June 30, 2022

Candidly Katie #31

Again, this post is the formerly-called "Reader Q&A". I just thought Candidly Katie had a certain ring to it that sounded nice :)  On these posts, I'll respond to readers' questions (if I have any)--either fun ones or more serious ones, or whatever you come up with. I feel like I write SO much about myself (I've been blogging on Runs for Cookies since 2011) that I tend to forget what I've written and what I haven't.

Anyway, if you have any questions for me, please email them to me! Just send an email to: katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. I'll keep your name anonymous :)  Here goes! A few questions for this segment...

With your running certification I think you could help answer some questions for us beginners  :)  One question I have is:  Once I am able to run a mile without stopping, how quickly would you anticipate I would be able to run 2 miles or 3 miles?

Katie: I hate to answer this with such a vague "that depends" answer, but honestly--it does! However, I'll answer from my own experience as well as working with the kids on the cross country team.

When it comes to running, you'll find that the farther you go, the easier it is to go farther next time. Before thinking about that hurts your brain, think of it this way: If you go out and struggle through 1/4 mile (let's say that's the farthest you can run now), and I asked you to run 1/2 mile the next day, that feels like a HUGE increase.

However, if you are currently able to run 24.75 miles, and then next time, I ask you to run 25 miles, it's still a difference of 1/4 mile. That quarter-mile is going to be MUCH easier than running it when you're used to running 1/4. Does that make sense?

When I first started running, I couldn't run very far at all--not even the length of my street, which is probably 0.1 mile. My brother told me to go slower--as slow as molasses--and he bet I'd be able to double or even triple my distance. Well, he was right! I ran over a mile when I tried that.

To finally answer your question: Each time you run, it gets a little easier. The hardest part is the uncharted territory of that run. A mind trick I used to play when I had a long run (let's say my long run was 10 miles) was that I had to run 8 miles with a one mile warm-up and a one-mile cool down. I'd run eight miles before, so it didn't feel new to me. And calling those extra miles a warm-up and cool down made it seem much less scary.

Here is a picture of Jessica and I after we ran our first 20-miler--we were so proud! (Well, it was actually 16 miles with a 2-mile warm-up and 2-mile cool down, haha.)

If I had to guess: let's say you just ran your first mile and now you're training for two. If you're running regularly (3-5 times a week), I would say that you'd be able to run two miles after a couple of weeks. Depending on your training plan, that probably won't be the best way to increase mileage, but if that is the overall goal, you could just run a little farther each time and hit two miles then three miles relatively quickly.

Here is a post that I wrote about starting to run and running faster. Hopefully that helps!

I'm trying to drink water, which I really don't like. I'm wondering if you drink bottled or tap water and if you ever use those little flavor packets. And also, we recently bought a big seedless watermelon. It was so sweet and full of water. Is that something you do?

Katie: Hahaha, always with the water! I never used to struggle with it, but for the last few years, it's been really hard for me to get in much water.

I always drink tap water (I don't even filter it; I just drink it straight from the tap) and I'm very fanatical about using a reusable water bottle. It drives me CRAZY to see people drinking water from disposable bottles (not trying to start a debate; it's just something I'm kind of passionate about.)

I wouldn't say that I *love* water, but it's definitely my go-to drink. I don't like to waste calories on other drinks. To get in as much water as possible, I fill up a 1 Liter bottle and chug it as quickly as I can (usually within about 3-4 minutes). I impressed Luke and Riley one day by drinking the entire bottle without stopping for air, haha!

As far as watermelon, I don't count that as water--although it does have a ton of water and certainly would help hydrate you. In my own mind, I only count water as water (no tea, coffee, juice, etc.). I chew a ton of ice every day (I'm not anemic, I just like to chew ice), but I don't count that toward my water intake, either. I aim for 4 Liters of pure water a day (about a gallon).

I don't use the flavor packets or anything, either. I don't necessarily think there is anything wrong with them, but when I drink water, I tend to chug it rather than sip it; so the flavor packets don't really do anything for me. But I say hey--get your water in however it's easiest for you! 

I have about 50 pounds to lose, I am chipping away at it very slowly, losing about 0.5-1 pound per week. But I still dread getting on the scale! I have a hard time feeling good when I lose so little each week, and I can hardly feel the difference myself in the 10 pounds I've already lost.

This is usually the point in the past when I've given up, go into "eff-it!" mode and stop tracking. But I really, really want to stick with it this time! Any thoughts on a pep talk around the scale? Or what you're thinking at the beginning of long weight loss journey when you're making progress but before you really see any results?

Katie: Well, this is great timing. I just lost 50 pounds! And it took me a long time--a full year. 

Here is the way I look at and hopefully it'll help: I know that I want to lose the weight--it's a fact. I know it's going to take me a while to lose the weight (in this case, it was 50 pounds). That's a fact as well. I *also* know just how hard it is to keep the weight off after losing it and that there is NEVER going to be a finish line. You'll always be working at either losing it or maintaining it.

When the scale barely budged for me (or if I had a gain) I kept in mind that I'm not in a race to the finish line--because there isn't one--but I'm just doing what I need to do forever. If the scale says I lost five pounds or only half a pound, it isn't going to change the way I eat that day. (Or it shouldn't, anyway.)

Losing a large amount of weight is SUPER overwhelming and it feels almost hopeless in the beginning. But if you stop thinking of it as a weight loss journey and more of just everyday life, the number won't matter so much. If you're doing what you know you should be doing for your body (eating right, exercising, etc.) then it shouldn't matter what the scale says. It WILL go down eventually; the "eff it" moments are the defining moments where you'll either continue to lose weight or you'll give up and you DEFINITELY won't lose the weight.

Another option would be to stop looking at the scale for a while. Maybe only once a month? I prefer to weigh every day; it helps me to see how different foods affect me. However, I don't let it trigger me to quit if the scale doesn't show what I hope. I'm very reasonable and level-headed when it comes to the scale. If it says I gained a pound but I know I didn't eat an extra 3,500 calories, then I don't even give it a second thought. It's not unusual for my weight to fluctuate up to 4-5 pounds in a single DAY. 

My very favorite way to track my weight loss when I was losing 125 pounds was this: I had a pair of jeans that was one size smaller than the current size I was wearing. Every week, I'd try on the too-small pair and see how close they were to buttoning and/or zipping, and then once I could get them buttoned and zipped, I'd buy a pair that was one size smaller and keep going. It was always so exciting to get to move down a size! (I went from a 24W to a 2 at my smallest; I'm about a 6 now.)

I realize this answer is all over the place; it's just so hard to explain the workings of my mind. Basically, if you keep doing all the right things, the scale will continue to move downward. A year from now, you could be 50 pounds lighter if you keep going! Maybe it'll take two years, but does that really matter? A year from now you'll at least be halfway to your goal. And I promise that a year from now, you'll wish that you'd started today!

This is a one-year comparison (losing just less than a pound a week):

Okay, hopefully my answers weren't too scatterbrained today! Those were good questions :)  And now a question for all of you...

How do you drink your water? Tap, bottled, filtered, etc? Do you use your own refillable bottle or disposable? A straw or no straw? Flavor or no flavor? So many choices for such a simple thing!


  1. Tap water, and wish I could chew ice, but my teeth are too sensitive. And another thing I think that's important for the girl who's increasing her milage is, for me anyway, it was always harder starting out. Then after you go a ways, it kinda feels natural. For me, the warm up takes the most exertion. And I think also rewarding yourself with some cute running gear helps with motivation.

  2. Cleveland has great tap water so that's what I drink at home. I prefer ice water and used to get crushed ice from the athletic training room when I worked at a college. My current company has ice and water in the fridge so I drink that. I'm a reusable bottle person for sure.

  3. So helpful! We have a whole-house water filter which helps the germ-phobic part of me. Also hurrah to refillable bottles. I WILL get into a debate about bottled water. Huge business ruining our planet is so many ways. Uses more petroleum than cars. It's also draining the Colorado River. Nestle, I'm looking at you!

  4. I am terrible at drinking my water. My first choice is the gas station water...their ice is crushed and the water is so cold and tastes so good. But that is a "treat" because I won't stop just to get water. So my norm is a plastic cup with a lid and straw out of the refrigerator. It's meh. I'd like to get a pellet ice maker, but I'm having trouble justifying the expense ;-)

  5. Water from the tap with a refillable bottle or if at home a glass. No flavorings. I don't need sugar or more chemicals in my diet. My ask Katie question is how do you remain so optimistic? My anxiety is through the roof & could use a few pointers.

  6. We are water snobs and have a Culligan water dispenser in our house. It's the best thing ever!!!!

  7. Lucky to live where our water comes from the bavarian alps. Munich has excellent water so it's tap for us. I do have a soda stream for sparkling water. No juice, no chems. Just water!


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