Music to my…KNEES!


Nola: Day 4 Typhoon Muifa - The natives were getting restless!

Well it was hard for me to get motivated after Typhoon Muifa trapped me in my house for 3 days. I don’t know about you guys but for me – motivation is a daily affirmation! If I have several days of not being able to affirm my commitment to something like working out and eating healthy – it becomes increasingly more difficult to stay focused!

Thursday – TCOR-1 – Did Upper Body circuit inside the house. Doing well with maintaining positive attitude about being here alone while my husband is in Thailand – NOT experiencing the second typhoon of the season! I had gone shopping on Wednesday in preparation for the storm. I felt sufficiently ready!

Friday – TCOR-1E – Did workout video in the evening. Upper Body & Core. My motivation was starting to fade as I realized how “un-fun” workout videos really are after you have had a personal trainer enter your life. I started to slowly fall off the Paleo wagon as I helped Nola eat her Graham Crackers as a snack! Then some cheese sticks, then some other random pantry items (there were many) that had been staring at me.

Saturday – TCOR-1E still – Didn’t do much this day – had already done all the house stuff I needed to do, I was bored out of my mind reading for school – so I just sort of lay like broccoli on the couch. Fully fallen off of and being run over by the Paleo Wagon. I won’t (or rather can’t) recall or recite everything that I ate but it wasn’t pretty.

Sunday – It was still pretty windy and overcast out but overall the weather was normal. I just seemed to now be in a funk of lying around feeling lazy. I found numerous excuses to NOT run w/ the stroller. You know, there might be lots of debris in the road, tree limbs and such…basically the motivation wasn’t there. Feeling sorry for myself for overindulging in lots of things that were now making my tummy gurgle.

Monday – I had a group project that was due for my Nutrition class, I was the group leader and responsible for the final submission. I hate being subjected to group work over a distance education course. People are barely responsible enough to log in everyday and do the work they need to barely pass let alone fully participate in a group effort. That is why I designated myself the group leader so I could at least have better control over who was responsible for what – and needless to say, but I will – I did most of it! I was done sending people relentless emails about tasks due and what I still needed. I just did it myself which kept me on the computer til almost 11pm. If you know me…you know I am in bed by 8:30pm most nights!

Tuesday – Personal Training w/ Jeanne! I was still struggling with where my motivation was but knew that I was looking forward to a good thrashing. It’s always scary when you show up to train with Jeanne and there is virtually NO equipment around. This is how you know you’re really in for IT! It being an ass kicking by yourself with yourself while she cheers you on and you somehow forget that you asked for and are paying for this!!!

WOD:

1 ROUND =

Run 400m

15 knee to elbows

15 knee-ups

15 burpees

15 TRX suspended pushups

She prefaced this workout with letting me know just how hard it was for HER and everyone else who has done it! First off – if this is a workout that was tough for her to do than BOY am I in for it! Lol! The timer was set for 30 minutes and I was to do as much as I could in that time – no one had made it to a completed 4th round.

I started out (I felt) strong. I was psyched, telling myself the whole run that I totally had this – slow and steady wins the race! I was happy with my initial effort through all of the hanging stuff (knees to elbows is super tough) – was VERY glad that I bough weight lifting gloves and always keep them handy because I never know when I’ll need them! I finish the first round and head out for my 400m run.

I come back a little slower on my round 2 400m run but still at a good enough rate that I could possibly make 4 complete rounds in 30 minutes. Somewhere coming up the steps I realize that this workout seriously is TOUGH!

Knees-to-Elbows

I head out for round 3 and when I get back somewhere between the steps and doing my 15 knees to elbows my breakfast decides it no longer wants to remain in my intestinal tract. I get the overwhelming sense of throwing up and it consumes me. I stop. All I can picture is my breakfast – crepes with vanilla crème filling. OH god – stopping picturing it – there’s that feeling again… Oh god!

I try to keep going but it keeps coming back. I burp a little, spit a bunch and keep going but way slower. I have resolved to know that I will not make it to 4 rounds in 30 minutes.

CONCLUSION – 5 days of not doing much, eating MUCH and having it all come back up your throat on Tuesday… that is motivation enough to NOT let this be a repeat event! Still on the schedule for that afternoon was another 2 miles to run! YUP – that’s right! We are now doing double workouts. I train in the AM with Jeanne and then before I head to get Nola I hit the gym (to beat the heat and take it easy on my joints) and bike or run. I actually really like breaking it up like this. I feel better for getting the miles in and not being completed wasted tired all the time from having tough and long morning workouts everyday.

Map of Comprehensive Park

Wednesday (today) – Ran 6 miles. Nice and Easy! I knocked these out with a little stiffness and a lot of core soreness! Hanging from a pull-up bar and pulling your knees to your elbows is super tough and I was feeling all of those muscles on my run. I went out to Comprehensive Park – it’s a local athletic park with tons of trails and little pond, bridges, a recreational pool, open fields and a beachside view!

I forgot how much I loved running there – especially with all of the shade the trails offer. They have been doing lots of construction there and improving their running trails. There is now a 5K path that is covered in the same materials their running track is. So it’s this rubbery like surface that has cushion to it. Not enough to make your run feel sloppy but just enough to make your knees say, “THANK YOU!” By the time I headed over to this area of the park I was at mile 4 and my knees were starting to ache a little – AS SOON as I hit that cushioned track material I could feel the difference!

If you haven’t been over to Comprehensive Park I suggest giving it a try. If you haven’t been there in a while I suggest a revisit! They have only completed the construction to half of the park but the entire 5K loop has been resurfaced. The paths that have been redone are also almost double as wide as before so a jogging stroller of any size would be perfect!

School Updates: Next week are my finals! I have spaced them out so I can have ample time to study for each individually and then next session I am back to just one class! Phew! That will be a nice break from this session (4 classes) BUT I’ll be taking STATISTICS! EEEEEK!!

Nutritional TidBits:

So about those Crepes that were up in my throat! They are actually extremely yummy and I have been eating them very regularly. My sister-in-law recently trained for and competed in a Bikini Competition in Washington State. She shared this recipe with me. I (as usual) tweaked it to fit my nutritional needs but I really like them either way. I will share her recipe and photos here but also give you my rendition of crepes and crème!

Kayla’s Protein Crepes

Banana Crepe

Ingredients:

4 egg whites (one yolk)

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 packet of Splenda

1/2 tsp vanilla flavor

dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend (or blend in a bowl, with a whisk, by hand). Coat a non-stick frying pan with Pam olive oil spray, and heat on med-high for a few mins until hot. Pour half of the mixture into the pan, and once the top is bubbly, flip over. Repeat! Easy peasy..

Blueberry Crepe

Now, there are quite a few different filling/topping options, but here are a few of my favorites:

“PB&J” Protein Crepes:

Add one Tbsp of peanut butter (or PB2, powdered peanut butter) and  1/4 cup frozen blueberries (heated up in the microwave for 30 sec) to the middle of the crepe, and roll it up! Top with sf syrup if desired 🙂

“Peaches & Cream” Protein Crepes:

Mix 3 oz of nonfat, plain greek yogurt with 1 tsp of sf pudding mix (vanilla or white chocolate flavor)- this is your “cream”.. Chop up half of a fresh peach into 1″ cubes, and add to the cream (you may also add some chopped pecans or walnuts). Fill your crepe with this delicious mixture, roll, and top with sf syrup if desired!

** Other options include strawberries or blueberries and “cream”, bananas and peanut butter, or just about anything else you can think of!

The macro-nutrient values for the actual crepes themselves (excluding topping options)=
Calories: 186g
Fat: 6g 
Protein: 29g (this may vary depending on the protein powder you use)
Carbs: 3.5g

Add 1/2 grapefruit or 1/2 cup of veggies to make this a “complete” meal!

Pairing a lean protein with fresh (or even frozen) veggies at each meal is a crucial component of a fat-burning diet!

My version:
½ Cup of Egg Beaters
1 heaping tbsp of Almond Meal
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of vanilla extract
 
Directions: Whish together and watch a YouTube video on how to make crepes – follow the YouTube directions! Lol! Then I make a crème with an instant pudding mix (I really like Pistachio for this – it’s a good combo of flavors). Take whatever flavor of instant pudding you like and mix it with 1 can of Coconut Milk. Put in fridge and let it set over night. The next morning it is nice and thick for a crème. I usually make two crepes and put the crème between them and roll them up and eat it with a fork.
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Time Flies When You’re Running!


This is how many weeks I have been training! Wahoo! Where has the time gone?

This will be a short post! I feel terrible taking so much time off from my blog when there have really been some exciting things I have been doing, learning and goals met!

I won’t bore you with the details of how busy life can be – we already know these things!

Well Shane is away for several weeks in Thailand so I had to drop out of my early morning group fitness class – which really bums me out because I was enjoying the moral we all were building and the friendships too! BUT – I have to say – I have been feeling eager to get back to my one-on-one thrashings with Jeanne! PLUS – I really enjoyed the time that we had chatting about life stuff, fitness tidbits and well – this might sound lame but… it was the only time I got “girl chit-chat” time in…no, really! (Lame, I know – I need to get out more!) So lets catch-up on where my training has gone!

The trail we run is called the Habu Trail - and these are Habu's in Sake! Supposed to be strong stuff!

WOOT Run – a few weekends ago Jeanne sent me a goal of 8:30 min pace for a 4mile run. I decided that I was running with the local Women’s running group (trail running that is) for that run. This was a paved trail and one that I have run several times but never that fast. I made sure to let my goal be known – keeping myself accountable for it! Then, I immediately set out to pace with the leaders of the pack! I was really just chasing after them for the first mile or so and then slowly closed the gap. These ladies kept me honest and I ran the 8:30 pace all the way up and down those crazy farm roads! Seriously – proud of myself!

Last Wednesday I was really proud of myself – I ran to the morning group session (the last one I was able to attend) at the Plaza Housing pool, did the swim workout with the group, and then ran home! Total mileage was a little over 8.5 miles and it took me roughly 1 hr and 30 minutes. I averaged a 10:43 pace with the run there all uphill and the run home all downhill!

This weekend I was running with the stroller (27lb monkey plus 20lb chariot) and I still made my LSR (8.47) in an 11 min pace! I wasn’t running it for pace I was just trying to survive it! I picked the beach run since it is the flattest place I know of around here and even though that meant making the loop 3 times – it was worth it! I headed out early enough that we were in the shade for almost the entire run!

Todaywas my first day back to one-on-one training! Jeanne was tough – my quads are smoked!

The workout:

800m run @ ¾ pace

20 Thrusters w. 18lb bar

400m run @ slightly slower than sprint pace

20 thrusters w. 18lb bar

200m all out sprint

and then we did it all over again working backwards and ending w/ a set of thrusters.

This is an example of a Thruster - I was not that bad-a$$ - I only had the bar and no weights added!

ME = Broke OFF!

Then this afternoon – still needing to get some mileage in since we are up-ing my overall weekly mileage – I headed to the gym for a treadmill run (needed to take it a little easy on my legs and we were in “black flag” conditions – so no outdoor PT allowed) – I ran 3.5 miles at an easy 10min pace. I really started to feel my quads getting tight at the very end of the run so I made sure and iced my legs when I got home! My longest run to date is still 9 miles – but I love that Jeanne gets me to reach a new distance and then we hang with that mileage and build a strong base there – so by the time I am adding even more distance to my longest run my legs are very ready for it! This has really been the key to keeping my legs injury free and my mental state where it needs to be as well! When you feel string and confident it shows in the LSR’s!

Nutritional Tidbits:

Hybrid Mini-Meatloaf

These came out so yummy tasty!

I have been trying to find ways to send my husband off to work with some Paleo approved foods and easy to eat, carry with, and reheat foods – so I had to get creative. Since my husband bikes to work her carries his lunch in a backpack that I am sure gets jostled all over the place. Enter the mini-meatloaf! I took the Everyday Paleo meatloaf recipe and my mother’s meatloaf and came up with a hybrid version that we ALL (including the monkey) really dig! This is not Paleo because I have added a few things – so anyone who is hardcore Paleo please skip over this recipe! ;o)

Ingredients:

2lbs Ground Meat (whatever you prefer)

½ tsp white pepper

1 pkg Dry Onion Soup mix

2 Eggs

½ tsp Marjaram

½ C. water

1 C. Almond Meal

1 tsp Basil

1 can Cream O’ Mushroom Soup

Sauce: Mix together ½ onion soup package w/ cream o’ mushroom soup, add water, pepper, marjoram, and basil – stir well, set aside.

Meat: Mix beef, eggs, almond meal and other half of onion soup mix together – blend well. Add large serving spoon scoop of sauce mixture to meat mixture – bland well. Add meat mix to mini loaf pan – these don’t expand much when they cook so you can really fill your more than mine – this was the first batch and I wasn’t sure – they can be pretty full but leave room for your sauce mix. Top with sauce mix. Bake in the oven (uncovered) at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Another snack we have all come to love is a recipe I took from Robb Wolf’s book and sort of tweaked it a bit as well but it is all Paleo still! I just have to work with what fruit is fresh here.

Cinnamon Fruit

The picture does this sweet treat no justice!

1 Orange – peeled, sectioned and chopped 1 Apple – peeled and sliced or diced 1 tsp cinnamon Mix all of the ingredients into a Tupperware container – toss to coat – put it in the fridge and it gets better and better the longer it all soaks!

Tuna Cabbage Salad

This is such a great snack or lunch!

This is by far my very newest and favorite creation. Again, I took the idea from Robb Wolf’s book about a crunchy cabbage salad and just made it my own!

Ingredients:

¼ head of cabbage

1 can albacore tuna – drained and fixed however you like (I added mayo sometimes or just Olive Oil)

1 whole carrot or 3-4 baby carrots

Sesame seed oil or poppy seed dressing

I like to start with the cabbage and toss it into my food processor with the top blade on shred. Then I add the carrot to the same blade – looks like coleslaw! Then I put it into the bowl I intend to eat it out of and add the tuna mix – stir well. Then I add in my sesame seed oil or sometimes I do a poppy seed dressing.

I devour this as a post workout lunch and I ALWAYS eat this with Plantain Chips! It’s truly not the same without it! You can really make this dish your own – add nuts or other veggies and make it a meal instead of a snack!

Miles ran so far this week = 5.25

Miles Ran TYD = 225.19

Addicted to Sugar


About a week ago or so there was a nutrition brief that Jeanne got setup for all of the people she trains. We gathered in a conference room at the Health Promotions building on base to listen to the on-base nutritionist. I’ve been reading all sorts of books, articles and studies about nutrition for years – out of interest for my own body and health – and thought I wouldn’t hear anything new. I was wrong! I heard one thing that has ROCKED my world!

The nutritionist opened by stating that as a nation we are all hopped up on sugar! LOL! She had my attention – me having my own sugar demons that I must give semi daily sacrificial virgins to keep their mind controlling hunger pangs at bay.

Here is what was the most interesting and the most vital piece of information (for me) – Carbohydrates breakdown into glucose – not immediately but after the carb goes into your intestines and is broken down into a liquid.

So here’s the skinny:

(1) It puts the food in its mouth! Imagine the carbohydrate is a linked chain. Each link of the chain is a monosaccharide (mono=single, saccharide = sugar) and several links would be a polysaccharide (poly = several, saccharide = sugar). Chewing your food up is like cutting up this chain into separate chunks and the saliva breaks it down chemically. Here is where the poly becomes a mono.

(2) It swallows the food! In the stomach our food hangs out and parties for about 4 hours before it is truly worn out and broken down for further digestion. The stomach muscles go all disco on the food using contractions of the stomach muscles to break it down into a semi-liquid called chyme. Picture chyme as short chunks of chains composed of 5 links each. These short chunks facilitate the breakdown of carbohydrates in the small intestine.

(3) In the intestines the chyme is slowly released from the stomach – here the breakdown that started in the mouth is done. NOW – Enzymes from our pancreas come out to play w/ the chyme. The enzyme breaks down the small chunks of carbohydrates into individual links = they are now monosaccharide. Monosaccharide, or better known as glucose, are taken up by the cells of the intestines and go into the bloodstream.

ARE YOU STILL WITH ME? So basically we just ate some carbs and now our tummy is passing it along to our intestines and it has gone from carbs to chunks, to liquid to sugar.

(4) Now that we have made carbs into glucose – we experience a bit of a spike in the amount of glucose in our blood. This influx of glucose causes the pancreas to release insulin, which is a hormone that plays a major role in our metabolism – that is where our liver comes in.

(5) In addition to using glucose as a source of energy (yee-haw) it also stores the excess (over consumption or low activity levels cause this) glucose as glycogen (another form of sugar). Glycogen is later converted back to glucose between meals to be used for energy if our sugar levels go down.

(6) Fat cells take up glucose from the blood and convert it into ATP (adenosine triphosphate – this lives in the biochemistry of our muscles). When there is an excess of ATP, as in when we eat more than our bodies need, fat cells convert ATP to fat. This is why when we over eat or eat more frequently then we need to that our body fat increases and ultimately our body weight increases, along with risks for all sorts of medical/health issues.

(Credit to this medical website for that breakdown)

She explained all this to then explain how to read how much sugar is REALLY in something you are about to eat – and THIS info is what is haunting me! So when you look at a food label and it lists Carbohydrates (grams or %) and right below this is the Sugar (grams or %). Since we now know that carbs = sugar in our bodies we can deduce that the sugar listed directly below the carbs is the amount of ADDED SUGAR that is in this product to make our taste buds like it!

Do you get what I’m saying – this sugar is the extra they put in it to just make us like the taste of it more. Eventually our taste buds get so used to this extra sugar being in everything we eat – we no longer like the taste of things that are low in sugar or just have their natural sugars.

Yoplait = 27g of sugar

Snickers = 24g of sugar

Guess what else she told me???? The daily recommended amount of sugar is only 22 grams… My Yoplait yogurt has 27g of added sugar that is MORE than a Snickers bar. Now I look at all the labels and am just perplexed at how much added sugar is in EVERYTHING. So this should tell us easily  – why our nation is so obese even though we are all eating lower fat meals and trying to be smart about whole grains and such. We have replaced all the fat with sugar.

This being Easter weekend it made me realize just how focused our lives really are on sugar.

HeyHAPPY BIRTHDAY, here’s some cake, ice-cream and a box of chocolates and dinner out to your favorite place.

HeyHappy Easter, here’s a basket full of candy and fun festivities all centered around finding little eggs w/ more candy inside of them and then we’ll have a huge dinner in celebration.

Hey, Merry Christmas, here’s some pies, cookies for Santa (wink, wink), sweet potato casserole and so much more!

Hey, Happy President’s day lets go to the parade where people will throw fists full of candy at us and we’ll all compete to get the most candy possible and we all know someone in the office will bring bagels or donuts for this festive day!

Hey, Happy Halloween lets go trick-or-treating for bags full of candy.

All of our seasonal festivities, holidays, b-days, and any party atmosphere are focused around FOOD but mainly on desserts and treats for our taste buds. We are all hopped up on sugar all the time!

This reminds me of when I was a young adult and I thought that FUN meant DRINKING! It took me a long time and some harsh realizations to figure out that I don’t need to drink to have a fun time at a party or get together. And this is sort of like that – I don’t need to gorge myself on food and dessert or candy in order to fully ENJOY my food or to fully partake in the festivities of the event. How can I make sure that I get that message to my children?

I’m definitely not over my need to eat sweets – as I ate all of Nola’s Easter Candy (she only found 8 eggs)! But I am glad that I have this awareness now and feel that I am slowly on the path to recovery… ;o)

Training Updates:

Thursday: I was in a world of HURT on this day! Jeanne had me do rounds of 10 Burpees (the push-up/jump thing) and then a 400m sprint for (the goal was 10) 8 rounds. I didn’t like this at all and I’m pretty sure I said it out loud a few times. The point was to make me be in the world of hurt and still be focused and push through. I struggled. I hated the burpees the most. The runs weren’t so bad but only because I wasn’t pushing as hard as I should have. I’ve regretted it ever since. I hate feeling like I could have given more effort after a workout. It sticks with me for days.

I think my problem is that I push myself as hard as I have always BUT my threshold of lactic acid pain is getting higher and I am not pushing myself into that new area of ability to maintain. Does that make sense? So to people on the outside – I look like Ia m really giving a hard effort and for the Sarah that I was 4 months ago I am. But I am this new Sarah who is (I’m gonna brag a little) really a lot tougher/stronger than she was coming into this just a few months ago. Jeanne – if you’re reading this – I think my ass needs to be kicked just a little harder! Lol! I’m probably gonna regret saying that but I hate feeling like I should have pushed harder.

Saturday – didn’t make it out for my run. Rain all morning and then I had a helper (Jeanne’s super sweet daughter) come over to watch Nola so I could get some serious cleaning and homework done.

Sunday – Ran 7.5 miles on Kadena AFB – bad choice of route. I had seen (from the road) what looked to be a good path to run. I parked my car and headed out on this path and then it turned into a road and then it turned into a hilly mess. I was in a world of hurt – some of the hills were so steep that I had to walk and I was literally leaning forward with my head between my arms looking at my feet pushing up these hills! I had no idea where I was but as soon as I saw a main road I ran for it and continued the rest of my run on the main streets of the base. I severely underestimated the distance back to the car and ended up having to run all around another hilly residential area to make up the last 2 miles I needed to complete my run. I now realize I might have to start actually planning and mapping my routes before I run them!

Nutrition Updates:


I still love this Paleo way of eating. I made myself some super yummy poached eggs the other morning w/ 3 turkey sausage patties and half of an avocado sliced w/ a small glass of milk. I found the technique of how to do a real poached egg (not the microwave poached way) from a really cool blog called everydaypaleo dot com.Breakfast has mainly been different forms of eggs and sometimes sausage or ham as the main source of protein. My lunches have been salads w/ leftover meat from dinner tossed in. Dinner is always something new!

Fitness Milestones: I won my second Presidential Award for fitness and I am also 1/4 way done w/ the fitness “Summit Challenge” being held by Sempfer Fit on base. I signed up for the 500 miles in 12 months challenge!!

Miles ran this week = 12.51

YTD = 161.06

New Years Resolutions can Work!


Week 11 of LRW challenge/Week 10 w/ Jeanne

March is almost over and I can hardly believe it… WOW! Ending my 3rd month of Living Runner’s World Challenge and the beginning of resolution completion has begun!

I get to check a “to-do” off of my 2011 list of goals! Last night was the final meeting for the “Squawk and Gobble” quilt group I was apart of. We all started to collaborate and brainstorm our designs for quilt squares back in May 2010. This was a tough challenge and had I not gone stateside for a holiday venture/visit w/ my little monkey in tow I might not have gotten my squares done at all. My mother has always been the crafter/green thumb of the family…I don’t know what happened to that for me…I guess I got the athletic gene! My mom and I spent days on end measuring, cutting, ironing; sewing, stitching…and then my 12 quilt squares were done!

My quilt square is of a "Torii Gate" these can be found all over and mainly at the entrances.

Tada! It feels good to have something checked off the list!

The wonderful "hens" of squawk and gobble - a little wine w/ our needle point!

After March 27th I will be able to mark another goal off the list…completing my very first 10K! I’ll be running the annual “Lord of the Tengan” 5K/10K race on Camp Courtney (Marine base) here on Okinawa. I’m such a nervous racer – I always get really anxious days before a race…and then the night before – oh boy, like no sleep at all! The worst part is that my nerves all go straight to my tummy – I’ve already poo’d in nervousness like 20 times…at least I won’t be running for the port-o-johns on race day! Lol!

Training Updates:

What comes to mind when you think of someone doing “strength training” …maybe lifting some weights…yeah – maybe…but not when you have Jeanne for your trainer! So Thursday was my strength day and it was no joke!

I think what still cracks me up is that her “warm-up” phase still gets me all out of breath and covered in a light coating of sweat. She’ll always say, “We’re still in the warm up phase” and I always think, “oh boy!”

We started off with a Tabata of anaerobic work and then the training session started w/ hard upper body strength working w/ weight bars and as soon as we finished those rounds Jeanne told me to take off for a 400m sprint out back.

So I handed her my bar and ran as fast as I could around people working out and lifting weights heading for the back door. When I flung it open I saw a handful of the WOOT running ladies – no time for talking for me – I was on a mission to hit that 400m hard. …And maybe I didn’t want to seem like I noticed that anyone may have been watching me! When I make my way back to the gym Jeanne is waiting for me and immediately directs me to do 20 push-ups. (Gasp – I know – I did too!)

This is what my arms felt like!

So I get down and the first 4 go smooth but my shoulders were smoked from all the upper body work in the gym and I am sucking air pretty hard from my run. I slow down and my form goes to crap. I start resting between sets of 2 push-ups at a time…did I mention these are plank push-ups? ;o) It seems like forever but I make it to 20 and then the rest of the workout is a blur! In between running 400m Jeanne has me work the core (upper, middle and lower) until it’s smoked, then some more 400m running.

Nearing the end of the session she has me do high knee skips – OMG – we haven’t done these in weeks and I was in NO hurry to have them back in the routine. Whatever energy I had left – these totally sucked me dry of it! Imagine skipping…then skipping as hard as you can, then push off your toes as hard as you can and then twist your right elbow to your left knee as it comes up and alternate like that…yeah – those are high knee skips! Crazy Sh@t, I know – and I do them and they HURT!

We ended the session with me doing a lunge/squat walk down the street…the lactic acid in my legs completely consumed my lower body and it was all I could do to make it to the end of the designated stopping point. This has me cursing (under my breath) out loud! I was smoked after that workout.

I was still able to do an easy two miler today to shake loose any tension though. I am sore and my legs are a little tight in places but I’ll be sure and stretch out really good tomorrow and then again on race day.

Nutrition Updates:

Boo-Hiss! No more sweet treats for me!

I am cutting out sugary snaky yummy treats for the month of April. While my body has been slowly morphing into the “runner’s body” over these past few months – I am still not exactly where I would like to be. I can only think of one reason why I might not be seeing the “shred” that I want – lots of carb-o-licious snacks and sugary sweets for this girl. So starting April – no more sugar. The count down has started for my husband to make his way back to me and I really want to make sure I make the most of this time in training before he sees me. 7 months is a long time – and I haven’t been sending him any pictures of me or of my progress. He reads the blog of course but other than that the rest will be a surprise!

Miles this week = 7.45

Year–to–date = 91.95

The Rowing Machine


Happy Women's History Month!

Today I got a taste of what it must feel like to be on a Dragon Boat race team! Jeanne had me on the rowing machine today. I have never used one of these before and at first I struggled with the movement and keeping momentum but as soon as I stopped thinking about it – the rhythm came.

Today’s workout was great! I was worn out, dog tired afterwards (I curled up fetal position on the coach and attempted a nap while Nola was down) but left feeling good about what I had accomplished.

Jeanne had me do intervals of rowing and running. I would row for 500 meters and then immediately take off for a 400-meter sprint. I was able to finish very strong, which I like! I pushed really hard after turning the last corner and drove my arms and legs hard for the last 100 meters.

and apparently white business men give each other DAPS as well! ;o)

Jeanne is totally gangster and I didn’t even know it! She gave me DAPS for the first time ever so I must have really impressed her! I really enjoy this one-on-one “team” for my training. I got to skype with Shane this afternoon and was telling him how awesome it is to have someone be able to give you immediate feedback about your stride, pace, strength, etc. I feel like b/c of this training I have become such a better runner. Jeanne also let me know that she thinks my running has improved as well! I can feel it – I am trying to incorporate all of things I am learning into each run I do. Being on my toes more, letting my arms relax more, feeling the pace I am aiming for, etc.

I’ve been having some kneecap pains and the front of my feet and toes were hurting a little too – the culprit – worn out shoes! I bought these Asics in November of 2010 and I am sure they were ready to be replaced. Considering, I have more running to do this week and my FIRST EVER 10K next weekend (so excited, still need to find a sitter or someone to tag along with me) so I don’t have time to wait around for Amazon to ship me a pair – I took off for the Risner Pro Shop when Nola woke up from her nap but they were closed. So I had to head to the BX on the local Air Force Base to see if they carried the shoes I wear. Thank goodness they had one pair of the Asics GT 2100 series that I like. They are the newer models so that is definitely an upgrade for me. Usually I’m a penny pincher and always go with the older models for cheaper prices.

Here are the shoes I got today! At least Asics is improving their color schemes!

Among many lessons being learned in this process ONE of the things I am really enjoying is the true value of the right equipment (can someone say Gear Junkie!?). My Garmin is priceless, Under Armor and any other type of “technical wear” – priceless, my CamelBak – priceless. All of these things totally enable me to focus on just running and not being worried about carrying my water bottle and it getting warm from holding it or running out of water because I didn’t want to run with a huge bottle. The technical gear is great because there is no chaffing and when I am drenched in sweat I don’t feel like my skin is suffocating. The Garmin is priceless in so many ways – knowing my pace and distance – those speak for themselves. So…of course…while at the BX I somehow (must have been Nola’s fault) ended up in the sports clothing section…hmmm. So I got myself a new running outfit that is in honor of my first 10K! I can’t wait to wear this on race day!

Oh – if anyone reading this is like – What 10K? It’s the Courtney Athletics “Lord of the Tengan” 5K/10K annual race. You can pickup registration forms at any MCCS gym. It’s $15 and there are t-shirts and BIBS! They do track you on this race. I even found some old stats from the 2007 race online.

A picture from their website

Speaking of new pairs of running shoes – that obviously means I am going to have OLD pairs of shoes. So…w/ Earth Day just around the corner I was seeking out an organization to donate my old shoes to. I googled “donate running shoes” and came up with lots of options listed on the RW website but most of them send the shoes to other countries and not that I don’t like helping people in faraway lands – I would really prefer to help out a fellow American. So there was only ONE organization that donates the shoes they receive to local impoverished families, started by a guy named Jack Thornton, Jr. Warren Striders Track Club is an organization out of Ohio. This organization not only promotes physical activity but they also have programs that promote academic achievements as well. There are no age limitations for this group – you can be young or old, male or female, and any ethnicity and they will welcome you into their group, put shoes on your feet and get you running! SO if anyone reading this posting thinks they might have some old running shoes that could be passed on please send them to:

Jack Thornton, Jr.

Head Coach/Program Coordinator

P.O. Box 3440

Warren, OH 44485

Please keep in mind – I only used RW as a resource for finding this information. There might be many other organizations out there that only give the shoes donated to local US people in need – this is the only one I found listed on RW. The link to the page is here and it was published in 2006.

I complained today (no surprise to those of you who know me well) – no, really I actually think I was whining in an articulated way – the only way I could find…by trying to seem like I wasn’t really whining. I told Jeanne that I have been mentally anguishing over starting back into Speed work. I told her I had been reading about how some people just don’t recover well from distance running (endurance type stuff) and others find it hard to recover from speed work…and I went on to explain that I MUST be one of those people. Right?! I mean it makes sense – sprinting makes my body hurt in ways it has never hurt before…and my memory of this says, “don’t do that to me again!” So I thought, “maybe if I actually said it out loud to her it would somehow save me”… but alas Jeanne, as always, so poised and professional – gave me permission to complain! She reassured me that NO ONE likes to do speed work. Oddly enough, this made me feel a whole lot better – a little sheepish for whining but still – better. I know that after I am done with speed work I feel so amazing. I am proud of myself and I am always impressed with how my body responds to the demands I put on it… but I am always fearful of the days I know we will do speed work again!? WHY? I don’t get it – but it makes me feel much better to know that I am not alone!

Miles ran this week = 8.20

to date = 80.56

Melt-in-your-Mouth Banana Nut Bread


This is Week Nine of my RW challenge!

My most recently tested RW recipe is probably one of the easiest and by far the yummiest of the recipes tested so far! Now I would almost call myself a connoisseur of banana-nut bread – because I l.o.v.e it! If it is there I will eat it, buy it, and even beg for it. When I saw I had a few banana’s that the little monkey and I hadn’t eaten before they reached the point of no return (I’m very picky w. the ripeness of my bananas) I knew I had to seek out a bread recipe. I found this in the archives of the healthy recipe finder on the RW search window.

Flour’s Famous Banana Bread

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
(I substituted w/ whole wheat flour)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4-teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2-teaspoon salt

1-cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2-eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed

2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream

1-teaspoon vanilla

2/3-cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
(I dug mine out of a can of mixed nuts and didn’t toast them!)

How to: Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together first four ingredients. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy. Drizzle in oil. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Fold in flour mixture and nuts. Pour batter into a buttered 9″ x 4″ loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 12 servings. Lower-fat version: Reduce oil to 1/4 cup, add 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (260 calories, 9 grams of fat).

Calories: 310 
Fat: 15 g 
Carbs: 41 g 
Protein: 4 g

I had to cook mine for about 15min longer then this calls for but it could just be the weird oven in our housing unit here. Who knows? I shared this w/ my wonderful neighbor Liz who lent me 2 Banana’s and some sour cream and she raved about it the next day! Which, to me, says a lot b/c Liz is the type of naturally talented cook I could only aspire to be. No really, she gives me leftovers or invites me over for food all the time and I NEVER say NO!

Training Updates: I have been feeling a little hesitant to just jump back into the hill training and speed work in fear if getting injured again but Jeanne and I discussed the game plan for the next week or so and as of next Thursday I will be getting back into both. Eeek!

Today we did 4 rounds of 400M runs at a fast pace w/ intervals of pull-ups, squat thrusts w. a weight bar and sit-ups.

1st round – 4:52 (400m run 21 pull-ups w/green band, 21 thrusters (18lbs), 21 sit-ups)
2nd round – 4:02 (400m run, 15 each ex)
3rd round – 3:30 (400m run, 9 each ex)
last run – 1:45 (400 m run)

Feedback Notes from Jeanne: Today:  Times got better, as you decreased your reps – BUT your run was stronger – turnover better, more distance between strides and foot strike was mid foot, rather than heel.  I would like you to concentrate on arms tomorrow – relaxed, like you were at the end of the run today.

This was a very tough workout. Probably one of the first times I really thought I was going to upchuck after a training session. The running felt good but it was tough to keep up the fast pace with the anaerobic exercises in between the 400m runs. The one thing that I kept thinking while I was running was, “No one can do this work for you – if you want it bad enough – you gotta dig in and just do it!”

I’ve been trying to work on Mantra’s that motivate me for the different states of mind you get into when pushing yourself. While I was running the 5K I realized I was daydreaming and for a moment I let up but then I thought, “I can take more pain than anyone else out here – PUSH IT!

Trust me, with a deployed husband - this is my subconscious mantra for when he gets home!

Jeanne let me know that I would no longer be running 5K races. Since most races fall on Saturday’s and the WOOT runs I want to start doing are on Saturdays we decided to shift my rest days to Sunday’s and Monday’s. Saturday’s will now be my LSR days and if I did a 5K then it would take away from my distance runs and also deplete me for the more important objective of speed and interval training. AGAIN, Jeanne is priceless!

So far my goals with this personal challenge have all been met. I am a little disappointed that it hasn’t been exactly what I thought it would be – the blog and RW thing. I have decided that I can only use the magazine for the motivation and inspiration parts because the website is like a tunnel of years and years of archived info. Too much to weed through and I just don’t have that kind of time. I have school I’m still doing during naptimes and evenings and just being a mom and head of household while my husband is gone is challenging. I was setting out to see if the average person could follow all the guru advice RW puts out there and honestly – it’s overwhelming. I “liked” their FB page and it blows me away at how many posts or new articles they put on their wall everyday. Now I totally understand why people who work full time get up at 4am to get in their workouts and runs – it’s the only time they can make it happen!

Even with having a treadmill in my living room (for those days when I really just can’t get out the door for a run) I dread it…the treadmill is no picnic for anyone but when I look at that thing (staring me down in the corner of the room) and then look at the clock (still digesting dinner the clock strikes 7pm) – I’d rather just get some good sleep and be fresh for the next days challenges than log miles. Needless to say – I’m a morning runner!

Game plan for tomorrow:

Active stretch

warm-up:  30 sit-ups, 15 push-ups, 20 crunches, 10 push-ups.  For extra insurance – 50 step-ups on a curb or stair (nice and easy) to warm up the hip flexor. My right one is sore from the 5K.

Workout of the Day:  1/2 mile (about 12 min pace – nice and easy), next 1/2 pick it up (11 min pace), 2nd mile (10-11 min pace), 3rd mile, 10 min pace.

I think I’ll try somewhere new to run. I’m thinking Comprehensive Park maybe…I’ll report back and let’chya know!

Last Weeks miles = 10.70

Year-to-date miles = 72.36

Miles ran this week = 1 mile

Stadiums are for Spectators


“Stadium are for spectators. We runners have Nature, and that is much better.” –Juha Vaatainen (Finnish 5000 and 10,000 meter star from the 1970s)

I’m not sure how many of you who read my page are actually in OKI but you might be interested to know that there is a trail running group of women here called “WOOT.” This stands for Women On Okinawa Trails. I have yet to do a trail run but more and more people I am meeting have been and say it is sooo much fun! SO the group has organized a “Pedicure Day” at Cocok’s this Saturday and I have signed up to go! I am very excited to meet these adventure-seeking ladies and pepper them with questions! The only thing that has really held me back from going was my nervousness of trying something new all by myself. So I figure this is a great way to get to know some of them first and then ease on into a Saturday morning run! Check them out on FaceBook!

Winter is almost over…and in Okinawa that only means one thing…the HEAT is coming! Even though it doesn’t really start getting really hot here until June it’s really the humidity that gets to you. That is something that comes and goes during spring but it has already started. By June it will be black flag PT conditions by 7am and that is when people are highly discouraged from physical activity outside.

For now though I will enjoy my mid morning runs while I can!

Training Updates:

This week has been extremely motivating and productive for me! I am getting my legs back in runner condition and am very excited. I am nervous though about getting back into speed and hill training too soon so I asked Jeanne if we could just do strength training and interval running for a few weeks to build my legs back up and then hit it hard again. She seems okay with this but warned that we don’t want to stray away from the hard work for too long… and I want a rematch with that menacing plaza hill!

Tuesday’s workout:

400 meter repeats remix. This was a tough but steady workout. I had to run 400meters at a 10min/mile pace then do 5 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 15 squats, and 20 jumping jacks then immediately take off for the next round – run 400m and 5, 10, 15, 20 again – I think we made it through 5 or 6 rounds. I lost count. Jeanne tracked my time as far as consistency was concerned and told me I did a good job of being able to maintain the running pace throughout. Needless to say I was really worn out after!!!

Wednesday was a rest day since I had been gaining mileage steadily since Saturday.

Thursday (today):

Jeanne took it easy on me today since I have a Functional Fitness 5K Saturday that I am hoping to be competitive in. Today I did a 800m run at a 10min/mile pace for a warm-up and then a progression of pushups, sit-ups, and squats for the main workout. The pushups really broke me off and really the whole workout did. By this afternoon my eyes were burning and heavy…I really could have used a nap!

Tomorrow: I will be running 2 miles at an easy pace – gotta save myself for Saturday’s race on Kinser. I’m really excited about this for several reasons but one important one is that my neighbor and friend, Liz (and her daughter), will be accompanying me! She will watch Nola and hopefully get some photos of my killing myself! I’m so glad that I don’t have to go alone. Competing alone is fine but driving all the way there and then having no one to cheer for you is a real buzz kill sometimes!

Upcoming Races:

“Lord of the Tengan” @ Camp Courtney, March 27th – 5K/10K Fun Run

Gunner’s Gym Fun Run 5K held April 2nd

T-shirts are provided for both.

I’m hoping to be able to be competitive in the 10K in late March but Jeanne is thinking this might have to be more of a training run and less of a “push hard – competitive run” for me. Darn that injury and getting sick setback (fists shacking in the air!)

Miles ran so far this week = 5.6

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