Monday, June 14, 2010
Spent my "rest' day Sparking and making plans for my summer workouts. I also scheduled each day, all day as a part of a school assignment on using time wisely. I got up this morning ready to rock and roll!!
Started with family scripture study (woo), something we've been intending to start doing for forever and just never have, it was interesting since we kept stopping to explain terms to the kids and the two girls kind of didn't really pay attention, but we did it and hopefully it will turn into a habit.
Did my morning household run through, emptied last night's dishes, changed over the laundry in the wash and did a quick sweep of the kitchen floor. Then had a quick breakfast- Cream of wheat, milk and raisins.
Then, I did days 1 and 2 of the Sparkpeople 28-day Boot Camp Challenge. I had to do two days, because I don't work out on Sunday so I had a day to make up. But, it worked out quite well anyways.
Then, we went to exercise class-LOL!! I hadn't intended to go to the class but the kids were looking forward to it, hoping that some friends would be there, they weren't. I still had a pretty good work out though.
Came home and did a bit more cleaning and did a quick check in with Spark.
Then, the kids wanted to go swimming, so off we went to the pool. I got in a few very slow laps, some jumping jacks, some lunges and lots of treading water while I watched the kids. Treading water for 15 minutes burned more than 300 calories for me!!
Came home and had lunch...
Okay, this looks really weird I know, it is an adaptation of a recipe from the Wasa website. A Wasa crispbread, 1 tbsp of peanut butter, some banana and some raisins. I learned to love Wasa while I lived in Germany, my roommate and I would eat Wasa, German Stoneground mustard and Gouda like it was diet food, mmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!! I hadn't ever thought about PB and bananas though. I know a certain extrememly famous singer, who may be living or dead depending on who you asked loved PB and banana, but it wasn't really something our family did. So, I was intrigued...it was a lot better than I anticipated!! I actually enjoyed it. I had two since it was lunch and not a snack.
More house cleaning and a cheese stick later and soon we will be going out to my son's baseball pizza party. I already allotted and tracked 2 slices of pizza. If I am still hungry when we get home I have a salad with some mandarin oranges OR some black beans lined up. If I still need protein after that cheese stick I'll go for the beans.
So far, including the pizza, I am still within range of my dietary goals. Today's exercise alone got me almost 1/2 way through the week's goal so if my summer activity level is going to stay high, which I am planning on it doing, then I will indeed need to up my weekly goal!!
Hmmm-if I go up the goal for this week now can I earn an extra piece of pizza?
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Okay, so I know it is getting a little late in June, but at least I finally decided on something!!
In the past I've tried setting defined goals for the month and I haven't really done too well with that system. Things get busy, I forget and then just write it off. So this month I am setting several focus areas with things I want to work on in each area. I'm not going to set defined goals except in certain specific areas. This way I can forget, I can slip up and I can still come back and say-"hey it is just a suggestion for the month, nothing written in stone, try again or try something else." See? Much better that way-for me anyhow...I hope.
Focus area 1-Food.
Time to get the eating in hand and REALLY learn a new way to eat. So the focus in the area of food this month is "Planning to Eat". Remember that old saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" or something like that. I am changing it to "If you fail to eat, you eat to fail"-ooooo that sounds like a blog title right there!! Later today I will be going through and planning the menu for the week, including my breakfast, lunch and snacks. I'll try to stick to the plan, but if there is a day where I can't, well then, it is what it is and I just have to keep trying to do my best! My one defined goal in this area is to do a food blog AT LEAST once a week. I am hoping this will help me keep on track and let you all get a better look at what I am doing and give me suggestions and tips!!
Focus area 2-Fitness
The fit focus this month is strength and speed. I am adding in strength again, it kind of dropped by the wayside somewhere in here, and then on running I am focusing on training to be faster. I will have to put quite a bit of planning into this. I want at least one run a week to include defined speed work. I don't have any fancy gadgets, EXCEPT the route tracker. I can track out distances and follow a speed work plan from some where (still gotta work on that part). That is one area where running on a treadmill really does have some extra benefit, but I can make it work.
Focus area 3-School work
I have my first class I HAVE to finish by July and take the final before the 31st. So I have to make sure I schedule and fit in time for the lesson work. It is not a hard class, Student Development-you know-how to be a good student and get the most out of your education. But there are 6 lessons to finish in 2.5-3 weeks or so, so planning will be essential to my success in that class.
Even though we are nearly half way through the month I am still going to give my focus points the attention they deserve and see what I can accomplish by the end of the month (when I will turn 41 BTW). Happy Sunday everyone.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Today was a running day and so off I went and I surprised myself by running 4 miles without stopping!!! Well, what I mean by that is that I didn't do any intervals!! I stopped twice to stretch, legs were kind of tight today and I had to wait for two stop lights....
I was very happy with 4 without intervals-I've commited to running a half marathon in November with my sister. I have until November to build up to 13 miles, I'm sure that will be with intervals!! My sister has gone all out and created this training plan and I have to figure out something too. It is a good plan and I might still steal her's and tweek it just a bit. She is quite a bit further along in her progress and I have some catching up to do-well, not catching up exactly, but self-improvement. Now that I have found the key to successful runs for me I need to focus on improving my speed and my endurance. I am tired after that run. Got home from running and found hubby still in bed!! Dang-I wanted to sleep in too!!
Time for the scale to quit bouncing around the same 7 or so pounds too.
Which brings me to "I don't know how to eat". I've been giving this a lot of thought lately and I have come to the conclusion that, while I am a very good cook, I don't know how to eat. This is an area where I am running into a brick wall over and over again. I'll set goals and then forget to eat. I'll plan meals, but forget to add vegs. I'll stand in my kitchen thinking "I'm hungry" and look all around for something and then not even see the oranges sitting on the counter just begging me to eat one of them. Then I'll leave the kitchen still hungry and overeat at dinner.
I have a zucchini in the fridge and have absolutely no idea what to do with the darn thing. I have two zucchini recipes-zucchini bread and this thing my mom used to make with zucchini and canned, diced tomatoes and sauce...I don't really want to do the bread, I want zucchini not cake, but I don't want the tomato thing either-I am the only one who eats tomatoes and nobody else would touch it if I made it. So, there sits the poor zucchini, just waiting to share its nutritious goodness and I am stumped. I am going back to tracking what I eat, that should help some.
What do people put in a food journal? "Dear diary today I ate a zucchini-it was good, but I don't think we can have a lasting relationship." ???
I got some stuff that looked good for snacks and stuff. I bought some Wasa crispbread and some feta and some hummus and thought that a couple crackers with some cheese and tomatoes or some hummus would make a good lunch. Maybe some tuna salad with the Wasa.
I know I am a carb person and that is okay as long as it is the good carbs (do good carbs wear white hats?). But, I just discovered I should be getting considerably more protein on any given day...not a big meat person...do enjoy the occasional slab of cow or bit o' chicken, but how am I supposed to plan my protein-cheese, milk, beans, lentils, etc? I did get some canned beans to put on my salad...
Sometimes I stand in the produce section and just stare at everything. I know I want some produce, but what kind? What can I do with a chinese cabbage? I settled for cantalope, cherries and bananas. Can I learn to like cottage cheese, because lately cottage cheese with cantalope has sounded good-the only problem is I HATE cottage cheese, something about the lumps in my food disturbs me. Is yogurt and cantalope a totally yucky idea?
Whey Protein-how, why, when? What is Muscle milk? Why are the shelves near my running fuel packed with shakes, powders and shots and what do they all do?
I always do eat, that is self-evident, but I need to eat better and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole eating thing after my shopping trips today and yesterday. Found Ezekial bread at a local health food market. Looks like it would be good toasted with a smear of peanut butter.
Had spaghetti tonight-meatless as usual. What can I add to spaghetti to make it better? What protein can go in spaghetti? Lentils?
Oh well...Hey sparkers...I would be happy to hear your plans, recipes, snacks, breakfasts (especially those-I have a hard time with b-fast), do you keep a journal-what do you write, how do you remind yourself to eat before famished, what is working for you on the food front?
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, when you read....oops wrong story.
So, the very beginning in the Spark story actually began in 2005. Typical, overweight American, I set a New Year's goal to lose weight. I did a web search for FREE programs since I was a poor working American and found Spark. Played with it for awhile, got pregnant with my third child and dropped out. Had the baby came back briefly in there somewhere and then left again. Fast forward to March-ish of 2009 and my sister, who had joined Spark in there somewhere too, tells me it is time to come back to Spark. I know she is right. For a year my clothes had been getting tighter and doing even easy tasks was getting harder. I'd reached maximum density as some say-I love that term by the way! So back I came!!
My sister and I started walking together in the mornings and I started doing other things. I came back to yoga, which I'd discovered years before and loved. I got out my weights and started using them and my kids had a blast helping me work out. The weight started coming off and it was awesome!! I joined a bunch of Sparkteams and made some friends who are no longer active and some totally awesome friends who are still around and have truly become friends in every way. My sister and I were both getting fitter and stronger and we had tossed out there a few times that maybe someday we would become runners-when we were fitter, not so overweight, someday in the distant and vague future. We were both moving closer to that goal of wanting to run but the reason to start hadn't yet presented itself.
Then I had a birthday, my 40th birthday, I freaked out-to put it mildly. I can't totally explain why that birthday was so hard for me, but part of it came from my brother-in-law's death in 2008. He hadn't been feeling well for sometime and found out he had Hep C and was being treated for it, he never started feeling better though. Instead things kept getting worse. His teenage daughter came to stay with him and help out. He turned 40 and less than two weeks later he was dead. He fell asleep while his daughter went to the store when she got home and checked on him he was gone. Later we found out he had an incompetant doctor. My BIL was also undiagnosed diabetic and the meds he was taking for the Hep C sent him into a diabetic crisis resulting in his death. One of the requirements attached to one of the meds he was being given was initial and frequent retesting for diabetes and his doctor never tested him once. Okay, so I was not being treated for Hep C and I don't have an incompetant doctor, but still, when you know someone who dies that young it kind of has an effect on you.
The entire month of my birthday was not pretty. I kept exercising, but emotionally I was a huge mess!!! Ask New-Caz and 4Everadonegirl-they'll tell ya'. Got past my birthday and was kind of messing around on Sparkpeople and ITunes one day. I was kind of bouncing around between the two sites just wasting some time when I stumbled upon a couple different things at the same time. 1. I'd been seeing more and more Sparkers doing this C25K thing and there was a team for it and everything and I kind of checked that out a little, just wondering what was involved, how hard was it and what type of sparkers were doing this. I found out that sparkers like me were doing it. Some of them were a little farther ahead in their progress, but for the most part, I was seeing people like me. 2. The program could be downloaded onto my ipod. 3. I found out that Disneyworld hosted a marathon every year. Hmmm...I wondered if DisneyLAND did anything. I'd never heard of Disneyland hosting a race, but then it wasn't something I'd been tuned into up to that point. I did a websearch and what I found was that in two months-September-Disneyland was indeed hosting a race-a half marathon to be exact-BUT on the day before they were also having a 5K!!!
Suddenly I knew what I wanted. I knew what would get me out of my funk. I knew what would make me feel happy again. I wanted to train for and run in that 5K!! I knew I had to make it happen. I immediately sent out the e-mails to sis and mom and they-awesome people that they are-jumped right on board. My mom even paid my entrance fee since I wouldn't have the money for another week or three and we didn't want to miss the shut off point. The race was darn near at capacity and we didn't want to miss it. My sister and I started C25K together, replacing some of our walks with "runs" and my mom started training on her own. She lives close by, but not close enough to drive to my sis's every other day to run.
C25K, I think there were an aweful lot of mornings were I cussed out Robert Ullrey and used words no good, respectable, woman would use. The first several weeks I HATED Robert, I wanted his voice to go away. I would pick landmarks and make a deal that if I could get to that spot I could quit no matter what Robert said. Soon though I noticed something. Robert would tell me I could take a break BEFORE I reached my landmark! Hmm, maybe this would work after all. We graduated C25K on the day of our race. And I was sick. This was just the first of several set backs I would experience. Before the race I ran a 3.1 in about 47 minutes. On the day of the race it took me 55 minutes to reach the finish. Now, part of that was that it took me forever to get to the starting line due to there being so many people. The Disney 5K was not a chip timed race. Also, so many people resulted in several traffic jams. Well, shoulda known-we live in California-birthplace of the traffic jam-LOL Still, it was kind of a long time...But, I did it I ran a 5K and I still didn't feel like a runner. I was slow, I was fat, I was just pretending...Blah, blah, blah...so many excuses....
Then the shin splints started. At first I just tried working through them, that was stupid, but I didn't want to lose the progress I was making. It didn't take long for them to get so bad that running was no longer an option. They subsided long enough for me to run my second 5K in November-a turkey trot that was a huge blast! But then they came back. My runs with my sister turned into her running and me limping behind on shorter and shorter routes. I went back to C25K, but couldn't find any satisfaction in it this time. I had heard other runners talk about Jeff Galloway and looked up his interval method. I started slow, very short intervals and I added in extra stretching. I found some stretches that helped make your legs stronger and found that doing long, slow hamstring stretches really helped loosen my shins. Finally I was finding success again. My intervals were getting longer and so were my distances. Did a couple of virtual races just for fun and had a "PR" in there!! Got back to where I could run a 5K without intervals, slower than before, I haven't timed it, but I think I still haven't returned to that pre-splint time of 47 minutes, I beat it with intervals, but I still want to beat it with straight running.
I ran another 5K with my sister a few months ago and then it was time to start training for our 10K. We had set a goal to run this race way back in 2009 when we started running. We had done this race as a 5K many, many, many years ago as walkers and wanted to try it as a 10K now that we were running. We started training and things were going well. I'd gotten up to 4 and then 5 miles running (some intervals at those distances). And then I got sick AGAIN and boy did I ever get sick!! It was aweful. Chest congestion, fevers, coughing and it wouldn't go away. I spent most of the month of May sick. I would think it was going away and then I would relapse. I finally called my doctor and he gave me some crazy strong medication. I had to take more time off just to let the meds work. The effects from the cough syrup alone were so strong that I finally stopped taking it a week earlier than prescribed because it was making me dizzy and jittery and functioning as a human was getting harder and harder. I finally got well enough to start running again and had to sort of just jump into the six mile distance!! It took me forever and I had to put in LOTS of intervals, but I did six miles, I did it twice before the race. And then it was time to run a 10K. Read my blog-Three first in one day-for a complete retelling of that.
And that's when I became a runner. I know, I qualified as a runner before that. There were times I even felt that I was a runner. I read their magazine, I owned a pedometer. I knew that a Garmin could be straped to your wrist and not just suctioned to your windshield. I knew the lingo, but I didn't REALLY feel it until I crossed that finish line. What made the difference? I don't know-I'm not a psychiatrist (used to work for them), but I think it was ME! I made the difference I determined that I would be a runner when I ran a 10K-kind of arbitrary but it is what it is. So...I guess the real point of this blog is that you are a runner when you decide you are. You could be a runner while still in C25K, or you could be a runner when you graduate the program, or you could be a runner when you cross the finish line of your first 5K. Or, you could be silly, like me, and set a really HARD goal to determine when you are a runnerLOL!
It wasn't easy, but there have been lots of fun moments-funny things happen to me when I run, and it has been very satisfying. I've never passed out or died during a run. I have fallen down, thankfully only my sister has witnessed those moments, but there is a clutz gene in our family and she has seen me tumble more times than either of us can count-lol! I stuck with it and I did what I could.
Now I am a runner.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
My mom sent me this and I thought it highly appropriate for Spark-just something silly!!
Well, it fit last year!
You find something 'festive' that you would like to slip into.
It seems a little small, but you're QUITE SURE that in recent years,
You've worn this size. So, you work with it...
You try it on different ways.....
From different angles you examine yourself.
Finally, you admit that it does feel "A LITTLE tight."
Someone offers you a larger size, which you find highly insulting.
I mean, it might be a tight fit, but you still look GOOD!!
Haven't we all been there???
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