Wednesday, September 30, 2015
The grass was really wet, so instead of doing the hill game, as I'd planned, we just had the kids see how many laps they could run on the paved trail. The kids get pretty competitive when we do that! To try something new, I divided them into groups based on pace, so that they would have other people to run with. I wanted them to help encourage and push each other (and maybe drive up the competition!). They ALL got in 2.5-3.5 miles! Normally, they get about half that distance, so they were pretty proud.
This morning, I was planning to run again--and really looking forward to it--but I was still crazy sore. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be good to try another run, even if I am stiff and awkward ;)
Today was my Wednesday weigh-in, and I had another great week...
I was 142.5, so I lost 2 pounds this week (it's getting so predictable now!). My body fat was 26.3%, which is down 0.2%. My waist was down about half an inch, too (a little less than that, but I rounded it). I am now less than 10 pounds from my goal weight, and I am so close to being back in the 130's!
The only thing that was different this week was that I didn't have my very high calorie day like usual. Normally, I choose one day to eat a high number of calories--about 2,500--but this week, my highest calorie day was only 1,800. On Saturday, we went to Anson's (our favorite pizza place) in order to try their stuffed burgers (my brother said they were awesome). I planned on that being my high calorie day, so I ordered a stuffed burger (it was stuffed with cream cheese, jalapeños, and dried Michigan cherries, which sounded fantastic).
When I took a bite of it, I wasn't crazy about it at all. I adore dried cherries, but they just tasted odd with the meat. So, rather than eat the burger anyway, I decided not to. I had that one bite, and then I was done with it (I didn't want to order something else, because Jerry and the kids had their food already, so I just ate when I got home). I had a busy few days, so I didn't have a chance to do another planned high calorie day. But, as you can see, I lost the same amount of weight without the high calorie day as I have been losing with it. This weekend, I definitely plan to do it!
I decided to go weigh in at Weight Watchers this morning, too. I'm still going to count calories, because I really like it, but I miss going to meetings. And, I think that weighing in once a week will help keep me accountable. I was very excited when I got on the WW scale to see that I'm a "free" Lifetime member again (I don't have to pay for meetings or e-Tools anymore! ...As long as I weigh in once a month and I'm not more than two pounds over my WW goal). It was nice to sit in my old meeting, and see all the familiar faces.
After the meeting, I went to Victoria's Secret to use some coupons. I had a coupon for 7 panties for $27.50, a coupon for free panties, and a coupon for $10 off a bra. I'd never bought a bra from Victoria's Secret before, but I wanted to get a cute one for my boudoir photoshoot; and, I felt like treating myself for getting my weight back down to a "normal" range.
I'd also never been measured for a bra, so I had no idea if I was even wearing the correct size. I asked someone to measure me, and I measured at a 36B, which is what I've been wearing (which means I probably should have been wearing a bigger bra a couple of months ago!). I picked out a bunch to try on, and ended up choosing two (I couldn't decide between them). I was surprised at just how much more comfortable the bras were than the cheap ones I usually wear! Considering I wear a bra every day, I am going to start wearing a good one. (And Jerry never complains when I spend money at VS! haha)
It's kind of funny how wearing nice underwear makes me feel so much better about myself. Nobody but Jerry sees them, but something about wearing a cute, matching bra and panty set makes me feel prettier and more confident. If that's all it takes, I really ought to do it every day :)
Paige and Caitlin, both from my Sole Mates Ragnar team, had a trip planned to come visit me tomorrow through Sunday. We've been looking forward to it for a couple of months! Unfortunately, Caitlin's dad is very ill in the hospital, so today, we decided to reschedule the trip. I'm disappointed I won't get to see them this weekend after all, but I totally understand Caitlin wanting to stay with her dad. Hopefully we'll get to do it in the next month or two!
I do have some fun plans this weekend, though. Tomorrow, I'm going to see my friends' old band from high school play a reunion show. They were locally pretty famous back in the day, and hanging out with that group is how Jerry and I got together (Jerry was friends with the band, and so was I). Anyway, I haven't seen them play a gig since high school, so I'm really excited about it! They're playing at a local bar, and I'm sure it'll probably be like a high school reunion in there, which should be fun.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
Amy hit her goal weight in May, and has been adapting to maintenance ever since! She'd been overweight since about 2000, and topped out at 126 kilos (278 pounds). She said she put some real effort into loving herself--she took control over her binge eating and began to love working out. She reached her goal of 79 kilos (174 pounds) in May, and is now working on maintenance.
Emily (far right in photo) recently ran her first race in a very long time! She is part of a running group called the Sunset Coast Striders who meets three days a week to run. Emily ran the whole 5K race without stopping, and finished in 32:03--a personal best! (Emily's Blog)
Amanda is thrilled that she was able to run her first half-marathon! It's something she's wanted to do for years, and she finally did at the Brewers Mini Marathon at Miller Park. She didn't set a time goal--she just wanted to finish--but she did great, crossing the finish line in 2:34:52! She even celebrated with a margarita afterward :)
Cathy started running over the past year, and decided to train for a half-marathon. Many pounds, and 953 miles later, she did it! She ran the Chicago Half Marathon in 2:27 at the age of 51 years young.
Tiffany completed her first full marathon this weekend! She's lost 113 pounds, and started running just over a year ago. On Saturday, she ran the Mill Race Marathon, and is now proud to call herself a marathoner!
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Yesterday's game was at a different park, which was about 30 minutes away. The kids had practice before the game, so we were there an hour before the game started. When we began walking to the field, someone who works at the park came up to us and said that dogs weren't allowed. I had no idea! So, I had to drive Joey all the way back home, and drop him off, then drive all the way back to the game. I made it back just in time.
Their first game was two weeks ago, and I wasn't able to go because I was at Nathan's 50K. Last weekend, their game was canceled due to rain. So this was my first time watching their fall ball game. I always get nervous watching them play, but yesterday, I learned that they are allowed to steal bases now (they have never been able to do that before). Noah was the starting pitcher, and every time someone would steal a base, I felt really bad for him. Noah throws good pitches, which always makes the game interesting, because kids actually hit the ball (the worst games are the ones where everyone is either walking or striking out).
My nerves were totally shot while watching him pitch, because it seemed like the other team was constantly rounding the bases. Our team didn't do very well at batting this game, either, and the final score ended up being 15-1! It was hard to watch. ;)
After the kids' game, we went home to have some lunch. Jeanie was just arriving in town from Illinois, so we stopped at my parents' house to see her for a little bit before going to the meet. The meet was at the State Park, and I was shocked to see cars backed up for a couple of miles out onto the main road! I didn't remember the meet being so huge last year. Thankfully, I still made it in time, but not as early as I would have liked. I LOVE the back of my cross country shirt, by the way:
|"Our blood, our sweat, your tears"|
The boys lined up, and I had them do a couple of strides (running out about 20-30 yards and then running back to the starting line). They had seen the older kids doing it, so I think it made them feel cool ;) The gun was fired, and the boys took off. I quickly made my way over to the finish line, because the race was only 1.15 miles, so it wouldn't be long before they finished. Jerry, Nathan, and my mom were there also, so we lined up to cheer.
A couple of minutes after we got there, we saw a girl finishing up her race--she was crying, and she had her coach (I think) and maybe her dad with her as she moved through the chute. We started clapping for her, and then the whole crowd started clapping and yelling words of encouragement. Of course, I got all emotional watching it.
Just a couple of minutes later, the boys started finishing. The first boy came FLYING past, and I was just amazed at his speed and his running form. He looked like an elite, and his feet were barely touching the ground. Renee's son, Ben, was the first boy from my team to come through (her whole family is really fast!). Each time I saw one of the boys from my team, I started reminding them, "Cheetah! Cheetah! Cheetah!"--because I'd told them that once they see the finish line, they should run like a cheetah (sprint) to finish. It was really fun to watch, and I was super proud of all of them!
Noah hit a big milestone, running an 8:56 pace! It was his first sub-9:00 mile. Last year, his pace for this same meet was 9:38. He really improved a lot, especially considering he didn't train all summer ;) Eli did really well, too, finishing in 13:58 (a 12:09/mile pace, about 20 seconds per mile faster than his first meet on Wednesday).
Don't forget! Tomorrow is Motivational Monday, so if you have a photo to submit, please get that to me tonight. I will be getting the post ready tomorrow morning, because I have a busy day tomorrow.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
|He looks stoned, doesn't he? Haha|
So, I started "desensitizing" him, first by just touching his paws while giving him a couple of treats. Then, I started showing him the nail trimmers while giving him treats. Next (this was literally two months after I started--a long process), I was able to start to touch his paws with the trimmers (if I gripped his paw too tightly, though, he would flip out again). I basically wanted to let him see that there was nothing to be scared of, and nail trimmers = treats. Recently, we've been able to trim just a hair's width of nail from a few of his nails. I don't want to risk getting the quick, so I've been very careful not to trim much at all. I'm sure if I accidentally got the quick, he'd NEVER trust me again.
His nails are pretty long right now, but he's gotten so much better about letting me touch them. I've been trimming the cats' nails for years, and they don't mind it at all. I'm hoping that with enough treats, Joey will eventually get that way, too!
"Waggin' Train Chicken Jerky Minis--Made using real white meat chicken, with just two simple ingredients and sliced into fun-sized pieces. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives are added.
Waggin' Train Homestyle Chicken Jerky Tenders--Made with real chicken that is slow cooked and then covered in little jerky bits of chicken to make it both crunchy and chewy. Made with just two simple ingredients, this product has no artificial colors, flavors, or ingredients.
Waggin' Train Chicken Jerky Curls--These 100% real treats are made with just two simple ingredients and are twisted into fun shapes that you can toss and flip 'til your dog's heart is content. The product has no artificial flavors or preservatives."I wish I could tell you which was Joey's favorite, but he likes all treats equally--A LOT.
Friday, September 25, 2015
- Our cross country team had their first meet on Wednesday. All the kids finished and had fun!
- It was Eli's first cross country meet, and he did awesome! He was really nervous, but he ran about a 12:30 pace, and did his best. I let him wear my Garmin, but he forgot to start it for a while, and then he forgot to stop it ;)
- I ran a little at cross country practice yesterday, and it went well. I just did a slow jog with the kids for about 2/3 of a mile, so I could check their running form. I think next week, I'll incorporate a couple of short runs for exercise. I'm kind of excited to do it!
- Speaking of running, I haven't missed it nearly as much over the last six weeks as I did the whole first half of the year. I think that's because I finally really started to enjoy bike riding, and finding ways to stay active without sticking to a rigid schedule. Before, I was so focused on what I couldn't do that I didn't even want to think about what I could do (that totally sounds like a line in a commercial or something).
- Yesterday, I helped my friend Andrea move across town. I've been seeing her quite a bit lately, and it feels good. We are very much alike in a lot of ways, and she is one of my most trustworthy and honest friends.
- I'm having a hard time getting hooked on another book. I've started several in the past week, but they haven't really held my interest long enough to want to finish them. A lot of the newer books that were recommended to me are on hold at the library
- Likewise, I'm not watching anything on Netflix right now, either. I need a new series! (Well, I really don't *need* a new series to suck me in, but I kind of wish I had a go-to favorite show that I could watch in the evenings.
- Yesterday, I got a fun package (a "blogger box") in the mail from Shape magazine (and Brooks, the shoe company). I'm still amazed at all the doors this blog has opened for me! I've gotten introduced to some really great companies. This was in the box from Shape and Brooks:
- When I saw the Brooks Ghost shoes in the box, I thought there was no way they'd fit, because I have wide feet. But they fit perfectly, and I really like them (I LOVE the color)! I wore them to cross country practice yesterday, and they felt great. I still love my Altras, of course, but one of the things I learned from Golden (founder of Altra) is that it's good to have different shoes to rotate so that your feet don't get used to the same ones.
- Today, Jerry and I did a lot of yard work (well, mostly Jerry did it... I just kind of got in the way when I tried to help). After building the garage last fall, our yard looks terrible. We have piles of dirt that has to be spread out, bare patches with no grass, a TON of weeds, and broken up concrete from the driveway that has to be disposed of.
- Jerry got creative with the concrete, and built a really big fire pit! I was very impressed.
- My job was to spray all the weeds with a weed killer. A tough job, but one of us had to do it ;)
- We really need to paint or stain our porches and deck, but that is a huge project. It may have to wait until spring.
- Today, I booked a boudoir photo session (insert "shocked" emoji here) for October 9th. I'm so nervous, but it's something I've been wanting to do since my early 20's. I've always thought I'm not thin enough or my skin isn't clear enough, or whatever... but I'm not getting any younger, and I'm feeling pretty good about my body right now, so I might as well just do it. Eek!
- Tomorrow, the boys have a baseball game in the morning, and then a cross country meet in the afternoon. It's a busy day for them!
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Today's weigh-in was the best one yet, believe it or not:
My weight was 144.5, meaning I lost 2.5 pounds this week! My body fat was down by 0.7%, and my waist measurement was down nearly half an inch from last week. I felt a big change in my clothes this week, also, fitting into some jeans I couldn't wear just a couple of weeks ago. I didn't do anything differently this week (average daily calories were 1527); but I was super excited to see that my BMI is now in the "normal" range again.
For my six week totals:
I lost 11.5 pounds.
(I didn't take my body fat or waist measurement from Day 1, unfortunately; but from the weigh in after the first week, my body fat is down by 2.8% and my waist is down by 2 inches.)
As far as calories go, I basically tried to keep my calories under 1500, except for one day a week, where I would have a lot more (typically about 2,500). I like having the high calorie day, because then I can fit in things that may not fit in otherwise--like pizza Friday with the family, or a restaurant meal.
One thing that really helped me to stay on track is that I didn't actually have a "target" number of calories. I usually wound up eating about 1400-1500 per day (except for the high calorie day), but I wasn't actually aiming for that number. I just ate three meals and one snack a day, with "normal" sized portions, and that's what the calories usually ended up being. By not having a target, I never felt like I went "off plan" when my calories came in over 1500. And even on my high calorie day, I didn't pig out all day--I still had three meals and one snack, but they were higher calorie choices.
I find it easier to think of the calorie counts per meal rather than per day. Breakfast ended up being about 300-400 calories; lunch and dinner are approximately 400-500 calories; and then snack is typically 200-300. This helped, because when logging my lunch, for example, if it was 600 calories, I knew I should probably plan a lighter dinner. Or, if my lunch only ended up being 300 calories, I knew I could eat a heavier dinner.
As far as exercise goes, I haven't been following a routine. I've just been trying to find opportunities to stay active. I've been riding my bike, which I've written about, and I've been walking quite a bit. I've also done the stair stepper about once a week when I want to do something quickly. Sunday will mark six weeks since my last run, and I think I may start to incorporate some running again next week. I still feel twinges in my ankle, but my physical therapist says it's normal to feel odd twinges (not pain, like I'd experienced six weeks ago). To be safe, I may give it another week or two, since stress fractures usually heal in 6-8 weeks.
Anyway, like I said, I'm going to continue to count calories so that I can get back down to my goal weight. I really like having just ONE number to worry about when choosing what to eat (going out to eat is much easier, because a lot of places list the calories on the menu). A few people have asked if I'm tracking macros, and I'm not. The calorie counting appealed to me because it's just one number to think about, rather than trying to hit several numbers (carbs, fat, protein). I'm not saying that one way is better than the other--but for me, personally, I prefer to just keep it simple with the calories. And it's working well for me :)
I know there were several readers who mentioned they were going to try a six week challenge as well... anyone else want to check in with your progress?
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Yesterday, I went to Dollar General to buy some hula hoops before heading to practice (I thought it would be a fun game to put four kids in each hula hoop and have them race the other teams while the hula hoop held them together), but they had gotten rid of the summer stuff. I had to head to the school, so I came up with a different game on the fly. I bought 10 small buckets and a package of plastic toy food items (50 food items in the package).
For the game, I wrote down the names of the food items on index cards (one item per card). Then I put a few of those items in each bucket (there were 26 kids there yesterday, so we used 26 items--about three items in each bucket). We put the buckets in the field where we practice, spread out from each other. Then we divided the kids into four teams, and handed each kid an index card with a food item written on it.
The object of the game was to find their toy food item as quickly as possible, relay-style. The first runner on each team ran off to look in the buckets (running from bucket to bucket) to find the item written on their cards. Some of them may have gotten lucky and found their item in the first bucket they looked in; and some of them had to look at several buckets until they found it. Once they found their item, they ran back to their team, and the second runner got to go search.
The kids were allowed to tell their teammates what they saw, so if they knew their teammate was going to be looking for a potato chip, for example, maybe they saw a potato chip in the red bucket while they were looking for their green apple. They could tell their teammate where it was. The first team to get all of their items was declared the winner.
It worked out pretty well, although there are a couple of things I'd do differently next time. I would put the buckets closer together (they were spaced pretty far apart--we had a quarter-mile loop marked off with cones, and the buckets were spread throughout the whole inside of the loop). I would also have more teams with fewer kids on each team (we had 4 teams of 6-7 kids each, and I think it would be better to do 6-7 teams with 4 kids each). Anyway, it was a fun game.
Before they played the game, we had them run easy laps around the 1/4 mile loop, with the goal of running four laps. Normally, we have practice on Tuesdays as well but the kids have their first meet tomorrow! I'm excited (and a little nervous) to see how it goes. It's a 1.3 mile race, and it will be for K-6 graders from several schools. Lots of kids running at the same time!
I don't know if I've said this yet, but I really love coaching this team! It's fun to see some of the kids get excited when they do something they thought they couldn't, or when they hit the laps goal that I give them. I also like getting creative with games that keep them running, but are fun to play. Lots of the kids tell me that they had fun, which makes me happy. Even though Eli will be at the middle school next year, I think I'd like to continue to coach this age group if I can!
I taught myself to change my bike tire tube yesterday! I watched some YouTube videos, which made it seem really overwhelming, and I wasn't confident going into it. I bought a few spare tubes, and when I got home, I changed out my flat front tire. I took a time lapse video (the video is 24 seconds, but it took a lot longer than that to change it out! I'm not sure exactly how long, maybe 15-20 minutes?)
I spent a lot of time trying to find the leak in the old tube, but I never did figure it out. I saw on one of the YouTube videos that I should try to find the leak, and then line it up with the tire so you can find out what caused the flat (to see if there was still an object embedded in the tire). I eventually just carefully felt around the inside of the tire to feel for anything that may have caused it (I didn't find anything).
I was surprised at how easy it was to actually change out the tube! It was a little time-consuming, but I imagine with practice, I'll get faster at it. Joey was hanging out in the driveway with me, and kept coming over to check it out, which you can see in the video ;)
After I changed out the tube, I decided to practice taking off my back tire (something I've never done before). That was much harder than I thought! The chain made it a little confusing, especially when putting the back tire back on. And my hands were covered in grease when I was done! But again, I imagine with practice, I'll get better at it.
Even having just changed the tire once yesterday, I feel a million times more confident about being able to do it during a ride if needed. In a way, the flat tires on Saturday were a blessing in disguise, because now I know what to do when it happens again.
Last night, after we got home from cross country, the kids and I made my dad a pecan pie for his birthday. I'm not sure when I started the tradition of doing this, but pecan pie is his favorite dessert, and I make him one for Father's Day and his birthday. It's the one thing that I am really good at baking!
I decided to calculate the calories in it, just to see what the damage would be if I decided to have a piece. Uh, yeah, 1/8 of the pie has 571 calories! If I had really been craving a piece, it would have been worth it; but I wasn't feeling very good all day, so I decided to pass.
Today was the last day of my six-week experiment with calorie counting. I don't plan to quit counting, because I really like it and it's working well! I'll write more about that tomorrow :)
Monday, September 21, 2015
This is the third, and final, post in the Women Inspired series from Prudential. In the first post I wrote about how I became the person that I am today. In the second, I wrote about my aspirations and inspirations. And in this final post, I've been asked to write about what I learned about myself through this process and in sitting on the Prudential panel at the BlogHer15 event.
As I mentioned in the second post, sitting on the panel was very out of my comfort zone. I'm a shy introvert by nature, and the thought of speaking to a room full of people was really scary for me! However, I also wrote that I know I need to step out of my comfort zone to achieve my goals (or even to experience some great opportunities).
In situations like that, I have this little trick I play on my mind - I pretend that I am someone else, an actress, just playing the part of Katie. I'm still ME, in the sense that I am totally honest; but by pretending that I'm acting out a script, I have less anxiety about the whole thing. Now that I write this, I realize how silly this sounds, haha!
|One of the scariest moments of my entire life! But in the end,|
I am glad that I didn't let my fear stop me from doing it.
However, that, in and of itself, was a huge learning experience for me. I realized that I am the sort of person who hates to make decisions. The responsibility of being the decision maker is worrisome because I would hate to screw something up for somebody else (like my family). By attending this panel, I hoped a financial advisor would make all these financial decisions for me - basically give me a list of things to do in order to become financially secure. That way I wouldn't risk screwing things up for my family.
I have that mindset with many goals in my life. When I lost the weight with Weight Watchers, for example, I followed the plan right to the letter. That way, if I didn't lose weight, I would know that it wasn't my fault. When training for a race, I still tend to choose someone else's training plan - even though I am certainly qualified to write my own plans. That way, if I don't reach my goal, I can think of it as a faulty plan. Realizing all of this was pretty eye opening for me! I've discovered that I really need to take chances, and take more responsibility when things don't work out. Things don't work out EVERY TIME for anyone, and I'm certainly no exception.
Hearing the other bloggers speak on the panel was very inspiring. Most of them have blogs that are businesses, and they had to do quite a bit of work to build them that way. They had to make a lot of decisions (and mistakes!) along the way to get where they are now. They are very proactive people in general, and I realized that I am not. I tend to be very passive and wait for opportunities to come along.
I've been getting better at stepping out of my comfort zone when opportunities arise. The key is, I wait for opportunities to arise rather than seek them out. I believe that is the big difference between actually getting things done, and just dreaming about them.
Regarding my financial goals, there were two things at the top of my priority list: 1) Start building an emergency fund, and 2) Get life insurance. A third big goal, although not entirely financial, was to write a will. While Jerry and I don't have much in terms of possessions, I wanted to legally appoint a guardian for the kids in case something happens to Jerry and me.
I won't tell the boys who their guardian would be, because they just may start planning Jerry's and my demise... ;)
Finally, the life insurance is still in progress. I truly knew absolutely nothing about it until I started reading about it after I got home from NY. Hopefully by the time this post goes live, we'll be covered. I was surprised to see that insurance wasn't nearly as expensive as I'd imagined. I had always assumed it would be a couple hundred of dollars a month, but it's nowhere near that.
To sum up this jumble of thoughts, my learning experience from this program with Prudential really boils down to my own introspection. I learned that I love to set goals, but have a hard time being proactive. I worry that I will fail, so I tend to wait for someone else to tell me what to do or point me in the right direction. I learned that I have to take risks in order to reach my goals, and take responsibility if I fail to reach them. I am very grateful to have discovered all of this about myself, because I took charge of a few goals on my list and knocked them off in just a couple of month's time!
From this discussion/advice, what do you find the most valuable? Is there anything you can apply to a personal situation? Join the growing community of #womeninspired.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
Between now and October 11th, I'm going to practice changing my tire tubes over and over until I'm good at it. And I'll bring at least three spares for the ride! Now that I know what to expect, I feel confident about the whole thing (although, biking uphill for the bridge is going to be tough!).
It was kind of cool outside today, and I impulsively decided to try on the goal outfit that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. Last time I tried it on, I could button and zip the jeans, but I still had love handles, and I didn't feel confident about wearing them. Today, I put on the jeans and the long-sleeved top, and I was really surprised to see that they both fit well! The jeans were really cozy, fitting just how I like them to (tight, but not in a I'll-have-to-peel-these-off-later kind of way). And I didn't have any love handles sticking out ;)
I tried on a few more pairs of jeans that had been close to fitting before, and I was able to move two of them over to my wearable pile. In about 10-12 more pounds, I should be able to wear ALL of my jeans again! Right now, I need a new outfit to set my sights on, so I went through some pictures, and this is what I chose:
I absolutely love those jeans (they're incredibly comfortable, when they fit); but right now, they're really tight. So, I'm hoping that in a month or so, I'll be able to wear this outfit again. (My friend Stephanie took that picture of me--she did a photoshoot for me when I was at my goal weight.)
I made a really good new recipe for dinner tonight! I saw this recipe for Chicken Fajita Pasta on Pinterest, and it sounded great. I decided to use mushrooms instead of chicken, though, making it vegetarian (I'm not vegetarian, but I'm pretty picky about meat, and mushrooms just sounded better today). I also used half-and-half instead of heavy cream, and made my own fajita seasoning mix. It was delicious!
It was spicy and creamy, a great combo. And a pretty large portion (just under two cups) was only 411 calories.
I'm sorry for this, but I'm not going to be able to write a Motivational Monday post tomorrow. At noon, I have to launch the third post that I wrote for Prudential--I wish I could choose when to post it, but they choose that. So anyway, I'll save the Motivational Monday submissions for next week!
Saturday, September 19, 2015
|A mural next to the hotel parking lot|
We went to dinner at a restaurant called Redsmoke Barbecue, which was recommended by someone at the hotel. I ordered a caesar salad with pulled chicken, and it was AMAZING. Their caesar dressing was fantastic, and the smokey flavor of the chicken went really well with it. Everyone really liked their food, so I am going to keep that place in mind for when we are in Detroit again.
After dinner, we went to Greektown Casino. I'm not a big gambler (I play Keno occasionally at the bar, but I never go to casinos), so I didn't play; but Kendall really likes playing roulette, so I just went with her. I never understood roulette, so Kendall explained it to me, and it was actually really fun! I'm kind of glad I didn't have much cash with me, though, because I'm sure I would have played ;) Kendall played $25, and ended up winning upwards of $400 (walking away with $180, though).
My mom and her friend went up to the room, but Kendall and I went down to the hotel bar to chat. We stayed late! I don't remember what time we got back to the room, but I think it was around 1:00. We got up at 7:00 this morning for the bike ride. It was raining on and off, which was a bummer, but we just hoped that it would clear up.
|Myrtle, me, my mom, and Kendall|
Kendall and I went to Wave 2, and my mom and Myrtle were in Wave 1, so we split up before the race started. We stood around in the rain while we waited for the start. I've never seen so many bikes in one area. There were about 6,000 people registered for this ride!
|Kendall and I waiting for the start|
|Roosevelt Park, where the starting line was|
|This was when we were waiting for Wave 2 to start|
As soon as our wave started, Kendall and I just tried to stay together and find a little breathing room (it was pretty crowded). I was loving the ride--it was an awesome way to see Detroit. At around mile four, we had to go under a bridge, and there was water over the road. At the last second, I made the split-second decision to go up on the sidewalk while I rode under the bridge--a stupid decision that affected the rest of my ride.
It was really dark under the bridge, and there was a lot of litter on the sidewalk. There was also mud, and some glass. I couldn't see very well, and I heard a pop at one point. I got back onto the road after the bridge, and my bike felt "off" (hard to describe). I asked Kendall if my back tire looked okay, and she said it looked low. I pulled over, and my tire was completely flat.
I had just bought a spare tube yesterday, so I had that with me; but I had no clue how to change the tube. I watched several YouTube videos over the past week about changing bike tires, but it was just too overwhelming and I couldn't remember anything. I told Kendall to go ahead, and I would just walk back to the starting line--I didn't really have any other choice. I walked back about half a mile, and there was a tent set up that a few people were changing tires in. I was so relieved! A really nice guy changed my tire tube, and then I was able to ride again.
Unfortunately, I was now at the back of the pack, and even the sag wagon had passed me while I was waiting for my tire change! On the plus side, there weren't many people back there, so I was able to ride much faster (and pass the sag wagon). I wanted to try and catch up to Kendall, so I did a few fast miles. Then, I noticed that my front tire was looking pretty low. I pulled over again, and it discovered it was leaking air. I rode it as far as I could, but it only made it a couple more miles before it was totally flat. I didn't have any other spare tubes.
I started walking, hoping that maybe there would be an aid station or something that I could maybe patch it. After a mile or so, a guy who was riding by asked if I needed air. I said, "Yes! Thank you!" and he let me use his air pump. I hoped the air would buy me some time to ride to an aid station or something. It was leaking faster at that point, and only lasted a couple of miles before it was flat again.
At that point, I knew it was over. There was no way I could walk 20 miles to finish the course, and I didn't have any more spare tubes to fix my tires. I used Google Maps on my phone to see how to get back to the hotel, and it was about six miles away. So, I started walking, while pushing my bike with me. It took me nearly two hours, but I finally made it back to the hotel. I put my bike in my mom's car, and just sat in the car (because of course it was raining again!) to wait for the rest of my group. Jerry called me, and I asked if he could come pick me up. It was only 12:40, and I knew it would be a while before everyone else finished and got their food and drinks at the finish line (the finish line was another 2.5 miles away, otherwise I would have walked there, too).
Jerry picked me up from the hotel, and drove me home. I can't even begin to describe how disappointed I am that I couldn't finish the ride! I had NEVER gotten a flat tire before, and today I got two. I did learn quite a bit, though, and I will definitely do this ride again next year. I'll make sure to bring at least three spare tubes, and an air pump (I had an air pump on my bike, and I swapped it out for a water bottle cage yesterday! Doh). I will practice changing the tubes, so that I can just do it myself if needed.
Over all, it wasn't a super fun day, but I really did like the ride when I wasn't having tire problems. I wish I could have finished it, but it just wasn't in the cards today. Lesson learned!
Friday, September 18, 2015
I had been hoping that there would be a spot for me to chain my bike while Jessica and I walked, but I figured that I could chain it to a tree if nothing else. There was a small fence post at the start of the trail, so I chained my bike there and just hoped that nobody would mess with it! It was gorgeous outside--a perfect day for a walk.
When Jessica got there, we walked around the 5K loop plus a small detour to make it 3.5 miles total. I hadn't seen Jessica pretty much all summer, so it was fun to catch up with her! She said that she'd be interested in doing a 10-mile walk with me, which is awesome--I need to do one sometime before the Detroit Half. We made plans to do the 10-miler on October 7th.
We are both working on getting back to our goal weight, so we each set a goal for October 7th. We decided that if we are BOTH at that goal by the time we do the 10-mile walk, then we can go to La Pita for lunch after the walk. Reminds me of when we were marathon training in 2012! ;)
I got in over 12 miles of biking and the 3.5 mile walk--it was a good morning!
Yesterday evening, I had cross country practice. I knew I wanted to do some sort of hill work with the kids, but I was having a hard time thinking of a way to make it FUN. Hills are tough! Just asking the kids to run up and down a hill is boring, so I wanted them to want to do it. The problem was, I Googled it a thousand different ways and couldn't find anything online about fun hill work for kids. I decided to go to the dollar store and see if anything inspired me to make some sort of game.
I'm really glad I did that, because I came up with a very fun game that would also be a great hill workout! We don't have a budget for the team, so whatever we buy has to be paid for out-of-pocket--therefore, I had to get creative, but that's a good thing.
Two bags of marbles in different colors--I got one blue and one green; and some sort of containers to hold them (four total--I was able to buy 5 for $1). Total cost of the game was $3.
For the game, I set the bucket of green marbles halfway up the grassy hill, and I set the bucket of blue marbles at the very top of the hill. We divided the kids into two teams, and each of them got an empty bucket, which was placed at the bottom of the hill. Here is a picture of the hill (it's steeper than the picture makes it look, honest!)
To play, the green marbles (halfway up the hill) are worth 1 point, and the blue marbles (top of the hill) are worth 3 points. The object is to get as many points as possible for your team. Each kid can only get ONE marble at a time, and they can choose whether to run halfway up the hill for a green marble, or all the way up for a blue marble. Then they have to run back down, and drop the marble in their team's bucket. All of the kids are doing this at the same time, so there are kids running up and down the hill constantly until all the marbles on the hill have been moved to the team buckets.
When all the marbles had been moved, Renee and I tallied up the points for each team, and declared the team with the most points the winner. The kids loved it! They had been pretty tired from the time trial we'd just done before the hill game, but they were really focused on getting the marbles. It was interesting, because most of the kids decided to go for the blue marbles first, so they ran all the way to the top of the hill. Once that bucket was empty, then everyone went for the green until they were gone. The whole thing took probably 10 minutes, and the kids got a heck of a workout running up the hill multiple times.
I had a couple of other ideas for hill games as well. Instead of marbles, we can put puzzle pieces at the top of the hill. The kids can only bring down one puzzle piece at a time, and the goal is to complete the puzzle at the bottom of the hill. (Again, this could be done with two teams, each working on their own puzzle. I found some puzzles with 50 pieces at the dollar store, which would work well for our group.)
My original idea was to get a bunch of silly clothes and accessories (hats, glasses, etc), and put those at the top of the hill. The kids would be divided into two teams (one for Renee, and one for me). They would run up the hill and grab an item, then run back down and Renee and I would have to put the items on. The first team to get all of the items on us would be the winner.
Another one I thought of was a matching card game. I bought a deck of cards with animals on them, typically used for a memory game to try and pair up the matches. I figured the kids could run to the top of the hill, grab a card, and bring it back down. Then run up again, get another card, bring it down... and keep doing that until they get a match. (Working as individuals rather than a team)
Finally, and I didn't buy this because it was too expensive, I thought of using the game Connect 4. The tokens would be up at the top of the hill, and the kids would have to bring down one at a time. The Connect 4 game would be at the bottom of the hill, and they could make their move as they brought the tokens down. It would help to be fast, because the faster their team brings tokens, the more likely they are to connect four. This would probably work better with a smaller group of kids, maybe 6-8 total.
Yesterday's practice was great, and I'm loving coaching this team!! It's been awesome to come up with ideas to make running FUN for kids. It makes me so happy when the kids tell me that they have fun at practice. Noah told me that he likes our cross country practices better than the ones for his middle school team, so that made me feel good ;)
Well, tonight I'm staying the night in Detroit, and I'll be doing the Tour de Troit tomorrow morning. Please cross your fingers for good weather for me! Right now, it's looking very, very bad--thunderstorms all morning. As long as they don't cancel the ride, I'll be doing it!
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Nathan started running in the early spring of 2014. After finishing his duties with the Army, and returning home from Iraq several years ago, he'd put on some weight and got out of shape. When my sister started running in late 2012, Nathan was the only one of my siblings that wasn't a runner. He saw my older brother, my sister, and I having fun doing races, and I think that influenced his decision to start running.
I'm SO GLAD that he did! Nathan and I were not close at all a couple of years ago. I only saw him a few times a year, and I just wasn't sure what to do to fix that. When he asked me if I'd like to go for a run with him one day, I was thrilled. We finally had something in common we could talk about, and an excuse to get together.
At first, we were running close to the same pace; but as Nathan started getting faster, I started getting slower. And as Nathan lost weight, I started gaining weight. Still, I ran his first 5K with him, which was fun (even though he and Brian left me in the dust at the finish line, haha). I've gotten to watch as he progressed from completing his first 5K to his first 10K, first half-marathon, first marathon, and now his first 50K.
|First race with all of my siblings! Nathan, me, Brian, Jeanie (April 2015)|
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
I was 147 this morning, meaning I dropped another 2 pounds this week. I'm thrilled with that! It's kind of odd how consistent my weight loss has been... for each of the last four weeks, I've dropped exactly 2 pounds. I've never had such consistent losses!
My body fat was down by 0.6%, and my waist was down by another 1/2 inch. I've really noticed the weight loss over the last couple of weeks. My love handles are almost gone, and I can fit into a lot of jeans I couldn't before. All it took was five weeks of being consistent with my calorie counting. I wish I could smack myself a year ago and made me do it then!
Several people have asked me why I think I'm more successful with calorie counting that I have been with Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers worked really well for me in 2012. When I used Weight Watchers in 2009-2010, I was doing their old Points system (Flex Points, I think it was called); but in 2012, I decided to give their new PointsPlus system a try. I was kind of bitter about the new system, because I was used to the old one, and I didn't want to have to learn everything all over again. But I decided to give it my all for 10 weeks or something like that.
During that time, I was following the program very closely, and I didn't know any ways to "cheat". I measured out my portions, counted the PointsPlus, and the weight came off pretty quickly. Eventually, as I started to get comfortable with the program, I started picking up on the "cheats". I learned that 5 grams of peanut butter is 1 PP, but 8 grams of peanut butter is also 1 PP. Naturally, I'd want to have 8 grams. (I put "cheats" in quotes, because I was technically still following the program, just finding ways to push the rules a bit.)
As I learned how much food I could have to get the most out of my PointsPlus, I was probably taking in quite a few extra calories--all those little grams add up! And once you learn the PointsPlus system, you can't really "unlearn" it; so even when trying this past spring to stay 100% on plan (and I did), I wasn't dropping much weight.
By counting calories, there isn't any leeway. If you have 5 grams of peanut butter, you log the 5 grams. If you have 8 grams, you log the 8 grams. You also log your fruits and vegetables, which you don't do on Weight Watchers. You count every calorie you eat, so there isn't really away to cheat the system.
That's my best guess as to why the calorie counting has worked so well. Next week, I'll write more things I've noticed about calorie counting versus PointsPlus counting--after my "experiment" is over.
I had my appointment with the orthopedist today. I originally scheduled the appointment after seeing my general practitioner for my annual physical--I mentioned that my back pain has gotten much worse over the past year, so she scheduled an MRI, x-rays, and had me make an appointment with a specialist (the orthopedist).
While I was waiting to get in to see him, I had issues with my ankle again, so I decided to bring it up at my appointment. Well, when I got there today, I learned that he only sees patients for back pain, not for other orthopedic issues. So, I didn't get to ask about my stress fracture. I think I'll give it a few more weeks of cross-training/rest, just to make sure it's healed, and then start slowly with running again.
I did learn a surprising fact about my back, though. The doctor pulled up my MRI images on the computer while I was there, and even I could see it plain as day... I have mild scoliosis, of course, but two of my thoracic vertebrae (right where the pain is located) have pretty large bone spurs on the right side. I couldn't believe that it wasn't mentioned in the MRI report. The doctor explained that those two bone spurs rub together when I bend or move certain ways, which is likely causing the pain.
I felt so much better after seeing that--of course, it sucks that I have the bone spurs, but I was feeling like I was crazy for being in so much pain from "mild" scoliosis and "mild" arthritis. I've had the back pain for years and years; and the doctor said that judging by the size of the spurs, they've been developing for a long time.
As far as treatment, he mentioned a steroid injection for the pain (that will be a last resort for me--it sounds terrible); also physical therapy to improve my posture, and a topical cream to rub on my back for the pain. The only way to really remove the spurs would be with surgery, and there is no way that I want to do that. The doctor even said that he wouldn't recommend it right now anyway. Even though the news wasn't that great, I'm really glad to know what the reason behind my back pain is!
After my appointment, my mom and I went to pick up our packets for the Tour de Troit bicycle ride on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it! It's looking like it's going to thunderstorm on Saturday morning, so I'm crossing my fingers that the forecast changes.