Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Nutrition While Traveling

I love food. Love love love food. My travel weakness is going all out and eating everything that sounds good at the time.  It happens every year...and every year I have a rude awakening that makes me reevaluate what I am eating.

Let's start with the why.  Why does it matter what I eat while I am traveling? The first year I traveled for work I was convinced I was going to gain a ton of weight from eating out all the time.  Two important life lessons came from that. The first was that it was exhausting and frustrating to try to count calories while also working crazy hours and going from place to place. The second was that, after I gave up tracking it and started to just eat what sounded good, I actually lost weight.  Depending on your reason for travel this may or may not be the case for you.  In the office I usually sit still all day, on the road I am on my feet all the time. having discovered these things, I paid a little less attention to what I was eating.  Then it comes to the real why.  At home I am not a perfect eater, but I try to eat pretty clean and healthy meals most of the time.  The food that is sometimes provided and other times just easiest to get does not usually match up to that eating approach. Last week I kept going to fairs that fed us...lasagna, Chik-fil-a, greasy garlic bread galore.  I loved it and it all tasted so good.  And I figured I was running enough I deserve a few goodies now and then.  The problem really was that my stomach didn't know how to handle these foods. I was in pain and miserable. This is probably way more information than you want to know, but I was getting acid reflux like crazy and I was convinced I was going to get sick during some of my college fairs.  I took a day to really focus on eating things that I woud normally eat at home. I avoided anything greasy or fried. And by the next morning all my problems were gone. Ok, at least the ones involving my tummy.

The point I am trying to make, is that eating well is going to play a huge part in how you feel both at home and while traveling. It's just a bit more challenging when you are away from your usual food sources.

10 Tips for eating healthy while traveling:

1) Balance. Just like every other part of staying healthy, balance is key. If your friends/family want to go out to get ice cream or pie, you don't have to deny yourself.  It won't make you happy in the long run. That said, if they are eating pie and ice cream for every meal you should probably opt out of a few trips or your stomach might not agree with you.  I try to keep y meals simple and healthy for mot of the day, then have one indulgent meal.  Some days you won't feel like there is anything all that tempting, some days there will be multiple meals that sound great.  As long as you can find the balance that keeps you feeling good, embrace it.
If there's a diet that doesn't include Cowfish I don't want it!

2) Find your "safe" restaurants. I love Panera and the Whole Foods salad bar.  When I go to either of those I can find something that is delicious and will keep me full without the stomach churning grease and such. When I start to feel like I have overdone it, I will go to these places and it helps me get back to feeling well.

3) Embrace the grocery store.  The other day my lunch was yogurt, and apple, tea, banana chips and crackers.  Does it sound exciting? No. But it is what I would be eating at home and it had the nutrients I needed.

4) Keep snacks in your car/purse/fannypack(?). I have snacks on me at all times.  I can be driving somewhere and get so hungry I will pull over at the nearest gas station/McDonalds/anything I see to get food. And decisions made while hungry are usually not healthy. I usually just aim for whatever looks like it will fill me up. When I am in my office I pretty much snack all day, so having food with me helps avoid the hunger panic that sets in when I really really want food and have nothing on me.

5) Stay hydrated. This is another thing I am great at in the office and terrible at when I travel. And as we have all been told a million times, being dehydrated can feel like being hungry.

6) Watch out for sneaky bad foods.  I drink a lot of coffee on the road, but after reading all the things that are in a pumpkin spice latte, I do a lot more research on my coffee choices. I am a nerd so I enjoy researching things anyway, but I really do find it important to know that the "healthy" foods I am choosing while out and about are as healthy as they sound.

7) Do your research before leaving home. I like to find any local restaurants specializing in healthy foods.  I also like to find out which regional dishes I really have to try.  This way I can better plan out what I will eat when.
Shrimp and grits were a must in Charleston

8) Yelp is your friend.  If you don't do your research ahead of time, or you are like me and leave the research sitting on your desk/couch/binder at home, it is a great way to see the reviews of what is near you. And menus. I like to know what I am walking in to before I get there.

9) Track your macros if it helps.  If I feel like I need to get back on track I will track what I eat. I don't worry about tracking perfectly, I just aim to get close to the right percentage of carbs, protein, and fats.

10) Keep it fun! I "treat" myself to the healthy foods I usually don't buy for myself at home.  Again, the salad bar at Whole Foods and delicious (nutritious) smoothies. Also the kombucha teas with chia seeds.  Usually these are above my budget at home, but they are ofter cheaper than eating out.  The basic idea is to get the healthy foods you think of as a special occasion food.

So there you have it, ten tips for keeping your healthy eating happening while traveling...at least in my own humble little opinion!

Hope you have a splendid Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

10 Fall Favorites!

Well today I was going to post 10 tips on nutrition while traveling...but yesterday I lived on Starbucks and the lasagna they served for dinner at my college fair and I was feeling very unqualified to write that post at the moment! Maybe next week :)

Instead, I want to share my 10 favorite things for fall. And fall is my favorite season so I am pretty excited!

1) Chili. In particular this chicken chili. I found this recipe from My Home Is Rich With Love last year and love love love it. I didn't use the kale but might try it next time. Not my photo, it goes with the recipe!

2) Cooler running weather. Ok, my part of NC is a little behind on this and not cooling dwn very fast, but it's getting here!

3) Seasonal beers.  It is a proven fact that fall has the very best seasonal beers. My taste buds proved that and will be testing the evidence again this year!

4) Sitting by the fireplace. Bonfires are also great but I am so excited to use my new fireplace.

5) The clothes. I love boots, sweaters, and scarves. And hats. Fall means I get to start wearing all of these things and it makes me smile. (Oh and I get to see my mom's dog again soon!)

6) Halloween. It is one of my favorite holidays and I go crazy planning costumes every single year. Just disregard the 4 or 5 years in a row I wore the same witch costume back in the day.

7) Not having to run the air conditioning. It makes my eyes dry and it makes me sneeze.  Not having to run it also usually means being able to go outside without immediately dripping sweat.  Hallelujah.

8) Thanksgiving dinner.  Another holiday where I go fairly overboard. Last year I made all this food for myself and the boyfriend. Well he fried the turkey but the point is the quantity of food. My gramma has always cooked too much for every holiday and I am proud to keep that tradition alive and well!

9) Pumpkin soup. Since I seem to be on a food tangent, this is another one of my favorites.  I got hooked on pumpkin soup while studying abroad in northern Italy.

10) Mums. These flowers are just beautiful and they make me smile! If I wasn't living in a hotel at the moment I would be sharing lots of pictures of all the ones I have on my front porch!

So happy fall and happy Tuesday to all!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Marathon Training Monday: week 8 recap

After my long run last weekend I was feeling on top of the world. This week started with the same feeling but fizzled a bit at the end.

Monday was supposed to be a rest day, but I met up with a group run going out of thru Fleet Feet in Mount Pleasant, SC for a 3.5 mile run and had a blast.

Tuesday was a long travel day so I used my Monday rest day. I also walked many miles around Charleston so I got plenty of exercise in that way.

Wednesday was 7 miles which I did on the treadmill. I couldn't remember if it was supposed to be at race pace so I did it that way just to be on the safe side. Turns out it wasn't, but I felt great finishing up at a 9:58 pace!

Thursday I picked playing with my dog over the 4 miles I was supposed to run.

Friday was rest day... which I completed successfully.

Saturday I worked all day and took my dog back to his sitter so I used all the walking at work as my cross training and figured I would do my best to fit the long run in on Sunday morning.

Sunday I woke up and decided to run the dirt road by my house for the first time.  I had no idea how long it was, but it beat dodging cars and it was close enough to my house that I could get back home in a hurry.  I got 8 miles done (of the scheduled 15) before I realized I was not going to have enough time to finish the run. Yay for traveling to college fairs on weekends lol. I tried to convince myself to finish the rest of the run last night on the treadmill when I got to the hotel, but by the time I found dinner I just wanted to go to sleep!

This week I am scheduled for 4 miles Tuesday, 7 miles at race pace on Wednesday, 4 miles on Thursday, and 13 miles on Saturday. I am considering trying to fit 4 in tonight so I have a bit of a buffer. But I don't get done with work until 8 so that might not be a real option.

This weekend will be another challenge with getting all my miles in, but I am going to try a FlyWheel class on Sunday for the first time, so I have that to look forward to!

Hope everybody is having a wonderful Monday!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

What weekend?

Happy Saturday everybody!

I’m back in the office today killing time between when I picked up my rental car and when I need to go answer admissions questions for some baseball players. And by killing time I mean I am about to send out over 3000 emails via ConstantContact. Also known as my all time favorite program for sending lots of emails. And no they did not pay me to say that lol.

I will admit I actually woke up in time to go for my run this morning, but I decided to be lazy and go back to sleep instead. I wanted to make coffee at home but my almond milk was mostly frozen and probably way past being good anyhow. So of course in had to stop and get some creamer on the way to the office.  And of course the peppermint mocha kind was sale so it was really the only logical choice. I know winter is still way far away, so let’s just keep this a secret purchase for now J

Yogurt was also on sale and I am excited to try the new aspartame free Yoplait. I really don’t like light yogurt all that much, but all the good flavors are light.
Gotta love the office coffee pot... and apparently I love pastry flavored yogurt!

After work today I have to go drop Hank off with my friends for what feels like the rest of my life. Tomorrow morning is the most viable option left for running tome, so that means packing all my stuff tonight. Assuming my pace is more like my Wednesday run and less like my run last Saturday I should have plenty of time to knock out 15 miles before I need to hit the road for an afternoon college fair. Doing my long run tomorrow also means I can get two drinks at Starbucks after the college fair (during their BOGO) totally guilt free.  Because who doesn’t love free coffee?  The drive after won’t be more than a couple hours, but I am so glad #Runchat is at 10 so I won’t miss it!

I’ll be in Greenville and Spartanburg, SC this week so if you know of a fun running group I can drop in with please let me know! I already plan to run through Falls Park, but particular route suggestions are also more than welcome!

P.S. did you know fall officially starts on Tuesday?! It’s my favorite season so I’m pretty excited. And by pretty excited I mean I have the day marked in my planner at least three different ways J


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Long Run: Short Weekend

Today was my last day off until October 11th I think...so I went to bed early last night and didn't set an alarm.  I figured if I woke up with time to run outside that was great, if not I would have time to log those miles later in the day on the treadmill.  No 14 miles on the treadmill did not sound fun, but setting an alarm also sounded awful.

I woke up at about 7:15 all on my own so I put on some running clothes and headed out...into the rain. Woo. The rest of the run just went downhill (except literally uphill a lot) from there.

I was running a new trail and the rain was coming down so hard I totally missed the parking lot for the trail access, got totally lost, and finally found another trail access down the road somewhere.

I filled up my new hydration backpack...and it leaked all over my lap because apparently the tube wasn't screwed in all the way.

My Nike app would not start.  After three attempts I finally gave up and thanked the good Lord I also have RunKeeper on my phone.  As a side note it was remarkably accurate, even in the awful weather, so it will possibly be my go-to running tracker from now on.  I really just need a watch.

In other news about disappointing Nike products, my "rain jacket" was compltely soaked through in a matter of minutes.  Running with the sleeves of your "rain jacket" plastered to you arms is great fun. I totally recommend it.  Only not really.

I started out the run on some super fun and muddy downhills.  I wallked a few because it was just way too slippery and I don't really like red mud on all my clothes. It stains and just sorta feels gross. But it was nice to know that even if I was walking, I felt good enough to be running.

When I finally got thirsty I tried to drink out of the little mouthpiece and nothing happened.  I was peeved and paused to take the whole thing apart (which meant spilling probably half my water in the process) and still couldn't get a thing to drink.  Until I finally (accidentally) pulled the mouthpiece out and it worked like magic.  Go figure, it closes so it doesn't leak.  Score one for the smart kid over here.

Oh and did I mention my dinner the night before was two tortillas and a can of tuna?  It tasted good but was doing about nothing to fuel this run.  Hooray for margarita shot bloks and their deliciousness.

At some point I gave up and strapped my rain jacket to my backpack because it was doing me no good at all.  And my earbuds were slipping and sliding all over the place and bugging the heck out of me.  I was terrified I was going to have to go most of the run with no music.  I just don't have that much willpower. Luckily the rain stopped and they dried out enough to stay in place a little better.

Other than the many many stops to adjust my stuff, I was actually making pretty good time.  I didn't pause RunKeeper so this is not a scientific fact, but it felt good.

Then I got to mile 7 and got to turn around.  The perk of out and backs is that as long as you can will yourself to go the first half, it is pretty easy to convince yourself that it's just plain easier to run back than it is to walk back.   I was very glad for this fact because I ran out of water at mile 7.

I tried to convince myself it was all good and it would be no big deal, but the rain had stopped and the humidity and heat were kicking in.

At mile 10 I hit the Wall.  I was pretty sure this was the worst idea I had ever had.  Then I met a nice couple and their dog.  The man asked how far I was going and when I said 14 he asked if I was crazy.  I didn't even pause before I said yes.  This carried me through a little longer, but somewhere around 11.5 miles I took hitting the wall to a level I have never experienced before.  I was dehydrated and convince I would probably die in the woods. Yes I am very dramatic when things get rough.  I hit Twitter and got some awesome encouragement.  I walked most of the last 2 miles because it was uphill in slippery mud...and also because I was dehydrated and couldn't get my heart rate down.  I did run the last quarter mile because I am stubborn like that and felt like I needed to finish strong for it to really count.

I could have kissed my car when I finally got to it.  Instead I chugged a ton f water, changed clothes, and headed home to shower and crash in bed for a bit.  It was the best shower of my life.  And crashing in bed for half an hour after might have been even better.

I finally drug myself out of bed (by promising myself iced coffee from Dunkin) to meet a friend to do a bit of gift shopping.  Now I am at Starbucks pretending I don't need to go home and pack my belongings.

Tomorrow I head to Charleston and it feels really good to know that my long run for the weekend is done!

The greatest thing about this run is that I finally feel like a runner.  I got up early. I ran in the rain.  And I powered through 14 uncomfortable miles.  And even though it was rough, I was happy and actually enjoyed it. Ok, until mile 12. But it counts :)

Happy weekend all!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 10th in 10 pics

The day started with breakfast in the car.

Then a second breakfast.

Delicious southern lunch at Yesterday Cafe in Greensboro, GA.

Afternoon caffeine...and a donut that I ate while my phone charged! 

The view for most of my day. 

Later I got to drive off into the sunset. And to my hoa and my hotel. 

Possibly the best sight of my day. 

Hello dinner. Feeding my Panera addiction 

Oh and I got a snapchat of Hank that made my day! 

Run Like An Elephant

Have you ever run on a treadmill that makes you keep checking behind you for the stampeding herd of elephants you are sure are following you? Yeah my hotel last night had one.  It shook s terribly during the entire run that I was pretty sure I must have gained at least 50 pounds.

The fitness center felt totally freezing when I went in, but after only a quarter mile running I was convinced I was going to die of a heat stroke.  Probably not the most fortuitous start.  I plugged along to mile 1.5 or so then stopped to answer a call from the boyfriend. (Not my usual but he is out doing Army things so I do my best to be able to talk when he gets the chance.) Immediately after getting off the treadmill I got that awful acidic taste in my mouth and was convinced I was going to get sick.  I sat against the wall and sipped some water while he chatted and the feeling mostly went away.  I will confess (because accountability right?) that I called it quits at that point.  So out of my 4 intended miles  I did 1.5.  Not a great start to the week.

Where do you draw the line though?  I struggle with this with pain and stomach issues all the time.  If I am home and running outside and start to feel sick, I slow down and work my way back up when I can.  If I get sick, I get it over with and get on with life.  On a treadmill that is a little more difficult.  I also had a really bad experience last year with getting food poisoning during travel so I am very cautious whenever I feel the least bit sick.  This part of my job puts a lot of stress on my body and my immune system.

I also decided to skip signing up to try a spin class early this morning. It sounded really fun and I am beyond bummed, but I need all the sleep I can get and I think I need to avoid unnecessary stress on my body until I make sure I am healthy and this was just a fluke. Fingers crossed!

Tonight I am scheduled for 7 miles at race pace, though I might take it a little easier depending on how I feel.

Last but not least: I am so excited that I finally remembered #10on10 on the 10t h and not the 11th or later. So check back later for my day in 10 pictures!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Motivation on the Road

Last week I meant to point out that I was going to be sharing a lot of my tips and tricks for keeping up the healthy lifestyle while traveling...but apparently I need some advice on getting things done while moving.

That said, I am going to kick off that idea today.  I am far from an expert on healthy living and travel, but I have learned a lot from my own mistakes and I have had a lot of time in rental cars and hotel rooms to think it all through!

10 Tips for Staying Motivated While Traveling:

1) Pinterest is your friend.  While this is true at home as well, I find I use it even more when I am sitting in the car or even back in the hotel room and feeling like I would much rather lay down and never move again rather than going for a run or hitting the gym.  Scrolling through my fitness board usually helps me find the energy to get up and go.

2) Go for an adventure run.  I like to scope out new areas to run that I can get to from my hotel.  It lets me see new places and can be a fun new challenge for your body if there are more hills or different types of terrain.

3) Find a local running club/fitness group.  This is not one I have been able to do yet but it is my big goal.  If I ever go to a town with November Project I will be the happiest camper of all.  Anyways, I like this one in theory because you get to make new friends and tell them sotries that all your regular friends have heard a million times.

4) Find classes that are not offered in your home town.  For me this is pretty much any and all fitness classes.  When I travel I reward myself with a fun fitness class if I stick to my training plan. It's also worth looking for places that offer a first class for free.  I plan to try a cycling class tomorrow morning!

5) Keep your expectations reasonable. If you set crazy expectations and fall short right out of the gate, you will be tempted to just give up all together.  Set bare minimum goals that are easy to reach. If you do more than that, great If not, it's not the end of the world.

6) Find balance. If you are eating salad and granola and exercising all the time while the people around you have ice cream and sit on the beach you will probably be jealous. And unhappy. Trust me; I have been there and done that.  Enjoy all the fun things in moderation (or not in moderation...you can always eat healthy when you get home)

7) Make an awesome new playlist.  I love music while running and getting to listen to a new playlist is about as good as it gets so I like to save them for times when I might not want to go out for my run.

8)  Pack your favorite workout clothes. I have some running shorts that have gotten a little too short to wear when I run near home.  Hotel treadmills are fair game though!  Seeing all my fun neon clothes in my bag helps :)

9) Have an accountability buddy. For me this is usually social media.  If I have to write about a workout I had better actually do it.  For you it might be a person at home or traveling with you.  A journal might work as well.  Any form of accountability that matters to you should do the trick

10) Remember why you do it. Usually when I lose motivation it is because I have forgotten the point.  I will not want to run because I am stressed and tired.  If I can make myself go for one run it helps me remember how much better I feel after and how much stress it takes away.

Did I miss anything?  Share your favorite motivation tips with me!
Sorry for the blah layout and lack of pictures.  I need to go run four miles now and had to choose between pics and sleep!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Marathon Training Monday: Week 6

Today I drove over 420 miles through a ton of rain and traffic. Hoping for more running and less driving tomorrow!

That said: here is a recap of marathon training last week.

I finally finished moving all of my darn belongings last weekend…can I get an amen?  The weight room/fitness center/place with the treadmills finally opened again this Thursday.  This all means that I am FINALLY getting back on track with marathon training. Much more slowly than I would lie, but I am getting there.
The best part about going to the gym is that there is also an elliptical. I love these because I need to amp my cardiovascular fitness back up in a hurry and they let me do that without worrying about getting shin splints or just hurting myself in general by adding miles back too quickly. I know a mile on the elliptical does not equal a mile running, but I find them useful for getting my heart rate up and my body working.

Monday through Wednesday I did nothing (training wise).  I am just going to blame the weather. It has been hot, humid, and there has been a lot of rain and even more lightning.  Also I was just plain tired from moving
Thursday: 1 mile warm up on elliptical, 3 miles on treadmill at 10 min/mile, 1 mile cool down on elliptical.
Friday: 2 miles on elliptical, 1 mile on treadmill averaging a 9.25 pace, 2 more miles on the elliptical. (Side note: this was supposed to be my rest day but I was just really excited about running again!)
Saturday: 2.5 miles on the treadmill averaging 10’23” per mile. (Side note again: this was supposed to be my long run day but I ended up working all day.)
Sunday: no running. More rain, even more lightning.  Does babysitting a 2 year old boy count as cross training?

Here's to some sleep and many more miles to come!

Happy new week all.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Suddenly September

I seriously have no idea where this year has gone! Travel season for work is back and I've already booked my flight home for Christmas. It's all just flying by.

In other news, I just moved so that took a major toll on my running. And apparently also my writing. I have no internet at the new place and don't plan to get it set up until October or November since I will hardly ever be home! Three cheers for hotel living :)

If I can dodge all the severe thunder storm warnings I'll be back to sharing my running adventures soon. This month I also hope to share some advice for staying healthy and fit while traveling (because that is the story of my life!) Also I hope you don't mind a few pictures of the new place once I get things unpacked!

Have awond