Friday, June 29, 2012

Fitness Friday: why I do what I do

A while back, I decided to write another 20 questions page for my blog.  People occasionally ask me questions here or on twitter and the first round of 20 were pretty fun, so I figured doing it again would make for some interesting blog topics.  I got about 8 or 9 questions that time, so obviously not enough for a "20 questions" page, but I started answering them (just never got around to publishing - oops).

A few of the questions centered around the same general theme, sort of a "why is fitness important to you" category.  I apologize that I can't remember who asked which questions (and that it's taken me this long to answer) but here's a bit about why I do what I do to stay healthy and blog about it here:

What got you into running / races / marathons? Most of this is answered in the first 20 questions page and the about me page here.  Since writing those pages, I've completed my first marathon and a few more half marathons.  I also have been struggling with my first real, side-lying injury.  I'd say the marathon was just the natural progession.  I loved training for the half marathon and 25k, so I decided this past year was as good a time as any to go for a marathon.  Then, instead of taking time off, I kept training for 2 more half marathons and ended up with a stress reaction.  I've now switched my focus to training for a sprint triathlon.  Even though my running isn't up to snuff, I'm hoping the swimming and biking will keep me in shape and I'll be able to do well on the tri with minimal run training.

Did your moms death impact / influence your healthy living?!  My mom died of skin cancer when I was 14.  At the time, I'd say it didn't impact my desire to be healthy at all.  But now?  I want to be around to see my own kids graduate and get married, have kids, etc. etc.  I really do try to stay out of the sun or use sunscreen.  Also, my weight loss and foray into running has been an effort to get and stay at a healthy weight.  My mom was slightly overweight her entire adult life, and while that had no bearing on her developing skin cancer, I still feel inspired to be the healthiest "me" I can be for my family.

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 and my IRL friends who are runners.  Also, the majority of my closest friends now are runners who I've met through twitter or races I've done.  I love running with these friends now and I couldn't imagine not having them in my life.

There you have it...3 more tidbits about me and why I'm here blogging and training.  Want to get in on the fun?  My 3rd blog-iversary was last week and I'm having a little giveaway for anyone who asks a question.  Go to this post and comment to enter!

So, tell me about you.  What is your favorite form of exercise and why?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

(Semi) Wordless Wednesday

Finally braved a 30 min open water swim this week! (Yes, the lake was tiny but I couldn't see or touch bottom where I swam so it counts.)

Also lost 2 pounds this week for the Shrinking Jeans June Tune-Up challenge :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tri Training Week 7

It's hard to believe I'm half way through my training for the Millennium Triathlon.  I should probably sign up for it at this point, huh?  These week's training went ok.  Had some good swims and bike rides, but the running was just "eh".  My leg still isn't cooperating like I want it too, with lingering achiness after my runs persisting into the next day.  I'm supposed to increase my run to 2.5 miles this week, but 2 miles on Saturday was really rough.  Not sure what I should do.  Elliptical this week instead and up the run next week?  I know I'll be able to cover the 3.1 miles at the tri, but whether I can run them all is what is in question at this point.

We had a funeral to attend out of town this week so that threw a bit of a wrench into the plans. I had to switch a couple workouts around, but that's how life goes, isn't it.  Anyway, here's the breakdown of this past week's workouts:

Monday 6/18/12 - Plan REST - Completed REST

Tuesday 6/19/12 - Plan Run :35/Strength :30 - Completed 1 hour bike (14 miles). Then 30 min mixed strength training.

Wednesday 6/20/12 - Plan Swim :25 - Completed Swim/Run brick: 1000 yd swim in 22:38 (lots of drills & I didn't time the rest breaks) then 2 mile treadmill run in 20:21.

Thursday 6/21/12 - Plan Bike :55/Strength :30 - Completed a 2 mile bike ride, but rode in the streets.  It was unnerving and I almost crashed once.

Friday 6/22/12 - Plan REST - Completed REST but also spent a little time walking around an outlet mall.

Saturday 6/23/12 - Plan Run :30 - Completed 3.2 miles in 38 and change. 2 mile run in 21:46 and 1.2 mile wu/cd in 17:04.  The run hurt a bit and I felt like I never found my groove.  I couldn't even make it the full 2 miles without a walk break, which pissed me off more than the overall slow pace.

Sunday 6/24/12 - Plan Bike :40 - Completed a 20 mile bike ride (in 1:27 - just shy of a 14 mph average) and did level 1 of the 30 Day Shred (25 min strength). On the bike ride, I rode a lot of it on trails but also quite a bit on actual streets.  Even had to stop at lights and figure out which lane I should be in.  The whole time thinking "please, God, don't let anyone run me over.  My fastest times on the bike (upwards of 20 mph) were on city streets I think because I just wanted to get it over with! It also about killed me to do these things back-to-back. I discovered my shin does NOT like jumping jacks yet and I was just wiped out from the bike ride.  I ended up doing some sort of boxer's jog instead, which was dumb, to try and modify the workout a bit.

I clearly went overboard on the biking this week, but since my running is definitely sub-par I felt I needed to make up for it somewhere.  I think my biggest frustrations at this point are not being able to run as well (or as far, or as often) as I'd like (or in my mind that I think I should be able to run) and that my swimming still feels so weak.  I know it will get better and I can't expect to be a great swimmer right away - there is some element of a learning curve and unlearning some serious bad habits.

In case you missed it, this past weekend was my 3rd Blogiversary!  I have a little giveaway going on over here to celebrate and than you all for sticking with me the past 3 years.  My readers really do mean the world to me, so thank you for being here and commenting.

I love comments - so stop lurking and say something!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy 3rd Blog-iversary to Me!

It's hard to believe it's been 3 years since I opened shop here with this little post.  I was feeling fat and frustrated with a steady weight gain over the previous 2 years after having maintained a great 50 pound weight loss.

I set some interesting goals for myself in that post:

  1. Move my butt: I plan to exercise at least 4 times per week. Right now, I'm walking/running 3 times per week and just started strength training. My schedule is to run M-W-F and lift T-TH. I'll let you know how that goes. I'm following the Couch to 5K podcast, with increases in running each week. CHECK! I've managed to keep this up, but clearly something isn't working currently.
  2. Complete a 5K: If my knee holds out (I stopped running due to injuries), I plan to run a 5K in mid-July. If my knee doesn't make it, I'll walk the course. MEGA CHECK! Since starting this blog, I've completed 2 - 5ks, including a mud run, 2 - 10k races, 3 - 10 mile races, 3 - half marathons, 1 - 25k race, and 1 FULL MARATHON.  Now I'm starting to branch out into triathlons.  Who'd have thunk it? (Granted, my injury has me back to where I was running-wise when I started this blog, which is really sad, but I have faith that my running mojo and ability will eventually find its way back.)
  3. Put down the fork: I've started tracking my points again. I usually do pretty well tracking during the week, but fall apart on the weekends, so my goal is to track daily. I'm not ready to face WW yet. I have the tools, I just need to use them. Eh - I did well with this for awhile and managed to lose 30 pounds, but I've let 15 of them come back in the past 6-8 months. NOT COOL and it really makes me feel like I've failed myself.
  4. Quit the late-night snacking: I'm really bad about snacking out of a chip bag around 10 pm. That needs to stop. Water, fruit, veggies-make better choices. Old habits die hard - I think this is definitely contributing to the tightness of my current clothes.
  5. Fit back into my "skinny" clothes: I'm not happy that my most forgiving size 12s are too tight, especially since I was holding at a solid 8 for so long. I know Stacey and Clinton (TLC's What Not To Wear) say "Don't get married to a size", but I have some really cute size 8's hanging in my closet mocking me right now. I managed to get back into 8s and many 6s, but now the 6s don't fit and the 8s are tight.  Again, feeling like a fail and that I need to get my shit together.
  6. A 10% weight loss - 16 lbs - would be a nice start. If I make it to 150, I'll see if I need to set a new loss goal. I did great here - managed to get down to about 136-138 and stayed there for over 2 years.  Since my marathon last October, the weight has crept back on and now I'm back over 150 again :(

It seems in many ways that I've come full circle since starting this blog, but so many other wonderful things have happened as a result.

Here are my top 5 joys that have happened as a result of this blog (there we SOOO many, it was hard to just pick 5!):

Fitbloggin '11

  1. I've met so many wonderful, supportive people through blogging and twitter that I feel incredibly blessed.  Many of these folks I have yet to meet IRL (in real life) and I can't wait to one day meet them and give them ginormous hugs.  Those I've met, I have no doubt, will continue to be forever friends.
  2. I found a true Sisterhood through the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.  I love these ladies with all my heart - they've supported me through thick and thin, dark and light, in more ways than I can count.  
  3. I went to Fitbloggin '11 - life-changing in so many ways.  I learned a ton about blogging (and hopefully the changes I made to this little space since have made it a better place to visit) and got to run in a tutu for the first time :) 
  4. I joined the Exposed movement (still my most-viewed post of all time). Revisiting that post for this one reminded me that God made me ME, and that what I see as my flaws aren't flaws but what make me unique.  I need to be reminded of this often.
  5. I've developed a love of fitness: running, biking, strength training and even swimming - all activities I hope to continue to participate in for many years to come!

So, where do I go from here?  A while back, I thought I would add another 20 questions page to this blog.  I got a few questions, but I need more.  To make it a bit more fun, everyone who submits a question will be entered in a GIVEAWAY! for a few of my favorite workout/training things (I haven't decided yet what they will be, but probably some Nuun, Click, maybe some Gu or Sports Beans, iTunes gift card - I'll make it good - don't worry)! I'll give you all until July 4th, 2012 to submit a question by commenting on this post (anyone who submitted a question before - I'm sorry, I didn't keep track of who asked what so you'll need to ask another question if you want to enter the giveaway, but I still plan to answer questions I've already received). If I get enough questions, I plan to add them as a weekly feature - Something About Me Saturday, or a post to that affect.  Make sure I have a way to reach you if you win (twitter ID, email, smoke signal, something).

What do you think?  Wanna play?

Thank you all so much, from the bottom of my heart, for sticking with me, inspiring me, encouraging me, and showing me the love for the past 3 years.  Now it's my turn to show you some love.  Ask away and hopefully I can send you some of my favorite things!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thankful Thursday: my children

As M & I head out of town today for the funeral of his friend's son, I'm reminded how blessed I am. They may make me crazy sometimes & certainly up the loudness level in the house, but I thank God every day for two healthy, smart, funny, good, well-adjusted teens.

Please, everyone, hug the kids in your lives today.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June Tune-Up: check in week 3

no clue where I found this picture - sorry
I'm going to come right out and say it.  I hate my scale.  It makes me crazy (or crazier depending on your perspective) and obsessive.  Would you believe I weighed myself 3 times this morning?  Each one was slightly different and because I'm a spaz, I'm reporting the middle number. Or rather, I'm not reporting the actual number at all, just the fact that it was 2.6 pounds HIGHER than last week's number.

2.6 pounds is a stupid amount of weight to gain in a single week. It makes me sad that I don't have the self-control and discipline right now to stop putting shit food into my face or track what I have been eating. Oh, and let's not forget that it's summer and I really like beer.  Did you know a bottle of GOOD beer has anywhere from 120 to over 200 calories?  Drink 2-3 or those a night and you might as well have gone out for a Big Mac. I won't waist my time on crap "diet" beer - I'd rather go thirsty.

I worked out like freaking CRAZY last week.  Zero days off.  But it obviously wasn't enough to combat whatever has been going into my pie hole.  I have 3 weeks until my beach vacation and I'm no where close to the place I want to be on the scale.  My clothes are still tight. I don't like the way I look.  I've rocked my 2 piece at the beach once this summer already and in some ways I really don't care that my stomach is squishy and my thighs are fat, but in many ways I do.  (Any idea how hard it is to go to the beach in a relatively modest 44bikini with your (almost) 15 year old athletic daughter and her equally thin friend rocking THEIR string bikinis?!?)

This is week 3 of the Shrinking Jeans June Tune-Up challenge and I'm so sorry to my awesome partner, Lisa, because my numbers for Bitches & Hos are just awful this week.

I'm afraid this coming week is going to be so hard. Traveling for a funeral and spending 2 days out of town beginning tomorrow, then K and I are going to a music festival all weekend where you are NOT allowed to bring in your own food or water.  Any guesses what my choices for eating are going to be?  Think fair food. Fried crap. Hot dogs.  And $5 waters.  It'll be awesome. NOT.

What do you do when you know the choices are going to be horrible but you have no other options?  Do I just not eat all day? I know that really isn't an option, but still.  I feel like I have no chance this week.  The idea that I might see the 130's again by the fall are also drifting away.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tri-Training Tuesday Weekly Recap

I feel like a bad blogger since I haven't written anything since Thursday, but I also feel if you don't have anything to say, you probably shouldn't say anything.  I had ideas for posts this weekend, but they just never came to fruition.  Bottom line - the beginning of summer break has been crazy busy.  This past week I also went a bit overboard in my training and now I'm paying for it.  I have no clue what today's workout will hold, I just know my leg is pissed and I'm supposed to up my runs to 2 miles this week.  Somehow, I don't think that's happening.'s how training panned out this week:

Monday 6/11/12 - Plan: REST. Instead, I swam 800 yds in 23 minutes and biked 6 miles in 30 min - my first ride on my new road bike :)

Tuesday 6/12/12 - Plan: bike 30. Completed an 18 mile bike ride (10 while Pete ran at 6.3 mph and then 8 more fast when I got home with a 13.7 mph ave), then ran 1.25 miles in 12:50 (10:16 pace!).

Wednesday 6/13/12 - Plan: swim 20. Completed 800 yds swim in 26:20.

Thursday 6/14/12 - Plan:  run 25/strength 30. Completed 15 min on ellip arc trainer (stupid .7 miles) then ran 1.5 in 15:16 (10:10 pace!). Finished with 36 min legs & abs.

Friday 6/15/12 - Plan: REST. Biked 11.5 miles while Pete ran (6.3 mph)

Saturday 6/16/12 - Plan run 30. Completed 1/2 mile walk, 1.63 mile run in 16:15 (9:57 pace - holy crap!) then 1 mile walk.

Sunday 6/17/12 - Plan swim 20. Completed swim/bike brick. 20 min swim (about 600 yds) then 6.1 mile bike with 14.6 mph ave.

This was a crazy week of training, on a week that was supposed to be a "recovery" week.  Oops. Like I said, I'm paying for it now with a really sore shin.  I saw the chiro yesterday and he pretty much lectured me about my body's crazy tolerance for pain (or maybe stupidity) that tells me everything is fine when it really isn't.  I think he pushed the injury spot a lot today to remind me what it will feel like if I don't use some common sense.  Needless to say, other than walking around the mall shopping on Monday and floating in the pool, I respected Monday's rest day.

Before you all leave me to enjoy this beautiful summer day, please go give my girl, Angie, some love over here at Real Women Tri.  She absolutely kicked ASS in her last half iron and this is her first blog post about the experience.  Angie convinced me to run my very first 5k and has helped me with training for pretty much every race I've done since then.  If I hadn't run that first 5k back in 2006 I wouldn't be writing about marathons and training for a tri today.

Do you have anyone who has inspired you to try something new?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June Tune Up: check-in 2

Very quick because I really don't have a post in me today.

I'm down a pound & I wish it would've been more, but if wishes worked we'd all be skinny. I didn't track & I drank too many calories this week. Thankfully the insane workouts over the past few days saved my ass.

Totally unrelated, but if you are the praying type, our friends Kathy & Eric (as well as the rest of their family) could use some serious lifting up as they lost their son, David, to cancer yesterday. Cancer fucking sucks.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tri-Training Tuesday

Last week was a pretty great training week! I learned a bit about healing & that back-to-back runs are a no-no. But even with that little screw-up, I still did well this week. I'm gaining confidence & strength, which are 2 things I need right now. I just need to trust that the running will get there eventually.

Here was my week:

Monday 6/4/12: rest day

Tuesday 6/5/12: Planned 30 min run/30 min strength. Completed: B double E double R-U-N BEERRUN! Ran my first full mile in around 10:35 & then walked back to the bar hosting the beer run to wait for M & my friends who were running the full run.

Wednesday 6/6/12: Planned 25 min swim. Completed 1 mile run for National Running Day (ouch) and swam 800 in 21 min.

Thursday 6/7/12: Planned 30 min bike/30 min strength. Completed 10 mile bike ride (5 miles each way to the gym) with a 40 min strength workout in between.

Friday 6/8/12: Rest Day

Saturday 6/9/12: Planned 25 min run. Completed 1 mile run in 10:52 & 1 mile walk home.

Sunday 6/19/12: Planned 35 min bike. Completed 8 mile bike ride in 37 min. Hopefully the last bike ride on my old bike. From now on I'm riding this sexy beauty!  I cannot WAIT to post next week's training summary so I can talk about today's workout(s).  But if you want a preview, check me out on DailyMile :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 11, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - planning is the hard part

So, I had a pretty busy weekend (or specifically Sunday) so I didn't get a chance to plan this week's meals out until this morning.  It's been a pretty productive morning, too - a 1/2 mile swim topped off with a trip to sbux to use the free drink coupon that has been floating around in my purse for 3 weeks I know, it's ridiculous that it took me 3 weeks to use.

Anyhoo...after pursuing the cupboards and fridge because I don't want to buy a ton of groceries today, here's what we will be eating for dinners this week.  (Now that we are into summer break, I should probably be planning lunches too - maybe next week that will happen.)

Monday: Homemade pizza with bread machine pizza dough (we were supposed to have this yesterday but ended up spending the day down at my sister's. Playing with my niece and nephew trump pizza.)

Tuesday: Chicken fajitas - found out last week that both kids liked these. SCORE!

Wednesday: Dinner at the food court - I have the parent meeting for driver's ed before D and K's class, so I'm planning to give them money while I'm in "class" and then I'll figure something out after.  Otherwise we need to eat dinner at 4:00 and that is just dumb.

Thursday: Pomegranate chipotle  pork chops (it's a Tastefully Simple sauce), noodles, green beans or broccoli

Friday: Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread (even though I'm not doing long runs for the foreseeable future, old habits die hard)

Saturday: Pan glazed chicken with basil, broccoli couscous (this will be piss off the children night - I think they are going to probably hate this but oh well)

Sunday: Father's Day - I think we'll grill out hamburgers and hot dogs unless M wants to do something else.

What plans do you have for Father's Day?  Do you take your guy out, cook something at home, just give him a new ugly tie?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Summer Break!

Today I'm giving thanks for the awesome weather on the first day of break that allowed me take an almost 10 mile bike ride.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June Tune-Up check in 1

Just a quick blog post to say we are at the end of the first "week" of the Shrinking Jeans June Tune-Up challenge.  I say "week" but it's really only been since Friday.  Now we are onto our usual Wednesday check-in schedule.

I was a bit surprised by the scale this morning since I went to a street festival on Sunday and ate REALLY bad festival food and then out last night for the Grand Rapids Marathon Beer Run and had a bunch of salty food plus a beer (or two, but who's counting).

Last Friday: 152.4
Today: 151.6
Change for Week: down 0.8
Change for Challenge: down 0.8

I'll take it considering I did not make the most ideal of food choices this week.  At least the workouts must've helped, right?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tri-Training Tuesday

I managed to make it through another week of triathlon training. 

Week 4: May 28-June 3, 2012

Monday: Planned OFF. Completed virtual 5k run/walk in 40 minutes.
Tuesday: Planned Run 25/Strength 30. Walked .5 miles/Lower body strength 40 min.
Wednesday: Planned Swim 20. Completed 1/2 mile swim in 25 min.
Thursday: Planned Bike 30/Strength 30. Completed 6 mile bike in 30/Upper body strength 30.
Friday: Planned OFF. Completed OFF.
Saturday: Planned Run 20. Completed 2.7 mile elliptical 30.
Sunday: Planned Bike 30. Completed 5.2 mile bike in 27.

Overall this was a pretty good training week. Today I'm seeing a new sports chiropractor who specializes in running and running injuries. I'm hoping he has some good advice and puts me back in alignment since I feel all out of whack from wearing that dumb boot. 

Tonight I hope to run for a mile. It would probably be foolish to think I can run the whole mile without stopping, but I'm going to try.

Have you tried any new workouts lately?  If the stars align, I might be doing this week's bike workouts on a new road bike - wish me luck that I don't crash on the dang thing.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

It's the last week of school for us!!!! Only 2 more wake-ups after today! (Sorry if you aren't done yet & congrats if you are.)  This week is also week 2 of driver's ed for D and K, so meals need to be pretty quick.

Here's the roughed-out plan for the week:

Monday: Chicken tacos and/or fajitas

Tuesday: B-double E-double R-U-N BEERRUN! M and I are going to the first beer run of the season so the kids are getting dropped off at the mall for class early with Subway money :)

Wednesday: Crockpot Pulled Pork (pork shoulder, BBQ sauce, turn on crockpot!), cole slaw, asparagus

Thursday: Burgers on the grill, corn, fries or tots

Friday: Spaghetti, garlic bread, salad

Saturday: Cheese tortelini, italian sausage, peppers combo that I'll try throwing together :)

Sunday: Homemade pizzas (bread machine dough & everyone can make their own)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Time to "Tune-Up" & get serious: a new challenge!

Today marks the start of a new fitness and weight loss challenge over at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans - the Tune-Up June Challenge!  I haven't done a challenge in eons with these ladies but I'm giving it my all this time.  This is a partner challenge and we will be weighing in on Wednesdays (except for today's starting scale hop) and hopefully seeing some nice shrinking numbers.

I've partnered up with Lisa and we are calling ourselves Bitches and Hos (you can decide who's who!). Both of us had been maintaining for quite a while and then life got in the way and BAM! weight came back on.  We are here to kick some of those pounds good-bye over the next month (and then the next, and the next).

There's also another mini-challenge going on over there if you are interested.  It's called the June Tone-Up and it's a progressive daily workout of squat knees, wacky jacks and high knees.  I'll be skipping this since I'm really not supposed to be putting that much impact on my dumb shin, but if any of you want to give it a try, grab the calendar on the link there.

So who's in? 

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...