Saturday, July 30, 2011

Miles, Pounds and Songs

T and I ran 7.1 miles through the German countryside this morning.  It was a great run.  We dealt with hills, sore bodies, a lot of animal feces and a misting rain.  I am so proud of us for sticking it out through all seven miles.  We even sprinted the last little bit.  The first three miles basically consisted of making sure that my body could do it.  After I established that even though I was in some pain, I could keep going, it took a lot of mental strength.  I had to tell myself at the beginning of each new mile that I could handle it.  I made sure to tell Will and a couple of other people that I was going to run 7 miles today.  I knew that having that accountability would make me push through a full seven miles.  We rewarded ourselves at the end of the run with iced chai lattes.  I'll even let you in on a little secret... I tried to reward myself with one of those sour cream doughnuts, but the lady at the cash register didn't hear that part of my order.  I'm taking that as a sign from God ;)

I finally saw some movement on the scale today!  It was even in the right direction ;).  I'm now down a little over 38 lbs.  I lost 2.4 this week.  I am really starting to think that the last couple of weeks have been due to my calorie deficit being out of control.  I made sure to get more (mostly healthy) calories in this week.  Hopefully I'll be able to keep that going!

I have some new running songs to add to my list on here.  I am so addicted to music, and I get bored with my running playlist quickly.  I'm sure I'll be posting new songs pretty regularly.

"A Little Less Conversation" (JXL Remix) Elvis Presley
     "A little less conversation, a little more action."  The lyrics say it all.  The beat to this is really fun to run to, also.

"Pain" Jimmy Eat World
    Maybe it's just me, but the title seems to be super appropriate for a running playlist ;)  Love this one.

"Run-Around" Blues Traveler
     I have always loved Blues Traveler.  This song is just fun.

"Canned Heat" Jamiroquai
     "Got canned heat in my heels tonight!"  This is another old-ish song that I've always liked.

"Check Yes, Juliet" We the Kings
     "Run baby, run!  Don't ever look back!" 

"Magic" B.o.B featuring Rivers Cuomo (Weezer)
     This song is so much fun and it gets me excited about running.  I've also loved Weezer since I was a kid, so I'm a sucker for Rivers Cuomo.

Ok, so those are my new running songs.  Does anyone have any other new songs in their playlist worth sharing?  I'm always open to new suggestions ;)

I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to information on running.  I seriously love researching exercise and running.  I was looking up ways to deal with running pain and prevent it.  I like to pass along what I've learned, but please remember that I am in not a doctor, nurse or anything like that.  I'm just sharing what I read from reliable sources.  On with the info.  Apparently, you're supposed to take a cold bath after running and save those hot soaks until 24 hours after your run.  I tried it today.  I was feeling a little blue lipped during the cold bath.  Hopefully it will help my legs recover a bit faster!  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pain & Pinterest

So true.

Today did not go as planned at the gym.  I'm still dealing with insane cramps in my calves.  I was dangerously close to tears (and I have a pretty high pain tolerance...ask Will, he's been present at the births of both our children).  I managed to run two miles.  One at 5.5mph and the other at 6.  After that I jogged for a short stint and then walked at a pretty slow pace.  I just wanted to keep my legs moving.  I did get in 65 minutes on the treadmill, but each one of them hurt.  The plan for today was to run 4 miles, so I did feel like a bit of a bum.  

I needed to see this one today.

Since the pain has been pretty persistent through my last few work outs/runs, I did what any sane person would do...I called and made an appointment with the doctor.  Today she felt poked and prodded my legs (especially my bad knee).  She said that for now it seems like it's just your typical wear and tear from pushing myself.  She was very impressed by the work out system I have going and the types of food I'm eating.  She gave me a Rx for an anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxer.  I'm praying that the muscle relaxer works it's magic before Saturday, because I really want to do a 7 mile run outside with T.  I really need to have at least one solid run this week.

This is exactly how I felt when I finished my 5-K.

I have to share my love for Pinterest here.  If you're on there, I'm sure you've noticed my obsession.  I LOVE this site!  It's especially great for finding things that inspire you.  All three of the pictures on this post are from my "Running" board.  It's filled with quotes, pictures, and people that inspire me to keep running.  It may also have a few cute articles of work out clothing that I love.  You can see my running board here.  Once you check out the running board, feel free to check out the other boards I have going.  There are plenty :)  I love seeing all of my friends' favorite things.  It is really a fun website.  

I also want to say something about my husband, Will.  He is currently training for a marathon, and I have been so impressed by his dedication and consistency.  I love being able to run next to him at the gym because we like to cheer each other on.  I haven't mentioned it in a while here, but I am so blessed to be married to such a great guy :)  I can't wait to see him cross that finish line in Athens in November! 

One final thought.  I made the roasted cherry (or grape) tomatoes with quinoa pasta found here last night.  I wanted to include some lean meat, so I searched online and found Balsamic Marinated Chicken.  It was a very nice addition and it was so easy to make. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tiger Balm - "60% of the time, it works every time."

I'm thinking or re-naming the blog, "Diary of a Super Sore Mom."  Today was brutal!  I think that T and I might have gone a little overboard with the weight training on Saturday.  We spent over an hour using all of the weight training equipment.  No joke, my collar bone ached!  I have been using Tiger Balm and Icy Hot like clockwork and I'm counting on some Aleve to help a bit too.  I can honestly say that I have never wanted a professional massage as much as I do right now.  The good thing is that eventually, my legs should get used to running and the pain will lessen a bit.  For now, I'll stock up on Icy Hot/Tiger Balm/Aleve.

T and I decided to do a shorter run today since our legs were aching.  We went for 3 miles running and 2 miles walking.  My legs were cramping up the whole time.  Here's hoping that our legs will feel a bit better by the time Wednesday's run rolls around.  One exciting thing for me, I ran a mile @6mph.  It feels good to add a little speed and open up your run a bit.  I just need my lungs to catch up with my head. 

Today's run:
1 mile @ 5.5mph
1 mile @ 6mph
1 mile @ 5.5mph
2 miles @ 4 - 3.5mph

Total miles = 5.02
Calories burned = 775

Now on to dinner.  Tonight we had chicken vindaloo with
Persian super basmati and plain Greek yogurt.  I could only eat about 3/4 of this serving, but it was good (even if the spiciness made me tear up a bit).  The Greek yogurt is excellent at cutting the spice in Indian food.  It also makes it a bit creamier and adds a ton of protein.  We love ethnic food at our house :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

10-K, Recipe and New Songs

I ran 10-K with my running buddy, Terilyn!  We planned on running six miles, but once we got to the gym we decided to add the extra 0.2 and go for the full 10 kilometers.  We ran hard for the last minute.  It was a really enjoyable run.  We took our pace down a bit so we could last longer. 

10-K Run:
6 miles @ 5mph
0.2@ 7.5mph

Total miles = 6.42
Total calories burned = 1,175

Today was a weigh in day.  I lost 0.2lbs.  Definitely not what I was expecting, but I think that part of my problem is that I'm not getting in enough calories, so my body is trying to hang on to every lb.  It's not that I'm not eating, I'm just eating mostly low fat/low calorie foods.  I have been eating mostly vegetables, nuts and fruits.  Also, I did more extensive weight training this week, so that might have something to do with it.  We'll see what happens next Saturday with the scale.  On a VERY positive note, I am now three sizes down in jeans. 

Last night's Dinner:
This is roasted grape tomatoes on quinoa pasta with a little fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.  It was delicious!  I was very impressed by the quinoa pasta.  I get tired of whole wheat pasta, so I wanted to try something new.  The kids didn't even notice that it was different.  My mother and father-in-law passed along the recipe for the roasted grape tomatoes.  I'll do my part and pass it along again ;)

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

2 pints grape tomatoes
3 garlic cloves pealed and thinly sliced
2T olive oil
2T balsamic vinegar
1/2 t kosher salt
1/8 t freshly ground pepper
1/4 t fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Combine all the ingredients except the basil in a roasting pan.
Roast for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes
are just bursting.
3. Carefully transfer the tomatoes, using a slotted spoon, to a serving bowl.
4. Transfer the liquid from the roasting pan to a small saucepan
and cook on medium high heat for about 5 min.  or until slightly thickened.
5. Drizzle some of the thickenid balsamic sauce over the tomatoes.
Top with fresh basil and serve with toasted french bread or with cooked

I've added a few new songs to my work out playlist. 

"Monster" Paramore

"Run This Town" Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West (clean version)

"Devastation and Reform" Relient K

"Ain't No Other Man" Christina Aguilera

"White Tooth Man" Iron & Wine

"Boy With a Coin" Iron & Wine

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dinner, Weird Breakfasts and Tomorrow's Goal

A couple of nights ago we had goat cheese stuffed salmon for dinner.  It was really delicious.  Thanks for the suggestion, Seanna!  Anna loved it, but Daniel wanted nothing to do with it.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some!  We also had some roasted zucchini and hummus with pita bread.  I'm going to try to make some home-made hummus this weekend.  I was thrilled to find tahini at our commissary!  Yesterday's dinner was a simple marinated chicken.  Tomorrow we're going to go see Harry Potter at the movie theater, so I will probably make some sort of pasta.  I bought some noodles from the commissary that are made with quinoa.  I figure they're worth a try!

I finished Born to Run today.  It's been a busy week, so it took me a few days to finish it.  I definitely think that it could have been put together a bit better, but it's a great book for people who love to run.  This is where my weird breakfasts come in.  In the book, McDougall suggests having salad for breakfast.  It's supposed to help hydrate you after sleeping, give you a huge burst of antioxidants first thing in the morning, and it's loaded with good carbs that will take some time to burn off.  It's supposed to give you energy for your run and keep you full without feeling weighed down.

My breakfast salad:
A couple large handfuls of baby spinach leaves
6 or 7 blackberries
Handful of blueberries
Handful of sliced almonds
Sunflower seeds
Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette

I have been LOVING this breakfast salad.  It is full of protein and antioxidants.  It also tastes great!  I've never been a fan of fruit in salads, but with this salad dressing, it's amazing.  The almonds and sunflower seeds give it some great texture and they're a great source of protein (which my doctor said is a necessity when you're losing weight at a decent pace).  I don't eat meat until dinner time, so I get most of my protein from almonds, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.

Wednesday's run was great!  I wore my Vibram Five Fingers, and it made the run a lot of fun.  I did end up with a few blisters and insanely sore calves.  You run differently in minimalist shoes than you do when you're wearing Nike's that are supposed to correct every flaw in your run ;)  Hopefully I'll be back in the Vibram's next week (with a bit of moleskin acting as a buffer between the shoe and the blister areas).

Wednesday's Run:
4 miles @ 5.5mph
1 mile @5mph
Remaining time @4mph

Total miles covered = 5.53
Calories burned = 981

Tomorrow's run goal is 6 miles @ 5mph.  It will be interesting, but I think that by staying at 5mph (which is really comfortable for me now) I'll be able to lengthen my run.  Hopefully I'm right.  Will says that after running a couple of miles it ends up being mostly a mental battle.  I've definitely found that to be the truth.  I just have to make sure that my head is in it :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dinner, New-er Book, and Success

This was our dinner tonight.  I didn't finish all of it, but it was good!  It is parmesan encrusted tilapia (a huge hit for everyone in our house), Persian super basmati rice, and steamed broccoli with a little Molly McButter on top.  The kids can't get enough of the parmesan tilapia and they love rice plain.  Broccoli, on the other hand, is only a hit with mom and dad!

I know that in one of my recent posts I said that I was going to read Ultramarathon Man.  I had every intention to do so, but my great sister-in-law said that Born to Run was the buzz book at the moment.  I went to and looked it up, and the premise was much more interesting than UMM.  I'm about 80% done with BtR, and I LOVE it.  Christopher McDougall did a great job with the book.  It feels more like a narrative than a running how to book.  He definitely favors barefoot running.  It makes me a little excited to take my fivefingers out for a run soon.  He looks into the science and history of running in an interesting way.  Two amazing runners who have inspired me (thanks to the book) are Emil Zatopek and Scott Jurek.  They were/are amazing people who happen(ed) to also be great athletes.  They're definitely worth looking up on Wikipedia.

Success- I met my running goal for today!  It was so pretty exhilarating :)
Here's a breakdown of my run:
4 miles @5.5mph
0.5 miles @5mph
0.5 miles @4.5mph
The rest @4mph

Total miles = 5.51
Total calories burned = 986

I have to say that I am incredibly grateful for my running partner, Terilyn.  She's the reason I was able to finish my first 5K in just over 33 minutes, and it is so much easier to run 4+ miles with her on the path or treadmill with me.  If you're trying to pick up running, a running friend is invaluable.  I'm good at pushing myself, but I am more determined when I know that someone else is counting on my to reach the goals I've set for myself.  Having a blog to keep me accountable has also been great.  I appreciate all of the blog comments, e-mails and Facebook comments I receive from people who read my posts.  It definitely helps me keep my eye on the prize.

Terilyn and I are scouting out 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons!  It's possible that we will attempt a half marathon in the fall :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sometimes the Scale is Not Your Friend, and that's Okay

Today when I weighed in I was surprised to see a 0.7lb gain.  It really didn't bother me because I knew that it wasn't from lack of exercise or watching what I had consumed.  I was expecting weeks like this because I've lost weight before and I know that sometimes your body needs a week or two to breathe and take in the ridiculous amount of change you're forcing on it.  Hopefully I'll have a really great loss next week, but if I don't, that's okay too.  I know that I will reach my goal.

Things that are improving in spite of the scale:
- I had to buy new work out shorts because most of my old pairs are falling down when I run
- My small jeans are starting to get a bit loose
- I can fit into shirts I haven't been able to in years
- I can wear my engagement ring for the first time since Daniel was born

I met my running goal for Friday!  I was really proud of myself.
This is what my run looked like:
3.5 @5.5mph
0.5 @5mph
0.5 @4.5mph (I can actually walk at this pace now...weird)
The rest @4mph until my 5 minute cool down

Total miles = 5.32
Calories burned (according to the machine, taking into account my weight and age) = 921

This week, I'm going to aim for 4 miles @5.5mph.  I might even try to throw in a little bit of 6mph in there.  I am really hoping to be able to run a 10K in the near future.  I am seriously enjoying running.  I used to scoff when someone said they ran for 8 miles.  Now, running eight miles sounds like a blast!

*Fun Fact*
According to an expert in Runner's World Magazine, if you work out for longer than an hour, your body needs electrolytes.  On my running days, I never felt like I could get enough water (even when I was drinking 4 liters per day).  Apparently, I needed to get some electrolytes in after working out.  Another fun fact, peaches are a great natural source of electrolytes.  I just picked some up at the commissary today ;).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dinner, New Book and Goals

  Here's a picture of my dinner tonight.  Dinner consisted of baked herb-lime salmon, a little Persian super basmati rice and baked sweet potato fries.  It was all really good.  The salmon wasn't the most exciting recipe I've tried, but it was pretty quick and easy.  We're trying to eat fish on a regular basis, so I'm trying all kinds of recipes.  If anyone has an awesome tilapia or salmon recipe, please shoot it my way ;)  My favorite snacks right now are low-fat cottage cheese, almonds and blackberry Greek yogurt. 
Photo taken on my iPhone

I decided to buy a new book on the Kindle today.  It's called Ultramarathon Man.  I never plan on being an ultramarathoner, but I am hoping to run a marathon next year and I think it would be interesting to see what he went through to become the crazy runner that he is today ;).  It's supposed to be a running "classic."  I'll let you guys know once I finish it. 

I have been working on setting goals for my running days.  It really helps keep me motivated.  I'm trying to up my speed and endurance, so it's good to know what to aim for.  Yesterday, my goal was 3 miles at 5.5mph, 0.5 miles at 5mph and the rest of my time at 4mph.  I felt so proud of myself for pushing through all three miles at 5.5.  I beat my 5K pace :)  Tomorrow, my goal is 3.5 miles at 5.5mph, 0.5 miles at 5mph and 4mph for the rest.  Next week, I'm going to start working on 6mph.

As far as weight goals go, I would like to lose over 100 lbs by the time all is said and done.  I've still been mulling over the idea of posting before and after pictures on here.  I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to post my month by month pictures once I've lost about 60 lbs. 

Saturday is my weigh in day.  I'll try to post a blog so I can update on my progress :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

-36, New Running Shoes and Today's Run

As of Sunday morning I've lost 36 lbs :) I tried to post a blog yesterday but Blogger kept acting up.  Super lame.  Anyway, 36 lbs down feels like a huge accomplishment.  I have so much more to lose, but I'm making great progress.  I took my month two picture yesterday night and there was definitely a marked difference from last month's.  I'm thinking that when I get closer to my goal I'll post my month by month pictures so people can see.  For now, there are four or five people that I send the pictures to.  It helps keep me accountable and it reminds me that I have a great support system in place. 

I got new running shoes on Friday!  The shoes I had been running in were not really intended for running, and they were a couple years old.  I decided to try out Nike's new LunarGlide+ 3.  Here's a picture

They're a bit louder than my typical exercise shoes, but they fit great and the cushioning is excellent for long runs.  I think I still need to break them in a bit, but overall, I think they're great.

Today I decided to add a bit of length to my run and try to kick up the pace a bit.  Here's what my work out looked like:

1 mile @ 5.5mph
1 mile @ 5mph
1 mile @ 5.5mph
.5 mile @5mph
1.5 miles @4mph
Cool Down
Weight Training

It is amazing that 5 mph feels pretty easy for me now.  A few weeks ago I was struggling to jog @4.5!  I'm really hoping to make my way up do 6+ mph.  Will and I were running next to each other today and he had his treadmill up to 8.4 for a little bit and I was green with envy.  I can't wait to be able to run that fast even for a few minutes! 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Current Running Playlist

I promised my running playlist, so here it is :)  I want to preface this by saying that this list isn't indicative of my general taste.

"Till the World Ends" Britney Spears - I've never owned a Britney Spears album in my life, but for some reason this song makes me want to run.  Double was also written by Kesha (I refuse to do the dollar sign ;)).

"I Wanna Go" Britney Spears - See note above ;)

"Parachute" Ingrid Michaelson - I love her, and this is just a fun song.

"Stronger" Kanye West (Clean) - "Tha-tha-tha-that don't kill me can only make me stronger"  It's something that I like to be reminded of when I'm starting my second mile ;)

"Starry Eyed" Ellie Goulding - I love her!  She's British and I really fell in love with her version of Elton John's "Your Song."

"Lights" Ellie Goulding

"Hate On Me" Glee Cast

"Gold Digger" Glee Cast

"Crazy in Love" Beyonce & Jay Z - I just love this song.

"Wonderman" Tinie Tempah &  Ellie Goulding - My friend Seanna introduced me to this song.  I'm such a dorkie anglophile, so I was in love from the moment her rapped the word petrol ;).

"Set Fire to the Rain" Adele - Adele is probably my favorite vocalist.

"Uprising" Muse

"Airplanes" B.O.B. & Haylie Williams

"Dog Days are Over" Florence & the Machine

"Hallelujah" Paramore

"Love Stoned/I Think She Knows" Justin Timberlake -  A lot of his songs would make decent running songs, but I like this one.  If I play it at the end of my work out the second half makes for good cool down music.

Okay, that's all I have for work out music today.  I am now down 35 lbs!  I'm keeping to my schedule, but today I got to go to the gym super early (5:30) and without the kids.  It was nice not having to be in the family room because the equipment there is somewhat limited.  This morning I shortened my bike ride a bit and added 10 minutes on a rowing machine.  I love rowing machines!  I'm hoping to add some rowing on to my work out at least once a week :).  I hope that everyone is doing well!  I'll try to post again on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Work Out Plan for the Week

I have been surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response to my last post.  Since I've been getting messages from people wanting me to continue on the subject of getting healthy/losing weight, I thought that I'd go through my typical week as far as work outs go.  I took some notes the last couple of days so I could share. 

Monday - Wednesday - Friday

- 65 minutes on the treadmill
     - Run 3 miles @5mph (my knees are still a bit sore from the 5K, so I'm saving 5.5mph and above   for next week)
     - Walk for the rest of the 60 minutes @4mph and then do a 5 minute cool down
- 3 sets of 12 reps on all of the weight training machines
- A ridiculous amount of stretching
- At home - 150 crunches on a work-out ball

Tuesday - Thursday - Saturday

- 65 minutes on an elliptical
     - The interval setting at a decent pace (typically burns about 780+ calories)
- Bike 35 minutes with a bit of resistance (typically burns about 160-170 calories)
- At home - 150 crunches on a work-out ball
     - A couple of rounds of Wii boxing

It may seem a bit excessive to some, but it's working really well for me.  I actually love to work out.  I'm able to spend so much time at the gym because our base has a family room with a children's area.  I  work out while watching my kids :)  I push myself really hard, so my legs are typically a bit on the sore side.  I told my mom that I end up walking around smelling like a tic tac thanks to icy hot.  According to her, my new perfume is Eau de Icy Hot :) 

I asked people on Facebook to share some of their favorite running songs the other day, so I'll try to share some of mine in the next few days.  I absolutely have to have music while running or it feels like a chore. 

I'm still trying to work up the courage to post my month by month pictures on here.  I have the first month's pictures, but I am taking the second month's after pictures on Sunday. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I ran a 5K! *And other thoughts on working out/being healthy*

Here's a picture of me in all my sweaty, tired post 5K glory :)  I still can't believe that I did it, but I actually ran a 5K!  I'll get into the race in a minute, but first I'm going to explain how I even ended up running it.

I started working out really hard at the gym 6 days a week about two months ago.  I was in TERRIBLE shape.  The worst in my life.  I would (and still do) work out for 1.5-2 hours each day, and I really pushed myself.  It hasn't been easy, but it's been ridiculously rewarding! 

In the past two months I've:

*Lost 32 pounds (thanks to the exercise and changing my eating habits pretty drastically)
*Gone down two jean sizes
*Yesterday I got to order a pair of jeans from American Eagle in a size that I haven't worn since early high school!  I'm just getting into the lowest size I currently own :)
*I can run after my kids without feeling like I'm going to collapse
*I can go up multiple flights of stairs without feeling winded
*I can run!  5.5 mph for 3 miles!
*I actually like going out with friends again...I'm not completely ashamed of the way I look
*My mood has been 100% better

Honestly, that list could go on and on.  There are a ton of things that have improved since I started exercising more regularly, but I want to get on to the 5K.  I started jogging about two weeks ago.  I have never been a jogger/runner.  Even in High School when they had us do the mile run test, I would speed walk and when the gym teacher would look at me, I'd add a bounce to my step ;).  In June, my sister-in-law ran her first full marathon.  Her knee went out on mile 3 and she kept running. I couldn't believe it.  I decided that if she could finish a marathon with a bum knee, I could at least try to jog one full mile!  So I went to the gym and made myself jog a full mile at 4.5mph.  Will was running next to me and he was cheering me on, which was so great!  From there I started trying to add distance until I finally got up to jogging 3 mph without stopping at 4.5mph. 

Friday morning, I got a facebook message from a friend saying that a race that was supposed to be a 10K was changed at the last minute to a 5K.  At first I wasn't going to run it, but I changed my mind when we pulled up to the gym.  I'd only ever jogged on a treadmill, so I was a little nervous.  Luckily, my friend was there and we were able to run the race together and encourage each other.  She was so great at getting me to push myself!  I finished the race at 33 minutes and 29 seconds which is about 5.5mph!  That's a full mph better than I have ever done on the treadmill.  I'm planning on running more 5Ks as the come along and hopefully working up to 10Ks soon.  I want to run the Dublin marathon in October of 2012, so I'm working my way up to that!

I think this blog will probably be a mix of cooking/baking and a way to keep myself honest about weight loss and exercise.  I've been so busy working on getting healthy that I haven't had a ton of extra time lately, and I wasn't sure that anyone would be interested in a blog about exercise.