Category Archives: Fitness

Running the World with She’s the First

Holy moly, guys, my 5k is in less than two weeks! Where has the time gone?

I got a little nervous when I realized it is only two weeks away because I think I’ve been training a little too hard lately. I’m slowing things down this week to recuperate, but I hope that doesn’t negate any of my progress. I also hope it’s long enough to recuperate. I know I can run the whole 5k distance, but now it’s a matter of time. I’m not looking to break any records, but it’d be nice to come in under 34 minutes. (What can I say? I’m slow.)

I’ll be running the Great Glow Run (because who doesn’t love glow sticks), but more importantly, I’m running for She’s the FIRST as part of their Run the World campaign. She’s the FIRST (STF) is a non-profit organization that helps support girls’ education in the developing word. The founder of STF, Tammy Tibbetts, is probably one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. (I also wonder when she sleeps.)

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Who can’t get behind educating girls around the world, right? One of the best parts about the campaign is that 100 percent of the money I raise goes towards scholarships for girls to attend school. I’m hoping to raise at least $365 to sponsor a South Sudanese girl’s education for a year. I’m not quite there, but even though my race is on May 11, the campaign runs until June 30, so there is still hope! (If you’re interested in donating, check out my page here.)

Wish me–and the girls!–luck!

Are you running a race? Do you run for a cause?

A Self-Imposed Ban

After realizing I was way more out of shape than I was ok with (and knowing that I do not have a job to finance this habit), I put a self-imposed ban on buying clothes until May 1. The reason I did this is because I didn’t want to buy bigger clothes and give myself an excuse to hide behind them. Plus, I have a monster walk-in closet FULL of clothes that deserve to be worn.

This decision was made after a shopping trip with my mom (where I confess… I bought clothes, but I bought them in my regular size. Did it look as flattering as it could? No, but I was determined to shrink my middle.) If you know me, you know how my mom and I shop–til we drop! But this trip was probably the worst shopping trip I’d ever been on. What can I say? I’m vain.

[I should probably back up here and say that everyone has their own standards for themselves. The standards I hold myself to are personal. I would never think about passing this sort of judgment on anyone else.

Plus, those blizzards, my mom’s cooking, deliciously fried fast food and who knows what else all tend to settle around my middle, which means it’s probably mostly visceral fat. This type of fat is particularly bad because it’s been linked to metabolic disturbances and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Well when cardiovascular disease and diabetes run rampant through your family history already, there is really no reason to tempt fate. So staying slim has major health benefits for me.

But man… this ban is a lot harder than I expected. I’ve been to both Target and Wal-Mart multiple times over the past couple of weeks buying household items, and I have to say, I’m close to caving. Plus, I saw some really adorable workout clothes… which ideally would be a smart purchase, right? Looking cute in workout clothes = all the more reason to exercise, right? (That may seem like faulty logic, but I swear, it actually works.)

I know that staying away would be the best way to avoid temptation, but when you’re not working and very slowly making/re-connecting with friends, these shopping outings may possibly be the only time you leave the apartment. (You know what I’m saying?) 

So tell me: Have you ever dealt with a self-imposed ban? How do you avoid temptation?

(And, for the record, I can definitely see results from exercising especially in my middle section. Very exciting!!)

Recap: Virtual Kick Ass 5k

This morning I definitely woke up with butterflies in my stomach. The day had come: Time to run my virtual 5k!

What I imagined: I’d run the first two miles, since I knew I could do, then walk/run the last 1.2 miles since it was so nice outside!

Ready to kick some ass!

Ready to kick some ass!

What actually happened: I got too big for my britches.

First lesson: Running midday is probably not a good idea. No matter how much you love the heat, you will not love running with the sun beating down on you. This is why people get up early to run or wear hats.

The good news is I remembered sunglasses. It actually wasn’t all that horrendous, but I think a hat would have helped… and maybe sunscreen (I know, very bad, I’m sorry). I think it will be a bigger problem when the temp stays in the 80s or 90s.

Second lesson: Do not shake up “the course” when you’re trying to run farther–especially when said shake up takes you down an enormous hill. Why? BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO GO BACK UP THE HILL, DUMMY.

The result: After getting about halfway up the hill at a SERIOUS snail’s pace, I was pretty sure I was going to die. So I broke down and walked up the rest of the hill before I had reached my goal of running for two miles. Major bummer. I did run more once I made it back to my main path, but I was still frustrated I had to walk so soon.

Third lesson: Make sure your Brita pitcher has water in it before you leave for said run.

Ok, mine wasn’t totally empty. It had about a cup and a half left in it, but any less and things may not have ended so well.

Overall, I was a little bummed that I didn’t run as much as I wanted to and that it took me as long as it did. I knew I wasn’t going to PR or anything like that (obviously), but… it was still a bummer.

Perhaps I had my ass kicked?

Perhaps I had my ass kicked?

On the flipside, I’m glad I forced my body to move for that long. Most of my current runs have been about 2-2.25 miles, so it was good to feel the distance of a whole 5K. And you know what? I FINISHED IT.

And I can only improve from this point on (which is important because I have another 5k coming up in May that I’ll be posting about eventually). Plus, I helped support an awesome friend and cause, so it was totally worth it. (And hopefully I’ll win an awesome prize…)

SIDENOTE: Also… I don’t have any color ink in my printer right now and neither does my apartment complex’s business center, so my race bib printed in black and white. Finding this to be unsatisfactory, I decided to color it with markers to sort of match what it should like look. I apparently also need lessons in coloring in between the lines.

Did you run today? Did it go better than mine?

A Productive Monday

Ok, before I get into this post, I have a question for you all. I’m about to share what I did on Monday, but is this something I should have shared yesterday? How does this daily blogging thing work when you talk about your life and less about specific topics? Do you blog about Monday on Monday? Can you blog about Monday on Tuesday? SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!

Anyways, I did a very grown-up thing on Monday and got renter’s insurance. Apparently having this would have helped out when my purse was stolen last August… but the good news is that I have it now.

I followed that up with grocery shopping, which is a totally different experience from grocery shopping in Brooklyn. For starters, I have been shopping at Food Lion since it’s literally around the corner from my new complex, and the place IS HUGE! I used to walk up and down every aisle at my old Key Food in Brooklyn, but… walking up and down every aisle here would take three times as long. Also, shopping in Brooklyn made me a total food snob. I’m used to fancy brands and the latest healthy food trends. For example, there was no granola at Food Lion except these little containers by the nuts. No honey & oats granola. Worse, there was hardly any Chobani Greek Yogurt. And I didn’t look, but I doubt they have any kefir. I might try Lowe’s or Kroger’s… since I am obviously a spoiled food brat.

But the reason I went grocery shopping is because I decided to cook! I made turkey and spinach sweet potato hash from Carrots’n’Cake. The recipe was super easy. Although I only used one sweet potato because I don’t own a large sautee pan. In fact, none of my pans are large because I’ve only had a half-oven in all of my other apartments, which doesn’t have enough room on the stove top for a large pan. It’s kind of awesome to have a huge oven now though. I even want to buy a new cookie sheet because I can fit TWO in there!

Look I took a picture of it! And it tasted even better than it looks!

Look I took a picture of it! And it tasted even better than it looks! Nom nom nom!

This is something I’ll definitely be making again because it’s so easy and SO GOOD. I think next time I’ll add mushrooms to it though (mostly because I want to add mushrooms to everything).

I tried to take it easy on fitness since my run on Sunday sort of sucked and I have my Kick Ass 5K to complete today, so I did Denise Austin’s Body Makeover Mix DVD. Well… now my arms feel like JELL-O. OUCH.

How was your Monday? 

The Hold Up

So I sort of just want to write about my fitness goals and experiences because I’ve really jumped back into the swing of things and am seeing a lot of results. (Not having a job really helps leave plenty of time to work out.) I want to share things like a new 5K I signed up for (more on that later; it’s going to need its post) and how I bought a cute little new notebook to track my workouts (below) and how I’ve even started using some of the fitness DVDs I own (Denise Austin, you truly are a rockstar (and a super seriously nice interviewee)!) and how I want to try Crossfit (which I am sort of annoyed with how expensive it is).

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This is my workout journal. Cute, no?

BUT I don’t want to share things like… it’s time to find a job. Every time I think about it I immediately go back to when I first graduated college and struggled to find a job. But this time, in some ways, it feels worse because I honestly have no idea what I want to do. (Ok, that’s not totally true… I have some ideas, I just have to figure out how to incorporate them into a new career.) I’m also frustrated with people asking me if I’ve found a job yet. I realize that it’s common small talk and I know they mean well, but it sort of just adds a ton of extra pressure.

So here is where I stand on the job front: I’ve updated my resume and LinkedIn profile. I’ve signed up for two job fairs. I haven’t actually applied for a job yet, but I found some worth looking in to.

I’m also still unpacking slowly. It’s not really that exciting, so I haven’t shared much. It’s also really frustrating because I want my apartment to have a more “adult” feel to it and I have no idea how to make it look that way. Color schemes and matching decor is less fun when you don’t know exactly what you want. I’ll post more about this later, too.

In fact, I’ll just start posting more. Period. Because even if I don’t like what’s happening, I told you all I’d share it with you and that’s what I’m going to do. (Err.. feel free to encourage me to stay on top of this!)

How do you stay motivated about things you don’t want to do?

Getting Back On the Fitness Horse

So in my last post, I confessed that I am the unhealthiest I have ever been in my entire life. (Ok, I didn’t say it like that, but it’s the truth, and I’m seriously unhappy about it.) But instead of wallowing in pints of Ben & Jerry’s, I’ve decided to take action and get back to healthy and happy.

So to help, I’ve decided to participate in a virtual 5k on Tuesday, April 9th hosted by my friend Abby over at Run Stronger Every Day. (I’ve actually never met her, but I read her blog and follow her on Twitter. She’s pretty awesome, so I hope she’s ok with me calling her a friend.)

The Kick Ass Virtual 5k will benefit  the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of American’s Team Challenge (which Abby is part of) at this year’s Chicago Half-Marathon on June 8th. Here’s what Abby has to say about it: “Why April 9th? That was the date last year when I scheduled the surgery that would remove my colon. It was a very big and scary day for me but it was also the day I took steps to get my health and my life back.”

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You’re probably thinking… Didn’t she JUST tell us that she can’t run like she used to? You’re right. I totally can’t, BUT Abby says it doesn’t matter how you reach 3.1 miles as long as you do. So maybe I’ll split it up between the treadmill, bike and elliptical. Or maybe I’ll run/walk the whole thing outside. The point is… I’m talking my health and fitness back in my own hands, too. (Plus, I hope to win one of the awesome prizes she’s collecting.)

The coolest part? You, too, can join in! Check here for the deets.

When Lazy Meets Fat

When I left my job, I had all kinds of ideas about how I’d run more frequently and up my trips to the gym. Instead, I ended up meeting friends for lunches and dinners almost every day of the week. When I wasn’t eating out, I was vegging out in front of the TV.

I knew I had let myself go. What I didn’t realize was how much… until I stepped on the scale (that I unpacked today). I’m not going to post a number because I’m too embarrassed, but let’s just say OUCH.

The good news is that I’m back to working on it. My dad and I started running while I was at home, and I’m trying to keep it up. I’m nowhere near where I was when I was running 5ks last year, but… I had never run a 5k before last year, so I  know I can get there again.

Not working leaves plenty of time for exercising, and since my complex has a fitness center, I force myself to go even when I’d rather just take a nap. The problem is that not working also leaves plenty of time to eat. I’m trying to develop a regular routine– scheduling times to eat, work out, job search and unpack–so hopefully that will help. But even then my eating habits sort of suck. My biggest problem? Breakfast. I never know what to eat! Also, it turns out I’m not a big fan of traditional breakfast foods, which also makes it hard.

I’ve gotten a ton of ideas from Carrots N Cake (probably my most favorite healthy blogger), but I’ll eat the same thing for a few months and get tired of it. So I need more ideas! Help!

What do you eat for breakfast?