Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Nevada!

1. As much as I fear them, I'm thankful for airplanes and the pilots that can take me to visit my best friend with only a day's planning.




2. I'm thankful for beautiful & freezing Lake Tahoe, where I could sit on the beach, look at snow in the distance, get a little burnt (oops!), and most importantly visit with Kirsten.




3. I'm thankful for the ability to hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains and chase cute lizards while wearing my running shoes.




4. (BONUS THANKSGIVING) Later today, I'll have even MORE to be thankful for because I also get to meet my awesome friends Beki and Ashley for the first time when Kirsten & I drive to California to celebrate Beki's completion of the bar exam!

As you can see, much to be thankful for this week. I really needed this time away to unwind and take a break, and I feel so blessed that this trip was able to come together.

What about you? For what vacation are you most thankful?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Burst In To Summer - 7/27 Checking

Blogging to you from Nevada! Kirsten & I are watching her middle girl's swim practice :-)



Today is Wednesday so it's check-in day for Shrinking Jeans. This week we were supposed to abstain from pop. Epic fail for me. I've had at least one Diet Coke a day. Oh well.

This coming week the challenge is to up dairy consumption. I did have milk on my cereal this morning-it's a start. I know this is an area that is seriously lacking in my diet. With all my running, I really do need to protect my joins & bones, so I will be trying to get in more calcium.

I haven't been doing bootcamp, but will work to get in some of the strength moves with Kirsten today!

How has your week been? Were you able to resist Diet Coke's siren call?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

True Confessions of the Traveling Kind

Good morning!




I'm blogging to you from the charging station at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. This morning, I woke up at 2am to catch a flight out of Detroit for a little R&R. Later this morning, I'll arrive in Reno and will spend a few days with Kirsten (right after I give her a ginormous hug)! I'm also going to see Beki (who is taking the bar exam today!!!) this week. I'm beyond excited to escape Michigan for a few days. Can you tell?

This past week I've made good food choices & have been hitting my marathon training runs. I've even started the Plank-A-Day challenge. (If you want to participate, there are no rules except do at least 1 plank a day and tweet about it with the #plankaday hashtag). I wonder if anyone would look at me funny if I did a plank at the airport?

Since this is a confession post, I am confessing I will have a great time this week. Food, drinks, hiking, Lake Tahoe, & my first long run at elevation are on the schedule.

I hope you all have something exciting or fun planned as well!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 25, 2011

LLRB 365: 2011 Week 29

Another week has simply flown by.  This summer will be gone before we know it!

Monday
7-18-11
A walk around my lily garden.


Tuesday
7-19-11
Gorgeous clouds today!


It was also my little sister's birthday, so you get 2 pictures today!  Weren't we cute back in '73?


Wednesday
7-20-11
Like a good portion of the country, the temps have been a bit high.


Thursday
7-21-11
It's too hot out for mom to pump her own gas.  One day, he'll start paying for it too :)


Friday
7-22-11
Cubs Win!


Saturday
7-23-11
It's recovery week in my marathon plan, so I "only" had to run 10 miles today.  I won't see 10 miles on a long run again until the week before the marathon, except as I pass it of course.


Sunday
7-24-11
Peep-Peep!  We have 2 baby robins in the tree next to our garage.  I caught a shot of this one peeking out of the nest.  Can you find her?

I hope where ever you are, you are keeping cool and enjoying your summer!

I have one last bit of business - my awesome friend Alan, from Sweating Until Happy, is giving away a $50 gift card to HolaBirdSports on his blog this week!  I know I could use an extra 50 bucks for some new workout tops or shoes! This is Alan's first giveaway, so head over there and check it out.  Also, while you're there, give him a shout-out for his 67 pound weight loss.  I'm so proud of this guy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Strength

It would appear I forgot to write a Thankful Thursday post last week.  Oops.  Not bad considering I've been trying to post a thanksgiving post each week for about a month and a half now and I've only missed one.  I'll try to do better!

This week I choose to give thanks for what helps me find strength when I'm struggling.
  • I am thankful for a beautiful, quiet trail to run on, especially when it is nearly empty at 6:00 in the morning and it's just me, the wildlife, and God.
  • I'm thankful for my faith.  I know sometimes (ok, a lot of times) I question God's plan and I spend too much time talking at Him versus listening to Him, but I know that he is with me and "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13 NIV).
  • I am thankful for a group of very dear, special friends.  I know that I can call, text, DM, whatever and they will be there, either to give advice or just for a listening ear. I cannot express how much you mean to me.
Who or what do you turn to when you are struggling?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Burst into Summer Check in 5

I'm dealing with crap right now, which makes the commitment to eat healthy and workout hard, but even more essential.  I'm getting in all my marathon training runs - even set a PR for the 1/2 marathon distance on Saturday - but the "other" workouts are harder.  I did bike on Monday and I made myself do some strength training today with some exercise bands I got at FitBloggin (maybe a review and giveaway will happen at some point).

As for the Shrinking Jeans challenges, I'm continuing to eat breakfast and drinking tons of water.  I'm afraid veggies are not being consumed as much as they should be and sleep is definitely not happening.  It's too hot and my brain will not turn off at night.  Last night, I moved to the spare bedroom in the basement (it's easily 10-15 degrees cooler down there) but it freaked out the cat and she meowed half the night.  I can't win.

I think I'm still around 136-137 (at least I was yesterday).  I didn't weigh-in this morning because I didn't want to see a higher number and have my already crappy day turn worse.

I hope you are all doing better than I am at the moment.

I really don't like strength training.  I'm doing it, because I feel like I need to and I know it will improve my running, but I think I'm a cardio, sweatpouringdownmyface, sorta girl.

What is your favorite workout?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Confessions of Fear & Doubt

Fear and doubt are powerful emotions.
They can cripple you or make you stronger.
They can eat you alive or you can chew them up and spit them out.

I'm trying very hard to embrace option B.
I want to be strong.
I don't want fear and doubt to consume me.

At the moment, I'm not winning.

But I'm trying.

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 NIV

Monday, July 18, 2011

LLRB 365: 2011 Week 28

I added a new page to this little blog - race results!  I decided that, even though all my results are on the Athlinks.com site, I wanted them here, too.  Check out what I've done and what I'm looking forward to trying in the next year.

Monday
7-11-11
Suite-level seats for the West Michigan Whitecaps thanks to a friend.  Very fun!  They won, too!

Tuesday
7-12-11
Clocked my fastest speedwork session ever at the gym.


Wednesday
7-13-11
Town gets ready for First Lady Betty Ford's funeral and internment at the Gerald R Ford Museum.


Thursday
7-14-11
My best girl, Kirsten, sent me an early birthday present! I love my new shirt!!!


Friday
7-15-11
My girl working on her dives - the high school season starts so early!


Saturday
7-16-11
Smile-inducing, sunrise 13 mile run!


Sunday
7-17-11
Rewarded Saturday's hard work with a relaxing float in the pool.


Setting a PR on my 13.2 mile training run was certainly a highlight of my week.  What did you love best about the 28th week of 2011?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Burst Into Summer: Check In 4

It's Wednesday, and that means it's check-in day over at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.  I'm continuing to eat breakfast, drink lots of water and am working on getting in fruits and vegetables.  This past week's mini-challenge was to kick fast food to the curb.  I think I succeeded on this one, mostly.  I was craving a burger and fried pickles after my long run last Saturday (Hello, I burned like 1600 calories!), but instead of fast food, we went to a sit-down-bar-type place.  Sunday we picked up the boy from camp and got Subway for lunch.  Seeing as I make really good choices at Subway 99% of the time, I don't consider it "fast food" in the McWendyKing sort of way.  On the way out to camp, the hubby and K got McD's for breakfast, but I had a bowl of cereal before we left and drank a Click on the way.  I consider that a major #win, especially since I puffy heart love their cinnamon melts and hash browns.

My marathon training is coming along nicely.  In the past 4 1/2 weeks, I've logged almost 75 miles running!  This doesn't count biking and walking for cross-training.  I ran 12 last weekend and this weekend I'm up to 13 already.  Blows my mind more than just a little bit.  If I can be honest, I'm freaking out at the thought of how far 26.2 miles actually IS and how slow my long runs have been, but I'm trying to get over that.  I've also been having some hip and knee pain, but I have an appointment this afternoon with my amazing chiropractor.  He uses ART rather than the adjustments you normally think of  when you think "chiropractor".  I'm hoping he can fix things so I can run my 7 tomorrow and 13 this weekend relatively pain-free.  If you are a runner and have knee, hip, back pain, I strongly recommend finding an ART provider and giving it a try.  I'm also going to check and see when I last bought shoes.  My running store is having their semi-annual sale starting today and I might go pick up a new pair, even if I'm not quite needing them yet.

Also-on a running-realted note-I finally added a "race results" page here!  (I use the athlinks website to keep track of all of my races, but I decided to post them here too.)  This page is also where I'll post any upcoming races I might be thinking about.  Check it out :)

As for this week's challenge, it is to get at least 7+ hours of sleep a night.  I'm usually pretty good with this, so easy-peasy. 

Even though I'm technically a "non-loser" for this challenge, I believe in full disclosure.  I've been in maintenance mode for quite some time now.  (I actually don't remember when I last posted a weight here.)  However, I'm really struggling with eating and marathon training.  Somehow I'm up about 5 pounds from my all-time low of 132pointSomething.  I've been hovering right around 134-135 and today I was 137.2.  UGH.  It isn't horrible, but I'd much rather be back under 135.  I even feel a lot fatter, which is completely ridiculous, but there you go.  However, severely restricting calories when you are running 20+ miles a week is a really bad idea.  I know losing weight while training for an endurance event is extremely difficult, but I definitely don't want to go any higher than I am today.  If any of you endurance athletes (I can't believe I'm actually lumping myself into the same category as you) have any ideas, I would love to hear them.  (Tracking my food only makes me crazy and bitchy, so that option if off the table for the time being.)

So, how was your week?  Any successes?  Any learning experiences (they aren't failures!)?  Talk to me, friends, I'd love to hear how you are doing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

True Confessions: Overwhelmed

I have to confess, my sins are much more mental this week.  I'm feeling a tad-bit overwhelmed.  Ok, A LOT overwhelmed.  Because of this feeling, you get this confession in bullet points. 
  • Overwhelmed at the thought of actually running for 26.2 miles in just 3 months.  I made the mistake of mapping out a point-to-point distance from my house to Lake Michigan, and it was 28 miles.  That is REALLY FREAKING FAR.
  • Overwhelmed at how I'm going to work in training once school starts back up at the end of summer.  Right now, it's been great getting to sleep in a little and then get my runs in, or some cross training.  I haven't figured out how I'm going to do that come the end of August and that scares me.
  • Overwhelmed about how to balance eating right and training.  I'm up a few pounds (about 5 or 6 from my all-time lowest weight, but still well within my "goal" range).  I mentioned stressing about this and it prompted tons of convos back and forth on twitter today about the need to track what I eat before the weight gain gets out of hand.  Honestly, I really don't want to track.  It makes me crazy and then that's one more thing to add to the "overwhelmed" feeling.  If I don't track perfectly, I've failed and then what's the point?  A bunch of people suggested My Fitness Pal and some other apps, but I have ways to track.  That isn't the issue.  Ashley said something about making sure the plate was filled with mostly stuff that doesn't need to be tracked, fruits and veggies.  That's just great, but what about the carbs and protein I need to keep my body going for all the miles I'm putting in.  Like I said, overwhelming.
  • I'm also overwhelmed by the day-to-day.  We are in the process of refinancing our house and taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course.  All the talk about money and budgets is making me nucking futs.  I know we need it, and working through the budget may actually get me to some races I really want to do this year, but the process to get there is no fun.  I skipped the last 2 weeks so I could spend time with Kirsten and then get a run in (the hubby still went) but I have to go tonight.  So, instead of getting the house ready for the appraiser and going over the materials for class, I'm sitting here on the computer spilling my guts and trying to get the kids to clean the house.  It isn't working.
This all may seem trivial and you guys might just think I'm nuts, but this is how I'm feeling today.  Forgive me friends, for I am a basket case.  After all, this is the point of "true confessions" isn't it?  To get shit off your chest?  So, confession complete and sins forgiven?

Monday, July 11, 2011

LLRB 365: 2011 Week 27

I can't believe we are almost to the second week of July.  It seems like, once the 4th hits, summer is half-way over and we start thinking about back to school already.  GAH - I'm not ready!  Here's a glimpse into the 27th week of 2011 for me.

Monday
7-4-11
Happy Independence Day, America!
K marched in her first parade & we capped the day off with, what else, FIREWORKS!

Tuesday
7-5-11
I ran my first "Beer Run" with the Grand Rapids Marathon folks.  I got a bit lost (thank goodness for phone gps and map apps) but I won a new hat :) That yummy beer is a New Holland "The Poet" Oatmeal Stout.


Wednesday
7-6-11
Spent a good portion of today relaxing in my friend's pool.


Thursday
7-7-11
Used the high school track for my speedwork today and clocked my fastest miles EVER!  My 1/2 mile sprints averaged an 8:42 pace!  This is me AFTER my 3 miles :-)


Friday
7-8-11
We woke up to some presents in our yard (I have teenage children - it was bound to happen eventually).  Had to laugh at the really pathetic TP'ing job, but was less than thrilled with their addition of food items - that's just gross, people.


Saturday
7-9-11
I finally got to watch the sun rise during a run.  I ran 12 miles this morning - my longest run in 2 months.


Sunday
7-10-11
Picked up my boy after 12 days at music camp, met my MIL's new chickens, and rolled a Yahtzee in my van!


The questions for the week:
1. Have you ever TP'd someone (I'm not ashamed to admit I've partaken/partook? a number of times)?
2. What do you call covering someone's trees with toilet paper where you live?
3.  Are you as obsessed with number patterns as I am?


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This week I'm giving thanks for what helps me find peace.

• I'm thankful for quiet backyard swimming pools. (Not my pool, btw-I'm also very thankful for the friend who let's me hang out here.)




• I'm thankful for books, especially ones with real pages.



• I'm thankful for the ability to run for minutes, or hours, and having gps & a map on my phone for when I get lost.




What are you thankful for this week?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Burst Into Summer: Check-In 3

Hey there everyone!  I woke up today believing that today would be a great day.  I'm not going to let anything spoil it.  Not a couple pounds on the scale (really, I'm still way within my goal range and considering the drinking and food in the past week, I can be thankful it isn't more), not a few rough runs, nothing.

Last week's Burst into Summer mini-challenge had to do with fruits and veggies.  I did ok.  Fruit on my cereal in the morning, salads at lunch or dinner most days, and I'm totally counting salsa as a vegetable.  Ignore the chips used to eat said salsa.

I also tried to reign it in a bit on the 4th.  Thankfully (or not, depending on your perspective) we didn't have plans for the first year in forever.  This made it a little easier to make healthier choices, but I will admit to eating a couple of hot dogs.

I've already failed at this week's mini-challenge of no fast food.  In my defense, I didn't read about the challenge until AFTER lunch.  K and I had Culver's after her diving practice today.  She's feeling very discouraged about how hard it has been to be expected to just literally dive back in after over 6 months off.  The high school coach is tough and she's feeling bad.  She requested Culver's, so I said ok.  As a bonus, we both did just get kid's meals and tiny cups of frozen custard.

I've managed to do bootcamp a couple of times, only I'm skipping the sprints so I don't have to cut out my speedwork run each week.  Today I did the week 3 strength circuit after my bike ride.  It kicked my ass.

So, there you go.  Not a bad week, but it could have been a little better.  At least I didn't eat 50 or 60-someodd hotdogs like those crazy hot dog eating contest fools.

How was your week?  What was one victory this 4th of July weekend?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

True Confession Tuesday - Heavy Heart

Today, my heart is heavy.

I'm in a funk.

I know why.

 I'm trying to change my thinking.

It's just so very hard.

I should be full of joy after last week.

But, sadly, I'm not.

I'll be fine, though.

This, too, shall pass.

Monday, July 4, 2011

LLRB 365: 2011 Week 26

This week was an absolute blast.  Kirsten and her girls were here as part of her insaneroadtrip and I didn't want to let her leave!  I took so many pictures, that many this week needed to be posted as diptic app collages :)

Monday
6-27-11
After many, many hours in the car, Kirsten and her girls finally made it to Michigan. We celebrated with some sweet tea vodka & lemonade

Tuesday
6-28-11
Kirsten's girls bonded with David, we went for a run with my running group for a sweaty 4 miles - meeting up with Pete, too, and we had a yummy dinner with some Chateau Chantal Naughty Red!


Wednesday
6-29-11
David headed off for 12 days at music camp and the weather was glorious, so us girls went to Millennium Park Beach for some fun in the sun.


Thursday
6-30-11
Kirsten and I started off the day with a 3 mile run.  Running with one of the best friends a girl can have - priceless.  It was Kaylee's turn to be mobbed and then she & one of her friends babysit while Kirsten helped me pop my tat cherry!  Kirsten got a 26.2 Mickey for her Disney Marathon and I am now sporting a firework :)  I chose the word "strength" for so many reasons, but mainly because this verse wouldn't fit on my ankle:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" - Philippians 4:13


Friday
7-1-11
Kirsten headed out early for her next destination :( and I tried to fuel for my Saturday long run.


Saturday
7-2-11
Today was long run day!  I ran my farthest distance since May: 10.6 miles in just over 2 hours!


Sunday
7-3-11
Spent a good chunk of the hot day camped out in front of the Cub's game with a brew.


That was my week - the highlight truly being Kirsten's visit.  Do you have any fun get togethers planned this summer?

Is anybody out there?

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