When looking at my weight loss status, the month of November looks like a plateau. It's no wonder I was getting a little down on myself. In part, the plateau was almost certainly my own doing, because I think I was expecting the running to make up a bit for being a touch more slack in my portions and counting and logging.

Well, December has been back on track! I clocked in both today and yesterday at 256.9, which is another 1.5 lb drop off from last week. This puts me right on schedule to get below 255 by the end of the year, and maybe a bit lower if I can stay really good, though 250 is almost certainly out of reach in the next 2 weeks.

This is showing up nicely in other places too. The 40" jeans that I bought last month have gone from being a little tight to a little loose in the thighs. In part they've stretched, but in part I've lost a little bit of girth there. It's hard to tell how much is which without getting a new pair. And in terms of measurements, another quarter inch has come off the waist.

When I look in the mirror, depending on the day I see two different things. On good days, I see the smaller me and I am pleased with my progress. On less good days, I see that I'm not quite halfway to my goal, and I see just how far I have to go. On the plus side, I have all this success behind me, and I can use that as motivation. I've done this before, I can do this again. It's been a mantra at times, to help keep me on track.

On the running, I'm keeping it up well. I missed last Friday's workout to let my hip rest, which had a bit of lingering soreness. That cleared up over the weekend, so I went back to it on Monday.

Right now, the plan I've created for myself for the next few weeks includes 2 sessions of running for 30 minutes, alternating between speeds that are a bit above my target pace, and at or below my regular pace to catch up. The 3rd session will add a little time at a lower pace, trying to add 5% to 10% each week until I can run 60 continuous minutes at my slow pace.

The idea here to be able to improve my general pace time, as well as my endurance, and to make sure I don't fall into any ruts of doing the same workout every day. I'm not working on any ground-breaking speed, but I do have three goals here, including the 60 minute run.

The first goal is to be able to complete a 5K in 30 minutes, which means running 6.2mph or just under a 10 minute per mile pace. My second goal is to be able to do a single 8 minute mile. The first goal I think I can manage in 3-4 weeks. The second goal I suspect will take a bit longer, as I'm not even to the point of trying that speed and I'm not being too aggressive getting there. Plus, I think that'll happen fairly naturally as I continue to lose weight and I naturally expend less energy while running. Still, it's a goal that I think is achievable and I want to work on. The 60 minute run will take even longer, since I'm only adding 3-5 minutes per week -- that's probably 8-10 weeks to get there. It's fine, it's a good thing to work toward.

In a month or two, I intend to change it up a little more and switch one of the interval runs to do inclines. So in 3 workouts, it'll be one intervals, one that does some incline and one long run. But I'm not ready to throw the incline in yet, so we'll keep that in the hip pocket for a bit.

I went ahead and bought new shoes, to see if better running shoes would help out the hips. I've only used them twice so far, so the jury's still out. Will take a few more sessions. They're definitely a lot squishier than the sandals, and I think that may be nicer on the hip, but they're a bit harder on my feet than the sandals, as I would expect, because I have sensitive skin and I blister pretty easily. I've got a couple of painful spots right now, but my runs are short and only every other day, so hopefully they'll turn into callouses and not blisters and I'll be okay. These shoes were marked Extra Wide, and while they ARE pretty wide compared to most running shoes I've tried, they're not quite wide enough. I may have to actually talk to a specialist to get properly fitted for my next pair, but I'll try to at least put 50 miles on these (and that's only 15 or so sessions) before I make any further decisions on them. Unless they cause real problems, but so far not yet.

The last bit is that I used my employee discount to pick up apple watches for [livejournal.com profile] esmerel and I, in part because the watch seems pretty useful exercising. It turns out it's not all that exciting on the treadmill, but when I went for an outdoor walk it's really nice to be able to flick my wrist and see my stats. However, I do have the problem that, being farsighted, while I'm outdoors and wearing my sunglasses, it's kind of hard to see. So a bit less useful there than I'd hoped. On the plus side, the main reason I've been avoiding one -- my experience hating watchbands -- seems to have been less of an issue. I picked the smallest, lightest one and a very light band, and that seems to have helped. All the watches I wore as a kid were much heavier than this, and that seems to make a real difference in my comfort level with it.

Unrelated to the exercise, it IS really cool to be able to text with it using Siri while otherwise occupied. Yay hands-free! Plus the heart rate monitor has been useful (and has also told me that I need to go very slow in pushing up my pace, as I'm pretty close to my theoretical target heart rate maximum while running at the faster pace). So it'll take me some time to push the pace up past 6.5 mph.

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