Yoga Flab and Sayonara’s

I’m trying to keep myself awake until a reasonable time (goal is 9pm) so I thought I’d post a little update. I’ve been a little quiet here for a few reasons. Work got nuts. I’ve worked an extra 12 hours in the last two weeks! My diet has been totally off track. I’ve hardly been running because my allergies and asthma have been terrible. I’m in a fitness slump. I’m trying to work through things on day at a time.

Today, I did yoga. It was awful. I had no idea I was so out of shape. Also, I highly recommend wearing pants and a shirt while yoga-ing. I did it in sports bra and underwear, and let me tell you, the view from downward dog is the worst angle I’ve ever seen of myself. My gut was a huge flap hanging from my abs. Thighs didn’t look much better. I guess it could be motivating if you like reminders of how fat you look at odd angles.

This afternoon, I finally went to buy my new running shoes! Now that’s a true motivator. All of my real running shoes have been Mizuno. I love the way they lock my heel in place. My first pair that I bought last May were the Wave Inspire.

Mizuno Wave Inspire

Mizuno Wave Inspire

It was the first time I got fitted for shoes and the store employee told me I had one foot that needed a little support so I ended up with the mild stability Inspire. They felt so much better than the K-Swiss Tubes I had been running in for a year and a half (no joke, I even ran my first half marathon in those Tubes!), that I didn’t realize they weren’t the best fit. After a long run on the hard pavement in Chicago last September, the outsides of my feet, near my pinky toe, was getting really sore. Like it was bruised on the bottom of my foot. I did a little research and decided to try out the Mizuno Sayonara instead. I went into my local Fleet Feet store, ran a loop around the parking lot in them and was sold!

Photo from Mizuno.com (because I don't have a singl epicture of me even wearing these shoes! Crazy!)

Photo from Mizuno.com (because I don’t have a singl epicture of me even wearing these shoes! Crazy!)

I wore these all last fall and winter, for 2 5K’s, one of which was a PR, and a 10K on my 1st wedding anniversary. But in the last few weeks, I’ve been starting to get that outside foot pain again and I noticed that the foam was getting pretty thin inside the shoe. I have no clue how many miles are on them – my best guess is about 400. So it’s time to retire them.

Since I’m now training for a full marathon, I thought I might want to give a more substantial shoe a try. The Sayonara is a super lightweight shoe and has sort of a minimalist design to it. It’s not usually recommended for long distances (although I’ve run 10 milers in them with no problem). So when I went in to Fleet Feet today, I first tried the Wave Rider 17. It was really cushy and comfortable, but when I ran in them, they were just too bulky for me. I love feeling the ground beneath my feet and having space for my toes to breathe. So I ended up with another pair of Sayonara’s. This time in the tacky-cute color combo of Cabbage/Orchid Bouquet/Aurora. It was better than black and white and purple which looked kind of manly.

New Mizuno Wave Saynara

New Mizuno Wave Sayonara

I haven’t taken them on a run yet, but for the short time I wore them in the store parking lot, I could tell the fit was nearly identical to my old Sayonara’s (the heel actually fits even better in the new ones!) but there was so much more cushioning. I had no clue how flat my old shoes had gotten! So I’m excited to give them a spin tomorrow morning. And I’m hoping to buy one more pair (maybe online?) of the old grey/blue/green color combo that I love so much. It can’t hurt to have two pair when you’re running 30 miles a week!

Last little tidbit. I’m really hoping to get back on track food-wise. We’ve got about $40 left in the grocery budget to last us the rest of this week. Just enough to buy some breakfast and lunch essentials, and produce to go along with the meat in our freezer. Next week, I’m detoxing again. 3 days of vegetarian, 4 days of clean eating. NO SWEETS! I’ve gotta do it. I’m tired of feeling fat and lazy, my skin looks awful, and even my sleep patterns are off. Plus I can’t fit into a really pretty skirt I bought on vacation. It’s time to get it together.

Okay, one more tidbit. One of my friends is in town from London, Ontario. She knows a lot about free weights. I know nothing. I stick to the machines at the gym. I do know that I’ll get a much better workout using free weights than machines. So she’s agreed to come to my gym with me this week and show me what to do in the free weights area! I’m so excited.

Ah! Third tidbit. I’m going to the doctor next week to get medicine for my allergies and asthma. Finally I’ll be able to breathe when I run!

Alright, it’s 9:45. It’s late enough to go to bed. Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! Anyone else need to get back on track after a little overindulging??


Just Dreaming…

If I could get my act together and muster up the energy, motivation, and persistence I used to have (a couple years ago when I was first losing weight), there are a  few things I’d be determined to do. Since I just don’t have the drive I used to, I make no promises to hold to these goals, but they’re things I want to work toward.

1. Cutting Out Sugar: We’ve used up most of our grocery budget for this month already, so although I do have every intention of revisiting my mini-detox I couldn’t finish a few weeks ago, it’ll have to wait until we have fresh funds to buy a fresh batch of fruits and veggies. While we finish eating whatever’s currently in thee pantry, I hope to steer clear of added sugar. ‘

2. 14 Days of Yoga: I just keep hearing and reading about how good yoga is for runners, controlling cravings, and managing stress. Work is getting busy, I’m running a lot more now that the weather is getting nicer, and it would probably help me get off sugar. I found a couple DVD’s at the library that each have 7 20-minute yoga workouts. Seems simple enough. Just gotta vacuum first! Ha!

3. Committing To A Schedule: I work odd hours, my husband works odd hours, things change all the time and there’s always something to do. We’ve been eating dinner as early as 5 and as late as 10. There’s been pizza (veggie at least! And only 2 pieces!) for breakfast at 10:30. In the past week I’ve woken up as early as 4:50am and as late as 10:27. I used to get up at 6 or 6:30 every morning, get my run in by 7:15, take a shower and eat breakfast by 8:30, and work 9-5. I’d make dinner, clean up around the house, relax a little bit with the husband and get to bed around 10:30-11. I need some normalcy again! I’m supposed to be able to set my own work schedule starting in June. I’m praying it helps.

4. 35 More Workouts: I’m still bummed that I never completed the initial challenge that led me to create this blog. I know that I need to do some cross training and some strength workouts during my marathon training but just wouldn’t know how to work it in.

Maybe a little bit of each. One day at a time…


I’m detoxing this week. I’ve been eating so much junk that I’m actually looking forward to eating veggies! I’m not a huge fan of the typical detox diet. You know, the kind where you only drink juice for a month, eat only fruit for a week, or take some sort of supplement to flush out your liver or colon or whatever organ seems to be clogged up with toxins? I just think that all sounds ridiculous. The human body is designed to detox itself as long as you feed it properly. (Obviously, there can be some medical conditions and circumstances in which this isn’t true, but it’s generally the case for most healthy bodies.) I just want to get back to the basics and set myself up for a season of healthy eating. So I’m not really detoxing as much as I’m cleansing. Cleansing my palette, my mind, and also my body.

The fridge and freezer are all stocked with fresh produce!

The fridge and freezer are all stocked with fresh produce!

Pantry cabinet with tons of canned beans and tomatoes, whole wheat pastas, nuts, and Larabars (in the green basket).

Pantry cabinet with tons of canned beans and tomatoes, whole wheat pastas, nuts, and Larabars (in the green basket).

If you follow this bog at all, you’re probably wondering why I’m starting a new challenge when I haven’t been able to finish any of the other plans I’ve made. Well, after a few failures (a la 35 workouts, and 10 in 10), I’ve done some thinking (and some blogging) about my issue with binge eating. I know there’s no way I’m ever going to be able to accomplish my fitness goals when I eat the way I do. There are other reasons too, that have all pointed me in the direction of this 7 day detox (I’m still going to call it that, because “cleanse” sounds kinda gross):

  • The binge eating thing.
  • My ADD has gotten really bad lately.
  • I haven’t been sleeping well and my energy levels have been low.
  • My acne-prone skin was looking really nice, but in the past 3 weeks has broken out a ton.
  • I’d rather spend my money on cute summer clothes than on snacks and candy.

One week seems manageable to me – even my husband said he’s going to try to do a modified detox with me! To keep things as reasonable as possible, I’ve broken it up into 2 phases:

Phase 1

  • 3 days
  • Unlimited fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, oils and seasonings
  • No meat, dairy, grains, or added sugar

Phase 2

  • 4 days
  • Unlimited fruits, veggies, beans, and seasonings
  • Meat, dairy, grains, nuts and oils in moderation (about 2 servings per day of each)
  • No added sugar

After the full 7 days is up, I hope to keep up with phase-2-type-eating but add in a little bit of sugar. I’ll probably allow myself 100 calories or so a day of chocolate, alcohol, or other sweets each day. I figure I can save up those calories if I choose too. Sometimes we go out for dessert, bake cookies, sneak candy into the movie theater, or get drinks on the weekends. I’m not going to cut all of that out of my life! I know I don’t need to enjoy those luxuries every evening.

I’m planning on posting every evening with what I eat each day if you’re at all interested in what meals look like without meat, dairy, grains, or sugar. Oh! And I’m also not going to be eating any heavily processed foods. I found some organic, no sugar added, no weird ingredient salad dressings and I plan to continue having Larabars as a snack. A lot of their flavors have no sugar added and are actually 5 ingredients or less. Another note I should make, I don’t normally drink anything but water, but if I was a coffee or tea drinker I’d cut out caffeine in phase 1, and then limit my caffeine in phase 2 to one cup a day of coffee or caffeinated tea. In case you’re wanting to try a similar plan and you are a caffeine drinker. (Please keep in mind that I’m no nutrition expert though. If you’re going to try this, check with your doctor or a nutritionist first!) 

Really, I think this will be a successful challenge. I hope you’ll stick around to see how it goes. I’m sure I’ll need support to stick it out.

Have you ever tried a detox diet? What was it and how did it turn out?


(Sorry for the crummy pictures. Phone was more convenient than the DSLR…)

The First.

I wish I could remember my first run. I mean, I kinda of remember it. I had been running on the treadmill at the gym, 2 or 3 miles a few days a week. I had only ever run maybe 6 miles outside in my entire life and they always felt miserable. For some reason though, this time I thought I’d go for a run. Someplace new and pretty. Thanks to Google Earth, I found a trail in Hobart that went past two lakes and through miles of forest and some prairies. The satellite pictures were enough to convince me. So on a chilly late winter Saturday (in February? maybe early March?) I ran slow and steady until I got sick of running. Then I turned around and ran all the way back to my car. I had run for over an hour! When I measured it out on Google Earth at home, it cam to 6 miles all together! That’s how I became a longer distance runner. It became a weekly event. Me, my music, and my trail.

Looking back now, I wish I would have written down the date of my first real run. I wish I knew now what I was thinking back then, how I felt before and after. I’d really like to know what my times were and even my body measurements. I know I’ve come a long way, but probably a lot farther than I can recall.

Today, my little sister started running! I want to do for her what I regret not doing for myself. I tracked our run on my Run Keeper app, and took a before picture. I let her borrow my Mizuno’s so she’d have really good comfortable running shoes. We did it right! I’m really impressed with her today. It was only 35º outside today and there was almost 2 inches of snow on the ground! We exchanged text complaints about the weather for a little bit and then decided to suck it up, stick to our plan, and just do it. We met at our mom’s house because she was watching my niece (my sister’s daughter) while my sister was at work. After she changed, we bundled up my niece in the jogging stroller and we were off!

Before my sister's first run!

Before my sister’s first run!

Yep, I posted that. You look great. Don’t you dare complain! And yes, you’re right. I do have the skinniest ankles ever. Compression wear is apparently more effective than I realized!

2014-04-15 23.23.48

Anyway, we just ran a couple loops around a block near my mom’s house. She’s sort of following the Couch to 5k plan. So we walked 90 seconds, ran 60 seconds 8 times. It came out to be 1.25 miles in 20 minutes. She even ran her last minute at my pace! I’m so proud of her and her commitment to taking back her health. Not even winter in April could stop her!

After she left, I decided to get a few more miles in since I was already outside and dressed and ready to run. I missed my run yesterday because I stayed up super late Sunday night writing. Oops! I decided to run another 3 miles so I’d have a total of 4.25 for the day. It was brutal.I’m really not good at running outside when it’s cold out. I started to have some asthma problems again and I couldn’t keep to my normal pace. I just felt like it was taking way too much effort. But at least I finished. My overall time was 27 minutes, 52 seconds with an average 9:18 minute per mile pace. Normally I’d do 3 miles (especially after 2 rest days…) around a 9 minute pace, but given the weather, I’ll take a 9:18. It’s loads better than a few years ago when I was running a 10:30 average! My splits at least were pretty dead on. Something I’m still really working on – starting slow, finishing strong.

2014-04-15 23.24.41


I’m excited for Thursday when we get to run again. At least the weather will be better! Anyone have some encouragement for my sister? Maybe the story of your first run?

A Running Start!

I started my new weight loss challenge (if that’s what you’d like to call it) on Sunday and so far, so great! The weather was absolutely gorgeous Sunday afternoon – 60’s and sunny! – so I decided to get a long run in. I went to the trail my running group meets at on Saturdays (the gazebo on Kennedy under the Ridge Rd. overpass in downtown Highland. We’ll be meeting there again soon if your local and would like to join us) because I knew exactly what a 6 mile out and back would look like. I’ve probably run more 6 mile out and backs on that stretch of trail than anywhere else. I was excited for something normal. I started off slow and was feeling really great until about halfway through mile 4. Luckily I ran into (pun intended) a friend on the trail and he kept me going until I was almost finished. He’s training for the Kentucky Derby Marathon and was doing his 20 miler! I finished my 6 at a pretty decent time – 57:49 overall with an average 9:38 pace. I’m really happy with that especially since it was my longest run off the treadmill since November! No, I’m not counting the Polar Dash. That was more like puddle jumping than running!

I went 83 calories over my allowance because we went to my husband’s grandparents’ house for lunch to celebrate his grandma’s birthday. Basically, I learned that I can’t have both cake and ice cream. It’s one or the other. I think there could be worse things. Yesterday (Monday) I did really well. I had a meeting, squeezed in a 3 mile run, worked 5 hours, made dinner, then relaxed with my mom in her hot tub. The run was awful. My knee was locking up and I didn’t want to injure it so I had to walk a lot. It took me 30 minutes, 41 seconds with an average pace of 10:15 per mile. Not my best easy run. On the brightside, I got way too hot in my long sleeve shirt and had to take it off. i was running in capri’s and a short sleeve shirt! I thought the day would never come!

My eating was right on target. I had Kashi cereal and Almond Milk for breakfast, a banana after my run, a hearty sandwich for lunch, some strawberries on my way home from work, buffalo chicken pizza and a salad for dinner, a small glass of wine in the hot tub, and a few chips and a piece of dark chocolate for an evening snack. I ate when I was hungry, got in a lot of veggies and fruits, and didn’t fuss too much about fancy recipes – just simply counted my calories.

Today I took a break from running for the sake of my knee. I still ate well. cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch like yesterday. I had half of a Larabar for a snack this afternoon, and a chicken tortellini alfredo thing I threw together for dinner. I actually still have almost 500 calories left for today!

All together this week, I’m at a 1,374 calorie deficit. I still have a couple more workouts to go, and 4 more days of well portioned eating left. It’s been a good start though!

10 in 10, obo.

After a I hit a little emotional rough patch the other night, I started to feel more ambitious. Why can’t I be strong, passionate, determined and also be affectionate, emotional, and patient? No matter how it comes out, it’s all still me! So on this uplifting note, despite all of the changes, and financial stresses in my life right now, I’m going to be working toward a new goal.

The whole point of me starting this blog was to capture a 7 week, 35 workout commitment to losing 12 lbs before our San Diego vacation (Recap 1, 2, 3, and 4.). I was doing really well the first 4 weeks and then totally crashed and burned. It was just too much! The calorie restraint was tough to stick to. I could have up to 1500 calories a day but often ate more like 1300. I was working out for over an hour at least 5 days a week, burning 300-800 calories per workout. I lost 8 lbs and gained about 2 back after vacation. I’m still happy with my size, but I know that it couldn’t hurt to try to lose the last bit of weight before I begin official marathon training in June. It’ll be better on my joints and I know I won’t be able to lose weight during training. So now’s the time!

This time around will be less intense. I’m thinking 10 pounds in 10 weeks. Losing 1 lb a week means a 3,500 calorie per week deficit. I’ll plan to burn some of it off -1,650 calories a week – working out. That’s factors out to be 330 calories per workout if I exercise 5 days a week, about 413 calories if I workout 4 days a week, or 550 calories if I work out 3 days a week. It overall seems a lot more manageable this way. I won’t need to take an hour long cycling class, then run 2.5 miles, and so 30 minutes of weights to burn enough calories. (What was I thinking??). I can run 3-5 miles or take an hour long class and lift weights. Sounds good to me!

According to some fancy math magic (that I’ll share soon), I can eat 2070 calories per day and maintain my current weight. To take off another 1,850 calories per week I’ll need to cut my calorie intake by 265 calories per day. I’ll be able to eat 1,805 calories a day and I will eat all of my calories this time! This may be tricky because of our budget limitations and my new way of preparing food, but I’m planning to use a new weight tracking app to track my calories. In the past, I’d make all of my meals for the week in one night and package up 300-350 calories portions to reheat for meals. I’ve never tried losing weight apart from that system, so this will be a new challenge (or maybe not!) for me.

In the end, I don’t care quite so much about the actual pounds I lose. As good as it sounds to finally get to my goal weight, I just really want to be in good health and at my best before I begin training for the marathon. Preventing injury, fatigue, all that good stuff. Stay tuned, things are about to get interesting!

Big News

Exactly 7 months from today, I’m going to be doing something huge. Something monumental. Something I would have never thought I’d do:

(No, I’m not having a baby.)

I’m going to run my first marathon!

After finishing my first half marathon in 2012.

After finishing my first half marathon in 2012.

My husband and I at the 2013 Chicago Half Marathon

My husband and I at the 2013 Chicago Half Marathon

Right now I’m feeling pretty excited about it. I’ve been running for 3 years now. I’ve completed 4 5k’s, a 10k, and 2 half marathons. I’ve been building up to this for a while now, and it’s high time I take the plunge! There are tons of details that I’ll eventually be sharing about here: my training plan and schedule, diet, progress, etc.. For now I just want to share why I decided to do this:

For Me: I love a challenge. I love feeling strong after a lifetime of feeling weak. Running makes me feel good. I want to prove to the doubting part of myself that I really can accomplish something worthwhile.

For Odette: I’ve been supporting this Rwandan girl for almost 8 years. She was only 3 years old when I first “met” her. Her, her family, and countless others in Rwanda and Africa were once without clean water. Walking 3 miles daily to collect dirty river water was normal. Because of people who ran half marathons and marathons to raise money to build wells, Odette no longer has to drink, bath, or wash in unclean water. In fact, no one in her town has to. There are still numerous communities in Africa who don’t have the luxury (if you could even call it that) of a local well for clean water. So many diseases could be prevented, so many more children could be in school instead of walking to a water source, and so many more people will have the chance to hear about Jesus when World Vision comes in to install these wells. I can do something about this!

I’m running for the charity, Team World Vision. My goal is to raise $1,310 for clean water in Africa. That’s $50 for each mile I’ll run (Marathon = 26.2 miles) and it’s also the amount it costs to provide clean water for one person for their lifetime. I know it’s early, but I’m asking that you think and pray about supporting me and Team World Vision by donating here. And if you can’t donate, please pray. Pray for me (my health, my motivation, my sanity), for Odette, for World Vision and the work they do in Africa, and those that will receive the gift of clean water.

Thanks in advance for your support. I know I’ll need it!