ELLESSE0's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=ELLESSE0 ELLESSE0's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Bike Ride & Yoga Sunday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5428284 I've really been having trouble staying active in this heat. I have no desire to go for my usual outdoor runs. For some reason, I haven't even been motivated enough to pop in a DVD for an indoor workout. I've felt like I'm in a rut. <BR> <BR> So with the forecast for this morning being relatively mild (upper 70s, low 80s), I decided to get up early and go out for a bike ride to a waterfront park. It ended up being just over 12 miles. I've been nervous to go out for a ride alone, as my new c... Sun, 21 Jul 2013 13:24:37 EST 11.12 miles this week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5329805 My running progress continues! <BR> <BR> I'm happy that I'm really sticking with my running goals. This week I went on 3 runs totaling 11.12 miles. My run this morning was 6.29 miles, which happens to be my longest run since August 12th. I'd like to beat my total August mileage of 34.7 this month. It's totally doable -- I'm at 25.6 and there's still 10 more days left of the month. <BR> <BR> Here's what I did this week: <BR> <BR> Sun - 3.38 mile run, 20-min ab workout <BR> Wed - 1.45 mi... Sat, 20 Apr 2013 15:43:27 EST Not perfect, but getting there http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5321740 I mentioned last week that my goal for the month is to each week beat my running mileage from the corresponding week in March. This week I did beat my goal of 5.44 miles, but I did it by going on one 5.85 mile run this morning. That's not the kind of balance I'm looking to achieve. Expanding beyond running, my last workout was on Sunday. I'm doing a terrible job of working out during the week! I kept making excuses morning after morning, night after night. This coming week I need to have some... Sat, 13 Apr 2013 11:34:45 EST 8.65 miles this week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5313519 One of my goals for the month of April is that each week, I want to beat my running mileage from the corresponding week in March. At the beginning of the month, I also set a goal that I'd start adding 5+ mile runs to my workout routine. My final goal is to beat my running mileage for the month of August (34.7 miles). <BR> <BR> Ultimately I am working towards beating my highest running mileage month ever -- March 2012 at 45 miles. <BR> <BR> Anyway, this week I've blown my goal out of the w... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 10:43:40 EST Spring is here! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5305311 Today was just beautiful. One of those days you just don't want to go back inside. <BR> <BR> I went out for a run today planning to run at least 3.5 miles to bring my total mileage for the month to 21 miles. While out there, I ended up feeling so good and enjoying the weather so much that I decided to extend my run and explore a bit more of the waterfront path that I haven't had a chance to explore yet. It's been great having the boardwalk and piers so close to my apartment, allowing me to ... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 11:56:34 EST Joining a CSA for organic, fresh produce http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5298144 I think this is going to be the year I join a CSA (community-supported agriculture). Back as an undergrad at college I used to occasionally volunteer at one with some friends, and on the days we volunteered they always allowed us to take home some veggies. So even though I wasn't a real member, I got a taste of how awesome they can be -- that year I tried several new vegetables that I hadn't even known existed! It was fun to taste new things and try out new recipes. <BR> <BR> I've been look... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 11:17:22 EST The City Benefit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5244754 I'm an urban planning grad student, so I must admit I'm a little biased towards cities. I recently came to a realization that makes me love them even more! I've realized that just being in a city makes me a healthier person. <BR> <BR> 1) I'm completely reliant on public transit, which means I do a lot of walking. And because everyone's on transit, I spend more time standing for my journey than sitting. <BR> <BR> 2) I'm way less inclined to stop at a fast food restaurant. Before I lived in ... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 07:41:56 EST First Run of the New Year! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5191226 This morning I went on my first run in the new year, and I feel great! I feel great despite the fact that it was my first run in 28 days. I feel great despite the fact that it was my shortest standalone run in over a year. I feel great despite the fact that it was my slowest pace in over a year. <BR> <BR> Considering all of these things, it is hard to believe that just 6 months ago I was running a half marathon. <BR> <BR> I'm learning that even after working out regularly doing something ... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 09:03:11 EST Here's to a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5144894 My goal for this holiday season: make healthy choices that I won't regret come Jan 1. <BR> <BR> I think I'm off to a good start. On Thanksgiving morning, I went for a 2.5-mile jog around my neighborhood before setting off for my parents' house. I just got back from another jog this morning of about the same length. I'm trying to get back into running. Over the past couple months, I've really let my cardio slip. <BR> <BR> Being that I'm vegan, my Thanksgiving meal was a lot healthier than ... Sat, 24 Nov 2012 09:01:08 EST Resisting Hurricane Snacks http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5116985 When bad weather hits, like this monster of a storm preparing to pummel the East Coast, everyone rushes out to stock up on must-haves. What a whole lot of people end up doing is convincing themselves they need unhealthy foods like cookies, potato chips, and soda. It is tempting -- I mean, who doesn't want to be stuck inside with yummy treats? <BR> <BR> I'm really proud that I have managed to resist this urge. The most unhealthy foods in my house right now are probably the pack of dry roaste... Mon, 29 Oct 2012 16:04:41 EST Didn't Meet My Goal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5105797 Well, despite my strong start in the beginning of the week, I didn't stick with my plan. My plan was to complete Week 1 of Jillian Michaels Body Revolution (with Thursday as a rest day). I was successful on Days 1-4, but then on Wednesday I got held up working late at work, and then had to bring work home with me. Guess I should have done my workout in the morning... <BR> <BR> On Thursday, my planned rest day, I could have made it up. But I had to leave at 5:40am to go to a research confere... Sat, 20 Oct 2012 09:32:42 EST Woo Hoo Time! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5101746 You've got to celebrate the small successes. <BR> <BR> I'm happy today because I have now exercised 4 days in a row after a couple months of inconsistency. I am on Day 4 of Jillian Michaels' Body Revolution and really striving to follow it through the full 12 weeks. <BR> <BR> If I do my workout tomorrow (which I will), I will exceed my target calories burned for the week of 1,000, which I haven't surpassed in several weeks. <BR> <BR> And today I finally moved up another level on SparkPe... Tue, 16 Oct 2012 20:15:53 EST Another Plan http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5097780 I just love to make plans... and then not follow them. But I'm not giving up on myself. I still believe I have it in me to follow something through start to finish. So here it goes again. <BR> <BR> Lately, I haven't had the motivation to run as much as I used to. I'm really only making it out once or twice a week for a 3-5 miler. I figure this is the perfect time to try something a little different, and then maybe start training for races in January. For the next several weeks, I will be tr... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 17:21:21 EST 100 Pushups, 200 Situps, 200 Squats Challenge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5049963 I know this workout has been around for a while, but I only really just heard about it on a running podcast I listen to. It's kind of intriguing and seems easy to follow. I like that all I have to do is roll out my mat and get to it! <BR> <BR> The idea is that 3x per week, you do 5 sets of a progressively higher number of reps of a particular exercise. In my case, I'm trying it out with pushups, situps, and squats. By the end of the 6-week program, you will be able to do a much higher numbe... Sat, 8 Sep 2012 16:43:43 EST Where's my motivation? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5041709 On August 12, the date of my last blog post, I sounded so positive. That day I took time for myself, I had gone on a great 8-mile run, and I was looking forward to continuing my journey. <BR> <BR> Since then, 21 days ago, I have logged just 11 or so miles (which was from just 3 separate runs). Other than that, I think the only workout I've done is one Jillian Michaels video. Now, I do a lot of walking -- I know in one 4-day span I walked in the neighborhood of 20 miles, but seriously, 4 con... Sun, 2 Sep 2012 22:10:46 EST Beach & Running, My Perfect Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5012625 My plans fell through with a friend today, but the forecast was for beautiful weather all day, so I am proud to say I took full advantage of it! After breakfast I hopped on the subway to Coney Island and soaked up the sun for a couple hours. I didn't get to go in the water because I didn't want to leave my stuff unattended, but I just enjoyed my surroundings and getting the opportunity to relax. <BR> <BR> After returning home, baking banana bread (vegan, of course!), and preparing the roast... Sun, 12 Aug 2012 20:57:14 EST Exercise Class Impulse Buy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4971580 Groupon is both awesome and dangerous at the same time. While the deals are pretty amazing, I am definitely guilty of purchasing things that I wouldn't have otherwise purchased. This morning I noticed that a yoga studio located about a 1/2 mile walk from my apartment was offering a great deal -- and I ended up buying a 10-class pass for yoga for $35 and a 5-class pass for pilates for $25. So for the yoga classes, I'll be spending only $3.50 per class, and for pilates only $5. That's practical... Sun, 15 Jul 2012 17:15:54 EST 6 Weeks of Normal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4969940 On Monday, I have my final exam for Managing Public Service Organizations, and then I get to enjoy 6 weeks of no classes! With a full-time job and long commute, I'll still be out of the house for about 12 hours each day, but at least I don't have to go to class or find time to do homework. <BR> <BR> This is going to equate to much less stress, much more time to exercise and cook real meals, and lots of sleep! I.am.so.excited. <BR> <BR> I'm in a position right now where I've significantly d... Sat, 14 Jul 2012 11:44:00 EST Produce Galore! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4960604 I just love summer. <BR> <BR> The wonderful assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables at farmer's markets and grocery stores makes me really happy, and really inspired to try new recipes. <BR> <BR> Alex and I may have gone a little overboard today. I'm going to try to plan ahead so that we don't waste any of this delicious produce. I already have 3 new recipes to try: soy-lime roasted tofu, edamame & tomato stew, and lentil-eggplant-mango salad. Mmm! <BR> <BR> From the new farmer's mark... Sun, 8 Jul 2012 13:32:13 EST Oh this heat! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4959150 My goodness I am faltering in this heat! I've been trying to go for runs earlier in the morning, but even a 2-miler at 5am has me coming back dripping in sweat. My pace has dropped considerably as well. I think my goal for summer running is to continue adding miles, but just not worry about getting to the pace I was at this past winter/spring. Since completing the half marathon in May, my farthest run has been a 10K, and more often I'm running 5 miles or less. Once the weather breaks in the f... Sat, 7 Jul 2012 11:05:14 EST Woo-hoo for Measurements! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4949084 I've got to say, I am super glad that I decided to keep track of my measurements. I actually started tracking them before I had even heard of SparkPeople -- that was at the end of July 2011. I used a private online journal to write down my goals, track my measurements and weight, track my activity, and track my food. I didn't calorie count at this point, it was more about being mindful of what I was actually eating. When I discovered SparkPeople, it was perfect because it allowed for so many ... Sat, 30 Jun 2012 14:33:53 EST Facing the Heat http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4948704 Well I'm about to go out and face this heat. I will admit, had there not been a friend of mine who had organized this group run, I'm sure I would have opted to avoid the sun today, but it'll be interesting to see how it goes. I have now run a few races in the heat (last week's was 89% humidity!), but I think this may well be the hottest temperature that I'm running more than 2 miles in. The nice thing is we'll be in a park with water fountains, so I'll have to be strategic about stopping for ... Sat, 30 Jun 2012 09:30:25 EST Getting Slower http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4939105 Today I had a great time running NYC's Pride run, a 5-mile run through Central Park. I felt good running it and the spirit in the park was just great. The volunteers and spectators were really enthusiastic. <BR> <BR> But even though I felt really good running it, I had my worst pace per mile for a race to date at 9:45/mile. It's probably a mix of still getting used to this heat (humidity was 93% today!), and the fact that I haven't had time to maintain the same level of training as I had be... Sat, 23 Jun 2012 15:26:12 EST Weekend Redemption http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4929301 I keep falling off the wagon during the week (in terms of exercising), and then doing almost all of my working out on the weekend. <BR> <BR> I'm a bit disappointed in myself because the truth is, I let stress get the best of me. Work was especially rough. <BR> <BR> 1) I was assigned to coordinate a task that nobody wants to do. This makes me feel like the bad guy when I have to give out assignments. <BR> <BR> 2) There's a guy at work who makes me feel uncomfortable because I think he ma... Sat, 16 Jun 2012 18:50:47 EST This Week's Plan http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4920678 Well last week I definitely didn't stick to my plan, but I did still manage to stay pretty active, so I will forgive myself. I took the 16 flights of stairs to my office several times, did an hour on the elliptical one night after work, ran 4.5 miles before work one morning, and ran a 10K race on Saturday. I also walked several miles throughout the week. All in all, not a bad place to be. <BR> <BR> This week I want to do even better. <BR> <BR> Sunday (today) -- rest <BR> Monday -- Jillia... Sun, 10 Jun 2012 21:20:03 EST Thinking through the week http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4910621 This is more an entry to myself than to be seen by the public. Just trying to work out what I expect of myself this week. <BR> <BR> Sunday -- I didn't go on a run as planned, nor did I do any exercise (except perhaps a mile worth of walking, but even that's less than a typical day). Let's not let today set the tone for the week! <BR> <BR> Monday -- work, finish writing paper, class. No time for formal exercise, but try to walk up the 16 flights of stairs at the office 3x during the work d... Sun, 3 Jun 2012 22:06:30 EST New Plans http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4908840 Now that the pressure of performing at the half marathon is over, I've been thinking more about other types of exercise. In particular, I'm trying to add in more low impact training, as well as reintroducing weights into my life. Now don't get me wrong, my mind & body still crave running, and I do have additional races coming up this summer and into the fall, but I'm just in need of a shift in focus. <BR> <BR> It's still been a bit challenging to fit in workouts. This week I was pretty good... Sat, 2 Jun 2012 14:09:10 EST Finished my first half marathon! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4888610 Well, despite many doubts and uncertainties, I can officially say I finished my first half marathon! My time was 2:02:54, which I'm plenty happy with all things considered. That averages at about 9:23/mi. <BR> <BR> I have to say, it was really tough to run the last 3 miles. That voice in my head tried to convince me to walk for a bit, but I managed to just keep trucking through the finish. It's a great feeling to have accomplished this goal! <BR> <BR> What was great was that I was lucky e... Sat, 19 May 2012 13:44:43 EST This is going to be a good week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4879629 I am temporarily done with classes and done with group projects! I've got one last paper to turn in on Monday, then my next class doesn't start until the next Monday. For the most part, I'll be going into work before 8am every day this week, which means I walk out of the office between 4 and 5pm. That leaves a whole lot more time in my evening to make a real, wholesome dinner and get some good quality exercise in! I cannot tell you how excited I am to have a normal schedule, even if it's only... Sun, 13 May 2012 16:36:06 EST Hey, I kind of finished a half marathon yesterday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4857313 I'm planning to run in a half marathon in a few weeks -- it's been a goal for several months now. After my 15k about a month ago, I haven't been able to get in any long runs, so I was worrying a bit about the distance. So yesterday I went out hoping to at least feel comfortable running in the 6-8 mile range. I purposefully tried not to worry about my pace, even slow myself down a bit. Well at some point I found myself feeling good and setting myself a goal of 10 miles. I ended up stopping at ... Sun, 29 Apr 2012 09:51:44 EST Goal #1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4845283 Well I stepped on the scale today and saw the needle stop at 120 pounds. I stepped off to see if it was calibrated right, and sure enough, it fell right in line with zero. I stepped on again, still 120. This means I have reached my target goal weight. <BR> <BR> It's weird, because on one hand, I am happy and proud of the work I put in over the past year to become fitter and more healthy. I have noticed a change in the way my old clothes fit, and I've gotten some comments about my weight los... Sat, 21 Apr 2012 11:34:51 EST Close to my goal weight! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4825566 I'm happy to report that I've lost 10 pounds since last summer! I went from being on the cusp of being considered overweight (according to BMI), to being right within the healthy range (although still on the higher end of it). I'm now just 2 1/2 pounds from my Phase 1 Goal Weight, and I've dropped a dress size. I'm also in better physical condition than I've been in quite some time through the distance running I've been doing. <BR> <BR> So as I approach my goal weight, it's time to think ab... Sun, 8 Apr 2012 11:42:45 EST Finished my first 15K! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4815217 I have to admit, I've been neglecting SparkPeople (and neglecting my workouts, to a point) lately, but I'm very proud to announce that this morning I completed my farthest run to date -- 15K (9.3 miles)! I finished in 1 hour and 22 minutes and averaged an 8:52/mile pace. That's definitely faster than my training pace these past few weeks, and a major improvement over my 10K in January, which I ran at 9:29/mile pace. Best of all, this one was for a good cause; the event raised money for colon ... Sun, 1 Apr 2012 15:42:59 EST Finding Time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4803953 I will admit I am having a really hard time finding time for workouts. I leave for work every day at 6:30am, and 3 days per week I go right from work to class, which means I don't get home til between 9:30-10:30pm. On Mondays I often have to go to campus anyway, for group meetings. And by Friday I'm so tired I can't muster the energy to do a workout after work. I can't imagine waking up earlier than 5:30am to do a workout. I'm just really struggling. <BR> <BR> The good news is that I've bee... Sun, 25 Mar 2012 12:47:31 EST The New Normal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4782056 Let me just start this by saying that I never thought I could be this type of person. The type of person I'm talking about is the type of person who can run 6 miles or more on a regular basis. For most of my exercising life (say since high school), I've gone through periods where I run a lot, and periods when I don't run at all. But even when I was running a lot, it was no more than 2, maybe 3 miles. <BR> <BR> Now I'm realizing that my body has achieved a new level of fitness. Now 6 miles a... Sun, 11 Mar 2012 13:40:50 EST This Week's Gonna be Tough http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4771180 I'm worried about how this week is going to go. I'm just coming down with a cold of some sort -- just feel like crap this morning. It's also the first day of my new full-time job. And I'm in graduate school, so there's that. 3-4 days a week, I'll probably be leaving the house at 7am and getting back around 9 or 10pm, with minimal break in my day (lots of public transit commuting). If that's not a recipe for getting off track with diet and exercise, I don't know what is. <BR> <BR> The worst ... Mon, 5 Mar 2012 06:15:43 EST Ups and Downs http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4765623 I have had such a sweet tooth lately, and it certainly did not help that it was my birthday last week. I had one friend bake me cupcakes, then insist I take all the extras home with me. Another friend gave me not one, but two containers of these little vegan cookie bite things. I drank two coconut & pineapple-y alcoholic drinks at the bowling alley. Just not me at my best. <BR> <BR> The good news is that I'm feeling a lot better and have been slowly returning to my usual workout schedule. I... Thu, 1 Mar 2012 15:22:01 EST I set a PR today! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4756645 I'm really proud of myself today. I ran in my second ever road race (the first was a 10k in January). When I signed up for this 4-miler, I figured I'd have it in the bag because of the short distance. Well then, of course, I find myself with quad & hip issues that keep me from doing much running these past few weeks. I took almost one whole week off from exercise of any sort, then this past week only did a 45-minute swim and a 50-minute bike ride. The last time I ran at all was last Saturday.... Sat, 25 Feb 2012 14:17:46 EST It's Back On! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4737472 Last week I gave myself a break because the intensity of my workouts was starting to affect my body. At some point I had strained my left quadricep, but because the pain was so mild, I was able to ignore it for weeks. Then I started thinking about how it's probably not a good idea to keep carrying on like that -- a mild, chronic pain can easily become a severe injury. So I decided no running, kickboxing, biking, or any other activity that would put a strain on my legs. <BR> <BR> What I mean... Mon, 13 Feb 2012 20:34:50 EST Veggie & Bean Chili and Vegan Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Banana Smoothie http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4729298 The transition back into the semester has been a little tough. It's hard to get on a good eating schedule when you have night classes & group meetings. What ends up happening is I get home sometime between 9:30 and 10:30pm, and I'm absolutely ravenous. Lately I've been satisfying that hunger with quick carb fixes, and I just don't feel good about it. <BR> <BR> So today I went to the store and got some fresh (and frozen) fruits & veggies, and made 2 very satisfying meals. The chili takes a b... Wed, 8 Feb 2012 16:39:04 EST Overdoing It http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4723339 I've been working really hard, especially these last few weeks. I've seen incredible improvements in my strength and endurance, which has been great. But I think I need to have a week of recovery. It's now been at least 2-3 weeks that I've had mild pain in my left quadricep. Most days I feel it with every step. I know that sounds really bad, but it's just been such a mild uncomfortable feeling that it's been easy to ignore. <BR> <BR> But I do know that mild things like that, especially when... Sun, 5 Feb 2012 11:34:26 EST Nike Training Club App & Progress http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4720281 I've been feeling lately like I've reached a plateau of sorts. When I stepped up my exercising over the past couple months, it didn't take long to lose 5-7 pounds. At 5'2" I'm now within a healthy weight range at 125 pounds. Still, that's on the higher end of my healthy range, and I do still carry a bit of extra fat in my midsection. But despite burning around 2,000 calories a week and doing a pretty good job of tracking food, I've been stuck at 125. <BR> <BR> I started realizing that my mu... Fri, 3 Feb 2012 11:06:05 EST Yikes! Alarming (and sad) Statistic http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4708931 I was just reading an article and came across this line: "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60 percent of women in the United States 'never engage in periods of vigorous leisure-time physical activity lasting ten minutes or more per week.'" <BR> <BR> The figure for men (50%) is better, but still not great. I would imagine the numbers are also more skewed towards younger people. I think we all are aware of the growing obesity problem in our country, and I think we'... Sat, 28 Jan 2012 16:15:53 EST Don't Stretch Before a Workout http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4690801 Have you heard this before? <BR> <BR> The first time I encountered this type of statement was when doing a Jillian Michaels workout. She explained that the warm-up would not include static stretches (those would be kept for after the workout). Instead, she incorporates light movement, like arm circles or a set of jumping jacks. <BR> <BR> At first I didn't give it much thought. I often do lunges, squats, or kicks before heading off on a run, but I also try to do some static stretches like ... Thu, 19 Jan 2012 08:59:33 EST Nike+ GPS App http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4689443 Since joining a running group at the end of October, I've been steadily improving my distance and times. For a while, I was tracking my pace by manually entering the route online using Mapmyrun.com and then keeping track of how long it took me to complete the distance. I got an iPhone for Christmas, so I started using the Mapmyrun app, which tracks distance and time using your phone's GPS. <BR> <BR> Lately I've been able to break the 10-minute mile -- the best I had done was about 4 miles a... Wed, 18 Jan 2012 15:30:35 EST Swimming for Health http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4687533 I remember loving the water as a kid. We'd spend long days at the beach every summer. I would challenge myself to swim the length of a pool underwater at camp. I never swam competitively, or even learned proper technique -- I just did it. <BR> <BR> At some point I started spending less and less time in the water. It may have been a mixture of having less time, feeling more and more self-conscious about my body, just being intimidated by the idea of using a public pool. Anyway, it has been a... Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:58:35 EST Time to Recommit! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4682893 I'm currently on break from grad school and only working part-time from home, so I've had a lot more time to devote towards my health this month. I've really been seizing on the opportunity to get more exercise in -- I've been burning 1600+ calories every week, not counting strength training, pilates, or walking. So as far as working out goes, I think I'm doing the right things. <BR> <BR> Eating is another story. I generally eat pretty well, and recently started using the Nutrition Tracker ... Sun, 15 Jan 2012 20:29:40 EST Blogging and Social Anxiety http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4677134 Today the SparkPeople homepage is highlighting an article called "Blogging Can Help Calm Anxious Teens: Study." You can read it here, if you haven't already: <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/resource/health_<BR>news_detail.asp?health_day=660432 </link> <BR> <BR> I think it's great that there is research being done in this arena. As a child of the 80s, I was entering my teens when personal blogging first started becoming popular. Back then I wrote in both a physical, private journal as wel... Thu, 12 Jan 2012 21:32:44 EST Finished the 10k! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4664052 Well, despite a bit of last-minute stressing and only 3 hours of sleep, I finished my first 10k race this morning! My time was 58:48, which averages out to a 9:29/mi pace. I'm definitely proud of this accomplishment, especially since the run was with thousands of other people crowded into Central Park and included some uphill parts. I really couldn't have done it without my running group on Saturdays. It's amazing what a good group of people who share your fitness goals will do to keep you mo... Sat, 7 Jan 2012 13:04:56 EST Fighting Nerves -- First 10k Tomorrow! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4662889 I've been running regularly since late October (ok, except for that 10-day rut around the holidays), and I'm running my first 10k tomorrow morning. I'm really excited, but also getting a bit nervous. I haven't run in a race environment since high school (I joined the track team for a couple of seasons), and never anything longer than 1 mile. I'm also a little nervous that the only people who sign up for a 10k in January in NYC are really hardcore runners. I'm just looking to complete it in an... Fri, 6 Jan 2012 21:25:38 EST