Life, running, fitness, weight loss, recipes and healthy living!

Life, running, fitness, weight loss, recipes and healthy living!

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Deciding on a Running Training Program

Deciding on a Running Training Program

I have never really set a training plan for my running before, I think it is about time to do so. I really want to hold myself accountable, stick to a plan and stay consistent and see improvements. I have always just ran until I felt like I couldn’t anymore which isn’t the smartest way to do things, I need more structure. I need to set goals. I need to cross train, I need to get serious and do things right this time around.

So what I am I currently running? Where is my progress with that?

My longest run of the week is currently 3.1 miles and has been for two weeks now. I run that on Saturdays. September 29th I completed my 3.1 mi run in 42:46 and then a week later on October 6th I completed the 3.1 mi run in 39:38. I was proud of the time I shaved off in just one week. Other than my Saturday 3.1 mi runs I have been running 2 to 3 other days a week and run between 1 mi and 2.5 mi on those days. I have also been cross training using the elliptical and a bit of walking here and there.

As I have said over and over again I plan on running a 5k race on the 10th of November (the same one I ran last year). I am playing around with the idea of running a 5k race on a Saturday before then as well, but haven’t picked a race yet. I also would love, love, love to be ready to run a 10k on Thanksgiving Day, but I am not positive I will be ready, so I haven’t made up my mind on that yet.

I know by late Spring at the very least I would like to be able to run a half. But late Spring is quite a while away, so maybe I could train for a longer distance slowly. I have been looking around at different training program. I have been looking at the Hal Higdon training programs and I am not sure which training plan to follow. I need the structure of a plan, it is just picking the right one for me. I can’t decide if I want to use one of the half marathon training programs or if because I have so much time before I want to run that distance if I might as well use the novice supreme marathon training program, which is a 30 week plan. I am not positive I want to run a marathon in 30 weeks, but with the training being so long it may be feasible, but I am open to other distances, originally I wanted to train for a half for May of next year, but I have a lot of time to train.. I am still debating what program to pick and what distance and I am open to suggestions. Actually I would appreciate them.

What training program did you use for your last race? What training program do you recommend? Any suggestions for me?

My Current Battle: Avoiding the Scale and Weighing In

My Current Battle: Avoiding the Scale and Weighing In

Tomorrow I hit the 2 week mark since I last stepped on the scale to weigh myself. I will admit this time around I have been avoiding the scale, when I see it on the bathroom floor, I make myself look away! The last time I was as serious about getting healthy, losing weight, concentrating on my fitness as I am now, I obsessively weighed myself most of the time. Sometimes multiple times a day. I would get upset seeing a slight fluctuation with the number on the scale. I know that is silly and ridiculous, but it is the truth.

This time around I have been paying more attention to the quality of my foods, making sure I get the nutrition I need to fuel my body for working out, with a handful of indulgences here and there, but nothing unreasonable. I have been really sticking to my running training and cross training. I know that I am making the healthy choices I need to make and that the excess weight I gained back and then what I had left to lose will be shed in time, and hopefully muscle mass will be gained (thinking long term).

So in a way it is silly to get on the scale, but on the other hand it is one way to measure progress. I am really curious to see what the scale says, I am ready to see the number drop down a bit to remind me that even if I can’t see it yet in the mirror I am on the right track. But I am also terrified of stepping on the scale and it not budging or being disappointed by the number the display shows.

I will most likely be weighing myself within the next couple of days, but I have to keep reminding myself that the number on the display only tells a portion of the story, that the improvement in my fitness tells a portion, the changes I have made in my daily food choices is another portion and so on.

I have to remember that the number on the scale is a helpful tool to measure my progress and to stay on track and make sure I don’t need to switch things up, but I need to remember now and in months from now that the number on the scale does not define me and may not always reflect my changes and hard work right away.

Sharpening a Spade With an Angle Grinder

Sharpening a Spade With an Angle Grinder

It is easy to work with sharp tools or devices than with round ones. There is a misconception of sharpened cutting, trimming or digging tools being dangerous. But the fact is – blunt tools are more menacing than the sharpened ones. It is not easy to work with blunt tools. You have to put in additional effort to cut, dig, trim or do any such similar tasks. There’s a high risk of slipping or missing a move while using a blunt tool – which might lead to getting cuts and bruises in the process. Thus, it is equally important to sharpen every type of device that has sharp edges.

Sharpening a spade will make it easier for you to cut through roots, sod, and soil. You can use a sharpening stone or file to stimulate the edge of a spade, but the process is time-consuming. Also, it is a daunting task to use a sharpening stone or file. The best and a more convenient option is an angle grinder.

Sharpening a spade with an angle grinder will save you time, as well as, effort. It does a quicker job than a sharpening file or stone. Furthermore, an angle grinder is the best option for sharpening a spade than a stone or file because the edge of a shovel is round and does not require being as sharp as a knife or other chopping and cutting tools. So, using an angle grinder is convenient, comfortable and efficient.

How to sharpen a spade with an angle grinder? Ten steps to sharpening a spade with an angle grinder:

First, you need to fit the blade or edge of a tool that requires grinding into a vice or clamp. It will prevent the device from being unstable or wobbly.

Ensure that the grinder wheel does not spin away when sharpening the tool.

Adjust the guard of the angle grinder to divert spark from you.

Make sure that the wheel meets the angle of the blade.

After you have determined these two key criteria, start the angle grinder.

First, increase the speed and then allow the wheel to contact the blade of the spade.

Once in contact with the spade, slide the angle glider in slow motion that across the sharpening edge and move it in a single direction.

Do not change the angle of the sharpening process. Avoid moving back and forth; else you will miss a move and abrupt the entire procedure.

Keep a bucket filled with cold water, along with a piece of cloth.

Use the cold water and cloth to cool the blade. Make sure the blade does not get overheated, else it will become blunt at a rapid speed.

An angle grinder is an appropriate sharpening device. It comes with multiple grinding wheels, which further makes the sharpening process easy, convenient and super useful. You can use the wheels not just to sharpen a spade or other cutting and digging devices, but also for removing grime, dried cement, rust and paint from various metallic objects and surfaces.

However, it is also crucial to use an angle grinder wearing the necessary safety gears – like, gloves, guard and face mask. Change the wheels after unplugging the grinder. These are a few safety measures you should consider before using an angle grinder for sharpening a spade or any other tool.

Why You Should Get a Reel Mower for Your Lawn

Why You Should Get a Reel Mower for Your Lawn

The idea of lawn mowers was thought up by engineer Edwin Beard Budding in 1830. Being inspired by other cutting devices, he invented the lawn mower for the purpose of cutting the grass of sports grounds and gardens. After Edwin signed his first agreement on 18th May 1830, the manufacturing of lawn mowers started in the 1850s. Since then, lawn mowers have very effectively been helping us with the cutting of grass.

Lawn mowers not only cut the grass, but they make our lawns look healthy and beautiful. There are different types of lawnmowers available in the market.

These days, commonly used lawnmowers are Robotic Mowers. To use a robotic lawn mower, you have to first select the particular area to be mowed, and then you need to mark the boundary of that area.

Manual or Traditional Mowers are another type of lawn mower, which are manually operated. This lawnmower requires the physical strength of a person to operate them. They are heavy in weight and need to be pushed in order to cut the grass.

Professional mowers are another widely used lawnmower. They have a horizontal cutter to give the best result, and are generally used for big areas such as universities, stadiums or gardens.

Clipper lawn mowers are used for mowing the toughest spots. They are equipped with scissors which have long blades. Clippers can be operated manually, as well as automatically.

Here are some factors which should be considered while purchasing a lawn mower:

• First of all, look at its weight. It should not be heavy; otherwise you will face difficulties in operating it.

• Check its safety features. Check that the blades are not exposed.

• It should start easily.

• Handling should be easy.

• If you do not have a very big area of lawn, then you can select a push reel mower.

• If your lawn is a big area, then use a professional mower, otherwise it will be a lot of work.

• For trimming grass, use a mulching lawnmower, as they cut grass to a very low level.

• Go for a self-propelled lawn mower if your lawn is in a hilly area.

• If you want to purchase a lawn mower for very big lawn areas, such as a stadium or garden, then go for a ride-on lawn mower.

Operating a lawn mower is not a difficult task. Almost every lawnmower works on the same principles. Most lawn mowers which are being used these days have an inbuilt motor. They have gears with an axle to spin the wheels. The basic function of the motor is to spin the blades which cut the grass, so as to make it easy to operate.

Manual or traditional mowers are very simple to operate. In a manual mower, the blades are attached to the wheels. With the movement of the wheels, the blades spin and cut the grass. Manual mowers are very heavy in weight, so quite a lot of strength is required to operate them.

Lawn mowers provide a great help in keeping the beauty of your lawn maintained. However, it is essential that you keep in mind the size of your lawn when purchasing a lawnmower. This will help you to be able to choose the appropriate one for your needs.

An Honest and Detailed BodyMedia Fit Armband Review

An Honest and Detailed BodyMedia Fit Armband Review

I received a BodyMedia Fit armband in a little over two months ago. I mentioned my armband briefly in a past blog entry of mine. I have to say as the days and weeks go by, I keep loving this armband more and more! So I wanted to share with my readers a little information about my BodyMedia Fit armband, since I am asked so many questions about what it is, what it does and if it is worth buying.

The BodyMedia Fit Armband is a compact armband that the user wears on their left arm on a daily basis (about 23 hours a day). This armband tracks how many calories your body burns each day and also tracks your sleep. In addition to that the armband also counts the steps you take each day and records how long you are lying down down. In addition to that, there is an online tracking system that you can enter your calories consumed each day, so you can come up with your calorie deficit each day. This device is highly accurate and intuitive and it becomes more and more precise the longer you wear it.

Physical Activity details on activity managerSo how do you actually get the information? I wondered the same thing before I got my armband. I quickly learned that it was not very complicated to get the information. I have the BodyMedia Fitarmband without the display. I also do not have the blue tooth enabled version (my phone at the time of order was not compatible). With my model of the armband I wear the armband and then when I want to sync it with my computer to get information (calories burned, time slept, etc) I simply plug the armband up to my computer using the USB that is included with the purchase of the armband.

It then pulls up the Body Media software (you must make a small download to your computer when you connect for the very first time). When your armband connects and you log in to the BodyMedia activity manager you will get to see all kinds of awesome and detailed information about your daily activity.

If the user wants more information about a certain time period when it comes to average calories burned, consumer, etc then there is a great feature that lets you pick 7 days, two weeks or a month of information to download and view at your own leisure. I really love this feature of the activity manager. I am a huge information junkie so it helps a lot!

As I mentioned previously, I have the version of the BodyMedia Fit armband that has to be plugged in each time to see the calorie burn, steps and other information. They do sell display units so the user can see what their current daily burn is! I do not have one of the display units so I am unable to review that option. Also if you purchase a blue tooth enabled version of the BodyMedia Fit armband you are able to see your current burn when you use blue tooth to link it up to a compatible phone. The phones that are capable of this are some Android phones and iPhones. Also some iPod touches are able to be used with the blue tooth enabled armband. There is a list on the BodyMedia website of which phones are compatible and have been tested. Again, I do not have the blue tooth enabled device, so I am not able to give a fair review of all of the features, although it is the same when it comes to accuracy as the non blue tooth model! Although I do know that the blue tooth model does have a shorter battery life (you charge your armband by the USB included in purchase by plugging it up to your computer)!

Even if you have a non blue tooth enabled armband you are still able to download an app on your android or iPhone that will let you view some of your activity information that has already been uploaded to your computer. I like having this feature. With the blue tooth enabled armband the user is able to get more up to the minute information.

There is also a new model of the armband out that just became available. Accuracy wise it is the same. It is not blue tooth enabled. So it is a smaller and sleeker version of the armband I have. It is called the CORE armband. It is a great deal more petite! I have never felt that my armband was too large, but after seeing the new CORE armband, I have found myself really liking the look of the smaller armband! Again, I can not give a full review on this specific armband, because I do not have one to review. But I did want to let readers who may be put off by size or appearance that a newer, slimmer version has been released!

Overall, I have been extremely happy with my BodyMedia Fit armband. It provides accurate information that has really been helping me understand more about my body during my weight loss journey. The information that the armband provides the user with could be helpful not only for weight loss but also for help with maintaining a current weight or even gaining weight. It is a very versatile item when it comes to what the user uses the information collected for! The only thing that I think could use improvement is the food diary portion, it is user friendly, but I am partial to using MyFitnessPal for logging my calories, I just feel it is easier to log my foods as so much is already in the database. So I do copy my calorie count from MyFitnessPal each day and enter it into my BodyMedia Fit activity logs. With that said, it is a personal preference, I know many people that love the BodyMedia Fit food database. I think that I am biased because I used MyFitnessPal to log food intake for eight months before I got the armband!

Just a few other thoughts… One thing I would recommend is buying an extra strap for your armband, as it is nice to have an extra after an super sweaty workout! There are skins you can buy and even design from your own picture to place over the armband display to make it look more like “your own”. Keep in mind that when you receive the armband the online activity manager is free for a trial period but after that the use of the online activity manager does cost on a monthly basis. With that said, the information you collect is invaluable and the subscription price is very reasonable. The customer service reps that staff BodyMedia Fit’s Facebook page and Twitter account are very helpful and nice whenever you have a question. They also run contests from time to time!

The BodyMedia Fit armband is a great tool when it comes to weight loss, weight maintenance or even just for the person who likes to know more information about their body, calorie wise, activity wise and sleep wise! I have found this weight loss item to be invaluable in terms of weight loss success. Sure, weight loss can be accomplished without this device and by putting it on your arm does not mean you will magically lose weight, but the information the device provides certainly takes a lot of guess work out of the process!