Friday, March 15, 2013

Incentives

My internal alarm clock is so strange. Every Thursday evening, I fill my quart-sized water bottle and place it on my nightstand. Since my long run is on Friday, I like to be well-hydrated when I run, but I don't want to have to stop and pee during my run, so I like to drink it as early as possible. When I put it on my nightstand, I think that it will be there "just in case" I wake up at 4 or 5:00 in the morning.

For the past four weeks, I've done the same routine with my water bottle; and each and every Friday morning, I wake up at 4:11 on the nose. I drink my water, then manage to go back to sleep for an hour or two. I just find it so weird that it's always 4:11--not 4:10, or 4:12, but 4:11!

This morning, I had such a hard time deciding whether to run outside or on the treadmill. As much as I hate the boringness of the treadmill, it has its advantages--at the top of the list right now is Jax and Sons of Anarchy ;)  But also, if I should get thirsty, I have water; I have access to a bathroom if needed; and I don't have to wonder what to wear or worry about extra layers of clothes.

I decided to run outside, since I did the treadmill last week. I got dressed in my Cold Gear running tights, a tank and a fleece jacket, my gloves, hat, and all of that... then I sat to wait for it to get light outside. Since I run on busy roads, I don't like to run in the dark. While I was waiting, I changed my mind and decided to run on the treadmill.

I took off all my warm clothes, and changed into my treadmill clothes. Then I set up my computer to watch SoA, and was about to start the 'mill, when I changed my mind again! So I changed back into my warm clothes, and before I could change my mind yet again, I headed out to run.

My run was bad, from beginning to end. I underestimated the wind; Jillian's podcast was incredibly boring; there was a lot of traffic on the road today; I encountered THREE unleashed dogs (separate parts of the run) and all of them scared me to death with the barking, growling, and chasing; I had to change my route due to said dogs; and I got a VERY sharp stomach cramp with just a half-mile to go. I really wished I'd chosen the treadmill after all, but at least I finished and it's done now!


I even managed a good pace, but I did stop the Garmin when I had to deal with the dogs. I showered, ate a (healthy) lunch, and then headed to Mrs. Fields to spend my activity PointsPlus on a cookie sandwich! I got the same thing I got last week (and the week before...).

It was really good, but I think I may change it up next week and get something different after my long run. Jessica got a carrot cake muffin from Panera that she said was amazing, so maybe I'll try that. In case it's not obvious, I always pick something sweet for my treats. I have such a hardcore sweet tooth, that I would choose cookies over something savory any day!

During the first part of my run today, I was thinking about how incentives like my cookie are what keep me going. Would I run 12 miles today if I didn't reward myself with a sweet treat? Honestly, no, I probably wouldn't. I love the way running makes me feel, but I feel good after running just three miles, too; running the extra miles lets me indulge on some stuff that I wouldn't be able to fit into my diet otherwise ;)

Also, knowing that I'm going to treat myself on Fridays helps me get through the rest of the week while staying on plan. Sometimes, when I'm tempted to binge, I'll tell myself that if I really want it, I can have it on Friday after my long run, when I've already burned those calories. I always use my long run day to treat myself to something indulgent.

Since we brought back Pizza Friday last week, we ordered pizza for dinner tonight. Between my cookie this afternoon, and the pizza for dinner, I used a big hunk of activity PointsPlus and weekly PP. I would much prefer to make homemade pizza on Fridays, but my kids like getting it from "the pizza store". I planned to eat two pieces, but it was so good that I ended up eating a third piece.

I should have stopped after two, because I wasn't even hungry when I had the third. Then I had a stomachache afterward--not from being full, but probably because I'm not used to eating that much cheese and grease? I think next week, I'll make my own and the family can order out. That's what I did the whole time I was losing weight, and it tastes much better than restaurant pizza!

I think that the cookie was probably the highlight of my day today--between my crappy run, my stomachache, and a headache, I wasn't too happy today. We don't have any plans tomorrow, so I think I may start a new project of some sort...

21 comments:

  1. That cookie looks amazing! I kind of want to eat the computer.... ;) Great job on your run & sorry about the loose dogs. :( I hate them on our bike roads, because they CAN catch you... (As we found out last year.)

    Sarah
    www.thinfluenced.com

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  2. I have been on WW for about 10 weeks and after a couple of times of getting pizza out and feeling awful after I have finally made the choice to just not eat it. It's really not worth the upset stomach! So I agree with you there. And your cookie always looks SO GOOD!

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    1. I make a pizza with the light Italian Flatout bread, 1/4 cup pizza sauce, onion, red pepper, mushrooms, 1 oz (sometimes 2 oz) turkey sausage, and reduced fat mozzarella cheese. I REALLY like cheese so I use 1/2 cup which is 4 points but 1/4 cup for 2 points would be enough.
      It's pretty good and I can control exactly what's on it.

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  3. That cookie looks amazing. Maybe one day I can run that far and enjoy one ;)

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  4. I have to say, I've had the carrot cake cupcake at Panera, and I wasn't impressed. I think mine was old because it was dried out.
    Also I wanted to pass along a tip if you're ever up in the East Lansing Area. At many local events they have ice cream carts. In said carts they sell the Most Delicious Ice Cream Sandwich EVER :) It's from Melting Moments. Definitely worth the splurge once or twice a year!

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  5. Ohmigosh, that cookie sandwich looks delicious. How many points did that set you back? I like your incentive program idea. Although, I don't think I would be able to stick to it.

    As for the pizza, I think making your own next time is such a good plan. It will take a little extra work and be annoying not to eat with everyone else, but so worth it.

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    1. It was 23 PointsPlus--I earned 25 for the day, so it worked out well :)

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  6. I like how you treat yourself after a run. I always see quotes on for the most part motivational fitness websites saying not to reward yourself with food "because you are not a dog", but honestly, I feel like if I'm gonna work that hard and I want to have a sugary treat afterwards, you bet I'm gonna get one!

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  7. I don't know if I love any dessert that much that I would run 12 miles for it... Then again I can barely jog to the corner (FYI I'm the 3rd house in) lol

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  8. You are so cute! I have just recently been reading your blog updates. I LOVE that you run for cookies. My fitness goals get sabitaged every time it decide to finally 'get fit' because my sweet tooth makes me cave after about 3 or 4 weeks. Then I start sneeking sweets i when hubby isn't watching. BAD BAD BAD. But the way you do it is genius! On another note, whhat is weekly points plus?' Sorry I am new.
    I am a runner wanna be. To be honest I am wating foro ger days of sunlight since I have 4 young kids at home all day and can't get out til hubby comes home (no tredmilll).

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  9. As a food addict, I cannot reward myself with food- it would most definitely lead to a binge. I do non food rewards. After losing 40-50lbs, I want to start running. I have lost 25.4 so far. Any tips for a first time runner?

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    1. While I'm not the writer of this blog, I did see your comment and hoped you wouldn't mind if I throw in my tips!

      I would say don't wait until you've lost 40-50 pounds. Start now! BUT start with walking.

      I, too, wanted to start running after I had lost a good chunk of weight. But I ended up signing up for a 5k early that was about 2 months away, with the goal of just walking the whole thing. When I started, I was almost 270 pounds (at only 5 foot tall), it took me more than 20 minutes to finish a mile, and a mile was as far as I could go. But by the time the 5k came, not only did I complete it, but I managed to jog a few times when I felt like it, and finished the 5k in 51:09! That's an average of 16 and a half minutes per mile! It really got my momentum going, and my next 5k I jogged half of it and walked half of it (alternating in 2 minute intervals).

      Anyway, I just wanted to encourage you to start sooner rather than later, and start out easy by walking--or maybe jogging in short spurts. After that first 5k I walked, I started out with my training by jogging 1 minute at a time between longer walking intervals. So if you think you can handle it, don't shy away from throwing some jogging in there. But if not, it definitely doesn't hurt to get your feet wet by walking some! And sign up for a race sooner rather than later--you might find them invigorating and addicting :-)

      I hope that helps :-)

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    2. Agreed! My Ragnar teammate Carly is a great example--she started running at 350 pounds, and she wrote some great tips on it. You can find her story here: http://www.runsforcookies.com/2012/01/very-inspirational-guest-post.html

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  10. I make little home made pizzas unsing natures own sandwich thins. They are really good and only about 5 WW pts.

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  11. Now I get how HUGE that cookie is! Sweets are my go-to treat. I could live without chips and crackers forever and not miss them. Tell me I can't eat sweets again and life wouldn't be worth living!

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  12. That cookie looks so yummy!! Just wondering do you cross train or just run? I know everyone says you should & I often try to do it but then I always change my mind and run instead.

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    1. I've never been a cross-trainer (although I know I should, I just never have). But since I got the ActiveLink, I've been walking quite a bit. I'll go for a walk once or twice a day (not fast, or "race walking" or anything--just a stroll). I like doing that!

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  13. Awesome run. Way to kill it in that last mile... after 11 miles you run your fastest mile by far!

    One time in college I kept waking up at 3:42am. Every night. It was the creepiest thing. I had no idea what was going on, I'd wake up and it would just be dark and silent. Eventually I figured out my anti-virus was doing some check every night at 3:42 and it kicked my CPU fan on... not very loud but enough to wake me up!

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    1. The only reason my last mile was that fast was because a dog was chasing me--literally! haha

      That's so interesting about your wake-up call... I wonder if something like that is going on at my house. I'm going to see if I can figure it out!

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  14. I stumbled across your blog last night. I wanted to say THANK YOU!! After reading your entry on binge eating, I realized this is what I do. In particular, this week has been really rough! I keep saying, tomorrow will be the day I turn this around, but then I that day comes, I feel guilty, then that night I'll treat myself. It is such a horrible downward spiral. I need to get back on my wagon and only allow for a special treat on my long run days.

    Question for you though, if you have enough calories/WW points on your non treat days, do you allow yourself a low cal treat? Perhaps like a skinny cow treat?

    Again, thank you, and best of luck!
    Kim

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    1. YES! I plan for a treat every single day (not a 700 calorie cookie, of course--those are for my long run days!). Most of time, I have wine and chocolate, but sometimes I'll have a piece of candy, or a brownie, or a cookie or something like that. If I don't have a treat to look forward to each day, then I don't stay on track, so I always plan it out in advance :)

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