Learning to Jog and My First 5K

Today I will run my first 5K race.  I started jogging on January 4th, about five and a half months ago. I began with a Couch To 5K program using an app on my iPhone. The first few times I alternated jogging for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds. Each week, the Couch To 5K program helped me lengthen the amount of time I was jogging.  Right now, I am not quite up to a full 5K in training.  My plan is to do a jog/walk starting with at least a half mile or more of jogging followed by walking the remainder of the first mile. For the second mile, my goal is to jog the entire mile without any walk breaks. That might be a challenge since I’ve never done a full mile without walking in my training. But I’ve come very close and I feel like this is a great opportunity to challenge and push myself just a little bit extra. Next, I plan to walk for about a half mile and then finish the last half mile jogging. This 5K is at the Cleveland Zoo which is known for having a pretty challenging hill. Yikes! I’ve never run hills before.

To prepare for the 5K, I’ve made sure to get a good night’s sleep for the past two nights and I’ve been careful to eat healthy food that will not make me feel weighed down.  I’ve done a little research and I’ve planned a smart breakfast for The Fella and me: Half an english muffin with half  of a Tablespoon peanut butter and a banana.  I’m also going to drink water before the race and I’m choosing to carry a bottle of water that is half frozen during the race.  A lot of people hate the idea of carrying something while running.  But I recently found out that I have problematic vocal cords and sipping water when my throat is dry or when I am feeling tense is a good way to keep my airways clear.  I’ve carried water in training the past few times and I’ve found that I really don’t mind it and on hot days (like today) I really need it.

The 5K I am doing today is the Purple Stride race to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. I lost my grandfather to pancreatic cancer and The Fella’s dad is currently battling it. We also lost the father of a very close friend to the disease just over three years ago. I feel good about participating in this event. For more information, please check out http://www.pancan.org/.

I’ll be sure to post an update after the race to let you know how I fared.

Tomato Stories and Easy Fresh Salsa

I am an NPR junkie. In the past two days NPR has aired two great stories about vegetables. The first story is a brief, romantic and historical look at the sexy past of the tomato plant. The second is a report about how to prepare fresh veggies so that you get the greatest nutritional benefit. After listening to the latter I have decided that the best way to enjoy the taste and nutrients of garden fresh peppers and summer tomatoes is in the form of fresh salsa. Whether you eat the salsa atop an over medium egg (as I did this morning) or scooped up with crunchy corn chips, the key is to enjoy it with a little healthy fat. Check out these links to hear the stories for yourself.

You Say Tomato, I Say ‘Love Apple’ by Diane Roberts
Get The Most Nutrition From Your Veggies by Allison Aubrey
Easy Fresh Salsa

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Whiteout Update

So, I’ve been working on my whiteout eating plan for a little over two weeks. I’ve lost about 5 lbs. Mind you, this is without counting calories, carbs or fat grams. Not bad. With the exception of one evening at a wedding reception, I have followed my plan to a T. It seems to be truly working in the sense that I am not craving snacks and sweets after meals. I’ve splurged a little on sugar-free, low fat ice cream. It was not very good at first but as my palate has adjusted to going without refined sugar the ice cream tasted better. I don’t want to indulge in this too often because artificial sweeteners aren’t exactly healthy nor do they fall into the natural, whole foods category.

I also want to mention that on the aforementioned evening, while attending a wedding reception I suffered from a dull headache for the entire latter half of the evening. I am not one to get headaches very often. I can only suppose that after two full weeks without, my headache was due to overindulgence in refined flour and sugar. I had two small cocktails that were certainly sugar filled (they were raspberry martinis and they were the “signature cocktail” of the bride and groom – how fun ) and I shared a piece of wedding cake with my fella. I also enjoyed the scoop of buttery herb-mashed WHITE potatoes that accompanied my fillet. I completely enjoyed this dalliance from my healthy eating plan. But after hours of dull pain in my head, I knew that my body was ready for me to return to my whiteout plan.