>Two’s Company

>So, I ran with a friend today for the first time. I don’t really count running with Nick on our very own “Turkey Trot” last year because I had my music going. I’ve always been hesitant to run with anyone else because 1)I enjoy the time to myself zoning out to my music, but probably mostly because I lack confidence in my running ability. Now, I realize this probably does not make a whole lot of sense because I’ve been running since May, but really – I’ve only been running since May! I’m not a runner by nature, or even an athlete. I guess I’m really afraid of competition with anyone else in this arena because I’m still such a novice. I’ve finally come to be okay with running to compete with myself, but that is it. But, the other day a friend asked if I wanted to run with her and I just said “yes” without thinking too much about it. She assured me that she ran at my same pace so I reluctantly put it on my calendar. I have to say I was a little nervous about it and I told her so. However, we started running and a weird thing happened.

We ran. We ran together for three miles without incident. She even had to walk a little bit half-way through, but to be fair, she was getting over a sever migraine. It was a beautiful day for the run and I had been wanting her to show me some of her routes. We chatted quite a bit and afterwards made plans to run again next Wednesday. What fun! And another notch was added to my “runner confidence” belt!

>I Blame the Marathon Runner!

>So imagine my excitement to see one my colleagues running on the indoor track last week. Now, this guy is a marathon runner who I figured was “slumming” with us slow pokes on the indoor track because of the lousy weather. Maybe he didn’t have warm clothes, I don’t know, but there he was flying around the track. I’m actually not being sarcastic – I was excited to see him there thinking I would be motivated to run faster with him passing me every few seconds (okay minutes). Having someone run faster than me usually would encourage me and help me compete more with myself and get faster myself. Or one would think. Twice now this has not occurred, however. Thursday was a weird off day anyway cause I was hungry (see my previous blog entry for that riveting story). And then today it happened again. Slow, slow, slow! The different thing about today was that I felt like I was running faster. I felt really good about the run – I was clapping along, singing with my ipod and thought for sure I was back into the 29’s again. But no, I looked at my ipod at the end of my run and was shocked to see that I ran my 3 miles in a little over 30 minutes. I was bummed.

Then I caught myself. What was this competition thing about anyway? Why couldn’t I just be okay with the fact that I’m usually a 10-minute-miler? I mean the run itself felt great – better than it had in awhile, but as soon as I saw that it was slower I felt worse about it. I mean I get that it is good to have goals and I need them to motivate myself to accomplish new things and to push myself to see what I can achieve, but at some point I think I have to be okay with where I am and what I can do right now.

Isn’t this just like life too?! Too often I want to do more, be more, have more and really I would be better off being okay with what I have, making do with what I have and enjoying life just as it is. So, another life lesson learned on the track. But I still blame the marathon runner!

>The Hungry Runner

>So I recently learned that it is really hard to run when I am hungry. Last Thursday I was scheduled to go on my lunch run. I usually try to time my mid-morning snack for about an hour before my run so I’m not starving. But on Thursday I was ravenous at 10ish so I ate my kashi bar then. It is so weird how some days I’m hungrier than others. By the time noon rolled around I was really hungry, I mean to the point that my tummy was growling, but at this point I had passed the point of being able to eat something and still being able to run and not be ill or get a cramp. So, I had to make a choice – either run hungry or skip it and eat my lunch instead. I made the wise choice, I think and did my run, but it was rough! I was really hungry throughout the entire run and I ended up running very slow that day. But, I did it!!! What is the lesson here? Try to time my snacks better and perhaps make sure to include protein in the snack. Usually the almond kashi bars hold me over pretty well, however. The bigger lesson here? I conquered my hunger and accomplished my run anyway!! Score one for the hungry girl!

>Activity Week pay off!

>So, I’m totally back on track with my weight as of yesterday! YES! I had gone up a bit and was over my goal weight by like 4 pounds. I had already paid for March so I didn’t have to pay which is cool, but it irritated me that I was up so far. So, this past week the goal was to kick it in gear and get back to a decent place – at the scale and mentally. It was weird because every day this past week I did some sort of activity. It wasn’t all running, but it was activity nonetheless.

Here is the rundown:
Sunday – fitness assessment at Lifecenter part 1 – ran 1 mile and did some strength training and some random cardio on eliptical
Monday – fitness assessment at Lifecenter part 2 – did strength training and some cardio
Tuesday – ran 3 miles at lunch
Wednesday – went to a Line Dancing class during lunch…so fun and i even sweat! and went for a bike ride with Zach that evening
Thursday – did my strength training workout at Lifecenter in the evening
Friday – ran 3 miles at lunch – OUTSIDE!
Saturday – did my strength training workout at Lifecenter.

So, my epiphany is that activity is good! And, it doesn’t always have to mean hard core running to be activity…even though it is important for me to get a decent amount of cardio in each week and i happen to prefer to run, it is important to just put activity in my life whenever and wherever I can. It helps when the weather is fantastic like it was this week, but spring has sprung and hopefully i can have lots more weeks like this!!!

>Fish dinner in less than 30 minutes!

>So, I threw together a great dinner tonight that was a real crowd pleaser and I just thought I would share…

I took two pieces of tilapia (around a pound?) and put them in a glass dish. Since I did not have a prepared marinade on hand, I made my own using lemon-pepper seasoning, lemon juice – coated them well and soy sauce. I let them sit in that dish for about 5 minutes, turning over a few times to coat. I put the fish on a cookie sheet covered with aluminium foil and broiled them on hight for 6 minutes each side.

Meanwhile, I prepared two packages of frozen brown rice, Steamfresh brand, in the microwave. Then I prepared a package of fresh, bagged green beans. Total points is 6 and it was so quick! The marinade was great; just enough taste. I served brown rice as the base and ate the fish on top of the rice.


>News Flash – fat free cheese melts!

>That’s right! I finally found fat free cheese on a rare stop at a Giant Eagle yesterday. We stopped just to pick up coffee creamer because we were out, and left with $45 worth of groceries – it always works that way, right? But their grapes looked really good, they had the double fiber English muffins, and just for fun I wanted to see if they had fat free cheese. Zach and I were going to make homemade pizzas for dinner and I’m trying to cut down on my points in any way that I can these days. I can never seem to find it at Acme for some reason, so I end up getting the reduced fat kind. Kraft came to the rescue, however! I bought it with a healthy scepticism. In the past when I’ve had fat free anything, especially cheese, it was very disappointing. It never melted completely, but just got a little soft and looked deformed enough to remind me that, yes, it is not the good stuff. So, I made my pizzas with the cheese last night, with all hope of a good outcome. Of course, I used the usual reduced fat stuff for the boys – they would have a fit if the fat free stuff turned out ugly. I was pleasantly surprised! It melted like normal cheese and tasted pretty good! It was a little stickier than the other stuff, but hey, it is all about the taste in my book. That, and it was only 1 point for 1/4 cup. YES! Here is how I made my veggie pizzas in case you are interested:

2 arnolds bread (2 points)
1/4 cup pizza sauce (1 point)
3/4 cup fat free mozz cheese (3 points)
brocolli (O points)
tomatoes (0 points)
onion (0 points)
mushrooms (0 points)

I just made them open face, shook a little bit of Italian seasoning on them and broiled them for 2-4 minutes, I think. Very good for 6 points and very filling! Added a side salad too!

>I’m Back, Baby – I’m Back!

>So I’m out of my running funk – thank GOD! No idea what happened last week. Well, two things happened. First, the students were gone on break so my days were pretty uneventful at work and it threw me off!! Also, I think I got all consumed with Mike’s new commitment to working out – at least that is my story and I’m sticking to it! I’m not going to over analyze it – suffice it to say that I’m re-motivated and focused again!!! Saturday was my saving grace. I ran 3 miles in the morning at Life Center and then ran another 3 that night at a family night out program at Life Center. Felt so good! 6 Miles! That is the most I have ever run in one day, granted I broke it up, but still!! Then, I took Sunday off as per normal and resumed again yesterday only do 1/2 my run. I’m not going to feel bad about that though, because I did so much on Saturday. Plus, I climbed the rock wall and I was so sore yesterday. It is so true that you use different muscles doing different types of activity. I guess that is the reason why we should really switch it up every now and then…hmmmm….

>Lost my mojo!

>So, I have a motivation problem. I have not run since last Friday (today marks a week!) Yikes! Talk about a do-over week! I’m starting over tomorrow. Not sure what my problem is…I was all set to go today, but then my Ipod was out of juice and that was all I needed to bag it. I used the excuse that I might as well bag the entire week. Uggh – tomorrow is the day!!!

>You Can Lead a Horse to Water…

>So, I have discovered that in terms of motivating others to do something, it really only works if the person also has something in them that “wants” to be motivated. I’m talking about fitness or achieving weight loss goals. You can have the cheerleaderish cheerleader around with all kinds of advice about what to do, healthy cooked meals, access to a fitness center, etc, but if the person doesn’t want it bad enough, it just ain’t going to happen! And boy, is it frustrating for the cheerleader!!!!!! I just have to remember that this is not about me. If and when someone wants to change, they will start making the change. I just need patience in the meantime!!!