Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eat This, Not That for the Holidays

The holiday's will be here before you know it so I'm going to make this post weeeeellllll in advance so you can do a little research and figure out what foods you should try your best to avoid this holiday season.

Have you ever heard of the Eat This, Not That books? They're books that show you simply which foods are better for you, what to avoid and what foods are deceptive.... you might be surprised what you thought was good for you turns out to be bad...

Here's some details from Amazon. They also have a book that will help you navigate through the super market shelves. These books are handy if you're just starting out with a weight loss program and they'll help you open your eyes to some of the bad foods and restaurants out there.

However, I've noticed a pattern, the books are showing you two food choices that are already bad for you to begin with and letting you choose the bad food that happens to have less calories instead of saying DON'T EAT EITHER ONE!

The books suggest to eat this huge fatty burger over that huge fatty burger because this fatty burger has 50 less calories...

If you're really looking to change bad eating habits the books should say avoid the burger all together! The grilled chicken breast sandwich is your best option, toss the bun, pass on the cheese and mayo, skip the fries and get the baked potato (no toppings except for 1 pat of butter!) at Wendy's instead.

Or the book might suggest eat a glazed doughnut instead of the chocolate covered doughnut, when in reality if you're trying to achieve weight loss you should say no to the doughnut altogether and eat a pack of plain oat meal for breakfast instead.

Realistically though no one is ever going to eat perfect 100% of the time, so when you do crave something bad for you or you and some friends will be eating out these books will help you decide on an option on how to not totally kill your diet.

Remember one bad day of eating (or one bad meal) doesn't mean you've just completely blown everything and you should give up. The important thing to remember is that if you have a bad day, add an extra day of working out to your routine and eat healthy the next day and the day after and so on and so forth.

The problem we have with the holiday's is that we don't just eat that one big meal at Thanksgiving, there's always cookies, cakes, parties, sweet treats, Christmas dinner New Years dinner and excessive drinking... it all adds up in the long run, so now is the time to be extra vigilant and not wait for New years day to roll around and start a resolution after you've already packed on even more pounds.

Now that I've made this lengthy introduction... I found an online quiz of eat this not that for holiday food! So let's take a look! I scored 16/20 because I didn't read the descriptions completely...this one tricked me:

Mushroom Gravy v. Cranberry Sauce

Right away I clicked on the cranberry sauce as being the better option. I didn't pay attention to the fact that it said Mushroom and not a meat broth based gravy. For the holiday's this one is a bit unrealistic I think it's safe to say that most of us make our thanksgiving gravy out of the turkey drippings... So here's your nutrition information from

Compared to the cranberry's it's still better for you, but it's more calories than mushroom gravy. Measure out 1 cup for your entire plate and see how far it goes, I'm pretty sure it's more than enough for two plates actually, so half the serving means less calories.

Deli Sliced Ham 3 oz. v 1 Turkey Drumstick

The ham is LOADED with sodium, and the drum stick is high in calories and saturated fat! Your best option is to go with the turkey breast meat and stay away from the dark meat!

1 cup Mashed Potatoes v 1 cup Stuffing

OK yes I know the stuffing is higher in calories, but there is only ONE time of year I eat stuffing and that is at Thanksgiving. I'm going to have my stuffing!

So if you're like me and really looking forward to that stuffing here's some tips to help you to avoid continuing to over eat:

Cut your portion of stuffing in half

Eat slowly, savor each bite and set your fork down between bites. Eating slowly allows time for your stomach to realize its becoming full!

Wait at least 20 minutes before going for seconds... allow your stomach time to realize its full before you cram a second plate of food into it!

And now for dessert!
Apple pie with whipped topping v. apple pie a la mode

This should be a not brainer a dollop of whipped topping is a lot less calories than a scoop of ice cream...

Say no to the ice cream pass the cool whip!

So I hope you found some of these tips helpful and eye opening. Just remember thanksgiving dinner is one meal... indulge a little bit but pass on the holiday cookies thrown in your face the next week so you stay on track!

And even if you think you're going to blow it you could always resort to staring at pictures of your favorite celebs to avoid the food! If only choosing one option over another were so easy when I comes to men!

Should I stare at:
This or That?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Soccer Sunday's: You Win Some You Lose Some

Well, I haven't posted a weekly soccer update in a while. For two weeks in a row now my women's league has been rained out! It always seems to rain on Saturday's and since we play on grass fields they call the games. (Honestly I'm glad they call the games because playing on a muddy field is how I hurt my foot in the first place.) Sunday's however have been bright and clear.

So last Sunday my co-ed team played an amazing game! We won 5-0. Our forwards were on fire and our defense (where I play) was unbeatable.

This week however we lost 0-4... our worst loss of the season. So what changed in a matter of a week?

Well last week we had one sub...which went down to zero subs because one of our forwards suffered a hamstring pull, but at least for half of the game we had someone with fresh legs.

This week we had no subs and everyone had to play the entire game.

Last week all of our incredible forwards were present and gave us a solid lead which they took even further in the second half.

This week two of our forwards were out (one with a hamstring injury).

During last week's game one of our strongest forwards dropped back to play defense after we had a solid lead. Either he coaches or he's just that smart of a player but he's an awesome communicator on the field. It's good to have someone who communicates especially on defense because that way someone essentially has another set of eyes for you and warns you if someone slips in behind you. It's good for moral too and I'm the type of player who likes to have someone giving me direction especially because I did not play growing up and didn't ever have the guidance of a good coach. I felt like we played one of our best games defensively because of good communication and working well as a team.

This week communication was severely lacking on the field. I felt like our defense was a bit scattered and the other team took advantage of that. We played the team I was on last year and I knew how most of their players played (but they also knew how I played...however I have improved a lot since last season and my former captain acknowledged that at the end of the game... thank you very much!) So anyway, I pretty much knew there was no way I could out run their captain, he was too fast and he's also got a strong shot.

Having a lack of communication on defense let another guy slip by me that ran in quick and I could have been marking him instead of playing so far outside and he ended up scoring as well.

Sometimes a loss helps you realize where you need to improve and having such drastic scoring differences between these two games made me see how I think we should play going into the play offs and my teams mates agree we need a line up like we had last week. I'm crossing my fingers that with us likely having a bye week next week due to our ranking (3rd place) it will give time for our one forward to recover from his hamstring pull and everyone will make sure their calendars are clear so we have a sub or two!

I'm feeling optimistic for a good post season! (Now hopefully it won't rain next Saturday so I can see my gals again before our season ends and play on a dry field!! I can't injure myself for my Sunday team we've got some play off games to win!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Favorite Things: Spinning!

I'm sure you've probably heard the term spinning before, you already probably know what it is too. And maybe you look at the people after they come out of the class at your gym and think they're insane! But don't knock it till you try it!

Simon Pegg is about to die in his first spinning class**
Most of us look like that the first few times.

Ok, so spinning class...

what is it? Spinning could be referred to as "Indoor Biking" but essentially it's an intense cardio work out on a stationary exercise bike. Spinning bikes have knobs on them to adust the tension of your pedalling to simulate going up hills at high tension or biking on flat ground at low tension. The instructor will call out commands on when to raise and lower tension, how fast you should be pedalling and which position you should be in. There are three common positions in spinning class when you're sitting or standing:

  • Forward, with hands at the front-most part of the handlebars where the handles are parallel to the sides of the rider's body, used only when out of the saddle
  • Middle, with hands on the 12-14" part of the handlebars that crosses the rider's body
  • Rear, with hands at the center part of the handlebars
Each of these positions works the muscles in slightly different ways. Proper form for standing while pedaling requires the body to be more upright and the back of the legs touching or enveloping the point of the saddle, with the center of gravity directly over the crank. The center of gravity or pressure of body weight should never rest on the handlebars.
The three positions used in indoor cycling each work a different part of the body and it depends on the level of exertion whether or not someone changes position or the instructor can tell the class to change. Position one is when the rider in the saddle (seated) and the hands are resting on the center of the handle bars. Position two is when the rider stands up but can still feel the saddle between their legs and their hands are light on the handle bars because they are only there for balance. Position three is used for heavy climbing and the body is extended over the handles. It is important to remember to always be light on the handle bars because they are only there to help one balance and to adjust resistance accordingly when changing positions otherwise one's feet might stick in the pedals. (Source: wikipedia)

what should you expect if it's your first time?

So you're probably going to experience some discomfort after your first class. I'm not going to lie and there's no way to put this gently... the seats are not comfortable and it's probably going to feel like your back side has been violated (there are padded pants that cyclists wear that you can purchase at a bike shop or you can bring an extra cushioned bicycle seat cover to class as well).

This class will take some getting used to, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try!

Now, consider your fitness level for a moment...
Are you inactive, moderately active or very active?

If you're inactive to moderately active you're probably going to experience some soreness in your legs (and tush) after your first class.

Before I had taken my first spinning class I hadn't even started dieting yet. I thought walking/ jogging a mile on the tread mill, or occasionally doing 30 minutes on the elliptical and weekly yoga was enough. I worked out maybe twice a week (if even) and I didn't diet. No wonder I thought I was always destined to be overweight! So when I decided to get on that spinning bike for the first time my muscles weren't used to the activity at all and I experienced pain in my quadriceps for a week afterward.

The pain you experience after you exercise is usually referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This is most common for people who are just starting a work out routine... Here's an article from WebMD about sore muscles after exercise:

Sore Muscles? Don't Stop Exercising

Delayed onset muscle soreness is common after exercise and usually means your muscles are getting stronger.
Exercise physiologists refer to the gradually increasing discomfort that occurs between 24 and 48 hours after activity as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and it is perfectly normal.
"Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to," says David O. Draper, professor and director of the graduate program in sports medicine/athletic training at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
To be more specific, says Draper, who's also a member of the heat-responsive pain council, delayed onset muscle soreness occurs when the muscle is performing an eccentric or a lengthening contraction. Examples of this would be running downhill or the lengthening portion of a bicep curl.
"Small microscopic tears occur in the muscle," he says.
The mild muscle strain injury creates microscopic damage to the muscle fibers. Scientists believe this damage, coupled with the inflammation that accompanies these tears, causes the pain.
"The aches and pains should be minor," says Carol Torgan, an exercise physiologist and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, "and are simply indications that muscles are adapting to your fitness regimen."
Don't let the pain discourage you though & keep you from sticking to your new routine!!!!
...for the deconditioned person starting out, this can be intimidating. People starting an exercise program need guidance, Torgan says.
"The big problem is with people that aren't very fit and go out and try these things; they get all excited to start a new class and the instructors don't tell them that they might get sore," she says.
"To them they might feel very sore, and because they aren't familiar with it, they might worry that they've hurt themselves. Then they won't want to do it again."
Letting them know it's OK to be sore may help them work through that first few days without being discouraged.

The worst thing you can do if you have sore muscles after exercising is sit around and wait several days for them to recover! It's best to keep moving by doing a light exercise and plenty of stretching!
So what can you do to alleviate the pain?
"Exercise physiologists and athletic trainers have not yet discovered a panacea for DOMS," says Draper, "however, several remedies such as ice, rest, anti-inflammatory medication, massage, heat, and stretch have been reported as helpful in the process of recovery."
Stretching and flexibility are underrated, says Sharp.
"People don't stretch enough," he says. "Stretching helps break the cycle," which goes from soreness to muscle spasm to contraction and tightness.
Take it easy for a few days while your body adapts, says Torgan. Or try some light exercise such as walking or swimming, she suggests. Keeping the muscle in motion can also provide some relief.

So back to spinning class....

My only other concern jumping up on that spin bike for the first time was embarrassment. I weighed 275lbs. I was out of shape and none of the other people in the class looked to be. I was afraid that every eye was going to be on the only "fat chick" in the class and they were all going to be laughing at me as I fumbled my way through the work out.

But you know what I discovered...

My fears were all in my head. The instructor was incredibly supportive (and yes she did warn me before hand about the soreness I would experience). She told me to go at my own pace and that the only rule was that I wasn't allowed to walk out of the class, because then I would never want to come back. I soon felt a camaraderie with my classmates because we were all in this crazy work out together, trying to help push each other mentally over those "hills". None of them judged me for my weight.

Spinning became part of my weekly routine very quickly, and not long after I started taking it twice a week. After a couple of weeks I was having no problems keeping up with the rest of the class and following along with the instructors commands.

Now when I see someone who was my former size try spinning out for the first time the only thing I think is "You go!" and I hope I see them back in class again!

Anyone can spin! so now that i've talked about the class and what to expect. What's keeping you from giving it a try??

Your feet are strapped to the pedals. I've never seen anyone fall off a spinning bike during class.

This isn't kick boxing or jazzercise (and I ain't talking 'bout working out with jasper) you don't need to be perfectly balanced or coordinated, just willing to work hard.

Like I said before soreness and some pain is bound to happen but it is only temporary, and after a couple classes you'll get right into the swing of things and you'll experience probably one of the most intense cardio work outs you've ever had!

There's no way to accurately gauge how many calories you burn in an hour long class, it varies from person to person. If you wear a heart rate monitor with a calorie tracker it would be the most accurate way to tell, but spinning is guaranteed to get your heart rate up and make you sweat like crazy!!

Plus because you've worked so hard during class you always have a huge sense of accomplishment after!!

**Go rent Run, Fat Boy Run! It's about a slacker who finds the motivation to train for a marathon so that he can prove to his sons mother that he can commit to something and win her back. It's super super cute funny heartwarming and motivational and Simon Pegg is awesome!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Craving Some Take Out?

So are you craving your favorite take out/ restaurant but you're afraid of breaking your diet?

Don't worry there's still ways to eat your favorite foods and not completely destroy your diet. We all face those cravings! Trust me I know, in my case they never went away. I learned not to give into a lot of my cravings, but sometimes I just indulge. The trick is moderation and making the right choices! There's no way I could have been successful with my weight loss if I ate burritos, pizza, Indian food and Chinese every other day....every other week or maybe once a month is OK though!

Even if you do fall into that trap of eating your favorite bad-for-you foods one or two nights a week, jump back on the healthy wagon and make sure you exercise and eat right for the rest of the week!

Just to prove that I'm not some patty perfect and trying to rub unrealistic eating habits in your face... I'll admit I had Indian food, a burrito and Chinese food last week! Yikes!! I'm human after all and there's so much delicious food out there! This is definitely NOT the norm for me, but when the weather gets cold I tend to turn to warm filling comfort foods. Needless to say the scale didn't go down this week (and hasn't been for a while because boot camp has had me toning a lot of muscle which weighs more than fat).

But my clothes are still losey goosey on me and I kept exercising and made sure I ate better meals the rest of the week and the rest of those days. I make sure the bad does not outweigh the good when it comes to my eating habits.

As if they were clued in to my bad eating habits, sent me an email this morning about one of my cravings, Chinese food! So it made me think up this post. And also reminded me how to make sure I don't fall into the comfort food trap!

Sometimes WE ALL need reminders of good eating habits to make sure we keep ourselves in check!

So are you craving Chinese like I did??

Here's an email from Spark People about which Chinese food you should order and which ones to avoid. I think when you read the calorie totals you might be a little shocked!

Which Chinese takeout dinner is healthier?
Lemon Chicken v. Chicken Chop Suey
What's better than getting some Chinese take-out on a busy weeknight? The Americanized Chinese cuisines reflect many cooking styles from different regions of China. Many of these dishes are steamed or stir-fried and feature grilled meats and lots of veggies. Chicken is a lean protein source, but which Chinese chicken dish will keep your waistline in check?

The Low-Cal Winner
Chicken Chop Suey

One restaurant portion of lemon chicken packs 1,350 calories and a heart-stopping 88 grams of fat! Clearly, the chop suey is a healthier bet, containing 600 calories and 20 grams of fat. Make your next Chinese meal healthier by sharing entrees to cut down on portion sizes, and opting for steamed dishes over fried.

If Chinese food isn't your thing here are some tips below from to avoid over eating, or ordering a calorie laden dish at any restaurant! Remember there is always a healthy option!

  • Never go out while hungry. You’ll find yourself nibbling on everything that comes your way.
  • Foods that are grilled, baked, steamed or broiled provide healthy, flavorful alternatives. Ask how an entrée is prepared to ensure that your selection is not swimming in butter or other fattening sauce.
  • For pasta selections, choose a marinara sauce instead of a white cream sauce.
  • Order a healthy appetizer, salad, or small-sized entrée for your meal.
  • Select white chicken or turkey meat rather than dark meat, and have the skin removed.
  • Avoid the "all you can eat" and buffet-style restaurants.
  • Split a meal with a friend.
  • Get a doggie bag before the meal and put in a portion of the food when it is first served.
  • Avoid foods that have been prepared in heavy cream.
  • Eat slowly! Put your fork down between bites. It takes the stomach about 20 minutes to realize that it is full.
  • Order your salad or potato with the dressing, butter, sour cream, gravy and other extras on the side.
  • Trim all visible fat from meat.
  • Select fresh fruit, sorbet or frozen yogurt for dessert.
  • Watch the alcohol… it is loaded with calories and can lower your defenses against food, causing you to eat more.
  • Beware of the breadbasket. It comes early and can be refilled several times. Ask that it be brought with the meal and limit yourself to one serving.
  • Water is your best beverage choice. Order diet pop, tea, and coffee with artificial sweetener. (I don't do fake sugar, I'll make a post about that some other time) Go light on the sugar and cream.
  • Don’t be afraid to special order menu items.
So there you have it! And now I am reminded what I need to do next time I fall into that comfort food trap!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Modify Modify Modify!

This post is about how I have modified my work out to work around my minor foot injury. PLEASE always listen to your doctor's advice before trying to modify your work out. They know best about the severity of your injuries. Don't push yourself beyond what they recommend. Do not read into this post that I am suggesting that you go against your doctors orders. I am not. I am writing about my experience these past few days of workouts.

That being said. I have a minor foot injury. About an hour after I ran the Marathon Relay my body had cooled down and I started to regain feeling in my feet again. And I was feeling quite a lot... my right foot was throbbing and every step I took on it hurt. I knew something was wrong this time so I got it looked at.

I knew it wasn't broken but they took x-rays anyway, just to be on the safe side. The x-ray technician asked me what I did so I explained the whole story, and then she asked me why the hell I played another soccer game after I hurt myself the first time.

I said I thought it wasn't so bad, I wrapped it up and played. I think the real kicker was when I told her oh and I ran 7.3 miles on it too.

She rolled her eyes at me and called me a "typical athlete".

I smiled and took that as a compliment. Wow, this person thought I was an athlete? I had in the past considered myself an overweight band dork and artist, yes... but never an athlete. I kind of like the sound of it.

Team Six Pack: formerly overweight band dork, artist, blogger, Austen addict,  and ATHLETE!!

perhaps I'll put it on my card...

The doctor told me I likely pulled a few ligaments that started with the minor pain I experienced after that first soccer game, but I made worse by continuing to play and running on it. He explained to me about how all the ligaments in the foot are connected and based on the way i described my pain moving around he told me the initial injury in one location triggered the others to go all wonky (that's my technical term). I got to look at the bones in my feet which was pretty cool. Everything looked good an' solid. However I was warned "NO, exercise from the waist down for a week."

Ok, no exercise from the waist down for a week... hrm? So I took that one of two ways:

Option 1: switch to only core and upper body work


Option 2: become best friends with my couch and remote control

Clearly, Option 2 just wasn't going to happen. So I've been spending the past few days at boot camp getting a little more creative with my work outs. I can't do the suicides even though now at day 4 my foot is feeling ok, I don't want to tempt fate again and risk lapsing back to the pain I felt after I ran the relay. With out being able to do all the sprints, jump squats and jumping jacks etc that we normally do my heart rate has not been as high as previous sessions.

However I'm using this opportunity (and I'm looking at it as an opportunity not a set back) to refocus on parts of my body that are pretty weak. My legs are strong, I know this. My core and upper body though falls behind in the strength department. (Upper body is weak also partial due to an old shoulder injury...however massage has pretty much healed that up completely). I'm also taking this time to get really strict on my diet again...but that's a whole different story.

So here's some of the exercises I've been able to do to focus on my core and upper body and keep pressure off of my foot:

(please note all of these can be done at home and don't require any equipment! I know... awesome, right?!)

Modified Pushups:

Starting Position

Ending Position

Action :EXHALE: Bend your elbows and lower chest to 90 degrees at the elbows. INHALE: Push up so that your arms are straight, making sure your elbows aren’t completely locked. Try doing 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Special Instructions: If you can’t go to 90 degrees at the elbow, just go to a comfortable position until you can work up to 90 degrees.

Planks (with one leg in my case):

I lift my right foot off the ground and rest it on top of my left by doing this it really hits my left obliques!

This is how a plank should look.
Notice the body alignment is in a straight line.

If you have a bad shoulder try a modified version of a plank like this:
You can also modify a plank further by resting on your knees however you won't get the full benefit of this core exercise. Make sure your shoulders are aligned properly over the elbows in a straight line!

Bicycle Crunches:

Action: Move your legs in a bicycle motion. When your left knee is closer to your body, reach your right elbow to it. When your right knee is closer to your body, reach your left elbow to it. Try performing the exercise for 60 seconds in 2 sets.

Lying Straight Leg Raises:

Action: Keeping legs straight and together, back flat, lift legs upward until they are straight above hips. Lower down to starting position slowly and with control (but do not allow feet to touch the ground between reps) to complete one rep.

Special Instructions: Make sure back stays flat on floor and abs are tight (pull navel in towards spine).
Back Extensions:

Action: EXHALE: Lift the upper body (chest, shoulders) off of the ground, "crunching" towards the hips. Hold for 1-2 counts at highest position.

INHALE: Slowly lower with control to start to complete one rep.

Special Instructions: This is a very small movement-- don't move further than you can naturally and easily. Keep legs squeezed together, hips on floor. There should be no movement from your hips to your toes.
Balancing Seated Twist:

This can be done with out a medicine ball as well

Action: EXHALE: Keeping a perfectly straight back with your abs pulled in tight, rotate your torso to the right as far as you can while maintaining good form (back straight, maintaining balance). INHALE. Return to the center (start position). Repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep.

Special Instructions: Do not round or arch your back. Focus on the movement coming from the waist, allowing your upper body and arms to follow the twisting motion of the waist.
Make it harder: Use a heavier weight and/or extend your arms straight out in front of you.
Make it easier: Perform this exercise without holding any weight.

This is similar to back extensions however you lift your arms and feet off the ground as if you were super man soaring through the air. This is a good exercise to strengthen your back...

Action: Keeping limbs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form a gentle curve with your body. Hold for a slow 30 counts.

Special Instructions: Don't hold your breath! Try to keep breathing steady and even. Make it easier: Hold for fewer counts and don't raise legs/arms quite as high. Change it up: Lower to the ground to complete one rep and do a 2-3 sets.

Tricep Dips:
Wanna tone up that under arm flab? To tone your triceps all you need is a me you'll feel this one!

Sit tall on the edge of a sturdy chair or step and wrap your fingertips over the front edge. Place feet on the floor in front of you with knees bent. Lift hips and butt up and slightly forward.
Action: Bend elbows about 90 degrees and lower hips toward the floor. (If you feel pain in the shoulders, your elbows are bent too much). Press up until elbows are straight, but not locked.

Reverse Crunch:

Action: EXHALE: Pull knees in toward chest and hold for 2 seconds.
INHALE: Slowly lower legs back to starting position.

Special Instructions: Don't use your momentum to swing your legs up. Try to keep the motion controlled by your abs.

This is just a sampling of exercises I have done this week. My routine has also included several variations of push ups, and crunches. I have even been doing pull ups on a parallel bar (boot camp is held at a gymnastics facility). I can't do a full pull up but on the parallel bar I can keep my feet on the ground to modify the exercise and I still get a killer upper body strengthening exercise in.

If you want to view more strengthening exercises you can do at home head on over to to view animated gif's of each activity along with instructions.
They also have work out video's if you can't think of a routine based on individual exercises.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Race Results!!

Just a quick post for now. I wanted to share the results of yesterdays relay race for the 9th annual Baltimore Marathon!

My time: 1 h: 24m :10sec for 7.3 miles putting me at about 11.5 minute miles!!

Reading back through the blog just now I saw posts where I was amazed that I ran two miles, then I was amazed that I ran three...back even further towards the beginning of the blog I posted about how I didn't even *like* distance running... my how the tables have turned! I kind of enjoy it now, it clears my head and the only thing I think about is how I need to keep pushing and not give up! It's a very uplifting feeling!

Our team's total time for the entire race was an whole 8 minutes ahead of our 2nd team making my team the winners over my co-workers (Just Erins) team! They didn't think we were going to beat them.

Now, can we say bragging rights!

The office should be an interesting place on Monday when I come in there with a stereo on my shoulder blaring Queen's We Are the Champions (not like I'm trying to rub in in or anything...just poking the bear a little ;)) and handing out our medals to my team mates. Hey, placing in the high 200's near 300's is nothing to be ashamed of! :D

Better than placing over 300 ;) Take that Team 2!

JK, seriously 3 cheers for everyone who ran... WE DID IT!!!!!!

(**Just for the record Just Erin was not part of the badgering that came from her team saying we were going to lose & and she also ran 20.5 miles of the marathon!!!! Holy cow! She's a super distance runner and a huge inspiration! I have no idea how she runs that far!!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Keep Your Work Outs FUN!

Ok, I'm sorry I went all Debbie Downer on the blog in the last post, I promise this isn't the norm for me. I got all emotional and whiny and needed a place to vent because my sister is out of town on vacation so I couldn't bother her about it. So time to turn that frown upside down! Don't you usually want to punch people in the face when they say that?? I know I do! But this video that my bloggy buddy Just Erin found will make you smile! I promise!

66% more people chose to use the stairs because it was fun!

"Fun can obviously change behavior for the better!"

Do what you love!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hey Murphy Screw You! And Your Law Too!

Warning venting ahead...

So, if you haven't noticed I never posted a Soccer Sunday update this week or many entries at all. This is mostly because I am pissed off. Really fucking pissed off right now. I mean so pissed the only solution I can think of is ranting on my blog.

Story time!

I wasn't supposed to play a soccer game this Saturday. It was a bye week for me and I was planning on going for a run instead to continue race training. However, I got the call that our other team (because we're popular and awesome like that we were split in two teams) needed subs. Like any addict I jumped for a chance to get a fix...

So anyway, I figured hey... I'd still be running I played soccer.  The first half of the game was fine. No problems what so ever. Second half of the game (you know when you switch sides of the field) the entire back end of that side was a god damn swamp! looks like a blast!

Ok, I'm exaggerating, it wasn't that bad, but every step I took felt like I was running in quick sand... and some how don't ask me how because I'm special like this, and I swear I only EVER manage to hurt myself doing NOTHING, I hurt my foot. Of course I didn't realize this until after the game when I took my cleats off and started walking on it that it hurt to walk on it.  So I walked around a bit, then I went out for lunch with my team mate and we walked around a little more as we went shopping. All the while it hurt but I'm thinking whatever it's just a kink it will work itself out.

Sunday I had another game, and my ankle wasn't bothering me too much anymore so I wrapped that sucker up in an ace bandage and kicked some defensive ass! I believe we won 3-1! GO TEAM! However immediately after the game it hurt again this time I needed something more supportive than an ace bandage.

This has been my fucking right foot for the entire week!

I decided to rest Monday... attempted bootcamp on Tuesday, and the little bit of running I did was not fun. Later that day I walked a few blocks to the bank and to grab lunch and I started getting shooting pains along my foot. Again, WHAT THE FUCK!! What the fuck did I do to it!? It's not swollen, it's not bruised, sometimes I can walk on it fine, sometimes it just fucking hurts!

I chilled out Wednesday, I even passed on playing my make up soccer game because I didn't want to risk further injury...see I told you I could quit if I needed too. Today I went with out wrapping it and it felt ok, but then this evening I took my parents dog for a walk, again only around the block, not very far and I got those shooting pains again.

How the FUCK am I supposed run 7.3 miles on Saturday!?!?!

All week I've kept telling myself it will be ok, you're fine it's not THAT bad...but then what happened tonight when all I did was walk around the block and it started throbing totally crushed me head has been like a tug of war...

Maybe it will get better (thought that happened today, wasn't so lucky)

Maybe I should throw in the towel for Saturday?

Maybe I should pop a few tylenol and give it a go anyway...
but what if I hurt it more and then i'm sidelined even longer??

The race is a little more than 24 hours away and I don't know what to do! I'm in full on freak out mode! I don't know if I can run and I've been avoiding talking about it because I just keep hoping it will turn around. I've been excited about this for over two months, I've been training for this. I really want to do this race, I want to cross that finish line, I want that sense of accomplishment. And it's my only shot because this race only happens once a year, it's not like my soccer games where I can sit out one because there's another one a few days later. This is it! And OF COURSE it had to come down to the wire like this for me. Murphy's Fucking Law.

Yeah I know boo-hoo right? Big fucking baby. I know it could be much worse and I could be seriously injured instead of just having some unknown nagging injury. But I feel completely gutted right now.

However after crying (yup, big baby) over it for a little while, I've determined that IF I can't run Saturday (because I'm still hoping that tomorrow I wake up and I'm bouncing off the walls on my right foot) but anyway I've decided if it comes down to it and I don't run the relay, as soon as I feel able to run I am running those god damn 7.3 miles and I'll make my own damn finish line out of side walk chalk if I need to.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Race Day is a Week Away!

I'm really excited about the relay I'll be running on Oct. 10th. I am running the last leg which I was told was the longest somewhere over 7 miles I think. This is my first ever race!

I didn't have a specific training regimen in mind when I decided to do this. I already knew I could run at least two miles and I knew I had energy to play a full soccer game with out subbing so I figured all I need to do was refocus that energy away from sprints like I do on the soccer field and try to run long distances instead.

Getting sick though completely threw a monkey wrench into my routine. I took 8 days off from working out and my body was very quick to take a rest a long with me. The Saturday after I came down with my cold I decided that was enough time, even though I still had a cough and I played soccer. Playing soccer with a bad cough is not fun. I probably should have taken a longer amount of time off from cardio activity but I was bored to death (and I'll admit freaking out a little) from not being able to work out. I wasn't eating very well while I was sick and the last thing I wanted to was gain weight as a result.

My first day back at boot camp (the following Tuesday) was just as rough. I think my muscles had forgotten in as short as one week how to work. I tried to research how quickly you lose muscle mass if you stop working out but I couldn't find any straight answers. I was reading anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. Whatever the answer is, I was definitely worn out after boot camp. It was like it was my first day all over again.

My first attempt back at distance running wasn't so great either. I forgot my contacts so I had to run on the tread mill at the gym. Can we say b-o-r-i-n-g? Especially when I don't have music to listen to! It was torture. Funny thing is I used to love the treadmill before I started running outside...not so much anymore. Then of course the coughing fits and muscle aches didn't help matters either. I had to pause the machine a lot so I could stretch out and catch my breath. I only accomplished 3 miles in about 34 minutes (which is not including the pausing to stretch and cough while I spread my lingering plague at the gym). Lame.

But now FINALLY (three weeks after getting sick) I've gotten my routine back to normal: 3 days a week at boot camp, 2 days soccer, and I added Yoga back to my routine as well! I forgot how amazing the stretch was. I should have never stopped my evening yoga classes when I started boot camp, but I guess I needed an adjustment period to my new routine. I'm not going to pretend that waking up at 4:45 am is a cake walk, I still struggle with it sometimes almost 3 months alarm clock is the devil!

fucker, he always wins!

So anyway, this week I was finally able to get a good run back into my routine as well. And guess what!?

I ran 5.25 miles in 1 hour 5 mins!

Yippie Skippie!!

*does happy dance*

*pumps fist in the air*

*high fives pocket Edward*

I stopped once to stretch briefly about 2.5 miles in and I also ran some massive hills, so I think I'm totally ready for this race!! I'm ready to kick some relay ass next Saturday!!