Things I should have done sooner.

Oh my god, did it really take me five years — or, at best, 9 months, since that’s how long ago I picked running back up — to take a run along the lakshore? That’s not even really fair — I did do a couple of runs along the lake in law school, but I did them up by the law school, not downtown near all the fabulous buildings. And let me tell you…there is something completely amazing about running along the shore with a stand of tall, architectural wonders looming over you.

So yeah, I had a great run this afternoon! It was exactly the kind of run I needed — burning off a lot of my stress, filling me with endorphins, and making me really nostalgic for this city. This city that I have liked but never really loved, this city that I’m leaving in four weeks.

Anyway, now that I’ve done it, I’ll be doing a lot more of it. It’s so easy to take my gear to work, change at the end of the day, take a long run, and then swing back by the office to get my stuff and go home. And this is the time of year to maximize my laekshore running.  In fact, it’s likely I wouldn’t be able to do much running along the lakeshore four weeks from now, even if I were staying here. (OK, that’s not totally true, but I would have to layer more. And I think eight weeks from now I really would be in trouble trying to do much lakeshore running.)

I guess it’s good to leave on a high note. I have always had a rule about parties (courtesy of one of my college roommates) — leave while you’re still having fun.  I guess I’ll be leaving Chicago when I’m still having fun.

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Running

Today I did my first sustained Couch to 5K run, that is, the first run that doesn’t involve cycling between running and walking. Today was a 20 minute run sandwiched between warm-up and cool-down walks of five minutes. And I completed it.  Well, I more than completed it — I did it without killing myself or feeling completely awful afterwards. And that after a pretty heavy breakfast (sour cream pancakes with macerated strawberries, which is a whole other post).  So I’m pretty proud of myself — I may, in fact, be ready for that 5K in six weeks.

And I may even be back on track to picking up a running habit again.  There was a time in college when I was running 12-15 miles a week — I felt good, I looked good, and I even enjoyed it.  But then I went home for the summer, to Texas, in a year when the state was experiencing record high temperatures for record-setting stretches.  And running outside in didn’t feel good and wasn’t enjoyable and I didn’t have access to a treadmill.  So I got out of the habit and never really picked it back up.

It’s true that I’m now 12 years older than I was then and about 15 pounds heavier (but at least not 25 pounds heavier, like I was a few months ago), but I don’t think it’s too late to get back on that track.  I think I can still find a spot in my life for a few miles a week, right?

I just need to run that first 5K.

Word

None of these things merit an individual post, but all of them are worthy of note.

***

Despite five days of vacation in the land of lard (that would be Texas, where I ate Whataburger twice in 28 hours and more homemade flour tortillas than I want to count), I have managed to maintain on the weight loss front. Granted, I haven’t been on a scale since returning, but my clothes are continuing to fit in that lovely, slightly-loose way, so I’m not going to worry about the numbers on the scale.

***

My grandfather, who is ill and who is the reason we spent five days in Texas, is doing far better than expected.  He’s still dying and likely won’t make it through the summer, but he was well enough to spend several hours chatting with us and playing take-your-nose with my cousin’s kids. I had been told he was doing very poorly before we left and so didn’t expect to be able to interact with him much while we were there. But he was not only alert and mostly compos mentis, but also was mobile — getting out of bed and up and down from his chair, moving around the house. Since I’m 99% sure this visit was the last time I’ll see him, I’m glad it was a visit where I could actually talk with him.

***

Couch-to-5K is going so well I solicited a commitment from a friend of mine to run with me in the Race Judicata later this summer.  It will be my first 5K and, bonus, it’s the big fundraiser for the legal agency where I did a summer fellowship after law school. If I’m going to give money to any organization, I’m glad to give it to them — and to run my first 5K for them, too.

***

While in Texas, I saw this fun bag at my hometown surf shop, but wasn’t wild about the colors so I didn’t buy it. But I love the style and thought it would be a good shape and size for work, so I looked around online for it. Lo and behold, it comes in many other colors, including a very nice dark brown/gray. And that lovely color was available on Amazon for $22.  Bonus: eligible for Prime! So I bought it.

***

That dreamy interview I got a while ago? I went on that interview, had a great time, felt like I was a perfect fit, and then didn’t hear anything for a while. So I got stressed and applied for another federal job (one I was actually interested in, of course).  Three hours after hitting “Apply,” I got the call — I got the job. The dream job. “Relief” is too understated a word. Not only am I extremely glad to have any employment, I am ecstatic to have employment at a place where I feel like I fit in so well, both personally and professionally.

***

So it’s been a good month.

What what?

One busy day at work where I forgot to eat, and one day of travel where I got very little sleep (but ate too much and not well) has resulted in my losing an additional two pounds. I find this sort of shocking.

What I don’t find shocking so much as absolutely deliciously wonderful is that I put on my favorite jeans and did not have to wiggle to get them buttoned. They just slid right on. I still don’t think I’m going to hit that goal weight by June 10, but I’m a little closer. And feeling really good.

Not bad, not bad at all

After avoiding the scale for three and a half weeks because of a touch of overindulgence and a lack of more regular workouts during that time, I finally weighed myself last night. And the scale told me that I’ve lost a total of seven pounds since March 9. Which is not bad, folks, not bad at all. Now, the last pound and a half of that took almost four weeks to come off (hello, plateau) but I think I’m over the hump and back on track now.

More to the point, I put on a pair of pants this morning that I haven’t worn in two years. TWO YEARS. And they fit better now than they did then. Which probably says more about the yoga and the running than it does about the weight loss.

My original goal was to lose 12 pounds by June 10 (we’re going to Mexico). That’s only four weeks away, though, and I am not sure I can lose the last five pounds in four weeks, especially considering I’m traveling this week, next weekend, and over Memorial Day weekend. But that’s OK—I’m feeling good about my body, good enough to put on a swimsuit for five days and that’s what the goal was always about.

Since I know I won’t meet my original goal, I set a new goal for myself—to get back to my wedding weight by August 31. That’s an additional five pounds, for a total of 10 pounds less than I weigh right now, and 17 total. It’s a bit of a longshot—not only am I not sure I can actually lose those last five pounds but I’m also pretty sure I can’t maintain that weight. I’d rather hit my original goal and keep getting fit than starve myself down to my wedding weight and then watch myself gain those five pounds right back. But we’ll see.  If I can do it slowly and steadily over the summer—in other words, the right way—maybe I can get there and stay there.