Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fanny packs at the ready!

Mark and I just signed up for the half marathon! We filled in the forms, paid our pennies, and now we are official entrants in the 2011 Shamrock Half Marathon! I am SOOOOOOO excited!

Now to figure out what to wear. Apart from my essential fanny pack of course...

Motivation took over me this morning!

I did it! Despite the darkness and the rain pounding down AND a poorly husband still asleep, I arose this morning and hit the gym for a sweatalicious running session I was super proud of!

I walked 1 minute, ran 5, walk 1, run 6, walk 1, run 7, walk 1 and then ran the last 8. I have an obsession with the  numbers on the treadmill, and like to push myself each time. Some days I dont push as  hard, but today I was so proud.

Although I did jump off the treadmill to find a row of gym bunnies behind me...for a sec I was intimidated, and then I thought "pah, I am improving my health and who cares if I dont have perfect gym clothes and a skinny little arse?!"

Thats all for now!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When your running partner is sick...

So Mark isn't feeling too good right now, and my guess is that he will not be well enough for training tomorrow morning.

Where will this leave me? Where will this leave my motivation at 7am when my alarm goes off?

Oh and on a side note, Mark left work to go home early because he was poorly. THEN I get home at 6.45pm and he's only gone and eaten some of my bloody UK chocolate!!!!! Revenge will be mine wahahahahahahahahaaaaaaa!

Monday, September 27, 2010

choosing food wisely...

Tonight I was stuck in a typical scenario of many - it got to 7.50, Id only just got to the grocery store and had to quickly select something for dinner. Naturally tonight was not going  to be one of my culinary inspired evenings, so i tried to scout out something quick and easy.

I cant deny, my first  idea was to look at the fresh pizzas, but whoa am I glad i checked out the label.  At 290 calories for 1/8 of pizza (who ever really just has one serving?), plus a bit of hydrogenated fat, some high fructose corn syrup (yep in pizza) and probably enough saturated fat for the week.

I put it down, and instead chose some fresh lean chicken breast which I grilled, and served with a mixed salad and a balsamic garlic dressing. My whole meal probably came in at around the calories of the one pizza serving, left me feeling satisfied, and I was happy in the knowledge that what I had fed my body was balanced and nutritious. Yeay!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I am so proud!!

Now, I know that for seasoned runners this will not be too exciting, but it is an achievement I am proud of - for the first time today I ran for the whole 30 minute training session!

I am so so proud - as someone who hadn't really run much at all four weeks ago, to now be running for 30 minutes non stop I think is a great achievement!

I am a culinery goddess at times...

With Mark waking up late I had ideal opportunity to create a super delicious, pretty healthy rosemary chicken, spinach, red pepper crustless quiche.

I love experimenting with fresh, healthy ingredients trying to create new dishes. And then I love eating it all afterwards!!!

Heading for another run this morning!

Not just yet as it's only 7.39am and the hubby is still sleeping, but once he arises from the depths we will be heading out for a run. So far we have been doing one loop of a trail near our house, but I think that today we may add on an extra section to bump our time to 30 minutes. Last time we ran it was 27 minutes on our usual loop.

AND I have tried to be organized and already plan in when Mark and I will run next week! I am getting ON it!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Maybe this should be renamed "I eat and talk about food..."

Well so far it appears that I pretty much talk about anything BUT running the half marathon!

This week has so far shown a lack of training due to some early starts in work, and my continuing battle with insomnia. However, this weekend looks promising - we have nothing planned until the evenings, so there will be large windows of opportunity for  running.

I do want to invest in some new running sneakers...mine are fine and I feel well supported, but they are getting old.

Speaking of which, I must be getting old...I found a grey hair yesterday! It's obviously been yanked out now, and I think it was just a rogue one. I am most certainly not getting old yet!

On a positive note today is birthday cake day in work! Last month we were doing our staff training on birthday cake day which disappointed me SO MUCH! I am such a cake fiend!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brilliant run this morning!

We did it again folks...Mark and I woke at 7am to go running, and it went really well. We are so fortunate having so many great and safe places to run near our home. It's also like a nature run, this morning we saw a bluebird, loads of squirrels, and a couple of dogs (ok not so naturey but I ran out of other things we saw!)

The only downside was getting a bug bite, but kudos to the bug, he climbed not only into my tshirt but also into my underwear. I think he deserved to take a bite after that effort!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Forgot to mention...

Tomorrow, providing that no insomnia keeps me up for hours on end through the night, Mark and I will be heading out for a run. The alarm will be set for 7am which will give us plenty of time for a pre-work run!

ALSO...I tweeted about the Mayo Clinic book, all about health and alternative medicine...then chuckled to myself when I saw the tweet to my profile pic of two sexy alligator shots! I am an oyxmoron!

A new, fascinating book!

Ok, ok fair play. Dan, my boss who didn't really call me fat but still makes us laugh when I say that he did, well he brought in a book to work for me to read today. It was a busy old day so I hadn't really had chance to look at it until this evening, but wow I am thoroughly enjoying it!

It is "Mayo Clinic Guide to Alternative Medicine 2011".

I am very open minded to what alternative medicine can do for us all. It takes about weight, about alcohol, about herbs, about yoga, about fighting disease, about fighting stress...EVERYTHING (it seems!) to be a healthy, well- rounded person.

As a (relatively!) young female it is incredible the amount of crappy, faddy, unhealthy and unrealistic diets that so many magazines, websites and even celebrities, promote. I can see why primarily young women although less so also young men, can get drawn into these diets. If you have a less than slender boyish figure, why wouldn't you get excited at the thought of losing 10lbs in 10 days?? Anyway, this books examines some of the ingredients in many of these ridiculous weight loss tablets/ patches / drinks, and REALLY, tells you what they can and can't do for you.

I am loving this book, and ridiculously give myself a little cheer for everything the book encourages you to do that I already do, such as eating plenty of garlic and taking a Vitamin D supplement.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's rest day...

Kind of ironic seeing as I have barely rested, instead being generally busy with laundry, cleaning, tidying and all that jazz. Right now I have ants in my pants and would actually love to go out for a run. However, I know it's important to rest my muscles. Since working out Thursday and running Friday, the muscles in my leags can certainly feel it...not in a painful way, more in a "yeah I worked out!" kind of way.

Will be up at 7am for a run in the morning before work!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First official half-marathon training run!

I can't deny, when Mark was late getting up this morning, I really thought our opportunity of heading out for our first official half marathon training run was kind of shot to pieces.


We indeed headed out and completed our first session, and it was great. We ran on a beautiful path near our house, saw lots of friendly people, and had a lot of fun.

Good Times!

Friday, September 17, 2010

working up a sweat...

Well at long last I finally worked out today! I didnt go for a run as the creepy man from the neighbourhood was around, instead choosing to do a 30 minute Jillian Michaels workout DVD.

Also I later went for a 30 minute walk down the W&OD trail...not too intense but it got me moving.

A couple of nights ago a made, in my humble opinion, a PHENOMENAL seafood lasange! I will definitly post the recipe on here - it was super delicious and pretty health - bonus!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rough start...well not even a start to marathon training...

Well today was supposed to be the day that Mark and I started half-marathon training proper but sadly it didn't happen this morning :(

After not being well this past weekend I think I still wasn't 100%, and last night insomnia hit good and proper. I think contributing to it was work stuff ticking over in my mind, which is never a good thing!

So I went to bed around 10.45 and 2am comes and after much tossing and turning, short spells of getting up to read I was STILL wide awake. I think I fell asleep sometime after 4, then got hooked into some weird Jersey Shore Twitter dreams, and I kept waking up...

After only a few really rough hours of sleep my alarm went off and I knew that my body could do with more rest. Maybe a crappy excuse, but I would rather have a normal functioning day and skip training, then have a terrible day and do training.

That said, I will head to bed soon and hope I sleep better tonight!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A balanced diet

As I have previously mentioned,  over the past few months I have read a LOT and learned a lot about food, and how our bodies react to it.

Take High Fructose Corn Syrup. It was introduced in 1982 - the year I was born - and since then the occurence of obesity and type II diabetes has sky rocketed. HFCS occurs in most non-diet sodas, in tomato ketchup, in certain crackers, many cookies, and even in things you wouldn't necessarily think of, such as pasta sauce.

Mark and I shop as carefully as possible to avoid buying products with HFCS. All it takes is some label reading. Also, we tend to buy a LOT of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, fresh meat, wholegrain rice and pasta and organic dairy...these leave little opportunity to wind up with nasty additives!

And what is my standpoint on organics? Well, Jillian Michaels wrote about this in one of her books, saying that you should buy what you can afford. And that is the policy that we have adopted - we buy organic when possible.

We also avoid any kind of hydrogenated oil or tans fats. Hydrogenated oil is oil that is blasted with hydrogen, to extend it's shelf life and to change the consistency in the fat. Increasing research is showing that hydrogenation of oils is contributing to the increase of degenerative diseases.

There are continually food scares, with everything from eggs to potatoes to various meats being put under the spotlight. Yes, I believe that there are times when, because of certain outbreaks of disease, we should use caution when choosing our foods. For example, when the UK had it's BSE / Mad Cow crisis, would I buy beef? Well, no.

Like Michael Pollan insists, eat what your grandmother would recognize as a food. Would she recognize a Twinkie that would probably outlive most of us? NO! Would she recognize a piece of chicken, with carrots and green beans? YES!

So what is my usual food intake? It varies day by day, often with the weather, and whether I have worked out that day. Today I worked 8.30-6.30, and ate the following meals:

Breakfast: 8am, breakfast smoothie

Snack 11.30am, carrots, half a sliced bell pepper and 2 tbsp hummus

Lunch: 2.30pm - Three slices of turkey (50cals) on two slices of fiber wheat bread, with a 1oz serving of extra sharp white cheddar cheese

Dinner 7pm - 1/4 cup barley, 1 extra lean chicken thigh, 1 sliced bell pepper, 4 large mushrooms, sliced, the juice of 1 lime and lots of garlic!

Calorie wise it isn't a very high day, but I didn't do any exercise, and my job was quite sedentary today.

Tomorrow is the day training officially starts!

So far Mark and I have been trying to work out at the gym to raise our fitness as much as possible before....Duh duh duhhhhhhhhh - MARATHON TRAINING OFFICIALLY BEGINS!

Today I have gone back to my better balanced diet, try to cleanse away the alcohol from the last few days! Although I did enjoy some chocolate while Mark was out this evening...!

I have spent some time on various websites recently, compiling advice on running and more specifically running a half marathon for the first time.

Jeff Galloway's website has  had some really sound advice, and the comment he made which I related to best was to aim to finish the half marathon, not to over push myself and create an unrealistic time goal.

I attend the gym at best 3 times a week right now, and so would say I have an ok fitness level, but I certainly do not want to set myself an unrealistic target, that I could not finish. the clock at the race will run for four hours, so as long as I complete it in less than four hours I will be satisfied (Yes I know that sounds like a contradiction, but I could probably walk the whole race in four hours - I am a super fast walker, ask Mark!)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

running as a stress reliever...

I totally want to start using running as a means to tackle my stress. The last couple of days have been stressful ones in work, and I wish that i wasn't so afraid of running in te dark, so that I could have gone out and run my stress right out of my system. I believe that exercise can really help you release stress, anger and frustration, part of it for me is also listening to awesome music, with a fast beat, at a high volume! My absolute favourite at the moment is the Jersey Shore album. I have never really been into much dance music, but this album I LOVE, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants music with a great beat to work out, run or dance to.

My tip top track right now is Girlicious - Drank...with the stress in work alcohol has naturally played quite a part in my evenings! Love it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Today my boss called me fat..

It wasn't as bad as it sounds really. My boss, Dan, was asking what size shirts and hoody I would want to order, and he pointed out that the sizes would shrink in the wash. I decided that as my small shirts have been fine, I would order a medium, and any shrinkage should leave it fine fitting. "Hmmmmm" he says, "so if you are usually a medium, you would want a large". No! I tell him, I want a medium. "You don't want a large?". Now I know I am not teeny tiny, but come  on! I ridiculed him all day for calling me fat.

In fact it was Dan who got me onto this whole half marathon business. I have always enjoyed watching the London marathon, and have seen people of all shapes and sizes complete it. But could I run even a half marathon?

What began as a casual conversation between a few of us in work turned into  an exciting, thought provoking, potential group task. When Dan spoke to Dena and I about the marathons he has run, I dont think he could have known that not only would Dena and I be getting psyched for training, but also my husband Mark, our co-worker Wendi, and possibly even more.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Books I have read in my quest to get healthy...

  • Jillian Michaels - Master Your Metabolism
  • Jillian Michaels - Making the Cut
  • The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps
  • The Biggest loser Family Cookbook
  • Michael Pollan - The Omnivore's Dilemma
  • Michael Pollan - Food Rules - An Eater's Manual
  • Michael Pollan - In Defense of Food
  • Marion Nestle - What to Eat 
  • David Kessler - The End of Overeating
  • Brian Wansink - Mindless Eating
  • Michele Simon -How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back

  • Food Inc

For me these books and DVD are not even so much about weight loss, they are more about educating myself so that I may have the healthiest body possible, and in turn so that one day when I hopefully have children, they too will be as healthy as possible. 

I think we should all be aware of where our food comes from, and what impact the food that we choose to buy has on the environment, on the economy and on our bodies.

And in the beginning...

I have never been sporty, and generally was usually in the last three to be picked for most sports in school, except for cricket. In cricket I was always amongst the first three to be picked, which I never understood!

I have always been average weight, average height. When i lived in the UK I would eat what I wanted and generally never put on too much weight.THEN I moved the America and shazam, I dont know if there is something in the water or whether I just got excited at a new selection of goodies, but all of a sudden (well maybe over about 8 months) I realised I was 20lb heavier and not happy about it.

So I watched Biggest Loser, and like millions of people, got inspired by Jillian Michaels. I read her books, then others like those by Michael Pollan. It made me realise that the junk going into me was not doing me any good, was draining my body and preventing me being truly healthy.

Right now I am mostly healthy. I think compared to some people I know it is uber-healthy, compared to others it is still a little alcohol and junk filled.

But NOW I have the biggest task ahead of me - I am running a half marathon in March. I have never been a runner, and so the thought daunts me somewhat. But I am excited as well as scared witless! I am going to be blogging about what I do, and how I do it, over the next few months. I am concerned about how being at home in the UK for 10 days over Christmas might hamper training (and healthy eating!), I wonder how well I will be able to stick to a training program.

It will all be a trip I'm sure!