Thursday, July 29, 2010

Free Online Food Diary

I have been having a lot of trouble figuring out what I need to do to get my bod back to where it was a year ago.  Well, it's not that puzzling: I'm no longer spending 2+ hours working out in the gym six days a week (cardio/cross training/running) and counting calories consistently.  This year I have been all over the place trying to compensate for that lifestyle change.  However, I usually fall into the same pattern of either doing really good with my diet and letting my activity level slip, or being stellar about working out and then indulging too much.

Clearly, it's no secret that balance is key and that you need a great diet (as in food intake) and daily exercise to feel your best.  It's just hard sometimes!

This week I decided to change up my meal plan and eat eggs and toast for breakfast, trying to get that whole protein + carb thing down.  I bought lots of veggies to make tasty salads because my body has been craving fresh vegetables lately.

While I occasionally track calories on my own in an Excel spreedsheet, yesterday I remembered about an online meal tracker I had played with once.

SparkPeople is a lot like the online version of Weight Watchers in that you search/enter in the nutrional value of the foods that you eat and then can see how you're spending your calories.  Also, it's FREE!  Love it.

Yesterday I entered my food values and was a bit shocked.  Even though I had breakfast, a snack, and lunch, I had only consumed around 500 calories.  Hello, that's not good!  I went out and ran last night and, like has been the case, I struggled.  I keep blaming the humidity/heat/laziness, but clearly my body is out of whack.  (I tracked my calories after I ran, so yeah, PTL I didn't die out on the streets).

The fact that I've been all over the place with my diet this summer makes me think that my body and metabolism are confused.  One week or day I eat poorly, then the next I clearly cut too many calories.  Throw in sporadic medicore workouts and we have a problem.

I'm excited to keep playing with SparkPeople.  There is also a place to log in workouts, and they even suggest activities and strength training exercises for you to do.  When you're finished for the day you can actually see via pie charts how you spent your calories.  This visual learner "likes" this!

 PS: I did consume more calories after my run!  Chocolate milk, a salad, peach, and cheese :)  And I felt much, much better!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dry Comal Creek Vineyards

Last week a few friends and I decided to take a roadtrip to visit The Salt Lick (amazing BBQ in Driftwood, just south of ATX).  Since we were already in roadtrip mode we kept the party going and headed south to New Braunfels to check out Dry Comal Creek, the producer of one of our favorite wines.

We first came across Dry Comal Creek last summer when we bought a bottle in Gruene and sipped it while we enjoyed some music (Comal Red).  Ever since we're always on the lookout at stores to find a bottle.

The guys realized how they came up with their name: literally this part of the Comal river is DRY!

For $15 we tried every single wine.  The woman pouring our samples was very knowledgeable and fun (though we did feel a bit rushed--I think she was just excited).  Even though I'm not a huge white fan, their white wines were my favorite out of our tasting!  Their bone- dry sparkling wine was also tasty.

Yes, we tried!

We even got to sample the sangria they made.  It was slushy and sans fruit, but super tasty.  We each had a glass and then enjoyed the White-Black Spanish out in the backyard.

They even gave us the super simple recipe for the sangria!  I'll be making it soon and will share the recipe then.  I'm serious, sangria is good ,but it can be expensive--not this one!

Look!  Matching roosters! Now I know where they got the inspiration for their logo!

Such a fun day, and since I was filling extra silly I had to see if I would fit inside of a wine barrel.
Almost in...
Pefect fit!

If you visit the river, Gruene, or Schlitterbahn make the effort to visit this winery.  They also host tons of events throughout the year, including a few runs!!!

Dry Comal Creek Vineyards
1741 Herbelin Road
New Braunfels, TX 78132
(830) 885-4076

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Movie Worth the $10+

A buddy and I went to a late night showing of Inception, the new Leonardo DiCaprio movie, after seeing tons of Facebook posts from the weekend saying how good it was.

It really is a fantastic movie.  I loved the plot and cinematography.  Christopher Nolan directed the flick, the same guy responsible for Dark Knight (which means BIG stunts).  I don't want to give anything about the storyline away, because I went into not knowing anything and loved trying to figure out how it would unfold.  I will say this: pay attention!  Someone shared that piece of advice on FB and I heeded their words.

I might even go so far as to suggest you see it on IMAX if you have that option, in hindsight I wouldn't have minded paying a few extra dollars.

Fun fact: Marion Cotillard, who plays Mal in the film, also starred as French singer Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose.  You'll hear Piaf's "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" many times throughout Inception.

Lunar Renezvous Recap/Being the "Marker"

Last Saturday I participated in the Lunar Rendezvous which took place on NASA property.  I wish it was a more scenic run--most of it was past office buildings and fields. 

I was thinking about not showing up to the race.  The night before I stayed out way too late and celebrating a friend's brithday at way too many venues and capped the night off at a taqueria.  I woke up at 4 a.m. and chugged three glasses of water.  Luckily during the run I didn't pass out and only felt that mexican food coming up twice.

Now we all know about "markers."  You know, you're running and you keep coming across the same people throughout a race.  Sometimes you use them as a goal, trying to run past them.  Have you ever noticed when you're the marker??  It can be pretty annoying.  I especially hate when I'm slowly but constantly running and someone runs past me, then starts walking, I pass them, then they come running past me again.  Ugh!

Well, I had two markers.  A woman in pink that was running my pace and was just a few feet ahead of me, and a woman in green that kept running past me then walking.  I had I feeling I was her marker, but then I countered her by making her my marker (see how sneaky this whole thing is?).

The first two miles were fine, but the last mile was when I was feeling that mexican food.  I had walked twice before, and was about to walk again when I heard this man giving his 10-year-old son a pep talk about how we were almost done and he needed to run as hard as he could to the end.  I literally walked for like two steps and then picked up the pace and just ran!

Just past the finish line they had a tent with a misting machine (best idea ever/the first I've seen!).  As I stood there catching my breath and being thankful that I didn't puke in public a woman came up and said, "Great job!  I thought you were about to start walking at the end and was like, 'No! If you walk, I'll walk too!'"

Vhat?!  I was someone's marker the whole time and didn't realize?!  I told her thanks, that she did a great job too, and was sooo not sad about being her marker.  In fact, even though it wasn't my best run it felt good knowing that just like that kid's dad was there to encourage him to finish strong that I was able to pass that along to someone too!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Run, Run, Run

Alright, lots of races coming up!  I have one coming up this Saturday, one the following Saturday, and I tonight I registered for the Galveston Sand Crab Nighttime Beach Run, which is going down in 5 weeks.

I spent a little time creating a training schedule for me to follow unitl then (I love making lists/charts)

Click the pic for a closer look

The goal is not only to be prepared to run 6 miles in the sand, but to also get myself back into these bad boys:

Oh yes, those my "skinny jeans" hanging there on my door.  These are my most unforgiving jeans because they have very little stretch, but they are also one of my favorite pair.  They've never been baggy, but they were comfortable and were once in heavy rotation.  They are now, however, incredibly snug in the thighs, hips, and midsection.  They went from being uncomfortable to wear to straight up unflattering, and are no longer in the jeans rotation! 

I debated signing up for the 5K since I've never ran in sand before and I'm pretty sure it's going to be a challenge, but then I remembered these jeans and totally signed up for the 10K.  I'm hoping to see/feel a difference in a few weeks.

And yes, those jeans will be hanging out on my door until then so I can frequently try them on and gauge my progess!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Miracle product!

Long story short, my face (and body for that matter, but in other ways)  freaked out about two months ago.  It has been super exciting as an adult to figure out why your body is changing. 

Never one to have trouble with acne, I suddenly found lots of teeny tiny bumps on my forehead.  I tried changing my powder, moisturizer, and even started using a toner that had salicylic acid in.  Nothing was working.

After doing more internet research I saw that people should treat blemishes with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.  Two days ago I was looking through some beauty products I've collected and found my miracle product!

This double-sided wand contains salcylic acid on one side and benzoyl peroxide on the other.  I decide to use the latter end.  I slathered it on before bed and I promise you--I woke up the next morning pimple free!

I am completely amazed and thankful!  It really happened that quickly.  I've already ordered another just in case I have any more trouble in the future!

From BeautiControl, $16

I've got the blues

Even though I have quite the collection of nail colors, I mostly stay toward the safer, traditional shades.  Well move over neutrals, pinks, plums and reds!

Summer polish love: Ocean Breeze by Cover Girl

If you run, you know that the first thing you have to do as soon as you're finished is kick off your shoes and socks.  There's something about having pretty painted toes that makes you feel super feminine despite smelling like a zoo animal after working out.  I thought that a "fun" color might add to that experience, and it has!

I've loved my blue toes.  It took a bit of getting used to, but I'm hooked.  My toes even peeked out of some peep toe heels at a wedding a few weeks ago.  They've also been peeking out of these summer flats:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I like Netflixing old flicks

While there are a few new releases that I like to rent (Oh, Wes Anderson,  even Fantastic Mr. Fox was terrific), I mostly like to rent old movies.

Last week I watched All the President's Men (Washington Post journalists that uncover Watergate)

Laura (murder mystery)

And is there I reason I had never seen *St. Elmo's Fire?!

Last night I decided to continue working my way through Hitchcock and watched Murder on the Orient Express.  Think "Clue," but on a train.

What are your favorite classic films?

*I'm wondering how many young adolescent boys decided to play the saxophone hoping it would land them some babes like it did for Rob Lowe.  I know a lot of 80s songs feature the sax, but I had no idea it was considered that sexy!  I died.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fartleks = My Thighs Feel Like Lead

I thought my first race of the month was this weekend, but false alarm, it's next weekend.  I wanted to change things up for my run tonight.  I switched the route and then decided tonight would be a good night to try some fartleks.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, "fartlek" is Swedish for "speed play."  It's basically just bursts of high intensity training, or sprints.

Since most of my runs are done in neighborhoods I used the short ends of street blocks for my training, sprinting the length of one block and then walking the next.  I got in about 9 sprints.

I ran 1 mi before I started my fartleks, and this is what my run ended up looking like:

1 mi run -->3 sprints-->short run-->5 spints-->red light-->baby sprint/collapse!

What I learned:
*I don't know how to run fast.  I was very aware of how awkward I felt when trying to run full-out. 
*My legs feel like they worked!  And that's always a good feeling
*Fartleks need to be part of my life if I'm hoping to get faster.  I haven't really shaved off much time in my runs, but I also haven't done any speed workouts. Hmmm....

How often do you work on your speed and what do you do?