Monday, December 31, 2012

Prep & Day 1-ish

So I spent today, the last day of 2012, making this:

easier to navigate. I am dragging my husband into this lifestyle with me, so I figure the least I can do is to make it as quick and easy as possible for him to follow when he goes back to work on Wednesday. 

I made this dry erase board (it's not pretty but it serves it's purpose) so that he knows what to grab from the fridge for his snacks and lunch at work. 

Then I prepackaged carrots and snacks. The bags on the right contain AkMak crackers and a hard boiled egg or a Wasa Rye crisp bread and a string cheese. 

I also replaced our Christmas bowl of candy with this bowl full of portioned sunflower seeds, raw cashews and raw almonds.  This should also make thing easier - grabbing proportioned instead of a handful of nuts could prevent us from overeating!

We did pretty well today and followed our eating plan to the letter! 

Breakfast: Turkey & Egg turnover (couldn't find uncured ham without added sugar!) & 2 clementines. 

AM snack: 15 raw cashews & 1/2 cup strawberries

Lunch: WW wrap with 3oz turkey, 1oz sharp white cheddar cheese, 1/4 avocado and a handful of lettuce. Apple.

PM Snack: Vanilla Fruit smoothie (1 c milk, 1/4c protein powder, 1/2c blueberries, 1 sm banana) - just a note. I LOATHE smoothies but this, this was edible! I almost had a moment where I almost liked it!

Dinner we had planned to have heavy apps (read: UNCLEAN) for dinner to celebrate New Year's Eve. We did. I ate some cookies and drank moscato. But tomorrow AM we're back to it. And hopefully I will be hitting the gym to start out 2013 on the right foot!! 

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013: Clean Eating

After the beach, hubby and I agree we've just kind of given up. We've been eating and drinking whatever we please, not focusing on the goals we had for ourselves and letting ourselves get to a bad place. 

It all ends tomorrow! 

After doing a lot of research and having a few friends who have moved to a clean eating lifestyle, we've decided to give it a try.  I can't buy into just throwing away everything in my current pantry, so we will be working through that (mostly pasta, white flour, etc) by mixing it into the "new" stuff. 

I spent the better part of 2 days pouring over Clean Eating MagazineHe and She Eat CleanThe Gracious Pantry and random Pinterest sites. I found meal plans, different "rules" at every site and all kinds of different recipes. 

Saturday my family and I set out to shop for our new clean lifestyle. We started at Trader Joe's. 

I picked up: 

whole wheat pizza dough (for the ham & cheese turnovers)
whole wheat pasta (fusilli and penne) 
chicken sausages 
California Protein bread
whole wheat mini pitas
Israeli cous cous
fennel bulbs
raw cashews
raw sunflower seeds
frozen mixed berries x 3
frozen tuna steaks
brown jasmine rice
Ak Mak crackers
17 bean soup mix 

By the end of my TJ's trip, I was COMPLETELY overwhelmed. Reading labels, trying to remember all the "rules" I read.... 

Then we headed straight to Whole Foods. There I picked up: 

Kefir (although I found it MUCH cheaper and the same brand at Aldi today!)
Sprouted grain hamburger buns
English muffins
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Wasa Rye Crisps

After those two stores, I was WIPED OUT! I was frazzled and overwhelmed at the thought of what I was supposed to be doing.  

I came home, regrouped and updated my grocery list. Today, with fresh eyes, I headed to Aldi to find the remainder of my list. 

We picked up: 
frozen corn
turkey breasts (we will be smoking these tomorrow and using it instead of lunchmeat from now on)
cottage cheese
parmesan cheese
ground chicken breasts
sirloin steaks
red onions
stoplight peppers

(highlighted foods I would love to ease out of our diets in the next few months!)

SO after spending a small fortune on groceries, I sat down to meal plan the next two weeks.  The biggest challenge for me is going to be, hands down, eating 5-6 times a day. I am the queen of waking up, having some coffee, heading to the gym for my 2hrs of workout, having lunch, snacking through the day and then everything goes downhill from there! 

I spent close to 2 hours today looking at meal plans and plotting out every bite I will take for the next two weeks.  I'm sure I will make some tweaks here and there, but this is my blueprint! 

This will definitely be an adventure for us. I am not FORCING this on my kids, although to a degree they will follow it because I cook. :-)  My hubby, though, is on board. Both of us are sick of feeling "gross" and ready to be the healthiest parents we can be!

I will be quitting processed sugar, but allowing fruit and allowing natural sugars as well (honey, molasses) in moderation. I am trying to get to a place where we are eating 5 or less ingredients, but that will come. 

I met with the circuit class teacher that I LOVE a few weeks ago and worked out with her. I wanted her to evaluate what I do and what I can improve. Her suggestions to me were to do cardio for 30-60 minutes at least 5 days/week and to do 5 min of ab work every other day. I haven't started to implement that (we are SO out of routine with my husband home on vacation and my daughter not in school!) but it's my plan starting Thursday!

So here's my (anticipated) plan: 

Mon: Arm/back lifting routine, cardio plus class (30m), circuit class (45m)
Tues: Ab routine, Yoga (1hr,15m)
Wed: Leg lifting routine, cardio plus class (30m), circuit class (45m)
Thurs; Spin class (55m)
Fri: Off
Sat: Long run
Sun: Off

I registered for my third half marathon this week.  I will be running the Go! St. Louis half marathon the first weekend in April. Excited to be training again!! I am going to do it right this time - getting in my long runs come hell or high water!!  I am hoping that my clean eating will aid in my running and I will get faster. My goal time is between 2hr and 2hr15min. 

I will post soon with my updated stats. I can tell you I'm up - WAY up - in my weight. :( All the working out in the world couldn't counteract the food and booze I've ingested in the last three months. I've fully earned my new measurements, but don't worry about me - it's coming off and it'll come off FAST, I will see to it!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Starting over.

Starting the first week in January, I'll be back. I'm in a disappointing place right now, but I have big plans for myself & my family!

The holidays have been, in a word, indulgent. I have indulged in time with my family, activities we don't do all the time, and mostly, food & drink.

But there is no sense in holding on to the choices that have been made. I am going to head forward on a new journey! I am hoping to have a few friends guest post & share their amazing success stories. I am hoping you'll join me for this new chapter!!

I will start January with a new stats & game plan post. I still haven't worked the specifics out yet but I'll have it by then :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012


My friends, I have been MIA for awhile. I apologize for that. I seem to have extremely "on" weeks followed by extremely "off" weeks. I have not only fallen off the wagon but I've rolled down the cliff too.

I quit quitting sugar but I know I need to get back there. I just FEEL icky! My stomach is squishy, my joints hurt, my tummy is icky.

I have a new focus, though. A few weeks ago, I had my body fat percentage "read" (assessed?) It turned out to be higher than I'd hoped, but less than I expected. I am pleased that my body fat reading was 26.4%. I think I would be far more satisfied with that number if I'd had this done a year & a half ago when I got serious about losing weight. However, I will definitely take this number happily.

My next fitness goal is to drop my body fat percentage. I have been formulating some weight routines so that I can add to my workouts. I do minimal weight training in my circuit class but I know that's not enough.

My plan looks like this as of today (but if you've been around awhile you know those can change ;))

MONDAY: Cardio plus class + circuit class + upper body lifting plan
TUESDAY: Yoga + ab routine
WEDNESDAY: Cardio plus class + circuit class + lower body lifting plan
THURSDAY: Pilates + running (hopefully 2-5 miles)
SATURDAY or SUNDAY: run/spin (some cardio)

I plan to have my body fat levels reassessed every 4-6 weeks. My first goal will be just before Christmas - I would like to see a 2% reduction.

Monday will start another detox attempt. I am also moving towards a more "clean" lifestyle although I won't force it on my family. Of course their eating habits will change a bit based on how I am cooking but I won't restrict them in any way. I would love to get to a place where we are eating mostly protein/plants but we shall see. Any advice on how to get there? Any great tips for cutting the processed foods from our life?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Post race depression

Well friends, my races are over & I've entered post race funk. I don't know when or how far my next race will be (even though everyone keeps asking!!). This week I fell off the wagon - hard. I'm drinking coffee again (which was the plan) but also have allowed more sugary treats than I had anticipated.

Monday I will start focusing on weight loss again instead of training for something. I'm looking forward to spinning & Pilates again. Most of all, I'm looking forward to seeing that magic goal number on the scale!

I'm going to also attempt something radical for me - BALANCE. I'm very much an all-or-nothing personality. It's zero tolerance on sugar or it's everything. I'm at the gym daily or I don't go at all. I'm going to try exceptionally hard to achieve a more balanced lifestyle, to recognize that one slip isn't the end & that I can skip a day here and there!

I'm spending the next few days cleaning, organizing and finishing up some crafty things, both personal (my little Halloween pirates are still costume-less!!) and professional (some cool new things are coming to Spaghetti on the Wall soon!). But Monday morning I can't wait to get back to my circuit class and give it my ALL!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon - St Louis

Well, it's over! I celebrated my 31st birthday today with a fabulous 13.1 mile run! 

Since I knew I had to get up at 5:15, I set everything up last night. I set out my clothing, my hydration and nutrition, shoes, etc.   

This morning, all I had to do was get dressed, get everything in the car and apply my KT tape! I ate a banana, drank my 5hr energy and we were on our way! 

I won't lie, I came out of the gate hard.  My first two miles I ran in a 9:48 min/mile.  It was comfortable, I wasn't pushing myself too hard.  I got really excited because I was close to the 2:30 pace runners.  Then, suddenly, I PASSED the 2:30 pace runners! 

Around mile 3.75/4, I dropped a water bottle. Someone caught up to me and told me, but I was doing SUCH a good pace, I decided not to go back for it. 

It wasn't until mile 8 that I started to feel the burn out from starting fast. My feet were hurting - that was it! I felt my 2:15 goal slipping away. I kept telling myself "Only 5 more miles - YOU HAVE THIS" and trying to take myself out of the equation. I started looking at the architecture of downtown St. Louis, that I ordinarily wouldn't see. I was looking at all the fall leaves. I was looking at the signs that people posted (Shout out to the awesome truth-teller around mile 8 with the sign saying "you are NOT almost done!") (and the kid with the sign "Those are NOT tears of pain, you are just sweating out of your eyeballs!!").  I spent a few miles with my headphones out (ignoring the voice of my pace and total time, since it was off by a good .3 of a mile!) just taking in all the sights and sounds around me. 

In the end, friends - I am proud of my finish.  Here are the facts, my OFFICIAL time: 

As you can see, I missed my DREAM goal time of 2:15, but I wasn't far off at 2:24. I'm proud of my placing withing my gender and my division, even "overall" wasn't a bad place! I shaved almost a full 30 minutes off of my time from the Princess race in February and even 2 minutes off of my 10K time from last WEEKEND!  

All in all? Happy freaking birthday to me!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Less than 48 hours....

Until the Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon here in St. Louis!!

Not gonna lie, I'm a bit freaked out. The most I've run this training round is 8 miles, thanks to my dumb IT band and this silly cold that I can't seem to shake. 6.2 last weekend was ok, but there were moments that I wanted to quit. And this weekend, I have to go TWICE that distance?

I talked to a LOT of people (trainers, runners, atheletes, etc) about my IT band injury. One of them said "If you've run a half before, you're 80% of the way there. It's mostly mental - if you THINK you can do it and you KNOW you HAVE done it, you're almost there." I'm trying to keep that in mind.

I HAVE done this. 
I CAN finish. 
It WILL NOT kill me. 

I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to PR (which shouldn't be HARD) but ideally would love to get a time between 2:15 and 2:30.  I got a pace tattoo today at the expo for a 2:15 time. Then at least I can pace myself accordingly.

My race day plans:

  1. Eat a slice of bread with PB as soon as I wake up. (NO aleve this time!)
  2. Drink a 5hr Energy about 20 min before start. 
  3. Honey Stinger 5 min before start. 
  4. Sport beans about every half hour.
  5. Nuun in my water bottles. Will stop for water, but not Gatorade or Gu. 
  6. Don't die. 

Afterwards, we will go home, I will probably take a nice ice bath and a nap. Oh and have a GIANT CUP OF COFFEE!! I can't WAIT to have my coffee back! Not necessarily the caffeine but the comfort of it!

That evening we'll be going out to celebrate the big 3-1. :-)  Nothing scary about it, since my 30th year has turned out to be the best year of my life  - so far!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Race Day! Halloween 10K

Well, I did it! 10K #2 under my belt.

I didn't make my ULTIMATE goal of a 10K under 60 minutes. HOWEVER, all things considered (illness this past week, leg injury & lack of sleep) I did SO much better than I expected and faster than I've ever actually run 6.2 miles!

2012 Results

2011 Results

Before the race
So official time is 1:08:54!! SO proud of that time! My running buddy, Sara, kept me moving for SURE! There were a few times I wanted to quit and walk but just knowing she was still going made me want to push onward too! (Shout out to Sara, whose furthest run was 4.5 miles before this morning!! WTG, Sara!)

I woke up at 5:30, before my alarm (crazy for me!) this morning. I popped an Aleve and jumped in the shower. After I got out, my chest and back started hurting SO BADLY! I didn't even think about that Aleve I took - on an empty stomach. I writhed in pain for awhile then I ate a banana (detox oops #1), got my act together, finished getting everything to the car and off we went!

I had NO.PAIN running!! One whole week of pain, never easing up and yet this morning - no pain. I don't think I've ever been so happy in my life!  I am looking forward to getting back to all of my workout classes this week (especially looking forward to yoga Tuesday!)

After the race, though, I did drink a chocolate milk (good recovery drink!, but detox oops #2) and took a few bites of a cinnamon chip roll (although I was so dehydrated, it felt like I was chewing sawdust!).

Then it was on to the 1 mile fun run with my girl! We've run a few "test" miles and I knew she would walk a lot of it. She did a FANTASTIC job, though, and fully deserves her first medal. She was SO proud of the medal and was breathing on it and "shining" it the whole way home. <3

So what's next? Well, this week I am getting back to my training (cross training and easy running) and continuing my detox(es).  I'm finding it easier and easier to function in the morning without coffee (crazy, I know!) and I haven't been craving sugar hardly at all! I don't know how much of this is due to the cold I have, but whatever the reason, I'll take it!

Here's to a great week and another successful race next weekend! Half marathon, here I come!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Detox Day 6: FINALLY

Today was it. The first day I didn't fall asleep watching my kids play, yawn through a drive somewhere or pass out the second I stopped moving!! I started taking a sub-lingual B-12 supplement, I don't know if that helped with my energy level or if getting a full night of sleep (the baby went to sleep pretty easily last night-not perfect like usual, but I wasn't in there all night!)

I've been really careful about my sugar! Wanna see?
And the sugar that I HAVE eaten? Lactose (the "ok" kind in milk) and the sugars from my apple that I put in my juice.  That's IT.

Today was no different:

(this is so much easier than typing it all out :-) and so much more truth telling too!!!)

So tomorrow is the FIRST of the TWO big races!

10K is tomorrow am.  Tonight, I will be putting my Minnie Mouse costume together, getting my running shoes ready (complete with red laces!) and hydrating! Remembering to use body glide in the am (I've had some OUCHY races in the past! No more!), applying KT tape before we leave, and of course bringing my bib (which has my "beer me" sticker on the back!).

Hopefully will be checking in tomorrow with a PR!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Detox days 4 & 5

Oops. The non-sleep drama continues in our house! I was rocking AJ until 11pm last night when I finally gave up and brought him to bed with me, in hopes of getting just a few hours of sleep!

So yesterday was awful. Early wakeup at 6am by my little man. Sinus pain. No nap + hours of screaming, then the whole bedtime issue. My eating was less than stellar!!

Jimmy Dean sandwich

Cracked pepper turkey (4 slices)
Ah!zeefa lentil dip with carrot sticks
Kettle chips (lots and lots- these we're my stress eating food yesterday)

Homemade spaghetti sauce & angel hair pasta (ridiculous amount, probably 2 cups?)
Buttermilk biscuit
Salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper) with herbs de Provence dressing

Today, also not stellar in the opposite direction...

Licorice tea

2 slices of cracked pepper turkey
Chips (1.5 servings)

Cuban sandwich
Waffle fries (passed on ketchup, one of the many hidden sugary foods!)

Today was a lot better as far as being ridiculously tired. I definitely didn't randomly fall asleep anywhere - yay! Feeling a lot better with my cold, too.

AND! My LEG is finally feeling better!! Combination of ice and foam rolling. Learning a lot about muscles this week!! Who knew - IT band starts at your hip and goes all the way to your ankle. So the soreness I've felt above my hips for weeks now? PROBABLY related to the pain in my lower leg now!  Rolling out my thigh has eased the pain in my lower leg.

I bought some KT tape this morning, which I will apply tomorrow (it says it will stick for multiple days). This stuff is the stuff you see on Olympic athletes when they look like they are wearing duct tape all over them. I let my four year old daughter pick the color, so of course I have HOT PINK :-)

So tomorrow, I will tape my leg and rest some more for our race! *Did I mention my daughter is running in the kids' fun run? one mile for my big girl!*  Our "carb load" will be sweet potatoes and baked chicken.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Detox Day 3; still kicking!

Still here. Still have a brutal cold and two kids who are waking CONSTANTLY at night! I picked a doozy of a week to quit caffeine!

Took the morning off to lay around in pjs with my kids, watch movies and rest. I am planning on attempting a run tomorrow to see how my leg is feeling. Hoping to get outside and run instead of a treadmill.

Lemon & Ginger tea
Jimmy Dean D'Lights Turkey sausage & Egg muffin

Kale, turkey sausage & potato soup
Slice of homemade wheat bread
String cheese

Spinach wrap with buffalo grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato & ranch (oops, fell off the wagon on that one, I didn't even think about it having HFCS!!) 
Sauteed zucchini, carrots & portobello mushrooms
a few steak fries

Octoberfest & a glass of rose´ wine

I've only had about 20 oz of water so far, but I tend to load up on water just before bedtime, so I imagine I'll get another 40-60oz in before bed.

So T-4 days to my 10K and I'm just hoping to be able to run a few miles tomorrow. I'm still angry - all the training and I SHOULD NOT be in this position!!

I have a friend who just ran an AMAZING half marathon. She has been SUCH an inspiration in her training and weight loss, it makes me just want to go out and RUN and I feel so helpless that I can't do it! 

Regardless of how my leg feels, I WILL be running my race on Sunday. Dressed as Minnie Mouse if I can pull it all together in the next few days :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Detox Day 2

I went to bed at 8:30 last night. However I didn't sleep well because of the cold/sinus infection I'm working on!

Today has been pretty decent, aside from being sick.

Dandelion tea (oops, forgot to eat more!!)

Slice of homemade wheat bread
2 slices of angus roast beef
2Tbsp red pepper hummus
1oz pita chips

1 serving Undone stuffed peppers
1 homemade roll
1 Sam Adams Octoberfest

40 oz water

I picked up my produce co-op order tonight. That included:
5 bunches of kale
10lbs jumbo carrots
8 apples
6 pears
1 lb grapes
1 head of Romaine
1 head of iceberg
3 cucumbers
Coconut oil
Sunflower seed meats (for hubby!)
2 butternut squash
4 peppers
7 bananas

*Speaking of which, I could use a few butternut squash recipes!! I have NO idea what to do with them!*

So I'll be good for juice for awhile. Now if I could just get my energy up so that I can stand up long enough to MAKE the juice!  All in all, I have no headache, I don't feel BAD except for tired. I'm not missing sugar yet.

AFA my leg: the pain is still there, but it's MUCH less now. Hoping if I give myself one more day off, I can test it out on Thursday or Friday, then run my race on Sunday. Here's hoping!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Detox Day 1

Plain Greek yogurt with 1 tsp cinnamon
Dandelion tea

2 slices of angus roast beef
Pita chips
22 oz green juice (kale, watercress, lemon, 2 carrots, a few grapes to make it palatable!)

Turkey sausage, kale & potato soup
Homemade wheat bread

So far, no caffeine headaches or irritability. Just extreme tiredness, as expected!! I do have a cold or sinus infection, but it's unrelated to the quitting!

I saw this today and it was exactly what I needed to read:

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I'm angry today. I was angry yesterday too, but at least I still had hope.

My leg is injured. I can't pinpoint if it's IT band pain or some kind of shin splint. 

I've been searching the internet trying to find SOMEONE that has pain in the same or similar place.  I visited a running store yesterday that suggested IT band pain and I purchased a foam roller. As I've been rolling, I've realized the pain is different than I was able to explain.

I found this drawing and can identify now that my pain is in the Tibialis anterior muscle. Foam rolling down the side/front of my leg is EXCRUCIATING.   It doesn't hurt all the time, just when I put pressure on the ball of my foot. It doesn't hurt to go up and down stairs, it doesn't hurt to walk except about every 15th step. 

I feel like I COULD go running. But is it worth the pain I might experience just to prove I can still do it?

Now I'm just angry.

I'm angry that everything I've read says to rest until it's better. I want someone to tell me to RUN THROUGH THE PAIN. I want someone to tell me a magic stretch or pill that will take the pain away.  I do NOT want to let myself down with the races I have coming up.

I'm angry I wound up skipping my 10 mile run this weekend. I was so excited to go, I was excited to see what my time would be. I've been so happy to see my training run times going down from races I've run in the past.

I'm angry because I feel like I've let myself, my family & friends and all of you down. I still plan on running my races, but I don't think my times will be anything special.

I'm angry because I'm sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else's success. While I am HAPPY for them, I have been working my TAIL off to accomplish something too. But instead of running a great exhilarating 10 miles today, I've been eating all.the.things and moping.

I'm just angry.

/pity party

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Monday is Coming!

What I wanted to have for dinner:
Homemade cinnamon rolls

What I did have for dinner:
Kale, beets, carrots, cucumber, lemon, tomato & apple juice

Monday is my goal day. I am quitting sugar again. I am also going to {attempt} to quit/dramatically reduce my caffeine. I have been reading up on half marathon tapering and the benefit of quitting caffeine before a race has come up several times.

A little caffeine is often a habitual start or pick-me-up during the day; however, when daily caffeine consumption becomes so routine that a continuous IV would work just as well, some question whether the ergogenic effect may be dampened. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, ergogenic response during endurance exercise is greater and lasts longer in nonusers versus users.  Running Times

So with one week before the 10K and two before the half marathon, I am hoping to help my performance along with some good fuel and hard work!

So starting Monday - keep me accountable!! No sugar, no caffeine!

Now I'm off to chug my juice, have my cinnamon roll - because come on, they are delicious- and get some sleep. I'm starting to feel like I'm getting a cold and that is NOT what I need right now!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

8 Miles - Check.

Ran 8 miles on Saturday. The cool part? It took me less time to run 8 this year than it did to run my 10K last October.  THAT, my friends, is accomplishment!

I don't know if I'm on track to do a sub-60min race at the 10K, but it is still on my radar.

This week's plan:
10/1 ~ Monday: Two miles in 20 minutes // Circuit class
10/2 ~Tuesday: Rest
10/3 ~Wednesday: Four miles (dreadmill) // Circuit class
10/4 ~Thursday: Six miles (trail)
10/5 ~Friday: rest
10/6 ~Saturday: 10 miles (trail)
10/7 ~Sunday: Rest

I have to say, I felt awesome after my 8 miles on Saturday. I stretched at the park, then came home and sat in a cold bath for about 10 minutes. Chilly, but it did it's job. I took a shower then popped two Aleve, yay for no knee pain!

However, after my "easy 2" on Monday, my shins were so.sore. Thankfully the trainer in the circuit class showed me some stretches that relieved the pain and I haven't felt it since!

I will be stretching my shins a bit before my run tomorrow and Thursday for sure!

I just read the other day to wean from caffeine 

Friday, September 28, 2012


Last week, we took a family vacation to Tybee Island, GA. It was awesome. Not great timing in terms of training. Honestly, I took all my running stuff and intended to run on the beach every morning. But it was a vacation full of food (some of it delicious, some of it - not so much) and drinking (seriously - margaritas were buy one get one free - TO GO??) and before I realized it, my week was almost over!
My view for my 3m run

But I did get a 3 mile run in (1.5 miles down the roads, 1.5 miles back - against the wind - on the beach). It was gorgeous and made me sad I hadn't been doing it the whole week.

   But with sunrises like this:

and sunsets like this:

it was hard to tear myself away for the time to myself to run.

I'm paying for it, though. I gained about 7lbs, was up to 161 when we got home.  I'm down to 158.5 this am, but still working on getting back to around 153, which seems to be my comfortable place. 

I came home and ran on Tuesday afternoon.  I had the jogging stroller and went 6.5 miles in 1hr 16m (11:46 pace) which is slower than my goal, but I was also pushing a stroller, so I gave myself a little credit

I am hoping to run 8 miles this weekend (9/29) and 10 next weekend (10/6) then begin to taper for the half. I am running a 10K race on 10/14 then the half follows the next weekend (10/21).  I am really hoping to pace myself so that I don't get injured

Here's to not dying!!
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Training Check In

Well, I am still training, although I have yet to make it on a weekend long run. The weather is supposed to be PERFECT this weekend. I'm going to set an alarm (because my two small ones usually sleep in on the days I intend to use THEM as my alarms).  I am going to go on a long run this weekend!!

I am supposed to be running 5-6 miles during the week, I've failed on this too. At MOST I'm running between 3-3.5. I have broken my "no class" rule by picking up a really tough circuit class. I am having a great time pushing myself REALLY hard in the class. I bump my speed up to 7.5-8.0 on the treadmill for the circuit interval, I use the heaviest free weights she offers, I always try to do 1-2 more reps.  I am NOT a coordinated person, though, so sometimes I spend a whole interval just laughing at what she's asking me to do :-) Today I even asked her for special "ab cardio" so I spent my time on a stair step with a yoga ball over my head, jumping, sliding and stepping!

I am PRAYING for a break in the weather so that I can start running outside during my son's naptime/daughter's school time. This will be an awesome time for me. In fact, she's at school for three hours, so I am HOPING that I can start using this time for my long runs, instead of taking up family time on the weekends.

We had a surprise trip out of town last weekend, so my training got all pushed around (and even though I had the BEST INTENTIONS and brought everything with e, I still didn't run at the hotel!). So today I managed 4 miles in 40 min on the dreadmill, then my 45 min circuit class.

I OFFICIALLY registered for the Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon in STL. Happy 31st Birthday to me!!  The race is actually on my birthday!! What's even more exciting is that my mom is usually here for my birthday and she will get to see me race! I am really psyched for that! I am still hoping to shave a good 20-30 minutes off of my Princess Half time for this race. I think it's do-able. I ran that race at a 13:14 pace. I comfortably run a 10 min pace now, which would alone take almost 40 minutes off of my time. So I feel pretty good about saying that my goal finish time will be between 2hrs, 15 min and 2hrs, 20 min.

So until then, training, training, training!!! I am trying SO hard to quit sugar again, I just feel yukky, but things keep coming up. I know, I know, EXCUSES! All excuses!

I have been researching some other "diets" (I hate using that word, they are more lifestyle changes) that I am hoping to explore/flesh out here in the coming weeks.  On my mind: Paleo, clean eating, veganism...  If you or someone you know currently follows these plans, please let me know! I am always looking for more opinions/outlooks!

The Color Run

Seriously? How did I NOT write a post about this most awesome event?! 

The Color Run was in St. Louis on August 18th.  I was SO determined to run this race that, before they announced a STL date, I was planning a road trip to either Cleveland or Chicago, JUST to run this race! 

I was on a team with two other couples (I was the fifth wheel!). We met early that AM for a pre-race photo. And LOTS of waiting. I didn't realize there were 15,000 registered! So the official start time was 8:00am, but we were pretty far back and didn't cross the start line until at least 8:45. It was all good, though. The run wasn't timed, so we weren't concerned.

It was NOT a runner's race for sure. People who aren't familiar with "running etiquette" were walking, sometimes 6-10 across, making it impossible to keep a "run" pace. But it's all good.  

We headed to the first color point, after 1K. It was blue and I have to say, I didn't mind the dye! It's just colored corn starch, so it was nice and soft to run through. I didn't find that it was annoying to breathe as I ran through the wonderful colorful cloud, either, which I know a lot of people questioned. 

As we left the first color, we were all just a little disappointed - we weren't NEARLY as "dirty"/colorful as we expected! But, you live and learn and we noticed that there were better routes to take through the color. So we were DETERMINED to get more color the next time!

The race was a lot of fun, people were having a great time, rolling through the dye piles. We slowed to a walk to go through the color stations, turning and bobbing to get as much color was we could. :-) 


We finished the race in 37 minutes, which wasn't bad, considering the amount of walking we did to negotiate the crowds. 

At the end, we caught up with the rest of our group and went to the finish line for the after-race "color party."  A few girls next to us asked what colors we had (blue and green) and asked if we wanted to share theirs (pink and purple), so we all threw our colors together. THIS is where the awesome color came from :-) 

Things I learned:
Take your time through the color sites!!! Spin around, engage the volunteers because they WANT to make you as colorful as you want to be :-)  

Don't run this race for a PR. It's not worth it.

Kids under 5 can run without being registered. How fun, my little runner is already excited for next year's race!

Wet your shirt down (not drenched, but just spritz with water) just before you start. I followed all the directions on how to keep my color in my shirt (I even made a special shirt for the race so that I could keep the colors!) and it ALL washed out - except where I was sweaty (yes, my shirt has blue spots down my back and orange armpits, yum).  So I think the dyes stick a little better on a damp surface.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What makes you want to run a half marathon?

One of the trainers at the gym asks me this just about every time I take her circuit classes. (Actually, she usually asks what makes me want to run a MARATHON and it freaks me out every time!)

So today we were talking after class and she asked again, "What makes you want to run a (half) marathon?"

I've been thinking about this a lot.  I don't think running is terribly fun, especially in my current position of running outside with a jogging stroller (geesh is that thing heavy!). I am not seeing the weight loss results that I used to, so it's not the benefits that are keeping me going.  So, what did I tell her?

I told her the real reason I keep running.  I was never very good at team sports. I'm am a people-pleaser and team sports brought out my worst fears - letting people down. I am clumsy by nature and when there are 10+ pairs of eyes watching me, waiting for me to do good things for their team...  and I would almost ALWAYS mess up.

But running - running is a completely different game. My only opponent is ME. It's all about me beating MYSELF. It's about a PERSONAL record, not about breaking a world record.

I shaved 16 minutes off my 5K time from last July to this May. I am hoping to shave almost a half HOUR off of my half marathon time. I have seen that I can improve. Now I am trying to get to be the BEST me I can. I've never aspired to be the best at anything, and if we're being honest, I still don't. I will never run a half marathon in under 2 hours. I will never WIN a race but I am OK with that. Because I am ALWAYS improving me.

But this is all based on MY times. Not my friends, not my family. I set my pace. I set my own records.

So - what makes YOU want to run - around the block, a 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon??

Friday, August 17, 2012

Got Oatmeal?

Good. Now go make BOTH of these recipes.

Right now.

Two people from different parts of the country shared recipes with me last week and even though the recipes were very similar, I decided I needed to make them both. At the same time.  And boy, am I sorry I did, because I CANNOT STOP EATING THEM! 

The first recipe, from Weelicious, is for a delicious granola bar. I tweaked JUST a little - here's the original recipe from Weelicious, then my amendments are in red. 

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars


  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut I can't find unsweetened, so I did use the sweet kind
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar Omitted but sprinkled about 1Tbsp on top
  • 1 cup chocolate chips* Didn't have any, but I chopped up a Hershey's bar to mix in.
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil I used coconut oil instead
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Almond extract, because I adore nothing more in the world than the smell of almond extract.
  • 1/2 cup honey


1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
4. Pour the wet ingredients over the oat mixture and stir to combine.
5. Place granola mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet and shape into a rectangle, about 13 x 9 x 1 inch thick.
6. Bake for 40 minutes.
7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then cut into 3 x 1 inch bars.**
8. Serve.
* You can substitute raisins or other dried fruit for the chocolate chips.
** Individually wrapped, the bars will remain fresh for several weeks.

I thought I messed up somehow (maybe leaving out the brown sugar) because I was too impatient and started trying to eat them AS SOON AS THEY CAME OUT OF THE OVEN!  However, I had to leave and get the kiddo from school and when I came back - solid! Yay!

The kids have LOVED these and I'm not going to lie, I haven't stopped eating them either! I think the crumbles (from before I let them set up) will be FANTASTIC mixed into Greek oatmeal or even with some warm milk over top! (maybe with the honey Greek frozen yogurt I have outside in the freezer?!)

The second recipe was a suggestion of a friend, and she said to make sure you have people to share them with, because they are slightly additctive.

That was a HUGE understatement! These things are PHENOMENAL!  They are a no bake peanut butter chocolate cookie.  The recipe can be found at The Gracious Pantry under the title "Mini Chef’s No-Bake Cookies." 

Clean Eating No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla - Again, I used almond
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter I used Smucker's Natural (peanuts + salt!)
  • 1/4 cup psyllium husks (you can substitute with wheat germ or oat bran too.) I used Flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon.
2. Spoon 20-24 small balls of dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 45 minutes.
3. Remove sheet from freezer and transfer the cookies from the parchment to a Tupperware dish with a good fitting lid. The best way to remove them from the parchment is to get a good grip and twist slightly.
Store in the freezer (if you have any left over to store – don’t say I didn’t warn you!).
These are awesome for energy! I have LOVED popping one in my mouth before I head to the gym (or any other time) because I feel like they are an energy POWERHOUSE! Peanut butter, chia, flax.... seriously delicious too. Mine haven't left the freezer, I like the frozen texture of the honey.

So if you need snack foods - these should be your go-to's. Obviously it's not a great idea for someone in the early IQS stages, but honey is on my "natural ok" list for where I am in my journey - I haven't felt any adverse reactions, cravings, pain, etc., since eating these.

So check them out, try them out, let me know what you think. I think the granola bars would be DELICIOUS with some kind of dried fruit - raisins or cherries.  And there is NOTHING to improve upon for the cookies :-)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Busy busy

Well, I did REALLY WELL at the water thing - for about 4 days.  Then I got a stomach flu two weekends ago and my entire regime - pfft. out the window.  I was sick Saturday-Monday, then just got busy with the end of summer (yes, my daughter started PreK today!) and our kitchen renovation (nope, still not done).

So the excuses stopped on Monday.  I've been pretty good about quitting sugar this week, except this time I'm keeping fruit in my diet. There are just too many delicious summer fruits to quit them! I don't think it's working the way it did when I DID quit fruit, but it's still helping me FEEL better, emotionally and pain-wise.

I have been doing much better this week with training. Last week, I flaked on almost everything. My whole week was just a 1 mile run on Tuesday. So sad! This week I ran 3 miles on Monday and went to the circuit class.

Oh boy, that circuit class!!  1.5 min circuits, alternating cardio and strength, for anywhere from 10-18 cycles! Plus the instructor knows I'm training for a half marathon, so she gives me "special" cardio, different from the normal treadmill/elliptical.

Here's my training calendar for the last few weeks. You can see I've dropped the ball - but with the kiddo going back to school, my goal is to start running OUTSIDE while she's there. The dreadmill is doable for 3, 3.5 miles, but anything more is depressing! With her in school four days a week, I should be able to get in two outside runs (weather permitting - and baby permitting, he did NOT like the jogging stroller last time!)

I tweaked my knee funny on Monday at the circuit class - I had the elliptical jacked up on a pretty high crossramp. Today in spin class, I didn't exert my TOTAL effort because when I stood up, my knee was still hurting :(  Hoping it's better ASAP!

I am doing the COLOR RUN on Saturday and I CANNOT FREAKING WAIT!! :-)  It is going to be awe-some!

Don't forget to follow #helpmetrain on Twitter!

Stay tuned. I am making two recipes in the next few days. Flax and chia and honey, Oh MY!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New fitness "goal"

Jen and I were talking tonight about water drinking. I am SO bad about it. I can't drink water before my coffee in the am (Jen was saying how she drinks at least 20oz before breakfast! She's so good!) and I have to FORCE myself to chug massive amounts at a time to meet my daily 64oz (IF I do meet it.) I'm picky - I think tap water tastes bad. In my house, I've realized that basement water tastes worse than upstairs bathroom water!  

So my new goal is to drink more water.  Water BEFORE my coffee in the am. Increase my total water intake for the day. 


This week (July 30) - 64oz daily
Next week (Aug 6) - 100oz daily

Will be adding this to my calendar. I like to track things in a color-coded fashion if you couldn't tell!

Do you drink enough water? If not, will you join me in my new goal?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Twitter Accountability at Work

If you are on Twitter, we have started an accountability hashtag !! So if you're in need of support, the bat signal is right here -


I've been having a STELLAR week since Monday's post. I have been ON - for the most part. 

As you can see, I did my 3 miles on Tuesday. Wednesday I was on the treadmill, running with a friend and I just could.not. power through the three miles. But she was heading to a class and I thought "Well, I'll do the class, then come back for a fast mile run." Haha. Here's the class description: 

Interval training that alternates between Hi/Low aerobics and muscle conditioning exercises.

It wasn't nearly as difficult as the other cardio classes I took but I definitely got a good workout! So even if I didn't hit my scheduled three miles, I feel confident I did enough for my health that day!  

Today, my third running day in a row, I woke up dreading it. I got dressed (in gym clothes!) and went downstairs for coffee. At that point, I fully intended to stay in my gym clothes in the basement all day. I tweeted that I didn't want to go - that my body isn't made for three consecutive running days. I expected to get tweets back saying "oh yea, you can't run three days in a row, it's not good for you!" 

What did I get?
@Nic get rest, eat right, drink plenty of water. you can do it!
@Nic can you do some cross training instead? Spin class?  
@Nic you can do it. I've got to get mine done this afternoon. Gonna be hot!  
@Nic you can doooo it! 

So wow, this hashtag really does work!! And those encouraged me to get off my butt, head to the gym and run. I did my full scheduled 3.5 miles in 36 minutes! Yay!!  

Tomorrow is a rest day, then I WILL do a long run Saturday or Sunday.  Feeling good, people, I'm feeling good! 

I've been allowing more sugar than "quitting" levels for sure. But I'm not feeling terrible and my weight is staying around in the same place. I've been weighing in anywhere from 152-155, which I am comfortable with at this point. I'm coming to terms that this may be my "comfortable" weight now.

Monday, July 23, 2012


So fellow running friends, what do you do for accountability? (If you require such a thing - I obviously do!)

I misread my calendar for Thursday.  I didn't get much sleep thanks to an unhappy baby waking all night. I went in DETERMINED to meet my training plan distance. I stopped after a mile to rest (less than a minute off the treadmill).  I stopped after 1.5 too.  At 2 miles, I was thinking I would give up. But I pushed to 2.5.  At 2.5 I STOPPED the treadmill, reset it, wrote down my distance and gave up. But I didn't because then I had this GENIUS thought - "If I turn the treadmill up to 7.2, I can finish a half mile in FOUR MINUTES." So I did. And almost died (but I didn't!). And I was proud of myself for sticking it out, regardless of my 4 hours of sleep the night before.

Then I got home and realized that I was supposed to have run 3.5 miles. *facepalm*  I think I felt defeated.  I skipped my Saturday run. Didn't do it Sunday either.  This morning rolled around and instead of going to the gym, I ate Peanut butter Cap'n'crunch & did laundry. It's been a WEEK, I can't fall off my training plan yet! 

So who wants a check in? Daily, weekly, anything - I just need some accountability. I will be happy to post a daily thread on here or anywhere else if that helps! If you're on Twitter, let's have a daily running hashtag or something, because there is just no way I'm going to make my time goals left to my own devices!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Training Again

So I have officially begun half marathon training again. Actually, I started Monday, but close enough, right?

I am using the Amazing Alison (Because It Worked For Her) training program ;-)  I just needed a PROGRAM or a PLAN. I needed to get back to running, for sure. I've become overscheduled in my quest to find new and different training classes, and I've forgotten why - Because I want to run RACES. And as much as I enjoy spinning, it's not helping me improve my distance running.  As much as I love body sculpt, that just hurts my back and doesn't get me closer to another medal (which is the real reason I run - the bling.)

So I finally realized that I need to put the classes (except the occasional yoga class) on the back burner and really focus on running.  I am understanding why people call it "the dreadmill" now. It's booorrring. More boring that just any old running. But I am DOING it.

So here comes my ridiculous calendar again :-)   Ready to see it? Well, whether you are or not, here it comes:

Two days down, two days of accomplishment. I am looking at MANY more ! :-)

Detoxing AGAIN. I feel like I keep saying that, but I really want to keep it up this time. This detox has been HORRIBLE. I just sit here and stare at the wall thinking about how much I want a gummy bear. The kitchen renovation hit a serious wall this week (as in running out of work and missing cabinetry!) and I think I'm just overstressed.

Here are my goals for the next few races.

August -
18th Color Run !! Woop woop! This is just for fun. I'm not doing it for time. :)

October -
14th: 10K - I want to be under 1 hour (10 min miles)
21st (My 31st birthday!): Rock'n'Roll Half - I would like to be under 2hr, 15 min (shaving 38 min off my Princess finish time)

So that's it for now from me. Trying to stay on top of it. Definitely desire some accountability, so if you see me trolling Pinterest for dessert recipes, call me out! :-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


This hunk of rosemary olive oil bread saved my booty from eating sugar tonight! Stress upon stress today, but I stayed strong. Juiced for lunch, which I've missed with the kitchen remodel having my cooking space out of commission.

Yum yum!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


This week has been HORRIBLE after my weigh in!! Here's my confessional:

My daughter turned four on Tuesday. My mom, step dad and aunt flew in to celebrate with us.  My aunt, who owns a bakery and makes the most delightful, exquisite cakes EVER! The cake, with my beautiful little girl, is four layers, alternating white and chocolate cake, with an amazing chocolate ganache. It was flown here from Cleveland on my Aunt's lap.  And worth every minute and every mile!

Then was the Fourth of July. The parade starts in front of our house, so our tradition (with Jen!) is to have a yummy vodka slush as we watch what is USUALLY a pretty depressing parade (although this year was an exception!). Slush is a mix of sugar water, orange juice, lemonade & limade (the frozen concentrates) and vodka, served over 7Up.

Then I followed it that afternoon with some homemade Sangria, which was fabulous.

And the candy - oh the candy!  I swear my kids get more candy on 4th of July than they do on Halloween! For less work, too.  You sit in one place and they THROW it at you. I will openly admit, I raided their bags for banana Laffy Taffy and Tootsie Rolls (the big ones, none of that midget stuff for me)

The 5th started prep for the WORLD'S MESSIEST RAINBOW ART PARTY!  I made all the food from scratch. One of the messy art activities was decorating cupcakes to take home.  Those were, of course, rainbow colors as well. And I had to taste test the fruit dip (cream cheese + marshmallow fluff), whipped cream & buttercream icings. Quality control, you know...

 And cake. Can't have a party without cake!  I made an ice cream sandwich cake, with M&Ms on top and crushed up chocolate cookies inside (along with the hot fudge and ice cream sandwiches).  I homemade all the whipped cream and froze it into one delightful cake. 

And today? I ate my weight in gummy bears.

 So what's the moral of the story?  

I hurt. I feel "ooky." I can barely make a fist my hands hurt SO BADLY. I crash several times a day from sheer lack of energy. My temper is short.  My stomach is bloated. 

WHY OH WHY do I torture myself?? 

I know sugar hurts. I know it makes me feel gross and squishy.  Was all the indulgence from the past week WORTH it? 

Nope. Not a chance. 

I've thrown away the parade candy (except for a few things I stashed in the diaper bag, only for the kids though), the cake it gone and I'm going to ask my hubby to take those chewy little gummy guys to work with him this week. 

Juicing will be a challenge this week, as our "total kitchen renovation" starts on Tuesday. My kitchen is currently relocated to my basement, so juicing won't be convenient. But it must happen. 

Detox & getting back to goal again (and lower, maybe! without all these stumbling blocks!) is on the forefront of my mind. 

I want to get out for a run.  We aren't supposed to be over 100º this week, as we have been for the last 10+ days. I'm hoping that, compared to the 118º heat index from Saturday, the 90º weather will feel nice enough for a quick run outside. :-) 

I think I need to get my mind right this week, too. It's something I'm doing, for myself and my family, to make our lives better.

This is a LIFESTYLE, not a diet. 
It's HEALTHY. Sugar is a toxin flowing through my blood!
It's LIFE-ALTERING.  Pain is gone, mood is stable, energy is increased.  
It's CHEAPER. Fresh food is by and large much less expensive that prepackaged and processed foods.
It's CREATIVE.  It's fun to experiment, to find new ways of making old favorites, new flavors and new foods.
It's DOABLE. Proven in that I have DONE it before. I HAVE stuck with this, I CAN do it and it IS worth it.

It is NOT
a punishment
a rule without exception

I have worked TOO hard and TOO long to give up now.

My race schedule is looking like this: 

August 18th - "fun" run for The Color Run 5K
October 14th - Go! St. Louis Halloween 10K
October 21st - (My 31st birthday) Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon
Thanksgiving - Turkey day 5K with my mom in Atlanta, GA

So it's time to get serious.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Despite my over indulging in dinner (and drinks!) last night, this morning 


and for my "happy weight loss" present, I think I need a new scale!
 It's SO great to finally see the word GOAL all over Weight Watchers!

Now the big question, do I go into maintenance mode (where I get a few extra pts) or do I reset my goal weight to something a little lower?  Part of me feels like I still have some ways to go, that I could probably lose 5 more lbs and be more comfortable. Part of me is just so TIRED of always dieting!  The weight guideline from WW says 128-160 is my healthy range. I'm at the high end of that, but I honestly don't know if my body can get lower - between my body shape and having babies, I may just be at my "right" weight now!

So there ya go. I finally did it!! What the road ahead holds, I have no idea :-) But I'm going to celebrate with a (sugar free) peanut butter and (sugar free) jelly sandwich :-)