Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Training Changes

I feel like I have ADD. I had a training plan all picked out and ready to go next week, but I found an awesome book that has a training plan in it as well. So I'm switching. What is this book? Half-Marathon: You Can Do It by Jeff Galloway. For those who have been following me for a while, I'm a big Galloway fan. I really love his approach to running - everyone can do it, it's good to take walk breaks, avoid injuries, and above all have fun! He has a plan in this book for those who are just looking to complete the half-marathon, which is exactly what I plan to do. I'm not looking to set a certain time record for myself because I haven't established a baseline yet.

The other stuff I like in this book so far (I haven't finished reading it yet) are how to stay motivated, diet advice, cross training, health tips, and the easy and clear way it is written in. This book doesn't get too technical or jargony, which keeps me excited. The last thing anyone needs is to feel less than worthy because he/she isn't up to speed on the latest buzz words. Our egos are fragile, especially when trying new things.

On this topic though, Rex is going to join me in training. He won't run the race, but I have made a commitment to him to join him in cross training if he joins me in running. I think we can be successful if we motivate one another in our goals. This is going to be an interesting new year!

New Year's Resolutions

With the holidays wrapping up, I think it's only natural for our minds to focus on clean slates, starting over, or improving ourselves. We have a new year coming up in a couple days, and there's a lot of focus on resolutions right now. I'm terrible at keeping them, so I don't usually make one. What helps me more is having a concrete short term goal like the half marathon I'm signed up for. Once I achieve that goal I can create a new one and move on from there.

Even though this is written for Men's Health, I think it applies to men and women equally. Check out this article that has five secrets to keeping your resolution(s). I especially like the one about getting your significant other involved, but if you're currently single (or your significant other doesn't want to work out) I think finding a friend with a similar resolution is equally as powerful. Just like running buddies, the commitment to meet a friend at the gym or to share a food journal is wonderful.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm done complaining

Remember that whole thing about it being cold here? Yeah, that's so over. When I went running Tuesday, the temps were around 20F. Today's temps when I went running were closer to 50F. That's a freakin' 30 degree change!! Not only was it significantly warmer, but because it rained all day it was extremely muggy too. Here's a major surprise: I actually am getting used to the colder temps because I felt like I was going to drown today. I was hot, had a hard time getting my legs to move, and just felt sluggish. These are all symptoms I feel during the summer, not several days before Christmas.

Coming up for next week: treadmill running. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Running in the Arctic

Did you Atlanta was in the Arctic? I didn't. It was colder here today than in parts of New York State. NEW YORK STATE!!! A place used to cold and snow! I'm supposed to be a resident of a city nicknamed Hotlanta for it's hot weather. Get it?

Anyway, this cold snap will hopefully end soon. Unfortunately I'm headed to the frozen north soon to visit family so I am not escaping it at all. I promise I'll quit complaining about it so much, but not just yet.

There's certainly a different way to train in this kind of weather. I was afraid that it would be a bad run because it started out a little rough. Turned out that I really just needed to give my body a chance to warm up some more. Once I got warmed up it went a lot better. It still wasn't a great run, but better than I thought it would be. It's good to just say I finished the run though, and I'm glad Red was kind enough to run with me. Running with a friend is much more enjoyable than running alone.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

OMG! It is REALLY cold!!!

Holy cow! What happened to the weather here?! It's one thing to say it's cold outside, and it's another to finally get your butt out there and realize that 28 degrees is literally freezing. WOW! I was sooooo cold last night. It was a harsh reminder that I need to layer up, find my gloves, and get some ear muffs.

Because I hadn't run in a while due to my recent head cold and because I hadn't been in the cold in a while (as you can tell by my reaction earlier), I decided to just walk. I was very tempted to run to warm up faster, but I was not in the mood to deal with an asthma flare up.

There was one advantage to being in my neighborhood when the sun had set: Christmas light displays! I have a lot of enthusiastic neighbors. Some have great taste, some don't. The cheapskate in me wonders how bad their electric bills are, but I digress. It was definitely a nice way to spend my evening. Tomorrow I'll head out with Red to tackle 2.5 miles. I hope to run 3.5 miles Saturday with a short recovery run on Sunday.

Speaking of being outside at night, my new safety accessory was awesome. I'll take some pictures and write a better review later. Short version: it rocks! Now I'm gonna go and curl up with a blanket on the couch with my kitties.

Monday, December 6, 2010

When do you like to run?

I've been thinking about this for a while now. Most races are either Saturday or Sunday mornings, and most of my training runs are in the early evening. Now that I've been training off an on for a couple years now, I find that I tend to run best in the early evenings. Races early in the morning are a little tougher for me since I'm just not awake, haven't eaten much, and frankly don't feel like moving.

To combat this for the half marathon, I'm going to need to plan my long runs for early mornings so I can get used to the distance during the same part of the day as the race. We'll see how that goes since it's freezing now!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Men losing weight

Has anyone else noticed that it seems to be so much easier for men to lose weight than women? I have, and I found a cool article that helps women quit beating themselves up and just relax. Sounds like something Rex is always telling me to do, but I digress.

This article gives some really good advice (that I know I myself ought to be following). Do you ladies do a lot of weight lifting? I don't either, but I know it's really good for me. Do you also beat yourself up about not making enough progress? Yup, been there too. About the only thing I do on the list is skip diet foods. Sorry, but they just don't taste as good. I've found cutting back a little on portions helps me more than anything else. So I eat 3 chicken strips at Chick-fil-A instead of 4. I order fruit instead of fries. I cut back on diet soda and just drink more water. Make sure there's a veggie with most meals. Stop eating so much bacon on my Jersey Mike's subs. It all helps.

I'm sick!

Yeah, I had a feeling it was coming. Rex has been sick since Thanksgiving, and stupid me shared a hot chocolate with him Saturday night. I'm pretty sure that's how I caught it since symptoms didn't start until Monday. Oh well. Such is life! It looks like I'll be skipping runs until this goes away. I am not one of those hard core people who runs while sick. This is my time to be lazy!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Have you ever had a bad run?

I had one Thursday morning. Because of all the running around I had to do Wednesday night, I didn't have time to run so the run got pushed to Thursday morning. I figured I'd take it easy, but my leg was really mad at me. Evidently my right leg was still stiff from driving down to my parents' house, so running just made it madder. That's okay though. I mostly hobbled through the two miles but felt good that at least I could say that I got my run out of the way. It's hard to remember that not all runs will be good, and it's extremely easy to let that kind of run get your spirits down.

Again, that's okay. I'll go later today for a run. Or may it'll be tomorrow. Either way it'll be good. Good in that I'm out training. I don't have to be speed racer; I don't have to beat a personal best. I just have to get out and complete the distance required of me, and that is what I love about running. It is what I make it to be, and that's all that matters.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Boy do I love Thanksgiving! I get to eat all my favorite foods with abandon and then just goof off and be lazy. Christmas is only better in that I get to give and receive presents as well. Woohoo! Happy fun times LOL!

Anyway, with all this food some of you may be concerned about gaining weight or finding time to work out. I do think it's a struggle if you don't keep your workout routines a priority. Plan ahead with the shopping and decorating and it won't be so stressful. I moved my running schedule around this week to accommodate the fact that I will not be in any kind of mood to run on Thanksgiving. Usually I'd be glad just to make it out for a walk or short run to keep up the good habits, but right now I'm building the foundations for the half marathon. If I want to remain injury free, I've got to keep training consistently.

Speaking of training, Red and I tried something that we've read about in running publications for some time now. When you're short like I am (and I even have short legs and a long torso, making my legs even shorter than other women at 5'3"), you feel like your tiny little running steps are too small. I think I've been subconsciously trying to lengthen my stride to match taller men's strides. They go fast, why shouldn't I? Well, that's just counterintuitive. Turns out when you take tiny steps you go really fast without trying! I couldn't keep it up for long, but it's really cool! I think I'll use that trick when working on speed work down the road. Right now I'm just focused on mileage.

Red was awesome and came running with me twice last week. Saturday we tackled 3 miles, and while that wasn't too hard for her it was pushing me a lot. Let me just say (again!) that having a running buddy who understands and is simultaneously pushing you while helping you take breaks when needed is the bestest thing ever. Instead of just trudging through the run, I enjoyed it. My hips were mad at me until I ran again on Monday, but it's okay. Turns out recovery runs are important too because they work out the built up lactic acid and allow you to stretch effectively post-run.

I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and if you're running in a Turkey Trot you deserve that extra helping of apple pie for dessert!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Making progress!

I'm not speed racer, but I'm making some definite progress here. My running schedule has become more consistent, and I ran a full mile tonight nonstop. Woohoo! I know; this isn't exactly ground breaking news. But for me, this is awesome.

I'm trying to make sure I don't injure myself so I've started doing something I never did in the past - warming up. What's that you say? You mean this isn't some new development, and that I should have been doing this all along? Yeah, you're right. But I was too impatient to get the run out of the way in the past to bother with a proper warm up! I'm finding that a decent warm up of a few minutes walking prior to the run not only helps me ease into the run and make it better, but it helps ease my lungs into the extra activity. This alleviates the asthma symptoms a lot. It's not totally gone, but I don't sound like I need medical intervention after a run like I did before.

Speaking of asthma, I really need to see my doctor about getting an inhaler. It's gonna be cold soon! I'm planning on visiting Indiana for over a week in December, so I think I really need it by then because I don't have time to take a break from training. The air is so cold and dry up there that my asthma is going to flare up badly, warm up or no warm up.

All in all, I'm feeling pretty good. I am celebrating progress towards the half marathon goal, which is what matters to me now.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fat Blasters!

Ever get tired of the same old thing? I know I do. Sometimes I feel like I have a bit of workout ADD, but it is good to try new stuff now and again. If you're feeling like you're in a bit of a rut, check the workouts in this article. Who knew in-line skating was so awesome??

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I might need a new strategy

So I hurried home yesterday and knocked out a run before it got too dark to be outside. Unfortunately I can see how this strategy might not work once the sun sets sooner. I'm trying to decide between these two options:

1. Buy reflective gear and keep running in the evening around the neighborhood?

2. Buy reflective gear and run early in the morning?

Option one gives me the flexibility to run as long as I need to. Option two lets me enjoy more daylight. Option two also forces me to get up early, which is really hard to do. I'll have to make it to a running store soon and get some reflective gear either way, so financially it's the same.

We'll have to see what suits my schedule the best soon. I will of course keep everyone updated :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

How are you adjusting to the time change?

Now that we've "fallen back" and somehow gained an hour, the sun is setting around 5:50 pm. Considering that I get home shortly before that, running in the evenings is going to be interesting. Since I'm still in the getting fit stage, I think this will be okay. The shortest day of the year is in December, and the days get longer after that. It's not until January that I start the hardcore training for the half marathon, so I'm hoping this all works out okay.

I've also noticed a trend around this time of year. Because of the cold and darkness, I immediately begin thinking that a gym membership might be a good idea. Then I remember that I don't like gym memberships lol.

Since it's colder outside, I'm going to recap my common cold weather running ailments.

1. Exercise-induced asthma. The cold dry air irritates my lungs, which causes some fierce coughing fits. What helps? Other than just getting used to running outside, using some kind of scarf or cloth over my mouth and nose that lets me breathe in some sort of warm air. The downside? It gets nasty after a long run =/

2. Lack of motivation. Yeah, I deal with this all year long but this deals with the cold and dark evenings specifically. What helps? Making time to run when it's nicer outside, and if necessary find a treadmill.

3. Comfort food season. I will admit that tonight I had homemade mac n cheese and am drinking hot apple cider with whipped cream. Don't mind the pumpkin cookies I also ate tonight. What helps? Other than not stuffing myself stupid with high calorie foods that are freaking tasty, I just have to run and run and run. *sigh*

One of the nice things of winter running is wearing cute hats and jackets. Thanks Red for the cute running jacket!!! =)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Getting back into the habit

I went for a run on Saturday, and it was pretty good! I took it easy, which meant a good walking warm up and cool down. Two miles took about 35 minutes, but that's all good. Turns out my asthma got a little mad at me, but it is mostly because I need to get into better shape. It gets better the stronger my heart and lungs are.

To keep up the good work, I planned on running tonight. Too bad I had a tension headache all day long that was just brutal. Oh well. I'll try for a good run tomorrow.

I did get to finish my entire November edition of Runner's World today, which was cool. They had a very good article about the barefoot running trend. It was good reading some of the science that's gone into people's opinions, and the consensus is that you shouldn't go from using traditional supportive running shoes to barefoot overnight. Will running shoes in the near future look different than they do now? It depends. Some people will not be able to go barefoot, period. Some will.

For now, just celebrate the runs you get in and enjoy yourself while you're out there.

Monday, October 25, 2010

OMG it's finally over!

Well, I did it! Grad school is finally over, and aside from work and family I have no other obligations going on in my life (for now). Now that my free time has suddenly become available to me, it's time to start piecing together my running schedule. I think I'll stick with my T,T,S,S schedule for two reasons. 1. I like it. 2. It conforms to most training programs and allows me to fit those recommendations in easily as I train.

Today though? I rest. The last two weeks have been so nutty that I wasn't getting a lot of sleep, I ate a lot of junk food, consumed way too much caffeine, and overall just neglected everything except my project.

I'll start with slowly getting back into just being able to run about 4 miles. I've been getting my half marathon training schedule from, so I'm saving those until it's time to start training for that.

Now watch me get stir crazy because I'm not used to having evenings and weekends free LOL!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Be careful with those pain meds....

I remember reading this in Runner's World some time ago, and I guess the people at msnbc felt it was important enough to revisit so I'm going to pass it on. I had heard a long time ago that taking pain relievers prior to a work out can be disastrous, so I made sure to try and avoid it. Usually I have to take pain meds for headaches, which are made worse by running so if I am dealing with that kind of pain I skip the run/workout anyway. Make sure you're evaluating yourself and what you ingest (food-wise and medicinally) so that you don't accidentally hurt yourself - or worse kill yourself.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Do you struggle to work out consistently?

If you've read this blog for a while, you know I do. Most of it revolves around finding time and having enough energy after a long day and letting other priorities take over. In fact, the reason I started this blog was to try and make myself accountable to other people so I would run more. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. What I've been doing lately is walking when I don't feel like running, so at least I'm getting out there.

Check out this article and see if it helps you find more motivation to work out. Sometimes just knowing that you're having the same problem as other people is enough to make you feel better. You're not alone :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Yet another reason to quit diet pills...

Surprise surprise! Diet pills can kill you! Think I'm being sensationalist? Try this article from msnbc that describes why the FDA has asked Abbott Laboratories to pull the drug from the market here in the US and Canada.

As much as I would love a quick fix, this is a serious problem and diet pills are no good for anyone.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Looking for a personal trainer?

Let's face it. Sometimes we all need a good kick in the butt when it comes to fitness. Someone who holds us accountable for missing workouts, eating that extra piece of cake (and pie, and donuts, and candy) over the weekend, and anything else we do to ourselves that could be considered self-sabotaging.

This is a great article about the 10 things a good personal trainer will do for you. There are a lot of folks out there claiming to be fitness and diet experts when they're no more knowledgeable than we are. Those are the people that get you killed. If you have the stomach for it, Google personal trainer horror stories. If not, just take my word for it.

If you can't afford a personal trainer, surely you have a friend who will work out with you. Having a running buddy has helped me so much in the past (thanks Red!!!). We pushed each other when the other didn't want to run, we made time for running when we'd rather be watching tv or shopping, and we encouraged each other to sign up for races. If you don't have someone who will run or workout with you, try finding someone online. is a great resource for meeting people in general, and local running clubs are always looking for more members.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Are you in the market for fitness equipment?

If so, make sure to read this article. As many of us suspected, those very expensive and often bulky gadgets are not more effective than the old-fashioned (and much cheaper!) exercises we're familiar with. Don't get me wrong - there's a time and place for treadmills and the like. When the weather is terrible or it's too dark to run outside then running indoors is great. Some, like the article states, enjoy having a machine in front of them tracking their progress. I take care of that by wearing my GPS heart-rate monitor.

In my opinion, exercise equipment rates right up there with gym memberships. If you can commit and use the stuff, then it's worth the cash. If not, don't bother. Save your money for something else.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Training is slightly derailed but still happening

I was too busy to run Saturday, so I planned on running Sunday. Too bad I didn't bother to check the weather because it not only rained Saturday night but all day Sunday and a good part of today. Oh well. I will run tomorrow, and then it looks like Thursday is a wash. I've got an appointment with someone from school after work, and I'm not sure how long it will take. This shouldn't surprise anyone who works with me, but I am looking for a new job. With school wrapping up in 4 weeks and my eyes on a career that can't be advanced at my current company, it's time to start the good ol' job hunt. Career Services from Keller is helping me find something. Any help is good!

Anyway, it looks like I'll be able to keep up some semblance of running this week which is good. I'm planning on running after class Saturday, but if that doesn't work I'll go Sunday. My runs so far feel pretty good, and I feel like I'm making decent progress. I've quit focusing on trying to run the whole time I'm outside training, so a lot of pressure is off now. I'm okay if I have to walk some of the half marathon too. The goal is to finish!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Funny side note

So I was poking around my blog because I was bored, and I noticed a tab called Stats. Included in the stats are what countries readers are in (hi Russia, Ukraine, and Malaysia!), how many views your blog has received, which posts are the most read and which google searches bring up your blog. There are a lot of other things too, but those caught my attention. The most interesting section was what was deemed my most popular post. Can you guess what it was? My armpit hurts! LOL!!! I guess I ought to write more silly posts about how I hurt myself doing stupid every day tasks.

Why am I bored? I'm trying to work on a project for class. In fact, it's my FINAL project that is broken up into three sections. It's a fascinating project (opening an offshore manufacturing facility in Malaysia), but I'm having a hard time focusing. I can't think about writing RFPs and choosing vendors right now.

Anyhoo, I thought you all would find that funny. Maybe I'll hurt something else that sounds just as silly as my arm pit =)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2 Miles!

I decided to take advantage of my renewed motivation and extend my mileage today. Instead of my usual 1.5 miles of walk/run I did 2 full miles. I feel pretty good, and I think I'm on track to being able to handle 4-5 miles by the end of the year. I'm still getting the half-marathon training plan in my email, so I'm getting a good look at what kind of training I will need to do next year.

On another note, I saw a guy on the trail with no shoes on. I just don't get it. Isn't the ground nasty? I can't help but think of all the icky stuff we step on with our shoes on. All of that might get into your skin! EWW!! I hope he had a recent tetanus shot. Never mind the fact that this poor guy obviously can't tan so his legs and feet were like rods of glowing white light. Rough!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Missed training

Due to school work that had to get done and a migraine that decided to rear its ugly head, I didn't train at all Thursday evening or Saturday. But that's okay! I might go today, but if I don't I'll pick right up on Tuesday.

So my friends and I are already making plans for next year's Warrior Dash! Now that we have a better idea of what the course is like, the need for showers after the race, and the kind of trip involved, we're making much better plans this time around. Most of us look like we're getting hotel rooms for at least the night before so we can shower all the mud off after the race. Plus this saves us travel time that morning since we're looking at a 9am race time. It's gonna be awesome!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More training

So I ran again today! The weather is so much nicer now, particularly in the shade. Running wasn't such a bear today like has been all summer long. Today was another 1.5 mile walk/run, and I'll run again Thursday. There wasn't anything spectacular about today's run, but it was nice to be able to say I went. Rex came with me, and it's always nice when someone runs with you.

I will say that knowing a race is coming up gives me a lot more motivation than just running for the sake of running. I know that without decent training I'll end up injuring myself, which I am really hoping to avoid. I don't mind a little soreness and fatigue, but I really hate honest pain. It means I can't run like I need to. Here's to good training!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Like it or not, I'm committed!

Well, unless I care to toss out a good chunk of change I am obligated to participate in the Georgia Half Marathon because I'm registered. It feels so official! I even got to enter what name I'd like listed on the race bib, which you never get with the smaller races. It'll be so much easier to identify me in pictures LOL!

Since we're talking about the race, I did get a run in (finally!). I hit the Greenway after class, and did my usual walk/run for 1.5 miles. I'll get out again Tuesday night whether I like it or not since I need to get a good foundation for at least a decent walk/run for this race. It would be terrible to get going and then to injure myself. It's still a bit hot and humid outside, but I'm very glad that the weather will be getting cooler soon. I'll be complaining about the cold soon enough, but that's another story.

Men, welcome to the crazy world of designer specific sizing

Oftentimes women think men's clothing is easier to buy because pants sizes are so clear cut. If you have a 36 inch waist and 32 inch inseam, then you buy a 36x32 pant. Easy, right? Nope!! Turns out that men's designers are adding "vanity inches" to make guys feel better about the jeans they're trying on. Women's designers have been doing this for years. A size 6 now is not the same size 6 from 20 yrs ago. Good luck finding the same size 6 across different stores. Ann Taylor Loft's size 6 is equivalent to a size 8 for other retailers. So much also depends on the cut of the pant. Where does the waist of the pant sit on you? At the hip? At the natural waist? Women - please don't let pants sit as high as your natural waist.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How hot are you?

Evidently most of us think we're pretty good looking, if not hot. Woohoo! Score one point for healthy self esteem. This article from msnbc shows that collectively we're starting to look away from the false reality of television, movies, and fashion magazines and more towards our peers when judging our own looks. That's probably part of why we see obesity climbing (if a woman is a size 10 compared to obese coworkers, then she doesn't seem overweight when her health might tell a different story).

Another potential downer? Women are much more focused on muscle tone now. This is a tricky one. There is such a thing as exercise-related eating disorders, but it's good that we're beginning to shift away from just controlling weight with diet and incorporating more exercise. Sounds an awful lot like my own philosophy!

How hot am I? Well, I think I'm pretty darned cute if you ask me LOL!

Btw, there's a link in the msnbc article about an untouched Jennifer Aniston photo compared to a photoshopped version. Those Hollywood makeup artists are really fabulous!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fast fixes or wastes of time?

There are some days when I'm tempted to try a diet drug to see if I could just lose a little weight. I think everyone has those days. I like to call them fat days because those days you feel super fat, no matter what you actually look like. It would seem that women feel this more than men do due to pressure to stay thin and attractive. As a result, there is a booming industry of diet pills and "quick" fixes to the obesity problems ravaging the United States and other developed nations.

Turns out none of them work. At least that's how I read the articles I keep coming across. Acai berry is a fad that not only doesn't work but is in the middle of some serious lawsuits and scams. Diet drug Meridia increases the risk of heart attack and stroke - neither of which are good for you!

What does work? Good ol' exercise and a healthy diet. Now I know there's a lot of debate over what constitutes a good diet, but we can all agree that cutting out candy and fast food might be a good place to start. A recent study says exercise can also counter the genetic tendency to carry extra weight.

Just a little food for thought.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I found a training plan!

Just like the vast majority of bloggers out there (this is a statistic I just made up), I follow other blogs. One of my favorites is found on, and it's all about running. Through this blog I came across a 12 week training plan for those just trying to complete their first half marathon. It recommends that you have a base mileage of about 10 miles per week before getting started, and that's what I'm working towards. When I was training for the Peachtree last summer, my average mileage per week was anywhere from 10-12 miles. You sign up for the mailing list, and you receive that week's training plan in your inbox. If this were my first week on the plan I'd be running these distances:

Day 1: 2 miles
Day 2: 2.5 miles
Day 3: 3 miles (long run)
Day 4: 2 miles (recovery run)

I can do this! There is some more verbiage about how to warm up and cool down and when to stretch, which is awesome. If you're planning on adding some structure to your training, check out some available training plans online. If a site requires payment, don't pay. I paid for my Peachtree training plan last summer, but it came with sessions with coaches and informational seminars. If all you're looking for is a training schedule, they're available for free.

I'm collecting these weekly emails so I can start training with the whole plan ahead of me. It falls right in line with the goals I had set up for myself anyway. Beginning January I should be able to run 3 miles like I used to, which sets me up perfectly for that first week.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Will I have more free time?

I just finished my penultimate class (I love that word!), and my final class meets Saturday mornings starting next weekend. I'm thrilled that I'll have weeknights to focus on running and that running on Saturdays isn't terribly disrupted. The question is that does this new schedule equate to more time to run? I have a feeling I'll fall somewhere between yes and no. Will I run more? Yes, but not as much as I'd like. That's all good though. Getting some runs in is better than no runs.

Here's what I'd like to focus on through the end of the year:

Get back in decent shape and run the annual Pumpkin Run 5k at the end of October.

Focus on endurance and try to build my base up to around 15 miles a week. Then once the new year comes I will begin adding to that base for the half marathon in March. Speaking of which, I need to sign up for it - this race is way more expensive that the 5ks I usually run but it makes sense. There are a lot more resources involved with the planning and execution of this race.

Like all my exercise plans, I'll do my best and see where I end up. During non-running days I'll try to box more. It's such a fun work out that even if I'm not super serious about it I'll enjoy it. Plus my arms might end up looking hot like Michelle Obama's! LOL!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Running Music

Do any of you listen to music when you run? I haven't in a very long time because I found messing with an iPod while outdoors meant I was too distracted by it. First, it marks you as a target for thieves (Rex is a cop, so I can't help but think this way). Second, I spent more energy focusing on what was playing rather than my form. Third, my iPod kept freezing on me which just pissed me off. I may invest in a nano to avoid this problem in the future.

I've recently begun enjoying a lot of dance music, which is perfect for working out in general since it has such fun beats and is meant to get you moving. Since I'll be running a lot this winter, I've been considering using the free fitness center in my workplace and using an iPod (or some other MP3 player) to help pass the time. Treadmills are extraordinarily tedious. Like running a mile on it is sometimes the worst thing you could do. If I'm going to be serious about that half marathon I will have to use the treadmill if I want to make sure my training is consistent.

To give you an idea of what I will be listening to, here's what I've recently compiled:

Lady Gaga (love her!)
Kylie Minogue
Black Eyed Peas
Britney Spears (yeah, go ahead and laugh at me now)
Ke$ha (I think I hear the laughter from here! Talk about guilty pleasures lol!)

I'm thinking of checking out Katy Perry's latest album, but we'll see. Amazon makes it WAY too easy to download this stuff. I'm going to have to put myself on an Amazon ban for a while. Last time I spent this much time on there I ordered a pair of $85 Guess pumps. Speaking of which, they're on their way!!

Sorry guys, this post started out generic but ended up being super girly. Have I mentioned that one of my favorite things about running is buying cute running clothes? Gotta find whatever motivates you!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Barefoot Running

Have you heard about the new trend in running? There are these shoes that look more like toe socks than shoes. Personally I think it's a little silly. It reminds me of the caveman diet that some people like. Look, just because our distant ancestors didn't have a more varied diet and didn't have the best supportive foot wear doesn't mean we shouldn't take advantage of the modern world's hard work. Have any of you tried this trendy item?

Check out this article about these new shoes. It looks like a lot of folks have jumped on the bandwagon, but time will tell if the shoes are worth the price.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What training plan to use?

Red alerted me to a training plan for a half marathon in the August issue of Runner's World magazine. I took a look (I am way behind in my magazine reading, so finding the magazine was an adventure), and I get the sneaking suspicion that it might be a tad more advanced than I need at the moment. It's a 10 week plan, so I have time to work up to it. Whoever heard of training to get ready for a training plan? Well, since I see it's more than I can handle I think it's good that I know my limitations. There is absolutely no reason to get hurt while doing this.

I'd give a better comparison to the other training plan I have in the book Everything to Know About Running except I can't find it. It's in the house somewhere; I just can't locate it at the moment. Oops! It's got a fabulous beginner's plan I might pick back up. I used it to help get in shape for 5Ks, so I know generally how it works. It does bug me that I can't find this book, but I can find every single text book I own for my master's program. I guess that just shows where my priorities have been for the past year and a half. I've learned so much and truly value the education I've received, but boy will I be glad to be finished with school!!

In the end if I don't really like either plan I'll search for one online. I'm sure Jim Galloway's site has something. How do I pick a training plan? Simple: how easy is it to understand, and can I achieve the goals laid out in it reasonably well? Right now I can't run a mile under 10 minutes, so when I see the Runner's World plan say run a 5 mile tempo run with 3 miles at 8:54, I know it's probably not for me.

(For those that don't know, a tempo run is defined by Runner's World as "Run easy for one mile to warm up. Then dial into the given pace. Run easy for a mile to cool down. Tempos should feel challenging; on a scale of 1 to 10, your effort will feel like an 8." Don't feel bad if you didn't know; I had to look it up LOL!)

HA! Like I could ever do that. Keep in mind this training plan is for folks looking to break 2 hours for their half marathon. I think I'll be lucky to hit 2:30. They do profile a lady who is trying to break 2:30, so it's nice to see them highlight those who can't run like the wind.

So in the end, we'll have to see. The August issue also talks about how hard it is to run during the searing heat of summer, so I know it's not just me struggling with this. I haven't run since last Saturday, and I won't run again until this Saturday. It'll all come together soon!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How soon do you expect results?

I ask this because I have been seeing all year long that my mind keeps wanting to run at the pace I had run prior to falling off the wagon. An 11-minute pace was taking it easy, and it was no big deal to finish 3 miles. Now I struggle with finishing just one mile running. Part of me knows that this is okay, while the other part keeps trying to run faster. Needless to say pacing is a big issue I am now working on again. I think it's always an issue, but I see it's moved up on my list of areas to improve upon.

The reason I bring this up is because I came across a good article about expectations with weight loss and exercise. I think if you're into running for the weight loss, then you'll appreciate the advice in it. In this day and age of instant gratification dealing with our bodies can be excruciatingly frustrating. And I don't know about anyone else, but I'm pretty darned lazy. I don't know how people become professional athletes. You have to work out ALL THE TIME! Jeez! I'm just not that dedicated.

Speaking of crazy goals, however, I've decided I'm running a half marathon this spring. The ING half and full marathon is in March, and it's time I set a huge goal for myself. Even if I walk a lot of it, it'll be such an amazing accomplishment. Plus I have found that having a specific goal like that really makes my training much more focused. I'll probably use the training plan in one of my books, but we'll see if I decide on another one. School will be done in October, and frankly I think I enjoy training in the winter more than in the summer. It's been so hot lately that it's too easy to justify not going out. The winters here are mild enough to let me bundle up easily and still run. The exercise-induced asthma will flare up big time though. We'll see how it goes!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting back into the habit!

Well, I hope that's the case. Rex and I went running Saturday morning and then we boxed some more last night. I hope to get a run in tonight to keep up the good work. So far boxing is a lot of fun, and it's a great workout for the arms, back, and chest. We also incorporate a lot of core workouts because you can't go wrong with a strong core. We have about three more months before Rex has some work-related physical agility tests, so we'll be working more on speed drills and fartleks in the near future. I need to get him to a 10-minute mile for at least 1.5 miles. As long as we're consistent this will be very doable.

On another note, I wanted to share this interesting article about exercise myths. I've known about the running vs walking myth for a while, but I can't get over the fact that I can be more efficient with running over walking. I also liked that it said that the afternoon is the best time for exercise, since that's when I usually go running. Woohoo!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

First attempt at boxing!

And my arms are like jello LOL!! Rex taught me a lot about the basics, and I can see why it is such a great workout. We mixed in some core exercises too like sit ups, push ups, and bicycle kicks. I have a feeling I am going to be so sore tomorrow. We've already agreed to go running, so we'll see if I have any stamina left by the time the weekend rolls around. I promised a few folks a picture of me with the gear on, but I forgot to take a picture and my arms are too tired to move. I will take one soon and post it!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I am resigned to being a little soft this summer

Why? Because it's like a bazillion degrees outside! No matter what my intentions are, either I get another freakin' headache (not sure why) or it's just too darn hot to even breathe outside. It's just insanely warm, and it's not going to get better until Fall arrives. What will I do? Try my best to exercise, but don't be surprised if I don't get out and run often. When just walking outside for a few minutes causes me to sweat like a pig, running doesn't seem all that appealing. What I am looking forward to is boxing. I still need a fan for the basement, because even though it's much cooler down there the air needs to be circulated. Speaking of fans, I finally got to see one of the new Dyson fans in action yesterday. AMAZING! No blades! And the thing blows air like a jet engine! WOW!

Sorry, I got distracted. It was just that cool. Literally and figuratively. No, I will not buy one because I'm too cheap.

Anyhoo, I'll just keep wearing comfy dresses this summer and try to run when I can. When it's this hot outside, you do what you can. I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

We have got to start eating more organic produce!

That's my first thought in reading this article, which describes why some researchers believe we're becoming more and more obese. It certainly explains why some people, especially those who eat good diets and get light to moderate exercise consistently, can still be overweight. Turns out we need to limit our exposure to plastic more than we thought too. The article also talks about grass-fed meats, which I have talked about in the past. I'd love to eat more, but it's hard to find. The one thing I do consistently is drink filtered water at home, which the article suggests eliminates a lot of those obesogens. Isn't the name of those chemicals telling? It's combining obese with estrogen, which is the hormone these chemicals mimic - estrogen causes women to gain weight more than men.

Long story short, I think this just confirms the fact that we're killing ourselves with our environmental choices. I also think that because I happen to be middle class I can help myself limit the exposure my family has to these chemicals because I can afford to buy glass containers, filters for my water, and organic produce. The sad part is that those who are poor will continue to suffer due to their lack of resources. Some may label me as a bleeding heart liberal or communist (labels I am comfortable with, although I am certainly not a communist), but I think we ought to get rid of exposure to this stuff on a national level. Stop buying this garbage, and companies will have to change their ways. Ask your congressmen and women to pass legislation that forces companies to change their ways. Once the US gets on board, the rest of the world will change too.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lapses are okay!

I got super busy this week at home, so no running since last Monday. That's okay though. Starting a new habit, or restarting an old one, takes about 21 days of consistently nailing it. So far I'm in that phase where running isn't a habit, but I want it to be a habit again. I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I'm not a fan of guilt if it's not really necessary. If I ran someone over or accidentally kicked my cat while she was trying to walk between my legs, then yes I feel the appropriate level of guilt. Missing a few days of running? No guilt. That's just life.

I'm trying to find more ways to work out outside a gym membership, and I think I've found a solution. Boxing! Rex loves boxing and martial arts, and I know boxing is a wonderful exercise. We've been talking for a year now about setting up a workout space in our basement, and so far my research on the price of equipment leads me to believe this would not only be a fun workout but also much cheaper than buying a machine. We'll see how that goes, since I'll be buying the gear bit by bit. I'm not interested in going into debt for this, so it's cash only. Hey, I got into running because it's cheap, so of course I'll find another exercise that's cost efficient! LOL!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Two more runs under my belt!

I seem to be stuck at the 1.5 mile distance for my runs, but since I've only been getting back into the habit for a couple weeks this is just fine. Rex thinks I'm torturing him, but it's not that bad. So far I think the hardest thing to deal with is the heat. The humidity doesn't help either, but boy is it hot! I'm looking forward to running more this fall, which ought to yield better results for me. It's always nice in the spring and fall when the weather is more conducive for running. The deepest part of winter can be tough because of the exercise-induced asthma.

On another note I've developed a real weakness for homemade cobbler. I get fresh fruit from the farmer's market and make it from scratch. This is good because I love cobbler. This is also bad because cobbler is filled with sugar. If you're feeling up to having a tasty Southern treat check out Paula Deen's recipe for peach cobbler. YUM!! Needless to say I need to run more just to compensate for the awful amount of calories I've been eating from cobbler alone.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oh the familiar feel of lactic acid in my quads!

So I did manage to run yesterday, despite having left my running shoes at home which meant I had to come all the way back to the house and ended up running in my neighborhood instead of at the Greenway. I took it easy since it was so hot outside (hovering around 93F). As I was running I looked down at my GPS/heart rate monitor and realized I had already completed half a mile and was coming up on three quarters! And I felt good! So I finished the whole mile, although the last tenth or so I was pushing it. I then mostly walked back to the house, so all in all it was 1.66 miles of awesome. Considering I haven't trained in so long it was a nice surprise to do so well.

I did stretch last night after the run, but apparently my legs decided that yes they had worked and that yes I would feel it today. I'm not hurting really, but my quads are letting me know they need some time to work out that lactic acid. It's all good. I'll run again on Saturday. I'd run tomorrow but I have the air conditioning people coming out to finish installing a new unit. Let me just say that paying for two new units makes me cry. Oh well. At least I'll super efficient units for the rest of this incredibly hot summer. It's hot even by Georgia standards, and we have hot summers. There's a reason it's called Hotlanta.

Upcoming races? I feel like such a liar. I said I'd run the Possum Run. Nope! I said I'd go back to Clyde's Run. Nope! Maybe I'll try Old Soldier's Day Race? I dunno. Rex and I are trying to get back into the habit of running (he really really wants to run more yay!!). I'll have to see how I feel in the coming weeks. I'm just super excited that I could fit my flabby behind into some size 6 jeans at Ann Taylor Loft today LOL! No, that's not ginormous, but it felt good to me to see the jeans look good. I would have been pleased if the size 8 jeans looked good too.

You know, speaking of jeans, I gotta make one soap box comment about clothing in general. Ladies (and gents), please just buy the clothes that fit properly and look good on you. The size doesn't matter. If it happens to be bigger than you'd like, it's just a label. Wear what looks good for you and you'll end up being sexy and more confident - all of which makes you look slimmer anyway. If you can't get stuff off the rack (and who can these days? I'm not a fit model!!), find a great seamstress. Fit the largest part of you (hips, butt, chest, whatever) and tailor the rest to make it work. Cool? /end soapbox moment

Btw, one of my cats just sneezed all over me. Gross!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Running tomorrow!

I'm excited about running tomorrow, but I have a feeling I won't be in the mood come tomorrow afternoon. That's usually how it goes for me, but I plan on taking my gym bag with me so I can change at work. Then I'll run at the Greenway by my house. It'll be hot, muggy, and full of bugs. The best part? I'll be running! Rex is away for training this week, so I gotta find some stuff to do to fill my time. Playing Fable 2 like it's going out of style is probably not recommended. I also have the new Lego Harry Potter, but that's not much better on the nerd scale. I'm such a dork!

So I had class tonight, and I can tell it's going to be good. Who knew managing quality could be cool? Yes, I'm a big nerd. I embrace the nerdness!

On another note, I wanted to give everyone an update about the hypoglycemia. I haven't finished reading that book I bought, and here's why. It suggests that I completely give up sugar in all forms for 20 days. Things like fruit, rice, bread are included on this list. I can't stop eating fruit now! It's the middle of peach season! Do you understand that I made 2 peach cobblers this weekend? TWO!!! GAH!

Anyway, I'm not doing this fast (I heart fruit!). I'll finish reading the book sometime, but the part that made me kind of sad was that most doctors apparently don't believe that this is a legitimate condition. I can see why. I basically have pre-diabetes. Kinda figured that, but you'd think the medical profession would like to prevent full blown type 2 diabetes and treat folks like me. Nope! We're written off as hypochondriacs. In the end I have a feeling that staying away from processed sugar and exercising will always be my best bet for making sure the shakes and migraines don't get to me. Who knew we could be our best doctors?

I hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just a quickie...

I gotta get cleaned up and go to bed soon, but I wanted to post that Rex and I finally made it out to the Greenway today and ran! Only a mile since it's been about a month since I've been out, but it's something. Rex felt surprisingly well considering he hadn't been running in a long time. We tackled our usual run/walk, but we know we're working up to the jog/run phase. I hope to have more time this weekend to talk about other goals and progress. I've also learned some more about my hypoglycemia that I need to share (like how a lot of doctors don't think it exists).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm back! Sort of...

So I have two weeks off from school. What do I do to fill that time? Yard work. In one of the hottest summers I can remember in Georgia. We just had the first official day of summer on Monday and we've settled in 90+ heat. I won't be surprised one bit if and when we break 100 degrees. Needless to say I'm really tired, but quite proud of my work. There's a different kind of pride when it comes to making your home look nice.

Anyhoo, I'm going to start running some time soon. Just gotta find a time and stick to it. Classes next session are on Tuesday nights, so I have a feeling my running schedule will be something like W,Th,S,M. I haven't decided which day on the weekend will be a running day. We'll see.

On another note I played with the template for the appearance of the blog. I hope everyone likes it! Those that actually visit the site anyway. If you're anything like me you get most of your subscriptions in some kind of feed device like Google Reader.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm slammed!

Sorry folks! School is in high gear, and with a full load I'm just running out of time. Unfortunately I haven't been able to run since the Warrior Dash, however I have just a few weeks left in this session and then it's one class at a time until October. That's when I will have earned my MPM! That's Master's in Project Management for those that don't know. Earning a master's in a year and a half is pretty quick, and I've even taken a couple breaks. Honestly I don't know what I'll do with myself once classes are finished (besides pay back these loans lol!). As it is I will have more time for running, which I sorely miss.

Anyhoo, I promised a picture from the Warrior Dash so here it is! It's actually two, so enjoy!

This first one is from the fire pit. What's cooler than jumping over fire?? NOTHING!
The second one is from the mud pit. It should have been called mud swim for those of us who were short like me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Warrior Dash 2010

Let me start this with "OMG THE WARRIOR DASH IS SO MUCH FUN!". Now that that's off my chest, let me go on about the details.

The drive up to Mountain City GA was actually quite nice. Because we were headed to the mountains near the Georgia-South Carolina border the views were just lovely. The mountains were covered in lush green trees and the weather really held up for us nicely. It was clear but not too sunny, and warm but not too hot.

Red and I finished at 38 minutes with another friend of ours, and the guys all came in about 5-10 minutes after us. Rex had a blast at his first race. The pictures I'll post later will be awesome.

One last thing - I have never been so dirty in all my life. At one point I was literally swimming in mud.

As far as the technicalities of the course, I swear it was not even close to the advertised 3.2 miles. It just didn't have that feel (I left the Garmin GPS at home since it was so muddy). Plus when the course is super flat and I'm pushing myself I can hit 38 minutes. Add some obstacles and it's going to take longer. Personally it felt a little closer to 2 miles. This makes it a tad bit hard to judge my performance, but I have to say that just completing it was enough for me. Obstacles included: walking on planks in the lake, trudging through waist-deep water in the same lake, stepping through tires, climbing over cars, climbing up and down cargo nets, sliding down a muddy hill and then swimming through the mud (supposed to be a mud crawl) under barbed wire, crawling through a tunnel, jumping over 3 walls, and last but not least - leaping over two fire strips.

Organization of the race was spot on. It was easy to pick up the race packets, catch shuttles to and from the parking lots, and I have a feeling getting the professional photos in a couple days will be easy (if expensive lol).

Afterwards we needed to clean up big time. I'm glad I brought so many towels and baby wipes, because clean up was a bitch. I think it took us an hour in a BP bathroom trying to get the dirt off, and we were still dirty - just not as bad as before.

For lunch we finally made it to the spectacular Dillard House. Let me just state that all the reviews are correct - it is a beautiful area with amazing food and service. I have a soft spot in my heart for good Southern food because 1. it's delicious and 2. my dad's family is from the foot hills of the Appalachian mountains near the Tennessee-Georgia border. When Rex calls me half redneck, he's not that far off LOL! He would be more accurate if he called me half hill billy. We had country ham, fried chicken, barbeque chicken, ribs, black eyed peas, collard greens, fried okra, and a whole mess of other dishes it would take too long to list. Needless to say we were stuffed by the time lunch was over. The best blackberry cobbler I have ever had topped the whole meal off. I think a good number of the crew slept on the way back to my house. Food coma? YES!

All in all it was worth the money we paid. It was so well organized I felt no frustrations at all prior to the race. I'm just glad I had some friends there who were not running. We were given our swag prior to running, so they were kind enough to hold everyone's stuff while we ran. Otherwise I'd have a ruined shirt and viking hat before I even got to wear it. I had to wash my clothes 3 times to get all the mud out!

Monday, May 17, 2010

I got a new book

I decided that it's about time to do some serious research about my condition, hypoglycemia. Right now I just know how to minimize the roller coaster of sugar highs and lows, but I'm not always successful. It's time I not only got a serious handle on this thing, but I can use running to help. I tend to have more success when I'm running regularly, so that's got to be a good thing (you'd think?). I'll keep everyone posted with what I'm trying and how it works.

On another note I'm seriously looking forward to the Warrior Dash this Saturday. I've been talking it up for so long I can't believe it's here! Hopefully we'll have some pictures to post too. Yay!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Yeah it's been a while

I haven't posted anything in a while because 1. I'm super busy with school and work and 2. I haven't run in about a week. I'm not beating myself up over this though. My school schedule (classes on Wednesday and Thursday nights) leaves little room for working out, and quite frankly it's hard to squeeze the runs in. I'm not worried about being able to handle the Warrior Dash, which I am really looking forward to.

Remember that thing about food being my primary motivator for running? This is the place Red, Rex, and I have decided we're eating after the race. The Dillard House. I love good Southern cooking, and this place is said to have amazing food. Plus it's a chance to scope the place out because they have rooms for rent and horses to ride. Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend in the future!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's getting hot!

So I headed to the Greenway by my house, which was a good idea. I am finding that if I can run before getting home I am more likely to actually run. Once I'm home I find all kinds of excuses not to run, like cleaning, school work, reading, tv, movies, whatever. I decided to try for 2 miles, but while I was out I was feeling pretty good so I ended up running 3. My time was 38 minutes, which I think was pretty good! Not every run is meant to be fast, but I feel like being on the Greenway means I need to try for speed. It's so flat!

Anyhoo, it's beginning to get pretty warm and humid now. It's just a reminder to stay hydrated, wear technical clothing, and understand that the warmer it gets the harder it is to run.

To recap my run from Saturday, I saw a fox! And a million squirrels who are too used to humans and dogs, and a huge bunny! I guess that was my reward for being at Wills Park at 7:30 am. Plus I went to the farmer's market and managed to get one of the first cups of coffee and a ham and cheese croissant. I had a blast =)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Another food post

Sorry for two food posts in a row, but this article is really awesome. It debunks healthy food myths and explains why they're actually okay. I won't speak too much about it because you can all read. I'll just say "woohoo!!"

Myths Debunked

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to eat right on the job

This is primarily focused on those working in an office environment, but I think the rules apply to everyone. Having worked retail in a former life, I understand that sometimes the fact that you got to inhale some food during the 10 minute break during the 12 hour work day you're on is a miracle.

Yahoo has an interesting article on the kinds of foods we should and why. I like how the article focuses on brain power and recommends good snacks to have on hand. It's unfortunate that most food vendors and vending machines only sell empty carbs that serve to spike our blood sugar and then allow us to crash. This creates a horrible spike-crash-burn cycle that many of us repeat. By continuing to scarf down empty carbs we don't get the nutrients we need and our waist lines show it!

Honestly the easiest defense against all of this insanity? Bring your own food. Breakfast, snacks, and lunch included. It saves you money and helps keep you healthy. It's not always easy and sometimes impossible (especially when you are socially obligated to lunch with your coworkers at a local eatery), but when you can bring your own food you feel much better for it - provided you packed the right food.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I think I'm back into the habit!

So this taking your running clothes with you to work thing really works! I ran today, and I feel pretty good about it. Lesson learned: run closer to home so I don't get stuck in rush hour traffic anymore than I have to. I passed no less than 2 bad wrecks, and combined with the intermittent rain the drive home was annoying. On the positive side I managed to finally go grocery shopping so I ate homemade tomato sauce with whole wheat linguini. The downside is that I realized shopping at Costco has been saving me a ton of money and I no longer want to go to Publix for more than smaller items that I simply cannot eat quickly enough to avoid spoiling (ie eggs) or items that Costco doesn't carry (my favorite Coffeemate creamers).

Speaking of shopping, May 1st is the opening of the Alpharetta Farmer's Market. I love this place because the food is so amazing. It's very comparable to shopping at the store price-wise, but the quality is so much better that I pretty much quit buying produce anywhere else during the Spring, Summer, and early Fall. My plan this year is to head down to Alpharetta early, get my run in, and stop by the farmer's market on the way home. To avoid shopping while hungry I will try to remember stashing a few Luna bars in my bag. Since coffee is served at the market I'll be indulging in that YUM!

Some things that are amazing from the farmer's market:

Peaches so fresh you can smell them a mile away
Green beans that are so crisp and flavorful they make every dish 100 times better
Fresh chestnuts, sometimes with extra protein (I ate a sample one with a worm in it....raw chestnuts are so good I take the risk)
Pastries that make a great breakfast with fresh coffee
Beef jerky that makes your mouth water
Tomatoes you could eat like an apple
Goats' milk cheese that melts in your mouth

If you're looking to incorporate more fruits and veggies in your diet, check out your local farmer's market!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I heart running buddies!

Red came with me to the Greenway in Alpharetta to run with me. For her, it was an easy run. For me, it was hard. Together we had a good talk, accomplished 3 miles (in 36 minutes!!) and enjoyed the beautiful spring weather. It brought back good memories of our training runs last year. We also reminisced about how the training for the Peachtree was a little nutso, but we learned so much. I think we're at a place in our running lives that we know how to take the pressure off and just enjoy being able to run. I guess you can say we have some perspective =)

On another note I wore my new running shoes. I forgot that they'd have a ton more cushioning in them, so it took a little getting used to. I got two pairs so that I could switch them out, making them last longer. It'll be a good strategy for days when I'm running twice.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I need help running on Mondays

And honestly I need a little more motivation now that my work schedule has changed. I can't get home as early as I used to, so I've got to find some way of running early in the evening without starving to death. I'm going to try bringing work out clothes with me so that I can run at parks close to work (and close to my old apartment). This way I can knock out the run quickly, drive home, and then eat dinner. I think it'll help with the issue of running on Mondays, and I have to stick to my new schedule of M,W,Sat. Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next two months, and I have to be ready for the Warrior Dash! The pollen seems to be calming down too, which will help. The count today is 105, which is way better than almost 6,000 a few weeks ago.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

9th Annual Run the River 10k

Maybe because I'm some kind of masochist, or maybe because I'm a little nuts, but I ran the Run the River 10k on Saturday. With very little preparation or training. In fact, the longest distance I had even completed during training prior to this race was 3 miles. Now I'm only counting training that began this year because I was on a hiatus for most of the winter. So technically I have handled 6 miles before, but it's been a while!

How was it you ask? Not bad! The course was very scenic (I even came across a couple donkeys). It was all along the Chattahoochee River in Roswell, so very nice nature scenes to look at. I don't think the course was quite as flat as advertised, particularly because of the ginormous hill around mile 3, but all in all it wasn't bad. I finished it in 1:26:22, which was under my goal of 1:30:00. I figured if I couldn't finish it in at least 90 minutes I had some major work to do LOL! The t-shirt was awesome, and I wore it that day after cleaning up. Breakfast with friends was great too. I can't believe they stayed and cheered me on at the finish. Talk about awesome!

Here's my only beef with the race: I know I'm slow. That's okay. The 10k group was small. That's fine too. But why start breaking down all of the race stuff (time card collections, THE FINISH LINE!!) prior to all participants completing the race? I happened to have an intact finish line when I finished, but the folks behind me didn't. I had to sneak my time card in the pile of cards on the table. Luckily there were an abundance of t-shirts left over so no problem there. I did feel pretty bad for the people slower than me, the ones who happened to walk the whole 10k. Let me state that it is absolutely acceptable to walk the whole race. The point is to finish it, not win it. We're not professional runners. I think to take away a decent finish for the slowest participants takes away from that joy you feel when you finish a race. That leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Oh well.

My advice for race organizers for next year? Start the 10k before the 5k, or start them at the same time. This reduces the amount of time volunteers have to be there, the amount of time the roads need to be closed (I had to finish the race on a trail, not on the road/official course), and it means the slower folks don't feel so lonely at the end of the race.

The next item on my agenda is to continue being consistent with my training. Even though I wasn't all that prepared for this race I felt great. I'm a little tired and stiff, but I'm not sore. Warrior Dash will be a piece of cake after this!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My very unscientific trial

If you remember my posts from last summer, I suffered a lot from post-run headaches. I had thought that they were caused primarily by tension (as Rex will confirm, I always have a lot on my mind and am always trying to conquer everything). When these headaches would come, I'd try to relax and drink some water, thinking that perhaps a little dehydration had also occurred. Well, I got a bad headache again a few weeks ago and realized that the more water I drank the worse it got. here's what I did......

I quit drinking so much water. I remembered reading that one of the symptoms of over-hydrating was headache, so after my runs I just drank when I was thirsty. In fact, last Saturday when I had really pushed myself to run as much as I could and was sweating, I drank very little water. Just when I was thirsty. What happened? Nothing. No headache, no failing of the pee test, nothing. I felt great. The next day was equally as good, except I was a little stiff in my back. That's to be expected after running more than usual.

I tried this again on Tuesday when I went running. Just drank water when I was thirsty. I felt fine. As unscientific as this is, I'm pretty sure that I was drinking too much water. Talk about too much of a good thing!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


For those following me on my facebook page, you already know this. I went for a run Saturday morning and was able to finish 3 miles in 39 minutes! WOOHOO! For most runners that's pretty slow. For me, that is a great improvement. I felt pretty good physically after the run, with the exception of a numb left foot, so my mood was so good all day long. Let me give you all a little background on my numb feet and how you can try to prevent it yourself.

My feet sometimes get numb because my calf muscles (and consequently my Achilles's tendons) are too tight. This normally happens towards the end of a long run for me, and is prevented by calf raises on my rest days (also good for preventing shin splints) and good stretching. This happened very close to the end of my run, so I wasn't too concerned. However, I need to be careful because you definitely don't want to damage your calf or your Achilles's tendon. David Beckham just ruptured his, and he can't even walk on that leg now. Ouch!!

So I will take this run for what it was. Awesome. LOL!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cutting calories can cause weight gain

It feels good to have science justify your way of thought. I hate counting calories, and I hate trying to restrict myself the way a lot of diets require you to. My philosophy is simple: eat more whole foods and less processed, try to get protein at every meal, cut out sweets except for a few bites after dinner, drink more water, and try to eat lots of fruits and veggies. So far it's helped lower my blood pressure (it was beginning to creep up on me, and now it's normal). I haven't had my cholesterol checked in a couple years, but I have a feeling that's improved too. Overall I feel better when I eat this way.

The reason I bring this up is because I found this great article on about how restricting calories can cause you to either struggle with weight loss or gain it back once the "diet" is over. I think patience is the hardest part of trying to get healthy and lose weight because we want it quickly. Everything in our lives is so instant that we forget losing weight takes time. It takes time to put it on, so it will take time to lose it. Yes, it took less time to gain it but it doesn't happen over night.

Speaking of how cortisol makes you gain weight, this week has been tough for me personally. Some crappy stuff happened to me that I won't mention here, but it's been frustrating. Needless to say I've been eating a lot more candy left over from Easter (well, I bought it after Easter because I wanted comfort food). I think it's caused me to gain all this weight back, even temporarily. That just makes me feel more crappy. Ugh! Isn't it funny how our minds cause so much to change with our bodies? I'm going to try and focus on more running. It helps clear my mind, and I need to run more anyway.

On a final note, maxi dresses are amazing because they're so loose that you feel awesome even on a "fat" day. LOL!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Still struggling a bit...

I went out for a run today, which I think is an accomplishment considering I fell asleep as soon as I got home from work. I think waiting a little bit allowed the weather to cool some, but unfortunately it was still pretty warm and a few neighbors were cutting their grass. Even with my allergy meds it started to get to me. Our pollen count was nearly 6000 today. Granted a lot of it is pine pollen, which doesn't cause allergies (just makes everything yellow), but all the debris from the mowing made my exercise-induced asthma worse than it already was. The heat made it harder to run too, since my body still isn't really used to it.

The important thing to remember when you have a few bad runs is that at least you got out and tried. Figure out why they're not going well. For me, it's mostly heat and not being able to run on Mondays. Since I have trouble running on Mondays that leaves all my working out for the latter half of the week, making the rest period too long. The heat will become easier to deal with - until the summer really kicks in.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Running with seasonal allergies

I mentioned a few tips a couple days ago about running in the heat and dealing with allergies. Here's another great post from a good running blog about how to deal with those seasonal allergies. I for one am one medicated runner!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Okay it's really time for new shoes

I went for a run Saturday morning (Friday night ended up being too hectic to run). It was a much better run that Wednesday's, but I can tell the cushioning in my shoes is worn out. Time to suck it up and buy some new ones. I had planned on buying a pair around this time anyway, but now that I have to hand over the cash I don't feel like it. What can I say? I'm cheap!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Not every run is a good run

And sometimes the bad ones are horrible. I went for a run on Wednesday, only for it to turn into an exercise in futility. My legs felt like they had lead weights on them, and for some reason my left knee was bothering me. I wasn't even concerned with my left knee! It was the right one that had given be reason to be concerned over the weekend. Sheesh!

Needless to say I walked most of it and consoled myself with the fact that at least I got out and tried. Oh well. Sometimes we have bad runs. That's okay. I have a sneaking suspicion I need new running shoes. I was bad and didn't track the mileage on my current pair of shoes, but I did get them last June. Sounds like a trip to the running store is coming up soon.

On another note, flowering pear trees stink. Like made me think I stepped in poo stink. Apparently my neighborhood is filled with them. Blech!!!

Instead of running yesterday I fell asleep. Evidently arriving at work at 6:45am and leaving at 4pm is not a good combination. I will run tonight, although it will be an easy run. Tomorrow morning I will try to run as well, but if I don't make it I'll run that evening.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring has finally arrived!

Today's temperatures will end up being close to 80 degrees, which is awesome! Tomorrow's temps are going to slightly warmer, which is even better. Unfortunately because we're all still used to cooler temps, running will be a little more difficult. We'll have to make sure to wear warmer weather clothing and keep hydrated. Hydration is always important, but because we sweat more in the heat we need more water. So here are some reminders of what you should keep in mind as the weather warms up:

- Cotton is rotten! It holds onto moisture, creating chafing and additional weight. It also doesn't breathe as much as you'd think. Wear technical clothing, including socks.

- Make sure you are hydrated. Use the color test to see how you're doing (check out the urinalysis section).

- Run in the cooler parts of the day. Keep in mind that mornings are cooler but more humid. Evenings are warmer but (for me) more convenient.

- If you have seasonal allergies, take your medicine. Once you're finished with your run, take a shower as soon as you can to get all that pollen off of your body and out of your hair.

- Wear a mesh hat or visor to keep the sun out of your eyes and face. I say mesh hat because regular ball caps trap heat, making life horrible for you. Plus I think it encourages baldness. EEK!

- Use a sports sunscreen. Neutrogena and Coppertone make great sunscreen. Apply about 30 minutes before your run so it has a chance to soak in. Plus it's less likely to run into your eyes. Ouch!!

- Have fun! Sign up for a race! Race season is upon us =)

Monday, March 29, 2010

I am a running fiend!

I had my first double run on Saturday. I ran 2 miles that morning before taking care of my errands, and then I ran another 2 with Rex that evening. I felt like such a pro LOL! Surprisingly I felt pretty good too. I had to use the "stick" to work out the lactic acid in my thighs, so Sunday I was feeling pretty good. Rex's shins were bothering him a bit, but it's mostly because he keeps using his running shoes as his every day shoes. Big nono! I now have to get him another pair of running shoes. The cure for that pain? Ice! Sunday he felt great. My Sunday? Well...

Let me state up front that this is not a running-related pain. I was vacuuming my house like crazy on Sunday. To get the tumbleweeds of kitty fur under my couch, I had to get on the floor and use the extended wand on my Dyson. Much twisting and contorting later, I felt my knee get tight and then pop very loudly. It didn't hurt much, and didn't bother me again until that night when I went to see Hot Tub Time Machine (omg hilarious!). I iced it and went to bed.

Fast forward to today, and my knee is just tender. Tonight's run may be downgraded to a walk to make sure I don't aggravate it. Treatment calls for more ice, since that seems to have helped the most.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Checking out another running trail...

In the spirit of keeping things interesting I took Rex to another running trail in our local area. We went to the Big Creek Greenway, which is a bike/running path built in the Big Creek flood plain/wetlands. This is newly developed. So new I could still smell the new chemically treated wood on one of the bridges LOL! The nice thing about this area (and the Greenway in Alpharetta, similar design) is that it's straight forward and easy to run.

What we did was our usual run 3, walk 2. To make sure we were both being challenged appropriately, I ran at my usual speed and would turn back towards the end of the 3 minutes to walk with Rex. Grand total for mileage was 2 miles! Total time spent was 30 minutes. For a beginner runner, I think that's fantastic! Rex felt great after the run. His legs were tired and a little sore, but he didn't feel exhausted. He actually felt pretty good when we were finished.

I'm planning on running a 10k next month, but so far it doesn't look like I'm totally ready. That's fine. I'll run as much as I can and walk when I need to. I feel like it will be a good primer for the Warrior Dash, which is a 5k. So far everything is going pretty well!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I need to start thinking about these places before I commit to running yeah. I decided to check out some local parks yesterday for my run. I was excited to see I live close to a lot of parks, and my county offers a lot of services and classes discounted for residents. Non-residents can join as well for a slightly higher fee. I think that's only fair. I do pay for these services on a basic level through my taxes.

So I headed out to Sawnee Mountain Preserve. I didn't think about the incline until I pulled up to the preserve. Yeah, mountain = incline. I also didn't read the description of the preserve very closely. It has hiking trails, not running paths. Things I should have picked up on earlier, but it was all good. The view on the trail is amazing, and it will be even nicer once the trees start to grow some leaves. Let me tell you what trail running is like....

I have never been so actively engaged mentally in my entire running life. There were rocks and holes everywhere, so I had to make sure I didn't fall and either sprain my foot/ankle (which I am prone to do) or just fall off the side of the mountain. Neither scenario is good. I did notice that I felt the rocks a lot under my shoes. The dirt offered a lot of give though. It felt a lot better than asphalt or especially concrete.

Was it fun? OMG YES! The time just flew! Being that involved mentally with my run not only allowed my mind to quit focusing on all the things that stress me out, but it made me pay attention to the here and now. The air felt so clean too with all the trees and the higher altitude, so breathing was easier. I'm sure if I got much higher that I'd struggle a little more with less oxygen.

Because the run was more challenging, I focused on just staying safe. I stuck to the old run 3/walk 2 cycle, and I ended up having a lot more energy towards the end of the run. I chit chatted with a couple of people too, which is not my norm. I'm a bit anti-social LOL! I guess that speaks to how good I felt while I was out there.

All in all it was a great run. I definitely want to get back out there soon, but I think I need to invest in some good trail shoes first. I don't think Rex should go out there unless it's just for a regular hike. It kind of pushed my limits, and I don't want anyone to get hurt. Next week I'll explore another park!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Getting more consistent!

So I managed to run this weekend and on Monday like I was supposed to! Saturday's run was actually pretty bad, but I was so glad I just did it. In my book just getting out there and trying is a success. Anything to help keep the routine going is good. Why was it bad? When I am not in tip top shape my ankles get a little whiny. Case in point - about three steps into my run Saturday my ankle had a sudden sharp pain, so I ended up kind of hobbling the next few steps until I got my bearings again. I eased back into running, and the pain did go away as I ran. Since I had a rocky start I kept the run to a mile and eased up on the speed. I had also planned on running that evening with Rex, but he was tired and said he'd make up the run on Sunday.

Did Rex run on Sunday? Nope! Am I surprised? Nope! This is what happens when we allow our minds to determine the course of action. We allow the mental blocks to creep up and get in our way. I know this because it happens to me all the time. I'm not immune. The good part was Rex acknowledged this and ran with me on Monday. Monday's run was.....

Awesome! Rex is working on his pacing, which is really hard to do. Last week he wanted to start the run at about an 11 min mile pace, which is really fast for him. Consequently he runs out of energy, and the latter part of the run is really hard. This time he slowed it down to about a 13 min mile pace, which allowed him to run more towards the end. In fact, he finished that run a little faster than the last, and the distance was the same. We got to the last .10 of a mile and sprinted home. Well, I sprinted the whole way and he sprinted most of it. The feeling of accomplishment was great!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The science behind running and weightloss

As some of you know, I subscribe to Runner's World magazine. This magazine has a lot of really great articles about training, diet, and anything else that relates to running. I read in March's issue about how your body burns sugar vs fat. It suddenly made my training make more sense. I don't have the issue in front of me, but the gist of the article was that in the first 20-25 minutes of your run you're using quick energy (sugar). Once your quick energy is used up, your body switches over to long-term energy (fat). Getting the fat to start burning can take a little bit, but once it starts burning you have your "second wind". I really identify with that. It's always around the 25 minute mark that I start to feel a bit fatigued.

Why do I bring this up? Well, I noticed a more significant weight loss when I was training for the Peachtree last year, when I was running 50-60 minute runs. I wasn't eating less. In fact, I was eating more because I was hungry all the time. I wasn't trying to lose weight, but it happened. So it seems like to maintain this weight loss I should have been running at least once a week for 30+ minutes. I guess it's one more incentive to keep training!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The rain that will never end!

This has to be the wettest winter I've ever experienced in Georgia. I feel like we barely have the time to dry off before the next rain comes to soak everything all over again. Needless to say it's raining now, and it's supposed to rain all week. *sigh*

I skipped my run on Saturday because it was my birthday weekend, and quite frankly I enjoyed being a hermit. I slept, read books, played video games, and just hung out at home. To make sure I didn't fall too far behind, I did run on Monday. Let's just say I see why people are getting sick. Last week I was running outside in all my warmest winter gear. Monday I was in shorts and a t-shirt. I hope to run today, but it's raining pretty badly. Go to the gym you say? Well, let me give you an update on that one.

See, Rex had his complimentary session with a personal trainer. Unfortunately that went really wrong once he got home. Let's just say I totally disagree with all the guys (guys always think this is okay) who say puking after working out is okay. No way! If you ever feel like you're pushing yourself to that limit pull back. Not only did Rex get sick, but he had some serious issues with controlling his blood sugar for a few days. I think it actually made him a little hypoglycemic, which is not normal for him. See, he's a type-2 diabetic. Poor thing felt horrible for a while.

Fast forward a week. What shows up on our credit card statement? A charge for over $300 from the gym for that session. *sigh* So needless to say we're canceling the memberships. Oh well. Oh and we got our money back.

So it looks like since I live in the boonies (seriously, I drive past several pastures with cows and goat plus many horse farms just to get to work), I will have to stick to my el cheapo method of working out. Outside. At the parks. In my neighborhood. I love all of these things, but when it rains I have a tough call to make. Cross train at home, or run in the rain?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Boy it feels good to run!

I finally ran yesterday. It's a couple days later than originally planned, but it's a run which is all that counts. I decided to take it easy time wise, so I planned to just be out for about 20 minutes. To see how far I could go, I ran a full mile as best as I could. My time was 11:48, which is pretty good for a mile in my condition, but unfortunately my heart rate was really high after that and I ran out of steam. I ran a little more after taking a walk break, but it didn't last long. I walked the rest of the way home, but I made the whole trip around the neighborhood in about 23 minutes. In my book that's awesome. I felt really good afterwords too. The best part? I didn't feel like cooking, and the Papa John's by my house is really fast. Hot fresh pizza!! I am eating the left overs for lunch today YUM!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Despite good intentions...

I got no runs in this weekend. What did I do instead? Sleep. For about 10 hours Friday night and Saturday night each. Am I tired? Apparently!! I took a cue from my body and just relaxed. I think I'm super tired and trying to cram in workouts when I'm this tired leads to disaster.

On another note, I am planning on racing in a 10k in April. It will be the Run the River, benefiting a local charity called Homestretch. The weather ought to be really nice, and I hear that this is a course that is flat and fun to run. It will be a good race to finish before the Warrior Dash, and a do-over for last year's Peachtree Road Race. I'm looking forward to it, but I don't have a whole lot of time to get ready. There's plenty of time if I am consistent, but we all know that I have not been the model of consistency lately. We'll see how it goes.

I will try to run this afternoon since it's in the low 50s today. It's time to start easing back into this!

Friday, February 26, 2010

New running schedule

Usually I try to stick to this schedule when training - TTSS (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday). With my one and only class scheduled for Tuesdays, this creates a tiny problem. To compensate I think I'll try this modified schedule - WTSM (Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday). Monday's can be a tough day to run, but I get to have a rest day on Sunday, which is awesome! As much as I enjoy the benefits of running, I love sleeping more LOL! I will start tomorrow morning with an easy run with Rex (I hope). I don't know if he wants to come out to run, but I'll definitely be out.

Right now it's unseasonably cold for Georgia, so I'm still using my winter running gear. It will be excellent when the weather starts improving - my desire to be outdoors usually increases exponentially when the weather is nice. I need to start training my upper body again now that the pain in my armpit has subsided, but I have a feeling that I need to ease my way into it. The pain creeps up now and again if I've sneezed a lot but goes away quickly.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finals are finished!!

Phew! Now that the semester is done, I can start to relax a little. I start classes again on Tuesday, so there isn't really much of a break, but I'm only taking one class for sanity's sake. It's supposed to be a hard class with an awesome professor, so I'm looking forward to it. Learning is fun! And no, I'm not being sarcastic LOL!

Since my work load will be lighter, I'll be able to focus on running some more. The weather will warm up soon as well (it better!), so that will help. My biggest hurdle at this point? My eating schedule. I've gotten used to eating a really early dinner (4:30) during the week, which means running right after work is going to be hard when I'm already hungry. I gotta figure out how to deal with that problem, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Boy am I out of shape!

I went for a run today, since the weather was so awesome. I think I did pretty well considering there are a few decent hills at Wills Park, and I haven't trained consistently in forever. Unfortunately I can tell by how long it took my heart rate to get back down to resting level that I'm in some sad shape. My legs are going to hurt tomorrow too. This just means I need to be more consistent, but that's going to happen very soon. I just finished one of my final exams and will turn in a project tomorrow. This leave my last final exam for Wednesday - HOORAY!!!

School starts again the following Tuesday, which isn't much of a break, but it means that the whole weekend is free. It also means that since I'm just taking one class I'll have more time for running. This is perfect since the weather is beginning to get better, and the Warrior Dash is only getting closer. Some friends that came to the park with me tried the 6 ft wall there that Alpharetta PD use for their physical agility tests. Let's just say we have a lot of work cut out for us LOL!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Here's some brutal honesty

I haven't trained consistently in over 6 months. I've eaten for the most part like I was still training. Then the holidays came and left. School is stressful, screwing up my schedule and the kinds of foods I eat (lots of fast food). What does this add up to? I've gained some weight. *sigh* I'm not even as concerned about the number on the scale, although the scale at the doctor's office yesterday was a bit embarrassing (eek!). I'm more concerned about how lazy I feel. Blah. Ho-hum. Do I have to get up? I don't want to take the stairs. Can't the cats just bring me a glass of water? You know it's bad when you begin to wonder if cats will actually be useful.

This is really kind of a continuation of the last post I made about counting calories. I hate counting calories, but the article did make me think about how I'm eating lately. Probably way worse than I ought to be eating, and I am not getting any activity to counter the additional garbage being eaten on a consistent basis. I'm reducing my school-related stress for the next two months by taking only one class, not two. This ought to help get me back on a decent training schedule, especially since the weather (hopefully!!) will be warming up soon. Plus I have to be ready for the Warrior Dash!!

I told a friend today that I miss being in training mode. I miss the amazing feeling I had knowing that I could run and jump and be active. The endorphins were awesome! The effect all that training had on my body was amazing. I felt good, therefore I looked good.

The take from all this? I want to feel good again. I don't want to focus on dress size, jean size, whatever size, weight, or measurements. I just want to feel good. Here's to feeling good!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Do you count your calories?

I sure don't. For one, my poor little brain has too much to focus on (school, work, family consisting of Rex and 4 adorable cats). Secondly, I find that I guilt myself into making poor choices in the long run. Yeah, that snack is only 100 calories but it has more sugar than I'm supposed to have in one sitting so my sugar inevitably crashes. Then I binge at my next meal. What good did that "healthy" snack do me? Not much.

Check out this article that discusses why calorie counting, specifically at restaurants and fast food joints, doesn't do much good for those of us trying to avoid being categorized as overweight or obese.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Running Hiatus

This headache has stayed with me for nearly a week now, and I can't run until it's gone. Any rise in blood pressure causes the pain to increase dramatically to the point I feel like my head is going to explode. Exploding heads are not favorably viewed in polite society. Exploding heads in zombie movies, on the other hand, are awesome. I have a feeling this is more than my original theory of low blood sugar.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And the post-run headaches are back

For some reason I can't seem to manage my eating very well after running in the morning. I try to be good and not overeat, but I am starving and don't eat enough. This happened Saturday, but usually the headache goes away after I go to bed that night. Unfortunately this one stuck around until Tuesday. That's right. Tuesday. It turned into a full-blown migraine. Ugh! I think my shoulders were a little tight during the run too, which is common for me.

The reason I'm sharing this is because you should definitely monitor how you're feeling post-run. If you're hungry, then eat! If you feel tightness in your shoulders, try to get a massage. Both of those things would have helped tremendously. Because I haven't really trained since the Peachtree last summer, I'm realizing that I forgot some of the issues I faced then. It's moments like these that training logs really help. I need to be better about keeping one.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Back to running

Since I couldn't do anything weight-related on Saturday, and that's when Rex and I usually meet up with friends to work out, I spent my time on the treadmill. I had originally planned on running outside but with hail and snow we decided it was best to stay in. Treadmills have always felt like hamster wheels to me. You keep running and go nowhere. Luckily my friends spoke to me occasionally so that helped pass some time. I ended up running for 13 minutes straight, which at a 12 minute mile pace was pretty good. I took a quick two minute break and ran another 5 minutes. All in all a quick run and an improvement from my last run, which saw me running for 10 minutes straight in the first part of the run. I made sure to stretch and was a little stiff today but overall was feeling pretty good.

Of all the different workouts I've tried I still find that running is the best one for me. It works a lot of muscles, burns a lot of calories, and I feel like I've accomplished something. It's different in my mind to say "I ran 3 miles" vs "I did 30 push ups". They both have their place, and push ups help you a lot, but running makes me feel better overall.

An update on my armpit - it's still bothering me, but it's getting better. Once the pain is gone I will do a little research to see how I can strengthen my upper back to prevent another injury like this. It's a little embarrassing to have to adjust every action so your left arm hangs there like a decoration lol.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My arm pit hurts

Okay that sounds gross. What I mean is, I somehow injured my latissimus dorsi muscle under my arm and now when I sneeze, cough, lift anything, or just generally put weight on my left arm it hurts. A lot. If you clicked on the link above, do you see how the muscle ends just below the arm pit? Yeah, that's where it hurts. How did I do this you ask? Well, after a few weeks of trying to work on some intense upper body exercises, I tried to catch an apple pie that was falling on Friday. Little did I know that the weird pull I felt under my arm at the time was the precursor to all this pain I'd start to feel. The worst part is that my nasal allergies have been kicking into high gear with all the dust inside buildings and my home, so I sneeze constantly. Which means I am in pain constantly. Ouch!

Long story short, it looks like my circuit training days are over until this heals. Like any running injury, I will employ ice, rest, and anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen). I guess this means I'll have to focus mainly on running until this is cleared up. When I ran on Saturday I felt no pain, which is interesting. Yes, that means I haven't run since. School has a nasty habit of just getting in the way. If this doesn't get better in a few days I'll go see a doctor. Until then Rex will have to be content knowing that there's not much we can do at this point (he's been harassing me to see a doctor).