Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Getting it together

You know, waking up early to workout takes a lot of prep work. I had to pack my work clothes, my after gym clean up stuff and then my workout clothes for AFTER work. That’s a lot of crap to remember. But, I did it. I went to bed later than I had hoped and thus only got about 6.5 hours of sleep. But I popped right up at 4:50AM (ugggh) and got dressed. I made my English muffin and out the door I went. The 45 min spin class was pretty great. I really liked the instructor. After that I walked on the treadmill for about 30 minutes at an incline just to keep my legs warm and kill some time until work. Made it to the treadmill after work to run my 4 scheduled miles. Pretty proud of myself for putting a plan together and making it happen despite the fact that I hate waking up early. Today is a total rest day. YAY! I don’t feel particularly sore from my double dose of physical activity yesterday. Tomorrow I have 7 miles scheduled. I’ve decided that as much as I hate getting up early, I’m going to get up early and do them. This way – not only are they out of the way but I wont spend hours working myself up over whether or not I’m going to continue to feel the way I did on Sunday. It’s really scary to think every run from now on will feel that way. Yesterday’s wasn’t much better. But all I can do is keep pressing on. I also feel like I need to get used to running early. The marathon starts at 7am so… yeah. Gotta get in the habit. I think I’m going to be heading to Stone Mountain with the wonderful Meghan this weekend for my long run. I have 13 to put in. She runs a lot better and faster than me but she’s so patient and kind when we run. Basically she’s amazing. I’m going to bring the gymboss and see if we can do intervals. I really think that will help a good bit. I’m excited to just get out there and push. Mentally focus. Stop giving in to the pain and lack luster thoughts. I’m really not mentally strong right now. I’m not sure what’s been breaking me down for the past couple weeks. Between the ice and injury I feel like I’m nowhere near ready… but I’m going to be!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Next Level

Today's long run didn't quite go as planned. I don't want to focus too much on it because I have something way more positive to talk about tonight. The weather was amazing (almost 50*!), sunny. I don't think I was as hydrated as I could have been and I had cookies for breakfast. Let's just say that from mile 1 I felt like I had never run in my entire life. My lungs hurt, my IT band was in pain from step 1. 

I just have to do better. Between food poisoning and back-to-back ice storms, I have missed a lot of valuable training. I'm going to kick it up a notch and make sure I'm doing everything I possible can. Tomorrow I'm getting up early to go to spin at 5:45. I think it's a 45 minute class so I'll finish out with some walking on a steep incline. Then I'll work. My running schedule says 4 miles tomorrow. Nice and light so I'll make sure to push as hard as I can and make those 4 miles into speed work. Then, I'll head back to the gym to hop back on the bike and do very light resistance to cool down my leg muscles. And finally finish the day with some yoga to get my abs right and my muscles nice and stretched. Tuesday is a total rest day - and I'll have earned it.

I plan on doing spin in the mornings before work as often as possible regardless if I run that day or not. I wont do spin on long run days. I want to swim on my super light running days and on my cross training day. I can do this. I must get stronger. 

I'm going to take my foam roller to work with me so I can foam roll throughout the day. I stand at work so I stay pretty loose. But, judging by my run today, that thing is relentless. 

I made a super healthy dinner. Quinoa Salad (quinoa, cubed mozzarella, baby spinach, red onions and tomatoes), chicken kabobs with red, yellow and green bell peppers, and asparagus. Delicious and full of protein. 

I can't help but be excited. Today's run really made me realize that if I want to run this marathon in less than 15 hours then I have to do more. Circumstances have sucked but that's simply an excuse. Going to make it happen. 

Did you have a long run this weekend? How'd it go? 
What does it take to get you back on track if you've fallen off the wagon?

Fitbits and Long Runs

Well. I’m one of the pack now. I got a fit bit.
I can’t help but think that this particular piece of techy fitness gear feeds directly into my absolute need to control everything. I now know how many steps I take per day and how my sleep went the night before. Now, I’m obviously a runner. I have a stand up desk at work. There’s no need for me to try to obtain yet another “goal” on another app on my phone. But here I am pacing trying to make sure that I obtain my 10k step per day mark. So far I do like it and I feel like it is worth the money I paid. I’ll keep you all posted as to whether or not it gets wrapped back up and returned.
Some ladies and I at the office had a really serious discussion about food today. We talked about what makes us eat (aside from hunger), how we feel when we eat and how we feel after. It’s really interesting to hear from other people. Some people used food for comfort where others used food to hide. Some people are ready to commit to a healthy lifestyle and lose their extra weight but are so afraid that they will lose themselves in the process. It made me really start thinking about my own personal relationship with food. Healthy…not healthy…inbetween. How does it affect my self image? How much importance do I put into what the scale says? Do I allow my weight and food choices affect my overall self-esteem?

And I found that the answer to a lot of these questions is yes.  I know that after a long run I feel strong and able bodied. But I also know that when I eat a cookie I immediately feel a sense of guilt. I label certain foods as “bad” vs “good”. I still feel myself fall into the trap of thinking that a day is ruined if I don’t stick to a strict calorie count or if I slip up and have a treat.

While I was discontent while I was thinking about these things I also know that I’ve made a lot of progress. I’m to the point now where I don’t see food as an enemy and my body isn’t a tragic mess as I believed for so long. I know that I do great things for it and in turn it does great things for me.

Yesterday I hit the gym for some intervals on the elliptical, resistance band training and laps in the pool. I didn't want to take it too hard because this I have a long run planned for some point today. I'm trying not to be so crazy about "I have to get up at the ass crack of dawn to run 15 miles." This was, I'm choosing to include my run in my relaxing weekend as oppose to forcing myself to get up early and run in the cold. Two things I HATE. I'm going to head down there at some point even though I know that the longer I wait, the more crowded it will be... but that's okay. I want to enjoy it. 

Do you have a long run planned? How do you en corporate your workouts into your weekend plans?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Just running along...

Well this past week I jumped right back into training. It was overall pretty great. The long run on the weekend was a bit of a struggle. My long run the previous week was 9 miles and I jumped to 14 this week. Not only that but I misjudged the hills. And... well. It didn't go as well as I had hoped but I'm not going to speak negatively about it because I got it done. I haven't run since then (4 days argh!) because Atlanta got hit with ANOTHER winter storm and we are covered head to toe with ice. Hoping tomorrow with some warmer temps that I'll be able to at least get to the gym to hop on the deathmill. 

I got a really fancy set of resistance bands in the mail that I ordered from Amazon. I can honestly say that I love them and have no plans on ever lifting weights again. I "felt the burn" much quicker and was able to move from move to move without having to adjust a weight machine etc. I'll let you know how sore I am tomorrow. Thinking that on my "rest days" from running I'll be bringing my resistance bands to the gym and doing a full workout with those followed by swimming. 

Quickly approaching the Publix Half Marathon in March! This should be a VERY simple race at that point in my training. I have to make sure to NOT push during this race - too close to marathon time! Don't want another injury. 

Been feeling less than great about my progress. Really trying to get out of this slump. I'm not sure why I thought training for a spring marathon was an awesome idea... I've been looking for a fall marathon to train for so I can do a better job. Bring on the heat! 

Until tomorrow, folks...

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Yesterday was my first "long" run since the injury. I'm not going to lie - it was tough. I don't think that I could have made it through without Meghan there to support me and motivate me the whole time. We went at a pace that was better than my usual so that's always nice to see some improvement. I focused a lot on strength training while I was out of the running game and I think that it really helped. Now I just have to come up with a game plan to keep that going while getting back to the training schedule. Meghan really stressed to me that focusing on my long run and not worrying too much if I don't get every training run in would be a really helpful idea. I get super bent out of shape if I miss a run (or, in this case, two weeks worth). Overall the injury felt good - I was just tired. I had two shok blocks and they helped but I could tell that my running endurance had slipped. I know it'll be back before I know it. 

Counting of the calories is still coming along pretty well. I've slipped a couple times here and there but I made sure to let myself know that that's okay. In regular life I can't expect to be perfect all the time. I've done pretty swell, though. I've lost 4 pounds and feel like I'm doing great things for my body. According to my fancy pants scale I've lost a bit of body fat in accordance with the weight loss. So, I'm pretty pleased about that. 

Tomorrow starts my first full week back to running - can't wait!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fancy Pants

Hi-de-ho there, folks! Things around here are looking very...cold. Atlanta has certainly seen their fair share of cold weather this winter. We typically have a roller coaster type of winter. Some days it will be 30 and some days in will be in the "teens" while other days will be in the 50's and 60's. Let's just say we've seen way more of the "teens" than the 50's or 60's. It's been kinda brutal. Makes running outside a littttttle bit more difficult. But, shockingly enough, I miss is quite a bit. I haven't been able to run in a week now. Makes me feel crazy. I DID run on Wednesday - a test run to see how I was healing. The prognosis wasn't good. I'm definitely not ready to run the 15k on Sunday. Haven't healed enough yet. At first I was mega bummed... and now I'm simply trying to get over it and do what I can. 

I've been hitting the gym pretty hard with my Dr. Approved forms of exercise. Elliptical. Stair Machine. Abs. Arms. Today I probably did intervals that included some jump squats. I'm sure that isn't on the list of approved exercises but whatever. I have felt good about my workout routine lately and that's pretty fab. 

I've also logged into and tracked my calories on myfitnesspal for 6 days in a row. That's every single calorie I have put in my mouth. Brutal. But - it's giving me a great view at my diet. Tonight after dinner I realized I was under in calories by a considerable amount and way under in protein. So, I had half of a serving of my recovery protein shake which made up my protein that I needed and also gave me some more calories. 

I did something I swore I wasn't going to do - I weighed myself. I have to say I was pretty disappointed in the number. But being the smart gal I am, I knew that I have gained a considerable amount of muscle (though let's face it - not 10 pounds of muscle). So I did some research and purchased a fancy pants new scale from Amazon. I got the EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale. So far I like it. I've only used it once ;) It gives explicit instructions on how to get the most accurate weight AND body fat %. So far my body fat and muscle fat are within the "optimal" or rather "not obese" range. My body fat % showed  up as 25.4 and my muscle % was 39.2. Both are good percentages. I'm going to keep track of these numbers and see if they change drastically or remain pretty consistent. I'll go create an excel spreadsheet now...

Well that's that for now. Tomorrow holds a whole lot of stuff. We'll see what's up. Cheers! 


Monday, January 20, 2014

And she took a tumble....

Okay so long story short - I fell down while running and had to go see an orthopedist. Minimum a week off of running and I have to wear a really stupid ankle brace. 

That being said I feel completely behind in my training and I hate it. A lot. 

This also means that I can't eat like I'm running a million miles. Not that I was running a million miles but you catch my drift. I started using myfitnesspal again and boy do I hate it. I hate having to input every tablespoon of everything I eat. It's really time consuming and irritating. 

But I hate it most of all because it shows me the ugly truth of what I've been eating. I've been eating way too many calories even when I am running all of my training miles. 

Good News: I now have the power to change my habits and get the results that I want. 
Bad News: I AM HUNGRY ALL THE TIME. Maybe pretend hungry since I'm getting the nutrition I need but hungry all the same. RAWR. 

I'm not sticking to Dr. Orders for much longer. I'm going to run 3 miles tomorrow morning and see how I feel. I have the Hot Chocolate Race this weekend (Sunday) and that's a whopping 9 miles so I want to make sure I'm at least getting some sort of mileage in. So far on recovery it's been the elliptical and bike. Boo. 

Day 1 of total calorie count was a success. (this is where I convince myself there is good in what I'm doing). I met my calorie goal (1300 calories does NOT go far...) with 22 calories to spare. Got my workout in. The nutrition part looked decent. Need more potassium and shockingly more carbs.

Anyhow - my apologies for the lack of update. I haven't been such the positive pam lately and didn't want to scream it all over the internet world. 


Sunday, January 12, 2014

End of Week #5 Marathon Training and a Mini Rant

Woohoo! End of week #5! Can you believe it? I definitely can't. I'm filling out my "Daily Miles" sheet and I'm blown away that the whole thing is filled out already. I have five weeks listed per page. I calculate total miles (running, swimming, biking etc) and total calories. It makes me feel like I'm doing something great when I get discouraged. 

Speaking of discouragement, today's long run was extremely lack luster. Truth be told, I simply didn't prepare well. I didn't hydrate well last night or this morning. I didn't eat well last night and I didn't have nearly enough calories this morning before heading out. The only great part was really the weather. It. Was. Gorgeous. This past week we had below 0 temps and today it was in the mid 50's! Hellllooo short sleeves! Oh let's throw in some capris that apparently aren't sweat whicking and equal that to some wicked chaffing. ARGH! Lesson learned. I'll be off to Marshalls soon to get some capris. But, we're heading back into the 20's so it doesn't matter anyway... ::sad face:: 

This was me. Ouch. Super ouch.

Let me go ahead and preface this with saying I was tired and HUNGRY when I was thinking these things but I feel like while I may have been cranky I was completely valid in the thoughts I had. While at the trail, every bike, stroller, and runner had come out of hibernation to enjoy the glorious weather. Now - people fail to realize that there are RULES on the trail. They don't think for one second that a trail is like a road and perhaps some of the same common sense rules apply. I have listed some of them below:

  1. Slow traffic keep right. All the way right. 
  2. There may be one trail but imagine there is a line cutting it down the middle. This means there is traffic coming and going. Don't run all the way left. You will run into someone. 
  3. If you are on a bike and you wish to pass someone, you must announce it. "passing on the left" or "passing on the right." 
  4. If you need to stop for any reason, move over to the shoulder. You don't stop your car directly in the middle of the road because you will get rearended, right? So don't do it on the trail and expect any different. 
  5. Do not stop to socialize/playwithdogs/letyourdogplaywithsomeoneelse in the middle of the trail and therefor block the ENTIRE THING. 
That's really just to name a few. Between being unbelievably annoyed with the 400 people that were out and remaining hot and hungry...well, let's just say I did NOT focus and I paid for it.  Running is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one. 

Tomorrow is a rest day but I missed yoga today so Im going to go to a late class tomorrow evening. Probably get in a bunch of squats and ab work also. Gotta keep up that cross training. Cheers for now, folks! 

Did you run this weekend? How was it? What was your biggest obstacle?

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Fit Mom on Fire

You know, it's mind boggling to me that as women we put so much shame on each other. We criticize, shame and compare one another. And...I can't figure out why. "Fit Mom" Maria Kang posted a photo of her showing off her toned tummy while surrounded by her children. The caption reads "what's your excuse?" 

....Now, to me, this is fantastic. I personally know a lot of women who hide behind the guise of "I just had a baby, there's no way I can look like that." She is proof that it IS possible. Interestingly enough, instead of congratulating her on the obvious hard work and dedication that she put into her body, she has received literal hate mail saying that her success is "bullying" and "women shaming."

Could someone explain this to me? That instead of being proud of her and using her as inspiration to get fit, women would rather criticize and come up with another excuse to be feel bad for themselves. It's truly ridiculous. She in no way "bullied" anyone - kudos to her for doing what she needed to do to become the best, healthiest mom she could be. 

Maybe the theory is "if she does it then it my excuses are limited and that scares me." It's true - taking on fitness without having a baby can be very scary! Knowing how hard you'll have to work, not knowing which approach will work for you, not getting quick enough results... it truly is a huge task. Add on a post-baby-body and hormones and I can't even imagine. Yet - instead of using her as an inspiration and a source of information and hope - they decide to tear her down to make themselves feel better.  

I just don't understand how their destructive behavior is beneficial for anyone - including themselves. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Feeling the BLAH

After my 3 miles on the deathmill on Tuesday I was SO PROUD of myself for actually getting up and using my lunch break to get my miles in. And then... I don't know what happened! It's like my motivation just evaporated. I haven't been feeling very well - the "yuck" IE - FLU has been going around and I've been feeling pretty wiped out with some sneezing and coughing thrown in for good measure. But really it wasn't "I don't want to run because I feel bad" it was "I don't want to run because I just don't want to." So yesterday I took a rest day instead of running my five miles. ARGH. But, Friday is my scheduled rest day that will now become a run day. I did get out in the cold and rain to get my five miles in today. I felt better after I did it and was glad I did. But man was it tough getting started. 

I've been thinking a lot lately about "dieting." You're looking at someone who has spent a life time going through a cycle of dieting and fads and self hatred. And now I'm finally to a point where my "diet" is simply what I eat and I don't think about it in the same self destructive manner that I used to. It's refreshing. I've learned what makes my body feel good and what doesn't. I've learned that health is far greater than skinny. I've learned that if I indulge in something delicious I don't have to spend the next three days starving myself to make up for the caloric intake. More on this later. I need to put my thoughts together because it's really been weighing on my brain. 

Time to go ice the knees and ankle and basically my everything. Oh running and the joyful body aches it brings. 

Tomorrow's plan: 3 miles on the deathmill (it's the only way I can really get in speed work right now). A swim and some leg/ab circuits inbetween. I'll let ya know how it goes. 


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Funday

Howdy there, folks! Welcome to sunday! It was a marginally productive day. I took my "cross training" pretty lightly and only did an hour of yoga. But, after realizing this morning that I definitely strained my patella tendon, that was enough. 

After my measely workout I headed to the Adidas outlet. I bought some running tights in the wrong size and needed the correct size. Upon looking around for a bit I realized they didn't have ANY running rights for women! So, I had to look around and find things to get in exchange for my pants. Because they were having a super amazing sale (50% off of clearance) I managed to get 5 shirts and two hats for $50. Boller. 

Sadly I must say that I'm down for the count on the couch icing my knee. Tomorrow I have a spin class and a swim planned for my "rest" day. 

This also marks the end of my week 4 training! OH MY GOSH. I completed all work outs and other than the sore knee, I feel great. I can definitely tell that I'm getting stronger. Overall, my pace is improving leaps and bounds. I'm focusing a lot of energy on my core which allegedly helps with your endurance runs by giving your body the ability to keep form better. The swimming and spinning are helping a lot, too. This week I'm definitely going to spin more on my "active rest" days. With this cold weather, that shouldn't be a problem... 

For now I will retire with a glass of wine and a hope for a less painful Monday.  

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Identify Your "Why"

Often times when I run I find myself saying "Why the hell do I do this? My legs hurt, I can't breathe and I may fall over, roll into the road and die." 

Shockingly enough I usually have a pretty good answer to give myself. As I've gone through the different stages of "becoming a runner" I have changed my "why" several times. When I first decided that I no longer wanted to be out of shape, over weight and depressed I had those reasons as my "why." Running gave me a way to believe in myself and get my body into working order. 

As I have run along this journey of going from not being able to run a quarter mile to putting up numbers that I never thought I could, I have developed so many "whys" that it's hard to even list them. They usually change daily. I keep a book by me at work that I list all the different reasons I run. I do this specifically for those long runs that I complete after my work day ends. Throughout the day I manage to convince myself I'm too tired or that this run doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. So, I take the book and read all my "why's" and get my butt back in line with the positive ling of thinking. 

Today my "why" was "because you're too good to quit." In Atlanta we are experiencing some pretty cold weather and despite the 20* temps I got dressed and headed out. People were looking at me like I was some sort of alien who doesn't have a lick of sense. But on I traveled through my 8 miles. I, like clock work, asked myself - "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?!" And I simply said "because you're too good to quit." I don't quit. I'm not that woman. I finish what I start. I do it and I do it well. And I am NOT going to let my standards of myself drop just because it's cold or I think I'm tired. 

So what I'm trying to say here is you gotta find your "why" or your list of "why's". If you don't have your "why" then it's going to be much harder to keep the motivation. Everything you do has a purpose, including your running. Make every stride a stride with purpose. 

In other news, my run today was between okay and good. I made the mistake of stopping at mile 6 for more than one minute to stretch out and my body cooled off a bit. This resulted in me FREEZING when I started up again. I had sweat so much that it instantly started cooling my body when I stopped (ya know, like it's supposed to do.) I put up my miles though and I'm proud of myself for that. My pace was a bit quicker than my last long run pace which makes me incredibly happy. 

Tomorrow the training plan calls for "cross training." I'll be doing yoga and probably abs and arms. I'll holler at you folks later :-) 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Every Day Choices - Not a New Year Resolution

I'll get to the subject line in a moment. First I would like to go ahead and say YES I did get out for my five mile training run. And, as if I spoke it into existence, I had a t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e run. I felt like I had bricks tied to my feet and that I was actually running through quicksand. The route I had planned was very hilly. I didn't know this prior so imagine my surprise as I'm prancing along and WHAM another hill. Streams and streams of foul language were exiting my mouth. I had 5 miles on the docket and the planned route was almost 6. I got to 5 and decided that was enough. During my 5 miles I stopped to take 3 30 second rest breaks and I walked up two hills. I'm telling you I thought I was going to die. Lesson learned. If you drink too much and vomit the night prior, don't expect one day of marginal hydration to fix it. Now, as I told myself and you earlier, I was going to pick out something wonderful about each run no matter what. This run was wonderful a)because I got my lazy ass up and DID it when I really wanted to continue napping on the couch with my love and b)because I didn't quit and turn around to go home before my amount of miles were up. I did it. It's in the books and I started my new year off full of fitness. 

Now, as for the subject line. During my run of death I passed a church that had that in it's little announcement board sign thing by the road. I thought it was really interesting. I'm not a huge fan of resolutions. I think that if something is important enough you should resolve to do it immediately and not have to have a specific time. I mean, I get it. New year, new aspirations, whatever. But, I really liked the message of this. We all have choices and we make them daily. Should I take the stairs to the second floor or just ride the elevator? Should I have ranch dressing or olive oil? Should I tell that woman at work that her jokes always brighten my day? Choices, folks. We make them every day and typically don't think much into them. Make your choices count. Not just for you but for all the people in your life that you love. 

Now. I'm off to nurse my sore legs and continue to hydrate like a fool. I've got a 3 mile run tomorrow. I'm running with a friend so we are going to do a 5k and follow it up with about 45 minutes of swimming. #omgimgoingtodie 


Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve! I, like many others, may have indulged in a few beverages and some rich foods which lead to a messy car and a pounding headache this morning. Whoops! No matter, several glasses of water and some english muffin bread later - and I'm good to go!

Monday started week 4 of training. I CANNOT BELIEVE I'm already in week 4! Mondays are rest days so that was wonderful. Yesterday my running plans got jumbled a bit but I still got it in. I was slotted for 3 miles so I got dressed and headed out. I didn't map out a course. I just went until I had ran 1.5 and then turned around and headed back. I was able to power house up a hill that had kicked my BUTT before which was awesome. It's really wonderful to be able to feel how your power has increased. I didn't run particularly fast but I ran solid. I love how I can view all my activities on garmin and see how my pace has gotten faster. I try to look at the great things about each workout. If I say "I only ran 3 miles" it just doesn't make me feel proud of myself. And really, I should be proud of myself. So each run I'm going to come up with at least one wonderful thing. Even on the runs that are horrible and painful and make me hate my life. They're all for the greater good.

On today's docket is a 5 mile run. Not sure where to. I'm going to hop on here soon and see what I can come up with. I'll holler at you folks soon!