I Heart Numbers

Well, that was a damn good week. The only thing that could have made it perfect was actually doing our strength training. This week we will accomplish that. For real. I hope. I won’t mention it each day below, but I tracked my food the entire week. The entire week! I ate somewhere between 1500-1700 calories daily, and that kept me feeling full. My water intake is also steadily increasing – you can’t help but throw back the clear stuff when you’re running most days.

So let’s get on with it…

Monday: Have I mentioned how much I love rest days? Oh, well, I do. As much as I’m falling into the groove that is marathon training, I still enjoy just having a day to relax. (Who doesn’t?) As has become our usual, we went down to the water on our 3 mile walk. And after not seeing them for a while, we were treated to three sea turtles riding the rough waves.

IMG_3026

Do you see their two little heads?

IMG_3047

IMG_3048

IMG_3058

Aside from our walk, I’m pretty sure I did nothing else that day. Lazy bum.

Tuesday: J had a late work thing so before he left, we fit in a walk to the water and back – just a short 1.75 miles.

IMG_3068

Then we intended on going on our run after he got home. But then he got home late, and we didn’t feel at all like running, so we pushed the four miles to the next day.

Wednesday: No pictures from today, but we walked 2.25 miles, ran our 4 miler (11:07 pace), and then finished up with a half-mile walk home. It was an ugly 4 miles. I felt completely drained, light-headed, and hungry as hell. Running without at least a snack is such a bad idea.  (I do much better if I run after we eat dinner.)

Thursday: Very similar to Wednesday. Except that we went grocery shopping and the most supportive husband EVER wore this:

IMG_3072

Such a lucky girl.

Anyway, after that “fun”, we went on a 2.50 mile walk and then came home to eat dinner. And then we went on our four mile run. And dammit, that one sucked too. We averaged 10:50/mile, so it wasn’t horrible, but I just didn’t feel pumped and full of energy. Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking. More about that below.

Friday: Okay, I’m starting to feel like a broken record with the walk thing. This one was 3 miles, and guess what? We went down to the water. Shocking, I know.

DSC00218

I look kind of unhappy in the picture. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because the turtles are MIA again.  Don’t they know I walk all the way down the water to visit them?  So selfish.

Saturday: The day of our big 10 miler. So here’s the deal. In 2012, I ran my first ever 10 miles. It was an anomaly – I just started running that day and didn’t stop until I reached double digits. But before that and for a good amount of time after, it didn’t happen again. And since then, I’ve thought that I ran it at a speed of 10 min/mile. So as we’ve been training in these last 7 weeks, that’s been in my head. I’m running fast, but not faster than I did that 10 miles in April 2012.

So after our run on Saturday (which I hated but completed by the way), I looked back in my HNIT Facebook photo archives to check my 2012 time. And wouldn’t ya know it? I didn’t run it that fast at all. I ran it an average pace of 11:36/mile.

On Saturday, we ran that 10 miles in 1:50 – an average pace of 10:59/mile.  What?! That means it was a personal best!  During my entire half marathon training in early 2013, I pretty much ran all 12:30+ miles.  So yeah, this is progress.  And I weigh 15 pounds more than I did in 2012 too.

So pretty much, this is awesome.  I’m feeling really good about my progress.  But as I stated above, the 10 miles was rough.  And I’m a little bit nervous about how the next few months is gonna go.  But I keep reminding myself that before we started training, I had a hard time running for an entire mile without walking.  So I can do this.  And it’s not forever.

IMG_3085

After the run, I soaked in a hot bath and then crawled into bed.  Running at night may seem weird, but I love that I can immediately drift peacefully off to sleep just like my body wants to.  And I’m not doing it in the middle of the day.

Sunday: I worked on finishing up the week’s homework (imagine school stuff sprinkled in on the previous days as well), and then we relaxed a bit.  After getting some input from my FB page (thanks guys!), we decided to head out and buy some new running shoes.  Mine are disgusting from walking in the sand by the water, but my knees are also starting to bother me a bit.  J’s knees are too.  We’re old.

My last two pairs have been from the Brooks Adrenaline line, but honestly, they don’t come in very pretty choices.  And they hadn’t released a new one since my purchase this spring.  So I ended up grabbing the Glycerin ones.  I also tried on a pair of the Brooks Ghost and they felt similar, but a little wider.  My feet are wide already, so I wanted something that minimized that.

IMG_3098

I’m pretty excited about these bad boys.

Sunday’s comfortable run was perfect – we didn’t push ourselves and tried hard to stay consistent.  That didn’t totally work, but it did feel nice to take it easy.  We ended up running at an 11:41 pace.  I was going for a little slower, but it’s okay.  We also took a short 2 mile walk and admired the sunset seen above.


So that was the week.  But let’s talk about these runs.  As I mentioned at the beginning, I did a great job of watching my food intake for the week. I didn’t severely restrict by any means, but I also ate less than I do when not logging.  That’s a given.  And it’s obvious that I’m eating less – I can tell I have less energy on my runs.  So to be honest, I don’t have an answer for that.  I do want to lose weight.  I’m not trying to lose 3 pounds a week, but I want to lose something.  But running when I’m feeling less than great isn’t going to work long-term either.

Just a heads-up, I’m about to get all math nerdy on you.

I’m trying to run the numbers based on various BMR calculators, but they all provide vastly different results (400 cal discrepancy!).  The one I’ve used since the beginning of my journey is found on this page.  I should be able to follow my Fitbit app, but I realized on Saturday that it’s not reliable.  I burned 1300 calories just on my run, and it says I only burned 2225 calories for the entire day.  That’s physically impossible.  It only calculated my run at 800 calories, but my HRM said differently, so I added in the extra 400 calories as a separate log entry.  I’m not sure what it did, but it isn’t right.

So my point is, I love my Fitbit app, but it’s not always accurate.

Anyway, I’ve decided to base my calculations on the thing I’ve used since 2010 because obviously it worked well for me.  It says I burn 1770 calories per day at rest (no exercise). That means if I eat that many calories a day as well, then I maintain my weight.  Then whatever I burn while exercising is my deficit.  So here’s what I’m finding based on my HRM’s numbers.

2 mile walk: 163 calories

3 mile walk: 234 calories

(easy) 3 mile run: 330 calories

4 mile run: 490 calories

10 mile run: 1275 calories

So depending on what exercise we get in a current week, that’s how many calories I’ll burn.  This past week: roughly 3750. Or just over a pound.  And that’s about how much I lost.

I love math.  (And if you think I’m being obsessive, you should know that this is fun for me – I can’t keep my mind from playing these number games.)  Also, it’s important to note that the calculators are never perfectly accurate because they don’t take into consideration your muscle tone.  We all have different bodies, so it’s just a guide.

So here’s my point. I feel like eating 1500-1700 calories/day isn’t unhealthy or unreasonable, but I also need to pay close attention to how I’m feeling on my runs.  I can’t go through the next 13 weeks having less-than-optimal energy while I’m training.

I’ve been hesitant to share this information, because it’s difficult to make it sound anything other than obsessive.  I have absolutely no intention of starving myself – I eat when I’m feeling hungry. I’m just trying to make better choices so that my daily calories are full of more nutrients than the days where I eat mindlessly.

I’m very aware of how I felt in 2011 – I was eating 1200 calories a day and working out way too hard for that (mostly lifting weights). I would black out after standing up.  That will not happen this time.  And that’s not how I’m feeling at all.  I feel perfect most of the time – I’m just struggling a bit during our runs.  So I don’t want anyone to be worried about me – I’m monitoring every single thing I do.  There is this fine line that I’m trying to walk, and I think I can do it.

You know I’ll keep you updated.  Whether you care or not!

So in other news…during one of our walks this past week, I started thinking about how long it had been since we started this walking habit. And that led me to sit down and calculate the mileage. I apologize to all of you who already read about this on FB. It doesn’t count if it isn’t on the blog! Plus, I know you were dying for this breakdown.

In March, we made a 100 mile goal. That goal included runs, walks, hikes, and biking miles. And we barely eked it out on the 31st, but we met our goal. And then in April, we kept it going. So here is what I figured out for the last six months…

March: 58 miles on foot (walked, hiked or ran), 44 miles biked, 9 days inactive
April: 110 miles on foot, 2 days inactive
May: 105 miles on foot, 10 miles biked, 0 days inactive
June: 97 miles on foot, 96 miles biked, 1 day inactive
July: 120 miles on foot, 1 day inactive
August: 124 miles on foot, 1 day inactive

That is badass. 614 miles walked, hiked or ran. 150 miles biked. And just 14 days inactive. In 6 months. It’s like before we knew it, we had created this healthy habit. And unlike damn near everything else, I haven’t tired of our walks. I still love them just as much as always.  I love meeting our neighbors. I love feeling the breeze on my face.  I love checking the progress of the model homes being constructed near us.  I love seeing the turtles and the fishermen. I love listening to the waves crashing against the rocks. I love watching the geckos and lizards dodge our feet. I love talking about my day.

I recently asked J if he ever imagined – just 5 years ago – that he could make me so happy just by spending an hour each day taking a walk.  He obviously said no.  I am this girl who has massive dreams, but sometimes the simplest thing can bring me joy.  And I love discovering that.

So in summary, it was a good week.  I need to tweak some things, but I kind of view this as a game.   Sometimes the game is more fun than others, but I have every intention of winning it.

Leave a Reply