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.