Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lean Cuisine + TV Workouts + Prayer for Others

Today's spirit day theme was Character/Super Hero day.  Can you guess who I was?
Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games!

I'll keep sharing my spirit week outfits for the next two days.  Tomorrow is Twin Day...I've got an interesting little outfit planned for that!

Ok, on to my regular post...

Diet Tip of the Day
Whenever Joe is out of town, my favorite thing to make for dinner is a Lean Cuisine!
My favorite Lean Cuisine: Tortilla Crusted Fish
While some may argue that they aren't too healthy due to the sodium content (find nutritional information on their website), I think they are a delicious, filling way to eat a balanced meal.  Most of them include a protein source and vegetables or fruit, and they are incredibly satisfying!  Plus, it's the perfect portion size for one and very easy cooking and clean up.  No wonder I always eat them when it's just me on my own.

Today's Training
I haven't officially set my training schedule for the week yet, but I decided it would be a strength training day.  I skipped out on just about all of my strength training days last week, so I wanted to make sure to include them in my training this week.  I also wanted to watch Dancing with the Stars, so I was extremely pleased to remember this website I pinned:
Since these workouts don't really go along with the results show, I created this workout:
DWTS Results Show workout

So this was pretty intense!  I realized quickly that 20 squats per "dance from last night," I would do 60-80 squats in about 2 minutes, so I changed it up.  I did 20 squats for the first dance, 20 reverse crunches for the second, then 20 lunges (10 per leg) for the third.  Everything else worked out nicely, but I may switch up the exercises next week, maybe including some cardio for the less-common occurrences or switching off with push-ups/cardio for the "safe" announcement.  Overall, I'm glad I watched the show AND got my strength training workout in for the day!

Faith Find
I've found that praying for others today is really relaxing to me.  As much as I care about my friends, want the best for them, and worry about them when things aren't going their way, I feel as though I'm actually doing something to help them in their times of need when I'm praying for them!  I prayed for my friend Jen as I mentioned yesterday (keep praying that her interview tomorrow will go well!), and I also prayed for a friend that I just caught up with today.  I usually do pray for my friends, but it's nice to know of their specific needs and to lift those up in name.  I want to be more intentional about asking my friends if they have things they'd like me to pray for.  I'd love to pray for you, too, so please let me know if you have a prayer request by leaving it in the comments :)

That's it for today!  I spent a lot of time at school today, so I'm ready for some me time for a little bit before bed :)

Question for the day:

  • Is there something that I can pray for you about?  
  • Did you try my DWTS workout?  How'd you like it?  Any suggestions?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Smoothies + Trusting God

Today was the first day of spirit week at school, so before I start with today's regular blog, here's a little photo of me as a senior citizen:

I had an eyeglasses chain, as seen in this picture from the morning, but I left it at school:

I LOVE dressing up for spirit week, and I'm really excited about my costume for tomorrow's character/superhero day (I'm taking the character approach).

Diet Tip of the Day:  I don't know what it is about the husband leaving that makes me want to eat poorly, but I pigged out today and didn't have a very good healthy eating day.  So, here's a post-run smoothie I made yesterday after my run:
Berry Fruity Protein Smoothie
To make, I used:
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 5 whole frozen strawberrys
  • 5 whole frozen blackberries
  • 5 pieces frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 scoop strawberry protein powder
I could taste the protein powder pretty strongly, so I think next time I'll use 1/4 scoop of the protein powder.  It was a great way to refuel after my long run yesterday, and I'm sure my bones appreciated the calcium!

Today's Training: REST DAY!  My shins really appreciated it.  They are feeling much better and are preparing for another week of training!

Faith Find: I heard from my good friend Jen today that she received a phone interview for a job she really wants.  I was so happy for her, and then she told me this: "We had decided God wasn't ready for us then I got the call."  Isn't that always the way it happens?  Just when we decide that it's not God's will and trust God that it's time to move on, He rewards our faithfulness!  What a blessing that we learn to fully trust Him, and that He really does show us what His will for our lives is.  Join me in praying for Jen and her interview on Wednesday.  She and her husband would very much appreciate it!

Well, time to get back to watching Dancing with the Stars!  Some questions for you today:

  • Did you participate in spirit week at your high school?  If so, what was your favorite theme day?
  • What is your favorite post-run snack/recovery drink?
Leave your answers in the comments!  I'd love to hear from you :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Salad add-ins + Circuit + Time

Back on track today in multiple ways!

Diet Tip of the Day: I made a salad today for lunch after not having one for about a week.  In addition to the usual veggies, I decided to add some turkey bacon and shredded cheddar cheese for some protein and diary.  It's amazing the impact these two additions had on the taste!  Lunch was quite satisfying to the taste buds, and the bacon made it more filling.  Eating healthy doesn't have to taste bland!

Today's Training: Here's the workout I did today, which is a version of this workout I found on Pinterest
I was supposed to run 3.5 miles today, so I did this workout 6 times through, then ran another 0.5 miles at the end.  Oh boy, was I sweating at the end!  I felt awesome afterward, though, and I'm really proud of myself for making up some strength training time while sticking to my running schedule.

Faith Find:  My morning coffee/reading time consisted of reading the chapters about Time in the book Weird I mentioned in the last post.  One of the chapters talked about resting, which we NEVER do in our culture!  I started thinking about that, and was incredibly convicted by the fact that I do work for school every day of the week, even after bringing stuff home during the week.  I'm also consumed with chores around the apartment and catching up on things I "miss" on Facebook/the internet when I'm at school.  I don't use my time off for what matters, which is time with God, serving others, and  time with people I love.  It defines idolatry as "a setting of the whole heart on something besides God" when Matthew 11:28-30 says to come to Jesus and find rest in Him.  After reading this chapter, I made a commitment to pick one day each weekend (ideally, it'd be Sunday) where I do no school work, minimal chores (just cleaning up after meals, cooking, etc.), and focus on resting in God.  The sermon at church today also tied in to this idea of "being weird" and doing things that God says are important vs. what the world says is important.  I know that God is speaking to me, and I am praying every day that I can be focused on pleasing God rather than pleasing others.

From Thursday: Cheetos + Running Errands + Weird

So sorry for my lack of blogging this week!  I've been out of my training schedule and haven't exactly wanted to share that :-x  Here's a post I started on Thursday, and I'll be back later with today's post after my 3.5 mile run!

Diet Tip of the Day: I've been trying to cut out junk foods from my diet (except for the cheat day), but I gave in to my weakness.  Cheetos.  I had a rough day today, and for some reason I just sat on the couch and wanted Cheetos.  I ate, and ate, and ate.  It was delicious, but then my stomach wasn't happy with me.  After cutting out most of those processed foods, my stomach had processed-food-overload.  Definitely made getting off the couch very challenging!

Today's Training: Shin splints have been bringing me down this week, and I've skipped out on my strength training days.  I even cut my running workout short on Tuesday, so I knew I had to get out and do something today.  I live within a mile of my bank, and I had a check I needed to deposit.  So, I grabbed my music, the dog, and my checks and literally ran an errand to the bank!  I took one of my favorite running routes (which includes a lake and a beautiful neighborhood) and stopped by the bank as I completed my run.  I did a lot more walking than usual, but my shin splints didn't plague me too much!

Faith Find: I began reading Weird by Craig Groeschel, a book I found by chance a few weekends ago.
The color caught my eye (how pretty is this book?!), but the description on the back of the book is what made me purchase it: "Journey with author and pastor Craig Groeschel as he shares a Christ-centered philosophy, on everything from money to scheduling to purity, that will help you break out of the normal rut and live according to the rhythms of God's grace and the truth of his Word."  How perfect is that?  I'm looking forward to reading Craig's insights on living a Christ-centered life everyday, and so far, I think this book is just what I need to get back on track with my faith!  It's crazy how God speaks to us!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ground Turkey + Treadmill Workout

Diet Tip of the Day: I picked up a pound of ground turkey while at the store last week and tried it tonight in a Hamburger Helper meal.  I figured if I was going to be eating Hamburger Helper (I'm not knocking it, Joe and I have at least one of those for dinner each week) then I could add something healthy to it by using ground turkey!  It is much more lean than ground beef, and the taste isn't really too different, especially in Hamburger Helper.  The only thing that would keep me from buying it again would be the price tag: $7/pound vs. $4/pound of lean ground beef. :-X  As a newly married couple with one income right now, I don't know that $7/pound (plus $1.50-$2 for the Hamburger Helper meal) is going to work financially for us!  I may throw it in every now and then, since it was tasty and is definitely healthier.

Today's Training:  After a mid-afternoon Florida thunderstorm, I decided to take my running inside and used this treadmill workout, but I cut the times in half to meet my training needs.  I also was interested to see if running on the treadmill would reduce the shin splints I'd been experiencing lately.  Well, I made it to 19:30 following this plan, but the pain in my shins became too much.  I'm thinking I may need to go back to the shoe store and exchange my running shoes :-\  I did walk the rest of the 30 minutes, so at least I stuck to my training schedule!

Faith Find:  Today, it's more of a faith question.  I started to feel as though I was doubting God when I had to stop running.  During my runs, I've been putting my trust in Him to give me the energy and breath to finish the runs.  When the pain started in my leg, I just couldn't keep going.  At first I saw it as God's way of saying "Your body needs a break, slow it on down!"  But, then I started to wonder if that was the devil's way to trying to get between God and me.  This is something that I'll keep dealing with, and hopefully I'll be able to find the answer!  If you have insight, please share in the comments.

Hopefully I can get my shoes exchanged and my shins feeling better before I get back to the running on Thursday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tech Tools + Motivation

Since today is a rest day from the training, I'm going to focus my energy toward sharing some websites I use to keep myself motivated and on track.

Diet Tip of the Day: I love the website My Fitness Pal for food logging!  Basically, you log in each day and log what you have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.  It has a large database that includes most food brands, including generic and restaurants, that gives an accurate calorie, sodium, protein, etc. count for each food.  You can even add your own recipes, and it calculates the calories for you!  This website gives you a daily calorie intake for your goals (weight loss, weight gain, maintain weight), as well as goals for sugars, carbs, protein, fat, etc.  You can also log in exercise you do during the day, and My Fitness Pal adjusts the number of calories you can have that day.  This website really opened my eyes to how many calories are in some of my favorite foods, as well as the amount of sugar I eat during the day!  It's a great tool to help you adjust to eating healthy.  It's also available as an app for smart phones, and you can even scan in the UPC codes of the foods you eat to log it for the day.  What a great way to head toward nutritious eating!

Today's Training:  While I'm not doing any training today, the technology tool I use for training is Map My Run.  Again, this website comes with an app for smart phones, which I'm sure adds a whole new dimension to its features.  Sadly, I have a dumb phone, so I can only use the website for planning and logging.  Here's what I know about it:  you can create maps of your most common runs (and send them to your phone for pacing/timing information), then log your workout.  You can include the time it took you to complete the route, and it calculates your pace per mile!  I love using this to plan my runs so that I know the mileage, and I always look forward to logging the workout and checking out my pace.  Great tool for me in my half marathon training!

Faith Find: Call me old-fashioned, but I really don't use technology much when it comes to spiritual disciplines.  I do use a website for my daily devotional (thanks to Forrest White, my youth group director, for sharing that website with me long ago), and I also check out the Living Proof Ministries blog, written by Beth Moore and other, every now and then for their insights and any new books/Bible studies they are doing.  In fact, they held an online Bible study this summer, and I plan on completing that study soon (better late than never!).  There's nothing like pulling out my favorite Bible, reading/underlining verses, and journaling on paper to bring me closer to God.

Back to the training schedule tomorrow!  Hoping and praying for another good week of half marathon training while bringing myself closer to God :)

Sunday: Long Run + Resisting Temptations + Finding a Church

I'm really falling behind on this blog, y'all!  Here's my post of Sunday's endeavors.

Diet Tip of the Day:  Joe wanted to go to Wing House to watch the WWE pay-per-view last night, so I decided to go with him.  I looked up the menu beforehand and decided I'd order a wrap for dinner.  It was delicious, and I'm sure much fewer calories than wings!  The only downside was I wanted a side other than potato chips (like fresh fruit or even sweet potato fries), but all they had was chips or curly fries.  I resisted the urge to eat the whole wrap and all of the chips, as well as to chow down on Joe's order of chili cheese curly fries.  While I did sample a few, I figured eating 6 fries was better than sitting there staring at his plate of deliciousness.  The more I read about healthy eating, the more I'm learning to resist temptation by not completely cutting all junk out.  A little bit is better than craving it, then pigging out in a moment of weakness.

Today's Training: Since we went out for dinner last night around 7:30, I decided to go for my long run of the week around 5pm.  Note to self: it is REALLY hot and humid in Florida during that time, and there was not much shade on my route to save me from the sun's strong rays.  BUT, using a run 3.5 mins/walk 1 min pattern, I managed to run 3 miles in 31 minutes!  For someone who is still in training, I'd say that's a pretty good time.  I was really encouraged after my run that maybe I really can do this half-marathon thing after all!  I really couldn't have done that, though, if I hadn't dedicated my run to my prayer time.  That really helps me get through the run, and it helps me to practice trusting in God for all things!  My theme verse for next week, inspired by this run, will be Philippians 4:13, since I really can do all things (i.e. this training) through HIM who is definitely strengthening me each and every time I'm out there.  Praise God!

Faith Find:  Moving to a new area means finding a new church.  We've tried three different churches, and I really like them all in a different way.  I think the deciding factor will be if we can find a Sunday school class or a small group to get plugged in to where we aren't the youngest people by 15+ years.  Since we live in retirement community, that seems to be the case with every church service we've attended.  While finding a new church is hard, it's still important to me to commit to going every Sunday.  That worship time and Bible study are both things that I crave each week, and they are a great way to strength my commitment to growing my faith.  If anyone knows a good church in the Daytona/Port Orange area, let me know!  I'd love to try it out :)

Back later for tales of my rest day and some technology I use to track my progress!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Outback + Half Run + Hebrews 12:1

Diet Tip of the Day:  It's Joe's birthday today, so we went to Outback for dinner.  I LOVE the appetizers there, but I vowed I'd order off the under 600 calorie menu, not finish my meal, and only eat a small slice of bread (no appetizer).  Surprisingly, I met my goal!  I didn't even want any of the cheese fries Joe ordered, I had one slice of bread, and thoroughly enjoyed my salmon and broccoli, but left enough for another meal.  As far as I'm concerned, this is a great way to eat out at a restaurant yet still stick to my diet.

Today's Training:  My original schedule said to do a long run today (3 miles), but I didn't keep up with my Thursday or Friday schedule.  I took the dog for a run, thinking he'd help me run 3 miles.  Sadly, he cut my run in half.  I changed my run into the "easy run" for the week, running for 1.5 minutes, then walking for a minute.  I made it 1.5 miles.  I learned two things while on this run:
1. I learned not to go running after drinking two cups of coffee.
I love reading and drinking coffee on Saturday mornings (or any day, really), but that does not make for a good run!  I even drank two glasses of water before going, but my stomach was not too happy when I was about 1.5 miles in to the run.  While I enjoyed getting my run out of the way in the morning, I'll have to do that before drinking my coffee for the day.
2. Don't take a crazy dog with you when he doesn't do well around other dogs or cats/squirrels.  I had to stop quite a few times today due to his inability to control himself around 4-legged critters.  It's tough to get running around after having to drag him away from another dog.
I was quite annoyed that I cut my run in half, but at least I got out and did something!  I also threw in some core exercises to throw in some strength training that I missed this week.  I plan on moving my long run to tomorrow, so hopefully I can make the 3 straight miles!

Faith Find: After two days of falling off on my faith commitment, I prayed throughout my run but wasn't fully trusting in my ability to finish my 3 miles.  I made it back home and decided to spend some time in the Word instead.  My verse for the week was Hebrews 12:1, the theme verse for this blog.  I spent some time reading verses before and after, and I made some great connections and learned a lot about the context of that verse.  I learned that I need to fix my eyes on Jesus, both in my running training and in my everyday life.  I'm looking forward to the implications of my study today each and every day of my life.

Playing Catch-up

Lack of blogging the past two days, mainly due to the fact that I wasn't on track with my training schedule.

The plan was to do another strength training workout, but due to all the grading I had to do this week, I opted for some social time with Joe and his friends.  We went out to Tijuana Flats, a restaurant that serves free beer when you buy food on Thursdays.  I didn't partake in the beer, but I did order off of the "Under 500 calories" menu.  I figured that'd go along with my eating healthy initiative.

Again, my goal was an easy run with intervals.  I was planning on running for about 1 minute, then walking for a minute for 2 miles.  Instead, I changed Friday into a rest day and a cheat day.

Diet tip of the Day:  A reason many people fail in their dieting is that they go "cold turkey" with sweets, carbs, foods they love, etc.  That, or they have to limit themselves to nothing but a certain food. Joe's cousin and her husband told me about a diet they were doing where they had one day where they didn't have to follow their diet.  They said it made the diet so much easier to follow knowing they had one day to eat whatever they wanted.  So, I've decided to add a cheat day into my diet.  Friday was my first cheat day, and I did enjoy chips and salsa, margaritas, and ice cream in the evening.  It definitely made the lack of these foods during the week worth it.

I think one of the reasons I lacked motivation to train these past two days is I didn't do much as far as reigniting my faith.  Yes, I read my morning devotions, but I didn't open my day with prayer and continue that conversation throughout the day.  Quite convincing proof that relying on myself is not going to help me get through this schedule.

I'll be back later to talk about today, which is going much better so far :)  Now, I've gotta watch the rest of this VT game and hope they can come back to win it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Diet tip of the Day: I bought Complete Book of Beginning Running by Amby Burfoot, executive editor of Runner's World magazine, which has a lot of great information about starting to run as a lifestyle.  I consulted the book before heading to the grocery store today for some healthy snacks/meals, and I learned something new about carrots.  It said that while carrots are low calorie, they are also very filling, making them a great late-evening snack if you just feel the need to munch on something.  I have always enjoyed snacking on carrots, and now I see why!  I made sure to restock my supply today and plan on snacking on some later!

Today's Training:  I was schedule for a 2 mile run, but I was really feeling it today.  It was a comfortable temperature, the sun was setting on the palm trees, and I really just got in the groove.  I wound up going 2.4 miles by running for 4 minutes then walking for 1 minute.  From everything I've been reading, alternating running and walking helps build up endurance, which is definitely something I need to be doing if I'm going to finish 13.1 miles!

Faith Find:  Thankfully, the rain held off this evening.  I prayed that I would be able to complete my run in this unpredictable Florida weather, and God-willing, I got it in.  I decided to listen to Jennifer Knapp's album Kansas.  It's an oldie, but DEFINITELY a goodie!  I've listened to those songs over and over and over again, but something new was revealed to me today.  The bridge in "Martyrs and Thieves" ends with these lyrics:
"Could it be that my worth should defend
by the crimson-stained grace on a hand?
And like a lamp on a hill, Lord, I pray in Your will
to reveal all of You that I can"
I've been having a tough time with a co-worker, and I was praying at the beginning of my run that I may be a witness to her and that in my dealings with her, I would reveal God.  These lyrics really struck me when I heard them.  It's hard for me to reveal God if I'm just trying to do it on my own.  It's crazy how God uses a song I've listened to so many times to relate to my situation now.  Again, praise God for speaking to me!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mio+Tough Circuit+F.R.O.G.

Diet tip of the Day: I love Mio Liquid Water Enhancer!  I have such a sweet tooth, and when I saw a bag of Skittles on the counter that Joe bought, I got a craving.  I wasn't even hungry, but I wanted some Skittles just because they were there. It's not one of my "cheat days" (I'll get to that in a few days...), so I couldn't have any.  To curb the craving, I add Mio to my water, and it was the perfect way to satisfy my sweet tooth.  I used the Berry Pomegranate flavor, and it is quite tasty!

Today's Training: My first strength training day consisted of a circuit workout from one of my new favorite blogs.  When I got home from teaching, I thought about just making today a rest day.  I wound up finishing everything I needed to do around the house and did make it to the gym this evening!  Here is the circuit workout I did, which hit just about every muscle group:
After not doing much as far as strength training goes in a while, this workout was TOUGH!  I got through it, though, and I feel very good about actually getting off the couch this evening and sticking to my schedule.

Faith Find: As I stated to begin with, I want to use my workout time as prayer time.  Today I started out praying, then during the course of the tough exercises, I started worrying about completing it.  I've been down the worry road WAY too many times to know that relying on myself doesn't work.  So, after 20 seconds of the plank when I thought I couldn't make it another 40 seconds, I prayed.  I just talked to God for the rest of the plank, and I made it!  If God's going to be there for me to rely on when I need to get through a plank, just think what would happen if I rely on Him all the time.  Reminds me of the ring I used to have that said "F.R.O.G." on it, standing for Fully Rely on God.  Definitely need to F.R.O.G. each and every day!

Up next is a 2-mile run tomorrow.  I'm going to try and find a dirt trail to run on to lessen the stress on my legs.  See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Day One=Success!

Well, I met my goals for day one!  I read my devotional this morning, ate a very healthy diet, and I completed my 2 mile run/prayer time.  To be honest, I was so excited about starting to train for this half and dive back in to my spiritual disciplines that I couldn't sleep last night!

Diet tip of the day: I really don't eat much protein on a regular basis, so I decided to add some to my lunch.  I usually make a salad to take to school with me, and today I topped it with tuna for an added protein punch!  I plan on continuing this, as well as adding hard-boiled egg to mix things up (once I get to the grocery store for more eggs).

Today's Training: I was scheduled for a 2-mile run, and my goal was to run for the duration of the route.  I like the start of this run, where I run around a lake in a really pretty neighborhood.  The last half is also through a really pretty neighborhood, and it's relatively flat.  Major downside is that I had to cross a major road two different times.  This really slowed my time down, but I did run in place as I waited at the crosswalk.  I ran 23:47, which is much slower than I usually run.  I'm not too worried about the pace right now, though, as I really just want to get in the training routine!

Faith Find: Today was a great day to really focus on prayer throughout the day.  I'm really glad I did, because there was a situation today that I needed God's help with.  A situation came up where I wound up being correct about something I'd had a disagreement with a co-worker earlier in the school year.  I wanted to go to my teacher friend, Danielle, at school and point it out.  I realized, though, that I would be boasting and prideful.  I prayed that God would help me resist the urge to do so, and luckily I did!  Praise God for being reliable!

Those are a few brief thoughts on the day.  Tomorrow is a strength training workout (I'm thinking of doing a circuit workout from this blog that I'm really becoming obsessed with), and hopefully Joe will go to the gym with me!

Twas the night before training...

Thanks to a Facebook post by a sorority sister, I learned that Disney has an annual Princess Half Marathon.  After looking over the website about the race, I decided that I am going to run this race on February 24, 2013.  The more I read about training for a race like this, the more diet comes in to play.  I've also decided that I will commit myself to a more healthy diet while allowing myself to indulge one day a week.

I've also been feeling a need to re-ignite my faith.  After the move, I haven't found a steady church home and have let my regular religious practices go a little bit.  I have no excuse for this other than the lack of prioritizing.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 24-week half marathon training.  It also marks the beginning of my rededication to practicing my faith each and every day.  I have decided that as I run, cross train, and strength train, I will use that as a time of prayer.  I am also committing myself to daily devotion, both in the morning over breakfast and Bible reading/study before I go to sleep.

I'm committing myself to God both mentally and physically.  He gave me this body and this life, and I need to use it in a way that is pleasing to Him.  This is the beginning of this journey, and I hope to update this blog regularly with my workout for the day and my reflections on my time with Him.  Whether anyone reads this or not, I want to keep this updated for myself so that I can look back and remind myself about my excitement to begin this program for myself!  I'm hoping that starting this routine now will carry on after the race and extend to others