Journey to a Healthier Me

Living life and getting healthy one step at a time.

Keep the Awesome Rolling August 17, 2010

Hey People!

It’s  been a productive day. I woke up with the husband this morning and set out to accomplish as much as I possibly could.

I realized while I was drinking my morning coffee that today was my last real day off. Every day after this is going to be filled with school, my internship, work, or all three. I’m a little bummed. I feel like this Summer has flown by.

In the spirit of getting things done I ate a hearty breakfast to fuel me for my 8-mile run. I decided to try something a little different this time around, and instead of eating toast and peanut butter I had rye toast and a hard-boiled egg.

It worked pretty well.I left later than I usually do for my long runs and because of that the heat was pretty brutal. I took walk breaks when I needed them.

I took my Gu Energy Shot at the 4 mile mark, and I think it helped.

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I definitely felt like the last half of my run went by easily. The flavor was a little weird though. It didn’t taste like a blackberry at all. But I look forward to trying out the other flavors. The gel didn’t sit heavy in my stomach like the protein bars did, which is a definite plus.

I also stopped to stretch at the 5 mile mark. I have to say it really made my legs feel better. I didn’t realize how stiff they were getting. Do you ever stop to stretch during your runs?

I finished my run in 1:48:46 with a 12:58 pace. That’s a little slower than I would like, but it’s still decent time.

Speaking of running, I have officially registered for the ING Hartford Half-Marathon.

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I’ve put money on this puppy now, there’s no turning back. Although I was able to get the student price, so I saved a little bit. I made the age cut-off for the student price by one week. Good thing I wasn’t born early.

The mailman brought me a present today:

My diploma!

It’s only fitting that this would come on my last day off before school starts. It all seems so final now. I’m a graduate student. Scary.

After the husband and I stared at our diplomas for a few minutes we headed out to run errands. We stopped by the library so I could drop off my overdue books and fork over my fine money. I owed them $1.20, but I figure that’s what keeps the library so nice.

Do you use your public library?

I also picked up a book that I’ve been dying to read.

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I’ve seen reviews of it everywhere, but I couldn’t justify spending 25 bucks to get it since it’s a new release. I’ll let you know how I like it. Have you read it, did you like it?

As you know, today is Tuesday and that means I had my Weight Watchers meeting tonight. I’m happy to report that I lost weight this week. This tells me that I’m moving in a positive direction. I definitely noticed that I felt better physically this week just by adding in more fruits and veggies and steering clear of junk. Why does junk food have to taste so delicious?

The meeting topic tonight actually focused on eating filling foods. The idea is that if you fuel yourself with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you’ll consume fewer calories but still be satisfied.

It’s funny because that’s how I felt this week. It’s like Weight Watchers is inside my brain! I know that I stay fuller longer if I’m eating those healthy staples, but it never hurts to be reminded of it. Have you noticed a difference in how you feel if you eat more fruits and vegetables?

Oh and one more super awesome thing:

My blog is now listed on the Healthy Living Blogs website. I really like this website because it’s a source for tons of healthy blogs. Check it out!

It’s come to my attention that this blog post is turning into a novel, so I’ll leave you here.

I’ll see you tomorrow with a post about some of my favorite blogs to read.

Thanks for reading people! It’s greatly appreciated.

Question for you:

What’s your favorite blog to read? It doesn’t have to healthy living, it can be any topic. I’m always looking for new stuff to read.

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On the Run: 7 Tips to a Successful Run August 8, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Running — Cyndi @ 9:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Bonjour! (see yesterday I was Spanish, and today I’m French. So fancy.)

Another weekend has flown by in the blink of an eye, huh?

Well, unless you’re like me and work weekends, then it has probably dragged on. But either way it’s over now, and I have the next two days off. *big sigh of relief*

So as promised, today I’m going to share with you my tips for a successful run. Keep in mind that these are just the things that work for me, they may not work for you, but I encourage you to have fun trying out different routines.

My first tip for a successful run is to get a good nights sleep. It makes a big difference for me, if I go to bed a little earlier the night before a long run, I am ready to go when the alarm goes off. Also, I try to wake up fairly early for my runs, that way the heat isn’t too intense when I go out the door.

My second tip for a successful run is to eat something that will give you energy, but not make you overly full. (Nobody wants runners trots!) I try to eat something that has carbs, protein, and a little sugar. I always drink a mug of coffee, and follow that with peanut butter toast.

(Source)

Just seeing that pictures makes me want to plan a run so I can eat it.

My third tip for a successful run is to wear the appropriate equipment. This picture pretty much sums up how I look for every run:

You want to wear comfortable clothes, preferably moisture wicking, so that when you start to sweat it pulls the moisture away from your skin. The witty phrase is optional, but if you like your running clothes you’re more likely to want to use them.

Good shoes are also a must. I’ll be honest with you I rock some Champion’s that I bought at Payless, but they’re the only shoes I’ve found with a firm enough sole that doesn’t cause me trouble. Some day I plan on getting myself professionally fitted, but for now these will do.

The black band around my arm holds my iPhone, which doubles as my iPod, and I use Runmeter to track my runs. I like having my phone with me that way if something happens it’s right there. And I have to say getting an update on my pace, distance, and the time I’ve been running is really helpful. I find that if I go wireless I tend to way over-estimate my speed and distance. Do you like to run with headphones or without?

My fourth tip for a successful run is to pack fuel if you need to. I’ve only started worrying about this now that my runs are getting longer, but on anything over 4 miles I bring this:

(Source)

You don’t want to get dehydrated while you’re out there. I got this particular water bottle because I can put whatever fuel I’m using (generally a Kashi protein bar) into the pouch.

It felt a little cumbersome at first, but now I can’t imagine running without water. The coolness is a definite pick-me-up when the sun is beating down on you.

My fifth tip for a successful run is to stretch. Like all beginners I didn’t use to stretch, until one day when I was reading another blog about the benefits of stretching. I decided that before my next run I was going to do it, and let me tell you my legs felt so much more limber. If you need ideas on what stretches to do check out this website: Runner’s World.

My sixth tip for a successful run is to listen to your body. If your knees feel out of whack, or you start to feel light-headed, dizzy, or have a hard time breathing, it’s okay to stop. You won’t win any medals for collapsing on the side of the road. To be a successful runner you need to know your limits, because only by knowing our limits can we begin to push them. But there is a big difference between challenging yourself and setting yourself up for injury.

And finally, my seventh tip for a successful run is to have fun. Hopefully, the whole reason you’re running is because you enjoy it. My advice to you is to go with the flow. If I start out a run and realize part way through that I just don’t have the energy to make it, then that’s fine. There is always the next run.

In my opinion when exercise becomes a chore, that’s when people tend to stop. I want to make my exercise fun, because I know it will keep me interested.

With that said, go out there, lace up your sneakers, and hit the pavement. If it wasn’t pitch black outside I would be doing the same. I hope something I’ve said is helpful, have fun out there.

Happy Running, Blogland!

Questions for you:

Do you have any tips for a successful run? What works for you?