Final Countdown

The human mind is kinda amazing. I’ve been consistently running twice a week now directly after work. I’m usually wiped after work but telling myself that it’s just 30 minutes has been making a big different. I’m still doing intervals but starting last week I decreased my walk time and increased my run time. I still have all my run data from this year saved in an app and my pace is almost a minute faster than when I ran my first 5k in March. Our next 5k is about a month away and I’m excited. I’m considering trying to bump up my runs to 3 times a week but my legs are a bit sore from yesterday. I’m hoping to get my pace down by another minute, especially since we’re looking at another race in December. Not sure if I’m ambitious or a glutton for punishment at this point.

Here We Go Again

After our run last week, I had some minor shin pain. Due to the HSG and an extremely busy week at work, I took a week off from running. DH and I ran yesterday and I was a minute over my usual pace, in part due to an event we literally ran into, and due to wet pavement. I also tried to slow down when I began feeling shin pain but it was challenging since DH was the pacesetter. I asked him to slow down a few times but he’d eventually unconsciously speed up again. I gave up after a bit and tried to keep pace, but I’m paying for it today. It’s annoying since we’re less than 2 months from our next race, but I guess I’ll just be on the bike or elliptical this week and probably next. Such a pain in the ass. These last 2 runs probably messed up my shins too because I’ve been predominantly running on the treadmill due to the heat. After I recover from the shin pain I’ll give outdoor running another shot but hopefully all will go better. I’m super excited about this race though and we’re looking at race #3 in November!

Calm Before the Storm

DH and I had a much-needed staycation this weekend. We both had colds this week (I caught mine from him) and we had another tough work week. Plus I was feeling stressed about my HSG that’s scheduled for tomorrow. We stayed at my in-laws’ (they went out of town) and it was nice to slow down a bit and get a break from the city. We visited a friend in the area and thanks to my gregarious husband, made new friends.

Today was a little tough though. We took advantage of being near a paved trail but the humidity was stifling. We have less than 2 months until our next 5k and wanted to ramp up training. I don’t think I’ve run outside all summer and I could feel it. I ran intervals but it was challenging since it was tough to gauge my speed. Plus I was running with DH, who would periodically speed up. While running back to the house, my shins began hurting so I’ll probably take the next few days off from running to heal. I guess the one positive is that I haven’t had shin pain in months.

As far as the HSG goes, I’m nervous. And annoyed. Annoyed because someone I know announced her second pregnancy in the last 18 months (!) and I have to get this stupid thing done just to try and have 1 kid. I also have to take strong meds to hopefully prevent spasms in my tube like last time. Good thing DH and I both took tomorrow off. We’ll see how it goes but I’m really really really not looking forward to this.

Almost

Last weekend I came across Runner’s World and found an interesting running plan. DH and I have decided to do another 5k in September so I need to start training again. The plan consisted of walking briskly for 2 minutes, jogging lightly for 5 minutes, then alternating 10 minutes sprinting for 30 seconds then briskly walking for 90 seconds, with the idea of gradually increasing time sprinting and decrease time spent walking. What follows is a 2 minute casual walk to cool down. I got pretty excited and decided that I would try out the plan on Monday. That didn’t happen because I forgot I had to meet a friend after work. Tuesday was a no-go because I had to work late, but I finally got to do it on Wednesday. Running went very well, except my obnoxious neighbor came in and wanted to chat. In the middle of my work out. As I’m wearing headphones. I don’t know if he has poor situational awareness or just didn’t care that he was interrupting my workout (I think it’s more of the latter), but it was very distracting. However, after I brushed him off I was able to get back on track. What was kind of cool is that I had planned to take yesterday as a rest day. It was another stressful day at work and I had intended to come home and relax a bit with a glass of wine, but I instead walked for almost an hour while listening to a podcast. I kept my speed around 3 miles as to reduce injury risk. I’m hoping to start with running twice a week then increase it to 3 times. A friend invited me to go to spin class with her in a few weeks so I’m pretty excited for that.

So the exercise part of things are going well but nutrition suffered a bit this week. I started tracking my meals again and did well Monday and Tuesday, not so much Wednesday. Breakfast this week consisted of burritos (scrambled egg, black beans, turkey sausage, yogurt cheese, salsa) and lunch Monday-Wednesday was a salad. However, Wednesday some of the top brass at my job came to visit and pizza was provided. I had one piece in addition to my salad and later in the day, another coworker and I discussed the odds of there being more left. My coworker brought back a slice for me and initially I was going to save it for DH, but he’s on a FODMAP diet for the next week and a half. So I ate it but it helped that I ran later in the day. Lunch yesterday was a really delicious bowl that DH and I agreed will be added to our regular meal rotation. We were inspired by a Hawaiian restaurant that we went to last week. The bowl consisted of quinoa, grilled chicken, feta cheese, white bean beans, black beans, and a honey-coconut milk-sriracha sauce. I added a bit of Greek yogurt to help balance the heat. I planned to have another bowl for lunch today but we ended up ordering out at lunch. Dinner has been more of a mix since it was provided by my in-laws. We went to their house for dinner last weekend and they gave us a ton of food since they were leaving town for a while. We’ve had leftover chicken marsala, crab cakes, and planning to have cod this weekend. My weight has been off this week due to my period starting (yay) but I think I should be back on track next week.

Speaking of annoying things like my period, I scheduled my HSG for about a week from now. I took the day off because I anticipate being emotionally wiped like last time. We shall see. At least I was prescribed a stronger painkiller this time.

Lesson Learned

A few months ago, one of DH’s relatives came to town. We hadn’t seen him in quite a while so we went out to a bar and tossed back a bunch of drinks, including shots. The next morning, I was feeling okay, until I ate breakfast. That didn’t stay down. I vomited several times, thinking that it must have been the flatbread I ate the night before (it was pretty terrible). I almost went home from work.

Yep, this happened on a Tuesday night.

Fast forward a few months, and the same thing happened, except I realized that it wasn’t bad food. It was the liquor. I’ve hit the point in my life in which I can’t tolerate straight liquor. I couldn’t keep anything down (ironically, not even Pepto Bismol) until mid afternoon. I guess it was for the better since ingesting shots isn’t the greatest idea, especially when trying to be more health conscious. Also coincidentally, DH and I were with family we hadn’t seen in a while.

This weekend was a bit frustrating not only due to getting sick, but because I couldn’t exercise much. My folks were staying at a resort and we used their pitiful gym. Kid you not, every piece of cardio equipment was broken and just 2 weight machines worked. DH and I found a path that we though was .75 miles but was more like .2. I haven’t exercised this week because I’ve been battling borderline-severe acid reflux. The liquor + bad food over the weekend + vomiting kicked it up pretty bad. I haven’t been able to sleep and I haven’t been drinking coffee as to not worsen the reflux. I think I’m finally better after leaving work early yesterday. Such a pain, but now I know to be a lot more cautious.

***

Friday, I have my next doctor appointment. I’m supposed to get my progesterone levels checked and I think next week I get all my test results back. Fingers crossed we finally get some answers.

Shorts!

I finally got back into the gym this week. I decided on Tuesday that I needed to get back into exercise. It had been at least 3 weeks since I last really worked out due to traveling and work obligations. All day Tuesday, I started talking myself out of going to the gym. I was tired. I had things to do at home. I just didn’t feel like it. But before I could fully talk myself out of going when I got home, I changed out and headed over. I kept the workout on the light side: 4 sets of 10 reps of leg presses at 200 pounds, chest press (same number of sets and reps) at 80 pounds, and I walked for 30 minutes. I know myself well and knew that if I tried to run for the first time in 3 weeks I could a) get tired pretty quickly and lose motivation; and b) get a shin splint and be out of commission for a few weeks. When my workout ended, I realized that I had missed how amazing I felt afterwards.

I went back to the gym yesterday, again immediately after work. And I did something for the first time in a very long time: wore gym shorts to work out. I rarely wear shorts in public. I gain weight first in my thighs and since I was in my teens I had issues with shorts that ride up when I walk. I wore jean shorts last week to run to the store and it felt both great and strange. Yesterday I was suddenly feeling inspired to wear gym shorts to work out instead of my usual capris or pants. While walking to the gym, I felt a bit like a baby learning to walk: a little unsteady, hyperaware of the air hitting my legs. In addition to a 30 minute walk, I did a few kettle bell exercises and 4 sets of 10 reps on the ab crunch machine at 70 pounds. When I walked to get some water after using the ab machine, I checked out my legs in the mirror. I noticed less jiggle and more muscle definition than when I last examined my legs months ago. During my walk, a friend came in the gym and I immediately felt self-conscious. I worried about not working out harder, my shorts riding up, completely irrational stuff. That lasted approximately 5 seconds. I re-focused and finished my walk, then made brief conversation with my friend before stretching and heading out.

The best part? My shorts stayed put.

The Grand Experiment

So, the 2(ish) weeks are up and this whole thing was pretty interesting. Here are my takeaways:

-Totally failed at not going out to eat for 2 weeks but when we did go out, I made better choices

-Calorie counting is a pain in the ass

-Planning meals 2 weeks at a time has been incredibly helpful and has saved time and money

-I was more mindful of my portions

-I have been getting fuller on less food

-I had a net loss of 3 pounds

-My water intake did not increase

-I’ve somewhat weaned myself off of coffee in favor of tea

-Calorie counting is a pain the ass

-I frequently don’t eat enough calories, but I’m more aware of the calorie content of many foods

-It’s gotten easier to turn down junk food at work

I doubt I’ll continue counting calories regularly (see above) but I will be eating more mindfully. Potentially in a week I’ll do it again for a few days to make sure I’m consuming enough calories.

Days 9 and 10

Day 9:

Breakfast was a breakfast burrito, same as before. DH took half a day to go with me to my reproductive specialist appointment (more on that in a second) so he brought me lunch for a locally well-known sandwich shop. It came with a soda and bag of chips, so I ended up having the soda, chips, and 2/3 of the sandwich. For dinner, I had the remainder of my sandwich and a cupcake we picked up while getting groceries. Thanks to that heavy sandwich I didn’t have much of an appetite for the rest of the day and was under my calories.

Day 10:

Today was annoying. I had to go to a follow up appointment (again, more on that in a second) in which I had to fast. I brought a quick breakfast to work that consisted of an everything bagel and homemade hummus. Lunch was another turkey burger on a thin sandwich bun and a bit of barbecue sauce, and I had a handful of mixed nuts for an afternoon snack. Dinner was a stuffed mushroom with sauteed spinach, mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce. Exciting stuff. I haven’t totaled my calories yet but hopefully I’m on target.

***

I had my consultation appointment with my new reproductive specialist yesterday. DH came with me and spent most of the appointment answering a zillion questions. I still hate being asked about if I’ve ever been pregnant and when the nurse asked how long we’ve been trying, I realized that it’s been about 31 months. I felt a bit deflated after that. Anyway, I’m not a fan of my doctor, especially since he started dictating my case right in front of us. Rude. He performed a pelvic exam and said everything looked good but I needed to come back today for blood work and a transvaginal ultrasound. In addition to checking my hormone levels, they’re performing genetic testing to see if that’s why I haven’t conceived yet. I have to go back yet again in 3 weeks to get my progesterone checked. The ultrasound was really uncomfortable because my left ovary wasn’t visible. All of this is a pain in the ass but I’m hoping it’s worth it.

Days 7 and 8

These last 2 days have been tricky.

Day 7:

First, I weighed myself this morning and was pleasantly surprised. My weight stayed flat even though I felt I had eaten half a grocery store the day prior. When I put all my meals into my fitness tracker I was actually within my target calorie range. Guess it helped that I was fairly active on Friday, which balanced my calories a bit. Anyway, breakfast was quinoa pancakes again because DH and I were going to a party later that night. As part of the festivities, we stopped by a great bakery we hadn’t been to in ages and got guava and cream cheese pastries for ourselves. So good. Lunch was 2 grilled chicken tenderloins with a serving of cauliflower “rice.” The rice was interesting. We got the unflavored kind and I seasoned it with a chili coffee seasoning mix. Dinner was a mix of things from the party but I tried to be mindful of portions.

Day 8:

My period started today, which has kept my energy low and I haven’t been very active today. I slept in (which was glorious) so I missed breakfast this morning. I met friends for lunch, which was a lobster roll with a side of fries. I then had a couple of cocktails with the girls. Dinner was a bit of smorgasbord. I had a turkey burger with barbecue sauce on a thin sandwich bun, along with some rice and half a tamale that DH brought home from brunch with his friends. Probably went over my target calories but who cares.

***

Tomorrow, I have a consultation appointment with a reproductive specialist. DH is going with me. I told my mom about it tonight and she was excited that I haven’t given up on trying to get pregnant, which I guess I implied last time we talked about this. I have mixed feelings because I feel like I’m going to get disappointed again. With the HSG, my odds of pregnancy were supposed to increase by 30%. Going on Clomid, my odds were supposed to increase too, especially at the higher dose. None of that worked. I think I’m mostly ambivalent as a way to protect myself against further disappointment. DH and I already agreed though that the furthest we’ll go is getting the trigger shot and after that we’ll stop trying. This is such a roller coaster.

Days 5 and 6

So about not eating enough calories…

Day 5:

Breakfast was a homemade breakfast burrito (bell pepper, sausage, egg, a little mozzarella cheese, salsa, black beans, kale). It’s been a hellacious week at work and one of my coworkers surprised me with breakfast from a fast food place. My reaction was “awww…dammit.” I still ate it and felt a little wonky afterwards. I still had my packed lunch, which consisted of a homemade turkey burger with a little mayo and kale on a thin sandwich bun. We ate dinner out since the chicken we had planned to have with cauliflower rice wasn’t thawed yet. DH picked up sandwiches and probably needless to say, I went way over my calories for this day. Meh.

Day 6:

I thought I would try to right the ship today nutrition wise, but that didn’t work out. I had quinoa pancakes for breakfast and packed another turkey burger with the same fixings from yesterday. While at work, I found out that there would be pizza and cake for a coworker’s last day. I had both, but kept it to one slice of pizza and had a small piece of cookie cake. For .000000000012 of a second I felt a pang of guilt but my philosophy is that all food should be enjoyed with reasonable moderation. Anyway, it was good. When I got home, I wanted to go out as a way to wind down from a long week and DH was agreeable. We chose a jazz bar but the act we wanted to see was going on in 30 minutes and we hadn’t left home yet. I quickly ate my packed lunch then we headed over. There was no room at the regular bar so we sat at the oyster bar. DH was intrigued by the oysters and ordered some for us. I had 2 fried ones (I’ve had raw oysters and can’t deal with the texture). Our server gave us bread with butter and DH and I split the loaf. After my second cocktail I was still feeling hungry so I ordered a salad as a way to sorta redeem myself. It consisted of arugula with goat cheese and vegetables. I ate half because it was very overdressed. When I got home it felt like I had eaten quite a bit over the day. I thought about what workouts I could do in the morning to try get through the “blah” feeling I get when I eat too much. But my desire to sleep in won over.