August 30, 2015

Lots of exercise and new Peanut Butter Cup tea

I have been kicking ass this week as far as exercising goes! For some reason, this time around with my injury, I have embraced cross-training. I used to hate riding my bike, but now I am really starting to like it. After running the Chicago Marathon in October 2013, I felt SO burnt out on running, and I never really got my running mojo back. Even before my injury, I was thinking that after the Detroit Marathon, I would cut way back on the running and do it more for fitness than trying to do races and long distances. The idea of just running 3-4 days per week, 3-5 miles at a time, sounds really great to me. Once I'm sure this injury is healed, that's what I'd like to do.

For now, I really like trying new things and just trying to be an active person--just looking for opportunities each day to get in some activity (take Joey for a walk, ride my bike to the mailbox, walk with a friend, etc.). Yesterday morning, the kids had baseball practice, so I figured I'd walk on the track at the school while they practiced. As I was getting in the car, I saw my bike in the garage, and thought it would be a great opportunity to go for a semi-long ride.

I loaded my bike in the car and then took the boys to practice. The coach wasn't very specific about what time practice would be over, so I didn't want to be gone much more than an hour. I didn't have a particular plan, but just decided to start riding and figure it out from there.

Riding a bike on the roads around here is scary. There aren't bike lanes, and many of the roads don't even have shoulders. Not many people are out exercising, like they do in some very active cities, so drivers aren't used to paying attention to pedestrians. When running, I always go against traffic, so that I can make eye contact with drivers. Since you're supposed to ride with traffic while biking, you have no idea if the drivers see you. Thankfully, I was wearing a neon orange shirt, so I was very bright.

I decided to head toward downtown Monroe, or at least close to it (I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get there). I was on a really busy highway, which I like to run on, but my mantra yesterday was, "Please don't hit me, please don't hit me...". Haha! Every time a car passed by me, I was relieved that I hadn't been hit. A few miles in, I had to ride up an overpass over the expressway. There are two lanes of traffic going each direction, plus a turning lane, and an entrance and exit from the expressway. Basically, just a lot of traffic in all different directions. I almost chickened out and turned around, but I've seen people walking or riding bikes there occasionally before, so I just decided to give it a try.

It was actually kind of an adrenaline rush! I made it over the expressway just fine, and it was easier (less traffic) after that. I rode through a neighborhood and made it into downtown Monroe, and then turned around and started to make my way back. This time, I stopped when I was over the expressway to take a picture. They're doing construction, so it wasn't exactly a pretty view, but I felt like I'd conquered something by riding up there.

When I made it back to the kids' baseball practice, I saw that I had ridden 14 miles (well, 13.99--I wish I'd have seen that before saving my ride on my Garmin, because I would have gone just a tiny bit farther to make it an even 14!). It was a good ride, and I felt really great that I'd done it so spur-of-the-moment.

After practice, the kids wanted ice cream. I took them to get a McFlurry from McDonald's, and I decided to get one, too. I'd burned 657 calories on my bike ride, and an Oreo McFlurry is 510 calories. It sounded really good, and I'd certainly earned it.

In the afternoon, I took Noah to Nathan's house so that he could cut Nathan's grass. He wanted to earn a little extra money, so Nathan said he could go mow his front lawn. It was cute to see Nathan showing Noah how to use the mower!

While he was cutting the grass, I was playing with the dogs in the backyard. I brought Joey so that he could play with Nathan and Kendall's dogs.

Neela and Tyke (Kendall's pit bulls), Joey, and Bailey (Nathan's black lab)
I had to bribe them with treats to get them all to sit and stay for a quick photo ;)

This morning, I started the day off with something that I was SO looking forward to: Peanut Butter Cup tea from David's Tea! It's a new flavor for Fall, and my friend Caitlin sent me some in the mail. I was disappointed to see that it was an herbal tea, and not a black tea, but I was still excited to try it.

So, I made a cup this morning, and ended up being pretty disappointed in it. It tasted okay, but it didn't remind me of a peanut butter cup at all. It actually reminded me a lot of their "Cookie Dough" flavored white tea. It didn't have much flavor, so I was bummed. But, I'm going to try mixing it with some black tea tomorrow, and hope that it turns out better!

Today was my "long walk" day, to prepare to walk the Detroit International Half in October. Last week, I did six miles, so today, I planned to do seven. I basically did the same thing as last week--I brought Joey for the first three miles, and then did the rest on my own. Joey really wanted to stop at that boat launch again, so we stopped for about five minutes where he could play in the lake.

After I dropped Joey off at home, I picked up the pace a little, but not as much as last week. It was really humid today, so I just walked at a comfortably brisk pace. At one point, I saw two little kids outside, a boy and a girl, and they had a table with about 10 random items on it. They told me that they were having a sale, and asked if I wanted to buy anything. I said I would, but I didn't have any money with me. They held up each item and told me how much it cost--a jump rope for $4, a piece of firewood for $5, etc--very steep prices! hahaha

It was really humid today, so I was glad to be done after I hit mile seven. I was disappointed to see my calorie burn, though! Only 529 calories for 7 miles. I guess that makes sense, because my average heart rate was only 116 (when running, it's typically in the 150's). Running for two hours would have burned over 1,200 calories; so it feels like a ripoff that I walk for two hours and only burn 529. Regardless, I felt good after getting that done!

I'm still doing really well with the calorie counting. I've been binge free for 26 days and counting!

Don't forget, tomorrow is Motivational Monday! If you have a photo of an accomplishment you'd like to share, here is where you an send it (please use the Motivational Monday email address, and not my regular email address... it makes it easier on me when I put the post together).


  1. man I wish i had a dog!! I would do so much more running and walking. I already do a lot, but i'd feel a lot more motivated haha.

    and I get you on the biking in traffic! sometimes I bike to work, and while there is a bike lane often cars drive over it to make their turn or just ignore it. plus, sometimes there are glass shards in the lane or different things that make it impossible to ride in that lane, and i need to shift over to the car lane for a little bit. AND cars do NOT give enough room when passing. ugh it frustrates me so much!!

  2. Oh no! I was looking forward to the peanut butter cup! I tend to be a fan of herbal teas without really trying to be, so I think I'm still going to give it a try. I was bummed they didn't have more of the fall flavors they had last year... I LOVED all of those!

  3. You are doing such a great job! I love reading your posts when my determination falters. You really are inspiring.

  4. Peanut Butter Cup tea! That is kind of disappointing, though. The Cookie Dough one sounds AWESOME though. I do also hate when the great flavors of tea are herbal instead of Black. I love some caffeine!

  5. Sounds like you're doing great with incorporating all sorts of physical activity into your day. A great job on staying binge free! Seems like the calorie counting is working well :)

  6. I was about to Tweet you about that tea but then I got distracted or something. Mine is in the mail. I actually loved the cookie dough tea! I drink coffee in the morning for the caffeine, and I like decaf stuff at night.

  7. Yay! I need to do a binge-free challenge

  8. My tip for the Pbc tea: make it extra strong and brew it extra long, then add lots of milk. It's lovely. I prefer the cranberry orange muffin tea from the new collection though :)


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