Monday, April 26, 2010

Listen to Your Body

Listen to your body:

Just about every exercise plan is followed by a disclaimer of some kind. I’m not opposed to these, they keep lawyers in jobs. However, until recently, I never gave much thought to their credence.

Yesterday Sleeping Giant and I were doing a pretty strenuous 7 mile trail run at about 7,000 feet. At about mile 4 after climbing a hill, my breathing became so labored and I was so afraid I wasn’t going to be able to catch my breath I almost had an anxiety attack. I was able to stop and relax and regain somewhat normal breathing for the last 3 miles.

After we returned home, I told Sleeping Giant how scared I was as that was happening. Sleeping Giant told me he was worried shortly into the run when my breathing was already labored. I’ll admit, I’m not in the best shape. However, I have completed a half marathon less than 6 months ago, I run regularly, and don’t smoke.

Normally when I run I have my Ipod on so loudly that I cannot hear my own breathing, not smart. After a trip to the Dr. (ok, WebMD), it appears some of the lung problems I had in the past (i.e. pneumonia twice, bronchitis, and asthma as a child), I may have developed adult asthma. This would also explain, according to WebMD, my previously unexplained fainting spells.
I am actually going to a real doctor to get this checked out, but this event was just an important reminder that running through injury or other ailment can be dangerous and should be taken seriously. I’d like to continue to enjoy running for many years to come, so I don’t want to neglect something now that may prevent that.

Canyon Ranch Cookies

Hey All,

Happy Monday!  I don't know if any of you have heard of the Canyon Ranch (in AZ, FL, and MA) but its a chichi resort known for its fantastic spa, healthy food, and gorgeous locales. Every so often while I'm trolling the internet, I find their recipes and some of them are quite good! Yesterday I decided to try their healthy version of the chocolate chip cookie. Here is the recipe:

Canyon Ranch Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup lowfat cream cheese
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a baking dish with canola oil (I used vegetable oil, I'm sure you could substitute Pam if you don't feel like making a huge mess with paper towel and oil like I did).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, cream cheese and brown sugar on low speed with an electric mixer. Agg egg yolk and vanilla and mix on low until just combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add to butter mixter and mix by hand until combined.
  4. Portion heaping teaspoonfuls (or use a 3/4 ounce scoop) onto baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 7 minutes. Lightly flatten cookies with finger (I just used a spoon, I didn't feel like getting blisters on my hands). Rotate baking sheet and bake an additional 3 minutes.
FYI -- I think you could add oatmeal to these if you want a more substantial cookie and added fiber.

Makes approximately 38 cookies

Serving size: 1 cookie
85 calories
3 grams of fat
1 gram of protein
0 grams of fiber

Here's my schedule for the week:

Sunday -- 5k race (I actually did 5k hill powerwalk)
Monday -- stretch and strengthen (pilates and 30 day shred)
Tuesday -- 4.5 miles
Wednesday -- cross-train (bike or elliptical)
Thursday -- 4.5 miles and strengthen (30 day shred)
Friday -- rest
Saturday -- 50 minutes cross-train (bike)
Sunday -- 7 miles

I'm joining a gym tonight. I'm so excited!

xo, c

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Hills... and I'm not talking about Spencer Pratt

O.M.G.  Sooooooo I have a little confession to make. I hate running hills. Seriously, my hatred for hill running stems from when my dad took me to Wirth Park (normally a sledding hill) during the dead of summer to run it because apparently I was getting a little chubby. So from that day forward, I see hills and I want to barf.

Well, I figured that since my treadmill has an incline feature, I would just use that to experiment with some fierce hill running. Now, I should let you know that everytime I run on the treadmill I always use at least an incline of 1, but I usually do 2 or 3.... just because a perfectly flat surface is impossible to recreate in a race setting, unless you're racing around a track. (PS, I've also done a few runs/walks at the local highschool track, we'll get to that in a different post....)

So, [insert Christine huffing and puffing here] after 2 miles of incline repeats, I actually saw Jesus' face. Let me give you a little idea of how I attempted this suicide mission hill workout.
Allow yourself 2 hours away from husbands, children, pets, soulmates, partners-in-crime, etc to receive the full benefit of this workout (30 minutes on the treadmill and at least 90 minutes to watch Jersey Shore to allow your muscles to recover).

Here's what I did:

Warm-up 10 minutes  4.0 mph 3 incline 00:00-10:00
Interval 1 30 seconds 5.5 mph 10 incline 10:00-10:30
Interval 2 30 seconds 4.0 mph 5 incline 10:30-11:00
Repeat 14 more times 11:00-25:00
Cool-down 5 minutes 3.5 mph no incline 25:00-30:00

I'm just being honest here... towards the end I was not hitting the 5.5mph everytime. I was DYING. Legitimately dying. So, that's just a format to follow, by no means would I suggest to push yourself so hard that you feel as though you may actually fly off the treadmill.

Here's a little thought of the day for you to focus on while you sweat:

Ok, so I know I normally post all of the unicorns and rainbows inspirational quotes, but Addy was sitting next to me when I picked out that wolf image (and since her Husky looks just like a wolf) she decided that she wanted me to use the picture of the dog for the blog. So be it. What Addy says goes.  SO BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW! And then chew it up like its a Godiva dark chocolate with raspberries bar. YUM :)


xo, c

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Still alive and running

It’s been a while since we posted a blog. I can assure you we are both alive and well (and still running).

I did my first outdoor hill workout on Saturday. Wow. Ouch.

It’s not too late to get in on the Nike+ challenge.

Any runners have races coming up soon?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So Far So Good...

This week brings the 60 day countdown to the San Diego half marathon on June 6th. At the 60 day mark there is little room for error and every run counts. Training for the last half marathon, I did a lot of long boring runs on the treadmill, probably going slower than I should have, just to get it over with.

This time around, I am trying to train with more of a purpose. I am really working on my speed and working toward a time goal for finishing the race (my goal for the pervious race was just to cross the finish line still alive). This time I am incorporating a lot of interval training.

With the weather still not conducive to much outdoor running here, the battle for time on the treadmill continues to be ongoing with Sleeping Giant. To compromise we alternate 5 min on the treadmill and 5 min of cross training using dumbbells, the exercise ball, and incline bench. This makes the time fly by! It also pushes me to run harder and faster. We will see if it pays off!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter and a good article!

Happy Easter All! Hope you enjoyed some quality family time today and easter candy (of course!)...

Here is an awesome article by Jeff Galloway for new runners. It's great. I think it offers some really useful tips. Also, if you aren't a runner, but would like to be one, Hal Higdon has an awesome 30/30 plan that you must check out! I used this plan to get started running last year and it worked quite well for me.

I just wanted to let you know that THESE little gems will be 50% off at Target tomorrow:

Yummy! I love chocolate!

xo, c