Sunday, November 20, 2011
Today I ran in the snow and ice for the first time ever. major milestone! It was almost 7 miles, but let's round up and say 7 miles. It was half terrifying, half invigorating. I was really worried about slipping and falling on the ice. I suppose I should invest in some of those Yak Trak dealies. Any suggestions? experience?
I want to avoid the treadmill at all costs. I can't imagine running for over an hour on the treadmill. I know I'll have to do some short runs on it come January, but that's to worry about later.
Last week I ran 8 miles. total. My goal is 15-22. I also ate too much even though I said I was going to focus on nutrition. I don't get why I react this way: I start to track and I become crazy obsessed with food, think about it non-stop, and end up over-eating. Feel free to psycho-analyze me on that one. I've done it several times. So then I quit tracking, go back to mindful eating and do well for a few weeks. Then I see a gain on the scale and think that I must go back to tracking. And repeat. ahhhh!
This weekend was a Hmong New Year celebration and a dinner party. Too much food. Not the way I wanted to head into Thanksgiving week. At least now I have it fresh in my mind of how horrible I feel when I over indulge. It's not worth it! I will eat slowly on Thursday and Friday. I will not shove entire cookies into my mouth.
Back to the running... I have not met my mileage goals since the time change. It's dark in the morning. It's dark at night. It's too cold to take the kids in the jogger for more than 3 miles. What's a girl to do? Well, here's where things get crazy.
I have become friends with a girl at my gym. (The one that gave me her half marathon bib a month ago). She has asked me to run with her a few times. I've always had excuses. Truth is I am terrified to run with her. Not only has she run multiple marathons and triathalons, played soccer at a D1 university, and has calve muscles of a Greek goddess... she completed an Ironman in August. A real freakin Ironman. A true athlete.
Clearly I need some help to meet my winter running goals. I agreed to run with her and her friend on Tuesday morning. At 5:45am. gulp. She said they usually do 6-8. Perfect. Well, I just got an email that the plan is for 10. Now I know that 10 is only 2 more than 8. And I know that I have run 10 miles a handful of times. But never in the winter. Never with people I didn't know. Never with people that have completed an IRONMAN!
I thought about backing out. But then I thought about being strong. And I thought that the only way to gain strength is to train harder. I know I have a lot to learn from these girls. Deep down I know I can do this. But I'm also scared sh*tless!
Send me happy, positive running vibes on Tuesday morning! And have a great week Sparkers. We have much to be thankful for.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
When you're having a so-so week and can't figure out why, this is what you should remind yourself:
Such wise words. I immediately feel better. Tomorrow I will give more. More effort, more love, more energy, more happiness. I bet I'll get something in return.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Lately I've been thinking a lot about the balance between nutrition and exercise. I wish it were as simple as: calories IN, calories OUT. It's not. I wish the elliptical at the gym or the fitness tracker on Spark told me an accurate number of calories I burned. But they don't. There is so much guess work in this whole weight loss thing. It's frustrating. It's obnoxious. It's a different scientific equation for each individual. It's not fair.
I work out a lot. And I work out hard. I vary my workouts to keep my body guessing. I eat whole grains, I don't drink calories, I eat very few processed foods, I get way more than 5 servings of freggies a day, I have a list of the superfoods on my fridge, I skipped out on the staff potluck for dinner last night, I passed the cheesecake in the lounge today. I'm doing the work. I am not losing weight. So what gives?
Food. It's all about the food. I don't track food daily. It makes me CRAZY! I do my best to follow my hunger instincts. Intuitive eating is the nutrition jargon, apparently. I feel I have a solid enough background in nutrition to make smart choices for my body. I'm learning more about what runners need to fuel. I understand that not all calories are created equal. But I'm clearly human and make mistakes. And too much of good-for-you food is still too much.
Here is a little experiment I just played:
Chicken Breast, no skin, 1 unit 78 calories
Sweetpotato, fresh, 1 5" long 137
Chicken stock, home-prepared, 0.5 cup 43
Apple, 1 large 125
Apricots, dried, 0.25 cup 78
Almonds, 20 139
This is what I had for lunch. (No greens. I'll get those in tonight.) This is fairly typical lunch for me. Notice that the almonds are the highest calorie. I usually don't count them out exactly. I just grab a handful and throw em in a tupperware with some dried fruit and that's dessert.
Now here's a very similar meal with crazy different results:
Chicken Breast, with skin, 1 unit 150
Baked Potato, with skin, 1 large 278
Apples, fresh, 1 large 125
Almonds, honey roasted, 20 337
Dove dark chocolate, 6 pieces 220
509 calorie difference! That lunch does not sound all that bad. It is shocking how quickly calories add up.
On Tuesday I ran 4 miles in 36 minutes. Spark says I burned 420 calories. Just for perspective. I need these reminders.
And just for fun, even though I said I don't drink my calories... (I do spurlge on a latte once a week.)
tall non-fat latte, 12 oz 100 calories
vanilla latte Nonfat Tall , 12 oz 170
Tall Vanilla Latte Whole Milk, 12 oz 240
I feel fine with the 100 calorie drink. I actually feel better about that than a 0 calorie diet soda. But think how easy it is to throw in a shot of vanilla and tell yourself, "I got a non-fat latte." 70 calories here and there adds up. I need to cut out the little add-ons.
Exercise makes you hungry. It also leads to excuses for me. Oh, I can eat that, I worked out this morning. I need to stop that. Right NOW!
I keep reminding myself of something JENSWIMS wrote last week in a blog: It's easy to eat 4,000 calories. It's really hard to burn 4,000 calories.
Time for a full weekend of honesty with myself. I'll check in on Monday. Happy weekend Sparkers!
Monday, November 07, 2011
I've been going to Bodystep for about 5 years. It's a Les Mills program, like Bodypump. It's obviously on a step, but this is not your mother's step aerobics, I promise. It is serious HIIT. There are 4 releases a year and there has been a big change recently. Much more athletic and I love it!
I've talked to a few of the instructors about teaching over the years. But then I got pregnant. We talked again. And then I got pregnant. That's the easy excuse. The real truth is that I never felt like I was in good enough shape to do the routine AND talk at the same time. Now, thanks to running, I know I can handle it.
This past weekend I was at a Group Fitness Instructor Development Clinic. long way to say: lots of lecture, some motivational speaking and major fun workouts. On Friday night we did Bodypump (60 min strength endurance class using barbell). On Sat. there was some yoga and Turbo Kick. I finally get why so many of you are Chalene fanatics. Turbo was awesome!!! The instructor is a regional director and has quite the reputation. Then we also spent some time practicing our own choreography. Holy fitness minutes!
There was lecture on basic anatomy, nutrition and exercise science. Boring, but good info. We had to take a little multiple choice test to get our certification.
whew, I proved that I know the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise, exactly why no-carb is bad and some YMCA history. And I unfortunately was told by several trainers that yoga is not enough for ST. I need to pick up the weights. OK, OK, fine. (Yes, Jan, I know you're smiling right now.)
Sun. morning started with 60 min Bodystep and 45 min spin before lunch. My legs were dying. DY-ING! But then it was time to practice our routines again before auditions for a panel of group fitness directors. Not scary at all, right???!
I was super nervous, but felt good the minute I got to put on the fancy pants mic headband. It is so much fun! Granted, the participants were all cardio dance girls like me so they were really into it. Energy galore! I know it won't always be that easy. And I only had to do 10 minutes, not 60. I got to be a participant for Zumba, Latin Hip Hop, Hip Hop Hustle, and Turbo Kick. Tons of fun programs out there! Try something new. And give it at least 3 chances.
I got good feedback from the directors that evaluated me. Now I wait for all the paperwork to go through some national certification board and then there is an interview process. I am in no hurry. I will still have to take a Les Mills workshop, which will be another whole weekend sometime this winter. For now, I'll just live on the high of this weekend.
Here's my favorite quote from one of the speakers:
I only exercise on days when I want to have more energy.
I only exercise on days when I want to be more creative.
I only exercise on days when I want to sleep better.
I only exercise on days when I want to feel more attractive.
I only exercise on days when I want to have more confidence.
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