Healthy and Sane

I’m going to become a runner

March 29th, 2009 · 18 Comments · 20 minute meals, 30 Day Shred, Boston, breakfast, chicken, dessert, Eating out, Ellie Krieger, pork, salad, sandwich, snacks, yogurt

Another weekend has come to an end.  I seriously need to start scheduling relaxation time because otherwise I get no downtime on the weekends… and then the next week begins! I wanted to share with you my new “obsession.” I’ve decided that I want to become a real runner! I’ve been running on the treadmill a few times a week for a few years now, and I think I’ve built up a good endurance level there, but I’m still scared to death of running outside.  That’s not good! Anyways, in my new year’s resolution post I mentioned that I wanted to stop being scared of running outside and even wanted to run a 10K sometime during 2009.  So yeah, nothing new here.  However, after watching Spirit of the Marathon a few days ago, I decided that I really want to run a marathon.  Now I’m not crazy, so I’m not planning on running one next week, next month, or most likely even this year, but I have decided to make running not just a part of my cardio routine, but rather a more central part of my life.  I really want to be a real runner and training for an eventual marathon will surely make me one 😉

I’ve been totally obsessed with the thought of this since watching the movie on Thursday (on the train to NY).  I’m very excited and scared at the same time.  My friend Katie is running a 10K race in 5 weeks, so I think I’m going to join her! This is a bit rushed. The plan was to start running outside when the weather gets better, then schedule a 5K and eventually do a 10K.  But I know that I can finish a 10K (I’ve run up to 9 miles on the treadmill) so I think I should just dive right in and go for it. I even set up a little training schedule for myself, and will be running about 5 times a week (instead of the 2-3 I’ve been doing). You can check it out here if you’d like :) I also want to join some running groups. That will come when the weather gets a little nicer 😀

Oh, but I’m still not sure how to incorporate strength training into the routine.  My training in the past has been more boot camp like (so lots of cardio spurts in between lifting).  I don’t know if that will put too much pressure on my running legs.  Should I switch to pure lifting?  I feel like this is a whole new world I’m not familiar with.  Do you runners do hardcore bootcamp classes on top of your running? I’m totally confused 😀 For the last 2 days, I’ve just done the Shred dvd. I’ll figure it out as I go I guess. Any comments on the subject are MUCH appreciated!

I followed my schedule for the last 2 days. On Saturday, I did Shred level 2 and then 55 minutes of cross trainings (25 minute run, 15 min stationary bike, 15 min elliptical).  Workout stats:

  • Duration: 1:20 (+stretching)
  • Calories burnt: 746 (40% fat)
  • Ave HR: 153 (79%); Max HR: 169 (87%)

And today, I started with a 0.15 mile walk on the treadmill to warm up, then ran for 5 miles at 6.2-7.0 mph, and walked at 4.3 mph until 55 minutes were up (I was watching Sopranos and wanted to finish the episode). Then I came back home and did level 2 of Shred. I took it easy on the cardio intervals as my legs were feeling quite weak after the run.  Workout stats:

  • Duration: 1:20 (+stretching)
  • Calories burnt: 688 (50% fat) – interesting that the run burnt less than cross training…
  • Ave HR: 146 (75%); Max HR:166 (86%)



I didn’t count calories but I tried to make healthy choices.  I feel like I did pretty well despite having many meals out!

TJ's european style nonfat yogurt, 1/2 a banana, 2 dried figs, organic granola, TJ's nutty american trek mix

It was beautiful in Boston so we went to Harvard Square to walk around.  My husband wanted pizza from Oggi (their pizza is fantastic!) but I went with a poached pear saladpoached pear stuffed with goat cheese, baby spinach, candied walnuts & cabernet savignon vinaigrette.  I added grilled chicken to it for some extra protein. The chicken was nice and the pear with goat cheese was great, but I didn’t much care for the dressing so I left most of the spinach undressed (and I find that spinach needs a strong dressing since otherwise it just tastes like grass) and the candied walnuts were basically nonexistent.  I think I found 2 walnut crumbs in there. Yeah, I’m not going to lie… I was definitely jealous of Adam’s delicious looking pizza (ok I had 2 bites :) )

Oggi poached pear salad with grilled chicken

And the best part of Harvard Square is BerryLine – the best frozen yogurt place EVER! 😆 You know me guys, if there isn’t chocolate in it, I’m not typically impressed, but I swear they put crack in it.  It tastes SO creamy and fattening but has no fat! I went with the coconut flavor today. And their toppings are super fresh.  I always get the mango + pecan combo.  Next time I’ll branch out 😉 Oh and I got a pint to go so you’ll be seeing it a few more times this week :)

BerryLine small coconut frozen yogurt with fresh mango and pecans

snack: bosc pear

buffalo chicken/laughing cow sandwich on ezekiel sprouted grain bread

Me met up with our friends Kyle and Tiffany for some Saturday night drinks at Boston Beer Works in Kenmore Square.  They brew the beers right on premises and the place is very cool.  The blueberry beer (with real blueberries!) is awesome.  My other favorite is the watermelon beer (comes with a huge fresh watermelon wedge) but they only brew it in the summer.  I started with the blueberry beer

Boston Beer Works blueberry beer - with real blueberries!

And then got a sampler of the Bambino, blueberry, Patriots pilsner and Belgian amber (4oz each).

Boston Beer Works sampler

I hated the Patriot pilsner (actually most of us at the table thought it was strange tasting), the Bambino was nice and light so I enjoyed it and the Belgian amber was sold to me as being kind of close to a wheat beer which it wasn’t – definitely very much like an amber beer (it was nice but I wasn’t it the mood for it, so I probably only had 1/2).  The blueberry was my favorite of the bunch 😀

Oh and do you see those cheese fries in the background?  Tiffany ordered them but we all ended up kind of picking at them throughout the night.  They were SO good!  I tried to behave but my hand reached for the plate a few times.  Oh well :)

We had so much fun! I love Saturday nights 😀


I started the morning with an unconventional breakfast for me – a smoothie. I saw Ellie Krieger make this peach pie smoothie on a show a little while ago and thought I’d give it a try one day.  I had all the ingredients on hand, we were kind of in a rush (perfect – smoothies are super portable!) so I gave this baby a go.

EK peach pie smoothie

Half way through, I knew this wasn’t going to fill me up, so I made a toast with Barney Butter.  I can’t live without the stuff.  Seriously, I’m addicted.  I actually went to Whole Foods today and wrote a note to them asking them to start carrying it.  I’m not joking! :)

ezekiel sprouted grain bread + 1 Barney Butter packet

Oh and the smoothie was quite nice, but it didn’t fill me up.  I was hungry after this breakfast earlier than usual and that’s even with the BB toast!

[Breakfast calories: 426]

What do we do every single Sunday? Go to open houses.  Another bust today :( I did grab this cookie at one of them.  It was from a bakery and I had a feeling it was going to be amazing… and it was! Thank god I had it after we left that condo, because I would have totally grabbed another one if I knew just how amazing these would be.

cookie from an open house

salad with spinach, grape tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, buffalo grilled chicken + light ranch dressing

salad closeup - so colorful!

The salad was awesome but I knew I had to finish lunch on a sweet note.  The So Delicious coconut mini sandwich was killer (in a good way 😉 )! I think I’m becoming coconut obsessed! This was creamy and super satisfying… and for only 100 calories!

So Delicious mini coconut ice cream sandwich - Yum!

[lunch calories, including dessert: 354]

3 dried apricots + 1/2 oz honey roasted mixed nuts

[110 calories]

The rest of the frozen peaches came alive in this pork chops with bourbon-peach sauce recipe from Cooking Light. I used pork tenderloin instead of pork chops for a leaner entree.  Pork tenderloin is one of our favorites meats!  It’s just so tender and lean.  And for those of you who don’t like pork (I typically don’t!) – it does not taste porky at all! Give it a try, if you haven’t already. Oh and this recipe is great.  Pork + fruit is a match made in heaven.  I’ve made it before and loved it, and this time it didn’t disappoint :) I had a tiny bit of whole wheat couscous on the side…

pork tenderloin with borboun peach sauce + ww couscous

More BerryLine! I had 4 oz with blackberries and pecans.  I just couldn’t stay away…

BerryLine 4oz coconut frozen yogurt + blackberries and pecans

[~470 calories, including dessert]

I also had 3 Girl Scout peanut butter patties (unpictured – 225 calories) and sample a chicken dish at Trader Joe’s.

And that should do it! I sure had a lot of food this weekend!

Let me know your thoughts on running + strength training please! :)

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18 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Lauren

    Oh, so many things I want to say about this post…

    1. The goat cheese-stuffed pear looks & sounds scrumptious – I might try my hand at making that! Too bad there weren’t many candied walnuts and the dressing was disappointing.

    2. I must try a) BerryLine and b) the Bluberry beer at Boston Beerworks – so summery!

    3. I have developed a coconut addiction as well – it’s funny to think this delicacy was on dietary “not to eat” lists for a while due to saturated fat content, and now it’s lauded for its healthy fat. Thanks goodness 😉

    4. I couldn’t agree more about pork tenderloin & fruit together – unfortunately, John doesn’t really go for the combo, but he does love pork so I’ll just leave the fruit off of his serving when preparing it.

    5. I’m not an avid runner, just an easy-going jogger, but I strength train about 3 days a week. I like to lift weights after cardio sessions when my heart rate is already up. Instead of doing 3 sets of one exercise, then 3 of another, I’ll alternate 1 set of, say, tricep pulldowns, 1 set of shoulder presses, and alternate for 3 sets each so there is no resting between sets.

    I’ll admit to focusing more on my upper body than lower body while strength training, because running/biking/step machining/ ellipticalling has built up my leg muscles.

    And thus end my long-winded comment(s) :)

  • #2 - KellyB

    Love the blueberry beer at BBWorks, YUM.

    We tried smallplates last night. it was really yummy, thanks for the recommendation.

    printed off the pork recipe, since we just bought some, always looking for some new things.

  • #3 - Amanda

    That movie is so motivating!!! I think starting out you are fine to have some running days and some boot camp days. If you ever decide to go hard core running, you’ll probably do fewer bootcamps but overall you still need the cross training.

    My weeks usually include 3 days of upper body weights, daily stretching/yoga, 3 days of cross training and 5 days of running (about 40 miles).

    That’s when I’m not injured or anything and doing all the right things to be a smart runner.

  • #4 - not sister inna

    Wow- what amazing workouts! I can barely motivate myself to workout one weekend day, let along two. Congrats on deciding to run a 10k- with your hardcore workouts you can definitely do it!

  • #5 - K

    You CAN be a runner!! Good luck with training :)

    Beer, Barney Butter, it was a good weekend! 😉

  • #6 - Katie

    Congrats on your choice! I’m still not sure I’m ready to call myself a ‘runner’ but its nice to set new goals for yourself. I definitely cannot give up my bootcamp and spin to get to 5 days running a week but hopefully 3 will be enough of a start! But you’re way ahead of me already – 9 miles! I’m sure the 10K will be a great record for you.

  • #7 - ttfn300

    i hope they don’t start carrying barney, that would be dangerous :) now i can stay away b/c of shipping!! goat cheese-stuffed pears and must try berry line!!!!!! phew, i’m exhausted from your weekend!

    you already are a runner, girl :) it doesn’t matter how fast or slow or where you run. you run! plus, someone who’s not doesn’t subject themselves to 6mi on a treadmill 😉 you’ll have to figure out how much your body can handle and what works best for YOU to decide how many times you do boot camp or strength train. i only run 3x a week, strength train via body pump or on my own 1-2x/week, but i just started swimming 1-2x/week too so that’s almost like upper body strength training.

  • #8 - Shannon (The Daily Balance)

    Congrats on this new decision and renewed zest for running!

    I am NOT a runner. I wish I could be, but I just don’t really enjoy it and find that other methods of excercise work better for me.

    your eats sure looked delish!!!

    happy monday 😉

  • #9 - sister inna

    omg i very recently (like last weekend) discovered i might actually LIKE pork..(!!!) when you’re here next week remind me to take you guys to momofuku SOOOO GOOD pock buns yuuuummmmm. d and i went for the 1st time last weekend and it has taken all my willpower to not go back every day. you will thank me 😀

  • #10 - Elina

    Lauren, thanks for the detailed comments… I loved waking up to so many comments in one :)

    KellyB – glad you liked small plates. I think the place is fantastic! I can’t wait to go back there with my husband. And I hope you like the pork recipe. 😀

    Amanda, I really like the way you train. I think I definitely need to start adding yoga into my schedule to make sure I don’t get injured. I’m super scared of that.

    Katie, I’m pretty excited and scared to run it. I’m sure it will be fun if nothing else 😀

    Shannon (ttfn300) – I’m really an addict so I NEED them to carry Barney Butter. I was going to not order any for a while but I seriously can’t live without the stuff. I need to order some tonight. Opening my pantry and not finding a jar makes me sad… :)

    Shannon (The daily balance) – I used to hate running too, but somehow after making myself do it (to help myself with weight loss) and getting better at it, I’m finally beginning to enjoy it. I still don’t love it, but I love finishing what I plan 😀

    Inna, I can’t wait! NYC in less than 2 weeks. I’m all for some momofuku pork :)

  • #11 - chandra

    Hey!! Long time no comment! :-)

    First of all – you totally are a runner!! And trust me, you will fall in LOVE with running outside! The fresh air, sunshine, constantly changing scenery – it’s nothing short of fabulous!!

    Second – as far as bootcamp/strength training stuff, here’s my opinion based on what I do, what I’ve been told, and what I’ve learned through my PT studies: I full-body strength train 3x a week. I do cardio 6-7 days a week typically (3-4 days of running, 2-3 days of x-training including a bootcamp style class I like to take once a week). I agree with the comment above that it is for YOU to decide what kind of workouts work well for you and your legs and running, etc… but it is important for runners to have strong legs and core muscles as well as upper body so I would be sure to focus on full-body, not just upper body. Also, if you are going to run + lift in the same workout, it is better to lift before running. And do not lift on the same day you do a long run if you are training for a distance race.

    There’s my 2 cents, hope it helps. :-)

  • #12 - Elina

    Chandra – thanks so much! That was very helpful!! :)

  • #13 - Lara

    This is awesome! I’m sure you’ll easily dominate the 10K! I’m behind on my training in terms of mileage but going on my trip really forced me to become comfortable with running outside and I got confident with it really quick. With your treadmill workouts, I’m sure it will be even easier for you. Congrats!

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  • #18 - Sara

    This post makes me smile because I was feeling the exact same way after watching that movie!! So incredibly inspiring :) I think you can consider yourself a “real runner” now!!