Tag Archives: health

Mile 450: Breathing Into a Bag

Standard

Miles since last time: *shrug*
Total miles this year: 450

I know. It’s been a while. In my defense. I’ve been training for a marathon. Tomorrow. A full marathon. I’m doing my first full marathon tomorrow. The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. It’s tomorrow.

I’m not nervous at all. Not a bit. Everything’s fine here. I certainly haven’t convinced myself that I’ll collapse somewhere around mile sixteen and live in that same spot forever, eventually becoming known as Candles. (Because sixteen? Never mind. The nickname is a work in progress.)

giphy.gif

(via giphy)

Like I said. Everything’s fiiiiiiiine.

(Side note—I can’t tell if I’m stress-eating or carb-loading.)

I’ve heard that it’s good to outline your goals for a race beforehand. At the very least, I suppose it gives you something to focus on besides the fear pangs that are slowly getting closer and closer together—so much so that I think I’m due to birth an anxiety baby in, oh, about twelve hours.

To occupy myself until I can get that worry epidural, I’m listing my goals here.

Cross the finish line. Obviously.
They take it down eventually. I’m not fast, guys.

Before my Bluetooth headphones run out of juice.
Fingers crossed. This is why they call it a race.

Try not to look like I’m dying.
A lot of races have photographers taking pictures along the route so that you can commemorate the special occasion. After my first half marathon a year ago, I looked at my photos and learned that, despite my sunny disposition, I have a pretty bad case of RBF—Running Bitch Face. (And Resting Bitch Face. I have all the bitch faces.) I actually haven’t looked at any race photos since then. Now, I realize that maybe I should have practiced not looking like I want to punch a unicorn.

Don’t get attacked by the Lake Hefner monster.
I know that there’s no actual evidence that a monster lives in the lake, but that’s just what Heffy wants you to think.

Find proof of the Lake Hefner monster. Become best friends.
Candles is going to need someone to co-parent feral cats in the area.

Maintain control of all bodily functions.
No vomiting or GI distress here!

Don’t anger the wind gods any further.
NBD, just 20-mph winds out of the north and northwest. Definitely not going to make the first half of this thing feel like dragging a bus. A bus that is me.

Play everyone’s favorite game, Twig or Snake?, as desired.
It’s been raining all night/day and there’s storm damage everywhere. Who knows what you’ll find? Maybe even a shiny new penny!

When finished, replace all bodily fluids with chocolate milk.
It’s a legitimate recovery drink.

Have enough energy to walk back to my car.
This is not a fear I had until just now.

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.

(Ignore that high-pitched whining sound. I have no idea where it’s coming from. Definitely not me.)

Mile 630: How Not to Be the Runner Everyone Hates

Standard

Miles since last time: 320.9
Total miles: 630

Being a runner is a lot like being a woman. It’s fine to be one, but the second you say something about it out loud, most people shout, “JEEZ WE GET IT WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BRING IT UP EVERY FIVE SECONDS GAH.”

And then they hate you.

Since I dislike being hated, I’ve come up with some hip and cool tips to help you not be *that runner* that gets the side-eye and such.

Fall down. Publicly.
Do you run near a busy intersection? Pick a curb and trip over it. At a crowded gym? Fall for no reason. That way, people will know that, despite your unashamed public display of vigorous physical activity, you are so terrible at it that you can’t be trusted to remain upright for an extended period of time. You become an endearing underdog, rather than a brazenly capable individual. Bonus points if someone stops to help you. You may even make a new friend–I hope they don’t murder you for your sweet kicks!

tweet1

Do NOT go to a natural form running clinic and then later start a sentence with, “Well, at the running clinic I went to, the guy said…”
Jeez. Do you hear yourself? You may as well be from Portseattaustin, slamming poetry all around (that’s how it works, right?). If you do extra credit running, shut your pie hole about it. Oh, wait–you probably aren’t eating a lot of pie. Shut your balanced-mixed-of-carbs-and-protein hole about it.

Don’t sign up for additional races.
Look, doing one is acceptable, but if you’re going to sign up for a second half-marathon–with the goal of determining whether you can do a full marathon–you may be beyond help. And multiple 5Ks? What even. How dare you, you pretentious, masochistic bastard.

tweet2

Don’t buy a special running iPod.
I know you hate running with your phone. It’s giant and annoying. People probably already hate you for having an iPhone 6plus, anyway. This does not give you license to use birthday cash to buy a tiny, cheap iPod nano just for hitting the pavement. Your laptop is so old that it won’t sync properly because it’s already on the fritz, and you’ll have to start seriously considering getting a new computer to justify the purchase you already made. Think about your life choices.

Things to never talk about: injuries, training schedules, changes to your schedule, dietary plans, shoes, or anything related to physical activity.
Face it. If you’re honest, you’re kind of annoyed to have to deal with that stuff, yourself. What makes you think friends, family, and Twitter robot accounts want to hear about it? No one knows or cares what a fascia is. Let them think you’re limping around because you’ve been kicking immigrants out of the country like a goddamn American.

Don’t read books about running.
You did it, didn’t you? You ordered marathon extraordinaire Hal Higdon’s Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. Well, if you insist on reading it, at least have the decency to put it inside a copy of People or something, even when you’re home alone. Big Brother is always watching.

runningbooks

What running books? I don’t have running books. Do you hear that, Big Brother overlords?!

Don’t write about it, either.
Oh, no. You’re doing it right now. Stop. Stop. I can see you doing–STOOOOOOOP.

Gain weight.
This one’s surprisingly simple because, yes, Virginia, despite things like logic and reason, it’s totally possible–nay, even easy–to gain a significant amount of weight while, say, training five to six days a week for your first half marathon. You may not even realize it due to your love of beautiful, stretchy leggings. Apparently, it can actually be quite difficult to lose weight on a running regimen if you don’t do it right. Because life is weird and the lizard people are conspiring against you.

So just gain some weight. Everyone knows that real runners have a body like Allyson Felix, anyway.

allyson-felix-15-free

Why don’t I look like Allyson Felix? Oh, right. Allyson Felix is a goddess and a treasure. Source

Make sure there’s a Panera Bread along your route.
Little Caesar’s also works. Or McAlester’s. Really anywhere that bakes anything will do. You know, so you can huff and puff your way through the smell of freshly made bread products for extra torture. You deserve it.

If someone asks you about running, scream, “THE LIZARDS HAVE WON,” turn clockwise three times, stomp on his/her right big toe, and run away backward while doing jazz hands.
People already think you’re crazy. Might as well give them a show.

There you have it. If you don’t want to be a runner everyone hates, then just don’t ever mention it. If you do, make sure you talk about and show how bad you are at it.

You know, also like being a woman.

Mile 129: And Now, For My Next Trick

Standard

“Where will we go?
I’ve got no bright idea.
Where we go, I don’t know,
Til the last good time.”
–iamdynamite, “Where Will We Go?”

Total 2015 miles: 1068
Miles so far this year: 129

Yes, it’s been a long time. I know. I’m awful. Every terrible thing you’ve ever thought about me is true.

Rest assured, though–my time away from weekly Internet writing about fitness misadventures has not been mirrored in time away away from the gym. In fact, I’ve been remarkably consistent. Here are a few key developments over the last six months:

No more calorie counting apps.
After much thinking, I decided to delete MyFitnessPal from my phone. MyFitnessPal has this thing where it lowers your daily goal calorie intake as you lose weight. The last time the app offered to lower mine, it told me I should only have 1200 per day–which was also the absolute the absolute minimum. If I ever logged fewer than 1200, I would get a big warning about how I hadn’t eaten enough, which I then took as license to have a bowl of ice cream–for health!

MyFitnessPal essentially recommended that 1200 was both the minimum AND maximum amount of calories. I didn’t feel I could trust it anymore. I also didn’t really appreciate it’s little judgmental comments after I entered in some foods.

Yes, MyFitnessPal, I know mac and cheese is high in saturated fat, but I need it sometimes, okay? You’ll never understand.

IMG_2273

Yes, please.

Numbers schmumbers.
I haven’t been on a scale since July, which, incidentally, was just a few weeks after I purchased my own scale because my gym doesn’t have one. (Way to plan and spend wisely, Stonebarger.) This wasn’t really a conscious choice–I just got tired of seeing the yoyo-ing every week. I’m sure I’ll dig that scale out of the closet eventually, but not now. At last count, I was still at 100 pounds lost after hovering for several months, and I’m still wearing the same clothes, so that’s good, right? At the very least, I haven’t reversed the last couple of years of work. Better have some celebratory pizza!

No?

Meal planning.
Meal planning and prep make a lot of sense in theory. You work hard for one afternoon, and your food is all ready for you the rest of the week. But you have to THINK and SHOP and PLAN and COOK. I’m currently in a place where I’ll do breakfasts and lunches for the week, but prepping dinners seems like too much work. There’s a line of preparedness that I can’t cross yet. I’ve even obtained some cheap cookbooks to help in the endeavor, although I tend to thumb through them and decide that most of the recipes have too many ingredients and must therefore be extremely complicated.

Baby steps, guys.

My next trick.
Last fall, in a fit of setting goals for myself, I decided that I should do the half-marathon at the Oklahoma City Memorial Run on April 24. Yes, that’s right–despite my repeated promises (mostly out of spite) that I would not ever become a runner, I have signed up for half of a very long race. Probably because I might be a masochist.

Luckily, Jackie Lease of Jackie Lease Fitness has helped me adapt and expand a Hal Higdon 12-week program into one that should ensure I won’t bite the dust before my next birthday (which is in May, if you want to get me anything).

IMG_2278

Don’t get too impressed by that half-marathon day that’s marked off. I did those 13.1 miles on the elliptical.

 

IMG_2279

In case you’re wondering why “rest” is already marked off for this week, I completely overslept on Monday and had to take it early. I already feel guilty. I don’t need you adding to it.

 

I’m back.
It feels good to be back on the blog again. Plus, when I inevitably die of plantar fasciitis or toe cramps, I’m sure you will all cherish these mile logs with something like indifferent resignation.

You’re welcome.

Mile 1560: A Bug’s Life

Standard

“Nice to meet you.
Now go away.”
–Weatherbox, “Pagan Baby”

Miles Last Week: 59
Total Miles: 1560

At my gym, the cardio equipment faces a line of windows. On Saturday mornings, there’s really not a lot to look at other than the guy cleaning the litter out of the parking lot and birds scavenging for a meal.

Yesterday, though, I spent much of my elliptical-ing watching a beetle on the sidewalk outside. (There’s really not a lot to look at, okay?) This particular beetle’s back leg on the right side stuck out an angle I could kindly describe as “wrong,” and the poor thing was having trouble balancing its little black body. After I noticed it, the beetle took a few wobbly steps and promptly tumbled onto its back.

Now, I am not typically sympathetic to the plight of the beetle. (I have sort of a ‘live and let live’ philosophy about a lot of bugs. As long as they stay outside and leave me alone, we’re cool. If they come inside or into my space, then we’re not cool–unless they’re across the room and I don’t want to get up. That’s okay, I guess.) But I couldn’t help but feel sorry for that disgusting little creature on the other side of the window as it waved its uninjured legs around frantically, fighting to correct itself.

And it did. I’m not sure how, but it pulled itself upright. That lopsided beetle took approximately three tiny steps before it toppled again.

Then it got up…and fell again. This up-and-down went on for a while. So long that I lost track of (or, if we’re being honest, interest in) the ongoing struggle, but a grasshopper sat in judgment about two feet away on the sidewalk–you know, as grasshoppers do.

By the time I finished working out, the beetle was gone.

If this insectile parable is not a metaphor for a lot of things in life, I don’t know what is. You wobble around, take a tumble, flail around blindly, get up, make a little progress, and fall over again. Meanwhile, some douchebag grasshopper is watching like, “Oh, I never fall over because I’M A GRASSHOPPER and my legs are far more stable than yours.”

I’ve never seen a grasshopper on its back–I’m assuming their legs prevent that sort of thing–but I have seen several fly into windows, which probably isn’t much better.

I digress.

The point is, if a physically unbalanced, five-legged beetle can make it in the world, so can the rest of us.

 

Mile 75: Why I’m Drinking Ice Water in the Polar Vortex

Standard

“The cold never bothered me anyway.”
–“Let It Go,” Frozen

Miles Since Last Time: 75
Total Miles: 75

Polar vortex, schmolar vortex.

While a lot of people have been downing hot chocolate for the last week, I have been chugging the ice water. Here’s why:

Pinterest wisdom.

Pinterest wisdom.

Drinking ice water burns one calorie per ounce.

Does anyone else think this is one of the greatest things ever, or am I just easily pleased?

After cutting soda out of my life almost a year ago, I would say that I drink water about ninety-five percent of the time. There is one simple, slightly lazy reason for that. Non-H2O beverages are typically worth a lot of calories, and I don’t like to add them into MyFitness Pal. Those kinds of treats are usually reserved for trips to the movies or Starbucks. Also, apple cider, which is incredibly delicious.

I drink a lot of water every day–and I do mean A LOT. I fill my twenty-four ounce water bottle about six or seven times per day. By my count, that means I am cancelling out approximately one hundred and fifty calories a day. (I also make several extra trips to the restroom, but that’s beside the point.)

What that really means is that I don’t have to feel guilty when I round down on how much everything else I eat is worth. Yay!

As it turns out, drinking water has a ton of benefits. More Pinterest wisdom coming atcha!

Non-alcoholic chug-a-lug.

Non-alcoholic chug-a-lug.

Stay properly hydrated, folks–the Internet says your body will thank you!

Mile 1442: Treat or Sabotage?

Standard

“I don’t know, but I’ve been told
The world outside is, oh, so cold.”
–Fitz & the Tantrums, “Don’t Gotta Work It Out”

Miles Since Last Time: 109
Total Miles: 1442

When trying to get a handle on your diet, it can be hard to decide whether you are treating or sabotaging yourself every time you have a brownie.***

I know you aren’t supposed to reward yourself with food, but sometimes it’s difficult not to think that you deserve a little scoop of ice cream or something. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately, and I have decided that the treat vs. sabotage label comes down to two things: frequency and attitude.

Frequency–i.e., the rate of occurrence.
There’s nothing wrong with having a brownie on a scheduled cheat day, but when you start having cheat meals and cheat snacks every day, then you have a bit of a self-sabotage problem. Trust me.

Attitude–i.e., a way of thinking/feeling that is reflected through behavior.
I’ll often find myself making excuses for having something I know I’m not supposed to have, mainly that it’s more convenient, that it’s not that bad, or that I’ll make up for it. The danger with all of those thoughts is that they tend to forget pesky things like consequences and make promises to deal with any fallout at some unspecified future date. Very self-sabotage-y.

The only way that I have found to battle the frequency and attitude of sabotage is to constantly ask myself why I am doing what I’m doing. And can I just say how annoying it is to constantly interrogate yourself and categorize anything food-related that comes into your head?

Really.

Please join me as I attempt to classify some of my thoughts.

I’ll only have Starbucks on writer group days or during special trips to Barnes & Noble. TREAT

Do they have size Trenta here? SABOTAGE

Oh, I’ll have a mini-cupcake to celebrate this holiday. TREAT

I think I’ll shove this second cupcake in my face before anyone sees me. SABOTAGE

I’ve been really good all week, so I think I’ll have a little brownie. TREAT

Well, there are three little two-bite brownies left, and if I have two, the last one will be lonely in the package, so I better eat all of them. SABOTAGE

The difference is subtle, but it is there. Treats, not sabotage!

*** Yes, I recognize the obvious trick-or-treat tie-in here that probably would have been better during Halloween, but I didn’t think of it then. So there.

Also, I apologize for all of the brownie talk. A peppermint chocolate candle is burning in my house right now. I’m kind of distracted.

Mile 856: Peaches and Buttered Popcorn

Standard

“If I had my little way,
I’d eat peaches every day.”
–Presidents of the U.S.A., “Peaches”

Miles Last Week: 50.25
Total Miles: 856

I wasn’t really sure what to write about today, so I thought I would share three big things that have been on my mind this week.

Mmmm... Source

Mmmm…
Source

I could eat peaches every day, much like Presidents of the U.S.A. I’ve had a lot of good peaches in the last few weeks, but this week I bit into TWO bad ones, and I’m still recovering emotionally.

Movie theatres are safe zones, right? Because I usually write these on Saturday and set them to post later, about the time this goes up I will be sitting in an IMAX movie theatre with my sister eagerly waiting for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones to start. Of course, during this outing, I plan to consume obscene amounts of buttered popcorn. It’s really pretty essential for sister movie dates. My big worry is that there is a hidden feature of the MyFitnessPal app that reaches through your phone’s screen and slaps you in the face when you have buttered popcorn. It probably won’t do that, right? I’m reasonably certain that it won’t.

I eat a lot of high-calorie dinners. A few weeks ago, I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app so that I could start to keep track of what I eat. Here’s how my food intake goes on a typical day during the week:

Breakfast: A meal shake (Oh, shoot. I’ll just say it–SLIM-FAST. I HAVE SLIM-FAST FOR BREAKFAST. I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU SAY–IT’S LIKE YUMMY CHOCOLATE MILK THAT WON’T KILL YOU.) and sometimes a piece of fruit. Like a banana. Or a peach.
Total: 200-300 calories.

Lunch: Some kind of Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers microwave meal. They are perfect at work.
Total: 200-350 calories.

Post-work snack: Usually another Slim-Fast or a piece of fruit. Gotta get those vitamins before working out!
Total: About 200 calories.

Dinner: Whatever the hell I want. Pizza, pasta, Mexican, takeout–I don’t pull any punches. It’s usually very delicious.
Total: Basically a gazillion calories.

Part of the high calorie intake at the end of the day may be that I go to the gym after getting home from work. By the time I get back home again, I’m really hungry. I’ve always known that my dinners were a bit bigger than my breakfasts or lunches. However, keeping a food diary has helped me realize how out of balance they are, which is probably something to work on this week. Thanks, MyFitnessPal! I only mean that a little bit sarcastically. Please don’t slap me for having buttered popcorn.

On to the worries of this week. They have yet to be determined. I just hope I don’t have any bad peaches.

You wouldn’t like me when I’ve had bad peaches…