Category Archives: Fuel

Motivating Music

Hi Readers!

I made a new page about important people in my life, to get to know me a bit better. Check it out if you would like! πŸ™‚

I have my paper to finish and an exam later today so I knew I wanted to start my day out with a run. It gave me a chance to think about what I needed to do for the day, but also have some “me” time, and I knew it would feel great. At least that’s what I was telling myself. For some reason, the LAST thing I wanted to do was run today, just wasn’t feelin it. However, I knew once I got out there and finished, I would feel better, I don’t think I have ever regretted a workout.

Confession: I know a part of my sluggish feeling is not fueling before runs ( i have talked about this before but need to reiterate!). I KNOW i need to do this, but I am never hungry when i wake up, so I just slam some coffee down, pop in a piece of gum and go. My irrational thinking is that since I am not hungry, why eat…i’ll just “save” my calories for later. This is ridiculous, I know I need fuel for this sort of exercise and that my performance is better when I do. I had this meal before my race on Saturday and I felt great during that.

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Yum πŸ˜€

To give myself a kick in the butt to get going, I decided to run with music today. Sometimes I run with music, but for the last few months I have been listening to books while running instead. Let me tell you, it’s great! Especially when I’m listening to a good story, the time and miles zoom by. I finished Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult the other day, and am now listening to South of Broad by Patrick Conroy. Unfortunately, this book hasn’t exactly pulled me in yet so I figured the run would go even slower. At this point, music seemed the best option, and it really helped push me on the run!

It is safe for me to say that I like really ANY kind of music, so my playlists are all over the place. They range from current pop songs to country, oldies, etc. Today though, I decided to listen to the only band I consistently liked every song they have produced, Rascal Flatts!Β  Yes they’re country, and I know there are a lot of country music haters out there :p but this bad is fabulous. Most of there songs are upbeat, have catchy lyrics and don’t have that “twang” sound you often hear in country singers. I would loveee to go to one of their concerts soon too πŸ˜€

 

So Seductive :p

(Source)

I think I have about every song they have written on my iPod, so I just blasted them for my entire run.

Stats for the run: 7.1 miles, 55:00, which averages about 7:45 pace per mile. It was a very hilly run, so I bet some of that time contributes to me have sheer relief of being able to go downhill!

Here are the songs I listened to today (all Rascal Flatts):

  1. Here’s To You
  2. Life is a Highway
  3. Break Away
  4. Feels Like Today
  5. Backwards
  6. My Wish
  7. Me and my Gang
  8. Cool Thing
  9. No Reins
  10. Secret Smile
  11. Summer Nights
  12. Sunday Afternoon
  13. Why Wait
  14. Love You Out Loud

Although I most races without music, sometimes you just need that extra something to get you going!

*Do you run with music? Ever tried listening to a book? Or are you anti-ipod?

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Filed under Confession, Disorded Thoughts, Exercise, Favorite Foods, Favorite Products, Fuel, Running

Calling All Runners and Athletes!

And just like that, we are almost done with Moan-Day! I got this from Caitlin’s (Healthy Tipping Point) post this morning, made me laugh πŸ™‚

I am currently sitting in one of my favorite places ever, Barnes and Noble!!!, and writing a paper. Let me first say that Barnes and Noble, Borders, or really any other book store, is my favorite place to do work. There is usually a cafe, plenty of books if I need references, and when I need a break- people watching is the best!

The only problem is being distracted by huge magazine rack, or really any other book available to read. Must. Focus. Now.

While I am procrastinating actually writing this paper, I am thinking about it at least! This is for my Nutrition and Public Health class and I am researching about a subject near and dear to me, disordered eating among female athletes. I am focusing on college-level athletes, but also am discussing the trends among regular ones, although only in women (sorry guys!).

If you Google, “disordered eating and athletes,” there are overwhelming results. Overall, these indicate there are higher levels of eating related issues among female athletes as compared to those that are more inactive. This makes sense to me: there are pressures not only from our society to become thin, but also there are certain sports that put pressure on performers to meet a certain weight criteria.

Running is a sport largely related to this. Many elite female runners are lean, mean, fighting machines, with very little body fat.

 

Elite Runners Before a Race

A person that is attempting to get to elite levels might draw the conclusion that the thinner you are= the faster you run. Although there have been studies that showed how weight loss does impact race times, these are only geared toward people that have some extra weight to lose. Check out this Runner’s World article for a more detailed explanation.Unfortunately, some women may learn this information and take it into the extreme, leading to a restrictive calorie intake and setting themselves up for menstrual loss and osteoporosis at a young age.

From personal experience of being a member of my school’s cross country and track team, I have seen the pressure to be thin among my teammates. I can remember on the very first day of practice, a girl was there that was so thin, her legs looked like sticks and she was shivering in the 80-degree weather of September. Eventually she admitted to restricting because she though it would make her run faster. With intervention methods such as requiring her to eat a specific number of calories and education on adequate nutrition and sports performance, she has recovered, gained weight and is running quite fast now.

I have also succumbed to the pressures of meeting a certain weight, as I have discussed in my “About Me” page and “Running” page. Although my obsession with food occurred long before i began runner, last summer I figured losing weight meant I would run faster. Initially this did occur, but my inadequate calorie intake caught up with me and I was constantly feeling fatigues and my performance steadily got worse.

Too Thin For ME!

When an athlete goes on a “diet” and begins to restrict their intake, it actually might look like they are eating normally. Yet they are not taking in adequate calories to meet the demands of their practices or training runs, and their performance will inevitably decline.

For example, on days when I go on my long runs, I now eat like a horse after! I am usually so hungry the entire day and continuous snacking on proper nutritious items helps me to recover. I might look like I am eating excess amounts to a non-athlete, which is why this could go unnoticed from someone who is suffering with food-related issues.

So for my essay, I would love to hear other people’s stories or opinions on this! Beyond influence from images of our culture in magazines, TV, Internet, etc, have you ever felt pressure as an athlete to look a certain way for the sport? Or have you seen this among friends?

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Filed under Disorded Thoughts, Disordered Eating, Fitness, Fuel, Recovery, Running, Serious Stuff, UMASS

5k Dash and Dine Race Recap

Hi readers! Phew, what a great Saturday it has been so far!

This morning was the 5k Dash and Dine to help raise money for the Amherst Survival Center. It is a great program and I was quite glad to contribute to the cause πŸ™‚

The race did not start until 11:00, a much later time then I am used to, but can’t get most college students up much before that. The run was open to the community as well, and overall there were around 600 participants, mostly runners and some that chose to walk. This was the second year of this race, and it has continued to gain support.

Sam the Minuteman!

 

Because it didn’t start until 11, I slept in until 9:15 (quite late for me), had some coffee and pre-race fuel. My breakfast consisted of an apple with almond butter and a bowl of Cascadian Farms Dark Chocolate Almond Granola cereal, phew that’s a mouthful. I got this as a sample from another race I had participated in and today I tried it for the first time. Umm, yumm! I am not a huge chocolate fan (gasp) but there were subtle notes of dark chocolate flavor that I surprisingly really enjoyed. The consistency was crunchy, and not too sweet. It was a nice filling bowl enjoyed with almond milk.

Once I was fueled, it was time to go pick up my bib number. Very conveniently, the race began literally outside my building and I had already pre-registered so I went over about 20 minutes before the start of the race. I picked up my number, ran a 10 minute warm up, and went out right when the gun went off!

The course was hilly, but with a good amount of down-hills as well which helped me to catch my breath. It went all through campus and although it was FREEZING and windy, I had a great race! I was the second woman overall (I tried and failed to catch the lady in front of me, doh!) with a time of 20:25. That’s a bit off my PR, (19:59) but I was quite pleased because I haven’t been doing much speed work lately.

After a 25 minute cool down, it was time for the awards ceremony and I got a trophy! I am still a little kid and feel extra special when getting a prize πŸ˜€

*Please excuse these kind of awkward room shots, I was taking the pictures with a timer, as I didn’t have a friend with me to snap a few pics haha

Once I returned to my room, I noticed some dust accumulating in the far corner and went on a mad cleaning spree. Once I get started doing something like this, there’s no stopping me! Cleaning up a bit of dust turned into a full out vacuum, swiffer, dusting episode, and let me tell you, my room smells and looks great now.

I had lunch with Danielle, and I am in Panera Bread with her “doing homework” aka writing this and reading other people’s blogs πŸ™‚ Alright, it is time to disconnect myself from the internet and get started on my Sociology of Childhood paper…. lots of fun!

Good luck to those that ran the DC Half-Marathon today! I hope it went great!

Did anyone else have a race today? Do you like doing work/hanging out in Panera as much as I do?! (aka people watching hehe)

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Filed under Breakfast, College, Fuel, Product Review, Running

Product Reviews and Below The Surface- Fear Food: Cereal

Good morning readers!

I got in a nice run this morning, it was about 6.3 miles at a 7:45 pace, which seems to be my usual pace for runs these days. It used to be around 8:30 so diligence towards the sport really shows how much it is possible to improve. I ended the run at the Rec Center where I took a core class for 35 minutes. I am definitely feeling the effects of the routine now, I really need to work on my core strength, which has been proven to make you faster and more efficient while running. Fit Sugar explains this idea really well, check it out!

After I got back I showered and had a quick breakfast before my first class at 11:15. I had a big bowl of cereal:

  • 1/2 cup Blueberry Muffin Mini Wheats= one of my all time favorite cereals. This is a new-ish discovery and it tastes like a delicious blueberry muffin in a crunchy, wheaty, sweet form…yum πŸ™‚
  • 1/2 cup Quaker Oat Squares (Cinnamon)= also amazing! I first saw these from Allie’s Blog, and have seen them appear more and more across the Blog world. Another example of its crazy influence!
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • Trader Joe’s Berry Greek Yogurt= this was really tasty! I have tried several different types of Greek Yogurt and this has been deemed one of my new favorites. It was pretty think, not too sweet, with a subtle fruit taste, and not too much $$, always something to consider, as I am a bit poor at the moment.
  • A sprinkle of slivered almonds
  • Apple

After finishing this breakfast, it made me realize how much my eating and refueling has improved on my road to recovery, but also reminds me of foods I once truly feared and am working to incorporate them on daily basis.

There are several I can think of, today I will talk about cereal.

I used to be a cereal FANATIC. I literally loved every kind of sugary, fake kinds you could think of; Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Krispies, Frosted Flakes, Golden Grahams, Cap’n Crunch, Crunch Berries, oh my I could go on. I would have 2-3 bowls (not measured) every morning before school and then 1-2 when I got home and perhaps one for dinner πŸ™‚

When I started Weight Watchers however, the point system helped to teach portion sizes and made me realize I was using about half of my daily points on cereal in the morning. Although portions are good to learn, WW once again made me obsessed with this and led to habit changes. I found healthier cereals, such as Fiber One, Kashi, and other Organic cereals, that I could have for much less points and were more satisfying. I eventually cut down to one, pre-measured bowl of cereal in the morning and none for the rest of the day.

As my obsession around WW, food and weight became more intense, I took a look at my breakfast and irrationality reared its ugly head. This small bowl of cereal was not satisfying me at all, leaving me hungry almost immediately after I had finished it. Instead of adding more cereal, healthy fats, or protein, I thought this food was just going to make me fat because it made me hungry. I then started to consume fruit for breakfast instead, as a way to fill me up for the lower calories (in my mind). Eventually I stopped having breakfast all together, but that’s for another post πŸ™‚

I had this idea that the Carbs from cereal were the ones that caused people to gain weight, and fruit would prevent this. What I didn’t understand at the time that I was simply not eating enough and a balance of nutrients in the morning to sustain me.

Cereal is not the enemy and never has been, and it’s now once again, it is among my favorite foods! Any kind still: though I try to pick the ones with ingredients I can actually pronounce and that have a good amount of fiber and protein. Also, coupling cereal with fruit and a healthy fat, such as a bowl with a sliced banana, skim milk, and nuts sprinkled on top, will really help to keep me full.

I have so many other fear foods I am overcoming, including pasta, FATS, pizza, sweet treats, pastries, cakes, okay so alot. I will discuss these soon as well!

Has anyone experienced fears around certain foods? What have you done to overcome this?

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Filed under Below The Surface, Breakfast, Disorded Thoughts, Favorite Foods, Fitness, Fuel, Product Review, Running, Trader Joes, Weight Watchers

Confession and a Healthy Granola Recipe!

Good afternoon! I almost just wrote morning, but the day seems to be zooming by, its already 12:30!

Confession Time: This morning I went on a pleasant 7 mile run at a relaxed pace. I came in around 55 minutes, but was quite tired the whole time! I really need to start fueling before my runs, or at least during. I know, it is so BAD not to, but I usually run first thing in the morning and I really NEVER wake up hungry and forcing myself to eat leads to stomach issues on my run…gross I know! But not going to lie, the irrational, wanting to lose weight side of my brain thinks this will lead to a faster weight loss, similar to what I did after workouts, not eat! NOT SMART!

For runs that are longer than 8 miles, I am going to try incorporating Shot Bloks or an equivalent every few miles. I am sure that will make a difference in my energy levels, and I will report back with my experiment! If that goes well, I am going to try eating a small something before a run, perhaps half a banana or something. What are people’s favorite mid-fuel treats that are easy on the stomach?

I should note, however, that I ALWAYS fuel before Cross Country races, and other road races no matter what the distance is. I try to perform by very best during each race, and know how important fuel is… so DUHHH I need to do this before every workout/run to get the most out of my training!

After I showered, I whipped up a pretty quick and very easy granola recipe to have for breakfast! I based it off of this recipe, Banana Granola, but changed a few things

  1. Cutting the recipe in half
  2. Using only walnuts instead of walnuts and seeds
  3. Agave Nectar, not honey,
  4. and a few sprinkles of TJ Peanut Flour which has been discontinued! Alas 😦

It turned out really good! I love granola but some recipes and ones you can buy are fat and calorie dense. With this recipe, you still get a good measure of healthy fats with the walnuts and bit of Peanut Flour, but it is much lower, and still tasty! The banana adds a touch of sweetness and the baking time allows it to crunch up nicely. I suggest you make this asap! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a side note, I read the Fitnessista Blog (which is fabulous for so many reasons, I’m sure you already read it πŸ™‚ ) She did a short video on a pretty twist you can do to your hair and I decided to try it today, check it out!

 

 

Have a nice day everyone! Later today I will be posting more about disordered eating habits, such as my daily eats before and after getting better

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Baking, Confession, ED, Exercise, Favorite Foods, Fitness, Fuel, Running