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Archive for January, 2012

To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first-William Shakespeare

This was another quote that William sent me a while back to help me understand my training. You will see soon how this will fit right into this post.

It’s the end of January and I have not felt I have given enough time to run.  Something is always coming up. Either I’m sick, I’m working too many hours at work, or running errands, or before you know it, the day has gone by.  This week I did not get any runs or workouts.  Over the weekend I had a big offsite and worked the whole weekend. I also made a last minute trip to Michigan for William’s brother’s wedding. We left Tuesday evening and returned Thursday evening. It was something that we did not plan since we just found out the news last week.  This is where I took another turn but it resulted into a positive one.  I knew most of William’s family has been reading my blog and it came up in conversation at the reception after the ceremony. Corey (William’s brother) asked me about the runs and how much I have been running. I almost drew a blank when he asked me because I realized that I haven’t felt I’ve improved! He just ran the half marathon in Detroit last October and went through training. I have not been running as much as I should and I felt stupid when he asked me. I responded to him that I have been running about 4 miles. It led to the conversation of the Maui Marathon during dinner. Everyone was very happy for me.  There were just twelve of us around the dinner table but I saw the smiles in everyone’s faces when William and I talked about the marathon.  As I result, I stopped feeling stupid because I realized that my original goal of all this was working. If you read my blog’s section “About Me” you will read that one of the reasons to start the blog was to inspire other people.  It felt great to see other’s people’s reactions to my plan and my long journey.  William’s aunt now wants to go to Maui to support us!  It felt good to hear the support and I had the sudden urge to continue to make this happen for me!  His family motivated me to keep this going and work hard at it!

So we flew back on Thursday night and had a good night’s sleep. I went to work on Friday and the first thing I did after work was go for a run.  I ran towards Runyon Canyon and I felt strong and alive.  I ran more than I walked. I was thinking about William’s family the whole time.  I actually didn’t stop many times. Just a few quick steps to catch my breath and continued running. I felt that I reached Melrose faster than the other  two times and ran mostly all the way back.  Towards the end I had a nice steady pace and it made my wonder if I was experiencing the runner’s high?  Probably not but I know that I was finally running with no side pains, no foot pains, and I was breathing steadily.  My legs felt wobbly at one point but I was not out of breath so I continued running. Once I finished the run, I saw that I finished it 50 minutes rather than 60 minutes.  It’s the same 4-mile run that I have been working on and I have already improved ten minutes!  It meant so much to me because I feel that I have been struggling to make time to run.

Besides having the motivation from William’s family, I also made some improvements that helped. I have continued to eat healthy (for the most part) and I am still doing Yoga once a week, and some other kind of workout, which has been Plyometrics. William also bought me new socks. I was getting blisters within the first mile of running.  I do not think it’s normal to get them so quickly. So we bought socks and I tried them out for the first time today and there was no irritation with my feet. I was so happy!  So many things that I will learn a long this journey… If there are any runners reading my blog, please feel free to give me tips that will reduce any kind of discomfort when running. I would greatly appreciate it.

So as I stated in the beginning, I started the month a little slow but sometimes it’s required to get a rhythm going.  If it was not for me traveling to Michigan to attend Corey and Sara’s wedding, I would have not taken this turn. Congratulations you two!  I came back refueled and ready for more!

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I was doing well on my detox diet, even when I was sick. It wasn’t until last weekend when I started to crave so many things that were not approved on my detox diet. I began to feel bored on the food I was eating and also running out of it.  Doing this diet can be expensive and I was going through so much food.  I didn’t want to stop early but it was just getting too difficult to buy the groceries and the cravings wouldn’t go away!  The reason why I wanted to stick to the 21 days (besides the fact that you are supposed to do it for 21 days according to the book) is because I wanted to prove to myself that I could discipline myself into doing something. I felt that I gave in to this diet, that I probably wouldn’t last with my training either. It was all in my head and I wanted to prove to myself that I was strong enough to succeed in something so difficult.  Will had send me a quote:  “It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.”  By William James.  I needed to stay positive and focused!

So last weekend I went to my brother’s house to hang out and nothing in his refrigerator was approved to eat. I was hungry and weak so I gave in and ate some chips and a hamburger he made me.  NOOOO!!!!!!!  I felt awful but it was so delicious.  I gave myself a hard time about eating the food but I started thinking:  I’m only human!  I don’t want to make excuses for myself but I did learn something from this. Just because I ate the hamburger, it does not mean I will not finish my training. It’s not like I was going to start eating this kind of stuff daily.  I still wanted to continue running and training which I have been doing. I was just so scared that I was going to stop everything just because I made a wrong turn.  I guess my lesson learned is that no matter what, it’s going to be up to me to make this happened and it’s ok to make mistakes along the way.

So basically my detox diet ended after two weeks. It does not mean that I have stopped eating healthy. I actually cooked a 10 lbs turkey on Sunday and I have been making different meals with it throughout the week. I made a turkey salad with sage, veganaise, lemon juice, zucchini, and cayenne pepper. Will and I ate it in brown rice tortillas (gluten and wheat free).  I also made another turkey salad with veganaise, parsley, jalapeño pepper, lemon juice, black olives, green onions, and cayenne pepper. This one was more spicy and delicious. I have also been sticking with my fruit shakes that are high on fiber.

Will and I ran this week toward Runyon canyon. I noticed that when I run with him, I don’t stop to have as many breaks as when I run by myself. I remember the first time I ran towards Runyon Canyon, I made many stops before reaching Melrose. This time with Will, I didn’t stop once until we reached Melrose.  He was always in front of me about 10 yards away so I was always trying to catch up to him.  It worked whatever he was trying to do with me.  We have also been doing our P90x workouts. I did Plyometrics and Yoga.

Last night I got out of work late and we were looking for a place to eat.  We were looking for a place where we were able to watch the Clippers play and eat. I wanted to ensure that the food was somewhat healthy.  There is a restaurant we always pass by on the way to my house called Home Restaurant. It’s on Riverside Drive and Fletcher. We decided to go into the parking and asked the Valet if they had a TV to watch the game. They replied yes so we decided to try it. The nice hostess greeted us and sat us at the bar. When she sat us down she said “Welcome Home.” It was really cute. The menu had a lot of variety and there was a salad that caught my eye, the Healthy Multi-Grain Salad.  It basically had a lot of ingredients that I was able to eat such as garbanzos, lentils, red beans, barley, black rice, celery, cucumber, carrots, red onions, tomato, and feta cheese. That was my selection and Will ordered a chicken pomodoro sandwich. They were both very delicious but I especially liked the salad because it was healthy and good!  I’m glad we found this place because now we have options besides me cooking. It’s difficult to find places that offer healthy items.   I’m glad we found this place.

So today I will be working about 14 hours for an event. That will be my workout. Walking all over the event making sure that it runs smoothly.  I will continue my running tomorrow.

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End of 2nd week

So I’ve hit a brick wall.  Out of nowhere I got a terrible cold. At first I thought I was just extremely tired last Saturday but by Sunday I was feeling the runny nose and the chills. I spent the whole day Sunday cooking meals for the week.  On Monday morning I woke up with the cold. It was terrible. My eyes wouldn’t stop watering and my nose was like a mucus hose.  I had a client coming in for dinner that night and I knew it was too late to cancel. So I took medicine and stayed in bed until about 3pm. The medicine helped reduce the runny nose and the bloodshot eyes. So by the time I met with the clients I did not look as bad as I was in the morning.

I was not able to run because my body felt so tired. It had to be the medicine. I wasn’t able to miss work because I had too much stuff going on.  I finally feel better today and it looks like I will be able to start running again. Tonight after work I will begin with Yoga to stretch out my muscles.  My neck and back feel tense and I feel this will be a good way to start.

I was bummed I had to stop the running. I felt I finally had something going and was excited to continue  the second week. At least I have not cheated on my detox diet. I have been keeping up with it and I am starting to feel it.

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Today is the seventh day of training and things are going well for the most part. I’m sore, eager, excited, and ready for more.
Monday I had off for the holiday so I continued to make some more meals from the Clean book and took it easy that day. I wanted to makes sure I had enough food made for the week while I was at work. I made some new recipes I had not tried out before. I made a tilapia with lemon, thyme, black olives, and zucchini in parchment paper and baked in the oven. The Clean book also described an easy recipe for vegetables. Basically buy any green favorite vegetables, steam them, and add a tablespoon of coconut oil right after steaming them. So I steamed some broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, and spinach. I also cooked some quinoa and combined them together with the coconut oil.

Quinoa with Steamed Vegetables and Coconut Oil

It went great with the tilapia! It was a great and healthy dinner to have.

Tuesday I did Plyometrics from the P90x program after work. According to Wikipedia, plyometrics is designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in sports.  Plyometrics in the P90x is basically an hour of explosive jumping exercises. It’s also a great cardio workout. It’s also one of the hardest workouts of P90x. It gets you tired quick! But I focused on exercising the moves correctly and took my time. I felt great after I finished.
Wednesday I was sore and knew I was heading on the right direction. I went for a morning run around my house. I went towards the same loop I had done with William on Sunday but went to another bigger hill and it killed me! Running in the morning is very different. It was cold, my muscles were still not as warm so they felt tight, and I was hungry. I didn’t want to eat before the run so I only drank some water. I also didn’t have William running with me so I didn’t have anybody pushing me to not stop running. It was hard! I stopped a lot! Going up the hill made me wonder what the heck I was doing. I felt so far behind from the marathon because I was out of breath and tired. William’s voice was inside my head telling me “you can do it, run another block before you stop to rest,” so I tried to maintain that. I made it farther than what William and I had done but it wasn’t easy. I knew I had a long way to go.
Thursday I did Yoga with William after work. I’ve been looking forward to this because Yoga only does the body good. It was my favorite workout when I was doing P90x over the summer so I was glad to get back on it. You see, Yoga is more than just stretching your body. Its building balance and strength. Two components I need for my body to run better. There were some difficult poses but I got through. I felt so much better afterwards. My body felt loose and rested.
Friday I woke up sore again. I went to work early and had a long busy daly. I was there from about 8:30am to 7:15pm. I was tired after work but knew I had to get another run before my day ended. So I started the weekday goal run that William made for me which was to get to Runyon Canyon from his apartment. I ran and walked but mostly tried to run the whole time. There were times that I felt tired and other times I had spurts of energy and ran at a good pace. I made it all the way to Melrose Avenue and Martel, which was exactly two miles. I then ran and walked when I had to back to the aparment. It took me 1 hour for a total of four miles. This is going to change soon. Pretty soon I’ll be blogging that I did 8 miles in one hour! I’m going to get there damnit! I didn’t have Coach William for most of the week because his friend is visiting from Japan. They’ve been keeping each other entertained with other activities. It’s made me appreciate how nice to have a running partner. He’s good at keeping me at a good pace since he’s so advanced at this. He’ll be back next week ready for action.
The diet part has been fun but also time consuming. It was challenging this week to make sure I had food to take to work. Since I’m cooking for William too, we go through more food because we’re hungry all the time. So it’s good to have snacks such as baggies of mixed raw nuts, roasted garbanzos, fruits, and quinoa salad. But our main meals I had to make sure that we were not falling off the detox diet. Sometimes I was cooking at 9pm because it was the only time I had. This is what happens when you really want something. You make sacrifices because nothing in life comes easy. It’s showed me that I can be determined and complete something. I only have 14 more days of this detox clean diet. In the beginning of the week I almost forgot I was on it. Since I work at a restaurant, there’s always food at every corner! The first day back to work I almost went to the bar to get a coke to go with my meal because it was a habit I had in December. I paused and told myself “Wait a minute, I can’t have a coke anymore.” So I took some water instead. But that happened many times. The co-worker meals had chilaquiles one day, which is basically tortillas, salsa and CHEESE, my favorite ingredient in the whole wide world! I can’t have any dairy while I’m doing the clean diet.
The biggest challenge of all was doing a tasting with a client. I’m not sure if I mentioned this but I’m a Catering Manager. Part of my job is to do food tastings with clients to plan their menus for their events. Normally I sit and enjoy the tasting with them so I can see how consistent the food is that the Chef makes and so the clients don’t feel weird that I’m not eating. This time, I knew I couldn’t do that because the items on the tasting had ingredients that I couldn’t have such as dairy, shellfish, and wheat. What I did do was that I made sure I had my Clean meal about an hour before the clients got there so I was not hungry while doing the tasting with them. It worked but I was so tempted because I still have to see and smell the food! I love Chef’s food so it was very difficult for me to resist the mini burger sliders, the goat cheese purses with caramelized onions, the coconut shrimp with red curry sauce, the chipotle lobster and avocado bruschetta…need I say more? So I guess what this part will teach me is discipline. After the 21 days of detox are over, my world of food will be back but I will hopefully learn how to balance what I eat so I do not go back to the old eating habits. I will balance my cheese portions wisely and not go back to certain things such as soda. Soda is simply not good for you. So I shouldn’t ever go back to that. Cheese is good but obviously when the portion is not too much. This will help me in the long run as I continue my training for the marathon.
Next run will be tomorrow…stay tuned.

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I started my diet and training yesterday, January 1, 2012. The first thing I did was weighed myself. I’m going to do a monthly analysis after each month to see the progress I’ve made. I’m going to be looking on how my weight and body changes. My goal is not to get to a certain weight. Ideally I would like to be at 150 lbs or so. However I know that once I start weight lifting, my muscle weight is going to increase. I’m also going to be looking on how far I can run after each month I finish.
So my physical facts: I’m 5 feet and 10.5 inches. My waist (measured my belly) is at 38.5 inches. My weight is at a whooping 178 pounds! Yikes! I’ve never been this heavy! My ideal weight (according to internet charts) should be in the 150s. I know this weight had a lot to do on how I ate the last quarter of the year. It’s also the busiest quarter of my job. This means I typically work anywhere from 10 to 12 hours in a day, sometimes 14 hours if I’m working a large event. On weeks like these, I’m tired and I don’t have time to cook. I eat what I can grab which usually consists food with bread, butter, and beef. The three forbidden Bs. When I had time to eat out, William and I were not picking the healthiest choices. We were eating pastas, hamburgers, pastrami sandwiches, Mexican food, chips, etc.
The advantage of me being tall is that I can hide it for a while. When I increase my weight, the fat equally is staggered to my butt, stomach, the boobies, and the chin. It all does not go to one place. I feel it the most on my clothes. It’s hard to fit into anything right now. I can’t wear any of my button shirts, I have to wear my “big” pants to avoid the muffin top look, and I can’t look down without making two chins.
I was disappointed in myself because I was in a healthier condition over the summer when I did the Clean diet and I was physically active with different things. I remember I was walking a lot, I had done the Orange County 5k, I hiked the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan, I was biking, and cooking healthy.  Now I’m on the other side of the fence and it sucks.
After I weighed myself I went to buy some groceries and started cooking. When I follow the Clean diet, I take a lot of time in the kitchen. To be healthy, I have to make everything from scratch. I do not mind it at all because I love to cook. So what I try to do is to cook a lot of meals in 1-2 days so I have food for the week and that way I do not fall behind on my diet. I started with this holiday clean recipe that Alejandro Junger (the author of Clean) posted on his facebook page. It was a chicken meal that consisted of thyme, garlic, mushrooms, leeks, and balsamic vinegar. I made some wild rice with almonds to go with the meal. It was so delicious! I also made some quinoa salad to snack on between meals. The quinoa salad has currants, raw almonds, parsley, mint, green onions, olive oil, lime juice, and ground cumin. It’s a perfect snack and quinoa is high on protein. I also made some zucchini soup to have as a meal.
After I finished my meals I went with William for our first official run of the year. William made goals to accomplish for us. Our weekday goal runs will be to run to Runyon Canyon, all the way to the top from his apartment. It’s 5 miles away from his apartment and a lot of hills! We also have to run back to his house. So that’s about 10 miles total for the weekday goal. Our weekend goal run will be to run from his apartment to Santa Monica Beach, which is 9 miles away from his apartment. We then run another 4 miles in the sand to Marina del Rey, and then run back to his apartment. This is what I have to accomplish in 8 months! So we started our first run and ran a loop around my house. The residential area around my house has a lot of hills. It was really difficult for me. I was out of breath for a while and my legs started to hurt. My leg bones felt so week! I had to stop at the midpoint (1 mile) and stretch my legs out. Afterwards, a while later I decided to sprint for a while. I had a boost of energy out of nowhere. My leg pains continued but we made it home. I ran about two miles. It was painful and embarrassing that I cannot run two miles. Two little miles out of the 26 I have to run in September!
First day of diet and training finished.

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