Healthy and Sane

Don’t psych yourself out

September 24th, 2009 · 24 Comments · Boston, breakfast, fish, restaurant reviews, salad, snacks

I went for a run today. On my training schedule it read “45 minute tempo run.” I have a confession: I’m not only nervous about my upcoming half marathon, but recently I’ve been also getting nervous about my training runs. I feel like I should be able to do them perfectly, or else I’m going to miserably fail on race day (I don’t even know what “fail” means in this case… I guess that I’ll have the urge to walk the entire time and give in). So as I started doing my warm up walk, I started panicking a little bit. Will I be able to do it? What’s a tempo run really like outside (I usually do them on the treadmill for more precision)? All these negative thoughts about how there is no way this tempo run was happening today were going through my head. So instead of giving up, I changed gears. I told myself to just run for 45 minutes and not worry about pace. If I want to run super slow, it’s fine. As long as I’m running, that’s already a good thing I’m doing for my body… and for my half marathon training. Guess what? Once I got going, I totally got into it. I had my music on the highest volume, blasting Lady Gaga and Britney, and I ran… I ran faster than I’ve run in months! In 45 minutes I completed 5.24 miles – that’s 8:34 minute miles! I felt fantastic!! Was it a tempo run after all? Probably not. Was it a great run? Yes! So I think my message here is that you need to be flexible, and don’t psych yourself out. When I first started running, I hated it. I did it because I thought it would help me lose weight faster, so when I saw a run on my schedule, I’d often find an excuse and skip the gym that day. I bet if I went to a kickboxing class (or anything else) that day instead, the pounds would have come off faster. Oh well. You live, you learn 😀


Breakfast: banana oats topped with banana, raisins and walnuts + coffee


It’s been too long since I’ve had oats (and bananas for that matter). This breakfast really hit the spot!


Mid-morning snacks: 1/2 apple-walnut raisin bar from co-worker’s fiance (whom I had dinner with that night so I wanted to taste her cake to give feedback – that’s my excuse 😉 ) + tea


This cake tasted so moist and buttery. I was shocked to find out that she used this recipe was from Cooking Light and that there was absolutely no oil or butter. Seriously shocking!


+ I made a dent in my bar collection and tried the Heart Thrive apricot bar:


Wow, this bar was absolutely fabulous. First of all, who doesn’t love a heart shaped bar?! I was half-way sold just by the shape! Secondly, I really love dried apricots so again, I had high hopes for this guy – and it delivered! It was almost like a dense cookie. Very “meaty” – doughy, oaty (I know that’s not a real word 😆 ) with subtle dried fruit flavors. I have another one in the stash, and am already looking forward to it. It would be great just as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. I really think they can market these as heart healthy cookies!

Lunch: leftover corn tortilla casserole (not as good the next day :( )


Mid-afternoon snack: local peach 😀


Dinner was a bit of a special treat. I went out with my friend Katie (she’s also my co-worker’s fiance and baker of the above pictured apple cake 😀 ), whom I haven’t seen in months. We always end up at a great little restaurant and end up chatting the night away. This time we decided to go to Stephi’s on Tremont, a sister restaurant to a more upscale Stephanie’s on Newbury street. I started with a glass of The Drunken Goose sangiovese blend, which later turned into 2 glasses :mrgreen:

IMG_7242 IMG_7244

… and had a little slice of this incredible garlic bread. Wow, this was bread perfection! Katie and I each took a little slice and moved this loaf to the other side of the table as to not tempt ourselves with it. Good stuff!


For my entree I ordered the Asian yellowfin tuna salad seared sashimi grade tuna with chilled udon noodles, charred hot cherry peppers, shredded carrots, cabbage and cucumbers, bean sprouts, spicy peanuts, toasted coconut and sweet chili dressing.


This was another winner! The tuna really was of highest grade, and melted in my mouth. I got the dressings on the side, and actually ended up using the balsamic vinaigrette I asked for, which I think was a good move. I tasted the other dressings and they were all intensely sweet. I wanted to taste my food, not just sugar! I also loved the crunch of the peanuts and the freshness of the entire dish. Yum 😀

Stephi’s has a huge salad selection, so I think it’s a great place to have lunch or dinner with a friend without overdoing it, calorie wise. They also have some incredible sounding comfort food, for a more indulgent night with the hubs. :) The place has been on my must-go-to list since it opened, and I’m glad I finally tried it. We’ll be back there soon, for sure! 😀

Great great day. How was yours? Now tell me – do you have a workout schedule you try to stick to? How flexible are you with it? Do you ever get nervous about your workouts (or training runs) like I do? Any tips and tricks to keep going, instead of psyching yourself out? I want to hear from you!! :)

Have a fabulous day! :mrgreen:

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24 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Madeline @ GreensandJeans

    When I am not training for something I don’t have a workout schedule, but I do try to do something active about 6 days a week. Right now I am training for a half and I am pretty good about following my training plan, but I ABSOLUTELY get nervous about training runs! Every time I see something longer than 7 miles on the schedule I get nervous. I just remind myself that the people who put together the program thought that if you’ve done everything up to that point, you should be able to do this. Of course, that doesn’t keep me from being a little scared about the 9 miles I am due to run on Saturday!

  • #2 - Daria (Summer of the CSAs)

    I have a flexible workout schedule, but I definitely get nervous about difficult workouts. I try to remind myself that I’m not competing for anything – I just want to be in good shape and doing hard workouts is a way to keep my body on its toes, so to speak. Good for you for getting in a strong workout even though you were nervous!

  • #3 - kirsten

    I live in Boston and work in finance too! Are you running the Boston half on Oct 11? I just got my number yesterday!

  • #4 - Lara (Thinspired)

    Way to go on that run! I know it’s easy to play mind games with ourselves but you have to remind yourself that this is what you have been training your body for. It knows what to do :)

    For the record, those are my favorite oat toppings!

  • #5 - sister inna

    i get nervous before difficult workouts all the time! or even ones when i’m just not sure what to expect. but i think i still always go — and haven’t regretted it yet 😀
    that salad looks soooo good. fresh yumminess

  • #6 - Steph

    Way to persevere on your run!

    I do have a workout schedule that I try to stick to. I try to workout 5 days a week and take 2 rest days with maybe some light yoga.

    When I do my workouts in the afternoon there’s more of a chance for me to “psych” myself out. I think it’s because I have too much time to think about it. I only think about how I HAVE to get it done instead of how great I’ll feel and how much I really do enjoy exercising.

    We all have those days where a workout just isn’t in the cards and I am trying to be more flexible with that.

  • #7 - Shelly

    I try to be pretty strict about getting my runs in now that I’m training for a specific race, and let myself do what I feel (be it weights, yoga, elliptical, or a long walk) on my non-running exercise days. I just went through a gym transition so my workouts are kind of all over the place right now. I just got my bf to show me around the weight room at the new gym last night (weights are his thing, and I feel better with him there b/c this new gym has a lot of college dudes in the weight room compared to my old gym) and I feel so much better for having had a really challenging non-running workout. I will also be going yoga studio shopping soon.
    When I am not training for a specific race, I am really flexible about my workouts and tend to focus more on yoga/pilates and just getting in a 3 or 4 mile run 2 or 3 times a week. But I really do what I feel. As long as I get out there and get moving, I feel like I’m doing my body good and that’s what important.
    I don’t get nervous before training runs, but I do get really nervous before races.
    You know you’ll do great during your race though. You’ve built up a strong foundation and as long as you keep running, you’ll be ready!

  • #8 - macduff

    I never get nervous on my runs, but I do procrastinate like a crazy woman. I’ve done two marathons, and although I got the jitters from those, I think that at some point you just learn to love the time you spend being outside. And my god, now that it’s finally cooling down in Boston, what more can you ask for, huh?

    Good luck with your running, and let’s see your Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese sandwiches!

  • #9 - Lauryn

    I am training for a half marathon too!! Mine is next weekend and I have been feeling nervous as well. Mainly bc I’ve been getting blisters, and blisters sure do hurt a lot! Sounds like you have a great attitiude and you will be amazing!!

  • #10 - Alison

    I always try to workout. I don’t have any formal plans…it’s just doing something. I’d like to mix things up because I’ve been bored lately. Have to figure something out.

  • #11 - 24carrot

    That is an awesome pace. You always hear the health magazines saying that when you’re trying to avoid gym, just to make yourself go and you’ll get into it. This story is a perfect example…You’ll do great for your half.

  • #12 - Kate

    I used to get nervous, but now I get excited, even if sometimes I’m disappointed with how I perform in training.

    I follow a pretty strict schedule, but I will mess around with the order of my workouts, and sometimes I will swap the type of workout if doing it a different way means I can do it with a friend!

  • #13 - Shannon

    Great job on the run! I get nervous before running too. I have a half marathon in mid October and each time I run I am afraid I will have a bad run and will not feel good going into the race. It’s such a mental thing! Good job today…much faster than I me, even on my best day!

  • #14 - Elina

    Madeline – that’s a really good point about people trusting that by this point, you should be able to do it, and I agree with the 7 mile mark – actually I think mine is still like 5 :)

    Daria – good reminder that I’m not competing for anything. It’s me against me, and I’ve never done a half marathon so I guess I’m winning already 😀

    Kirsten – I need to get my number asap. I bet that really got you pumped for the race!!! 😀

    Lara – the other half of the banana over the oats was brilliant. Could be my new “go-to” topping!

    Innz – I think I know which workouts you are referring to… those crazy bootcamp sessions are definitely something to be nervous about! You are a machine!! 😉

    Steph – I’m learning to be flexible too. I think it’s important for mental health, and our bodies won’t really miss ONE workout!

    Shelly – that’s so great that your bf has made you more comfortable around the weights room. I totally just take over and don’t care what the guys think. I’m there for me.

    Macduff – a little lower temps and humidity have definitely been awesome. I’m just not ready for the crazy cold that will sure follow :( SO excited for those grilled cheeses tonight :mrgreen:

    Lauryn – GOOD LUCK next weekend!!!!!!! Wow. I can’t believe mine is getting so close to. Hopefully those blisters heal and you’re pain free. Tape those babies up! :)

    Alison – I’m actually looking forward to just working out any way I want. There are so many fun classes at my gym that I’ve been neglecting. You should try some new classes. Those always jazz up an old routine! 😀

    24carrot – it’s funny that you say that, because I totally felt like one of those magazines while writing this post, but it’s so true!!! We all need those reminders sometimes!

    Kate – yay for being excited for training. Those end up being the best workouts, when you are just READY for them, physically and mentally!

    Shannon – my half is October 11 – probably the same as yours. It’s getting so close, I feel the same way. Like if one run is not good, it will ruin my mood for the half. But I guess that’s a little silly. Each day is different and on race day you’ll have no choice but to be PUMPED! 😀

  • #15 - Carly

    This is my first reply to your blog (although I read it daily and LOVE it!) I am very strict with my workout schedule. I have to get it at least 5 days and most weeks 6 days. I am flexible in what I DO for my workouts (I like to mix it up), but I have to get in a lot of days. I do a fitness bootcamp in the park 2 days and hit the gym the other 4. Keep up the fantastic blog. You make me feel good about myself because I too am a sweet tooth and feel guilty when I indulge. It is nice to see someone else out there with the same problems. Thanks for being an inspiration :)

  • #16 - Shannon

    ooh, i think i tried to convince you of that 😉 but sometimes you need to realize it yourself! I was totally bummed today when i realized i will be out of town for your race, i wanted to come cheer you on!

    hope katie’s doing well, and def pass along that recipe :)

  • #17 - Elina

    Hi Carly – glad you decided to say hello, and of course I’m really happy you love the blog! I also aim for 5-6 workouts a week and I think it’s a good number. I starting to be a lot more flexible lately, though, with my food choices and to some extent my workouts. Obviously I can’t slack off too much given my upcoming half, but I think once that’s over, I’m going to really listen to my body. In the past, I’d go even if I’m super tired and am just not feeling it. I think after the half I’ll instead do something fun, like spend time with my husband or call up a friend I haven’t seen in a while. Mental health is also important! Oh and go sweets! I’m also starting to embrace my sweet tooth. I think some people are not lucky enough to experience the pleasure of sweets the way people like us do. I truly LOVE every bite 😀

    Shannon, of course you were right! I knew you were but I’m stubborn what can I say. I needed to learn it on my own :) I didn’t know you were going to come cheer me on. You’re too sweet! We’ll make up for it later. Looking forward to next weekend! I’ll give you the scoop on Katie’s spinning adventures. 😀

  • #18 - Carly

    I agree with the sweet tooth embracing :) I can’t share desserts with my husband because he will just wolf them down. I like to savor every amazing bite!!!

  • #19 - Just spicy

    […] Don’t psych yourself out […]

  • #20 - RunToTheFinish

    Heart Thrive is the boom diggity I just adore them!!

    Running is such a mental thing, most people don’t get that but you’ve already figured it out…which means now you know to start your runs with positive talk and it will keep you going!!

  • #21 - Elina

    Thanks, Amanda! I think you’re right – I’m starting to get the hang of it… maybe one day I’ll become a true addict like you :)

  • #22 - Chaya

    First, I love the name of your blog.

    I followed two days of your eatiing and I could live on that happily. Every food looked delicious.

  • #23 - Elina

    Hi Chaya, welcome to the blog :) Glad you like my eats!! 😀

  • #24 - Mid-week date night at Stephi’s on Tremont

    […] relatively close by and decided to have dinner at Stephi’s on Tremont. I really loved it the first time I went there with my friend Katie, and couldn’t wait for Adam to go back there with […]