Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I'll be officially MIA until the new year. My plan for the holidays is to eat reasonably but not restrict myself... make sure the indulgences are to a minimum. I will have my resistance band and running shoes with me at all times. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Woo hoo for 2011! It's going to be an amazing year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sore Muscles!?!?

I moved on to the next variation in phase 1 of my workouts. It's still the same exercises, and I do five different ones each day. Friday included deadlifts, lunges, crunches on the ball, shoulder press, and lat pulldown. Instead of only two sets, this week I did three. The cool thing is that I built my weight up over the previous exercises, so I did three sets at what previously would've seemed like a really heavy weight. I'm up to 95 pounds on the lat pulldowns, which is a big improvement for me! I used 20 pound dumbbells on my lunges, and I can certainly feel that in my muscles today. A good feeling, of course!

The main philosophy in this book is that you should workout major muscles groups and the smaller ones (like biceps and triceps) will be included because of the type of exercise you're doing. So the lat pulldown grabs onto the biceps, and when I do pushups, it hits my triceps too. What I like the most about the workouts is that they're short and focused. It makes it much easier to stick with it.

As for running, I do that on my non-lifting days or really whenever the spirit moves me. I now use 6.5 mph as my warmup speed on the treadmill and go up to 6.8 - 7.2 mph for my workout speed. There is nothing like the accomplishment of improved fitness... I love it! I haven't chosen a race for next year yet, but I think I'll stick with some shorter ones in the winter. I'm up in the air on what else, but I will definitely continue trying to run faster. Fun fun fun!

Enjoy your holiday season!

Monday, December 13, 2010


So I've done a few weeks of the new workout, and so far, I like it. I would say it's a little light on the intensity. The workouts in phase 1 are only 30-40 minutes long, and I'm much more used to putting in an hour or more. I'm pretty sure it gets tougher as you go on, and I have taken advantage of the extra time by throwing in random cardio workouts. I tried Zumba for the first time last week and had fun! I burned over 700 calories in an hour too... so not shabby at all!

My phase workouts consist of 5 exercises each workout done twice through. I'm in the higher weight, lower rep portion of the workouts so I've gotten my weights up pretty high. I'm enjoying that piece of things. Given that it's the holidays too and life gets hectic, it's been nice sometimes to get in and out of the gym in 45 minutes. The first exercise is a lower body one (squats or dead lifts). The others are a variety and include things like pushups, pullups, lunges, ab stuff... all reasonable stuff. I'm looking forward to phase 2 and ramping things up.

Also, on the running topic, I came in 2nd in my race! So exciting!!! My time was 24:50 which is a 5K PR for me. The woman who won last year won again... now I have someone to chase after. It was super exciting to see my name on the results webpage as placing. That is a first time for me. Woo hoo!

Hope everyone is surviving the holidays!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What I'm Up To Now

I haven't been around in a loooong time... well I've been around reading blogs, but haven't written. I previously wrote about running without a purpose, and my sister was nice enough to send me a book to give me some new purpose! It's called The New Rules for Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler. It has ~6 months worth of progressively more difficult lifting workouts that you do 3 times per week. I just started on phase 1 and I love it! It has me eating 2100 calories a day (it actually wants me to eat more to maintain, but I cut a few hundred for "weight loss.") Phase 1 includes leg exercises like squats and deadlifts, shoulder presses, lat pulldowns, some abs... it's a good workout and it gives me plenty of time for running!

Before I move onto running, I have to say I'm super excited that my sister sent me this book. For one, it's a great book and I love the workouts. Two, she has really gotten into working out this year and is getting healthy, and I'm so excited that she's doing so well. I view the fact that she'd send me a workout book as a true change for the healthier side of life!

As for running, I'm doing really well! My average pace is getting quicker and quicker. I ran 3.3 miles in 26 minutes over the weekend, and I felt great! I'm pretty sure my jog pace is now 9 minutes per mile, so I can pick it up in the 8 min mile range pretty well. I signed up for a 5K this weekend and I can't wait to see how I do. It's been a while since I did that distance so I'm going to go out and push it. I signed up as an Athena as well, which means I'm in the category of women who weigh over 150 pounds. I weigh slightly more than 150 so I will take it! Last year's Athena finished in 26 minutes... hmm, I wonder if there will be other fast Athenas out there! I'll report and let you know how I did!

Have a healthy rest of your week!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Another week of crazy gym contest...

So I figured out this week that the most efficient way to maximize my points in this crazy gym contest was to do 45-60 min of lifting followed by 45-60 min of cardio. The competitive person in me (who usually doesn't come out) decided to go for it. I only worked out 3 times this week but I worked out for over an hour and a half each time. Let's just say... I'M TIRED!!!

Positives for the week:

1. My abs have not been this sore (READ: well exercised) in FOREVER. Perhaps since I started doing Ab Ripper X. Fantastic!
2. I did some interval training on the treadmill, and my interval pace has increased to 7.5 mph. Who am I??? I don't know, but I like it!
3. My quads were even sore! I did some jump squats and walking lunges, and I think that did the trick. Must do that more often!

To be improved:

No focus! I'm still trying to find that focus I had with my training program for the half. Not going to lie, the lack of focus is making me want to sign up for another race. Or, even crazier, consider moving on to triathlons. Hmm... this is something I will ponder this winter. For now, I need to write myself a program to follow for the next couple months. I'm thinking I want to continue my running habit, combined with weight lifting and yoga. As I've been telling myself for months...

This weekend is a low key one for me. I plan to run a couple times and do yoga at least once. I just made myself some homemade chicken rice soup and it smells amazing! I made it up as I went along, so if it's good, I'll post the recipe. It has carrots, celery, parsnips, onions, and lots of fresh herbs. I went to Whole Foods and I'm pretty sure I bought the whole produce section. My fridge is super stocked now though, and I love it!

Have a fantastically healthy weekend!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Running Without a Purpose

Running without a purpose is what I'm pretty much doing right now. I find it odd that I feel that way, but I've been training for a race since December of last year (until the half a few weeks ago), so it feels like my running has no purpose. When I sit and think about that, it almost sounds depressing, but I actually look at it as a challenge. I've used races and schedules to keep me focused on my workouts for well over a year now. It's time to use myself to stay focused. I think it's going to be an interesting journey...

I was on business travel for the past week in Denver and I managed to get in a few workouts. The first day, I did 20 minutes on the elliptical and I could definitely feel the difference in oxygen level. I did 20-30 minutes of strength as well with the resistance band I brought with me. On Wednesday, I jogged for 25 minutes on the treadmill and I was pretty impressed with how easy it felt. Either I was used to the elevation already or it just didn't affect me too much. I finished out the week with more strength training. Workouts on the road are tough because there isn't much time. I managed to get in cardio twice and a full body of strength throughout the week though.

Today was a run around town, which felt great! I did 4 or so miles. It's a beautiful fall day in New England so it was quite nice. Will most likely run some more tomorrow and get in some yoga... it's time to get back to what I thought was going to turn into a weekly yoga habit. Must do it for real this time!!!

Hope everyone is having a wonderfully healthy weekend!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Crazy Contest at the Gym

I mentioned the contest at the gym in a post last week... the rules are pretty simple. You can get 15 points per day and different activities have different point levels. The points are set up in a bit of a screwy way in that 5 miles on the bike equals 6 points while 5 miles on the treadmill is the same... level of effort is definitely different! That's neither here nor there... if anything, I should admit that not everyone is a quant nerd like I am. :)

I have a team of 5 people, and two of them are older than I am... by quite a few years. So last week, these two women KICKED MY BUTT. Like, literally... they each beat me in points. Not by a crazy amount, but they beat the other two women on my team (who are younger than I am) by a TON. I decided that I was going to pull my weight and get my 15 points today.

OMG that was a lot of working out! I was there for an hour and 45 minutes! I did 5 miles on the bike to start, followed by my strength circuit, and then 3 miles on the treadmill. I'm pooped! Tomorrow I'm only going for 12 points I think. I have to workout in the morning, so I'm going to try to do 5 miles on the bike followed by a yoga class. I bet I'll need the yoga after today!

Hope everyone else started their weeks off right!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Workout Program

The rest of "recovery week" was really nice! I had one of the trainers at the gym create a circuit for me to do during the 4 week team challenge. I decided I want to focus on my core, so she gave me exercises that also include a balance side to them. It obviously worked because my quads, obliques, and shoulders were feeling it for 2 days! My favorite exercise is a rotating side plank. For some reason, I just love side planks! I feel strong and graceful at the same time. Love it!

I also just got back from a run. I ran a total of 10 miles this week, and they were all great! Today I did a 5 mile loop in my town, which is pretty hilly. I finished it up averaging just under 9 minutes per mile. Hooray! I'm going to make sure I keep up my running so I can maintain that pace.

Time for football... I love Sundays in the fall!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recovery "Week"

I put week in quotation marks because I'm not quite sure recovery will be a full week. I'm not really planning to kill it this week, but I'm definitely going to work out. I spent much of my weekend lounging around and sleeping, and it was FANTASTIC! Today I went to the gym for a 30 minute elliptical workout and stretch. My legs are still a little sore (and I think I have a toenail falling off!) so I thought warming up and stretching were a good idea. I also scheduled a massage for Wednesday night... I CAN'T WAIT! The woman I'm going to is running a special for finishers... $20 off an hour. YAY!

I'm still trying to figure out what to do for workouts now. I'm definitely focusing on the gym, and I'm thinking of having a trainer right me a program that is full body, but core focused. I think I want to work on my abs! The cool thing is that my gym is running a competition right now that I joined in on. It's a team competition (there are 5 of us) and you gather points based on activities. If you take a group fitness class you get 6 points, etc. We can win training sessions and other loot for getting the most points. Should be fun and it'll keep me focused for the next 4 weeks! Could make an awesome transition!

Thanks for all the support during my training! Have a healthy night!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

1 hour, 58 minutes, 54 seconds...

I did it!!! It hit my goal of less than 2 hours, even with my unconventional Friday evening/Saturday morning! I am so excited!!! This is definitely a big accomplishment for me.

For years, I've told people that I'm not really an athlete. That's because I didn't play sports as a teenager. I was a dancer. I started going to the gym in high school and picked up lifting weights. Since then I've been into working out, off and on of course since there were times when I fell off the wagon. I started running for fun later in high school, and then I ran on a more regular basis in college. But I always told myself, I'm not built to run... so I kept myself at a 10 - 11 minute mile pace.

For years, I've been telling myself I'm too big to run faster. At 5'8" and my size, I felt like it wasn't possible for me to run faster. Now, I've proven myself wrong! I love proving myself wrong! My overall pace was 9 min and 5 seconds. My pace at mile was 9 minutes and 6 seconds. Guess I was pretty consistent!

Now I have to figure out my next project... it will not be a race, at least until 2011. I do believe that part of my improved pace was that I lost some weight (15 pounds). If I want to keep getting faster, I think I should drop a few more. For the next few months, I'm going to maintain my running and focus on strength and flexibility. Not sure what that'll look like, but I'll report back on that. I'm also going to focus more on my food. I've been pretty good, but I spent some time focusing on running that it was sometimes easy to forget the food.

I'm taking today to relax... I deserve it! :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Twas the Night Before Race Day

Sooo, it has been a busy week! Work was a little hectic, so it worked out well that it was taper week. I did a solid 4 miler in the beginning of the week, a short jog, and also some elliptical. I am so excited for the race! The weather is going to be clear and in the 50s with it potentially hitting 60 by the end. PERFECTION!

I have to admit, this is probably the least organized race week I have ever had. On one hand, I am more prepared for this race than any other that I've run. On the other hand, I AM A MESS! I lost my HRM in May and I still never made it out to get one, so I bought one last night. Now I need to figure it out so I can wear it tomorrow and track my time! I didn't have an armband for my iPod so I got one of those too. Sorry for the die hards who don't run with music... I keep it soft enough so I can hear what's going on. But I seriously need my cheesy pop music when the going gets tough.

On the food topic, I literally was too busy to eat lunch till 3. WHAT!?!? I am so not one of those people who "forgets to eat." So this was quite odd for me today. I made it to a pasta dinner with a friend tonight though, so I think I'm all set for tonight. Just drinking water! Now, breakfast is another story. I ran out of bread!!! I usually eat toast with peanut butter, and I HAVE NONE. WHAT!?!? I am toying with the idea of a Clif bar for breakfast, but we'll see. I'll report back on what craziness I come up with.

Oh, and I also realized my favorite running pants are dirty. Oops. Judge me if you may, but I'm wearing them anyway. Whatever!!!

All of this disorganization could very well make me nervous (or anyone really). Instead, I actually don't care! I'm going to get a good night of sleep and I'm going to be hydrated and I'm going to run my booty off! I'm confident in my training, and I know I can run a strong race. Throughout, I'm going to repeat my favorite mantras:

"Pain is temporary!"

"You can do this!"

"I own this hill! This is nothing!"

And whatever else comes to my mind to keep me going... I'm sure there will be some new ones. Now to figure out my heart rate monitor and to load my iPod! Will report back soon with my time!

Thanks for the support! Have a healthy weekend!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Best run EVER

Seriously! The weather has taken a turn to the cooler side, and the leaves are changing in New England. I have one week till my half marathon, so I'm basically tapering. I used Runner's World's training tool on their website to come up with my training plan. It pretty much falls in line with Hal Higdon's intermediate training. What I like about the Runner's World tool is that it gives me paces to follow for each run... I don't ALWAYS follow them but I definitely do on my interval and tempo runs.

In any case, I decided I'd run 7 miles today and try to go as fast as I could. To hit sub-2 hours I need to maintain my pace around 9 minutes per mile for the whole race. I went over to a reservoir near me that has a 3.4 mile loop with a little extra distance required to get to the beginning of the loop from the parking lot. The loop is actually quite hilly! They have a bike lane, and there are portions where they have warning signs because the grade is steep. I started out fairly easy but I picked it up a notch almost immediately. The temperature helped a ton! It was about 55 degrees out (but sort of windy). It was one of those runs where you bound up the hills and don't dread them... love it! In the end, I finished two loops in just over an hour. Perfect! That was exactly what I needed!

Hope you had a happy and healthy weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Runner's Etiquette

So I know Runner's World and other magazines talk a lot about runner's etiquette. I think the typical discussion revolves around what to do on a running trail when someone needs to pass you or something along those lines. I'm a big fan of that type of etiquette. I like to hear "On your left!" when a faster runner or a bicyclist is passing me. It lets me know they're looking out for me and that we're both part of a larger community that knows how to behave on public trails.

In any case, there's a different kind of etiquette I wanted to write about tonight. This is the "I'm not going to compete with you" etiquette. That's what I call it at least! Here's the deal...

I was at a barbecue last weekend, and I was chatting with a woman I've met but barely know. She had a baby a little over a year ago, and she has been using running as a way to lose the baby weight. Good for her, right? I tend to be the uber-supportive runner type who thinks that you're a runner whether you jogged down the block and worked your way up from there at a slow pace or you're an elite runner who wins races left and right. We're ALL runners. For that reason, I will NEVER EVER compare myself to another runner for fear of making them think that I'm trying to compete with them or show them up or put them down. To me, running is something I do for me and only me, and there is no reason to compare myself to anyone else or to try to make them feel inferior to me. What fun is that?

So this woman starts talking to me about the half marathon I'm running (she's running it too), and she is telling me how she's been running 30 or 40 miles a week, etc. etc. She then tells me how I'll do great and it's no big deal and she was nervous her first time but now she's better... without ever asking me what my running experiences are like. I was kind of insulted! This will be my fifth half marathon and I've run two full marathons. I know what I'm doing. So I politely tell her I'm fairly experienced, etc. without sounding like a snot. She proceeds to say, "Oh you'll be fine then. What's your best time? How fast do you think you'll run?" Now if someone had been having a low key supportive conversation with me, I would have thought nothing of it. But this woman was literally trying to size me up! What is that??? That is so not the supportive running culture I am a part of! I told her my goal, and she was like "Oh, okay, it sounds like we run the same pace basically." I'm thinking, I really don't care how fast you run, but of course I didn't say that. I just nodded and smiled. :) Maybe I'm different??? Maybe I'm the only one who thinks it's inappropriate to turn running into a competition even if it's a hobby?

I don't know... all I know is that I can guarantee that I will always be the supportive, non-competitive runner. Running (and all forms of exercise) are things we do for ourselves. It is not a competition. It is a personal journey. It is a way of life and it is a part of my identity. I do not need to compare myself to other runners. All I need to do is nod, smile, or wave as they run by knowing that we're both part of the same community of crazy people who lace up and put one foot in front of the other for no reason other than a love of running.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

home stretch...

I am in the home stretch of my half marathon training... I have to admit, I'm getting tired! The weeknight "tough runs" are getting pretty long. Last week I did 7 miles of intervals (with the warmup and cooldown) and this week I have to do 7 miles with a tempo run (with warmup and cooldown). I am seriously craving a massage! To deal with my tired muscles, I've been doing my own little yoga routine when I get back from my runs. It is soooooo nice! I really need the quad stretches and the hip openers. Perfection!

This weekend I have to do a 10 miler, which shouldn't be a problem. It will be my 4th run at 9 miles or more since I started the program. It doesn't actually have me tapering, which I think I'll change. I have 3 weeks left, and I'm thinking I'll do a long run this week, a mid-length run the following week (maybe 7???), and then it's the race. Any thoughts?

Hope everyone is doing well with their healthy journeys!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why do I run?

This is what I was pondering today as I did my 4 miler through town... I think it's pretty easy to be contemplative today given that it's the 9 year anniversary of 9/11. After watching some tributes this morning and shedding some tears in memory of the events of that day, I decided to go out and enjoy the beautiful fall New England weather. Plus, I had to run. :) No choice when you're training for a race!

I've noticed that over time, my reason for working out has changed drastically. When I started lifting weights in high school, it was because my mom wanted to go to the gym in town, so I decided to go with her. There, it turned into a love, plus there were cute boys to stare at while I did my walking lunges across the floor. :) In college and shortly after, when I was good about getting in my workouts (which was sporadic), it was just because I wanted to be skinny. I thought I was fat (I had in fact gained some weight), and I worked out for purely superficial reasons. BTW, cute boys at the gym still make it much easier to keep myself there when I'm feeling lazy!!!

You know what happens when you do it just because you want to look better in your jeans or just so you can be thinner than the woman standing next to you in line? It doesn't work! It isn't enough (at least for me) to work out so that I can be thin. It has to be about my health... my physical health and my mental health. It's about not getting sick, keeping my cholesterol in check, having strong bones and muscles. It's about being able to relieve stress and push myself to do more which makes me feel better about myself and my future.

As I was propelling myself up a hill today, I started to take notice of how I felt and really appreciated what I was doing. I say propelling because today was one of those days where I felt stronger running up hill and actually felt myself pushing harder when it usually hurts the most. I could feel the strength of my legs, the evenness of my breathing, and I thought... wow, now this is why I run. I run because it makes me stronger, both inside and out. Sure, I like that it makes me clothes fit better and has allowed me to tone up and drop pounds. But in the end, it's about health for me.

You know what the best side effect of running for your health is??? It inspires me to eat better. Why would I mess up a good workout with junk? Until I started focusing on exercise for health, I never could commit to eating healthy all the time. I worked out so I could eat crap and still be thin, which definitely didn't work. I'm happy I've made my way to this spot. It took YEARS to get here, and I will never turn back.

Soooooo... that's why I run. Why do you run?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I love fall weather!!!

I just got back from the most beautiful run ever! Well, maybe not ever, but it was great! I was on vacation at the beach for the last week, and I was admittedly a slacker. I are CRAP and I only went running twice. I guess I should be slightly happy that I at least ran twice. I did my long run last Sunday (8 miles) and I did a quick 2.5 miler as well. The weather at the beach was ridiculously hot. It was in the high 90s and humid all week. Not fun (for running)! I lounged around the beach (with my sunscreen on) and read some books. It was really, really relaxing and great fun!

Today's run was back in beautiful New England. I'm quite excited to see what a New England fall is like although we didn't get much weather so I have a sneaking suspicion it won't be as beautiful as other years. I did a loop around town that was really quite hilly, but I felt strong despite my laziness over the past week. Phew! I did a total of 4.1 miles at 40 minutes, which is a decent pace given the hills (and me being a slacker).

In other news, I'm getting my metabolism tested at the gym this week so I can see what my BMR is. Being the nerd I am, this is greatly exciting for me! Other than that, I'll be doing my long run tomorrow (9 miles). I have no clue what is on the schedule for the week, but I like that! I've been very busy and planned for the last 2 months, and I'm ready to relax and go with the flow.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Training Updates

Last week was my rest week, which worked out well. I needed it! This week, my schedule included 3 runs:

2 mile jog
Intervals with 1 mile at 7.2 mph (8:19 min per mile) followed by a half mile jog; repeated a total of 3 times so I hit 6 miles with warmup and cooldown
8 mile long run

I'll be doing that 8 miler this morning! All in all, training is going well. I've been running fairly high mileage throughout since I chose a "moderate" training plans (versus easy). I'll be intrigued to see what happens on race day! My average pace has definitely picked up to something more like a 9 minute mile. Last week, I went out for a run without any type of pacing tool (i.e. my phone or watch), and I ran 3.5 miles in 30 minutes. It didn't even feel like I was going that fast! Now I just have to make my way through the entire 13.1 miles at a quicker pace... not even as fast as that 3.5 mile run!

I plan to raise some money for charity with this race as well. When I have more details, I'll post them here. A friend of the family has a 9 year old son who just received a double lung transplant. His insurance covered a lot of the medical bills, but they still have $75,000 to pay. I have to work out the details of a donation site, and then I'll be all set to start receiving donations.

Hope everyone is doing well in their health journeys, whatever that means to you! Take some time for yourself this weekend... you deserve it!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moving Right Along

Haven't had much of interest to post, plus I've been doing a lot of traveling! It's gotten the best of me actually... I have a cold! This is the best week for it to happen though because it's a "rest" week in my training. I've been doing a weekday run, tempo or interval run, and a long run of 6-7 miles every week for the last 5 weeks. This week, all I have to do is 3-4 miles a few times (and slooooow). LOVE IT! I need the rest!

I've been spending time lifting weights as well and I'm loving it! I'm still using for these workouts. The workouts are about 45 minutes long and really force me to keep doing strength. Very happy to have that! I can tell I'm getting stronger, which is awesome. I can even see the muscles in my legs and my shoulders developing more. It's great!

My weight is holding steady right now and I'm starting to think my body is at a place that it likes to be. I'm going to keep doing my running and lifting and see what happens. It does feel like my body shape is changing although my weight is about the same. My food has been really good, so I don't think there's much else I could do. Here's my daily eating (I measure everything):

Breakfast: Steel cut oats with dried fruit and walnuts OR a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter and jam (jam is my weakness!)
Morning snack: one serving of fruit
Lunch: Big salad with local lettuce, tomato, cucumber, 6 kalamata olives, and 3-4 ounces of lean protein with vinaigrette
Afternoon Snack: one serving of fruit
Dinner: lean protein and some kind of high fiber grain, glass of red wine (not everyday)

Okay, must motivate for the day! Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Another Week Down!

This was an especially busy week for me. I had events two nights this week, plus my 30th birthday was on Wednesday! I definitely had some extra splurges here and there (like cake) but I got in all my workouts! This week for running was pretty much the same as last... 2 mile slow jog, 5 mile tempo run (2 of those miles were warmup and cooldown), then a 7 mile run this weekend.

I was in Michigan over the weekend for a wedding, so I did my long run with a friend who is training for the marathon in Minneapolis. She is quite a bit faster than I am, so I decided I'd try to keep up with her for as long as I could. First, I'll Michigan is quite hilly! Nothing crazy I guess, but hillier than home! It was humid and there was no air movement, so that was a bit unpleasant. All in all, I did well! I kept up with her for about 5 miles at ~9:30 pace. I walk-jogged the remaining mileage, which ended up being more like 2.5 miles. My goal pace for my long runs is 10:30-ish, and with the walk-jogging at the end that's what I averaged for the most part. I'm happy I pushed myself to see how far I could go at a faster pace. Lots of work to do so that I can keep that pacing going for the entire half marathon, but I'm well on my way!

I also did my efitplan workouts this week. They were awesome! I put in my goal as fat burning and that I'd workout for an hour. It was nice to have something to push me to do strength training for an hour. My legs were pretty sore from some of the moves (mostly the deadlifts). There were some great core moves as well, so my abs were feeling it. Looking forward to another week of that!

Have a healthy and happy week!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Garden Couscous

I made this for lunch today and had to share because it turned out really well! I'm going to call it Garden Couscous.

Garden Couscous
Couscous with Fresh Veggies

4 servings couscous
2 servings balsamic vinegar
2 medium whole tomato
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tsp black pepper
4 tbsps basil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups asparagus

Cook couscous according to package directions. Use 1 cup of dry couscous.
Steam asparagus for ~8 minutes or until it is at desired tenderness. Chop tomatoes and basil.

After couscous is cooked, combine with asparagus, basil, and tomato. Add olive oil, vinegar, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to mix well. Makes 4 servings.

One serving is 280 calories, 8 grams of fat, 7.5 g of fiber, and 13 g of protein.



OMG it's hot! Today it's super humid and over 90 degrees, so there will be no running today. I will be doing some kind of circuit training from the comfort of my air conditioned living room!

Week 2 of training has gone well. My "challenge" run this week was an interval run. I started with a 1 mile warmup, then I moved on to 1 mile at 8:30 min/mile, followed by 1/2 mile jog, then repeat. I finished it up with a 1 mile jog at the end to cool down. I have to say, I was a bit nervous about this one! I am only slowly starting to realize that I am physically capable of running faster than a 10 minute mile. It's super fun actually! It really has invigorated me. I was getting to a point where my runs/workouts weren't stress relieving anymore, but when I push myself and reach new heights, I love the way that feels! So all in all, I am really enjoying this! I have a 6 mile run this weekend which will most likely occur before 7 AM tomorrow. It's going to be a hot one again!

In other news, I was chosen as a tester for a new website: It's going to be an online personal trainer of sorts, and it'll be focused on balancing cardio and lifting (from what I can gather). So far I've built a profile that says I want to work out 5 days per week, 3 of those being lifting. I specified fat burning as my goal and 1 hour as my total time, and it spit out some weight routines that I'll be trying next week. I'll let you know how they go!

Hope everyone is having a happy and healthy weekend!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Week 1 of New Training Program

I started out the first of 13 weeks of training for a half marathon in Hartford on October 9 (or maybe the 8th???). I'm really excited because I have definitely kept up my fitness since the full marathon in May! In the past, it used to feel like a struggle when I got on a treadmill and ran between 5.5 mph and 6.0 mph. This week, I did a slow jog on Tuesday for a total distance of 2 miles, and the speed I used was 5.8 mph. I hardly felt it! I was so excited!

On Thursday I did a tempo run, which was 1 mile slow to warmup, then 3 miles at a 9 min per mile pace, and then 1 mile to cool down. My headphones broke right before I started running, so I had to do it in complete silence on a treadmill. UGH. Happy to report I did it and it felt awesome! I wasn't even sore on Friday!! Woo hoo! I think the yoga and the lifting program the trainer put together for me are working! I am well on my way to a sub-2 hour half marathon!

I have to run a slow 6 miles tomorrow, and I'm going to get up at the crack of dawn to do it. We have a heat advisory and it's going to be 95 at the height of the day, so I think I'll be trying to head out my door by 6:30 at the very latest.

Hope everyone is having a happy and healthy weekend!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Girl's Gotta Run!

So I cannot believe that the summer is going by so quickly! I just noticed today that:

1. I've been working at my job for a month already!
2. I am only 3 months from my half marathon.

Whoa! I haven't signed up for the race yet, but I think I will with my next paycheck. I've been doing my yoga and lifting, and I've been running a few days a week as well. It's looking like my natural pace is 9 min per mile on good days and 9.5 min per mile on slow days. I'll take it! I still haven't splurged on my HRM/GPS combo but I might in the coming weeks. I'm turning 30 on July 28, so perhaps that will be my gift to myself!!!

I hope everyone else is having a wonderful healthy day! My workout today was a 10 minute jog for a warmup (6 mph), then one set of my circuit. I then did 10 min of running at 6.5 mph, then another set in my circuit. I finished up with 10 min on the treadmill at 6.5 - 7.0 mph, and of course one final run through the circuit. It felt great!!!

Stay cool if you're in the crazy heat in the northeast! There is no reason to go out running in this weather! Tomorrow I plan to do a Shaun T's INSANITY workout in the morning before work.

Be happy and be healthy!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Gym Workout

So for the last 4 weeks, I've been back in a gym and it's been a nice change! I'm not used to having all the equipment available to me. It's especially nice to have weights! My weights at home are only 5 lb and 8 lb so it is great to be able to challenge myself with heavier weights. The other great thing is that my employer is really supportive of healthy living so we get a lot of great benefits. One of these was a personally written program from one of the trainers. We went over my goals and she put together a circuit for me. I told her my goals were to run a faster half marathon and to do an unassisted pullup. So this is what she has me doing:

1. Step-ups with Weights - step up with right leg on a bench while holding weights, then step left foot up to join; I use 12 pound weights and do a set of 12.
2. Tricep dips using the bench
3. Clean and Press using 12 lb weights
4. Assisted Pullup - right now I use the machine to assist me with 90 lbs of weight. Slowly but surely I'll reduce that until I can do a pullup supporting the weight all on my own!
5. Crunch with Legs Up and Using a Medicine Ball - I use a 10 lb medicine ball and keep my hands in the air above my head. On the "down" part of the exercise, I extend my arms behind my head so the ball hits the ground.
6. Leg Curls (on the machine) - so far I use 85 lbs
7. Walking Lunges - I don't use weights on this and I try to keep only one foot on the ground at a time. I go by distance but it usually turns into 12 lunges on each side.

I do this whole thing 3 times through. I've been throwing 10 min of jogging in before the first set and between each set so I get in my cardio. It's been fun! I start my half marathon training in a couple weeks. Fun fun!

Hope everyone is having a happy and healthy summer!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Yoga Fun

I've had a marginally successful week this week. I went to yoga a few times, so that was the success. I didn't eat as healthy as I would have liked, so that was the unsuccessful part. I don't even think it was that I ate so poorly, but I bought a lot of food at my work cafeteria and at restaurants... so that's a double whammy to me. Spending money I don't need to spend and eating food that isn't as healthy as something I would have prepared myself. I'm going to focus on preparing my own food next week and avoiding unnecessary spending as much as possible!

Yoga has been great! I'm finally getting to the point where I can concentrate on what I'm doing instead of my brain being all over the place. When I first started doing yoga, I felt like it was too slow for me because I wanted to burn tons of calories (I was cardio obsessed). First of all, I do burn tons of calories in a 90 minutes yoga class... easily 600, which is what I'd burn on a normal weekday run or a P90X workout. Now, I really appreciate the slow pace because it makes me relax. We all need to slow down sometimes, and now this is how I do it!

Yesterday I took power yoga, and since it was hot out, the room was over 95 degrees. It didn't bother me actually! I sweat a ton but it felt good. She did some tough moves! I'll try to explain what I thought was the toughest... forgive me if this makes no sense. Also, if you know all the true yoga terms, forgive me. I have none of that memorized!

Start in plank pose and then go back to downward dog. Lift up your right leg and then shift your weight back to plank. Bend your right knee (leg still lifted) and bring your knee out to the right so you're trying to touch your right tricep. Hold for several breaths. Straighten and extend your leg again for one cycle of breath, then repeat. I think we did 5 cycles of the bent leg portion, and then we finished in a downward dog. Essentially we were in plank for what felt like an eternity, and that was just one side! We repeated on the left, and then we repeated the whole thing with your knee bending across your chest and trying to touch the opposite elbow/tricep. Whoa!

If you're between workouts, I highly recommend going to take a yoga class at a local studio. I'm loving it!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blog Shout Out!

I had to stop by quickly to give a quick blog shout out to my sister! I highly recommend you check our her blog. She has been on a healthy living journey all year and she's tracking her progress there. It's super impressive and way more inspirational than me running races! :) She has lost a lot of weight and is currently obsessed with the elliptical for her mode of exercise. If you need a pick me up or a smile, I'm sure you'll find it there. I'm super proud of her progress, and I know anyone else who's ever been through a similar journey or is going through one now will be too.

Enjoy! Have a healthy day!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Yoga Month

I have about a month until I have to start training for my half marathon, so I decided to get in a little more yoga than usual. I got super lucky and actually found a good place nearby that was running a new student special. I got an unlimited month for $40! That is ABSURD!!! Unlimited yoga is usually well over $100 a month!

I took an all levels class the day I signed up... I loved it! It was so low key and the teacher was really encouraging and friendly. We did hip openers too, which is perfect for me. Given my injury during the marathon, this is something I need to work on! She said something sort of interesting about hips too... you can take it or leave it depending on what you believe. But anyway, she said that we carry a lot of stress in our hips, especially relationship stress. Hmm... So she said when we were doing our hip openers we should picture all of our relationship stress leaving bodies. Believe what you want... it felt great! I left there relaxed and content. AND I was sore for 2 days... whoa! I love it!

Tomorrow I'm going to get up early to run before work. Have a healthy happy night!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gym Workout

Yesterday I decided to do a gym workout since I had run on Monday. Wow, I forgot how much I loved going to the gym! There was a class at 5:45 called "Sculpt Express" and I got there at 5 so I had some time to kill. I started with 25 minutes on the elliptical. It's always nice to switch it up, you know? It felt great!

There's a fitness challenge at work going on right now called "Fitopoly." Basically, they have a monopoly board on the wall, and we each have our own little characters. You roll dice when you get to the gym and move around the board. You do a quick workout based on where you land. Yesterday I landed on Core, so I had to do 2x30 bicycles, 2x15 leg lifts, 2x30 holds in dead bug (up position in a double crunch), and 2x30 second holds of opposite arm and leg extension (in a table top... for your lower back). That killed enough time for me to do the class, which was focused mostly on upper body. We did 5 upper body exercises for different amounts of time with little to no rest. We finished with 2 minutes of lunges on each leg and 90 seconds of two different ab exercises (bicycle and crunches with your legs in butterfly position). LOVE IT! I felt great when I was done!

The other major benefit of the gym was that they did a fit test before I started working out. You had to do crunches to failure or a maximum of 75, pushups to failure, a treadmill heart rate test, a stretch test, and a body fat/weight measurement. The good news is that my cardio fitness is well above average! My pushups and crunches were as well! I did 75 crunches and 50 pushups. I think I could've done more pushups but it seemed like 50 was enough for the purpose of a fit test! My weight was good (although I'm trying to lean out a bit for running) and my body fat measured at 17%! I thought it was more than that! Of course, this is just a caliper test, but I'll take it! :) My only "bad" point was my flexibility. I talk about it all the time, but I really need to do it... YOGA! I can retest every 3 months so hopefully my flexibility improves after 3 months!

Hope all is well out there! Have a healthy day!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

OMG she's alive!

It has been aaaaaaaaaaages since I wrote... my life has been a whirlwind! After graduation, I had to get myself all packed up and moved to my new place. That included flying out to see the area, finding an apartment, getting stuck overnight in DC, having a moving company cancel on me twice, getting a new moving company who then delivered a week late... it all ended up okay, and my life is now NORMAL! Woo hoo! I love it! My job is great and my apartment is slowly coming together. Finally! Feels like everything is moving in the right direction!

My goals have not changed since I last wrote. I'm going to run the Hartford half marathon in October. I just joined the gym at work, and the trainer there is going to work with me on my training program. Thanks for the advice! I am going to start running some track workouts and I'm also going to try to lean out a little bit. I'm not doing it for the superficial reasons... just to be faster! Today I went out for a 3 mile job and averaged a 9:23 pace. Improvements!

I'll keep updating now that life is going in a great direction!

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Goal and a Little Advice!

I've been spending the last few days looking for a new apartment and packing up my old one. This included a two day trip to CT apartment hunting, including an unexpected stay in DC because of missing my flight. Not good! Luckily I have great friends there, so I had an unexpected visit with them. Needless to say, I have had little time to work out.

Today I went out for a 3.2 mile run and really pushed it. While I was driving around CT looking at places, I was listening to the Top 20 station on satellite radio, and Bulletproof was on over and over. Now, I love it! I downloaded it and played it over and over while I ran. I finished in ~28 minutes, which is awesome for me! So this brings me to my new goal...

Sub 2 hour half marathon!

I need your help though! My average pace right now is probably in the 9:30 to 9:45 range depending on the distance I'm running. The race I'm going to run is in October. So I have a bit of time to get myself going. I need help figuring out how best to make this happen. Any good speed workouts you know of? Or maybe I should run a certain mileage each week with tempo and intervals thrown in? With a couple 5K's or 10K's here and there to test my pace? I have no idea!

Also, I'm looking for a new heart rate monitor. It was a casualty of my flood. :( I think with my new running goals it's time to invest in a GPS watch. I really want something that tracks calories well too though. Does anyone have a favorite GPS watch? I have used a friend's Garmin but the one he had was huge. I want something that's a normal watch size. Thoughts???

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hot Yoga!

Last night, a couple of friends were heading to a local yoga studio for an hour and 15 minute class. I haven't been to a real yoga studio in a few years, so I decided to join in. It was hot yoga, so the temperature in the room was probably somewhere around 95 degrees. It wasn't exactly Bikram temps, but it was hot. It felt SOOOOO good! I was surprised at how strong I am and how flexible I was. There were some poses we did that are in the Yoga X DVD and I've definitely improved. Gotta love that! After 75 minutes in the heat, I was literally drenched. It looked like I had jumped in a pool in my clothes. I felt super refreshed and relaxed when I was done though. And today, I have some pretty sore arms and obliques. Love it!

The next couple weeks should be busy for me! I finally accepted a job offer and will be moving to Connecticut by the end of May. First time not living in PA! I know, I've lived a sheltered life. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One Foot in Front of the Other

It has now been over a week since the marathon and my hips feel great. I've definitely been taking it easy and stretching things out. I graduate on Saturday, and I've been pretty busy getting things taken care of around the apartment and hanging with friends. For those not geographically located near me, let me tell you... it has been cold in Pittsburgh! Yesterday it was 45 degrees and raining! Ummm, pretty sure it isn't March anymore!!!

Today I went out for a long-ish jog. I did one of my favorite loops where I run from my neighborhood to one of the others in the city and back. For those who have never been here, Pittsburgh is quite a hilly place. This run in particular has a pretty steady incline for over a mile. Today, it went so well! It's so easy to get tired and give up when you're running up a never ending hill, but today I just kept thinking "One foot in front of the other." Before I knew it, I was at the top, and I was lucky enough to spend the rest of the run going back down. Phew! Toward the end of the run, I even got the elusive runner's high where I really felt like I could go forever. It's almost like taking a step is effortless. Your body just does it without thinking and you could run faster and further than even before. Love that feeling!

As I wind down my time in graduate school and try to work out what's going on next in my life, I'm going to try to use that same mantra: "One foot in front of the other..." Hope you have a happy and healthy day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

First Run Since the Race

Well, this week was quite the hectic one! I had 2 final exams, a final presentation, a FLOOD, and a final report to write. I moved into my friends' apartment for a few days and lived out of a suitcase. I didn't get to workout because I was busy all week. Wow, it was so yucky! I felt so gross by the end of the week. Sluggish... it was hard to sleep even!

Today I went out for a jog and it felt awesome! I'm still working on relieving the stress of the recent weeks, so I really pushed it. I literally ran as fast as I could for 3 miles. I felt pretty strong! I did a long stretch when I got back, and now it's time to relax.

I've already decided I'd like to run another marathon. That was quick! I definitely want to train for a sub 2 hour half marathon for the fall first though!

Hope everyone else is doing well in their healthy life journeys!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Recovery Day 1

I woke up the day after the marathon feeling pretty good considering the IT band pain I experienced during the race. My hips definitely hurt when I walked, but I'd say it was the same level of pain I'd experience from a killer boot camp class. I had a massage scheduled for 10 AM so I could really get the kinks worked out.

Now, in my last entry, I mentioned how my life outside of working out had taken a bit of a turn... breakup, broken air conditioner at my rental unit, no job, etc. I literally thought to myself, things really can't get worse, can they? Well, let me know tell you they can and they did!

Not 15 minutes after my last blog post, my apartment flooded. I'm not talking overflowing bathtub flood. I'm talking deluge of water flood coming out of my toilets. Literally, water was gushing out of the toilets, sinks, and showers. I, of course, have no idea what's going on, so I think the toilet must be overflowing. Weird, since I wasn't using the bathroom, but when water gushes uncontrollably from your toilet, what else do you think?

I leap from my comfy spot on the couch (soreness... what soreness?) and I try to turn the water off on the toilet. Hmm, that doesn't work. So I guess I don't have an overflowing toilet. In the meantime, my cats (I have two) are a little freaked and running around a bit trying to figure out what's going on. The water continues to flow until it covers the living room and both bedrooms. I run around and pick everything up off the ground and call my landlord.

It turns out that the flooding came from the rainstorm over the weekend. The drain on the roof was clogged, and when they went to unclog it, they went a bit too fast. All of the rain from the past couple days was up there, and it quickly gushed into my apartment. Wow. So there I am left with a mess to clean up and a massage to get to!

I left my landlord there to deal with the mess. I went over to massage, which I was only 5 minutes late to, and I had a great relaxing hour! My legs were in decent shape according to the massage therapist, and my back was as well. She worked mostly on my hamstrings and quads, which has helped tremendously with the hip pain. Today I am moving around just fine.

It's finals week (plus all that other fabulous crap I'm dealing with) so my workouts will be light. I walked to school today which took about 20 minutes, and I'll walk home later. I'll just have to make sure I get in a nice stretch sometime later on.

Have a healthy day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Aaaannddd we're done!

Phew! The marathon is done. Before I tell the whole story, I have to say a couple things. I'm happy I'm done and that I finished. I have had a really rough few weeks with school ending, falling and hurting my knee, getting a cold, ending a relationship and dealing with some BS that seems to be going along with that, trying to find a job (which is still not quite settled), dealing with my condo (I'm a landlord)... pretty much life has been rearing its ugly head at me. I am being seriously tested everyday or so it feels. When I started the race, I was so stressed and angry and in a bad mood from other things in my life, so it was hard to concentrate.

That being said, I feel like I did pretty well. The last long run I had was my 20 miler! All those physical things I mentioned above led to a super lazy taper. The race started at 7:30 AM and it was in the upper 60's and humid. Right after the gun went off, we started moving. The thing about big races (we had 16000 runners in Pittsburgh) is that it takes FOREVER to cross the start line. I think we started around 7 min and 30 sec after the official start. Thank God for chip times!

I lined up around 4:45 and 5 hour pacers because I figured that was a safe bet for my finish time. My first marathon (in 2005 in NJ) was 4 hours and 57 min. Almost immediately after the race started, the skies opened up. It wasn't a torrential downpour during the whole race, but there was a steady rain the whole time. My whole body was soaked. Shoes, socks, capris, shirt... Let me tell you, everything is much heavier when it is soaked with rain! I tried channeling all the stress from the last few weeks into the race. I actually felt pretty good physically for the 19 miles.

At mile 20, my hips started to hurt from some IT band issues. I don't always have IT band issues, but I can tell by the way they felt that it was the IT band. It was way worse on the right than the left. Let's just say that sometimes it felt like bone was grinding on bone in the middle of my hip. Ouch! I decided to do some walk/jog combinations for the final 6 miles of the race so I wasn't in too much pain. Even walking hurt, and there were several times where I took a step and almost fell on the ground from the pain in my right hip.

I think I needed some of that quiet walking time by myself. It was kind of peaceful and quiet in some of the neighborhoods and I took some time to just think and look around at the scenery. Miles 21 to the end were mostly flat and downhill, so I jogged here and there when I felt okay. I stretched a few times as well.

At mile 25, I decided it was time to go! I did one final stretch and I just ran. It's crazy what your mind can do for you... it didn't hurt and I felt like I could go and go! A few of my friends were at the finish line with a sign cheering me on as I came through. I was smiling and fist pumping as I passed by and made my way to the finish line for a final chip time of 5 hours 13 minutes and 41 seconds. Not too shabby for the state I'm in emotionally, plus the rain, plus the hip and the need to walk a bunch at the end!

Here in lies the danger of marathons... I know I can run faster but I really don't want to do another one. I wonder though if I will... I think after a few years you forget the pain and then it sounds like a great idea. Stay tuned for 2014!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Marathon Tomorrow!

Hey! I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I've been dealing with a lot outside of my workouts, and so I've been pretty much hanging on for dear life here.

BUT, the marathon is tomorrow! The weather report shows thunderstorms so hopefully that won't happen. If it does, they'll cancel the race. :( That would be so sad! If you feel like keeping up with my progress, I'll be using Tweet my Time. My twitter name is alissa0728. Follow me!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rough Week

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just felt off? Like completely not yourself? That was me this week. I know it was due to stress, but I haven't had a week like this in a long time. I'm 3 weeks away from graduating from business school, and I'm still trying to work out my future plans. I'm definitely close but it's a huge source of stress for me to be moving from my current apartment in May and not having a place to go afterwards. I have no lease signed and I have no clue when I'll start my job. Pretty much, my life is a huge question mark to me right now. All the uncertainty just killed me this week! I'm sure it didn't help that I fell and bruised my knee to the point that I couldn't run. The marathon training has been the only regular thing that I'm completely in control of in this whole time of turmoil!

So overall, I fell completely off the wagon! I hardly worked out, I ate crap (at least by my standards), and I felt LAZY. It was awful! I forgot what it was like to let stress get the best of me. I guess I have made some strides over the last two years. I've been great at keeping my eating on track and always getting my workouts done no matter how busy or stressed I was. This week was different. Ugh!

At least I've recognized what went on and I'm moving forward. I ran on Wednesday and that went well, so I'm happy about that. I'm getting closer to having things settled for the summer, so that helped as well. I even made it to the gym yesterday to do some cardio on the elliptical and some upper body lifting. I have an 8 mile run to get in this weekend, and then it is only one week till the race. I'm really excited for it to be here!

I can't wait to plan my future workouts post-marathon! Anyone have some suggestions of workout plans for me to try? I can always re-do P90X and Insanity!

Have a healthy weekend! Don't let stress get the best of you, like me! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Minor Injury

Oh no! I fell on my way to school in the rain wearing slippery shoes. My fault! Unfortunately it left me with a severely bruised knee, which then led to some weirdness in some of my muscles because I was compensating for the knee by using other muscles. I took a few days off, and today I ran for about 20 minutes in the morning. I'm actually going to run tonight with some friends too. We're doing what we now call the Hofbrauhaus 10K where we run 6 miles to the bar and have a beer for happy hour. Then we get rides home from friends who meet us there! Fun fun!

I know, not very weight conscious of me, but there's a reason I workout. Well, several reasons why I workout, beer being one of them. :) I'm human. Thank God!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Power of Massage

Yesterday I went for an hour long massage to work out the kinks from my 20 miler. I actually felt great before I went in, but I felt so much better when I left! I had no idea how tight my muscles really were until they were massaged back into being relaxed. My legs felt great when I was done! I scheduled a massage for the week after the marathon so I can speed my recovery. I definitely believe in the power of massage for pain relief. I used to go monthly when I was working in an office all day, and it was the only thing that helped my back pain.

Today's run is an interval run with a warmup, cool down, and 6 miles of interval repeats. I'm going to do that in about an hour. I actually made it to the gym yesterday too, which was great! I love my Beachbody workouts, but sometimes, it just feels great to be in a gym! I did a full body circuit that I made up in my head. It was:

1. Chest Press
2. Dumbbell Bent Over Row
3. Bicep Curls
4. Side Shoulder Raise
5. Skull Crushers (for the triceps)
6. Dead Lifts
7. Squats (with dumb bells)
8. V-sit crunches with my hands in the air (not holding myself up)
9. Mason Twists

I did 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise and used a weight that left me feeling tired after each set. I started with a 10 minute jog for a warmup, and then I walked home as my cool down. I did some yoga poses for my stretches at the end. It was a total of 600 calories in an hour!

I'm also super excited about the dinner I planned for tonight. I love Mexican food, so I decided to make some healthy pork carnitas in my slow cooker. I found a recipe on Here's the link. I also plan to make my own guacamole. I bought some multi grain tortilla chips (which I will limit to one serving!), and I have high fiber tortillas as well. I'm going to skip the cheese and sour cream and make myself a healthy carnitas burrito. Yum!

Have a healthy day!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

20 Mile Run!!!

So yesterday was my last long run before the big race on May 2. I went out to a trail with a friend who is also training for the marathon. The weather was beautiful! We left around 8:15 and it was probably in the upper 40's with a clear, crisp sunny sky. I had to wear pants, which I wasn't actually expecting, but I have some favorite running pants, so no big deal. We started out at a parking lot at mile marker 4 on the trail. We ran down to mile 10, and then we turned around and came back to the car. I had a Gu at my 6th mile, and then again at mile 12. We had to refill our water bottles at mile 12 as well, so I got in a little stretch.

The second portion of the run was from mile 4 down to the beginning of the trail and back. I would say the first 3 miles of that felt great! So basically, I ran 15 miles feeling like a million bucks! Okay, maybe not quite a million, but definitely feeling good! I was getting some blisters on the insides of both of my feet, but I actually need those so they'll callous over by race day. Once we were getting up to mile 16, I was feeling tired! My friend was super supportive though, and we cheered each other on through the rest of the run! At mile 17, we even started Jersey fist pumping to get some energy back in us! We finished up mile 20 in 3 hours and 37-ish minutes, which is 3 minutes faster than I had figure for us. We spent a good amount of time stretching and then we headed home!

I have to admit that we decided to go for a celebratory beer afterwards. Could not resist! We were all sweaty and gross but who cares??? If anyone asked, I could say, "I JUST RAN 20 MILES!!!" Woo hoo! I had a yummy steak dinner later on with a grilled filet mignon, a baked potato, and green beans and tomatoes with garlic. Love it!

And the best part about all this is that I feel great today! I can tell I ran 20 miles yesterday but I am not hurt and I am not really all that sore! I'll warm myself up a bit later and get in some good stretching so I'm not sore tomorrow either. Now I get to taper off and reduce my mileage over the next 3 weeks so I'm rested and ready to go!

Hope you had a healthy weekend!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Today's Triumph

I'm wearing my skinny jeans! Not only am I wearing them (from 2002, and I don't care if they look old school), but they fit better than when I bought them! Woo hoo! Thank you Beachbody!

Celebrate a triumph of your own today! Maybe you got in 8 hours of sleep last night, worked out before work, or conquered the shoulder stand in yoga (like my fabulous mother and sister did last week). Whatever it is that you accomplished, celebrate it!

Getting Used to the Heat

It's been a beautiful weather week in Pittsburgh! Warm, sunny, breezy... but my body is just not used to it! I went out yesterday and attempted a 5 mile tempo run at 1:30 in the afternoon. Ummm, I know better than that. It was not fun! I was super sweaty and I didn't have any water. My body is just not used to 85 degree weather! I wasn't feeling well, so I decided it was better to cut it short than to push it and make myself feel sick. I "finished" it up this morning by doing a fast 3 mile run. It was still warm (already 65 degrees at 7:30), but it felt much better!

Tomorrow I plan to do some type of strength training and then it's the big 20 miler on Saturday. OMG! I think I'll do P90X Arms... I miss my P90X workouts. I'll be happy when the marathon is over so I can get back to having a variety of workouts. I get bored too easily to run all the time!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Weekend Update

I was home for the weekend celebrating Easter with my family, so I took a little hiatus from the blog. I did not, however, take a hiatus from my health. :) On Friday, I did not workout because I was driving 5 hours to get to my parents' house. On Saturday, I got in a long run of 13 miles in (what to me felt like) serious heat. It was challenging! I burned 3000 calories though! I sweat so much that I actually had salt crystals forming on the edges of my face. EWWW! The cool part about the run was that my dad came with me and did some jogging of his own. Love working out with family! I saw lots of families working out together at the park too, and that just made me so happy! I was so happy to see parents and children out enjoying the beautiful weather with each other while they exercised!

Food went really well, especially for a holiday! My family has been eating healthier this year, and so we had quite a healthy weekend for food! On Friday night, we had arctic char with roasted brussels sprouts, asparagus, and couscous. On Saturday, we did an Easter dinner which was a bit more than usual. The good thing is that we skipped the dinner rolls and we had baked potatoes instead of mashed. Yum! All in all, food was great and I'm super proud of my family for their healthy eating and working out. My mom and sister are both really into yoga now, which is great!

This week is the last heavy workout week before the marathon for me. I run 20 miles on Saturday... Eeek! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Midweek Run

Oh boy, another week is almost gone! I got up around 7 today to do a midweek run with a friend. It was supposed to be 5 miles plus a warmup and cooldown. I ended up getting in 5.5 miles with some stretching at the end. Not going to lie, I could've definitely pushed it harder. I'm stressed with life in general right now though, and on an emotional level, I more so needed the hour of chatting with my friend that I got in over the run. Much better for the soul!

Thanks for all the nice comments recently! I'm happy that my experiences are helpful to people out there. I've always been a big workout fiend, but I don't think that until now I've ever really had my act together when it comes to my health. I don't know if it was that I didn't think it was possible for me to be thinner, so why try or what. I'm sure there was some level of fear of failure and self doubt that crept in there! I would say though that over the last year, I've really come to the realization that I have to make decisions in my life that make me a happier, better person. That includes all kinds of decisions, especially the decisions I make about my health. Since I've realized that, I have been much better about doing things that work for me in all aspects of my life: eating, sleeping, working out, relaxing... finally, it's all coming together! Let's just hope I can keep it up! The best part about it is that I no longer care how much I weigh or what size clothing I wear. My body is what it is, and as long as I take care of myself, then I am exactly the way I should be. That attitude has allowed me to lose 15 pounds! WHOA!

Good luck on your health journey! Make sure to take some time for yourself today!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Slooooooow 2 Miles

Today's workout was a "simple" slow 2 miler. I got up early and headed out in the cool, crisp morning for a 2 mile run at a pace of 11 minutes per mile. Easy peasy right? No! I felt so sluggish! It just goes to show you that there are days when you feel great and days when you don't regardless of what your workout is. You just have to push through and FINISH. Finishing is the key! I hope everyone else out there had those kick butt workout days instead of the day when you feel like your legs are lead and it's impossible to even put one foot in front of the other. Dramatic, yes, but that's how it felt today!

In any case, I'm glad I did it. I hit exactly 2 miles in 22 minutes, but that included stopping at some red lights, so not sure what my exact pace was. I did some stretching and that was it for the day. I have class for 10 hours today, so that's all I've got in me! It was 452 calories, so I'll take it!

Have a healthy day! Make sure you take the time to do one thing for yourself... you're worth it!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Five Weeks til the Marathon!

Whoa, five weeks to go and it is getting intense! And time consuming... but that's what I signed up for! Today was an 18 mile run, and as I posted before, I finished! The first 6 miles was great. I felt strong, I didn't take many breaks, and my body felt pretty good! After 6, I stopped to use the bathroom, had some water/Gatorade, and my first Gu. I use the vanilla bean flavored Gu with caffeine. It tastes pretty close to vanilla icing, which may seem uninviting when you're running, but it's pretty good!

After that 6, I decided to break the remaining 12 miles into loops. I should mention that at this point, it started raining and the temperature was probably somewhere around 45 degrees F. Oy! So anyway, I have a 3.2 mile loop that I do from home, so I did that twice. I had another Gu at the end of that, and I was on my way for my final loop (6 miles). Throughout the run I was drinking my water and Gatorade because I have a handy dandy Fuel Belt that allows me to carry 20 ounces of fluids with me.

The final 6 miles was tough! I was drenched from head to toe, and my hands were absolutely freezing! Pittsburgh is a hilly place too, and I would say mile 14 - 16 were pretty steadily uphill. I stopped to walk when I needed to, but overall not much. As I was running miles 17 and 18, I definitely started to feel it. My feet were tired, and my cold, wet socks were not helping the blister situation on my feet. BTW, I'm just leaving the blisters so they can callous. Oh fun! My feet are going to be so ugly when this is done! My hamstrings were also getting pretty tight, so I had to stretch here and there when I was stopped at red lights.

All in all, I FINISHED and I finished in 3 hours and 19 minutes, which is right on the pace my running program wanted me to run. Awesome! I got back home, and I was freezing cold, totally drenched, and pretty exhausted. I know things went much better than last week though because after a half hour that included stretching and a hot shower, I was feeling fine. I had some more water/Gatorade (a total of one bottle of Gatorade today), a container of chocolate milk, and a Clif bar to give me some quick calories during my recovery.

It is now 5 hours later, and my legs feel fine. I can feel a bit in my feet from the pounding, but my knees, hips, and ankles are great. Let's hope I can keep things going for the last 5 weeks!

I Just Ran 18 Miles!

More about that later... just had to post it really quick before I head out for meetings and homework!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Push It!

Today's run was a fairly long interval workout, and I definitely had to "Push It!" In fact, as I was doing the fast parts of the intervals, I literally was repeating the words in my head over and over to keep me moving. The run went like this:

1. Slow jog over to the track at school, which is about a half mile away
2. 1 mile at ~8:45 min/mile pace
3. 1/2 mile recovery walk/jog
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for a total of 4 intervals
5. Slow jog home

All in all, it was 7 miles. Phew! I burned 1327 calories, so I've had some eating to do to make up for it! The faster portions felt pretty good! That is way faster than I usually run, and I think it's mostly because I think I'm supposed to be slower than that. By repeating my mantra "Push It" during the tough parts, I was able to make it through those intervals really well. Love it! The somewhat strange part of the run is that during the whole thing, there was a guy playing bagpipes up the stairs from the track while his friend (who was wearing a business suit) watched. This was all on my university campus around 10 in the morning. Huh.

In other news, I had an awesome self esteem boost at the mall! I'm in a fashion show at a brunch this weekend (long story, not really that interesting either), and I had to go to Anthropologie for a fitting. I'm 5'8.5" so she decided I would look good in a one piece jumper thing. Of course, I never, ever try on jumpers because I think my hips would look HUGE in them. I decided to be open though, and I tried it on and LOVED IT! So, I am now the proud owner of a romper... it was awesome! I think that is a huge step in body awareness for me. So yay!

Hope you all have a wonderful, healthy day! Make sure to take time for yourself! You and your health deserve it!

PS - Here's the link to my new outfit:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday = Short Slow Jog

Mondays are for slow short jogs in the marathon training plan. Today was a 2 miler, and I did it at a 10:20-something pace. It felt super slow! My heart rate stayed much lower than my tougher runs, so I'm thinking I meet the goal of the easy run. It was slightly rainy but warm in Pittsburgh, and it was actually quite peaceful. When I got back I did a little core work and wrapped up with a stretch. Pretty no frills for the workout today! Tomorrow I'm going to do some weight training, and I'm thinking I'll try to find some Jackie Warner stuff On Demand. She's got some awesome workouts!

In other news, I'm done doing all responsible things for the day like homework, cleaning, taxes, etc. So now it's early and I have time to relax... and guess what graduate school has done to me! Robbed me from the ability to just sit and relax! I'm so used to doing work from morning until bedtime that I'm literally sitting here thinking, "Hmm, there's got to be something I should read or write or do right now!" I hope this feeling fades after I graduate in May...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

16 Miler

Yesterday was long run day, and I decided to make it 16 miles. I've had to change around my program a teeny bit because of my vacation this month and the shorter mileage I did there. The weather is absolutely gorgeous here, and I set out around noon. I planned out an 8 mile route that I was going to repeat. Let's just say this was my WORST RUN EVER!

I have a fuel belt that I usually wear that has water bottles and pocket in it so I can carry Gu. For some idiotic reason, I decided not to wear it yesterday! I thought stopping after 8 miles for water and a banana would be enough. Well, it wasn't! My first 8 miles felt great! I stopped at my apartment and had some water and the banana. I headed back out again, and at mile 12 I completely bonked. Unfortunately, I was 4 miles from home so I had to make my way back! The heat and my lack of fluids just killed me. I ended up getting all cramped in my legs and had to walk a large portion of the end of the run.

When I got home, I was feeling so awful! I had a banana and a Clif bar with some water, and after about a half hour I started to feel better. Thank God! Dehydration is not fun! I will not do that again! Today I picked up some Gatorade so I can bring that with me next time I run. This Sunday is 18 miles and there will be no craziness! LESSON LEARNED!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Facing the Music

I decided to weigh myself to see what kind of damage I had done on vacation. I did well at eating vegetarian, but 3 days in Napa equals LOTS OF WINE. Oooh, it was fun! But anyway, could have been bad right? Well, I decided to face the music and check my weight today and guess what!?!? I lost weight on vacation! WHAT!?! That's crazy! That puts me at a total of 12 pounds lost over the last 3-4 months. Not super fast like people who are super-focused, but it's been an "easy," slow process. Feels like I've hardly changed my habits! Woo hoo! I really think it's a testament to the importance of journaling. Gotta do it! I use and I love it! I highly recommend it!

Today is a quick run because it's all I have time for. Life is so busy right now! I can give myself 30-40 minutes to exercise though because it's critical! I hope you can too!

Have a healthy day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vacation is OVER!

I just got back from vacation, and I already feel BUSY!!! I guess that's what happens all the time though! Vacation was very nice! I loved Napa, and I ate some really awesome food! I did not weigh myself and don't plan to for another week or so. I'm going to let my body get back to normal. No need to torture myself! I did get in one long run of 14 miles while I was gone. I also did a short run and lots of walking around Napa and San Francisco. Overall, it wasn't too bad in terms of eating and exercise. Today I got in a 3 mile run to get myself back into the swing of things. I averaged a 9:27 pace, I think, which is faster than normal for me! Woo hoo! I have to get back into long runs this weekend. Only 7 weeks till the race! OMG!!!

Vegetarianism is also going well. I only had one slip on vacation, and it was actually me being polite. I know, I know... excuses. We were at a winery though, and the chef made us a little snack (specifically for us). It was a quail salad on a little crispy baguette. When a chef hands you quail, you eat it! Other than that, being veg is EASY in California!

Time to make some dinner! I got myself a head of cabbage and I plan to saute it with garlic and onions (and little veggie broth). I'm going to eat it with some whole wheat pasta with it as well. Should be yummy!

Have a healthy night!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Another long run complete!

I had another long (tough) run this weekend. It still snowed for the majority of the weekend, so some of the sidewalks were a bit messy. I went out for 2 hours and 20 minutes, which could've been 14 miles, but instead was more like 11. Wet snow on an uphill makes for rough running! I was totally exhausted when I was done, so I just relaxed the rest of the night. That run equaled 2400 calories burned, so I had a big whole wheat pasta dinner... making up some of those calories today too!

Next week, I will be on spring break (YAY) and I'm heading out to California. I'll be visiting my boyfriend's family and also going to Napa and SF. Can't wait! We're already picking out restaurants to go to. The ones in Napa all use the farm to table philosophy, so we'll be eating super fresh yummy food!

Hope everyone's workouts are going well! Have a healthy Monday!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Return of Yoga X

I just finished up the flow portion of Yoga X. It felt so good! I've been meaning to do this all week! I had plans to do the workout on Thursday, but I was up late doing work on Wednesday night and I was exhausted in the morning. Then I was surprised by some Eric Clapton concert tickets, so I went to that on Thursday night. It was great! He sounds AMAZING!!! So yesterday I was studying all day because I have a final exam today, and I never got in yoga then either. FINALLY, this morning I decided I had to do it, and I decided to do half since I really don't have time for the full 90 minutes. It's definitely a busy week/weekend! I'm happy I did 50 minutes though... I feel nice and stretched out now. On Sunday I'll get in my long (14 mile run)!

Hope everyone's workouts are going well! Keep pushing play or bring it to whatever you're doing!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2 Down, 1 To Go

I made it through 2 of 3 running workouts this week unscathed! Yesterday, I did the slow 2 miler and I threw in some free weights afterwards. I had more energy than a quick 20 minute workout. I did bicep curls, tricep extensions, chest press with a crunch, bent over row, and shoulder fly. I also did some extra abs at the end and some random leg stuff like kicks, etc. All in all, it was a fun workout! Today I did my interval run which include 3 x 1 mile segments at less than 9 min mile pace. It is a bit icy in the burgh today, so I had to improvise slightly. I did 9 fast minutes followed by 6 slow and repeated a total of 3 times. Felt great, although I could have gone a little further! It burned 918 calories though, so I can't complain!

Veg is still going well! For lunch yesterday I made myself a black bean burrito. Yum! It was a whole wheat tortilla, 1/2 cup black beans, 2 T sour cream, 0.75 ounce slice of cheddar, and 2 T salsa. I think that ended up being between 300 and 350 calories. I have a ton of beans and canned tomatoes right now, so I think my meals will consist of those for a little while. Here's a recipe I plan to try though:

After I try it, I'll let you know how it tastes! I'm excited there's turmeric in it. I bought some because I read about it being so anti-inflammatory and I haven't figured out how to use it yet. Of course, I haven't really tried either!

Have a healthy day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Plan for the Week

It's finals week, and life is busy! We have quarters at my school, so this is my last week of class and I'll have two finals plus various assignments due in the next 10 days. I had been thinking today would be a mess, but I got mostly done with an assignment already (by getting up early and starting to work immediately). That means I get in a bonus yoga workout before class! Mixed in with my walk to and from school, and I should have a nice low key workout day. That is much needed after a run yesterday!

Last week was a slow down week on my marathon training, but this week I am back up to full force. My first run is a slow 2 miler, and I plan to do that tomorrow morning before class. I might throw in some abs and other strength exercises too since that's such a short workout. On Wednesday, I have a tempo run that includes 3 x 1600m at 8:51 per mile with 800m jogs in the middle. It'll also include a warm up and cool down, which for me is the walk over to the track and back. My final run of the week is 14 miles. Woot! Should be fun! In the midst of all that, I'll have to throw in some strength and yoga to keep me balanced.

As for food, veg continues to go well. I now have a ton of beans, canned tomatoes, fresh produce, herbs, couscous, etc. Let's see where that all takes me! Today I'm thinking I'll eat something like this:

Breakfast = English muffin with 1 T peanut butter and 1 T jam, coffee with cream
Lunch = eggplant rollatini's from Wegman's with tomato sauce
Dinner = greens and beans leftovers, plus some couscous

I'm going to have to fill in the blanks with some snack... most likely carrots and hummus or some yogurt and fruit.

Have an excellent Monday!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The snow is melting!

Yes, that's right, the snow is melting! And people are actually clearing their sidewalks! I went for a run and managed to get in 4.5 miles without any major issues. It felt awesome! I'm definitely getting stronger, even with the snow derailment. Actually, the snow has been a killer workout. The week of the big storm I wore my HRM everywhere (almost) that I went, and I burned 6226 calories that week. Now that is INSANE. This week has been a dial back week for my running, so I've only have to run 5 miles a day for a few days. My final run will be this weekend, and it'll be a slow 5 miler. Today I did a choose your own adventure workout... that means I did whatever I felt like in front of my TV! I did a warm up similar to what Shaun T does in INSANITY, then I rotated weight exercises for 35-ish minutes. I finished with a stretch and managed to burn 523 calories. Excellent!

Veg is going well too! I switched my normal turkey sandwich for lunch to a hummus sandwich. For dinner, I had pasta and veggies one night (Barilla Plus pasta, so higher protein than normal). Last night I had a bread salad and spinach and white beans. Here are the recipes in case you're curious. I had some leftover Italian bread from Valentine's Day, so that's why I made the bread salad. I generally don't eat white flour, but I also don't like to waste food. Next time I make, I'll use a whole grain bread instead. Overall, the meal was awesome!

Calorie count is in check, and I'm even losing weight. At this rate, I'll be back to my "fighting weight" in no time! :)

Have a healthy weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Going veg!

Okay so that might sound a bit nutty given that I'm training for a marathon. I have in fact decided to go veg for Lent! I am Catholic although I don't really go to church very often, but this year I decided I was going to actually do something for Lent. I gave up meat a few times before for Lent, so I'm going for it again. I haven't decided exactly what that will mean to me yet, but I have a couple things that are going to be important for me to feel like this was a success.
  1. I will not eat pasta and tomato sauce everyday. Boring!
  2. I will not survive on peanut butter alone.
  3. I will not eat veggie burgers and soy patties on a regular basis.
  4. I will not eat beans and rice everyday either. Variety is key!
I bought a cookbook last night (it's already shipped... yay Amazon!), and I'm going to try recipes from there. It's called "The Conscious Cook" and it's by Tal Ronnen. It had great reviews and a friend actually recommended it. The recipes are vegan, and I'm not going straight vegan but this will help me with variety and creativity.

A couple disclaimers to go along with this adventure:
  1. I am not going vegan. I will eat dairy products. I'm still not sure about eggs.
  2. I may eat fish. Again, still not sure... I am going to focus as much as I can on not eating fish even when I'm at home, but there may be time when it happens (restaurants, etc.).
  3. I am not doing this permanently, unless I love it.
  4. I am not doing this because I think meat is bad for you, etc. This is a challenge I'm giving myself for Lent.
So, I do want to also mention that when I do eat meat, I do my best to eat meat that is raised humanely and sustainably. After reading about the health problems associated with eating animals force fed corn to make them fat, I started that transition. Then, Food Inc. was really all I needed to push myself over the edge. On a student budget, it is challenging, but it's worth it!

On the running front, it is still SNOWING! I am supposed to run a slow 5 miles today, so I'll be fitting that in after class. I also have to hit the grocery store to get some food. I've got plenty of produce, but I need some more grains and legumes. Let the veg begin!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Heart Rate Monitor

So I got a couple questions about how I track my calories, so I figured I'd write a bit about my heart rate monitor. I've actually had it for years, and I love it! I will admit though that I'm kind of craving a Body Bugg so I don't know if I'll always use the one I have. In any case, it's a Polar F11. It looks like they've upgraded their models, so I can't find it on their website, but I imagine this is a comparable model.

Here are the features I love:

  • Tests your fitness level, sort of like a VO2 max although nothing is ever going to be 100% accurate when it comes to that
  • Use fitness level, age, sex, weight to determine calorie burn
  • Stores data for you on workout time, average heart rate, max heart rate, and calories burned
It does way more than that, but that's all I use it for. I bought it because I read reviews and people seemed to think this was the most accurate calorie counter on the market. Of course, this was pre-Body Bugg. I wonder though if there are still Polar diehards out there! If you're looking for a fairly simple to use HRM, I highly recommend the Polar F series HRM's. From what I hear, the lowest level is fine if you're just looking for calorie counts and heart rate.

Another perk is that Polar has great customer service. My watch broke a year after I bought it and they sent me a brand new. Easy peasy! So if you find service to be important, that's another reason to go with Polar!

New Shoes!

All this running has caused my shoes to wear out quite quickly, so I bought myself some new ones online. I'm a devoted Asics shopper, and for the last few years I've been using the Gel Landreth. I don't think they're too popular unfortunately, so they're a bit hard to find. They only sell in specialty running stores, which is great because I like to support local running shops. This time around I bought from an online store I haven't used in ages, but I'm so happy I went back! The website is and they have awesome prices and deals! In fact I joined their VIP club for just $1.99 and I get free shipping and discounts. They also sell bars, gels, apparel, etc. I'm so happy I rejoined the world of roadrunnersports! I'm going to start buying all my protein bars and gels, etc. from there. Excellent!

I also treated myself to a 1 hour massage today. It's part of my plan to not get injured during my training. Man, that was awesome! You don't realize how tight your muscles are until someone starts working on them for you. I can't wait for my next one!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Best Revenge (on snow)

I made my way out into the beautiful (READ: FRIGID) Pittsburgh weather this morning for my long run. As I mentioned earlier in the week, I have had to improvise on the running because the snow was crazy last week and it took forever for the city to clear it. Obviously they don't have enough public works people because they overworked the ones they do have and it still took days upon days. I digress... really I should just stop complaining about the snow! In any case, my workouts for the week included:
  • Hiking to and from school in soft, deep snow... this is a workout, let me tell you! It takes all you have in your abs and back to keep yourself upright! What usually would be ~100 calories burned was closer to 200 calories because of all the extra core work I was doing. SCORE!
  • INSANITY!!! I did two different INSANITY workouts, one of them being Max Interval Circuit. That workout is a BEAST! I had to pause it close to the end to catch my breath. No need to puke! I burned 976 calories on that!
  • My long run (today)!
So the long run went fairly well. It was supposed to be 12 miles, but I didn't quite make it that far. I'd say 30% of the people in my neck of the woods cleared their sidewalks of the 2-3 feet of snow, so I had to slow down and in a lot of cases walk. In the 2 hours and 10 minutes it should've taken me to do 12 miles, I finished 10.4 miles. I'll take it! Oh, and it was 2369 calories burned. OMG!

So this is what I called "The Best Revenge!" I spent almost a whole week not being able to run because of the weather, and I spent a lot more time sitting around and eating/drinking than I should have. Now, I know I am the one who is fully responsible for myself and my actions, so I can't really use the snow as an excuse for having wine every night or sitting and watching TV for hours on end. What's done is done, and my long run today is now representing my revenge. Revenge on snow, on laziness, on drinking every night, on not getting in my runs! I thought of this from one of my favorite running songs called "The Best Revenge" by Fischerspooner. It's kind of a crazy techno song, but it's very motivating. Love it! I listened to it several times while I was careening through the snow and kept thinking to myself that my run was the best revenge I could have on my week of being crippled by snow. It will not happen again!

In case you want to listen to the song, here it is!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Continuing saga of snow

In the continuing saga of sadly defunct public works in my city, I am home yet again from last Friday's snow storm. We've gotten another 6-ish inches today, and they're still miraculously not clearing it. I live on a major road in the city too, so if my streets aren't clear, I can only imagine the side streets. And to make things better, our illustrious mayor decided it was not illegal to leave your sidewalks covered in snow for this storm in particular, so apartment owners, etc. have decided not to shovel. It's been almost 6 days and some places have left over 2 feet of snow on their sidewalks. That means it is dirty, slippery, deep, slushy, and has ice underneath. NICE. Makes for fabulous running weather!

And soooooooo the improvisation continues. As I mentioned earlier this week, I did 1 hour and 40 minutes of plyo to mimic my 10 mile run. My lower body is SORE! Can't complain about that though cause I know that means I worked hard! Yesterday I walked over to school to pick something up, and it took me close to 40 minutes. It usually takes 25. That burned over 300 calories! Today I decided that I was going to substitute my easy 2 mile run for the week with a walk to the pet store to get cat food. I only went a total of 1.5 miles, and I actually did a walk jog combination when I could find steady ground. That total distance took me 35 MINUTES!!! The best part is that it was 409 calories! A slow 2 mile jog on normal terrain would've been maybe 250 calories. I'll take it!

Let's just hope they can clear this stuff up in the coming days. I've watched a powerful amount of TV, done some workouts, studying, and job applications. I could use some normal life though! My next run for the week is a tempo run that will most likely be done on the treadmill. That is if the gym is open at school... we shall see!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Sadly, the snow is still a mess! The entire city was shut down for the day and the snow came on Friday. Not only that, but we're expecting 6-12 inches again tomorrow. Hmm... if they can't clear the first storm what's going to happen with this one? Oh what an awful mayor we have! The good news is that the National Guard is here to help those who are stranded without power, water, etc. It's sad that something so routine in other places totally cripples our city!

This weather has gotten in the way of my marathon training so I had to improvise. I was busy shoveling and walking everywhere I went this weekend so I burned a lot of calories. Actually, it was a total of 2900 for the week! I did not get in my 10 mile run though, and I did not think I'd make it today either. Instead, I decided to do cardio for an hour and 40 minutes because that's how long it would take me to run that distance anyway! Soooo, I did Plyo X followed by Insanity Cardio Power and Resistance. It felt AWESOME! I did better than before one both of the workouts even though I did them back to back! That was a total of 1435 calories! LOVE IT!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Wow. We got a lot of snow!!! Like 2 feet of snow... let's just say I am stuck and will be for a couple days! Thank God I still have heat and electricity! I was supposed to run 10 miles today, but I'm postponing that till Monday. Instead I shoveled snow! I didn't get very far, but I burned a lot of calories... over 700! This is the most snow I've seen in PA in a long time!!! It's crazy! Check these crazy photos out! That's my buried car in one of them!