Friday, July 31, 2015

Fitness Friday: LPGA Final Round #ForeHunger

Until last Sunday, I had no idea how much exercise one could get while watching 18 holes of golf.  As part of the Meijer LPGA Classic 5k, I was given 2 passes to Sunday's final round.  What I didn't realize is the VIP treatment my guest and I were going to receive. (disclaimer: I was given these passes in exchange for participating in the 5k and blogging about my experience)

The event is held in Belmont, Michigan with parking at Rockford High School.  My friend, Kitzie, and I got to the high school in time to pick up our passes and take what I thought would be school buses to Blythefield Country Club.  Nope - they had air conditioned charter buses for all the spectators.  So much nicer than a school bus!

We took the short ride to the course and had time to wander around for a bit before meeting up with my contacts, Annye and Katie.  Right after entering the grounds, we saw these beauties!  There was also a giant Kraft macaroni noodle :)
Kitzie and I made our way to the first hole and watched the first few rounds of golfers tee off.  This was the final round and we were assigned to the 9:10 group (the leaders wouldn't tee off until around 10:00).  I don't really follow women's golf (or men's for that matter) but I did recognize a few names.  It was cool to watch Christie Kerr tee off.
After we met up with Annye and Katie, we were given our special "inside the ropes" passes.  The only give out 3 or 4 pairs of these each day, usually to major sponsors, members of the country club, or contest winners, so we felt very honored to receive them.  What this allowed us to do was to walk the entire 18 holes with 3 of the professional golfers.
Me and Kitzie in front of the clubhouse.

We were assigned to Kim Kaufman from South Dakota, Xi Yu Lin from China, and Ju Young Park of South Korea.  As soon as we were escorted to the first tee, all three golfers came over and introduced themselves.  Even their caddies were extremely friendly and welcoming.  A professional photographer snapped pictures but I have no idea how to get copies of them.  We didn't take any pictures with the athletes (yes - they are very much athletes and so are their caddies!) because once the round started they were all business.
That's Kim in the front talking to Xi Yu and Ju Young is in front of the caddies.
Walking right now the middle of the fairway during the LPGA Classic final round was an incredible experience.  Watching their athleticism and power was a highlight.  We were able to listen to the caddies give their athletes suggestions and we even had access to their refreshments at some of the holes.  I know practically nothing about golf but Kitzie golfs on a regular basis so it was nice to have someone explain things to me.
We spent about 4 1/2 hours with the athletes.  Kitzie had her step counter running on her phone and by the end of the round, we had walked over 13,000 steps or a little over 6 miles!  Yes, with all the hills on the course my legs were TIRED, especially after running a fast 5k the day before.  It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day for golf and I feel very privileged I got to watch the final round from behind the ropes.

Thank you Meijer, Kraft and the LPGA for a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

LPGA 5k #ForeHunger #racereport

This past weekend, I participated in the 2nd annual LPGA Classic 5k affiliated with the Meijer LPGA Classic.  I was provided with a free entry to run the race for offering to join a team of Michigan bloggers, but after running I would pay next year.  It was a well organized and very fun event.  (Sadly, or not since we aren't fast, we didn't have enough bloggers to be an official team, but it was still super fun.)

Before the race started, I met up with my friend, Megan, who was also participating and we snapped a picture with Tony the Tiger.  Kellogg's is also a major sponsor and this was a fundraiser for their organization, Simply Give, which helps stock food pantries throughout the Midwest.
This race is very small (only about 500 people total) but was friendly towards any ability level.  There were the uber fast runners - the winner went 15:01 which is unreal to me - all the way to walkers with their kids.  Then there were the rest of us mortals :)  Your entry into the race got you a nice t-shirt, a sling-bag, and if you so desired 2 tickets to the LPGA Classic.


The race is held at Rockford High School, and having been there many times for sporting events, I knew the surrounding area could be VERY hilly.  Luckily, the course was great with a downhill first mile, only one hill in the 2nd mile, and a finish on the RHS track.  I haven't pushed a run in a long time and it felt great to really work this one.  Megan is super fast and finished several minutes before me and she snapped a picture of me on the track.

I finished in 31:02 - a 9:59 average pace!! I haven't done that in quite awhile, so I was very happy with my time.  My splits were 9:30, 10:53 (I really need to work on hills and drinking without walking), 10:02, and then an 8:30 pace on the track.  Who am I???

All of the mile markers featured Tony the Tiger so we had to snap a picture with a giant box of Frosted Flakes at the finish.  After the race was a huge breakfast for all the runners.  Many varieties of cereal, milk, juice, Pop Tarts, various granola bars, protein drinks and even some Gluten Free items were available.

Megan and I hung out with her hubby at the breakfast for awhile before we both took off to get cleaned up.  I needed to rest up before attending the LPGA Classic final round on Sunday!  More on that later this week.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fitness Friday: #ForeHunger

Good morning, friends!

Just a quick heads up about a great event happening in my neck of the woods this weekend.

The Meijer LPGA Classic started yesterday at Blythefield Country Club north of Grand Rapids, MI.  Meijer, Kraft and Gazelle Sports have teamed together with Kellogg's to support food pantries in the Midwest through Simply Give.  This golf event is one of their major fundraisers.

There is a 5k tomorrow (July 25th) in Rockford, Michigan. Myself and fellow bloggers Mindy and Megan (as well as 7 other bloggers) are running as a team.  It should be a ton of fun.  Please come out and join us!

Sunday, I will be attending the final round where I will get to watch some incredible women golfers.  I'll be sharing my experience with you.  Watch for the hashtag #ForeHunger as I tweet and post throughout the weekend.



If you are local to the West Michigan area, I strongly encourage you to come out and support our community through this great event.  As a bonus, you will receive 2 tickets to the tournament if you sign up for the race.

disclaimer: I was offered a free entry into the 5k and tickets to Sunday's round in exchange for my thoughts on the event.  As always, the opinions are all my own.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Three Things Thursday: Currently

This week my friend, Carla, wrote a blog post imagining we could be sitting down with a cup of coffee and chatting about what is currently going on with our lives.  I only wish I could be as transparent and open as is.  Too many people I know read this blog and I've been burned in the past about stupid stuff like swearing (for real - someone from church told my husband he should talk to me about the language I use on MY blog, because a - like it was their fucking business and b - it's M's job to police my behavior), so I can't really open my heart like I'd like.

So here is my somewhat edited "currently" in TTT format.

1.  I went to yoga today and was so frustrated by my lack of ability that it took everything I had to not leave the studio 15 minutes into class.  I fought back tears but could not leave with my daughter on the mat next to me.  I sucked out loud and it only served to reinforce what I already feel. I'd been feeling pretty good about the yoga sessions but today really took me down.

2.  My daughter leaves for college in less than 3 weeks and my son in about 4 weeks. I'm not ready.  I keep putting on a brave face but I really fear for what fall is going to bring.  I know they are ready and I'm so blessed to have two strong, smart, independent young adults, but yes, I'm scared.

3.  Because money is tight (hello 2 kids starting college and a $700 repair on my POS van last week), I've been donating plasma twice a week since early June to earn my "play" money.  I haven't said much on social media but I'm treating it like a job - scheduled days/hours and I take it seriously.  I think I eat well (except the 161 fucking pounds currently showing on the scale may say otherwise) and I've done really well with it other than some nausea, up until this week.  I had a scare on Monday.  I went in not feeling 100% and when they took my temp, it was 99*.  Not high enough to deny me but high for me.  I still donated because they didn't say I couldn't, then I came home and 2 hours later almost passed out while getting ready to go to yoga.  Needless to say, I skipped yoga that day and didn't go to my group run the next day either.  I donated again on Wednesday (because it's my job) and my protein level was the lowest it can possibly be to donate.  Now I'm afraid I'm going to lose this source of income and I won't be able to plan any visits to friends anymore.  It really sucks.

There you go.  Three things currently on my mind.  Anything you'd like to share over a cup of coffee with me?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#racereport Rock n Roll Chicago 10k

Photo-heavy post because that's how I feel like rolling on this one.  You're welcome.

After last year's very tough RnR Chicago Half Marathon (in which I ran 18 miles training for Detroit), I said I would never do another RnR event.  I wasn't impressed with the bands at all and I didn't feel like it was worth the cash.  However, the opportunity to see my friend, Renee (who now lives in the Netherlands), was a very good reason to never say never and sign up for the 10k
Renee and I met up at the expo. Decent expo and I drove a Toyota for a $10 gift card, which I used to buy a pint glass.

Love the shirt.
 After walking around the expo for a bit, Renee and I headed to our hotel and I set out Flat Bari.

 We stayed the the Congress Hotel, which I would highly recommend for any races starting or finishing at the north end of Grant Park.  Literally only a few blocks from the start/finish for the Half.  I had a mile walk to the 10k start line down Michigan Avenue.
Took the stairs because the elevator was "busy".
 Renee's friend, Becky, also came into town to run the half marathon and hang out with Renee.  She was a riot and we may have been a little slap-happy by the time we finally got ready for bed. (Note-I recommend packing your own breakfast for races like this.  The girls really wanted bagels and we had to hit about 4 or 5 places before we found any at 9pm at night.)

As usual, I slept very little before the race and was up extremely early.  The temps were already AWFUL with a dew point of 72*.
 We got up and got ready, then took an obligatory, pre-race blurry picture.  Renee and Becky needed to get to their start and I headed south to mine.
 The sunrise over Grant Park could not have been any more beautiful.  It almost made getting up at 4am worth it.
I'll be honest, seeing how tiny the starting corral was really shook me up.  I was very concerned that hardly any people were running and I was going to end up DFL.  Turns out it was really small but I did pretty well considering how hot it was.
 I was in a port-a-potty line 3 minutes before the start, so I jumped back out and self-seeded myself in the 2nd wave.  There were 3 waves and they went off about a minute apart.  Easy peasy.  Luckily, there was no line at the potties about 1/2 a mile in so I stopped to pee.
This was the only picture I took and it was around the 2.5 mile mark.  I was completely drenched in sweat and was stopping at every water station to drink and dump water on myself.  I couldn't even operate my phone so I kept it tucked away.
 I finished in 1:10:05.  I was hoping for 1:15 with how hot and humid it was, so I'm happy with this time.  The best part was finishing 46/167 in my age group.  I'm not sure I've ever finished that high, so clearly the heat really affected the runners.
One of the best parts of the day was the afterparty.  Last year, the band sucked and I didn't stick around.  This year they brought in Andy Grammar and he put on a great, hour-long show.  I was there early enough (thanks to running the 10k instead of the half) to get about 15-20 feet from the stage.  

Super fun weekend with lots of awesome girl time and a great concert.  Not too shabby.

Did you race this past weekend?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Weigh-In Wednesday: a rough week

(*edited* Yes, It's Thursday. I realized after I published this TODAY that it isn't Wednesday. That's how this week has gone.)

This week has not been fun. I know I haven't eaten as well as I should and there may have been a night where more than a glass or two of wine was consumed.

I've had a nearly $800 van repair that didn't completely fix the problems.  On the plus side, there were two things that they fixed that were actually covered by that elusive "Lifetime Power Train Warranty".  I looked them up and they would have added at least another $400 to that bill, so there's that.  The sucky thing is it goes back in again next week.

Must be true.  I've made it this far.  :)
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Somehow through this I managed to lose a pound from last week.  Brightside?

I've been really debating whether I should go to Chicago this weekend.  I'm broke and borderline injured but not to the point that I can't run, I just can't run well.  Luckily it's a large enough race that it's unlikely I'll be DFL.  Plus, I'm already over $150 in for this race so it would kill me to not show up and I really want to see Renee.  I'll just have to be extra careful with what I spend while I'm there since I'll probably be hit with more stupid car repair costs next week.  Since I have that 5k the following weekend, I need to come home not anymore injured than I already am, too.

Have I mentioned how much I hate my van?  And my achilles?

The yoga class I've been attending had a lesson yesterday on replacing negative thoughts with opposite positive ones.  So I guess the positives are that there was enough money in the checking account to cover this week's car repairs, I don't have a car payment on top of it, and I can still sorta run.  How's that?

Anyhoo...Until next week.  Maybe I'll write a race report when I get back.  I haven't done that in awhile.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Three Things Thursday: I said I wouldn't race...

Yep, awhile back I said I was taking time off from racing to get my twins off to college in the fall.  Well, best laid plans and all...

I somehow managed to get three races on my schedule for this summer.  Now, running in the summer can be frustrating at best and downright awful at worst, so I have no goals for these races other than to go have fun.

1.  Rock N Roll Chicago 10k - After last year's negative experience running the RnR Chicago Half Marathon, I decided I would never do another RnR race.  Too much hype, too much money, and not enough bang for the buck.  Plus, this one is in July in Chicago and it's like running on the surface of the sun.  That being said, when my friend Renee told me she was coming from the Netherlands to run, I couldn't let the opportunity pass by to see her.  I'm not in half marathon shape, so I registered for the 10k.  If you are going to be in Chicago July 18-19, let me know and we can try to get together!  Rumor has it, Meb will be there!!
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2.  Meijer LPGA Classic 5k - A week or two ago, I was approached by the good folks at Meijer regarding joining a team of 10 bloggers to run the 5k associated with the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club.  Meijer, Kraft and Gazelle Sports have teamed together with Kellogg's to support food pantries in the Midwest through Simply Give and this even is one of their major fundraisers.  The race is on July 25 in Rockford, Michigan as part of the LPGA Classic weekend (July 21-26, 2015).  As part of the event, I will also be attending the final round on Sunday, July 26th where I will get to watch some of the best women golfers in the world and then share my experience with all of you.  Maybe I'll even be inspired to take up golf!  If you are local to the West Michigan area, I strongly encourage you to come out and support our community through this great event.  As part of your race entry, you will also receive 2 tickets to the tournament.
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3.  Labor Day Bridge Run - On September 7, I get to check off a major item on my bucket list.  I'll be running 5 miles across the Mackinac Bridge from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City.  This race is open by lottery and even though I said I'd never enter a lottery for a race, I threw my name in for this one.  Somehow I actually got in.  After confirmations were received, the race was opened for the general public and as of today, there were still spots available to run (they limit this to 500 people) so if you are interested, click the link and get registered.  If you need a place to stay, let me know and I'll see what I can do to help.  Following the run, there is a community walk across the bridge which is open to anyone so it would make a great family getaway if you can swing it.  If you are running or walking, please let me know!  I'd love to say "Hi".  I still can't believe I get to run over this beautiful bridge!
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There you have it...a lesson learned to never say never.  Here I went into the summer saying I was taking time off from races and now I'm running three in the next couple months.

Are you racing this summer?  Any races on your bucket list?



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Not liking this trend

So I followed the advice of a few friends and put the scale away for a bit.  I went on vacation and while I was gone, I got in a few runs and ate whatever I felt like eating.  No low carb. No tracking. No counting calories.  I came back from vacation and waited a few days before I weighed in. Shockingly, I only gained about 1/2 a pound while I was gone.  

Flash forward another week where I've been more on track food-wise and exercising more, and now I'm up 2 more pounds.  What the actual fuck???


I decided to go back in MFP and see a graph for the last year.  11 pounds gained is NOT what I had in mind.  I can only imagine what my doctor is going to say when I'm in for my annual physical next month.

Because I'm some kind of masochist, I took a few pictures.  Because pictures don't lie.  I look as bad as I feel.  I am resembling a stuffed sausage in my clothes and that's really not a good look for me.

Yikes.



There once was a time I really liked my back.  Now? All I see is fat spilling over the sides of my way too tight sports bra and tank top.  There are no muscles left.

I was *thisclose* to joining Weight Watchers again this morning.  Why didn't I?  Because as a "Lifetime Member" I would have to pay again until I reached my previous goal weight - which was 141 from probably over 10 years ago.  There is no way that is a realistic goal anymore when I can't even get to 150.  

I'm kind of stuck.  I started tracking again today but that really hasn't worked for me.  I should probably go back to very low carb.  Honestly, I did lose a few pounds (it's that recent dip on the graph).  I need to get back to the gym and start lifting again.  I bought a 1-month unlimited yoga membership with my daughter to support her going (doctor's orders for her to see if they help her migraines).  We went on Monday and Tuesday's run was very painful and this morning's run turned into a walk because my Achilles and calves were so sore.  I thought yoga was supposed to help, not make you worse.  Going again today so we shall see.

I really don't want advice.  I don't want people suggesting this diet or that diet.  Chances are, I've already tried and failed at them.  If  Whole 30 or Paleo or 21 Day Fix or works for you, that's great.  I'm done thinking they will work for me.  I'm just putting this out there for some accountability to myself.

Back on the wagon I guess.