Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday: 1-2-3

Oh my goodness, is it really the end of March and Spring Break starts in about 6 hours????? That means I have 3 things to be thankful for today:

  1. Only one more sleep until I get to see Brooke again - can you believe it's been almost 2 years???!!! (We won't talk about the ridiculous amount of driving before I actually get to see her though.)
  2. Only 2 more sleeps until I get to meet Jaime and her family!!!!
  3. Only 3 more sleeps until the Covenant Health Knoxville (half) Marathon!!!  I feel completely unprepared to run this race, but I'm going to give it my all and never give up.  Luckily, I'll have Jaime there to keep me going while we run all over God's beautiful Tennessee creation and then we get to hang out in Neyland Stadium and cheer for Brooke as she finishes the full marathon!  Gonna be a fun weekend FOR SURE.

This looks like a lot of fun, doesn't it? (excuse the crappy pic - I was having a blonde moment and my tech brain is already on spring break)
When is Spring Break in your neck-of-the-woods? Any fun plans?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Numbers Don't Lie, or do they?

I'm finding it a little hard to believe that I've been following the New Rules of Lifting For Women strength training plan for a month now.  I finished workout 7A last night, which means I only have 3 more workouts left in Stage 1.  I'm not sure how that will work with my half marathon coming up on Sunday and then traveling for a week, but I might get the workouts in.  I'm not going to beat myself up though if I don't.

I had decided a few days ago that I wasn't going to measure or take "progress" pictures because, frankly, I didn't feel like I'd made any visible progress (I know I've gotten stronger because I'm lifting a lot more weight and the workouts really aren't very challenging at all - which means I'm not lifting heavy enough).  I certainly can't see any difference and my clothes are no less tight and today my weight was EXACTLY the same as it was a month ago (GRRRR).  There are definitely factors going into the fact that my scale hasn't moved in a month well, it's moved but up a little down a little but overall it's a wash.  My eating has been pretty crappy.  I haven't been tracking shit my stupid Livestrong app reminds me every freaking day at 6 pm that I haven't tracked, fraking technology.  

In any case, I decided WTF and measured myself this morning (no pictures though).  Now, maybe I didn't have the tape measure in exactly the same spots or something, but the numbers have changed.  If you have some weird curiosity as to what they are exactly, you can see them here (and please be kind - I don't post my weight because I like it).
  • Weight - unchanged
  • Bust - down 1/2"
  • Chest - down 1/2"
  • Waist - unchanged :(
  • Hips - down 1/2"
  • Right Bicep - down 1/4"
  • Right Thigh - down 1"
  • Right Calf - down 1/4"
I'll certainly take those numbers and hopefully at the end of next month I'll actually be able to SEE some changes.  Have you been following the NROLFW?  What do you think?  Seeing any progress?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Just What I Needed

As my next half marathon is getting closer and closer and I'm not really doing any decent amount of running because of the issues I'm having with my calves/shins, I've been getting more and more panicked about not having a "good" race.  I put good in quotes because the word "good" is relative and can mean different things to different people.  I had one major goal in the back of my mind for this race - a shiny new PR on a super-hilly course.  Now, maybe that wasn't the wisest goal to set, but up until about 2 months ago, my running was going VERY well and I think I might have been able to accomplish that goal.

But then I got hurt and now even my lungs are rebelling thanks to our early spring and some mild asthma.
I've had to revisit my race goals for Sunday.  My goals now are to have fun running with my friends while enjoying the mountain scenery, finish in one piece, and have a Knoxville Half Marathon medal placed around my neck.  This morning, I opened my email to this post from my friend Ellen at Undercover Runner Eats and I had to share it here. (If you don't already follow her - go do it cuz she's all sorts of awesome.)

This was exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you, Ellen.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

LLRB 365: 2012 Week 12

How is it possible that we are already 12 weeks into 2012???? We've had ridiculously warm weather here in West Michigan this week so it's felt more like early June than March. I'm spending most of today in the car so today is another drive-by phone blog post.

Went to a great Mexican place for dinner & might have had a couple sangria

Proof of the crazy temps (and this wasn't even the warmest day!)

These shoes were a mistake for my achy calves & I switched them out at lunch.

This is just nuts!

Beautiful sunrise through our budding tree.

Rainy walk in downtown GR while on break from a training.

My crazy cat took in a western while we cleaned house.

I can't wait for the pics I'm going to take later today!! What was a highlight from your past week?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday randomness

I'm a total numbers/patterns geek (which is a contradiction since I hate/suck at math) and today a beautiful number surfaced & I managed to notice it!

I might need to buy a Lotto ticket on the way home.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The all-powerful dictionary know as Google defines "gratitude" as "The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness".

It's no secret (if you've been on my blog lately) that I'm struggling - both with an injury that's keeping me from running and with unhappiness about the fact that all my clothes appear to have shrunk.  However, I know I have so many friends in my corner and for them I am eternally grateful.  They point out the positives (like spaghetti dinner and Black Bear Ale with friends) or they give me a reality check and say "don't make me -_- at you today".

I know I don't show my appreciation for them as much as I should, but I hope they know how much I love and cherish them.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

True Confessions: Dedication

On this, the first day of spring, I'm not going to confess about myself. I'm not going to talk about the workouts I did or didn't do, the food I ate, the beers I drank.  Instead, I'm going to confess about someone else.

Today I'm going to confess how proud I am of my son, D.  He's a 14 year old high-school freshman who somehow manages to get up at 5:45 AM three days a week to practice with this group - Jazz I at his high school (D is the only freshman to have made the group - he's the 2nd trombone player from the right in the green tie).

He never complains about getting up early (and gets up 100% on his own - I'm not even awake yet when his dad takes him to school) and he goes to bed at a decent time without issue.  All the practice time and dedication are paying off.  He's first chair in his concert band (which is a mix of all grades) and now wants to form a smaller jazz ensemble with a couple of his friends.  Jazz I competed at Western Michigan University on St. Pat's Day.  They didn't win, but several of the members of the group won awards for their solo performances.  I think they sounded pretty damn good.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Motivation from Yoda

source: Pinterest
This is probably my favorite quote of all time and what I'm going to be carrying with me to get me through the Knoxville Half Marathon in 2 weeks, even if I have to write it on my arm.  I can't just "try" to run this race, even though my training has gone completely out the window over the past few weeks.  I must "do".  

What are you going to "do" today? 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

LLRB 365: 2012 Week 11

It's hard to believe we are only in the middle of March. Our weather has been crazy warm - sandals, dresses & shorts have been the norm. Since my computer has been acting up, this week in pictures is being posted from my phone. It never seems as pretty, so I appologize.
Beautiful day & I made a new friend on my walk.

Awesome sky reflected in my mirror after a storm.


Happy Pi Day. Sadly, I had no pie. Instead I picked up some new compression sleeves.

I heart this app. The coffee helped me get thru my 2nd 11 1/2 hour day at work this week.

Caught this picture of an awesome Super Cell (I think that's what it is called) that resulted in much thunder, lightening & hail just east of me.

Happy St. Patrick's Day. We spent the morning at my son's jazz competition. He wore green :)

I wore green on Saturday, too. Got tons of compliments on the Team Sparkle skirt I wore for my 10 mile training run.

After my run I was so dead that we didn't go celebrate. Instead we went out for Italian. What did you do to celebrate St. Pat's Day?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fitness Friday: Thoughts for the Day

I don't remember where many of these quotes came from and Pinterest is now *gasp* BLOCKED at work so giving credit and using images is difficult (I had to wait until I came home for lunch to add the images - how rude!).  If any of you have races or long runs or a tough bike ride or hard workout planned this weekend, these quotes are for you.
Happy Friday!!! What are YOU thinking about to take you a step closer to reaching your health goals today...and more important...ARE YOU PUTTING THOSE THOUGHTS INTO ACTION...this In Your Face MOTIVATION should help with that. Stay healthy! Darla
Source: Pinterest
You want me to do something... tell me I can't do it. -Maya Angelou

Strive for progress, not perfection. -Unknown

Quick and Effective
Source: Pinterest
Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. -Lou Holtz

The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race. -Unknown

Just do it.™ -Nike

Why Most of Your Diets Always Fail
Source: Pinterest

Thursday, March 15, 2012

3 Things Thursday: More About Me

I've received a few more questions to add to "Another 20 Questions" page, but not enough to get to 20 yet, so I thought today I would answer 3 of those questions. (I apologize that I can no longer remember who submitted each question.)

  1. Have you ever chosen Dare in a game of Truth or Dare and what was craziest dare you ever dared? Yes, I've chosen the dare and probably the craziest dare was skinny dipping. There might be others but right now I can't think of any.
  2. Has running changed your social life? and how? Oh my word has it! I wouldn't have ever pushed myself to run past 3 miles if it weren't for social media. I thank the Shrinking Jeans sisters for getting me outside my comfort zone and supporting me while I've trained (from that first 1/2 marathon to the full marathon). Also, the majority of my closest friends are runners who I've met through blogging, twitter (and subsequently Fitbloggin' 11) or races I've done.  I love running with these friends now, but it sucks because (with the exception of a few people) we are spread all over the country and can rarely see each other.
  3. How did you decide on your chosen profession?  I am a Speech-Language Pathologist and I came upon the profession by accident.  Back in high school, I had to take one of those "career" tests and this was one of the professions that came up.  I didn't give it much thought, other than observing a therapist in a hospital once.  When I went away to college, I really thought I was going to go pre-med (I wanted to be a neurosurgeon).  I loved science but I ended up hating the math classes I had to take and really wasn't ambitious enough for med school.  I switched to psychology but decided the clinical aspect really wasn't for me.  I took a speech/language class as part of the psychology program and loved it. Never looked back. I ended up switching my major to Communication Disorders and double minored in psychology and child development.  I worked in a private practice doing neurologic rehab (think strokes and traumatic brain injuries) then worked at a rehab hospital on the brain injury team.  I got burnt out after about 6 years and for the past 8 years or so I've been in the public schools and I love it.  I joke that I "play all day" but teaching kids strategies to help them learn and improve their speech is really fun.  If it doesn't feel like work, it's the job for you.
So there you have it...3 little ditties about me.  Do you have any questions you'd like me to answer in a future post?  Leave them in the comments or hit me up on twitter!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

Somehow, spring forgot to make a stop in West Michigan this year because we've jumped from snow about a week ago to 75 degrees today.  I feel bad sorta for my friends who ran today at lunch - holy crap it was hot out there!  Granted, I'm really loving wearing sandals and a summer dress today.  One of my 2nd grade students even said, "You look really pretty" - she got an A today :)

This is generally check-in day, so to get that out of the way, I'm down 2.6 pounds this week :) I'm not going to lie, that makes me happy, but I'm really trying to focus on more than just the number on the scale, like increasing the weight I'm lifting.  Remember this picture from Monday?  So true!

This week I busted by ass butt and started doubling up the NROLFW workouts because my sports chiro wants me laying off the leg work (ie, no squats, lunges, etc).  I did do the deadlifts on Monday and really felt it in my hamstrings on my run yesterday.  If my legs don't start cooperating, I'm cutting deadlifts out too.

Speaking of running, I feel like I'm getting some of my groove back (I ran 8 on Saturday and 4 yesterday with minimal pain and a much faster pace than I've been running) but today my shins and calves are REALLY sore again.  How much Aleve and Advil is too much?  I have an appointment with the chiro again tonight, so I'm sure I will leave with a whole new set of bruises to go with the ones he left last week.  I'm also hitting up the running store tonight for some compression calf sleeves.  I have compression socks but hate the "sock" part of them.  Sleeves make more sense because I can just wear the socks I love.

So, do you wear compression gear?  What color calf sleeves should I get?  If they have any kind of a print, I think I'm gonna be all over that.  I don't think I want plain black.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy #runDisney Tuesday!

Lately, my Tuesday posts have been full of gloom and doom and generally not being very nice to myself.  

Not today.

Today the sun is shining and I'm getting ready to go for a run (even brought my running clothes to school so I could squeeze it in before picking up K from track).

I even registered for another race today :)
Yep!  I'm going to be running the 2012 Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in November so I can earn my Disney Coast-to-Coast medal!!   This will be my first-ever night-time race, which scares me a bit because how in the heck do you train for that???? But I'm going to be running with some girlfriends again and then partying it up at Epcot until 3 am.  

Is it really only March?  This year needs to get moving - I've got people to visit and races to run!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Motivation

My girl, JB, sent me this through Twitter this weekend. I have no clue where she found it or how to give credit, but I thought we could all use the reminder.

Much love,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Menu Plan Monday

So last week's attempt at menu planning turned out pretty well - the kids actually liked the new items and we stuck to the plan for 6/7 days.  I'd call that a resounding success given my family of picky eaters.

This week's menu plan is resulting in some additional challenges.  I have parent-teacher conferences 2 nights this week and on Saturday we will be out of town all day for a jazz competition.  The good thing - I don't have to cook as much.  The bad - more opportunities for crap eating.

Anyhoo...this is what's on the menu for the week.

Monday: Kids will make themselves dinner (probably sandwiches, a frozen pizza, something like that).  I'll eat whatever the parent group feeds us so I have no clue if it will be healthy for me.

Tuesday:  Skillet Lasagna (this is a kid favorite and is more skillet pizza than lasagna. I should post the recipe sometime).  Salad and garlic bread

Wednesday:  Burgers on the grill (I'll eat a veggie burger probably), tater tots, green beans.

Thursday: Kids fend for themselves again while I eat whatever the school provides.

Friday: Turkey tacos (we always make our tacos with turkey burger) & refried beans (for K's tacos cuz she doesn't eat taco meat)

Saturday: Jazz Competition at WMU.  Go out to lunch and dinner and hope to make 1/2 way decent choices. 

Sunday: Shoyu Chicken Thighs (these got bumped last week), broccoli, brown rice.

Not very original this week, but sometimes we have weeks like this where the schedule is just crazy and goes out the window.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

LLRB 365: 2012 Week 10

She always steals my spot as soon as I get up.

Loved the mix of sun and clouds.

Happy Birthday, Oreo!

Been taking a lot of these lately - stupid legs.

I'm desperate enough to start bringing my foam roller to work.

Quiet evening with friends.

Not too shabby - legs hurt but not unbearable.

Overall it turned out to be a pretty decent week.  My calf/shin/quad issue seems to be slowly improving to the point that I'm sure I'll finish my half marathon on April 1st but have resigned myself to the fact that my time will probably not be anywhere close to where it could've been if my training hadn't tanked her in the past few weeks.  

I hope these first days of March have been lovely where you live.  Anything fun or exciting happen for you this week?

Friday, March 9, 2012

#onesizedoesnotfitall #sizematters

Earlier this week, my friend Morgan over at CAUTION: Redhead Running put a call out to see our best fitting and worst fitting tech race shirts.  You see, not all of us girls are tall or shaped like beefy dudes, so when we go to pick up our *hopefully* awesome tech race shirts (that many of us pay extra for because cotton is just nasty), we hope and pray that they are going to fit.  Morgan is particularly tiny - so she has a heck of a time getting shirts that fit.  I'm short and curvy, so I tend to have a different problem.  

Let's take a peek at some of my best and worst fitting shirts! (Please excuse the crappy self-portraits as no one was home to help me take pics.  I at least had the common sense to photoshop/flip them so the writing is readable!)

We'll start with some of the worst:
2010 Grand Rapids Marathon
This was my first half and I love that they had long sleeve shirts.  The problem? Only men-sizes and the small is huge on me.  The funny thing is, I wear the shirt ALL THE TIME. I'm even wearing it to work today :)
2010 River Bank Run 10k
This race offers an upgrade to a tech shirt but only had men's sizes.  I think this is a medium and it fits ok except it is my biggest race-shirt pet peeve.  It's WHITE.  I NEVER wear it because I don't want the pits to turn yellow.  Gross but true.
2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon
I really expected better for a Disney race shirt.  They offered women's fit (this is a medium), but the sleeves are REALLY long, it's WHITE, and it's freaking SEE THROUGH!!!! I love the v-neck though. Props for that.
2011 Grand Rapids Bridge Run 10 Mile
I LOVE the color of this shirt, but it's really big in the arms/shoulders - because it's a men's size small.  I do wear this shirt a lot and it's my fastest race-pace race, so I love it for that, too.

And now on to some of my awesome, well-fitting race shirts!  You might notice a theme.
2011 Grand Rapids Marathon
YEAH! They offered a women's fit shirt this year for my first full marathon!!! The material is awesome and I love the graphics and color.  The fit is perfect.  My only complaint?  They switched to short-sleeves :(  This is a fall race in Michigan and I really wish they would have kept with a long-sleeve shirt.
2011 River Bank Run 25k
They went with a women's cut for 2011 - SWEET!  I love the color of this shirt and the fit is perfect - look, I have a waist!  Also, a v-neck is super flattering on me.  I can't wait to see what our shirts look like this year for the 35th anniversary of the River Bank Run.
2011 Soldier Field 10 Mile
This is probably my favorite race shirt EVER.  It's a super flattering, women's cut shirt and the piping on the shoulders and arms just rocks.  Also, this is the race where I beat my husband to the 50 yard line at Soldier Field, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

There you go - proof that size really does matter!  Hopefully if enough women start tweeting and blogging and facebooking about this issue, we'll start seeing more women's fit tech shirts at our races.  Also, I wear a small or a medium, but there are a lot of female runners much smaller than me and much larger, so it would be nice to start seeing a wider variety of sizes than just small to extra-large.  

Do you have some favorite or horrific race shirts you'd like to share?  Link up with me here or with Morgan over at Redhead Running.  We'd love to see them!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Healing

I'm giving thanks today for the power to heal.

  1. I have a great team of people supporting me, both physically and emotionally, and without them I don't know where I'd be.  I've had some very down days lately and so many of you lift me up in ways I can't even describe.  So thank you.
  2. I'm thankful that foam rollers are portable.  I've used mine already at work today and I'll use it again at lunch time.  I WILL fix this.
  3. I'm thankful for a doctor who knows how important running is to me and who has the knowledge and skills to make sure I can run for many years to come.
I had a very positive (albeit PAINFUL) visit to my sports chiro yesterday.  I blogged about it HERE if you want to know what he said.  Bottom line, I'm going to be fine and I will finish my half in Knoxville.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I've spent pretty much the entire morning crying my eyes out behind the closed door to my office, pulling myself together for a few minutes at a time to work with some kids.  Thank God for cute 5 year old diversions and a light caseload on Wednesdays.

I'm VERY concerned about the pain I've been having in my calves/shins.  It's been mostly the right leg, but I'd be lying if I didn't say the left leg had issues too. I felt better and ran 8 miles on Saturday.  The pain came back and I could barely finish 4 miles yesterday.  I have an appointment this evening with my sports chiro and I have no idea what he's going to say.  I'm pretty sure all my training is going to come to a halt but HOPEFULLY, I'll still be able to finish the Knoxville Half on April 1st.  What a cruel April Fool's joke would it be if I take my family 12+ hrs away to stand outside waiting for me to finish a race and I don't finish.

What really scares me more than maybe not finishing a race?  Feeling like a failure and failing in front of my family and friends. What kind of example does that set? Also? Running is my ONE thing.  The ONE thing I have that helps keep me sane.  I love having a plan and training for something.  I need all those crazy colors on my calendar to balance out the colors from every other member of the family.  I know I'm never going to "win" anything, or even come close to placing, but knowing I'm improving and getting stronger makes me happy.  I've learned to love running.  I've also really loved starting the NROLFW strength training program. I'm working out in the weight room next to buff dudes and lifting more weight than I ever thought I would. What if I have to stop that, too?

I'm not happy right now.  I don't just feel physically broken.  I'm emotionally broken as well.  I'm terrified of taking time off and continuing to gain weight (I'm up 3 pounds this week, too, which further pisses me off since I literally busted my ass working out this week and ate well except for 2 days).  I've seen what injury can do to people - physically and emotionally.

I don't want that to be me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Hate is such an ugly word.  It's dark and mean and unforgiving, like some scary abyss you can't claw your way out of.  The word "hate" has crossed my mind a lot lately.  My inner mean girl has been rearing her ugly head and I can't get rid of her.  I hate her.

I hate that she makes me hate myself.

I hate that I can't see past the "wrong" is see in myself and find what's "right".

I feel betrayed by my body and I hate it.

I should feel proud that I did 4 strength training workouts (increasing the weight each time) and ran 11 miles this week, but instead I hate that the scale is up 4 pounds after a weekend of bad eating (to my highest weight in probably 2 years) and my clothes are not getting any closer to fitting.

I hate that I could barely button my favorite pair of jeans on Sunday.

I hate even more that I'm walking around in clothes that don't fit and I know people are noticing.

Maybe I hate even more that I care what other people think.

I hate what I see in the mirror.

I hate that I feel powerless to change anything.  I'm trying to eat right. I'm exercising.  My sore muscles are proof that I'm doing something right.  But I just see failure.  I'm still gaining weight.  I'm not running as far or as fast as I was before (maybe because I'm so much heavier) and I hate that all my hard work has been flushed down the toilet.

I hate feeling this way.  I hate that I can't seem to pull myself out of this abyss.


I need to start listening to Maya. I need to find the solution because the hate I feel is only making matters worse.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Menu Plan Your Butt Off

So here's the deal...I'm sick of the fighting every night about what to have for dinner.  I'm also sick of eating the same 4-5 meals every frigging week.  Hubs has also decided that there should be no eating out for the rest of the month (yes, I know it's only March 5th) because we're going away for vacation the first week of April.

Therefore, this weekend I decided to use my time on Pinterest and ZipList wisely and come up with a meal plan for the week.  I did not meal plan breakfasts or lunch because the kids are on their own for breakfast & I pretty much always eat oatmeal.  Lunch is at school for them (or they make pb&j) and I typically have a lean cuisine and salad for lunch or sneak off to Subway.

So here's my basic plan for the week:

Monday: Tortilla Pizza, salad (D has a jazz band performance tonight so I let him choose dinner)

Tuesday: Mini Turkey Meatloaves, Lipton noodles, green beans

Wednesday:  Skinny Chicken Enchiladas, refried beans, salad

Thursday: Slow Cooker Pork and Zucchini, sauteed asparagus

Friday: Spaghetti, garlic bread, salad (I had to include one standby so the family wouldn't mutiny)

Saturday: Shoyu Chicken Thighs, steamed broccoli, brown rice

Sunday: Crock-Pot Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti, green salad

In reviewing the plan with the family I got whining and complaining and eye-rolling, but this is it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

LLRB 365: 2012 Week 9

Had an amazing day in Chicago with Melissa, Christy & Nancy
Made it through my first New Rules of Lifting for Women workout
It was a margarita night
Happy Leap Day
My newest obsession - Draw Some (I'm barif0815)
I hate kiwi but they weren't bad in my protein shake
Managed an 8 mile run during a strong wind advisory & snow in the morning, then this hit by dinner time.  I'm so over winter and we haven't even really had one yet.

There was a little glimpse into my week.  What did you do during the last week of February?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy New Year 2020

It looks like my M.O. is to open this blog when I get the notification the domain name renewed. LOL oh well. I hope everyone is having a n...