The Fit Mom Life

Learning to live a life filled with FAITH, FAMILY, AND FITNESS

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Week 4: Wonderfully Uneventful

Week 4 was wonderfully uneventful. With everything that goes on in this world, I’m thankful for uneventful. My runs were not exceedingly fast nor slow, I had no aches/pains that affected them…see…uneventful. This makes for a good week of running, but a pretty boring blog post!

So I decided to write a bit about food this week. I’ve altered this blog post about 30 times as I couldn’t focus on what I truly wanted to get across about food. I think I’ve narrowed it to what will hopefully be helpful. I tried to think back to what I would tell myself over a year ago. Without further ado, let’s talk about food, glorious, food! (must be said in a sing/song voice to truly get it)

I think this is my second picture of produce of my kitchen counter, so I may be losing points on originality. However, the topic at hand is food and specifically, healthy food, so the pic applies. I’d like to preface this all by saying that I am just a mom/wife.  I am not a nutritionist/dietition, so if some of my info is found to be incorrect, my apologies. I’m learning (daily) more and more about what it means to eat healthy and this just happens to be my opinion(s) (which are ever changing) about what foods I (and my family) need to be eating to be fit. So, with all disclaimers in place…let’s dig in!

I think the easiest way to describe our eating habits are clean eating. I’m highly skeptical of diets (atkins, paleo, macrobiotic, vegan, etc…). I think it’s because I’m more of a believer in moderation. So, we’re not dairy free, sugar free, meat free, what-ever-else free.  Clean eating is eating foods straight from nature. Jillian Michaels says, “If it didn’t have a mother or it didn’t grow from the ground, don’t eat it.” Another great line that the hubs always uses, ‘eat things from a plant, not that were processed in a plant.’   This means cutting out the processed foods. They add a lot of preservatives (lots-o-salt) to keep your food from going bad. Great concept, but as you see food more as fuel for your body, you realize that your body doesn’t really need preservatives. We are not totally clean eaters, as I don’t buy all our meats from a butcher and we do still have some packaged items on the menu. Transitioning to eating healthy is just like working out, it’s a process. You aren’t going to totally transform your daily menu overnight, so start by making simple changes and as you make those, then you’ll want to start making the bigger ones.

I started with the idea of a top 10 list, but could only come up with 7 (I told you I was all over the place with this post!) These are my healthy eating tips:

1. Eat a recommended portion size (you’ll be surprised how small that actually is). I even use this for my kids (they are 4 and 7). When they ask to have crackers as a snack and ask how many they can have, we look at the label and they are allowed to have a serving size.

2. Eat foods with fewer ingredients. Read the label and make sure you can pronounce each ingredient. The fewer the ingredients the better and one blogger said she doesn’t eat anything that has sugar listed as the 1st or 2nd ingredient (I really liked this idea!)

3. Eat every 2-3 hours. I like 3 meals (small meals) and 2-3 snacks each day. I post a sample of this at the end.

4. Watch your calories. This one is more important if you are wanting to drop weight. Weight loss is not a difficult scientific method, it is calories in, calories out. You can google weight loss/maintenance calculator and do a rough figure of the estimated calories it takes to maintain your current weight at your current activity level. If you want to drop lbs, then you need a calorie deficit, ie you need to burn roughly 500 calories more per day than what you use. This would equal a 1lb weight loss in 1 week. I use myfitnesspal app, this helped me drop 15 lbs by counting my calories. It’s amazing to learn how many calories are in food, a real eye opener!

5. Don’t drink your calories. I drink at least 60 ounces of water/day. I have a  20 ounce water bottle and drink at least 3 of them everyday. I have cut out soda/tea/lemonade, everything except coffee (love my morning cup of half-caf!). There is the occasionally splurge on a soda or lemonade or Izze (whatever category those fall in), but it’s maybe once a month.

6. I said goodbye to bread too. This was tough because I LOVE bread, LOVE IT, white bread is one of my favorite foods. However, it doesn’t offer much of the power pack nutrients, so it’s really just more filler for me. I’m not suggesting you eliminate carbs, but eating rolls with dinner is out for me. Most days I don’t even eat bread and if I do, it’s 100% whole wheat. I’m working to find ways of eating whole grains.

6. Bye, Bye boxes. I have significantly limited the food we eat that comes from a box. We are still converting ourselves and our kids to this one.

7. Satisfy a craving. Now, you can’t do this everytime or you will not reach your goal, but if you get it stuck in your head you want a cookie, then have one cookie (unless it’s from Paradise Bakery, then better make it 1/2 a cookie because those things are huge). Otherwise, you may let that craving build and end up eating a dozen.

Here are some of my favorite recipes, my go-to foods that are recurrent on the family menu.

Turkey Burrito: Saute a handful of onions and red peppers (use cooking spray to oil your pan) and then add one pound of ground turkey.  Cook this up, like you would taco meat. I use whole wheat tortilla shells, fill with 2-3 oz of turkey and then top with some salsa, wrap up and enjoy. I eat it for lunch frequently.

Turkey Burgers: Again, ground turkey, take a pound and add the dry pack of onion soup mix. I’m trying to add my own spices/herbs to turkey to come up with another turkey burger that doesn’t include the prepacked onion soup mix, but haven’t found one as good yet.

Turkey Meatballs: One of my favorites that I’ve only made a couple times, here is the link for the recipe as I did not come up with this on my own. http://www.food.com/recipe/turkey-meatballs-33944. They are delicious, but we don’t eat much pasta, so I don’t make them very often. They are great for a crowd though, so when we’re having friends over for dinner, that’s when I pull out this recipe. Serve it with whole wheat pasta and top with spaghetti sauce.

Fish Tacos: This is the best fish taco recipe I have found. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/blackened-tilapia-baja-tacos-50400000110429/. I do alter it slightly in that I cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (instead of canola) and I don’t add the sour cream. I make up a mini salsa (roma tomatoes, avocado, lime or lemon juice) instead of the plain avocado to serve on it.

Fish: (specifically tilipia and salmon) is a staple at our house. I love to season tilapia and salmon with salt/pepper, and paprika. I love lemon too, so I try to sneek it into many meals, so I serve our fish with a lemon slice to squirt on top. Also Salmon is good to top with a tsp or 2 of honey once it’s on the plate. You can add it in the pan, but you’ll find this lovely black burntness in your pan as the honey cooks.  I add extra virgin olive oil to the pan (or sometimes just cooking spray) and then cook the seasoned fish for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Chicken: We eat so much chicken!  Boneless, skinless chicken breast. Fortunately, we love chicken. My favorite is the livesmart individually packaged chicken breasts from Schwans. I need to slowly wean off those to fresher meat, but they cook perfect every time and are a good portion size, so it’s hard to let them go. Easist way to make great chicken is to dice up garlic (I use 1 clove for every piece of chicken) and a handful of diced onions. Saute those, then add your chicken, it tastes wonderful and it’s so simple.

Veggies: I’ve never been a big veg person, so I started out by roasting my veggies until I acquired more of a taste for them. 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes does it for most.  Here are a couple of my favorite preparations. I also started cutting out the parm cheese once I could appreciate eating the veggie without the toppings.

-Parmesean Roasted Zucchini http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2012/03/parmesan-roasted-zucchini-recipe/

-Sweet Potato Fries http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/baked-sweet-potato-fries-recipe/index.html

-Parm Broccoli http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/broccoli-parmesan-and-lemon-recipe/index.html

I highly recommend chopping up your veggies the day you buy them and place them in baggies so they are ready to grab and cook without the prep time. Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds the best flavor to roasted veggies, but it’s also about 125 calories per Tbsp I think, so you have to watch portions. Salt/pepper (garlic powder, paprika are also good), add your oil and cook. I, again, love to add fresh squeezed lemon to add some good flavor.  I also just add the veggies to my pan that I’m cooking my protein in. You’ll just add your veggies first, let them cook a bit and then add the meat. This is great for bell peppers and broccoli.

Fruit: I am a big fruit lover, but have never loved berries, so I’m trying to incorporate those more since they are the powerhouse of the fruit world. I add blue/black/strawberries to greek yougurt as a snack.  I also love clementines as I can easily share those with my daughter. Leftover fruit that’s starting to go bad can be made into a salsa (strawberry or mango or pienapple are great with avocado and tomato) or whip up a fruit/yogurt smoothie.

As well as being a list person, I’m also a visual learner, so yeah it’s great I’ve given all this info, but what does that actually look like?!? Well, here’s a sample, this was dinner the other day. Cilantro Lime Chicken http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cilantro-chicken-10000001157819/, served with sides of watermelon and mango/avocado salsa. I admit the picture is not the most appetizing, I need to work on my pictures so they reflect deliciousness.

Thought I’d also include a day in the life of my diet (as in the food I consume, not dieting as in the action of trying to lose weight)

7am Breakfast – 2 turkey sausage links and a cup of coffee (i know it’s a light breakfast, but it’s what I eat before I work out, so I keep it light)

10am Snack – Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup berries (black/blue/red/strawberries)

12p Lunch – 3oz protein (chicken breast, salmon, turkey, tilapia), 1 cup veggies (options I usually have are one of the following: broccoli, asparagus, peppers, brussel sprouts, zucchini)

2-3p Snack – fruit or granola or peppers (I’ll eat a banana and a clementine or 2-3 clementines or a homemade granola bar or some sliced bell peppers)

5pm dinner – looks pretty much like lunch

7pm snack – this varies, sometimes it’s fruit, sometimes a cookie or sorbert. This late snack is usually where I eat my unhealthiest treat of the day. I’m not recommending eating junk at night, it’s just a habit I’m working away from.

Well, that sums up all I have to say about food, hopefully it wasn’t rambling!

As per my usual, here is my week in review:

Monday: 3 miles in 27:13

Tuesday: 6 miles in 58:46

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3 miles in 27:04

Friday: 30 minute spin at gym and 20 minutes of upper body weights

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 11 miles in 1:43:55 (that was a 9:27 average pace…AWESOMENESS!)

Week 3: fear drowning

Week 3 started out tough. My first couple runs of the week were yuckity, stink and blah.  I don’t like to stop on a run..at all…ever. I want my mileage and time to reflect the actual time I spent running. Well, week 3 taught me that pride has no place in this house.  I stopped on half my runs this week and was so deflated.  However, the time of day I had available was mid-day (lunch-hour), so it was hot-smokin-hot.  It was so hot that I just could not get cooled down and my head started pounding, so I wimped out and stopped, it happens.

I run using the endomondo app and the hubs discovered he can track where I’m at on my run, both my time and physical location. He uses this to then send me texts with words of encouragement (and they truly are)! During one of my rest breaks on my last long run (yes I said breaks, there was more than one), the hubs text me to give some encouragement. On this particular run, it was 90+ degrees and he was worried about me, so he checked in via text. I attempted to text him back while still keeping my phone in my arm band (which I wear on my right arm). It came out a bit jibberish and his response was asking if I’d had a stroke. My reply text was again confusing to him, so he called me. He was positive, affirming and encouraged me to focus on some other more important things.  Yes, I was listening to my body and yes, I did still run all the mileage. But, I was wiped out mentally and physically and week 3 became just something to get through. I was also battling a cold which was clogging my nose and causing some very poor sleep. Down time was slim as it was Adventure Week (VBS) at our church, so I was spending my evenings chillin with my group of 4 year olds. I’m not complaining about my cold, my poor runs, or volunteering at church (though I admit it sure sounds like I am). I’m just saying it was the culmination of these events together that led to a very difficult training week for me.

There was victory at the end of this week though. My last short run of the week was fantastic! I felt good, went fast (well, fast for me) and was just so encouraged by finally having a good run. And then there was the successful completion of my first triathlon.  My long run this weekend for my marathon training was supposed to be 6 miles, I instead opted to do a Sprint Triathlon at Eagle Creek Park. Hubs and I got all 3 kids up at 6am (they got a treat of donuts in the car on the way there) and packed up the family. My hubs has done quite a few of these, so the man knew some excellent tips/hints and imparted his wisdom to me. I found myself, more than once, thinking ‘WOW, that is exactly what he said would happen!’ So, questions # 1, ‘how did I do?’ Well, time wise, I don’t know as I didn’t get a chance to view my results before we left.  Question # 2, ‘would you do it again?’  Absolutely! This was getting the experience in to see if I had an interest in multisport and I think I might, it’s very challenging. I have swam, biked and ran, but never all 3 back to back to back. This was my first OWS (open water swim) and it was tough for me. I was towards the back of the pack and kept running into people. It’s difficult to swim, sight and dodge all at the same time, I started out freestyling, but very quickly resorted to breast stroke (wanh, wanh).  I couldn’t get around a couple swimmers in front of me unless I switched to breast stroke and then once I was past them, then I could see how very far I was from the first buoy. That’s when I invited in a sliver of panic, looking around there were plenty of people and lifeguards, but I started to let that ugly fear take over. I kept swimming and started praying, prayed for God to have the Holy Spirit take back residence over my body and let the fear drown. As, always, God prevailed and he was faithful to me, eradicating fear from the rest of my swim. The bike went well, more hills than what I typically ride, witnessed a nasty wreck, some definite prayers went up for that cyclist. Then on to the run where after mile 1, I found my happy pace and was able to just enjoy it. I finished with a smile on my face and not as out of breath as I probably should have been (next time I need to push it a little harder). I did try to get my finish time as they post results on a print out at the event, but there was a line and I was trying to read over peoples shoulders, but I am 5’3″ and there aren’t many shoulders I can peer over. Also, I couldn’t really read the tiny print at the distance I was standing and my kids were d-o-n-e done, so we needed to get home. They will have results online at some point, so I can look it up later. No matter the time, I completed it and that was the goal. I would like to try it again, but likely not this year.  The focus now will be on the hubs Ironman in August and then my marathon in November.

Posted a couple pics of the event, me with my kids and then with some friends who also participated.

As per my usual, here is my week in review:

Monday: 3 miles in 29:11

Tuesday: 5 miles in 48:09

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3 miles in 26:26

Friday: 30 minute swim

Saturday: Sprint Triathlon (500 meter swim, 10 mile bike, 3 mile run) – WOO HOO (that’s right, I’m a woo hoo girl when the time is appropriate)

Sunday: Rest

 

UPDATE: Got my results for the Tri. I finished 339 out of 508.  I was 13th in my age group (I think my age group had around 20ish). My swim was 14:32.7, bike 35:24.1 (16.9 mph avg), run was 26:31 (8:50 avg). Overall finish time was 1:20:54.0. I have a lot of room for improvement in all 3 areas (my run was my strongest event and felt really good, which is very encouraging considering my main goal is a marathon).

Week 2…Pain, Prayer and Triathlon

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This picture was taken after one of my 3 mile runs this week and boy was I a sweaty mess. I often look at the pictures people post and think..really?…that’s what you want the world to see of you…that’s  you ‘looking good’. (I know, call me Miss Judgemental…I’m working on it, I promise) Well, this particular day, I ran at lunch instead of first thing in the morning and WOW the difference 12 degrees makes. It was about 90 at noon, so yes, this was the best picture that could be taken of me.

Week 2 held a couple of ah-ha moments for me.

1. Training for a marathon is hard. I know it sounds silly, but this was a new revelation to me. I thought running a marathon would be hard and the long runs would be hard, but the whole process is going to be a little hard.  I was very tired this past week, just always looked like I needed a cup of coffee.  When you walk into the kitchen in the morning and say good morning and your husband just laughs…you know you aren’t looking too spry.  I think it was just my body’s way of adjusting to our new schedule and then on top of that I caught a cold. That’s right, I’m running so fast I’m catching germs. Well, no, maybe it’s because I volunteered in the preschool area at our church and was surrounded by 20+ three year olds. Either way, congestion joined me for my 9 miler.

2. God is still doing miracles every day. About 4 miles in to my long run last week, my right lateral knee began to have a sharper pain. My knees typically start aching at about mile 4, they are joints and pounding pavement just isn’t their thing. This is an ache I’ve come to recognize and tolerate though as it comes with almost every long run. This sharper pain was new. A couple times, I even found myself doing a bit of a limping run (which I’m sure was interesting to watch). When I got home, I talked to the hubs (while an ice pack sat on my knee) and he thought it sounded like my IT band. Apparently I didn’t pay enough attention in anatomy, because I had to google IT band to learn more about it. I found multiple articles on ITBS (iliotibial band syndrome) and the fixes for it. The 2 easiest remedies are using a foam roller and some specific stretches, so I did them. I used the foam roller 2-3/day for the next 2 days and also did the stretches about that same amount. My next run was the very next day, a short little 3 miles and at mile 1 that knee was hurting again. I pushed through the pain and kept running and then I did the most powerful remedy that wasn’t mentioned in any of the articles I read…prayed. While I was running, I started talking to the most magnificent healer of all time and asked that I be healed from this pain. We talked about other things too on my run (well I mostly talked and He listened) and I finished up my 3 miles still hurting, but feeling good about starting week 2. The next day I had a bit of a longer run of 5 miles and the knee was pain free. He did it…no wait…HE DID IT!  He poured out another helping of grace on me. Now, some may counter that the foam roller and the stretches were the trick, or maybe even that it wasn’t my IT band because it typically can’t be healed with just 2 days of stretches and rolling. But, I know it was Him. He gave me a healing miracle when I asked for it not because I deserved it, but because God is good and his grace knows no bounds.

Other big news this week….I signed up for my first triathlon. I will be doing a sprint tri at Eagle Creek on Saturday July 21st. Doing the online registration gave me butterflies in my stomach, so I can’t wait to see what I feel like on race day!  But I need to do this for a few reasons. The hubs is passionate about triathlons and if he is that interested in something, I owe it to him and our marriage to have an interest as well. Secondly, I am afraid to do it and I feel convicted by that fear everytime it rears its head. How can I be surrendered to the God of the universe and yet live in fear? Well, I can’t. I can trust in Him wholly or I can be afraid. Afraid of failure, afraid of embarrassment, afraid of falling/tripping/crashing, being caught doing the breaststroke instead of freestyle (this one will happen).  Those fears are going to be faced next Saturday and I will conquer them with His help. Because even if they all come true and I live each of my fears, I’ll still be loved by Him, so bring it on Eagle Creek because you are no match for my tri partner.

I will end with my week in review:

Monday: 3 miles in 27:05

Tuesday: 5 miles in 46:20

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3 miles in 28:10

Friday: 30 min. upper body workout and 8 mile bike

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 9 miles in 1:30:52….This run I did around 1pm and it was so hot and uncomfortable. I was slow as slow could be. So slow that I got hit by a bike! She was just a kid though, so no harm no foul. I could not get cooled off even by dumping water on me, at mile 6 I finally had to take a rest break in the shade and just cool off. I did that again at mile 7 and refilled my water bottle. Though I felt deflated for stopping twice and for running 10+ minute miles, I still had victories. I had no knee/hip/ankle pain, no side stitch, no GI distress, and I managed to drink about 8 oz of water on the run (which is great for me). The beauty of a bad run is that it was still a run…and I will get out and do it again tomorrow.

Week 1…done!

Week 1 of marathon training is done, yippee! It was a good week, got in some early morning runs in order to beat the heat.

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Will have to get more creative with my pictures as the weeks go on as I don’t have 18 fingers, maybe I’ll get the kids involved. Had the hubs take this pic on day 1 before I headed out for a 3 mile run. I bought this shirt last year on clearance, (it’s actually a triathlon shirt) had to take the tags off before I headed out. I wanted to try it out on a short run before I wore it for any distance to make sure nothing rubbed, scratched, itched where it shouldn’t. Fortunately, it is quite a comfortable shirt and I just wore it again for my 8 miler. I highly recommend wearing all new clothing on short runs first to make sure they fit well before you go any distance in them. You may notice that the outfit is all spandex too. This is not because I have a tremendously high confidence level and like to strut my stuff.  Rather, it’s because I found the beauty of spandex, in that it stays where you put it.  Translation: my shorts don’t ride up and my shirt won’t rub my armpits raw (that’s the ladylike way of saying it).

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That’s right, I posted my weight. I’m not afraid, embarrassed or ashamed of it. I fought with poor self-confidence for most of my life, until I found my confidence in Christ. What an encourager he is to me! I weighed myself after my first run on day 1 of training and this was the result. (Check out those bulging veins in my  feet, YIKES). On a 3 mile run, I lost about 1.5 lbs of water weight, not good. I’m still struggling to take in water on my runs. I have a handheld water bottle that holds 10 oz and I managed to drink 1 oz on my 5 mile run and 2 oz on my 8 miler. I’m trying to take a sip each mile, but apparently my sips are like that of a baby squirrel. Luckily I’ve got the next 17 weeks to work on this!

The exciting news of the week is that Jason found my shoes (my fabulous yellow and blue Mizunos) on-line and bought me a new pair! I’ve entered into a shoe monogamy (a shonogamy as I like to call it) with these shoes and they will be the pair seeing me through this marathon.

Well, that’s week one in a nutshell. I’ll post this weeks runs/workouts below in case you’re really interested in this process. Hope everyone is out there finding their own fitness goals!

Monday: 3 miles in 27:42

Tuesday: 5 miles in 46:22

Wednesday: 13 mile bike in 50:00 (this was supposed to be a rest day, but I snuck in a bike)

Thursday: 3 miles in 26:55

Friday: 1200 meter swim & then a 30 min upper body workout

Saturday: Rest day

Sunday: 8 miles in 1:15:09

Preparing to Train, a 4 step process.

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Step 1: The training schedule has been made.

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It has been taped to the inside of the cabinet door. (As this is my ritual for where I put my training schedules). In my last post, just 3 days ago, I said I was modifying the Hal Higdon Novice 2 training schedule a bit as I didn’t want to run 4 days a week, only 3. Well, I modified my modification. After reviewing the training with the hubs (my local expert on health/fitness), it was decided that I would complete the training schedule as written. The only changes I made were to which days were run versus rest versus cross. The hubs works out 5 days a week, twice a day, as he is training for Ironman Louisville (which is on 8/26/12). When he decided to do his first Ironman, we talked about the intensity of the training schedule, how it would affect our family, and knew that if he was going to do it, we were all going to need to be active participants. We happily jumped onboard as his Team Kaufman supporters and have cheered him on during his path to his goal. I too workout 5 days a week and have had to carefully select my rest days that work the fine balance of being an active/engaged mom of 3, manage a full-time job, and be head cheerleader on Team Kaufman.  Wednesdays are my day off, that means my day off work and my day off workout, it’s the one weekday that I can pour myself into my kids with no distractions and I love my Wednesdays. My long run will take place on either Saturday or Sunday, whichever day works best in our family’s schedule is when I’ll fit it in. So, the training schedule is set, it’s taped in its proper position. The training schedule is just one piece of my healthy lifestyle though.

Step 2: My God time (it’s actually a first in my life, just happens to be listed as step 2 on this list). I wake up at 6:30am every morning to read my bible and write in my prayer journal. It’s not something I’ve always done, it’s a new habit I created after going on a Discipleship Walk with my church. I go on my back screened porch, say my morning prayers, read one chapter and drink my coffee. It is invaluable time with my Lord. I used to love to sleep, love, love, love it! I tried to do my bible time at night because I was more of a night owl than a morning bird, but found that I would forget or just not focus. The first week was a little difficult and I hit snooze a few times the first month even, but once you get in the habit of starting your day with God time, you will crave it. I started in the New Testament and just read one chapter each day and write notes in the margins of verses that strike me. My God time has been a MUST for my health. It centers me, it sustains me, it breathes life into me everyday.

Step 3: Nutrition, and this seems to be my hardest to manage. I have modified my diet considerably over the past year and eat so much healthier than I did before, but I still have a lot of work to do. I eat lean meats (chicken breast, ground turkey, salmon/tilapia), have increased my fruits and veggies, and most pasta/breads have been eliminated. I’m also working to slowly eliminate processed foods (boxed/canned foods) and decrease my sugar intake (even considering eliminating sugar, but haven’t done enough research yet to determine if this is truly healthy). I’m going to start with a very simple step though as part of my nutrition…water.

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I will be drinking a minimum of 3 of these (they are 20 oz bottles) a day. I tend to chug water and will drink a bottle in about 2 gulps, but I also tend to forget to get the bottle out and fill it up. So, starting today, I am drinking a minimum of 3 bottles/day. Something along the lines of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is a new habit I’ll have to create, so I’ll track how well I do. I’m considering filling all 3 in the morning and then setting them in the window by my sink as a reminder to drink. I also need to improve my hydration during a run, I prefer to run dry as drinking during a run causes some GI upset and sloshing that I prefer to live without. However, I have been losing 1-2 lbs of water weight just going on short runs in this heat wave we’re having and that is not acceptable. I must teach my body to accept hydration on a run, it’s a must considering the mileage I’ll be putting in during these hot summer months.

Step 4: Safety. I take a handheld mace with me on every run (it has velcro that wraps around your palm, so you don’t really even hold it). I haven’t always done that as I do run on the Monon Trail, which is a fairly heavily populated area, but the hubs asked me to, so I do it. There are multiple stories women being abducted, attacked, murdered while out on their runs and it’s sad.  My recommendations for safety are to run with another person. Get a training partner, it will motivate you when you don’t feel like going and provide added safety as the numbers would be on your side. If you can’t get a training partner, take your dog. Granted this will be less helpful if you own an adorable little ankle biter, but if it barks, it will still draw attention and make you less of a target. If you must run alone, then carefully select your run times and area. Pick a time when more people are out and about (hint, that’s not 5-7am) and a path that is well-traveled, don’t give anyone the opportunity to swipe you without being noticed. Have your mace in hand as this will give you something to fight back with if you find yourself in a horrible situation. Finally, always take your phone. It works as your GPS to track your mileage, your radio, and you can call for help if needed.

Well, my steps are in place and now I’m just ready to start making it happen. Tomorrow begins day 1, time for the fun to begin!

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