Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Preparing The Human (for the turkey!)

Ahh the wonderful stench of the office after a lunch break run! Today I went out for a nice 2.1 mile jaunt with a co-worker. I haven't been eating to healthily to prepare for the giant Thanksgiving feast, though so every few miles helps.

Thankfully, there's a turkey trot up near my hometown that I can do tomorrow morning. It's too bad that it only covers the turkey's calories though! For today's post I wanted to cover some Thanksgiving basics. Mainly the food and the exercise it would take to burn it off. Let us commence.
Now, I got this from a totally different blog, so this picture is in no way mine. I found here:
However, I wanted to put it in my post to share with you all!

The reason a turkey trot is called such is because it pretty much only burns off the calories found in the turkey. Each mile a person runs or walks (notice it's regardless of speed) burns roughly 100 calories. Therefore, 8oz of white meat turkey is about 260 calories, or 2.6 miles of exercise to negate it. Dark meat is 3.5 miles. and a turkey trot is usually a 5K, or 3.1 miles, so there you have it! Give or take, the turkey trot burns off the turkey. However, this meal is on a smaller plate than Americans usually eat from. Our plates have gone from 8" in diameter to 10" in diameter in the last 20 years. I wouldn't be surprised if there were more Americans using 12" plates for this Thanksgiving!

This means that for a smaller 10" plate with proper portion sizes, one would have to run (or walk) 13.9 miles. That's further than a half marathon!! Keep in mind that that calculation is based only on the above plate, which doesn't include, eggnog, cider, wine, beer, cranberry juice, soda, milk, pumpkin/apple/pecan pie or any other type of pie one might eat. It also doesn't have the rolls and butter, or any butter one might add to say, mashed potatoes. PLUS, what you eat when you pick at things as you wait for the meal OR any after dinner mints or chocolates (like my family eats as a post-dessert).

So... Shall we revise our calorie count? We shall.
Now, this isn't my picture either, but I've seen it multiple places, so I'm not sure where to cite it. Either way, let's analyze it! This meal trades out the brussel sprouts for peas and adds in some beverages and desserts. It also has only one type of turkey. However, it is on a more standard looking plate, although the miles per food are slightly different. Now, this meal, if you can read the tiny writing, adds up to 26.2 miles! A full freakin' marathon! And still no dinner roll and butter (doesn't anyone else eat rolls and butter at Thanksgiving?)!
Moving on. The final point I want to make in this post is that portion control isn't rocket science! It can be daunting at first, but here is a handy little guide that can help you out. And it doesn't compare the sizes to random objects like dominoes or baseballs. You can do it all simply with your hands! Some might poke a hole in this theory saying, "but my hands are far smaller than Uncle Joe's!" To which I reply, Uncle Joe is probably a larger person in general than you anyway, and therefore his body will need a little bit more sustenance than yours does. So keep this guide handy... get it? Get that humor there? And enjoy your holidays!

So after all that, some of you may be feeling a bit discouraged because you really wanted to stuff your face tomorrow. This post is by no means written to make you feel guilty or bad in any way. I absolutely want you to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal! The purpose of this post is to encourage you to make sure that eating isn't the ONLY thing you do on Thanksgiving. Keep your portions under control, do a turkey trot or a solo run/walk/skip/crawl/moonwalk before the festivities, play football with the family after dinner (unless your yard will be covered in snow like I'm sure mine will be!). Have fun, but prepare your mind and body before kicking off the holiday season so you can better enjoy yourself and not feel the post-holiday guilt that so many suffer from once the big meal has passed.

What is your favorite food at Thanksgiving?
Any crazy traditions you don't mind sharing?

Safe and happy running!

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Favorite Word is Consistency

I definitely have to thank Ziggy for getting me out and running more often. If it weren't for him I wouldn't have ran this past Saturday. Even if he does slow me down a bit. We did 1.64 miles together and then I did an extra 1.39 on my own right after.
He loves going to run with me!! :) Today's run was on my own though. A co-worker and I decided we might go on some runs together since we both have been looking for a running buddy. So since I haven't done a solo run in awhile I wanted to see where I was at.
Ziggy stayed home this time and played with his penguin :) It's okay though because Brian took him on a walk when he got home from work. So this run was [mostly] guilt-free.
He did give me sad eyes when I left though. As long as it's semi-warm out and not much wind tomorrow morning I will take him out for a mile or so before work.
This run didn't go as well as I wanted. First, it was definitely slippery. Even though there was only an inch or so of snow on most of the sidewalk, people around here don't seem to see the need for shoveling. Anyway, the footprints heated up enough and then refroze so that it was slick ice underneath the fluffy inch of snow. Not only that, but cars NEVER stop for pedestrians to cross! A good amount of time was spent waiting to cross to the side of the street with a sidewalk. Annnnd plenty of time was also spent hopping onto someones snow covered lawn because the shoulder of the road wasn't all that large and cars are oblivious. Better safe than sorry, but it still added time onto my run. I think I could have gone faster, but tip toeing around makes for a frustrating run. Either way I'm happy that I went after work. Anyone who knows me knows how much of a morning person I am, and anything after about 1 o'clock is a miracle if I do it.

Anyway, this run wasn't a total bust! I got some exercise in, got a rough estimate of where I'm at after a few months of incredible slacking on my running, and got a taste of winter again. All in all I guess it's not bad, but I'm absolutely hoping for some quick improvements in the next few weeks. I will definitely be at a good spot for running with my co-worker, and I'm very excited about that! Not only all of those positives, but between Ziggy, the running group, my co-worker, and my waning fear of knee issues, I'm starting to be consistent again in my running! I absolutely love consistency, because if you consistently do something it will become a habit and you can only improve that skill :)

Speaking of knee issues, (I'm sorry I'm all over the place; it's been awhile since my last post) part of the reason I haven't been consistent is because after my half marathon, my knee began acting up again. I must take the blame for it; I had stopped doing my physical therapy exercises, here's that word again, CONSISTENTLY. Therefore, I'd been slightly afraid to run because I thought my knee would hurt. I took some time off and mainly did Insanity, and it definitely helped strengthen my core and leg and relieve some of my knee pain. Now I'm back to my stretches and easing into running with Ziggy. He couldn't have come at a better time! I hope I continue to keep up with my stretches and improve. I think I will because it's something I want. I will make it a priority :)
Tomorrow holds a Wonderland Lights run. A local agency sets up a lights display where people sponsor or donate a light and the run kicks it off after the run the road is open for those who'd like to drive the scenic route and take in its splendor. It is a two mile route and the running group I've dabbled in is going, so I will most likely go with them.
Also, there is a Turkey Trot near my hometown on Thanksgiving morning. As far as I know I have 2 friends joining me, as well as my future sister-in-law and her husband and possibly their child, and mayyyyybe my future mother-in-law :) I've converted quite a gaggle of friends and family into runners, if only for holiday themed races! No complaining here, I'll take what I can get!

Any holiday runs for any of you?
Does winter slow you down or bring you to a halt?

Safe and happy running!

Monday, November 11, 2013


Second run with Ziggy today! We went a little further and slightly faster :)
Today we ran 1.45 miles and I stopped when he stopped. Didn't sleep to good last night so I figured this was better than nothing. He did really well. We took a new route that he's not used to walking. There was this man walking a little terrier type dog that was NOT well behaved and it made nervous. I had him sit while they went by us. He was also really good with cars on the road and people walking by us. The only time besides the little dog that he almost lost it was when he saw a couple squirrels chasing each other. I don't blame him, but we got past them just fine. Literally a tenth of a mile from home.
I think Zig likes the runs. When we started today he wanted to take off and I had to reign him in and tell him, "My pace, or no pace, Pigs!" The cats certainly like investigating his leash and the rug by the door when we get back! The picture is of them scattering as I come over to take a picture. It seems as soon as I pull out my phone the animals stop doing whatever cute thing they were doing.

Oh, well. Short post today! I've got many other tasks to tackle on my day off!

Safe and happy running!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Ready, Set, Nap.

Today was my first run with Ziggy, the big lug of a dog living with us now :) I decided we'd try a mile and see what happened. It went quite well. Because he was running, he didn't take too much time to stop and sniff things. There were only a handful of times where I had to stop and make him sit so he could regain his focus. Mainly, those times were when we passed the strip where the fish market and pizza place were. I couldn't blame him, it was tempting for me to stop too! Yum!

However, when we got to about 8 tenths of a mile, he started to slow. I nearly dragged him the last 0.2 because he was getting tired. When we got back to the apartment, he was oh so ready to go back inside.
And here, we have Ziggy completely passed out after our one 11 plus minute mile. Hahaha he will have to up his endurance and speed if he wants to run with the humans! :p My goal is to get to 2-3 miles with him almost daily.
As you can see by the red circle, Ziggy and I went for a leisurely trot. The green circles are the miles I went back out and did after I dropped Ziggy off. I know it's yucky and starting to snow, and I don't like that aspect, but I do like the crisp, 30 degree temperature to run in. It feels so good to get outside in the brisk air. Really makes your lungs feel clean and renewed. Plus, it keeps you moving! If you stop, you start to get chilled to the bone :p

I guess that's all for today. I'm having a lazy Friday for now because the cable guy is coming early afternoon, I meet with the photographer to sign the contract at 3 and then dinner with a friend I haven't seen in FOREVER at 6 :) Until then, I'm going to plant myself on the couch, snuggle up with a good book and enjoy myself.

What do you do when you have a moment of free time?
Do you ever run with an animal? How does it go?
What's your favorite temperature to run in?

Safe and happy running!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oh, Hello There...

So, I am ashamed that my last post was in August!
 What could I have possibly been doing since then, you ask? Job hunting. I spent all my free computer time searching and writing resumes and cover letters and all that good stuff. It definitely paid off though! You are looking at the new Educator/Care Specialist at ACR Health :)

I get to run a youth group, and I go into schools and teach youth about HIV and STD prevention, healthy relationships, pregnancy prevention, body image/self esteem, suicide prevention, LGBTQ sensitivity, etc. A whole host of topics I am now knowledgeable on. So for the rest of August and all of September I was busting my butt at Dick's Sporting Goods and interviews and job hunting. Then on October 1st I started my new job.
I must admit, it was daunting at first. I had worked with youth a lot before, but not in such large groups (the schools usually have around 20 girls). My work had been mostly case management (one-on-one) and small groups of 3-5 or so. I have settled in nicely though and my boss was great about letting me get trained and comfortable. Now I go in and do everything all by myself :)
But wait, this is a running blog! I must admit I've been quite a slacker. I've been doing Insanity as best I can, yet I've been having to drive an hour one way for trainings while getting into my new job. It's been a struggle to get in what I want to get in. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do a Turkey Trot near my hometown on Thanksgiving (duh, lol), and maybe a First Snow run in the beginning of December?
Brian and I just got our big, playful, loveable dog at our apartment two days ago. He'd been living with my mom for the past two years, but now we have him. He needs a little refresher course on the leash, but I'm hoping within a few weeks I can run with him. Ziggy (the dog) can get his exercise and I can get mine!

Speaking of Brian, I've been moving forward with wedding plans. We've got the venue, caterer, florist, photographer, officiant, and save-the-dates done. Next up: my dress, bridesmaids dresses, invitations, and registry. Phew! It's been a whirlwind of wedding plans.

Hmmmn.... This blog is also about my social work adventure, so I guess I'll update you on grad school plans. I'm pretty sure I remember saying how I'm not going to SU (hence the job). I have already submitted my application for SUNY Albany, and just have to tweak my personal statement and I'll be all set to apply to Boston University's online program. I think I'm leaning toward the online program. It has one class right after the other all year round for 2 & 1/2 years. I'd still be done at about the same time, but will really be able to focus on each class and my work. Who knows. I'll take it as it comes. I've got to be accepted first!
Well, I think that's all of the important stuff for now. I apologize for the hiatus! Lots of stuff happened all at once. I am hoping on getting at least one post up per week. And I'm hoping to run more... Well, work out more in general but definitely run before the suuuper icy cold weather hits.

Does anyone have any tips for running with a dog (and a big one, at that!)?
What has everyone else been up to the past month? Any races, or just good news in general?
How much have you missed me?! :p

Safe and happy running!