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Archive for December, 2010

And it was a good one! Well, at least better than the last one.

The Stats:

  • Distance: 2.36 miles (3,8 km)
  • Time: 29:10 minutes
  • Average pace: 12:21 min/mile
  • Feeling: Sweaty

 

Happy New Year!

 

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The year 2010 is almost over. Wow, that one went by even faster than the last one!

A few months ago I decided to finally get serious about working out. To track and share my efforts I started this blog. I didn’t expect it to happen so fast, but I can already see some effects of my new, more active lifestyle.

Health: I’ve hardly been sick the past few months. While many of my co-workers, friends and family members got really sick during the colder months, I merely got a runny nose, if even. I’ve also noticed that I don’t mind the cold as much as I used to. We’ve been having a very cold winter around here, but I’m still wearing what I’d consider “fall clothes” on most days. Last winter I wore the really heavy gear almost every day.

Weight: Last December my food intake went totally crazy. I didn’t workout at all. The result: I gained around 5 lb. Yes, I really did! This holiday season I also ate more than usual, but just a little less than last year, and I didn’t gain any weight at all! It’s absolutely amazing what a difference a few healthier choices can make!

Physical appearance: Lately, some of my friends have mentioned that they have noticed some physical changes on me. One said that my arms look “buff”, another one called me “fit” or even “skinny”. (Please note that I’m far from being skinny, with a BMI of 22!) These comments really surprised me. I am a vain person, I admit, and I love getting compliments, but I surely didn’t expect visible changes after just a few weeks of moderate exercise.

Mind: I’ve noticed that I feel more relaxed and calm after every workout. Exercise is such a great stress relief. I’ve even started to look forward to my workouts, wanting to leave my office as fast as possible, so I can finally get my sweat on. I never thought I’d ever think like this!

My goals for 2011

I don’t like the word “resolutions”, so I will list some “goals” instead:

Get more sleep: Yes, this is my first and most important goal, because I’ve really been struggling with it for a long time. During the week I mostly get about 6 hours of sleep. This is definitely not enough for me! I’m tired and cranky (and hungry!) all day long, having a hard time concentrating on my work. So I will make an effort to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, which means I have to go to bed at 10 p.m.

Keep running: Now that I have a training plan, I want to stick with it, meaning running 3 times a week. I expect to need more than 8 weeks to complete this plan, but that’s ok. I’m thinking about joining a local 5k race in March. My very first race ever! Yikes!

Include strength training: I confess, I’ve been neglecting this part during the past few weeks. But in order to become a decent runner I also need to strengthen my muscles, especially my core, to finally get rid of those annoying side stitches! I will keep going to my weekly Pilates class, but I want to include at least one additional strength workout every week.

Clean eating: I truly love fruits and vegetables and usually have no problem to eat at least five portions of them, but sweets are my weakness. I will try to limit snacks, chocolate, and other sweet stuff to occasional treats. I also want to watch my protein intake, as I’ve found that including some kind of protein with every meal helps me to stay full and satisfied for a longer time.

Weight loss: If I do well with my goals above, this last one should come naturally, right? Well, I hope so. My specific goal is to lose at least 5 lb until summer. That’s not much, but with my small frame those few pounds will surely make a difference.

So, this is my list of goals for 2011. I tried to focus on just a few ones that are most important to me. Let’s see how it will go. Wish my luck!

See you!

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I Have A Plan!

So far, I just ran whenever I felt like it and found the time, without any sort of plan. Obviously that approach did not work. So I finally decided to follow an official Couch-To-5k plan. This specific plan is for “active beginners”, I guess that fits me quite well. And I started to follow that plan today!

The Stats:

  • Distance: 2.3 miles (3,7 km)
  • Time: 29:20 minutes
  • Average pace: 12:46 min/mile
  • Feeling: Ouch

The first week of my plan calls for three runs, each one alternating between 5 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking. I kind of followed that as closely as I could, but some nasty side stitches made the running parts really hard. I definitely need to work on my core muscles!

Tomorrow we will take a trip to the sauna! This is so relaxing, especially on a chilly winter’s day. And now I’m going to relax on my couch. I love stay-at-home vacations!

See you!

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I might be a bit late with my baking tips, as cookie season is already over, but I still want to give you a quick peak into my tiny bare kitchen.

Reading food blogs can give you the impression that you need special equipment and appliances to create delicious baked goods, like a Vita Mix or a Kitchen Aid. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have one of those one day! But let’s face the facts: kitchen tools can be really expensive, and they take up quite some space on your shelves or counters.

So my point is, you can bake crowd pleasing cookies without fancy tools! All you need is a bowl, a big spoon, a kitchen scale, and your hands. Ok, a hand blender is also useful sometimes. This one has been my trusty friend for years:

Some recipes, mine too, ask for ground nuts. You can buy most kinds of nuts pre-ground, they are totally fine, but if you can’t find them, here is a simple method:

Put the nuts into a plastic bag, grab your favorite pan, and smash your little heart out! The nuts will still be quite coarse, I actually like some texture in my cookies, but you can also strain the nuts to remove the bigger pieces.

On a side note: I admit I took a few days off of exercising. Family comes first during the holidays. But I plan to return to the gym very soon. Outdoor running is still impossible due to the recent weather conditions.

Enjoy the last days of the year!

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Happy Holidays To You All

(Source)

I wish everyone a very merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Take care!

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Yes, I really did it. I, the dedicated gym hater, signed the contract today. Somehow I think I won’t regret it this time. As I was already there, I hopped on the treadmill, too.

The Stats:

  • Distance: 2 miles (3,2 km)
  • Time: 24:20 minutes
  • Average pace: 12:10 min/mile
  • Feeling: Huffing and puffing

Wow! This was my fastest run ever! Still kind of lame, I know. But for me that’s a great success. It was really hard work – guess that’s why it’s called workout. Duh!

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I actually like the treadmill. It forces my to run at a steady pace, which I usually don’t when I run outdoors. I’m sure this will help me a lot with my training.

So far, running on the treadmill is the only thing I’ve been doing at my new gym. I might add some strength training later so that I won’t get bored.

See you!

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Heavy Legs

I was really brave today and went back to the treadmill. As planned, I set it to a slightly faster pace. This was the hardest run in a quite a while.

The Stats:

  • Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km)
  • Time: 32:30 minutes
  • Average pace: 13:00 min/mile
  • Feeling: Exhausted

I’m trying really hard not to get frustrated. I’ve been running for quite a while now, but I’m still struggling so much. At the moment, I don’t see any progress at all. Today I gave everything I had in me, I can hardly move my legs now, but I’m still so slow!

Guess I have to run more often to see a real progress. Three times a week is what I’m aiming for. With access to a treadmill, bad weather won’t be an excuse anymore. I really want to stick with it this time, to see if I can become a runner, too.

Wish my luck!

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