Who Doesn’t Want to be Rad!?

I’ve taken the plunge and signed up for what looks like the most colorfully fun race ever—Color Me Rad. I was afforded a really awesome opportunity via FitApproach to sign up for any race of my choosing and then write about my experience (which I’m sure will be awesome because I love color).

Now there are a lot of color-based 5Ks out there but this is THE one to run. What is Color Me Rad? It’s a fun walk/run 5K, it’s not timed; the race is all about having fun (and getting some color!). Where did the idea come from? Well, according to their website:

“Color Me Rad is loosely based off of the Hindu Festival of Colors, otherwise known as, Holi. Just as you usher in a new year of radness in your life by signing up for Color Me Rad, Hindus usher in a new season, spring. The festive colors used are a sign of winter’s end and springs new beginnings.”

I’ve had a lot of friends participate and absolutely love it so I’m expecting nothing but good times. One thing I love about Color Me Rad is that it not only adds a fun element to 5Ks and it’s something you can (and should) do with friends but they also donate a portion of the registration to a local charity. The charity for the Providence, RI one is Boys Town New England

You know you want to do it! And as an added bonus—I have an awesome discount code to share with you all! It’s good until Wednesday 7/31. When registering (pick a race that’s closest to you), simply enter the code ‘radfun’ and you’ll receive 20% off your registration. 

That’s it! It’s so simple! Go grab some friends and register for a race—who doesn’t need a little bit of color😉.

 

If you want to learn more about Color Me Rad or see awesome photos of the event, here are some places to do so:

 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/colormerad5k (you can also use just plain #colormerad)  – 
 
 
 

 Color Me Rad

My First Visit to the Nutritionist

One thing I’ve struggled with this entire time is understanding nutrition as it relates to my body, to weight loss, and to physical activity. I always feel like rules are changing and while I’ve worked on cutting out HFCS out of many things I eat, I’m still finding myself not losing much weight.

I made an appointment to see a nutritionist. I wanted to talk to someone whose job it was to know all there is to know about food (in a good way!). Matt thought it was a little odd, since going with the whole ‘eat less, move more’ approach seemed pretty straight-forward to him. I don’t know, I just wanted to talk to someone. The woman I met with was really nice and we talked about what I ate, I showed her my food log (yay for MFP on Windows Phone!) and then she asked me what my goal was—obviously to lose weight. I’ve hovered over 198-200lbs for a while now and even though I haven’t lost weight I definitely feel like I’ve toned but I want to see the number go down!

She gave me some great handouts and reminded me that sugar is hidden in everything—even the yogurt I was eating! We also talked about other foods I’ve been eating and how they’ve been not-so-great for me too: italian sausage, some deli meats, fruit nectars, etc. It didn’t occur to me that deli meats and italian sausage were processed meats and had a bunch of things in them that made them ‘bad’ for me. She pointed me to deli meats by Boar’s Head, saying they are really good about not processing as much or putting nitrates/preservatives in their meat. I usually use fruit nectars in my smoothies and she was saying how that’s basically sugar upon sugar and to look at trying to add protein powder or peanut butter to my smoothies. Didn’t even think of that!!

I also learned I wasn’t getting enough calcium (being lactose intolerant does turn you off from a lot of dairy growing up) and having almond milk wasn’t cutting it—unless I wanted to drink it straight. So I’m going to try and get more calcium and Vitamin D naturally before we look at supplements. When it comes to food ingredients, if it can’t be found naturally I shouldn’t eat it. I really do need to be more vigilant about this.

In the end, she gave me guidelines to follow and it SHOULD yield me a weight loss of around 1.5 pounds a week:

1500-1700 calories (although I’m trying to adhere to 1500 for max benefits)

55g of fat

186g of carbs

103g of protein

27g of sugar <—-that is the hardest one to adhere to. I end up around 50g a day.

 

For the most part, I’m usually under everything but sugar. She would like me to get to a weight of 155. That’s my new goal weight so I only have 45lbs to go. Doesn’t seem like a lot…but it is to me.

I am also trying to switch up my exercise since I’m really only running and walking. I need a workout buddy though, someone who will want to go even when I don’t really want to—I’m accepting offers!

 

 

All in all, I highly recommend visiting a nutritionist in person; the internet can be a wealth of (mis)information sometimes and it’s nice to go to someone and just ask the questions that are specific to you. I have an appointment next month and I’d like to have lost even 5 pounds by then…so we’ll see.

 

I’d love to hear suggestions or ideas from you—have you been to a nutritionist? Did it help at all?

Fitbloggin (Part 2): Crossfit, Flashmobs, Waffles, and Dancing

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This gallery contains 14 photos.

After an intense first day of Fitbloggin’, day 2 of Fitbloggin’ featured some more morning workouts, sessions, making friends and then exploring Portland a little bit. After having some delicious breakfast (and losing track of time) I caught the last … Continue reading

My First Blogging Conference: Fitbloggin’13 (Part 1)

In an awesome end to a hectic week, I made my first cross-country trip to Portland, OR to attend Fitbloggin’ 13! This was my first blogging conference ever and now that I’ve gone I can’t believe I’d never been to one before! There is so much to talk about that I decided to break it up into chunks so this is the first chunk.

Now, for those that don’t know, Fitbloggin’ is an annual conference that brings together bloggers from all over.

“The FitBloggin’ Conference is for anyone who blogs about fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle–regardless of where they are in their journey. FitBloggin’ is all about the desire to use technology, blogging and social media to motivate, inspire and foster a culture of health and wellness. We strive to bring together bloggers from all walks of life to create a tightly connected group of men and women who care deeply about and are committed to spreading this passion for fitness. We may all be in different stage of fitness, but we all share one passion: To live a happy, healthy balanced life.”

I first heard about it from Dani who blogs over at Weight Off My Shoulders and has attended previous Fitbloggins’. After reading more about the conference, I saw there were a bunch of sessions and discussions that appealed to me.  I knew going was a huge commitment on my part because I had to take time off from work, spend money on a cross-country flight, get a hotel, etc.—it would add up quickly but I told myself early on this year that I would take more risks instead of finding ways to say no to things.

I’ve always been an observer/introvert so making friends immediately is one thing I’ve struggled with. Acquaintances? I’ve got tons. But friends? People who genuinely understand/empathize with you? That’s hard to accomplish in a short period of time, let alone 72 hours. I can’t begin to describe how hesitant I was to go to Portland: there were so many variables that I couldn’t control and didn’t know ANYONE. I’m such a newbie when it comes to blogging and I was afraid it’d be just like being the new kid in school entering the lunch room for the first time.

Day 1 of Fitbloggin consisted of picking up my swag bag (full of awesome goodies like crossfit sneakers from Reebok! Thanks guys!) while visiting all the sponsor tables, going to my live-blogging session and then figuring out what I wanted to go to for the rest of the day. I knew the minute I started to tear up during my live-blogging session that it was going to be a weekend full of laughs and tears. I wanted my time in Portland to be memorable and full of firsts. So what did I do? I went to my first Zumba class! I’ve always wanted to try Zumba but for some reason, never did…I don’t know what took me so long because it was SO MUCH FUN! Zumba is basically a dance fitness class and instructors put their own twist on classes. Some classes can be all latin/world music and others can incorporate pop music/rock/reggae in their classes. Some of the attendees were Zumba instructors so they each took turns leading a dance and man, I was dripping sweat after 30 minutes. Who knew I’d be Zumba-ing to Limp Bizkit…talk about a throwback song.

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I was gross after Zumba. But it was so much fun!

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There were so many genres we danced to in one class! We cooled down to a Muse song.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were so many sessions to go to and they all sounded so interesting! I tried to go to all of them by going to an hour of one and then an hour of another one if they were two-hour sessions. I went to a session that talked about therapy as it related to mental and emotional health. I’m always fascinated by mental health and my feeling is that you don’t know what you don’t know so take the time to learn as much as you can about as many things as possible. I didn’t realize there was such a stigma surrounding therapy as it related to weight loss and fitness. I went to another session that explained how you can incorporate SEO in your blog. I have heard about SEO but never really took the time to understand what it can do, so that was really insightful.

One awesome thing about the conference is that there were healthy snacks throughout the day and some of the breaks had snacks provided by the sponsors so you were able to try products you had never seen before or wanted to try but didn’t. I got to try some delicious nut thins by Blue Diamond along with some crazy almond flavors (ie. strawberry, mocha, salt & vinegar).

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These were so good and I even got a box to take home! Pair it hummus or spreadable cheese🙂

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my healthy snack plate🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spent some time wandering around Portland and resting up a bit in between sessions. I admit, I didn’t really start to reach out to people until the second day since I was still getting my bearings on where I was and what I was doing. Plus, Portland had really nice scenery! I kept taking pictures of the views!

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The view of Portland from the Conference Lobby

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The Conference Lobby

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A really funky restaurant I passed during my downtown wandering.

Portland is a super laid-back city and I love that they are all about local businesses. They also have a serious food truck establishment that puts a lot of malls and East Coast cities to shame (coughBostoncough). Matt had given me one mission: to bring back beer. So I tried to wander around and find some but that ended up being a task left for a different day.

I also tried to blend in like a local and take public transportation…which turned out to be a fail on my part. Now, I had already endured sneakergate during my 10K but in Portland I had busgate. What was busgate you ask? Well, on my way back to the hotel (which wasn’t at the conference but about 2 miles out) I caught the last bus back to the hotel. My bus driver was a surly woman who couldn’t have cared less that I had my all-day bus pass. She didn’t even want to see it. I’m sure by that time she was sick of seeing paper with holes in them.  Now I knew where my stop was and we were driving right along towards it and like a good commuter, I hit the ‘request stop’ button well before my stop. I thought that there was a different outbound stop location so I didn’t think anything of it at first when she turned away from my hotel…but then we went further and further away from it. She completely ignored my stop request and proceeded to the NEXT bus stop…a good mile out from the hotel, along freight train tracks and along the highway.

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This was what I walked alongside all the way back to the hotel. At one point I literally jumped at a shadow (it may or may not have been my own.)

I don’t scare all that easily but I have watched enough Law and Order to know that trains/industrial areas+highways never lead to anything good.

After what seemed like an eternity, I finally made it back to the hotel in one piece and was so exhausted after everything I’d done all day that I showered and immediately hit the sack. It was quite the eventful first full day in Portland.

Power Race Week: BAA 10K Recap (aka HOLY CRAP COMM AVE IS HOT!)

Don’t kill me, I know this is SO overdue! Not only was the BAA weekend jam-packed busy for me, it was nonstop for me up until today. Worry not! I’ll explain it in later posts🙂 But for now, let us take a moment back in recent time to go over the insanity that was my BAA 10K run.

If you’ve been following my blog at all you know that running the BAA 10K was my ultimate running goal (at least for the first half of the year). Signing up was one of those moments where you cover your eyes, click submit and then panic comes over you because you realized you may have just gotten in too deep. Thank goodness I not only had Matt signing up with me but I also had my friends Kayla and Nick. Nick has only run marathons (Boston in 2012 and NYC in 2013, which Hurricane Sandy vetoed) and signed up but ended up having to back out (sad face).

So the day finally came and Matt and I got up reallly early to make it to Boston Common by 7:30am. I had my RAW Artists showcase later on that evening so I was trying to make sure the day flowed seamlessly from the get go. I’ve unintentionally created a ritual wherein I put on my race clothes the night before. It probably sounds weird but if I can add 10-20 minutes of extra sleep by not having to gather and put on my clothes in the morning, I see it as a win-win situation.

I can literally roll out of bed, stretch, drink some water and head off to the race. Except this time, I wasn’t sure what shirt to wear. I heard it’s bad luck to wear the race shirt you’re going to on race day. So I didn’t wear the BAA 5K shirt because…they’re related? It made sense in my head! I didn’t wear the Night Shift Running shirt because I didn’t like the way it fit. Soooo I wore my JP Morgan Corporate Challenge shirt since I had an extra one that Matt was given at the race. I realized I should probably get a few more tech shirts (or run more races🙂 )

It was pretty packed for it being an early Sunday morning in downtown Boston.

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We made our way around the Common, grabbing samples and taking photos. We met up with Kayla right before the race and then walked to our pacing area, which just said “10:00+” They had an opening ceremony with a few of the victims of the Marathon Bombings and one of the elite runners (Lelisa Desisa) donated his 2013 Boston Marathon winners’ medal to the City of Boston, which was really moving.

After the pre-race ceremony we got ready to start. There were already people lined up to support us, which was nice. It was also getting warmer, which concerned me. I don’t really do well running in heat. I know I could probably pass for an elite runner….maybe? But I sure don’t run like one. Especially when my knee still hurts like it did that day. But I vowed to run as much as I could. So after Matt and I crossed the start line, I ran for the first 1.5 miles, drank some water and then took a brief walk break. I decided to walk/run the rest of it just to be safe. I told Matt to run on because he was dead set on running the entire thing ( I get jealous of his stamina sometimes) and I just stayed at my own pace. I told myself that as long as I reached the 5k mark in ~40-43 minutes, I’d be golden since I wanted to finish the race in under 90 minutes. Running through parts of downtown Boston that are normally bustling when they’re practically empty is a weird thing, but refreshing at the same time. The one gripe I did have was the people weaving through the runners with their bicycles, dogs, and strollers. It’s a little annoying having to dodge people/things when you’re already trying to dodge other runners who all-of-a-sudden stop in front of you. Just sayin’.

Now, I was pretty confident with my pacing until I got to Comm Ave. Now, if you’ve ever been on Comm Ave in Boston, going towards BU, you know that that is like being an egg in a frying pan. The B line runs above ground so you have the heat from that, the asphalt absorbing heat and then there is little to no shade at all so you are just baking in heat. But somehow I reached the turnaround point and the 5k mark and it said 42:43 and I literally yelled out ‘BALLER!’ and kept on running downhill. I hit five miles in an hour and I was like I’VE TOTALLY GOT THIS IN THE BAG! I hit the 6 mile marker and told myself I would run the last bit of it as hard as I could and I passed at least seven people along the way (which feels really good).

One of my co-workers that I knew was running the race, surprised me by cheering me on during the last stretch, which made me run harder and I finished in 1:27:24 which meant I beat the time I set for myself!! I felt so accomplished and so happy. It was the race that started it all and being able to finish it felt so good for me.

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Of course I had to have a post-race photo taken of us. He’s now run this race twice and had less training than last time and did it in nearly the same time. I’d like to run it next year but in an hour. It might sound ambitious, but I have a year so I’m in pretty good shape.

Race-wise now I prepare for the Cambridge 5K’s Sasquatch trail race. It’s in Stoneham, outside of Boston. I signed up for the rest of the Cambridge 5K races as part of Team Night Shift Brewing so I’m excited. But the bigger question is, do I finish the BAA distance medley and do the half marathon? I think I’m going to go for it! A number of people have told me to do the walk/run method since training in the summer is brutal.

I’m sorry this post is so long but I had so many thoughts and emotions about this race since it was my BIG race. After this, I get to talk about my awesome experience this past weekend at Fitbloggin in Portland, OR!

(Spoiler alert: IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!)

Power Race Week! JP Morgan Corporate Challenge Re-Cap 6/20/13

Well this past week was a busy week for me! I was a little hesitant about the races this week because I wasn’t sure if my knee would be up to the challenge. But when have I ever listened to my body, right?!

 

Last Thursday was the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge (a 3.5 mile race out and back via Comm Ave.) and it took place after work (7:15 pm), which made for a really long day since I’m at work by 8:00 am. I’ve never run a race after a long day at work so I wasn’t really expecting to have a PR. A ton of co-workers were doing the race with me (and a few I had wrangled into doing it with me) and we had our own team: Fit Forr Life. So Matt and I got there extra early to get a parking space near the finish line because well…Boston is pretty crazy normally but putting 12K people in the heart of the city during rush hour…parking gets to be a Hunger Games-type event. Thankfully we got a spot  two blocks over and we leisurely walked over to the race site: Boston Common. Now…I haven’t seen that many people in one place since I went to the Blink 182/Weezer concert a few years ago, but the Common was FULL of people. I had to navigate people doing crazy stretches, walking ten people wide, poor pedestrians that were so confused walking around, etc. I went to go change into my race clothing and had a panic moment because I realized I had made a fatal error:

I FORGOT TO PACK MY RUNNING SHOES!!!

Now, I can’t even begin to describe the panic I was feeling. There was so much fail in that moment. It was 6:45 and the race started at 7:15. I had less than 30 minutes to decide whether I’d run 3.5 miles in flats…or run to the nearest shoe-carrying retailer and find a pair of sneakers. I came out of the bathroom to tell Matt and he just looked at me and laughed. Luckily Boylston St. wasn’t far away and we knew City Sports and Marathon Sports weren’t too far away (~1 mile so it would be cutting it SUPER close).

So we bolted down Boylston Street and I ran into my CFO who was like “Dominique, where are you going the race starts soon!?” to which I replied “Mike, I forgot my shoes! I have to go buy some!!” I ended up going into Marshalls since it was closest and the shoe department was literally in the front of the store. I tried on some Brooks and Saucony shoes and the Saucony shoes fit and I grabbed them and ran back to meet up with my group. I literally made it with five minutes to spare. 

Now even though we had team shirts, I didn’t wear mine (it felt a little too snug and I don’t like wearing clothing that highlights every single area of fat I have on my body). I actually liked the race shirts from JP Morgan. They had sooo many shirts at the race site they were literally giving them away to anyone who walked by. Matt ended up getting two shirts and he didn’t even run (lucky duck).

 

Anyway after I successfully solved sneakergate I met up with my friends, Bridy and Nick, which was a challenge in itself. “Look for the sea of people wearing black shirts by the gazebo” Yeah…that wasn’t hard at all. Not.

7:15pm arrives and I hear the start signal…but we don’t move. We didn’t cross the starting line until about 7 minutes into the race and even then we couldn’t run for the first 1.5 miles because there were SO MANY PEOPLE. Who knew Comm ave could be even more of a pain to travel down. Bridy and I ran together the entire time since it was her first race, even though she comes from a family of distance runners. Man, she is alllll legs and power walks almost as fast as I can run. We tried to run and did for part of it but then we hit the Charlesgate W intersection of our race, which is a tunnel/overpass and there was a serious bottleneck and you just had to walk it, which I guess was a nice reprieve.

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There were a looootttt of people participating in this race. Over 12k.

So we just had to walk this part. But then we kept going forward…and I thought it was a course similar to the BAA 5K where you just turned around after the tunnel but no, we ran all the way to Kenmore Square, which was a lot further than I anticipated but I survived. Bridy is just cruising on in front of me and I just jog to catch up to her walking speed. 

Now we reached the last turn and I wanted to run as much of it as possible. So we walk part of the way up the hill and then Bridy and I decide to run the last stretch of it, to the finish. So we start running and then Bridy says “come on, let’s sprint this!” and my thought was…ooookay sure. So I sprint as fast as I can and halfway though I got this sharp pain my gut. Is it possible to pull a muscle in your stomach? Because I seriously thought I had. But I ignored it because the thought of having to utter “I think I pulled a muscle in my stomach” sounded utterly stupid to me. After we crossed the finish line, we met up with Nick and just high-fived having finished the race. Our time was 51:06 with a pace of 14:36. I mean, it wasn’t terrible considering how much walking we had to do but I wasn’t really doing this as a timed race event especially since the 10K was on Sunday.

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My race buddy!

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Post-race glamour shot🙂

After we met up with each other, we made our way to our rally point and met up with Pat and Matt. Now if there’s one thing that’s well known about my job it’s that we love to drink. So our team’s rally point? Remingtons (a bar). Matt made a hilarious observation once we all sat down to drink: “All the other teams were heading back to their landmark-based rally points and everyone who had your team shirts on just made a b-line for the bar.  I think I know what our team’s shirt design will be next year…

 

 

All in all, it was a fun race to do with people you know. I don’t think I would have had nearly as much fun if I didn’t do it with people I knew. 

To Run With Music (Or Listen to the Sounds Around You)

From the day I started running, I chose to listen to music when I run. For me, it provides a distraction to the impending pain I’ll feel or the potentially boring scenery I’m running in. I’ve always listened to music when doing anything: yardwork, homework, work work, driving, etc. Silence is so…quiet. I’ve always thought that music can enhance your mood and spirit. But when I started running with Matt, he challenged me to run without headphones since he doesn’t run with music at all. I tried it and I didn’t do as well as when I ran with music. I thought it was just me that was impacted by tunes but there is a strong divide within the running community about whether you should run with or without headphones.

 

I went on Reddit (it’s a great place for information and just to chat with people who are into the same things as you) and there are some people who won’t run without music and those who wouldn’t think of running with it. There was one person who forgot their music and ran their best time without it and hasn’t looked back.

I think there are some valid reasons why running with headphones can be hazardous to a runner. A lot of races frown upon wearing headphones and some outright prohibit it. A lot of them have to do with safety reasons that I completely understand.

 

An article on Boston.com’s website explained how listening to music can enhance performance but that a lot of races bar athletes from listening to music during races. “Elite athletes and those eligible for prize money are barred from listening to music during the race, since music is a performance enhancer and prohibiting it keeps everyone on the same playing field.”

 

I’ve also heard the argument that if you run with music you’re less likely to be aware of your surroundings or listen to your body telling you things. I don’t want to listen to my body because all it tells me is “please…please let’s not do this! You could be watching Dilbert right now instead of being out here running!” and I really don’t want to be that person talking to themselves. The same article talked about how “The scientists found that perhaps the only way to fool oneself into moving in a non-efficient way—faster, for example—is to listen to up-tempo beats.” That’s how I tend to run, I listen to upbeat music to get really into it and I find myself going faster for longer lengths of time. Matt ran six miles last night and I can’t even imagine doing that without some sort of entertainment. I think I’d go insane if I had to listen to my own thoughts for an hour running in the same loop.

 

This will all be interesting to me because tonight I’m running in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge with a lot of colleagues and I forgot to bring my iPod. 3.5 miles of silence and my knee still hurting. We’ll see how it goes, especially since I have the BAA 10K on Sunday.

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I don’t know what that QR code does…I never use them.

Do you listen to music when you run? Do you think it helps you run better?

To Run or Not to Run in the Rain

So if you’re in New England like me, you know it’s been raining for what seems like all of June. This rain is so frustrating on so many levels.

So I woke up this morning and of course it’s still raining and Friday is one of our running days this week. I was content with just running on Saturday and Sunday. Maybe not 4-5 miles each day but at least 2-3 per day. Maybe my brain is weird and doesn’t see a problem with running semi short distances back-to-back. But Matt looks at me and says “I’m running today.” I just stared at him and said “…you know it’s raining out?” He responded with “well, I’m going out to run regardless, I’m not skipping a day.”

 

I think that right there is a clear indicator that Matt is a lot more rigid and dedicated in his scheduling than I am. Granted he knows himself and if he skips one day, it turns into three and then it’s all down hill. I keep a mental tally how long it’s been since I’ve run and even if it ends up being a 2 mile run at least I got out there and did it. It’s weird, I have no problem running in the snow…but rain…that’s a different story. I mean running while wet and getting wet while running are two different things in my book. So now I know that I’m going to be potentially running in the rain (Meteorologists, get your stuff together and give me an accurate forecast!)  I of course had to rack my brain to see if I even had running gear for the rain. My first thought was:

Wait…won’t my shoes get all gross and spongy? I only have one pair!!

 

And of course that led me to an internet search of  ‘running in the rain’. I was first detoured by a Mythbusters video about walking vs. running in the rain (FYI you’ll get less wet if you just walk when it’s raining). But I stumbled upon some great info on going for a run in the rain:

  • Don’t wear cotton: This one I already knew…I’ve done laundry once or twice before and cotton gets soooo heavy when wet.
  • Wear old shoes: wear socks that reach above your sneakers. Apparently running in the rain can cause blisters because the water is absorbed through your skin making it softer (and more likely to blister/chafe) so wear good socks! yay!
  • Modify your workout: Adjust your stride and take your time. You’ll be less likely to fall or misstep. (The last thing I want is to fall on my butt in the rain).
  • Lube it up!: Running in the rain can cause more chafing than normal so get some Vaseline, Body Glide, etc and rub it in! (another thing I didn’t know)
  • Be Mindful of your electronics (they can break): If you don’t want it to get wet, don’t bring it! I keep my iPod close to my heart (literally) so I don’t think I’ll have a problem with this one. If your watch is waterproof, awesome. I think most fitness watches are capable of withstanding some rain though.
  • Know your apparel (water-resistant vs. waterproof): A post on Runner’s World mentioned that weather-resistant jackets can handle up to 30 minutes of rain before water starts to seep through. Anything longer than that and they recommend investing in a fully waterproof layer.
  • Dry out your shoes afterwards: One site suggested loosening your laces, taking out the insoles and stuffing them with crumpled paper to help the shoe keeps its shape but also absorb water. The site also warned against putting your wet shoes on direct heat since the heat will dry out the materials in the shoes and mess with the shoes integrity. (I’d hate to ruin my only pair of running shoes…)

 

So I guess keeping those in mind, there’s a couple of things to keep in mind if you want to go running in the rain. It’s not just as easy as going outside and run like normal. I guess I’ll give it a try. I’m going to end up looking like Lionel Richie with a bad hair day, but it’ll be worth it in the end, right? Right now I feel like going for a run though. I really need to start keeping a pair of athletic shoes in my car so I can go for a run on my lunch break. I’m trying to be better about indulging my desire to run as it happens (and also running when I’m supposed to!)

 

Do you like running in the rain? Why (I’m actually curious)?

 

To Be Healthy, You Have to Eat Healthy (And Plan Ahead!)

I’ve been running consistently and more seriously for about two months now and yet again, I’m back to focusing on the food aspect. I know myself, I know that if I don’t have a plan for dinner I’m not going to want to cook fresh foods. After getting up early, driving 45+ minutes to work, sitting at a desk for roughly 8 hours and then spending 60+minutes driving home the LAST thing I want to do is cook sometimes. If you’re someone that wants to spend two hours in the kitchen after a day like that then you deserve a medal.

I don’t know how working mothers do it. Just sitting in and driving in Boston traffic is exhausting enough! Just sit on Storrow Dr. or I-93 during rush hour and no amount of Rage Against the Machine can get me through a drive home.

However, in an effort to combat the cop-out of ordering out because I am just plain tired, I decided to crack open a few cookbooks I recently bought! (One of them I had to dust it off first) and pick five easy-looking recipes that Matt and I could cook in under an hour. He’s cooking two recipes and I’m cooking the other ones. It took us about 30-45 minutes to select our recipes and determine what we needed to buy, which honestly wasn’t too many things; we’re big on flavor and spices (we cook with ghost pepper hot sauce on the regular).  Now if you’re looking for healthy, yet tasty recipes you can cook, look no further than Weight Watchers! I have become slightly addicted to buying their products. There are other websites like SkinnyTaste that have great recipes but I like having the cookbook in front of me…it’s weird. Plus, I just have so many things from WW, I won’t even list all the things I’ve bought from them…

Three cookbooks that have easy-to-make recipes: What to Eat Now, I <3 Leftovers, Turn Up the Flavor

tThree cookbooks that have easy-to-make recipes: What to Eat Now, I❤ Leftovers, Turn Up the Flavor.

So for meal-planning this week they’re all Weight Watchers recipes  except for last night (we had sloppy joes from an internet recipe but they were homemade!). Now Matt and I have made a few WW recipes before and they were super tasty so we’re going all out this week! I even wrote all the ingredients down on a list (which I subsequently lost and then found). So here’s the rundown for this week:

Sunday: Grilled Vegetable Pesto Pizza (although I forgot to buy pesto…but I used diced tomatoes instead and it still tasted delicious!)

Monday: Easy Spicy Sloppy Joes (recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sloppy-joes-ii/)

Tuesday: Oven Fried Chicken with Siracha Honey Sauce with Asparagus and Roasted Red Peppers

Wednesday:  Southwestern Beef and Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie

Thursday: Chili Orange Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Peppers with maple sweet mashed potatoes

Friday: Spice Rubbed and Vinegar Glazed Chicken Breasts

Now if those don’t make you hungry then you’re probably half asleep. I’m hungry just after writing that and I already ate lunch! You can buy these cookbooks online or at a Weight Watchers store. They’re full of some awesome recipes including breakfast, sandwiches, soups, dinners, desserts and side dishes…literally EVERYTHING!

I’m trying to be better about planning ahead for meals because it really doesn’t take up a lot of time and it keeps you from falling into traps (aka ordering out). It’s so easy just to head to foodler.com or grubhub.com and order some delivery. TOO EASY…curse you internet! But if you’re trying to curb your spending habits, like I am, you really need to start planning meals. And the great thing is that a lot of the meals can serve as lunch options for next day or two. Although I’m finding that it was really expensive buying essentially a weeks’ worth of groceries. I might need to look into some co-op deal or something…farmer’s markets? Not sure…

I wanted to also share this graphic I found that is SUPER helpful when you’re trying to buy fresh foods. I found this on the Guardian’s website and it tells you in an easy, colorful way what is in season and when. Now it makes sense to me why it was so hard to find fresh and good-looking asparagus and strawberries at Trader Joes and Stop and Shop!  If you’d like to print/save the image locally, the link is right here! I just love this…it’s so helpful! Put it on your fridge🙂

Knees Don’t Fail Me Now (And Other Running Ailments)

This week has been a crazy week! I meant to blog on National Running Day but I had grad school homework to do. On Tuesday I achieved my running goal: being able to run 4 miles! It wasn’t pretty by any means, I made the mistake of not hydrating beforehand (days just blended together for me) and I didn’t want to stop running because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

ImageThe time was a bit skewed (it was more like 55:19 according to my Garmin), I only stopped to use the bathroom but I forgot to pause my ipod. But now that I know I can run the distance, I have to keep running the distance and hopefully it’ll get easier…after my knee gets better.

After I finished my run, my knee really hurt when I walked up and down stairs. When I woke up the next morning, it hurt to walk, period. At first, I thought it was my IT band but Matt did some more research and determined it was runners knee, a common runner injury. I iced it and attempted to elevate it. It was fine until I tried to run on Thursday. bad idea.  I thought I was okay until about 1 mile in and then both my knee and my quad started to hurt. I walk/ran the next mile until Matt just suggested to stay off it before I seriously hurt myself.

It made me wonder about runners injuries and where they occur. I didn’t really know much about running injuries, how to treat them and the steps to recover. So like any other time, I googled it! I found this great graphic that points out where the most common injuries are and what their symptoms are. When I started running people were telling me how inherently bad running is for your body because of all the impact it absorbs and injuries you can sustain. My rationale was ‘but…so many people run! I’m not looking to run marathons so I should be okay.” I started off getting shin splints and holy mother are those painful to run with! I’ve worked on adjusting my form and both those and calf pains have gone away, which is nice but I’ve learned that that is a common runners problem. I guess in a way having sustained these makes me a a real runner?

I’ve iced my knee and that helped a lot (as well as some massaging) but then I wonder how long I stay off it, because it’s hard when you spend a large part of your day walking and taking stairs. Hopefully tomorrow’s run I’ll be able to run another four miles and hopefully within 50-ish minutes. That would be great and then the last two miles of the 10K I can play by ear and maybe I can run 5 miles that day! Now I just have to work on getting the energy to sustain a 12-13 min/pace for longer than three miles. I’ve been seeing a lot of people talking about energy chews or things like but at what distance do you start taking those things? Do I just take one before I start running, even though I’m not running six miles at a time? Do I take them when I feel sluggish before a run? I’ve had a couple of companies follow me on Twitter this week that are energy chew/bites companies…I might interact with them and see what the response is.

Have you sustained any running injuries? How long did it take to recover?

Do you use energy chews/gels? Do they work for you?

SO MANY QUESTIONS!