Sunday, 25 September 2011

Crazy weeks

Wow, have I had a hectic weekend, and week leading up to it!

House hunting and car hunting is going well now, I think it'll all be finalised in a few weeks. Hooray for making adult decisions!

Running's going well too. I stuck to my plan last week of improving my consistency, and I did my first long run in quite a while. It was only 16km, so not super long. It felt good! I then spent the rest of the day walking around looking at houses and cars. This week will continue on the same theme, then properly back into speed work (with the added volume)

Eating has been only ok. We had a couple parties to go to on the weekend so I ate waaay too much food. Most of it was good stuff so I'm not too concerned. This week I'm away the whole week which will make healthy eating even harder!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Running Mojo

It's back!

I always find getting into a routine when I get back from holidays difficult. For one thing, running hurts more than normal!

I've probably had 6 weeks of reduced activity, and I feel like this week is the one that I'm finally ready to get a bit more serious again. I also haven't been in the right frame of mind, because we're house shopping and car shopping at the moment and it's a major pain. I think I've worked out what car to buy, and I'm just about ready to tell J that he can buy whatever house he wants! We both want the same ideal house, but the way in that we're willing to compromise is different. I'm feeling less stressed about it than I have been now though, so it's no longer an excuse to not run!

I'm away for work at the moment (in a small country town) so I'm using this as a chance to build up a better endurance base, with less speed work than normal. I'll do the same next week. The past couple weeks I've been neglecting endurance because I love speed sessions but I had a crap race on the weekend which was the kick in the butt that I needed.

I ran a 5km in 22:15, which I think is my slowest time all year. It was a difficult course - kinda hilly and with lots of turns, but it was a glorious morning and I enjoyed myself even if I ran poorly!

I'll be doing the 5km parkrun on sat morning this week but I'm not counting it as a race. I need to plan when I'll be able to do some track races soon!

Food wise has been pretty unexciting. Breakfast has been variations on a (delicious) theme, lunch has been leftovers mainly, and dinner has been out/at parents houses. The one mention was friday night - I made a delicious pumpkin spinach and bacon quiche with a greek salad to go with it. I loaded the salad up with parsley which gave it a really fresh taste.

Country town eating is always hard. I didn't feel like eating out last night so I just got a savoury rice salad from the deli, and made a salmon/mayo/greenbean/chickpea/tomato salad as well. It was very satisfying! I'm going to have Red Rooster tonight though - I've eaten super healthy for the past couple days so I can afford a little blowout!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Sunny mondays

Yesterday was a very cruisy day. I only worked 6 hours, and it was a rest day from running as well. All very low stress!

Breakfast: breakkie cookie (made with a sachet of berry instant oats that I found in the pantry, with almond butter and chia seeds)

Lunch: can of tuna and 3 beans mix, plus some blueberries and pistachios. I also had some pineapple lumps as a treat

Dinner: homemade burgers. J's mum had made a fresh batch of tomato relish, J made some aoli from scratch and we put mince meat, parsley, carrots, capsicum and onions into the patties. We didn't use a binding agent but they didn't fall apart too much

Official results for the B2B came out, I ran 21:07 and came 24th out of the females (6th in my age group). I'm really happy!

Running today was the same as last tues but at a different location. I'm feeling strong!

Fast 5km

I was very tempted to stay in bed yesterday morning. The day before had been cold, windy and generally yuck so I wasn't looking forward to running into a headwind the whole way!

Luckily the weather turned it on for us and it was sunshiny and delightful! My plan for the race was to run the first 3km hard, then to survive the hill on the ICB, and finally hold on until home. I ran 21:07, which is very close to my PB (and I didn't think I was in PB shape!). That included a 5min km up the hill - maybe I didn't need to take it quite that easy...

There's another 5km this Saturday, and with another week of training (I think I should be able to cope with a full training load now) I might be able to go under 21? We just need to wait and see! It's a small run too, which means I might get top 10 in the females? I'm giving my good friend Clare a lift, who came 2nd in the B2B 10km yesterday so that'll push me back a place!

Yesterday was a great day food-wise as well. I had my breakkie cookie prerun, then some watermelon, a smoothie and some honey after the race. I then ran 9km home and had some Gatorade, then an afternoon snack of carrot sticks with ranch dressing. We went to mum's for homemade shepherds pie for dinner. I should've eaten lunch, but I wasn't feeling overly hungry.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Happy legs

My legs are happy!

I went for a nice walk yesterday afternoon after the rain stopped, and then a super easy run this morning (it was probably 4km max) and my legs are feeling fine! They didn't get super sore from speed, so I'm very happy. It will be good to do a 5km race tomorrow and see how I go.

Breakfast yesterday was the breakfast cookie, lunch was left over root vegetable soup and dinner was a burrito salad from Zambreros (rice, beans, lettuce, jalapenos, corn and tomato salsa, cheese, and chipotle sauce) plus some corn chips - I didn't eat many because they didn't taste fresh :(

I was a bit naughty for breakfast today, I had a cupcake from the bakery near work and an Icebreak. I'm only working a couple hours and then it'll be off to get my legs waxed! I'm actually really looking forward to this - it's been longer than normal and I'm sick of hairy legs! I'm not sure what I'll eat for the rest of the day, probably a light lunch and something simple for dinner. J is working overnights at the moment, which means I don't really want to be home during the day because he needs his sleep...

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Where'd that rain come from?

Driving to work this morning, the weather report said it was supposed to be sunny today. Looking at the overcast sky I thought otherwise, and now a few hours later it's pouring!

Lucky we managed to get an awesome speed session in nice and early! The group that I run with on a friday is great. I'm the slowest out of them, but it's good motivation for me! I usually end up slightly modifying my sets so that everyone doesn't need to wait for me for too long at the end, but I feel like I need to start stepping up a bit and completing the full session.

This morning we planned to do 4x 1km with 1 min recovery, followed by 4x 500m with 30 sec recovery. I dropped it back to 3x 1km, followed by 5x 500m. My speed still isn't quite where I want it, but it's improving quickly! Plus I didn't slow down. The last 500m that I did was after a slightly longer rest, and it was quicker and easier than the rest.

I think there's a very fine line between optimal training and injury as a runner. I always err on the side of caution, but I think I need to start pushing through a little bit more? I've realised that my sore calf wasn't an injury, and it's now settled down again, but did I need to take the extra rest days?

I've been on a program until recently, and now I'm trying to work out what actually suits me best. I think I need to increase my crosstraining (from zero to occasional!) and build up the weekly kilometers again. I was averaging 60km per week before holidays, and I'd like to be up to 80km by the end of the year.

I think my regular week will look something like this:

Monday: rest/crosstrain
Tuesday: speed
Wednesday: med/long run (around 12-15km depending how I'm feeling, and preferably on trails))
Thursday: rest/crosstrain
Friday: speed
Saturday: parkrun 5km (as a tempo, not a race)
Sunday: long run (initially 20km, building up to 25km)

That adds up to around 67km, so to get to 80 I'll most likely need to add in another run, and maybe extend my warmups/warmdowns.

This is a slightly boring, long post. Oops! At least is gives me some accountability for my plans! Weeks that I race will need to be different but at least if there's a basic plan I can adjust as necessary.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Fartlek Fun

It's taking me a while to get back into running. We went away on holidays for 3 weeks recently, and I don't run on holidays. I think it's a good time to give my body a rest, seeing that I normally run a lot (and race most weekends).

3 weeks is just enough time off. I don't think my endurance suffered much, but my legs have been grumbly since starting back - especially my left calf.

Tuesday's run was the fourth speed session I've had since starting back (I do 2 per week), and it's the first one that felt normal. It was a hard session as well! We ran a pyramid of intervals - 5 min, 4 min, 3 min, 2 min, 1 min, then back to 2 min, 3 min, 4 min, 5 min. All of them had a 1 min recovery, and then I ran an extra one and a half minute to get back to our starting spot (we were doing laps around a park). The hardest one was the first one, by the last couple felt really good. My calf is finally readapting as well, major win!

Yesterday was a horrible day food wise! McDonalds for lunch, then pizza for dinner. We were helping friends move, which is a terrible excuse! Tonight we'll have the left over soup from tuesday. It turned out quite well, the tomato was a bit overpowering so I squeezed some lemon in as well. It needs some protein in it and then it would be the perfect meal

Lunch today was a pita wrap with banana, avo, lettuce, sunflower seeds, tahini and sultanas. I didn't make it myself, but it sure was delicious.

I don't think I'll run today, we're a one car family right now and J is finishing work earlier than planned so I'll be picking him up. I might do a double tomorrow - speed in the morning, and then an easy run in the arvo. I'm staying down the coast tomorrow night so a run at the beach will be the order for the afternoon!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Chunky roots

I'm cooking dinner tonight, something I don't do that often. I'm lucky enough to have an amazing husband who is a great cook, but I want to start contributing more. That's part of the reason for this blog - if I don't cook, I won't have as much to write about! One of my favourite types of food is soup, so guess what we're eating tonight?

Chunky Root Vegetable Soup.

I browned chopped onion and garlic in a saucepan, then added a tin of crushed tomatoes, chopped carrots, potato, parsnips, turnip and chilli. I also used some Vegeta stock powder (that's pretty much just MSG - delicious and dubious at the same time), plus pepper and water to cover it all.

It's cooking away on the stove now, I'll remove about half the veggies before blending and add them back in to serve. It will just need to be reheated when J gets home from work and I get back from running!

As well as running, my other favourite pastime is finding new running clothes. I picked up my number for the B2B this morning, which meant that I could chose my outfit for the day! It's very important that the number needs to match my clothes...

I'm going with a Lululemon skirt and Adidas jog bra. I'll probably choose my bright green Nike Zoom Streak XC racing flats for shoes.

This is my first race back after holidays. We were only away for 3 weeks, and we did a lot of hiking in that time but my body's not that happy to be back running just yet. It's not a PB course in any case, so I'm thinking of it more like a tempo run than a race. My focus over summer is going to be some middle distance track races, I've never done them before but I think they'll suit me! It will be interesting to see what the speed does for my other times as well.

Where I'm at

I've decided to write a blog to document my attempts to reduce the amount of processed food in my life, and also as a place to talk about my favourite pastime - running.

We tend to eat quite healthily, but my favourite meals are the ones that we make from scratch, and this is something that I want to do more often! J and I both work full time, but we've got the advantage of visiting our respective parents a couple times during the week, which cuts required dinners to 5 per week (less if we go out on the weekend). We also currently waste a bit of food, so making left overs more appealing will be part of the challenge.

This week I have started making my own breakfasts instead of eating pre-made cereal. I've been using this breakfast cookie recipe as a start:

My version (to be prepared the night before):

1/4 cup oats (I'm using quick cooking at the moment because that's what was in the pantry - no waste!)
A sprinkle of chia seeds
Large spoonful of natural peanut butter
Generous squeeze of honey

I mix it all together, making sure the PB is all spread out. Then I add milk (I use regular low fat) - just enough to make sure it's all wet. I've also tried it with almond butter and blackstrap molasses, which would be healthier but just doesn't seem quite so tasty!

I really like the fact that there are only 5 ingredients, and I know what's in all of them. Regular cereal can be such a big unknown, with extra salt and sugar, and who knows what else.

I'm not changing my diet to lose weight, just to be healthier. I also think that food is something that's so enjoyable when it's done right!