Friday, September 30, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 14

Today was not a great day. Friday is weigh-in day. I am beginning to not like Fridays so much any more. For most of the week I was down 1.2 pounds. Today, I was down zero. It's getting a little frustrating. Even more frustrating after I read this. This is exactly what happened to me before I started taking my thyroid medicine - trying to lose weight made me gain! I feel like it's happening again - the harder I try, the more stubbornly my body is hanging onto every ounce. 

I plan to talk to my doctor about it when I see her next month - she had started me on a much lower dose of medicine that I had been on in the past, and said we would see how it went. Well, it's not going great. Aside from the weight, I am having other symptoms I used to have as well - for one thing, I am tired ALL. THE. TIME. Tired even though I am eating well. Tired even though I am exercising and taking vitamins. Tired even though I am getting enough sleep - maybe not 100% of the time, but considering I used to think midnight was "early" to go to bed and now I am usually asleep well before then, either by choice or by "accident" I would say I'm doing pretty well for me! But still, I can barely make it to work without caffeine and I hate that!

So, I will hang in there until I get to the doctor and hopefully things will get better. In the meantime, it was not a great day:

English muffin w/butter & jelly
Chocolate covered cruller (donut Friday)
Deli chicken & swiss on Oatnut bread
Mountain Dew
Twizzlers
1/2 Kit Kat
Tortilla chips
Chicken & cheese ravioli
Red Baron pizza (2 slices)
More Mountain Dew
Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter

Hmmm...seems like I ate more - as if that isn't enough?! 

On the bright side, I did get out for a hilly run around the neighborhood this evening, although once again I had a wardrobe fail due to my lacking skills in meteorology. We had a big storm, which I waited out before lacing up my shoes. I was thinking it would stay cool and maybe even get some more rain, so I wore my capris, a tech shirt from Target, and my windbreaker. Unfortunately, the last of the rain clouds blew over, leaving nothing but sticky humidity in their place. The whole day had a bit of a deja vu quality to it!

At least I ran - I'm proud of myself for that!

Total time: 51:10
Total distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 12:46

First mile: ran
Second mile: 4/2 intervals
Third mile: ran
Fourth mile: walked 2 minutes of it, ran the rest

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today I am grateful for:
  • season passes to Kings Dominion - which we are using again tomorrow!
  • K at PetSmart who takes care of the Big Red Dog's nails so I don't have to fight that fight
  • my yard is looking good - sod being laid on Monday
  • the awesome women I met at my July retreat who inspire me daily
  • comfy pants

Thursday, September 29, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 13

Breakfast:
Smoothie (1 scoop protein powder, 1 banana, 1/2 cup spinach, 2 spoonfuls Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup lite chocolate soy milk, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1t chia seeds)

Snack:
1-1/2 cup grapes

Lunch:
Thomas' whole wheat English muffin
1 oz sharp cheddar cheese
Apple

Snack:
Packet of Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter
1 slice Trader Joe's whole grain bread w/1T peanut butter
8oz milk
3/4 cup Kix cereal (guessing - E poured a bowl sans milk and shared with me)
1/2 cinnamon raisin bagel

Dinner:
2 slices Oatnut bread
4oz thin sliced turkey breast
1 slice baby swiss
1 pickle

Snack:
Trader Joe's trail mix

30 Day Challenge: Day 12 (Fail!)

Well, I didn't get this posted last night. After I got home from running group, it took awhile to get E to bed, and then I parked myself on the couch to watch "Revenge" while C used the 'puter for a little while. Only, it turned into a long while, because my ass was out like a light within 10 minutes. Oops! No post! Fail #1.

I also forgot to write down what I ate yesterday, so I am going to have to try and remember, and I can guarantee I will most likely leave out the little bite o' this and bite o' that which always manages to sneak past my lips. Fail #2.

Breakfast:
Smoothie

Snack:
2 lite cheese sticks

Lunch:
Taco Bell fresco chicken burrito supreme

Snack:
Packet of Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter (have I mentioned that I cannot buy a whole jar any more because I inhale it in an insanely short amount of time?)

Dinner:
3-1/2 pieces of CiCi's pizza (green pepper)

Snack:
Small bottle (2 servings) chocolate milk post-run
Grapes
Probably a few nibbles of Trader Joe's trail mix

Exercise:
Total distance: 5 miles
Total time: 1:13 (give or take - forgot to stop my watch at the end of the run)
Average pace: 14:36 (sounds about right - was doing 3/2 intervals with a friend but a little slower than usual)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 11

Morning Snack:
Trader Joe's Trail Mix

Breakfast:
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
I met a friend for "brunch" at Panera, so I ordered a "You Pick 2" 1/2 sandwich and 1/2 salad. I ate the salad there and took the sandwich home for lunch. BTW I love that they list the calories right on the menu! Do a lot of places do this? I don't get out much!

Lunch:
Roasted Turkey Artichoke Panini

Snack:
2 Clif Kids Z Bars (chocolate chip)
Handful of pretzels

Pre-run/Post-run:
Clif Shot Bloks (all 6)
I really didn't need to eat all of these, but I wanted something before my run, and then the other three were just sitting there on the seat waiting for me when I got back to the car...

Dinner:
3 scrambled eggs with mixed peppers, spinach, and 2T feta cheese
Sun-dried tomato & asiago cheese chicken sausage
Slice of Trader Joe's whole grain bread, toasted w/black raspberry Polaner All-Fruit
I think this may be one of my favorite dinners ever -  I love "night breakfast!"

Dessert:
Pretzel M&M's
8 oz milk

Snack:
Grapes

Exercise:
Total distance: 3 miles
Total time: 37:57
Average pace: 12:39

I ran the entire first mile, and did it faster than I thought - about 11:20! The second mile I did a 4/2 run/walk. I was still walking when I passed the 1 mile marker on the way back, then finished the rest of the last mile running after my walk interval was over. I probably walked about a minute of the mile. Overall a great run. Oh, and a little note to Mother Nature - it's FALL, Nature Mama! Could you possibly see your way to send along some fall weather? It was just a little too humid for my taste this evening! Thanks!

Monday, September 26, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 10

Yesterday I spent some time planning a few days' worth of meals. I had to improvise a bit today, but it really helped having everything laid out. I will keep doing it going forward.

Breakfast:
Coffee (3/4 black, 1/4 machine cappuccino)
Chobani fat free strawberry yogurt

Snack:
2 lite cheese sticks
(had planned for carrots & hummus, but did not have time to get them together before I had to leave)

Lunch:
Wendy's half-size apple pecan chicken salad 
(I could eat one every day, they are so yummy)

Snack:
Nature Valley granola bar
Clif Kids Z Bar - chocolate chip (not in the plan, but I was hungry)

Dinner:
2 Jennie-O turkey hot dogs
1 bun
8 oz milk

Snack:
1 slice Oatnut bread w/peanut butter (1T)
1/2 cup Boy Scout butter toffee caramel corn

Exercise:
Nada

Kill the Hill

Endorphins are wonderful. I think I'm still high from my 10 mile run yesterday. I'm definitely still in a little bit of disbelief.

I got up bright and early - I never have trouble getting out of bed on running group days! It was warmer and more humid than I had been expecting and hoping for, so I wore a new pair of shorts and one of my Target running t-shirts (they are cheap and comfy and I have a whole rainbow of them). I was a little nervous about the shorts and chaffing, as I realized at about 11:00 Saturday night that I had forgotten to run out and get some Body Glide, but with the temperature there was just no way I was wearing my capris. I wore my sexy socks, Camelbak, and took a package of Clif Bloks and Expresso Gu.

My mentor upgraded us from our 2/2 intervals to 3/2 intervals. I was very comfortable doing 4/2 on the Wednesday night group run, and of course I rocked some 8/3 intervals on Friday, but because 10 miles is the longest by far that I have ever run, I decided to play it safe and run slow and steady. My goal was to finish on my feet, not drag my ass to the finish in pain!

Running with a mentor is kind of like being a passenger in a car, in that if I'm not driving, I'm not paying much attention to where we are going. We ran down the Parkway for a bit - down a hill then up a hill - then turned into Preston and ran an out and back along the golf course and some very nice houses. I ate two Clif Bloks at 45 minutes. At the top of the neighborhood, I think we had done close to 5 miles and I was feeling good! The first half of the run seemed to go by pretty quickly.

 Then we turned right back onto the Parkway and ran down another mile or so, I guess. We picked up our pace, and at 1:30 I ate another two Clif Bloks. At the turnaround, we caught up with the group in front of us that was running 4/2, and at one point after getting caught at a long light during "run time" we ran 5 minutes straight to take advantage of a flat/downhill stretch and get back on track with our intervals.

When my mentor told me we had hit 8.5 miles, I just couldn't believe it. I was feeling really good! Getting a few blisters on the middle tootsies on my right foot and feeling the hills in my hamstrings, but nowhere near as tired as I feared I might feel. I did run out of water with about one mile to go. I had a cup at the last water stop with my last two Shot Bloks, but it really made me aware of how much I am drinking on my long runs (my Camelbak holds 70 ounces). I decided to save the Gu for another run - I didn't really need it, and since I've never tried it before, I thought maybe I would try it on a run closer to home just in case it doesn't agree with me.


The last half mile was uphill. Like, uphill uphill. I named it Hell Hill. And I killed it. (No, that is not the actual hill, but trust me when I say that it felt that big!)

When I got home, I decided to try an ice bath because I knew my legs would be screaming at me later in the day. It wasn't actually that bad - kind of like jumping in a cold pool. After a minute or so, it was fine. Even felt pretty good. Afterwards, I snuggled down under my comfy comforter and took a nice nap. When I woke up, I had enough energy to hit Inside Out Sports for Body Glide (I had never been there, and I love checking out new sports stores!), go grocery shopping, and run into Kohls for some new non-stick skillets. Then, after all that, I took the girls to dinner at Five Guys, since I get a treat meal on Saturday and Sunday and hello! Ran 10 miles! (The burger was great, but since I don't eat too many fatty foods these days, my body doth protest too much...)

On the way home, we unexpectedly saw a fireworks display and pulled off to watch it. It was like my own personal celebration and a perfect end to a pretty perfect day. I am feeling much more confident about my half marathon, and next Sunday's 12-miler? Bring it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 9

So this crazy thing happened today. I ran 10 miles. And I loved it. And I felt great. And I want to do it again! Unfortunately, I am just too tired to recount it right now, so I am going to record my eats and call it a night. I will share all the details tomorrow!

Pre-run:
Smoothie (1/2 packet chocolate flavored Green Super Food, 1 banana, 2 spoonfuls Greek yogurt, 1 cup lite chocolate soy milk, 3 honkin' big frozen strawberries)

During run:
Clif Shot Bloks (6 squares - 2 at a time spaced 45 minutes apart)

Post-run:
Handful of animal crackers
Chocolate milk

Brunch:
Panera Cinnamon Crunch bagel w/honey walnut cream cheese (YUM)

Snack:
Honey Stinger Waffle
Naked Protein Zone (whole bottle, 2 servings)
Luna bar - chocolate peppermint

Dinner:
Five Guys "small" cheeseburger
Fries
Cherry Coke

Snack:
Bowl of Kix cereal

Exercise:
Total distance: 10 miles
Total time: 2:23.53
Average pace: 14:23

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today I am grateful for:
  • unexpected fireworks
  • my running group mentor Heather
  • my Kindle
  • Moo, the little dog that found us
  • my neighbor the landscaper, who is going to help me re-re-landscape the Big Red Dog's re-landscaping


30 Day Challenge: Day 8

I spent today cleaning like a madwoman, getting ready for the carpet cleaners next week. It was great, actually, because it gave me a good reason to do some decluttering and organizing at the same time. Win! So, since I was pretty much in perpetual motion (except for the fabulous 3 hour nap I snuck in from about 2:00 - 5:00), I didn't really stop for meals so much as I just grazed all day. And, of course, I didn't keep track of what I was eating, so I will try and record it to the best of my recollection!

Eats:
Scrambled eggs (2) with peppers, spinach, and a slice of American cheese
Bowl of (stale) Pops cereal
Mini bagel w/strawberry cream cheese
Chocolate brownie Clif Kids Z Bar
Few small(ish) spoonfuls of peanut butter
Handful of chicken fried tofu, before J woke up and finished it off
Few handfuls of tortilla chips
3-1/2 slices CiCi's pizza 
Bottle of Mountain Dew (was going to save it for after my long run tomorrow, but I was craving it after my whirlwind of cleaning!)
1/4 cup Trader Joe's trail mix
Slice of toasted whole grain bread 2/peanut butter
Probably 2 cups of milk (I was sipping out of the jug all day - yes, I lack manners that way)

Exercise: 
Officially a rest day, but I was on my feet cleaning most of the day

(Oops, forgot to post this last night!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 7

Breakfast:
2 chocolate covered crullers

Snack:
1 graham cracker
Chocolate brownie Clif Kids Z Bar

Lunch:
Smoothie (1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup mixed berries, spinach, 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Pre-run/Post-run:
Clif Shot Bloks (6 squares)

Snack:
25 Frosted Mini-Wheat biscuits (I'm a rebel, remember?)
1/2 cup milk

Dinner:
2 cups spaghetti (oink)
1/2 cup Prego Garden Veggie spaghetti sauce
8 oz milk

Snack:
Skinny Cow chocolate truffle ice cream
Diet A&W
Handful of tortilla chips (1/2 serving maybe?) 

Exercise:
Total distance: 4.1 miles (estimate - I really need want a Garmin!)
Total time: 54:15
Average pace: 13:13


Donut Powered Run

Happy First Day of Fall!

Today was weigh in day. The week has been going pretty good - as of yesterday (yes, I've been weighing myself every morning because there is a place for "daily weight" in my running log) I was down  2.2 pounds! And then I got on the scale this morning. I was not down 2.2 pounds. I was only down a pound. Was it the graham crackers for dinner last night? The tablespoon of peanut butter I snuck after I posted my food log for the day? I don't know, but it didn't start my day on a good note.

So, when I took E for her Friday morning donut (a tradition I started awhile ago since I've been working from home on Fridays for the past few months and had time to take her to school afterward), I was feeling cranky and a little bitter, and I decided to have a chocolate covered cruller, my favorite. Then, as we were checking out, I decided I needed more light and airy French pastry goodness, so I went paid for another and then went back to get it. They were soooooooo good, but of course by the time I got to the car, I was regretting the choice. Sigh.

It rained off and on throughout the day, and I finally decided I had better get my run on, before the weather got worse. I got dressed around 2:00 so I would not back out, then headed out at 3:00 (ok, I got dressed and ready to go and then got sucked into an episode of Cold Case). I decided to go to the lake and do two laps around for my 4 mile run because I needed a change of scenery from the trail. I underestimated the temperature and humidity, though, and had a complete wardrobe fail, but maybe I sweated off a few extra ounces. The rain held off during my run, which was nice.

With Wednesday night's great run under my belt and some French carb energy on board (as well as 3 Clif Bloks immediately pre-run), I decided to step it up a little bit. For the first turn around the lake (approximately 2 miles), I ran 4/2 intervals. For the second turn around, I did 8/3 intervals - three of them! It was a total confidence booster, really making me feel like I am gaining the ground I "lost" over the summer.

Now, if I could just lose the pounds I gained over the summer!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today I am grateful for:
  • pumpkins
  • my awesome smoothie-blending Bullet
  • new running group friends
  • Ikea and my awesome Expedit bookshelf
  • Amazon.com - is there anything you can't get there?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 6

Breakfast:
Smoothie (1 scoop protein powder, 1 packet Green Super Food, 1 banana, 1/2 cup mixed berries, 2 spoonfuls Greek yogurt, 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Snack:
Chocolate brownie Clif Kids Z Bar

Lunch:
2 cups Progresso Light Santa Fe Style Chicken soup

Snack:
Pear
Nature Valley peanut butter granola bars (2)

Dinner:
1/4 cup Whole Foods chicken fried tofu
5 graham crackers (not an ideal dinner, I know)

Snack:
Chocolate brownie Clif Kids Z Bar
(I would totally be eating a bowl of cereal right now, but there's no milk! I guess that's a good thing.)

I came home from work today and crashed on the couch. I don't know why I felt so tired. Well, it may have something to do with the fact that I have not been getting enough sleep - I just can't seem to kick my late night habit, despite the fact that I've kicked the caffeine habit! Sometimes it's just so hard to get to bed early when nights are the only time I have during the week to get things done, after E goes to bed.

Tomorrow is a 4 mile run. I think I'm going to take the Big Red Dog to the lake - 4 miles is twice around. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I'm going to have to be ready to shoot out the door when/if it clears up at all. Also, I will be sure to fuel up before I go so I don't run out of steam like I did on Tuesday!

Since I have some quiet time right now and a little bit of a second wind, I think I'm going to go through my book (This is Why You're Fat) and make a meal plan and shopping list. I've only been putting that off for what, a few weeks? I also need to put the last few days' worth of meals into Lose It! so I can see how I'm doing on the calories. I've lost 2 pounds this week, so I must be doing something right...tomorrow I will start my Friday weigh-ins again! Oh yeah, and I have to "officialize" my banner!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today I am grateful for:
  • work at home Friday
  • inspirational blogs
  • my co-workers
  • my awesome daughter J, who had the kitchen clean for me when I came home
  • Fall starts tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 5

Breakfast:
Smoothie (protein powder, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup mixed berries, 2 spoonfuls Greek yogurt, 1t chia seeds, 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, handful spinach)

Snack:
Pear
Lite cheese stick
1/4 cup trail mix (Trader Joe's Organic Trek Mix)

Lunch:
Sesame bagel w/butter & strawberry jelly

Snack:
Lite cheese-stick
Chocolate peppermint Luna bar

Dinner:
3 slices CiCi's cheese pizza (2 before running, one after)

Post-run Snack:
Chocolate milk (1 small bottle - 2 servings)
Slice of cake to celebrate running buddies' anniversary
4 dark chocolate raspberry sticks from Trader Joe's

Exercise:
Great run with half training group. I started with 2/2 intervals and then moved up to 4/2 intervals. I think my problem yesterday was that I hadn't eaten enough before my run - 2 slices of pizza tonight gave me plenty of energy and kick, and I totally rocked the last quarter mile with a BIG kick! I ran with the same friend I ran with on Sunday - we make good running partners, we have a similar pace and keep each other going. Thanks, Cynthia!

Total distance: 4.6 miles
Total time: 1:03:00 (I am guessing - I forgot to look at my watch when we officially stopped running)
Average pace: 13:41

I need to figure out something to do tomorrow for cross-training. I wonder if there is yoga on demand on Netflix? Otherwise it may be time to dust off the set of weights that I bought, um...4 years ago? That have never been used? I think I want to start my morning exercises back up, too - at least sit-ups and push-ups. Need to start working on the jiggly parts!

Had some shin pain on tonight's run, so I am going to sleep in my sexy socks and see how my legs feel tomorrow. Next run is on Friday...the first day of Fall - my favorite time of year! Which reminds me, I need to start my gratitudes again...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today I am grateful for:
  • the Big Red Dog, great running partner and snuggler
  • the yummy Chicken Fried Tofu I discovered at Whole Foods which I would never have discovered if my daughter J had not decided to become a vegetarian
  • rain storms with zig-zag lightning and big rumblers
  • fall weather
  • my down alternative comforter - not quite cool enough for it, but it is just oh, so comfy I couldn't wait to pull it out of storage!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 4

Breakfast:
Smoothie (protein powder, Green Super Food powder, 1 banana, 2 spoonfuls Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup mixed berries, 1 cup vanilla soy milk)
The green powder was berry flavored, but still added a "grassy" taste to the smoothie - not undrinkably bad, but I won't do it every day! I think I have a packet of chocolate flavored around somewhere, maybe I'll try that next!

Snack:
2 graham crackers

Pre-run & During run:
Clif Shot Bloks (all 6 squares)

Lunch:
3 scrambled eggs with spinach, peppers, & 1 slice American cheese

Snack:
5 dark chocolate raspberry sticks from Trader Joe's
Chocolate peppermint Luna bar

Dinner:
1 can Progresso Lite Pot Roast soup
Grilled cheese sandwich (did not intend to eat this, but E wouldn't and I just can't waste...)

Snack:
1 medium banana
2T peanut butter
8 oz milk

I definitely need more of a plan for my meals, but today was crazy and so I didn't get a chance to go through "This is Why You're Fat." It will probably be Thursday before I get a chance. I am pretty stocked up on decent foods, though, and no tempting junk food in the house, so I should be ok - I would just feel much better with a plan! I am totally looking forward to my treat meals this weekend, though, that's for sure! Can you say PIZZA????

Dig

I don't know if I shared this before, but I tried something new this year and chose a word of the year instead of listing resolutions and goals ad infinitum (I tend to go overboard, which then leads to overwhelm). My original word of the year was FEARLESS, but recently I decided to change it to DIG. I love that feeling when I'm doing something I don't want to be doing of digging in and getting it done, and I have a lot of areas in my life right now that would benefit from some digging in!

So, I'm working from home today, and decided to hit the trail with the Big Red Dog for a lunchtime run. I had 4 miles on the schedule. I was looking forward to it. I filled my Camelbak, threw in a package of Shot Bloks, got dressed (I was already wearing my sexy compression socks) and headed out. I did not get far when suddenly the run seemed more like a chore.

The forecast today is calling for rain, and you can feel it in the air...humidity. I hate it. As soon as I started running I just felt...blah. No energy. I decided to do a one-mile out and back twice instead of a two-mile out and back, because the second mile is pretty much a very long, low-grade hill, and I just did not feel like slogging up it today. 

Miles one and two I managed a 4/2 interval at a 12 minute pace. Not too bad. (The Big Red Dog was pulling me a little - he thinks Mama goes Way. Too. Slow.) Mile three just plain sucked. I had to cut back to 2/2 intervals. Usually after I get through two miles I feel warmed up and ready to go, but not today. When I turned around for the last mile, I gave myself a mental kick in the ass and challenged myself to run 1/2 mile, like I did the other day. I have been feeling very discouraged lately that while my overall distance is increasing, the distance that I can actually run without walking is not. So I dug in...and got to the half mile post...and kept running...all the way "home"! Yes, I ran the entire last mile, in 12 minutes. And damn, did that feel good!

Sometimes, you just gotta DIG.

Total distance: 4 miles
Total time: 50:27
Average pace: 12:36 (calculated here - nifty!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 3

Breakfast:
Smoothie (same old stuff, but used a new protein powder that really fluffed it all up and made more than I could drink!)
4 oz orange juice to take my multitude of pills with

Snack:
Coffee (I debated whether or not to stop because I'm trying to ditch the caffeine, but I really wanted a hot cuppa joe, so I caved - in a 14 oz coffee mug, I get about 10 oz black coffee and top it off with machine cappuccino)
2 graham crackers

Lunch:
2 lite cheese sticks
1 pear
Not the lunch I intended to have, but I was late to work because of E not feeling well, so kinda busting my ass today

Snacks:
Nature Valley peanut butter granola bars
15 almonds
15-20 chocolate covered almonds at Whole Foods (grrr)
3 Twizzlers (shared by J at the grocery store...grrr)

Dinner:
Garbanzo bean soup made with vegetarian sausage (too bland, non-vegetarian kids would not eat it, vegetarian kid complained)
8 oz milk

Snack:
1 cup Pops cereal (I wanted more than 21 biscuits!)
8 oz milk

Tomorrow I should have time to (finally) make a meal plan from "This is Why You are Fat." It's been on my list for ummm...too long. I do better, I think, if things are laid out for me to follow, instead of trying to improvise and figure it out on the fly. I also need to hard boil some eggs. I love eggs! I think I will have some for breakfast, along with a slice of some whole grain bread I got from Trader Joe's that I haven't been brave enough to try yet...

Exercise:
None whatsoever. I really need to find a cross-training thing to do on the days I don't run. I miss the gym! Tomorrow is a 4 mile run on the trail with the Big Red Dog. I hope it doesn't rain!

Shin Splint Update:
Did not feel anything all day today, which is amazing! Usually I am hobbling around the day after a long run. This evening I did start to feel a knot in my left calf - maybe I will sleep in my sexy socks? That sounds good, as does sleep, period......sleep sounds good, period. I am not doing well with my "early to bed" goal, and I definitely do not want to get E's stomach bug. I need to stay healthy until my half!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 2

Here's what I ate today - I haven't put it in my Lose It! app yet, but I will either tonight or tomorrow and then I'll have a calorie count.

Pre-Run:
Smoothie (1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 cup mixed berries, 1/2 banana, handful of spinach, 2 heaping spoonfuls Greek yogurt, 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
These are my new favorite things - I'm working my way up to trying a "Green Monster!"

During Run:
Clif Shot Blocks - 3 blocks (1 serving) halfway through my run and the other 3 near the end

Post-Run/Breakfast:
Panera bacon, egg & cheese breakfast sandwich on asiago bagel

Lunch:
Tortilla chips & my very favorite fresh peach chipotle salsa from Lowes Foods

Snack:
Handful of almonds
1 packet Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter while grocery shopping (this stuff is so good, it's like crack to me - I can only buy it in the packets one or two at a time - if I buy the jar, I hoover it all up in a day or two)

Dinner:
Scrambled eggs (3)
1 tomato & asiago cheese chicken sausage
1 slice honey wheat toast w/butter & 1T strawberry jelly
8 oz skim milk
This breakfast for dinner totally hit the spot - I am flat worn out from this morning, but in a really good way. 

Night-time Snack:
Haven't had one yet, but I'm feeling a bowl of cereal and then early to bed...

Updated to add...
Bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats & skim milk (Did you know that 1 serving of mini-wheats is 21 biscuits? 21! That practically fits in my hand - I know because I counted. And then, because I'm a rebel, I added 4 more to my bowl.)

Also, over the course of the day I probably had about 2 glasses (16-20 oz) of orange juice. I try not to buy it too often because it goes fast around here, but with E sick, I wanted to have some for her.

Now I'm going to bed, because I am a night nosher - I probably eat half my calories after 6pm!

Oh Yeah, I Rocked My Run!

Today's run was AWESOME!!!!! We were out at Shelley Lake and then along the creek up the Greenway, which is a very pretty run and not too hilly. The weather was perfect...nice and cool at around 60 degrees, overcast, no humidity. 

I wasn't really sure how to dress, so I wore long pants (over my sexy compression socks), a t-shirt, and a windbreaker. Once I got out there and got going, I could have done without the windbreaker, but I didn't feel like taking it off. I think I would like to try some of those "arm socks" - then I could just roll them down or take them off once I was warmed up. I wasn't too warm in the long pants, although I would like to get a pair of capris. I'm also considering running tights for the cooler weather...

The first mile and a half to two miles, I was feeling some shin pain and warming up. After that I started feeling better and was able to pick up my speed a little. The "mentor" that we usually run with was not there today, so I ran with another woman and we went a little faster than we normally do and I think that made a difference. Going to slow increases my shin pain. 

4 miles and about an hour out, I ate three of the Clif Shot Blocks (I got strawberry). They tasted very sweet, but what a huge difference they made! Heading back I definitely had more kick and was feeling great. No shin pain at all. I hope I wasn't pushing my running partner too much, but I was raring to go.

My new Camelbak definitely felt heavier at the start of the run, but not uncomfortably so. I didn't suck it dry like last weekend, but it was a lot cooler today. The one I got has two zip pockets (as opposed to one small pocket on the one I returned), plenty big enough to carry my phone, keys, ID, inhaler and fuel. A little inconvenient to reach, but I love it and am glad I went with a hydration backpack instead of the belt. I'm not sure I would have liked the feeling of the belt bouncing around my waist.

I love, love, love my compression socks (actually, they are apparently called "sleeves") by CEP. I wore them all day yesterday, taking them off when I went to bed, and on first thing this morning for my run. I definitely think they made a difference, not only with my shin splints, but also with the tightness in my calves I often feel. I think I might like them better in pink, but they didn't have pink so I got black. I think they are my new best friends and I am so glad I invested in them.

After my run I went to Panera with a bunch of other people from the group, including some of the ladies I will be staying with in the Outer Banks for the half. It felt awesome to be included and hanging out with others, talking about running without anyone rolling their eyes at me (yes, kids, I'm looking at you). 

Now the sun is out and it promises to be a gorgeous day, but I'm going to catch a quick nap with E, who is not feeling well, and then try and tackle some yard work. I could not have asked for a better start to my day!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

30-Day Challenge


I've come up with a way to (hopefully) motivate myself to track what I eat every day and blog more frequently. A good, old-fashioned challenge. I am challenging myself to do both for the next 30 days. Things might get a little boring around here as I post endless lists of what I'm eating, but I know I've gotten some great ideas from reading what other bloggers eat!

I am also practicing a little imperfection by starting this TODAY...not on a Sunday, or on the first of the month, or some other "convenient" day. I'm getting started right now! Since I'll be blogging every day, I also plan to record my workouts - it will give me something to look back on years from now as I'm training for my umpteenth half marathon in some fabulous place (I'm dying to race in Alaska...or Scotland...or some gorgeous trail somewhere exotic).

Today is a rest day. It's rainy and chilly and perfect for resting! In fact, I just woke up from a nap! This morning I went to my running form seminar which was very educational. It was at the shoe store that hosts my running groups - Fleet Feet in Raleigh. The people there are awesomely helpful and knowledgeable, and after the seminar I got some advice on my shin splints which are showing no signs of going anywhere anytime soon. We talked about foam rollers (I plan to go to that seminar in a few weeks) and massage sticks, and I ended up with a pair of compression socks. I'm wearing them right now and I love them. I'm going to try wearing them for my long run tomorrow (8 miles!). 

With my legs all squeezy and happy, I headed over to REI to get a Camelbak. I had gotten one for last week's long run, but it didn't have the chest buckle and I decided I wanted a bigger one, because I had sucked down the 50 oz of water long before I finished 7 miles. I also got some Shot Blocks to try, so I am all ready for my run tomorrow! 

I love REI - it's on my top 10 list of stores I'd love to win a shopping spree at. Today, apparently, was their garage sale - luckily, I did not have time to stick around for a ticket to see all the awesomeness I can't afford at the moment, but I definitely plan to start a little slush fund for the next one! Oh, and I also picked up the latest issue of Trail Runner magazine - that is my next adventure!

Food for the day:

Smoothie (1 banana, 1/2 cup mixed berries, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 2 big spoonfuls Greek yogurt, spinach & chia seeds)

Mini cinnamon raisin bagel with lite cream cheese

Tasted a piece of chicken fried tofu at Whole Foods (yum! need recipe!) and shared a super yummy grass fed beef burger with C

...dinner at my parents, details to come...

This was definitely my "treat" meal!
Pork ribs (2)
Eggplant parmesan, 1 slice
Sweet potato fries (baked)
Milk
1/2 biscuit
Chocolate cake & ice cream for dessert (it was my mom's birthday, after all!)

Then, on the way home, I was so tired that I stopped for a caffeinated beverage, and in a very weak moment bought a Mountain Dew and drank it all.

Now I am going to bed because I have my 8-miler tomorrow - Camelbak water bladder is full and chillin' in the fridge, pack has all my necessities in it, clothes are laid out (oh! better hang up the pants I just washed). I am really excited about this run, can't wait to see how it goes in my sexy compression socks!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Official!

I am officially registered for my first half marathon!

My goal is to finish in 3 hours or less. Since I was totally inconsistent with running over the summer, I am currently doing a walk/run for my half training. This is a little frustrating because I feel like I'm moving backwards, but I realize that not only is this the furthest I have planned or trained to run, but I am coming off a pretty big break and the quickly increasing mileage on my long runs is very taxing on my body. 

We are currently doing 2/2 intervals on our group runs, but I've decided to use my other two weekly runs to work my speed and running distance back up. So far it seems to be working. I have been doing 4/2 intervals on my solo runs and today's run was great! Today was a real harbinger of fall - crisp and cool and breezy. Overcast, but luckily I finished right before the rain started. 

I did 4 miles total, an out and back on the trail. The first two miles I did in 26 minutes. By the time I turned around I was feeling strong and kicked it up a notch, even running an entire half mile without walking, and managed two 12-minute miles. It felt so good! 

I remember when I first started running and was reading everything I could get my hands on, and reading that the first mile should be a "warm-up mile" - huh? I couldn't even run a mile! But now it is so true! My first mile to even two miles are definitely warm up miles - always a struggle, and after I slog through them I always feel stronger. I am starting to feel like a runner again. I like the feeling!

Tomorrow is a rest day, but in the morning I am going to a seminar on running form. Very excited! I think I have pretty good form, but I love learning new things about running and am anxious to have my form evaluated by a "pro." I also have to get some "fuel" to carry with me on my 8 mile run Sunday - I am going to try the Clif Blocks - and exchange the Camelbak I got for a bigger one. I am actually looking forward to Sunday's run - just praying for good weather! 8 miles in the rain would SUCK!

Well, off to Target to get some smoothie ingredients!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

8 Miles

This is how far I have to run on Sunday. I'm trying not to think about it. Or the 10 miles I have to run the following Sunday, or the 12 miles the week after that. What on earth did I get myself into? Furthermore, I haven't even registered for a half yet, because the one I want to do (Outer Banks) requires someone to watch the three chillins, including getting them to school on Monday, and I do not yet have confirmation from that someone. I really, really, REALLY do not want to do the City of Oaks half because I understand it is hilly, and I would have to do it by myself, and that whole scenario is just beyond depressing.

Today is supposed to be a cross-training day, but I haven't actually been doing any training on these days, cross or otherwise. I don't have a bike or a pool and my work schedule is changing so I'm not sure what my options are going to be even time-wise. Last night was a 4 mile group run. Tomorrow is a 4 mile run, solo. It is supposed to be gorgeous out - fall is in the air - so I can't wait. I just hope it's not a rainy run!

I never actually got around to writing about my "experiment" because I felt like dookie last weekend. I did manage a short 2-mile walk/run (way more walk) on Friday, and rested as much as I could on Saturday before my Sunday morning 7 mile group run. It was a very hilly run - we did it in 2/2 intervals - and it felt great! Knocked the rest of that cold right out of me. Anyway, I digress...

My "experiment" was going to be trying to follow the "Lose the Belly Fat" diet for one week, but as I read more of the book and took a trip through my pantry and the grocery store checking grams of sugar on different foods, I decided that if I tried to stay within 15 grams of sugar PER DAY that there was a very good possibility that I would kill someone before the first 24 hours was up, so I have decided instead to follow the "This is Why You Are Fat" plan. I love that she allows treat meals on weekends and everything she said made sense and felt totally doable. I'm going to be doing a big grocery shopping trip this weekend to stock up on everything - already been enjoying smoothies with protein powder in the mornings, and YUM! The biggest thing I need to do is get back to recording everything I eat. Why am I so blocked about this?

Well, it's been a long day, I have some reading to do with E (we are starting with "Little Lamb"), and it's about to storm outside (I hope), so after I am done with her reading, I am going to curl up in bed with a good blog!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to School Funk

First E started with it - the sniffles, the stuffy head, the coughing. Then J got it. Next domino to fall was C. And now, yes, I have the funk. It started around lunch time, and throughout the rest of the day it felt like someone was blowing up my head like a balloon and stuffing it with cotton. Now I am a sniffly, stuffy mess. Soup for dinner, then straight to bed. Luckily I am working from home tomorrow, so I can stay in bed and work on my laptop in my jammies all day long. I'm supposed to run 3 miles, but I don't think that is going to happen - either I will take the big red dog for a long walk or I will to C25K with C, which shouldn't be too hard. Last year I ran through all my colds but one and it actually made me feel better, but with a 7 mile run coming up on Sunday, I don't want to push it, either. I'd rather miss a short run than a long one!

So, nighty night!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hot Date

Picture courtesy of  The Kitchn
Tonight I have a hot date with a frozen bag of broccoli. Two words...Shin. Splints. Ouch! Sunday before last I started my half marathon training group with a 5 mile run - very ambitious considering I have largely been on hiatus all summer. In fact, the entire schedule is very ambitious, hence my painful shins. But it feels SO GOOD to be out there running again, with other people, that I am willing to put up with the pain. I called my mom after that 5 mile run and she could tell by my voice I had started my running group and run right out of my funk! I'm two weeks in and while I am a little beaten up physically, mentally I feel 100% better. 
 
Here's something else that has me rocking a good mood. My 13 year old (C) has started running with me. She wants to join the track team this year! Because of me! I've inspired her! How proud am I? And of course, I just LOVE running with her, even though she is a gazelle next to my Clydesdale...it actually works out quite well because she pushes me to run a little faster when I am feeling wimpy. My 15 year old (J) wants to run with us, too, and of course E hates to be left behind - I might just have the whole gang out there running the Turkey Trot with me this year! 
 
Well, it is time to get the kiddos to bed so I can have some couch time with a good book, which is related to an experiment I have in the works...more to come! I'm excited and nervous about it!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Half Training!

Well I haven't exactly been regular in my posting like I promised, but I have been making progress behind the scenes! I started my half marathon training group on Sunday with a 5 MILE RUN (well, to be honest, walk/run, since my summer hiatus from running and um, general 24-hour buffet attitude). It was AWESOME! 

I will share a secret - it's a little sad and pathetic, but it's where I was at the time. I have been looking forward to signing up for this group forever. I had wanted to do the summer trail running group, but they did not offer it this year, so I could not wait for this group to start - I knew that I needed the accountability and sociability of a running group! But funds were tight and I am a bit of a procrastinator, so I waited until the very last minute to go in and sign up...and the group was full. With a waiting list. And I am embarrassed to admit (this is the pathetic part) that I actually started to cry, right there in the store, with my 8-year old standing next to me. Then through my tears and snuffles, I begged him to please add me to the waiting list, which he kindly did. On Wednesday, I got an email saying there was space for me, and I honestly (really, truly, honestly) think that was the happiest moment I had had in months - it has been a rough few months!

So now I am running again! With a group. That includes fantastic people I met in my spring running group. And I is HAPPPPPEEEEEEEEEE!!! It seems crazy to me, though maybe it shouldn't, that this has become such a HUGE part of my life and happiness in such a short amount of time. A year ago I was a couch potato. I HATED exercise. I HATED to sweat in public. I kind of just hated to get off the couch (except for meals, but, come to think of it I ate a lot of those on the couch, too). I am so crazy grateful for that lucky day I got a hair up my butt to do something different and stumbled across C25K, and for everything running has done for me.

Now I do have to admit that I haven't made any fantastic changes in my eating habits...yet! But I know that as I train, I will naturally start to gravitate toward better and more healthful choices, so I'm kind of taking things one step at a time, which is a lesson I am working on in all areas of my life right now. I'm good with where I am, and where I am, by the way, is 2.5 pounds lighter than I was on Sunday! I will also admit that I had refused to get on the scale for quite some time out of sheer terror, but I had to go to the doctor last week so that was kind of the end of that. And it was depressing, and frustrating, and all of that stuff, but I am ok with it. I am officially back on the wagon. And this time, I'm going to take pictures!