Thursday, December 30, 2010

Look out 2011 Here I come

Ahhhh a new year. For those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time you know that I love calendars, I love making lists, I love plans. Do I stick to them? Not usually. But I love the process of filling out a blank slate, plotting out my plans. I’ve been blogging for many years now. When I started blogging back in 2007 it was b/c I had Ironman dreams and I wanted to track my progress. Over the years I completed a few sprint tris, did a few marathons, took a few vacations, lost my father who I miss every day in an accident, changed a few jobs and most importantly I became a mother. If you were to click back through my posts most of them would not be worth reading, they aren’t interesting. They are just posts where I talk on and on about what I ate, how much I weigh and how much I ran. I have thought often of abandoning my blog. But I keep coming back, I enjoy the outlet. My goal for the new year is simple, be nicer to myself. I have spent the last 3 years blogging about it and many more years before it worrying about 10 lbs. 10 lbs that I want to lose, but 10 lbs that always seem to come back. And so what, it is what it is. I know that I am strong and I know that these tree trunk legs can get me through a marathon, they can swim/bike and run their way through a middle of the pack tri and best of all they can squat down and pick up my bundle of joy and carry her around the house. And really isn’t that what matters? Isn’t this what makes life interesting: This blog is going to become much more interesting, I promise you that. There will be more life antidotes. There will be more talk about being a vegetarian and how hugely important that has become in my life b/c once those meat eating blinders are off, how can you ever look back? Meat is mean people plain and simple. I am going to be working on converting Harper to a vegetarian, but first I have to become a better well rounded veggie cook. I will be leaning on Peas and Thank you for that. I want to embrace Cleveland and learn to love it like my good friend over at Unmiserable Cleveland. I want to get out each weekend and do something, not just run and sit around the house with the kid. So, watch out 2011, watch out Cleveland, here I come.

On a P90x note, I have 2 more workouts to complete this week. I wasn’t feeling well, had a stomach bug, so the workouts have been a bit half assed this week. But I have still gotten through them. I am attempting an 11 mile run with some friends tomorrow to ring in the new year. Hopefully the frozen rain goes away.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Press Pause while you puke

Let me tell you something! The second week of P90x is no easier than the first. Last night I pushed myself through Back & Chest, while fighting with Harper over my resistance bands and this morning I sweated and almost puked (still not feeling great) my way through round II of Plyometrics. I learned that no matter what I need to get up at 5am. P90x requires my full attention and doing it while Harper is awake it too difficult. Although it is super cute to watch her run in place and try and do the warm-up with me. But after the warm up she quickly loses patience and wants to steal my weights, pushup bars and resistance tubing. I felt like a bad mom several times as I just let her cry while I worked my way through my set up mock pull-ups before returning the tube to her. LOL.

I believe this year we are going to get a babysitter (grandma) for NYE. We usually don’t do anything special, but I really want to work more on being a strong couple (not just Harper’s parents) in 2011 and what better way than to ring in the new year on a date. I found the perfect event! I am starting the day with an 11 mile run and pancakes with friends, so this will be an awesome way to end the last day of 2010.

Snowfest 1.0 is open until Jan. 2, including a “Snow Year’s Eve” celebration. It’s tubing, skating, dinner, dancing and fireworks at the Jake…, I mean, Progressive Field on New Year’s Eve. The fun stuff happens on the field; the party spins at the Terrace Club. Good news is tickets are fairly a la carte — you can buy a complete package, just dinner and dancing, tubing or skating tickets — to suit your new year’s groove.
Tubing and skating on the field run 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. with 2-7 p.m. Happy Hour. Snow Year’s Eve dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. The party starts at 9:30 p.m.
Snow Days at Progressive Field (2401 Ontario Street) tubing and skating tickets start at $25. The Snow Year’s Eve party-only ticket, which includes a DJ and dancing, fireworks, champagne, cash bar, dessert, breakfast buffet (see the menu), parking and favors, runs $49 per person. Dinner-and-a-party tickets feature a prime rib dinner buffet (see the menu) in addition to the party outlined above and cost $99 per person. See the Snow Days site for complete details.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Week 2 let's get started!

I hope that everyone had a great holiday. We sure did, but the running around was relentless and the kid got way too many presents. I did manage to get everything put away for the most part so I don't look like I am living in a Babies R' Us hurricane anymore. Sat was my rest day from week 1 and I took it. There were very few hours to spare in that day. Sunday morning I woke up early with the plan of going for an 8 mile run. Unfortunately a stomach bug hit me Saturday night and the run sucked big time. I made it 3.8 miles and headed home. It was a touch 3.8 miles b/c it was all in the snow. I was set to start week 2 and do the Back and Chest DVD, but ended up laying around and resting the rest of the afternoon. I also overslept this morning! So, tonight I will have to do Chest and Back as soon as I get home and ab ripper after I put Harper to bed. Then tomorrow morning is plyo. I still don't feel 100% but I am not going to let it deter me. I will give it my all. Whatever my all happens to be today.

Anyone doing anything good for NYE? I think Harper is going to spend the night at the in-laws so I need to come up with something to do!
Friday, December 24, 2010

Power Yoga X - Week one recap

This morning I got up at 6am so that I could get through most of the 90 mins yoga DVD before Harper got up. I got through about 70 mins before she got up. I am not new to yoga. I honestly wasn't looking forward to a 90 min workout, it just seemed too long. But it went by quickly. You basically spend the first 30 mins doing a chataranga vinyasa flow with various version of warrior thrown in, then you move on to standing balance moves, then down to the floor for some yoga abs, then some bridge and wheel and plough moves, then cool down stretching. I think Tony's yoga workout is a very well balanced one, it hit all the major moves. My only complaint is that he calls some of the moves names that I don't believe to be correct. But maybe I am wrong and crow pose is also called crane? He also doesn't tell you the name of a lot of moves and for people new to yoga I think that would be beneficial. You hold all of the moves a decent amount of time, you don't have to flow to quickly. Overall I give it two thumbs up. I originally said to my friend that I was only going to do this tape once and then sub in a 60 min DVD, but I take it back. I am going to stick with Yoga X through the 90 days, it is really good.

Last night I had to do ab ripper X again to complete by day and boy was it tough. I had misplaced the DVD, so earlier in the week I did 2 other ab DVDs that I had to sub in for Ab ripper X. Well i found it yesterday when I was cleaning and did it and boy did I suck. I have done this DVD several times before without a lot of issue. It's 11 exercises for a total of 339 crunches. I will admit that I didn't get through many of the complete sets. My body is just tired from working out this week. I feel beat for sure.

Tomorrow is a rest day and I will do the Xstretch DVD. I also plan to take a short run today and tomorrow and a longer one on Sunday, combined with Day 1 of week 2, back and chest again, ugh.

Week 1 of Power 90x
In a few words - I love it, I feel so much stronger. I feel like I am standing up straighter and my muscles that had gone dormant from doing nothing but running feel awake and engaged. My stomach isn't pooching as much b/c the abs are active under there. I feel great. I am very sore. Not horribly sore though, its not limiting me in any way. But as I do each workout, I can feel the pain a bit.

I will only mess with measurements every 30 days, but I weighed 136.7 on Monday and this morning I weight 135.4. My weight was a bit higher than normal, so I'm sure a lot of that was bloat and sludge from too much holiday food over last weekend. But I will take any loss. I really desperately hope to be under 130 at the end of the 30 days.
Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 5 - Legs and Back

Do your best and forget the rest. That is Tony Horton’s favorite saying from his P90x videos. He repeats it often and I think it’s just a great saying, and a very good mantra for life.

I mixed the designated order of the DVDs slightly and swapped Kenpo for Yoga. I want to do the Yoga DVD on the weekend since it is 90 minutes long. I overslept yesterday, so I ended up doing abs in the AM and Kenpo after work. Kenpo is really just like Taebo, lots of punching and kicking. It made me feel kind of stupid as I am incapable of mimicking feet and hand movements at the same time. I tried to focus on the punching and pulling the punches from my abs, then just kind of jumped around on the bottom. I’m sure I looked super boxer scary. Harper joined in for most of it, showing off her downward dog skills and quick feet movements. One thing I really love about these P90x DVDs is the great warm up and cool down. I am horrible about stretching and this makes me do it. I am sore as hell, but actually feel loser and better than I have in forever.

From the Beachbody website – “Kenpo X was created to give P90X users a high-intensity cardiovascular workout packed with lots of punching and kicking combinations to improve balance, endurance, flexibility, and coordination. During this workout you'll learn some of the most effective ways to defend yourself, while at the same time getting your body in peak condition.”
This morning I got back on the early morning train and did the Legs & Back DVD. Hoo boy this was touch. Lunges on your toes, jumping squats, come on Tony, it’s 5am! Wah. I did it though. I subbed a band over the doorframe for a pull-up bar and I really think that it will work out just as well for me. If I ever go through multiple P90x cycles I may upgrade to the pull-up bar, but for now this is good. I didn’t use any weights for this workout today, but next week I will pick up my 10 pounders for sure. Here are the exercises.

  1. Balance Lunges. Imagine a lunge, with your back foot supported up on a chair. This exercise is 25 reps for each leg.
  2. Calf Raise Squats. A squat that is followed by a calf raise. 25 total reps.
  3. Reverse Grip Pull Ups. Giving the legs a break, you jump on the pull up bar, remember to modify as needed. I wrote quite a bit about how to modify pull ups in the P90X Review for Back and Biceps.
  4. Super Skaters. Interesting and challenging balance move. 25 reps each leg.
  5. Wall Squats. Wow, is about all I can say on wall squats. You’ll be here for 90 seconds total. You’ll spend 15 seconds in each position. One position is with your back against the wall, in a sitting position, with your quads and knees parallel to the ground. The second position is a little easier, you raise up slightly to about a 120 degree position.
  6. Wide Grip Pull Ups. Back on the pull up bar.
  7. Step Back Lunges. Just as it sounds, stepping backwards to a lunge, with 15 reps per side.
  8. Alternating Side Lunges. The same thing as step back lunges, except you step to the side this time, 12 reps each side.
  9. Close Grip Pull Ups. You’re hands are very close together on the chin up bar.
  10. Single Leg Wall Squat. Even more challenging then the wall squat. This time, you get in a deep wall squat and lift a leg, alternating between each side every 10 seconds, for a total of 60 seconds.
  11. Dead Lift Squats. Just like a squat, except you lower into the squat with only one leg, the other is off the ground behind you. 20 reps each side.
  12. Switch Grip Pull Ups. The switch grip pull up is challenging. You’ll do 2 reverse grip pull ups, then switch and perform 2 regular chin ups. Switching until you can’t do any more. 3 Way Lunges. On this move, you will lunge straight forward, step back with a kicking move, then lunge to a 45 degree angle, step back with a kicking move, then lunge to the side, and another kicking move. You will repeat these three moves for 5 total sets on each leg.
  13. Sneaky Lunges. Walking lunges, but you will stay on your toes the entire time, 20 total reps.
  14. Reverse Grip Pull Ups. Just do your best.
  15. Chair Salutations. This move is like sitting in an invisible chair. You’ll do two of these, for about 30 seconds each.
  16. Toe Roll Iso Lunges. I’ll let this one be a surprise. 20 reps each side.
  17. Wide Front Pull Ups. Pull ups again, you know you love them.
  18. Groucho Walk. Another surprise for you.
  19. Calf Raises. This move is a total of 75 calf raises, in 3 different positions.
  20. Close Grip Pull Ups.
  21. 80-20 Speed Squats. This move has you doing 30 speed squats on each leg. Imagine about 80% of your weight on one leg, and 20% for balance on the other leg. Then you squat at a quick pace. Add some small jump moves at the end for added intensity.
  22. Switch Grip Pull Ups.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Banner Blvd

So let’s talk about my fancy new digs shall we? I wanted to update my blog so badly and I have tried so many times to update the HTML myself by downloading free blogger skins and something always gets screwed up. So, I decided to spend a few bucks and have someone help me. I searched on Etsy for Blog templates and was surprised to find out that there are lots of graphics people on Etsy selling their wares! After purusing the various shops, I reached out to Banner Blvd for help. The designer there is a married mom of 3 from Atlanta named Tajuana, who used to run track and has recently taken up running again. She was so great work with. If you don’t believe me, check out all her positive feedback here . I told her how many columns I was looking for, emailed her some pictures and she emailed me mockups the same day. The same day! How is that for quick. I had some feedback that she quickly addressed, a color change here, a different font there and voila the new Mom in Training skin was born.

You can check out Banner Blvd by clicking here . Oh and the BEST part, she logged into Blogger and took care of all of it for me! All my links were saved, my comments, etc. I didn't have to do a thing. Rad.

And just for Mom in Training readers she has extended a special coupon code for 10% off a custom blog or premade blog. You can enter coupon code BannerBlvdmonica when checking out. Now until Dec.31. So, what are you waiting for? If you’ve been itching to update your blog, this is a great deal. Her packages are mostly under $35, with many less than that. Go do it! Do it now I say.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

P90X day 3 - Shoulders and Arms

Today I did the “Arms & Shoulder” workout. I really liked this DVD. The exercises are below. I felt like I could handle it and none of the moves were hard to understand. I was able to push myself and get 1 or 2 reps past where I normally would have stopped. I have absolutely no cut to my arms, they are just thick slabs, so I am really trying to give the arms workouts my all. Today I feel beat up and pleasantly sore. Everything hurts a little. But not in a horrible something is ripped way. Getting up and sitting down cause me the most issue right now. But I’ve also started standing up at work for a few hours a day, which is contributing to my legs feeling sore. I get a few funny looks, but I am committed to standing at least 2 hours a day. I just put my laptop up on a box. It works out well. I spent my whole day typing on a computer, testing software or on calls. There’s no reason I can’t do that standing up! It burns twice as many calories as sitting. Bonus if you rock back and forth. I have gotten a few odd looks and I’m sure some people think I’m just doing it for attention, but I think it’s a great way to live a healthier life. I plan to sit on my ab ball for another 1-2 hours, but I need to remember to bring in my pump b/c it is flat.

· Warmup
· Alt Shoulder Press
· Bicep Curls
· In & Out
· Two-Arm Tricep Kickback - (repeat)
· Deep Swimmer's Press
· Full Supination Concentration Curl
· Chair Dip - (repeat)
· Upright Row
· Static Arm Curl
· Flip Grip Twist Tricep Kickback - (repeat)
· Seated Two Angle Shoulder Fly
· Crouching Cohen Curl
· Lying Down Tricep Extension - (repeat)
· Straight Arm Shoulder Fly In & Out
· Congdon Cur
· Side Tri Rise - (repeat)
· Cooldown/Stretch

Monday, December 20, 2010

Get ready to Bring it!

I started P90X on Sunday. I am so excited for this journey.

Sunday I did the chest and back workout, which is nothing more than push-ups and pull ups in different positions. Tony encourages you to do your best and just do as many as you can. Usually there were 30 seconds per exercise. I borrowed a set of perfect pushups from my Bro in law. They made doing the pushups with good form much easier. I admittedly did all the pushups on my knees. For the pull-ups, I just used a band that was over a door, it worked out just fine. If you can get the band in a secure place, like the hinge of the door, you are able to pull down and out and almost recreate a pull up. I think I am going to get a pull up bar, but not 100% sure yet b/c the band certainly left my back sore.

The chest workouts include:
· Standard Push-Ups
· Wide Front Pull-Ups
· Military Push-Ups
· Reverse Grip Chin-Ups
· Wide Fly Push-Ups
· Closed Grip Overhand Pull-Ups
· Decline Push-Ups
· Heavy Pants
· Diamond Push-Ups
· Lawnmower
· Dive Bomber Push-Ups
· Back Flys
The program is divided into two separate rounds where you run through each exercise twice. The second time around they rearrange the order of the exercises. I was scared of this workout b/c I suck at pushups and cannot do 1 pull-up. But it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be. I did all the pushups on my knees and cannot even image that I may be able to get through a round on my toes, but maybe by the end.
I was also supposed to do the ab ripper DVD yesterday, but I was in KY for early family Xmas and had inadvertently left in back in Cleveland, so I will be adding it on today.
This morning I did the plyometrics workout. I had heard word that this was the toughest of the P90x workouts. I had a half day off work, so I dropped Harper at daycare and came home to put myself through some pain before work! This workout is no joke. I was sweating my butt off within 5 minutes. I just ran a marathon last week and this DVD made me feel as though I am the most out of shape person in the world. But part of me loved it!
Plyometrics, also known as jump training, has been proven to dramatically improve athletic performance. So, I will be interested to see if my running improves from this.

Here is the list of moves after the warm up and stretch cycle
· Jump Squat 30 secs
· Run-stance Squat 30 secs
· Airborne Heisman 30 secs
· Swing Kick 60 secs
· >> 30 sec Break – Then Repeat Above Sequence <<
· Squat Reach Jump 30 secs
· Run-stance Squat 30 secs ·
· Double Airborne Heisman 30 secs
· Circle Run 60 secs
· >> 30 sec Break – Then Repeat Above Sequence <<
· Jump Knee Tuck 30 secs
· Mary Katherine Lunge 30 secs
· Leapfrog Squat 30 secs
· Twist Combo 60 secs
· 30 sec Break – Then Repeat Above Sequence <<
· Rock Star Hop 30 secs
· Gap Jump 30 secs
· Squat Jacks 30 secs
· Military March 30 secs
· >> 30 sec Break – Then Repeat Above Sequence <<
· Run Squat 180 Jump Sequence 30 secs
· Lateral Leapfrog Squat 30 secs
· Monster Truck Tire 30 secs
· Hot Foot 60 secs
· >> 30 sec Break – Then Repeat Above Sequence <<
· Pitch & Catch 60 secs
· Jump Shot 60 secs
· Football Hero 60 secs

I was completely unable to do the pitch and catch, lol. It requires you to pretend to pitch a ball, which I have never done in my life and have no idea how to do. So, I just did some jumping twist back and forth while they threw fake balls.

It’s going to be a long 90 days, Tony Horton is super annoying, but thus far I still find him humorous. I’ll let you know if I still have that opinion come March!

Xmas in KY with the family was awesome by the way. I just do not get to see my family enough!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Handmade Xmas

Oh ETSY how I love thee. I made it a point this year to try and buy a lot of handmade gifts. Hopefully none of my family is reading this b/c I’d like to show off a few.

Felted Soaps from Art By LisaK

For most of the ladies in my life, they will be getting some felted soap in yummy flavors such as rose, almond and lavender. What is felted soap you ask! Well its soap wrapped in felted wool. I actually saw some at Anthropolgie and thought it was a great gift idea. But figured I could find it much cheaper on Etsy and I was right. I messaged the seller and she was nice enough to combine shipping as I ordered 6.

Body Wash from Gudonya (good on you)

My mother in law loves Chai tea. So, I thought chai tea body wash was in order. I got myself some too and boy oh boy does this smelly good stuff sud up nicely. I got myself pumpkin cheesecake, which is a great way to start off the day when you have a sweet tooth like me. She also makes shampoo and I am definitely going to be trying it out.

Linen Applique Russian Matryoshka Bag from Robins Egg Blue

I actually got my sister this cute little bag for her birthday. It was a little smaller than I originally thought, but so super cute and well made that it made up for it. Plus the seller happens to be from Cleveland. Bonus.

Funny 2011 printable Calendar from Neat Things

I decided at the last minute that I really should have gotten some of my co-workers Xmas gifts. Everyone seems to hand out food, so I wanted to do something different. Since I left it to the last minute I don’t have much time. So, I decided to order a PDF of this hilarious calendar. I am going to print it out on high quality paper stock and tie it with some pretty string. Voila a office Xmas gift people might actually want. Although at the last minute I realized that Oct’s quote talks about 20something whores. Oops. I will have to include a note saying not to display Oct. I actually messaged the seller to see if he could change that page for me. We shall see. I happen to find 20something whores hilarious, but HR might now, considering the median age at my company is 30. Lots of 20somethings. Who probably do dress naughty for Halloween.

Let the Games Begin

I took my before pictures last night. That was not fun. I will post them, but I think I will wait until I have my 30 days comparison shots. Normally I would just put them out there, but b/c I talk about my blog on Facebook and have some co-worker facebook friends I feel weird posting shots of me in a bikini. But I do want to show the progress for those interested in P90x, so bear with me, there will be pictures at some point. I took my measurements as well and I almost cried. I don’t know how I managed to get back to this place. I have officially gained 10 lbs since May. I feel like I did when I was trying to lose the weight from being pregnant. I put on 4 of those lbs since the beginning of Nov, which really upsets me. I was upset that I was backsliding at that point and I did nothing to stop it. I am a perfect example of how endurance running does not naturally equal skinny. It is not in my genes to be on the slim side, I have to work my butt off to stay trim. When I step back and logically think about it, I know why I have gained the weight. I went vegetarian early in the year, which has steered me to a very carb laden diet, I went back to work which cut down the amount of miles I was walking the dogs each week (walked them like 10-15 when I was staying at home and now maybe 5), and I had some serious stress in my life over the last few months. So, it is what it is. I am so sick of being obsessed with what I look like. I’ve had this blog going for a few years now and every other entry is bemoaning my sweet tooth and thick belly. So, I want it to stop. I want to blog about more meaningful things. I want to get back to listing out recipes and things I do with my family. I do plan to blog about P90x and I really hope it is the magic bullet I need to get control of my body. What I have been doing thus far is not working.
I am heading to KY to see my family for Xmas after work today. I am very excited. I haven’t seen 2 of my sisters and their kids in a long time. It will be nice spending time with everyone. I plan to start P90X on Sunday. So, when I get home I will blog about the first 2 workouts. Let the games begins.

Pre Power90X measurements:

Bust: 34
Bicep: 15 on both sides
Upper waist (under ribs): 26
Waist at belly button: 31.5 :(
Hips at butt: 38
Upper thigh: 21 on right, 21.5 on left
Lower thigh: 17
Calves: 15 on both side

The stomach has a lot of room for improvement, my belly is normally around 26-27, so I hope to see that number go down quickly.

Like my new blog makeover? I will be doing a write up soon on the gal that did it, but you can check her out at To leave a comment right now you have to click on the title of my post and go to that specifc page, I believe she's going to fix that soon. She's been awesome to work with and turned this update around so quick!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Anticipation…..I am so geeked to get started on the P90x series. I plan to post every day and give you guys an update on the program, the good, the bad, the ugly. I will take before and after pics, but I likely won’t post the before pics until I have made a little progress! LOL. Right now I am carrying a huge layer of muffin top fat and I super eager to see it disappear. I am spending this week getting myself motivated by reading success stories and watching before/after you tube videos.

I plan to follow what is called the Classic P90x routine. I will be doing the DVDs once a day. On top of this I will maintain a long run on my rest day and hopefully 1-2 midweek runs with Fonzie. But one day a week will just be the yoga DVD. If anything has to give that week, it will be that DVD as I do not want to lose my running fitness. I hope to keep my long run between 6-10 miles. I am going to take the fitness test tonight or tomorrow night. I need to take my measurements as well. I may post those…may….be. I need to stock up on some high protein snacks and I also need to get the pull bar to mount in my doorway. I was contemplating not messing with the pullup bar, but I want to do the program 100% and pull-ups are part of the routine.

I am also planning on following the meal plan as well as I can being a vegetarian. I found a modified plan online. There are several plans included within the P90x materials, but I am going for the portion plan which doesn’t require much calorie counting. I haven’t followed a real diet in many many years. I hope I am able to stick to it. The diet is basically broken into 3 phases:

Level 1 (1-30 days)
Proteins 2
Fruit 2
Vegetables 2
Fats (omega-3) 1
Carb one (legumes) 2
Carb two (grains) 2
Snacks: double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink
Condiments 1

Level 2 (30-60 days)
Proteins 3
Fruit 3
Vegetables 3
Fats (omega-3) 1
Carb one (legumes) 2.5
Carb two (grains) 2.5
Snacks: double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink

Level 3 (60-90 days)
Proteins 4
Fruit 3
Vegetables 5
Fats (omega-3) 2
Carb one (legumes) 3
Carb two (grains) 3
Snacks: double (or two singles), Vegan Recovery Drink
Condiments 3

Here are some of the common foods I will be eating:

Protein Portion List
Hemp protein powder – 100 calories, depending on brand
Rice and pea protein powder – 100 calories, depending on brand
Seitan – 3 oz.
Soy burger – 1
Soy cheese slices – 5
Tempeh – 2 oz.
Tofu – 3 oz.
Veggie burger – 1
Veggie dog – 1
Carb Two (Grains) List
Amaranth – 1 cup
Whole grain bagel, medium – 1
Bran muffin (2.5 oz.) – 1
Whole-grain bread – 2 slices
Whole-grain cereal – 1 cup
Whole-grain couscous – 1 cup
Whole-grain crackers – 12
Whole-grain English muffin – 2 halves
Oatmeal – 1 cup
Pancakes (3.6 ounces) – 3
Whole-grain pasta – 1 cup
Quinoa – 1 cup
Rice, brown or wild – 1 cup
Whole wheat tortilla, large – 1
Whole-grain waffles – 2
Wheat berries – 1 cup

Carb One (Legumes) List
Baked beans – 1 cup
Beans (kidney, black, etc.) – 1 cup
Hummus – 1 cup
Lentils – 1 cup
Peanuts (raw or home-roasted) – 1 oz.
Refried beans, nonfat – 1 cup

Fat (Omega-3) Portion List
Flaxseed Oil – 1 Tbsp.
Pumpkin Seed Oil – 1 Tbsp.
Walnut Oil – 1 Tbsp.
Canola Oil – 1 Tbsp.
Chia Oil – 1 Tbsp.

Single snacks
Dried fruit – 1 oz.
Frozen fruit bar – 1
Fruit – 1 medium piece
Rice cake – 1
Peanut butter (with celery sticks) – 1 Tbsp.
Popcorn, air-popped or light – 3 cups
Soy nuts – 2 oz.
Seaweed – 10 oz.

Double snacks
Bean dip (with 4 oz. chips) – 4 Tbsp.
Hummus (with carrot sticks) – 1 oz.
Pumpkin seeds – 2 oz.
Raw nuts – 1 oz.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rehoboth Beach Marathon Recap -

(Monday Dec 13) I had such an amazing weekend! I got home just in time, right before a huge snowstorm hit Cleveland. Glad we landed safely on Sunday.

I headed to Rehoboth Beach DE on Thursday. We flew into Baltimore, and landed at 6. We headed to Annapolis to have dinner at some historic restaurant that George Washington used to frequent. One of my travel companions is a huge history buff. Annapolis is such a cute little town, I wish I had more time to explore, but it was still a 2 hour drive from there to our rental house. We didn't get to our weekend home until after midnight, I was exhausted. The house was super cute though. There were 9 of us total staying in the house. Everyone had their own little area, there were plenty of bathrooms and my trundle bed was super comfy!

On Friday we walked the mile into town and had lunch, did a little shopping and picked up our race packets. The weather was great. Low 40s and no wind. Being so close to the ocean I was worried that we'd have wind to contend with. I only knew 2 of the people I was traveling with before the race and I was a little worried about traveling and staying with a bunch of strangers. But we all got along great and I definitely have some new friends now. The guys I went with do a lot of races together and I can see myself traveling to some more races with them in the future. They are working on 50 states, but all have close to 30, so are way ahead of me! They've also been doing marathons about 10-15 years longer than me. We had a lot of fun, some good food, some good laughs and all headed to bed early Friday night.

I could write a super detailed race report, but I don't feel like it, so I will keep it simple. The race was small, about 1000 runners, including a half. Packet pickup was easy and well organized, short sleeve tech shirt was nice. The starting line was right on the ocean and watching the sun come up before taking off for 26.2 was amazing. The course was really nice, it is one of my favorite races for sure. The course was pancake flat, the weather was perfect, no wind, the ocean views were breathtaking. The race did not go great for me. I felt sick from mile 1. My stomach was upset, I didn't handle my eating well thew few days before, lesson learned. My stomach calmed down at about mile 9, but then my legs started complaining. I kept a 9:24 pace until; about mile 15, then I just really started hurting. I started getting charlie horse pains in my hamstrings it was super painful. I wanted to cry at a few points. I toughed it out, but just kept getting slower. Once my pace got past 9:30 I knew my PR was out the window, so I really just kind of gave up. I tried to relax, slow down and just take in the scenery. But I couldn't do it. I kept trying to slow down to about an 11 min mile and just toddle in to the finish. My pace just stayed at 9:30ish so I had to take walk breaks. The last 5 miles were really mentally challenging. I finished in 4:26. I caught up to my friend Robin at the end and crossed with him. I wish I had just stayed with him the whole time so at least I could have talked to someone, but they went out slower than I was wanting too. As I said it was a bad day and a very mentally challenging day. But I am kind of glad it was. It's races like Saturday that make me a runner, that give me the mental chutzpah to get through other races. After having such a bad race and still running a 4:26, I know I can break 4 hours in a marathon.

The after race party was great, with a big spread of food and really good beer. We just hung out the rest of the weekend had a good dinner at Dogfish Head Brewery Sat night. All in all a fabulous weekend that I will not forget for a long time.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Impending Doom

I have this overall feeling of impending doom. I am inserting a picture from a happy summer race to motivate me, lol. I have to be honest, I really don’t feel like doing this marathon in 2 weeks. I feel like I have barely run since my race in Nov. That’s not entirely true. I took the week after the race almost entirely off and only logged 10 miles. The next 2 weeks I logged in the low 30s with a solid 16 miler and 12 miler. I wanted to log more miles, yes that’s true, but it didn’t happen. Now I am in a 2 week taper. I feel fat, bloated and out of shape. This is how taper usually goes, I know this, but the fact is that I am kind of fat, lol. I have unfortunately let some real life stresses and drama get to me and resorted to some old ways of burying myself in food. Which is embarrassing to admit here amid all my claims of “this is it, I’m finally going to diet and do it right”. But I try to keep it real as I know many woman struggle with this same up and down. This is the first time in a long time that my weight has creeped up to the point that my pants don’t fit and I am trying really hard not to get too down about it. Trying hard to combat the “I’ve failed once again” thought. How in the world I ever let myself get 5 lbs over my highest “ok” weight is beyond me. It happened very quickly. And I am taking it really hard. I am a very short person and I have gained 10 solid lbs since I started back to work in May and I do not like the way I look right now, at all. I know it’s not the end of the world. I know the facts of why this happened – I sit more, I work out less, I eat more. I know, I know, I know. But it doesn’t stop me from doing the internal hate talk, etc. However, when I take a step back I know it is what it is and I know what to do and I just need to do it. But being that it is taper week I can’t bust my ass too hard. I can’t cut my calories back too drastically and I need to rest my legs. I am so ready for this race to be over. I hope to have a good race, but I honestly have a feeling that I will run it slower than I did Huntington and if I do, I am okay with that. Anything under 4:20 I will be happy with.

I am so ready to start P90x. I am probably putting way too much weight into it being some magic formula, but I am just ready to try something new and mix things up. To be able to stay inside my house when it’s cold outside and to cut back on my carbs, drastically! For those of you who have done p90x, did you use the pull up bar? I saw one at CVS of all places last night and am wondering if I need to buy it or if I should just go with the resistance bands.
Monday, November 22, 2010

What a weekend!

Oh the fun that was had on this strange spring weekend. The weather in Cleveland was off the hook yo. It got up into the 60’s on both Saturday and Sunday and I for one refuse to think about the global warming implications! I took the day off work on Friday as well and used that time to get in a 15 mile run and clean my house top to bottom. Saturday I was able to take Harper out in the stroller for another 8 miler and then Sunday Harper and I took a hike together at the Shaker Nature Center, raked leaves and took the dogs for a 2 mile walk. There was also time for numerous errands and a playdate at the Joseph Beth book store's train table. It is supposed to snow on Friday though, so back to normal. Here are a few pics from the Nature Center.

But I don't want it to snow Mom!

Riding on logs is fun!

Here is a spit bubble for you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vino, Vegan Vinyasa night at LuLuLemon

A few years back Cleveland got a trial LuLuLemon store. IT was set up in a yaunchy apartment complex and was a really small room. Shortly after LuLu graced our town with its presence I scooted myself over there for the complimentary Saturday yoga. For those of you who don’t know, all LLL locations have free yoga on Saturday. How wonderful is that. Generally they rotate various teachers from local studios. It’s a great way to get people into the store to buy their beautiful overpriced goods and it’s a good way to give exposure to the local studios and their wonderful teachers. Well, I went the one time and then I never went back. It was extremely crowded and due to my long run schedule I could never make it back. Eventually they got a permanent store and LLL now resides at Eaton on Chagrin, tucked in the alley between Fleming’s steak house and Pentsky’s spices. For well over a year I have been on their email blast. They send out updates on new products and the weekend Community classes. They also have a lot of special events on Wednesday night. I have always wanted to go. But balancing my life of marathoning, mommying and working and not making my husband feel like our daughter’s full time nanny is a tough job. I have always felt that if he has to wake up early every Saturday and watch Yo Gabba Gabba in jammies with Harper while I am out running for 3 hours, that that should be it for my weekly ventures. He doesn’t make me feel that way necessarily, it’s just the way I feel. But anyway I digress, I have always wanted to attend these events and this week I couldn’t resist – Vino, Vegan, Vinyasa! It was a vinyasa class taught by Parker Bean from Cleveland yoga, who if just a great teacher and very funny, followed by vegan desserts and wine. How can I miss that?

So I met up with my friend Rebecca at 6. Class started at 6:30, but I knew from the one time I had been there before that it gets crowded and I wanted to make sure we got spots next to each other. The new location is almost as tiny as the first, yet they managed to cram 40 or 50 of us in there. You literally have no room, your mat is right on top of your neighbors and you have feet all around you. I am not a fan of feet so being this up close and personal with the feet of others really bothers me, but hey its FREE yoga. Yoga classes are stupid expensive, so I will take what I can get! Parker led an awesome class, she really kicked our butts, lots of chair poses and holding twist for what felt like forever. I honestly haven't done yoga once since August and haven't practiced regularly since last winter. So, I was pleased to know I can still do crow pose, but I still suck at Eagle. Towards the end of the workout she made us do to 100 reps of bicycle. I had just done 500 situps and 100 pushups on my lunch break, so I was having a hard time throughout the class. My muscles were zonked. The classroom got so hot, that it might as well have been a Bikram class. Sweat was literally dropping off my face and my muscles were so warm. Unfortunately heat makes stinky even stinkier. I must have a very sensitive nose b/c I was having a very hard time handling the smell in the room. I could absolutely smell the lady next to me and I had to keep turning towards my friend Rebecca and taking big gasping breathes. It’s not that this lady was horribly stinky, she just had probably been at work all day in heels and her feet stunk. I’m sure mine did too, but I couldn’t smell myself, thank god. The food afterwards was awesome. The chef Amy C runs a vegan catering company and she brought a bunch of desserts. I had a mini pumpkin chocolate cupcake and some sort of flourless chocolate cake. YUMMM.

I cannot say enough nice things about LLL. While I think their clothing is just offensively overpriced, I think what they do for the yoga community is amazing. I would love to be able to afford their clothes b/c they make some really droolworthy stuff. Eventually I will splurge for a pair of their pants b/c I am constantly told by my LLL sporting friend Ilana that their clothes really hold up well wash after wash. I guess maybe in this case you get what you pay for. I would like to start going to the free classes every Sat, but I am not sure how to get past my issues with the smells? Maybe set up my mat in the far back of the room near the door and hope there is a draft!?! Maybe rub some sort of essential oils on the front of my mat? Any suggestions?
And if you have LLL in your area, totally sign up for their email blast, they have so many fun FREE events:
Monday, November 15, 2010

Eye of the Tiger is playing on loop in my head

Okay it’s been a week since Huntington WV and now I have to get back into marathon mode. I took almost the entire week off last week! And you know what? I really didn’t enjoy. Instead I felt out of whack, lazy and chunky. I have proven to myself time and time again that I need exercise like I need air to breath. When I don’t work out for a few days I am miserable. This body needs to move people! I took the work week off but I did get out on Sat and Sun for 2 great runs. On Saturday my gal pal Michelle and I headed to Munroe Falls, near Akron, for an Ohio Outside trail race event. It was 5 miles. We had some really weird, unbelievably beautiful weather this weekend. It was sunny and clear and was just about the most perfect day ever for a trail run. There were about 120 runners and everyone got a pint glass with some goodies stuffed inside. I also got a really great gray Ohio Outside hoodie that I love. I got it b/c I signed up for the entire race series, which is 3 races. Unfortunately I signed up forever ago and have conflicts for the other 2 runs, so the November run was the only one I would make! So I basically paid $60 for a hoodie, a pint glass and 5 glorious trail miles. Even though this was a race, I wasn’t treating it like one. Michelle and I lined up in the back and just trotted along and talked for the entire 5 miles. We crossed the finish line right around 50 mins. Which really for a trail run isn’t that bad. The course was 2 loops of 2.5 miles each. The earth was nice and packed, but there were a lot of roots to keep an eye out for. I almost took a fall twice and my ankles were quite sore on Sunday from all the uneven terrain. I am extremely blessed to live in an area with so many wonderful trails. I could probably run a different trail every weekend of the year. Maybe that would be a good blogging journey!

Sunday wasn’t so nice, it was rainy and gray and Harper decided to wake up before 6am! Ugh. So, I laid around with her all morning and then at 9 we had to get out of the house b/c we were going stir crazy. We headed to Joseph Beth and met her little friend and they played in the children’s area for about an hour. I am so sad b/c this is my favorite bookstore and it’s going out of business. I love going into a bookstore and purusing the shelves. Unfortunately most people buy their books online and bookstores are going extinct. So sad. But on the plus side they are going to be having big sales soon and I am going to break the bank in that place. I swear I will buy Harper xmas presents for the next 10 years! Once I got Harper down for a nap, I headed out with Fonzie sans Garmin and ran for an hour. It was so nice not to worry about my pace and to just run. It was cold and gray, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Winter is here.

My plan for this week is to hit 40 miles and then 45 next week. Then a 2 week taper. I am also really focusing on my diet since Thanksgiving is coming up. I want to avoid sugar and see if I can melt a few more lbs before I step up to the starting line. I have been eating relatively well, but the scale is stuck. I am trying not to focus on it, but it is really depressing to know I just ran a great marathon and my weight is up almost 10 lbs since the beginning of the year, boo.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Post marathon Glow and work husbands?

Feeling good today! I have some residual soreness in my hamstrings and my knees ache a little on the stairs, but overall I do not feel like I just ran 26.2 (26.5! on my watch) miles this weekend. Good, good. So, I rested yesterday and today and I plan to run 3 tomorrow morning, 5 on Thursday, a 5 mile race on Saturday and then hopefully 6 on Sunday. Next week I am right back into my training plan. I hope to get in 40ish miles the week of the 15th and the week of the 22nd, then taper back to 25-30 the next two weeks leading up to DE. My weight is ridiculous, it has gone further up into the 130s than I am comfortable with, so I am really hoping to curb my sugar over the next 5 weeks and get the weight back below 130 for DE. That alone should help me a lot for race day.

Those of you who have read my blog for awhile know that I love a plan and looking ahead. But of course I am just as quick to change the plan that I was just preaching about. That being said, here is my plan as of today! Power 90X starts on Dec 20th and I want to follow it to the T. 6 days of P90x and hopefully 2-3 runs, not going to sweat the running. I do want to keep a weekend long run that is over an hour. P90x will be done in March and I am going to jump into marathon training for a June race in South Bend, IN. I am thinking that I will get a few 13 milers in for my long run after the new year and that I should be able to do about a 12 week marathon plan. That will hopefully hold my interest better than 16 weeks, I always get lazy somewhere in those 16 weeks. Then in the fall I am thinking Chicago. If Chicago doesn’t work out, then Marine Corps. Both of those races fill up quickly so I will be signing up for one soonish. Well, I am also entering the lottery for NYC again, you never know 2011 may be my year. I would really like to get sub 4:00 next year, but a crazy big race like NYC or Chicago is not a good place for me to do that. So, I need to think on the fall race a little bit more. If I do super well in DE, I may think I can break 4 in South Bend, but a June race could be awful weather, you just never know. All I know is I want to mark 2 more states off next year. I may do back to back ones in the fall again. I need to cram some states in before we start thinking about another baby! That is at least a year away, we want to move homes first and I need to be at my job for 2 years.

On an entirely different note, I was watching last week's episode of 30Rock, love that show, and they were talking about work husbands. I don't believe that I've ever personally had one, but I can look around and identify several “couples” in my current office and knew of some at my old. Do you have a work spouse? What are your thoughts on the topic, it seems dangerous to me, but oh so common.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Healthy Huntington Marathon Race report

This past weekend I took a little 4 hour drive to Huntington West Virginia to do their marathon. My co-worker Wendy who is from WV asked if I wanted to tag along with her for the weekend. She had actually ran the race before and graduated from Marshall University. Wendy is on the 50 state quest as well, but she already had WV, so she was just there to run it for fun and help me with my pace. I was happy to have her as she is very good talker and we chatted happily for the first 22 miles and once the pain really set in, she knew I needed time alone in my head!

Overall I would give this race a C+.
A few pros:
· It’s in Nov, so I could train after summer’s hottest days were done,
· Swag – you got an awesome zip up fleece as your swag
· Small crowd- only 500 people ran the marathon (1000 in the half) so the start wasn’t too congested
· Course details - the course was very well marked and had enough porta potties and water stops.

On to the cons:

· Course - well there really isn’t much to see. The Marshall campus is nice, and there is a pretty park you run through twice, but aside from that you are just running up and down rundown city streets.
· Street Crowd - There is no crowd support to speak of and some of the areas were just downright dirty and desolate. Huntington is a small town that has seen better days. I knew this going into the race though and just wanted to do it to mark WV off my states list.

The race started at 7 am and boy was it cold. I wore some thin pants, a tank top with sports bra built in, a zip up pullover and my favorite vest along with throw away gloves and an ear band. I was dressed perfectly for the start, but by mile 18 was really wanting to ditch my vest, but it’s my fav and I wasn’t going to throw it away. You start in the street that is part of the campus and then you work your way past fast food restaurant and other city scenes. There was no timing mat at the start, so everyone had the same start time. However, Wendy and I were not very far back, we were probably 45 seconds back in the pack. It was such a small race it was humorous to see how close together the pace signs were. The crowd broke up by mile 1 and I was able to keep my pace below a 9 min mile for the first 3 miles. We hit the 5K mark a hair under 27 mins and I made the conscious decision to pull back a little. My game plan was to keep my pace consistently below 9:15 until mile 20 b/c I knew at 20 I would slow down and I was hoping for an overall pace of 9:30. I was almost able to do that, my overall pace was 9:33. I don’t think I had any miles that went over the 10 min pace. Because it was such a small race, we were able to chat with various people and we ran around the same faces the whole race. As I said there was a nice break from the streets when you ran through a park on a dirt/crushed limestone trail, but that only amounted to about 4 miles overall. You also ran along the water for about a half mile twice. Other than that it was just dirty house and at one point an old amusement park! I had to stop for the port potty at mile 10, but just to pee! I made it through this whole race without stomach issues and I cannot tell you what a big thing that is for me. Usually I am wrecked by stomach pangs and portapotty stops. After that stop I was good the whole race. I ate some sports beans, some shot blocks, a clif kids bar and one GU and it was the perfect combo. I will be repeating it at Delaware in a few weeks. I felt pretty good up until mile 16, then the doubt and pain started creeping in. I’ve been having some issues with my feet and my right leg and they really started to hurt at this point. I was just chugging along praying for mile 20. At mile 20 I always get a sense of relief, this is almost over, even though I really have like another hour to go! But something about mile 20 makes me very happy. By 20 I was hurting, but not too bad, things didn’t really get desperate for me until mile 23. Every step after 23 really hurt and it was a mental game to just get it done. I knew I could do a 5K, I knew I could push and not let my pace drop too badly. I really wish I could have dug a little deeper at the end, but I was done. You finish in the Marshall stadium and that was great, except that you have to run down a steep short hill to get onto the field and it hurt after 26 miles. Wendy and I both pretty much stopped and walked down it. Official results aren’t up yet, but my clock time was 4:11:31 and my Garmin was 4:10:55. So, somewhere in between there.

Up next is Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. I am looking forward to it and really think I can run under a 4:10 for it, as long as it doesn’t get too windy.
Friday, November 5, 2010

P90X fo sho'

Well after a day of deliberation I decided to go with P90X instead of the HIM. On one hand I am sad that I won’t be marking the HIM off my bucket list, but I am mostly very happy with my decision b/c there are a long list of pros to go with it:
1. I can get up later in the morning b/c I will be working out at home and not scheduled to meet anyone
2. I can stay indoors more this winter!
3. I can sleep in on the weekends and so can Gary!
4. I will build some much needed muscles

The only cons are that I will lose some running endurance and will have to work really hard to stay motivated and make myself workout everyday. I hear Tony Horton is super annoying. I am chomping at the bit to get started, but I really can’t do it until after my Dec 11 marathon and I don’t want to start it and half ass it. I do plan to still run 2-3 days a week while doing P90X. I also hope that I’ll be able to take advantage of the free yoga classes that LuLu Lemon has on Saturdays since my schedule will be more flexible. I will have a weekend long run with friends that will just be fun. My hope is that I can commit myself to P90X from Dec 20th – March 18th and come out on the other end a much trimmer person. Then I can kick up my running and maybe even be ready for a May marathon. If I keep my long run 8-10 miles it may be do-able.
Thursday, November 4, 2010

Second thoughts

I was very stoked to try and train and do the HIM in June. It’s an accomplishment that I have always wanted. However, what I have always really wanted more than anything is to slim down. It is so frustrating to run marathons and still have a gut and muffin top. If I do the HIM I have to jump right into training after this weekends marathon and I am having second thoughts. Part of me wonders if I shouldn’t really give p90x a try. Doing P90x would allow me to sleep in on the weekends. It would allow me to just go for runs for fun with friends. It would give Gary a break from having to wake up every Sat so I can go train. I have been training for some race or another for pretty much 4 years straight. Maybe it’s time I take a step back? On one hand I think that the HIM training will help me slim down and will keep me regimented. On the other hand P90x is giving me pie in the sky dreams of switching things up and busting through a weight loss rut to lose some serious weight and come back to running in the spring at 120. What do I do? What would you do?
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Muscles are sexy

I hope everyone had a nice Halloween. We sure did. Harper and I visited my family from in KY and it was a lot of fun. Harper had her first trick or treating experience at the Louisville zoo on Friday. It was a lot of fun to watch her “get it”. At first she was nervous and didn’t want to go up to the people handing out candy, but after 3 or 4 times, she was running full speed ahead, throwing up her bucket and getting her treat. She had an adorable unicorn costume on, it was just a lot of fun. My hometown had their trick or treat on Sat, so she got to do that as well. Sunday we drove home and she got to T&T in her own neighborhood. She’s a pro at it now.

My adventures in weight loss have not been as successful as I would like, I’d give myself a B-. My eating while I was at home was just off, just a lot of empty carbs and convenience foods. I wasn’t too bad with the candy though. However my husband did cook 2 pumpkin pies in the last week and I may have eaten pretty much a pie myself. As I mentioned in my past post a change is needed. A big giant kick in the butt change. If you know me, you know that I love a plan. I really wanted to give the P90X series a try this winter. I wanted to stop running and throw myself into it. I truly believe that it works. However, I instead proceeded to sign up for a Dec marathon and a June HIM, so I do not have the “luxury” of 3 months to give it a go. Sara has been having a great time switching it up and doing P90X and reading her blog makes me want to do it too. So, I have reached out to a few people on craigslist and plan to buy the DVDs. After my marathon is over on Sunday, I plan to take a week to just rest up and then come Nov 15, here is my plan. I do have a marathon on Dec 11, but my hope is that I will still be in shape from the Nov marathon and that adding in biking and deleting some running won’t affect my performance.

Until Dec marathon is done:
Mon: AM- swim, PM short bike
Tues: AM – short run, PM P90X
Wed: AM – P90X
Thurs: AM - run
Fri: AM - swim
Sat: AM – Long bike
Sun: AM – Long run, PM P90X

After marathon until I start following HIM training plan in Feb. Since I suck at swimming it’s going to be my top priority workout, I want to get the Sunday swim up to 3500 yards. So essentially each week I want to get in 3 swims, 2 bikes, 2 runs and 3 P90X workouts. When it’s time to start following my HIM training plan, I will just shoot for 2 P90X workouts.
Mon: Rest
Tues: AM – run, PM- P90X
Wed: AM – swim, PM - bike
Thurs: AM – run, PM –P90X
Fri: AM – swim
Sat: 2 hour biking class
Sun: Long swim, P90X yoga
Monday, October 25, 2010

Chocolate face plant

T-minus 14 days. This is it bloggy friend. Only 2 weeks until my big race. I am so ready for it to be over. I really let life get in the way these past 3 weeks and my pitiful long run yesterday really hammered that fact home. My husband got pneumonia and was hospitalized for a few days 3 weeks ago so for that week I was a single mom and could only get in a few runs with the kid between working and going to the hospital. Then that weekend I couldn’t leave him with Harper b/c he was feeling so weak and not sleeping well, plus she got really sick with a double ear infection. So, I chose to call that week a rest week and just ran two 6 milers that weekend, instead of the 16 I was supposed to. The next week I got hit with an awful sinus infection and slept through most of my weekly runs, then when the weekend came and I had my last 20 miler looming over me, I bagged it at 11 miles. I just felt awful and knew that if I pushed it I would be worse off the next week and decided to push the run to this past weekend and shorten my taper. Fast forward to this past week and pure laziness just set in. I allowed myself to get off track for 2 weeks and then getting up at 5am became too hard. I had two short runs mid week and was going to do 20 miles on Sat. I was all set, but then our grandma babysitter got sick and couldn’t watch Harper and we were getting windows installed in our house, so Gary was too busy to watch Harper that day. So, I had an awesome 7 miler with the stroller and pushed the 20 miler to Sunday. Gary slept awful Saturday night and I felt bad getting him up early so I let him sleep and decided to do the run whenever Harper went down for her nap. I headed out later than normal, which meant my nutrition was off as I hadn’t eaten lunch, plus it was unseasonable hot. I was a salty mess by mile 10. My plan was to run the 20 around my neighborhood to cut out the normal 40 min round trip commute I have for my long runs at the park. I took my dog out for 2 and took him home b/c it was so hot. Then a friend joined me for the next 4. After that I was alone. Thank goodness for an ipod. Only 6 miles in and I already felt off. My legs were just hurting. I was sweating profusely, I kept getting kind of lightheaded. I decided to make it into an adventure and ran to a completely new area and explored a little retail area I never really visit (Larchmere Blvd) and over to Shaker Square to refill my camelback, then I ran around the Fairmount Mansions streets. I kept to streets I never run on to keep it interesting. But the entire time self doubt was creeping in and my legs just really hurt. Normally I don’t have any pain when I run but my calves were screaming and my hamstrings were tight. After 15 I really start to walk here and there and by 16 I thought I should just go home and call it a day. I figured at that point I was doing more harm than good. For whatever reason I had to do 2 more and made it 18. I doubt that I walked more than 1 mile. And my pace when I was running was faster than I wanted it to be. I kept telling myself to slow down to a 10 min/mile as that is what I like my long runs to be at, but I was well below 10 min pace the whole time. I think I was hurting b/c I was going a bit too fast, I was dehydrated and I didn’t eat enough beforehand. Aside from the weather being gorgeous, the run sucked. If my marathon goes like this I am in huge trouble. But I do think that I am going to be well below my last marathon time of 4:29, gawd I hope so.

In other news. I weighed in at 130.7 this morning. Hopefully that isn’t b/c I am dehydrated and will still be there. I am really trying to be mindful and watch my nutrition and eat as cleanly as I can so that I feel good race morning. I am so scared of the Halloween candy. I hope I can prevent myself from jumping headfirst into chocolate and derailing my other good choices. Harper and I are heading to KY this weekend to see my family. Hopefully I can keep myself from spiraling out of food control. Wish me luck.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let's get real

Hi bloggy friends I am looking for some suggestions. I am obviously someone who works out and it is something I love, I am lucky in that regard. I would say I work out 7-10 hours a week right now. I am marathon training, but even when I am not, 7-10 is my average. I am 5’2 and usually hover around 130 lbs. I carry a lot of muscle and I don’t think I look like I weigh as much as I do. However, there is room for improvement and I do believe that I could get myself down to 120. I have big plans people, Half Ironmans and lots more marathons, with the hope of someday qualifying for Boston. The fact of the matter is I want to lose 10 lbs, yes to look as great as I feel, but also for racing reasons. Not carrying around as much weight will translate into these legs moving faster. But what do I do to get there? If I am being honest I would say I eat really good, nutricious food 80% of the time. I have a horrible sweet tooth and have been known to have many more desserts in a week than really necessary, but I am working on it. I think in order to get down to a weight of 120 I really have to mix things up and “shock” my system, but what is a good way to do it? Some thoughts that are swirling in my head:
· Lift weights more, do less cardio
· Do speedwork on a track at least once a week and do hill repeats once a week, then the other run keep long between 6-10 miles
· Do yoga 5 days a week before bed
· Switch to vegan
· Switch to drinking shakes for lunch 5 days a week…
· Just tri train, the cross training will do it

Does anyone else have any ideas that have worked for them when they really needed to change things up? Right now I still have 2 marathons on the horizon and then I will be tri training for my first HIM, which means at least 3 swims a week, 2 bikes, 1 brick, 2 runs. Maybe that alone will do it? All I know is that I am no capable of calorie counting or writing everything down. I do better just avoiding sweets when I can, but it is tough.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Muffin Toppers Unite

So after 3 days of watching my food intake the scale is moving down. I was greeted on this cold Tuesday morning with 131.6. That is almost a lb down from yesterday. I am not going to weigh myself again until Friday. I have 2 friends that I am checking in with as we all try and lose those stubborn last 10 lbs. I decided to set a weekly non weight related goal. Mine for this week is to focus on 3 meals and 3 snacks, no more, no less. So often I just kind of graze all day and those calories add up. It is hard at work. I sometimes have to do a lot of data entry type work and it is hard to not sit there and snack on crackers or something along those lines as I type away. I stocked my cube with crunchy, carby, yet nutritious snacks and have been enjoying them. I picked up some crackers made out of almonds and super thin “rice cakes” made out of quinoa and sesame. Good stuff. Monday was a rest day, so no real exercise yesterday aside from some lunchtime stretching with a friend. On Sunday I did enjoy a wonderful 7 mile late afternoon run with the Fonz. When I run it is either dark and cold early morning or long slow runs with friends. It’s good to get out by myself every now and then during daylight hours and run as fast as I can. I kept an eye on my watch and made myself stay under a 9 min mile even though it was uncomfortable at times. I really want 9 min/mile to become my comfortable long run pace. I want all other runs to be somewhere in 8s, hopefully next year I can do a race where I am much closer to 8 even per mile, as opposed to the 8:47-8:52 I have done on my last several 10 milers and halves. Baby steps folks. Reading about my super speedy friends who do amazing things like come in second overall for females in Columbus (that’s you E-speed) or first female at the towpath marathon while pregnant (that’s you Salty) motivate me and give me hope that I too can be much speedier. I never would have believed that I could run under a 9 min mile for a distance race, never ever and yet I can now. I look forward to a 5K this winter. I don’t do a lot of 5Ks, I don’t like to run fast. But I know I will shatter my old PR of 25 and change soon. But I digress, I’m here to talk about my muffin top.

Weight is down today, I hope the trend continues. Gary is out of town today and tomorrow. I hope to get a short run in tonight with the kid and dog. Tomorrow morning will be yoga since I am home bound and hopefully another short run. Thursday morning I am taking my maiden early morning bike ride with my friend Natalie. I can’t lie, I am super scared. It was my idea and yet I am a wreck over it. I see people biking in the morning and I thought that I should really do that, but not alone. So Natalie is crazy enough to agree to meet me and bike in the dark. We obviously only have a few more weeks that we can even do this, but hopefully in the spring we can pick it back up. We are going to stick to well lit roads. I have 2 new lights to put on my bike. Friday is a run and Sat is my last 20 miler. Hoorah. I am sick of marathon training. I still want to do several marathons a year, but I think I want to switch from 16 & 18 week training plans to a 12 week plan. I keep myself in good enough shape that I think it should be sufficient.

Guess I better do some work. Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Big Loser. I hope.

Bloggy friends I’m sure you are sick of reading this. I have made this declaration many a time in the past. But I am making it yet again. I have to lose some weight. Pronto. Before the holidays creep up. I had really hoped to get to the starting line of my marathon a slim, lean, running machine. When I started back at work full time in May I was 125lbs. I’m only 5’2 and this was honestly the lowest my weight has been in a long time and guess what…I was fast! And I felt and looked great. Seriously I had an amazing 10 miler and half marathon while I was weighing in at 124/125. Never in my life had I held a pace under 9mins at that distance and all of the sudden I could. Then I went back to work and then I started marathon training and the next thing I know I am back up to 131. 130-132 seems to be my natural weight. I don’t have to do much to stay there, but unfortunately I have to work hella hard to stay below it. I am so sad to see that I have managed to gain almost 10 lbs. And I can feel it. I feel gross b/c all my clothes are tight. I am sitting at my desk today with my stomach is just hanging over my jeans. I know some people are reading this and rolling their eyes b/c I am perfectly aware of the fact that I don’t look that bad and there are plenty of people who would be happy to be in my jeans. However, when you factor in that I run 30-40 miles a week it is really annoying. So, I am announcing it here. I weighed 132.7 lbs this morning and I fully intend to get down to 125 before the New Year, hopefully much sooner. Watch me. I am bound and determined and it’s going to take some serious work on my part. Here’s how I’m going to do it:
1. Stop JUST running. I have been awful about cross training lately, so I will make sure to hit the pool and my bike once a week
2. Ab work, I will do an ab routine off of exercise tv 2-3 times a week
3. No more junk miles, each run has a purpose and I forget this and run the same pace every time. I will run 4 days a week, one long, one tempo or speed, one hill repeat and one recovery.
4. Quit being a lazy vegetarian, I eat an endless stream of carbs and have gotten very lazy at making salads, etc for lunch
5. No snacks after dinner, I will “fast” for 12 hours, so if I eat dinner at 7pm, I can’t have breakfast until 7am
6. No more diet coke or splenda, I truly believe the fake sugars are way worse for you than the real stuff, yet I continuely let it back into my diet. For shame

I am always down with weight loss buddies, if anyone wants to join me on a 10 lbs pre holiday bust ass lose weight plan, just let me know. Every couple of days I will check in with my progress. I think I will make Monday my official weigh in days. I am hoping to get down to 130 pretty easily, that a few lbs are just bloat. I’d like to be 128 by Nov 7 for my first marathon and 125 by Dec 11 my second marathon. We’ll see! Then I start seriously training for my HIM and I really hope to see some changes in my body. Wish me luck.
ooohhhh and i'm totally getting that bike! yikes.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Race Rinse Repeat

There is never a day that goes by that I don’t have to stop and take a breath and wonder how I am going to continue to do all of this. ALL OF THIS being work full time, be a devoted mom and wife and continue to train for marathons and triathlons. Yet, somewhere in the back of my brain I still have IM dreams. When I am bored at night I look up training plans and wonder if I could ever do it. I watch Kona videos and think I could be an Ironman, surely I could. But who has the time!?!

I love to run. I truly do. I spend way too much money on races and deprive myself of sleep to run, but I can’t lie. I am really looking forward to my two marathons being over. I am ready to immerse myself in HIM training. One big reason is I won’t have to suffer through many outdoor winter runs. Mostly I will be tucked safely inside on my trainer watching trashy reality tv or swimming at the gym. But also I secretly am hoping tri training will do for my body what running never has. I weigh too much and my weight has been creeping up. How can my weight go up as my mileage does. It’s so frustrating and it’s not just muscle b/c my belly is hanging over my jeans right now. Ugh.

I really hate to spend the money but Gary just got a brand new amazing Jamis bike and I am now drooling over it. I want a carbon road bike so bad and I have my eye on two that are just incredibly good deals. They are a year old, so the price has dropped drastically. I know I shouldn't do it, that my 2003 Jamis Ventura is just fine, but I want it! So, I may be getting a new bike soon. At least it should be motivation to stay on my trainer for hours this winter. The picture is of the bike I will probably get, the other option is a Specialized Ruby Compact.

So what about you, how do you do it? How do you fit it all in? Sometimes I wish I was just a gym rat who didn’t have all these racing needs, like certainly would be easier. But would it be as much fun?
Monday, September 27, 2010

Akron Half Mary and Fall fun

This past weekend I ran the Akron half marathon with my brother in law Tim. Do you guys remember Tim? He lost a tremendous amount of weight and started running about 2 years ago. Last Sept was his first half marathon at Akron and he did so awesome. He loved it so much that he then signed up for Columbus and went and ran that course 10 mins faster. So, this year he wanted o revisit the course and we were met with wonderful weather. I love the Akron marathon. They do such a great job. Great course, an amazing amount of spectators, great gear, great food/medal at the end; the whole event is top notch. My only complaint is it starts at 7am, ugh. So, we had to get up at 4:30!

Driving down to the race my stomach was starting to feel kind of icky. This is always my issue and it did bother me throughout the run that day. However, I have certainly battled worse stomach issues and after a potty stop around mile 6, I was fine the rest of the race. Maybe I’ll gloss over the fact that that stop wasn’t in an official porta potty, it may have been behind an abandoned building with a guard dog barking at! LOL. Going into the race, I had thought maybe we could break 2 hours, but I forgot how dang hilly the course was. I knew there was a major hill at mile 11, but there are several good rollers throughout the course. This is not a PR course by any means. I tried to use the Garmin and really keep our pace steady. I knew that I wanted us to stay under 9:30 and we did. We averaged between 9:12 and 9:30 the whole day, except for slowing down on that last mile 11 hill to more like a 10min mile crawl. It is a hell of a hill. We finished in 2:03. Which is a course PR for me, as the faster I ever ran there before was 2:04. I had a lot of fun running with Tim and playing coach. Several times throughout the morning I was able to think strategically and tell him we needed to pick up the pace or slow down a bit b/c we were going too fast. It was nice to think about something besides just finishing. I was really excited to see him get a PR and am so proud of howww far he has come.

The next day I went out for an 8 miler and my body would NOT cooperate. I ended up only running 4. My legs felt like tree trunks and I could not get my breath. What the heck is up with that? We had such a nice weekend overall though. On Sat. we met my in-laws to go apple picking. Harper had some much fun running up and down the orchard and chowing down on some fresh golden delicious apples. Gary even made a wonderful pie for us! I am not usually one for fruit pies, but with a little tofutti ice cream on top it was pretty darn good! Sunday I took Harper to the Lake Park Farm. They were having an antique tractor show and fall festival. She got to pet animals at the barn yard, play on a swing set, run around a hay bale maze, and play in some leaves. It was an amazing mommy/Harper day. The photos from this weekend are in the post and one of me and Harper from a recent birthday party that I really like.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

miles and miles to go before i sleep

Oh my the running that has been going on! I am so behind on my blog. But I have big plans! Big plans I tell you. First up, let me catch you up.

Race for the Cure!
Backtrack to the weekend of Sept 11. Harper, Gary and I ran our first family 5K! We did the local RFC to benefit Breast Cancer. Running is a bit of an overstatement. It was so dang crowded, there were almost 45000 people in downtown Cleveland. Despite the madness we managed to come in under 30 mins and I was pushing the jogging stroller! This was my first race with the stroller. It wasn’t a lot of fun though b/c I was so worried the whole time that I was going to clip someone the huge front wheel on my BOB stroller. But I love the idea of family 5Ks and I hope we have many more in our future. I can’t wait until Harper is old enough to try some of the little kid dashes. Harper was really good too. We were downtown for a long time b/c it was so crowded and I think she enjoyed looking at all the people and chaos.

River Run Half Mary

The next day I woke up bright and early to run my first half marathon since May. My friend Amy was running her first half ever, so I was really excited for her. This race is one of my favorites and I have done it 4 or 5 times. The course winds through a beautiful park, is point to point and mostly downhill! I had big hopes. I really wanted a PR. My last half was 1:56:50. I knew I had a faster half in me. But ultimately I wanted to beat the time my husband ran his one and only half mary in – 1:54 and change. I figured a 1:53 would do it. He says he’ll do another race when I beat him. I would love to do another half together! But unfortunately it just wasn’t in the cards for me. I have had worst races for sure. But I just didn’t feel great and no matter what I did I couldn’t pick up my pace. I ended up finishing in 1:56:06. Which I can’t be mad about; it’s almost a min off my last race. But I kept yelling at my legs to pick it up and I couldn’t. However. I had no taper. I am training for a marathon and I ran an 18 miler the previous weekend. So, I keep reminding myself that I will get a 1:50 half marathon someday, but it won’t be on dead tired legs.

Running Miles and Miles
I hit a big milestone for me last week. I ran 40 miles! Usually I run somewhere between 30-35 miles a week and cross train a lot. But I am trying to switch it up this marathon season and I am trying to run more like 40-50 miles. I plan to add a few more miles each week until my taper. I am still strength training 1-2 times a week and usually doing yoga once. This past weekend I ran 21 miles on Sat and another 7 on Sun. I haven’t seen my bike or a pool in wayyy too long though. This weekend I have the Akron half mary. I am running it with my brother in law and don’t have any big expectations. My legs are very tired and the course is hilly. I just hope I can get him in close to 2 hours if not a hair below. That would rock.

Race plans
I also did something a little crazy and signed up for back to back marathons. I am a little worried, but super excited to see how I do. My friend JenC has also talked me into a June HIM. Ack! June. HIM! It’s called Race for Recovery and it’s in Monroe MI. What attracted me is that the swim runs parallel to shore and you are never in more than 6 ft of water. That sounds like a perfect induction into Half Ironman territory for me. However, I still have to get through a 1.2 mile swim, I can’t walk it. So, I must get back to the pool soon. Once these marathons are over I will hit the pool 3 times a week. I have a lot of work to do. I like having a plan though and races on the horizon, it keeps me busy.

The cute kid

Harper is awesome. She just turned 17 months. She continues to amaze me every day. She is one smart little cookie. Lately she is really into snuggling. She likes to lay on a pillow next to you and “cozy down” as her dad calls it. She laughs a lot and when she gets excited she opens her mouth really wide and lets out a shriek of delight. She seems to really like going to school and loves to color with crayons. Terrible twos are coming our way though. Girl definitely has an opinion and wants what she wants RIGHT NOW! Don’t think about taking something from her or telling her no or you are in for a serious meltdown, look out!
Friday, September 10, 2010

Running Mojo

Oh my life is tough when you are a full time working mom who just happens to like to use all of her spare time to train for endurance events. Blogging has fallen by the wayside, but I am not ready to give up my blog just yet. I have a new goal in life people. It is so large that it just sounds silly to say it at this point. I want to run a marathon in all 50 states. Umm…1 state down, lol. I actually have 2 friends who are working on this goal, one has 13 states and one has 36. I think it’s a great bucket list lifetime goal sort of thing. I am signed up for 2 marathons before the end of the year, Nov 7th in Huntington WV and Dec 11th in Rehoboth DE. So my 2011 I will have racked up 3 states. I have my eyes on April in Louisville KY and May in Pittsburgh PA. So, if all goes as planned, by my 32nd birthday in June I will have racked up 5 states. Not too shabby. To join the 50 state club, you have to have 10 states. I don’t think 4 marathons a year is realistic long term, but I hope to do 2 a year.

I have a half marathon this weekend and I am really excited to run it. My long runs have been really good lately. This has been the best season of running I have ever had. Think becoming a vegetarian has anything to do with it?

Harper is doing awesome. She is getting so big I just can’t take it. She has a huge temper, but is mostly sweet. But when she is mad, look out! Just like her mom. She will be 17 months soon. It just doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. She loves to dance, loves animals and unfortunately tv!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Have a heart

So I’ve been vegetarian for 4 months now and I am working myself towards vegan. I don’t think I will ever be 100% vegan, I can’t see myself reading through ingredient lists and getting rid of anything that has milk in it, but I am lactose intolerant, so going from vegetarian to vegan isn’t that big of a deal. But I will miss eggs. I will say that I feel good. I feel really good about what I have done and I feel healthy and skinny and happy that I am no longer eating beings that I would totally have as pets. But at the same time when I stop and think I get overwhelmingly sad. I am sad that it took me 31 long years to make this leap. I am sad that I live in a world that is so content to look the other way and I wonder how I looked the other way for so long. It’s like all of a sudden I am completely raw to animal suffering. I want to help them all and know that I can’t. But I am happy to do my small part. I am helping to stop the suffering of at least a few animals in my life time and lessening my load on the environment. I wish I could convince everyone to make the same decision. Going vegetarian is not as difficult as you may think. Harper is a vegetarian at home, but I haven’t asked her school to stop giving her meat yet. I may in the future. I don’t believe you need meat to be healthy by any means and she gets a multivitamin and lots of calcium from all the yogurt and cheese she gorges on daily. So, I think when she moves classrooms I will make the switch for her. I think that Harper will be happy to pass up meat when she learns where it really comes from. I am lucky that my husband is not a picky eater and has been totally cool with no longer having meat at dinner. I did buy him chicken last week at the grocery and it is still sitting in our fridge, lol. I will make him cook it though, I don’t want those birds to have died to just be thrown away! How about you, what stops you from making the leap?

My running is going pretty well. I did run a 10 mile race in extreme humidity this past weekend and almost quit. It was my worst race ever and took me almost as long as a half marathon. I dry heaved on the side of the road at one point and hit the portapotty twice. It was brutal. I have 14 miles on tap for this weekend, I look forward to some nice long fall runs. I signed up for the Huntington WV marathon, it is Nov 7. I haven’t been on my bike or in the pool since my last tri in late July! Bad Monica. For now I am content to just run. I am also going to start trying to get yoga in 2-3 times a week.

About Me

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distance runner attempting to run a marathon in every state, vegetarian foodie, mediocre triathlete, sucky swimmer, mommy to Harper, tea lover, coffee drinker, animal saver, hubby snuggler, race addict, full time working 31 year old living in cleveland
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Marathons so far

  • Sept 2012 - Corning, NY - TBD
  • April 2012 - Louisville, KY - TBD
  • Sept 2011 - Erie PA - 4:25
  • June 2011 - South Bend IN - 5 hrs+ (it was 98 degrees!)
  • Dec 2010 - Rehoboth Beach DE - 4:26:06
  • Nov 2010 - Huntington WV - 4:11:44
  • Oct 2009 - Towpath - Cleveland area OH - 4:30:35

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