Tuesday, April 13, 2010

By a Thread

Some days my lack of productivity at work is due to the fact that I am simply lazy and distracted by other things that are much more interesting. On those days I typically feel incredibly guilty at the end of the day and vow to do better in the future.

Other days though, my productivity level slumps near zero because I am just barely hanging on by a thread. Today happens to be one of those days. A raging sore throat which led to very little sleep combined with stress in dealing with some family issues has me worn thin.

I've already decided that if I survive until lunch I am treating myself to the Pizza Hut buffet. Food heals.

DISCLAIMER: No, I am not advocating eating to combat emotional or psychological issues. A good counselor would be much more help with that. On rare occasion a carbohydrate splurge can make the afternoon a wee bit more manageable though.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Food Lovers Unite

As a food lover I can’t resist the chance to share something really delicious that managed to create itself in my kitchen this morning. I’ve been making a point of cooking hearty breakfasts for myself each day over the past few months. Some days it makes me a little later to work than I would like, but I work on a flex schedule and I have yet to regret starting the day with something tasty. Plus, I’m putting faith in the old adage that breakfast is the most important in a healthy diet.

So, lately I’ve been eating eggs. Lots of eggs. Did you know that the combination of nutrients in one whole egg makes it nearly the perfect food item? Yep, they get a bad rap because of cholesterol but they are actually very good for you in a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Most mornings I’ve been eating them scrambled with a little mozzarella cheese and fresh mushrooms. Delicious.

Today, however, I got up a little earlier than normal and had a chance to search through the fridge for some other tasty items. Lo and behold, in just a few moments I had assembled a most delicious breakfast delicacy. Have you tried these? Earth Grains Thin Buns. Go buy them NOW! This morning I took only the bottom half of one of thes e yummy “thin buns” (Does it crack anyone else up that a healthy bread that you might eat when trying to thin your own “buns” is called a “thin bun”? No? Just me? Alrighty, then. Moving on.). To this bottom half of a thin bun I added just a tiny touch of mayo. Just enough for flavor, not enough to add all that fat and calories I didn’t need. Next layer was fresh baked ham leftover from Easter lunch torn into bite size pieces for easy eating. Then slices of tomato and a couple of ounces of very thinly sliced mozzarella. I popped this in the oven on broil for a few minutes to make everything nice and melty while I scrambled up a fresh organic egg. As soon as the cheese was bubbly and the thin bun was getting crispy, my egg was done. I added the fluffy egg to the top of my tower of goodness with a light sprinkle of kosher salt and WHALAA!

Folks, it doesn’t get much tastier. You can eat it with a fork or hold it in your hand and cram it into your mouth while driving with your knee like I do. Either way it’s perfectly delicious and wonderfully filling.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Empowered. Yes, that about sums it up. That’s how I feel lately…like I can tackle the task I have set before myself. I’ve overcome the self doubt. I can do it!

My running is going splendidly much to my own amazement, honestly. I have been working my way through the Couch to 5k program for a few weeks now saying that it was my goal to be able to run a 5k. All the while, however, there has been a lurking thought in the back of my mind that I would eventually reach a point where I just couldn’t do it. I have never been able to run distance. I just don’t have the stamina. Even when I was younger and playing so many sports it would make your head spin, I just never had endurance. Lo and behold, at the ripe old age of (almost) 31, I have discovered that I can do it.

Now, don’t go getting any grand ideas. It’s not like I’m stepping out the door and jogging 5 or 6 miles a day. Not yet. Hopefully someday. I am, however, able to get out on the trail now and run 2 miles without feeling like I am going to kick the bucket any second. That is a big accomplishment for me. This will sound puny, especially coming from an athlete, but I don’t believe I had ever before run 2 miles straight. Hundreds of wind sprints and back man sprints and many, many quarter miles, 800 meter runs, and even numerous mile runs in my lifetime, but never 2 miles to my knowledge. Now I can and it feels fantastic!

Thursday of last week was C25k Week 5 day 2. It required me to run 3/4 of a mile, walk ½ of a mile, and then run another ¾ mile. Tired of being on a treadmill, I went to the city park track. The extra cushion on my worn out knees and hips was great, but going in circles for 8 laps was BORING to say the least. I survived despite the mind-numbing monotony.

Saturday was C25k Week 5 day 3. The big test- the part that I doubted I could do. Two mile run. No breaks. That day I chose a local fitness trail rather than the track and what a difference it made! Being able to run and see new sites instead of going in circles or staring at a tv like I do on the treadmill was awesome! That negativity that typically creeps into my head when I start running that keeps repeating how boring this is, how tired I am, how I want to quit was not there at all! Of course, it is no miracle cure. I was still tired at the end of 2 miles, but the difference was remarkable and I’ll definitely be choosing that environment from now on if I possibly have the option.

I wore a pedometer/stop watch on my run on Saturday. It registered that I took 4,269 steps. That means I covered just shy of 2.5 feet per stride. My long legs can do much better than that and that will surely improve my time, but that day was about taking it easy and proving that I could do it. I did.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tuesday on a Thursday

Ok, so I’m a couple of days late writing about Tuesday’s workout, but it was a good one. Here goes.

Cardio – C25K Week 5 Day 1 – Jog ½ mile, walk ¼ mile, jog ½ mille, walk ¼ mile, jog ½ mile - Actually not as difficult as I expected. I was tired at the end but could have gone further if I had to.

Weight traning – Phase 1 Workout B (slightly modified)
Sumo squats – 3 sets of 12 reps
Lying dumbbell press – 3 sets of 12 reps/side
Hamstring curl – 3 sets of 12 reps
Seated row pulls – 3 sets of 12 reps
Lat pull downs – 3 sets of 12 (except the last set in which I only managed to do 10)
Leg press – 3 sets of 10

Hip ups – 14 reps
Reverse crunches – 14 reps
Crossover crunches – 14 reps/side
Oblique crunches – 14 reps/side
Straight leg crunches – 14 reps
Flat footed crunches -14 reps
Supermans – 10 reps

No workout on Wednesday. It’s church night and an off day for exercising.

How I feel today – Eh, I’ve been better. Having not exercised yesterday makes me feel a little sluggish. I think it’s all mental. I just don’t have that pride that I feel after a good solid workout. I was really anticipating being sore after Tuesday’s workout but was not at all. It’s definitely time to increase the intensity (i.e. add more weight, increase reps, etc) to make sure I am pushing myself every time. I’m certainly in better shape than I have been in quite a few years, but I’m no where near where I want to be right now. Can’t be complacent.

This afternoon...C25K Week 5 Day 2 and racquetball.