23 Jun

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I’ve Moved..

16 Jun

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Listening to Your Body vs. Endurance Training Discomfort

17 May

Disclaimer:  While I was inspired by Jenna’s post, this has nothing to do with whether or not what she did was right or wrong.  It’s just a philosophical conversation I had with myself based on her decision and the responses it garnered.

When Jenna announced that she was stepping down from the 60-mile distance from the 100-mile distance of the Echelon Gran Fondo, I knew there would be uproar in her comments section.   Some of the comments congratulating on her for “listening to [her] body” made me think:  where is the line drawn between listening to our bodies and the normal wear and tear of endurance training?

If you’ve trained for an endurance event, whether it be a half or full marathon, a triathlon, or a ride, you know that endurance training is hard work.  Your body aches and hurts.  Your mind plays tricks on you.  You are emotionally and physically exhausted.  If I had “listened” to my body during my half-marathon training, I would’ve quit at least once a week.  Hell, if I had listened to my body, I never would have started running in the first place.

Pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones is painful and hard.  If it were easy, everyone would do it and we wouldn’t have to train.  The entire point of endurance training is to push beyond our current abilities to improve and get stronger – to gain endurance.  If we all gave up whenever we listened to our body’s discomfort, we’d never get anywhere.  What I’m saying is you shouldn’t give up because your body (or mind for that matter) is saying you can’t.  YOU CAN.  You will never know unless you TRY.  Pushing past a mental block is extremely difficult.  For me, it was one of the hardest parts about starting to run.  I still struggle on a daily basis with the mental aspect of running.  You just HAVE to push through it in order to improve.  Fight the good fight!  Winning the battle is both mentally and physically fulfilling.

Granted, there is a distinct difference between pushing through a mental block and continuing while injured.  If you are injured, you should absolutely do what it takes to get better – even if that means giving up.  In that case, you NEED to listen to your body.  For example, if you have shin splints, listen to your body.  Ice.  Rest.  Take the necessary precautions so it doesn’t become a bigger problem.  Same goes for IT Band issues and the like.  Look at me!  Two weeks before my half, I almost had to drop out due to my IT band.  But I took a solid week off to rest and I took care of myself.  It was still painful, but completely and totally worth it in the long run (literally and figuratively).

Rainy Day Blues & The Baby Food Diet?!

17 May

Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day (preferably when I can sleep in, thanks).

This pouring rain is not conducive to my productivity today.  At all.  Since my attitude is crappy, I knew I needed something really yummy for breakfast:

The answer was a yogurt mess with vanilla Greek yogurt, a crushed-up chocolate wafer, a banana, and some coconut.  For some reason, I do not like my bananas cold, and I left my banana in my lunchbox in the fridge for too long L  When it’s cold, it gets too mushy, and it makes me think of baby food.  Not appetizing.  It’s okay if I cut it up and mix it into yogurt or oatmeal though.

Speaking of baby food, have you heard about this new baby food diet craze?  Supposedly it’s the newest “rage” among the Hollywood Starlets dying to be thin.  Creator Tracey Anderson claims this “cleanse” allows the crash dieter to lose 5lbs in a week without “suffering”.  I guess it all depends on your definition of suffering. While I love oatmeal, fruit smoothies, sweet potatoes and bananas, eating them in a pureed form a la Gerber is vomit inducing at best.  One of the suspected followers, Jennifer Aniston, released a statement regarding the rumors:

“I’ve been asked lately, ‘Jen, what’s this baby food diet all about?’ I kept thinking, ‘That’s the strangest question ever.’ Sorry, but the last time I had baby food, I believe I was one. I’ve been on solids for about 40 years now.” (Source)

Keep in mind, this diet was created by Gwyneth Paltrow’s trainer – the same woman who believes women should never use more than 3lb weights. I would definitely take it with a grain of salt.

Would you try the baby food diet?  What crazy fad diets have you tried in the past?

I considered the Master Cleanse before the wedding…. But then I remembered: I like food.

New 5k PR & Cupcakes!

16 May

I admit:  I’m a loser who forgot to take her camera to the 5k yesterday morning.  Massive blog failure, I know.  I’m counting on 1st Place Sports to post some pictures on their Facebook.  As soon as they do, I’ll post ’em here.

Marty’s Run 5k was pretty much a sure-thing PR.  I’ve only actually run in two 5ks before:  the first being a massive disaster and the second as a support system for a friend.  I didn’t really “race” either of them, so I don’t really have a PR.  I needed a stepping stone.  Basically, I wanted this race to be my running report card.

I knew I was screwed when I hadn’t even started running and I was ready to sweat.  The humidity was insane, and I prefer to drink my water, not breathe it.  The gun went off, and I bolted across the start line at  a 9:30 pace.  I checked my Garmin and knowing I couldn’t sustain that, I tried to slow myself down.  My pace just kept creeping down to an unsustainable level.  I had such a hard time slowing myself down and controlling my pace.  I was drenched in sweat by the first mile.  Not good.

The next two miles were more torturous, overly hot fun.  I slowed down a bit, and even stopped to take a quick walk break.  When I turned the corner and saw the finish line a tenth of a mile away, I sprinted.  My short little legs somehow got down to a 6:56 pace (?!?!?!).  Crazy fast, I know.  I could hear Brandon cheering me on, and I was so.ready. to be done.  My official race time was 34:13 (an 11:02 pace).

The whole thing just made me wonder:  How on EARTH did I EVER run a half marathon?! I have got to get my distance mojo back before the end of the summer and the beginning of race season.

Last night, we headed over to Ashlee’s for her birthday BBQ.  Her cupcake display was unreal:

She baked every single one of those herself, and they were AMAZING.  Brandon and I split the Mojito, Irish Carbomb, Mudslide and Limoncello ones.  That girl can BAKE!

We ate some delicious turkey burgers, Ashlee’s homemade mac and cheese, and nibbed on her spread of hummus, pita chips, pretzel sticks, tomato-mozzarella-tortellini kabobs, and veggies.  We drank beer, played cornhole (I was totally clutch by the way) and had an overall great evening!  Thanks for having us and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Ash!

Just a heads up, if you’re in the market for a Garmin Forerunner, they’re on sale at Amazon for $125 this weekend!
Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver With Heart Rate Monitor

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Treadmill Survival 101

13 May

I don’t know why, but I’m in a really good mood today.  No particular reason and I’m really hoping that nothing happens to mess it up.  It’s nice to be in a good mood.

Maybe it was the oatmeal, almond butter and banana I had for breakfast:

Or the chicken stir-fry for lunch:

Or picking up my race packet for Marty’s Run 5k:

Or maybe the Yogaberry I’m munching on right now:

Either way, I like it, and I want to stay in a good mood.

Here in Florida, it’s getting to that time of year where running outdoors becomes torturous (at best).  While I despise running on the treadmill, I hate it a little bit less than humidity (and bugs, can’t forget the Florida bugs).  Problem is: it takes me a little while to build up my treadmill tolerance.  When I don’t run on the treadmill for a long time, the hatred thickens.  I remember how boring it is, and I consider running outside again.  But running outside is miserrrrrrable.  It’s a Catch-22.  I can’t win.

Instead of diving in head first to the treadmill this year, I think I’m going to wade in and see if that approach works better.  Throughout the summer, I still like to do one run a week outdoors, but that leaves 2-3 runs a week on the treadmill (stab me in the eyeball please).  For the remainder of May, my goal is to do one run per week on the torture track, with the others outside (with copious amounts of bug spray).  For instance, I thought I was going to fall off the treadmill and die of boredom during my 3.0 miles in 34:30.  While it wasn’t what I would consider to be a bad run, it still had much to be desired. Come June, I’ll do two runs a week for the first two weeks, then from there on out: most of the runs on the treadmill.  And then comes the boredom.  Here’s my tips for beating boredom on the treadmill:

  • Music: You all know I love my playlists.  Whenever I’m fighting boredom or having motivation issues, I always combat it with a new playlist.  Try putting your old school summer favorites on it.  My current picks: “Ice, Ice Baby” (Glee Cast Version) or Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby”.
  • If you don’t like music, hit the treadmill during your favorite TV show.  I once managed to get an entire hour of running in on the treadmill by watching an episode of NCIS.  That, my friends, is an absolute miracle considering my (lack of an) attention span.
  • Pick a routine: intervals, speed work, hills, whatever.  Setting the treadmill on 1.0 incline and 6.0 mph and going is really boring (nor is it doing you any favors).  Speed up, slow down, increase and decrease the incline, whatever you do, make it interesting!
  • Don’t be afraid to take walk breaks.  Last night, I busted out the speed thinking I was Super Woman, and quickly realized that I am not that fast.  I took a few quick walk breaks, and it made all the difference for me both mentally and physically. 
  • If all else fails, go to a crowded gym and people watch!  Surely there’s got to be some interesting characters to focus on. 

The art of distraction is key for me on the treadmill.  Hope my tips help!

Restaurant Review: Nineteen at TPC Sawgrass

12 May

Last night after work, Brandon and I met up at Nineteen at TPC Sawgrass for dinner.  I know, my obsession with TPC is a little out of control.  But, I found out they have a great Happy Hour, so how could I resist?  From 4 to 7 pm, they have half price drinks and appetizers on their Happy Hour Menu:

I started off with a glass of THE PLAYERS Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, and waited for my suitor to arrive.  Hint: if you think you might want to dine on the patio outside, call ahead and make a reservation. The patio is in demand and fills up quickly.  We were forced to sit inside, and it was kind of a bummer.  Most of the wines ranged from $9-20 a glass, but they’re all half-off during Happy Hour.  The appetizers ranged from $9-15 with a $34 Appetizer Trio sampler.  We went the Appetizer Trio route and chose the Pulled Pork Sliders, Buffalo Wings, and the Saratoga Chips:

Not exactly the healthiest dinner ever, but it was still nice to snack and sip on wine (and all for under $40!).  Everything was delicious, but my favorite part was the bleu cheese almost-gravy-like warm dipping sauce that accompanied the Saratoga chips.  I think I probably could’ve drank it….

After dinner, we went to visit our spot:

Look familiar?  It better…

Because that’s the exact spot where we got married 🙂

We will definitely be enjoying Happy Hour at Nineteen a little more often!