Saturday, July 17, 2010

Half Marathon Training: Run 1

I have officially signed up for the Baltimore Half so that means on Oct. 16th my ass is running that 13.1 miles because I'm not wasting that entry fee!

This morning I set out for Day 1 of my half marathon training with my boot camp groups starting at 8am. Which means my alarm was going off at 6:50 in the morning on a Saturday. FTW.

We're starting out an hour earlier next week because of the heat so I better get used to it. I was armed with some new running shoes, arch hugging socks and some new shorts I couldn't resist buying....they were on sale and super light weight! (I'm not one of those runners that needs the newest gear even though I sound like it lol, my shoes were a year old and worn to crap, and it's hot as balls out hence needing light weight shorts...good shoes = good support and less chance of injury my friends :))

I can't speak highly enough of my Brooks running shoes... they're like love for my foot. My last three pairs of shoes have been Brooks. No matter what other brands I try on these always work out best for me.

So anyway...

The run: completely flat trail and it was shaded...soooo nice. The second I stepped off the trail into the sunny parking lot to stretch after the run... buckets of sweat, it was sweltering!

Distance: 5 miles, run/walk 4 mins/1min. I think we will be run/walking for the actual race because honesty I would probably keep the same time if I ran straight through.

My time: about 56 minutes which is an 11 minute mile. I kept pace with our leader and one other guy so I felt I did pretty well for our first run. Basically I was the first chick, but I backed off at one point because I heard one of the guys talking about how his kid vomited all over his back. Seriously why do all parents do this... making us non-parents suffer through their stories of their children's bodily fluids. I felt like I was going to puke on the side of the trail. fml. Shoot me if I ever become that kind of mom.

Problemas?: Nope, felt great. Really glad I went out this morning. A little sore in the right hip still from when I pulled it several weeks ago playing soccer but LOOOOOOOTS of stretching afterward.

Motivational Songs: I was kickin' it old school listening to an old mix on my ipod that had some of my favorite songs from highschool and college on it. This mornings songs on the way to the trail were:

Rebel Rebel - David Bowie
Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve (there are rules for listening to this song in my car...I must have control of the volume at certain moments for maximum crescendo factor ;))
Lucky Man - The Verve
Words - Doves
High and Dry - Radiohead
Someone Great - LCD Soundsystem. (2006...just after college)
1976 - Smashing Pumpkins (can't ever get over this song... ever.)

Good songs for a nice Saturday morning. Nothing fast paced or dancy for me this am. It was too early for that, and since I killed my shuffle I don't run with music...just the sounds of pounding feet.

p.s. Also... follow this blog! fellow fans Fat Girl Slimmed and Muffintopped (LOVE those names) are also training for a half marathon!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Current Status: *Le Sigh* The World Cup comes to an end!

I promise this is the last post where I mention the world cup...for 4 years...if I'm still blogging in 4 years lol :) My friend Ashley aka Shoewhore told me that her friend Em reads my blog and likes it (sweet! Thanks Em!), but she doesn't understand a damn thing about soccer... it's ok. I understand. The off sides rule is confusing, and the fact that the reffing in this world cup has been a little...well a lot ridiculous, I can understand why you can't get behind the game. It's cool, maybe we're not all meant to understand. But check out this awesome quote that my cousin's fiance sent me from his friend... maybe now you'll get it:

"Twilight's like soccer, they run around for 2 hours, nobody scores, and its billion fans insist you just don't understand"


See you don't have to understand completely, just appreciate the fine muscled I mean the athleticism of the game... ;).

on to the post!...

Current Mood: Sorta sad that there's no more good soccer on regular tv (I'm one of those freaks that doesn't have cable!) for the foreseeable future...come on 2014!!

Current Weight: 183 (26lbs of loss since I started the blog - 92lbs of total loss!) I lost 3 pounds last week! :) It amazing what happens when I get strict with my diet..and by strict I don't mean starvation or giving up foods I enjoy, I mean a balance of proteins, fibers and starches and portion control. I've set a new goal to lose 20lbs once I get there I'll re-asses and see how much more I need to lose/tone from that point.

Currently Thinking about: My love/hate relationship with Spain! I hate them because they defeated Germany, I hate them because they played a boring 115 minutes of soccer against the brutal Dutch..who knew they had it in them ey??

Sing it! Everyone was Kung Fu fighting!! Those Kicks were fast as lightening!

But I love them because most of their line up is made of FC Barcelona players or soon to be Barca players...and I like might as well say that Barca won the world cup.

Currently NOT Thinking about: How I still hate Spain because Germany in my opinion was the more creative team, better at passing, and they scored way more goals through out the tournament...but that yellow card against Mueller, I really think that made a difference in their semi final game against Spain. Mueller ultimately won the golden boot (on more assists) yet he had to sit out that game, Germany could have used him. Spain controlled the ball, they controlled the game, and even though the German defense held them at bay for most of the game it only took one corner to make a difference and I counted at least 7 Spanish men on defense at one point. UGH! I'm not bitter...nope not me... not at all. ;)

Keep your eyes on the one on the left... #13 Thomas Mueller, winner of the Golden boot at only 20 years old... the one on the right though, back off ladies I claimed him in 2006 ;) lol It's a long term celeb-crush...christ, I'm turning into a kickette! anyway, #3 Arne Friedrich, German defender who also scored a goal against Argentina! :)

Also...just for the memories... I wanted to post this video:

So long world cup... see you in 4 years!

Currently looking forward to: Starting half marathon training on Saturday!! Oh did I tell you I've decided to run the Baltimore half...? I haven't signed up yet, guess I should jump on that.

De jong Kung Fu fighting is from the dailymail
pic of the German boys from the dailymail

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How Important is Exercise??

So I've been reading a lot of articles lately about the importance (or lack there of) of exercise. It seems that some studies say exercise is very important, others say diet is more important. I think what all researchers agree though is that exercise is necessary but how much and how often is the question.

Remember it used to be suggested 30 minutes a day three times a week that was enough? Well clearly that did not help stop obesity rates from soaring. Now the CDC is suggesting the following for adults:

Adults need at least:
walking 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and
weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
jogging 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and
weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
walking jogging An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and
weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

For "greater" health benefits they suggest 500 minutes a week of exercise! So that number has increased greatly over the years...but lets face it America has a lot of excess calories to burn!

The how and why of weight loss is pretty simple burn more calories than you take in and you're going to lose. So exercise works hand in hand with diet:

The mathematics of weight loss is, in fact, quite simple, involving only subtraction. “Take in fewer calories than you burn, put yourself in negative energy balance, lose weight,” says Braun, who has been studying exercise and weight loss for years. (Source: New York Times)
But the same article says that women's bodies are prone to want to maintain fat stores! Because of... you guessed it, reproduction. Ugh it's always an uphill battle for us isn't it ladies...Essentially, when we exercise we want to eat more! And I know this is true I was just complaining about my appetite when i'm at my most active. In spring and fall when I'm working out 6 days a week playing lots of soccer I'm always hungry!! This must be why:

A study that Braun oversaw and that was published last year by The American Journal of Physiology had a slightly different outcome. In it, 18 overweight men and women walked on treadmills in multiple sessions while either eating enough that day to replace the calories burned during exercise or not. Afterward, the men displayed little or no changes in their energy-regulating hormones or their appetites, much as in the other study. But the women uniformly had increased blood concentrations of acylated ghrelin and decreased concentrations of insulin after the sessions in which they had eaten less than they had burned. Their bodies were directing them to replace the lost calories. In physiological terms, the results “are consistent with the paradigm that mechanisms to maintain body fat are more effective in women,” Braun and his colleagues wrote. In practical terms, the results are scientific proof that life is unfair. Female bodies, inspired almost certainly “by a biological need to maintain energy stores for reproduction,” Braun says, fight hard to hold on to every ounce of fat. Exercise for many women (and for some men) increases the desire to eat.

But this doesn't mean you should throw your hands up in the air and say it's impossible for you to lose weight because your body wants you to be curvy with a little too much junk in the trunk. Just because things are the way they are doesn't mean it's the way they have to be! It will take work but Exercise is STILL incredibly's proven that exercise helps keep the pounds off!

In one representative experiment from last year, 97 healthy, slightly overweight women were put on an 800-calorie diet until they lost an average of about 27 pounds each. Some of the women were then assigned to a walking program, some were put on a weight-training regimen and others were assigned no exercise; all returned to their old eating habits. Those who stuck with either of the exercise programs regained less weight than those who didn’t exercise and, even more striking, did not regain weight around their middles. The women who didn’t exercise regained their weight and preferentially packed on these new pounds around their abdomens. It’s well known that abdominal fat is particularly unhealthful, contributing significantly to metabolic disruptions and heart disease.

Scientists are “not really sure yet” just how and why exercise is so important in maintaining weight loss in people, Braun says.

I hope you're not scratching your head saying well great I have to lose the pounds first before I start working out to maintain the loss.... Not true! You should start a routine as soon as possible... this Harvard study shows that at a molecular level people who exercise show more metabolic evidence that their bodies are burning fat... so essentially if you think dieting alone will help you lose weight think again!

These findings suggest that exercise has both “acute and cumulative” effects on your body’s ability to use and burn fat, says Gregory Lewis, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and an author of the study. After only 10 minutes of exercise, even the least fit showed evidence that their bodies were burning fat; the more fit, the more metabolic evidence of fat burning.
The researchers then took a number of the metabolites that had been elevated by exercise and infused them into mouse muscle cells in a laboratory dish. Almost immediately, the metabolites, in combination (but not individually) ignited a reaction that resulted in increased expression of a gene involved in cholesterol and blood-sugar regulation. In other words, the metabolites weren’t just marking activity that was happening elsewhere in the body; they also may have been sparking some of that activity directly. (Source: New York Times)
If for no other reason exercise because it makes you feel better!! I guarantee you this is true!! I always feel better about myself after I exercise. If there is a time where I'm feeling down, where I'm doubting myself and starting to feel fat and lazy exercise yanks me right out of that mind set. I always say I NEVER regret exercising...EVER! How many of us can say the same about eating a few cookies??

How Exercise Combats Anxiety and Depression from the MayoClinic:
Exercise probably helps ease depression in a number of ways, which may include:
  • Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters and endorphins)
  • Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
  • Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects
Exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits too. It can help you:
  • Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
  • Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
  • Get more social interaction. Exercise may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
  • Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on their own can lead to worsening symptoms.

Want to read more?? Check out these articles:

A Work Out for Your Blood Stream
- New York Times

Weighing the Evidence on Exercise - New York Times

Depression and Anxiety: Exercise Eases Symptoms - Mayo Clinic Online

p.s. The world cup is now winding down.  I was pouting and throwing a fit like a two year old when my German Boys lost today...they worked so hard and played so well for so long!! But such is the luck of the game it only take one goal to make a difference...and seven Spanish players playing defense. *grumbles* Now I'm going to go pout again. I'm muttering this under my breath right now:

Stupid Spanish team,Stupid La Liga players...even though I love you FCBarcelona and Charles Puyol I'm a fan of the German team and they deserved to win they proved to have better defense with less men playing back but that fucking undeserved yellow card on Muller made a big difference and I want to see Klose beat the record for most career goals in the world cup...Stupid Spanish!

*end grumble*