Bum Weekend

Well, this weekend was a total bust in terms of working out and eating right.

Friday during my run I started feeling a pain in my right leg and was only able to finish two miles. It turned out that I have shin splints! I’ve never had them before, not even in 13 years of playing soccer, so I wasn’t really sure how much I could push them. I decided to take it easy this weekend and really didn’t work out at all. I originally felt okay with this plan, since I felt like I had done well in my workouts and with what I had been eating.

Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time with my guy friends this weekend. And you know what guys like to do? Eat and drink. Friday night we hung out, played games and just watched a movie, and I had a beer or two, which I thought was okay. But the next day we went out to eat for lunch and dinner, and let’s just say I didn’t make the best choices there, either. I got the tiniest bit of exercise in when we walked to the park for about an hour and tossed a Frisbee around. I took it pretty easy there since I was still feeling a twinge in my leg.

Icing the shin while enjoying the strawberries from the Festival

Icing the shin while enjoying the strawberries from the Festival

Sunday after church my friend Grace and I went to a Strawberry Festival to pick strawberries and also experience a mini-wine tasting. It was a lot of fun, but again, not the best decisions were made. On top of the wine, I had a small ice cream.

By that point, I was feeling pretty disappointed in myself, so when I made dinner for some friends while we watched the USA-Portugal game, I tried to throw together as healthy a meal as possible that would feed us all. I made chicken tacos with a seasoning mix that was low in sodium, had wheat tortillas and also used brown rice instead of white. I didn’t use cheese or sour cream, which probably helped lower the calorie count, but it still wasn’t the healthiest meal ever.

As I head into this week I am trying to stay positive and get my eating (and drinking) back on track again. I am a little nervous about running, as my shin still feels pretty bad, so I am planning on going easy for the next few days still. If I end up not being able to run today, I will probably walk or bike, and just keep icing!

Although still feeling like I failed this weekend, I need to put the past behind me and keep moving forward. I made some bad decisions this weekend in terms of eating and such, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try again this week!

Week overview (of last week):

  • Monday – ran 3 miles
  • Tuesday – strength training
  • Wednesday – speed workout at indoor track, total 3 miles
  • Thursday – bike for 35 minutes and ab workout
  • Friday – ran 2 miles

Be prepared!

Scar-the-lion-king-31003130-500-281You should have sung-read that to the song Scar sings in The Lion King. I’ll get to the preparedness part in a minute, but first an overview of some workouts!

Well thank goodness for the World Cup, because there is no way I would have stayed on the bike that long today if it weren’t for Greece and Japan. I seriously hate the stationery bike, because I feel like I’m not getting anywhere. Literally. But in terms of a cardio besides running, it was the best option today. If only someone had scored during the game, I may have stayed on it longer! After my 35 minutes of biking, I did some ab workouts that are probably going to hurt tomorrow.

Yesterday I thought my speed workout went really well. I ran around the indoor track, which is 0.1 mile around once. I did 10 sets of 3 laps: my first lap was a slow jog. The second was a steady run, probably around a 9:45 pace. The last lap I tried to run what was just shy of a sprint. I didn’t take breaks between sets, so that first lap was always kind of a recovery, and if I’m being honest, it probably looked like a limping jog towards the end. But I didn’t stop, and that’s what I’m proud of! If you didn’t already do the math, it ended up being 3 miles total.

So now in reference to the title of this blog, something I have learned this week (actually more like relearned) is the benefits of preparing meals ahead of time. As much as I love to cook, I also love to just be lazy and resort to eating cereal and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But that’s not always healthy. Last night I got myself up and made a thing of pasta with ground turkey, sauce, and vegetables, which made enough for probably three servings. I also boiled some chicken that I was able to throw on some salad today at lunch, along with some extra veggies I didn’t use for the pasta that were already cut up.

Talk about saving time! It was so nice to have a good meal and only have to take a couple minutes to heat it up in the microwave or throw a few things in a bowl; and it didn’t involve cereal! I hope I can get in the habit of doing this more often, because it will make preparing healthy meals a lot easier!

Little changes, big difference

Happy Tuesday!

photo 3

I wanted to share the first healthy recipe that wasn’t my own that I tried for dinner today, which was a flour free breakfast pancake. I found the recipe at fANNEtastic food’s blog, and you can find the link for it here! I went for it today because I had most of the ingredients and was in the mood for something new. I topped it with some Greek yogurt and blueberries. It looked kinda gross when it was cooking, and I had to improvise with some oats instead of flaxseed grounds, but it still tasted so yummy!

I can’t believe how much more energy I feel like I have since last week. I’ve tried eating less at meals instead of eating until I felt full, and it still feels like I’m getting enough, and I’m not starving myself the entire day. I’ve also cut back on the in-between meals snacks, and I realized that I’m really only eating them because I’m bored. Whenever I turn to go get something quick, I just drink some water instead and see if that curbs the need first.

When I began running on a regular basis last week I had also tried giving up caffeine at the same time. At first it was hard. Really hard. Like going-to-bed-at-7-pm hard. I was so tired. But after keeping up with it (and just two coffees since last Tuesday! It’s a big accomplishment, I promise), I feel like I don’t need to rely on caffeine in the morning to get me through the day. Now the exercise is actually training my body to need less sleep! Getting a routine down and my body used to the work and a few diet changes has really helped me to stop hitting that wall of exhaustion around 5:00 everyday. I am excited to see what more workouts and healthy eating will do for me!

Excuses Broken: My friends are nice!

A Past Excuse: “My friends are more important to me than running.”

Well, that’s actually not an excuse. That’s a fact. But guess what I found out this week? My friends are extremely nice people. I could give you many reasons why, but one reason specifically is because they have supported me in my efforts to run, whether they realize it or not.

One of my many worries about committing fully to running was about missing out on times with my friends. This past week I was challenged to tell my friends that I wanted to run before seeing them. I didn’t tell them flat out, “I’m trying to change and get serious about running, so I can’t hang out with you.” But when they wanted to get dinner, or hang out after we got out of work, I simply asked them if we could push whatever we were doing until after I ran. And they were okay with it!

Prioritizing this week was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be thanks to my wonderful friends. It could be that they really just didn’t care that much about hanging out with me, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt 😉 Just because I wanted to run didn’t mean I had to give up spending time with my friends. While it’s important to remember what things should come first in your life, it doesn’t mean you can’t do other things that make you happy, too!


Week Overview:

  • Monday – Ran outside, 2.28 mi.
  • Wednesday – Makeshift speed workout at track, total of 2 mi.
  • Friday – Ran on indoor track, 2 mi.
  • Saturday – 8 minute abs workout
  • Sunday – Ran outside, 2.33 mi.

This week obviously started out a little slow, and my runs were not very long. Next week I will be adding in some strength workouts/cross-training.

Training Plans


During my first Princess Half Marathon

As you’ve probably caught on, my main form of exercise is running. I’ve been “running” since fall of my senior year of high school, but I’ve been actually running almost my whole life due to playing soccer for 13 years. When I gave up soccer my last year of high school I decided to start running on my own, and my mom helped me keep going by giving me the incentive of taking me down to Disney World and running in the Princess Half Marathon with her in 2011. Since then, I’ve tried to keep up with it, but I really feel like I only start training around September or October when I know the Princess is around the corner. After it’s over, I’ll stop for a few weeks. Or months.

Signing up for races has been a great motivator for me to continue to run, knowing I am working towards a goal. As of right now, the next two races I will be running in are the 5k during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, and the half during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Yeah, I like Disney, but I could write a dozen other posts about that, so I’ll save it for later. But I will say – if you ever get the chance to run in a Disney race, do it. It really makes running fun!

Since the 5k isn’t until January, and I haven’t decided yet if I am signing up for another race before this, I’m really going to have to stay disciplined in my running schedule. The plan is to run at least three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – and do my best to fit it in on Saturday or Sunday as well. Off days (Tuesday and Thursday) will be cross training in some type of way, whether it’s weight lifting, swimming, or biking. I haven’t started any of that yet, but plan to add that next week (it should be easy too, since my roommate is going to be out of town and I won’t have anything better to do). This will at least be my schedule for the summer; once school starts, it could get a little tricky! But I won’t worry about that until I have to.

Races are usually what motivate me to run regularly, knowing if I don’t I am going to do poorly come race day. Right now I have the excuse to say I don’t have a race until January, but I’m not going to use it. If I start now, I can do the best I’ve possibly ever done in a 5k. All it’s gonna take is a little faith and some pixie dust!

What am I doing?

I have no idea what this blog is going to look like. I have virtually no experience with writing a blog. I should probably be disheartened by this fact, but I’m not. Being a communications major, writing is something I’m used to. Writing about myself for all to see, however, is a little daunting. But so are the changes I want to make. So why not conquer them together?

Speaking of changes, I guess I should start setting goals. I don’t know when I want to accomplish these by, so let’s just say they should happen “eventually.” But let’s not define “eventually” as when I’m 30. We’ll define it as a few months to a year. Here we go:

  • Run a 10K under 57 minutes (about a 9:10 pace)
  • Actually do the speed workouts I say I’m going to do
  • Actually do the strength training I say I’m going to do
  • Just eat better stuff, and less crap

That’s pretty vague. But again, I don’t have structure for anything yet. And these are all attainable goals.  The first goal is a little more specific, and I’m not going to be able to accomplish that without the second and third ones. As I start to do speed and strength workouts (hopefully starting today after work?!), I’ll post exactly what I’ve been doing during them.

As for eating, I tend to eat a lot of crap. My weakness is donuts. And living within a 5 mile range of about 15 Dunkin Donuts does not help. I live in New England, where you can find a Dunks on every single corner! My will power is going to have to increase a lot as I drive past my go-to DD on the way to church every Sunday. Updates to come on that, I’m sure.

This blog is not going to be offering professional workout routines or diet recommendations. I have no grounds to be giving that out. This is more simply going to be a chronicle of my journey to a healthier life, and some encouragement for anyone who chooses to read this. As I mentioned before, I am going to slip sometimes. But that’s what is so great about being human; we aren’t perfect, and it’s in our nature to make mistakes. So if anyone else is trying to lead a healthier life and feels like they can’t because you keep going back to old habits, don’t give up! I’m not planning on it. If I can do this, so can you. Don’t let one bad decision to eat that extra cookie keep you from reaching for the fruit next time.

I’m Done.

That doesn’t sound like a very encouraging title for a first blog post.

What I mean is I’m done with giving excuses as to why I’m not living the way I want. I want to eat more things that are good for me. I want to be able to run a race under a 10-minute pace. I want to make time for working out and planning healthy meals. Yes, I am busy. I am a college student, I have a job, and although my brother would probably tell you otherwise, I do have friends. That can make for a fairly full schedule, but I really would (and should) like to have exercising and eating well as some type of priority, too.

That’s not to say I am totally unhealthy. I ran in a 5k this weekend. My mom and I run in Disney’s Princess Half Marathon every year. And I don’t only eat cake (although, it may have served as my breakfast once before). But, I typically only work out when I know I need to, like when I am training for a race. And although I don’t only eat cake, I also don’t only eat kale (I never eat kale).

I think I’ve finally gotten the kick in the butt I need to actually do this. Although I don’t know how it’s going to happen yet, I thought I would chronicle my changes to keep myself accountable and maybe find some inspiration to give and get back from others. These changes I want to make aren’t going to happen overnight, and I’m probably going to slip up. But I’m human, and I’ve gained enough inspiration from others already that I don’t want to give up on this. This is going to be a lifelong journey of changes.

Why do I think I need these changes? I’m not fat, but I’m not skinny either. I’m not doing this so I can look good in a bikini. I want to have more energy, and learn to make healthier choices that I can continue to make for the rest of my life. I mean, if a hot bod happens to be a side effect, I won’t be complaining, either. But that’s not the focus. I can live with how I look. These changes are something I’ll be able to keep with me my entire life, and hopefully pass along to others.

There have been so many people who have motivated me to start this process already – friends, family, even bloggers or writers I’ve never met – that got me thinking: If I did this, maybe I could be one to inspire others as well. So I thought it would be cool to take this journey alongside you all. Actually, right now I am probably speaking to no one, since this is my first post. And I’ve probably written too much that even if someone did come across this blog, they’ve already stopped reading. So I should probably finish this up.

I’m ready to make the change. Hopefully there will eventually be some others who will join in following this journey, and maybe gain some inspiration of their own to do it as well! I’m sure this will develop some type of structure as I go along, so those of you that bear with me, I promise it will get better 🙂

Thanks for reading!