Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Real Foods Challenge: Day 15

Running on the track this morning was so much fun! I wasn't really sure what to expect. There were about 6 other people there, but they were walking (and the outer two lanes are dedicated to walkers, the inner lane for runners). The track is 1/12th of a mile, so you have to run around it three times to equal 1/4 mile.

I spent the first half-mile calibrating the Garmin foot pod. And I was right--it was off when I used it on the treadmill. But once I calibrated it, it was right on target (I was counting my laps to be sure).

After that initial half-mile, I started my intervals. I set the Garmin to 1/4 mile intervals, so I would be running 3 laps fast, then 3 laps slow (5 times, which would be 2.5 miles). Because the track was small, I felt like I was flying around it. I was lapping the walkers constantly. I had no idea what my pace was, because I vowed not to look at the Garmin until I was done.

I was shocked when I finished and looked at my splits:
My pace for the first three fast intervals was under an 8:00/mi... I don't know that I've ever done that before (without being on a treadmill). Of course, running on an indoor track is much easier than running outside. There are no bumps or cracks in the road, no hills, no wind resistance, perfect temperature... but I'm still happy with my splits!

When I uploaded my workout info, I noticed that now that I wore the foot pod, it showed my "running cadence". I had to read up on this and educate myself a little. Running cadence is basically your foot turnover rate--how many strides per minute. And according to what I've read, mine needs some serious improvement.

Having a high running cadence makes you a faster runner. When you want to run faster, you should work on faster steps rather than longer strides. My cadence today:
Ideally, that average should be above 90 spm (or 180 if you count every step). The article I linked to above said that bicycling is one of the best exercises to increase your cadence. I think I'll try and bike when I can on my fourth run day (per week) instead of running. It's only a 3-mile run that I'll miss, and I think I will benefit from the cross-training. It's not really ideal biking whether in Michigan right now, but I can use a stationary bike at the rec center if needed.

I've never been a "gym person". Today was actually the first day I used our rec center membership and we've had it almost a year ;)  Jerry wanted the membership, and it was only $100/family for an entire year (much cheaper than the average gym). Running on the track was fun and I definitely want to do that again.


I'm now over the hump and more than halfway through the Real Foods Challenge. It's getting easier in some ways, and harder in others. Easier because I don't have horrible cravings for sugar, but harder because I feel SO limited in my food choices. I know that it's my fault--I need to branch out and eat different things. I'm just so used to eating the things that I really want, things that really sound good to me. There are snacks that I consider "okay" and I enjoy them, but I certainly don't look forward to them--like fruit, or cheese, or hummus.

I actually think that this is one of the reasons I was successful losing weight. I didn't eat things that didn't excite me. Sure, I like hummus, but I don't LOVE it--so I didn't really eat it. By choosing foods that I really loved and looked forward to eating (like a piece of Ezekiel toast with peanut butter), I always felt so satisfied. I made every calorie count ;)

I'm really NOT a picky eater, I promise! I will try anything over and over and over again until I finally like it. Take yogurt, for example. I've tried yogurt 1,000 different ways and I still hate it. But I'm always willing to keep trying.

I tried counting calories today, but only lasted until about 2:30 pm when I felt like I was going to starve to death. Maybe just mental? I didn't go overboard though. I forgot how much work it was to weigh everything out! My food log:

Breakfast--overnight cinnamon raisins oats (not great, so I won't bother posting the details)
Lunch--salad with chicken, balsamic vinaigrette, and feta
Dinner--"grown-up hamburger helper mac and cheese" --a "real" food recipe! This was good.
Snacks--one date-nut ball, chai latte, popcorn, apple, 2 dates

30 comments:

  1. How the heck did you not lose track counting all of those laps, and did you wave every time you passed the walkers? I did hear 180 is a good cadence and you achieve it by keeping your feet under your body, not those long strides that sprinters use. Like you didn't have enough numbers to keep track of!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily, I only had to count every three laps. Run fast for three, run slow for three... it was much easier than trying to keep track all the way to 36!

      Delete
    2. I was going to ask if she waved to the walkers too LOL!

      Delete
    3. Because I was curious I counted my footfalls for 1 minute (I think it was either at 6.5 or 6.7) and I hit 174. I can't count, breathe, relax, stand straight, hold in abdominals, keep my head up, arms at 90* angle, etc., etc. all at the same time!!! I guess that would be where a running coach might come in handy!

      Delete
  2. That had to take some will not to peek at your numbers! Every time I read your blog I feel like heading out for a run. Sometimes I do, but then end up walking. But still! Interesting info on cadence and how to improve it.

    Someone else (on their blog)said they made hamburger helper for valentines day. I was sort of thinking that sounded awful... and then suddenly I found myself thinking of it. Longingly. SO glad I popped over here. Tons of good and useful info as usual - and a healthy recipe for HH.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This recipe was definitely better than any Hamburger Helper I've ever had! It had the same creamy sauce, but it tasted much better.

      Delete
  3. Took at look at that recipe. It looks good but I am so confused! Are there some steps missing?

    Step 5: Add cornstarch through pasta, stir, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover for about 10 minutes.

    I assume you add the water and milk here as well? Also it doesn't say when to add the paprika and sugar but I'm sure anytime is fine.

    BTW thanks for the chai tea tip! I love chai tea lattes but don't have a steamer at home so I would brew with water and add cold milk. It was fine that way but so much better brewing in hot milk. I can't believe I never thought to make it that way before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was completely confused about that part in the recipe too, but I figured it out--by "cornstarch through pasta" she meant ALL the ingredients from cornstarch on the list all the way to pasta. ;) I skipped the sugar altogether, because it wasn't needed.

      Glad you like the chai lattes!

      Delete
    2. ah that make so much more sense now! Thanks for answering : )

      Delete
  4. I wish I had access to a track. I would love to be able to run on one, and I think I could do better there than my normal running area, which is hilly and not at all smooth. I can run for much longer indoors on carpet, but it's hard to just run around a living room...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I finally checked the track out--it was fun!

      Delete
  5. Hi Katie,

    I have been reading your blog for a few months now and you are so inspiring. I myself have lost right at 150 pounds since 11/09. Anyhow I meant to respond yesterday but with 3 kids I totally forgot. I wanted to say that since you are upping your miles maybe you are not gaining weight but muscle and as I am sure you know muscle weighs more which can cause a gain. I am just 4 weeks from my 1st marathon and I gained 5 pounds over the training period at first I thought it was the Holidays but they came and went and I was still holding onto the 5 pounds a few days after my 18 mile I weighed myself and could not believe I was still holding onto the 5 pounds so I really freaked out but my clothes seem fine but I still put it in high gear and added swimming on my day off from running and getting back on the bike trainer for 30 to 90 minutes depending on my running schedule and nothing then all of the sudden a 6 pound loss....lol it just crazy. I still think I have put on muscle as my running is so much stronger. Ok I hope that I have not offended you in any way. I have also made a few over your real food recipes and have really enjoyed the ones I have tried. Best Wishes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure it's not muscle ;) I know my body really well, and I know how much I can eat without gaining. I've been eating way over my limit!

      Delete
  6. Hi Katie,

    The weight gain you talked about yesterday may very likely be due to an increase in sodium...you would think that eating "real" foods would decrease your salt intake, but pistachios are really salty and if you're eating a lot of them, you could just be retaining more water. I'd say that's a lot more likely than you eating an extra 7,000 calories (equivalent to 2 pounds) in the last several days. I'd up the water intake if I were you, and see if that helps.

    Good luck with the challenge, I'd actually really like to try in someday soon as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I *have* been eating more sodium, so you might be right. However, I KNOW that I've been overeating, so it's probably a combination of the two!

      Delete
  7. Interesting stuff about the run cadence. How exactly do you go about improving such a thing?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nevermind...I just re-read the part about the bike!

    ReplyDelete
  9. So glad you liked the recipe! Off to poke around your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey, I was looking on Amazon at the Garmin 405 (was making a wishlist out of boredom) and saw they had a Garmin Cadence bike sensor for under $40 and a Garmin Forerunner mount for under $15, I'm sure you are on the up and up about products, but I would have had no idea what the word Cadence even meant if I hadn't read your blog posting today, so thought I'd just give a heads up :) Keep up the great work! (The Real Food challenge sounds ROUGH!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wishlists are fun! Mine is pretty long right now :)

      Delete
  11. Hi Katie,
    Thanks for all the helpful information on your blog. When I read it I want to head out for a run too!!

    Thanks for all your inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go for it! I never feel like running, but I'm always glad when I do :)

      Delete
  12. Wowiekazowie! You should b e proud of those times! FAST! I heard that you need to take quicker strikes not LONGER strides even when walking to try to go faster. I still can't even do a 15-min. mile. How slow am I? But when I started walking it took me 30 min. to go ONE mile....so at least much improved.

    I'm not brave like you, I try something once and if I dn't like it, I rarely try it again. I HAVE tried yogurt twice, with LONG spans of time between, and it still sucks. I hate milk too, and although I eat ice cream occasionally, I have never been a huge fan of it. It's not one of those things I crave or particularly miss now. To prove that, I work right upstairs from the Campus Dairy Store, and they have repeatedly been selected as having the BEST vanilla ice cream in town. In my 35 years here, I have probably had ice cream there less than 10 times. I won't tell you how many times I have been down there to get their lunch specials however, (chcken tortilla soup on Monday---to die for!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam, I can't believe we're even friends... you don't like ICE CREAM?!! Ice cream and cookies are a tie for me--love them both!

      Delete
  13. When the weather is better you should calibrate at a local High School track out doors- or calibrate using a "known distance" outside. Run 1/4 mile or 1 mile on that track to calibrate then double check by running a known distance on a road you have measured. Some indoor tracks are measured at the middle lane/mid point of the track, so if you ran on the inside lane you would be traveling less distance--not by a lot, but it adds up! With a track that small the distance won't be huge, but enough to throw you off.

    From my own experience I tried to calibrate my foot pod on a 1/8 mile indoor track, and when I ran a half (using foot pod only, no gps/garmin) it said I ran 14.42 miles. Either way, congrats on being speedy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :( Bummer! I didn't know that indoor tracks were measured differently. I plan on going to an outdoor track when the snow melts. Maybe tomorrow!

      Delete
  14. Hi there. I tried to email you at SlimKatie@runsforcookies.com but I could not get through. Is there another way to contact you?

    Thanks so much!!
    Amanda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there Amanda! I'm not sure why it wouldn't go through--nobody has ever said there was a problem before. Maybe try it again and just double-check the address? The one you posted above is correct. (One time, someone forgot the 'i' in my name, and she was very angry with me when I didn't respond to her e-mail... but I never got it!)

      Delete
  15. i found your blog last month and have been lurking since then catching up on all your old posts. today i felt the need to comment when i read that you're hoping to start some cycling to work on your cadence. i just bought a second-hand trainer for my bike so that i (and my husband) can bike in our living room. it is great because it is too icy for us to ride right now and i am a hermit and would never go to a gym. if that is something you might be interested in you might be able to find one on craigslist or something on the cheap.

    anywho, loving your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been wanting a trainer ever since I tried one out at the bike shop--but they're insanely expensive! I never thought to try and get a second hand one. I'll definitely look into it.

      Delete

I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)