Pizza in the Gym??? Really???

This is really simple. Pizza does not belong in a gym. Period.

I joined a gym for many reasons. Obviously, like many people, my main goal was to lose weight and get in shape.  I have made HUGE improvements and I continue to amaze myself with my accomplishments.  But it took a lot of discipline- being really conscious of what I was eating and relying on myself to get to the gym.  I did not join the gym for free pizza.

When I first started this journey I was on Weight Watchers. I firmly believe they support a life change and not a diet.  Being on Weight Watchers really forced me to take a hard look at what I was eating.  I kept a food journal and it wasn’t always pretty. But much like this blog, the journal=accountability.  I don’t keep one any longer, I stopped after about nine months, but I still am always aware of what I am eating.  I still think about points and still focus on calories in/calories out.  I keep only good healthy foods in my house and make a huge effort to eat well even when I am eating out.  With that said, I believe in treating myself and I look very forward to those treats.

Pizza at the gym is NOT a treat…it is wrong in every possible way I can think of. And honestly, I am so angry that I want to cancel my membership.  I actually did a double take when I saw it…no joke, 10 boxes of pizza laid out on tables at the gym!  As people were leaving, they were offering the pizza with a pass for a free week for a friend.  RIDICULOUS! As if I wasn’t infuriated enough…this is what they said to me when I turned it down- “Oh look at you, you can afford it”.  I wanted to say so much…I wanted to tell them how unfair it was to sign people up for a healthy lifestyle and then throw pizza in their faces.  I wanted to tell them how sad I felt for the people who gave in…threw away their workout for a slice of pizza.  I wanted to tell them that most people at the gym were not going to burn off enough calories to make that slice worth it.  But instead of saying anything I just rolled my eyes and walked away.

The thing is, I could have eaten that pizza…I did a brick (bike and run drill) and burned a good number of calories. 

That isn’t the point.

The point is, it wouldn’t have been worth it.  And the point is, it wasn’t fair.  Not to me or anyone  else trying to better themselves.  I love pizza and it was only easy to walk away from it because I was so disturbed by the idea in the first place.   A year ago, I probably still would have been shocked by it, but I don’t know if I would have had such an easy time turning it down.  I got the way I was before by eating when tempted…so yeah “look at me now” but I didn’t get this way by grabbing a slice of pizza on my way out the gym door.

The point of this whole fragmented venting entry is just that I am really angry.  And even more angry that this is the only place in the area with a pool that I can afford so even though I would like to leave, I can’t. 

I need the pool- I don’t need the pizza.

Shame on you L.A. Fitness- and yes, I called you out by name. Shame on you!

Advertisements

check yourself…

Today I went and had my yearly physical 🙂  It is always good to know everything is working.  I am not surprised everything turned out A-Ok because I stay on top of my health and see all my regular doctors as needed.  I am not one to preach but in this case I will- at the risk of sounding like the sticker on a treadmill \”please consult your physician before beginning a new activity”.  Even if you have been running, biking and or swimming for years…schedule a check-up.  It is not enough to assume you are healthy.

This is the time of year when “special reports” and news articles start with their scare tactics about long distance running and triathlon deaths.  I am not knocking the news, but they do tend to report in ways that make people frightened.  That is not my purpose.  My purpose is to spread awareness, because it does happen.  Sadly,  many of my teammates were present when tragically a man drowned at the NJ State Tri last year, which is a race directed by an Amazing team of people.  If you are even remotely involved in running you have read about Ryan Shaw, the marathon runner who died during the Olympic trials.  It is devastating for the directors, the other racers and most obviously, the families. 

Both distance running (distance running includes everything from a 5k to marathons to ultra-running depending on your ability) and triathlon are extremely physically demanding on the body and it is not enough to just assume your body can handle the stress it will be under during these events.  It is true that anyone can do it- I have seen people as old as 88 finish these types of events, but no matter what your age the most vital thing to remember is to listen to your body- and to take care of your body. 

 

Happy Racing 🙂

Speed Bumps and Successes

Despite a few set backs along the way, this week was fantastic AND I finished all my workouts for the week!!!

It’s weeks like this, when despite the hurdles I get through it, that make all the sacrifices worth it.  It’s weeks like this, that make the bad ones seem to disappear.  I wish I had a formula that would help me to always pull it together-this week was no different as far as time and life contraints but somehow I made it work.  I want more weeks like this!!  Other than school which is really overwhelming me right now, I really have no complaints.  Workouts were all good, got to run outside (thank you beautiful weather!) spent time with both friends and family, UNC is still in the Tourney and I had a fantastic four mile tempo run today with NO knee pain afterwards!!!

I would like to share a funny story that is an example of my life- chaotic no matter how well planned:

  • Friday was my inspection day for my old apartment (that I never have to go to again, ever!!) so I had taken the day off to get various errands done and finish up last minute things at the place before the inspector came.  I woke up extra early just as I had planned so I could fit in a work-out before the craziness of the day began.  I was up, ate a great breakfast and out the door right on time…without my keys. Crap! So there I was with all my stuff ready to go and I was locked out. Luckily, my friend Jess was willing to drive over and let me in with the key I gave her.  This put me about 30 minutes behind schedule, which I could work around, so no big deal  but then her key got stuck in my door.  Like really really stuck.  Good news was I was no longer locked out, bad news was we now had to get the stuck key out of the doorknob.  Fast forward about 30 more minutes- took the doorknob off the door and eventually after a lot of pulling and proding the key pops out.  Just when I thought the crisises were both averted- I realize that the door without a doorknob has shut, thus now locking me INSIDE my apartment.  It was like a scene from a movie but it was my life!  Eventually, thanks to good teamwork, Jess and I were able to open the door and reattach my doorknob.  In the end, my morning was completely shot.  Decided to move my swim to Sat (after aqua fit class!) and run later in the day outside (which was better anyway). 

This coming week is unfortunately not going to go as well as last- but knowing it in advance makes it less frustrating.  I have hours of school work to catch up on, two softball games and over the weekend my cousins are in a show and I have a family function on Sunday. Whew- I am exhausted just typing that!  My plan is to combine my two shorter runs into a long run and try to squeeze in a short tempo run at some point as well.  Probably going to cut down the bike mileage as well and the swim is up in the air.  Really going to try and get some strength training in but Yoga is a definite no go for this week.  If all goes well (which as you can see from the aforementioned story that it doesn’t always) I will be able to get all my workouts done in three days instead of my usual five.

What are some of your time management tips? 

Also, I tried the Tilapia- Little hard to get used to but I did like it.  I used a garlic/oregano/parm cheese mix to top it with but I am open to other suggestions as well!

Notes about stuff

Real deep title, huh?   Thing is, that really is all this post is about…random stuff I have been thinking about.

-Now that it is lighter later and with the onset of nice weather (yeah!!) I have been looking forward to running outside.  I struggle with this transition as it seems to be really tough on my knees, which is ironic because the treadmill doesn’t exactly do wonders for my knees either.  Once I have a few outside runs in, I know I will get into a groove with it and I can’t wait because I really love being outside. Yesterday I did an easy run down along the river where I grew up (and where my parents still live) which is one of my favorite places to run. 

-In my last post I talked about some new foods I would be trying.  Yesterday I packed dried apricots for lunch.  The ones I had were Wegmans Fat Free and Gluten Free.  You get a whole 1/4 cup for only 110 calories!! I am unsure of how many would be considered a 1/4 cup because I only packed four, but four was the perfect amount. The were sweet and chewy and I really liked them for my mid-morning snack.  I also brought a Clif Jr. bar with me for my afternoon pick-me-up snack before heading out to the softball field.  I have to say, I really like the regular Clif bars better…but I liked them enough to purchase them again given their low price and good taste.  I still have to cook up my tilapia which I have planned for Friday night.  I’ll be sure to post about it afterwards.  For anyone who enjoys tilapia, I welcome suggestions on seasoning. Please feel free to share your recipes!

-I am going to Yoga tonight.  I used to go quite a bit and have wanted to go back  for a while but my gym now only offers classes at 8pm which doesn’t always work for me.   I really like Yoga even though I am not all that coordianted and don’t always quite “get it”.  I know it helps enormously with breathing, something I have been concentrating on lately to better my endurance.

-I am looking so foward to tomorrow night as I am having dinner at The Iron Hill Brewery with my friend Sarah.  We try to meet up every six weeks or so for a dinner (she lives in DE- Iron Hill is the half-way point for us) and its always such a relaxing time.  I used to always have wine in my house, but to save money I stopped keeping a stock…so along with the company and good food, I am really looking forward to wine with my dinner 🙂 The added bonus is that it is located right next door to a Trader Joe’s.  The only Trader Joe’s near me, isn’t actually near me…and although it isn’t too far from my work, it is a real hassel to go in rush hour.  Trips to Trader Joe’s are few and far between…usually on a weekend (which is madening because of the crowds) when I meet up with my Mom who is in love with their SF Chocolate Bars.  Needless to say, being able to get in a quick trip before dinner tomorrow makes me very happy- and thanks to all the blogs I have been reading I added a few more new food items to my list that I can’t wait to try.  Any must haves you recommend…please share away….

On a closing note, I feel really good about this week so far.  I don’t know why that is…I actually haven’t slept well, I am behind in school work and have been under some stress, but for some reason I feel like this is going to be a successful week.

Accountability…

One of the best things about having this blog, is accountability.   I have developed a small readership and knowing people will be reading about my progress keeps me both motivated and honest.  The blog is like having someone to answer to. And I like it. On good weeks and on bad weeks, I like it just the same.

With that said, while this week was better than last week in terms of getting in my workouts, I am still learning how to manage my time in such a way that allows for ALL my workouts not only to happen but to be successful.  Once again, I did not get all my scheduled workouts in, but the ones I did were great. Usually I would beat myself up over missed workouts (and I am a little…) but because I felt so good after each one I did complete this week, it stings less.

Week in review:

The goods-

  • Had two really good runs- my pace is steadily improving and my endurance is getting stronger with every run.  Now that I have given myself more time to prepare for my first 1/2, I feel so much less stress and my workouts seem better because of it.
  • I have been inspired by ChicRunner to do 200 sit-ups a night.  Like with everything, I am going to work my way up- so the plan is 100-3x/week for 2 weeks and then 200-3x/week for 2 weeks and then begin the 200 a day.  It takes almost no time and I can do it while I watch TV- and I’ll get kickin abs just in time for summer!
  • After reading some nutrition blogs (on my blogroll- check em out, they are full of great information!) I decided to try a few new foods. New the menu for this week: Tilapia, dried apricots and clif jr bars.  I am most excited to try the Tilapia, I am really new to fish but I figure with some good spices and some asparagus on the side, I can’t go wrong. The dried apricots should be interesting- I have never even eaten a real apricot, so we will see. As for the Clif jr bars, I have eaten the regular Clif bars and I like them, so I figure that is a no brainer.
  • I spent a lot of time with my Mom this weekend- she has been such a huge help with all my moving, giving up a lot of her time to be there with and for me.  The thing is with my mom and I, we can be doing nothing at all or everything at once- but it’s always better when I am with her.
  • I am doing fairly well in my brackets for March Madness- 4th place as of right now. Only one out in my Sweet Sixteen and all my Elite Eight are still alive. Lets go UNC!!!!  

The bads-

  • Once again I didn’t swim this week. I had a super jam packed weekend planned and the only time I could go to the pool was during aquafit class. In aqua fit class they jack the heat up to about 90 degrees which makes it very uncomfortable. They also constantly yell at you if you splash them (we are in a pool!!!) or make too many waves. All of that if you are lucky to even get a lane since they close 3 of them for the class! It is more trouble then it is worth and I just didn’t have the patience for it.
  • I was limited once again to the stationary bike because I got my times mixed up and missed spin class. I was not happy. The only upside was I could watch March Madness while I biked.
  • I missed out on my Sunday run- I had a planned a 5k tempo run but it was almost dark when I got home and on top of that I still had homework for class to complete.  I don’t like running outside in the dark and now that my gym is @ 20 mins away it just wasn’t feasible timewise.
  • I thought I would be totally done with my old place but as it turns out I have to go back one more night this week. Really….ugh!

When it is all said and done and the week is over all I can do is be accountable for what I did (or didn’t do) and look towards a new week. Although I know it is small, I really do appreciate my readership.  It is always exciting to get inspiring comments from people 🙂

 

On a seperate note- my family and I are dealing with a very sick family member. The last two months have been difficult and so I am asking that you keep up in your thoughts.

Change of Plans

After much thought and lost sleep, I have decided not to enter the Asbury Park 1/2 Marathon on April 18. 

Let me explain.

Old plan: Before I hurt my knee I had planned to run a 10-miler in March and do the Asbury race as my first half.  After seeing the orthopedic and going through PT, I knew I would not be prepared to run the 10-miler. But ever the overly ambitious person I am, I still thought I could run the 1/2.  Now, with only 4 weeks to go at this point, I know that isn’t the case.  I knew I had to rethink things. I have made so much progress in the last 5 weeks since I have been running again-I don’t want to push myself too hard and end up re-injured and losing a whole season. 

New plan: I am going to run the Delaware State 1/2 Marathon on May 17. 

This is how I came to my decision:

Pro’s:

  • Much less chance of re-injury- can continue to work my way up the milage at a slow and steady pace.
  • More time to train- The Delaware 1/2 is four weeks later than Asbury Park 1/2.
  • The Broad Street 10-Mile run in 2 weeks before- great training run!

Con’s:

  • I feel lame.

So after I got over myself and realized how much more practical it would be to run in the Delaware 1/2, I signed right up.  So in exactly 60 days I will by this time have finished a half marathon. 🙂

Badwater Badass

I recently finished reading Pam Reed’s book, “Extra Mile: One Woman’s Personal Journey to Ultrarunning Greatness”.  For those who don’t know, Pam Reed is the two time overall winner of Badwater, a 135-mile run through Death Valley.  Furthermore she has completed and holds records for a number of ultra-marathons all of the world and as if that wasn’t enough she is also the record holder for the longest run- 300 miles without sleep.  She does this while raising kids, managing a household, and oh yeah…she runs the Tuscon Marathon every December too!  Pam Reed is a badass. 

I would recommend this book to all runners- it is a quick and easy read that is truly inspiring. Pam is clearly at the top of the running sphere.  This book could have easily been Pam bragging and boasting, but instead she is incredibly honest about all aspects of her life.   The book does not portray any arrogance,  it simply portrays her hard work and her accomplishments.  I really like that she wrote about both her struggles and triumphs and that she makes no excuses for the mistakes she has made in her life and career.  Pam is definitely inspiring- not in a way that makes me want to go run for 2 days in Death Valley but in the way that makes me want to keep doing what I am doing which is bettering myself  through exercise, accepting the challenges that come along the way and embracing the triumphs whether they be big or small.