Friday, February 28, 2014

Twelve in Twelve 2014: I'm on a diet...


I'm on a diet....

It's called "Eating all of the foods ALL of the time"
This shirt basically says it all...I feel this way ALL OF THE TIME!
This "diet" is relentless and not something I have any control over. As my weekly mileage continues to increase so does my insatiable appetite. When I tell you that "I am hungry" that is a severe understatement...starving or famished come closer to expressing the feelings I have, but they still don't even cut it.


Naturally your body tries to replace the calories that you burn during exercise, and let me tell you... after a 10 mile run and burning a measly 1,100 calories, my body takes this task seriously!! I'm usually not all that hungry directly after a run...it's usually a few hours later that my body goes into starvation mode (dramatic right?) and that is when it happens...I want to eat EVERY.SINGLE.THING in sight! One night I even contemplated eating grated Parmesan cheese while we waited (impatiently) for the waiter to deliver our food. (I told you this was serious!)

On top of running 12 races this year I have also decided I should  take a look at what I am eating and  make healthier choices...I'm asking a  lot of my body, so it's important to fuel it correctly. This means cutting down on sugars, fast food, soda, and unhealthy snack foods...which is tough when a sudden pang of hunger strikes! Luckily, I have found some tricks and foods that keep my hunger at bay...and keep me from devouring the all the unhealthy foods!

Breakfast

Thanks to an impromptu Costco trip with one of my co-workers I discovered this amazing deliciousness! Not only are these little sandwiches tasty, but they are filled with protein and keep me full all morning. Another perk is  that they are VERY similar to my one true love...a McDonald's sausage biscuit with egg. This has made cutting out that little morning delight a little bit easier. My breakfasts don't vary much ever, because I literally go to bed at night counting down the seconds until I can wake up and eat one of these bad boys...I'm not sure I will EVER get tired of them, but if I do, I will probably go back to my chocolate, peanut butter, and banana protein shakes.

Snacks
I HAVE to have snacks throughout the day...it's not an option. If I didn't it is very likely that I would steal one of my third-grader's snacks or even resort to the occasional glue stick...not really...but maybe ;) 
My snacks all have one thing in common...protein! Protein is a blessing for my appetite and for my students...because nobody wants to see Ms. Walter hangry ;)

For snacks, I've tried several different protein bars and this one is by far my favorite. Not only does it have the most protein, but it has very little sugar and it doesn't taste like poo...it actually tastes like a delicious candy bar. I usually pair this with a banana and it will keep me comfortable until lunch time.
Another favorite snack of mine is peanut butter toast topped with a couple of scoops of cottage cheese...I know what you are thinking...it sounds terrible...but it's not...I promise! This snack is one the most filling snacks I have found and the contrast between the warm toast and cold cottage cheese is magical...trust me...TRY IT!

By the end of the work day I am in DIRE need of another snack- here I go again with the drama...but I need you all to know how serious this is ;) I usually try to make this something light, because I do most of my running or working out after work and I can't do that on a full stomach...or empty stomach for that matter. My favorite lately has been almonds mixed with Brookside's dark chocolate covered fruit. (I have convinced myself that this is a really "healthy" snack because of the anti-oxidants in the dark chocolate and the fruit) But seriously, these dark chocolate covered fruits are a-mazing!!!

Sometimes if I am not up for a snack in the afternoon or I have a longer run planned I will skip the snack altogether and have one of my other favorite things in the entire world!! Arbonne Energy Fizz Sticks! All you do is add one of these packets to a bottle of water and viola...delicousness!!Seriously...these things are so yummy and do wonders for my afternoon "slump"
I am not one for energy drinks and since I completely mostly gave up soda....although, I sure would love a Pepsi right now...these help to curb that craving along with being a great pre-workout. They aren't marketed as a "pre-workout" supplement...but they are exactly what I need. Since I hardly ever drink caffeine anything with extra caffeine (like a pre-workout supplement) makes me jittery! These do not...these give me just the right amount of oompf to get through my day and keep me from driving right past the gym and heading right to my comfy couch ;)

While I have been doing a pretty good job making better food choices I do have to admit...I have an ice cream addiction...I love it...I want to eat it ALL OF THE TIME! While I am trying to cut out a lot of the "extra" sugars I still occasionally (or maybe nightly) indulge in a bit of ice cream. AJ and I used to do "Ice Cream Sundays" and we would only eat ice cream on Sundays. However, when winter hit, neither of us wanted to get out in the cold to get ice cream, so we started buying it at the grocery store...and let me tell you...if there is ice cream in the freezer...I am going to eat it :)

I have never been one to watch what I eat...or go on a diet...but lately paying attention to the food that I eat has become really important to me...not the amount (which is still kind of important...because like I said...I need ALL THE FOODS) but more so what foods I choose. I have noticed a change in how I feel before, during, and after runs or workouts and it's definitely a good change. I have more energy and I don't feel nearly as sluggish. Although the scale hasn't shown a change...my pants don't feel as tight and Idon't have any issues getting dressed in the morning...it's probably all in my head but I don't have those dreaded "fat days" nearly as often as I used to ;)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Twelve In Twelve 2014: Rewarding Myself

When looking at a long-term goal it is important to make small goals along the way. It is also mandatory that you reward yourself for accomplishing those smaller goals. (I totally made that up by the way...did you believe me?) I'm sure there isn't a "rule" per say that you have to reward yourself for accomplishing goals...but when looking at my own goal for this year knowing that I will get rewards along the way makes things a lot more fun :)
My ultimate goal is to run 12 races in 12 months...but along with that I set a goal for myself that I would run 1,000 miles total in 2014.

On top of 1,000 seeming like a whole heck of a lot of miles...12 months is way to long to wait for a reward, so I decided that I would break my 1,000 miles into 100 mile segments and reward myself for every 100 miles that I run.
 
After reaching my first milestone of 100 miles yesterday, I started to think about what I wanted to do for myself...I didn't want my reward to be food or something I would buy myself regularly, so I decided that I would buy myself something ridiculous....and by ridiculous, I mean something that I would NEVER allow myself to purchase normally. Something I either find too expensive or something that I don't think is a practical way to spend my money on. I figure this plan is a win-win...not only will it keep me motivated, but I will also get new things along the way!! (And we all know this girl loves to shop!!!)

For this first 100 miles I know exactly what I want my reward to be....

Seriously...I'm IN LOVE!! I have been lusting after these puppies for a few months, but I just couldn't justify paying $140 for a pair of red rain boots! I mean how often would I wear them (EVERY DAY!!) and how practical are they?? (VERY)

So after telling myself no for months I have decided this is my first reward...a pair of red rain boots... that I totally don't need...but I really, really want and totally deserve ;)
 
I'm already on the lookout for mile 200's reward...I may or may not have a shopping problem ;)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Twelve In Twelve 2014: January


No...fortunately I haven't fallen off the treadmill (yet) but I thought this picture said it all...I know that no one really cares about my workout or how many miles I ran each week...but documenting it for some reason has kept me motivated to keep going. Along with posting about my races each month I will also be posting my weekly runs and mileage. This is more for me than you...so I guess you will just have to be understanding of my needs ;) The weather has really been kind of crummy this month and I have had to run on the treadmill more than I have wanted to...knowing I will be taking a picture of my mileage and posting it for everyone to see has kept me going when I wanted to sit on the couch and eat bon bons instead. (Are these even a real thing? Why is it that when your being lazy you are supposed to eat bon bons? I think I kind of want to try one)

Alright...recovering from my squirrel moment...below you will find my weekly runs. I started on the first so it wasn't truly a full week and on my last week I stopped on the 31st so my final week wasn't really a full week either...but it will have to do. I am mostly interested in logging how many miles I run each month and then a total for the year, so it works for me.
Week 1 was a short one....on top of starting mid-week and having too much fun on NYE there was no way I was going to get my lazy bum up for a run on the 1st...this meant only 3 workouts for this week.
Week 2 really picked up mileage wise...unfortunately I was only able to get outside once. However, since it is January...I won't complain ;)
This was a great week...I got outside 3 times!! At this moment I look out the window and see 6 inches of snow...I'm guessing I won't be getting out this much in February :(
Race week!!
On top of shortening my week by 2 days, I also joined a gym (gasp!!) and started incorporating cross-training and weight training. (I figured if I wanted to complete this goal and avoid an injury I should probably do it the right way....even if after an hour of spin I was pretty sure I had broken my butt)
 
I am really pleased with January's mileage total...I'm right on target for my 1,000 mile goal this year!!
No matter how prepared or excited I am for a particular race it never fails that the night before I am a complete wreck!! I get really, really nervous for some reason. I'm not a particularly competitive person in most areas of my life...but for whatever reason I get over the top competitive (with myself mostly) when I am running  a race. I always want a PR and I always want to do my very best.
 
This race was especially stressful the night before because I woke up Saturday morning really, really congested. I have already had my fair share of colds this year so I knew what I was in for!
 
When I went to bed (drugged up on Tylenol) Saturday night I crossed my fingers and toes hoping to wake up Sunday morning (race day) feeling better. Well...no such luck...I woke up Sunday feeling even worse. I popped some sinus medication and told myself to suck it up. I couldn't even begin to think about skipping the race. I did NOT want to miss the first race of my resolution!!!
 
January's race was The Groundhog Run. This race is held underground in "caves" aka an underground parking lot so luckily the weather wasn't  something we had to worry about (which was a big reason I picked this race for my January run) unfortunately though, the weather was GORGEOUS and I would have given anything to run outdoors! Can't have it all I suppose ;)
 
Nothing too exciting to report about the race...It was probably one of my worst 10ks to date...on top of feeling terrible...it was stuffy and warm in the cave parking garage. It felt like I was running with a 25lb weight on my chest through the entire thing. I have never been so happy to see the finish line!! Once I crossed the finish line I turned in my timing chip, grabbed my finishers medal, and AJ and we hit the road....we had more important things to do than stand around...like eating :)
 Post-run brunch may or may not be the reason I love races ;)

I only took 1 photo at the race...I am going to blame it on being sick AND the fact that I feel VERY awkward posing for photos by myself. Notice the "what do I do with my hands" awkwardness above ;)
 
Speaking of awkward...for your viewing pleasure here is the photo they snapped of me crossing the finish line...I always manage to look so...ummm....pretty normal pained when I am running. I think that I was so intent on crossing that finish line and getting the heck out of there I forgot to smile!!
 
Alright...that's all for January! Now it's time to gear up for the The Sweetheart Run on February 16th.