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Monday, January 21, 2013

Running the Country from Home

I don't know how many are familiar with ifit, but it is an interactive program you can purchase for your treadmill. If you do a lot of treadmill work and want to alleviate some of the boredom of training indoors, ifit is one way to do it. When we purchased our new treadmill this fall, we purchased one that has a built in touchscreen. With the touchscreen and apps, I have been able to run virtually around the world. I have run across the Golden Gate Bridge, Heartbreak Hill in Boston, the road to Hanna in Hawaii, around the Colosseum in Rome, and many other fun destinations. It also offers a feature where you can create your own google map and run any course you create. I started to experiment with it this weekend by creating a few familiar runs I have already done. I think this will come in handy as I get closer to races because I can run the race course.

Sunday I did my "long" run. It was 6.02 miles, 107 elevation, 8:57 pace, 53:51 time, and 733 calories (not sure how accurate this one is). I felt fairly good except for the chaffing...didn't think that was possible in the winter time. I incorporated several inclines and hills into my treadmill runs to make it more like running outdoors. I have noticed that it has really increased my leg strength. Now, I need to get back to cross and strength training. I have also been working on finishing with a kick and was able to do that successfully yesterday. I spend a lot of time talking to myself and visualizing that I can see the finish line or that I am minutes away from hitting my PR. This helps me push a little harder at the end of runs.

Still working on the eating habits. Yesterday I made a delicious quinoa, mushroom, carrot soup and another omelet. I also had a  bowl of raspberries, kiwi, blueberries, and blackberries. I am getting better at avoiding wheat but with a few outings this weekend it made it a little more difficult. I need to purchase some more tea as I have fallen back into the coffee trap. I will be traveling for work this week so it will be a good test of discipline for getting in work outs and eating healthy.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Still Moving Forward

I think I have solidified a few races for this year. I will be running the Run the Lakes half in Nisswa at the end of April, and the Chicago marathon in October. Today I finished the Power of Habits. I plan on working on identifying some habits that need to be changed and using the cue, action, reward method to change them. The book had a lot of good information. I recommend it for anyone who is looking for some scientific research about habits including personal and societal.

I did a tempo run today with a warm up and cool down mile at 9:30-10:00 pace. The tempo portion was at a 8:00-8:20 pace. My goal is to get comfortable with the 8:00 minute pace as I figure I will need to average 8:23 per mile to qualify for Boston.

My eating was a little better today. For breakfast I had a three egg broccoli, spinach, and mushroom omelet with a cup of earl tea. Lunch was Greek yogurt with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries and almonds. Dinner was walking tacos. I also had a few Dove dark chocolates. Still need to up the water consumption.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Control the Controlables

 Many years ago during my first year of coaching volleyball, I gave a speech at the homecoming pepfest about controlling the controlables. The point was that during the game of volleyball a player cannot control the other team, her teammates, the refs, the fans, etc. However, she can control how much she is going to give, how hard she is going to play, her attitude, and her encouragement of her teammates. That same principle could be applied to life in genearl: control what you can in life and let the rest roll off your  back. I need to start following the advice I gave to my players 15 years ago. I spend way too much time rudimenting over things that I have no control over. Instead, I need to realize that if I control the things I can and let the rest roll off my back, I will be much happier and accomplish a lot more. So what exactly can I control? I can control how much I exercise, how often I exercise, how hard I push myself, the way I talk to myself, my attitude toward things that don't go my way, what I eat, the groceries I buy, how I spend my free time, what my work area looks like, how I treat my family and friends, the tone of my voice, the quality of my work, and what I say. What can't I control - what others think of me, how quickly the weight comes off, how fast other people run, other people's reactions to my accomplishments or ideas, how my children perform in school, and how many interruptions are going to occur during my day. When looking at my lists, it appears as if I can control a lot more than I think. I control all of the things that are going to lead me to a happier and healthier lifestyle so what am I waiting for???

Today I did speedwork. Admittedly, I am still a little sore from my run on Sunday. I should have foam rolled and did not (on my list of things to improve). I waited too long again today (7:00 p.m.) and was tired when it was time to go run. I got dressed and started anyway. I often find that if I put in at least 10 minutes I will start to feel better. I ended up doing a 15 minute warm up before I switched to speed work. My speed work consisted of 400 intervals. I started at 8.5 and then increased .1 each lap until I was at 9.0. After the intervals, I did a mile cool down.

There isn't much in the house for food so my meal plans are pretty weak and pieced together. For breakfast I had three scrambled eggs with a little bit of swiss cheese. I only ate about half. I had a Dove dark chocolate with almonds for a snack. For lunch I had a kiwi, cheese and crackers (not my best showing), and snap peas. Dinner consisted of a few fried green beans (broken rule #2), some tortillia chips with spinach dip, a half of a steak, one grilled shrimp, and steamed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and a few potatoes). I also snacked on another Dove dark chocolate.

Tomorrow is grocery shopping day! I am looking for some new, wheat free recipes besides soup and chili. My focus is to avoid wheat, fried foods, and junk food. If it comes in a package, it shouldn't be eaten. One step at a time...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Find Your Why

Several years ago I had the opportunity to attend a speaking engagement where Danny Cahill was the keynote speaker. For those of you not familiar with Danny Cahill he was the Season 8 Biggest Loser winner and set the record for the most weight lost in a season. Although I don't remember everything from his talk, I do remember his four main points and have them posted in my workout room: 1. Lose the Quit, 2. Lose the Lies, 3. Lose the Regrets, and 4. Find Your Why. The past couple weeks I have struggled with finding my why. I know I want to lose weight. I know I want to run another marathon. I know I want to qualify for Boston, but I often times wonder why. I find my mind wandering to how great it would look to others, and that is when I realize that pleasing or impressing others is not a strong enough or motivating enough "why". If I am ultimately not doing it for me, the habits won't last. A great example of this is a biggest loser challenge we participated in with friends three years ago. That is the most weight I have lost in years. I worked out every day, sometimes twice a day. I ran, did Jillian workouts, and logged EVERYTHING I ate. In a matter of less than three months, I was down 12 lbs and loving how I looked and felt. This lasted for months and before I knew it, I had put all the weight back on. What was my biggest motivator - competition. Once the competition and chance of winning disipated, so did my motivation. This just goes to show that the "why" needs to be personal, not for others, but for me. I have lots of reasons why I should do these things, but for now, I am not sure if any of them qualify as my "why".

I did accomplish my first long run in weeks today. I ran 5.86 miles. The last three were at a 8.01 pace. It felt good. The biggest issue was the chaffing. Yes, it apparently can even happen running indoors. If I want to run Fargo, I need to start training tomorrow. Lots of decisions need to be made tonight.

On another note, I ate pizza for the first time in weeks (so much for my no wheat rule). I physically felt terrible after I ate it so I think there is definitely something to this no wheat diet. Still working on better eating. Family movie night last night was a whirlwind of popcorn, chips, and sixlets...great training food. I just need to keep telling myself : energy in, energy out!

Friday, January 11, 2013


Wow! Today was a tough workout. I skipped  yesterday as I have been overly tired lately and can't seem to get enough sleep. Today I decided to try working out earlier in the day to see if that alleviated some of the problem. I began my workout at 11:00. The plan was to do an intensity run with hills and speed intervals along with planks and sit ups every 10 minutes. Incline stared at 12 and as the speed increased, the incline slowly decreseased and then varied between 2-4 once the speeds were in the 7-8.5 range. I did fine for the first two segments (albeit I was breathing heavy and sweating like a hog as usual). However, after I started the third segment, I became really light headed and nauseus. I was running at about a 7.04 pace and the incline was at a 2. I checked my heart rate, and it was at 187 so I decided to take a break. After a few minutes, I still was not feeling well so I called it quits for now. Looking over my food intake so far today, I had three scrambled eggs with black beans and salsa for breakfast and a cup of black tea. Other than that, I had two Dove dark chocolates. Not sure what is causing the nausea. Could it be the decrease in wheat consumption? I am going to keep documenting and experimenting. My plan is to do a longer run tomorrow as I haven't done one in quite some time.

On another note, I started reading another book on habits last night. The title escapes me now so I will have to post later. So far, it has been an excellent read, and I am in need of some habit changes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Junk Food Weakness

Today started well. I made an amazing spinach, broccoli, mushroom omelet and a cup of tea. It was rather filling and therefore I was not very hungry for lunch. I really need to focus on eating three meals a day even I am not hungry because when I don't eat scheduled meals, I tend to snack on junk food later on. I then snacked on chips and dip later in the day. That is something that definitely needs to go. It is not part of my training plan, and I don't want to waste good calories on food that will not provide me with quality energy. Dinner consisted of shrimp fajitas. I discovered I really do not like the corn tortillas so back to the drawing board when it comes to finding a wheat free alternative. After dinner we indulged in ice cream cake for my husband's birthday. Eating habits definitely need to be my focus for the next few months.

Overall, I was rather tired today. Even after a nap, I still felt exhausted. I need to figure out what is causing the fatigue. I did an intensity workout on the treadmill. It was about 38 minutes of work. It consisted of hills and speed intervals. The max speed was 8.5, and the max incline was 12. I did need to stop and take a few 30-45 second breaks after the high speed or incline intervals. Goal is to get completely through one of those workouts without stopping.

Water intake was too low today. Back at it tomorrow. I need to build in strength training and find a consistent routine.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I am Back!

After a long hiatus, I am back. Since my last post, I have run two races, a 10K and a half marathon. As the holidays rolled around, I lost complete motivation and got lost in the presents, cookies, and holiday celebrations. Now that the holidays and New Year have past, it is time to reevaluate my goals and start training. I find that I need something on my schedule to keep me focused and motivated. I originally wanted to run the New York ING marathon, but with the cancellation of the 2012 marathon, I realize my chances of being chosen through the lottery are pretty slim. Right now I am leaning toward the Fargo marathon as I am familiar with the flat and fast course along with the Chicago marathon. I still want to qualify for Boston and realize that will take a great deal of discipline and hard work on my part.

The other big change I am currently working on is eliminating wheat from my diet. After reading the book Wheat Belly, I want to see if getting rid of wheat will help rid me of the extra belly fat and improve my energy level for training. So far, it has proven to be quite challenging. I was not aware of how many foods contain wheat including tomato soup. One step at a time. I am also reading the book Zen and Done in  hopes of picking up some tips and tricks to help with changing habits.

Today I did a short speed workout with hill intervals. It proved to be not very challenging. I need to push myself more. I also need to start working out earlier in the day as the longer I wait, the harder it is to motivate myself and my energy level starts to drop. I also missed breakfast which is not acceptable. I did substitute tea for coffee and have been trying to completely eliminate coffee with creamer. For lunch I had white chicken chili, a handful of almonds for a snack, and two Dove dark chocolates. Dinner was two bowls of ranch chicken chili (lots of chili and soup lately) and some cheese puffs (not my best option). Tomorrow the plan is to have a spinach, mushroom omelet, Mediterranean soup, and shrimp fajitas for dinner. I need to focus on drinking more water and getting at least 8 hours of sleep...again, I realize one change at a time leads to much more success and less frustration so hear begins my journey!