Monday, June 27, 2011

Getting Stuff Done - Monday Update

It's Monday again. This keeps on happening, like, way faster than it's supposed to. :-)

I had a great week exercise wise and food wise. I reverted back to week 5 of C25K after feeling like I was loosing endurance and ability to sustain a run. I'm going to start from there and move forward again and see what happens. On Saturday, I met up with the Tarnawas at the Botanical Gardens where we walked for an hour, and later that day we went shopping and walked for another hour or so. On Sunday, I went for a 12.5 mile walk with my friend Daniela who is training for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3 day in August. (Wanna do something good today? Support her fundraising for such a great cause!) The weather was perfect for walking and the city was beautiful-- we walked from Ravenswood down to the Lincoln Park Zoo, catching all kinds of sights on the way, including the tail end of the Pride Parade, which made for excellent entertainment.

During the week I was the poster girl for healthy eating, allowing myself a cheeseburger transgression on the weekend and a post-12.5 mile walk desert. I was excited to get on the scale this morning, because as of Friday I was down 3.5 lbs for the week. What did I see this morning?? UP a half a pound from where I was last week. I'm certain this is water related, as I walked a lot, got a lot of sun, and didn't drink as much water as I should have. With or without this rationalization, I'm annoyed.

I'm not sure if we will hear from Emily this week, as she is smack in the middle of her summer program.

How about all of you? How are you doing Getting Stuff Done??

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

150 min per week? SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

This week Chrissy, who has been an oh-so-fantastic cheerleader to me and Emily both, raised an interesting question. How do you fit in enough workout time and what do you do to work out when you are not running??

The CDC recommends that all adults take part in at least:
  • 2 hrs. 30 min. (that's 150 min) of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week (brisk walking); OR 1 hr. 15 min (75 min) of vigorous aerobic activity (jogging or running)
  • PLUS muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week that work all major muscle groups.
For additional health benefits, they recommend increasing activity to....
  • 5 hours (300 min) per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity OR 2 hrs. 30 min (150 min) of vigorous aerobic activity.
So, if you are me, you are thinking, 150min per week?? How am I going to find time for that??!!! I wrote a little bit about this issue here.  But, let's think about this for a second....

First, the CDC notes that 10 min. of aerobic exercise at a time is perfectly fine, and, in fact, good for you, as long as you are engaged in the activity for at least 10 min. So, of you walk to a train stop, bus stop, or to work/school every day, that very well may count towards your total!
Second, if you are running (like Emily and I are trying to do) 30 min, 3 times per week, you are getting 90 min per week of vigorous aerobic activity, which is over the minimum 75 min recommended. If you are me, and you are trying to run 4-5 times per week, but are still walking about 1/3 of your 30 min, it seems to me that you are still on target.

BUT....what if you don't want to run? Or, what if you want to get in more of a work out without having to run all the time?

When I met with the trainers at my gym, they recommended I attend fitness classes at the gym. I'm not a fan of group fitness (even though I know the classes are good for you, yada yada yada...), so I tend to use the elliptical machine or the cross training machines when I'm not running. Actually, I like to use both machines to do my warm up/cool down on days I run, as well.

Don't have a gym membership? I'd say exercise DVDs are a great thing you can do at home. If I had enough space, I'd totally do some. 

So, let's throw this question out to all of you and collect some ideas -- What is your favorite non-running / non-walking workout??

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Check In - Getting Stuff Done


No, seriously-- I don't know how Monday is happening right now. Last week was a bit of a fitness disaster, as important things were going on in my evenings when I usually go to the gym, and the rain gods saw fit to make it rain almost every morning when I woke up to try and get in a run before work. It was not for lack of me trying to run, though! I ended up with two runs and one evening of helping a friend spackle / sand a wall, which I'm counting as an arm workout. (What, that TOTALLY counts, right?? RIGHT????) I spent Friday and Saturday indulging in college nostalgia with a visit to my old Alma Matter in Bloomington, IN.There was much eating in this adventure, as well as much walking, so I came out ok in the end.The scale is showing a very very very gradual progression downward, so I can't complain.

I look forward to kicking it back into high gear this week. I went back to a 5 min run / 2 min walk / 5 min run / 2 min walk / 5 min run pattern and it's helping me get back some of the confidence I was loosing by trying for the 20-25 min runs I'm supposed to be doing right now. The counting method suggested by Bix in last week's comments has also been really helpful! (Thanks, Bix) I also FINALLY saw the physical therapist last week, and even after just a few days of the exercises and stretches she gave me, the knee is a zillion times better. It was kinda way better already after working with the trainer at my gym and I almost cancelled my appointment with the therapist, but I'm glad I didn't. It was really interesting for someone who has never 1) done any sports and 2) never been to a physical therapist, to watch someone inspect how I move/run/walk and come up with reasons why things hurt and/or don't move correctly.

Emily Says......

Happy Birthday to me! I am officially the age of decreasing insurance premiums and where I can rent a car without an extra "youth" fee. (Is there anything else cool about being 25 besides that and being able to say "QUARTER CENTURYYYY!" in your best British accent?) My sleep patterns have been all screwy leading up to my month-long camp experience, which starts imminently, so I haven't gotten the runs in that I hoped I would. I know I'll need to go out running during camp or else (a) I will lose everything I've built up until now and (b) my stress level will be off the charts. I'm looking forward to that alone time and to keeping up my stamina! Wish me luck (and pray that I only eat a small piece of birthday cake today)!
How about you?? How are you doing with getting stuff done??

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You Said it, Kid!!

This is one of my favorite kiddos. Apparently, she can read my mind. 
I now proclaim her mascot of my running adventures.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Check In - Getting Stuff Done


Julie here! And I'll admit it: running is getting the better of me.  I keep trying, and I feel like I'm making no progress. I got to a point where I could run 15 min. without stopping, and I feel like I'm regressing. I hit the 8 min. mark and I loose all steam. I'm wondering if part of it is diet-- I hit a bad string of allergic reactions and defaulted back to some less healthy options this week. Sometimes, for me, this is necessary to get things back on track-- once my digestive tract decides it's not happy with something, it kind of hates everything until I give it a fruit/veggie break, so I wasn't exactly, um, I guess, 'absorbing' much fuel. But, now I'm good, so I need to tighten up the diet again.  That being said, this week I am down .7lbs, which takes care of the .5 lbs I put on last week. I'm hoping to get the running back in shape, too. But, I'm not going to lie-- I keep waiting to like running, and I don't. Any tips anyone has on this are more than welcome!!

Emily says.......

I went for a run in the steamy, steamy morning on Tuesday right before going on vacation . The rest of the week I was at Hocking Hills with my extended family doing hikes but also doing an obscene amount of lounging around. Perhaps all of the laughing and talking burned off some serious calories, because I only gained a pound, even with the copious amount of food that was always being consumed at the cabin! Now I'm preparing for my job directing a summer camp, but I'm back home and can get in my running groove again!

How about you? How are your goals/projects going?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Post-Workout Eats

Hi Everyone! Julie here! 

I work out after work, so by the time I'm home it's time for dinner. I'm super lazy in the kitchen and I never want to cook anything that's going to take a long time. Also, by the time I'm home it's usually close to 8pm and I don't want to eat too much later than that in my evening!

For a long time, I felt kind of sick and not at all hungry after a workout. I blamed this on being out of shape, but it stopped almost instantly when I stared wearing a latex free sports bra.

I started making myself a cucumber and beet salad and it's become my favorite post-workout meal.

I mix together...

1/2 can of beets
1/4 - 1/3 of a can of chick peas (sometimes I use quinoa instead)
1 or 2 sliced Persian cumbers (you can use any cucumbers, I just like the little Persian ones)
2 Tbls. of crumbled feta cheese

Partly due to stuff I'm allergic to and partly due to just plain not liking it, I never use salad dressing. I'm not sure what kind you'd put on this if you wanted to...maybe Greek dressing?  I find that the feta cheese and the beets do a good job of flavoring everything without any additional dressing. Pitfalls of this meal? I tend to be heavy handed with the cheese and it ends up not being as healthy a salad as it could be. A little feta goes a long way, so you really only need a tablespoon or two.....but I tend to 'accidentally' use a lot a little more than that.

What's your favorite post-workout meal or snack?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I Want You To Come Over, But I Don't Want To Kill You: Hosting Someone With Allergies

More than one person I know has told me that they want me to come over for dinner, but they are afraid to feed me due to my allergies. I cannot speak for everyone, but I can say for myself, I never want anyone to be worried about inviting me over or spending time with me! I thought it might be helpful if I put together a list of some 'helpful hints' when hosting friends with allergies. 

Here are few simple things you can do to enjoy your friend’s company without worry! 

  • Make sure your house is clean, especially areas where a guest may be sleeping.  Dust, mold spores and pet dander are common in homes and also common allergens. Help ensure your guests are comfortable with a few simple preparations:
    •  Provide all freshly cleaned bedding for overnight guests.
    •  Ask any overnight guests if they have allergies to pillows—some people are allergic to feathers, others to latex foam, etc.  If someone has a sever allergy, he/she will most likely offer to bring his/her own pillow. Asking them may help remind them to pack a pillow and it shows are a super fantastic friend and host. 

  • Make your gusts aware of any pets in your home. For someone with a pet allergy, knowing ahead of time can help. For some, it will determine if they can stay overnight or not in your home. 
    • If your guest suggests that you go out to eat instead, or suggests something other than visiting your home, please do not take it personally!
    • Keep an eye on any kids who are visiting your home. Kids are not always as conscientious as adults when it comes to avoiding pets and situations that may cause a reaction.  Do your best to help keep kids away from pets you know they are allergic to and alert their parent/guardian if you think you notice them having a reaction. 

  • Ask about food allergies before planning your menu. Most of us with food allergies are just as afraid of being a burden on our hosts as our hosts are of feeding us!  Being asked ahead of time can ease some of the fears on for both you and your guests. A few guidelines to help you have the conversation.
    • Be prepared to let your guest know exactly what goes into each of your dishes.  Someone with allergies is not trying to be rude by asking for details, and they are not purposely trying to weasel that secret family recipe out of you.
    • Make sure you ask if there is anything that they cannot have anywhere near their meals. For some with severe allergies, even having an item present on the table can cause a reaction.
    • In my experience, for most people, the list of food allergies is concise and easy to work around.  If you are hosting someone for whom this is not the case, such as someone with a latex allergy or a long list of food allergies, it may help to ask, “I was thinking of making _________ , will that work ok with your allergies?”  as opposed to, “What are your food allergies?”.  I find the former question much easier to answer than to try and laundry list all the foods I can’t eat for someone.
    • Do not be offended if your guest insists on bringing a dish. This may be them trying to be polite, but it may also be them ensuring there is something that they can eat at the meal.  Your efforts to accommodate them will not have gone unnoticed; it’s just a self-defense mechanism.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask a parent to pack a child’s meal.  If you have a child coming to your home and you are nervous about his/her allergies, ask the parent to pack a meal for the child. I do not have kids, but if I did, I know I’d have no problem with that. In fact, I’d feel good doing it and be glad that the parent is thinking of my child’s safety. As an adult, I’m also not offended at all if people ask me to make sure that I bring my own food somewhere. I usually offer to, anyway, just because I don’t like others feeling obligated to navigate my allergies.  

    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Though you may want to avoid asking for the gory details what happens when someone reacts to something, I know that, personally, I’m never offended by someone asking questions. When my friends ask me things, it shows they are being concerned and considerate.

    Anyone out there have anything to add? Leave a comment! Share your thoughts!

      Monday, June 6, 2011

      Getting Stuff Done- Monday Update

      Well, this week was a tough one for both of us. I (Julie) started into my fabulous yet busy June, which involves a lot of visiting old friends, travel, and eating. I was in Indianapolis this weekend for a 30th birthday party for one of my most fantastic friends/former roommate!! I also had lunch with another former roommate, which was beyond awesome, as my chances to see these fantastic ladies are few and far between these days. That being said, I ate a lot of food. This combined with the fact that being out of town/busy cut into the workouts, I'm up half a pound today. BLARG. I suppose I deserve it. As penance, I woke up early this morning and went for my first ever outdoor run. I walked most of it, but I TRIED, right?? I plan to try again tomorrow, and, if I can keep myself motivated, I might try and do it every weekday morning in addition to getting to the gym in the evenings to do weights. This is ambitious. Not sure how I feel about it. :-) BUT- this month is so insane, I don't see any other way of getting in any decent workout time.

      Emily says.....

      Blah. It looks like I need to take another look at my motivation post because I was so unmotivated this week. After my long run on Memorial Day, I lost steam, and no, I don't know why. I did a day of my exercise DVD and did some walking all around a local amusement park, but no more running. Oh, the shame!! I should be back on track starting today though. I have my alarm set and everything so that I go out before it gets too hot!
      In other news, I will be going on vacation this week with some of my extended family (but sadly, without Julie), so I am looking forward to doing some active things with my family instead of sitting inside! Ready, go!

      How about you? How are your goals/projects going?

      Thursday, June 2, 2011

      Running Shoes

      When I (Emily) first started running, the only thing people said we needed was a good bra and some running shoes. I found a bra that works well for me and I thought I was set. However, my current sneakers were ones that I wore for everyday walking as well as running, and I was starting to notice some wear and tear on my shoes:

      I never really thought that it was that hard to pick out shoes, but I figured I had better get some advice from an expert so I don't mess up my feet or knees, and therefore my running goals!

      I went into a local running shop and told them I was looking for new shoes. It's quite amazing when you get into a place that knows what they're doing instead of just walking into a shoe store and picking out the prettiest color shoe! The representative took my shoe, looked at the wear and tear on the shoe, and then evaluated my gait. She measured my feet and then went to pull a few pairs of shoes. I tried on a few pairs of shoes, and then eventually settled on a new pair of shoes:

      Aren't they shiny and pretty?

      I did not know that I had a "neutral" gait, but apparently I do! Thanks to that evaluation, I know that I have a few different options for shoes. I'll need at least one more pair before I run the half marathon, so now I know what to look for and what to purchase!

      I would highly recommend going in to a running shop and getting a shoe fitting!