Sunday, November 30, 2014

Exercise Diary: Best Treadmill Run

By which I was very surprised.

I was going to go yesterday since it would give me a day to rest before my Monday runs, and there was an NCIS marathon on TV.  But I didn't.  I made spicy fried chicken and ate too much for lunch, and although I finished lunch by 2pm I still felt like throwing up by 6.

Which was pretty much what happened today as well, this time with creamed potatoes and spinach.  It was a variation on the creamed parsnips and spinach I made for Thanksgiving, but I realized that I don't really care for the slightly sweet root vegetable.  The result today was too much cream and too big a portion, I'm sorry to say.

My stomach felt like lead for most of the afternoon and I took a nap before my 6pm run.  I felt dizzy just lying still in bed and that was kind of terrifying, and I wasn't sure if I should go, but when I got up I felt most of the food had passed on to the lower intestines and I felt better.  I did a one-minute plank and walked around for half an hour before changing into the my gym clothes and left for the gym.

The run went really, really well.  Despite my big lunch I did drop a few pounds this week (yes even with the Thanksgiving feast and my fried chicken lunch yesterday) through dieting.  It wasn't a real diet, I just didn't feel like eating and when I did eat I didn't care for big portions or meat or a lot of fat.  I can't explain the origin of this lack of interest in eating a lot but I'm glad I did and didn't question it much.  And as a result I went back down to the weight I was before I stopped running regularly, and that was way back in June.

Anyways, probably because of my light body I felt extra energetic today.  I preempted my run with a 9 minute warm-up walk while searching for something suitable to watch (Brave that was playing on ABC family), and did 2 miles on my initial, faster speed (4.6 mi/hr, not very fast, but still).  This almost never happens to me, as I usually poop out after a mile.  Then it got hard for my breathing and my heart, but instead of stopping to walk I slowed down to a even slower jog and kept at that for another half mile before walking for ~2 minutes.  But I started to jog again until I finished an approximate 5K.  Then I walked for a bit more to cool down before stopping.  The treadmill read 53 minutes but my Nike+ said 46, and apparently I achieved my fastest 5K yet.  The time was similar to my last and only 5K race, at about 40 minutes (I ran that 5K with my Nike+ app running as well but the distance didn't quite match so it didn't register as a 5K, oh well).  I know I'm not very fast by any standards but I felt really good afterwards.  My foot didn't hurt, my ankle didn't hurt, and I didn't even feel that much fatigue in my muscles, which means that next time I can run a bit longer if the my time allows.  And if I drop a few more pounds maybe I'll even try to run a bit faster at some point.  Small victories~

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Exercise Diary: Castle Mondays, Yoga Tuesdays

I did go running last week.  Not yoga though, my lab mate was very good at talking me out of it.

But I went yesterday.  And it was a good class, unlike last time. Which was two weeks ago and it was terrible.  I think the key here is focus.  I wasn't last time.  I had lots of things on my mind, like lab experiments, and airplane tickets for trips back home. I was distracted by the bright light above me, I was unfocused by the new location I was forced to be in at that class.

But this time I was focused.  The class was only half occupied since most people have gone home for winter break, and we had a new teacher who introduced to us some new variations of poses. I felt stronger within each pose, but weaker in between.  The room was extra hot and humid that day and I had to take child's pose multiple times, for the first time ever.  But I didn't have a lot of other things in mind and was focused for the most part.  And it was a very good class.

Thanksgiving this week and my friend and I are trying to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  She's brave enough to tackle the turkey and I'm just making the side dished, and the gravy. I'm making a mashed potatoes casserole, a vegetable dish, stuffings, and an ice cream pumpkin pie. The mashed potatoes is already too salty, and that is before I added any bacon or cheese... the pumpkin pie  looks okay, if my freezer will work as it should.  Stuffing is in the slow cooker, and hopefully it will taste fine. I'm excited to see how everything comes together tomorrow, although it is kind of ridiculous to do so much work just for a dinner.

Will post pictures and they usually look better than they taste.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Exercise Diary: iTouch fixed!

Ever since my acute manifestation of plantar fasciitis on my right foot I have not been running regularly at all.  And now that the summer, and fall, are over, I'm saddened that I probably won't be running outside until maybe April of next year, which is about a month after I started running this year.  Not that I have not been hopeful: last week at TJMaxx I bought a running jacket that looked as if it could fend off some cold.  Useless for the dead of winter, but I'm still leaving myself chances, should I want to run outside at some point.

I have been very hesitant to run outside, partly due to my laziness, partly due to my self-consciousness of being seen, but more due to the fear that half way through my run my foot would throw me a curve ball and I would be stuck in the middle of nowhere.  So the result is that I haven't been running outside at all.

But for the past few weeks, especially since the end of September, I have been running or ellipticaling  every Monday night from 10-11pm.  That particular time slot because Castle is on TV.  Since the cold set in I embraced the fact that I will not be wasting the nice NH weather by choosing to run inside, but rather I no longer have a choice (especially if I want to run in the evenings, although before this week there are plenty of hard core undergrads who run really late at night).  And watching an episode of good TV show really pass the time.  And on Tuesdays I sometimes go to yoga classes.  That's less consistent, because although I have a yoga buddy we are very good at talking ourselves out of going due to laziness masked as tiredness.  But I went last week and will go again tomorrow so hopefully the pattern gets to keep going again.

So the iTouch thing.  My GPS watch doesn't really do step count or stride measurements so it's useless if I'm running nowhere indoors.  Before I got my GPS watch I have been using the Nike+running app with a sensor that I bought separately to keep track of my runs.  Although the sensor works quite well I really wanted a map of where I went, and make my own routes, so the urge that got me the watch.  But during my recent runs something went wrong.  The sensor was obviously working, as it accurately tracked my pace, and the timer on the app was happily ticking away, but no distance was measured.  It happened twice and didn't make any sense.  I ended up fixing it by the oldest tech method: I turned my iTouch off and back on again.  And it worked...  My iTouch is old and has been behaving strangely lately.  I hope it doesn't die before I get an iPhone sometimes next year (although how I'm supposed to track my treadmill runs with an iPhone without holding it while running is beyond me).  But I really hope the iTouch won't ever poop out, as least not before the battery on my sensor dies.

More running news: I got another pair of running shoes.  I know, I know.  Although I haven't been running regularly lately at all (I even lost interest in my Runner's World magazines) I still have the urge to buy running-related gears.  Since the pond disaster I have purchased another pair of sports capris, sports bra, and running jacket.  And now the shoes.  They are Saucony Cohesion 7, not very high end within the brand and they were on sale on Amazon.  But I've always wanted to try a pair of Saucony, and ended up buying a pair of size 9.  They fit fine; felt slightly bigger than my normal shoes but not by too much, and after replacing the insoles with my own Dr. Voldemort (You-Know-Who, get it?)'s special insole they actually felt really good.  I did almost 4 miles today in them and my foot didn't really act up at all during my run.  My Archille's heels were unhappy, not sure if it's because of the shoes or the insoles, or just because I'm overweight and don't exercise regularly.  But my plantar fascia always acts up during my previous runs and it usually takes a week of not doing any more exercise for it to be normal again for the following Monday.  So hopefully with the new shoes my foot won't be as agitated and I can get more runs in during the rest of the week.

On the food side, lots of fall-related recipes tried over the last two months, mostly desserts.  Will dedicate a separate post on that.