I’m off today and could sleep in and yet I was still up at 5:30. Don’t you hate when that happens? I’ll look on the bright side, in that it gives me a little extra time to myself to share my favorite things from this week with you guys and to start my packing list for Italy (I leave a week from tomorrow!). I have plenty of time to get my run in (only 2-3 miles today) and get back here in time to try out a breakfast pizza recipe with Oliver. I can always sleep in tomorrow. 🙂
First, up the thing that has made me smile most often this week has been the coverage of Misty Copeland, who is now the first African American principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater (more on that here). In my younger days, I fancied myself a dancer and still get lost watching dance. The few times I’ve seen Misty dance on television I’ve gotten chills and watching her in person is on my bucket list. She’s such a great role model in terms of determination and perseverance and I’d highly recommend checking out more about her.
I ran across this article on the Positivity Blog somehow (not something I generally follow): How to take consistent action and it includes a lot of tips that could apply to weight loss, changing to a healthier diet, exercise or many other healthy habits. It emphasizes focusing on the process not the outcome, so that you are more focused on the most important thing in the moment – the task you’re trying to do – without distraction of worrying whether or not you’re going to get the results you want. So key! You can control only the inputs, not the outputs. We all know that the scale is an obsessed demon sometimes and race days have weather that leave us with finishing times we weren’t expecting and a thousand other things that derail us. If you worry about those too much, you won’t put as much effort as you should into the task at hand.
One of the tips in the Racing Weight was to front load carbohydrates during the day, with more protein heavy meals at night. This article in Runners World goes a step further and describes a study in which participants added a protein-heavy snack at night and saw a significant gain in muscle strength. It’s interesting because it suggests our body is using whatever we give it last for work overnight. I’d certainly like my body to be working on muscle not fat overnight! Maybe I’ll expand my night time snacking rule to include a protein or veggie snack if I’m hungry.
I had to laugh at this post on The Obstacle Course that is Running Through Suburbia on Womens Running this week because LOTS of those things have happened to me. Most of my runs are here in the burbs because I’m too lazy/busy to add the extra time of driving to the park, so I’m constantly dodging chatty people, small children, dogs of all sizes, sprinklers and countless other things. One perk of running in the ‘burbs in the summer, though, is that there is usually a lemonade stand near the end of the run and they frequently have cookies too. 🙂
One last funny thing and then I should probably hit the road to get my miles in before O gets up: the lovely Patty posted something this week that made me feel totally justified in the fact that we constantly have a Disney trip on our schedule – It’s healthy! That’s right, going to Disney is good for you. She shared a graphic from Florida Fitness showing the miles walked and calories burned in all of the Central Florida theme parks. When you throw the races I tend to run when we’re there, I definitely come out ahead right? Well, I would were I not foiled by all of the food (and booze) in Epcot, like Patty is. If you’re a Disney-lover, go check it out. I’m trying not to think about exercise in terms of how many calories it earns me to spend on food, but I confess part of me looks at all of those calories burned and thinks about lots and lots of Dole Whips.
We’re going to kick off our 3 day weekend here with a trip to the Durham Museum for an exhibit on Ancient Egypt and hit up the zoo tomorrow, with thousands of other people I’m sure. It’ll be good exercise for my legs and my patience. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend. Please be careful with the fireworks, especially if you have small children!