2013 New Year’s resolutions

I make New Year’s resolutions every year.

Resolutions to eat better, to exercise more, to wake up earlier, to pluck my eyebrows… regularly.

Blah, blah, blah…

I have yet to keep and/or accomplish a New Year’s resolution. I doubt 2013 is my year to change my ways, but let’s be hopeful.

Here are my New Year’s resolutions… (Notice how I’m not doing crap about my eyebrows.)

Resolution #1: Commit to better health and hygiene habits

No. I am not resolving to brush my teeth. I do that anyway. I should probably floss more…

But I am resolving to take better care of my hair, skin and nails…Yes. I want to stop biting my nails. I did it once! I can do it again.

To consider this resolution a success, I will have used lotion at least every other day. I should also probably get a haircut… split ends… they exist.

Resolution #2: Eat better, exercise more, yada yada yada…

Well. Of course, I want to lose weight.

Goal: Fit. In. My. Jeans. I miss denim.

Here’s a break down with helpful links…

I’m not going for triathlete in 2013, but I would settle for regular old athlete. Settle = celebrate.

Resolution #3: Stop boredom eating

I will give up having relatively decent looking fingernails (let’s face it, they’ll never be pretty) if I can stop stop stop eating when I’m bored.

I would really like that a bunch.

Resolution #4: Master the art of preparing dried beans, lentils and rice

I cannot cook dried beans, dried lentils or, most recently, rice. Regular old rice. Messed that noise up.

I know these things are healthy and inexpensive so I should eat them, but to eat them means they must taste good. The “taste good” is where I get a little backwards.

Resolution #5: The financial resolution

Save more money. Spend less money. Use a real budget that makes sense and whatnot… Mint.com, people. Mint.com.

Five resolutions for 2013. Just five.

If I stop biting my nails and/or stop boredom eating, and if I use lotion so my skin doesn’t suck, and if I make ONE lentil dish that doesn’t taste awful, I will consider these resolutions successful. Also if I pay off some debt… for the financial resolution I threw in to make it seem like I’m responsible.

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2013? Tackling any big ones this year?

Running Streak Week 1: Shin splints, sickness and a pinched butt nerve

Today is Day 9 of my Runner’s World running streak, and I have NOT run nine miles.

Let me ‘splain…

I started my running streak on Saturday, December 1, when I ran an 11:59-mile for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. I was super proud of myself. I felt good. I wasn’t too sore so I figured I’d be fine for setting a 12-minute pace for the rest of the week.

On Sunday, December 2, I ran a 9:48-mile in my neighborhood on the track I had mapped out earlier in the week.

Yeah.

A 9:48.

I mapped my mile wrong. There is NO WAY I maintained that pace. I knew something was wrong when I had only run to two and a half songs and saw my house.

On Monday, Husband and I spent the majority of the evening at Carmax signing paperwork for a replacement vehicle after we killed ours. (Not my new car, my husband’s older car.) And then we went to his parents’ house to return his mother’s car, which we were borrowing, and they made us yummy sandwiches, and we didn’t get home until 8:30.

So I didn’t run on Monday.

On Tuesday, I had to work late, and I didn’t get home until 6:30, and, by that time, I was so exhausted from running around and driving everywhere for work all day that I passed out when I got home. I think I was in bed and asleep at 8.

So I didn’t run on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I was so determined to run that I went straight to the gym after work and attempted to put in three 12-minute miles on the treadmill, and then go to yoga.

Let’s just say I ran one mile at 12:40, and the rest of the miles were a weird limping jog that I can’t even describe as actual movement so I didn’t time them.

And I didn’t make it to yoga.

In addition to being overly busy at work and with life things, I was also beginning to feel a bit under the weather. Everyone I knew was sick with something or had a cold so I was bound to get it.

On Thursday, I actually got sick and battled a headache and stomach ache all day. It was awful. I didn’t run on Thursday.

On Friday, I went back to the gym, feeling a tad better and able to breathe through my nose again, but the treadmill… it hurt me. I ran 0.62 of a mile and had to stop to walk because the shin splints were back in FULL FORCE. I walked to recover and finished out the mile at 13:32.

On Saturday, I slept through my alarm (which I later learned I had set so it wouldn’t make noise… I don’t know why) so I missed Power Yoga and decided to clean the house before I went for my mile. It was a LOVELY day and I felt great so I was pretty excited about running to the park. I thought about taking my dog…

Then… the pinched butt nerve… it struck like lightning and sent me sprawling across the floor while I was dusting. I laid on my living room floor and whined for a good five minutes with my dog sitting next to me whining because he knew we weren’t going to the park.

POOR HIM. (Right now he’s face planting in the floor in what is possibly the most adorable way a puppy can sleep so I’m less mad at him for getting miffed with me.)

I’m officially on rest now, and NOT at all happy about it.

I hope by resting my shins and my butt (yes I’m resting my butt) that I will be OK to run on Monday and for the rest of the week. I am also buying a bunch of athletic tape so I can tape up my arches and stirrup my shins so my shin splints will hurt less.

I have no idea how to un-pinch the nerve in my rear end. It got me again this morning while I was getting dressed, and I almost face planted in my closet.

I swear…

I’m not ready to give up.

But I hate that I missed miles (six total but really I’m not going to count two of them), and I hate that I didn’t improve my time, and I hate hate hate hate that I’m sitting on my couch in pain.

I can’t give up. I love running. I know I’m not a runner, but I so want to be one that I desperately want this 31-day-of-running idea to work.

What running goals are you struggling with? How do you get past all the things in your way?

I set my PR during the Jingle Bell Run

I started the Runner’s World running streak this morning with the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. I pledge to run one mile every day starting today!

My goal for the race was to finish with a 12-minute mile, but I would have been OK with a 12:30 mile since I haven’t been much of a runner lately, and since I’m so disgustingly out of shape.

I finished the race with the race clock at 12:34. I felt pretty good about that time, but I knew it wasn’t my time. My race bib had a chip connected to it that timed my run rather than the race’s run.

(I love this chip thing! I didn’t cross the starting line right after the race began because there were SO many people, but I didn’t have to figure out any of that time because my race bib did it for me.)

And OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS… my race time: 11:59!

I finished my one-mile under my goal time! Under is better than over, even if it was only by one second.

…just makes me think I could have sprinted that last stretch a little faster. Ah, well!

I had plenty of encouragement at the start…

Jingle Bell Run in Wichita KS

First time I’ve ever seen that sign in person. Guess that’s one step along the way to becoming a real runner.

Or spending less time on Pinterest…

One of my co-workers also ran the one-mile with his children. (He ran a 7:22, and I’m pretty sure his daughter beat him. She’s fast!) As I was running, I came up on his son, who had stopped running and started walking, which I was told he might want to do because he’s not as into running as his sister. I waved ‘hello’ as I passed him, and then he started running again.

I asked: “Are you going to beat me?” He said: “Oh, yeah.” And he did.

Beaten, with intent, by an 8-year-old. If it wasn’t so cute, I’d be mad at myself. I’ll just say I let him win.

Downside to the charity racing gig? The crowed.

It was soooooo crowded, and the track had several tight turns that people all tried to go around at once. I actually had to walk through a turn because there were so many people around me. And we crossed a few bike bridges which just are not wide enough to run through.

Future reference: I don’t do well in crowds.

Before I went to the race, I mapped out a one-mile route in my neighborhood so I wouldn’t have to go to the gym and run on a treadmill every day for 31 days. That just sounds awful.

My goal over the next month will be to reduce my one-mile time by one minute. Is that a good goal? I would like to run a 10:59 mile on January 1, 2013. (Actually, I wouldn’t mind running a 10-minute mile…but let’s be realistic.)

I also practiced 70 minutes of Power Yoga before the race. Do you think my time would have been better or worse if I hadn’t warmed up with some serious sweat at the Y?

I’m going on a running streak… starting December 1

I am going on a running streak with Runner’s World.

Last year, Runner’s World hosted the first Holiday Running Streak, which has runners pledge to run one mile every day from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day.

As you know, I have high hopes of turning from “unprofessional runner” into “hard-core athlete.”

As you also know, I have commitment issue with fitness, and I walk out on our relationship almost every other day. Exercise is real irritating. Diet? Don’t even get me started.

I truly want to be fit, but I desperately need someone to tell me what to do, which is why I’m joining Runner’s World readers and runners across the country to pledge to run one mile every day.

But I’m starting December 1.

Why? I’ll tell you.

I signed up to run the one-mile race for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis on December 1.

(If you’re feeling giving, donate to the cause here. My goal is to raise $100.)

I am not much of a go-getter when it comes to races, and I do not feel the need to pay nor do I have the means to fund myself to run in a real race, so I just race for charity now. Yay!

Wait. Why am I starting on December 1? Right. I was telling you.

First, it is currently already after Thanksgiving.

Second, I like starting things on a 1st. You know… like the first of the month, first of the year, first of the week…

Third, I believe running one mile every day for 31 days is a good goal for me. It sounds less hard when I say it that way.

Finally, I don’t have a time to beat! I don’t have a PR! I plan to use the December 1 run/walk to set my PR. I think someone will be there with a timer-thingy.

I’m shooting for a 12-minute mile. (I know, I know. But I’m out of shape, and haven’t run a 9-minute mile since high school. I know my limit.)

Will running one mile every day for 31 days turn me into a hard-core athlete? Totally.

OK. Maybe not. But it’s a step in the right direction.

Are you going to join the Holiday Running Streak? Check out their message board!

Preparing for a race

One of my goals this year is to run in a real race. I plan to run the 5K in the Prairie Fire Marathon in October.

However, if I get good enough, and I will get good enough, I might run the half marathon!

In order to prepare for my race, I have to time my miles.

I haven’t timed my mile in years.

Why?

I do not need to know how slow I am. That’s why.

But I have to face the numbers if I want to do well in my race, especially if I want to pace myself properly.

How-To Time Your Mile
Runner’s World’s One Magic Mile recommends that a runner should time his or her mile every one to three weeks to track progress and set realistic goals.

First, warm up by jogging for 10 minutes, and then doing four 100-meter accelerations. The first time I did an acceleration was at Shocker Fitness with Ashley. Oh, I miss her. And I miss the Shocker Fitness crew.

After the warm up, time your mile and your normal running pace.

Take the first lap easy to reserve energy for the finish. On the track at the YMCA, I will have to take the first four laps easy, which equals one lap on a regular track.

Your timed mile can be used to predict your pace for your 5K race and for long runs.

Timing my mile and preparing for my race means I have to get off the treadmill and get out of the park and hit the track.

The track at WSU where I worked out with Shocker Fitness is usually closed to the public so I will have to find a different track. The track at the YMCA is much smaller than a regular track and a mile is approximately 11 laps, which is fine…

But I prefer four laps with long straightaways and big curves. Runner’s World provided a Beginner’s Guide for track training, and I love the advice: stride on the straightaways and jog around the curves.

Maybe I can find a local high school who will let me use the track at night!

Build a better sandwich

I love Subway. I love Jimmy John’s. I love both Jason’s and Cinnamon’s Delis. In general, if it serves sandwiches, I love it.

That’s why I love my husband so much… BAM!

Ho ho, I make myself laugh! (And I also make all the sandwiches.)

Homefries

Subway boasts its nutritious and low-calorie sandwiches, but, unfortunately, not all sandwiches are created like Subway sandwiches. Some subs are better for you and other subs are just tasty!

I want both.

Matthew G. Kadey for Runner’s World created six super sandwich recipes for runners on the go to burn fat, lose weight and replace lost nutrients.

I’m in love with the Fig Prosciutto Sandwich. I need to eat that. A lot.

If you want to build a better sandwich, without all the aioli  fuss, use these ingredients:

  • Whole grain bread
  • Full-flavor greens, such as arugula and spinach
  • Fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, avocados and peppers
  • Hummus, avocado spread, vinegar or low-fat dressing

Load on the greens and vegetables, be light with the spreads and choose a deli meat that low in fat and preservatives. Skip the cheese and heavy, loaded-with-calories dressings.

Snack on an apple side or cup of soup. No chips (unless they’re Kale Chips) next to your healthy sandwich!

What is your favorite sandwich? Where do you get your on-the-go subs?

Summer Series: Arm workouts

I am less than two weeks away from spending my Saturdays and Sundays enjoying the sunshine by my grandparents’ pool.

Less than two weeks away from taking afternoon walks.

Less than two weeks away from not worrying about school so I have time to enjoy sunshine and take afternoon walks.

And to show of my sexy summer arms!

Sexy summer arms take work! And, if I want to wear my go-to summer outfit –jeans, a ribbed tank and flip-flops –then I need to start building my biceps and toning my triceps.

Get your arms and shoulders ready for baring them to the summer sun –don’t forget the sunscreen –with these weight-bearing arm workouts.

An added benefit to building upper body strength is becoming a better runner. Runners with strong arms and shoulders better maintain speed through their races.

I want to run in the Prairie Fire 5K in October. I might consider running the half if I’m ready… and if have enough confidence to complete the 13.1-mile race.

My legs are stronger than my arms, and I need to work my arms harder, but I’m not completely weak.

Poker at my house plays for push-ups. I lost 15 last weekend and pumped out my push-ups like a big girl.