Showing posts with label dishthefit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dishthefit. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dream runner

Tuesdays are pretty fun in the blogging world. There's a couple of linkups and no matter what the topic, I am tasked to keep it light. This week, I'm linking up with Jill Conyers and Jessica Joy. The subject? Come up with 5 people we would most like to workout with.

Oh man. I imagine this is kind of like filling out one of those online dating applications. Not that I'd know anything about that. I'm married. But in all seriousness, what would I look for in a dream workout partner? And do I want it to be a runner? A yoga instructor? A crossfit instructor? A cyclist? A guru?

I decided to pick one of each. But for each person I chose, I looked for the following attributes: they needed to be a respected leader or performer in their field and they must have a sense of humor. Being a sports psychologist would be a plus. Of course, if I have the guru, I won't need the sports psychology...


Who do I want to run with? You know I like to run alone...Should I pick someone famous? If I had to pick, I want someone who has been running for a long time, someone who has run all the distances (not including an ultra), who will share their experiences and knowledge about running with me, and will keep me occupied with funny stories while I try to do my part to keep up with them. There's some pretty inspirational women that I'd love to meet: Katherine Switzer, Linda Sommers Smith, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Deena Kastor, Jenny Hadfield, Lauren Fleishman, Shalane Flanigan, and Kara Goucher, just to name a few. They'd all be so much faster than me though. So if I had to pick someone to run with, just to pick her brain, and laugh a ton, it would be Beth Risdon from Shut Up and Run. I've been following her blog for several years, and she never fails to put a smile on my face with her posts. I admire her grit and tenacity as she pushes through tough runs---and doesn't mind sharing stories about "the runs". Ahem. No pun intended. I think I'd be totally entertained. Unless her running personality is completely different from her blogger personality. Stranger things have happened.  Plus I think her pace isn't much faster than mine. Win!


And she drinks Phaedra beer! Image courtesy
True story. I don't know much about cycling. I just hop on my bike and ride. Last year, I took the plunge and bought toe clips and shoes for my bike. Now I feel 100% legit. Ok, not so much. Remember the flat tire incident from last summer? My husband had to come pick me up and change it for me? This is probably the area that I really need the most guidance. I don't really know any famous women cyclists either. But I do know about Chrissie Wellington, who is an amazing triathlete and Ironman. I think I could learn a lot from her, if she didn't leave me in her dust. It would be cool to meet her. But on a ride, the person I'd most like to spin with is Phaedra Kennedy, from Blisters and Black Toenails. Phaedra is a accomplished triathlete and I've been following her blog for about a year. I think she could teach me a lot. And she seems like a lot of fun. I bet she can change a tire in no time flat. No pun intended. Again. And she has a really cool bike. I hope she wouldn't laugh at mine...

Yoga Instructor

Oh, this is another tough one. There are a lot of yoga celebrities (yogalebrities?) with DVDs and videos. Rodney Yee would be awesome, but he's a little too much yoga for me. Christine Felstead also is a great instructor but she's a little dry for me. The person I'd love to do yoga with is actually famous, but she's a runner and a yogi, and I think that would be perfect. Sage Rountree has books, DVDs, a monthly online yoga subscription plan, and she teaches a lot of yoga for athletes classes. She's warm and explains things really well. She seems down to earth and normal, which is a plus in the yoga world. 


courtesy Buckshot Images
Who comes to mind when you think about a trainer? Jillian Michaels? She scares me. I don't like that. I know very little about the world of personal training. All my knowledge comes from my weekly training sessions with Becky. I'm sure there's CrossFit celebrities, just like in any sport. But I'm going to stick with what works. I can't imagine anyone being more knowledgeable or effective than my coach. 


What the hell is a guru? And how do I find one? I imagine that a guru is someone who guides you spiritually and otherwise, through life. Kind of like a therapist, I think. Have you read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. The book is the story of her yearlong quest to find happiness. Since the publication of that book, she has written several other books on happiness. When I read her books, I thought to myself, who doesn't know all this? It seemed almost simplistic. But if you think about it, there are a lot of really unhappy people. Actually, I am a pretty happy person, but I do have this type A++ personality, and it would be nice to have someone to continually remind me to slow down, to be in the moment, to be more accepting of myself and others, to be more patient. I know what I need to do, but I'd love to have someone in my life to help me find ways to be a happier person. 

Coming up with this list was a little tougher than I thought! I'm so blessed to have so many awesome runner and workout friends in my life, that I don't know what more I need. And that's a good thing.

Who would be your dream workout partner(s)? Why?

Here's the link up! Be sure to head over to both hosts to see what other bloggers are saying!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Constant craving....

I have been suffering from a serious case of the rungries lately. Do you know them? When you just can't get enough and need to eat all the food? I'm in training for a half marathon, and have stepped up my training a bit. And I'm HUNGRY. Seriously hungry. All the time.

Actually, a yesterday was a speed work day...
Now in case you're worried about me, well, don't. I eat quite well. Breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. I have a snack drawer at work, stocked with emergency snacks, like almonds and Luna bars. But tonight at dinner, I went back for a second helping of the chicken and dumplings my husband made for dinner. And then I cleaned his bowl. And my son's bowl. My husband says it isn't fair that I can eat all the time and he just smells food and gains weight. Maybe he should run!

Anyways, it's really bad. My office is across the street from this place:

Like the lure of the siren's song...
Chicagoans well know the lure of Portillos. The food is really, really good here. I swear that Portillos sends out smoke signals of hamburgers and french fries to suck customers in. And it smells so good. Damn that easterly wind. Twice in the last week, I've been walking to the parking garage after work and had to smell the food. It took every ounce of self control I had not to turn around and head in the opposite direction towards Portillos. I kid you not. The smell was almost hypnotic. This is so out of character for me. You know I can't eat beef. Yet, I'm willing to sacrifice my GI tract for a Portillo's Italian beef sandwich. I know what would happen if I gave in. Yet, I struggle as I head towards my car.

Left brain: Must go home. Husband making dinner. Healthy meal at home. Beef gives you diarrhea. Garage is this way.

Right brain: But...Portillo's...smells so good...go back....must have grease...

The struggle is real.

I will admit that, for the most part, I do eat a healthy diet. I don't gorge on junk food. I don't restrict myself, but I do eat smart. I do leave room for the things I like, like chocolate and bacon (not together). Ben and Jerry's Karamel Sutra. Bolthouse Farms' Chocolate Protein Shakes (I wrote a post on these magical drinks). But I eat a lot of salads. I've always prided myself on my self control. Lately, though, it's taking me a lot of restraint. When I read Eat and Run by Scott Jurek, I kept thinking to myself, how does he do all that running on a vegan diet? Doesn't he get hungry? Is chocolate vegan?

And let's face it. When you need to eat all the food, what do you reach for? A bowl of broccoli? Maybe Scott Jurek does. And if you do, kudos to you!

For the rest of us, what's a health-minded runner to do when struck with a case of the rungries? Because even worse than the rungries is overdoing it on crappy food, right?

Think about it. We all do it. Overindulge on food or drink, even though we have a long run the next day. I've seen your posts. I may even have posted a few of these myself. It's not a good feeling the day after a splurge, especially if you're going out for a run. Maybe it's a sluggish feeling in the legs. Your get up and go has gone up and went. Maybe it's burping or gas. Even worse, the old "I'll be stopping"--and you'd better hope that a portapotty is available. Either that, or you'll want to wear some Depends. Pray to get through this post overindulgence run intact. And promise that we'll never do it again. Until the next time...

So what's a runner to do? How to overcome temptation? Besides changing jobs? Really, that isn't logical. And imagine me telling people why I left my employer...because I couldn't resist the Portillo's across the street?

Here are 5 tips that I recommend to avoid temptation and those cravings:

  1. Just keep walking away. Willpower is one of my superpowers. I'm committed to running and working out. I extend that commitment to eating healthy too. As hard as it is, I just keep on walking.
  2. Drink lots of water. All day long. I keep a glass of water next to me in my cubby at work. Sometimes when you think you're hungry, you're actually thirsty. Water does a great job of curbing those feelings. 
  3. Eat healthy snacks. I keep a bag of almonds in my office and when I get hungry, I eat a handful. It's amazing how well that little snack curbs my appetite. I don't know what your office is like, but there is always food at mine. Cake, cookies, crap...
  4. Bring your lunch to work. You have so much more control over what you eat if you bring your own food to work than if you visit the cafeteria, or worse...Portillo's. Did I mention they have amazing chocolate cake too?
  5. Indulge yourself but don't beat yourself up over it. I do eat at Portillo's once in a while. Yep, french fries and all. Just don't do it on a regular basis.

BTW, the title of this post is taken from a song by kd lang. I don't think she was singing about Portillo's, tho...

I'm linking this post with the Fit Dish and The Fit Switch!
And Tuesdays on the Run! with MCM mama, Run the Great Wide Somewhere, and My No-Guilt Life!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Staying positive in the winter

Let me just start this post by saying: I'm not, by nature, a positive person. I think that I'm genetically programmed to be negative. Seriously, if there is a negative personality gene, I'm a carrier. After all, I come from a long line of negative people, on my dad's side. I kid you not. Growing up, surrounded by negativity and self-pity, I thought that it was normal for people to complain about everything and feel sorry for themselves. As I got older, I learned that this negativity isn't really socially acceptable, nor is it appropriate. There are so many people who have it worse than me and still have a smile on their face. How do they do it? Awareness is the first step to fixing a problem, and my change in attitude is a continual work in progress. 

One thing I have going for me is that I have a sense of humor. I laugh at everything. Maybe too much! I work at a job where a lot of bad things happen to good people. Not funny, and it can kind of wear on you if you let it. But I also encounter a lot of funny and/or odd situations. When you work with the public, you walk away shaking your head a lot of the time. I'd say that you need a sense of humor to survive in the medical field. Also known as "gallows humor", humor that treats serious or grim subjects in a light or satirical way, it is common to professions that deal with difficult situations. Kind of a coping mechanism, if you think about it...

What are some other coping mechanisms that can be used to promote positivity? Especially in the dark days of winter? It's hard to stay positive when the skies are gray and the temperatures are below freezing. 

Take your run outside!

Winter is here, and that just seems to exacerbate my negativity. It's a lot easier to feel positive and happy when the sun is shining and the air is warm. Truth. A month ago, we had a streak of cloudy days that never seemed to end. As a matter of fact, December 2014 went down on the record books as the cloudiest December ever in Chicago. We saw only 16% sunshine. Sure, it was warmer. But is was gloomy. Lifelong Chicagoans will tell you that if you want to see the sun in the winter, you have deal with the cold. We did have a few sunny days around Christmas, and I could just feel my mood lift. It wasn't that cold either. Getting outside for a run on some of those sunny days really helped put me in a more positive frame of mind. This is one of the reasons I run outside all year long. There is something to be said for being outside in the natural light, even if the sun isn't shining. Actually, research backs me here (there are more studies listed on the page if you chase the link). Light therapy has been mentioned as a possible treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Studies comparing light therapy to outdoor light exposure show the benefits of natural, outdoor light to help lift one's mood. This is no surprise to me. I always feel better after a run outside, even in the snow or pouring rain. 

And then there's that...

Start having more positive thoughts!

Christine Felstead, whose yoga video, Yoga for Runners, Intermediate Program, I do on a regular basis, addresses the use of positivity when pushing through a tough pose. "It helps, "she says, "to have more positive thoughts". Think about it. If you are holding a pose for a long time, and you tell yourself how hard it is, yes, it feels hard. She also suggests focusing on breathing through the tough poses. What about those runs where you are having a tough time and you start feeling tired? Tell me you haven't started thinking about how tired you are, how hard this is...and you start to slow down. Maybe you even tell yourself that you can't do it. Maybe even stop. Berate yourself for being a wimp. Now turn that around. Instead of telling yourself how bad your run feels, remind yourself of another tough run that you pushed through or a race where you pulled it out for a PR. Remember that your body listens to what your brain is saying. Or you can do what Becky made me do last summer during marathon training. "For every negative thought you have or word that comes out of your mouth," she proposed, "you have to do 10 burpees." And she meant it. Everyone knows I hate burpees, with a passion. So this was a really good incentive for me. During my training runs, if I started to feel bad, I reminded myself about the punishment. And that reminder turned my thoughts around. Mile 23 during the Chicago marathon, when my hamstrings were yacking at me, I had a mental image of me getting down in the middle of Michigan Avenue and doing 10 burpees. That image made me laugh, and the rest is history.


Wear bright colors.

Vogue magazine had a great article on wearing bright colors to lift your mood. Now that I've stunned all of you into thinking I read Vogue (I don't), let me just say that this article was preaching to the choir. It was fun to read because the author talked about what various colors do for your mood. For example, orange (hello sunshine!) helps with being social and helps bring you out of your shell. Orange is the best color for helping you adapt to change. As if I need any help getting out of my shell, according to the author, orange will do it for me. I love my orange running tops and instinctively pull them out on a gloomy day. Bringing my own sunshine, as I like to say. And what about my favorite of all colors, red? Red, she says, is energizing! Well, ok then! What better color to put on for a long run on a gloomy, cold day? Green is "balancing". Pink is "the color of love and kindness", and yellow is a "joy ray"! Thinking I need to get some yellow tops. What about black? While black can be "a security blanket", black has "a depressive quality" to it. Think about that the next time you are shopping for running clothes, especially for the winter! 

Bringing my own sunshine!

Listen to positive music

I'm guilty of being a fan of rock and roll to push me through my runs, especially songs with heavy guitar riffs. But have you ever listened to some of the lyrics? For example, a song that I like by Velvet Revolver, Fall to Pieces, has lyrics like this: "Every time I'm falling down, all alone, I fall to pieces". Not exactly inspiring! Or this one, from New Politics, Everywhere I Go, which is a gem to run to but also not exactly inspiring with lyrics like this: "Downtown hopping fences, I smashed a window on a Lexus, now 5-0s on my tail but they movin' like a snail, I got some shit to sell but everybody's gotta get by..." you get the drift. I take those songs with a grain of salt. But how about some positive songs to lift your mood? Like Pharrell's Happy? Doesn't it just make you want to clap while you're running? How about an oldie but a goodie, ELO's Don't Bring Me Down? You can't help but smile with that one and it's got a great beat to run to! Sunlight by The Magician is a new find for me, and another positive one! The video (click on the link) will put a smile on your face, too...

Hang out with positive people

This is easier said than done. But I noticed over the holidays that my family tried to zap my mojo. My dad is generally negative and when I talk to him, trying to turn the conversation around is an exercise in futility, although it does force me to be positive in my responses. It's just exhausting talking with him sometimes. My teenage sons had way too much free time on their hands and I had a few sleepless nights, although as far as I know, they stayed out of trouble. There were some tense moments with my younger sisters. I came home from the final family gathering and told my husband that I refuse to let them make me feel bad about myself.  On New Years' Day, I met my running friends for a planned run, and it did my heart good. 

I love these ladies!

Say it, forget it; write it, regret it

Before you hit send on a post, re-read what you wrote. Is it something you'd want to read in your feed? On a blog? I follow a lot of pages, and I've noticed that some people's posts are always negative. No matter what they've done for the day, they're complaining. I get it, it's hard to stay positive when you've had a bad run or you're injured (been there!) but I believe there is always something positive in every situation. One of the page admins I follow on Facebook has a broken ankle, but she's started a New Year's challenge and posts ab workouts and a different yoga pose for people to try every day. I know it can't be easy for her, but sometimes forcing yourself to present your thoughts in a positive way can turn it around for you too. In December, when I was feeling so overwhelmed by the holidays, work, and life, I tried really hard to keep my posts positive. It was a challenge, for sure, but it was almost therapeutic, trying to figure out a way to put it out there without turning people off. It's ok to have a bad day and vent about it, and we all do it, but don't make a habit of it. It will bring you down.

And those selfies I post on my Facebook page? They force me to put a smile on my face. And that always lifts my mood! You can't smile and be crabby at the same time, right? 

Red. Energizing for a snowy, blowy day!

Linking this post up with Jill Conyers The Fit Dish!