Monday, April 29, 2013

Running Without Pain, New Runner and Worst Critic

Running Without Pain

Today was the first day this year that we hit the 100s; summer is on it's way here in Phoenix. Because of the heat I thought I would try the treadmill. In my two previous runs since being cleared to run I have been able to jog a maximum of 10 minutes without having to walk. Today I jogged for 25 minutes straight and didn't have any aching in my hip or any pain in my knee!! I really feel like I am working through this IT Band injury and am starting to feel more positive.

I think there's a lot of truth to hip and glute strengthening. I have been working hard to keep up with my strength routine. I will do an embarrassing tutorial next week.

As I was running and it started to get a little hard, I kept thinking about how grateful I was for every step. Every step and run is a gift, I hope I don't forget that and get lazy and stop doing my strengthening exercises.

It wasn't a fast two miles but I'll take 'em!

New Runner

Huge shout out to my running buddy today, Katie. She is breezing through C25K and working very hard to get ready for her first 5k in May.

Katie also agreed to run a half marathon with me in November. I put it on the blog because now, since it's on the internet that makes it real. Seriously. :)

Worst Critic 

I am very critical of myself and have a hard time accepting compliments. This weekend I had graduation pictures taken by one of my very talented and wonderful staff members and honestly it was pretty uncomfortable for me.

First, I don't really love getting my picture taken, if I do get it taken I prefer to keep it cheesy and fun, not too serious.

There's risk, trying to be pretty or feel pretty.

Today I got my pictures and had a small melt down in my office. It's so hard for me to see a difference in the way I look from when I lost weight. I know it's pretty crazy but when I looked at these pictures all I could see were the problems and I had a hard time celebrating the difference, which was the whole point of getting these pictures done.

So, instead of concentrating on what I didn't like, I decided to do a side by side comparison so I could help visualize the differences, forcing myself to get out of such a negative self-hating mindset.

Everyone can take a bad happens. It's time to celebrate where I came from and keep moving forward. So instead of the pictures I don't like, here are a few of my favorites and how my graduation announcement turned out.

Thanks to Bianca and Katie for being amazing and helping me get out of my comfort zone.

Love yourselves people, we are all works in progress.

Question of the Day:

Are you your own worst critic?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The First Run

I can distinctly remember the first time I ran a mile. I was doing the C25K program, and it was the big 20 minute run. I was completely terrified. Every week I had pushed myself to run farther than I had run before. It was empowering but so scary. In the C25K program the 20 minute run is a big leap from I think 10 minutes to 20, I strongly doubted I could do it.

At the time, I lived in Colorado and did all my running on a treadmill. I weighed about probably around 220 pounds and honestly had never run a mile in my life.

The last five minutes of that run seemed to go in slow motion. I couldn't believe that I was running and I had run over a mile. I felt strong and like I could lose the weight. I finished that run and for the first time felt like a runner, an identity that has been closely tied to my weight loss journey.

Getting injured is more than missing a race or to. For me it brings back the fear that the weight will slowly creep back up. With that fear and stress comes bad eating.

BUT! my physical therapist said that I could try to slowly start incorporating jogging back into my life!!!! Last Saturday was my first run after injury. Or should I say my first pain free run after injury.

So exciting! My leg is still not 100% but I feel like there's some progress. I will continue to work with my Physical Therapist and hopefully be training for another half marathon soon.

Question of the Day:

Any good news recently?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Scottsdale Culinary Festival and Hiking!

This morning I did something I've never really done before...went hiking alone. I discovered I really like it!

It was a beautiful morning. Seriously people, you need to move to Phoenix. I hiked 3.5 miles in one hour. It was really great. Even though the trail was busy, I felt like I was there by myself. There's something really special about hiking in a city. There's this amazing juxtaposition between nature and the city. I had a great morning and look forward to exploring more trails on my own!

Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Today Marty and I went to the Scottsdale Culinary Festival! We volunteered at the CityEats booth. CityEats is a great website created by the Food Network where you can make reservations at restaurants in your area without worry. These restaurants are handpicked by the Food Network, making dining out at a new restaurant stress free! It was really great to talk to people about awesome restaurants in Phoenix, I know I will be using CityEats when it's my turn to plan date night. 

After volunteering we went to explore the festival. I didn't take pictures of everything but trust me, we were super full when we left. 

Volunteering for a festival is a great way to get free admission. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet people in your community and experience the great events your town/city has to offer. I would suggest checking out your city center to see what kind of events they have in your town.

Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. A little present when I was making dinner. 

Questions of the Day:

Have you ever hiked alone?

Have you ever been to a culinary festival?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Workout C, Sweet Potatoes and Unfortunate Looking Vegetables

Workout C

On Sunday, Katie and I got together to conquer Workout C from Tina's Best Body Bootcamp. I really felt the burn on this one and super enjoyed it. I jokingly called this Workout "Let's do Sh*t on One Leg" because that's basically what we did the whole time. These were the two favorite selections from the workout:

This morning I was really feeling this workout in my glutes. I also think my Physical Therapist exercises contributed to the soreness a little bit. Soon I will take some pictures to share the exercises with you all. Yay hip and butt strengtheners. 

Sweet Potatoes

Okay guys, my life is changed. I discovered that I can cook sweet potatoes in the microwave. I know people have been doing this for awhile now but seriously, my life is changed. 

Here is a little sample of my experiments. 

Some other discoveries this weekend:

Frozen basil cubes. If you're like me and kill every basil plant you buy but really like the stuff, they have it frozen! IN CUBES! That you can melt into butter. Seriously. The only caution...there is some salt added so be cautious when adding additional salt. My new favorite way to eat these cubes? I melted it with some Earth Balance and put it on a microwaved sweet potato...awesome.

Okay, I know this isn't the most amazing picture, but you need to know what's happening here. I purchased the frozen brown rice from Trader Joe's. I was very skeptical about how delicious frozen rice would taste...well I'm here to tell you, it's amazing! 3 minutes and you will have perfect, firm brown rice with awesome texture. I added 3 basil cubes with some Earth Balance to this combo and then some roasted veggies. Yum!

Unfortunate Looking Vegetables

Right? It's okay, you can laugh...I did. 

I'm also trying to eat less sugar...this is how it's working out for me:

These are Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread cookies, Marty's favorite. Yum

And today in my office:

I'm a work in progress...

Questions of the Day:

Have you ever microwaved a sweet potato? 

Do you crave sugar in the afternoon? 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Injury Blues

I can be kind of irritating with how positive I am. But today I kind of feel a little sad. After my second session of needling at the Physical Therapist's I had a hard time feeling positive and like I was moving forward. All I could think of was the fact that when I run, I am still in pain and now, after letting some lady stick a needle in my leg, I am in more pain.

Luckily wearing my compression socks relieve some of the pain in my calf. Yay! And make me look super cool.
I know that when I can run again (hopefully end of May), I need to remind myself not take every mile for granted.
Now, I just need to work on not eating emotionally to cope with the fact that I'm struggling today.

Need to feel more uplifted? This picture did it for me also I purchased more Pro Compression socks


Questions of the Day:

Have you ever struggled with an injury? How did you stay positive?

Are you an emotional eater?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Devil Cake, Cardio Circuit and Surrender Squats

Today, I kind of mixed up my usual elliptical and tried a cardio circuit. I really wanted to do 60 minutes of cardio to "make up" for the fact I slipped and ate the Devil Cake.

It was filled with fudge, I am weak.

Cardio Circuit!

Like I mentioned before, I was feeling the guilt of the devil cake and wanting to get a good sweaty workout in without staying in one place for 60 minutes. I decided to do a 60 minute rowing and elliptical circuit. Here's how it worked. 

Every 15 minutes I switched from rowing to the elliptical and than back again. I did 2 sets of 15 on each machine. All together my heart rate monitor said I burned about 600 calories. To keep it fresh, I changed my pandora station for each set and changed the program. On the rowing machine, I changed the resistance and raced a pace boat. On the elliptical, I did a fat burner hill workout and then a 4-3 interval workout. I felt like the time was much shorter than 60 minutes and switching between machines kept it pretty fresh.

If you're new to the rowing machine here is a great video to assist with form:

This morning, I went to my physical therapist and talked about Tina's Best Body Bootcamp. I really enjoyed the first workout but I had a serious problem with Surrender Squats. When pushing up with one leg I felt pain in my IT Band. I showed my physical therapist the exercise and she suggested some ways to modify it and encouraged me to use a mat under my knees because it would cause pressure on my patellas. For those curious of what a surrender squat is, the lovely Katie has decided to model it. 

I'm excited to see what work out B brings tomorrow and am working to really dedicate myself to this program by making sure I complete both the strength and cardio portions. 

Questions of the Day:

Do you have a sweet tooth?

Ever tried the rowing machine?