I resolved to get back into my running game. After a stellar January and a less impressive February, I started March off right by running my goal of 12 miles last week. Remember I dared myself to run 3 times a week, and to cover 50 miles over the remaining weeks in March, back to my original 2012 resolution.
That Sunday, I got started right away with a 3-mile run. It was actually really motivating, because I was able to run those 3 miles without walking. This is something that I've only done a handful of times (mostly on the treadmill and once on the road during a race), so I was surprised when, after a month of barely training, I was able to do this without too much effort. Just got on the treadmill, turned on a podcast (this was new; I usually listen to music), and pressed 6.0. When the 30 minutes was up, I was elated that I was still able to run those steady 3 miles, and so had high hopes for the rest of the week.
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday went well. Monday I upped it to 4 miles, but in 45 minutes. Tuesday, I finally took my run outside. It was cold, but I reminded myself how nice it is to get out in the fresh air instead of running in the gym. I ran 3 miles in the same 29:40, but this time, after the first mile, I switched to intervals. Sometimes just running as I felt like it, or setting a certain marker to reach, but the last 15 minutes was mostly my favorite chorus-verse intervals, as I listen to my music. Whatever works!
By Tuesday, I'd racked up 10 miles. At that rate, you'd think I'd go well beyond my goal by the week's end, but I don't run on Wednesdays (Spinning), Thursdays (day off), or Fridays (Spinning), so that just left Saturday to finish it out.
And I did. :) Completed the requisite two miles early on Saturday morning, in the ice-cold air that followed two days of spring. But got the job done! Now, gotta do another 12 miles this week to keep my momentum going! It helps that the sun is shining and temps are rising. Is it spring yet??
Wheat, or lack thereof
A few weeks ago, I stopped eating wheat when I realized it (apparently) improved my digestion and made my stomach feel less... well, just 'less.' My stomach was no longer constantly bothering me. (If you've got GI discomfort, I dare you to try it for a week and see how you feel!) Since then, I extended my own challenge to all grains for the month of March. Essentially, I'm following a "Paleo" nutrition plan, which is fine with me. I've been learning about Paleo for months, now, and have been fascinated by some of the research, reasoning, and results. So, we'll see. I didn't go buy any of the amazing-looking cookbooks out there, but instead have simply been continuing to eat the way I did before, except without some of my favorites, like pasta, whole-grain breads and wraps, quinoa, pita chips, hummus (wahh!), granola... Right. So although it hasn't been easy, I'm eating TONS of things that I do love, like roasted vegetables, fish, nuts, fruit, sweet potatoes and butternut squash, Greek yogurt (the only dairy I'm having these days), omelettes, and greens like spinach, arugula, kale, brussels sprouts, and asparagus. The difficult/tricky part is to also be careful when dining out--order a salad instead of a wrap, ask for my eggs over greens instead of an English muffin, keep my paws off the bread basket. If nothing else, it's a wonderful exercise in self-control.
At home, though, I've taken the opportunity to experiment with all kinds of new baking techniques. This is a great way to turn an "deprivation" plan into something fun, new, and exciting! Plus, after clearing out my kitchen, I went in search of ways to compensate for the lack of bread for those I live with, who like their sandwiches. The internet is a wonderful place for ANYONE trying ANY kind of NEW foods. There is so much out there for paleo-style baking (and cooking, but I've got that covered), so I went to work in the kitchen using new ingredients like these:
|Almond and Cashew Butter|
I do promise to share some of these websites and recipes with you, as soon as I figure out my favorites. Sometimes the recipe (or my execution) is a failure...
|The "bread" that didn't rise|
|The "bread" that didn't... become bread.|
and other times I've been quite successful!
|Muffins, adapted from my pumpkin cupcakes|
|Delicious "Caveman Cookies"|
It's an adventure, and I try new and different things each day. For the most part, though, I'm eating a diet of vegetables, fruit, fish, eggs, yogurt, nuts, and oils. So far, my stomach's continued to behave itself, so I'm going to keep it up for the rest of the month. That leaves two more weeks of grain-legume-(mostly)dairy-free eating, and I'll see how I feel at that time to decide how to move forward.
PHEW! Now that you're caught up on my two big March Challenges, I can ask -- how are you doing with your goals? Have you tried removing wheat? If you've ever taken it a step further with Paleo, how'd it work out for you?
For next week: Run another 12 miles (starting this afternoon), Keep up with the nutrition plan, andddd... Clean my room! Spring cleaning time, right? Time to clear out the house a bit--out with the old and in with the new. Also aiming to get more sleep. Who doesn't need more sleep? Eight hours per night, please.
Have a great week, friends!