Posts Tagged With: gym

Relationship Troubles (w/ Gym) & Running, & Vampires, & Tacos

First up, my knee feels better each day.  I feel like that relationship will be strong for years to come.  I went on my 2nd run since I hurt it, and I must’ve had more confidence in it because I went a mile further and was running a almost a minute faster per mile that my first run (4 miles @ 8:20 per).  Hooray for that!

In other news, I fear my relationship with Gym 1 is over.  I’d worked out with Gym 1 for like 12 years, 3-4 times per week.  Since I stopped visiting, it’s weird how they haven’t even called me.  I guess I’m not missed.  Man, break-ups are hard.  I thought about going back to them, but I have access to another Gym that is free for me!  I’m going to try them out.  We’ll see if it starts another long term relationship.

With all those relationship troubles, I was ready for an escape.  Luckily this week marks the return of The Originals and Vampire Diaries.  I don’t know how I got hooked on these vampire dramas, but I like them.  I’m particularly enjoying The Originals.  I think partly because I’m a huge fan of New Orleans, where the show takes place.

At the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans.

At the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans.

And as a TV producer, I do appreciate the acting, cinematography, effects, lighting, etc.  Even though it’s probably technically considered a soap opera (but what show now a days isn’t?).

At least it doesn't take place at Twilight.

At least it doesn’t take place at Twilight.

I also turned to food this week for comfort.  Particularly, Tacos.  Everyday in fact.  Here’s a picture of my favorites:

On da left - Migas.   On da right - Fried Avocado.

On da left – Dirty Sanchez (eggs and veggies). On da right – Fried Avocado. @ Torchy’s Tacos

So there you have it, one relationship ends, another begins, another is renewed, and it’s all balanced out with vampire dramas and vegetarian tex-mex.  Not bad I guess.

How bout you?  Ever change up a gym?  Ever had a dirty sanchez?  Ever watch dramas about 100 year old “teen” vampires?

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

32 Miles on a Dreadmill

The good news is that my knee is feeling better, not 100%, but tolerable to run on it now.  So I was able to get back into my Disney Dopey Challenge training this week.  It culminated with a weekend of 4, 9, & 19 mile runs on Fri, Sat, Sun.

The bad news is that we got totally iced over this weekend.  Everything has a layer of ice.  Everything.  No snow, all ice.  So I wasn’t able to run outside.  I had to do the 32 total miles all on treadmills.

All that white stuff looks like fun snow, but is actually pure evil ice.

All that white stuff looks like fun snow, but is actually pure evil ice.

I don’t know how you treadmill runners do it.  I was so bored, I was this close to offing myself.

I set the pace at just under my target marathon pace (around 8:50 per mile), and went to town.  So it took me around 3 hours to finish the 19 miles.  That’s a long time to run on the hamster wheel.

I never run with music, but thought it would help with the treadmill boredom.  Problem is that when I plugged them in, they kept getting some sort of electric feed from the treadmill that sent a shocks into my ears.  I didn’t feel like getting shocked in my ears for 3 hours straight, so I took them off.

And to make it worse, the gym’s TV’s went out with an hour to go.  So I really had nothing to listen to or look at while I ran.  It was pure mental torture.

That took forever.

Sunday’s miles.

On a side note, after this experience, I really don’t think training on a treadmill is good for you.  It’s not like normal running at all – no turns, no real hills, no real speed changes (I know you can “simulate” the last two, but it’s not quite the same).  Plus, since the treadmill is moving, I believe it’s basically doing some of the work for you because you don’t have to use the energy to propel yourself forward.  That is why they say you should set it to an incline of at least 1 to better simulate outdoor running.  So that’s what I did – yup, the 3 hours of running was all uphill at a perfectly constant pace.  Also, my chiropractor said I was way out of alignment, and in spots that I’m normally not after outdoor running (like the inside of my knees) – I’m blaming it on the ‘mill.

The good news is that I was still able to get the miles on my feet.  And I know that I can run that long without stopping once at what is supposed to be my goal marathon pace.

Here’s hoping the ice melts soon because not only was my vehicle slipping and sliding on the way to the gym, but never want to run on a treadmill again! (No offense to those of you who do – I know some don’t have an option and some even enjoy the treadmill)

How bout you?  What’s the furthest you’ve ever gone on the treadmill?  How would your brain react to running in place for 3 hours with no TV, music, etc. (mine was fried)?

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Run Fuel: Kicked-Up Healthy Lunch

Most of the time, I sacrifice my lunch break to work out instead.  But I still need to eat, so what I do is munch my lunch while I work.  This usually means I get to go to take my “lunch” break later, which is good cause I miss the big crowds of other lunch worker outers at the gym.  Mid afternoon gym time is pretty empty, so I get my pick of equipment.  Noice!

I try to always eat healthy, and packing lunch helps with that.  But a while back I started picking up some dried vegetarian soups that just need some hot water to bring them back to life.  These have been my lunches for quite some time now.  But after a while they got kind of old.  Then I had a revelation – I can kick em up a few notches.  For example, check out the pic below:

Black bean soup – Scotterized!

What I had did was bring a bunch of optional options that I can add to the soups.  For this simple Chipotle Black Bean Soup, I added Salsa, Jalapenos, and Avocados (obviously).  This not only adds layers of flavor, but more veggies means more nutrients and health benefits!  It has changed my workday lunch world.

Of course, I also keep fruits and nuts and such to snack on through the day too.

I've got quite a pear, don't I?

I’ve got quite a pear, don’t I?

What do you do for lunch?  Do you eat at your desk too?

Categories: Fuel (food), Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Run Fuel = Veggie Curry

One time in Scotland visiting a friend, we were going to get something for dinner and she said, “Fancy an Indian?”  I thought that was a strange way to ask someone if they want to go to an Indian restaurant.  They may have invented English on that European island known as Great Britain, but that doesn’t mean they don’t screw it up sometimes!  Anyways, we did fancy an Indian, and it was delish.

I love Indian food, and I love how they have so many vegetarian options.  So that’s what I made last night.  I was pretty lazy about this dish, but here it is.  In a pan I threw in a bag of organic mixed veggies and sliced baby bella shrooms.  Then a can of coconut milk.  A little stock.  And a bunch of spices – curry, tumeric, garam masala, etc.  Brought it to a boil and then lowered the temp and simmered until I felt like it was done.  Steamed up some brown rice and spooned the curry over top.  Simple, easy, quick, and lazy.

I took a picture, but won’t share it here as Indian food doesn’t always look beautiful, but it sure does taste good!  And so healthy – they say it has cancer fighting capabilities.  And the brown rice will give me the carbs needed to get through today’s gym sesh and evening social run.  And I need the help because it’s still 100 degrees outside!

Speaking of hot, no, the curry was not spicy.  People think that all curry is spicy, they ain’t.  I left it mild out of respect for the others in our house that I knew would be eating it.  In my bowl however, I added a good amount of dried spicy spices.  Yup, papa likes it HOT!  Food that is, not running temps.

All for now, buh bye.

Categories: Fuel (food), Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Don’t be an Embarrassed Runner

There’s no reason to be.  I bring this up because recently I’ve had a few interactions with people, who for whatever reason, are embarrassed to work out.  I guess I didn’t really know that so many people feel this way.  But I hear that they think everyone is judging them (either in the gym or on the roads) and they don’t want to be embarrassed by how they look working out.  They tell me that they are self conscience about their bodies, their running pace, their lack of knowledge around gym equipment, their age, etc. etc. etc.

I have never felt that way.  Well, except for once.  I had just had wrist surgery, and once I was cleared to start rehab, the only weights I could lift were 2-3 lbs.  So I hid in a side room at the gym so nobody would see me doing curls with baby weights.  But then a group of body builders came in the same room and stripped down to g-strings and started critiquing each others poses, as they were preparing for a competition.  I was trapped in the room, surrounded by giant men in tiny banana hammocks, lifting 2 pound dumbbells – so yes, I was a little embarrassed.

But anyway, I seem to recall in college someone telling me they were intimidated being around buff dudes in the gym, so they didn’t go.  Now I’m not saying I was buff, but I was on the cheerleading team and we had to lift weights…a lot.  The gym was our second home.  And yes, we had a strength and conditioning coach, just like every other sports team on campus.  Here’s photo proof of my involvement:

Here's my fav cheerleading photo (Hint--I'm the one on the bottom)

My fav cheerleading photo (Hint–I’m the one on the bottom)

I remember talking to some of the other regulars at the gym and asked if they ever judged anyone else, and they all said “No.”  They were too busy focusing on their own workouts.  In fact, they said they actually respect the out of shape people they see in the gym.  They respect how their in there working to get better.  The only time they don’t is when someone just shows up one time and quits.  Or people who are just there doing things half-butted.  But if you are there and committed, then others respect you, no matter what your fitness level is.

This goes for people running too.  Whenever I pass another runner, I don’t say to myself, “They should not be out here.”  Instead I think, “Hey, another runner trying to get better, just like me.”

And when I’m in my car and pass by someone running, I’m always jealous.  I’d rather be out there on my feet than on my vehicular wheels.

So to sum up:  lift the weights, run the roads, swim the the pools, bike the streets, yoga the yoga mats, do whatever it is you like to do without fear.  Nobody is judging how fast you run, how much weight you can lift, how unflexible  you are, etc, etc.   Chances are, you are actually being respected or envied……Unless of course you’re doing something weird, like stealing all the paper towels and putting them in her giant purse, like I saw an old lady at the gym do the other week.  If that’s the case, then yes, I am judging you Mrs. Paper Towel Stealer.

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Silly Questions to People Who Workout

I think I’ve unlocked a key as to why so many people around the world are out of shape and don’t do anything about it.  I think it’s how their minds work.  Lemme splain.  Over the years I’ve noticed a theme in the same silly question I keep hearing from people who don’t workout.  Here’s some of the actual questions I’ve been asked:

1. Out to dinner with friends, I order a healthy dish.  My friend asks me, “Why are you eating that, you’re already thin.”

2. At the gym showing a newbie some of the machines and how they work.  This person looks around at everyone working out and asks me, “Why are all these people here when they’re already in shape?”

3. At a former job I had a co-worker on a Jenny Craig diet tell me this, “I cannot wait until I reach my goal weight so I can go back to eating whatever I want again.”

4. I invited a former friend to yoga, my former friend tells me, “I can’t go to yoga because I’m not flexible.”

5. Why do you do all that running, you’re already fit.”

So there it is.  I think these people think that once you get in shape, you stay there forever.  I’m being serious when I say that I really believe some people’s brains just work differently than others.  The way my brain thinks is like this: I have to work hard to stay in shape, cause if I slack off I will become out of shape.

Here’s what I tell myself when I’m in the same situations as above:

1. I eat this way so I can try to stay thin.

2. These people are in shape because they are here.

3. Healthy living is a lifestyle, not a temporary band aid.

4. I go to yoga to try and become more flexible.

5. I run because I love it and it I want to get more fitness, more endurance, more speed, more fun.

Anyways, am I alone here?  Have you heard or thought similar things?  How can we help change people’s mindsets?

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Run Without Music, Get Faster

Yup, it’s true.  And there’s proof, but I’ll get to that.  First let me say that over the past year or so, I’ve noticed that I’m more and more likely to run without my music.  In fact, on Saturday I decided for a 9 mile loop around White Rock Lake.  I parked my car, got my shoes tied, put on my headphones and started off.  But then I turned right around and threw the headphones back in the car.  It just seemed too distracting.  Yes, my music was too distracting.

Back a few years ago, I would’ve NEVER run without my tunage.  In fact, whenever I see a race that doesn’t allow headphones, I’m all like, “Yeah right, try and stop me!”  I understand it’s a safety thing for the race, but the way I figured it, I’ve done all my training runs with music and was able to avoid getting hit by another runner or a car or whatever.  Also, I’d done all my training runs with music and was going to race with music.

That distraction is also why I made my first marathon the Disney one.  I wanted my mind to not be on my pain.  And I knew that Disney being Disney that they would go all out…and they do!  Besides the sights running through the different theme parks, they also have characters, props, bands, cheerleaders, comedians, volunteer fans, giant puppets, videos, fireworks, tons of other runners, funny signs, celebrities, bright colors, shiny things, gospel choirs, robots, and tons and tons of fans cheering for you along the way.  Buuuut, when I did the marathon for the 3rd time this past January, after a while I ended up ripping the headphones out of my ears as the music on top of all the other stuff going on was really distracting me.  My head was all over the place.

So all that said, what am I getting at?  Well I just read an article that a study was done on runners in a ten mile race.  They found that the beginners and the slower runners tended to be distracted more easily.  They were more inclined to listen to music, look at the sights they were passing, etc. etc. etc.  The more seasoned and the faster runners all tended to be focused on their bodies and how they felt.  They were constantly thinking about their form, breathing, pace, posture, stride, foot strike, etc. etc. etc.

And I’ve noticed that the more I run, the more I am thinking about all that stuff too.  I’m constantly monitoring my body during a run.  And like I said, I’m less distracted by my surroundings.  In fact, on my run around the lake, about 5 miles in I realized that I hadn’t even glanced at the beautiful views of the water.  I hadn’t been looking at the mansions overlooking the lake.  I hadn’t been doing anything but think about how my body was feeling with each step and adjusting to that.

Not to say that I’m perfect.  I still like reading the funny signs during a race.  I still sometimes listen to my tunes…which can help pump you up when you start to bonk.  I still like to take in the surroundings – especially during a destination run, just not as much as before.  I can do the real sightseeing afterward.

It not only goes for running – have you ever seen people at the gym with their phones.  It drives me nuts.  I always leave my phone in the locker.  Can’t people take an hour without texting, facebooking, tweeting?  Recently I saw my friend at the gym on the elliptical…she was texting or whatever, NONSTOP.  I didn’t even say “Hi” cause I was so put off.  She was NOT getting a good workout.  She didn’t even notice that I was right in front of her.  Sheesh.  Her pace was so slow and uneven because she was so focused on her phone.  I see it all the time, people do a set, then text for 10 minutes, then do another set, then text, repeat and repeat.  That’s not a very effective workout.

Whatever happened to the zen of exercise?  That’s another reason to run without an electronic tether.  Just get out there and use your workout as a zone out therapy.  Learn to focus your mind, you’ll be better off for it.  I know a lot of people carry their phones for safety reasons when they run, and I may start doing that too soon, but now I don’t.  That’s why I don’t have photos from every run/workout I do.  That’s just one more distraction from your workout if you have to stop in the middle of it to take an Instagram.  Sure, there are times when I see unique stuff and would like to record it, but sometimes it’s just as good to have your own personal memories.  It is your workout afterall.  Like on the lake this weekend I saw a pack of unicyclers riding around.  Yup, I did, but you’re going to have to take my word for it.

And think about this, elite runners never run with them.  Sure, they’ll get pumped up before a race by jamming out, but during the race they have to focus.  In fact, I saw a elite buddy of mine on the lake this weekend too.  He just qualified for the Olympic trials in the marathon.  And he was cruising along pretty fast with a small group of dudes, and none of them had headphones on.  As we slapped hands when he passed, it did also occur to me that they’d be running for a lot less time than I would that day – even if they were running a further distance.

Maybe if I keep running without distractions and focused on my form, then I’ll be able to finish faster too.  Anyway, that’s my two cents today.  If I can find that article about the study, I’ll post a link for it later.


Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dopey and Goofy Training: 202 Days to go

I keep forgetting that part of the Dopey Challenge includes the Goofy Challenge, which is the Half and Full Marathons on back to back days.  For most people, the Goofy would be challenge enough, and I agree.  Shoot, I think every distance you race is a challenge in itself.  But when I think about the Dopey and four straight days of racing with increasing distances, I’ve kind of been glancing over the first few days as no big deal.  Yes, my plan is to take it easy and go for PW (personal worsts), the miles will still be there and they’ll end up on my legs.  Gotta remember that in my training.  Can’t overlook a single day.  Anyways, that’s the random thought I have today.

As for my workout today, I’m planning on hitting the gym (sorry gym) and then later doing another hawt track workout.  Not sure what’s planned for the track work, but I do know this…it will hurt, like it always does.  But I’ll be glad after I do it, I know that much.  Tired, but glad.

After the run, I’ve got a quick video shoot for an upcoming race.  I’ll fill you in on that soon.  Stay tuned…literally.

Peace out internet.


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