April 18, 2012
Last night was 1 part “pity me” 1 part giving myself a stern talking to. But I promised you (and myself) that I would start my changes IMMEDIATELY, because complaining does no good, if you make no attempts to fix what’s bothering you, right?
So it started with the kitchen. I’ve always said how strong the connection is between what I eat and how I feel. For instance, last week we had a lot of starchy dinners and I ended up taking those in for lunches at work most days. Which means my daily “greens” intake was minimal. Not good. A few weeks ago, I started drinking daily versions of “green monsters”. Which is a scary name for “smoothie with spinach”. After a week straight of a spinach smoothie and salads everyday, going to no spinach cold turkey was ROUGH. I just felt heavy, sluggish and lethargic. I didn’t want to do anything physical and that really shows in my training efforts last week. So this week, I’ve switched back to salads for lunch and some less starchy dinners. So, after my temper tantrum yesterday evening, I hopped back into the kitchen to start with a healthy dinner.
Veggie stir fry with tempeh in a Almond Miso sauce over bulgur wheat! I’ve never cooked with Miso paste before, but after tonight’s adventure, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be using it again. This sauce was a perfect topping for the stir fry and the bulgur wheat kept it a little lighter than had I used brown rice (of which we had none anyhow…). I ripped the recipe out of one of my maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany cooking/food magazines and its definitely a keeper! I really liked how the nuttiness of the tempeh and almond sauce played off of each other and i’m not sure how tofu would hold up in this dish.
After a healthy dinner (ok and a sliver of homemade banana bread…) it was a little too late for the gym for me, but I didn’t want to let the day go by without really trying to get my heart rate up. So I took advantage of http://www.fitsugar.com and their free fitsugar workouts on fittv. I went through 2 whole body circuits that incorporated dumbbells and some cardio style moves to get your heart rate up. It wasn’t a running workout by any means, but it definitely was better than giving up for the night!
And with last night out of the way – lets talk about today!
Getting out of bed was NOT fun, but I was awake. And I knew that if I didn’t hit the gym in the AM, I’d spend the rest of the day beating myself up for it. I thought about going for my 4 miler that I missed yesterday morning, but then decided that the healthier thing to do mentally was to STOP focusing on what I had missed and start focusing on the present and what I had left to accomplish. If I spend my entire time obsessing over what I haven’t done, it can’t be very good for me. It sounds so negative, doesn’t it? So I chose to stay on track with my training schedule for the week and hit the treadmill for a 3 mile interval run. Even though I didn’t mess around with the incline intervals too much, I did toggle back and forth between low incline and no incline while upping my speed. I rounded out my run in 26:34, continuing to bring down that average pace. My goal is to have a faster “warm up” speed, so I can get more comfortable at the faster speeds. I’m pretty short, so at some point, my legs will only be able to move so fast! Although, I’ve heard that shorter tiny little strides are better than longer strides. Anyone have a preference?
We were nursing a sick kitty last night, so this morning I gave him some extra snuggles and jetted off to work for a long (still not over!) day. Thankfully I’ve gotten my workout out of the way this morning and have tacos waiting for me for when I get home. :) Even though tonight’s usually my Yoga night, I’m going to forgo the class, for the sake of time. Although for the sake of mental sanity, I may throw a few poses in on my own time before bed.
ps – those whole body circuits I fit in last night? I’m feeling them in my hamstrings for SURE. They were a fun way to sweat a little bit, without having to work my way to the gym and fit in a full cardio blasting workout. Definitely will be enjoying them a little more. Who else has used “at home” workouts before?
February 8, 2012
Its Wednesday, right? I think? Maybe?
Is anyone else having a hard time sleeping lately? I don’t get it, I’m working out more, getting more done in my day and I still have yet to fall asleep at a decent enough hour to not feel like a zombie gym rat in the morning (scary thought). Yesterday I was a bumbling mass on the treadmill and for 4 miles just could NOT get my rhythm down. 4 long.stumbly.miles. I need sleep, ya’ll. Or at least, to sleep better.
So. I’m trying to figure out just why I’m not sleeping so hot and I came across this article on fitsugar.com that highlighted a few potential culprits.
1. Too much Caffeine: Is this even possible? I kid..I kid…They say you shouldn’t have caffeine 8-9 hours before planning to go to sleep. Which means I should stop sipping that coffee or tea by noon. Which makes sense, by lunch time I try to switch over to water or herbal tea for the rest of the day. But I’ve been known to gulp down 3-4 cups in a morning (Grad school does strange things to people…strange things). So this week, in both an attempt to reset AND sleep better. I have officially stopped myself at 2 cups of coffee a DAY. I still will sneak in a cup of black tea every now and again in the morning, but never caffeine in the afternoon. The other possibility is all of those 1 or 2 a day mini chocolate bars I had indulged in last week, in the afternoon. Chocolate has enough caffeine to mess with a system – so i’m working on cutting that back.
2. Staying up late and sleeping in on weekends: We all know its best to keep on a fairly regular time schedule for your internal clock. While I am guilty of extending my sleeping hours just a tad on the weekends, lets keep in mind that sleeping in for me is 6:30-7:00 AM. Its rare that I’ll sleep past 7 and am never still in bed after 8. I figure on days that it does happen, my body needed the rest. And let’s get real. I’m a loser and tend to pass out on the couch by 10 pm on Friday nights anyhow :)
3. Technology: Too much stimulation! Computer screens, phones, TVs oh my! While I do try for at least 15-30 minutes of mental downtime before bed, lately that down time has been while I’m IN bed. There’s just so much to do in one night! A great help with this has been my goal to keep reading books consistently. While this is still mental stimulation – its at least a way for me to relax a bit mentally before closing my eyes for an 8 hr nap. I’ve also tried to do some stretching every night, especially just before bed. Sun salutations have really helped me unwind physically and I always need more reasons to remind myself to stretch!
4. Not enough exercise: Pass.
5. Bedroom is too bright or noisy: I will concede that when I go to bed before B, lights and noises will get to me fairly quickly. If I can make out words from the TV, my mind simply cannot shut off from listening and picking out the sentences that are forming. HOWEVER, sometimes I wish we had a little more white noise. If I could fall asleep to pouring rain and thunderstorms each night I’d be a happy happy girl.
6. Drinking too much: Happily, this one isn’t an issue for me. I am all for enjoying a glass of wine, cocktail or an ice cold beer. But I try to keep my alcohol drinking to special occasions and weekends only.
7. Stress: Hmmmm, not like I have any of THAT in my life. Last week was an especially stressful week for me, I put a lot of pressure on myself personally and as a result am very rarely satisfied. Definitely a goal for the long term.
Looking at some of these, I can definitely see a few trouble spots that are worth working on. Both from an overall healthy viewpoint and a “PLEASE LET ME SLEEP” call for help.
Who’s got some tips for getting back on the sleeping bandwagon? Any tricks for getting yourself to relax and finally fall asleep??
January 18, 2012
Why is it that the first extra 0.5 miles are the hardest part of the whole run??? UGH.
Well. This morning marked my official return to the treadmill with training in mind. And while 3.5 miles isn’t that daunting of a distance, its a mental hurdle to tell yourself you’re going to be on the treadmill for a few minutes longer than you’re used to. Its not an awful hurdle to overcome, but a hurdle nonetheless.
Instead of forcing everyone to wallow in my self-pity with me, I thought I’d share this post from today by http://www.fitsugar.com
Sometimes its hard to get yourself motivated, but there’s nothing wrong with letting someone else do it for you! The article got me searching on pinterest for some more motivational images that I’ll be keeping in mind tomorrow morning when I head back to the gym. Here are some of my favorites (note, all images are from http://www.pinterest.com):
This last one is one of my favorites – I love the kick butt attitude.
Motivation is one thing, sleep is another – time to start getting to bed earlier so I’m as effective as possible pre-sunrise (ugh). :)
January 11, 2012
Well, I had great ambitions and plans to night to get a few things accomplished (DIY mani is in the front of my thoughts), but all of that was tossed to back burner, because of one thing:
Oh. Hello obsession. Seriously guys, this book, it really is worth the hype. I am so invested in the outcome of these characters and I don’t want to spoil the ending, but my mind is already begging the story to change its rules. A lady stopped when she passed me reading it while waiting for the bus (yeah, its THAT good). And informed me that the book was simply put, addicting and that I may as well get the next two now and read them as soon as possible so I can get on with my regularly scheduled
program life. Thanks lady, what little shred of willpower I had to put this book down, has now thrown in the towel. At least I remembered to eat dinner…
Another day, another (EARLY) workout. I’m betting a little better at hauling my butt out of bed to head to the gym – but it doesn’t really make me like it all the more. Its funny, whenever anyone asks when I prefer to fit in my workouts, I never hesitate. Morning. It almost always puts me in a good mood and I love knowing I can carry that momentum through the whole day – and come home to a relaxing evening and accomplish other things that are important to me. Most days, thats how it goes. Today, I was a little bit more sluggish. I’m working on focusing my efforts on one of my running goals, to break that 28 minute barrier for 5k. This means a lot of speed interval work on the treadmill, which just involves 1-2 minute sprints. Two days ago, I got a 5 minute sprint in and I think I would’ve fallen flat on my face if I had tried to this morning. Would working out tonight have gone better for me? Give up my beloved morning workouts? From my trusty source (fitsugar.com), I gather there really is no actual answer to when is the better time to workout. And I think I have to agree with this. Working out is in so many ways tailored to the individual, right? The limit we can push, the number of days we can go in a row, the amount of weight we can lift and the kind of exercises we can do. So why would when we workout be any different? I really enjoyed this article, that lists the pros and cons of all the different times to workout. Afternoon workouts have never been an option for me unless I get home early and the weather is nice. I have to admit, I feel GREAT afterwards and maybe its true that I have a little more energy to get in a good workout. But I can definitely agree that with an evening workout, I have more reason to run a little longer and am constantly worrying about making sure I get in a good workout but at the same time getting home in time to get ready for work. But of course, the trade off is getting less done in the evening and losing that great feeling of accomplishment, endorphins and adrenaline. I’m a happy person, so anything that get help to feed that mood, I’m all for :)
When I was clicking through some of the posts about when is the best time to work out, I came across this interesting little , that predicts if you’re a morning, afternoon or night person. The results, while a little predictable, are surprisingly accurate! The “natural bedtime” is almost always around when I doze off, no mater what time I sneak into bed :-p So, according to these guys, I’m a moderate morning person, so I think I’ll stick to those early AM workouts for a few more weeks, at least…take the survey and tell me!, what are you?
And now, I will leave you. I’ve got a book to go apologize to for putting it down ;-)
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