Monday, January 24, 2011

Wow, I’ve been busy!

Thursday at work they had a free health screening so I checked it out. I know I’m wicked healthy, but they were raffling off an iPad so I figured I’d get in on that. They were testing blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, and my favorite – BMI. Plus, I haven’t actually had my cholesterol tested in a while so it was interesting to see what the results were now that I eat “REAL food, but not too much, and mostly plants” (thanks Michael Pollan). My cholesterol is 160mg/dL; 59 HDL, 87 LDL, 66 triglycerides. All well below the desirable ranges. My fasting glucose (since I did the test at 6:30am and hadn’t eaten since about 6:00pm the previous night) was 78mg/dL; also well below desirable levels. And my blood pressure was 114/54mmHg. I probably could have gotten even lower blood pressure if I had to wait a little while because I basically ran over to the screening and got right in.

Last but not least, BMI……now, I’m 5’8” and on Thursday I weighed in at 164lbs which gives me a BMI of 24.9. Just barely making the cut for being overweight; to which my response was “BMI is BULLSHIT!” Last time I had my body composition tested I was at 17% body fat, extremely lean for a female in her 30s. Calculating whether a person is overweight only based on their height and weight is a totally flawed method. Not to mention it’s a horrible way to measure someone’s overall health too. I know plenty of people that fall into the range of “healthy weights” based on BMI, but they eat fast food and have high blood pressure and cholesterol and much higher body fat than me. Anyway, enough about that, I know I’m healthy, I just hope I win the iPad. After work on Thursday, I continued my stair climb training with another 5 flights workout followed by 20 minutes of upper body strength training.

Friday the nasty weather in New England continued and the roads were still not ideal for running on so I stayed indoors. YUCK! I did the same interval I did earlier in the week. (100 jump rope skips + 1 mile on the dreadmill + 2 miles on the stationary bike) x 5 As much as I hate the dreadmill, this workout makes doing 5 miles indoors tolerable. The entire workout takes me a little under 90 minutes to complete. I am dripping sweat all over the place by the time I get to the second round and I create a lovely puddle of sweat beneath the stationary bike by the time I’m totally done. So, even though I HATE the dreadmill, I get it done.

Friday night I met some friends and we went to Nashoba Valley Ski area. Not to actually ski, just to hang out in the lodge. I use to ski back in the day growing up in Maine, but that was when lift tickets were $25 at Sunday River. I can’t afford to ski now. It’s ridiculous. We had way more fun staying warm and watching other people ski and listening to the AWFUL cover band play. Some of our friends decided to narrate a couple that was fighting off in the distance and the fake fight they came up with was so funny I was laughing so hard I was crying. Then there was a very odd looking couple making out at the bar that they narrated for too. Needless to say there were few words in that fake conversation, but it was still very amusing. Overall it was a really fun night with all my running friends, not skiing at the ski area.

Saturday morning I got up and went outside! YAY! It might have been in the teens and a little windy, but it was sunny out and the roads were pretty decent. I did the 7 mile hilly non-hill loop and felt AMAZING. After four days of being stuck inside, running outside despite the cold temperatures felt like Forrest Gump must have felt when he finally broke out of his leg braces (I know I’m blonde, but yes, I do realize he is a fictional character). After the run, I quickly changed my clothes and had a snack, some water, and headed out the door to meet some friends at a ten story building in Andover for more stair climb training. Ten flights ten times and for fun I through in a 10 burpees on the last 5 reps for a total of 100 flights and 50 burbees. I was able to do the first 4 reps in about 90 seconds and then I got tired and slowed to a pace of about 2 minutes for ten flights. I think if I can push through the pain and fatigue on race day (and not run 7 miles prior to climbing) I should be able to finish in under 8 minutes. I think I need to be around 7 minutes to win my age group. Cross your fingers for me.

Yesterday, the forecast was for single digits with wind chills in the negative numbers. I was not looking forward to running my 14 miler. I had a feeling my water bottles would freeze and I’d have to take my last gel without water and that was not motivating me to get out the door and get started. Then I got a text from my friend Kim and she offered to check on me part way into my run to make sure I wasn’t frozen solid. So, knowing she would be out there I ran out the door and started my run.

I wore my yaktrax because I was a little nervous about black ice, but once I got going the roads were actually totally dry and I took the yaktrax off and stuffed them in my pocket. I made it to the spot where I had told Kim to meet me and she wasn’t there. Then I realized I told her to meet me where I would be when she planned on leaving and didn’t factor in the amount of time it would take for her to get to me from her house. I kept running and hoped that my directions were good enough that she would find me and right when I hit the 7 mile mark on my run I heard a horn honking behind me. She found me! YAY! I was maintaining a very good pace and felt amazing. The temperature was actually a lot warmer than expected, a balmy18 degrees. The sun was out and there was little to no wind. I chatted with Kim for a few minutes and grabbed a tissue from her and continued on for the last 7 miles of my run. I finished the last 3 miles of the run the fastest and felt awesome when I was done. Made the ritual trip to Rite Aid for my ice bath supplies and spent the rest of the day relaxing and watching some movies.

Last night I decided to try a new recipe that I had found for Sesame Honey Tempeh Quinoa. It seemed sort of simple so I added to it. I made some brown rice to mix in with the quinoa and added cubed tofu to the tempeh and steamed some kale and broccoli and diced up some roasted beets and put it all together and topped it off with some sliced almonds. OH MY GOD! It was delicious. “Delicious” doesn’t even do it justice. It was out of this world. I seriously can’t wait to get home tonight and eat the leftovers. It might be my new favorite meal. It was pretty simple to make and packed full of healthy super foods. Maybe I’ll post the recipe here so everyone can try it.

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