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!