Run The Great Wide Somewhere

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere and running is how I'm finding the courage to explore this wonderful world.

TotR: Running in Costume

Welcome to the Tuesdays on the Run linkup!  My co-hostesses-with-the-mostestes Patty from My No-Guilt Life, and Erika from MCM Mama Runs and I chose Running in Costume as today’s topic.  As per usual, feel free to linkup any running related post, the weekly topic is just a suggestion.

The opportunity to dress as a princess was a big motivator for me in tackling my first Princess Half Marathon a couple of years ago.  I originally was going to run as Merida, then switched to Mulan and then finally ended up running as Ariel.  Since then, I’ve run as Animal from the Muppets, a Club 33 China Plate, Cinderella in Rags, Aurora in her make-it-pink-make-it-blue mixed up dress and a Dr. Who themed outfit.  Planning and creating my racing costumes is a welcome distraction from those double digit training runs and it’s so much fun to “reveal” them right before the race.

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Another hidden benefit to running in costume is the extra support you get along the race course.  When I ran the Tink Half dressed as Fawn (Tink’s friend), I got a ton of positive cheers for Fawn, The Fall Fairy, Orange Fairy and the like.  Spectators love to have something to shout out and wearing a costume always gives them something.  Of course it’s not always correct, like the “Fraggle Rock” comments I got when I was wearing my Animal costume, but even those are funny.  As a runner, I love to be able to give a shout out to others on the course when they have a great costume.

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The final and best reason to run in costume is that sometimes you get to participate in a group costume.  It’s a great way for those of us who are less socially confident to “join in” a group.  You get to know your fellow runners a bit during the costume planning period and then there are the obligatory meetups for photo ops before and after the race.  And sometimes you can even have the fun of running with your costume mates during the race!

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Running in costumes can be expensive and can be less comfortable than just a singlet and compression shorts, but the fun, friendship and awesome race photos make it worth it to me.

Do you run in costumes or do you wish this trend would go away?  If you love them, check out my costume posts up in the “runDisney Basics” tab for more inspiration!

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Saturday Update: falling into place

Happy Saturday everyone!  Things are getting back to normal for me, although I have to work tomorrow and Labor Day because of our major computer system upgrade go live (wish us luck!).

Here’s how I did on my goals this week:

1. Eat well.  I did have my Shakeology for breakfast and figured out that it tastes ok if I add peanut butter.  I got some PB2 powdered peanut butter and it’s ok but the actual peanut butter makes it taste much better.  I ate well over the weekend but once I got to work and got sucked into the pre-go-live-upgrade insanity, my diet went to crap.  Sigh.  fakefood

2.  PiYo at least five days a week.  I did get this done!  My legs and buns are killing me though!  I’m sure that the soreness will eventually fade but I’m on my second rest day in a row in the attempt to get my legs fresh enough for a long run tomorrow.motivation42

3. Run three days a week.  Yes!  Also done!  Each run was only three miles long and was fairly tough but I managed to do them.  I need to do a long run tomorrow and I’m not sure yet how far to go.  I should be doing 8 miles according to Galloway’s program but I don’t think that would be smart.  I’ll probably shoot for 6 and then build from there.  I’ve still got two months, so I should be able to add a mile each week and still get where I need to go.

4. Stay off the scale.  Yep, no temptation on this one!

5. Work on the inside.  Hmm.  Not so much I don’t think.  I did put it in writing that I’m considering starting a side business for local government financial statements, so I guess that’s a baby step.  I’m trying to be more positive and kind but not being very successful with that either!

In other news, I found a 2.5 foot deep/10 foot across above ground pool at Walmart on clearance for $35, so we got that set up yesterday and the whole family had a great time swimming yesterday before the afternoon storms rolled in.  We should get at least two full  months use before it cools off enough to need to drain it for the winter.

I’ll stick with the same five goals for next week, with the caveat that my eating probably won’t be much better until mid-week when the go-live stress clears up.  I need to start foam rolling again, I suspect it will help with my leg soreness.  Because today is an unscheduled rest day, I’ll make sure to focus on stretching and foam rolling and maybe an epsom salt bath.

How did you do this week?  How do you handle work stress from a major project?

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Friday Five: Fall Preview

Today’s Friday Five with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar On The Run and Cynthia at You Signed Up For What is a preview of what is coming up this fall.  We had a record low – low temperature Thursday morning (it was actually below 70!) and it made me remember that it won’t be summer forever and that fall really will come to Florida again.  Fall is my favorite time of year, so I’m already getting excited about it!

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Here’s my Friday Five Fall preview:

1. Running: The rest of my summer and fall will be dedicated to training for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November.  Last year when I was training for this race I swore I’d never run it again because it requires double digit training runs while it’s still brutally hot here.  But then I ran it and fell in love with the race, the racers, the Osbourne Lights and the afterparty.  And so, here I am again, cursing the race schedule but determined to get the miles in so I can enjoy the race and the afterparty.

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2. PiYo:  I’ve gotten in about a week of PiYo workouts and I’m just loving them.  Well I hate them too because they are hard and they make me sore afterwards, but I love them because they are making me much more flexible and they make me sore afterwards so I can tell that the workouts are effective.  If you want to know more, e-mail me!  I’m hoping to do one workout a day, five days a week throughout the summer and fall for injury prevention, strength building and to finally work out the calf and hamstring tightness that has been plaguing me lately.

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3. Disney: We’re going to Disney the first weekend in October for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  I didn’t even look at the race calendar, but it coincidentally will be the same weekend as the Tower of Terror Ten Miler which I am NOT running.  I think I will vacillate between being relieved that I can enjoy the parks and party without worrying about a big race and being totally jealous of all the people who get to run the race and strut around with their awesome medals.  I suspect the level of heat and humidity that weekend will be the determining factor as to whether I’m more relieved or more jealous!  I am going to test out my Wine & Dine costume at the Halloween Party!

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4.  Travel:  We’re spending a full week at Disney in November and Erik and I are taking a kids-free trip to San Diego in October.  I have a conference in San Diego but we’re heading out there a few days early to explore the area.  One of the places we definitely want to visit is Joshua Tree.  I’m having trouble finding a really great place to stay nearby, apparently all of them are already booked that weekend, but I’m not giving up yet!  I’m really excited to get to do some hiking in the desert again.

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NPS Photo by Robb Hannawacker

5. Work: I’ve got several big projects this summer and fall, so work is going to continue to be crazy.  I’m counting on some down time in the spring to recover from the last year or so.  I’ve been contemplating starting a side business consulting for small governments who need help preparing their financial statements or who want to qualify for the GFOA certificate of achievement and need help with preparing compliant reports.  I have to make sure I have enough free time at home to do the work, but it is a skill set that I am pretty good at and it’s a special niche that requires a lot of technical knowledge.  It’s out of my comfort zone to go out and try to find clients, but I think I need to at least give it a try.

So that’s a preview of what is coming up for me this fall.  What do you have on your horizon?

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TotR: Cross Training

Welcome back to Tuesdays on the Run.  Every week my co-hosts Patty from My No-Guilt Life, and Erika from MCM Mama Runs and I pick a topic and invite you to link up with us.  Today’s topic is cross training.

There are some lucky souls who can run every day without getting injured.  I am not one of those gifted individuals.  I have discovered through trial and error that I cannot run on back to back days without my tendons getting all riled up and complaining.  Because I can’t run more than three times a week, I need to fill in those other days with workouts that help support my running efforts without straining my running muscles/tendons.

I still haven’t found a perfect cross training routine that helps me lose weight, strengthen my whole body, relieve stress, prevent injuries and isn’t totally boring.  I’ve liked almost everything I’ve tried and I think switching up the cross training is a good idea to keep things interesting.

Here’s a list of all the things I have tried for cross training in the last couple of years:

  • Walk Away the Pounds – I like the 4 mile express workout, it is an hour long and doesn’t require anything except for some open floor space, a dvd and a tv (or a laptop if you’re on the go).  The moves are also very basic (marching in place, side steps, knee lift, kicks and kickbacks) so there are no complicated dance moves which is great for uncoordinated people like me.
    • Speed – This workout starts at a moderate pace but increases to a fairly rapid marching pace within the first 20 minutes.  I think the fast pace has helped me get used to the feel of a faster footfall.  My recent running reading has emphasized that the way to get faster is to increase your steps per minute.  A common beginner mistake is to try to improve your speed by increasing your stride length instead which can lead to injuries.  A shorter stride, but faster steps lets you speed up much more efficiently.  This workout lets you get used to the feel of a faster step pattern.
    • Injury prevention – Running strengthens certain muscles, but there are a lot of leg, hip and core muscles that are not engaged by running.  Strengthening those stabilizing muscles with lateral movements and knee lifts, etc helps reduce the likelihood of injury from inefficient form or muscle imbalance.
  • The FIRM - I primarily use the Cardio Sculpt workout.  It is an hour long DVD that uses weights and a set of steps to combine strength training and cardio in intervals to keep your heart rate up while toning your muscles.
    • Injury prevention - There are a lot of lower body exercises in this workout, squats, stepping up on the step (ok they call it a fanny lifter, but I am not going to call it that because it is ridiculous) while holding a set of weights.  There is also a great exercise for your glutes which is important because runners can get a host of injuries from weak butt muscles.  Crazy but true.
  • Circuit Training – I am incredibly lucky that my workplace values fitness and health.  Part of our health insurance premiums pay for a small gym with showers and a locker room plus a full time trainer.  He offers circuit training sessions twice a week in the gym that are very popular.  He mixes it up so that you’re doing a different set of exercises each week, but basically you rotate between 10-12 exercises every two minutes.  Some examples are sprinting on the treadmill, burpees, squats with weights, jump rope, push ups and wood choppers.
    • Injury prevention – Again, same story, strengthen not only your running muscles, but your core and stabilizing muscles and you significantly reduce your risk of injury.  Especially with distance running, when you get tired your form deteriorates.  When your form deteriorates, your injury risk gets higher.  The stronger you are the longer you are able to run with good form, even when you’re tired.
  • Bike Riding– I haven’t actually done this in a while because I took my bike to the beach last summer for a week and it got all rusty and junky so it still works, but not very well anymore.  Before that, I did try to do a long bike ride at least a week.  I did stationary bike interval work for a couple of months to help with speed training but I just hate it!
    • Cardio – Bike riding lets you get your heart rate up for an extended period of time without all that pounding on your joints.
    • Speed – If you keep your cadence up in the 90-100 rpm range, it helps your legs get used to the sensation of a faster turnover and theoretically will help you run faster.
  • Heavy Weight Lifting – I did about two months of the workouts in the book The New Rules of Lifting for Women and really liked it. newrulesoflifting I could see new definition and just felt stronger.  I learned to do full pushups (no knees on the ground) which felt pretty awesome.  Lifting Eli was easier.  On the downside, I did not see any weight loss and the workouts started getting really long.  And I hate planks.  A lot.  I will probably start this up again at some point, maybe modified to keep the workouts at 30-45 minutes.
    • Injury Prevention – A strong core helps with running form and strengthening muscles and tendons reduces injury risk as well.
  • PiYo – I just started this so I don’t have a real review yet.  Based on my first couple of workouts it is going to be very challenging but very effective.  PiYo1 It’s a series of DVDs that combine pilates and yoga to build strength and flexibility.
    • Injury Prevention – Same story as before.  PiYo has a big focus on proper alignment and posture which should eventually help with running form.  Based on my sore everything, it also does a lot of strengthening.  Finally, it works on flexibility with almost every move.  I have tight hamstrings and calves and I’ve already seen a difference in my runs.  Before PiYo, I’d have to stop after about half a mile to stretch out my calves because they’d cramp up.  Since the very first workout I haven’t had any calf tightness.

I know it’s hard enough to squeeze the scheduled training runs in my already busy life but I know that finding the time to do some kind of strength training or other cross training at least twice a week will help keep me running.  It really doesn’t matter whether you do a workout video that’s a decade old,  hot new videos like PiYo or find something new to try on youtube, in your local library or at WalMart.  If you’re a gym member, sign up for a new class.  There are lots of options and most of them will work just fine so pick one and give it a try.

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Saturday Update: turning the corner

Three weeks ago today, I did my last run and was right on track for my Wine & Dine training.  The next day, Eli had to go into the hospital for three days and everything else in my life got shoved to the sidelines.  I was so physically and emotionally exhausted that running or working out was the last thing I wanted to do.  I got a cold then Eli got a cold and finally I got back out there today.

I was thinking about it while I was running (one of the reasons running is so good for me is that it gives me the space to think) and I figured out that I had to do so many things to and for Eli in the hospital that I didn’t want to do that I wore out my “just do it” energy.  While I have moments during runs or cross training that I really enjoy it, there are a lot more moments that I am forcing myself to push through discomfort and fatigue with the “suck it up buttercup” mantra.  I did so much of that over three days in the hospital with Eli (holding him while they tried to put the IV in for example) that I just didn’t have anything left to push myself personally or athletically.

So for the last three weeks, I’ve been reading romance and fantasy novels, watching TV, napping, snacking and snuggling up with Eli.  I learned a decade ago that if I don’t give myself the space and permission to recover from traumatic things that my body will force me to do it with illnesses and breakdowns.  So, while I am a little worried about being so behind in Wine & Dine training and also in losing a lot of strength, I know it was a necessary period of rest and recovery (more mental than physical) for me.

I did eat well Monday through Thursday this week.  Yesterday was a bad food choice day, probably because Eli had a fever the night before and hadn’t slept well all week.  I know when I’m very tired that I tend towards bad food choices.  I am back on track today though and one day of bad choices never hurt anyone (as long as it doesn’t turn into a bad month!).

Today I did my first PiYo workout.  I’m a little scared because it was the introductory one just to teach the right alignment and form and it was still pretty tough.  I suspect these are going to kick my butt!  And then, even though it was 10am, in Florida, in late August, I went out and ran three stinking miles.  It was hot, it was brutal and I had to stop half way through to soak my head with the hose, but I finished it.

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I’m really glad to be back on track with things.  Eli is doing well and every day makes it less likely he’ll have a recurrence (he had a rare complication of post polepectomy bleeding) so we’re gradually relaxing on the constant vigilance.   Life is gradually getting back to normal and I’m feeling less burnt out and exhausted.

My goals for the next week are:

1. Eat well.  Shakeology for breakfast (so far I do NOT like the vanilla and chocolate just by themselves, but the chocolate + peanut butter + vanilla almond milk is pretty good), Luna protein bars and/or fruit for snacks and real food for meals (NO CRAP!).  Try to moderate my portion size but find the right balance so I don’t feel deprived.

2.  PiYo at least five days a week.  Yeah, this is going to be hard to fit into my schedule between work and kids, but I know I can do it.

3. Run three days a week.  If it has to be on a treadmill, then it has to be but I have to stop using the unspeakably horrid Florida summer weather as an excuse to skip my runs.  Wine & Dine is just over two months away and I am way behind on my training!

4. Stay off the scale.  I have done well with eating and exercising before and have given up because I got frustrated that the scale didn’t move.  I think I want to wait until October to weigh myself.  That way I can focus more on how I feel from eating well and working out than my mass in relation to gravity.

5. Work on the inside.  Every week I need to do one thing that scares me or one thing that inspires me or one thing that makes my heart sing.  I want to end each week just a little stronger, happier or more confident than I started it.

start ovrThanks for sticking with me through the tough times!  I feel like I’m starting over again, but it’s better than the alternative!

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TotR: Fueling on the Run

For our Tuesdays on the Run topic, we’re discussing running fuel options and strategies.  My co-hosts Patty from My No-Guilt Life, and Erika from MCM Mama Runs have some great posts too, so make sure to check them out and find a few new ideas to keep you going on those long runs.  I’ve refreshed an old post on this subject.

When I first started running 15 years ago, the closest thing to running fuel used to keep your energy up during a long run was Gatorade.  Maybe there were some gels or something available, but because the internet was new (can you imagine…how did people obsess about things back then?) and I was young and only a casual runner, I didn’t know about them.  In fact, the first half marathon I ran (walked, cried), only had one Gatorade stop.

Fast forward 15 years and the options for fueling on the run are just about limitless.  The general idea is that your muscles hold enough glycogen (the easiest energy source for your muscles) to last for about 45-60-90 minutes (depending on what you read) of exercise.  The theory is that one of the reasons runners “hit the wall” and suddenly feel out of energy and like they can’t lift their pinkie fingers, much less these 150 pound weights that used to be their feet, is that they have run out of glycogen.  Your body can be trained to use glycogen more sparingly (during your training runs).  You can also delay when you run out of glycogen by replenishing some of it on the run.

The first option is to use real food.  A bagel or banana or snickers bar or peanut butter crackers or just a sandwich will all do the trick if you like them and your stomach can handle them and you have somewhere to carry them.  I love the idea, but my stomach rebels at the thought of solid food during a run.  Not to mention the mess solid food would make in my pockets during the run.  But I do know of some runners who carry sandwiches in their pockets!

Next up is the grandaddy of all running fuel.  Gels.  Now, I need to admit here that I have never even once been able to bring myself to try one of these.  It just sounds gross.  Now, if they were just little packets of butter cream frosting I could get on board with it, but if I’m going to eat a bunch of concentrated carbs and calories it had better taste great.

The first fuel I tried when my long runs got past six miles (after one terrible training run where I somehow managed to hit the wall at five miles) was Sports Beans.  The kind I tried were made by JellyBelly.  I do like jelly beans (um, I’m not sure anyone is out there who does not like jelly beans) so I these seemed much more approachable than the strangely textured gels.  I bought a couple of flavors (they also come with and without caffeine, so make sure you are aware of which kind you’re getting if you don’t want any surprises) and tucked them in my pocket for my next run.  The first time I tried them, I HATED them.  I was using the orange flavor, which is my favorite jelly bean flavor.  I don’t know if it was a bad pack or if I was having a bad day, but they tasted awful.  Way too salty and weird.  And I needed a TON of water to wash even two beans down.

Well, since I’d already bought a few more packs, I tried the fruit punch flavor on the next run.  Somehow these were much better.  I may have just been used to the slightly salty taste or maybe I was just having a better day.  I still needed to time my jelly bean fuel intake with water breaks, because I couldn’t get them down without a swig of water but they tasted a lot better than the orange ones.  It was kind of a reward to keep me pushing through the miles.

I stuck with the beans for a few months and then I found Honey Stinger.  They are organic and all natural, which appealed to me.  They are made using tapioca syrup and honey which are easily digestible carbohydrates.  They taste great (I love orange blossom the best) and best of all, the chews are so soft and moist that I can take them without water.

These have been my one-and-only for running fuel ever since I found them.  On a long run (over six miles for me) I take one chew each mile (unless it’s a race or a hard run for some reason, then I take more).  One pack is sufficient for me for up to a 15k and I use about 1 1/2 packs for a half marathon.  So far, no upset stomach, even when I take them with Gatorade (which is a no-no for some of the gels).

I got the first couple packs at a running store, but have found the best price on a little box of them at vitacost.com.  If you want to check it out, you can use my referral link, which will give both of us a $10 credit towards purchase, or feel free to just go straight there without referral at vitacost.com.

Like most things in life, I’ve found that the perfect running fuel is different for every runner.  Some people prefer nothing at all and each brand and type has its own die-hard fans.  The best advice I can give is to try out a few things on your training runs LONG before your race to figure out what works for you.  It’s much better to have a miserable training run because a new fuel didn’t sit well than to have your hard-earned race day ruined.

What is your go-to running fuel?  Have you tried any that you hated?  Do you use them for every run or just over a certain distance?

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Disney Days: Tomorrowland Speedway

One of our go-to rides at Walt Disney World is the Tomorrowland Speedway.  It’s loud, it’s noisy and in the summer it’s really hot but there is not much more exciting for the under twelve set than driving your own race car.  It’s the first thing Eli wants to do every time we go.

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I have memories of riding the race cars myself as a kid and how grown up I felt the first time I was tall enough to ride one alone!  The height requirement is 32 inches to drive with someone over 54 inches in the car or they must be 54 inches to drive alone (whew, I barely made it!).  At three, Eli’s tall enough to drive with one of us.

The ride now has FP+ and it is usually available even on the day of your visit.  It’s handicapped accessible as long as you can transfer from the wheelchair or ECV into the car.  The cars are pretty low to the ground, so if you have knee or hip problems, it could be hard to get up and down.

The cast members direct you to a loading zone that’s numbered.  There are no gates, so it’s a good idea to keep a hold of little ones (kind of like in a parking lot) while you load and unload so they don’t stumble or wander in front of a car. 

When you finish your ride and return to the loading zone, the cast member will tell you which numbered zone to return the car to so you can exit and the next guest can load.

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The cars fit two people easily and have one steering wheel.  There is one seat belt that fastens across both passengers.  There is a gas pedal in the center, so it can be operated by either person in the car.

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With little ones, it’s best to let them do the steering (if they want to) and let the adult operate the gas pedal.  You push down to go and let it up to brake.  There is a guide rail track under the car, so while it can get kind of jerky if you have a crazy kid like me who likes to slam the car back and forth, there’s no risk of hitting other cars on each side.

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The only rules are to leave a car’s distance between the your car and the one in front of you, no bumping each other and stay seated in your car.  You wind around the track and get a couple of great views of Space Mountain along the way.  The cars are gasoline powered, which is why they are loud and stinky but really it’s a lot of fun.

This is a great chance for little ones to have a low-intensity ride that’s a lot of fun.  It’s also great for kids who aren’t really thrilled with dark rides (Eli’s getting over it but he’s still a bit skittish about rides that have any dark parts).  There are always those who would like to see it replaced with a quieter, less fume-filled ride (like the Cars ride at Disneyland) but I love the nostalgia of it and it is still a great attraction!

Have you ever ridden it?  Would you like to see it replaced or do you want it to stay the same?

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Reasons Change

Back in 2008 when I started this weight loss journey, I wrote down a series of reasons I wanted to lose weight on a notecard.  I wanted to write them down and carry them around so that I’d have something to refer to when I was tempted to give up and get off track.

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I’m thinking that I need to do it again, but I know that I need to update it because some of those reasons have changed.  And I need to celebrate the Non Scale Victory (NSV) of all those reasons to change that I’ve accomplished!  And while being 50 pounds overweight is so much less painful than being 100 pounds overweight was, there are still a lot of reasons I want to get to my goal weight and I’d like to remind myself of those.

Here are my 2008 reasons and whether I’ve accomplished them or not: Before2008

  • To be healthy and see my kids and eventual grandkids grow up – so far so good, but I still have room to improve.
  • To be able to get on an airplane without worrying about needing a seatbelt extender – I never actually did have to use one, but it was close.  Now I don’t even think about it.
  • To be able to ride all rollercoasters and rides without worrying if I’ll fit – I never actually didn’t fit, but I always worried.  Now I don’t even think about it, I know I’ll fit on any ride.
  • To be able to buy clothes in non plus sizes – Yes!  I am now a comfortable size 12 and can even wear mediums in some brands.
  • To pick my clothes based on my style, not just to hide my shape – I’m maybe 75% of the way there on this one.
  • To be fit enough to run and hike and do adventures without worrying about dropping dead – Yes!  Five half marathons later, I feel like I can do anything if I train properly.
  • To be able to get and stay pregnant – Yes!  Eli is the result of that.  And we’re DONE, so this one can come off the list!  IMG_3751

I’m really proud that so many of these don’t apply anymore but it’s time to get some new ones.  Here are my 2014 reasons to get the rest of the way to my goal:  2013

  • To be healthy and see my kids and eventual grandkids grow up.
  • To pick my clothes based on my style, not just to hide my shape.
  • To be as fast as I can be without being held back by my weight.
  • To be able to run a full marathon without getting injured.
  • To know that I’ve done everything I can do to lower my blood pressure and keep my heart healthy.
  • To be strong.
  • To have energy and feel good.
  • To be a good example for my kids.
  • To be fit enough to hike Rim-to-Rim at the Grand Canyon.

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Hmm.  What am I missing?  What are your reasons to get to or stay at your goal weight and fitness level?

 

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Saturday Update: This Fall We Get Fit!

I’m gradually digging myself out of my summer funk and the intense stress of having Eli in the hospital is starting to fade.  It’s time to get serious about my diet and exercise plan if I want to reach my speed goals at the WDW 10k in January.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still super proud of myself for losing over fifty pounds so far.  And I know plateaus happen.  But I’ve been stuck in the same ten pound range for getting close to two years and I know I can do better.  I still have between 30 and 50 pounds to get to my goal weight, so I still have a lot of work to do.

I’ve tried the diet bet three times and failed all three times.  I’ve joined Weight Watchers several times and the point tracking just wasn’t working.  I tried low carb, healthy carb, and my own patented “don’t eat crap” diet.  I tried moderation in diet.  Throughout this I’ve exercised 3-5 days a week at a high intensity.  I added strength training which helped me maintain but didn’t make the pounds drop away.

So, because I’m a scientist at heart, it’s time to try something new.  After thinking about it for a full year, I decided to join Beachbody and to give their Shakeology and PiYo programs a try.  PiYo is a set of DVDs that combine Pilates and Yoga to help stretch and strengthen.  I’m going to continue to run 3x a week and add back in my speedwork as soon as it cools off so this seemed like a nice way to balance out my workouts.

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Shakeology is a powdered supplement that you can add to water, milk and fruits or peanut butter to make a smoothie for a recovery drink or meal replacement.  I had been enjoying having a protein powder/peanut butter/almond milk smoothie for a while but have gotten slack about it.  I’ve heard tons of things both good and bad about Shakeology so I figured I’d give it a one month try.  I got half chocolate packets and half vanilla packets so I can report back on which I like better.

And, because if you sign up as a coach you get a bigger discount, I went ahead and did that too.  It feels strange calling myself a coach since I’ve never done one of their workouts.  I am hoping to get a group of people who also are ready to give this program a try together for an accountability and support group.  I set up a “secret” facebook group called This Fall We Get Fit for whoever wants to join me on a three month challenge.  I’ll be doing PiYo and Shakeology but anyone who wants to commit to a three month accountability and support program using any of the Beachbody products is welcome to join in.

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If you’ve been thinking about any of the Beachbody stuff and you want to learn more or join up, here’s the link to my coach page.  Some of the other workout programs they have are more intense cardio and strength like Insanity and P90X and some are gentle like Tai Cheng.  There are a lot to choose from and I’d be happy to research and discuss if you want to learn more.

I can’t promise it will work for me, much less for you, but if you’re a regular reader, you know that I always say: you only fail if you quit trying!  So, I’m going to pick myself up, have a little faith in myself and try something new and trust that three months from now, I’ll be closer to my weight and fitness goals than I am today.  If you want to join an accountability group with me but don’t want to do Beachbody, I’ve also started a general Facebook group called Adventures Through Fitness.  I’d love to have some company on this journey!

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Friday Five: 5 Ways to Reclaim Your Mojo

Today’s Friday Five with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar On The Run and Cynthia at You Signed Up For What is a free week so we get to choose our own topic.  Sometimes that makes it harder to write posts but sometimes it’s nice to just sit and get inspired.  It only took about 15 seconds for me to decide that I wanted to write about five ways to reclaim your mojo.

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It’s no secret that I can’t stand the heat, humidity, bugs and brutal sun of the summer.  The only good things about the summer are the afternoon thunderstorms and water activities (not simultaneously of course).  And this has been a bad summer.  So not only am I not working out, I honestly don’t FEEL like running, working out or eating well.

I’ve got the equivalent of a two-year old in my head stomping her feet and insisting that she doesn’t want to do it and no one is going to make her do it.  Fortunately I also have another, more grown up attitude that recognizes that this petulant behavior is only going to hurt myself and isn’t going to get me to my goals.  So, I am aware that I need to change my behavior AND my attitude, but how to go about it?

Here are the five things that I’m putting in place on Monday (yes, I know I should do it today but I’m giving my inner toddler the weekend to get the tantrum out of my system) so I can get my fitness mojo back:

  1. Try something new.  I’m always more excited when I get to try something shiny and new.  The first time I did speed work it was like running all over again.  The first time I did Weight Watchers it was fun and easy.  So, after reading about it and thinking about it for over a year, I’ve decided to give part of the Beach Body program a try.  I bought a starter kit with Shakeology and the PiYo program which is like Pilates and Yoga and Core stuff to help balance out my running.  I know Beach Body is one of those things that people either hate or love but I figure it can’t hurt to give it a try.  I’m actually feeling excited to see what it’s all about (if you hate it, PLEASE don’t mess with my mojo with negative comments just yet!).  CIndypink
  2. Get some new gear.  There’s nothing like a new running skirt/shirt/shoes/watch to make me look forward to getting out there and running.  I have some new shirts from InkNBurn to try and a cool new runDisney shirt I got nice and cheap in an online garage sale that just came in the mail.  And I’ve got a custom sparkleskirt that I’m getting ready to get made for me soon.  Cinderella-Slipper
  3. Plan a trip.  I know some people hate trip planning, but I just thrive on the research and details.  I’ve got a bunch of trips that I am way behind on the details with.  We are going to do a short trip in October to Disney for the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, then a full week at Disney Thanksgiving Week plus a week in San Diego in October.  Time to get my planning hat on!  Cinderella's_Carriage_Close
  4. Focus on my goals.  I want to lose weight for lots of reasons including my health, my appearance and my athletic performance.  I need to visualize myself succeeding and to put more value on that future feeling of success than on the present desire to relax on the couch with a bag of chips.  I think it’s time to write out my reasons for losing weight again (although happily they’ve changed a lot since the last time I did that when I was 50 pounds heavier than I am today). fairy-godmother
  5. Get some partners in crime success.  I tend to do my training alone and am pretty consistent about starting diet plans alone as well.  I tell the whole world about it but I don’t tend to have a specific accountability partner.  This time around, I think I’d like to find a few people to do regular check-ins and updates so I have more incentive (my ego!) and support to stick with it.  I’m still not exactly sure who and how, but I’m going to think on it some this weekend. Cindybirds

So, that’s how I’m planning on getting excited about fitness, running and weight loss again.  I know that with the smell of crushed acorns and the first cool, crisp breeze of the fall, my energy will return and running will be fun.  Since I live in Florida, that day is still several months away and I hope that this plan will give me a jump start.

How do you get your mojo back when you’re just not feeling it?

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