Thursday, March 19, 2015

Running Fashion, then and now

When I ran my first race 4 years ago I wore cotton socks, a pair of pricey (or what I thought was pricey) Nike capri's, a Champion t-shirt from Target, a Champion sports bra, a FLEECE North Face 1/4 zip because it was cold and my Nike shocks that I had owned for LOTS of years.  Oh almost forgot a fleece beenie.

Not all bad.  I still wear and swear by the C9 sports bra.  On sale you can get them 2 for $20 at Costco.  I'm not even sure that they still carry them now though.  But I've been wearing the same ones for at least 3 years now.  I've since given away or retired almost all of the other stuff.  With the exception of the the North Face fleece, however I would never wear that running today.

After acquiring my first pair of "real" running shoes (I got lucky and ordered the Brooks Ravenna online without ever being fitted for them), and I still run in the Ravenna today.  I was however almost immediately coveting everything Lululemon.  I had started reading some running blogs and this Lululemon was what all the "cool kids" were wearing.  But I could not even begin to stomach the price tags attached to them.

After my first half marathon my gift to myself was a visit to the Lululemon store in Las Vegas with $200 in my hot hand!  At the time we didn't have stores here in Utah (we do now).  I could feel my BRF's thoughts as we walked through the store.  *Who would pay $119 for a pair of stretchy pants?*

MEEEEE .. I would.

And so it began.  I slowly started building a good collection of Lululemon attire.  But now, 3 years later, I know why so many people wear it.  It's good stuff.  Truly.  But it's not the only thing.  Today I run in only Lulu pretty much all the time for my staples (sports bra continues to be the exception).  I have never had to retire anything due to wear.  So I've got a good collection at this point and primarily shop the "We Made Too Much" section.

Exception:  I will buy a new skirt and tank to wear for a big race.  Totally breaking the don't wear new stuff on race day rule every single time.

So here's my list of what I personally think is worth the investment.  Starting from head to toe:

Warm Weather Tank

Why I love the Cool Racerback:
The length is long.
It's got good compression (holding jiggle to a minimum).
No chafing.
They come in a million adorable prints.

Cooler Weather Top

Why I love the Run Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve:
The length is long and perfect.
The weight is perfect.  Keeps me warm.
It's a snug fit, no flapping.
You have to be careful with the fabric, they can snag easy.
Thumb holes.  I have LONG arms and these are plenty long enough!
I 100% wear a cool racerback tank underneath all the time.
Plus it's light enough to tie around your waist should you get hot and take it off.

The Shorts

Shorts are in the above picture.  I love these in particular because they are the 4" length.  But what I don't love about Lululemon is that they discontinue styles QUICKLY.  They generally replace them with something similar but I've bought some that I DON'T love (Tracker Short).  The Speed Shorts are the only ones I've seen consistently over the years. But I have to be in TIP TOP shape to get away with wearing the shorter 2.5" inseam (currently NOT there).  The other thing worth noting when it comes to their shorts and skirts is 4 way stretch versus 2 way stretch.  The 4 way is the most comfortable but some of the cuter prints come in the 2 way.  

I do love their shorts though.  The waistband is the MOST attractive out there.  Really wide, doesn't dig in giving you muffin top.  I run ALL my training runs in these shorts.

The Capri's

I have no picture of these.  I rarely run in long tights anymore.  I pretty much pair these up with a pair of ProCompression socks and I'm covered.  I love that these are so compression y.  They again keep the jiggle to a minimum.  Somewhat high waisted so that stuff isn't hanging over the top.

The Skirts

Why I love the Pace Setter Skirt:
I feel "pretty" / "girly" in them.
Has the same wide waistband as their shorts (attractive).
The freedom of shorts with a little extra coverage.
Because sometimes my thighs like to eat my shorts.
Great colors.
I almost always race in these.

So there you have it.  But again I only wear this stuff to run in. I don't wear it to the gym really ever.  I want it to last as long as possible and I wear it for it's function more than the fashion.  I don't regret an ounce of my collection at all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Phoenix Marathon { #4 }

I've waited a couple weeks.  Trying to digest my marathon performance.  But I don't really feel like I've digested anything so I guess I had better get a recap up before I don't do one at all (i.e. OGDEN MARATHON #3).

We stopped for brunch (really it was just lunch, but I hadn't had breakfast so I called it brunch) at Pizzeria Limone.  Gosh I LOVE that place.

I was very stressed about the size of our carry on bags.  We were flying Frontier Airlines and they charge for a carry on bag, but allow you a personal item.  And when they charge it's $35!!  PER BAG.  I couldn't check a bag because what if they lost it.  I have never packed so light in my entire life!  Alas, we made in on the plane with no extra fee's.  Once we shuttled over to pick up the rental car and made a mad dash straight to packet pick up.  My other biggest fear had been that our flight would be delayed and we'd miss packet pick up.  The "expo" was outside and incredibly small.  We were in and out very quickly.  Inside the bag I got a GREAT looking Albion Fit running tank.  One of the very few race shirts I will likely wear!  I also got some Albion arm warmers although I have to say I am very disappointed that mine (as opposed to my husbands and others I saw) didn't have the Phoenix Marathon printed on them.

But while the expo was small it was easy access in and out and we were on our way to find out hotel very quickly.  We got lucky to stay at the Hilton there.  My dad hooked us up with a free room using his points.  It was REALLY nice.  We're used to just staying at the cheapest motel we can find.

          I'm always in awe of the beautiful desert sunsets.

After checking in to our hotel we headed out to find a Panda Express.  I know it doesn't sound like the greatest but it's what has worked well for us during training.  No tummy issues, and good amount of energy.  We drove around a LOT and were quite hungry at this point.  The first location the GPS sent us to, apparently wasn't a good location anymore.

          I felt like this was an appropriate fortune.

After eating we laid out our gear and headed to bed.

4:45am came pretty early.  We found somewhere to park pretty quickly and headed towards the buses.  We got on right away and were on our way.  I think this is the WARMEST I've ever been pre-race!  Once we were dropped off we headed straight for the bathroom lines.  I felt like it was a very festive starting line.  They had announcers the whole time talking which made the wait go by quickly.

Before we knew it they were asking runners to go line up.  Right before the gun went off there were fireworks.  That was kind of fun.  I've never experienced fireworks before.

                                         We snapped a quick picture and then we were off.
The Race

I am always amazed at how the elevation map can be misleading.  Considering how steep the downhill looked early on, I kept waiting for the downhill.  There were very few sections that seemed downhill.  However, the uphill sections definitely felt uphill.  Early in the race it was really quite pretty, lots of cactus and huge homes. My goal pace was 9:55-9:58.

Miles 1-4  Went by quickly.  Caught up in the excitement.  I fought very hard to not run TOO fast on the "downhill" section.  In hindsight I wish I'd took advantage of the downhill a little  more.

Mile 1:  9:13
Mile 2:  9:19
Mile 3:  9:40
Mile 4:  9:34

Miles 5-6  The first and what I thought was supposed to be the ONLY big hill.  It felt REALLY big and also like it went on forever.  I was digging deep to not fall off pace too much.  I just kept telling myself that this was the only really awful hill and I just had to make it to the top of this ONE.  I knew I'd banked a little time on the first 4 miles so I was hopeful this would flatten out my overall time.

Mile 5:  9:58
Mile 6:  10:23

Mile 7-12  Nothing much going on here.  I was just focused on settling in to my goal pace at this point.  After the uphill there there was some downhill that followed.  It always feels weird to have that shift in muscle work.  Takes a minute for you to settle back in again.

Mile 7:  9:31
Mile 8:  9:45
Mile 9:  9:44
Mile 10:  9:51
Mile 11:  10:00
Mile 12:  10:00

Mile 13-20  I hadn't taken a walk break yet and I was feeling good about that.  Mile 12 was where I lost Jeramie.  He slowed to a walk and waved me on.  At this point I was still feeling like I had a good chance with my goals.  I hit the halfway mark and I was only a couple minutes off of where I wanted to be according to the clock itself.  So I knew I was close.  Looking at my stats after the race I was ON POINT at the halfway point, exactly where I needed to be for my goals.  But hitting that halfway mark was also hard.  It was a reminder that I was ONLY half way and I had to do that all again.  Plus this was wear it flattened out.  I could feel my right hip getting tight and I stopped at Mile 16 to take some ibuprofen.

Half Way:  2:08:51  (pace: 9:51, rank 1359)

Mile 13:  10:28
Mile 14:  10:05
Mile 15:  10:00
Mile 16:  11:03
Mile 17:  10:33
Mile 18:  11:12
Mile 19:  10:31
Mile 20:  10:51

Miles 21-26.2  This is where I fell apart a little.  Specifically my right hip wasn't having it.  I could go about a mile and I needed to stop and stretch the hip.  Stretching helped a ton.  I could then run another mile relatively pain free.  But that stop to stretch followed by a minute of walking is what killed my race.  STUPID STUPID HIP.  I had no hip issues during training.

And here's the key.  When I was running I was still running VERY strong.  I could hold the 9:58 pace without a problem.  The problem was that I had to stop to stretch and walk for a minute to get rid of the hip pain.  So with that being said I knew that yet again I was stronger than I'd been at any marathon. Maybe it's the downhill that agitates the hip?  I'm not sure.  What I do know is that I continued to pass a LOT Of people the last half.  Lots of people whom I remembered passing me early on.  So I knew I was doing something right.

Mile 21:  12:22
Mile 22:  11:02
Mile 23:  10:36
Mile 24:  11:50
Mile 25:  11:25
Mile 26:  10:30
Mile .2:  9:52

Last Half Stats:  2:23:39  (pace 10:58, rank 1145)
**  I told you I passed a lot of people!

It felt wonderful to cross that finish line!

And then I waited for awhile for Jeramie to finish.  And cried.

Finishing a marathon is emotional.  Lots of people cry.  I cried because I was SHOCKED that my time was worse than Ogden.  And I walked a LOT at Ogden, I was dealing with IT band issues there.

Final Results:

Pace:  10:25
Overall Place:  1228
Division Place:  95 out of 149
Gender Place:  518 out of 848

I'm proud of myself that I didn't give up.  I knew I had missed all my goals.  At Ogden I walked during the last mile because I was SO SO angry.  I didn't go to that place in Phoenix.  I committed to just giving it my all until the end regardless of time.  I was just so sad.  I felt like I trained for a much better race.  I didn't feel like the lower elevation helped.  My HR was through the roof the entire time.  I was working hard for sure.

My husband came in with a solid PR:  4:53:40.

After the race we walked a really long way back to find our car and headed back to our hotel.  Crawled into bed and Jeramie napped while I watched some TV.  For the rest of the weekend we ate and drank. Then it was time to go home.

                                          Finish line picture.  Didn't look like I was hating life.

This post has been weeks in the making.  I guess the short story is that I'm beyond disappointed with my performance.  I was capable of better.  I will run another full marathon. There is no question.  We're already talking about running St. George later this year.

What it leaves me wondering is what am I doing wrong?  Why am I not getting faster??  Is it just age?  It could be.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Three Things Thursday

1.  The Hay's in the Barn!!

It's race week.  More specifically race day is TOMORROW.  GULP.  I've been fighting some major taper crazies the past couple of weeks.  I am reliving Ogden in my mind over and over.  Training so very hard for a race where I mentally just fell apart.  I don't want that to happen again.  The thought leaves me a bit terrified.  But at this point The Hay's in the Barn!  I've done everything I can.  I trained smart.  16 weeks and I didn't miss a single run.  NOT ONE.  23 Barbell Strength classes were taken in an attempt to make me stronger physically.  7 Yoga classes were taken in an attempt to make me stronger mentally and physically.  I didn't start those until the last 6 weeks.

But yet I am still sick with nervousness.

I do not want to fail.

I know that running a marathon at any pace is not considered a failure.  But for me, I need a PR.  This will be my fourth marathon.  Since my first (my current PR) I've ran one for fun and I've run one in an attempt to PR.  For 16 weeks I've put my heart and soul into this training. I don't want it to be for nothing.

So here it is, I'm throwing them out there ABC goals:

A.  Run a 4:15 or better.  This is what I've trained for.  Training has gone very well.

B.  Just beat 4:21:19.  Anything better is a PR.  I'll take a PR.

C.  Just don't have a heart attack and finish.  Enjoy a couple days away with my husband.

The bottom line is that I won't be happy with anything less than a B.  If I don't PR then I don't know that I will ever attempt a PR at this distance ever again.

That's the thing with the 26.2 distance, it's painful.  SO. INCREDIBLY. painful.  When they say if it doesn't hurt then you aren't doing it right, they are on to something.  But the bigger challenge is that when it does start to hurt, as I know it will, I need the mental strength to push on and not give up.

2.  My Strategy

I have bought my favorite Roctane Gu's.  Ogden I made the mistake of sucking down un-caffeinated gels.  I lacked energy for sure.

I will run with my favorite caffeinated Nuun.  I also feel like these give me great energy.

I will wear my cute red outfit.  Because if I look good, I'll feel good.

I will not go out too fast.  Another mistake made at Ogden.

I will give it my all on race day.

I will NOT give up.

I will leave NOTHING in the tank.

3.  What's next?

Regardless of what happens in Phoenix starting next week I'm pulling my eats together.  These past couple of weeks I've been so hungry all the time.  I'm reading The Power of Habit.  Already I'm thinking about ways that I can change my relationship with food.  I have continued to go to my Weight Watcher meetings on Monday's, however I've been steadily gaining rather than losing this past month.  I've put back on 5 lbs of the 18 that I lost at the end of last year.  So I need to pull it together and drop 15 lbs.  I also purchased 21 day fix after being inspired by Fancy Nancy.  Hopefully it will arrive early next week.  I would like to think that I will document my 21 day experience here on the blog.  Might be a fun challenge for me.


Wish me luck!

I'm off to barf now.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monday Brain Dump { 2.9.2015 }

This weekend was the last BIG long run before taper.  I had made plans for Jerm (that's the husband) and I to join up with my running buddies from the week before again.  We would run 14 miles with them along the roads, a gentle downhill was planned, which should be good training for Phoenix (I hope).  Then just Jerm and I would head out and back on the parkway for another 6-8 miles.

See I wanted to log 22 miles.  It was mental for me.  In MY crazy head to finish and say, "Well, you only have to squeeze out another 4 miles on race day." Sounds a whole lot more accomplish-able than another SIX miles.  Jerm did NOT want to run more than the 20 on schedule.  He didn't run long last week since he was out of town for work.  But he's awesome and just dug deep and ran the 22.

The night before I was setting out my stuff.  It was supposed to hit 60 degrees!  In February!!  In UTAH!!!  Unheard of.  I decided it would be a good day to test out my race outfit.  Not that it really needed testing however, it's all stuff I wear on a regular basis (just new colors).  Here's the plan:

Lululemon Pace Setter Skirt (red plaid)
Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank (red)
ProCompression Marathon Socks (red)
The Orange Mud HydraQuiver (hot pink, yeah it doesn't match)
Mizuno Wave Rider 17 (purple)

I love running races in a skirt and the Pace Setter is definitely my favorite.  I've done RunningSkirts Athletic Skirt before and while they're super comfy I just don't love how they fit me.  Although they do have a TON of really fun fabrics to choose from.  I pretty much exclusively run in the Cool Racerback tanks from Lulu. I LOVE that they are long and offer good compression to keep the tummy in tight.

I also plan to get some face stickers or tattoos to represent my alma mater, University of Utah while we're down there.  ASU is in the Pac12 with us.  So that will be fun I'm sure.

I found out however the night before that it was supposed to rain!  Rain and 60 degrees.  So as I prepped the night before I threw some capris and fresh socks in a bag to keep in the car. If I was wet and freezing after 14 miles I would at least have the opportunity to change before the next 8.  Alas, we got up to blue skies!  While I ran with my rain jacket around my waist for those 14 miles, which kind of sucked. I was happy to dump it at the car before we headed out for the last 8.

          Jordan River, UT 

          Wasatch Mountain Range, UT 

We had a really late start thanks to a member of the group whom apparently is notoriously late.  Wouldn't have been so bad if we didn't have to run so far that day. It was a long day of babysitting for our kids unfortunately.  But it was BEAUTIFUL!  We felt downright hot at points.  I wasn't prepared with BodyGlide in my normal chafe spots so that kind of sucked.  But the weather was perfect.  (minus the 20 mph wind, THAT sucked)

22 miles DONE.  Followed by a patty melt, onion rings and a diet coke.  I was starving and had zero self control.

My face covered in sweaty saltiness!!

Followed by chafing thanks to my HR strap.  And on the inside of my arms.  And a little bit of sun burn.  Who'd have thought in FEBRUARY!?!

The rest of the day I did NOTHING.  Sat on the couch and pretty much didn't move.  Watched SEVERAL episodes of State of Affairs (one of my newest favorite shows).  SO. GOOD.

I was in bed by 10pm and then slept for 10+ hours.  I will NOT miss the pure exhaustion that follows 20 milers.  Sunday morning I woke up at 9am feeling refreshed.  After my last 20 miler I hit up yoga the next morning and felt amazing.  I pulled the same party trick this week.

Thank you to Lifetime Fitness for AWESOME yoga classes.  I absolutely plan to add more days of yoga to the week when I'm done with this marathon.

For now, that's a wrap for the hard stuff.  My last two miles of that 22 were at 10:07 and 10:05.  That's barely 10 seconds off of marathon race pace.  I feel so good about where I'm at training wise.  And I'm not popping ibuprofen at mile 15 this cycle either.  I can feel the twinge in the right hip but nothing crazy.  I'm proud of myself that I've stuck with the 2 day a week strength training this cycle.  I'm really hoping that will pay off!


Do you do yoga?  Do you have a favorite type of class?

What hydration pack/belt do you use?  And why?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Let's Talk Earphones

Earphones are one of a runners best or worst piece of equipment.  I would venture to say that most runners run with music.  I'm not even going to dip my toe into the topic of safety related issues.  So I'll say that right up front.

I am a LOVER of my iPod.  I spend tons of time working on playlists.  Downloading books to run to (my current obsession on the long run).  This past weekend I was even working on my Mile 20 playlist.  My plan being to switch over to this list when I'm running the BMO Phoenix Marathon at the end of this month AT ... wait for it ... Mile 20!  With all that being said headphones are important.  I have at this very moment FOUR different kinds of ear buds residing in my purse.  Another pair in my gym bag that goes to and from work with me every day as well.

What do you consider when looking to purchase ear phones?

  • Do they stay in your ears when you sweat?
  • Sound quality?
  • Do you want wired or wireless?
  • Do you need controls on the cord?
  • Are they cute?
  • Are they comfortable?
  • How much do they cost?
I carry so many ear phones because they kind of all serve a different purpose.  NONE of these were given to me.  I paid my hard earned money for them all so you can trust what I say isn't influenced in any way.

Bose Sound True

I don't run with these.  Simply put they don't stay in my ears.  However, I include them in my list because these are HANDS DOWN the best sound quality I've ever experienced in an ear bud.  They are pricey but you get what you pay for.  I'm on my second pair.  They accepted a trade in when the wires started to expose on my first pair, however they still worked fine.  I would strongly recommend these for the listener looking for premium sound quality for times when you aren't working out.  Retail - $116.95.

Skull Candy

I have lots of friends that love these.  I think they're okay.  They can fill the "cute" requirement if you're into that.  They come in tons of fun colors.  They are moderately comfortable.  With moderate sound quality.  I use them mostly just when talking on my phone.  They are a good back up for the gym, generally don't fall out, but sometimes it can happen.  But they are very affordable and for the cost I think you get a really decent ear bud.  Retail - $19.99

YurBud Inspire (made for women)

As far as a corded earphone goes these are the way to go, hands down.  I've been running with them for 3+ years now and they never, NEVER fall out.  The sound quality is second best to the Bose at a fraction of the cost.  You can sweat like a filthy animal and they won't fall out.  They are SUPER comfortable.  They have the whole lock in technology and it works.  The only downside to these is that you really do have to be very careful with the rubber bits (seen in purple above) that go in your ear.  They are lost EASILY.  I've lost them, my husband has lost them, my dad has lost them, my friend has lost them.  But, with that known just get something to keep them in and be careful when you're taking them off to put away.  But if you DO lose them the company is AWESOME and you can buy replacements for $10.  I LOVE that they have ones specially made for women's smaller ears.  They really do make a big difference in comfort.  You can also opt for over ear, in ear, with controls on the cord or without.  Basic ear bud without cord controls (what I have) Retail - $19.99

Jaybird Bluebuds X

These babies are what I currently run with 100% of the time.  They are an investment.  I can honestly say that I would have never gotten these had my husband not stumbled on a KILLER deal, we paid about half price.  BUT with that said, having run with them for over a year now I WOULD drop full price money on these.  They are that great.  I wouldn't have thought the wireless would make that big of a difference.  But until you go wireless you just don't know what you're missing.  No more untangling cords from under your layers when you get warm and drop layers mid run.  No more catching the cord on something YANKING them out of your ears, causing serious pain.  The charge is good for about 8 hours of battery (tested true).  You can see a display on your iPod (at least my iPod touch does) that shows you how much battery you have on the earphones.  I charge mine once a week the night before a long run, then run with them the rest of the week for my short runs on the same charge.  They don't fall out due to that patented hooky thing (very technical talk here).  Sound quality is decent (not as good as Bose).  I love the wireless feature.  I hook them in and power them up.  Away I go.  Plus the controls lay flat against my head, I can change volume, skip songs, stop music all together just from a one finger press of a button against my head.  And yes, they are comfortable.  You can even collect up the slack cord (fit them to your head one time) so there is NO slack at all.  They come with different size ear buds and "hooky things", plus a nice carry case that holds the earphones and charge cord as well.  And I've had no skipping issues or connection issues with the Bluetooth.  You obviously would need a Bluetooth device to pair them with.  I can't say enough good things about these earphones.  Retail - $169.95

There you have it.  The Jaybirds are my first choice.  If you don't want to invest in wireless at this time then the Yurbuds are for sure my second choice.  I've also seen that Yurbuds has come out with some wireless ones at a $99.99 price point.  I've heard people complain about the weight of them but I can't speak for them myself.


Do you run with earphones?  Which is your favorite?

Do you have any song recommendations for my Mile 20 list?


Edited to add:  I came across this from RunHaven, a review of the Bluebuds, she says it better than me.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weekend Round Up {2.2.2015}

The theme this week was kind of a keep you head down and get it done kind of approach.  My husband was out of town all week for work and so it was just me and 4 kiddos.  As if that wasn't enough to force me to dig deep (think car pool 5 days versus 2) I then woke up with the distinct beginnings of a cold Friday morning.

The Workouts:

Monday - 5m Easy | 10:28 avg pace.  This run felt AWESOME.  I couldn't believe I felt so good coming off a 20 milers over the weekend.  My legs felt fresh though.

Tuesday - Barbell Strength Class - I didn't push as hard as I could have.  I made up for that on Thursday.

Wednesday - 8m Easy | 10:26 avg pace.  This was my last midweek longer run.  As I went to change for my run I found out that I had forgotten to pack my SOCKS.  I debated about asking a co-worker for a loaner pair.  But really there wasn't anyone that I could do that with.  I broke down and made a mad dash to the closest running store I could think of.  I wasn't prepared to risk blisters to run without socks.  And it NEVER crossed my mind not to run.  It caused me to stay quite a bit later to finish up but I was glad I did.  After the stress of the no sock situation the run was just okay.

      Salt Lake Running Company to the rescue.

Thursday - Barbell Strength Class - I pushed harder.  Took my squats deeper.  Tried not to give up when the instructor said we were close to the end and all I wanted to do was give up.

Friday - 5m Easy | 10:26 avg pace - This is when I started to get my cold.  The run was fine.  Legs felt strong.  But overall I was a little tired.

Saturday - 12m LSD | 11:24 avg pace - Husband was out of town so I reached out to one of my Daily Mile running buddies.  I was nervous to run with a group I had never run with before.  I knew they run a little bit slower than I would normally which for me was far better than trying to keep up with a speedier group.  I arrived right on time and started to get my hear situated.  See when Jerm and I run together we throw our earphones in and don't talk for hours.  I put my earphones in but never turned my music on.  I ended up running with my DM friends sister much of the time.  I made a very conscious effort to match pace with whomever was next to me.  Although towards the end she made several references to how fast I was (I'm not) and I actually fear that I won't be invited to go again.  Which actually makes me really sad because I had such a good time.

     Rose Canyon, UT  Deer seen on the run.

I felt really miserable afterwards due to the cold.  Spent most of the rest of the day on the couch watching "State of Affairs".

                                     Really just wanted to feel better.

Sunday - Rest.  I had planned to go to Yoga again but I just couldn't bring myself to do that with the cold.  The thought of hanging my head upside down didn't sound like much fun.  Not that I rested instead.  Went grocery shopping with 3 of my 4 kids.

Then Super Bowl party at my parents.  Which leads me to ...


Bad.  The week started out well.  I stuck to my plan, even making a big crockpot of Beef Lentil soup (for just me).  Then I got sick Friday and it just went downhill from there.  At that point I felt like crap and just wanted something easy.  Taco Bell for dinner (I'd been craving it for weeks).  Which left my belly not feeling so good on the long run Saturday.  Then pizza Saturday.  And lots of chips and dips on Sunday.

I need to pull it together.  I know this.  It could have been much worse on Sunday. I didn't eat as much as I could have, the only think saving me was less of an appetite than I've had lately.  If I'm not careful I'm going to gain all the weight back that I lost at the end of last year.

The Plan:

Lunches - Ham for sandwiches.  Salad stuff. Although salad just doesn't even sound good right now.

Monday - Steak and Veggies
Tuesday - Taco Soup (gym night)
Wednesday - Dinner at my parents
Thursday - Left over soup (gym night)
Friday - Eat out (I'm thinking Panda Express, simply because this works REALLY well for the long run the next morning)
Saturday - Chicken Enchilada Casserole and Salad
Sunday - Family dinner


What do you do when you're lacking motivation to get back on a healthy meal wagon?

Do you like to run with new people?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Five Things Friday {Gym Edition}

So a quick five random things because this Mama is tired.  It's been a very long week and I have just a few minutes before I need to rush out to the door to take my boys to school.

1.  I had a lot of very frustrating moments  at the gym last night.  It's coming to the end of January and my classes are not thinning out much.  I'm really happy for the people that are sticking with it but there is such a thing as gym etiquette.  I arrived to Barbell class half an hour early.  Set myself up close to the door next to a couple of other girls in the corner, allowing myself plenty of room for my lunges and such.  After I headed out to the treadmills to finish getting  my steps in for the day (I'm a bit obsessed).  When I came back to class at the start two other girls had squished themselves in behind me leaving me very little room.  To top it off the one closer to the wall had a good two feet on her opposite side while overlapping on top of me on the other side.  SO SO irritating.

Side Note:  The two girls who were in the room when I first went in there to set up just sat there atop their benches for 30 minutes waiting for class to start.  Girls you're at the GYM .. go walk or ellipticize or cycle for 30 minutes.  Why are you just SAT there?

2.  Another gym related random.  We have a new instructor for the Thursday class.  She's getting better and I like her.  The Tuesday instructor is a veteran and awesome.  Long story short the Vet will very pointedly and specifically tell people when we get to abs and stretching at the end NOT to put their weights away.  Well Newbie doesn't do this and she always asks at the end of class for feedback.  I'm thinking next week I might suggest to her that she take the Vet's approach.  Because it never fails EVERY week as soon as we get to ab work 1 or 2 people start climbing over everyone else to put their crap away.  I can't stand it and get really pissed off if I'm being honest.  #1  I don't want a weight dropped on my head or a step bench thank you very much.  #2 MORE IMPORTANTLY it's incredibly rude to the instructor in my opinion.  As well as the other class participants.  And what you're saving yourself is all of 10 minutes tops!

3.  Texting!!  Why .. oh why do people feel the need to text in the middle of barbell class?  I know it has zero impact on me but I just don't get it!  Put the phone down people.

4.  People who don't take it seriously.  I'll be the first to own up to the fact that I am a Type A personality.  I get accused of being "too serious" or not being able to take a joke.  But last week, again in Barbell class, I had this couple next to me.  They aren't married, clearly they're dating.  The stupid girl was doing the whole giggly / flirty thing through the entire class.  Truly bugging the shit out of me.  Talking when the instructor is talking, which again is incredibly rude and distracting to people around them.  Especially when we've still go so many resolutioners in the class and they really need to HEAR what the instructor is saying.

As if that wasn't enough the same annoying girl actually bent down in front of me as I dropped to my mat for my ab work.  I'm holding a plank position bristling with annoyance because she and her boy toy are climbing over people to put their weights away after talking through the whole class .. her face in front of mine and she asks me if I'll put their mats away and the rest of her equipment.  I look at her and my face must have spoken a thousand words.  She says, "I'm sorry.  Is that okay?"  I'm dumbfounded.  My answer is "sure" because I'm not rude so what am I supposed to say?  But HOLY HELL I couldn't believe it.

5.  Parking.  There is a time and a place for little men in big trucks to pull in and out and in and out (and IN and OUT again) of a tiny parking spot just because it's a little closer to the door.  Not only am I trying to stop my 8 year old from getting run over, he doesn't know whether to go in front or behind the truck.  Is it coming or going??  But you are also squeezing your big ass truck into a teeny tiny space meaning that the cars on either side of you are now going to have a HELL of a time getting in their doors.  And HELLOOOOO  you are at the GYM for crying out loud!  You are at a place you go to to get exercise, improve your health.  Of all places don't you think that's somewhere you could go park your big ass truck out in the back nine where there's plenty of space??  Hoof it 30 feet further.  I'm thinking you're already wearing your walking shoes!

And in order to end this on a good note I was thrilled to see that the North Face Endurance Challenge will be coming back to Utah again this year!  This was my first trail race last year and I LOVED it!  Absolutely gorgeous and still SO hard.  To get the party started they're offering 20% off the lowest price registration until Feb. 2nd.  The code is 2015ECSUT20.  I get nothing for sharing this or anything, I'm not cool like that. But the email I got (since I was a past participant said to share the code with whomever).  So there you go.  I'll be signing Jeramie and myself up.  It was so awesome!

                              2014 North Face Endurance Challenge - perhaps my best race photo ever. 

                              The furball in blue cut off is my bro, followed by my husband, myself
                               and in white my sister in law.  


What is your biggest gym pet peeve?

Do you buy race photos?

     --  I bought these because I just loved them so much.  But normally I don't.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend Round Up {1.19.2015}

The theme of this week was, "I'm tired!" scrolling through my brain for just about every work out.  So let's jump right in shall we.

The Workouts:

Monday  -  5m Easy.  Didn't feel so easy.  My legs were tired after the weekends 18 miler.  I was just glad to survive.  I went on to Weight Watchers that night and gained 1.4 pounds.  This is about when I struggle the most with marathon training and losing weight.  When I'm peaking with 18-20 miler runs.  They just mess up my body.

Tuesday  -  Barbell Strength class.  Felt good.  I also walked for 40 minutes and then used the stair climber for 20 minutes before class.

Wednesday  -  8m Pace.  I had been dreading this workout all week.  It is my last longer pace run.  I had felt worn out all week already and I just knew this wouldn't be pretty.  And it wasn't.  But at this point I'm happy to look back and know that that was the worst of it for mid week runs.

Thursday  -  Barbell Strength class.  My husband called and cancelled meeting me.  It took all my mental strength to go anyway.  I really wish there was a better 6pm Yoga class on Thursday's.  But at the end I was glad I went. I know the strength workouts are going to help me in Phoenix.  I also walked 50 minutes.

Friday - 5m Easy.  This was the easiest run of the week.

Saturday  -  13m LSD.  These lower mileage step back weeks ALWAYS mess with my head.  I feel like they should feel easy.  They are often some of my worst runs.  As I mused this over during my run I came up with two explanations.  (1)  13 miles is still a very long way.  It should still feel like a long way, because it IS.  (2)  It's a step back week on the tail of a build up. Meaning my body is TIRED and this is supposed to be allowing for recovery.  However, don't forget that you're running on a tired body.  (Listened to 2 episodes of Serial and then moved on to Unbroken on Audible)

          Jordan River Parkway, the inversion finally cleared to a beautiful Utah day.

Sunday  -  Rest.  I did my grocery shopping and then took Boston for a 40 minute walk along the river.  It was a first for him!  He loved it.  I have diligently waiting for him to hit 1 year old before I start running with him (this happens in March).  So I figured now might be a good time to start getting him acclimated to the trail itself and the traffic we'll see down there.

          Boston on the trail, Jordan River Parkway. 

I finished up the weekend with a birthday party for my sweet niece on Sunday evening.  She was very particular about chocolate cake, pink frosting, black polka dots.  I'm capable of better than this but this was the best my impatient (post long run) self was capable of on Saturday.  She was pleased with it, so I guess I did okay.


I did much better this week than last week.  For lunches I ate BBQ chicken salads.  And I'm to the point that I'm tired of them.  So this coming week I need to mix it up.  But I stuck with them every weekday lunch.  We lucked out with 2 boys at birthday parties on Friday and my daughter at a Camp K activity, so we just had my youngest and decided to try and take advantage of the opportunity and go OUT to dinner.  We ended up at Texas Roadhouse and by the time we were seated (8pm) I was starved!  I got my usual prime rib, not the best choice, mashed potatoes (not the best choice) with a Caesar salad (700+ calories, I learned later).  So basically for the day I went over by almost a thousand calories.  Shoot.  (followed up by Cold Stone ice cream)  Oops.

I feel that I recovered a little from that large meal by only getting a Subway sandwich after our long run on Saturday.  No crazy fast food this week.  So while not perfect, I feel better about my choices.  then a home cooked meal for dinner.  Sunday I had a big home cooked breakfast which held me over until dinner.  So overall, not perfect but better.

With all the running I find it incredibly hard to find the perfect balance.

The Plan:

2 days BBQ Chicken Salad
2 days Chicken & Sweet Potato
1 day left over soup

Monday - Steak, Sweet Potato Fries, Veggies
Tuesday - Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (crock pot) It will be ready for me to eat when we come home from the gym.
Wednesday - Dinner at my Mum's
Thursday - Left over Chili
Friday - Spaghetti and salad (hoping to fuel that 20 miler)
Saturday - I'm thinking we may eat out.


Tell me one thing you did over the weekend?

What are you having for meals this week?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekend Round Up

Keeping it real.

Confessions of a 4:21 marathoner.  I committed to myself that I would clean up my eats again starting this week.  From Monday until dinner on Friday things went pretty great.  As I was on my way home from work on Friday my husband buzzed me.  He wanted Panda Express for dinner.  Because we "always" have it the night before a long run.  But we'll get to that in more detail in a minute.

The Workouts:  (aka The Good)

Monday - 5m Easy on the treadmill, followed by a .2 gain at Weight Watchers.  Awesome.

Tuesday - Walked 45 minutes on the treadmill, followed by Barbell Strength class.

Wednesday - 8m Easy on the treadmill, it was long and boring.  Mentally hard, not physically.

Thursday - Was going to go to Barbell Strength again (like normal) then Jerm decided he wasn't going to make it to the gym.  So I opted for Yoga instead.  I've been wanting to add Yoga in somewhere.  It was Restorative Yoga (I'd never done it before), and it was more like stretching in the form of Yoga poses.  Sure it felt good and all but it wasn't a workout and I won't be going back.

Friday - 5m Easy on the treadmill, I felt strong and it felt pretty easy.

Saturday - 18m LSD.  I listened to a couple episodes of Serial (I'm trying to spread them out so I don't burn through them all too quickly).  Then at the turn around point I switched over to Unbroken on Audible.  I'm really enjoying this book.  Listening to books really helps the time fly on the long run I think.  As we hit mile 17 my husband needed to take a walk break. He doesn't train midweek so when the long runs get really long he starts to struggle.  I kept going and finished up my 18 feeling super strong and SUPER hungry.

          Seen from Jordan River Parkway.

Sunday - I'll call this "Active Rest" since I spent 3 hours walking around Costco and Target getting my groceries.  Followed by putting them away.

The Eats:  (The Bad AND The Ugly)

I did really well during the week.  Had BBQ chicken salad for lunch every day.  Kept my dinners on point with what I had meal planned.  And then ... shit just fell apart Friday night.

Confession #1  --  I have been known to eat Panda Express the night before a long run. Thing is, it's carby for one thing.  Noodles and rice.  And I pretty much have a stomach of STEEL.  The majority of my really bad long runs were preceded by a dinner of just soup.  Or a salad.  So apparently I went to the other end of the spectrum and go with greasy .. fatty .. yummy Chinese food.

Confession #2  --  After we finished our run we were both starved.  And we didn't have time to go sit down and eat breakfast like we often do.  After some back and forth we stopped at Sonic and ended up downing a footlong Coney Chili Cheese Dog.  (This is the UGLY category).  WITH onion rings.  It tasted so good though.

See I told you it fell apart.  And thus I'm up .5 this fine Monday morning.  Awesome.

Marathon training is hard!  It can make you irrationally hungry.  Not all the time.  But sometimes.  And I fully admit I went with the I just burned a bunch of calories I "earned" this mentality.  And I'm frustrated with myself.  I really really want to lose another 10 lbs before Phoenix.  I need to try harder. I need to do better.

The Weekend:

After the sinful chili dog on Saturday I got busy!  Rotated all the seasonal clothing for my boys.  I should have done this like 2 months ago. But I just now got Jerm to bring the boxes down from the attic.  I did a crap load of laundry.  Why EVER to I let it stack up like that?  I cleaned out my closet and all together had 5 bags of donation clothing to get rid of.  So I felt like I had a really productive day.

Then Sunday it was grocery shopping and dinner at my parents.  Before I knew it I was wrestling kids into bed.  OH .. I also finished "The Affair" on Showtime.  I know some people don't like to watch/read about people having affairs. It's a little racy.  But it's also decently written. I would recommend it.  I'm already looking forward to next season!  It ended with a great cliff hanger!


What are you watching right now?

Do you binge watch TV?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Keys to Sustained Weight Loss

I am 5'5.  Almost.

The healthy weight range for my height is 120 to 150.  I think I've topped out around 170.  So I've never been more than 20 lb over the maximum healthy weight for my height.  Sometimes I think that the fact that I don't have a 50+ lb weight loss story means that my story isn't worthy of telling.

           Jackson Hole, WY

But maybe I'm wrong about that.  It's still MY story.

I spent my high school years around 128 lbs.  Size 5 (back then I think it was a smaller size 5 than it is today).  And for whatever reason they don't even have size 5 anymore. It's either 4 or 6.  Either way that was and still is the lightest / thinnest I've every been.  (note I did NOT say fittest)

As an adult I've been all over the place.  I've birthed 4 children.  Up down, up down on the scale.  Since I started running I can honestly say this is the FITTEST I've ever been, in the more recent years.  I've joined Weight Watchers every time I've really committed to losing weight.  I've only been truly successful when I've attended meetings.  I've watched friends join online and some have been a little successful but never to the degree that I've seen people reach success from my meetings.  So I guess we'll start there.

                         Around my fittest.
                         Those pink shorts are my current motivation!

How have I lost weight and kept it off?

1.  Group Support.  Like I said, I joined Weight Watchers and attended meetings.  I've heard people give a million different excuses as to why this won't work for them.  Each time I think in my head, "You're not ready."  (I've said this to myself as well, when I forego the meetings and "Do it on my own, because I know how the plan works.")  Don't hide the fact that you're working on your weight.  Tell people.  Tell your loved ones most importantly, they are who you eat many meals with.  They have huge influence over your mental well being.

2.  Drink your water.  Do it like your life depends on it.  Get yourself a fancy and cute water bottle.  I love Nalgene and Sigg for these purposes.  Be prepared to fill it and carry it with you everywhere.  At least a 32 oz size one.  For ME, this meant that I would not "allow" myself to eat my lunch until I had finished my first bottle of water.  Then my next goal would be to make sure I finished my second bottle before I left work for the day.  Another game changer .. learn to like water that ISN'T ice cold.  I know .. I know .. if I had a dollar for every time someone told me they "HAVE" to have their water with ice.  Yeah .. you don't.  Just get used to it without ice.  Without ice means you can guzzle it quicker (no brain freeze).  I don't sip on my water, I gulp it.  And while you're at it, get used to drinking just plain water .. without adding all the Crystal Lights and crap.  (but if you can't do that and the only way to get it in is to add something, give Nuun a try).  I happen to love the Energy flavors, all of them.

3.  Meal plan.  I know what you're thinking, "But I don't have TIME to meal plan!"  Umm, yes.  Yes, you do.  It's a choice people.  Choose to MAKE the time.  The first time might take you a little while, but I literally spend 30 minutes TOPS planning meals for my family for the week.  We eat probably the same dozen meals all year long.  Or at least variations of those meals.  Research shows that this is pretty common for most households.  But you need a plan for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.

4.  Track your food.  This is where things get dicey in my opinion.  Dicey in the respect that you are flooded with options. You can go old school and track with paper and pen.  Weight Watchers has their eTools app.  The only downside to their app is it doesn't talk to other apps first of all.  Secondly the majority of people are "doing their own thing" with regards to their weight loss plan, so you can't engage with people who aren't on WW's without logging in another third party app (MyFitnessPal, Lose It, etc.)  I log in the WW's app to keep track of my points.  But I often will also log my food in my Jawbone activity app (their food section).  It's kind of overkill.  But my point would be that you need to track EVERY single bite of food that goes into your mouth SOMEWHERE.  Even the bad days.  It keeps you honest.

5.  Focus on your whole foods.  Fruits, vegetables and lean protein.  I don't eliminate carbs but I do look to them last.  I rarely make a carb side with my dinners ever.  But we'll occasionally have a pasta type dish.  I'll have toast with my eggs on the weekends (always whole wheat).  But then on Friday's we'll often have sweet potato fries with our steaks.  So yeah, I limit them.  

6.  I tend to eat the SAME thing for lunch every day.  Until I get tired of it and then I switch to something different.  I realize that this may not work for everybody.  For about 2.5 months last year I ate a spinach salad every single day.  And then I couldn't even stomach the sight of it.  So I moved on to BBQ Chicken salad.  Which I have revamped this week.  If nothing else maybe you can find a few things to rotate between.  The advantage to the same lunch is I know exactly what to buy and if I'm feeling overly ambitious I can meal prep a little.

7.  Avoid restaurants.  Again, I realize this is a bit extreme.  But when I'm going hardcore, and for someone new I think it's good to get some momentum with the stuff you can control before venturing out to making good choices in the minefield known as Chili's (or wherever).  Even once I've got momentum I will limit eating out to one meal a week if possible.  

8.  Waistline is made in the kitchen, not the gym.  Ok .. sort of.  You've heard a variation of this mindset though right?  This may be controversial as well, BUT I don't believe that exercise really helps all that much with weight loss.  Physical activity is absolutely good for you, don't get me wrong here.  But don't use activity as an excuse to eat all the cupcakes.  This is where that 80/20 split comes into play.  Losing weight is 80% what goes in your mouth.  I don't believe in swapping activity for more food points in WW's.  Just consider the activity EXTRA!  Only on long run days do I allow myself a little extra.  That comes way of some fried potatoes after and the untracked fuel I take during the run.  

9.  Cheat Meals / Weekly Points Allowance.  Whatever your version is of this.  My balance in this is again on long run day.  My husband and I will often go out to breakfast after our long run. I tend to get the mushroom and avocado omelette (egg whites only with light cheese).  I eat all the homestyle potatoes and have wheat toast WITH the butter on it.  I still track it.  All of it.  And I often go over my points that day. But I consider it a wash with the 1700 calories I burned running double digit mileage.  

That's pretty much it.  I try to avoid "saving my points" for special meals and then gorging.  I focus on whole foods spread throughout the day.  I generally eat a big ass salad for lunch during the week. And that salad usually runs me about 10 points plus values.  With a mid afternoon snack I'm plenty satisfied until dinner and don't feel the need to eat more than a reasonable sized dinner.  I've found that eating whole foods really does keep me full longer.


What strategies have you used to lose weight or even maintain?

Do you feel like exercise plays a role in weight LOSS?