Slow and Steady

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Five: HOT Baby!

Sunshine on my shoulders 
makes me happy. 
~John Denver
You can't tell, but my shirt is completely soaked through and had it not been for the 15 minute drive with the A/C blowing, you would have gotten a picture with my face as red as my tank top!
HOT? Yeah you read right, HOT in more ways than one.
  1. HOT- Running this week has been perfect. Nailed my Tuesday and Thursday run and despite planning to count tomorrow's 3.47 mile obstacle course mud run as my scheduled 4 miler, I felt like I needed a consecutive 4 miles *sans obstacle course* so I decided to run after work. Smart, no? 
  2. HOT-HOT- I worked my regular 8 hour day, dropped off snacks at the pre-school since I would be running late and headed out for a 4 mile loop. First I misread the route and was finishing too soon, then about mile 2 I just could not stand the heat any longer and had to walk. I get that I live in California and people love the California sunshine as I did for my Tuesday and Thursday run, but today was ridiculous! 89 degrees of sunshine without shade--ridiculous! I know it doesn't sound bad, but there was no weather transition to acclimate to this HOT weather so it literally felt like a scorcher today. I planned to finish in 45 minutes, but with so much walking in miles 3 and 4 I finished drenched with sweat, skin on fire and energy zapped 47:45 minutes later.
  3. HOT-HOT-HOT- Tomorrow is my mud run and I'm counting it toward my scheduled 35-40 minute easy run. It will take me longer than 40 minutes for sure and I am not sure how easy it will be. FUN yes, EASY? Maybe not so much. Sunday and Monday are consecutive rest days now and I think I'll appreciate that *schedule subject to change.
  4. Woo Hoo I am on FIRE- My hydration has been so much better since I refocused a week or two ago which helped on today's surprisingly hot run.
  5. UH, NOT SO HOT- The eating, my goodness, I am so not there yet. I am eating mostly good things, most of the time. My problem is volume. There is such a thing as too much good stuff. Calories in and calories out--tough concept I know. My weight is unnerving, but mostly I just want to fit in my that point I would care much less about the number on the scale. Unfortunately, I punish myself by stepping on the scale knowing what it is going to say and then sadly wiggle my way into some SPANX so I can try and fit into my work clothes. P.S. Some how I forgot how spandex-y running clothes don't quite make me feel like a rock star when I am not fit enough to be wearing them. I laughed when I saw a SPANX advertisement with people wearing them under work out clothes. While I refuse to do that simply because it is too damn HOT, I do get it now. I get it.
The Big Picture: Getting back to fit is a process. REPEAT, getting back to "FIT" is an ongoing process.
Why I Kick A$$: I gritted out the 4 blazing HOT miles today like a idiot trooper!
Thankful Three:
  1. For tomorrow's mud run with Super Hubby.
  2. For Sunday's family day.
  3. For making it through my first full week of work in 4 weeks...I got away with several 3 day weekends these last few weeks for fun times, now it's is back to reality.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Motivation: Kitchen Help!

Health and cheerfulness 
naturally beget each other. 
~Joseph Addison

I have stumbled upon some successful food methods for my household. I am not brilliant, I am not a genius and yes many of you have been doing this kind of stuff since forever, but here is a little of what has worked for us and plea for your fabulous ideas

Make large batches and refrigerate for easy use throughout the week.
  • Steamed cubed sweet potatoes: great for a side dish or addition to our smoothies
  • Baby spinach: great for sauteing into omelets, add to home made pizza or smoothies
  • Couscous: great side dish, yummy made breakfast style
  • Quinoa: great side dish, yummy made breakfast style
  • Fruit: We always have apples and bananas, but we also have a seasonal fruit of the week that we can buy in bulk at an affordable price. So far this year we have had weeks featuring- Bartlette Pears, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Strawberries, Blueberries, Kiwis, Papaya, Pineapple, Mangoes... I can't remember them all, but with apples and bananas to mix up the daily serving of fruit, these feature fruits have been great for our budget while giving our kids much needed variety.
  • Eggs: we boil 6-12 eggs and use them throughout the week for breakfast, snacks and sandwiches.
  • Nuts: Cashews and Almonds are always in the house.
  • Raisins: plain and yogurt covered. We use the plain raisins not only in oatmeal, but to make rice dishes more dynamic.
  • Veges: We're boring. We are heavy broccoli, carrot and asparagus people. It is why we use spinach so much... to fill the green void. I personally love Brussel sprouts, beets and squashes, but my family doesn't. Any easy staples out there? 
So what do you do? 
I am looking for ideas. We are not great crock pot people, we have a few meat recipes we like, but it is not really a good fit for us. How do you cook and use beans or lentils? What planning methods do you employee? Any kid friendly tips?

The Big Picture: Healthy living is science, but not rocket science. Every good choice keeps us on a good path and every bad choice is nothing to dwell upon.
Why I Kick A$$: When I account for my actions, current waistline aside, I am not doing so bad. In fact I make plenty of good food and exercise choices for me and my family. I am proud of this.
Thankful Three:
  1. For getting some rest this past weekend.
  2. For my beautiful family.
  3. For feeling refocused (again).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Summary: Playing Catch Up

Exercise should be regarded 
as tribute to the heart. 
~Gene Tunney

Goodness, I have had such a wonderful time since I last posted. Here's a mini-recap of what has happened and what will be happening in the next few days. Hope everyone is have a fabulous weekend especially all our very special BOSTON friends...pretty exciting!!

04/05 skipped my run in favor of running on my off day tomorrow
04/06 sub 10 minute miles for the 2 miles on my schedule, plus another 45 minutes on an elliptical, weights and abs since I had a gym date. I wish I had a gym date everyday, I am not the most self motivated person ever. Then I treated myself to some down time.
04/07 Family Vacation! Ok so not a long vacation, we just got a hotel in SF for the night, but look at how fun that turned out to be:
04/08 SF Zoo anyone? We started our day with another swim in the hotel pool, hours at the zoo and as you can see very tired babies 5 minutes after getting into the car for the drive home.
I got home and knocked out my short 3.5 miles on the schedule. Felt awesome, consistent pace and since I was so energized after my run I did some yard work before dinner. I love productive days.

04/09-04/12 boring, no workouts and lots of work. I hate when the week escapes me that way. I need to be better at not staying late up watching MADMEN on Netflix so I can wake up early instead and workout before my work day starts.

04/13 Disneyland! Yup, I went from one weekend in SF to another in LA. I must say, living in California has it's perks. The upside to it pouring rain? We got on every ride we wanted and there were hardly any lines.
04/14 Today we opted out of our plan A: More Disneyland and B: Hermosa Beach and went with plan C: 2.6 mile to The Grove, had a lovely lunch and walked the 2.6 miles back to the apartment before we embarked on our 5.5 hour drive home. Yes we came home early, but Friday went so well, we didn't NEED Saturday more than we needed today as a rest day. To top it off I came home to a new jacket, so super cute! I got a sweet jacket and I brought my husband a Jawa Star Wars car...fair trading of gifts, no?
04/15 Oh gosh I needed today. I missed a few invitations for a confirmation, two different gym date invites, volunteering at my synagogue etc...but I needed to sleep. I needed to spend time with my family taking my son to religious pre-school then enjoying Noah's Bagels and Starbucks with Super Hubby and the Bug. I needed to feel good buying fresh fruits and veges on a quick trip to Trader Joe's. I am hoping that with this beautiful day I will muster up the energy to knock out my 3.5 mile run before Super Hubby sets out for a round of golf. Right now I am a little tired. Too tired to push, but I hope in an hour or so I'll be ready to get going.

What is going on this week? My simple 10K training continues with week 4:

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
4 Rest 3 m run CT or Rest 2.5 m run Rest 4 m run 35-40 min EZ run or CT

Saturday's 4 miles is actually going to be replaced with our local "Survivor Run." It is only 3.1 miles, but I figure the mud and obstacles will more than make up for the .9 I am shorting myself. If I feel like I have enough energy Sunday, I may run the full 4 that is on the schedule, but we'll play that by ear.

The Big Picture: I am doing it. I may not hit my mileage on the scheduled day, but I am committed to flexibility and catching up when my miles don't fit in on the scheduled day. Playing catch up is better than giving up.
Why I Kick A$$: The fact that I am still going into week 4 with my 10K training is a big deal... I have been struggling with commitment lately. Exercise has been so critical to my heart and soul that I really am just so happy to be moving again.
Thankful Three:
  1. For my life, I don't know what I did to deserve it, but I sure am thankful.
  2. For my new purple jacket.
  3. For affordable tropical fruit at the grocery.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

One Thing At A Time

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. 
The question is: 
What are we busy about?
~Henry David Thoreau

I have had some difficulty multitasking lately. Actually, I was on multitask overload checking my phone, FB on the laptop, open magazine and TV on...I was absorbing NOTHING. I feel like I can get that way with fitness thinking too much about my weight, what will I eat, how will I work out, what will be enough, what the weather is like, what my schedule will look like....and on and on. After a few days, weeks, months ....who can count anymore I finally realized the error of my ways. 

Last Friday I slowed down. I volunteered my time and didn't think about work or how the second day of my volunteering would look like. I had lunch with my hubby and a friend and limited checking my iPhone, went to a movie, enjoyed quality time with a friend for dinner and slept soundly. Saturday my volunteering went perfectly, I had a lovely lunch with my SIL and finally ran some errands like getting new make up. I had been thinking, really dreading the two day volunteering thing. I felt pressured to buy make-up as I had run out like 3 weeks ago. Make-up is not really my thing, but a necessary evil for work. My brain was multitasking by thinking about these tiny little things, making them bigger than they actually were and feeling weighed down. Do you do this? 

Well I finally crashed. I napped all day Saturday, slept in Sunday and hit the gym. Aaaahhhh, sweet relief. Monday, one thing at a time, one work out at a time. Tuesday, I made the decision that if I was going to work extra it would be on a significant project, if I wasn't really going to focus on it, then I should do something for me. I laced up my sneakers ran out of our building. I had an amazing 2.5 mile run and I did it at a pretty fast pace too! I picked up the kids, volunteered again for about 45 minutes and still had dinner on time with my family. Doing one thing at a time is much more effective than maybe a Type A personality person like myself is willing to accept, but it is tried and true. 

So don't trouble yourself with the entire laundry list of things and just start with number one on the list. Decided to take action and do it, it is amazing what you can accomplish.

Why I Kick A$$: Week 2 of 10K training and I am feeling focused knocking out 10:20 min miles and hoping to break 10 on my short distances since the plan is so basic with pretty low mileage.
The Big Picture: There are a million things to do, but only one you and 24 hours. Plan, budget and execute. Stop thinking and wasting time and just do.
Thankful Three:
  1. For spending more time these past few days feeling happy instead of stressed.
  2. For sunny days and sneakers.
  3. For cinnamon raisin bread, delicious!