Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Isn't She Lovely?

Isn't she lovely?  By she I mean the semi-homemade pizza I made using my new pizza stone today. She included store-bought whole wheat pizza dough, fresh basil and garlic, Italian herb seasoning, low fat pizza sauce, lite mozzarella, and pepperoni.  I will not tell you how much of her I ate, but she was a wonderful cheat meal. 

In addition to a wonderful cheat meal, I had a wonderful run today.  I decided to start doing the run walk run method over the weekend, so I stuck with that for today's 3 mile run.  I decided to do the same  1 minute run, 1 minute walk intervals I used this weekend, but I bumped up the speed since today's run was shorter and my knee was feeling pretty good.  By the time I finished I was drenched in all the sweat, and I felt like I accomplished something. Here are my Fitbit stats for the day:

Not bad if I do say so myself.  It definitely doesn't hurt that the last two mornings have started out gloriously cool and minimally humid.  When I was in Florida I hated to be outside because of the humidity.  Breathing the air felt like drowning, even early in the morning.  It was depressing and I just couldn't deal.  Tennessee has its hot and humid days too, but it has been really nice to walk outside and enjoy the experience.  I had forgotten how life-affirming that feeling is.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Little MIA

If you read this blog regularly, you know I've been a little MIA lately.  The truth is, I've been feeling really unmotivated and I just...didn't want to talk about it.  Between school stress, job search stress, and life stress I've been eating badly, skipping workouts, and while I haven't done an official weigh in in several weeks, I can tell from my clothes that I've gained some weight.  I was feeling angry and disappointed with myself and instead of doing the constructive thing and using this blog as an outlet, I've been bottling it all up and pretending it isn't there.  It's not helping, so today I decided to get myself back on track.

My half marathon is still a month away and I decided that at the rate I was going I would never be ready in time.  For today's run I decided to try the Jeff Galloway run walk run method because I think it will be gentler on my knee and because it will make my long runs less of a mental battle. The idea is that you do your runs in intervals.  For example, if you want to run 12 minute miles, you would run for two minutes walk for one minute, lather, rinse, and repeat.  I still don't intend to aim for a time goal for my half, but I decided to aim for 13 minute miles on this run and see how I did. My intervals were run 1 minute, walk 1 minute.  The verdict?  I liked it! Nine miles is a really long way no matter what, but I felt less fatigued when I finished than I have been feeling after my long runs.  Furthermore, my knee didn't hurt as much as it has been after I run.  I think that for the remainder of my training I am going to stick with the intervals and hopefully I can get through all 13.1 miles on race day!

My lunch was the best thing I've made in a long time so I thought I would share.  It's my take on a Korean dish called japchae.  I pinned this recipe a while ago, but didn't get around to making it until today.  I'm so glad I did!  I recently bought a kitchen gadget called a spiralizer that allows you to turn vegetables into noodles.  For this dish I used it to make sweet potato noodles and then stir fried it in toasted sesame oil with shredded carrots, onion, baby spinach, and roast beef.  The recipe is supposed to include mushrooms, but I forgot to buy them.  Oh well.  I also added garlic.  I'm rebellious like that.  Toward the end I added in real maple syrup, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes, all to taste.  It turned out great, and I will definitely make it again.  And not just because I bought three big sweet potatoes.  What delicious things have you been cooking lately?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

We'll See

On Monday night I ran 4 miles, showered, then promptly fell asleep in the middle of the second episode of Orange is the New Black.  I clearly did not get around to posting about it.  Whoops. Yesterday I took a rest day and did a lot of napping.  It was restorative.  And necessary.  I also decided to google runner's knee exercises, a search that led me to this youtube video. I decided to give the exercises a shot and see if they help my knee pain.  The idea seems to be that if you strengthen the muscles around your kneecap, it will help keep your kneecap from moving around when you run.  We'll see if it helps.

Anywho, today I decided to go ahead and do another 3 mile run.  That way I can aim for cross training/rest before I do my long run this weekend.  

This week is supposed to be a 5k "race" instead of a long run on the training schedule, but I figured that since I skipped my long run last week, I would do that 8 mile run this weekend instead.  I can't seem to follow this training plan as written, so we'll see whether that works out or not.   

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's Good To Be Home

I missed several runs last week and I pushed today's long run to tomorrow or Tuesday so that I could do a shorter, faster 3 mile run while I watched Big Brother instead.  I'm not proud of it, but last week was my last week at my internship and between packing up my stuff and finishing things up at work, running had to take a backseat.  

Friday was the last day of my internship and it was as bittersweet as one might expect.  I was excited to go home, but my experience in Orlando was not all bad despite my constant complaints about the weather.  I'm prone to nostalgia so when it comes down to it, I usually find goodbyes really hard.  After turning in the last of my projects and saying farewell to my coworkers, I was ready to come home.

I had a ten hour drive ahead of me, so I left on Saturday morning before the sun came up.  I made it to my apartment just in time to eat an early dinner and fall asleep before unpacking most of the stuff in my car.  

I woke up this morning and I was still tired from yesterday.  I walked to the store to pick up a few groceries this morning and did a 3 mile run on the treadmill tonight while I watched Big Brother.

I was happy with my Fitbit stats for the day.  I smiled when I saw the Floor stats.  Orlando is super flat so unless I manufactured reasons to take the stairs at work I never climbed more than 1 or 2 floors on any given day while I was there.  Now that I'm back in Tennessee, though, I manage to get in 7 floors in a short morning walk.  It's good to be home.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Real Talk

Real talk?  I've gained a few pounds in the last few weeks.  I probably added a few more pounds in the last two days.  I went to this two day training at work and there was food everywhere.  Allow me to confess my sins.  On Monday, I woke up early, I ate breakfast, I showed up at the training and walked past the coffee cake feeling like a champ.  An hour and a half later it was 10 AM, lunch was not until noon at the earliest, and I didn't think to bring snacks with me.  Suddenly that coffee cake started looking awfully friendly.  I got a cup of tea and a tiny little piece of the cake at the next break hoping I wouldn't really like the cake.  No dice.  It had cinnamon chips in it.  I went back for seconds.  

Lunch rolled around and I wanted to do better really bad.  By the time I got through the lunch line the salad bowl was empty and the caterers were taking their dear sweet time refilling it.  And who was I kidding anyway? I was hungry!  I strolled past the salad and down to the sandwich bar where I got two slices of wheat bread and topped them with sliced turkey, mustard, and onions.  I also got some chips and salsa.  I have been trying to lay off the bread lately so I felt a little guilty about that and the chips, but otherwise I didn't do too badly.  But then they brought out the desserts. There was a rich fudgie brownie thing.  I don't even like rich fudgie brownies and I still ate one because my name is Ashley and I have a problem.  I am still ashamed two days later.  

By Tuesday I had basically accepted that I would gain weight at this training.  I didn't even pretend to be good when I got there in the morning and I went straight for the glazed chocolate donut.  I wanted another donut, but I talked myself into steering clear.  It was probably a good decision because lunch was basically an epic fail in the form of white pasta and meatballs.  And cheese. There was shaved cheese on the salad (which I actually got and topped with some sort of full fat dressing because that's all they had).  I put Parmesan on my pasta.  And I ate a bread stick. With butter.  And even though I put some of the vegetable medley on my plate I didn't eat it because I was seduced by saucy saucy meatballs.  I knew I was being naughty.  I could not seem to get myself under control.  When the caterers brought out the cookies and everyone jumped in line to get at them, I was right there with my coworkers.  I got a sugar cookie. It was soft and buttery, and possibly worth every ounce I gain because of it.  

I've never been to a Catholic church, but I've watched enough movies to know that after confession you're supposed to pay penance in order to be forgiven for all your sins.  I suppose you could say that I began my penance today.  I went back to my regularly scheduled clean eating and I got in a 3 mile run while I watched Big Brother tonight.  

I wish I could say that I will never fall off the clean eating wagon again, but that would probably be a lie.  But here's what I can say:  after I spent two days eating like I had no sense, I didn't feel good. I felt tired. My stomach was kind of upset.  It was not a good feeling. I don't want to repeat it too terribly often.  Eating with complete abandon was fun in the moment, but like many bad decisions, the repercussions were a b****.  Time to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Hunger. I can't let two bad days derail my whole diet, after all.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Keep Pushing

I've been horrifically MIA this week and for that I sincerely apologize.  I probably should have written a quick coffee date post to let the internet know I was still alive, but I wasn't feeling well so I decided to watch terrible horror movies on Netflix and eat lentils instead. Sue me. 

In any case, I was feeling better today so I decided to go ahead and do my long run after breakfast. If there's one thing I've learned about running it's that some runs are done with your body but others are done with your head.  Today's run was all in my head.  It was okay at first.  I had my music going, 32 ounces of cold water at the ready, and fresh legs from my week off.  It started getting hard about 4 miles in, though.  My body started telling me I should stop because I hadn't been feeling well all week, and 4 miles was long enough anyway.  One of my knees started bothering me and the other one soon followed.  My hips started getting sore.  I had to take a bathroom break at some point.  I started getting hungry again around mile 5 and somewhere around mile 6 I got a cramp in my side.  My body was not interested in running 7 miles today but I ran 7 miles anyway by telling myself over and over that I could do it in my head.  By the time I hit 7 miles and started my cool down I was tired, sore, and hungry, but feeling remarkably accomplished.

Running has never been easy for me, and I don't imagine it ever will be.  I've found, though, that most things in life worth doing are a challenge.  It's August 4, my half marathon is on September 28, and running 7 miles today felt like breaking down a huge mental barrier.  Running 6 miles was a huge milestone (giggle, that's funny!), but today I kept thinking that if I were running the half today and I got to the 7 mile mark, I would be over halfway to the finish line.  And if you're already halfway there, you may as well keep pushing to the end, right?