Getting rid of my potty mouth

If you’re thinking that I don’t have the best language sometimes, well, you’re probably right. I think I let a few words slide out of my mouth last night coming home on I-10. Seriously. I almost had at least three panic attacks.

Anyway, what I want to get rid of even more than my dirty language, is my dirty eating. I had a revelation at the gym yesterday when I was kicking the crap out of the treadmill. (4-mile AWESOME progression run!) Last week, I ate very “clean”, meaning cutting out processed foods, refined carbs (white flour, boxed cereal, etc) and refined sugars (popsicles, soda, etc). I ate like this about 80% of the time.

I worked out 4 days this week…

Monday: 2 mile walk in the canyon in the AM, 2 mile run around the neighborhood in the PM

Tuesday: 4 mile interval run at the gym… 400’s and 800’s, 2.6 mile walk to and from Jess’s house

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 30 min elliptical workout, 30 minute supine (seated) bike workout

Friday: 4 mile progression run in 41:20, starting at a walk and speeding up to 8:00 pace at the very end. FOR SURE I felt the running high! LOVE IT.

TOTAL MILES (running/walking): 15!!!

…and I felt GREAT!

And I realized, beyond just having a good attitude towards running and working out, I’ve been conscious of what I’ve been eating. I love fruits and veggies, so it’s easy for me to include them in my diet. I’ve also been drinking more water. So many times I just forget about it, which means I will feel lousy by the end of the day. It’s dry here, like 7-10% relative humidity on a regular basis. I could drink water literally all day long and probably not get enough.

Like I said, I tried to eat clean 80% of the time. The other 20%? Well, on my list I had some pineapple/coconut popsicles, white chocolate mocha creamer (flavored creamer is a non-negotiable…), a blended strawberry lemonade at Starbucks (BUT it’s a better choice than a latte/frappuccino with all the fat/calories!), Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce (duh!), and pizza last night at the bowling alley.

Ugghhh. Pizza. It did NOT agree with me. I should have eaten dinner before I went, but I met Jess for some gym and Starbucks time (there’s a Starbucks across the street from the gym on post) and didn’t have time to eat. I did eat a pear on my way. I realized I need to have more mobile healthy options like fruits, carrot and celery sticks, and healthy trail mix.

Really, the clean eating is not a foreign concept to me. It’s basically how I lost the first 35 lbs a couple years ago. However, I want to slim down and tone up, and I think even with running and doing POP Pilates I need to change my diet.

I hate saying I’m going on a “diet”. I like to call it an “eating plan”, and I love that there’s still 10-20% of time when I can eat not clean. That’s for the nights when I just don’t feel like cooking, so I eat the can of Spaghettio’s that’s been hanging out in my cabinet, or for when I’m craving Dairy Queen.

I’ve been doing some reading on different blogs and websites, and I’ve consistently found that our physiques are determined 80% by our diet, 10% by genetics, and 10% by exercise. So, the excuse that “some women in my family are just curvy, so I’ll always be comfortable in a double-digit size” is completely invalid. Who says I can’t still be curvy even if I’m 10-15 lbs lighter?

I mean, what woman doesn’t want to look smokin’ hot in a bikini?? I like the confidence that comes with being able to wear whatever I like and not feeling self-conscious, or going to a get-together and feeling like I actually have control over my eating rather than feeling guilted into eating whatever is there.

I’m thinking cleaning up my mouth (language and food) is a win/win.

Almost a year: a smattering of thoughts

April 30 will mark a year since Gabi and I ran the Illinois Marathon! To this day I still can’t believe we did it!

I believe a year ago, I was in the best shape of my life! I had tons of energy, was running anywhere from 15-30 miles a week and I had it goin’ on. Really. I mean, I ran a 46:18 8K in Chicago! For me, that’s flippin’ awesome.

July 8 will mark a year since we’ve been in El Paso. There are so many things I can complain about when it comes to running in the desert, or working out here in general, especially since by next week we’ll have temps in the 90’s. Yes. 90’s in April. Oh my. So, here goes. I’m just gonna get it out of my system, ok?

  • It’s hot
  • It’s dry
  • I have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to get a run in before temps soar,
  • The gym (you know, the free one on post) is a 10-15 min drive away

When I was working full-time (and going crazy…) I would have given anything to have time to work out more and just have the energy to do it. Now that I’m working part-time, I should be all gung-ho about working out, right?

Heh. Not so much.

Running and I have not been getting along. Once I’m actually running and can see and feel my progress, I’m good. But lacing up my shoes to run outside in our less than scenic side of town? Ugh. I miss the river, and parks, and trails, and GREEN. (Please, cry me a river because the Rio Grande here is nothing more than an oxymoron.)

I’m not really sure where running and I will go. Currently I’m not signed up for any races. I’m not sure that’s the key to getting motivated, either.

I’ve been attending spin and kettlebell classes once a week for a couple weeks now. I love group fitness because it gives me accountability. As in, I get there before class starts, and I stay until the end. Sometimes peer pressure is good! No one wants to be that person who chickens out and leaves before the class is over.

I think something that will help my cause is to work out more at home. I have a yoga mat and I actually did use it this morning! I found this workout on Pinterest, and man, it kicked my butt!

I also did this workout to the best of my ability:

And of course, this is always some motivation….

Work Out Wednesday and Adjusting Goals

I had a great workout today. My body was thanking me as my fat cells were crying for dear life. We’re down to one car right now (maybe even semi-permanently) but it’s not all bad. I reluctantly had the day off today, but Aaron worked a half day. So, I took him to work and then headed over to the gym for a 1:30 workout. I haven’t had one that long since I did my 8.6-mile run a couple weeks ago. At least, I think it was a couple weeks…

I started by running/walking on the treadmill. I go to the cardiologist on Friday. My internist said no runs over 2 miles… heh. Whoops. I say, Screw that! I probably should heed his advice. BUT. But. I have a half marathon that’s paid for coming up in two weeks. Even if I don’t race it, at the very least I can run it… ANYWAY. I got this little idea in my head that I’d run 6 miles on the treadmill. I got 2.5 miles in and saw that there was a spin class about to go down. So I hopped off that thing and into the spin room.

With Computer Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle Stationary Indoor Trainer Exercise Bike
We get to ride on these.

It was an amazing workout. I sweat like I pig but I didn’t care. It was worth it. If the display is in miles, I “rode” 17-18. WOW. About five people left during the class and you can tell the instructor looked amused and confused. But I stayed the course and rode my little heart out.

I’ve been pondering taking a break from really long distances (14+ miles). I guess my heart thing kind of made me start thinking about it. I weighed myself at the gym, which is usually a more accurate scale, and it said 165. That’s definitely at the TOP of my personal “acceptable” range. I weighed in on the same kind of scale at 152 back in January. That means a weight gain of 13 pounds. Now, it’s no where near what I used to weigh, but it’s still an increase and I can tell some of my clothes, specifically pants, fit tighter.

I think one of the culprits is the mental part of long distance running. I have a hard time balancing my nutrition when running 14, 18, 20 miles. I think, Oh, I just burned 2500 calories on a run so now I can eat whatever I want. Ehhh. Not so much.

After the half in January, I want to focus on more short-distance races, like an 8K (4.97 mi) or 15K (9.3 mi). I love those distances; just enough to challenge me but also training for them doesn’t take soooo many long runs. I also want to have time to focus more on weight  lifting. Yes, real weights, not the machines. I just have to take the plunge into the male-macho-dominated weight room.

Since I’ll be taking Aaron to work, on Tuesday and Thursday when I work in the afternoons I can go to the gym straight away after dropping him off. I’ll be able to get a good workout in, and maybe even do a group fitness class if the schedules coincide.

So…. barring what the doc says on Friday, Aaron and I are planning an 11-miler for the weekend. Uphill. Both ways. In a blizzard. Haha, kidding about the last two parts, but maybe uphill. Snow? Heck no. It’s gonna be in the 60’s!

McKelligon Canyon, I will again make you bow to me.

Focus on fitness: back to the basics.

I’ve decided that Christmas is evil. All the chocolate, sugar, saturated fat, empty calories in drinks like hot chocolate and wassail (if you don’t know what this is, you should!). Despite indulging a little bit, I want to try to focus on fitness.

Because of my nervousness about my heart, I am not going to run farther than 4 or 5 miles at a time until I see the cardiologist. I figure, instead of throwing a pity party about not going on 11+ mile canyon runs with Aaron, I’m going to do cross-training, and do it right.

Today I ran 2 miles on the treadmill, mainly doing intervals and not running slower than a 10:00/mile. My fastest pace was 7:30. I was sweating! And with the lack of decent fans at the gym my face was probably beat red. Then I got on the bike for 15 minutes and rode about 3.5 miles, including some “hills”. That felt great, although my backside was sore from riding yesterday. I tried the rower today, a new machine in my repertoire. It’s a full-body workout! I did that for 10 minutes for a total workout time of 45 minutes.

My goal for my gym sessions is to sweat, get my heart rate up (definitely pushed my max today!), and feel the burn. My goal is not necessarily to lose weight. I need to get that pesky number out of my head (and it’s not even a bad number!). I should focus on what my body can do and the ways I can encourage myself to get stronger.

I want to start lifting free weights… but here’s the thing. The weight room scares me. It’s visible just as you walk into the gym on post and it’s all these buff, or not-so-buff, soldiers looking all mean and strong and stuff. I guess I’m worried I’ll have bad form or not know what I’m doing. I really hate taking advice from people I don’t know. Any advice from my trustworthy readers would be great! 🙂

So, total this week so far I’ve done 16 miles. I figure if I am “allowed” to run after I see the doctor, then keeping up my cardio will help me get back into it without too much trouble!

What are you doing to stay healthy and fit this Christmas?

Bataan Training: Week 5 :: Sighhh, and other stories.

This week definitely wasn’t glamorous, running or otherwise. Thankful I got in my three runs [3 mile recovery, 5 mile pace @ 11:00, 2 mile interval training]. We opted to do our long run tomorrow morning. Yes, that’s nine miles before the sun even comes up.

It’s been an emotionally stressful week.  Work has been no less than stressful. People, I have tried as I might to have a positive attitude. I’ve dove into Bible verses and listened to worship music… needless to say, my discontent has lit a fire under my little runner’s rear and I plan on doing something about it soon. (Graduate school?? Maybe??)

Since going to the doctor and getting some medication for my migraines, I have found relief. Yesterday at work I felt it coming on so I took a pill and did not have a headache for the rest of the day. We ended up checking out Costco, except not really checking it out because we don’t have a membership. So we walked around one of the four huge malls here and got cheap meals at IHOP for dinner.

I felt so distracted at dinner… I feel distracted in general. I have a really hard time just sitting and relaxing. The Husband can sit and watch episode after episode of Smallville (our fave show) with no problem. I’m either Facebooking, or knitting, or Skyping. I get home later than he does Monday through Thursday, so we usually eat dinner, or even just an egg sandwich, and end up doing our own thing. That means we’re both on our computers… last night, it was for hours.

I found Little Women on TV and was wrapping gifts. After that was done, we were both sitting on our laptops, do absolutely *nothing* until 11:00 pm. Silly, just silly. With the stress of work, the stress of not having quality time together just about did me in. Welcome to life, Elizabeth.

This morning we had every intention of going to church. However, I think we were emotionally spent and I hadn’t felt very well. I haven’t had any palpitations, but I’ve felt some pressure in my chest. Don’t know if it’s heartburn, a figment of my imagination, or something new my heart is doing. Who knows. It’s not accompanied by any other symptoms so I’m not concerned at this point. Believe me, I could work myself into a panic attack.

My dear runner-Army-wife friend Natalie posted this on her blog.. it’s the Running Resolutions from the latest issue of Runner’s World.

1) Race Farther. Considering I ran a marathon last year, I think my goal will be to exceed the number of total miles in 2012. To date, I’ve run 617.42 miles in 2011. I had a tentative goal to run 700-900 miles this year. 2012? Hmmm… h0w about 1000?

2) Try Yoga. I love yoga. There are so many videos on iTunes and YouTube I can still try. If my schedule allows, I’d like to attend more classes at Soto on post.

3) Lose 10 Pounds For Good. Hmm. Well, I’m at 158-160 right now. For my height (5’10”), that’s a healthy weight. I’ve maintained this weight for two years now after my weight loss journey in 2009. The highest I’ve been since November of 2009 is 165. The lowest, 152. I would like to tone up more and build more muscle. As long as I can fit into my dress pants and skinny jeans, I’m good. At 152-155 I was able to fit in more size 8’s that I have, but I almost felt too skinny.

4) Be More Consistent.  Getting up early with The Husband has helped… a TON. I plan on having a pretty consistent race schedule this year, especially since races on post are pretty cheap.

5) Try A Triathlon. Uhhhh. I dunno about this one. There’s a sprint tri on post later in 2012. I need to learn how to swim correctly first.

6) Win A Medal. This would be pretty sweet, but unless the age group is 25-29 instead of 20-29 and I’m having a super-fast day with not many competitors, I don’t know if this will happen. I’m not a fast or slow runner. It’s always a good goal, though.

7) Try Real Trail Running. Ahhhh. I am so doing this when we go home to Illinois for a visit. Forest Park Nature Center has been calling my name and pining for me in the midst of my absence. We need to find some trails around here that we can actually run on. One of our goals is to hike to the top of North Franklin Mountain. That, we can’t run. It’s too rocky.

8) Stop Giving Up. I have gotten over The Great Running Slump of 2011, thank the Lord. If I can run in the desert at 4,000 ft, I can run anywhere! I don’t want to give up on training, on races, on healthy living.

9) Figure Out My Watch. I have the Garmin Forerunner 405 with GPS. I’ve figured out the virtual training partner, but I know there are so many more capabilities. I use the GPS on a regular basis.

10) Give Back to the Sport. I should volunteer. I am always so grateful for the amazing people that take time out of their schedules to hand out water (and probably get splashed!), work the gear check, whatever..

11) Find More Partners. I want to find some running buddies. It’s hard with my schedule. There’s a running group but they have no runs in the Northeast, the part of town where we live. I have my husband, who is a good running partner, and honestly I LOVE running alone. It’s how I got my start.

12) Beat My PR. I totally plan on beating my PR’s. My 5K time is what I like to see go down every time I race… currently my PR is 27:56. I know with some training I can do better than that. My mile time is 8:15, I think. Not quite sure. I run my first half in January so that will be a brand new PR. I won’t beat my marathon PR at Bataan because it’s simply too different of a course. My goal is 5:30-6:00, but that’s the “optimistic” goal. I really just want to finish.

Gettin’ busy in the kitchen

I am in love with the prices at the commissary! When we first got here, I was really skeptical about whether the prices and service would be better. We try to plan to go every other week, on the non payday weekends since it’s less busy. It was pretty busy today, but there’s a four-day weekend for a lot of soldiers.

We got all of our food and household items (including toilet paper, paper towel, etc) for $125. That’s not bad considering we got a ton of produce and a few packages of meat. We get the 18-roll toilet paper and it lasts us like six weeks or something crazy.

So, we went to the store and then went and saw “Dream House”. It was pretty good! We bought the 2011 bucket of popcorn last time, which was like $15, but you get refills each time you go back to the movies for only $2.50. We got a large drink to share, so all in all, concessions were $8. Movie tickets are $5/person for military, so we spent $18 at the movie theater. We had been planning to go to the “Bodies Human” exhibit, but tickets were $15/person AND honestly, the preserved bodies creep me out. I know I’m a grown woman, but still.

After we got home from the movie, we found that someone had stolen our pumpkins from in front of our house! We picked them last weekend at the corn maze and were going to paint or carve them. 😦 That made me sad and upset. Who the frig steals pumpkins?!

I let out my frustrations in the kitchen.. I got a LOT of food prep done for the week, and even tried my hand at crockpot freezer meals. Well, one.

Pinterest has been my go-to place for recipes and ideas…

cantaloupe, strawberry & kiwi salad
ready-to-eat veggies for lunches or snacks
freezer to crockpot

I got the freezer-to-crockpot idea here. On the left are veggies, spices and bouillon prepared to go in the crockpot with a roast. On the right are some of the leftovers of veggies and bouillon to start a homemade veggie broth. I can use it for vegetable beef barley soup or chicken noodle soup. Really, the possibilities are endless. And it’s a great way to use up that celery that’s kind of too flexible. I also hate throwing out the celery leaves.. great for flavor!

I also cut up potatoes, onion and garlic and they’re ready for cooking and mashing.

cheese, egg & bacon "muffins"

I got this idea for an easy breakfast here. I mixed up 12 eggs, cooked and crumbled bacon, cheese, milk, salt and pepper and cooked in muffin cups for 25-ish minutes at 350. Ready to freeze and heat up one-by-one, or two-by-two.

I got this idea for homemade chai from this site. I guessed on measurements, and tried it without the cardamom. It was pretty expensive, so I went without. It still turned out great! I would love to can this stuff and give as gifts. I’ve also found a dry instant mix version that I want to try sometimes. Mix the liquid concentrate with milk and/or half&half and done! I think next time I’ll try using less water so it’ll be stronger. I also need a very fine strainer. I rednecked it this time and used my flour sifter.

homemade chai tea concentrate

 

I guess I should also add to this post that I’ve accepted a full-time position at the tutoring place I’m at now. I interviewed last week for a teaching job at a charter school, but I doubt I got the job as they haven’t called me but said I’d know in the next couple days. It’s okay. We’ve been praying for a full-time job for me since the extra money is nice for saving and paying off debt. My prayers were answered, just not the exact way I wanted it. Oh well, as my dad would say, You can’t have everything!

In conclusion, I’m looking forward to two more days off with Aaron, and enjoying our time relaxing in this beautiful “autumn” weather… 75-ish for the high, 55-ish for the low. Perfect!

>Week in review; revisiting the diet plan

>Hello friends. Sorry about the uncreative title.. it’s been one of those weeks. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

I feel so bloated and just… flabby. I know that’s ridiculous, considering I’m only up 2.7 pounds from my ideal, and I’m still trying to learn how to not to eat like a glutton after months of marathon training. Ha! I’ve been especially bad with the sweets since Easter. I’m the girl who can’t just eat two or three Oreos… or four or five. Yeaaahhh. That’s why I don’t keep those in the house. I think it’s back to 40-calorie sugar-free fudge pops for this chick. (And hubby is coming home soon so I have a goal!)

I’m going to be more diligent about strength training… girly pushups, crunches, Pilates, and yoga, along with the weight machines at the gym. I want to run about twice a week, and cross-train the rest of the time. I don’t have to technically begin training for the December half marathon until about September. That will be perfect; we should be all settled in Texas by then.

As for my eating, well, I really hate to start tracking again. I did it for so long with success that I can probably guess how many calories I eat every day just based on how I feel. I’m going to cut out the lemonade or root beer (you know, the only viable options at fast food which I shouldn’t be eating anyway…) and instead drink water. I have been loving instant decaf Nestea. The aftertaste reminds me of summer days at my grandparents’ farm.

I am done with work in just a few days and then I will be able to focus on getting the apartment ready. The town my bestie lives in is having a town-wide garage sale this weekend, so I am trying to sell all the extra stuff we don’t need.

Sighhh. I’m thankful for yet another week down, and this was an especially busy one. Bring on the summer!