Tag Archives: health

monday brain exchange 25: race excitement

7 Feb

(The recharged and renewed weekly question series by OneLittleJill!)

What race are you most excited for in 2011?  Any destination races?  Are you trying out a new distance.  Tell us what it is in general you are looking forward to when it comes to 2011 racing.

Right now, I’m most excited for Boston’s Run to Remember. It’ll be my first real half marathon in over a year, and I really want to obliterate my old time from the Disney Princess Half. It shouldn’t be too hard, since now I’m much more educated on proper hydration and fueling. And after (barely) defeating the hills of the Around Cape Ann 25k and completing a marathon in 90°+ heat, the challenge seems much less daunting.

Of course, if I’m able to register for the BAA 5k, I will be ecstatic. There are only 5,000 spots, and considering how quickly the marathon filled up, this is going to be a clown rodeo of a registration. I’m not getting my hopes up too high for it yet, but it would be an awesome one to run.

Right now I have no destination races planned. I’m really trying to save up enough money to move into a place of my own within the next year, so that’s focus #1. Destination races create fantastic reasons to see new sights, but it’s not a necessity in my life right now. Smart financial planning!

I don’t plan on running any further than a marathon, so a “new” distance is right out. Maybe I’ll do a different race distance, like a 15k or 20k. Other than that, it’s 5k, 5 mile, 10k, and half marathons for me. I think I’m taking 2011 off from the marathon to focus on speed work and increased strength. I really *want* to run Chicago again… but logically, is it a smart move? I love Chicago. I love the race course. But is it smart for me to jump right in again? I had a lot of mental barriers along the way. I still have a few. I want to conquer those.

2011 will be a year of increased smartness and strength. It’s a year of at least 12 races of varying distances. It’s the year I stop caring about my pace in comparison to anyone else, and just do the best I can, with all the effort I can give, and to understand that pain and exhaustion are something to fight against; not succumb to.

some other words here

This weekend was a major bust. I went to a faaaaabulous concert on Friday night with a few friends, and woke up Saturday morning feeling like death. I was able to rule out a hangover because 2 beers within 4.5 hours, along with water? No. So Saturday was basically spent being horizontal and writhing in misery as I failed to manage to eat or drink anything. A short time after 9pm, I was able to eat 5 saltine crackers.

The next morning, I woke up feeling okay, but not 100% better. Curious about the previous day’s unintentional fast, I brushed off our scale and stepped on it. Lost 5lbs. Really? I hadn’t even been to the gym all week long because of the sucktastic weather. I also don’t really have 5lbs to lose (my lower weight at the time left me just two tenths of a point over the “underweight” BMI category). I managed to start nibbling on foods later in the day, and brought myself relatively back to normal. I think my weight is a-okay now.

super sunday 5k

Didn’t happen. The DCR told the race coordinator that because of the recent weather conditions, it had to be postponed. I was mildly relieved it was postponed, since my unintentional fast would have left me crawling 10ft from the starting line. But the day’s conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for a winter race; sunny, 44°F and a slight breeze. Right now, it’s on the calendar for this coming Sunday. Fingers crossed that it a) happens, and b) my stomach doesn’t decide to stage another coup.


A Note to The Biggest Loser: Season 9

19 May

As promised, here’s some substance:

Dear Producers of The Biggest Loser,

One of your contestants completed your crazy “get ready for a marathon in 30 days” challenge in 4 hours and 2 minutes. He admitted to focusing on marathon training instead of losing weight. In my mind, that’s a smart choice since, you know, he’s about to run a marathon.

While training, he gained 2lbs (again, this is just over 30 days). Fact: you need to eat more when you’re training intensely. At the weigh-in, the trainers proceeded to act “confused” and be upset with him for gaining 2lbs. He is suddenly wrought with self-doubt, even after shattering the previous marathon record. And uh, I’d expect Bob and Jillian to be more understanding in the case of 26.2 miles. Bob with his “how did you gain weight, all you did was run!” statement was juuuust a tad frustrating.

I know that shows are all about the ratings… but come on, give the kid a break. Gaining weight while marathon training is not uncommon. And if you’re going to give the contestants a challenge that requires increased caloric intake (not to mention 2-3 days of carbo-loading while in the final days of the taper… aka hardly running at all), then inform the uninformed public about how common something like that is. Wow, Daris gained weight after eating at least 1000g of carbs in 3 days? SHOCKING. But he seemed well-fueled and had energy to pick it up at the finish. His late-night snacking probably didn’t help, but I honestly don’t think this is anything to sneeze at. (Forgive me for ending sentences with prepositions.)

But I forgot, this show is all about the numbers. We’ll just forget about Sam taking the at-home prize, because he’s already reached his goal weight and won’t continue to shrink in the name of winning a fat check. In reality, he probably really deserves the prize. The winners of the show aren’t determined based on physical fitness or body fat percentage, it’s based on overall percentage of weight lost. One too many contestants have shown up to the Finale looking almost sickly thin. What happened to the message of being healthy?

I love what the show does and what it inspires others to do in the overall scheme of things. But let’s start focusing on the people and their health instead of percentages, last-minute marathons, and product placements, mmmmkay?


Three Things Thursday

13 May


I’ve made every effort to eliminate excess sugar from my diet. I take my coffee with milk only, I try to use stevia as sweetener (though I’m not a huge fan of its chemical aftertaste), and I limit sweets to a minimum. The only thing I haven’t fixed yet is not eating flavored yogurt… I have to get better at that. But it’s amazing to look at my food log and see how much sugar is in every day items! The bread I bought has 4g of sugar per slice. And I love fruit, which sends my sugar skyrocketing. My Trader Joe’s Green Plant juice? 25g per 8oz! Even the roasted vegetable lasagna I had yesterday had 7g of sugar. So even when I make stuff myself, so many base ingredients are built on sugar. What do you do to limit your sugar intake?


I get to have my magical massage today, and I could not be more excited for it. Last night I did intervals (on a treadmill, yuck) and I was really, really sore afterwards. I called off this morning’s run and I’m hoping to be able to do it tomorrow morning before any rain hits. 3 mile tempo… guh.


Have you guys ever seen the Exercises for Social Media Addicts?

I have this hanging up at my desk for fun, because I’d never be able to accomplish it! Part of my job involves periodically checking most of these sites. Maybe I’ll just throw all of them into a morning routine and call it my quota for the day ;)

Ok, my lavash wrap I had for lunch is sending me into a food coma. I think a hunt for caffeine will be in the works soon.


11 May

Okay I know this sounds super dramatic but whatever, I feel SO amazing today. After a rainy, cold, and windy weekend with sinus problems that could take down a yeti, I cannot even describe how spectacular I feel.


The first week of each month, my gym does a special Zumba class that focuses on one popular song and everyone learns the official music video dance to that song. This week it was ‘Single Ladies’ and I love me some Bob Fosse, so I was all geared up for it. Wouldn’t you know it, 5 minutes in my right foot cramps up. So we meet again, muscle cramp. Determined not to have to leave, I kicked off my shoes and tried to work out the knot as I learned the steps. The pain finally went away, but the knot remains full force in my foot. 4 days of solid pain. Ugh. Thankfully I was able to get an appointment this week to see my magical massage therapist that got rid of my IT band pain.


I spent most of the day indoors :( There were thunderstorms all morning, so I used the time to get some housework done. That night, my parents and I took my grandmother out for a Mother’s Day Eve dinner. Mushroom risotto <3


Much to my mother’s dismay, I signed us up for a local Mother’s Day 3.5 miler. I’ve been getting her to walk around the block most afternoons (there’s a good 1 mile loop), so I wanted her to walk this… and I walked with her. Let me tell you, I sort of wish I had been running… it was frickin’ cold. There was one person in a full-on winter jacket with fur hood. I only had on yoga pants, a long-sleeved top, and the cotton t-shirt we were given. COOOOOOOLD. We stayed in the car for as long as we could, then joined the crowd at the start… wherever the official start line was.

There were a lot of hills on the course, something my mom wasn’t a big fan of. But she kept about a 17 minute pace most of the time. I even got her to run twice! She had two goals for the race: 1) don’t be last, and 2) come in under 1 hour 15 minutes.

As we were approaching the finish, the clock appeared over the top of the last hill: 59:30. I told my mom and got her to start running to the end. She came in at 1:00:01! Just one second over an hour! I told her that next year she’d be running it ;)


I woke up with a headache that knocked me back out until 6am (I wake up at 5am). Goodbye, morning strength workout. I debated not going to work, felt a little better, and decided to tough it out. BAD IDEA. The train was hotter than usual (or maybe it was just my body temp) but I felt worse than I did when I woke up. I pushed through about half a day in the office, then went home, finished some work from bed, popped a migraine pill, and took a quick nap.

…which brings us back to the beginning of this post. I think that extra rest yesterday did wonders because I feel like I could solve any problem ever today. Okay maybe not, but I can definitely finish some reports, yeah?