Tag Archives: running

Targeting the Discipline Muscle

24 Aug

“After you are finished with the warm up get ready to work hard”.  That is what Jesse said about my run this morning in an email I got from him last night.

Oh golly, gee, I just could not wait!

It was hard to roll out of bed this morning.  I mean really hard, even though I went to sleep at 10.  5am is early, no matter how you look at it, but seems even earlier when your intention is to go sweat your tail off instead of make a cup of coffee and get ready for the day.

Today’s goal was a Max Heart Rate test.  Jesse needs this information to aid in the creation of my training plan and the interpretation of the data after a workout.

When I workout I wear a Garmin FR60 watch with a heart rate monitor.  When I run, I have a foot pod on my shoe.  My bicycle has a cadence sensor or it as well that works with my watch. All of these little tools give me information about what my body is doing while I work out. It can be very interesting stuff!

I like this watch because it is not too bulky.  Some of the other Garmins are huge.  This one does everything that I need it to do.  I got it for a great price at www.holabirdsports.com .

The test went something like this…

Ramp warm up – jog at a comfy pace until 5 min, speed up .2 every 30 sec after that till 6mph, maintain at 6mph until 8:00, then walk

Begin test … (straight from Iron Jess himself)

Every 30 seconds take the speed up by .2 until you have to begin a light jog.  After that you will increase your speed by .1 every minute until you get to level 6.
Stay at level 6 for 3 minutes.  Once you have gone 3 minutes at level 6 you will begin increasing your incline by 1 every 30 seconds until you reach level 5.  If you are still going when you reach level 5 increase your speed again by .1 every 30 seconds until you have to hop onto the side of the treadmill.  Do not hold on to the treadmill unless you are stopping.  After you finish this test immediately take the treadmill back down to 0 on the incline and walk at a comfortable level.
Once you are finished with the test and recovered you can get back to an easy jog and finish out the time you have jogging at whatever speed you feel like running.
…end test.
By the time I was running at an incline of 5 at 6mph my heart rate was at 187 and I feared flying off the back of the treader.  So, I hopped off.  Could I have gone faster?  Maybe. Oh, the age old question.
I ran more, did some core work, and had a nice stretch before heading home.
Say hello to “Where the mud are the rest of my oats?” oatmeal.
There is a big difference between 1/3 c oats and 1/4 c oats.  I also did not have a banana to mash.  That may have been how I justified that dollup of sunflower butter. It was a really good bowl of oats.
1/4 c rolled oats
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c water
1/2 scoop Raw protein powder
1/2 T buckwheat groats
1/2 c frozen cherries
I topped it with almost a T of sunflower butter and some coconut cream (coconut flour + almond milk), with decaf and a side of running around the house like a crazy person trying to get out of the door by 7:30.
I managed to snap a picture of lunch before it was packed away in my lunch box last night.
Mini pitas, jalapeno hummus, fresh cut veggies, and some strawberries with 3 spoons of soy yogurt, a little coconut, buckwheat groats, and walnuts.
Then as I turned off the light to the kitchen and headed toward bed I remembered…. tomorrow is Wednesday and that means I need to take my dinner too.
As much of a hassle as it seems sometimes to plan and create meals ahead of time, the benefit far outweighs the cost.
1. I am guaranteed a healthy and well balanced meal.
2. I save money.  Convenient food = expense
3. I am being proactive in regard to my health and hunger.
4. I am exercising discipline and self-control, and trust me, those are muscles that need as much exercise as possible for me.
If you are not a vegetarian, but are considering becoming one… or maybe you wonder why in the world anyone would want to stop eating meat, check out Mama Pea’s post about the Benefits of Being a Vegetarian.
Warning: Do not read Peas and Thank You, unless you have an actual sense of humor.  Also, please note that Sarah is one of the funniest blogs I have ever read and reading her blog may be habit forming.  Furthermore, I will likely seem really dull after reading her blog.
You have been warned.

Sarah also has a new book out, entitled Peas and Thank You with meatless recipes and adorable stories of her very creative daughters, Gigi and Lulu. I do not own it yet, but want it. I hear that you can get it on Amazon for about $13, but I am being SUPER careful with money right now (See, I have to practice discipline in a lot of areas. ).

Run and Rest

20 Aug

My goal today is to leave my house once… and only once.

I did not even leave the house to run this morning.  I can not blame my alarm for sleeping until 8:30.  I can and will only blame sheer choice. I did not get to bed until after 11 last night, and 6am was not looking pretty.  So I reset my alarm, and decided to just run on treadmill.  I am glad I did, because I eventually saw on Jason’s twitter that is was already 92 when he started his run before 5.  So, 6 would have been brutal.  No thanks.

I did not feeeel like running.  (Can you tell I was whining there, because I was.)  I laid there when I fiiinally woke up and thought, “Where did my running mojo go?”

I got dressed and had a piece of toast with sunflower butter and Crofter’s strawberry jelly.  Then I filled two water bottles and pulled out two dates for my run.  Today was the first day I was going to try eating while running.

I started slow and conservative, I had a least 7 miles to complete.

By around mile 1 was nice and comfortable.  Then again I was watching Suits on USA.  The only shows I ever make time to watch are on USA.

Around 4 miles I popped a date.  It had been out of the fridge for long enough to get warmed up, and it chewed up easy.  It was amazing that I could feel the increase of energy from those beautiful carbs.  I popped another around mile 5.5.

Before I knew it I was at mile 7, and I was set to keep going.  I actually sped up for a while.  I finished my 7.5 miles, even though I could have continued.  I wanted to keep going, but I had already run a mile farther than I had ever run, so I cooled down and did some dynamic stretching.  Then I finished up stretching on the floor.

After my run I made a huge smoothie.

almond milk, decaf iced coffee (I ran out of milk), banana, cherries, spinach, protein powder, raw rolled oats, and chia seeds, topped with granola

I wasn’t hungry at lunch time, but when I was finally hungry, I was HUNGRY.

I boiled some rotini, steamed some squash, and warmed some tomato sauce (which I added garlic, spinach, and Italian seasoning to).

Lots of veggies, a little pasta, with sauce and lentil beans.

My plan for the day is to conquer my to do list, but rest too.  At some point I need to wash my car and go to the grocery store.

If you see me in public, consider this your fair warning… I will not be putting on make up today. Rest day indeed.

I Run

16 Aug

One of these days I will upload a picture again… Until then, all I have is words.

There is no way in the world I could forget that I did Body Pump yesterday.  Not even if I tried.  My whole body feels it.  I am glad, because I know I got a really good workout, but I look a little robotic today.  How will I feel tomorrow when I have intervals to run?

Sometimes I am afraid to aspire. (Oh, you too?!  Glad I’m not alone.)

When I made the decision to run a marathon I was terrified to tell anyone, because I thought they would laugh at me.  I told Christina first.  Let me explain a little something about Christina… she does not know what impossible means.  It is an incredible quality.  When she encounters a problem, she will find a solution.  If there is not a solution to be found, she will make one. So I knew she would listen to me, even if what I was saying what ridiculous. But, her response was  “Sounds good.  I’m not doing it, but I know you can.  Jesse will help. ”

From there I told Jesse. I was really nervous telling him.  I thought that there was a good chance that he would tell me that it is a nice idea, but that I should not waste my time.  That was not his response at all.  He asked for data so he could work on my trianing plan.  He was immediately on board, after feeling out if I was serious about this.

Sunday, I was in Ft Worth Running Co with about a dozen other runners, and for once I did not feel out of place.  Usually at an expo for a race I would feel like I did not belong.  I felt like they were runners, but I am just a walker or a jogger.  But, not anymore.

I run.

I lace up my shoes. I strap on my heart rate monitor.  I map my route.  I sweat my butt off.  I keep going when every fiber of my being wants to stop and walk.

I run.

I choose to run.  Therefore, I am a runner. No one can tell me that I am not.

I have my sights set on 13.1 miles. (Yes, I intend to get a sticker.  No, there is no way I’ll put it on my car.) I am working on saving up the money to get signed up for White Rock and then for Cowtown.

Those may seem like distant goals.  December is months away.  February even farther. But, as with the most valuable things in life, they are not handed to you, but must be earned with blood, sweat, and tears.

Because I want to run 13.1 miles on December 4th…

I go to bed early every Friday night.

I wake up early every Saturday morning.

I drink water like it is my job.

I do not work out of Fridays.

I do core exercises and stretch often.

All week long I prepare myself for running a new distance on Saturday morning.

All week long I make sacrifices.

Every Saturday it pays off. The feeling of pressing that stop button on my watch is incredible.


Do you have a goal that seems elusive? What is your 26.2 miles? What can you do today, tomorrow, this week, this month that will bring you closer to accomplishing it?

You will never be who you want to be unless you do what you do not want to do.

So do today what you can, so that tomorrow is one step closer to where you really wan to be.

Lubbock Part 2

6 Aug

One night Staci text Alyssa and I and said that she had just gotten an email about a 5k that would be taking place while we were in Lubbock.  I was planning to run on Saturday anyway, so I was game.

The race took place on the campus of Texas Tech.  It started right outside the football stadium and wound through the campus.

The race was extremely small.  I would say that about 70 people participated. It did not start until 8:15, which was 15 minutes late, so the sun was beaming and the temperature rising.

I run on Saturdays before the sun comes up, so I carried a bottle of water with me.  Boy am I glad I did, because they did not have a single water station.  I know it was only 3 miles, but I usually want something to drink by mile 2.

I used my new Garmin to watch my pace and wanted to stay around 11 minute miles.  I felt really comfortable there, so when I would start slacking a little I would pull myself back up to speed.

Alyssa and I ended up crossing the 3.1 mile mark at 33:23… 1:09 faster than my time at the Firecracker 5000!

I was really proud of us, because it was hot! The course actually measure longer than a 5k to me and a couple other Garmin wearers, so I went with the time and distance of my Garmin.

After the race we headed to J&B Coffee Co… again. I am telling you I love this place!  If it were near my home I would be in trouble! Chain restaurants and coffee shops hold little appeal to me.  I would much rather support a person than a corporation.

I was going to get a scone, until I saw these “cookies”.  I read the ingredients, and they were all REAL FOOD! And, it was made in Texas! Once again, supporting a small business and my very own state!

The entire “cookie” was actually 2 servings, but I about the right number of calories for a breakfast that will keep me full for a while. So I ate the whole thing along side a decaf iced coffee with soy.

We did a little shopping and then met some of Staci’s family for lunch at Sugar Baker’s.  It is a small bakery/restaurant that had one veg friendly option… a pb and j. The jelly was Bama, so I skipped that.  I just had the p on rye bread.

On the side I had the fruit cup, which was doused in cream.  Yes, it tasted good.  No, the cream was not necessary.  I wish it would not have been there.  Fruit is sweet enough without adding anything to it.

After lunch we got into our bathing suits and headed for the pool.  I actually fell asleep for a while in the sweltering heat.  I get sleepy when I get too warm.  I actually never got in the water. The sun felt good, though I lay there and sweat for almost 2 hours.

Dinner was my choice, and I will admit it was kind of a bust.  I found a restaurant online called Manara Cafe, which had Mediterranean food.  I was disappointed that their ovens were not working, so our options were limited.

We devoured the hummus, which was so-so and the tabouli which was pretty good.  The falafel was actually wonderful… very dill-y. I love dill! The pita was obviously store bought and disappointing. Luckily, we did not pay much for the meal.

After eating we met Staci’s friend Libby to walk in a park because the evening was actually cool enough to be outside.  They took us to a beautiful new neighborhood with an incredible park in the center.



The ladies lounged. I took pictures.  I tried sitting… I am just not good at it.

The sunset was beautiful and the clouds put on quite a show for us.

Eventually we left and went to a little ice cream shop.  I kind of wanted frozen yogurt, but really did not want to eat dairy again.  So I opted for italian ice, which really really disappointed!  I should have just thrown it away.  It was not worth eating, but it is really hard for me to throw away food that I pay for.

The night ended at Libby’s, where we my Cooper, her mammoth of a sweet dog.  Though he is over 100 lbs, he was gentle and kind.  I am not really a dog person, so I let Alyssa handle all the petting, but I appreciated how well behaved he was.  He is a good boy.

Another late night… followed by an early morning.



Lunchtime Ramblings

26 Jul

Just in case you were wondering, I am working 2 jobs these days.  Most days I only work one of them, but some days I work both.  I seriously have not been so tired in over a year!  But, I am blessed.  There are many who want to work that are struggling to find a job.

Body Pump, Oh Body Pump, how you hurt… in a good way of course. After two weeks away from Body Pump, I paid for it last Monday.  I felt like I was walking around like the Tin Man, in need of some oil.  Due to the above metioned exhaustion, I traded my second BP class last week for a bike workout on the trainer instead. It worked wonders, loosening my tight muscles and getting blood flowing through my tired legs.

This week, I didn’t feel like going to BP.  It was only Monday and I was already tired, but I knew that I would be mad at myself for missing it if I slept in.  So, I went anyway, and I was glad I did.  I think I accidentally raised the weight I used for back exercises and the back of my legs are feeling it from those dead lifts (which may be one of my favorite exercises). I am a little sore, but not in a bad way.  Definitely a bit stiff too.

I know I sing Body Pump’s praises all of the time, but I am telling you it makes such an impact.  My muscles are more and more toned every week, especially my arms and shoulders. I like wearing sleeveless shirts… oh vanity.  In my legs, I can not tell you what portion of the change is from running and what portion is from squats and lunges, but they are changing.

I am going out of town AGAIN this weekend!  This time to Lubbock to visit Staci!  I should be resting up in preparation, but who has time for that?!

I hear we are doing a 5k! No big deal… but I have to consider that only a few months ago a 3.5 mile run had me all worked up and nervous!

I love to see the inner progress, just as much I like the outward progress.  When I confidently approach something that I used to fear, I am face to face with how much has really changed… not because of what I have or have not done or eaten, but because of trusting in God in all areas.

Losing weight or running a marathon are not and should not be my goal, though I do love to see a smaller number on the scale (most) weeks and a larger number on my mile totals. The goal is living my life glorifying my Creator. I want to be in the best position possible to serve Him as He calls.

Even running can become an idol.  Last week I made more time to workout than I did to spend with the Lord.  I did not skip a single workout when time felt crunched.  I did skip prayer times. That was something I had to face and repent of.

Running is good.  There is nothing wrong, and plenty right, with daily exercise.  But, at what cost?

In no way did I just justify a life of inactivity in the name of spending more time with Jesus.  The reality is that you will be a more productive, disciplined, and effective follower of Christ if you are physically active.  I said it, and I mean it.

God made our bodies to move.  When we defy that natural plan, we find ourselves tired, stressed, eating poorly, and overweight.

So, Sunday, and yesterday, and today, and tomorrow I am choosing once again to put trust in the One who made me. I choose to ask for help to make wise decisions about food and to know when to be active and when to rest(I am so glad there is a time for both).  I choose time with God to be a priority.

My salad is gone… and it was a good one… romaine, red pepper, yellow pepper, green pepper, carrots, avocado, black beans, and salsa,,, and I am ready to get back to work.

So I will leave you now with this prayer that Mrs. Hoyer, my high school English teacher, would pray….


Help us do what we don’t want to do so that we can become what you want for us to become.


Running Toward the Moon

17 Jul

Yesterday was a funtastic day, which started early and ended late.

On Saturday I start running at 6, because the heat in Texas is unbearable during the summer.  In order to be safe (and not sorry) you have to get up and out of bed before the sun.

I had some caffeinated coffee at a friend’s house on Friday night, which kept my mind awake until about 11:30 on Friday.  That is WAY too late if you plan of getting up at 5:30 to run 5 miles.

The funny thing is that 5 miles did not sound quite so intimidating after running 3 miles three times already this week.

I actually woke up early, ate 3 dates with pb inside and filled my bottle of coconut water/water with ice. When i walked outside, I literally said “Hello Moon” because it was right there glaring from above.  When running is concerned, the presence of the moon is generally a bad thing, but I was so glad to see it… and so little of the sunlight.

I was supposed to run 5 miles… but after about 34 minutes I check the distance on my phone and it told me 0.00 miles.  Oops.

My strategy was to assume 12 minute miles and go a bit farther than I thought I should actually go.  There was no way that I was getting home and finding out that I had only run 4.8 miles!

Mile 1 felt amazing.

Mile 2 felt good.

Mile 3 felt long.

Mile 4 was a feat of determination.

Mile 5 was smooth sailing.

Mile 6 felt just fine…

Yep, 6 miles.

I laughed.  I smiled.  I stretched…

Shower, breakfast, house hunting.

And then there was my very first trip to the Dallas Farmer’s Market.

I have lived my entire life (except 1 year and 6 months) in Dallas and I had never been to the market.

So, I enrolled my personal Dallas tour guide to take me.

OH MY PRODUCE!  I was in heaven. I could have spent 3 hours there.

I am told that this is the only place that anyone should ever buy tomatoes.

I got some peaches and scallop squash there too.

Luckily I was out of bread, because I got this loaf of fresh bread too.

I managed to eat a piece of bread and a peach before I even got back home.

But, what to do with scallop squash?


I remembered a meal that I had a Dream Cafe of squash stuffed with rice, nuts, and raisins.

I was out of raisins and did not want to cook any rice, so I subbed dried berry blend and apricots and bulgur.

Baked Scallop Squash with Bulgar, Dried Fruit, and Nuts

4 scallop squash, washed and sliced in half with seeds removed

1 c cooked bulgar

1/4 package of tempeh, grated finely

2 T pecans, chopped

2 T dried apricots chopped

2 T dried berries or raisins

1 T lemon juice

1 T balsamic vinegar

1. Mist squash with olive oil and s&p; Bake at 350 until tender

2. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl.

3. Add stuffing into the squash’s empty middle and put back in oven for 5 minutes

4. EAT!

This was good… I ate 3 little halves and was very pleased with how it turned out!  I would highly recommend mixing in a soft cheese like bleu or gorganzola (if you do that dairy thing).

Coffee plans with Ashley…

Dinner plans with Megan and Donna…

It was a busy day that ended at Sprout’s where I intended to get yogurt and peanut butter.  I managed to forget the pb and buy many other things instead. Oops.


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