On the Weekend I Run

September 8th, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life - (26 Comments)

Monday through Friday I feel like I’m going a mile a minute between running, teaching 5 classes, and keeping up with the blog and freelance work. By the time this weekend came around Travis and I were both so exhausted we didn’t have the energy to do much aside from run a lot and eat a lot.

Friday morning I caught a gorgeous pink sunrise and ran past the bench that Travis and I sat at and talked for a bit on our first day. Awww.

2014-09-05 06.20.20

2014-09-05 06.23.11-1

Saturday morning we did 8 miles through one of my favorite neighborhoods in Pensacola. All huge gorgeous old houses I could only afford if I won the lottery someday.2014-09-06 07.47.41-1We came home from the run and found Salem like this. Clearly he had a rough morning.2014-09-06 08.10.04

After the run Travis was craving stuffed french toast from IHOP. I don’t think I’ve been to an IHOP in 10 years so I went ahead and ate my usual bagel + veggie sausage at home before we headed out. They ended up having a few ‘light and fit’ options including the veggie omelette with a fruit side that I got. Don’t get it. It was terrible. Travis’s hashbrowns made up for it.2014-09-06 10.29.16-1

The French Toast was overwhelming. I literally took two bites of it and couldn’t have anymore. This is coming from the girl who usually has zero ability to control herself around sweets and carbs. The serving wasn’t huge yet it packed over 1,000 calories! It was stuffed with strawberry cream cheese and was just so … dense. 2014-09-06 10.29.25-1Saturday night we played hidden object games in bed on my computer before falling asleep to Saved by the Bell the College Years by 9 p.m.. Balling out of control.

Sunday we headed out to for a 15 mile run. My target pace was 10:30. HA. hahaha. After keeping that pace for the first two miles it quickly spiraled downhill into one of the worst runs of my life. The humidity was ridiculously high (the kind of thick humidity just before a rain that suffocates you) and I kept getting the worst side stitches. I rarely get them so I’m attributing them to not being able to breathe right/get enough oxygen in thanks to the high humidity. Also, I just was not feeling it. Travis gets so frustrated with me because I get really bent out of shape if I can’t keep up the pace I want to. He doesn’t get it. He can’t understand why I can’t just run for fun, taking breaks whenever I need to, and run as slow as I need to. I know I’m hard on myself and I’ve been really fixated on the marathon finish time I have my eyes set on in November and maybe I just need to let it go for this next week (a fall back/reduced mileage week) and run whatever my body feels like.

It’s still discouraging to me when I can’t move my legs like I want them to. I ended up running the last mile in 14 minutes. Yes, you can actually RUN a mile in 14 minutes. 2014-09-07 09.42.49I thought I would come home, skip breakfast, and console myself with chips and bean dip. While it tasted delicious my stomach hated me. I fell immediately into a carb/long-run induced coma on the couch with Travis. About 2 hours later we woke up and I finished off the chips and dip. Again, my stomach hated me.

2014-09-07 10.54.56After we spent the majority of the day being sloths we ventured out to grab dinner from one of our favorite spots – Jasons Deli.

Travis and ICreated the same salad as usual from their salad bar (with banana pudding & chocolate mousse on the side.) I seriously cannot get enough of this place. They have FREE ICE CREAM.

2014-09-07 18.29.02

I feel like we did nothing, and a lot. Before the weekend even started it was over. What jerk decided we needed only two days off every week?

Have you ever had to let go of a goal that wasn’t working for you anymore?

Any food you LOVE that doesn’t love you back?


Workout Wrap Up

Saturday: 10 miles (11:08 average pace)

Sunday: 10 miles (11:23)

Monday: 8 miles (11:05)

Tuesday: 6 miles (6×800’s at 9:00 pace)

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: 8 miles (6 at 10:10 pace)

Friday: 6 miles (11:15)

Total Miles: 48

I didn’t realize I had neglected to do ANY strength training this week until I wrote this out. I’ve been slacking on it lately but I usually manage 1-2 short total body sessions after my shorter runs. I’m still doing a dozen push-up’s after each run so at least that’s something, right? This week has just been crazy. I even had to cut two miles off my run yesterday because I just didn’t have time to do 10 before work. Such a first world problem.

Even if my overall workouts weren’t great I still hit almost 50 miles this week and had some absolutely gorgeous views!

2014-08-30 06.24.41

2014-08-30 07.08.24

2014-09-02 06.17.13-1

2014-09-04 06.04.19

How spoiled am I with these sunrises? The first two fog photos were taken in Alabama last weekend. I love having two very distinct areas to run in now. Florida has lots of flat and fast routes through nice neighborhoods, and Alabama is full of hilly countryside.

Eats this week have been meh. Food prep has just gone out the window with traveling back and forth to Alabama all the time. I could still prep Fridays or Mondays but I just haven’t been feeling inspired in the kitchen lately. I used to LOVE cooking and I’d try to find at least once new recipe a week to try out. Now – I consider it a success if I actually remember to eat 2-3 servings of vegetables in one day. I’m relying a lot more now on frozen foods, but trying to find ways to still make healthy meals with them. So, I added some cherry tomatoes and half an avacado on the side of my vitamuffin pizza to try and make it a bit more ‘complete.’ 2014-09-03 11.42.03My other latest obsession is steaming up a giant bowl of frozen broccoli in the microwave (that will last me a few days) and season it with garlic powder, salt, nutritional yeast and put a bit of mayo on the side to dip it in (my students thought it sounded disgusting but I love it!) I’ll make that with a few frozen spring rolls (also veggie packed but super processed) and I don’t feel like a total health failure.

I think part of the food rut is due to the change in seasons. I’m over summer foods. I want roasted squash, hearty soups, and rich pasta dishes – but my they are so hard to enjoy when it’s still 90 degrees out. Yes, it’s still that hot here.

The quality of this photo is terrible but I think it’s been way too long since I’ve shared a Salem photo on here! This was us curled up watching 7th Heaven after work one night this week. We are such party animals.

2014-09-03 09.16.40It’s supposed to be rainy and hot this weekend so I’m not sure what Travis and I will get into. He’s got a lot of studying to do so I may start a new cross-stitch project or do some deep cleaning/reorganizing around the house. We’ve got 23 miles on the agenda this weekend (8 Saturday & 15 Sunday) so hopefully the weather cooperates with us for that!

What are you doing this weekend?
What is your favorite, super quick & easy, vegetarian meal?

A student and I stayed after class once to talk about health and fitness stuff. She and I both shared weight-loss success stories, and I asked her if she’d continue to eat healthy foods if she knew she could eat whatever she wanted and not gain any weight back. She said she’d still prefer to eat clean, but in my mind I was picturing myself surrounded by empty ice cream cartons every night. As much as I do love eating healthy foods (and I know they help me feel my best and fuel right for training) in the end if I could eat whatever I wanted without ever gaining weight I think I’d go straight back to the carb/fat/sugar heavy foods that put me up to 170 pounds all those years ago.

A new study in Nutrition & Diabetes performed brain scans on overweight men and women to study their mental reward systems. Eight of the participants were enrolled in a weight loss program at Tufts University, and five were used as controls (they received no treatment.) Both groups had MRI’s done at the beginning of the study. and 6 months into the program. During the six months the weight loss program aimed to change how the participants reacted to different foods. At their six month MRI’s the weight loss participants brain scans revealed an increased sensitivity to healthy, lower calorie foods. They had been trained to biologically enjoy healthy foods. 

Beautiful Young Woman choosing between Fruits and Sweets

{Image Source}

The researchers believed several factors in the weight loss program contributed to the participants success, including behavior change, education, high-fiber, and low glycemic menu plans. I wanted to know what ‘behavior change’ meant so I actually used my awesome teacher perks and scored a copy of the original article titled, “Pilot randomized trial demonstrating reversal of obesity-related abnormalities in reward system responsivity to food cues with a behavioral intervention.”

Don’t you just love reading research papers? The diet they created for their participants was modeled after the iDiet (I’ve never heard of it.) Their behavioral change was based on the following:

By participation in a group-delivered behavioral program designed to facilitate adherence to recommendations to reduce energy intake by 500–1000kcal per day, with novel intervention components included to facilitate sustainability of reducing energy intake via reducing hunger and devaluing existing associations between unhealthy food consumption and reward in parallel with reinforcing associations between healthy food consumption and reward. Specific behavior changes taught and supported in the intervention included the use of portion-controlled menus and recipe suggestions, with high-satiety menu plans, recipes and tip sheets provided by the investigators.

So, nothing fancy really. Just taught people to eat less with proper portions and healthy, filling (fiber rich) foods.

I thought there was going to be some big magic secret they used to get participants BRAINS to actually light up differently at the sight/thought of healthy foods. Apparently, eating healthy makes you want to eat healthy. Crazy talk! Humans evolved to crave fat/sugar/salt (high calories and necessary for survival) but we take that to the extreme and associate high fat/sugar foods with feeling happy and comforted. It’s not surprising that we can learn to associate healthy foods with similar emotions of we deliberately try.

Do you have to force yourself to eat healthy? Why do you think you crave the foods you do?