>Summa Summa Summa!

>I made myself get up and run this morning even though I had gone to bed late last night. I knew that the locker-room showers at work did not have hot water, plus it is just so hot at lunch I wanted to see if I could get it in early instead. I was out there by 6:30am and had a great run! Of course Zach heard me get up and stopped me in the driveway asking if he could go too. Nope. This is mommy time, I said. Sometimes that is fun to have him serve as my “pace-car” on his bike, but not this am – when it was all I could do just to keep myself motivated. I ran about 2.5 miles even without my iPod. It wasn’t charged, but I did not let that stop me or serve as some lame excuse.

This could be my new summer schedule. Get up and run first thing – get it done for the day. It is so nice and bright in the am, it is cooler, only one shower needed, and with flex-time I still have time to run and get to work on time. Plus with taking 1/2 hour lunch I can still leave early at 4:30pm! Sounds like a plan to me!

Gonna commit to trying out this new schedule next week…I’ll keep you posted, of course!

>I Need a New Carrot!

>No, I’m not talking about vegetables. I got plenty of those. What I need is some motivation or a goal to work towards in terms of my running. I didn’t want to go today, but I forced myself and it was a good run except it was SO hot! I walked for a little bit after about 2 miles, but still completed my 3 miles in a little over 30 minutes so I’m okay with that. I mean it was so hot that my shower did not take at all. I even made the water mostly cold and stood with my hair dryer on cool. I have two latest concerns: running in the heat at lunchtime and just staying motivated period. Today I’m just going to deal with the motivation issue.

Before when I was beginning my running my “carrot” came in the form of losing weight…and that was a great motivator! Plus I was working towards a goal of running a 5K. Then, my next “carrot” or reward was getting new clothes…first out of necessity and then purely as a reward. Well, now I am maintaining my weight and I really have plenty of clothes. SO, I’m back to my original point. I need a NEW “carrot”, motivator or reward. But what? I know I don’t want it to be food based – for obvious reasons! I guess I could register for another 5K and work towards a better time. Or, I could set a certain number of miles that I want to hit and work towards that. But, what do I get besides the satisfaction of doing it?? And why do I have to get something out of it?? Hmmm. I’ll go grab a carrot and think it over.

>No Mojo Monday!

>It is Monday again. Following an absolutely wonderful and busy weekend. And here I sit – NOT RUNNING! I brought my running stuff with me with all good intentions, but just could not get up the gumption to go. I had very positive results at my weight watchers meeting on Saturday – back on track on this maintenance train so that was good. Then, had a busy weekend filled with out of town company and great food. I stayed on plan very well – used some of my extra 35 points, but not all. Overall I made very good choices. But yet here I sit – NOT RUNNING! I know I would feel great if I ran. Did I mention that it is absolutely beautiful outside? Like really nice. No excuse not to run really – at all. This is my week to work til 5pm so I get to take an hour lunch too. Do I need an excuse, however? Or is this just another reason to beat myself up for not doing something I am “supposed” to do? I “should” run, I keep telling myself. I need to stop “shoulding” myself! So, it is what it is. Here I sit – NOT RUNNING, but trying to get over it. I’m going to give the mojo a break and take today as a freebee. Tomorrow is another story!

>These sneakers run fast!

>I had a great run today at lunch – beautiful day, the ipod worked, and my shoes were comfortable. When I got done and stopped my run I noticed that I ran a little bit quicker today than the past few days and immediately thought about how both my kids went through the phase of thinking that the type of sneakers they wore were directly related to how fast they ran on the playground or wherever. I thought that about my new shoes today as I chuckled to myself, “boy these shoes run fast!” I got a kick out of thinking about that little memory. Unfortunately, they are both old enough now to understand that there is not a direct connection between an individual’s running performance and the actual shoe she wears. Or is there? And what about those runners that run in bare feet? What is that about? I think that would be a recipe for disaster for me – stubbed toes, blisters…it just does not sound like it would be comfortable and/or safe. Of course I guess it is all about what you are used to and what your resources can provide. I’m just glad that my resources could provide me with some new “fast” shoes.

>New Kicks and Old Tricks

>I finally tried out my new running shoes today…same brand as my old ones, (Nike Pegasus) but just a new pair. They are terrific! I had no pain in my calves and I ran faster to boot! I was back to my 28:30 or so time for my 3 miles. Of course this is an estimate as my stupid iPod got stuck and wouldn’t quit my run when I wanted it to so now the clocked in running time is inaccurate – AGAIN!! So sick of it! I have only had this thing since December and you would think at $145 a pop they would not be that temperamental. However, such is life. I posted a question on facebook about other options other than the nano that track workouts, but realistically none of those other options will materialize for quite awhile. That stuff is just too expensive. I will just deal with the imperfect technology and make the best of it for now. But, for the record, I will have you know that my run was faster today. So there – now you and I both know it. So what if my iPod is clueless!

>Points Worthy

>I had a great birthday celebration on Saturday. I did the day up right by managing to have both lunch AND dinner out! I went to a luncheon with my mom and then dinner at the “Mad Greek” with by boys. Now, while all of the food was really really good, for both lunch and dinner, the one item that surpassed it all I had at lunch. It was so good that I just have to blog about it…

I had the most incredible piece of coconut cream pie at the luncheon at the Hartville Kitchen. I am not even a big coconut fan really. I’m not sure that out of 10 different kinds of pie I would choose that flavor. But the desserts were already set when we sat down in the banquet room, so we got what we got. My plan that I made at the beginning of the day was to eat the whole dessert if I liked it. I mean, it was my birthday after all. But, I was also prepared to not waste points on it if it was gross or sub-par in any way. However, after one bite I decided it was most definitely points worthy!! There was a little bit of toasted coconut on top of the meringue, which by the way, was creamier than any meringue I’d ever had. The cream was fantastic too, but the highlight was the crust. It was so flaky and I think there may have been some coconut either lining the crust or actually baked into it. It was the perfect coconut flavor – not too much and not too little – and a little crunchy. Like I said, totally points worthy. My mom agreed and we both enjoyed every bite of it. I stopped myself before licking the plate so that was a win. So, I’m pretty much good in the cake and pie department for yet another birthday year. Glad my birthday was in the beginning of a new point week!

>No Pain, No Gain?

>So, I’m sure you have head the old expression, “no pain, no gain” right? It is commonly been referred to in the past by people promoting exercise or activity…maybe on an infomercial or something else equally silly. Well, I’m here to tell you it is a bunch of malarkey! Don’t buy it! Or the product the dude is selling! I admit that this initially sounds legitimate – plus it rhymes. If you sacrifice and work hard and experience the “pain” then you get the “gain” that exercise provides (more energy, toned body, losing weight). However, I have since learned that you should not feel sore after activity. Of course there is the initial muscle soreness and tiredness that happens especially when you just start an activity, but there should not be chronic pain or injury associated with continued exercise.

Cut to my running. I have recently been experiencing soreness in my calves during my runs and today was so bad that I had to quit early, which made me mad! One part of me wanted to push through it, and hold fast to the “no pain, no gain” myth, but I remembered the other, more powerful mantra “listen to your body” and quit after mile 2. I’m trying to cut myself a break about stopping early and not beat myself up for it. It honestly was not an excuse to quit early! I’m such my worst critic. As I limped my way back to the locker room and back to my office, one my marathon-runner colleagues suggested that I should probably get new shoes. I’ve had them since July and the running stores suggest getting new ones after 6 months. Ooops. The weird thing is that I didn’t even think of the problem being with the shoes. I immediately thought it was something I was doing wrong or not doing right. That damn critic again. Interesting. Yes, I think a trip to Second Sole is in order. Hopefully then the only pain left will be in my checkbook.

>Just Do It!

>I had a great day today. In spite of the rainy, cold weather that is rare for May, but then again, I do live in Cleveland, I had a great day. I had a productive day at work, a great lunch (let’s face it – its all about the food), a good dinner with the fam and a great night of good Tuesday tv ahead of me. And to what do I attribute this all around good day to? I could say it was because of my positive attitude. After all “choosing your attitude” can be a powerful strategy and does impact your mood (I guess that is obvious). But it wasn’t that. I could say it was that I won the lottery, but I would be lying. I never play. It wasn’t that. I could say that it was the cosmos or the planets were aligned just right for a Taurus to have a good day on the 11th day of May 2010, but I don’t believe in that stuff. It wasn’t that. I could say that I received some great news about someone I loved. But, sadly, no. It wasn’t that.

What was it? It was my run!!!!!! So, this might not come as that huge of a surprise, especially since my blog is pretty much focused on running (and food and such). But, I just have to comment on how much of a difference running made in my world today. Let’s compare yesterday (no run) to today (run – a bad one at that!). Now, I admit yesterday was Monday so that is a tough customer already. And the Monday after a special weekend (Mother’s Day) that involved the imbibing of a stellar bottle of cab to boot. But, be that as it may, rather than running yesterday, I actually curled up on my couch during lunch for a 15 minute power nap. The rest of the day was just okay, but I really fought being tired all day and went to bed early. Today, on the other hand, I got my office cleaned up in the morning, ran at lunch and had SUCH a productive afternoon – not tired at all. Now, I have to admit that the run sucked so it wasn’t that I was just so impressed by my raw athletic performance. My calves hurt, my ipod got stuck, and I was slow as molasses. But, the point here is that I did it. I got those endorphins moving enough to kick up the serotonin in my brain to elevate my mood and give me an energy boost to last throughout the rest of the day.

Now, one might read this and go, “well, duh…that is what exercise does, of course.” Yes, I get that. But, both my point and my question is this…how can we make everyday this way. How do we motivate ourselves on those sluggish Mondays (or other days) to “just do it” as Nike says. I know that if I would have run yesterday I would have felt better – guaranteed, but I let myself off the hook. Now, I’m not trying to beat myself up here. I do understand that some days we need to rest and we can make the decision to take a break from our activity. I just think it would be cool to have a strategy in place to coax myself out of those times in order to let myself get into that real productive zone more frequently. I’ll think on it. Maybe during my next run – TOMORROW!!!

>Lisa’s food favorites!

>It occurred to me that I have tried or rediscovered so many different and new foods since I started on WW in January of 2009 that I just feel like making a list of them. Here are my current faves mixed with some old standbys too:

Pork Tenderloin
Beef Tenderloin
Portabella or veggie burgers

Green Beans
Sweet Potatoes


Almond Kashi bars/almonds
Microwave popcorn (smart pop)
Yogurt, berries and fiber one

English muffins (double fiber)
Flat-out bread
Peanut butter
Eggs and eggwhites
Feta cheese
Oatmeal (old fashioned cooked)
Whole wheat pasta and breads

Splurge items:
Raisinettes (dark chocolate)

>Glisten, perspire or SWEAT!!!

>I ran again today at lunch and it was 77 degrees. There was a nice breeze, but it was still warm. I ran just short of 3 miles because of the heat and because my legs were just plain tired. I find when I run two days in a row, on the second day my legs are really barkin’. Now, given that it was 77 degrees you might understand that I was sweating as I came back inside and got ready to shower. I was taken aback when a colleague made the comment, “wow, you are really sweaty!!” Ya think? What gave it away?? Her grasp of the obvious was uncanny.

Now, I understand that some women glisten or perspire or maybe even lightly sweat during and after they work out. These are the same women that can work out, dab on some new deodorant and perfume, brush their hair, and go back to work without showering. This cannot happen in my world. I do not glisten, or perspire. I full on sweat no matter what the weather (although I do sweat more in the summer, I think). I blame my dad’s genes. For me, working out means that I’m friggin’ sweaty! That is just the way it is and I’m okay with it. Hence, the showers after working out – every time. And sometimes those don’t even “take” right away (thanks, George Costanza!!)

I was not always okay with this, however. As a little girl I remember being embarrassed about it. It was not the most feminine or girley quality to full-on sweat during or after physical activity. This could be part of the reason why I never pursued sports that much (that and the fact that I sucked!). But, seriously, I do think my predisposition to sweaty-ness contributed to my “ick” factor when it came to sports or even just exercise. I’m sure there were people along the way that would kindly point out the obvious after an afternoon playing outside…”wow, you are so sweaty!!” which would just make me feel anxious and bad since it was something I could not control.

It is funny because I’ve never really thought about this until right now at almost 41 years old. It is amazing what we can still learn about ourselves! And, the fact that now I’m finally okay with this. So, for all the women and men out there that have healthy sweat glands…it is okay, friends! Let ’em see you sweat!!!! Just make sure you shower…