Tag Archives: motivation

Stats Update

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I probably won’t be running until Friday since I was off my inhaler for a couple of days and relapsed into some mild breathing issues. I have also been very tired and coughing due to mucus in my lungs. I just got a refill on my prescription yesterday so it might be up to a week of using my inhaler regularly before I’m 100% again.

I forgot to post the changes from my weight analysis about 1 week ago. The end of June to July saw significant discontinuity in my routine (plus lots of Taco Bell & takeout) but there has been progress nonetheless.

May
Weight:     196 lbs
Body Fat:  41.1%
Muscle:     32.2%

Week 1 of running (June 9)
Weight:     189 lbs
Body Fat:  40.1%
Muscle:     32.7%

July 20
Weight:     184.8 lbs
Body Fat:  38.8%
Muscle:     32.9%

I’m encouraged. I truly enjoy running now. I woke up fighting between my intense desire to go out and run anyway and my worry that I might find myself a mile into the run, alone, without my inhaler and in respiratory distress. So I did the smarter thing and decided to stay in. A big part of me is still itching to go, but I’ll be patient and sit on the sidelines for now.

Forget the bandwagon I’ll just walk

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My life is currently like this:


There is a lot on my mind as of late. Running helps me to relax and focus. When I’m out running it’s just me, the sound of my footsteps and the music being shuffled on my Zen. The more I run the better I feel but the more frazzled and overwhelmed I feel the less able I am to get up and run. Even though running helps me keep it together. ::Sigh::

This is part of why I started my blog. To be completely honest in tracking my journey to encourage myself and others. Even at my low points I know I want to keep going. I love the changes in my body, the muscle I’ve built and the way I feel physically. I ran today (Thursday) after a two week hiatus (this time involving copious amounts of fast/comfort food). I will make a better running schedule this time. I did 2.3km today, I plan to do 1.6 km tomorrow and then use Saturday and Sunday as rest days. I started out strong with my goals but life happens.

Cooking for myself is also helps motivate me to take care of myself. I can better control what I eat, unlike with takeout, and I find it therapeutic. I made pancakes with a fresh peach sauce instead of syrup for breakfast after my run. It was delicious and definitely helped improve my mood. I love good food! Carbs=happiness. Maybe I’ll start posting a few of my recipes now and then…

On a happier note a few weeks ago I had a complete physical done. My peak air flow was great meaning my maintenance of my asthma has been very good. I also had great cholesterol levels and everything else (!!). Only slight issue was my hemoglobin because I’m anemic. I recently bought different supplements I need so I’m back on my multivitamins and iron. It is important to provide your body with what it needs. Right now I’m keeping it simple, my only other supplement is Calcium+Vitamin D because it is an absolute necessity since loss of bone density is a side effect of my meds.

I’m frazzled but I’m dealing and life is still good. Ciao!

Getting back on the bandwagon

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This morning I set out for a run that would push my limits the hardest yet. The track: around my neighborhood, along a winding road and back. The distance: 2.30km (1.43mi). As I planned my journey to the brink and back I was excited…and scared, very scared. I took two puffs of my fasting acting inhaler just in case and did my regular stretches for just a bit longer.

I got less than half way when I could feel a cramp setting in, my breathing becoming labored, my shoulders hurting and my quads getting sore. I pushed on. About two thirds of the way I cried mercy and it took everything not to stop. I told my self I would make it just a few more steps, then a few more. I felt like dropping but I knew that if I stopped this “track” would be an asymptote to my progress. Sorry for the calculus reference ^_^. It would be a barrier to my progress that I would find too daunting to surmount.

I pressed on, but like always I paid attention to my body. Even though my mind as keeping me going my body was tired but not at the breaking point. If it was I would have stopped–there is a thin line between perseverance and stress injury and I have no desire to cross it. My little sister stopped about 7/8 of the way, which surprised me but I kept pushing. When I kept running she pushed on and joined me. I finally stopped at the top of my block. I had gone 2.12km (1.31mi). I was tired but I felt great! I am just shy of half way to my goal of 5km! I think I might need to take two rest days but I’m excited about my progress. In less than a month I have gone from 0 to 2.12km.

Failing: The Saga Continues

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As you can tell from my first couple of posts I started by running almost everyday for a week. While I think it was good for me to do that and get into a mindset of running regularly, I learned that not giving your body time to rest is detrimental. The following week I ran three times, just about every other day sometimes joined by my track star younger sister (-_-). Unfortunately, she is a pain to wake up and sometimes refuses to get up (which is very disheartening and often ruins my motivation) so last week was kind of a bust.

You may have noticed the lag in posts. I’m sorry! Laziness, tiredness and job applications kept me from pounding the pavement. I ran only about twice last week but at least I successfully increased my distance to 1.65km (1.03mi).  Running during summer has presented a challenge I did not account for–heatstroke. So I’ve been checking the temperature forecasts just so I don’t make the mistake of running on dangerously hot days. Thankfully it rained almost daily for the past week so my 8-9AM runs have been cool, even chilly at times (63°C yesterday). I still need to buy myself some active sunscreen for skin protection though. I am also thinking of swimming as a cross training activity. I really hate the smell of chlorine and the inherently unsanitary nature of pools but I like swimming. Oh the sacrifices.

My newest challenge is finding a new neighborhood course. Short or running the same path multiples times to increase my distance my current route is now too short (yay!). It’s only just over a mile and I have surpassed that. I like in a cul-de-sac which is isolated by two major streets so finding a new route will require me walking across a turnpike or running along a sidewalk-less road >_<. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, we’ll see what I decide.

I thought I would share one of my running outfits:

 

Failing is a part of progress

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Two weeks ago when I left the house for what I thought would be my inaugural run I, a career overachiever, was surprisingly (not) overambitious. I bought snazzy new running shoes and planned an “easy” 4km route around my neighborhood. I put on two sports bras and bam! I was soo ready.
I hit a snag trying to make it to the end of my block. “It’s because I don’t want to get into a stride when I have to cross a big road” I told myself. So I walked for a few minutes to a place a decided was a better starting point. So I began: right foot, left foot, inhale, exhale…Stop. “Maybe this spot isn’t so great” I told myself. I walked to a new location, a much better one–no bushes and further from the road. I began again: right foot, left foot, inhale, exhale, right foot, left foot…Stop. “At least this time I made it to the end of the block” I consoled myself, “a very short block”. I sat down on the curb. My leg muscles itched, my boobs hurt, I was out of breath and I had a wicked cramp. “This sucks” I decided. Just when I was about to give up the heavens opened up and a ray of light hit me. Oh wait. That wasn’t light.

I walked home miserable, itchy and suffering from a wicked cramp in what I am sure was this area’s first monsoon. I trudged home soaking wet and defeated. As I walked to my room my mother took one look at my dripping face and drily remarked “don’t you think you over did it?”.

Needless to say I was discouraged. However, I learned and important lesson:  if at first you don’t succeed go home and regroup!

They say insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results and I am inclined to agree. I went home realizing that there were things very wrong with my approach to 5k training. Namely I was out of breath, my clothing sucked and I needed to have a challenging but far more reasonable route.

Getting back on my feet
I was pretty demoralized and I liked the idea of sleeping in so over a week passed before I hit the pavement again. However, in the time that passed I figured out how to solve some of my issues.

1) Out of breath too easily-Asthma! Duh!  I set alarms that reminded me to use my control inhaler twice a day. Part of the reason a let over a week pass was because it takes time for the medicine to kick in. I also began the hunt for my rescue inhaler in the packed up remnants of my former life (all my stuff is still in boxes from moving back home).

2) Boobs hurt while running- I went to Marshalls clothing store on a mission:  to find supportive but budget friendly sportswear. Success! I came home with  two high impact running tank tops with built in sports bras and an additional sports bra with underwire to wear under them. Why two bras? I’m a DD do you want me to hurt myself? Busty girl problems.

3) Clothing sucked- the two sports bra tank tops plus one long pair of fitted running pants and a pair of running shorts. In hindsight the long pants were a fantastic investment. They are very comfortable, stretchy and light but firm without making me look weird plus the small horizontal pocket in the back just fits my 3 house keys. I wish I bought two, I may go back.

Thankfully I already had my snazzy running shoes so I didn’t have to shell out more cash.

Scaling not Scales

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I was watching a episode of the Big Bang Theory when this exchange took place between two characters:

Sheldon: “This car weighs, let’s say, 4,000 pounds. Now add 140 for me, 120 for you…”
Penny: “120?!?”
Sheldon: “Oh, I’m sorry. Did I insult you ? Is your body mass somehow tied into your self worth?”

I took that comment about tying my self worth to my weight to heart. Whether or not you can tell my weight is still my weight. What I’m doing is not just about lowering the number on the scale. It’s about changing my body from the inside out. Reducing body fat, increasing muscle mass, maintaining bone density (loss is an Asmanex side effect), and lastly losing weight to reduce stress on my heart and lungs. I’m not afraid to share where I am, where I’ve been and where I end up. My progress will be reported holistically once a week (I don’t see the point in weighing myself more often than that). I’ll discuss my eating habits next post.

Starting point (1 month ago)
Weight:     196 lbs
Body Fat:  41.1%
Muscle:     32.2%

Today (June 9th)
Weight:     189 lbs
Body Fat:  40.1%
Muscle:     32.7%

So far I have run Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of this week. I started out with 0.82km (0.52mi) from Monday to Wednesday. On Friday I upped this distance to 1.42km (0.88mi). I’ve been using runningmap to plan out my routes. Next week I hope to increase my distance to 1.7km.

Gotta run!

Learning to Breathe

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Three weeks ago I graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in Chemistry and asthma. File:Tufts University logo.svg

Having invested all my money (and my health) in college for the past four years I embraced my first school-less summer with excitement. I decided I would have fun (!), enjoy new hobbies (!!) AND take better care of myself (…).

One year ago I learned that I have adult onset asthma. It kind of made my world crumble at the corners. Having an inhaler  was something that I awkwardly idealized as a child (braces too) but as an adult they filled me dread. The thought of being chronically ill, dealing with inhaled steroid medication side effects, and the cost of prescriptions made me miserable. So from September 2011 to May 2012 I did not treat my asthma. In that period of time I got bronchitis, twice, missed about 3 weeks of classes and wheezed my way through winter. It took my older sister warning me of the damage untreated asthma does to the body to get me to start treating it again. I also read up on side effects and spoke to my doctor about them. Taking my meds was a good start but I realized the road to better health would take more effort.

I’m only 21 I should be in peak physical health. I’m not sure why I developed asthma and I may always have it but I do not need to suffer from it. That brings me to the purpose of the blog: to take me, an inactive asthmatic, from a sedentary blob to a 5km runner by the end of this summer. I always hated running for the sake of it. I found it weird and masochistic. But armed with a will to become active, fit and lose weight in a healthy way I am taking running by storm, one kilometer at a time!