Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fighting the sweet tooth cravings

I went to the gym this evening and used the stationary bike for 45 minutes, biking 11 miles.  I usually don't bike, but it was a great workout.  Since I am taking the week off from running to let my ankle/achilles heal, I have no choice but to do some other form of cardio.  I can see why runners cross train with biking.  It really gives the legs a good workout.  My butt felt like a million bucks when I walked out of that gym, haha.

I will be heading out of town early in the morning to go work for 3 days.  I have to do this every week now till they find another pharmacist.  It's about a 90 minute drive to get there, which sucks, but they are paying me well to do it!  The problem with being out of town for 3 days per week is that if I don't plan, it's easy to fall off the diet wagon.  After the gym, I went to the grocery store to stock up on fruits and veggies and stuff to take with me to eat healthy.  I will be eating 7 meals while I'm up there, so I am packing as much food as possible to cover them.  It was a lot of preparation in the kitchen, chopping and bagging all the food, but I know it will be worth it.  I do see how it is a hard thing to maintain, but I am so dedicated right now I am sticking with it!

I'm trying to use running as my motivation to lose this weight.  I keep telling myself that if I can lose 10-15 pounds, then I will be a lot faster and be more competitive when racing.  This is actually really good motivation for me because I am tired of being so slow, lol!  I hope this motivation holds and I can see my times improve as I lose weight!

This past weekend, I had a few cheat moments.  I was craving to cheat Friday evening, and it continued the whole weekend.  I didn't binge at each meal all weekend, but I did have a few meals and snacks I shouldn't have.  The good thing is I did it and immediately got back on track Monday.  I have decided that the best thing for me to do is to allow myself to have things that I want, but in small quantities.  That way, I'm not feeling like I'm depriving myself all week and want to binge on the weekend.  I found the perfect "cheat" when looking at the Easter candy.  Cadbury makes these mini Cadbury Eggs, and 4 of them is 180 calories.  I mean, one of those eggs is rich enough to satisfy any sweet craving I'm having, and at 45 calories, that's not too bad!  Of course, I will only limit myself to 1 or 2 and it will be counted in as part of my daily calorie intake, not as extra.  I hope this works better than depriving myself all week till I cave in!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Joker Run 4 Miler

Saturday was my first real race of the season.  I did run a winter series early in the year, but I was not running or training at the time, I kind of just showed up and ran slow.  I surprised myself a little bit because of my lack of speedwork preparation.  My goal was to finish in under 40 minutes, and I finished in 38:06.  I was thinking to myself that I would keep around a 10:00 min pace or a little faster.  I felt really good, so I settled in around 9:30.  I wanted to run at a comfortably hard pace and not kill myself.  Killing myself would be the equivalent of trying to PR a 5k.  You know, that miserable pace that you just want to die the whole time, lol.  Yeah, I didn't want to do that at all this race.  The last mile, I felt really good and had plenty of conserved energy, so I kicked it up and ran it in 9:10.  I was a little disappointed when I finished and saw my time because I knew that I had a lot more in me, but at the same time I was happy.  Now I know that I can push myself harder.  I was just worried I would push too hard at the beginning and then tire out halfway through.  I probably could've maintained a 9:15 pace and not killed myself.  At any rate, it is much better than the paces I ran during the Winter Series.  If I can get back to my 5k PR pace of 8:40 by June I will be very happy.  I think I can do it.  It was very cold for the race, around 35 degrees, and not that many people turned out....maybe 50.  There were only 3 people in my age group, and of course I got 3rd place, haha.

I stumbled upon this amazingly awesome website for tracking runs when I left a comment on a local runner's blog.  He's local, but pretty much a rockstar in the running circle, lol.  Actually, that would be an understatement.  His name is Jason Pyles and you can find him over at Running with Pyles if you want to see some pretty amazing runs.  The site he told me about is  It's so integrative and offers lots of analysis and charts, it's crazy!  Check out my profile and play around with the training charts.  I'm at  Pretty cool!

Running stats:
Miles: 4
Time: 38:06
Ave pace: 9:30

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A little speedwork, if you can call it that

It was a beautiful day today!  My bestest friend had a big healthy baby boy this morning, weighing in at 9lbs 3oz.  I was at the hospital at 7am and left at 11.  His blood sugar was low, so we still hadn't got to hold him when I left at 11.  I came back home and crawled in bed at around 1 and took a nap with my kitty.  Woke up around 3, got a bite to eat, and headed out for some speedwork at the local high school track.

I was so excited to go to the track.  It was my first track workout of the year, and honestly the first one since August!  Needless to say, I'm pretty slow with that kind of huge break from speedwork.  I have no problem with long slow distance, but upping the pace just about kills me right now.  I ran to the track for a warmup, then had a plan of running 3 repeats of 800m @ 8:30 with 400m repeats, and running back.  Well, I ended up doing 2 repeats of 800m @ about 9:00, instead.  I mean, I wasn't dead when I finished, but it just seemed like I couldn't do it.  Last year, I used to put in some work at the track, but right now it seems too difficult to push through.  It's probably best that I don't push myself at the track at the beginning, so I don't get injured or something.  I'm not discouraged by any means.  I know it will come back, I just have to get my butt to the track each week, and start running the hilly routes.  I'm running a half marathon in June, the Deckers Creek Trail Half.  That should be plenty of time to find some speed!

After my run, I headed back to the hospital to see the baby.  His blood sugar finally came back up, and he was nursing just fine.  I got to hold him for a little bit, and he is so cute!  Glad he's doing better, that's for sure!

Running stats:
Distance: 4.5 miles
Time: 48.47
Ave pace: 10:50

My kitties!

The sweetest kitties ever!

Monday, March 22, 2010

5 pounds down and a Congrats to Barbie!

I have officially lost 5 pounds so far on my diet.  My weigh-ins on that website are on Wednesdays, but I still weigh-in on my blog on Sundays.  That gives me a mid-week checkup to see how I'm doing.  I started ediets at 160 pounds, and was 155 when I jumped on the scale this morning.  I am so happy to be getting closer to my "normal" weight of about 153 pounds.  I can already fit into a couple pairs of my jeans, but they are a little snug.  A few more pounds and a couple more inches, and they should be fitting great.  My ultimate goal is 140 pounds, and if I stick with the diet I know I can get there.  I'm going to be increasing my mileage each week, so the only thing that can hold me back is my eating. 

This year is going to be quite a good year, I think.  For one, I'm finally committed to a nutrition plan that works for me, so I should be able to reach my goal weight.  Secondly, I am going to be so far ahead on my running as compared to last year, that I should be able to shave some time off when I race the CDR in September.  Last year, I spent most of the summer just building my mileage, and I didn't hit the 10 mile long run till July.  August I had built up to 14 in preparation for the 15 mile CDR.  This year I will be at half-marathon running distance by May.  So, I will be maintaining a great weekly mileage of about 30+ miles per week, and maybe even increase to 40 miles per week while training for the CDR.  I will have a chance to greatly improve my speed, and I'm really excited about that.  I definitely want to get faster, but I know it will not only taking me hitting the track for lots of speedwork, but it will also take me reaching my goal weight.

On a running note, I ran 8 miles today.  The weather was beautiful, but I didn't get out to run till it had turned overcast and windy.  It was still warm, though.  I was afraid it was going to pour the rain on me, but I'm a trooper and was prepared for that.  Luckily, it only sprinkled on me a little bit.  It was a good run, and I have no complaints.  Other than the fact that my Garmin froze on the main screen that only shows the time!  It was still keeping track of my run, I just couldn't see my pace or distance.  I was fine with it and decided to just continue to run at a comfortable pace.  My comfortable pace ended up being slightly faster than I wanted it to be.  I was trying to keep an 11:30-ish pace, and ended up running an 11:05-ish pace the last 3 miles that my Garmin was acting up.

Running stats:
Total miles: 8
Ave pace: 11:11
Time: 1:29

Before I go, I have a huge congratulations to give to Barbie over at Barbie Runs.  She ran the ING Georgia Half Marathon today and beat her old time by 19 minutes!  Go Barbie!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tammy v. O'Charleys

I have to blog about my victory tonight.  I successfully went out to eat at a really tastey restaurant and I totally kicked its butt!  If you have eaten at an O'Charley's, you know what I'm talking about....soft, fluffy rolls, broccoli cheese casserole, chipotle chicken tenders, cajun chicken pasta.  You walk into this restaurant, and you can plan on spending at least 2000 calories.  Did I mention the ooey gooey caramel pie?

The only way I survived this trip was the fact that O'Charley's is kind enough to put their nutrition facts online.  Gotta love the iPhone for its awesome internet access.  I scoped the menu for a long time, then decided on the 5 ounce sirloin with asparagus and a cup of chili.  The sirloin only had about 260 calories, the soup had 150 calories, and the asparagus about 50 calories.  And, I didn't eat one roll.  I didn't even look at the rolls!

Score:  Tammy 1  Restaurant 0

I really think this whole diet thing is 80% mental and 20% physical.  What I mean is for the longest time, I couldn't get through one single day trying to eat healthy.  I would starve to death, even when I really wasn't starving.  I just had to eat sweet stuff while at work....chocolate in particular.  And at night, I had to cheat and eat chips or something.  My mind was what was ruining my "diet" attempts.  It's kind of like that with running.  There is a huge mental aspect to running.  It may hurt like hell, your lungs on fire, your knees screaming at you to stop.  But, you just push through it.  Then there are days when you just give up and go home.

For some reason, a switch got turned on somewhere in my brain.  A switch that turned off all the negative dieting thoughts and turned on my willpower.  A switch that suddenly has me saying no to "bad" foods.  I have only been eating 1400-1500 calories per day and I haven't even really been hungry.  Today, in particular, I went a long time without eating (not on purpose), and normally I would be going crazy throwing a fit starving, but I wasn't.  I didn't feel hungry.  And when I got to that restaurant, instead of eating all the rolls and ordering a huge meal, I kept my cool and ordered what I was supposed to.  And this time, I didn't eat off of Eric's plate, lol, something that I am severely guilty of doing on a regular basis.  This is all a mind game, and I'm winning right now.  I just hope that switch doesn't get turned off somehow!                                                      

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Week 1 of eDiets in the bag

Today was my first check-in on  I have followed a great meal plan for 7 days now, and I really did it!  I stuck to the plan and I didn't cheat!  That's a huge deal to me because I always cheat on diets....maybe that's why I have always failed to lose weight?!?!  Anyways, I can't praise eDiets enough for the menu plan.  There are thousands of meal combinations for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, that I'm never eating the same things and everything is fulfilling.  There is usually a mix of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and protein at each meal and snack.  Luckily, I'm not hungry on this diet!  I start to get a little hungry right before my next meal.  The real hunger comes at 10PM at night when I want to eat again, but I haven't!  I have told myself each night that I will be going to bed soon and don't need to eat, and so far it has worked.

Seriously, nobody from eDiets is paying me to say any of this, lol.  I realize now why I always had problems with diets in the past.  I mean, I know what I'm supposed to eat!  Lord knows how many fitness magazines I read and how much research I've done on running and nutrition.  My problem is the planning part.  That's where eDiets comes in.  It puts all my meals and snacks together each week.  All I have to do is sit down in front of the computer for about 30 minutes at the beginning of each week and review the week's menu, making any changes I want to it.  I then print it out, along with the grocery list it creates based on my menu.  I go to the grocery store, get the week's worth of food, and I am set for the week.  It takes all the guessing out, and it takes all the chances of me wondering off to a fast food restaurant out.  Plus, if I do happen to forget my food, I know I am supposed to eat 420-450 calories at each meal, so I grab something in that range.

Anyways, I am proud to say that I have lost 2.5 pounds my first week!!  I am now at 157.5 lbs.  My weigh-ins are every Wednesday.  My goal weight is 140 pounds, and I started off at 160 pounds.  I am really hoping that I can stick to this.  This meal plan, in combination with my running should get me there, as long as I don't deviate from the menu.  I will be running a half marathon at the beginning of June, so my mileage will be increasing back up into the 30+ mile/week range.  Of course, I will run the CDR again in September, so I will maintain that mileage for a good while.  I'm almost at 20 miles per week now.  If I'm feeling spunky, I may jump up to 40 miles per week while training for the CDR. 

I have found a nice group of girls in the eDiets forum.  We are in a group on the forum called Remarkable Runners.  They are really friendly, and post about their daily runs and life in general.  It's nice to find people on there to talk to who are doing a diet and who like to run races.

Aside from all my eDiets posts, I guess I should post something about running!  I had been sick for like 10 days with a chest cold, and it really kicked my butt on the running front.  I got my runs in, but not the whole distances and goal paces.  One of the runs, I had to do 1/4 mile intervals, running at a slow pace and walking.  My lungs just coudn't handle running the entire time.  One of my runs was supposed to be a 6 mile speed workout, and ended up being a 2 mile easy run.  FINALLY on Sunday, I had a fantastic run.  It was a scheduled 8 miles on my training plan.  I headed out the door with the intention of doing 7 IF I felt ok.  I figured that 8 wasn't an option considering the quality of my recent runs.  Plus, 8 miles is the longest I have run since October!  Well, as soon as my feet hit the pavement, I felt great!  So, I went for the 8 miles.  I felt great the whole time and was so happy!  Unfortunately, I had done lunges Friday.  Needless to say, Monday at work my legs hurt so bad I had to break down and take some ibuprofen.  That stuff works like magic!  I have never been so sore before!  Not even the day after the CDR last year.  I guess the lunges and the long run together kicked my ass!

I have a 4 mile race next Saturday.  It's called the Joker run.  I ran it last year and am excited to run it again.  No real goal time, I don't guess.  Maybe under 40 minutes?  I'm not sure what kind of pace I can maintain for 4 miles.  I haven't been doing any tempo runs, and have only done a few speed workouts.  I'm pretty sure I can keep a 10 min pace, maybe.  We will see.....

Sunday's long run stats:
Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1:32
Ave pace: 11:32
Calories burned: 1259 (as calculated by  I assume it's closer to 800-1000 calories?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 1 of eDiets

Well, I have made it through the first day of my eDiets meal plan.  I have to admit, it wasn't toooo bad, but I was very busy at work, so I really didn't have time to think about how hungry I was.  My hunger peaked before lunch time, but lunch was very fulfilling.  I was pretty hungry right before dinner, also, but that's because I missed my afternoon snack.  Gasp!  I usually never miss food, but again I was slammed at work. 

My meal breakdown for the day:
Breakfast - the plan called for a protein shake, an english muffin with PB, and an orange.  I bought the Slimfast powdered protein shake mix in chocolate.  I mixed that in the blender with light Silk Vanilla Soy Milk and some ice.  It was rather yummy!  Between the shake and my english muffin and the orange, I was very satisfied.  I kind of anticipated that it would stay with me, but at the same time I was doubtful because it seems like breakfast never stays with me no matter what I eat, unless it involves the Shoney's breakfast buffet.  I ate this at about 7:45AM, and was very hungry by noon, but didn't get to go to lunch till 1:20.

Lunch called for a Lean Cuisine chicken meal of about 200-220 calories.  The one I chose had rice in it.  In addition to the frozen meal, I had a mixed greens salad with tomato, cucumber, celery, and a raspberry vinaigrette, a light fruit yogurt, and some grapes.  I was decently full after the Lean Cuisine and salad, and thought about saving the yogurt, but went ahead and ate it because I figured I would be hungry in an hour, haha.

My snack was supposed to be between lunch and dinner and was supposed to be celery with PB.  I ended up not eating it till right before dinner, as I was preparing dinner.  This actually was a good idea because I tend to graze and eat lots of junk while I'm cooking dinner, and the celery w/ PB kept me from doing that.

Dinner was a total surprise!  It was a true home cooked meal, and was delicious!  I had Chicken and Pepper Saute with Rice Pilaf, recipe courtesy ediets.  The rice pilaf was amazing, with garlic, onions, and mushrooms.  It had a great flavor.  The chicken and pepper saute was yummy, with onions, green peppers, and chicken stir fried with light soy sauce.  On top of that, I had another salad.  Dinner also called for some strawberries, but I'm saving that for later in the evening when I watch television.  Dinner was definitely satisfying, and like I said was very delicious!  I am very pleased with the recipe and hope that the others are just as good!

Total calories for the day was about 1500.  I didn't exercise today, but I'm off Friday thru Sunday, and I plan on getting lots in over the next few days. 

Yay for me for my first day of the diet.  I didn't feel deprived and the meals were very filling.  I wasn't expecting that!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I signed up for eDiets!

Well guys, I have officially admitted defeat in the world of healthy eating.  Haha!  I am unable to plan my meals and count my calories for more than 2 days.  When I do well and abide by the ~1500 calorie diet, I am generally hungry all day, and then crash on day three, eating everything in site.  I am still teetering about 10 pounds heavier than I usually am, and even though I have began exercising 3-4 days per week again, it hasn't been enough to compensate for my dietary intake. 


I signed up for  Yes, I am paying a website to pretty much plan out my meals for me, lol.  It's less than $20 per month, which isn't bad, and there are forums and groups and such on there for me to mingle.  It gives me one week at a time, and I can change up my meals and pick and choose from a very large list of meals.  I picked the combination plan, which is a mixture of fresh foods and packaged foods, and dinner is usually an easy recipe that I can cook.  I opted for this plan because I would most definitely fail if I had to cook each meal everyday.  At least this plan is good for those who may be on the go and work, but like to cook dinner. 

To give you an idea, here is an example of my meals for tomorrow:
Breakfast:  Strawberry protein shake, english muffin w/ PB, and an orange
Lunch: Lean Cuisine Cafe Classics Honey Dijon Grilled Chicken with salad, yogurt, and grapes
Snack: celery stuffed with PB
Dinner: Asian Chicken with Rice, salad, and an orange

The breakfast is quick and easy to make in the morning, for lunch all I have to prepare is a salad the night before, and dinner is a nice recipe with fresh vegetables, chicken, and rice.  I went grocery shopping this evening, and when I got home I prepared little ziplock baggies of carrots, celery, grapes, and such, so I can just grab them in the morning and go.  I'm kind of excited about this because I don't have to sit here and think about what I'm going to eat for the whole week.  The website compiles my menu, and if I don't like something, I can change it.  It also generates a grocery list for me, based on my menu for the week.  That is nice too.

Back in the day, ediets used to only offer one diet plan, and that was simply ediets.  I will admit, I tried ediets about 10 years ago, haha, but didn't do it very long.  I was a teenager, so I can't really remember what became of it.  Now, they off a bunch of other diet options, such as a diabetes diet plan, a Mediterranean diet plan, a low-fat diet plan, a vegetarian plan, and lots others.  You can change your diet plan at any time.  I think I'm going to try the eDiets Weight Loss Plan for a while.  When I get bored with it or hit a plateau, I may change it to the Mediterranean plan or the vegatarian plan.  I just like that I have different options. 

They do have nutritionists available for live chat and email.  I will more than likely utilize them once my weekly mileage increases and I'm at 10 mile long runs again.  I figure that 1500 calories isn't going to be enough, or I will have to change some things around.  It will be interesting to see what kind of advice they give me. 

I canceled my personal training session for today and tomorrow.  I feel bad about it, but I feel like I'm wasting my money as long as my diet is in shambles.  Once I prove to myself that I can stick to this diet plan, I may go back.  Or, sticking to the diet plan may provide me with the motivation I need to get my own butt into the gym on non-running days to get some high intensity cardio and lifting done without the need for a personal trainer telling me what to do.  Let's be honest, I know what I should be doing!!

Oh, by the way, Eric and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary on Monday.  We went away to some cabins in the woods for 3 nights, which was super nice.  We went on a hike one day, and the other day I ran 4 miles outside.  The weather was amazing while we were gone, and it hit 70 degrees!  Unfortunately, they drain the lake during the winter, so the lake wasn't very pretty.  We were the only ones renting cabins while we were there, so we pretty much had the park to ourselves.  It was nice, and in the evenings we cuddled up on the couch and laughed and talked.  We are going to go back with friends this spring to get the full cabin experience.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Last week recap

Last week was my first big week back to working out, running and cross training.  I have been running regularly for a couple of weeks now, yay!  I'm so glad to be back, and now it's March and it's only a matter of time before we see some decent weather.  The days of being able to run till 8:30PM are just around the corner!!  All this dark, cold winter weather sucks!!  So, this last week I worked out everyday, except Tuesday and Saturday.  Sunday, I ran 7 miles, Monday I went to the Fitness Center for my first personal training session.  I got my ass handed to me there!  It's awful starting back into strength training because you are sore for 4 days after your first few sessions.  The trainer had me do lunges up and down the hallway, and every inch of my legs from ankle to butt hurt so bad till Friday.  I could cry everyday, lol.  Tuesday, I took the day off, then Wednesday I woke up early and ran 2 miles and did 20 min on the elliptical.  I was still really sore, but knew I should work it out.  Thursday I went to Zumba.  Friday I ran 5 miles, which included a fartlek run, and then had another personal training session, where I got my ass handed to me again.  I hope this starts to get easy soon!

I had never done a fartlek run before.  I get emails from McMillan Running, and I had received this message about 'the lost art of fartlek'.  You can read the article here.  First of all, the word fartlek is really funny to me, and I don't like saying it.  Try telling your friends you did a fartlek, and then you have to explain what the heck you're talking about.  The article talked about how your running peaks during the fall, and then in the winter you usually are just doing maintenance miles and not much track workouts.  When spring hits, you hit the track again, but have no where close to the speed you had during your peak the season before.  And it's not a bad thing, obviously winter is a time to recover.  But, you shouldn't be discouraged, such as I was, that when you get back into the training, you aren't as fast as you were during peak.  Rather than jump back into track workouts and kill yourself because you try to run the same times as when you were peaking, you should do fartleks to ease your way into track workouts.  The article made a lot of sense, so I decided to give it a shot.  I mean, I tried to do some speed workouts on the treadmill and didn't last very long, which made me pretty discouraged.

The first week of fartlek training, the article said to do 10-12 repeats of 1 minute at faster than 5k race pace, with 1 minute recoveries.  I needed to get 5 miles in, so I did a 2 mile warmup, then started into the fartleks.  Last summer my best 5k pace was around 8:40 (holy cow, I was so proud of myself!), so I decided I would try an 8:30 pace.  I thought to myself that wouldn't be too horrible to run for a minute at a time, but I wondered about the 1 minute recovery.  Well, I did it!  By the 7th repeat, I was really tired and the minute recoveries felt more like 30 seconds, but I pushed myself and finished!  And I did a 1 mile cooldown.  The 10 repeats ended up being 2 miles, so it worked out perfectly.  It was probably the best and toughest running workout I have had in a long while, and I felt very accomplished.  I'm pretty excited to do this week's workout!  The paper says that fartlek 2 involves 4-5 surges lasting 3-5 minutes each with 1-2 minute recoveries.  Each surge should be run at faster than 10k race pace, but not faster than fartlek 1.  I think I may run this between 8:50-9:00.  That should be fun!

I'm really hoping to get faster this year.  I did take some time off this winter, but it didn't take me long to get it back.  I'm already at 7 miles on my long run, and hope to maybe run a half marathon May 2nd.  With a half marathon under my belt in May, I have no choice but to pick up some speed and train some hills pretty hard by the Distance Run in September.  Last year, I just started training for the Distance Run in May, so I was basically building the mileage to be able to run the race.  This year, I'm going to have the base mileage under my belt by May, so I just have to maintain my mileage and do some work on the hills.  Maybe I can reach my 25 minute 5k goal this summer!  Maybe I'm jumping the gun here, but I have some high hopes! 

Now, if I can just get my eating under control and lost this winter weight......