Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What have I done????

Oh, no.  What have I done??

Since starting my running program, I have been thinking about doing a half-marathon.  I am a big Tennessee football fan, so my dream race is in Knoxville, finishing on the fifty yard line of Neyland Stadium. But I have heard that is a really hilly course, so I need to find something a little easier.

Nashville plays hosts to two major races a year: the St. Jude's Country Music Marathon in April, and the Women's Half-Marathon in September.  I also looked at traveling to a race and thinking about doing the Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Race.  You run it at 10:00pm, which means it will be cooler than daytime races.  But I have also heard that Disney races are really crowded, but the thought of celebrating with wine was also very appealing. :)  But the cost of traveling and staying there was just a bit too much for me at this point.  Maybe in a few more years....

So on Monday, I crossed my fingers and toes as I pushed the "enter" button and finalized my registration for the September race. I have eight months to advance from running less than 2 miles (doing the run/walk method) to running 13.1 miles. Lord help me!

Monday, January 28, 2013

One barrier broken

Today I started week 4 of Couch to 5k. And again, I thought I was going....to.....die.....  Here is what is set out for all three days this week:
  • 5 minute warm up (I usually do walking set at 4.0 mph on the treadmill)
  • 3 minute run
  • 90 seconds walking
  • 5 minute run
  • 2.5 minutes walking
  • 3 minute running
  • 90 second walking
  • 5 minutes running
I clocked this workout with my Nike+, but did not start it until after I had finished the warm up.  With the warm up, my time is usually around a 12:20-12:45 mile.  Here is what I completed today, again, without the first 5 minutes of walking

Miles Total Time min/mile
1.88 21:23 11:21
Yeah!!!  Under a 12 minute mile!!  Super excited about this!   Now to break the 11 minute barrier!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wish List

We all know people who have bucket lists---things they want to do or accomplish before they "kick the bucket".  But I have a wish list, a running wish list.  Not a running bucket list, though I should probably think about one if I am *really* be serious about this whole running thing.  No,  I have a list of things I want to buy, but cannot justify the cost just yet.

My latest purchase was from Wear Blue, and it was a pair of their running tights.  I figured for $25 (on sale), and the money going to a non-profit, this was a purchase worth making.  It was also cut out the main reason for not running outside on beautiful winter days.  Now I have all the clothing pieces (tights, hat and gloves), so what excuse do I have left?  Nothing!  So while the tights were a good and justifiable purchase, I am having a hard time coming up with a REALLY good reason to purchase a Sparkle Skirt. The reason I want one?  Um, because it is just so darn cute!!! I have three that I drool over every time I go to their webpage, but with the cheapest one being $65 and going up to $85, I need to finish some sort of awesome goal to click the BUY button. Here are my top three favorites.
Betsy Ross
Woman of Steel
Camo Tech

My guess is that I will splurge when I get closer to running my first half-marathon, maybe buying one so wear on that momentous occasion. Then the hard choice begins.....which one do I buy?? So many choices!!!! (Another great thing about this company is that their products are made in the USA!)

The second item I really, really, REALLY want it an Apple iPod touch. I know, my husband and I have not officially joined the 21st Century, because we are probably two of the last people on earth who still do not have smart phones.  Even worse, we have pre-paid cell phone.  {GASP!}  And I know the itouch is pretty much an iphone without the phone capabilities, but we are just not really to have a huge monthly cell phone bill.  Maybe in a few more years when a promotion comes due. 

I run with my 2nd generation ipod, with the Nike+ receiver connected, and the sensor in my shoe.  However, yesterday when I tried to go running, everything flaked out on me, again.  I tried turning the sensor off and on, but then the ipod would not recognize the receiver. But Joel has the Nike+ system that is a bracelet, so I threw in the towel for running and let that system charge up.(I had really search for the bracelet, since it had fallen off and BEHIND his dresser.  See how much use it gets?)

While I have not yet run with the bracelet, and I know I can still run with my working ipod nano, I do like having the Nike+ in the nano.  Every now and then I can press the center button and a voice will come on telling me how far I have run and what my current pace it.  With the bracelet system, I will have to press a button on it, and try reading it while running.  That could prove to be dangerous.

So this saga brings me to my desire to have an iPod touch.  I can upgrade my ipod and keep more music on it, and even though it is only a wi-fi product, I can take pictures and post on Facebook in one simple step.  No taking pictures with a camera, taking the card out of the camera and uploading them onto the computer, logging into Facebook to upload the pictures.....so many steps!!  There are so many reasons why I want a itouch, but since I just replaced my nano a few years ago, again, the huge dollar amount for such a desire, as compared to a need, well I just cannot pull out the credit card yet for it.  Again, maybe once I get closer to running that half-marathon, or maybe as a prize for finishing it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Things I love: Weight of the Nation

There are a few things I have come across recently that I thought, "Oh my gosh, this is so great that I HAVE to share!" So I am starting a new series called "Things That I Love".  And here is the first installment into this series.

I have been watching a lot of documentaries with my Netflix subscription, and the last one I viewed was called "Weight of the Nation", shown on HBO. Only after I saw it did I find the videos on the Internet, so you can view them as well for free!

I found the entire series very informative, but the best part, the most educational part was part three.  America has an obesity problem, and more recently we have a huge problem (no pun intended) with childhood obesity.  Adults may be obese, but where does that begin? Do we wake up one day in our 20s and suddenly find ourselves fat and out of shape? Most likely not, the habits we practice in adulthood we probably learned in childhood.   One of the teens in the video stated, "you don't crave broccoli, and our generation has grown up craving a Big Mac"  Well said.  And how exactly do the children get their food and their eating habits? It is from their parents.  I heard one parent say one time that she knew she had a eating healthy problem when they drove into the fast food restaurant and the child knew which meal he wanted by the number. "I want a number three meal, Mommy."

My kids drink a lot of juice, and my husband and I do drink soda, so I know we are not perfect.  I have started to limit the kid's juice consumption, and for myself I have cut down on the soda, from 1 regular soda a day to one diet soda every 2-3 days.  However, whenever my husband takes the kids to the playground he will stop at the local Starbucks and get a Frappuccino.  There was a section in  Part Three of the series that talks about the amount of sugar in a variety of drinks. The class where these sugar contents are shown is at 45:28 in the video. Here is a breakdown of some of the drinks they talked about:

Amount of sugar in drinks
12 ounces of apple juice has 10 teaspoons of sugar
12 ounces of apple juice has 10 teaspoons of sugar
12 ounces of orange juice has 8 teaspoons of sugar
12 ounces of Coca-Cola has 10 teaspoons of sugar
20 ounces of Sprite and Coca-Cola each have 17 teaspoons of sugar
Starbucks Frappuccino® has 25 teaspoons of sugar (Note: in the video they did not state the size, but it looked like a large size. It also did not state the flavor.  When I tried to look up the sugar content on Starbucks' webpage, sugar content was not listed.)

Yeah, after viewing this, I hope to show it to my husband and hope he decides to cut down on all the sugary drinks he consumes.  I feel a little better informed about how to make good changes in my diet.  I know that I will look more closely at the food and drinks we consume in this household.  Special note: if you are looking at a nutrition label and see sugar listed, divide it by 4 and that is how many teaspoons of sugar are in the item.  Good to know, right?

Even if you only have 1 hour of free time, PLEASE watch at least part three of the series.  The entire series is awesome, and you will take a lot away from it.  But for the future of our children, the facts and information presented will enlighten you and hopefully help all of us become healthier.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Great Day

Yesterday afternoon, after my craptasitc workout session, I saw a photo on the Facebook page of The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants. Here it is for you to enjoy.

This saying really hit home for me. After the workout that I had, I admit it, I was in a horrible mood. Today, I got my sensor in my shoe reset, and that really made my day. It meant that my run was going to fully register, and that I would be able to complete my scheduled workout.YEAH!!  And you know what? It went really well.  I finished, so I count that as a successful workout.  It was the week 3 day 3 workout of C25K, same workout as the last two: 5 minute warm up and then 90 second run/90 second walk/3 minute run/3 minute walk. And I thought to myself, "Why does three minutes seem so long for running? I mean, will it ever stop? Will I ever get to walk again?" And then about 45 seconds into the walking I'm thinking, "Ok, I've recovered.  What do you mean I still have 2 minutes of walking? This is so long to walk!!  Will I ever get to run again??" HAHA!

The kids have off from school today and on Monday for the MLK holiday, so again my schedule to workout is compressed.  I think instead of moving to week 4 I will repeat week 3 instead.  I want to have a strong base for running 5 minutes at a stretch, which is what week 4 calls for, and I just don't think I am there yet. But I am not going to let this repeat get me down, I am voluntarily doing it, and I think it will make me a better runner.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Highs and Lows

Yesterday was a day of highs and lows for me.  Mostly highs, but one BIG low. 

It started off with the weekly weigh in for the competition the website Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans is doing.  It's 8 weeks long, so it seems doable that I should be able to lose the 7 pounds that I wanted to in 8 week.  Yeah, that's harder than it sounds.  Of course, the chocolate chip cookie dough that I ate the previous week might not help in this way, but it was oh so good!  But back to the weigh in. I stepped on the scale...and waited....and the number that flashed up was....148!  Say what? I GAINED a pound!!  This is so not right.  I know my eating habits are not the best, but I still hit the gym a few times, that should count for something right?

So that was my low.  And I know from previous weigh loss adventures that taking body measurements are a great way to see if you have lost weight.  I read recently that a pound of fat is about the size of a grapefruit, and a pound of muscle is about a size of an orange.  So even if you have lost weight, and gained muscle, you will still be the same weight but also smaller.  At the start of 2013 I took my measurements of my bust, waist and hips.  Here is how things are two weeks into the new year:

1/1/2013                                                        1/15/2013
Bust: 37"                                                       38"
Waist: 36 1/4"                                               34"
Hips: 39 1/8"                                                39"

Holy cow! I'll be happy to take those measurements! An inch gain in the bust most girls would not like, but hey, I'll take it.  And TWO INCH loss in my waist? This called for a skinny girl celebration!

At that moment, I was wearing my Old Navy jeans.  I love their jeans, and I purchased three new pairs of them in size 8 with my birthday money in October.  But in December I found a pair of jeans at the PX for $15, and purchased them in a size 6.  Motivation pants, that's what I called them.  So last night after seeing this 2" loss in my waist, I pulled these suckers out, and they fit...loosly! How exciting, even if I am not losing weigh my body is changing in a positive way, and I like that.

But then I had another low.  :(  My Nike+ started flaking out on me. I went to the gym to do Week 3, Day 2 of the C25K program, but all of the treadmills were full.  NOOOO!!!!! So I decided that my 5 minute warm up would be 15 minutes (or about 1 mile) on the elliptical machine.  That would not be too bad, so I picked a machine and started.  However, most of the lights on the machine were not working, so I am not real sure how long I was on there.  I think it was around 15 minutes, or about 1.25 miles.  That's my guess. After that, when three out of four of the treadmills were open, I jumped on one and started a modified version of my workout: 2 minute warm up (instead of five), and the same workout as Monday with 90 running/90 seconds walking/3 minutes running/3 minutes walking repeating twice.  But a few minutes into my workout a voice came on my headphones and said "Activity stopped.  Press the center button to restart".  Hmmm, ok, I did that.  And this happened several times.  Alright, not a big deal.  Until about 1 mile into my run I looked down on my ipod and noticed that only a quarter mile had been registered!!  WTH?! I probably did the worst thing anyone could do---I quit my workout.  After the whole light thing on the ellipitcal machine, and now this, well, I just gave up.

My attitude is better today.  I know that things happen, and I spoke with Nike Running to see what to do.  I'll try restarting my sensor in my shoes, and go from there.  But if I have to get a new ipod, this might be just the excuse I need to get that itouch I have been drooling over for several years.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week Three

So, it is back to normal, kind of. In our household, there may be no "normal", as the school week this week is only four days, which is really go to throw off my workout schedule. But I can at least try to keep things on track to begin with, right?

After getting everyone where they needed to be, I headed to the gym and the dreadmill. While Friday's temperature was awesome, close to 70-degrees that day, today was the total opposite. The car thermometer read 28-degrees. At noon. Yeah, no running outside for me.

I looked up the Couch to 5k plan online, and read what it was for week 3 day 1. It started out with a 5 minute walking warm up, followed by 90 second run/90 second/3 minute run (say what?!)/3 minute walk, repeating this two times. For a total of 23 minutes of running and walking.

The beginning, as always, was super easy.  I mean, how could walking be hard, right? So off I went at a 15:00 mile on the treadmill, but my Nike+ says I was walking at about 20 seconds faster. And then the running started.  Ninety seconds of running is not too bad, because last week I would run for 2 minutes at a time. So this was a piece of cake!  It's when I started on teh 3 minutes of running at a stretch that I thought "I am going to die!".  Not really, but I could tell this was something new.  I saw a sign the other day that really summed up the experience of running/exercising.

I ran, then walked, then ran again, then walked some more.  And guess what?  I survived!!! It was not so bad, and I even had energy to hop on the elliptical machine for an additional 15 minutes of cardio!

Here are the stats from my run:
1.7 miles
22:59 total time
12:50 per mile
198 total calories burned

The kids are off from school on Friday, so that means a M-W-Th run.  Here's hoping on improvement over the week. 

Friday, January 11, 2013


Man, I was doing so well!!! I was going to the gym, I was eating right, I was making dinner and not snacking all day.  And then BAM!! Life just got in the way.

This past week has been a week of changes, both good and bad.  The kids went back to school (YEAH!), but Joel started extensive training, leaving me as a "single" parent (BOO!). And when I finally did get to the gym on Wednesday, I kid you not, I was at minute 3 on the treadmill when my phone rang. "This is the school nurse, your youngest one just threw up, and we need you to come and get him." Sigh....seriously? 

So today, I still have work that needs to be done for one of the organizations that I volunteer with, but how could I pass up the opportunity to run? It is almost 70-degrees here in Kentucky today. In January!!! So I laced up my shoes, found my ipod and my phone (in case Mr. Puker decided to make another return visit). and away I went. WHEEEE!!!  Success for the day for completeing this task.

The kids have a four day week next week, so we'll see how the running and exercising go then. Here's hoping for a better week, and finally finding my grove as we get back to our regularly scheduled program called "Life".

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Week 1 of C25K

In the Army, life is all about acronyms.  Heck, we joke there are acronyms for acronyms!!  So writing the above acronym is easy for me, but do YOU know what it means??  C25K stands for Couch to 5k, the running program that I am starting, again, to get back into running.  Just like a baby has to learn to crawl before they can walk, runners need to start off the program slow, walking before running.  The entire  plan can be found here but here is what I have learned over this past week.

Running. Is. Hard.  Like REALLY hard.  I'm not sure if it helps that my husband is a runner, and I would love to go running with him one day.  But he ran in high school, and in college, and can run at a 7:30-8:00 mile.  My current average is around a 12:13 mile, but that is also with walking for the first 5 minutes of the 20 minute work. It's actually not a bad time, my walking time average is around 14:13, and when I get to running I can get up to as fast as a 10:40 pace.  So the average of my 12:13 per mile run is slowed down by the five minute warm up.

I know that warming up is important and I cannot let that slow me down or discourage me from keeping with this program as I view my overall times.  I hope to one day get to the point where I can do a few jumping jacks and maybe some knee highs in the house before going out and hitting the pavement, and pressing "Start" on the ipod and Nike+ that keeps my running log.  Here's hoping for a 10:30 average by the time this C25K program is finished, and maybe a run with that Roadrunner (aka-my husband).

Saturday, January 5, 2013

What I Have Learned: What I Can Stomach

Since listening to the cues that my stomach gives me, I have actually learned a lot about what I can and cannot eat. I am not sure if this is me getting order and my body cannot handle foods the same way it did when I was 16, or am I just getting wiser about how I can. I'll go with the second option on this one.

Anyway, here are a few things that my 34 year old body can no longer handle. First off, grease. I cannot stomach (no pun intended) this horrible, nasty stuff the way I previous could. Here is my example for you: on the way home from Christmas vacation, Joel and I drove through McDonald's for a breakfast value combo.  I picked up the Egg McMuffin Value combo, since that was the combo with the fewest calories.  Coffee: O zeroes; McMuffin: 300 calories; Hashbrown: 150 calories.  Not too bad.  As we drove along, I drank my coffee while eating the McMuffin, and then picked up the hashbrown.  I was kind of full, so I decided to take this with small bites.  YUCK!  EW!  GROSS!!!  It tasted like pure grease and fat.  So I wrapped it up to throw away when we got home. Yeah me for recognizing how horrible it tasted and stopped eat then!

Another thing I have found my stomach and taste buds are having a hard time handling is sugar. I am sure that I eat too much of it, but I don't necessarily add it to my diet. I try to sweeten things with Sweet N Low instead, or if I need that sugar taste I go for the Splenda. But recently I made a cookie and brownie mix thing and nearly had to spit the thing out of my mouth, it was horrible! My husband said it tasted ok, but again I just could not eat it. I guess that is a good thing, no more brownies in the house, so that will help me lose weight. But how sad...no more brownies? :(. Let's all have a moment of silence.

So on this journey, I am finding out that what you can eat is not only a mental thing, but sometimes also a physical one as well.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New year, this is how it begins


So, here are the cold, hard, ugly facts of where I stand in my new journey to health:

Yep, that number is right. :( 147 pounds.  Not my heaviest, but not my lightest either.  When I got pregnant with Miles (who turns 7 in 17 days), I was at 127.  I was eating healthy, and going to the gym five days a week.  I know that second part is a distant memory, at least until both kids are in school later this year, but still 20 pounds is a big difference!  That is the size of an average 1 year old! 

So, now that the picture of the scale is out there for the world to see, here are some other stats.  Because, why not? You already know how much I weight.

Bust: 37"
Waist:36 1/4"
Hips: 39 1/8"

Wow, that is an even uglier picture than what I orignally thought.  Ready for some more ugly?

Front view
Side view

See, bad bad bad.  This is what carbs and no workouts do to you! So here is hoping over the next 364 days I can make improvements to my lifestyle and health. And hopefully posting a picture on December 31st of me in a bikini!