June 2013 – Monthly Fitness Stats

Review Time

June ended up being a whole different kind of month in regards to my fitness activities.
In previous months, I had been mostly walking on my treadmill and was tracking and tweaking each month details like my starting speed, max speed, duration, and adding in small amounts of jogging intervals – each month slowly increasing the duration of those intervals and slowly increasing the speed as well.

Over the last nine months this has been a slow and steady transformation of my workouts from very basic, slow walks for short durations to longer walks, more speed, more incline, more calorie burn, etc. But the overall goal was to keep the progression very slow for the purpose of avoiding injury. (Because I have proven to myself over and over in the past that I am very prone to injury if I just jump full force into a running program.)

So how was June different?

Crossing the finish line - Kona Run 5K (time 38:14)

Crossing the finish line – Kona Run 5K (time 38:14)

June was kicked off by running the Kona Run 5K Race. This was a big goal for me. I had completed a 5K once before, in 2012, and I mostly walked it, finishing in just over 47 minutes. This time, I ran just about the whole 3.1 miles. I did take a few short walk breaks but for the most part I ran the whole thing. (Well, maybe jogged would be a better description.) My finish time was 38:14 which to me, is amazing!

This was a real eye opener to me, that I was ABLE to run over 3 miles. And this changed the dynamics of my workouts in the month of June. My scheduled walk/run days turned into more running than walking, and further distances than I did in the past.

With the recent acquisition of my Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch, I also did a lot more of my workouts outdoors. What I found that was really different about this was my pacing. On my treadmill, I have full control of my pace. I set the speed on the treadmill and go, and my speed only changes if I adjust the speed of the treadmill. But on the street, I go…well…however fast my feet take me.

Granted, I can use some tools on my Garmin to set a pace and be alerted if I am going above or below it, but for the most part it is much more difficult to control my speed. Consequently, I ended up walking and running much faster on my outdoor runs in June than I had been doing previously on the treadmill. Being outdoors often pushed me to also increase my distance/duration. The further you get from home, you still have to go that distance to get back. It’s not like being on the treadmill where you can just press the stop button and step off.

The Mix

In previous months, I pretty much just walked on the treadmill. With the tiny intervals of jogging. But for the most part treadmill was what I would do, and I would do it 3 or 4 days a week.

This month I was actually trying to follow both a walking/running training program and also a strength training program. These were guides that were included in that book I had been reading, The Salt Solution.

The walking/running portion of the plan was a 6 days per week plan and was broke down like this:

    35 minute Interval Walk
    40 minute Steady-State Walk
    35 minute Interval Walk
    30 minute Power Walk
    35 minute Interval Walk
    50 minute Recuperative Walk
    Rest Day

The interesting part was that each week the duration times were increased, to the point where it was 45 minute intervals, 50 minute steady-states, 40 minute power walk, and an hour and a half recuperative. I had a hard time keeping up with the duration increases and found myself modifying this as the month went on.

The strength training was a 3 days per week program. It was a routine of 7 exercises and the program called for a certain number of reps and sets. For example, week 1 was one set of 10 reps of everything. By week 5 the first day you’d do 3 sets of 15 of all the exercises, day 2 was 3 sets of 12 reps, then 3 sets of 10 reps. The exercises were things like squats, chest press/fly with small hand weights, lunges, bent-over rows with the hand weights, dead lift curl presses, bicycle crunches and planks.

I followed this plan pretty closely all month so I was working out an average of 6 days per week, some days were both running and strength training. And I got in a good swim also about 2 days per week.
Pretty intense this month!!

With the addition of the Garmin to my fitness toolbox, I am now able to more closely track and report on my fitness activities. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until close to the end of the month that I could manually log activities that I didn’t use the Garmin for. So here is a glance at how this tracking looks, minus some activities like the strength training and early month treadmill runs.

Garmin Activity list June 2013

Garmin Activity list June 2013


My treadmill stats were:
2.8 mph starting speed (up from 2.4 in May)
3.4 mph walking speed (up from 3.2)
4.2 mph run speed (up from 4.1)

However, my street running was more like an overall average of about 4.5 mph and this included my walking. I was typically walking at just over 4 mph and my running was a little over 5 mph.

I logged a total of 42.47 miles in the month of June, averaging 10.5 miles per week.

Average calorie burn: 220 per workout
Ending Weight: 121.6 lbs (down 2 lbs from the end of May)
Garmin June 2013

My whiteboard calendar in my workout studio - the purple entries are mine (green is Jim's).  June was a very FULL month of training!

My whiteboard calendar in my workout studio – the purple entries are mine (green is Jim’s). June was a very FULL month of training!

Was kind of surprised to see my weight keep going down this month. I was actively working to adjust my calorie intake to a higher level for “maintenance”. But it really wasn’t until the end of the month that I started taking in much more calories than normal, so with all that activity it’s no wonder I kept losing weight. Technically I did want to get down to 120 lbs, but had been thinking I’d save those last few pounds until after I stand up in Terri’s wedding in July. I don’t have much room to work with to maintain the perfect fit on that bridesmaid dress. But I guess a pound or two one way or the other won’t make much difference.

Weight Log June 2013

CC Weight Log June 2013

Counting my cookies – MY STORY

Who is this girl, and why is she counting her cookies?

It’s time that I took a minute to introduce myself and give a little insight into the birth of this blog, it’s purpose, and my expectations of it; and what you can expect of it.

My name is Debbie. I am 40 years old, married for almost 5 years to the most wonderful husband (Jim) and we have a 15-year-old daughter (Cecilia). We live in the metro Detroit area and I work full-time in a customer service role with a large national industrial supply distributor.

My journey with health and fitness has been a long one. I have had a love/hate relationship with fitness my whole life. I go through cycles where I get really committed to being active and fit, then I tend to get lazy over a period of time and gain weight and become more unhealthy.

I love the way that exercising makes me feel and of course the way it helps me to look! But it can be challenging to maintain an active lifestyle when you work full-time and especially if you’ve let yourself go a bit, the less “in shape” you are, the harder it is to do the things you need to do to get back into shape.

Several years ago I (once again) reached my typical “fat weight” of about 150 pounds. I am 5’2″ so really an ideal weight for me is around 120 lbs or a little less. At 150 I am wearing size 12 pants, feeling sluggish and uncomfortable and feeling generally unhappy with myself. At that time, my husband and I started watching The Biggest Loser and decided to do a little biggest loser competition of our own. Each week we had a weigh- in, and which ever of us lost the least percentage of our body weight had to clean the cat litter boxes. (We have 2 cats, and 4 litter boxes – this is not a fun job!) Over the course of the year that followed (we started the day after Thanksgiving so that has become our “Fitness Calendar Year”) I lost 11 lbs.

I never quite made it all the way to my goal, I hit a plateau around 138 lbs and felt relatively comfortable there (in comparison to where I had been). That was when the laziness set back in. The frequency of my workouts diminished. I started eating larger portions, stopped tracking my calorie intake, went back to eating more “treats”. Over the next year and a half I had gained back the 11 lb. and then some.

The turning point.

September 2012, I was back up around 150. I had an 8 night cruise scheduled in March and would be standing up in my best friends wedding in July. I knew if I wanted some changes by those events I needed to start NOW. This was when I decided it was time to take control again and get back to where I wanted to be.

The ONLY thing I’ve ever found that works for me to lose weight is counting calories.

No fad diets, nothing crazy, just counting how many calories I eat, tracking how many I burn and creating the deficit needed for my body to burn stored fat and lose weight. So I logged back on to www.caloriecount.about.com and started logging my calories daily and tracking my activities/calories burned. (If you want to follow me there, you can find me under the screen name Starlanna)

You can check out my posts on this blog titled with Month/year to follow my monthly fitness journey summaries where I outline what kind of workouts I did and how I changed it up each month.

February 2012 in Bahamas, weight approx. 140 lbs

February 2012 in Bahamas, weight approx. 140 lbs

November 2012 at David's Bridal

November 2012 at David’s Bridal

May 2013 - after losing 27 lbs.

May 2013 – after losing 27 lbs.

To date I have lost 27 lbs, I went from 150 lbs to 123 lbs and shrunk from size 12 jeans to size 5/6.

Determination to maintain this weight drives me to keep up this blog, I am tired of the yo-yo cycle and I need somewhere to be accountable. In addition, as I will talk about more in later posts, my journey has led me to making a lot of changes in my lifestyle to improve my overall health. Like changing the kind of food I eat and how I arrange my days to include activity. I’m not getting any younger and I am determined get more and more fit and healthy as I grow older instead of gaining weight and watching my health deteriorate – for as much as I can help it anyway. It has been a long, slow process of baby-steps but the results have been wonderful.

Initially, I started logging some of this stuff using the journal tool on Calorie Count. But recently I started looking for inspirational blogs to follow and frankly I’ve just been inspired to start my own.

Let me just say, I know NOTHING about blogging. I am internet challenged, I feel like I am in the generation that just sort of missed out on some of this stuff, but I am up for the adventure of learning all about it!

I am not a professional blogger. This is meant to be a hobby for me right now, a place to track my progress, document what has worked for me and what I’ve learned. Share some insights about how I’ve lost the weight, how I’m keeping it off and how I’m improving my overall health with better nutrition. My main goal is to keep myself accountable to keep going.

My motto is “You have to keep it going if you want to keep it off!

Hopefully, there will be some folks who will stumble across this blog and find it somewhat informative, mildly amusing, and may take inspiration from it or learn a trick or two they might want to try in their own life.

My time to spend on this blog is very limited, since I work full-time and spend a fair amount of my free time working out or playing in my kitchen. I will be reading all comments and will most likely respond to them all but please do not be offended if I do not respond right away.

If you see something that seems crazy to you about my blog, please don’t judge – I am just learning how all this stuff works and haven’t figured out even half the features of WordPress yet. Your constructive suggestions and tips are welcome!