I feel like I should update some issues that I have talked about in previous postings....my caffeine intake and my running. So here goes!
I was consuming way too much caffeine (on average I was drinking a cup of coffee a day, plus 1-2 Diet Cokes at home). I stopped in April, mainly due to a segment I happened to hear on Oprah Radio one morning. I haven't bought Diet Coke for the house since then, limiting it to once in a while if I'm out at a restaurant (even then I try to order lemonade instead). And I rarely brew or buy coffee anymore; I perhaps have 2 cups a week, if that. Days will go buy without ANY caffeine at all. I still need to work on eating less junk food (cookies are my weakness) but nonetheless I am very proud of myself.
I have been running (ok, jogging/walking) on and off for years (even doing a half marathon in 1999 and a full marathon in 2003), but hadn't done much of it since having kids. In January, I recommitted to my running, and have been doing great ever since. I am signed up for 2 half-marathons (a half-marathon is 13.1 miles); one is in San Diego in mid-August, and the other is at Disneyland over Labor Day weekend. My ultimate goal is to sign up for 3-4 half-marathons a year. By doing this, I will always need to keep a base of about 8 miles for my long weekend runs, and can increase accordingly if a race I am training for nears. I don't do well with "just going out for a run"; I do best if I have signed up and paid for an actual race to do. That motivates me to action, since if I don't put the time in to train, I won't be able to finish the race.
Why do I run? Here are the top 5 reason, in order:
1) Weight-bearing exercise, like running, will help control my osteopenia, or low bone density. I do NOT want to slip into osteoperosis range.
2) I have a terrible history of heart disease on both my father's AND mother's sides, and am trying to avoid what genetics may have handed down to me. I have amazingly low cholesterol, very low blood pressure, and regular exercise will help keep me heart-healthy.
3) I want to have a thin and fit body. Oddly, this used to be my #1 reason for running, but now it's #3. Now that I'm 40, my health comes first. But I do want to look good. Several years ago I gained 20 pounds and was suddenly wearing a size 12. I lost that 20 pounds long ago, and now a size 6, and I have vowed to NEVER get to a higher clothing size again. Ever.
4) Being a stay-at-home-mom with two kids, one of which has some special medical needs, I rarely get alone time. Going for a run gets me outside, by myself (or more rarely, meeting with friends to run) and gives me time to think, listen to music, or catch up on my podcasts.
5) It goes without saying that exercise helps with stress relief, and pounding my legs on the pavement can help get out the stress that life gives me. Coming home all sweaty and drained is a great balance to the stress I can feel throughout the day.
I am also trying to integrate other exercise into my routine (weights at the gym, swimming and bicycling) but running is what I really like to do. I swam (for exercise) for the first time ever this week, and tomorrow plan on going for a bike ride...both are non-impact on my legs, and should help me not injure myself.
And those are my two big updates about myself! I am proud of myself for taking positive steps to keep myself healthy. My husband needs me, my kids need me, and I need to do whatever it takes to be around for a long time to come.
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