All posts by Karen

About Karen

Resist. Persist. Repeat.

Couch 2 5K: A Return and a Rethinking

Sup, readers?

 

As those of you who have been long-term readers of this blog will remember, my entire life changed when I took up Couch 2 5K. At the time, it was the hardest thing I’d ever done for myself. Now, I look back and can only sort of remember the time before I could run the way I run now — it seems like so long ago. So much has changed.

Continue reading Couch 2 5K: A Return and a Rethinking

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Thinking a Latte About Lattes

The pun isn’t even that good, but could I resist?

It should be no secret — and if you didn’t know, it’s time you did — that so much of wellness comes from making conscious choices about how you’ll construct your diet. And by “diet,” I don’t mean, “your calorie savings plan,” I just mean… what you eat, and when, and how. It’s not easy to make smarter or more efficient choices. It’s not convenient a lot of the time. But remembering to order your sandwich without cheese, or to use oil and vinegar on your salad, or to drink water instead of juice… these are all things that make a huge difference. One of my pet causes is trying to find ways to still enjoy sweet stuff and desserts in a healthier life — and one of my favorite indulgences? My caffeine.

 

What I want to write about today, y’all, is the latte.

Continue reading Thinking a Latte About Lattes

Gotta Run One: Day 9

On Day 9, I did a short two mile recovery run and then p90x yoga! Today also marks the first time I’ve used my Heartrate monitor to get a more accurate calorie count. Suffice to say, life is full of disappointments. If my monitor is to be believed, I earned almost 60 calories less than any of my tracking apps said!

All in all, I would much rather KNOW this, though, than not know. As such, life goes on.

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Gotta Run One: Day 8

Day 8: 8.06 miles!

I drove to Scranton and mom and I hit the Heritage Trail. The weather was PERFECT — not quite overcast but definitely cool and breezy. The trail was nearly empty. The run was most excellent. We tried a new offshoot on the path which I think added about 0.25 to 0.5 to things which is also good and necessary if we want to hit 8 comfortably before making it back to the car. Otherwise there would be a lot of running some stretches 3x. Blah!

But yesterday’s run was terrific. I love running with my mom — I love running in general but ever since I was a kid I wished I could run like she did. Well, now I do. And we run together. And it is a celebration of life!

We decided in the picture to wear our Frog Togg’s like the awkward turtles that we are.

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Gotta Run One: So Far, So Good!

Howdy, ya’ll!

I’ve been working on my “Gotta Run One” challenge for, as of today, nine days. How has it been going? Has it been increasing my motivation or detracting from it? How are my little victory sticks doing with no official extended downtime? (Disclaimer: Every knowledgable runner I know said that I would be OK running daily as long as my rest day runs were short, slow and gentle.) Read onward to find out those answers and more!

1. How’s it been going?

So far, so good! I’ve really been getting used to the process of getting out there every day, which surprises me. Why? Certainly not because I lack an interest. Moreso because some days I genuinely do only have time for a single mile — and before this challenge, having only 15 spare minutes or whatever would mean that I just didn’t get my run in for the day. With this challenge, though, I am forced to take those 15 minutes and make it happen every single day. No excuses. And, to my delight, what’s been happening on days other than those time-crunch days? I find that once I’m already out there pounding the pavement, I’m usually inspired to stay out for more than my owed mile. Often it’s 5K for a shorter run; one day, it was 5 miles. I’m trying not to overdo it and overtrain, considering that I am a relatively “new” runner and my long run mileage is really ramping up quickly — I want to avoid injury! So I’m trying to do, out of 7 days, 2 “one or two” mile runs, a medium-length 5 miles or 10K, two shorter 5Ks, a “whatever I feel that day” run, and of course one long run. So far this little challenge has provided great reason to get out and stay out.

 

2. Is it increasing my motivation or decreasing it?

Yanno, I was really interested to see how this would pan out. I figured one of two things would happen: either 1) the mandatory mile-a-day would lead to me resenting running or 2) it would become the type of habit that I loved even more than I had previously. Thankfully, at Day 9, so far the latter seems to be the case. Rather than it being optional, it’s mandatory — that’s the point — and so instead of waging war with myself about “Eh, but this HEAT/HUMIDITY” or “Eh, but I only have time for like two miles which is barely worth it,” I’ve been happily going out there and doing what I can do, knowing that at least one goal — the goal of running every day – is being met. I actually think that’s where a lot of the joy in this is coming from: I’m being freed from my self-hewn prison of thinking that I MUST log bigger miles or I MUST try to keep a good speed every time I run. Of course, I don’t run as fast as I can every day or always run 10K or more. I have speedwork days, short run days, hillwork days, etc. I think what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been hard on myself — and, 30 lbs later, it seems that it’s been a good strategy — and that I’ve been disparaging of running very short distances. For example: the lone mile. This challenge is helping me reclaim that and is helping me find joy in the corners and hollows of the sport where previously I’d either not been looking or never noticed.

 

3. How do I feel?

This was the part I was concerned about before the challenge began. The good news is that so far, I am totally fine! Having rest days where I just jog a solitary mile has really been fine as a recovery method. Otherwise, because I’m tempering my speed and my courses, running hard(er) 5 days a week has been no problem. This week alone, on Monday I ran 5.2, on Tuesday 3.19, and Wednesday 8.18. No real soreness to speak of. Of course, today will be a 2 or 3 mile recovery run. The weekend will likely hold some shorter runs and maybe one longer one. Keeping it switched up. And on the shortest running days, I’m doing yoga as crosstraining. Gentler yoga one day, and more intense yoga (the P90X yoga actually) the other day.

4. So overall?

I’m happy, and not sore, and finding a lot of joy in the process. Stay tuned for more to follow! I’ve heard some people keep patterns like this up for a year or more… We’ll see where this journey leads!

Weekend Roundup

Time for a weekend roundup/update!

 

This weekend was a very busy but very joyful one; I’ve got no complaints, except that I don’t know how Monday is here already! The weekend, when observed in retrospect, is a good example of ways in which I’ve learned to turn down temptations and/or pre-plan all my food. I agree wholeheartedly with the “Fail to plan? PLAN TO FAIL” mentality – so much of weight loss success is preemptively making sure your food NEEDS are met, so your food WANTS don’t get in the way. Also a tip: I pre-track everything. When I wake up in the morning I plan out, in my tracker, as much of my day as I can. And then, I just refuse to let myself derail from the things I’ve tracked. It’s helpful because I always know what is left over for snacks or a special food.

I’ll go down the list of the weekend’s events!

 

  1. Saturday: In the morning, I helped out at my parent’s annual neighborhood yard sale. Made about $20.00 selling old stuff from our kitchen and the depths of our basement, since our bridal shower(s) have equipped us well for forward motion! Usually, around lunch time on yard sale day, my mom will send me to Dunkin to pick up coffees and sandwiches for our family. And mind you, as someone who worked for Dunkin from ages 17-23, I am extremely fond of DD sandwiches. However, because we had a bridal shower (!!!!) later in the day, I told my mom I thought I’d have a Greek yogurt instead. And that is what I did.

 

  1. Saturday, Part 2: One of my very favorite people in the ENTIRE WORLD, Lauren, threw Chelsea and I a Bridal Shower for our friends who are local to the area to attend. It was such a beautiful afternoon! She put such care into every little detail – it was perfect; we loved every minute. We loved also the delicious food she prepared! Chicken and vegetable kabobs, grilled tenderloin, a really fabulous corn salad, greens, fruit salad – the works! It was all delicious and all very WW-friendly, which I so, so deeply appreciated. I did eat a cupcake – but it was a DELICIOUS cupcake, and I REGRET NOTHING. It was so lovely to gather up our NY friends and spend the afternoon laughing, eating, being together, etc. My mom drove out for the Shower, too, so she got to meet a few of our friends from the area which was a particularly great thing. All in all, it was marvelous.

 

 

  1. Saturday, Part 3: My best friend and roomie from college, Kim, came too! And she stayed over! And she is one of the only other people that Tag likes! We got hungry late at night and decided to go to Tully’s, where I ordered – wait for it – the same salad that I always order. Not too long ago, I would’ve ordered an intense amount of chicken tenders. But no longer!

 

  1. Sunday: Got up early and went on my piddly little 1 mile run. I hate only running 1 mile – it’s short and boring! It does, however, get me out there every single day. Which is the point of the GRO challenge. Afterward, I showered and got ready to head to Claudia’s house so we could drive up to Syracuse for our work picnic. Now, consider that I was out of the house from 10 AM to 6 PM. At a picnic. With no way to get “other” food aside from what had been brought. WELL GOOD THING I AM THE QUEEN OF PREPACKED LUNCHES because I brought a lunchbox full of smart, WW-friendly foods and ate them slowly throughout the day. I even brought hot tea in my new thermos (sexy thermos that it is) because hot beverages tend to make a person feel fuller than they are and so I drank my green tea before lunch. All in all, I was extremely proud that I only ate ONE. SINGLE. CORN CHIP. From the buffet of options available. Elsewise, my yogurt and I were happily separate, foodwise. When I got home, I ate a healthy dinner (zucchini-stuffed lasagna, from SkinnyTaste recipe, made by my momma! And also steamed broccoli) and had some blueberries and relaxed.

Packed my lunch for Monday, got my clothes, etc. together, and a new week begins. Hmph.

 

 

Gotta Run One: Day 5

Well, Sunday was not an optimal running day. I had to leave for a work event by 10 AM, and felt guilty/like a bad hostess to leave my best friend and college roomie, Kim, perched on my couch as I headed out the door. All the same, I only got a single mile in. Very disappointing, but very expected — I knew I wouldn’t have much time this weekend and ANY miles, even single ones, are better than none!

Check out my ridiculous bedhead before I put on my running hat!

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