Monday, October 27, 2014

This Time Feels Different - Dietary Goals, Fitness Goals & Running Goals

This time it feels different. This weekend has been the most stressful, upsetting weekend that I have had in a very long time. I'll save you the whole saga, but long story short my 'half marathon that replaced my marathon' was Sunday. That was part of the saga, the other part was dealing with sadness at the loss of a life, and some other personal things that I'm dealing with... let's just say... it was a very emotional weekend.

But last  Friday I decided that it was really time to try to make a really hard effort on the dietary goals. I am NOT cutting out all sugar. To me, at this point, that would be setting myself up for failure. Instead I'm cutting sugar out in stages or basically learning moderation.

(Fun Size instead of FULL size - although I've always thought fun size was a dumb name for smaller sized candy)

I'm 5 days into this dietary goal, and so far so good. I'm not feeling deprived. I know I could be doing more by having 'less' sugar, but I'm not looking at this as a quick fix, a drop 10lb kindof thing. I'm really trying to change my eating habits, and working through why I have such a sugar addiction or the frantic eating that I tend to find myself doing.

I'm into week 3 of Jamie Eason's LiveFit program (minus the leg portion since I'm injured). And I'm seeing progress, even if I'm possibly the only one seeing it. (Hubby always tells me that I look great even when I know I was the heaviest I've ever been. So he's not always the best judge to tell me that there is a difference as he always tells me I'm sexy ;) ). But I feel better. I feel stronger. I can't really see definition yet, but I know it will come in time. Because for the first time, I really think I'm in this for the long haul.

And although I'm not using the scale as an indicator of my fitness, the scale has dropped back down to a more 'normal' range for me. 

I'm making substitutions. I bypassed the pepperoni pizza for kale broccoli cabbage salad with sesame seeds and craisins drizzled with sesame dressing. 

While out shopping, I chose a to-go container of Hummus with flatbread instead of the sugary treats at the check out.

I'm learning to make smarter choices. I'm examining why I'm eating what I'm eating, and I'm learning to slow down. I realized that I have a tendency to gulp my food (no matter what it is). So I'm trying to make a conscious effort to slow down and not eat with such 'urgency'. 
I have set dietary goals, fitness goals, and running goals that I really plan to obtain. And (shocker!) I have set a realistic time table.

I do believe that I am on the track to success with my goals!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Finding The Right Training Plan For You

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Through my years of running I'm finding that what may work for one runner may not work for another.

Some people require and crave high mileage. That's what works for them and that's how they obtain the best results. Others require less mileage and different types of runs for them to obtain their best results.

People argue as to how do you know what's best. In other words someone who requires less mileage might receive great results, but others may debate  that maybe if they tried higher mileage they would receive better results and vice versa. I think it comes down to doing what's best for you, your lifestyle and your goals.  

I found that running is just like every thing else - opinions are like rear ends - everyone has one. 

And that can make it very difficult for someone with my type of personality. I have the personality that I want to please everyone, and with so many diverse opinions out there, it's hard for me to decide sometimes what is best for me because I'm always trying to please everyone else. I know it's complicated! :) 

High mileage training plans did not work for me. My body didn't like it. Mentally I hated the slow runs which felt I was doing all of the time. I didn't have time to fit it into my family - my lifestyle -between my three-year-old and husband - it just did not work for me. But just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean that it won't work for you.

I think that working with the trainer who listens to you and adjusts your plan is better than a cookie-cutter plan that you can get from a book or the Internet. I don't think one plan is going to work for everyone. I think plans have to be adjusted to your needs and your goals. That being said just because you work with the trainer doesn't mean you're going to receive the results that you always want or expect. 

I found that you have to be strong enough within yourself to really know what you want, put it out there, and be bold enough to stand up and say this just is not working for me, it needs to be changed instead of feeling the need to please. As with anything it takes communication.

I'm not happy that I am injured (again), but it is giving me time to pause and reflect which is what I needed.

I know that high mileage and running more than 5 days a week is not for me. Would it give me better results than running less? Maybe? Maybe not? But what I do know is that if running high mileage was making me so miserable, it wasn't worth it to me.

Once I am healed, I believe that I will have a plan in place for my next evolution of running in my life.

My goal: To be a healthier, happier, faster runner by Spring.

Stay tuned.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Injured Runner Again

I'm like - really?!? I mean enough is enough. Do you know that for the last.. oh... at least 3 years this time of the year I have been injured with something. First it was the stress fractures from My First Half - Hershey Half Marathon . And I have to say that the 3 stress fractures hurt less than the torn calf that I dealt with at the beginning of this year (Injury Update - MRI results)

And now, well it's the hamstring. I haven't been to the dr (yet). But I don't really see the need at this point because really whatever it is it's going to be rest. I'm better than yesterday. So I'm planning on sticking with the plan of total rest (other than upper body) until next weekend.

I did come across this article How To Maintain Fitness by Jenny Hadfield, and I plan to use this as a guide when I easy back into cardio again. But I do feel that I probably need to have total rest (no bike, leg weights, no anything) for at least a week to give it some time to heal. My 3 mile outdoor run on Monday didn't do me any favors other than it felt great to be back out there :)

But today, as I finished up week 2 of Jamie Eason's Livefit program, Lil Man was watching Curious George and rocking on a rocking horse. I heard him going really really fast. I asked him what he was doing. He said "Exercising!"

I have also learned that he doesn't like for me to walk on the treadmill. He says "No, Momma, you supposed to run" :) 

Fingers crossed that another week off will take care of the hamstring issue. We shall see!

But on a side note, I'm pleased with myself for sticking to the strength training program so far. I just finished 2 weeks into the 12 week program!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Next Chapter

For anyone who may have missed my FB status the other day on my page Today's Words Of Glass here it is... Well, sometimes they say change is good. I'm hoping this one will be. But I'm doing something that I have never really done before. I'm giving up racing (all distances) for awhile - at least for the rest of the year - maybe longer. Running races has always been a motivator for me, and I've enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment when completing a race. But this year, well this year of running has just felt like a huge mess for me. I missed my summer race that I wanted to do due to illness, then I trained all summer for a marathon to realize it really just wasn't something that I wanted to do. Long story short, I feel slower, worn out and truly discouraged with where I am currently in my running and for the most part my race times have reflected that. I was faster at the beginning of the year than now. And instead of finishing a race bringing me a sense of accomplishment, it has brought me a sense of failure. So it's time for a change. I've found that with running it's always evolving. I suppose it's time for the next chapter.

Wow, yeah.. these last few weeks have really been a roller coaster.  If you've been anywhere near me then you know that I trained all Summer for a marathon then to decide it just wasn't for me this year. So I quickly registered for a Half Marathon on the 26th since the one that I wanted to do this past weekend was sold out.

Well, in addition to deciding that I need to take a break from racing, I am also injured. I knew it felt that my hamstring/butt area was really sore. But after my big race weekend at the end of September where I really pushed myself on the pace, I knew I was injured. And well, I'm still injured. I'm pretty sure that I've pulled a hamstring.

Since the FB post above, I have started back running.  I've been keeping my runs short and on the treadmill. Except for yesterday I took my run outside for the first time. And, well it was super tender, and there was pain in the afternoon with walking. Once I stretch the hamstring then the pain subsides with walking. But I'm keeping the runs short with rest days in between.

This past year of running has been the worst year of running for me... well... ever I think. And it's really taking a toll on me emotionally, but it's time to move on to the next chapter.

So, I'm here to tell you what the 'next chapter' is..... drum roll please.... as of last week, I started Jamie Eason's LiveFit program (except I'm not doing the food part. I know if I want to see great results that it takes the nutrition also. But baby steps here people, baby steps). And week one I was super pumped. This week it was a little harder to stay motivated, but today's workout is done.

And I'm happy to report that I am moving up in the weights. Today was back and biceps.

And I've been doing some research and I bought the book Run Less Run Faster

And I have to say that I'm liking the concept. So I think this is going to be part of my Next Chapter once I am healed. The focus is on 3 key runs a week, two days of cross training, and then 2 days of rest. 

I'm still digesting this last chapter of running this year and trying to learn from it. I'm definitely ready to close the book on this last year of running.

Follow me into the Next Chapter :-)

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Yoga Design Lab Combo Mat Review

Full Disclosure: I received products free of charge for the purpose of providing a review. My opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

With my recent injury where I've pulled a hamstring/butt muscle/something, I've been doing a lot of stretching and yoga. In fact, I'm realizing that maybe my lack of yoga and stretching might have led me to this injury. And I'm also finding that I am actually enjoying yoga. I never really thought of it as a 'workout'. Well, trust me, yoga can definitely be a work out, and you can sweat - and a lot.

So let me introduce you to the YogaDesign Combo Mat. It is a mat and towel in one. It's great for hot yoga, but it's also great for regular yoga (and ahem really great for those of you who sweat a lot).

I really found it to be non-slip. But with the yoga mat, there was also a tip included on the packaging that stated to lightly mist with water to prevent slipping if you have dry hands and feet. And that worked great. However, I usually don't have dry hands and feet for very long. 

The YogaDesign Combo Mat is machine washable, free from latex and silicone. It also comes with a carrying strap. And did I mention how cute it was? I love the design on this one. 

Overall, if you in the market for a great yoga mat, I encourage you to check out YogaDesignLab. So far, I have found their products to be premium products.   

Lil Man also approves. 

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Full Disclosure: I received products free of charge for the purpose of providing a review. My opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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