Couch 2 5k – Day 2

Today’s training was easier than day one. I woke up this morning at 7am so that I could eat breakfast and then get the C25k training in before I had to get ready for work.

Again, I’m using the C25k podcast from Robert Ullrey which is great for helping not only keep you motivated, but for knowing when it is time to run. You can easily use your own timing/watch to do this, but having someone else do it for you helps keep the concentration on the actual workout.

The first four intervals of running came fairly easy which felt good. I did notice that my right thigh is getting the brunt of any soreness from the workouts. Not sure if it’s because I am pushing more on that leg or what. So, I worked to even my balance out as much as I could as I ran. Also, I tried to keep as lose as possible when I was running. This seemed to help a lot.

Before I knew it, I was down to the last two running intervals. The running itself is not easier per say, just how I am feeling during the workout compared to day one. I feel like my body is gradually realizing that it has the endurance and strength to do this. I know I am definitely ready for the challenge and won’t be giving up. I found myself mentally encouraging myself during the workouts as well. I kept repeating, “you can do it!” Mental encouragement helps a lot during a physical challenge, you need to believe you can do it and you will do it.

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C25k Week 1: Day One

Just completed the first day of the couch 2 5k training plan and I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to run those 60 second intervals. A few months ago, they would have been a piece of cake. During the workout, I thought about why it was tiring me out so much. Then, it came to me, I have been slacking with my general workouts the last couple of months due to my work schedule and the cold. My body has gotten a bit lax and not used to pushing itself quite so much as of late.

So, I am going to do the C25k training on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and then do other workouts on Sundays and Thursdays (might change Thursdays up with Tuesdays or Fridays). I am hoping this will help build my endurance back up. I feel like my body is getting lazy again and I definitely don’t want that to happen. So, back to working out 5 days a week it is.

Going to make sure to blog about the highs and lows of my training, as I feel like it is important for me to not only make a note of it, but writing always helps keep me encouraged and motivated. Also, it might help someone else get a pinch of motivation or encouragement if they happen to stumble on my blog. You just never know. 🙂

The start of C25k!

I will be starting my C25k training tomorrow morning. Looking forward to the training and to getting back outside to regularly workout again now that the weather is getting warmer again.

Updates on my progress will be posted here on my blog for anyone interested in following along with my progress. My current goal is to run the Corporate 5k here in Orlando in April.

Beating those winter blues

So, I have been struggling with my mood the last few days… while life isn’t a bowl of cherries (who has a life like that?), it sure isn’t horrible. However, the winter blues can make you feel like everything is depressing and all you want to do is absolutely nothing.

I am working to fight and get over this seasonal issue, as thankfully, the cold snap that has overcome Florida seems to be taking a hike within the next day or two. Trying to get myself back into regular workouts will definitely help me a lot. Today, I went out and did a twenty minute brisk walk which felt great. Yes, it was still cold and windy, but I forced myself to get outside and take in the fresh air.

This disorder (known as Seasonal Affective Disorder) normally affects those in the northern states where winter is more harsh. However, this winter has been anything but ordinary for every state in the country. That said, I am not surprised that my body has been experiencing it. Going to make sure that it doesn’t win though, as I have worked hard to not only get healthy and fit, but to mentally relax and feel good. So, these blues aren’t going to get the better of me. Not saying it is an easy thing to get over or what have you, but there are ways to do it.

If you have stumbled across my humble musings here and are curious about the winter blues or S.A.D., here are some links you might want to check out:
http://www.wikihow.com/Fight-Winter-Blues
http://living.health.com/2009/01/18/8-natural-ways-to-beat-the-winter-blues/

Couch to 5k

I have decided to start the Couch to 5k Running training (otherwise known as C25K) once the weather warms up. In fairness, I did attempt this last year, but didn’t make it through to the end. When I go out for walks, I already do some running, so I think it will be easier now. Of course, it won’t be “easy,” but easier. I want to push myself to do it, as my ultimate goal is to run a full 5k later this year before I move back up to Asheville.

As for the date I will begin the training, I am going to guess in about a week and a half, since the cold weather appears to be sticking around for at least another week here in the normally sunny Central Florida. I will update my blog when I start and throughout the training.

Life as a vegan

I’ve now been a vegan for just over a month, after having been a vegetarian for a month. My original choice to go vegetarian was a health-related one. Originally, I felt that cutting out meat and eating more veggies would be beneficial to my health and was the next level, so to speak in my healthy living journey. Only way I can explain it is that I felt that it was the right way to go for me. I believe that you need to follow your heart on things and that is just what going veg was for me.

After about two to three weeks of being a vegetarian and still eating eggs and drinking dairy products, I began to do more research about the vegan lifestyle. While I was happy with the fact that I was no longer eating meat, I wanted to learn more. I have friends who are vegan, so I of course already had a general idea of what the lifestyle consisted of, but it was just a basic knowledge. Also, one of those friends told me that while it was great that I had gone vegetarian, that I should read about the production of dairy and eggs. She said that I would be surprised at what I would learn. My friend was very right. I learned that “free-range” eggs are not necessarily so free. I believed that these chickens were allowed to run around “free” on farms and generally be as happy as they could be. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. While the government does regulate the free-range and organic labeling on food, there are many loopholes in the regulations. The same goes for milk and the cows. These loopholes are used by many an egg or milk producer. This means that the treatment of grass fed cows may not be any different than that of the corn fed ones. This sad reality made me really think. Did I want to contribute to this? Or, did I want to stand up and do what was right?

I chose to stand up. I decided that I could not continue to eat eggs and dairy products and not feel dirty or bad about it. I chose to cease and desist putting anything containing these ingredients in my body anymore. I became a vegan. This in my mind was the one and only way for me to feel good about how I responded to the truth of the food industry and the treatment of animals. Now, I am in no way a perfect vegan. I do not believe there is one. Being a new vegan, I’m learning more and more everyday about the products I normally consume or use in my everyday life. Have I made mistakes and consumed animal products? Yes, I have. Not on purpose, but yes I have. But, once I learn that the product is not vegan friendly, I make sure that I don’t buy or consume it in the future. You live and learn, that is how it goes. Thirty years of eating meat and other animal products means that I am not going to be able to make the right choices right away or all the time. Once I know more; once I have educated myself more on what is okay to eat, I will make less mistakes. I will grow the longer I am a vegan.

A great thing about being a vegan is how calm I feel most of the time. I feel more relaxed than ever before. Whether this is because I have changed my mentality to be this way or whether it has to do with ridding my body of the poisons and artificial things found in animal products, I don’t know for sure. I like to think that it is both. Not consuming those things has helped me clear my head, thus allowing me to be calmer. That is how I see it. Also, I have decided to do all that I can to enjoy life. No, not everyday is great and happy, but it is what you make it. You can decide to not let things bother you more than they have to. You alone decide how to react to a situation. I’m working to be the calmer, happier individual that I have seen in others. I always admired that trait in those that possessed it. I saw this more in North Carolina. There’s just something about those mountains I think that makes one at peace with life. Well, that’s how I like to see it anyway.

Going Vegetarian

A little over a week ago, I decided to give up meat and go vegetarian. Eight days later, I am going strong on a veggie-only diet and feeling pretty good. I’ll admit, there are times that I feel as though I’m a big hungrier than I used to be, but I’ve gotten through this hurdle by telling myself that it’s all worth it.

Why did I decide to go vegetarian and stop eating meat (for me it was mostly poultry, never was a big red meat eater)? The main reason is for health reasons. I have already gone organic, making 95% or more of my food choices totally organic. So, this next step just seemed to make sense to me. Also, a number of my friends are vegan or vegetarian making my interest in this eating lifestyle more so. I never thought I could possibly give up meat…of course, I never thought I’d give up most of the things I previously have as I got healthier and lost weight. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be where I am now, I would have never believed it. I’ve come a very long way and I am proud of myself and feel better than ever.

The last meaty meal was at Chipotle on October 4th. It was my favorite, the chicken bowl. Very fitting since that was my favorite, my treat lunch every Saturday and sometimes Sunday.

Still eating Chipotle, as I love their food, but the difference is now, my bowl consists of all veggies instead of chicken. And yes, it is still just as delicious. 🙂

Being a vegetarian is a whole new eating journey, and I am enjoying the ride thus far, even through all the bumps in the road. I believe it’s a good change for me and I can’t wait to explore all the new eating choices this gives me.