Monday, November 30, 2015

Am I Doing this Right?

What happened to my long weekend? Sad that I had to welcome Monday again so quickly. The time flew by - I didn't even have time to check in yesterday. I think it might have been the first day since I started this blog that I missed writing a post!



It was the good type of busy though - one where I got to welcome friends I haven't seen in ages in the morning, still hit the gym and do some window shopping in the afternoon, spend some time with my mother in the evening, and then catch up with good friends back up north via FaceTime before bed.

I also have had some time to play with my new Apple Watch over the last two days.  (Update - I didn't get the Polar A360 as I said I was going to on Black Friday.  The coupon code didn't work.) This allowed me to give heart rate training as suggested by the Maffetone Method a try yesterday. Here are some initial observations:


  • I had been warned that I'd need to go slow, but I never realized HOW slow. Normally, I run between a 6.0-6.5 mph pace on the treadmill. After just a few seconds at that pace, my heart rate jumped up into the 160 range. I ended up needing to keep my pace 4.2-4.5 mph in order to stay in the 135-145 range that the Maffetone Method suggests I need to be in. For me, this feels like just a tick above speedwalking.
  • There's no way for me to really know whether or not the Apple Watch is accurately monitoring my heart rate, but it provided readings consistent with the handle bar heart rate monitor on the treadmill I was using. This, of course, really means nothing because they both could just be plain wrong.
  • The Apple Watch needs to be calibrated outdoors using your phone's GPS before getting accurate treadmill readings (the Exercise app told me I did over 4 miles in the 45 minutes I was on the treadmill, when it was closer to 3 miles). I'm going to try running outside tomorrow with my phone to see if I get a better reading, and then try the treadmill again on Wednesday to see if there is a change.
  • I still have a lot of questions about proceeding with this type of training. I noticed I was a bit sore after running at this slow pace for 45 minutes. I am not typically sore after a run - is going more slowly the cause? How long will it take before I can start running at my former speed? Do I need to still incorporate "rest days" into my training, or should I do this every day?

We'll keep the experiment going for a while, but so far, I'm enjoying changing things up a bit.

138 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Active Rest Day

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Move More

One of the things I haven't been paying much attention to as of late is the amount of movement I'm getting outside of my scheduled training runs (which haven't been very consistent, either, given I'm adjusting to a morning workout habit).

Still, I went from being an office-based employee earlier this year to a home-based employee, and I need to be a little more cognizant of how much more I'm sitting because of this. In my last temporary apartment, I was living in the city, where I could walk to everything I needed - grocery stores, entertainment, restaurants, the pharmacy, Starbucks...

That setup was always meant to be temporary, until our new house is ready. The new house is a little bit outside of the city, but I will be able to ride my bike to all of those things I need. As you may know, my husband and I expected to be in the new house by now - but were blindsided by our builder the day before closing that they failed to get approval from the town on something, and would need an additional two months to complete the house.

You can get the full story here, but to summarize, we had no house and couldn't stay in our temporary apartment in the city. We were lucky to find a new place to live, but there's nothing within walking distance. Unfortunately, all of the supplies we need to be able to use our bicycles (helmets, bike lock, bicycle pump, etc.) are buried in our storage unit somewhere, so we heavily rely on the car. The few extra steps I get in my day come from walking the dog, but I think he's unhappy with the new place too - he used to have a lot of pep in his step when we'd go for a walk around the city block, but he's not nearly as excited to walk around here.

Another problem is the chair I do sit in for work - it's a very uncomfortable kitchen table chair that came with the apartment I'm in. (same thing in my last apartment - my office chair is in storage). I wasn't expecting to spend 6 months in something that is not ergonomically sound.



So I am lucky to have a long weekend to be active and away from my computer, but am looking for suggestions on ways I can be sure to incorporate more activity into my day now. I found this article with 13 ways to sneak in more cardio into your day  - I'll start incorporating some of the tips here on Monday.

Other desk-based employees - what do you do to keep yourself moving?

140 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Spin class  @ Globo Gym

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
coffee, eggs, potatoesHoliday cookie baking (and eating)Chili

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday

I typically have to work Black Friday - I work in financial services, and when the stock market is open for business, so is my company. However, I requested the day off this year, anticipating that I'd be in my new house and that I could use the day to get some deals on furniture and other home needs.

Well, we all know how that worked out.

Since I'm not quite ready to purchase home goods yet, I did use the time to look around for deals on gifts for my family - and, of course, for me. I've been looking for a good heart rate monitor/smartwatch combo and have narrowed it down to 2 - Polar's A360 and the Apple Watch. I've decided to get both and try them both out for a few days. Seems frivolous, but Target is giving me a $100 Gift Card for buying an Apple Watch on Black Friday, and I have a coupon code for 20% off the Polar courtesy of this Gift Guide for Runners.



If you are still out there shopping for the runner in your life, I have a few more guides to share, although I have to say runners are probably the easiest group to shop for. I get pretty stoked about getting a decent pair of socks! But if you still need the help, check out:

30 Holiday Gift Ideas for Athletes
Active Holiday Gift Guides

What are you hoping for this season? Anything on these lists strike your fancy? Feel free to leave a comment here, maybe your significant other is reading this right now and can pick up the hint.

141 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Rest (in between shopping!)

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
still fullSalad BarStill full

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful for Turkey Trots

I'd always find a way to get a workout in on Thanksgiving - usually somewhere in between the Macy's parade and actually sitting down to eat. But it was only two years ago that I started taking place in a tradition others have enjoyed for quite some time - the Annual Turkey Trot. Did you know the first Turkey Trot was in 1896 in Buffalo, NY? (More interesting facts about Turkey Trots here.)

I am not sure what compels me to keep this tradition going - my 2013 race was completed on icy roads and below zero temps, and my 2014 race was completed in a snowstorm. But 2015 looks a little bit different for me:


This year on the left, last year in a snowstorm on the right.
As a crazy random happenstance, I was reminded last night to purchase this photo from the 2013 race.
See how bundled up I was?




















I love living in Florida. Anyway, I'm glad I found a local race to sign up for, as  this was my first one since January's Star Wars Rebel Challenge. 2015 was an odd year for me, as in the past I would sign up for at least a 5k every other month or two. But with selling my NJ house and moving this year, it didn't leave much time or energy for races.

The Goody Goody Turkey Trot here in Tampa was a really lovely course, starting out at Amalie Arena and running along the water on Bayshore Blvd. I wasn't really expecting a PR today or anything like that since I'm just getting back into training. Just looking to have some fun.

In lieu of posting my meal log for today - because who can really keep track on Thanksgiving - here's what my plate looked like:

And yes, there was pumpkin and apple pie afterwards!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

142 days left.

Today's Exercise:  30 minute 5k - Goody Goody Turkey Trot

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More on Saunas

I enjoy being a member of Globo Gym, even though I've been critical of it. I just wish their branches were a little more consistent - when you go to a new location, you can never be sure if you're going to walk through the doors and step back in time to 1982, or be greeted with bright, more modern facilities. One thing they have consistently at every location I have been to, though, is a sauna.


I love the sauna after a good workout. I've mentioned some of the benefits of sauna time here before, but just saw another article here about it. This one addresses both sauna and steam room, and also dispels some of the rumors about it.

  1. It's not going to help you lose weight. Sure, you might lose some water weight, but it will all come right back once you rehydrate.
  2. It shouldn't be treated as a cleanse - sweat plays a very minor role in carrying toxins out of the body.

But it can still improve your heart health and your athletic performance. My personal reason for giving myself an extra 10 minutes at the gym every day to hit the sauna? Simple - just love the R&R time. By switching to morning workouts, I now have a few minutes to relax in  the morning before work AND I now have time to take advantage of the hot tub at my temporary apartment complex after work.

If I keep all of this relaxation all week, I'll be the least frazzled holiday shopper on Black Friday.

143 days left.

Today's Exercise:  30 minute treadmill interval run @ Globo Gym

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
coffee, eggs with spinachTuna saladChili

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Jedi Mind Tricks

I tried a new approach before going to bed last night where I visualized myself actually being excited and looking forward to a morning workout. This approach may have worked a little TOO well - I got myself so psyched up for going to the gym this morning that I kept waking up throughout the night thinking "Is it 6am yet?"


When it hit 5am, I figured I probably wasn't going back to sleep, so I just lied there and let the hour pass. It felt like it was taking forever. I don't want this approach to be counterproductive - continued lack of sleep could very well mean trouble in the future. Still, it was nice to feel a little bit different when my alarm clock actually went off this morning.

Run wasn't great though - got a cramp 20 minutes in. I'm also not a fan of this new branch of Globo Gym we're using. The one we were using last week that we technically weren't supposed to be using was so much nicer, with personal televisions on each of the treadmills and decent showers. But - when I compare it to the branch that is closest to our new home that we'll be using after we move - this one is on par. It will have to do!

144 days left.

Today's Exercise:  30 minute treadmill interval run @ Globo Gym

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
coffee, GNC Pureedge ProteinTuna salad, pumpkin teaChili

Monday, November 23, 2015

Race Drought

I decided to get rid of PWO tracking. I wasn't using it consistently, and it seems there are quite a few benefits to working out in a fasted state. Of course, I won't actually see any of those benefits if I don't wake up to work out.

In fairness, I had some difficulty getting to sleep last night and I'm not sure why. Maybe I was just overstimulated by a day at Disney and the Osborne lights. But additional sleep was definitely needed. I have asked for my husband's help going forward - he doesn't usually set his alarm clock. Maybe if I have his go off 10 minutes after mine, we'll both find our way out of bed more easily. My ultimate goal is to wake up without need for an alarm clock. I'd regularly wake up on time, feeling refreshed at my old home in NJ, no clock needed. At our last apartment, I'd be woken up by construction workers building a new apartment complex right next to mine - they'd start promptly at 7am. I'd like to get back to a space where I just wake up.

Anyway, I did get myself out for a run after work. I also registered for a 5k on Thanksgiving - this will be my first race since I did the Star Wars Half in January. Since 2012, running races has been a regular part of my life - fun runs, half marathons, relays - I wouldn't let a race go by without already being signed up for something else. This year was just too busy with our move from NJ to FL. I'm definitely looking forward to Thursday.

Just gotta keep running. Photo borrowed from Disney


145 days left.

Today's Exercise:  30 minute outdoor run

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
coffee, granolaTuna saladChili

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lights

Today's a tough day to squeeze in a post - we decided to go to Hollywood Studios right after spin class for a day with The Mouse and The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. I love being an annual passholder for these spur of the moment Disney decisions.

Disney fans will know this is the last year at Disney you'll be able to see the lights. Wine and Dine Half Marathon runners know this as probably the most inspiring part of the run. I didn't take this photo when I ran it in 2013, but found it online right after the race and saved it:



146 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Spin Class @ Globo Gym

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
coffee, granolaeggs, potatoesGingerbread
Cupcake

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Caught!

Woke up this morning with a popcorn hangover. I detest movie theater popcorn - it's messy, it gets stuck in your teeth... but I seem to forget that every time I walk into a movie theater and get hit with that popcorn smell. I didn't actually log my popcorn last night because I posted here before going to see the Hunger Games.

This may be blasphemy, but I'll admit I was looking forward to this one even more so than The Force Awakens. I'm sad the series is over.

Anyway, too much popcorn this morning meant I really wasn't hungry for breakfast, so I skipped out. I had to be somewhere at noon today, so my husband and I went to the forbidden gym on our way out of town - only this time we were caught. (As I posted here,  we were at a branch of our gym that technically we aren't supposed to use, but got away with it on Thursday).



After a few minutes of discussion, the very nice salesman at the gym let us in as his guests, but it delayed my date with the treadmill. I had planned on doing a full hour run today, but had a hard stop to meet my noon appointment.

Ah well. I guess I'm glad this happened on a Saturday and not during an early morning weekday workout, as I probably would have lost motivation to start my run. All is not lost - there's another branch of Globo Gym nearby, only this one will take us 20 minutes to get to instead of 15. Just got to set the alarm clock 5 minutes earlier come Monday...

147 days left.

Today's Exercise:  4 miles (9:40 min/mi) @ Globo Gym

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
coffeeChips, latteChicken Pizza

Friday, November 20, 2015

Heart Rate training

TGIF. Even though I thought I'd be energized for a morning workout because of the simple fact it's Friday, I wasn't. I chose to sleep in again. Wondering how I can make sleeping in NOT an option?

I thought I would make up the workout by using my apartment complex gym over lunch time, but I got sidetracked researching fitness trackers and smartwatches with built in heart rate monitors instead. I'm looking into incorporating the Maffetone Method into my training plan because of a comment someone left yesterday.

I have heard of Dr. Maffetone before, mostly because his articles pop up in nutrition circles I follow. Following his guidelines means that all of my future runs should sustain the same heart rate (based on his formula, mine should be between 135-145) for the duration of my run. It also means that I will be running very slowly when I start - but that eventually, I will run faster while exerting the same level of effort.

Makes a great deal of sense, right?

There are other guidelines as I understand it - like I have to perform very little anaerobic activity (no more weight lifting?) and eat a low carb / high fat diet. If I want to do this, I really have to start now as it will take a few months to get to a good aerobic base.

A huge road block is that I don't currently have a good way to track my heart rate. I researched what's out there and am leaning towards the Apple Watch as I hear it has an accurate monitor plus I usually run with my iPhone anyway for music (and to use the GPS feature of MMR when I'm running outdoors). But I hate the thought of sweating all over a high tech gadget like that. I am giving myself a week to make a decision so that I can buy something at Black Friday or Cyber Monday prices.

Plus  you can make it look like this.
Anybody have any recommendations? I'd prefer to stay away from chest straps if possible - I used to have a Polar heart rate monitor and found it to be pretty uncomfortable. Plus I remember being confused by the calibration instructions - so I'm also looking for something that is "wear and go."

Got a date with the Hunger Games tonight - then a date with the treadmill for a long run tomorrow.

148 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Unplanned rest

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
Eggs with spinach, coffeeTuna, salad, pumpkin teaChili

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The day is mine!

Finally.

Today's the first day I have felt "normal" in about two weeks. You know, I can handle particularly stressful days at work, or the annoyance of having to move apartments, or trying to train for a Star Wars Half Marathon - but dealing with all of these things at once really pushes my limits. Everything appears to be on track for moving into our house in a month, and I actually would be happy to do this over the holidays as I can then take time off of work and focus solely on unpacking and running.

So the moving part is over for now, and work is returning to a more manageable pace. Is it a surprise then that I was also able to jump eagerly into my day with a 6am date with the treadmill? My husband and I rolled out of bed and drove the 15 minutes to the closest branch of Globo Gym (aka LA Fitness). Even though our new temporary apartment complex has a gym, it's kind of terrible. Only one out of three treadmills currently works. So we traded out convenience for function - except when we arrived, we were crestfallen to find out that branch of LA Fitness was a "Signature Club." Technically, the membership we have shouldn't work at "Signature Clubs" - but we decided to try just walking in anyway.

And it worked! We both scanned our membership tags, no problems or questions asked. So maybe something changed in the fine print of our membership contract, but more likely the person at the front desk doesn't get paid enough to care we're technically not supposed to be there.

Or maybe my husband Jedi Mind-Tricked her into letting us in.


It seems my luck is finally turning.

I did my intervals today at 6.0-6.3 for two minutes, then bumped up to 8.0 for 30 seconds. Tomorrow, I'd like to see how long I can sustain a 6.6 mph pace, as that's what I'll need to do consistently to achieve my sub 2:00:00 half marathon goal.

149 days left.

Today's Exercise:  5k treadmill run (intervals - avg 9:40 min/mi pace) @ Globo Gym, arms

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
LatteTuna, salad, pumpkin teaChili, wine

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

On the upswing

I went to bed with a headache last night, and woke up with the same headache. I think the recent stress is taking it's toll.

The good news is that all of the high pressure work meetings I was dreading are over now, so I can breathe a little easier for the rest of the week. There's still a lot of big projects going on, but I can give those better attention and focus. I think with next week being a holiday week, there will be less new "to-do's" coming my way, so maybe I can finally feel ahead of the game.

Anyway, since I woke up with a headache, I did not run today. I'm not beating myself up about it, but giving my body the rest it needs. I'm optimistic I can get back into a healthier routine here and focus on my training schedule again.

Thought I'd share this article about the top 10 most fun half marathons - (not to be confused with the top 10 cities for running marathons that I posted a few weeks ago) not surprising that runDisney holds two spots on the list (Star Wars Half , Wine and Dine Half).



I've done both and can validate their placement on this list. Has anybody done any of the others?

150 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Rest

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
Eggs with spinach, coffeeTJs Turkey Cranberry Sausage, salad, pumpkin teaSteak and Tzatziki,gf
Pumpkin cupcake

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Low Point

It's official - I'm burnt out. Last night's massage was great while I was laying there on the table, but didn't do much to rejuvenate me for today. I went to bed early but felt far from refreshed when my alarm went off at 6. I really didn't want to face the day today.

At 6:45, I convinced myself that all was not lost - although I wouldn't have the time to get to Globo Gym and back in time for work, I could do a decent run around the neighborhood and do my lunges/squats/deadlifts combo at the apartment gym. It wasn't a great run this morning - I don't know the neighborhood well yet, and the roads I took didn't offer much in the way of inspiration or beauty. But at least I've put a halt to the momentum that was carrying me away from morning workouts.

Still in a funk though. It was very difficult to concentrate at work this morning. I received some bad news early in the day, which left me with the desire to shut down completely and crawl into bed (or binge watch True Blood on HBO Go). But I couldn't - high pressure meetings throughout the rest of the day forced me to pull it together.

I've been at this for almost two months now and also appear to not be making much progress. The Star Wars Half is going to be here before I know it, and I can't seem to breakthrough my 10 min/mile pace. I'm optimistic that things will be a little bit better by the end of the week, but right now I just wish I could sleep through the next three days.

151 days left.

Today's Exercise:  3 mi outdoors run (10 min/mi), strength training @ apartment gym

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
GNC Puredge Protein, CoffeeTJs Chicken patties, salad, pumpkin teaTJs Turkey Cranberry Sausage, roasted butternut squash

Monday, November 16, 2015

So much for sleep

I was really hoping my new temporary apartment would bring me better quality sleep than what I had at the last place.

My hopes were dashed when I was kept awake in the middle of the night by what sounded like a train or a truck with a really obnoxious horn. My husband thinks that maybe a tanker came in to the shipyard nearby and what I was hearing was a foghorn. I hope not - I didn't think being this close to a port would pose a problem. I'm hoping this won't be a nightly occurrence.

My husband and dog then took turns snoring at similar pitch/volume/decibel. That, I'm afraid, I can't escape.



Even though Monday is usually supposed to be a rest day, I had wanted to go to the gym this morning to make up for lost time last week during the move. Plus I'm anxious to determine if traffic is going to be a problem for us now in the new location. I set my alarm clock for 6am, but shut it down in favor of trying to get more sleep since last night was so terrible.

I don't want to fall out of the habit of morning workouts, as work has been extraordinarily stressful as of late, and the mountain of work keeps coming. I think it's going to be very difficult to be motivated to work out at the end of the workday if this keeps up as it is quite draining. The later into the evening I work, the less likely I am to be motivated to workout. Case in point - I had a short window between 5pm and this evening's massage to get to the gym or go for a walk or do something active, but I was chained to my laptop for too long. Any resolve to meet my personal goals goes out the window after a certain point in the workday, so morning workouts are really a must.

Hoping tonight's massage gets me back into a good place to fall asleep easily and feel refreshed for tomorrow.

152 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Rest

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
Eggs with spinach, CoffeeChicken saladTJs Chicken patties, roasted butternut squash

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Spoiled

I am unpacked and settled in the new temporary apartment, about 20 minutes away from where I was previously living. I'm feeling a little bit down about it. Our new location puts me further away from the water. There's not much to walk to from here. I went to check out the new apartment complex's onsite gym, but two of the three treadmills were broken, which could pose a challenge for both my husband and I to continue our Star Wars Half training at the same time. There is a branch of my Globo Gym about 15 minutes from here, but driving anywhere is pretty impossible once rush hour hits. I'm hoping to give it a shot tomorrow morning before work - maybe it's early enough that we won't have any problems getting there.

I have to remind myself this is only for a month or so while we're waiting for our house to be ready. And there's a nice pool and hot tub here, at least, but the temperature here has dropped significantly - you'd think it was fall or something.

My depression might stem from the chronic stress experienced everyday over the last seven days between moving and a tumultuous workweek. I devoted my entire weekend to moving out of and cleaning up our old apartment. Then I gave up my Sunday afternoon to work - playing catch-up from taking a half-day off Friday to move, plus trying to get ahead of a few things to minimize the impact of this upcoming week (could be that another equally stressful week is looming).

Overall, not much to look forward to, except the hour I spent at spin class this morning. Doing something that's routine in an otherwise chaotic week feels good - even if that something happens to be an exhausting hour on the bike. I am looking forward to one thing this week though - tomorrow is my monthly massage ritual! Hoping that can help pull me out of  my current blues. Just gotta keep calm and move along.



153 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Spin

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
Eggs, sausage, potatoes, CoffeeN/AChicken salad, gingerbread men, wine

Friday, November 13, 2015

Stress

Turns out I was so stressed yesterday that I started this post and never hit publish....


I decided that perhaps I need to take today - and maybe even tomorrow - off from the gym. There's a little bit too much stress in my life right now between moving and work. Sure, today's move was a micro-move, moving from one temporary apartment to another 20 minutes away. But still, packing/cleaning/un-packing/transporting 3 animals from an apartment you've lived in for four months to another takes it's toll. Plus, it was a reminder that I'll have to move a 3rd time a month or so from now, which rekindled the same anger I felt two weeks ago when I was notified THE DAY BEFORE CLOSING that the builder had to postpone two months due to not receiving approval from the town to hook up to the sewer line.

Work-wise, I've been going non-stop since Monday. There are quite a few high pressure deadlines looming, and I'll likely have to play catch-up on Sunday from taking a half-day today to wrap up the move.

So today's entry will be briefer than usual, and I may not get to post tomorrow as I have to finish  unpacking and head back to the old apartment to clean.

154 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Rest

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
Eggs with spinach, CoffeeLeftover GF pumpkin pizza, coffeeBurger and fries

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fast (Not Speed)

I've read much over the last few years about intermittent fasting and how restricting your eating window within a 12 hr period is a good practice (even better if you can do 9 hours).

My schedule in the past never really permitted this type of practice - since I did my workouts right after work, it meant I usually could sit down to eat dinner between 8 and 9pm. If I could postpone breakfast until after 9am, then this would work out - but I could never wait that long. I think it's from years of having to get breakfast out of the way before sitting in traffic for 45 minutes to get to work. I work from home now, so I really could postpone breakfast but... I'm hungry! Years of habit.

Moving to morning workouts has changed things up for me a bit - now, it is much easier to get all meals in within a 12 hour window since I can eat dinner much earlier. The only problem is that it negates another "best practice" for athletes - incorporating a PWO (Pre-workout meal). I have included a space for PWOs in my meal logs at the bottom since beginning this blog, as I always wanted to remind myself to start making it habit.

However... now I'm not so sure it's needed. This article suggests there are quite a few benefits to working out in a fasted state. There are some mornings I've skipped the PWO, and some mornings I've used the GNC Pureedge Energy drink - I haven't noticed a difference, but I think it's because I'm typically kind of a mess in the mornings still. It's not truly habit yet.

Ah, breakfast. My husband has these Star Wars pancake molds from Williams-Sonoma. Pancakes are no longer my go-to breakfast though - bring on the eggs!
I think I'll continue to use the Pureedge energy drink until I run out, but I won't restock. I'd like to see how working out before taking in any calories works out for me.

156 days left.

Today's Exercise:  3 mile treadmill interval run @ Globo gym, arms

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
GNC Pureedge Energy
GNC Pureedge Protein, CoffeeChili, coffeeBurger and fries

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Conserve Water

I'm not a big drinker but the last few nights I have indulged a little bit (and have logged it all here in my meal tables at the bottom). I prefer wines, occassionally will have a cider... just a good way to wind down in the evenings.

But after reading this article, I'm considering cutting it out until April. Ok, maybe not completely - would like to have a drink here and there on the holidays - what's New Year's Eve without a glass of champagne?



I'm most concerned about how it disrupts my sleep patterns and acts as another stressor on the body. I've been imbibing daily as I have two bottles of wine that I really don't feel like moving with me to my  next apartment. But I had trouble sleeping last night and wasn't feeling a morning workout. I hit the snooze button and told myself I could do a workout in the evening, but work has been killing me the past few days, leaving me with no energy to hit the gym.

Anyway, I've got a little more wine left for tonight and tomorrow night, but I don't think I'll be stocking it in the future. I'm just as happy with coffee and my Trader Joe's pumpkin tea.

157 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Unplanned rest day

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
Eggs, spinach, CoffeeChili, coffeePumpkin cream GF Pizza (yes that's a thing!), glass of wine

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Walking Dead

Today, I woke up refreshed and energetic enough to look forward to my workout.

And then there was my husband.

I attribute most of my success in the last week to committing to 6 AM workouts to the end of Daylight Savings Time - but there is another factor here. My husband was traveling for work last week, and it's much easier to force yourself out of bed if there's no 'peer pressure' to stay where it's comfortable and warm.

Now that my husband has returned, he is very supportive of morning workouts - he wants to make it his habit as well - but he is having a more challenging time than I because:

  • he always tends to stay awake later than I do;
  • he's returning from business travel in California - 6 AM here still feels a little bit like 3 AM to him; and
  • he kind of loathes exercise.

Somehow, he made it happen yesterday, but today he was full of protests. Rather than push and nag him into getting his day off to a miserable start, I thought it might help him to just start getting his body used to waking up earlier. Instead of jumping into a workout this morning, I suggested we take a nice early morning walk for a half hour or so and then find a new place nearby to have breakfast. So that's what we did.

I've had three days of training in a row now, so making today an active rest day isn't problematic. In fact, I learned from this article that athletes in training will typically follow two hard workout days with a recovery day. What recovery looks like could be different from athlete to athlete, but I found it informative in terms of what to focus on with regards to activity, nutrition, sleep, and even massage.



Tomorrow - back to work with speed work!

158 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Active Rest

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
2 eggs, potatoesChili, coffeespinach and goat cheese salad, glass of wine

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hurry Up

I need to get faster.

Active.com gives a few tips for getting up to speed, including adding speed work, hill runs, and weight lifting to your training plan. I have one of three covered since I started making strength training more routine. Speed work I can do on a treadmill, but there aren't any hills conveniently located in Florida.

Unless you count the highway overpasses that I'll have to run over during the Star Wars half at Disney in April. They were murder - and something that could definitely screw up any plans I have for a sub 2:00:00 half, even if I can shave a minute off my mile pace by the time April gets here.

So I've got two ways I'm approaching this - I'll start bumping up the incline on my treadmill runs. I'll also make glutes a priority. Here's a few exercises I'll be adding to the routine.

Or perhaps I need to add some Yoda Yoga to my training. You can get these awesome posters on Etsy.  

159 days left.

Today's Exercise:  3.1 mile treadmill interval run (9:40 min/mi) @ Apartment Gym

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
GNC Pureedge Energy
GNC Pureedge protein, coffeeChiliEggs, spinach, goat cheese, glass of wine

Saturday, November 7, 2015

WTF

This one is probably for my female running friends. You already know my challenges with running outdoors and needing a restroom, pronto. I've actually experienced all of these except for the last two. Just wanted to share in honor of long run day that was cut short by stomach cramps.

This week I believe is going to be very draining. We need to coordinate move #2 during the evenings after work - our hope is to be mostly out of the apartment by Friday evening. I would have tried to maybe coordinate a day off from work to get it done, but it's the end of the year and we don't have any more time paid time left. At least, what we do have left, we were hoping to use for our big move into the house - but that may have to wait until 2016. (If you haven't been following my housing saga, here's the story.)

I foresee some exhaustion and difficulty sticking with my early morning workouts, and I really don't want to lose momentum. I'm going to keep these 7 tips for getting up early to work out in my pocket for the week - and add one more to drink a full glass of water as soon as my alarm goes off.

Or there's always coffee.

160 days left.

Today's Exercise: 4.5 mi treadmill run  @ Globo Gym

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
eggs, spinach, coffeeReuben, lattePumpkin
Cider

The race before the race

Tonight's the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Can't believe it's been two years since I did this as my first runDisney experience. I choose to think of this race in terms of that particular milestone - not the "worst half marathon record" one. This is also the only half marathon I've ever done at night. I think that's why it was a challenging run - 10pm is right around my bedtime, not 'let's run a half marathon' time.

Borrowing a friend's photo collage from two years ago since I can't find any photos on my own laptop.
BUT I do have to say running through Disney at night is well worth it, as you get to take over Epcot until 4 in the morning after the race is over - no waiting in line for anything! I think my husband, my friend, and I rode test track back to back 3 times.

How am I celebrating? Work. Some technical difficulties I had remote accessing my work computer earlier this week means Saturday is a work day for me. So I was up at 6, got a little bit of work done early, and took a mid-morning break for spin class. If I want to continue my 6am wake up streak, it's important for me to continue the habit on the weekend so that it doesn't all of a sudden feel awful to try to do during the week.

Speaking of feeling awful, I am incorporating more stretching - not just as part of my workouts, but throughout the day. I've had knee and lower back problems in the past training for half marathons, and I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to not allow these to sideline me over the next few months. Typically, my warm-ups really only include 3 minutes of walking, increasing speed every minute until I start up into a jog. According to this article, that's probably ok for easy runs, but if I'm doing speedwork, I need to rethink that approach.  I also don't really do any dynamic stretching - I just hop on the treadmill and go. So I've been doing these stretches in the morning, trying to commit them to memory and make them part of the habit.

161 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Spin Class @ Globo Gym

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Coffee
Eggs and potatoesCerealGoat cheese and crackers

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Fatigue

If you've been following me and know about my housing saga, I have good news - I have a new temporary apartment lined up!

So next week promises to be very busy as my husband and I pack up our current temp space, (inclusive of three fur children), clean up, and get the heck out. I'm glad I've achieved some momentum in switching to morning workouts so that I can spend evenings next week focused on another mini-move.

While I really wished I would not have to move a second time, there are a few things I'm looking forward to in the new apartment. One is the promise of decent sleep - I've complained here before that my current apartment isn't ideal. The city lights stream in through broken window blinds, and the bed isn't what I'd call comfortable. The bed in the new apartment isn't that much of an upgrade, but it at least will be located in a dark room.

Switching to morning workouts prior to Daylight Savings Time ending was really challenging for me because I always felt exhausted in the morning. I've had a pretty good week but my streak ended today when I just felt too tired to do anything. I read this article about fatigue that identifies the three most common causes of fatigue - lack of sleep (duh), chronic stress, and long workouts. It also suggests supplementation that can help you address those three causes. For me, I really think that lack of sleep is the major culprit - my stress levels have gone down (although might be rising with our home builder) since I moved to Florida and work from home full time (not having to fight traffic and getting to wear t-shirts to work has that effect).  If I still struggle with sleep after the move, then maybe I'll try supplements.

But I wonder -  once I start adding longer runs in January - if I'll be suffering from fatigue again. I'm not going to assume I will, but it will be nice to keep their suggested supplements in my back pocket in case I find I'm struggling:


  • creatine
  • branch chain amino acids
  • acetyl-l-carnitine
  • glucose - not sure about this one. isn't this just sugar?


162 days left.

Today's Exercise: Rest Day

PWO
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
N/A
LatteChineseCereal