Saturday, January 30, 2010

We're making progress!!

Rex was finally able to come out for a run today. It's a little cold outside, but very damp so the weather isn't as bad as it could be. I find that dry air irritates the lungs more than damp air. He's still coughing, but he's able to run farther and more consistently. His form is getting a lot better, and he's really stayed away from negative attitudes during the runs. This makes my life a little easier, and it's easier to show him his progress. He said he also feels better this time around than before, which to me is the most important part.

I finally got us officially registered for the Warrior Dash. It looks like the waves filled up super fast so they added a couple of earlier waves. We lucked out and got 11:30 am!! The end of May is usually beginning to get pretty warm in Georgia, so the earlier the better. This is by far the most expensive race I have ever signed up for, but I think it will be worth it. So many of our friends are participating, and we're all working together to get in shape for this. Studies have shown that the healthier your friends are the more likely you are to stay healthy yourself. By making this a group effort we're not only growing closer as friends but extending and enhancing our lives as well. Gotta love that!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This is not a resolution,

but more like a new awareness. I'm eating too much sugar. I know this, I accept this, and now I want to change. Simply put I will try to stay away from sugar-heavy desserts and snacks like jelly beans (oh how I love jelly beans!) and opt for healthier sweet stuff like fruit. This all stems from a desire to fuel my body with more wholesome foods rather than junk like I tend to do in the winter.

Here goes!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday's run!

I was only out for 20 minutes, but it was nice! The weather was cool enough that I didn't feel like it was a struggle to run, but warm enough that I didn't have to bundle up. Rex caught a cold, so he didn't come out with me. I haven't been on a solo run in months, so this was really nice.

I know I'm still in new gadget heaven, but this heart rate monitor is awesome! How else can I see what my heart rate is (yes 198 means I'm going to fast)? I also saw how fast I was running, down to miles per hour!! 5.0 mph seems to be a good steady and comfortable pace, but 5.5 seems to be where my legs want to go. I think 6.0 is closer to my old 5k race pace. To break this down, 5.0 equals a 12 minute mile. 5.5 is 11 minutes, and 6.0 is 10 minutes. Once I get the hang of it, this heart rate monitor will give me a clearer picture of my progress. Can I train without it? Absolutely! I did so for some time with no trouble.

On a good note, now that I'm back into the swing of things (sort of) I can tell my metabolism is kicking back up a bit. I need to be extremely careful so that I don't overindulge, or get into what I call "stupid full" after meals. Stupid full means I'm so stuffed I can't imagine eating another bite, and I'm uncomfortable because my tummy is poking out. As Juno's friend said "food baby" (from the movie Juno).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Some days I am truly thankful

Could you imagine not having access to the most basic of human needs? Getting a limb amputated and having Motrin as your only available pain reliever? Wondering if the injury or infection will kill you first?

There are many ways to donate either your time, supplies, or money to help aid workers. I suggest finding a charity race in your area. You can search for local races. Even if it's not for Haiti racing for charity helps countless others by giving a measly race registration fee and some time to run.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Training and the heart rate monitor

I think I need to read the whole owner's manual for the heart rate monitor I have. Rex and I used it this afternoon for our quick run, and it worked like a charm. I turned it on, and it calculated everything. When I use it indoors it doesn't like to calculate calories burned, at least when I turn the GPS off.

So last Saturday was an intense circuit training session. Lasting almost 50 minutes, I ended up being so tired by the final round that I couldn't complete the workout. By the end of the night my abs were really sore, and I spent all day yesterday having trouble getting up from a seated position. It's not injury, but very tired abs. Woohoo! I focused a lot on my core, so this was to be expected.

Today we ran the walk/run combo of run 3 minutes walk 2. We covered 1.8 miles, which is really slow for the 37 total minutes we were out. I spent most of my time getting Rex to try and maintain running during the 3 minute periods, but it was good we went out. Tomorrow and Wednesday I have class, so the next time we'll run will be Thursday. Saturday we're planning on a more intense running session with the group, so that will help a lot.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How to shed belly fat...according to Yahoo Health

Yahoo has this article up about how we can lose belly fat by focusing on diet and exercise. I think it has good information, however it's really the same stuff we've been hearing for some time now. Eat smaller meals through out the day, exercise 40 minutes a day, focus on lean protein, etc.

I've come to a slightly different conclusion to our weight problems. We eat way too much sugar. We don't even know we're eating sugar most of the time. That whole wheat bread you used to make your sandwich? Probably has high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The yogurt you're eating as a snack? Unless it's plain, it has sugar (again, most likely in the form of HFCS). The healthy granola bar you like to stash in your purse? Once again - SUGAR! Check this article out about healthy foods hiding massive amounts of sugar.

I can really see how our taste buds have adapted to all this extra sugar. We now crave it constantly. Good example: I bought way too many jelly belly jelly beans to see the movie Avatar on Sunday. What I didn't mindlessly eat in the theater ended up being eaten at home. Once they were gone I was sad and began craving more of them. Nothing tasted good after I ate those jelly beans. Even Coke Zero wasn't sweet enough. Knowledge is power, but even though I know better it's hard to avoid that sugary temptation. And I don't even really have much of a sweet tooth compared to the general population!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Circuit training

Atlanta has been in the midst of some horrible weather lately (we had snow....snow!!!), so my friends and I hit the gym for some working out. We all hate the monotony of the treadmill, so I told them how to use circuit training for a good anaerobic workout. Only one friend actually did this with me, because the guys all decided to show off to one another how much they can lift or how well they can punch, but we all got a great workout in nonetheless.

We worked out for 37 minutes, and I know this because I used my new heart rate monitor! When I plugged it up to the computer it said I only burned 97 calories, but my arms are killing me today, so I know I got some good exercises in. I'm very concerned about making sure my whole body is in better shape for the Warrior Dash, so it worked out well. Rex focused a lot on his core, which I'm very thankful for because that will prevent back injuries down the road.

For those that don't know, circuit training is hopping from machine to machine, exercise to exercise to keep your heart rate up. For example, I did three rounds of cardio, free weights, weight machines, and push ups. Make sure you're paying special attention to form because you don't want to hurt yourself while doing this. That's worse than not working out at all, at least it is for me because it's so demoralizing. I only spent about 5 minutes on cardio and one set of exercises for the rest. After cardio, 10 push ups, 10 arm curls, and a whole host of other stuff times three, I was exhausted!

With Rex now on a better work schedule, we'll begin working out together more often. It's nice having a partner because we can hold each other accountable and motivate each other. Now if the weather would just warm up...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The average size of the American woman is....

5'4", 140 lbs, and wears a size 14 dress. Wanna know why that caught my attention? I'm 5'3", about 140 lbs, and I wear size 8 clothing. What's the difference? I have no idea!! No wonder I'm so flabbergasted at what's supposed to be my ideal weight - 115 lbs! I'm a stick at 115 lbs. I remember this because that's about the weight I was at when I graduated high school, and I was teeny tiny.

Anyway, I'm not sure how accurate those figures are since I got them here. I'm also not sure what my point is LOL!! Oh well.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Diets to avoid

With the new year upon us, we're all looking in the mirrors and thinking "maybe I should have skipped that third helping of dressing at Christmas". Okay, maybe I'm the only one who ate three helpings of dressing but we all overindulged! Turns out people gain an average of 5 pounds from holiday excess, and I'm no exception. I've noticed I'm becoming softer and squishy. Pants are fitting a little more snug than usual. The culprit? Overeating and not exercising. I've also been having a lot more sugar in the form of creamer and sweets, so that's another factor.

That being said, it's tempting to turn to a crazy diet to help shed those pounds quickly. Don't do it! Here's a good article on the five diets to really stay away from. I also saw a commercial for the Atkins diet on TV the other day. I actually like the principle, but I could never cut carbs like that. More and more research is finding that we're overweight because of our sweet tooths (sweet teeth?), not the fat in our diets. See, if you eat more sugar than your body needs then it gets converted to fat and triglycerides. Triglycerides are really bad for your heart. Too much sugar in your body also causes your pancreas to work harder and make your cells more insulin resistant, setting you up for type 2 diabetes. Ignore your type 2 diabetes long enough and your pancreas shuts down, turning you into a type 1 diabetic (or what Rex calls type 3 - not producing insulin and being insulin resistant).

I've purchased more fruit to eat at home to help those sweet cravings. As soon as the chocolate covered raisins are all gone. Party food is still being eaten up at home because I can't throw it away. Raisins are good for you right? Yup. But the milk chocolate coating them is horrible. I also am getting back on my regular eating cycle after the holidays, so more cooking at home with the foods I like to eat and know work for me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Forerunner part two

So I used my new heart rate monitor on Saturday, but it wasn't during running. I unfortunately didn't realize I had to change modes on the monitor because I supposedly only burned 35 calories for 20 minutes of anaerobic exercise. I know that's not long, but I figured it would be closer to 100 calories. I liked being able to see my heart rate, but I have a lot to learn about all the different settings. The software allows me to schedule different types of workouts and then I can compare how I do once I begin to compile more data.

In place of running Rex and I used a DVD that Red gave me. It was 20 minutes of constant moving, and my calves were tired from all the bouncing around! I'm sure the cats thought I had gone nuts. It's unusually cold in the Atlanta area (17 is not an acceptable temperature!), so running may be a little hard. Rex's schedule changes this weekend so we'll try to run in the afternoons when we're both done with work. It's going to be freezing!!