Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stacy + traveling = weather related issues

Whenever I try to travel, somehow nasty weather conditions like to get in the way. Just to name a few examples....
In April when heading to the cities to fly out to AZ with the sis, I brought a winter storm that caused our flight to be delayed; last spring we got 9 inches of snow on the day I planned on traveling home for Easter; this summer when traveling to the cities with a cousin we drove through tornado cells; and last week we were under a winter storm watch when I left Fargo to head home to Bismarck for Christmas.

Now, we are under a winter storm warning until 1pm today.... when I was planning on heading back to Fargo later this morning. If the weather is decent around noon, I will leave, but I am keeping an eye on the ND DOT website and watching the road conditions. I had plans to head to the cities tomorrow and spend 2 or 3 days there with my sister and brother-in-law, but that might have to wait until Thursday.

Yesterday morning I went to the gym and had a short Brick workout planned. 45 minutes on the bike and 15 minute run-off on the thrillmill. It's been so long since I have done a Brick workout and it felt great to get one in. The transition from cycling to running can be quite difficult and my legs definitely felt heavy and tight, but it was only a matter of a few minute before I felt comfortable with my stride. I look forward to doing more of these in 2009!

Monday Workout:
Bike 16.21 miles, 45:00, 21.63mph
Run 1.25 mile, 15:00, 12:00/mile average

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The past few days

Friday morning I ventured to the local YMCA with the 'rents to see if my Fargo Y membership would get me in. Sure enough, I was excited when I found out I was able to use the gym here at home without having to pay anything.

That morning my parents talked about doing 5 miles on the treadmill. I didn't really have any desire to do that distance so I took advantage of the time and did some sprints. I ran 1 mile slow, to warm up and then did 400M sprints with 30 second cool downs. I finish off with a 1 mile slow run. 4 miles done and it felt great.

I spent a good portion of the afternoon at the bowling alley celebrating my god-daughter's 10th birthday. Her birthday reminds me not only of how fast time has gone by, but that this coming year will be my 10 year high school reunion. Eeks.

That evening I was starting to feel a slight pain in my left shin. I knew it was from pounding out the sprints, as my body was not used to that.

Saturday morning I hit the gym again with the 'rents and took it easy. I did a couple 11 minute miles (average) on the treadmill and then about 25 minutes on the bike. As for the rest of the day, I spent reading Twilight, completely addicted and didn't want to put it down.

This morning Dad and I went to the gym. He went to run and I headed for the pool. The Y here actually has two pools, a smaller one and then an Olympic sized pool. My memory of the larger one was the bitter cold water temps, so I jumped into the smaller pool. I kicked out a 100M and the water was so warm I couldn't stand it. So, I went over to the larger pool and was fearful of how cold the water was going to be. All my memories of swimming in that pool when I was 11 or 12 was of how damn cold it was. Either I was just a kid who liked to complain or the water was colder then, but today it wasn't too bad. It was still colder than the pool in Fargo, but better than the hot pool. However, I just couldn't get into a good rhythm and my breathing was off. It took everything in me to swim more than 1000M and I made myself kick out another 200.

As for the rest of the day, I look forward to lounging in my sweats (again) all while watching the Vikings and then the Tar Heels later. Sometime in between the two games I am going to venture over to Barnes and Noble and check out what they might have on sale... maybe pick up the next book in the Twilight series.

Tomorrow morning, I might try a short swim and then hop on the bike for a short brick workout! It's time to start re-focussing my workouts in preparation for the indoor triathlon I want to do the end of February!

Have a great Sunday, y'all!

Friday's Workout:
Run 4.05 miles (400M sprints) - no time - accidentally stopped the treadmill mid-run

Saturday's Workout:
Run 2.11 miles - about 23 minutes
Bike 7 miles - approximately 25 minutes

Sunday's Workout:
Swim 1200M - approximately 25 minutes

Friday, December 26, 2008

I've been thinkin'

...I know, I know. I shouldn't think too hard, because it starts to hurt when I do.

Some of you, who should remain nameless, have been putting the 70.3 bug in my ear. So, I have been thinking about that, and my many other races I have interest in for 2009 and have come to a conclusion. Here's are the factors and decisions:
  • For the past year or so, I have had 70.3 in my mind and as a goal to accomplish before I turn 30... thus being accomplished prior to 12.09.10. This gives me almost another 2 years to accomplish.
  • In 2009, I would like to be able to do a couple shorter distance tri's first... since all I have done thus far is an indoor tri. I have two particular races in mind, one a sprint and one an olympic.
  • 2009 is also going to be the year of hopefully 2 half marathons and a handful of other events.
  • I have heard and read about many different 70.3 races and reports, but one that has intrigued me to no end is the Beach2Battleship 70.3 in November. It's in one of my all-time favorite places to travel to. In addition, since it takes place in November, it gives me the best months in North Dakota to train outdoors.
  • Money is a factor as well. Actually, it is probably my biggest factor and decision maker. I just bought a house, and lots of furniture. I will be making a couple big trips this coming year and will hopefully be purchasing a new computer as well.

I am going to wait until 2010 to do Ironman 70.3...

...but don't you worry... I will be doing this distance... just not in 2009.

Unless I win the lottery.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

During this holiday season, I am reminded of a handful of things that I look forward to every year....

  • sipping hot (homemade) Tom and Jerry's
  • going out for coffee with the family
  • the smell of my parent's fraser fir Christmas tree
  • falling asleep on the couch with the white lights on the tree glowing
  • wearing sweats and sweatshirts
  • being able to watch the Today Show from start to finish for almost 2 weeks
  • mom's caramel korn popcorn
  • watching old Christmas movies
  • white Christmas
  • crowding into my Grandparent's house to open Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.
  • Snowmobiling up at the farm
  • holiday music
  • warm fireplace
  • bundling up and doing a 5K through our zoo just before the new year, in freezing temps
  • pretty presents under the tree
  • watching an endless amount of basketball games on TV
  • listening to Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas story
  • singing along at Christmas Mass
  • baking goodies for friends and family
  • decorating the house
  • cuddling up under a blanket with a good book
  • laughing and reminiscing over past Christmas stories

What are your favorite things?

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Looking ahead to 2009

2009 is just around the corner and it's time to start thinking about goals and races. Now, I can't lie, as I have been putting together my race list for the past couple of months. As far as goals, I don't know if have any pertaining to the races themselves (just yet), but in other areas here's what I've got:

In regards to overall health and fitness, I would like to be able to find a good balance between work, sleep, and training. Add in proper nutrition and daily vitamins and I should be a happy person!

Even though there are no family or friend weddings on the calendar for 2009, as of right now (in comparison to the 3 I had this past year), I look forward to fun times and travels with friends and family. Nothing is set in stone just yet, but I anticipate a good amount of trips to the twin cities, possibly a trip to the east coast the end of July, and hopefully a trip to Montana to visit a friend of mine... and as time goes on, I am sure many more fun things will come about.

Now that I am settled into my own home and career, I would really like to branch out a bit more with my races. I have so many races and goals in mind for 2009, and I will list them all. However, I would really like to attempt different races and distances, consisting of a half marathon (or 2), sprint and olympic triathlon, duathlon, a 10-miler, and then a couple longer rides (A).

The Year of Distances Across Disciplines:

Now, obviously I am not going to do all these races, but, a girl can dream, right?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just one of those weeks...

This week started out fine. With an additional day off on Monday, due to the blizzard, I felt ready and rearing to get back into the short week prior to Christmas break. I felt that I was pretty much caught up on paperwork. This was supposed to be an easy week of fun activities because we all know how motivated kids are 4 days prior to a 17 day Christmas break...

It's amazing how fast that good feeling can go south.

Meetings, meetings, paperwork, talking to doctors, parents,evaluations, sitting down with teachers individually, paperwork, alternate assessment, IEP's, ... How does it pile up so fast? I feel like a chicken with my head cut off. Honestly.

Add Christmas shopping, another holiday party, trying to wrap gifts, and somewhat organize my house to prepare to host Christmas this weekend with my parents, sisters and brother-in-law.... and it starts to get overwhelming. How are you supposed to enjoy the holiday season when everything feels so rush rush rush?!

Sometimes, I just wish there were more hours in the day. Period.

2 more days.

Hopefully my next post will be a bit more positive.... I am still working on putting together my goals and ideas for 2009... stay tuned.

Today's Workout:
Swim - 1600M

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sharing Recipes

A few of you asked for me to share some of my recipes, and rather than emailing you individually, I thought I would just post them on here....

Peanut Butter Cups
1 1/2 pound chocolate almond bark
1 stick melted margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
extra small cupcake liners (probably the size of a quarter on the bottom)
Directions: Mix melted butter, powdered sugar, and peanut butter. I usually let this chill for about 30 minutes to an hour. Melt almond bark. pour a little of the almond bark on the bottom, roll the peanut butter mixture into a ball, approximately the size of a big marble, and then pour more chocolate over the top. (This can be very tedious, so I will usually fill 5-6 cups, roll out 5-6 balls at a time, and then fill the top with chocolate.)

Brown Sugar Cut-Out Cookies & Icing
Cookie Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (maybe more, enough to make a good dough)

Directions for cookies: In a large bowl, stir together butter adn brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda; stir into creamed mixture. Mix in milk, stirring until a soft dough forms (at this point I often use my clean hands). Cover adn chill for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 365 degrees. On a foured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch think. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Palce cookies 1-2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated over for 6-7 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Prepare icing.

*Icing Ingredients:
1 cup butter, very soft
1 tsp. pur vanilla extract
3 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
splash of milk
Icing Directions: In a large bowl, stir together butter and vanilla until it becomes smooth and creamy. Gradually stir in sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in a splash of milk, and combine mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate. Spread icing on top of cookies.
*Note: I alter this icing recipe. It is a very soft icing and I prefer mine to harden. So I use less than 1/2 cup butter, and more sugar and milk. That's just my preference.

round pretzels
1 bag of rolos
pecan halves
Directions: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place wax paper on a baking sheet and lay out enough round pretzels to cover the baking sheet. Place unwrapped rolos in the middle of the round pretzels right side up. Bake in oven for 2 minutes. After pulling out of the oven, place a pecan on top and press down. It helps if you hold the side of the pretzels, that way they don't break and not too much chocolate pours out the sides. Cool and enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Covered Pretzel Sticks
1 pkg. Kraft caramels
1 bag of pretzel sticks
chocolate almond bark
chopped nuts (I usually use the ice cream topping nuts) - optional

Directions: Remove wrappers from all caramels and place in small saucepan. Melt on very low heat, slowly. It helps to add about a teaspoon of milk. While this is melting, break pretzel sticks in half, and grease baking pans with butter or margarine.
Once the caramel is completely melted, dip pretzel sticks (halves) in caramel, covering about 1/2 to 2/3 of the pretzel. Sometime I have to scrape some of the caramel off if there is too much. Place on greased baking pan to cool. I usually place the caramel covered pretzels in the freezer to cool faster. While they are cooling, melt almond bark in another sauce pan. Dip the pretzels in teh almond bark and place on wax paper to cool. Make sure you sprinkle the nuts on the pretzels before the almond bark hardens, as this will happen fast with the frozen caramel! Cool and enjoy!

What does a ND Blizzard look like?

We haven't had a Blizzard like this since the blizzards (yes, multiple) of the 1996-1997 winter. The weather channel people drove up here Friday night to catch this nasty blizzard and said this was probably the coldest storm they had reported in. We also made the Today show this morning...

Supposedly we only got about 9 - 10 inches of snow, but with the additional wind and drifting, causing white out conditions, it was ugly. Many interstates were closed. However, the spring after those blizzards consisted of the nasty flood of '97. Hopefully this will be our only blizzard this year, as the water levels were already higher this fall before things froze over.

This is the picture I took of my front (side) door last night before heading to bed. Notice the snow drift in the window. I decided to sleep on the couch in the living room because I could already hear the loud tractors clearing out the parking lots across the street at the apartment complex.
Not too long after laying down on the couch I heard a big bang and scraping noises. Yes, someone was shoveling the sidewalk and steps along side my house. That someone being related to my wonderful neighbor.

When you buy a house, especially a twinhome, you never know who you are going to end up with on the other side and I must say I have been truly lucky, and grateful! He has not only plowed my driveway numerous times, but had his 20 year old son shovel my sidewalk and steps last night at 1030pm in the freezing temps.
Here's the view of my backyard from the patio door. It's hard to tell, but there are some pretty tall drifts in the back corners!
When my alarm went off at 6am this morning, I ran to my bedroom window to see what the streets looked like. They were plowed, but 4 foot snow piles were left in front of driveways. It wasn't too long after that that I heard the rumble of a snow plow and knew that my neighbor was plowing the pile of snow at the end of our driveways.

I bundled up and went out to take a couple photos of the aftermath of the Blizzard. Dang, it was so cold (14 degrees below zero - feels like 38 degrees below with wind chill) and I was only out there maybe 2 minutes. But, on the upside, the sun was shining!

Looking South, down my street this morning. Looking north, up my street.
Like I said, the wind was horrible, leaving little to no snow in some areas, and then drifts like this in a neighbors yard.

What does one do when stuck inside a house all by herself?
Besides going stir-crazy? I bake....and baked. First, my favorite (and very easy brown sugar cookies)...
My turtles... consisting of round pretzles, rolos, and pecans.
Homemade peanut butter cups...
And holiday pretzels covered in white almond bark and sprinkes.I still have one more thing to bake, but need to make a run to the grocery store to get chopped nuts. I will finish those later!
Since we do have a snow day (no work, but we will have to make it up in February), I will enjoy my extra day off. Supposedly the gym is going to open at noon, so I will probably head there for a nice run and maybe lift session since I have the extra time!
If anyone is looking for recipes of the above goodies, feel free to let me know and I will post them!
Have a great Monday everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blizzard Update

Last night the Blizzard was rolling into town when I was heading to our favorite bar to watch the Sioux hockey game. On the roads that were open, the wind was blowing the current snow around, causing nasty white out conditions and drifting in the roads. I questioned my reasoning for being out... but who would turn down a good hockey game with friends? The Sioux did beat SCSU last night and it was a pretty decent game. I think they have a pretty young team this year and are starting to click. They are coming back from too many losses this season thus far. This can be typical for the Sioux... they are on a roll now and hopefully things will pick up after the holidays.

How is the Blizzard Now?

In full force.

Most of the interstates in ND and parts of SD and MN are closed.

The temperature is 8 degrees below zero, with 39 degrees below zero wind chill. The winds are gusting from 37-44 mph and the snow is drifting like crazy. Fortunately, my mail box (that is tipped over from the moving truck episode wednesday) is still in my yard.

As I look out the window, some yards have 5 foot snow drifts while some have barely anything. I can't get out my front door due to a 3 foot snow drift; that is if I wanted to. Gotta love the wind.

Now they are saying 7-14 inches of snow, compared to the 6-8 inches predicted yesterday. I guess we will have to wait and see how this turns out!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blizzard on the way

It's official, the BLIZZARD WATCH that we have been under for the past 48 hours has turned into a BLIZZARD WARNING, effective from 6pm this evening until 6am Monday morning. Here's a snipit of what we have to look forward to:

  • the winds will be increasing to 25-40mph ...
  • the wind chills will be getting down to 25-40 degrees below zero ...
  • expecting 6-8 inches of snow ...

....add all of this together and it's going to be nasty!

Since I new about this yesterday, I hauled ass to the grocery store to grab a couple things that I was low in, including stuff to do some holiday baking. It was freakin' crazy there! An absolute zoo! You would have thought the end of the world was in sight.

If the world was coming to an end, I was going out and celebrating last night, and that is just what I did! LOL. I had way more fun than I planned to have and stayed up way too late. Supposedly I am not too shabby of a pool player.

Today I have a tight schedule.

  • Watch the Kona Ironman on NBC at 1:30pm CT
  • Watch the Tar Heels play at 5pm CT
  • And then watch the Sioux at 7pm, since I won't be able to get up there for the game...due to weather. I don't know if I will be watching this at home or heading over to our local favorite to watch with some friends.
  • I will also be baking goodies throughout the next 24 hours.

I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2008: Looking Back

Looking at my overall goals for 2008 that I posted in January, I am reminded that I had broken it down into three categories; Life, Health, and Fitness.
  • Life - I wanted to take more time to read, paint, and travel. I did do some reading but still not nearly as much as I would have liked. I still haven't really picked up a paintbrush, and now that I have a whole room to pull out the canvas' and acrylics, I shouldn't have the excuse that I don't have enough room. Depending on what you call travel, I feel like I succeeded in that area. I was able to get to AZ with my sister in April, multiple trips to the cities to visit my sister and brother-in-law as well as other friends and family, trips home to the Biz, a trip to my Dad's hometown for a wedding, and another trip to northern Minnesota for a friend's wedding.
  • Health - This is a constant work in progress, don't you agree? However, I questioned my overall health yesterday, when I turned 28 and realized that I am truly thankful for my health. I have been eating better, sleeping better, and taking my vitamins almost every day.
  • Fitness - I had soooo many races in mind and didn't know exactly what it was that I wanted to do. Even though I didn't get in as many races as I would have liked, I did get a few "firsts" in there ... my first (indoor) triathlon, which led to a purchase of my first road bike and then first road event; my first half marathon, a new 5K PR, and the first time I participated in below zero temps for a 5K.

Over the past year, I have made some decent gains. I remember when running 3 miles would leave me tired and sore, and I wasn't able to run back to back days. I am now comfortable with my running and ready to start doing more. I remember when a short swim used to be anywhere from 800-1200M, now a swim workout is usually no less than 2000M, 1600M at least. I remember when lifting wasn't in the picture... I have slowly incorporated that into my regular routine and it has made a world of a difference on my recovery after runs. I remember when sitting on a bike for more than 45 minutes was not only painful, but took everything out of me. Now it's just a short workout...

I am assuming my race calendar is coming to a close for 2008. After the bitter 5K Jingle Bell Run, I don't know if I have a desire to venture out in such temps before 2009 approaches. If, and only if, the weather is mild and above 15 degrees on the 28th, I will try and do the Zoo Year's Eve 5K back in the Biz with the 'rents.

In addition to those goals, the year was full of exciting things .... Sioux hockey games, 80's Rock cover-bands, winter storms, finishing my first year of teaching post-graduate school, March Madness (even though the Tarheel's didn't take the NCAA Championship Title but will this year), beer pong, 1st ride on the open road, teaching 1st grade special education summer school, house hunting, 4th of July celebration, sunburns, bachelorette party, house hunting, wedding, wedding, wedding, Olympics, house hunting, Twin's game, horse races, rain storms, co-ed softball league, Celtics take the NBA Championship Title, Itasca State Park with the Fam, Jonny Lang concert with a best bud, house hunting, starting second year of teaching within same district, purchasing a house, packing, moving, first snowfall, painting, unpacking, painting, purchasing new furniture, first snow to stick, start of NCAA basketball, turning 28 .... and now I am looking forward to the holidays with family and friends.

Stay tuned for what kind of crazy ideas I may, or may not, have up my sleeves for 2009!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Isn't today a National Holiday?

It's been a busy past couple of days, but I just wanted to post quickly my results of the B-Fit-B-Day Challenge and say thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes today, yesterday and the past few days! My Birthday party was awesome, I received some very unecessary gifts from friends and co-workers, and another wonderful dinner with friends this evening! I have the best friends and family evah!

My goal for the challenge was to go GOLD; completing the following within 24 hours of my 28th Birthday, and that is just what I did:
  • 8 mile run (1:42:12, 12:46/mile average) - I complete this last night. I didn't think I would get through it, but I did. After the 5K on icy grounds Saturday morning, combined with a tight left calf from bouncing on my left foot while rockin' out on the guitar in Rock Band Saturday night, and not stretching enough after the past few weeks' runs, I was not in the best condition for this run, but I did it, with the help of a lot of walking. The first 4 miles went smooth as a baby's butt, probably averaging almost 11 minute miles, but it went downhill from there. My right knee started to get stiff and bother me, so I did a lot of walking and was able to finish.
  • 2000M Swim (44:00, 2:12/100M average) - This I completed at the butt crack of dawn this morning, while most of you were still sleeping. This was the easiest of my 3 disciplines to do, as this is the distance that I usually do in the pool. However, the last 8 laps I really cranked it out and it felt great!
  • 31.06 mile Bike (1:18:00, 23.89mph average) - This was supposed to be 28 miles. I did this workout today after school. I wanted to do it all on the spin bike but knew I probably wouldn't get 28 miles in spin class, so I jumped on an upright bike prior to spin to get in some miles first (9.36) and then added the results of spin class (21.7). It felt great.

Despite some previous negative comments about turning 28, I am okay with it! I am probably the healthiest and happiest I have ever been and I am thankful for that!

Tomorrow I am taking a rest day. I will be waiting for the arrival of my new dining room table and taking the time to check in on you guys, as well as piecing together my reflections of 2008 and my goals and aspirations for 2009! It's going to be an exciting year, I just know it!

Monday's Workout:
Run - 8 miles
, 1:42:12, 12:46/mile average
Tuesday's Workout:
Swim - 2000M,
44:00, 2:12/100M average
Bike - 31.06 miles, 1:18:00, 23.89mph average

Today's Song: Green Day - Holiday (in sidebar)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wonderful weekend!

Saturday morning I participated in the Jingle Bell 5K with a friend. It was 4 degrees that morning with 10-15 mph winds leaving the temps below zero. brrrr.. The goal was to just participate and enjoy it. The route was out and back and going out and into the wind was horrible, but the way back it felt like it was 20 degrees warmer, no lie. Even though I caked my face in vaseline, my cheeks this morning show some signs of wind burn. It was fun though, and I was proud of her pushing herself and running most of it! We finished in 39:16 approximately.

I spent most of the afternoon trying to warm up and cleaning the house some for the evening festivities. A couple friends had planned a birthday party for me and I was excited to see all that showed up! The night consisted of a lot of food, games, and drinking, obviously. We were able to borrow Rock Band II from a kind man. When asked what he wanted in return, all he said was... "nothing...it is the season for giving, right?". Too kind.

It was so much fun! I think I played guitar for almost 2 hours with my shades on! I am thankful for all my wonderful friends that showed up and celebrated with me!
I hope everyone had a spectacular weekend. Tomorrow the kids don't have school because we have a staff development day. After work, I will head to the gym for an 8 miler to kick of the B-Fit-B-Day Challenge. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

All the productivity

Yesterday's sick day was quite productive. I found out I still have 20/20 vision and no cavities, however I need to floss more frequently and get in for a cleaning twice a year. After talking with my doctor about my headaches, heart palpitations, difficulty sleeping, feeling tired even after 8 hours of sleep, as well as my workout schedule and daily nutrition, she called for blood work to check my thyroid. I should be getting the test results back within the next couple days.

I also spent the rest of the day running from furniture store to furniture store trying to decide on a dining room table. Who know it could be so difficult? I ended up making a purchase and it should arrive next Wednesday! I am excited! I also got some Christmas shopping done, tree up and decorated, as well as the rest of my Christmas decor out and about.

And... I got 9 1/2 hours of sleep last night. I sure felt good and rested this morning. I was able to get a lot done at work today and felt pretty darn productive. I am thinking this is totally due to a day off and a good night's sleep. I highly recommend taking a day off once in a blue moon to rejuvenate yourself!

After work I was able to sneak in a quick workout. The gym was packed and I blame it on the cold weather. It is definitely starting to feel like winter with today's negative 1 degree wind chill. I hopped on a bike for a bit while waiting for a treadmill to open up. Once I got on the treadmill I did some nasty sprint intervals. The 45 minute workout felt good.

I hope everyone has a superb weekend. I hope to get in the pool in the morning for an easy swim the day before the Jingle Bell 5K... only to look foward to celebrating me birthday with a few friends Saturday night!

Good luck to all those racing this weekend... Jess....Aron....Frayed Laces....David...and everyone else I might have missed!

Today's Workout:
Bike - 5.67 miles, 16:00, 21.26mph
Run - 3 miles, 30:03, 10:01/mile (Sprint Intervals)

Today's Song: Beyonce - Single Ladies

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I've made my decision

I have taken a sick day today with the plan of scratching 3 routine doctor appointments off the list. yay. As for the rest of the day, I hope to not only finish putting up the Christmas decorations, but clean the house, search for a dining room table, and possibly finish up some Christmas shopping. I know, ambitious. But, I have to take advantage of the extra time when I can.

This morning I met a friend at the gym to do some lifting and then bike. I haven't lifted in over a month, and I have been trying to encourage her to incorporate lifting into her workout routine. Sometimes she struggles with the same knee issues I struggled with a year ago, prior to lifting on a regular basis. I have encouraged her to lift, in hopes that it will help diminish her knee issues as the muscles strengthen.

In regards to the Challenge I was trying to come up with for December, I have made my decision. I will be doing the B-fit-B-day Challenge. Now, I just need to decide which level I want to do. My overall goal is to do the Gold, fo sho. This means that within 24 hours I will have to run 8 miles, swim 2000M, and bike 28 miles. The swim and bike is very do-able, but I haven't ran 8 miles since the half marathon training last spring. If I do the Gold, I will run my 8 miles next Monday evening, swim the 2000M Tuesday morning, and then finish off with the 28 mile bike/Spin Tuesday afternoon. If for some reason I can't finish my 8 miles monday night, I will spread this challenge across the 3 days (monday, tuesday, and wednesday) .... going for the Silver.

Today's Workout:
Lift - legs
Bike - 12.67 miles, 35:00, 21.72mph

Today's Song: Taylor Swift - Love Story (I don't know why I like this song so much!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

What kind of Challenge should one do?

I started December off with a bang. There's nothing like a 2000M swim at 5am on a Monday. It was just one of those days that my skilz in the pool clicked and with each 100M it got easier and I got faster. Overall, I did 2000M consecutively in less than 46:00 (with a couple chat breaks). booyah!

I am still trying to think of a good challenge for December; something to keep me motivated. Streaking? increase in miles/meters? What should a girl do?

I am also thinking of participating in the B-fit-B-day challenge. I will be turning, gulp, 28, gulp. So, this means I will need to do an 8 mile run, 28 mile bike, and 2000M in the pool. I am trying to decide which level I want to try and am most likely looking at the Silver level. The Gold level is a possibility but not likely going to happen.

Any thoughts to all this crazy-talk?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November: A Month in Review

30 days past November.... I can't believe we are already looking at this month's numbers.

SWIM - 5200M..................12,450M in October
BIKE - 28.46 miles..............73.05 miles in October
RUN - 35.95 miles................22.94 miles in October

When I look back on this month and forward to December, I don't really have any goals set. I wouldn't mind taking on another Challenge if anyone has any ideas, or maybe I will come up with something on my own. In less than a week I am participating in the Jingle Bell 5K with a friend, just for fun. No PR will be broken.

Happy Sunday, y'all!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Being Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Here's the "Top 5" things I am thankful for:
  • Being financial aware and stable - living in my own home with food on the table, clothes on my back, and heat in the winter.
  • Being able to spend holiday's with my parents, sisters, and brother-in-law.
  • My health and happiness, as well as my family's and friend's
  • My career, which is so much more than a job and very rewarding on a daily basis
  • Being surrounded by such good people everyday... family, friends, co-workers, students, and you all

This morning we decided against doing the annual Turkey Trot this year. It doesn't start until 9am and we wanted to be able to help out around the house before our 30+ guests arrive before noon! So, Steph, Dad, and I went out for a nice 3 mile run earlier! Now, I must shower and help Mom while Steph and Dad are off getting us Starbucks!

Have a great Thanksgiving, y'all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The next big thing...

Just signed up for this Half Marathon... again!

....MAY 9th, 2009!

....looks like I got Sister Steph, and my parental units to join as well. Sister Susan will be doing the 5K with a friend.

Now I am off to bed. I need to hit the pool at 530am with a friend prior to heading home to the Biz for a 5 day weekend! Peace out, homies!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Recap

Friday morning I hit the gym before work, well-rested and rearing to go. I had 5 miles planned and dangit that's what I did. They were brutal, my legs felt like lead, but I kicked through them and felt good for getting it done on a Friday morning at 5am.

There was a lot of fun and alcohol consumed both Friday and Saturday night. It's been a while since I have gone out both nights out of a weekend, and drank a lot of liquor. Ouch! Too much drinking Friday night, thus I did not get in my scheduled brick workout Saturday morning. Last night we went out to a local comedy club and got to see The Midnight Swinger perform.... freakin' hilarious! He is from Las Vegas and if you ever get a chance to see him, do it! I had a few drinks, but nothing that kept me from enjoying the beautiful 35 degree weather on a 3 mile run this morning.

Today I got a few more Christmas gifts crossed off the list, as well as lights and other stuff for decorating around the house. I was going to put up my tree this afternoon, but I lost the motivation!

Tomorrow and Tuesday we have long days due to two evenings full of parent-teacher conferences, but Wednesday is our comp day and I look forward to heading to the Bis then!

Have a great week y'all! I am going to try and catch up with your blogs this evening!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanks Trek

First of all, some of you have inquired more information about my Wordless Wednesday post. Yes, I am a HUGE Tarheel's fan, beyond belief. Some of you have asked my connection to the 'heels, but the truth is I am just a huge fan and have been for as long as I can remember. Thanks to my love of basketball and my Dad. Michael Jordan was a Tarheel, and he was a rockstar when I was a kid! And.... Tyler Hansbrough is awesome.... need I explain further?

The week has gone by extremely fast and I can't believe tomorrow is Friday already! It's been one crazy busy week at work and I couldn't be more excited for a weekend of ... well, anything but work. Blech.

About a month ago I received an email from Trek. Supposedly they had extra t-shirts from the Breast Cancer Awareness Ride and was wondering if I wanted one. Well, of course I did and I let them know right away!

I forgot about the t-shirt until yesterday when I found a big envelop from Trek in my mailbox. Unfortunately it wasn't a t-shirt and instead, they sent me a hat. One of thosebeanies with the brim. Now I am not much of a hat person and I really struggle with trying to pull it off ... see?!

But I thank Trek, once again, for the wonderful gift! I can't wait to do the ride again next year!

I didn't make it for my 5am long(er) run this morning. I went to bed last night with very tight muscles (due to lack of stretching - scold me now), and a sore achilles on my right leg. On top of that, my youngest sister decided to text me pictures. waking me well after 11 last night. So, today I rest, because my workday left me extremely worn out and mentally drained. Tomorrow morning I will try again. A few of us plan to head for apps and taps after school tomorrow, so that will be enough to motivate me out of bed in the morning!

I want to shout out to Laurel and N.D. running the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend! Good luck!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shattered PR?

I forgot to mention this in my race post yesterday, but I couldn't help but wonder if the race course was actually 3.1 miles. I mean, it's easy to doubt the distance when I was able to shatter my PR by 2 minutes. But, they did call it a 5K, so I am going to agree with the time, move on, and be extremely happy with my PR! You'd do the same, wouldn't you?

This afternoon I hit up the gym for a nice run. It was too dark by the time I left work to do it outside. The goal was to do a little speed work. I didn't really have a concrete plan in mind, I wasn't going to do 400's or 800's, but just go with the flow and see what the body could handle. When I would increase the the speed, I would drop the incline; when I would slow down, I would up the incline to about 2%. When all was said and done, I was pleased.

Tomorrow morning the plan is to get wet. It's been a week since I was last in the pool and I am dying to get back in!

Today's Workout: Run 3.56 miles, 37:30, 10:32/mile average
Today's Song: O.A.R. - Shattered (new song!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

5K Turkey Trot, #1 of 2

Like I said in my previous post, my sister talked me into coming to the cities this weeking, bribing me with a 5K race..... the 5K Turkey Trot in Chaska, MN. I jumped on the opportunity. Plus, I was looking forward to spending a relaxing weekend with her and my brother-in-law.

Saturday morning we headed to the Chaska High School, the location of the race, and registered. The school was packed. Supposedly a basketball tournament was going on as well. Once we were registered, and our bibs and timing chips were attached, we waited patiently in the cold 30 degree weather at the starting line. It wasn't too bad but the wind wasn't pretty. We both went into this race hoping to just have a good run, enjoy our time, and possibly run the entire course, something I had never been able to do in a race before!

Shortly after 9 the race started. Our first short stretch of the route was downhill and before we knew it we were heading uphill soon after. We all know that what goes down, must go up, or vice versa, right? Throughout the race there was some mild hills, but nothing too terribly difficult. I will admit, I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to run the entire time with the hills.

We did a pretty good job pacing ourselves. Our goal was to keep up with the lady-in-the-pink-hat a few feet in front of us. Once we saw that 2 miler marker we picked up the pace a little bit. At this point I was starting to feel nauseous, and this has never happened to me in a race before. In the last tenth of a mile we did a full out sprint across the finish line. Talk about finishing strong. I stopped to get my chip cut out of my shoe and thought I was going to puke, but it went away pretty fast. It turns out that the lady-in-the-pink-hat was using us as a pacer as well. Glad we could return the favor.
The results?

Well, we haven't seen any official results yet, but according to my watch and what I believed to have seen when crossing the finish mat, I broke my 35:30 PR by 2 minutes flat. Both of us finished in approximately 33:30! It felt great! I am going to cash this in as my "freshly shaved" time for the Shave Your 5K Challenge! Thanks for putting this challenge together, Half-Fast!

After the race we grabbed some fruit and water. We got a nice little goody bag too.

Steph and I after the race

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, shopping, and relaxing! Thanks Steph and Blaine!

We have another Turkey Trot (one I have done for the past 3 years) in less than two weeks, on Thanksgiving Day in Bismarck. I hope that race will go just as well, if not better!


Here's the official race results! We finished in 33:33, a 10:47min/mile average! Yeah!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We'll be Trottin'

I think I might have made my "near-migraine" the other night sound worse than it really was. The problem wasn't so much the awful pain, but the lack of sleep that night due to the caffiene in the drugs. However, I appreciate all the warm thoughts.

It's been a craaaazzzzy last couple of days at school, and this afternoon a co-worker of mine reminded me that it was a full moon. Fo reals?! I swear, between probable snow storms and full moons, things just get too weird around here.

On to better things.

Tomorrow I flee work as soon as I can and head for the Twin Cities. My sister tried to get me to come down there last weekend, but I had tons of paperwork and painting that just needed to get done. This week she emailed me and bribed me with a 5K Turkey Trot, saying I couldn't possibly turn her down two weekends in a row.... She was right.

We are, at least I am, going to be running for fun. But if I am able to Shave my 5K, I will take it and cross that off my to-do list for 2008! The weather looks like it is going to be chilly; 29 degrees (feels like 15) with wind out of the NNW at 23mph. ouch.

So wish us luck.

Have a great weekend, y'all! Good luck to those racing... especially my 'rents running in yet another half marathon, the San Antonio Rock and Roll Half Marathon. They will be celebrating 30 years of married life... and probably 22 years of surviving the drama 3 daughters can create!

Today's Workout: Run 3.18 miles, 36:05, 11:20/mile average
Today's Song: Britney Spears - Womanizer (She's Baaackk!!!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fighting the pain

Last night, while I was getting ready for the next day, I felt the signs of a migraine. I knew that ibuprofen wouldn't make a difference so I pulled out the all-mighty Excedrin Migraine. I rarely resort to this, and try to stay away from any other form of pain releivers if I can, but I knew that if I didn't take something, I would wake with the same pain, if not worse.

This was at 8pm.

I started to notice the pain reducing about an hour later while trying to fall asleep in bed. But, I tossed, and turned, and tossed, and turned. I almost wanted to cry myself to sleep. I just couldn't fall asleep. The last time I looked at my clock was 11:30 and I know for a fact that I continued to toss and turn for a good hour after that.

Could the 65mg of caffiene really have affected me that much?

I was so angry. You don't want to see me with only 5.5 hours of sleep. I am not a bear, but I am not up to par either.

And when I woke this morning, the pain was only 75% gone. And when I got to work, my first 2 hours of the day was complete chaos, dealing with one particular student. I thank my other students for going about their business, working independently, in a time of crisis.

I am off to do some painting. Not on the walls... but on canvas. I can't wait to get back into this hobby.

Yesterday's Workout: 1600M Swim
Today's Workout: Run 1.55 miles, 18:00, 11:36/mile;
Bike 15.8 miles, 44:00, 21.54mph

Today's Song: Fall Out Boy - I Don't Care

More house pictures

Note: I posted this Monday morning, but forgot I wanted to wish my parents a happy anniversary instead. Some of you may have already seen these, but I am going to post them again, anyway.

Here are some updated photos of the house. Some I may have posted before, but I thought I would show all. Now that all the painting is pretty much finished, I can concentrate on other things, like finding a dining room table, putting pictures on the walls, and other fun things.

Upstairs living room/dining room/ kitchen....

Master bedroom....

2nd bedroom....a work in progress.

3rd bedroom (Art/Office)...another work in progress.

2nd bathroom...

Basement living room with fresh coat of paint and new furniture....

Master Bathroom with a fresh coat of paint......

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We Salute You

Please take a moment to be thankful for those who have faught, and pray for those who continue to fight, and for those who have lost their lives while protecting this great country of ours. I know I am thankful for one specific veteran, and I, support him 100%.
Veteran’s Day Tribute
When America had an urgent need,
These brave ones raised a hand;
No hesitation held them back;
They were proud to take a stand.
They left their friends and family;
They gave up normal life;
To serve their country and their God,
They plowed into the strife.
They fought for freedom and for peace
On strange and foreign shores;
Some lost new friends;
some lost their lives
In long and brutal wars.
Other veterans answered a call
To support the ones who fought;
Their country had requirements for
The essential skills they brought.
We salute each and every one of them,
The noble and the brave,
The ones still with us here today,
And those who rest in a grave.
So here’s to our country’s heroes;
They’re a cut above the rest;
Let’s give the honor that is due
To our country’s very best.
By Joanna Fuchs


Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy 30th Anniversary

Happy 30th Anniversary to the best parents in the world!

I hope you both have a wonderful day! Good luck on your Half Marathon in San Antonio this coming weekend! We all hope you enjoy your anniversary gift in Texas!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Preparing to Trot

All week I had been planning on doing a run outdoors this weekend. I knew that it wasn't going to be as warm as the two runs I had earlier this week (in the 50's), but I wanted to run outdoors, to get ready for the turkey trot in a few weeks.

Note: I am thankful for the small dusting of snow we received this week. In comparison to the western portion of the state, this is nothing. Ironically, we, those who are in the eastern portion of the state are still under a flood watch. weird.

Last year the temp was 15 degrees, and I completed the 5k in 37:10 (average 11:59/mile). Today, when I went out, it was 25 degrees; with the windchill it was 15 degrees. Pretty similar, however I was able to run 2.95 miles in 34:39 (average 11:44/mile). I figure that if I keep running outdoors in these cooler temps, I will be ready for whatever kind of weather we will have on Turkey Day. last year was terribly cold, windy, and icy, however a few years ago we had family playing cards out on the patio after Thanksgiving dinner. Who knows what it will be like.

Yesterday I spent most of the day painting my living room and hallway in the basement. It's amazing how long things take when you do them on your own. I plan on unpacking some more boxes today, and maybe start putting some pictures up on the way. Check back later for those.

Happy Sunday!

Today's Workout: 2.95 mile run, 34:39, 11:44/mile average
Temperature - 25 degrees, felt like 15 with 15mph wind out of the NNW
- dusting of snow on ground with few ice patches here and there
- took two 1-minute walk breaks to get rid of the side stitch, adjusting to the cold air
Today's Song: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Gone Gone Gone

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's just beginning

For those of you who read my post from yesterday.... remember how I said kids are like walking barometers? Well, today they were even worse then yesterday. It's was freakin' out of control today!

It has been raining and windy here in Fargo ND all day. The wind is getting worse. Before leaving work today I was emailed pictures of southwestern part of ND and they have received inches and inches of snow.

Just 2.5 hours west of here, in Bismarck (aka The Bizz), they have already been hit with snow as well... don't believe me? Just check it out here, at Ms. Math's Snapshots.

Hopefully tomorrow I won't be posting pictures of all the snow. I don't think it is supposed to get much below freezing. But, let's not hold our breath. I think the 2008-2009 winter season is just beginning.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Sound of Silence

You know your a teacher when...

.....you know a major storm is coming without watching a weather report... -or-
...you can tell it’s a full moon without ever looking outside.
These two go hand in hand. Some people may think this is crazy, but when you have more than 5 students together at one time and things are quite different among them all, you know the weather is changing. Barometer dropping, storm coming, full moon, you name it.

.....you believe that unspeakable evil will befall you if anyone says,“Boy, the kids sure are mellow today.”
Need I say more?

Today was a good day at work. They were so good and quiet. Makes me wonder. We are looking at a "winter storm" possibly coming through within the next 24 hours... switching from upper 50's and rain yesterday and today, to freezing temps and 40mph winds.
A part of me really thinks that their behavior is a precursor of the weather to come.
I will keep you posted.

Today's Workout:
1 mile walk with puppy
Today's Song: Simon and Garfunkel - Sound of Silence

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

4 on the 4th

We were given permission to leave work as soon as the kiddos were off and on the bus. That means, I was able to leave work today shortly before 3pm! Even though I had enough to keep me busy well into the evening, I had a burning itch to get in a decent run prior to the sun going down.

When I left work the weather was in the mid-50's and overcasting. It actually looked like it was going to rain within the half hour. Despite the forcast of rain, I hurried home, let the pup out, changed, put her back in her kennel (if she was potty trained I would have just let her roam), and headed out.

The plan, or hope, was to do 4 miles (4 on the 4th). I didn't wear my garmin and I didn't take time to map a route prior to heading out, so I just played the time game, stretching my 3 mile loop, and hoping that I went far enough. When I got back to the corner of my block, I was ready to be done but looked at my watch and new from experience and my pace, that I definitely didn't do 4 miles. It took everything in my to turn that corner, go down a few more blocks and make another small loop.

When I got home I let the pup out, and took her for a quick 1 mile walk, finishing just before the rain started to fall.

The results of the run? 4 miles exactly. I was able to do another successful run with NO walk breaks and finished in just under 12 minute miles!

I wore my favorite fall running outfit ... my bright pink/fuchsia, long-sleeved, wick-away Fargo Half Marathon shirt and Champion running capris from Target. It's just so comfortable! Unfortunately the temperatures are going to start dropping again in the next few days with snow and 40mph winds in the forcast. Time to bundle up...or get back into the gym...

What's your favorite fall running outfit?

Today's Workout: 4 mile run, 47:00, 11:45/mile average
Today's Song: John Mayer - "Free Fallin'"
(love this song!)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Get ur vote (freak) on!

The plan was to vote early in hopes of avoiding the long lines tomorrow. However, today the lines were long, and it took about 20 minutes to get through at 3:45 this afternoon. I sat there filling out my ballot, making sure all bubbles were filled in completely... like a school kid taking the ND State Assessment. I wanted to make sure every vote counted! Supposedly they were averaging 500 voters per hour today. Crazy!

I took a picture of the pup last night and sent it to a friend. She made up a quick flier and posted on the fridges at school. It sounds like a few people are interested and should be able to have a new home for Molly tomorrow. I am growing more and more attatched, but I just can't deal with the fact that she is not potty trained 100%. (If you are unfamiliar with my story related to the puppy I am dog-sitting read the post below.) Here's a pic of the pup....

As much as I enjoyed the extra hour of sleep this weekend, and the visible sunrise on my way to work this morning, I did not like the fact that daylight was disappearing all too fast this afternoon. I rushed home from voting and took the pup on a near 2 mile walk. The temperature was well in the 60's. There is a nice man-made lake in my area and it was beautiful with the sun setting in the west.A picture like this makes me thankful for these beautiful fall days! Too bad we couldn't have a month of this weather. Winter will be here before I know it... or am ready for it.

Today's workout: 2 mile walk
Today's song: Missy Elliot - Get Ur Freak On

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Where has the week gone?

******Warning: Long Post******

The past week has been quite busy. In addition to the transition of moving, I have taken on another challenge, dog-sitting. It is supposed to be a few months, but with the difficulty of sitting a 1 year old pup that isn't potty trained very well, the owner (who is working out of town for a few months) has left me the option to take her to the humane society. I don't think I can do that, so I am in the process of trying to find her a good home with kids that will keep her busy as I am barely home except for a few hours in the evening.

However, here's what my week look like for workouts.... it's definitely not up to par, but I kept myself busy:
Monday - Rest
I cleaned out my apartment. That was enough work itself.
Tuesday - 2.92 mile run outside
I met with my apartment rental company and did the final walk through. I handed in my keys and was happy to be done with renting!
Wednesday - 2 mile walk with the dog
I also got a flu shot. I usually don't get a flu shot but I have already been sick, bad, once this year, I might as well give it a shot.
Thursday - 2 mile walk with the dog
Friday - 2 mile walk with the dog
Saturday - shopped and painted - that's gotta count for something!
Today - 3.05 mile run in approximately 36 minutes. It was a lovely day, about 60 degrees and no wind. The run was very slow but no walk breaks were necessary, again! Afterwards, I took the dog for a 1 mile walk before heading out to run some errands.

Family Time:
This weekend my parents, as well as my sister and brother-in-law were in town again. Friday night we headed up to Grand Forks for the Sioux's first home hockey game - against the Wisconsin Badgers. The game was awesome and the Sioux finished off with a win, 3-2.

Saturday morning we were back in Fargo as I was expecting furniture to arrive that morning. After my couch and love seat arrived, we ran a few errands and did some shopping for a shower curtain and other bathroom stuff to go in the master bath. I picked up more paint, some for the bathroom, and then some for the basement. The master bathroom is finished and I will wait to paint to basement living room and hallway next weekend.

It was so nice to have family helping me with all this work. It sure makes it go by faster and it has been pretty fun to share this transition with them. Once I get the rest of the painting finished, I will post more pics.

Over a week ago I was given two blogger awards from Ms. Math.

The first:

Now the rules! Link back to the person who gave it to you and then award 10 other blogs!

Steph and Blaine


The second:

Now the rules! List six things you value, six things you don't value, and then award six more people! Here goes!

Things I Value:

  1. My family
  2. My health and happiness (they go hand in hand)
  3. My job/career
  4. my own home
  5. Friends (including all my wonderful readers!)
  6. Sleeping - I have to agree with Steph on this one. Definitely love my sleep!

Things I Don't Value:

  1. both MN and ND campaign ads. It's bad enough having to listen to all those ads, but when you live in Fargo, you get both MN and ND. Double wammie.
  2. whiners
  3. difficult parents - work related.
  4. Negative attitudes. I am agree with Ms. Math here. It's one thing to be negative about things once and a while, but I don't see how some people can go around looking at everything as if the "glass is half empty".
  5. cooking dinner for 1.
  6. The war - I agree with Steph. again.

People I award:

  1. Lisa
  2. Runner Susan
  3. Frayed Laces
  4. See Bride Run
  5. M*J*C
  6. Viv

October in Review:
I can't believe October has come and gone. I did my best to bring about more Breast Cancer Awareness and hope all has found some of the information beneficial. Now it is time to look back at the digits and look ahead to November.

Let's compare those numbers:

  • SWIM - 12,450M..................8100M in September
  • BIKE - 73.05 miles..............48.62 miles in September
  • RUN - 22.94 miles................25.99 miles in September

I don't have much to comment on this. It's been a busy month, plain and simple. With that in mind, I think the month was pretty decent. Deep down inside, I wish I could have broke 30 miles of running, but once again that didn't happen. Maybe in November.

I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend! I look forward to spending the rest of the evening catching up on all your blogs and watching some football! Yay!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back on My Feet

Anne Mahlum, a High School classmate of mine, is the Founder and President of Back on My Feet, in Philadelphia. Please take a couple minutes to read about her and her organization that has worked to encourage self-sufficiency of the homeless population through running as a means to build confidence, strength, and self-esteem.

Back on My Feet has been chosen as one of the top 10 hero stories of 2008 by CNN.

Now, please take a couple minutes to watch an inspiring video, here, on Anne and this wonderful
organization. After you have watched the video, I encourage you to vote for her story.
I am sharing this with you because this is not only a person I know and have a connection to, but I feel that this is another reminder to all of us how a running can make such a difference in a community. Most of you, my fellow bloggers, are avid runners and know what running can do to the mind and body. This organization is just another example of the good that comes out of running.
She did find her love of running on the flat streets of Bismarck, ND.... and all the positives that come out of it.
The results of the voting will be revealed during CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE Thanksgiving night at 9PM ET.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Challenge: 34 Days to a Better Me

With the stress of work and moving over the past couple of weeks, I know for a fact I haven’t been up to par in my workouts or proper nutrition and sleep, for that matter. I have been feeling sluggish, tired, and my body has been pumped with too much unhealthy food and high calorie beverages. With that in mind, I am going to join Borsch in his 35 day challenge (with a little tweaking) and work to improve my general well-being.

Have any of you heard of Bob Greene? I have read his book, The Best Life Diet, and found it to be very interesting. The next month or so is going to be very similar to his first month plan which is basically a time for cleaning out the system. Bob suggests cutting out the coffee, soda, and alcohol altogether, as well as increasing the healthy foods, supplements, and workouts. I am taking his suggestions and changing them a bit.

Here's what the next 34 days will look like for me:

  • Absolutely no soda. I did this about this time last fall and was soda-free for almost 6 months and somehow got back into a little here and there. It makes me feel like crap.

  • Only allowed coffee 1x/week. This is very manageable and I look forward to getting off the caffeine-roller-coaster-ride. I can’t tell if I am tired because I am tired or tired because I am coming off a caffeine-high. It’s awful.

  • Keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum. I could totally cut this out, but that’s not realistic. I like to have a beer or drink here and there and I probably only have a couple a week if that. So I am not going to worry too much about this.

  • Workout daily. This will consist of a minimum of 20 minutes per day, ranging from a long run, bike, or swim, to a short run, bike or swim sometimes including weight training; or something as minimal as a walk, yoga, stretching, Pilates, and Turbo Sculpting/Turbo Abs. I did this in June and found it to be very effective, and actually lost 6 pounds that month.

  • Take daily supplements. I usually take a women’s multivitamin and fish oil. I am usually pretty good about doing this, but on occasion I will go a week or so without taking anything.

  • A minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night. This should really be 8+ hours (for me), but that isn’t always realistic. This should be the easiest thing to accomplish… as I love to sleep.

So, anyone else in on this challenge?

Day 1 Workout:
Run - 2.92 miles, 34:00, 11:38/mile
Perfect 55 degrees, sun shining, no wind, and no walk breaks!
Today's Song: Creed - Higher

I got back just in time to see the sun set in the clear blue sky!

**Breast Cancer Awareness Information**

There are mixed-reviews on whether or not routine breast self-examinations are effective and necessary. Some say it is, and some say that it has led to more doctor visits but does not find breast cancer earlier than regular medical examinations.

I don't know about you, but I would rather be safe than sorry, right?

Click here for an excerpt on early detection at the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website.