The pieces are slowly falling together training-wise. I am starting to feel like a sub-1:30 half marathon this fall is in the cards (why I would jinx myself like that, I really don't know). There are a few things that are helping: having a training program again - I was sucking the big lollipop at being my own coach, I would plan ambitious work-outs and then just go for an easy run as soon as I was slightly sleep deprived or feeling a little off. Now I have a plan which means not having to think (love...not...thinking), having a sense of accountability and generally just a reminder of what a reasonable half marathon training schedule looks like so even though I am falling far short (due to severe, chronic sleep deprivation... same old, same old) at least I am striving to hit reasonable and am cognizant of where the gaps are. I am getting in some long runs (thanks to the plan) which were clearly the element most lacking prior to my disastrous 20 km. I now have five long runs under my belt (90 minutes counts as a long run these days) and my goal race is still 6 weeks distant so that feels really good.
The crisper, less humid, better air quality that generally comes in September has been huge and finally I have lost some weight (more on that in a moment) and it all adds up to feeling fitter and more confident. Now if I could just get some sleep, I would be superwoman! I had a great work-out tonight that really boosted my confidence. 80 minute run including 10 km continuous average 4:05 per km. The effort felt faster than half marathon pace but not by much! I think my half marathon pace might be 4:10 at this point... I`m getting there!
So the weight loss... I went on a "diet" quotation marks because my diet consisted simply of no longer eating when I wasn't hungry and BOOM! 4 pounds disappeared felt awesome. Which is good because my weight was getting critical.. we're talking my bmi was, god forbid, actually creeping into "normal" range - eek! So here's the weird part... I don't know how much I actually weigh right now... my scale randomly changes units on me and recently it switched over to stones...yes, Stones! Seriously, am I exporting potatoes? Why on earth would my scale offer stones as an option... and I use the word option loosely since it switched to stones of its own volition and there is no apparent way of switching it back. But I'm leaving it there (not, as I mentioned, that I have a choice)... I think it's good for me to not know my exact number. Sure, I am just one google search away from finding out or just thinking about it for 30 seconds but I am trying to avoid finding out. I know relative to the switch-over how much I weight and can gauge on that and I am hoping this will cut down on some of my obsessiveness on this topic.
One thing I have noticed is that although the first 4 pounds slid off when I decided to stop recreational eating now that I am only eating to satisfy hunger weight loss has halted (makes sense). So I tried restricting just a little bit, nothing major just a little 200-300 calorie deficit and immediately started to feel flat & lacking energy on my runs. So I am wondering if it is worth continuing to try to lose more weight (pebbles?) or if I should just leave things be. According to this calculator I can shave off approximately 35 seconds from my half marathon for every pound loss [Note: calculator makes the HUGE assumption that the athlete is within a healthy bmi range and that the weight lost is fat] but I find it so tough to lose weight without affecting training. It would probably be helpful if I took advantage of that mythical 20 minute post-run window and fueled to optimize glycogen storage.
Anyway just some random thoughts...