Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Load of crap

Do you ever have those days where it seems like absolutely nothing is going right? For me, that day has been about two and a half months long (although in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit it has not exactly been a stellar year) and seems to be reaching its apex now, at the end of July. This either means that things can only get better in August or that things are going to veer toward this massive disastrous catastrophe for an unspecified amount of time to come. I would be optimistic, but I kind of feel like I've been living in a sh*t storm for a while now, and nothing will kill hope like a situation like that.

The day started with me having to weigh myself for my ediets check in. I started the diet in April and then went off of it in May, came back to it in June and have been on it since. Although I initially lost some weight (and felt listless and lethargic in the process), I gained it all back when I went off the diet. Since going back on it, I haven't been able to report a net loss of any pounds. I will lose a pound or half a pound in a week, then promptly gain it back the following week, without doing anything differently, really. My mom thinks I should be running more, but I don't really know that this diet allows for much more activity than I already have in my life (3-4 days of running a week which will be steadily increasing mileage-wise as I get into my training for the marathon and 3-4 days of pretty intense yoga), unless I want to be totally drained of energy pretty much all the time, meaning crappy workouts and, more generally, feelings of crappy all around. So the day started with yet another weight gain, and when you report weight gains to ediets, they kind of scold you and then ask you if you want to reduce your calorie intake, because that is sure to boost your energy levels. I'm done with ediets. I'm totally, 100% over it. What a great start to the day!

I have to move again soon (in spite of feeling like I just moved, which I sort of did) and that is turning out to be disastrous. What makes it even better is the fact that I am moving for this new job, which I supposedly started on July 1st, except that as of today, I am still not in the system as an employee. This is just another thing on the list of things that have gone wrong so far with this job.

This is all just so tiring. I feel overwrought, overwhelmed, fed up, and run down. All of this BS has really just drained my energy and the last thing I feel like doing right now is going for a run, even though I can acknowledge that it would probably do me some good.

What I really want is to just leave everything behind and start over somewhere. I have a vacation to San Diego coming up and the idea of just going out there and staying is looking better and better by the minute.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

6 things about me that will undoubtedly blow your mind

I know this one has been a long time coming--here are my 6 things that I'm posting because I was tagged by Rachel about one million years ago.
  1. I really, really dislike the taste of milk. I don't mind it in recipes, but I cannot stand it on its own and I will pass on a bowl of cereal if there is no soymilk to be had. I think the idea of milk is weird, too, because when you think about it, humans are the only animals to drink the milk of another animal. I sort of have a problem with that (it just seems sort of gross to me) but oddly enough I am a big fan of cheese.
  2. I started running when I was high school. I did track in my sophomore year and hated it (or at least really disliked it, because I am not all that fast and don't really do short distances) and cross-country in my junior year and really liked it. My friend and I would run together during practice and developed a nice pace that we lovingly referred to as 'the comfort stride'. It was like magic. We also skipped one or two long runs by ducking into the woods and waiting for people to pass us on our way back! Those were the days.
  3. I went to a public school with a French immersion program and started learning the language at the age of five. From kindergarted through sixth grade, my education was primarily in French even though it followed the same curriculum as all of the other public schools in the county. I continued studying French for 21 years and just left school after a BA, MA, and two years of PhD study in French literature.
  4. I've been up and down the east coast (although I have only really driven through some states, like South Carolina and Connecticut) and visited parts of California but have seen very little of the country other than that. I spent a few hours in a Texas airport (Houston? Dallas? I think it was Houston. Maybe) and a couple days in Baton Rouge, LA, but have never been to the midwest.
  5. I really don't understand why Sandra Lee (of the Food Network) uses 'whipped topping' instead of something like reddi-whip. I understand the concept of the show, with convenience food and all that jazz, but I don't really see how 'whipped topping' is more convenient than reddi-whip. And not that I'm endorsing reddi-whip, but at least it is made with real cream and would actually qualify as a food. 'Whipped topping' is an adjective and a noun, neither of which are actual foods. It just seems to me that you shouldn't sacrifice food quality if you don't have to. Plus, if you can so easily use real whipped cream in a recipe, why wouldn't you? This really, really puzzles me.
  6. On two separate occasions, Huey Lewis has told me very emphatically that I am pretty. When I feel bad about myself, remembering this makes me feel better. Unsolicited compliments always have that effect.
Since I think just about everyone else I know has been tagged already, I am going to take advantage of the fact that I have blogging friends and family members (who, to be honest, do not all have running-related blogs, but I don't think that matters) and tag them! So, I am tagging Mike, Suewho, Zebeckras, and Binx. No, that doesn't add up to six, but oh well. Here are the rules:

-link to the person who tagged you.
-post the rules on your blog.
-write six random things about yourself.
-tag six people at the end of your post.
-let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
-let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Time for Training

After I registered for the Philadelphia marathon, I spent some time looking for a training plan (honestly, I may have started looking for the training plan before registering. Really, though, the order in which these things happened is inconsequential) and, in a fit of delusional perception of my current fitness level, chose to use Hal Higdon's Intermediate I training plan. The plan is well-balanced with two twenty-mile runs toward the end of the program, five runs a week, and a fair amount of weekly miles (starting at around 24 for the first week). The problem is that I tend to go into denial about certain things and I like to believe that I can do things that I am not entirely prepared for. Such as (just in case you are not following me here) this training plan. I think the problem is that I chose something thinking that maybe if I shut my eyes real tight and forgot about reality, I could pretend that maybe I hadn't lost an enormous amount of fitness in the past few months. What can I say? It's hard to go from easily running 8-10 mile training runs to being exhausted by four or five. So I guess I kind of thought that if I chose a training plan that was appropriate for me about six months ago that I would be magically transformed back into that six-month-ago version of Emilie.

As the time to start the training program drew nearer and nearer, I kept looking at it and going over what it was asking me to do. I made a lot of progress endurance-wise in the past few weeks but the first long run distance of this Hal Higdon plan is 8 miles, which I have serious doubts that I can do at this point. The long run was supposed to take place this past weekend, but for screwy and frustrating reasons, it didn't happen. I don't know if I'm capable of running 8 miles, and this week I am supposed to run 9.

So I thought maybe I should shop around a little bit and consider a different program. Last year, I trained with one that I found in an issue of Runner's World magazine. This program is good, obviously--it got my through my first marathon and I enjoyed it the whole time. I never felt overwhelmed by it, but I always felt challenged. So I thought maybe I should go back to that program. But for some reason I am resistant to it. I wanted to try something different, but maybe I sort of shot myself in the foot by slacking off so much for such a long time. I don't even know exactly why I want a different plan. I've looked at Hal Higdon's novice training plans, but they don't really appeal to me and I can't even explain why. I feel sort of silly about this whole thing, because clearly I have this penchant for the Runner's World plan but I'm still second-guessing everything.

Does anyone else do this or am I just super neurotic (I mean, obviously don't answer that question by saying, 'You're neurotic!')? How do you choose a training plan? I'm interested in hearing about other people's experiences.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fighting with the Wii Fit

This week I am spending some time visiting my friend Mike in Philadelphia. A while ago (at the time of its release, actually), Mike ordered a Wii Fit and he just received it this past weekend. So yesterday we eagerly set it up and played with it for a while. Even though I have been pretty awful at everything that has to do with the Wii since I first laid eyes on it (honestly, no one is worse than me at Wii sports. I am also a pro and Mario Kart and cannot win a single race in the Wii version of that game to save my life), I thought that I would probably have a good chance of doing well with a fitness game. WRONG!

The first thing you do when you set up the Wii Fit is have it take your weight and height in order for it to calculate your BMI. Mine is, apparently, just at the cusp of overweight (it is worth stating, I think, that the weight that the Wii Fit gave me was roughly five pounds heavier than I actually weigh) with a BMI of 24.somethingabovefifty. The Wii Fit then tells me I should aim for a healthier BMI of 22 and has me calculate how much weight I have to lose in order to do so--18 pounds! I never even thought I had 18 pounds to lose. That would require me losing muscle mass, I'm pretty sure, and I'm not really in the mood to do that. We are not off to a great start.

The next thing you do is a balance test to figure out your Wii Fit Age. Mine is 39. Yeah, that's right, to the Wii Fit, I am 13 years older than I really am. This result is based on my performance on a balance game. So even though I can make it through 90 minutes of yoga classes (which involve a huge amount of balance) and do balancing poses like tree, eagle, crow, side plank, and warrior 3, I'm 50% older, fit-wise, than I should be. According to a video game.

Needless to say, I was not all that happy. I mean, I know it is just a game, it's not to be taken seriously, but it sort of felt like a real blow. I will see if the Wii Fit and I can make peace with each other. I did have a proud moment when I beat (well, by beat, I mean I got a perfect score) on one of the 'harder' yoga poses, that you have to unlock in order to do. I am, apparently, simultaneously a yoga master (according to the Wii Fit, mind you!) and 39 years old. These are things I never knew about myself.

In other news, I recently registered for another marathon which means there are now two on the horizon (Philadelphia in November and the National Marathon in March '09), and I updated my blog so that I now have links to the blogs of my fellow Virtual Run Club members. I also want to welcome SueWho to the foodie blogosphere and I encourage everyone to welcome her and read her healthy eating ideas! This is the woman who has helped me along the path to healthy eating throughout my life; she is a great cook and comes up with great ways to work healthy food into everyday eating!

I was also tagged by Rachel, and I promise I will follow up on that soon :)