Friday, December 28, 2012

Easy and Delicious Slow Cooker Chicken Broth

This was my 3rd chicken broth attempt. The first two weren't bad, but this one was SO GOOD! It's based on a recipe from The Primal Blueprrint Cookbook by Mark Sisson. There's lots of great stuff in there. Anyway, this is super easy and super aweome! It takes some time and planning ahead, but so worth it.

1 whole chicken
1 onion, chunked
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
6 whole peppercorns
4 whole garlic cloves
2 T apple cider vinegar

1. Remove chicken from packaging and rinse. Place chicken in slow cooker breast side up.
2. Add the onion, celery, carrots, bay leaf, peppercorns, and garlic.
3. Fill the slow cooker with enough water to just cover ingredients.
4. Add apple cider vinegar.
5. Cook on low for 8 hours.
6. Once it has cooked, set a large cutting board and a large bowl next to the slow cooker. Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place on cutting board. My chicken completely fell off the bone, so I had to retrieve it in pieces with tongs.
7. Let the chicken set and cool a bit.
8. After it has cooled, remove the meat from the carcass. This is easiest done with your fingers, which is why it needs to be cool, but still warm. Place the meat into the bowl you set out, and everything else back into the slow cooker.
9. Save your meat to eat later or make soup or something.
10. With all the extra bits back in the slow cooker, add some more water to about 1 inch from the top. Simmer for about 20 more hours, halfway through add more water again.
11. When 20 hours are up, turn off the slow cooker and let the broth cool for about an hour and a half. Ladle the broth through a fine mesh strainer into storage containers.

The bigger your slow cooker, the more chicken broth you get. I got about 10 cups. Homemade broth will keep in the refrigerator a few days and the freezer a few weeks. I use Bell plastic freezing jars, but you can also use ice cube trays to freeze the broth in. This broth is rich, so I mix it with equal parts water when I use it in recipes. Enjoy!

Cavegirl Runner

Sunday, December 23, 2012

16 Weeks!

Monday (4 burpees)
Track Repeats
12x400 (90 sec recovery)
400 Target Time - 1:50

Tuesday (5)
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday (6)
8 min easy
10 min tempo
5 min easy

Thursday (7)
Tempo Run
2 mi easy
3 mi @ 8:17 pace
1 mi easy

Friday (8)
20 x (kick 1 length, rest 30 sec), using a kickboard

Saturday (9)
Long Run
8 mi @ 9:07 pace

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Little Break

I've decided to take a break from the blog this week. Don't worry! I'll be back next week when I start...HALF-MARATHON TRAINING! See you then!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Running Safely in the Dark

Is anyone else finding themselves squeezing in their run right before the sun goes down? The amount of daylight hours will keep diminishing until the Winter Solstice in a week. After that we will slowly have more daylight each day. Running in the daylight is ideal, but can't always happen. If you have to run in the dark or fading light, there are safety precautions you should adhere to.

Here's some advice from
  • Run against traffic. It's easier to avoid traffic if you can see it.
  • Don't wear dark colors at night. White running attire is the easiest to see at night, but orange and yellow are also appropriate. Black, brown, dark blue or green are not recommended.
  • Run behind vehicles at intersections. Even if a car or truck has stopped at a stop sign, there's no guarantee the driver has seen you.
  • Don't wear headphones. Wearing headphones diminishes a runner's ability to hear a car horn, a voice or a potential attacker.
  • Wear a billed cap and clear glasses. The bill of a cap will hit an unseen tree branch or another obstacle before the obstacle hits your head. Clear glasses will protect your eyes from bugs and other unseen obstacles.
  • Vary your routes. A potential attacker can watch for runners' patterns and loom in a particularly dark or isolated area.
  • Run with a partner. There's strength in numbers.
  • Try to make eye contact and acknowledge a driver. The interaction, however brief, could save your life.
A few points I would add:
  • If there is no sidewalk and you must run on the road, ALWAYS run against traffic.
  • If I come to a small intersection, I ALWAYS run behind the vehicle if there is one stopped. At bigger intersections with no stoplight. I just stop, wait, and cautiously cross.
  • I don't run with music, so I don't have to worry about not wearing headphones. It really helps some people, and if you are one of them, I think wearing only one ear bud and keeping your music low would be ok.
  • Varying your routes is a good way to cut down the possibility of an attack and a good way to keep your workouts fresh. I know it's easy to lose yourself in your run, but just because you vary your routes, that is no excuse for not being aware of your surroundings. This is especially true in the dark because there are not as many people around as in the daylight. That being said, attacks can still happen during the light, so ALWAYS be aware of what's going on around you.
  • Knowing there is someone waiting for you when it's 30 degrees out is extra incentive to get your butt out of bed. As long as you are not lazy on the same day...
  • ALWAYS make eye contact with a driver in an intersection.
This is my first time running through the winter. At the Thanksgiving race I ran, I got a reflective vest. I was super excited about that because I don't have a lot of reflective gear so I'm limited in what time of day I can run.

Hope you found this helpful! Stay safe and run hard!

Cavegirl Runner

Do you have any tips you would add?

Monday, December 10, 2012

This Week's Workout Plan

Interval Run:
1/2 mi warmup
4800m - 200m fast, 200m slow
1/2 mi cooldown

Row - technique work (20-30 min)

Tempo Run:
2 mi easy
2.5 mi @ 8:17 min/mi
1 mi easy

Row - technique work (20-30 min)


Long Run:
7 mi easy

Last week I decided to turn my fartlek run into an interval session at the track. It went really well and I'm glad I did it! I'm going to go back to the track this week and next to get used to it before I have to do it "for real."

I have the money for a membership to the YMCA now, so I will probably take care of that later today. The only swimsuit I have is a skimpy black one andI would like to get a proper exercising swimsuit in the next couple weeks. I bought one a couple months ago from the Speedo website, but it was way too small and I sent it back. I guess I should have ordered a different size back then...oh well. As long as my body is covered, it will be ok. Haha.

Countdown to Half-Marathon Training: 2 weeks

Cavegirl Runner

Any swimsuit suggestions for me?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Good Luck, Haley Ruther!

Hang ten!
This lovely lady is running her first half-marathon today! Keep your eyes peeled for a guest blog by her later, too!

Good Luck, Haley! You can do it!

Friday, December 7, 2012

100 Day Burpee Challenge!


No. Really. I do.

What is The 100 Day Burpee Challenge? On Day 1, perform one burpee. On Day 2, perform two burpees. On Day 3, perform three burpees. Seeing the pattern here? All the way to Day 100 where you perform 100 burpees! If you miss a day, you have to do that day's burpees the next day! (In other words, don't miss a day.)

What is a burpee? This is a good description:
"A burpee is like a pushup on crack.
  1. Start in a low squat, hands flat on the floor in front of you.
  2. Jump your feet back so that you're in a high push-up position.
  3. Complete a full push-up.
  4. Jump feet back to the starting squat position.
  5. Spring up off the ground and clap your hands over your head.
That's one.
The key is to focus on form. Getting into a solid push-up position each time makes a big difference.
Burpees have a reputation for building strength and character while torching body fat. I like the sound of that." Lean Machine NYC
I started this challenge once this past summer. I only got a couple weeks in because an unexpected trip to Tennessee kind of derailed my workout plans. I want to finish it this time! I'm going to start on December 21st. That will make Day 100 exactly two weeks prior to Rock the Parkway Half-Marathon.

I start in 2 weeks. Who's with me??

Cavegirl Runner

Anyone else crazy enough for The 100 Day Burpee Challenge?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Most Important Thing

Grab a piece of paper and number 1 through 5. Now list the 5 things you feel are most important to look and feel your best--the 5 most important things to be the healthiest and happiest you possible. Now rank them from most important (#1) to less important (#5). Here's my ranked list:
  1. Love
  2. Sleep
  3. Diet
  4. Balance
  5. Exercise
The Beatles sang "All You Need Is Love." No, it's not really all you need, but it's important enough that I ranked it #1.

For me, "Love" encompasses many things. First, there's love for yourself. I think that in order to make a long-term and sustainable lifestyle change, in order to make yourself a better, happier, and healthier person, you have to love yourself enough to make that commitment. You have to value yourself. You have to decide that you are important and deserve to have the best life possible. Because you do!

There's also love for what you do. I enjoy running. Sometimes it feels like a huge hassle, but once I'm out there doing it, I don't regret it. I know there are more efficient methods of cardio...but I like running. If you don't like running, then it won't do anything for you. I have heard so many times, people say, "Man, I need to run. I'm gaining weight. I hate running." Yeah, if you hate running, it's not going to help you much. There are better forms of cardio that will help you lose weight, and you will probably like them more than running.

Next I chose sleep. If I'm not well rested, I am a bear. Seriously. I don't like being around me when I don't get enough sleep. Our lives are stressful enough: work, bills, family, etc. Not getting enough sleep is one more stressor you are subjecting your body to. During the week I aim for at least 7 hours at night with a 20-30 minute nap during the day. Sometimes I only get 6, depending on my work schedule.

"Diet" is next. You can workout like a crazy person, but it won't matter if you eat crap food. Health starts on the inside. Eat real food! Not processed from a box fake food!

Next for me is "balance." This refers to how I balance the priorities in my life. If I'm supposed to workout, but I've only slept 5 hours a night the past couple nights...I'm probably going to take a nap first. Or postpone my workout till tomorrow when I'm more rested. If I've been working like crazy, and the house looks like a pigsty, I'll probably take a day off subbing to clean all day. When I let one part of my life take over the rest, I feel out of balance, and I don't like that.

Finally comes exercise. Yes, I always make time for exercise. But to me, it's not as important as the rest in order to make me feel the best.

All five of these things are important priorities to me. And they may move up or down depending on the day and how I feel. On average though, this is probably where they would fall.

Cavegirl Runner

What was your number 1? Did your list surprise you?

Monday, December 3, 2012

This Week's Workout Plan

Mon. 12/3
6 mi easy

Tue. 12/4
Fartlek Run:
1/2 mi easy
2.5 mi fartlek
1/2 mi easy

Wed. 12/5

Thur. 12/6
Tempo Run:
1 mi easy
2.5 mi @ 8:32 min/mi
1 mi easy

Fri. 12/7

Sat. 12/8
Long Run:
7 mi easy

Most of the time life doesn't go as planned. I visited my parents last weekend to go deer hunting with my Dad. We saw some deer, but they were too far off to take a shot. I had a 6 mile long run scheduled for last weekend, but after tramping through corn fields and thicket for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday morning, I was pretty tired! Not to mention, a rifle gets kind of heavy after a few miles. I still want to get that run in, so I'm rearranging what I had originally planned for this week.

I've mentioned that I like to plan things out. It helps me know that I'm getting everything done. But that doesn't mean I let it take over my life either. I think it's important to have balance like that. If a schedule causes you anxiety, or if you abstain from things you enjoy because it doesn't fit in your workout schedule, I think you need to reevaluate your priorities.

I have, have, HAVE to get my membership to the Y this week. Then I'll have a couple weeks to practice rowing and swimming before the real workouts start.

Half-Marathon Training Countdown: 3 weeks!

Cavegirl Runner

How do you find balance between working out and the rest of your life?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Fitness Goals

Hey! It's December! How the heck did that happen? It feels like November just FLEW by! Here are my goals for this month:

1. Get a membership to the Y.
**I've been meaning to do this for a while, and if I want to row and swim for cross training, I really can't wait anymore.

2. Prepare for Half-Marathon training
**more focus on mileage and pace
**less focus on strength training
**practice pre-, during-, and post-workout fueling plan

3. Learn and practice proper rowing and swimming technique.

4. Buy a swimming suit for cross training! (It will be too cold outside to ride my bike!!)

5. Finalize Half-Marathon training schedule.

6. Half-Marathon training begins December 24! (Yeah, Christmas Eve...)

7. Stay focused, work hard, and have fun!

Cavegirl Runner

Goals are good for the mind, body, and soul. Do you have any goals this month? What is one?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Greater Reward

I love cookies.

They're my favorites! If I want a cookie, though, I know that I need to deserve it. I can't have a cookie just because it's been a hard day, or just because I'm hungry. I have to REALLY deserve it. And while I'm eating it, I know I have to savor it--who knows when I'll get to have another one? 

I'm starting my fourth year on WeightWatchers, and despite losing 276 pounds, according to my Body Mass Index, I'm still "obese." I still have a long road ahead of me. I know that if I really want that cookie, I have to make some serious decisions. I know that I'm probably going to need to earn more activity points. To earn activity points, I have to work out more. 

I began with a completely sedentary lifestyle. In four years, I've found myself willing to try anything once. I've tried walking, running, working out on machines, dancing, and even cleaning as activity points! I'm happiest when dancing--it's easier for me to lose myself there. When I work out on the elliptical (a favorite--especially in this colder weather), it's my time to catch up on reading, or to balance things in my life that feel like they're out of whack. I use it as a tool for getting out my aggression, and often, I find my thoughts much more organized after. However, I can only last about three minutes before I'm staring at the clock, counting down the seconds! When I'm dancing, I can usually last about 20-30 minutes before I begin looking for a clock! 

I prefer taking classes instead of self-motivating. I find that if I'm paying for something and have people to be accountable, I am more successful. Dancing classes have really helped me to succeed. I've taken ballet classes that have done wonders for my balance and overall grace, and I'm addicted to Zumba now! I've even gotten licensed to teach Basic Zumba I and Zumbatomics (Zumba for kids)! I love teaching, but some days, it's just nice to follow along and mindlessly dance! 

It's hard for me to tell sometimes when I'm eating that cookie, which is the greater reward--the cookie or the feeling of accomplishment and success I get after working out. Most days, I just smile and savor the crumbs!
Then--August 2009
September 18, 2010: 101 lbs total loss, almost a year into WW
February 5, 2011: 150 lbs total loss
Sept. 2011, 200 lbs lost

Now--10-13-2012: 275 total loss!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Guest Post Tomorrow!

MJ looking foxxy

I love this woman. Seriously. She radiates life and happiness. I am also so stoked that she agreed to write a guest post. Here's a little background info:

MJ and I went to college together where we both studied music education. She had a vocal emphasis and I had an instrumental emphasis. Our music department wasn't very big so you pretty much knew everyone. Now she is an elementary music teacher in a town 30 minutes away and I only see her when she comes to eat at the restaurant when I'm working. But I still try to sneak a quick "Hello" and hug whenever I do see her.

I'll spill some of the beans here and tell you that she does Weight Watchers. I don't know anything about Weight Watchers, but it has obviously worked for her and that is great! I eat Paleo/Primal. It works for me and that is great! My point is this: it doesn't matter what food plan you follow, as long as you like it, it makes you feel good, is sustainable, includes lots of healthy, whole, unprocessed food, and you see results...that's all that really matters!

Cavegirl Runner

Who's excited to hear MJ's story??!

Monday, November 26, 2012

This Week's Workout Plan

Mon. 11/26 (depends how I feel, getting over this cold)
Fartlek Run:
1/2 mi easy
2.5 mi fartlek
1/2 mi easy
easy run, mileage TBD

Tue. 11/27
Row -- technique work (20-30 min)

Wed. 11/28
Tempo Run:
1 mi easy
2.5 mi @ 8:47 min/mi
1 mi easy

Thur. 11/29
Swim -- technique work (20-30 min)

Fri. 11/30
10 reps each:
single leg squat
box step up
monster (sumo wrestler) walk
one-arm, one-leg bent-over row
curl to press
bird dog
single-leg bridges
**From now on referred to as "Half-Marathon Strength Training" (HMST)**

Sat. 12/1
Long Run:
6 mi easy

This week I will start mimicking the kind of schedule I will have during training: interval run, tempo run, long run, 2 cross train (row and swim). I'm going to use this week, and the next 3, to: learn and improve rowing and swimming technique; build mileage; work on pace; and practice pre-, during-, and post-workout fueling.

Cavegirl Runner

What are your fitness plans this week?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

Since I raced yesterday, it's a rest day for me. (Except for the 10 hour shift I'm scheduled to work...bring on the money!) I also will not be partaking in any "Black Friday" sales. My Christmas Gift Goal this year is to buy from local stores, independently owned online businesses, or make it. Not going to find that at Walmart. (Except maybe the stuff to make the stuff...does that still count as buying it at Walmart if the pieces came from there? Am I over-thinking this?)

Instead, here's a list of all the things I'm thankful for this year:
1. My husband -- I don't know what I would do without him.
2. My health -- I am happy and healthy and fit. When I see people who aren't, I want to shake them and say, "Life can be better! You have to want it!"
3. My jobs -- Sometimes they are annoying and horrible and I don't always want to go. But I have two part-time jobs, my husband has a more than full-time job, and we can pay the bills, and buy the food we want and the things we need without much thought. That's a lot more than a lot of people.
4. My family -- They love me even though they think I'm crazy...and because they have to.
5. My dogs -- I don't have kids. I have 3 dogs. They are my children. I love them.
6. My friends -- They are always there for me with inspiration, support, advice, a funny story, an ear to listen to my problems, a shoulder to cry on...basically, they are awesome.

Cavegirl Runner

What is something in your life you are thankful for? How would your life be different without it?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hug a Runner Day 2012

Today is Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day (G.O.H.A.R.D.).

4 Ways To Participate:
1. Wear running shoes all day long. If possible, wear an old race bib.  If you see someone wearing these items, run up and give them a hug!
2. Organize a group hug with your training group. (Don’t forget the pics!)
3. Send every runner you know a virtual hug by enclosing their names in double brackets like this ((Adam and Tim)).
4. Commit random acts of hugging.
See Run the Edge for more info.

Hug a runner and share the sweat!

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Thanksgiving Week!

I've been a little MIA the last couple weeks. I'm sorry! Effective time management is not always my strong point. With that being said...

Thanksgiving week is here! Paleo Thanksgiving had to be rescheduled. And it's called Paleo Holiday dinner now because it will (hopefully) be between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We (myself, my husband, and our 3 dogs) are leaving Wednesday night for my parents house. Thursday morning my Mom, my Sis, and I are participating in the Lawrence Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk. This will be my Mom's fourth 5K walk...Go Mom! Then there's lunch at my Grandparent's house and drive home Thursday night to be at work on Friday. Saturday is Thanksgiving lunch with my husband's family.

My contributions to dinner are:
My family
veggie tray
Clean Green Bean Casserole

His family
mashed sweet potatoes
Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan

I had never heard of "Nutritional Yeast" before these recipes. I'm going to check the grocery stores today but I will probably have to rush order some online. Yay, procrastination!

Cavegirl Runner

What are you contributing to your Thanksgiving get-together? Are you labeled "the healthy one," like I am?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Paleo Thanksgiving

I didn't cook anything worth sharing this week. Sorry. In lieu of that, I wanted to share my Thanksgiving plans!

Of course I have the usual Thanksgiving day plans with my family. My Mom, Sis, and I are actually participating in a Turkey Trot in Lawrence that morning. There was a discount for registering as a family, huzzah! My Mom selected us to bring the veggie tray, of course. I mean, at least she didn't ask us to bring the rolls. That would have been awkward. Then the Sunday after we will celebrate with my husband's family. But, the Saturday before, my two paleo friends, their significant others, my husband, and I will have Paleo Thanksgiving!

I'm not sure what we will be eating except turkey...we should probably get that figured out! I've never cooked a turkey, but I've roasted a chicken. I imagine they are similar. If you have any suggestions for what to serve at Paleo Thanksgiving, let me know in the comments section. I need ideas! Wish me luck and I'll let you know how it turns out!

Cavegirl Runner

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I'm not a "Before and After"

In Spring 2011 I started running full time again. I bought my first pair of Brooks, found a beginner running program I liked, signed up for a race and did it! Prior to that year I had tried and failed to get back into running multiple times. That year I put a lot of thought into why I was not liking something I used to love. I realized I always approached it like I was 14 years old again. 23 is not old, but when you've been fairly sedentary for 5 years, going out and running 2 miles like it's nothing is not easy! I knew that if I wanted this to last I would have to start slow. No matter how agonizing. I ran 2 or 3 races in 2011 and even made a new running friend. But then October rolled around and my work schedule got hectic. I decided trying to fit runs into my schedule was too stressful and quit for the fall and winter.

Around the time I quit running was also the time that I began to seriously consider a Paleo/Primal lifestyle. I did a lot of research and reading. Finally I decided to give it a "try." At first I was just intrigued. I didn't think it would make much difference in my life. I wasn't overweight, didn't have any life altering illness to speak of and I thought I felt fine. Well, it's been a year since my "try."

The title of this post is "I'm not a 'Before' and 'After'." And this is true; outwardly I am not. But on the inside, how I feel, what I can do...all I can say is, what a difference a year can make! When I stopped running Fall 2011, I could barely go 4 miles. This year I have done countless 5Ks, two 10Ks, and I'm going to start half marathon training next month! I sleep better, have more energy, and experience very few weird blood sugar stuff that I used to worry about. I'm still getting used to the fact that I can do all these things I didn't think I was capable of. For example, racing a sub-25 minute 5K. A year ago, um, impossible.

So no, I don't consider myself an outwardly inspirational "Before and After." But!!! I have a really good friend who is! She is an amazing woman whose transformation is just incredible. I asked her to share her story and I'm so happy to tell you that she agreed! So my first guest post should be coming up soon. I'm very excited to provide her with the opportunity to share her inspiring story!

Cavegirl Runner

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekend Wrapup (10/29/12-11/4/12)

Walk dogs with H


Run: 3 miles

Run:4 miles with Running Bestie

Strength Training
     *Goblet Squat, Dumbbell Row, Core Stabilization, Single-arm dumbbell swing, Decline Pushup

Run: 5 miles


This wasn't really the week that I had planned. I skipped 2 bike rides. Even though I wasn't sore from the race last weekend, I think it may have worn me out more than I realized.

I registered for the Joplin Memorial Run Half Marathon this week! It's for real now! I still have until December 31st to register for Rock the Parkway.

I'm sorry I did not get a Food Friday post done this week. :( I promise next week will be something fabulous.

Cavegirl Runner

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Listen to Your Body

Recently I've talked about setting goals and making a plan to reach those goals. Now I'd like to touch on when to listen to your body and when to ignore it. This can be tricky.

First there is listening to your body while you are working out. If you're working hard then you will be feeling discomfort. This is normal and good. It means you are making your body stronger. But what if it's more than discomfort and actual bad pain? Like injury pain. It can be difficult to tell the difference unless you have experienced both. I think possibly the only way to know you're pushing your body too far is if you have actually done it before. And let me tell you from experience, that is not fun. Injuries suck!

It was my sophomore year of high school during track season. We were doing some crazy workout we had never done before. If I remember correctly, it was something like run 2 miles, do a couple time trials on the track, then run 2 or 3 more miles. At some point after the time trials, the arches of my feet started to hurt. I tried to ignore it and push through. I finished the workout, but my feet were screwed. I fell to the side of the track and yanked my shoes off trying not to cry from the pain. My arches were swollen and throbbing like crazy. I'm still not certain what exactly happened, but that injury has plagued me ever since. (Until this year, however, and I will get to that in a moment.) After that practice, I would ice my feet every night when I got home. Imagine me sitting doing my homework with my feet in a 5 gallon bucket of ice water. Very cold! I got shoe insoles and would wrap my arches before every practice and meet. With injuries, one thing can quickly lead to another if the first problem is not taken care of completely. I did not take enough time off, nor did I see a doctor about my foot problem. A few months later I had a hip problem. I think I must have changed my stride to compensate for my feet hurting and it starting pinching a nerve or something in my hips. The hip thing actually kept me from competing at the state track meet my junior year. I was taking 4 ibuprofen before I ran, and it still hurt like crazy.

Now that I'm a little older and wiser...I know it's not good to take ibuprofen before you workout. Bad for your kidney, or liver...or some important internal organ. I also know that if my feet ever start to hurt like they did that day at track practice to STOP IMMEDIATELY! I think my hip problem was probably a combination of tight and/or weak hip flexor muscles, and possibly weak glute and hamstrings too. When you're 16 years old you think you're invincible though.

This past year I started running full time in Vibram FiveFingers. I freaking love them! I own 3 pairs and I'm on my second pair of Bikilas. They just came out with a new style, called the Lontra, that is designed for cold weather. I would love a pair because my feet get cold very easily. I bought special socks so I'm hoping it will be enough. I don't want to spend $150 on a new pair of shoes. Anyway...I have had no major  injuries since I started running in them. That's kind of a big deal. I'm also running farther and faster than ever before. **I have to say that they may not be for everyone and you have to take it slow increasing your mileage. They do not provide support like a traditional running shoe so your body has to do more of the work. If you're not careful, you can injure yourself from overusing muscles that aren't used to the workload.**

The second way you need to listen to your body with getting enough rest. I always put some wiggle room in my workout schedule in case I need to move stuff around. I may be really busy one day, or up late the night before and need to do a workout a different day. This is ok! If you are tired from work, staying up late too many nights in a row, or just life in general, your workout may suffer. There are times that I suck it up and do it because I don't have much other choice, but it is always important to listen to your body. Rest comes before exercise in my book. Your body is already taxed if it is not getting adequate rest, and a strenuous workout will only make you more susceptible to illness.

Exciting news: Sometime in the next month I will have a guest post! More to come later!

Cavegirl Runner

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekend Wrapup (10/22/12-10/28/12)


Run: 2.5 mi 


Run: 2 mi 


Twilight Thrill 5K Race!

Rest Day

I'm sure you noticed the decrease in my fitness activity this week. It's been a couple months since I raced a 5K. I know I have gotten faster since then and I decided to take it easy this week so I was completely rested for the race. I must have done something right...FASTEST 5K EVER! What's funny is when I got done I didn't feel like I had worked that hard and could have ran faster. And, I was only 21 seconds away from an age division medal...21 SECONDS. I'm not mad though, I'm actually very pleased.

I ordered a copy of The Paleo Diet for Athletes from Amazon. An updated and revised edition came out this month, but I got the original. Partly because I didn't realize the other book was an updated version, but mostly because the original was cheaper. I'm about a third the way through and I'm really enjoying it so far. I believe I will definitely be implementing their suggestions during Half Marathon training.

Even though I ran a monster of a PR, I kind of feel like I took it a little too easy this week. I'm ready to get back at it next week.

Goals for next week
1. Work hard.
2. Feel good.
3. Push my limits.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Foodie Friday (10/26/12)

Easy Slow Cooker Apple and Onion Pork Chops

6 boneless pork chops
2 apples
2 onions
salt, pepper, and thyme to taste
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1. Dice apples and onions into chunks and spread in bottom of Crock pot. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme.
2. Place pork chops on top of apple and onion.
3. Mix chicken broth and apple cider vinegar then pour mixture over pork chops and veggies.
4. Sprinkle pork chops with salt, pepper, and thyme.
5. Cook on low for 8 hours.

This recipe came from Denim and Dots.

This turned out very good. I think next time I will put the chops on the bottom of the slow cooker then place the apples and onions on top to prevent the chops from drying out. I used homemade chicken broth and Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar.
I decided this week I wanted to reconcile with using herbs and spices, hence the thyme. I didn't use a whole lot, but I used enough that I could taste it in the final product. Here are the herbs and spices I used this week: thyme, paprika, chili powder and oregano. Go me!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Make a Plan

Two weeks ago I discussed setting goals. I said it should encompass something important to you and be specific. Today I'd like to explain how to reach those goals: Make A Plan!

Some people can run and workout just by whatever they feel like doing that particular day. And that totally works for them! I do not operate this way. I've tried. I failed. I like structure and organization and lists. Also, when I have everything wrote down, it's more tangible to me.

Here are some great resources for beginners:
Runner's World - I love this magazine, I have a subscription, and I could spend all day reading their training articles. They also have this really cool thing called SmartCoach. It's free, you put in all your info, and it gives you a training schedule. Easy as that! - This site lists a lot of races and has a lot of good articles on running, swimming, cycling, and triathlons.
Cool Running - Again lots of good articles. They even include the Couch-to-5K (C25K) Running Plan for free!

I have recently been talked into running a couple half marathons next year. This will push back my triathlon plans, but I'm OK with that. Since I have never ran a half marathon before, you better believe I will be using a half marathon training plan. The first one is Rock the Parkway on April 13, and the other is Joplin Memorial Run on May 18. Yes, I realize they are only 5 weeks apart. Yes, I realize that is not advised. Yes, I still want to do it. Considering what lead to talking me into these races was the prospect of participating in the Heartland 39.3 Series, it will be fine. Seriously, go to the Heartland 39.3 Series link...I was considering it!

A couple Sundays ago, my husband fell asleep on the couch, and I had the opportunity to plan out my running and workout schedule in peace. I keep a training log and write down what I want to do in pencil. I like to use pencil because plans frequently change, and pencil erases. The running plan I came up with luckily works perfectly with getting ready to train for the half. I love it when things work out.

Speaking of plans changing...sometimes a perfect plan doesn't work out so perfectly. Sometimes you really need to rest instead of busting out a speed workout or strength training. Next week I'll talk about how to Listen to Your Body.

Cavegirl Runner

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekend Wrapup (10/15-10/21)

AM-Strength Training
     *side lunge and press, single leg dumbbell row, single leg hip raise, T pushup
PM-Bike: 10 min easy, 2 x (2 min hard, 2 min easy), 5 min easy

Run: 3 mi fartlek

Bike: 10 min easy, 14 min, tempo, 6 min easy
    **it was SO windy***
Walk dogs with H

Run: 4 miles 
     **still windy**
Walk dogs with H

AM-Strength Training
     *overhead dumbbell lunge, single arm-neutral grip-dumbbell row & rotation, single arm setup & press, pushup, prone cobra
PM-Walk dogs with H

Run: 5 miles with Running Bestie

Rest Day!

I've never tried to ride a bike in wind like we had on Wednesday! It wasn't knock me over bad, but I was having to really work without going much of anywhere. On Thursday I chose a route where I mostly had a cross wind because it was still pretty windy. I started incorporating speed work this week (fartlek on Tuesday). I love fartleks! When I do them I run about a half mile warmup, then run fast between a couple signs or poles, then slow down till I feel recovered, then go hard again and repeat until I've finished the mileage. I finish off with about a quarter mile cooldown. I never plan out the distance or time of the fast/slow parts, I just go by feel.
I'm happy with the work I did this week. I can feel myself getting stronger. Also, I may have gotten talked into running Rock the Parkway Half-Marathon next would be my first half.

Goals for next week
1. Finish "Make a Plan" post
2. Figure out a costume for Twilight Thriller
3. Run a PR at Twilight Thriller 5K

Friday, October 19, 2012

Foodie Friday (10/18)

Spaghetti Squash and Garden Marinara Meat Sauce

Spaghetti Squash Ingredients
spaghetti squash
salt & pepper to taste

Spaghetti Squash Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff. I just threw out the seeds, but you can cook them like pumpkin seeds.
4. Place squash cut-side down in a baking dish. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the dish.
5. Put in oven and cook for 45 minutes, or until tender.
6. Remove the squash from the oven. Carefully (it will be hot!) take a fork and run it lengthwise through the flesh of the squash. It will come out in strings like spaghetti!
7. Put the flesh strings in a bowl and add some butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Garden Marinara Meat Sauce Ingredients
2 lbs. ground meat (I used ground chuck because I like beef and it was on sale. Feel free to use chicken or turkey or pork or whatever you like)
roasted red bell pepper
can diced tomatoes (the tomatoes in the store did not look good, so I used canned)
2 whole carrots (chopped)
2 celery stalks (chopped)
6 whole mushrooms (chopped)
basil (I didn't measure, I just sprinkled some in)
salt & pepper to taste

Garden Marinara Meat Sauce Directions
1. Roast the red bell pepper. A quick Google search reveals many ways to accomplish this. I used my gas stove. I turned the burner on high and used a pair of tongs to rotate the pepper until it was burnt on all sides. Then I placed it in a bowl and put plastic wrap on the top to cool. Whichever method you use, the end result should be an evenly burnt pepper. You can also buy roasted red peppers in the store, but I wanted to do it myself.
2. Start a large skillet to warm on the stove.
3. In a food processor (or blender) combine the tomatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms and basil.
4. If the pepper has cooled, remove it from the bowl and remove the skin. It should come off easily with just your hands. I read to not rinse it as this will remove the roasted flavor. De-seed the pepper, slice and chop and put it in the food processor.
5. Blend the ingredients together until they form a consistency you like.
6. Once the skillet is hot, cook the ground meat. When it is still slightly pink, add the sauce from the blender. Mix together and simmer until the thickness suits you.
7. Serve over spaghetti squash. Eat!

**Make the meat sauce while the spaghetti squash is in the oven.**

This was a very adventurous dinner. I had never made spaghetti squash or roasted a red bell pepper before. I loosely followed a meat sauce recipe but added in other stuff I wanted. I have a general dislike to peppers: I like their flavor, but not eating them outright. I really liked the roasted red pepper that was blended with the other vegetables. I could definitely taste it, but it wasn't overpowering.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One Month Blogiversary!

Yep, bustin' out a Ben Franklin quote. I think it fits pretty perfectly.
I've had a lot of fun the past month writing this blog and updating on Facebook. (Yes, I have a Facebook page! Go give me a LIKE!) On my Facebook page, I honestly only expected my Mom and a few friends to LIKE it, but I have 55 LIKE's and only 25 of them are people I personally know in real life! 30 new friends in health and fitness in a month? I'll take it!

It is my hope that I have, and can continue to, live up to that Ben Franklin quote. I have a notebook that is quickly filling with blog ideas. The only problem is finding the time to write! For me it's also a matter of quality over quantity. I could write every single day but that doesn't mean half of it would be worth reading. So whether you have read all my posts, or this is your first one, Thank You and Welcome! I try to be entertaining and informative.

Starting this blog also helped get me out of the rut I was in. I didn't want to be blogging about fitness when I was slacking and barely doing anything myself. I'm also helping a very dear and long-time friend get back into shape. I love inspiring people to become better versions of themselves and through this blog and Facebook page, I hope I am inspiring even more people.

I know I said last week I would post the follow up to Setting Goals this week, that will happen tomorrow or Saturday. I couldn't let my 1 month blogiversary pass without a little fanfare!

Cavegirl Runner

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekend Wrapup (10/8-10/14)

Here's what my week looked like:

Bike: 10 min easy, 8 min tempo, 7 min easy
Walk dogs with H 

Run: 3 miles 

AM-Strength Training
     *single arm dumbbell swing, modified pushup and row, dumbbell thruster, stability ball jacknife
PM-Bike: 10 min easy, 10 min tempo, 5 min easy

Run: 3 miles

Strength Training
     *goblet squat, pushups, hip raises, dumbbell row, plank

Run: 5 miles

Rest Day

I reached all my goals I set for myself last week! I am super happy and super proud of myself. I didn't follow my schedule exactly but I still got everything done with a little rearranging. After feeling burnt out and adrift after my first 10K, I think I've found my focus again. AND...I got to run with my running buddy on Saturday! We haven't ran together in months because she's been injured but now she's back and I'm happy!

Goals for next week
1. Run 3 days for a total of 12 miles
2. Bike 2 days
3. Strength train 2 days

What did you do this week that you are proud of?

Cavegirl Runner

Friday, October 12, 2012

Foodie Friday

I love food! So starting next week, I will begin sharing a recipe on Friday of something I have made recently. I'm excited for this! Here are some things to know about my cooking:

*I like simple meals with few ingredients.
*I'm not adventurous enough to use a lot of spices or herbs. I like basil. The smell of parsley reminds me of the smell of alfalfa. I do not like the smell of rosemary or thyme. Bay leaves are ok.
*I'm not a big fan of peppers or onions. I like the smell and flavor of them, but I don't enjoy eating them raw or partially cooked.
*I like garlic.

I never follow a recipe to the letter. Often I will combine a couple different recipes. I'm telling you this because if you want to make my recipe, it will not offend me if you add in or leave out ingredients. Every one has different tastes. Maybe you love rosemary or thyme...I really don't.

Cooking is a relatively new concept for me, as I explained here. But I like eating and I like knowing what is in my food. So check back next Friday for my first "Foodie Friday" post!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Cavegirl Runner

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Setting Goals

I'm big into setting goals. The day before every meet, my high school cross country coach had us write down three goals we wanted to accomplish the next day. Some weeks were easier than others, but mine were usually get a medal or run a certain time. I've only been writing this blog for a little over 3 weeks, but I've already talked a lot about my personal fitness goals (see here, here, and here).

Goals are a great motivator. They give direction and purpose to your training. A question I ask myself is: "How will this make me better/stronger/faster?" A big part of that is finding what works (or doesn't work) for you. Through trial and error I have learned that my body doesn't like to run more than 3 days a week. More than that and I reach a point of diminishing returns. (That doesn't mean I sit on my butt the other 4 days though!)

So, what kind of goals should you set? Honestly, it doesn't matter as long as it is important to you! As long as it is important to you, you have a much better chance of seeing it through to the end. And the more specific the better: What do you want to do? When do you want to do it? Why are you doing it?

Lastly, setting goals is great, but how do you reach them? How do you get from Point A (where you are now) to Point B (where you want to be)? You have to make a plan! Planning and scheduling go hand in hand with setting the goal. You can't know where you're going if you don't know how to get there. Next week I will explain how I plan and schedule my workouts.

Cavegirl Runner

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up (10/1-10/7)

What did I do for exercise this week?

Bike 30 min

AM-Run 3 miles
PM-Walk dogs with H (my husband)


Run 3 miles

Walk dogs with H

AM-Run 4 miles
PM-The Color Run (walk 5K)

Rest Day

Not a bad week. I'm happy I ran 3 days! I haven't done that for about a month because I was feeling burnt out after my first 10K. I wish I would have included at least one day of strength training. I had the time, just did not manage it well.

Goals for next week
1. Run 3 days
2. Run 11 total miles
3. Strength train 2 days

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pistachio Day!

I mentioned in my very first post that I have a tendency to overindulge in nuts. Pistachios are the worst. They are like catnip for this Cavegirl. The interesting part is, I never tried pistachios before going Paleo. My husband used to buy them all the time and I always turned my nose up at them. But from the day I cracked open that first salty shell, I was addicted. My husband and I could polish off a 1 lb. bag in a single evening!

In an effort to curb my crazy pistachio problem,  I started dividing the big bag into multiple smaller bags and putting them out of sight. Didn't help. The next step I took was buying the smaller packages. This worked pretty well until the local grocery store near my house started carrying them. Before then, I had to drive across town to Walmart for my fix. They were a bit more expensive at the local store, but I didn't have to drive across town, so in my mind it was worth it. That is until I realized I was buying a bag every time I went in the store, which was every day. I was eating an 8 oz. bag of pistachios every day!

I decided that this was way too much of a good thing. Just because a food falls under the Paleo Guidelines, doesn't mean you can gorge yourself on it. Not to mention how much I was spending on pistachios in a month. (Yikes!) Hence, "Pistachio Day" was born! Pistachio Day is Sunday and Wednesday. I buy a small bag of pistachios, and eat them all without feeling guilty. But only on these days.

This was very difficult at first. It took a few weeks to develop the self-control to not buy them. I'm pretty good about it now. Sometimes I'll be in an "I don't care" mood and buy a bag when it's not Pistachio Day. I let myself feel bad, and then I promise myself to do better next time.

It annoys me when people tell me that there are worse things I could be overeating. That may be true for them, but I don't eat sweets. Ever. I don't want to, so I don't. The box of cookies doesn't tempt me like pistachios. Or grapes. Geez, grapes are a whole other story.

My point is this: If there is a food that you can't help but eat until it's gone, don't keep it in your house. Do Not Buy It! The foods I have this problem with are pistachios and grapes. I have pistachios mostly under control. Grapes are a work in progress.

Cavegirl Runner

Monday, October 1, 2012

Race Recap: Combat Air Museum Winged Foot

Good things
*10K PR -- 56:49
*First place in my age division
*Got my name in the paper

Bad things
*Random foot pain
*Started too fast to maintain

So...the race. I ran a personal best and got first in my age division. My goal was to come in under an hour, and I did that. So why do I feel like I could have done better? For one thing I started way faster than I could maintain over 6 miles. But I decided to take a chance and I don't regret that. I did during the last two miles of the race, but I don't now. For me this race showed me what I am capable of and what I want to be capable of.

I'm going to need one of those display racks for running medals soon. Right now they are all hanging on the switch of the lamp in the corner of my living room. I guess when it falls over that will be my cue.

Lastly, I'd like to give a shout-out to my Mom. This was her first 5K walk and I am so proud of her. Not just for finishing, but for her actions on the course. There was an older gentleman who had recently had back surgery and this was his first race back. He wasn't doing so great so my Mom got him to walk with her. Even though he didn't think he could do it and wanted to quit, my Mom was there to encourage him to keep going. I love my Mom.

Cavegirl Runner

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dinner (Mis)Adventure

Growing up and throughout college I ate a lot of food from a box. I didn't care what was in it as long as it tasted good and I could make it fast. When I walk through the grocery store and look at all the crap I used to eat on a regular basis...I am just amazed. So when I made the transition to a Paleo/Primal diet, I had to learn how to cook real food. And I had to learn quick.

I ate a lot of hamburger patties the first month (or two...or three...). It was the easiest and quickest thing I knew how to cook; even then I had little to no experience cooking them. Slowly I began branching out: scrambled eggs, frozen chicken breast cooked in the toaster oven...frozen veggies were a life saver! Luckily for me the internet is full of great people who share their Paleo recipes, and I decided to give some a try. Lo and behold, I discovered that I really enjoy cooking! Keeping an eye on everything, and prepping stuff to put in next, and trying to time everything to be ready at the same's a little stressful, but in a good and fun way because when you're done you get to EAT! I've also learned that I really like cooking for my friends and family. Good Food + Good People = Happy Cavegirl.

Which leads me to tonight's story.

A miscommunication between me and my friend led to me having a lot of food and only myself to eat it. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm going out of town this weekend which meant it had to be eaten tonight. I picked up some KC Strip Steak from the store on my way home from work. (My friend is a vegetarian, so I didn't have any meat in the house. Cavegirl needs steak.) I had asparagus and butternut squash at home to go with it--before tonight I had never cooked any of these things by myself.

I think it would have turned out better if my husband had not been working late.

I preheated the oven for 350 degrees and cut my squash in half lengthwise. That was more difficult than I had imagined. I placed the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and added some water. I put that in the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes. While that was going I set about washing some dishes. When the squash timer got down to 25 minutes I put the steaks on the broiler plate, put them in the oven, and set the oven to broil. Then I broke the stems off the asparagus while the skillet warmed up, put some olive oil in the skillet, and started sauteing the asparagus. When they were just about ready I added some butter, rolled the asparagus around in it, and turned off the burner. While I was busy with the asparagus, I forgot to keep an eye on the steak! They weren't bad...but they were a little overcooked. The asparagus and steak were done (and overdone) but the squash still had 10 minutes. I decided I didn't have time to wait. I needed everything done by 7:00 to watch the only TV show I care about watching: The Big Bang Theory. I pulled the squash out of the oven and started scooping out the could have used those last 10 minutes. Not to be deterred, I grabbed a fork and started mashing. Then I grabbed the butter and started mixing it in. I let go of the bowl for a split second and...

it fell in the sink of soapy water...

The asparagus was very tasty at least.

Cavegirl Runner

Monday, September 24, 2012

Race Week

Saturday morning I'm running my second 10K ever, the Combat Air Museum Winged Foot Run. My Mom is participating in the 5K walk (Go, Mom!), then we're going to hang out in Topeka for the day. I mentioned in my last post that my first 10K time was 1:07:01. My goal for this one is under an hour. I received an email from the race director a couple weeks ago that said about 30 people had registered, so this is going to be a small race. (Medal??!) Usually I start in the middle back of the pack, but I think I'm going to start up with the faster runners on Saturday. I want to really push myself and see what I can do. I want to really race!

The only distances I have raced are 5K & 10Ks. The week of a race I'll hit it hard Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and not do anything physical on Thursday and Friday. I give my body two days to relax and recover and by the third day (race day) all I want to do is run. This morning I did the Spartacus Workout from my Women's Health Big Book of Exercises. Tomorrow morning I'm going to group run--no idea how far or how fast that will be. Then Wednesday will depend on how I'm feeling from Tuesday's run. If I don't feel like running I'll ride my bike and do some strength training.

It was my Mom's idea to do this race. Back in June, my Mom, my sister, and I participated in Jazz in the Park in Topeka--my Mom walked and my sister and I ran. At Jazz in the Park there were brochures for Combat Air Museum. My Mom grabbed a few, stuck one in my race packet, told me she wanted to do it and asked if I would do it with her. I couldn't say "No" to that! I love my Mom.

Cavegirl Runner

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Fall Y'all!

Today is the official first day of fall! The start of fall makes me happy and sad. I'm happy for the cooler weather--this summer was dreadful hot. But it also means that winter is not far away, and I don't care much for cold weather. It also means less and less daylight, and I really like the sun. So I guess the only thing I don't like about fall is that it precedes winter, and I don't like winter. So I'll just enjoy the great fall weather while we have it and not worry about winter until it gets here! Living in the moment as it were.

This morning I celebrated the start of fall with my longest run ever: 7 miles. I only stopped to walk once, and that was because I tripped and fell around the 2.5 mile mark. Don't worry, I'm OK--I did a nice tuck-and-roll and only scratched my hand a little. The first 4 miles were a breeze. Around 5.5 miles my legs started cramping but I made myself keep moving forward and I passed the 6 mile mark at a time faster than my last 10K. The last mile I  mostly focused on my form and how close I was to being done.. It wasn't easy, but I'm super proud of myself for doing it. 7 miles?! Just a couple months ago I would not have thought it was possible.

A new season is a great time for some new goals. This summer I focused on endurance because I wanted to run a 10K. I got up to 6 miles in my training runs, and ran my first 10K in 1:07.01. This fall I want to get faster and stronger. The only way to race faster is to run faster. There is a fairly new running group in town, and I've ran with them one time so far. We ran 4.5 miles averaging a 7:49 pace. Yeah, that's faster! I was going to incorporate intervals into my training, but I think I'll just run with these guys a couple days a week. I also want to get stronger. I started doing body weight strength training this summer, but have gotten a bit lazy the last couple weeks. This fall I want to strength train 3 days a week, either with free weights or body weight.

What are your health and fitness goals this fall and how will you accomplish them?

Cavegirl Runner

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Got Allergies?

I don't! Well, let's say, not as bad as I used to.

Old Story: I would tough it out for about a month through: dry, itchy, red, puffy eyes; stuffed up nose; runny nose; constant sneezing; scratchy throat; sinus congestion that led to chest congestion that led to a cough; wheezing and difficulty breathing; lethargy; and a few sinus infections. Basically, I was MISERABLE! Eventually I would break down and take allergy medicine. For a couple years in recent memory I was on a prescription nasal spray, OTC eye drops, and an OTC anti-histamine during allergy season. Last year I took generic Claritin for 2 months straight. That's probably not advised. When I was a kid, ragweed and hay fever were the worst!

New Story: I'll have a sneezing fit every once in a while. (A sneezing fit is where you sneeze about 10+ times in succession.) These are usually on days when my husband, who claims to not have allergies, is also having sneezing fits. Recently my nose has been itching like it wants to sneeze, but nothing ever happens. Sometimes the inside of my right eye will get red and itchy, but this seems to be a sign of not enough sleep and/or water. Other than the random sneeze or runny nose...that's about it. Oh, last night my nose was a little stuffy when I went to bed.

I'm sure you're wondering, "How the heck did she manage that?!" Short answer, I changed my diet. As a side-note, I don't really like the word "diet", but that's a post for another time. I truly believe changing my diet is the answer. The biggest thing I cut out was grains. Check out this post from Mark's Daily Apple:
"Last, my own nearly debilitating seasonal allergies literally disappeared when I got rid of grains (and cut the chronic cardio). It may have been related to the autoimmune connection between anti-nutrients/leaky-gut and hypersensitivity to proteins in grass seeds and pollen (grains are grass seeds). Many MDA readers report a dramatic reduction in hay fever or allergy symptoms when cutting grains."
Now, Mark Sisson does not promote chronic cardio, e.g. distance running. But I really like running and I think it helps alleviate some of my allergy symptoms! There's nothing I love more than a few good snot rockets on a morning run. Ah, clear sinuses! And the heavy breathing clears out any congestion that may have settled overnight. Yeah, I'm a spitter, too. If you see me on the road, you may want to watch out!

During this allergy season I have also cut cheese out of my diet. Dairy has properties that facilitate mucus production, and more mucus is the last thing my body needs during allergy season!

Cavegirl Runner

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cavegirl Runner Manifesto

Definition of MANIFESTO, from
"a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer"
I'm a goal-oriented person. I like to have a reason for doing things. So, why am I Cavegirl Runner, and what do I want to do?

Everything posted here will have to do with health, wellness, exercise, motivation, and inspiration. It might be a link to an article I found interesting or a picture from Facebook. It might just be an update on my health and fitness journey. I even have a couple people lined up to do a guest blog from time to time. I'm very much looking forward to that! My goal is to post at least 3 times per week, so don't forget to check in to see what's new!

And don't forget to "like" Cavegirl Runner on Facebook!

"I'm just a girl searching for health and fitness, and hoping to inspire others to do the same."
I am Cavegirl Runner.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Who is Cavegirl Runner?

I ran cross country and track in for a small 3A high school in Kansas. I did pretty well, competed at the State meet a few times, not everyone can say that. After graduating and moving to college however my activeness basically stopped, unless you count Marching Band. When I was in high school (and younger, obviously) I would eat whatever I wanted. And let me tell you, I had a serious sweet tooth. Brownies were my ultimate kryptonite. But I didn't think anything about it because I was active with sports all the time and I thought I looked and felt fine. In fact, I never gave much thought to my body or how I looked until I started college. That's probably unusual, but it's true. So, I started college and was busy with class and new friends, and was still eating the same way but not exercising. At some point I started to notice my clothes weren't fitting as well...I decided that since I did not have time to exercise, that I should stop eating sugary stuff, so I did, and it worked well enough.

Fast forward to my 3rd year of college. I had moved off campus and was living with 3 other girls, working part-time, going to school full time, and had all sorts of school related stress going on. I think this is when my health really began to nose-dive. I wasn't sleeping. I wasn't eating. I would eat Pop-Tarts and a Red Bull for breakfast. Lunch would be a granola bar and a giant cup of coffee. Dinner was the easiest thing I could throw in the microwave. I would try to run for 10 minutes and would be so tired I would have to take an hour nap after. Eventually my body started to revolt.

I went to the Student Health Center because I could not stop shaking. I was sent to see a counselor and given a prescription for Xanax. The medical doctor also advised me on my eating habits. Slowly but surely I started to feel better. I had been abusing my body for quiet some time.

Fast forward a couple more years (yes, it took me 5 1/2 years to graduate). I am much better, still have a few issues but nothing I don't usually feel like I can't handle, and I start to really look at how and why I eat. I begin to adopt a "Clean Diet". I buy some magazines and cook books, and I stop eating anything with HFCS. I think this point was the start to my search for good health through food.

Then I graduated and started looking for a job. I wasn't having any luck and needed something I could control in my life so I started running again. It was much easier this time especially with a running buddy from work to encourage me. It also helped that she was a personal trainer at the time and a super-faster runner than me! She told me about this crazy thing called the Paleo Diet and how she used to eat that way and was trying to start again. I found it interesting, but like many, I didn't think I could get over my love of all things bread.

Fall came and I started substitute teaching, and our early morning runs ended. I took about 5 months off from running. But during this time, I discovered Mark's Daily Apple! THIS was the changing point in my life. I bought his books, I started reading other Paleo Diet blogs, and eventually I decided I was going to do this: it all made perfect sense. I did not go 100% all at once; it happened gradually over a couple months. I thought I felt and looked fine before, but now that I've made this transition, I feel fabulous almost all the time!

Today I'm pretty strict Paleo/Primal. I eat more fruit than anyone would probably advise, but I think my want of sweet fruit stems from how much I loved cake and candy as a kid. I also have a tendency to overindulge in nuts. I didn't say I was perfect, but I'm trying! I started running again in March. This year I have ran the Warrior Dash, five 5Ks, and a 10K. Coming up this fall I have another 10K, the Color Run, and hopefully a Halloween and Thanksgiving race. I recently started running with a new running group in town and discovered that I can run a lot faster than I thought. This winter I'm going to start swimming and strength training because I want to race a few sprint triathlons next spring. So that's me.

I am Cavegirl Runner.