My kids are on winter break all this week (not that they needed it, because they've been off SO much from all the snow days). If they weren't on winter break, though, today would have been yet another snow day for them. We ended up getting another six inches of snow last night! Jerry said the roads were terrible on his way to work this morning.
Yesterday, I had a 40-minute tempo run on the schedule. Hal Higdon's tempo runs are completely different from what I've always considered a tempo run and from what I learned in my RRCA certification class. His version of a tempo run is what I would call a "pyramid" run--gradually getting faster and faster until peak speed (he suggests 10K pace), and then reducing speed. To me, a tempo run is done at a steady "comfortably hard" pace--generally, the pace you can hold for about an hour.
I don't like Higdon's version, so even though I'm loosely following his training schedule right now, I decided to just do whatever felt right yesterday. I ran slowly for 10 minutes, to warm-up, and then increased the speed to my tempo pace (8:13/mi). I'd planned to run that for 20 minutes, then cool down for for the last 10. But after about a mile at tempo pace, my shoulders were killing me! I was really sore from doing push-ups the day before, and swinging my arms while running made them ache really badly.
I slowed the pace for a half mile, and then picked it up again for another mile, but I was still in pain. So what my run up being was actually "tempo intervals"--longer intervals at tempo pace, with a short break in between. Not exactly what I was aiming for, but more effective than an easy run.
I've been struggling a lot with trying to figure out what I want to do as far as a training plan. I've changed my mind so many times since I ran the Chicago Marathon! I've started plans only to switch to something else a few weeks later. With all the ice and snow, I haven't been able to train outside at all this winter, so I feel like I'm just kind of "in limbo" as far as a training schedule. Some days, I think I want to go back to doing six days a week, like for the Hansons' Method, but other times, I think I want to cut back to three days week, just for fitness. I can never make up my mind ;)
I've been going through the same issue with whether to count or not to count--calories/points, whatever. I was doing really well without counting for a couple of months, but lately, I've been snacking more and more. It's easy to eat too much, because there aren't any numbers telling me that I should stop eating now (like when I would reach my calorie/point target for the day, if counting). Especially since I'm not weighing in all month, I'm afraid it could get out of control... so I've been tempted to start counting again. My sister was wondering if I wanted to text our food logs again, and that kind of made me want to go back to counting points. But another part of me just wants to be "normal", and not count.
Question: For those of you that have lost the weight via counting calories or points, do you continue to count in maintenance? Is it something you think you'll always have to do?
In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to count, and I wouldn't overeat or binge; but it's not a perfect world ;) I'm completely fine with my weight being a few pounds over goal--Mark's cancer diagnosis and outlook on life made me realize that the number on the scale really isn't important, as long as I'm healthy and active. I guess my fear is just that I'll gain even more, and feel just as comfortable; and gain a little more, etc.
You would think that after being in maintenance for three years, I'd have this all figured out by now! Hahaha, I'm always learning new things, always changing my goals, and always changing my mind about what I find important. So I guess it's natural that I have to change up the way I do things! Wouldn't it be nice if we could just get to maintenance, and that was it? We'd never have to worry about weight/food/etc again? ;)
I pre-ordered the Hansons' Half Marathon Method book on Amazon, and it's supposed to be released in April. I think once I read that, I'm sure I'll get the itch to work on training for another half-marathon. The only one that I have planned for this year is the Detroit Free Press Half in October, but maybe I'll find one sooner. Summer isn't ideal for running a half, but at least I'll have more focused training.
Right now, I just wish that the streets would be clear so that I could run outside! I spent a couple of hours today chipping away at the thick layer of ice that was our driveway. I cleared about 90 percent of the ice from the driveway (and got a killer upper body workout). It's kind of funny--it was 34 degrees today, but it felt SO much warmer (the "feels like" temp was 43). My kids were outside without coats, and I was shoveling snow (ice) in just a t-shirt and yoga pants! I hope this means that spring is around the corner...!