Completely random

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

I love this video:
I feel like Meb is the father of running.  I've heard him say multiple times that his focus of each day is doing small things to make himself better; from strength to nutrition to stretching.  However, it's not to look better or be better than the next person, but just a better self.  It's refreshing.  I also completely needed to hear what he said about posture.  I've been working on more core training, but it's still easy for me to not put as much effort into it as I should.


We started taking Maya with us on short jogs around the block this week.  The vet said she shouldn't run more than a mile until she's a year old...but that was also before we knew she was a greyhound.  It's been the most hilarious experience taking her.  My 7:30 pace is a s.l.o.w trot for her.  She definitely helps with the speed work and I forget all about running because I'm so entertained by her.  She absolutely LOVES being out with us and comes back acting like she's the coolest dog in town.


Surviving July

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Every day in July was above 100° F. In fact there were only 5 days in the month where the high was below 106° F and we had 12 days where it got to 110° F or higher! I was nervous about this month long before I moved here. Running and desert heat is just a bad combination. Yet I survived.  I managed to run 141 miles this month. I won't say that I thrived because that would be a stretch. I slogged through some miserable hot runs, I plodded along on the treadmill, and drank gallons of water. Here are the four things that helped me survive the month:

1. Get out of town.
I spent the first few days of the month in Canada (and got one run in after my fishing trip), and I spent 6 days in San Diego for work. I made sure to run each day in San Diego and enjoy the cool weather. These brief respites from the heat were mentally necessary. Not only did the cooler temperatures feel great, they let me run outside without feeling like I was being cooked alive.

Running Mission Trails in San Diego

2. Embrace the treadmill
Maybe embrace is too strong a word. Mentally I have come to accept the necessity of the treadmill. But I still loathe the machine. Given the choice I'd rather be a hamster then not run at all.  I logged most of my miles in July on the treadmill. On a positive note I found that there is a certain brand of treadmill called Woodway that actually feels pretty good. They have two of them at the gym on base. Their unique slat belt tread actually feels like running on the road. If you ever see one I highly encourage you to run on it you should give it a try if you can't run outside.

I have a great treadmill running partner!

3. Ditch the long-run
I normally do a 10 mile run once a week. I love this routine because it gets me a lot in terms of fitness and endurance and it also gives me a great sense of accomplishment every week. I only did one 10 mile run this month and it was while I was in San Diego. While I miss the long-run and can't wait to to incorporate it back in my routine, I've accepted that I just have to let it go in these conditions. There is a time for everything and right now it's not time to run 10 miles. 


No big runs but at least I caught a big fish.

The perfect stride

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I've been running on the treadmill for the last 3 months and it's killing me.  My feet started hurting, so much so that I was only able to make it 1 single mile before having to jump off.  Ben took a slow motion video for me to see what could be causing this pain, besides the hard surface of the treadmill.
   

It didn't take long to see how horrible my stride was.  It makes sense, though.  First of all, I have poor posture to begin with and second, the treadmill makes my running feel so artificial.  It almost feels impossible to run well on it, but perhaps that just a mental thing.  Does anyone really love running, but not going anywhere?

I committed to working on my form and began with research.  We watched some Youtube videos and I got a few workouts off of Pinterest.  Ben got me some new running shoes, which always makes running way more fun.  Still love my Brooks!


I followed this workout plan from runfargirl.com and this and this strength training workouts from diaryofafitmommy.com.  Only 2 weeks in and I can tell a difference.  I was reminded how quickly I drop strength training off my workout schedule.  Running is my priority and whatever time I have left I'll do a few things, but it's not my priority.  I realized how much better running will be if I invest in my strength as well.

I was so fed up with running on the treadmill that I started getting up crazy early this week to run outside.  It was *only* in the 90's, but it actually felt fine.  You know you've adjusted to life in the desert when you type a sentence like that.  It actually felt amazing.  Watching the sun rise and smelling the flowers and hearing the birds chirp were fuel for my soul.  And guess what?!  My feet didn't hurt!  Nothing hurt.  I felt like I could run forever.  Well, until my water ran out that is.  After months and months of a running slump, it was crazy encouraging to enjoy running again.

The perfect stride is out there.  Just don't neglect strength training and take some time periodically to check yourself and make sure your form is right.

Whole 30 turned Whole 10

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Monday, August 1, 2016

I wrote this post a week into Whole 30:


Don't you love how Ben scientifically proved that I'm SUPER stinky now?
It's true.  The sweat that pours from me during a workout is a whole new beast without carbs.


115 outside means Ben will finally run on the treadmill!
It's funny how a week can seem like eternity.  Ben and I were reminiscing last night about the one time we attempted the Atkins diet *back when we were young* and only made it 5 days!  I finished this week feeling strong, like I had conquered this huge battle, and then realized it's only been 7 days.


Some things about this week:

1.  The hardest part is being the only one in my family committed.  Everyone has jumped on board with 96% of how I'm eating, but the 4% that's left is hard.  Ben will offer a sip of his beer in the evening or make rice to go with dinner.  The ultimate test of self control was taking the kiddos for ice cream and non of them finishing their cone!  AGH!  That was hard.


 2.  The book outlines for you day by day what you will most likely feel.  I found them to be really accurate, but also couldn't fully blame it on the way I was eating.  Sure, I was a little cranky on day 5, but then I was also woken up at 6am by a puppy and 3 year old and missed my precious, quiet, coffee time.  I was a little more tired on day 7, but we also had a full week of homeschool and errands and some fun activities.

3.  This challenge has opened up a whole new door of dinners for us and we are loving it.  I borrowed the book from a friend and have tried a new recipe every night and each meal was delicious.  I was also really impressed that my kids ate and were satisfied with the food.  I did add a grain for them on a couple of meals, but I think they would have been content without it.  I'll be posting all of our favorite new recipes on our family recipe blog if you would like to get some new dinner ideas.

4.  I can already see positive change.
No giant zits this week.
I noticed our consumption of honey go WAY down.
For the first time in history, I didn't feel the need to have a snack before bed.
Haven't had the afternoon "crash" that I usually feel where I reach for some espresso beans.

5. I love that the challenge emphasizes pre and post fueling for workouts.  Honestly, I am terrible with this in general and usually just grab a snack when I feel hungry after a workout.  I find it refreshing that they lay out what your body needs 15 minutes before a workout and 30 minutes after and emphasize that it's not a meal replacement, but a refueling.  I love that it's not about less calories or losing weight, it's about taking care of your body the right way.

6.  There have been times that it's really bothered Alison.  She notices what I eat why more than I want to believe.  For example, she requested pancakes for breakfast one morning and helped me make them, but then was disappointed that I didn't eat them.  I'm very nervous for how she'll react to my food choices on Colin's birthday this week.  I may just have to break the rules for the sanity of my 8 year old.  We shall see...



Then my Whole 30 came to a crashing hault when our puppy was let out of our yard without us knowing and got lost.  We spent 36 hours searching and searching and searching for her.  We stopped everything and made phone calls and put up fliers and drove around and around.  Our neighbors brought over a basket of giant blueberry muffins and I literally lived off those and coffee for the entire time we searched for her.  I didn't have the brain power to think about cooking food or what I was supposed to eat.  I know it's just a puppy, but it felt like my child...my child lost in the blazing hot desert.  The night before we found her, I broke down in tears and cried to Ben, "I've lost my puppy and I failed the Whole 30!" (I felt like I was in the scene of Dumb and Dumber when he cries about his birds head falling off).  We did find Maya, barely alive.  She has miraculously made a full recovery and I am thankful for the 10 days of the diet.  It really has changed my thinking about food and we have continued to cook some of the recipes.  I have continued to eat what I was eating for about 80% of the time, but have not been strict on dinner.  I think Ben would say that it's good I stopped because it was creating a constant conversation about food among our kids; conversations of things they didn't need to worry about.