March 3, 2009

Fly, You Fools

One of my goals for 2009 was to get in better shape. Part of that was to be able to run 3 miles by the end of February.

The end of February has come and gone and I haven't run three miles, but I am consistently running two miles three times a week, and I'm extremely happy about it. For now, I'm going to stay there, since it takes about the amount of time I want to spend running and also more than that starts to get boring. Maybe one of these days I'll try out three, but for right now, two consecutive miles feels like a big success to me.

A few things have made a difference for me, I think.

First off, I'm taking my iron pills virtually every day. I have one bottle at work and one at home, so it's easy for me to take them (weekends are the hardest for me to remember). This alone has changed everything. I no longer feel my lungs trying to burst open in my chest and I can't remember the last time I had a fainting spell.

I'm also getting a consistent seven hours of sleep a night and going to bed at a close to normal time on the weekends as well. I hate it when we stay up until two a.m. on Friday or Saturday nights. Yuck.

I'm also eating better than I have in years. I have a banana/blueberry/oat muffin every morning for breakfast and sometimes a fruit and yogurt smoothie to go along with it. Eating breakfast every single day is a big change for me (I haven't eaten breakfast most days since I was a sophomore in high school).

We also went off fast food this year, which means it is absolutely crucial that we have lunches packed for our ten or more hour days on campus and at work. I've made a big effort to cut down the carbs in our lunches and increase the protein-rich items without making it difficult to assemble. Right now it is generally a yogurt, string or Laughing Cow cheese, apples, carrots, pretzels, hummus, peanut butter sandwich, and a granola bar. Quick and delicious.

I feel stronger and better than I have in ages. I can run. This feels as miraculous to me as flying.

22 comments:

  1. Just curious, is it a plain peanut butter sandwich? Or PBJ?

    And hey, what's wrong with staying up till 2AM on the weekends (when you are with us? ) : )

    Way to go! I remember one time, and only one time, I ran two miles without stopping and it felt fantastic! I doubt I'd make it a tenth of a mile right now!

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  2. wow, I'm impressed! Way to go!

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  3. This was a good reminder to start taking my iron pills again. I got out of the habit and they really do make a difference.

    Just watch, you'll get here and be able to kick my trash at running.

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  4. Are you calling me a fool?

    I need to start exercising like you. And eating better. I rode the exercycle the other morning for only 20 minutes (it's been a while, a long while) and my lungs were burning. Sad times.

    Thanks for the inspiration, and the muffin recipe and lunch ideas. Good idea. Lunch is the hard one to eat well for me. I feed the kids early and in a hurry, so I skip it until later and then I am starving and eat a piece of bread with nutella or something. Really great. I'll be better now!

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  5. Enjoy these precious few years while you're in your prime, Deary. They're so fleeting.

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  6. Excellent on your running! I'm lucky if I get through 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill! 2 miles - that is impressive!

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  7. And Toto too? Does the hubby run with you at all? Good for you. I really plan to get into shape after this baby and try to gain some semblance of my former self. It will be difficult. But at least I'll have your muffin recipe.

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  8. I hear you about it taking a long time and getting bored. I am running about three miles three times a week and would like to do more but a)it takes so long just to run three miles and b) I am really quite done with running at the end of three.

    One thing that has helped me though is to do something else after running. So, I will run for three miles and then cool down for a tenth of a mile or so and then do the elliptical or bike. You are working slightly different muscle groups and it is slightly easier. Two things which makes it easier to tack on another mile or so. Of course this only works if you are at a gym.

    I think I might have to try your iron pills. I get really beat after my runs. More so than I really think I should given how long I have been doing this. Do you find them hard on your stomach? I have had a hard time with other vitamins for that reason.

    Good job on the running!

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  9. "Three miles by the end of February" sounded like three miles for all of February, not at once. So really, you totally accomplished your goal. I love cheese on jam for breakfast or banana on peanut butter toast--they are both filled with energy and yummy because they are salty and sweet at the same time.

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  10. This was a great motivation for me. I have to try Laughing Cow-- all the blogs I read mention it :) I'd lvoe to runa nd eat better, and this was a great kick in the butt for me. Good luck with all of this!

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  11. @Heather: I stopped by again to see what kind of comments this post produced, and I couldn't help but reply to your question. We don't run together, per se, but we often go to the gym together. Janssen has recently been much more devoted to exercise than I have been. You happened to catch me on a good day when I actually woke up early to run. Janssen was very proud of me.

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  12. Good for you! I too have had many a conversation with my husband (or others) about how much worse I felt when I got very little sleep and ate garbage. It's amazing what a difference even minor changes will make. (This said by someone who can't quite kick her sugar habit.)

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  13. I need to be taking vitamins. You are so good!

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  14. You ought to do some research on enzyme diets--add sprouts and wheat grass--stuff that's alive. As should I. We have wheat grass growing under a grow light in our basement, and I'm about to pulverize it in my new wheat grass juicer!!! Or you could jog down to jamba juice and tell them to add a wheat grass chaser!! You feel a titch bovine but oh so refreshed!

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  15. I tried to leave a comment earlier, but the wireless Internet I'm "borrowing" started wigging out. This comment won't be nearly as clever and awesome.

    Working out and eating healthfully is so gratifying! And it feels so good too!

    Also, I recommend putting your iron pills by your Magical Pills. That's what I do when I have an additional pill I ought to be taking.

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  16. Great job on reaching 2 miles!

    Helpful hint for long distance running-- audio books. I know that the thought is practically heresy on this blog, but nothing passes time better (both on the road and on the running path) than a new fluffy audio book pirated from limewire or bought from itunes or audible.com. Paying for goods and or services is for chumps.

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  17. two miles three times a week is really good.

    and i definitely have to attempt those muffins. so far i've only baked brownies from a mix, which is totally cheating (but they are damn tasty).

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  18. That is fantastic. I totally need to get started on something like that.

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  19. Way to stick with it. I'm a big sleep person - or a "light weight" as my loving husband likes to call me. I've never had hummus and honestly don't even know what it is...

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  20. Isn't it amazing how vitamins can make such a difference? I've been taking Omega-3 and pre-natals (on my doctor's advice since we're trying) and I haven't been sick all fall and winter. Also, I love having peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast too :)

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