December 31, 2012

Top 12 of 2012

With only hours left of 2012, I wanted to go through my old photos and see the highlights of my year. :)  In no particular order:

1. In January, I turned the big 3-0. I was dreading that number, and not at all happy about starting a new decade. But 30 has turned out to be quite a great year for me!
2. I registered for my first full marathon. Still not sure what possessed me to do that, but it was lots of fun training with Jessica. We were more "acquaintances" than we were "friends" prior to that, but training together made us much closer, and now I consider her a great friend. I don't think I could have done those long miles without her keeping me company!
3. I knocked about seven minutes off of my half-marathon PR when I ran the Rock CF Rivers Half-Marathon in March, finishing in 2:02:57. I didn't go into it with the mindset to PR, because it was "just" a training run, but I was very happy with my time!
4. Jennifer and Angela, producers of the documentary From Fat to Finish Line, came to Michigan to interview me for the film. They were so much fun, and I feel so lucky to know them and call them friends. The interview was just a minor part of the trip--I loved getting to chat with them most of all!
5. I was selected by Fitness Magazine as "Best Weight Loss Blog of 2012", which named me a Fitterati, featured my blog in their magazine, and allowed me to write blog posts on their website. I was very honored to have been selected among all the great blogs out there!
6. I met Mary on a side trip to Chicago. Mary was originally going to be in the From Fat to Finish Line film as well, but she discovered she's pregnant. We had been getting to know each other for about six months, and when I went to Illinois, I really wanted to meet her in person. Jerry and I took the train to Chicago for a few hours to meet up with her.
7. I went on a fun trip to Minnesota with Renee to run the Women Rock MN Half-Marathon. We were only there for a couple of days, but it was nice to get away!
8. I ran the Detroit Free Press Marathon with my Ragnar Relay team captain, Rik--and we had never met each other in person before he came out here to do the race with me! I trained for the whole thing by myself, which was tough; but Rik came out here to run along with me and keep me company during the race. I had a goal to finish under five hours, and I did :)

Also, I loved that my family and friends celebrated with us afterward. My older brother Brian even flew in from Minnesota and surprised me. It was a perfect day!
9. I joined Weight Watchers Online, and started the program September 9th. My last binge of 2012 was on September 8th, so I have gone over 16 weeks (and counting) without a binge! After about three months on program, I'd lost the summer weight I gained, and I reached my WW goal weight. I joined the meetings for the last 5 pounds, so that I can achieve "Lifetime" status.

10. I met Pete Thomas, at-home winner of Season 2 of The Biggest Loser, and attended his boot camp class (which totally kicked my ass!). After the class, he stayed and chatted with me for over an hour, and I learned SO MUCH from him. His book, and his advice, helped me to get back on track with my weight.
11. I finally hit my long-sought-after goal of a sub-26:00 5K time! I registered for a very small race and ran my butt off to finish in 25:44. I was thrilled :)
12. Lastly, and most exciting of all for me, I reached my ultimate GOAL WEIGHT!! This was the first time in my life I have ever reached goal weight. It was so very exciting to officially be in "maintenance" mode.

Some fun facts about 2012:
  • I ran 1186.5 miles in 2012--a total of 200 hours, 5 minutes, and 42 seconds. 
  • My longest run was 26.74 miles (the Cleveland marathon).
  • The month that I had the highest mileage was April, with 137.3 miles.
  • My average pace in January was 10:08/mi; in December, it's 8:58/mi.
  • My average pace for the whole year was 10:08/mi.
  • I burned 121,000 calories from running... that's equivalent to nearly 35 pounds of fat!
  • The food I consumed the most of was probably peanut butter, once again; followed closely by grapes.
  • My most memorable meal was an amazing sandwich called the Turtle Pizza Roll Melt at Melt restaurant in Cleveland.
  • My current favorite breakfast is oatmeal with caramel, coconut, chocolate chips, and peanut butter.
  • My current favorite lunch is an omelet with bacon and cheese, with a ton of grapes on the side.
  • My current favorite evening snack is a glass of red wine and a Dove Promise (dark chocolate).
  • The thing I am most looking forward to in 2013? Meeting my Ragnar Relay team in Miami, THIS THURSDAY!
Want some motivation going into 2013? Make sure you read the comments on this Facebook post! I'm going to start a series on Mondays, called Motivational Monday, where I will post all of the accomplishments/bragging rights of anyone who'd like to share ;)

December 30, 2012

Frustrating evening

Last night turned out to be majorly disappointing. I didn't end up going to my wine club meeting after all. I got completely ready to go, hair and make-up and all that, and then when I was putting my coat on, I felt a really sharp pain shoot through my back. It was so sharp and so sudden, that I actually fell to my knees, gasping.

After that, twisting my upper body or lifting my arms caused a really sharp pain on the left side of my back, just under my left shoulder blade. I was determined to go to Winers anyway, so I grabbed my gift and went out to the car. It was snowing pretty hard, and the roads still weren't clear from the snow we got a few days ago.

I'm a pretty nervous driver, especially in the dark and/or bad road conditions, so the snow made me nervous. I went slow, which caused people to tailgate me, just adding to my anxiety. Because of the roads, I changed my route to get to Elaine's house (my friend who was hosting Winers); and I couldn't find it. I was getting really frustrated looking for it, and every time I turned my steering wheel, I would feel that pain shoot through my back.

By the time I found her house, I was in tears of frustration. Then I noticed that there wasn't anywhere to park. The whole street was covered in snow, and the street was narrow, so I couldn't park on the street itself. My Jeep doesn't have four-wheel drive, so I was afraid to get stuck in the snow (never mind the fact that I wasn't wearing boots, as I should have).

I tried squeezing into a couple of spots that I though may have room, but they didn't work out, and every move of the steering wheel was making me cringe from the back pain. I was so frustrated, that I just thought "Screw it, I'm leaving". And I went home.

I really should have just stopped and calmed down for a few minutes, and then try again. I was REALLY looking forward to wine club, and I know I would have had fun the second I walked in the door. But I just felt so frustrated in the moment that I made the impulsive decision to leave. It was a 35 minute drive home (normally would have been 20 minutes, in good road conditions).

When I got home, I took a muscle relaxer and Jerry gave me a back massage. The muscle relaxer helped quite a bit, and I was able to fall asleep (really early, too). When I woke up, my back only hurt when I twisted or raised my arms above my head. I'm being careful with it, because I can't let this screw up my Ragnar!

This morning, I woke up feeling fine. Then when I raised my arms to put my sports bra on, I felt the pain again. I only feel it when I twist or raise my arms. I ran four miles on the treadmill this morning without so much as a twinge, but when peeling my clothes off afterward, I felt it again. Ugh--awesome timing for a back spasm.

The treadmill was super boring today, as usual, but I kept thinking of all the comments that people leave me saying things like, "It's so inspiring that you run even when you don't feel like it!" I figured if I ran 14 miles on Friday, running just 4 today should be a cakewalk. I was super tempted to quit at three miles, but kept going to finish it out.

Tonight, we're going out to dinner with Sarah and Ne--to La Pita!! My favorite restaurant. I always order the same thing there:
That's the lunch portion of the chicken kabob, with rice pilaf, hummus, salad, and garlic sauce (served with pita bread). I've already calculated out the PointsPlus for what I'm going to eat. I'll skip the garlic sauce altogether (it's my favorite part, but it's 2 PP per tablespoon--so that little cup is 8 PP!). I'll eat the whole kabob, the salad (I actually like it--the dressing is lemon juice, olive oil, and dill), 1/4 cup of the hummus (I like to dip the chicken in the hummus), 1 pita bread, and 1/2 cup of the rice pilaf. That totals 16 PP for the meal--not too bad!

I cannot believe tomorrow is the last day of 2012 already! I feel like I have a million things to get done before I leave Thursday morning, so I'm sure I will keep busy. But I can't seem to think about anything else--I'm so excited!

December 29, 2012

Saturday errands

Last night with Sarah and Ne was so fun! I made turkey chili for dinner, and then I avoided all snacks after that. I did have a few glasses of wine (oh, okay, and a couple of beers). We played Euchre--guys vs. girls--and Sarah and I wasted the guys.
I tried taking pictures, but this was the best I could do! I used all of my activity points on the drinks, but it was totally worth it. While we were playing cards, I looked behind me at Chandler, and took this hilarious picture of him:
He looks so annoyed, doesn't he? I didn't end up going to bed until around 12:30, which is super late for me. And naturally, I was awake at 5:30, even though my kids were at my parents' house and I had no reason to get up early.

Once Jerry woke up, and the kids were home, we took the kids out to return some Christmas stuff and run some other errands. The roads were horrible to drive on, and we almost turned around; but the interstate was totally clear.
We went to the mall, and walked by an old favorite of mine--Cinnabon. I used to love those things! I still do, but haven't had one in a few years. I remember when I was pregnant with Eli, I craved them like crazy. I bought a six-pack of them, and ate them all within 24 hours. The sign made me smile when I walked by:
Life needs frosting. I totally agree. I just checked the PointsPlus in an original Cinnabon, and it has 24 PP. That's actually not that bad, for a once-in-a-while treat! Maybe if I don't gain a ton of weight in Florida, I'll use my weekly PointsPlus to treat myself to a Cinnabon when I get home.

We ate lunch at Subway with a gift card that I had, and then we went to Party City to let Eli pick out the decorations for his birthday party. We're going to have his party the weekend after Jerry and I get home from Florida, so I wanted to get everything ready now. Jerry took Noah to Target while Eli and I picked out the birthday stuff. We had fun goofing around with some of the stuff in the store:
Some magnets that I found amusing:

I was tempted to get some candy at Party City, but decided that I'd get an ice cream cone from McDonald's on the way home instead. That was definitely the right choice--it was so good!

While we were driving home on the interstate, Noah saw something "sliding" across all three lanes. He said it looked like a tire. About a half mile later, we saw someone pulled over with a trailer that held a layout boat for duck hunting and duck decoys. Sure enough, it was missing a tire.

Jerry felt bad for the guy, who probably had no clue what happened, so we drove to the next exit, turned around, drove two exits and turned around again to pick up the tire. Noah remembered exactly where it was, so Jerry picked it up and we drove it over to the guys. The tire was too messed up to use, but at least he knew what happened. Maybe it would at least get him back home.

Tonight is my wine club meeting, and I love the theme: White Christmas (white wine, white chocolate, and a white elephant gift exchange).  We've done the white elephant gift exchanges for a few years, and it's always a blast. I have a perfect white elephant gift for tonight! And since this post won't go live until I'm already there, I can show it to you:
It's some sort of cocktail mixer, but it was the shoe-shaped bottle that sold me ;)  I bought it a long time ago at Big Lots specifically for this purpose!

December 28, 2012

Treadmill half-marathon

I woke up this morning before everyone else in the house, determined to get my long run started and over with as early as possible. I already knew it was going to be a treadmill run--yesterday, we had tons of slush, and this morning's temps meant all that slush was now ice:
Unfortunately, they don't plow the streets around here, so the roads were completely coated with ice.

Anyway, I set up my computer in front of the treadmill, and was determined to run a half-marathon. The farthest I've ever run on the treadmill has been 12 miles. Today was scheduled to be a 13 mile run (but of course I would add the extra 0.1 to make it an even half-marathon distance!)

I turned on a show called Disappeared, and started watching it from Season One. My sister told me about it, and I hoped it would keep my attention for the next two hours. Oh, did I mention that I was planning to run the half-marathon under two hours? I've never done that before, either. I started running at 7:01, and told Jerry was determined to finish by 9:00.

Usually, my treadmill shows both my speed (in mph) and my pace (in minutes per mile). But I used a different setting, so when I started running, it just showed speed. I couldn't remember what speed would give me the correct pace for a sub-2:00 half-marathon (9:08/mi), so I had to play around with it for a couple of miles. I eventually settled on 6.7 mph.

However, I was almost a mile into my run, when I saw that I hadn't started my Garmin! I was bummed. If I ran a half-marathon, I wanted the proof ;)  So I decided to just run until my Garmin read 13.1 miles, even though it meant running an extra mile.

I felt great until about mile 10, when I started to feel really tired. I just wanted to stop. I hadn't thought about fuel during the run, so I didn't have Gu or anything; I asked Jerry to get me some grapes, and I ate those while I ran. Those worked really well for a little pick-me-up! Tastier (and healthier) than Gu, anyways. Jerry took this picture of me while I was running. It makes me look pretty fast ;)
It also makes my boobs look kind of big. They're not.

I was SO tempted to quit when the treadmill read 13.1, but I toughed it out and went the extra mile (literally) until the Garmin read 13.1. And I finished under two hours!
Now, if only I could do that at a race...

I was tired after that run, but I had to hurry up and shower, dress, eat breakfast, and head to Weight Watchers. I completely spaced out about my meeting yesterday, so I went today instead. I knew I was a little dehydrated from the run, so I wore boots in the hope that my weight wouldn't show too big of a drop. When I got on the scale, it read that I'd lost 1.5 pounds from last week. Oops. I just don't want that weight to become the new standard! Next week it might show a gain, since I won't have just run 13.1 14 miles.

I liked the members at this morning's meeting, and the leader was very genuine (she seemed to really care about each member's progress). I did disagree with a couple of things the leader said, though. She told us that we should count fruit/veggies as 2 PP each if we go over the recommended 5 half-cup servings per day. None of the WW materials tells us to count the PP for fruit/veggies. It says that those foods are "free", and that we should eat until satisfied (meaning, don't totally pig out on them).

I definitely eat more than 5 servings a day, mostly from fruit. I guess it may be hard for some people not to use fruit as a crutch, and eat too much of it; but I'm not going to start counting PP for fruit/veggies, since what I'm doing is working just fine. The free fruits/veggies are the main reason I've liked doing WW over counting calories!

After the meeting, I stopped at the library and Kroger to pick up a few things for tonight. I'm going to make turkey chili for when Sarah and Ne come over. I'm really excited to hang out with them!

Oh, Jerry showed me this today, and I thought it was hysterical! I'm not sure where it originated, but I got it from (Click it to enlarge)

December 27, 2012

Too much candy

One week from this moment, I'll be in Miami, hanging out with my Ragnar Relay team, getting ready to toe the starting line the following morning. I cannot believe a year has passed since this whole idea came about! The year has passed so quickly, but this week is going to pass very slowly, because I'm just so excited.

A few people have asked me what I got Jerry for Christmas--when I wrote that I couldn't say what it was, it was just because Jerry might read it before Christmas. His present wasn't a big deal at all! The boys helped me pick it out--we got him some fleece pajama pants, slippers, a coffee mug, a hoodie, and a Star Wars game for the Kinect. Jerry got me pajamas (with cats on them), perfume, and an outfit from Victoria's Secret ("real" clothes and not lingerie, haha). Moving on...

This morning, I let the boys sleep in a bit, even though they had their winter break camp today. Usually, they're up bright and early, but yesterday's camp wore them out--and they slept in until a little after 8:00. I quickly got them ready and drove them to camp.

I had plans to meet Stacie tonight at Panera, but since I had the whole day free, I sent her a text to see if she wanted to meet this morning instead. She said 10:00 would be good, so I went to Dunham's and Hobby Lobby to kill some time. I was hoping Dunham's would have some good sales on Under Armour stuff, being post-Christmas, but nothing was on sale, so I didn't buy anything.

At Hobby Lobby, I bought the final things I needed to finish up a couple of the Virtual 5K prizes. I'd like to get all of those done and ready before I leave for Florida. Then I went and met Stacie at Panera. I just got a decaf coffee, and we ended up chatting for an hour and a half.

When I got home, I wanted to get my run done before eating lunch. We got a ton of snow yesterday, and today it's melting, so the streets are covered in slush. I love to run on snow, but slush is awful--it gets my shoes and socks soaked, and I get dirty water splashed all over me. I was scheduled for a tempo run (faster than usual), and I knew it would be even harder to do that in the slush, so I opted for the treadmill.

I set the speed at 7.2 mph and tried to focus on Bones (I set up my computer to play it on Netflix while I ran). I need to find a more exciting show to watch while I run on the treadmill! I just kept looking at the timer, and spent the entire run waiting for it to be over. When I finished mile 3, I bumped up the speed, and then bumped it up every quarter-mile until the last quarter, when I just kept increasing to get it done.

I'm debating what I'm going to do for tomorrow's long run. I was planning to run 13 miles, but I really don't want to do it on the treadmill! I could just run eight miles, and call it "tapering" for Ragnar ;) (There is no need for me to taper for this race). The most I've ever run on the treadmill is 12 miles, so maybe I'll do a half-marathon just to say I did.

I would like to run the full 13 miles, because of all the activity PointsPlus I'll earn. My friend Sarah (from Arizona) and her husband Ne are coming over tomorrow, and I know I'll be drinking a few glasses of wine while we play Euchre. I'm going to stay away from the Doritos that always end up here when Jerry and Ne get together, though!

Over the past few days, I've been eating too much candy. I've been counting the PointsPlus for it, but I knew I shouldn't be eating that much crap. I took a few little chunks of the kids' Hershey bars. Yesterday, we had to go to my parents' house to feed their cat (they were in Florida for a couple of days, came home tonight), and I took some stuff from their junk food drawer--a handful of Reese's Pieces, a handful of Coffee Crisp bites, and a truffle. I logged it when I got home, and I'd wasted a lot of points on what seemed like nothing while I was eating it.

So today, I vowed that I wasn't going to touch the kids' candy, or my parents junk drawer when I fed their cat. After I picked the kids up from their camp, we got an ice cream cone from McDonald's before going to my parents' house. That way I wouldn't be so tempted by the candy. And thankfully, I managed not to eat anything while I was there!

I have no pictures to go along with today's post... but here is a picture I took of Estelle today. She's never cuddly, but surprisingly, she sat on my lap and let me pet her...

December 26, 2012


Week two of maintenance was a success!
I was 133 on the nose again this week. I can't believe what a smooth transition it's been from weight loss to maintenance! All I did was add 6 PointsPlus per day. My weight has been pretty stable each day--at the lowest, it was 132, and the highest was 133.5. I ate every single available PP this week, so I think that's the right amount for me to maintain. (32 daily PP x 7 days=224 + 49 weekly PP=273 + 31 activity PP= 304 PP for the week, or an average of  43/day)

I was recently asked if I'd like to review a digital bathroom scale by Conair. Before I get into that, let me explain a little about my scale (the one in the picture above). I got this scale years ago, when I was in college (probably 2002), and I remember paying quite a bit for it ($80). I love this scale, and I probably won't ever find another that I love quite as much.

My scale is extremely consistent--you can weigh yourself 10 times in a row, and it gives you the exact same number every time. It's also very accurate--I put dumbbells on it every once in a while to check that it's reading the correct weight:
A 10-lb dumbbell and a 5-lb dumbbell, so it's right on the money with 15.0 pounds.

I've never had to replace a battery in this scale, and I'm not sure how that's possible. The scale is super easy to turn on by pressing the bottom right corner; and it shuts off automatically. The only thing that I could possibly find to complain about is that it only measures in 0.5-lb increments. Over the years, I've bought a few different scales to try and find a good one that measures in 0.2 or 0.1 increments, but I've returned those scales because I just can't part with this one! I've not found another scale that is both accurate AND consistent... every single time.

So now that I've established my high standards, I will move on to the scale that I was given to review--the Weight Watchers by Conair Digital Scale. I wasn't expecting it to be perfect (like my scale), but I wanted to see how it compared. Out of the box, I really liked how it looks--it's very sleek and thin. There is only one button (lb/kg, on the underside of the scale), which was a good thing for me--I don't like scales that have all kinds of buttons and gadgets to mess with.
If it looks kind of plain, that's because it is--the scale also comes with vinyl sayings that you can stick on your scale to decorate it:
There is also a sheet of white ones, but you can't read them on a photo very well. Anyway, I decorated the scale to my liking:
My favorite sticker was the "determination!" one, because I'm always talking about how determination is MUCH more important than motivation. The stickers are just vinyl, so you can peel them off and swap them out very easily. I thought that was a fun little touch.

First, I gave the scale the old dumbbell challenge:
Now my 15-lb dumbbells weighed 15.6 pounds--so I give it a 'B' for accuracy. I've seen scales that are off by as much as 5-lbs, so 0.6 isn't too bad, but it's not perfect either.

Then, I did my consistency test--I weighed myself six times in a row, to see how many different numbers I got.
#1: 133.3
#2: 133.3
#3: 133.3
#4: 133.3
#5: 133.3
#6: 133.3

So I give this scale an 'A' for consistency.

Lastly, the ease of use. This is where I give the scale a 'C' grade. The directions say to tap the scale firmly in the center until it reads 0.0. I had a hard time figuring out just the right way to tap it to get it to turn on. You have to do it quickly and sharply in the center, harder than you would think. But I've mastered it now.

The scale has a maximum capacity of 400-lbs, which I think is great; most bathroom scales I've seen go up to 300- or 350-lbs. The price isn't bad, either--the average cost is $29.99. Overall, would I buy this scale? Yes. If my beloved HealthOMeter scale ever dies, I would happily use this as a replacement.

I was told I could offer a giveaway for one of these scales, but instead of doing the giveaway on this post, I'm going to give it away as one of the prizes for the Virtual 5K next month! By the way, there are almost 350 people signed up as of right now--that's amazing!

(In full disclosure, I was given a scale for free to review, but as always, all opinions are my own and honest)

This morning, I took my kids to a winter camp at a local sports complex. It's three days long, and eight hours each day. They went last year, and loved it, so I told them they could do it again if they wanted. After I dropped them off, I went to return a few things--Meijer, Wal-Mart, and Kohl's. I was expecting total craziness, but there wasn't a line for customer service at all.

At Kohl's, I tried on some sundresses for Key West :)  Jerry's mom gave me a gift card for Christmas, so I thought it would be fun to use for some clothes for Florida. I tried on one dress that I thought was super cute, but it showed too much thigh for my liking. And it wasn't on sale. I like sale things.
I did end up buying that white dress you see in the background. I didn't take a pic of it, but it was super cute and only $6.40! I also bought this dress...
...for $3.20!! But I promise to wear it with a strapless bra when I'm actually in public, because I'm classy like that.

I also bought some white pants that I plan to hem into long shorts (the only shorts I wear must come down to my knee, at least); a pair of long black shorts; and a long-sleeved running shirt (not for Florida, but for here). It's fun to buy clothes while I'm maintaining my weight, because I don't have to wonder, "Will this fit me in a month?"

December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

Last night, we were getting the kids ready for bed, and Eli said, "Wait! We forgot to put cookies and milk out for Santa!" I paused and looked at him, because my boys have never believed in Santa. Then he laughed and said, "Oh wait, I forgot, there IS NO Santa!" We both started laughing, and I told him that the "Santa" in our house likes wine and chocolate ;)

He thought that was hysterical, and he asked if he could set that out instead of cookies and milk. So he carefully poured my wine and got out a Dove Promise; then he didn't want to leave Jerry out, so I helped him to pour Jerry's beer into a glass and put some pretzels in a bowl. He was so proud.
(Jerry and I each have the same snack just about every night--what you see in the picture).

The boys went to bed, and Jerry and I set out the presents for the morning.
I remembered that I had told Eli I would make cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning, which requires some prep work. I also realized I didn't have any powdered sugar for the icing. Since the store was closed, Jerry went over to my parents' house to get the sugar, while I put the ingredients for the dough into the bread machine. We watched a movie while the dough was cycling for an hour and a half; then I had to roll it out, spread the filling on it, roll it up, and slice it. Way more work than I wanted to do on a "relaxing" Christmas Eve! But I knew Eli was excited for the cinnamon rolls.

In the morning, I just had to throw them in the oven. I woke up at 6:00, and Jerry was up at 6:30. We sat around until 7:00 waiting for the boys to wake up! They never sleep that long, and I was sure they'd be up at 5:00. They opened their presents and were thrilled, of course. We got Eli a lot of Army stuff--toy jeeps, tanks, soldiers, etc. And Noah had been asking for Beyblades for a long time, so we got him some of those with the accessories. We also got them some games for the Kinect, a couple of board games, giant Hershey's bars... and by "giant", I mean, "the world's largest":
After presents, the boys wanted to play with their new stuff, of course, so I headed out for a short run. I just had three miles on the schedule at an easy pace. I saw that we actually had snow on the ground (just a tiny bit), so I was excited to run outside!

Once I got out there, though, I realized that the streets were coated in a thin layer of ice under the snow, and in a lot of spots, there wasn't even snow on top of it. As evidenced by my pace, I had to be very careful while I was running, and at some points, I felt like I was tip-toeing. I really enjoyed running in the first snow of the year, though!
I felt it was only appropriate to wear green and red, of course :)  I finished the run and headed inside for some breakfast (oatmeal for me, since the cinnamon rolls were about a billion calories each).
We didn't end up going to the movies today (there wasn't anything appropriate for kids playing at our local theater, unfortunately). But we played with the kids, and watched a couple of movies at home. It was a super relaxing day. Estelle cracked me up, as usual. She loved watching the boys open their gifts!
Playing in the wrapping paper

Fascinated by Noah's Beyblades

Playing inside of boxes, naturally
It's been a great day :)  I just can't believe that Christmas is over! This week, I get to see Sarah, who is here from Arizona (staying with her parents). Then next week (!!) I leave for Florida.

Still waiting to hear from two of the NuNaturals giveaway winners...

Please e-mail my by Thursday with your full name, address, and phone number so that you can get your products from NuNaturals. Thanks!

December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

First, the winners of the NuNaturals giveaway:

Morgan Julane, RawrRach, k tharp, and Kim--please e-mail me (by Thursday) your full name, address, and phone number so I can pass it along to NuNaturals, and they will ship the goodies to you. Congrats! (My e-mail address is SlimKatie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com).

Last night was another night of zero sleep. Noah asked if his friend could spend the night, so the boys were all crazy before bed, of course--which was fine. I've been trying to be more patient and say "yes" instead of "no" more, because of how affected I felt by the Newtown tragedy. Anyway, Jerry and I were sleeping when Noah's friend knocked on our door, and said he couldn't sleep.

We got him settled in the the boys' room, and about 10 minutes later, he knocked again and asked if he could go home. So we let him call his mom, and she came to pick him up. That brought back memories for me--I was always the kid to go home from sleepovers because I was feeling homesick! ;)

It was hard to fall back asleep after that, and it felt like I barely blinked and it was morning already. I got up before the family to get my run done on the treadmill. Mondays are for speedwork--eight 1/4-mile intervals, pretty much as fast as I can go.

Last time I did intervals on the treadmill, I ran them at 9.0 mph, so today I decided to go for 9.1 mph. I set the treadmill for 9.1, and then hopped on and ran for 1/4 mile, and hopped back off and caught my breath while the treadmill kept running for 1/4 mile. Then I repeated that for a total of eight times.

Intervals 1-6: 9.1 mph (6:35/mi pace)
Interval 7: 9.2 mph (6:31/mi pace)
Interval 8: 9.3 mph (6:27/mi pace)

It was completely exhausting! I was pouring sweat when I was done, and I had only actually been running for a total of about 13 minutes (granted, I covered 2 miles in those 13 minutes!)  I don't know how people run at that pace for miles on end.

After I showered and had breakfast (another berry protein shake), I spent the entire day watching Christmas movies with the family while I worked on some prizes for the Virtual 5K. Estelle always gets completely in the way while I'm on the floor doing whatever craft I'm working on, and today was no different. She was batting at the scissors while I was cutting, she actually picked up my pin cushion and ran away with it (that could have been BAD for her, because there were lots of pins in it), she kept swatting at thread, and running off with pieces of fabric.

Finally, I found a way to make her happy and leave me alone:
She sat in the bag and just watched me for a long time. Problem solved, with a paper grocery bag of all things!

After lunch, I saw I was running low on grapes. Since the stores will be closed tomorrow, I sent Jerry to the store to buy me some more grapes. I didn't specify how much to buy (my mistake) and he came home with seven pounds of grapes! Hahaha. I usually buy about four pounds at a time, but I'm sure I'll be able to go through seven no problem ;)

We're going to stay kind of low-key tomorrow--open gifts in the morning, possibly go to the movies in the afternoon (I always loved going to the movies in Christmas when I was a kid, and since Jerry is off work, we'd like to take the boys), and then Jerry's parents are coming over in the evening to give the kids their gifts.

10 more days until Miami/Key West!!

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