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Mind Games

April 20, 2011

Don’t you just love enjoying a big plate of healthiness for dinner? I sure do. Something about a completely healthy meal full of a great balance between protein and carbs, and a meal full of delicious vegetables leaves me feeling like the whole day was an all around success.

Do you eat tofu? Since I gave up meat for lent I’ve been incorporating tofu into my diet and I’m really enjoying it. My favorite variation, thus far, was tofu smothered in honey barbeque and cooked on the grill. YUM!

Tonight tofu was super simple and super tasty. I used 1/3 of a block of extra firm tofu (patted dry), and cut it into 1 inch squares. In a plastic bag I added 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and one teaspoon of brown sugar. I placed the tofu in the bag and tossed it around until it absorbed the mixture. Then, I spread it a baking sheet and cooked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.


Quite tasty!

What’s your favorite way to eat tofu?

So tonight I had a friend text me and ask if I’d like to go for a run. My orginal plan was to do a bike/run brick at the gym but I decided not to pass up on the opportunity to have a running buddy who would motivate me to push myself.

This friend is FAST although he does not run regularly, but he wants to get into it. I love running with people who help me challenge my pace. The first time we ran together we did 5 miles at an 8:15 pace.  Later, his status on his facebook was “Ran 5 miles for the first time tonight.” I thought UM WHAT!? I had no clue he’d never run that far before. It took me forever to be able to run 5 miles that fast and he could do it like it was nothing. So needless to say, our run was challenging tonight.

We headed out for a 4.2 mile loop I frequent. My garmin was dead and I didn’t have my watch on me so I wasn’t sure of our pace the whole way. We started off pretty fast and I was doubting and uneasy about whether I could hold that pace from the get go. I didn’t want to be the one to cave first and say I needed to slow down so I just stuck it out. The whole run I was doubting myself thinking: “I need to slow down.” “I can’t run this fast.” “You’re not going that fast, why are you having so much trouble.” “When we pass this corner I’m going to say I need to slow down.” “When we get to the street to cross I’m gonna walk.” My mind was playing games with me trying to tell me I couldn’t do it. I just tried to push the negative talk aside, told myself to breathe, and reminded myself mind over matter mind over matter. Plus, my competitive side was not going to be the one to say it was time to slow down. By the last mile I could tell we were both struggling and pushing, it got really quiet and we weren’table to hold a full conversation anymore. Finally, though, we made it the whole way without slowing down.

I checked the time in my car to see how long we were gone. Only 33 minutes for 4.2 miles! Normally, I run that loop in 38-40 minutes, and 36 minutes if I’m trying to push a little.

That, my friends, is why I think it’s so beneficial to run with a buddy. Someone else can not only keep you company and keep you accountable for your workouts, but can also push you farther and faster than you think you’re capable of.

To me, running and pacing is, like, 65-70% mental. It’s your mind that decides if you’re going to have a good running or workout day, and it’s your mind that tells you you can’t when you really CAN. We are truly stronger than our mind wants us to believe.

How do you get over the mind hurdles and games, and just do it?

15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2011 2:38 AM

    I totally agree! I find it difficult to count on people for regular workouts but I enjoy the ocasional challenge. Sometimes you gotta work it out on your own and sometimes a push is a nice break.

  2. April 21, 2011 2:48 AM

    I’m not big on tofu, but that corn on the cob looks delicious! I get through mental blocks with mantras. Telling myself things like…you’ll never regret this workout, etc.

  3. April 21, 2011 3:18 AM

    I really do love looking at my meal and thinking “not only will this be tasty, but it is darn healthy too!”

    I agree with your running being a high percentage mental. Everything in your mind (and body) is screaming STOP, SLOW DOWN and what helps you become a better runner is to scream YES I CAN even louder right back 🙂

    That’s actually my strategy for my next half marathon- I really struggle with mind games in races and my plan is to write “YES YOU CAN” on my hand as a reminder.

  4. shiningfromwithin permalink
    April 21, 2011 4:11 AM

    yum TOFU!!! I think I’ve fallen in love with tofu.. eep! I love to fry it LOL.. not really ‘fry’ but place in a pan with a little oil and it gets all crispy. I like to bake it too. Maybe it’d be good in a smoothie?? Not sure I’m ready for that kinda crazy shenanigans though!

    awesome run!!! All the things you were telling yourself that you couldn’t do it made me laugh because I ALWAYS say those things to myself like, “ill walk here” or “slow down here” but I agree it’s totally mind over matter and having a friend with you during your runs makes them a little more challenging but the reward at the end is awesome.

    I always think in my head ‘pain is temporary, pride is forever’

    • April 21, 2011 4:27 AM

      I buy silken tofu for my smoothies and it’s actually really good and thickens up the smoothie nicely. You should go for it 🙂

  5. April 21, 2011 7:41 AM

    I totally agree that not only running but all working out involves mental strength AND i love your tofu. haha

  6. April 21, 2011 11:44 AM

    all too often I give in to the mind games…sad, but true story.

    GREAT POST and it sounds like a GREAT RUN!

  7. April 21, 2011 2:31 PM

    I always feel better when I eat a healthy dinner. I haven’t tried tofu but your recipe sounds like something I would be willing to try! I’m glad you had such a great run!

  8. April 21, 2011 3:53 PM

    Good for you! I totally challenge myself when I workout with a buddy, I don’t want to be the one to throw in the towel!

  9. Lettuce Choose Healthy permalink
    April 21, 2011 4:32 PM

    I’ve only tried baking tofu before.. I need to try new ways!

  10. April 22, 2011 2:41 AM

    I’ve dabbled in tofu, but can’t seem to get it right!
    Hey, hey, so you went Garminless, are you aware of #WatchlessMonday ? It’s a little trend some twitter runner peeps are trying to set, you might want to join in!

  11. Kalli permalink
    April 22, 2011 6:55 AM

    love your dinner and yes i love having a healthy wholesome dinner-it makes me feel good! i love tofu and love how you made it. BBQ sauce makes everything taste good! i agree with you about running… is so mental!


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