What’s your Food Kryptonite?

Food Kryptonite

“I think we should get two jars this week, maybe..” I say to my wife, looking like a little kid with the sad, puppy dog eyes.

“It hasn’t even been a week, and you have a half-full one at home!!” she exclaims. “No way, It’s completely ridiculous!”

I can almost smell the anger in the air as she gives me the bull-horned face of rejection. I put the other jar back on the shelf and my mind darts to wondering how I’m going to survive the week, like a junkie with an empty needle.



This is the conversation that happens weekly in aisle 7 of our grocery store. Sometimes I’ll just quietly go to the aisle myself, pick out the container and place it in the cart so that she doesn’t have to deal with the conversation. Why should I ask anyway, she knows my habit.

Better to ask forgiveness than permission, right?

 

Is this some crazy sugar-filled treat I let myself have? An outlier in our otherwise healthy eating habits? Could it be some weird concoction that’s an expensive delicacy like caviar, therefore bankrupting our frugal living?

No, it’s organic peanut butter, and I’m completely and hopelessly addicted.

Yeah right, if only I limited myself to this much at a time.

What usually ends up happening, in reality, is somewhat unbelievable and horrific. I devour peanut butter to the point of excess. One week, I calculated that I could easily average 800 calories a day of peanut butter. That is too excessive, probably… but, I mean, it’s delicious, guys.

Soon after coming home from work, my wife knows that I’ll already be all over the stuff. She’s no stranger to the peanut butter-laden welcome home kiss. We could be on our way to dinner, and I’ll just have a little bit to taste. I’ve even had it for a whole meal while standing up in the kitchen.

What’s the big deal?

We’re not talking about an unhealthy thing here, really.

Organic Peanut Butter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A source of good fat, little to no added sugar, and a fair amount of protein. Basically just peanuts and a little salt, right?

The problem lies in my complete dependance on the stuff. Even if it were the healthiest food known to mankind, I should still try to limit my intake of peanut butter just as anything else in life. By keeping a check on my food, I’m able to better balance out the rest of my life, otherwise I’d just be curled up in the corner of the room, rocking back and forth, with dried peanut butter crusted around my lips.

It has easily become my food kryptonite, and it can take down an entire day’s worth of workouts in a single bound.

Over the past few months, I’ve been really trying to stick to one spoonful of peanut butter a day. I’ve found it best to keep myself out of eating more by grabbing my spoonful and then quickly replacing the lid.

This method has really helped me, just by setting this simple control in place.

It’s important to recognize what may trip you up, and not reject it completely. Though I’m getting slowly better at limiting peanut butter in my daily plans, I still allow myself the treat and try to limit and monitor it.

Let yourself have that food that you want, whatever it may be. It feels rewarding. Just be able to recognize when you are powerless over it, and make a plan to include it in your success.

 

Have you recognized your food kryptonite? What is it, and how are you limiting it to achieve success?

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Are you an Educated Runner?

I know with this week’s earlier post, you’ve been wondering what this Change could be. Well, it’s more of an improvement, and it will definitely be a learning experience.

I’ve been training for my fastest PR leading up to the Cincinnati Too Half Marathon on October 19th, and up to this point, I’ve been working on my own training schedule.

In my never-ending quest for securing a PR of 1:30 for this race, I came across a group of coaches from Educated Running, and they’ve got a great deal that really excited me.

They are currently running a coaching promotion called the USA Project 50/50, check it out:

USAProject5050

Though I have complete confidence in my ability to make a plan I can follow, I know that I do not have years and years of vast ninja knowledge that these coaches do.

I do not have the USA Track and Field Level 1 certifications that all of these coaches do, nor have I ever helped two high school cross country teams finish top in their Regional Meets like Coach Hammond.

I am looking forward to sharing my future training with you all leading up to the big race day October 19th!

I’ve been a runner for about 6 years now, and I still consider myself a student of running. There are so many things that I learn everyday about what running really is and what it can do for you.

I signed up for training because over the years, I’ve bootstrapped this whole operation with $30 shoes, $7 training watches and Jillian Michaels DVD’s. I have never had the chance to get expert knowledge into how to train for a specific running goal. This is going to help me in my preparation, and it will give me a chance to try new things with my training, many of which I’ve never dug deep into before.

I met with my coach, Coach Miranda via Google Hangouts, and it was a great introduction & kickoff to the training schedule. He said something that has already really resonated with me.

He said I need to trust him by taking a leap of faith.

I don’t think there’s a better statement than that. To pivot from my own training plan into something completely different is scary. I’m afraid that I’ll be abandoning my own plan and feel like a failure. I’m afraid that this plan will be too different from my own.

After much soul-searching, I realized that this is exactly the kind of leap of faith I need in order to grow in anything. Not just running, but in life.

The key to change is letting go of the fear – Pittacus Lore

Letting go of fear applies to so many good things. I’ve taken leaps of faith before where I had no idea what I was doing, and they’ve turned out to be some of the best moments of my life.

Follow me along this new and exciting path. I will also be blogging with them on their page, which you can check out here

This new coaching plan will lead me right into the Cincy Half Marathon Too, and I’m excited to see how this coaching can re-shape my whole training plan!

Educated Running is an online coaching service with a personal touch dedicated to making you a smarter runner. They believe that there is more to training than just following a plan. Their customized training plans enable you to trust in your training come race day.
You can find more Educated Running on their Facebook page, helpful facts about food on Instagram, and join the conversation on Twitter.

 

Half Marathon Training Week 4 – What’s this change all about?

Half Marathon Training Week 4

Week 4 has been a bit of a humbling week. I took my first break from scheduled program, and maybe pushed myself a little too hard on the outset.

Here’s how Week 4 shakes out:

Week 4 Training Schedule

 

Monday

Another Jillian Video (No More Trouble Zones), but this time I moved it to Week 2 on the videos. It was more difficult and I felt more strained at the end.

I guess that’s a good thing, but boy was I tired.

Tuesday

Got so exhausted from yesterday’s workout that I struggled through this pace run. I ended up going a little slower than normal for the pace run, about 8.5mph, and as you can tell, I should have been going a bit faster, according to my calculations.

Wednesday

Wednesday is where I sort of hit a wall. Maybe I was feeling the burn still from Monday, or maybe it’s because I had thrown too many speed runs in this week. Between my life outside of training and that hardcore session on Monday, I decided to skip Wednesday’s run and make it a rest day.

This is totally fine, and I don’t feel bad about it.

One of the worst things you can do is overtrain yourself. This leads to injury. I’ve been successful in that I feel like I’ve never overtrained myself in my 6 years of running. It’s ok to take a break every now and again, and it took me 4 weeks into my plan, which I think is pretty successful.

Thursday

Ahh, yes, my dreaded Yasso day! I never used to hate these things until now. I used to basically go the opposite plan, where I’d find out how fast I can run that 800m and then I’d get an idea of my finish time. Now I’m planning to a finish time, and this plan is all of a sudden SO TOUGH!

I’m proud to say I finished my first full Yasso at 10.6mph for 3m 11s! The next two were slower and not full runs, but still respectable. I didn’t even care, I got a full Yasso in without banging my head on the treadmill.

Friday

With skipping Wednesday’s run, I felt compelled to get something extra in. I decided to do Yoga on Friday and it made me feel great.

I’ve been really happy with adding yoga into the mix this time around. I highly recommend it to you runners out there, even if you’re a complete beginner like me.

Saturday

A shorter and slower long run of 6 mi is just what the doctor ordered for this week. It gave me a chance to get my bearings from the haphazard week, and regain some confidence. It was still a tough and faster long run, but I’m building up some great endurance, and I’m very happy with that.

Sunday

Finished off the week with another pace run, with hill training mixed in. These hills were GIANT, at 11 degree inclines going 5.5-6.0 mph.

 

The week was a mixed bag, really. At times I’d feel super strong, and other times I could barely continue. I think that there’s a certain level of fluidity in my schedule. Making small changes here and there is ok with me, if it means success overall.

I’m listening to my body and what it’s telling me.

Coming up next week, I’ve got a bit of a change for everyone, and I’m pretty excited for it!

It’s something I’ve been planning for, and it’s a bit of a departure from my regular training as well as these posts you’ve gotten used to. I hope to be able to switch it up and kick it up a notch to really reach my goal.

Look for that update on the future of the training later in the week!



Half Marathon Training Week 3 – Did Jillian Michaels just call me a “Lady”?

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The training groove has set in. I’ve hit a stride where the training is getting easier to fit into the week, and I look forward to preparing for each different session, as opposed to just hopping on the treadmill.

There were some feelings of failure in last week’s training, but Week 3 proved to be very solid.

Let’s break it down for you into useful chunks:

Week 3 Marathon Training Schedule

Monday

I got a chance to try out the Yoga for Runners DVD, and it was pretty good! It was full of poses that I don’t think I’ve found in my searches on Youtube, and the program is made by a runner, for runners, which I find comforting and helpful.

I found a great write-up by Jessica from A Little More Each Day. Check out her review, it’s very thorough and informative!

The DVD is broken out into sections, making it easier to digest when pressed for time, like on a Monday night.

Tuesday

I cut back 5 min on the pace run, and that made me feel awesome because I actually made it through the pace run with no breaks! It was also a 9.0 mph pace, which is faster that the minimum.

Wednesday

I used a tougher Jillian Michaels’ video this week, No More Trouble Zones which was almost twice as long as the other workout sessions. I forgot how brutal it can get towards the end, when you just want to stop.

There’s also something about being called a lady by a buff Jillian that makes me feel like I should keep on going strong through the whole workout.

Thursday

Yasso 800s are still kicking my ass. I still haven’t finished a full round of even 1. I am going to get these tackled one way or another because they are the best thing around for guaranteeing a finish time.

Next week, maybe, when I have the strength gains of doing Wednesday’s strength training session.

Saturday

Saturday was a great long run, I did not stop the whole way, I used it as a slower run, and I felt great afterward.

I’ve also made a modification to the whole rest of the schedule to have long runs on Saturdays. This seems to work better because I feel a lull that comes in throughout the day, and as the runs get longer, I think Saturdays will be better to find the time for them than Sundays.

Sunday

Sunday was supposed to act as a recovery run, but Saturday went so well that it became a speed run. I used the treadmill to climb up to 10 degrees incline, and I went through the whole 50 min yoga session afterward.

 

As you can see, the week of training had a solid mix of a slow run, a fast run, strength and recovery. The balance in the week of working out, the dedication of not missing a run, and the discipline of keeping the diet reigned in is starting to shape a great beginning to a training plan.

Sure, it’s tough carving out time to do all of this almost every day. When I think about skipping a run, I envision the race that’s just weeks away.

I envision being unsure of the preparation and work that’s been put in leading up to that day. I can already see myself there now. Skipping a run won’t be doing me any favors, and so I continue.

Are you doing any training for an upcoming race? I’d love to hear how its going!



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