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It totally hit me today that I forgot to mention another way to track my training from now until May. I wanted to make sure I was tracking my progress not only on the pavement, but as my body will change over these next few months. I completely forgot to take my measurements as a base before my first run so I can compare them in May, but I took them today so it'll have to work.
I choose to track my measurements over my weight first off because we don't own a scale in our home. I own numerous tape measures but no scale, so convenience wins there. I also find that looking at my weight overtime doesn't help me visualize my changes in the same way that my measurements do. I'm able to see where I'm loosing it, what's getting toned, what's slimming down, etc!
I don't have goals set for how many inches I want to lose specifically. My goals don't revolve around numbers on a tape measure, scale or a size of jeans. My goals are to run a 5K, to see some toning in my body, get healthier & feel better overall. Those are my goals.
I have definitely been watching what I eat on a daily basis these past few weeks, more than I have in months. I track my food using the My Fitness Pal app and it tremendously helps me out! I try to stay within & under my calorie goal a day, which is 1,300 before working out (it will also calculate calories you burned if you have the Map My Run app or a Fit Bit so you can adjust your calories for the day!)
I'm trying hard to cut out dairy & processed foods in most meals. I've been focusing on eating better all around, but I won't ever not eat a slice a pizza or a scoop of ice cream if that's what I'm craving! I don't think indulging from time to time is the worst thing in the world. So now I'm just keeping the focus on healthier alternatives, portion control & moderation! It's an adjustment, but it's one worth making!
So here are my measurements as of 1/19/2016:
Bust: 43 in
Waist: 39 in
Stomach: 41 in
Hips: 46 in
Legs (upper thighs): 25.5 in
Arms (upper arms): 12 in
This is me; no sucking in, no faking it, no tweaking my numbers, just me! I'll keep you posted monthly as my measurements change! I'll be happy with even a slight improvement! Let's see what happens!
These are my visual baselines.
I'm not ashamed or embarrassed by either photo, otherwise I wouldn't share them with you. I've always felt confident in my skin but I do want to get healthier while continuing to be confident with what I got! Because let's be real, I'll always have big boobs, hips that don't lie & my thighs will always touch.
I'm proud of all of those parts of my body no matter what! But here's to a healthier me!
Proud to say (and not at all ashamed of this self bragging moment), that I did accomplish just that! I even managed to do 2 full laps running without stopping. But otherwise, I was consistently running one full lap & walking a half lap in between. It's a small celebration but for a super beginner, it's something to be proud about! And if we're being honest here, I'm wildly out of shape so running around even in a slow jog, is a serious improvement!
Then on my second run day, I actually ran on the treadmill at a friends gym. There were definite pros & cons to this. The first thing I realized, was I really missed the fresh air of running outdoors, the nice breeze keeps things fresh & not so hot or sticky like running in a gym. I also missed the fact that even when running around a track, I felt like I was going somewhere; even if it was just in large circles. On a treadmill I just couldn't get past the fact that I was running, but I wasn't getting anywhere.
However, on the treadmill, I could tell that I was moving at a much faster pace that I had been on the track (I amped it up from a slow jog, to a jog), and I felt ok! My pace improved from 14:30 earlier in the week to 13:02 on the treadmill. I even felt more motivation to run faster to finish a lap, giving me a 10:26 pace for the last lag of each lap. That really put a 5K into perspective. Roughly, a 10 minute mile to me sounds like a solid goal to have come the 5K in May. But now I got a tiny taste as to how much faster I need to move my legs to achieve that. I'll get there.
Oh and let me just put this picture in your mind. I'm running on the treadmill, I got a good pace going but the new song on my iPod just isn't doing it for me so I go to change it...only I somehow drop my entire iPod and it flies behind me since it caught the treadmills wind. So I had to act cool, stop and go find it all while pretending this was a part of my plan. At least I didn't fall of the treadmill too...
What has really helped me after getting back from a run is doing yoga to really stretch out. I want to make sure I'm treating my muscles right & I've been improving my flexibility little by little as well. So when I get home, I hop on my tablet, go to YouTube & search post running stretches. My favorite one have been yoga sequences like this one. Proper stretching & really giving myself an extra 15-20 minutes to stretch has made my body as a whole feel better the next day.
I made the mistake in week 1 of not properly stretching for one day & walking the day following was so painful. Going up stairs really required mental power to help me through it. But after taking the time to stretch, the days following aren't tremendously painful. I still feel sore, but it's not unbearable. It's the kind of sore that weirdly feels good because you know it's from challenging your body!
Goals for week 3 include: Keeping up running 2 laps at a time, going out for at least 4 runs by continuing to make the time for a run, enjoying the run more & improving my running playlist!
Speaking of a running playlist- what songs get you pumped up to run or workout? I've been tweaking my playlist but am still struggling to find the perfect songs! The current songs that pump me up without fail are: The Band Perry's "Live Forever", Kelly Clarkson's "Heartbeat Song" and Demi Lovato's "Confident'.
Comment with your favorite workout jam!
We completed our first week of training! Lets start with what method of training we chose to use. We decided to try the Couch to 5K approach which is fitting because I need to get my cute butt off the couch! Basically, this program weans you onto running which is exactly what I needed. It starts you off slow, the first day walking more than you're running and for only about 15 minutes. As the weeks go by & you progress, the time you're working out increases as well as the amount of time you're actually running. I like this because it builds you up & I think I'm going to enjoy learning to run this way.
The first day wasn't as brutal as I had anticipated. I won't lie, I was nervous. I don't know why I was nervous because doing any amount of running would be an improvement. But I put on my pretty awesome new running pants, laced up my sleek new running shoes, pinned my insanely wild hair back and got ready to go out! I popped in my headphones with a pretty epic playlist going to pump me up!
My sister and I walked for a few minutes & when we were each ready we began to ran. I probably ran for about 2-2.5 minutes my first stretch. I was by no means running fast, but I was running. Then I'd walk for a few minutes, then pick up and run again. The first day of the couch to 5K plan was to be out for 15 minutes & we were out for a touch more than 21 minutes! I'll brag about that!
I didn't feel as awful doing this as I thought I would. I focused a lot on my breathing & looking ahead. I also made sure to stop running & walk when I had to and pushed myself a little more in my next lap.
When we got home I was proud, I think the first steps are some of the hardest & I was proud that my sister and I made those steps! Trust me, I felt those steps later on & the next morning. I forgot how not fun being sore was. Rude awakening but I suppose it's better than not being sore from doing nothing.
The next 2 runs we were out longer & both ran more. We are still doing the combination of running & walking and will for a good chunk of the upcoming runs. I will say, I pushed my limits especially on day 3. However, I know I can push myself more. I'll be the first to admit it; I'm wildly out of shape; so working on my endurance & strength are top priorities. I also need to work on making that voice in my head that says "you can do it, just run a little bit more", louder.
I will admit too that after the first day of running, I skimped out on stretching. I just kind of did it for a few minutes & I know that's not a good thing and trust me- I felt it the next day. So after runs 2 & 3 I decided to YouTube some stretching post run & found a great 15 minute yoga video. That stretching really made a difference. It winded me down after my run, made me more relaxed & the next day, I was sore, but it was tolerable.
I supplemented my runs with additional workouts on off running days. I did Pilates one day & some strength training focusing that day on arms, shoulders & chest. For my schedule right now, working out 5 days a week works & it's good to give my body 2 days rest to recover.
I'm looking forward to another week of training to see how much more I improve- even if it's just slightly! I'm hoping to continue hitting the 2 mile mark this week & as I start running more than walking, I hope to increase my pace too. So here's to a successful week 1 of training!
I get by with a little help from my...apps.
Let me tell you about some of the apps I've been using to help me. All of them are made by Under Armour & have been tremendously helpful for me.
The first one is called My Fitness Pal. I've actually been using this one on & off for months. This app is meant for tracking your daily food intake. I've tried many of these apps & this one is the easiest for me to use. You set up your profile with your weight, goals, etc. Once you do that, you can begin tracking! You can add food items separately or you can take some time & create recipes within the app. I create recipes for foods I eat often; like my steel cut oatmeal or my veggie soup. It will calculate the calories for you based on the ingredients & serving size. It'll keep it stored (as well as your recent & frequent foods) so it makes it easier to track! There are tons of other things you can do with this app & if you wanted to pay for an upgrade, you can do even more!
Then they have the Map My Run app also by Under Armour. This app is good for tracking your exercising. If you're going out for a run, you can click the "start workout" button & it'll track your route, how long you were out there for, your pace, the miles, etc. You can also track other workouts here like biking, walking, sit ups, push ups, etc. You can set up goals, create challenges between friends & keep a solid log on all your hard work. This app also connects to your My Fitness Pal. So your food tracker will adjust your calories based on how many you burned during your workout!
The third app is called Run Trainer. Because I'm a new runner, this one is super helpful. You can choose the type of running program you'd like; we chose Couch to 5K, and you can adjust your schedule to what works best for you. It guides you by telling you how many minutes you should walk & run and how long your total workout should be. It also gives you tips to your rest days & what else you can do to keep your body strong & healthy. When you're in this app & you're ready to start your workout, you can click "Track Run" and it'll bring you right into the Map My Run app so you can begin!
All of these apps might seem overwhelming but it's really not so bad. I especially like the first two because you can track your progress overtime & have a sense of accomplishment as you improve!
So overall week one was solid! Now onto the next week...
I’ve been wanting to try more quinoa recipes and after randomly finding some on clearance at Tj Maxx today, I decided to give a recipe a whirl! I chose to try a play on a burger. As a vegetarian, I like to create different kind of burgers that I can enjoy year round. So needless to say, I was excited to try these out!
I liked this recipe too because you didn't need many ingredients so it's pretty easy to just make any time.
What you'll need:
-2/3 cup spinach- cooked & Squeezed dry (I used a package of frozen spinach)
-3 Cups cooked Quinoa
-1 Cup Panko
-1 Small Onion, diced
-1/2 grated cheese
Once you have all your ingredients ready to roll, add them to a bowl & start mixing with a spatula. After a few mixes, I started using my hands to make sure everything combined well. Once it's looking well mixed, you can start forming your patties!
I opted to do larger, burger sized ones but on the flatter side. Choose to do them whatever size you prefer but I recommend not making them super thick so that they can cook correctly.
Place your patties on a greased baking sheet. When you're done making them, put the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes so they can firm up.
When the 15 minutes is done, pop them into the oven! They'll bake for about 15-25 minutes, until they're golden. It took us more on the 20-25 minute side for ours to be fully cooked. We flipped them half way through too.
I was really excited to try these when they were done! I was really happy with how they turned out too. They were tasty, had a nice soft texture & were pretty easy to make.
Next time however, I'll most likely sauté the spinach with the onions, salt & pepper to get those onions cooked a little more & add more flavor.
Enjoy making these! They're a great, healthy alternative for any meal or even a snack!
A while ago, I began creating Mr & Mrs mugs for gifts for friends & family. After making a few different sets, word began to spread & I kept on making more of the mugs.
And then it clicked; these would be a new Love Struck product!
Our Mr. Right & Mrs. Always Right mugs quickly became popular so I knew I should broaden my product choices. So in came the Good Morning Beautiful & Good Morning Handsome set as well as the Soon to be Mrs. & Soon to be Mr. set. These too became quickly popular & then I started offering little customization to the sets which so many people took advantage of. They added engagement dates, wedding dates or last names. I love being able to make these even more personal.
Then came our Love Story Plate. This too I created first as a gift. I love the quote on it & loved giving it as an engagement gift with a set of mugs. I created a whole fun basket for an engagement present including a set of mugs, this plate, I added a bag of coffee, some tea bags, a few biscotti & things like that! It was such a fun gift!
Last fall I decided to expand our entire mug choices for you to choose from. Along with that came more choices for couples mugs! These ones were fun to create & I love that they give a different twist on couples mugs.
So now, for all of January, you can get a head start on your Valentines Day shopping with 25 % off our engagement mugs, couples mugs & our love story plate! No code needed for the discount, it'll be automatically applied!
At our Etsy store, you can instead get free shipping on ALL products with any purchase of $35 or more by using code SKIPSHIP7. Visit www.etsy.com/shop/LoveStruckCreations to do some shopping!
Happy early Valentines Day!
My name is Kristina and I'm the founder of Love Struck. Read about how Love Struck came to be, see how I make it happen or just read a random thought I just might have! Anything can happen at our blog & I wouldn't have it any other way! It's time to get Love Struck, and what better way to start than right here!