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Sleepy Foot {& Accountability}

18 Apr

Yes I have been gone for a couple weeks…..

Aaaaaaand I have no good excuse! {things going on in my personal life taking over free time}

You should be happy to know that I haven’t completely gone off course even though I haven’t been keeping myself accountable here.  I haven’t been running as often, but I’ve continued to pick up the mileage on my weekly long runs.

Yesterday I accomplished another first: 15miles! {2:08}

Phew.  My entire body was sore to the touch almost immediately afterwards.  And I felt a little sluggish during the run —- which I’m attributing slightly to a weekend of more than one cocktail…. {bday weekend!}.  However it was a B-E-A-UTIFUL day and I was in good company running through the park and around DC.  It is definitely one of the things I like most about Washington DC – we’re an athletic bunch! 🙂

I also took body pump tonight for the first time in 2 weeks {eeeeek! I know….}.  It actually didn’t end up being as painful as I anticipated.  Although that COULD be because I dropped weight from pretty much every exercise …..

Ooops?  I’ll pick it back up for next time.  And I think it’s very important that I go back to doing weights at least once a week.  End. Of. Story. {it’s almost summer for gosh sakes!}

This last little tidbit has been on my mind & I wanted to throw it out there:

As I pick up the mileage, I’ve noticed that the toes/part of my left foot starts getting numb during my run.  I find myself curling and uncurling my toes to try and regain the circulation/stop the pins&needles.  I have 2 pairs of running shoes, both the same brand (though different sizes somehow….), that I switch around – generally for no particular reason.  I can never remember if I feel the pins&needles when wearing one pair of shoes or the other – but I actually don’t think it matters.  I’m not sure if it’s something I should be worried about …..

Happy Monday, Y’all! 🙂

Uncomfortable Consequences of the Run

31 Mar

As the title implies, running long distances isn’t always as rewarding as you want it to be ….

I spent the 24 hours after getting back from my 13.1 mile run (Monday night) in a mild to severe state of nausea.

{Yes, the next work day was horrible.  No coffee.  Lots of tea}

I remember this happening on-and-off when I was training for my half-marathon last spring and first started getting into the longer runs.  I believe my first ever 10miles is when it first happened.

I’m not really sure where it comes from/how to combat it.  I didn’t have the time to trial-and-error my way out of it last spring — I just tried a whole bunch of different things: altering my diet, less coffee, more water, etc. etc.

Luckily, the nausea didn’t start during my run – as it sometimes has – but that whole night and next day my poor stomach felt weak and completely sickly.  Eating didn’t help.  Drinking didn’t help.  I was slightly terrified that at any moment I was going to start heaving.

I’ve researched this to the moon and back {in the moment, there’s nothing worse than severe stomach pain ruining an otherwise wonderfully rewarding workout … talk about totally killing the ‘high’} and see that it is actually a relatively common ailment for many women running long distances.

Well, great.

It seems that running long distances is difficult on your intestinal system …. though my investment in the book ‘Born to Run’ has yet to bring that point up.  I guess it would ruin the whole ‘born to run’ theme …..

{yes, I’m being bitter …. I’m not a fan of my body working against me as opposed to with me}

As my runs will only be getting longer, I guess the research and trial-and-error eating will have to continue.  I refuse to spend the next 7 (!!) months in a perpetual state of self-induced nausea.  Any additional advice is welcome! (seriously)

Eggs were suggested to me as a meal that would be easy on my stomach, so after work on Tuesday I made myself a delicious omelette:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 cup onions, chopped
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • handful of mushrooms, chopped
  • pepper to taste
  • basil

I rounded out the meal with one of the flaxseed muffins I adore so much, with almond butter and berry jam 🙂

Yes, I skipped my cardio for the day ….

As much as I hate excuses,  I almost feel that this one was valid.

**On the bright side:

Finally finally finally got an iphone!!! 🙂

I’ve been waiting forever for my plan to be up / for Verizon to jump on the Apple bandwagon — and Tuesday the day finally arrived!  So yes, my phone bill has now skyrocketed …. but it’s so pretty! 😉

I immediately downloaded several apps, including ‘What Should I wear running?’ – thanks to Teri‘s blog!  Wednesday morning I did get myself up running – queasiness had gone down considerably – and this app absolutely helped me decide what to wear.  Initially had on long leggings, and switched to shorts per the app’s instructions ….. and happy I did!

{On the phone it actually just shows up as ‘What to wear’ — a source of much laughter for my friend’s investigating my new toy.  Not to say that I wouldn’t dl/find that type of app helpful on some days…..}

Living in an apt building can be annoying in the sense that you can’t just open your front door to see what the weather is like….. so this app is ridiculously helpful.

Yucky yucky weather this week ….. who ordered a second dose of winter?! So I made myself a feel-good warm breakfast today, courtesy of one of my favorite blogs, ‘eating bird food.’ Of course I improvised:

  • no banana …. but only because I’m out of them
  • no pumpkin spice
  • add 1 t of flaxseed meal
  • 3/4 cup of almond milk (I like my oatmeal a little more liquidy…)
  • add cinnamon to taste!

And of course, I made my oatmeal this morning, in the microwave (3 minutes) right before eating it!

This plus stove-top espresso (which I’m also running out of …) was the perfect start to a less-than-ideal day 🙂

{….and nausea free. for now.}

Balance

28 Mar

Yes, I avoided writing here all weekend.

Why?  Because it was not a productive couple of days.  No exercising, no cooking.

{But I’m back, keeping myself accountable}

So of course, Sunday night when I’m thinking about the week ahead, I start mentally battering myself for not getting anything done when I had that extra time.  This morning I doubled up on my to-do list and vowed to stick to it. {vicious cycle from my ‘About Me’}

No one is harder on me than me.  When I don’t work out, I really do give myself a hard time.  It’s actually probably more exhausting than actually working out would have been.  I think I worry that that first missed run will lead to the next …. and the next … and the next.

And all of this made me think about balance.

I feel that I’m full of contradictions:

I like schedules, routines, and to-do lists.  I like spontaneity .

I like to be organized and meticulous. I like to feel carefree.

I want to work toward my future. I want to live in the moment.

So I get up at 5:45 to run {schedule} so that I can be free to do whatever in the evening after work {spontaneity}.

Marathon training {future} vs. night out {moment}.

Some of these things work together, and some directly oppose each other.  Where is the balance?

———————-

Tonight I did last week’s long run since I skipped it yesterday.  And of course I couldn’t let myself get away with that.

{Do not go running at night in a park. Totally spooked myself.  Ended up turning around, getting back to the main route, and making up a route to get in the mileage I needed — thank you, Garmin!}

The Good News:

– Dominated my 1/2 marathon time by 6min! 13.15 miles in 1:54

– My legs/everything felt great!  Totally could have gone another couple of miles …. if it hadn’t been 9pm

Exhausted after my shower, I just threw together some food:

Tempeh {bought at TJs for the first time last week & am attempting to learn how to cook it…..} sauteed with garlic & onion, spices, basil, frozen veggies – voila!  Orange & figs for dessert 🙂

———–

Week 1: Workout Schedule in Review:

Monday – 30min ab video

Tuesday – body pump

Wednesday – yoga

Thursday – am body pump

————-

Workout Schedule: Week 2

Monday: 13.1 miles

Tuesday: 20min stepper + 15min bike

Wednesday: 6miles am

Thursday: am body pump

Friday: 7miles am

Saturday: off

Sunday: race day! Cherry Blossom 10miler

———–

……and already looking forward to tomorrow’s morning smoothie! 🙂

TGIF ramblings & my Love of the Week

25 Mar

So this morning I did my typical Friday 7miler …. wow, was it easier to get up last week in the WARM weather.  Where did this cold front come from?!?

(no, this is not the forum to debate that)

Even though I had to pull out gloves and a headband again, my run felt pretty great.  I wasn’t sore or tight and can’t decide if that has anything to do with the fact that this was only my second run this week ….

I kind of hope not, because three runs a week (I’m counting in Sunday’s run) is on the low side.  But maybe it’s ok for this week since my knee definitely was feeling sore today — should remind myself to do some icing later.

What is ALSO sore is my upper body from pump class!  Yes, ladies and gents, I made it to the Thursday 6:30am class again FINALLY, which means I got in 2 days of weights this week.  That’s the amount I typically like to go for and it used to be perfect because my favorite instructor taught body pump Tues. & Thurs. nights at 7:00pm — exactly the right time for me to get to after work!  Then the new year hit and they moved Thursday’s class to 6pm (YES without asking me.  I was shocked too), and there’s no way I can make that.  Sunday she teaches as well – but I always have a hard time getting myself to classes on the weekend.  I guess I should work on that.

Thursday morning is the only other option for body pump at my gym — and though I’m not a huge fan of the instructor (I don’t mean as a person – she’s perfectly lovely – I mean the way she runs the class … aka not very well), OR the time, it does get in that second day of weights.

In several pieces of literature about running marathons, I’ve read that one of the biggest mistakes people make is not integrating enough weight training into their overall training schedule.  It does make sense if you think about it.  Running is tough on the joints – knees, hips, etc.  Especially if you do most of your training on roads or sidewalks.  Building up the muscle around those joints is essential to help keep them cushioned.  You don’t see many marathoners with ‘chicken legs’ ….. & the last thing I want to do is hurt myself during this training process or during the marathon itself (ugh, imagine it….).

I don’t make weight loss the bottom line anymore for many reasons:

{one of which is that it makes you crazy}

because primarily I want exercise and my daily life to be about more than that.

It’s about health.

It’s about physical fitness.

It’s about happiness.

It’s about lifestyle.

….And so then I threw the marathon in there because it IS something to work towards that will incorporate all of the above.

Think about it: I can’t ‘diet,’ per se – not only because I’m hungry all the time (thank you massive amount of burning calories!) – but because I do need fuel&energy for all the exercise I’m cramming into my life.  So instead, I have to make better choices with my eating.  I didn’t start marathon training with this intention, but the more I got into it and the more I read, the more I realized that one really can’t happen successfully without the other.  I’m going to eat a lot. Period.  But what am I going to eat?  As Michael Pollen of ‘In Defense of Food’ says: “mostly plants.”

{speaking of – I haven’t gotten super far into that book …. mainly because I’m reading 3 other books at the same time … but I highly recommend it.  It’s insightful, witty, eye-opening, and extremely well-written & researched.  For those of you who hate diet books: it’s NOT a diet book. Far from it.  In fact, he encourages eating!  Um, yes pleaseeeeee}

Which brings me to my Love of the Week:

The Classic Green Monster from one of my favorite blogs Oh She Glows.  I made it for breakfast TWICE this week – and will probably make a version of it tomorrow!  Can’t help it … I’m hooked.  And she has a whole line (…can you say that when talking about smoothies?) of these!  Yum yum  yum yum.

Recipe:

  • 1 c almond milk
  • 1 banana (ripened is better)
  • 2 handfuls of organic spinach
  • 1 T of ground flax (or chia seeds … which I have yet to buy/try)
  • 1 T of nut butter (she lists a dark chocolate nut butter that I will DEFINITELY have to try … I just used peanut)
  • 1-3 ice cubes

This smoothie keeps me full all the way to lunch ….. unheard of!  And these days I always have these ingredients in my pantry&fridge 🙂

She also has a whole vegan bakery that is, unfortunately, completely sold out of her homemade granola & granola bars that I’m dying to try.  I was so bummed …. hopefully she’s restocking soon!!  🙂

Do yourself a favor and check out her site (linked above) with all her amazing recipes … 100% of which I want to make!

Tonight I’m exhausted – getting up at 5:45am will do that to you – and am tempted to just chow down on something quick.  BUT, I made a Trader Joes run today after work (bliss…. I could spend hours in that tiny little grocery store!) and have all the fixings for a dish I’ve been wanting to try.

So I’m going to suck it up, pour myself a glass of wine (duh) and get cooking!

TGIF!

Duhhhh: Workout Schedule, Week1

23 Mar

I realized at some point late last night/early this morning while I was NOT sleeping (ugh, don’t get me started) that this blog is supposed to be about keeping track of my fitness schedule…..

But I have yet to actually post any sort of schedule.

Accountability ….. really??

So here is my weekly exercise schedule exactly how I wrote it out on Sunday (which I do every Sunday evening/Monday morning):

Week1 (not really in terms of training, but for this blog, yes – we’ll keep it simple):

Monday: am run + pilates

Tuesday: 8pm body pump

Wednesday: am run + yoga

Thursday: am body pump

Friday: am run

Saturday: 20min stepper

Sunday: long run = 13miles

———————————–

*Im cringing thinking how off I am already …..

But there’s no use in lying about it.

This morning I needed a feel-good breakfast after my terrrrrible/shorter-even-than-usual night of sleep (ugh, again).  So I went for the 1-min flaxseed muffin that I found on the cutest foodie blog, ‘A bicycle built for two.’

A couple of modifications:

-Add a handful of oats (I like the added texture)

-I mix it all directly in the mug I’m going to use to heat it up.  As long as you’re sure to stir well, there’s no need to dirty another dish! 🙂

-I usually microwave it for a little longer than 1-min …. 1:10 – 1:20 (I’m sure it all depends on the strength of your microwave, but after just one min my muffins are still a little wet at the very bottom)

I was able to cut the muffin into 4 pieces, and since comfort = peanut butter, a smear of that went on each one, then 2 pieces got a little jam (mixed fruit), and then I put banana slices on the other 2 (aaaaaaaaand ate the rest of the banana).

Yummmm — just what I wanted on this dark-threat-of-rain morning.  And of course I doubled up on espresso …..

Happy Hump Day! 🙂

The off-run

22 Mar

Been a while since I’ve had one of them … so I guess I was due?

It’s a beyond discouraging feeling to drag yourself out of bed at 6am after just as much hours of sleep so that you can jump-start your day with an invigorating run …. and then just really never get into it.  I mean really frustrating.

I’d say it usually takes me around 2 miles to loosen up (esp. in the morning) and really dig into a run, getting my split down and ‘groove’ up (sorry, no better way to say it! haha).   But today it was not happening.  For a 6mile run I’d say I didn’t start to get into the swing of it until mile 4 – a little after the fact, no?  My legs felt unusually leaden and tight…

{Differing advice regarding stretching before running: All my life I thought you were supposed to stretch immediately before a work out — but lately, I’ve read some literature saying that stretching ‘cold’ muscles could do more damage than anything and that you should wait until you’ve warmed up a little before stretching … thoughts??}

…and my stomach was bothering me {silver lining: all these excuses, and I still finished the run!}.  Disappointing, to say the least.  I had forgotten my Garmin this morning so I didn’t get to clock my time or split — but I’m going to go ahead and say that it was not my best.  I try to track all my runs: time, split, calories, etc. on a spreadsheet.  I don’t have a time I’m shooting for in my next 10miler – but it’s nice to see the improvement.  Plus, wearing the Garmin does make me push myself …..

I guess I should stop ‘forgetting’ it 😉

On the bright side, I’d gone to bed the night before thinking about the smoothie I was going to make this morning!  I just bought this wonderfully simplistic new smoothie maker and I’m in love.  I also picked up some fresh strawberries at my grocery store this weekend – they were on sale and actually looked decent — I couldn’t resist! 🙂

So with coffee gurgling away (it’s a little italian espresso maker that goes on the stove top… and yes, it does in fact gurgle), I made myself a Strawberry Banana Smoothie:

– 7 fresh strawberries {frozen would work too}

-1 whole banana

-1/2 cup almond milk {Soy milk works – I just prefer almond, esp. with the next ingredient…}

-1 scoop soy protein powder

-1 T whole flaxseeds

So yummy!!! 🙂

It made kind of a lot …. but of course I drank it all.  Maybe next time I’ll try it with just a quarter of a cup of milk ….

If you don’t have one of these single-serving smoothie maker, I’d suggest investing in one immediately

….and THAT’S why you work out in the morning

21 Mar

I’d had a long-standing HH date with a couple of friends tonight after work … and I don’t see them very often …. And we had a lot to talk about….

I bet you can tell where this is going.

No 8pm pilates.

(feel like I totally started my ‘keep on track’ blog on the wrong day)

Reason #25,552 why – even though your energy peaks later in the day – people who commit to morning work outs are more likely to be consistent and make it a routine part of their schedule***

SO after heating up some leftovers …

{Last night I had made the Hot Garlic Shrimp & Asparagus recipe from ‘Eating Bird Food.’  SO DELICIOUS.  I’m a huge fan of asparagus but never buy it/make it – generally thinking it’s too expensive for my budget.  But this less-than-a-pound bunch I bought is going to last me for three meals.  Not too shabby.  Just one warning: the recipe says to use between 1 and 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes.  I’m a fan of spicy so I went for two —– phew, SOOOO very hot!  I added extra lemon juice to try and cut it and my sinuses are still singing….}

… I did a 30-min ab work out video that my roommate just bought.  It definitely got my heart rate up and a little sweat going, but my abs aren’t burning the way I wish they were/generally are after a good ab work out.  I’m wondering if I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough (??)  or if because it was a new routine to me my muscles were ‘tricked’ into submission…. It also could have been the location: a room in my apartment vs. the gym.

{that happens, right?}

You’re supposed to do this work out 5 times a week for 6weeks to get a 6-pack (….right).  I’m thinking I’ll try to commit to 2-3 times a week.

*Again – trying to think of what is truly ‘do-able.’  AKA: not too much all at once! {one step at a time, one step at a time}

The abs video coupled with everything else should add up to a summer-worthy stomach. 🙂

I also decided that (clearly) today would be the perfect day for my ‘EXCUSES’ post.

Part 1: What common excuses do I use to NOT work out?

  • Too early
  • Too late
  • Exhausted
  • Too sore/muscles are tired
  • Worked out hard yesterday
  • I deserve a break
  • I don’t have time
  • I’m hungry
  • I’ll do it later