THEFIRESPIRAL's SparkPeople Blog THEFIRESPIRAL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community TK: Fresh Corn & Herb Pasta <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This recipe was fantastic - incredibly flavorful and likely to get more so as the season progresses and stuff is fresh. I'd love to have all the ingredients from the farmer's market. My meat-eating family loved it as well - and it was super easy to make. <BR> <BR> Thug Kitchen FTW! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-know-how-you-lied-and-said-that-youd-<BR>actually </link> Thu, 20 Jun 2013 23:03:34 EST Experiment: Day One I entered this thing much like I did the running thing; without giving myself an opportunity to overthink it and come up with 50 reasons why not. I'm not going to check in every day because that would be tedious, but I will review from time-to-time. <BR> <BR> As I mentioned yesterday, possibly in a comment to someone, I've never spent much time watching my sugar intake. I don't have much diabetes in my family (none, that I'm aware of) and it's never been an issue. So that's new, and man, tha... Thu, 20 Jun 2013 15:35:39 EST An Experiment For the next month, while I'm waiting (not so patiently) for my hip to heal, I'm going to try an experiment. But first, let me explain the bigass gap in entries - I took some time off writing (and really shortened my training schedule) to finish my my masters. It needed to be done, and I'm happy because now I can focus on health, physical and spiritual. I sorely neglected these things over the past two years while I was finishing my MS. <BR> <BR> So. The experiment. I thought of it after rea... Wed, 19 Jun 2013 11:53:18 EST 3 Little Birds SP has challenged me to list three things I accomplished today. The day is early, but I think I can muster it up anyway: <BR> <BR> 1) Remembered to bring my breakfast & lunch to work (saves $$ & is healthier) <BR> 2) Talked to J about time off while Mom is here <BR> 3) Stretched out my hip while waiting for my oatmeal to cook <BR> <BR> I'll resist the urge to add "to-do's" to this post! Mon, 3 Jun 2013 11:44:04 EST Aging Bodies Are Finicky I've been dealing with an aggravated hip flexor since late last week. It's an old injury; the first time I seriously hurt it was bad news, but it was all the way back in the 8th grade. Last time I trained for sports, as a matter of fact. The hip has flared up several times over the years and the pain is an old friend. This time, though, I'm in the midst of training for half marathons, so I have to do more than just greet it. <BR> <BR> I did my long run on Sunday, but I've taken this week off... Wed, 15 May 2013 11:18:05 EST Trails, Trails, Trails It's official; I'm happiest when it's rainy, cool and I'm on a trail in the woods. I committed to some road races over the next few months, but I predict a big change in focus coming, with more trail running and hiking. It's such a rejuvenation. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's long run was great - I had energy to spare at the end (nearly 8 miles) and could have easily kept going. It was, of course, cool and rainy, and I was back at Tualatin Hills Nature Park. I just get so much back when I'm in the tr... Mon, 13 May 2013 14:00:21 EST Monkey Mind I'm not 100% sure what's going on with me. Could be a serious battle with fear, could be a realistic assessment of what's going on with my body. Could be weird bad-wiring-brain stuff that's just biochemical bleeping. I know that since last weekend I've been afraid I can't do the half. I know that I am having some weird pain/discomfort in my right hip socket that is likely related to scoliosis and one leg being slightly shorter than the other. I know that the novelty has worn off and I'm deali... Thu, 9 May 2013 22:41:49 EST Things I Want to Remember: Cinco de Mayo 10K 2013 The surprise of nerves, worry about being last. <BR> I only had three safety pins, so one corner of my bib flapped in the breeze. <BR> The police officer at the almost halfway point who said, "You're doing great, keeping a good pace!" <BR> Looking back and realizing I was far from being last. <BR> The two women ahead of me who motivated me to move faster because it seemed so easy for them. <BR> The sun is not my friend; pockets of shade are. I will walk farther if it means I can be out of the... Sun, 5 May 2013 14:23:52 EST Thoughts On Tomorrow's Race It's kind of looking like I may be alone for tomorrow's race. Gab is going to try to make it with Nina, and so is Jeff, but I have a feeling I'll be alone when I cross the finish line. I have mixed feelings about that. I mean, on one hand, it really is my personal thing, my victory over my own lack of faith in my body and my will. Most of the meaning in this is mine, and I don't think I can really share that. On the other hand, I'm kind of bummed that it's the first athletic competition I've ... Sat, 4 May 2013 20:42:35 EST Cinco de Mayo 10K, Here I Come! <img src=""> Fri, 3 May 2013 16:23:26 EST Hoping for Some SparkCoach Expansion I'm giving SparkCoach a trial run because I love finding new ways to motivate myself to keep improving my fitness activity. I wish, however, it was possible to hone the coaching in to that, rather than have such an intense scrutiny of how to lose weight. I want to talk to someone specifically about how to fuel my body for the movement I'm doing, and how to improve my pace and time running. I hate having everything about how I eat and move be related only to weight loss. I'll give it another m... Fri, 3 May 2013 11:20:53 EST Lessons Learned Lessons Learned:<BR>lessons-learned.html Sun, 28 Apr 2013 23:21:25 EST Redirect, please... <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> You can find my active blog here: <link> </link> Sun, 24 Mar 2013 14:54:29 EST Okay, So Plan B My shins continue to give me serious pain when I'm running, and now even with walking, so I'm thinking I need to go to a Plan B for fitness. I liked running because it was solitary - my time with my body is kind of MY time, and I don't really want to take a class - because it required little in the way of equipment and because I could do it pretty much anywhere. <BR> <BR> I'm thinking about switching up to something in the water - laps, probably. I'd do cardio machines, but they're so borin... Tue, 31 Jan 2012 14:14:58 EST The Plan Well I did indeed go to the gym tonight. My plan was to do a good stretch session first, focusing on my calves and shins, and that's what I did. Then the plan was to do walk/run intervals until I started to have serious pain in my shins, which is also what I did, but I hate that I had to do it. <BR> <BR> I ended up on the treadmill tonight because the indoor track was super full and I didn't feel like bobbing and weaving through so many other people. I don't think that had anything to do wit... Wed, 25 Jan 2012 23:35:59 EST The Good, The Bad & The Ugly The Good: I made a connection with my class partner re: checking out the spiritual scene here. I've been wanting to have someone to investigate the community with, and she kind of landed in my lap. Well, not literally, but you know what I mean. This is exciting! Also, I really had a clear epiphany this week about teaching vs. counseling, with counseling coming out very definitely ahead. Of course, I'm in the education master's program and I'll finish it up and take a year off before starting ... Mon, 23 Jan 2012 22:46:28 EST Feeling Great I downloaded an app to my iPod Touch that does the Couch-5K thing a little differently, starting out with intervals of 1 minute jogging and 1.5 minutes walking. Frankly, I thought it would be harder. I thought I HAD to have those 4 minute walks in between the 1 minute jogs. Turns out I was wrong. I finished and I felt pretty damned good about it. I listened to an audiobook rather than music. I'd been afraid it would affect my motivation or that I wouldn't work as hard, but that wasn't really ... Sat, 21 Jan 2012 21:01:57 EST Persevere My cousin sent me a very cool bracelet from It's made of leather and it's made to be worn all the time - while sweating, while being rained on, while slogging through mud and so on. You can see it here if you want: <link><BR>_triathlon_jewelry_Persevere_Bracelet_<BR>p/wtb001.htm </link> <BR> <BR> It arrived the week classes started (Jan. 9th), which has turned out to be timely. I started my running the week before classes started an... Fri, 20 Jan 2012 22:57:42 EST End of Week 1 I got all my training in for the 5K, though I did skip my strength workout yesterday. I may do it today and call it good, but I’m not promising. I have a long list of things to do, things I procrastinated yesterday in favor of playing games with the fam. I have mixed feelings about that and I’m thinking a lot about the role of video games in my life, but for now, it’s a way to connect and do something together. Anyway, the fitness – it went pretty well once I moved into the indoor track at th... Sun, 8 Jan 2012 15:17:20 EST So Far, So Good Tomorrow I do day two of the Rookie Running program here at SP. My hips are slightly sore, as are my calves, but I think I'll be okay. AND I'll be able to go to the rec center, instead of maniacally winding my way around random city blocks. I did my ab/core workout tonight and it hurt. I'm looking forward to having strong muscles again. Feeling so weak is not fun for this wild woman! Wed, 4 Jan 2012 00:03:58 EST Ah, 2012 The running joke in my household right now is that we're getting our lives in shape so we can die on 12/21/12 with clear minds and healthy bodies. Heh. <BR> <BR> Today I scoped out what I thought was the outdoor track - turns out it's just a nice turf football/soccer practice field. It's right behind my apartment and is convenient for at least the first few weeks of training. The surface is nice to my knees and I'm not really in need of measuring my runs yet (when I am, I'll probably just h... Sun, 1 Jan 2012 22:35:31 EST Feeling Good Today was day three of working out with the Xbox. Jeff and I made a pact to stop ignoring the obvious messages our bodies are sending about not being well. So rather than tracking calories, I'm just making sure I'm putting quality food in my body. And I am tracking activity. I'm forcing myself to start s-l-o-o-o-w, which is usually my downfall. I get too sore, stop and never get back in. Not gonna do that this time. My plan is to spend 30 minutes a day with the Xbox (doing FITNESS, not Fable ... Sat, 4 Jun 2011 15:33:17 EST Sleep Challenge: Week 1 Day 2 I went to bed at 9, but didn't fall asleep until sometime after10:30. Jeff was really sad about Jasmine last night. I did what I could, but mostly I just lay there, aware of his pain. I woke up at 5 with the area about an inch above my knee just throbbing. I don't know what it is. Doesn't feel like a sore or pulled muscle. Maybe a confused nerve. Whatever it is, it kept me up for about an hour. I tried to snooze between 6 and 7, but it didn't work out so well. So another night under 8 hours. ... Tue, 15 Feb 2011 10:39:53 EST Sleep Challenge: Week 1 Day 1 I turned the light off at 10 last night. I remember hearing the clock ring at 10:30, but I'm pretty sure I was almost asleep at that point. I woke up at about 3:00 because I heard an owl. Such a beautiful sound, I stayed awake a bit straining to hear it again. Probably not much more than a half hour though. The alarm went off at 6, I hit snooze until 6:30, which is usual. I'd like to get to the point where I get up the first time the alarm goes off. We'll see. I do love to sleep. Mon, 14 Feb 2011 10:41:05 EST Adjustments I weighed myself yesterday - another 2 lbs down. Back into the 220's, which felt like something of a small milestone. I noticed that with adjusting to working, I'm getting forgetful about Alli, so I need to strategize about that. I'm tired pretty much every day, despite getting 8 hours of sleep. I'm hoping that's just something that needs to adjust as well, and that soon I won't spend most mornings and evenings feeling like I'm about to fall asleep where I sit/stand. Finally, next week i... Thu, 4 Feb 2010 10:10:22 EST Crazy Week So Far I know it's only Tuesday, but yesterday included the beginning of a new job and some drama after work. Fortunately the drama wasn't mine, but I was there in a supporting capacity and it was pretty draining. <BR> <BR> I'm giving myself some space to figure out where exercise is going to fit now that I've started back to work full-time. I woke up early (as in TOO early) this morning and I suppose I could push back what was a 6 AM wake-up to 5 AM. This morning I was up at 4 AM and I can alre... Tue, 2 Feb 2010 07:28:51 EST Just a Little Debauchery Last night I had pizza, wine and a half square of Dove dark chocolate. I felt really decadent at the time, and I knew I'd go over a bit on my daily allocation of calories, but I was at peace with it. The thing about allowing myself one day each week like that is that my stomach is so much smaller from being "on" for the rest of the week. I simply can't do much damage. So I was over by about 500 for the day, and I'm okay with that. I'll eat a bit less today and get in some exercise. I'm ... Sat, 30 Jan 2010 14:01:00 EST So Far, So Good I'm loving the two DVDs I got - both are Biggest Loser titles and both feature Bob Harper. Gab and I are alternating the Bootcamp and Weightloss Yoga programs. We're sore, but not impossibly so, worked out, but not burnt out. I like the way the DVDs are set up so that you can build up the workouts. We'll get a solid month out of using these with new stuff each week. That's good. I like the idea of muscle confusion. I've been thinking of trying out the P90X series as a reward for 2 mont... Thu, 28 Jan 2010 09:21:17 EST Slow & Steady, Etc I'm down about a pound and a half from last week, which is pretty good considering I'd dropped exercise last week. I'm waiting for the good hormones to kick in and start making me feel better from the exercise. That'll probably happen at the end of the week. Since Gab needs to have at least 20 minutes of exercise M-F, I'll be working out at least 5 days a week. I'd like to find something active to do on the weekends, like hike, but my options are kind of limited here unless I drive. <BR> ... Wed, 27 Jan 2010 08:26:42 EST Back on Track Yesterday I picked up two new exercise DVDs - hard to choose which ones, really, but I went with two Biggest Loser titles, "Weight Loss Yoga" and "Bootcamp". They both feature Bob, so they'll be a nice addition to the Jillian Michaels set I have. They had a Firm set for a really good price, but I don't have two fanny lifters and can't do those with Gab. <BR> <BR> I also picked up Alli, which I'd been thinking about trying for awhile. Joined the sparkteam here and now find myself more worr... Tue, 26 Jan 2010 09:28:42 EST Tough Week I went out on the town last weekend with friends... pictures were taken. And they were not pretty, at least not to my eyes. All I could see was how huge I was and how I didn't look the way I felt - I never do. That plus PMS (and, oh, a host of realizations about other issues I need to deal with, probably with professional help) really put me into a tailspin for most of this week. <BR> <BR> Regardless, I got on the scale today. While I haven't had any formal exercise since Thursday, I've ... Wed, 20 Jan 2010 21:50:49 EST Decisions, Decisions Two things I need to clear up today. First, I did 5K training yesterday, a day off schedule. I'm going to be heading out of town tomorrow at 6 AM. Should I do my third day of training for this week today or try to fit it in tomorrow? Second, I'm doing this 100 push-ups thing ( <link> </link> ). For the first week, I did the modifed knee pushups and had great progress in my arms. I thought that for the second week, I'd move up to full pushups and set my reps back to t... Fri, 15 Jan 2010 09:19:32 EST Struggling A Little I live in a rural community where many people don't keep their dogs fenced - I don't mind when the dogs are friendly or at least neutral, but I really hate the dogs that either run out after me as I jog/walk or the dogs that bark their fool heads off. This is a low grade deterrent to running when it's convenient for me to run because for whatever reason, people seem more likely to have their dogs "out" in the evening here. I also lost my running partner because my daughter sprained her ankl... Thu, 14 Jan 2010 09:49:30 EST Wow! I really feel awesome tonight - my daughter and I did the last week one day of 5k training. I'm up to week two on all my push-up, sit-up and squat challenges, though I started over on the push-ups because I graduated from modified push-ups to the real thing. <BR> <BR> Eating is falling into place - I've been reading "You: On a Diet" and love, love, love the message. So much of what I know, but it feels good to be armed with the science when friends start spouting silly fad diet garbage a... Mon, 11 Jan 2010 21:56:43 EST 5k Training Day One I took Gab out with me today to do the 5k training program put out by Podrunner ( <link> </link> ). She was awesome, pushing me when I was ready to walk out some of the run intervals. Still, my butt was beat when we were done and I still have work out stuff to do. Friday I may do those things first, kind of as a "warm-up" for the walk/run. We didn't make it out first thing in the morning, which I'm also going to change because the sun beating down at noo... Wed, 6 Jan 2010 15:15:12 EST This Morning's Walk So this year's fitness journey is shared with my mom. I'm living with her for the next few months while I save for the move to Seattle and we decided to work together on our shared goals: eating better, moving more and not drinking as much (all the calories!). The support is good, but we are at different fitness levels, so I'll need to add some additional cardio time until Mom is at a similar place. <BR> <BR> This morning we logged about 25 minutes. I'd been hoping for 40, but Mom was huf... Tue, 5 Jan 2010 11:36:29 EST Soreness & Surprises Getting ready to head out for my walk - I'm much more sore after yesterday's sit-ups, push-ups and squats than I thought I'd be! I took some tylenol and think the walk will help work it out. <BR> <BR> This morning I started getting texts from someone regarding exercise. I'm not sure who it is, but my phone number is pretty protected, so I'm confident it's someone I know, someone who wants to help motivate me. Pretty cool, kinda like a Secret Santa, except more like a Secret Trainer/Coach.... Tue, 5 Jan 2010 10:30:13 EST Getting Back on Track Man, it's been a really tough 2008 and 2009. I'm not even going to try to summarize it here, just say that I'm slowly getting back on track with my mom. Right now I've put together a very simple and basic 6 week program that I'm using to ramp up to the set of Jillian Michaels DVDs that I own. Essentially, I'm working the Couch to 5K program for cardio, and the 6 week to 200 sit-ups, 100 push-ups and 200 squats. That covers the basics and gives me a decent foundation to really start to get... Mon, 4 Jan 2010 23:58:57 EST But It's Not Even Lunchtime! Oh man... birthday goodies today. I managed to consume about 900 calories at mid-morning. In my defense, a good part of it was veggies and fruit, but all it takes is a few high calorie items to push it up. Looks like it's Progresso soup until dinner, which will have to be something like a chicken salad. I have about 200 calories left for the day. Yoinks! <BR> <BR> On the bright side, I have almost met my daily fiber intake and my fat is way down from yesterday. Wed, 12 Dec 2007 14:06:24 EST Looking Back ... and Forward I woke up yesterday and just felt back on track. I'm logging food, going to the gym and I feel really good about it. This year was supposed to be about getting healthy. Losing weight was a by-product but also a nice positive reinforcer. I'm coming up on the day that started it for me last year - my birthday. <BR> <BR> I've been absent from the gym for about six months. I've been "sort of" looking after my eating, but for the most part, not. Still, I've accomplished a lot this year. I... Tue, 11 Dec 2007 13:48:19 EST Running vs. Elliptical Wise exercising friends... Why does it seem that the elliptical machine burns more calories than running when running feels like more work, raises my heart rate more and makes me more out of breath? It doesn't make sense in my little pea brain. Mon, 29 Oct 2007 12:34:18 EST Been Awhile... So Jeff's schedule changed in July. A simple thing like that ... oh, and a near nervous breakdown ... really threw my summer off. So I haven't been paying close attention to my eating, have not been in the gym, have generally been in a Very Bad Place. I see the light at the end of this particular tunnel, though, and I'm crawling towards it. Lexapro and therapy have been really good for me, continued work on the therapy is on the agenda. Lexapro too, at least for the foreseeable future. ... Tue, 9 Oct 2007 12:42:19 EST Goals for the rest of June No drinking. It leads to bad food choices. <BR> Back in the gym regularly - two days of weights, three to four of cardio. <BR> Eating out only once a week - back to taking lunches and journaling everything I eat. <BR> Limited WoW time - no more than one hour on week days, two per day on weekends. <BR> A minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night. This means I'm in bed to sleep by 11 every night (i.e. any non-sleeping bed activities must happen prior to 11). <BR> Daily meditation. Tue, 19 Jun 2007 15:01:01 EST Why Am I Doing This Again? Running Log: 2.74 miles, 5 min. warm-up, 5/2 run/walk intervals, 5 min. cooldown = 40 min. total <BR> <BR> Even on the treadmill, I'm beginning to like running for the clarity and occasional epiphany it brings. Tonight's epiphany was about my motivation for this insane running goal I've set. Hell, I'm not even sure I like running yet. I mean, I like how I feel when I'm finished, but I'm not sure I've found the place yet where I like the feeling of running itself. I think this may come when I... Tue, 22 May 2007 00:33:45 EST Still On the Road Considering that I've only been half-assed committed to exercise for the past three weeks, a three pound loss isn't bad. <BR> <BR> My eating has remained mostly good, but I've slipped a bit on that as well. It's okay, I think. I mean, I'm going to have ups and downs my whole life. As my LiveJournal tag says, nothing stays the same. The trick is in not letting a rough patch permit me to throw up my hands and completely stop all my new healthy habits. <BR> <BR> Part of the problem is stress f... Tue, 15 May 2007 16:47:48 EST July I think I have to face reality... I am not going to be ready for the half in July. There are medical factors, sure, but the truth is, I haven't done a very good job of sticking to training. Oh, I've been running, but it's been more like once a week, maybe twice. As I've observed in a prior post, this is not enough to build any kind of endurance. <BR> <BR> So I'm hereby resolving to re-commit to training 4-5 days a week. I have a 20 week schedule that's for a full marathon. I'm starting it th... Tue, 15 May 2007 16:46:28 EST Loving Me Recently I've been giving a lot of thought to loving my self and what that means. I made some comments about it in a friend's blog, but wanted to elaborate a bit here. <BR> <BR> I had been trying to make self love mean some kind of unconditional, no matter what, must love EVERYTHING kinda love. I had an epiphany that it's not like that. Loving myself is like loving anyone else... it means loving myself even though I am not perfect. In fact, it can even mean loving some of the imperfections. ... Tue, 15 May 2007 16:45:18 EST Weekend Epiphanies This weekend brought many lessons, not the least of which is that I really need to let lose on the town with my friends more often. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was the reckoning, though, and I have learned this: <BR> <BR> 1) Endurance training requires consistency. <BR> 2) Running long distances is made more difficult by acts of debauchery. <BR> 3) Endurance training is not so named because you wait until 9:30 PM to get started. <BR> 4) If I'm going to be serious about building endurance, I hav... Mon, 23 Apr 2007 11:39:46 EST Please Don't Call It A Diet Several times in the past four months people have referred to my changed eating habits as "my diet" or "being on a diet." In the case of the former, they don't mean diet in the broad sense of what a person eats. They mean diet in the sense of a regimented, restricted eating plan. And that's not what I'm doing. <BR> <BR> I have about 20 years of worrying about my weight under my belt. (The pun was unintentional, but appropriate.) I have about 1 year of caring about my health, with about ... Thu, 19 Apr 2007 12:09:17 EST I Love That Man of Mine Tonight Jeff went for my run with me. It was 150% better. I have identified three reasons why. First, I had Jeff. Not only did he keep me company, he kept track of time, which let me concentrate on enjoying the run rather than counting off cycles of running and walking. Also, simply because he was there, I pushed myself a bit harder. Second, I hit the inhaler before I went out. I had to use it twice while I was out, but it was much better than the first time I tried this. The simple fact is t... Wed, 18 Apr 2007 01:09:27 EST