Jun 28, 2012

Posted by Jo W. 6/28/2012
Why I hate running:

  1. Knee pain
  2. Muscle soreness
  3. Thirst
  4. Summer heat
  5. Feeling tired
  6. Feeling like my feet are dragging
  7. Getting passed by faster runners and feeling like I'm going at a snail's pace
  8. Feeling like I've been running forever, and it's only been a few miles

Why I love running:
  1. Runner's high
  2. Working up a lot of sweat
  3. Feeling like I've accomplished something when my muscles are sore
  4. Feeling strong
  5. Feeling like my feet are light and flying
  6. Passing other people
  7. Forgetting the time and being surprised at how much I've ran
  8. Feeling hungry all the time (so I can eat more ;) 

Why do you love/hate running?

Jun 27, 2012

Posted by Jo W. 6/27/2012
Some days, you just eat like crap and feel terrible, even though it was so worth it. I ate soooo many sweets today, it's quite ridiculous. Life is all about moderation, even moderation, right? ;)

This morning at work, my co-worker and I baked a cookie cake for our mentor's belated birthday (it was on Monday, but we found out too late). She brought in a tube of chocolate chip cookie dough, which we spread out in a pan. We decided that it was a sad amount of cookie dough, so I whipped up a batch of sugar cookie dough with a ton of sprinkles mixed in. We then proceeded to do this:

Crazy, right? The S-shape was dug into the chocolate chip cookie dough, and it was filled in with the sugar cookie dough. GENIUS.

Today was also another person's birthday at work, so her friend brought in cappuccino-chocolate-whatever cupcakes. I had one before lunch. Before that, I had a Nature Valley granola bar and a banana for a snack. Then I had lunch, which was braised tempeh over pasta.

In the afternoon, my mentor showed up to work and we had coffee and the cookie cake. I had about 4 square inches worth of cookie cake. That's quite a bit, considering how sweet it was. It was SO GOOD though. I especially like the sugar cookie part, and the middle was slightly under-baked, which is how I like my cookies. Take note that my afternoon cup of coffee was already my third cup for the day.... I usually only drink a cup in the morning.

After we noshed on the cookie cake, the other birthday girl started sharing her baked goods, which included chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and those mocha-thingy cupcakes. I only nibbled a bit of cookie, but someone brought in a pint of caramel Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and had about 1/4 of it left. He couldn't finish it, and nobody else wanted it, so I ate the rest.

By this time, I was regretting all the cookie cake and ice cream, and I was on a sugar/caffeine high. Ugh I felt so gross. All I wanted to eat for the rest of the day was salad/raw veggies/something super healthy. By the time I got home from work around 6:30, I took a shower and collapsed on my bed. I bummed on my bed until 8, and started to get hungry, so I decided to make dinner. I wasn't feeling salad anymore, and I wanted to make a tofu stir fry with spicy peanut sauce since this morning, so I decided to make that. I ended up making a huge batch of food, yet I managed to eat more than half of it.

I ate this plate of food, and then some leftover tofu in the pan. Now, I am super stuffed. Nyerrrgghhhh why do I do this to myself. I always eat until there is pain :(

To sum it all up, my sweets tally for today:
- French toast (breakfast)
- granola bar (it's "healthy", but we all know it's full of sugar)
- cupcake
- cookie cake
- ice cream

Yikes I am going to hell for my gluttony.

Posted by Jo W. 6/27/2012
Can you believe it, I woke up at 5:30 this morning and didn't feel like going back to sleep. I also felt really hungry, so I got up and made French toast. Haha, sometimes I wake up feeling ravenous. That was always the case when I was younger and had a super fast metabolism. The first thing I always did when I woke up was go downstairs to fix myself some breakfast. Otherwise, I would get really dizzy. Last night, I went to bed early at 11pm, but still, that's only 6.5 hours of sleep. Hmmm I'll probably get tired during the day, but I usually don't get more than 7 hours anyways.

I am so not looking forward to the 106 degree high temperatures tomorrow. It's going to be over 100 degrees for the next three days, but at least the low's are in the 70's. That means I'll have to wake up super early to run, or later at night. I will probably take advantage of the cooler weather today and run tonight. I went out yesterday and ran 6.3 miles at about a 9 min/mile pace. My legs felt great and there was minimal knee pain! Yay :) However, I still felt pretty thirsty at the start of my run, so at one point, I chugged too much water too quickly, and started running too soon and it was bad times. Stupid me, I got cramps almost immediately as my body was telling me that I had to wait for the water to settle. I feel like I always have some kind of bodily discomfort when I run, be it my knees, cramps, muscle tightness, or thirst.

This thirst thing is really getting to me. It seems like no matter how much I drink, I still feel thirsty almost all the time. The only time I don't feel thirsty is when I run really early in the morning after I've had my coffee and protein shake. Also, I have to drink a lot of water the previous night, but then I am going to the bathroom a few times during the night. I think I just have problems retaining water, because if I drink something, I'll have to pee pretty soon. Then I get thirsty again and drink more. I think I need to up my sodium intake in order to retain more water. Come to think of it, I don't eat that much sodium. Also, when I get drenched in sweat, I can see salt crystals forming on my skin as it dries. Gross, I know, but kind of cool (I'm making salt! lol...) I should keep track of my sodium intake for a week to see my average, but I'll have to guestimate since a lot of my food is home-cooked.

Jun 25, 2012

Posted by Jo W. 6/25/2012
I was going to ease into the week and take it slow with a short run today. After work, I had a snack, sent some emails, and then went out for a run. I ended up going 6.3 miles, a lot more than I had planned, though I went pretty slowly. My legs felt pretty good, but both my knees are still bothering me. This time there's a dull ache in the front of my knee, by the knee cap, I'm guessing. At first it felt a bit stiff, especially when I tried to run harder, but after my legs warmed up, it wasn't so bad. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing... I should really ease up on  my mileage this week.

I was planning on running today, tomorrow, and Wednesday since Thursday and Friday it's going to be well over 100 degrees! My iPhone weather says 106 on Thursday!!! How the... what the hell... How can this be possible, and it's only June?! Hopefully I'll be able to work indoors on Thursday and only go out to the field in the morning on Friday. If I have to go out on Thursday, I'll probably fry to a crisp.

But I don't know, if my knees keep aching I'll probably have to take a break. I'm not good with doing things in moderation, though.

Posted by Jo W. 6/25/2012
Today was such a lazy day. I "slept in" and got out of bed at 8:30.

Made myself some french toast with a banana and coffee.

The bread I used was from a loaf of bread I made yesterday. It's made out of white whole wheat flour. I'm not that satisfied with the crumb; it's a bit dense. But the crust came out really well! The secret to a good crust is high temperatures and a lot of steam when the loaf first goes into the oven.

Haha I already cut into the loaf, but from this angle you can't really tell.

I basically spent all day bumming and wasting time on the internets. Made lunch around noon and had tuna salad and half a red bell pepper. Ate that with two slices of toasted bread.

After lunch, I took a nap and then watched Captain America. I can't believe I haven't seen it until now, about a year after it came out! I was abroad when it first came out, so I was kind of out of the Avengers loop. I didn't see Captain America and the Hulk before watching the Avengers, and if I didn't see Thor, I would have been even more confused than I was. I guess I'm just not that into the Avengers craze.

For dinner, I made sweet potato boats stuffed with mushrooms, scallions, an egg, and topped with brie. I had some garlicky broccoli on the side.

Oh yea, and some Sekt that I picked up from Trader Joe's yesterday. (Schloss Biebrich, I believe). Mmm I love Sekt. I may or may not have had most of the bottle with my dinner and dessert...

Not the most attractive pictures, but it sure was delicious.

While I was eating dinner, I watched another movie. The Best Exotic Marigold hotel. It was really good and I highly recommend it!

So that was my lazy Sunday. I ate, slept, watched movies, and bummed in bed. Sometimes it's really nice to not do anything :) I will continue with my bumming, even though I should sleep soon. Got to get up at 6:30 for work tomorrow.

Jun 23, 2012

Posted by Jo W. 6/23/2012
Mon- 5.7 mi
Tues- rest
Wed- 4.0 + 2.77 mi
Thurs- rest
Fri- 4.75 + 4.14 mi
Sat- 8.41 mi

Total= 29.77

Almost 30 miles this week. I tried to do a longer run this morning, at least 10 miles. I was feeling great, until that annoying pain in the back of my left knee started again around mile 6. Then the front of my right knee started to hurt a little as well. I had enough energy to push on, but I decided to not push it and started walking around mile 8. Oh well, I'd rather take it slow and not permanently damage something. I am, however, improving my speed. Most runs this week, my pace was about 9:20 min/mile, whereas last week it was almost 10 mins/mile.

As I am typing this, I am icing both my knees. It looks pretty silly, but works. I take ziploc bags and fill them with ice. Then I use plastic wrap to strap the bags onto my legs. Hands-free icing :)

Haha, looks silly, but is quite effective. I'm going to sit with these things on my legs for about 20 minutes.

Jun 22, 2012

Posted by Jo W. 6/22/2012
Running makes me hungry, all the time. I used to have a super fast metabolism when I was in middle school. I would literally eat breakfast and be HUNGRY less than an hour later. I'd be ravenous by lunchtime, and I'd occasionally feel faint and lightheaded from low blood sugar. Needless to say, I ate a lot. A LOT a lot. Like one time at a school pizza party, I ate something like 12 slices of pizza. I even beat this boy in an eating match during a Chesapeake Bay field trip.. I out ate him by a taco, after scarfing down plates of lasagna, crabs, and a whole lot of other foods.

Unfortunately, my metabolism slowed down a lot since then, and I would probably be chubby if I continued to eat like that. Especially in college, I don't have much time to work out (or just don't have the energy), and I'd be pretty inactive, so my appetite is only a fraction of what it used to be.

However, lately, since I've been running a lot more, I feel like the empty pit I used to be back in middle school. I've been trying to eat more frequently, yet I get hungry again pretty quickly. On weekdays, I have breakfast, usually a protein shake or oatmeal, around 6:45am before going to work, and start feeling hungry around 9am. For a snack, I'll have a granola bar or banana (or both). Lunch is usually around noon, and I pack whatever I have around the house. I kind of need to go grocery shopping. Yesterday, I threw a can of chickpeas in a tupperware, topped it with chopped tomato, added salt and balsamic vinegar, and called it a salad. Today's chickpea salad is more composed.

Since I run after work, I have a small snack in the afternoon before going out around 4:30. By the time I get back and finish showering and wasting time on the internets, I make and eat dinner around 7-8pm. Depending on how late I go to bed, I sometimes have a late night snack, like a pita with PB and sliced banana.

So that's a day in the life of my eating. Not terribly exciting. I just try to eat frequently and whenever I start to feel hungry. I tried the calorie counting thing just to see if I was balancing calories in and calories out. I'd say my diet is pretty well-balanced. I definitely do not want to lose any weight, so I gotta make sure I eat enough calories as I increase my mileage.

Tonight, I'm going out to a Thai restaurant for dinner with a girlfriend. So excited! I love Thai food. Should I get curry or Pad Thai? Ahh I can't decide! We'll see how hungry I get, and what kind of mood I'm in ;)

Shall I get coconut curry?
Or Pad Thai?! Both look so good :P

I do love spicy foods!
Update: I ended up getting green curry with pork, bamboo, peppers, and eggplant, served with rice. It was supposed to be spicy with two peppers on the menu, but it was barely spicy for me. Oh well, whenever I get something at a restaurant that's supposed to be spicy, it usually isn't nearly as spicy as I want it to be.

I ate the entire plate, plus I split a veggie tempura appetizer with a friend. I was stuffed but it was all so good! Haha, I can eat until I explode. It's a bad habit of mine, to eat everything in front of me. Oh well. I swear, I'm a fattie on the inside.

Jun 21, 2012

Posted by Jo W. 6/21/2012
I don't know why, but I have a really hard time staying hydrated. I feel like I am drinking water all day, but I still feel thirsty when I go out to run, sometimes. I guess this 97 degree weather isn't really helping. Last night, I went out around 6:50pm for a run, and the whole time I felt super thirsty. My mouth felt so dry, even though I stopped for water like 4 times. I should really get a hydration belt... My route has water fountains along it in good intervals, and I usually rely on them for water.

Running while dehydrated is the worst feeling. I managed 4 miles, stopped to walk a bit, and pushed 2.75 more miles for a total of 7.75 miles. Not bad, and they were pretty past with an average pace of about 9:20 mins/mile. I feel like I can getting faster compared to before. My pace is usually around 9:45.

When I got home, I drank plenty of water throughout the evening. So much, that I had to get up at least twice to pee in the night. Haha.

In other news, I ate froyo for dinner last night. Not exactly the healthiest dinner, but oh well. This is kind of, maybe the second time I ate froyo for dinner this week, but I am addicted to that stuff and I'm not afraid to admit it :) I went out with friends at 9:30 to hang out at the local frozen yogurt shop. I hadn't eaten a meal since 3pm, I had run a lot, so I was feeling super duper hungry and kind of lightheaded. Oops. That's probably why I got almost $7 worth of froyo. At least I had a full punch card, which I used, and it ended up being less than $2. Yay :)

Jun 20, 2012

Posted by Jo W. 6/20/2012
Yesterday was a rest day, though I hiked a lot for work. I work on a research project studying box turtles and split my time between a large nature research center and an urban park. I was at the research center yesterday, and was hiking up and down mountain ridges, tracking turtles.

Three-toed Box Turtle!

Although I didn't run yesterday, I still felt a little pain in my back knee. I think I strained a tendon, or something, so I iced it when I got back home. I really hope that it goes away soon. I'm going to try to run on it this afternoon and see if the pain is better or worse.

Today's going to be a furnace, though. High is 97, and the hottest part of the day is when I usually run after I get off work. Maybe I'll go out a bit later in the evening, though it doesn't cool down all that much and I'd rather not run in the dark.

Jun 18, 2012

Posted by Jo W. 6/18/2012
Ran a slow 5.7 miles today. Not because it was 93 degrees out, not because I had no energy, nor was it because I was dehydrated. It didn't feel too hot in the shade, with a strong breeze, and I felt well rested and had a lot of energy. I wasn't even dehydrated, which I usually am even though I drink water constantly throughout the day.

My muscles were just fatigued, and my hamstrings and shins felt really tight and sore. Also, my left ankle and the tendon on my back knee started hurting around mile 3. I think I need more than one day of rest from my Saturday long run. I had the same pain in my left leg on Saturday. I wanted to run faster and longer, but my legs just physically couldn't. I'll see how I feel on Wednesday, but I will definitely rest tomorrow.

Ugh, today was so hot and it's starting to get humid. Seems like summer is really here, with above 90 degree days all week. I work outside doing field research this summer, so I am hiking and biking all day. The heat just seems to sap all my energy and I feel so sluggish. I guess I have to get used to it since I'm going to be training in this heat all summer. At least it'll make me tough (ha!). 
Posted by Jo W. in , | 6/18/2012
I made these on Saturday so that I could grab a quick snack throughout the week. I ended up with 11 muffins, and I already ate two yesterday as a snack, and two this morning for breakfast. These aren't going to last long...

I tried making these healthy by making it with white whole wheat flour and adding flax meal. They aren't very sweet and are pretty low fat, but they are still very flavorful  and smell delicious baking :)

Sweet Potato Muffins
yields 11-12 muffins

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp flax meal (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour*
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup milk**
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Pierce the sweet potato a few times with a fork. Microwave it on high for 5 minutes, or until completely cooked through and very soft. You should be able to pierce a knife easily through to the middle. Peel the skin off.

In a medium bowl, mash the sweet potato until it is pretty smooth. Let it cool for a couple of minutes (you don't want the egg to cook!) Add the oil, egg, sugar, salt, spices, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. 

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and milk to the sweet potato mixture. Mix until just combined. Avoid over-mixing.

Spoon batter evenly into a greased muffin tin. Bake for 15 minutes.


* I used white whole wheat flour. All purpose will work fine as well, or a mixture of white and whole wheat flours.
** I used almond milk, since I usually don't buy dairy milk. Use any type of milk you have or prefer. Even water would work.

Sorry that I don't have a picture of these. They may or may not be gone already... >.>

What is your favorite type of muffin? 

When you bake, do your bake goods disappear within a day or two? (I have that problem every time I bake...)

Jun 17, 2012

Posted by Jo W. 6/17/2012
Last week, I ran every other day for about an hour and did my long run on Saturday.

Mon- 5.11 mi
Tues- rest
Wed- 7.0 mi
Thurs- rest
Fri- 6.53
Sat- 8.7 mi
Sun- rest

I use mapmyrun.com and the iPhone app to keep track of my course and pace. It's probably not as accurate as those fancy Garmin GPS watches, but I don't need to know my pace down to a T.

A map of yesterday's long run

I am averaging a little under 10min/mile pace. Right now I am just focusing on building up endurance. Since this is my first half marathon, my main goal is to just finish. When I signed up, I put my estimated time as 2:30. We'll see how my training goes...

I am going to try to run at least three times a week, one of them being a long run. I can't run in the morning during the week since I have to get to work pretty early and I can't get my ass out of bed earlier. I usually go out around 5pm when I get home, but it's going to be HOT this week. I'm probably going to get heat stroke and die, so if you don't hear back from me, that's probably why.

Posted by Jo W. 6/17/2012
Hi and welcome to my blog!

I am Joanna, and I just registered for my first half marathon in October. I am starting this blog to record my training and progress. I've never been a consistent runner, and this race will be my first, ever! Hopefully blogging my progress will help keep me motivated throughout the summer and fall. I have four months to train, which is quite some time.

The great thing about running is that it works up a huge appetite. Thank goodness, because I love to eat. It's probably my favorite activity of all time ;) I also love to cook as much as I love to eat. This blog will be as much of a running blog as a food blog. I will share my random meals recipes and such.

So I am doing the St. Louis Rock n' Roll Half Marathon on October 21. Last spring when my brother came to visit me and run the St. Louis Go! Marathon, I kind of wanted to register for it, but it wasn't until I talked to my friend about it that we decided to run it together.

Goal 1: make it across the finish line on my own power
Goal 2: make it across the finish without

  1. puking
  2. passing out
  3. making a fool of myself
wait, scratch that last one, I'll probably make a fool of myself, anyways. I plan on wearing a neon green tutu.


Bookmark Us

Delicious Digg Facebook Favorites More Stumbleupon Twitter