Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Comparison Trap With Yourself

Last night I was pumped to hit the gym and try out my new running shoes. My knees were bothering me a little before I started, but they certainly did not feel worse after I ran, which is usually what happens. They are just so much more supportive and comfortable than my old shoes, and if I wasn’t trying to preserve their life, I’d wear them every day to the gym. New cross training shoes are most definitely at the top of my Christmas list.

Speaking of last night’s run, I decided to change it up from my original plan of just running for 25 minutes to running for 20 minutes like I did last week, only increasing the speed a little. Fridays are my “long run” day, and since 25 minutes is not that much shorter than what I’ll be doing on Friday, it made sense to me to use yesterday to work on speed a little.

It was tough, but I can already tell that I’ve improved from when I first started running again two weeks ago. It’s not what I used to be able to do (hello 31 minute treadmill 5K), but I’ve decided that I’m going to stop comparing my workouts to what they were like back in the spring. I don’t compare myself to other people when I run, so why would I fall into the comparison trap with myself? I was 165 pounds and ran all the time time, and now I’m 178 pounds (finally faced the music and got on the scale this morning…) and don’t run very much. Obviously I’m going to see a difference. If you constantly think about what you “used” to be able to do, it will just make you more frustrated and likely to quit.

I’m starting fresh, and all I care about is improvement from this point forward, which I’ve already starting seeing. Two weeks ago, I couldn’t even run for 15 minutes straight without taking a break. Now I can run for 20 minutes straight with no breaks and at a slightly faster pace. Sounds like improvement to me.

Another thing I’ve started doing is keeping track of all my runs on an excel sheet. I record the date, total distance, speed (or speed range), and then make notes about each specific run (if I walked at all, how I felt, etc.). It’s an easy way to help me track my progress as well as guide me when I design my training plans and workout schedules. (Side note: workout schedules are an awesome way to help motivate yourself to exercise. Having a plan in writing always gets my butt to the gym because I know exactly what I’m going to do when I get there.)

Whew, alright, that was a wordy start to the post. Let’s move onto some food! After my workout (which ended with the same leg circuit that I did last week), I decided to check out the local natural foods market in Petoskey, The Grain Train. I loved it! It was like a mini Oryana, which is my favorite health foods store in Traverse City. As tempting as it was to throw all my favorite carbaholic foods into a cart (almond butter! waffles! sweet potato fries!), I limited it to just the essentials since I’m trying to keep my groceries to a minimum this month. I did, however, purchase this Awesome Chicken Salad for dinner though:


It was, needless to say, pretty awesome.


I’ll be back for more of that before I’m done in Petoskey, I can guarantee it.

Breakfast this morning was a simple bowl of cereal (Kashi Go Lean Crunch) with a banana:


And lunch was a chicken sandwich on toasted Ezekiel bread with hummus, muenster cheese, spinach, and a sprinkle of feta.


Served with baby carrots and more hummus for dipping.



Well, it’s back to work for me, but here’s a reminder to enter my Chobani giveaway if you haven’t already. I’ll pick a winner tomorrow!


Have you ever fallen into the comparison trap with yourself? How do you overcome it?


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