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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Midweek Thoughts (re: Challenge 1)

Good morning!!

There is some crazy excitement in the air today at my house.  My dad drove my husband in to work, so we have the van all day!  This means we aren't trapped at the house driving each other bananas...we can actually take our craziness on the road!  Yeehaw!

For Zoe's birthday, a super sweet relative gave us a gift card to the Bounce N Play in Charlottesville.  Oh yeah.  We are going to bounce, bounce, bounce ourselves silly today.  They don't open until 9:30, so I'm hoping to feed these kids' bellies until they are stuffed, then pray we can last at least 2 hours before they are "hungry" again.  I can't afford to get them lunch there, and I'm out of bread (again, sigh) so I can't pack sandwiches.  I have some snacks I will take, so maybe we'll be able to really make the most of this special outing.

Oh, yeah, you probably were reading to see what I had to say about the Weekly challenge, right?  Ha, ha. 

So, Monday and Tuesday were easy.  I was excited to try some new videos (I have been updating the first blog posting with details from each day) and really having fun with working new muscles (hello, ARMS!).  Yesterday, however, it was a chore.  I was soooo not in the mood for fitness.  The kids were monopolizing both televisions, it was too cold to take them outdoors (believe me, I tried!), after all this time together the fighting was in full force.  I was just plain tired.  Nobody took a nap, nobody stopped eating all the live long day.  It was a bad day. 

I was going to run last night.  I was planning to run 8 miles.  Maybe even 9!  I wanted to get out there and just lose myself and not have to hear yelling and not have to make any decisions.  However, when Shaun got home and I said "I'm going running at 6:30", I heard a deep sigh and saw him shake his head.  He reluctantly admitted he was hoping we would be home together that evening.  This tugged at my heart a bit, and I decided I would run Thursday instead.  Once this decision was made, I realized I was going to have to do my videos...and in front of my husband!  Eek!  This may not seem like a big deal to some (or most), but I feel so awkward and silly and uncoordinated...I realize he knows me, but it just is different when it comes to these videos!!  Hahaha.  Seems super ridiculous now.  Especially since he was too busy watching the instructors and laughing at THEM.

All of this just to say I had every excuse in the world to NOT do my 30 minutes last night!  Jack and I had done a 15 minute Pilates video during the day, so I really only had to do another 15 minutes, but it ended up being fun with the whole family getting involved.  When I do them during the day, the kids usually escape to another room or get bored after just a couple minutes, but when Shaun and I are together anytime the kids just want to be there, too.  It's kind of cute.  Sometimes annoying...like last night when Zoe wouldn't go to bed unless she was hanging out with us, and then I got frustrated and fell asleep, so our "hanging out together" really didn't happen.  Whatever.

3 days in and done!  Yesterday when I kept thinking I was going to skip out on a day, I reminded myself it is only one week.  You have challenged yourself and you cannot just walk away.  Especially when it wasn't like I was going to skip it for a serious reason...it was laziness!  Pure laziness. 

Planning to run about 8-9 miles tonight.  It won't be easy, but I'm not looking for easy.  I'm looking for a reminder that I am a runner and I can do it.  I'm looking for some quiet time in my head to talk to God and to try to listen to Him and to just breathe.....

Have a great day!
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Weekly Challenge #1

Good morning!!

I had a "plan" to challenge myself each week of 2012, but as I wrote down challenges, I began to get excited about starting...so I started a week early!  Who says you have to wait for New Year's???

Each Sunday evening I will draw from the "Bowl of Challenges" and post the result.  I have a variety of challenges included, some diet-related, some exercise-related, some spiritual, some just general "be nice" challenges.  All of them are at least a little bit "out of my comfort zone".  I have at least 4 people joining me through Facebook so far, and my husband has said he will "try", too!  FUN!

Challenge #1 is an easy one!  Each day this week (Monday through Sunday), do at least one 30-minute instructional workout.  Class at the gym, DVD/VHS, or On Demand work out.  Any variety - full core, specific target, yoga, pilates.  Just at least 30 minutes a day! 

One of my thoughts on these challenges, is that I would love for it to show me how easy doing these things regularly can be.  While I don't think doing a video every day FOREVER would be "easy", I do hope to see that each day I could potentially have time to do one!  I have been talking about incorporating some strength training for a long, long time now.

On the running front, my partner and I had a hard time coordinating schedules this weekend, so we missed our long run together.  We are planning to make up for it tonight with a 7 miler instead of the scheduled 3.  This Saturday we are running in a 5K - her first ever! - so we will be increasing our weekday runs to meet the total weekly goal of 23.

Diet-wise....ugh.  Yesterday was full of yummy food and snacking and random munching that has left me feeling ILL.  Yuck!  Back to good today.  No specific "diet" planned, but I'm going to be heavy on the fruits this morning and get some good proteins in later today.  My stomach is overall NOT happy with my choices from yesterday...but I was sooooo happy with the choices as I was making them!  Haha!

Have a great day!  I would love to hear from you if you are "in" on the challenge...and what video, etc, you plan to do!!


MONDAY:  12 minute "Floor Aerobics" video, 12 minute "Upper Body" video, 10 minute Yoga video = 34 minutes!
TUESDAY: 5 minutes of a Cardio Dance video (laughing too hard to finish!), 25 minutes of "Pilates Butt", 8 minutes of "Total Body - Pilates" = 33 countable minutes!
WEDNESDAY: 15 minutes of Pilates, 20 minutes of Body by Fitness with Gilad in Jerusalem (!!!ahahaha), 5 minute abs, about 10 minutes of yoga...some extra ab work...=50+ minutes
THURSDAY:  5 minute "sample" of Advanced Walk it Off with Leslie Sansone (totally want to buy this series!), 30 minute Pilates Pump from On Demand.  (truthfully, I got to 27 minutes of the Pilates and Zoe vomited for the THIRD time since I started the video and she was all done with daddy taking care of her)...still = 32 minutes!

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Thursday, December 22, 2011


I really don't have time to be blogging right now.  Like, really don't have time.  However, it's all I feel like doing!  Hahahaha.  So, let me run and get breakfast for a child and I will finish this up...

Okay.  Lots to tell...let's do the ol' bullet point format.

  • I freaking WON something!  And it is the coolest something I have ever entered a contest to win!!  So, I have stopped entering giveaways on people's blogs because it feels like I never win and it's kind of annoying to "like" all these things on Facebook and "follow" stuff on Twitter and then have to comment about everything...boooo-ring!  What I had decided was I would only enter contests that I really, really, really, really wanted to win.  A few weeks ago I noticed a few blogs I follow were all giving away a free entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon held in Roanoke, VA (2-ish hours from me), in April!  I thought, Ooooh, cool.  If I win this, I would have to do it, right?  Once again, I freaking won.  OMG!  The blog Run Faster, Mommy! posted her winner and, when that first winner didn't respond, she posted a second winner...it was/is MEMEMEME!!!  I have already registered and begun the butterflies in the tummy.  Whew.  "America's Toughest Road Marathon". 
  • Along the lines of that news....I am still considering what to do about the Charlottesville Marathon.  There is the option of just running the half.  My sweet friend is coming to town to do the full with me, and I haven't been able to get ahold of her yet to discuss the possibility that I will only do the half that day.  We'll see...
On a side note:  I wanted to share something about what a difference one year can make.  Right now I am trying to decide whether to run 2 full marathons two weeks apart, right?  My other option is to run a half marathon on April 7th instead of a full because I am definitely (already registered) running a FULL 26.2 MARATHON on April 21, 2012.  Wanna know what I did on April 21, 2011?? 

 (excerpt from 4/22/11 blog)  EXERCISE: I took Zoe for a walk yesterday! Woohoo! I would guess we walked for about 25 minutes. I focused on not taking it slow and trying to get my heart rate up a little bit. I am having to "guess" because I checked the time when we left and when we got back, but forgot to check how much time we spent playing at the little playground. I know it wasn't 60 minutes, but it was something which is better than nothing.
That made me tear up a little bit.  If you are even considering taking up something that seems SO out of your reach...I just encourage you to do it.  DO IT!!!  You will never know what you are capable of until you go for it and actually TRY. 
  • Okay, I got my new shoes in and took them out for their first run last night.  Very nice.  I got the Ryka Revive 2 from Zappos.com.  They are super cute.  Definitely more padded than my Kinvaras, but they still aren't "heavy" - they weigh just 9 ounces.  They were on sale for $49.99.  That's the best part.  LOL  My knee had ZERO pain last night during my 5 mile run, and my pace was definitely not affected.  The only strange thing was my steps sounded funny?  I think it is easier to mid-strike in the Kinvaras, maybe, and I needed to rethink my foot fall with these?  Either way, as I said, no knee pain...I also have no other pain.  I feel great this morning and I am really liking these as a training shoe!
I have to get dressed for Bible study.  I am really, really, really looking forward to today's meeting because we are setting time aside for fellowship since it's our last meeting until the end of January!  Eeek!!

I will find time to write tomorrow about two virtual 5K races I am entering...thanks to Jenn at Running For My Life.

Have a great day!!!   xoxox
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Monday, December 19, 2011

some thoughts

Well, hey there!

It is beginning to feel a little bit stressful over here as Christmas break comes closer...and closer!! Whoooo. Conner only has school 2 days this week and he is sick today. So now we are down to 1 day this week. SIGH.

Anyway, I have been doing some major meditating and praying and thinking. I literally have 16 minutes to type, so if this ends up seeming abrupt, I apologize.

Yesterday, the kids and I decided to check out a new church. After a minor breakdown in my Bible study group on Thursday - same ol', same ol'...not feeling "up to par" as a stay at home mom, somewhat desperate for a daycare situation to present itself, feeling super lazy when it comes to actually DOING what I feel the Lord is calling me to DO, etc. SO, one of the girls in my group started talking to me about getting together with our children since her 2 are close in age to my 3 youngest, and then she told me what church she attends in town. It is a church I have passed every Sunday since starting at Charlottesville Community Church, and I really have felt like I wanted to turn in! So, yesterday we did just that. The church is called The Point. I'm not sure if they do this every week, but yesterday the pastor gave a quote as "The Point"....
"God is doing in your life exactly what you would have Him to do if you could see the whole picture."
Yessir.  I needed to hear that!!!  I will definitely be going back.  Pastor Gabe (who introduced himself before the sermon and was super nice) went on to say another quote (that I totally didn't write down)...the gist being that you need to wait for God's timing.  Rather than trying to force something to happen in your own time, wait.  God's timing is correct and perfect.  If I somehow "miss' the signs or clues, it will be okay because God will make "it" happen.  All of this I know, but I just forget. 

Moving on.  I am really trying to live my life by praying constantly, listening to the moments around me, and staying away from the things I know are distractions and idols for me.  The computer is one.  My Kindle has turned out to be another.  I am making it a point to set time aside for those things...time that doesn't interfere with others needing me.  Time that comes AFTER my Bible studying.  I know Jesus has some great plans for me, and I really want to be listening when He speaks!!

So, yes, Christmas is coming up.  I have been on the borderline of cancelling any gift-giving several times this past week, let me tell you.  However, now that we have a tree up and lots of decorations, I think the kids are really realizing the season is here...at least, I guess that is why yesterday was such a good day for them?  We rearranged the bedrooms yesterday and put Zoe and Conner in a room together, so bedtime was a little interesting, but it still went relatively well.  Better than expected, at least!

Did I mention I would be sort of abrupt in all of this?  It has only been 7 minutes, but I keep losing my train of thought! 

Let me talk about running for a minute.  My knee hurts.  Like, it hurts BAD.  Today it is feeling better than yesterday, actually, but I had a full rest day yesterday...and today's schedule is 3 miles.  I'll let you know how that goes!  I went into the Charlottesville Running Company yesterday to talk to someone about the pain...some googling on the internet has led me to believe it is a simple case of "Runner's Knee".  Huh, who'd'a thought, right?  Haha.  Apparently this is very common and not a big deal...need to stretch more, do some cross training, and look into some new shoes.  Grrr.  All things I already KNEW, but just have been refusing to do!  Basically, the cross training thing just confuses me.  We have hard wood floors, so I do NOT want to work out at home.  I cannot afford a gym membership.  I have all the excuses in the world - you like that?? 

Who has time to stretch!?!?

Good shoes do not come cheap.  In this time of gift-giving, I just cannot justify getting the shoes I really, really want.  However, my aunt did "gift" me with a payment of $54.00 to "reward" my weight loss, so I did some online searching and found some good shoes for $50!  Zappos.com.  Love it.  I'll do a full review once they arrive, but they are made by Ryka, which is apparently a company that specifically makes shoes for WOMEN.  Interesting.  Since all of my sneakers have been men's shoes!  Details to come.  And pics, of course.

That's the running info.  I'm still training with the intention of running in the Charlottesville Full Marathon...even though the 26.2 miles terrifies me!  This weekend's 9-miler was pretty rough, but I completed it and didn't "die".  This means I have more in me, right?

2 minutes left!

I have decided to get back to some conscious dieting in the new year.  I have been eating when I want, and what I want and it is just not working for me.  I definitely haven't put any weight ON, but I also recognize that running would probably be easier on my knees if I could get to a healthier weight.  I'm not necessarily going to track the scale numbers, but I will probably try to weigh in once a week or once every other week...

Time's up!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dear Santa,

I would like to start by thanking you for the addition of your elf, Arthur, to our crazy household. He is such a joy! He listens ever so quietly as the kids all scream various requests to him...today's favorite being "ARTHUR! Tell Santa not to give any presents to mom this year! She's MEAN!"

See, Santa, I've been trying to come up with creative ways to entertain my little children during the days. Since we have no car (um, #1 request on the list), we are stuck indoors...until the weather warms up to an appropriate temperature of at least 50 degrees, which hasn't been happening before 3:00 pm lately. Awesome. Today's "fun" involved a tea party with muffins and chocolate sprinkles (which the husband mistook for mouse poop as he was sweeping this evening), two yoga videos to calm them down, and a make-your-own-mashed-potatoes lunch! I thought they would be so happy to have done all of that today, but, alas, Arthur has heard no less than 3 times about how mean I am and how few presents I deserve. Sigh.

If you DO decide I deserve a gift, however, here are some things it has come to my attention we desperately need:
1. Car. I think I detailed that above. I'm not picky. It doesn't have to be flashy...just an A to B automobile that will seat at least 5.
2. Food. Do you have any idea how much 4 children between the ages of 2 and 5 eat every day? Add to that the 31 year old man who has a bottomless pit for a stomach. O. M. G. I should most definitely be able to lose weight simply because there is never food in the house long enough for me to have time to eat it! We go through a gallon of milk a day, 4-6 boxes of cereal per week, a bag of apples every other day, cheese, cheese, and more cheese, a box of fish sticks in one night, hot dogs go as fast as I can bring them home, a loaf of bread a day...do I need to go on?
3. Empty notebooks. Seriously, my kids could care less about coloring books...they just want to "journal"! I blame Shark Boy and Lava Girl...actually, I blame Max and all his dreams. (by the way, NOT complaining about them wanting to write and draw...just really want them to do it in their OWN notebooks and not MINE!) haha
4. Quiet pills? Or fairy dust that renders kids unable to speak at a level louder than necessary to get their point across? Just asking. (side note: when I was younger I asked Santa for Supergirl potion to make me fly. I was SO convinced I would get it that I told everyone to watch out...after Christmas, I would be FLYING down the halls at school. He didn't come through for me then. I feel good about this one.)
5. Forks and spoons. Seems like such a simple request, doesn't it? The fact is, we switched over to all plastic several months ago when we flat RAN OUT OF SPOONS. Like, they all disappeared. So, we bought a box of 100 spoons and figured that would last us. Then we RAN OUT OF FORKS. I am not lying! It was eery!! We bought a box of 100 forks. We run out every other week. I keep thinking maybe the kids have found a secret hiding place for them? Are they building a fort in their playroom closet (that I have stopped entering because of how crazy trashed it is)? Maybe they are burying them in the yard in hopes of growing a crazy silverware (er, plasticware) tree? Whatever it is, they are gone. Nowhere to be found. It's crazy. (by the way, we wash the plastic utensils, not throw them away each time)

I think that's all on my list. The kids' lists keep changing, so I'm not really sure what you will be bringing them this year...but I would like to cancel Conner's request at the pancake breakfast for a "video game". We don't own a gaming system...it would absolutely NOT work out to get him a DS and nobody else in the house (including Shaun). I don't know why you said "yes" at the fire station, but I'm sure it had something to do with how nicely he and I were dressed. Something about a stained shirt and too-big pants for me, and his lovely Transformers costume under sweat-pants? I can see how you might mistake us for a wealthy family.

Love you!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Town Dash - 8K Race Report

Good evening!!

Today was sooo much fun!!  Last night, too, of course, but I'm just gonna recap this morning.  :)

Quickly, did anyone who reads this blog hear about/experience the drama with the Hot Chocolate 15K yesterday?  I was even training to run that race, but I changed my mind a month or so ago...and I'm pretty glad I did now!!  Apparently they had all sorts of issues come up - the least of which being a car accident closing down lanes and preventing people from arriving at the venue on time.  I guess a police escort also led the 5K racers the wrong way in the beginning which would have had them basically running into themselves at some point?  Wowzas.  Glad I changed my mind!

Anyway, the stats for my race:
Distance - 8K
Clock Time - 41:44
Chip Time - 41:31
Overall Place - 373 / 2264
Gender Place - 110 / 1370
Age Place - 16 (actually, 3-way tied for 14th) / 237
Pace - 8:21/M

The weather was perfect for racing.  It was chilly at first and I was kind of concerned, but that sun came out and just warmed it up at a great rate and to a temp not too high.  AWESOME.  First things first, the outfit?  Super cute...

Love those socks, right???  A sweet friend bought them for me at Target in honor of this race!  My shirt was a last minute buy at Kohl's...it says "Naughty is the new Nice", which isn't exactly a sentiment of mine, but it was red and long-sleeved.  And comfy.  Whatever.

So, the race.  The route was a lot parking lot, about 1.5 miles in the amusement park (Busch Gardens), and then more parking lot.  Not the most scenic, but there were a lot of fun outfits and a lot of times we were running past other runners, so I had plenty of distractions!

Mile 1: At the first mile marker, I asked a guy nearby what time he had.  I forgot my ipod AND my Garmin, so I was running blind.  He said 8:20.  Nice.  Not much to say about that first mile...there were 3 corrals and I was in the first one.  I didn't want to start too close to the very front (because I'm chicken), but I was trying to be around people who "looked" faster than me to keep myself motivated. 

Mile 2: at some point, I realized I had stepped in front of a woman who was trying to pass me.  I quickly apologized and assured her I would stay in just one straight line.  She said, "Thanks!" and went ahead around me.  I noticed when she passed that her bib number was 2611.  My bib number was 2601 and I was all excited to see it when i picked up my packet because my birthday is 10/26 and I like to "pretend" I am dyslexic sometimes (long story), and the number just jumped at me as significant.  Then I see 2611 and it made me think about my birthday being the 26th and Shaun's birthday is the 11th and I just liked seeing those numbers together.  SO, I kept her in my sight during the rest of the race....

Mile 3: When we passed the 2nd mile marker I looked around for someone to ask about time.  I found a nice guy who said he had around 17 minutes.  We chatted for a bit, we had just entered the amusement park, so there was a lot to look at!  "Christmas Town" is set up super cute and they even had some fake snow being blown out at one point.  Very cute!  I discussed the weirdness of running to the Christmas music they had piped all throughout the run...the guy ended up telling me he has run 3 half-marathons with a best time of 2 hours.  I told him I had limited experience, but I had run 1 half at 2:06...then I made a comment about, "If I can talk this well with you, I'm obviously not racing!"  We split ways at this point, but I honestly can't remember who went ahead!  I think it was him, though.  I probably made him mad about my awesome half marathon time, right?  Hahaha!

Mile 4: I was getting tired, I was feeling a bit slow, I wasn't near enough to anyone to ask about time and I truly just wanted to be DONE!  I hadn't walked at all at this point, and I really, really didn't want to stop for any reason.  I remembered a good friend posting something on Facebook about a Make a Wish patient dying before her Wish-date of December 3rd.  When my friend posted the story, I had asked for the patient's name in order to run in her honor on the 3rd.  This was still when I thought I was going to do the 15K.  Well, I thought of this little girl, Bryawna, during miles 3 and 4.  I remembered how she was called home before she was able to live out the one dream she set her hopes on...I don't know the details of what her Wish was, but I just said a prayer to Jesus and I asked that, if she was able to see me running, to let her know I was running for her.  I asked for her to help me make it to the end because that was something I had set my sights on, and it was something I was fully capable of doing.  I felt a bit lighter when I saw that 4 mile marker and knew I was in the home stretch!  Thanks, Bryawna!!!

Mile 5:  Remember #2611?  Well, she was still in front of me, and I actually caught up to her as we rounded the bend to come in to the finish line sprint.  I told her how her number was meaningful to me and I said, "You helped me make it this far!"  She suggest we dig in and finish strong...and we certainly did.  As we were running up and caught sight of the time clock, I said, "We could do this under 42 minutes!"  She said, "Then let's do it!"  We both sprinted hard and crossed the finish line under 42!  When I looked up the results I noticed she and I had the exact same chip time of 41:31.  She told me her goal that day was 45:00, so I am thrilled to have been able to share that with her!  Even though we parted ways after the finish.  :)  It was nice to run in next to someone and get a cool high-five at the end.

Know who else gave me a cool high-five and a hug and a kiss and a big "I am SO proud!!!"??  My husband.  Shaun woke up early with me and waited out in the cold and he was there to greet me at the finish.  He almost seemed more excited than I was about my finish time!!!  He kept saying, "I really didn't see many 30-something women finish before you.  I think you placed!"  I didn't place, but it was really sweet that he was so positive about the experience. 

Such a fun race, I will definitely do this one again next year.  What a great distance, too!!!  I feel a little tired, but I'm not completely exhausted.  We drove back to Charlottesville after the awards ceremony and ended up going to lunch at Fellini's.  My mom was still at home with my kiddos, so we enjoyed some mimosas and food and my sister joined us.  It was quite the relaxing afternoon!  I'm back home now and the kids are even better behaved than usual.  Happy Sunday!

I hope you all had a great weekend.  I'm planning to meet up with my new running partner tomorrow evening for some fun at the track.  Or something.  I am taking a couple of weeks to experiment with a few different runs and training programs while I, hopefully, save up money to get that coach for at least a month.  I missed yesterday for the Runner's World streak, but I just could not find time to do even 1 mile!  Plus, that rest day was quite needed in order to feel as strong as I did today.

That's all for tonight!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


This will be super short, but I am totally hoping to have some fun stuff to write tomorrow night!  I am running in the Christmas Town 8K in Williamsburg, VA, tomorrow morning.  Fun!!  Shaun and I begged asked my mom to watch the kids for an overnight trip to celebrate our 6th anniversary, and we decided to go to Williamsburg.  It's close by and there happened to be a run I could register for.  Hmmm.  Coincidence?  Yes.  I promise!

Anyway, we will be leaving town around noon-ish and plan to just hang out all day, walking around "historic" Williamsburg, drinking a few beers, watching some football?  I don't know.  No plans.  That was the only thing Shaun asked me to do...NOT make plans.  Grrrrr.

I can't wait to be away from the kids for a whole night.  Is that terrible?  I am so sick of screaming and yelling and whining and crying and fighting and peeing and poopy diapers and just this HOUSE!

Sad news yesterday, when Shaun got up in the morning he found our sweet cat, Steve, had died.  :(  It was very, very, very sad.  Steve was the most awesome pet I have ever had...and I've had a lot of pets!!  He loved the kids so much and allowed them to play with him, squeeze him, sometimes even bite him.  Haha.  He never scratched them and he put up with a lot.  He would walk with us to take Conner to the bus stop and later to pick him up.  He went trick or treating with us.  When we would go visit friends down the street, he would come along and play in the yard!  He was always waiting in the driveway or by the front door when we would return from going somewhere, and he loved to just lay around and snuggle on the couch with Shaun.  It was pretty hard telling the kids, but they seem to be comforted in hearing that he is with Jesus.  Very sweet.  I wasn't sure if they would want another cat, but they definitely do.  Right away.  We'll see.

We're supposed to be heading out for this anniversary trip and I am totally feeling like what I really want is a "by myself" trip.  Almost everything Shaun has said or done today has annoyed me.  Good sign, huh?  Sigh.

Well, I am sure the rest of my day will be wonderful, so I guess I just need to get the bad moods out of my system this morning.  Has anyone ever heard of nannograms?  I am 100% addicted.  They are sooooo time wasting....and awesome.  Ha!

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Running Partner!

I just got back from a simple, yet super great, work out!!  A girl who works at my parent's restaurant and has become a friend since I moved to town, had asked me if she could start running with me.  After discussing her history of running and her comfort level regarding distance and speed, we decided to give it a shot!  I have jumped on the Runner's World challenge of at least one mile per day between Thanksgiving and Christmas...I "joined" late, but I only missed two days so far!!  I think it's okay considering the day between my two "off" days I ran 10.5 miles, right?  :) 

Anyway, quickly I will recap the past couple of days so this posting will be in chronological order...for those who might need that kind of structure.  Monday was a great day!  I did turn a new leaf!  I started to walk the kids to the park, pushing the three in the double stroller again, but when we were about a half mile into it, a friend saw us and picked us up to drive us the rest of the way.  Since that work-out didn't happen, I called my sister and asked if she would like to begin the Couch to 5K program that evening...after trying a couple of excuses out, she finally agreed.  Ha!  She even tried texting me at the last minute to say she didn't have any running shoes...as if I was going to let that one work.  I allowed her to wear my super speedy favorite Kinvaras.  Lucky girl, right??  So, we went to a school parking lot and completed W1D1.  Hooray!!  I ran an extra lap during cool down for good measure.  Joann did awesome.  She didn't complain and even did an extra minute because my math was a little off.  LOL  Hooray!!  She had to work tonight, so I believe we are meeting up tomorrow night for day 2.  She will do day 3 of each week on her own over the weekend, but I think she is up for meeting 2 nights a week.

Last night I needed to do a mile, but really wanted to do 2.  As soon as Shaun got home, I ran out the door and headed down my  usual street...and it began to get darker and darker and darker FAST.  Faster than I was running!!  So, I turned around at the marina and just ran as fast as I could to get home.  Unfortunately, I had started my stop watch, but inadvertently stopped it when I wanted to look down to see how long I had been running....at 4 minutes, 37 seconds.  So, I know my distance ended up being 1.56 miles, but I have no idea how long that took.  Oh well, I felt fast.  I didn't walk any of it (except when I got stuck behind a dog-walker and had to wait for several cars to pass so I could cross the road)...the 4:37 I am assuming was when I tried to push the "light" button and that wasn't too far before I turned around.  Whatever. 

So, tonight.  We walked almost a full mile to the high school track near "new friend" Jenn's house.  I had read about some speed training to change up track workouts, but I wasn't really sure if either of us was at a good point to try some of them!!  I started off by running a 400m "sprint" in 1:49.  Then, I walked a lap while Jen sprinted a lap - in 1:42!!!  She's speedy!  So, we walked a full lap and decided we weren't feeling the speed work for the evening.  We agreed to jog a mile and then reassess our plan.  Our jogged mile was exactly that, a very light jog.  Easy 4 laps around the track, chatting the whole time and barely breaking a sweat.  It was pretty cold outside, but we really just took it easy.  Our time at the end of that mile was 10:12.  Both of us agreed we could have kept going, for sure.  We walked a lap and decided to run a second mile, pushing ourselves a little bit more and aiming for a finish time of 9:30 or faster.  As I said, this is our first time to run together, so even though I know I can run miles faster than that and SHE has run miles faster than that, she said she was sort of out of practice - not to mention she had been to Gold's Gym earlier in the day! - and I didn't want either of us to be in pain at the end.  So, we got back to running...chatting a little bit less, but still talking pretty regularly.  She is another tall runner (taller than me!)...long stride...it was awesome.  Running with someone who kept pulling slightly ahead of me was very, very motivating.  It is much as I imagine running with Jenn H. would be!  (will be one day)   :)

So, we finished our second mile in 8:55!  Both of us still feeling good.  We walked a 1/2 lap around the track and then ran 100 meters backwards, walked 100 meters, ran another 100 backwards, and walked another 100.  Then we did sideways "shuffling"...200 meters total with 100 meters between each.  We finished out our final lap and then walked back to her house.  It was a great work out!  When I got home I had a whey shake with strawberries, blueberries, and spinach leaves.  And some carrots to make sure I got my full 7 fruits/veggies in for the day! 

What a great day!  I have to admit I am feeling a little guilty about missing bedtime every night this week so far.  :(  Shaun has been doing great, though, and I know the kids understand mommy is out running, so at least it's not like they think I'm out "partying" or something, right?  I have been very intentional about spending time with them each day, getting down on the floor and playing, doing some crafts, coloring, etc.  We have had some great days this week...it has even caused me to spend a little more time with Shaun than usual because I come home from running and have a little bit of energy to sit up and watch tv with him for a bit. 

As I type this, he is asleep in the chair and I'm pretty sure the remote is underneath his butt and he has left one of my least favorite shows on the tv.  :P

Christmas Town 8K this Sunday!  I am very excited.  I think we're going to be able to leave town at noon on Saturday, so I'm thinking we will spend the whole afternoon together just hanging out in Williamsburg and probably drinking some beers and eating some yummy food.  :)  If we can get to sleep by 10-ish, I should be fine for the race at 8:30 am, right?? 

Okay, I just ran out of steam.  Good night!!


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Monday, November 28, 2011

"New" Leaf

Okay, it's Monday.  My most favorite "starting over" day of the week!! 

Following a very full Thanksgiving 4 day weekend, I am feeling tired and bloated and unsure of my parenting abilities.  Shaun did NOT have any extra days off, so Thursday and Friday were a little stressful.  I worked an extra night (Saturday) at the restaurant in the hopes it would help me blow off some steam...didn't really work. 

Anyway, today is Monday!  It's Monday!  A new week!  4 weeks until Christmas...3 1/2 weeks until Christmas break begins.  Oy. 

Plenty of time to get my diet back under control, establish some routines for the little ones, focus on my Bible every.single.day.  Let's do this!!

The plan?  First and foremost, Bible study with the kids.  Yesterday marked the beginning of Advent, and I am planning to head out to Target this evening to get a kid-friendly daily devotional book AND an elf on the shelf.  I am planning to just apply the things I have learned over the past many months regarding healthy food choices - eating what is healthy AND fills me up.  Stop eating when I am full.  You know, the basics.  Ha, ha!

I have contacted a potential running coach about maybe getting a new plan begun.  I like the Jeff Galloway method, but I'm worried it might be the wrong one for me.  We'll see what she has to say...in the meantime, I will get out 2-3 times per week for 30 minute runs and tackle the long runs on the weekend.  This upcoming Sunday I will be running an 8K in Williamsburg, VA.  Fun!!

Speaking of Williamsburg, Shaun and I are heading there for an overnight stay this weekend in celebration of our 6th wedding anniversary.  We are both very excited to spend a night out.  Something we haven't done (together) since kids entered our lives!!!

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving weekend!!! 


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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dunkin Donuts 5K

Saturday morning, my mom and I took the three boys to Midlothian, VA, for me to participate in the first annual Dunkin' Donuts Munchkin 5K. 

I'm going to steal "format" from another blogger...maybe changing it up a little bit...

Distance:  5K (3.1 miles)
Terrain:  The race was on a high school campus, so we ran a bit on the track, some on grass, some in the parking lot, a lot on crooked, muddy ground.  It was fun!
Time:  26:43 There was no chip or clock, but this is the time the woman at the finish line told me as I crossed. 

This race was a little bit different from others in that you were encouraged to eat Munchkins throughout the race.  There was a water table and a donut table at each mile marker.  The donuts were in cups that you were told to hang on to in order to get a 10 second deduction for each donut eaten during the race!  The part I didn't hear was that there was a limit of 30 seconds to have deducted.  Basically, you only got credit for the first 3 donuts you ate. 

This race was pretty heavy on "younger" people attendance.  Seriously.  When they were beginning to line up, I tried to make sure the cross country team was ahead of me....and the high schoolers....and the college kids.  I saw some big dudes mid-pack who were joking about how many donuts they could eat, so I did make sure to get in front of them!  Haha.  My Garmin needed a new battery, so I had nothing on me to help me with pacing, or anything.  When the race started, I just took off...more to get out of the crowd than anything.  Based on my music, I would guess my first mile around 8:00.  I saw the donut table and grabbed 2 cups.  As I began to munch on the first, I realized what a stupid idea this truly was.  HA.  I couldn't breath or chew and wasn't even making enough saliva to swallow!!  Goodness.  I slowed to a walk in order to choke it down and then began running again...just holding on to the 2nd donut.  At mile 2 (no guesses on time, I had put my music on random at this point and was just running), I grabbed another donut (even though I was still carrying one!).  I wanted some water, but I only have 2 hands.  

At this point, my legs were happy for another walk break, so I slowed down and ate a donut.  This one went down much easier since I started walking first!  I picked up my speed again and was feeling good!  For a minute!  Then my stomach was entirely unhappy about it's donut experience.  Yuk.  The 3rd donut in my hand was getting gross...glaze all over my palm.  Ick.  At this point I also slipped in some mud when I misjudged a puddle's circumference, so I just decided to run it out and get this over with!  I had been right behind/beside a very young boy and managed to ask him how old he was at one point...8 years old!!!  Wow!  I was determined to finish with him.  I got caught up for a second at the gate leading back in to the final 1/2 way around the track...they said I had to eat my final donut.  I just handed it over and got back to running.  I have to say the volunteer looked a little annoyed with me!

Not nearly as annoyed, however, as the 3 boys waiting at the finish line...waiting for the promised "3 donuts" I would be bringing them.  We were instructed to walk through in the order we finished (um, I was surrounded by middle schoolers), so I was walking through, I tried explaining to the kids that they wouldn't let me bring donuts past the finish line.  They didn't care.  They could see the line I was in would be ending at a large table FULL of munchkin boxes!  Hooray!  They watched excitedly as I was handed a box...then their faces FELL as they watched me open the empty box!  :(  Oh, goodness.  It was a sad moment for my kids. 

We quickly walked out of the stadium to the first mile marker where the donut table was still set up.  As we approached, I saw some people walk through and overheard them say they were the "sweepers".  My boys got all the donuts they could handle!!  The volunteers offered them to take "as much as you want"!  Oh, boy, did those eyes light up.  :)

So, all's well that ends well, right??

Okay...as I finished typing this, I decided to do one last check on the website www.donutrun.org to see if the results were posted.  They are.  Guess what?????  With an official time of 26:40 (PR), I was also the first female aged 30-34 (my typical age group) to cross the finish line.  WHAT!?!?!?  Hahahahaha.  That just made my day.  Seriously, seriously, seriously.  Feel free to check it out for yourself here.  Now, I will mention, I was 139th out of 439...but I'm telling you, the ages are all in their "teens"!  I am also listed as representing Tomahawk Middle School, but whatever.

Yeehaw!  Have a great day!!


Monday, November 21, 2011

40 Weeks Later...

You know what they say...a picture is worth a thousand words, right?  Well, good.  Cause pictures are all I got this morning!

February 14, 2011
November 21, 2011
Not 80 pounds, but I'll take 54!  My toes even look thinner...that's crazy to me!  54 pounds also looks like this...
February 14, 2011                                      November 21, 2011
SAME PANTS!  That was fun.  Sorry, I couldn't find the shirt.

Whoa.  I like the sideways picture comparisons!  Yowzas.

So, I was trying to get pictures in ALL of the various outfits I had posted in the blog over time, but the kids weren't cooperating quite as much as I had thought they might.  Here is a cute outtake...

Sweet, silly Zoe.  I think I pretty much look the same in the "date night outfit".  I had totally hoped to wear that one out for my birthday, but now I don't even think I am comfortable enough in it to wear for our anniversary this Friday!  Oh well...there is always New Year's Eve.  :)

I have had so many thoughts about what to post at this point.  I will not be a very regular blogger in the upcoming days/weeks/months.  Basically, I have been putting Jesus first in my life and the things I have been convicted of since then are pretty mind-blowing. 

I will continue to run because it continues to be my most special time with God.  Lately I have even been turning off my ipod mid-run just to make sure I am able to "hear" when He has something to say. 

This isn't coming out quite the way I had hoped, but I have a sleepy 4-year old driving me crazy in one ear and my thoughts aren't as smooth as they might be at another time...my main point it, the "other time" when I do have silence and peace and calm (hahahaha, at least some variation of those!) - that time needs to be spent in meditation reading my Bible.  Not obsessing about my blog.

I'm not quitting entirely, however.  I will continue to update dailymile for the HBBC Run To The Finish challenge, and I will likely post occasionally with stats about a run or a race or just to let you know how my training is going.  I plan to weigh myself once a month until another 15 pounds is gone...I want to see 169 SO SO SO bad.  And I will one day.  In the meantime, my running goals are more important.  And loftier! 

Thank you all so much for reading along these past 40 weeks.  I am most definitely a changed woman.  I feel better.  I have more energy.  I choose to do things the "hard" way (ie, push the kids in a stroller almost 2 miles to the park rather than just play in the yard!) in order to get myself more exercise and to show the kids that you CAN do anything.  I may not have lost the full 80 pounds, but I did show myself that I could concentrate and change things DRASTICALLY in a short period of time.  I have more mountains to climb (maybe even literal ones?), and I know more obstacles will present themselves, but I feel stronger and far more equipped to embark on the rest of my life.

If you have been struggling with something - ANYTHING - just know this...

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
It is the TRUTH.  It is the WAY.  And, I promise you, I would be nothing without my Bible by my side...leading me in all things. 

Have a great day!!

P.S.  Dunkin Donuts 5K mini-recap coming tomorrow!
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Week 39: Day 5 (remember tomorrow?)

Good morning!

I have been thinking about something as I pretend to "sleep in" this morning.  My one request last night was that nobody wake me up today...oh well.  Maybe tomorrow. 

This leads me to my topic...remembering tomorrow.  One of the twins, Henry, is often asking me "remember tomorrow?  remember it rained?"  I try to explain to him that tomorrow hasn't happened yet, so I can't remember it.  He means yesterday, of course.  But this morning, as I prayed, God put that phrase on my heart.  I have been kicking myself lately about my food choices.  Going back and forth between really wanting to eat "clean" and really wanting some Goldfish crackers or cookies or creamer in my coffee.  (I got Shaun that new Almond Joy creamer and have so far resisted temptation, but he says it is awesome.)  God reminded me today to "Remember Tomorrow."

     - Tomorrow there will be pizza.
     - Tomorrow there will be a football game.
     - Tomorrow there will be birthday cupcakes.
     - Tomorrow there will be ridiculously delicious, fantastic food at my parent's restaurant!

Just because something is in my face, doesn't mean I have to indulge today!  Tomorrow I will have an opportunity to eat or enjoy everything I want right now.  Tomorrow I will have an opportunity to eat or enjoy everything I want right now.  See?  Too often we obsess about the things we can't have or the things we really, really feel we are entitled to. 

It's my birthday, why should I say no to cake?
It's Friday, why not have "one more" drink?
I was home all day long with the kids, I deserve a break.
I ran __ miles today...I can eat whatever I want!

We start to feel like we are missing out on something because we say "no".  I really need to start remembering there is a tomorrow.  Tomorrow I will be at my goal weight and I absolutely will justify that extra helping at dinner (and breakfast, and lunch, and snack).  However, TODAY, I feel crappy.  My stomach hurts.  I am tired even though it was a rest day from running.  I am grumpy with the kids.  If I meditate on these three thoughts (from yesterday), I can see where they stem from.  I ate junk for the past couple of days...starting off with a great, healthy breakfast, and then going downhill as the day progressed.  I allowed myself "treats" because I was frustrated with the kids.  The kids were being frustrating because they wanted to play and be interacted with, while all I wanted was to play Words with Friends on the computer.  Conner missed the bus yesterday morning so I didn't get the 30 minutes I have become accustomed to in the morning for my computer game time!  I was tired and grumpy because I was CHOOSING to sit down every chance I got and then the kids would inevetably need something which would require me standing up again.  It was a horrible day.  I can just go on the record with that statement.

However, late last night when they had all, finally, gone to bed, I remembered tomorrow.  Tomorrow I will do better.  Tomorrow I will keep the computer upstairs in a room I don't enter during the day.  Tomorrow I will play with the kids.  Tomorrow I will turn off the television and get the kids running around the house (like I did yesterday!) and burn off some of their extra energy.  Tomorrow I will let them play outside - even if it's raining - and laugh with them, and run a nice bath to warm their bones when they are ready to come back inside.  Tomorrow I will stay out of the kitchen and remind myself there will be another tomorrow when I can snack all day and watch crappy daytime tv.

**I do realize "tomorrow" is not a guarantee, by the way.  I may not get pizza and football and birthdays in heaven, but I think it's going to be waaaayyy better than all that up there, anyway, right?  I know something completely unforeseen could happen and I may not be around "tomorrow", but I don't think "depriving" (for lack of a better word) myself of fatty foods and lazy time is something I would regret should "tomorrow" not come to me.  Right?

That's all for this morning.  :)  Have a great day!!!  TODAY!  I know I will...


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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Week 39: Day 3

Good morning!!

To those who may not know me in "real life", I will tell you all that I am most definitely NOT a morning person.  I hate mornings.  I don't exactly know why...truthfully, I think I just hate being woken up.  No matter what time of day!  So, this morning when I heard yelling from the boys' room of "Mommy!  Mom!  Mom!  Moooohhhh-hum!" I furiously whipped back the sheets and stormed into their room.  My sister baby-sat last night and the twins didn't wear pull-ups to bed (they said it was because she didn't make them, I call bulls*** on that because they are almost 4 and they totally know to sleep in pull-ups!!), so their beds are soaked and the room reeks of pee and did I mention I hate being woken up?  Especially when it's dark outside and warm under my blankets!!!  I said some very mean words and went back to my bed.  Where I laid with my eyes wide open furious at myself for being so mean to my sweet little ones who also didn't want to be up so early, but what else could they do when they are soaked in pee, right?  I did the right thing.  I got back up, and went back to the boys and got them undressed and their sheets off the bed and clean clothes put on them.  All of this at 5:45 am.  YUK.  Nobody was going back to bed, so we came downstairs and the whining began..."I'm hungry!  I'm tired!  I don't want to wear long sleeves!  Can I go to the bus stop?" 

Thank God for Keurig. 

I got my coffee and made oatmeal for everyone.  Once they were all seated and semi-quiet, I realized I was up early enough to get my 30 minute scheduled run out of the way.  Oh, yay.  35 degrees outside?  Yep.  Sun up enough to see where I'm running?  Uh-huh.  Awesome.

So, I ran.  Who the heck have I become?  I was talking with a friend about who I was just one year ago...shoot, 6 years ago today I found out I was pregnant with Conner.  This also marked the day I quit smoking.  Another cute story I remembered about 6 years ago...Shaun and I had been living together for about 6 weeks or so (I know, I know, do the math, whatever), and he told me his ex-girlfriend (who he had been with for 6 1/2 years!!) lived at the apartment community directly next door to ours.  Which our balcony faced.  Then he told me while I was out on the balcony smoking that I might see his ex running one day.  I said to him, "She's a runner?  Seriously?  Oh great...probably smoking hot and all skinny.  I hate her."  I had (and still haven't) never met her, and I just assumed all runners were sexy...because they run.  Something I had never had any interest in.  Hahaha.  Little did I know, right?  Not all runners are "sexy".  Hahahahaha.  :)  Sorry.  What I really meant was, I had no idea who I would become over the next several years. 

Anyway, I quit smoking on this day 6 years ago when I learned I was pregnant with my first child.  5 years ago I was enjoying my life with one sweet newborn son who just lit up my life.  I was living in Michigan and couldn't have cared less about my diet/exercise program - or lack thereof.  My life was all about Conner.  4 years ago I was way pregnant with twins, expecting every day to be THE day.  3 years ago I was likely looking forward to the new year, so I could go on a diet.  The twins were almost 1 and we had just moved into a new house and I loved my job and I thought things were going along well!  I used to be a big fan of "starting tomorrow".  "Oh...Thanksgiving is coming up and then Christmas, so I'll just eat what I want and then start my dieting on January 1st."  2 years ago I had a newborn baby, no job, and made the decision to be a stay at home mom.  Wowzas.  I figured I would naturally lose weight since I'd be "chasing children" all day. 

One short year ago, I was depressed about my weight, but would constantly watch shows, like Biggest Loser, to compare myself to larger people and say, "At least I'm not THAT bad."  I no longer had the nursing excuse for the extra calories, but I was so tired.  All the time.  The kids were hard to manage, our house was too small, we never had any money...the excuses were never-ending.  Then, of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas were right around the corner. 

Today I ran 3.2 miles in 35 degree weather.  I live in an amazing, beautiful house that is the perfect size for my (sort of) large family.  I am looking forward to the holidays because I now live in a town (very) close to my parents and sister and other relatives, and I'm considering having the entire family meet up at a 5K race nearby with a 1/2 mile kids' run!  My kids are all at an age where we can talk about what we want to do.  They can express themselves to me and let me know how they are feeling.  (ok, being honest, they don't always make sense, but it's definitely better than years past!)  I am not 100% happy with my weight, but I am significantly happi-ER about my body shape.  I am learning to not obsess about food, just eat when I am hungry.  I will throw away the kids' leftovers instead of worrying about "wasting" and just shoveling it into my mouth.

Hmmm...this post took a little bit of a strange turn.  :)  Sorry about that! 

Someone mentioned I haven't posted a progress pic in a while...this one is from September 17th.  We were heading out to the zoo and I didn't feel like shaving my legs.  Hahahaha.  That is my excuse for the socks!  But, I kinda like the "look", right? 

I plan on getting pictures next weekend in all of my "before" picture outfits.  Fun!

Have a great day,
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Week 39: Day 1

Good morning!!!

Well, I have a lot of thoughts going through my head, but as soon as I opened the new page to start typing...they flew away.  Seriously.  Sometimes the "bullet points" format helps me...

Running:  This is driving me bananas.  Thanks to a very busy weekend of entertaining children, me picking up a shift at the restaurant, major grocery shopping trip, trime change...well, I haven't run since Thursday.  THURSDAY!  Terrible.  I needed to do a 3 miler this weekend, according to Jeff Galloway's schedule.  It says 3 miles (MM).  MM stands for "magic mile" and this is his description of what that means...
1. warm up with a slow one mile run
2. do a few acceleration-gliders (See my books Running Year Round Plan and Galloway Training Programs)
3. pace yourself as even as possible on each quarter mile
4. run about as hard as you could run for one mile--but no puking! (finish feeling that you couldn't have run more than a football field at the same pace)
5. keep walking after the time trial for 5 minutes, and jog a slow 1-6 miles, as needed for the mileage for that day
Other than #2, I was actually pretty excited to try this!  Especially since my weekend only called for 3 total miles.  When you get a "magic mile" number - the time result of #4 - he has a predictor on his website that will predict your times for various race distances.  I truly don't know why this really matters...outside of watching yourself improve?  It looks like you do this "magic mile" run every 3 or 4 weeks.

So, I HAVE to run today.  Have to, have to, have to.  Here's the problem:  I love to sleep, so I totally didn't get up early enough this morning to get out before Shaun left for work.  When he gets home this evening, the sun will set completely about 5 minutes later.  My entire neighborhood has ZERO street lights and no sidewalks and I don't own a headlamp...or even a flashlight.  I also don't own a treadmill.  My mom does, and she offered to give it to me, but we really don't have room in the house...however, it is a last minute option, I guess.  Ick. 

Also, these "problems" are not limited to today...I need to do 2 thirty minute runs each week.  Looks like I might be getting up early again...yuck.  At least it would only mean running at 6:30 am.  Not like the days of 4:30-5:00 am, right??

I am so excited that this is beginning of my final 2 weeks!!!  I have been thinking about putting together a video using my various pictures from the past 40 weeks, but I honestly have no idea how to do that.  :)  Is there a free website I could do it through?  I thought I had some sort of capabilities on this computer, but I can't find the program anymore...I'll keep looking.

I guess that's all for now.  Our play date last Friday went really well and the kids had a great time!  The biggest obstacle right now for my weekdays is the lack of a car.  We really shouldn't have sold our car before leaving Nashville, but I am moving on from that thought.  I think I just need to take this time to really find fun things for the kids to do around the house (inside AND outside).  The car situation will be solved one day, so I need to just be patient and make the most of having the excuse "we can't go anywhere without a car!"  :)

I am freaking out that the twins will turn 4 years old next week!!!  Look at this...

About to burst!  I think that was just a couple weeks before they were born...

First day home!!  Henry on the left, Jack on the right.
Couple months old...Jack on the left, Henry on the right.

Almost 4 years old!  Henry on the left, Jack on the right.
Super cute boys.  Their personalities are so funny these days.  Henry is VERY aware of his body and the things he can do.  He's very agile, but also quite accident-prone.  He is awesome at playing solo, using his imagination.  He seems to be more drawn to super-hero play with imaginary swords and "shooters" and enemies ("bad guys").  Jack loves responsibility.  He likes to make sure everyone is happy and doing what they should be doing.  He LOVES to help me in the kitchen.  Jack is heavier by a couple of pounds and taller by an inch.  Henry is built skinnier (like Shaun), but eats just as much - if not more!  They play great together, yet also fight like cats at times.  I am so excited to see what the next four years bring!  And the four after that...and four more...and more....and more...

You get the picture.  :)
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Friday, November 4, 2011

Week 38: Day 5

Good morning!!

Some blogs I follow do a "Three Things Thursday", but I missed out, so I'm doing "Four Fings Friday".

1.  Shrinkvivor:  I gotta say, I'm pretty very disappointed to report I was sent to Exile Island last night.  I'm mostly sad because the other 2 girls left were either up in weight (3 lbs) or down just a tiny amount (.2) and both had less exercise minutes than me.  This leads me to believe one or both put my name down as a "vote" which we had all agreed to NOT do each week.  Whatever.  I realize it is just a game, and compared to all the others I likely would not have made it another week...I hate to lose.  And I have zero motivation to care now!  Exile Island will have it's own "winner", but there are a lotta lotta ladies on the Island (and even some guys, I believe)...

2.  HBBC:  I have joined another online challenge that seems to be a bit more suited to the direction my "journey" has taken me!  It's called the Holiday Bootie Busting Challenge.  Yay!  If you will click on the picture at the top of my blog page on the right - says "HBBC" - that will take you to the web page where you can sign up or just read all about it.  Basically, we (contestants) will track MILES and/or fitness minutes from November 19 through January 6, and each week you will have to fill your points in to a spreadsheet.  Points are given for each mile run, 3 miles biked, 20 minutes of weigh-lifting, 15 minutes of low impact aerobics, 10 minutes of high impact aerobics, and each day you hit 7 servings of fruits and/or vegetables!  There will also be some mini challenges and questions on Facebook to get extra points.  Fun!!

3.  Dieting:  I'm sick of dieting.  Anybody else ever hit that "wall"?  It seems like I will decide on a plan and then get so obsessed and consumed with the allowed foods on that plan, that I "freak out" and just start eating!  Ridiculous.  I'm not even hungry when I'm eating...it's like a part of my brain thinks this food will all go bad.  It really is back to my old mentality.  The exact mentality that kept me from losing the weight earlier!  So...I made it, like, 30+ weeks of doing great, and now I'm right back where I started.  Granted, I'm 50+ pounds lighter, but you know what I mean?  My current "plan" is to only eat when I'm hungry and really, really focus on the veggies.  Fruit is so easy for me to eat, I'm trying to keep more greens around the house and just choose those first.  I also am remembering the "rules" from Jackie Warner's plan and I'm going to really focus on 4 "meals" a day, each one including some protein and nothing with sugars higher than 5 grams.

4.  Kids:  I have 4 kids, for those who are just joining.  Haha.  Conner is doing SO great in kindergarten!!!  He is learning to read!  And, like, REALLY reading!!!  It has made bedtime stories much more entertaining.  The twins, Jack and Henry, will be 4 in eleven days.  Zoe just turned 2.  These three wear me out every day...they are just bundles of uncertain energy!!  I say uncertain because they can't seem to figure out WHAT they want to do...rarely can I get everyone on the same page at the same time.  Including meals.  Here is an actual scenario from yesterday - first, I joined a new Bible study group (LOVE IT!), so we had that from 9-11.  The teacher in the daycare said the three were great and did wonderful.  We headed over to my mom's house for lunch.  She had made pasta and chicken and carrots - yum.  The kids were so excited to see her and be hanging out at her house (where anything goes, as opposed to our house where they have to take shoes off at the front door), they just could not sit still to eat lunch.  So, we packed up their lunch and took it home.  When we got home they wanted to play outside and the weather was perfect, so I let them be in the backyard.  Zoe asked for a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich.  Anyone else?  No.  I make the sandwich, take it to Zoe, and now Jack and Henry want one, too.  I make them each a sandwich, take them outside, clean up Zoe's mess, go back to the kitchen to clean up MY mess, back outside and Jack has finished his sandwich.  Wants another one.  Head back to the kitchen, make another sandwich, take it to Jack...now Henry wants another one.  I sneakily turn the tv on as I head out to give Henry his sandwich so they will see it and maybe come in for "naptime".  It sort of works.  All three gravitate towards the tv, and sit on the couch or chair, I get blankets and full sippy-cups and then they want their pasta from grandma's house!  Seriously?  Okay, bowls of pasta for the twins, string cheese for Zoe, head to the kitchen for a final clean-up and I was all of a sudden so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open!  I just knew, just knew, the three were going to fall asleep...I got excited about having time to take a quick nap before picking Conner up from the bus.  Yeah, no such luck.  No naps, poopy diaper for Zoe, more food requests from the twins...oh, boy, it was an exhausting day.  I thought I would skip my run in favor of a nap when Shaun got home, but I changed my mind at the last minute and went out for my scheduled 30 minute run.  I was super glad I did, but I was also very, very ready for bed after stories last night!! 

I have completely lost track of what I was talking about in the first place.  I met a woman at the park the other day who stays home with her 2 sons, aged 3 & 2, so we have invited them over for today.  I'm excited to make a friend who lives close, and from the little bit of talking we did the other day, I think our husbands will hit it off, too!  Fun!

Sorry for the rambling...here's a picture (found the cord!) of one way I tried to take the kids for a walk the other day.
That is a double stroller AND a single stroller. 
I thought maybe I could use Henry to push Zoe's stroller while I pushed the big one...
we made it to the end of our street and everyone was over it.

I tried a few different variations, but we just ended up running around the front yard together!  Ha!  When I pushed them to the park on Wednesday (1.7 miles), I just loaded the twins up in the back seat and Zoe in the front of the double stroller.  Thankfully, they were all munching on Halloween candy and happy to sit for almost the full 30 minutes it took me to get there.  I say "almost" because the whining started about 7 minutes from the park. 

Have a great day!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Week 38: Day 2 (Shrinkvivor Check-In!)

Good morning!!

Weight is 185 today.  Boo.  No big deal, though, I am on it!!  Yesterday I did a pretty good job of sticking to my "plan".  Basically, during a moment of stressing about putting a few pounds on, I wrote out what I can eat for the rest of the week.  I hung the pages on the fridge, and I mark things off as I eat them during the day.  This weekend I will make a more official "plan" - like, following an actual diet - but for now, I think this is what I need.

306 fitness minutes, though!  I think that is the highest so far in the challenge!  Hooray!  Here's my breakdown of those...

Wednesday (10/26) - 60 minutes of combined walking/running.  Mom watched the kids for me while I headed out to a local trail. 
Thursday (10/27) - recovery from birthday fun.  Nada movement.  :)
Friday (10/28) - Walk with the kids in the stroller for a total of 70 minutes (once in the morning, once in the afternoon)
Saturday (10/29) - 5K in the freezing rain, 26:41 official time, continued to walk for 10 minutes afterwards (thank God the rain let up!), Took a fast paced walk with Shaun to pick up my zombie packet 20 minutes
Sunday (10/30) - Zombie 5K, walk/jogged for 5 minutes beforehand, 34:00 official time, continued to walk for 10 minutes afterward
Monday (10/31) - Halloween!  Trick or Treating with the kids was a nice 30 minute walk! 
Tuesday (11/1) - 30 minute run on the schedule ended up being a 30 minute run, plus 5 minute warm up, 5 minute cool down.

This week's challenge is fitness MINUTES again.  I really enjoyed taking the kids out walking with the stroller...our neighborhood is great for it and we are only about 1.25 miles from a really cute playground.  The weather has been super nice this week and today and tomorrow look like perfect park days!  Hooray!  My own personal goal is to get some cross training in there...even if it is just situps and pushups.  Jeff Galloway recommends doing non-leg exercises on "rest" days...

That's all I got today! 


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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Week 38: Day 2

Ohhhhh, Week 38!!  Gettin' down to the wire! 

I think I can safely say I won't be hitting the 80 pounds lost mark, but I'm totally okay with it.  I would be super happy to hit the 60 pounds gone, though!!  I'm purposely not really weighing in (outside of Shrinkvivor Wednesdays)...I have begun a strict diet plan today, so hopefully my weight on the morning of November 21, 2011, will be at 178.5 or less!!!  I'm not going to report my weight here until then, ok?  Leave you all in a little bit of suspense....duh-duh-duh.

The past several days (weeks? months? years?) I have been surrounded by more whining and crying than one person should EVER have to handle.  Seriously.  The twins turn 4 in two weeks and I am seriously praying for a miraculous change in attitude.  Zoe turned 2 on Sunday, and she appears to have figured out that everyone tries to "fix it" when she cries.  My oldest, Conner, has hit a sensitive stage?  Or...just a "wanna be an only child" phase?  Actually, this morning he told me he wanted a baby brother so Zoe could have someone to play with.  No idea where that came from!  By the way - he ain't gettin' it.  ;)

Then there is the 5th child's whining.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, well....lucky you.

Anyway, I finished my recap of the Screamin' 5K, right?  So, Sunday morning I headed out for the Zombie Run!!  It was really cool.  I can't wait to have some actual running friends in this town to share these events with.  There were some great costumes - from both the runners AND the zombies!  At sign-up, there was the option of paying an extra $20 to get professionally made over as a zombie and those people looked fantastic.  I signed up as a runner, so I dressed in a plaid short skirt, white button down, and my letter jacket from high school.  Awesome, right??  It was freakin' cold, so I was happy to have the jacket on, but it wasn't such a helpful article of clothing when I began sweating.  Hahaha.  The leather sleeves were colder!  So, this race was chip-timed, but I couldn't decide if I wanted to really run for the time, or try to not get "eaten".  All runners had a ribbon taped to their back and the zombies were going to be released from the starting line 90 seconds after us...when the mayor (yep, Charlottesville mayor!) yelled "RUN!" we all took off!  I was at the very front, so I had to sprint to keep up and not get trampled, but I quickly remembered that THAT is not my pace.  Haha.  I tried to slow down, but there were SO many people running SO fast...it was crazy!!  I didn't wear my Garmin, so I have no idea how far I got in what amount of time, but I promise you I would have won a 100-yard dash.  As we got out into the neighborhood we hit some hills.  Some tough hills...I slowed waaaay down and then I heard "Zombies!  They're coming!"  It actually generated some real fear in my belly.  Is that hilarious?  Well, I noticed a kid had already gotten his ribbon taken, so I told him I was going to run right in front of him so the zombies would have a hard time getting mine.  The strategy worked for...oh...20 seconds?  A zombie reached over for my ribbon and I darted sideways, but then got caught by another on!  ARGH!  Once my ribbon was gone, it was really hard to keep up the motivation to run.  My legs were pretty much freaking out about the super speed in the beginning (and the freezing temps and no stretching?), and we hit another crazy hill.  I had my cell phone in my pocket, so I started texting Shaun at home to tell him I was already out.  I seriously considered calling my mom to have her come pick me up.  Hahaha.  Then, I remembered I had arranged my running schedule to do 3 miles that day, so I figured what the hell, I would just finish.  It was a really, really, really fun race.  Next year, however, I will sign up as a zombie.  I think it would be way more motivating to run the whole time if you had a goal of getting the most ribbons, right?  I had also considered lining up behind the zombie wave, but there were a lot of walkers and it was too cold to be out there for too long! 

My official time was 34:00 even.  Cool, right?  Especially cool since that was my basketball jersey number the year I got the letter jacket.  Hahahaha!!!  That was my freshman year, and I was bumped to #54 when I made varsity the next year...maybe that will be my next 10K time?

I had to cancel my 15K in December, and I am truly, truly bummed.  It is in D.C. which is "only" 2 1/2 hours away, but it is still 2 1/2 hours away and packet pick-up is Friday, and we cannot afford a hotel room, and I don't want to drive there and back twice.  Not to mention, the race starts early in the morning, so I would have to leave crazy early...lots of reasons to not do it.  But I am still sad.  :(

I have signed up for 2 local 5K's, however, and I have jumped in to week 8 of Jeff Galloway's marathon training schedule (which is 30 weeks long!).  The first 5K is November 19th in Richmond (one hour away)...it's the Dunkin' Donuts Munchkin race!  Yum, yum, yum.  They will have munchkins (the donuts, not wizard of oz) at the water stops.  Or stop, right?  Either way, it's the first annual, so I'm pretty excited to be a part of it...and this family LOVES the munchkins. 

Second 5K is a turkey trot on Thanksgiving.  Shaun will run with me, and I'm hoping my sister and her boyfriend will at least come out with my kids because it appears to be a VERY family friendly event with a free kids 1/2 mile run!  Both of these fit in to my schedule.  I couldn't find  any half marathons to fit in, but I plan to look in January and February to make one of my 6 mile runs correspond with a 10K.  I have to space out all the spending....luckily, the Donut 5K is only $15 (nice!) and the Turkey Trot is $27.  I am working an extra night this weekend because my mom is going out of town, so that will cover those.

Well, Halloween was pretty fun last night.  We didn't buy costumes, just sort of threw ideas out there for the kids and let them put stuff together themselves.  Hilarious.  At first, I had Henry dressed as a Christmas tree - tree skirt around his waist, a strand of lights wrapped around (and around and around) his torso, and stockings hung from his shirt! - but then he saw a Superman cape and ripped everything off to be Superman instead.  :(  Not before I took a picture, though!  (have lost my camera to computer cord, sigh)

The kids ran to every house on our street (about 8-10?) and then we hung out at home to hand out candy.  They thought that was just as much fun!  Ha.  I let them eat candy until 6:30 (we went out at 5:30), and then I took the bags away and hid them and would you believe not one child has asked about their candy since?  My husband, however, will be in heaven for at least a few days...snacking on the leftovers.  Luckily, candy isn't my "thing".  I like it, don't get me wrong...but I am way more tempted by that brand new loaf of white bread in the kitchen.  Sad.

Well, that's it for today.  I will let you know my weight tomorrow since I have to check-in for Shrinkvivor, but then I will not tell you again until the end of the 40 weeks!  So exciting!!

By the way, I will still be blogging when the 40 weeks is up...I have all new goals to reach, after all.  So no worries, I'll still be here rambling....    :)


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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 37: Day 7

Hey there!!  I just wanted to post a "quickie" before bed because I have "big plans" for tomorrow and doubt I will be getting on the computer.  I also realized I haven't posted since my birthday - ooops!!

So, my birthday was very fun...I would even go ahead and say "too much fun".  I did turn 32, not 22...I probably should have said "no" to a shot or two.  Hahaha.  Anyway, all's well now.

I signed up for two 5k's this Halloween weekend.  The first was Saturday morning - the Screamin' 5K.  Friday night I worked until about 10-ish, and it was raining and brrrrrrrr freezing when I left.  Oh, it was so cold.  I said a prayer that the weather would miraculously change by morning, but it surely didn't "work".  When I rolled out of bed it was 30-something degrees and STILL raining.  And so, so, so dark.  I got dressed and got in the car, but I promise you I was still debating whether to actually run or not.  I had all the excuses lined up - couldn't even get warm in the van because the heat wasn't working!!  When I pulled into the parking lot, I ran into the building and immediately decided to stay.  There were all types of people in there, the heat was on full blast, and the "aura" was just so positive!!  It was a very small race, I think 170 people total?  Compared to the other 5K's I've been in (all 2), where thousands were racing!!  So, I signed in, pinned on my number, and waited for further instructions.  I saw people who were obviously great/fast runners, I saw people who didn't appear in great shape, some in costume...it was a great atmosphere!  I kept thinking, I know I can run this in less than 30 minutes...I'm not going to die of hypothermia in 30 minutes!  Ha.  When the race director got up to let us know we were leaving in 5 minutes, I got a little nervous and excited and mostly NERVOUS.  The rain was really coming down and all I had was a long sleeved thermal under a t-shirt!  I decided to wear my fleece, even though I know that's not exactly ideal in the rain.  I also had mittens on, but decided against any hat.  I was wearing my usual running skirt with knee-high socks....and my beautiful, fast Kinvaras.  We headed outside to the starting line (no chips in this race) and the guy yelled "GO!" 

Did I mention how freakin' cold it was?!?!?!?  Oh, holy wow.  I took off.  SO determined to just get back to the heat.  I swear the rain started coming down harder, it was miserable.  I got excited at the Mile 1 marker when the guy told me "8:16" - nice!  I wasn't even feeling it!  My toes and nose were numb, snot was running down my face...I kind of wasn't feeling anything, I guess.  HA!  I was really running by myself for a while, passed a couple of people, but nobody passed me.  We got to the turnaround and I realized I really wasn't crazy far back from the front runners...but then my legs got a little tired (or less numb).  I don't mind running by myself, but it's not as much fun in a race.  Just before mile 2 was done, a woman caught up to me.  She appeared my age (turns out she is 40), so I wanted to stay with her and I definitely did NOT want her to see me walk!  I told her she was the motivation I needed...but then she fell behind again?  When we got up to the final bit, she appeared next to me again and said "This is it..." then proceeded to take OFF!  I was quite impressed, but really didn't think I could catch up.  I ended up finishing several seconds after her...since there wasn't anyone keeping official time at the finish line (I mean, someone was, but not any of the volunteers I talked to), I asked her what time she had...she said 26:41!!!  This turned out to be my official time, too!!!  (Her official time was 26:22 and she actually placed first in her age group) 

I WAS SO EXCITED!!!!  That is a PR by 1:27!!!  I was so happy to have completed the race and done well and I was so fired up for the rest of the day...it was beautiful....

Bed time...I'll tell you about the zombie run tomorrow!

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