Friday, December 30, 2011

It's Official!

I have lost my dang mind!  Do you remember this girl? 

January 29th with my husband - down about 35 pounds
This girl in the picture was feeling pretty good - she had started running about 3 weeks prior to this picture being taken and feeling good about it.  And she felt pretty bad ass in that dress too!
She started running to assist her weight loss progression.  Knowing that running was the most effective way to burn a lot of calories.  She signed up for a running class with her best friend and they jumped in with both feet - in January, in Minnesota, in January!  

She ran her first 5K in the middle of March, ran another 5K in April, ran her first 10K in May, etc, etc.  This past October was pretty epic for this lady - she ran her first 10 mile race on Oct 2nd and ran her first half marathon on Oct 29.  Again, feeling pretty bad ass.  So, how do you top off the badassery of those two races? 

Thank you for asking....

You sign up for a FULL MARATHON! 
Yes, that is right folks, I have registered and paid for my first full marathon.  I will be training for and running the Fargo Full Marathon on May 19th.  How is that for badassery!?!?  

I can't wait to blog about this adventure.  I am still working out the particulars of my training plan - I am going to use a mix of Hal Higdon's plan and Jeff Galloway's plan.  I am pretty pumped.  I wanted to share this with all of you as soon as I made it official.  I can't wait to experience the highs and lows that come with training for and running a marathon!


Let the countdown begin! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back to the Basics - it's what works!

I hope that this finds all of you happy and full of cheer after the holiday last week!  I have taken a bit of a break from writing - not really on purpose, when life gets busy my writing is the thing that takes the back seat.  But I do really find that I miss it when I go without writing for a stretch.  One of my New Year's resolutions is to write more - it's good for me and I have found out that there are actually people out there that want to read what I write on a more regular basis - WHO KNEW! 

A few weeks back I was very excited because Weight Watchers rolled out their new 2012 Points Plus Plan.  I wasn't really sure how they were going to improve because I really liked the new PP+ program they rolled out at this time last year - but they managed to do it.  I had eluded to the fact I had heard they were going to give Lifetime Members access to eTools for FREE - well, friends it was not a rumor - it is REAL!  I have been back to using the eTools tracker, etc for three weeks and man can I tell the difference.  Since the beginning of December I have lost 4.2 pounds - and I blame it all on the tracking!  I had gotten seriously derailed on the tracking portion of my journey and needed to make a quick correction.  I am really enjoying having the eTools back at my disposal and have also installed the mobile app on both of my phones (work and personal) so I can always keep track and know where I am at for the day/week. 

My workouts have also been pretty consistent - I have been running at the gym and outside, I have started Phase 3 of the New Rules of Lifting for Women and I am feeling pretty good.  It has gotten really hard getting to the gym at the crack of dawn every day but I am trying.  My friends Melissa and Jen are both starting at my gym this week so that will be a HUGE help - there is nothing like knowing someone is waiting for you to get you motivated at 5AM! 

I really hope that everyone made it through the holiday relatively unscathed.  I feel good about the choices I made this past weekend.  I worked out and ate within reason.  I even discovered a new recipe that my aunt brought to NYE - it was so good and I plan to share that on the blog soon.  If you had a rough holiday, health wise, shake it off and start fresh this week.  There is nothing like heading in to the New Year in control. 

One quick obligatory Mom picture from Christmas Day!  My two princesses!

Have a great day!  Be happy and healthy friends!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Challenge Updates

So, a few weeks ago I declared myself getting "back to basics" and for the most part I have been doing that.  In a turn of events one of the bloggers I keep tabs on started a #Back2Basics challenge on her blog last week.  So, I have virtually joined her and many others in an effort to get back on track during the holidays and determined to not allow the holidays to sidetrack me.  Last year at this time I was in a zone - a weight loss zone.  I could not be derailed - I WOULD NOT  be derailed.  I planned meals, I ate lunch at my desk, I ate healthy snacks and worked out.  This year is a little different.  I am at goal weight, I work out 6 days a week and I EAT.  I eat healthy MOST of the time - but not 100% of the time. I am human, I like treats, I enjoy a meal that is indulgent every once in a while.  While I was training for the 10 mile and the half marathon I didn't worry about what I was eating - I was burning a lot of calories on a consistent basis.  Those long runs required fuel afterward and I did not disappoint.  But, I have not ran more than 5 miles on one occasion since the half marathon - for those keeping track - that was 6 weeks ago!  I am still in the gym 6 days a week - I am running but not significant mileage, I am stair stepping, I am lifting weights.  I feel good about my activity but I know that I have taken liberties with my food intake.  I have eaten pizza more than I would like to admit, I have eaten donuts and I have eaten chocolate.  Now, I realize that all of the foods can have a place in a healthy lifestyle as long as they are in moderation and infrequent.  However, these days I think I need to go back to the basics and be much more selective about what I am putting in my mouth.  I have not been as mindful about what I am eating as I used to be.  When I am aware of what I am eating, I make better choices. 

The good news?  The good news is that Weight Watchers is releasing their new 2012 PointsPlus program this week.  I received an email the other day that made me very happy - WW is going to give Lifetime members access to eTools again as long as you weigh in once a month within 2 pounds of your goal weight or below.  Here's the thing - when I became a lifetime member I paid for 3 months to keep the eTools function.  And then I made my crucial mistake - I decided that I was able to track and research food on my own and I no longer needed to pay for eTools and cut it off.  I would say this was the beginning of my slipping back in to old habits.  Starting tomorrow I am going to have access to eTools again - daily tracking of my food, activity and being able to have a very visual record of what I am doing each day.  I am really looking forward to having these tools back in my arsenal! 

I have gained weight - that is the scary truth.  I have gained about 5 pounds over the last 6 weeks.  The good part is that I know it and I know what I need to do to get it back off.  I would like to actually concentrate on taking about 8 pounds off in the next couple of months.    I think it is a reasonable goal but will re-evaluate if it seems to be taking longer or if the 8 pounds don't seem to want to come off.  I am aware that the closer I get to an ideal weight that harder it will be and will be cognizant of that fact. 

The second challenge I have been participating in right now is the Runner's World RunStreak.  My friend Ann posted about it on her blog and is even sponsoring her own challenge so I decided what the heck!  The premise of the #runstreak challenge is to log at least ONE mile every day from Thanksgiving until the new year.  So far I have been able to run every day - some days I have only run the one mile required to meet my goal and other days I have ran 2 or 3 miles.  The running every day is taking a toll on my legs - they are tired for sure.  But, I am really enjoying having the extra motivation to get to the gym or hitting the pavement.  And knowing that some of my friends are doing the #runstreak challenge also is even better! 

So, that is where things are at - I am getting #back2basics and doing the #runstreak.  I am not going to let the holidays be a reason to slack off and let weight creep back on. 

What are you doing this holiday season to stay healthy? 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

GivingThanks 5K Recap

I hope that you all survived Thanksgiving - if you ate too much, don't stress - today is a new day!  If you were able to stay on track - good for you, you have made it through! 

I ran a Thanksgiving 5K on Thursday with the Challenge Charities.  I have really enjoyed participating in their races - the community they have developed and fostered is so encouraging and just makes you feel good.  I am going to make sure that I make this a new family tradition!  Might even bring Zoe next year and let her run with us!

I had the privilege of running next to my dad for the entire race.  Less than a year ago my dad was laying in a hospital bed and now he is running again!  My dad and I ran the race in 32:30 - it was the best 32 minutes that I have ever experienced during a race! In fact, it was better than the 32 minutes that brought me to the finish line of my first half marathon, it was so fun and such a great way to start the holiday!  Before the race he told me was expecting to finish in about 45 minutes - I knew he had it in him to finish faster and he sure proved me right!  I am so proud of my dad, he ran the entire time - didn't stop once - I think I have discovered where I get my competitive nature from!  I am so thankful that I was able to run this race with my dad and I can't wait to do it again!

My Dad and I - prerace!

I also was able to introduce my dad and step mom to some of my amazing blogging family.  So many great people were at the 5K yesterday - I am so fortunate to have so many like minded friends in my life. 
Aunt Jeanne, Dad, Sue, Me

Me, Ann, Sara - My Girls!

I also decided that I am going to participate in another challenge this holiday season.  My running friend Ann posted about a challenge that Runner's World magazine is sponsoring.  The challenge is simple - run at least ONE mile every day between Thanksgiving and New Year's.  The Turkey Day 5K took care of Day 1.  And Friday I went out for a 5K run on my own.  I ran 3 miles in 27:30 minutes today.  The funny part is I should be more proud of my time from Friday as it was a little bit faster - but honestly I am way more proud of that 32 minute finish with my dad.  We did that together and it was awesome! The Thanksgiving 5K was about so much more than getting a 5K PR - it was about being with family and friends and giving thanks for all of the blessings in our lives.  I really try hard to be thankful every day but I think having a special day like that really brings it home and is a good reminder of all of the wonderfulness we have! 

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our extended family.  It was a long day of going from one house to another but seeing the joy in our girls when they are able to spend time with our family is worth the tired feeling I have at the end of the day.  I am so blessed to have so many supportive family members and its always great to reconnect! 

Today is Day 3 of the #RWRunStreak - going to be hitting up the gym for weights and a couple of miles on the treadmill while the girls nap! 

Be happy and healthy my friends!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful for Change

It's Wednesday night, Thanksgiving Eve to be exact, I am sitting here attempting to put a Thankful blog post together when I should probably be in bed so I can get up early and run a Thanksgiving 5K in the morning. 

I am still trucking along with the no diet soda thing - 10 days in and I am doing well, haven't even craved one in two days.  Tonight I am thankful for water, tea, and Gatorade - they have saved me! 

I have gotten my workouts in this week despite lacking my normal workout partner.  My friend Jen had surgery last week and will not be able to work out for quite awhile so I am on my own.  I was going to write a whole post whining about that situation and how hard it is to get up at 5AM to go workout by myself, but decided it was a silly thing to whine about.  I am fortunate to have friends that I can count on to workout with - and I will be calling on others to make sure I stay on track while I am flying solo!

I am thankful that one year ago I decided to make a change.  I chose me, I chose to change my life and start living it!  I started running and haven't looked back.  I like the person that I have become.  I like that I put my health first.  I like that I take time out of my schedule for me - to get a run in, to get to the gym.  Making all of these choices has made me a better wife and mother.  And I would like to think it has also run over in to my professional life as well.  I have not taken a sick day in at least 8 months and I think that was for a migraine that I couldn't shake.  Making my health a priority has been one of the best choices I could make for me and my family. 

I am thankful for my husband and two little girls.  It's hard to imagine what my life would be if the three of them were not a part of it.  I fell in love with my husband, I fell even more in love with my daughter Zoe and didn't think I could possibly have more love to give until I met my daughter Ava.  My heart has tripled in size with the addition of each of them to my life.  And for that I will be forever thankful.

I am thankful for my mom, dad, step mom, MIL and FIL - we are so lucky to have the best parents.  Our parents have turned in to the most amazing grandparents and for that I am thankful on a daily basis.  We have turned to each one of our parents over the last several years and they have come through for us and beyond on every occasion.  They take care of our girls and enrich their lives with every moment they spend together.  I remind myself and my husband every day that we can not take for granted the roles that our parents play in our lives.  I am thankful every day with the blessing of our daughters' grandparents. 

I am thankful for my family and friends.  We have so many wonderful people in our lives it would take an entire blog post to thank all of them personally.  I personally have felt so much support from so many people on this journey to lose the weight and get healthy and it's been overwhelming at times.  So, thank
you to all of those that have supported me over the last year, it has meant more than I could possibly explain to you. 

Tomorrow morning I am running the Challenge Charities GivingThanks 5K at Lake Como.  I get to run a 5K with my dad, step mom, aunt, and many friends that I have made this year.  I am so happy that I get to do this with my dad - a year ago he was sick and nobody could tell us why.  This year he is going to be running/walking a 5K and for that I could not be more thankful.  He is happy and healthy - what a blessing!

I met this amazing yogi at my first hot yoga class last week - this was one of my favorite things he had to say that night -  "Imagine what can BE, if you bring PASSION to your possibility?"   Pretty awesome, right?  I haven't completely decided what I think this "means" for me yet, but I was truly inspired by his soul and can't wait to go back for another class.  I have a blog post in the works on this topic.  I have been bit by the yoga bug!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Enjoy your time with friends and family.  Soak it all in - live for today! 
Be happy and healthy friends!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back to the Basics

I have been at or under my goal weight since late June.  To say that I have wandered a little off track would be an understatement.  My eating has gotten a bit out of control.  I have not tracked my food for months - I stopped paying for the Monthly Pass/online stuff at Weight Watchers.  I was so diligent on that thing while I was losing weight and even for awhile after I made lifetime.  I think with the craziness of training for the 10 Mile and Half Marathon I basically threw caution to the wind knowing I was putting in the work and burning the calories.  I have gained a smidge - like 2 pounds over the last few months.  I am still under the goal weight I set at Weight Watchers - however, that goal weight was set a little high and I don't want to be at that weight.  Go figure.  I am still within my healthy weight range - but I would feel better if I could get a few more pounds off in the coming months.  So, you are going to try and lose weight at the holidays, are you crazy?  Yes, I am indeed crazy.  But, here's the deal.  The basics work - tracking, drinking water, eating fruits and vegetables, running, lifting weights - it all works and it is what got me here!  So, why on Earth would I think doing anything other than those things would keep me here. 

I decided to join Mary's challenge over at Fit This Girl!.  She started a challenge to help her readers get on track BEFORE the New Year.  She has been sending emails with lots of great clean eating tips, training tips, etc.  I am really trying to focus on losing this belly fat.  It's really my one "trouble" spot.  I know some of it is extra skin, but I am a realist and also know that some of it is just plain old FAT.  Essentially eating cleaner and more LIVE foods will help me to start changing the way my body looks. 
I have made a great start - starting last Saturday, I have run or been in the gym every day except for Monday.  And the week before that was pretty solid as well.  I am back on track with my lifting schedule - three times a week and my other mini goal is to run three times a week as well.  Since I am not looking to shed a ton of weight I have to remind myself that the changes are going to be subtle so I have to be patient. 
Diet Mountain Dew
One other thing: some of you know that I have a great love for Diet Mt Dew.  Even though I know all of the horrible things about Diet soda it has been my one vice, the one thing I could have when I was really craving a boost or whatever.  Well, on Sunday night I drank my last Dt. Mt Dew.  I have not had any soda since Sunday night.  Today is day 4 and I am really doing okay - it has forced me to drink more water which is always a good thing.  And, I seriously think the decrease in whatever magic potion it is they put in that stuff - has helped me to not have as many sweet cravings this week.  Halloween killed me, wrecked me, I love me some chewy candy and I have said goodbye to them as well.  I have been bringing my lunch to work again and aside from saving me money, it just feels better.  I can load up on protein, veggies and fruit and feel satisfied for the day. 

So, there you have - BACK TO BASICS.  Whatever works - RIGHT????  Wish me well on the continued soda split - I am not going to lie - this afternoon when I was all kinds of cranky, a nice swig of some Dt Dew would have been so nice, but I drank water instead!  Last September, I chose me and my health - I am glad I remembered what this was all about!  Back to basics, back to basics, back to basics!

Have a happy and healthy day my friends!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Overdue Half Marathon Recap

So, I have been dragging my feet about writing this recap.  I have started and re-started this post but just haven't been able to get out what I wanted to.  This morning I was reminded by a friend that I need to write this recap for myself, because there will be a day when I will want to re-read it.  And she is right - I was worried about how I was going to accurately explain how I was feeling on the day of the half marathon - I have to not worry about that and just get it down. 

I participated in the Monster Dash Half Marathon on October 29th - two weeks ago.  It was a beautiful Saturday morning, it was definitely chilly but I have plenty of experience running in this weather so I was prepared.  I had ordered a cute Superwoman t-shirt from a store on Amazon but they failed to process my order and ship it to me in time so I did not have my shirt for the Halloween themed race.  But, it was not that big of deal - I was really just concerned with having a good race not so much about a costume.  So, I decided to wear my pink Prior Fat Girl t-shirt.  Ironically, it ended up kind of like being a costume - the front of the shirt says "I am a Prior Fat Girl, what are you?" - see?  Kind of a costume - I was a PFG!  I love that t-shirt, it reminds of where I have been and what I have accomplished - actually pretty appropriate for a day like that.

I found my girlfriends that were also running and we headed to the start area.  There were a lot of people - all huddled together trying to use our body heat to keep us warm before the race started.  My friend Tracy and I made our way to the start - they had it all marked off based on your mile pace.  We decided to hang with the 9:30 mile group.  I was hoping to maintain that pace since I had just been able to do it at the TC 10 mile.  But, I also knew that I had yet to run a full 13 miles so I wasn't sure if I would be able to maintain that pace the entire time!  We decided to aim high!

Pre-race, Erin, Erin's Cousin, Me and Tracy
Tracy and I stuck together until about mile 4 - she stopped to go to the bathroom and I kept going.  I knew that my aunt was going to be at the mile 7 mark so I just kept thinking about being able to see a familiar face and how that would energize me.  About mile 6 my leg started to bother me - which was a relief, I had hoped to get at least that far before I was in too much pain.  I saw my aunt on the side at mile 7 and she came on to the course and ran with me for a few minutes - made sure I was doing okay and encouraging me - she has been such a great support through my running this year - I am so thankful for her!  Then I realized she was on her bike - so I was able to see her a few more times along the course - that was great! 
I don't use an iPod when I am running outside and particularly not when I am racing.  I started running without music because I was always running with people so I have not depended on music when I am running.  I know I am in the minority when it comes to that but I just really enjoy being able to hear what is going on around me and just getting lost in my surroundings.  So, during this race I had a lot of time to get lost in my surroundings.  At mile 6 I really had to start distracting myself because my leg was hurting and my feet were getting sore.  I had already fixated on the pace group at about mile 5 - I was hanging with the 9:25 group and I just made a point of making sure I could always see the sign he was carrying.  I would talk to myself about anything and everything that was not related to my leg or my feet.  I would focus on anything and everything that meant I was still moving forward. 

At mile 9 I was exhausted - my legs felt like they weighed about 50 pounds each.  The great thing about this race was that they had music about every mile and it was fun to be able to start to hear the music as you approached - it was a mini adrenaline rush each time I went by one of them.  At mile 10 there was great energy as the 10 mile racers were finishing their race - you could hear people cheering and the water stop that was there for the half marathoners was staffed by a great, very supportive group!  Mile 11 was the most brutal mile of the entire race - two weeks out from the race and I can still vividly recall how tired my legs were - and I distinctly recall the incline of mile 11!  Overall this race was not all that hilly - but mile 11 - HILLY!  The last two miles of this race were the most difficult miles of any race I have ever run.  There was a great sign at mile 12 - this woman was holding a sign that said "Kick Some Asphalt" - it got me to chuckle a little bit, despite being so exhausted! 

Seeing the 13 mile sign was one of the greatest moments.  Typically at this point in a race I would attempt to dig deep and push it to the finish line.  I tried - I really tried to accelerate to the finish - but I just had to keep moving - I had given all I had to this race and I just needed to get to the finish line!  There were so many people along the finish chute, it was inspiring and so emotional.  Right before the finish I saw my aunt on the right side cheering for me - it was so great to see a familiar face!!!  I crossed over the finish line and was handed my finisher's medal - it was all I could do to keep my composure and not burst in to tears.  There were so many emotions and thoughts going through my head - I was so overwhelmed at that very moment.  I had just run a half marathon, 13.1 miles - I had just done that.  I could hardly believe it - 10 months after I started running I had run a half marathon.  I had not imagined that this was where I would be less than a year in to running.  I was so happy, proud and excited! 
Post Race Pic taken by my Aunt
I headed over and had my official finisher picture taken - I have never done that at a race before - but I will now every time they offer that.  It was fun to have a "posed" picture from the race.  My official race time was 2:06, 9:35 mile pace.  I had beaten my goal by about 4 minutes.  Amazing. 

My husband, kids and Melissa attempted to be at the race finish but were directed to the wrong location and ended up not being able to get there.  At first I was devastated because I wanted them to see me finish so badly but I got over it - remembering there will be plenty of opportunity for them to see me finish another half marathon!  I have already decided I will be doing the Monster Dash Half again next year.  It was a great experience and I can't wait to do it again!

I want to say a special thank you to my aunt Jeanne who has been so supportive of me and was there along the way during the race and was able to snap some pictures after the race of me and me with my friend Tracy.  Thank you so much for supporting me and believing in me!  I can't wait to run some more races WITH you next year! 

Me and my auntie!

Me and Tracy post race! Half Marathon finishers!
Bottom line - this race was one of the hardest things I have ever done - I pushed myself and my body to limits I have never experienced before. Yes, I have given birth to two beautiful children - honestly, this was harder.  My body was "made" to have children, I am still not convinced that my body was "made" to run 13.1 miles.  But, I did it, I ran 13.1 miles. 

Next up: Marathon Training - oh yes, I have officially gone crazy!  More on this later!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Path to the Half

In four days I will be running my first half marathon.  Huh?  Yes, I will be running my first half marathon in four days.  No matter how I say it - it's true.  I started running in January and just thought it would be a good way for me to lose some more weight.  Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would become a RUNNER! Over the last 10 months I have found a new identity.  I am a runner, I like to run, I need to run, I want to run, I run because I can.  For awhile there I just thought I had lost my mind, but I honestly do really like it.  I HATED running when I was younger - mostly because it was used as a tool or punishment for a sport I loved to play so it would stand to reason that I would resent running a little bit. 

The training for this half marathon was mostly accomplished by training to run the TC 10 Mile earlier this month. I have continued to run consistently over the last few weeks to make sure I am ready for the big day. I have also been seeing a sports chiropractor to help with my hip pain that I have been dealing with for the last couple of months. I met this doctor at the TC Marathon Health and Fitness Expo - he worked on my glutes for about 10 minutes and I was instantly convinced that this treatment was what I needed in addition to the massage that I was already doing. My pain is coming from the glutes, piriformis and tight hip flexors. The treatment is primarily soft tissue based - they use Transverse Friction massage - simply put - lots of elbows across the muscle grain that helps break down adhesions. It's glorious! I have had four treatments with Dr. James and it really is working. I have been doing some exercises and stretches that he gave me and they are definitely making a difference. In fact, this past Saturday, I actually was able to run for an hour and have almost 40 minutes of pain free running. I am going to see Dr. James one last time before the race on Saturday. I may see him again after the race to just make sure things are still progressing. The best part about Dr. James is that he doesn't want to be in my life forever - he wants to make me better and see me go on my way - and have the occasional check in if I have any flare ups.

I am so thankful that I met Dr. James at the Expo and asked for his help. A year ago I would never have let myself be that vulnerable and get up on that massage table and let a perfect stranger work on my glutes!!!! He has helped me so much and I know that I am going to be able to run a great race on Saturday because of it. I don't want or need this to be an ad for Dr. James and his practice - but I want it to be a testament for asking for help. If you are in pain, the chances are that there is someone out there that would like to try and help you. Just do your research and find the right person.

Now, I find myself getting psyched up to run 13.1 miles in less than a week.  I am looking forward to pushing myself beyond anything I have done physically.  On Saturday when I go past that 10 mile mark that will officially be the longest distance I have ever run.  When I cross that finish line I will have done something physically that I never imagined myself possible.  I can not wait to be able to say that I am a half marathon finisher! 
I have another post brewing with some of my plans for after this race.  This will be my last "long" race of the year.  I have a couple of 5Ks in November and December.  I plan to run this winter - outside primarily, but will have the gym as backup if need be.  If you want to run, let me know.  I also heard today that the Metrodome is going to be starting the indoor running sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in mid-November.  It would be more fun to do that with other people!  I will update again on that once it gets closer. 
Be happy and healthy friends!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Truth Will Set You Free!

The truth hurts sometimes.  My current truth is that I have not been to the gym in 2.5 weeks and I have only run 3 times since my 10 mile race about 12 days ago.  My old truth was I have not been to the gym in three years and I have not ran - EVER!  So, why am I beating myself up over taking a break from the routine?  Because I am struggling not just taking a break, that's why. 

I trained hard for the 10 mile - I was in the gym three days a week and I was running 3-4 days a week leading up to the race.  And that training paid off - the race went great, I achieved my goal and am so happy about that.  Ever since that Sunday afternoon my drive to work out and get up early to go running has been very limited.  On the flip side, my eating has been a little out of control.  I am making decisions that I would not have made a month ago and I am not sure why. 

I have a lot going on in my life right now that is causing added stress.  I had hoped that I would tackle extra stress by overcompensating with exercise but that hasn't happened yet.  By the time I get home from my day, have dinner with my girls, get them to bed, do some laundry - it's time for bed and the cycle starts over.  This time I am having a hard time getting up at 5:15AM and starting my cycle early.  I feel like I have lost my mojo or whatever.  I can't really put my finger on it.  But I really want to find it. 

Here is what I know:
  • I miss the fire in my belly that appears when I go running
  • I miss having the desire to get up early and get a run in before work
  • I miss wanting to cook for myself at home
  • I miss wanting to experiment with new healthy recipes
  • I miss having the desire to be healthy and active
So, now I need to figure out how to get all of that back!  I need a plan.  I need a schedule.  I need to be reminded how good it feels. 

I have a half marathon to run in 2 weeks.  I will be ready to run that race. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

TC 10 Mile Recap - Part 2

Ok where was I?  yes, I was RUNNING THE TC 10 MILE! 

The first 3 miles were great, I had a good pace, my legs felt good.  I knew that there were going to be a couple of people to watch for along the course - Rob's cousin Mike being the first one.  He was a race marshal around the 3.5 mile mark - there he was on the side of the road!  I yelled his name and he cheered and took a picture of me as I ran by!  It was so great to see him - he is definitely one of my running mentors.  Then just a short mile and a half up the road I knew Mike's wife Mary was going to be around as a race marshal as well.  I saw her on the right side of the road - I yelled her name, she jumped up and down and cheered - the BEST shot in the arm for me at that point in the race.  My legs were getting tired - it was a little hillier than I had remembered!  She is another one of my running mentors - whether she realizes it or not (come to think of it, I should probably tell her!).  I knew my family was going to be on Summit and Dale St., which I had figured out was about the 8.25 mile mark so I was looking forward to seeing them the ENTIRE race!

After I passed Mary I quickly recalled that there was a decent hill coming up as made our way to Summit Ave.  I fondly recalled this hill from the Get In Gear race in May.  This was the first moment of the first half of the race where I really wanted to walk - my left hip was tight and screaming at me and I was tempted to just pull off to the side and rest.  But, as I looked up the hill and straight in to the sunshine - I could hear the crowd, they were yelling, clapping and cheering for everyone as we ran by.  If not for that group of people I may have very well started to walk - which would have been fine, but I really didn't want to at that moment. 

The next thing I knew we were turning the corner and Summit Ave was in my sights.  I had ran this part of the course on a practice run several weeks prior so I knew what to expect for the remainder of the race.  Again, the crowds and support going up Summit were awesome - there were several cheer zones, which I am sure during the marathon were even bigger!  There were two large Powerade and  water stops - I took these two opportunities to slow down to a quick walking pace, trying to give my legs a little bit of a break.  I was keeping an average mile pace of 9:23 but once I hit mile 6 and 7 I could feel myself slowing down and my leg getting tighter.  But, I knew I only had a mile left to get to my family - to be able to see my girls, my mom, my dad, my in laws, and my husband! 

I stuck to the left side of the road knowing they would be on the north side of Summit Ave.  As I came up the hill, I could hear "there she is, I see her" and then the cowbell that started immediately after!  My mom had spotted me and I had spotted them.  I could feel my energy spike and I was so excited to see them and know that I was that much closer to the finish line!  As I ran by them, the girls were clapping - I yelled a quick "happy anniversary" to my hubby and kept on my way.  I had a time to make! 

After I passed them, I looked up the road and saw a familiar person on the course.  There she was about a 100 feet ahead of me - JEN!  I started yelling her name and sprinted a little bit to catch up to her.  My running partner, the one that had met me early in the morning to get our miles in and to get our gym time in all summer long.  We were going to run the last mile and a half in to the finish together.  We were both in a little pain but we were so close - it was time to finish this!  Jen knows I like to pour on some steam right at the end so she wasn't shocked when with a quarter of a mile left I pulled away a little bit.  I could see the finish line - I could hear all of the people yelling as we ran that last .25 miles down John Ireland Blvd and all I could think was "legs don't fail me now" - "keep going, you are almost there" - "come on, just get to the line"!  I crossed that finish line and I was so happy - it was actually really hard to avoid shedding a couple of tears.  I looked down at my Garmin and saw 1:35 on my watch.  I had done it - I wanted to finish under 1:40 and according to my watch I had done that.  (and according to official results it was 1:35:02!!)

It was a whirlwind after we crossed the finish line - medals, blankets, food, finisher shirts - OH MY! 
I managed to find all of my racing friends and celebrated briefly over finishing a great race.  Melissa, Sue and I made our way back up to Summit and Dale where our families were waiting for us.  I was really excited to get back up there and thank everyone for supporting us and also to hopefully see some of the elite marathoners come through.  We made it back in time to share hugs and to see the first men and women elite marathoners come through and some of the wheelers as well - talk about inspiring! 

Here are a couple of shots from post race celebrating!

Jen and I after the finish!

Melissa and I with Zoe

This race was one of the best things I have ever experienced. 
I have had many accomplishments as an athlete but to finish this race on Sunday was the best one yet.  I pushed through so many mental blocks and a couple of physical ones to get to this day and I couldn't be happier with the outcome.  I am looking forward to the end of the month when I conquer my next goal as a runner.  I am running in the Monster Dash Half Marathon in St Paul on Oct 29th.  I will be continuing to train over the next couple of weeks but I think the lesson this race has taught me is that I am ready.  I am ready to run 13.1 miles and to finish strong. 

Thank you to all of my friends and family that have supported me and my running aspirations.  My training takes a lot of time and it occasionally has taken me away from other things.  Thank you for understanding the importance of this race and the upcoming half marathon.  Your love and support means the world to me!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

TC 10 Mile Race Recap - Part 1

I woke up at 4:00 AM on Sunday morning - I was ready to take on the day.  I had laid my clothes out the night before because I was too worried that if I waited to "find" things in the wee hours of the morning something would be forgotten. 
A couple of my fellow TC 10 Milers were meeting at my house at 5:15 AM so that we could all ride together to St. Paul where we would park the car and then take the bus shuttle over to the start line in Minneapolis.  I wanted to be awake early enough to eat (half a bagel with peanut butter and water), get dressed, and be able to go to the bathroom (uh hum) before we left my house.  It was nice and quiet at my house and I was pretty relaxed. 
My girls arrived and it was time to take the last sweep to make sure I had everything - race bib, check - chip on shoe, check - Garmin and HR strap on, check - race belt for my beans and phone, check!  Out the door and off to the races! 
The drive to St. Paul did not take long that early in the AM, when we got off on Kellogg that quickly changed - you could see headlights and taillights for what seemed like FOREVER!  It was all getting very real at this point.  We found a great spot to park and headed over to the Kelly Inn to grab the shuttle.  All 6 of us were now together and ready to make the trek to Minneapolis for the start line. 
The whole bus ride over to the Dome I could barely speak - Tracy was setting up her music, Sue and Erin were chatting, Nicole and Missy were chatting in another seat.  For a little bit, I was in my head, attempting to pump myself up and focus on what was going to be happening very soon.
We arrived at the Dome - tons of people all around.  We made our way in to the Dome where there was heat, because even though the high for the day was in the 70s I am not sure it was 50 yet at this crazy early hour!  We went in an entrance to the dome where others had not discovered that there were bathrooms with no waiting lines - SCORE!  We started walking through the Dome - I was noticing all of the different manners in which people prepare before a race.  If I had not been worrying about my own race I probably could have made some pretty fun observations.  As it was, I was starting to get nervous - but not in the "I am not going to be able to finish" way, more in the "this is so awesome I hope I don't fall on my face in front of all of these people" kind of way.  My stomach was doing flip flops and I was starting to question if I had eaten enough or too much.  We made our way to the bathroom one last time and then snapped a BEFORE picture of our awesome group before heading out in to the chilly morning air.

Erin, Tracy, Sue, Nicole, Me, Missy
 When we got outside there were a ton of people all making their way to the corrals.  We were split up in different corrals - some in 3, some in 4 and some in 5.  We took the groups to the corrals - said our goodbyes, good lucks and gave hugs! 
I was alone (along with about 2000 of my closest friends) in Corral 3.  We could hear the horns going off to release the elite runners and then they started moving the other corrals through.  It felt like FOREVER for Corral 2 to get to the start and get going - but in reality it was 3 MINUTES or so.  Our corral got up to the start line, they shot the gun or blew the horn (honestly don't recall which it was) and we were off.  I wasn't sure how quickly all of us would be able to get to a running speed - but it was actually sooner than I thought it would be.  I crossed the start line, started my Garmin and I was running the TC 10 mile race - WOOHOO!

I have so much more that I want to tell you but this is getting long and I don't want to lose anyone!  Come back tomorrow for the rest! Stay tuned! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011 and less than 24 hours....

So, last week my friend Jen posted a request on her blog from a reporter at  She was looking for women over the age of 35 who had made a change and transformed their body and life.  I emailed her and told my story, ,attached my before and after pictures and honestly wasn't sure I would hear from her.  She replied back to me very quickly and asked me to answer a few questions about my journey.  Yesterday I received an email from her with the link to the piece she wrote on 9 women who had all found a "magic ingredient" to assist in their transformation.  You can find the article here:  There are some other pretty amazing women there to check out if you have a moment.  The focus of this piece was really to debunk the idea that if you are past a certain age that weight loss is not possible.  At 36 I don't feel like my age was that big of an obstacle - having two young kids was more of a challenge for me than anything.  But, as we get older it does get more difficult to shed those pounds - but it's not impossible.  These women shared some really great ideas to tackling weight and food addiction.  I have always said that my best advice to anyone would be - start today.  Don't wait for Monday, don't wait for the New Year to make some resolution - just start today.  Make one change that you can incorporate to your daily life and start there.  I think most people would be shocked to find how easy it is to change things - one at a time.  Don't restrict too much or it will too be hard to sustain it and then you just end up resenting the whole process. 

I honestly think that this attitude has helped me with my running as well.  I started running with a program that really broke you in easy and slowly.  I think that if I had attempted to just go out and run by myself with no direction I would not be where I am today with running.  Tomorrow marks my longest race and by far the largest race that I will have competed in.  I am not an elite runner and will not be crossing the finish line before everyone else - but I will be finishing.  And I will have a great time, I plan to soak in all that the Twin Cities Marathon weekend has to offer.  My 10 miles will be over relatively quick when compared to what some of the marathoners will be doing.  I can't wait to join all of the cheering people after I finish to support the rest of the 10 milers and the marathoners. 

Don't forget - if you want to track my progress tomorrow you can sign up at  You can search for other runners you may know as well - you can sign up to get up to three runners per phone number. 

I can't wait to report back to you all about my 10 Mile results.  I have a time goal in my mind but honestly will be happy and content with my finish regardless.  I have had a great ride training for this race and can't wait for it all to come to fruition tomorrow!

Good luck to all of my fellow 10 Milers - Melissa, Tracy, Erin, Jen, Nicole, Sue, Heather and anyone else I may have forgotten! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

6 days and counting...

So, we have been busy around these parts.  Last weekend on Saturday I set out for the longest run I would go on prior to the TC 10 Mile race coming up.  Melissa, Tracy, Nicole and I headed to St. Paul to run the last 5 miles of the 10 Mile Course - we started at the "Finish" and ran the 5 miles down Summit Ave - got to the bottom of the hill (where there was a portapotty - thank you City of St Paul for that placement!) and turned around and made our way back up the hill and back to where the finish line will be at the Capitol.  It was very reassuring to all of us that we were able to run 10 miles and having ran what has been described as the most difficult part of the course - that Summit has an incline that can creep up on you - was a victory for all of us!  We had a great time - lots of chatting was done, checking out the cool houses on Summit, running past the College Club where Rob and I were married - and we still got the 10 miles done in 1:47.  Not too shabby!

Now we have less than a week before race day and I am working on remembering how good it felt to come down John Ireland Blvd and kick the legs in a little bit and finish strong.  I have been having some "hip" pain the last few weeks.  I am seeing a massage therapist who has been working my legs out really well and they feel good but not 100%.  My left hamstrings are really tight and they flare up pretty quickly.  Melissa and I got out on Saturday morning for a quick jaunt around Lake Calhoun - it felt good to get out there - I had only ran on the treadmill since our 10 mile run the weekend before.  My leg was definitely sore after but nothing like it was a week ago.  I am seeing my therapist again this Friday for a tune up before race day on Sunday.  I have decided to forgo running for the remainder of the week - even short ones.  There is nothing that I can do in the next five days on the running path that will help the outcome of the race on Sunday - in fact, I think taking the five days off from running will probably do more good at this point.  I have not taken this much time off from running so it will be weird, but I really feel good about the decision. 

I am really excited for the upcoming TC 10 Mile - this is the largest race I have been involved in and can't wait to see how it all unfolds.  We will be hitting up the Health and Fitness Expo on Saturday at the St Paul RiverCentre.  Hal Higdon is going to be there as a featured speaker and I really hope we get a chance to hear him - I have read a lot of his articles and have incorporated some of his tips into my training program so it would be cool to see him in person.  My friend Jen is also speaking at the Expo on Saturday so it will be a full day!

I am kind of a dork because I really think it's cool that my friends and I are part of the TC Marathon weekend.  This is a big deal for the TC running community and to be able to take it all in is a big honor.  I think I have really found a great community here in the Cities for running and I look forward to meeting many more runners and continuing to learn from those that have been out there doing this for years! 

If you are wanting to keep track of me or anyone else you know that is running the 10 Mile or Marathon on Sunday go to this website and you can set your phone up to get text updates - pretty cool!!!  I am in Corral 3 and my estimated start time is 7:15AM.

This week my main focus is to stay positive, try not to cry when I think about running 10 miles in 6 short days, and to have a great time!  Because a year ago I would have never dreamed I would be running a 10 mile race and actually feel physically prepared for it.  I have learned that just about anything is possible if you want it bad enough.  On Sunday, I am going to show how bad I want it and I am going to have a great time doing it! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Run Down!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  I am so blessed with so many wonderful people in my life.  I appreciate every single person that clicked on my last post and took a read.  Thank you to all that left a comment - it means more to me than you know to hear from you and receive your encouraging words - it really reminds how great this community is and how fortunate I am to have all of you. 

I have again been thinking about the blog and how often I update (or how I don't update often enough!).  For awhile there I felt like I could only post if I had something profound to say or if I was celebrating a milestone.  But then I realized, my favorite blogs to read are the ones that update on a pretty regular basis - and they talk about normal things - their day to day activities, their workouts, their families, etc.  I am going to give that method a try for a little while.  I think it will be good for me to post on a more regular basis and also be able to keep posts more varied, etc.  So, here we go! 

A few weeks ago I started a weight lifting program called The New Rules of Lifting for Women.  My friend Jen challenged her readers to the program and I had been thinking about introducing weights to my regime so it was perfect timing. I ordered the book from Amazon and the following week we got started.  I signed up for a 30 day trial at a gym just down the street from my house that Jen also happened to work out at, which was very convenient for both of us!  We don't actually do the workouts all together but having someone to meet at the gym early in the morning has been a great thing for me over the last several weeks.  I am loving getting back in the gym - I lifted weights a lot in high school and college and just never got back to it.  It feels great to feel strong and to see some changes happening in my arms, legs - even those pesky abs.  I plan to do a more detailed post soon about the program and how it works. 

On Tuesday night I flew to Phoenix for a quick work trip.  I don't really do a lot of traveling for work - it's very sporatic.  I am working on getting a new position at work so when the offer was made to go visit this potential client I took it, especially since it was a quick turn around.  Our schedules are kind of abnormal around our house so for one of us to be out of town for any longer than a day requires a lot of re-working of schedules and calling on grandparents for help.  My mom was able to come and be with the girls on Tuesday night while Rob was working and Rob's parents always have the girls during the day on Wednesday so for the kids it wasn't too much disruption, which is key.  I love that our schedules allow for one of us to be home with our girls the majority of the time - but there are certain occasions when it can be difficult to manage.  But, we have an amazing support system around us and we are so fortunate! 

Since I started running in January I have been pretty lucky with not having any injuries.  I get sore, tired, have a couple of black toenails and wake up stiff everyonce in awhile but other than that nothing really to report.  Lately, I have been having some upper leg pain on my left side - originally I thought it was a tight IT band but the last couple of days it has moved in to my glute so I did some more research yesterday.  I am now thinking that I am having piriformis pain.  Yesterday I ventured to TC Running Company, located in EP - if you need running gear - I highly recommend checking them out.  They have a great selection of running gear for men and women and the staff is incredibly helpful - they have a passion for running and for runners - no matter your ability.  So, the owner of the store was working yesterday and I asked him for some help deciding which foam roller to purchase, he was very helpful and I left with a new foam roller ready to take on my piriformis!  I am also going to have a deep tissue massage this afternoon to try and work some tight muscles out as well.  If you have not had a deep tissue or sports massage before - JUST DO IT!  Your body will thank you! 

There are 16 days until the Medtronic TC 10 Mile race on October 2nd.  I am very excited to be able to be part of the TC Marathon weekend - we are going to go to the Marathon Expo and I can't wait!  Tomorrow; me, Melissa and Tracy are going to run the 10 mile course from Mpls to St Paul.  It will likely be my last attempt at a long run prior to race day.  I will continue to run up until a couple of days before the race but probably nothing more than 6 miles after tomorrow.  I am condident that the 10 mile is a race I will be able to finish - at this point it will just come down to how long it takes me.  I am not putting a time goal on myself - in my head I know how long I would like for it to take me - but I don't want to put too much pressure on myself - I just really want to have a great time and soak the whole experience in.  This will be by far the largest race I have competed in and I just can't wait! 

Time for the weekend to begin!  Have a great one everybody - be happy and healthy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I found out I was fat...

Before I get to my post I just want to point out that today is the 10th anniversary of the Sept 11th attacks.  I can still vividly recall exactly where I was when I found out about the planes hitting the towers, how the day seemed to drag on in a cloud as we watched the news coverage on the computer and tv at work and that it seemed like we were watching a movie instead of the reality that it obviously was.  Five years ago I started working at my current job and the first Sept 11th I worked there it made it even more real to me how many lives this tragedy affected as I listened to a memorial for my parent company that was headquartered in the towers that tragic day.  As I heard the names of all of the people my company had lost that day - the moms, dads, sons, daughters, cousins, friends - they were all being missed and honored.  I do not know anyone personally that was lost that day but I still can't watch the media coverage even ten years later without crying.  The other day I was watching a story about the children of 9/11 - again, can barely keep it together.  I pray that our children will never have to know first hand a tragedy like this - that they will simply learn about it from us, their teachers and studies as the years go by.  I want to thank every man and woman that lost their life that day, every first responder and person that helped to rescue people from the rubble, and all of the families that continue to remember every day that their loved one is gone.  I pray that our troops can come home soon and thank them all for keeping our country safe yesterday, today and always!

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the day that I found out I was fat.  That may seem funny, and it kind of is, but I am being completely serious.  A few months ago a dear friend of mine from college asked me if there was a moment when I knew that things needed to change - an A-HA moment, if you will.  I immediately knew the answer but just haven't had the best way to describe it.  Until now.  Yesterday my family, friends and I participated in our fourth annual Breath of Hope Twin Cities Lung 5K Walk.  We started doing this walk in honor of my best friend Tracy's mom who had passed away the year before.  She was a great lady, she was like a second mom to me during junior high and high school.  Last year we did this walk only two weeks after Tracy had delivered her third child, due to him being delivered considerably early, Tracy and her family were not able to join us.  So, we walked in honor of Tracy's mom and all those that have lost their battle or are still struggling with lung cancer - and had Tracy and baby in our hearts as we walked. 

We took a group photo after the walk so Tracy could see the group that walked for her mom that day.  I distinctly recall loading the photos to my computer and putting them up on Facebook the next day.  I also recall the disbelief when looking at the pictures of myself standing there next to one of my best friends and our children.  I was thinking - who the heck is that girl?  When did she get so fat?  Why hadn't anyone told me how out of hand my weight had gotten?  Why hadn't I seen the blob that I had become until that moment? 

Here is the picture from that day - that's my best friend Melissa standing there next to me. 

Melissa and I - 9/2010
 So, here is where it gets interesting.  I went to work that following Monday and told Melissa that I needed to do something about the fatness.  I didn't know until that day that she was not exactly feeling awesome about her size either - she had just had a baby in February so I understood that feeling.  Ironically, the next day I received a flyer in the mail from Weight Watchers advertising a free month if you paid for one month.  I brought the flyer to work that Wed and we decided that we would get signed up the following week.  So, on Sept 23rd we walked in to the WW meeting location down the street from our office and signed up - together.  We made the pact that we would do this together, we would support each other and we would lose this weight side by side.  We would not quit - it was not an option.  So, when someone asks me about my aha moment or what made me decide that it was time - this picture above is what comes to mind.  I had become an image that I just didn't recognize anymore.  I remember being unhappy that I wore a size 16/18 pant and that a 2XL shirt was the only thing that was really comfortable on, but it was seeing that chubby face looking back at me that really did it.  And those girls sitting in the strollers - they deserved better, my husband deserved better, I DESERVED BETTER. 

There is no secret potion, there is no secret food, and no miracle drug that will aid in gaining a healthy life.  It is a conscious decision every single day to make better choices - about food, about exercise, about EVERYTHING.  When I wake up at 5:15AM to go run or go to the gym - I am making the best decision for me that day to live a healthier life.  When I select a salad instead of a cheeseburger and fries - I am making the best decision for me that day to live a healthier life.  I am not perfect, this past year has not been without it's difficulties and struggles but it has also been filled with success and new personal challenges.  As of today - almost two weeks away from the day I walked in to WW for the first/last time I have lost 72 pounds.  72 POUNDS.  I yell that because I still can't believe it.  I get comments from people that they can't believe I had 72 pounds to lose - trust me people - I did!  I have had people tell me I carried my weight well and that they didn't really consider me fat - yeah, me either - until that day that I realized I actually was! 

Yesterday I had Melissa take a picture of me with my race shirt on from last year and then one with the new shirt on for this year's race (excuse the hair - we had just ran 7 miles!) -

Me in my 2XL shirt from last year

Me in my MEDIUM shirt for this year

What a difference a year makes - huh!  It still blows my mind that I can walk up to the table at a race and confidently grab a medium t-shirt!  It's a feeling that I never thought I would get to experience.

More importantly than the letter on the inside collar of my shirt is how I feel about life in general.  I am so much more confident, so much happier and have such a different outlook on things while in this new healthy lifestyle and new healthy body.  I finally feel like I can be a good example to my little girls - that they will know what a strong, healthy woman is and they won't have to look at a People magazine for their example!  

Yesterday I woke up at 5:45 to go running with my two best friends at the lakes in Minneapolis, after that we walked another 3.1 with our families and this morning I woke up at 6:15 to go work at the water stop for the City of Lakes 25K with the folks from the Running Room.  One year ago I would have laughed in your face if you had told me that my weekend would have consisted of mostly running related activities!  But now, I can't imagine my lifestyle without running, eating healthy, and being active.  Being a part of the Twins Cities running community is pretty awesome and I can't wait to participate in more events.  Running a race is pretty great, but helping someone else succeed and finish out their race was a pretty amazing feeling as well! 

I am long winded today - I guess that's what happens when I don't post for almost two weeks.  I will leave you with two more pictures from our walk yesterday - two of my best friends by my side, just as they have been for the last year as I have made this lifestyle switch.  Melissa and Tracy have also been successful in their own right with weight loss and their running prowess.  I am so blessed to have so many wonderful and supportive people in my life.  A big thank you to all of you that have been here for me - always!  Fat or not fat - you all have loved me and that means the world to me! 

Melissa and I - 9/10/2011

Tracy, me and Melissa - 9/10/2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gaining Control....

Hello friends - I have not blogged lately mostly because I haven't really had much to say.  I am working a lot, I am working out a lot and in the middle of that I am spending time with my family.  I feel like there are not enough hours in the day to do all of the things I want to do.  So, I have been making time for the most important: the work that pays me and makes sure we still have a roof over our head, the working out that makes sure I keep up with my body and the training for the 10 mile in October and above all - the people in my life that make it all worth it. 

The most important two are these faces: who would not want to wake up at 5:15AM every day to make sure that they had time every night after work to spend with these two little people! 

Inspiration at its finest!
 I find myself feeling down about not being able to keep up with the laundry, folding of said laundry, cleaning the house, and just generally making sure our home is a peaceful place to be.  There are days when I feel like I need to take a week or two off from work and spend them at my house going through stuff, throwing stuff out, getting stuff ready to sell on Craigslist or a garage sale and I am not even sure if that would help! 
I think for me working out has really helped me not go totally nuts over this stuff!  Honestly, as much as I try to come off as put together and knowing what I have to do each day - there are days I don't know my head from my "you know what!". 

I am not really sure what the point of this post is - maybe just needing to purge some emotions that are in my head right now.  It's hard to feel like a success in one or two areas of your life when you feel like you are failing at so many others!  I am not going to talk about all of the areas I am referring to - they are personal and I am just not ready to go there on such a public forum. 

The biggest lesson for me is that no matter how uncontrollable some of the things in my life are - there are certain things I can control.  I can control what I eat, how I feel about what I eat, when I workout, when I rest, when I snuggle with my babies, when I walk with my babies, when I smile, when I laugh and when I cry! 

What do you do or say to yourself when you are feeling out of sorts? 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One Breath, One Step Event Recap!

This last Saturday was another PriorFatGirl event!  I was so excited to get together with my friends and meet some new people as well.  The one person I was really excited to meet in person was Mary from Fit This Girl.  I have been reading Mary's blog for quite awhile and following her on Twitter and she is just amazing.  Mary actually was our featured speaker for the first part of the morning session at The Beat Coffeehouse in Uptown.  Mary talked about breaking through barriers on your healthiness journey.  My favorite take aways from Mary's presentation were surrounding yourself with people who have done what you want to do or people with similar goals to yourself and CONSISTENCY.  We need to be consistent with our choices.  Instead of looking at a choice that you have made as good or bad - ask yourself if it is consistent with your goals and where you want to be. 
Mary is a personal training and wellness coach here in the Twin Cities - I highly recommend getting in touch with her if you need that extra boost on your journey! 
Mary - Sharing her knowledge

Jen, a PriorFatGirl took the second portion of the session to talk about relationships and how they change when we start/continue on a healthy lifestyle change.  Jen has had some personal experience with this and I have as well.  The biggest take away for me on this topic was to not force others to change with you.  This is your journey, not theirs.  If you have a relationship that is showing some strain, talk to the person about it, don't ignore it.  Make an effort to find something else that you have in common that you can still connect on and go from there.  If you get to the point that a relationship is not salvageable you need to move on.  It's okay to be sad about it, but moving on is the best thing for both people involved.  I have not really "lost" any friendships at this point, but there are definitely some relationships that have changed since last year.  But, I was already kind of used to that because it happens when you have children too!  : )

Jen - telling it like it is! 
 I really had a great morning listening to Jen and Mary share their experiences and knowledge with all of us.  Some days I really feel like I have this new healthy lifestyle thing under control but there are many days when I just don't.  Events like this, meeting up with other bloggers (who are now my friends) and people who are on their own journey's really helps jump start me and remind me of what my goals are and where I am headed. 

After the morning session at  The Beat Coffeehouse some of us headed to Minnetonka for a "Comfort Foods" cooking class with Stacy Klone from KitchenWerks.  I will write a post about the afternoon as well - lots of great information to share! 

Thank you again to Jen at PriorFatGirl for continuing to make healthy living a priority and sharing your passion with us!  And to Mary at Fit This Girl!, I will be talking to you soon lady - thank you for sharing your passion to help people with all of us as well!  You both are truly inspirations!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Difference One Year Makes

So today I was going through some old pictures and uploading pics from our recent trip to Duluth.  Wow.  That is all I can say.  I was floored by what I saw.  Last year at this same time we went on a family trip up to Brainerd.  I was curious what the difference was from then to now.  Wow.  Again, that is all I can muster.  I knew I had worked hard and made some pretty big changes - but wow.  I knew I was fat, I knew I was not as happy as I could be, but wow.  I turned 36 years old last Monday and I am honestly probably the healthiest and fittest I have been in a really long time.  Heck, I could even be in better shape than I was in my prime in high school/college.  I put a family pic from this years trip and a family pic from last years trip side by side.  Take a look - and tell me if you can muster something other than "wow".  (I also think its pretty funny that we are each holding the same child we were a year ago and they were both just as cooperative!)

7/26/2010                                                                                               7/26/2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Run for Blood

This morning I ran for a reason.  I ran because I wanted to support the Red Cross and their efforts toward blood donation.  I have always believed that donating blood is the right thing to do, if you are physically able to do it.  This past year I found a whole new reason to believe that its the right thing to do.  My dad had some routine surgery last December and he ended up with some complications.  Without going in to a lot of detail - because it's not really my story to tell, my dad required a lot of blood during the 3-4 months that his health was in question.  And when I say a lot, I mean a lot - I don't recall the exact number of units but it was a lot over an extended period of time.  I have read that in the US they use about 45,000 units of blood daily for various different kinds of patients.  That is a lot of blood and all of that blood comes from other people who made the decision to sit in the chair and give.  Blood can't be "created" in a lab so it has to come from us.  I had a terrible first experience donating blood in high school.  The poor girl taking my blood was not experienced with difficult veins and it showed.  They got less than a 1/4 of a bag out of me and had to throw it away and the days afterward my arm looked like I had been beaten up from bicep to wrist - it was not pretty!  Needless to say I didn't donate blood again until just a couple of years ago.  I had some good experiences with blood draw when I was pregnant with my daughters so I was encouraged to donate blood at a work blood drive.  It went well and I have been donating regularly since then.  I have even taken over the coordination of the blood drive at my work place. 

This is my dad with his granddaughters:
There are many more people just like my dad who unexpectedly needed to rely on the kindness of strangers to assist their recovery from a health matter.  My dad is doing really well today, he is at a healthy weight, he gets stronger and stronger every day and I am hoping that next year we will be running some races together!  We all know someone that has benefited from blood donation. 

I am not soliciting blood here - I just want to make sure that everyone is aware that some day the need for blood will affect you - maybe not personally, but a friend, coworker, or a loved one may need it.  In order to make sure there is an ample supply, schedule your appt today.  I personally donate at Memorial Blood Center - it's convenient for me.  But I know the Red Cross has drives often throughout the year.  You can donate blood every 56 days - so what are you waiting for?  I also realize that some people are not able to donate due to their own health issues, fear of needles, etc - that's okay, you can give in other ways.  The Red Cross is always accepting donations for their various causes.  Think about, that's all I am asking.

Today I had a great time - despite the heat and humidity - I thought of my dad throughout my run.  I thought about what could have happened if the hospital had run out of blood while he was there.  I thought about him in Montana on vacation right now, enjoying the sun and lake and while I am jealous, I am also just happy.  I am grateful for all of those people out there that gave of themselves to ensure that others would have what they need. 

I have never run a 1/4 marathon before today.  For those of you wondering what the difference is between that and a 10K I will tell you.  The 10K is 6.2 miles and the 1/4 marathon is 6.55 miles.  At first I was worried I wouldn't be able to PR (personal record) today because of the heat.  And then I remembered - I have never run a race that was 6.55 miles so regardless of what I did today it was going to be a PR and something for me to be proud of!  As it turns out I did okay - I finished in 1:09:55 (10:46 mile).  It wasn't as fast as I would have liked - but honestly the heat/humidity kicked my butt!  I think it kicked a lot of us in the butt, I was not the only one I saw taking a walk break that may not usually take one!  And the best part is - I am okay with that.  I am not disappointed that I had to walk a bit, there are times when the elements are so drastic that you just have to do what you have do to in order to finish.  Today that is exactly what I did.  I finished, I finished hard and I am proud of myself.  I ran for a purpose today and it felt good!

For the first time ever at the end of a race I got a medal!  A bright, shiny Finishers Medal.  It was hard, it was tough, but I would do it all over again!  Here's one last picture - me with my medal! This one was for you Dad!  I love you and am so happy to have you in my life! - Memorial Blood Centers website - Red Cross Blood Donation site