Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
So, you ask, what is a kettlebell? Quite simply, imagine a small cannon with a handle attached to it. Its a traditional exercise of Russia, so it has quite the history! It combines cardio, strength and flexibility...in a routine of simple movements of swings. Because the center of mass is beyond your hand (unlike free weights or dumbbells), you build strength by swining the bell. Your strength is built by these repetitions, specifically lower back, legs, shoudlers. Many of the basic movements work your entire body at once, just as shoveling a snowy walkway would. But, I assure you, without the bulk of the polyester fiberfill and the freezing temperatures, its much more comfortable to do!
That being said, if one has back or shoulder problems, avoid them! Even a weak core should negate one from using these until they are strong enough to handle the weight.
Now, there are a ton of kettlebells on the market. Water, sand and everything in between. But, if you plan to be serious, buy a real one... like CAP kettlebells. Hey, they can even be purchased by Walmart online! And, you only need one...so no full set needed. When you outgrow one, then simply by the one that is 5 pounds greater than you are currently using. See...in this exercise routine, its not expensive. A video may set you back $10 or so (see Bob Harper's videos) and a 20 lb kettlebell may cost you $30. Fro those that have been doing anything though, you may want to start at 25 lbs (men may want to start at 30 lbs).
Regardless of how much you work out, the most important factor in coercing your body to use fat for energy is your diet. While carbs are essential for energy, too much is a bad bad thing....because they often turn to fat! You may think they are safe to eat because they contain no fat, but don't be fooled.
Sure, most carbs are fat-free (or at least contain little fat), but its not uncommon for up to 40% of your carb intake to be stored in your body as fat. So, consuming too many fat-free carbs can actually make you fatter. See...whether they are in the form of fresh fruit, decadent double dutch brownies or simply your favorite linguini, carbs are converted into glucose when they enter your bloodstream. So, whether is glucose from a healthy apple or glucose from your favorite cake, your body simply doesn't differentiate. And, when you eat a ton of carbs, our blood sugar rises, and your pancreas will tell your body to release more insulin. Insulin determines where in your body blood sugar is stored (instantly available energy, stored in muscles as glycogen/sugar). Problem here....your body can only store 2000 calories (from carbs) as instantly available energy. If you have consumed more than 2000 calories (and have not yet used all the energy that it offers), the remaining will be stored as fat.
Think about it. Why do people usually bonk at mile 20 of a marathon? Typically, we utilize about 100 calories/mile (whether running or walking, makes no difference). By mile marker 20, all of that readily available energy is now depleted. The only energy left in your body is the one that is stored in your fat! But, you need to teach your body how to access this fat....after all, its an almost unlimited (relatively speaking) supply of energy!
Now, when you exercise or during your day to day routines, you want to ensure that you have burned off all of that ready-to-use carb calories, so can you start accessing the fat reserves for energy...calories in/calories out does matter, but getting access to those fat stores is the key to losing the unwanted weight!
So, how do you avoid this dreaded 3-letter word? Quite simply, eat more protein and healthy fat, and less carbs. I'm really good at keeping my calories down, but I simply don't see movement on the scale, although I have seen better toned muscles and less inches. But, I want more results for my efforts. So, I'm going to start watching my diet diligently!
Here is my goal...protein throughout the day. Carbs balanced throughout the day (in other words, no major binges at one time, but rather combined mostly when I am eating adequate protein). I know its a lot of protein, but I think I can easily get that in between:
- Morning Shakeology drink (24g)
- Protein bar as a snack (15-20g)
- Yogurt as a snack (15g)
- Lunch/Dinner: Meats/Cheese
- Protein Drink as a late snack (15-20g)
By filling up on these proteins, I also should have less desire to consume large quantities of carbs. Carbs have no choice but to be a 'side item' rather than an 'entree' to me now. I also know/think that trying to consume that many carbs and stay under my calorie allowance would be hard anyway, so changes are my total carb grams will be significantly less than the chart above.
Lets just hope I can hold true to it!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
So today, we've worked up to a modified C25k week 3 (its more aggressive than week 3, but not quite as heavy as week 4). We did:
Warm up 5 minute walk
Run 3.5 minutes, Walk 1 minute
Run 3 minutes, Walk 1 minute
Run 2 minutes, Walk 1-1.5 minute (and repeated 4 more times)
Cool Down 5 minute walk
Left the office at 12, was dressed and parked at our nearby route within 15 minutes...did our thing for 35 minutes, was back at the office 5 minutes later and back to work by 1:15. Not Bad!
A few things I like about this. When we do this, I tend to eat less during the day...maybe because I have less time to be bored? I like the comaraderie. I like being the best runner in the bunch (although I know that won't last long because both of them are much younger than me!). I like the social aspect of the run. I like the fact that people arrange their schedules, so you simply cannot cancel or be non-committal about it! There simply is no downside (except the noon heat in Florida!). Sure, its not an aggressive run, but I bet we'll all be fitter because of it...and in 2 months, I bet it will be more miles in less time. So, if I have to wait it out until they are physically ready, there is nothing wrong with that!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
- Protein Sugar
Monday, September 26, 2011
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA): provides continuous energy to the cels and prevents free radical damage..an anti-aging all-star!
- Fish Oil: pure form of DMAE and Omega-3s. Supports overall health, helps elevate mood, improves cognitive function and supports healthy weight loss
- Acetyl-L Carnitine: anti-oxident that is central to the production of cellular energy. It supports a healthy metabolism and is also known to improve memory
- DMAE: Great for mind and skin. It helps to lift and firm your skin's appearance, while enhancing facial contours and addressing sagging skin. It also helps memory and problem-solving abilities.
- Evening Primrose Oil: Healthy weight loss and supports a healthy metabolism...also regulates a cycle wonderfully.
- COQ10: Fights against free radical damage, making it indispensable for anti-aging....and it plays a critical role in proper cell energy function.
- Calcium Pyruvate:
- Green Tea Extract:
- Chromium Picolinate:
- She would do great and finish
- She would do ok, and continue on (albeit at a slower pace) but stay motivated
- She would quit once she hit the dreaded 5 week mark
- She would quit after one week and feel like a failure
- She would quit after one week and ignore us
- She would quit after one week and feel worse about herself than she did before (and then correlate us with those feelings)
- She would find excuses not to start
I suppose I think of my commitment, and I know that each person has that one particular breaking point where they know that they have to change their habits and activities and such. So, how do you determine if/when you should step in and say something to someone else? I'm not sure.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
- Monday-Saturday, I followed the "Plan 2" diet protocol. Lots of protein, few carbs, 1300-1500 calories. I cheated once with Boston Market cornbread though :(
- Monday/Wednesday/Friday morning, I did 25 minutes on the elliptical
- Tuesday morning, I ran 25 minutes outside (also did mini-runs during lunch with work friends Monday and Thursday)
- Saturday and Sunday morning, I did a 50 minute run
- Sunday afternoon, I did a "hot yoga" session for 90 minutes
- Monday-Saturday evenings, I did the "Start it Up" video, which is 35 minutes
By ensuring that the cardio was done first thing in the morning (typically), I was able to doubly ensure that the exercise would not interfere with family time. For the elliptical, I was up and on it 6-6:30am. For the running, I was out the door around 5:45 and returned around 6:20. As for the video in the evening, I tried to time it when my kids were in the bath/shower...they end up playing about 20+ minutes, so I did manage to get most of it done without them feeling deprived of "mom" time. Fortunately, I can be in the family room using the larger space and the larger television and still hear every giggles coming from the master bathroom. The music on the video is not overwhelming, and Debbie (the host) isn't all pumped up and screaming with excitement...so easy to concentrate on the exercises as well as listen to the kids!
The diet was doable. I rescheduled all of my work lunches for the following week, so I wouldn't be tempted (or overly questioned) with other food options. Joe ended up dieting with me simply by circumstance since he ate the same foods for breakfast/dinner (he usually does the shakeology in the morning anyways). Now, if one has a sweet tooth, better curb that craving before this diet, otherwise, it will be too hard to do.
As for the video and Debbie, its very toned-down. She is not all gung-ho, but simply encouraging and positive. While she has an amazing figure, the two others exercising in the video remind you of women that have recently given birth and are trying to lose the baby bump and the extra junk in the trunk. They are a little soft, but capable of the workout efforts. I'm sure this is to allow the viewers to see themselves in these two, as Debbie's figure is not attainable in 6 weeks!
She clearly expects most people to struggle with the simple workout. This is great for those newbies to the exercise front...or those that haven't challenged themselves in years/months. If anything is too hard, she often suggests only doing the lower body portion or modifying and simply doing as much as you can, all the while telling you that by the end of the program you will be able to do it.
It took me a bit of time to find my rhythm with some of the exercises the first time around, but by the 2nd/3rd viewing, I was fine with all of it and didn't trip over my own feet again :) I think for this first video, on day 1, I was able to do about 90% of it. The crunches and holding my arms up so much did push me, but by day 6 I was ok with all of it.
As I mentioned before, the music is very mellow and seems a bit out of place...think elevators. But its not distracting, neither does it pump you up. I don't really think you need either for this first week's video. Since this is week 1, I think a viewer really should focus on form and finishing the routines. Besides, pumping music simply doesn't mesh with Debbie's style. Its ok though...not quite boring (it is only 35 minutes and you do need to keep up with the reps that she is trying to do), so it works fine for me.
Some people may need another week on "Start it Up" and thats perfecntly fine to continue onto the next week with the same routine. For me, I'll move on to "Ramp it Up" and I'll try to do at least one of the short supplemental workouts (flexibility or abs 10-15 minutes routines) every day as well. "Ramp it Up" does require more time, so I'm dropping the extra cardio for this week and just sticking to running 4 days (maybe 12 miles total) to see how I do. I also plan to jump up to 1600-1800 calories...basically making good choices but not being overly strict.
After the next week, I may just go back to the "Plan B" diet every other week. Again, its totally doable, and I think if I do one week on, and one week off, I can continue this for awhile.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I learned this the hard way when I developed a stress fracture early on with my running this year. While I was strong because my bones were carrying a lot more weight than they are now, I was weak because I never did any impact exercise. Simply put, my bones were not dense.
There is a good reason why skinnier old women have a higher percentage of developing osteoarthritis than heavy-set women. They simply don't have as much weight-bearing exercise from normal day-to-day routines. The skinny women who run, however, rarely have osteoarthiritis, simply because they engage in regular weight-bearing exercise. Think of your body as the ultimate barbell....make it work for you, and it will pay you back three-fold!
My bones are definitely stronger. Early on, I had to make a regular occassion of icing my knees (in particular my right knee) after running. I then realized that I only needed to ice it after longer runs (4+ miles). Now, I can run 3 days in a row, and it doesn't hurt! This is a miracle!!! Well, maybe not a full-blown miracle, but a mini miracle nonetheless! Ok, Ok, I know I shouldn't overdo it and run too many consecutive days, but I do love how liberating this can be now that I'm not slave to a calendar...and if I have to miss a day due to a major thunderstorm, it doesn't throw off the rest of my calendar!
So, I'll try to do a few back-to-back days, maybe shorter 2-3 mile runs on a regular occassion and see how I feel. If I falter, trust me, you will know about it...but if I don't complain about it, assume its going fabulously!
So, there is also another supplement that I've been taking, but its pricey by comparison of Kelp. For $40, you can get a 180-day supply at GNC for Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA).
CLA is a polyunsaturated, conjugated fatty acid that is a natural part of the human diet, found primarily in meat and dairy products. CLA is a trans-fat (which are thought to increase the risk of coronary heart disease). However, it is claimed that conjugated linoleic acid is not harmful in the same way as other trans fatty acids, but rather is beneficial. CLA is primarily found in the meat and dairy product of ruminants (i.e. cattle, goats, sheep, etc.).
CLA is thought to be a natural dietary supplement that induces a combination of fat loss and muscle gain. The benefits of conjugated linoleic acid are believed to include:
Decrease in fat
Increase in muscle growth
Increase in metabolic rate
Protects against fat gain following weight loss, thus maintaining initial reductions in body fat and weight, in the long-term.
May lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
“CLA doesn't make a big fat cell get little. What it rather does is keep a little fat cell from getting big.”
It is hypothesized that conjugated linoleic acid helps glucose pass into muscle cells more effectively, thus preventing glucose from being converted into fat. It is also thought to help fats enter the cell membranes of muscle and connective tissue, where the fat is burned for fuel.
Pariza's research did not find weight loss in his group of 71 overweight people, but what he did find was that when the dieters stopped dieting, and gained back weight, those taking CLA "were more likely to gain muscle and not fat.'' In a separate study conducted at Purdue University in Indiana, CLA was found to improve insulin levels in about two-thirds of diabetic patients, and moderately reduced the blood glucose level and triglyceride levels.CLA has been the subject of a variety of research in the past several years, and findings also suggest that some of the other benefits of CLA include the following:
Increases metabolic rate -- This would obviously be a positive benefit for thyroid patients, as hypothyroidism -- even when treated -- can reduce the metabolic rate in some people.
Decreases abdominal fat -- Adrenal imbalances and hormonal shifts that are common in thyroid patients frequently cause rapid accumulation of abdominal fat, so this benefit could be quite helpful.
Enhances muscle growth -- Muscle burns fat, which also contributes to increased metabolism, which is useful in weight loss and management.
Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides -- Since many thyroid patients have elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, even with treatment, this benefit can have an impact on a thyroid patient's health.
Lowers insulin resistance -- Insulin resistance is a risk for some hypothyroid patients, and lowering it can also help prevent adult-onset diabetes and make it easier to control weight.
Reduces food-induced allergic reactions -- Since food allergies can be at play when weight loss becomes difficult, this can be of help to thyroid patients.
Enhances immune system -- Since most cases of thyroid disease are autoimmune in nature, enhancing the immune system's ability to function properly is a positive benefit. If you're interested in taking CLA to help with weight loss, keep in mind that it's not a magic pill, and you will need to start a program of diet and exercise in order to successfully lose weight and keep it off.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
- our bodies can make 11 amino acids naturally, without the assistance of ingested protein
- the other 9 amino acids are called essential amino acids because we must ingest them
- soy protein isolate/concentrate - Quite simply, almost all soy out in the US market is a GMO (genetically-modified organism). It is cheap, controlled by Monsanto (and you don't want to get me started about the evils of this company) and no GMO is good for you. Besides the social commentary, soy protein has historically been shown to not reach the muscle as quickly as whey protein....and there is that sweet zone after exercising when you need to get protein to your muscle asap in order to aid the rebuilding process. While non-GMO soy protein isn't a bad thing, if you are doing it to aid muscle growth after exercise, its simply not going to get there in time to aid recovery.
- whey protein isolate - While they are extremely pure forms of protein, they are over-processed. We've read countless news articles these days about over-processing our food and how it leads to negative health issues, so why would we choose to do this with our protein? To separate the full whey from the isolate, they are exposed to acid processing. And regardless, your body has issues assimilating proteins in this isolated form, as it needs the other why cofactors to properly digest anyways.
- whey protein concentrate - This has all the benefits of whey protein isolate, but its not been overly processed and stripped of all of its natural immune-boosting co-factors (
- Mercola Pure Protein Powder - Love the ingredient list here, but the taste is just ok.
- Beachbody Whey Protein Powder - Love the fact that its just protein concentrate, and naturally-sweetened and still low in sugar, and the taste is excellent...I never thought that I'd like a vanilla-flavored anything.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
- all the women's races are being badmouthed as diminishing the value of female athletes...womens-only races are seen as girly and non-athletic events
- very few women run in womens-only races....there are only a small percentage of races that fit this category
- some percentage of the population believe this increase is simply because of that four-letter-equivalent word of feminism
“Ummmmmm, anybody know where I can find a 'Men's-only' road race? I didn't think so.... Feminism has succeeded in making men second class citizens...” SourceThe other problem we now face is that it is illegal to disallow men from participating in womens-only races, e.g. the Disney Princess Half Marathon. While men are not encouraged to participate and the marketing is clearly for women, the race cannot say no to a man. So, where will this new ruling head? Will any womens-only race, where a single man participates, be disallowed as a record? Do men face the same issue? Apparently not, since they are typically ahead of the women and are not experiencing that push to go faster by another gender. Seems like we are going backwards here!
I think the best things about daily mile are:
- Finding people that want to support you and give you feedback/ideas on your fitness
- You can "friend" people that you don't even know in real life, and its ok and even encouraged!
- You can brag about running or anything else and nobody bores of it
- Your friends won't want to disown you if all you ever talk about is running
- If you see that your running miles this week are still listed as a big ole goose egg, you are more encouraged to do something about it!
- If you see everyone exercising, you want to do more!
- You can see average time performances improve over time
- You can make mileage goals easily (or weekly ones) and quickly be able to determine if you are reaching them
- You can easily track how many miles you've run on your shoes (afterall, you should start looking at new shoes around mile 400 or so, depending on your weight)
- You know that there are other "crazy mothers" out there (and fathers) just like you!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
So, schedules are ramping up for the season. Ella and Zoran have soccer practice Wednesday evenings, and their games are on Friday. Joe has baseball Wednesday night. Ella will have softball start up soon (not sure the days yet). Joe is running 2-3 times in the evenigs, after his dog walks. So, as you can see its going to be interesting to balance all of this and keep up with my routine!
But, its important, and I know I need to remind myself of just that. I'll try to do cardio in the morning...if I'm up prior to 6am, I should have more than enough time to jump on the elliptical or do a quick 5k on the road. Then, it doesn't deter from any family time. Weekends are another issue altogether, as I do want to get in at least one long run every weekend. So, I just need to find an hour or more for this.
But again, my health is a priority....so I need to MAKE the time. Do you realize that if I write this enough I will actually believe it someday?
Monday, September 19, 2011
The first week (first 6 days, as day 7 is a rest day), focus on jump starting your metabolism and getting some serious dead weight off your body. It will be a busy week, so I'm glad that I'm doing this AFTER my 4-mile race, which was this past weekend!
Regimen for the next 6 days only:
- Every morning, I will run for 20-30 minutes or jump on the elliptical for 20-30 minutes
- Every evening, I will do the "Start it Up" video
- Every evening, I will do either the "Slim & Limber" short video or the "Slim & 6-pack" short video
- 3 times a day, I will take my "slimming formula" supplement
- Every day, I will follow the "Plan 2" diet (see below)
- Breakfast: Shakeology + water + PB2 + 1/2 banana
- Snack: Protein shake in almond milk
- Lunch: Lettuce/Spinach + Cucumbers + Celery + grilled chicken + balsalmic vinaigrette
- Snack: 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
- Dinner: 4oz chicken/fish + 2 cups bok choy/chard + mustard
- Snack: 1 cup herbal tea
After this week, I can drop the specialized diet and the extra workouts and just focus on the regular routines (along with my standard running three times/week). So, I'm thinking that week 2 will include the "Ramp it Up" video, in addition to one of the two supplemental videos ("Slim & 6 Pack" or "Slim and Limber").
Now, what does that mean? Quite simply, you take 100 people and find out their levels....you throw out the lowest 5 and highest 5 as outliers (basically just because they supposedly don't represent the norm and medically-speaking probably need medical intervention). Every other person is considered a normal and healthy range. But, give where I fell on that bell curve...I was like #7 from the bottom of T3/T4 volume. So, while I technically do not have a medical problem, I certainly have to work much harder than most people out there!
So, what do you do? Since both T3 and T4 are hormones produced by the thyroid gland that help the body's metabolic function, you may want to supplement. There are some synethetic ones out there, but those have side effects. There are also some T3 and T4 supplements out there by Armour Thyroid which I did try...these are not synethic, but typically not covered by insurance. A 90 day supply runs you about $80. I gave it a go....but won't use it again.
After doing some more research....I summized that if my T3 and T4 output is low, and my thyroid is operating properly, why not adjust my input! Iodine works to regular your thyroid output and hormone production. Remember, the thyroid is a gland that regulates many body processes, including weight, metabolism, and energy. Iodine is basically the fuel for your thyroid. And, iodine is cheap! The more clean form of iodine is kelp. Kelp and iodine has a normalizing effect on the thyroid gland. Naturally underweight people can gain weight with kelp, while naturally overweight people can lose weight with kelp. Of course, if you ask 20 people their opinion, you will undoubtedly get 20 answers...so do your own research.
So, kelp is a naturally rich with iodine. Its also full of phytochemicals and is basically seaweed. Seaweed is well known for its beneficial effects - one type contains ten times more calcium than a glass of milk and others are rich in protein and essential minerals. Since the key ingredient in kelp is iodine, it is linked to your metabolism, the process by which your body breaks down food into energy. Again, its used by your thyroid to produce T3 and T4 hormones, which, help regulate your metabolism, so if you are low in iodine your metabolism may be sluggish. This means you will put on weight. Taking kelp supplements can boost your iodine intake which may help regulate your metabolism.
Has it been proven? Its found to be beneficial in several studies, but the jury is still out. I will be getting a full physical later this year, so I definitely want to have them check for my T3 and T4 levels to see how they compare to earlier in the year....that will really be the test!
Is there any harm? Considering the average Japanese person gets so much seaweed in their body compared to the average American, its certainly safe levels...even one capsule a day is significantly less than the average Japanese person ingests, but still could make a difference.
Is it pricey? As far as supplements go, this is a CHEAP one! Nature's Way brand is less than $9 for 100 capsules. We certainly ingest a lot of things into our American diet that have adverse effects, and there is only a potential upside with this one....so its $9 well spent, I think.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
The 26 exercises are sequential and chose to ensure movement of oxygenated blood to 100% of your body, and to each organ, essentially restoring all systems to healthy working order.
Since the room is so heated, your muscles are warmed up instantaneously. You will find your muscles are capable of much more stretching and lengthening than you ever thought possible! Hence the reason this is so good for runners. But, because of heat and the risk of it becoming overwhelming, be sure to take it easy...if you feel lightheaded during the class, drink some water and lie down for a moment. Many people feel as if they are going to pass out the first time they attend. So, to minimize the impact, make sure you drink a ton of water during the entire 24 hours prior to your class.
Now, the heat means that you will sweat....seriously sweat. More than even running will do! So, wear workout clothes (you know, those little shorts that you dare not yet run in public in) and a cropped little top....again, you will sweat! Drink a ton of water prior to the class...because you will sweat. Drink a ton of water during class...because you will sweat. And, above all else, bring a towel to wipe the sweat off of your face. There is a reason why Bikram referred to the heated room as the "torture chamber" but its also invigorating because its sauna-like enviroment ensures toxins are quickly removed from your system.
So, if you are interested, check out the link provided or google "hot yoga" in your city. Be prepared to bring:
- Water (preferably with electrolytes...remember sweating during/after running can cause the same issues as sweating during/after hot yoga)
- Skimpy clothes
I personally see it as a time saver. I simply do not have the time to get dressed, drive to a gym, wait in line for equipment, work out, change/shower, drive home. If I do this, I either miss out on a family dinner or putting the kids to bed. But running has so many time benefits. I can change, run a 5k around the neighborhood after dinner, and finish while the kids are still taking a bath! I can make story time. I can make goodnight kisses. I can be supermom!
Sure, it’s a pricey sport for me. See, I’m a gadget girl. I need the accessories. I need the cute lululemon skirts, the garmin watch, the comfy clothes…While I understand that some see the skirts as a detractor to serious competition, I don’t at all. If anything, they let me move between mom duties and running duties more seamlessly. And the bright cute tops? Well, I prefer to run in the road where the surface isn’t nearly as cambered (I’ve learned my lesson), so I will wear anything that lets those cars see me from a farther distance! So, the dollars keep adding up…but it’s a small price to pay for fitness.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
So, how was it? Well organized, but I expected that since it was co-hosted by Fit2Run. The course was lovely, which was also to be expected since the club is always known as keeping a nice golf course....but it was nice to run in such an open space, free from worrying about uneven grass causing injury.
That being said, it was a tough course...the rolling hills of the golf course were unexpected. I expected some hills, but not to this extent. Some of their tees, I swear golfers were surprised to have to walk uphill this much, and we had to run it! I shouldn't complain....in fact, some of the runners around me should be complaining. I was definitely NOT over my cold, so I was clearing my throat and/or coughing throughout the run. I'm sure I distracted more than a few people. I even felt that there were some runners who would choose to walk, only to run again when I caught up with them. They were probably thinking that they couldn't let someone who is obviously sick beat them!
I walked for about 30 seconds after the first 1.2 mile mark. Then again at the water stops, just walking through them....and then again 2 short breaks between mile 3 and 4. I felt great at the end, so I probably could have pushed it a bit more, but thats ok...I'm still getting over this nasty cold. Finish time 45:37 (11 of 16 in my age group).
So, by the time I finished, we had just enough time to grab a quick bite and head on over to the kids races, which started at the same place that I started the run. We were late. Zoran is slow anyways, so the girls were running ahead and got there in enough time, but by the time Zoran and I got there, we realized that the area where the 3-4 year olds run is another 100 meters away! Needless to say, the little man was tired before the run even started. All finishers received a medal, and both kids also placed so they received a trophy as well. It was a small field, so they had a great chance at this. Zoran was a bit disappointed that he got the green trophy (3rd place boy in his 3-4 year old group) and not the blue trophy (his favorite color). Ella placed 2nd for girls in her age group (5-6 year olds). All in all, very well done.
So, would we run this again? Definitely. Its a beautiful course. The weather was lovely. Much of the course is either early enough not to be hindered by the sun, or shaded paths. The water stops were well-placed. The food at the end was a nice spread, outside the main clubhouse....well appointed with nice tablecloths :) And its for firefighters' funds....great run all around.
Also, I do have quite the extensive Disney experience...did you know that? Back in my other life (pre-kids), I worked at Disney. Yep, I did. West coast though....didn't really venture to Florida much. I worked at the Feature Animation division (that building with the sorcerer's apprentice hat) and then also at Disneyland Resort. I loved working for Disney...its just such a special place to work. I was able to participate in some extremely unique events while there:
- I visited Walt's apartment (sits atop the fire station on Main Street in Disneyland Resort).
- I dressed up as a character in the park one day and practiced my signature perfectly for the event
- I competed in a canoe race around the Rivers of America in Disneyland Resort...we even won first place!
- I was able to see the Grand California resort hotel before it even opened
- I can actually be spotted in one of the rides (Soarin' Over California's final scene is during the holidays on main street and it was filmed during the Disney holiday party...I know where I was standing and saw a glimpse of me once!)
- I've seen the original artwork that Dali created in light of a movie he and Walt were working on (never came to fruition though)
- I've attended several cast and crew premiere parties (and have the paraphernalia to show from it) including Tarzan, 101 Dalmatians, Hunchback, Mulan, etc.
Now, my past experience combined with my interest in running now and my natural love of researching/sharing (which I'm sure you know by now is evident) would be the perfect combination to make me successful in this panel, wouldn't you think? I won't know anything until mid-November...so I'm not holding my breathe. It would be fun though, wouldn't it?
Friday, September 16, 2011
So, I'm a sucker for groupon deals...and this one, I didn't want to pass up. Basically, I purchased 5 shots of MIC, that will be self-administered (I have no issues with this personally) to aid in weight loss and energy. I feel like I'm just exhausted lately, and its probably due to my recent illness, but I want energy so bad! Anyways, there are no "questionable" ingredients in the MIC injection. its simply a highly-absorbable combination of minerals, vitamins and amino acids your body needs to maintain energy. The MIC includes vitamins that aid in fat-burning as well, making it an important part of your weight loss plan. MIC contain:
- The amino acid Methionine which helps break down fat, and increases energy lean muscle mass.
- The vitamin Inositol which is vital for the metabolism of fat and cholesterol.
- Vitamin B12, necessary for proper digestion, protein synthesis, and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.
- Choline which contributes to cardiovascular health.
- Chromium, a mineral that plays a vital role in the synthesis of fats, cholesterol and proteins. It is an energy source.
Because its injected and not ingested, very few elements are lost in the digestive process, so its more potent and therefore more effective. I'll get my first shot Wednesday (third day of the Slim in 6, and of my 6-day strict diet) and then I'll see how it goes. More importantly, I'm craving energy and a boost to my B12 will be so welcomed! Hey, if the amino acids help with fat mobility, I'm just seeing it as an added benefit!
So, what have I changed up? I've added two tablespoons of flaxseed meal. Bob's Red Mill is my go-to brand for this product. They are easy to find, and they also offer an organic version for just a few cents more. I personally don't like the full flax seeds as they are just too hard for me, but the meal is pre-crushed so it blends quite nicely into the shake (but it still retains all the parts of the seed). I could have simply used Flax Oil, but it spoils faster than the meal, and I prefer the extra fiber that the meal offers.
Note: Both flaxseed oil and meal must be refrigerated. Even better is keeping it in the freezer if you can find a sealed container for it that doesn't let anything in! I love the Lock-n-Lock brand for these, as no freezer smells get in our out of these containers. Lock-n-Lock comes in so many sizes that I keep all of my oatmeals/grains/flours/baking goods in these and then they are in the freezer in my garage so they last extra long.
So, why flax seed? It contains an abundance of essential fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, lignin, protein and zinc. Some nutritionists now think that its the 2nd most vital supplement after a multivitamin, as it helps every major system in your body (cardiovascular, immune, circulatory, reproductive nervous...even your joints!)
Flax seed has been shown to be specifically beneficial to:
- lower breast/colon cancer risks, due to its high lignan content (Flax is 100 times richer in lignan than most other grains)
- The Omega-3 fatty acids help lower cholesterol and triglycerides
- Reduces risk of high blood pressure, water retention, inflammation (inflammation....the runner's worst recurring issue)
- Shortens recovery time for post-exercise muscles (runners remedy)
- Increases energy and stamina (runners remedy)
- Speeds healing of sprains/bruises (who knew you could do something to get rid of bruises!)
- Helps fight obesity by increasing metabolism (sure there are 60 calories per 2 tablespoon serving, but lets keep our eye on the big picture here)
Now, if you are adverse to having this in shakes, the oil is great to add in your salad dressings...not even noticeable. Others prefer to use the meal in pancake batter, or in baked breads, or even in their outmeal. Some people prefer the whole seeds on top of their salad as well. In other words, its very versatile!
So, for $4 for a one pound bag (which will last a very long time), it sure looks worthwhile! And for those that limit their grains, this is a great supplement because you get everything you need from grains without the bad things!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Why do you need to be concerned about your resting heart rate? A high heart rate increase is associated with high blood pressure. This causes damage to your arteries and forms plaque. A fast heart rate can literally knock the plaque from your arteries and block blood flow, causing a heart attack. A resting heart rate of 83 or higher is cause for alarm regardless, but so is a marked increase in your resting heart rate from prior periods.
So, what if your resting heart rate is greater now than just a year ago? What does that mean? Quite simply, it could mean many things…but hopefully I’ve narrowed down a few things to bring you comfort and know what you can do to adjust it properly.
Are you sick?
- If your resting heart rate is 12 or more beats above “your” average, then you are either already sick or your body is working extra hard to fight off something that you do not yet know you have. Training can add additional stress, which is best avoided at this time. Instead, focus on nutrition and rest.
- Now, if you are a little bit sick and your heart rate is elevated (but not 12+ beats over your normal heart rate), exercise, but don’t push it up a notch…make it a moderate workout only. Do not go for any records here, as exercising with even a mild cold will make training feel harder, so don’t push yourself until you are back to full health.
Are you tired? Everything is more difficult when you are tired, even your heart works extra hard. Usually one or two nights of poor sleep won’t cause an elevated heart rate, but the effects are evident afterwards. Even a slightly elevated heart rate is a good indicator that you need more rest. Focus on getting rest and if you exercise, pay careful attention to your heart rate and your level of fatigue while exercising in order to avoid injuries due to bad form or lack of focus.
Are you overtraining? Every body has its limits, and when training is too severe, the body cannot find the time to repair itself, as tissues of the muscle and organs demand more oxygen and nutrients. When this occurs, your resting heart rate is typically 10-12 beats over your norm, consistently for 2-3 days. Another sign of overtraining may be difficulty sleeping. If overtraining is an issue, a day of rest is in order. Maybe a day in the pool instead of running outside? Maybe a bit of time with resistant work? If you don’t need to train, take a breather…if you do need to do something, take it down a notch.
Are you stressed? Our mind is our most powerful tool when competing. Unfortunately, our mind is also powerful enough to cause a physical reaction! Weight gain is often associated with increased stress, but an elevated heart rate (8-10 beats above norm) can also develop. In this case, go for a run! Exercise has such great stress-relieving benefits, that a run is definitely in order!
Are you toxic? Most notably, alcohol can increase your resting heart rate by a few beats, because your body is working a tad harder to remove the toxins from your system. Exercise can assist this effort, so go for a run!
Generally speaking, follow your body’s queues. Lack of rest, stress, overtraining, poor nutrition…all of these can influence your resting heart rate. So many different things can affect your heart rate, and knowing how your body is influenced by each of these co-factors is definitely an eye-opening experience! I myself am just getting over a serious cold which I’ve had for now over 1 week. My resting heart rate one morning was 80!!!! Never would I have imagined that it could be that high. I may just try to test it daily for the next few weeks to better understand my “norm” so I can better identify over-training, illness, etc in the future. Its simply not worth taking a chance! In time, I hope that being familiar and aware of my heart rate will become second nature to me.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
So, starting next week, its all about "Slim in 6" for me :)
42 days...counting rest days = 6 weeks
Days 1-6 Start it Up
Day 7 Rest
Days 8-13 Ramp it Up
Day 14 Rest
Days 15-20 Ramp it Up
Day 21 Rest
Days 22 - 27 Burn it Up
Day 28 Rest
Days 29 - 34 Burn it Up
Day 35 Rest
Days 36 - 41 Burn it Up
Day 42 Rest
Or think of it this way, Weekly Schedule (workout 6 days a week)
Week 1 Start it Up (35 minutes)
Weeks 2-3 Ramp it Up (50 minutes)
Weeks 4-6 Burn it Up (1 hour)
My order also came with the "Slim & 6 Pack" and "Slim & Limber" DVDs...Once you start the Slim in 6 program, this is the regimen to add if the ab routine on the videos is not challenging you anymore. They do not recommend doing "Slim in 6 Pack" more than three times a week though. You can do "Slim & Limber" as often as you like to stretch and relax, even on your day off. The resistance band work appears in Ramp it Up and Burn it Up.
And, if the "Start it Up" is too easy, I'll move on to "Ramp it Up" as early as Day 3. I won't move on faster than this though, as I need to get used to Debbie's moves!
Also, the included nutrition guide details menus for each day of the week, as well as a shopping list to minimize confusion and easily avoid those foods that are pitfalls. I need to investigate this a tad more, as I really want to see if there is anything I have been eating regularly that is NOT on the list....I would presume that my normal "current" diet is fine to continue my weight loss.
I hope to be able to keep this up, as well as running three times/week....two short 5k runs and one long run. I hope I'm not taking on too much, but only time will tell. I'll report back in a week! Either way, I'll update everyone when I start this, and see how the program appears once I have a few days to let it all sink in.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
What surprises me most is that if I enter my ideal weight (135) and calculate it out, I would be at the 19th percentile....meaning 81% of women my age would be larger than me! Wow...kinda sheds light on how out of shape this country is, doesn't it? As for my "ideal" weight, there is also another calculator that tells me how reasonable that is....for me, it fits perfectly in several different calculations of what number I really should strive for to have no health issues related to my weight. So, at least my ideal is a healthy ideal!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Normally, the heart rate slows during sleep at night; this is called the nocturnal 'dip'. Those with very small or no dips in sleeping heart rate were about 2½ times as likely to die in the next 7 years as those with normal or large dips during sleep, as detailed in this study.
In the study above, average awake and average sleep heart rates were used to determine "non-dipper" patients, defined as follows:
In other words, those with a sleep dip of less than 10% were more likely to die in the next 7 years. In normal subjects, the heart rate dips during sleep by at least 10%. And if the "dip" is significantly higher than 10%, you can count yourself as a very fit individual!
Now, where is that heart rate monitor of mine!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Personal Experience while Fasting
Thursday morning started off rough... I had made the typical shakeology of PB2, chocolate shakeology and a banana for my husband's breakfast, and he took one whiff of it and just couldn't drink it. He's enjoyed it for awhile now ever day, but the last several days his tummy and olfactory glands has been keeping him up a lot at night and making him super picky on his food. Now, if you want to do a cheap cleanse, just get food poisoning like he did! He's hardly taken a bite of anything all week! I digress...so rather than wasting it, I had that for breakfast Thursday. Lunch was a fasting shake, as well as dinner.
I didnt drink any lemon-water like the brochure suggested, since I was already sucking on several Ricola lemon drops throughout the day to ward off my cold/sour throat...thought that was a good enough substitute. But, I did stick to drinking a ton of water as well. Hunger through the first day was fine. Always a tad hungry, but never ravenous....so I just kept myself really busy and I was ok. I brough my daughter to softball try-outs that evening, so that filled in the time well for me.
Day 2, I woke up and had a banana immediately. The directions indicated that a banana was fine if you experience headaches, but since I was going out for a run that morning, I thought getting something into me was advisable. I had a poor run....2.2miles in 25 minutes, so it was an ok pace given my lack of nutrients the day before. I had a fast shake for breakfast (put a scoop of whey protein in there as well), lunch and dinner...and still had a lot of water and sucked on a few dozen lozenges :) Again, hunger was manageable, and during parts of the day, I didn't even notice any hunger. At that point, I had done 5 servings of the suggested 6.
Day 3 for breakfast I had the last serving, which staved off hunger until lunch time...at which time my fast will be officially over.
Hunger? It was manageable....but definitely needed something to distract me. I would not suggest doing this fast if you weren't planning on being very busy! If I was bored, the hunger would have been way too much for me to handle. But, since I was at work, and I had a ton of little things to finish, it was more than ok. Also, if you have a sugar/caffeine addiction, you may want to wean yourself off of those as much as possible beforehand, as the resulting headaches could make the fast miserable. Fortunately, that was not an issue for me at all, and I experienced no headaches.
Benefits/Assumptions of a Liquid Fast
Just note that fasting should never be done solely to lose weight. You may easily lose 4-7 pounds (and I was right in the middle of that range), but most of this is water weight, so it will come back....not all of it, but most of it. The cleaner you eat after the fast, the better chance you have of not adding the water back on. Therefore, as you can imagine, most people who denounce any fasting product are simply missing the big picture.
Fasting with a liquid diet (as opposed to fasting with just water) is not as stressful to your body. The result is to give your organs and digestive system a break (eg no fiber for your body to break down), but still ingesting nutrients your body needs to be healthy. By giving your system a much-needed vacation from breaking down food, your body is able to divert all of its energy it usually uses for food into healing your body. Your immune system therefore can focus on repair.
The idea of a good detox diet is to eat clean foods (which is what is in the beachbody can) that will ease the functioning of the lymph, kidneys and liver. Anything that harms their functions is avoided. If this is not periodically "cleaned up", toxin levels can increase and negatively affect our body. Specifically, toxins hinder the functioning of the liver, the second largest organ in our body and whose primary purpose is to detox and purify the blood. When your liver is healthy, your body can fight diseases more effectively. When your liver is not proficient, fatigue, skin problems, immunity, allergies, headaches, etc can increase in occurrence.
Many people use a fast to kick-start a diet. Why? Because, simply put, when you remove the impurities in your body, your body is better at processing the nutrients. If you are going to reduce your caloric level by half, you better make sure that every nutrient ingested is being put to work 100% and is being absorbed by your body.
Type of Toxins
Toxins are created both externally and internally, which can build up to unsafe levels. Our body works constantly to remove these toxins from our system.
We are all exposed to external toxins such as polluted water, car exhaust, breathing polluted air, make-up chemicals/solvents and standard household products. Our bodies were simply not designed to handle toxic elimination to this extent. Even the food we eat can contain toxins that are naturally bad for our body; we ingest pesticides and on our food daily, and our food now contains less vitamins/minerals than ever before because we alter how these animals feed/live (eg feeding grains to tilapia and cows, neither of which serves their genetic makeup). Alcohol, cigarette smoke (even second hand), fast foods, sodas and processed food create long-term toxin buildup in our body. You simply cannot avoid all toxins in today's world.
Our own body also creates toxins internally. Viral infections and bacterial infections produces toxins in our body. Stress also contributes to this build-up.
Toxins, which the body cannot easily release tend to be stored in cellulite (a form of fat combined with water). The only way to get rid of it is to use foods and herbs which support your body’s detox mechanisms. My cellulite looks less noticeable, although I didn't really compare before and after pics. :)
Also, there was some discomfort....but I kept busy...and I dropped a ton of water weight, simply confirming that my body was holding on to so much water just to prevent the toxins from harming me!
I feel I have more energy, and my clothes are a tad looser, although thats mostly a temporary benefit I know. Now, I'll start my serious diet and see if I can drop another 10 pounds while I work on the "Slim in 6" program and continue my running training schedule (35 down, total of 20 to go). But, I feel healthy and vibrant, and it will hopefully encourage me to stay true to my diet!
Would I do it again? It got rid of toxins and excess water, which the scale definitely showed. I would do it again, for sure. Its definitely cheaper and quicker than other cleansing products I've tried in the past! If the product is of interest to you, visit here, then click "shop" and then "Nutrition and Supplements" and then "Weight Management" .....the ingredient/nutrition label can be seen here. Now, if you want to try an alternative approach, here are a few suggestions:
- CleanseMax is a natural approach. Its not jarring on your system, but is pricier and takes 30 days of supplements to complete.
- If you have a juicer, you can always chose just to create a natural juice drink to consume three times a day, and then just water between those "meals". If you want to try this approach, use beet root, carrot, celery, cucumber, watercress and spinach in your juicer.
- You can also use freshly squeezed diluted fruit juice (apple, grape, strawberry, pineapple, mango, melon, papaya, peach, pear). The costs for this fruit does add up fast, but if you are adversed to "box food" this is an excellent option.
Note: Diabetics should definitely avoid fasting unless you are under strict doctor guidance....and really, anyone with any doubt of fasting should always consult a physician. I'm definitely not one, so don't rely on just my opinion. But, fasting has been done for cultural and religious reasons for centuries, so I don't think there is any harm to the overwhelming part of the population!
Friday, September 9, 2011
- 1 Minute: If your heart rate has not dropped by more than 12 bpm one minute after you stop running, this may indicate an increased risk of heart attack. But while your heart rate one minute after exercise is the most important measurement, later measurements are significant as well, because how quickly your heart rate returns to its resting heart rate is an indication of your fitness.
- 3 Minutes: Your physical condition is improving when your heart rate three minutes after you stop exercising is closer to your resting heart rate than the 1 minute interval.
- 5 Minutes: If your heart rate is over 120 heartbeats per minute (under 50 years old) or above 100 heartbeats per minute (over 50 years old), your next exercise should be less intense.
- 30 Minutes: Your heart rate should equal its resting rate 30 minutes after you're finished exercising.
One other thing that is encouraging...next school year, my daughter will be eligible to join the "mileage club" at school. Its an after-school activity where the kids get a free t-shirt, but also log their mileage walking/running with the other club members every Monday after school. She isn't eligible this year, as she's just in kindergarden, but once she's a first grader...watch out world!
Yes, I know...she's a competitive one...thats why people refer to her as my "mini me" :)
Thursday, September 8, 2011
So, I'm attempting the Beachbody 2-Day Fast product. I read a ton of reviews and realize that the chocolate flavor is 100% better than the vanilla. Now, while the directions say that this should be the only thing you ingest for 2 days, it does not curb your appetite...but I'm ready for that. I have some tea that I will drink that should avoid the massive hunger pains. I'm ready...bring it!
So, Thursday and Friday are my fasting days...I expect work to be a bit slow these days, so if I'm somewhat distracted because of any hunger, I should be ok regardless.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
So, I've told her about the C25k program, and she's tried it off and on for several weeks now but still can't get past week 1. She just bought a running skirt and is determined to get through the first week this week! And, because I'm just that kinda gal, I told her every Wednesday we could run during lunch and do the C25k program on that run. So, next week, I'm going to be in deja vu land and start at week 2 of the C25K :)
Actually, it will be nice....an easy workout mid-week, even though the weather will be awful. But, hey, its only partial running for 30 minutes, right? And besides, by the time it starts to cool down here in mid October, thats when we will start doing more true running and more true sweating, so maybe it will all work out?
Works out for me anyways. I want to do a short 20-30 minute cardio workout wednesdays (I plan on running Tuesday and Thursday nights anyway, but wanted to interperse some light cardio between the two....and this seems perfect). Besides, my kids will have soccer practice Wednesday nights, and Joe will start baseball soon enough Wednesday nights so I have few opportunities once that ramps up. This just seems perfect to fill the need to exercise, fit it into the schedule AND make it a social thing :)