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