Shins and sins

June 23, 2010

This is my first official week of ½ marathon training.  I am nearly half way through the week and I have stayed relatively on track!  Sunday was a waste because of all of the Father’s Day activities.  Though, I did go to the golf range and have been pretty sore in some interesting places over the last few days.  Since I have had muscle pain, I am claiming that I did strength training on Monday.

That is not the only pain I had.  Monday I went for a 3 mile “run” (with quite a bit of walking).  I was still feeling pain in my shins despite rest and icing them each night.  Running is becoming a pain in my…..shins!  Once I got home from my “run” I did some additional reading on shin pain.  Since the pain seemed to get better the longer I ran – I believe that it means my muscles are stiff and I have to do a longer, more intentional warm-up.  After all, I am 5 years older and 25 pounds heavier since I was training for the Chicago marathon.  It is time for my muscles to relearn physical activity.

Tonight I am to run 3 miles and then do some strength training work.  To avoid the shin pain,  my warm-up plan is to ride the bicycle for about 5-10 minutes and then stretch for an additional 5-10 prior to my run and see if that does the trick.  Wish me luck.

In regards to my eating habits – I haven’t always been a crappy eater.  BUT, this calorie counter is getting me back on track.  It is so easy to use and is absolutely fantastic!  I am really good a loading my info into the app manually or using the scan feature to scan in the bar code of my food if I happen to have the packaging.  I have found that it is starting to help me to be mindful of my choices during the day.  I also refer to it at night when I want to have a nice, unhealthy bed time snack.  If I at the end of the day, I am at 1600 calories or so, I really try to keep my treat under 100 calories.

I am not obsessing over my calories and fat intake, but am just trying to be more mindful of what I eat.  Because we are in a country with so much food, we just eat and eat no matter the cost to our bodies, our pocket-book, and the sustainability of the earth.  (yes, I am turning this into global poverty).

In only a very few places in the world, would someone require an app to keep themselves from overeating. According to the organization Bread for the World, 1.02 billion people are hunger in the world.  Today, 16,000 children will die from hunger-related causes.  16,000 in ONE DAY. How is it a few have so, so much – to the point where they, like me, need a computer program on a fancy phone  to tell us to stop eating – when so much of the world cannot find food or clean water.  Where is the middle ground??

So, let me pitch one of many causes I am passionate about: the ELCA World Hunger Program.  If you have been a glutton like me, it is time to buy our way into heaven through the purchase of indulgences (as Martin Luther rolls over in his grave – don’t worry Marty, I am totally kidding here!).  We all know the world of plenty we enjoy is having a horrible effect to those who live in poverty.  I am just asking all of us to give a little back:  http://www.elca.org/hunger

ABOUT ELCA WORLD HUNGER:

ELCA World Hunger is a comprehensive and sustainable program that uses multiple strategies—relief, development, education, and advocacy—to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. ELCA World Hunger responds to neighbors around the corner and around the world.

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Calorie Counter

June 18, 2010

A friend of mine just started Weight Watches and after my last post, she suggested that I join.  Not a bad idea.  She also said there was a WW iPhone app, which made me think there was probably some sort of an app for my Nexus One.

I was scrolling through the free apps this afternoon and found a calorie counter app.  It was highly rated and free so I swiftly downloaded it.  This has to be the most useful app (aside from my flashlight app) I have found!  There is nutrition information for many restaurants I go to, such as Jimmy John’s and Panera.  You can search for just about anything and can keep a diary, which tracks your calories, fat and sugar consumption.  The best feature is the bar code scanner.  I scanned my Trader Joe’s meatless corn dogs at dinner and they came up complete with nutrition information!

So far today, I have consumed about 1,200.  GO ME!  Though, it is about to go up to 1,500.  Why?  I am currently consuming my Friday  night martini.  Yes, almost 300 calories for my Friday night treat.  I was SHOCKED.  I though vodka was very light in calories. Nope – 64 calories per fl oz.  Good to know.  I wonder what other surprising things I will learn from this new fabulous app!

A Plan Comes Together

June 18, 2010

After work today I had a second wind, so I went to the Park Ridge Community Center to work out.  I did 20 minutes on the elliptical – without any shin pain – and another 40 minutes of lifting weights.  Man, did I feel awesome afterwards!  After suffering through my runs last week, it was great to actually enjoy my workout.

Well, that got me to thinking about the difference between the elliptical and running, because I used to LOVE running but it has become just so painful.  Clearly the impact is a lot lower on the elliptical, but I think the real difference is that when running you actually have to propel your body forward.  Now that I have gained 25 pounds post wedding, that is a whole lot more weight to push forward at a 9:00 per mile pace.

I really want to love running again and losing weight is going to be very critical to the success of this endeavor.  It will reduce the risk of injury and just make it a whole lot easier and enjoyable.  So, how am I going to do this?  Well – let’s do some math:

To lose 1 pound, I need to burn or decrease consumption of 3,500 calories from what I am currently doing.  I would like to lose weight at a rate of 2 pounds a week, which means I need to be burning/decreasing my calorie intake by 7,000 per week.  Hmm.  That. is. a. lot. CRAP.  I LOVE FOOD!!!  I LOVE CHEESE!  I LOVE ALL THINGS FRIED!!!!!

Okay, okay – I freaked out from the initial shock.  Let’s see what I can burn first. I will be exercising 6 days a week and will burn about 400 calories (100 calories per mile) per work out.

2,400 calories

Okay, this is a good start.  I still have 4,100 calories to go.  So, I will need to decrease what I eat by 585 per day.  Okay, this makes me feel a bit better. I think I can do this – and this is how:

  • Drink lots and lots of water
  • Do not have jelly and butter on my toast in the morning – sub in oatmeal
  • No more chips from the vending machine
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently so I don’t over eat
  • When eating out, which we do a lot, find the healthiest and lowest calorie option
  • Limit my alcohol intake
  • Bring my lunch and snacks everyday so I am not tempted to buying something high in calories

What do you all think?  Is this reasonable?  Will I be able to decrease my calorie intake by 585 per day?  What about burning 2,400 per week?

Well, only time will tell.  We are about 12 weeks out from the race.  So, if I am successful, I will lose 24 pounds by then.  And I will be back to pre-wedding weight!

Let’s put it out there – what are some easy ways to decrease your calorie intake or increase the number of calories you burn?

A new journey

June 16, 2010

As many of you know, I ran in the 2005 Chicago Marathon.  I LOVED every minute of it and the moment I crossed the finish line I decided that I would run it again.  Well, then I met Phil that winter, fell in love, got engaged, got married, got a new apartment, started graduate school and so on and never did get up the motivation to do it again.

So, I am nearing 2 years of marriage and have loved every minute of it, except for the fact that I have become absolutely lazy when it comes to working out and running.  So much for that next marathon, huh?

Not quite so fast.  My older sister, Jennie, ran in her first 10K on Memorial Day.  She was so excited and proud of herself and posted this on her facebook page and the following conversation ensued:

Well, once my younger sister, Maggie, said she would fly in from DC, I got excited and went to register for the Chicago 1/2 marathon.  Then Maggie registered for the race.

And then there was drama.  Turns out Jennie may not have been available that day, so I go into problem solving mode, but it turned out to not be necessary because she could – so, all three English girls are registered to run in the Chicago 1/2 marathon on Sept. 12.  Phew.

Now what? How the hell am I  going to get and keep myself motivated to run 13.1 miles, when for 2 years I have struggled just to get myself to run 3 miles? How am I going to get my butt up early every Saturday morning to torture my body (well, it does feel like torture now and hopes it won’t soon) to go for long runs when I have been blissfully sleeping in the past two years?  How am I going to get myself to run in 90 degree heat after working a full day and spending an hour in traffic??  What am I thinking!?

This is where you (whoever you are) will come into play.  I hope that you will follow my journey and when I haven’t blogged in a while, ask how my progress is going.  I give you good stories – you keep me accountable.  Deal?

Even though my official training doesn’t start until next week, I have been ACTUALLY working out.  I went on THREE runs last week!  When I went to run on Monday, however, I discovered that I have shin splints.  DOH!  Already on the bench!  Though, I am not alone – my sisters also have set backs.  Maggie has an upper respiratory infection and Jennie has something funky going on with her back.

I an currently focusing on recovering from my injury with a little bit of TLC and rest.  Yesterday I rested by going to the Cubs game and today I will rest by having some wine with my friend Karen. 🙂  In all seriousness, I really do need to take it easy because injuries will keep me from getting into a good workout rhythm.  As someone who is an EXPERIENCED marathoner 🙂 I know what I am talking about.

I do hope we all rest and recovery quickly so we can get this training started!  LET’S GO ENGLISH SISTERS!


I am obsessed with roller derby girls. But, I have never gone to a roller derby. So why the obsession?

They are bold, bad-asses.

They aren’t afraid of being who they are and get to wear really cool outfits. They are unique and creative – just check out the Web site for our local team, the Windy City Rollers: www.windycityrollers.com. They are the world’s true feminist: no worry about being feminine, no fear of being aggressive and even violent. And not to mention athletic!!

I want to be a Roller Derby girl.

I met one a few weeks ago and I was in AWE. She was very laid back – but you could tell she could kick your ass. She was smart, cool, trendy – oh, and a lawyer. If a lawyer could be a roller girl – can’t a chick who works for the church?

After all, I have some pent-up anger I could really take out on the track. I’ve got bony elbows (thought I learned today you are not supposed to use elbows).  I am creative enough to come with with a bad-ass name. What about Crashing Cinderella? Bareback bad ass? notoriously neked? violent violet? vengeful vains?

And I really want the outfit.

Also, I want people to think I am bad ass. I want drive FEAR into the people at work – I want to be intimidating.

I know that people have thought that I am a woos my whole life, but I really can be pretty tough. My mom would vouch for that!

Maybe I should just start with going to a match and see what its all about…