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12-Week Sprint to the Finish: Week 7

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12-Week Sprint 2[10]

Welcome to Week 7 of the 12-Week Sprint to the Finish! I was encouraged last week to read how many of you are still hanging with me and doing well with your goals.

If you read my weigh-in last week, you know that I’m a pound farther away from my goal than I was. I peeked at the scale on Friday, though, and it looks like this week will be better.

Brian told me that a friend of his said that both Chinese and pizza places have really high levels of sodium, so it may have just been water retention since we’d eaten both the day before – yeah, in the same day. *sigh*

I’m hoping Brian’s friend is right.

I feel like I’ve done well on my nutrition goals this last week – tracking my food on My Fitness Pal and trying to stay at or under my calorie target. My physical goals have been good, too. I’ve stuck with my half-marathon training plan (aside from one run that was supposed to have speedwork in it – completely missed that one until it was too late).

I’m changing gears mid-stream a little bit this week, though. Well, not really changing gears, just going with a different source. I haven’t done very well the last couple of weeks keeping up with my strength-training. Several weeks ago, a blog reader recommended the book, The New Rules of Lifting of Lifting for Women.

I finished reading it about the middle and last week and I’ll be starting it today. It’s going to be a kind of “try it and see” kind of thing. The one type of cardio workout that the author is really not a fan of is – can you guess – endurance running. The argument he gives makes sense – that endurance running is training your body to be more efficient, not to rev up your calories and metabolism, like weight-training should do. It’s counter-productive, in his opinion.

Of course, he’s talking about high-mileage endurance running, as in training for a marathon. I’m only training for a half-marathon, so my mileage isn’t all that high.

I asked about it on the book’s forum and someone referred me to this rather disheartening article about the myth behind steady-state aerobics. This whole “can I balance weight-training with endurance running” dilemma has caused me to rethink my goals for running.

I started running as a means to burn calories and discovered that I really enjoy it. It’s the first type of cardio workout that I’ve ever really enjoyed. I enjoy the challenge of distance running and the sense of accomplishment the comes from complete further and further distances and from running in races.

However, my ultimate goal is weight-loss and having a fit and, hopefully someday, shapely body. I was telling my husband this weekend that after this half-marathon in November, I might decide that running 3-5 miles three or four days a week as a weight-management tool is enough for me, along with weight-training.

Or, I might decide that I really do want to run at least one full marathon – just to say I did it.

I don’t know. Right now, though, I’ve had a handful of people encourage me that it is possible to do weight-training and distance running, if I keep a good balance. They said that I might have to back off on the weight-training as the half-marathon gets closer, then I can amp up the weight-training after it’s over.

Makes sense to me. Personally, I don’t think the two have to be mutually exclusive, but that may just be wishful thinking on my part, since I’m not an expert.

So, all that to say, I’m going to start the New Rules of Lifting program today, complete with post-workout protein shakes. My plan is to lift 3 days a week and run 3, possibly 4, days a week. I’m a little nervous about giving up three days of cardio, but I do get the whole “muscle burns more calories than fat” thing – I understand the importance of strength training – so I’m willing to try it for a few weeks and see how my weight-loss goes.

Depending on how it goes, I may drop the weight-training to 2 days per week and add a light cardio workout back in to those days. I’ll keep you updated.

My goals for this week are:

Nutrition. Continue logging food at My Fitness Pal, paying careful attention to my calories on lifting days.

Physical. Do New Rules of Lifting program 3 days a week. Continue following my half-marathon training plan 3 or 4 days a week.

And, if you’re curious about my eating habits from last week:

7/4/2011

Breakfast: Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter on Ezekiel bread toast.
Lunch: Grilled chicken and veggies with 1/2 cup fried rice (at the Chinese restaurant). McDonald’s sweet tea afterward.
Dinner: CiCi’s Pizza – bowl of soup, salad, two garlic bread sticks, two slices of pizza, one cinnamon roll. Sweet tea.

7/5/2011

Breakfast: Dannon All-Natural vanilla yogurt w/blueberries and granola
Lunch: Fajita chicken w/Pico de Gallo, guacamole, sour cream, black beans, and Spanish rice. Sweet tea.
Dinner: Hawaiian pork chops w/roasted squash and mushroom, steamed green beans, and pineapple. Sweet tea.

7/6/2011

Breakfast: Flax cereal w/blueberries and granola
Lunch: Chicken Caesar salad, sweet tea
Dinner: Chick-Fil-A Chargrilled sandwich w/honey-roasted BBQ sauce, side salad with 1/2 packet ranch dressing, 1/2 packet sunflower kernels, 1/2 packet tortilla strips, sweet tea

7/7/2011

Breakfast: Flax cereal w/blueberries and granola
Lunch: Chicken Caesar salad w/sweet tea
Dinner: BBQ chicken, corn-on-the-cob, mashed potatoes, side salad, Coke
Snack: Heath cookies (Nope, these are NOT healthy, but I did leave the calories for them.)

7/8/2011

Breakfast: Skipped it because I slept in
Lunch: Turkey burger w/guacamole, grilled peppers and onions, pita chips and hummus. Sweet tea
Dinner: Grilled chicken w/corn-on-the-cob, side salad, Gina’s macaroni salad, sweet tea.

7/9/2011

Brunch: Scrambled eggs (one whole egg, 3 T. egg whites, splash of milk, sprinkle of cheddar), hash browns, sausage biscuit, 2 pancakes, sweet tea.
Dinner: Steak Stir-Fry (recipe from The New Rules of Lifting for Women) w/rice (white since I messed up the brown – it was a senior moment), sweet tea
Snack: fruit salad

7/10/2011

Breakfast: Sausage biscuit, orange juice
Lunch: Ham and turkey on Ezekiel bread, sm. cup of fruit salad, sweet tea
Dinner: Broiled tilapia, red potatoes, spinach, sweet tea

So, what about you? How did you do on last week’s goals? What are your goals for this week?

Do or do not. There is no try.

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