Monday, March 26, 2012

Chapter 2 page 560–Miracle Grow

Several years ago, I began dabbling in container gardening – and found it to be fun, easy,and pretty successful.  Last year, we invested in a cedar raised bed and had a bust of a crop with the super hot summer temps.  Given the hottest March in history with 8 straight days in the 80’s (40* above average temps), I’m uncertain what this “spring” and summer holds for our “crops”, but I gave it a go anyway . . .

Today, I planted small carrots, 3 kinds of radishes (for my husband), and 2 kinds of lettuce.


You’ll notice at the back end of the bed there is already green – hmmm, nope, my miracle grow and green thumb aren’t that good to bloom in one day.  It’s actually kind of nuts . . .


Those would be green onions and a lone carrot that I planted last May – that grew nicely over the summer, that we failed to “harvest” before winter, that died during the fake winter, that POPPED UP with the recent heat wave.  Now, we have deliciously LARGE green onions.

Stay tuned for weekly updates (I know you’re on the edge of your seat) on the garden’s progress. 

Do you garden?  What are your “crops”?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chapter 2 page 559–Nutri Run 5 Miler Race Recap (TR 181)

After starting the morning off with an hour of body pump, I headed across town to a 5 mile race . . . because that’s always a great idea!
The Nutri-Run is one of the older races in the area.  It’s put on in recognition of National Nutrition Month. Last year, I did this race with MGA ( my girl Ashley who is the world’s great massage therapist and new mother to a cutie!).  This year, after begging and pleading, “C” graciously agreed to run the 5 mile race with me while Kimberly (from Healthy Strides) took the bull by it’s horns and ran the full 20K race. 
Don’t look too hard for the blue gum . . .can you believe I forgot it?  Ohhh the horror!!!  I actually forgot to eat between Pump and the race (who forgets to eat?  and why can’t I forget to eat more often)  so while at the start line I ate a granola bar  - a bit unorthodox, but who cares!
(Let me preface this with a  deep apology to all of my bloggy friends reading this from the Pacific Northwest where they are NOT having awesome weather . . . sorry ladies, don’t hate the player – hate the game!).  We had a fake winter and skipped spring altogether.  The last 2 weeks have, here, have been full on summer leaving us with GREEN grass as well as trees and shrubs in full beautiful bloom.  Here are some snapshots “C” took along the way (sooo glad she is that talented . . .it takes ALL of my effort to keep putting one foot in front of the other!). 
This race was just a fun time for “C” and I to get a few challenging (it’s VERY hilly . . . compared to the rest of Northeast IN) miles in under our belt (Rockstar “C” is running the Indy Mini in May-good luck girl!) so . . . what else would you expect from 2 VERY SERIOUS (NOT!) runners during this race . . . yeah, some photos!
The race director (on the right) who is an all around awesome guy, Casey, and our half marathon teacher who is also an amazingly awesome guy (on the left), Eric (who is running Boston next month – good luck!!!), finished the 20K like 30 seconds after we crossed the line (1:08:50 . .  5 minutes faster than I did this race last year. . . though you all should know that a 5 year old girl beat me by 4 minutes . . . SIGH for me, but WOW for her . . . how GREAT of a runner will she grow up to be!!!!) from doing 5 Miles – they’re that awesome!!! 
Shortly after we finished the race, they gave away age group awards . . . pineapples (it’s a run celebrating Nutrition Month  . . .genius idea!) . . . and guess who won an AG award?  NOPE, not me BUT . . . my super rockstar running partner, “C” – GREAT JOB GIRL!!! 
We were also greeted at the finish line with an imprinted glass that was used to sample 4 flavors of smoothies – oh sooo good! YUMMY!  Kimberly “shared” (not really, just faked it for the camera) her chocolate & PB smoothie with her most adorable son, Miles!
“C” and I waited to cheer on our 2 other friends who were racing the 20K – Kimberly and Jenn.  They both finished in under 2 hours and were incredible!!! You can see the loaf of Panera Sourdough bread we got as a finisher’s prize (Nutrition month . . . awesome swag!)
After the race, we went to Flanagan’s to enjoy a delicious and well deserved lunch!  It was D.E.L.I.C.O.U.S.  (of course, I might have been extra hungry since I forgot to eat between Pump & the race).
Such a GREAT day! Tons of very nice local runners take part in this race and make it that much more enjoyable!!! 
How was your Saturday?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chapter 2 page 558–2 for Tuesday

I LOVE my husband for so many reasons, but on Tuesdays I especially love him because he supports my driving 40 minutes (one way with gas prices above $4/gal) and being gone for 4-5 hours so that I can attend 2 (or 3) group fitness classes. 

Tonight I did Zumba & Pump.  Our regular teacher was not there (missed you Emily) so we had her sister, Katie, who was also my Boot Camp teacher back in December.  I’ve taken her circuit class from time to time this year and she is just really an amazing teacher.  She, and her sister (and their mom for that matter) are super empowering!  LOVE THAT. Here’s a post-Zumba photo with Katie (it was SUPER HOT in the gym tonight – woo, I’m one sweaty mess!).  You can see my blue gum in it’s usual location (left side) – no idea why that’s funny – click HERE


After Zumba was Body Pump.  Love that class more than words!!  I’m getting so much stronger (even if I’m not getting skinner- boo).  I used the heaviest weights I’ve ever used for every track except biceps . . .still using the same weights and it’s still a struggle (sigh).  I have amazing news . . . I did almost all of the lunges tonight –woo, high 5 to myself (also called a clap – ha!)  Tonight was made even more FUN because not only was “C” and her oldest daughter “K” there, but “L” joined us . . . the 3 of us haven’t been together since October I think. 


How was your day?  What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chapter 2 page 557– 5 Kilt Race Recap (TR 180)

Happy St. Patty’s Day!!!! 

Saturday morning I ran the 3rd annual 5Kilt (get it – 5K and kilt for the irish – hahaha – clever right!).  This was my 2nd time doing this race.  It had some rocky issues in the first two years so my expectations were pretty low – this was all about just having fun!!!  The race directors are a bunch of firefighters who use this event as a fundraiser and made many improvements to the race – all in all, it was a LOT of fun and was pretty smooth (except that we got a ticket for either beer or food and I never did figure out where to redeem that at – sigh).

The weather was absolutely stunning – it was probably about 60* during the race (sure felt a LOT warmer) with a minimal breeze.  The perfect blue sky dotted with fluffy white clouds made it feel more like June rather than March (last year the temp was 30* with 30 mph winds – brrrr). 



This race, because of the novelty of it, has GROWN in popularity.  This year, there was nearly 900 participants.  It felt crazy jammed at the start and really I weaved around people the entire race– a VERY rare thing for me – usually I find myself at least a half a block away from the next closest person by the midpoint (if not sooner).  If the race continues to grow, they will have to change the course as part of it is on a narrow elevated path – so many people were near me that at one point I got over as far as I could (the path is probably only 5’ wide) and nearly fell down a 15’ bank – yikes!


The vast majority of participants were sporting some St. Patty’s Day spirit – beads, hats, cute t-shirts, kilts, and tons wore knee socks – all of it made this event more about fun and less about serious racing!  It was that – FUN!!!!

There were so many people there that everyone seemed to know someone.  “C’s” oldest daughter ran into 2 of her swimming friends from high school – how cute are they?  (L to R:  “K” (“C’s” oldest daugheter), “C”, and the 2 swimming friends – wish you could see their shirts better – they are perfectly adorable!!!


“C” has recently switched to Brooks (she’s been a die hard Asics gal ever since I started running with her) – well, of all the shoes in the world, it turns out her daughter also wears the same kind – aren’t they cute shoe twins : )


What race would be complete without some pre-race screwing around fun photos . . . I had to show my blue gum in the first photo below (hee hee)


I should have spent more time training, more time planning, and more time making a strategy.  Heading to the starting line I had delusions that I could run the whole thing – NOT!  After 2 songs I decided to try to run 2 songs walk 1 song – YEAH until the next song and for the rest of the race I ran 1 song walked 1 song.  Not optimal, but it was warm and I started out way too fast to run nonstop.  I ended up about 1 minute slower than my PR (which is pretty good for me; nearly 4 minutes faster than last year at this race), 38:51 (though it did take me 45 seconds to cross the starting line – told you it was crowded).

What race would be complete without some post-race screwing around silly photos . . . enjoy!


The race was everything I expected – A.WHOLE.LOT.OF.FUN!!!! 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

Hope the luck of the Irish is shining on you today!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chapter 2 page 556–N2U Cross Training event (March edition)

You all know Kimberly from  Healthy Strides by now, don’t you?  If not, please go click on her blog HERE and get caught up.  Kimberly is an awesome person, a weight loss success (117 pounds lost to date), an amazing runner, and a fantastic mom to the world’s cutest little boy.  Kimberly and I run together sometimes, but lately we’ve been doing Body Pump and Zumba together on Saturdays.


Tonight, though, tonight was the night we were going to do our “New 2 You Cross Training Challenge” activity . . .spinning!  My only experience with spinning was a 15 minute demo class about 3 years ago.  I lasted 10 minutes and hated every second.  The only other thing I know about spinning is that EVERYONE LOVES IT!!!! 


I don’t really have a narrative for my experience so I’ll just lay out the good and the bad.  Here you go:


+You can make the class whatever intensity level you want (add more or less resistance, stand up or sit down if need be)

+Many of the other participants can relate to my“rookie” struggles and were quite nice and funny (even when we were only 5 minutes into the class and I asked “are we there yet?)

+ It’s definitely a very intense workout


- OUCH my booty!!!!!  I used my folded towel as another layer which did help a little, but not nearly enough . . . and my towel fell on the ground while we did some standing hill climbs

- Did I do it wrong?  The teacher said our calves were suppose to be hurting – nope, just my quads!!!!  They were shaking!!!!

- It’s really all about how hard you want to work.  I probably gave it 75-85% effort.  Should have pushed more, but knew I was doing another hard class (circuit class) afterward – needed to keep something in the tank.

-My right knee hurt the entire time – every single revolution of the pedals.  I tend to baby my knees during aerobics classes like Zumba because I am prone to knee pain.

-I’m sure I mentioned my booty REALLY HURTS!!! (I was told about a gel seat cover, but I’m not investing in one of those unless spinning is something I’m going to be doing regularly . . . or again for that matter).

Our class was 45 minutes long (could swear the clocked stopped about 20 minutes in) and was taught by Khandi (see her in the pink shirt behind Kimberly’s shoulder).  Khandi typically teaches the Saturday spinning class as well as Saturday’s super high energy Zumba class.  She too is a weight loss success – loosing over 100 pounds.  She’s like the definition of healthy and fit!  Thanks Khandi for taking the photo of us during class!!! 


Parting thoughts -

Spinning could have a place in one’s (perhaps mine) workout routine.  I enjoyed the challenge.  I think if I were to do this class again, I would make sure that I wasn’t going to double up on workouts!  Spinning is quite enough for one evening.  OHHHH and for sure if I were going to do it again, I’d be getting one (or two) of those gel seat covers!!!!  Also, the teacher made it sound like there were a couple of different types of routines/workouts – more cardio which they apparently did on Monday, more strength which includes standing hill climbs which is what we did tonight.  It might be interesting to check out the other routine types. 

Are you a spinning fanatic or do you avoid it at all costs?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chapter 2 page 555–Weekly Recap

Last week can be summarized with one expression – “Back on Track, Baby!”  Here’s a little recap of last week, in case you missed any of the action:

Sunday:  I like to call this the calm before the week of super physical activity that lies ahead.  I was within my calories and ready to rock the week.

Monday:  I went to a “new to me” gym in my little town and attended 3 group fitness classes:  Zumba (50 minutes), CardioBlast (a type of circuit/interval class that was 55 minutes), and a Kettlebell class (55 minutes ending with a 15 minute super intense ab workout – awesome).  I had 824 calories left over at the end of the day after eating back some of my exercise calories.

Tuesday:  I did an hour of Body Pump and 45 minutes of Zumba.  I had 430 calories surplus.

Wednesday:  “C” and I went on our first run together in months (6.36 miles) –!  I was perfect with my calories (4 calorie surplus).

Thursday:  Rest day!  Woo Hoo since I was pretty sore from all of the activity earlier in the week.  I was 200 calories over my goal – really disappointing, dang that last minute poor decision to have dessert with dinner (but the small slice of Pecan pie was delicious).

Friday:  Another rest day!  And date night with my awesome husband!  I ended up being 400 calories over my daily goal, but I’m considering this a HUGE victory.  We went to Flat Top Grill and I made healthy choices.  It was the first time I was truly stuffed since I began this MPF tracking – but I was stuffed on healthy veggies.

Saturday:  Body Pump (60 minutes) & Zumba (45 minutes).  I ended up being 600 calories over my goal – not great, but I had a night out with my gal pals!  I opted to bring 3 SkinnyTaste recipes to the party so that I could ensure there were healthier options that I knew the calorie content of.  I wish I had stayed more within my calorie limit though.  Dang wine!

Sunday:  6.3 mile run (including 70 continuous minutes of running – a super accomplishment for me).  I was perfect with my calories today (a small surplus of 4).

Total miles run:  12.6

Total minutes exercised:  548 (according to MFP)

Total calories burned: 5697 (according to MFP)

How was your week?  Thumbs Up or Down?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chapter 2 page 554–Sunday 70 (TR 189)

You’ll NEVER believe what I did today (but you have to wait until I RAVE about the AWESOME weather to find out).

There was just one word to describe today’s weather – PERFECT!  It was a collision of ideal environmental conditions that happen only a handful times a year.  It was that exceptional Spring day following winter where you could easily just be outside the entire day. 

Weather stats:  65*, 7 mph winds from the south (adding to the warmth), perfect blue skies with fluffy white clouds, and bountiful sunshine. 

See for yourself . . .


Now with such a beautiful day + an extra hour of sunlight in the evening . . . how could someone BEST take advantage of this situation?  An outdoor run, of course.  BUT my run today was unlike any other run EVER!  After peeling myself off the couch having been sucked into a marathon of Hoarders (sigh), I opted to run the same route as “C” and I did last Wednesday (6.35 miles).  The plan?  Run 2 songs and walk 1 song . . .though I wasn’t sure if I could actually do it for the full time. 


After my normal 10 minute warm up I started to run and just kept going thinking that a week ago I ran 2 miles so I’ll run “to the lake” which would be almost 2 miles.  I made it “to the lake” and then convinced myself I could go to the end of the path.  When I arrived at the end of the path I had been running for 37 minutes so I thought that I will run until it’s 40 minutes.  At 40 minutes I was “at the bench” and thought if I dig deep I can run to the other end of the path.  I figured it would probably be 3 songs but to make sure that I actually got there, I decided I would run 5 more songs (and you know what – in my head that seemed like an easy thing to do – WOW – who was this girl on the run today – 2 months ago I couldn’t run for 3 songs let alone 5  At this point my legs were getting tired, but I was no longer focused on the distance, it was all about the songs – that was a great mental strategy to help me push through.  As I had suspected, the end of the path was only 3 songs, but since I had “committed” to run for 5 songs, I continued on running and ended up only 7 minutes from my car. 


I ran for 70 straight minutes.  Please don’t get me wrong – it was NOT fast.  It probably shouldn’t even be called running – it was more of a shuffle, but it was continuous!  There was ZERO walk breaks!  There were NO intervals.  It was just me running. The entire thing was 6.36 miles and of that I walked 10 minutes at the beginning and 7 minutes at the end, I’m guessing that I ran about 5.1 miles in 70 minutes – completely unimpressive compared to everyone else, but what a gigantic accomplishment for me!!!!!  It was a first – even when I was in the Army I have never run for 70 straight minutes! 


Here are some things that I learned today:

-drinking water while running is WAY more challenging (even with squirt bottles on an iFitness belt) that I ever imagined.  It really made my heart rate go up and made me more fatigued.  I’m guessing I’ll get better as I get more practice.  Never ran and drank before today!  And I do mean that I have NEVER drank while running before!

-I REALLY wish I had a fresh piece of gum (or two) along the way!  It’s not something that I would normally need for only a 6 miler, but I really relied on my gum to get me through today.

-There is immeasurable benefits to having 3 awesomely motivating songs in a row on your ipod.  These 3 songs in a row (Who Says, Dynamite, and Down) were so motivating that I played them 3 times in a row. 

- All of my cross training (including all those dang lunges and squats) must be paying off in increased strength and endurance – PTL that it’s really working and that I’m just wasting time and money!  AWESOMENESS!

-We are al capable of more than we think (Thanks Molly @ I’m A Sleeper Baker for promoting this truth)! 

Thank you for sharing in my celebration!!!!!!! 

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