From time to time on this blog I've devoted entire posts to simply answering your questions. And, since I've gotten a pile of questions lately and haven't had much time to e-mail you all back responses, I figured today would as good a time as any.
Before I jump right in I do want to thank the folks who regularly read and comment and check in on my progress. It means so much to have people cheering you on (I hope I can return the favor in some way for you, too.)
And now, my answers to your questions:
Q. Why would you go backwards and do a 5K again instead of another half-marathon or marathon?
A. In my mind, it's not going backwards. For me, working toward a faster 5K time is yet another step in becoming a better runner. Just because I can run a long way, doesn't mean I'm doing it in the most efficient way possible yet. Plus, now that I've been blogging about my fitness journey for almost a year, I thought it would be good to go back to where I started and see how far I've come by running the same race over again. That 5K is just another way to measure if I'm doing what I set out to do, which was to improve my fitness.
Q. You still don't talk much about lifting weights. When can I expect to learn more about your strength routine?
A. You're right, I don't talk about it much. But I do weights every other day. To me, though, it's harder to write about weight lifting than it is about running. With the weights, it's hard for me to figure out a way for you to "see" in your mind what exercise I'm specifically talking about or how I do it. This problem could be alleviated by putting more photos in my posts, but it's hard to take a self-portrait while weight-lifting! Basically, I run four days a week and do weights the other three. That third day of weights/strength is mostly yoga or pilates rather than doing the heavy lifting I do during the week. I'll try to get better about documenting my weight-lifting adventures (and my quest to have arms as toned as Michelle Obama's)!
Q. What is going to happen to this blog when you hit your goal weight? Will you stop writing?
A. Just because a certain number appears on the scale does not make you fit. There have been many stories written about why being "skinny" doesn't always mean you're actually healthy and fit. Is it nice being a few pants-sizes smaller than I was? Absolutely. But, I feel even better about myself after a good run, bike ride, or sweat session at the gym than I do seeing some silly number on a scale. For me, the journey to fitness can't ever stop. Will I have this blog forever? Who knows. But, I know I will never stop trying to life the healthiest life I possibly can. I'd like to be around for a long, long time.
Q. What's your favorite healthy recipe?
A. During the summer, my favorite healthy recipes include fresh fruits and raw vegetables, but this time of year I'm all about the comfort food. One of my favorite comfort foods is shepard's pie. A while back, I was trying to figure out a way to cut back on the calories in my normal shepard's pie recipe (lots of butter, mashed potatoes) and stumbled upon this from Eating Well. Squash puree tops the dish instead of mashed potatoes, and this recipe make portion control easier since it is in individual dishes (I'm the girl who would take a GIANT, heaping spoonful of the regular stuff.) If you like squash, give it a try.
Q. What is the one piece of fitness equipment you can't live without?
A. This may sound like a strange answer but it is most definitely my smartphone. I track my calories using an app on my phone. I track my running schedule/workouts using an app on my phone. I check my heart rate using an app on my phone (yes, really). I have my workout music playlists on my phone. I can look up how to properly do a new exercise on my phone.... you get the idea....
What other questions do you have for me? Leave them in the comments and I'll check back to answer them as best I can.