What keeps you going?

This past weekend’s long race made me realize that I no longer hydrate as well as I used to. My calves felt like they wanted to snap apart. When I worked I carried a 32 oz jug of water all day long. And I would almost always finish it. The day before a race I often chugged a pint of Accelerade and I ran better because of all the water and Accelerade I took in. My muscles rarely cramped. So now that I’m not working I am drinking loads less water. It gets worse. I have increased my caffeine intake which hinders whatever little water I do have throughout the day.

So this week I am going to work on drinking more water but I am still left with another wee problem. I have run out of my favorite sports drink. Accelerade kept me hydrated under the Texan sun and never made me fill sick to my stomach. I need to find a substitute because I can’t find it anywhere in the UK. Does anyone know of something similar? It has a carb to protein ratio of 4:1. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I’m curious…how often do you fuel during a run?

C25K, Week 3 kicked my ass

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I finally took the leap and started on week 3 of Couch to 5K. I was to run 1:30, walk 1:30, run 3:00 and walk 3:00. Twice. I finished the run but I wanted to throw in an extra run at the end so I could finish at 20 minutes rather than 18:30. Yeah right. That run started uphill and hills are my nemesis. I couldn’t do it. And my buggered knee didn’t help. So even though I tried to finish strong I couldn’t. At least I completed the run even if I couldn’t pull off a bit extra.

Oh, guess what?! I lost some weight on Weight Watchers this week: 1.5 pounds. In the words of John McClane, “Yippee ki yay, mother-!” My walking has not hindered my weight loss. Phew.

Turning an errand into exercise

I have a lot of gripes about living in London (high cost of living, low wages, NHS…) but what I do love is how convenient it can be to literally run an errand. If I have an errand and run to do I combine them, saving time and making both seem less like work.

Today G and I decided to make our favorite soup but we didn’t have some of the veggies needed. So we ran to the grocery store, the long way. Unfortunately the route I chose was partly uphill and it killed our pace. I had to walk a lot to recover. But the run is done and now I am waiting for my soup to cook. Sah-weet!

A Belated Christmas Miracle

Things didn’t go as I had planned (no exercise, no calorie counting, a bit of overeating) and I seemed to have given up even before I got knee deep in my new way of life. But somehow I still managed to lose a bit of inches. Maybe it was all the walking we did in our trip to Germany, or maybe I have been subconsciously eating less of my go-to naughty foods? Who knows. But I finally fit in a lovely skirt I made myself months ago. And ‘fit’ is used lightly. The skirt goes over my hips and bum and closes in the back. The skirt doesn’t drape nicely but hopefully soon it will because I’m back on the wagon. I’m back to believing that maybe I can lose weight again.

It fits. Kinda.

Wholemeal Goodness

When the weather is cold and wet I often crave toast for breakfast. Because I know and love how to bake bread I refuse to buy it. Sadly, I often go without my morning toast because I forget to prep and bake a loaf. You see, I am a huge believer in aged doughs. I almost always make the dough a day or two in advance, allowing the dough slowly ferment and gain a lot of flavor.

But I planned ahead and made some wholemeal oat dough yesterday and baked the loaves today.

aged dough wholemeal wholewheat

Slow-fermented dough

My flat still smells divine from them.

wholemeal, wholewheat, aged dough

Round wholemeal oat loaf

wholewheat aged doughs

Sandwich wholemeal oat loaf

Wholemeal oat loaves

I’m liking this whole planning thing 🙂 I cannot wait to finally have some delicious toast for breakfast tomorrow!

Planning is everything

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I took an afternoon and planned my exercise schedule and meal plan for the next two weeks. I forget how time consuming planning can be when you’re starting from scratch: make a list of tasty healthy recipes, sit and take an inventory of all the foods you have and try to find or make a list of ingredients to make up a few meals, purchase missing ingredients, make sure all recipes are healthy and consider leftovers so there won’t be any food going to waste (I hate wasting food). Once that’s done, I plot the meals on the calendar, making sure that the freshest ingredients are used first. I have even planned out a cheat (within reason!) day. On those days I will cook my favorite meals and not think twice about it. Here’s a sample of some of the Skinny Taste* recipes I’ll be making:

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Now I can’t say the schedule will always go as planned but it’s nice not to have to think too much about lunch and dinner. We’re not leaving any room for ordering take-away or eating a fast veggie-free meal.

The biggest challenge will come with staying active. I’m not as healthy as I used to be and the out of shape feeling sucks! Pushing my body is going up a flight of stairs. Yeah, it’s that bad. My goal is to be running-ready by the time we move back to Austin. I want to get back to running with Austin Fit and keep up with the middle-of-the-pack runners.

So my cross-training will be EA Sports Active! G brought over all his consoles and I haven’t touched the Wii Fit in ages. And with the winter weather settling in it’s about time I take advantage of it and do some indoor workouts.

Anyone ever use EA Sports Active, or any other console “game” to lose weight?

*I love using Skinny Taste recipes: Gina always provides nutritional information and the recipes are delicious.