Archive for January, 2010

Catching Up

Bear with me…it takes a bit of time to get used to the blogging lifestyle while I have a full-time student job! I last posted on Monday, so let’s see what’s been going on that’s exciting.

Exercising, of course! Here is a good triceps/chest/shoulders workout that I did a couple of days ago (three sets of everything):

Plus all of my leg-strengthening rehab exercises, which I listed here. Speaking of my legs, I really feel like those muscles are getting stronger. My runs are getting easier, and I definitely feel that I’ll be ready when Team in Training starts officially next Saturday, Feb. 3.

Today was another strength training day: back and biceps time! Once again, three sets per exercise.

If you want to see my thoughts on exercise, my daily workout schedule, and links to the workouts that I do, please visit my Exercise page!

And I’ll leave you with my new favorite quote…just because it’s cute.

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet, "what’s the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What’s for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It’s the same thing," he said.

Have a great day!

A Spoonful of Almond Butter…

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…helps the medicine go down! I wouldn’t exactly call this tasty afternoon snack medicine, though.

First, my major accomplishment of the day: I have class at 8:30, so normally I wake up at 7:40 to have enough time to get ready, eat, and make the 15-minute walk. But on this lovely Monday morning, either my iPhone decided to rebel against me by not going off at 7:40 or I sabotaged myself by somehow turning off the alarm while still asleep. Either way, I woke up naturally and immediately panicked. I hate that foreboding feeling as you flip over and fumble for the clock to see what time it is and by how much you are completely screwed. It was 8:14.

I barely had time to mentally thank my early bird body clock for being on top of it today as I rushed around like a mad woman. The result? I left the dorm at 8:19 and made it to class on time. How can it not be a great day after that?

Turns out it did turn out to be a pretty good day, partially thanks to this:

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I mixed plain Greek yogurt and cinnamon, then added a mix of Cheerios with a little bit of granola on top.

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And it got even better with an almond butter spoon!

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I personally love Greek yogurt and almond butter, but this snack mix works with any kind of yogurt, cereal, and nuts. Protein (yogurt) + healthy carbs (whole grain cereal) + fat (nuts) = a balanced snack. Successfully got me from lunch to dinner.

Dinner was quite unremarkable and therefore unphotographed, but I spent a lovely hour with my book (The Happiness Project) and headed to the gym around 7:30. I had planned to do weights today, but scheduling conflicts shortened my workout and I spent a quality 40 minutes doing intervals on the elliptical instead. (While watching The Bachelor. Please don’t judge.)

Then came my post-workout/evening snack, featuring these two lovely ingredients.

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Can you tell I really like almond butter? Probably my favorite food. Good on toast, in yogurt, in oatmeal…plain on my finger… Anyway, it makes a great snack on sandwich thins (which are really just a cross between toast, an English muffin, and a bun) with sliced banana.

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A great evening snack to power me through a night of homework. Equally good with apples and peanut butter!

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Tip of the Day: Back to my gym workout for a second. I don’t think of the gym as a place I have to go several times a week and be miserable. Instead, I see it as a lengthy break from studying when I get to go with my friends, spend time reading magazines, and watch TV that I normally never watch (aka The Bachelor). If you can just adjust your perspective on the gym, your whole attitude will change and going will be a lot more bearable! Figure out what works for you to get you to the gym more often. Buy some new music off iTunes? Schedule your gym trips around your favorite TV show? Invest in a magazine subscription? (You can get tons of magazine subscriptions on Amazon for like $12, which is a pretty small investment if it helps you get to the gym.) Start thinking of gym time as play time and I can guarantee you will go a lot more often!

Back in the Sunshine

After a couple of weeks spent mostly working out in the gym, it felt so nice to get outside yesterday and work out in the sunshine! It was in the mid-60s and beautiful here yesterday…please don’t hate me. 🙂

So here’s a brief running history: training for my first half marathon, which was last October, went wonderfully. I made it through injury-free and had a great race. I started training again for half marathon #2, which was slated for January. But right around the time I finished my 12-miler and started to taper for the race, around the beginning of the year, I had a couple nagging injuries pop up.

If I ran any kind of medium-long distance, the inside of my right ankle would start to hurt. And then after running, my left knee would be sore for the rest of the day. I dropped my running frequency and mileage way down for a couple weeks and eventually decided not to run that half marathon in January. (Mostly because I am signed up to do another Team in Training event in June.) I saw a doctor last Friday, and thankfully my injuries are pretty minor and are due to a couple of muscle weaknesses. Basically, I need to strengthen my gluteus medius, particularly on my left side. When I run long distances, that muscle tends to tire quickly and my left leg starts to rotate inward, placing more stress on my knee. The ankle thing is due to a combination of my tendency to pronate a little bit and weak outer ankle muscles.

I have a specific set of exercises to do, and I have a follow-up appointment with my doctor in about a month. In the meantime, I’m going to keep rehabbing, keep running (with low mileage) and continue my other weight training and cardio workouts as normal.

Anyway, yesterday was my first run since seeing the doctor and my first run of my official rehab period. (I did rehab exercises on Saturday, and my legs are still sore!) I took it super-easy, but it was so nice to be out there running again in the sunshine, without the black cloud over me that I might be hurting myself.

And when I run, I love how I’m a walking advertisement for Team in Training, thanks to my…

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…bracelet (which says Team Endure Achieve Matter)…

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…hat…

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…and shoe tag. Gotta represent TNT!

As for the run itself, my knee felt a little sore during but overall all was good. I iced it afterward and it was much, much less sore than it had been in the past. It normally would hurt if I kept it bent for any period of time, but yesterday it just hurt a little bit to go up and down stairs. A great sign!

So that run plus about a mile of walking and a 10-minute warm-up on the elliptical was my workout for the day! Check back later today to see today’s workout plus some eats!

Achy Breaky Legs

Today was a legs strength training day, and that combined with cardio and my rehab exercises left my legs pretty shaky. I went to the gym late this afternoon, which I’ve decided I don’t like as much as going in the evening because it was packed today. I squeezed out a little space next to the free weights and did this routine for my quads and hamstrings. (I went through the exercises three times.)

After that, I moved on to my rehab exercises (which I’ll address in more detail in another post) and did two sets of the following exercises.

  • Standing hip abduction: 60 lbs., 15 reps per side
  • Standing hip extension: 60 lbs., 10 reps per side
  • Bridge with marching: 15 reps per leg (I did this exercise on an exercise ball.)
  • Leg extension dips: 5 reps per leg (These were really difficult! I couldn’t find a link to this exercise, but my feet were on the floor and my head and shoulders were on an exercise ball, in a bridge position. Keeping the pelvis stable, slowly raise one leg straight out, parallel to the ground. Lower hips down as far as comfortable while maintaining stability, and then return to starting position.)

I finished my workout with 20 minutes on the elliptical (while being entertained with Shape magazine and Iron Chef America on the TV). Thanks to all those leg workouts, I’m pretty sore this morning!

Welcome to Spreading the Health!

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Welcome to Spreading the Health! My name is Meghan, and I’ll be your pilot today. 🙂 I’m a 20-year-old student at a small private university in Texas. I have a little “blogging experience,” if you will, for I started Help Meghan Run last April to chronicle my journey as I trained for my first half marathon and raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (More info on that here.)

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I’ve always been a voracious writer and reader but just recently made the realization that writing is one of my passions. (Does that make sense?) If you ask anyone for his or her number one writing tip, I bet it would be to “write what you know.” And what do I know? How to be healthy while living in a college atmosphere.

Speaking of health, that is my other big passion. Under that broad umbrella resides food, fitness, and general wellness (which includes a healthy balance of all these aspects). I enjoy baking and cooking, as well as developing new, creative, healthy recipes and modifying traditional recipes to make them a little bit better for us. I love to run and work out, and educate people about health in any way.

I’m majoring in Political Science with a minor in Business, but only because my university doesn’t have a nutrition department. (I made my college choice before I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in nutrition.) So I am in the process of researching graduate schools where I can continue my nutrition education, eventually gain my Registered Dietitian credentials, and ideally, work as an entrepreneur in nutrition communications.

And just to get to know me a little better…

My favorite color: I can sometimes be indecisive. (Heck, that sentence was indecisive.) This comes in out in my inability to choose a favorite color. However, I do love blue and chocolate brown.

My proudest moment: Crossing the finish line at the Nike Women’s Half Marathon (see picture above).

My worst habit: Eating cereal and/or granola out of their respective bags in my cabinet. 🙂

Likes: naps, magazines, running, granola, getting up early, almond butter, Gmail, being with my friends, putting things in parentheses and—wait for it—“em” dashes, watching/reading about sports, spontaneous dance parties

Dislikes: bugs, people who are mean, small planes