Monday, April 29, 2013

Paleo Faileo.

In the middle of March, per recommendation of my Dr. for some weird healthy issues I was experiencing, I embarked upon a 30 day trial of the Paleo eating method. I made it 24 days before I caved cheated fell of the wagon. I hopped back on for the remaining days, so I made my full 30 days, just not consecutively. 

Here are a couple things I learned; the good, the bad & the ugly, and what I plan to eat now that the experiment is over.

1. I do eat pretty clean.
Starting a new challenge or making a switch in your diet or exercise can be discouraging. It can be overwhelming to feel like you are starting at Square 1 and have SO far to go. You feel sore, you have cravings, etc..., and instead of feeling good about yourself; you're cast into the throes of feelings like you'll never get where you want to get physically. Switching to Paleo seemed pretty intimidating, but I was surprised to see how clean I already eat. It was encouraging to see that the list of foods I was eliminating from my diet was pretty short. 

2.  I don't like candy until I know I can't eat candy.
I've never been one to be tempted to eat candy. I can count the candy bars I eat in a year on one hand, with fingers to spare, and they were eaten atop froyo. For some reason as soon as they got crossed off as 'off-limits' foods- suddenly every morsel of candy I saw was a wicked temptation, except for Peanut Butter Cups- hate 'em and will always hate 'em. 

3. I graze. 
While the food I eat is healthy, I find that actually cooking a legitimate meal happens frighteningly irregularly. Because my schedule is weird, I don't eat at normal meal times and when I do eat, I keep my portions ultra-tiny. A 3 meal/3 snack ratio of healthy, balanced foods is excellent for your body. My ratio would probably be better classified as 8 or 9 snacks broken up throughout the day. I could blame it on my schedule, but it's honestly more of a laziness issue. I definitely need to prioritize prep-time to cook actual meals. 

4. Telling myself NO is hard.
Pushing myself in a workout has never been a challenge for me. I can keep going, push till I puke and keep trying just that little bit harder. But telling myself 'no' is extremely difficult. I like to be my own boss, and it's not easy to follow rules- even rules that I've imposed over myself. Telling myself no was not fun, and I didn't respond very well. 

The Paleo method was a good experience, and I did appreciate the new things it taught me about me and food- even though some of them weren't the easiest lessons to learn. While it didn't change or help any of my health issues, it was a good place to start and we can build from there. 
The basic concept behind Paleo-- to eat unprocessed, all natural, whole foods is something that I have and will continue to prioritize. Our bodies need nutrients and vitamins. You can try and be as healthy as possible, but it starts with your fuel. If you don't use good fuel, you've lost before you've even begun. 

I didn't feel particularly energetic while observing the Paleo rules, but I will be keeping some of them. Reintroducing wheat and other grains didn't go over very well so I will continue to omit grains- wheat especially, from my diet. I am bringing back greek yogurt, homemade kefir and small quantities of cheese. 

Do you have a hard time telling yourself NO?

Have you ever tried Paleo?

What's your favorite 'quick' and 'easy' yet totally healthy meal??

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pedal Time.

Go home weather, you are drunk.

Yesterday morning I was backing out of my garage at 5:30 am to head to the gym and I came face to face with an abundance of white stuff. Yeah, it was not only snowing- it was accumulating. I love me some snow, but on April 23rd; it was enough to make me cry.
Today started out a very chilly 27 degrees, but it was almost 60 when I left work at 5. The only thing I wanted to do was r-u-n, but that's not on the menu right now. I used to think the worst thing in the world was a bad run, but I was so, so, SO wrong. The worst thing in the world is WANTING to run and not being able to.
As I left work, I was full of happy plans to get in some quality time with my bike for my workout when I got home. By the time I got home, my motivation was 100% gone.  I was having a pity-party because I couldn't go running and all I wanted to do was curl up and be as unproductive as humanly possible and hibernate from my problems. I finally told myself that I could just go out and bike about a mile- not even break a sweat. I knew the mental challenge was just to get started. Once I was out and on the bike, it was go time. The hard part was getting out the door.

I'm probably the only person who wears a stocking hat in April, but it's not nearly as impressive as the kangaroo pouch I'm rocking there. It might just be a simple 10 mile bike ride but there are some things you just NEED - like extra ear-phones, gloves, house-keys, maybe a stuffed animal to keep you company and whatever else fits. Hey, what are hoodies for?? 

It was a really beautiful night to be outside. It was windy and chilly, but I'm just glad that you can start to feel just that faint touch of spring in the air.
I have found another thing that I'm not good at, and it's biking. I have two speeds on the bike- freakishly fast and turtle slow. I am gear-incompetent. No matter how much I try to pay attention, I always end up either coasting or pedaling like my lungs are about to explode. I can't find that happy medium where you just pedal and stay on a fairly even pace. What am I doing wrong??

I'm not sure which is worse; trying to pedal uphill into a head-wind with a slightly deflated rear tire, or listening to back-to-back Miley Cyrus screeching songs. Meh- it's a definite toss up. I stream Pandora on my phone when I run or bike and usually I get good tunes but tonight's mix wasn't particularly stellar. 

I didn't realize that rain was in the forecast, but about 12 seconds after I parked in the garage, it started pelting rain-bombs. Yay for staying warm and dry!!

Do you like cycling?

What kind of bicycle do you have?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stress and Fracture in the Same Sentence.

Since I finished the marathon on Saturday, I've been flipping between two thoughts mentally.
1. I'm a marathoner- jump for joy.
2. I might be injured- I can't jump for joy.

Deep Breath. No cussing or crying or chocolate therapy.
 Let's be rational. 

Mile 21 of my marathon ushered in something I've never felt before-- pain in my left shin. In exercise, there are "good pains" and "bad pains". This was a bad one. It started out as a dull ache, and grew stronger and stronger. By the end of the marathon, my left shin was saying some pretty dark things to me. The pain was isolated to a small fist-sized section of my left outer-shin about 4 inches above my ankle. 

The below picture was taken Sunday afternoon- you can see slight redness and swelling where I've had the pain. It never got dark or looked bruised, but you could see some swelling for the 24 hours following the marathon.
Each day since the marathon, the soreness has decreased, but it still hurts. The pain isn't severe at this point- but it's still pain. Pain is not a good sign. 

I've been reading up on the internet, and there's a possibly that it's a lingering shin splint. According to what I've read; if it's just an aggravated, Goliath-sized shin splint, I should expect the pain to cease completely with 5-7 days. If the pain doesn't go away within a week........I'm afraid I may be looking at a stress fracture. 

According to Wikipedia; 

 A stress fracture is one type of incomplete fracture in bones. It is caused by "unusual or repeated stress" and also heavy continuous weight on the ankle or leg.[1] This is in contrast to other types of fractures, which are usually characterized by a solitary, severe impact.
It could be described as a very small sliver or crack in the bone;[2] this is why it is sometimes dubbed "hairline fracture". It typically occurs in weight-bearing bones, such as the tibia (bone of the lower leg), metatarsals (bones of the foot), and less commonly, the femur.
It is a common sports injury, and most cases are associated with athletics.[3]

Nothing strikes fear in a runner's heart more than the words stress and fracture in immediate sequence. Wikipedia goes on to enlighten us that if indeed diagnosed with a stress fracture, one must expect a minimum of 4-6 weeks of absolutely NO running, with the potential for complete healing to take up to 6-8 months (read- a lifetime and a half). 
I've  been blessed with pain-free, injury-free running for 15 months now, and it is a gift that I have not taken for granted  I have intentionally invested a lot of time and energy into injury prevention, but I'm not always the smartest tool in the shed. My marathon was a distance PR of 12 miles, run exclusively on pavement (a lot of my training runs were run on gravel/dirt and the treadmill) and on hills. There are enough ingredients there to be a recipe for an injury, despite my best efforts. 
Right now, it's a waiting-no-running game. I won't be running until I'm pain-free, and I'm praying that's sooner rather than later. It's only been 4 days, but I miss running terribly. 

Have you ever been injured?
Any stress-fracture survivors have insight to share?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Post-Marathon Rambles.

Just a couple of random thoughts swirling through my head about my first marathon!! I can't share all of the things I think about this marathon with you, because ain't nobody got time for that! Instead I just compiled a few of my most note-worthy notes. 

1. No music.
I ran the entire marathon without a note of music. Okay, that's not true; I busted out some Maroon 5 during Mile 17, but that doesn't count. Since I never run without music, this really, really surprised me! However, I remember so much from the marathon that I probably would have missed if I was jamming it out, so I'm not sorry it panned out to be a silent run. Mostly I'm just glad that I didn't drop my earphones that I was carrying in my hands the entire time. Even if you never run without music, try racing without it, it's totally cool.

2. Finish line.
 I may be the only person in the world who would ever consider running a marathon without someone waiting at the finish line, but if you are like me-- listen up. Have someone at the finish line. My marathon experience was amazing and I wouldn't change it at all- everything about it- the good, the bad and the ugly, it all was worth it. But, that said- it's not cool to finish and be alone. Bring a pal, bribe a stranger or throw your arms around a random race volunteer and pretend you mistook them for a family member- but have someone there to celebrate with you!! 

3. That great big wall.
Oh- 'the wall'. You hear runners talk about it in a variety of distances, but especially in the marathon distance. That wall when you just can't mentally go on, and that translates into physically stopping and wanting to quit. The marathon was tough, but I never hit that wall. I got tired in Mile 21, and Mile 24-26 were tough physically, but I never doubted that I could go on. 

4. Other runners.
I love the running community. There were several times during the race that I would be running on pace with someone and we'd strike up a conversation. That is one of the things that I love most about races- the other amazing athletes that you meet and learn from!! 

5. Peanut Butter Toast.
Paleo-schmaleo--- I don't care if wheat is bad for you, there is no better pre-race breakfast than pb toast. True story. I'm pretty sure the only thing that kept me from a sub-5 hour marathon was not having pb toast in my system- I kid you not. Nothing else cuts it. If you're preparing for a race- keep this in mind. PB toast is where it's at. 

6. 26.2 - ever again?
I think most marathoners fall into two different categories. 1. You finish, cross "26.2" off your bucket-list and   have zero desire to ever do such a ridiculous thing again. 2. You finish and immediately start planning for your next 26.2 race- when, where and what to wear- you are hooked for life.
I'd have to say- I'm on the fence. I loved it, but I'm not raring to go again anytime in the near future. But, I'm the most indecisive person that ever walked the planet, so don't quote me on that. If a race-registration notification pops up in one of my posts later this year, don't be too terribly shocked. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Marathon in the Land of Oz Recap.

April 20th, 2013- Marathon in the Land of Oz.

I have read a million and half articles and blog posts titled "before you run your first marathon" but not one of them prepared me for the fireworks going off in my stomach! I was so nervous and excited!! It was pretty crazy stuff!! I want to give a huge shout-out to my blogging/running friend-- Katie!! She ran (and totally dominated!) her first marathon on Saturday as well, so we texted our night-before-the-big-26.2 jitters to each other. It was such a huge blessing to have her support and encouragement! Thanks girl!

Packet Pick-up was Friday night, and the expo was open until 8pm. I didn't get to there until nearly 7:30, so it was starting to wind down for the night. Because it was late, there was no line and I was in and out in less than 4 minutes. My race # was 420 which I thought was super cool because it was the same as the date I was running.

Walking by the finish line was almost eerie. In just a few hours I would be crossing that finish line!

 My pre-race supper was steak with sweet potato fries. My go-to pre-race meal is pancakes, but I'm not eating wheat right now so I had to deviate. I was so nervous I didn't feel like eating whatsoever, but I knew I would suffer the next day if I wasn't properly fueled.

My wonderful friends in KC let me crash at their house for the night, so I got settled in and got all my gear laid out for the next day. I brought throw-away clothes because it was only supposed to be about 27 degrees at the start.
I never sleep well the night before a race, but when I fell asleep at 10, I didn't wake up until my alarm went off at 5am! Having a good night's sleep under my belt was so, so helpful!!

On the way to the race I had my breakfast- a Cliff bar and an extremely ripe (read- BROWN!) banana. I was really nervous and it did not sit on my stomach very well. I got to the start about 10 minutes before 6 and it was chilly. I parked and sat in my vehicle instead of waiting out in the cold. Mentally prepping and praying and watching other runners arrive!

At 6:30 I started moseying over towards the start area, and went to use the portapotties. There were no lines at that point so I didn't have to wait at all, but when I came out- there were some pretty long lines forming. I just barely missed getting stuck in a line!

The Tin man and some homeless weirdo.

A couple of weeks ago I found out that Lauren from The Unlikely Runners was going to be running the marathon! We decided to meet up and run together. I was so excited to meet her! We met up and took a few pictures while waiting for the time to pass before the start. Lauren was super nice and so calm, she helped calm down my jitters!

At the start we lined up with the 5 hour pace group. They had a moment of silence for Boston and I started to tear up a little bit. I prayed and thanked the Lord for this amazing experience and for everything that had brought me to the marathon.
The weather was basically perfect and there was very little wind. It was cold, but I knew once we started running I would warm up.
After the start we started moving forward and got on pace pretty quickly. There were no corrals, but it didn't seem to be congested. (Note- if you are a competitive runner, it might be a totally different story!!)
As we stood waiting at the start, I was a complete emotional wreck. My stomach felt off, I was nervous and I was having a really difficult time dealing with my nerves. As soon as we started running, something in me switched over and suddenly- everything became clear and calm. I was running- and it was good. It was like my body said, "I'm here to run, and I'm good at it, so just take a chill pill."

Miles 1-3 I felt really good and it was so tempting to gun it and just take off at whatever speed felt right. Lauren did an awesome job holding us on pace. I was SO grateful to have her there, because otherwise I would have gone out far too fast. She runs a very smart race!
At Mile 3 the half  split off from the full. No turning back now-- we've got 23 more miles!

We were running on streets, through a few neighborhoods and some businesses. There were a lot of people out working the course and a fair amount of spectators. A lot of people in bathrobes and slippers.
The course was advertised as a 'flat and fast' course, but the first 10 miles were loaded with hills. Nothing too terribly steep, but there were some pretty significant inclines. I did a lot of training on hills, but I wasn't really prepared to race hills.

It was still pretty chilly and we were starting to pick up a fair breeze. I had expected to shed my sweater by then, but I wasn't ready to part with it so instead I just kept running looking like a homeless person. I dropped my hat and gloves at Mile 4.

Despite the hills, the first 10 miles really flew by fast. I was feeling really good, and it was great to chat with Lauren. The 5 hour pacing group was running a run/walk method, so they kept passing us, only to fall back behind us. Every time they would pass us, it would get in my head that I was running too slowly and it was hard to fight the urge to speed up. I really had to work to not let the pace group mess up my mental strength.

At Mile 8 I got some Gatorade from the aid station and took my first GU chomps.
I was still feeling pretty good, but those hills were getting rather old.

I didn't have a watch or timer on this race, so I have no idea what my splits were. We hit the 13 mile mark right around 2:30. We had cleared out of the hills, which was a huge relief!! At mile 13, Lauren needed a quick walk break, so I kept on ahead.

Miles 15-20 I was still feeling really good, but I kept my pace moderate. I knew that I still had a lot of miles ahead. My mind kept trying to jump ahead and say "okay, now how many miles left", but I knew that would be mentally defeating, so instead I focused on how many miles I had already run.

Prior to race day, I decided to dedicate a mile of my marathon to each family member because I currently have 26 immediate family members. I started Mile 1 with my youngest niece and worked my way up through my family in age order. During the mile I would pray for that family member, and remember all the good, bad and crazy memories I had with them. I really loved this, because it helped me feel like I was not running alone, but that they were with me and cheering me on. I loved dedicating the miles to my family, but I'll have to admit- it did make me pretty emotional!

At Mile 16 we switched to paved trails for 3 miles that we would loop back and then return to roads at Mile 22. The trails were pretty, and I really enjoyed the scenery, even though there were a couple little hills thrown in there.
At Mile 17 I started taking a water or a Gatorade at every aid station. I would one GU chomp every mile, because they sit better on my stomach individually rather than in the regular serving size. I don't normally drink any water when I run, but I was thirsty and really wanted to avoid dehydration issues. I definitely didn't feel awesome after drinking the water or Gatorade, but I knew I needed it.

At Mile 19 I finally threw off my sweater. I had intended to throw it away, but when I finally did; I kinda wanted to keep it. I did the majority of my training runs last winter in it, so it held some sentimental value to me.

At Mile 20, I started getting really emotional. I had not stopped running at all at that point, and I was at a distance PR because my longest training run was 16 miles. I was still feeling okay, but I was getting a bit tired. The 5 hour pace group had been behind me since Mile 12, but they had gained on me again and we had begun to play leap-frog again. They started getting in my head mentally again. It was a stupid little thing, but it was really annoying me.

At Mile 21, Lauren caught up with me!! It was good to see a familiar face! We ran a little bit more together. We were still in the trails and the little hills were starting to really bother my left shin. It started to hurt, manageably at first, but the pain started growing!!

Mile 22- 24 were tough. I was slowing down, the pain in my leg was startin to intensify and I was mentally struggling to stay focused. The pacer was pretty chatty and she was giving everyone updates on how much time they had banked, how many seconds they were ahead of pace etc.....she was doing a great job pacing, but I was not interested!! As we left the trails and got back on the road, the 5 hour pace group started to pull away from me, and I knew it was probably for good. I knew my goal time of a sub-5 hour was slipping away with them,  and it made me want to cry.
At mile 24 I needed a walk break so I told Lauren to go get her sub-5 and I would see her at the finish!!
Mile 24 through 26 were very tough. I was so close, and mentally still strong, but my leg was talking to me. As I ran, I could not stop crying! It's very hard to run and cry at the same time! During Mile 24, two super nice gentleman and I were running on pace together and they very nicely asked if I was okay. I told them I was fine, and that I was crying because I wasn't going to finish in under 5 hours. When I told them it was my first marathon, the one guy told me "don't you dare keep crying or I will break both of your legs off!! You aren't allowed to set a goal time for your first marathon- you just finish!! Don't beat yourself up!!" He was so sweet and encouraging. He had run 33 marathons and was helping pace his friend through his first. They helped push me on through to mile 25.
I was taking frequent walk break throughout mile 24, but once I got to Mile 25, I was ready to finish and started running strong again. I was still in pain, but I was getting so excited- I was going to finish my first marathon!! The very thought made me cry. The last 2 miles were also dedicated to my parents, which made me even more emotional.
At Mile 26, you could see the finish line and hear the spectators. I have NEVER been a sprint to the finish runner, but I totally sprinted up to the finish line!! I was SO excited! I was smiling and crying at the same time!!
Post- race happy face!
After the race, I got my medal and stood for a few minutes trying to regain my composure. They were giving medals to some Boston Marathoners at the finish, and it was an incredible moment. It was very surreal thinking that I had just run 26.2 miles-- I was a marathoner!!
None of my family was able to be there at the finish, but they were all there with me in my heart. My phone started vibrating like crazy with encouragement and congratulations.
I met up with Lauren again, we took some pictures and got our results and finisher shirts.
Finishing a race- regardless of the distance, is an amazing experience!
 Lauren- it was so great to meet you and race with you! You're amazing!!

I have a few other thoughts that I want to share about running a marathon, but I'll save them for another post.
 Official Finish Time: 5:06:23
587/685 runners.
219/317 females.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


The last few days have been incredibly emotional for me. It's amazing how complex and crazy life can be one moment, and yet quiet and still the very next moment!! 
I cannot wait to share all about my marathon experience (spoiler alert- I finished!!) with you, but for tonight; my heart is just a little bit too full. 

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." 
-- Melody Beattie

Tonight, no matter what is going on in my life; I'm choosing gratitude. Please allow me to share just a few of the things that I am thanking God for tonight.

My identity in Christ. In Christ- I am whole. I am complete. I am enough. Because of Jesus' work on the cross, this life has purpose.

My family. I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many precious and amazing people who love and support me no matter what. These relationships are the most important thing in my life and I am so grateful to be part of my HUGE, crazy, loud, loving family!!

Running. Such an amazing gift- it has taught me so much in life.

Second Chances. Everyday is a new day. Night ends and the sun comes up. Each day is a change to become who we were created to be, to flourish.

Laughter. The ability to appreciate the crazy little things in life.

Friends. I am blessed to have some amazing women in my life who have made my life so much richer by their friendship. They pray for me, encourage me, get coffee with me, try crazy projects with me and love me for me.

Where I've Come From. The Elizabeth today is not the same one who once was. I have changed- not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. I am a work in progress. I am grateful for who I once was, and the choice I made to change into the person I am today.

Where I am going. Change is tough, and it takes courage. But I know that flourishing as the woman God made me to be means embracing who I am today and choosing to work for who I can be tomorrow. I'm a work in progress. The best is yet to come.

Do you choose gratitude?
What are you thankful for today?

Friday, April 19, 2013

The day before 26.2.

With God's help we will do mighty things. 
Psalms 60:12

24 hours from now I will be toeing the line of my first ever marathon. 


I have never been more excited or nervous in my life! The last 16 weeks have been a complete roller-coaster  in my running world. Thanks to an abundance of health issues, my training didn't just get side-tracked- it got de-railed, week after week. Of my 16 week training plan, I  accomplished the goal mileage only 6 of those weeks. I feel wildly unprepared and haphazardly trained. 'Marathon training' has almost a bitter taste in my mouth; for to me it represents dozens of skipped runs, long runs slashed into short jogs and the most illogical approach to cross-training that has ever existed.
But training isn't what will get me across that finish line tomorrow. 

Running this marathon is not just a goal for me- it's a dream. As a perfectionist deathly afraid of failure, I stopped dreaming many years ago. It was simply too risky. If the percentage of failure of a particular dream was too high, I learned to neatly re-arrange what I wanted to no longer include it.
This marathon is a dream. I could fail. 26.2 is a long freakin' way.
Every day that my carefully calculated training- my safeguard from failure - fell apart ---- the real recipe for success grew; my determination to succeed. I believe that I can- and that's what is going to get me to the race. 
But I can already taste the victory of crossing that finish line. 

(NOT) training for this marathon has taught me so many life lessons, and I know that I will encounter even more tomorrow when the rubber meets the road and I get to sweat it out. 
Sometimes we face life confident, poised and assured. 
Sometimes we face life disheveled, disoriented and discouraged. 
Sometimes in life we have the opportunity to see and prepare for obstacles.
 Sometimes they hit us out of the blue. 
 We keep going. We persevere. We don't quit.
We learn to dream again. 

Ready- set - GO!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Easy Running

Core & Abs.
5 miles, easy pace.

This morning the weather was so perfect, I wanted to eat it. But if I did that then all of you would not be able to enjoy it and I decided that would be selfish, so I ate normal food instead. But seriously- spring is wonderful. I'm not even mad that it took 3 extra weeks to get here this year, I'm just glad it's finally here!!

My run today almost didn't happen. I didn't sleep well last night and getting up to run before work just sounded like torture, even in the perfect weather. I skipped a pre-work run, and the plan became to run after work.
I don't know if it was my speed work yesterday, but my hamstrings are sore today.
Unbelievably sore.....
I love running, but some days I just don't feel like it, motivation is nowhere to be found and it just sounds like work. When I realized I was loosing the battle in my mind, I lied to myself and told myself to "just put on my shoes and go out for a walk, just a mile or so." Once I got out in the sun and started stretching, I knew there was no way I could settle for a walk on such a perfect day for running! Success! Sometimes we have to play tricks on our minds to get cooperation!! :)   

My run looked kind of like a fairy-tale; green fields, BIG red barn, perfect gravel road.
Until I climbed this hill and spent the next 1.5 miles sliding around on the freshly graded gravel. Running on fresh gravel is about as fun as putting tights on an un-shaved leg. Just not my cup-of-tea.  
I got in 5 miles at a slow, easy pace. I took it easy because my legs were sore and heavy the whole time. 5 slow miles is better than no miles! And thankfully endorphins don't discriminate- they show up after 5 minute miles AND 20 minutes miles!
After I was done I did some extra stretching- definitely helped loosen me up!!

What do you do to make yourself run when you are feeling unmotivated?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Speed Work.

Back/Chest weight routine
3 miles speed intervals on the treadmill

This morning when I got up I had the most ungodly craving for oatmeal. I tried to ignore it and hoped it would go away before it was time for breakfast, but no such luck. I threw together a protein mug muffin and thankfully, it hit the spot. Still can't compare to oatmeal, but craving- be gone!!

1 scoop whey protein powder, 1 egg white, 1 mashed banana, 1 TBS coconut oil, cinnamon, salt, 2/3 cup blueberries- microwave 2-4 minutes. So good!!

I love this!! My mental to-do list always includes a couple of things that I really never intend to do. I know I should, but I just don't.
If we're talking speed work in running; it definitely falls into that last category. I love, love, LOVE running, but speed work makes me want to die every time. I realize that's exactly why it's so good for me, and why it will help me improve as a runner, and my over all fitness levels. I always toy with the idea "oh, maybe I'll do an interval run today", but it never, ever happens.
Occasionally I'll run a really hard run, but the thought of going out and running intervals just sounds like another name for death, torture and getting splinters.

But, I do want to improve as a runner and push myself, so yesterday I decided to set a date with my treadmill to get in some speed work. I showed up late and in a foul mood, but by the time I was done with my run, I was on cloud 9. Thank you, endorphins!

I warmed up at 3mph @ 3% incline. One I was warmed up I ran at 1% incline alternating between 5, 6 and 7mph. I was amazed at how fast the three miles sped by. Hmm....maybe there is an advantage to some speed work.  

I was a crazy sweaty mess post-run.
Do you like speed work?

How often do you incorporate speed work into your running schedule?

Do you ever make mug muffins? What's your favorite flavor combination?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Getting my Paleo On.

Yesterday I crossed the 1/2 way mark of my 30 day experiment with the Paleo eating method.
I'm amazed at how quickly the time has gone by; two weeks has zipped.
Because I already avoided processed & packaged foods and ate more vegetables than a small family of rabbits; in a lot of ways I haven't had to make that many alterations. This has definitely made the transition a bit easier. Eating out/as a guest is the tricky part, sometimes there just seems to be no appealing option.  
I'd love to say that I feel ah-mazing, but I haven't really noticed any major changes. Most of my symptoms are still persisting. But, it takes time for your body to adapt, so I'm willing to stick it out for at least the 30 days.
What I'm NOT Loving:
Missing my oatmeal. It's my first choice for breakfast, so living without it hasn't been my favorite.
Living with out greek yogurt & cheese. I relied on greek yogurt and hard cheeses for a quick/healthy protein source at least once a day, sometimes 2x. And of course, I just like the taste. :)
Watching the scale jump up 8 pounds. Ouch. While this change in my regular eating habits was not motivated by weight loss, it certainly was NOT intended to increase my weight. I'm at a bit of a loss but I'm mature enough to not freak out. (NO, that isn't true, I'M FREAKING OUT!!!) 
What I AM Loving:
Making goodies with these tasty treats. I made some great energy/protein bars to stockpile for fridge for the pinch when I don't have time to fix a meal or snack. Dates, coconut, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, almonds......good stuff ya'll.
Smoothies, smoothies and more smoothies. Sometimes you just need to get it in your belly so fast that you skip the cup and throw it down straight out of the blender. (Or maybe you are already dressed for work and you know the chances of pouring it into a cup without spilling it are 1 in 15 billion so your blender becomes a two-in-one blender and travel mug.)

Stir-fry. Chicken, Steak or Shrimp really hit the spot. Usually at the beginning of the week I will stirfry enough veggies and meat for 4 or 5 meals and store them seperately in the fridge. Quick and amazing lunch or dinner.
Reading this book^^^.
So far so fascinating, but I'm still in the first couple of chapters!!
On a completely hilarious note- I was talking to my Mom about food the other day and my 8 year old brother was sitting half-listening to our conversation. After a few minutes, he piped in- "wait, Elizabeth, are you telling me you want to be pale?? Why are you going to be pale? How do you EAT pale?" I guess he wasn't picking up on the O part of the word!
Love this boy!! :)