Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 is the year I will...

The other day I reviewed my 2011, now - on the eve of the eve of the new year, I figure that now would be a good time to think about what I'd like to accomplish in the year ahead.

So here we go.

2012 is the year I will…

1.  Run 1012 miles. I was going to shoot for 1000 but figured I'd throw in the extra 12 for good measure. This year I think I'll come in just shy of 850 - so it's not an impossible goal to shoot for but still challenging.

2.  Run a sub 2:20 half marathon.  Last year I ran a 2:24 - so shaving another 4 minutes off - will be challenging but not impossible.

3.  Run another marathon.  I will aim for around 5 hours but am flexible when it comes to time. I am still in the 'just finish' zone of such a goal.

4.  Continue this blog.

5.  Run a sub 28:30 5K.  My last 5K I ran in 28:48 so if I focus and work hard, I should be able to achieve it.

6.  Continue to maintain my weight loss.

7.  Remember to be thankful.  For family, friends, running, love, this blog, I am incredibly blessed.

8.  Remember to ENJOY it.  At the end of the day - goals for speed, miles and marathons are great but the most important part is to embrace it. This isn't a chore, this is a privilege. If it becomes a chore then it's time to reassess - don't let anything steal the joy away. (But don't be too quick to give up either!)

And that's my big running list of to do's will do's.  

Personally, I also want to also keep a cleaner house, get organized, take more chances (when it comes to career stuff) knock on more doors, live life more boldly and confidently and make things happen.

What are some of your 2012 goals?



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lose weight and keep it off: Ten ways to weigh less in the New Year

I know this is a running blog and a lot of you do not need this advice, however as someone who has lost more than 90 pounds and has successfully kept it off for ore than a year now, I feel I can offer something for those of you who have been battling and battling weight.  So I'm (kinda) hanging up my sneakers for this one.

My weight loss wasn't immediate or easy. I have dealt with weight issues for most of my 39 years of life. I've lost it, gained it back, lost it again and have made a million mistakes. But here are some things I've learned.

Ten things I've learned about losing (and maintaining) weight loss:

1.  WHY?  First off, it is very important to write and FEEL the reasons why you want to lose weight. Being a smaller size to me was never that important to me. Yes. I hated how I looked and yes, I wanted to wear cute clothes but it just wasn't enough for me to keep going. However, hanging out with a few people who were negatively affected by diabetes and obesity began to motivate me. I saw my future riddled with health issues, physical limitations, depression and decreased quality of life. I had to make a decision that I WAS WORTH making good choices for so I could look forward to a better life.  And when the going gets tough it doesn't hurt to have me imagine the pain I would put my son and loved ones through if my decisions were to cut my life short.

2.  HEALTH VS WEIGHT LOSS.  Never mind the weight loss at first. That's right. Put the weight loss out of your mind for the first few days. Make your first goal to strive to eat as healthfully as possible. Don't immediately get hung up on serving size and calorie restriction because that's a diet and diets don't work. Lifestyle changes work. So, make a commitment to eat healthfully 90% of the time. Have oatmeal or a veggie omelet or yogurt with fruit for breakfast instead of pancakes and bacon.  Choose a blackbean soup and salad for lunch. Think in terms of fuel and feeding your body with great stuff. Make a game of choosing well whenever you can.  Olive oil instead of butter or a banana instead of syrup on a waffle. Once you've got a handle on that, start looking at 'calories in and out.'  Ironically by eating well you may naturally shed some weight without even trying.

3.  EAT.  Stop starving yourself, it's a sure backfire - you're slowing down your metabolism and setting yourself up for failure. Plan on 3 healthy meals and 2 healthy snacks a day. If you've eaten for the day and  are still (truly) hungry then EAT.  Sometimes if you drink some water or tea first you'll find that you weren't really hungry but if you are then turn to another healthy snack - an apple, a serving of veggies, a small fat free yogurt, a low fat string cheese. Deprivation will not serve you.  Better to eat fifty extra calories now than 500 later when you get to the point of "F" it - I'm-so-hungry-I don't-care-and-will-eat-til-I-can't-see.

4.  ONE MEAL AT A TIME.  Do not overwhelm yourself with the big picture.  Tackle your meals one at a time. If two out of three of your meals are solidly healthy then you are doing pretty good. Even if just one meal a day is solid - then you're doing better than nothing. If a meal was too indulgent, you've got another one right around the corner to get back on track.

5. IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS.  Feel like having a burger? Go for it. Skip the cheese, bacon and mayo and save more than 400 calories!! Trade a salad for the fries and save even more. For so long I thought, eh, I'm having a burger anyway, what's the difference if I throw a little cheese on it?  It adds up. Make just a few of these little choices a day and they add up to a lot over time.  What are the little things?  Skim milk instead of full fat, low fat cheese in lieu of regular, mustard instead of mayo, sandwich thins instead of regular bread, lean ground beef instead of regular and so on. Make swaps where you can.

in my case, i might occasionally drink
my calories
6.  FOOD GUILT IS STUPID.  I can relate. You're not stupid for feeling guilty but lighten up. We all love food. We all have issues with food and sometimes a wrong choice happens.  Shake it off and move on. Guilt leads us to loathing and loathing leads to depression and depression often leads to more overeating. So you ate a cupcake (or two) or you ate too much or ordered pizza… Listen. Welcome to the club. I've made a zillion and one of those missteps and still reached my weight loss goals. Dust yourself off and refer to tip number four.  If you want to counter some of the damage, take a walk, drink more water, analyze what went wrong. Guilt does nothing for you.  Instead of guiltily look back at the last meal, look forward to your next to get it better.

7.  SUPPORT.  I know a lot of you feel you can do it on your own but from my perspective, support is the best thing you can have - you just have to figure out what kind of support is best for you and seek it out. Do you need  a drill sergeant type that is gonna bark at you and ride your ass? (NOT ME!) but if it's you, find that. For me, I thrived at Weight Watchers. A solid program of healthy eating + weekly meetings + a weekly weigh in that keeps me connected was what worked for me. Find it, reach out for it and never stop looking until you find the support you need.

8.  MOVE IT and MOMENTUM.  I know that this is no news flash but you've gotta get some exercise in. I'm not saying you have to start running marathons (or even running for that matter) but aim for something. I don't care if your goal is just five minutes a day for a week.  You can do five minutes of lifting soup cans as you watch TV, five minutes of walking around the block, five minutes of jumping jacks or sit-ups… The most important part early on is just getting used to doing something everyday and building that momentum. As you get stronger, add more minutes and intensity. Even I had to stop an "all or nothing" attitude and that's how I came to my "No Mile Left Behind" philosophy. Some days I run 3, 6 or 8 miles and somedays I only run for ten minutes. It all counts.  Keep looking for an activity you enjoy and give it a fair shot. It probably took me a good month or two before I started to enjoy running, it took me longer to begin loving it and now I can't live without it. But, I was once the girl who would've rather have had a root canal than be subjected to run for 12 seconds.

9.  SPECIFIC GOALS + ACTION.  Once you've been eating healthfully and have a little exercise routine, you need to get specific about your goals. This is three fold. It's very abstract to say, "I want to lose weight." It's easy to lose focus on something so willy nilly.  It's better to say I want to lose 20 pounds by April 25th.  Set a date, circle it and look at it every, single, day. Then, break that into smaller goals - I want to lose 8 pounds by February 1st, for example. Then, break those goals into a specific plan. Write out how you'll get there. I will lose 8 pounds by February 1st by: Exercising for a minimum of 20 minutes a day, I will make every monday entirely vegetarian, I will attend Zumba every Friday night.

As runners - we don't just put a marathon on the calendar - we plot out how we intend to get to that goal thru a training plan.  And like running, even if your training plan isn't 100 percent perfect - we can pull off the marathon.  You don't have to be 100% perfect in your weight loss goals to get there either.

10.  FLEXIBILITY and NEVER GIVE UP.  For me, there is no "on and off" a diet. I just strive to do the best I can at any given moment and sometimes my best is oatmeal and fruit and sometimes my (not so) best is Chinese take-out.  Sometimes my best laid plans are foiled when I go to someone's house for dinner, I show up at a restaurant with a limited menu or I can't get my workout in. That's life. Be flexible, roll with the punches and accept that there are no paths or roads in life that are completely bump free. When you hit a bump, that's to be expected. No one is perfect. No one can be 100 percent the model eater and exerciser all the time. Just don't give up. One year of my 90 pound loss, I bumped around and only lost 7 pounds the whole year. OOPS. But I didn't give up and was able to get to the following year which brought me a 50 pound weight loss….  Glad I stuck it out.  And now 2 years later - who cares what year I lost what? Never give up and you'll get there.

DON'T LET THE SCALE DICTATE YOUR SUCCESS OR SELF-WORTH!!!  Sorry for the shouting but it's very, very important.  There are so many things to celebrate in your journey aside from the scale!! Did you choose healthier foods today? You rock. Did you exercise 3 or more days this week? You rock. Did you walk or run just a little further today then yesterday? You rock. Did your blood sugar improve, your risk of heart disease go down, your knees start to feel a little better? ROCK ON. Good decisions make so many good things happen and sometimes the scale doesn't give you the big picture so don't put so much "weight" on it.

Good luck with your goals. Please feel free to ask me any questions, rant, celebrate or anything else at any time!



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Goals and reflections

A whole year has gone by and I'm still running. In fact, it'll be my two year running anniversary in February - I can't believe it. Words can't describe the gratitude I have for having found this lifestyle.

Anyhoo, I thought I'd pull up my "running goals" from last year and here is how it broke down:

  1. Reach and maintain my goal weight - CHECK. In fact it will by one year at goal weight in January - WOO-friggen-hoo, go me.
  2. Stop beating myself up when it comes to running - no more feeling "not good enough," "not worthy enough," "not fast enough..." There will always be someone faster, younger and thinner. Good for them. And there will always be someone slower, older and fatter. Good for me. - CHECK? I think I've done much better with this and have even curbed my need to follow my "speedier" workouts with the words, "for me." 
  3. I will take more time to enjoy the journey - even the treadmill part - CHECK. I feel like I really have enjoyed the journey and have even grown to appreciate the treadmill.
  4. I will find a better balance. I think so. ;)
  5. I will learn more about the actual "mechanics" of running. I don't know what Fartlek's are and "splits" aren't so clear either. There's lots of training terms that sound techy and make me want to take a nap but I should learn the runner-speak if this is the sport I'm committing to.  FAIL.  I still have no idea what a Fartlek is. I think I kinda get splits though - like if my first mile is 10 min mile and my second is a 9:45 min mile… that's a good thing split wise.
  6. I will "pay it forward" more in the new year - I've been blessed with so much support, love and friendship in this running world - I hope to give the same to others.  CHECK. I feel like I've made an effort to be involved in the blogging/twitter/facebook world of newbie and fellow runners alike.
So all in all a pretty great running year.  I've gotta start getting some goals together for 2012 - Will post within the next few days.

Some more 2011 highlights:

First full marathon 
I've increased my speed. My average pace is now a sub 11min. mile (usually around 10'something) This is happy-happy.

I had great PR's for my half marathon (two sub 2:30 halfs) and an awesome 5K at 28:48.

I ran my first marathon in June.

I started to take this blog a little more seriously and have grown a little twitter following and even a Facebook page.

I made it thru a few flus and a twisted ankle and still maintained my connection to running and fitness - notable as I usually let things slide when faced with adversity.

I got my hubby to run his first 5K.

I even had a mini running streak of over a month when I declared I shall 'leave no mile behind.'

How'd you do this past year? What are some of your goals for the new year?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I like how it feels

Ah -

Had a good run at the gym today.  I started off slow but I ended it strong. I know that a few of you are 'no music' purist but I can't tell you how much a good song makes a difference for me.

Was very happy with my splits today - always trying to remember to save some in the tank to book at the end.  So my 3 miler went like this:

Mile 1: 11'45
Mile 2: 10'25
Mile 3:   9'41

Not too shabby.

I downloaded a few new tunes this morning using a brand new iTunes gift card I got from Mom for Christmas.

I am typically not a fan of Enrique Iglesias but downloaded his song - I Like How It Feels and it really got me running fast and cranking up the speed. It's pretty catchy and has a build-up to it.

 I like some of the lyrics too:
"So just turn it up, let me go
I'm alive, yes and no, never stop
Give me more, more, more
Cause I like how it feels
Ooh yeah, I like how it feels
You know I like how it feels
Oh yeah I like how it feels"
I liked it so much, I played it twice which I almost never do.

So Christmas was great. My hubby is the best and got me a bunch of great stuff like my favorite makeup and perfume. He also had the movie poster to the documentary that I co-produced professionally framed:

Fancy - huh? See the trailer here
And he got me some awesome running stuff: A new long sleeve base layer top, my bibs and medals framed, running pants (that don't fall down!) 2 pairs of my favorite Injinji toe socks and Dean Karnazes 50 marathon in 50 days documentary AND Spirit Of The Marathon:

not sure why all my photos have a reddish tint but
being that I had no makeup on, its probably for the best
Hope you are all enjoying your holidays!!

Did ya get anything good?

Hear any good songs lately? If you listen to music when you run, what's the newest song you've added to your playlist?


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Santa came right in the middle of "It's A Wonderful Life" last night!
Merry Christmas!

I hope you are having a spectacular day!

We are. My husband warmed up around the fire ;)

who doesn't love the yule log?
While my son tore into gifts…

Choo-choo set!

And even Momma got a cool gift or two (actually - momma was spoiled this year!) But how is this for starters…

He some of my favorite medals and bibs framed! So nice!

I can't wait to hear all about your Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Why I Run: Life is good

Today has been a great day.

I am very honored to have my essay - Why I Run featured in 'Another Mother Runner' blog.  I am a huge fan of this blog and have been following it since the beginning of my journey.  I also read the book that the bloggers Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea penned, Run Like a Mother on the plane to the San Diego marathon.

These women rock! They are very accessible and supportive to the running community and are contributors to Runner's magazine.

Anyway, it just filled me with such a good feeling to see that they thought my little 'ol journey was interesting enough to share with their community and I'm extremely appreciative and humbled.  If you get a chance and feel like reading it click the link above.

In other news, I got to fit in a four mile run today (treadmill) but it was a tough run for some reason. I was pretty fatigued by 2.5 miles in and my music seemed stale and it was feeling like the longest run ever.  However, I couldn't come up with a good enough excuse to quit the run so I just kept going. I gave myself permission to run slower if I had to (walk even) but under no circumstance would I not get to four miles. I stuck it out and got there. I'm happy about that.

From I <3 to run - thought this was so true!
I've been feeling super blessed lately. For so long I focused on what I didn't have but now all I can see is the great stuff I do have.  Family, friends, health, running (and of-course that doesn't begin to scratch the surface.)  As of today I have 140 followers of this blog. That's incredible - what a community!  I'm so appreciative.  Thank you for commiserating with me when I feel yucky, cheering me on when I need the support and teaching me something or making me laugh with your great comments.

Hope you are all gearing up for a fantastic holiday weekend.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

A visit to NYC and Brazil all in one day!

I live 15 miles out of NYC so that's not such a stretch. I'm in and out of the city pretty often for work and stuff. Today I had a meeting and a friend and I decided to enjoy the unusually nice weather and visit the flea market in Union Square.

On the way back we spied (well couldn't miss) this GIANT snow globe plopped in the middle of the street.

I immediately needed in.

So we investigated and it was the Brazil tourist board trying to entice people to plan vacations.

They let us into the giant snow globe to "experience" Brazil… So, basically, Brazil is a huge snow globe in the middle of New York City filled with sand, coconuts, flip flops and beach towels with the Brazilian flag on it. Sign me up!

We got a picture of us in the thing.  We are toasting fake drinks. It was nice and toasty in there.
Amy is in the white - I'm in the black - our ten second vacation to "Brazil"
Ironically, The Boring Runner got some Brazilian coffee today from his secret Santa.

All roads lead back to Brazil.

In other news, I ran two miles and did them pretty speedy. I'm nearly 100% so after 3 days of 2 mile runs, gonna try to shoot for a more substantial run tomorrow.

Have you ever been in a giant snow globe before? (HA - I bet not!) If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

iFitness belt, Secret Santa gift and other fun mail

Well it's day five or six (I'm losing track) since I've last run. Got hit with an awful cold that has really knocked me on my ass and even though my heart is saying, "suck it up, Frances and give me 4 miles" my head is saying. "Sit down and have some tea, stupid - The sneakers will still be there when you're feeling better."

I've decided to listen to my head for once.  And a few good friends on Twitter and wait this one out. I just have a feeling that pushing it would lead to disaster and prolonged illness.  Now that I'm finally starting to feel a little better I may do a very, very light jog/walk of 2 miles tonight for a little mental health if I can swing it.

In the midst of this illness, I did receive two fantastic things in the mail this week that definitely brought a smile to my face!

First, check out this beauty from iFitness:
iFitness belt - she's a beauty
Wow! I won this from Lesley blog Racing It Off and while I've always wanted one of these, this thing is even better than I imagined.  It's made super well and fits wonderfully. I can't wait to put this baby into action. It has room for my gels and tabs to hold my race bibs. SWEET!!! The pouch is big enough for money, ID, keys and my iPhone.  LOVING IT.

The next thing in the mail was a care package from my secret 'blogging' santa that was organized by blogger,  Run With Jill.

Holy crap.  This was such a great and fun box of goodies!  I felt like a little kid at Christmas:
blogger grab bag

It had a ton of cool stuff - a cool long sleeve race tee, a Lara Bar, chapstick, notecards, sticky pad and ornament with my initial on it and this piece de resistance:

Oh my God. Love. Happiest/luckiest grab bagger eva
My secret Santa sent me all that stuff and this cute ornament.  I love it so much. I'm a sucker for an ornament - every year, bringing out my ornaments reminds me of something special and this is my first "running" ornament. It makes me happy every time I see it and I'm sure it'll make me happy for many Christmases to come.

My "secret" Santa had a return address on it so I peeked and I'm outing her - here's her blog if you want to check it out: A so-called runner.  Thank you for the lovely gifts!

Have you received any fun mail lately?

Are you participating in any secret santa gift exchanges?

What's the best secret santa gift you've ever received?


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Weight Watchers and Porkys - perfect together

Well, I'm still suffering with one helluva cold. But souped up on dayquil and armed with tissues, I'm muddling thru.  I will probably not run again today but I shall try not to let that get me down. I think it's for the best -- I'm on that edge of getting really sick or rallying back so I am going to try to take it easy and hope to be running again in the next day or so.

Even though I'm feeling off, I pulled my crap together enough to get to my Weight Watcher meeting. Next month in January I expect to reach my one year anniversary at (or below) my goal.  YEE HA. I'm very proud of the accomplishment in maintaining.

Still, the road to WW success will always hit bumps here and there. This week I was up and it was annoying.  Even though I'm a little sick - I still managed a 20+ mile week of running and tracked all my food. This is the second week I'm up at the scale despite being very mindful of food and exercise. Boo.  I'm still under goal so I have a little play room but no matter where you are at weight, its still frustrating when the scale doesn't do what you want it to do.

In any case - how is this for totally ridiculous?  Our new Weight Watcher center moved next to this BBQ restaurant:

But wait. That's not the ridiculous part.  During my weigh-in this morning was this ON THE WEIGHT WATCHER reception counter:
what's next? free wine tasting at the AA meeting?
Oh sweet irony. I mean. Come on Weight Watchers!  I appreciate that this program is designed where if I was forced to go to a place like Porkys I could figure out the points and make it happen.  Cool. I get that. But to literally have their menu at the scale?  I find something not quite right about that.  Most of us got into that room because we made poor choices and struggle with food. A 10% discount to Porkys is not what any of us need.

And listen - I hate to bag on Weight Watchers.  No one is a bigger supporter than I.  I LOVE Weight Watchers. I LIVE Weight Watchers.  I think it's an awesome program that works.  The program itself stresses 'whole foods' and exercise.  I am a fan and will probably go a meeting for the rest of my life… 

However, I have to call ya out on this one.

Gotta love it.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Calling out sick

Happens to the best of us

I'll be back soon -

Not only have I got nothing interesting to say - I'm feeling rather yucky.

I was going to run 5 miles instead of my 10 mile long run in the face of this craptastic cold and then decided to just skip the whole thing altogether…

I will now go into my self-induce coma of Nyquil and cough drops - if you need to find me just follow the trail of tissues and the scent of the Vicks Vapor rub - I'll be that big lump in the middle of the bed under fifty-two blankets with the company of some TLC show droning on in the background.

By the way - have you ever tried a neti pot?  My husband swears by them but it never seems to work out for me. Tonight, at his urging, I gave it another shot. I nearly drowned to death.  I just don't think they like me. Or I can't figure out this seemingly easy thing.  Either way.  Awesome.

And they are all trying to kill me

Anyway, hope to get a few miles in tomorrow.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All I do is Win and Biggest Loser recap

First of all…

There was the winner of the Biggest Loser last night and the finale - (spoiler alert ahead)

I am usually not such a big fan of the finale - I'm not sure why, it's almost like that feeling I get after a big race -- I guess I enjoy the journey so much that the "finish line/finale" of the show leaves me feeling a little wistful.  Of course, immediately scheduling another race -- or in the case of BL -- the promise of the next season on the horizon picks me right up.

They promoted the next season of BL last night. It's slated to begin in January and looks like it's gonna be another interesting journey.

But back to last night.

I stole borrowed this pic from Dolvett's FB page - it's awesome

The contestants all looked amazing.  While I fell in love with Ramone last night - he was funny, inspiring, charming and sincere (and was sorta rooting for him) -- I was also blown away with Antone's transformation and wouldn't have minded seeing him win either but the top prize went to AZ native, John who shed enough weight to beat both his opponents.  His next goal is to run the LA Marathon. I was happy for him, his hard work and drive led him to success and what other lesson could you want from BL?

I was also so happy for Jennifer who won the at-home competition and looked stunning.


And speaking about winning -- guess who else is a winner? ME! I am a winner.  I usually don't win anything but in the last few weeks, I've been making up for a lifetime of unwinning entries, lottery tickets, raffles and whatever else. Recently, I won an iFitness belt from Racing It Off, and a great tee shirt and HoneyMilk from Cook, Train, Eat, Race.  Go me!

And now this - 

I was catching up with my blog reading and headed over to Life As a Running Mom to read her "Almost Wordless Wednesday" post.  Well, I was downright speechless to find my name in a pretty rainbow:

I stole borrowed this pic from Life As a Running Mom's
blog it's awesome

YIPPEE!!  What did I win?  This:
Also 'borrowed' from
Life As a Running Mom's blog :)

So I'm very excited to give this stuff a shot!

Also, go check out Erica's blog it's great.

I'm feeling like a winner.  :)  On my way to play megaball… 

Have you won anything lately?

What's the coolest thing you've ever won?



Monday, December 12, 2011

Ironman and other television shows that are good for you

I fricken love Ironman and this year's Kona definitely didn't disappoint.  It delivered highs and lows - it profiled common men and women that you rooted for with every cell in your body and highlighted the elites we love.

I savored every minute and I'm sad that those events are so few, far and in-between.  The TV producer in me wishes they would take the whole event and break it down into an 8, 1 hour episode series - profiling more folks and following their journeys. You could delve into their back-stories even more and get to know more of those people out there.  Sigh.

Ironman Kona always motivates me.  And it got me to thinking, TV always gets such a bad rap but the truth is there are a few TV shows that could almost be downright good for you -- if consumed responsibly.

In addition to Ironman competitions here are my "TV that's good for you" picks:

  • Dr. Oz.  I often will run on the treadmill during Dr. Oz.  Unlike many other Docs on TV, Dr. Oz is the real deal.  He still sees patients and performs open heart surgeries at Columbian Pres. in NYC.  His approach is honest yet compassionate and somehow he keeps his show interesting and fresh. On a recent episode he even called Paula Deen out (as his guest!) on her responsibility to make her food healthier and to quit smoking.  Paula looked scared to death but she's already trying to clean up some of her recipes and promised to work with Oz to quit smoking.  I appreciated that he didn't sit there and kiss her ass just because she is a beloved superstar of the cooking world. He was gentle but he made no bones about the fact that her cooking will kill her and it's no good for anyone.
  • Super Size Me and other documentaries.  There are many great documentaries out there - Food Inc., Super Size Me, Spirit of the Marathon that are either eye-opening, super motivating or both. These docs are well worth the time spent to watch them.  I caught Super Size Me on the treadmill last week and it reminded me of why I've made the food decisions I have and motivated me to run further.
  • Biggest Loser.  I know, I know. It ain't perfect. There are issues all over the place but for me, I still find something super motivating in there and maybe just for the guilty pleasure of it, I have to stick it on my list.  
What makes your list of "good for you" TV watching?



Friday, December 9, 2011

Foto Friday

Do you "Like" I <3 to run on Facebook?  You should like them if you get a chance.  Totally worthwhile.

They post a ton of great pictures.

There are motivational ones:

There are straight to the point ones:

There are social networking ones:

And there are "cheeky" ones:
(This one had a caption: 
Running - better than plastic surgery)
Not enough miles on the planet for my ass ever
to resemble this but still a great picture

Somedays I even whip out my camera...
This is just a basic screenshot of my two mile run from this morning:

Pretty proud of that second mile that's super fast for me!

It's funny because I always have this need to precede, "fast" with "for me." I'm working on that.  I shouldn't discount my effort because one man's 8 minute mile is another's 10, 12 or 14.

We are all runners at the end of the day. Our asses don't have to look like picture number 4 and we don't all have to all come in first in our age group.  However, if the quest for a better looking ass,  a faster time or a healthier heart is what keeps you in the game -- so be it.  

Have a happy Friday everyone!

Do you have any favorite running posters or pictures that make you smile or feel inspired?



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Biggest Loser Marathon and the Jack LaLanne Juicer giveaway winner!

Biggest Loser Marathon Season 12
Debbie and Johnny - running
I am a sucker for the Biggest Loser marathon.  I am. And I'm glad they brought it back this year.

I know critics will argue that people don't live like that in reality, with trainers around the clock and nothing to do but train but so what? 

me at my heaviest
Aside from the training / reality debate of it all, I still feel a swell of emotion when I watch it.  Perhaps it's because I can relate to these people.  A few years ago, I could've qualified to be a contestant on the Biggest Loser.  At 236 pounds I would've fit right in at the ranch. Like those contestants, running two feet at my highest weight was extremely difficult, running 26.2 was flat out impossible. I would've laughed at the sheer ridiculousness of the suggestion. Better chance of me going to the moon. It was that impossible.

Yet, like the biggest loser contestants, I found health, the power of believing in yourself, the willingness to try and an incredible physical and emotional transformation.  

I guess for me, as each one of those contestants cross the finish line, it reminds me of my own journey of literally going "from fat to finish line."  I know what it feels like to come back from practically being dead -- from killing yourself through self-loathing, enough to eat yourself into a hole of fatness that you're not sure you'll ever find your way out of. 

me this past Sat. night.
But somehow they and I - whether it was from luck, hard work, a TV show, a gift from God or whatever -- found the strength to put one foot in front of the other and save ourselves.  We got out of that hole and to a starting line.  We found a life worth living.

All of their lives are changed from this experience. From Ramon who finished around the 5 hour mark to Jennifer who sobbed tears of joy into the arms of Bob for her accomplishment… 

I was truly moved by 65 year old Johnny and 60 year old Debbie, who stuck together and walked much of it but soldiered on to cross that finish line, even though it took more than 10 hours.

My heart broke for Joe who DNF'ed because the show doctor pulled him a little over mile 20 -- he was so close and was determined to finish but the doc feared long term injury and wouldn't allow him to. My heart ached for him, even if it was the right decision. I would've been devastated to have to quit and I saw a new competitor in him (even though he was walking) who didn't want to give up in his eyes.

If nothing else, I hope that some people who watch the show and have ever thought, "I can't" can see that there always is a way to "can" instead.

Deep breath. Allow me to dry my tears and switch topics...

First, a shout out to all my new followers, thank you. I'm so happy to have you and I love your comments. Please stick around and contribute!

And in other news… The big winner of the Jack LaLanne juicer is Book Dragon!  Book Dragon was selected thru Random Number Generator.

Contact me so I can make arrangements to ship you your winnings!!

Did you watch the BL's marathon? What did you think?


Monday, December 5, 2011

Marathon decisions, decisions - which road shall I travel?

I've already mentally committed to the idea of running a marathon this spring.

According to my training program, the ideal date would fall around the first week of June but I'm pretty sure that it's so far out I could probably cheat a few weeks sooner…

So now it's just figuring out what to run.

If money were no object, I would have already signed up for a 'racecation' with Lesley and head to Seattle for the RNR one - that sounds very cool!

But then Jen recommended one in Maine -- it's a mid-May one and that one could work because then my husband could come with me, we could drive up for the weekend.

They are two entirely different races too.  The Rock and Roll races are HUGE events with thousands of runners. The Sugarloaf race in Maine looks beautiful but small and cozier.

I would LOVE to do the Jersey Shore full - as the half was my first race I ever run and it holds a special place in my heart. Plus it's close to home -- the issue with that one is it's the first weekend of May and a whole month earlier than the training program i'm doing says I should race.

Decisions, decisions.

What are you racing this spring?


PS: In other news - Weight Watcher peeps with iPhones might be excited (like I was) to learn that their App will soon allow members to scan barcodes of foods and instantly get the points values. I'm (such a dork) but pretty excited about it.  Thanks Baby Weight My Fat Ass for telling us about it!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Watch out Mutai - Here I come! And an open letter to Nike+

Dear Nike+

People keep telling me I need to break up with you, that you're no good for me. That you tell me lies. 

I want to love you. Really I do. I love the bells and whistles, I love the 'cheers' I love your slick looks and other stuff.  I stick up for you, defend you and try to roll with the quirks.

And like many women before me, I even love when Tiger Woods whispers sweet nothings in my ear… "You've ran your fastest mile…" oh tell me more.

I really want to continue our love affair but if things don't change, I'm going to have to save my pennies and break up with you for the other guy. You know who I'm talking about, he rhymes with Charmin… 

Two days ago, you kicked me in the head and told me my run (and I know this was a pretty fast run) was a 15 minute mile. I don't walk that slow! When I protested, you tried to make me feel better - 

I just got an iPhone so I thought maybe the satellite App would be a better way to go.

And you gave me this feedback during my long run of yesterday:

YES. Nike+, you told me that my 8 mile run (which I know is 8 miles because I've done it 50,000 times before was actually a 9.72 run.

And even better, you told me that my first mile was run in 4.44! Wow - eat my dust Mutai who's average pace for the NYC marathon was 4:46.  Yes. Nike, you told me, i was that good.  Thanks. 'preciate that.

Your customer service is great -- but I'm sick of having to call you and have you upload workouts that vanish, get inaccurate information, and 'guess' if my pace and mileage is for 'realz' or not.

Sigh. I'll give your satellite App another shot or two and chalk it up to me fiddling with it before getting to my destination.  Hopefully we can work this out.


HoneyMilk + cool t-shirt = yay!
PS: oops - paper ball thing over my head from
recent party needs to be removed.
In other news, here was the best part of my 9.72 8 mile run yesterday - HONEYMILK! I recently won a case of Honeymilk and the fancy Cook, Train, Eat, Race teeshirt for naming Jason's newest pair of sneakers. So to recover, I decided try the Chocolate Honeymilk - WOW, my God, DEE-LISH. I will add it as another good reason to long run to my list - it was so good and felt like a reward.

Oh, and happy to report that I lost 2.4 pounds at Weight Watchers this week - so the Thanksgiving debacle has been erased and then some!

Hope all is good with you!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Runner's fantasy gift wish list: Lifestyles of the rich and famous edition

How cute is this - WANT IT found it at Milestones Jewlery
If you know my husband, let him know this would be appreciated ;)
If you're a runner we probably have some common items on our holiday wish lists.

Maybe you want a new fuel belt or a replacement pair of your favorite sneakers. Perhaps you're looking for an iPod upgrade, a case of Gu or even something fancy like the top of the line Garmin…

Socks, running books, cold weather gear and a new pair of running pants (not these) round out my personal list.

But, what if you suddenly hit the lottery? Money no object. What if there was no gift too big?

What would make your ultimate fantasy list of running gifts?

Ooooh… I can tell you what would be on mine:

After the race, I'll be in my penthouse
suite at the Ritz - C'est magnifique!
First class RACECATIONS all the way.  Several of them.  Presently, when I take a 'racecation' it's as cheaply as possible. I'm at some ok'ish motel or hotel too many miles away.  Money has been tight and even going cheap gets pricey. But if money were no obstacle I would stay at the best hotel in the area, get personal post-race massages, followed by five-star celebratory dinners and then stick around a few days to take in the sights.

Pimped out, state-of-the art at-home gym.  And maybe even one of those fancy smancy lap pools since I'm so stinkin' rich. No more worrying about fighting for my favorite tread, no more having to disinfect everything for fear of the plague. It's mine. All mine.

no one is a loser with this
guy leading the way
Personal trainer and Coach. Hello, Dolvett Quince from the Biggest Loser. (Hey, it's my dream and yes. I am that rich.) for bootcamp, weight training and cross training days.… He would work alongside my running coach and possibly my tri-coach.  Now that I have a lap pool, free time and all that fancy gym equipment - I can start my Ironman training. ;)

I guess that would be my top three fantasy things. I would love to have unlimited money to spend at Whole Foods (I have a strict grocery budget that includes couponing - I would never clip one again!) and the occasional chef to whip up a week of healthy perfectly balanced and delicious meals wouldn't be terrible (though, generally I like to cook.)

So what's on your fantasy list?

And don't forget to enter my Jack LaLanne Power Juicer giveaway!