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This week’s training was marked by slightly cooler temperatures and slightly lower humidity. Both factors made for a much more pleasant training week with faster and more comfortable running.

Thursday was a typical drill day followed by a 15 minute race rehearsal segment. I enjoy the cadence drills but I’ll admit that I’m never 100% sure I’m doing the acceleration-gliders correctly. I mean I’ve read about them and watched videos but I’m still not certain. My race rehearsal segment went smoothly and I didn’t have to speed up at the end to average the right pace. Definitely an improvement!

Sunday was my magic mile. My previous magic mile was almost 2 months ago and was a disappointing 9:37. I had a bit of weather magic – a big thunderstorm on Saturday night brought in better conditions for Sunday morning. I drove up to the Valhalla High School track where I was the only human in sight. I did a slow, easy warm-up mile using 30/30 intervals. For my magic mile I used run 60 sec/walk 15 sec. This has me taking short walk breaks at approximately the corners of the track. I felt pretty good throughout but did notice myself slowing down a bit at the end. I wasn’t sure how I’d done until I finished my run (3 more slow miles after the magic mile for a total run of 5 miles). During my last few miles the weekend warrior soccer players started filing onto the field which only made me want to finish quicker! I hit the 5 mile mark and up popped my new one mile record! 9:18!!! I took 19 sec off my previous mile. (This is not my fastest mile ever. When I was training for the Hartford Marathon, my magic mile times were in the mid-8 min/mile range but this is still the fastest I’ve been in the last few years.) I expect to hear back from Coach Twiggs in the next 24 hours or so with my new training paces. It is ironic that just when my training paces are starting to get easier, he’s going to speed them up!

Today was a race rehearsal segment. Lovely morning. Felt good. No issues keeping up with my race paces for all 20 minutes of the run. In fact I was a little faster than race pace which is great because – like I said – my anticipated race pace will be getting faster. I spent some time this morning thinking about how grateful I am that my training is going well and I’m sticking with it. A great feeling for sure!

I’m down about 4 lbs. I haven’t been super careful with my eating but I’m going to try to stick with it. I’m happy to say that I’ve avoided over-eating after long runs which had been a problem in prior training cycles. I wonder how much of an impact the weight loss has on my pace…. Hopefully both will continue to improve!

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This week I got back on the training bandwagon. I did my Thursday run on Friday due to work obligations. It was the usual drills and race rehearsal segment. I struggled a bit with pace on the race rehearsal portion – not sure why – but pulled it off in the end. I don’t think the point is to sprint the last few run segments to “catch up” to my desired pace but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Sunday was my 15 mile long run. This is the longest I’ve run since January, 2018 so I was curious to see how it would go. I “carbo loaded” the night before by eating spicy chicken wings. And while I worried that I would pay a terrible price for my choice, it ended up being fine. I did a decent job of hydrating on Saturday in preparation for a long hot run on Sunday and that definitely helped.

I set the alarm for 6:15am and was on the trail by just after 7am. In a perfect world I would have started earlier but chronic exhaustion isn’t good for running either. My assignment was to walk the first 4 miles so I took my UCan with me during the walk portion and then dropped the empty container back at the car. I knew that with walking 4 miles, my overall pace would be slow so I kept the mentality that pace doesn’t matter on long runs and that I need to just keep it slow. I think that really helped me mentally and then physically when the day started to warm up.

Although the South County Trail goes on for miles and miles, there is a long uphill stretch somewhere between miles 3 and 4. With me being on call this weekend, it seemed like the perfect excuse to do shorter out and backs and try to avoid the hill as much as possible. I did walk the hill during the walking-only segment but then turned around early into the hill on the final segment. I somehow completely miscalculated my distances because I hit the 15 mile mark at least 1/3 mile before getting back to my car. I did walk that last bit – not sure how long it was because I forgot to stop my watch before driving home. When my watch beeped for mile 16, I realized my error and got a good chuckle over the fact that I had “run” (or driven?) a fast final mile!

During the run/walk segment my paces were very steady between 13 min/mile and 13:35 min/mile. There was one slow mile in there because I had to stop to pee (the trail was super busy with cyclists so I needed to find a hidden spot in the woods without getting poison ivy so I lost some time looking for the perfect place). The temperature was well into the 80’s before I finished but a combination of good hydration, pace management, good fueling, and steady salt intake made it a decent run. My last 2 miles were the fastest which was probably a combination of a downhill finish with just wanting to get the darn thing over with. Overall I’m thrilled with how it went.

Today’s run was tough. A late night emergency on Sunday night followed by a long day on my feet at work yesterday meant that I was exhausted this morning. It was also super hot and humid, even at 6:30am. I did only the “mandatory” parts of my race rehearsal run and left off the optional additional 10 minutes. I managed to hit my pace but my legs felt a bit dead and my energy levels weren’t great. Even so, done is done.

I’ve managed to maintain my weight loss between 3-4 lbs but haven’t really lost any additional weight. I’m not complaining because we spent Rich’s birthday on Friday exploring the craft beer scene in Brooklyn and eating yummy barbecue food. Not exactly low cal. I’m almost surprised I didn’t gain weight but maybe the extensive walking around Brooklyn offset some of the high calorie intact. I’ve been listening to the Weighty Matters episodes of the Another Mother Runner podcast and found them inspiring and helpful. I’m going to try to incorporate some of the tips into my life – not only focusing less on what I don’t like about my current weight but also trying to eat less packaged foods and making sure I eat consistently throughout the day so I don’t get super hungry and eat junk.  Here’s a link to the website with the podcasts: https://anothermotherrunner.com/?s=weighty+matters

 

With the exception of this morning’s run, this week was Hades hot. Thursday I foolishly thought that the rain would make my run bearable. Nope. It just meant that the humidity was 100%. Or maybe 110% because it was so uncomfortable that I think it was working 10% harder for the air to hold even more moisture. I did my cadence drills and acceleration-gliders ok but I struggled with my pacing on the race rehearsal segment. The first mile was at 12 min/mile pace instead of the 11:35 min/mile pace that I’m aiming to achieve. The last bit was at pace but that was only about a 1/4 of a mile. You know it’s humid when you take a cold shower and you’re still sweating….

Worse yet was my Saturday long run. The goal was 8 x 800m at 30 sec per mile faster than desired race pace. I survived the 15 min warm up and ran the first three 800s with 60/30 intervals at desired pace. It was SO hot and humid that I cut back to 30/15 intervals for the next three 800s. Still managed to hit my pace. By now it was 85F and humid and it was only 8:30am. I started my 7th interval and just felt yucky. I decided that hitting two more intervals wasn’t worth risking heat disease and I decided to just walk home from there. Yuck. Yuck. And more yuck. Considering that we had a dangerous heat wave this past weekend, I’m pleased that I managed even 6 of the speed intervals.

Today was a bit cooler and raining. Flash flood warning raining. Which just makes me feel like a bada$$ for getting out there. I managed to hit my race rehearsal segments ok today and felt pretty good the whole way.

This weekend I have 15 miles on the schedule. My penance for not getting through my 13 miler is that I have to walk the first 4 miles of my long run and then run/walk the last 11 miles. That just makes the whole darn thing take longer but it’ll get me back on track with my distance. And overall I’d say my training cycle is on target.

In terms of weight loss…. I’m down at least 3 lbs maybe closer to 4 lbs depending on the day. I haven’t been super careful with my eating – Sunday was apparently ice cream day and I definitely ate some ice cream! I can feel the difference even if it isn’t a big number so that motivates me to keep going.

This past week didn’t go exactly how it was supposed to go. Tuesday race rehearsal run went great but I somehow hit the register button for a Thursday evening 5k instead of running my drill workout. I found out about the race on the Friday before. Twice a month I see patients at an off-site owned by a large multi-specialty practice in the area. I saw a flyer in the break room inviting everyone to join the 5k fun run as part of the team. The team captain sits in the office next to mine and has become a friend. She encouraged me to join the fun. I didn’t hit the register button until Tuesday and even though my registration seemed to go through, I noticed that the online registration deadline had been 24 hours earlier.

The race was held Thursday evening at SUNY Purchase. I ran two 5ks here last summer but this one was starting on the opposite side of campus. The 5ks run on the perimeter road around campus with the biggest negative being the hills. Lots and lots of hills. Thursday was a challenging day at work and I was pretty emotionally drained by the time I got home. I had about 10 minutes to change into race clothes before heading out the door. (I forgot my run/walk timer at home but figured out how to set it up on my watch.) My kids had volunteered to come cheer me on but after seeing the heavy rain outside, they declined. Rich came along as a fabulous one-man cheering squad.

This was a large corporate event with many tables set up for different teams. Not surprisingly my registration didn’t work but I was able to register for free on-site. They spelled my name wrong and didn’t even ask my age but I had a chip-timed bib and was ready to roll. I even got a team baseball hat to wear (big mistake – it was already warm out!) It was hot, humid, and very, very wet.

The race was advertised as a corporate fun run/walk so I started in the middle of the pack. I had my timer set for 30/30 intervals but planned to mostly use 60/30s. The first mile was the longest uphill of the race (it was mile 3 when I had previously run at SUNY Purchase) so I was optimistic that I would have more downhills in the later parts of the race. I didn’t have much of a goal but was hoping for sub-11 minute miles. I used some 30/30 intervals on the uphills and 90/30 or so on the downhills. Mile one was my fastest at 10:21. I was surprised that the hills continued throughout the race as that was not my recollection of this course. Mile 2 was 10:56 and Mile 3 was 11:35. I definitely suffered on the uphills during that 3rd mile! My official finish time was 33:52 (10:54 min/mile average pace). That’s only about 1 minutes slower than my fastest 5k in 2018 when I was actually training for a 5k. Still hoping to get down below 30 minutes at some point but I was very pleased with my performance. After a tough day at work, tough running conditions with the humidity and rain, and a hilly 5k course, I felt like I had done a pretty good job.

My long run this weekend was deferred until today (Tuesday) because we spent a fantastic weekend in Burlington, VT. Every July we pick a place to explore and especially to check out the craft beer scene. Burlington was a great choice and a place I would happily return to visit again and again. We had a jam-packed weekend of fun which didn’t include any running. I honestly didn’t even pack my running clothes.

Today I was supposed to run 13 miles. Which didn’t happen. My daughter had an 8:20am endodontist appointment, I had a 10am work meeting, a 1pm lecture to give, and a 3pm video appointment. I did wake up at 5:20am and got 7.33 miles done. Not 13 miles. But not nothing. I’m sad that I missed an important run but I know that I’m early enough in the training cycle to get back on track. I realized that my plan to run 13 miles after the endodontist wouldn’t have been realistic anyway given that it was 90F today. Not nice for a long run. Sometimes life just happens.

Despite a crazy weekend of fun, I’m still down 3 lbs from my starting point. I’m getting back on track with my training. And I’m ready to keep moving forward.

The theme for this past week of training can be summed up by the word HOT. I’ve never been great at running in warm weather and I can certainly say that I have not acclimated to the heat yet. Disney’s Marathon Weekend can sometimes be hot and sometimes be cold and even sometimes be just right. But it’s hard to control for that when I’m training in the heat now and will likely be training in the cold right before the race. Which means I have to adjust to whatever the current conditions are and move on…. Or move forward….

Thursday’s run is usually a warm up followed by drills – cadence drills and acceleration gliders – followed by an optional race rehearsal run and then the cool down. Since I was fortunate enough to sleep late on July 4th, that meant running in the heat of the day. With a peak temperature in the 90’s, even starting at 10:30am was way too late. I decided to play it smart and skip the optional part of the run (which is the faster part, too) and only do the bare minimum. It was hot, humid, and uncomfortable but I made it through.

My weekend long run was 6 x 800m repeats. 15 minutes warm up/15 minute cool down with six 800m repeats at a pace 30 sec per mile faster than desired race pace. For my current pace each 800m should take me about 5:30. We got up early on Sunday to get our training done and it certainly helped. It was super humid but not as hot and I NAILED all 6 repeats. I was faster than my needed pace even on the last one and felt really good about it. Some minimal leg tiredness afterwards and maybe a hint of hamstring soreness but mostly all good.

Today’s run was done in the late afternoon heat, on the treadmill, and was less than ideal. But I still did it. Consistency counts for something. I’m also down about 3 lbs from my starting weight (my daily weight fluctuates so I’m being cautious with my weight assessments). I’m also doing much better with my water drinking these days – probably because it’s so HOT that I’m actually thirsty all the time…

I somehow signed up for a Thursday evening 5k this week. Not looking to set any speed records but hoping to have fun and enjoy the race experience. I also had to move my weekend long run to next Tuesday due to super fun weekend plans. It’ll be a little tricky to fit in 13 miles on a week day but I’m determined to make it work. And so I will. It might be hot and ugly and involve a lot of walking if I have to start later in the day.

Overall I’m really pleased with how my training cycle is going so far and hoping to keep up the strong work.

 

Goofy Training Week 1

It’s been about 18 months since I’ve run in a runDisney event and the same amount of time since I’ve run a race longer than a 10k. My training for my last Goofy weekend was erratic at best and I fell apart in the later miles of the marathon. Although I finished the race, I was pretty disappointed in my preparation and performance. My running over the last several years has been inconsistent and I started this training cycle about 20 lbs overweight and not very fit. I’m definitely motivated to train by having races on my schedule but I’ve mostly stuck to 5ks over the last 2 years.  RunDisney was my initial inspiration to run races and so it seems fitting that runDisney should be the thing that gets me going again.

After several years of running multiple runDisney events each year, running and racing have taken a back seat to life. Since I have never earned even a dollar for running, my job and my family have both taken priority over fitness. Needing to lose a few pounds and wanting to get back into peak condition are now more important than ever and I’m hoping that having Goofy on my schedule will keep my honest. I love running at Disney – even after having had so many opportunities to do so – and so I was thrilled when Rich suggested that we look at the runDisney race calendar and pick a race weekend. I knew that many of our running friends would be there in January and the anniversary Goofy medal made it the ideal race weekend for me.

Immediately after signing up for the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge, I sign up for the Chris Twiggs Customized Training Plan. I have had good luck with Galloway training in the past and had done e-coaching with Jeff Galloway several times. E-coaching had gotten so popular that the price has increased beyond what I’m willing to pay. The Chris Twiggs program is offered through the Galloway website with many of the same advantages. It’s Galloway training customized to my individual needs (for example I have no long runs during a 10 day stretch in September when I’m in France) and can be changed to accommodate vacation or additional races. Part of the customized training program is an optional weekly video chat sessions with Chris. It’s an opportunity to check in with him and problem solve but also an opportunity to connect with other runners and learn from their experiences. I am definitely a social runner so I’m enjoy these sessions. I’m currently in week 6 of my customized training plan even though this week is technically the first week of Goofy training.

Because I haven’t run any longer distances in 18 months, I need a decent proof-of-time race before October. I am currently training for a time goal Half Marathon in late September to hopefully get me into a decent starting corral in January. I’m not necessarily looking to PR – did I mention 20 lbs overweight and not in peak physical condition? – but I’m hoping for something in the two and half hour range. That won’t put me in an early corral but should keep me out of the back. I’m not looking to run Goofy for time but I want to be fit enough that I can enjoy every minute of it without worrying that I’ll run out of steam. So I’m trying to take my training seriously and stay accountable.

In the last 6 weeks I’ve manage to lose 2 lbs and my longest run has been 11 miles. I’ve only missed 2 runs when I was out of town at a wedding and have completed all of my other miles. I’ve taken a few seconds off my magic mile and I’m working on heat acclimation. I’m pretty pleased with how this training cycle is going and I’m committed to staying committed.

 

Setting Realistic Goals

One of my running goals for this year was to run a sub-30 minute 5k. I purchased and used a Runner’s World training plan specifically for a sub-30 minute 5k and I quickly found that I couldn’t maintain the training paces that I was being asked to run. It was very apparent that I wasn’t going to be able to achieve my goal right away but I signed up for two 5ks at SUNY Purchase this summer anyway.

The first race was the subject of a previous blog post. It was in the evening on 6/27 with temperatures around 70F despite high humidity (torrential downpours started after I finished). After I finished that race, I realized that I need a new training plan that was more consistent with my current abilities. Around that time Garmin started a new 5k coaching program and I signed up for the Jeff Galloway training plan.

Garmin used my user data to suggest a 31:30 goal for a 5k. Although this is clearly slower than the 30 min race I was hoping to achieve, I think it’s more realistic. I ran my 2nd 5k during the early weeks of my training plan with low mileage and no speed work. Race day was HOT and humid with race temperatures around 85F. Not surprisingly my finish time was slower than the first race – 37:07.

I have just finished week 8 of my 13 week training plan. I don’t have another goal race on the calendar but the schedule keeps me going. I’m a little frustrated that my 2nd magic mile was about the same pace as the first but I missed about a week of training while on family vacation. Next week’s training includes speed repeats and a long run of 6 miles so that should help me get faster. My Garmin Coach still thinks I’m on target to achieve my goal time IMG_8983

(See, the confidence bar is still in the green zone. I’d like it closer to the pink but I’ll keep working at it.)

I’ve generally been more consistent with this plan than I have been in a few years. I would still like to lose a few more pounds and drink more water (maybe those 2 go together?). Rich and I are thinking about a November 10k race but I might look at a fall 5k in addition…

Admitting to myself that I haven’t been a consistent runner for a few years and I need to do better if I want to achieve my goals is hard. But it’s good because it’s forced me to face reality and make better goals for myself.

SUNY Purchase 5K

Despite my delinquency in blogging, I did actually run the 1st of the 2 Corporate Cup races this summer at SUNY Purchase. The race took place on June 27th and started at 6:30pm. I had worked in the office all day and I wasn’t sure how I’d handle an evening race. I had time to stop at home after work before heading to Purchase. Rich decided not to run but was certainly a good cheerleader.

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(Not the most flattering picture of me but the best of the pre-race photos.)

The race had about 100 people entered and was well-organized and everyone was super nice. They had a DJ there and offered a pre-race stretch. The race started on time and, although there was chip-timing, the only timing mat I saw was the finish line.

We started about 0.1 mile from the finish line and the first thing I noticed was that it was straight uphill from the starting line. The start was pretty informal and, if I really cared about my time, I should have started closer to the front given that there was no timing mat for the start. The uphill lasted about 0.25 miles before turning into a long downhill that lasted a least a mile.

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(Free official race photo! I’m smiling!)

The water stops were manned by some friendly volunteers who were part of the charity Hope Community Services. All proceeds from the race went to Hope, a charity dedicated to feeding hungry people and providing homeless services in Westchester County.

I was feeling really good about my race during the long downhill….until I reached the mile 2 water stop. Ahead of me was an equally long uphill. While there was another downhill dip, the last mile or so of the race was primarily uphill. Including the uphill to the finish that I noticed as we started.

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Rich was waiting at the finish line and got a few good photos.

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My official time was 33:45. I actually placed 6th in my division (women over 40) and if I had made my initial time goal of sub-30 minutes, I would have won an award!

Post-race they had food and bottles of Sportwater – electrolyte enhanced water. There were 5 foot heroes (subs? whatever you can them?) and you could choose the traditional Italian or a vegetarian option. They also have Rita’s Italian ices (YUM!). As soon as I finished my huge slice of sandwich and started on my Italian ice, the skies opened up and we decided to head home.

This was a really fun event. Well organized and enjoyable. The course wasn’t easy but was fun. I would definitely run at SUNY Purchase again because it’s so convenient to home. I’m signed up for the August 2nd race already but I could do this event every year. I also want to see what other 5ks are available here because it’s a nice venue and close to home.

I learned a lot from my training. I’ve been using the Runner’s World sub-30 minute 5k plan. Although a few years ago I was ready to run a sub-30 min 5k, right now I’m not quite there. The training paces were too fast for me – especially in the summer heat – and I need to get into better shape first. Garmin Connect has started a 5k coaching program and based on my current level of fitness is recommending a plan for a 31:30 5k. I started last week and it seems more manageable right now. I won’t be ready for the August 2nd race in terms of time goal but maybe I’ll find a fall 5k to try to get faster.

5K Training: Week 4

My week 4 training was interrupted by a work-related trip to San Francisco. I knew I had a butt-crack of dawn flight on Thursday so I managed to squeeze in a speed work run on Tuesday morning and a base-building run on Wednesday after work. Although I brought running clothes for a weekend long-run, I knew that it might not happen. And it didn’t. On the other hand my lowest step-count day in San Francisco was 12,000 steps and I peaked at 21,000 steps. My hotel was about 0.6 miles to the convention center and Rich and I did tons of site-seeing on foot. Highlights included a visit to AT&T Park to watch the SF Giants; a trip to the Presidio to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum, walk part of the Golden Gate Bridge, have lunch near Lucas Films, and visit the Yoda Statue; time with my 2 siblings who live in the Bay Area; and a visit to several local breweries. Not to mention that I taught a 2 hour course, participated in panel discussion, moderated a podium session, and attended various sessions. Overall a successful and enjoyable trip.

My Tuesday run was supposed to be a warm-up mile at 12 min/mile pace, two miles at 10 min/mile pace, and a cool-down mile at 12 min/mile pace. I’m quickly learning that adjusting to running outside is impacting my pace. My first mile was on target but I struggled to hit the 10 min/mile pace for my 2 tempo miles. One was at 10:27 and the second at 10:41. I took it easy on the way home – mostly because it’s a steep uphill. Strangely, my evening run the next night averaged 11 min/mile for 3 miles. Perhaps the treadmill effect… I’m frustrated that I can’t hit those paces right now but I’m hopeful that with increased consistency, I will be able to get there. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

I did have an interesting conversation about speed on my trip. The gist was that, although I didn’t start running until age 38, I graduated high school with 9 varsity letters (4 in gymnastics, 3 in soccer, and 2 in lacrosse). It is perplexing that someone with my athletic background struggles so much with getting faster. Different theories were raised as to why – the fact that I started as an endurance runner (my first race ever was a half marathon) and am only now working my way back to introductory distance may have hurt me, for example. I think it’s probably multifactorial but the inconsistency in sticking to my plan and lack of strength training are probably major factors in my mind. I’d love to hear other ideas about the whys and the hows. Honestly a part of me is ok with just finishing races but another part of me wants to be much faster.

On the weight loss front… My diet bet ended 24 hours after my red eye landed back in NY. Given that the last 5 days of the bet were spent on a trip to San Francisco, I was worried that all of my weight loss would disappear. I’m disappointed to report that I lost my bet and had to pay up. But I’m happy to say that I have lost 27.5% of my body weight in the last 4 weeks. I truly think that losing 4% in 4 weeks – while certainly possible – would have been too much too fast. This is far more sustainable. I have chosen to sit out of my group’s continuing diet bet because my 25th college reunion starts in a little over a week and I don’t want to count calories at a time when I should be enjoying myself. I do think the bet aspect of it, as well as the group support, helped me lose weight. And I plan to continue discussing my journey to healthier eating here.

This week is more of the same. 4 mile run with 2 miles at tempo pace, 3 miles base-building (x2 but I’ll probably only do one of them), and a 6 mile long run this weekend. I’m on call this week which can always wreak havoc with a schedule but I think I should be able to get my minimum training done.

5k Training Week 3

This week I start adding tempo runs and speed work to my 5k training. It’s also the point in my training where I’m starting to have doubts about my ability to achieve my goal.

Last week I finished 3 of my 4 training runs and added a 15 minute walk on a non-running day. My easy 2 miler was at 12:25 min/mile pace and my 4 miler was at 13 min/mile pace. The target pace was 12 min/mile for both of these. On Mother’s Day morning I nailed a 5 miler at 12:04 min/mile. Certainly close enough to my target. For that run I used a combination of run/walk/run and heart rate training. I set my interval timer for 30 sec intervals. At each beep I checked my heart rate zone. If I was still in Zone 2 or lower, I ran another interval. If I was in Zone 3 or higher, I walked the next interval. Except on the steep uphill climb home, I never took an extra walk break. This seemed to work pretty well.

I am worried that I’m having trouble hitting my target paces while staying in Zone 2. These easy runs *should* be easy and they aren’t always. I’ve done some of my runs after being at work all day so I’m sure that has an impact and I also know that the warmer weather will require some acclimation. But it’s still frustrating! This week I need to add some 10 min/mile tempo runs and I’m really worried about hitting those goals.

As of Monday my weight was down by 2.3%. In the same way that I’m doubting my ability to hit my target paces, I’m also worried about hitting my weight loss goal. I have one week left to lose 4% of my starting weight. At this point that means that I have to lose 1.7% of my body weight in one week. To add to the challenge, I’m traveling to San Francisco on Thursday for a work conference. I know there will be many high calorie temptations during this trip. I’m going to try my best to eat healthy and get exercise on the trip so I hit my goals but…I’m not sure.

Overall I’m proud of my progress even if I’m not sure that I’m going to meet my goals. Having goals that are challenging can be discouraging or motivating. I need to find a way to keep my goals motivating so I don’t give up.