Monthly Archives: August 2011

Starting over with running

It’s hard for me to believe that there would ever come a point in time that I would not only be a runner, but be a runner so much that I actually got tired of it. Wow! It’s amazing how much your life can change when you change your priorities.

But that time has come for me again. I say again because this isn’t the first time I took a break from running. In 2009, I actually walked the Kentucky Derby Festival mini-Marathon and you know what? That’s hard too! It was an entirely different experience and I’m so glad I did it.

This time, it was more or less, I just haven’t felt like running lately. Back in June, we hit the 90 degree mark and have had too many super hot and humid days to even think about running outside (for me). The treadmill was not calling my name either. So I decided, so what? I will take a break. Do some other workouts I enjoy, no big deal.

I noticed that I didn’t really miss running. I also didn’t miss the major appetite it gave me that sometimes caused me to eat too much. I didn’t miss the achy hips or tiredness I sometimes get.  I especially did not miss getting up early on Saturday mornings for races (hehe).

In July, we closed on our new home and started going through the seemingly never-ending process of packing, painting, moving, unpacking and so on. No time for running really and it was still too hot!

I really gave myself over to walking, yoga and some weight training. I even signed up for MyFitnessPal to make sure I’m still getting essential nutrients and to support some friends. And I have been feeling great! I don’t use a scale anymore but judging by my clothes, I’m a bit lighter. My moods are better and I have more energy to do things around the house and keep up with other responsibilities without being exhausted in the process.

Now, maybe running is not entirely to blame for this. I think I just needed a rest. Needed to slow things down a bit and get some perspective.

It’s been a couple of months now, the weather is cooling off and things are getting settled in my life again. I have decided I am ready to ease back into running. But nothing too crazy. I haven’t signed up for any races and while I do have hopes of someday  running a marathon (such as my dream of doing the 2012 NYC Marathon with my good friend Mari), I’m not in a big hurry.

I actually have dreams of standing on the side lines for someone else soon! Anybody need a cheerleader? Or maybe I will volunteer to work at a race.

For now, I have decided to start from scratch, the way I originally “taught” myself how to run. With intervals!

Twice this week, and hopefully one more time before it’s over, I have “walk-jogged” 2.35 miles. I decided to start with running 1 minute for every 4 that I walk. I have really enjoyed it and it has been great to “feel out” running again. Next week, I will move up to 3 walking, 2 jogging and so on but again, I’m in no hurry to do too much. I just want to enjoy this :)

MyFitnessPal rocks

About a week ago, I suggested to a friend of mine the idea of finding online accountability for healthy eating and exercise because I knew there were a ton of free resources out there and her current in-person accountability might be in jeopardy. Before I knew it she had sent me a link to join her over at MyFitnessPal and I have been obsessed ever since. Well, not really, but you know what I mean ;-)

The site allows you to track your calorie intake and exercise expenditures based on your current weight and your goal (lose, maintain or gain) and interact with other people that you become “friends” with on the site. It’s like Facebook meets Weight Watchers! You even have a news feed :)

Since I am happy where I am and no longer own a scale, I chose maintenance and my calorie goal actually made sense (usually the ones these sites give me is too high, in my opinion).  I haven’t actually been tracking calories for a long time so that wasn’t a priority for me but this site measures so more than that.

Much like the old MyPyramid (now MyPlate), it gives you a nutrient breakdown for the day and shows you where you may be lacking in some areas. Because I am vegan, I keep an eye on vitamin D and calcium since I don’t get those from eating dairy products like many people do. Also, I like to stay low on sugar because my body operates better that way.

I haven’t made any changes to my diet, but the program is definitely motivating me not to go back for a second snack at night and in the 5 days I have been tracking, I have drank more water than I have in a long time! Something about being able to “click” off another glass is fun to me and having that visual reminder is very helpful.

I am also really thankful for this site because it allows me to be part of the process that my friends are going through on their own weight loss journeys. I am glad that I can provide them with accountability and encouragement, plus they probably don’t know this, but being able to see how they are doing is very motivating to me as well. It reminds me of what I went through, how far I have come and how I never want to go back to being who I was before I made myself get healthy.

Just wanted to share this with you all. It’s a great site and I know there are many others out there like it, but this one stands out to me.

There is also an app for most smart phones. The one for Blackberry is decent, I can enter food, water and exercise on there but can’t see what my friends are doing or any of the message boards. However, the iPhone app seems wonderful for all of you who have one (I’m only a tiny bit jealous).

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