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Workout Wednesday 5/24

Okay! So lately I've been having some issues with running. It's something I keep coming back to everytime I start an exercise routine - for some reason I associate running with being healthy, and therefore if I wish to be healthy I need to run. Logically I know that's not the case, but it's always been a sticking point for me. (Logic has never been my strong suit.) The thing is, I do like to run. I just like to run faster for shorter periods of time. This long, drawn-out jogging business has been getting to me lately. It's very boring. Maybe a change of scenery would help. Tomorrow I'm going to try running at Long's Park instead of the track and see how it goes.

But the thing is, really, that I can do other activities for a lot longer and have a lot more fun with it. Yesterday, for example, I did a kickboxing DVD (10 Minute Solutions Kickbox Bootcamp). It consisted of 5 10-minute segments, and I opted to do that whole thing straight through. 50 minute later I was sweating like a pig, but having so much fun that I actually did the first segment again. Let me repeat: I did extra exercise of my own volition. This isn't something that happens when I try to do longer runs. I get to 25 minutes and I stop dead in my tracks and thank whatever god you believe in that it's over. Sure, I feel great a minute later, but never great enough to voluntarily run for another, say, 15 minutes.

Plus I'm aching like crazy today, especially my triceps, upper back, and the front of my thighs. Like, it hurts to sit down. But in a good way. I think maybe running will remain part of my cardio arsenal, but I definitely want to try and change things up more often. I'm currently in mega-research-mode, trying to wade through the hundreds of workout DVDs and decided which ones I'd like. I'm particularly interested in kickboxing-type stuff, so I have a few of those on my list as well as Tae Bo. Leaving aside for a moment the fact that Billy Blanks scares the crap out of me, I did a few tapes back in the day ("the day" being before DVDs were omnipresent, that is) and they're seriously good workouts. I'm also looking at some pilates and stability ball workouts, some dancey stuff, and even some yoga. It's exciting.

On the food front, I've been tracking my calories this week. Annoying, yes, but it does give me a certain sense of security. This way I know that it's not my diet that's holding me back. I've stayed between 1,400 and 1,600 so far, with 1,600 being pretty much the optimal number. I'm also keeping tabs on my protein consumption, though not really for any particular reason. It's been between 40-50 grams so far. My goal is to try and include at least one protein-heavy dish every day - beans, tempeh, tofu, seitan. I need to find a way to eat tofu that I can stomach.

Wow, this has been really long-winded. I guess when you don't really have anyone to vent to in real life you start taking it out on your blog. Sorry!

Blogs can be great for venting!

I've been running fairly regularly for 25 years now, and it's still a grind... I still get sore. And bored. And frustrated. And injured...

Keep on keepin' on!

Hmmm pureed tofu into sauces?

tofu scramble in the morning is a good way to get it down (salsa!) also baked tofu sticks are pretty good. you can put them in tacos or dip them in marinara
i sometimes watch those stupid infomercials when i work out in the morning, and there's this turbo jam kick box/capobeira dvd that looks fun, maybe that would work

I guess I am just a freak. I love running. Love it with a passion. I love the solitude of it. Love being alone, smelling the air hearing my footsteps hit the pavement. I love how my thoughts kind of dissapear and all I can hear in my head is me counting my steps, controlling my breathing. When I am inside I love the music. I love when I get to that zone where i can hear the beat but the words just dissapear and it is just me existing. Kind of like a moving meditation. I love to run for fun, and would absolutely push for more. Infact my problem right now is that I can't go as long as i'd like to. My legs get tired and give out long before my resolve does. 25 minutes feels like nothing, like it wasn't long enough. I want to run, not walk not jog run five miles straight through no matter how long it takes me.

But I can totally understand how challenging surviving a running based program would be if you didn't love it. It is repeptitive and possibly boring. I feel about classes the way you feel about running. EH. I can do them, finish a class, finish a tape but I never got to that zone, I have to be to focused on the teacher to really zone out and just move. I get to the end, or to almost the end and I start watching the clock saying, god is this over yet? Please let this be over soon. When it comes to classes (and tapes) I love having accomplished a workout but do not love working out while i am in the midst of it.

Running is not my favorite thing either. I'd much rather be inside doing kickboxing or dance areobics. But there's this part of me that insists I do stuff outside. Biking is the same, it's fun but only when I have a destination, otherwise it's just going nowhere.

If you like dance inspired areobics, you should check out Crunch Fat Burning dance Party, and, crap can't remember the name...Oh, Cardio Dance Blast. If you like something a bit more unusual, try African dance, it's so much fun (but I don't know of any DVDs).

I think I'm becoming a Fitness DVD addict. I want more and more. I mean to review some of the ones I have now on my blog, I'll get to it soon.

kleo - 25 years and it's still a grind?!? Wow. Hats off to you, seriously. :)

jess - Pureed could work, possibly. Like in an alfredo-type sauce or something. I don't know, it seems so benign that I feel bad hating it.

jessica - Eck, scrambled tofu... I know a lot of people love it that way, but it's not for me. I never liked eggs pre-vegan, and I don't care for tofu much now, so combining the two is like... system error, must shut down. I'll definitely check out the dvd you mentioned - I've heard of capoera but never actually seen any videos for it.

jessie - You're not a freak! You just feel the way about running that I've always wanted to feel about running. And for that, I envy you. To me 25 minutes seems like a lifetime. My thoughts do not ever disappear, my breathing isn't controlled or soothing, and I basically just feel like I'm dragging my body around in mindless, shuffling circles against its will. When you compare my experience to yours, well, it seems fairly clear that running may not be my exercise destiny. Now if I can just come to terms with that...

grace - Yeah, part of me insists I get outside too. Especially since spring is quite fleeting here, and once summer hits I'll have to stick my workout clothes in the freezer if I want to go outside.

I love fitness DVDs! I really have to fight the urge to buy a ton of them right now. Regarding the dance stuff, I'm looking more specifically at ballet, bellydance, and brazillian dance type stuff. African dance sounds fun too. Mostly right now I want more kickboxing stuff. What can I say? I love the punching and kicking. Definitely review some DVDs! I'm looking forward to reading those. :)

I really must start doing this Wednesday Workout thing.

I hate running so much I pretty much refuse to do it, so I feel your pain. I agree that things like kickboxing, pilates and yoga are much more interesting. The closest thing to running I can stand is the elliptical, and I don’t even like to do that more than a couple times a week. I heard someone refer to treadmills, ellipticals and the like as “hamster cardio”… hehe. As far as the tofu you might want to check out this item from the Vegan Lunch Box. I’ve been meaning to try a glaze like that, it sounds delicious.

tofu as ghee in Indian dishes?

harmonia - Yes you must! It's a nice little way to kind of keep myself accountable.

shananigans - Ha, hamster cardio! It is a pretty appropriate name. The only problem I have with not doing "hamster cardio" at all is that I feel like nothing else will get my heart rate up as well. Kickboxing does, but yoga and pilates seem like they wouldn't. I don't know. I have issues with running.

Thanks for the link! I heart Vegan Lunch Box. :)

jess - Whaaaaat? Is that even possible? Do you mean paneer? If so - hmm. I've never had an Indian dish with paneer, so possibly, but my issue with lies mostly with its texture, so something like that probably wouldn't fly. Argh! Why am I so picky??

Sauce recipe: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=6955.0

I've made it before and my boyfriend praised it. Personally, it was too creamy for me, but still good. Take the comments into consideration if you make it - more garlic, maybe tomatoes, etc.

Amanda - I understand your woe - I can't stand seitan!

and onions, which is a whole other travesty.

I have a few good tofu recipes that I will send your way - one for spicy bean chili (w/ crumbled tofu) and another for tofu "parmagiana". Realllllly good.

I agree about associating running w/ being fit. Although if you think about it, the proportion of runners who don't look physically fit or like your typical runner is still pretty high. I wish I had the stamina to do the elliptical machine; that shit just tires me right out. I've been trying to mix up my cardio by doing step classes, thai kickboxing as well as loooong walks. Variety helps.

jess - Thanks for the link! But where the heck does one get "vegan butter-flavored powder?" It sounds really good, though, from reading the reviews. I always liked alfredo sauce but never ate it because it's much clogged arteries over pasta, and then of course because it's creamy buttery cheesy clogged arteries over pasta. Finding a healthy substitute would be excellent. I'm definitely going to give this a try.

I'm pretty indifferent to seitan - I had it at a chinese place one (orange seitan) and loved it so much, but whenever I try to make it at home the flavor and texture is lacking. So, eh. I've always been mystified by your hatred of onions, though.

kat - You're totally right about runners not looking like runners. But then I suppose the typical runner is a pretty subjective thing. One thing that's always scared me about running is the massive leg muscles. I'm not trying to force myself to stick with running exclusively, in any case - so long as I do some form of vigorous cardio activity at least 3 days a week, I'm happy. I want to start taking more walks and going hiking more, because really, I live in a very pretty area, especially this time of year. I always feel like I'm not getting a good workout with walking, though. I guess to me a good workout means being plastered with sweat and waking up the next day sore as hell. So far kickboxing is doing the trick nicely. Plus: violence! :)

Definitely send me those recipes if you have a chance. I need to amass a collection of tried and true tofu recipes if I'm going to conquer this squishy little demon.

Oh - I used some earth balance instead of butter powder - what the hell.
I think I sauteed a bunch of garlic in some earth balance and threw it in.

I will say that you shouldn't pressure yourself into eating it if you really aren't into it - but I admire your open palate! Have you ever had it and liked it?

Oh, there's definitely no pressure. If I 100% don't like something, I just don't eat it. Raw tomatoes. Mushrooms. But I have in fact eaten tofu I've liked before - I got General Tso's Tofu at this chinese place in DC, and it was sooooo good. I've had it fried like that a few times since and liked it well enough. I guess frying it really masks the texture, but I don't like to fry stuff if I can help it. I just need to experiment a bit.

Running can be quite addictive (the endorphin rush is for real) - and that's not always a good thing.

If you find an aerobic exercise you enjoy, that would be ideal. I prefer roller blading to all other aerobic activities... fun and freeing.

(I'm a seitan fan, by the way and always looking for new ways to prepare it.)

Hey, I've been reading your blog for a while, but haven't commented till now. If you're looking for a yoga dvd that will get your heart rate up, you should try MTV Power Yoga. I didn't think I would like it, but it's really fun and fast-paced without losing the relaxed good stretchy feeling of yoga. My sister says Baron Baptiste's videos are also like this, but I've never tried them.

Oh, perfect timing! I was looking at a set of MTV workouts last night (pilates, pilates mix, yoga, and power yoga) and wondering if they could possibly be any good. Since, you know, MTV. Now I think I'll give them a try! Thanks so much for commenting. :)

This is my first time Ccommenting after reading the first sentence. Your dish-- it is not ugly.

Oops! Wrong post. Ah hell.

So sorry but I have to admit to being astounded that anyone doesn't like tofu! I've even converted my formerly carnivorous husband to the joys of tofu and I thougt he'd keel over and die if he didn't have a hunk of meat on his plate. There are so many ways you can change the texture to suit different tastes. If you liked the fried method you had tried before maybe also try boiling it for about 10 minutes to get a similar texture and finish it off by frying for a few minutes in just a little oil to keep the fat intake low. I also like it crumbled into a ricotta like texture in italian like dishes - even my super picky ten year old doesn't balk at that. Also - here is a link to a version of General Tao's Tofu that my family absolutely loves! I wish you luck!

I never inserted the link - sorry.

I know, I'm a terrible vegan! I've just never really been fond of the stuff. First there's the texture - I've tried it frozen, not frozen, baked, fried, crumbled like ricotta, etc. The only way I liked it was fried. I'm really really weird about textures, though. The taste is also a little weird. I know it's not supposed to have a taste, but it does! Alas. I've never heard of boiling it, though. I went to an asian market this afternoon and found some super extra firm tofu, so I'm going to try making something with it tonight. Thanks for the link! I've actually made that sauce before, but used it on seitan instead of tofu.

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