July 31, 2009

Sunsets, Zensah's and Designer Jeans

I was not planning on running today since I ran yesterday and bruised the top of my foot. But once I got home tonight, the sun was setting and it was getting cooler outside, it was too perfect to pass up. My shins were a tad sore so I decided to wear my CEP's on the run. It is so amazing how much the CEP's help! I had no pain on my run. I ran 7.5 miles out and then ran back. Running outside is so much easier than running on the treadmill at the gym. When I run on the treadmill, I am so focused on the time and my speed, which distracts me from my run. Running outside allows me to really stay in tune with my body. I love being outdoors, the treadmill gets so boring.

I really surprised myself today. I didn't think I had enough will in me to go for a run. But I laced up and just did it. Although it was slower than some of my other runs (8 min miles), I can honestly say it was one of my best runs. Not once did I think about how tired I was or what time it was. Since I love my CEP's so much, I decided to buy Zensah calf sleeves. I have heard a lot of good things about them, so I decided to just go for it! I am very excited!!

Now, a little off topic, I went shopping today. I went to Nordstrom to look for a new dress for next weekend. I of course was side tracked by the jeans. There is something about designer jeans that I just can't resist. So, I decided to just try on a couple pairs for fun. So I picked up about 3 pairs and went into the dressing room. Normally I have to do a little jumping action to get into my jeans (I have quite the booty ;) haha). But today was different. I was able to step into my jeans, not jump into them. As i zipped the zipper and buttoned the button, I was almost in tears. The jeans were too big, yes, too big. Although I run to feel good, I run to stay in shape. I have lost 6 pounds in the last three weeks. I didn't really notice it in the mirror, but I can finally say I noticed it when I slipped those jeans over my hips. I am a whole two sizes smaller than I was last month. This was just what I needed, I just needed a little extra motivation this week, and now I have it. I am finally loving the body God has given me, and its about time! :)

My Scattered Friday Thoughts

Happy Friday! Every Friday, I treat myself to Starbucks. Today I just got a drip coffee. I feel like I really appreciate the coffee more when I go only on Fridays. Its just something little to look forward to at the end of the week. This week has been a good week, but I haven't had much motivation to work out and eat healthy. There is no excuse, but I have really been busy.

Although running has been such a relief for me, sometimes it can also be a hassle. When I run, I sweat, a lot. Once I go for a run, then I have to shower which takes for ever. Sometimes I just don't have time after work to run, shower, put makeup back on, dry my hair and style it. I really need to stop convincing myself that running is a hassle. If running is going to be a part of my life, I need to schedule time for it, just as I would schedule time for my friends. I really need to find more motivation this next week and really commit to running and eating healthy. Eating healthy has been a big issue this week. It is my Dad's birthday this week and my 21st birthday next week. I feel like I have been going out to eat all this week, and I am sure I will be doing the same next week. Although I cannot avoid going out to eat, I can limit what I eat and how much I eat.

On a different note, I went to bed last night without organizing the shoes and the clothes in my room last night. I even went to bed with one of my dresser drawers slightly open. I know this sounds lame, but this was huge progress for me. I set my alarm for 5:00am, not 5:06 or 5:22, just 5:00. It is a relief to wake up knowing that nothing bad happened because there was a shoe on the ground or because my dresser drawer was open. It just proves that my thoughts are irrational and only hurt me.

My next goal: Every night I put petroleum jelly on my lips to moisturize. I always, always, always make sure that when I put the lid on, that the letters on the top of the container are right side up, not upside down. My goal today is to be able to use the jelly and just put the lid on and not worry which way the letters on the lid are. This may seem small, but this is a big step to regaining my life back....and I know I can do it!

July 30, 2009

OCD, Please Leave Me Alone

This has been a very good week. I can't say I have had really awesome workouts or ate super healthy, but I can say that I have truly been happy. Lately, with the health issues I have been having, I feel like I have let my OCD get the best of me. For example, setting my alarm clock at night has been a hassle. If i set my clock for 5:00 and get a bad feeling, I have to change it. Sometimes it takes me ten minutes at night to decided on a time to wake up in the morning. Why can't I set my alarm for 5:00 and let it be? Last night, I set my alarm for 5:17. Why? Because 5:17 was the first time on the clock that didn't give me a 'bad' feeling. My OCD has come a long ways since a year ago, but there is still a lot of progress to be made. OCD, I believe, is all in my head. Nothing bad is going to happen to me if my alarm is set for 5:14 verse 5:17.

Going to bed at night is such a task for me. Besides my alarm, I have to check in my closet, under my bed (yes, because I think a person is hiding in there) and I have to block my door with a crate at night. Once I have checked for 'people' in my room blocked my door, I then have to rearrange the clothes on my floor until I get a 'good feeling'. I normally get a 'good feeling' when I can't see any shoes on the floor. Why do I do this? Because I am out of my mind (haha). I have let my mind convince myself of irrational things...and I am DONE!

This week, I have really realized that life is way too short to let my OCD and anxiety consume me. There is so much more to life. If I let this disorder define me, then I am never going to truly live and experience life. I am not going to let this disorder limit me and what I can do. I am so much more than this disorder. OCD is just another bump along the beautiful road of life. I will not let this stop me from reaching my goals. I have one beautiful life to live, and I am not going to waste it by waiting for 'good feelings' anymore.

I am so thankful for running and the good Lord above. Without the two of them, I truly don't know where I would be.

July 21, 2009

My Coffee Addiction

If you know me, then you know I love coffee. I would drink it all day everyday if my stomach allowed it. I love the atmosphere of a coffee shop. I enjoy meeting up with friends for a cup of coffee, studying there and simply just reading a good book with a good cup of coffee. It is very easy to drink mass amounts of coffee when staying up late studying for an exam and getting up early for work or classes. This lifestyle makeover has made me very conscientious of everything i put in my body. Its OK to consume small quantities of coffee, but 5-10 cups is a little overboard.

Since my makeover has begun, I have been drinking two cups of black coffee a day and have been working on switching from Creamer to Half and Half (Thanks Michelle!) Sometimes more, sometimes less. Although Lattes do have dairy in them, they also have sugary syrups in them. If I order a latte it is normally a sugar free non-fat latte. Not only are lattes and other coffee drinks not good for you, they are also freakin' expensive! 4 dollars on a coffee drink is too much when I can make drip coffee at home for a lot less. I think it is OK to treat myself to a latte every once in a while, but I think I am going to save my Starbucks trips for when I meet up with friends or want to relax, rather than picking up a latte everyday on my way to work.

Also, today was Starbucks' 'Free Pastry Day'. I will admit, I was planning on participating in this 'free pastry day' and I am proud to say, I drove right past the Starbucks today, and didn't stop for a pastry. I have worked way to hard to eat a pastry this morning. I know it is alright to treat myself every now and then. But i think this treat was unnecessary. I am very proud that I was able to resist this temptation and drive right past it. My workouts have been outstanding since I began this lifestyle makeover, I really want to continue on this path and I think a pastry would have really thrown me off this early in the game.

July 20, 2009


I joined the Dailymile the other day. I was a little skeptical at first. I had a hard time figuring out how to use the website and wasn't sure how often I would actually log onto the site to track my workouts. So, Day 3 using the website, and I am very happy with it. Being able to track my workouts and be accountable to other people is so motivating. People can send "motivation" and comment about your workouts.

After joining Twitter, DailyMile and now this blog, I have realized how important it is to be able to talk to people who have the same interests you do. It is so important to have people in your life who can support you through your training and also people who know exactly what you are going through. I love being able to ask for advice and being able to talk about running and training with other people. The support I have received from Facebook, Twitter, this blog and now DailyMile has been so encouraging and very uplifting.

My next goal is to join a running group and/or find a training partner. I think it would be very motivating to be able to run with someone and train with other people. I am just having a hard time finding people in Seattle that are also looking for training partners. Also, I am really not sure how to go about finding a running group. Wish me luck! :)

(www.dailymile.com/people/jrtrunr) <-- check it out! :)

July 18, 2009

Going Out To Eat

Day 3 of the makeover has been the toughest day yet. Went out with the family and some friends to a local street fair today. Everyone decided to go to Mexican food for lunch. As we all know, Mexican food isn't the healthiest food in the world. I cannot expect everyone to change their plans because I want to eat healthy. Trying to find something healthy on the menu was nearly impossible. There are no whole wheat or low fat options. I ended up ordering a chicken taco (who knows how healthy that was!). Although I think (not sure) it was probably healthier than an enchilada or a burrito, it still was still dripping in grease. Eating out makes it every difficult to stick with my lifestyle makeover. When I see everyone else ordering tons of delicious food, and I am stuck with a side order taco, its very hard not to indulge. Last week, all of us in the office went out to a pizza place for lunch. As much as I wanted to order pizza with the rest of them, I ordered a chinese salad. It was a good salad, but I bet the pizza would have tasted way better. I am very proud that I was able to turn down the enchilada and the pizza, I just cross my fingers that I can keep this up. I just have to keep thinking that this will pay off in the end and will be well worth it.

Although I feel like I don't eat out a whole lot, I eat out more than I should whether it is to catch up with old friends or going out to lunch with co-workers. Going out to eat is a good way to socialize and catch up with people, so it is not something I want to totally eliminate from my new lifestyle. I need to maintain my motivation and not give in to all of the delicious temptations!

I had another incredible workout this morning. I started out on the bike doing 1:50 minute miles. I ended up biking 20 miles, running 3 miles and then swimming for 30 minutes. The biking and the running went well, but my swimming definitely needs work. There are a lot of really good swimmers at the pool I go to. I feel so uncomfortable swimming next to them because I am a beginner swimmer. I get so distracted watching them, and feel like they will almost judge me for being a bad swimmer (which I know they won't). My goal is to keep with the swimming and continuing practicing everyday. Like they say, practice makes perfect :)

July 17, 2009

Day 2 of My 'Lifestyle Makeover'

Today's goal was to run 6 miles and swim one mile. Once I hit 6 miles I was feeling so good. Normally, I really have to push myself to meet my daily goal. Today was different, that 6 mile goal turned into a 12 mile run. My body feels so good. I was listening to T.I.'s 'Motivation' and it truly put me in a zone. Once I got started, I truly couldn't stop! I ran 12 miles at a 7:21 pace. :)

I have eaten healthy all day long and have resisted the temptation of over eating. If this is how I feel on day 2 of my 'lifestyle makeover', I cannot wait to see how good I feel on day 20, 40...and the rest of my life! It really gets me thinking, why didn't I start this sooner, why did I put this off so long?

My Friday Morning Discovery

I have been running and working out for a year and honestly, I haven't been able to say that I have seen a big difference in my body....until today that is :). While I was getting ready for work this morning I made a discovery. I can see, visibly see, my abs. I have abdominal muscles! They have always been covered by (this is gross) a layer of flub. Its nice to know, all of my hard work and dedication is paying off. Although I run to feel good mentally and physically, I also want to look good. I feel like I am making good progress. I think a big part of feeling good is feeling good about your body. I can finally say, I feel good about my body. I still feel like I have a ways to go, but I am making progress. Progress is all I can ask for :).

Also, this whole "lifestyle makeover" is so much harder than I originally thought. I am living at home for a month before I move. My family is naturally very thin and they eat a lot of junk food. They don't have to worry about gaining weight or any thing like that. Having the temptation of junk food 24/4 is so difficult. So far, I have resisted temptation, but it has been very hard. I have realized this lifestyle makeover is definitely not something that is going to happen overnight. It takes 21 days to form a habit, unfortunately I am only on day 2. I feel very confident that I can stick with this, and I think the pay off will be bigger than I ever dreamed.

Setting My Fears Aside

So, today is a big day for me. This may sound incredibly strange, but, I am going to eat my first banana in several years today. I have have a very large phobia of tarantulas. When I say large, I mean very very large. When my grandma found out about this phobia, she thought it would be good to talk about them and expose me to them. She gave me many facts about them and told me I should not worry about them because they are harmless. She decided to tell me a story about when she used to work in the produce department at the local grocery store. She told me that every time they got a shipment of bananas there would be tarantulas crawling all over the bananas. From that moment on, I have never touched a banana. I was mortified that I had been touching something that a tarantula had once touched. I work at a coffee shop on the side and we sell bananas. I stay as far away from the bananas as possible. But today is the day I am going to put this fear to rest. Fearing something so harmless is ridiculous. I have wasted too much of my life in fear, and it stops today. So I am about to eat my first banana. I know this sounds stupid, but this is a very big day for me.

July 16, 2009

Block Out the Pain and Feel Your Success!

I have had a lot of people asking me lately on how I cut my mile time in half within the last year. I began running a year ago and started running one mile a day until i could run one mile without stopping at an 8:30 pace. This took a lot of time to be able to increase my speed. During this time I was doing a lot of cross training such as lifting weights (even if it was at home in front of the TV during Oprah), and biking.
After this period of time I began focusing mainly on running. I would pick a landmark, and run until I reached the landmark. Each day, I would try to run a little further and further.
Back in February when I decided to train for a marathon, I changed my workouts. Currently, I do one long run a week (between 10 and 15 miles). I also do one "mile best" every week, where I run one mile as fast as I can (which is about 5:50). I try to run at least 4 days a week, a couple of miles at an easy pace (9-10 minute miles). I also do a lot of cross training like swimming, biking, walking, free weights and the stair master. Completing the 'mile best' every week has really helped my training. I'm really not sure why, but it has. Also, the compression socks I talked about early really help! I don't feel so much pressure in my feet when I wear them.
I think the key is to work out every day, cross train and work on "mile bests". Also, taking baths with Epsom salt and icing to prevent injury helps so I don't have to take a ton of time off to rest up.
While all of the training helps, in my opinion, running is purely mental. Learning to block out the pain while staying motivated is the key to success. Make sure to have good music that will motivate you and clear your mind of all the other stresses in your life. Set a goal of where you want to run to and give yourself a time limit. Focus on yourself and how your body feels.
Block out the pain and feel your success!

My Newest Obsession

I used to always hate running outside because I felt like there was no way to track my distance. Unless I ran the same course everyday, I never knew if I was improving. I recently bought a new Ipod because my old one broke. I decided to go with the ipod touch. A guy at the apple store introduced me to the Nike+. The Nike+ is a tiny chip (about an inch big) that goes in your shoe and its only 20 bucks!! I was a little skeptical about it at first, but I am completely in love with it now. I can customize my workouts with the Nike+, whether I am doing a timed workout, or running for distance. It keeps track of all of my workouts and shows how far I went, my pace and how many calories I burned. I have ran with the Nike+ on the treadmill and it seems to be pretty accurate, +/- .1 miles or so. Although I recently traded in my Nike's for Mizuno's, I purchased a pouch for the Nike+ insert and it laces in with my shoelaces. Its nice to know that I don't have to stick with Nike's to use this insert. This is such a great tool and for only 20 bucks, how can you go wrong?

Healthy Eating in the Workplace

I would say the hardest part of training overall has been controlling my eating habits. I find it very hard to stick with an eating plan when my schedule is all over the place. Between working and going to school, it is very hard to find time to cook and prepare healthy meals. And I have to admit, I have quite the sweet tooth :). So today I have decided to start being more aware of the foods I consume. I don't want to call it a diet because diets make me feel like I am fat, so I am going to call it a "lifestyle makeover". I refuse to count calories because I think it is a waste of time. So I am going to listen to my body and eat the foods that make me feel good. As much as I want to lose a little weight (who doesn't?), my main goal is to feel good. So I really want to cut out the fried food and really limit the amount of sugar I intake. I am going to try to substitute the foods I normally eat with healthy alternatives. For example, instead of using the regular Vanilla Creamer in my coffee, I am going to substitute it with the Fat-Free International Delight Vanilla creamer. By making little substitutions here and there, I think it will dramatically make a difference in the way my body feels.

I think my biggest problem is finding things to eat while I am on the go and at work. I find myself mindlessly eating in my cubical lately, and it really needs to stop. Here are some good healthy snacks that are great on the go:
  • Trail mix - great protein!
  • String cheese (low fat)
  • Apple and peanut butter
  • Yogurt
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Bananas
  • Baby Carrots
  • Also, water and green tea are great options to take the edge off hunger!

Also, I have found, I can eat healthy all I want, but the key is knowing when to put down the fork! I am going to really try to listen to my body, and to not eat if I am not hungry. Portion control is the key to maintaining my new "lifestyle".

Wish me luck! :) -JRTRUNR

July 15, 2009

Compression Socks

I have been experiencing the most excruciating shin splints lately. Rest is the best thing to do for shin splints, but taking off a whole week of running really slows down my training. I was told my shin splints were probably a result of my shoes. So I traded in my Nike's for a pair of Mizunos. The new shoes helped, but I was still having shin splints. After trying everything, a friend on Twitter mentioned compression socks. I bought a pair of CEP compression socks and they are amazing! My CEP's paired with some Ibuprofen cured my shin splints. On days when I can feel shin splints coming on, I wear my compression socks while I run and then take them off about a half hour after my run. My shins feel 100% better!

Although these compression socks have worked wonders for me, I have also learned the importance of cross-training. Running is so hard on the body's joints, so it is good to pair running with other types of exercise. Along with running, I have started to swim and bike. Swimming is very easy on the body and is very good for the heart and lungs. Cross-training is very important and helps prevent injury.

My Love For Running

I fell in love with running one year ago, and am training for my first marathon. I plan to run the Seattle Marathon in November this year. When I was diagnosed with Anxiety, OCD and panic attack disorder a year ago, I sought out different ways to cope with my stress and anxiety. I tried counseling, yoga and medication and nothing did the trick. Since I began running a year ago, I have found a way to relieve my stress and anxiety. When I go for a run, I can block out all other thoughts and completely focus on my body and the pavement in front of me. Running has been such an important part of my life in the past year. I am proud to say I have not had one panic attack since I began running. :)
One year ago, I was running a 12 minute mile, and could barely run a whole mile without stopping to walk. Today, I ran 10 miles at a 6:50 pace.
Running will always be a part of my life. I have learned so much about myself through running. I hope to share my love of running and nutrition with you. :) -JRTRUNR