Saturday, August 31, 2013

I'm Committed... running my first 10K that is!  I officially signed up today for the Great GO! St. Louis Halloween Race 10K in October.  I'm equal parts excited and nervous, but I think my nervousness stems from my not so good run this morning.

Matt and the boys and I headed out for a run this morning to beat the heat, but the heat beat us, or me rather.  I thought I was mentally prepared for the heat, so I took off on my run, but I knew fairly early on that it wasn't going to be an easy run.  At that particular time of the morning, a good portion of the trail is not shaded and in direct sunlight.  My husband, however, was very smart and decided to stay in the shaded parts of the trail.  He did back-and-forth jaunts in the shade.  Smart man.  There was a nice breeze in the shade and it felt heavenly.  I, however, did not stay in the shade and pushed on in the sun.  I got about 2.25 miles in and just couldn't go any further.  The sun was beating down on me, I was a sweaty beast, and I just lost all oomph.  So I stopped running, found the boys, and walked with them back to the car.  I know I let my brain get the better of my body today.  I know I can run more than 2.25 miles.  I know I could have finished my planned run of 3.5 miles today.  I just didn't feel good and so I decided not to push it in the heat. 

It was a little discouraging and to be honest, I started questioning whether or not I should do the 10K.  I started to think that I should just sign up for the 5K, but I have a pretty good feeling that I can do the 10K and so I signed up for it.  It will be a challenge, but I'm up for it.  I know that much of today's challenge was due to heat and god willing, it will not be 100 degrees in October when I run this race.  God willing, it will also not be 100 degrees too often over the next few weeks while I train for this race.  So, in regards to today, I say it was an accomplishment to run at all in this heat and it was ok to finish it out with a walk.

On another note, I don't like putting away laundry.  I don't mind doing laundry, but I loathe putting it away.  I think it's mostly due to the fact that my clothes don't fit in my closet.  I just have too many clothes and it is a battle to get them all to fit.  So, tonight, I decided to go through every piece of clothing on my side of the closet and get rid of some of it.  It was high time, too, since I suspected most of it was too big to keep.  It was a bit of an ordeal, but I managed to get rid of a ton.  A few things still fit ok, but I haven't worn them in ages, so it was time to go.  Most of it, however, was too big and that felt pretty good!  

Goodbye big clothes!  My substantial pile of clothes to take to Goodwill.

Tomorrow, the boys and I are hoping to head to the Japanese Festival at the Botanical Garden.  Hopefully the heat won't be too oppressive, but I'm not going to hold my breath!

Of the quote below, I wish I had kept this in mind today on my run.  Argh. 

"It is in the minutes and moments when we believe that we cannot go any further, when we have hit our limit and exceeded our capacity and energy, that we discover our true potential."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Walking Thursday

Although it was super hot again today, I wanted to get a walk in tonight to try out the Garmin Forerunner at JB.  I gave it a test run last night, but I also wanted to see how it stacked up on a walk.  Let's be honest, though, I really wanted to use it again just for kicks. I was pushing it a bit though, time wise, as I worked late and was worried that we wouldn't have enough daylight left to walk the big loop.  We made it, although the last few tenths of a mile were a bit dark!  Luckily, Matt brought the flashlight!

The Garmin Forerunner didn't disappoint tonight!  It kept an incredibly accurate record of our pace and mileage and I barely felt like it was on (always a plus in 95+ degree weather).  I really haven't missed the verbal notifications at all that the Nike+ app provides, which has been a bit of a surprise to me, and it's been wonderful having an accurate tool to measure my workouts.  It's going to be hard to part with the Forerunner, but don't worry, Nicky, it's in my purse to return to you tomorrow!  Thank you again for letting me borrow it!

I'm leaning towards taking a rest day tomorrow to celebrate a pretty awesome achievement.  Nick had his first test of the school year yesterday and he got 100% on it!  I'm so proud of him!  It was a social studies test about rules, laws, communities, and being a good citizen and I think to celebrate him trying his best on his test and succeeding that we should pop some popcorn and have family movie night tomorrow.

"Set some goals then demolish them." 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Running accessories

I know I said yesterday that I probably wouldn't get a run in today due to a lunch commitment and oppressive heat, but a good friend let me borrow her Garmin Forerunner 10 (thank you, Nicky!) and I had to try it out tonight!  While I was at it, I decided to try out another new running accessory that I got from my Mom (thanks, Mom!) for my birthday, my new Nathan QuickShot Plus handheld water bottle.  Since I've been running with the boys the past few days, I've had access to the stroller and have been putting water bottles in the cup holders and thus, haven't had the opportunity yet to try my water bottle until tonight.  I was anxious to try both out this evening and neither disappointed.

(Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed below are mine and mine alone. I was not asked to review these products by the manufacturer; I am simply sharing my opinion with readers of this blog)

I've been fawning over the Garmin Forerunner 10 for a few weeks and simultaneously getting frustrated with the Nike+ app.  I'm sure that's not related at all.  Or is it?  In any case, the inconsistency with the Nike+ app has been annoying and Nicky mentioned to me a few weeks ago that she got a Forerunner.  I was anxious to hear how she liked it and she loves it and was kind enough to let me try it out.  After one run, I'm in love with it.  It was incredibly accurate and comfortable to wear.  I was worried that I might miss the verbal notifications that Nike+ provides when you complete each mile (pace and distance stats), but I didn't at all.  The Forerunner beeped rather inconspicuously when I completed each mile and it briefly displayed my pace.  Nike+ continuously displays the pace and I look at it far too much; mainly to push myself and my pace, but lately it's also been just as much to see how inaccurate it was.  It was actually kind of refreshing to not be a slave to my pace.  I honestly didn't even hear the beep for mile 3 and it was nice to look down and realize I had already moved into mile 3.  I also loved the light on the watch, particularly since we lost daylight rapidly and it was rather dark towards the end of our run tonight.  I also super love the purple color!  I've had my eye on the pink one, but I liked the look of the purple.  I also like that you could use this for a regular watch, as well. I haven't worn a watch in years (for some reason, I stopped wearing one after Nick was born and I truly have no idea why), but I could be on board for wearing the Forerunner on a daily basis.

Isn't it  pretty?  And check out those stats!  Love it! And yes, I'm right handed and wear my watch on my right hand. Quirky Laura Fact #823
I also got to try out my new water bottle tonight!  I saw the Nathan QuickShot Plus ( 10 oz. handheld water bottle at a local running store and I'm not going to lie, I was drawn to the color scheme just as much as I was drawn to the design.  I loved that it had a hand strap and a thumb hole for added stability.  I also loved the pocket on the outside for keys, ChapStick, or mid-run snacks, if needed.  Tonight, when I was getting it ready for my run, I found another smaller pocket, too!  I filled up the water bottle before dinner and put it in the freezer to chill while we ate.  The water was nice and cold for my run!  I loved being able to let go of the water bottle while I ran and not worry about it falling.  I've been trying to stay hydrated while I run and have typically been carrying a 16 oz. bottle with me.  It's ok, but kind of noisy between the sloshing of the water in the bottle and the crinkle of the plastic when the bottle starts to get empty.  My new water bottle was also super easy to drink from; rather than having to unscrew a top, I just squeezed a bit with the palm of my hand and water shot into my mouth (hence the QuickShot Plus name).  I loved using this water bottle and am looking forward to using it again!

So practical and cute!  Love this, too!

It was a hot run tonight, but it honestly didn't seem as bad as two nights ago.  I had my podcast on and was dealing as best I could with the heat.  What was actually bothering me more tonight was a full stomach from dinner; I probably should run before dinner and not after.  Ah well.  I ran a 5K tonight (Garmin reads 3.21, because I always walk the first .10-.11 of a mile to warm up) and while my pace was affected because of the heat and a full stomach, it was still a pretty good run.  

"Tough runs don't last. Tough runners do." 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

There are good runs and then there are bad runs

Yesterday's run falls into the bad run category.  I can't quite figure out why, but I've narrowed it down to a few reasons:
  1. My Nike+ app lost her damn mind (yes, it's a she.  She and I have a love/hate relationship some days).  She has been acting weird lately and I don't know why.  Less than a 1/2 mile into my run yesterday, she proudly told me I had completed a mile in record time.  5 minutes.  Um, no.  That will never, ever happen nor had I completed a mile at that point.  It was beyond frustrating that I didn't have a reliable means to track my pace and mileage.  The trail is marked every .5 mile, but I double backed on the trail for a short time to increase my mileage, so I really have no clue how far I ran.  Matt and I guess that it was in the 2.5  mile range.  I was a bit bummed that I didn't get in 3.5 or even 3 miles, but see reason 2 below for further explanation. 
  2. It was bloody hot.  And humid.  And that = not a fun run.  I know I have been spoiled by pretty fantastic running weather for the past few weeks and I know technically it is still summer, but it was brutally hot and humid last night, which affected my pace and mileage.  I knew after the first mile it was going to be a struggle to even get 2 miles out, but Matt kept pushing me.  I kept saying I was tired and wanted to stop and he told me "You can do this" to which I replied "I know I can, I just don't want to" but that was enough to push me forward and keep going.  Thank you, babe, for the encouragement and for pushing me through! Thankfully, Fall will be here soon and I can crank out some miles and work to increase my pace.  Although, again, my pace will never be a 5 minute mile (do you hear me, Nike+ lady?). 
  3. I didn't turn on one of my trusty Run Like a Mother podcasts during my run and while I was proud of myself for running sans podcast, I missed it.  A lot.  I tried to be one with nature and enjoy my surroundings, but it was hot and I was tired.  I did have the company of my favorite 6 year old, though.  He kept up with me at times, scooted ahead for most of the time, and hung out with Matt and Jack a bit, too.  I loved spending time with him, but I found it incredibly hard to carry a conversation while running and sometimes when I'm in the zone and pushing myself hard, I just need a little quiet or distraction via podcast. 
I've had a lot of really great runs the past few weeks and while last night was definitely not one of them, it was still a run and a good workout, so I can't complain (too much). 

We went on a walk tonight at JB and it was nice except for the Nike+ app acting up again.  It was hot and humid again today, but there was a nice breeze blowing at times.  I have to say that I am SO proud of Matt!  I think I mentioned that he has really upped his game as far as working out goes and both last night and tonight he wasn't feeling a workout at all, but he came out with me!  He walked 2 miles yesterday despite being super tired and we did 2.4 (ish) on our walk tonight even though he didn't feel too good!  I'm proud of you, babe! 

This Mama is off to bed now as I can barely keep my eyes open any more!  I may or may not get a run in tomorrow.  I'm not able to go at lunch, nor do I think I would want to since it's supposed to be 99 degrees here tomorrow.  With the heat, I'm not even sure I should go after work, but we shall see. 

"There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream." 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

End of the Year Challenge

I've been somewhat lax in regards to making healthy choices the past week, but I'm ok with it.  I've continued to work out this week as usual, I just was living life a little and enjoying the remainder of my birthday cake.  It was delicious and I only get that particular cake once a year, so I enjoyed it!  However, tomorrow I'm going to get back on the bandwagon and start my end of the year challenge.

My husband came up with a clever name for the new challenge; it speaks to my sense of humor and it makes me laugh, so I'm going to go with it.  My challenge to myself is to lose 24 lbs by December 31st and I'm calling it The Final Nut of 2013.  According to, a nut is "a hard problem, or undertaking" and that is pretty fitting for this challenge, and my weight loss journey as a whole.  This will be my last big undertaking for the year and it will put me within arms length of my long term weight loss goal, so I'm pretty excited about it. It will definitely be a challenge though with all of the holidays the last three months of the year!

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I don't think I will do weekly updates for this challenge since it is a longer challenge.  I will more than likely do monthly updates or perhaps every other week updates.   If anyone else has any challenges for the remainder of the year, feel free to share them below so we can hold one another accountable! 

I ended up taking a rest day today, although I did take the boys swimming, so I got a little exercise in.  I can't believe next weekend is Labor Day already!  This summer has flown by and I'm trying to get in as much pool time as we can before it closes for the season.  Much as I love fall, I'm going to miss the pool a lot.

"Weight loss is like driving: If you ever veer off the road, just make a U-turn and head back in the right direction." 

Girls Day Out

I had a great day today, but before I dive into that, I want to quickly re-cap my run from yesterday.  After dinner last night, the boys and I headed out for a run and it was pretty good!  Matt sprinted with me for the first bit of my run, while Nick scooted.  I'm really proud of Matt; he's really upped his game as far as working out goes and I love that he's been running with me!  I pushed Jack for the first mile or so of my run, but then Matt took over for me, which helped me knock out a few more miles.  I ended up doing 3.5 miles, or so my Nike+ app said.  I'm starting to wonder how accurate the app is, which is making me want a Garmin Forerunner 10 all the more.  Generally speaking, the app has been pretty accurate by my calculations, but every now and then it acts a little wonky.

I apparently missed a real, live owl last night, though. Matt and the boys were ahead of me, since I had double backed on the trail to increase my mileage.  Nick came scooting back towards me exclaiming that he saw "a real, live owl" up ahead on the trail.  When we got to where he saw the owl, though, it was already gone.  Maybe next time I'll catch a glimpse of one!

Today, I had plans with my college roommates, Laura and Adrienne, to have a Girls Day Out and it was wonderful.  We decided to leave the kids and hubbies at home (they each have two adorable kiddos, as well) and enjoy some quality time together.  It's always nice getting our families together and letting the kids play together, but it's sometimes hard to catch up while chasing the kids.  We went out to lunch and then did some shopping.  Shopping sans kids is glorious; it's amazing how much time you can spend in Target when you don't have a kiddo hanging on you or one hopping in and out of the cart.  We also went to Pier 1 today and I love that store!  I haven't been to one in ages and I couldn't remember why...until I walked inside and saw all the breakables.  Ah yes, that is why I don't go much anymore. It's not terribly stroller friendly and pretty much everything is breakable.  Don't get me wrong, I love my boys more than anything and they are the lights of my life, but it was divine having an afternoon of Mommy time with two dear friends.  Thank you, Laura and Adrienne for such a fun afternoon!  We really should do it more often!

After I came home, the boys and I went on a walk with my Mom and we explored a new part of the trail by our house.  It is a bit more wooded than other parts of the trail, which makes it feel a bit more adventurous and it doesn't require us to cross a major road, which I appreciate.

I'm trying to decide whether I'll run tomorrow or take a rest day. I'm leaning towards a rest day, but I'll see how the day goes.

"Energy and persistence conquer all things." 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Waiting for the Weekend

For some reason, this week has been exceptionally long and I am so glad tomorrow is Friday!  I'm still feeling exhausted, even though Jack has been sleeping pretty well the past few nights, so I'm going to keep tonight's post short and sweet!

Matt, the boys, and I went for a walk tonight before dinner and as usual, the quality time with all of my boys was priceless.  Matt has been very diligent about stretching before our walks and is setting a great example for Nick (I should also heed his example as I have been lacking in the area of stretching).  I love watching Nick as he studies his Daddy and tries to replicate what he's doing.

Daddy and Nick stretching on our walk tonight
We also saw a bunch of deer tonight and I guess I'm slowly getting over my fear of them.  The babies are pretty darn cute and I guess I can't fault a whole species for one stupid deer running into my car this spring.  Although, on the way home from the trail, there were a few baby deer along the side of the road, so I rolled down Nick's window so he could get a better view.  Apparently, the sound of the window rolling down scared the crap out of one of them and it started jumping sideways and freaking out.  Who does that?  Jumping sideways, really?  Matt was afraid it was going to run into my car, but luckily, the deer went the other way.

Baby deer.  Kind of cute, I suppose. 
After our walk, we went to our local sno cone stand for a treat.  We normally get sno cones quite a bit during the summertime, but we haven't been at all this year.  Both boys loved their sno cones and it was a great end to a wonderful evening!

Looking forward to a run tomorrow! 

"Pour your heart and soul into everything you do and you will find anything is possible." 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Sorry for the lack of a blog post last night; I was utterly exhausted and couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to type.  I had a lot of outdoor time yesterday, so I think the fresh air did me in.

We had a Welcome Back BBQ at work and it was nice to spend a few hours outside and welcome students back to campus.  The food was delicious, too!  After work, Matt, the boys, and I headed to JB for a walk, which was nice.  Nick scooted on the scooter and we did a loop and a half since we had enough daylight.  I'm really going to miss our walks when Daylight Savings Time ends!  I love summer for many reasons and the extra sunlight is one of them!

Today, I spent the day with Jack-Jack.  He's having a little bit of gastrointestinal issues and had to get picked up early yesterday and wasn't able to go to daycare today. Luckily, he seems much better and was his normal, silly self today.

After we dropped his big brother off at school, Jack and I went to my go-to running trail (i.e. the flat trail) so I could get a run in. It was kind of nice going in the morning and there were a ton of people out enjoying the sunny day.  We saw a bunch of bikers, runners, and roller bladers.  Matt warned me this morning that it would probably be a hard run and to not push myself too much or worry about pace since I would be pushing the stroller. Boy was he right!  I didn't really realize how much I use my arms to help with my momentum when I run until I only had one arm available to use!

I knew early on in the run that I probably wouldn't make it to 3.5 miles again and quite frankly, near the end, I wasn't sure I was going to make it to 3.1.  My legs felt like a ton of bricks and I felt like I was moving at a snails pace, but I managed to eek out 3.1 miles!  It wasn't the glorious 3.5 mile run from Monday, but not every run is going to be, or feel amazing, and it was still a 5K run today!

The below quote certainly applies to today's run and pretty much every run I tackle.

"First you feel like dying. Then you feel reborn." 

Monday, August 19, 2013


I had a wonderful birthday yesterday and am enjoying day two of being 31 years old!  Yesterday, my boys woke me up by serenading me with "Happy Birthday" and then they made me a delicious waffle and bacon breakfast.  I opened a few presents after breakfast including a new movie about owls (Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole) because my oldest son knows I love owls!  He is quite possibly the sweetest little boy I know and I love that he saw that particular movie in the store and thought of me.  We watched it after breakfast and it was a pretty cute movie.  I, of course, loved all of the owls, as Nick knew I would!

Then we grabbed some lunch from Subway and went to the park for a picnic.  It was a beautiful day, although definitely warmer than last week.  We went for a walk after our picnic on a trail that ran along the Mississippi River.  It was a great trail through some woods and we even found the coolest little lizard.  He had an electric blue tail and was awfully cute.  I don't do spiders, but I love lizards!  Nick was pretty intrigued by the lizard, too!  After our walk, the boys played on the playground, which was so fun to watch. Jack loved the swing and sliding down the slides with his brother.  Nick learned how to slide down the fire pole thing (not sure what the proper term is) and we were so proud of him for overcoming his initial fear of it!

After the park, we went out to dinner with my Mama and then it was time for presents and cake and ice cream!  It was a really great birthday and I am one lucky girl!

Naturally, yesterday was my rest day in every sense of the word.  No true workout, although we had a great walk at the park, and I didn't even count calories yesterday!  I did get a 2.4 mile run in on Saturday, which was ok.  I went during the heat of the day, so there wasn't a lot of shade on the trail.  Not my brightest idea, but it was manageable.  I had hoped to get 2.5 miles in, but I got back to my car at 2.4 and was ready to head home.

Today, however, I wanted to push myself further, so I planned to run 3.1 miles in honor of my 31st birthday.  Matt, the boys, and I headed out to the trail after work and not only did I run 3.1 miles, but I ran 3.5 miles!  I'll let you read that again and let it sink in. 3.5 miles.  A month ago, I didn't even think I could run 1 mile, let alone 3.5.

Early on in the run tonight, I didn't think I was going to make it to 3.1. I felt sluggish and blah, but I got into my groove and I surpassed my goal.  It felt pretty freaking amazing, I'm not going to lie.  I think it helped having the boys and Matt there for motivation!  But I don't think Nick knew what to make of me after I finished my run.  I was squealing and throwing my hands in the air like a madwoman.  I felt on top of the world and now I know I can do the Halloween 10K in October.  I've been having my doubts and thought I would run/walk it, but I'm going to run the hell out of that race, mark my words.

Ok, thank you for bearing with me as I bask in my accomplishment!  Most days, running for me isn't an enjoyable activity in the moment, but I always feel bad ass afterwards and today was the ultimate bad ass feeling.  I think this is what pushes me forward more than anything.  I live off of that post-run high and so I keep pushing myself harder.

On another note, if anyone has any clever names for my end of the year challenge, I'm all ears.  My creative juices are not flowing at the moment and end of the year challenge just seems like a lame name.  I think for the purposes of this particular challenge, I will probably post monthly progress reports as opposed to weekly reports.

"Running is the ultimate faith healer, restoring belief not only in oneself but life's possibilities." 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Final Results of the Birthday Challenge

Tomorrow is the day!  The day of my birth!  Which means many things, but for the purposes of this blog, it means that the Birthday Challenge is complete!  Two month ago, on June 18th, I issued a challenge to myself to lose 15 lbs by my birthday.  At the time, I was at a plateau in my weight loss journey and had fallen off the healthy living bandwagon.  By challenging myself, I hoped to get over the hump of this plateau and get back on track.

This morning was my final weigh-in for the challenge, as tomorrow is my birthday and I don't plan on blogging, but I do plan on indulging in some cake.  So without further ado, I am thrilled to report that the Birthday Challenge was a huge success!  I lost a total of 15.4 lbs!  I am so proud of what I accomplished in the past two months and not just in regards to the weight I've lost.

Some highlights from the Birthday Challenge include:

  • I've taken exercise to the next level and am now working out 6 days a week.  I've made it a part of my every day life by alternating running days and cross-training days, but also allowing myself one rest day.
  • I've taken running to the next level, too. At the beginning of the Challenge, I was running small spurts anywhere between .25 miles to .5 miles.  I've been pushing myself physically over the past few weeks, though, and am now averaging between 2 and 2.5 miles each time I run. 
  • I've changed the way I eat, in that I eat more frequently now than I did before.  I try to eat every 2 hours and I'm also more mindful of what food I am eating.
  • Although I am watching what I eat, I am enjoying life (see above in regards to the cake I am going to enjoy tomorrow) and I know that this is what I have to do to successfully keep the weight off.  I know if I deprive myself, that binge eating is not far away, so by letting myself indulge every now and then, I can avoid binges.
  • I've drastically cut back on the amount of soda I drink.  I didn't drink soda all that much before, but I do love a cold Pepsi every now and then.  I rarely drink it anymore and have been drinking water instead.
  • I have tried, somewhat successfully, to stay hydrated by increasing my water intake, particularly when I workout.  It is safe to say that I drink more water now than I ever have in my life. 
  • Thanks to this challenge, I have surpassed the 50 lb mark and have officially lost 52.3 lbs since January. 
  • I now weigh less than the weight I fibbed about on my drivers license (about 17 lbs less, I might add).  I've seen this e-card floating around the Internet that says something to the effect of "I just want to lose enough weight so that I am the same weight that I lied about on my drivers license."  It makes me laugh every time I see it.
  • I realized that it probably isn't the best idea for me to weigh myself every day, but I'm still a work in progress as far as this goes. I need to worry less about the number on the scale and more about how I feel and how my clothes fit, etc. 
  • I had good days over the course of the challenge, but I've also had my share of bad days.  I've had days where I've been pissed at the scale or I've eaten too much or made poor food choices, but rather than let that get me down as it has in the past, this time, it's been motivation for me to do better.
  • I feel better in general and about myself.  I have more energy (although not as much as I would like, but definitely more than before), more confidence, and I feel better in my own skin.  
  • I learned that I am absolutely capable of doing whatever I put my mind to and that the obstacles that challenge me the most are not physical, but mental. 
I've really enjoyed the Birthday Challenge and what it's pushed me to do, so as I previously mentioned, I'm going to issue myself another challenge to keep up the momentum and get me closer to my goal weight.  Between my birthday and the end of the year, I'd like to lose another 23.9 lbs.  Losing another nearly 24 lbs in the next 4 months is another challenging goal to be sure, but I know I can do it and am looking forward to it! 

"Ambitious goals make for outstanding achievements." 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Slacking off or much needed rest?

The first day of school is exhausting; especially for Mom and Dad!  I was so tired after yesterday's excitement, that I decided to hit the hay early and therefore, did not blog.  Nick had a great first day of school and we took him out to dinner to celebrate.  Eating out is always a challenge, but I thought I did fairly well, however, the scale this morning did not agree with me.  That's ok, though, as I've said before, I want to enjoy life and last night was a very special occasion.

Move-in day at work went really well yesterday and we couldn't have asked for better weather! I got my workout in courtesy of several trips up the stairs, including one jaunt to the seventh floor of the Residence Hall and walking back and forth between the parking garage and the dorm.  I definitely felt that in my legs today!  I thought about putting in some time on the elliptical, too, after we got home from dinner, but I was so tired and I figured that helping with Move-in day was enough.

I had hoped to run today, but unfortunately, I didn't.  My little guy isn't feeling well, so when I got home from work, we snuggled and took a nap.  I didn't have enough daylight when we woke up to go for a run outside and I wasn't feeling the elliptical either.  I'm feeling a bit like a slacker in the workout area (despite noticing some muscle soreness in my legs this morning, I don't really feel like yesterday's Move-in day was that great of a workout), so I can't really complain if I don't like what numbers I see on the scale.  I won't let it get me down though, clearly my body is telling me I need rest and sleep, so I'll listen and plan to get back on track tomorrow.

In other exciting news, yours truly has a birthday on Sunday!  Less exciting is that I discovered a long, coarse gray hair on my scalp last night.  Thank you, universe, for the gentle reminder that I'm getting old.

"Don't let one bad day stop you from reaching your goal." 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Plugging along

Hello beautiful weather!  I think fall has come early to St. Louis and I think I'm on board with that.  I'd be surprised if it even made it to 80 today.  There was a beautiful breeze all day and it was the perfect day to go for a run at lunch. I went to the park near my office and ran around the lake (and then some) for a total of 2.5 miles.  It was a struggle at times, but I did it and my time was pretty good, too (about 32 minutes).  It's interesting because my first mile was not so good pace wise, which I thought was interesting since, in theory, my legs would be fresh.  My second mile, however, was pretty awesome and I guess I just needed to warm up the old legs!

Tomorrow is Nick's first day of school, which I'm equal parts excited and wistful about.  I cannot believe my sweet boy is a first grader!  Time is flying and I need to keep telling myself to live in the moment.  Easier said than done in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, though.

Tomorrow is also an exciting day at work; it's move-in day for the first year students and it's one of my favorite days of the school year at work.  It always reminds me of own move-in day freshman year, which was (gasp) 13 years ago this week!  I also love that there are so many people who help out on move-in day at STLCOP.  I saw a good number of helpers during my move-in at Truman but since it is a much bigger school, my Mom and I pretty much took care of it on our own.  At STLCOP, however, we have loads of people helping out and not just RA's and representatives from student organizations, it's faculty and staff, too.  It's not uncommon to see faculty helping carry in furniture for their incoming students and I think it's a great show of support as we welcome the first years to the STLCOP community.

I'm thinking that move-in day tomorrow may be my only form of a workout, unless I decide to tackle the elliptical tomorrow night after we take Nick out for dinner after his first day of school.  We'll see how much move-in day wears me out!

"Whatever you do, don't quit. Because, as hard as it is to stick with it, starting over is even harder." 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Birthday Challenge Update and Sweat

I can't believe it's time for the Week 8 update of the Birthday Challenge!  Time has flown by this summer, particularly the past two months! Since last week, I have lost another 1.9 lbs bringing my total weight lost since June 18th to 13.5 lbs!  Just 5 more days until birthday, but I am thinking I will do a final post on the Birthday Challenge with the grand total and my thoughts on Saturday night since let's be honest, there is going to be a lot of cake happening on Sunday and I'm not sorry!

Ok, so the latter part of this post title might be a little tmi to some, so if you are a bit squeamish, consider this a warning. I've been telling Matt for weeks that I feel like I sweat more now that I've lost weight than I ever did before, which I find incredibly odd.  You'd think that one would sweat more when they weigh more, but I have been sweating like crazy lately.  I don't mind it so much when I'm working out, because it feels like a badge of honor, but I'm not really a fan of it when I'm not working out.

So, I have been trying to figure out why and when I say "trying to figure out why," I really just mean that I've been complaining to Matt about it. I haven't even Googled it, which may come as a surprise to those who know me well.  I had come to the conclusion that the excess sweat was a good thing because it meant my body was appropriately cooling itself off.  Yes, that's it.  However, in talking (er...complaining) to some co-workers this morning, they helped shed some light on the situation.  One of my co-workers said she sweats like crazy when she is well-hydrated.  Light bulb!  I have been trying to drink copious amounts of water to help improve my workouts and curb hunger and I never equated the adequate hydration with increased sweating.  Seems like a logical explanation to me, so I'm sticking to it and it makes me feel better about the excess sweat.

The weather today was gorgeous so we went for a walk tonight before dinner.  Nick was pointing out the fact that the trees must think it's fall already since one of the big trees on the trail was already shedding some of its leaves.  We've been so fortunate with mild weather the past few weeks and I'm glad we've made the most of our time outdoors!

"Your body will go exactly as far as your mind pushes it to go." 

Monday, August 12, 2013

2.3 miles in the books

Quick post tonight, as I am one exhausted Mama! Both boys were off today; their summer camp ended on Friday, Nick doesn't start school until Thursday and Jack's daycare was closed today for a teacher work day, so I spent the day with my boys.  I had planned to take them to the local Y to swim at their awesome outdoor pool and Nick had his heart set on that, but again, Mother Nature had other plans.  We awoke to stormy skies and I figured if I'm going to shell out the money to go to the Y pool, that I'd rather go on a beautifully sunny day and get my money's worth.  When I looked at the weather forecast, I ruled out the Zoo, going peach picking and pretty much any other outdoor activity.  As I was trying to think of indoor fun, I realized that I haven't taken the boys to the quintessential St. Louis landmark, the Arch.  Nor have I been myself in easily a decade.  So after we visited Matt at work and had lunch with him, we headed to the Arch.

I hoped that the gloomy weather might deter some of the crowds and that was pretty true; when we arrived, we were able to buy tickets for the very next tram and had very little wait time to go to the top.  Nick was pretty excited to go in the tram to the top and Jack seemed to enjoy it, too.  My favorite part was being at the top, because it once again illuminated how distinctly different my babies are.  Jack absolutely loved looking out the rectangular windows at the top and if those windows opened, I guarantee that he would be dangling off the ledge to get a better view.  He had his forehead pressed to the window the whole time and he got mad when I moved him to the next window for a different view.  Nick on the other hand, was so worried about Jack falling out the window that he was on the verge of tears. It was almost comical (and I must admit, a little frustrating), but he was so concerned about his baby brother falling out of the windows that he was grabbing Jack's waist to pull him back down to the ground (I assure you that Jack did not find this amusing, he just wanted to keep looking out the darn window) and was wailing at me when I asked him to stop.  "But, Mom! He's going to fall out the window!" Such a sweetheart and a gentle soul. He worked himself into quite a frenzy and then proclaimed that it was time to go back down.  He later told me that he was freaked out up at the top, but he did have a great time.  It was fun playing tourists in our city!  We sometimes take for granted the things in our own backyard. 

The Arch

My fearless, youngest son. He would've stayed like this all afternoon if I let him. 

My gentle, oldest son. Apparently, it's ok for him to be this close to the window, just not his little brother. 
As we were leaving the Arch, I was afraid I wasn't going to feel up to my planned run this evening, but I got a second wind after dinner.  It was a bit humid tonight, but there was a great breeze and I felt pretty good on my run.  I figured I would attempt 2.2, but when I got that far, I was so close to my car that I kept running.  I ended up running 2.3 miles and felt pretty amazing afterwards!  I paid a bit more attention to my running form tonight, as Saturday night towards the end of my run, my right shoulder was cramping up.  Of all the places, right? Tonight I tried to make sure I didn't slouch and that I stood up straight while I ran and it seemed to help the old shoulders.  My pace tonight was a little slow at first, but then I got into a groove and my average pace was 12:39, which I was pretty pleased with. 

"Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going." 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Before and midway through pics

I think it might be time to share some before and after pictures, but really they aren't true after pics since I'm planning to lose another 50 lbs.  So let's call them "midway through" pictures.  I had Matt take some before pictures back in March and they are pretty gnarly.  I remember intentionally being grumpy in the pictures and they are just not pretty.  What's more, I was already about 20 lbs into my weight loss journey when he took them, so I don't really have official before pictures.  I found some pictures from last year, though, that I think paint the picture.

So without further ado, I present me circa 2012.  

May 2012 with my boys at the Zoo.  Nearly 2 months postpartum 

October 2012; please ignore the goofy face and awkward stance. This was Halloween and I was a thief. My oldest son was a police officer trying to catch me.  This might be the only picture I have of me that is close to my heaviest weight.

And now, here I am today, August 11, 2013!

50 lbs gone and feeling great! 
I will share my starting weight at some point along with my current weight, but I'm not quite ready to do that yet, so instead I prefer to just speak in terms of pounds lost. I admire those who post pictures of the scale on their weigh-in days, but that's not quite me...yet. Maybe someday. 

I took the boys swimming today, which is always fun.  Both boys are like fish in the water and that makes me happy.  I love swimming and always have, so it makes my heart happy seeing them enjoy it as much as I do.

I also took a long nap with Jack today (swimming always makes me tired and super hungry!) so we missed our opportunity to go for a walk at JB.  I ended up doing some cross-training on the elliptical in the basement, which is not my ideal workout, but it was better than nothing.  Plus, I had an added bonus of an imaginative 6 year old keeping me company.  I normally workout downstairs after both boys go to bed, but Nick was still up when I starting working out.  So, we had a sword fight while I was on the elliptical, which was quite entertaining.  He had his plastic sword and I had an empty wrapping paper tube, so I'm sure I don't need to tell you who won that battle.  I love that kid and his wild imagination!  It definitely made my workout more enjoyable and helped the time pass quickly. 

"Let every bead of sweat motivate you a little bit more." 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

50 lbs gone, gone, gone

I can finally, officially say that I've lost 50 lbs!  The MyFitnessPal badge on my blog is not rounding up today!  As of my weigh-in this morning, I've lost 50.1 lbs since January 5th and it feels great!  It's been a long road, for sure, with challenges galore, but it's certainly been worth it and I'm excited for the rest of my journey.

Speaking of challenges, let me tell you about my journey to the grocery store tonight.  It was kind of comical in retrospect. My poor Mama is under the weather, so after my run (more on that below) I stopped by the store to pick up some groceries for her.  I talked myself out of buying easily a 1/2 dozen things I didn't need.  I cut down the candy aisle to get to the back of the store (I didn't realize that it was the candy aisle, honest) and all movie candy was on sale for $1.  Hmm, Mom might want some Junior Mints to make her feel better, maybe I should get some, too.  "No, you don't need Junior Mints."  So, I head down the ice cream aisle to get something for Mom.  Maybe I could get a small, one-serving size container of ice cream.  "No, Laura, you don't need ice cream." (I should note that some of my restraint was more budget related.  Freaking $4 for a tiny thing of ice cream.  Crazy!)  Then, as I leave the bread aisle, I see it.  The bakery.  I love cherry pie.  A lot.  And I know this particular grocery store carries pie by the slice.  That seems like a rational solution.  I'll just buy myself a sliver of a piece of cherry pie.  I have it in my hands and I look to see the calorie content.  Except that it's not listed.  I'm pretty sure if the calorie content isn't listed, it's bad news.  Plus, I remember that my birthday is next weekend (who am I kidding?  I didn't forget) and that I will surely be celebrating with some type of delectable cake; the kind with the good butter cream icing.  So I put the pie down.  Then I see cherry Twizzler Pull-and-Peels by the cash register.  AH!  I just told Matt this morning that I was craving cherry Pull-and-Peels.  "Don't do it, Laura.  If you buy a bag of Twizzlers, you will eat a bag of Twizzlers."  I'd like to think that my crazy cravings were due to the fact that I just finished a run, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't it entirely.  I might be having sugar withdrawal. In any case, I managed to leave the store with only the stuff for my Mom and a gallon of milk for our house, since we were out.  I was actually kind of amazed by my willpower.

My run tonight was pretty good, with a little bit of unexpected excitement at the end.  As I headed out to run, I was still undecided about how long I was going to run.  I figured I would just gauge how I felt near the end to decide if I was going for 2.0 or pushing through to 2.2.  I ended up running 2.0 miles and it was a pretty good run.  I suppose I could have gone for 2.2 and probably would have made it, but at 2.0 miles, I was back to my car and I didn't feel like running around for another .2.  Secondly, 2.0 miles has been a good challenge for me, so I think I'll keep at it for at least another run before increasing my mileage.  Unless I feel super spectacular on Monday, in which case, I might push for 2.2.

The excitement at the end of my run was courtesy of some jackass in a pickup truck near the end of my route.  On the days that I run at home, I've switched my route to a flat trail by my house.  Much as I love JB, I cannot tackle those hills yet. It's great for walking and short running spurts, but I don't think I'm physically ready to run those hills.  The trail I run on is fairly wooded, but near the area where I park, it runs parallel to some parking lots.  By one particular lot, there is a chain link fence covered by some brush.  As I was running by the fence, I hear a deafening roar and I look through the brush to see a pick-up truck coming at the fence (and me).   My heart starts pounding and I booked it as fast as I could.  Seconds before hitting the fence, the driver turns at the last minute and I realize that the idiot driver is doing donuts in the parking lot.  Not only is he doing donuts, but he is doing them at an absurdly fast speed.  Several times he came near the fence I was running next to and I couldn't tell if he was drunk, just an idiot, or both.  In any case, I kept up my speed just to get the hell out of there.  He did donuts for a few minutes and then left the lot.  People like that should have their licenses suspended.

How do you handle grocery store temptations?  Have you had any interesting encounters while exercising outdoors? 

"A huge part of losing weight is believing you can do it and realizing it's not going to happen overnight." 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Playing Catch Up

You might have noticed an absence of a blog post from yesterday; someone (who shall remain nameless) might have fallen asleep at 8 p.m.  And it felt good.  I thought I might wake up and blog when Matt came to bed, but that didn't happen.  I was in a deep and blissful sleep until my sweet baby boy woke me up at 2 a.m.  It was a nice 6 hour stretch though and I'll take it.

Yesterday was a regularly scheduled cross-training day and I figured I would go to the Rec Center at lunch and bike.  That was a fun adventure.  There are three types of bikes there; two recumbent and one tall-boy.  I went to my trusty, favorite recumbent bike and it kept telling me to reset and the display screen was a bunch of gobbledygook. I tried resetting it several times to no avail.  Not to worry, as I moved on to my second favorite bike.  It wouldn't even turn on as I was pedaling.  Blast!  So, as a last resort, I climbed up on the tall-boy with the least comfortable seat ever.  I'm not going to lie, it wasn't the best workout ever.  Besides the uncomfortable seat, I couldn't get the resistance set to a level that was challenging enough for me.  I suppose it was better than doing nothing, but it wasn't a sweaty enough workout for me.

Today was a somewhat unplanned rest day.  I knew I wasn't going to workout at lunch, for several reasons.  I've worked out everyday at lunch this week and I kind of wanted to have an actual lunch break.  Secondly, I had a lot of meetings today and I wanted to be somewhat presentable and not like I outran a Zombie attack. So I kicked around running after work, but it was a little rainy out.  Not pouring by any means, but enough to declare today a rest day.

My plan is to run at some point tomorrow, but I'm still debating about whether it will be a 2.0 miler or 2.2.  Maybe I should take note of the quote below (thanks, N!) since I keep thinking I can't tackle 2.2. 

"I do because I can. I can because I want. I want because you said I couldn't" 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mile by Mile

...Or maybe that post title should read .20 of a mile by .20 of a mile.  In any case, I managed to eek out a 2.0 mile run today, which felt pretty amazing (not during the run, but after)!  I'm amazed because it was just barely two weeks ago that I worked up the nerve to try to run a mile straight and here I am running 2.0 miles!  It just reiterates the point I keep making to myself that this is really more of a mental challenge for me rather than a physical challenge (although today on my run, my calves might have begged to differ).

I, of course, picked the hottest and muggiest day of the week to attempt to run farther than I've ever run in my life, but I'm to the point where I'm not letting excuses get in my way, so a little heat and humidity weren't going to stop me.  About .40 of a mile in and I wasn't sure I was going to make it; I felt incredibly sluggish, hot, and my calves were screaming at me.  Luckily, I had mentioned to some co-workers that I was going to try 2.0 miles and I'm glad I did, because that kept me going.  That and there were so many other people running at the park, that I felt encouraged to keep up (I'm looking at you older, hairy man brazenly running without your shirt on. If he can do it, darn it, so can I). 

Despite the fact that I felt sluggish, my pace certainly didn't reflect it.  I have been consistently running between a 13:30 - 13:50 mile, but today, my first mile was 12:36 (!) and my second mile was around 12:56.  I definitely didn't feel like I was going that pace, but I'll take it.  

On another note, I'm kicking around changing my training plan. I originally planned on adding .10 of a mile every time I ran, but since Saturday, I've been increasing my runs by .20 of a mile.  Today's run was challenging for me, though, and I'm wondering if I should stick to 2.0 miles for a week or two to build up my endurance before I start adding more mileage.  I guess I will see how I feel on Friday when I set out to run.

As a follow-up to the Unstoppable Race from July 28th, I found out today that the Race raised $10,000 for the One Fund for victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy.  I'm honored to have been a part of this Race to show support for the running community and the people of Boston. 

"There are no gains without pains."  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A sweet NSV and Birthday Challenge Update

I had a pretty awesome NSV (non-scale victory today), which I will share in a minute, but first, it's time for the Birthday Challenge update.  Week 7 is in the books and I've lost 1.8 lbs since last week, for a grand total of 11.6 lbs since June 18th.  I'm so proud of my progress so far and I'm looking forward to finishing the challenge.  My birthday is in exactly 12 days, so the final push is on!

I've discovered a lot of great new Tweeps in the last few weeks, and as such, have gained some great new followers, too.  One such new Twitter friend, Greta the Runner (@MrsGretaMonter), posted the below Tweet today and it absolutely made my day:
How cool is that?  I'm counting that as a huge non-scale victory!  One of my goals for this blog, in addition to holding myself accountable for my weight loss goals, was to hopefully inspire others to meet their own weight loss goals.  It was amazing to see Greta's Tweet and to know that in some small way, I inspired her to start her own weight loss challenge!  To keep up with Greta's progress, check out her blog ( or follow her on Twitter.  Good luck, Greta; you got this!

I was able to get a quick workout in at lunch on the elliptical and it actually felt pretty good working a different set of muscles.  Plus it was a tad muggy outside today, so an indoor workout was pretty appealing.

"Set your fitness goals high and don't stop till you get there." 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Run-day

I was pretty pumped heading into today's run, because I had such a glorious run on Saturday night, but my run this afternoon wasn't quite as spectacular.  Before I headed out for my run, I was fluctuating between trying to run 1.7 miles, which would be my regularly planned .10 increase, running 1.8 miles (a .20 increase over Saturday's run), or pushing myself to run 2 miles, just because I think I can do it.

As I began my run, I knew it was going to be a tricky one.  My calves were cramping and I just felt sluggish, so I'm wondering if I wasn't properly hydrated heading into the run.  In any case, I was pretty sure that today was not going to be my 2.0 mile day, but I really wanted to push myself to go 1.8 and I did it!  1.8 miles ran, albeit rather slowly, but 1.8 miles nonetheless.

I tried a new path at the park by my office and it was nice to change things up a bit! The weather was pretty perfect for a run, too, with temps in the 70's and an overcast sky.  I'm hoping that on Wednesday, I can push myself to run 2.0 miles straight, so wish me luck!

When I workout at lunch, I tend to go back to my office to decompress for a minute, cool-off, and eat my lunch quickly before I change back into my dress clothes.  I knew someday it would bite me in the tush and that day was today.  The President of the college I work for happened to swing by our office today for an impromptu visit right after I got back and there I was sweaty and gross in my workout clothes; a spectacular sight to behold, I'm sure.  Lesson learned: change out of workout clothes immediately after workout!

Lunchtime has become the ideal time for my workouts, because I am not, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be a morning person and it's nice to have evenings free to spend with my guys.  Although, it has been nice having the sun set later at night so I can grab a workout in the evening if need be.  Come winter, I might and that's a huge might, have to reconsider and start dragging myself out of bed to go run in the morning before work.

When is your ideal time to workout?  

"There are plenty of difficult obstacles in our path. Don't allow yourself to become one of them." 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Almost halfway there!

You might notice that over there on the right side of my blog is a MyFitnessPal badge and you might also notice that it says I've lost 50 lbs!!  Oh happy day!  Now, in fairness, the badge rounds up, because I've actually only lost 49.5 lbs as of this morning, but it's still pretty darn exciting.  I will, of course, share the happy news when I officially lose that last .5 lb to make it to 50 lbs, which will hopefully be this week.  50 lbs will be nearly halfway to my overall weight loss goal (106.2 lbs) and tonight, I set a short-term goal to help me get there.

This made for good conversation tonight with the hubs while we went on a walk with the boys after dinner.  Matt is doing an awesome job losing weight, too, and he has lost almost 25 lbs since the first of the year! We talked about our short-term and long-term weight loss goals and we decided that we'd each like to lose about 26 lbs before the end of the year.  It's a challenging goal to be sure, especially with the holiday filled months of October, November, and December, but I think we are both up to the challenge.

Losing that 26 lbs will put me within 30 lbs of my goal weight and will put me at a weight that I have not seen since either my senior year of high school or my freshman year of college.  If I can lose another 15 lbs before my 1/2 marathon in April, my end weight will be well within my grasp.

So, in summary, my weight loss goals are as follows:

  • Finish the Birthday Challenge (official update on Tuesday, but things are looking good!)
  • Based on my weight this morning, lose another 26.7 lbs by December 31st.
  • Lose an additional 15 lbs between January 1st and April 6th, 2014
  • Lose the last 15 lbs after April 6th (hopefully before next summer)
There is a lot of hard work on the road ahead, but it really helps me set goals like this for myself and see the big picture; it makes the journey seem more manageable.  I am incredibly proud of the progress I've made and I am so glad to be rid of the nearly 50 lbs I've lost (good riddance!).  

Do you have any weight loss goals for the reminder of the year?  If so, feel free to share below and we can hold one another accountable. 

"Choosing a weight loss goal and sticking to it changes everything." 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Crushed it

I had a great day today that ended with a kick ass run; doesn't get much better than that!  I got to sleep in a little bit today since we did most of the back-to-school shopping yesterday (the original plan was to get up early this morning and beat the crowds) and then I ran some errands with my Mom and the boys.

One of our errands was stopping by a local running store to get some new running shoes for yours truly and I'm happy to say that I'm the proud owner of a new pair of shoes. I brought in my tried and true pair of Asics so that they could take a look at my wear pattern and see what shoe might be good for me next.  It came as no surprise to me that my dear shoes were long overdue for retirement.  I tried on the next generation of Asics and while they were pretty solid shoes, I didn't care for the color scheme.  I realize that pretty colors aren't anywhere near as important as a good shoe that is going to support my feet the way they need to be supported, but a girl has to like they way her shoes look at least a little bit.  I tried on a pair of Saucony Omni 12's and a pair of Brooks (can't remember the model) and they all seemed to fit my feet pretty well.  So at that point, I made the decision to go with the Saucony's because I loved the feel on my feet (it really felt like I wasn't wearing any shoes at all), I loved the way they looked and I've heard a lot of great things lately about the brand.  (Note: I was not asked by Saucony to review the shoes, nor were they provided to me.  I purchased the shoes and am sharing my opinion of my own volition.) 

My lovely new Saucony Omni 12's. L.O.V.E.
I was reminded today at my shoe fitting that I have a problem with overpronation when I walk/run (my ankles and feet roll in and they shouldn't roll in as much as they do. Some pronation is normal, but too much is not so good), so my previous pair of Asics and the new Saucony's have extra arch support to help remind my feet to pronate properly.

I was so excited to try my new shoes out tonight on my run!  Matt knew I was trying to tackle 1.4 miles and he kindly suggested that I wear my old shoes on my run tonight and give my Saucony's a test walk tomorrow, but I already had the new shoes on and laced, and let's be honest, I'm a little rebellious, so I went on my run with the new shoes.

I freaking crushed my goal of running 1.4 miles!  This girl ran 1.6 miles and could have kept going!  I really thought about trying to make it to 2 miles, but I decided to not be over-zealous.  I was nervous going into tonight's run because it was crazy humid and my 1.3 mile run on Thursday was tricky, but I also didn't bring water with me that night and I was incredibly thirsty, which probably did not do me any favors.  I clearly didn't need to be nervous, because I got this.  I know I'm going to have bad training days and obstacles to overcome the next few months, but tonight, more than ever, I realized, I can do this 10K in October and I can do the 1/2 marathon in April!  I think this will be my mantra over the course of my training (and I'm already thinking of a t-shirt to plaster this on):  I got this!

I don't know if my awesome run tonight was due to:
  1. My amazing new shoes
  2. The podcast I was listening to tonight was fantastic; it was all about creative running costumes for themed races and my mind was filled with ideas for my Halloween 10K, thus making the time go by blissfully fast
  3. The fact that I brought a 16.9 oz. bottle of water with me and drank it all on my run
  4. The fact that I put a grape flavored Nuun tablet in the above mentioned water bottle and got some much need electrolytes (I've been wanting to try Nuun for awhile; again, I've heard great things, and they had sample tablets for sale at the running store, so I grabbed a few.  It was a little strange at first and I think it's an acquired taste.  It definitely grew on me towards the end of my run, though. It was a little fizzy at first, not exactly carbonated, just fizzy, but it was a nice change from plain old water. I have a sample of Tri-Berry to try next, so I'll keep you updated on the Nuun progress) 
  5. I finally found my self-confidence and quieted all of the negative thoughts in my head about how I can't do this and how my body isn't built for this
  6. All of the above
Quite frankly, it doesn't matter to me whether any of the above had an impact on my run, because it was a great run and I know I can do this.  I know I can push myself farther than I ever thought possible and I can reach my goals and that feels pretty damn sweet. 

"What's Beautiful: getting to the place just beyond where you think you can go." 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Rest day...or was it?

I had planned on today being a cross-training day, either on the elliptical or on a walk with my fellas.  Sadly, mother nature had other ideas and literally rained on our parade, so no walk for tonight.  I guess it turned into more of a rest day, if you call back-to-school shopping a "rest."

Since it was raining, we decided to go get Matt and Nick some shoes since it was tax-free weekend and the shoe store was having a buy one, get one half-off sale.  They both got two new pairs of shoes at a pretty good price, including some pretty sweet St. Louis Cardinals shoes for my favorite 6 year old.  Then I somehow convinced my husband that we should just swing by Walmart next door so I could grab Nick's school supplies.  Bless his heart, because he came with me, helped grab school supplies and maneuver through the infinite number of people at Walmart on a Friday night.  I'm pretty sure it was his idea of hell.  The things you do for love, right?  We managed to get almost all of the things on Nick's supply list, so I don't have too much to finish up this weekend.  I'm also hoping to get my new running shoes this weekend and take advantage of no sales tax! 

Despite all of the walking and shopping tonight, I'm going to count today as a rest day, but I'm planning to go for a run tomorrow.

Speaking of back-to-school shopping, perhaps you can help me settle a debate with the hubs.  Growing up, before the first day of school, I always remember going shopping for a new backpack, lunchbox, and a first day of school outfit (right, Mom?), and so I always do the same for Nick and will do the same for Jack-Jack.  My husband says tonight as I'm telling him this, "ah that explains it. Must be an only child thing."  Now, I'll be the first to admit I have some very obvious only child tendencies and I might be a tad spoiled, but I don't think this is an only child thing.  

Growing up, did you get a new backpack and lunchbox and maybe even a new, first day of school outfit? 

What were your back-to-school traditions growing up? 

"Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results." 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tentative 1/2 Marathon Training Plan

I am starting to get super focused on my 1/2 know, the one that's next April.  Why so soon, you ask?  Because I'm pretty sure I need every damn day of the next 8 months to get ready for this goal of mine.  I am really excited, don't get me wrong, I'm just realistic about what it's going to take for me to be ready come April 6th, 2014.

I've given it some thought the past few days and I think I have a tentative training plan.  After I ran 1.1 miles straight last week, I pushed myself this week and increased my distance by .10 of a mile on Tuesday for a total of 1.2 miles.  I did the same increase tonight after work and ran 1.3 miles.  It was not easy and at about .3 of a mile in I didn't think I would make it (not sure what was going on, it was a little warm and my legs were stiff or something), but I pushed through and finished my goal of 1.3 miles.  I think if I continue to increase my distance by .10 of a mile every other day that I can be nearly race ready by April.  My other hope is that as I continue to lose weight (and build up my endurance) that perhaps I can increase my runs by more than .10 of a mile later this fall.  I'm going to see how it goes though.

My overall plan is to run 3x/week, cross-train 3x/week, and take a rest day each week.  I also need to incorporate strength training in the plan, too.  I'm a bit neglectful when it comes to strength training and I think it would do me a world of good.  I just need to make myself do it.

I had a pretty great non-scale victory yesterday that I forgot to share.  They were giving away some shirts at work yesterday and typically anytime we get shirts for work, I order a 2XL.  However, yesterday I asked for a few XL shirts to have as workout shirts and they fit!!!  They aren't loose by any means, but they fit by golly and I wore one on my run tonight.  I also figured out over the weekend that I've dropped 3 pant sizes since the first of the year.  In fact, most of my clothes are so baggy right now that they look a little slouchy.  I'm slowly buying clothes in smaller sizes, but I don't want to get too much since, in theory, this will just be a small stop on the weight loss train and hopefully smaller sizes are within reach (I'm looking at you size Medium shirts!  Someday!).

Do you have any suggestions for 1/2 marathon training?
Do you have any non-scale victories you'd like to share? 

"There is no one giant step that does it, it's a lot of little steps."