Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Walking Maps

My Walking Maps is a really cool website in which you can track your walking/running routes around town! Check it out, it's super exciting! I mapped the 10K from this past weekend. Google sometimes messes up on this computer, so hopefully you can see the path clearly...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Race Day: Texas Round-Up

I participated in the Texas Round-Up 10K yesterday morning, and I definitely have a few thoughts...

1. The course was more difficult and challenging than the Capitol 10K.
2. The Capitol 10K had more "cheer" support along the way.
3. The Capitol 10K had more music along the course; although the Texas Round-Up did have more music at the end of the course (I believe).
4. We got to see and hear the governor at the Texas Round-Up. I loved hearing how passionate he is about fitness and health.

I'm not going to lie, I found this 10K extremely challenging for a couple of reasons. First, I lacked a good night's rest the night before, I won't dive into details, but I had a blast Friday night! Secondly, it was humid. Thirdly, the course was tougher!

My accomplishments:
1. My first mile was faster than the 5K (but this first mile was slightly downhill compared to the other one). At the 5K, I did it in 14:15, this time, 13:20.
2. My overall two mile was faster than the 5K. At the 5K, I did it in 30:30, this time, 30 minutes even (maybe a bit quicker than that). Now I do have to say, the second mile was really slow for me, but it was continuously uphill, so the fact that I was till ahead of pace was great!
3. I hit the 5K marker at about the same time as the last race.
4. I finished the race in 1:40:00, pretty much on the nose. Much slower than the first 10K when I was chasing Matt (he timed us at 82ish minutes, I timed us at 93ish minutes), but there are several reasons why. The course was much more hilly, and I have not been training for hills as big as these. In addition, due to the hills, my heart rate got into a range in which I was not comfortable with, so I had to slow down a few times. On the hills, if I was jogging, it was in the 85-90% of my maximum heart rate, which is never the case when I'm at the gym.

I'm not sure when my next race will be, it may be the Lone Star 5000 mid-May...we'll see!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Busy weekend...

I had a really busy weekend, but had so much fun!!!

I had a potluck dinner with a few good friends on Friday night. My friends just built their house, so they have a number of projects they are still working on. I asked them if they need any help, or would like any, and they accepted. They mentioned that they may let me work with the jackhammer. Super exciting if I can! I like big machines!

On Saturday night, I went with my two Michigan buds to my first Round Rock Express game. The Round Rock Express is the Triple A club for the Houston Astros. Even though the Express lost, it was a great game and a lot of fun. Our section actually won a prize! We're going to plan another outing on a Friday night and take over a whole section. Oh yeah, for those who don't follow sports, this is baseball! :) Yee-haw!

The Oasis is known for its sunsets; and yes, the picture to the right is just one view of Lake Travis from the Oasis. This restaurant and bar is a must-see (in the top 10) if you ever come to Austin. I've always wanted to take a salsa dance lesson, but have never had a partner to go with, and Juston didn't know about this sweet spot, so we decided to go to the Oasis for Sunday evening. I can't wait to go salsa dancing again!

I did learn one big thing from this weekend; I'm a pretty good leader, not a great follower (especially in dancing). Sometimes, just sometimes, I should be a better follower than leader. Hmmmmm...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I tend to meet challenges from friends head on, as if I have to prove to them I can do it. I'm not sure why I always felt like I needed to prove myself, but I have.

My trainer, has on occasion, "challenged" me to a few different things. About a month ago, I won $5 for completing my last set of jumps, and last week...well, I won a sort of different challenge.

Matt has this habit of making me do something so much, I end up hating it. Something I hated one month can be easily replaced with something else. For the longest time, I hated shoulder presses because he made me do them ALL the time. I would groan and moan every time he made me do them. Well, a few months ago, this was replaced with girl pushups, we started out small, three sets of 10, then three sets of 12, three sets of 15, and then last week three sets of 16. I was PMSing pretty bad last Wednesday and put up a stink about doing them, so he made me a challenge: If I could do one real pushup, I wouldn't have to do three sets of 16 girl pushups. I quickly made the deal. I got down on the ground and did a single pushup. He said a deal was a deal, and we walked the track and did my second favorite thing in the world (sarcasm): shoulder presses. We got back to the mat, and Matt says, "A deal is a deal, you won't be doing three sets of 16 of girl pushups, I want three sets of 10 of the real thing." My mouth dropped, and I slipped under my breath, "Jerk!" He kept his end of the deal, now I had to keep mine. I didn't get three sets of 10 of real pushups in (muscles fatigued), but it was a start. Next time I won't open my big mouth, OR...only accept a challenge after I really think about the aftermath. :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Recipe of the Week: 4/14/08

Cooking Light - March 2008 Issue

Mango and Black Bean Salad (6 servings)

1.5 cups chopped peeled ripe mango
1.0 cups thinly sliced green onions
0.5 cups cooked wild or brown rice (If you are short for time, a great substitute is whole grain couscous.)
3.0 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2.0 tablespoons roasted tomatillo or fresh salsa
2.0 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I'm not a fan of lime, so I cut this in half.)
2.0 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil (I usually exclude this.)
0.75 teaspoon salt
0.25 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1.0 (15-ounce) can organic no-salt added black beans, rinsed and drained (I don't do organic or no-salt, most of the sodium is removed when you rinse.)

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently to mix.

*Bonus idea (from the kitchen of Michelle): add cooked chicken to make a full meal!*

Nutrition (1 serving - 0.67 cup)
Calories: 167 (48.6 calories from fat)
Total Fat: 5.4g
Saturated Fat: 0.7g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 226mg
Total Carbohydrate: 25.5g
Dietary Fiber: 5.5g
Protein: 5.2g

Sunday, April 13, 2008

First Non-Scale Victory: Race Day

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Today I had to give myself my FIRST Non-Scale Victory (NSV)! I wanted it to be ultra-special, and that it is!

I participated in the Schlotzky's 5K Bun Run '08 this morning. I wasn't going to do another race until the 10K at the end of April, but I got talked into it, only for her to have to cancel last minute, life happens. So I decided to do it on my own anyway, and had a blast! Matt (my trainer) wanted me to run the whole thing; I told him I would try, but after waking up to a slightly sore knee, I knew I had to alter that goal. My new goal was to jog a mile, walk a mile, jog the last 1.1 miles. (For those who don't know, a 5K is 3.1 miles, a 10K is 6.2 miles.) This, of course, would be a challenge all on its own because the furthest I have ever jogged on the treadmill was 0.6 miles straight. I also planned it strategically because the "hill of death" (as I would like to call it) was in that second mile, and I knew I'd have to walk up that anyway...

Seeing that we are celebrating my first official NSV, one would assume that I met my goal. In fact, I creamed it! I jogged the first mile with hesitancy, but made it. Once I got into my rhythm, it was quite easy not to stop. I walked after the first "watering hole" which was at 1.1 miles, picked up my jog again until I hit hill #1, which is followed by a nice downward slope (runs pretty nice), with the hill of death just as you round that corner onto 15th street. The hill of death kicked my butt during the Capitol 10K a couple weeks ago, but I knew about it and was ready for it! Overall, I estimate that I jogged 2.6 miles (may be a conservative estimate). So again, here's that fun math stuff; this time I actually remembered to wear my watch:

Mile 1: 14:15 minutes
Mile 2: 16:15 minutes (clock read 30:30)
Mile 3: 15:00 minutes (clock read 45:30)
Finish: 01:30 minutes (clock read 47:00)

Originally I wanted to do it in 42 minutes, after the first mile I said, nope, should be 45 minutes... Turned out to be 47 minutes, but that's okay! I jogged for at least 40 minutes of this thing, and dammit, that's something I'm going to be proud of because the most I ever jogged on the treadmill in intervals was 16 minutes (averaged 4.5mph).

That's my FIRST NSV... Actually, it should be my second because I proved Matt wrong at the gym last week. Now that's a funny story I'm going to have share very soon...

And for those of you who are interested in seeing how wet and miserable I looked during the Capitol 10K a couple weeks ago, click here. I'm in the green tank top. My favorite photograph, by far, is the second one, where I'm racing to the finish line while Matt's high-fiving another friend's success.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What is Your Exercise Personality?

I love quizzes; I like to test them out to determine if they're accurate reflections of who I am. Therefore, I have deemed Friday to be "Quiz Friday."

What is Your Exercise Personality?
Find out which type of workout best suits your personality.

I took the quiz, and here's what they tell me:

Your Personality Type: INSPIRATIONAL
You're the type who catalyzes other people into action. You know how to say all the right things, which is why people gravitate toward you, tell you their problems, and look to you for inspiration. You're creative and are concerned about achieving personal growth.

Your Exercise Rx:
Dual-purpose exercise. To you, working out is engaging only when it's about more than just your body. You are more apt to enjoy it if it's about being part of a community or about exploring your inner self. To enhance your spiritual side, try listening to music to set the mood for a peaceful workout.

Best Choices:
Dance classes
Water aerobics
Martial arts
Trail running
Tai chi

Leisure Activities:
Your first priority is to work regular exercise into your week. But also think about using your leisure time to burn off a few extra calories. Here are some extracurricular activities for your personality type:

nature walks

Different personalities don't just take to different activities; they have to contend with different obstacles too. Here's what you might find in your path, as well as ways to get around it:

Because you may often engage in activities that involve instructors or coaches, you run the risk of being turned off by corrections or criticism aimed at you--or anyone else in your group.

Solution: Remind yourself that the teacher or coach is only trying to help you; if that doesn't work, look for a class or team that focuses more on teamwork or a teacher or coach whose style you prefer.


How did the quiz stack up for me? I LOVE nature walks, and once I get the running down, I can't wait to start doing some trail running around Austin. Out of my best choices I really only enjoy volleyball and swimming, but maybe I should try out a few classes at the gym. Kellen (a trainer and cycling class instructor) thinks I may enjoy his cycling class. Only if I have the guts to do it.

I do gravitate to the "inner self" part of working out. Not only am I changing physically, I am also changing mentally too. I just have to overcome my mental flaws. I loathe being criticized, and I think that's where Matt and I have butted heads lately. BUT, in all fairness, I have deserved the criticism.

So I'm curious, what's your exercise personality? Either leave a comment or write a blog about it (just let know you did!)! :)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Going Green: The Daily Green

The Daily Green: The Consumer's Guide to the Green Revolution

Tip of the Day (by Brian Clark Howard):

Keeping your refrigerator full, but not to the point of overstuffing, will allow it to run at max capacity. To help retain cold temperatures when the fridge and freezer are less full, place glass or ceramic pitchers of water in their compartments. Like using ice in a picnic cooler, this will insulate the interior and keep it cold.

Refrigerators and freezers account for about a sixth of all electricity use in a typical American home, and they use more electricity than any other single household appliance.

Over- or under-crowding makes the fridge work harder to maintain its optimal internal temp (37 degrees F).

Also check out the website for other cool features! :)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Recipe of the Week: 4/7/08

I just tried the following recipe this week - EXCELLENT! I split it into 5 meals so that I could keep it in my per meal calorie range (300 calories per meal). Enjoy!

Recipes inspired by The Best Life Diet - Bob Greene

Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta (4 servings)
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Start to Finish: 35 minutes

2 cups uncooked multigrain/whole wheat penne pasta (6 oz)
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 package (8 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms (3 cups)
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes halved
2 medium green onions, sliced (2 tbsp)
0.25 cup chopped fresh or 2 tsp dried basil leaves
0.25 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 tsp cornstarch
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
0.5 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 oz) (I use the reduced fat kind.)

1. Cook pasta without salt as directed on package, adding broccoli during last three minutes of cooking time; drain. (My modification: To keep the nutrients from the broccoli, I actually combined the broccoli with the mushrooms in step 3.)
2. Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from skillet. (I actually kept it in.)
3. Increase heat to medium-high. In same skillet, cook and stir mushrooms (broccoli) and garlic 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, onions, basil and pepper flakes; cook and stir 1 minute longer.
4. In 2-cup glass measuring cup, mix cornstarch and broth until smooth. Add to vegetable mixture in skillet. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Stir in pasta mixture and chicken; cook and stir until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese.

Nutrition (1 serving)
Calories: 420 (100 calories from fat)
Total Fat: 11g
Saturated Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 80mg
Sodium: 380mg
Total Carbohydrate: 42g
Dietary Fiber: 6g
Protein: 37g

% Daily Value
Vitamin A: 20%
Vitamin C: 20%
Calcium: 15%
Iron: 20%

2 Starch, 0.5 Other Carbohydrates, 1 Vegetable, 4 Very Lean Meat, 1.5 Fat

Sunday, April 06, 2008

How to Keep Going When You Feel Like Stopping

Last week I got extremely frustrated at the gym. On Tuesday, I was frustrated because no matter what I did, I couldn't get my heart rate to stay in its target zone. I used to be able to go hard for a few minutes, then go "lighter" and keep my heart rate up. Now, it drops quickly, so that I constantly have to "push hard." Then, on Wednesday, Matt and I had a small spat...we were both frustrated with one another. Him because we're not seeing results, me...well everything else. I felt like he wasn't listening.

I received the following article in my inbox on April 3rd, and it helped.


Hitting That Big Old Wall: How to Keep Going When You Feel Like Stopping
By: Julie Isphording, Olympic Marathoner (Found on SparkPeople)

Just about everyone has heard of the "Wall," as in "hitting the wall." And lots of us - in running and in life - have run straight into it. Head on.

A wall is the point in a race (or in life) where you're used up. You're officially done. You feel as if you are draining away into a little puddle on the ground. Your legs don't respond to the word "go." You vow never to do this again.

Although I hope you never have a wall get between you and a goal, here are some tricks I've learned from running that can help you get over your own wall when it's in the way:

Keep going regardless
Promise yourself that, no matter what, you will press on, even if you are walking, crawling, or puttering. In the Boston Marathon in 1993, I was running so slowly to the finish that I felt like I was actually going backwards. Stay on your feet. Eyes straight ahead. Move.

Don't think
Just go. Do not dwell on how overwhelmingly awful you feel. Focus on the cheering crowds, your friends and family waiting at the finish, the cool water, the trees... anything.

Try bribery
Tell yourself, "Self, when I get done with this, I'm going to buy you a new car, a new house, whatever you want."

Watch the negative words and thoughts. Think instead about all the successes you have had. How about all those hills you conquered? All those long workouts you endured? You are a great person. Relish those thoughts.

Negotiate with yourself
Give yourself permission to simply go to the next water stop, or to the next milestone, or even just the end of the day. Keep repeating that strategy until you see the finish line. Just one more mile before you say one more mile! (Exactly what I did on Wednesday!)

If it was easy, everyone could do it. You are the one who will make it. And don't forget the finish line pose!


So what do you do when you hit a wall in your workout?