Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: A Year in Review

I honestly can not believe that 2010 is already coming to an end. This year has been full of ups and downs, excitement, some tears and disappointment, lots of laughter, love, and many many great times!

I think it's safe to say that I can post 2010 stats because from the looks of this storm, I don't think I will ge to the gym tomorrow, but if I do I will make changes where necessary...

2010 Stats:
Run - 378.08 miles
........ 304.39 miles in 2009
Bike - 1260.64 miles ..... 1036.16 miles in 2009
Swim - 64,400 Yds ........ 110,350 Yds in 2009

When you look at these numbers, you can obviously say that running and biking increased in 2010, and swimming decreased from 2009 to 2010 ... but I am happy that I got into a routine of incorporating more strength training, stretching, core work, in addition to a yoga/pilates class here and there. Without those things, I don't think I would have been able to recover from that nasty knee issue!

Asside from the stats, let's take a look at all many things that occured in 2010!
  • Started dating the BF in January
  • A friend's fun birthday party in Downtown Minneapolis
  • Welcome home party for the BIL - returning from duty in Iraq (for good)
  • A few sessions of adult swim team
  • Indoor triathlon in May
  • A couple bridal showers
  • attended 6 different weddings
  • Two Twins games at the new Target Field
  • Two camping trips with the BF and friends
  • Bret Michael's concert
  • A long trip with the BF to San Diego!
  • Volunteering for the Fargo Youth Run
  • Participating in the Fargo Marathon Challenge - completing both 5K and 10K
  • A Sprint Triathlon in June - Average Joe
  • Women's Triathlon in Minneapolis in August
  • Bachelorette party in Wisconsin
  • Brad Paisley concert in October
  • Full Moon 5K in November
  • Vikings game vs. AZ Cardinals
  • Sioux Hockey game with the BF and family
  • Jingle Bell 5K in December
  • My 30th birthday -- two birthday parties, one a surprise by the BF!
  • Mannheim Steamroller concert
I am sure I am missing a handful of important dates as it has been quite an eventful year and I have loved almost every minute of it! I can only imagine what 2011 has to offer! I need to start putting together ideas for 2011 and hope to get them posted up here soon!

How has 2010 treated you?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

Day 4: Christmas Lights

I remember helping mom decorate the Christmas tree each year, reminiscing over our childhood ornaments - the ones we made at school and the ones we got as gifts. Usually, our Christmas tree was lit up with white lights and I would love to sneak upstairs to sleep on the couch next to the lit up tree. It was such a warm and fuzzy feeling. In fact, there were times where I would come home from college and would rather curl up on the couch in front of the tree than sleep in my own bed...

For many years, my two sisters, parents, and I, would climb into the vehicle and drive around town for hours looking at Christmas lights. We had a few regular spots that we had to hit every year because the entire street was decked out in lights or decorations. We would listen to Mannheim Steamroller, or Lori Line, while driving around, taking in the beautiful holiday sights. This is probably one of my favorite holiday memories.

There's just something magical and beauitful about the Christmas lights.

Monday, December 20, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

Day 6: Holiday Baking

This is one of my favorite things about the holidays! I always like to make a handful of different things to share with family, friends, and co-workers. I have a few things I like to make every year, but like to try new things from time to time.

This weekend I feel like I spent a great deal of time baking, but didn't do too many different things. I guess a few of the things I chose to make this weekend were a bit more tedious and time consuming.

I made turtles, white almond bark covered pretzels, peanut butter cups, molasses crinkles, and attempted to make my grandma's angel candy. I have never made anything before that has required a candy thermometer, but I am bound and determined to perfect my angel candy making skills. I tried 3 times and the 3rd time was by far the best.

On the down side, I forgot I left one of my burners on my glass stove top on medium heat Saturday afternoon. Thus, I went to brush off some pretzel crumbs and wiped my left hand completely across the burner. It hurt so bad, but it doesn't look as nearly bad as it felt for the past couple of days. Just a handful of small blisters (no pun intended) and a lot of leathery looking skin, that's all. Geepers.

Day 5: snow, Snow, SNOW!

Another winter storm is rolling through. There's just something about having a fresh coat of white snow on the ground to put one in the holiday spirits! I can't imagine celebrating Christmas without snow. However, I can do without the 6-8 inches predicted for this storm. But, I wouldn't mind a late start for school tomorrow. Please don't wish for a cancellation for us, otherwise we will have to make it up!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

Day 7: Favorite Gifts for an Athlete

If you're looking for gifts for a triathlete (or running) in your life, here's a list of things I would love to receive that might help you!

1. running clothes - shorts, shirts, sports bras, tights, etc.
2. TYR swimsuit
3. Brooks Trance running shoes
4. cycling jerseys - there's a saweet UND Sioux one at Scheels!
5. Clif Bars, Gu, or ZipFizz
6. Coupon for 1 session of adult swim team/masters
7. Yoga mat, yoga bag, medicine ball, exercise bands
8. cycling shoes
9.Foam roller and The Stick
10. Registration for an event in 2011!

What other gifts do you think would be great for an athlete?

Friday, December 17, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

Day 8: Puzzles

Growing up, my mom would take some time off work to stay with us girls while we were home on Christmas vacation. I have fond memories of spending hours and hours, for days and days, working on puzzles with 500 pieces.

Now, as I have my own classroom, I have a lot of hand-me-down puzzles, and I am constantly amazed at how excited my students get when I give them a few minutes here and there to work on a puzzle. They will ask me all the time if they can work on one. So many kids these days spend hours and hours in front of the tv or video games and don't own a single puzzle.....

Working on puzzles over the holiday break was such a great bonding moment with my mom.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 9

Day 9: Favorite Treats

1. Frosted cut-out cookies - I have many memories of baking and frosting cut-out cookies. I am sure my sisters would say I was quite bosy with the frosting and letting them know how it should be done "the right way".

2. Mom's homemade caramel corn - it's the perfect mix of popcorn, peanuts, and caramel. It's very light and crunchy and with just the right amount of caramel!

3. Grandma's (and Mom's) chocolate caramels - My Grandma always made amazing homemade caramels and wrapped them in wax paper. My mom makes them every year, and last weekend my Grandpa reminded me that my mom's caramels are perfect, just like my Grandma's were...

4. Homemade Peanut Butter Cups - chocolate, peanut butter, butter, and sugar. Any problems with that?

5. White Chocolate covered pretzels - with red and green sprinkles (must use holiday shaped pretzels!)

6. Cinnamon flavored hard candy - Grandma made the best.

7. Spritz cookies - mmmm.

8. Chex Mix - there's just something so good about this salty mixture of cereal, pretzels, and nuts. My favorite are the cheerios!

9. chocolate covered peanuts - chocolate and peanuts, need I say more?

10. Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies - I have never made these, but they are at almost every holiday gathering and so delish. I love the soft chewy ones!

What are some of your favorite holiday treats?

Past Few Posts:
Day 10 - This or That? Holiday Survey
Day 11 - Favorite Christmas Movies
Day 12 - Favorite Christmas Tunes

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10

12 Days of Christmas: Day 10 - This or That?

This is a survey that I have seen out in blogland a few times this past week. I figured I would use it for one of my days of Christmas! Feel free to play along!

1. Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Christmas Eve was usually the day we opened our gifts growing up. I like the idea of opening up most gifts on Christmas Eve, just my sisters and my parents, and then enjoying the rest of the evening and Christmas day with the extended family.

2. Giving or receiving? I love, love, LOVE giving and finding the perfect gift for people... sometimes it makes me go crazy though, becuase I have a hard time deciding!

3. Real or artificial tree? I love real trees. My parents have gotten real ones for the past few years, and those Frasur Furs smell wonderful. The mess of pine needles is so worth the smell real trees give!

4. Angel or star tree topper? This one is a hard decision. I would have to go with Star, just because I have a really pretty one for the top of my tree and love it.

5. White or colored lights? Depends. I remember when my mom started decorating two trees. The upstairs tree was bigger with white lights and crocheted angles and pretty decorations. The downstairs tree was smaller, but had all of our kids ornaments (bought and homemade) on them with colored lights. I would like to be able to do both!

6. Tinsel or garland? Garland. I have it on my banister and above my cupboards, wrapped in white lights. Love it.

7. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Definitely wrapping paper. However, I lose patience with ribbons and bows, because they all fall off and get destroyed in my years of transporting them home. I have memories of my mom taking my gifts and adding a "little extra" before giving them. :)

8. Stockings: Before or after presents? After, preferably on Christmas Day morning since we usually opened most of our gifts Christmas Eve.

9. Snow or no snow? MUST HAVE SNOW ON CHRISTMAS! I couldn't do it any other way. It's just so magical! However, I can do without the 20 inches we got last Christmas Eve, that kept us home and not able to travel to visit family.

10. Candy canes: Eating or Decorating? EATING!

11. Hot chocolate, apple cider, or eggnog? I will pass on all three. Ask me if I want a Tom and Jerry and I am all over that!

12. Cookies: sugar or gingerbread? Sugar cookies... unless they are soft gingersnaps.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Countdown - Day 11

If you missed Day 12 of the 12 Days of Christmas, click here!

Day 11: Favorite Christmas Movies
(number 1 and 2 tie for first)

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
2. Elf
3. White Christmas
4. The Polar Express
5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (w/Jim Carrey)
6. The Santa Clause
7. Home Alone 1 & 2
8. Prancer
9. It's a Wonderful Life
10. Miracle on 34th Street

I think I could watch all of these movies over and over again! What's your favorite Holiday movies?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Birthday (cont.) & 12 Days of Christmas!

Things have been crazy busy around here! I posted last week a little bit about my 30th birthday celebration the weekend prior. After a weekend of fun, I had a long week at work with two nights of parent-teacher conferences, but still found time to celebrate my birthday at work and afterwards with a beverage.

THEN, Friday I headed home to what I thought was going to be a christmas get-together with the BF's family and was surprised by a double birthday celebration with his family, my parents, sister, some relatives, and friends! The BF's brother-in-law also turns 30 this month! I think we were both shocked! I know I was! It was so much fun!

THEN, Saturday night, the BF and I had dinner with my 'rents before heading off to the Mannheim Steamroller Concert! So much fun! I am so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful family and friends. And, in the words of my sister - the BF definitely has won the award for BF of 2010! I am so lucky!

In hopes of not letting the stress of work take the fun of the holidays out of me, I am starting to celebrate the holiday with my own 12 Days of Christmas. For the next 12 days, I am going to do daily posts about my favorite things about the holidays. Anyone is more than welcome to play along.

Day 12: Favorite Christmas Songs
(in no particular order, except for number 1)

1. O Holy Night - John Berry, Josh Groban, Mannheim Steamroller
2. White Christmas - Bing Crosby
3. Joy to the World - Mannheim Steamroller
4. Carol of the Bells - Lori Line
5. Jingle Bell Rock
6. Baby It's Cold Outside
7. Silent Night
8. Drummer Boy - Mannheim Steamroller
9. The Grinch Song
10. Deck the Halls - Mannheim Steamroller

Mannheim Steamroller probably shows up quite a bit in my list since I just saw them live this past weekend, but they are great! Here's a Christmas light show video that goes along with Mannheim Steamroller's "Hallelujah" song. ENJOY!

What are your favorite Holiday songs?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jingle Bell 5K and CELEBRATION!

Jingle Bell 5K!
Last Saturday J and I participated in the Jingle Bell 5K for the 3rd year in a row. Sistah Steph was supposed to join us, but weather promitted her from getting to Fargo Friday night (booh).

Two years ago, it was freezing. Last year, it was freezing. And this year, it was still freezing but not as cold as the past couple of years! We were going to do cute holiday outfits, but never had the time to do it, so our outfits weren't anything too special - besides our faux fur knee length holiday socks.

This was my best Jingle Bell 5K out of the three and I felt really good when I finished. The start wasn't too pretty, as the street was covered in slushy-sand-filled-snow. But, once we were on the path it was better - but crowded.

Let's compare the results:
2008: 39:16 (4 degrees with 10-15 mgh winds)
2009: 38:39 (5 degrees with 12 mph winds)
2010: 38:05 (11 degrees with a slight breeze)

Overall, it was pretty fun and I hope to do it again next year. It's become quite the tradition!

3oth Birthday Party!
Saturday afternoon, my sister, brother-in-law, and another couple made it to town in time for my birthday celebration! The six of us shared some laughes and drinks over a few card games before heading off to meet the rest of the gang for dinner.
We had dinner reservations for Kobe's Japanese Cuisine. If you have never been to one, it is definitely a must. The food is wonderful and the entertainment is awesome! We all had our share of saki and moonshine - squirted directly into our mouths by our wonderful chef - the caucasian sensation!
After dinner a handful of us celebrated with saki bombs and I got to enjoy some fried ice cream!
From there we ventured over to a friends house to enjoy some drinks, conversation and play games. They had the XBOX Connect and that was supper fun!
My sister, friend, and BF did a great job putting together the evening's events. I am truly blessed and spoiled to be surrounded by such wonderful people! This has been the best 30th birthday, EVAH!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

HBBC: week 2 update

Let's take a look at week two of the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge:

Saturday, Nov. 27: 0 pts
no workout

Sunday, Nov. 28: 0 pts
no workout

Monday, Nov. 29: 5 pts
Run - 1.3 mi
BODYPUMP - 1 hour

Tuesday, Nov. 30: 7 pts
Run 1.7 mi
Bike 12 mi
SSC - 20 min
7 F/V

Wednesday, Dec. 1: 1 pts
7 F/V

Thursday, Dec. 2: 5 pts
Run 3 miles
SSC -20 min
7 F/V

Friday, Dec. 3: 7 pts
Bike - 15 mi
SSC - 20 min
7 F/V

First week total: 19 pts

Second week total: 25 pts

Subtotal: 44 pts

Definitely better than week one. Still trying really hard to get in the 7 Fruits and Veggies. This coming week is going to be a bit challenging with all that's going on with work (2 days of evening conferences) and finishing up my final project for a grad class. Should be interesting!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 DOT ....and... 92% complete

Day Thirty: The BF

Today is the last day of 30 Days of Thanks ... sooo.... Last but not least, I must mention that I am truly thankful for the BF. What a wonderful, caring, person he is with a great sense of humor. He makes me laugh all the time...even if I sometimes roll my eyes at a comment here or there!

Wow. I just can't believe that 2010 is almost over. Where did the time go? Seriously.

Once again, let's look at the stats:

Month in Review: November 2010

Swim - 1,700 yds ................ 00 yds in October
Bike - 101.31 miles ........... 157.39 miles in October
Run - 31.75 miles .............. 41.10 miles in October

Total Number of:
Swims - 1
Bikes - 8
Runs - 13 (including runs off the bike)
BodyPump Class - 3
Pilates Class - 1
Yoga Class - 0
REST Days - 13

Highlights of the Month:
  • Weekend in the cities with an awesome Vikings victory over Arizona (in overtime)!
  • Wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with my family and the BF's family - it was great to be able to share the holiday with such wonderful people!
  • Running the Full Moon 5K at night!
Lows of the Month:
  • limited swimming, pilates, and BODYPUMP
  • no Yoga
  • Being sick for over a week
  • lack of workouts Thanksgiving week

Goals for the Month of December:

  • Make the most of the last month of 2010!
  • One more 5K for 2010 - Jingle Bell 5K this weekend!
  • Enjoy turning 30 on the 9th!

Year-to-Date Stats:
Swim - 62,800 Yds
Bike - 1145.36 miles
Run - 357.38 miles

Time to start thinking about 2011 and all it has to offer! What does your December look like? Anyone racing?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

30 DOT & HBBC Update

Day Twenty-Seven: fun afternoon with the girls

Saturday afternoon, my sisters, mom, and I spent a couple hours using our creative juices. This was part of my youngest sister's birthday present. We went to Creative Clay in Bismarck, picked out a ceramic piece, and painted it. It was so much fun. Can't wait to see what they look like once they have been fired and finished by next weekend! Afterwards, we went to grab a cold beverage and chips and salsa from one of our favorite mexican restaurants. It was a great way to spend time with the girls! I have the best sisters and mom a girl could ask for.

Day Twenty-Eight: Long weekends

Having a 5-day long weekend this time of year is wonderful. We are just finishing up our first trimester and the kiddos were extremely restless and ready for the long weekend last Tuesday. It was nice to be able to go home and visit with friends and family.

Day Twenty-Nine:

What is a better way to do your Christmas shopping then from the comfort of your couch?! I have been looking around on quite a bit lately and think I will be doing most of my Christmas shopping there. It's so easy and if you spend more than $25 you get free shipping! Score!

The annual Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge kicked off on Saturday, November 20th! Amanda over at RunToTheFinish has done a great job putting this together, and I am excited about how many people are participating. Sounds like there is going to be some wonderful prizes too!

Looking back, this past week couldn't have been more challenging, but that's the point right? Finding a healthy balance between working out, eating right, and busting your bootie?!

Let's take a look at the week:

Saturday, Nov. 20: 7 pts
Bike 21.6 mi
SSC - 10 min

Sunday, Nov. 21: 4 pts
Run 3.2 mi
SSC - 25 min

Monday, Nov. 22: 3 pts
1 hour of shoveling :) - I was so sore afterwards

Tuesday, Nov. 23: 0 pts
REST/Work/Travel Day

Wednesday, Nov. 24: 0 pts
baking and prepping for Thanksgiving dinner

Thursday, Nov. 25: 1 pt
REST - Turkey Day - got 7 fruits and veggies

Friday, Nov. 26: 4 pts
Run 3.5 miles
SSC - 25 min

Overall, been struggling with the 7 servings of fruits and vegetables. I didn't plan my meals very well for Monday and Tuesday, since it was such a short week and I was trying to clean out my fridge before leaving town Tuesday afternoon. And, I really struggle to eat well on the weekends. There's just so much on the go that I don't think much about it ahead of time, and that doesn't work for me.

First week total: 19 pts

Friday, November 26, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

Day Twenty Five: Two Thanksgivings

Yesterday the BF and I were able to get in TWO Thanksgivings. My mom always hosts Thanksgiving for her side of the family, and it's a pretty big holiday around our house. I was happy that the BF's mom was able to host a Thanksgiving supper for his family so we could do both. It was so much fun!

Day Twenty Six: well overdue run

With the busy-ness of this week, I haven't done any real workout since Sunday. I would like to add that I shoveled for an hour monday night, worked and traveled tuesday, helped mom prepare for thanksgiving all day Wednesday, and ENJOYED my turkey day. So, today I finally got out and ran 3.5 miles at the gym and did some strengthening, stretching, and core work for a half hour afterwards. In addition, I pulled out the foam roller and cussed at myself for not using mine in months. YOUCH.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

Day Twenty-four: Cooperating weather

After a foot of snow on Monday, I was a bit nervous about getting home for Thanksgiving before the next storm was to roll through Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. However, I left work shortly after 3 on Tuesday and made it out west before the 2nd storm rolled in, thankfully.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Anyone doing anything special?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 23)

Day Twenty-Three: Educational Interpreters

The method of using interpreters while assessing a student that speaks proficiency in a language other than English was mentioned while I was going to school. I can't remember if it was brought to my attention while working towards my elementary degree, but it was briefly talked about during my graduate program. That is, it was brought to our attention that a person who speaks a language other than English, should have the option (and it's best practice) to be assessed in their primary language,with the help of an interpreter, and compared to the assessment done in English (that is to determine whether or not there difficulties are due to lack of understanding of the English language).

If someone would have told me when I was going to school that I was going to stay in North Dakota, teach students with special needs, AND have to work with interpreters on a regular basis, I would have laughed in their face. I mean, this is North Dakota. Right?!

Oh the things I never knew.

During my Grad school residency, I taught in a small town K-12 school with a heavy migrant population. That is, a good amount of our students attended school there until the snow came, and returned in the spring. Their parents worked for potato and beet farmers. I remember assessing a 4th grade student who struggled to learn early literacy skills, in his primary language - Spanish, with the help of an interpreter. He spoke some English and his parents were ablet o speak some English as well. That was an eye-opener.

Now, I have been working in this ever-growing school district for the past 3+ years and asside from being amazed at our cultural diversity in this part of ND, I continue to work with interpreters on a regular basis - Bosnian, Roma-Bosnian, Somalian, etc. It can be very difficult to find reliable adults that understand English well enough to interpret for us - some of them haven't been in the US very long, either. However, without these wonderful interpreters, I wouldn't be able to do my job to it's fullest potential. I wouldn't be able to set up meetings with parents, meet and discuss assessmsent results with parents, set goals for their children with the parents' input, etc. As much as I complain about how difficult it may be to add another wheel to the multidisciplinary team, and work with parents through an extra person, I am thankful for the hard work and willingness of the interpreters that i have work with to help me help a child. I am very thankful for them!

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 22)

Day Twenty-Two: Productive Weekend

Last Sunday I posted how I was thankful for my lazy Sundays. This one was quite the exception. In fact, the whole weekend was far from lazy. The BF stayed home to get things done and I stayed in Fargo to get things done, knowing that I would be heading back that way Tuesday anyway. so, I got a lot done. Such as:

  • Saturday morning bike ride - 21 miles
  • 3 hours working on SSI assignment for my ASD class with a friend - while enjoying coffee
  • cleaned out my walk-in closet in my bedroom and have tons of clothes to donate
  • Sunday morning workout - 3.2 miles run and 25 minutes of strengthening, stretching and core work.
  • Finished the SSI assignment/reflection- only took a couple more hours but I have an extremely better understanding of SSI, Social Security Disability, Housing Assistance, Medicare/Medicaid, etc.
  • Cleaned my bathroom
  • Spent a lot of time reading Could It Be Autism by Nancy D. Wiseman, and just have about 100 pages left before I can write an 8-10 page book summary and review, stating how it relates to our class topics, AND make a powerpoint presentation for my final project
  • Watched the Vikings/Packers game - blech
  • 3 loads of laundry
  • Did some holiday baking

What did your weekend look like?!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

30 Days of Thanks & Shout-outs!

Day Twenty-One: Short Weeks

I am so thankful that this week is only a two-day work week and then I am off for Thanksgiving! Actually, our school district is one of the only ones who has the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off, and I think that's great! It allows me to drive back to Bismarck Tuesday night and spend all day Wednesday helping my mom prep for the big turkey day! This is our big holiday and my mom spends a lot of time getting ready for it! In fact, I even made invites for her to send out...

Even though we have a short week, I have tons of things that I would like to get done in the next few days! A lot of little things, so I am hoping today is a productive Sunday - rather than my usual lazy Sundays!


I want to take a moment to shout-out to those racing today, particularly Jess and Laurel running the Philly Marathon AND Wes doing Ironman AZ! Good luck to you all and I look forward to hearing all about the races!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 20)

Day Twenty: Taking a Graduate class with a friend

Up until this semester, J was a semester a head of me and we were taking different classes, but both working towards our Autism Credential. This semester has been by far our favorite class and being able to take the class together has been wonderful. We have been able to bounce ideas and questions off each other, in addition to our other classmates. Today, I realized how truly thankful I am that we are taking this class together. We spent three hours working on a Special Needs assessment/budget assignment, discussing many different factors when it comes to SSI and adults with disabilities working and living a normal life to the best of their ability. It is a very big assignment and challenging as well. It was so nice to be able to work together, arguing our points, seeing eye to eye, and walking away from it with a new understanding of the difficulties an adult with special needs may encounter in order to function as an adult in our society. Big eye opener, for sure!

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 19)

Day Nineteen: Fridays & LIVE Music

This was one of those weeks where so much was going on and I felt like I was constantly on the go. I mean, heck, I barely got time to watch ESPN in the evenings. So, with that in mind I am so very thankful for Fridays! And this one is no exception! A few friends/co-workers and I are grabbing beverages after work (approximately 4pm on the dot, if not sooner) and then heading to Hairball - a 80's coverband - from there. Bring on Kiss, Loverboy, Prince, ACDC, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, White Snake, Van Halen, etc. They dress the part and sound just like these musicians... it's awesome. Should be a great time!

If interested, check out this LINK to see a recent video clip of the band...

Hope you have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Humptastic Day & Day 18 of 30 DOT

30 Days of Thanks....

Day Eighteen: Good Music

I am all about the music; music in the car, music while at work (thanks Pandora), music through the Bose at home, music on my run, and usually the music at the gym. One of my favorite parts about BODYPUMP class is the upbeat music. A lot of the music are dance remixes of older songs and I just love it. It sure makes an hour of pumping iron go fast, and I am thankful for that! Plus, Good music leaves me in a super happy mood! How about you?

Here's one of my new FAVORITE songs....

On that note, I went to BODYPUMP class last night. I really really really try to go once a week, but with my cold last week, it's been probably 2 weeks since my last confession, I mean BODYPUMP class. Sooooo, I am afraid of how sore I am going to be today.

Before heading to BP, I had enough time to get in 2 good miles on the treadmill. I always try to run a mile or so before class, depending on when I get to the gym. But today, for some reason, I had enough time to get in two "speedier" miles. In fact, the run was going so well, that I almost canned BP class to see how far my legs would take me. I haven't done more than 6 miles since early October. I quickly reminded myself that it's been too long since my last BP class that I NEEDED to go. I HAD to go.

Sidebar .... Has anyone ever tried zipfizz before? A friend at the gym had me try it today during BP class. I drank the entire 20 oz. during class and by the time I left (an hour later) I was quite shaky but feeling like I could run a marathon. *note* I have never run a marathon before. It's supposed to give you energy for 4-6 hours and it sure as heck did... left me lying awake listening to my heart beat, last night. Have you ever tried it before? I don't know if I will ever try it again... not at 430pm.... maybe for a long run in the morning, or something...

How was your hump day?!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 17)

Day Seventeen: Words of Appreciation

I didn't go into the education field to make big bucks like some of you may think, but I did go into it because working with children, helping them succeed, make progress, or feel better about themselves has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. (My sister claims I went into teaching because I like to boss people around. That might have a little bit to do with it.) This week is American Education Week and the kind words of appreciation from our Principal, other teachers, district personel, Superintendent, PTA, local educator's association president, and parents, mean more than you can ever imagine!

I received the following quote in my email this week and thought it was very fitting:

“One looks with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but the warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.”

~ Carl Jung

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 16)

Day Sixteen: homemade coffee

In hopes to break my addiction to the sugary drinks at Starbucks/Caribou, I have been trying to make more coffee at home.... and it's wonderful. Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla with Low Fat Caramel creamer is delish. I have also tried the Dunkin Donuts Mocha Mint, and even though I like it, I don't taste the mocha or the mint. Another favorite is Starbucks French Roast. This is a bolder coffee, and I think I like it because it reminds me more of espresso.

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 15)

Day Fifteen: Unexpected Hellos

I am thankful for those unexpected hellos from students that I do not work with on a regular basis. One morning, a student that I worked with during summer school and ND state assessment this fall, showed up at my classroom door just before the start of first block. I was going to question him on why he was in my room, thinking that he was just wasting time in the halls but before I could, he said he was just stopping by to say hello. As much as I want to think he was confused and in the wrong place at the wrong time, I would like to believe that he was just stopping by to say hello and ask me how my day was going. What a sweetheart!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 14)

Day Fourteen: Lazy Sundays

I know many people spend a lot of their Sundays dreading over the upcoming week, but I try to take some advantange of the tail end of the weekend by relaxing a bit. It is a supposed to be a day of rest, is it not?! With many weekends of traveling, I find that it can be hard to get to the gym and I am okay with that. And with the weather getting colder, who wouldn't want to spend a Sunday afternoon/evening curled up on the couch watching football?

The BF and I spent the early part of the afternoon watching the Vikings/Bears game before I left town. He being a Bears fan, and I being a somewhat Vikings fan, I was happy to see we both made it out alive. I still wonder what it would have been like if the Bears would have lost, however. :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 13)

Day Thirteen: Blogger Support

I started blogging in 2006 (wow) and even though I have not met a single one of my followers, I feel like I know so many of you and your families from reading your blogs. I know a handful of you have been around since 2006 - you know who you are!! You all have been so supportive, encouraging, and motivating, in all of my training and daily endeavors! I really appreciate all of you and the kind words, or kicks in the ars, when needed - whether it's been over the past years, or past few weeks. Thank You, thank you!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Full Moon 5K and 30 DOT (Day 12)

"30 Days of Thanks"
Day Twelve: Weekends
I know most people look forward to the weekends, but in the past I haven't been much of a person to complain about it being Monday or if the weekend is ever going to get her, etc. Life is too short; we should enjoy every day, shouldn't we?
But, I still look forward to the weekends for many reasons, but right now my number one reason is for this:I am thankful that I have been able to spend time with the BF almost every weekend for the past couple of months, whether he comes here, I come there, or he rides with my parents here or to the cities with us. We have been lucky, busy, but lucky. It seems like there is always something going on every weekend. I dread the winter that will be joining us soon and how it has the possibility to affect our weekend traveling, but we'll worry about that when we need to. :)

Full Moon 5K:
Thursday, November 11th, 2010
Pre-race: I picked up my race packet yesterday morning as soon as Go Far Sports opened up shop. Before grabbing my packet, I took some time to look around and drool over all the nice running attire. Fortunately, I kept the plastic in my purse and walked out of there with nothing but my race packet.
For a $25 5K race fee, I am pretty impressed. This includes a timing chip, which isn't always present at 5K of this size (500 or less), a long sleeved technical shirt, and a pair of Fitsocks! Plus, we got a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $50 or more at Go Far Sports as well as a coupon for 25% off a Fitsock purchase! Sweet!

Weather: I have been thinking about this all week, especially since I have been fighting this nasty cold. I finally have my voice back to 100% and I can keep the coughing to a minimal now without sounding like a barking dog. But, I still worried about the cooler temps causing me to cough more.
This clip was taken at 4pm. Notice that at 7pm it was expected to be 39 degrees. I was excited for this because prior to 4pm today, it said it was going to be 36 degrees at 7pm for the past 36 hours! 3 degrees is 3 degrees, dude!

Clothing: Oh how I struggle with this, especially this time of year. I wasn't going out to break any PR's or world records, I do these fall/winter 5K just for fun... or insanity. So, I decide just to wear my capri running pants, long-sleeved black shirt, white adidas ClimaMax jacket, black headband, blue softball socks, and red gloves (trying to put a little RED, WHITE, and BLUE in for Veterans Day).

The Race: The start and finish of the race took place at a local middle school, just a mile from my house. It was an out, do a loop, and back race. There were 400 participants and the temperature was actually perfect.... or I was dressed perfectly for the temperature. I ended up taking my gloves off halfway through, which is no surprise because my feet and hands are the first things to get over heated.

It was dark, and the only light we had were from a few houses here and there as we ran through the neighborhoods. The race director warned us of ghosts and goblins, but I thought he was joking. No joke, my friends. There was a werewolf, ghosts, the Scream, etc. Just after the 2nd mile marker, I saw the Scream walking down the middle of the street, but as I was about 3 feet from him he turned to me and screamed. I screamed and was afraid I wet myself.

J and I stayed together for most of the race, running the entire thing. It was a bit slow, but felt good to run the whole thing. She had some knee issues and had to back off a couple times in the last half mile, but I was feeling strong and wanted to finish strong, kicking it up a bit in the last quarter mile.

The Results:
Number: 417
Age: 29
Division: 20-29
Division Place: 74/86
Sex Place: 263/316
Time: 39:00
Pace: 12:33

After thoughts:
  • This was a fun race, at a different time, with different expectations. Like most 5K's this time of year, I go out just to do it and have fun - and that's what we did.
  • However, I would have like to have done it a bit faster, but I was glad I ran the entire thing.
  • The past couple of weeks I have been thinking about marathons and the posibility of training for one in 2011, but after last night I started to question it. Now, this run was a good one, but my right knee wasn't perfect. In fact, it started to bug me a bit 2 miles in, but I focused on my stride and kept the thoughts positive.
  • I need to do more running outside, on real roads and end my love/hate relationship with running outdoors.
  • I know that there wasn't a full moon last night, and I too have questioned why it was called a Full Moon 5K, but with the orange light from some street lights and houses, it kind of felt like moon light. I will go with that.
  • I would definitely do this race again next year!

Happy Friday, Y'all. Off to work for a Professional Development Day. Yay...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 11)

Yesterday I posted about being thankful for Tom & Jerry's. Some people did not know what it is, so I will clarify here: The actual Tom and Jerry is a batter mixture made of sugar, bettercream, more sugar, egg whites, and nutmeg. I use it by adding it to a hot water/whiskey mixture (usually a shot of whiskey) and sprinkling nutmeg on top. Some people prefer brandy over whiskey. It's your choice! It is so sooo yummy, but like I said, it's much better when homemade, than store bought. You must try it! I have a homemade recipe, but it makes a huge amount - if you're interested, let me know and leave me your email address.

Day Eleven: Veterans,those who are still serving their duty, those who have fallen, and the families who belong to all these

It would be foolish of me to not take the time, today, to thank all Veterans, those who continue to serve, those who have unfortunately fallen, and the families that those listed belong to. And, it would be foolish of me to be thankful for my favorite soldier of all time, my bro-in-law, B. Thank you for your two tours of duty in Iraq and the time you have spent away from your life back here in the states. You are a true hero to me, and the rest of our family!

Also, I would like to give thanks to my wonderful sister, who has had the strength to peservere while her boyfriend (the first time) and hubby (the second time) was called to duty. She was, and is, a strong lady that I continue to admire and look-up to, even though she is younger than me. I have learned a lot from her and how she has dealt with difficult times like these.

Love you both very much!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 10) & Happy Anniversary!

First and foremost, I want to wish a Happy 31st Anniversary to my lovely parents! I hope you have a great one!

Day Ten: Tom & Jerry
No, I am not referring to the cartoon, Tom & Jerry, but the little tub of sugary goodness that makes the cold North Dakota holiday months all worthwhile. If you have been a follower of my blog for over a year, you probably remember me mentioning this stuff before.
Now, I am not a huge fan of buying it premade at the grocery store, or this brand stuff, but it suffices until I can get home for Christmas and enjoy the homemade stuff while spending our hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f***ing Kaye!
And, another reason why I am so thankful for this? It feels so good on a sore throat and helps me sleep like a baby!

(note: picture and drink consumed last night, not this morning)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 9)

Day Nine: Pilates

If you haven't tried it, don't knock it. Pilates is one of the classes that I have a hard time getting to on a regular basis because when things get going and busy, it's one of the first things I cross off my workout list. However, when I go, I am easily reminded how much my body (core) benifits from it. I feel recharged and ready to go afterwards. Pilates is WONDERFUL. It can be a social thing for me too. I have a friend that goes a couple times a week and it's a great way to catch up with her, and the other regulars!

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 8).... and then some

Day Eight: Rest Days

For many of us, it's can be hard to enjoy a good rest day, a complete rest day - one that consists of no workouts what-so-ever, including yoga or pilates. It can be hard, but our body will thank us over and over again!

This past weekend was fun and relaxing with the family in the Twin Cities. We did some shopping, watched some movies, and enjoyed a great Vikings win in OT yesterday. The BF is not a Vikings fan, but he sure was a trooper for coming with us and even cheering for them! even though we couldn't get him in Vikings gear, he was sporting his Twins sweatshirt.

Asside from a great weekend, I am taking a rest day of my own today. Last Wednesday I started to get sick and it progressively got worse through the weekend. Even though I felt pretty good Saturday, I lost my voice. My family was calling me squeaky and Dad was a bit surprised by how much I was talking for losing my voice. (I think it was hurting his ears.) Yesterday, I still didn't have much for a voice, but I started coughing more, which left me with an extremely horrible headache and pain in my chest.
Soooooo, I am staying home from work today. I hate taking sick days. As a special education teacher, writing sub notes can be so much tedious work! It irritated me that I spent 45 minutes this morning writing these notes and preparing all materials for the sub. It doesn't help that I have a lot of behavior students who are checking in and out throughout the day.

And, what bothers me more than taking a sick day? The fact that I haven't worked out since last Thursday. I am itching to get going again.
But, today I will REST. And get some grad school homework done.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 7)

Day Seven: A Good Run

There is nothing better than a good run. It doesn't matter if it's 1 mile or 10 miles; if it's good, it leaves you with a great feeling - almost as if you are walking on clouds. A good run to me is a run that can wash away all the stressors from the day at work. Or a good run is one that wakes me up and prepares me mentally for a long day ahead of myself at work.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 6)

Day Six: Saturday Coffee

I try to limit myself to one store-bought beverage a week. It has become a ritual that our family, when together for a weekend, enjoys good laughs and conversations over a Saturday morning coffee...whether it's at a local coffee shop back home, or a Starbucks or Caribou. One might say it has become a tradition. I am thankful for my coffee, but also the fact that it brings us together as a family!

I am secretly looking forward the nonfat, sugar free, peppermint mochas this winter... mmmm.

Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 5) & Weekends

Day Five: Jeans Day

This is very simple, but it makes the end of a LONG week that much better. Matching it with a fun sweater or sweatshirt and I am comfy (and happy) for the whole day! My students would probably be thankful for this as well! Every Friday is a jeans day at our school!

Last weekend:
The BF and rest of the family came to stay at my place in Fargo for the weekend. Saturday morning we (mostly the boys) worked on the trim in my basement bedroom. Later that afternoon we took the trek up to Grand Forks (one hour drive) for Red Pepper Grinders, Bonzer's Schooners, and Sioux hockey. The Sioux didn't play too well, but the grinder and long island tea in the schooner was well worth the trip!

This weekend:
The BF, parents, and baby sis will be picking me up on the way to Minneapolis. In addition to visiting my sister and brother-in-law, we have football tickets for Sunday. Yes, my friends, Vikings tickets. Gasp, I know. I hope they play well, otherwise I might have to officially write them off my list. The BF is NOT a Vikes fan, so we won't expect him to be sporting any purple and gold this weekend. I suppose I need to put my Vikings Moss jersey back into retirement and wear my R. Smith jersey (or Brett Favre t-shirt)!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 4)

I am currently trying to keep up with Middle Name Marie's 30 Days of Thanks ... so far so good. If interested, feel free to scroll down to view my first few Days of Thanks. On to today....

Day Four: Smiling Children

I work with an array of wonderful children from 8am to 3pm - children with learning disabilities, children delayed cognitively, children with autisim spectrum disorders, children with anxiety disorders, depression, and so forth. So, when I see a child smile while working on something that is extremely difficult for THEM, it makes ME smile. Their smiles melt my heart and reminds me of one of the reasons why I enjoy doing what I do.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 3 of "30 Days of Thanks"

If you missed my last couple of posts, I am following Middle Name Marie's lead and posting 30 Days of Thanks.

If you missed the first couple of days, here are the links:
Day One
Day Two

Day Three: A good night's rest

I am one who loves my sleep and strives to get around 8 hours of sleep everynight. However, it is usually closer to 7 or 7.5. Yesterday I wasn't feeling so well and came straight home to rest. I think I slept about 2 hours late yesterday afternoon/early evening and was to bed around 930! I slept like a rock until 6am! My body is always thankful for a good night's rest!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tagged and Giving Thanks (Day 2)

I forgot to mention who I got the "30 Days of Thanks" idea from - Middle Name Marie over at Always a Reason to Run started 30 Days of Thanks and got me interested in doing so myself. I hope to keep up with this every day. Last night I posted Day 1. For today...

Day Two: Wonderful Co-workers

The elementary school I work at is full of wonderful teachers. But, this thanks go out to my team members, my special education team members. This group of ladies is one of the best things about working here, and I really enjoy working with all of them. You don't always see a team like ours get along as well as we do, helping out each other as much as we do, and share laughs as much as we do. All of the above makes the stressors of our job requirements very minimal. Thanks ladies!

I was unofficially tagged Carly @ Chubby Chicks Run Too tagged everyone who was interested. I figured it was time for another wonderful get-to-know-teacherwoman-aka-stacy-post!

1. If you could eat anything without any health repercussions or guilt, what would your meal be? I would have to say Shoop Noodla (fried potatoes and dough mixed in with half and half) or almost any pasta meal. I lurve me some pasta with lots of cheese, chicken, and a whole lot of veggies. Stuffed tortellini is my favorite! Mmmmm.....

2. If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be and why? I would love to sit down and have a good conversation with both of my grandmothers. My Grandma S. passed away when I was about 5 years old and the things I remember of her are limited. I remember the fake lemons she had on the dining room table and how their fragrance filled the air. Everything else I remember is from a few comments made here and there, and pictures of course. My Grandma K. passed away last year and it was an extremely hard loss. Both are deeply missed and I would love to sit down and converse over a cup of coffee and cookies. Both were great bakers.

3. Why did you start blogging and what did you expect when you started? I started blogging in 2004 when I first started running... consistently. I was hoping to do a fall half marathon with my dad, but we turned it into a 5K trail run instead. I started my first blog to be accountable of my training and learn from other runners. Not too long after that, I was came across a few triathlon bloggers and it's all got into the world of triathlons. Without blogging, and many of you bloggers out there, I probably would have never pushed myself as far as I have!

4. What is the one book you could read over and over again? I don't think I have ever re-read a book. I love to read, but there are so many unread books on my shelf that I would probably refrain from re-reading a book. If I choose to do so, it would probably be an easy read, such as any one of the Nicholas Sparks book.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Europe ... particularly Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Greece... who's taking me on this trip?!

6. If you could have a TV show on the Food Network, what would it be?
Horrible, that's what it would be. I don't do a lot of cooking, and most of the cooking I do do is from family recipes or recipes out on the interenet. I am not much of one to experiment in the kitchen... unless it's with baking.

7. What has the best meal you ever had?
I really don't know if I can narrow this down to one meal. If I had to choose, it would be my Grandma K. making Shoop Noodla. No restuarant meal could compare... evah.

8. Who has been the greatest influence on your love for food and learning to cook?
Did you read number 6? I don't really have a love for cooking, but baking can be a lot of fun at times. I would have to say my Grandma is my influence in that regards, I guess.

I am not going to tag a bunch of people... consider yourself tagged if you are interested in playing along!

Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Days of Thanks (Day 1)

I am going to try and keep up with this challenge... 30 Days of Thanks. There is so much to be thankful for, it's time I put it down in writing!

Day One: My Parents

Who isn't thankful for the parents? Mine are no exception. They are amazing, loving people that have been extremely supportive in everything I do. They've known when to push me when I needed it most. They've given me and my two younger sisters everything we needed. I can thank them for encouraging me to start running and finding a love of being active. My parents have done a couple marathons, and whole lot of half marathons all over the US. As I have grown up, I have realized that my close relationship with my parents isn't something that everyone has, and I am very very thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Time to Say Goodbye...

.... to October! What a whirlwind of a month! I barely remember it starting and now 31 days have come and gone. You know it's been a quick month when you go to flip your calendar to the next and realized you have crossed off a day since the 13th! This is usually how things go once I get back into the routine of work, working out, and busy weekends. Wow. Only 7 more months left of school.

Let's look at the stats.

Month in Review: October 2010

Swim - 00 yds .............. 2,000 yds in September
Bike - 157.39 miles ....... 126.81 miles in September
Run - 41.10 miles ......... 30.08 miles in September

Total Number of:
Swims - 0
Bikes - 9
Runs - 12 (including runs off the bike)
BodyPump Class - 3 (barely once a week --- boooh)
Pilates Class - 0
Yoga Class - 0
REST Days - 12 (10 in September, 16 in August)

Highlights of the Month:

  • Still more fun weekends with the BF, family, and friends!
  • Brad Paisely Concert (with Justin Moore & Darius Rucker)
  • Sioux Hockey - even though they lost in an ugly game.
  • Baseball playoffs (Poor Twins, but yay the Yankees are done!)
  • Football Season - College and NFL
  • Enjoying running again... especially longer runs - completing TWO Virtual 10K's
  • Registering for TWO 5K's - Full Moon 5K on Nov. 11 in the evening AND Jingle Bell 5K on December 4th
  • 2 months into the school year and no sick days!
  • Completing the trim work in my basement spare bedroom and hanging my new curtain rod (this 4 month project will be noted in an upcoming post)

Lows of the Month:

  • No swimming
  • No Yoga
  • No Pilates
  • Eating too much crappy candy and baked sweets at work

Goals for the Month of November:

  • Eat smart. Fuel the body. Cut the crap. Period. - journal nutrition, sleep, stress level, and workouts.
  • Probably going to register for the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving morning. I haven't done that race for a few years, since it's later in the morning and we have been busy helping mom prep for Dinner that day. I think we are going to try and sneak it in again this year - at least me, my Dad, and probably sister (and bro-in-law?!)!
  • HAVE FUN at the Full Moon 5K on November 11th.

Year-to-Date Stats:
Swim - 61,100 Yds
Bike - 1044.05 miles
Run - 325.53 miles

How was your October? Do you have any specific goals for November?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bodypump Basics

I have been going to BODYPUMP class for a little over a year. I have gotten into a pretty good routine that has allowed me to go at least once a week, sometimes once every 5 days or so.

Facts about BODYPUMP:
(taken from Les Mills BODYPUMP Website)

  • 60 minute barbell class that strengthens the entire body.
  • includes squats, presses, lunges, lifts, and curls.
  • every workout is choreographed with upbeat music. There is a new workout every 3 months.
  • class is designed to improve strength and endurance in the major muscle groups, and burning calories - up to 600 calories per class for fat loss.
  • improves bone density.

Our BODYPUMP Classes:

  • We have some great instructors that really make the class fun.
  • Every session starts with a warmup, working all muscles. Then each song throughout the class works a different muscle group, quads, hamstrings, glutes, triceps, biceps, shoulders, etc.
  • At the end of every class, it slows down with some ab/core work and planks, which sometimes includes walking and rocking planks.

Things I have noticed:

  • This class has been a fun way for me to corporate strength training (and more endurance) into my workout routine.
  • Being a runner, swimmer, and biker, I thought I was working many different muscles across these disciplines - but have realized that my legs (particularly quads/hamstrings), glutes, and hip flexors are still my "weakest link". If I go more than a week without taking this class, I find my hamstrings, glutes, and sometimes groin muscles to be extremely sore after a workout - mostly from the lunges and squats.
  • By incorporating this into my workout routine, I have noticed huge dividends in my running and biking. I have been able to run pain free (for the most part) for the past 6 months at least, by strengthening all of these muscles!
  • The music is usually pretty cool and the time flies by super fast!

Tips for Newbies:

  • Start out with minimal weights. I would even advise with some of the routines to just focus on doing them without weights, as your body may not be used to them (such as squats and lunges).
  • If you start taking a BODYPUMP class, try to get into a routine of going once a week. I find that this works best for me. Before increasing the amount of weight you put on your barbell, I think it would be more beneficial to try and go more often, but remember to rest between workouts. I would love to be able to go every 4 or 5 days if I could plan it into my schedule better. (LesMills recommends no more than 2-3 times per week.)
  • In addition to starting out with minimal weights, don't try and be "That Guy". You know, the guy that lifts daily, sometimes twice a day and then decides to take BODYPUMP class and use more weight than any regular in the class. This class is different from regular weight lifting and trainers have commented how it is more challenging than P90X.
  • If you can't keep up with the reps through the 3-5 minute song, then you have TOO much weight.
  • If you can't lift the weights appropriately, then you have too much weight. Example - if you are rocking your body or swinging your arms while doing bicep curls, you have too much weight.
  • Posture and doing each routine accurately is very important. Anytime you stray away from this, you are putting yourself in a position where you might injure yourself. The instructors are very good about reminding you of where your elbows need to be when doing bicep curls, how your wrists should be locked when doing shoulder presses, and where your knees should be when doing squats, etc.
  • Talking through the entire class with your friend or texting between routines is highly frowned upon. This is more a personal note of mine, but I know that it not only irritates others taking the class but the instructor as well. If you can carry on a conversation the entire time you are doing walking lunges and then between routines, you probably aren't working hard enough or don't have enough weight - just my personal opinion.

Have you ever tried a BODYPUMP class?
Do you like it?
What kind of strength training routine do you do?

(Note: I am not a personal trainer and I am not trained to teach BODYPUMP class. This post consists mostly of my personal opinions)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Bullets

Sorry so long since my last post. I guess living life is just getting in the way a bit! I have tried to sit down and write a cohesive post at least a half dozen times in the past week or so, but no luck. So, all you are getting bullets in typical-Teacherwoman-catch-up-style:
  • Even though I am not training for anything specific right now (but thinking WAY too much about 2011), my running is going really well. Really well. *knock on wood*. On the flip side, I haven't been in the pool yet this month. Actually I have only been in the pool ONCE since August 24th. I guess I just haven't had the desire to swim. Don't know exactly what the deal is.
  • Last weekend while back home visiting the BF and family, I got to experience two things for the first time - jelly and summer sausage sandwhiches and UFC. The BF was talking about those sandwhiches and how his family would eat them while working on the farm, so I had to try them. Very interesting combination, but I enjoyed it nonetheless! Saturday night we watched some UFC fighting at a friend's house. I was a little leary because I have never really watched it before and it was actually pretty fun. Brock Lesnar got his booty kicked in the first round - probably deserved it for all the smack talk he did.
  • Work is going well. I have a great group of kiddos this year, all very unique, but I love working with each and every one of them. With that, I am learning to read 6 year old body language a lot better and don'tt ell me you don't have to go to the bathroom when I ask three times while you are wiggling in your chair like fish out of water and proceed to grab your rear while running for the bathroom after I demanded that you atleast try. Thank goodness I have my own bathroom in my classroom. However, we are still working on remember to close the door behind you, flushing when you are done, and washing your hands. *smiles*
  • I want to shout out to my baby sister Susie who is working hard on losing weight. She joined LA Weightloss 9 weeks ago and has lost just a little over 26 pounds already! She is a determined woman!! I couldn't be more proud of her.
  • How many of you are thinking about 2011 already? Asside from potential races, I am just looking forward to what the year may bring. I turn 30 in about 7 weeks and I am excited for a new era!
  • Update: Forgot to mention that we are gearing up for some nasty winter weather here in North Dakota tonight and tomorrow. It's raining now, but wind gusts are between 26 and 39 mph. It's supposed to turn to snow tonight and tomorrow... with a possibility of 4 to 8 inches. WTH?! Have I mention that our days are getting even shorter by the minute? We currenlty only have about 10 hours of daylight here and I am at work for most of it! grrrrr...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Running Diva Mom's Virtual 10k
I woke at 430am a little tired but knew that if I didn't get this virtual 10K done this morning I probably wouldn't get it in tomorrow - especially since I have plans to swim tomorrow morning!

So, I flew out of bed, changed, and was to the gym and on the treadmill by 445am. It's nice to live so close to the gym and now have 24-hour access to the cardio and weight machines. Before 24-hour access was available, I wouldn't be able to get on the treadmill until after 5 and there was no way I would be able to run this distance and get ready in time for work.

I will admit, doing long runs on the treadmill is not ideal and I do not recommend it to anyone. I know that I run faster on the treadmill then I do outside, so I crank up the incline to "try" to give myself a more similar workout to running outside. Today I had it set on between 1.5 and 2.0 for the entire run. This also helps with my knees.

Breaking the run down - The treadmills are set to shut down after 30 minutes, so I broke my run down into 2 30 minute sessions, and then completed the rest of the 10K. (Unlike some of you, I need more than an hour to run a 10K.) Here's how it looks:

First 30 min = 2.56 mi(11:42 pace)
Second 30 min = 2.64 mi(11:21 pace)
+ 11:34 min = 1.1 mi (10:30 pace)
Total = 6.3 miles

For some reason, I always have this habit of adding a .1 or .2 to my runs. Don't ask. I just do it.

Overall, it was a good run and faster than I expected. My last long run left my right groin feeling a bit twinged, but today all was good. My left knee was a little tight, but I know that with a little extra stretching throughout the day and using the foam roller tonight, I will be golden.

Love, love, LOVE, these virtual races! Did you participate?

2. Brad Paisley Concert
This past Saturday, the BF and I and another couple, went to the Brad Paisley Concert at the Ralph Englestad Arena (Fighting Sioux Hockey arena) as part of the BF's birthday celebration. Even though we were up pretty high, our seats were perfect - just off the corner of the stage.

Justin Moore was the first opening act and even though I didn't know many of his songs, he did a wonderful job and I really enjoyed his music. Then Darius Rucker (Hootie) performed and did an AWESOME job. I would love to see that man in concert if he started his own tour. What an amazing musician he is! Brad Paisely did awesome as well. The music was a little loud for his concert and all of his mad-guitar skills, but overall it was a wonderful show! We definitely got our moneys worth with 3+ hours of music!

3. A Well-Needed Break
Next week we have Thursday and Friday off for NDEA conference. It used to be required that teachers go, or stay back and work in their classrooms, but now it's not part of our contract hours, so many don't go. Sometimes I miss how it was my first couple years of teaching and choosing to stay back to do grades, progress reports, prepare lessons, etc. However, I look forward to having these two days off. It will make for a nice long weekend ... to get some grad school homework done.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Three (+1) Things Thursday

1. Changing the "Lable" - Yesterday I came to work to find this message in my inbox from our special education director ....

Granted, this is not exactly the terminology I would have chosen - was thinking something more along the longs of "Severely Cognitively Delayed" - but this is much better than MR and music to a special educator's ears. I know some states have changed from MR to something more easy to swallow, persay, but ND is a bit behind. Hopefully it won't take them years to change it.

Click HERE for the full article.

2. November 5K - I just signed up for the Full Moon 5K Run/Walk on November 11th. This run starts at our middle school (which is about a half a mile from my place). It's an evenign race - starting at 7pm, so it will be interesting to see what the weather is like then...

3. Flu shot - I can count how many times I have gotten the flu shot on one hand - 1. the year I student taught, 2. two years ago, 3. last year (but not the H1N1 shot), and now 4. YESTERDAY. I had heard from others that this shot was a bit more painful than the regular flu shot because it has the H1N1 in it. The actual shot itself wasn't too bad, but about an hour later I was in pain. After my shot I came home, did some laundry, vaccuumed a bit and then parked it on the couch to watch some news. When I would move my arm it would hurt so bad from my fingers to my jaw. I popped a couple Tylenol and felt a bit better. This morning it's a bit sore, and my upper arm and neck is tender to the touch. Crazy.

4. Minnesota Twins - When the Twins built their outdoor stadium, leaving the inclosed Metrodome behind, many were worried that the bonus of the noise factor in the metrodome would be lost. After watching Liriano strike out Derek Jeter in the 1st inning, and having a hard time hearing the announcers over the crowd, I quickly realized that the noise was still there. I could only imagine what the atmosphere was like last night. Unfortunately, we weren't able to pull through with a win (I think our relief pitchers suck). Odds are against us, but maybe it's time to put an end to this pattern?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Catch Up Post

Yesterday I woke with nasty sore throat. Just on the left side. Asside from that I didn't really feel crummy. However, as the day went on, I realized how tired I had felt for the past couple of days and went home to sleep. Plus, I was hot one minute and cold the next. I ended up sleeping 2 hours and skipping my run. Boo.

Today is the BF's birthday! Just want to give a quick shout out to him - HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you have a great day and can't wait to celebrate this weeekend with friends and the Brad Paisley Concert (w/Dairus Rucker and Justin Moore)! It will be a great time!

This morning I got up, felt a bit rested, and hit the gym for a run/Bodypump combo. It was just what I needed to jump start this hump day. I ran 2.55 miles with many intervals (at speeds some of you consider slow) and off to an hour of pumping iron. Actually, I was pretty excited because I upped some of my weights today (on squats, triceps, and biceps)! However, before doing that again, I am going to focus on going to class more regularly - ever 3-5 days instead of every 7 days. I topped my workout off with a nice protein smoothie for breakfast!

Tonight I look forward to curling up on the couch to watch the first game of the ALDS between my Twins and those Yankees. The Twins have to win this first one, for sure!

Tomorrow I was hoping to get to the pool or bike. I need to take a day or two off from running, as I am starting to feel it in my shins. Maybe this is a sign that I need new shoes. I haven't bought new shoes since May and even though I haven't put A LOT of running miles in them, I have worn them on the bike and at Bodypump class. Anyone looking to get rid of a SIZE 8 BROOKS TRANCE?? Sure would have been nice to win those in one of the giveaways out there, but oh well!

Happy Hump Day, y'all!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Virtual Non-Race 10K

Yesterday I participated in James' Virtual non-race. As part of this virtual non-race, you could choose from a 5K, 10K, or 10-miler. I chose to do the 10K.

He called this a non-race just for that reason. There was no racing and no worries about time. The goal was to just get out there and run, remembering why it is we enjoy running in the first place.

When: Sunday, October 3rd, 2010 @ 5pm

This non-race couldn't have come at a more perfect time for me. I haven't done this kind of distance since the 10K in May and didn't know what I would be capable of accomplishing but looking forward to going the distance!

Where: I chose to do it on the treadmill for a few reasons:
1. I wanted to distract myself with some good Sunday football,
2. I wanted to focus on a good run/walk method, and
3. Even though it was 64 degrees outside, it was extremely windy and the wind hurts my ears.

1. To enjoy the run and listen to my body.
2. Stay true to the run/walk method and increase my speed as the run goes on and my body feels strong.

I started this run with a nice 5 minute warm-up walk to get the legs moving. From there, I did a run 3ish/walk 1 minute method at a pretty slow pace (around 12:00 miles). The first 5K of this 10K was done in approximately 37:30 - averaging around 12:05/mile. I was feeling pretty strong when going into the second 5K and decided to pick up the pace a bit. I was able to finish the 2nd 5K in about 34:00 - averaging my pace right around 10:58/mile.

After reaching 6.2 miles, I walked a quarter of a mile to finish off my distance for the day at 6.45 miles.

After Thoughts:
My right groin muscles was starting to feel a bit tight and I knew it was from my form and the fact that my body was not used to lifting my legs for that long. I focused on changing my form a bit and the tightness in the groin subsided a bit.

I thought about goals for the coming year and what I might accomplish come 2011. Obviously these thoughts will be left for a later post.

This was a great run and I am not really sore this morning. It did wipe me out completely and I was able to sleep like a baby last night.

It's a run like this that makes me keep coming back for more... looking forward to my next long run!

I will leave you with a quote that I got in my email this weekend and absolutely loved:

"I think I get used to, even addicted to, the feelings associated with the end of a long training run. I love feeling empty, clean, worn out, starving, and sweat-purged. I love the good ache of muscles that have done me proud. I love the way a cold beer tastes later that afternoon. I love the way my body feels light and sinewy."

~ Kristin Armstrong, Author and runner

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It was a good one!

... September, that is.

I can't believe the month has come and gone. It started with a bang - less than a week into school and I felt some sort of illness creeping up on me. I took a couple days off from the gym, slept a lot, drank a lot of hot lemon tea with honey, and did I mention that I slept a lot? In a matter of a few days, I was feeling fine and managed to keep the a full blown cold or whatever-it-was at bay.

I managed to fall into a routine with work, kept up with grad class, enjoyed my regular workouts - even though I wasn't training for anything in particular, and had time to enjoy my weekends: a weekend of camping over Labor Day weekend, a housewarming party with friends here in Fargo, a weekend back in the Bismarck/Mandan area, and a weekend in Brainerd, MN for a couple of friends wedding!

Let's look at the numbers.

Month in Review: September 2010

Swim - 2,000 yds .......... 6,200 yds in August
Bike - 126.81 miles ...... 95.05 miles in August
Run - 30.08 miles ......... 26.30 miles in August

Total Number of:
Swims - 1
Bikes - 8
Runs - 13 (including runs off the bike)
BodyPump Class - 5!
Pilates Class - 0
Yoga Class - 1!
REST Days - 10 (16 in August)

Highlights of the Month:

  • Busy weekends with the BF, family, and friends!
  • Working out regularly, but not having to follow a training plan!
  • Getting in some longer runs!
  • Getting to BodyPump Class weekly!
  • Enjoying a good yoga class! Hope to do it more in the future.

Lows of the Month:

  • Only swimming once - but, to be honest, I just wasn't feeling it much this month. Not until this last week. October may be different, tho.
  • Yeah, that's about it.

Goals for the Month of October:

  • Train smart.
  • Get used to weekly long runs - between 5 and 8 miles
  • Try to have more purpose behind my workouts - ie. speed work, long runs, short/long rides, strengthening, stretching, core, etc.
  • Try to run outside more, even with the weather getting cooler - this is something I am horrible with!
  • Stay healthy and get the flu shot!

Year-to-Date Stats:
Swim - 61,100 Yds
Bike - 886.66 miles
Run - 284.43 miles

What are your goals for October? Only 3 months of 2010 left - is there something you are hoping to accomplish before December 31st?