“Double Digits” – Here I Come!


Love my Cocok's Toes! Hand painted by Japanese ladies.

Total Cocok's fashion pedicures in Oki!

Last week was pretty much a wash for my running since I was recovering from Bronchitis. I managed a 7-mile run last Sunday but it was a miserable one due to my lung capacity being stiffened from all the mucus I was coughing up. I did some yoga, strength training here at the house and mainly tried to recuperate. RECUPERATE = Pedicures with the girls! (see photo above of my super sassy toes!)

These digits are looking pretty sassy already!!

I got back into the group training on Friday and was pleasantly surprised at my performance ability. Jeanne had us do a 30-minute session of 400m sprints w/ 5 dips, 10 sit-ups, and 15 squats = 1 set for as many sets as we could muster for the time allotted. For the first 21 minutes I ran a ¾ pace to make sure I wasn’t going to make myself start hacking or coughing and then the last 9 minutes Jeanne told me to go all out and really push it. I followed her directions and immediately could feel the difference. With the next 400m sprints I could feel my lungs being tapped to their VO2max. I didn’t have any coughing or wheezing at all. WAHOO! I finished that workout completely drenched in sweat and pride!

10 miles - here I come!

Saturday I teamed up with WOOT runner and group fitness participant Amy for a 9 mile run. This would be my very longest run to date! We broke up the run in two parts. First, we met up at Kadena Gym at 5:30am and did the 10K route on the base. Then, we got registered for the monthly 5K races at 6:45am. Amy was slotted to mentor a new runner so I did this portion alone.

Proving that I am still a rookie runner: My watch died on mile 4 and my I-pod died on mile 5. Amy sent me our run stats later in the day!

Stats on the 6-mile run:

Mile 1: 10:16

Mile 2: 9:56

Mile 3: 9:55

Mile 4: 10:00

Mile 5: 10:00

Mile 6: 9:56

Independence Day 5K run time: 31:24

I am super stoked about our ability to stay so consistent on this distance. The 10K course was rolling and the 5K course includes a very challenging hill.

New things I tried:

  • I put my recovery Nuun tablets into my camelbak so I could try out replenishing electrolytes while I ran (it is so humid here we sweat buckets).
  • Ate my first Hammer Gel for replenishment after the 1-hour mark and right before the 5K.

Pro’s/Con’s:

  • Pro: I didn’t get a headache like normal on my LSR b/c of the Nuun tabs.
  • Con: the water got disgustingly warm and fizzy from sloshing about on my camelbak
  • Pro: the hammer gel was a lifesaver and I am so glad I took extra plain water to drink with it and make sure it settled in my stomach before the 5K run started.
  • Con: I need to find something a little more substantial to eat during these long training runs (over an hour), midway through the 5K my stomach started to growl and I was becoming distracted by my hunger pangs.

I made sure and got a good breakfast in my stomach as soon as I got home (I had two hard boiled egg whites, apples sauce and a banana before I left). The rest of the day I focused on protein intake and never let myself go hungry. Towards the end of the running my quads were feeling sore and my knees too. I iced all the areas that seemed a little sore intermittently the whole day and I never felt any more pain afterwards.

Nutritional Tidbits:

I have perfected my recovery smoothie and want to share!

In my blender I put:

4oz of Apple Juice (100% pure juice – look on the label for the kinds that say their ingredients are APPLES and practically nothing else!).

This is at the Commissary in a plastic jug on the bottom shelf in the juice isle.

1 cup of frozen fruit.

1 packet of Stevia b/c it is pure dextrose.

2 tbsp of protein powder or (most recently) Yoplait Protein Yogurt (one or the other not both)

2 heaping Tbsp of Plain Organic Greek yogurt (this is if you are not using the protein yogurt).

1 Banana (optional) – for starches and simple sugars

a pinch of salt – for electrolyte

Why do I choose these particular ingredients?

Based off of the information from the Paleo for Athlete’s book they suggest some goals for the first 30 minutes post exercise:

  • Replace expended carbohydrate stores: glucose (aka dextrose) = quick recovery, fructose = steady and slow release. Best taken as liquid for quick digestion. This why I use 1 packet of Stevia
  • Rehydrate: You can loose half a gallon of sweat per hour. This needs to be continuous – so drink fluids for the rest of the day not just this window. 16oz of fluids for every pound lost during exercise. Apple Juice is a good choice b/c it bolsters carbohydrate stores and is rich in most electrolytes.
  • Provide Amino Acids for re-synthesis of protein that may have been damaged during exercise. Best source of protein is egg or whey. Heat increases the need for both carbohydrates and protein.
  • Begin replacing electrolytes – add a pinch of salt.
  • Reduce acidity of body fluids w/ fruits and vegetables – frozen fruit.

 

The Whey Protein has 17g of protein - but it is an expensive option

If you are nervous/unsure of protein powders try the protein yogurt instead!

 

In the end the optimum recovery tools are sleep and diet!

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The Break Up


Well I did it… I went into my pantry, my refrigerator, and my freezer and got rid of it… I got rid of it all. I broke up with all the grains, pasta, and overall carbohydrates in my house. It was tough…I had cleaned out my pantry a few days before but I wasn’t completely ready to get rid of all of my whole grain paraphernalia.

Well, I am sure you are wondering how it all came about and how it all played out…

It went something like this…

ME: Hey, Carbsy

Carb: What’s UP bestie!

ME: we need to talk.

Carb: Oh, that’s never good – when someone says that…

ME: Look, we’ve had a good run…but it just isn’t working out anymore.

Carb: But Sarah, I can change…have you seen the new selection of Naan bread, pita’s and Quinoa at the Commissary?

ME: It’s too late. I’ve given this a lot of thought and well; it’s ME – not YOU.

Carb: Oh boy – heard that one before. Well, I was the best thing that ever happened to you – you’ll see.

ME: Yea, well…I guess some things just aren’t meant to be – physiologically.

Carbs: you’ll be back. You people always come crawling back. You’ll get an emotionally charged craving and go running for a KitKat or a French loaf freshly baked at the Commissary or think just a few croutons won’t hurt.

ME: You clearly don’t know me Carbsy – I thought you did – but you’ve been the problem all along and now that I see you in this light (bloating my intestines and inflaming my bowels) I can never look at you the same way again. Besides, I’m a Generation X’r… I was raised on Grunge Music and smoking to be cool. If I can quit those things and never look back…well, you’re already toast (pun intended)!

Ignore the Oats & Peanut Butter - I am making some no bake cookies for the Single Marines

I took some creative liberties here but you get the picture! It’s not easy to reverse you’re entire life’s worth of thinking about food and nutrition. I am not going FULL Paleo just because I cannot give up Dairy. My little girly still needs lots of calcium and I do to! I am just going to be cutting WAY back on our cheese and flavored yogurt intake. Baby steps!

Over the passed week I have been doing my best to stick closely to the Paleo theme of eating and finally when most of the food was depleted from the house I knew it was time to “go big or go home!” So I printed out the Week 1 Shopping List from Robb Wolf’s website for the 30 day challenge of eating Paleo and hit the Commissary. Mind you – I couldn’t find everything there but I found most – maybe 3-4 items I couldn’t get my hands on.

Got my spices all organized and out of the cupboard - found some yummy Macadamia Oil too

This has been tough – I think I had been a little moody from the lack of carbs, my body does not like this adjustment but my guts sure do! I haven’t been bloated at all. BUT…I think about chocolate a lot! LOL!

So far I have cooked and enjoyed everything that has been recommended on the 30 day challenge or from another Paleo Cookbook I bought.

Here are some examples of the foods I have cooked:

Dinners:

-Grilled Salmon, Roasted Green Beans, side salad

-Rotisserie Chicken, Steamed Broccoli, side salad

Lunch:

– Chicken Salad w/ Acocado’s, Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar (and Feta)

-1 lb. Chili Lime Shrimp, Side Salad

-5-6oz. deli turkey (rolled), ½ lb steamed broccoli, handful of nuts

Breakfast:

-3 poached eggs, bacon, and fruit

I used a microwave poacher

-Scrambled eggs w/ a little milk and shredded cheese, bacon or avocado

Snacks:

-Jerky and unsalted Nuts

-Greek Yogurt w/ berries and drizzled w. honey

Training Updates:

Thursday: Met up with Jeanne at the gym for purely strength training. We went out back and she totally broke me off! We did a full body workout.

Jeanne’s Recap of today’s WOD and explanation of what a Tabata is: Today you did a Tabata working with kettlebells – core workout, upper body and legs – overall strength conditioning. Inner thighs may feel sore/tight – be sure to give them extra time to stretch and warm-up. 

A tabata is 20 seconds on (of work) 10 seconds off (rest) – you repeat for x amount of time 4 min, 8 min, etc. – 10 sec is enough time to let your body rest, but not enough time for your muscles to recover – also adds a cardio element to a strength exercise.

BIG NEWS THIS WEEK! I completed my 2nd 10K and a 5K – both with Nola in the new Baby Jogger.

FRIDAY: The 10K was held on the local Air Force Base and was a fundraiser for the American Red Cross’s effort to raise money for the Mainland Japan Relief Fund. The course was extremely hilly and some of the hills were very long. I ran alone (except for having the stroller) but there were several ladies there that I knew. I asked them to please not run w/ me as I wasn’t sure what sort of pace I would be able to maintain.

Jeanne had told me to just think of this as a training run and to take it easy…. Well, that is hard for me to do – my competitive juices get flowing and off I go! Also, there were lots of strollers – so there was a fair amount of equal competition! There were two people w/ strollers a head of me until about 3.5 miles into the race. They were running fast and when I finally reached them it was because the chick had to walk. I caught up with them just as they were running again and I made small talk about how hard they had been to catch! They were both pushing two kids. Within the next 3/10ths the chick bonked. I think the guy was pushing her to run faster than she was comfortable with and she couldn’t maintain that pace. I heard her start to cry and I looked back and told her to just breath through it, look at her front tire and just push! I kept running and didn’t see them again until after the finish.

I finished the race in 1:00.06 my friend Kelly, who had finished ahead of me, came back looking for me. She grabbed the stroller and was like, “See you at the finish – GO!” But she runs so fast that even though I was running solo now (3/10ths of a miles left) she was still right with me! Lol! So I finished with Kelly cheering me on and Nola getting to see me cross the finish line!

Here are my numbers
Mile 1 = 9:54
Mile 2 = 9:13
Mile 3 = 9:46
Mile 4 = 10:56
Mile 5 = 10:23
Mile 6 = 9:52
 

SATURDAY: Earth Day 5K – Woke up feeling really sore and stiff from all the previous hard work of the week. If I wouldn’t have told a new friend (Tricia!) I would be there I probably would have crawled back in bed that morning! Damn accountability!

Im in the white cap w. sunglasses on top - getting registered to run!

I decided TODAY will be a for real easy run. I left the Garmin at home and wasn’t worrying about pace or time. The morning was perfect for running! Cool and overcast! I prefer overcast mainly for Nola – I had to think she’s just sitting there baking in the sun while I run. I got there in JUST enough time to sign up and do a little bit of stretching but not my normal routine of stretching. When the race started I could feel how stiff I was. Tricia immediately pulled ahead and left me in her dust! I put my iPod on and just shuffled til my legs felt better and then I used that LONG down hill (the 5K is always the same route) as my recovery/warm up. Right after we finish the downhill we run through a residential area or about half a mile. When we hit the main road again it is a 90 turn up a VERY steep and very long hill (Marek Park). I wish I could get the elevation charts on the running route because this hill is unbelievable.

I just skipped my iPod to a super motivating song, leaned forward to be more on my toes and looked down at the front tire – dug in and PUSHED! The last time I ran this 5K was the weekend before I started working with Jeanne. I remember thinking that my effort to get Nola – my little shuffle/jog – was actually just as fast as a walkers pace – so I walked part of it and I was right…I was only jogging about as fast as I could have walked it! In other words – I was barely moving up that hill the last time.

THIS TIME – I was moving! I made that hill my bitch! After I got to the top I was in such a good groove I just kept up the good pace. At this point in the race there is only MAYBE a mile left. I just plugged away and started passing people. I finished in 29:40 and set a PR for my 5K w/ the stroller time!

After the race I felt great, I was trotting around cheering for other people and especially the little red-faced kids coming in for their finish! I drove home with the goofiest ear-to-ear grin! I was just so proud of myself. I just couldn’t believe that I had just ran a race, that kicked my butt just 4 months ago, and ended it feeling like I could go longer! I am really seeing what Jeanne has been talking about – building a strong base!

New Recipe:

I was totally amazed at this!

Tonight I made Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti – OMG! How crazy is it that a squash can be so amazingly similar to spaghetti! I have never really cooked w/ squash before so this is all new to me. Just another bonus of trying something new with the way I am fuel myself.

I couldnt hardly stop eating this!

Spaghetti Recipe:

1lb ground beef or turkey
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 (12oz) package of kelp noodles or one spaghetti squash 
1-2 C. Marinara sauce
1-2 cloves crushed garlic
 

Brown the meat in the Olive Oil using a large skillet. Once the meat is browned, add the noodles (or cooked spaghetti squash, see below) and the marinara sauce. Stir and bring to a simmer. Add the crushed garlic just before serving to maximize the health benefits.

If using the spaghetti squash: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Carefully split the squash lengthwise, then dig out the seeds. Place both halves face down on a baking pan, add 1/4 C. water. Bake for 30 minutes. Dig out the squash with a fork and add to your skillet with the meat.

Miles ran this week = 14.3

Miles ran YTD = 138.55