up


Monday: run, treadmill 5K

Tuesday: kickboxing

Weds: off

Thurs: run, outdoors, 5K

Fri: off

Sat: off


Weekly Round Up


Monday: Boot Camp & diving

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Boot Camp

Thursday: Run (outdoors), 3K

Friday: Boot Camp - last one!

Saturday: Off

Weight Loss this week: 1lb


First Outdoor Run!


I went for my first outdoor run this morning woo hoo! I've been VERY apprehensive about it because I've always found it very hard in the past even when I've been running regularly on the treadmill.  Back in February I attempted a couple of outdoor runs and struggled to run past 2 minutes! But I was psyched nonetheless.

I decided to run early in the morning because it is simply too freaking hot any other time of day (heat index today = 39C/102F). I set my alarm for 5.30am and headed out as soon as it started getting light (about 5.45). I managed about 2 miles in 25 minutes. I could have maybe done a bit more but was conscious of the time because I had to get back to get ready for work by 6.20ish. Of the 25 minutes I maybe walked 2 minutes? I walked a little bit when I turned around and at about the 15 minutes mark.  It wasn't because I was out of breath - my breathing was easy the whole run - or because of any pain. It was just a strange sense of 'running out of steam' which you don't really experience on the treadmill. But I didn't walk for long, it was probably less than 2 minutes all together if you counted it up.

Unsurprisingly I did find it harder than the 5Ks I've been doing on the treadmill, which have been getting progressively easier. I'm not really sure yet if I like running outdoors; I really like to 'zone out' to loud music when I'm running which is not something that's easy (or necessarily safe) when road-running. It was definitely different, here are a few other things I noticed:

1. My shin splints are a LOT worse on the road. I can't wait to get new shoes when I go to Miami next week - praying that they will make a difference!  It was still bearable to run but very painful when I got home. I had a good stretch and iced my shins.

2. I have got to get a proper armband for my iPod. Let's just say the place I had it this morning was not ideal.

3. I also need to get a better sports bra. I always thought the one I wore this morning was pretty good but things were definitely not stable!

4. I pay less attention to music when I'm running outdoors. I was definitely thinking more about what I was doing than usual.

5. I wasn't as hot as I thought I'd be, although the sun wasn't really up yet. I sweated a lot but wasn't really boiling hot. I wish more than anything that sweat bands would come back in fashion!

6. I found it harder to motivate myself. On the treadmill I can tune out and just run, letting it carry me forward; but outdoors you have to keep pushing yourself on.

7. Pyschologically it's intimidating! As I got further and further from home I had in the back of my mind that I had to get back as well, and because I was on a limited timeframe I had to bear in mind that the further I ran, I would have to run the same distance back if I didn't want to be late for work! It's not like on a treadmill when you can just turn the machine off and get in your car if you get tired/bored/sore.

8. I have a LOT more training to do if I want to stand a chance of doing the half in December. But having run 3K with relative ease this morning I feel pretty confident about doing a 5K soon.

Laura :-)


Playlist Trial Run


Music is really important to me when I'm working out.  It makes me feel like running and it gives me that push when I'm feeling tired. I recently read a really good post by runningnina on FitSugar about musical motivation and it's so true for me. I'm not even sure I could run without music. For me, a great running tune has to be upbeat and fast; I also like a few angry hard-hitting rock or rap songs in there.  I was playing around with my playlist on iTunes the other day and managed to delete my whole running playlist from my iPod! Did you know that you can't restore a playlist if it's not saved anywhere other than your iPod? No, neither did I. I took my mistimed click as an opportunity to create a new one, which is OK as my old playlist was getting a bit tired.

Sometimes you don't know how good a song will be to run to until you play it, so I (literally) gave it a trial run on Sunday.  The list goes like this:

La La La - LMFAO (I actually love all of this album for running, you just can't take it seriously)


Somebody Else's Guy - Jocelyn Brown

American Boy - Estelle ft Kanye

EZ Pass - Har Mar Superstar

Stronger - Kanye

Breakaway - MSTRKRFT

Murder on the Dancefloor - Sophie Ellis Bextor

No Diggity - Klaxons

Stillness in Time - Calvin Harris

You're All I Need to Get By - Mark Ronson

Brand New You're Retro - Tricky

I Got A Man - Positive K

Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order (Shep Pettibone remix)

My Delirium - Ladyhawke

I Love Rock n Roll - Joan Jett (one of my all time faves)

99 Problems - Jay-Z (not very politically correct, I know)

Hall of Records - Klaxons

Swollen Summer - the Bravery

Hard to Beat - Hard Fi

Apply Some Pressure - Maximo Park

Love Machine - Arctic Monkeys

Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts - Arctic Monkeys

Following the run, I think I made some pretty good choices. American Boy and Hall of Records were surprise winners! I think I'd like to try and find a faster remix of American Boy that I heard recently, and I've been hearing a few good songs on the radio lately that I think would be good to run to. No Diggity was a bit too slow so that one and couple of others might get axed.  I'm calling it a work in progress - as my runs get longer I need to keep adding new stuff as well, on that last run I did skip a couple of songs but was really surprised when the playlist ran out before I did!



To Run or Not to Run?


I recently started treadmill running again and am kind of enjoying it. Running does not come easily to me; I have never run outdoors apart from in school cross-country and even then it would fill me with hate and I would do anything to get out of it. I was one of the girls who would walk the whole route, trailing behind maybe sneaking a cigarette at the back or trying to cheat and take short-cuts. Even during the brief times when I have got into treadmill running and attempted an outdoor run I've been amazed at how different and how much harder it is than treadmill running.

Not me, I wish!

Image by WBUR on Flickr

I'm hoping this time will be different! I still have a long way to go but I'm quite possibly fitter than I have ever been in my life and I'm also doing strength training along with the cardio so my legs are much stronger. A few weeks ago I turned up to boot camp to find out we would be running outdoors. I was terrified and didn't think I'd be able to do it at all. I can't remember now how long or far we ran - I know it wasn't far or long - but I was surprised that I actually felt OK. I kept expecting to hit a wall but it never came, and I could've kept going longer.

So in the last few weeks I've been pushing myself a lot harder at the gym on my in-between-boot-camp cardio days, and have built up to running 5K on the treadmill. For me, that is really amazing. I'm slow - my comfortable speed is 5.0 mph - but I'm not bothered about my speed right now.  I'm just so happy that I'm doing it! Right now I'm doing it in about 40 mins, walking the first few minutes to get comfortable and then running the rest, so I'm running over 30 minutes without stopping or walking. That's the most I have ever been able to run in my life. In my life.

I can't say it's pain free or easy. I'm not dying on the treadmill or anything but I still have twinges of pain when I run. My heart rate is in the 150s and my breathing is fine; unless I ramp up the speed past 5.5 I'm not breathing hard at all. My problem is my lower legs; I used to get really severe calf pain which has gone now I guess because my muscles are stronger, but now I have shin splits. I definitely need new shoes as mine are OLD, I think I bought them in 2004! We'll see if that helps.  Anyway, most of the time it's not so bad that I can't run.

So on Thursday I was leaving the gym after finishing my 5K and got talking to a couple of the girls I know there and they told me about the running club they're starting soon to train for the marathon here in December! They aren't doing the full one but just the half marathon. So of course they were trying to persuade me to do it as well.  They both swear to me that they are not really 'runners' either, but one of them is a trainer and the other one has done a half marathon before. So what I'm thinking is that I'll keep up my treadmill training and go to a couple of running club sessions and see how it goes, since I have until November to commit to the half marathon. I just love the thought of being able to say I competed in a (half) marathon.

I'll keep you posted!!



Weekly Round Up


Mon - Boot Camp

Tues - treadmill run, 5k (walked first 5 mins, total 40 mins)

Weds - Boot Camp

Thurs - Treadmill run, 5k (walked first 3 mins, total 39 mins)

Fri - Boot Camp & Diving

Sat - Hangover Day!!

Weight loss this week: 1lb

So after my traumatic 3lb weight gain I was relieved that it all came off again - so I was probably right in thinking it was water retention. I'm also really pleased I'm managing to run consistently, even though I'm not very fast right now!


Weekly Links


Interesting things I've read this week:

I was shocked to read that 92% of sunscreens do not adequately protect and/or contain hazardous chemicals - Fit Bottomed Girls

Having recently discovered my precious Kashi Roll bars (see my review here), I was after some recommendations for new ones to try: Top 10 Energy Bars - Bliss Tree

Great post by Running Nina about the fallibility of BMI as a measure of health

What do food expiration dates really mean? - Yahoo Green

Not really related to health or fitness but this made me LOL. I know I get beer goggles pretty often so I'm glad to know there is a scientific reason behind it! - Discovery, via Bliss Tree



Glug Glug Glug


So in the last couple of weeks I haven't lost any weight. In fact, when I weighed myself over the weekend I had actually gained 3 lbs. Ouch. Now I have to confess I have not been exactly angelic on the diet front. I've mostly been sticking to my WW points but both weeks have had 1 or 2 days when I have gone over points. But given how much exercise I've been doing the points have balanced out so really I haven't done anything to warrant any weight gain.

I reminded myself that the same thing happened the last time I did boot camp; for the first 3 weeks I lost a grand total of 1 lb despite ramping up my exercise dramatically. In the last week and the week or two that followed I lost about another 5 lbs even though by then I wasn't working out nearly as hard.  I'm now 2 weeks into my second round of boot camp and this time I've gained weigh but definitely feel fitter and stronger.

I also remembered reading an article on WW about increase in exercise and corresponding weight gain or plateau-ing.  I couldn't find the exact piece on WW but did manage to find this extract from another webpage:

"Q. I just started exercising to lose weight, but I've gained weight. Why did this happen?

A. It's true that many people either gain a little weight or don't see any change on the scale for as long as 4-6 weeks after making a significant change in their level of exercise. This is often explained as "gaining muscle while losing fat" but that isn't quite accurate. This extra weight is usually water.

When you start doing more exercise, your body begins storing more fuel in your muscle cells, where it can be used easily and quickly to fuel your workouts. The process of converting glucose (carbohydrates) into fuel that your muscles actually store and use (glycogen) requires three molecules of water for every molecule of glucose. As your muscles are building up glycogen stores, your body has to retain extra water for this purpose. That's what causes most of the initial weight gain or lack of weight loss. This is a good thing—not something to worry about.

However, despite what the scale says, you are actually losing fat during this time. The extra water retention will stop once your body has adjusted to its new activity level. At that point, the scale should start moving down. You'll end up with less fat, and muscles that can handle a larger amount of work.
Written by Dean Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer"

So when your body is building muscle mass it needs more water to feed the cells. I read elsewhere that lean muscle tissue and blood are around 80% water, whereas a fat cell is around 20-25% water.  I also know that I am often dehydrated which obviously causes the body to retain water; the recommended 8 glasses of water a day don't really cut it when you're working out hard, you have an outdoor job and it's 30C/90F+ degrees out. I pretty much sweat all day long so I need to drink LOTS. I know when I'm getting dehydrated when I feel drained of energy and (at worst) dizzy and unwell.

It would therefore make sense for my weight gain to be the result of water retention and a certain amount of slackness on my part with the diet.

So what to do? Primarily I need to tighten up on my diet, since I'm already doing more than enough exercise. Wednesday marks the start of a new WW week so I aim to finish that week within points allowance. I also need to make sure I'm drinking plenty of water so I'm not retaining it. And finally, be a little bit patient!






Weekly round up


Monday: Boot Camp, kick boxing AND abs class!!

Tuesday: Treadmill, 5K

Wednesday: Boot Camp

Thursday: Off

Friday: Boot Camp

Saturday: Off

While I had a good week for exercise, I had a lousy week for diet. Too much wine, pizza and other unhealthy stuff yesterday so need to get back on it NOW.  Actually gained 2 lbs! But I think that may be water retention, for the most part I've been eating well so I definitely haven't done anything to warrant gaining 2lbs fat!

I go to Miami in just under 3 weeks, mainly to shop for new clothes (we don't have a great selection here in Grand Cayman and everything is sooo overpriced, so a lot of us tend to just do a couple of big shopping trips to the US every year.  I can't actually remember the last time I bought anything new.) My Miami trip is partly a reward to myself for having lost weight, and I'm pleased to say I've lost 20 lbs so I can justify buying some new stuff but would really like to lose a little bit more before I go. So I'm setting a goal, to lose 5 more pounds before I go. 5 lbs in 3 weeks - not impossible at all.

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