Monday, December 30, 2013

Weight Loss and Nutrition during training

I have been thinking a lot the past few days about fueling properly for my half marathon training and wondering if I should stick to a formal nutrition plan for the next few months.  With that being said, I know myself and I know that I am not one for following a routine to the letter of the law, so I don't want to set myself up for failure in that regard.  When I had gestational diabetes, I had to follow a fairly strict diet and I was able to do so, but it wasn't for me and I admit that freely.  I stuck to that diet for Jack; I wanted to do everything I could to make sure he was healthy and unaffected by my gestational diabetes.  I would do just about anything for someone else, but why can't I do the same for myself?

I digress.  My real point with this post is to see what others have done while doing long-term training for an intense race.  Did you increase your protein intake and decrease carbs?  Or did you carb load? Or did you stick to your regular diet?  As there is with just about any other subject, including half marathon training plans, there is a lot of great info on the internet, but I'd love to hear from fellow runners about what worked best for them.   

In addition to starting my half training after soon, I also want to get back on MyFitnessPal to track my caloric intake and start losing weight again.  Although, much of what I've read indicates that during training, weight loss might be unattainable and unrealistic as your body builds muscle.  Am I taking too much on by training for the half and trying to lose weight?  Should I just focus on the half marathon until April?  What has been your experience during training; did your weight loss stall as you built muscle?  I should note that I don't feel like my weight defines me, but I still have a weight loss goal that I would like to achieve in 2014, so I want to be realistic and if I need to stretch that goal a little further into the next year to accommodate my training plan, then I will.

I can hardly believe that tomorrow is the last day of 2013.  As usual, I feel like the past year has flown by, but it is a great time to reflect and I have so many wonderful memories from the past year that bring a smile to my face.  I also love the promise of the new year; a new start, a blank calendar, a blank journal to set new goals (I might have a slight obsession with blank books. I have several in my nightstand just waiting for their purpose in my world), and a myriad of opportunities to make new memories.

Tomorrow I will post my update on The Final Nut of 2013 Challenge!

Cori at Olive to Run ( had this great quote posted on her Facebook page a few weeks ago and I love it!  I feel like I always put limits on myself, but running has shown me that there really aren't any limits on what I can do in all areas of my life.  While I have felt off the past few weeks as far as working out and eating well, I just need to keep in mind that this is just a plateau that I need to move beyond..

"If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it'll spread over into the rest of your life. It'll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Getting excited for Half Marathon Training

It was a gorgeous day here again with mild temperatures, so after putting away an inordinate amount of clean laundry, I took the boys to the park for some fun on the swings and slides.  We were not the only ones with that idea and the park was busy, but the boys had a great time.  I think Jack could spend hours in the swing and Nick had a blast running around like a madman.  My mom met us at the park, which was nice, and then we went to Target so the boys could spend some of their Christmas money.  It was pretty cute watching Nick check out at the register.  He was really excited to buy his toys on his own and use his "credit" (gift) card.  He looked so grown up!  We also had dinner with my Mom and one of her good friends and we had a great time.  

I am starting to get excited, yes excited, about training for, and completing, my half marathon.  I know it is going to be difficult, challenging, and exasperating at times, but I also know that it will be rewarding, uplifting, and fun at other times.  I cannot wait to cross the finish line on April 5th and see my hard work and training pay off.  So today, I took one step towards that goal and I purchased stickers for my training schedule while we were out running errands!  It may seem silly, but I was pretty darn excited to buy those stickers.  I can't wait to start doing my training runs so I can start putting those stickers on my paper training log.  Next step is to actually print said paper training log.  Baby steps!  

Jessica at A Little More Each Day ( blogged today about some awesome new running toys she got for Christmas and I love the 13.1 princess themed car decal she got from her husband! (  I admit that I cannot wait until I can get a pink 13.1 decal for my car this spring!  

I hope you all had a great Saturday! 

"Setting running goals is the first step in changing how you look, think, and feel." 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Funday

I love winter break, I really do.  I know I'm spoiled in that I get the week between Christmas and New Years Eve off, but it is good for my soul.  I feel caught up on life (laundry, dishes, quality time with the boys, picking up clutter, etc.) and it feels great!  I think the festivities of the past few days caught up with Jack, because that sweet little boy slept off and on all morning, which he never does.  It was lovely.  Both boys were in bed with me and Nick watched cartoons for awhile while Jack and I cat-napped.  Blissful, I tell you.

When we finally dragged ourselves out of bed, I realized how nice it was outside and we headed to the zoo for some afternoon fun.  Going to our local zoo is probably one of my favorite things to do with the boys and we haven't been in a few months.  We, of course, rode the train first at Nick's request.  My oldest has been into trains since he was about a year and a half and I think he is going to be a lifelong railroad enthusiast.  Then we took a little walk to visit the elephants, because it was Raja's (one of the elephants) 21st birthday.  We also went to the children's zoo and the insect house before heading home for the afternoon.  It was in the 50's this afternoon, so it was nice to be outside for a little while without freezing!  I think all of the fresh air did us some good!

I came across this video a few weeks ago and have been meaning to share it for some time. I guess there is no time like the present!

It's an interesting look at "fat talk" and how we have been bashing our own body images.  We would never dream of saying these hurtful things to our friends or family, yet we say them to ourselves, and about ourselves, all the time.  I admit, I do it to myself and I have to stop.  Matt will sweetly tell me how beautiful I am and sometimes my response is something to the effect of "you mean beautiful and fat?"  What on earth is the point of me saying that?  It was actually embarrassing to admit to saying the above comment, but I have honestly said it before and I have to get out of that viscous cycle.  Yes, I would like to lose weight for my health and to feel better in general, but I am also damn proud of the body I have.  It has birthed and nourished two beautiful boys, it has walked me through countless miles in life, holding me up sometimes far longer than my brain though it could, it has provided comfort and love in the form of hand holding, snuggles, and hugs for my loved ones, and it has given me good health and vitality for the past 31 years.  What is not to love about that?  Food for thought on this Friday night. 

Have you found yourself saying detrimental things about yourself and your body recently?  Let's vow to change our mindset when it comes to our body image!

"There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty." 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Stress Eating

Hello, major setback.  I have got to find a better means of dealing with stress than snacking.  I realize that much of the problem is that I have a lot of deliciousness in my house right now (baking day was, after all, a success) and a lack of willpower, but I was pretty out of control today.  I was snacking on just about anything and everything I could find, but it did little to quell my stress levels.  I know better than that, I really do.  Binge eating like I did today, in fact, has the opposite effect, because now, in addition to my other stress, I'm also stressed (and a little pissed) about all the crap I ate today.  Viscous cycle, stress eating.  I should have gone for a run instead. Gah.

I guess it should come as no surprise then that I am more than likely not going to meet The Final Nut of 2013 Challenge.  I will do a complete post on this challenge next week closer to the 31st (since that was my deadline), but I am not feeling confident at all.  Honestly, I haven't been on the scale in a few weeks and my pants feel a smidge tighter. As I mentioned recently, I have been allowing myself some flexibility the past few weeks in anticipation of a pretty intense training and diet regimen for the half in April, so I'm only a little disappointed, but I may feel differently after I do a weigh-in.  More on the challenge next week!

I've been enjoying some quality time with the boys while we are on winter break and I've been fairly productive, too.  It's amazing what you can accomplish without the daily grind of school and work!  Nick had a play date with a friend today, so Jack and I got some one-on-one time, which was nice.  He was a little more snuggly this afternoon, so I enjoyed it while it lasted.  I guess he wasn't trying to keep up with his big brother, which left more time for cuddles!

On a random note, I was so excited to hear that The Sing-Off was coming back this year!  I've loved the past three seasons and I was pretty sad when it didn't return last year.  This season has been great and I've spent the past few nights catching up on Hulu, although I did get a spoiler alert about the winner via Facebook.  I managed to avoid the reveal of the winner on my E! app, but alas, the show's FB page posted the winner plain as day.  Oh well, I still enjoy watching the shows, even though I know the outcome.  I'm pleased with the winners (I won't reveal the name, in case anyone else is still catching up), but I loved so many of the groups this season.  On the finale one of the groups, Ten, sang Joyful, Joyful with Shawn Stockman (of Boyz II Men fame) and it was fantastic.  For your listening and viewing pleasure:

Have a great Friday everyone!

"Dealing with stress in a better way is the key to breaking the cycle of stress eating." 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you have been enjoying the magic of the holiday season!  I have found myself incredibly busy over the past week or so between finishing up Christmas shopping, crafting (I might have stayed up until 3 this morning finishing a sock monkey for a little boy I know), baking, and enjoying time with my family.  We had a really wonderful Christmas and we are looking forward to a few relaxing days for winter break.

I hadn't originally planned to bake this year, but all of the memories of my Grandma baking around the holidays inspired me to do some baking with the boys on Monday.  We made chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, nutty marshmallow fudge, and buckeyes.  Yum!  Jack enjoyed watching us and eating the chocolate chips and Nick was my helper.  We had a great time!

I do admit, though, that I have been really lax as far as running and eating healthy, so I'm looking forward to getting back in the groove next week.  I've decided that in addition to using an app of some sort for my half marathon training, I am also going to use a paper schedule.  I saw someone post their paper schedule complete with smiley face stickers for days completed and that really spoke to me.  I like to see the big picture as far as training goes and this worked really well for me when I was training for the marathon relay earlier this year.  One of my awesome teammates made a 12 week calendar countdown to the race for me and included stickers so I could mark the days I ran or worked out.  It was a wonderful tool for me and I think having something similar for my half will be valuable.

I'm also looking forward to getting back into the blogging groove! :)

I'm trying to keep the below quote in mind daily.

"Love who you are." 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Things are getting serious...

I had a little panic attack yesterday afternoon about my upcoming half marathon training.  I was talking to a co-worker about all of the plans I was considering and I realized that one of the plans I have looked at (the Another Mother Runner Half Marathon: Finish It Plan) is actually a 15 week plan and not 12 weeks.  I have said all along that I will start training after the first of January and that would give me approximately 12 weeks  (but closer to 13 in actuality) to train for the half marathon in early April.  I thought that all of the plans I was looking at were 12 week programs, but when I realized the AMR plan was 15 weeks, I started to (irrationally) think that I wouldn't have time to adequately prepare for the race.

It took me a few minutes to come down off the ledge and accept the fact that it will be ok if I only get in 13 weeks of training.  The reality of it is that I am going to do a hybrid training program anyway so I won't be sticking to one specific program. I think my freak-out is probably a natural part of the process of committing to do a half-marathon and I guess it was good to get it out of my system now.  A little bit of pre-training jitters never hurt anyone.

I forgot to mention in my Hot Chocolate Race re-cap that I got to try out my new Saucony Curve Crusader sports bra!  I l.o.v.e. it!  It has been ages (and ages and ages) since I got a new sports bra and it was long overdue.  I love the hot pink color I picked and more importantly, the style of the Curve Crusader, particularly the crisscross design in the back which gives much needed extra support.  It was so nice to not have to double up on sports bras for the race!  In my sleepy haze the morning of the race, though, I forgot to wear my Saucony Runderpants, but I'm looking forward to trying them out soon!  (Disclaimer:  I won the Saucony Curve Crusader bra and Runderpants in a contest sponsored by Another Mother Runner.  All opinions expressed are my own) 

Have you experienced any pre-training jitters?  How did you alleviate those jitters? 

"Allow yourself to be a beginner.  No one starts out excellent." 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hot Chocolate 5K Recap

I managed to drag myself out of my warm, cozy bed bright and early yesterday morning to participate in the Hot Chocolate 5K and I'm glad I did!  Luckily, the weather wasn't quite as cold as they predicted and it was a "balmy" 25 degrees when I got in my car a little after 7 a.m.  Race organizers requested that participants arrive at 6:30 for a 7:30 start, but it was far too cold to be standing around waiting for an hour, so I ignored that part of the pre-race e-mail.  I planned to arrive at the race site around 7, but the snooze button was calling my name, so I ended up not leaving my house until a little after 7.  Normally, that would have been enough time to get downtown and get to the starting line.  I forgot about the road closures, though, due to the 15K race that they were also holding that morning, so I had a little detour getting to the starting line.  I was supposed to start in the second wave of runners, but I just barely made it to the starting line in time for the third (and final) wave of runners.

Bundled up, somewhat awake, and ready to run!
I read a few reviews from years past that were a bit on the negative side when it came to the Hot Chocolate Race, but I was really impressed with the race and I would definitely participate again (although hopefully in warmer weather)!  Below are some thoughts on the race and cold weather running:

A good (albeit cold) morning in the Lou
  • Just as packet pick-up was, the race itself was very well-organized.  The starting corrals were clearly marked, the point at which the 5K separated from the 15K was well-marked (I have an irrational fear of missing a cut-off and running a much longer race), and the area where we received our finishers mug was efficient and fast (once you finally got to the tent).
  • The race volunteers were incredibly friendly and helpful.  I spoke to one volunteer at an intersection while I waited to cross the street as the first wave of runners passed and he told me he had been at the race site since 4:30 a.m.!  I thanked him for coming out in the cold so early and for being so friendly. I wouldn't have faulted him for being a little cranky due to the early wake-up call and the cold, but he never once complained and was so jovial!  All of the other volunteers I came in contact with were just as friendly and I made sure to thank all of the other volunteers that I saw that morning.  Races like this are nothing without the volunteers and I appreciate their time and the energy that they bring to a race! 
  • I had entirely too many layers on my upper body, but not enough layers on my lower body.  I wore a long sleeve Under Armour shirt, my Hot Chocolate Hoodie, and a light weight fleece coat.  I also had on my earband to keep my ears warm.  On my lower half, I had my compression capris.  I was practically sweating to death about midway through the race, but my upper thighs were frozen!  Interestingly enough, the few inches of my legs that were exposed due to the length of my capris were not cold at all, just my upper thighs.  As hot as I was during the race, though, I got pretty chilly as soon as I was done running.  I probably would have been fine with just a long sleeve shirt on top and perhaps I should have added some shorts over my capris to keep my upper legs warm, but at least I will know for next time! 
  • I ran "naked" (no, no, no. I, of course, had clothes on...see above)...electronically, that is.  I didn't have time to set up my AMR podcast ahead of time since I barely made it to the starting line to start on time, so I ran without a podcast or music and I also did not track my time and pace using my phone.  I ran electronics-free and it wasn't too terribly bad.  I did miss my podcasts, though!
  • My hoodie with the long-sleeves and the thumb holes was multi-functional in the cold weather.  I used one sleeve to wipe my nose and the other to wipes my eyes, which were running due to the cold wind lashing again my face.  
  • I let myself walk for about 45 seconds shortly after the first water stop.  I'm a little pissed that my brain won out over my legs, but I'm also not going to hold it against myself or beat myself up about it (at least not too much, anyway)
  • I really struggled through parts of the race and I'm not sure if that is a valuable lesson for me in regards to not running consistently or if it is just a reflection of my body working harder in the colder weather.
  • The finishers mug was amazing!  I wasn't sure I would be in the mood for hot chocolate after the race, but boy, did it taste amazing!  It warmed me up and it definitely hit the spot.  The mug also had chocolate fondue, a small banana, a bag of mini pretzels, a package of wafer cookies, a Rice Krispie treat, and a big ol' marshmallow.  I  immediately indulged in the marshmallow and covered it in chocolate and it was divine!  I decided to save the rest of my mug until I got back to my car, however, a funny thing happens on the walk back.  The chocolate re-solidifies!  It made for a nice snack later on yesterday though, after I re-heated the chocolate a bit.  I also loved that the race organizers offered plastic bags for your mug in case you needed to take it home with you.  There was also a moist towelette in the mug, which was perfect for wiping off my face and chocolately hands.
  • My official finishing time was 39:50, which I am thrilled with!  I like the sub-40 5K's and that isn't a bad time at all, considering I haven't run consistently for about the last 2 months. 
The finishers mug filled with all kinds of deliciousness 
Overall, the Hot Chocolate 5K was really fun, well-organized, and delicious and I can't wait to participate again next year!

Did you participate in any races this past weekend? Are there any more races on your calendar for 2013? 

I love this quote and I feel as though it is directed at me, especially at the moment. 

"If you don't find joy in running, don't blame the running.  Blame the you. It's not the running you dislike, it's the place you have put it in your life."

Friday, December 13, 2013

Getting ready for the Hot Chocolate Race

Guilty admission here.  Based on the forecast for Sunday, I have been contemplating skipping the Hot Chocolate Run; I really have no desire to get frost bite.  However, going to the Race expo and packet pick-up this afternoon got me pumped about the race and I will drag myself out of my warm, cozy bed on Sunday and run it.  If for no other reason than the post-race fondue and hot chocolate!

I am fairly certain I will need a mug this size to warm me up after the race Sunday
When I first heard about this race earlier this summer, I was, of course, intrigued by all of the chocolate, but then I saw it.  The hoodie that all of the participants receive.  It was beautiful.  Reflective piping: check.  Zippered pocket on the back hip:  check.  Thumb holes (!!!): check.  I was obsessed with it and knew that I was going to sign up for the race so that I could get myself a hoodie.  Today, after months of waiting, I got to pick up my beloved hoodie.  Isn't she pretty? 

This photo does not do it justice; it's a beaut. 
Thumb holes!  Love, love love! 
The packet pick-up was well-organized and efficient.  I really appreciated that they had an area where you could try on your hoodie and swap sizes, if necessary.  Luckily, the size I ordered was a perfect fit.  I was a little concerned since my weight loss has stalled! There were several booths at the expo and plenty of cold weather gear for purchase.  There were also hot chocolate samples (perfect on this cold, drizzly day) and samples of chocolate covered marshmallows!  Yum!  If this was a preview of the post-race deliciousness, I am in for a treat! 

Although I am not looking forward to the weather on Sunday, I am looking forward to wearing my new hoodie, getting in a good run, and enjoying some chocolate goodies after the fact!

Hot Chocolate Race, here I come! 
Has anyone ever skipped a race due to weather?  I opted to skip a 5K last year when the remnants of a hurricane blew through St. Louis at race time. 

"Never say the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon." 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cold weather running

I received an interesting e-mail today from the organizers of the Hot Chocolate race that I am running on Sunday in regards to the weather on race day.  It was a little intimidating, I admit.  It seems as though the temperature on Sunday at the starting line is expected to be 5 (!) degrees.  In anticipation of the frigid temperatures, the race organizers have made a few adjustments, including canceling the Kids Zone area, changing the requested pace per mile for the 15K from 15 minutes to 13 minutes to reduce the risk of exposure, and altering the wave start times.  The e-mail also mentioned that frostbite can occur within 10-15 minutes of exposure at these temperatures.

I don't feel as though my wardrobe is prepared for this weather.  I have running capris, but I specifically did not invest in a pair of pants, because in all honesty, my legs do not get cold when I run, just my upper body. I imagine, though, that my legs will be cold if it is 5 degrees.  As far as my upper body goes, I have a long sleeve Under Armour shirt that I plan to wear and I am getting a pretty sweet hoodie in my swag bag for the Hot Chocolate race, but do I also need to wear another jacket over that?  I get really hot when I run, but then I wonder, is it possible to be "hot" at all when it is 5 degrees?  The e-mail also suggested wearing a hat since significant heat loss occurs through your head and covering the lower half of your face.  I don't think I will wear a hat, per se, but I am planning to wear an earband I got in Kirksville the last time I ran in cold weather and I think this will be enough for me.  I'm not sure about covering the lower half of my face; I don't want to run in a scarf, so I am wondering what else I could use to cover my face.  So many things to think about with cold weather running!

I know one thing, though, I will be slathering my lips with Aquaphor! I am obsessed with my Aquaphor Lip Repair +Protect.  Last winter, I had a horrible time with chapped lips.  I think it was partly due to the fact that I had an allergic reaction to a new product I tried on my lips, but I was also running a lot in the cold and not protecting my lips.  I tried everything last year and nothing worked, not even lip balms with triple-antibiotics, until I found Aquaphor.  I've heard great things about Aquaphor as far as its moisturizing and anti-chafing benefits, but I had never tried their lip balm.  I'm hooked, though!  My lips started getting chapped really early this year; in October instead of January or February, but I've been using Aquaphor Lip Repair +Protect and it has been a lifesaver!  Disclaimer: I was not asked to review this product.  I am just a huge fan and wanted to share it.  The opinions expressed are my own.
This has been a must-have for me, particularly during this brutal cold spell we've been having!
What tips and tricks would you share regarding cold weather running and what should one wear when running in frigid temperatures?

"You were born with strong, capable legs. Winter does not change that. No excuses. Run." 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year

It really is the most wonderful time of the year, but it also always seems to be the busiest! I promise, I did not fall off the face of the earth, but I have definitely been feeling the hustle and bustle of the holidays; shopping, crafting, parties, decorating, etc.  It is all worth it, though; I really love this time of year and I particularly enjoy watching the holidays through the eyes of my boys!  I am trying not to get too overwhelmed, though, like I was around the end of October.  I don't want to get run down physically and mentally!

Sadly, I haven't had the opportunity to try out my new Saucony sports bra and Runderpants, but I hope to soon!  We had a little bit of a nasty bug running through our house this weekend and I wasn't feeling too well yesterday.  I feel much better today, though!  It looks like our weather will be warming up soon and it looks like prime running weather, which I'm excited about.  It has been really cold here and I have become a bit of a wuss when it comes to the weather.  We are supposed to have a low of 7 degrees tonight and on the way home, I saw a gentleman out for a run wearing a long sleeve shirt and shorts (!).  That's dedication!  Maybe I should take a cue from his persistence?

I've felt like the ultimate slacker the past few weeks and I think that in some ways, I am allowing myself to do so, because I know that come the first of the year, I will need to buckle down and train.  It isn't an excuse, but I guess I am trying to get my slacking out of my system now while I can.  I do have a race coming up on Sunday; the Hot Chocolate 5K and I am very much looking forward to it.  It's not a competitive race for me personally (although a PR is always nice!) and I just plan to enjoy the race and most of all, have fun and eat a lot of chocolate at the end!

Has anyone participated in one of the Hot Chocolate Races?  

"Push ourselves to discover limitations, then push past them." 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Exciting delivery today

Tonight's post is going to be really brief, as I had a really long day at work and am beat!  However, I had to share a little bit of excitement.  I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I won one of the Another Mother Runner Hump Day Giveaway contests (here's the link in case I didn't share: and I was thrilled because my prize included a Saucony Sports Bra of my choosing and one of the new Saucony Runderpants of my choosing.  I have been in desperate need of a new sports bra so being one of the winners of the contest was very apropos.

Well, guess what came in the mail today?  My Saucony swag!  I worked late tonight and was exhausted when I got home, but I was delighted to see a brown box on my front porch when I pulled in the driveway!  It makes me want to get up early tomorrow morning to go for a run to try out the new bra and runderpants (hooray for not having to double up on sports bras anymore!)

Such cute packaging for the Runderpants!

The Runderpants I chose.  Indeed! 

I cannot wait to try this out on my next run!
I can't wait to give these products a try; although, I admit, I already put both on and did a little test jog around the basement and I'm already in love with both products.  I'm excited to see how well both the bra and runderpants do on an actual run and I'll be sure to provide a review soon!

Disclaimer: I won both of these items in a giveaway on the Another Mother Runner website. All opinions expressed are my own. 

"Don't be afraid to give up the good and go for the great." 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Being a slave to the scale

Today was the first day in probably close to 7 months that I didn't weigh myself.  Mind you, this was not a rebellious act on my part to liberate myself from the tedium of the daily weigh in.  I am legitimately afraid of getting on the damn thing.  The past week has really set me back and I'm frustrated, discouraged, yada yada yada.  I really didn't feel as though I ate terribly on Thanksgiving (I only had one serving of turkey, which is not normal for me, I assure you), but the scale seems to think I ate about 5 lbs. of turkey, cranberries, and pie.  I suppose it isn't the scale's fault that I apparently ate too much last week and I'm well aware of the fact that my frustration should be directed at myself and less at the scale.  However, I know I've mentioned this before, but maybe being a slave to the scale is not good for my mental state.

I was reading Katie (Runs for Cookies) Foster's blog post today called "Stupid Scale" ( and when I saw the title, I literally said out loud "Isn't that the truth!" Katie is always inspiring to me and today's post about not letting the scale get under your skin really hit home.  While I do think weighing myself frequently does help keep me in check, the numbers on the scale also don't define me.  I definitely need to get back on track with running and eating better, but I've noticed other changes in myself that can't be accounted for on the scale.  I have noticed some incredible definition in my legs that I've never had, not even when I danced in high school.  My running pace has gradually increased, which means I am getting stronger as a runner.  My clothes are still getting bigger and bigger and I'm buying clothes in sizes I haven't seen in nearly a decade.  So yes, the scale says I have gained a few pounds and honestly, I don't know that this puts me in sight of my end of the year weight loss goal, but I have other ways to measure my success.  I may very well heed Katie's words and take a little break from the scale!

With all of that being said, I really do need to get back on track, so I went out for a run today at lunch and it felt great!  It was not quite 60 degrees like they predicted, but it was still a good day for a run.  I did my usual loop at the park near my office and got just about 2 miles in 21:35, so I kept a pretty good pace, too.

I think I've decide to try MapMyRun for a change instead of the Nike+ app.  I still feel like my Nike+ app is being a bit flaky and until I can get my Garmin (hopefully around Christmas!), I want to see if MapMyRun can give me more accurate readings.  I've heard great things about it, so I will let you know how it goes!

Do you weight yourself every day or less frequently? I'd love to hear what works for others! 

"The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That's it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love." 

Monday, December 2, 2013

I need motivation and a bit of tough love

My oh my; I am feeling the post-Thanksgiving food regret and I really, really, really must get myself back on track.  I feel like I have really been slacking with my end of the year challenge and I'm not sure why.  Well, I have a pretty good guess.  I worked my ass off for my birthday challenge and I think I burned myself out.  I promised myself a day of letting go on my birthday to enjoy eating cake and whatnot, which would have been fine had I stuck to just that one day.  However, one day has turned into countless days of slacking off and I need to re-ignite the fire inside of myself, the ironclad determination, and indestructible willpower that I had over the summer.  Lovely Laura is devolving into marginally Lazy Laura and it's time to turn that around!

I saw last week that Runner's World was promoting a holiday running streak challenge ( by asking people to commit to running a mile every day between Thanksgiving and December 31st.  I think it is a great idea, but admittedly I was intimidated by the challenge and talked myself out of it.  What happened to the girl on fire?  My goodness.  I am not one to back down from a challenge, but this one spooked me for a number of reasons.  1)  To be able to run a mile every day more than likely means I would have to get up early at least several times a week to fit a run in and I like sleep 2) how would I manage to go for a run on Christmas Day? 3) I never run on consecutive days because I am afraid of injury 4) it is supposed to get really cold here in the next few days (after, of course, our lovely 60 degree temps tomorrow, we are supposed to see lows in the teens this weekend. Brr!)

I'm re-reading the above excuses and noticing how ridiculous they are.  Lovely Laura would have the following responses to Lazy Laura:

1) Boo hoo, so you would have to get up early to run.  You know you feel better when you start your day off with exercise and secondly, getting up early might mean that you and the boys get out the door on time some mornings!  Amazing!  Plus, you could still go for runs at lunch, so some days during the week you could "sleep in" a bit.

2) You just do it.  You go for a quick run in the neighborhood while Jack takes a nap between Rounds 1 and 2 of opening presents and while Nick plays with his new toys. You will feel better about eating the delicious, decadent bread that is a Christmas morning breakfast tradition.

3) I don't have much of a comeback for this excuse, because it still does concern me a bit.  However, it's not like I would be running 6 miles a day.  Some days I could go for longer runs, but most days would just be easy runs of a mile or 2.

4) Toughen up, Buttercup.  It's winter.  It's going to be cold for the next 4 months or so and you've run in sleet and snow before.  Bundle up, suck it up and get out there.

So, maybe I can jump on the holiday running streak a little late or do my own running streak.  Has anyone else done a running streak?  If so, for how long?  Would anyone consider doing a running streak? 

I love the quote below; it's a bit of tough love, but it's what Lovely Laura needs to say to Lazy Laura right now!

"I will beat her.  I will train harder.  I will eat cleaner.  I know her weaknesses.  I know her strengths.  I've lost to her before, but not this time.  She is going down.  I have the advantage because I know her well.  She is the old me."