Friday, January 15, 2016

I Love why do I avoid it?

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I'm buzzing through the week here. Well, not really. It's been a long week due to Marek having a mystery body ache illness that kept him home from school for two days. He wanted to stay home again today but I insisted he go. I'll take him to the doctor this afternoon. So I'm feeling out of the loop at work and need to catch up before the holiday weekend is upon me.

As far as this week in food and's been a mixed bag. I went for a run and to the gym this week, though only once. I would like to get back to a routine of going three times a week. But for now, once feels like a victory. On Wednesday I ran after work, doing a 4.5 mile loop from my gym. I ran the way I've been running lately, by feel. It had rained briefly earlier in the day but stayed dry while I was out there. I managed to procrastinate long enough for it to be dark, so I had to watch my steps to be sure I didn't trip.

As I was driving to the gym I found myself thinking more procrastination type thoughts, and thoughts that suggested I didn't want to go to the gym or for a run. I caught myself and challenged those thoughts, "You enjoy running, last time you were running you thought about how great it felt, why are you acting like you don't want to do it?" Isn't this the riddle of all time? Exercise feels good, we feel better after doing it, and yet, our brain (at least my brain), still tries to get me to avoid it. I don't get it.

So I focused on the good, positive feeling I have while running, "I am running! I am a rock star! I love this so much, thank goodness I can run." Seriously, those are the types of thoughts I have while running. Not every moment of the run, and almost never while running uphill, but a lot nonetheless. So I used those positive memories to align my resistant brain with the part of my brain that was "making me" go, and the whole thing suddenly felt easier.

I decided to run outside, despite it being chilly and quickly getting dark. I did a loop from my gym that includes a small hill. I felt great. I really do like running. Afterward I sat down with my gym log and made a plan. I'll start doing my old gym routines of legs/shoulders, back/biceps, chest/triceps - mixed with running and the upright bike and core work. I'm aiming to get to three days a week (plus a weekend outing).

So I started with legs/shoulders, doing all the same exercises I normally do but with less or no weights depending on the exercise. I felt pretty good, stiff, definitely nowhere near as strong as I used to be, but good enough overall. I've been sore since then, especially today, but I'm glad I started back. I have to start somewhere.

My eating is still not where I'd like it to be. I ate four little rice pudding cups last night. It could have been worse, I was in the grocery store yesterday and had a package of Chips Ahoy in my hand when I stopped myself, "What are you doing? If you bring these home you'll eat a ton of them and feel sick and so disappointed, why do that?". I put them down and checked out. Whew.

Ok, well, I gotta go. I was hoping to go to the gym again today but now I'm taking Marek to the doctor right after work. At least I have a sitter lined up for Sunday, so my long run will happen. It will likely be in the rain though. It's ok, I can handle it, running in the rain can be fun. And besides, I love running.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Weekend Well Done

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Ah, Monday. I had such a lovely weekend, laid back and easy going. I did a lot of cooking. On Saturday night I prepared a home-cooked meal for M's birthday. I poached salmon and made a lemon beurre blanc sauce for it, along with roasted red potatoes and a small arugula salad. The sauce was practically pure butter and cream, and very tasty and rich. Sadly I didn't snap a picture of the meal. We had that along with wine, though I had maybe a glass. I'm wanting to cut back on the alcohol intake. As much as I talk about alcohol it's not of big importance to me so it's an easy place to modify.

Sunday morning I got up and made blueberry scones. I love the cream scone recipe in Joy of Cooking. More cream, though. I had two of those for breakfast. Again, no picture. Lunch was rolling around, as was my plan to do a training run. I decided to have a bowl of Kashi GoLean (with almond milk and sprinkled with cinnamon) for lunch. It seemed like a good choice to prep me for the run and balance out the scones.

And then it was time to hit the pavement. I had my new Garmin all ready to go, as well as an ipod nano that Miguel got me for Christmas. The weather was a bit chilly so I wore my Sugoi running jacket.

I had a plan to run 5 or 6 miles depending on how I felt. Given that I've only been running in a very sporadic way, and rarely more than 3 miles, I didn't want to over-commit. I got going and shuffled along easily, running the first mile in 11:51. I haven't been running with music much lately and it was so nice to have those encouraging beats along for the ride.

I got to the 2.5 mile when I had to decide if I would turn around for 5 or run another .5 for a total of 6. I went for the extra .5, knowing I had an AccelGel with me and feeling like I was running easily enough to make the full 6 miles. Just a smidge after mile 3 I ate the AccelGel and stopped briefly at a water fountain along the path. We were running on the Coyote Creek trail, a paved path that goes for miles. Sometimes the surrounds are office buildings and whatnot, but mostly the view is of trees and hills. Just lovely.

I felt the kick from the AccelGel and cruised through miles 4 and 5. For the last mile I decided to see if I could pick up the pace. 

I pushed myself pretty hard and ran it in 10:23, with my heart rate soaring as I finished up, but enjoying the feeling of hard work. I averaged an 11:39 pace overall, not that I'm paying much attention to that sort of thing right now. The new Garmin gave me all sorts of other stats, such as my 5.9 average vertical oscillation (apparently that's good), my 180 steps per minute run cadence (also good), and my 264 millisecond average ground contact time (not so good). I imagine it will be fun to see these improve, assuming they do. Here's a brief explanation of what all those numbers mean.

After the run we went for a hot tub/sauna visit, which felt downright luxurious, and then home to make dinner. I roasted asparagus and zucchini, and sauteed mushrooms, onions and a can of tomatoes - served it all over pasta. Yum! This time I did get a picture.


We had cantaloupe for dessert (and a touch of haagen dazs vanilla).

I wish I'd gotten a bit more sleep this weekend, I stayed up late watching the Amy documentary (Amy Winehouse - tragic) and other distractions. I'm also starting the work week feeling a little sore from yesterday's run, a little tired from not quite enough sleep. Still, it was a great weekend filled with peace, food, exercise and relaxation. Gotta love that! Tonight it's early to bed for this little runner!