Sunday, May 29, 2011

Approaching the crossroads

Due to some recent changes in my own life (new job which means more than double the distance from home and triple the commute time), I've had to face a challenge that most people face in their lives. That challenge is a lack of time. When training for the half marathon (which I am still proud to have completed), I was able to get weekday runs in due to the close proximity of several parks to my old job and being closer to home. I could beat the sunset and still get a couple miles in before heading home. Weekends were easier to deal with as well since the weather was cooler, allowing me to sleep a little later and still have decent temperatures and weather.

All this background is to let you know that conditions are not ideal, but they're not the end of the world either. I now spend significantly longer in the car, and if parks are close by I'm not aware of them just yet. This will make it hard to train longterm. It's also summer here now, so even with the sun staying up I get to deal with remaining heat (we've hit 90 degree temps already and summer has barely started). The other major nuisance is the massive mosquito population here. I get eaten alive during warmer weather.

These external hindrances combined with a desire to try something new have led me to do a little research on the latest and greatest in sports fitness. I've come across a unifying theme throughout my searches. Less can be more. If you've been reading the blog for the past several weeks, you may remember this post. Workouts like this have become more and more popular for several reasons, but here is what makes them appeal to me:

For a quick workout, it offers significant benefits and can be more effective even than running.

As you can tell already, I'm a bit strapped for time. Like most women, I have to deal with household chores on top of working and whatnot. I also crave downtime to relax mentally by reading books, watching an occasional movie, and hanging out with friends. The tough part is going to be making a new routine. This was a major hurdle regardless of whether I chose running, going to the gym, or anything else. Now that I've found a workout method I want to try, I'll start trying to build the right habits again.

Does this mean I've given up on running? No way! This means I'm taking a break but am looking forward to trying to run more 5ks in the future. I miss the casual racing. I'll probably sign up for the Publix half marathon again.

I really wanted to write this post because I want you readers to know that there are other options out there. Find what works for you, and don't be afraid of change and challenge.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What is a healthy diet?

If you read medically accepted advice, then you know you should be eating a low-fat, high protein and high carb diet. I say high carb because it's suggested to eat a lot of grains if you look at the food pyramid. This is where I deviate drastically from popular advice. See, being hypoglycemic means I feel the affects of lowering blood sugar. It doesn't necessarily mean my glucose is low, but I certainly feel the dip more than most. This ends up meaning I should treat my diet carefully. Here's what my diet ends up consisting of:
  • Wheat bread for sandwiches
  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • White rice
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Almond milk
  • Fiber cereal
  • Low-fat yogurt (2%)
  • Butter
  • Butter
  • Butter
  • Bacon grease
  • Butter
I can hear you now. You eat butter?! And how in the world do you eat bacon grease??? Well, for one I'm Southern. Bacon grease can be used in place of oil in a skillet. And let's face it - butter is good. It's unsalted butter, but it's butter. What I focus on is lower carb and lower sodium ratios. I don't try to eat too much fat - not a whole lot of alfredo sauce, cheese, milk, or fatty meats. I just don't sweat the fat I do eat. Fat helps with slowing the absorption of sugar, which means I don't have as many spikes in glucose. No spikes equals happy Diane :)

Why do I bring this up? I found this really interesting article on Yahoo! that asks if skim milk is actually making us fat. Even if you prefer the no fat version of milk, I think how skim milk is made white will make you give it up forever. Gross!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Warrior Dash May 2011

I'm finding I have a pretty predictable cycle. Around April and May I goof off and the Warrior Dash comes along and then I half-assedly complete it.

Today was the SE Warrior Dash, and it was very fun! There were some differences from last year's race. First, slightly different obstacles and trail. I skipped one that involved climbing a wall with a rope. I just don't have the upper body strength for it. The lake was significantly higher this year due to recent rains, so I ended up doggie paddling a lot of it because I couldn't walk it. Second, two t-shirts! Muwahahaha!

What made the experience better was planning for the race in advance better than last year. We made the trek up to Mountain City Georgia the night before and stayed in a nearby hotel (The Dillard House). This allowed us to avoid the two hour drive just before the race and to get to the racing area early. We ran in an earlier heat, parked much closer, and when we were finished we had a real shower to clean up in. The only downside? The hot water at the hotel room wasn't working, but the manager helped us out with compensation. Lunch at the same hotel was amazing, as always.

Overall I think getting the hotel room makes a major difference. Next time I think we'll get a room for both Friday and Saturday nights. That way there's no rush to check out on time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Not a whole lot of progress

Yeah, I've not been doing much in the exercise department. That's cool though. I'll figure something out soon.

On an unrelated note, check this story out. A lady saves a life during a triathalon and then finishes it! Some people are just that awesome.