Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Removing Temptation


Well, I am now 49 years + 1 day old! I've decided to make this year ahead a year of better health! So what did I do? I removed temptation. Hello, my name is Lesley, and I love pizza! I can now admit that I HAD the apps for both Domino's Pizza AND Papa John's on my iPhone. And guess what! I just deleted them! Will it keep me from ever ordering pizza again? Doubt it, but now it'll be a little bit harder! And some days, it is the little things that help make a difference.







Clipart from Clipartheaven.com.

Rock 'n' Roll Series Coming to Raleigh!

The Raleigh City Council gave approval on Tuesday for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series to do a marathon in Raleigh, starting in 2014. My first reaction was, "Wow! That sounds great!" My second thought was, "Will they have a half marathon too?!"  See, I've always wanted to do a Rock 'n' Roll race, just to see what it's like, but the total cost has been a bit over my budget. The race registration  for Rock 'n' Roll races is a little high, but the "official hotel" rates within close proximity to the start and finish lines are even higher, and sometimes require a 2-3 night stay. (That's the case for the Virginia Beach race, anyway.)

As word as spread through the local running community, I learned that feelings are mixed about a RnR race coming to town. Someone on Facebook compared it to Walmart coming to town, and out-muscling the local marathons. I'm not deep enough into the running scene to know if that will be the case or not. Time will tell.

Here's the story from wral.com.

I'd love to hear opinions from  local runners, as well those who have participated in Rock 'n' Roll races! What do you think?

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Great Gym Workout

I made it to the gym yesterday for the first time in a while, and it felt great! I rode on the recumbent bike for 18 minutes, did some hammer and bicep curls and stretched in the weight room, then hopped in the hot tub. After several minutes in the hot tub, I got into the big pool, and stretched some more, then used a noodle to do some light strength training and a little more stretching. Dessert? Time in the steamroom! I felt so much more relaxed afterward, just amazing! My IT bands aren't fussy today, which tells me something! Yay!

Clipart from Clipartheaven.com

Saturday, November 10, 2012

2013 Race Schedule

I've been so inspired by the recent and upcoming fall races of many running friends, that even though we're not done with 2012 yet, I've already started plotting my running comeback in 2013. Too soon, you ask? Maybe, but I love the planning, love seeing how races map out on the calendar, love the possibilities!
I've been down and out for a couple of weeks with a collection of -itises that include coughing, congestion, and loss of voice, so both physical therapy and exercise have been put on hold lately. ON the plus side, I haven't felt like eating as much, so my weight is down a bit. While my voice is still gone, the coughing and congestion are better, so I'm finally to the point of THINKING about exercise! Yay!
I'd initially thought about some half marathons for the spring, but after looking at previous races, times, and training, I've decided to assume a slow recovery and build-up, working on 5Ks and 10ks this spring. If training and weight loss go better than expected, great, but I think I'd rather work toward building up slowly than crashing and burning due to overtraining.

My initial plan for the winter and spring is to shoot for the Second Empire Grand Prix Series Spring 2013 lineup, In this series, runners earn points for each race completed, and accumulate points throughout the season. The top 5 overall men and women, and top 3 point-earners in various age groups get prizes. Plus, runners who compete in 6 of the 10 races get invited to the nice Awards Luncheon at Second Empire as well. I'm shooting for the "6 out of 10" option, obviously! ;o)

My fall half marathon schedule will depend on how training goes over the next 10-12 months. Important things for me to work on:

1) Cardio
2) Strength training
3) Weight loss & better nutrition
4) Stretching when warmed up
5) Keeping running shoes pretty current

You may notice a lot of races in my "Races on My Radar" section. Don't worry, I'm not planning on doing all of them! The list is a work in progress, one I'll be updating in the weeks and months ahead.

Meanwhile, if you're planning to do the Second Empire Grand Prix Series this winter/spring, let me know!





Sunday, October 21, 2012

Water Aerobics Class

I went to water aerobics class at the gym yesterday morning, and the 60-minute class was wonderful exercise that wore me out! My right IT band is being fussy now too. <sigh> I'll continue my physical therapy stretches and see what I can do about that. It was great to get some good exercise for a change, and nice to be part of a class too. I've missed running with the Raleigh Galloway group.


Clipart from Clipartheaven.com

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Physical Therapy Starts Today!!

I begin  physical therapy for my left leg and right ankle after work today! Yippee! I can't tell you how excited I am about moving forward with treatment. I've already started looking at spring half marathons, which may be overzealous (and I have to be careful about that!), but it's fun to dream.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Physical Therapy Starts Next Week!

On Tuesday, I visited the orthopaedist (sports medicine specialty) about my left leg, and she confirmed the diagnosis of IT Band Syndrome. I made my initial physical therapy appointment for next week. I've had PT before, with a high success rate, so I'm looking forward to that!

This afternoon, I saw a PA (physician's assistant) in a foot & ankle specialty office about my right ankle, which has been giving me problems since my spring Couch-to-5K. (I could've seen a doctor, but the wait was longer, next appointment was sometime in November!) I saw my podiatrist about the ankle in June, and he took x-rays ("clear"), poked and prodded (no tendonitis), and prescribed an expensive topical cream (which I've used sporadically).

I gave today's PA the history of my right ankle, and she looked at the x-rays as well as the bottoms of my running shoes. In hardly any time at all, she diagnosed my problem as "varus hindfoot." Basically, I run on the outside of my heels, and seem to be right-leg dominant at it, hence the right ankle pain. My bottoms of my running shoes revealed more wear/compression on the outside of my heels, too. She prescribed ankle strengthening exercises to my already-scheduled physical therapy, and suggested I stop at a nearby orthotic/prosthetic business, the Center for Orthotic and Prosthetic Care in Durham. I stopped in, and they were able to see me right then! Since I already have custom orthotics, they were able to add wedges to the back of the orthotics to help balance my heels. I could tell a difference (and improvement) immediately! Tomorrow will be my first full day in the adjusted orthotics, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that they still feel good in 24 hours.

I feel a big sense of relief that my leg and ankle will be well enough to start exercising again soon! Maybe I'll be able to do some spring races!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Back to the Doctor

Ouch! IT Band Syndrome is back, definitely in my left leg, and maybe in my right leg too. The ankle pain continues to be pesky too. So I have two appointments next week, one with a sports medicine doctor, and another with a physician's assistant at the foot and ankle place. So, it may be a while before I can exercise-doing cardio, anyway. I bet there will be some physical therapy in my future!

Meanwhile, I had an hour-long phone consultation with a nurse in Duke's DukeWell program this morning. This first health goal I'm going to work on is keeping healthy snacks on hand at work and at home.

Monday, October 01, 2012

September Progress

I'm pleased with my exercise progress in September, which included 14.48 miles of walking and 18.10 miles of stationary biking, in addition to some weightlifting. With the plantar fasciitis returning to my left foot and a fussy right ankle (which the podiatrist says is not tendonitis), I may be looking at other ways of tracking my fitness progress, like cardio and strength training minutes. I've been thinking about taking some group classes at the gym, including water aerobics (no mileage but a great workout!) to vary the exercise and take a load of the foot and ankle. (I've even thought about swimming laps.) Another option might be the cycling classes at the gym. They seem a little intimidating to me, but I'll never know until I try!

Monday, September 03, 2012

More Exercise in My Future


Today's my second at-least-30-min exercise day in a row! :-) As I mentioned in an earlier post, I went in for a physical recently, and my new doctor told me to do at least 15 minutes of walking per day. It's been hit or miss with life being so busy. I finally started tracking my blood sugars this morning (another doctor's order, delayed by a few days), and realized I should step up that exercise! Yikes!

I need to remember not to stress about the numbers (no help at all), but let the numbers bring out my inner geek. Stay tuned!



Clipart from Clipartheaven.com

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hitting the Reset Button

I went to a new-to-me physician yesterday for a physical, my first general "wellness" appointment in forever. Oy. We'll I'll be working on some things for the next month, and will report back in a follow-up appointment the end of September. One of my new doctor's marching orders is to walk/exercise for 15 minutes every day. The fact that 15 minutes of daily exercise sounds like a lot should tell me something--that I need to do it, for starters! I can hardly believe how out of shape I've gotten! I can really tell a difference in my fitness, though, in two days of walking. Work and graduate school are taking so much of my time and energy, but I need to figure out how to take care of my health too.


Clipart from Clipartheaven.com 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer's Over

Even though I'm working fulltime now, summer's over now that my fall semester class starts tomorrow night. The calendar may say it's still summer, but the "free time" part of summer is officially over.

While my exercise time may be limited (what's new lately?), I have been working on eating better, especially in the Fruits & Veggies Department. Not matter what I do or don't do, exercise-wise, I aim to work on better nutrition this fall, as well as other things (like sleeping better).

I do miss running, and hope to work my way back to it. The ankle is still bothering me a bit. :-( I have a physical next week, so that's on my list of things to mention.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Back on the Bike

Cooks during the '12 Galloway Pancake Breakfast
I hopped on the recumbent bike at the gym for 4 miles (including several 1 minute intervals) this morning, followed by some light yoga/stretching, then a short workout with the dumbbells. Felt good to get the week off to a good start with some exercise! I missed working out this weekend but I had an okay excuse. Saturday morning, I volunteered to help with the annual Raleigh Galloway Pancake Breakfast. Since I'm not running with the group this season (yet), I figured it would be a great way to see everyone, and it was! Standing out in the sun for several hours took its toll on me though, and I didn't get around to exercising the rest of the weekend.

This is a new week though, and even though I have a final exam and a paper due on Wednesday, that's no excuse not to take care of myself, right?!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fitting in the Exercise

Well, I haven't been to the gym this week as planned, but I have taken a couple of walk breaks at work, tracking the distance and time with the MapMyRun app on my iPhone. Even though it's been crazy hot the past couple of days, taking a few minutes to walk has made a difference. I'm down 2.2 pounds this week, to boot!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Walking Test

Yesterday I downloaded a Couch to 10K app on my iPhone, and it suggested being able to walk 30 minutes comfortably before starting that program. I decided to try walking for 30 minutes today, just to see how it went. I finished 1.4 miles in 30:19. It was a tiny challenge, but not by much. That being said, I was on the treadmill in an air-conditioned gym! I think I need to to some more walking, and see what my right ankle (subsiding pain) and left foot (plantar fasciitis) have to say.

After that, I did some gentle yoga stretches from a yoga app on my iPhone, then lifted weights on three Nautilus machine. I'm an inflexible wienie. I need to exercise more than just on weekends to see any improvement. Now I'm thinking about the Second Empire Grand Prix Series coming up this fall. Could I do it?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back in the Gym

I made it back to the gym yesterday morning, and am not sore today, which is a pretty good thing, I guess. I'm still on the injured list with my ankle, but am going to the podiatrist today for another issue, and hope he can take another look at the ankle too. Meanwhile, the stationary bike and strength training seem to be good for staying active. Also, I received a new-to-me book in the mail yesterday, Yoga for Wimps: Poses for the Flexibly Impaired. I've been thinking about going to a yoga class at the gym, but I've been a big chicken. This book seems to be the way to go for now.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cleaning Plus Elliptical

Yesterday afternoon I got a good bit of housecleaning done, and followed up with a 30-minute session on the elliptical machine last night. I was bushed afterward, and slept hard last night! It felt great!

I've been trying out a couple of new exercise apps on the iPhone/iPad lately, Nexercise and Slimkicker (which has an accompanying website). Both use a point system, and it's been fun having some new virtual gadgets to play with. I would recommend both so far.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Good Bike Ride Yesterday

I had a vacation day yesterday, and meant to get an early workout in to start the day off right! I ended up puttering around, though, just enjoying a morning where I didn't have to be somewhere by a certain time. So, I ended up at the gym around 1:30 PM, since it had gotten so hot! I hopped on the recumbent bike, and went 7.2 miles in 40:05 minutes. I enjoyed working up a sweat!

This morning, I've been cleaning up my blogroll just a little, deleting a handful of blogs where the blogging runners have decided to stop blogging and move on to other things. One or two decided to stop running for now, as their lives have gotten busy with other things. It's made me a little nostalgic about running buddies (in person and through the  blogosphere) that I've met over the years. Some I keep up with, but others I've lost touch with. That's life, though, isn't it?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Easing Back In

I went to the gym this morning for a short workout. After warming up on the recumbent bike for about 15 minutes, I ran on the treadmill for about 5 minutes. Since my ankle has been fussy (tendonitis), and the plantar fasciitis still peeps at me, I decided that less would be more today. So far, so good. Now I'm a little more hopeful about starting a 10K training plan soon. One step at a time, right?

Monday, May 07, 2012

Back on the Elliptical

I returned to the gym this morning, but got on the elliptical instead of the treadmill, and it was such a refreshing break! Wow! No plantar fasciitis or tendonitis pain! I'm looking forward to running again soon, but this morning's break was so refreshing! Wow! Meanwhile, I'm starting to look at 10K training plans. They look doable after that C25K! :-)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

C25K W9D3 Complete

I finished the Couch-to-5K program yesterday on the treadmill, not at the New River 5K as I'd hoped. While my sore throat was a lot better, the plantar fasciitis and tendonitis, on top of being bone tired, had me wanting to stay close to home. George wasn't feeling on top of his game for the half marathon, either, so we decided not to make the 3-hour (each way) trip yesterday morning. So, I slept in and hit the treadmill at the gym in the early afternoon. 2 miles in 40:24 min, a decent pace for me these days. What's next? I plan to keep training, but may do some other cardio to give my foot and ankle a bit of a break. I've found a 10K training plan that looks good, so we'll see!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Sluggish C25K W9D2 Done

This morning's run was sluggish and discouraging. Plantar fasciitis and tendonitis were both fussy this morning, and I have a lingering sore throat (but no fever as an excuse). I also overshot my time, so I got in more than my 40 minutes! I'd planned to run the nearby golf course again, but some early golfers were out, so I had to change my course on the fly. I headed through the sunnier, slightly hillier neighborhood, instead. Not so much fun, but it'll pay off later, I hope. It was a training distance PR for me during this C25K, but it didn't feel very good. Some days are like that. Time to look ahead to finishing this C25K!

Monday, April 30, 2012

C25K W9D1 Complete


I can hardly believe I've made it  all the way to Week 9! This morning's run went pretty well, pretty flat course and overcast skies helped. Ran a little extra to hit 2 miles for the first time since Run for the Oaks!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

C25K Week 8 Complete!


Had a really good run/walk on the American Tobacco Trail this morning! The skies were overcast, which really helped, especially since I got a late start. This is my longest distance outdoors since running the Run for the Oaks 5K at the end of Week 1. Glad to crack 21:00 avg. min/mile again with this run, as my pace had slowed lately. Just a really nice run.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Couch-to-5K W8D2 Finished!


I did C25K W8D2 after work this evening, 28 minutes of running plus 5 minutes of warmup walking and another 5 minutes of cooldown walking. I ran conservatively, since I woke up with some lower back pain the day after W8D1. The back did okay during the run, and I took an Empson salt bath when I got home. I enjoyed the American Tobacco Trail at dusk, lovely weather and enough company to feel safe. Ready to finish Week 8 up this weekend!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

C25K W8D1 Finished

I finished C25K W8D1 on the treadmill this morning. I missed running outside, but it was cold, and I was a wimp. It was nice to be able to go a little faster, and I ended up hitting the 2 mile mark for the first time in this C25K. Whew! Now I'm tired, though, and I can tell the tiredness is going to linger today.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

C25K Week 7 is Done!


I did C25K W7D3 this morning, after a fitfull night's sleep, a sore throat, and that pesky plantar fasciitis bothering me even more. I was tempted to quit, but decided to keep going, however slowly, and let the chips fall where they may. It was just a bad run, my slowest C25K run yet. Ah, well. Bad runs make us appreciate the good ones even more right?

I'm tempted to return to the gym machines because of the plantar fasciitis, but I really want to finish the C25K. Just six more runs. One run at a time.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

80 Days is Too Long

Back on April 2, I mentioned starting an 80-Day Challenge for myself, but I've discovered that my own challenge was too long and broad, especially in the context of my current life, which has been so busy! So, I've decided to reset my challenge, as well as my weight loss goals, and shoot for 2.5 pounds AT A TIME! 2.5 pounds at a time is a little bit of a stretch (especially since I've been losing and regaining the same 2.5 pounds for a few weeks now!), but a doable goal. I won't feel progress immediately, but I should start seeing progress on the scales soon. Having short-term goals will help me tackle the proverbial elephant, one bite at a time.


Image from http://flog.cookingforceliacscolitiscrohnsandibs.com/scd-facts/how-to-eat-an-elephant/

C25K W7D2 In the Books!


Had a good run this morning, especially once I warmed up. (Plantar fasciitis in the left foot is still bothering me.) New-to-me course this morning, mostly on the golf cart paths of the Brier Creek Golf Course, quite nice! Overcast skies also helped make this my fastest pace outdoors for this C25K.

Monday, April 16, 2012

C25K W7D1 Finished


Ran/walked in Brier Creek today, but turned the opposite direction from my usual route. Today's run/walk interval was the same as Saturday's, but a little bit faster today. Nice to see some progress, even though this morning's route had less hills.

I can tell the heat and humidity are on the rise around here. Wish we could bottle last week's weather!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

C25K W6D3 Complete



Completed W6D3 today, a beautiful morning to run outside! This is the farthest I run outdoors during this C25K, but the slowest pace too. According to my BuckeyeOutdoors stats, it was the most ascent (966.7 ft) and descent (1020.3 ft) too. Lots of action for such a short run/walk. The 25-minute run interval was okay, especially considering I wasn't going very fast! The plantar fasciitis in my left foot is bothering me a bit, but not the toe pain from previous years. I did have a reflexology session last night, which I hoped would help with today's run.

I ran at Shelley Lake today, an old, familiar course, but first time doing it for the C25K. I parked at the Sertoma Art Center, since the lower parking lot was full. So my warm-up walk was downhill, and my cooldown walk was uphill. :->

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

C25K W6D2 Complete

C25K W6D2 by dukefan86 at Garmin Connect - Details

The link above has my numbers for this run. I almost ran on the treadmill, even drove myself to the gym! But them I decided to TRY running outside again, even though it was pretty windy. I ended up running at a slightly faster pace tonight than I did on Monday, even with more wind and more elevation. I'm pretty happy about that! Still a long way to go, though.

Monday, April 09, 2012

C25K W6D1 Complete

I decided to run outside again this morning, so I headed over to the Brier Creek area. It was such a beautiful morning to run outdoors! Today's run/walk intervals didn't seem so intimidating after the shock of Weeks 4 and 5! I still ran rather slowly, though, finishing 1.6 miles in 34:11 (21:24 average pace). Glad it's done, a nice way to start the workweek.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Couch-to-5K Week 5 Complete!

American Tobacco Trail, Durham, NC
This morning I decided to run outside instead of heading to the treadmill in the gym, since the weather was gorgeous and pretty cool! Where to run? I charged up my Garmin Forerunner and headed to my favorite running trail, the American Tobacco Trail in Durham. It was a gorgeous morning for being outside!

Although I take walk breaks outdoors at work with some frequency, this was my first run outside in ages, and definitely my first run outdoors since starting the Couch-to-5K program. I tend to push the pace on the treadmill a bit, plus it's easier for me to maintain a consistent pace on the treadmill. And of course, the gym's air conditioning helps! :-)

So, I was a little concerned about my slower pace, plus today's C25K plan was to warm up for 5 minutes, then run for 20 minutes straight, then cool down down for 5. I decided to go for it anyway, and let the chips fall where they may. 5K races are held outdoors, after all. Time to head for the trails!

I completed my run/walk, 1.55 miles, in 32:18 minutes, a paltry 20:50 pace, but I did run (okay, jog very slowly) the whole 20 minutes. I was concerned about running out of steam, but it ended up fine. Except that I'm a little embarrassed about my pace. But now I have a new benchmark to beat in time. I have to remember that I'm in training! Speed is not the issue now. At least, speed shouldn't be the issue. *sigh*

Thursday, April 05, 2012

C25K Week 5, Day 2 Complete

I did the C25K W5D2 run/walk last night, a little slower than normal (even for me), but I'm glad I got it out of the way. The run/walk intervals were 8:00/5:00, and the 8 minute run intervals intimidated me before I even started. Last night's run was mental training as much as running training. It was a minor victory to complete it.

I continued my new habit of doing some weight training after the run, a benefit of running at the gym. Each time I've done weight training lately, I've made a point of trying one new machine or exercise with the dumbbells. It's helping keep things fresh with that part of my workout, especially after running on the less-than-exciting treadmill. I also like watching what the other people in the weights area are doing.

I miss doing other cardio, but I can tell that, for now, my legs appreciate the rest days. A lot.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

C25K W5D1 Complete

I decided to go to the gym last night and take care of the C25K W5D1 run/walk, and I'm glad I did. The run/walk intervals were 5:00/3:00, longer intervals for running than I've done in ages! I took it a little easier and didn't push the pace too much, which I'm glad I did. I have some left in the tank again to do some much needed weight training. I'm still a novice at the strength training, but I'm having a good time trying different machines, in addition to the dumbbells.

Monday, April 02, 2012

80-Day Challenge!

I just decided to start an 80-Day Challenge! Why 80 days? Because I leave for the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim in 81 days. I've updated my weight loss trackers (I have several going, since I like how the data shows up on different sites, though FitDay remains my most consistent one), bought some more vegetables, and have pulled out a couple of cookbooks to get started with.

I do have a weight loss goal in mind, but am keeping the final end-of-challenge number to myself for now. You can track my progress in the widget on the right, though. :-) Other goals? More water, more exercise without getting injured, finishing the C25K program, completing another 5K. Rewards? Some new clothes and shoes for the conference, for sure. I need to build in some along-the-way goals soon!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

C25K Week 4 Complete!

I completed the C25K W4D3 workout on the treadmill yesterday, and had my best pace and longest distance yet, 1.76 mi. in 32:05 minutes. So I stayed on at the gym and did some dumbbells and weight machines. I've been pretty tired today, which I guess is recovery from yesterday. I'd hoped to do a light workout today, but decided to skip it.

Week 5 of this C25K program looks to be pretty challenging! Look out!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Couch to 5K W4D2 Finished

What a difference a couple of days make! Today's C25K run/walk was much easier than Tuesday's. Go figure. It was still challenging enough, as I picked up the pace a little, and logged my best average of this C25K (18:18 min/mile). I changed the "trainer's voice" on my C25K app, and I wonder if that helped! This voice is more no-nonsense, get-'er-done about the run/walk commands.

Glad to have it on the books, and glad I'm feeling better.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Couch to 5K Week 4, Day 1 Complete

I finished C25K Week 4/Day1 this morning before work, and it wasn't as bad as I thought, but it was still pretty challenging! The run intervals were longer than the walk intervals (minus warm up and cool down), which was work for me. I'm still a little tired from it, but okay to get through the workday. Of course I have class tonight! I think I'll be sleeping well again.

I've been using a different app from the initial one. This one was created by Active.com, the creator of the "original" C25K program, so it goes for the whole 9 weeks. The other app I tried was an 8-week program. Check out more information on Active.com's app here.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

C25K Week 3 Done!

Fitness Connection-North Hills
I'm happy to report that C25K Week 3 is done! I felt pretty strong today, but kept the pace low-key, still. I had a professional foot/reflexology massage last night, and that made a huge difference, I think!! I'm glad that Relax Foot Spa is near my home, as I'm sure I'll go back!

I returned to Fitness Connection at North Hills in Raleigh this morning, so that I could soak in the salt water hot tub after my run. I decided to do some upper body strength training after the run, so my arms enjoyed the hot tub soak as much as my legs!

Wheatgrass Juice with Cranberry Chaser
After my workout and soak, I decided to stop by Keva Juice, a smoothie bar next to the gym. I read about wheatgrass juice recently in the book You Are What You Eat, and I decided to try it out today. I ordered two ounces with a cranberry chaser, not knowing what to expect. When I got the plate on the left, I wondered how I was supposed to drink this stuff out of two plastic pill cups with a straight face without laughing! I took this picture first, then chugged the wheatgrass juice, followed by the cranberry. The wheatgrass juice tasted very "grassy," so it was nice to break up the aftertaste with the cranberry juice.

Afterward, George and I joined some other Raleigh Galloway runners who had run outside (in the rain!) this morning for lunch at Panera. It was great catching up with everyone!

Week 4 of the Couch to 5K program looks a little more serious, with more running. Look forward to seeing how I do!

Friday, March 23, 2012

W3D2 in the Books

I did my Couch to 5K run done late last night! I didn't get to the gym until about 9:00 last night! Ugh! So the run/walk was pretty tough, and my left foot started hurting me some. I'm suspecting plantar fasciitis again, though I can hardly tell why! I'm going pretty slowly, and only exercising 3 days per week, which is driving me a little nuts but I've been working hard not to overdo it!

I was late for my run because I didn't get up in time yesterday morning, and after work I attended a Happy Hour Mixer put on by the North Carolina Library Association. I'm so glad I went, because I met several nice people and got to see this cute Irish pub I've been wanting to go to. Late runs stink, though!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

C25K Week 3 Day 1 Completed

I started Week 3 of the Couch to 5K Program this morning, and I'm feeling it a bit this afternoon. I'm a little tired, and my legs are a little creaky (especially feet and ankles). I think I'll take an Epsom salt bath tonight after class!

Meanwhile, I'm back to packing my lunch for work, except that one of my colleagues is leaving for Salem, Oregon, so I'm part of a couple of send-off lunch groups this week. Still, trying to eat better again!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Un-Race Report: 2012 Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon

Ivy, George, Esther, & Teri
George and I went to Cary this afternoon to see one of our friends from the Raleigh Galloway Training Program finish his 100th marathon! It was great to witness this accomplishment, and we saw many other friends there, runners and volunteers alike. I'd signed up for the Tobacco Road Half Marathon, but two weeks into the Couch to 5K program, I definitely wasn't ready to tackle this. Still, it was fun to be there--and very inspirational, of course! I hope I can take part in this race in 2013!

Here are the rest of my photos from the finish line and post-race celebration.

C25K Week #2 Complete!

I finished Week #2 of the Couch-to-5K program at the gym yesterday! I decided to go to the Fitness Connection at North Hills in Raleigh, since they have a salt water hot tub (nice incentive to finish!). I used a different C25K app yesterday, this one from Active.com. Not sure which I like better; time will tell.

After the run, I felt like I had more in me, but last night I was feeling the run just a little. This morning, the day after, I'm feeling a little tired still. It's a good tired, though. My legs feel a little heavy, but not enough to keep me home. I keep debating about whether or not I should crosstrain on non-running days. I want to continue and increase the calorie burn, but I also want to get back into running races without coming in last place. To do that, I need to stay off the injured list, which means I need to give my body time to recover! I haven't had any trouble with my feet over the past two weeks: no toe pain, no heel spur pain. There's a lot to be said for that!!

C25K Week 3 has more running, of course. Can't wait to see how that goes! Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

C25K W2D2 Finished

I did C25K W2D2 this morning, after a false start back on W1D1! Without my reading glasses on, I missed that the app had reset itself back to the beginning at first! So, I got a little extra walking on, no harm done. :-) I went a little faster today, and it felt pretty good. I'm a little more tired now, the good kind of tired that comes after a decent workout. It feels like I pushed myself just enough. I can make it through the workday just fine, but I already know I'll sleep well tonight! :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

C25K W2D1 Complete

I finished W2D1 today with a new-to-me C25K app by Zen Labs. Enjoyed the app, which gave me voice commands to run 90 seconds and walk 120 seconds, and played my own music in between commands. I went a little slower than normal (ha!) today, since the running intervals were longer, plus I didn't sleep well last night. I have some extra energy left in me now, so I probably could've gone a little faster. :-)

Ran/walked 1.60 miles in 31:07 min.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Race Report: 2012 Run for the Oaks

Lesley, Nancy, and Karen (part of the corporate team competition)
I completed C25K W1D3 with a 5K! I did the Run for the Oaks 5K in Raleigh, NC, and also competed in the corporate team challenge with a couple of Duke employees. I'd paid for the 5K a while back, but hadn't gotten motivated back then, so I decided to participate for the team (minimum of three) but walk most of this race to prevent injury.

Early on in the race, a policeman pulled up me and gave me course directions, urging me to the sidewalk. Thank goodness the print was big enough for me to see without my reading glasses, which I don't run with. For a chunk of the race, I was able to see the people in front of me, but at one point in the race, there were a number of neighborhood street turns. I missed one turn and overshot by a block. Another walker slightly behind me and I asked a man walking his dog, and got back on track. *sigh*

A little more than halfway through, I decided to start run/walk intervals of 30/120 seconds. There were times when I ran a little more. This wasn't my normal 60/90 run/walk for the C25K, but  the distance was longer than I'm accustomed to lately, so I took it easy with the intervals until the last push when the finish line was in sight.

When I got near the finish line, I couldn't see the clock, but I kept running anyway and finished. When they announced the corporate team standings, our team wasn't called, as I expected us to be, so I went back to the finish area, and found Jim, the man who owns the timing company that did the race. I asked about my time, and learned that the official timing had indeed stopped before I finished (a first for me!). He asked if I had a watch time; thank goodness I had my Garmin Forerunner on! It had recorded almost 3.3 miles (thanks to getting lost earlier in the raced), but I didn't mind at that point, as long as our team got credit! I showed Jim my Garmin time (which he wrote on his hand!). A few minutes later, he motioned Karen and me (Nancy had already left) to follow him, and he gave us the 2nd place team plaque! Yay! Okay, there were only two teams entered in the open women's division, but it's still fun getting the bling!

So, I finished 3.23 miles in 1:04:20 yesterday, last by a long shot. Having to find my own way on the course was a little stressful, but I had a lot of fun otherwise. I'm happy to have a beginning time in an official 5K race, as I begin running again. It's great motivation, really. I'm already looking at 5Ks down the road.

I took my new iPhone 4S with me, and loaded some new songs beforehand to help me through this race and training in the months ahead. I took some photos with the phone before and after the race, and they turned out pretty well! One thing I like about taking photos with the iPhone is the ease of adding them to Facebook and Flickr!

After the race, I decided to stop at Big Ed's for brunch, where I had a veggie omelet with grits. Yum!

To see all four of my photos from the 2012 Run for the Oaks, click here.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

W1D2 Complete

I completed Week 1 Day 2 of the Coach to 5K Program yesterday, and it wiped me out! I figured out why W1D1 was so easy for me, too. I did 30 sec/90 sec run/walk intervals instead of 60/90 on Day 1! So yesterday I did the assigned 60/90 run/walk intervals for the W1D2 workout. I finished the run/walk okay, but felt pretty tired afterward. The tiredness spread throughout the day, and I crashed and burned last night. I'm still a little tired this morning. I can tell that my fitness level needs big time work, and taking off the pounds will help a lot too.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Started Couch to 5K Program Today!

I completed Week 1, Day 1 of the Couch to 5K program this afternoon, and I'm feeling pretty good! It wasn't too hard, especially considering it's the longest I've spent on the treadmill in a while. The time went by pretty quickly, actually. One thing that helped was that I wore a new pair of running shoes today, birthday present shoes from my sister. I'd been waiting for some good reason, like more commitment to running, to pull them out. Ahhh, nothing like new running shoes! :-)

Anyway, I'm already looking forward to W1D2, which will be in another 2-3 days. My third run/walk of the week will be the Run for the Oaks 5K on Saturday. I'll do my assigned run/walk for the C25K program, then probably walk the rest of the way. It's all good! I'll have to pick another 5K in May to see my improvement! :-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Running...Just a Little

For the second week in a row, I've added a little bit of running to my walking workout on the treadmill. Nothing long or fast, but just a nudge. No foot issues or other injuries to report so far, so I plan to keep at it, and see if I can build back up. Hoping to shake out the cobwebs in the weeks ahead!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Long Elliptical Workout

I hit the gym this morning, and ended up doing 60 minutes on the elliptical machine, for 4.54 miles. I hadn't planned on staying on it for that long, but I got into the zone, I guess. I needed an endurance workout like that, so I'm glad I stuck it out. I can feel it tonight, though, as I'm more tired than usual. (It's also been a busy week, though.)

I've been working on making better food choices, dumping meat and dairy best I can. I think I need to work on portion control now, as my weight has plateaued. Meanwhile, I've been giving a lot of thought to the differences between vegan and paleo diets, and how each camp has such strong supporters and advocates. Can they both be right?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

5K Registration and Progress

This morning I registered from my first 5K of 2012! I'll be run/walking the Run for the Oaks in Raleigh, NC. I'm excited about having this accomplishable goal. Although I've registered for a couple of spring half marathons, they seem a little out of reach right now. But a 5K?! Ahhhhh! I'm smiling as I type! I've run this race before, and it's a good one. The weather's usually pretty good, and it's a well-run race. A couple of years ago, I organized a team from work for the corporate team competition that coincides with this race, and we came in 3rd place in the open women's division! That was pretty darn neat! We got a plaque at the post-race awards ceremony, even! (Okay, so there were only three women's teams entered, but it was still fun!) It gets better. There's a series of spring and summer races with this corporate team event, and we ended up taking 3rd place for the whole series, along with another plaque AND a $35 check to split between us! All this happened because we showed up and had fun. So yep, we're working on doing this again!
In other news, the Get Moving Challenge at work is going well, best I can tell. Several of us have started taking walk breaks together at work, and that's been fun! My plantar fasciitis is acting up now, though, so I need to be more consistent about treating it at home.

I'm still on the Engine 2 28-Day Challenge, and have gone 2.5 days without cheese! Wow! I've lost 2.6 pounds since Monday, so that should tell me something.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A New Week

I'm turning over a new leaf today! I'm starting on a new "way of eating" today, and I've already been to the gym this morning. Okay, I might be feeling a little smug!

There are a couple of things at work here. The Whole Foods Market near work has started an Engine 2 23-Day Challenge, which starts today. Also, the 10-week "Get Moving Challenge" starts at work TODAY, and I'm the team captain of the Bookworms again!

So, last night I shopped at two different grocery stores, trying to find all the ingredients for a couple of vegan recipes. (The "Engine 2 Diet" is a "plant-strong" diet.) I still didn't find everything, so I'm going to have to hit Whole Foods after work. I bet they have everything on my initial list, but I was hoping to go a little more cheaply. Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite things to do, so I'm hoping it gets easier with practice to buy healthier foods. Convenience has gotten the best of me, and I need to reverse the effects, despite being busy with work and graduate school!!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Engine 2 Diet: Who's Tried It?

It's that time of year again. Duke's employee wellness program is promoting another "Get Moving Challenge," starting on January 23. Employees across campus can sign up and join teams, tracking weight loss, exercise minutes, and/or walking steps for 10 weeks, ending April 1. Once we start recording in those three categories, we can see how we fare against other teams, so there's a bit of the competition element going on, too. Our team is called the Bookworms, because we work for the campus library system. :-)

Meanwhile, our local Whole Foods Market is starting a Engine 2 Twenty-Eight-Day Challenge, and it happens to start-guess when-on January 23! You have to register by January 15, and I'm thinking about it. It's a vegan diet, which can be a challenge, but I've done it before, so I'm pretty intrigued by the thought of trying it again. 28 days. Hmmm. Apparently this 28-day challenge is something promoted on the Engine 2 Diet website, and they've (smartly) teamed up with Whole Foods.

So, I've bought the Engine 2 Diet book by Rip Esselstyn, and it's the first Kindle version of a book that I've purchased, which adds to the fun. (I received an iPad 2 for Christmas from my awesome sister, Lisa, and the Kindle app on the iPad makes me feel like I'm reading on a Kindle!) I've also been exploring the website, as well as YouTube, which has a number of videos about the Engine 2 Diet. In fact, I watched one this evening, done by the author of the book, where he discusses "Prep Week." Much of Prep Week involves cleaning out the pantry and refrigerator of bad foods. He also suggests, in the video, a kitchen gadget he calls the Microplaner, which is actually a Microplane zester/grater. I looked it up on Amazon, and was about to order one, when I decided to check our kitchen drawers. Lo and behold, I found one! It's in great shape, too. :-) While I was going through the drawers, I decided to go ahead and toss some stuff and get them more organized. It's a start.

Here's the "Prep Week" video (click on the blue hyperlink to view), which has motivated me to start organizing the kitchen. (Hey, that's worth it, right?!) Meanwhile, I'm hoping the contest at work, and maybe this Engine 2 Challenge, will help with the winter-time (cold+dark early) motivation to eat right and exercise through the weeks ahead. My plans to run or walk the Tobacco Road Half Marathon are in jeopardy. Here's to a jumpstart!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Third Workout in a Row

It's back to work for me tomorrow, so I hit the gym again today, my third workout in a row. To be honest, I wasn't really into it today. I stuck it out for 25 minutes on the recumbent bike, coaxing myself through 5-minute segments. Then I did some hammer curls, bicep curls, and shoulder presses with 5-lb dumbbells. Still bleh. Now that I'm home, I'm glad I did it. But I'm not used to three days of exercise in a row, and I felt it in the workout. Maybe I just need to shake things up a little bit. And maybe I need some rest.

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