Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Writing Again

I'm back. I think. Work has been overly stressful from some changes in our staffing.  I took it out on my refrigerator and my blog. I stopped paying attention to what I was eating. I also stopped writing it down. I stopped writing here completely! My mom even noticed that I haven't updated here recently. I haven't even been here to check on my stats or comments. Today was the first day I was here to check on the blog. Actually, I haven't even been keeping up with my blogging friends. I have no idea what they are doing these days.

So I'm back to updating. It is a new year coming up in just a few days right?  I'm going to keep writing about my struggles and successes. About different recipes and workouts. I just need to keep writing!

Today I'm going to write about the great cup my mom bought me for Christmas.
My mom bought me a Copco Stir and Sip cup from Joanne Fabrics.  They were on sale I guess. She's been walking around with one of these cups for the past couple of months and said they are popular among her coworkers.

Ive seen these sort of cups all over the place recently. My mom says it's because it is easier to drink out of a straw then tip the cup up to your mouth. I didnt really believe her.  But I heard it again from a friend who doesn't like the cold water up by her face.

So I filled the cup today with some water. And I drank two fillings of 24oz this morning alone. Wow that was easy! I almost think drinking out of a straw is just so absent minded that it's beyond easy.  Do you have a cup with a straw that you drink out of to get your daily water intake?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Grill Pan

I apologize to ye faithful readers that keep coming here to see if I updated my blog. I am sorry I haven't been too on top of it lately. It's more like I haven't been very motivated to actually write anything. So tonight, I write about my grill pan and tomorrow night, you get a recap of No TV Wednesday (Which is quickly becoming a tradition in my house). Maybe on Friday you'll get a review my husband's and mine adventure of joining a gym last weekend. Oh so much to write about...

But now on to my grill pan.  I love my grill pan. I love it so much I often forget that it is in my cupboard. How lame is that? I actually forgot about my grill pan. A grill pan is essentially like any other fry pan except it has ridges and groves to give your meat/vegetables the grill lines. Now, I can guarantee your food will be delicious but I can not say the same for your food having that smokey charcoal smell or taste.

 I made chicken breasts for salad lastnight for dinner. Don't they look delicious? I only used some olive oil and spices to marinate the meat. My grill pan can also be used in the oven.

So if you're looking for something a little different for cooking, look for a grill pan.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Good Food Choice Wednesday

So I wrote this morning on my Twitter account that this was going to be a Good Food Choice Wednesday. (Yes I made that title up on my own and people actually picked up on it, including Merbear). I said I was going to eat well today, work out, and blog about it. Well, I was going to end the day with only the good eating. There were things at work that came up that kept me from working out. I know it's an excuse but they were things that caused me to get home after 7. I typically won't work out after 7 on a week night because I won't be able to sleep after and I still need to eat dinner. So dinner was eaten separately from my husband, who didn't get home for at least another half hour.

Overall I'm pretty happy about the food choices I made today. I did slip up twice but hey, no body is perfect, including me. I don't regret those two slipups

Breakfast was a serving of low sugar oatmeal made with milk. For a morning snack, I had a Yoplait Greek Yogurt.  They are pretty good although I do like Chobani better. We had a coupon for these last time we went grocery shopping.

For lunch I had a slice of turkey on a wheat sandwich thin with lettuce and honey mustard. A carrot with Laughing Cow cheese was my side along with some dried apricots. I slipped up with a snack sized bag of lays, not baked, from the snack box at work. I need to remember to take something salty with me for lunch to satisfy all those different flavors. Afternoon snack, well I forgot to bring an afternoon snack with me. So I grabbed some peanuts from the snack box because they were high in protein and would keep me from being hungry the rest of the afternoon. I only ate half of a serving. I just needed something to keep me going for 3 more hours.

Dinner consisted of a salmon burger from the freezer on another wheat sandwich thin and lettuce. I'm so exciting. I finished it off with a couple spoonfuls of my husband's macaroni and cheese. Oh, I almost forgot about the couple spoonfuls of pumpkin frozen custard from Thanksgiving. By the way, there are a ton of calories in frozen custard. I might just allow myself only one spoonful when I want some. Jeez! Otherwise, I was under my calorie goal for the day.

I tweeted earlier about having some craving issues with the candy box at work. So I popped some sugar free gum into my mouth and ignored the craving. It helped tremendously!

I didn't get a work out done today like I had originally planned but that is on the plan for tomorrow now. I will have to work out extra hard!

Thanks to everyone for their support today. It was greatly appreciated.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Fought for 5k!

I woke up on Thanksgiving morning to a clean house, a huge amount of food in the fridge, and the wind blowing against the siding. That wind was telling me it was too cold outside to get out from under my covers, it was too cold to pull on my work out gear and get ready for the 5k I had committed to over a month earlier. I just wanted to stay under the sheets, cuddle with my husband, and dream about the upcoming Thanksgiving meal that was going to emerge from my oven. I even asked my husband if he wanted to skip out on the event. I can't believe I did that! As I stared at the ceiling, trying to talk myself out of the bed, I began to think about everyone else that was going out into the cold air and running or walking a 5k that morning. There were my parents, my sister, and the majority of the Pack. If they were braving the weather, then I could too.

After the stuffing was in the crockpots for my first attempt at hosting Thanksgiving dinner, I climbed the stairs to put on my warm clothing. I made sure to check the weather before I decided what to wear. It was windy and the air was was damp and cold. Hubby and I climbed into the car and started on our way to the Berbee Derby. I couldn't understand why he was trying to push me out the door nearly an hour before our race start. Once we got there, I was glad he did. The place was already swarming with cars! We decided to park about a half mile from the event start line so we would have an easy get away at the end of the race. I would have to say there were atleast 3000 participants between the 10k and the 5k race. I like these bigger races because I can blend in with the crowd and there are sure to be people in that crowd that I am faster than. It gives me a confidence boost.
Berbee Derby 2011

At the beginning of the race I thought that I was going to stick by my hubby the whole time because he was being a dear to participate in the event with him. But then again, I also wanted to see how hard I could push myself and see how far I could go. We placed ourselves in the last wave just ahead of the 5k walkers. In the end, it was the right place to put myself. Hubby ran with me for the whole first mile and then he started to walk. I asked if it was ok if I kept going and he said it was. So, I just kept going. Coming around one of the turns I noticed a big hill ahead. I briefly thought that the hill was going to suck and I was going to let myself walk it. But then I thought back to when I was running earlier in the summer and when I proclaimed that I loved running hills because conquering them made me feel strong! I took that hill, and the next two without stopping to walk. I also took each subsequent down hill quickly. I heard a dad telling his daughter to just let the down hill push her, to let gravity work with her legs and to not push against it. I took his advice and just sailed down the hills.

I fought through the mental battle of wanting to stop to walk. Thing I have read kept working through my mind. "You can do anything for five minutes" kept really sticking with me. My foot went numb, I just kept going. I sprinted at the end. I did! It felt good to put all my energy into going all out the last few meters. I finished and I didnt stop to walk. I fought for it! Hubby finished 5 minutes after I did. It wasn't my best time but I'm ok with that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Goal Week 8 - More Fruit and Veggies

I was bad again and didn't make my goal for this week public on Sunday night. I wanted to do just a little recap of the goal I set two weeks ago about having a little more faith. I did make it to church that week. I found out how much I had miss from not attending mass since Easter. I learned that the Catholic Church is actually changing some of the wording of mass and the change starts the first Sunday of Advent which is this coming weekend. It will be strange. If you want to learn more about it, you can click here. I did not make it to mass this last weekend because we got so busy preparing for our family Thanksgiving on Sunday.  I will make it this weekend though and it will then be the start of preparing for the Christmas season. I LOVE singing Christmas music in church. Yes, I will admit to being a dork.

So what is my goal for this 8th week of goal setting? Essentially I wanted to make a goal of getting five servings of fruits and veggies daily. The hope of this is that if I fill up on the healthy things, I'm not going to want the other not-so-healthy things that are keeping me from losing weight. After looking at my foods that I have been logging for the past few weeks, I'm realizing that I am eating way too many of my daily calories from carbohydrates that come from breads and high sugar unnatural foods (like candy).

So since I've discovered that servings tend to be smaller than what I would expect, I dont think I will have a problem meeting this. Although yesterday I dont think I made it. I had one medium carrot and celery for lunch. I also had home made applesauce. But I don't know if that is a fruit serving? Then some more celery and carrots after work for a snack. So I definitely did not make the goal yesterday but I wasnt really thinking about it too much.

So here is to picking up the healthy fruits and veggies and losing weight.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Ps: I still havent bitten my nails.
Ps: I went to McDonalds for breakfast over the weekend. That was a disaster and I felt gross afterward. The feelings lingered through Saturday into Sunday morning. So not worth it!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Have a Problem!

I have a problem with tea! Specifically unsweetened hot green tea, any flavor! This is an addiction I should probably welcome, especially for a healthy replacement to coffee filled with cream and sugar. I would even go as far as admitting to wanting tea at Caribou instead of a turtle mocha. Uh oh!

I used to choke down unsweetened tea because I couldn't stand the idea of flavored water with out sugar. But that is when I was addicted to soda. Not any more.

Unsweetened tea typically doesn't have any calories so it fits into my diet so well. It also is a must have on these dark and colder mornings when all I need to do is warm my hands.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to my friend Christina about tea because she drinks it all the time. We agreed that we absolutely hated how some teas just dry your mouth out. I really have no idea what causes this but it does not make me want to drink more of it.

So I have quite a mix of teas that I have been drinking over the past couple of weeks. I have plain old green tea, orange passion fruit green tea, citrus green tea, some black tea. I had some excellent green tea at a restaurant a few weeks ago and I want to find that kind because it was just so yummy.

Do you have any favorite tea that you could recommend?

Just Fight!

I'm watching The Biggest Loser, just like I do every Tuesday night when it is on. I started watching the show because I wanted to be inspired to make changes in my life. Here we are, how many seasons later, and I am pretty much the same weight I was when I started watching, maybe more actually.

Watching one of the competitors, John, break through some of those mental barriers that everyone talks about made me cry. I'm such a sap really! It reminded me about those times when I just want to stop because that barrier is just too hard to get through. I titled my blog Destroying Dead Ends because I didn't want to have those barriers anymore. It's time to remember to fight through those moments.

It's time to fight the food cravings! It's time to fight for my right to be healthy! It's time to fight to be my best self!

I pushed myself on my run tonight after work. I fought with my mental thoughts about it being too cold outside to work out. It's time to fight to fight to be faster and better! It's time to fight through the pain and numb left foot! It felt great to fight to make it to the top of the hill, back down the other side AND up the next hill! I'm proud of my 3.17 miles in less than 40 minutes that I fought for. I deserve it!

Just fight!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Hate Broccoli

But I love Broccoli Sprouts!

They are just like alfalfa sprouts but broccoli instead. I really do hate the taste of broccoli. I only like it if its been pan fried in Chinese food. Then it is delicious but I'm sure it's not very healthy for me. They are healthy, but do lack the same amount of vitamins as their older siblings. It has been found though that they are supposed to help ward off cancer...but doesn't it seem like everything will help fight of cancer these days?

I eat them on salads and sandwiches. They add a little spicy flavor to my food. 

Give them a try some time!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Goal Week 7 - A Little Faith

I can't believe I am already working on goal 7. That would mean I'm seven weeks into this project. That also means I havent had McDonalds breakfast for 7 full weeks! Wow. Lets see how things are going.

I have continued to eat breakfast at home every day.

For the most part, I still don't drink soda. I do have to admit though that it has snuck back into my life a little bit. I had a coke yesterday on the drive home. I'm starting to fall in love with tea.

Lunch from home still continues for the most part. I have let myself eat out once a week. Usually I end up regretting it.

I'm still counting my calories, mostly every day. I did fall off the wagon over the weekend during a friend's wedding. I was just too busy to count.

Last week was no nail biting. I caught myself doing it on Tuesday morning but I have been good since then. It is really hard during some moments when I just want to chew. I make sure I put on some scented lotion. The lotion does not taste good.

So now it's goal week 7. I have seven more weeks until the New Year 2012. Eeek! Where has this year gone!? I'm still compiling a list of ideas for the next seven weeks of goals. This week's goal is a little different I guess.

The goal making was initially to improve my health. Last week's goal could have been pointed towards that general idea of not eating germs. This week's goal is one of faith. I need to go back to church. I was such a strong Catholic when I was younger, going to to church every weekend, going to youth retreats and volunteering my extra time to the congregation. I haven't been to church in, months!

I really want to go back because I feel like I'm missing that part of my life. It's only one hour out of my week. My goal is to go to church every weekend. I really really am in love with Christmas so this should be pretty easy for me.

Btw, I lost a pound last week.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Goal Week 6? No Nail Biting

I can't remember if it's week 6 or week 5. I suppose I should go back to look at that. I didn't publicly set a goal last week because I wanted to keep plugging away at my calorie counting. Well, I didn't end up losing anything last week but I also didn't gain anything. I originally had myfitnesspal set up to lose 2 lbs a week. After talking to some people, I decided I wasn't eating enough calories each day. I adjusted my goal from 2 lbs a week to 1.5 lbs a week so I would be eating around 1800 calories a day.

I worked out last week 4 days, which was my goal. I did start this week out pretty well with a 30 minute run tonight after work before I had to hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters. *We've only had two groups show up at our door in 3 hours* I hope to keep the work outs up this week. Tomorrow I have to do some work at the community garden. That will probably burn some pretty good calories and then I will probably run on Wednesday and Thursday too.

I did set a mini goal for myself last week that I didn't talk about last week. I have never been good about getting lotion on my skin after I shower. So I set a mini goal to do that every day. I did it every day except Saturday and Sunday, pretty much just because I forgot. This week's goal has nothing to do with weightloss but more about just overall health. This week's goal is to not bite my nails.

I've been biting my nails since I was a toddler. It was something I started doing when I stopped sucking my thumb. I really want to do well this time. I am stick of not being able to peel stickers and labels, not able to open the little latch on my camera to get the USB port. I can't even peel an orange. How sad is that? I need to grow these things out! I have done it before. The longest I believe was 3 months last fall.

Thanks to everyone for their encouragement. I'm hoping for good numbers on the scale this week and here to longer nails next week!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Run Rut

So last year I talked about my butt rut. You know, that Homer Simpson indent in the couch where my butt nicely settles? I have to admit that indent is still there but it’s not nearly as deep as it used to be and it isn’t quite as comfortable either. After reading a couple of blogs over the past few days, I have come to find that I am in a run rut.

Er, a workout rut. I mean, I keep doing the same workout over and over again. Because I run outside and don’t have a gym membership, I have been using the weather as an excuse for not running. I can’t let this happen anymore. I’m starting to figure out that I need to throw a wrench into my run workouts and start working on some cross training again.

One of my original running goals was to run a mile without stopping to walk. I know I can do that now. Now I can run over 2 miles without walking and that feels great! I would like to work through the winter months improving my distance as well as my speed. This is where I am going to change up my running workouts. I am going to start working on speed through interval training. I tried using on my iPhone yesterday. I think the program has some great coaching tools for the free app but to really use the program, there is a monthly fee, which I am not planning on using. Maybe there are other running applications out there for my phone. Any apps that anyone can recommend would be great. I’m hoping a new running goal will motivate me to do something a little different in those workouts. I hope to find an event in the Spring to work towards. Maybe a 10k would work?

Now for some diversity in my workouts. Last Christmas I received two great gifts. One gift from my hubby was a really nice indoor trainer for my bike. The second gift was the Biggest Loser for the Wii. Both are going to be my alternatives through the winter months along with some weight lifting. I won’t have an excuse to not work out. The weather cannot be an excuse when I’m inside. I want to try to run outside when I can. I am still going to plan my workouts around the weather but I want to start looking at the weather for the week and plan around it. I want to plan the inside cross-training days for when it’s really cold, snowing or raining. Instead of my every-other-day mentality I’ve had all summer, I want to get 5 days of exercise completed each week. I don’t want to commit to an hour each time but at least getting some movement in each of those days would work the best.

I feel slightly like I am getting in over my head. Am I going to be disappointed if I only exercise 3 days one week?  Will I blow off the rest of the week? Maybe I will set this as one of my weekly goals in the next couple of months. I’ve been successful so far. Why can’t I set myself up to be successful with this too!?!?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shortage of Potassium

I've known since before my race that potassium is an important nutrient to keep stored in my body to avoid muscle cramps and to keep my body energized. I ran, literally, into a problem of not having enough potassium during the second run loop of my race and my legs were starting to cramp just out of the transition area. My sister asked me if I had enough electrolytes and I thought the food I had been eating had electrolytes and it didn't! She encouraged me to keep going until we got to the first mile mark to get some Gatorade. It took a while but definitely helped. I need to consume foods that have a high amount of potassium to help me with my electrolytes. I discovered a couple of years ago an allergy to bananas which is disappointing because I love bananas. So I need to find an alternative.

When I ask people about what foods are high in potassium, the only thing that pops in their heads are bananas. Well, like I said, that wasn't going to work for me. So I finally looked it up today.  Here are the top ten foods for Potassium:

Dried Apricots
  1. Dried Herbs (Dried Chervil contains the most potassium with 4.7g (135% RDA) per 100g serving)
  2. Avocados (100 grams will provide 485mg of potassium or 14% of the RDA)
  3. Paprika and Dried Chili Powder (Paprika provides the most potassium with 2.3g (67% RDA) per 100 gram serving)
  4. Cocoa Powder and Chocolate (Pure cocoa powder without any fat, milk, or sugar, provides the most potassium with 1.5 grams (44% RDA) in a 100g serving)
  5. Dried Apricots ( apricots provide 1.9g (53%RDA) of potassium per 100g serving (about 20 dried apricots)
  6. Pistachios (100 grams (~3/4cup) will provide 1g (30% RDA) of potassium)
  7. Seeds (pumpkin and squash seeds contain about 919mg (26% RDA) of potassium per 100g serving)
  8. Fish (Salmon provides 534mg (15% RDA) per 3 ounce serving)
  9. Beans (White beans provide the most potassium with 561mg (16% RDA) per 100 gram serving
  10. Dates (dates provide 696mg (20% RDA) per 100 gram)
Some of these foods I already like and already knew I needed to incorporate more of them into my diet because of the other health benefits. I think the easiest things for me to eat would be the apricots for a snack a few hours before a run and eat more fish. Dried herbs are definitely a plus because they do made food taste that much better. And who doesn't like chocolate but I've never had pure chocolate!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Little Success and a Continueing Goal

I'm not really in the mood to write but I did promise a post about some good news. My last goal was to track my calories for the week. I downloaded the calorie counter program from and got started on my counting. I did really well for the week except there was a day or two that I didn't want to log my calories because I knew that I would be over my calories for the day. I was usually over those calories because I made a silly decision about what went into my mouth. It was hard for me to own up to it. 

Out of this last week came a loss of 2.5lbs! I haven't been successful with poundage loss since last Christmas. Because of this I am not going to be setting a new goal for this week. I am going to keep focusing on counting my calories and see where I end up next weekend. Hopefully it will be with another weight loss.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cinnamon and Sugar

When I woke up yesterday morning my husband said my hair smelled like baked goods. I thought he was crazy until the smell came out when the shower water hit the strands. I smelled like cinnamon and sugar. How sweet! Hehe.

I took a long weekend by taking Thursday and Friday off from work. I needed it. I've been noticing I've been pretty much checking out at work. Thursday I spent the morning wait for the installation crew from Home Depot to come replace the door. The initial door was installed with the peep hole about 12 inches from the top of the door. Now, I'm 5 ft 10 in and I had to stand on my toes to see out. It shouldn't be that high so my mom urged me to go to the store and complain. So I did and complained enough for them to reorder a door with the peephole at the right height.  While I waited for the guys, I decided the zucchini in the refrigerator was about on the edge and would be great for bread. I pulled out the mixer and all of the ingredients. I quickly realized that the applesauce I kept for replacing oil had gone bad so I didn't have that healthy baking alternative to use. I did however have a bag of ground flax meal that I had purchased on my last trip to the grocery store. I heard somewhere that the human body can not break down whole flax seeds so the seed needs to be ground for us to reap the benefits. So I put less 1/4 cup of flour and replaced it with a 1/4 cup of this meal. It's not really that noticeable and I actually like breads with a little more texture.

Whole Wheat Molasses Cookies
Speaking of texture, while the bread was in the oven, I still had the baking bug. After digging through my cupboards, I found a jar of molasses that I used last summer to make homemade baked beans and hadn't used it since then. I found a molasses cookie recipe online that looked pretty easy and doable. The recipe called for a whole cup of vegetable oil, which always seems like a lot to me. I always read the user reviews on recipes if I find them online. One person used extra virgin olive oil instead of veggie oil and I did the same thing. I also used 1 cup whole purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour. That is where the texture thing comes in. The cookies are delicious and extra spicy, since I doubled the amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and all spice the recipe called for. It is a great way to increase the amount of flavor without increasing the calories all that much.

I plugged the recipes for both of these into the recipe builder on (which I love btw and will be writing about it tomorrow). I made the cookie dough spread out for 32 small cookies at 100 calories each. The four cookies above were the only ones eaten between my hubby and I on Thursday and the rest were thrown into a freezer bag and frozen. Same with the zucchini bread, one frozen loaf out of two. Problem for me yesterday though, I finished off half a loaf, which is why I was over my daily calorie limit by noon. Bleh! I'm glad the other loaf is frozen and today starts a new day.

Have you every noticed how making something from scratch makes it taste so much better? Part of my changes is make food from scratch because there are so few chemicals. I was talking to someone lastnight at a gathering that bakes all the time and she makes cupcakes and cake from scratch and she said she would never go back to using a box of cake batter. Her cupcakes are delicious and sinful. She uses butter in her frosting. Yum. I'm glad I don't see her more than once a year.  A little over a year ago I started making buttermilk pancakes from scratch. I don't think I could ever go back to boxed mix. And I never buy real buttermilk. If I mix some white vinegar with skim milk, it pretty much is the same. I can add my flax meal and whole wheat flour to make them even better. I even stopped using pre-made jars of spaghetti sauce because I know I can make my own that tastes better. So here's to modifying recipes to make them healthier. Here is the recipe I use.

What recipes do you modify to make healthier?

Tune back tomorrow to hear what happened last week.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goal 4, Calories

So week three went pretty good. My goal was to not eat out for lunch for the entire week and eat what I brought for lunch. I was able to do it. I even ate the salad I brought to work the day my boss ordered pizza for the entire branch. I did eat a couple of pieces of pizza for and my salad. It was so hard on other days to not get sick of what I brought for lunch. There were days that all I could think about was just going across the street to have a sandwich from Subway. It took a lot of discipline to just sit down and start eating what I had. It was hard.

I had a small glass of soda some time last week. It just didn't taste good. It wasnt that it was too sugary, it just tasted like chemicals. I thought I would rather have a glass of water. Go me!

So my goal for this week is to count my calories. This is the first goal that doesn't involve giving up anything. The first three weeks have been challenging at times but so worth it. I'm curious what the scale is going to tell me in the morning. It would be nice to be down a couple of pounds.  I have never been good at tracking calories. I think it's because I never have really put my mind to it. Last week's goal, ultimately, was to get myself to eat fewer calories. I didn't track last week but I would assume I was able to lower my daily calories. So how am I going to track my calories?

Hubby and I picked up iPhones on Friday and I downloaded the Myfitnesspal app to start tracking everything. After inputting all my information, I was told I need to net around 1400 calories a day.  Any food eaten counts towards those calories and any amount of exercise takes away from those calories. As of 9pm, I am at net 1009 calories. Does that mean I need to eat another 400 calories before I go to bed? Do I need to wish I had a Snickers bar hidden somewhere in my house? Or is it ok if I didn't make it to my calories for the day?  I guess I'm not sure what the right answer is. So if you know, please fill me in. Count my calories every day and be truthful about it.  I can do that.

Some positives that have come out of this weekly challenge:

  1. I no longer crave pop yes!
  2. If I distract myself during my lunch break, I will forget about the candy sitting on the back counter.
  3. I’ve learned that McDonalds breakfasts should be a rare occasional meal. I can live with out it.
  4. I’ve been eating until I’m full and then stopped.
  5. I opened a hard cider a few nights ago, took a couple of sips, and then dumped it out. I know I’m a beer waster but I needed a glass of water instead.
  6. I need to drink Gatorade before I work out to avoid cramps.

Please let me know if you have a goal for me. I have ten weeks until the New Year and I only have 5 more goals on the list

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Things I Love

I'm copying a post from Mariah from Unstoppable Mariah (kinda) because she said she loves reading my blog. I also wanted to do this because I found my OLD Livejournal entries a couple of nights ago. I actually completely forgot I had it. I don't even remember the password. It has been interesting going back to see where I was 5 or 6 years ago.

One of my favorite posts was a list of random things I love.

Here it is:
Christmas (music, and everything about it)
XCountry Skiing
Playing music
Bright Colors
Family (sister, mom and dad)
(Fresh) Pineapple
Green Beans
Cold (Glass of) Water
Sweat Pants
Home Made Apple Pie
Grandma Mary's Sugar Cookies at Christmas Time
Ribbon Candy
Choral Music
Lawry's Salt

Now most of those things still qualify...actually all of them do. But  I wanted to add a few more things to that list:
Devils Lake October 2010

Cities 97 Cds
Hot Chocolate
My Hubby
Having my sister stay with me through the finish line
My Past
My Future
A warm bed on a cold night
Jelly Beans
Fish Fry (Its a WI thing)
Cooking and trying new recipes
Finding new interesting food or weightloss blogs

I'm sure I'll be able to add to this and there are things I can't come up with right now.

I was told today, by my bosses boss that I was her motivation. She asked about my race and how everything went. And she told me I was her motivation to get out running. She's probably in her late 50s and has never been a runner. How good did that make me feel!!! It makes me want to go for a run right now. If it wasn't dark and almost my bed time, I probably would.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is That the Problem?

I brought my computer to work so that I could busy myself with writing over my lunch break.

Its day 3 of week 3 and I think I am doing pretty good. Still eating breakfast at home. I do think that I need to find new ideas for breakfast besides cereal and oatmeal. I think I could make some mini baked eggs or something to have it in fridge. Then I can just pull them out and heat them up for a great breakfast. I know that the South Beach Diet cookbook I have has some recipes like that. I will have to look into it.

I was going to write about that empty feeling I’ve had all week since I started really paying attention to what goes into my mouth. Anne over at Twelve-in-Twelve has recently been writing about owning her emotions and not using food as a cover up. I think I started to over eat when I was in high school when I was feeling inadequate, not good enough. And I just continued to eat through college, especially when my grades didn’t meet my expectations or when I disappointed someone. The strange thing is though that I never strived to do better. I just ate and forgot about it until the next time I didn’t succeed. I cruised through college, graduating with an average GPA and 25 pounds. I gained another 25 pounds after graduation. Sure I had a job because I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. The first couple of years at the job were stressful. There is a lot to learn about banking and I wasn’t the quickest to catch on. I was stressed and I needed food to cover up the emotions. I used stress as an excuse. The Subway, across the street, became my new best friend. I think the worst I was for going out to lunch was 4 times in a 5 day work week. Now I know there are worst things to eat but I was just eating too much.  I knew that had to change.

I knew I could walk into the restaurant and order just a six inch sub, and I did a couple of times, but only when I knew that I was going to have a larger dinner. It just became a habit. It probably still is a habit. How come the feeling of shame is ripping through my pores right now? I am downright ashamed of my actions. Maybe I’m more embarrassed by those actions? I guess I like to keep the face that I have things in control.

When I think about my lunch breaks, I often hide my overeating from my coworkers. I’m often in the breakroom alone which allows me to eat without thinking. If someone is in there with me, I will just eat what I have. If I get Subway and come back with a 12 inch sub, if someone is on break with me, I will actually only eat half of it because I don’t want them to judge me. I never thought I was one of those people that hid my binges because my husband usually knew about them. But come to think of it, I am one of those people. Its probably why I usually lose weight when I’m with my parents. I don’t want to binge in front of them.

So now that this week I am controlling what I am eating alone in the breakroom over my lunch period, I’ve been feeling empty, physically and emotionally. The cool thing is that I know of ways to alleviate the problem, it’s just hard to do at work when the feeling comes over me.

If I am physically empty, I could eat a healthy snack such as an apple or a yogurt. (I should have eaten something before I ran after work yesterday. I was so starving when I was done that I ate too much for dinner.) I think it’s the emotionally empty feeling that I need to overcome with some physical activity or some other sort of activity to take my mind off it. I don’t want to just forget about it but I need something to bring me out of that feeling. I said it’s the worst at work because I work the retail side of a bank and it’s not like I can just get up to leave the building to go for a walk. I also think I would like to find some new hobbies to work on or atleast I just need to pick up my camera and head outside when I need to overcome the emotions. Or maybe do something silly like get up to bust a move in my living room. Dancing is supposed to make me feel better right?

I’m supposed to be destroying dead ends right? I think this is just another dead end that I have…it’s not even a dead end but more of a high wall that I just need to climb over and the climb is hard.

Monday, October 10, 2011

First Day of Week 3

Ugh!  I felt the anxiety creeping up on me about 20 minutes before noon. I need to figure out where this is coming from. But I did make it through my lunch only eating what I brought.

Lunch Today
My lunch box consisted of left over lasagna, a cheese stick, carrot sticks, and a small salad with lettuce, bell peppers and dried cranberries. I didn't end up eating the cheese stick and ended up eating an apple for an afternoon snack instead. I accompanied my lunch with a bottle of water. Oh and I had a Dum Dum for dessert.

I'm pretty proud of myself for food today. I did sneak two apple muffins, which were overly delicious, thanks to a coworker that made them yesterday. For breakfast I had some low sugar Quaker oatmeal made with skim milk. Dinner was a left over hamburger patty from last night (w/o bun), and then I made a small chicken sandwich and I had a handful of pretzels. 

It was getting really hard towards the end of the day when I really wanted one of the Peanut Butter Snickers that have been sitting in my candy dish at work. Has everybody had those? They are yummy. I managed to get through that time without touching one. I even made it past a trip to the gas station with only buying the much needed milk and gas.

The strangest feeling came over me during some idle time during my last hour of work. I felt...empty. I was hungry but I felt emotionally empty too. I wished I didn't need to keep sitting there waiting for the clock to turn 6. I think this is just the beginning of figuring out the true emotional reason why I eat. Here is to discovery!

I still need to pack my lunch for tomorrow. Probably left over lasagna again.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Goal 3 - Lunch From Home

Today is the start of week three of my goal setting. You can read about Goal 1 and Goal 2 at their respective links. Goal 1 has been successful for two full weeks.

I am proud of this one because I was starting to think I was becoming addicted to that morning egg sandwich or breakfast burrito. The cravings still sneak up on me but since I know the way around it, I can beat the want. I also purchased Quaker Oatmeal Togo. At 220 calories per bar, they are a much better on-the-go option for me. Out of curiosity, I went to McDonalds website to check out how many calories I was typically eating on those mornings I went out to breakfast before work. *I feel ashamed and humiliated admitting what I was eating there* I usually would order a burrito breakfast meal with a small orange juice. After adding all the calories, it totals to nearly 900 calories...for breakfast! I only did that once a week. I'm figuring those days would probably total over 3000 calories. Ouch! No wonder I wasn't losing any weight. So I think I am much better off with my Oatmeal squares for those days I need a quick breakfast.

So just say "No" to breakfast from a fast food restaurant!

Goal 2 of drinking no soda went better than expected. I did fudge on Monday when I wasn't really thinking about what I was ordering but I haven't had any since then. I have been drinking a lot more water which I'm happy about.

So, along with keeping those two goals going for this week, I am adding a new one.  This weeks goal is to eat the lunch I brought to work. There are two points to this goal: 1, I tend to eat less calories when I plan my meals out at home and 2, I save money that way too! I'm guilty of something sneaky though. I sometimes will bring lunch to work from home only not to actually eat it for lunch. It will sit in the fridge at work while I head across the street to Subway.

I worry that this is going to be the hardest goal so far. Probably because I know I throw every excuse on the table when it comes to my lunch time. I'm just starting to think going out for lunch should be a treat.

To make sure I reach this goal I want to make sure I have an action plan. So the plan started today. I took some time this afternoon to cut up carrots, celery and a bell pepper that I had in the fridge. I also pre-cut some lettuce for salads. There is a bunch of lasagna left over from dinner last Thursday that I will probably be eating for the next few days. I just want to make sure I have my lunch packed the night before because I tend to be short on time in the morning before work (because I lay around in bed). I also need to make sure there are lunch foods in the house.

So here goes week 3!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Just Walk Away

I promised this entry for Monday but the week really got away from me.

Last weekend my hubby was out of town on a short cabin weekend with his buddy. It was nice to have the house to myself and I was able to get a lot done. One of the projects was to get some grocery shopping completed. I make a list like usual. I bought most of the things on the list. While I was searching the shelves for some items, I came across some things I knew I had coupons for, some of them not so healthy. I took the time to read the nutrition labels and then put them back on the shelve. I picked up other items that I was craving and didn't really need. There was the moment my hand was on a box of doughnuts. I put them back down and walked way. A moment later, I found myself at the freezer case, eying the Eggos. I walked way. I even managed to walk down the candy isle without picking up a single bag. I was feeling pretty proud of myself when I walked out of that store.

It was a good shopping trip.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's 80 Days from Today?

Christmas! Why is it that I am already starting to count down to Christmas? I counted today. There are 80 shopping days, 12 weeks and six paychecks until the fated Holiday. I must start shopping now because I usually wait until the last minute and I'm just so stressed. I am so stressed I am uninspired  to find great ideas for gifts.

I started thinking about how far away Christmas was because I want to set a new goal for myself every week leading up to the Holiday. I am almost to the end of goal week 2. I did fudge up a bit on Monday when I went through the Culvers drive thru after a stressful day at work. Without thinking, I ordered a snack pack which a Diet Coke! I briefly had an "oh fudge!" moment while I was sucking on the straw. I drank it, all of the small soda and I haven't had one since. I also still have had breakfast at home every day. I almost slipped up this morning . It has been a tradition, in the past, for when I have an early morning doctors appointment, I would usually pick something up on my way to work. I almost stopped at Panera. I even went out of my way to get there and I made myself keep driving.

I'm pretty proud of myself. Next week's goal will be announced on Sunday. I'm worried about this one.

By the way, I lost 3 lbs from last week!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Goal 2 - Soda Free

I just remembered it is Sunday and I said I would be posting a new goal for the week on Sunday.

Last week's goal was to eat breakfast at home every day and I did complete that. Friday was really hard for me because I was really craving a McDonald's breakfast burrito. Two things, if I dont leave myself enough time to go there, I won't go. Second, if I eat at home, I will usually run out of time to go there so I won't go then either. So I made sure I ate breakfast at home. Some days it was Cheerios, other days it was a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter (my go to work out food). I did it.

So what is my goal for this week? I am making a goal to eliminate soda for the week. I'm still going to keep my word of not going to McDonalds for a breakfast sandwich. I haven't had any soda in two days and I'm feeling the effects of it right now with a headache from the caffeine withdrawal. I know I will feel tired for a few days. I have really been upping my water intake. I've gone without caffeine before, for Lent one year I gave it up. But I have never fully given up pop for more than a day or so. This will be an interesting adventure.

1. Eat breakfast at home every day
2. No soda

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Mental Race

Thank you again to everyone for all of your support in my training for my race on Sunday. I really put myself out there a year ago to get to that day and I can't believe it's already over! I am pretty sure I am going to do it again but I would like to be able to do other types of races before then.

I have focused a lot on the physical part of preparing for the race but there is another aspect that I feel is even more important. The mental/emotional part of it! There were mental and extreme emotional parts to the race itself. There are also mental and emotional aspects of the training. Now it is time to tackle the mental/emotional part of eating.

The race was hard but I was pretty sure I could physically do it, even though the thought of finishhing the second 2 mile loop, without walking, was daunting. I had spent all spring and summer preparing for it and last fall learning how to run. The race was tiring. It was much more mentally tiring than I expected. I had known that I would most likely cry at the finish line but the tears didn't flow there, they flowed when I crossed the starting line and when I way my family and friends cheering for me. I cried just a little because I knew this was what I had spent all those hours preparing for and it was time to put myself to work. I didn't know the course so I didnt' know what to expect. I was worried about not being good enough; I was worried about looking like a fool to the other participants. After a few short minutes, I stopped caring about what strangers thought. I really just cared about making my sister and myself proud. I kept myself talking and was happy when my sister said I was keeping a great pace. I was excited when I crossed the transition line at just over 21 minutes but I didn't dwell on it. I still have two more legs ahead of me. I cruised through the bike course. I might even say it was relaxing for me. I knew this was my stronger sport and that I would be able to pass a number of women who weren't as strong. The next mental hurdle came on that second run when my lelgs started cramping only a few hundred feet into the run. I knew there were still 2 more miles infront of me and that I just had to keep moving. I walked a little but I kept a quick pace. I set mini goals for myself, "Just make it to the next lamp post", "Now keep jogging until you get to the water station." These were the little phrases that kept me going. I was determined to run the whole last mile and I did, even though it was a slow pace and I just really wanted to stop. Towards the end of the race, the course came around a corner and into the view of the spectators. I knew I wanted to end strong, so I picked up the pace. For some reason, my legs didn't hurt all that bad and my sister said I was going pretty well. I cruised intot he finish line and my heart skipped a beat. I was done and I didn't cry!

Now I know the race day emotions were big but what about those months of training? A year ago, I couldn't even jog 2 minutes let along a full mile! It was hard to force myself outside to get that work out in. I was haphazardly training. My thoughts told me when to give up and I did, for two months. I let the excuses get the best of me for two whole months in the middle of Winter. As I started to work up my jogging again in the Spring and into Summer, there were numerous moments where my emotions told me I shouldn't be able to do more than 2 minutes of running. But I committed to the Couch to 5k program. The plan pushed me through those times when I didn't want to keep running. I learned to stop looking at my watch and the time would go faster. When I hit that mental block, it was like a wall in my brain. There were times during my runs that I would talk out loud to myself to keep my body moving. That wall is a frustrating feeling that I have when I'm trying to work out and when I'm trying to eat healthy.

I know this is getting long winded but I promise I will get to my main point now.

I have this same mental block when I am trying to eat healthy but for me the mental block is usually a craving that takes over my whole thought process. When I think about how I feel emotionally when I want to binge, it's the same emotion I experience when I workout. It is really scary that it took me this long to figure that out. I know how to conquer the emotion when I am exercising. Can't I just take those same steps to get over the craving? This is something I am going to try to decipher next. Does anyone have any ideas for getting over that mental/emotional hurdle that comes with binge eating. Or is it really that individualized? I know I need to find alternatives to alleviate my cravings. In the past I have used small Jolly Ranchers to satisfy a sugar craving. Or I have just disconnected myself from the craving completely  and I go for a 30 min walk to keep myself physically away from the want. My cravings seem to be wants of convenience. I rarely will go out of my way to satisfy cravings, but if I can get my hands on the want, it is almost impossible to get away from it. If I think about how it makes me feel when those cravings and wants creep up on me, it is a feeling of giving into the weakness. It's the exact same feeling of giving in to the want to walk during my work outs. I feel weak and regretful after I give in.

So what am I going to do differently?  I am going to set a series of goals, one for each week announced on Sunday nights. Each goal will build on the previous. I announced this weeks goal on Twitter last night: to eat breakfast at home every day. There is a little teeny bit of background on this goal. I always eat breakfast before work. Most of the time it is at home, but sometimes it is on the way to work, usually a breakfast sandwich. I want this to stop. I have found that if I eat at home, I will not eat again until my morning snack at 10am. I will have to make sure to introduce variety into my breakfast plan. Usually I eat a bowl of cereal or and English muffin. I wold like to incorporate some baked eggs or oatmeal. Some of this will require some planning (I found a yummy recipe for baked pumpkin oatmeal, which will need some tweaking to get rid of the heavy cream and butter.)

So tune in on Sunday nights when I will announce a new goal. If you have any ideas for goals, let me know. You may come up with ideas when I'm stuck for new ones.

Happy Birthday

It's been one year since I started this blog. Here's to one more year!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Iron Girl 2011 (pics included)

I DID IT! I completed my first multi-sport event and I actually placed better than what I expected. I had the best group of supporters there to support me and ofcourse my sister stuck by me the whole time even though I'm sure that she could have completed it much faster than I was going.

The 7th Annual Iron Girl Bloomington Duathlon was set to start at 7:30 am. The transition area where I had to rack my bike opened at 5. I thought I was going to have to be there that early just for my sanity. We didn't end up leaving my parent's house until 5 and made it to the event site within a half hour. It didn't feel too cold when we got there but I was glad I was wearing a long sleeved Under Armour under my long sleeved running shirt my sister bought me. It seemed to get colder as the morning wore closer to the start time. After racking my bike, we walked around the event site and relaxed a little as the sun came up over the Bloomington skyline. At one point, it did start raining. We weren't expecting any rain and I think it made the air even colder.

14-29 yrs wave
The wave start for this race started with the oldest competitors first and the youngest age group last. I was in the youngest group of women, 14-29. The woman with the red visor actually won the race. I believe she also won it last year. One of the things I really liked about this race was the range of abilities. There were elite racers mixed in with novices. I'm sure the elites don't really like it too much but they can get passed us slower folks pretty quickly. About five minutes before the start of my wave, I made sure to warm up so that I wouldn't get any shin splints like the last race when I didn't take any time to warm up.

Race Beginning, I look super nervous

Alyssa smiling the whole way, I think I was tearing up.
And we are off! My sister was smiling the whole way through the starting line, or whenever we passed a camera one of our cheerleaders was holding. I admit, I felt pretty good on the first 2 mile run! We passed the first water station without taking anything. I thought the water station was at the 1 mile mark and I was freaking out that I ran an 8 min/mi pace! I was wrong though because we came around the bend to find the mile marker. It was great having my sister there on that run because she pushed my pace and we just kept going. She told me she hadn't seen me run so far since high school. I felt pretty good about that one. I completed the whole two mile loop without stopping to walk.
Finishing the first run, into transition
Transition sucked because we had to run the whole length of it to get to our bikes and then run the whole length again to get out of transition. My bike was one of the last ones on the rack. It was kind of a bummer but I knew running was my weaker of the two sports. I was hopeful that I would pass a lot of people on the bike route.

It was strange my legs adjusting from the running to being on the bike. I found a great pace about 2 miles into the bike loop. I was warned that the loop was hilly, but hilly is relative. I felt like the hills were pretty manageable and nothing compared to the hills in the Madison area. I was right about passing a bunch of people on the bike. It has always been my strongest sport. It was hard for me to pass women that were off their bikes, either from injuries, broken bikes or just plain giving up. I'm sure I would have kept going even if I had to get off my bike and walk it. It was a gorgeous ride. I finished the ride in 1hr 29 min. My goal was to finish it in 1:30 so I was right at goal and I probably passed 30+ people over the course of the two loops.

Out of Transition into our second run
Transition number two was pretty much at the same time as transition one at 4 minutes, which is really long. I was having an issue because some other lady put her bike over my stuff and where my bike was supposed to go. So I had to move some bikes to the side to make room for my bike. I was surprised I jogged all the way out of transition and jogged just passed to where my family was standing with their cowbells. I felt my calves tightening hard just after that and I had to walk up the hill.  Just after the hill my sister made a goal to run to the lamp post at the end of the downhill. I made it to that post and kept going. I was taking baby steps on my run. I was running pretty slow but I did run! I walked another 30 seconds or so until we got to the water station where I downed a couple of small glasses of Gatorade to up my electrolytes to make my legs stop cramping. (Next time I will carry some on my bike, lesson learned). I ran the whole last mile without stopping to walk. My sister was talking me through it and encouraging me the whole way. She was giving me pointers to keep my mind off the pain and numb toes. She help me open up my lungs and keep the air moving through them easily. I was finding that I was hunching over towards the end.

Final turn before the finish line
I picked up the pace as I came down the final stretch before the turn towards the finish line. I wanted to look good for the crowd and my family! They had to think I ran that strong the whole way!

Final Stretch
Crossing the Finish Line!

I finished this race with a better standing that what I expected. I really just wanted to finish, and I did,  but I finished 797th out of 1105! I was hoping for the top 1000 of participants and I came in 200 under that! Ok, so here are the official numbers: first 2 mile run: 21:47 (a new min/mi PR, sub 11 min), 22 mile bike ride: 1:29:14, second 2 mile run: 26:16, overall time: 2:25:15. I wanted to say thanks again to my wonderful sister Alyssa who stuck with me the whole time. Also thanks to my hubby Pat, my mom and dad, my greatest friend Christina and Ann from Twelve-In-Twelve for coming to cheer me on! You all pushed me a little harder! Also thanks to everyone else for the huge amounts of encouragement!

I would recommend this event, or any Iron Girl event, to any beginner! It was well organized. The entrance fees were a little steep at $90.

I should be getting ready for work. I hope to write about my mental hurdles in the next day or so and I want to talk about some new goals too!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mexican Chicken Soup

By popular request, here is the recipe for my Mexican Chicken Soup

One crock pot/slow cooker, plugged into the wall
3 raw skinless and boneless chicken breasts
2 cans petite diced tomatoes with peppers
1 can no sodium added tomato sauce
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed **hint hint, its usually cheaper to buy them in the mexican food section of the grocery store, I dont know why**
1 cup salsa, any spiciness you like
2 small cans of diced green chilis **also cheaper in the mexican part of the store**

Combine and cook on low for 6-8 hours or whenever chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken breasts and shred with a fork. Combine shredded meat back in with soup. When serving, top with shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips, if desired. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Look Back

A Look Back

As I continue to look forward to my race on Sunday, I have also taken some time to look back on the
last year since committing to this event. In some ways, I never thought I would be where I am but in
other ways, I thought I would have been further in my journey.

A year ago, the thought of running made me sick. I knew I had never been a strong runner and was not looking forward to recommitting to shin splints, side aches, and numb feet. I remember when I had to run the mile in Jr. High in under 11minutes, I walked about half of that mile. I probably could run the mile when I was in high school, right at the end of ski season when I was taking my gym course in the spring. I was passing people and it felt great! I wanted to embrace that feeling again. It was one of those nonessential high school moments that I will never forget. I started out slow. My goal was to run a mile without having to stop to walk.

So I just started running. I was walking mostly and running a little bit here and there. I had no set
schedule and no watch. I would just run as long as I could without stopping to walk or rest. I would
watch the time on my iPod. I wouldn’t go all that long, maybe 20 seconds and then I would walk until I felt like I had my breath back, then I would jog again for a few seconds. I thought I was going to be able to run a 5k by Thanksgiving. I didn’t quite make it.

I started keeping track of my progress on Dailymile. It was great to have a place to see how much I was improving. It also helped with my motivation. I was working out after work, before I had the chance to go home and sit down on the couch. I did this in the late afternoon light and in the dark after daylight savings time. I did it until it got really cold, when I stopped for 2 months.

I wish I could say that it was the cold air that made me stop working towards running. In reality, it
was actually a compliment about how much more toned I was looking since I had started working out. Instead of keeping the hard work up, I just stopped. I wish I could explain what was going through my mind when I decided to just stop working out because I had one compliment. I would think it would work in reverse and actually push me to go harder to get even better results. But it didn’t. I thought that because I was looking thinner, I could just take a break from exercising so I did.

Into March, I decided enough was enough and I needed to get my butt out the door. I didn’t belong to
a gym so I made sure I bundled up before I headed out into the cold. I wasn’t exercising many times
a week but I was still doing it right after work before I went home for the day. I started out again not
doing any running plan. I was jogging a block or so and stopping to walk and then jogging another

In early April, I joined a group of bloggers online. We committed to doing a 5k on Memorial Day in the Twin Cities. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I was never one to put myself into a situation where I didn’t know anyone. I’ve written about that before. When I started really getting a goal in front of me is when I started training using Couch to 5k. It is an excellent program and I would recommend it to anyone. I ran that 5k in 40 minutes. I was so happy! I had ran 7 minutes without stopping. That was the longest I had gone without walking and I was so happy! 

I had my second 5k race two weeks later. I ran that one a full minute faster at 39 minutes. I was happy about that one too. I still hadn't been able to run more than five minutes at a time. I knew I had a lot of training ahead of me for the rest of the summer. I was hopeful that it wouldn't get too hot. I didn't have another opportunity to run a 5k until Labor Day. I ran that one in 38 minutes. I'm getting faster but I feel like I should be progressing faster than what I am. But overall, i'm pretty happy about my progress.

I just read the athlete guide for my race. I was aware of a time limit on the bike portion of the race (2.5 hours) but I was not aware of a time limit on the run (26 mins for 2 miles). I guess I'm not really worried about the first 2 miles but I am really worried about the second set of 2 miles after I finish my ride. The last time I did a brick workout, my shins tightened up and I could barely walk. So, now im worried because I typically run just under a 13 minute mile when my legs are feeling good. I hope hope hope I dont get pushed off the race!

Tomorrow I will talk about the goals I thought I would have achieved by now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Final Countdown...

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That's six days right? OH MY GOD! SIX DAYS!!!!!

Ok, now that I have gotten my freak out moment over, just about a year ago I made the decision to compete in my first ever duathlon. Specifically the Iron Girl Duathlon in Bloomington, MN. You can read about it in this entry.  I have found in the past that if I commit to something, such as an event, I tend to be more successful in my goals. So in January, I committed. You can check out my entry about that here.

It's been an interesting journey. I've been challenged. I've had great moments :-) and not so great moments :-(. I've been successful. I can run a mile!  I can run 2.75 miles (accomplished on Saturday woohoo)! I've made so many new friends and I've challenged my existing friends. I've had support from everywhere. Thanks to my hubby, my mom and dad, my sister, Christina, Becky, and Kinsey, among others.

There's been pain, shin splints, numb feet, side aches, sore knees...chafing. Ugh! But it has been so worth it. I wanted to go for one last bike ride after work today. I forgot that I had to work until 6pm. I didn't get on the road until around was cold...and getting dark. So instead of the planned 12 miles, I only did 3.5 miles, but it was hilly. I felt pretty good on the hills, ofcourse my legs were fresh.

I hear the course is hilly. My sister says its hilly, but not Wisconsin hilly. Which is good...I think.

I'm going to relax this week. I will probably get another run in tomorrow night after work. I have to get my bike in tomorrow to get fixed. My chain keeps skipping on certain gears.

I dont have a specific goal time for finishing on Sunday. I want to just have some fun and finish. My sister is going to do it with me even though she just finished the Iron Man a week ago.

Now that it has taken me over two hours to type this little entry, I'm signing off. I should be doing another update before Sunday. Yay!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I'm pretty much in love with this song. I don't know if it has anything with getting healthy. It just really touches my mood right now.

It's a Small World

I just hate it when I meet someone and I think I've met them before but I just can't place them. Does that happen to anyone else? Since meeting a bunch of amazing people from the healthiness blogging world, I have had this happen a couple of times.

A few weeks ago, my closest and bestest friend Christina asked me how I knew Unstoppable Mariah. I knew where Mariah worked and I also knew that she works at the same place as my friend.  It turned out Mariah's husband and my friend worked on the same team at some point...I think. So small world there!

The latest happened last night when I saw that Meredith from Making Over Merbear had commented on a friend's Facebook page. *Congrats go out to Meredith for having a PR on her 5k yesterday, she is one of my motivations!* I knew I had to ask her how she knew our mutual friend. It turns out her boyfriend has been best friends with my friend since elementary school! I have met her man before and I KNEW I had known him from my past but I couldn't place him.

It's just so strange to me how little this planet is...or even how little the Twin Cities crowd is. This group of so-called strangers I met through a random blog have connections I didn't know about. I am so happy I went out on a limb that one night to ask if I could join the group. It has really changed my life..for the better of course!

Safe Harbor Labor Day 5k

Yesterday I ran the Safe Harbor Labor Day 5k in Madison. The money went to benefit Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center. It's an organization that I had heard little about. Really I was just looking for a Labor Day 5k to compare to my Memorial Day Challenge Hearts and Minds 5k. That race I finished right at 40 minutes. My goal for this race was to finish faster than that. I finished at 38:36! It wasn't as fast as I had hoped but it was still reaching my goal AND I ran most of it. I would say I didn't walk anymore than 5 minutes during the whole race.

My husband joined me on this race as well as my good friend Kinsey and her husband Keith, he did the 10k race. They have all been a great support and Kinsey crossed the finish line by my side. I definitely ran faster than her but she would keep running when I would stop to walk. Each time she caught up to me, I would make sure to get up and run again so I could mostly stay ahead of her. I had never run further than 2 miles without stopping. I was unable to go that far without stopping yesterday. The course was hilly and I wasn't prepared for that. Overall I felt pretty good. I really wish I would have been able to run the whole thing! Looking back on it, I could have worked through those moments when my shin splints hurt or the side ache under my ribs. I should have been able to work through those! I just kept telling myself it was mental and I could get through this.

There was a father/daughter duo in front of me, well they passed me at one point where I was walking. I kept up with them for a while and could hear bits and pieces of their conversation. Dad was definitely a better runner than the daughter but it was so beautiful to hear him encouraging her to keep working through the urge to stop to walk. She was talking to him about things that were unrelated to that moment and he told her that it wasn't important to worry about, that she should just concentrate on what she was doing, to keep the pace, and just keep moving. I wondered what my dad would say to me in that same situation?

The last mile of the run was hellish long! But atleast it was flat, unlike most of the route. Kinsey and I finished it out together, for the most part. This was when the mental fatigue was kicking in. I knew I was pretty good up to the two mile mark because I had done that before. I was unsure about that last mile. I found myself telling my self that I had gotten through the first two miles and that I could do that one last mile! I couldn't feel my left food and my shins hurt...a lot! But I just kept putting one foot infront of the other foot, over and over and over again. That was all I had to do to get to the end. Once I saw the finish line, I did put a little bit more effort into it, just to shave off a second or two from my time. I'm proud of my 38:36 as I should be! 

This coming weekend I get to cheer my little sister on while she competes in her second Ironman Wisconsin! I'm extremely excited and nervous for her. I'm excited about watching her come out of the lake water and getting on her bike, I'm excited about her insanely fast biking through Verona... Twice! I get to ring my cow bell through the streets of downtown Madison while she runs a full marathon. I am nervous about the weather! The last time she did this race in 2006, it was cold and it rained! It did not make for great racing and it definitely did not make for great race watching. I've been watching the weather since September 11th first started showing up on the 10 day forecast. As of right now, the low is 54 and the high is 77 and the sky is supposed to be sunny! Please pray that she has some great weather for her second Ironman!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Brick Workout

I had a pretty good day as far as food. I did slip up with a bag of M&Ms but I am not going to punish myself that hard. I also made sure I added in more fruit and veggies.

Let's see:
Breakfast: Multigrain Cheerios and skim milk
Snack: Small Apple
Lunch: Lean Cuisine, apple juice, two large carrots, grape fruit leather, gardettos...
Snack: Handful of M&Ms
Dinner: Chicken sandwich on sandwich thin w/lettuce, light swiss cheese, light mayo and mustard, Gatorade (to help me get rid of some leg cramping ive had all day), handful of Sunchips, and a piece of the somewhat light carrot cake I made for a party last weekend.

I didnt want to talk about the carrot cake, or the M&M's or the Gardettos. But I ate them and I have to own up to them.

I wanted to tell you all about my first brick workout on Sunday. It was short but it was hell! A brick workout is a workout where you do two different exercises in a short period of time. Since I will be doing a duathalon (run/bike/run) I decided to try the bike to run transition. So I went for a short, but hilly, 5 mile ride near my house. (I need to get my bike in to be fitted again because my knee was not feeling good on these hills). Once I got back to my house, I got off my bike and changed into my tennis shoes. Now I understand the jelly leg feeling once I got off the bike. It is the strangest feeling but I just kept going with it. The goal was to run just one mile. I could barely get 1/2 mile before my legs started to cramp in my shins. It felt like the muscles were going to pull off my bones, they hurt so bad. I ended up walking the last 1/2 mile home. I assume there will be more brick workouts, with hopefully less pain.

I also got a chance to try out my new tri shorts. I was apprehensive of them at first because they seemed to run a bit small but they were perfect when I was running. I just couldn't think about how they were plastered on my thighs and tried not to worry about what I looked like in them. I hope to run tomorrow morning in them. The other goal is to run 2 miles tomorrow.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Good Day

After last night's post, I just wanted to say I had a good day! Here is what I ate today:

Multi-grain Cheerios with skim milk   150 Calories

Morning Snack:
Handful of Frosted Mini Wheats  90 calories
200 Calorie portion of Digiorno Pepperoni Pizza - 200 Calories
Snyders of Hanover Pretzel pieces - 140 Calories
Minute Maid Apple Juice Box (I bought these as an inside joke with my hubby) - 95 Calories
Yoplait Light yogurt - 100 Calories
Stretch Island Raspberry fruit leather - 45 calories
Afternoon Snack:
One mini snickers (the little square ones) - 45 calories
Pat and I went out for dinner for the first time in a couple of weeks. *I remember the times when we would go out for dinner 3-4 times a week* We opted for the Great Dane Pub because we had a gift card. I ordered a glass of water. We split an order of Hot Soft Pretzels and I ordered their Cobb salad with the dressing on the side. The jalapenos caught me off guard as they were buried in with the lettuce. The salad was great and I was surprised how full i was. I have no idea what the calorie count was on this. I'm going to say the salad was around 400 calories and the pretzels...300 calories???

That puts me at almost 1600 calories for the day. That is about right where I want to be. I am aiming for 1650-1700 calories a day.

So Yea! Go Me!

Tomorrow night, I talk about my first, hellish, brick workout!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It Started Out So Good!...But then...

I know that a major part of this journey has been a success for me. My working out has been good, for the most part. As I look over the last year on DailyMile, I have had exercise every month, whether it is 3 miles or 111.

The other part has been harder for me, the eating part. There was a time when I lost 10 lbs nearly from just eating and not changing my working out at all. So I know I can do it. I've determined it is all mental; the running is mental, the riding is mental and the food is mental. The problem is the mental part of working out has become so easy for me because I just need to get through that 5 minute thought of staying in bed and the few second block of wanting to walk when I should keep running. The food block is so much harder and hits multiple times through out the day. It's not as easy to get by.

I made the decision last Sunday night to be stringent about my eating. I did so well on Monday, eating mini wheats when I wanted something sweet that would fill me up. After Monday it all went down hill ending with me buying a box of Glazers doughnuts from Kwik Trip. I never eat doughnuts! Never!

I made some good decisions at some meals. Friday night, my coworker had a bunch of us over to eat some Salmon he caught while on vacation in Alaska. The salmon was served with some rice and corn on the cob. It was delicious and I kept desert down to one small piece of carrot cake. I was pretty proud of myself that night.

I guess I just have to start with dinner tonight and see what happens every time my tummy is looking for food. One decision at a time right?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

1.85 Miles!

I was struggling tonight to find the motivation to write. This seems to be common occurrence lately. Maybe because I have been so busy at work I just don't want to come home to sit down to a computer.

I had a non-scale victory today, which is good because the scale has been brutal to me over the past couple of weeks (I've gained 4 pounds). I woke up this morning, dragging myself from the bed because it was still dark at 5:30am. I always make sure I look out  the bedroom window to check for rain cuz if its raining, I am going to crawl back into bed. To my luck, there was no rain and the sky was a bright but deep red from the soon to be rising sun. With half shut eyes, I pulled on my workout clothes and brushed my hair up into a ponytail. I opened my eyes wide enough to put in my contacts and headed downstairs.

The weather guy from NBC15, David George, told me last night *via the tv* that there was a strong change of thunderstorms this morning. So I had to make a point to check the radar for rain before I left. There it was, a huge swath of thunderstorms about 20 miles west of my house. I was pretty sure I could get a 30 minute workout done before it would start raining, atleast I was hopeful. So I turned on my iPod and walked out the door. I could see the sky was kind of dark to the west but it wasn't threatening.

I hadn't run since Friday so I knew I would be able to push myself a little bit but because of the impending rain, I would have to do a shorter route than what I had been doing lately. I picked the 2.3 mi route, downhill the whole way out and uphill the whole way back in. Sometimes it annoys me that we live on the highest point in the neighborhood, just saying. I did my usual 5 minute warm up walk and starting jogging. I jog/run really really slow. But I just kept going. I was aiming to go 15 minutes without stopping. I was really hopeful I would be able to go longer than that but I didn't want to set my sights too high. At my usual turn around point, I decided to take a left and ran up the hill a little bit, just long enough to catch a bolt of lightening hit the ground to the west. That was just enough to make me decide I needed to start heading back to the house.

A little side note here. For those of you that knew me when I was younger, thunderstorms freaked me out! I was so scared of storms, I used to make my friends' parents drive me home in the middle of the night if there was a storm because my bedroom was the only safe place in the case of lightning and thunder. I know I was pretty lame. I used to hide under my covers of my bed during the heat of the summer because I thought that if I was under the blankets the lightning couldn't get to me.  I've gotten a lot better, I actually enjoy the sound of thunder as long as it is not associated with rotating wall clouds. So me being outside during an impending thunderstorm with lightning is a huge thing for me.

I want to say thank you to the bug that flew down my open mouth right after I turned around. It was at that point in my throat that caused me to instinctively swallow. So swallow I did, until it got stuck and caused me to cough, hard! But I kept running. Hack bug. So I swallowed again. I have no idea what was in my stomach the rest of the day. I hope it died quickly. I wanted to stop running and walk up the hill leading into my neighborhood. Trust me, this is not much of a hill and more of a casual grade. But I kept going. I rounded the corner into my neighborhood where it flattens out for  just a little bit. My legs felt good, my lungs did not. But I just kept going. I didn't let myself eye the next mailbox and say "I will run until that mailbox and then walk". I just kept looking onto the next corner. Looking at my watch, I was past the 15 minute mark. I was going to keep going.

The next time I looked at my watch, it was 2.5 minutes later at 17:30. My mind was fighting with me. I really wanted to walk so I slowed down my already snail pace. I knew I could probably walk faster than I was running. The next time I looked at my watch, I only had 90 more seconds to make it to 20 minutes of straight running. I could do 90 seconds! It was really the longest 90 seconds of my life! It was like I was looking at my watch every 10 seconds. I really pushed myself during the last 30 seconds. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy talking out loud telling myself to just keep going. I counted the last 10 seconds to myself, probably a bit faster than what my watch was telling me. I DID IT! I ran 20 minutes without stopping. It was time to walk.

I finished the rest of the route with another minute of running and a few minutes of walking to cool down. It just started to barely sprinkle when I walked up my driveway. The thunder was getting pretty loud at that point. Maybe a little thrill of fear ran through me before I brushed it off.

I mapped out my distance for my 20 minute run and it came out to 1.85 miles! Go me! I ran my first mile only a couple of weeks ago. This is huge for me!