“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” - Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Treadmill, Dreadmill

Hello loves!

So in my attempts at getting better and bouncing back from the run fail, I hit the treadmill on Tuesday!  Long ago, I couldn't dream of a 30 minute 5k.  Now, I hit right around 30, but I've been slowing down.  Yeah, I probably shouldn't be, but I've been focusing on my run/walk patterns and keeping it slow to go longer distances.  I also haven't been running like I should be, so we'll continue to work on that.

Anyway, I did a lovely little interval workout on the treadmill on Tuesday that ended up making me complete a 5k in exactly 30 minutes!  I loved it and felt really good about encouraging people to try it, so decided I'd share it.  I know that running the same speed on the treadmill gets super boring, but it's hard to know when to change it up.  Life on the treadmill can stink, but it's good for you sometimes!

Since I've been running so slow outside recently, this workout provided me with a nice little push, forcing me to run sub-9's for a few mins, then going back to my comfortable 10 min pace.  FYI- outside for my long runs I'm running an average of 11+.  On shorter runs I can stay around 10, and can keep it there for about 3 miles, but then I end up going slower and s l o w e r.

So here you have it!
At the 30 minute mark you'll hit 3.1 miles, which is a 5k.  After that, it's important to take some time to walk it off, not just hop off the treadmill and carry on with life.  As always, don't forget some stretching and such to make sure you stay in a condition that allows you to function!

Do you use the treadmill for training?  Do you push yourself when you use it?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Trying to Get Better...

I seem to have fallen off the wagon... again!  Sorry, life has been a bit hectic lately.

Let's recap:
1. Last week I got sick and partially lost my voice, actually took a sick day, and taught more days than I should have while sick.  Teachers do crazy things for their kids, including not take care of themselves.
2. Last weekend we had our family Christmas party.  Yes, we always do it waaay after Christmas so that everyone can make it.  I love seeing my extended family and watching how we are growing each year.
3. Last Monday I interviewed for a new position (a promotion) and then received word on Tuesday that I got it!!!!  Crazy, whirlwind right now while I transition.  Next Friday will actually be my last day with my kids then I switch schools and take on my new job.  More on that will come when I'm there!
4. I failed at my long run.  I didn't want to talk about it when it happened, but I attempted 17 miles as part of my marathon training about 2 weeks ago and failed. 

More on my long run fail:

Before New Year's was the weekend I was scheduled to do my longest run.  EVER.  I had completed 15 miles 2 weeks prior, but now with family visits and what not, I was unable to train like I had been.  But when a run of 17 miles is looming on the horizon,  you do what you need to do.  Saturday had lots of things going on and snow/rain/sleet, so I decided on a Sunday run, which is becoming my normal.  Well, Sunday brought about a new wrench to throw in my plans.

When I woke up on that particular Sunday, I could hear the wind gusting against the house.  We have new siding and windows, we shouldn't hear wind gusting and insane weather like I was hearing it.  But, alas, I said I'd run, so run I shall.

So I set out for my run.  I decided to start where I normally start, but change up the course a bit, heading in both directions instead of just one.  It was actually smart, since I'd be able to "vary" the wind direction a bit throughout the distance.  Mind you, I never checked the wind speeds, so I was unaware of how bad it actually was.

Well, I started out moving SLOW.  I knew right away that I had started way slower than I wanted to, but figured a run was all I needed, speed wasn't going to matter.  When I hit about mile 11 I realize that birds weren't flying, and when they tried, they were going backwards.  Birds shouldn't be flying backwards.  And when they are, you shouldn't be running, apparently.  By mile 12 I was ready to cry.  My knee was hurting, which had never happened before, and I didn't feel like I could go on.  At mile 13.5, I cracked.  I couldn't go on.  I felt like an absolute failure, but I called Dear and asked him to come pick me up at the next parking area I'd pass.  After I got off the phone I walked another 1/2 mile, almost in tears the entire way, and then waited.

So why did I crack?  Wind is a brutal force, my friends.  When I got home I was watching the weather and they said that they wind gusts all day were 50mph.  Umm, yeah.  After that I realized I was even insane for attempting it, let alone making it 14 miles.  I started to feel stronger and have come to terms with the fact that I failed.  Some even pointed out that I worked way harder to do that 14 than I would have for my 17 on a normal day.

My problem?  I had trouble getting back out there.  Last weekend, 2 weeks later, I finally made it out for a run.  I was sick, I had family events, and other things, but definitely could have made time to run before then.  But, I was scared I couldn't do it.  Well, I can.  And I will.  This weekend I'm attempting 17 again, and I've reworked my training plan.  Because I didn't get to do the 17 I have decided to retry it and make some adjustments to my training schedule.  Because I felt some knee pain I wanted to try again instead of just chugging on.  I'm not injured, my knee was fine for the 7 on Sunday, so I'm good, but want to make sure I don't hurt myself.  Tomorrow marks 2 months until the marathon!
 Foggy, foggy run. It was definitely peaceful, but not really time to stop and enjoy the scenery.
If you know me, you know my irrational fear of geese.  I hated that there were soooo many floating around on Sunday in the fog.  Just creepy!

What's the craziest weather you've run in?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A New Fitness Adventure

Today was a super exciting new opportunity in the fitness world for me!  As you all know, I have a love of running and lifting, but I will also try any class at least once.  Hence my jazzercize experience over summer and my other not so cool class experiences.

My gym class buddy Lori asked me over break if I'd be interested in taking a Kangoo Jumps class that she had seen on Facebook.  It's offered near us through Chakaboom Fitness and she knew I wouldn't refuse.  Apparently everyone else did, losers.

After a fear that I was going to fall on my face or break something, I decided to suck it up and go.  I've never really seem Zumba as appealing since I don't have much coordination, so why not try something similar with an added challenge?  I like challenges!

So what is Kangoo Jumps?

Well, it starts with these:
Think rollerblades, but with bouncy things instead of wheels.  You strap them on just like roller blades, which is nice because then you don't have to worry about any ankle problems, they are in solid boots.
Then you stand!  Standing isn't as hard as I thought it was going to be, and it was actually really easy to jump around in them.  I never had a fear of falling once I was up, so it was time to have fun.  I guess if you don't have a super sense of balance, there might be a fear, but I'm not the most balanced either.  No worries :)

The class was 45 minutes of jumping and running around in the shoes to all sorts of songs.  Each song came with new choreography and moves for us to master.  A woman in the class had told Lori and I that some of the moves were going to be hard and we shouldn't need to worry about keeping up on our first class.  Challenge accepted!  We were hanging in there with everybody else!  While some moves were just a little rough for my lack of coordination, I got it and never had to stop in the middle of a song and was able to do all the moves after seeing them.  We even did Gangnam Style, haha.  It was an excellent cardio workout that I am pretty sure I'm going to feel in my butt/hamstrings over the next 2 days.  We even did jump squats in the crazy boots!

Overall, definitely a fun experience.  We're going back.  Chakaboom Fitness also offers Zumba and a Chakatoning class, which I'm definitely interested in trying.  They were starting to pack in the people for the toning class and it looked like it would be a fun one using resistance bands.  They all were going to have the same instructor, who was so full of energy and got everybody moving.  There is another instructor that does some of the classes, but he seems to be just as much fun, so we'll see. 

Have you tried any new classes or workouts lately?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all celebrated and brought in the new year with a bang.  Last night we went out with friends and had a great time at Birch and Barley for dinner followed by a party at Churchkey.  This was the first New Year's that we've gone to a party, we have done dinner the past 2 years to celebrate our anniversary, but wanted to change that up.  Everything on New Year's is price fixed and the food quality isn't always super good for that reason, but Birch and Barley was great.  They had beer pairing options for their 4 course meal, which was pretty awesome too.  Overall, great night.  Happy 3 years of marriage Dear!
 The photobooth was super fun and we had a great time with our friends taking pictures.  A bunch of them ended up with the others, I'm hoping that they get scanned so I can see them :)
I totally loved my dress, by the way.  It was a spontaneous online purchase that worked out super well.  I also loved my shoes, but not at the end of the night.  3/4 mile walk to the restaurant, standing all night, then 3/4 mile walk back= not so bueno.

Looking back at 2012, it was a fabulous year, but I'm looking forward to seeing what 2013 will bring for us.  In 2012 I found my fitness, became a better runner, lost over 20 pounds, started to love lifting, started this fabulous blog, and made some great advances in my teaching career as well.  I've done some cupcake business, which is always fun for me, and celebrated fabulous things with friends and family.   

2013 will bring more opportunities, my first full marathon, loads of other races, and my brother's wedding!  Super excited to celebrate with him and welcome Jen into our family.

And I'm leaving you with my favorite picture from 3 years ago yesterday:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A belated Happy Holidays!

Hey all!  Hope everything was great for everyone over the holidays!  We did lots of stuff that I want to get you caught up on, but first I figured I'd keep you reading by providing a fabulous paleo recipe!

We're back from our holiday travels, aside from another trip coming up for a family Christmas, so we're starting out with getting back on track with our eating.  After another egg breakfast yesterday, Dear had said he'd had enough with the eggs.  Breakfast wasn't working for him, he can only do so many eggs.  I love eggs and could probably eat them everyday.  But alas, I need to keep Dear happy or he'll quit the paleo diet before we see any changes from it.

Before Christmas we had been "sort-of" paleo and I was starting to feel much better.  I was easily digesting my food, never felt bloated, and was less tired most of the time.  So here goes nothing!

PS- These muffins have a fun streusel topping on them.  It just makes them more fun, but it's not entirely necessary.  This recipe was adapted from Paleo Pumpkin Muffins.  Oh, and they aren't really sweet, so don't expect them to be.  Dear spread some honey on the second one he ate, said that made it much better.
Paleo Pumpkin Struesel Muffins

You'll need:
 For the muffins:
1 1/2 cups almond flour
3/4 cup pumpkin
3 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. coconut oil, melted

For the struesel topping:
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. cinnamon

Do this:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2. Mix all the muffin ingredients together and stir until well blended.  Spoon evenly into 12 muffin cups.
3. To prepare the struesel, combine flour, butter, honey, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Using 2 forks, cut through them to combine the ingredients and slice the butter into the flour/cinnamon.  
4. Top each muffin with the struesel.
5. Bake in oven for 25 minutes in the middle rack of the oven.  When done, cool on wire rack.

Enjoy!  Hope everyone's staying warm out there :)  Here was the view from my computer:
First time using our fire place this year.  I convinced Dear to let me use it today since it snowed this morning.  It was quite lovely, but it's melted already :(
Because of this morning's snow, I postponed my 17 miler until tomorrow.  It's still going to be crazy cold, but I won't have to worry about getting soaked and freezing during the run.  I also wanted to make today a rest day because yesterday I hurt my back.  I think it was a nerve issue, but it hurt sooooo bad I didn't leave the couch for a while, but I'm much better today.  Good news for my training!

Any advice for my long run tomorrow in the cold?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Don't Let Party Food Bring You Down!

It's the holiday season, which always brings on lots of parties.  Parties with finger foods and the opportunity to graze can always mean terrible things for people, but it's important to keep yourself in check.

First off, here are some tips:
  1. Don't stand next to the food.  If you stand by any food table, you will easily lose track of what you're eating.  It's easy to strike up a conversation and forget that you keep picking up a chip or a pretzel, and soon you're at 4 handfuls of chips and still munching.
  2. Make yourself a plate so you can see what you're eating.  Even if it's just a small cocktail plate, you can fill it up and actually SEE what you're eating and how much you're eating.
  3. Fill yourself full of veggies!  Most parties tend to have a veggie tray, so make sure what you're filling up on mostly is from that tray.  Skip the dip, or consume just a small amount of it.
  4. You can try anything you want, but IN MODERATION!  Make sure you're not going overboard.  Also, after you eat one small plate, give yourself time to digest it.  If you keep eating all at one time, you may end up fuller later than you wanted to be.
 That being said, we all enjoy some "cheats."  One of my biggest weaknesses at any party- especially a football party or gathering, is Buffalo Chicken Dip.  Last week my friend and I were headed to a work party and she wanted to make it, but wanted it to be a "safe" choice for her to eat at the party, knowing there were going to be tons of unhealthy options.  So she came over and I re-vamped the recipe for her.  I'm proud to say nobody knew we had make it lighter and it still received rave reviews, as Buffalo Chicken Dip always does.  So of course, I'm sharing it!

Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Dip
You'll Need:
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 (8 oz) packs 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2 (6 oz) containers plain Greek Yogurt
1 pack ranch dressing mix
1 cup Buffalo Sauce (I recommend Franks)
1 1/2 cups cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Do this:
1. In boiling water, cook the chicken until it's cooked all the way through, about 15 minutes.  Remove it from the water and allow it to cool.
2. Using two forks, shred the chicken into small pieces, just pulling them apart like you would to pulled pork in a crock pot.
3. In a large bowl, mix together chicken and all other ingredients.  Spread the mix into a 13x9 pan.
4. Before serving, heat in an oven for 30 mins at 350 degrees.

This recipe is a great make-ahead, just keep it in the fridge till you're ready to serve it, then heat it up.  It is best served with corn chips, but can also be served with celery to make it a great choice.

How to you avoid party temptations?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Fantastic Day!


The day that I'll be in love with forever.  It happens once a century, I might as well enjoy it.

Truth is, I woke up dreading today.  I wasn't able to sleep last night, I kept waking up freaking out.  Today was... OBSERVATION DAY.  Every teacher knows that when they're being evaluated they need to be observed.  I have no doubts that I love what I do and that I'm pretty good at it, but I freak out every time somebody needs to come in and see me.  There are so many what if's involved.
  • What if my kids don't get it?
  • What if my kids talk too much?
  • What if they ask the wrong kid a question and they can't answer it?
  • What if somebody asks me a question I can't answer?
But seriously, hello stress.

My kids were amazing today.  As all of you were once twelve, you understand that life as a 12 year old is quite... interesting.  Add some algebra into that mix and well, yeah.  You understand that it could be recipe for disaster.  I had to teach them algebra today and somehow, I'm going with because I'm amazing, it was PERFECT. They were all on task and engaged, they kept having those amazing "ah-ha" moments so everyone knew it, and they were proud of themselves.  I couldn't be more proud of them.  Love those kiddos.

So after that I was pretty much on cloud nine.  Only to then get this email:
Hello, perfect day.  I'll definitely be enjoying my run through DC in April that caps off with a Tiffany Necklace!  Never thought I'd be excited about that little blue box, but I'll have earned it!  Nike is a dream race, along with a Disney race (which will one day happen).

Do you have any dream races?