Posts Tagged ‘running’

Rodeo Run

Since I’m getting back into the Team in Training swing of things, it just gets easier and easier to hear that early alarm clock on Saturday mornings. I bounced out of bed this morning, ready for our six-mile run. Since I knew it would be a good while before I could eat breakfast (~60 minutes of running + a 15-minute drive each way), I wolfed down a Clif Z bar right when I woke up. Actually, I ate it in bed AS I woke up. (Those are my traditional pre-run fuel. They’re tasty and easy on my stomach. And they are a good size at 130 calories each, so I can have half or a whole one before a run. When I get up to running 11 or 12 miles, I’ll have a slightly larger pre-run snack like whole wheat toast with almond butter.)

I felt pretty good going into this run, despite a lack of running this week and a terrible run last weekend. What can I say, the glass is always half-full. 😉 I set out with my great group of TNT buddies in lovely running weather: it hovered in the mid-40s our entire run, with the sun peeking out for the second half. Besides my running capris and T-shirt, I only needed a ski cap to keep my head warm. The wind was a little chilly right at the beginning, but I warmed right up.

I was the group leader and shouted out mile times from my handy Garmin. Check out those negative splits!

Mile 1: 10:42

Mile 2: 10:13

Mile 3: 10:05

Mile 4: 9:37

Mile 5: 9:35

Mile 5-5.9: 8:18 (9:13 pace)

Everyone was super-pleased with the run. Including me because I have not run this far in about…two months? And injury-wise, I felt pretty good. My ankle was a wee bit sore while running,  but my knee was only a little stiff and I iced both. Follow-up doctor’s appointment on Monday, which I am pretty excited about! Don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about going to the doctor…

But the best part of our run was definitely the last couple of miles. The rodeo is in town and we got to run along the rodeo parade for a couple miles. Tons of spectators were lining the road we were on, and it was easy to pretend they were cheering for us! 😉

I came home and immediately prepared this bowl of deliciousness. (I am home for spring break right now, at least for a few days until I jet off to New York.) I haven’t had my stovetop oatmeal in a couple months!

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In a pot I combined 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup water, 1 sliced banana, 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. After a few minutes, it was all ready and I topped it with a little bit of Kashi Heart to Heart, about half a serving of the best granola ever (Nature’s Path Peanut Butter), and a tablespoon of almond butter.

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Mmm…almond butter…

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This bowl was worth the wait. Except next time I don’t think I would mix the granola in with the oats; I’d either eat it separately or leave it on the top and just take a little bit with each bite. The granola got too soft in the hot oats and I couldn’t taste it very much. 😦 Good to know!

After a nap and a shower, it was just about time for lunch.

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My very favorite salmon salad. (Which I’m about to put up on the recipe page!)

I started with a whole host of veggies: chopped zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, and carrots. I added half a chopped apple and half of a can of salmon (wild Alaskan salmon, available at Costco). I combined it all together with Greek yogurt and seasoned with salt and smoked paprika. Yummy! Served with a side of Kashi 7 Grain crackers as dippers…this was awesome. The veggies lend a lovely crunch, while the apple adds sweetness and the Greek yogurt binds it all.

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And who can forget my other obsession? Dark chocolate, the darker the better.

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I have been so pleased with the progress in my mini-rehab! My legs feel so much stronger, and I have virtually no knee pain anymore. And speaking of legs, let me back up to Saturday’s workout. 3 sets of everything, per usual!

Plus 20 minutes on the elliptical. A really great workout!

On Sunday, I ran again, increasing my distance a little bit. (Remember you can check out all my workouts in my exercise schedule.) Tonight will be another cardio workout. (My roommate and I go to the gym at 7 on Mondays so we can watch The Bachelor. At least I only watch it while I’m on the elliptical!)

And now for food talk! One of my toughest challenges when coming to college was figuring out what to eat for breakfast. I should tell you that breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. If I could (and I sometimes do), I would eat breakfast foods at lunch and dinner, as well. When I am at home, I switch my breakfasts up among cereal, yogurt and granola, French toast, pancakes, smoothies, and my beloved stovetop oatmeal.

But here at school, there is really only one option for me: instant oatmeal. I know. After making it old-fashioned style on the stove for a while (and perfecting that technique, by the way) I had to figure out a way to make instant oatmeal taste as good.

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But I’m proud to say that I finally did it! I don’t know about you, but what I never liked so much about instant oatmeal (I use the plain instant stuff out of the canister, not the packets) was the texture. Oats plus hot water never equaled a nice combination for me. So what I do is put the oats in the bowl first, and then add a healthy splash of milk (soy milk, in my case). Then I add a little bit of hot water (no microwave necessary). I have no idea why that changes things, but adding the soy milk first—which means you don’t need as much water—really makes the texture a lot more appealing to me. Softer, somehow? Less gummy?

Anyway, then I add the toppings. (Mine are cinnamon, chopped pecans, and a little granola.) Last step: I slice in a banana—preferably a deliciously ripe one like today—and mash it all up!

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So now that you’ve heard my super-nerdy tutorial about how to make good instant oatmeal, give it a try! Oatmeal is the perfect, fiber-rich breakfast. 🙂

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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…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!