Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I have been so hit and miss over here for too long. Time to make some changes.
Today has been an extremely productive day for me, so far. I've managed to make a payment so I can stay in school. I've made some phone calls. I've checked my bank account. I've solved several issues the kids have encountered. I haven't done any house work, but need to get on that right away and I haven't exercised, gotta get that in soon too.
Today is a day for getting things done. I've got a trend going. Three days now I've had great productive days. I've just gotta keep the trend moving and the circle of influence growing.
This is a good week for setting up schedules and making improvements. So, one of the things I need to do is start fitting spark into the schedule on a better basis. I haven't been reading much. I certainly have NOT been tracking (fitness or food). I've been moving along, but I don't have anything to show for it. My challenges have totally gotten sucked into a black hole and that sucks (haha-black hole-sucks-haha, not intended but still struck me as funny).
I've been hitting my three days a week running and my times are getting better, slowly but surely. The scale is not moving though. However, that means it isn't moving up either so I guess that is a plus.
I'm making better choices almost without trying sometimes, but other times I fail. Chips and salsa for lunch is not a good choice.
PTA is keeping me jumping, the kids are keeping me jumping and life is just a tad strange right now. But, I guess the real thing to take away here is that the MOST important things are still finding their places and sticking. Fruit is still being purchased when I go to the store. Running is still going on. And, here and there, I still am picking up a blog or two (usually whatever is at the top of my notifications).
I am anticipating a chance to sit and use the computer tonight, so hopefully, I can make a dent in my "inactive blogs" section and move a bunch of them over to active and maybe even pick up a new one or two.
Sometimes life gets crazy and when it does you sometimes have to just grab hold and hang on for the ride, other times you need to pick up a paddle and get to work so that you don't go over the falls. I've been holding on, now it is time to start using that paddle and get back into the flow of the stream instead of the whitewater. Time to take control and life work for me instead of the other way around.
(dropped another 20 seconds off my time for my regular morning run...dropping below 16 min/mile is in my sights and going down soon)
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I am sooooo ready for this summer to be over. Overall we have been blessed with, what is for us, moderate temperatures. Still too hot for my liking and we are making do without a/c this year. Really gotta wonder how people 100 years ago made it through summers. Probably the same way we are...lazy afternoons and lots of water (inside the body and out).
Having three kids, the ages of my kids, home all day is definitely more of a challenge than I'd been expecting. I think in previous years we had more naps and less computer time so I was still able to do more of MY stuff. Getting on the computer has been a challenge for sure. One computer split between 5 people, there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day. Challenges are more of a struggle than I expected them to be just because I can't check in as much as I would like.
I'm still working hard and trying my best to accomplish the fitness goals I have. Today was an accomplishment for sure! Went running with mom and sis this a.m. and was kind of just plodding along, it didn't feel like a fast or strenuous run, but there is always a point where we meet back up with my sis and depending on our individual speeds the location varies. Today when we met up she says something to the effect of "you are really cruising this morning". I kind of scoffed, because as mentioned, it didn't feel like I was going fast. To those who are not familiar with my turtles pace...I'm REALLY slow and I mean that, I'm not joking. Spark never recognizes that I am "running" because I am so slow that many people WALK faster than I run. I ticks me off big time that I can't list my efforts as running, btw. Anyways, one of July's goals is to have TWO sub-17 min/mile runs. Well, I've blown that out of the water. Tuesday when we were running at 1 mile I checked my time and was over 17 min/mile so I amped up the speed and brought it down to 16:40-something-YES. So, today when I was told I was cruising and the effort just didn't feel the same I scoffed and then pulled out my phone and checked and I was cruising along at a sub-17 pace!! It REALLY didn't feel like I was putting forth the effort to hit that time, but I was!! COOL!! I ended up with a pace 20 seconds faster than Tuesday. Today was supposed to be my "easy" run and a slower pace overall, but the effort still felt "easy" despite the faster time. So, that is SUPER encouraging and shows that my efforts are paying off. Makes trudging along a little more fun.
This weekend is going to be a busy one...I have PTA training Friday night and all day Saturday. I thought I wouldn't get my run in on Saturday, but the group changed plans to meet up with me at my house nice and early so I can still run with them and then quickly get ready and head off for a long day of sitting in training meetings. I'm a little concerned about Saturday-lunch will be served and I've been doing really well this week with food and don't want to blow it. I'm considering throwing a packaged salad and a bowl into an insulated bag and taking my own. At least that way I know EXACTLY what I'm consuming and how many calories are involved.
I can still improve a lot on my running and definitely a lot on the cross training activities and strength training. Tracking has gone to hell in a hand basket as the saying goes. I've got to get out a little note book I have and start writing it all down so that I can enter it at the end of the day when the kids finally give up the computer.
School starts in one month and I am looking forward to the couple of hours I'll have all alone each day so that I can clean house, exercise and spend a bit more time on Spark.
Today we were at Wal-mart getting a treat for youngest after having to endure some shots for school. I stopped in the fabric department and looked at some tulle for my running tutu!! Fawn (the animal fairy from Tinkerbell) is my fairy for the Tinkerbell half. I found some really pretty brownish (like maple syrup) tulle and a buttery yellow that go really well together and are very "Fawn-ish". Gonna have to get some soon and play with it and see what fullness, length, etc. works well for a running tutu :). Need to check a bigger store too for fabric that is more "technical" in nature for some shorts since I haven't seen running attire in harvest colors (yet). Maybe as fall comes around some stuff will come out in the right colors and save me some time and effort.
Overall life is good and moving along and I need to find some reading time soon. The scale is being stubborn, but I've seen this happen to me in summer before. At least I am not gaining, which usually happens during the summer despite swimming and everything else. I'm not giving up and soon the scale will HAVE to co-operate. In any case, I'm looking for and finding some success and sticking with the plan.
Hope everyone is having an excellent summer :).
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Have I mentioned that having 3 kids home all day long has really wreaked havoc on my computer time? lol. It is mighty difficult to fit myself into their schedules :). But, here it is, Saturday once more, and I am in control of the keyboard : )
Okay, so I had copied and pasted and posted all this stuff from the DIY challenge and then Spark wigged out and wouldn't respond and I lost it all.
So, I am NOT going back and copying it...Here is a summary....I'm still doing the DIY challenge and doing fairly well. I've missed a goal or two, but have hit more than I've missed.
Goals for this weekend=
This weekend, you either have to make and take a picture of two beautiful healthy meals you create, and upload the pic to sparkpeople (in your team or on your blogs)...
OR (if you cant cook and dont have a camera) - make a fun colorful fancy schmancy shopping list for when you are ready to go grocery shopping again. Cover produce, meats, dairy, grains... all the necessities and some frivolous items! it can be on construction paper or in Excel or just your blog or whatever.
Roger-wilko. Today is menu planning day so I'll do either sometime this weekend or heck, maybe both-lol
Get in a workout this weekend that totally screams YEAH IM STILL ON BOARD! SEE! IM STILL FIGHTING!
Already done!! A 6.2 miler this a.m.-I wasn't giving up until I hit that 10K mark!! Yeah, that screams IM STILL FIGHTING to me :).
Speaking of the run this morning :)...it was great...slow, but great...averaged just under an 18 min/mile pace...which means, of course, that when I entered it into Spark it came up under cardio as a 19 min/mile pace...yes, Spark, that feature totally sucks, please fix it. There are a BUNCH of online trackers that leave your's in the dust...please make it a priority. Specifically the fact that it can't calculate pace down to minutes AND seconds.
It was a warm morning, but we all pushed through and finished a great group run this morning. I test drove a new product today. Check it out here: www.nuun.com/
Basically it is a tablet...no sugar, contains balanced electrolytes and you add it to your own water (16 oz per tablet), and is under 8 calories per tablet. Basically an easy to carry and store sports drink. On a scale of 1-5, 5 being best, I give it a 4.5. Yep, that happy with it. The tablets come in a tube so VERY easy to carry and store. When you are ready you drop a tablet into 16 oz of water, let it fizz for 2 minutes and then give your bottle a little shakey-shake and you are good to go. What is holding it back from that last .5 points to make it perfect? I am happy with the taste. Definitely not overpowering and quite tasty, a little salty, but that is the electrolytes showing up and DEFINITELY not as salty as GATORADE...can't stand the stuff...blech, but they taste better COLD, icy cold, and of course carrying a bottle of water out in the heat of day, it didn't stay cold very long. Today I packed plain water in my Nathan pack and carried the drink in a bottle in the pocket on the front of the vest. Water was my primary sip for the first hour, then I switched to the drink for the rest of the run...several good gulps every 10-15 minutes. By the time I was completely done, warm-up and cool-down included, I'd been out 2 hours and polished off the bottled drink. Next time I have a longish, hotish run I might swap it out. Sipping water the first hour from a bottle and having the drink in my pack. I kind of polished off the drink kind of quickly once started and having more might be better. Plus, I can add ice to the pack and it will stay colder longer.
Also, while this was just 6.2 I'll be using this pack in my half marathons and at the half last year there were not enough water stops and only one gatorade stop. The balance was not good. I'd rather carry a smallish bottle of water in the pocket and use the water stops for water and have more electrolyte drink on board. It is something to test and work with.
Runners...on long runs what do you do for hydration? Straight up water? Water cut with gatorade? Or electrolyte drink?
Did some Jillian when I got home and some great yoga that really helped my legs feel stretched. In a bit, a swim, and on with the day :).
Hope everyone is having a great weekend :).
Saturday, July 02, 2011
I start with the amazing what your frame of mind can do.
Yesterday, I did not get up and exercise. I slept. Then got busy with some house stuff and then it was hot. I had it in mind, all day, that I had to do my Jillian Michaels workout and for some reason just DID NOT WANT to do it. I kept thinking "I have to", but didn't and didn't want to. Finally something came up where I actually looked at my schedule and lo and behold...Jillian was not scheduled until today!!! DUH!! What was I putting myself through for nothing? Friday was cardio/yoga. I was so happy to see that and new that I would make my pool workout the cardio and if the yoga didn't happen well then...it was "extra" anyways-lol!!
I was so happy that I didn't have to do Jillian that I worked EXTRA hard in the pool. Making sure my heart rate was up and that it stayed there. If a child needed something and I had to pause the swimming I was running or jumping or something. I watched the clock on the wall near the pool and timed it at 40 solid minutes, taking time out for childrens' needs. I was totally happy with the 40 minutes and since hubs was home late from work I didn't even miss that I didn't fit in the yoga.
Today was the Anza Days 5K. Anza is a SMALL town up in the hills, not too far from our town. It took just under an hour to get there and part of that was trying to find the school where it was being held-lol!! Once we got there it was clear that this was a SMALL race!! Very small, probably the smallest I've ever done. Rough guess, between 50 and 75 people, and certainly under 100. We had just enough time to check in, get our bib #s, visit the potty (which was a real restroom located on the school grounds (yay for real bathrooms-lol), and take our race shirts back to the car. The race started on the football field's touchdown line (that was kind of a fun touch). Through the stadium and out a fence and on to a street before we went off road!!! OFF ROAD!! I was expecting a bit of off road running, but thought it would be a lot less. The majority of the race was in the dirt.
It took some getting used to, especially since the dirt here can be very sandy and we had a lot of that. Running in very loose, sandy dirt is quite a bit different from running on city streets. A bit more different that I thought, but I really enjoyed it. Particularly once I got better and judging where the harder packed soil was.
This must be a real part of cross country running-being able to find where the path is best for running and being able to avoid areas that would slow you down. I am feeling the challenge in my glutes now that the race has been over for a bit-lol!! I made a pretty good pace (for me) and thought I was doing fairly well. There was a really nice down hill section that allowed me to pick up some speed a little. This section was also through some really pretty fields of wildflowers. The scenery was gorgeous and a real plus to the race. Gorgeous small purple flower, mixed with small sunflowers (probably actually a variety of daisy) and green sage. I kept thinking that I would never put those colors together, but thank goodness God knows better than I what to colors to put together :).
Unfortunately what goes down must go back up-lol!! It wasn't long before we started the climb back up....it was long and gradual though and I thought the hills were very manageable despite the fact that I walked most of the uphill distance. Not sad over that. It was a tactical decision and I was able to power up the hills walking and not be too bushed at the top to keep going. By the time the climb was over I was gaining on a girl that had been ahead of me from the beginning and had maintained her lead for most of the race. The uphill had taken an obvious toll on her and she was slowing down. I recognized the look of "this is harder than I thought it would be. When will I be done." I recognized it even from behind-lol!! As I passed I asked "doing okay? Hanging in there?" She gave an answer I don't remember, but was very much along the lines of something I would say. I gave her some encouragement as I passed. At this point we were finally back on paved roads and in the 3/4 of a mile. There was another slight downhill and my tactic of walking the uphill left me with enough energy to run that last part to the turn back to the school where there was another hill I walked until reaching the entrance to the field. Here I started to run again and it was my first time running on a regular track. I likeeeeee :). It was FUN running in a lane down a nice, soft, springy track :). Kristen (4everadonegirl and my sister for those who missed that fact up until now-lol) was already there cheering me on and gave me a point to really push to the end and I did. I surged forward and finished in right around 53 minutes according to my phone. 53:18 to be exact, but it took me a couple seconds to turn it off.
I am totally happy with that time...an average pace of 17:01. For an unknown, hilly and sandy course I am ECSTATIC!! My mom came in shortly after that and then the lady I passed and encouraged. We all cheered her through the line.
It was a great race and I had a blast.
Now, it is another hot, hot day and I still have Jillian staring me down-lol!! I'll do it though :)!! I promise :). I'm rethinking the idea of doing Jillian after running. I'll give it another week to see how it goes, I can't really judge the effect on the day after a race.
Swimming later for fun :) and then Jillian :).
My July race is done and next up August :). Pretty much decided that I'm taking my backpack for even short distances. I LOVE my hydration and most races don't offer enough water. Tried my NUUN tablets for the first time and really like them. I'll be buying more of those too.
Okay, so hubs just came home from errands and brought me a Kindle for my birthday!!! Big turkey...okay, guess I have to forgive him now (wanted a NOOK, but close enough-lol)!!!
On with my Saturday...if I can get away from my Kindle I'll read some blogs tonight-lol!!
Friday, July 01, 2011
So much to do lately. As of midnight I am OFFICIALLY the PTA president at my kids' school for the next year (eek) and already I've had to deal with adults behaving as children and some people are going to be very disappointed to find I don't play games. I don't have the time or energy to play high school games. The kids being off for the summer is keeping me busy, I should be drawing a paycheck as a professional referee-lol! I am supposed to be finishing my classes for school and preparing for the next round, but am terribly behind (thank goodness I can catch up, but I've gotta get the program together), the kids are also keeping me busy in the pool-I think one reason I've been so sore is that they've discovered a new game...in the shallow end we each hold a ring (myself and one of the three children-ranging from 50 to 70-ish pounds)-it's a diving ring, but works great as a handle-anyways we both hold on to the same ring or two rings with one in each hand. I am then responsible for "a ride". I spin, push, pull, bounce and generaly propel the child through the water while also gently pulling upwards as not to accidentaly drown the child. They think it is a blast...I think it is an awesome workout for every single part of my body...active fitness...it's what it's all about-right? :) Anyways...busy, busy, busy. That being said, I also have two challenges beginning tomorrow and thankfully they somewhat overlap :). I can use activities from one as activities for the other to some degree. YAY!! I love things that kill the proverbial two birds with the proverbial one stone :). So...on to some challenge business.
First...here are the pre-challenge instructions and how I've been doing with them thus far :).
Step One: Enter by joining The Proving Grounds public team (you can see it on my page) and going to this link to fill out your entry card.
Got this done right off the bat-WooHoo
Step Two: Take your before picture and beginning measurements. DO IT BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF THE CHALLENGE.
Posting the pic is optional...I'm not posting it...yet. I purposely took the worst picture possible-lol! Well, maybe not intentionally. I did intentionally wear my worst fitting garb. I wore my form fitting workout pants that seldom leave the house coupled with a form fitting tech shirt. Nobody was around to help take the pic and I couldn't locate a working camera (the best choice camera had dead batteries), so it is an "in the mirror" shot. I'm partially blocking my own face and I am standing on tip-toe so that the majority of the damage is visible in the shot. I'll reveal it at the end with the "after" pic.
Step Three: Redecorate your sparkpage from top to bottom. Reinvigorate everything about. New colors, new pictures, new, fresh, vibrant, energizing, loving life happy happy joy joy sparkpage... capiche?
Yep, did it! Gone is the blue that has been here since the start of the year. The calm, peaceful, relaxing, dare I say it? Sleepy blue. In it's place is bright orange and green. My profile pic is my ulimate goal for this year (though the race is at the end of January, it won't be accomplished without a lot of work this year).
Step Four: Make or Buy or Steal a blank Calendar. Get stickers, or a colorful Sharpie, or magic markers or jack your kiddos' crayons. Mark the start day and the end day of your challenge. Keep this somewhere accessible. the crayons too.
I've got three kiddos. Calendar is on the wall and crayons, markers, stickers, etc. are all within easy reach. Gonna stop at Target in the a.m. though and will grab some fun and maybe sparkly stickers just for the heck of it.
Step Five: Find or Wash or Buy a new water bottle to drag everywhere with you. Every doctor on the planet agrees you need to drink two of those each day. That includes you, mermaid.
My favorite water cup and it's new friend have been getting LOTS of usage the last week. My fave cups are very similar...they are those plastic cups that look like fast food soda cups, complete with straw. Except the lids screw on and the straw won't fall out. I've had the first for a while now....clear with red polka dot. The second was added just last week. We were at Wal-mart as a fam and this HUGE M&M display grabbed our attention. I saw this cute cup with the orange M on it, I wanted Green, but they didn't have it and Orange is my second fave. Hubs grabbed it and put it in the cart. I've been using both simultaneously, whichever is closest and easiest to fill :).
Step Six: If you are the type that works out to music, then shuffle or rearrange your playlists, get new music from friends, go shopaholic on iTunes, download a radio app for your phone or iPod, or have your man make you a mix tape. Point being, FRESHEN YOUR TUNES.
Not done YET. There are several songs on my wish list and they will be added and the list will be juggled tommorow-pay day. Just in time for my weekend race :).
Step Seven: Wash all your workout clothes. Excuses are for people who need them. If you feel like there is cash burning a hole in your pocket, then getsome new workout wear or free weights or something.
They are in the wash to be hung and dried in the a.m. since it is getting VERY late and since it is kind of toasty here I let the wash run at night :). Hubs is in the doghouse from the b-day fiasco so there is a really good chance I'll come up with a new fitness something or other this weekend to provide some extra external motivation :).
Optional Step Eight: Buy a subscription to a fitness magazine such as SHAPE, SELF, Women's Fitness, etc.
Optional and not done YET. I've been hankerin' to resubscribe to SHAPE lately and will probably make that happen.
So there is the pre-challenge challenge mostly taken care of.
Step one of the challenge, officially starting in 90 minutes from here in California is to blog your declaration of independance...I've been thinking about this so here it is....
I, Heather, aka itshowyoulive, do hereby declare my independance from my lazy self. I declare that the fun-loving, running wanna-be, fit mom of three is now and hence forth free from the bonds of the sloth that stole my body years ago. I declare my freedom to get out of bed whenever I feel like it and go for a run. I declare my freedom to watch and enjoy exercise videos, even the cheesy ones. I declare my independence from doubt and fear. I have the right to live my life to the fullest and if that means running down the street with all my jiggliness jiggling as I go, then so be it. Anyone who doesn't like it can eat dirt. I declare my freedom from the fear of failure. I will give everything I do my best effort. It is all I expect from my kids so it should be good enough for me. If I try something and it doesn't work out it will not be a "failure" but a "learning opportunity". I declare my rights to be all I can be!!!
So there-lol!! That was very empowering :)!! Loved typing all that :). Things to do tomorrow...re-organize play list and add some songs. Make hubs fix my bike so I can ride with the kiddies. Finish typing up my workout plans for the month and print it out and post where it is visible. Finalize my Jillian plans (which DVD will I choose for the month?). Do an upper body workout and some yoga. Finish drying workout gear and lay it out for race on Saturday (yay). So much to do and yet so much already accomplished :).
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