June 14, 2016

Journaling and speed work

I don't want to jinx anything, but ever since I stopped the no-grocery-shopping challenge last Monday, I've been doing really well with my eating. I've been eating what I really want, feeling satisfied with normal-sized portions, and my calories have been at a good maintenance level. (And interestingly enough, I've been craving fruits and vegetables more than ever this week.)

At my last therapy session, my therapist wanted me to start writing down the times where I feel urges to overeat or binge (or just eat when not hungry), and what I was doing before I got the urge. I've been doing it all week, and it's been very interesting, if nothing else!

Something I hadn't really paid attention to is how much cues from TV or books or radio trigger those thoughts. I always assumed my bingeing was from emotional eating, but a lot of the urges have come from seeing someone eating ice cream on a movie, for example. It's like an instant switch goes on inside of me that makes me want ice cream--and not just a small portion, but the mentality of "I'll just eat ALL the ice cream!" kind of thinking. Lesson? Maybe I should watch less TV ;)

I know keeping a diet or binge journal is something that pretty much every article you read about the subject tells you to do... but I've never actually done it, because it sounded kind of dumb. I never expected to actually learn anything new about myself. I already knew that stress and anxiety were triggers, but I had no idea that seeing someone eat or reading about someone eating was a trigger.

I also didn't expect that the simple act of jotting down a few notes (literally about 2-3 fragmented sentences) about what I was doing before an urge would actually stop the urge very quickly. Almost by the time I get done writing it down, I no longer feel like I'm fighting an urge. As cliche as the advice to keep a binge urge journal is, I highly recommend trying it for a couple of days--you might be surprised about what you find out!

Jerry started his 12-week training plan for his half-marathon yesterday. He's never done speed work before, but I included a little in his plan each week just to keep him from being bored. Today was his first interval workout, and he was SO nervous--it was funny! But I totally get it, because I get super nervous before my speed work sessions, too ;)

He did awesome! It was a mile warm-up, then 10 x 60 seconds fast, with 90 second recoveries. I knew exactly how it would go, and I even told him my predictions--he would do his warm-up too fast, because of nerves, then do his first interval too fast, because it's hard to gauge how long you can hold a fast pace. Then he would jog the first recovery, even though I told him to walk. He'd realize just how hard it was, and walk the rest of the recoveries. After I told him my prediction, he said he'd prove me wrong. Well, we laughed when he got back, because I was 100% correct! haha. When I do short intervals, I always walk the recoveries, because the intervals are much harder than they read on paper.

When he finished his workout, he said it was very difficult, but he felt really good about it. Seeing him sweaty and exhausted made me want to do a tough workout, too, so I decided to do the exact same workout. I haven't done much speed work lately, because I'm not training for anything, so I had no idea how it would go.  (I totally wasn't thinking of the fact that I just did my longest run in a couple of months yesterday--six miles--so my legs were probably tired enough.)

Well, let's just say it did not go as I'd hoped. I jogged a mile for a warm-up (too fast, because nerves); then struggled through a 6:40-ish pace for 60 seconds. (The last time I did this workout, my pace was in the very low 6:00's.) I started walking, and realized that my recoveries were set for 60 seconds instead of 90, and I really wished they'd been at 90. I made it through just three intervals before I called Jerry to come pick me up!

I was not feeling good at all. I barely got any sleep last night, so that may have been why; but it could be the fact that I haven't been training hard and my weight is up about six pounds from when I was at my peak 10K training. Probably a combination of it all. Some runs just suck, and today's was definitely a sucky one.

I don't expect to be in top running shape year-round, of course! Even elites gain about 10 pounds in the off season and slow their paces/decrease their mileage. Through the summer, my biggest priority is to keep my weight at or under 133, since that is what I have the toughest time with (weight gain in the summer). If I can do that, and I decide that I want to race in the fall, I think I'll be able to get back into racing shape without too much struggle. I think I can probably consider the low 120's my "racing weight", and the high 120's to low 130's my "normal weight"--and I'm good with that.

I'm excited to work on my Summer Running checklist this summer! It starts on Monday, and I would love for people to join me in checking off some fun runs. Amanda left a comment on the last post that I should create a hashtag for people to use when sharing their runs on social media, and I LOVE that idea! So, if you are doing the checklist runs, and you share to social media, it would be awesome if you use the hashtag #CookiesSummerRunning. :)

I was thinking this morning about how we've had Joey for almost a year and a half now--it's gone by so fast! He's such a good dog, and I never dreamed how much the boys would become attached to him.

The kids have loved playing hide-and-seek with Joey. Noah takes Joey into his bedroom and closes the door, while Eli hides somewhere in the house with a treat. When Eli yells, "Ready!" it's like watching a bull being released from his pen at a bullfight. Joey tears through the house, looking in each room, until he finds Eli's hiding spot and gets his treat. Then the kids switch, and Noah hides while Eli waits with Joey. It's so cute to watch!


  1. Love their hide and seek game how fun! Dogs are amazing additions to the family.

  2. OMG that hide and seek game sounds sooooo cute. I can't even imagine.

  3. I love wine (not sweets) and watching people on TV drink wine in groups always makes me want a glass (which is calories I don't need).

    An idea - I print out exercise plans, like to train for a half or 10k or full, and it'll list 3 main work outs and 2-3 off/optional work outs, which I check off each day. I want a pretty plan to print and put up at home/work/my planner and well, Hal Higdon doesn't make a pretty PDF. If you did, it would be a comparative advantage that at least I would really appreciate.

  4. Katie, I'm training for a 5-miler at the end of July--my goal is to be under 39:54 (Delaware age group record for 60-64 females). Although I've been running for 15 years, I've never really done speedwork, but you inspired me :-) I'm roughly following Hal Higdon's intermediate plan for an 8K (even though I'm an experienced runner, I chose the intermediate plan based on my age). Last week was 6 x 400s, and I set a rest period of 3 minutes (walking) in between the 400s. It was tough but perfect--there's no way I could have jogged those breaks! And I ended up being pretty consistent even the ones toward the end (range of 1:49 to 1:52 per 400) Thanks for the inspiration -- I'll let you know if I make my goal! Diane

  5. That hide and seek sounds hilarious...I bet that would make a funny vlog or YouTube video....hint, hint. ha!

  6. I used to play hide and seek with my dog too when I was a kid, it was fun. The dog would run around bark and yelp until it found me hehe

  7. AnonymousJune 15, 2016

    I shared your checklist with the Black Girls Run group I run with so we will be doing some of the runs together. I am so looking forward to that list!!!

  8. I definitely get where you are coming from seeing certain foods on TV and craving them. My husband is an elite Master's runner who hardly ever deviates from his diet/training plan, but he LOVES to watch "Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives." It's like watching other people eat the food is enough for him...but me on the other hand--that show makes me hungry and kind of angry. I always think, if they're having all the good food, then why can't I?

  9. I so cannot wait for the #cookiessummerrunning!! Also, that story about hide and seek with Joey is too adorable!! I love how close they are with him. Makes me want a dog even more now!

  10. I LOVE the summer running checklist and will try to remember to do as many as I can! I've really been enjoying your blog and can relate a lot to the struggles with binge eating. I am also a secret eater, which is tough but I have managed to keep that to a minimum lately. Amy @ http://notafraidofstripes.blogspot.com/

  11. Interesting about the food cues from books and tv. I had to unfollow several IG accounts awhile back. They definitely made me want to eat things I wouldn't usually---I can look at healthy meals all day, but the baking and dessert accounts had to go.

  12. Our dogs bring so much joy into our lives. Loved the story about "Hide and Seek" with Joey. What a character he is! I can't imagine life without my Bulldog Juno, she is lazy, uncooperative and yet so darned sweet.

    So glad to hear the eating is going well. Like I told you, our recovery is sacred, we can allow nothing to interfere! I went to a therapist last summer, just twice. it is free through our jobs (which we are both retired from now), and I thought I needed help getting through some serious personal stuff. I talked, I cried, and even mentioned my struggle with my weight. He was not helpful in that area at all. He just wanted to talk about his very skinny wife (like 105 lbs. I think he said), and how much exercising she does. So I figured I could get through the stuff on my own, and I have. Some of it resolved and some of it, I have had to resolve to live with. Glad your therapist is more helpful. I will have to try "writing it down" before my next binge urge. I'm afraid my usual reason is just, "I'm bored!"


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