I think I got a plan and the best microwave meal ever

I’m starting to enjoy tapering. B For example I took a6 mile run on incline 2 with no pace goal other than feeling comfortable. B It ending up being only slightly slower than my tempo run speed.

However with the lack of mileage and fear of trying anything new (I don’t want to be sore for Boston) I tried to adjust my diet accordingly. B I tried to eat like my co-workers with calories and control in mind. B I tried, but I failed.

I substitutedB my muffin + 3 cups of peanut buttered oatmeal for this:

Ignore that giant ball of cream cheese, it’s there for calcium

Lunch I tried again to be normal

Grilled Vegetables Mediterranean with Rice! B Although not nearly enough food, I have to admit this was my favorite microwave meal for under $4. B It’s under 250 calories, but that doesn’t mean much if you consume an equal amount of 250 calories bag of trail mix. B I liked how the sauce was cooked separately in that steamer thing leaving my food not that least bit soggy.

The plan for the rest of the week is

Wednesday 10 miles

Thursday 6 miles

Friday rest/cross training

Sunday easy 4

This should leave me for a total of 25 miles for the week and then the marathon!

Any suggestions for healthy lunches? B I’m bored of salads and I’m not eating to run this week. B Therefore, I will be trying to keep my apetite in check to the limited level of activity.

Soreness & Bikram

I must confess, when I see people running, I secretly race them.B I don’t know why, its my inner competitive child that never got out when I was younger since I didn’t partake in any sports until I was 24.B Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose.B Combine this secret racing with a self-imposed marathon and you get one sore Liana the next day.

When I got to the gym for my lunch break, I mentally wanted to run but I knew although I felt energetic that the knots of soreness in my right upper leg might beg to differ.B With less then 11 days before my marathon I decided there’s no need to argue with the legs.B So 4.2 miles on the elliptical with some arm weights and a ton of foam rolling became the new plan.

After work I made an urgent date in my outlook calender for a Bikram session where I reached a new level of sweat.B I had so much sweat dripping, pouring that I kept sliding all over my mat even with two towels covering it!

And as ridiculous as I looked (and let me tell you I take quite the award for lack of balance) the hips and legs felt looser.B I also didn’t die from drowning in my own sweat, although I was pretty close to it.B Maybe the soreness will leave the body tonight.

Also, can I mention how awesome Thai food is.B Can I also mention how much more awesome Thai food is after a 26 mile run.

I think if calories were no issue and I had a personal chef, I would live of drunken noodles!

Whats your favorite type of food?

Thai! Thai! and some fried ice cream

Do you ever race random strangers on your runs?

Marathon Training Body Changes

I’ll start with some happy news. B Yesterday after work I ran 15 miles on a treadmill. B Total time 135 minutes 2 incline.

First 10 miles were run in 88 minutes while the other 5 in 47 minutes. B Also for the first time since I started doing greater than 7 miles on a treadmill runs, I didn’t feel like poop afterwards. B I was hungry yes, but my knees were happy, my stomach was okay enough, and my energy was not wiped out. B Practice may not always make things perfect, but it definitely makes them better! B I went from dying/wanting to throw up after a 14 mile TM run to actually feeling great in the span of 1,5 months!

Now was the less happy news. B I had a bit of a rude awakening this morning. B I did my Inbody analysis. B And lets just say that results since marathon training were not the ideal health type. B No I didn’t gain weight, but I lost muscle which was replaced by fat. B So no weight gain or loss; yay! B Switching muscle for fat; boo!

So first what is Inbody?B B The InBody uses bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) [try saying that aloud 5 times!] to analyze your body composition. B BIA is a technique that measures body impedance by sending an electrical current through the body. B B How futuristic! Its quick and you feel nothing at all as the current only passes through the water fluids inside the body, and based on the impedance values collected, the body water volume is calculated. B Since water fluids are usually inside muscle tissues, by using the water volume, the fat-free mass can be calculated. B Body fat calipers measure skinfolds to calculate how muchB subcutaneous fat(fat under the skin) a person has. B According to research itbs highly accurate and not subject to human error (me pinching in different places). B However, water fluctuates and to avoid that its recommended to not eat or drink 2 hours before your test.

Now in summary this shows I’m a healthy, average person who could use a few or many core workouts. B My trunk muscles are non-existent. B This can lead to back problems,B bad posture and all sorts unpleasant stuff from working at a desk job all day. B That was already known to me. B Also, between the 6 weeks I did not gain any weight which is awesome being that its winter and all. B I didn’t lose any weight, which is fine since that was not my intention with running. B However, my overall fitness level went down.

I lost two pounds of muscle and traded it in for two pounds of fat. B Clearly with my desire to be healthy and fit, this is not the direction I want to go in. B So I needed to evaluate my recent habits and see what’s going on.

Biggest change in my life for the past 3 months? B I’m training for my FIRST marathon. B Its super exciting and I’m learning everything the stupid way because I’m just that brilliant.

Here are a few reasons for my body change (even if it’s a 2% change)

bChange in eating habitsb

Ibd like to say marathon training has made me a healthier eater, but it has not.B While before I used to eat a small light meal at lunch (salad or a small deli sandwich from home), I find myself needing bigger meals to get through post work training runs.B My cooking time has also drastically decreased.B I am no longer cooking balanced meals, but instead picking the option of eating out.B When I get home at 9PM post run, I want food NOW, not an hour later once Ibm down slicing, dicing and baking.B Tortilla chips and pop chips seem like great options as I savage through my kitchen.B While those make a great in between meal snack, I shouldnbt be adding them in addition to my regular dinner.B Also due to time, I have created a more vegan diet.B I am skipping lean meats like chicken and replacing it with a more fatty protein like peanut butter and other nuts.B Why?B Those are much easier to pop in my mouth as I am always in a rush.B However, while I am keeping up with my protein intake, Ibm sure my fat content in my diet is increasing drastically at a higher rate.

Solution: I need to keep an eye on my healthy fats intake.B I need to cut back on peanut butter.B Ibve been really going to town on that jar and eating it in place of a more balanced snack such as an apple or yogurt.B Ibm also going to make an attempt to increase my lean meat consumption instead of just relying on nuts to get my protein content.B I donbt feel like I need to cut calories, but I definitely need to change the content of them.

B bAre you resting more than usual?b
I read this somewhere and I think it applies to me.B I am no longer running in addition to my normal activity.B Instead itbs become in place of my long walks or biking or hikes I used to do.B No more Jillian Michaels workouts.B My mind has taken the mentality of bwow I ran far…I can relax the rest of the dayb. Before marathon training a typical Saturday was a few hours of hiking followed by grocery shopping, laundry, pretending to clean and then out with friends. I was moving constantly. Now a Saturday involves two to three hours of running followed by vegging on the couch most of the day and a bag of tortillas for bcarbo-loadingb.

Solution: Donbt let running take over my life.B Even though itbs winter, itbs coming to an end and definitely make a better effort of staying social.B Try to go hiking when the weather is good.B Clean the dust of my bike.B Donbt direct all my energy to just running.B I know this will get easier once I feel like I have the base for running 26.2 miles and am not paranoid that I do not have enough training.B Also cut back on bcarbo-loading.bB If I eat healthy, Ibll have enough, therebs no need to find an excuse to stuff chips in my mouth for every meal.

bCalories Rewardsb
As my running mileage starts doubling for the week; it has become very easy to say bwhy yes I deserve a 3pm cookie!B 10am cookie, this is just breakfast part 2, I bpomiseb;b Puppy dog big eyes.

Solution: I really have no need to eat half a bag of M&Ms with my tea before lunch time.B Save my sweet tooth for 3PM.B Cut giant cookie in half or have a few M&Ms.B I donbt really need both items.B Better yet, but a cool kid and half an oz of dark chocolate.B I hear it has some pretty nifty health benefits.B Also just because I have free baked dessert at work available daily does not mean I need to take advantage of it daily.B Grab an apple instead!B If Ibm not hungry enough to eat the fruit, then Ibm definitely not hungry enough to eat the cookie.B

bBuilding glycogen storesb

Another reason for my loss of muscle and gain of fat could be my glycogen stores.B Everyone and their great-aunt know about the importance of glycogen storage for distance.B Your body automatically stores water with the glycogen and that might lead to weight gain and a reading of less muscle mass.

Solution: None needed, itbs okay I should be happy with this as my races are coming up.

bRebound Hungerb

As common with others, (I am not a unique snowflake) I am not feeling very hungry post long run but am famished the next day.B Problem is when my hunger is out of whack, I make silly eating decisions.B bWhy yes, peanut butter brownies make an excellent breakfastb vs. a normal oatmeal serving like a normal child.B Repeat this for a couple of days a week and bam fat/weight goes up within a few weeks of training.

Solution: Seriously, as stated earlier in this rambling, I do not constantly need to be shoveling chips, almonds and M&Ms into my mouth.B Take the time to eat an actual meal so I donbt find myself famished when my metabolism catches up to me.

“Lacking of Strength Training”

Also, I need to make more time for strength training. As my running mileage increases, I still have the same limited amount of free hours in a day. B This leads me to cut out my strength workouts I used to do.

Solution:B Take the time to cross strength. B Skip a run and do a Jillian Michaels workout instead. B Do 5 minutes of planking a day. B Wake up, Plank up, shower and head out. B It’s not too complicated, I just need to stop finding excuses.

Basically the conclusion is, although its great that my endurance is growing, I need to stop using my running/training as an excuse to eat crap (chips, how did this habit start) and avoid weight/strength training (I really hate weights and non cardio workouts).

Have you ever one of these body composition analysis?

Have you ever noticed changes in your body as you were training for something? B What were you training for and what changes did you notice?

With great running, comes great responsibility

I am slowly through many injuries learning that if my legs, knees and hip-flexors are trying to hint at something, I should listen.B After running 38 miles in three days; the equivalent of what I used to run in a week, my hips, legs, and knees were tired.B They wanted a break and although my energy was great, I knew I needed to take it out on something else.B When lunch time game, I had a game plan:

I foam-rolled

I picked things up and put them down for about 25 minutes

And I did 25 minutes of elliptical in between weights, 12.5min to warm up, 12.5min in between my final weight set.

And all while wearing my super-cute Waldo T-Shirt.B Is anyone really too old to buy silly low quality $5 t-shirts?

After work I went to my semi annual Bikram Yoga.

Bikram is usually done in a room that is heated at a minimum 105F degrees and about 40% humidity.

The room is kept at this temperature or more for the following:

  • Keeping the body from overheating (contrary to popular misconception)
  • Protecting the muscles to allow for deeper stretching
  • Detoxing the body (open pores to let toxins out)
  • Thinning the blood to clear the circulatory system
  • Increasing heart rate for better cardiovascular workout
  • Improving strength by putting muscle tissue in optimal state for reorganization
  • Reorganize the lipids (fat) in the muscular structure

Its always the same 26 poses so it appeals to my depending and predictable character I seek at times in a workout:

and although I find myself more in this position

And while I am a clumsy, inflexible, uncoordinated and rarely know what I’m doing

I always try my best and come out feeling great.B Unlike Vinyasa Yoga, I feel more awake, and my muscles feel like they got the love, care and stretch they needed to come back the next day with a stronger run =)