Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer is Here

I wanted to get a run in today before work.  My problem is that since I work sort of second shift hours, I am not an early riser.  So, by the time I get up, drink my coffee, have breakfast, watch I Love Lucy, and get dressed, it's close to 11.  Nothing about that was different today.  So, I didn't head out until almost noon.

Made my own iced coffee.  Yum!
The forecast for today was hot and humid.  It was around 80 when I headed out, but the humidity wasn't too bad until I was running through the woods on the loop that I did.  There, the humidity was so bad it was like running through a sauna.

My after my run.  Yuck.

I was really proud of myself after the run.  I didn't set any time goals.  I just wanted to keep running with no walking.  At one point, a half mile had passed before I even realized it.

My splits are pretty even.  I missed mile 2, because my watch doesn't beep anymore.  Time to start looking for new Garmins...but that's not for a while yet.

Otherwise, my fallback rules have been working pretty well.  I haven't written anything yet.  Drinking water has been working the best for me to curb my hunger.  I think it just really helps me focus on serving sizes.

I am also up to Day 4 of plank a day.  I started at about 20 seconds and now am up to just over a minute.  And let me just say, my whole body is definitely getting a workout.  I feel it in my arms, shoulders, abs, legs, etc.

Plank a day Day 4

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spontaneously Planned

After coming up with some coping techniques for my excessive eating, I've had a good couple of days.  I've become more conscious of what I want to eat, what I'm going to eat, and how eating something has made me feel.

Making sure I drink my water!
I've gone over my daily calories still, but not like I have been.  It's been more like 400 calories over instead of 1600 calories over a day.  That stuff adds up!  I also braved the scale today AFTER I had breakfast and coffee.  I almost didn't do it, using already eating as an excuse.  I'm at the same weight I was at the beginning of last week, which was good news since I had been up a few pounds.  Hopefully staying on track will help me drop one-ish pounds this week.

Seriously. There's a Gosling Meme for everything.
Becky and I had plans to either run outside or meet at the gym.  The weather has been rainy and dreary here, so we met at the gym.  I really didn't feel like running on a treadmill, so checked the class schedule.  There was a Zumba class starting right when we would be getting there.  We went to the class and it was packed!  The teacher was SO full of energy, had amazingly fun songs, and the whole class seemed to come regularly because they all seemed to know the routines.  I haven't sweat that much in a long time!  It was a nice change-up.

I also started doing a plank a day challenge.  Yesterday I did one for about 20 seconds.  Today, I managed to hold it for 41.  Those things are beasts!

Here's to a great and healthy week!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

New Week, Fresh Start

I took the week off of running and my eating has been out of control!

On my run today, Becky and I talked about goals we can set to help us be successful with our eating.  When we feel like eating tons, even if we know we aren't hungry, we came up with an escape plan.

1) Write about it.  Even if it's just using our phone.  Maybe writing out why we are having these impulses will help curb them.

2) Drink water.  Maybe we are just thirsty.  I also bought some of the powder flavor to put in my water.  I've really started getting tired of chugging down plain water.

3) Eat a healthy alternative.  If all else fails, find something else to eat that is healthy.  Fruits, veggies, salad, whatever.  Just not a whole bag of chips (hypothetically).

My run today went pretty well.  It was the first run in a week and I felt a little rusty.  We kept a comfortable pace and walked a couple of times.
The weather was perfect, though!

Before the run, I was hoping not to die.
Today's splits
So, hopefully following our steps to avoid binging will help us.  And we have a plan to run together this week.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

I'm spending the rest of the night watching Jem and the Holograms.  Remember them?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Running Music

I have had the same running music for EVER!  I am so sick of every song that comes on.  It's hard to get into the groove of running when I am constantly flipping through the songs.  So, I am finally cleaning out my playlist.  It is officially called, "Run That Shit".  So far, I have incorporated songs I already have in my music that I have either forgotten about, haven't listened to in forever, or my absolute faves that I will never get sick of (Like, "I Like to Move It Move It).

Some surprises?  An embarrassingly large amount of Ke$ha.  Who knew?

Anyway.  Here's my mix so far.  Feel free to use them and feel free to share yours with me.

Happy Running!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Marathon Training

I knew that I had to start training for my marathon soon, but I just figured it out and I have to start in 9 days!  The marathon isn't until October.  It just seems so far away right now.

I'm going to follow Hal Higdon's Novice 1 marathon training plan.  It's 18 weeks and the longest run during the week only goes up to 9 miles.  I am going to have to plan ahead though and either ask off or change my long runs around.  I work every other weekend and I'm pretty sure once I get to the longer distances I'm not going to want to work for 8 hours then go run 16 miles.  I had enough problems doing that when I just had to run up to 12 miles!

Despite my spirit deflating after my last race, I am looking forward to marathon training.  I really enjoy distance running and all that it brings.  I find out so much about myself and the limits I can push myself to.  I can't wait to take this next step forward in my running "career"!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pocket Full of Sunshine

Today was pretty uneventful.  I woke up not feeling well and could not wait to get home from work.  I took a nap for a couple of hours and felt SO much better!

Kevin and I had some shopping to take care of.  We stopped for some frozen custard at The Farm first.  It is my absolute favorite place for frozen custard!

Then we headed to Kohl's to get some clothes.  I ended up with a dress, some sandals, and a purse.  Kevin actually got nothing for once.  It is usually the other way around.

I'm actually pretty excited about the dress.  I really never wear them, but I found a really cute one after trying on about a million.  This is the one I got.

I can wear it to a wedding in a couple of weeks and when I go on vacay!  I've been obsessed with yellow for a while now.  I'll be a big old ray of sunshine.

We stopped at Tony Chen's for some chinese food for a late dinner.  This is my new favorite Chinese restaurant.  I don't know what they do to it, but it is delish!

I'm spending the rest of the night catching up on season 3 of Shameless.  This show always leaves me speechless.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Marathon Shmarathon

I love those runs where I feel unstoppable and could just run for ever!  Ever have one of those?  They come around once in a great while.  Those are the times where I think to myself how ready I am for a marathon.  I know that I can finish with no problem.

And then, there's the other runs.  The runs where I hate every minute, every mile.  Those are the times where I completely doubt everything.

Yesterday was one of those days.  It was one of those races where I doubted my ability to not only complete a marathon, but to complete the half that I was running.  I hate looking back and wondering if I could have done better?  Could I have pushed harder?  Or was I really at my limit?

I had completely forgotten to even check out my splits.

I think the weather must be for the start.  It was 64 with 88% humidity.  The humidity went away as the day went on, but the heat increased.
The first 5 miles went okay, but then I really went downhill.

I keep looking back wondering why, what could I have done differently?  I really don't know.  Maybe I have to start running by myself more.  I depend on Becky a lot on our long runs.  She plans our routes and picks our pace.  She is really good at staying steady and holding back until the end.

When running, how does one become stronger mentally?  I thought I was doing okay, then things like yesterday happen.  I really need to come up with a game plan.  I mean, 26.2 doesn't run itself.  And I'm already signed up for the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon.  I need to work on building my confidence back up and sticking to the running plan.


How do you mentally prepare for a race?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rockford Half Marathon Race Recap

Today I ran the Rockford Half Marathon.  It was my fifth half marathon and my first time doing this race.  My long runs have been going okay and I thought this race would go fairly smoothly.

The weather was forecasted for humid in the morning and warm all day.  I didn't think too much of it until we stepped outside that morning.  I guess I'm use to it being cooler, living by Lake Michigan.  I knew it would be warmer inland, but I wasn't prepared for how much.

This picture is before the race.  Weirdest pose ever by me.  

The race started at 7 for both the marathon and the half which is way earlier than I am use to running!  I think I started out too fast.  By mile 3 I was having some problems.  I was way overheated and starting to feel like I was going to pass out.  I told Becky to keep going, because I had to walk.

The rest of the race was just a struggle for me.  I had Becky in my sights for a bit, but she was long gone by mile 5 (and ended up PRing!).  I ran/walked the rest and stayed by the same group of about 5 runners the whole time.

I finished at 2:55, much slower then I thought before I started!  That just goes to show, you never know what race day will bring.  And it turns out, word on the street is that this race is always really hot.  Oh, well.  I finished and that is an accomplishment in itself.

Becky had to get a shot of me with all of my food.  I was choking down a giant bagel and they were giving away whole bags of this puffed corn stuff that turned out to be pretty good.  And we got coupons for a free ice cream cone from McDonald's.

Overall, I liked this course.  The race support along the route was awesome.  There were water/gatorade stops, people riding on their bikes handing out GUs, a GU stop, a sponge stop (where I told a volunteer that I loved them), and they even had ice at the last water stop!  I don't know if I'd do this race again just because I am not good in the heat.  I hate summer races and am glad for the cool weather here most of the year.

Did you race this weekend?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mexican Lentils and Rice Casserole Recipe

I have a couple of go to recipes that I make repeatedly.  One of them has been one I got from Runs for Cookies called Mexican Lentils and Rice.  The other day I was trying to think of something to make, when I had an idea.

I had a bunch of the lentils and rice made already.  I had corn tortillas, shredded cheddar, and diced green chilis.  I thought that would make a good least I hoped it would.

Mexican Lentils and Rice Casserole Recipe
2c. Mexican Lentils and Rice
4 corn tortillas
2 servings shredded cheddar (28g/serv - yes, I weigh my cheese)
1 can diced green chilis (I use La Preferida)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a 9x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Dip corn tortillas in a bowl of water before placing in the bottom of the 9x9 pan just so they are wet.
Put one serving of cheese on the tortillas.
Spread the 2c. of Mexican Lentils and Rice over the cheese layer.
Then, put the second serving of cheese over the Mexican Lentils and Rice. Spread the diced green chilis over the top.  Bake for 20-30 minutes.

I counted this as two servings. This tastes as good without the cheese, half the cheese, or the Mexican blended cheese as well.

What's your go to recipe?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I've been getting up at reasonable times the last few days despite having to close every night at work.  I finally got myself up to go for a walk in the morning, mostly because I had to return an overdue library book.  I checked out books quite a while ago and have renewed them twice, because I still haven't found time to read them. The one I had to return was put on hold by someone, so I couldn't renew it.  I thought it was a great time to walk to the book drop.  That way, I could get in some exercise and cross something off my to do list.

The weather was absolutely perfect!  It was 70, sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and slightly breezy.  Most of the walk was shaded, so I didn't even have to worry about burning.

I walked just shy of 4 miles.  I would have kept going to get that even number, but I had to get ready for work.

I also decided to try having a smoothie for lunch.  Everybody seems to be juicing, but I don't have a juicer.  I do have frozen strawberries, frozen bananas and a blender.  And I forgot that I have some protein powder.  It wasn't even expired!  Bonus!

I was full after drinking that, but a couple of hours later I thought my stomach was going to eat itself I was so hungry!  I forgot to grab a snack.  I should have known it would only tide me over for a bit.  I didn't go crazy or anything by the time I ate.  I just had some stir fry I made the other day from all of my left over veggies.  It was delicious and filling.

How did you spend your day?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oh No She Di-int!

The last few weeks I've started tracking my food and workouts using My Fitness Pal.  I've tried using it a few years ago and didn't really like it.  After using Spark for a while, I found one thing I like better about MFP.  When I work out, they add those calories to my daily calories that I can eat.  With Spark, I just go over a ton when I have my long runs and it makes me feel like I ate too much.

My Fitness Pal

Another thing I like better is the barcode scanner.  With Spark, everything I would try to scan was something I would have to enter all the information for.  MFP seems to have a larger data base.  Everything I've scanned so far has already been entered by someone.

At the end of each day, when everything is entered, I like that it will tell me how much I will weigh in 5 weeks if I continue on the same track.  It's just interesting to see.


So, for now, I am on the MFP train.  I hope it lasts and I start losing some weight!  My user name is jnbrigs if you want to add me as a friend!

On another sort of related front, tonight after work, I said no to peanut M&M's, because I knew that I was already over my calories for the day. Yay me!

Here's to a great rest of the week!

Shake It Out

Yesterday I had a running date with Becky.  We had 4 miles on schedule.  I was a bit worried after Sunday's 12 mile run.  While it was a good run, my legs were still pretty tight. I was worried I would feel slow and miserable.

It was quite the opposite.  The weather was perfect.  It was around 70 and there was a slight breeze.  I felt energetic and ready to go.  We ran toward the Lake.  By the time we got there the cool breeze felt so good!

After I got home and started stretching, I got really sore!  I wore my Brooks Pure Connects and it's been a while since I have.  I don't think my body is used to the minimalism anymore!  I can't believe I thought about wearing them for the 12 miles.  I wouldn't have been able to walk!

Today, I'm feeling better.  I was really exhausted yesterday and fell asleep on the couch watching Psych on Netflix before 10.  I woke up and went to bed sometime later.

Today is another beautiful day!  I thought about going for a walk before work, but pulled some weeds and watered the flowers and the garden instead.  I still have to make food to bring with to work for lunch.  If I don't, I will buy junk food to eat.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Influenster Sugar 'n Spice Voxbox Part 4 Optic White Trio

I've mentioned before that I am part of Influenster and they had sent me a VoxBox of products to test out. I reviewed them herehere, and here.  The last products I have to write about are the Colgate Optic White series.  I received a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouth wash to use.

I had my doubts about them.  I am a pretty dedicated coffee drinker.  I drink at least one cup a day.  And if I don't drink coffee, I drink tea.  So, to see if there was any difference, I took a before picture.

I used the system regularly for 4 weeks.  Here are the results.

I am getting amazing at showing my teeth off for the camera.  Feel free to copy these poses. They are definitely amazing!

I think they went up a shade or two.  So, if you don't drink coffee or tea, it would probably work really well for you.

The mouthwash had a weird taste to it.  It reminded me of the dentist's office.  I really didn't care for it.

I did really like the toothbrush.  I bought one for Kevin after receiving mine for free.  He likes it as well.

I probably won't buy the toothpaste and mouthwash now that mine have run out unless it's on a big sale.  While it was easy to use, I just am not that concerned about maintaining a pearly white smile and the results didn't blow my mind enough to convince me to do so.

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

I worked at 6 this morning and boy, does that come fast!  My alarm went off at 4 so I could make coffee.  I laid on the couch until about 5 watching I Love Lucy.  I was pretty tired!  I finally sipped down some coffee and got ready for work.

I was actually looking forward to my run today.  It's been exactly a week since my last run and I was starting to get a little stir crazy.  The only part I was worried about was running 12 miles after working for 8 hours.  No, biggie...right?

I drank a soda on the way home to get a little extra caffeine.  I also soaked my feet in some epsom salt for about 20 minutes to soothe them a little.  I got dressed, filled my bottle with Gatorade, grabbed my phone, and took off.  It was a beautiful day for a run.

We have run 12 before and agreed to do the same route again.  I like it, because we run by the Lighthouse and have some awesome views of the Lake.

The first four miles passed pretty quickly.  I haven't talked to Becky in a week and we had a lot of catching up to do.  I felt pretty good until mile 9.  My legs started to get really tight and my feet were starting to get a bit sore.  Miles 9-11 seemed to drag on forever.

I couldn't wait to run the last mile.  There's a huge hill we get to run down before the home stretch.  The only problem with that was that a giant rock pebble got lodged in between my heel and shoe and would not move.  I was worried that I was going to be bleeding, but sucked it up and kept going.  Becky pulled ahead of me a bit and boy, was that last half mile tough!

When we were walking to cool down, I stopped to pull the rock out and I had a bloody heel. Ouchie!

It was a good run and the fastest 12 miles I've done, even with walking a few times.  Hopefully I can make my goal of a 2:30 half marathon next weekend!

I hope all of you moms had the day that you deserve!

Friday, May 10, 2013


It's been a while since I've done much of anything.  What have I been up to?
I planted my garden.
From case you were confused.
I put in cucumbers, peppers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, zucchini, and beans.  I still have to figure out where to plant the spinach and kale.

I ran...a little.  I had a 30 mile week last week, this week I'm at about...let's see...carry the  I'm at zero.  I felt horrible on my last run. Flat out tired, nothing left to give, drained, never want to run again, horrible.  Then, I had a headache for the next 4 days.  It finally went away on Thursday after taking enough ibuprofen to make my liver bleed.

I made an awesome recipe.  I call it Mexican Lentil and Rice Casserole.  Recipe will be coming soon.

I got Netflix for the free month trial and have watched the first four seasons of Breaking Bad and am watching Psych even though I have the first four seasons of Psych.  Time really sails by.

I've been working. A lot.  I can't wait to have off in a week!

I tried to find shoes for my wedding.
I'm still looking.  My mom already told me I can't wear flip flops. *Insert eye roll here.*  I tried on super cute high heels and got a calf cramp.  It was mildly hilarious to me.  File that under "Runner Problems".
And I discovered a crazy huge callous on my left. outer, pinky toe.  All the shoes I tried on pushed right up against it.  I'll be filing that down!

I ate way too much!  I'm obsessed with these and have eaten two bags this past week.  You know what doesn't go well with excessive eating and not running?  Weight loss.  Weight loss doesn't fit in there anywhere.

I cleaned my carpet.  After our last sewer back up all over the carpet, we had to clean the basement carpet so we could put our cat's litter box back down there.  And our carpet really needed it.  My mom use to rent one every year or two to clean the carpets at home.

And of course, I admired my cat.  He is just so darn cute!

Hope you're having a great Friday!