Run…don’t walk!

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Week four day one completed. Today was a day I had been dreading. I have crossed a threshold in my training. I ran over double what I walked. This was a huge accomplishment in three/four weeks coming from a girl who got winded walking to the mailbox.

Today I was breathing better. This is another huge thing for me. Let me give you a few reasons. I have asthma. Its not horrible, but it is there. I also recently moved from sea level to almost 6,000 feet. In Colorado you have to take time to get used to breathing again. The air is thinner here, and so my training is helping not only my fitness but my lungs as well! I feel stronger, not only in my lungs but my legs and core as well. I did a plank yesterday for over 60 seconds. Then I did supermans with almost no trouble.

I am just so encouraged by everyone reading my blog and cheering on my progress. It really means a lot to know that someone out there is reading this. Thank you. Thank you for supporting me.

-Lydia

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Lets talk about music

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Today was the last day of week three. It went very well. On the last stretch I found that zen-like place and was grinning like an idiot for about 20 minutes! In light of that lets talk about something that can help our runs go smoother: Our musical choice!

I have the most eclectic running mix ever. From Jay-Z to Dolly Parton. From The Beatles to Ke$ha. From classical piano to The Spice Girls (also with a good measure of Daft Punk and Dead Maus thrown in for pumping up my speed!) I have been finding that there is not a bad choice when it comes to running (except maybe a dirge…that could end badly.)  When I am starting out I prefer to thrown on some electronica and dance to get my blood flowing. As I go along I do like some poppy surprises (MMbob Anyone?) but my real first choice right now I found on Tumbler.

I friend of mine (with impeccable musical taste) posted this video and it BLEW MY FRIKIN MIND! If you are musical nerd (former music major/ chior/handbells/vocalist etc..) you will be in sheer awe of this song.

If you (like me) like to pretend that you are in the race of your life, cameras flashing, video rolling, friends cheering, enemies weeping, then you should download this cd. Its glorious and has helped me keep pace several times.

Now another for good measure…..and because it is also gloriously beautiful (and makes me grin like a fool)

What is your favorite running music?

-Lydia

You can feel sorry for yourself tomorrow. Today we run!

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I had a mantra today.

“You are not a wimp!”

I repeated it to myself over and over. I repeated it until I got the flipping message.

When I started my warm up walking today (c25k week 3 day 2) I had a dull ache in my calves. By the middle of my workout it had escalated from a dull ache to a roar of pain. Pain that was radiating from my legs. If it were a cartoon they would have been red and steamy hot with little squiggle lines emanating from them. I considered quitting. I considered it quite seriously, but when that little phone told me to start running, for some reason, I took off running.

I don’t know if its the submissive in me, or if it was just sheer force of will. When told to I ran.

I am now doing research as to why my legs hurt so badly. Its not shin splints, because its in the back and outer edges of my legs. It might be muscle strain, or lack of hydration, or improper stretching. At any rate. I have taken some ibuprofen, drunk copious amounts of water, and will now ice down my calves until they decide that they would like to rejoin the party as considerate citizens.

As for me feeling sorry for myself.

I can always do that tomorrow.

Today, I ran!

-Lydia
photo via :pintrest.com/weheartit

Husband to the rescue!

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Couch to 5k week three day one…..has been rocked! I told you the other day about how scared I have been to work up to running for more than the minimum amount. Three minutes of solid running has had me in a tizzy for days now. I have been in fear of the long stretch. Today that fear was conquered.

In case you are not familiar Week three consists of 5 minute warm up walk, then run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes rinse and repeat. It sounds quite terrifying when its double what you have run before. Well, my hero came in and encouraged the crap out of me! My husband ran with me today. I have discovered that this is way more fun than running alone. Mainly due to the fact that you can crack jokes together while you are walking. Also, he held my phone so I wasn’t constantly looking down checking my time, which also helped.

Just having that support, that friendly arm to lean on, helped so immensely that I am thinking of baking the man a cake! He kept me motivated. He also told me that I was probably running too fast for a beginner….that was an ego boost. I told him that I felt stupid running any slower than I was.

We ended our training with a quick race to the end. A sprint of pure fun. And it was fun. It was one of the first times I have laughed during all of this training.

Anyway, today marks two weeks gone on my journey to health. I feel better, stronger, faster……all those other adjectives. I also feel more positive. More positive about life, about where I am, and about my abilities. Thank you all for helping me get there, and please join me for a lot more weeks of fitness!

-Lydia

Recipes? Really?

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Today I took it a bit easy. I ran some errands, lifted a few weights. Nothing fancy. The real reason I wanted to write to you all is that I have a new recipe that I made up myself!!!! WOOT. So yeah. I have been hearing about this lovely grain called quinoa for quite a while now. i just haven’t gotten up the nerve to cook with it yet. A few facts about quinoa.

“A recently rediscovered ancient “grain” native to South America, quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas,” who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa’s amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, this “grain” may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.” (Sourced from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=142&tname=foodspice)

I think that sounds like a superfood don’t you? I made a really heathly meal last night that you could make vegan if you forgo the chicken! So here it is!

Quinoa lettuce wraps supreme (Serves 3-4)

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

2 chicken breasts

2 onions

2 cloves of garlic

one fresh bunch of Kale

Olive oil (for sauteing)

Veggie oil (for cooking the Chicken)

1 Tbs cumin

1 tsp dill

2 tbs Soy sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Head of Romaine lettuce for serving

Lemon wedges, capers, and tomatoes for serving.

 

Boil quinoa in saucepan till soft (20-25 minutes). Set aside. Chop chicken into bite size chunks. Cook them stir fry style in the vegetable oil till cooked through. Set aside doused in the soy sauce. Saute onion till translucent then add garlic, Kale, Dill, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook till the kale has shrunk significantly (about 5 minutes). Add Quinoa and chicken, stir. Fill Romaine leaves with mixture and serve with Lemon wedges and capers.

Yum

 

I hope you enjoy.

 

Lydia

It gets better

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Today, I didn’t want to run. Shocking….I know. I woke up at 7 as per usual. I made myself a lovely breakfast (yogurt with strawberries and almonds, and my morning glass of tea.) I watched the news (aka The Daily Show…) And I contemplated how it would feel to run in 30 degree weather. (Not great it turns out.) So, I waited two hours for it to warm up during which time I wrote a chapter on my novel, knit a few rows on my shawl, and ate three bites of my breakfast (TERRIBLE IDEA.)

It came about 9 am and I knew it was time to run. So I threw on every piece of running clothing I own ( t-shirt, sports bra, undershirt, insulated jacket, leggings, shorts, socks, shoes..) I was warm, for about a minute. I got outside and it had warmed up just a bit. My warm up walk felt kinda meh, but I thought; “This will get better.” It sort of did.

The first three runs were torture. Pure, unadulterated, Spanish Inquisition torture. There were thoughts of

“I’ll never run again.”

“I should take up biking instead.”

” I am so hungry! I think I’m going to throw up.”

” Where is the redo button on my day.”

and

“Shut up Katy Perry. I don’t care what kind of girl you are.”

By the third session, and many many thoughts of giving up, as if he was some angel a sweet old many stopped me. He was carrying his dog, and looked chipper as can be. ” What a champion runner we have here.”

I held back tears and smiled. Then kept running, picking up my pace just a little. After that I saw three sets of mothers with schools of children in their wake. They were precious, and I garnered smiles from every one of them. I realized then that its not how well you run, its not about your race, its about the people you see along your routes. Those smiles and comments made all the pain worth it.

I realized three things today. 1) Treadmills are easy. 2)It wont always be fun running. 3) It gets better. I have faith that through my dissapointing days, through the rain and wind, there will be someone cheering me on.

That, my friends, makes it all worth it.

 

-Lydia

C25k Week Two Day Two or Sick of Fear!

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Yesterday was a total techno fail! I was trying to run C25k w2 d2 (run 90 seconds walk 2 minutes for a total of 20 minutes) the treadmill stopped my workout twice, and I accidentally hit the wrong button on my phone canceling out the program. I was seriously frustrated. It got better once I stretched and got my attitude in place.The nice thing was I pushed myself to do almost two minutes of running several times. I can feel myself getting better. I can also feel myself becoming terrified about the coming workouts.

Next week I have to run for three minutes, then five minutes, then eight minutes. I need to take my husbands advice and just focus on the next days workout. I am stressing myself out over somehting I should be able to do. I just have fear in my own limitations. I hold that fear tightly to my chest as a security blanket to excuse myself from doing anything more than I think I am capable of. I use that fear to stop reaching, to stop leaping, to stop myself from stretching and growing. I didn’t used to be this afraid of everything. I used to be so brave and up for anything. Sometimes life, adulthood, a hurtful parent, it just brings you down so much that you can’t see up anymore. You can’t see the top of the huge pit you find yourself in. I just have to find my way out of this pit, one mile at a time. Walked, run, or jogged. I will find my way out. I will, again, find my courage.

I hope you too find your courage today. Whether it is to run that mile you have been dreading, apply for that job you have been wanting, or confess love that has been sitting on your heart. Our fear is something that should be squashed! It should ebb away with every mile we conquer. With every achievement feel your courage seeping back into your spirit. Feel your confidence begin to grow. Because, contrary to what we are taught as children (especially little girls), confidence is not a bad thing. Confidence is not prideful. It is being sure of what God has created in you, and using it to the fullest extent!

Be confident in yourself today!

-Lydia

Ps: Today is weights. Weighted squats, lunges, and deadlifts. Join me?