Thursday, December 27, 2012

Grandma's Oranges

I was reading Sabrina's blog over at Coffee with Sabrina.  I met Sabrina for the first time, well the only time, a year and a half ago when I did that 5k with the blogging group.  (I just realized I never recapped that race or the experience...lame!) I have decided that I need to set some goals for 2013 soon, very soon considering that this 2012 year will be over in a few short days.  But that is a post for another night.  Tonight I write about something a little lighter.

Photo by me

At one time, I used to hate oranges. I used to hate peeling them, and I still do from my lack of nails.  I really have to change that nail problem. That is, yet again, for another post.  Anyway, I hated eating that white stuff that the peel left behind. It was hard for me to chew and then swallow. I would often choke on it. Plus it never tasted all that great. So I didn't eat oranges that often.  Except when I was at Grandma Vonnie's house in Southern California.  

Many of us over-eaters associate food with memories and emotions.  Oranges hold a special place in my heart and in my memories.  Grandma and Papa W. had a great big orange tree in their back yard in S. California. I grew up listening to stories that my dad would tell us about all the orange trees and groves that used to surround their house when they were kids.  That tree in my grandparent's backyard was somewhat barren in the summer time, when us mid-westerners always think fruit should be plentiful.  But when we would come to visit for Christmas, that orange tree would be full of ripe juicy orange fruit.  Grandma would always make sure she would take time to pull fresh oranges off the tree for a glass, or two, of fresh squeezed juice.  Yummmmm.

So now, when I can get the best California oranges at my local grocery store, I think of these moments.  From when I first break into the thick skin that is hiding sweet and juicy fruit flesh, inhaling the scent of citrus and sweet, to closing my eyes to savor the scent fill my nostrils, the images of those memories comes flooding back. When I slip one of those orange segments into my mouth, allowing my teeth to break into those tiny juice capsules, I savor those moments and wish I could go back to being eight years old, sitting at the woodblock counter in their kitchen.

Mmm. Memories. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Belated Merry Christmas to everyone.  I haven't posted for almost two months and I feel like a broken record.  Just a little update on my stomach issues I was writing about on my last post. I continued to have problems through a week off I took around Thanksgiving but by the end of the week, I was doing much better.  I believe it was a bad case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which runs in my family.  I am currently doing better. 

On the weight loss wagon and back off again.  On and Off.  Currently off.  I've been off for a long time.  There have been too many lunches eaten out and too many time saving meals for dinner.  And, when I usually lose weight over the holidays, I have had a 6 pound gain.  That doesn't really sound like much weight but the inches have crept in.  I can feel it when I run, I can feel it when I put my small jeans on, and I can feel it in my sluggishness.

I stopped coming to Blogger to read my friends' blogs sometime in the beginning of November.  I just couldn't bring myself to put the work into reading all those blogs all the time. It was hard to think about all my friends that are being successful while I am not.  

I always come across these moments that I feel inspired.  Most of the time, the inspiration is not enough to get me to do anything.  I just put it off until Monday then Monday comes and goes and I'm back to not being inspired at all.  Every so often, I find little moments that push me over that edge of not waiting until Monday.  You'd think I would have had one of those moments in early November when I found out my closest friend was having brain surgery later that month. Instead of motivating me to make some changes in my life, it stressed me out.  Her surgery was successful and she is doing well. 

Christmas was hosted at my house this year with just my immediate family and my husband.  I do enjoy entertaining.  There were/are lots of yummy foods around this house, which doesn't help my mission to lose weight.  Most of it is going to end up in the freezer to eat over the next few weeks and months.

I had today, the day after Christmas, off from work.  This morning was spent binging on some of the left overs in our house.  That made me feel great!  I spent the afternoon  addressing envelopes for our Holiday cards that had yet to go out.  We actually had a handful of extras so I was able to broaden my address list a bit.  I took a break from writing out envelopes to peruse some blogs here, stumbling across Becky's writing over at The Fab Miss B. Please go over there and read her writing.  She always knows how to say things in just the right way that makes you relate.  Or she makes you think,  "I was thinking the same thing, but just didn't know how to say it!" Becky's father-in-law was in a bicycle accident recently (October but I wasn't reading blogs at that point so I missed it).  I was reading her entry this afternoon about the accident and it really just touched home with me for some reason. It may be that it was a bicycle accident (one of my passions).  But deep down I know what really touched me was some of her words about him. 
"I have been so angry with him, since before this accident even happened. I was so angry about his lack of dignity, his lack of will to pull himself together and face the problems that he had created by ignoring problems for so many years. I still am angry about all of that. But seeing him in this bed, and knowing that he is alive, I know beyond a doubt that I don't want him to die. I want him alive, I want to see him hold my little babies some day, I want to hear him tell his stories about growing up in Millard, Nebraska. I want to watch him jut out his chin in that pompous and silly way as he and E and I sit around the patio table discussing the universe, travel, the point of art, the meaning of life. I had no idea of the depth of my love until now. I was so blind, I thought a few bad choices could turn it all sour. But what is any of that compared with his one wild and precious life? His life? What is worth more than that?"
 So I take these little moments to heart.  I took this moment to put on my gym clothes and at the gym, I ran hard. I ran fast.  I pushed myself until my legs hurt and couldn't go any further because I knew I deserved to take care of myself.  And thinking of Becky's experience at her father-in-law's bedside, comparing it to my experience at my friend's hospital bedside in November, I don't want to be in my own hospital bed because I didn't take care of myself.  I deserve to be healthy. My husband deserves a healthy wife. My parents deserve a healthy child that will be able to help them in their old age. And my future children deserve a healthy mother.

This post as been rambling with odds and ends.  I hope to maintain this passion and find a way to focus it over the next few days and weeks.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stomach: What's Wrong?

I know I've been MIA for far too many weeks, over a month actually.  There have been some successes, some failures, some trying new things, and some not feeling so well.  I want to touch on some of the other things in another post but for tonight, I'm writing about the not feeling well.

I was doing so well, and feeling amazing, the first few weeks of October when I was doing the October Unprocessed challenge.  I was losing significant amounts of weight. I felt so energetic.  I even felt like my sense of smell was getting better!  I fell of the wagon half way through week three of the challenge.  I find myself not writing in my blog when I feel I've been unsuccessful.  So if there is any wonder why I am not writing, it's usually because I know I screwed up somewhere and am having issues getting back on track.

The last few weeks have been horrible as far as eating.  My working out hasn't been horrible as I have been getting to the gym a few times a week and even picked up spinning (for another post).  I've been pay attention to what's been going into my mouth to an extent. I've been trying to eat unprocessed as much as I can but my portions have gotten out of control.

Anyway, I haven't been feeling well since about two weeks ago.  I'm not eating anything differently before starting the challenge, except for some mostly unprocessed bread I found at the grocery store. It's not a run down sort of feeling. It's a physically ill sort of feeling; a constant bathroom need feeling.  There are good days, days where I don't even know why I was sick the day before.  But then there are days where I can only get off the couch for a quick walk to the bathroom.  There was a day where even walking hurt, but I had to go to work.  But the next day, I was fine.  This weekend, I was fine, until this afternoon, when I started feeling gross again.  I don't think this is a stomach bug.  I'm not sick every day.

My husband is encouraging me to go to the doctor but I know they are just going to tell me to eat some yogurt and drink more water (which I have been doing). I've always been sensitive to high fat foods but I haven't eaten any of those foods over the recent days.  Activia has been working, or so I thought.  A doctor is just going tell me to write down all the food I take in and how I feel throughout the day.  I can do that without going to their office. That is the plan for this week: Eat, write it down, and write about my reactions.

I worry about possibly a developing allergy to gluten or Celiac disease. I have noticed my worst days are where I've been eating a lot of bread products.  The only bread-like carbs I was eating when I was doing the unprocessed challenge was whole wheat pasta and I was not having any intestinal issues.  So it could have nothing to do with gluten issues.

A few years ago, I did get food poisoning, which damaged the villi in my small intestine and I was sick every morning for a couple of months after the initial problem.  This feels similar to that but I was sick everyday then.   That problem cleared its self with pro-biotic yogurt and time.  I really think this has something to do with something I've been eating.

I'll keep this updated with information about how I am feeling.  We had to cancel dinner plans with some friends tonight.  That is always a bummer. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cold Turkey

I've always been curious where the term "cold turkey" came from, so I looked it up this morning. According to Wikipedia there are many origins to the term.  Quitting "cold turkey" is usually associated with quitting a smoking habit, a drug habit or a drinking habit.  But what about an eating habit?

I quit cold turkey on Monday morning.  My hubby and I went out for Chipotle for one last hurrah before the beginning of October Unprocessed that following day.  I felt like crap after that meal.  Monday morning came and went and lunch came and went.  The afternoon was filled with temptations, horrible cravings, and will to just stay away from the need. A little more on how I did it later. 

There are a number of things I will admit to being addicted to.  There's sugar.  Sugar is the main thing.  I am (was?) obsessed with sugar.   A craving would take over for anything with sugar.  There was candy (gummies are my favorite), pop (I've limited myself on pop before but never completely rid my diet of it),  mixed coffee drinks, juice, candy, candy, candy, ice cream, frozen custard, and everything sugar.  Ugh.  I was also addicted to caffeine. I mostly got that from pop and sometimes a cup of coffee if I wanted something warm. I also loved bread.  I wasn't necessarily addicted to it except maybe my addiction to Subway.  I was really going to Subway for lunch 4 out of 5 days for lunch eat week.  Subway is ok in moderation, like everything else. 

This was getting out of hand.  I knew in my head I had to limit myself on these types of foods and added ingredients. I quit all these things on Monday.  I quit sugar, I quit caffeine (with the exception of unsweetened hot tea), and I quit processed carbohydrates. Let me tell you, this was HARD!  Monday was hard because of the temptations at work.  I actually sat in my office and watched out the window with jealousy of the people that got to go to Subway for lunch.  I got through the cravings even though it did some some physical will to not give in.  Tuesday the cravings were still there but they weren't as strong, but that withdrawal headache was starting to kick in by the end of the afternoon.  Wednesday, the headache hit with full force.  I was irritable and crabby and wanted to yell and wanted to cry after a customer yelled at me on the phone. I just didn't want to be at work anymore.  Wednesday was the hardest.  Thursday got a little better. The headache was still there but I felt one hundred percent better.  I was starting to notice that I wasn't getting the mid-afternoon sugar slump.  I was tired sure, I think my body is still learning how to adjust to not having refined sugar to fuel itself.  And I was hungry.  I just had to make sure I brought enough snacks for myself to make sure I had something when I got hungry so I didn't go for the snack box in the breakroom, filled with processed junk.

Thursday afternoon, when I got in my car, I was a little dizzy.  I think it may be because my blood sugar was too low.  I did eat a handful of pretzels when I got home from work and I felt so much better. I know the pretzels are processed but I needed something at that moment.  I need to look for other options in case this happens again.  Friday was like a new day after the rest of the week. I was energized when I woke up and felt good through the whole day. Plus, it's Friday with a whole weekend ahead of me! Who doesn't like Friday?!

Things I've noticed this weekend since going off my cravings and addictions cold turkey: I was going to allow myself a cheat meal. The cheat meal hasn't happened yet.  Maybe it would have if my husband was in town but I've been alone all weekend. I've been eating leftover  Mexican Chicken soup for lunches and scrambled eggs for dinner last night.  I picked up some good salmon from Whole Foods this morning that I will have for dinner tonight and cook the extra for lunch tomorrow. While driving this morning, I was thinking a cup of Chai Latte from Startbucks sounded delicious but when I got to the local establishment, I just kept driving right on by.  This confused me cuz I really wanted the latte, or atleast I thought I did but I knew it was processed. I knew how much sugar was in the Chai tea mix.   I ended up at home instead.  Here to my computer to write about it.  I ate an apple and had some lunch and started writing. 

On a side note. I went to the grocery store lastnight after planning my meals for the week.  I let myself have a treat of a little gelatin dessert cup.  One, my taste buds have somewhat changed, even just a little, and the treat didn't really taste that good. Two, the sugar gave me a headache. Three, the sugar gave me a belly ache.  So that treat really wasn't worth it to me.  I would have rather had a piece of fruit. 

Quitting my addictions will open doors for me.  Some are small for right now. I can enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon with my two cats, watching the leaves drop from the oaks as Fall takes hold of the Wisconsin scenery.    Although I do wish it was a little warmer so I could enjoy the afternoon on the deck with a cup of hot tea. 

Come back tomorrow for Monday's weigh in!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Do You Remember....?

To my friends who are on their weight loss journey, do you remember what it was like to be healthy and fit? Do you remember what it felt like? I'm starting to forget. I would like to remember what it felt like to walk into a store and buy something off the rack without trying it on.  I want to remember what it felt like to not be embarrassed of my body.  The problem is, I was always embarrassed about those things at a size 14. 

Me, Lake Meade, Cousin Greg's Wedding, circa 1999?
I haven't been at my first goal weight since I was in high school, and even then, I thought I was overweight.  I started out high school in the 160s and graduated around 170.  At 5 foot 10 inches, that's not a bad weight.  The highest weight I reached was 230 and you all witnessed that at my wedding.  My lowest weight since then was 210.  I am somewhere in the middle when I started my unprocessed eating on October 1.

I don't really want to remember what it's like to feel fat.  At my highest weight, my own skin bothered me.  I felt swollen and sluggish.  My clothes were getting bigger in size but still felt just as tight.  I don't want to remember but I do have to remember. I have to remember what it was like so I don't go back there. I didn't feel good there. I've come to a point of embracing my body in my own skin but I can do it in a healthier way. 

I set my goal to lose 30lbs by the end of December.  If that goal is reached, the next goal is to lose another 30 lbs by May.  Thats sixty pounds in seven months.  That's a lot of weight.  But after seeing and feeling some of the results of the October Unprocessed Challenge, I think it is very doable.  I will give a full overview of my first week eating only unprocessed food on Monday morning. I will also tell you how much weight I lost in the first week.  I'm excited to get on the scale on Monday morning. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Boy I am tired and emotional.  I'm feeling the effects of caffeine withdrawal and I think my body is starting to realize that it's not getting the amount of carbs I am used to.  The cravings weren't as bad today as they were yesterday.  So that is a good thing.

During a stressful day at work, I really began to realize how much I was actually using food to sooth myself and my nerves.  After having a bunch of stuff laid on my plate at work and having a customer yell at me, all I wanted was a Snickers bar.  There was one available.  I felt the stress rippling through my veins.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted to go for a walk but there was an hour left of work and I wasn't really allowed to leave the building.  So I sat there, talking to my coworkers, complaining about how much I wanted that stupid chocolate bar.  I told them I would probably be less annoying in a week or so.  I wanted to give in.  This is how my thoughts were, all over the place!

Why, oh why, does food have such a hold on my emotions? How did I get this way? I think back to all the times I've used food to calm my nerves.  The bottle of full sugar Mountain Dew mixed with handfuls of gummie bears before something stressful in college.  I hated how my heart rate raced after eating all that sugar.  I vowed to not do it again and yet, I did it again.  On the other hand, the times I got physically ill because my nerves were that intense before each day of high school.

Today, because I didn't use food to sooth my nerves and my stress, I just let it run it's course.  I felt that restlessness disappear by the time I left work but I was tired.  Very very tired.  I came home, sat down for just a few moments to watch the end of the news before my hubby came home.  He made dinner.  It's in the oven right now.  And here I write, letting my emotions take a normal path.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Goal 2: Lose 30 Pounds

Today was the first day of October Unprocessed.  I did have some Cheerios for breakfast, which are processed.  Oh and cottage cheese for lunch to dip my carrots in.  It's better for me than ranch dressing.  Ugh! Did I fail at October Unprocessed already!?!?!  Nope, I don't think so!  I overcame a lot of cravings today.  I actually felt a twinge of jealousy as I watched people park at the Subway across the street.  I sat in the break room, ate my ham roll ups, carrots, cottage cheese, water, and raspberries.  I spent about 10 minutes getting over the fact that my favorite honey wheat pretzels were sitting on the counter, thanks to a coworker.  After the craving passed, I was fine. 

A couple of mantras kept rippling through my thoughts:

1. "Food is fuel, food is fuel, food is fuel.  I don't need those pretzels to survive."
2. "I really really really really really really want this lifestyle change."

By the end of my lunch, I didn't glance back at the pretzels. When I got hungry mid-afternoon, I reached for the box of raisins I brought in my lunch bag.  They were just enough to cover my tummy for another few hours until dinner.

You know, I didn't hit that midday slump I usually have.  It was great.  I was tired. I think I may be coming down with something but I wasn't on that sugar low like usual.  I certainly was feeling my emotions.  Work was stressful today but I just worked through it and when I felt like it was getting to be a lot, instead of going back to munch on food, I just socialized with my coworkers.  I also drank a ton of water today.  Here's to tomorrow!

So, anyway, my second goal is to lose 30 pounds by just after Christmas.  This makes me nervous because I'm not really sure I can do it.  I changed my goals over at MyFitnessPal to reflect the weight loss. It is calling to consume 1600 calories a day.  Sheesh! I struggled to get 1200 calories today.  I think I'm going to have to eat the more meals each day.

The thing is that I have done it before.  Five years ago I was really paying attention to what I was eating for the month of March and I lost 10 lbs in that one month! I was so excited that I stopped eating healthy! I think I treated myself or something and got so off track.  I am using this October challenge to refocus my brain.

Soon after Pat and I got married, everyone said the wedding stress would make me forget to eat and I would lose that extra weight. Please! Have you ever met a binge eater? Stress sends me over the eating edge.  I think of all those feelings that pass over my brain when I'm stressed.  There's excitement, anxiety, hunger (or what I think is hunger), relief when I give in.  I need to find another way to deal with my stress, especially at work.  While the weather is still nice I plan on going for walks during the workday just to get away.  I know this has helped me in the past and gets me away from the snacking temptations at work. 

So, here's to 30 lbs!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Unprocessed October

My Front Yard
October Unprocessed starts on Monday so I am taking some time this weekend to do some menu planning for the week.  I'm trying to keep this slightly within a budget so I'm taking the local grocery store circulars for the week, seeing what specials they are running, and planning my breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks around the weekly specials and eating unprocessed.  Please head over to for more information about October Unprocessed and take on the challenge of eating only unprocessed natural foods in October.

I love October.  I love Fall.  I've written about my love of Fall in the past.  October is a great time to start this challenge.  October is before the craziness of the holidays and before the start of the new year.  I usually get back into a schedule during the fall.  Also, October is at the end of the growing season and there are some amazing foods.  I love squash and apples.  They are some of my favorite foods.  Fall is a time to start getting back into the comforts of comfort food.  Most of my favorite comfort foods can be transformed into unprocessed.  We will see how it goes.

I think I finally have hubby on the bandwagon for this one.  I know we will be able to do it for dinners, especially if I plan ahead like I am.  I think we will both struggle with lunches.  We are both so used to having the option of going out for lunch. Unless we can find something around that is unprocessed for lunch, there won't be any going out for lunch.
In case you are wondering, according to the website: 
"Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients."

My eyes have already been opened to reading food labels and I have already put foods back on the shelf for their ingredients.  I am trying to decide if I need to put every processed food that is in my pantry right now into a box for the months so we aren't tempted. It might actually be a good idea to just go a head and do that.

Do you think you are ready to take the Unprocessed Challenge?

We are!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Iron Girl 2012

 I did it again! I wasn't as fast as I was last year.  Can I blame it on the cold or do I have to blame it on the lack of training?  I trained.  I just didn't train as much as I did last year.  My time this year was 4 minutes slower than last year.  I'll blame that on the cramp that stopped my running on the second 2 mile loop.  I had to stretch, and then walk some.  Ofcourse I ran through the finish line.

The fog on the lake was gorgeous

Hanging out with Mom before the race
So, a little race recap.  It was really cold on Sunday morning! The meteorologists were predicting a freeze that night.  Goody!  That meant a trip to the local running store on Saturday to find an appropriate jacket.  I am so glad I purchased a pair of Under Armor running tights the previous day.  They were super cozy.  Anyway, we arrived at Normandale Lake Park in Bloomington, MN at 5:45.  It was just my mom and me this year.  Hubby arrived later to see me take off from the starting line.
After I racked my bike, I met up with Kelly who I had met online just a year ago.  I really wish we would have gotten a picture together.  Oops!  Next year Kelly? 

Race Start
 I graduated into another wave this year since I turned 30.  It was nice knowing I wasn't at the very end again this year.  I ran the first run loop alone.  I tried pushing myself but my legs were just cold.  I walked a little but made sure to put on a good show for my mom and husband when I came around towards transition. I ran all the way through transition. My transitions this year were about a minute faster than last year and I didn't even feel like I was pushing myself.

Coming out of the first run
The bike course was the same as last year, an 11 mile loop completed twice.  It was chilly. I was really glad to have the jacket this year. I knew I'd be a little warm on the run but needed it for the ride.  The kind people over at Start Line Running Store in Minnetonka were nice enough to give me a free pair of Smart Wool gloves to get me through the morning.  I was sure glad I had those too under my bike gloves.

Out of transition on the bike
About half way into the first loop of the ride, a girl passed me at a good clip.  I decided she was keeping a great pace and that I would keep up with her. We are not allowed to draft so I made sure I was the required bike lengths behind her.  But I think she thought I was stalking her.  As she would call out a pass, I would call out right behind her. I did ride next to her for a moment, just to tell her I was stalking her and that she was setting a great pace for me.  She said she was OK with that so we just kept going like that, me behind her.  I did get ahead of her right after the second loop started but she blew past me on the final downhill into transition. 

Gu in hand, out of trans into the second run.
Coming into the finish chute
 Right after this picture was taken, I caught up to Emily from Bloomington.  The same girl I was pacing on the bike.  She was walking out of transition and I knew I could run for a little bit. I asked her if she could run and would like to run with me. She nodded and picked up the pace. Last year, I had my sister to push me on my run.  This year I didn't have that until I introduced myself to Emily.  We talked a bit about the race and why we were doing the race.  We were both second year veterans and her mom was doing the same race.  We talked about where we were from.  We pushed each other.  She took off when I had to stop to stretch a cramping muscle in my right leg.  I didn't see her at the finish line.  She put up a great time though. 

I also had two high school classmates that did this race this year.  Sarah kicked some major ass and finished in the top 300! Laura put up some good times too.

I hope to get more women to do this event next year. I am glad I signed up last minute.  It is very well organized and run.  The only suggestion is moving it closer to the beginning of September. I'm sick of this cold weather already.  Thanks goes out to my Mom for getting up super early to drive there with me and to my hubby for being there to cheer me forward. Will you join me next year?

Thursday, September 27, 2012


When I wrote last week about my 100 day goals, the first thing I put on the list was no excuses.  It really touches back on why I started this blog two years ago in 2010.  I can't believe it's already been two years, but sometimes it feels longer. 

It feels longer because I haven't made my weight loss goals.  It's really hard for me to look at the successes I have had because I haven't lost the weight.  Sure, I've run numerous 5k races, one 10k, two duathlons, and a half marathon but I still haven't lost any weight.  It frustrates me to no end!  I thought being more active would help me lose weight but in the end, it became one in a never ending line of excuses to let myself eat like crap.  In my head I think "I worked out today, I can eat whatever I want."  We all know this isnt a true statement. 

Here is the thing, I know my goals and I can't let excuses get in the way.  What have I been doing since I wrote about my 100 day goals? Making excuses. "I can start in October, I'll wait till after Iron Girl, I'll start tomorrow, We can't let this food in the fridge go to waste, I'm traveling, bleh blah bleh blah!"  I've noticed a lot of it is actually forgetting my goals. 

So I need to figure out how to remember what my goals are so I don't let those excuses creep in to my thoughts.  I haven't taken off my wrist band yet from this weekend's race.  I actually like having on because customers ask me about it and I love telling them about the event.  (I will have a race recap in the next couple of days).  I think I need to find something a little more classy.  We'll see. 

I also have my goals posted on the fridge. I want to be reminded about my goals each time I go there to get food. 

The other thing I am going to do this weekend is sit down and plan out all my food for the month of October.  Doesn't that sound daunting?!  I want to know that I have a meal planned for that day so I don't make the excuse of not having anything in the house to eat.  Then each weekend, we will go grocery shopping on either Friday or Saturday night so that I can prep food on Sunday for the work week.  Sheesh, it really sounds like a lot of work and a lot of planning.  But I know it's what I need to do to get the weight off and to stop having excuses. 

So here's to no excuses.  Hubby and I got out of bed early this morning to get to the gym.  I took a half day off work for a mental break to get some writing done and start thinking about some menu planning.  Tonight we celebrate four wonderful years of marriage with an Italian meal at a restaurant neither of us has been to.  And this weekend, we get outside to enjoy the amazing autumn weather. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Not Waiting Until Monday

I posted earlier in the week on my Facebook page about how getting exercise makes me think.  Sometimes I enjoy the direction my thoughts go and sometimes I don't.  I can really relate to Ann who talks about negative thinking and how it gets to her.  That's how my thoughts go sometimes.  Sometimes I really just get down on myself, thinking "there is no way I can do this. My legs hurt, I just need to stop.  I'm never going to lose weight.  I'm not good enough to do this.  I'm just going to fail again."  But then I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. 

On my Facebook page, I announced that I had some ideas rolling around in my head and I would start posting them after my Iron Girl event this Sunday in the Twin Cities.  But earlier in the week I was reading Hank's blog over at The Business of Losing Weight.  He was posting about the five things that hinder weight loss.  The first item on the list was "Waiting until Monday".  He wrote about how everyone's excuse it to wait until Monday but realistically we should just start right that moment the idea crosses our brains, the moment that self-doubt sets in. 

So that's what I did.  I couldn't even get work done until I got the goals written down while I was at work.  I wrote some goals on paper and then narrowed them down to three achievable goals to complete in 100 days.  100 days from Wednesday ends on December 28th 2012.  I think this is perfect because then I can evaluate my progress and make some goals for the new year. 

Here are my goals for the next 100 days:
  2. Lose 30 lbs
  3. Run a 5k in 35 minutes or less
 Of course, the coaching supervisor in me asks for some action plans.  Action plans are the specific steps I am going to take to achieve each goal.  Here are my action plans for my three goals:

1.  No Excuses
     - Take ownership of my actions
     - Keep the goals in the forefront of my mind and my decisions

2.  Lose 30 lbs
    - Do some sort of cardio 45min/day, 5 days/week
    - Lift 3 days/week
    - Eat clean w/ one cheat meal per week (this was something I had to be honest with myself about)
    - Track calories on with a daily goals of 1500 calories (if you want to follow me there, my user name is my first and last name, no spaces)
    - Drink 100 oz of water daily

3.  Run a 5k in 35 minutes or less
    - Push myself during running workouts
    - Do some speed work on the treadmill or outside.

The next three blog posts will touch on each of these goals, why they made the first 100 days, and how I am doing on them.  Last year at this time, I made weekly mini goals and was able to maintain most of them through the end of the calendar year.  I contemplated doing that again but they didn't ultimately get me to reach my goals. 

So keep coming back to read.  I plan on posting on Sunday night or Monday morning about how Iron Girl 2012 went.  Here is to starting now and not Monday!

Ps. 94 days until Christmas.  If you want ideas for me: Running tights, long sleeved bike jersey, recommendations on good sports bras for us smaller chested ladies.  Smart Wool socks. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

For Love of Biking

I realize I spend a lot of my writing in this blog on the subjects of running and food.  I almost never talk about my biking unless it is connected to a race or brick workouts.  I usually come up with my blogging ideas while I'm biking.  Its something I really enjoy and it is a relaxing sport for me (unless it's a hilly ride...then I kinda hate it).

IronGirl 2011
During my first (and only) multi-sport event last fall, I kicked butt on the bike.  On my first run, I placed 1049 out of 1105.  Pretty much on the slow side.  On the other hand, I finished the bike portion at 582 out of 1105.  I really made up a good difference in that hour and a half on the 22 mile bike course. I was really happy with the bike and I'm hopeful I will have that much success on my second try of the IronGirl Duathlon next Sunday.
My sister riding IronMan 2011

I started biking when I was pretty young.  Once my parent's moved to the Twin Cities, they really got us actively riding out bikes.  We often took advantage of the Luce Line.  I remember getting up early on many Sunday mornings to ride to Panakuken in Long Lake for breakfast.  I regret the mornings during my teenage years where I was just too lazy to join them.

My bike
Eight or so years ago, I signed up for my first long distance bike ride with the MS 150.  I did this ride with my dad.  We camped out in Duluth in early June, rode 70 miles on day one and 80 miles on day two.  The ride went well.  We did it again a couple of years later.  I remember waking up on the second year with frost on our tent it was so chilly in Duluth.  That second year, my parents were nice to upgrade my road bike to a Trek.
Early morning ride into Madison.

I would recommend biking to anyone. It is really a great sport for the daily rider and the professional racers.  I am definitely not a racer, nor am I a daily rider.   You'll often find me on a local bike trail, no headphones, listening to the wind in my ears and enjoying the speed of the bike moving across the pavement. Biking gives me some quiet time to think about things, like writing here.  I'm also one of those bikers that greets everyone I pass.  I often times don't get a response back from the people I pass, but that's OK. I even love to bike enough to buy a trainer so that I can ride in the winter in my basement. I will admit, riding on the trainer is pretty damn boring and I miss out on those things above that I love about biking. But atleast I am getting the exercise. 

Actually, I'm about to get off my butt and actually get a ride in myself for this afternoon.  It's hard to ignore the really gorgeous Fall weekend weather!

Happy riding!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Just A Little Update

I don't really have anything specific to write about tonight. So I'll just touch base on some things.

The Iron Girl duathlon is in less than 10 days in Bloomington, MN.  Since my training was shortened due to my injury, I am really worried about whether or not I'm prepared, atleast as much as I was last year.  Last year, I had done quite a bit more training for this event.  I didn't really start training this year until a month ago.  I've done a couple of brick workouts over the past two weeks, my most recent one being yesterday. (Here is a great resource on brick workouts).  I plan on getting another run in tomorrow and another brick work out some time this weekend.  I will say, I only did one brick workout before my race last year.  I am also trying to get my fueling cleared up before the race so that I don't run into leg cramping like I did last year or an upset stomach.  If you want to come out to cheer, check out their website for more information.

My eating has been off again. I think it started since we haven't been going to the grocery store and haven't been staying up with the clean eating plans I actually pay for each month.  Today I was reading Ann's blog over at Twelve-in-Twelve.  Everyone knows I am an avid reader of Ann's blog.  Today she wrote about this October Unprocessed challenge. I'm seriously thinking about joining the challenge, along with Pat, to see if we can do it for 31 days, ending in a Halloween candy binge (just kidding).  I know this would be really good for us. Does anyone want to join us in the challenge?

Ann also had an interesting article on her Facebook page today.  The question was "What food should you eliminate forever?" The answer was "The one you are most terrified to give up."  I had to think about this for a moment, really being unable to decide between which two things would scare me the most to give up.  I know I can give up soda, I don't really have an obsession with coffee and I'm not a huge desert person (I've learned that if it's not in my house, I wont eat it.) So what would I give up forever? Processed sugar product would be one of them. This includes candy which is a horrible weakness for me.  The other one would be bread.  I like bread.  Who doesn't like bread?

Which food would you be most terrified to give up?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Short Week

 It's a short week.  I'm going to make this the best week ever.  Go read today's entry over at He and She Eat Clean. 

The Big M - Motivation!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Just a Little Moment

Despite all the stress eating I did this week, including all the sugar from today, I am feeling refreshed that it is Friday night and I'm cleaning the house.  I've come to grips with the fact that my house will not be perfectly clean for my incoming guest. I've eaten dinner, scrubbed out the litter boxes *yippie*, made a Target run, swept the floors, made the guest room bed.

Now here I sit, for a moment of stillness and relaxation, listening to some great folk-rock music on my iPod.  I contemplate the need to buy a new iPod speaker system as mine is getting bad with static. I'm looking at the kitchen table, deciding that its really clutter and will need to be picked up before my guest arrives in a little over an hour.  I poured myself an Angry Orchard Traditional Dry cider.  As I've grown older, I've strayed away from the flavor of beer and have come to enjoy things a little more sweet.

I'm hopeful for a fun weekend. My husband is out of town and my guest is my closest friend from....too many years ago (17 to be exact).  We have been through thick and thin, friends, new boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, best friends, back stabbing, sickness, death, months without seeing each other. Some recent life developments make this time even more precious.  I'm not sure what this weekend has in store for us.  I know there will be tons of talking...oh and some gossiping included I'm sure.  I have a couple of bottles of wine in the fridge and some fun stuff to add to cups of hot cocoa (it's too hot for hot cocoa).  I look forward to leisurely strolls down State Street for shopping and people watching.  The garden needs to be tended too. I hope for late afternoon naps and chick flicks on the tv.  I will appreciate every little moment.

Now this little moment is over. I must de-clutter this kitchen table, wipe down the bathroom counters, and sweep the kitchen floor before she arrives. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Hope to be Back

I'm plunking out a really quick post this morning so I dont cause myself to be late for work. 

I don't feel good. I've let myself go.  I've lost focus.  My jeans are getting tighter again....I've gained five pounds in a month and I sure can feel it! I'm not stupid.  I know I've been eating more than I've been working out. 

As I find that the hot summer months are coming to an end (not that this is really true as I look at the weather forecast for the next couple of days including a heat advisory for our area), I look forward to the cool crisp days of autumn that feel good on my skin and start out a little bit chilly.  I look forward to the leaves changing and beautifying my yard.  I look forward to freshness that spring often brings for most people.  But really, the weather is not an excuse. 

My real excuse, which isnt really an excuse but more just a reason, is that I've become lazy!  Lazy in everything.  Lazy in grocery shopping, lazy in preparing food for lunches and opting for going out for lunch instead, lazy in preparing for my upcoming IronGirl Du in less than four weeks, lazy in getting yard work done, lazy in keeping my house clean.  Lazy, lazy, lazy and some more lazy. 

As others in my blogging community are renewing their commitments to a healthy lifestyle, I've decided to do the same.  I will be laying out a plan over the next day or so and be setting some goals and what steps i need to do to get to those goals. 


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Morning Traffic Alert

Today is my day off. I usually get a day off during the week if I get the pleasure of working on Saturday morning. What a trade! I can do all those weekend things during the week without the weekend rush.  It's nice.  Today I plan on doing a Costco run and a trip to REI to buy a cycling jersey. I haven't been on my bike all season. How stupid am I?! I decided to get some riding done this morning.

It's going to be a hot one today. I got up at 5am...on my day off. Who does that? I do because it's going to be near 100 this afternoon and I was really aching to get some mileage in.
Knowing lastnight that I was going to be getting up early, I prepped my bike for the morning. I didn't want to give myself any excuses to get out of the ride. The only thing I had to do this morning was fill my water bottles and hit the road. I did dottle around for about a half hour trying to get myself to wake up and get some breakfast into my body. Thank god I remembered I didn't have a trail pass, so I had to get out the checkbook and pay the DNR for use of their trails. Of course there was no one on the route to check to see if I actually had my pass. Oh well. Now I'll have it for next time.

The Badger State Trail passes just west of my neighborhood giving me very easy access. From the trail head to the south, the trail is all limestone, to the north from the trail head, it is paved. So I headed north towards Madison. The trail becomes the South West Commuter trail as it gets into Madison proper. I hit the Madison line right around 6:20. There weren't that many people on the trail at that point and crossing some of the major roads wasn't too time consuming. For those of you that know Madison, I hit trail traffic right after the trail passed Odana Rd. I was amazed how many people were commuting into downtown from outlying areas. I really wish I had the ability to do this and not show up to work completely sweaty. (I have a retail banking job and there is no shower in the building, so there is no way for me to be presentable and appropriate when I'm meeting with customers if I bike to work.) I actually hit a Thursday morning traffic jam on the SW Commuter Trail once I hit Camp Randall (this was my turn around point).

According to my Garmin, I rode 19.6 miles before my Garmin's battery died. That will teach me to charge it overnight before. Ooops! If you want to view my Garmin info, you can do so HERE.

Looking East from Seminole Hwy
Overall, I believe I did about 23 miles of riding. Thats a good first ride for me. I didn't have any flats, like last year's first ride. 

The other point to this ride was to see if it was something I could complete before going to work. There is a 12 mile out and back that I could do it under an hour. This is definitely doable to before work. I have no excuse not to. As long as I can get back home before 7, I should be able to pull it off easily.

Ps. So far no pain from my SI joint yet. That is always good news.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Trigger Foods

Wow, I find that it really takes me a lot to get motivated to write. Does any one else have that same problem? It feels like working out to me. I have a great streak of writing and I'm so very motivated and then I hit a wall of laziness and have to force myself back into the grove of things. I have found that, also like working out, that music helps motivate me to write. It's like a positive trigger.  Which is a great intro into my entry.

What are your trigger or trigger foods? According to Weight Watchers, a trigger food is a specific food that sets off a course of overeating where control is lost and excessive amounts are consumed. I don't think mine are all food triggers. I have mental triggers too. I'm slowly starting to figure out my triggers and how to work around them. I have three main triggers:

1. Breakfast
2. Stress
3. Sugar

I'm sure there are others but these are the ones that pop into my head the easiest at this moment. I'm just going to touch on each briefly and then talk about what I am doing to avoid these triggers.

Breakfast sounds like it would be such a positive time of the day to start off right. Well, if I find an excuse to not eat breakfast at home, I usually compensate with a breakfast on the way into work, usually McDonalds or something else. I have to eat breakfast. If I don't, I will be lethargic the rest of the morning and will only be able to think about how hungry I am. Last fall, I managed to go a number of months with eating breakfast at home.  Eating at home was actually my first goal in a series of goals that sent me all the way through the new year. I ate home for breakfast every day for three months. I am doing that again. I did my clean eating grocery trip after work last night. I was sure to pick up some Kashi and shredded wheat for breakfast.

We all deal with stress in different ways.  Some people smoke, some scream, some just go for a run, and some just eat. I'm in that latter group. If I am stressed, and I espcially will notice this at work, I will come up with an excuse to skip over the meal I brought from home and will go out for lunch. Usually it is Subway but other times it is fast food or Chinese take out. And I don't just eat a little to satisfy the craving, I eat a lot. I haven't quite figured out how to overcome this one yet. If there are any ideas, I am willing to listen.

Sugar is probably my only true trigger food. I love sugar. If you give me a choice for candy, it's always the non-chocolate candies that I will reach for. Now don't get me wrong, I do like a little bit of milk chocolate here and there. But non-chocolate is what really gets my taste buds going. (My mom and sister probably think I'm from some other family) I love sugar! Jelly beans are an all time favorite along with those sugared gummy oranges. Delicious.  This is an easier thing for me to control if I just put the work into controlling it. Usually a piece of fruit will satisfy the craving. I have learned that I need to keep something quick and small around me to reach for instead of the candy.  I do love to reach for grapes or apples. Watermelon is my favorite fruit and food. I just wish I could have it all year round. Hubby and I are currently working on our third melon of the season.

So what are your triggers and how do you deal with them?

Monday, June 25, 2012

One Choice at a Time

Last week I registered for the Marathon Weight Loss Challenge  with Jess (and 1000 of her closes web friends) last week. There are goals of losing 26.2 lbs in 13 weeks or 13.1 lbs in the same amount of time. Do you get it? I was shooting for 26.2 lbs, and maybe I still am, but last week was a horrible week. It was a week of no planning and ALOT of eating out. It was a week full of excuses. It was a week of a one pound gain.

So what happened to that marathon challenge? Excuses and lack of control happened. I remember saying at the beginning of the week "Oh, I'll just stop at McDonalds for breakfast because we are out of milk and there's nothing to eat." There was oatmeal that I could have made for breakfast that day. *I did have oatmeal the rest of the week because I remembered it being there* There was atleast one meal every day last week that had some excuse attached to it. I let my excuses drive me and it drives me crazy.

I really need this weight loss to work out for me. I am taking control over it now.

While driving back home from a visit to my family in the Twin Cities this weekend, I was trying to come up with a plan to take control.  Sure, I have ultimate weight loss goals but I had to think about what happens each and every day.  It's all about the choices I make, down to the minute. I make the choice to get out of bed at a certain time so that I can make it to work, I decide whether or not to wear glasses that day, I decide if I want to dry my hair or just throw it into a pony tail.  I make the choices! I made a little choice today that had a big impact on the rest of my day. As my fingers were struggling to open the package of Nibs I had purchased, I got frustrated and put the candy down and went to the fridge where I pulled an out an apple and ripped off the little sticker.  It was easier to "open". The apple satisfied my sugar craving and the candy is still sitting on the counter at work. I openly hope that the cleaning crew decides to take it because I don't want to deal with it in the morning.

Almost two years ago, I wrote another blog entry about choices. You can check it out HERE. I would have thought I would have taken my own advice and I probably did for a little while. Jen, over at Priorfatgirl, uses a similar mantra of "One Bite, One Decision".  She actually wears a pink bracelet that reminds her each time she reaches for some food of the decision she is making.

Just like I give my staff at work a bank product or service to focus on that week, I am giving myself a focus this week. I'm focusing on my choices. Not the big choices. Just the little teeny ones. I'm hopeful those teeny choices will reap HUGE rewards!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tough Decision

I really haven't been around much here for multiple reasons. After my big half marathon race at the beginning of the month of May, I stayed away from blogging for a little while. Maybe I just needed a break. The night after that race, I had some severe pain right above my pubic bone. I had experienced this same pain after each of my training runs that were longer than eight miles. I figured it was just an overuse injury and that I could get passed just like all my other random aches from when I started running. This was different. It just kept getting worse the longer the mileage got. When I was asked to rate this pain by the doctor, I put it up at about an 8. It was very very painful. She diagnosed it as a problem with my Sacroiliac Joint (SI) in my lower back.

She gave me a referral to PT and asked that I make an appointment and told me not to run until my appointment. I listened to her for the most part except I wasn't have any pain anymore. So the day before my PT appointment, I did run, only four miles but I did run and I did have pain. Well, there wasn't really pain while I was running but more of an overall weakness. When I met with the physical therapist, she measured and looked at my hips and my back. She literally pulled on my left leg. She moved and stretched me and pulled my leg again. I felt like bliss when I walked out of there. She agreed with my primary. My left hip sits a little higher than my right hip which causes the misalignment in my back which causes the pain over my pubic bone.  She wants to see me for 8 weekly appointments. She doesn't want me to do any exercising that hurts and recommends I don't do any long running for the first four to six weeks of our appointments. This made me really have to think about my marathon training.

From today, I am 16 weeks out from the race. This is plenty of time to train for a marathon. If I take out the six weeks maximum she said it would take to fix me with various exercises and strengthening, that puts me at 10 weeks but with minimal running over the next six weeks.

Over the past two weeks, my hubby and I have been road tripping all over the Rockies and west. I've had a lot of time to think about things and really more about this marathon in October. I figured out that I am not doing this marathon for myself. I find it very hard to write this because I feel like I am letting other people down. I really can't be afraid of my readers judging me. This is something I need to do for myself at this time. I've talked to everyone close to me about my dilemma and they are all supportive of my decision to not run the Twin Cities marathon this fall. I feel like I have strayed too far away from my original goals.

There was a reason I started running and that was to lose weight. I've been running and I haven't been losing weight. Sure, I've gotten more toned and I actually look thinner, but all that weight is still pounding on my bones each time my feet hit the pavement. I am changing my goals for the near future. I am still going to be running, just not focusing on the training for a marathon. I hope to push that off just a year and do the race next fall instead.

So what do I do now? I get my hips fixed, track my food, eat healthy and whole, run shorter distances faster. I plan on training for the Minneapolis Duathlon. I am looking at doing the Iron Girl Duathlon again. There are so many more women I know doing it this year. And I will definitely be at the Twin Cities marathon to cheer on my friends that will be completing it this year without me. I appreciate everyone's support over the past many months of training. I plan on doing another half marathon possibly in the late fall if it is OK with my doctor.

I'll be posting in the future about my weight loss, eating whole, various recipes, and still running.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon Recap

Wow. I ran 13.1 miles two days ago! It actually feels quite longer than just two days.

I was really nervous in the days leading up to this race.  I had never run longer than 11 miles and even then, it was not all running. I was scared. I mean, I was really scared!

I spent all of the week leading up to the race reading up on how to fuel correctly for the race.  The weekend before, during my long run on Sunday, my legs froze up and I just didn't have the energy to make it to the end of the run. I actually had to have my hubby come pick me up from where I stopped. I didn't even have enough energy to walk the three blocks into the neighborhood. I was afraid of this happening at the race so I spent the week eating carbs and keeping track of my food. The scale didn't like my but my legs were happy, for the most part.

Also during this week, I had some pain in my left shin. I was worried that maybe I had injured myself during that long run on Sunday. It was just an achy pain that was persistently there and wouldn't go away. My run on Wednesday was to test out my leg to see if the pain stayed. It was hard the first mile but after that I was able to actually push myself. I felt no pain in this shin during the race. I was ecstatic!

Now getting back to the race.  The weather forecast was not looking good for Sunday morning. After dinner on Saturday night, I had a quiet night preparing for an early wake up call. I organized my things and was ready for the sky to be raining on me the whole way. That night, the thunder was loud and the rain was heavy. I was actually becoming worried that the race organizers would cancel the event due to the weather.  I thought I would have actually wished for it to be cancelled. But then I would have to find another half marathon to run in the following weeks. Thank goodness I didn't actually need to worry about this because as of 6am, the race was on and the rain was letting up for the day. Great! I had to change what I was wearing that morning.

My Mom and Dad took me down to Wayzata for the start of the race where we ran into my sister and my friend Becky. The clouds were actually starting to clear at this point and peeks of blue sky were seen. After a little bit of chit chatting and some hugs, I lined up with my pace group of 2hrs 30mins. My plan was to stay with the pace group as long as I could and would try to keep them in my line of site so that I could finish the race with a good time of under 3 hours. The pace group consisted of pretty much first timers and some walkers. Once we were let go, I was only able to stay with the pace group for maybe the first mile. They were actually keeping a much faster pace than what I had been training for and didn't want to tire myself too quickly. I decided quickly that I wasn't going to be forcing myself to finish this race in a certain time. I was really there just to finish the race!

The weather was humid and overall cloudy but the course is gorgeous. The route winds through very rich neighborhoods of Lake Minnetonka. Many of these houses are worth multi-millions and were nice to look at and dream about. The course was tree lined and not closed to traffic. I found myself bringing my biking terms into my running. When I yelled "Car Back" I got some strange looks from some of the runners ahead of me. Hey! I didn't want them to get run over by some lady in her Cadillac.

This race was really well supported. Being at the back of the race, I was worried that there wouldn't be any water left at the water stops. I really had nothing to worry about. There was plenty of water and Gatorade at each of the four stops. I took advantage of the stops for water and made sure I fueled at the same time. The fueling kept my legs from cramping. I only felt cramping once and I knew at that point I needed to take in more nutrients.

I had a great cheering section on my side. It was also great to see and hear total strangers sitting along the route to cheer us on. There was a group of kids at around mile 10 that were offering high fives to all us slow pokes at the back. It was uplifting. My cheering section consisted of my hubby, my mom and dad, my sister, my mother-in-law, and friends Christina and Becky. I got a nice ass slap from Becky right before the finish line and my sister ran with me the last mile.  Ann from Twelve-in-Twelve was at mile 11 like promised to push me through those last couple of miles. I knew I would need her there at that point because I was tired and I just made sure I pushed and ran right past her. She has been at two of my races now to cheer me on. I really hope to make it to one of her races to give the support right back.

I finished the race with a time of 2:46:57. My official times can be seen here.
Amy Albrecht @ Minnetonka Half Marathon 2012 | RaceDay
But the 10k time is not correct. I would say that timing mat was more at the 9 mile mark. (I thought it was the strangest place to put a timing mat.) I also have posted my Garmin information. I am really happy about the overall consistency of my splits.

I would recommend this race to anyone for a first half marathon. The course was gorgeous but was filled with rolling hills. The communication with race officials was good with the weather conditions. Parking was a little less than desirable since the Bay Center has been torn down and the parking lot was unavailable this year. I feel like this was my hometown race. It was nice seeing people I knew  and knowing the course.

I'm hoping to do another half marathon in the near future. I'm looking for one at the end of June or beginning of July.

So if you are contemplating a half marathon, I would say do it! It was challenging but so rewarding and worth all the training.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

13.1 in Pictures

My half marathon was great today.  I had a great cheering section with my parents, my hubby, my sister, my mother-in-law, two of my greatest friends, and Ann. I plan on doing a complete recap in the coming days but wanted to post some pictures that were captured. Plus I have no way of getting these from my mom's computer to my own back in Madison. So here they are. 

 Becky and me before the race

Me walking from the staging area to the starting line

Around mile 4 where I was shedding clothing

Looking strong here

Part of my cheering section after the finish line. 

Like I said, I will be posting a recap in the coming days. Thanks again to everyone who came out! In case you wanted to know, my time according to my watch, was 2hrs 46 minutes. Nearly 15 minutes under my goal of 3 hours!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm Scared

I'm scared. I really am!  I finally gave in and registered for the Lake Minnetonka Half marathon next weekend. I know I don't have really any reason to be scared about this race. It's just a race just like any other race I've done this year. It's just so far!

I'm scared that I am doing this race all on my own! No one is running this race with me. Now, I understand I've done most of my training since my 10k by myself, but am I going to be able to keep myself motivated for 13.1 miles in 10 days?! I have no idea! I know I'll have my family there to cheer me on but it's not the same as having someone right next to me pushing me to keep going and to keep the pace up.

I'm scared about being so slow.  The part that scares me about this the most is that they are going to run out of water or Gatorade (or whatever) before I get to the water/aid stations. Then I'm just not going to make it through the race because I'll be so dehydrated. I dont know! I wasn't planning on running with my own water on this race. When I volunteered for Race for the Cure last year, the water station I was helping near ran out of water! What if that happens? That was only a 5k distance. I'm also scared they are going to start breaking down the finish line before I get there. How embarrassing!

I'm scared of the hills! Most of my running has been on the treadmill and trail running. The trails around here are pretty dang flat.  The only hill work I do is running up the hill in my neighborhood since my house is on the highest point in the area. Is that enough?! The reviews I see of this race say it has lots of rolling hills. Ugh! What have I gotten myself into?

I'm scared of not having my music with me when I run. I train with my iPhone but every race I've ever run I did not wear my headphones with music. I've been told to stay away from this anyway. So I plan on just enjoying nature and listening to my body and my feet hitting the pavement. 

I wish I was as confident as Ann! I know I've done the training. But some weeks, I didn't do all the training runs. Instead of 4 runs a week, I averaged 3 runs per week but always making sure I had gotten that long weekend run completed.  I am supposed to do a 12 mile run this weekend but then I looked at a half marathon training and they have it set up for 10 miles this weekend. Which one should I do? I think I would feel more confident knowing I could do 12 miles this weekend. AAAHHH!

I have a 3 mile run tomorrow after work and then my long run this weekend. I'm just going to keep plugging away at the miles and then I am going to get over being scared and just put one foot infront of the other. Let's see how I feel this time next week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Running Clothing: Pants and Underwear

I need advice. I keep wearing *literally* through the capris I wear when I run.

When I started running last year, I started in a pair of G9 Capris from Target. At the time, I was just looking for something that fit and wasn't overly expensive. They worked for a while until I just couldnt get the sweat smell out in the wash.

Then, in November, I moved onto a pair of Nike capris I found at Dicks. The fabric was much thicker and seemed more durable. I wore just these for the next couple of month until I decided to pick up another pair. Then I was rotating through two pairs. This cut down on the amount of washing I was doing. Last week I slipped on the older pair of Nike capris and noticed there was a nice hole in the seam at the inside of my left thigh. I was upset because I actually spent a great deal of money on these capris. Now, you see, I carry my weight in my thigh, I always have. This is the first place that wears in most of my pants including my jeans.

Now i'm down to one pair of capris again. So I'm looking for another pair. I have also been looking at some running skorts. I guess I'm looking for something that wont split down the seams of my thighs. If I am paying that much for an article of clothing, I want it to last longer than a couple of months.

I also need advice on underwear. I know most women run without underwear but the feeling just drives me crazy! I can't get over it. I dont wear it when I bike so you wouldn't think it would be that big of a deal. For those who don't wear underwear when they run, what do you do to prevent chafing? For those who do wear underwear, what kind do you wear? I'm currently wearing underwear that is synthetic and not cotton. I don't want to feel like I'm wearing a wet diaper at the end of 13.1 miles next week.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Terrible, Horrible, Not So Good Very Bad Week

How is that for a title? I've been thinking about doing this post most of the weekend but putting it off over and over. It's been a HORRIBLE week as far as half marathon training.  Oh well, and taking care of myself in general. It amazes me how the things I do hour-to-hour each day affects me greatly. I guess I never really realized it until I started living a better life. That is, better from when I was depressed that one summer.

There were things I didn't do this week that I had been doing consistently since I committed to the Twin Cities Marathon. Everything happened like a chain reaction. So I'll start with the thing that compromised my whole week. I was getting to bed after midnight! I'm old. I usually go to bed around ten or ten-thirty. I was staying up way past that. I have a book series I got overly addicted to reading to blame for that. Its just that good. But I was staying up too late which caused me to sleep in. Which would usually be fine because I don't have to go into work really early.

I struggled to get through the day. I was exhausted. I never eat well when I'm tired. I was too lazy to go to the grocery store to stock the fridge. (I still need to do this). So most of my lunches were eaten out. Actually I think all of them were. Because I ate like crap for lunch, I was so lethargic by the time six rolled around, I had no energy to go to the gym or go for a run outside. There was one good day for running. I ran three miles on Wednesday while my husband rode his bike. I was worried about running fast enough for him to keep his feet off the ground. I found because he was there to push me and to chat with me, I actually ran faster. The weather was glorious on Wednesday night. I ran the first mile at an 11 min pace, the second at 11:30 and the third was a bit slower at 12:49 (but hey, it's all uphill that last mile). I was thankful he pushed me out the door that day. 

After that Wednesday run, I didn't run the rest of the week. Work...the damn book, got in the way. Per the schedule, I was supposed to run 3-5-3-7 this week. Well, I only got the three completed for Wednesday and I struggled through four on Saturday. During that run on Saturday, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to do the 7 the following day. I had been contemplating moving my half marathon back a week. There is another race the following weekend in the Twin Cities that looked a little more...what could it be....a little more like a beginners race? I realized tonight while sitting down to dinner with Pat that I won't be able to do that. The Madison Symphony Orchestra is doing it's season finale with Gershwin. I could not miss this concert and was looking forward to it all year. So I couldn't let some fear of a 13.1 mile race take that away from me. I will be doing the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon in two weeks even though I missed a whole week of training.

I'm scared. I'm feeling alot like my blogging friend Ann was feeling during her week 10 training for the Get in Gear Half coming up next weekend. GOODLUCK ANN!! I wish I could be there to cheer her on. I am completely apprehensive. After my 10k, I worry that the race will be horrible. I finished that race a ton slower than I expected. I fear being the last person to cross the finish line.

How to make up for last week? I have no idea. I don't want to work out extra to make up for it for fear of injuring myself. The plan this week calls for 3-6-3-12. Am I supposed to run that far the weekend before a race? If anyone can answer this, please let me know. The plan also doesnt give me any taper plan. Any ideas for that too? The following week says 3-6-3-race. Hmmmm.

I am going to read for an hour and then head to bed. I plan on getting up in the morning to log three miles. It starts with earlier to bed and then each day will be better. Tomorrow night, I plan to write about what I've learned since my 10k and how I hope to apply it to my half and hope it works better.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Weekend Long Run: 9 Miles

I was in the Twin Cities over last weekend for the Easter holiday.  I haven't been up there since Christmas so I figured it was about time to see my family and friends. As far as marathon training, I had a 9 mile run scheduled for the weekend. My sister approached me about doing a run on Saturday. I told her about the nine miles. She was a little worried because she hadn't been running much since November. (She's completed 2 Ironman races, so I knew she had nothing to worry about.)

We laid low on Friday night. My friend Christina came all the way to Saint Paul from Plymouth for just a couple of hours of hanging out, chatting, enjoying a glass of wine, and watching The League reruns on tv (I love this show now). Knowing that I had a long run the next morning, I was not going to go party too hard. Us old people went to bed by 11pm.

I slept amazing on my sisters new bed in her spare room! Thanks for the great guest bed! Saturday morning was a little grey and dreary. Perfect running weather right? After checking the weather, I wasn't really sure what to wear. I couldn't really tell if it was going to rain or not so I ended up in running capris, a long sleeve shirt and a jacket. My sister gave me a goody bag of all sorts of fun stuff from REI. There were running socks and all sorts of Gu products. She was amazing and bought me a pair of compression socks! I was surely going to use these after my run!

We chose a route along the Mississippi just south of the University of Minnesota campus. For those of you from the metro area, we did a loop from Ford Parkway to North on W. River Parkway. Then across the river over the Franklin St bridge and south on E River Parkway. It started sprinkling pretty early into the run. I should have expected that. I've run in the rain before and I actually find it somewhat enjoyable, as long as its not pouring.

My sister was encouraging through the time we were hitting the pavement. She was sure we were running a 10min/mile pace, which I was sure we weren't doing. I have issues maintaining that, especially outside. I really just kept going though. I know I ran the first 3 miles without stopping to walk...I lie. We did stop to stretch after mile one.  I felt pretty good until about 45 minutes into it. My sister was carrying water for both of us. She had some fancy powder mixed into the water. It was refreshing. She also was carrying some Gu Chomps to try out when we needed to refuel. They were delicious by the way and so much easier than the Gu Gel.

The last four miles were HARD! I was in a bad place mentally because I was frustrated at how tired I was feeling and how much I was slowing down. The rain wasn't helping me and I felt like I was holding my sister back. I was annoyed with how much I wanted to walk. It really took more urging by my sister and a few long moments of staring at the sky while I ran to get me past that moment of mental and physical block. It took maybe a mile worth of distance to get through it. And even then, when I got past that moment, I was still exhausted. I just wanted to stop and have someone come pick me up.

We walked one last time before running the last two miles. I figured at this point I should have fueled again or taken some more water.  I'll give that a try this coming weekend on my 10 mile run. Ugh! These last two miles were  felt insanely slow even though they really were only about 30 seconds slower per mile than the beginning of my run. I still finished though. My sister let me walk the last quarter mile back to her house. It was all uphill.  I am still thankful for her patience with me during this run.

I thought I would feel better on this run than I did. It worries me about whether or not I am going to be able to do 13.1 miles in less than 4 weeks. Everyone tells me I can do it so I'm going to keep chugging away at the mileage. I'll be doing the half marathon by myself. Boo!

I gave the compression socks a try after taking a shower. My legs were tight and sore but felt amazing the next day.

Like I said earlier, 10 mile run this weekend. Its supposed to be a rainy weekend again. I'll probably be taking the trail near my house in and out and back and I'll be running it alone. It will be interesting to see how my numbers look with such a distance and alone.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March Recap

I haven't posted much this month. Work has just been crazy and I've been running quite a bit. Here's my March recap of workouts.

Total Workouts: 15 (all workouts were running/walking. I didnt do any biking this month)

Total Distance: 59.39 miles (almost to the milestone 60!)

Total Time: 13:14:22

Average Speed: 4.5 mph (I feel like this is super slow but I did have a couple of walking workouts)

Calories Burned: 9,272 cal

So I'm feeling pretty good about March. I was hopeful that I would have had more than 15 days of work out. 

The camera on my iPhone still amazes me.
I had a 5 mile step back day on the schedule for today. It was nice to have to run only 5 miles. I ran on a state trail right by my house and when I got to my turn around point, I really just wanted to keep going but I knew I could do that in two weeks when I have my 10 mile run planned.  This part of the trail was is in good shape. The part of the trail closer to my house was really torn up from bikers riding on it when the ground was still really wet. I ended up running parts of that off the side of the trail in the leaves. 

5 weeks until my half marathon (that I still haven't registered for). Next weekend I'll be running 9 miles with my sister through St. Paul. She's so patient.