Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I have injured myself. Kinda. I'm in danger of REALLY injuring myself is more appropriate. My achilles tendons are incredibly tight, on the verge of snapping, if I don't make them more flexible and strengthen them. In the meantime, I'm not allowed to run, only cross-train. Of course I find this incredibly stressful, considering that I've topped out at 8 mile runs and the half-marathon is in one month. Plus, I am doing an educational tour, meaning a ten hour day at the very least. I'm pretty exhausted. I'm sure I'll be better tomorrow, I've only had about five-six hours for the past two nights. In fact, after I type this, I'm lying down.

I feel overwhelmed right now.

Thing is....I'm ridiculously competitive with myself when it comes to running...huh. Maybe how I ended up in this predicament in the first place;). Regardless, I will complete the 13.1 miles.

In other news, my vegan diet is finally paying off. I was able to not drink coffee today. That is HUGE. Actually, it was more that I sensed that drinking coffee would make me feel worse, and lo and behold, I believe it HAS been making me feel worse. I did have some green tea later in the morning, but still. Anyone who knows me knows that this is kind of huge. I've tried quitting it in the past, but never have I felt physically READY to. I just always knew I needed to for my optimal health.

Cheers to that.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ode to My Ass

The following post was borne of a conversation with a fellow actor. Apparently the majority of white women (in his opinion) hate their butts and take whatever measure to mask them, minimize them, etc.

My assistant director and I today were discussing the various parts of our bodies that firm up quickly once we begin a more regimented exercise routine, and the other areas that take their good old time to shape up. For her, her arms immediately tone when she pays attention to them. I could work on my arms for months and they're still puny and nothing to write home about.


After running for several months now, I have decided to sing a certain body part's praise that has been developing nicely: My ass. I noticed lately that my pants and even my undies were fitting differently. At first I did not think anything of it; my weight has not changed, so maybe it was just my drier?

Oh no.

As I walked past the mirror at the gym in my sweats that are now a little tighter in a particular area, I realized:

My ass has gotten BIGGER and BETTER.

Now, there are definitely parts of my body that aren't my favorite, but my BUTT?!?! I love my butt. It powers me through runs, keeps me cushioned on chairs, helps create a nice waistline, and, let's be honest, it's a nice handful to grab for our partners! What's not to love? And now it's even stronger! Yay!

I encourage everyone, men and women, to pick one part of their body that they love today and be proud!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A First

I ran my longest training run ever yesterday: 8 miles! It felt pretty good! Around mile 6.5 or 7, my legs started getting pretty sore, but not in an unbearable way, so I kept truckin' along. It was fun, and pretty easy, to be frank. I mean, I was tired, but I could do it.

Let me also make it clear that there has been no sneaking of cigarettes which made the above possible; had I continued to smoke one or two a day I'm sure that my lungs would have refused to cooperate. On that note, I actually had a dream last night that I took a drag on someone else's, and in the dream I met up with my boyfriend and was nervous that he would find out because he kissed me-ha! One of the biggest motivators for me not even occasionally indulge is the fact that he's diligently working to quit right now, and I don't want to make it harder for him.

Additionally, I've been lifting and doing ab work twice a week. This may not be earth-shattering to anyone else, but getting me to lift and do crunches is pretty monumental. I run because I LIKE to run. I don't LIKE to lift. Therefore I don't do it. But I need to...

During my run, I tried to follow Brendan Brazier's advice: when you run longer than 60 minutes, you need to replenish your glucose stores and hydrate. I took this teeny little three ounce bottle of water with me (I don't have any fancy endurance runner equipment yet) and Luna Sport Moon Energy Chews. There were several in the little pack; I only ate one and decided I didn't need anymore, especially since the night before I had waaaay overindulged in sugar and fat, resulting in both a sugar coma that very morning and acid reflux that made me feel like I was going to vomit for much of the run. When I actually use them in earnest, potentially on my ten mile run this week, I'll write a review. My initial reaction, however, was Yum gummy candy. So take that for what it's worth.

Following the run and some stretching, I drank Vega Chocolate Protein Powder. It really helps with my recovery, insuring that I don't feel too sore or exhausted afterwards, or the next day. Brazier expresses in his book Thrive that after a strenuous workout, it's important to choose foods that are easy to digest with the nutrients being as instantly accessible as possible. To put it simply, have a liquid meal instead. Options include Vega (or another healthy meal replacement drink, but be careful, many of them are full of crap and fillers and junk sources of protein), nutritious soup, maybe a smoothie. If you eat a concentrated, heavy meal, your body's blood will go to your stomach to aid in the digestion process as opposed to the muscles that need that blood in order to repair themselves.

I also discovered by running past a window and seeing my reflection (I enjoy seeing my reflection in a window at some point during a run because it helps me correct my form) that I am in dire need of a good sports bra. I was bouncin' all over the place. To be fair, I was wearing Champion's Small, and maybe I should've been wearing Champion's X-Small, which I also own--it's just much tighter, though it keeps me controlled, and it's not UNcomfortable. Once I start purchasing some new gear I will review that in my blog as well.

Lately, by keeping track of my calories I've been doing really well weight-wise and nutritionally, and being a vegan has given me more energy than usual. I still need to get off the coffee train, which I know is keeping me from achieving a purer form of energy and health, but baby steps. Right now, I'm just proud that I am proving myself right: I can be an endurance athlete and a vegan!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Holy Cabooses

Wow. It's been awhile since I've updated. Here's the skinny....

Well, my training has capped at 6 miles for my long distance run, though this week I am scheduled for 8. We might make it seven--I feel as though a 3 mile increase in mileage (the week also calls for a 5 miler and two 3 milers) is a little steep and am surprised the training log suggests it since it's almost a 20% increase and you're typically supposed to stick to a 10% increase to avoid injury.

Nevertheless! I soldier on. Certain things have been hindering my performance lately, 90% of which have been my fault. For instance, smoking...more than a teeny bit. I've begun having 1 or 2 a day and this is no good. I can feel it in my chest, and not only that, I feel my limbs becoming sluggish much earlier during runs since the oxygen is not being transported as well nor am I taking as much in. This ends tomorrow, thank God. Not only that, but I think smoking just makes me stupider in general. It's starving my brain for oxygen. Addictive natures be damned...

Another issue I'm having is a decrease in meds, causing shifts in my body and energy. I'm much more tired and my body hurts just in general. It's a rough process but it's not forever.

Review for
This is an incredibly useful website for not only monitoring your caloric intake, but also the nutrients that you're taking in and how MUCH you should be taking in given your lifestyle and your calorie needs/goals. It's grrrrreat! Along with that, it has so many resources and records of all sorts of foods making food journaling incredibly simple. Plus it's just fun to see if you've met your protein/fiber/carb intake.

Along with that, the website offers many articles on nutrition and exercise.

My one complaint, however, is that often when you type something into Livestrong's search engine, several website options come up, most of them advertising diet gimmicks. It's obnoxious. Other than that, hey, I enjoy it.

Review for Trader Joe's No Salt Added Marinara Sauce: DELICIOUS! I have noticed that my sodium intake is often way over what I actually need for the day, and skeptically purchased No Salt Added Marinara Sauce for those quick convenience meal times. Mind you, I LOVE SPAGHETTI SAUCE. I could eat it plain. I love it even more than I love ketchup. That's saying something. Clearly, the bar was set high for ol' No Salt. But I was highly delighted when I used it last night, and found that I enjoy it even MORE than regular bottled sauce! Not only that, but it didn't leave me with that I'm-craving-something-sweet-and-need-3-cups-of-water sensation.

My one complaint is that it does have added organic evaporated cane juice. Unnecessary, and I'd rather not have an extra blood sugar spike if I can avoid it.

Review for Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs: Yum Yum Yum Yum Yummy Delicious.

Review for Trader Joe's Brown Rice Penne: I like it. Don't cook it too long however or it becomes irredeemably rubbery. As it is, it still is a bit rubbery when cooked but still tasty and not too chewy.