Running Long and sketchy bathrooms

So as promised I am here to report about my first double digit run leading me up to the Tupelo Marathon . The schedule called for 10 miles.  It all started with a 4:30 a.m. alarm followed by 20 minutes of me running around with my head cut off because the night before I had gone to bed before I could lay out everything I would need the next day.  Also I had taken one Benadryll because my ears were starting to stop up pretty bad.  So with a Benadryll hangover and running 10 minutes behind I finally have everything together and heading out the door.  I don’t remember much of the drive over to Thu’s (pronounced Two) house.  I just know I made it there and that’s all that matters! Our route was to leave her house which is just off of Lincoln Road to head over The Long Leaf  Trace. From there we head down the trail for 3 miles turn around and retrace our steps back. So basically an out and back course of 5 miles.  After explaining to my dear sweet,understanding running partner that I’ve taken a benadryll and I’m feeling just a bit off, we take off running. First mile, tight left calf muscle, we stop and stretch.  Second mile, of course I have to use the bathroom (yes, I’m high maintenance). Third mile I actually get to use the bathroom.  Mile four to eight I was okay till I had to use the bathroom again.  So of course we leave the trail to catch the bathroom at the Shell Station on Fourth and 38th but just my luck some other woman decided to nest in the bathroom there. Doesn’t she know I’m about to pop with a thimble full of water in my bladder and my Garmin is ticking away?  So we leave there to go to the gas station across the street. Trust me when your running and something is pushing on your insides, it’s just best to handle whatever issue it is and move on.   So at gas station #2 at least it was available but I’m a little concerned about the fact the bathroom sign is hand written saying “Women Only” and that fact this bathroom has two doors.  But just short of using the bathroom in my tights I just bit the bullet and used the bathroom.  I pray I never have to use the bathroom in that neck of the woods again!  So after that little bit of drama was over we headed home with only two miles to go.  The last two miles were pretty uneventful.  Normally on a long run our last mile or so is just as quiet as our first mile or two.

I’ve mentioned this in post before but this time last year I was training for the exact same marathon.  I had to stop training and spent the next 6 months rehabing my back, left hip and left hamstring.  I tried doing too many workouts that my body refused to handle.  So in order to be able to run long distances now I run/walk.  On short runs I can run a 3:1 (which is 3 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking).  I wear two watches.  One for the interval timer and one for the distance.  I use a Timex Ironman Watch because of the interval timer I can set to repeat but if you’re not wanting to wear two watches but need the interval timer Gym Boss is a great alternative.  I’ve been to many races where I hear the little buzzard going off.  I’m not the only person run walking.  I think run walking is the new sprint. You know like slow is the new fast. Right now I’m running a 2:1 on our long runs.   The run walk lets my legs take a mini break just long enough to keep running. I still get tired and feel run down towards the end but at this point in my running at least I’m able to run farther than I did this time last year.   Thu made the comment that she thinks before long we’ll be able to lengthen our long runs to a 3:1. She says my breathing sounds better and I don’t look as tired as I once did.  She also says that the long runs are good for her as a recovery run!  I told her to kiss it.

The thing about running is no one rule, plan or shoe is perfect for everyone.  I’m constantly reading and finding out what others are doing. A few books and websites I think are great starters is

http://www.jeffgalloway.com/

http://www.halhigdon.com/

http://www.runnersworld.com/

So next week we run 12 miles. I’m excited about this. My 10 miler felt good enough I’m ready to add more. Today I’m a little stiff but nothing painful.  I’m intending for Fridays and Sundays to be my rest days.  I have stretched and rubbed till hopefully tomorrow my run will be a great start to the week.

If you need a little motivation the video above is from the movie Spirit of the Marathon. You can watch it in it’s entirety here.  It’s one of my favorites. It also take place based around the Chicago Marathon which is one that I dearly love.  It’s one of the best experiences of my life and if you ever get the chance to go, GO!

Have a great week and remember whether you’re running, walking or swimming or whatever………..something is better than nothing.

 

Friday Jitters and giveaways

Thank God it’s Friday!!  This weekend plans to be low key. I know I should be outside soaking up the rays and taking in the hot, humid air  but I think this weekend I’ll be belly up catching up on my reading.  But who cares about that part, right?  This weekend I start double digit long runs. No turning back after tomorrow. I was going to wait and post after our 10 mile run tomorrow but I’m just so jittery about it. I’m trying hard not to think about it but I really want to have a good solid run. I know it’s not going to feel great. I know it’s going to be uncomfortable. So what makes for a solid run when your body’s aching, it’s hot, humid and the miles steadily continue to build? It’s just a feeling.  I guess it’s knowing I didn’t walk the last 2-3 miles back to my starting point but rather I somehow willed myself to finish running the last 2-3 miles.  I always tell myself, “sure you can walk back if that’s just what you really need to do but where’s the honor in that?” Double Digit mileage for some reason stresses me out but I get giddy about it too.  I really want to be one of those people who can just run and run for hours on end.  A friend of mine (in another town from me) has a neighbor who runs  a ridiculous amount of miles on a daily basis. Just because she can. That’s what I want to do!!  I feel like on those long weekends when I’m just bored out of mine I wish I could just run and do it for hours.  It almost seems poetic in some way.  Anyways, back to reality.

So this week we did our “long” run on Monday 8 miles (I was out of town this past weekend). Tuesday I gave my legs a break. Wednesday I did repeats. Something I haven’t done in years!  It was a little bit of trial and error but  I think from now on, on Tuesdays (not Wednesdays) will be Repeat Tuesdays for me. I started off with a nice little 10 minute jog.  Next I toed up at my starting point then I set off with a goal of  two minutes to finish 400 meters/quarter mile.  Well for some reason I stopped at what I thought was a quarter mile but I was short by just a bit.  I don’t know what I was thinking. I did it twice before I realized I was screwing up my distance.  I wasn’t short by much but it wasn’t a quarter mile either. Anyways so I did 4 more repeats for a total of 6 followed by a cool down.  I was spent after that, but in a good way. Now I know exactly what I need to do so the next couple of weeks that I have planned for repeats should go smoother. I intended to run Thursday but I think with the 8 on Monday and the repeats on Wednesday I was exhausted, like couldn’t hold my eyes open exhausted. I didn’t run this morning either. I always hate to run the day before a long run.  To me that’s the equivalent of trying a new hair style the day before your wedding!

Either way I’m excited to report back tomorrow the good, the bad and the ugly.  Also to anyone who might be kind of enough to grace my page, over at Slow Is The New Fast she’s giving away a Spibelt.

They are absolutely fabulous and I shamelessly begged for one since I’m constantly stuffing phone, gu packs in all areas that can hold something while I’m out running.  Beyond that I love her blog and you should visit even if you don’t need a Spibelt.

I hope everyone has a great Friday.

Ciao!

Running Hot!

Welcome back!  Yep, it’s been 21 days since my last post but thats only because I’ve been so busy having fun!  I’m such a happier person in the summer time! I realize just about every post I always rant and rave about there never being enough time. Well this is all I have to say about it…………..

Meanwhile this is what I’ve been up to………..

I’ve definitively been getting some solid runs in. As I always say my runs are slow but they are really starting to feel more productive. My schedule probably should be tougher but I’m just trying to finish the Tupelo marathon strong. I’ve finally got a running schedule I think I handle but I don’t think I really know until after this week.   I’ve got 11 weeks till Tupelo.  It should fly by but I still get antsy thinking about it.  It’s not like I’m going to break any records but you know after my whole Georgia marathon fiasco I’m anxious to get a better race behind me.  My running partner Thu has be graciously patient with me.  She takes walk breaks when I need them and cheers me on when I need it.  She’s such a naturally stronger athlete than I am.  She swears up and down she aches like I do but I don’t buy it!  This coming weekend we starting dipping into the double digits of mileage for our long runs.  It’s hard to run around town without eventually getting in someone’s way.  I know we have the Trace but for me it’s SO BORING!!   I don’t mind biking it but running it wipes me out mentally.  I however  love a good road run. There’s nothing like starting out on one side of town and looping my way around to the other side of town and back to the starting point all on foot.  Hattiesburg is not biker/walker/runner friendly when it comes to the placement of businesses, designated lanes, etc.  I would love to ride my bike to work or even run home from work but as far as the biking goes, I’m just signing my death wish by commuting in Hattiesburg!  Maybe one day we’ll be commuter friendly meanwhile me and the Danger Ranger will make do around town!!

I also have started dabbling in GeoCaching. What is GeoCaching you might be asking?  Well……..

I have found one (see picture above, it’s the small container) and i’ve looked seriously for one other but I seriously felt like I was going to get arrested.  It really should be advertised as a group activity.  It  might look less weird.  All the same it really is fun. I use my cell phone as the GPS system.  I keep saying i’m going to spend the day looking for the one’s that are local. I just haven’t made an effort.

I’ve also been to the beach, reading on those extremely hot days when I have nothing better to do and little things around the house. Nothing special.   Ohhhh in my free time i’ve become extremely obessesd with www. pinterest.com.  I can be found on here at http://pinterest.com/apricotusm/.  It’s really cool to find so many interesting things out there and to see what other people are into.  It can be used for so many things.  You can use it to find inspiration, motivation or  if you have clients that you want to put an idea bored together so that they can go online at no charge and see it.  Such a cool idea.   I’m also a huge stalker of www.etsy.com.

I’ve been doing some reading as well. Still trying to finish “The Paris Wife.”  It’s a good book just a long read.  With my online book club we just wrapped up our first inaugural book “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.” It’s a fast read.  I think next on our list is “The Girls Guide to Homelessness.”  I have several books I want to read and several series as well.  I’ve decided I need to win the lottery so I can quit my job or at least work part time so that I can spend more time running, reading, crafting and interneting.  Totally doable if I win the lottery!

Well that’s all I’ve got tonight.  I’ll check back in after our long run this weekend.

Cheers!

 

 

Happy June!!

Maybe I’m a procrastinator but I always see the 1st of everything as a New Years of some sort. January 1, first of the month, Mondays and sometimes days after major eating holidays are always a time for me start or restart some resolution of mine. January 1, 2011 I had a few resolutions that I really wanted to work on.

1.       Run more

2.       Lose weight

3.       Read more

So here it is June 1st, six months into the year.  I have to ask myself, how am I doing?  Am I running more? Absolutely!  Am I losing weight? Well………..ummmm……….I’ll come back to that!  Am I reading more? I can’t get enough of it (once again, I’ll come back to that).

All of this is important but the confession part comes into play here. I really don’t know where to begin so I guess I’ll just dive in.  I put on paper, Facebook, Twitter and even in person a front that I feel is mandatory. It’s my armor.  My armor consist of being happy (which I really am), confident (ehhh, debatable), and carefree (I worry a lot!).  My armor would never outright reveal that I am bashful about how I handle my personal business.  If I could hide behind my mother’s leg like a four year old I would so do it. I get so embarrassed when I tell people my running times, my latest projects or whatever. I’m very self-conscience. It’s not that I care what people think, I just don’t want to be a failure at what I do.   It all goes back to why I started this blog and my resolutions.  I started this blog to hold myself accountable.  But once I started it my inner self started digging in on telling me that I had lost my ever beloved mind!  I started realizing that to hold myself accountable by blogging meant I had to remove my armor and be brutally honest to you guys. So guess what.  I haven’t blogged like I should.   I would rather blog about the really happy points rather than say, “I goofed. I ate a cheeseburger, fries and finished it off with a milkshake” (which would never happen because somewhere along the way I became lactose intolerant!). So here I go.  Confessing my fears, concerns and trying to figure out what to do with it all. I guess you can say June 1st is a new start for me.

Running

My running is doing okay. I participated in the Calloway Gardens marathon in January and did not finish. I came home feeling really defeated.  I’ve never went to a marathon and not finished. It took a lot of wind out of my sail. However, I kept my running up. I haven’t been doing double digit mileage but I’ve been running.  I initially said I wanted to do some duathlons and triathlons but I eventually decided that’s not where my heart was leading me.  Since then my future plans have me running in a marathon in Tupleo in September and then in the Nike Women’s Marathon out in San Francisco in October.  I really feel pleased with my runs.  Over the years my pace has slowed. I contribute that with weight gain and sporadic running.  I’ve been working on picking the pace up but I really don’t care about my pace right now. I just want to run.  I want to run strong and I want to run as much as this body will let me. So building up my strength and endurance is most important to me right now.

Weight Loss

This is the kicker for me because this is really where I struggle the most.  I eat my emotions.  From the time I’ve started this blog til a couple of days ago my eating habits have been awful.  I’m not proud to say that either.  Another confession I have is I binge once I get home from work. It’s not an eating disorder binge but more of “oh my goodness I’m starving and if you don’t move out of the way someone will get hurt” binge.  I’m not a late night eater either. Between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. it’s just not pretty.  It’s so embarrassing to tell you all this! Really!  Also if I’m home alone and the hubby is out of town, well, its worse!  Food is my comfort blanket.  Then the next day I feel horrible! I’m so ashamed but I can’t move forward if I don’t confess. I would be lying if I didn’t! How can I blog about the things I do if I’m not candid about these issues?

So to remedy all of this I’ve started Weight Watchers.  I’ve got to do something or I’m going to be 40 and weighing in at 400 pounds!  Trust me I’m not mocking this either. This is an honest to goodness fear I have.  My birth mother (it’s a very long story but I was not raised by my birth parents) did not take care of herself in any form or fashion so at 42 she died of a heart attack while weighing in at 400 plus pounds.  So I have even more reason to make sure I take care of myself. So after today I feel like I can be more openly honest.  Not that I tried to be dishonest or intended to be dishonest but my pride got in the way.

Read More

I don’t think this requires much time here but I’ll entertain it for a moment.  I’ve definitely increased my reading.  In fact I’ve had to start keeping a journal of what I’ve read and a brief description otherwise it all kind of mashes together. I think that’s a good problem.  Also a couple of friends of mine have gotten together online to form a book club.  I’m so lucky to be associated with people with such good taste in reading. I definitely need to expand my reading beyond CSI type reads and quirky girly books.   I can’t wait to share our reads with you. Please feel free to share with me as well.

I know this is a very personal and heavy post today but I really feel like I need to put my cards out there on the table in order to keep this blog going.  I think I put too many expectations on myself in the beginning trying to keep everything 100% positive and bubbly. It was suffocating me and causing me to just ignore something that I think could be really good. To ask myself to post the way I initially expected I should post is not a reasonable expectation to put on myself. Everybody has failures and bad days along with the really awesome days. I have to learn to accept that if I’m going to keep this blog up well then you guys will get the good, the bad and the silly of me!

And so, without further ado………….

5….4….3…2…1….Happy June!!! May ye renew one’s resolutions and go forth into the remaining of the year with hope, health and motivation.

Cheers!!


A Good Friday

Happy Friday!  Yes it’s the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend. I know I say it all the time but jeez, time flies when you are having fun!  Am I am having fun? Absolutely!  My running week is well, ahem, less running and more, well, whatever. It was something.  Does it matter?  Yes and no.  Yes it matters because I have a marathon in less than 18 weeks. No it doesn’t matter because I’ve been soaking up the excessively hot afternoon rays (after five obviously) and beautifying my backyard.  I mentioned this last week as well, but I really do love being outside.  When the temperature rises outside The Windhams of Carrington Court tend to migrate outside on week nights and hang out by the fire pit.  I stay inside from eight to five Monday through Friday so when I am on my time I do my best not to stay cooped up inside.  I do that in the winters enough as it is.

So I overslept twice this week which I missed running and did not go in the afternoons because it was beyond blistering hot to be running.  I am also a morning runner. I get very cranky if I am still running when the sun comes up.  Running early allows me to basically have my choice of where I want to run without crazy drivers trying to run me over (yes, it has almost happened before, and I still have a few gray hairs from it) and the quietness of it all is just amazing. If you do not get up before the rest of the world you do not ever get to experience what it’s like not to hear cars passing by, people honking, garbage trucks banging or whatever makes this world noisy. Getting up early allows me to run through neighborhoods and take in the early morning smells, sights and sounds.  I love smelling the Downy like smell coming from dryers, fresh coffee brewing and sprinklers doing their thing.  It’s just a slower, quieter world in the mornings.  Even Wal-Mart is better before eight. I also feel safer early in the mornings.   Maybe I’ve disillusioned myself into thinking that the people who intend do evil to this world is still sleeping or just gone to sleep while I am moving about early in the mornings. I have to admit, my guard is down when it’s that early. Clearly, please do not jump out and scream boo at me because I am apt to wet my pants. I can be a bit of a skittish scardey cat

Otherwise it’s been a pretty quiet and semi-eventful week.  I hope to get in a nice little run with my buddy Thu (TWO) and then I will just see what happens from there.  I hope you have a great weekend. Be sure to get out and get some vitamin D.

 

Barefeet, Tomatoes and San Francisco

Yes, I’m back.  Its amazing how today turns in tomorrow and so forth and so on till a month goes by and my blog is just a blob.  So what have I been up to you might be wondering (if not I’m going to tell you anyways)?  First off, lots of work.  Which is a good thing considering for about 9 months now the housing market has been playing havoc with my sales!  If anybody needs appliances feel free to give me a ring. Enough of my shameful attempt at advertising, now that the weather has warmed up recently I’ve been spending my evenings planting, decluttering the flower beds and weeding. I love planting flowers and caring for them.  I’m determined to make my backyard my own mini Havana!!  As always I have all the essentials I need to make salsa planted in my backyard.  I love fresh tomatoes, especially fresh tomato sandwiches.  I also have cilantro planted for the first time and that stuff is coming out my ears! Who knew that stuff could be so abundant and hardy?!

Anyways, on the exercise end of things I’ve been running some on the horse trails at the Trace.  I’m toying with the idea of doing an ultra marathon. I hear it’s more fun than road races.  I get bored with regular marathons because it’s on a road and you just put one foot in front of another. At least with ultras you have to watch where you’re going.  I haven’t found a race yet and I have a couple other things going on right now as well.

First I have to get this body ready for the Tupelo marathon which is Labor Day weekend.  Then I get to go to San Francisco in October to run the Nike Women’s Marathon. Words cannot described how pumped I am about this!!  The Nike Women’s Marathon (NWM) is a lottery based entry that has shot me down over the last couple of years.  Other than saying I ran a marathon in California it’s the finishers medal is the reason I want to run this.  A Tiffany’s necklace! Oh yeah!! Yes I could buy one and save myself 26.2 miles of trouble but I would rather earn it.

I realized this weekend when I was running that every run between now and October 16, 2011 is all about San Francisco.  In some ways it’s bitter sweet. Since I ran the half marathon in Tupelo in 2007 I swore I would go back and get my finishers medal for the marathon portion which is designed with skull and cross bones.  It would be cool to have it with the rest of the collection. Of course I decided this was the year to go after it. I attempted it last year but during the summer my body fell apart and I had to spend the next six months babying myself.  I’m committed to both marathons however but San Francisco is the overall goal.  I need to run Tupelo just to get some hills in anyways. I’ve already had several people stress to me how important it is to run hills going to San Francisco. I can only imagine!

Physical training for all of this is one thing but for me it’s going to be just as tough mentally. I mean, I’m training for two relatively tough races in the hottest time of the year in South Mississippi.  I must be crazier than I originally thought! Plus when the going gets tough I get whiney.  I’m trying hard to not be so whiney BUT when your feet hurt, back hurts, and your clothes are soaking wet and reeking of horrible odors, my ability to stay positive diminishes.  I have a running buddy, Thu (pronounced TWO) who is so super patient with me.  God has a special place in heaven for her just for putting up with me.  At the same time she is so much fun to run with.  It makes those hours go by faster and I get more than just a run out of it. A lot of time I get my Thu-isims for the day.  For example:  “Brandy, what’s wrong with you? You’re doing so good. Are you okay?”

So I feel like on the running front I will have a lot to share over the next couple of months.  I’m so excited about this.  I’ve already bought my plane ticket. That’s another thing that just blew me away was the price. I actually found it on Friday for a very good price (in my opinion) but procrastinated booking till Monday night. Monday night Marty and I looked at packages and pricing for about 30 minutes together and within those 30 minutes the price shot up $200!! I almost had a mini stroke! Thanks to Orbitz I found it at the original price that I intended on paying in the first place.  Trip planning stresses me out!

Also while I was out and about I got to speak to and listen to the writer and contributors to  the book Born To Run.  It’s such a great book.  “Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.”  Inspired me enough to go buy Vibram  Five Finger shoes.  I really believe that a lot of my problems have been too much padding in my shoes which led to a really horrible running gait.  I digress!  So the author (Christopher McDougall) and contributors (Eric Orton and Scott Jurek) is on a book tour called The Naked Tour.  They rolled through Hattiesburg on April 27th by starting their time with a 45 minute run through town with anyone willing to join them.  I unfortunately did not get to run with them but I did get to speak with them afterwards and listen to them speak.  I was especially excited to talk to Eric Orton who has some really good training programs that really emphasize strengthening the feet, calves in order to be a better runner before adding endurance. I also could have listen to Scott Jurek all evening considering I’m extremely interested in ultra marathons right now.  I guess the biggest piece of information I came away with from Scott Jurek is when running long distances you can’t think. Thinking eventually leads to “why am I doing this” and then “man, my feet hurt” and pretty soon your mental strength fails you. This is going to be hard considering, I’m a worrier/thinker.  I can’t say it’s anything profound I think about but I do it anyways!  The event was hosted by Sack’s Outdoors. In addition to spending an evening with some really interesting and inspiring people Sack’s also gave away some fantastic door prizes. I walked away with a Carhart backpack and my hubby won some Vibram Five Finger Shoes.  I know the shoes retail for like a $100.00.  It was also hosted at The Venue. That was my first time there and I must say it was very nice.  It had beautiful hard wood floors and really held true to the downtown Hattiesburg atmosphere.  I would definitely consider having a function there.

I’ve also been busy spending time with friends and family.  I say this a lot but it just doesn’t feel like there’s enough time in the day.  Between working, gardening, running, cleaning house and visiting with loved ones before you know it it’s my bed time and I’m exhausted.

I am also guilty of having not such a good diet while I’m having fun.  I normally do better with my diet in the summer with fresh vegetables. Besides, who wants to eat a heavy meal when it’s on the brink of a hundred degrees outside and the humidity is beyond insane? Not me.  So I’m looking forward to the warmer weather being here.  Check back with me in August and I might be singing a different tune.

I apologize for such a long post but a girl has to start somewhere. Besides I’ve had things going on that I wanted to share! Have a great day!!

Mobility, low tech and high tech

For several months (June will be a year) I have been dealing with a nagging hip/lower back/hamstring issue (it’s always something right?).  Just depends on what day it is and what the weather is like.  Then some days it never bothers me.  Since I’ve started doing more general cardio workouts (walking, elliptical trainer, rowing, etc.) the tightness and the dull ache has become less and less. I wish I could afford a massage a week and trips to the physical therapist but instead I’ve done what I could to heal myself. I have some great friends that are physical therapist and athletic trainers but at some point I start feeling horrible for constantly asking for advice. Knowledge is power. Geeky but true.  One website I really like, which is geared towards Crossfit but the guy has a lot great information, is Mobility WOD (workout of the day).  One of my recent personal favorites is Open Up Your Hips.

Another personal favorite which is somewhat of a guilty pleasure is Trigger Point Performance Therapy.  They  are fantastic at self-care!  Huge fan!  Anyways, I am guilty of investing in the  Ultimate 6 Kit w/ Book & DVD (it was a birthday present) and The Grid.  Now some might argue the small balls that come with the Ultimate 6 kit are excessive and to  just use tennis balls. No.  Those guys are harder than a tennis ball. Very Very dense. They can get under a shoulder blade or in a hip and work magic.

Also another favorite in the Ultimate 6 kit is the quad baller.  IT’S PHENOMENAL!  It hurts so bad it feels good.  If your really sore it can take your breath away. But thats a good thing!  I honestly love this product. It seems pricey but the quality is there. The wheels on the quad baller are the same wheels they use on roller blades!  “The TP Quadballer allows you to roll completely through the quads, IT band, lower back, hamstrings and neck in a safe effective manner, ON YOUR OWN and HANDS FREE!”

In fact here’s the bigger picture of what all of this is, “Trigger Point started as a research project for Cassidy Phillips, who suffers from fibromyalgia. Phillips needed to find a solution for the continuous pain throughout his body. The well-trained athlete spent years researching his condition and refused to settle with doctor’s recommendations of never training again. During his research, Phillips worked heavily in trigger point therapy, which utilizes key areas of the body to release tension and create blood flow to the area. The therapy was working for him except that it was difficult to work on himself. His solution was to find a material that mimicked the pressure and accuracy of a thumb. He needed a material with significant denseness that could change shape and manipulate the muscle. Through two years of intense research and development, Phillips created Trigger Point. The company is based on a patented material that changes shape after five to seven seconds, thus aiding in (massaging) penetrating the belly of the muscle safely and effectively when ample pressure is applied, much like traditional massage. Today Trigger Point features four products: TP Massage Ball, Footballer, Quadballer, and Baller Block.  The TP Massage Ball, Footballer, and Quadballer’s dense materials mirror the feeling the human hand and change shape after five to seven seconds of pressure. Many people use devices filled with air like a tennis ball, which will collapse and thus fail to penetrate the belly of the muscle; or using a device made of a hard material such as plastic or wood, which will be traumatic to the muscle and cause more damage. Trigger Point’s tools, the TP Massage Ball,Footballer, and Quadballer are able to self massage safely and effectively.”

The Grid is a foam roller on steriods.  I’ve had a foam roller and used it so much that I put a dent in it.  This is constructed with less foam than traditional foam rollers, designed to withstand constant, heavy, and repeated use without breaking down, and built from EVA foam. This is a “foam” roller you won’t be replacing anytime soon.  They even have full body workouts built around it.  For me personally, I use it to get the kinks out of the back.

Can you tell I’m a fan?!  I saw them a couple of years ago at a race expo and was curious but just kind of blew it off. After being extremely tight in the my lower back for months I had enough and started researching self-help tips.  Next thing you know I’m begging my hubby for the Ultimate 6 Kit like it’s a Red Ryder BB Gun!  It’s a purchase I haven’t regretted.

I’ll be honest I will be so glad when I’m not writing post about my diet or my gimped up hip/back. The day I can write a solid post about a killer workout will be the best day eva!!  It’s on the horizon.  It’s going to take some time but it’s coming.  Just be patient with me.  Bigger and better things are yet to come (or at least I hope). Ciao!

K.I.S.S & Tabata Tuesday!

K.I.S.S-Keep it simple stupid

That was a theme for me today.  I’m a big fan of normally keeping things simple but sometimes I over-think things and make them so much harder than neccessary. For TWO months now I’ve been saying I need to lose some weight. I’ve been planning on losing weight. I’ve thought about losing weight. What have I done about it? With my head held low, nothing.  I’ve shamed myself over it and I’ve definitely over-thought it. Heck, I’ve even blogged about it!!  So reading a post from a friend of mine Dawn Will Run she put it into perspective for me. Nothing I didn’t know, just had to see it in a different light.  Calories in and calories out.  Log your food.  She pointed out that “it’s much more difficult to log an unhealthy meal which is how it helps to keep me accountable.”  It’s not about “special” foods. Just  keep it simple!  She recommended My Fitness Pal to use for logging in food.  I started using it today and already can see that this is going to be a good thing for me. Not to mention that swimsuit season is creeping up on us.  I was in Target this weekend and saw this sassy thing (the swimsuit not the girl!!)

Not that I want to wear it but it mocked me!  Really it did!  You would have had to be there. By the way, this was in the TEEN section!! It’s a good thing I don’t have a teen girl!  Anyways, the swimsuit leads me to Tabata Tuesday.   In addition to my much improved eating habits today I got my fitness on today.  3 miles before work and after work I did a Tabata workout on the elliptical trainer.  According to my Bodybugg I burned 344 calories.  Walking allowed me to burn 249. Squidoo.com does a nice job explaining what  Tabata training is.

“The basis of Tabata Training is 4 minutes of intense interval training/circuit training. What you are doing is taking an exercise we’ll use sprints as an example here.

Sprint as hard as you can for 20 seconds

Walk for 10 seconds

Repeat 7 more times for a total of 8 sets.

So what you have is a total of 4 minutes of workout time.

Tabata Training can be done with a number of different exercises the idea is to use an exercise that gets the whole body involved or at least the major muscle groups.Tabata Training can be done with Barbells, Dumbells, Kettlebells or just Bodyweight exercises. I’ll give you some other exercises and routines to try in a minute but first let me give you some background and how Tabatas work.

Tabata Training was developed by Izumi Tabata (imagine that) at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. They did a study on comparing the effects of moderate intensity endurance(aerobics) and high endurance intermittent training(tabata training intervals) on VO2 max and anerobic capacity.

To cut to the results of the study: the moderate intensity group training program produced a significant increase in VO2 max of about 10%, but had no effect on anaerobic capacity. The high intensity group improved their VO2 max by about 14% while anaerobic capacity improved by 28%. The study was done over a six week period. Both groups working out 5 days per week.”

I highly recommend it. It’s better than the burpees I did the other day! Nothing good can come of a workout that requires me to sling this body fat to the ground and then pick it back up. Repeatedly.

The goal overall is not about losing weight although I know I rant and rave enough about it you would think it is BUT it’s about my overall health.  I refuse to believe that one day all I’ll do is sit.  I hope when I’m collecting social security (if it still exist) that I’ll be running and biking and whatever else fun thing I can get into.  If I don’t get my weight under control and build a better foundation all of this will be just a dream.  I don’t want to live my life as a thinker but rather as a doer.  I think thats an overall reasonable goal!

 

Manic Mondays

 

What a day!  Nothing bad but somehow this time change really took the wind out of my sail today!  I had big plans to be up and at ’em early this morning. However, my sweet dog had different plans that kept me awake for a better part of the night.  So I didn’t workout before work.  After work was close to the same story except this time it was pouring down rain.  So the only workout this chic got in was 45 minutes of pilates.  I’m okay with that.  Tomorrow WILL be better.

Also diet is getting much better.  I’m down a pound or two.  It’s very mental for me when it comes to diet.  I know what I should eat. I know how much I should or should not eat. Food for me is comfort.  So I really have to work on not eating just because I think about it.  Either way, today was okay. I wouldn’t consider it my finest diet choice but I’ve also done worse.

Either way this girl is making baby steps toward the right direction.  I didn’t get in this condition overnight and I’m not getting out of this condition overnight either.  More good things to come!

Just Do it!

Okay by now thats so cliché to say “Just do it” but sometimes it’s called for. I’ve gotten in a horrible habit of thinking about working out, reading about it and I think I’ve even posted about procrastinating it. And here I am again.  I think my daily post (cough cough) show how much I procrastinate.  I use to be Jane on the spot with things.  Now I’m just ………ummmm……..who knows what I am but Jane on the spot is not me.  So my new motto is “Just Do It.”  Running, working out, paper work, laundry. It makes me cranky and extremely irritable.   It’s not very becoming of me!

Meanwhile my week has been filled with elliptical workouts, rowing, burpees, jump roping and running.  At this moment I’m feeling pretty stiff and very out of shape but its a start.  Tomorrow night I have a date with my hubby to go to the baseball game so my goal is to get up and get a workout in at the house.  It’ll take time to get my rear back in shape but it’s worth it. It’s an investment worth making.

 

Motivate Me!

I’ll be the first to admit something has finally lit a fire under this hiney!  Maybe its the warm weather, maybe it’s standing next to the skinny trainer at the gym who knows but the fire is burning! I have a calender of events I plan on participating in. I have a schedule. Life is good.  This past weekend I finally got my bike fixed and got a couple of miles in.  It felt phenomenal. Riding a bike is one thing, but riding a road bike going 20 mph or more at a steady pace is da bomb!  It’s really addictive.   I also got in a couple of laps at the pool as well.  I’m not a good swimmer. I get the job done but it’s not pretty.  However if you ever get the chance to participate  in a triathlon I say go for it.  It’s the coolest feeling to complete the leg of the swim and to come out of the water knowing you did that all on your own.  The training part of it stinks!   Duathlons/Biathlons are nice because you can just bypass the whole swimming thing all together.  I like it all.   I’m slow as Joe Dirt but I have fun.

It doesn’t matter if you walk, run, bike or swim.  The point is to move. Don’t sit at home and let life pass you by. We can rest when we’re dead!!

Good to the last drop

 I’m craving.  I’m not hungry at this moment just craving.  Instead of diving deep into the cabinets and eating myself out of house and home I made a cup of decaf coffee.  The first sip of coffee was almost as good as when I open a can of Diet Coke. As I sit here drinking my coffee my nerves are settled no more antsy feelings. I found comfort in my coffee.

I was recently reading my morning devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministry and she talked about finding comfort in her coffee.  In fact a whole devotion was done surrounding the cup of coffee.  Please please know I promise I got more out of the devotional than ” I found comfort in my coffee” which by the way is not EXACTLY what she said but more like “create my comfort in a cup…”  So this is not a profound thing I discovered on my own. In fact, I feel like 99.9% of things I think of have already been covered by someone else. So for future reference, there will be no claims of profound thoughts.  Just realizations.  It’s like an app for your phone.  I’m certain that if I think of something that would make my life easier or more enhanced someone has thought of it and created an app it.  No reinventing the wheel for me!  Anyways…………….

God has a way of talking to me that sometimes I can’t help but say “OH, now I get it!”  I’m pretty sure he rolls his eyes at me a lot. I pray a lot that I not be so hungry. I pray a lot that I stop being so self centered and worrying about the shape of my gut and concentrate on being more of a Jesus girl.  Well it’s kind of hard when I’m bending over and my body doesn’t bed with me because there are fat rolls stopping me! (Did you know that on the news today they actually said women have an average of 13 “I hate my body\” moments a day!?)  Why am I telling you this? Because I had a mini “ah ha” moment tonight.  I realized as I was being antsy and anxious and a little bit worrisome that  I shouldn’t turn to food.  Maybe finding comfort in my coffee is not neccessairly the direction he meant for me but it wasn’t food!  Plus it gave me a reason to go back and reread the devotion.

I copy and pasted the devotion below.  I hope you enjoy it.  I love Proverbs Ministry 31.  Very down to Earth kind of girls.  It’s women you would want to sit down with and share a cup coffee! (p.s. I think maybe that cup of coffee did have caffeine because this post is all over the place!  Oh well, hope you enjoy!) Cheers!

Room for Cream

17 Feb 2011

Marybeth Whalen

“The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:10 (NIV)

“Shall I leave room for cream?” the smiling barista asks me as I place my coffee order.

I smile back at her and nod, anticipating receiving my cup full of dark liquid so I can carry it over to the doctoring station and customize it with a generous splash of cream and two sweeteners.

As I wait in line to create my comfort in a cup, I ponder the barista’s question. I think about the idea of leaving room for cream—not just in my cup, but in my life. I always leave room for cream in my coffee, but I can’t honestly say I always leave room for cream in my life.

Cream sweetens and lightens and richens. How do I leave room in my life for the things that sweeten and lighten and richen? As I pour and stir, my thoughts drift to the last week. I’ve done the have-to’s: laundry, carpool, dishes, exercise. But it’s harder to think of those little extras that fill my cup to the brim… sweet, light, rich extras.

Sweet: Time with friends just laughing and enjoying each other. Turning on a favorite song and dancing in the kitchen. Listening to my children when they talk. Taking the extra time to hear their hearts. Putting fun things I look forward to on the calendar. Turning the pages of a novel just for the joy of experiencing a great story. Pushing pause on my life so I can rest and recharge.

Light: Time in God’s Word, which the Bible says is a light for our path in life. Journaling what He’s telling me and what I’m learning about life. Time to pour my worries and anxieties out to Him, then leave them at His feet. Time to press into Him so I can hear His voice above all the others in this loud, busy world. Stepping out of the rat race and worshiping Him with abandon lightens my load.

Rich: Giving of myself through my time and talent. Tithing regularly to my church. Finding people who need a meal, a donation, a word of encouragement and then making the effort to actually give it to them and not just think it’s a good idea. Surrendering myself to God’s will instead of holding fast to my own.

All of these are things that bring me great joy, that help me reach that place of abundance I believe Jesus wanted us to live in now. Abundance, I am finding, does not come from merely wanting it. It comes from intentionally reaching for it—a result that requires action. It requires leaving room in my life for these things—not packing my life so full of have-to’s that the cup is already full.

When that happens, I can try to add the cream but it will only spill over, wasted. It starts when I leave room from the beginning or take a moment to pour out what is already too full. With a little thought and a little effort I can learn to hear Jesus ask me, “Did you leave room for cream?”

And I can smile back at Him and say, “You better believe I did!”

Dear Lord, I want to live the life of abundance You called me to—a life that is sweet and light and rich. Help me remember that I have to leave room in my life for abundance or it will always elude me. Help me to seek You first and let You show me how to leave room for cream. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

Visit Marybeth’s blog

The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen

She Reads a division of P31 for fiction fans


When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity
because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide
at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can’t compete with prices offered by
huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and
every purchase you make with us. Thank you!


Application Steps:
If you brew coffee at home or order a cup at a coffee shop today, while you’re waiting for it spend time praying for God to show you ways you can leave room for cream in your life. Resolve to think about having an abundant life every time you fix your coffee.

Reflections:
What does an abundant life look like? What would fall in my sweet, white and rich categories?

Power Verses:
Psalm 65:11, “You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.” (NIV)

Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV)

© 2011 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Matthews, NC 28105
877-P31-HOME (877-731-4663)


Sharing times are happy times

So I get a newsletter  from the Eat Clean website from Tosca Reno. Absolutely love this woman. I only dream of having a tenth of her passion and energy.   I think its the passion for life and health that I love the most. Anyways today post is actually from the newsletter I got today. I thought it was definitely worth sharing.  So please know I did not write it.  I just pulled it directly from my email.  Enjoy!

Beat Your Sugar Craving Now!

We all know the feeling: 3 pm rolls around and the craving for something sweet kicks in. Not anymore! With these tips, you’ll beat your sugar cravings every time.


Step 1If you Eat Clean all day, you’ll be less likely to develop a craving in the first place. Eating your five or six meals, every two-and-a-half to three hours, will ensure your body is filled with Clean, wholesome foods and you won’t have room left over for those sugar-loaded vending machine chocolate bars.

Step 2When you feel a craving coming on, check the clock. It might be almost time to have your next meal. If your cravings arise well before it’s time to eat, try slightly increasing your portions. In turn, you’ll feel satiated between each meal and your body won’t nag you for a quick pick-me-up from sugary treats.

Step 3If you’re having trouble refusing dessert, remove yourself from the situation. This could mean simply going for a quick walk while dessert is served at a dinner party, leaving the room at an office party after the cake is cut or refusing the dessert menu after your meal at a restaurant.

Step 4Include a planned treat in your weekly menus. If you allow yourself a small amount of something you love, such as dark chocolate or homemade frozen yogurt, instead of choosing a sugar-filled snack, you’ll be able to satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling deprived! Try these clean treats!

Step 5Replace white sugar in your diet with a Clean substitute. For example, I like to add fresh berries or applesauce to sweeten my oatmeal in the morning. For baked treats, I use Sucanat or rapadura instead of regular sugar. It’s important to remember that even natural sweeteners should be enjoyed in moderation, so don’t overdo it! You can find a list of natural sweetener options on page 221 of The Eat-Clean Diet ® Recharged!

Armed with these tips, you’ll have no trouble sticking to Clean foods, a regular meal schedule, and you’ll beat that sugar craving into next week – or better yet, into oblivion.
Have a Great Eat-Clean Week!

Tosca Reno

P.S. Do you like this newsletter? Share it with a friend or family member.

Meanwhile…………….

Heres my breakfast for this morning, I like to think of it as a power smoothy.  I only do half of the gladiator serving because it has so much protein in it plus the greek yogurt has like 12 grams of protein.  Our bodies can only process so much protein at one time. So no need to overdo it right?

In an attempt to cook more I also had a great meal tonight. Salsa chicken!  I like to put it in tortillas with some lettuce tomatoes and sour cream. So good!!  Enough for lunch tomorrow!!

Nutritional Info

  • Fat: 3.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.7g
  • Calories: 157.2
  • Protein: 24.3g

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
1 package reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup (condensed)
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

Directions

Add chicken to slow cooker.
Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken.
Pour salsa and soup over chicken.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
Serve with rice.

NOTES:
You may use half the packet of taco seasoning (I have started doing this to reduce sodium content myself)

Some slow cookers cook faster than others. Mine is a true slow cooker (have had it over 10 years.) The newer ones cook a bit faster and you may have to adjust your cooking time based on that!

I get many emails asking how much a serving is. I don’t think I have ever measured it sorry! I just know that five people eat and I usually have one serving left over.

Number of Servings: 6

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user CHELLESHOCKED.

Just a matter of Time

I have completely been off my mission.  I have been so consumed by life lately that I haven’t taken the time to do what is best for anyone except for overeat, worry, work and sleep.  Sounds fun huh?!  Well enough is enough.  Saturday I enjoyed a 4 mile run with a dear friend, I think more gossiping was done than running but I’m claiming it was a run.  Later on that morning I taught a circuit class that I think kicked my rear more than it did the actual class.  I finished the weekend off with an afternoon of hanging out in the sun with my hubby while watching a baseball game.  Absolutely perfect!

Whats next on my list?  I’m working on that tonight.  I’ve got to get this rear end in a routine.  I will let you know as soon as I figure it out.

Meanwhile, I did make home made California Spring Rolls! I had a very happy tummy!! I used 22cm Vietnamese rice paper, romanian lettuce, imitation crab meat, cilantro and avocados.  The sauce makes it. It’s a must.  3 parts Kraft Balsamic vinaigrette and 1 part peanut butter.  Warm slowly in the microwave and stir together. Dip the spring rolls and enjoy! The rolls are good without the sauce but it’s really good with it!  I got the rice paper at the local Asian fish market which is always a fun and inexpensive trip.  I got the imitation crab meat, rice paper and cilantro there for like $7.00. Below is a video how to put it all together.  Have a great weekend!

Bad Blogger!

Let me take a moment to say, I’ve been a bad blogger.  I’ve been so unmotivated, so lazy. I feel horrible about it all!  Life has a way of just getting in the way. I have a constant to do list. Which anybody who knows me knows I love my to do list. However, there is not a enough time in the day.  Yes, I’m being whiney.  I’m very much aware of that.  Anyways, hang in there. Give me a  couple of days and I’ll be back.  Let’s shoot for Saturday. See you then!