Friday, January 29, 2016

Shifting Gears in 2016

Since Superior—which I will just keep referring to as the mountain of rock in my heart—I have been focusing on what I need to do to make my 100 mile conquest a reality. It's been a lot of mental mojo as well as making dietary changes to show up in the best shape possible. Extra weight, although not the only issue, is an issue over the course of 100 miles. I am the detour and road block in my own plan. I have read more written lately on the endless calories available to burn in fat already stored on our bodies if we change the way our bodies burn fuel. I have read more about elites having a high fat and high protein diet as of late. And so my journey has begun to get out of my own damn way.

Dialing My Plan with -12.5 lbs and Counting

So after allowing myself a good wallow with my pals Hershey, Reese's, Mallo Cup, KitKat, and cup cake for the rest of the month of September and into part of October, I knew I was ready to clean up my act and start again. I cut processed sugar and brought my carbs down to under 40 grams a day starting the week before Halloween. It was either going to be the best or worst sabotaging idea ever. It turned out to be the best. I did not partake in any of the candy loot my kids hauled home. I repeat, I had NONE. I was tired the first two weeks on training runs, but then I started to feel the clarity found deep into the miles of a race and walking away from carbs became very easy. I have tracked everything with the free version of the MyFitnessPal app. I aim for 120 to 150 grams of protein a day and follow a calorie deficit diet of 1,200 calories. If I gain calories through fitness, I log it in the app and eat it.
To reach the grams of protein I need, I have an optional protein shake called Trutein. It's a high quality whey, casein and egg white protein and doesn't taste like metal like many other protein shakes. I enjoy the Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cookie and Smores the most.  I can't say my running speed it there yet in changing my nutrition, but there is a clarity. It took me months to unload the 14 pound haul of candy between the kids in the form of cookies and brownies scattered to friends and family.

All of which I continued to not eat. I have become that jerk that shows up at gatherings, only eating specific foods. I eat out at Mexican restaurants and don't eat a single chip. I know… who does that? Certainly not this girl before. Everyone else benefits from having my french fries, rice, beans and potatoes, And guess what, it's been worth it! I actually saw a lot of hoopla on the internet promoting people to just enjoy the festivities with food. But I disagree. My goals mean more than the two months of gorging to find the jaded friend named Disappointment waiting on January 1. Happiness is far from the cookie table for this woman. I did allow myself three special treats during the holidays; I had a pumpkin bar at Thanksgiving that wasn't too sugary and was very enjoyable. I made a black forest cake that was to die for at Christmas. I had a piece of that, duh! And I did have a butter popcorn meal while watching the new Star Wars movie—because that's what makes me happy at a movie theatre that I attend less than once every couple years.

I seem to have made up for my not eating all the other stuff through the rest of 2015, with baking it for everyone else. For their weight gain, I apologize. By mid-December I was down 11.5 pounds. And have added another 2 pound loss since. For the first time ever (ever is just 7 years in this runner's life), I do not have to re-lose the same 10 pounds before the Bayshore marathon in May. In fact, I am below the weight I usually am for the marathon. This year I am running the half marathon the week before I head to Wisconsin to kill that Kettle Moraine 100. And by "kill," I mean survive with a solid, healthy finish where my mind isn't completely blown, and I feel like I have a little more to give in the end. Yeah, that's the dream.

Geared-In Training

Jacob's Ladder is there to make
my heartrate zip. Just try it out for three minutes.
You will survive.
A couple weeks ago I explored the Jacob's Ladder. I need to be in peak cardio fitness and lift my legs more. I saw the Jacob's Ladder on a Facebook page a year ago and have been wanting to try one out since. I found one at out local YMCA. My heartrate flew to 170 quickly. It's total body engagement climbing a ladder like a fireman. It goes as fast you you make it go since there is no motor except the operator.

As a comparison, when I run hill repeats in the snow my rate is 160. Probably lower because I am taking more time on foot placement. I will be spending more time Jacob's Ladder to work on endurance and lifting my legs, as well as including more snow hill repeats which were exuberating. I need to work on my footwork skills and concentration of landing. That's a fact. I set my timer on my camera as I ran them and started to play beat the clock to the bottom as well as take a few up hill images. By taking images of myself running, I can see my lack of control with my left arm that crosses over way too much, which is wasted energy. It's an issue I am working on correcting. I have to consciously pull my right arm back and forth, like I am going to reach in my back pocket. It helps me correct the left. I am sure deep in a race, I will probably think "screw it, just run."

A little game of beat the clock (or timer) during winter hill repeats in Steampunk INKnBURN attire which seemed appropriate to get my butt in gear or shifting gears on a winter hill in Michigan.
One of the exciting parts about taking my "getting my butt in gear" photos is that I ended up with one gem. It has appeared on the INKnBURN website as a rotating photo, FB home page and Instagram. Hill repeats in the winter in Michigan is currently seen all over the world. With all the beautiful worldly photos they have to pick from, this is an honor to represent the brand in this way and illustrate that I am on my way in 2016 to believe it, live it and for crying out loud—finish it!!
The INKnBURN website page where my winter hill repeats in Michigan made the rotating home page.

And with that, I suggest a new song for anyone's play list. I dedicate this to hill repeats: Sia: Unstoppable