Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Right Foot Numbs During Runs

I noticed this while on a run through the 5k route I found. My goal was 2 miles that day. By about a mile and a half or so, I noticed that my right foot began to numb. Then it got worse. I didn't want to stop because I was on a mission to reach 2 miles, so I kept on truckin. It started to feel like a stump and I began to hobble on it. My left leg and foot were pretty much doing all the work as I was trying to just quickly land on my right foot. I really wanted to stop, but I told myself I'd make it to the stop sign at the intersection. I made it and stopped runmeter. Although I should have looked at my distance prior to stopping runmeter (I was only at 1.91 instead of 2 miles) I knew I would've been able to hobble the .09miles to reach my goal. Oh well.

So I walked and the numbness went away. That was SO weird and it kinda freaked me out. What the heck would cause that? I was completely boggled. I've never felt this before. I've been running my Vibrams for a good 8 months now, and have ran in them in three 5k's. Hmmm.

The location where I stopped running was about a mile from home. It was going to take forever to walk back home. After walking for about 7 minutes or so, I decided to run for a bit. I ran a half mile, got tired and stopped. No numbness during that little run. I walked the rest of the way home. I stretched a lot to avoid any other type of soreness. The rest of the the day, I was still annoyed at what had happened.

2 Days Later
My mother in law was visiting, so i took advantage of her presence and ran outside in the morning. This way someone was at home while my son was still asleep. I ran in my monkey shoes around the neighborhood this time. And once again, after a mile, my right foot started to numb. Now I was getting really annoyed. WTH?! Here I am trying to increase my distance and now I can't run further than a mile without a numb foot. This was VERY disappointing.

During the week I started looking into what might be causing this. Possibilities were:
- a pinched nerve
- slacking off on my form and pounding my foot on the ground
- tight shoelaces

I chopped it up to slacking on my form, so I went running in my neighborhood again this past weekend. Again in my Vibrams. And yes, it did it again. Are you kidding me? I even tried wiggling my toes during the run as some suggested in the forum, but it didn't prevent the numbing.

Then I thought that maybe my right foot got wider/flatter, which is quite normal for minimalist runners. I think it was only my right foot because it was already lacking an arch. And of course while running, the foot gets warm and expands even more. So I had to test this theory.

The Test
I ran barefoot the following day. It had been so long since I ran barefoot. Probably since last year before the weather started to cool. I ran over a mile and my foot did not numb on me. Ok, that confirms it, my foot got wider. But now what do I do? I can't just order one Vibram.

Hubby told me to run in my Vibrams one more time before I go out and purchase something else. So that's the plan this weekend.

Today I did some research and read up on reviews of different variations of huaraches. I wanted my feet to be free so they're able to expand if needed. I thought about the Luna Sandals or the Invisible Shoe, but honestly, I am too lazy to deal with the tying methods. I have my eyes set on either the Unshoe, Bedrock or Branca. I'm a bit low on funds, so it's going to be at least another week before I can order a pair.

Besides Vibrams and running barefoot, what other minimalistic shoes have you tried?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Almost a Year

It's been almost a year since I started on this running path. I absolutely HATED running with a passion prior to this. But I thought I would try it to see if that was still the case. I think the whole minimal/barefoot running concept won me over. And using a program like C25k totally helped.

But who knew that I'd be starting over several times after completing the program? That was quite disappointing since I worked so hard on the program NOT to repeat a week. I was successful at that, but slacked on keeping up the time and distance after the program. I didn't do the C25K program over again, but kept having to work at getting up to where I was when I finished the program. My distance as well as speed just went downhill due to obstacles.

FIRST it was stubbing my toe and that prevented me from running for about 2 months. Man, that one really hurt. I was SO annoyed because it took SO long to heal. I would stay active in other ways, but felt I lost all the hardwork I put into the C25K program.

AND THEN I got caught up again on distance, BUT got into a funk a few more times. Now, I'm slowly trying to up my distance, and eventually work on increasing my speed again.

This morning I ran outside again and it felt AWESOME. I wish I can say goodbye to my treadmill, but I do need it. My goal today was 2 miles. I just ran in my neighborhood and when I made it back close to home I stopped. I looked at my phone and runmeter said I only ran 1.76 miles. Oh darn, I was shy a quarter of a mile. I looked at the map and now have a new game plan to accomplish that distance in my neighborhood. And my time was alright at 20:49min. I'll take a 12min mile right now. Much better than my runs on the treadmill, that's for sure.

But nonetheless, I had a great time on my run. I started off slow and just went at a speed that was comfortable. I let my body decided on the speed (unlike the treadmill) and it was GREAT! I stayed at that speed for a while and didn't tire as easily. It was definitely a good run for me today. If I had more time I would have done a quick walk break and continued for at least another mile or so, but unfortunately I had to get ready for work.

I'm going to try and get that 2mile run done this weekend. I am loving this sunny weather!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Sun Came Out to Play

It was windy, but the sun was out this weekend. This year's weather has been SO unpredictable lately. When you think it will be nice, the rain starts pouring. But on Saturday when I saw blue sky, I took advantage of it and ran outside. Man, did it feel good to off that treadmill.

I ran on the 5k route I found several months ago. Took it easy and ran 1.44miles (18:59min) before taking a 5min walk break. Then I ran .97miles (12:15min) and walked the rest of the way home. A total of almost 2.5miles.
(I know, it's slow. But I did say I took it easy.)

Next Saturday's goal is to make it to 2miles before my walk break. I'll continue this until I can run the whole 5k distance without a walk break.

Did I mention how much it SUCKS to start all over again?

On the plus side, cross training has been going quite well. I'm only at 34 push-ups, but I'll get that up pretty soon. Ever since I started doing supersets, I can't see doing the exercises in any other method. It gets the heart pumping and you can easily cover a whole body workout in half the time.

Lately I focus on:
  • arms and weights
  • squats
  • push-ups
  • planks (regular and side)

- I pair up 2 exercises to create 1 superset.
- Then I pair up another 2 exercises to create another superset.
- And if I'm feeling sassy, I'll pair up another 2 exercises to create a 3rd superset.

I do each superset 3 times, and it really gets the body going. If I ever get bored with that, I pick out a Turbulence Training workout, and those never fail me.

I miss using my stability ball, so next week I plan to include that into my workouts again. I never knew it would be such a great tool.

I also like to fit in calf raises, jumping jacks and end it all with yoga stretches and poses. I definitely feel good after a workout, but I need to wake up earlier.

Today, I went for a 1mile run on the treadmill. Just a mile as it was on an incline and I still tire easily. Then I did some planks, then push-ups, and that was supposed to be it. But I wanted MORE, so I did some bicep curls. I didn't want to stop, but had to get ready for work. Grrrrr......

Between running and cross training, my goal is to perform some sort of activity at least 5 days out of the week. Some weeks I will work out every day, but I don't want to feel guilty on days that I take a rest day.

So far things are going pretty well.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Staying On Track

Last week I worked out every day, alternating between cross training and running. This week, I worked out 5 out of 7 days. This morning I slept in and boy did it feel GREAT, but it didn't leave any time for a workout. Still not too shabby.

Cross Training
Currently consists of supersets of:
- planks (regular and side)
- squats
- arm exercises with weights

I really think that doing supersets help a lot. Work the muscles a bunch and relax for a tiny bit. Work the muscles a bunch and relax for a tiny bit. It helps me build endurance.

Outdoor running consists of running a mile.
I usually do this lap through my neighborhood which comes out to roughly a mile.

Indoor running is based on time.
15 minutes is the current goal.
I hop on the treadmill and run at a 2% incline, ranging between 4 to 4.5mph.
That 2% incline gets the heart pumping FAST!

So far the last couple of weks have already helped tighten my arms a bit. Small progress, but I'll take it for what it's worth. To help, I've also cut down on my carb consumption. I've been eating salads.

  • Chicken mango sausage from Trader Joe's
  • Candied walnuts
  • Dried cranberries
  • (sometimes I'll add some cherry tomatoes)
  • Romain lettuce
  • Organic baby spinach
  • Lightly topped with a raspberry vinaigrette

It's delish.

Next week, I plan to introduce pushups back into my cross training. And so I don't get bored with salads, I'll alternate between a salad and a sandwich for lunch. As always, accompanied by fruit, nuts, water and matcha tea.

Looking forward to another successful week of exercise.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Can't Believe I Forgot

As far as I can remember, my mom would always tell me to stand up straight. I am not sure what causes bad posture.
Why am I sloucher?
Am I not confident?
I'm not really sure. But since I've been slouching for a good portion of my life, I find myself doing it involuntary. Sitting up straight is more of a task.

Well I am trying to work straightening on my posture. I want to have a strong back and I was working on it by doing planks. Well until I got into a funk. Several months ago I experienced pretty bad back pain. I even had to stay home from work one day. From then on, I told myself that I would take care of my back. This is one reason I need to get out of this funk.

I ran a mile last weekend. It was the first time I ran in almost 2 months. It was a short run, but surprisingly my time wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I started with my usual short walk and then ran. But my calves still got pretty tight. During the next 2 days I had quite a knot in my calves, especially the left one. It was tough to get out of bed and walk in the morning.
Ouch! I was walking like I had a stick up my butt.
I was constantly massaging my legs. I never thought I'd be one of those people who would keep starting over when it came to running. I am quite disappointed in myself. Another reason for me to get out of this funk.

I weighed myself the other day. What the heck ya know? The weight really didn't change, but my body is starting to lose the tone I was so beginning to enjoy. My biceps were starting to come out of hiding, I was forming visible hamstring muscles, and my midsection began to shrink so I can fit into jeans I haven't worn in a while. But ever since I got into this funk, clothes haven't fit the same and I just don't feel good about myself.

Come on Mel, get out of this funk!

And then it came to be. A good dear friend was in a car accident recently. The result definitely could have been much worse. But she left the scene ALIVE, and with 2 broken ribs. I went to visit her to see how she was doing. The pain is absolutely horrible, and they say it's going to take about 4 to 6 weeks to heal. During this time she cannot perform many functions without pain. Even laughter hurts.

But now that I think about it, it probably wasn't the best idea to go visit her. We always make each other laugh.

All of these things that we take for granted; walking, sitting, reaching, running and laughing could be gone just like that. That's when I decided that I needed to get back into my routine.

I remembered they saying that getting fit is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Although I haven't worked out much lately, I still ate pretty well. A bit more cabrs than usual, but I still ate pretty healthy. I am so glad that my body craves good nutritious food. To help aid in getting back into my rhythem, I decided to reduce my carb instake drastically these next 2 weeks.

I ran again this weekend. Just a tiny bit longer and a tiny bit faster, but I did it. And it sure as heck felt great! I actually wanted to run again during that afternoon, but I had chores to do. I strethced a lot this time and I don't feel the pain I felt last weekend. Yay! And this morning I did squeeze in a short workout.
2 supersets of:
  • planks
  • squats
  • bicep curls
With life's distraction it's easy to forget to workout. It's easy to forget we should take care of our bodies. It's easy to take the simple things for granted. You miss one day, then another, then another. The next thing you know, 2 months have gone by. Like many others, I need a reminder. Or just a good ol' swift kick in the glutius maximus.

If you feel that I'm slacking once again, please feel free to bust me on it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mount Diablo Kicked Butt

On Sunday my sister and I hiked up Mt. Diablo. We started at the Diablo Valley Overlook and up the Juniper Trail. Lots of uphill action for them glutes! Due to personal finance woes at the home front, I haven't had the motivation or energy to do any form of exercise since the 5k run. Yeah, I've been bad and I knew the hike was gonna kick my butt.

The constant uphill climb gets that heart pounding fast and I felt it right away. It was a huge eye opener. My body was telling me that I needed to get back to my workout and running routine. But we took a bunch of rest stops and went on our way.

It was nice and quiet. Quite cool in the morning, but pleasant. The fog was in so we couldn't see much of the area below, but being surrounded by the beauty of nature was breathtaking. Reading signs about how old the section of the mountain we were hiking was a joy to read. This rock, this HUGE mountain is millions of years old. and if you look hard and long enough, you'll find some fossils. Nature is so amazing.

I am also amazed by those who bike up the mountain. There were SO many of them and they make it look oh so easy. Walking up it was tough enough lol. We saw many others with walking sticks. I've never used one. I wonder if they're beneficial.

When we made it to the top we looked all around. Unfortunately the observation deck was under construction, so we checked out the visitor center. At the very top is a tiny room. In the middle of the tiny room is a hole where the true point of the mountain is exposed.

We hiked down the Summit Trail. The fog disappeared and we passed more people on the trails. We were on our downward hike which was a nice change of pace. I didn't have the greatest shoes, so I got a blister on my left pinky toe. I felt the constant painful rub as we were heading back down. Funny thing about going down is that sometimes you have to go up. Without a map, one could definitely get lost. When we finally made it back to the Diablo Valley Overlook, we were now able to see the points of interests since the sky was clear.

I've hiked from the bottom of the mountain from Mitchell Canyon Road about 14 years ago. I was in much better shape back then. But even then, the mountain kicked my butt. The trail we took was literally all uphill. It was so steep. And it was over 100 degrees that day. But I sluggishly conquered it and it felt GREAT!

Afterwards we checked out Rock City. (There's so much to do on the mountain.) It was so cool. The rocks had little caves in them. The rock itself was so soft that they were covered in carvings by visitors. The floor of the rock was so smooth it looked like marble.

By this time we were STARVING so we had to say bye to the mountain. We tried this Peruvian restaurant I've been eyeing during my commute. It's named Inca's Grill. The food was delish and comforting. It was an awesome treat at the conclusion of our day.

I was tired when I went home, but not achy. Yesterday and today, I am feeling the aches. My bad for not stretching after the hike.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Will a Mountain Hike Get Me Outta This Rut?

Let's see now.

- Was sick for several weeks.
- Then crammed in 5 days of running in a single week.
   (which was probably the most number of miles I've ever ran in a week)
- Completed a 5k (with sad results)

And now, I haven't ran or worked out since.

Yes, it's been about 2 and a half weeks since I've done any formal exercise. I'm in another rut. It's basically due to some personal and financial issues me and the hubby are going through right now. You would think that I would be super active to help de-stress, but I haven't. And then my sis planned a hike up Mt. Diablo on Sunday which I agreed to attend. I am definitely going because it's awesome there, but boy do I feel SO out of shape.

I gotta get back into the rhythm. Tonight I plan to sleep early so I can run or do an incline walk on the treadmill. An incline walk doesn't sound that bad since the side of the mountain we'll be hiking is quite steep.

I have hiked up this very mountain about 14 years ago. It's great exercise with breathtaking views. I am hoping to experience that again come Sunday.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Official 5k Results and P90X

I finally got the results of the 5k I did this past weekend. Wow, really? My official time was 42:58. I wonder why it's so off from what my runmeter app stated, which was 41:37. I started it when the volunteer said 'Go' and I started running, and I even stopped it after crossing the finish line and after I walked a bit. I actually kinda forgot to stop the app. Oh well, that's what they have for the official time, so it is what it is.

I'm taking a break from activity this week. I think I did too much too soon last week and my body has just been really tired. I figured I'd give it a rest in hopes that this would prevent me from catching another cold. Gosh, I hate being sick.

I think I'll finally check out P90X. Although for me it's going to be P180X. I can't devote 6 days a week solely to cross training. Where would running fit in? I like my current 3 days of running and 3 days of cross training. I feel well balanced with this schedule. And as I mentioned before, I've done those quick fit diets and could not keep up with them at the end. So the same applies to workouts. I don't want quick results that wither away when you stop or slow down. I want results that are manageable to maintain even after the program is done.

Well it's my lunch hour. Time for a little nap. zzzzzzz

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Rainy 5k

I totally crammed for this run. After being sick for about 2 weeks, I wanted to make sure that I'd be able to finish. It's about an hour drive my house to Oakland. I went to my friend Sherry's house, and then we both headed to Lake Merritt. A few minutes after we parked it started to rain hard.

Geez Louise!
Come on!

We sat in her car for a bit and then the rain did lighten up just a tad. We started walking to the sailboat house, and we made it just in time. With 10 minutes to spare, we got our race bibs, and tech shirts. The other 2 races I've ran, they held the shirts for us until after the race. That way, we didn't have to hold them when we ran. But not this time. Sherry asked one of the voluneteers if she could pick up her shirt after the race, and she basically asked her if it was a risk she was willing to take. She went ahead and left the shirt there.

It continued to rain. It never really let up. Then a volunteer held a flag and announced that all 5k runners follow her. Alright! Let's get this show on the road. (so I thought) She led us out from under our shelter of a tree and into the parking lot. The rain was really coming down hard. We were all getting drenched. Our monkey shoes were pretty darn soaked before the race began.

We waited and waited for the race to start. In the mean time, we were getting even more drenched. There was one guy who wore nothing but his shoes and a pair of running shorts. Brrrr. To kill time, the volunteer was telling us that the route was marked really well. We all responded with a....

Ok, let's just start.
Can we just run now?
Great, I'm sure we'll figure it out.
Let's go!

And then we were off. (finally!) After a few minutes Sherry said that she was going to go ahead and go a little faster. I told her in an email several days before, that she should go at her own pace and not hang with me. Especially since she just ran around the lake twice 2 days prior to the race. She totally could have done the 10k.

The first mile was tough. As with any run for me, it takes a bit to get into the rhythm. Plus, I've been running on the treadmill because it has been raining outside. Adjusting to running outside isn't always easy. The rain did not help at all. My hands were cold for the first mile and they almost felt numb. It got quite slippery in a few areas. I'm surprised I didn't fall down, but slipped a tiny bit due to hopping around the puddles and mud. I couldn't tell if my nose was running or if it was just water running down my entire face. It definitely was not a pleasant time.

I had stuffed my tech shirt in my hoodie. It probably looked funny, but what else was I going to do with it? I kept adjusting it throughout the race since it felt like it was going to slip out, which it finally did before the 1 mile marker. After picking it up, I walked some. I actually walked quite a bit. It was a bit frustrating seeing that I've been running straight for 30 minutes on the treadmill and I couldn't do it during the 5k. So the rest of the run I did the run/walk thing. I would pick an object and run to it, then walk to another object, then run to another object - you get the picture.

The hard rain turned into a sprinkle after the first mile. My hands weren't as cold by that time. And the closer I got to the sailboat house, the less I was walking. I was tired and just wanted to finish. I got to a turn and heard Sherry's cheer, and then there was the last stretch. That last stretch gives me that last needed boost.

There were quite a few of us getting in at the same time. Right after crossing the finish line, I started walking. Then I remembered I needed to stop my runmeter app. By the time I stopped it, it read 41:37, so I am hoping that my official time is a few seconds faster than that. I guess we just wait and see. Funny thing is that that's my official time from last year's Oktobrewfest in Davis.

Sherry finished in 27 minutes! My time was the usual 'right under 42 minutes' . I am actually surprised due to all the walking I did. But hey, I ran it. I didn't bail out due to the rain, and I finished it.

Are races for me? I don't know. I don't seem to do well in them. I am consistent with my time, but I don't seem to be progressing. So that's three 5k's under my belt now. I think for now, I'll just continue to run and increase my distance, or duration of my runs. Maybe I'll run another 5k when I hit the 4 mile distance during my training.

But this week's training wasn't bad at all. Ran 5 days and covered 9.68 miles according to my dailymile log. That's probably the most I've ever ran in a week. Hey, don't laugh. That's a lot for me. Ok, go ahead and chuckle.
Just as long as I'm running, I'll continue to have a smile on my face.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Crammed Training Leads To Overtraining

I was sick for about 2 weeks. I still have a lingering cough. It could not have come at a worse time. I was racking up my distance due to training for the 5k this Saturday. Then I got sick.

I had one week to train for this 5k, and after not running for 13 days I was wondering how to approach this. Initially I was just going to run on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Every other day should be ok right? Well I decided to keep going after Tuesday's run because I was disappointed in the lack of distance I covered. I ran again on Wednesday, and then again yesterday. I was happy knowning that I was increasing distance with each run.

Sunday - 1.2 miles outside run (bleh)
Tuesday - 1.8 miles, 2.5 incline treadmill run
Wednesday - 2.2 miles, no incline treadmill run which seemed to help
Thursday - 2.5 miles, no incline treadmill run

I covered 7.7 miles total this week.
I covered 6.5 miles in 3 days back to back!

I usually only cover 6 miles per week, so I definitely pushed myself. By the time I got to work yesterday, I really felt it. I was SO tired. I even had a headache for a good portion of the day. It got so bad that I finally took something for it, and I never take anything.

I decided not to run this morning. I need to let my body rest. It was definitely trying to tell me something yesterday. And I got a blister on each foot due to running on the treadmill. I tried to avoid it by around in different spots, but there's only so much space to run on. I went to bed early last night and slept in this morning. I am still a bit tired and wished I could have slept in more. I'll head to bed early again tonight so I am rested for tomorrow's 5k.

Have you crammed for a race like I did?
How did that work out for you?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Being Sick Halts Training

A week and a half ago my hands were super cold at work. By the time I got home, I had the chills really bad. It was Wednesday night and I ended up staying home from work the next 2 days. I hate missing work because I don't have that much time off accumulated. By that Saturday I felt much better, but come Sunday I felt icky again. I dragged my butt into work on Monday and was coughing like crazy.

Come Thursday my stomach was in knots and I had no idea what I should be eating. I felt somewhat nauseated and tired. Needless to say, I slept at my desk during lunch. I wanted to sleep the rest of the day away, but I had to work. I still felt pretty bad Friday morning and I stayed home once again. I have now taken 3 days off of work, AND had not run in over a week. This cold/flu has really put a halt on my training.

I took it slow on Saturday. I was still coughing, but was starting to feel better. I woke up faily early on Sunday morning and decided I was well enough to go for a run. I kinda forced myself because I have a 5k to run the following weekend, and I really needed to get moving again. I stayed in my subdivision as it was supposed to rain sometime during the day. I thought for sure that I at least hit the 2 mile mark by the time I was done, because it sure felt like it. I coughed some and my nose was runny as well. By the time I stopped, I was sad to see that I only ran 1.19 miles. Are you serious???? It was quite a disappointment.

It is now Monday and I have 4 more days before my 5k on Saturday. I am going to run with a friend, but I told her that I was SO not ready. And mind you, she's been averaging 20 miles a week on trails! So it doesn't look like we'll be running together for long.

Ok, so I have 4 days left.
What's the plan?

Well it's supposed to be raining this week, so that means no running outside for me. I don't need to get sick again and I'd rather not injure myself by slipping on the slippery ground. So that means I need to hop on the treadmill tomorrow and Thursday.

For some reason I cannot run further than 1.2 miles on the treadmill. Although I stream a movie on youtube or Netflix, it doesn't seem to make a difference. I even cover up the time on the treadmill display with my iPhone so I have no idea how long I've been running. But all I can do now is just force myself to keep going. I think this is the only way I've have any chance of finishing the run on Saturday.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Longing To Run Barefoot

I ran barefoot on the treadmill today. It's been a while since I've done so. Whether outside or on the treadmill, I've been wearing my Vibrams. Well it's been cold as heck outside. Not to mention icky and rainy. 

After running on the treadmill, I've noticed later in the day that my feet had a tiny tingling sensation. It lasted a good part of the morning. It made me aware that I really need to do more barefoot running. We have laminate, tile and hardwood floors in the house and that gets pretty cold to walk on. I can stand it to a point, but often wear shoes to keep the footsies warm.

I miss the sun. 
I miss the feeling of warm concrete and asphalt under my feet. 
I miss having the option to run outside with naked feet. 

I think I miss it more because I just learned an old neighbor who moved away recently, runs barefoot. He came by to visit this past weekend. Not only does he run barefoot, but his teenage son does as well. The sun came out for a bit on Monday. He and his son raced barefoot down the street. And they were haulin' some major arse. Then his little 4 year old wanted to race too. He ripped off his shoes and raced his old man. I just kept thinking how perfect the little boy's form was, still having young feet that haven't been tampered much with crappy shoes. Man, I wish I would've known about their barefootedness earlier.

Ya see? You just never know what you'll learn about people.

Friday, February 11, 2011

This Week Sucked

I guess we all get into funks every now and then. Apparently this week it was my turn. I started doing #365workout on November 11th last year. Other than one day, due to being sick, I performed some sort of activity. I often run 3 times a week, cross train the other 3 days a week, and have a play day doing any sort of activity I want once a week. Well this week just SUCKED.

Sunday - I did nothing. I was too busy taking care of stuff and paper work. I slept in because I was just exhausted.

Monday - Ok, let's get into the groove and workout. I started week 4 of the original Turbulence Training workout.

Tuesday - Um yeah, I didn't get a chance to workout at all. I had to start my day super early and was too tired to get up any earlier. Come night time, I'm exhausted from my commute, work, and chores to fit in a workout.

Wednesday, Thursday, and today - The pattern just continued. wth?

One night during the week my body felt stiff. I asked the hubby for a massage and he asked why since I didn't even workout that day. And maybe that's the problem. My body has gotten used to doing some sort of activity daily that maybe it just gets stiff without use. Again, my body speaks to me.

So yeah, this week totally sucked for workouts. I'm hoping to go for a run tomorrow, but I already have an appointment early in the morning. Maybe start fresh on Sunday? (Sheesh, I'm already making excuses. Man, once you fall off the wagon, it's hard to get back on.) 

If I don't, please feel free to yell at me so I can get my butt back into gear.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jimmy Freeman Inspires Kids to Run

When I was a kid I loved being outside. I loved riding my bike. Being inside was boring for me. But times sure have changed. With all the video games, smart phones and the Internet, there are less kids enjoying activity outside. They don't move. Their bodies are growing but they are stationary. I have a young son and yes, he does play on a computer from time to time. He plays and watches cartoons on a smart phone as well. But my hubby and I always encourage outdoor activity.

I say....

Let's go to the park.
Let's go on a bike ride.
Wanna go for a walk with me?
Ooooh, let's play with the bubbles.

Anything to get him out of the house and moving. Most times it doesn't take much. I am trying to teach him that there is more to life than sitting in front of the tube. I also teach him to eat healthy and get enough rest. As a parent, it is my responsibility to do so.

I thought that this 100 mile challenge Jimmy spoke to kids about is inspiring. More and more of us should get kids off their butts, and moving.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Healthy Grocery Shopping

I enjoy food. I REALLY enjoy food. Food is yummie in my tummy. But when I started to eat clean, I started to really enjoy healthier food. I always ate healthy food, but not enough of it. It was often a struggle on how to incorporate it into my diet. But now, if I don't eat enough fruits and veggies, then my body gets upset with me.
yes, I do buy a lot of fruit

I go grocery shopping once a week. Usually during the weekends. Prior to heading to the store, I make a list of items we ran out of. Then I plan our meals for the week. Just one week, until the next shopping trip. 

Why only shop once a week?
1) It is easier to budget.
2) It's enough time to eat the food before they spoil.
3) I try to avoid preprocessed food, and enjoy eating fresh produce.
4) It makes meal planning simple.

Where do you shop?
I live within walking distance to Safeway. But I drive about 8 miles, one way, to Trader Joe's. I feel that it's worth the trip. Don't get me wrong, Safeway is great and I still shop there at times. I often go there to purchase items at the deli. Usually deli meat and cheese.

But I buy everything else at Trader Joe's. I like their selection of produce. I love their organic orange juice and milk. I was quite shocked the last time I went to Safeway and searched for organic chicken. Trader Joe's was definitely more affordable. About 85% to 90% of my purchases are organic. And I like the fact that most of their packaged foods don't contain HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), nor do the ingredients read a mile long of stuff I can't even pronounce.

Why organic?
Why not? Ever since my son was born, I decided I would feed him what I thought was best. I never fed him jarred food from the store. I made his baby food. I feel that that act of love has done him well. He is a very healthy young boy, and he's quite smart. I'm sold.

Being surrounded by those battling cancer also helped me with this decision. A relative on my father's side passed from it. My first degree cousin from my mother's side passed from it. And my aunt, my mother's sister, is a 10 year breast cancer survivor. Cancer on both sides of my family doesn't quite put me at ease, so I am controlling what I can to try and avoid it.

What is your typical shopping list?
Fruits, Veggies, Sides and Snacks (90% organic)
  • brocolli and/or cauliflower
  • sweet potato
  • bananas
  • baby spinach or romaine lettuce
  • kiwi
  • apples and/or pears
  • dried fruit
  • dried seaweed
  • onions
  • garlic
  • protein bar

Dairy and Drinks (99% organic)
  • 1% or 2% milk
  • orange juice
  • grapefruit juice (for the hubby)
  • eggs
  • green tea bag

Frozen or Chilled (70% organic)
  • Cod filets
  • potstickers/teriyaki chicken/orange chicken
  • berries
  • chicken
  • meat

Everything else
  • Multigrain bread
  • Ground flax seed (once a month)
  • Toilet tissue
  • Multivitamin (once a month)
  • Vitamin D3 (every few months)
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dishwashing soap

So these are pretty much my staples and I work off of that. We have the occasional treat such as tarts, pizza or cookies so we don't go crazy. And we ALWAYS have dark chocolate to help with our sweet tooth.

My budget is $100 per week. Which isn't that bad considering that I buy mostly organic. Going organic won't break the bank if you do your homework.

Where do you shop?
What are your grocery shopping staples?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Signed Up For My First 5k in 2011

Ok, so I signed up for my first 5k this year. It's on March 19th, which is about 2 months away. I liked running Lake Merritt so much I decided I would run a real race there. It's called the Greek Independence Day Run. Once around the lake is a 5k, another lap around the lake is a 10k. Seeing that I've only been back to running for a little over a month now, I'll be running the 5k. Next month I am hoping to run around the lake again to see where I'm at on my training.

Have you signed up for races yet?

I started running outside on the weekends. This passed weekend was the second time. I really enjoy running outside. Sorry for being a broken record, but it's true. I only ran 1.02 miles on Saturday. Much shorter than I wanted. But there was a good reason. My sweats kept falling off. And they seemed to start falling off the further I ran. It got to the point where I was literally holding my sweats on with my hand. It got too annoying and distracting that I just had to stop running. Very cool that my sweats were loose enough to fall off, but it didn't help my training at all.

On Sunday I decided to wear my biker shorts under a more snug fitting pair of sweats. Ah, that worked out better. I wanted to increase my distance another half mile. I just wanted to run a mile and a half. That was my goal this weekend. And well, I did it! When I pushed the stop button on the Runmeter app it read 1.57 miles. Woo hoo! Unfortunately the weekends are the only time I get to run outside. We'll see how I do on the treadmill tomorrow morning.

Do you run outside?
What time of day are you able to fit in a run outside?

Back to pants falling off, the jeans I wore today were quite loose. I haven't worn this pair in months. Since I didn't get to finish laundry this weekend, I wore these jeans. And...whoa baby! They were super loose. Are you kidding me? I couldn't believe it. I think it's time to donate this pair.

With my pants falling off I will really need to think about what I'm going to wear during my first race of the year. I really don't want my pants on the ground.

What do you think I should wear? 
Biker shorts? Spandex?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Runmeter Wins Because My Treadmill Lies

Back in October I got a treadmill. Last month the foot was feeling better so I began running again. The weather hasn't been great so I continued running on the treadmill. For the last two weeks or so, I've been running for 17 minutes. Not sure why, but I can't seem to run longer than that at this moment. 17 minutes seems to equal running 1.2 miles. That's the distance I've been seeing at the end of my runs. Wow, that is super slow. I even cover up the distance display with my iPhone so I'm not distracted (or disappointed) by it.

I can either run at a constant speed, or increase the speed for a few minutes, and my distance is always the same in 17 minutes, 1.2 miles. I don't understand why this is happening, and I began to wonder if my treadmill was broken. 

Does it just stop working once it reaches 1.2 miles on the display? 
Was my new tool lying to me?
I needed answers.

I realized that I don't like speed controlled runs. Yes you can press a button and change the speed, but that's too distracting for me. When I run outside, I speed up and slow down when my body feels the need to. There are no buttons. This passed weekend I ran outside for the first time in months. Wow, it felt SO different because I've been running on the treadmill. But it also felt wonderful. I was happy to use Runmeter again and something shocked me.

Saturday's run

According to my treadmill, if I were to run 8min and 44sec then I'd only be at about 1/2 a mile. But Runmeter says otherwise.

Sunday's run

And lookie here. I ran a mile in right under 12 minutes. According to my treadmill I should have only ran a distance of about 3/4 of a mile.

Interesting, don'cha think? So which is more accurate?
I will have to agree with Runmeter. I have used Runmeter during my 5k runs. My Runmeter results and my official race time results are within seconds of each other. Runmeter FTW! (FTW = for the win)

But this knowledge is quite disappointing. Once again I am glad that I didn't pay $1300 for my treadmill. Sheesh.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Toss The Scale!

Those who read my blog or view my tweets have asked me the ultimate question.

How much weight have you lost?

When it comes to getting fit, many focus WAY too much on 2 numbers; pounds and calories. Just hearing those words turns my attention off.

Our society, if not most, are obsessed with weighing ourselves.
- We eat something, then we weigh ourselves.
- We do a workout, then we weigh ourselves.
It's a vicious cycle. If we gain a pound, or don't lose anything, we get discouraged and eventually revert to unhealthy habits. We flat out just give up. This is complete self-torture. Throw that darn scale away if you are obsessed with weighing yourself. That's exactly what I did. I've been there. I was doing the exact same thing! Constantly weighing yourself will not make the pounds go away. It's like a watched pot never boils. Tossing the scale was liberating for me.

I personally don't keep track of the calories I eat or drink. I am WAY too lazy to spend the time logging everything I eat. I think it can drive someone crazy doing so. I don't think it's a bad idea to keep a count of caloric intake at first. Initially, that's what I did on gyminee, which is now dailyburn. But it wasn't just about calories. This helped me learn more about my diet. 
- Was I low in my fiber intake, or protein? 
- Did I have too much fat today? 
After a while, I started to understand what my body was trying to tell me. I would feed my body what it was asking for whether it was more protein, or a glass of water. Now I just use a lot of common sense by eating clean. It doesn't take a scientist to figure out that the apple is your friend while the chocolate cake is your enemy. I focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, and lean meats.

So to answer the ultimate question...

Since I began running in July of 2010, I have lost a total of 8 pounds. It's now January of 2011. It has been 6 months since I started running, and 3 months since I started cross training. 8 pounds really isn't a lot. And I have no idea if I lost the pounds all up front, during the middle, or just recently. Did it fluctuate? I have no idea and I actually don't really care. Like I said, I rarely weigh myself.

But what I do know is that my clothes fit better. Heck, I just started shrinking my clothes because they were getting too loose for me to wear. (I used to wash them in cold water so they wouldn't shrink.) As I look at myself in the mirror, which is something you all should be doing, I am seeing more definition. I see that I really am replacing fat with lean muscle, and I am liking what I see.

So...for all you calorie counters, muscle is what you need to BURN calories.
And for you scale lovers, muscle weighs MORE than fat. 

So the next time the scale goes up, it does not necessarily mean that you've gained more fat. Think about your activity, your diet, and how your clothes fit, because it might just be that you gained some of that awesome muscle.

And ladies, don't be afraid of gaining muscle. Lean muscle is SEXY.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Your Brain Needs To Workout Too

When I was in my early 20's my HR manager told me that she does crossword puzzles. She said that she does it to keep her brain in shape. Being my 20's I didn't think much of it. I was young. Why would I need to work out my brain when I've got so many years ahead of me? Well a year here and a year there went by and now I'm in my 30's. Where the heck did the time go?

I'm now in love with running - check!
I'm also doing cross training - check!
I do some sort of activity or workout everyday - check!
My diet has improved - check!

But what about my brain? Oh my. My old HR manager was onto something. The body is complex, but the brain is....well, the brain of it all. So how does one exercise the brain? You need to feed the brain things to make the gears turn.

crossword puzzles
word searches
solve a rubix cube
take classes
work on your budget
learn a new language
...and the list goes on and on.

What are you doing to keep your brain in shape?
Currently my favorite form of brain exercise is playing Words With Friends on my iPhone. Wanna play? What's your username?
username is melygreen

Lastly....don't forget to do your deep breathing. Your brain needs oxygen. Set aside a few minutes a day (for starters) to do some deep breathing. Your brain and the rest of your body will thank you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Perfect 5k Route

Last month I told you that I had planned to go running with my Vibram buddy Sherry. Well yesterday we met up. It was cool because another friend joined us. Kimmy brought her daughter Kally, so she was pushing a jogging stroller. That definitely created some resistance. Sherry wore her injini socks in her KSO's since it was quite cold.

We went for a jog/walk around Lake Merritt. The lake is 3 miles around. It's the perfect place to practice for a 5k race. But because of it's perfect 3 mile route, they hold many races there as well. Check out the East Bay's oldest running club for more info. There were SO many other runners there toughing out the cold, and boy was it cold. I've never been all the way around the lake, but now I know why people enjoy running there. It's so nice there. It's mostly flat, with a couple of tiny slopes depending on which path you take. There are 2 different types of terrain; gravel and paved. That was pretty cool since I've never ran on anything except for asphalt and the treadmill. The scenery was nice too. Of course you have the lake, lots of grass, birds, play structures for kids and more. Unfortunately I don't live close enough to run around the lake often.

Afterwards we headed nearby to grub on some yum yum dim sum. It was a pretty nice low carb meal paired with some tea. Yeah, we definitely needed to warm up. The run around the lake was my second workout of the day, since I started off with cross training in the morning. I didn't feel too guilty eating out for lunch yesterday.

Have you gone for a run around Lake Merritt before?
What did you think of it?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dude, It Was Ginormous

Great start to a new year. I did stay up past midnight, but I didn't watch the ball drop on TV. I was actually working on a blog post. (It will be up shortly.)

I completed week 2 of the Turbulence Training intermediate workout this morning, and it felt great. What better way to great January 1st? Just about all the holiday food has now been eliminated from the house. I can now go back to eating healthier. I went through our fridge, freezer and pantry today and tossed a lot of stuff out. I guess you can say I officially started on cleaning house. With the fridge being so bare I decided to go on my weekly shopping trip today.

I was super bummed that Trader Joe's was closed today. I thought they were open 7 days a week. (I guess I should have checked their website before heading out there.) I then headed to Safeway. Since I don't normally shop there anymore, my trip took longer than expected. I really had to spend time in order to buy, what I thought to be, the healthiest versions of what I wanted.

Of course, I bought lots of fruit and lots of broccoli. While in the produce section, look what I found. A ginormous green bell pepper. I almost bought it just for the sake of showing it to my hubby. But I figured a picture would suffice. It was HUGE!

I had chicken on my shopping list, but they didn't have a good selection of organic chicken. It was pretty much non-existent. The non-organic drumsticks were surprisingly MORE expensive than the organic drumsticks at Trader Joe's. And everyone says that organic is too expensive. Not this time. Needless to say, I didn't buy any chicken. I instead bought 2 pounds of organic ground beef. 

Surprisingly the organic eggs were the same price. The wheat bread I bought was more expensive, but it did not contain any HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). The milk was a few cents more. And I couldn't find a comparable orange juice. Overall, I am quite happy with my trip. It just took longer than expected. But I still prefer shopping at Trader Joe's, so I'm looking forward to next week's shopping trip.

Do you have a favorite store for your grocery needs?
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