I felt like running today, so I finally got the four miles in that I needed to start my half-marathon training. Before I left, I checked the weather, which is always a good idea, but today I discovered a bit of wind coming out of the north. It was only 5-7 mph, but when it's 35 degrees to begin with, it can make a difference. So I headed north, into the wind, even though that's not my usual route.
It's not my usual route because it's basically two miles uphill! Although I'd always rather start out going uphill than finish a run uphill, I like some variety. Of course, after you do two miles uphill, it seems like there are all sorts of little uphills somehow magically worked into the return trip, when it should obviously be all downhill. A cruel trick of the running gods, I suppose.
All in all, though, it was a good run. I got to see some parts of the city I don't usually see, the sun was out, the dog was only mildly ill-behaved, and my pace was fine.
I made my smoothie as soon as I got home. It will be my first meal of the day. I added some peppers in an effort to get more vegetables into the thing.
I usually exercise before I eat breakfast. For the last 14 or so years, I've taken thyroid hormones first thing in the morning (I had thyroid cancer when I was in my late 20s - I'm fine now, but I no longer have a thyroid). I'm not supposed to eat for an hour after taking that pill, so that's what got me used to not eating breakfast right away. So exercising without breakfast doesn't seem that bad.
The other day I read this interesting column: Ask Well: The Best Time to Exercise to Lose Weight. The article states, "There is some evidence that working out on a completely empty stomach - or, as scientists call this woozy, wee-hours condition, 'in a fasted state' - prompts the body to burn more fat and potentially stave off weight gain, compared to exercising at other times."
The article sites a Belgian study in which men ate 30% more calories and 50% more fat. The men were divided into three groups - no exercise, afternoon exercise and pre-breakfast exercise. The first two groups gained weight, but the last did not. Considering my imperfect diet (which I'm still tracking, as embarrassing as it is sometimes, with MyFitnessPal), this is help I can use. If I'm going to exercise, I might as well get as much benefit out of it as possible.
So here's to feeling like exercising, exercising early, and drinking smoothies. :)
Week Twenty-two: Dietary - Eat Nine Veggies a Day