Thursday, March 7, 2013

Morning vs. afternoon workouts

I think I'm finally going to admit that I don't like afternoon workouts. Today I got in to the gym at 4 and it was such a struggle to get in the groove. I felt like quitting early, which scared me, because I haven't felt that yet. I just know if those sorts of feelings keep piling up eventually this fitness kick will come to an end. Fortunately, at about 30 mins I got in the mood. However, this means I need to make some changes -- back to mornings.

I just don't know how I am going to make that work! I have to study at a minimum 6-8 hours a day and I have to do that out of the house (from past experience, staying at home to study is the most inefficient thing I could do!). I also don't want to sit around in my sweat to study. I tried a schedule where I did gym first, shower at home, and back out to the library/coffee shop to study, which worked great workout-wise. However, my studying suffered (which I was willing to let happen while the stakes were lower... but now they are not. I have boards in June, which is the biggest exam I will ever take. This is no SAT or MCAT... I am not exaggerating.) so I switched to study, gym, study. But working out has been extremely difficult - I can't push myself as hard or run as well at 4 PM.

Not sure what I will do.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Exam week recap

I'm writing at the end of a pretty crazy week - some positives, some negatives to talk about. I had a block final exam on Thursday (counted 78% towards my final grade - yikes!) and I spent the weekend at my mom's house.

The good:

  • I ate really well during exam week. I ate a large salad and balanced dinner every day. I did not indulge in sweets or comfort food at all. In the past, I would give myself free reign on what I'd eat, with a it's-finals-I-deserve-it attitude.
  • I worked out twice, the second time directly after the exam. Also unprecedented and definitely made me feel pretty virtuous. I did youtube workouts two of the other days, which was awesome (from sarahfit and blogilates).
  • Grades were up within 24 hrs and I did great! So in the end, I managed to keep everything on my plate balanced. I do think I was more stressed for this exam than I normally would have been, and part of that is the fact that my fitness goals are a new priority (mostly I get very tired after working out and can't get in the same amount of study time as I used to - tiredness after workouts is a whole post I'll have to do sometime.)

The bad

  • I ate incredibly unhealthy meals this weekend. My mom loves to take me out to eat and it's really hard to say no (impossible, really). She hardly goes out to eat unless she's treating me, so it's hard to deny her a chance to eat at her favorite places (as I'm typing this I can see how well my mom can convince me to do what she wants! In fact, my mom and my fitness goals is also a post on its own) Unfortunately, I now feel bloaty and gross and guilty. I know in the large scheme of things, these two days are blips on the radar as long as I get back into the usual. But I can also definitely see how losing momentum can completely derail a person.

For next week: I am doing an intense week of studying for board exams I will be taking in June. It really sucks that I'll be spending my spring break this way (!) but ya do what ya gotta do, I guess. However, I am also going to make sure I go to the gym/ every day. And I can't forget that I have a 5k on March 17th!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

11:08/Protein pancake experiment

Couple of things:

1) Ran my fastest mile yet: 11:08. I'm so excited - 3 months ago I could barely run for a minute.

2) Huge exam coming up next week. I hope I can still get to the gym every day...

3) BUT so far I have not gone crazy on the diet. In fact, I had a really good eating day today, which considering that I was out studying all day, is super impressive. Wish I had taken a picture of my salad at lunch (It was from a salad place kind of like Chop't). I also tried my hand at a protein pancake, a recipe I have seen in a few places. I tried this recipe from It didn't turn out as well as I had hoped - but since I changed things willy-nilly to accommodate ingredients I had on hand I'm not surprised. I'm definitely making a blueberry variant tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snowed in - hopped on the treadmill

Today was kind of a crazy day: 1) It snowed! for the first time in 20 years or something. 2) I ran a 10 minute interval at 5.5 mph on the treadmill. I bumped up my 5 min interval to 10, which is awesome! Granted, I only did one interval, but that's all I wanted to do today. Tomorrow (hopefully the snow is a freak thing and we'll be back to beautiful running weather) I'll try to do 30 minutes (so 3 intervals).

On the calorie side of things though... I tarnished an otherwise awesome day with a sugar cookie. Just one cookie, you ask? Nooo. Post-gym I met up with my boyfriend who was eating a breakfast burrito from Yumi's. Their breakfast burritos are sooo amazing - but probably also qualify as lard bombs. I had a bite and though I staved off the temptation to buy one, as soon as I got home I made my own lard bomb. The damage - 2 strips of turkey bacon (70 cals), 1 wheat thinwich (110 cals), with cheese (110 cals I'm guessing), 2 eggs (120 calories), and olive oil (?? I did go heavy on it by accident). Sooooo huge healthy eating sidetrack, but it was delicious. I'm hoping that since I indulged, I won't be having a similar craving for a while.

Fingers crossed for a good running day tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Excited post!

I was driving home today in evening rush hour and I happened to notice my arms on the steering wheel.... there's the teensiest bit of definition! It made me so happy and excited and all motivated - I seriously wanted to be home so I could try some push ups. It's the little things I guess!

I haven't weighed myself in about a month - because I am trying to make sure that I don't get discouraged by the number, which has happened in the past. I am planning on waiting to step on the scale when I am truly excited and confident about some other aspect of my body or physical achievement so that no matter what the scale says I'll be ok. That time may be coming up soon if my arm excitement is anything to go by!

Update on the 5k - looks like I've convinced a total of 3 people to run it with me, so I'll have a little team on the 19th! This race is sounding more and more fun :)

I stopped by the grocery store on my way home and bought a few treats for after I run this week - 2 cliff bars (white chocolate macademia nut sooo good and chocolate brownie to try) and a single serving of coconut water (on sale, kind of an exotic post-run hydration thing?).

Woohoo! Baby muscles!

5k planned for 3/19!

I finally got a taker on the 5k! So I'll be running on March 19th for a charity that funds ALS research! My goal is just to run the whole thing (no walking intervals). This is pretty ambitious because I basically only have three weeks to go from 5 minute intervals to no breaks! The first 5k I participated in almost 3 months ago took me 42-ish minutes to complete (I was doing 1 minute jog/1 minute walk). I'm currently doing a 39-ish minute 5k (I know, not really much improvement, but I'm focusing on endurance first... I also think that the 42 minutes was probably faster than I was actually capable of and that the whole race environment motivated me to go faster? We'll see if I get a little race day bump this time too then!)

I'll have to come up with some sort of running schedule to make this happen. Coming soon!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Love letter to my gym/weird workout today

No run yesterday after all - was still feeling sniffle-y and just didn't want to go outside. I've read before that if your symptoms are all above the neck that you're ok to exercise, so technically I should have been fine for a run. But I'm ok with skipping yesterday. I went to the gym today to do an arms workout. Still wasn't feeling 100% so that was a bit distracting.

What was worse though, was when a trainer came over to give me some tips... He said my form for triceps needed monitoring and that one of the exercises I was doing was useless (I'm not sure what'd you call that exercise, but it's an exercise a trainer at another gym taught me!). It was kind of disheartening. I definitely do want to make sure I'm doing everything properly and feedback that helps me do that is a good thing, but it kind of bothered me that he had been watching me and evaluating me, if that makes sense. I ended up leaving a little early because I felt uncomfortable eep!

In general though, I am in love with my new gym. It is pretty small and half the times I'm there, there's less than 8 people total, which is AMAZING! When you swipe your keycard it tells you how many times you've been in so far this month, which actually is a little motivator for me to keep that count high :) A quirk about the place is that most of the folks who go there are older adults doing cardiac monitoring or rehab stuff. I am so comfortable at this gym because of that - I never feel silly for trying new things out and failing, or worry about how I look, or have to wait for equipment. I had a (mostly unused) membership at LA fitness before and the thought of working out in a sea of neon glitter tanks and grunting frat boys (it was near the university) would often keep me away!

I actually remembered to have a protein shake post-workout today! I almost never remember because I'm willing to chow down on anything after the gym. I also have a mango stashed away for later :)