Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Longer Run

Yesterday I ran a 5-miler. It was not easy. I really didn't prepare well for it. I kinda decided @ the last minute to do it. I learned some things:
* 5 miles is longer than my usual 3.1
* Hills are really hard to run up
* The sun makes me hot
* Running makes me thirsty
* Running too soon after eating makes me sick
* I need to plan my runs a little better :)

I ended up finishing the 5 miles in 50:27 - just a little over a 10:00/mile pace. Awesome, considering I felt like throwing up a couple of times while running. I just kept shifting my focus to things like:
* Wow - 5 miles could get me 1/2 way to my parents house or 1/2 way to my work, or even almost 1/2 way to Barnes & Noble (for a really big Frap:)
* In the 50 minutes I was running, we could've been 1/2 way to Pittsburgh.
* Not all runs have to be kick-ass runs!
* 7 months ago, I couldn't have WALKED this route without having someone come pick me up 1/2 way through.

Shortly after I got home and collected my sanity again, I decided to run the 5K in Ebensburg this weekend (OK, maybe I decided this while I was still a little unstable). No expectations for this race since I decided it last minute, I just want to finish proudly!

I didn't run today - did Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred - ouchy! That kicked my butt pretty good! Hopefully I can move tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


My attempts @ creating delicious, healthy, beautiful meals have been going well:
This was:
* Grilled chicken breast with fresh basil, tomato, and smoked provolone cheese (I used Weight Watchers smoked provolone - 1 point per piece) on top.
* Kashi's 7-grain pilaf (super yummy - even the boys loved it).
* Fresh lettuce from our garden with grilled/marinated portabello mushrooms on top.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Who Takes a Scale on Vacation?

I did!

Vacation is usually a time of rest, relaxation, filling our bellies with all kinds of treats for us, but I had a new philosophy this year. I decided that if I left all of my newer healthy habits behind, then all the work I've done in the past 7 months has just been a diet - nothing more. So we took the scale on vacation with us and monitored intake and output.

We left  for Ocean City, MD last Saturday around noon, so I took the opportunity to use the early morning for a run, thinking that I would start my vacation off on the right foot and in a healthy state of mind. My plan was to be as consistent with my exercise and diet as I am at home, but didn't know if that would actually work out. It did!

Here's how we controlled our intake on vacation:
1. When we arrived @ the beach, we went to the grocery store and loaded up on fruit, healthy snacks, healthy lunch foods, water, frozen fruit, almond milk.
2. We ate breakfast and lunch in our hotel room everyday. Breakfast consisted of either oatmeal or a PB&J (on Arnold's deli rounds). Lunch was either a gardenburger, leftovers, or a lean cuisine meal.
3. We allowed ourselves treats - the last night we ordered a pizza and had a candy bar. There was another evening that we got ice cream (kid-sized) on the boardwalk.
4. I drank a lot of H2O - I took my bottle with me everywhere and just kept working at it.
5. I weighed myself every morning - I actually came home a tad lighter than when I left  -that felt pretty damn good :)
6. When we ate out, I tried to add as many veggies into my meal or Jeremy and I would share a meal, or I only ate 1/2 and took the rest for the next day's lunch.

Here's how I controlled output on vacation:
1. Exercised everyday but 1! Most days I ran, some days I did a combo walk/run. Sunday morning (we stayed in Annapolis Saturday night), I knew I had to exercise b/c our hotel room was right next to the fitness room. Tuesday morning, I woke up after 5am and took our dirty clothes to the laundry facility, which happen to be right neat the fitness room. So while the clothes washed and dried, I was able to get in an hour of cardio!
2. When we swam with the kids, I tried to do some extra movements in the water against resistance.
3. We did a lot of extra walking - to the beach, along the boardwalk.
4. Thanks to the heat wave, I did a lot of sweating.

This vacation was totally different than any other, because coming home, I not only had the wonderful memories to cherish, but the pride in knowing that I was not just in the middle of some type of fad diet - this is my new lifestyle! I feels so great to be able to mesh all of my habits with my everyday life, no matter where I am!

I must say that I am very proud of my whole family - we're all cruising to wellness - we all focused on putting good things in our bodies and making good choices all around! Through Jeremy's suggestion, we took our Honda Civic on vacation - this made us focus on quality vs. quantity - we packed less clothes, less toys, less junk. We used less than 2 tanks of gas for the entire trip (still have a 1/4 tank left). We also made sure that we were careful in creating as little waste as possible while in OC. Ocean City did away with their recycling program (bummer), so we had a special bag for all of our recyclables and when we left, we dropped them off @ a recycling center a few miles up the road.

What a meaningful and purposeful vacation! Every minute we spent together is so special to me and I realize that our focus on health and wellness will allow us to continue to enjoy on the good things!
Lovin' being on the beach

Feeling so healthy - so happy to be with my boys.

Our happy family (I get smiley just looking @ this photo)

Monday, July 12, 2010

I went out for a pre-lunch run today - my motivation was to get my run in before the rain came. Mission accomplished.
I mapped my run through Cresson.
4.6 miles in 45:23 - a little under 10:00/mile - Yay!
Someone once told me that the first 3 miles are the hardest and that once you get those under your belt, distance becomes easier. I totally didn't believe her, but today, I felt like I could've added more distance than 4.6 miles - maybe she was right.......

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Big Run

I decided to try to big run today - anything over 3.1 miles is considered 'big' in my book. There's a 6.3 mile route/loop near my house, so I decided to try it. It's tough - pretty much all hills - no flat spots. On top of that, the sun was blaring (although the temp was only mid-high 70s). I set out with a bottle of water, something I usually don't do, and let Jeremy know that I could either #1 run my usual 3.1 trek up the road and back, #2 run out to the end of our road and back (5 miles), or #3 do the 6.3 mile loop. I wanted to have options so that when I started out, I could cut it short if I felt like I needed to.
So, again, there are no flat spots on this route - all hills. My goal was just to not stop, whether I was running or walking, I just didn't want to stop. I did well, I started out running and when I hit the first big/long hill, I walked and jogged parts of it. I picked up running whenever and where ever I could (most upgrades I walked or slow jogged).

It was so hard, but I pushed and pushed and made the entire 6.3 loop in 67:00 - that's about 10:45/mile. I was thrilled. When I run my 5Ks I usually average about 9:30/mile, so I doubled my distance and only increased my time by a little over a minute/mile.
 I've never run that far before, but I can guarantee this won't be the last time I explore that loop.

My legs are so tired, but I'm so proud of that experience, that no pain can damper my spirit right now!

Thinking About It

Running is a pretty cheap sport in comparison to most other sports. Once you buy your shoes (which I'm due for a new pair soon) and get your shorts, tees, and bras, you're ready to go. No need for other equipment. Enter the Garmin FR60 training watch:
This thing is pretty cool. Here are the specs:
Log every mile and every minute with FR60, a sleek fitness watch plus workout tool that tracks your time, heart rate and calories burned. When bundled with the wireless foot pod, FR60 also tracks speed and distance, indoors or out. Then, FR60 wirelessly sends your workout data to your computer for later analysis.
So the question is not, "Would I like to have miles, HR, time, and calories burned identified in every run?" but, "Do I want to spend the ~ $200 for this piece of equipment?"
I dunno - I'm think 'bout it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Feeling Hot! Hot! Hot!

Wow! baby is it hot out! Planning on running on the treadmill *inside* today - hopefully. I woke up this morning with low back and hip pain :(
Gonna give it a try and if it doesn't work out, rest is on the horizon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How It All Started

Everyone has a story about something. This is my story of how I got into running and some of my thoughts on the activity.

I've been overweight all my life. In 2003, about 10 months after having my 1st son, I decided that I didn't want to be a 'fat mom.' I joined Curves and started following the Weight Watchers Points program and between July and the following October, I lost close to 50 pounds. Curves was a great workout for me b/c it burned calories and toned muscles, but I also added a little running into that - I can remember it took me about 3 months to be able to run 1 mile. I planned to sign up for a 5K but when the 5K wasn't scheduled, my running slacked off and I started to gain some of the weight back (slowly, so it didn't really seem like a big deal). In 2006, I became pregnant and in 2007 gave birth to our 2nd son! Much of my weight came back and stay on (I did manage to keep 20 of those original pounds off:)

On January 2, 2010, I looked at my boys and said, "This isn't funny - I've gotta do something about my weight!" And it was in that instant that I started this new weight loss/fitness journey.

My plan has been quite simple and pretty generic (not to mention cheap - I refuse to pay a boat-load of money to lose weight - I'd rather save the money for some kick-ass clothes in a smaller size):
I started following the Weight Watchers Points plan again and hit the gym everyday.
The gym I go to ROCKS - it's brand new and has awesome equipment, so I'm lucky in that respect.
I found a workout in Prevention Magazine called a 'Speed Ladder' that was 30 minutes long - every 2-4 minutes you either increase your speed or incline, causing your body to constantly adjust to the changing activity demands. This is what led me back to running. As part of that speed ladder, I would walk briskly, or jog for 1-2 minute intervals and I thought, after several weeks/months of doing that, I could handle more.

So the running - or at that point, I should say jogging - began.

On April 3, I downloaded a registration form for a 5K and started training.
I went out for my first, can you say, 'death?' I honestly thought I'd never make it back home - my legs burned, my lungs felt like they were going to jump out of my throat, my stomach was churning, my face was red. But I managed to squeak out a 2 mile distance in around 28:00 (that's about a 14:00 mile - not so hot if I wanted to run a race in 6 weeks).
I kept at it - just pushing myself a little further each time - rewarding myself with things like a new Itunes download or just the pure satisfaction of accomplishment.
**Important to note that this entire time, I've had the hugest support team - Jeremy has checked in with me everyday - asking me about my weight, what I did for exercise, what my goals were, etc. He's even been my 'measurer' when I do my weigh-ins every month.**

On May 16, 2010, I ran my 1st 5K - I was totally nervous and unprepared (I wore shorts and a tee shirt on a 49 degree morning). I had 2 goals for my first race:
#1 Set a base time (preferably under 32:00)
# Don't finish last!
(I just got registered and pinned my number on - I was sooooo nervous)

The race was hard - although I ran it about 8 times during training, I didn't feel confident running it that morning. It's a tough course - mainly incline the entire way out (then down hill most of the way back, which you would think would be easy, but it isn't - take my word). I started feeling nauseous with only about 8/10 of a mile to go. To my good fortune, a friend, who already finished the course, came back to find his dad to run the remainder of the race with him, but he must've seen me struggling and asked if I wanted him to run with me - YES! I said. His conversation distracted me and he encouraged me to just do my best.
I ended up crossing the finish line in 30:03!!! Holy crap was all I could think! I never expected that time (especially since I took about 5 walk breaks). I ended up placing 3rd in my age category -in my FIRST RACE! Talk about endorphins flowing.

(Here I come down the home stretch - I was feeling horrible but elated!)

(Hitting the finish line - so happy)

(Totally surprised when they called my name)

(The reason(s) my mantra is 'Yay Mommy!')

More race stories later!

Hooray - Another Blog!

So I was sitting at the table this morning eating my breakfast and I pulled the computer over and thought, "It would be pretty cool to read about other gals/Moms who run for weight loss/exercise/etc. I Googled running blogs and, much to my surprise, found many blogs. As I scrolled through them I started thinking, "I should have my own wellness blog," so I started one (mind you I just finished a mighty large cup of blueberry cobbler coffee and the caffeine was kickin' in).

My goals/hopes/dreams for this blog is just to have a space that I can come and share my weight loss/fitness/wellness journey with anyone who has any interest in reading it!