Oct 7, 2008

Weight Watchers Week Eleven: I'm going to run a 5K!

So last week, I mentioned that I was thinking about registering for my very first 5K. Thank you so much if you commented - I really appreciate your encouragement and insight! I discussed the 5K with Marc, and I should have known that he'd be fully supportive and encouraging.

So I did it! I signed up and now I'm working hard on pushing my body to run faster so that I can complete the race as fast as possible. I've found that running intervals really improves my speed, so I plan on running them at least twice a week.

I don't expect to win or even to place, and I'm definitely not going to push my body too hard (I have an ugly history of knee problems), but my motivation to complete the race as quickly as possible stems from knowing that Marc will be taking care of the kids by himself while I'm running. In fact, I don't know what he's going to do with them during the race, or if they'll even come with me since the race starts at 8:00 and I presume I'll have to be there quite a bit earlier to check in. I'd love any suggestions on how to prepare for the race or suggestions for what Marc should expect on race day while I'm unavailable. The web site says there's an "expo" and there's also a one-mile family race, so I know it will be a family friendly environment. But I'm wondering if there will be enough to keep two little boys from throwing tantrums out of boredom, or if Marc should just find something else to do that morning, like take them to the aquarium.

Meanwhile, as to Weight Watchers itself, I'm finding myself thinking less about losing weight and more about developing healthy eating habits that I can maintain for a lifetime. For me, that mainly means learning to control the amount of sweets I eat in a day, and to balance out my eating over the course of a day or two. In other words, if I have a big lunch, it's perfectly fine to skip dinner or just have a bite or two of something.

I am feeling less constrained by things I "should" be doing, and feeling okay about doing things my own way. I may not lose weight as quickly as if I followed Weight Watchers' guidelines to the letter, but I will be able to stick with the program for a lot longer. For example, there are days when I don't track my points. Not because I intend to eat a lot and don't want to be accountable, but because I forget or am not near a computer. But instead of feeling that the lack of tracking is a huge failure, I shrug it off and start tracking again the next day. That may not sound like much, but it's a big step for me :)


Anonymous said...

I don't think you should worry about Marc and the kids. I'm guessing you'll need to be there around 7 or 7:15 to check in (generally, the expo is held the day prior). Once the race begins, it'll be over before you know it!

Also, as much as you prepare and think you'll run a certain pace, I find I ALWAYS run faster on race day because there is so much adrenaline from running with other people. Also, you can try to "compete" with the people around you, like tell yourself that you want to catch up with "the woman in the red shirt" or whatever. You may even find that someone around you runs your pace, and you can stay with them the whole race. A 5K is short enough that most courses will have several places for spectators to watch runners come by. Your husband and kids could wait for you at the one mile mark or whatever and then use the rest of the time to run around and make their way to the finish to watch you come in. I'm sure they'll be lots of other kids there!

Tell us more about it - when is the race, how are you planning to prepare, etc. If you can't already tell, I love talking about running. :)

Anonymous said...

I am strongly considering my first 5K too! I haven't signed up yet, but it's likely I will. I have been doing a running program with my bf.
Good luck on yours, and one thing I've read is that (especially for your first race) you shouldn't worry about other runners; you're only racing yourself. And still others have said that the goal for your first race should be simply to finish! Either way, enjoy it!

Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net said...

First off, congrats on registering - that is taking the first step to achieve!

I would be there a little early for registration. You'll just need to get your number and pin it on and stretch. I actually just ran my first 5k a few weeks ago and I have a couple tips in my post that might help you (and a pic of my butt running too :-)


I also did a post here to talk about eating before races based on my research and my one experience.


Personally, I had lots of pasta the night before and ate a bagel w/ peanut butter the morning of the race (my brother-in-law says it's for runners like cryptonite is for superman).

Anyhoo, I really feel like that helped with the run for me. And, since you're running intervals I seriously bet this will be like a breeze for you! Running is 90% mental over physical.

I started exercising this year and did intervals, which are amazing for weight-loss. I would say add a few hills in your run because that helps with endurance (for me, at least). When you hit a wall in the race, running those hills on a flat or semi-flat course will be what pushes you to finish. Not to mention adding intervals and inclines are awesome for burning major calories! I've been doing it for 9 months and have lost 30 pounds!

OK - so I wrote a book but if ya can't tell, I am excited about this stuff now - you will be too when you finish! Good luck!

wyokari said...

5K races are over quickly - as is the post-race gathering. Almost everyone will be back within 45 minutes and then people sit around waiting for the results/trophies.

It's three miles - no need to think too much about carb loading or special gear. If you've been running 2 miles or so you'll easily finish and feel good afterwards.

Check out this site - when I started running I sought his advice and hired him for 6 months. From July to January he got me from 1 block and out of breath to completing a half-marathon. GREAT GUY! Not cheap, but worth every penny.


Tara said...

Just wanted to say Congrats on signing up! I'd like to do something like this in the future, so I'm looking forward to hearing how it turns out for you. Best of luck as you prepare.

Anonymous said...

5k: What a great way to challenge yourself...makes it more fun than just the usual "gotta exercise" routine. I was happy to read about you taking your own approach to WW and all the counting. Are the sweets so tempting to you because you are stressed/tired a lot? Someday when life slows down (yeah right!) check out normaleating.com.

Jennifer said...

I love your blog! I am a Weight Watchers member, and what you said about the program is so true. I lost 40 lbs after my first baby, and I'm almost down 25 after my second! My husband is even impressed with the program because it's the only one that really teaches you to cook and eat for yourself! I went through a slump for 3 months and hardly gained anything back (just a few small pounds) because I had developed such healthy, easy-to-live-with habits! Keep it up... Weight Watchers is fantastic!

Chief Family Officer said...

@Browneyed Basics - Thank you for sharing your experience and expertise! I'll have to see if I can figure out where they could watch me run by. I'm not really doing much to prepare at the moment - too overwhelmed at work. I get in time on the treadmill in the evening when I can, but I'm definitely not able to run as much as I would like. Adrenaline on race day sounds good though :) Thank you!

@Elsie - Thanks! I hope you go for it - one of the reasons I signed up for the 5K is just to be able to tell myself that I did it :)

@Andrea - Thank you! And congratulations! I'll definitely check out your posts (tomorrow - I have to get my butt in bed right now!). Great diet tips - perfect excuse for Buca di Beppo (my favorite pasta). And great idea to run on an incline - I usually don't, but I will now!

@Wyokari - Wow, congratulations! That's just amazing. And yes, I'm hoping the race will be fast :)

@Tara - Thank you! I'll try to share more but as I mentioned to Browneyed Basics, I am too busy with work to train properly :(

@Anon - Thanks so much. I will check out the site you mentioned. Stressed is a good word to describe me right now :(

@Jennifer - Aw, thank you! And I'm so glad you understand what I'm saying - I wasn't sure I was making sense. Congratulations on your success!!!

Anonymous said...

Yay! I'm excited for you.

We've been up to running three miles for a while, and my husband did a 5K a few weekends ago. He had no problem, and had a lot of fun.

Unfortunately I have been unable to run due to an ovarian cyst. He says he's definitely faster than I am now, so that is too bad. We'll have to find a way to get our workouts together once I'm back to running.

I can't wait. I have found that running is a fabulous antidote to stress, and I think I love that even more than the physical part now.