AM vs PM Runs

Good afternoon lovies!

I’m enjoying a day off today and trying to decide when I should do the long run I’m scheduled for today.

There’s always a little voice in the back of my head telling me to just do it NOW. Whatever it is I’m thinking of, do it now and get it over with. It works for most things, but running is usually different.

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As many runners know, there are things to consider in choosing when to do a long run. Factors like fueling, safety, temperature and just fitting it in to the rest of your day are all important.

Personally, I prefer to run around dusk in the *summer* for a number of reasons. The sun has almost gone down and by then the temperature is dropping. It’s not too late so there are people around who will notice if you get kidnapped (seriously one of my biggest concerns running in the city). And in general, I find fueling easier because I’ve already been eating all day so I don’t need much to keep me going.

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Plus, Boston’s a beaut at night.

I do still worry about what time I start running because if the run is a few hours long, it gets dark and the usual safety issues return but if I start early enough, I can finish by the time people are going home after their happy hour drinks.

Sometimes though, it’s a struggle to hit the streets after I finally get home from work and relax. I know what you’re thinking – the obvious answer would be to start working out in the morning, before work.

I have tried time and time again to be a morning work out person and I always go back to my evening workouts. It’s not that I’m “not a morning person” or that I can’t get myself out of bed. I love being up early. The quiet morning before everyone is awake, is my favorite time of the day. However for me, it’s a time for peaceful reflection. I like to sit in the early sunlight with a cup of coffee and think about the rest of my day.

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On the occasions that I have pushed myself to work out in the morning, I forced down a quick breakfast (I can’t workout on an empty stomach and I’m never hungry when I first wake up,) and struggled, sleepily, to get pumped up for the work ahead of me.

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I like to start my day with fruit but when I have a workout following breakfast, I have to make sure to include heavier carbs. This is the breakfast I’ve been having lately – oats with maple syrup, chia seeds, cinnamon, dried coconut and fruit.

Although it felt awesome to get my workout out of the way in the morning and gave me a great energy boost for the rest of the day, I’ve found that I work harder and push myself further when I’ve been awake for a few hours before my work out. Maybe someday I’ll be an AM exerciser but for now, I’m sticking to my night runs.

When do you guys prefer to work out?

 

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Afternoon in the City

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had a bit of free time last week and was able to catch up on sleep, reading and working out. After finishing 3 books in 4 days I decided it was time to get out of the house and spend some time in the city (and of course, to stop by Barnes & Noble for my next conquest.)

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Even Miso was sick of me hanging around the house.

Sometimes I don’t like to spend leisure time in the city while I’m training because Boston is so small that I inevitably end up running around the same places over and over again and I’m the worst when I’m bored with a work out.

However, spending two summers in a windowless, freezing office has ignited in me a passion for the outdoors. So downtown, it was.

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After browsing around B&N for a bit (it’s one of my favorite places to be, actually) I realized I was pretty hungry so I decided to try out a new place that just opened in Copley Square, called Dig Inn.

Pretty much everything about Dig Inn appealed to me. The food is locally and sustainably sourced and the restaurant focuses on healthy, plant based meals.

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I got a market bowl with mixed greens, cauliflower, roasted peaches, tofu, and pesto. The flavors were unique, delicious and tasted really fresh. Plus, all the utensils and containers were compostable! They also did really well with the tofu, which I think is difficult. It’s tough to find good tofu.

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Full and completely satisfied, I decided to enjoy the summer heat and walked home. As nice as it was, I will say I am counting down the days to fall, ha. Are you guys summer lovers or do you prefer the cold weather? Let me know!

chelsea

Feeling Strong

I have to say, it’s amazing to be in a place where I feel strong and I can recognize the improvements I’ve made both mentally and physically.

It occurred to me yesterday, as I was listlessly roaming the kitchen looking for something to bored-eat, how far I’ve come.

Five years ago, I never could have sat around and mindlessly eaten. -Not that mindless eating is good for you or something I encourage, but in the past, everything I ate came with a calculation. If I ate x many calories, that meant x miles on a treadmill. Every food had a price and telling myself that I couldn’t have something made me want it even more. Eating gave me anxiety and anxiety led to paralysis, which led to guilt and more anxiety.

Although weight loss is no longer my be-all end-all  and my journey took a whole lot of healing and hardwork, I will say that it wasn’t until I finally began focusing on health instead of weight loss that I saw “improvements” in my body.

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Before, my only concern was weight loss no matter how unhealthy or dangerous the method was and it got me nothing but self hate and stagnation. When I let go of that toxic mindset and listened to what my body was telling me – that’s when I was able to grow.

Although I’m always chasing fitness and health goals and challenging myself in new ways, it’s not like it was before. I let myself breath. And eat. And I feel more free than I ever thought I could in the past. I appreciate my journey. I know how hard it is to escape the feeling of being uncomfortable in your own skin, but you just have to start with a leap of faith.

Let yourself be human.

Wishing everyone wellness today. x

Running Running Running

I’m just about reaching the half way point in my training and I’m beginning to remember the feeling of not wanting to make time for my runs. That being said, I do feel stronger, healthier and more confident than ever before.

Last week I was out with a cold – one I’m still trying to shake – so I only logged about 10 miles and a very light strength training session.

Although each work out did help me feel a little better, in the end I needed more rest than exertion.

With all my free time I was able to finish 2 books, catch up on Once Upon a Time, and finally get some much needed, uninterrupted sleep.

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If you’re a Brave New World / distopian future fan, this is a good book to check out.

Yesterday was my first day feeling like myself again so I took it as an opportunity to get 2 workouts in. My first work out was a more vigorous conditioning because I’ve been falling back a bit with cross training and keeping my legs strong is vital. Here’s what I did:

10 minutes in the sauna – (I heard that using a sauna can help with heat endurance and I have definitely felt an improvement in my own ability to endure higher temperatures. Not to mention it works wonders for my skin and detoxifying)

30 walking lunges
30 crunches
25 donkey kicks
25 scissors

30 sumo squats
30 crunches
25 donkey kicks
25 scissors

30 step ups
30 crunches
25 bicep shoulders – (I’m not sure the real name of these but 1 rep is essentially a bicep curl on each arm followed directly by a shoulder press. I used 7.5lb dumbells.)
25 clam shells (each side)

15 miles stationary bike

Afterwards I was ravenous and whipped together the strangest sandwich I’ve had in a while, along with some fresh seasonal produce I got from the grocery store. There are few things more grounding than eating a delicious, perfectly ripe and juicy peach.

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I rested a bit afterwards and started a new book – Hollow City, the 2nd installment of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Chris and I decided to try out a new pizza place called Stone Hearth Pizza which was really good and sourced local, organic and hormone/antibiotic free ingredients. It was delicious and inexpensive and I felt good supporting a business that supports local farms. They also have gluten free dough and pasta! I got the Farmfresh pizza, which was chock full of veggies.

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I headed out on my run around 8:30pm. I prefer running around dusk but it’s been hot lately and I learned my lesson after attempting a long run at noon in 87 degree weather. (I think it actually qualified as a long walk with intermittent periods of jogging.)

After about a mile I realized my body was still tired from my earlier workout and the last legs of my cold and I ended up cutting my run a mile short. I’m always trying to find where the line is with pushing my body and giving it adequate rest. You win some, you lose some I guess.

For my post run snack I had peanut butter, fresh fig, and chia seeds on a slice of whole wheat toast. I paired it with a big mug of ginger detox tea and fell asleep before I even got the chance to open my book.

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Today I’m slated for a long run but I’m a bit worried after last night’s performance. I guess we’ll see.

chelsea