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Happy New Year!

Yesterday was a full day, between packing my stuff, driving back to college and celebrating NYE with friends! I did manage to squeeze in a run though, and I have to say that I am very happy! I left my house, just wanting to complete 3 miles. I began running and felt GREAT! I did the first 2 miles, and once I realized my second mile was faster than my first mile, I decided to try for a 4 mile, negative split run (a run where each mile progressively is quicker than the previous). 

I have actually never tried a workout like this before. I have done my fair share of speed workouts (especially during marathon and half training). But since I got my Garmin Forerunner for xmas, I have been more aware of my pace. I always thought I was running 10 min miles outside, but yesterday I pushed myself and my avg pace was below a 9 min mile! I ended up successfully completing the 4 mile negative split run and was DRIPPING in sweat by the end! Here’s what the workout looked like:

  • Mile 1: 9:23, 158bpm
  • Mile 2: 8:44, 168bpm
  • Mile 3: 8:39, 175bpm
  • Mile 4: 8:07, 181bpm
  • Total time: 34:54, avg pace: 8:47, avg hr: 170 bpm, 381 cals burned total

I am very proud to have ended 2011 with such a great run! I killed the last mile! To be honest, this shows me that if I push myself I can actually run faster and do tougher workouts. Gives me motivation to achieve my ultimate goal of running the Boston Marathon one day! 

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Here is a sum of the night/morning/afternoon in 3 pictures:

Celebratin NYE--feeling good with my bff!

Workin' toward recovery after a night out...

Recharged and ready to go shopping with my friend!

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I also must share my first meal of 2012…Panera of course! Panera is definitely one of my go-to “fast food” places. I’m not the kind of person the craves McDonalds or Wendy’s, but I LOVE Panera and Chipotle. Although there are quite a few unhealthy options at both fast food joints, I do like that they use fresh ingredients and there are definitely lots of healthy options. Today, I opted for a You Pick 2 with black bean soup (110 cals), wheat baguette (190 cals), and bbq chopped chicken salad with dressing on side (200 cals).

Asking for the dressing on the side is always a great way to reduce eating empty calories. Empty calories are calories with small nutritional value. For example, lots of dressings are full of fat and high fructose corn syrup which offer no nutritional value and aren’t very nutrient dense. There is no reason to cut these out, but just eating less is a great way lower your intake of empty calories! (A huge empty calorie culprit in the American Diet is SODA! I’m sure most people reading my blog already know that, but SODA is legit just HFCS). I guess I should address that I do drink diet soda which does have artificial sweeteners–it’s one of my vices. However, I do believe that FOR ME it is better than drinking regular soda.

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All the gyms were closed today, so my first workout of 2012 was done in the comfort of my apartment. I did Amanda Russell’s “hot body workout” (see below post for link) followed by level 1 of Jillian Michael’s Shred. Pretty good workout!

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What are your favorite fast food places? What is your favorite workout to do at home? 

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