Summer’s here! [WIAW]

Not that you’d know it by yesterday’s weather. It was a whopping 50 degrees and rainy. Gross.

Now that I’ve recovered from my bronchitus-like-caugh-for-10-days cold, I’m attacking each day with a goal in mind. It is too easy to fall into the sleep til noon/laze around all afternoon mentality if I don’t. Not that sleeping until 10 is much better…but I’ll take any improvement I can get. The reality will be a huge slap in the face when Baby Spinach arrives and I’m up around the clock if I don’t reign things in now!

So far I’ve attacked the following goals:

Monday – sweep/mop living room, dining room, and kitchen (omg this took forever – any tips to make this go faster? Vaccuming is much quicker!), and clean/organize the pantry

Tuesdaygo into school and get organized and clean basement family room

Wednesday – go into school and get organized

In addition to these goals I have a daily goal of 30 minutes exercise in any shape or form and walk the dog. I also need to add read for an hour to this list, because it is too easy to get sucked into blogs and pinterest and not my ever growing book pile.

And of course, one goal that never leaves my list: eat healthy!

Thanks Jenn for the sensible snack goal for June, I’m excited to see what you cook up for July!

Monday’s eats:

BFauxbux bacon gouda breakfast sandwich

Salmonds pre-elliptical

LFauxbux passion iced tea lemonade (recipe tomorrow)apple and saladThe hubs grilled a bunch of tenderloins and I froze them for easy lunches. My Hugh Jass salad was quite colorful and delicious. In the bowl: lettuce and chives from the garden, yellow bell pepper, tomatoes, avocado, toasted pecans, dried cherries, grilled chicken, and homemade dressing.

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DSesame soba noodle salad and a green saladThis soba salad was delish! It is great hot or cold.

DWarheads sour cubes…I’m not proud of this. But 80/20 rule, right?

How do you attack goals? Daily, weekly, monthly?

On running.

I’ve been having a love/hate relationship with all things exercise lately. My gym buddy started riding her bike to work, (go Erica!), and while this is great for her and the environment, it hasn’t helped me get my bootay to the gym before work. I did take note one day (during bike to work week, of course), and rode my (very pretty) bike to work and parked it in my office.

Why yes, that is an apple eraser magnet on my white board. Teacher nerd alert!

It was a fun and short (4 miles) ride, but my back got all sweaty due to my goodies, (purse, lunch, 2 water bottles & coffee), on my back.

But aside from that, and a few (very lackluster) elliptical dates, I have been a major slacker over the past week. Contrary to my weigh in Wednesday this week, (which was written on the previous week’s work outs).

The culprit? Cramps. Thank you mother nature. I think working with middle schoolers has propelled me back to the days of trying to get out of gym because of cramps. Hormones must be a catchable disease. I’ve got a pimple on my nose to back this theory up.

I know that getting my heart rate up and the blood flowing will help alleviate my cramps, and subsequent crampy attitude, but I’m much more content to whine about it, curl up with a bag of Kettle Buffalo Bleu chips and nosh on  dark chocolate.

But I do have half-marathon training to complete. And I need to get my head (and legs!) in the game. So when I stumbled upon a running survey on Lori’s blog, I thought it might be fun to do and just enough motivation to get me through today’s scheduled 9 mile run. Nine miles. Oy.

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What is your favorite type of cross training?
Elliptical. There is just something about zoning out with a copy of Women’s Health magazine, (or US Weekly….Hubs, time to renew!). Sometimes I do HIIT, but usually I just set the resistance to 9 and go for an hour.

What is your favorite song to run to?
My current favorite really surprised me: Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine. I threw it on my Bloomsday play list, just to try it out, and wound up falling in love with it. I usually repeat it 3 or 4 times on a long run.

Other favorites include: Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap, Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey, Banquet by Bloc Party, Rolling in the Deep by Adele, Opposite of Adults (ftg. MGMT) by Chiddy Bang, Firework by Katy Perry, Supermassive Black Hole by Muse, Sealion  by Feist, The Owls Go by Architecture in Helsinki, and Inkwell (Crashed-Cop-Car Remix) by Blue Scholars.

What brand of shoes do you wear?
Asics (T964N), but they are very worn out. I need to get my bootay to The Runner’s Soul and have them watch me run/get new shoes.

Do you wear a hat when you run?
No. I have a small sweat-wicking headband, but I really want a bondi band. Specifically, this one:

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It’s perfect for my Fueled by Fine Wine 1/2 Marathon, don’t you think?

What temperature is your favorite for running?
Between 45 and 60 degrees. Because of my athsma I have a difficult time regulating my body temperature, and overheat very easily. Or maybe my athsma is resultant of my inability to regulate body temperature. Whatever the case, I prefer to run in slightly cooler weather. But I need to get used to running in the heat, or my July 10th half is going to suck!

Do you have any big races coming up?
I’m running the Fueled by Fine Wine 1/2 marathon on July 10th. I am also toying with the idea of the 10K Dirty Dash on August 20 in Spokane and the Iron Girl 10K on September 11th in Seattle.

What is your favorite distance?
4-5 miles is a nice every day distance.

Are you a morning, noon or evening runner?
Morning, but not by choice. I can’t run at the end of the day because things always come up. Noon would be preferable, but there is that whole working woman thing that gets in the way.

Do you run solo or with a buddy?
I run solo, but my partner in crime, Reese, and I text each other after our long runs to ensure we stay on track for half marathon training.

What is your favorite pre-run fuel?
I added this one, since I couldn’t answer two for-seasoned-runners-only-appropriate questions.

Usually a peanut butter and banana sandwich on Dave’s Killer Bread. But today I decided to change it up (not much) and eat oats topped with cinnamon, raw sugar, half a banana and some chunky peanut butter.

I’m (kind of) experimenting with different pre-run foods so I know exactly what will fuel be best for my half this summer.

What’s your favorite post-run snack?
Green monster! My fav mix is 1-2 cups baby spinach, 3/4 cup frozen tropical fruit blend (strawberry, mango, pineapple), 1 cup vanilla almond milk & 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder.


What’s your FAVORITE race?
I’ve only run one, Bloomsday (12K), and it was so much fun 🙂

Do you wear a Garmin?  If not, how do you track your runs? 
No, but it is on my birthday Amazon wish list. Only 5 more weeks Hubs…

Last week I downloaded the Log Your Run app. It uses GPS to track my mileage. I got the free version, which has emergency contact info, the ability to customize a play list (which doesn’t work for me, since I dropped my iPhone in a fountain last summer and the iPod function doesn’t work), and has a couple other features. It doesn’t, however, break down my miles/speed for me. I think the pay version might do that. It is also kind of a pain to have to start/stop and put in my iFitness belt. A Garmin will be much more user friendly, but the free app works for now.

Who is your running idol?
I don’t have one. But I am quite impressed with my running buddy from afar, Reese. In 2010 her resolution was to run a race for every holiday, and she did!

How long have you been a runner?
I became a runner in 2011. I toyed with running before this year, but it never stuck until March 2011.

Do you run with your engagement/wedding ring on?
No – swollen fingers!

What’s your favorite workout? repeats? long runs? tempo? fartleks?
Long runs.  I cannot sprint, or even run quickly, to save my soul. Slow and steady is my mantra. Plus long runs gives me plenty of time to think, sort out my life, and create new recipes. Yes, I constantly think of food while running: what will I eat to refuel, what can I make for dinner without going to the grocery store, do I have enough ingredients at home to make a dessert?

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What about you? What is your favorite exercise? Do you use running as therapy too?

Weigh in Wednesday 12: How you doin’

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Why, thanks for asking, Joey. Unfortunately, I’m not doing so well.

Although we’ve had record breaking precipitation* this week, there is still something in the air that is nagging at me. My eyes are itchy and red, to the point where a student noticed…from about 10 feet away…while I had my glasses on.

*watch the video…oh no, puddles!

I look something like this.

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And I feel something like this.

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But I’m not one to complain*.  I’ve been trying to dive into my workouts (and last remaining runs before my 12K this weekend – eek!), with full gusto. But my body, well, it just isn’t getting along with my brain at the moment.

*total lie. But I always have a solution when I complain. I’m nice like that.

My training plan included a 5 mile run this morning. At mile 2 I knew that was not going to happen. While I always hate running on a treadmill, at least the built in television will help me along. But today the ONLY thing news stations deemed worthy of coverage was the fact that Obama finally produced a copy of his long form birth certificate.

Really? Seriously?

I decided to cut my run short, (for more reason than the obnoxious “breaking news” coverage), and just do a 5K. Sadly, I totally missed the cut off for the Jelly Bean 5K, but a 5K just didn’t fit into my training plan* last week.

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*by plan I mean: something I totally made up on my own based on my lame self not getting into the correct mindset earlier in the year.

I have one more run planned before race day, (Sunday), and I am determined not to let my allergies get me down! I’ve been tracking my mileage and I’ve noticed a few things:

  • I am getting faster. I’m running, on average, 12 minute miles. When I started I was running, on average, 12:30 miles. This is still slow, mind you, but faster for me.
  • My endurance is up quite a bit! My walking breaks used to be a lot longer (2-4 minutes) and would happen with much greater frequency (every 3-5 minutes). Now I am running, on average, about 8 minutes before I take a break, and I am walking 1-2 minutes.
  • I am enjoying myself more. When I did my long run on Saturday I actually got sad when I turned the corner on the street that is at the crest of my loop. I wanted my run to continue. Me! The girl who never thought* she could be a runner.
*Seriously. When we had to run the mile in elementary school we would hoof it down the street to Wa-Hi (the high school) and run our laps around their track. Once we passed the starting point we would have to hold up a finger (1-4), signifying how many laps we had completed. I would generally run 2, hold up a 3, and only finish my 3rd lap because everyone else had already finished!

Seeing these accomplishments in bulleted format renew my faith in myself that I can be a runner. I think after Bloomsday (12K) this weekend I will feel like I can actually call myself a runner. Right now I am considering myself a pseudo-runner. Or an almost-runner.

What exercise goals did you/do you plan to accomplish this week?

If at first you don’t succeed …

Sometimes I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and life seems completely overwhelming. Between work licensing requirements, family obligations, house projects and everything else that comes at me, it is hard to keep my head above water sometimes. And I am your stereotypical “yes” woman, ya know the type that says yes to everything? Yep, that would be me.

However, you never know what you are capable of if you don’t try. A few days ago I was reading about a gal who ran the Boston Marathon this week, pumped [breast milk] midway through and won a marathon while she was pregnant. Say waaa? I complain and talk myself out of running because I enjoy sleeping more than getting out of my warm bed. I don’t even have the obligations tied to having children as an excuse. Reading about her accomplishments, I felt rather lazy.

But, I’m working on it. I may be slow as molasses, but I’m still running.

Today  had the pleasure of listening to Logan and Laurie Olson, publishers of Logan Magazine (a publication for young people with disabilities). At age 16 Logan had a heart attack, went into a coma, and awoke with a brain injury. Many people would have given up on their hopes and dreams, but not Logan. Instead she kept making her dreams known to anyone who would listen. Through the help of many local educators, businesses, family and friends Logan’s dream to publish a positive and fun fashion and lifestyle magazine became a reality.

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Logan and Laurie talked with our special education students about not letting obstacles get in your way. If you want to do something, make it happen! It took Logan 2 1/2 years to find the right path into publishing, and she never gave up. She wanted to make fashion accessible to those who may not be as able as the mass market, (example: she added a pencil gripper to her eyeliner pencil in order to apply her eyeliner easier – genius!). Her magazine is based here in Spokane, but after 4 1/2 years of publishing it now has subscribers all over the country.

How cool is she?

I had such an enjoyable afternoon listening to Logan’s story. The students were mesmerized and I will admit to getting slightly choked up at all of her accomplishments, (she is younger than I am!). One message she gave to the students really stuck with me:

The goal isn’t winning. The goal is trying.

So I may not be the fastest runner, but by golly, I am trying and I’m not going to let my biggest obstacle, (myself), stand in my way any longer!

How do you get over the mental hump and push forward to achieve your goals?

New and Improved! Weigh in Wednesday

Wow, haven’t had one of these in a while!

If you’re new to the blog (hi!) you may have noticed a Weigh-in Wednesday tab at the top. You may have also noticed that it promptly stops on Week 10, when I discussed the scale, the thin ideal and why I was giving up weighing myself for one month. Turns out I enjoyed NOT weighing so much (after a few anxiety striken days, mind you) that it has now been 8 weeks. Last week I discussed how much better I feel now that I am not weighing myself daily on my Running Foodie guest post. I can’t say that I wont ever go back to weighing myself (never say never), but for right now it is working out quite well.

So my new and improved! weigh in Wednesday will be centered around other means of determining my weight loss, mainly inches lost (which I don’t obsess over, like I did the number on the scale), exercise goals and accomplishments, and most importantly, how I feel!

Up first, my measurements. I am pleased to say my waist is 1.5 inches smaller than it was in January (this is the only area I’ve ever consistently measured). My exercise goal is to finish Bloomsday (a 12K in 11 days) without dying.

And today, I feel awesome. Last night I discovered the wonder that is the Epsom salt. I knew they were for soaking, but I didn’t know the difference between Epsom salts and bath salts. I figured they were one in the same. So I never explored them. But yesterday I was so incredibly sore and stiff that I decided to stop at Walgreen’s on my way home to pick up a bag. I took a nice 20 minute soak, read my book and went to bed at 9 pm (glorious!). I didn’t feel any different last night, but when I woke up this morning. Ohmigawd! I had absolutely no stiffness! My 5 mile run this morning was a breeze. I know, I know, I was totally living under a rock. But now I am a believer. Epsom salts rock my socks.

After my 5 mile run I inhaled another eggcellant breakwich.

And then I ran into my PA (Principal’s Assistant) and double high-fived her – she ran the Boston Marathon on Monday! Woot Woot! I was annoying the crap out of asking her lots of running questions and learned I should also take magnesium pills at night to ease my soreness/stiff muscles.

My lunch was composed of fabulous leftover potato pizza and a colorful salad.

Later on I snacked on an apple and a pineapple chobani (the BEST flavor).

Oh, and I also had a Fresca. I haven’t had soda in quite a while, but I saw my co-worker drinking one and immediately HAD to have one. It was fabulous.

After a quick trip to Costco, (yes, twice in one week), to pick up more Epsom salt, spinach, (no skittles), and lettuce I assembled leftover meal #2 for the day.

Butter-not squash enchiladas + salad

I can hear the Epsom salts calling my name. I am looking forward to a nice hot Epsom salt bath this evening. I’m sure you probably aren’t supposed to take an Epsom salt bath two days in a row, but I felt so amazing that I decided I would do one on evenings I run. While running is the form of exercise I feel most amazing and fit after, it is also the one that causes the most stress on my body.

What is your favorite form of exercise?

Re-vamping my week.

A lot of yesterday’s to-do’s were checked off today, including taking down the tree, cleaning the house and getting on top of the laundry.

But none of these things were crossed off my list until after I slept off some of yesterday’s stummy ache. I’m still not feeling 100% and decided I had to take a much needed rest day from the gym. Dang! I really like to exercise on the weekends because I don’t feel rushed.

But at least I feel somewhat accomplished. After a breakfast of coffee/raw sugar/ff half&half with bacon, an egg and some hashbrowns I got to work…

My love seat is finally centered with my picture wall.

Although my picture frames are certainly not centered!

While I am happy to have de-Christmasfied the house, I do think my living room is missing a little something-something.

And I think I need to recycle some of those magazines…hmmm.

My dining room table is back to normal too.

And I prepped 3 oatmeals for work brekkies this week.

And the hubs has a Gourmet Bean Soup on the stove-top.

Also accomplished before 5 p.m.:

Gym bag packed and ready to go.

Breakfast/lunch made for tomorrow.

Coffee ground and set to brew tomorrow morning.

And on to the re-vamp:

Last nights Insane in the membrane burgers call for a few ingredients we don’t normally stock the kitchen with. And tonight’s soup is enough to feed an army. So the meal planning I did yesterday morning, meh, out the window. I’m working on creating a new menu for the week that will not require me to go to the grocery store and will allow me to use up some of the fun items filling my fridge.

And after a post-assessment of last weeks meals and workouts I’ve decided I need to attack some issues in a weekly mini-goal manner. Each week I’m going to pick a new mini-goal to work on, and hopefully they’ll stick.

Issues I have:

Getting up when my alarm clock goes off (the first time)

Stretching before and after a work out (related to the alarm thing…)

Drinking enough water

Strength training

Working my core muscles

Eating enough veggies

Getting 8 hours of consecutive sleep

I’m sure I have more, but these are the issues I can most easily identify and work to solve.

This week my goal is to get up when my alarm clock goes off every morning. 5:04 here I come!