Sunday, June 26, 2011

Imagine my disgust....

Today I did my long run for the week-5 miles.  It went well I think.  59:10 was my time.  Here I am after my run today:

This is an awful picture of me but we are keeping it real right?  My husband is clearly much taller than I am and apparently from his angle while my legs look much smaller than they really are, my stomach and boobs look terrible.  And maybe my head looks to big for my body here?  hmmm....  Obviously not a good angle to take a pic..I will have to speak to him about that...haha.  I can just picture him crouching down or standing on his knees to take a pic for me...  Oh...and see my sports bra?  I got it at the running store for $50+ dollars and let me tell you something....nothing short of duck tape would work better than this thing.  Worth every single penny.  Maybe I will do a post on that someday.

I have been running miles and miles and I have been proud of myself.  So imagine my disgust the other day when I got on the scale to see:  178 lbs... What?!?!?!?!?  That is like a 15 lb gain.  Yup, 15 as in like 1  5, double digits.  I have been noticing my pants have been pretty tight and that my appetite has been huge.  Not to mention my 4 year old told me my belly was "jiggling" when we were shopping yesterday.  Then I tried on a life jacket and it was too tight.  She pipes up with "that is for smaller mommies".  She is right!

I have talked in the past about how if I can get ahold of my hunger before I get to that hungry point I am much more able to keep in control of what I am eating.  But once I actually get hungry its all over.  The "beast" within comes out and takes over at that point.  And then I eat the way the old Jen used to...I eat sweets, fatty things and whatever looks good...including fast food :(   Oh...and ice cream.  Ice cream has been a problem for me this season... So while I havent been eating as great as I should be, I have been running many miles a week and thought maybe it would cancel out?  Apparently I was way off on that thought. 

I have noticed that running has really increased my appetite so I decided that that is where I need to start *repairing* the damage.  I have done yet more research online and by talking to other runners and here is what I have come up with...

*I will eat GU before(and during once I increase my miles) my runs instead of a breakfast since I seem to get cramps when I eat before running.

*I invested in some Athletes Honey Milk (thanks Shelley!!) and I cant wait for it to come in the mail.  I bought a case. 

*Until then I bought some other protein drinks to try for after my runs so I can hopefully recover better and get my appetite under control before reaching the very hungry out of control point.  Here is what I tried today:
170 calories and tastey.  Although its not as *natural* as some of the other products out there... But hey, this is a learning curve right?

*I have purchased some running books on ebay, some specifically for women to see what I can learn. I am like a sponge with all this info.  Heres what I ordered:

Sorry they are so little??? Anyway, I will be sure to share anything helpful that I learn!

*I went out and bought some healthy foods to have in the house.  That always helps. 

*I am going to eat more (smaller) meals throughout the day to try to ward off the hunger.

*I am going to cut down on my ice cream intake but still allow myself some enjoyment! It is summer afterall...

*I am drinking more water.

The dr put me on steroids a couple weeks ago for a few days.  I think it has messed up my monthly cycle and I am thinking that is why I have been so hungry.  I usually  have a few hungry days that come and go but with it being off I am thinking it has extended my hungry days.  I am hoping everything goes back to normal soon...

I found myself here the other day.  I am looking into some new running shoes as I seem to be having an issue on the bottom of one of my feet.  Maybe a corn from all this newly applied pressure from running?  I am thinking some new hardcore running shoes would benefit me regardless. I just stopped in the other day to check the place out.  I will go back.

Well, thats it for now.  I stink too much for me to sit here any longer.  I could really benefit from a shower(and so could everyone who might come near me).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Benefits of Running

First, thanks for the comments on how to fix my commenting issue.  I did what you all said and it worked!  I unchecked the keep me signed in box and whalah...fixed.  Thanks so much!

This post is an important one to me.  For those of you who may be new to the blog or dont know my story, a little over a year ago I was much larger than I am now.  I was 230+ pounds.  I got some weight off and started to run.  When I first started running I couldnt even run for 30 seconds at a time without gasping for breath.  I was amazed at how quickly my stamina, endurance and overall capabilities expanded.  I am now training for a half marathon in October. Running has changed my life.  And while some runs are tougher than others I have never regretted a run, or felt crappy after finishing one.  NEVER.  I have just reached 150 followers and I thought this would be the perfect time to do a post that may possibly change someones life for the better. 

Before I was a runner I didnt know much about running other than I hated it.  It was something that hardcore skinny people did and I surely wasnt that.  I knew it was supposed to be good for you but that was about it.  Now that I am running and I see the changes in myself, I thought it would be nice to post some of the real benefits of running that I have found in my research.  I have gotten these from various online sites.  And like I said, if this helps just one person who is on the fence about trying running then its well worth it.  I know that after posting this I will look back on this time and time again to rekindle that spark and to remind me why running is so great.

BENEFITS OF RUNNING (copied and pasted from various websites)

*Running is one of the top activities for burning fat. In fact, with the exception of cross country skiing, running burns more calories per minute than any other form of cardiovascular exercise.

*Running reduces the risk of stroke and breast cancer.

*Running increases your sex drive. -Need I say more? Well, check this out: several studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have more and much better sex.

*Jogging builds confidence and self-esteem like few other individual sports can. It allows the runner to defeat trial after trial, growing stronger and more sure of themselves with each footstrike. 

*It provides a feeling of empowerment and freedom that comes with knowing that your legs and body are strong and capable. Confidence is even more a product of running for those who lose weight and gain a better self-image through running.

*Aside from just the stress relief, jogging has also been proven to improve attitude. Running, especially outside and on trails, creates a release of endorphins that can cause euphoria (runner’s high) or just a general sense of happiness.

*Running has been used for years to treat clinical depression and addictions of all kinds. Less tension, less depression, less fatigue, and less confusion are just a few of the changes that patients have seen after beginning a regular running program. Running gives something for them to focus on, allowing them to see something besides their depressed state or addiction.

*Not many sports can be done almost anywhere with almost no gear. we just need a good pair of running shoes and off we go.

*Those who are looking to lose a few pounds often find running to be one of the most effective forms of exercise for helping them to achieve their ideal body weight. Running is an excellent form of exercise for losing weight because it requires a great deal of energy. This energy requirement means the body burns a large number of calories while running.

*Lowers blood pressure and helping the arteries to maintain their elasticity. While running, the arteries expand and contract approximately three times as much as they do when you are sedentary. This means you are not only working out to improve your physical appearance but also the overall function of your body. In doing this the risk of heart attack and stroke becomes diminished.

*Running is also beneficial for slowing down the aging process. Those who run regularly are less likely to experience bone and muscle loss as they age at the same pace as those who do not run regularly or at all. The bones grow and become stronger by responding to physical demands.

*Jogging helps to reduce stubborn belly fat. Stubborn fat can be very hard to shift, but a running program can really help to cut down on the last of your stubborn fat

*If you suffer from poor appetite, jogging will improve your appetite. Along with all other forms of exercise – the harder you work, the more you need to eat to repair your muscles and refuel them. When you start to run longer distances you will start to eat to fuel your body, and may even find that you need to eat more food everyday, than you did when you were overweight.

*Jogging will strengthen the muscles and bone density of your legs, hips and back. Running does not produce bulky muscles, like weight training or even circuit training does, but it does increase leg strength. Also, the constant impact caused during running can increase bone density, so long as you follow a healthy diet.

*Running can give you both physical and mental joy, so long you do not exhaust yourself! When jogging is done correctly, you will actually feel less tired after you have finished a tour than before you began. You may even start to enjoy the feelings in your muscles during the jogging and afterwards.

*Running is one of the best activities most people can do to improve their health. It raises HDL (or “good”) cholesterol, reduces the risk of blood clots, and encourages use of the 50 percent of your lungs that usually go unused. Running also boost the immune system by creating a higher concentration of lymphocytes (white blood cells that attack disease).

*Much improved sleep. Millions of people suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea and various other sleep related problems and disorders. Several studies have been able to successfully link a positive relationship between running and getting a better nights sleep.

*Running improves your cardiovascular endurance. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Again, need I say more?

*More good news: -you don't have to run races or marathons to receive all these running health benefits. It can be part of an overall fitness exercise program, meaning you'll only need to run a few miles total per week.

*Its easy! Some high-tech gear will make your run more fun, but really, all you need is a good pair of shoes, and a supportive sports bra. It couldn't be simpler. And everyone knows how to run.

*Most experts agree that regular exercise reduces the risk of many kinds of cancer, including some of the scariest: colon, breast, endometrial, and lung. One recent study in the British Journal of Cancer calculated that the "most active" (e.g. walked briskly 5-6 hours/week) people were 24 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than the "least active" people (e.g. 30 minutes of walking/week). In a study by the National Cancer Institute, women of a normal weight who reported the highest levels of "vigorous activity" (running, tennis, aerobics) had about a 30 percent lower risk of breast cancer when compared with women who did no vigorous activity. Becoming a regular runner may help you cancer-proof your life.

*It can even prevent vision loss, it seems. Two studies from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that running reduced the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

If anyone made it all the way through this post please let me know what you think!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Any ideas please?

This post is going to be all over the place....

First, I have been having a problem leaving comments on other blogs.  Is anyone else having this issue?  I go to leave a comment and for some reason it asks me to choose an account and makes me log in again. So I do and then it still comes up as anonymous  and then it wont even let me post it that way.  Sooo...if some of you are wondering why the lack of commenting from me...this is why.  I have rebooted my computer, checked my blogger settings, my google settings and still cant figure it out.  Any ideas?  I have also noticed that I havent had my usual number of comments on my blog.  So either I am getting boring or maybe others are having the same issue?

Second, I have noticed that my mentality has changed a bit.  I used to be an all or nothing kind of girl.  If I ate good, I exercised and vice versa.  And if I slipped up and ate bad I wouldnt bother exercising.  I'd thrwo in the towel.  That was a tough way to be and led me to several years of yoyo dieting.  I just figured its how I was.  But as disgusted with how poorly I have been eating lately, I have NOT given up my exercise.  Yaay!  I have been running.  Which leads me to new territory which has its own frustrations.  So I run 3 miles, and then negate it by eating two donuts right?  So whats the point?  WRONG!  I am excited thatI have the new mentality to realize that exercise, despite what I put in my mouth, is still great for me!  Imagine that?  My muscles are still getting stronger, I am still burning calories, etc.  I cant express how exciting this concept is for me.

Third...ugh.  Why?  Why did I feel the need to eat 3 candy bars( yup, 3....) along with some freshly microwaved marshmallows and several graham crackers to make smores...inside.  Really?  It used to be that I didnt want to undo my hard work once I learned how many calories I was burning while exercising.  Now, that is one concept I would gladly welcome back into my mentality. 

Fourth, I am glad to say that despite my crappy runs this past weekend that I am still looking forward to my run tomorrow!  Yaay! When I have a bad run I always find it hard to get back out there again.  And since I had two tough ones in a row I thought I would dread getting back out there.  I have been doing some research on the benefits of running to kind of rekindle the spark...hehe.  I am happy with what I am learning and I think I will make it the topic of my post tomorrow.

Hope you are all doing well.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What happened?

Seriously...I dont know what happened on my runs this weekend.  Remember on my last post how excited I was to go to camp so I could do my runs there?  A change of scenery, the two mile loop that I have run before and am famaliar with...remember my excitement?  Well, I am glad that I have been running for a while now because if I were a new runner (and didnt know that it can actually be a pleasurable thing) I would give it up! 

Saturday morning I decided to do the two mile loop.  It invloves quite a hill and usually I have to walk for a minute or two and I was expecting that.  So I suited up and the hubs came along with me.  I struggled from the minute I put my sneaks on the ground.  And it all went even further downhill from there!  The hill is early in the run and since I was struggling before I even arrived at it I was really dreading it.  I stopped and walked a bit.  Then started back up running again.  I stopped a few more times.  I just could not get "comfortable" running.  Everything felt so *off* to me.  I was definitely lacking any sorta pleasure.  Even after the hill I  had to stop at another point and walk.  My breathing was uncomfortable but I wasnt gasping for air or anything like that.  I was tired and had to stop.  I had hoped for two loops for a total of 4 miles but it was all I could do (seriously) to complete the 2 miles.  It bothered me most of the day that I had such an awful run.  I was disappointed in myself.  It wasnt overly hot, although it was humid.   I was sweating like a pig.  The hubs and I talked about it and here is what we came up with for possible reasons.  First, I drank a cup of coffee before we went.  My hubs swears this is what my problem was.  There is no doubt in his mind.  I dont usually drink coffee.  Some other things different in this run:  I wore different sneakers, I have been eating like total CRAP for a while now and my body isnt happy about it, and its been almost a year since I have tackled that hill.  I think (and really hope) its a combination of these things that made me struggle and that its a freak thing.  All runs cant be perfect right?

Todays run was again with the hubs.  I was a little nervous about it after yesterdays run!  I wore my regular sneakers this time, didnt drink any coffee or caffeine, and went a non hilly route.  I wanted to make it as positive of an experience as possible because I didnt want to be soured by yesterday route.  Also, today is my long run of the week-4 miles, so it was important.  The first mile and a half was kinda rough for me.  I was trucking along wondering why this was so tough.  What was different?  I was thinking about how I was going to have to blog about this.  My ankes hurt.  My knees hurt.  There was food *revisiting* and I kept burping.  I was asking myself how I am going to possibly run a half marathon. Then we came up to flashing lights, and I joked "how did they know I would need them???".  As we got closer I realized it was an accident  :(  After that I managed the run with much more ease.  The soreness seemed to disappear.  And when it was all said and done, it was almost two minutes faster than my last 4 mile run.   So not too shabby I guess.  Oddly, when I was done I realized I was barely sweating....hmmmmmm.....

  I am not sure why some runs seem so hard for me in the beginning?  The first mile or so is tough on me.  I have my running watch so I have been careful to watch my pace and not start out too fast and tire myself out.  I am really thinking my main problem is the garbage (and the large amount of it) that I have been eating.  Its another wakeup call.  Eat well and your body will thank you.  I will keep you posted on that.  I will be making a huge effort in that department this week.

I didnt take my phone running with me but here are a few pics of my Sugar Marie!

She was less than amused that her highness had to be attached to a leash while outside...

Really?  I dont need a leash outside....cmon....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Feeling gross!!!

Today I am feeling like a big fatty.  Not only do I feel it but I *SEE * it every time I walk past the mirror.  My pants were tight yesterday and I shrugged it off.  Today, I cant shrug the gross feeling.  I have said before that part of me is thankful for this feeling when it comes...because it is my cue that my weight is getting out of hand.  And therefore, my eating needs to be improved.  And that is totally the truth.  I have not been paying much mind to what I have been putting in my mouth.  That combined with the lack of (structured) running the past week has gotten me a 170 on the scale this morning.  But thats fine.  Its good that I feel uncomfortable at this weight because it tells me that I will never go back to 230+.  I wont let myself.  I have come too far, and if a few extra pounds makes me feel gross then in my opinion thats a blessing.  So my 10's and 12's are a bit snug...I get the hint...  So what am I going to do about it?  RUN!  I am going to run this weekend!  I have a few runs planned that I am excited about because they will not be in my neighborhood.  Its always nice to have a change of scenery, right?  Now that I have my new phone I will start taking more pics and share them with you all!  I always love to read blogs that have pictures for some reason.  Do you all agree?

Its time to get serious about this half marathon in October.  I can *say* I am training for it until the cows come home but until I am out there running 4-5 times a week consistently its all talk.  So, less talk and more action outta me from now on.  Having said that, I downloaded the CD that came with my Garmin running watch after reading Shelly'd blog yesterday.  Its great and I think it will really help me!  Its nice to be able to review your run when you are done.  Now...if I can just figure out how to share the screen with you I would post that on here too.  Yup, this blog is gonna start including some more pics...

Starting.....NOW   :)

Hung out with the girls in the yard in the baby pool! 

Sugar Marie hanging in the yard....

No more pics please....

Enjoying the yard without skeeters...

Limbo(sorta...I chickened out last minute)!!! Did I mention the hubs and I had a great weekend on our little getaway???

Me and my baby girls  :)

Thats all for now.  But now that I have a phone that takes decent pics I will start sharing more!  Any objections?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I am still here!

I never take this long from blogging but boy has it been a crazy few weeks.  The little ones had a dance recital, the big little had a moving up ceremony, the hubs and I had our anniversary and then a little weekend getaway alone.  Oh, and the hard drive crashed...ugh.  I have been running on and off but not following the training schedule for about a week now.  But I am back on it.  I have more than twelve weeks to train for the half marathon so it says its okay to take longer if you have longer.  So yesterday was a three mile run.  It felt good.  My time has been slower than it was when I was running a ton last fall but I am sure with time it will get better.  Here are some pics from our past few weeks:


Sugar enjoying the campfire.

My new hairdo.

Mittens new hairdo....

So thats about it!  I will keep up with my running and loving it!  Does anyone recommend a good set of headphones/earbuds?  I seem to be having a problem.  The ones that go around my ears keep falling off.  I must have little ears.  The ones that go in my ears keep falling out, or I shove them in too far and everything is muffled.  Recommendations?  I need a good pair in order to run long distances for sure!

I hope everyone is doing well.  I will be spending some time later on trying to catch up on some blogs.  I didnt forget...just been busy.