Saturday, March 31, 2012

The worst run ever

wtf happened?
Yesterday I experienced the worst run ever.

I had grand plans of running 10 miles. I had the time, the weather was perfect, I had my new toy… so things should've went as planned.


I got to running, decided to run slower since mentally I wasn't into it and it was a longer run for me. Fine.

My legs were feeling tight (perhaps from pushing the speed one two many times this week) but aside from that I was just mentally - UCK. I had zero desire to run. ZERO. I hated every song my iPod spit out at me. Around 2.5 miles I did what I haven't done since I first started running, I walked.

Then I hit 3 miles and walked again and decided to head back.

The last 3 miles was a shit show of running as slow as I could and walking.

It was pitiful.

With all the walking, I had some time to think.

I think I might be suffering a little 'running burn-out'.  I'm not sure why, I'm not logging giant mileage weeks or anything but yesterday I just was soooooo not in the mood and I couldn't overcome it. I've never thrown in the flag like that. I mean, I've cut runs short but I've never cut them short and decide to walk half of it. Ever. Well. First time for everything, I guess.

I will take today off.  The rest of the week is hectic and next Saturday I'm running the Hollywood half.

My plan is to keep my runs easy and light this week leading up to the race and maybe focus on a little cross training until my running love comes back.

What's the worst run you've ever had?

How do you shake it off?

What do you do to get your running mojo back?


Friday, March 30, 2012

Chia seeds: Good for more than growing plants on creepy pottery

Well who woulda thunk when those wacky chia pet commercials came out long, long ago that someday we'd be eating those seeds?

Certainly not I.

I mean, do you remember Chia Pets? 

They were downright creepy, there is nothing remotely cute about this:

Someone took the time to cultivate this hideous thing
During the documentary, Hungry For Change, which I talked about in this blog post, they touted the benefits of chia seeds… so off I went to get me some.

They are tasteless and you only need a tablespoon or so to get the benefits. In my research, I've learned that chia seeds are pretty freakin' good for you. How good for you?  How about these stats according to  Chia Seed Super

  • They have 100% more omega fatty acid than salmon
  • Double the antioxidants of blueberries
  • 41% of your daily fiber needs
  • 6 times more calcium than milk
  • 32% of your daily magnesium (more than broccoli)
  • 6 times more iron than spinach
  • 64% more potassium than a banana
Chia seeds also increases energy, improves digestion, improves your skin and helps you to sleep better -  these little seeds will even clean your house, walk the dog and take out the garbage! (Well I made that last part up but these things really are the best thing since sliced organic/gluten-free/sprouted bread!) ha.

You can stir them into smoothies or juices, sprinkle them on top of salads, oatmeal, cereal or whatever you want. They don't have to be ground like flaxseeds either.

If you put them in water for 10-15 minutes they become almost like tapioca so it's a good thickening agent and people like to make puddings and stuff with them. I'm just starting to experiment with them but who the hell knew they were so great? 

They store easily too. Up to 2 years in a 'cool, dark, place.' I got a bag that will last forever at GNC for $11 or so.

Help stop chia seed abuse: Eat them, don't let Bart
Simpson ever become a victim again

You can read more about them at the link above.

Have you been using chia seeds?

Did you know they were so great?

Did you ever have a chia pet?


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Not so clean eating and new toys

I am on the clean, healthy eating trail. Lot's of good stuff this week, juicing every day, consuming a mainly plant based diet with a few eggs and hormone free, free range poultry here and there -- I'm even consuming freakin' chia seeds. I'm really working at this and actually feel great. Have also eliminated most wheat (due to a suspicion of having a gluten thing…)

But, how easy we fall off the wagon.

I had to bring my darling son to the doctor today. His favorite thing in the world is strawberry ice-cream in a cone.

Now don't judge me. I'm doing the best I can with this parenting thing and I know this is a parenting fail but this kid was flipping out, like major melt-down flipping out about going to the doctor, he was laying on the pavement of my driveway having a stroke. I was at my wits end and impulsively promised him I'd buy him ice cream if he was a good boy at the doctor. I know, I know. Bribery. Rewarding with junky food. I promised myself I would never do that. I fell victim. I'll have to figure out how to do better next time… but for now, it's what happened.

So off we went. He did fine at the doctor, so Ben was ready to collect on the promise. I had to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things anyway and got him his favorites.  He took four bites from his little cone and was done. I guess it was more about him going to the store and picking out his loot.

I should've tossed it out and been happy that Ben didn't want to over-do it. Instead I mindlessly took a taste and then proceeded to scarf the whole thing. Where the F did that come from? 

Fail. Chemical filled/non-organic, craptastic bribe. shame.

Parenting fail /  clean eating fail. Time to go back to the drawing board.

Oh well. Guess it's going to take some practice. I'm slowly trying to convert the whole family to cleaner eating. Hubby and son doing pretty well otherwise.


In other news - I got to use my brandy-new Garmin yesterday - yippee!

I am still learning all the bells and whistles and didn't set  it properly to give me my splits, so my four miles was one big lap. It was cool to see the HR and all the other things it does. I can see how this thing can mess with your mind tho. I'd look down and see my pace and would instantly feel 'challenged' to run faster. If it wasn't what I wanted it to be I'd pick it up. This could be a good and bad thing. But I'm really looking forward to getting used to the thing.

And BTW, in defense of NIKE + app - I had that running too since it's connected to my iPhone and my   iPhone has my music - Nike+ was on point with pace and distance.

And in yet other news…

My son has delays and special needs and one of his delays is speech. He is talking more and more everyday.  It makes me proud that one of the few things he'll say is "Mamma goes exercise…" and "Mamma runs." This morning he picked up a Runner's World magazine and as he flipped through it, he saw a picture of a super fit, young woman, pointed to her and exclaimed, "Mama!!" "Mama running!" :-)  It's the little things.

How are things going with you?

Have you had a food or parenting fail lately?

What's your favorite feature on your Garmin or other pacing device?


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday: Woo Hoo!

I didn't tell anyone but after this happened, being fed up with stuff like this happening and after getting a bunch of comments about how awesome this thing was, I took a little time on EBAY, placed a bid and pulled the trigger…

My mailman made me very happy this morning:

hello, sexy. 
No more words… time to try this baby out.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's for lunch? My review of a frozen organic, vegan meal

I love lunch. Well. I also love breakfast, brunch, snacks, dinner and dessert.


Anyway, I do love lunch. I work from an office occasionally and I look forward to going out and 'picking up' lunch. It's my little treat and I like the mental break from getting up from my desk.

I'll admit, my usual go-to was from a local, chain sandwich shop. I chose what I thought was a pretty healthy meal: Whole grain roll, turkey, veggies, mustard and a bag of baked chips.

It's not the pits. Certainly fits into what most of us would consider a low-fat, low-calorie lunch.

However, aside from the veggies and maybe a bit of whole grain this is a pretty low nutrient meal.  In terms of "eating clean" as I'm working at doing, this sandwich doesn't cut it. Processed cold-cut meat, a bag of baked chips, etc - not so clean. Not to mention that I'm avoiding gluten to see if my tummy gets better (I have felt better).

So what the frig to eat?

I remembered that there was a Target near by so I decided to see if I could find something there.

I found this:

I admit, I was afraid
Basically, I chose this Amy's entree because Target only had this and one other option of the sort and this seemed the less of two evils. "Dairy-free," "Gluten-free," no meat? Ugh. This thing is freakin' vegan. I'm no vegan.  I wasn't feeling optimistic but tried to keep an open mind. Gotta try it before you knock it.

I also chose the Wallaby yogurt because it was organic and had all pronounceable things in the ingredients… I figured I'd at least like that.

So this was my set-up:
brought the orange from home
OMG, Amy, I'm sorry I doubted you. You were delish. I couldn't believe how good this little frozen meal was! LOVED it. Like I would eat this even if I wasn't trying to be all gluten-free and clean-eatin'. There were plenty of beans and corn in the tamale, the tamale itself was a very nice texture. The rice was tasty and the flavors were great.  (Now, perhaps I'm over zealous in this review because I was fearing the worst but I was sincerely impressed.)

If you look at the ingredients of the Amy's meal - you can pronounce all of it - no chemicals or weird stuff to be found: 

The best part? It wasn't $$. I think the Amy's thing was on-sale for $2.99 and the yogurt was $1. So hello - lunch for under $5 (including the orange). CHEAPER than a fast food 'value' meal.

This Tamale Verde meal had 12 grams of fiber and actually made me full! I am saving my orange and yogurt for later. I never feel filled and satisfied after a frozen meal (and I relied on a lot of "low fat" frozen meals for lunch). Find the rest of the nutritional information here.

If I was having it for dinner I might add some sliced avocado and a salad of greens to it for a little extra flair.

Have you tried something new lately?

Are you a fan of Amy's Organic stuff?

What else can I have for lunch that I might like?


Monday, March 26, 2012

A new way of eating

Well after watching the documentary "Hungry For Change" I really did decide to work on changing my ways.

You can read the blog entry about Hungry For Change, here, in case you missed it.

Today was day one (well day 1 1/2 - I kind of started mid-day yesterday) of my newer/cleaner way of eating.

I had been eating relatively clean up until seeing the movie, so it hasn't been that big of a leap. Went to the store and replaced a lot of our stuff with organic versions. Stocked up on produce and organic eggs, hormone free chicken, etc. It was hard for me. I am a coupon queen and a budget shopper. So I had to 'suck up' the fact that the normal eggs were $2 less and the hormone/natural, grass-fed beef was $3 more for the package. (We are worth it, we are worth it, we are worth it.)  I threw out my yellow-packet sweetener, got rid of the 'spray' fake butter, and decided that I'll be aiming to put only good things with identifiable words into my body most of the time.

I also decided to do a little experiment and cut out most gluten the last few days (I'm not being over-the-top with that but got rid of the biggest gluten offenders.)

Last week I went to the doctors for tests because I have a stomach ache every day of my life. Hmmm, no gluten the last 3 days, no stomach ache. Wouldn't be surprised to learn that I do have a little intolerance.

So here's my day. I have to say that I got in triple the vegetable I usually do and I feel pretty awesome.


1 egg over easy, 1 small sweet potato, left-over fresh green beans, 1tsp. of EVOO, cup of coffee with splash of almond/coconut milk (I know that this is a weird breakfast but I needed a carb-y thing and have cut out my whole grain toast because of the gluten thing.) The green beans? eh, why not?
food photography not my forte

1/2 cup of 0% fat greek yogurt / frozen blueberries

6 raw, unsalted almonds (more than six pictured because six looked so lonely on the plate.)

Spring salad mix/sliced strawberries/a few grapes/fresh cilantro/fresh parsley/half cucumber and a few raw/unsalted sunflower seeds. balsamic vinegar + 1 tsp. of EVOO and a small piece of skinless chicken.

juice ingredients
Green juice: 2 carrots/2 celery stalks/a few grapes/handful of spinach/cilantro/parsley/cucumber/little piece of ginger

Laura's lean beef hamburger patty, (another) sweet potato, broccoli 1tsp. of EVOO, tomatoes


Lots of food, a few tsps. of healthy olive oil, a few almonds for some more healthy fats and tons of produce. My beverage of choice is always water.

It's not that hard, you just have to have all the stuff around. I am hoping to keep it up!

Have you made any dietary changes lately?


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hungry For Change… Ready for change?

Post-movie farmer's market run
A very good friend of mine and fellow blogger, Jason, at Cook Train, Eat, Race is a guy I look to for guidance and advice across the board when it comes to 'cooking, training, eating and racing.' He's passionate about spreading the word on good health and inspiring/motivating others. He's also an Ironman racer and serious athlete. I've learned a lot from him and from being an avid reader of his blog.

So, when Jason posts a review about something, I listen. 

Recently, Jason reviewed and then posted a link to a new documentary called Hungry For Change. The documentary basically reinforces what many of us know. Most of our food (particularly the processed stuff) in this country is shit. It delves even deeper into the shit and demonstrates how most of us are addicted to our crap food including diet soda, aspartame, sugar, etc… It also spoke to the importance of incorporating more fruits and vegetables into our diets, juicing, the importance of organics, getting the toxins out of our bodies, etc…

Even though I knew a lot of it, it was still an eye-opener and the film was well-produced.

And it got to me.

When I was losing weight, I, like most American's didn't worry about whether my low-fat frozen meal was processed or what it contained. I didn't look at the ingredients on my "low-fat" "healthy cereal" and I didn't worry about what it took to make that slice of "light" bread or fat free ice cream. No. I was worried about "how many Weight Watcher points" the item was and called it a day. I used fake spray 0 calorie butter, swigged diet coke, sprinkled on artificial 0 calorie sweetener, and used other "low fat" items with abandon.  I not only freely used them but I was under the impression that I was eating healthy. Doing right by me.

Even up to now, I try to bury my head in the sand when it comes to a lot of processed foods. I wanted to believe that 'organic' was just a marketing tool to get more money from me. Lately I've been starting to think about the chemicals more… just recently I vowed to give up the yellow stuff. (I've been doing so/so with that one)  But I can't hide from it any more.

Hungry for Change actually helped me to be ready for change.

Budget concerns held me back in the past but I made a decision to let go of being so damn cheap when it comes to my food. I used to say, "if I ever win the lottery, I'm buying all organic and shopping for all the produce, 'good foods,' etc… that I could ever want"  

I might not ever win the lottery and you know what?  I am WORTH providing good food to and so is my family. I'm not so sure why I feel like I don't deserve the pricier organic carrots but I'm getting over it. I am worth it. 

I am ready for change. My husband of course, kind of rolled his eyes at me, at first. He's not so ready but since I do the grocery shopping that's too bad. He thinks that I'm extreme. He said, "you watch a documentary and now you're ready to change everything." I said "that we watch things like that to learn and if you learn that you can be doing things better and don't - well, that's silly."

When I got home with all my produce loot, hubby began to come around - he's going to embrace change too. :)

I don't say it's going to be a perfect or easy road. No, for now I will not be jumping into a vegan lifestyle or never having a hot dog at a baseball game again but I will start to crowd more and more good stuff into my diet, hopefully so much of the right stuff will be added that there'll be no more room for anything else eventually. I am going to try to buy more organic things and juice more. I'm taking this seriously and will be making a concerted effort to get away from processed/chemicals/etc.

After raiding the local farmer's market, post film,  I even juiced up a green drink (I loved it by the way.)

My green drink is in my Jets cup - thought it
matched nicely ;)

So I guess I am not just Hungry for Change but READY for change. (Thanks, Jason!)

If you want to check out the film, you can stream it for free by providing your e-mail here, now - March 31.

Have you seen the film yet?

Have you given up processed foods?

Do you buy organic?


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Are these tee-shirts awesome or obnoxious for our kids?

I was in Target last week and looking for some new sweats for my little guy and some new tech tees for me.

While browsing the the kid section I came across this series of tee-shirts. 

I didn't know what to think about it. I kind of think they are cute but are messages like "Train through pain" too much for a 4 year old - 7 year old to process appropriately? 

Thoughts?  All of these shirts came in sizes from about 4T and up…

I am all for encouraging kids to be more active and to have confidence but there is something about a few of these that kinda rubs me the wrong way but I can't put a finger on it. Maybe there's something obnoxious about a six year old telling me he's going to school me. Could be it. Ha. 

Curious on what you think.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, March 23, 2012

An open letter to anyone who is plateauing, frustrated, feeling stuck, ready to quit, etc...

Dear Buttercup:

I'm sorry you are feeling low/shitty/defeated and down in the dumps. I know the feeling and it sucks. It really does. But, just because you are feeling like this now doesn't mean it's time to throw in the towel. I mean, do you really want to give up on yourself? That's what you would be doing.

No. Don't you dare give up on yourself. It's time to suck it up.

This is my 300th post on this blog. Thank you for supporting me on my journey, I hope in some small way I've supported you or can support you on yours as well.

I've learned a lot and I was once in those shoes. I almost quit many times. But I didn't and you won't either. So please take a little tough love, kick in your caboose and maybe even a few words of wisdom from someone who had previously given up on herself and somehow fought her way back and still fights everyday.

First. All people feel like crap somedays. It's a fact. See that size 2 walking down the street? At some point she's thought her ass was too fat/flat/small/ugly/not worthy. See that gorgeous blonde? Someone made her feel inferior at some point and she comfort ate her way through a pint or two of Ben & Jerry's.

We all have bad days and shit feelings the trick is not letting those days become bad weeks/months/years.

So what's your woe? Maybe one of these might sound familiar?

1.  I f'ed up my food today. Ate too much and now I'm a failure.
Eating too much does not make you a failure it makes you human. Giving up might make you a failure. If I was a failure for every time I ate too much I should just kill myself. Holy crap I eat too much probably at least once a week. So what? It's just food. Dust yourself off, and do better your next meal.

2.  I am at a plateau.
And? Why on earth would you quit now? Look at your awesome progress. Giving up will guarantee you getting off the plateau and heading back in the wrong direction. If you are on a plateau you have to shake things up. Take a few calories out or add a few calories back - add a different exercise, make adjustments. I was stuck on a plateau FOR A YEAR. And it was my fault because I stubbornly didn't want to change what had worked to that point. It should still be working! Pout. I had to figure out the puzzle. Exercise, real consistent exercising was my answer. As annoying as that year was, however, I am grateful for that year because it eventually led me to the following year and another 50 pound loss.

3.  I can't do it.
Yes you can. You have to believe that you can though. Start visualizing the very thing you think you can't do - rock a bikini, run a marathon, skydive, playing basketball with your kids. Close your eyes everyday for ten minutes and just 'see it' until you feel it. When I could only run for 2 minutes I would pretend those 2 minutes were the last 2 of a marathon and see a finish line. Me? Run a marathon? Hardy-har-har-har… Impossible. 18 months later I ran my first full marathon.  Michael Jordan was a great believer in visualization and you should practice it too. The more you can feel what it's like to be in those shoes the closer you'll get to being in those shoes!  Stop believing the part of your brain that tells you you can't and start looking for the voice that says you can.

Listen, you've got decisions to make. It's easy to give up and give in to the temptation of throwing up your hands in defeat but why would  you? Make yourself worth fighting for or no one else will. You've only got one life to live so live the best life you can.

Today's failures lead the way to tomorrow's successes. Every 'failure' is an opportunity to learn! So failing is good. We grow from failing if we don't get caught up in the negative part. You get to figure out what didn't work and that will take you one step closer to your dreams and goals!!

Anyone who has been successful with anything has discovered the biggest secret out there… here it is…. are you still with me?


Hands down. It's not the smartest or the luckiest who become successful, it's those who never, ever, ever, give up.

Thomas Edison attempted the light bulb something like a 1000 times until he got it right! 1000! Can you imagine if he gave up at attempt number 280, thinking, "well crap, I've tried this nearly 300 times... this light thing is too hard. F it. I guess we're OK with candles."

It took Jack Canfield about 135 rejections and a few years before he finally sold "Chicken Soup For the Soul." Chicken Soup went on to sell 112 MILLION copies in 40 different languages. What if Canfield gave up after the 10th, 30th, 80th or 100th rejection letter? 

So if you're still working at getting your groove, losing the weight, running the half marathon, building your speed, selling a book, whatever - just keep going forward towards your 'finish line'. It won't always be pretty or easy. Sometimes you'll take a wrong turn or have to sit and catch your breath… but whatever you do, you keep going.

I hated not losing weight for a year but I would've hated giving up more. 

So suck it up, buttercup. No use looking back all we've got is the road ahead.

Persevere, reach your dreams, goals - live the life you want to because it's all within reach - you just have to believe it, work at it and never give up.  

I know you can do it.


PS: Suggested reading for motivation, taking control of your life and attaining your goals: Jack Canfield "The Success Principals" - it changed my life.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring fling - moving fast

The months are passing fast! I kept kinda waiting and bracing myself for winter but it never really came.

An unusually mild and snow-free winter has ushered in a beauteous, joyous, early spring. Lucky for us, that damn groundhog was wrong this year.

Today, I decided that I would take advantage of this:

almost 80 in March!
And headed to the park to do a little running.

I don't really know my pace when I run outside because I use the NIKE+ app in my iPhone and that thing is strapped around my arm. The Nike guy mumbles in my ear when I reach a mile but I never quite catch what he says about 'current pace' or time.

I set Mr. Nike app for 4 miles and I'm off.

The first two miles felt effortless. Ah. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming. I love this time of year. I'm cruising. 

I love a tree in bloom

The last two miles felt hot and hard and I felt like I was running slower. Only 76? It could've been 96 degrees with how hot I was feeling. I was bummed that my first two miles were going to be faster on paper (why this would bum me out in the first place, I do not know?) But resigned myself to that fact. Oh well. Just a training run. I am not running to PR a race here.

The last mile felt particularly tough. I felt like a slug.  I was kind of mad that I was 'dragging ass' so much.   At least that's how it felt. When I got home to look up on the Nike website to see what happened out there, I was prepared to see me go from 10:30 averages to 11:30 averages but got this instead:


Ah. So the reason why I felt like it was so hard for the last mile was because I was running, oh, 35 seconds faster or so than the first mile. Well. Guess that would do it. I only felt slow, the fact that I was sweating my ass off and panting should've given me a hint but I am clueless. 

I was probably running faster than I should've given, I'm still trying to get used to the heat and the effort was tough. Also breaking a 10 min. mile (aside from 5K races and speed training miles) is a push for me. I would consider my comfort range between 10:30 - 11:00.  I think. Not so sure anymore.

By the way, aside from wanting to die that last mile, I really expected to run this in around 42-43 mins and ran it in under 40 that makes me a special kind of happy.  It was even worth looking like a crazy person:

I am a hot mess here… notice the lovely
difference in the color of my face and neck.
By the way, dear friends, you know I really love you (and have no shame) for posting this picture of me… However, I did look better (barely) than the poor water bottle I gripped during that four mile run!

at least I remembered to hydrate this time
I'm thinking that this run is a good argument for investing in a Garmin or that Nike watch thing that is like a Garmin. I mean, I'm glad that my splits are pretty good here but I have a hard time knowing my pacing when I'm not on the treadmill. I didn't have to feel like I was dying these last two miles if I had properly had an eye on pacing myself. I think. Though, on the other hand maybe having an eye on the time and pace would cause me to overanalyze everything. I don't know.

Do you have a pace plan when you run?

Do you think it's better to just run without worry of pace?

Do you have a Garmin type device? Do you love it? Has it changed your running life?


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

5 ways to move that caboose when you're feeling stuck at the station

Siers /
After a few years of losing weight / maintaining weight loss and finally having developed a healthy and active lifestyle there is at least one truth that cannot be argued - to truly be healthy we have to move it and keep moving it.

Oh trust me, prior to finding this unlikely love and passion for running I fought that concept every step of the way. I faithfully counted my Weight Watcher points, I worked at eating cleaner and leaner but still grumbled, kicked and screamed when it came to real fitness. 

This is probably why it took me more than 2 years to lose my first 40 pounds (and then after finding running) less than a year to lose 50+.

Now-a-days, exercise is a healthy habit that I have grown to love and appreciate but even with this appreciation comes many a lazy day where it seems like I can find any crappy excuse in the world to procrastinate or skip a run.

So here are a few things that keep me moving my caboose when all I want to do is stay at the station: (and blog hop, Facebook obsess, watch another Real Housewives episode or whatever…) 

  1. ONE MILE. or rep, or sit-up or jumping jack. Whatever it is, sometimes you've got to fake it 'til ya make it. If I truly don't feel like running that five mile run I will put on my sneakers and tell myself to just run for one mile or just for 10 minutes. Sometimes I'll force myself to sit on the exercise bike, "for just 5 minutes" or do "just one set" of bicep curls.  First off, even if it's all you do, at least it's something - mentally and physically it is better than nothing, second, you have indeed "moved your caboose" and third - there's a very good chance that the momentum will build for you to do much more than the "only" that got you moving to begin with! You know how I feel, this is not the first time I've talked about doing whatever you can. I still believe in leaving "no mile behind."
  2. POWER UP. Do you have a favorite work out song or two? Good. Fire them up! Blast it, remember the best sweat you ever had to that song, close your eyes and imagine those endorphins flooding your body. Likewise if you have a favorite running quote, blog post or inspirational passage.  People watch romantic movies (you know what I mean) to get in the mood for love so why not call upon images, music or words that will get you in the mood to move? Tap a foot, sing along and "get a good feeling," go for "the eye of the tiger," or remind yourself why you were "born to run" and get out there!
  3. RACES. Keeping a race on the schedule is super motivating for me. I have to be working for something or some goal or it gets too easy to become complacent. The temptation to skip too many workouts is lessened when I know that I have my cold hard cash invested in a race and an expectation on myself to perform well.
  4. DIAL A FRIEND.  Find one accountability buddy or cheerleader. Someone who'll gently (or not so gently) kick ya in the caboose when you need a little shove out the door. And even better if that person will get out there with you. Many times I have been lagging, and with a little help from my friends, got back out there and on track. In fact, some of the best workouts I've had in my life was courtesy of friendly 'peer pressure' from my friends - like the intense Cardio Barre and Boot Camp classes that my friend Angela forced me encouraged me to do!
  5. NEW STUFF.  Now don't break the bank but I will say that when I need a little extra pep in my step and have a little extra money to burn that buying something new does wonders for my motivation. Whether it's a new gadget, pair of socks or cute new tech tee - there's something about something new that gives me that extra little boost to get going when the going is tough.
having a goal helps! couldn't wait to get this sticker on
my bumper!
On a side note, if you are really struggling to get going you might have to do a little digging. Have you been pushing yourself too hard and legitimately need a rest day? Are you burning yourself out with doing the same work out every day at too high of an intensity? Don't be afraid to try other activities.  Sometimes you do just need a break. That's OK too, as long as your break doesn't turn into a break-up, it's all good.

So what do you do to keep that caboose moving? 

What are some of your tips for keeping in the game?

Do you have a favorite song that psyches you up for running or working out? 


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Belly aching', more on the long run and Ragnar Race 2013

water stations would be great on a long run!
From the beginning of my running times, I've always gone thru this struggle with long runs. I have dedicated many of a blog post lamenting about trying to get them in, finding the time and even trying to rally myself into loving them with posts like this one

Someday (especially if I ever plan to run another full marathon again) I hope to make peace with the long run. 

Lately I've been particularly beating myself up for getting in less long runs than I would like. I have two half marathons on the calendar this spring and while I don't have to be clocking regular 13, 16, or 20 mile runs - I do like to keep those long runs around 8-11 miles to keep tuned up…  

Finally I did get an 8 miler in yesterday and it was a pretty good run. Hopefully, I'll get a 10 miler in before the Hollywood Half.

Ironically, with this on my mind a lot lately, Runner's World sent me this article from Amby Burfoot this morning in their E-zine: "What’s the Best Long-Run Training Distance for Half-Marathon Runners?"

The article questioned how long half-ers really need to run in order to be 13.1 ready. 

Burfoot suggests that seasoned runners (I guess with 6 races of 13.1 or more under my belt, I could be considered somewhat seasoned) Probably only need to keep a long run of about 7 miles or so.  Even less seasoned runners could conceivably get away with this but newer runners may desire the confidence of knowing they can come closer to the distance. (This was super important to me. Still is in a lot of ways.)

Burfoot says: 
"Bottom line: If you are an inexperienced half-marathoner, you can never go wrong by building your total slow miles run per week, especially your long-run distance. But it’s not nearly so important in the half as in the marathon. What’s more, if you’re relatively experienced or fast, you’ll get more bang per workout by increasing your speed than by increasing your distance."
What do you think? I am still going to want to chase that long run but this article gives me a bit of comfort.

In other news, I've been having tons of tummy troubles. I've always had a sensitive stomach. I'm going to the doctor today because lately I've had a stomach ache more days than I don't. I always feel like I'm walking around with a mild case of stomach flu. That can't be good. I am thinking I might actually have a wheat sensitivity that I've been in denial about. But we'll see. Hopefully I can get some answers and remedy the issue.

And finally…

As you might know I'm running the Key West Ragnar Race in January 2012 - there are too many cool things to tell you about with this race but all in good time.

Our team is the "Ragnar Losers" and all of us have lost a significant amount of weight thru lifestyle change - with large thanks to running.

Here is our team:
Rik (our team captain)
Katie (from 'Runs for Cookies', duh)
Mary from 'a small loss'
Linda from 'Frickin Fabulous at 40'
Allison (no blog, but she's lost weight and taken up running)
ME! (from 'From FAT to Finish Line')
Andrea (who was on Oprah for her weight loss)
Jen S (from 'Miles, Muscles, and Mommyhood')
Lealah (from 'Lealah on a Mission')
John (SparkPeople success story manager, and success story himself)
Ada (from 'The Biggest Loser' Season 10)

Yes! Ada from Biggest Loser is on our team! I reached out to her and invited her to join us and she said yes! How cool is that!?

Anyway, have you a good weight loss journey to share? Love to run? Want to run from Miami to the Florida Keys with us this January? Here is your shot.  Visit Katie's blog post here and find out how you can be a part of the team!

Questions of the day:
Love or hate long runs? 
What do you think about topping half training at around 7 miles?
Have you ever run a relay race like Ragnar?

Have a great day!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Today show recap and Running crap

I can't seem to get my running together.  In 3 weeks I'm running the Hollywood half marathon and I just can't seem to get a longer run in. The other day I did 6 miles and that was the longest I've run in a month! Ah. Well.

Still. I have a plan.

My plan is to do 8 miles sometime this weekend and 10 next weekend and then I should be OKish for the half.  I have been running at least, just not as long. 2-3 miles 5 times a week or so. Hopefully that'll be enough.

I was going to do that 8 miles today but I fell apart. I could barely do the 4 I settled myself to do. Did OK for the first 2 miles and in the 3rd mile, I had a tummy ache, a knee ache, a "I just don't feel like doing this ache" and all kinds of "WTF is going on with me?" So I ran to 3.1 and was going to call it a day… Of course, I couldn't call it a day. I was too close to four miles. So I sucked it up. I ended my Nike program at 3.1 but finished the rest of the mile off the record… It was slow and there was some walking in there but at least I got four miles in. And I feel a little comfort that I at least finished what I had started.

Not the best run ever. But you know. We have good days and bad days. Tomorrow will be better.

And in other news…

Not my usual look...

Today, was my grand TODAY show appearance! Whoopee.   I looked slightly dorky - a model I am not. I didn't know what to do with my hands, my feet, I forgot to smile half the time but still, it was a blast.

Totally forgetting to smile - oops

I was sooooooo proud of my BFF Amy Acton who handled the interview like a pro!!

At the end all of us came back out:

Fun day!!

By the way, you can check out the segment here:

Have a great weekend all!!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm gonna be on the TODAY show!

Hello peeps --

The weather is glorious in Jersey. I don't know if it's global warming or what but I am loving it.

So much going on.

First thing is first - I am going to be on TODAY show on Friday so set your DVRs! I'll be on the Kathy Lee and Hoda hour (It starts at 10AM here on the East Coast.)

My friend Amy is a celebrity fashion stylist. Amongst all the cool people she styles and all the awesome things she does, she styles all the talent for the Olympics (yes she goes to every Olympics! Lucky!) and she was invited on the show to do a segment about "looking great at any weight."  My look was for the girl who has lost weight but is still stuck in a rut…

It was a blast!

First a car and driver picked me up - FANCY!

This is how we roll
Then as I arrived I got whisked right off to get my hair and makeup done.  They made my normally curly hair, pulled in a pony tail - straight and bouncy.

In the greenroom after the segment
And as if that's not fun enough - Vinny from the Jersey Shore was getting his makeup 'did' right next to me for his segment! I should've said hi. I dropped the ball on that one. Deena was there too. No Snooks.

Jersey Shore greenroom - I should've gotten a pic with them!

settled on taking a picture of them from back stage monitor

Then we got dressed and did our segment. It was surreal and fun. :)

Now I have pretty hair and makeup and am a little sad that I need to go running in a bit and mess it all up. Sigh.

I don't talk in my segment, I just stand there and "model." haha…

I've been in TV for a long time but this was still a cool experience. I watch the Today Show almost every morning so it was neat to get to be a part of it for this little segment!

PS: Also dropped the ball by not making the time to talk to Hoda and Kathy Lee - love those ladies!

Now, I gotta run.  I have a half on April 6 and I haven't run more than 3 miles in weeks. OY!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

No TWO miles left behind: running short

my recent little jaunts
A few months ago I wrote this post called, "No Mile Left Behind." Basically, I made the argument that every mile counts so if you can't get in your long run (or your short run) there's no need to abandon the run altogether because anything is better than nothing.

How quickly we forget our own rantings. I even have it up in the bar up there… Still. Do I read my own posts? Nope.

I have been beating myself up because the last few weeks I've been not getting in the miles I've wanted 3 miles here, 2 miles there - a good day maybe 4, it's been since February since I've gotten 6 or more.

There's a litany of good reasons and bad excuses why this has happened and I won't bore you with the details… but the good news is, I've kept running.

So while I feel guilty about these mini-runs there are still some good things about these little runs:

  • Mental break:  A two mile run is fun. It's now (puffs out chest proudly) under twenty minutes for me. I don't have to 'psyche myself up' to run 2 miles like I do for, say, an 8 mile run.
  • Speed builder: I have a little internal rule, if I'm gonna only run 2 miles, I have no excuse for strolling. It's (puffs out… ok it's not that fast...) only 19 mins or so, there's no need to 'save some for later' like you have to when running long. 
  • Calorie burn: Hey. I'm still maintaining a 96 pound weight loss and burning calories counts. At around 215 calories per 2 miles my three little 2 milers this week alone has torched away 645 calories… That's the equivalent of 6 light beers or a big mac and small coke or 3 servings of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia low fat frozen yogurt --> Definitely worth running for food.
And I still maintain that momentum is super important - that was the main point of my original "no mile left behind post," sometimes you've gotta fake it 'til ya make it. Running two miles leads to more miles because you are keeping the momentum up. If you were to just skip the 1 - 2 - 3 mile runs because you couldn't do more, you might find yourself not running at all for weeks.  EGADS. The horror.

What are some of your favorite reasons to get in mini-runs?

Do you beat yourself up when your runs are short?

Do you think mini-runs are a waste of time?

Do you have a favorite flavor of frozen yogurt?


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Go Sport ID winner! And making time to run


Are you guys still with me? Sorry the blogging has been lagging lately, been a little overwhelmed but I'll try to make it up to you.

I am please to announce the winner of the Go Sport ID:

Number 33 -


Lori - you have one week to contact me as the winner by posting on this blog or e-mailing me or I'll have to pick a new winner.

My running has been as weak as my blog lately. I'm getting in a few miles a week thanks to a busy schedule and it blows. I miss running longer and more and hope to figure out how to make it all happen. I will figure this out.

I've managed to continue to squeeze in a few 3 milers or so a few times a week but I need more. I will not give up. Just like I had to readjust when running was getting in the way of life, I can't let life get in the way of running.

I had to go to Kentucky for business last week (aside from tornado dodging) it was beautiful. We were in Lexington and I loved it.

Took in a Wildcats basketball game:
me and biz partner taking in a game

I went to a smallish college and never experienced a big college game.  The UK game was a very cool experience.

We visited Keeneland (a high-end race track) and even got personal tours of some of the best horse farms.

Keeneland - in beautiful Lexington

with twice top-rated horse in the world: Invasor

Got a little running in too - it was only 3 miles but it was speedy and glorious.

How do you deal when you're feeling overwhelmed and left with less and less time to run?