Saturday, October 9, 2010

Applefest Run to the Edge Scenic 5K Race Report

This is my Applefest Scenic Run to the Edge 5K Race Report!  Yea, yea, the race was Sept 18th but I’m just finding the energy to write it now.  In fact, I just viewed the results to this race published Monday online so in my defense I waited to get the official race times to write my report.  I have many things I’d like to report and I will get to them eventually but it’s just about time I write this one so here I go. 

I can’t believe it was three weeks ago.  It seems so much longer!  As I’ve reported before, since I ran the Ragnar Relay Great River and maybe before, I was having over training issues and I was in physical therapy for a “damaged” left leg.  The pain just seemed to migrate from one part of my leg to another but just as I was finally feeling better, on Sept 9th I pulled “something” in my left calf.

I ran the Morrie Miller 5K on Sept. 11th then a week later I ran this one.  I actually was sick for this one.  I spent an entire day in bed on Sept 17th as I explained in my post SOWL Challenge #9 Get Back on Track.  So for this race, I would be happy to just finish

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cycling in Bluff Country

We are fortunate enough to live in one of the most gorgeous areas with miles and miles of country roads to cycle just outside our door.  We have some of the best hill climbing for cycling in the country.  We live in bluff country in south eastern Minnesota where nature abounds.  We have the privilege of riding some of the best roads both in Minnesota and Wisconsin for cycling. 

County Road 21 Winona, MN
Fall is upon us and soon we will have to bring in our bikes for the winter.  Since I have been concentrating on running I have not gotten out there as much as I would have liked this season and I have sincerely missed my bike.  

County Road 21 Winona, MN
These are some pictures from last nights ride. It was an amazingly warm 76 degrees when we set out.  We had to take advantage of the gorgeous fall weather before it is gone for the season.   I amazingly rode up CR 21 without stopping, straight up!! I have learned some tricks if the going gets tough but I was able to just ride it without stopping and without most of the tricks.  So excited!

Me! Excited I made it up the hill so strong!
I am amazed I even have climbing legs.  I am convinced it is all the running that carried me up that hill.  It isn’t a huge bluff, it is about 1.2 miles to the top but it is all up.  There are many more challenging bluffs but I haven’t been hill climbing since May so I wasn’t ready to take anything more plus this ride is one of our best, most versatile rides.  Once we get to the top we have 3 or 4 choices on how we go home.  This ride was an 18 mile ride.  We chose the shortest since the sun was setting fast. 

County Road 21 Winona, MN
I have a goal to get 100 miles in before the end of the season, before the bike comes in and sits on the trainer for the winter, but I hope to get more.  I can run all winter, I can swim all winter but cycling is a seasonal sport.  True, some people ride all winter long but that takes very expensive gear and special tires and we have plenty to keep us busy without winter cycling so until the weather dips below 50 we are going to get the miles in every chance we can get. 

Friday, September 24, 2010


Can you see what's on my mind?  I found this Beginner Swim Workout for people like me who haven't been lap swimming in a long time.  I have done some lap swimming in the past couple years as part of a fitness workout but never with any regularity.  It has been since high school that I've done any kind of actual lap swim workouts. 

I like this plan, I am convinced that the 400m endurance workout is going to knock me out the first time.  Maybe even for a whole week

I'm planning on 3x a week, switching between endurance and form workouts and swapping for a speed every 2-3 weeks.  So endurance, form, endurance then endurance, form, speed every 2-3 weeks.  I think I found a plan I can work with until I am ready to move beyond the 1200m distance.  

I think the pool is a 25 yd length.  I don't think it is a metered pool.  I'm not sure about the one at the University where they do the masters swim workouts.  I might eventually join masters but not until I can graduate the pre-beginners workouts.   

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Morrie Miller 5K Race Report

After finishing the Morrie Miller 5K Race
I don’t know how I keep doing this but I managed to damage my calf on the Thursday before the race doing absolutely nothing.  I was rushing between activities to get ready for Yoga and pop! I could feel something in my left calf let go.  Then it felt loose and I couldn’t put pressure on it…just lovely.  

Just a day before, my first pre-race run was a two mile run on Wednesday which went quite well.  I wish I had more training before the race but I’m recovering from injury, I’m glad I got out there and had a good run.

For this race, I was just determined to finish even if I had to walk.  I had somehow encouraged Mr. Man to get back out there. He was training for this one so I was doing it; this race was for him.  His previous PR was 24:31 and he was determined to try to beat it.  He had let work get in the way of health and taking care of him and it was my influence that pushed him to make the active lifestyle a priority again. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2011 Events

Polar Dash 10K, January 1, 2011, 1:22:07,
13:14 pace

New Years Resolution 5 Mile, January 8, 2011, 1:00:57,
12:11 pace

Cabin Fever Dash 5K, February 5, 2011 32:50,
10:35 pace

Valentine's Heart Throb 5 Mile, February 12, 2011 55:06,
11:01 pace

Get Lucky Triple 7K, March 19, 2011

Fools Five 8K, April 11, 2011

Root River Triathlon, May 21, 2011

Minneapolis Half Marathon, June 5, 2011

Trinona Triathlon, June 12, 2011

Grandma's Marathon, June 18, 2011

Catfish Days 10K, July 10, 2011

Cardinal Man Sprint Triathlon, July 16, 2011

Ragnar Relay Great River, August 19-20, 2011

Minneapolis Duathalon, August 28, 2011

Morrie Miller 5K, Sept 10, 2011

Applefest Run to the Edge Scenic 5K, Sept 17, 2011

TC 10 Mile, October 2, 2011

Autumn Woods 10K, October 8, 2011

Warrior Waddle 5K, October 15, 2011

Wisconsin Dells Half Marathon, October 23, 2011

Minneapolis Monster Dash Half Marathon, October 29, 2011

Chicago Monster Dash Half Marathon, October 30, 2011

Hot Chocolate 15K, November 5, 2011

Rails to Trails Half Marathon, November 6, 2011

Turkey Trot 5K, November 19, 2011

Jingle Bell Run 5 Mile, December, 2011

2010 Events

Catfish Days 10K, July 11, 2010, 78:58.0
12:44 min/mile

Ragnar Relay Great River, August 20-21, 2010
Team: Better Than Bond Girls
Overall Place: 277/286
Start Time: 7 a.m.
Total Time: 33:33:28
Team Average Pace: 10:30

Morrie Miller 5K, September 11, 2010, 36:22.0

11:44 min/mile

Run 2 the Edge 5K, September 18, 2010, 40:00.0

12:54 min/mile

Autumn Woods Classic 10K, October 9, 2010, 1:14:20

 11:59 min/mile

Warrior Waddle 5K, October 16, 2010, 35:45.0
11:32 min/mile

Monster Dash 1/2 Marathon, October 30,2010, 2:34:20
11:41 min/mile

Rails to Trails 1/2 Marathon, November 7, 2010, 2:48:46.3
12:47 min/mile

Turkey Trot 5K, November 20, 2010, 35:27.10
11:26 min/mile

Jingle Bell Run 5 Mile, December 4, 2010, 1:09:44
13:56 pace

Rotary Lights 5K, December 12, 2010, 37:48
12:11 pace

This is a placeholder for the sidebar link!

2008 Events

2008 Goodview Gallop 5K, 34:46.0

2008 Morrie Miller 5K, 33.07.0

2008 Run to the Edge 5K, 34:40:00

2006 Events

2006 Goodview Gallop 5K, 45:20.0

2006 Morrie Miller 5K, Unknown

This is simple, instead of clogging up my sidebar with widgets I'm moving them to posts! I will replace the breakdown with a link to this post.  I guess it's kind of an archive.  I should have thought of this sooner. 

SOWL Final Weekly Weigh-In

Ok for my next feat I will attempt my final report of the SOWL: Summer of Weight Loss challenge

As far as weight loss, I have somehow managed to maintain a constant 165 since August 17th.   That’s 5 weeks of nothing.  I have decided I am too dependent on running for weight loss.  I really need to find a back up plan in the case of injury.  Part of it I discovered yesterday: spinning.  I should have gotten on my bike trainer and rode it hard.  I’d have kept my cardio up and I could have still kicked it on my strength conditioning workouts. 

So for a weight loss re-cap for this challenge.  I joined the challenge on July 13th.  I think it was just what I needed to push me back on track.  In the month of June I managed an 8 lb gain since May 26.  I was doing horrible.  I was kicking it back in gear with my July training but the motivation I found through this challenge I think carried me until the Ragnar Relay Great River on August 20-21. 

So a big thank you to Kerri at mom vs. marathon and all the SOWL participants for their inspiring posts and progress.  I have four draft posts for the Summer of Weight loss still pending so “my inspiration” will carry on beyond the September 22 finish date.  Stay tuned!

Here is my final SOWL widget update which I will be taking down as of today.  

SOWL Challenge #9: Get Back on Track

So this is “a SOWL thing”, a challenge posted on August 27th, to get back on track. SOWL is the Summer of Weight Loss and a group of great people whom, lead by Kerri at mom vs. marathon, are connected in a common goal.  I need to loose the weight and the inspiration provided through her challenges is one of the things that has kept going.  Granted I’ve had a reason for my slack with injury but it has gone too far so I choose this post topic to get back to “the blog” of things.

So why I chose this to write about after such a long absence from blogging I don't know but this blog has been my inspiration to myself and hopefully to others.  It is what I do; it is what I want to do; it is what I need to do.  In my effort to keep it going, I will write about whatever I can. 

This has been one of my “difficult times” methods: to do what I can and don’t worry about what I can’t.  I just push through until I get to the other side.  I’ve decided that life is never going to be perfect.  It is in the imperfect moments that I need to remember what I learned the last time and hopefully it will get me through the difficult faster.  That is where I am now, learning how to cope in imperfect times. 

It has been 32 days since I finished the Ragnar Relay Great River.  Yes, I did that.  It was awesome and I haven’t published the report yet.  I’ve even ran two 5K races since then but I have been stuck.  I’m calling it “the negative creep”.  There have been good moments and bad but it is time to get back on the positive track. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

SOWL Weekly Weigh-In

So far I've missed one official SOWL report the weekend of the Ragnar Relay.  This report is my September 10th report and again, just last week, I have no progress to report.  So I'll make this an injury report.

As of Thursday, September 9, I now have pulled something in my calf.  I felt the pop, twinge but never pain, swelling or bruising.  There is  a definite sore lump inside the side of calf.  I actually went to the doctor yesterday and thankfully she doesn't think anything is seriously wrong.  Just keep exercising it and when I feel ready I can get back out there. 

I was able to run on it Saturday, September 11  in the Morrie Miller 5K run.  I concentrated on form, cadence, foot placement, and stride to increase pace and amazingly I ran a 11:40 min/mile while being cautious with my leg.  I don't understand how I did that but I did.  I think my soreness since the 5K race is more a result of lack of running since Ragnar than any specific injury at this point.  

Today I'm limping and achy but the sore lump in my calf is definitely better.  I'm definitely headed back to the YMCA today for some leg exercises, maybe a walk on the treadmill to see how that goes and then Yoga tonight.  I'm convinced I'll be able to run the next 5K this Saturday.  I will be able to do it even if I run it like last Saturday .  I just wish I could be actually be fully prepared for one of these races.  I'm just hoping to finish them at this point, a PR is out of the question sadly.

I'm so upset that I have actually cried over this.  I would like to be able to run.  I miss it and I miss the weight loss.  I know that this is my first year as as runner.  I don't think I pushed it too hard, and I am not discouraged.  I will get back out there.

I'm going to have to learn to do more cross training and kick this borderline depressive behavior I've gotten myself into.  Maybe get on the trainer and spin for cardio, definitely keep up Yoga, and get to the YMCA and concentrate on those leg exercises. Today is a new day.  Again, I start over. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's the Cherry on Top

I have been so busy I knew I saw this comment on one of my posts but not until today did I go seek it out and read it.   THANK YOU Kelly at  Maxi Fortend!

Per Kelly's post, here are the "instructions" for the reward.  This is so fun! I have a reason for a post, even though I'm behind on my regular posts this is a fun task so here I go.

1. Answer the question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?

What a good question.  It's difficult to answer only because I believe that each and every event in my life, good and bad, has worked together to create the person I've become today.  And I like me and I love my life. :)  

The one and only thing I think I would change would to be a more active person from a younger age.  I would have loved to have grown up in a fit household and learned to eat properly and healthy and not have had to fight with the "American" diet and laziness.  It is frustrating, at 40, to be still fighting for that ideal weight and fitness level.  

I wish I had the mindset and knowledge to accomplish the goal in my 20's so now I could say I've already ran that marathon (or two...or more), done that triathlon and/or duathlon, and now just maintaining and striving for that always better time. 

But that's not the case.  I am starting now, and I will run that marathon, I will compete in a triathlon, and I will always strive to improve.  

The one thing that has always been my life goal: continuous improvement, never give up.  That's me.  I just wish I had found my place in the fit and healthy lifestyle earlier in life.  It's never too late to start!

2. Pick 6 people and give them this award.  Make sure to inform the person that they have gotten the award!

So I came up with this list of friends who I think deserve some recognition. Thank you to each one of you for your part in my life! 

Tara - A runner girl, running friend and fellow Ragnar teammate!
YogaJen - My yoga teacher, runner friend and our Ragnar team captain!
Christina - A blogger world running friend and true inspiration!
Teri - The first blogger world running friend I found when researching the Ragnar relay and a true inspiration to runners everywhere.
Collin - The ultimate coupon/deal blogger.  Without whom I would not have survived 2009 financially. 
Deb - A very inspirational friend from childhood who has is a fantastically talented photographer.  It is amazing all the things she accomplishes and with a smile!

3. Finally, be sure to thank the person who gave you the award as I did at the beginning of this post.

Thank you Kelly!  This was fun. :)

SOWL Weekly Weigh-In

Well, it's time for the weekly weigh-in.  I have nothing at all to report actually.  I've been trying to recover from injury.  I am finally admitting to being injured.

It's been 13 days since my last real run.  I'll have to cover that in my weekly training report.  I am pretty much dependent on running for weight loss.

Thankfully I've been able to maintain pretty good.  Up and down days but pretty stable.  So still at 165 and holding since before Ragnar.  I'm fighting to get back on the losing track. I think I need a big push!

I'm hoping to get back in the blogging habit as well, my days have been overwhelmingly busy as I can't seem to catch up with life after Ragnar! And I have to keep training for my half. Oh boy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekly Training Update: August 20, 2010

Oh boy, it's the weekly training update and it's behind by 4 days!  I know my running partner, Tara, from 2 Saturday's ago from A New Ending is anxious what I might say about her so I guess I should attempt to recall my week leading up to the Ragnar Relay. 

So we left off last Friday when I hoped to get in a run but the weather just didn't cooperate.  I wanted to get in a long run Saturday so I decided it was OK. 

Saturday Tara came around 6 a.m. and off we went.  I almost can't believe I did 9 miles and it felt great!  New shoes, haven't run in 2 days, haven't run hills in a week, but the extreme humidity and heat was gone hurray!  The miles just seemed to fly by! I think I'm going to start enjoying running and chatting with friends now! :)

I had a few issues with this run but mostly successes.  First of all, I had to readjust my shoes a few times.  They were new so I had to break them in but mostly it was either they were too loose or too tight.  Eventually I got it right and it went just fine.   I am also running slowly still which is frustrating but I am hopeful still.  There are days I feel like I am just not going to ever be a "real" runner but I won't give up. 

SOWL Weekly Weigh-In

Finally I'm posting my weekly weigh-in!  It has truly been a busy few days with the Ragnar Relay Great River behind me I can start to catch up.

So this report is from last Friday. I can happily report a 1 lb loss in the previous week leading up to the relay. :)  Only one more pound to my next mini goal.  It is going so slowly but at least it's going.  I really had hoped to make it by Ragnar but it's OK.

I have 11 lb to go to make my SOWL goal by September 22.  That's a month a way and I hate to say it but I don't think I can loose 11 lbs in a month.  I am training for the half marathon now so I can't wait to see what kind of dent I can make in the next 11 lbs.  

I will make the goal by the time of my half marathon but I'd really like to loose it faster.  You never know, though, with all this running I just might get there. Follow my progress and see!  It's getting exciting now, like when you can almost see the finish line, it's time to sprint to the finish. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Weekly Training Update: August 13th, 2010

I wish I had kept this up as the week progressed but it has been a busy week so here I go trying to recall!  As of last Friday, I had visited the PT and we decided a pinched nerve in my lower back was affecting my leg.  Now I don't know if it is the whole story but I can say that concentrating on my lower back has been helping quite a bit.  

Friday I did my strength conditioning workouts and did not run.  The weather around here has not been cooperating nor has my time.  Saturday was a planned birthday outing for a friend.  I did not run that morning either, but just planned a day of fun.  I was still limping around a bit on Saturday so I was glad I took the time off.  Sunday was yet another day of no running.  I did, however, get quite a bit of cleaning done over the weekend!  This is something I haven't done in quite some time.  I planned the family meals, finished my laundry, cleaned the bathroom, and shopped for groceries.  Yay me!

Monday I finally got out there and ran.  I did a flat 5 mile around both lakes.  It was the first day I felt absolutely no pain or tightness in my leg until I started the run!  My leg wasn't happy with me for a the first few yards but it warmed up.  It was a hard, hot and humid run.  The weather is just not cooperating for a comfortable run this past week.  I was determined to just get back into the plan and go.  I did it late evening and finished after dark.  It was still hot and humid.  I finished the run with my first real ice bath.  I am not taking any chances!

SOWL Challenge #5: Little Rewards

OK, a couple more posts to catch up.  I can't continually be so behind, can I?  That's one thing about me, I will keep striving towards the goal no matter what.  I'm don't give up.  

This challenge is to discuss our rewards.  Do I reward myself is a good question.  I do plan rewards.  I have 5 lb mini goals.  As each approaches I do try to give myself a reward to work towards. This year one of my first rewards was a date night.  Rewarding myself with food is not desired but this was a sushi dinner and a walk in the park.  I figured it was healthy and didn't need to over eat. It was about spending time enjoying my evening out! 

It's been a while since that reward.  For my last reward I wanted a pedicure, manicure and another date night.  I never did reward myself, I've decided to do the pedicure and manicure for my next 5 lb mini goal because that will likely be after the Ragnar Relay.  If I don't hit the goal, I'll do it anyway, it will be a gift to myself for finishing Ragnar! I look forward to enjoying a foot massage and having my nails done. :)  

More and more I'm finding myself rewarding my fitness, not my weight loss.  I think this is working better for me.  For example, I want to go out and have a drink with friends but I won't do it unless I accomplish the daily workout, usually a run and sometimes some strength conditioning, or yoga.  After all it's the workouts that contribute to weight loss, right? 

So what are my rewards?  Short term rewards are that drink out with friends, a movie night, or a hot oil bath (not on long run days of course).  Longer term are pedicure, manicure, or a new running outfit. As I get closer to my fitness goals there are rewards like new clothing (smaller sized of course!).  I'm not sure what else I'd want.  I do like the spa day idea.  When I make my final weight goal maybe a mini spa vacation with friends.  :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

How I Decided to Run a Half Marathon

Although I'm overwhelmingly busy right now I thought I'd take the time to answer a couple questions from last weeks Distance Dreamers post. Yes, I am again behind on my challenges but life itself is a challenge and I'm trying to keep up. :)  Distance Dreamers is a source of motivation and encouragement for me since I have made the decision to attempt my first half marathon

What made you decide you wanted to run a long distance race?
Wow what a question.  I do enjoy a challenge. I'd have to think back as to why I thought I could.   It isn't the Ragnar Relay because I thought about running a half before I thought about the Ragnar Relay.  I guess when the bug bit it took some time for me to catch the fever.  I think the final answer is I know others who have done it and I decided I could do it too I just didn't know how to get there.

SOWL Weekly Weigh-In

It has been a crazy busy week and the one ahead is even crazier!  I have so many draft posts to complete but I just don't have the time. I'm sure I'll be back to blogging more after the Ragnar Relay. 

Well, it's time to report the weekly weight loss again.  I really didn't expect much out of this week and I didn't get much but I'm pretty happy with 1/2 lb.  With it being female hormonal imbalance week and the lack of running due to the crazy humidity a half a pound is good. 

 I'm only 2 lb from my next 5 lb mini goal which I'm excited about! My scale almost faked me out and said 164 but I knew it was a fluke and re-weighed at 166. 

I guess this is a pretty boring post but tasks are calling me to tend to them.  I can't wait to tell you what has been going on because there has been so much!  Stay tuned. :) 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Weekly Training Update: August 6, 2010

As I said in my post Crazy Week of Running, I wasn't sure if I was going to run Friday or not.  I did end up just doing my strength conditioning DVD which felt great!   It stretched out my leg which has been stiffening up on me all week.

Saturday I had planned my 3X run but I just couldn't get motivated.  With my leg being sore, and so many commitments I couldn't make the time.  I did completely enjoy myself listening to my friends Gregg & Natt play the Midwest Music Fest at the Lyon Smith Art Gallery.  Then I got to hang out afterward and enjoy my evening.  I felt a bit guilty taking the day off but I was able to bump my training plans to Sunday.  I really needed to rest my leg another day which turned out to be a really good idea!

For my 3x run I ran my Ragnar legs which are 6.3, 3.2 and 3.7 miles. Sunday I ran the first 6.2 miles in hot humid 2 pm weather.  It must have affected my brain because I should have ran 6.3 instead. My leg was a little more stiff after this run. After the first leg I  drank a Gatorade Recover, then I ate 2 slices of wheat toast, one with tuna, the other with smart balance chunky peanut butter, and a little later I had a slice of oh so yummy Green Mill Pizza. Then I managed to sleep 1-1/2 hrs before I woke up to get ready. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Challenge: 80 miles in August from Tall Mom on the Run

I'm excited about a new blogger world challenge and I know I can do it!  Tall Mom on the Run has posted an 80 miles in August challenge.  I'm posting about it so I remember to email her on Sept. 2nd to let her know I did it.  I love challenges!  They are definitely a motivation to keep moving!
There is also an 80 miles in August challenge at Dailymile.  I also joined that challenge.  More and more motivations! Keep em coming!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

SOWL Challenge #4: What are your motivators?

When I read this challenge I was touched to day the least.  It did bring tears to my eyes some.

I’ll start with my long term motivator.  I have never had a poor family medical history that I knew of until my parents got older.  We weren't necessarily a very fit family.  We were a family of musicians.  My father was an engineer and musician and my mother was a music major turned school teacher.  Music and education was our focus, not fitness.  I was the rebellious one that was more interested in boys and hanging with friends as a teen but mostly my family was about music and education.
My mom did enroll me and my brother in every sport but it never lasted for me.  My brother stuck with it more than me.  He was a basketball, cross country and track star in high school as well as valedictorian of his class.  Today he is finishing is PhD in Music Performance and is a professional trumpet player.  He is quite the over achiever.  We played soccer and baseball; figure skated and did gymnastics. I was interested in fitness but I never pushed it very hard.  I ran track and joined swim team in high school but only so far as for the exercise, not the competition.  I was never over weight in high school but I always wished I was just 10-15 lb lighter.

Canary Melon and Banana Fruit Smoothie

Finally I am posting a new fruit for SWOL challenge #2.  The recipe I decided to try is Canary Melon and Banana Fruit Smoothie.  This challenge is complete several weeks late but I've finally found the opportunity to try my Canary melon.  I was able to enjoy it after finishing my 3x run this morning.  

1 - Juan Canary Melon, ripe
3-4 Bananas, ripe
4 tbsp. Ground Flax Seed (modified for ingredients I have on hand)
12 oz. Ice

This recipe makes approximately four 12-oz. glasses of fruit smoothie. If you wish to make a smaller amount, cut the recipe in half. If the melon is small and the volume in the blender container is less that you desire, the volume can be extended by adding additional bananas and/or ice.

Begin by washing the Juan Canary melon. Cut it in half. (If you are using a high speed blender such as a Vita-Mix, scoop the seeds into the blender container. If you do not have a high speed blender, discard the seeds.)

Cut the melon into strips.  Cut off the rind from each strip, and add the melon flesh to the blender container.

Add the flax seed to the melon in the container.

Peel the bananas and add the bananas to the blender container.

Add the ice, cover the container, and run the blender at high speed until the contents are creamy smooth, using the tamper as required.

Serve and enjoy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Ragnar Relay Training Diary Frustration

I am a little ticked to say the least.  I updated my Ragnar Relay Training Diary page last night after my run and somehow lost most of last weeks updates.   I think I'll just start posting a weekly training update here instead and of course still create posts for more eventful individual runs that I feel I must share!  

If you were following the diary, I will not be updating my progress on that page any longer! Stay tuned for my Weekly Training Updates. 

Distance Dreamers

I just joined a new group called Distance Dreamers created by Abbi at Higher Miles.   The details can be found here.

I am running my first half marathon in October and this is yet another motivation source for me!  I start training for the half next week, which overlaps with the Ragnar training schedule.  I planned out my training schedule here

As a part of Distance Dreamers I'll be blogging about my progress along with other first time marathoners and half-marathoners  listed here to mutually encourage each other on our journey.  Follow me through the ups and downs of my training over the next 12 weeks as each day brings with it new lessons learned.  This is why I blog, to learn, to be motivated and to encourage!

The Beginner's Half-Marathon Training Plan

I've been researching training plans for the half marathon and here is what I think I've decided.  I guess I'm looking at a 12 week training program.  That would start my training on August 8th for the Monster Dash 1/2 Marathon on October 30th.  Since I'm training for the Ragnar Relay Great River until August 20th, I'll have to incorporate a 2 week overlap but it's all running so it should be fine. 

Lots of great articles on training out there. I grabbed the Beginner's Half Marathon Program from  I modified to make Sunday and Thursday "REST" days instead of Monday and Friday.  Rest Day is really a cross-training day, not necessarily a non-workout day which I find cool actually because I really miss my bike! (a fun future post subject.)

So for the overlap I'll use the last two weeks of my Ragnar Training Schedule and incorporate a weekly Fartlek (4M). (A new term for me and yet another future post subject!) 

I really like that there are two rest days, unlike the Ragnar plan.  On top of the running, I have my strength conditioning workouts 3-4 times per week and Yoga on Tuesday and Thursday.  I also look forward to learning how to do the Intervals (for speed) and Tempo Runs (for speed and pace).   I really hope I can learn to increase my speed and pace.
I'm excited about trying to follow another plan!  I can't even express the joys I find with running from emotional release to weight loss.  There is lots for me to learn in this training plan and I look forward to it! Each plan and each race keeps me going and this blog is my accountability.  All part of my life changing journey of running it off!  First half marathon, here I come! 

Friday, July 30, 2010

SOWL Weekly Weigh-In

It's time for the weekly weigh-in and again, the SOWL widget is updated.

It has been a Crazy Week of Running for me.  Last Saturday I had a really emotional day so when it came time to my Long Run of Emotional Recovery, I really ran long!  When I got home and weighed in, I had hit my next mini 5 lb goal!  Amazingly I weighed the same Sunday morning and this morning as well.

My body is weird, for some reason I gained and lost 4 lbs this week.  I just don't get it.  I didn't eat anything I shouldn't have, I just kept on with the normal routine but I think it must be water retention or maybe even I'm building muscle.  My clothes are definitely looser but the weight loss is slow.

Also of significance, I have finally lost 1 more pound since May 26th!  June was a terrible month and I unbelievably managed to gain 8-10 lbs.  I finally got my schedule under control and lost the gained weight plus 1 more lb. Now I'm back on track but behind 10 lb. on monthly goals.  I should have been 159 lb August 1st but I screwed up June and it took July to get back on track.

It is amazing how difficult it is to lose weight (and easy to gain) after 40.  I just keep focusing on the fitness and running and I know it will come.  I suspect that my progress will be much slower from here on out but I will be happy with any progress! I'm happy for this challenge because it is holding me accountable and keeping me on track.  Thank you so much Kerrie!

Hey! I hit my mini goal! It's time for my mini goal reward!

Crazy Week of Running

Well, it was a crazy week of running for me! After the 12.8 mile Saturday, I had a much needed day of rest on Sunday.

Monday was another crazy emotional day and I was determined to get my strength conditioning workouts in and a 5 mile run.

First thing I did was spend some time making Spicy Bok Choy in Garic Sauce.  I really have fun with cooking.  I haven't had the time for some real cooking in a long time.  I love to cook, both for family and to entertain friends.  It was great to take the time to make a kitchen creation thanks to SWOL Challenge #2.

Then I spent some time blogging about Saturday's run and the Bok Choy recipe and then finally I got to my strength conditioning DVD.  It was really getting late but I was determined. 

I got out for my run after 11 p.m. and It was still very hot and humid.  I was excited to take the Petzl Tikka Plus headlamp and Amphipod Xinglet's reflective vest for a trial run.   As I headed out I felt like such a dork but it was so cool!  I could see and be seen and I no longer fear after dark runs. I only managed to run 2 miles of the 5 miles I had planned but it was late and I just was glad to get enough miles in to push me over 100 miles for the month.  :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jicama Chili Sticks

I am posting another new vegetable for SWOL challenge #2.  I know the challenge was try one new fruit and one new vegetable but I found this strange looking vegetable and I had to give it a try.  It's called a Jicama [hee-kuh-muh]. 
Again, as I said in my my SWOL challenge #2 post, I read that jicama contains a high amount of vitamin C, is low in sodium, and has no fat. One  serving or 1 cup of cubed jicama contains only 45 calories.
Here is the recipe I decided to try.  I read this is the way it is sold by street vendors in LA and in Mexico so I thought it would be a good recipe to start with.  

SOWL Challenge #3: Confess! What is your worst eating moment?

The Summer of Weight Loss challenge #3 is Confess! What was your worst eating moment?

Again, I am way behind since this challenge was posted on July 14th but that's one day after I joined the challenge.  I finished challenge 1 on July 14th and challenge 2 is partially finished as of July 26th so here I go with challenge 3.

I'm not sure about this one but I suppose I could discuss my weight loss history.  I would say I was between 125 and 140 for most of my pre-baby life.  Not ideal but not overweight.  I think it was babies 3, 4, and 5 that pushed me over.  I had them 18 months apart approximately and it took it's toll.  After baby 3 I lost the weight but then 4 and 5 happened and that was the end of it. There was too much stress in my life at that point and I think I peaked in 2001. I soon lost about 1/2 of the weight but that was about it for several years. There are always ups and downs but I think it was divorce 2 that pushed a big up, never near the peak, but up. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spicy Bok Choy in Garlic Sauce

I know I just posted SWOL challenge #2 today but I said I would be cooking Spicy Bok Choy in Garlic Sauce for dinner and I did!  It was SO good I had to post about it before I head off to workout. Here is the recipe from

Spicy Bok Choy in Garlic Sauce


  • 1 pound bok choy
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

The Long Run of Emotional Recovery

I originally had this run posted under my Ragnar Relay Training Diary but it was eventful enough for an entire post.

Saturday was a very emotional day and I had to get out the door to run it off. I had planned a 10 mile run. The schedule says 12 miles but last week I only managed 8 miles in The Run (Walk) of Mishaps so I planned 10 miles.

SOWL Challenge #2: Try one new vegetable and one new fruit

The Summer of Weight Loss challenge #2 is to try one new vegetable and one new fruit.  I am week behind since I just found the challenge on July 13th!  I finished the first challenge on July 14th so I'm really behind.  I've been focusing more on my fitness progress than nutritional aspects.  I have just been sticking to healthy diet options, and fueling and recovery for runs. 

So I went shopping and here is what I found.  I haven't tried them yet but I wanted to post what I found to try.   I love to cook so finding recipes to enjoy them will be fun for me. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

SOWL Weekly Weigh-In

It's weekly weigh in time and the SOWL widget is updated.

Over the past week I've lost 1 1/2 lb. I should be happy but I'm a little disappointed.  I still have 1 1/2 lb. to go to the next goal and still 1/2 lb up since May 26.  I do have a female related excuse this week so I should really be happy.

There were so many opportunities this week to lose the weight.  If I was able to run Thursday morning...I would have been able to log a bigger loss.  I ate too late at night last night to log any loss this morning.  I was super hungry after my 5 mile run and yoga and it was between 9 and 10 p.m.  I know my body, if I eat that late, the morning scale will hate me.  Plus I didn't run this morning either since I was up so late last night.

So I am hoping to be able to weigh in less soon and next week be able to report I've met my next 5 lb goal.  Reward here I come!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Relay Nutrition

First of all, in response to a couple comments on my What to bring the day of the race post, I am testing out fueling options as part of my training.

The first thing I learned is just water wasn't cutting it on anything over 3 miles for me.  This is when I bought my Nathan Speed 4R.  It can carry up to 32 oz of fluid or gel.  I just fill them with water for now.  I haven't bought gel to fill the 8 oz flasks yet but I just found the 26 serving jugs of Hammer Gel I am going to try.  I think I'll give a single serve pack a taste first before I commit to a 26 serving jug though.  I know I like the taste of Gu Energy Gel but it only comes in the single serve packs of which apparently the Nathan flasks can hold 5 of but I really don't want to open and squeeze 5 packs into a flask.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vegetable Stir Fry Mix

I've been wanting to post this for a while.  I first tried to submit it to which is now  They kinda ate my submission til today when it was not approved.  Well, I can't very well put quantities on something I cut up and put in a Tupperware and use as desired!  So I'm posting it here.  Why? Because eating properly is huge for weight loss and getting veggies in my diet is sometimes so difficult!  This makes it so easy. 

This vegetable mix is easy to cook and is very versatile.  I have cooked it as side dish for dinner and added eggs for breakfast.  Add hot sauce, or salt and pepper or any seasonings you like.  I have a Tupperware of chopped vegetables just waiting to discover the next delicious dish.  Credit goes to Jessie T. for introducing this idea!  I love it when I learn new things.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What to bring the day of the race

With all the running I'm doing, I'm starting to figure out exactly what I will need come race day.

First, after every run I am soaked from head to foot so I definitely will need 3 complete changes of clothing:  shirt, shorts/skirt, headband, underwear and socks.  I only have 2 exercise bras so that will have to do.

Next is proper nutrition which I'm studying. From what I read I need high glycemic foods while running and for recovery after a run and low glycemic foods between runs.  I will make that a subject of a future post.

Of course there are the safety items.  I remembered that each team needs 4 headlamps but after as sweaty as I get while running I decided I do not want to put on someone's gross sweaty headlamp band so I bought a Petzl Tikka Plus. Chafe preventive Body Glide goes on this list too.  I also have 2 Amphipod Xinglet's which should satisfy the reflective vest requirements.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Celebrating 100 Miles!

I just noticed that I have now logged 100 miles since I first started using my Garmin on 5/28.  :)  After only 2 runs in May and 5 runs June I finally think I have a momentum going with 14 runs and 68.3 miles so far in July.  Congratulations to me! ~*~*~*~

Rangar Training Schedule

Here it is!  The training schedule I came up with. 

The week of 6/28, 7/5 and most of 7/12 are pre-plan results.  Starting 7/16 I did my first "2x run" (2 runs in a day).  Then on Saturday I managed barely an 8M (instead of 10M) which I dubbed "The Run (Walk) of Mishaps".  I learned a ton of lessons, which is the idea of a training plan I think. In the end I ran a 16 miles in a Ragnar time frame (24 hrs).  Yay me! :)

The key points of the plan as I see it, which I pulled from the Ragnar Relay Intermediate Training Plan are (in my own lingo) "easy run" Monday's, "hill work" Tuesday's, "pace work" Wednesday's , "recovery run" Friday's, "2x run" or "distance run" Thursday's, "3x runs" or "long run" Saturday's and much needed "rest day" Sunday's.  I noticed the 2x and 3x runs alternate so one week is a "2x run" Thursday and the next week is a "3x run" Saturday. This should be interesting.

I can't wait to see how well I can stick to this plan and the results!  I've never had a real training plan before other than just running.  I think that I finally have a habit of running.  I'm sure I won't be excited about every run but at least I think I can stick to it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Run (Walk) of Mishaps

It's hard to know where to begin. I guess I'll start from when I knew things were going wrong.  It seems like such a strong word though, it wasn't really going "wrong" I just knew things weren't quite right.

Thursday, I finally put together a training plan for the Ragnar Relay.  It's only 5 weeks away!  I have been just trying to get in the habit of running, running to lose the weight, and to increase my pace.   I went to the Ragnar Relay suggested training plan for intermediate runners and decided to pull from that basic idea to create my own plan. (The subject of my next post.)

First thing I noticed was twice daily runs so yesterday I did a 4M/4M.   At 7 a.m. I ran a nice 4 mile in beautiful weather then ran it again at 6 p.m. in hot, humid, overcast weather.  Amazingly I ran them almost exactly the same with a comfortable 12:11 min/mile and 12:13 min/mile average moving pace respectively.

Friday, July 16, 2010

SOWL Weekly Weigh-In

I've updated my SOWL Widget with the weekly weigh-in!

Nothing much to report other than it was a good week for weight loss.  I still have a 2 lb gain since 5/26 but I'm running it off quite nicely now! Nothing can stop me now!

When I hit the next 5 lb goal at...well, since I'm publishing numbers now I might as well just say it...169, (ugh!) I think I'll treat myself to a pedicure/manicure and a nice healthy dinner out.  It seems like a lot of rewards but I have been struggling with the 170's for too long.  I will be glad to say GOODBYE!

For a nice healthy dinner out, I'm thinking of The Harbor View Cafe in Pepin, WI.  I've heard great things!  Does anyone want to go with?

I'm still struggling to find one of those nail salons with the rows of salon pedi-chairs where I can just sit and chat side by side with a friend and relax while having my feet pampered.  Doesn't that sounds fabulous?  If anyone has a suggestion as to where, please leave me a comment!

Wow, I'm motivating myself. I better get back to it!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A New Pace

I did it! I finally pushed a sub 12 min/mile.  Granted it was only a 3 mile run but that is what I think I'm going to use the 3 mile runs for, to push harder and train my body to endure.  So here's the stats:

Time: 00:35:57
Distance: 3.07 mi
Elevation Gain: 118 ft.
Elevation Loss: 139 ft.
Moving Time: 00:35:45 (accounting for stopping for traffic)
Best Pace: 8:44 min/mile
Avg HR: 175 bpm (this is up but I pushed harder)

Split 1: 10:25 min/mile
Split 2: 11:37 min/mile
Split 3: 12:59 min/mile

Avg Pace: 11:42 min/mile
Avg Moving Pace: 11:38 min/mile

As far as elevation, the first mile is basically downhill, some rolling but mostly down.  The second mile is basically flat, and the third is mostly uphill.  So the spit times make sense, right?

So I'm excited!  It is still embarrassing but it is improvement for me.  Now to just keep trying to maintain a more constant pace and keep pushing!  Again, a lot of 9 min/mile peaks in the graph so I just need to start eliminating more of the dips and my pace will be up.  Watching my pace really helps.

Realize, in 2008, my 5K PR is 33:07 but I was 28 lb lighter then.  Based on that I might actually be doing better.  I bet my could PR by a long shot if i was 28 lb lighter, right? 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Summer of Weight Loss

Today I found a cool blog:

Mom vs. Marathon

Mom vs Marathon has posted a summer weight loss challenge called The Summer of Weight Loss.  To join, she asks that you send her an email with your name, your goal weight and your starting weight.

Each week, usually on a Wednesday, she'll post a challenge.  So far, we need to pick a weigh-in-day, post your starting weight (if you want) and your goal weight, measurements and your before picture on your own blog.

Since I just found this site today, I am a bit behind but I've emailed my intentions to join the challenge.  The 7/5 challenge is to try one new vegetable and one new fruit this week.  I'll have to catch up and hit the co-op or farmer's market and find something to try!  It's good to find things to post about.  I'm loving this challenge already, although I'm a little shy about posting actual numbers, but it's definitely a motivator. 

Each week she'll post the results of the weekly weigh in during her Wednesday challenge along with at link to your blog.  She asks that you email her your results by 9 a.m. PST every Wednesday.  

The challenge is from July 1, 2010 to Sept 22, 2010. 

Challenge #1:

So here goes my part:

Monday, July 12, 2010

An Upswing...and so much to share!

So much has happened and it is hard to know where to start. So I'll just dive into a topic.  I finished my first 10K race!   I started thinking my purpose was so the person in front of me was not last. Hey, it's a purpose...and best of all it was a PR since it was my first 10K.  It was a beautiful course, lots of rolling hills but nothing too difficult. I was as slow as I expected but I did it!

Now a few words about my "running partner".  I love my Garmin Forerunner 405CX.  I can't believe the stats it produces.  I'm so glad I had it on this race.  My best pace was 6:47 min/mile which is insane. My pace at the finish was 9:59 min/mile and my average moving pace was 12:35 min/mile.  The Garmin certainly gives me an overall picture of my progress.  If I can just make those dips in pace not dip so far so often.  I'm thinking there is hope for me yet! 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monster Dash 1/2 Marathon, October 30, 2010

The Monster Dash Half, 10-Mile, 5K and 5K-9 races are filled with great scenery, not just the Halloween costumes people wear, but the fall color is at its peak in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area during our race.  The routes for this race take advantage of that, taking runners in and around some of the most scenic areas Minneapolis has to offer:  including Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun and a portion of Minnehaha Parkway.

This looks like fun!  I can't wait to register for the whole series in 2011!

The Polar Dash in January
The Get Lucky 7K in March
The Minneapolis Marathon and 1/2 Marathon in June
The Minneapolis Duathalon in August
The Monster Dash 1/2 Marathon in October

Ragnar Relay Great River, August 20-21, 2010

This is the one, the race I'm training for.  My reason to keep going.  At least until August 21, then there will be the next big race.  I'm so excited!  Doesn't it sound like fun?

Ragnar Relay Great River is turning 5 this year. What better way to celebrate than a 193-mile party with 11 of your best friends.

SO HOW DOES IT WORK? Teams of 12 will run along the world-famous Mississippi River as they rock out, enjoy the wacky participant costumes, and make life-long friends with teammates and competitors. The party runs along the Great River Road starting in Winona, MN cutting into Wisconsin and ending in Minneapolis, MN with FREE PIZZA and ALMOST FREE BEER ($2 pints).

Medtronic TC 10 mile, October 3, 2010

UPDATE: I was not selected!  There is always next year.

Also known as "The Shortcut to the Capitol," the 12th Annual Medtronic TC 10 Mile race starts near the HHH Metrodome and shares the last seven miles of the marathon course, including the spectacular finish at the State Capitol.

Lottery Registration opens Monday, July 5 and closes Wednesday, July 14

I can't believe I entered a lottery for a 8,000 person race.  I have no idea if I'll be selected, but it sounds like fun!

The drawing will be held on Thursday, July 15 and lottery results will be available at by 3 p.m. Friday, July 16.

Catfish Days 10K 2010, July 11, 2010

I registered by email today! I'm committed now...although I registered the family for the BK 5K and most of us were sick. The day of the race was the first day I finally felt better, but I didn't make anyone run.

This one is only me, so I'm committed. Wake up early, nourish, hydrate, prepare, finish, drive home. I guess technically a PR is a given since I've never ran a 10K race before. My average pace is slow, I expect to finish in 1:15. At least it's a PR I expect I can beat soon...on my next 10K, right?

Training: July 3-7, 2010

Time to ramp it back up...again.  June was a difficult month.  I noticed I haven't lost weight since my last record on May 26th.  At least I'm not gaining, at least not that much.  If I keep running I should be able to catch up with my 5 lb a month goal.

Here was the plan: I started with a 5K run the morning I left for my trip.  Then I mapped out some runs on for both cities I traveled to and actually stuck with the plan!  I managed 4.15 mile on Sunday and 5.2 miles on Monday.  Tuesday was travel home day and instead of running I napped off the travel.  Funny how you can sit in a car for hours and be tired when you get home.

I also switched from (NOT) finding time in the evening to run to mornings.  MUCH better! :)  I just have to fight with the obeying the alarm clock and going to bed at a decent hour. 

This morning I did a 6 mile run.  My Avg HR is going down...again, and my average pace is going down...again.  So frustrated to have to basically start over but it's improving fast.  Distance still doesn't seem to be a problem but average pace needs to improve.  I'm concerned  I won't be running 10 minute mile pace by Ragnar but it's still possible.

So total mileage so far in July...18.

10 Ways to Beat the Bloat |

I woke up bloated today but no weight gain.  Weight loss can be frustrating!  I'm thinking my body redistributes all the weight around my middle before I loose it cause there just is no reason for it.  I quit diet coke, I drink water...hoping to get a couple tips from this article.

10 Ways to Beat the Bloat |

Friday, July 2, 2010

Training: Week of June 21st, 2010

Planned miles: 34. Actual miles: 10.2.  Well, at least I did something.

It was a sporadic week of intentions.  I am stagnant in my weight loss, I’m slowing down in my workouts and my periods of focus are few and far between but I’m still determined.

Today is another day.  Another day to start again, make goals and push forward.  I’m convinced life change is not easy.  I am shocked when I fall back into old habits.

I choose to make new habits and make the old ones die, though it is definitely a process.

Today is a new day, time to make a plan of attack for this weeks battles of life.

JUN 30 2010 post

Trail Running in Mill Creek Park

I love how this looks like a painting!

JUN 25 2010 post 

A Blogger Start

I have been posting my fitness progress on facebook but I decided to start blogging about it instead.  I’ve struggled most of my life with getting to or staying at a healthy weight.  I’ve never been terribly obese or anything.  Nothing more than a few pregnancy, and depression triggered weight gain periods but it has certainly been a struggle.

Currently I have 45 lbs to my goal weight.  I’ve been actively pushing fitness and pursuing a healthy lifestyle change since mid-February 2010.  I’ve lost 22 lbs and have a fitness level unlike any I’ve ever recorded.  Historically, I still have 26 lbs gained since the end of 2008.  I was frustratingly within 19 lbs of my final weight goal and then 2009 happened.  The economy was not the only thing that was depressed.  It took it’s toll on me mentally as well.  Now I’m back on track and determined to become the fit, active person I want to be and am running it off!