Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pushing yourself

Today, I wanted to do another interval workout like the workout with Liz last week - so I did the same order, and almost the same exercises as that one. However, my small town gym by where I work: stairmaster is too far from the other equipment and they don't have an AMT. So- for the cardio portions, I went between the elliptical on a high resistance, a recumbant bike and the treadmill- running 30 second sprints at 7mph (I don't think I've ever turned the treadmill that high before- that's about a 8:30mm pace)

Then I did the squat jacks, slow running one leg and spiderman planks - I was able to do 10 on each side. Again- it was an amazing sweat for about 25 minutes of effort. I was on a time crunch because I had to pick up my kids- so I cooled off for 5 minutes on the treadmill and got in the car to go home.

The best part about having kept up my workout routine during Christmas week is that I really don't feel like I missed a step at all- there is no post-holiday slump. Yay!

Looking forward to ending the year on a good fitness note and starting 2011 strong. My goal for the year is to hit my goal weight range by the end of 2011. 365 days and some change. I can do this. No [Lots] Sweat.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Earned Total Exhaustion

I had 2 intense workouts today. One WAY more intense than the other- but both very very good workouts. I wish, on occassions like this, that I had something like a BodyBugg to track how many calories I truly burned. I think it was no less than 800 cals burned with my efforts- but hard to know.

My first session was a focused core workout followed by some light lifting. 45 minutes total and I had a good sweat going. I didn't have time for cardio afterwards- but I knew I'd have another workout coming so I estimate that I burned about 300 calories here.

Later in the day, I met up with my friend Liz from Eternal Lizdom and went to her gym at Fiziques to be a part of a Boot Camp Interval Training session. I had so much fun and it kicked my butt! We started with about 5 minutes warm up jog/walk intervals on the treadmill and then rotating between a StairMaster, a Precor AMT and a recumbant bike for 30 second intervals of high and low intensity on each machine for a total of 2 minutes. Then we went out to the main part of the gym and did what I think were called Squat Jacks: Squat down, pick up weight and stand up. Squat back down, return weight, stand up and clap hands at top. Repeat for 1 minute. The a slow walking lap around the gym to recover. Next was One legged running in place. This is hard to explain but you go into a sort of soft lunge stance- and your front quad is the weight bearing muscle. Then you alternate arms and bring the back leg into a short knee lift and return. The front quad bears the weight the whole time- there is no shift to the back leg. We did one side for 30 seconds and then the other side. Another lap around the gym- and it was time for Spiderman Planks - hold a standard plank position and then from the side- bring one leg up to behind the elbow- as if scaling a wall. The exact count varied- depending on ability- this one was hard for me- I've been working on core strength- but I had not worked planks into it yet- these will be something I do again and work up to greater counts.

Then we repeated the entire circuit again. (I hope Liz will correct me if I left something out in the order- I think I remembered it all, but it's been a long day!). At the end we did a little more core work (My whole middle section will be so sore tomorrow- and I love it!). It was a fantastic workout- I sweat like I hadn't sweat in so long - and it was great to change it up a little. Would be nice to do those types of workouts in my schedule more often. I estimate that in the 40-45 minutes, I burned at least 500 cals.

Thank you Liz and Bridget at Fiziques for letting me join you today and for working me out!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sharing what works

Two posts in a day? What IS this world coming to?

As I'm home all week- cleaning is the name of the game. I'm doing a total house cleaning and purge of clutter. In so doing, I came across something I had long ago posted on my refrigerator to keep me motivated.

I had gone searching on the internet for something inspirational to keep me going- to keep in my head that I CAN do it- and I have to. I came across this post through the Google results of my search- http://www.pinuplifestyle.com/profiles/blogs/fitness-blogmotivating - This was exactly what I needed! I took the list part and printed it out and posted it on my fridge so that it would be a DAILY reminder of what I was doing. I wanted SO badly today to go back to that post and leave a comment for the author- but you have to join the community there, and as I'm not into the Pinup world, I didn't want to join just to comment. I hope someday that she'll see this and know how much it helped. I posted it on my refrigerator in January of 2010 and it is now December 2010 and I'm able to throw the list away- mostly because I followed every piece of advice on it- and now proud to say that I live a (mostly) healthy lifestyle and fitness is not the part I have to tweak now. So Miss Marissa Lily - wherever you are- I hope you know how wonderful you are- your words truly inspired someone.

Making the treadmill work for you.

I hate the treadmill.
I do.
Hate. It is a strong word- but applicable here.

Mostly because of it's hamster wheel like properties which initiate my "you can't do it" internal dialogue.

However, it's snowy, icy and just not ideal for running outside right now, and I don't wish to risk injury considering my planned race schedule for 2011.

I'm very lucky to have this entire week before Christmas off from work and able to really get a lot of great workouts and cleaning and just ME time in. So after dropping my oldest at preschool this morning, I headed straight for the gym- with a "I'm going to CONQUER the treadmill" mindset.
The funny thing is- I used the treadmill to get into running in the first place. I am lucky enough to have a really nice one here at home- and I was really self-conscious about running in public at first. I started and completed Couch-to-5k on that treadmill. . .but then I converted to outdoor running and found a love like I'd never known.

I had a plan too- and that always helps. Lately, one of my blog friends - Beth at C.Beth Blog or C.Beth Run has been talking about doing interval runs lately where she runs fast for 4 minutes and then walks for 1; she's loving it and able to increase her overall pace because of it. I said "that won't work for me" right away- because when I run OUTSIDE, I prefer to not stop running once I start because I find it difficult to start again. However, considering how difficult I find it to run for even 10 minutes straight (not difficult in effort- but more mental really) on the treadmill- I decided to really give it a go with the intervals. I wanted to give the intervals a shot- I thought maybe mixing it up would keep me focused, challenged and keep the runs to very manageable parts. You know what? It WORKED!
I decided to do 2x1 intervals, starting with a 3 minute warm up walk, then running 2 minutes and walking 1; repeat to finish. I went a total of 45 minutes and ran 3.85 miles at a pace of about 11:40mm; that's: 28 running, 17 walking and I haven't sweat like that in a long time.

The treadmill and I might learn to be winter friends afterall.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And the WINNER is . . .

Before I announce the winner of the iFitness Running Belt contest, I'd like to thank iFitness for allowing me to test the product and give my opinions on it - and also to be able to share it with my readers. I will now say that I'm very likely to buy more of these for myself in the future. This running belt did everthing it said it would- fit more than I expected and is now a necessity when I go run. I've worn it for weight training and spinning as well- it can be used with many sports.

Here is how iFitness describes this produce:

We are a one of a kind running belt company which specializes in keeping athletes hands free. Plus, our belts are guaranteed not bounce, chafe or ride up as you run! Our belts come in Neoprene, a water resistant material that will keep your iPhone, Droid, Blackberry or iPod safe from rain or sweat. Our belts are meant to be worn low and tight around the hips. All our belts include a special inner pocket to keep your ID, money and credit cards separate and secure (on the double neoprene belt that additional inner pocket is on the side that the iFitness logo is on). The Neoprene Double Pouch belt designed to fit all of your essentials- including phone, keys, ID, credit cards and fuel supply. It has two water resistant pouches- perfect to keep energy gels, keys or camera separate from your phone.

**I have not been paid for this review. I get to keep the running belt when this contest and review period is over- but the opinions of the product are completely mine.

The contest was run over the course of a month and I had 19 total entries. I put those entries into a text list in the order they were received (including additional entries). I entered that list into the List Randomizer on random.org and ran it to random- with the top selection being the winner.
List Randomizer (via Random.org)
There were 19 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
(WINNER)---> 1.Eternal Lizdom

Timestamp: 2010-12-16 01:00:18 UTC

Congratulations!! And I will email you with instructions on how to claim your prize!

Everyone else- thank you for entering and supporting my blog in this contest. Don't forget that now through December 31, you can use the discount code: RunLola for free shipping on anything on the iFitness site!

Monday, December 13, 2010

My last race of 2010

The Indianapolis Jingle Bell Run - I decided to run it the night before the race. No real prep-but otherwise, I know I'm good for that distance. I mean, it was my 7th race this year. I can't even believe I just said that.

Stef and I before the race. It was COLD!

‎1285/1820 total
11:20 pace
35:12.6 total time
65/104 in age group
a.k.a. I wasn't last<-- I'll take that.

I hate to sound like a race whiner- since I took issue with the timing procedure of my last race- however, I truly believe this course was longer than a true 5k. My Nike+ said the course was 3.46 miles- and when I mapped the course map on Mapmyrun.com - it was 3.27 miles. I think my Nike+ was also off, but I believe the course was longer than 3.1. Just saying.
Either way- this is still OFFICIALLY my fastest 5k ever.

The running belt did great, once again- I had my phone, iPod, gum, chapstick, money and ID in my belt- and easily could have fit more. I never noticed it once during my run- no slipping, no bouncing. As I come to the end of my review of this belt- I have to say that I am overly impressed with it- I didn't expect it to do everything it said it would....now, if I could only get it to run the races for me. . .

REMEMBER- this is the last week up until the drawing to win the http://www.ifitness.com/ running belt - You really should sign up now (see details below). The drawing is on Dec. 15.
DO NOT FORGET that you can win one of these belts for FREE! Go read this original entry to read all of the ways you can be entered in this fun contest! It isn't hard to enter, it doesn't take a lot of time and really, it makes a great gift to yourself or anyone else!

Also- if you can't wait to win it, or need one NOW or want to make a great gift for the active folks in your life- From now until December 31st- when you purchase any running belt from Running Belt by iFitness and use the code: RunLola - you will receive free shipping on your belt(s)!

Friday, December 10, 2010

What a week!

Wow- this is really the first time this week I've had a chance to catch up on my blog. With the holidays coming up- there are just so many loose ends to tie up for the year.

FIRST- before I forget - this is the last week up until the drawing to win the http://www.ifitness.com/ running belt - You really should sign up now (see details below). The drawing is on Dec. 15.

This week- my goal was to run 4 times, but I'll get 3 in.
Run 1 this week: It was only a high of 20 actual degrees that day- but wind child of about 8. It was Cee Oh El Dee COLD! But equipped with my iFitness Neoprene Double Pouch (Grey w/ Pink Zip) Running Belt - and my cold running gear (Balaclava and all) - off I went. I had to be careful because there were patches of ice as well, but I was careful. Even with that, I kept my pace at about 10:25mm. I only ran for about 2 miles- just enough to get warm. I had pulled the face mask down on my balaclava about 5 mins in - and when I stopped, my sinuses FROZE! It was the weirdest sensation and I saw stars and almost passed out- crazy! Careful with the cold weather running folks!

Run 2 this week was today. We had our work Christmas party this afternoon- followed by a group of staff going to the local watering hole after. I declined at first- but didn't want to seem anti-social either- so I compromised and went along for 1 drink. After some laughs and my Tom Collins - I bid adieu to the group and head out for a short, quick run. It was about 38 degrees here today - so very comfortable for a cool run. Got in 2 miles at a nice 10:44mm pace (I figured that was good for a stiff drink less than an hour before! :) )

The belt is holding up great and it has really become a solid part of my gear. I use it all the time with running and regular gym workouts. So, a new test was in order.

Run 3 this week is a last minute RACE! The Indianapolis Jingle Bell Run 5k in the morning! This was decided about an hour ago- and I'm looking forward to it. The last race I ran (which coincidentally sparked my conversation with the iFitness Running Belt folks), my phone and other goodies wouldn't fit in my race belt. This time? I've got all the space I need.
Update tomorrow!

DO NOT FORGET that you can win one of these belts for FREE! Go read this original entry to read all of the ways you can be entered in this fun contest! It isn't hard to enter, it doesn't take a lot of time and really, it makes a great gift to yourself or anyone else!

Also- if you can't wait to win it, or need one NOW or want to make a great gift for the active folks in your life- From now until December 31st- when you purchase any running belt from Running Belt by iFitness and use the code: RunLola - you will receive free shipping on your belt(s)!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Turning up the heat

I think it is amazing how one week you can feel really out of the routine and not want to work out- and other weeks, it just all clicks. I try to get in 3 strength workouts a week and 6 cardio workouts. Most weeks- I get in the 3 strength workouts and 4-5 good cardio - but this week? I got it all in and I feel great. Some days I really hate that I have a schedule that is pretty rigid- because there are some days I could spend hours in the gym if I had it (or out running).
I ran on Wednesday- it was very cold, about 28 degrees and icy. It had snowed earlier in the day but then melted a little and then with wind and dropping temps- there were patches of ice but I ran anyway and it felt great. Being careful of the ice slowed me down a little- but I still managed to keep it under an 11mm pace (10:55). I did not wear my iFitness Running Belt but I wished I had. I had a running jacket on- so I just tucked my keys in my running bra (and old habit) and put the iPod in the media pocket of the jacket. Everything was hard to get to, the keys were sweaty and gross at the end- and I should have worn the belt....never again.

With that lesson learned- when I ran on Friday afternoon- I did wear it. It was about 35 degrees but no snow or ice- nice quick run with a good pace and once again I fit my entire pile of keys in the belt and off I went. This morning- I had to get up early to get my workout in at the gym- I had got most of my things ready to go last night- but forgot to set out the running belt. And I was wearing yoga pants without pockets and zipped off to the gym without a thought (I also hadn't had coffee, in my defense). Got to the gym and realized that with my stength routine and then running -on the treadmill, blech- I had no where to put my iPod. Into the bra it went. The whole time poking me or sticking on me...hated it. I think I need more than one belt to always have one with me. It really is that good.
Which brings me to my next part....

DO NOT FORGET that you can win one of these belts for FREE! Go read this original entry to read all of the ways you can be entered in this fun contest! It isn't hard to enter, it doesn't take a lot of time and really, it makes a great gift to yourself or anyone else!

Also- if you can't wait to win it, or need one NOW or want to make a great gift for the active folks in your life- From now until December 31st- when you purchase any running belt from Running Belt by iFitness and use the code: RunLola - you will receive free shipping on your belt(s)!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's getting colder, but I'm just warming up!

There have been some runs in my "career" that leave me wanting more - today was one of those days. I had a great pace going, legs felt fantastic and yet. . . tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock. Life is calling- and I had to cut it short.
Still a GREAT run for me today though -
That's the 2nd run in 2 weeks that is under 10.5mm pace. Feeling very strong. I really think I could have maintained this pace for at least another mile or 2- wish I would have had the time to!

I also wore my iFitness Neoprene Double Pouch running belt again- this time, I didn't detach my keyfob and car key from my massive key chain (I will post a pic of this soon) - I left ALL of my keys, keyfobs and keychains together and fit the entire mass in one side of the belt. I could have fit a few more small items in there - it was pretty bulky though and the weight of the keys was noticeable when I put it on originally. I'm actually very surprised to report that I never felt the keys after that. You would honestly assume that they would bounce with running...if they did, I didn't feel a thing. I'm not one to give a glowing review of everything, no matter what  - if I were to find fault with a product, I'd be quick to say so. . . .I just haven't found a flaw yet.

DO NOT FORGET that you can win one of these belts for FREE! Go read this original entry to read all of the ways you can be entered in this fun contest! You really should take a few minutes to get yourself entered- you'll save $20-30 and get a GREAT piece of gear as well if you win!

Also- if you can't wait to win it, or need one NOW or want to make a great gift for the active folks in your life- From now until December 31st- when you purchase any running belt from Running Belt by iFitness and use the code: RunLola - you will receive free shipping on your belt(s)!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for running and a new running belt!

The truth is- I'm thankful for so much more than my new running belt- but while I may not have run as much as I had originally planned during my trip to PA, I did get in one good run with my husband and the Grey and Pink Neoprene Double Pouch was there for me again!

This was the first run EVER that my husband and I did together. He's almost an entire foot taller than me- so his stride is completely different, but his running is a lot more sporadic- so even though we run differently- our paces are somewhat similar. It was cold in PA on Friday morning - about 25 degrees- but there was a break of sunshine, so we went for it. Got bundled up and strapped on the running belt and filled it with my inhaler, keys and my phone (which is an HTC EVO for those wondering - it's similar to, but bulkier than an iPhone and easily fits in one of the pouches of the belt - along with other items).

I had never run near my mom's house- so since I had not plotted out a course beforehand, I kept it simple and we ran what I estimated to be half-mile loops. Just wanted to get our legs warm and our lungs working- so we were not out for a distance run. Just about 22 minutes. I had used Endomondo (a generally great app to track progress) but it didn't work properly and said we only covered .24 miles in 21:48. I may not be a fast runner, but I know I went a lot farther than that!

I drove the loop later - and it was actually .6 - so we covered 1.8 in 21:48- just over a 12 minute mile. Nothing I'll be winning races with but it was good to get out there with my husband and work off some of that turkey (or the wine, or that other wine).

The belt held up awesome, once again. No slipping- no bouncing- - and I just don't even notice it is there. For the record- I wear it over my clothes too- usually on wicking clothing. Thought that might actually make it ride up.....nope...nothing. :0)

DO NOT FORGET that you can win one of these belts for FREE! Go read this original entry to read all of the ways you can be entered in this fun contest!
Also- if you can't wait to win it, or need one NOW or want to make a great gift for the active folks in your life- From now until December 31st- when you purchase any running belt from Running Belt by iFitness and use the code: RunLola - you will receive free shipping on your belt(s)!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

iFitness Running Belt- experiences 2 and 3

So far- the iFitness Double Pouch Belt has totally lived up to what it says it will do.

This morning- I used it for the 2nd time. I wasn't running, but I was weight training and didn't have any pockets to hold my iPod or other items. I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how it does or does not get in the way- it was great! I forgot it was even there! I did ab work, and a full upper body work out- and never felt it once. It didn't move, bouce or stick me in the back with the connector piece on the back (watch out folks, real high tech talk here).

It was a great morning though- I was at the gym at 5 a.m. and got in a great workout. Because of some responsibilities at home before this long holiday weekend, I couldn't get my cardio in after weights- so I planned an after work run.

I was really glad I did because I was able to use the belt again and also earn a Personal Record on pace! I ran 2.53 miles in 26:03 - about a 10:15mm. I was fast today- much faster than normal. But, I planned properly with my inhaler, had fueled properly throughout the day, and it was a nice cool temp out- so it kept me moving. Legs felt GREAT! The belt - WHAT BELT?- I couldn't even feel it. It didn't move, it didn't interfere, it didn't slip and it held my phone, keys, iPod and a few other odds and ends. There was a ton of room left to spare.

DO NOT FORGET that you can win one of these belts for FREE! Go read this original entry to read all of the ways you can be entered in this fun contest!

Also- if you can't wait to win it, or need one NOW or want to make a great gift for the active folks in your life- From now until December 31st- when you purchase any running belt from Running Belt by iFitness and use the code: RunLola - you will receive free shipping on your belt(s)!

Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday- I'm armed with a workout plan and a general food plan. I'm not going to say "I can't have that" about anything- but I'm going to be very conscious of my intake and portion sizes. And I've got the plan to get in several workouts while I'm travelling to PA.

I'll check in from the road- but for now? Go read, tweet, post and WIN!

Friday, November 19, 2010

All I do is win, win, win no matter what. . .(a review and contest!)

This is going to be a really fun post. I'm really excited about what has come my way this week.
I am going to do a month-long trial of the iFitness Neoprene Double Pouch (Grey w/ Pink Zip) Running Belt - document how it performs for me from now until December 15th and share what I like best, and maybe what I don't like, about it.

The Contest

What's in it for you? Well- you can WIN one for yourself (you get to pick which color you'd like)!
Here's how:
From now until December 31st- when you purchase any running belt from Running Belt by iFitness and use the code: RunLola - you will receive free shipping on your belt(s)! This is great for gifts for your active friends and family, may they be runners, walkers, bicyclists, etc. It might also just be a great gift to yourself.

Now- how do you win one without buying it? I've got you covered!
Here is what you need to do.
1. (Required to be eligible) You need to go to Facebook and like the iFitness page and follow them on Twitter @iFitnessRunning (1 entry); you need to comment on this post with your name and twitter handle so I can check for you on those pages. (if you want to remain more anonymous- you can email it to me to make sure you get counted)

Once you have completed step 1- you can gain additional entries by doing the following:
2. Tweet about the giveaway (make sure to mention me- @that_girl_lola - in your tweet with a link to this ORIGINAL post. ) Here is a shortened link for you to use: http://bit.ly/9jK5wF
3. Re-tweet one of my tweets about the reviews/contest (will only count for 1 additional entry total)
4. Comment on my blog about the post/giveaway (you may comment on every post that mentions the iFitness running belt but only 1 entry per person per post comment)
5. Post a blog post on your own blog with a link back to my contest about why you would like to win. (only one post on your blog will count, multiple ones will not count for additional entries) Again, you can use the shortened http://bit.ly/9jK5wF to link back.

My First Review-
Today I took my first run using my new  iFitness Neoprene Double Pouch (Grey w/ Pink Zip) Running Belt.
They have many different kinds of belts from single pouch, to arm gel holders for distance athletes, to mini pouches to double pouches like I have here. They are also working to introduce a few new products soon.
I chose the double pouch because whether I'm running on my own or in a race, I typically have several things to carry with me- including: keys, inhaler (I'm an asthmatic), id/credit card, iPod and phone- sometimes gum and/or chapstick. I have a running belt already that has 3 small compartments- I could usually shove the everything in it- but once I got my new phone (an HTC EVO for reference to phone size) it would not fit at all- and certainly not with all those other items. (and my inhaler never fit in that belt).

Because I'm testing it out- I tried to put as much in the double pouch as possible- everything listed above was in it (sans id/cc). I should mention that there is a reinforced pocket in the back of one of the pouches just for id/cc, as well. As I got moving- I was aware that the belt was there- but it didn't bounce, it didn't slide, it wasn't heavy at all- except for the weight of the items.

Here is how iFitness describes this produce:
We are a one of a kind running belt company which specializes in keeping athletes hands free. Plus, our belts are guaranteed not bounce, chafe or ride up as you run! Our belts come in Neoprene, a water resistant material that will keep your iPhone, Droid, Blackberry or iPod safe from rain or sweat. Our belts are meant to be worn low and tight around the hips. All our belts include a special inner pocket to keep your ID, money and credit cards separate and secure (on the double neoprene belt that additional inner pocket is on the side that the iFitness logo is on). The Neoprene Double Pouch belt designed to fit all of your essentials- including phone, keys, ID, credit cards and fuel supply. It has two water resistant pouches- perfect to keep energy gels, keys or camera separate from your phone.

**I have not been paid for this review. I get to keep the running belt when this contest and review period is over- but the opinions of the product are completely mine.

So far- after 1 run, I'm very pleased with how it performed. While the belt is adjustable- it will be good to see how it holds up over the next month or if there is any stretching out from general wear and tear. It stayed put and was easy to access and I'd like to see how it performs as I hit colder/snowier weather.

Let's start a contest! :) Good luck to you all!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pictures say a lot.

Not a big post here- these are comparison pictures. The ones on the top/bottom left are from Feb 2010***(see below)- the first 5k I ran this year. The top/bottom right are from Nov 2010, the 6th race of the year.
For clarity, on the left, I'm in the white, and on the right, I'm in the blue
Now, I don't care for either set of pics, but they are race pics, so you aren't expected to look pretty. What do I see? I see a better shape, stronger form, more confident shoulders and determination.

***Editor's Note: I'm an idiot. When I first posted this- I was thinking it was from the Feb race - but it was from the 500 Festival 5k in MAY 2010 (my 3rd race of year). This is actually a 6 month progression, not 9 month. So that's even better!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Truth in Reporting

Sometimes with the good, there is also not-so-good news. My last post was so positive, so wonderful- and I love re-reading it...However, this week I had a not-so-good week. Some of it was situational, but most of it was being lazy and taking advantage of those situations.

It started on Wednesday - in the overnight, my oldest daughter woke up at 3:30am vomiting - fun, right? So- knowing I'd be the one to stay home with her this time, I cleaned her up and got her settled and then stayed home on Wednesday - this meant two things. Because I had not slept well the night before, I didn't feel very energetic and I knew with my schedule that day I wasn't going to get a workout in. No biggie- I'd make it up on Thursday. Well...sabotage 1. I spent ALL DAY Wednesday eating- anything and everything- healthy and junky....completely insatiable. I mean, I wouldn't call it binging but it was just pick pick pick all day.
Then by Thursday, I felt so awful physically from the food on Wednesday that I didn't go for my run because I couldn't- I was not even able to stand fully straight my stomach was in that much pain. Lots of lessons learned and I probably don't even need to spell them out.

Today- back on track and facing the music. My weigh ins (the ones that count anyway, I'm a serial weigher) are on Friday morning - and I was UP 1.4 lbs. I faced it, I own it, I'm moving on.
After work I ran 2 miles and felt great - got a good sweat and tomorrow I'll have a great workout with my trainer - that will still be workout 4 for the week- not the best, but certainly a far stretch from where I was a year ago.

I've got a plan to get, and stay, on track very strictly for the next few weeks- hopefully this weekend I'll get a chance to share more of that.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Year in Review (kind of)

With a nearly 3 week hiatus from my blog, I’m not even sure where to start this. The truth is not that I’ve been TOO busy to blog, but more too fragmented in my thinking to put it down in writing. As it is- I’m actually writing this in Word before I copy/paste and post it so that I can give it some sort of order.


I’ve had some really fantastic runs here lately. From a training standpoint- I’ve been consistently keeping my training runs to about 2 miles each (3-4 times a week). Just keeping the legs loose but haven’t started hard-core training for anything so I’m not doing a lot of mileage increase. I knew I had a 5k coming up- so I ran a training 5k on 10/22 and maintained a 12:13 pace and finished in 38:01. I was plenty happy with that since I had not run a 5k in awhile.

Then something really odd happened- I ran 3 training runs – Oct 27, Oct 29 and then Nov 3 and ALL of them were under 11 minute mile paces! It was a much shorter distance- 1.56 miles- but on the Oct 29 run, the pace was actually 10:22 per mile! As happy as I was with that- I have also learned a few things. While I can run that pace on relatively short mileage- I cannot (yet) maintain it over a longer distance. Once I get to about the 1.5 mile mark- I start to slow down. Not sure yet if it is just stamina or more mental because I know my 2 miles are coming to an end.

Going into my 5k this past Saturday, the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon’s inaugural 5K, I had a goal to finish in 35 minutes. While I didn’t blow any goals out of the water- I certainly hit it or came very close. The reason for my uncertainty? Well. . .

I assumed that since we were chipped that the start would have both a gun time and a chip time – but it only had a gun start and chip finish. I started my Nike+ as I crossed the start line though- however, upon the finish, I had trouble getting it to shut off and it took more than 30 seconds to stop it. By the time I stopped the Nike+, it said my time was 35:42. The gun start/chip finish time said 36:01 and I started myself towards the back of the pack. I’m very confident that I finished between 35 minutes and 35:15 – so while it wasn’t a clear reach of the goal- I’ll call it close enough and be very proud of my 11 minute 20ish second pace.

The REAL win? My first race this year, a 5K in February 2010 – my total time was 47:15. If I finished at 35:15, that means I have shaved 12 minutes off of my 5k time and that, my friends, is nothing to scoff at!

Strength Training-

I’ve been working with a trainer since August 3, that’s when we took our initial measurements- so 3 months. I’ve lost more than 4 inches in both my waist and my hips, 2.5 inches in my arms and additional in other areas of the body. It is so encouraging to see clear results in that period of time and be able to visibly see them as well. I am not brave enough to post the “real” pics of before/after. Maybe someday, but now is not that day :)

I’m getting stronger, fitter and able to move between exercises quicker. I can do leg and knee lifts on the chair tower- I do semi circles with my knees while raising them on the chair tower. My core strength is improving dramatically. My posture is better, my back doesn’t hurt and I recover from workouts much quicker. I still hate squats though. Really hate squats. But I know they work, so I do them anyway.

Weight Loss/Inches-

I wasn’t going to post this yet- but as I’ve been a little inconsistent with my posts, I thought I should go ahead. I began this journey to weight loss and fitness the day after my 2nd daughter was born on November 17, 2009. Since that date, I have lost 65 lbs now. Lost countless inches and gained so much in fitness and health. I still have a good ways to go- but this has become a very reachable journey for me now. It is attainable and something I know I won’t give up on, I’ve come too far.


I’ve signed up to participate in another long-distance Ragnar Relay in June 2011. This one goes from Madison, WI to Chicago, IL – 204 miles, 12 members, run-til-you-drop 3 legs each. I am considering (still JUST considering) training for a half marathon next year. I think I want to focus a little more on stretching to 10ks first and then leg it out a little more. We’ll see. I have decided to do the mini training group, however. That starts in January again and will help me safely increase my weekly mileage.

I’ve removed a certain # as a weight goal- maybe someday I’ll set a number but as my body changes between fat and lean-muscle mass and everything else- I’ve got many other things to gauge where I am – how clothing fits, fitness improvement, etc.

In a year’s time, I have made changes to my life and my body that I would not have believed possible at first –but I did stick with it and I did persevere and I am hitting those benchmarks that will get me to my goals – and I’ve learned that I can and will get there by continuing to do what I now know and love – taking care of me.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

no excuse is a good one

I have neglected my blog. I have lots to say- just have not made the time for it.

I am making the time this weekend to do a nice long update and committing to at least a 1x a week update from then on.

Things are GREAT though- details to come soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Finding a groove

I think it has helped me mentally with running since I officially registered for my big race next June. It has made me refocuse my efforts on improving, even if I'm not logging long distances very often.

Last Friday, I ran a 5k- just to make sure I could still do the distance- and though it was much slower than I would have liked (42ish mins), I did it and felt good after. Today- I ran 1.89 miles in 21:30, a roughly 11:23mm pace. I'm very pleased with that. I would have run farther but I was in a slight time crunch and that's all I had time for. Not to mention the rain that I barely missed. I don't mind running in rain, but this was a COLD rain - we went from about 65 degrees to 46 by the time the rain ended.

I have a 5k race coming up on November 6. I'm looking forward to doing a race again. This will be my 6th this year (I feel like I'm forgetting one, but it's not coming to mind. . .)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The difference a month makes

Just a quick acknowledgement of successes.
You might remember the "Skinny Jeans" I wrote about in this post.
What I didn't include in that post was that while the jeans fit, they weren't exactly what I would call flattering enough to wear outside the confines of my home.

Today? I'm wearing the jeans at work.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Finally! An update!

I know I've been dreadful about updates lately- but with 2 kids about to turn 1 and 4, and work and working out- life has just been nuts. The good news is that I'm getting my workouts in still and very consistently. So what's been taking the hit? online time!

Today- I went for a quick run- only about 25 minutes but it felt pretty good. I was holding myself back on speed in order to make sure I ran the majority with few walk breaks - it's hard to hold back some times- but I have to really force myself or else I tire out too quickly. I had forgotten my Nike + so I wasn't able to record it for pace or distance - which stinks for reporting purposes, but was kind of nice for the freedom of it.

The endurance will come- but darn set backs with asthma! I've had my fifth, yes FIFTH, sinus infection of the year last week and that always starts to settle in my chest and make things difficult. But after 5 in a year, you learn a thing or two - I learned the symptoms very early on and halted all strenuous cardio so not to encourage it to settle in- I think it mostly worked!

In total- in almost 11 months, I've lost 63 lbs. In the last 2.5 months I've also lost over 12 inches total on my body- 2 in the waist, 2.5 in the hips and the rest come from combo of arms, chest and thigh measurements.

I've got my first race since June on November 6th. A 5k. I have also signed up to do another Ragnar Relay! Our team (most of the same original members) is doing the Madison, WI to Chicago, IL race in June 2011! I'm so excited to have another big race to train for.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Consistency when faced with challenges

Today was a really busy day.

I had chosen to "sleep in" until 5:30 instead of going to workout at 4:45 in exchange for going to work early and working through lunch in order to leave early and go to the gym before picking up the kids and meeting a friend with all our kids for dinner.

However, as some days go, my day ran late and I didn't leave the office until after 4pm and had to stop once to take care of an email  - and with my commute, I didn't end up at the gym/changed and ready to work out until 4:45 (was meeting my friend at 5:45 and still had to pick up my kids in between).

Normally- I would have just said forget it and done something else to fill the time because if I could not do the WHOLE thing, then why do any of it?

The "new" mindset I have chose the better path - I decided that my strength training workout would take about 40 minutes if I really went at my normal pace. So- I cut one exercise out of the circuit and moved just slightly faster through my reps. Not breakneck speed, but a quick pace. I did this for 2 reasons- to get my heart rate up a bit more and also to get through it. I managed to finish the routine in about 32 minutes. I didn't get my normal ab work or cardio in- but it was better than doing nothing.

After dinner with the kids and getting some other things completed- I did my ab routine - and still feel that I got the full benefit of it. So, today I missed my cardio- but I still think i'll be just fine.

It feels good to know that I make the time, no matter what.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

They Can't All Be Great. . .

It would be easy to only talk about those runs or workouts where it all goes well and perfectly, but that't not real. We all know how frustrating a bad workout can be. I'm glad that I've been consistent enough to know that it is just one bad run and not something that will continue forever.

With the major cooloff that we've had here- I was excited to go running after work yesterday- but I either started off too fast, just felt sluggish or a combo of both- but between the shortness of breath (that was from running too fast at the start) and just a mental block- I did more walking than I would have liked.

Walking is still fitness too- especially when you're walking at a very brisk pace - my overall average pace was still 12:43mm - I just need to be consistent again.

I have a 5K coming up on November 6 - and I'd really like to run the whole thing and set a personal record for my 5K time.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall has arrived!

I am so excited that Fall has finally decided to present itself in Indiana - I thought those high-80 and 90 degree temps would never leave! This coming week is supposed to be highs just near 70- and I am loving that. I am planning a run for after work tomorrow and I am already looking forward to it.

This was a great weekend - started with a great workout with our trainer at the gym followed by an awesome spinning workout. I felt really pumped all day and even though my upper back was sore (but in a good way) from the weights workout - I felt very strong. We got some cleaning done in the house and then decided to go out for dinner. While that was an adventure all its own with 2 kids, we had a great night and then tried to come home and watch a movie- but I fell asleep. . .

Sunday- we got up and had breakfast and then I took my oldest daughter to the park to play. There were a bunch of older (10-12 yr old) kids on the big playground - but she wasn't at all deterred. My biggest issue with it is that they showed no regard for her petite size OR her petite ears - I could not believe the mouths on these kids! The worst part is that the things they were saying were things you learn at home, and no where else. Really sad. But after chasing my daughter around for awhile trying to make sure she didn't get run over by these kids - we went to another playground at this park and it was better- no other kids to run her over.
Then I chased her from tree to tree in dead sprints to "race" her and took pictures of her while she tossed leaves in the air:

After we came home and had lunch, I headed back out to our yard to cut down some overgrowth next to our garage and some ivy that crept around our back fence - with a new baby this year, yard work seriously suffered. I worked until I broke a great sweat and trimmed tree limbs and sheared bushes - it was great.

I came in and tried a new recipe - Apricot Dijon Porkloin - very healthy, very low cal and it was SO good and so easy to make. I co-roasted with with some fingerling potatoes and it was an awesome dinner. Add in a little clothes folding, a little football and a lot of family time - This makes Lola a happy girl! :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Self Talk- the Good, the Bad and the SHUT UP and Run!

Sluggish days - we all have them.
I've got 2 kids who never seem to both sleep all night on the same nights - so sluggish? yeah, I got that.

Monday was one of those days- we'd had a rough Sunday night with the teething 10 month old and then the subsequent waking of the near 4 yr old by that 10 month old. I think I was up 3x between midnight and 4 a.m. I finally got a little rest and got up at 6 for work.

By the time it was 3pm, I had hit a wall - hard. I was so sleepy and tired and then the voices. You know the ones:

"Don't run, just eat cake" or "You are so tired, you really should rest (and eat cake!) or, my personal fave "You'll never keep this up- just eat cake and give up already!"

So- at 3:45 I told myself to SHUT UP. Really. I said it out loud - "Emily, SHUT UP and GO". I knew it was supposed to be in the mid to upper 80s outside, but I had not been out of my office all day. So I wasn't sure if I would go run outside or do the treadmill or maybe spin bike for awhile. Once I had my clothes changed and stepped outside- it was warm but there was a wonderful, consistent breeze that made it very comfortable and I KNEW this was a run outside kind of day.

I told myself I'd take it easy, start off walking and run when it felt right and walk just the same. Sometimes- the music just really moves you - you think you're just going to stroll along until THAT song comes on, that one that makes you just have to pump it- have to boogie- have to MOVE! For me - that song has recently been Eminem's "Till I Collapse" - it's kind of my own personal running mantra.

This is not an official video- but wanted to share it if you're not familiar.

So I started running- then I walked and then I ran and then I walked - back and forth like this. But I was running - and then I'd get out of breath and start to walk for a bit to recover. I really tried holding myself back on pace so that I wouldn't be out of breath- but I think, as I've been cross-training, my speed has naturally picked up and my lungs are still catching up. It turns out- that even with lots of walk breaks- my pace was under a 12 min mile - and most running portions were about 9.5mm pace - I can hardly believe that I'm building towards being able to run a sub-10 minute mile. There WILL be a party when that happens.

One more thing - we took progress measurements at the gym this past week (it's been 6 weeks). I've lost greater than 6 inches total - but more importantly, I lost 2 inches in my waist and 2.5 in my hips. The scale has started to move (albeit slowly) again - so things are starting to go the right direction again!

Friday, September 10, 2010

~Why I Run~

Twitter. I love it for the many people you meet and share ideas or opposing views with - and I love when something someone says or asks makes you really think.

The question was (and I'm paraphrasing here):
"I don't understand running - it's hard, it hurts and it's boring. Why do you run?"

At first I puffed up my chest to say "Well, well, because. . .it's because. . . I mean, uh. . . " In my quick attempt to defend my new found hobby, I had to stop myself and really reflect on WHY I run.

I think that most people run for some similar reasons, but the individual drivers or motivations may be very different. I'm going to share some of mine - and I'd love to hear about yours (or, if you're so inclined, why you DISLIKE it so much).
  • I started running originally (on my first Couch-to-5K attempt in 2004) as a means to an end. To lose weight. I had just become serious about losing weight and signed up for the Indianapolis OneAmerica Mini Marathon. I quickly lost about 30 lbs and *BOOM* got pregnant with my oldest daughter. I did not do the race that year.
  • I re-started running in January 2009 to work on losing the rest of the weight I had gained with my first pregnancy (which was WAY too much!). I lost 26 lbs (still had 15 "baby" lbs to go after that) and *WHAM* pregnant again.
  • At 7 months pg with my 2nd daughter- I agreed to run the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay in June 2010 and I mapped out my training schedule to begin on January 4, 2010 (6 weeks after giving birth).
    • With this pregnancy, I gained a good amount of weight- but not nearly as much as the first and that was very helpful in the end! About 2 months after I had my youngest, the pregnancy weight was gone- still had 15 lbs to get to pre-kids weight.
but I digress. . .
  • I started with the Couch-to-5K program again. Keep in mind - I was very heavy, had adult-onset asthma and a newborn and a 3 yr old at home. But I didn't make it an option to quit.
  • I kept up with my training and though I didn't run the full mileage of my 3 legs in Utah, I ran more than I really would have expected.
After the Ragnar - I was a little burnt out on training and running - I had been so laser focused for that that I needed a break. That's when I backed off from running and added in strength training and swimming and elliptical (and other cardio) - moving on to spinning and others. What I found shocked the hell out of me - I MISSED running! I added it back into my rotation and now run 2-3 times a week. My mileage has backed way off - some days I run 4+ miles, some days it's around 2 - but I enjoy it and it makes me feel great!

I know that's a lot of background for the meat of this. . . .but. . . .I run:
- to strengthen my heart
- to lose weight
- to chase my kids better
- to improve my lung function (I hardly, if ever, use an inhaler anymore, just a daily Singulair)
- to compliment my strength training
- to prove to myself that I CAN run, when I always told myself "I CAN'T"
- to be an example to my kids that running is good
- to strengthen my bones and fight off osteoporosis (did you know that the 'jarring' of the bones stimulates the marrow and in turn causes the bones to get stronger?)
- to feel the wind and sun on my face (or the rain, or the snow- it all has it's place)
- to be the exception to the rule (nobody expects the "big girl" to really run - I've always liked to prove people wrong)
- to meet new people (through running clubs or races)
There are lots of other reasons- but I want to see what else others add. . .(and please do add- whether you read this the day it was posted or years from now- SHARE!)

Yes, it hurt when I started. Yes, I got shin splints and hip pain and back pain and chafing. But I climb stairs without huffing/puffing, I stand up straighter, I walk proudly - RUNNING has brought this out of me.

Yes- it can be accomplished through other forms of exercise- but running is the catalyst for me opening my mind to other forms and for rediscovering things (i.e. swimming) I forgot how much I loved.

That's why I run.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Making it count.

I've been quiet- not avoiding my blog, just so busy with other things that I haven't taken the time to journal it all. And aside from just listing my workouts and some accomplishments along the way- I wanted to wait until I had something to say.

It has been a long time since I actively and routinely had strength training as a part of my life. The last time I did was 7 years ago while I was engaged to my husband. About halfway through our wedding planning- we dropped our gym/trainer membership because of cost and time - we both put on weight (me more, of course- because he eats, I gain) and then the rest is history. However, when we were at that gym and working out together, I felt good- was wearing a pair of my then "skinny" jeans and it was great.

After fairly easily losing 60 lbs from Nov 2009 to July 2010- I hit a plateau. I had a very difficult time getting the scale to move at all, up or down. I played with the same .2-.5 lb every other week. Then we started working 1x a week with a trainer at our gym. Originally, I was against this set up- because at this particular gym, I thought it would be a very one-size fits all mentality with muscle-bulk being the core goal. I'm happy to say I was very wrong. As something we can do together, my husband and I are now going 1x a week together for joint training at the gym. Our programs and exercises are very different and our trainer is a very good match for us- motivating but also pushes us in our individual ways. He's also inspirational- 61 years old and in incredible shape. If one (or both) of us is in the gym and not in a session with him- he's happy to help us with something or give us some ideas on what else we should do. He's working my core in ways I didn't know possible. I'm feeling ab muscles I haven't felt since I don't even know when.

5 weeks of strength training - 3 sessions with the trainer so far. I finally was able to lose 1 full lb last week - and I'm hoping for good/similar results this week as well. I will then be confident that I am breaking this plateau. This coming Saturday-we retake measurements to see our progress. I can't wait.

Oh, and those "skinny jeans" from 7 years ago? Today- I pulled them on and zipped them up with no problem. Guess I'm going to have to find a new goal. . . .

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mind over Matter- it really is true.

There are so many times that I have talked myself out of working out - or continuing my fitness routines- but something this year really has clicked. Even if it is all at my pace and sometimes slower than I'd like- I'm able to enjoy life and really have found out how much I enjoy being fit.

Today I was planning to do a 5k run after work- but after my strength training session on Tuesday morning (which included LUNGES!) I was pretty sore- especially the hamstrings. All day at work, I kept telling myself that it would be ok to skip it and relax a little. But you know what? At the end of the day, I told myself it was NOT ok to skip it - and that I had to at least try- and if it meant I walked more than normal- then so be it. I did walk a bit more than I really hoped, but my overall pace was still so respectable.

It might be a full minute per mile slower than yesterday- but the real positive? when I was running- I was actually running faster than on Monday- I just took more walk breaks. Nice! I even threw in a few small hills. That's two 5ks this week so far!

When I got home, my husband was just arriving with the kids- so we decided to head out to dinner. While I may have eaten a bit more than planned while out- I decided on the way home that I was going to cut the grass when we got home. So that's what I did. 30 minutes to push mow the front and back yard- I'm beat but I feel good!
My oldest daughter - she approves!!
Actually, this was in response to her first-ever root beer float- but it made me smile, so I hope it does you too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Get OUT and RUN!

Oh, open road, how I have missed you!

I am a total wuss when it comes to high heat and humidity- preferring the hamster wheel-like treadmill to run in relative cool. I can handle anything under 85 degrees with lower humidity - but above that and I'm miserable.
I have not run outside in some time- probably going on almost 2 months of only running on a treadmill.
However, today's forecast was 81, sunny and not too humid- and I heard it calling my name.

I think my feet were kissing the road with each heel strike. Those dips are short walk breaks - and I walked for the first 2-3 minutes to warm up - my average running pace during the run portions was around 10:00mm! I didn't look at any of my gadgets while running because I didn't want to feel the need to keep up or move faster- just wanted to listen to my body and respond - and I'm so glad I did.

This graph shows me that I've made real improvements in my fitness. I know there will still be "bad run" days- but this distance, this pace - it was not possible for me 1 year ago. It is really satisfying to know that if you really stick with something, you can truly amaze yourself.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Focus. It is a smallish word with a lot of meaning.
Sometimes I have a lot of it, sometimes I have very little of it. Still other times, I can focus so intently on 1 or 2 things, but can't seem to even focus a little bit on other things.

I am at a place in life right now where focus seems to be a bit of a commodity and a rare one, at that. That's not to say that life is bad- it isn't -but I'm spending so much time being serious about so many things that focusing on any ONE thing to do it very well has become very taxing.

This weekend (and probably the 2 weeks leading up to it) has been one of the times in my life where I feel like I am below the "adequate" line in every aspect of my life. My home is a mess, I feel like I lose my temper far too often (especially where my kids are concerned) and I have so much on my mind that finding FOCUS has become a real challenge. Simply forcing myself to sit down and write this blog post is challenging. I should be: cleaning, preparing, budgeting, sleeping or so many other things.

I know that I'm not unique in this - many other people have a time (or times) like this in their life. I can look through the muddy water and see that my unclear moments are due to all of the shifts in my life, specifically the techtonic-plate-shift that was adding my 2nd child to our family. She is 9 months old now and we are in simple survival mode. To get anything done, it becomes a major event. We've got the basics down- like going to visit someone or going out to eat- those are "easy" things today. The challenge is the things that USED to be easy.

Cleaning my house.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I am no Martha Stewart. I'm not even Martha Stewar'ts 2nd cousin who got half a cleaning gene. Clutter is part of my life. However, I do like organized chaos in my clutter and I do not have that now. To clean ONE room in my house now is a major ordeal. While my husband and I use to be able to work together on that, it isn't possible anymore. One of us has to be with both kids while the other works to exhaustion to clean a room- you know it is bad when you start to bicker over who gets to clean so you can escape the kids for awhile. . .

This is the one area that I have maintained focus. Even with all my chaos- I'm proud that I've kept up. I make it to work out a minimum of 4 days a week, more likely 5x and some weeks, even 6 days. I'm now strength training 2-3x a week. In terms of the scale- it isn't budging (but at least it isn't going up either). I hope that that is mainly due to building muscle and trading out some fat for it right now creating a neutral situation. Admittedly, I could be more clean with my eating- there was a State Fair incident yesterday. I have not been running as many miles as I used to when training for races, but I'm focusing on overall body fitness and have added other activities like swimming and biking into the mix.

State Fair
All excuses aside, I don't regularly eat that kind of stuff even once a week in small doses- so one day of really off the charts stuff can be reversed- but what a difference a year makes. One of my (former) state fair faves - fried veggies - was on my list yesterday. We always share it- and usually finish it off. Yesterday- there was at least 1/3 of it left before we threw in the towel- the grease was making me feel ill. I don't even think I want to get them next year. We also did the fried butter, yes- I said it. Fried Butter. I wanted to know what the buzz was about -it was way over the top. Good, but not something I'd eat again either. My favorite thing at the fair was the 3 chocolate covered popcorn balls we bought and brought home and are stretching out over several days.

It is definitely time to get more serious on the food-focus front.

While I know I don't "owe" anyone a blog post and that I started this for myself - the point of starting it was so that I kept myself focused and accountable - even when some things are going well, I think I was avoiding the blog to have to put some of it out there.

It may not be fully linear- and some of it may not make full sense either (in my defense, it's getting later in the night) - but I feel a bit of relief having unloaded a lot of what's been floating in this head of mine.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I mean it, really, I'm not

I promise- lots of blogging updates this weekend and then I will get back in the saddle next week and update at least 3x a week- that is the new goal I have set for myself.
In the meantime, you need to know 4 things:
- I have not fallin' off any proverbial wagon
- Life is good- just busy and kind of crazy right now
-Still swimming, running, biking, lifting- details to follow!
- Thanks for still following me even though my updating skillz are a little on the lacking side of the meter.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I am not M.I.A.

I have been really bad about getting to my blog to update it. However, this past week and a half have been very busy, and stressful- but also good and full of fitness and great workouts (well, except for a couple/three day break during my trip to PA).

When my husband and I joined the other gym near our house to maximize our workout time- we received 2 free training sessions as well. We used those to help develop a plan in the ActiveTrax system that the gym uses. It is helpful because it keeps me focused on what exercises to do and have a plan for when I walk into the gym, rather than wander around trying do decide which machine looks less scary. I did my first ActiveTrax workout on Monday - and my calves and triceps are still screaming for mercy. Looks like I've got lots of room to grow there.

I am still swimming and running for my cardio workouts - and I just have to say that I am so pleased that I got back into swimming. I really had forgotten how much I LOVED to swim and I have always kind of felt like a fish in water- just comfortable and confident. When I swam competitively I was good- not champion good, but I held my own at swim meets. I swam with one of the best at that time - a girl I came through school with and swam with - Dawn Heckman. She was made to be a swimmer - and from what I hear, now owns (I hope that's right) Splish.com - a very cool (and custom!) athletic swimwear company/site. When I am able to comfortably fit into the sizes she offers (which won't be long at all) I will own some of those super cool suits. I even kind of like the fact that I smell chlorine all day after my morning swim (I do shower and try to wash it all off- but it lingers, what can I say).

Today is day 2 of strength training - and I'll be working opposite muscles from day 1 - so maybe that will help stretch out those really sore ones (I'm hoping!).

Sorry for my silence of late- I'll try to be better about that.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Splish, Splash!

I have had one of those weeks - the kind where everything seems to be in disorder and chaos and emotionally, I've just had it.

The good news is that I still managed to stay with my fitness plan and not stray too terribly from my overal eating structure.

Last weekend- we did join the 2nd gym and I got in a great workout on Sunday. I had never worked out in a cardio cinema before. Running on a treadmill, in the dark, takes some serious skill. I managed not to fall flat on my face and got a great sweat in a 25 min run. Then I biked another 20 minutes to round it out.

I had a couple days early in the week that I definitely did not want to work out- but I forced the issue and got decent workouts anyway. Monday, I did some running, recumbant bike and the elliptical. Tuesday, I really, REALLY didn't want to work out- so instead I made myself go get on the spin bike and sweat the lazies right out of me. I knew it wasn't a case of being ill or anything else, I just had to put mind-over-matter and get it done. I'm still new to the spin bike, so 15+ minutes is about all I can really handle so far- but after I got that good sweat going, I jumped on the treadmill for 15 minutes. Wednesday, I cut myself some slack and took the day off completely from a workout.

Today- I got my first lap swim in! I stopped counting how many laps I did, think I need a counter or something to swim with because I just get focused on my form and breathing that I lose track. I'm sure I did at least 10 laps (it's not a huge pool - 25m lengths I think) but for not having swam laps in years, I felt good about what I did. I had to really hold myself back on pace. As a former competitive swimmer, my instinct was to go all out- but know I'm not conditioned for that yet- so I had to slow it down and just focus on the basics.

Going for another swim tomorrow- and if time allows, I might do a quick run on a treadmill before the pool.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just keep swimming. . .

I am so excited to now belong to a gym that has a pool that I will use! It's only for lap swimming except for when they have water aerobics classes- so yay! The staff member at the gym that I talked to today said that the early morning (when I plan to go) is a dead time for that pool and I'd likely have it all to myself. BONUS!
Plus they open at 5am- so if I can get myself up that early I can get in a good 25-30 min run on the treadmill and then a 30 min swim before showering at the gym and heading to work. I can't do it every day because that would mean the husband has to wake/dress/take both kids on all those days- but a few times a week is perfectly doable.

I was so excited that I went out and bought new swim goggles and a swim cap today. I'm hoping I'll get a chance to break them in tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Feel Good Fridays!

Feel Good Friday is a weekly meme hosted by The Girl Next Door Grows Up (click the button above and go visit her!). She has been on a "blog-cation" this week and Eternal Lizdom offered to host her meme so she could sit back and relax.

Here's the prompt I chose:
◦Just make a list. List 5 things that made you really happy this week. No matter how bad or boring you think your week was, I bet you can find 5 things.

I'm sure I could think of more than 5- but here are some good things:
1. My 3.5 year old. This is such a precious age- the things they say and do- even when they are bad, are so funny sometimes. On our way to preschool yesterday, she said "Hey Mommy, guess what?" (with lots of enthusiasm in her voice) and I replied "What Ash?" - she said "I have decided I'm going to be good at school today. What do you say to that?". I say, good choice young girl! :)
2. Working out so hard you are sore! I haven't done this in awhile because I've been focused on running- but I mixed it up a bit this week and I've got muscles feeling the burn! I love that!
3. Date night!! I get to go see Inception tonight with the hubby and I can't wait!
4. Babies! My 8 month old is now saying Dada - as much as I prompt her to say "Mama" she looks at me and grins a wide, toothless grin and says DADADADADADADA.
5. My brother- I miss him so much. He lives in CA, us in IN - we're 4 years apart in age- but so close by nature. Even just his small texts or emails make me smile and I wish so much that my girls got to know their Uncle Vince better. Thankfully, he's moving back to PA this August - which means that we'll get to see him at least a little more often.

What makes YOU happy?!?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Being REALLY brave now.

I'm feeling brave today- so I think I'm going to share more than normal. Since so much of this is anonymous and that people who don't know me could read it- the fact that I'm sharing such personal info is daunting for me. Really.
I have decided to post a few pictures. The first is my sort of "Before" picture- which was just a few weeks after my youngest was born in November 2009. The 2nd one was just taken this past Monday. I don't have a recent full body shot- so this is a baby step. Maybe soon.

Dec 2009

Why no smile? I was being silly when I took it- no other reason.
I have cheekbones! :) And less chins!

I've lost nearly 60 lbs since November. I've never talked about my actual weight before, but my hope this month is to hit the 220 mark by July 30. Last Friday, it was 223. 220 is significant to me because that was my last official WI the week I found out I was pregnant with my 1st daughter- so I would be back to my pre-kids weight (which I have talked about before).

My next goal though is to lose that 20 lbs and get to 199.9 if that's what it takes to be under 200. My goal is to get there by Thanksgiving at or below 199. That's 4 months. I know it is feasible- but it will take focus and effort and determination. That would also be significant because it would mean I lost 80 lbs in a year.

Last note for today. At the gym today- I got on a spin bike for the first time ever. That was SO hard- but I did it - full effort - for 15 minutes. I was drenched in sweat! Then I got on the treadmill and ran for 25 minutes. A different owner at the gym said "You've been hitting it really hard here lately". So we talked for a bit about what I've been doing and he congratulated me on my efforts. It feels so good to be recognized that way.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nice end to a good day!

As my last post pointed out- this was my first run after nothing for 1.5 weeks. It was a treadmill run because of the humidity and my recovering chest cold. However, I ran 4 miles and sweat A LOT and one of the gym owners came up to me as I was cooling down to tell me how great I'm doing with my running. He said he can see improvement in my form and how I run as well as just overall fitness.

He was really surprised (as in, happy for me- couldn't believe it was that much) that I'd lost nearly 60 lbs since November. I can barely believe it myself.

Comments and recognition like that make it a lot easier to plan your NEXT run rather than think about how much you don't want to do it! :)

A Video and a quick note

I know that I've been dreadfully bad about keeping this updated lately. As I was sick, there was no running to talk about.
However- today is the first day I am getting back on the horse. Planning to run outside unless the rain hits before I go out at 3:30.

And I couldn't get it to embed - so I'll update this when I can. BUT you can watch the video from our Utah trip at the Ragnar Relay- Wasatch Back. http://bit.ly/a4TVNF

It's a lot of fun to watch- there's music, there's dancing- there's running and more!:)
Look for an especially fun message from me right around the 8-8.5 min mark.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wondering if I'll ever be well. . .

Alright, that might be a little melodramatic, BUT I feel like I have been sick constantly this year!
Just when I hit a stride with my training or fitness routine- I get knocked back by illness. Also, it seems that it is one of 2 things that hits me- either a sinus infection or bronchitis or the latter caused by the former. Just can't seem to shake them completely.

This cycle began about 2.5 years ago when I got a really bad bout of bronchitis which seemed to linger forever and then settled in as adult onset asthma for me. Just this year (just in May, in fact), I started taking Singulair to help manage my daily symptoms with exercise induced asthma. After a couple weeks, I noticed great improvement and did not need to use an inhaler before I ran anymore and rarely had to use it after. Fast forward to this past Friday (see how I took you forward then back right there? lol) I started to feel a little under the weather, just overly tired and a little more heavy chested. I was supposed to do a race on Friday night, but I decided against it. By Saturday- I was feeling even more worn down and ill but we had plans to leave town and were so busy in the rest of the next 36 hours that I didn't have much time to think about how yucky I felt. Late Sunday evening I started to have hot flashes and realized I was feverish and fighting something. And I woke up today with lots of wheezing and coughing and drainage. So- I think it is a combo-culprit of the sinus infection/bronchitis again.

I don't know if it is my lung health that I need to focus on or if it simply a result of being a newish mom again and knowing how many viruses kids seem to pick up in their first year of life. I want a quick recovery to get back to my goals! (this heat and humidity does nothing to help the asthma either!)

I have a lot more I want to write but honestly, I don't feel well enough to really put those thoughts together, so I will put more fun stuff together when I start improving!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

*tap* *tap* Is this thing on?

Wow - almost a week since my last entry. Something tells me that that is NOT the way to build a following of regular blog readers....

I haven't been neglecting everything, for the record. My husband changed schedules at work again (we know his schedule, at most, a month at a time) and now doesn't get home until 7pm on weeknights. It makes for long days and hectic ones as well.

I have continued to run- though my distance and effort may be suffering a little. In some defense- it has been dreadfully hot here this week- high humidity and the only time of day I can run is 4pm-ish. That means I'm running on a treadmill, and it's not something I really want to do.

Coming off a long holiday weekend- I must say that I slacked. I ran on Friday, July 2 - and then didn't run again until Tuesday. I did run for 30 minutes though and even though it was the treadmill, it was a decent run and I kept a decent pace. Wednesday, I was going to rest from running- but after 15 minutes of being completely bored on the elliptical machine, I had the urge to run for a bit. I was crunched for time because of when I have to leave work to pick up my girls on time - so I jumped off the elliptical and ran hill intervals on the treadmill for 15 minutes. Short run but kicked up the intensity with the incline so in all it was a good workout.

Today is hot again- And I have about the same amount of time 35-40 min total. I'll be heading to the treadmill again and will get it done.

I have a very busy evening ahead of me- and I want so badly to say "to heck with it" on the workout side of things. But I KNOW that Rome was not built in a day- and taking a day off when you really NEED to do it can cause a period of inaction (see: last weekend). I know I will feel better afterwards, I always do. Then I will be glad I did it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 4th- What I'm Celebrating This Year

It's always important to look back and reflect on where you, from where you've come - and look forward to where you have to go. I'm not always great about being "out there" in terms of personal stats on my weight loss.
I'm still not comfortable enough to post before and after pictures- but maybe sometime soon.
However, this morning- I really need to toot my own horn, so hear goes:

My youngest daughter was born on November 17, 2009. Since that time:
- I have lost a total of 54.6 POUNDS!
- That is 19.5% of my starting body weight
- I am now 5 lbs away from the weight I was before ever having children.
- I started running again on January 4, 2010

I have a goal to lose an additional 30 lbs by this coming November (5 months) - by Thanksgiving. I have a 15 yr high school reunion and that weight loss would put me back at my high school weight.

I still have a long way to go - but I can't forget how far I've come and what this means to me. I feel and look so much better now.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dinner takes center stage.

I will talk about my run today- but dinner was so good I have to talk about it first. I really SHOULD have taken a picture to share- because it was amazing, but we ate it so fast and completely that I really didn't have a chance.
I took zucchini and yellow squash and diced it and then sauted with onion and garlic in some olive oil. While that was cooking, I made some steamed rice (usually whole grain brown, but today went with white)- when the rice was done- I stirred the saute into the rice and mixed. While that sat- I sauted some raw shrimp in just a bit of olive oil and Old Bay seasoning until it was nice and pink and cooked through. Mix shrimp and rice and OH MY GOSH.....so good. It had beautiful color and my 3.5 yr old couldn't get enough of the 'trumps' (shrimp).

My run today was the first one since the Ragnar Relay. It was a tough one in fairly tough conditions. The terrain was easy- flat, on the Monon Trail in Indy. However, it was HOT and HUMID! It was only 9am- thought we'd beat most of it- but while the temp was about 81 at 9am- it felt at least 87 or so. We did intervals the whole 2.5 miles, walking a little more than I liked. But I need to get the legs moving again.

Thankfully it cools down some next week and eases up on the humidity- so should get a little better.
Got some new shoes though! Will post a pic of them soon!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ragnar Relay- Wasatch Back 2010- Team WTF-Where's The Finish

Travel to-

Flight from Indy to Salt Lake City (by way of Denver) left a little after scheduled- but we still arrived around 7:30 SLC time. A couple of our teammates were already there and picked us up at the airport. We had a quick dinner and then to our hotel to get some sleep.

The next day we got up to pick up our second team van and pick up a few other teammates at the airport. After that, we picked up our remaining teammates at a nearby hotel and made the drive from SLC up to Logan, UT. Logan was the start city for the 2010 Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay.

Night before

When we arrived in Logan- we got checked in, grabbed some lunch as a team and then made the largest trip to WalMart that I’ve ever seen. We shopped for van food that was to feed 12 people for 2 days. After shopping and arranging – we did dinner at Olive Garden to carb up before the race. Then it was a van decorating party! (pictures)

We all tried to get to bed fairly early- as our team was to start at 5:45am.

Morning Start

The team was up and at ‘em around 4:00 in order to get to the start by 4:45 and have our safety meeting (required an hour before your start). With that, CJ- runner#1 kicked leg 1 off for our team.

It would go like this with all the teammates until it was my turn at about 12:30 that day- As runner 7, I was the first one in van 2 to go. All of my pass offs would be at the major exchanges, so more people to watch and more excitement.

Leg 1

There was so much adrenaline and excitement that even with all my other races and experience to not jump out to fast- there I was- trotting a 9 min mile pace for the first quarter-mile. After gasping and glancing at my GPS, I slowed down and ended up having to walk a little. It was only about 75 degrees, and not humid at all- but it was all sun and felt very hot. I had a total of 4 miles for this leg- and I was able to do a respectable 13:17mm pace. At first I was disappointed, but when I considered the elevation differences between Utah and Indiana, and my walk breaks- I did ok. Some of it was mental too- I could have run farther, but I let me inner voice tell myself that I had to walk…curses! But my team was fantastic by encouraging me at every mile or so and then meeting me at the end for the hand off- felt so great when it was done, I was off and in this race!

In between leg 2- sickness
That's me on the left!

Then there were 5 more in my van to run after me- and then all 6 other runners from van 1 to run before my second leg. Somewhere between our last runner and meeting up with van 1 for a major exchange- we had to descend down the backside of a mountain with fairly windy roads- the heat, sunburn and elevation made for a car sick equation for me. We made a quick stop at a gas station where I had to get sick. I felt a little better- but still couldn’t eat and couldn’t drink water to rehydrate. We had to drive an additional 20(ish) miles to the alternate rest point to eat dinner and maybe shower and/or nap. By the time we pulled into that parking lot, I was feeling nauseous again and made it out of the van just in time. However, that was the last of it- finally. I was able to get in a few pretzels, some soda and then get some rest. When we got back into the van, I had about an hour and half before I had to run again- so I ate a half a cheese sandwich and a banana and drank as much water as I could.

Leg 2- night run, pregnant partner

My next major exchange point was at about 11pm and was 3.8 miles. I’m currently waiting for the cord adapter for my GPS watch to be able to upload the data and see exactly what I did at different parts of the run- but after a short ascension up a small hill, I had a downhill for a bit- and I was flying then- running felt awesome and quick and light. THEN…..the big hill (for me) came- and the rest of the run (roughly 2-2.5 miles) was almost entirely uphill. I did a lot of walking and got pretty discouraged. My overall pace was 15:25 per mile for this leg – but I still think I enjoyed this one the most- it was so peaceful at night. And while I was walking- I managed to keep pace with another woman- and we kept each other company. Turns out- she was 7 months pregnant while doing this race….she still finished the leg before me. . .(but she did start before me too- so it flushes out).

Lack-o-sleep –

Throughout the next cycle of legs- there wasn’t much sleep to be had- but it was awesome to watch the sun rise over the mountains and encourage each other and enjoy the company of these people that I’m now somehow connected to for life.

Leg 3

My 3rd and final leg was to take place at about 11am starting from a high school in Heber, UT. Before the van 1 crew got there- we were able to get some sleep and take a shower and try to eat a little bit of breakfast. By this time, I think I’d had a full 1.5 hours of sleep in the whole last 24 hours. As my final run started- I was so exhausted – I was beaten up mentally, physically and had many thoughts of giving up. But thankfully, my teammates were there to cheer me on and support me, regardless of whether they were disappointed in my performance or not. The truth is- I still completed all of my mileage. AND- the pace estimator that shows how long it will take you to complete each leg based on your normal pace? I still came in a couple minutes faster than those for each leg. My final leg came in at about 14:20 per mile.

As I was the first one in my van to finish my portion of the race, I had to make sure to give them my full effort to encourage and cheer them on now. Our biggest hurdles were yet to come with the Ragnar hill and the downhill that follows. My teammates are amazing athletes- not just fast and able-bodied, but determined, supportive and plain awesome. We weren’t going to win any speed records overall- and we knew that going in. Our goal was to finish- and we did finish strong.


My good friend Jen was runner 12 on our team- and after a 5.5 mile run through the woods and up the final hill to the finish line- we joined her in the final bit to run through the finish together. I’ve never been so happy to finish a race, get a medal and drink a beer in my whole life!

I may make updates and additions to this story as time passes when other details come back- but this race was a shining start in lifetime experiences for me. I proved to myself that even the “big girls” can train and do a race and that on my quest to become healthier and smaller and more competitive, I can still have fun and accomplish goals.

Feel free to ask me any questions about this race- I’m sure I have left out lots of details, but I’m happy to answer anything about it!

Here is our team video: