Thursday, October 31, 2013

#TBT Throw Back Thursday

Happy Halloween from my little Spider-Man & cutest witch ever!

Circa 2003 - age 6. Hard to believe this was 10 years ago!

I'm pretty sure my 16 year olds will be watching scary movies tonight but it wouldn't shock me if they dressed up & went Trick-or-Treating.

Any fun costumes in your family today? (I'm dressing up as a minion for school.)

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday + a weigh-in

This was the first thing I saw when I opened Facebook this morning. Thank you to Mel for sharing it. I wish I could believe it really works.

I like control. I need to feel like I have some structure and predictability. Right now a lot of things feel out of my control and I hate it. I need to relax, be patient & trust that everything will work out.

My weight is one area where I'm trying to relax a bit, but it's so hard. The meds I'm on for my sinus infection are causing other problems. I thought I'd be rewarded with a weight loss this week but instead it's the opposite. I'm back up over a number that I said I'd never see again even with as sick as I was over the weekend.

This isn't the kind of letting go of control I'm comfortable with.

Are you a control freak? Ever had meds make you gain weight?

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Training Tuesday: still sick but a better week

I finally waved the white flag and secured some antibiotics this week.  They've improved the sinus infection somewhat but are causing other issues, so we'll see if I last the entire length of the prescription.

Even sick, I had some great workouts this week.  I'm finally feeling like an athlete again - probably because I'm sucking it up and continuing to train through the pain and illness.  (Please don't blast me in the comments about needing to rest or slow down - I'm not that injured or sick.)

Monday 10/21/13 - RUN 5 miles in 56 minutes (about 11:11m/m).  This run mentally sucked.  I did the first 3 on the treadmill and the next 2 on the indoor track.

Tuesday 10/22/13 - RUN 4 mile tempo in 37:51 (9:27 ave pace).  I KILLED this run and this was done about 30 minutes after being seen by the doctor for my sinus infection.  I went out thinking if it sucked, I'd turn around and walk home, but it ended up being one of my best runs in months.

Wednesday 10/23/13 - 30 minutes of PT exercises, stretching and rolling.

Thursday 10/24/13 - YOGA 30 minutes of hip stretches

Friday 10/25/13 - Does dancing at my seat at a concert count?

Saturday 10/26/13 - RUN 8.03 miles in 1:23:13 (10:21 pace).  Again, I went out thinking this run could really suck after having GI issues on the entire 3 hour drive home from Chicago, but it turned out to be a fantastic run.  My Ghostly Gallop 10k was the middle 6.2 of this (1:03:59).  Hip was very pissed by evening time, but the run itself was great.

Sunday 10/27/13 - RUN 2.2 miles of trails in 33 minutes (who knows if this is accurate because my Garmin didn't really work in the woods.  Tried out real trail running for the first time.  Jury's still out but it definitely kicked my butt.

I'm looking forward to this next week being a bit of a step-back week.  My legs feel pretty shredded after 2 back-to-back days this week.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tried a Little Trail Running

If you know me at all, you know I'm not a fan of running on anything other than pavement. Yesterday I stepped outside of my comfort zone and joined some friends for a trail run.
This is an event put on by one of the local running stores and a few times a year they have companies come out with shoes to try.  I picked a pair of Saucony's because they matched my SparkleAthletic skirt :)  They felt good at first but my arch ended up hurting quite a bit.
Because it's Halloween week, they encouraged costumes.  I'm dressing as a Minion for school this week, so I just adapted the costume a bit for running.  It worked well, but the hat was a bit warm.
The trails at Robinette's Orchard start out winding through the woods.  The loop was supposed to be 2.5 miles long, but I ended up taking a shortcut because the people I was following took a shortcut and I only ran 2.2 miles.  Lots of up/down/up/down and wrapping around trees.  My Garmin hated the woods and kept losing the signal so my distance might be off a bit.
After about 2 miles in the woods, we ran a bit past the orchards.  At this point, people could either take a left and go on for another 2.5 miles, or turn right back to the start.  I was done.  Back to the start for me.  This was a really good workout even though my average pace was a 15 min/mile, which is about what I normally walk.  I felt like I was going so much faster and I was really trying to run.  I'd probably have liked the scenery more if I wasn't so focused on my feet and not falling.
Probably the best part was winning 1st place in the costume contest :)  I got a cool t-shirt and a $25 gift card to Gazelle Sports.

What about you?  Trails - yah or nay?

Friday, October 25, 2013

5 for Friday: Pinterest Workouts

If you are anything like me, you probably get bored with the same old workouts.  Or you just have no freaking idea what to do when your PT says - "focus on stretching your hips".  Um...ok??

Here are a few workouts I've pinned and have been putting into my plan when I don't know what else to do.

1. The yoga hip sequence I tried yesterday.
2.  Simple moves to tone your arms.

3.  A great source for pool workouts (but so far they are still a bit beyond my abilities).

4.  A great pairing of spin workout with music.

5.  And finally, a treadmill hill workout - which I haven't tried yet but will SOON!
What about you?  Do you have a favorite Pinterest workout?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday: PT, girl time and cookies

This week I'm going to give thanks for three pretty random things...

1.  I had been released from PT, but after seeing my sports med doctor yesterday, the doctor decided I needed to go back. I'm thankful that the PT had a cancellation for today. (I may not be thankful come appointment time depending on how badly he beats up on my hass.)

2.  Friday afternoon, I'm taking my daughter and her BFF to Chicago to see Hunter Hayes in concert.  Yes, I'm going to the concert, too.  I actually like his music, the kid is mad talented.  I'm really looking forward to seeing him perform this song.

3.  I was in a funk most of the day on Wednesday, so I made cookies.  Oatmeal chocolate chip.  I might have had one or two.

What's your favorite kind of cookie?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: believe

Injured and sick, I had one of my best runs in weeks yesterday and commented that I felt like an athlete again. A friend reminded me to look at this more often. The athlete is still in me, I've just let too much negative thinking get in the way. I need to believe.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Training Tuesday: such high hopes

This was supposed to by my highest mileage week post-injury, but I didn't count on getting sick and spending all day Saturday in bed with a fever.

Monday 10/14/13 - RUN 3.1 in 32:11 (10:22 pace), then STRENGTH - some arms and abs

Tuesday 10/15/13 - BIKE just under 14 miles in an hour. Didn't really have much oompf and I think this was the start of feeling sick.

Wednesday 10/16/13 - Didn't feel up to much.  Stretch, ice and roll for 20 min was all I did.

Thursday 10/17/13 - RUN 4.5 miles in 44:32 (9:52 average). This included two 1600 sprints at 8:5x pace, plus warm up, cool down and 800 job in between the intervals.

Friday 10/18/13 - SWIM 1400 yds in 47 minutes.

Saturday 10/19/13 - nada, zilch, zip, nothing.  Had a fever that started Friday night and stayed with me all day.  This was supposed to be an 8 mile run. Sad.

Sunday 10/20/13 - I volunteered at the Grand Rapids Marathon for about 5 hours.  I don't think handing out water counts as exercise.

Went to the doctor today and I have a sinus infection. Hopefully the antibiotics will get me feeling better soon.  I'm still running (ran today and yesterday) but I definitely don't feel 100%.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Meal Monday: Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup

I found this recipe on Ziplist and it was incredible. I went with a Michigan Beer - Bellaire Brown from Shorts Brewing and I recommend any local brown ale when you try it. I'd avoid any hoppy beer, like an IPA, because it will be too bitter and overpower the soup.

The recipe came from Taste of Home according to Ziplist, so I'm not going to duplicate it here.  Go to this link on Ziplist for the recipe.

I did make one small change when I made the soup.  I cut the recipe in half and used a little bit more chicken broth than called for and only about 3 or 4 ounces of beer.  It was perfect.  I think I still ended up with 6 or 7 servings and it was great for lunches for a couple days.  The original recipe has some tips for freezing the soup, which you could definitely do if you made a full batch.

Now that fall has arrived in Michigan, I'm sure many more soups will be making it into the rotation. Do you have a favorite fall soup?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five for Friday

1. My sleep is beyond broken. It's getting really annoying.

2. The staff at my school is dressing up as Minions this year. I'm looking forward to this costume and I wish I had a Halloween race so I could wear it again.

3. I'm getting my hairs did tonight after I do my swim. Probably not this short but something like this. I'm sure the salon will love me showing up smelling like pool.

4. This. Some days it's really hard to believe this but I'm trying. I'm not doing a Fitness Friday post for the reason I have nothing good to say.

5. Because number 4 was Debbie Downer & I get blasted for being negative, here's a funny cat and dog picture to balance it out.

Are you dressing up for halloween? Any costumed races coming up?

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Three Things Thursday: BMI, Beer & Idiots

Drive by blogging in the form of three randoms :)

One of my friends posted this to Facebook this morning. After yesterday's blog post, I found it really funny & true.

I made the most amazing Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup last night. The Bellaire Brown from Shorts was PERFECT. I should post the recipe next week.

Last weekend many of my friends dominated the Chicago Marathon & this coming Sunday a bunch more will take on the Grand Rapids Marathon or the Detroit International Marathon. I have other friends training for races still to come this year. I love these special kinds if idiots :)

I was 2 years ago yesterday that I joined the special idiots ranks. I can get healthy, I hope to get re-initiated next year. Any suggestions on which marathon I should run?

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday: Weight vs BMI

Pretty rocking roller coaster, huh? What I see is a trend going upward but I can also look at this and say I've maintained my weight for the past 3 months. Sadly, that's never been the goal.

Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 149.4
This week: 148.0
Change: down 1.4
Total change: down 5.6

I've been tracking me weight for almost a year and I've only lost 5.6 pounds. As much as I hate to admit, maybe this is what I'm supposed to weigh. Or maybe I'm just not trying hard enough. I'd like to say I don't care but I don't think that's the truth.

Yes, it's just a number, but this weight has me at a BMI of 27.1 which is in the OVERWEIGHT category. To be in the normal range I'd need to weigh under 140 with some charts saying 131! I don't think I've weight 131 since middle school.

Does this mean I'm going to always be overweight? It's kind of looking that way. While I'd love to say I weigh 130 pounds, there's no way in hell I'm ever going to see 130 pounds unless I'm starving myself. I guess I don't care enough to do that.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think BMI is an accurate portrait if health?

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Training Tuesday

Since I'm not officially training for anything, I'm not sure what to call these posts.  I'm following a half marathon plan but haven't signed up for any races.  Feel free to give me suggestions.

Monday 10/7/13: Run 3.14 in 33:47 (10:45 pace) - this was supposed to be an "easy" run but felt awful. Moving on.

Tuesday 10/8/13: Crosstraining - I mowed the lawn for over an hour.  Probably doesn't really count but I bet I walked 3 miles.

Wednesday 10/9/13: Run.  My first attempt back at speedwork.  I had a 4 mile tempo run on the schedule with the middle 2 at 9:22 pace.  I didn't think I'd be able to accomplish this outside in the dark, so I went to the gym at zero-dark:30.  WU and CD 2 miles in 21:38 (10:48 pace). 2 mile tempo in 18:35 (9:18 pace).

Thursday 10/10/13: Strength 45 minutes.  Did a bunch of stuff that I don't remember.

Friday 10/11/13: Swim 1700 yds (about 1 mile) in 50:21.  I have a workout I'm following that's a mix of WU, CD, some swim/kick/pull drills and sprints.  It works and it kicks my ass.

Saturday 10/12/13: Run. My longest run since getting injured and I picked a beautiful trail to run.  You can see pictures in yesterday's post.  I managed 7.25 miles in 1:15:37 (10:25 pace).  Lots of stuff hurt and I hobbled around the rest of the day, but it seems the hobbling isn't quite as bad as it was.  Made sure to get up and stretch throughout the day, which seemed to help.

Sunday 10/13/13: rest day.

Overall, I think this was a pretty successful week.  I ran over 14 miles and managed a little bit of cross training and strength.  I can definitely say my injuries are improving but not gone yet.  I'm obviously not a very patient person so following the PTs plan and upping my miles this quickly makes me happy in some twisted way.  Probably because I get to run.  Knowing it's going to hurt is the hard part.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Motivation Monday

Sometimes you really don't want to go out and do your long run. Maybe you're worried that your PT is pushing you harder than you are capable. Maybe you're scared of getting re-injured. Maybe you just don't like pain.

But you get out there because you are an athlete with goals. You suck it up. If you're lucky, you are rewarded with views like this.

I ran 7.25 miles of the Grand Rapids Marathon course on Saturday. Was it bittersweet to cross over the mile 16 and 17 mile markers? Yes. But I think choosing this route was a good idea. It gave me a little extra motivation to get healthy again.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Funnies

Several months ago I backed into that light pole. Apparently others have as well because it now has lights. Granted, it was broad daylight when I did it so the lights probably wouldn't have helped.

My cat is losing her sh*t. She always sleeps in that box that we put in the bed she would never use. Yesterday she dragged it all away from the wall and started crawling under the box. She's 15 and I think a bit senile.

I have a bunch of friends running the Chicago Marathon this weekend and the Grand Rapids Marathon next weekend.  Having run one full marathon (which of course makes me an expert) I can relate with every one of these stages.  Wishing my friends fast feet and I've heard the race directors have removed the wall from both courses so you all should be great.

Give me a funny - what made you laugh this week?

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday: lunchtime randoms

Off the cuff blogging. It's lunchtime and I have a few minutes to give thanks. In no particular order other than the order I pulled the pictures off my phone...

I'm thankful for trying speed work again after a couple months off. It wasn't pretty but good enough (meaning not too painful & improvement noted by my PT) that I've been given the go-ahead to start ramping up my miles. I have guidelines, of course, and it scares the crap out of me, but I'm trusting my PT. At least for now.

Yesterday my boy was inducted into the National Honor Society. 3 AP classes, marching band & a good-sized role as Lennox in Macbeth this fall means he's crazy busy but still willing to do all the extra service hours for NHS. Proud momma night.

My girl is having a great diving season. She's also in a bunch of honors classes and marching band. More proud momma moments.

What are you thankful for today?
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday: crap eating equals crap weight

Good by Papa Johns and enjoying a beer while I watch football.

Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 148.2
This week: 149.4
Change: up 1.2
Total change: down 4.2

At the risk of being told my attitude sucks - here's a news flash - it sucks because I'm pissed at myself for letting stress and some shit I can't talk about here affect my sleep, eating & exercise.

I've been eating within my calories allotment but apparently not the right foods or I would be down this week instead of up. Guess I can now eliminate pizza - even veggie, which is what I eat - from my diet. Why are all the foods that taste good ones that make me fat?

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Training Tuesday: back at it

I haven't posted a training recap post in awhile because I haven't been training for anything. I'm still not registered for any upcoming races - except the Shrinking Jeans Ghostly Gallup 10k in a few weeks, but I'm starting to feel healthier and I work best from a plan.

Here's how the last week played out:

Monday 9/30/13 - CROSSTRAINING 30 minutes on the ARC Trainer and then went to PT.

Tuesday 10/1/13 - RUN 3.1 miles in 33:13 (10:40 pace).  Ran pre-dawn and enjoyed the stars, some hills, and a few sprinklers.  STRENGTH Did my PT exercises and some planks

Wednesday 10/2/13 - RUN 4.08 miles in 44:16 (10:50 pace)

Thursday 10/3/13 - OFF

Friday 10/4/13 - SWIM 1700 yds in about 50 minutes.  Felt really good and I'm planning to keep this Friday swim session as long as I can.

Saturday 10/5/13 - RUN 5.78 in 1:00:55 (10:32 pace).  My longest run in over a month!  Felt good during the run but got pretty tight and sore as the day went on.

Sunday 10/6/13 - STRETCH Did my PT exercises, planks and some stretching and rolling before I hung out on the couch and watched football.

Overall, I'd say this was a positive week back to training.  I ran about 13 miles and while I was still feeling the injuries, I'm finding the pain is less and I'm recovering faster.  This coming week I'm adding speedwork back into the mix, so I'm hoping the positive trend continues.

How was your week?  Around these parts it's marathon season - did you race or do you have a race coming up soon?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Meal Monday: I need ideas!

So, it would appear that I've gotten into a dinner time rut.  This frequently happens this time of year because the kids are busy with activities and most dinners need to be fast and easy.  I have a whole bunch of ideas on my RECIPES page up there ^ and I should probably break out the crock pot more often.

I like Pinterest for menu ideas.  If you look at my recipe board on Pinterest, you'll mostly find desserts and booze, so I need some better ideas.
I did find this pin for 52 uses for rotisserie chicken and I have to say it has some promise, but I HATE touching the chicken to take it off the bones.  Weird, but true.  Do you have a good recipe for using a rotisserie chicken?  How do you get the chicken apart without getting grossed out?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fitness Friday: regrets?

My PT wants me to run 5 miles tomorrow. I couldn't sleep last night and was awake before 5. I really wish I'd just gotten up and ran this morning instead of waiting until tomorrow.

Now I'm looking at a stormy weather forecast & a ton of kid activities tomorrow.

No regrets tomorrow. If I have to run 5 miles on a frigging dreadmill, I guess that's what I'll do.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

#TBT: Throw Back Thursday - GR Marathon

October means marathon season around these parts - and the race that holds a special place in my heart is the Grand Rapids Marathon. I've participated in this race for the past three years. It's in a beautiful location and put on by some of the nicest folks you'll ever meet.

It was my first half marathon in 2010:

My first/only full marathon in 2011:

And my first marathon relay in 2012:

This year I'm not running. I wish I could - it's the 10th anniversary of the race - but I'm not physically ready.

I'm going to try my hand at something new this year.  2013 will be my first time as a volunteer.

Have you ever volunteered for a race before?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Weigh-in Wednesday: jeans envy

Is it possible to envy yourself?

This was me the day before my first half marathon in 2010. Surprisingly, those Silver jeans still zip, but there's a lot more muffin top.

The past few weeks have been rough and I'm apparently not allowed to voice my frustrations or have a bad attitude so I'm leaving you with just the numbers.

Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 150.2 (I saw 152 on Monday.)
This week: 148.2
Change: down 2.0
Total change: down 5.4

I have almost 10 pounds to go before I get back to the weight I was in that picture. The fact the jeans still sorta fit is nothing short of a miracle.

I really like those jeans. I like them even more when they're a little bit loose. Hopefully they will be again.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Coq to the Fly Ride "race" report

This past Saturday I participated in a group bike ride put on my two of our local breweries. The Coq to the Fly was a 15 mile ride from Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids to Rockford Brewing in Rockford. It wasn't a race but since I haven't posted a race report in a long time and don't know when I will again, I thought it would be run to recap the ride.

We started with a little carb loading at Vivant. The Perdition black ale was fantastic and the pretzels were yummy - I wasn't crazy about the cheese stuff so I dunked mine in yellow mustard. We sat next to a couple girls "The Beths" who were in town for a conference and decided to do the ride. They were hilarious.

This was clearly a ride for anyone. Bikes ranged from Fat Tires, to mountain bikes, to low-end road bikes like mine (I wimped out and put my old pedals back on for this) to super expensive tri-bikes.  I debated for awhile about riding my old hybrid and I'm glad I decided at the last minute to take my road bike.  I don't think I'd have finished if I'd ridden the other one.

Even seeing the range of riders, I was a bit intimidated by all the serious bikers. After chatting and finishing a beer, the ride started. The first 5 miles were through town, including a 2 mile downhill on cobblestone at the beginning. If you know me at all, you know I don't ride in the street, much less around other bikes, so to be in a crowd of 150+ riders had me very freaked out. I HATED the first 5 miles with a passion. Our friend, Mark, kept checking on me but I wasn't happy around all the cars and bikes. It was very slow going with lots of stops. The first 4 miles ranged from 8 to 13 mph but once we got to Riverside Park and the White Pine Trail it was better. I hung with Mike and Mark for about 5 miles (biking around 13 to 14 mph) until I decided I needed to fly to the Fly and picked up my pace to around 15 mph. I made it to Rockford (15.3 miles) in about an hour and 8 minutes (not counting all the traffic stops), which was only an average of 13.4 mph.

Once Mike and Mark showed up a couple minutes later, we headed inside Rockford Brewing to refuel.  My White Pine Wheat was delish and very refreshing after the 15 mile ride.

Rockford had bike racks set up and it was so cool to see how many people participated in the ride.

After we finished our first (yes, I said "first") beers, we headed out back to the beer tent where we got koozies.  They don't work as well on plastic cups but whatever.  The beer tent had live music and we stood around for an hour or so chatting with The Beths.  There was a charity selling BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and I was hungry so I ordered one.  It wasn't good and I ended up only eating a few bites and then eating the potato salad that came with it.  Diet Fail.

After a few beers and that a little bit if food, Mike and I headed back to GR. The wind on the way back was brutal and there were times I thought I wasn't moving. We stopped after 10 awful, windy miles at Riverside Park to hit the bathrooms and look at the water (I should have taken pictures on the White Pine Trail). Those first 10 miles were at a decent pace considering we'd had some beers and had been standing around, but still slower than I can normally ride (splits ranged from 12 - 16 mph).

We stopped again in town before we hit the major city streets and traffic to check out a couple ArtPrize exhibits in 6th Street Park.

Once we got back into town, I was bitchy and so tired of riding (I set about a 10 mile distance PR on this ride). The last 2 miles were back up that cobblestone hill and I my speed was under 10 mph. Major suck but I refused to get out of my big gear - I think I would have tipped over if I'd downshifted any further. I decided drivers are jerks too, especially after almost getting hit by some d-bag who backed into an intersection while I was going up the damn hill. The ride back to Vivant was 15.4 miles and it took 1:16:54, not counting stops (12 mph average).

Would I do this ride again? Probably not.  I don't think I will ever feel comfortable riding in car lanes, using hand signals, and stopping behind busses and with cars inches from my tires.  There were also too many people around for me to feel comfortable.  I was constantly worried I was going to do something to make someone else crash, or someone was going to crash into me.  Not a fun was to ride.  Overall, I rode 30.7 miles in about 2 hours and 25 minutes.  Like I said, a good 10 mile distance PR but the speed (or lack thereof) was nothing to be proud of.  Plus, negating all the calories burned on beers during the ride was pretty stupid.

Have you ever participated in a huge group ride like this? Love it or hate it?

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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...