Archive for March, 2011

2011
31
Mar
11:04

answered prayers?

   Posted by: arcanai    in Nuthin' Special

my prayers for a tapeworm have finally been answered!  that’s the only explanation i can come up with for why i’m suddenly seeing weight loss after all of these years of increasing activity and decreasing junk food and just getting fatter and fatter.  truly, it makes no sense.  last year, i trained for and ran my first half marathon and then hiked the grand canyon (which burned way more calories).  you would think that huge spike in activity, paired with better eating habits would have made me all kinds of svelte.  after four months of expending large quantities of energy… i hadn’t lost a single ounce.  and since weight can be deceptive, i’ll also note that none of my clothes were any less snug.  on the contrary, i went up a size :-(   very frustrating and demoralizing, that was.  this year, i’m down 8+ pounds since jan 1.  i’m getting very close to seeing the next lower tens digit on the scale.  and i just don’t understand it.  nothing has changed.  my eating habits are the same as they’ve been for the last few years… overall, i eat fairly healthy but i’m more a believer in “everything in moderation” so i don’t deny myself less healthy foods.  my training for this year’s half was similar to last year’s except i did try to keep up better with cross-training.  my overall activity has greatly diminished since about two weeks prior to the 13.1 because of injuries that don’t seem to want to go away and yet the pounds keep going down.  my mind is officially boggled.  not to look a gift-horse in the mouth… seeing encouragement on the scale is nice but i’d rather have baggy clothes.

2011
16
Mar
12:50

does it even matter if it’s invisible?

   Posted by: arcanai    in getting healthy

i’m down five pounds (+/-) since january 1.  it seems like i should be excited about that but, for the life of me, i can’t see where those pounds disappeared from (i so don’t believe in that whole ending with a preposition rule even though i am keenly aware every time i do it).  i certainly don’t look any more svelte.  and, the truest test of weight loss proves no progress…  i still can’t fit into any of my not-brand-new, non-elastic clothes.  what’s the point of losing five pounds if it doesn’t seem to make a difference?  *sigh*  hopefully, the trend will continue and noticeable results will be forthcoming.

and while ranting about my body… what the heck is with all of the adolescent-style breakouts?!??

2011
14
Mar
19:12

sadness

   Posted by: arcanai    in Nuthin' Special

as is the norm in march, my thoughts lately have been turning to ron.    we’re coming up on five years since he’s passed.  i’ve still never figured out why i think of him so much but i do.  this morning started out with an email informing us that another coworker, s.p., passed away yesterday.  he was an orlando employee and i only met him a few times.  the thing is, the first time i met him was also the first time i met ron.  it was probably a decade ago, when hubby and i were still in orlando, and ron and s.p. were passing through on a business trip and wanted to get together with hubby for dinner.  i met them together and they were quite the pair, hilariously feeding off each other.  the last time i saw s.p. was at ron’s funeral.  we actually tried to see him when we were in the office back in november but nobody knew where to find him in the great sea of cubes.  it sounds kind of bad but this has just increased my sadness over ron this year.

2011
10
Mar
12:05

13.1 analysis and comparison

   Posted by: arcanai    in getting healthy, pix

i completed my second half marathon sunday.  if you’ve read the last few posts, you know i was very concerned about it because my body decided to rebel against me for my last two weeks of training.  add to that the fact that saturday night was thunderstorms and crazy winds.  i was anxious sunday morning.  happily, everything came together to make for a great race day.  i got a decent-for-me night’s sleep, going to sleep about 2100 and waking at 0300, then dozing on/off until the alarm went off at 0500.  the rain cleared out while we were driving over there.  it was cool and windy waiting for the start but there were really only a few short stretches where the wind was truly sucky.  the temperature stayed nice and cool and it was cloudy the whole time so i didn’t have the sun beating down on me, burning me up.  i was aware of my vengeful knee and hip but they weren’t debilitating like they were for my twelve mile training run a couple weeks ago. 

so we got there and found several friends and got in the corral with them even though they were way further up than i should have been pace-wise.  the gun went off and we waited patiently to cross the start line. within seconds, of course, they were gone.  i started my race with laughter because my ipod, with 12.5 hours worth of tunes set to shuffle, chose to start me off with “this one’s gonna hurt” and i just found the irony darned amusing.   i started out faster than i should have but with the crowd pushing around me and my maniacal laughter, that’s to be expected.  i was at a 12′ pace the first half mile and purposely slowed myself down to 13′ by the one mile marker.  by then, the crowds were gone and it was just us slow-pokes.  i think i was at mile 3.8 when the first place guy passed heading the other way (we heard he had just finished when i was around 5.7).  that’s the one really nice thing about an out-and-back course… i love getting to see the crowd going the other way and cheer for them.  sometimes they even cheer back.  i was around 4.5 miles when we started seeing some friends in their final stretch, which is a lot of fun.  truth be told, we have two friends who have just starting running in the last few months and this was their first half… i was secretly hoping to beat them and was disappointed that they passed me so early in the race.  i finally saw them again around mile six which meant they were about a mile ahead of me.  when i got to the turnaround, i hubby commented about how they weren’t that far ahead of me and i expressed my doubts of catching them.  around 7.5, i found them and jogged along with them for a few minutes before giving them some encouragement and moving on.  inside, i was quite pleased.  i knew i hadn’t pulled too far ahead of them because at mile 10 or so, one of them pulled up next to me and we chatted a bit.  honestly, he’s quite a bit faster than me but he was being a good spouse and helping his hubby push through it.  i can totally respect that.  that last couple miles, i felt myself dragging a bit but i truly hit a wall.  i managed to pick it up for the last half mile and even managed a decent sprint for that last .1.  i crossed the finish line with a smile on my face and arms wide open.  it was a very different experience from last year.  a friend from ’bama who just happened to be vacationing in that town last week was at the finish line and gave me a big hug and congratulations.  a couple minutes later, our friends completed their first half and there were many hugs and congratulations. 

i finished eleven minutes faster than last year and felt better, physically and mentally, about it.  so me being me, i figured i’d do an analytical comparison:

  1st Split Overall place
1st split
2nd Split Chip Time Avg Pace Overall
place/finishers
Overall
place as %
Age/Group A/G
place/finishers
A/G
place as %
2011 1:26:40 2008 1:25:55 2:52:36 13:10 1947/2127 91.53% F30-34 217/239 90.79%
2010 1:32:53 1825 1:31:00 3:03:54 14:02 1824/1936 94.21% F25-29 135/138 97.82%

last year, 112 people finished after me, 3 in my age/group.  this year, 180 people finished after me, 22 in my age/group.  while that looks like a vast improvement, i had to take into consideration the fact that there were a lot more finishers this year so i did percentages to track my progress.  i improved by 2.68% overall and 7.03% in my age group - although that’s not really a fair comparison either since i’ve moved into a new age group but i don’t have any good way to normalize that.  i find it interesting that i only passed one person on the 2nd split last year but this year i passed 61 people that second half.  although, since my negative split was actually smaller this year, i can’t really count that as my accomplishment… it just means there were more people improperly trained who fell apart after the turnaround.  all in all, no matter what, i am thrilled with my progress.  i’m especially thrilled with how much stronger of a runner i am.  despite the knee/hip injuries, i am really so much stronger than i was a year ago.  i made it through most of my training without motrin, i have had no shin splints at all, and i’m faster and less tired.  that’s awesome!

warming up my poor boy before the race

warming up my poor boy before the race

 

i definitely looked more like a runner this year

i definitely looked more like a runner this year

 

had a lot more energy too.  i looked totally beat before i had even gotten to the turnaround last year but this year i was still having fun and going strong around mile 10 in this pic.

had a lot more energy too. i looked totally beat before i had even gotten to the turnaround last year but this year i was still having fun and going strong around mile 10 in this pic.

 

of course, some things don't change at all.

of course, some things don't change at all.

 

this year i finished with victory arms but hubby didn't catch them in this pic.

this year i finished with victory arms but hubby didn't catch them in this pic.

 

my husband totally rocks for running with me and helping me through it.  especially since he was already starting to come down with the flu.

my husband totally rocks for running with me and helping me through it. especially since he was already starting to come down with the flu.

 

time, bling, and purse (strap)

time, bling, and purse (strap)

 

and because i was so much more awesome this year, even the bling was bigger!

and because i was so much more awesome this year, even the bling was bigger!