Friday, February 28, 2014

Fitness Friday: perception vs reality

With all my dumb injuries lately, I've been forced to resort to other forms of exercise. Then I go and hurt my neck and bitch because I can't turn my head swimming so my friend, Tami, sent me this on FB yesterday.  It couldn't possibly be more accurate. 

The reason why I never go anywhere after a swim:

i always feel like i look like ariel coming out of the water....

And because the weather is still a total bi*ch:
What I think I look like. What I actually look like.

Hopefully I'm looking more like the picture on top when I go for my run later today.
What I actually look like when I run... but it's better than a couch potato!

Happy Friday, people! What's on your agenda this weekend?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

#TBT: #fitbloggin 2011

Back when I was in shape & fun I went to Baltimore for Fitbloggin11 and met up with some awesome ladies.

I even ran a 5k in a tutu (and had some muscle cuz damn I look good in that picture).

I wonder what Savannah will bring this year. Hopefully more pictures like this.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: rough morning

After yesterday's very positive Training Tuesday post, today is a ginormous let-down.  I'm only posting bullet points because, why not.

  • I've had a weird pain under my shoulder blade for several days now.  This morning I woke up not able to move my had AT ALL.  Excruciating pain.
  • I called the chiropractor office this morning only to find out my chiro doesn't work there anymore.  This is similar to your hairdresser leaving.  Starting over with someone new sucks donkey balls.
  • I managed to lose a pound over the weekend only to gain 2 pounds in the last 2 days. Seriously, I don't fucking get it.
  • I managed to be selected as a LiveBlogger for Fitbloggin'14.  I'll get to attend the conference for free (yeah!) and post the content of one of the sessions.  I'm all registered but I really don't feel "fit" anymore.  I'm easily 10-15 pounds heavier than when I attended in 2011 and at the rate I'm going, it's only going to be worse by June.  How can I attend a fitness conference when I don't feel fit at all?
  • Apparently I also suck at blogging because the picture in this post isn't showing up for me. Hopefully it shows up on your computer because it's a pretty funny cartoon and an attempt to laugh at myself for my healthy eating/diet failure.
Sorry for the Debbie Downer post today, but I really feel like shit.  Tomorrow will hopefully be better.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Training Tuesday: orthotics are working!

Isn't that a pretty graphic?  One of these days, I'll learn to do screen shots from my computer instead of snapping one on my phone, but whatever.  That's a whole lotta miles this week and more and more are being logged on my feet.  This makes me happy.

Monday 2/17/14 - Plan: RUN 30/XT 30 - Actual: RUN 4 miles in 40:27 (10:06 pace) / XT Arc trainer 1.14 miles in 20 min.

Tuesday 2/18/14 - Plan: SWIM 45 - Actual: SWIM 1600 in 47:39.  This was a great swim. Dropped time on every set.

Wednesday 2/19/14 - Plan BIKE 90 - Actual: BIKE 25.57 miles in 90 min (17.1 mph). I killed this ride. Great interval workout and finally topped 17 mph on my trainer.

Thursday 2/20/14 - Plan RUN 30/XT 30 - Actual: RUN 3 miles in 30:19 (10:06 pace) This was an experimental run in different shoes and w/wo orthotics / XT Arc trainer 1.6 miles in 30 min.

Friday 2/21/14 - Plan SWIM 45 - Actual SWIM 1350 in 45:19.  Still improving.

Saturday 2/22/14 - Plan BIKE 90 - Actual BIKE 24.71 miles in 90 min (16.5 mph).  It's amazing what having fully inflated tires can do to your speed.

Sunday 2/23/14 - Plan RUN 30/XT 45 - Actual RUN 4.5 miles in 45:15 (10:03 pace) all in my orthotics and it felt pretty great! / XT Arc trainer 1.52 miles in 30 min.  I was slower on the ARC today but I didn't really care after having such a great run.

I'm starting to feel like my old runner self again and that's a pretty awesome thing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 24, 2014

Motivation Monday: Ready to Rock 'n' Roll

Last week I hinted at finally registering for a race.  I'm starting to see some improvements in my injuries and I'm feeling ready to tackle some distance again.  Here's my fun news!

I won an entry into the 2014 Rock 'n' Roll Chicago 1/2 Marathon from Megan at I Run For Wine!
I hadn't planned on running a 1/2 this spring or summer but free was just too good to pass up.  To make for a fun weekend, my daughter is also going to race.

The promise of bling and music convinced her to run the 5k while I'm out busting my ass over 13.1 hot as Hades July miles :)  The good will be the company before and after the race, but mostly I'm looking forward to using her beer ticket.

This will be my first Rock 'n' Roll race - a bucket list item for me.  I probably wouldn't have chosen Chicago in July, but it works into my schedule and will probably be a good lead-in to the start of marathon training.  

Have you run a Rock 'n' Roll race?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fitness Friday: Spring Break Fun! #anothermotherrunner


Do you know the wonderful Mother Runners behind Another Mother Runner, Sarah and Dimity?  If not, you MUST go follow their blog, find them on Twitter, visit on Facebook, etc, etc.  You get the idea.  I've loved their podcasts, used elements of their Train Like a Mother plans for a couple of my races and their support to the Mother Runner community is outstanding.  Plus, they're pretty freaking funny.

These lovely ladies have asked me to help out at a couple race expos this year for AMR and I couldn't be more excited.  If you are running the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon or 5k in Grand Rapids, Michigan this April, you must stop by their booth and say "hi" to me.  I'll let you know where I'm going to be for the 2nd expo once the details are ironed out.

When I saw their Another Mother Runner 2014 Party Schedule, I about fell out of my chair.  They are going to be in Charleston, SC while I'm there for spring break!!! I actually get to meet these two the week before Gazelle Girl - it really must be fate!

So, if you are in the Charleston area, please sign up to attend the party on April 8th.  I'd love to meet even more awesome Mother Runners.  Also, if you know of any great running routes there, I need to get in a few training runs because it looks like I'm going to be running a half marathon this summer!  More on that later :)

Happy Friday, friends!  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

#TBT: 100th Day

When you are 5, the 100th day of school is a very big deal. Today is the 100th day in my district (it should've been a week ago but snowmaggedon hit) and it reminded me of my twins when they had their Kindergarten 100th day celebrations 12 years years ago.

They graduate next year. Excuse me while I go bawl my eyes out.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: why??

So, I'm a bit confused although I probably shouldn't be.  I've been around this eating healthier, exercising more sort of bullshit for a long time so I really shouldn't be surprised that after a little over a week of tracking and really kicking ass on my workouts, I've basically lost zero weight.  In fact, I actually gained. After the first few days, I dropped a pound.  Then just as quickly that pound was back.  I logged and was within my calorie range on 5/7 days (and I think I was still in an ok zone calorie-wise on the 2 days I didn't completely track because on those days I burned a shit-ton of calories.)

Anyhoo.  There's that whole "it's a marathon, not a sprint" philosophy but honestly, I'd just like the scale to stop showing a number that makes me want to puke and for my jeans to not be so tight.  I'd like to catch a side-glimpse of myself in the mirror and not want to scream.  Is that really too much to ask?

Saw this on Sarah's blog yesterday and had to steal it because that's really how I feel.  It seems no matter what I put in my mouth (or don't put in my mouth) and whether I work out for 1 hour or 2 hours the result is basically the same.  The scale just keeps going up and my clothes just keep getting tighter.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Training Tuesday: lessons learned

This was a learning week.  I learned that I'm probably not quite ready for 4 miles runs, that my swimming is getting much better, and that I don't know jack about changing a bike tire.

Monday 2/10/14 - plan: SWIM 45 / actual: SWIM 1350 in 46 min.

Tuesday 2/11/14 - plan: RUN 30 and XT 30 / actual: XT Arc trainer 1.58 miles in 30 and RUN 3 miles in 31:43.  This run was tough after the arc trainer.

Wednesday 2/12/14 - plan: REST / actual: YOGA 75 minutes

Thursday 2/13/14 - plan: BIKE 90 / actual: BIKE 21.77 in 90 min and 20 min of stretching and rolling.

Friday 2/14/14 - plan: SWIM 45 / actual: RUN 4 miles in 39:56 and XT Arc trainer 1.07 in 20 min. Was probably a bit too much to try for 4 miles but it was good to see I could still do it.

Saturday 2/15/14 - plan: RUN/XT / actual: SWIM 1400 in 45 min.  I nailed this swim and swam so much faster than I normally do.  HOT YOGA 60 min.

Sunday 2/16/14 - plan: BIKE 90 / actual: BIKE 12.42 miles in 57 min before my trainer tire blew, then went to the gym for BIKE 17.1 miles in 45 min. STRENGTH 15 min (glutes and abs)

About that bike tire - I now have the knowledge to change it and got to practice a couple times because my spare tube had a bad stem.  I'll still never be able to change a tire on my own though because I don't have the hand strength.  Those little red tools were useless to me.  I wish bikes could be added to AAA.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Winner Winner Curried Chicken Salad Dinner

First things first! The "Winner Winner" portion of today's post.

Congrats to Brooke for winning the Suddora Headband giveaway for declaring her goal: "I want to cut an hour off my marathon time"!  (The awesome training runs Brooke has been posting leave me no doubt she can do this.)

And now the Chicken Salad Dinner!

I've had this can of chicken in my cupboard for far too long and decided yesterday that I wanted to make Chicken Salad.  I wasted time perused Pinterest for awhile but never found any recipes that a) I had all the ingredients for, or b) sounded good to me.

So I did what any red-blooded American would do and I made up my own recipe based on about 5 of the ones I found.  (I'm not a good enough cook to completely wing it.)

I give you Curried Chicken Salad with Apples, Raisins and Almonds


1 small red apple (I think I used a Gala apple)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup cold water
Large can chicken (about 2 cups cooked, chopped. Leftover rotisserie chicken would work great too)
1/4 cup chopped celery (about 1 small stalk) - not pictured because I threw it in at the last minute
1/2 cup light mayo (I imagine you could try regular mayo or Greek yogurt as well). Use more if you want a creamier salad.
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 tsp curry powder (add this much and if you want more curry flavor, add some more to taste after mixing it)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (or any chopped nuts will do)
salt, pepper


1. Core and chop the apple, leaving the skin on.  Put it in a bowl with the lemon juice and water and set aside.

2. Add remaining ingredients in another bowl and gently mix.

3.  Drain the apples well and add them to the chicken mixture.

please excuse my horrible food photography skills
4.  Refrigerate for an hour or so to let the flavors blend.  Serve on a bed of lettuce, Ritz crackers (my personal crack of choice), bread, in a pita, on a croissant, whatever floats your boat.

This was probably one of the simplest recipes I've ever thrown together with just stuff I had in the house.  You could easily change it to suit your tastes by adding different fruit (I LOVE pineapple in chicken salad but you have to drain it very well), spices, nuts, etc.

Now a completely random question because we're on Mid-Winter Break from school but stuck at home because I didn't think ahead to plan a trip...Where would you go if you had a 4 day weekend? I'm thinking 4 days in the Mayan Riviera sounds perfect right about now.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fitness Friday: something to ponder

I still struggle to call myself an "athlete" but I am.  
I have a harder time thinking I need to eat to train vs diet to lose weight.

Maybe someday I'll figure it all out.

Have you entered my giveaway yet?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Giving thanks

Just a quick pop in for a couple things that made me smile this week.

After a rough run on Tuesday, my friend Laura posted this on my FB timeline. It was a good reminder.

I wore one of my Another Mother Runner shirts to yoga on Wednesday. I love this shirt.

Related to the shirt - I survived a 75 min yoga class and with the help of the instructor did something I never thought I'd do. A back bend. In fact, I did 2. I was pretty damn proud of myself.

What are you thankful for this week?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

#WIAW: back to tracking

As much as it makes me crazy, I'm back to entering my food into this.

I'm not convinced it's going to do any good & I don't know how long I'll last, but I'm making an effort.

I do great with breakfast, but it's the rest of the day that usually goes to pot. On the bright side, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right.

Do you have a favorite tracking app?  Does tracking make you stabby too?

Have you entered my Suddora headband giveaway yet?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Training Tuesday: making progress

This week I've kept plugging away at the cross training and managed to get in a couple of really good (although short) runs.  It's progress.  Sunday night I actually had sore running muscles.  I haven't felt like that in a LONG time.  I even have an official training plan again (official because it's in a spreadsheet).  Structure is a good thing, people!

Monday 2-3-14 plan: REST/ actual: REST plus stretching and rolling

Tuesday 2-4-14 plan: RUN 30/XT 30 / actual: RUN 3 miles on indoor track in 30:15 (WOOT!!), XT Arc Trainer 1.3 miles in 30 min.  I loved this run.  It was a huge confidence booster and my heel didn't really hurt.  My calves and achilles need to relearn how to run in Newtons thought.

Wednesday 2-5-14 plan: SWIM 45 / actual: SWIM 1300 yds in 45 min

Thursday 2-6-14 plan: BIKE 90 / actual: BIKE 90 with no real clue as to distance or speed because my Garmin was dead. I guessed 13 mph for 19.5 miles.  This ride really wasn't fun.

Friday 2-7-14 plan: SWIM 45 / actual: SWIM 1600 yds in 48 min.  I have a baseline now for this workout and I want to see those 100s drop.

Saturday 2-8-14 plan: RUN 30/XT 30 / actual: RUN 3 miles on indoor track in 29:58 (WHAT?!?!?, I averaged a 9:59 pace!), XT Arc Trainer 1.46 miles in 30 min.  This run shocked me.  It was uncomfortable with my calves SCREAMING.  I really thought I was running so much slower than this so seeing my splits at the end was awesome.

Sunday 2-9-14 plan: BIKE 90 / actual BIKE 20.24 miles in 90 minutes.  Better ride than on Thursday but I'm not loving how much my girlie bits are still not used to these long rides.

Funny Encouragement Ecard: The Pity Train has just derailed @ the corner of Suck It Up and Move On, & crashed into We All Have Problems, before coming to a stop @ Build A Bridge and Get Over It.
stolen from Thea's blog
A successful week.  I'm sore but really not feeling injured and that makes me happy and ready to jump off the Pity Train.

Have you entered my Suddora headband giveaway yet?  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Declare It Day & a #giveaway

This past February 1st, I got together with a bunch of amazing women for Declare It Day.  What is Declare It Day, you ask? According to Fellow Flowers, 
"Declare It Day is about putting words and dreams into action and declaring a goal that you are committed to working toward and achieving."
photo from Susan
The idea is to put in writing a goal that scares you, that is outside your comfort zone enough that will require you to work for it.  You then declare it out loud and your friends help you stick to your resolve and help you do whatever it takes to reach that goal.  What's my goal?

"In 2014, I declare to run a 4:59 marathon by following a smart training plan, listening to my body, and not running races as training runs."


photo from Susan
I have my sights set on the 2014 Detroit Marathon.  This is a scary goal for me since I'm not able to run more than 3 miles at a time, 2 times a week.  It's going to be tough but I'm not giving up yet.

And now for the Giveaway portion of today's post!  Suddora Sports sent me 2 Suddora Velvet Lined Headbands, one to keep (in black) and one to give away (in white).  These are great for sweaty workouts when you don't want something sliding out of your hair.  It even keeps my shorter bangs out of my face and the elastic on the back doesn't slide up either.

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter below.  Mandatory entry - leave a blog post telling me one thing that scares you (can be a fitness goal or not).  Additional entries are available by following Suddora on Twitter and Facebook, liking Live Laugh Run Breathe on Facebook, and tweeting about this giveaway.  Giveaway is good to anyone in the US.  Make sure there's a way for me to reach you so I can send you your headband if you win! Contest begins 2/10/14 and ends 2/16/14.

If you can't wait to win, Suddora has set up a 50% discount for my readers, good until 2/28/14 when you order a headband through Amazon.
click HERE and enter the code SUDDORA5 at checkout.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fitness Friday: @SuddoraSports Giveaway sneak peak!

I'm excited to give you all a little sneak peak into a giveaway I'll be hosting here next week.  Paul from Suddora let me know yesterday that they are featuring some new Non-Slip Headbands with Velvet Lining over at and wanted me to pass the info on to my readers.  These types of headbands are the only ones that don't slide out of my hair.
Non-Slip Sports Headbands with Comfy Velvet Lining
Aren't they cute?!?!
Paul is sending me a headband to check out, plus another one for one of my readers.  Once I receive them, I'll give you all an opportunity to win one!  

If you just can't wait, Paul has set up a discount code to give my readers 50% off when you order though their Amazon link.  Click on the link below and enter the promo code SUDDORA5 to get 50% off! That's like less than 6 bucks including shipping!

Promo Code: SUDDORA5

Active Time: Discount code is good from 2/6/14 at 2pm PST until Feb 28th

Discount Amount: 50% Off

You can find Suddora on Facebook and Twitter (go "like" them now and you'll be a step ahead for the giveaway next week!).

the fine print: Suddora is providing me with a headband to review and another to give away, but as always, the opinions are all mine and I receive no compensation from their Amazon site.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday: progress?

I feel like I haven't done a "giving thanks" post in a while, so I was due.  

I'm giving thanks that the arch support my podiatrist made is starting to make my foot feel better and I won't need to dress for work like this forever.  I was actually *thisclose* to wearing dress shoes today but decided not to press my luck.
Damn, that's a sexy look!
I'm giving huge thanks for a great run Tuesday afternoon.  I haven't seen a sub-10 minute mile in a very long time, much less had a run that didn't leave me limping and in pain for days afterwards.  I'm only allowed to run twice a week right now, so hopefully Saturday's 3 miles will go as well or better.  It's supposed to be downright balmy at 18* but the doc says no outside runs until the streets are clear, so I'll be doing loops on the indoor track again while my kids take the ACT (say a prayer for them, and me).

Today I'm also giving thanks for my Starbucks Gold Card and free drink rewards.  That triple shot might help me make progress on all the reports I have due.

Nectar of the Gods
What are you giving thanks for this week?  If you want, you can give thanks that the snow isn't taller than you and your van (unless it is and in that case, come join me for coffee and we'll bitch about how this winter is never going to end).  I guess I should also give thanks that we still have a mailbox.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Training Tuesday: post, take 2

I had a different post written for today but I couldn't publish it.  Some things are better left unsaid to the masses.  Bottom line, I'm struggling with fear right now.  Fear of failure, fear of disappointing people, fear of not getting back to where I was a few months ago, fear of pain never going away.

I have a little more hope now but it's hard for me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I need to re-evaluate my goals and what is realistic.  I need to pray that my new doctor knows what he's doing and that tonight's run is a success.  Defining "success" is the hard part.

The past week was fair from a training standpoint.  I finished my plank, squat, push-up challenge on Friday and I'll admit I haven't gotten back into it.  This next week I hope will be better.

Monday 1-27-14 BIKE 14.1 miles in 60 minutes.

Tuesday 1-28-14 RUN 2 miles on snow in 23:54.  It amazes me how some people can still run fast in the snow.  I am NOT one of those people.  

Wednesday 1-29-14 BIKE 17.4 miles in 75 minutes.

Thursday 1-30-14 RUN 3 miles in (guessing 33 minutes).  I ran on the indoor track at my gym and ditched the watch after 1/2 a mile because I was so disgusted by my pace.

Friday 1-31-14 REST All I did was my morning work and even that was minimal and lame.

Saturday 2-1-14 BIKE 10 miles in 45 min.  RUN the Groundhog Moonlight 1/6th Marathon - a 4.4 mile hike through 18 inches of snow.  A "race" in which I was only a few people from DFL.  I should never had participated and it's a miracle I didn't get seriously injured.

Sunday 2-2-14 REST I did some stretching and rolling of my very pissed off calves and back.

Like I said, it was an ok week training wise.  My appointment with the podiatrist on Monday was both encouraging and upsetting.  I've been given the go-ahead to run, but only 30 minutes twice a week.  I have a training plan now with a TON of supplemental workouts in the hopes that I can still run the River Bank Run relay in May with Corey without completely embarrassing myself and maybe have enough cardio base to still pull off a fall marathon.  Right now I'm not super optimistic about either.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Groundhog Moonlight 1/6th Marathon #racereport

So, Saturday night's Groundhog Day Eve Moonlight 1/6th Marathon will go down in history as one of the stupidest (read CRAZIEST) things I have ever done.  West Michigan has been in the midst of a polar vortex snowpocalypse for several weeks now and this trail race was going to be hard. 

I had no idea how hard or I was just in total denial.  I think I ran about 5 miles the entire month of January and was still nursing some injuries.  I ran the Groundhog Half Marathon last year and while there was a sh*tload of snow that day too, It was pretty packed down.  I figured, 4.4 miles, I could walk it if I didn't feel up to running.

Thankfully, we ended up with a bit of a heat wave this past weekend so I didn't need to deal with the -11 windchills.  It was about 27 degrees with very little wind at the 6:30 pm race time.  I was outfitted in 2 pair of tights, a long sleeve tech shirt, my Nike Element jacket, hat and a buff. I wore Yak Trax on my feet but honestly, it probably wouldn't have mattered if I'd decided to wear my Uggs.  I left my mittens in the car, which was perfect because my hands were uncovered 1/2 a mile in.  I'd say I was dressed perfectly.  I never felt cold.  Sadly, this was the only "perfect" aspect of this "race".

I was extremely fortunate to go through this torture race with Laura, Susan and Judi.  Had they not been there, I'm pretty sure you all would be reading my obit instead of a race report because I was giving serious thought to jumping in the Grand River and attempting to swim back to town.
The only plowed section of the trail was the start/finish like.  For those doing the half or full on Sunday, they'd cross this area every loop - 3 loops for the half, 6 for the full.  We only had to deal with it once.  

The Groundhog Moonlight 1/6th Marathon race is a 4.4 mile loop through the beautiful Kent Trails system in Grand Rapids, MI.  Headlamps were required and it really was quite pretty when I was brave enough to look up instead of just down at my feet.  I truly believe the 1/6th-er's job is to blaze the trail and hopefully get the snow packed down for the next morning's half and full marathon.  We really didn't do a very good job.  

The snow was easily 18 inches deep and full of ruts and pits.  I have never been so frustrated just trying to WALK.  Forget about any attempts to run.  There was a spot about 1/2 to 1 mile in that runners could bail if they wanted.  Once we passed that point we knew we were in for the VERY long haul.  I give mad props to Susan for blazing our trail, Laura for running her longest race so far, and Judi for falling half a dozen times, not giving up and making us laugh.  I give myself props for packing peppermint schnapps and not just laying down in the snow waiting to die.  When I mentioned swimming, I was about 50% serious and trying to calculate how long I'd live before I either drowned or hypothermia set it.  It became a mind over matter race.  I needed to not mind that the time didn't matter.  It was so f*cking hard and I thought about 100 times that I would be lucky to get out without a broken ankle.  I'm proud to say I never fell and I actually ran the last 25 yards or so to the finish line. I can run 4.4 miles in about 45 minutes or less and walk that distance in a little over an hour.  This "race" took me over 2 FREAKING HOURS! The winner finished in 50 minutes, so that gives you and indication of how bad the conditions were since that dude probably runs 5 min miles and couldn't even maintain a 10 m/m pace.  A couple of my friends placed in their age-groups.  Mandy finished in about 1:40 and Joanne in around 1:30.  I really thought I'd be done in under 90 minutes but I seriously underestimated this.  Sunday morning I woke up feeling like I'd been run over by a snowplow.  Pretty much everything hurts, from my neck for looking down for 2+ hours to a very sore hammy to my feet and ankles.  

Saturday night's run will go down as both my Personal Worst and Personal Best 1/6th marathon.  I will NEVER do this race again, so both of those records will stand.

Photo: Seemed like a good idea at the time

At least the sweatshirt rocked.

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...