Does it feel like that breakthrough will never happen?

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Breakthrough: a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development

My friends have started to say things like:

You’re so fast now!

You can’t call yourself BOTP anymore!

While neither statement is true (I’m usually heading up the rear in our very small running group — still), it does feel like I’m finally making the breakthrough I always knew I had in me. I always trained hard-ish, always did the things everyone said you needed to do to get faster . . . and yet I didn’t.

It seemed as though the cards were stacked against me in race after race. Injury, heat, humidity, crazy winds . . . they all seemed to derail my attempts at a breakthrough time and time again.

What makes it difficult for people trying to follow a dream is that the whole time you feel like you’re slamming your head against the wall. So it’s nice to make a breakthrough and not kind of lying there with your head bleeding.— Lewis Black

You can’t have a breakthrough if you don’t keep trying

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Hard work is rewarded . . . eventually

It’s not how many times you fall . . .
Seriously, it may be trite, but it’s true: it’s about how many times you pick yourself up. It’s about total belief in yourself and what you’re doing, no matter if you’re not getting results or people tell you you’re crazy.

I just knew I had a faster half marathon in me. I believed it, despite all the evidence to the contrary. When that breakthrough came at the Panama City Beach Half Marathon (read that recap here), it was, quite frankly, a huge surprise to me. And I’ve continued to surprise myself this year with more breakthroughs.

The key to the breakthrough is consistency
I truly believe that the road to breakthroughs is paved by consistent work. It applies to everything you do in life. I had a similar story with my weight loss. For years I was stuck yo-yoing back and forth the same few pounds.

It was frustrating. It was aggravating. It was disappointing. To be so close . . . yet not able to reach the finish line. It would have been super easy to give up — but I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and it’s never pretty.

So I kept on keeping on. I kept showing up, I kept doing all the things I knew that worked and one day . . . it did. I’ll be honest: unlike my running, I did question if I could do it. I still do, some days. Yet some small part of me must have believed, because eventually I got where I wanted to be (maintaining that; let’s just say that’s a whole different story). In cased you missed it, I talked about running and weight loss yesterday here.

You can’t have a breakthrough if you don’t keep trying.
— Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy

Deb Runs

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Tell me in the comments:

What was your breakthrough moment (doesn’t have to be running related)?

What do you believe led to that breakthrough?

Is running the golden ticket . . .

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. . . to weight loss?

Yes. No. Maybe.

Some runners have won the genetic lottery: all they have to do is run (or start running) and the weight just melts off. It’s usually not quite that simple for the rest of us.

Abs are made in the kitchen
No doubt you’ve heard that abs are made in the kitchen. I am not a medical professional, a nutritionist, or a personal trainer, but through my own journey and my observations of others’ journeys, I believe it to be true.

You can’t out exercise a bad diet. Sooner or later, it will catch up with you. There’s no reason to punish yourself for eating “badly” by trying to exercise it off. It doesn’t work, anyway, and most likely will do far more damage than good in the long run.

Can you lose weight without exercising? It will probably come off slower, but if you eat healthy, most likely you will lose weight. Exercise has so many benefits, so far beyond losing weight — I’m not advocating not exercising. I’m just saying do it because it makes you feel good, not because you think you need it to erase too many indulgences.

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Not all calories are create equal
Forget about calories in, calories out
Many people believe that weight loss is a simple equation. Burn off more than you take in  and you’ll lose weight. Running happens to burn more calories than many types of exercise. Which is why so many people (myself included) turn to running when they think they need that little something extra.

If it were truly that simple, far fewer people would have weight problems. Not all calories are created equal. You can eat 200 calories of donuts or 200 calories of a nice sirloin. A steady diet of donuts is not going to help your waistline, no matter how carefully you calculate calories in vs calories out.

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Yup, I gained weight training for this half
#thestruggleisreal with runger
It is very easy to overestimate the amount of calories you “burned” and innocently overeat to “refuel”. Which is exactly how I ended up gaining weight training for my first half marathon.

How ironic is is that I started running to help bust through a weight loss plateau, only to end up gaining even more weight? It’s not an unusual story, either.

Yes, fueling properly for runs and refueling after long runs is very important. In fact, doing it properly can even (sometimes) knock out that runger (hunger from running). But . . . and you knew there would be a but, right? But it often takes a lot of experimenting to find out what will slay your runger but not pack on the pounds.

It may not be the golden tick to weight loss, but running can help
I personally believe that long distance running is not the secret to weight loss. Strength training, HIIT, Tabata — these are the sort of workouts that really torch fat. Basically, anything where you’re getting your heart rate up and increasing your muscle mass. Again, I am not a medical professional.

If you do decide to take up running and you’d like to lose some weight, here are my tips:

  • Don’t worry about “refueling” for short runs (anything under an hour). It’s not necessarily wrong, especially if you haven’t eaten in a few hours, but it’s also not necessary.
  • Don’t just run easy all the time. Your body adapts to exercise very easily, and then it can take more and more effort for the same results. Do some speedwork. Run some hills. Vary the distance.
  • Don’t forget the strength training. Not only will it make you a better runner (maybe even a faster runner), it can also help prevent injury. A side benefit is that it will make you look as if you’ve lost weight even if you haven’t. Check out my post “5 Reasons to Be a Killer B” here for where you can get some great workouts geared towards runners.
  • Don’t forget the protein. Protein will help you feel fuller longer and it helps you repair and rebuild those hard-worked muscles.
  • Don’t forget to visit on Friday when I’ll be sharing some tips on how to prevent those rungries from happening in the first place.
Here are a few more resources about running and weight loss:

Tor-box

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescornerTalk to me:

Was weight loss a factor for you in starting to run?

Did you continue to struggle with weight loss once you started to run?

Do you feel that you “have” to exercise when you’ve eaten something “naughty”?

 

No Trails for you!: 7/24-30 Weekly Wrap

Running went well enough this week. No swimming, unfortunately, because I felt super run down on Monday and ended up taking an extra rest day (which did the trick) and I just wasn’t able to squeeze it in later in the week. It was a cool, rainy week. Until today — a beautiful summer day but was I active today? Read on!

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin and today’s guest host to share how I’m staying active this summer.

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk, unscheduled rest day because I was feeling super run down
  • Tuesday: 4 drizzly, easy miles, Pahla B Balance, Dogwalk
  • Wednesday: 4 easy miles (1 mile 8 x 1 minute hill repeats), Dogwalk, Yoga
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, 3 easy miles on the treadmill, Pahla B Abs, Yoga
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Pahla B Full Arms & Abs, Blogilates Arms
  • Saturday: 8 mile LSD
  • Sunday: Dogwalk (sort of)

Mileage: 19 (NC)

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

 

 

Are those windblown apples edible? Been wondering a few years

Tuesday


The sort of day we hated as kids at camp: cool and rainy. But just what the runner who’s tired of heat & humidity almost enjoys.

I know I’m a broken record here, but the forecast was for clearing during my run — nope, medium to light drizzle the entire run. Which was fine. Then when I walked the dogs, the forecast was for drizzle. Nope, we remained dry the entire time.

Started out super slow but picked it up as the miles ticked off — not that I was trying to.

The buff is to ward off the gnats

Wednesday


I actually did a proper dynamic warmup yesterday. Because I was hoping it would stop raining! This morning I did one, too, simply because it was still cloudy and cool (and thankfully stayed that way through my run and walking the dogs).

It feels so much better to walk the dogs as a cool down vs a warm up!

Picked Bandit up for a half mile cool down.

Thursday


Still on track with my warmups, back on the treadmill. Since I already had one rainy run this week, I opted to stay dry.

I had actually hoped to join a trail run in the evening, but it rained much of the day. And even though it was dry in the evening, I didn’t feel like running on wet grass/trails. Or just wimped out. You be the judge.

The hill where I trained for Utah

Saturday


Another cloudy Saturday . . . lower humidity . . . and best of all my training schedule and my group’s schedule matched for once!

A pretty consistent run again and my running buddy managed to stick with me the whole run.

Don’t let the smile fool you — today was frustrating!


Favorites of the week
Was there a favorite? Not an exciting week (and didn’t really end on a high note, either). Not a bad week, either. Having a long run with someone the whole way is always good. And the sushi dinner that night was tasty, too. Brunch today was really good, too (my photos just didn’t do it justice) and it didn’t take nearly as long as the reviews had led me to believe it would.

Today was the most beautiful day. And I thought I had a great plan for it — an easy, scenic hike; brunch at a dog friendly restaurant — and the weather really cooperated. And that’s about the only thing that did.

We couldn’t do the hike I’d planned because the park wanted proof of rabies vaccination for the dogs. Not only do we no longer vaccinate Lola (per vet’s instructions), I also didn’t have Bandit’s papers and we never put the tags on them. Our next choice had no parking. And the last place we stopped at — well you can see the trail is marked no dogs allowed! Really????

And that’s a wrap 

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This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Ever been turned away due to lack of rabies vaccine proof? 

Ready for some rain or ready for it to dry out? 

Do you think a tofu/egg scramble sounds odd (it was good!)?

Damn you, s’mores: Runfessions July 2017

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July may have been quiet, but I still have a few runfessions to get off my chest. Or thighs, or buns . . . it seems like food is the theme in a lot of them this month!

Join me, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and other bloggers — reading other bloggers’ runfessions might just make you feel better..

I runfess . . .
I have a tendency to bit off more than I can chew — literally and figuratively. The literally being I tend to be a volume girl when eating (don’t give me teeny tiny portions!).

The figuratively being I get caught up in what I want to do vs what I should do vs what what’s realistic to do, and sometimes tire myself out needlessly. Take last Friday, for instance. I wanted to bake some stuff to bring to a party I was going to. And I just wanted to test out a lot of recipes I’d been eyeing for a while!

So I:

  • Walked the dogs
  • Made a smoothie to sip while exercising
  • Rode the stationary bike
  • Then did arms & abs
  • Baked brownie bites
  • Baked Banana oatmeal cookies simply because I had a couple of very ripe bananas
  • Made a dip for the party
  • Mixed up the batter for the s’mores cookies I planned to bake the next day
  • Washed towels
  • Mixed up the batter for my breakfast cookies the next day
  • Made a smoothie to drink post long run the next day
  • Cut up some lettuce and put it in mason jars for future salads
  • And of course fed the furkids and went outside with them multiple times throughout the day

Basically, I was pretty much on my feet from about 7 am until about 2 pm.

This was the day before my long run, naturally. So much for taking it easy.

brunger

I runfess . . .
I definitely got carried away with the S’mores Cookies I talked about in last week’s Weekly Wrap (read it here). And maybe those Fig Bars, too. As in I ate more than I should have.

I’m usually pretty good, but I’m blaming the runger.

I runfess . . .
One day I ran in the morning on a super humid day, which means lots of sweat. I didn’t feel like struggling out of those sweaty clothes knowing I’d either have to wear some new workout clothes or get back into them later . . . so I stayed in them a few hours, until I’d finished my strength training and some yoga.

Good thing there was no one around me to be grossed out by it!

I runfess . . .
I wimped out and decided to run on the treadmill on a humid, rainy day that actually turned out to not be all that rainy. I can’t tell you the amount of times I went back and forth between I’ll run outside, I’ll run on the treadmill. It was quite the epic battle.

I runfess I probably would have run outside if I hadn’t misplaced my Garmin charger and my Garmin had very little charge. The charger is magnetic, which is great, except for the fact that it has a tendency to stick to metal objects. I know I’d charged it Friday before my long run, and dammit why didn’t I charge it back up after that run?

It was just an easy run, but how would I know when to run, when to walk? Or how far I’d gone? Not to mention I’d probably have to download an app so I could tell how far I’d run and I didn’t want to deal with that.

Mr. Judy had been complaining about the fact that I hadn’t yet tested out the treadmill after he fixed it again. So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I runfess . . .
I normally don’t struggle with my weight as much during the summer, but this summer is different. Maybe it was all the travel and halfs. So knowing I only had a little wiggle room on my first of the month Weight Watchers weigh in to stay free for the month, I actually weighed several different dresses before I got dressed.

In the end I went with my lucky weigh in dress. Yes, I have one — basically, it’s the lightest dress I own. I will be heartbroken when it’s no longer wearable! In the end I could have worn something heavier, but I don’t have a scale at home and I wasn’t sure.

Everybody’s luck runs out sometime . . .

Do you sometimes overbook yourself?

How long would you stay in sweaty workout clothes?

What is the weirdest thing you’ve done to get a good weigh-in?

Wouldn’t you like to get some runfessions off your mind? Come join us

Runfessions

I am also linking up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy today.

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July 2017: Did I pass?

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I started rebuilding my base in anticipation of my fall half marathon. There was a bit of speedwork, some trails, some hills. But all in all, a month of easy running (and one low key, shorter race).

It’s been a nice break that I needed. I love to travel, but it was good to have some time at home, too.

Getting in scheduled runs
Since my next half was almost 3 months away at the beginning of July, there wasn’t a whole lot of hard running this month. Or piles of miles. It wasn’t that hard to get the miles in, other than juggling the dogwalking with the runs.

Grade Earned:  A

Recording my runs
I’m doing a little better getting those runs recorded in a reasonable time frame now that life isn’t quite so hectic.

Grade Earned: A

Dynamic Warmup
Somehow, though, I still always seem to be rushing through my warmups. Either I’m getting in extra miles before a group run, or I have to hurry home to the dogs, or I have to walk the dogs before it gets too hot . . . On the other hand, I did do my warmup mile before Firecracker 4 and my dynamic warmup, despite being there with a group.

I think the only thing saving me is that since it’s nice and warm, it’s not all that hard to be standing around a few minutes before a run warming up.

Grade Earned: A-

Foam Rolling
Because I slacked so much on foam rolling in June, I’ve started to try to do it soon after my run instead of waiting until I go to bed. There’s nothing wrong with foam rolling later in the day; there’s just the my tendency not to do it if I don’t do it right away.

Grade Earned: A

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I admire the runners who are outside no matter the weather but sometimes I choose the mill

Respecting my body
With lower mileage my body is feeling pretty good. A few very minor aches — sometimes. I try to get my runs in in the morning when possible — the heat & humidity in the second half of July made running in the afternoons a definite challenge. And when the “feels like” temperature is in the 90s — well, my treadmill is fixed.

Grade Earned: A

Nutrition
I’ve been pretty good with my nutrition in July, really cleaning my act up for the most part (aside from the tastes of the Mac & Cheese & Corn puddings at the BBQ place — something that tastes that good is definitely not that good for you!).

And yet the scale continues to mock me. And some of my running clothes are just tighter than they ought to be. It’s annoying.

I know I’m definitely not perfect, but I’ve made a real effort here!

Grade Earned: B

Support
No chiropractor appointment or massage, but those are things I don’t do every month unless I’m having a problem. Knock on wood, with the lower and easier mileage, I’ve been feeling pretty good.

Grade Earned: A

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Continued exploring the area

Cross Training
Some stationary biking, some easy swimming, some easy hiking.

Grade Earned: A

July 2017 gets  . . . 
. . . an A. I’ll go easy on myself. I think it probably should be an A-, but that’s probably only in my mind. Sure, the scale isn’t where I want it to be but I know I’ve really tried hard to eat healthy this month.

Which leads me to:

Goals for July:

  • Continue keeping my journal up to date. Y
  • Swim once a week. More or less
  • Run on trails occasionally — an easy run once a week would be great, but something is always better than nothing. Y
  • Continue to hike occasionally — if the weather doesn’t get too humid and buggy for it. Amazingly, Y!
  • Get back into regular (2-3 x week) strength training. Y

Goals for August:

  • Keep my journal up to date.
  • Swim once a week (until they close the pool mid-month for maintenance).
  • I’d like to continue some trail running, but that will depend on the weather during the dog days of summer. Ditto hiking.
  • Maybe sign up for a trail race at the end of the month. Maybe.
  • Continue with Pahla B’s Guide to Faster Running for strength training.

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

Tor-box

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Fig Bars vs S’mores: 7/17-23 Weekly Wrap

I’m still enjoying lower mileage and mostly easy runs. I’ve been getting in some cross training, and keeping up with my strength training so far. The one thing I’m not enjoying — and I think most of us aren’t — is the ever-present humidity.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin and Darlene (guest host) to share how I’m moving this week. How was your week?

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk, 4 mile trail run, Pahla B Booty, Yoga
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, 4 miles with 8 x 1 minute hill repeats, Blogilates Abs
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, 30 min swim, Pahla B Arms
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, 3 miles easy
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Pahla B Full Abs, Blogilates Arms
  • Saturday: 8 mile LSD, Dogwalk
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, JY Weekend Reset

Mileage: 19 (+2)

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

 

Don’t less the pretty trail fool ya — so buggy!

Monday


I decided to test out my theory that the perimeter of the trails would be much less grassy/weedy and I was right. But the bugs. Oh my word, despite the insect repellent buff and bug spray, at times the gnats were driving me insane (but thankfully not the whole run).

In fact, some kid scared the bejezus out of me because he asked me if it was buggy back there (I had no idea anyone was behind me and I don’t even run with music!).

Despite the sand, and the many roots trying to take me down, the trails were mostly shady and if it hadn’t been for the bugs, I would have said it would have been an enjoyable run.

Tuesday


Knowing I wasn’t happy with how late I got out the previous day, I got everyone (except Bandit, who has decided he doesn’t want breakfast) fed and then got out there. Athough humid (still) the sun was nowhere in sight and quite frankly I was happy about that!

I keep forgetting to rearrange data screens for these runs and just have no clue how fast I was running on the hill repeats. It was the slowest mile, but that’s because there’s a 2 minute recovery walk (which I needed). It felt harder than the prescribed 5k pace . . . I guess we’ll never know.

Picked Bandit up for my cool down. It’s hard work juggling getting my runs in and getting the dogs walked. Lola doesn’t tolerate heat well anymore. But then again neither do I when I’m running!

 

A blurry instead of a sweaty runfie

Thursday


Back on the treadmill. While I’m all about getting it done outside because you never know what race day will throw at you, I’m also not going to torture myself with “feels like 90” when I can’t run in the morning. Bumped up the pace just a smidge.

Wildflowers as seen on my run

Saturday


Another cloudy, humid run. Thank God for the clouds. Never thought I’d say that!

I got there early so I could add my extra mile (group run was 7 miles on the schedule). I ran with one of my friends for about 5 miles, which always makes it more enjoyable. Nothing terribly remarkable about this run other than the consistency of the pace — except that first solo mile (which was slow).

Before I left I doused my insect repellent buff in water. Then put it in my Packit bag (bag with ice packs for sides, basically). Boy, was that cold when I put it on! But I actually think it helped me stay a little cooler.

It’s time to start thinking about fueling on the run again — or having a post run snack that isn’t a smoothie. All I know is I wanted to eat all the things the rest of the day! Of course I was also very tired after basically waking up at 2 am and being able to get back to sleep . . .

Favorites of the week
I’ve been enjoying everyone’s posts about Blogfest. I don’t even have FOMO — I’d considered signing up, but then didn’t want to pay $50 if I couldn’t go. In the end, I just needed the downtime this month. So I’m not too envious. Maybe next year.

Us runners clean up nice!

Of course one of the highlights of my week was the get together of many of the women who are going to my fall half with me (sadly, one has already had to drop out due to surgery, but we still enjoyed her company!).

I brought desserts. Of course. And only one had any chocolate in it! And I also bought a yogurt dip — not sure anyone but me had any, but that just means more for me.

What surprised me was the fact that the Fig Bars were the hit — don’t get me wrong; I think they’re really good. But I also think that the S’mores Cookies (that recipe is on my Pinterest cookies board here — the Fig Bars come from a cookbook)  I made were really good, too! Unfortunately I had a lot of them left and had to take them home with me. That is the sort of thing that really tempts me. They’ll go into work with Mr. Judy tomorrow.

And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Do you have a go-to party dish? 

What’s your best battle humidity tip? 

Do you mind if the trails have tall weeds?

5 Everyday Things . . .

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. . . and their uses for running

I love to try stuff. Follow this blog for any length of time, and you’ll quickly learn that. But sometimes you need a low tech solution to runner problems, and over the years, I’ve found a few.

 

frifive2

Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy and sharing with you some of my alternative uses for every day things you might find in your home.

Packit Bag
The Packit Bag has sides inside that are essentially ice packs. You put it in the freezer, and then you pack it with your cold stuff and it will stay cold for hours. I often double bag it into another insulated bag, too.

I will put a small water bottle filled with cold water into it before my run, then stash that into my mailbox. That way when I either drop off or pick up Bandit, I can refill my water bottle with lovely cold water. No ice cubes or freezing the water bottle.  And I only have to carry one water bottle with me at a time.

Lip Balm
I actually now have a little lip-balm sized tube of anti chafing cream. But I’ve read that lip balm can actually be used for for that, and it’s small and relatively easy to carry.

Just in case you get that burning feeling on the run.

Looks dorky but it works!

A Shoelace
My hydration pack doesn’t stay on one shoulder — it’s a known problem (although wasn’t known to me when I bought it) for us smaller boned gals with this pack. I can run that way, but it’s annoying. Not a problem during hiking, by the way!

So my very low tech solution was to tie a shoelace from one shoulder to the other. It worked during Utah Valley Half Marathon! It looks dorky, but it works. I love the pack and didn’t pay big $$ for it, so I’m willing to look dorky.

Socks
They can replace gloves, in a pinch. And of course, there’s always the DIY arm warmers (see this post here).

I know, I know, it’s summer, and arm warmers are the last things on our minds. But before you know it . . .

Cookies
I use cookies as fuel for my long runs — my long runs are not too long (yet), so I haven’t been eating anything on the run (yet). They’re beginning to inch up towards where I need to have some fuel with me, though.

I make my own, as I’ve written about here. I know some runners like fig bars (cut them into small pieces).

So let me know in the comments:

Have you ever tried cookies on the run?

What low tech solutions to running problems have you come up with?