Monday, May 18, 2015

Catching Up

Howdy, howdy y’all! I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve been meaning to pop in here more often but I’ve been so busy that this is the first opportunity I’ve had to update in quite a while.
 
March was a busy running month for me. I logged 85+ miles, the highest 1 month mileage for me since I started running and I ran 3 half marathons. You would think that would have been a big enough challenge for me, but nope. I wasn’t satisfied. I was fairly certain that I had more in me, so I set out to prove to myself that I did.
 
I’m a member of a group called the Half Fanatics. Toward the end of March, I started looking at the membership criteria to see what it would take to move me up to another level. I tried every way that I could to make the half marathons I had already done count but I couldn’t get it to add up. They were just too far apart. One thing became apparent to me, I would have to run more! So, I made a plan and signed up for not just 1 more, but 3 more half marathons!!  If I did 3 in 3 states in 10 (or less days) I would move up to Mars level. So, that is precisely what I did!!  I ran the Garmin Half Marathon in Olathe, KS on Saturday, April 18. It was rainy and I was hurting badly from a trip/near fall over a parking block so I was surprised by my finish time of 2:24. I got a post race massage, took an ice bath (as advised by the pacer I ran w/ for a while) then a hot shower.
 
After food and Advil, we loaded up and headed for Springfield, MO where I ran the Go Girl Half Marathon on Sunday, April 19. Yep, that’s right….I did 2 halfs back to back!!  I was slower on the second race, finish time was 2:27 but that’s ok. I wasn’t really running for time. I was running in honor of my friend, Crystal who was still recovering from a brain aneurysm (that’s another story).
 
 
 
I didn’t do too much running during the next week as I had one more to go. I focused more on recovery: stretching, yoga, rolling, etc. that week and just ran a couple short maintenance runs. On Saturday, April 25, I ran the Tulsa Golden Driller Half Marathon. This was an inaugural run. It was rather warm and humid that day plus I was tired. It was not my best race ever but this was definitely not about finish time, it was just about finishing upright. And I did in 2:30. I had done it!!  3 half marathons in 3 states in 8 days!!  I moved up to the Mars level as a Half Fanatic.
 
 
 
I am very proud of this accomplishment because exactly one year ago, I was struggling to find my running mojo again. I learned some valuable lessons along the way. This was about endurance. This was about setting a goal and doing whatever needed to be done to achieve it. It was about finishing what I started. And I did it!!  I proved to myself that I’m capable of accomplishing anything I set my mind to. I tell my runners this all the time, but now I’ve got the personal experience to back it up. I’ve already got my sights set on my next goal, but that’s also another story…..
 
Since then, I’ve taken a break from runner to rest and heal up a little bit. I was pretty beat up after all those miles. My IT band was starting to be a little bit irritated because I’ve slacked off of strength training pretty badly. For the past 3 weeks, I’ve been focusing on cleaning up my diet and strength training.
 
My diet was way out of control again! I was eating treats and candy like there was no tomorrow plus drinking too much sweet tea. On Monday, April 27, I did the Team Beachbody 3 Day Refresh. I did it once before and swore that I would never do it again, but I was desperate and had to take drastic measures. I was surprised that it wasn’t nearly as bad as the first time I did it. I didn’t lose lots of weight or inches, but I did succeed in controlling my sugar intake. I am feeling much better, less bloating and stomach upset without all the processed sugars. My clothes seem to be fitting better and I think I look better so that’s a win as far as I’m concerned! I’ve still got some work to do to cut out all of the mindless binging in the evenings after work but that’s drastically improved as well.
And I’ve picked up the weights again. I don’t really get as much of a rush from strength training as I do from running but I know it is a necessary evil and I do like the changes I see in my body. I feel stronger, have more energy in general and am less prone to running injury. Plus I know it increases my running endurance. Pathways summer session starts next week. I’m moving up to coach a faster pace group but I intend to keep the strength training up on my non-running days. I’ve even got a couple new workouts to share with you on Workout Wednesdays.
 
Another change that has taken place is a change in my work assignment. YAY!!  I can NOT express how happy this makes me!!  I won’t bore you with all the gory details, but suffice to say that I’m in a less toxic environment and have a much better work/life balance now!! WOOHOO!!
 
So, that’s a brief update for now. I’ll try to do a much better job of keeping you posted on the goings-on in my daily life once again. I’ve missed blogging on a regular basis and hope to get back to it at least 1-2 times weekly. So, until next time—get up, get out, and get moving.
Whatever you do today, be awesome at it!
 
Your friend,
 
Theresa

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Updates & Race Recaps

Wow, guys! It's been a long time since I could sit down and update you on the goings- on in my life. Sorry!!  Life has majorly gotten in the way and my blog has suffered terribly as a result. But, hopefully that will be changing in the near future!! The biggest reason for my lack of blogging is my job. I'm struggling with my work/life balance right now and it really sucks!!  I’ll spare you the gory details, but in a nut shell, I’m stuck in a monotonous, tedious job that often requires me to stay late, which is a huge issue for me. I have very little time and very limited access to the internet to write updates or stay up to date with social media as I would prefer. But, I’m hoping that there is light at the end of the tunnel VERY soon!!  My boss has promised that I get to be the case manager on the palliative floor as soon as it opens, which should be the next 2-3 weeks. She’s made promises that she hasn’t kept before, therefore I’m cautiously optimistic. But I’m also working on a backup plan so with any luck, I’ll have a better work/life balance in the next 4-6 weeks!

In other news, I completed my 30 day heart monitor. The cardiologist said that although I do have some abnormal beats, they are not anything concerning or worrisome at this time. That's good news to hear!! We completed our winter session of Pathways a couple of weeks ago. The goal race for it was the Fleet Feet Sports Sweetheart run 10k. I did the 5k first and then the 10k. I got a PR on both the 10k time and the 15k or the "double" as FF calls it. Then we immediately started the spring session of Pathways. The goal race for the spring is the Aquarium run 10k. I've been grateful for the training through the winter as I was training for several half marathons.


The first on that was on my schedule was the 2015 LR Half Marathon. I ran it last year but it was a bad experience for me for multiple reasons. It was cold and wet, I was injured and in pain the whole time. I was unable to run for about a month afterward. I wasn't even sure that I would ever run again. So, when I talked to the race directors last November and they talked me into trying it again this year, some probably thought I was crazy. I had a decent finish time in 2014 but I never really felt good about that performance. I turned in my time off request to my boss in January and waited for her to approve it. I waited and waited and waited some more......    Meanwhile, online registration closed!!!  I was so afraid that I would drive all the way to Arkansas to register at the expo only to find out that it was sold out! Plus, the weather was shaping up to be a repeat of last year......ice, snow, bitter cold temps and rain was predicted the week leading up to the race and cold, rain was expected on race day. Those are 2 of my least favorite conditions. Additionally, I really felt a little undertrained and the famous LR medals didn't arrive. Did I really want to do this again??  I wavered all week and finally made the ultimate decision on Friday morning when I woke up. We were able to get a nice hotel not far from downtown and the finish line.

Saturday morning, we got up early to head to Little Rock. It had snowed & sleeted the night before. We weren’t sure what the roads would be like but they were clear for the most part. We were able to make good time and travel safely. There were still spots available for the half when we arrived at the expo so I registered and did a little shopping. Then we grabbed some lunch and headed for the hotel. There was a slight delay with check in, but the room was very nice so it was worth the wait. After dinner, it was time to lay out the race dummy and try to get some shut eye.

Sunday morning dawned gray, damp, and cold. I got dressed and grabbed some breakfast. The hotel had a shuttle that dropped us off downtown just a few blocks from the start line. They moved the start line this year, changed the course, and made changes to the corrals.  The starting corral was still crowded, I never found my friends, but at least we didn’t have to stand in the cold rain for 20 minutes waiting for the wave start like we did last year. All of these improvements made for a much better race. I approached that start line with fear and trepidation that morning. I doubted myself and my training. “Could I do this?” I kept asking myself.  But I ran those 13.1 miles, in the cold and rain and finished with a nearly 2 minute PR!! Official time was 2:22! That was just what I needed to overcome the negativity of Little Rock 2014. I am so proud of my plastic replica medal. I can’t wait for the real one to arrive!!

That run gave me the confidence I needed to be successful on my next 2 half marathons. I ran the Go Girl Run in Oklahoma City, OK on March 22. The course was hillier than I expected but the weather was fabulous! Finish time for this one was 2:25. Official time was 2:31 but 6 of those minutes I was standing in line for a portalet at mile 9. I enjoyed running with my fellow coach, Crystal. We had so much fun! We were encouraged to stay and help cheer in the last runner which was an awesome concept!!  This race was well organized with great swag! Emphasis was not about women competing with each other as much as it was about women supporting each other. They are all about celebrating finish lines, not finish times which is as it should be!!
 
Then, I turned around the following weekend and ran the Bentonville Half Marathon in Bentonville, AR. I wasn’t really feeling well and was a little ill prepared for this race. It was cold and lightly raining at the start. I didn’t have gloves or a trash bag. My husband had an extra pair of gloves and I just relied on my light windbreaker jacket. By mile 2, I had shed the jacket and was fairly comfortable for the remainder of the race. I was nervous because I knew it was an uphill finish, but I ended up doing much better than I expected! I survived the hill! I even finished upright and smiling in 2:24!!  I would highly recommend this well organized small town race!!  The water stops were abundant with amazing course support!! 

So, I have run 3 half marathons in March, the most I’ve run in 1 month since I started running. I’ll finish the month with about 85 miles, the highest mileage month I’ve ever had!
 
I haven’t been cross training as much as I should lately but that changes today. I’ve got to get back to weight training as I think that helps me be a stronger runner!!


Other than that, I’ve just been busy with the usual life things we all deal with. Hopefully work will settle back down soon and I can get back to posting on a more regular basis!
Until next time--get up, get out, and get moving!!  Whatever you do today, be awesome at it!!

Your friend,

Theresa

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Workout Wednesday/Quick Update

Hey, hey, hey y'all!!  I'm still here and still alive!

The old ticker is still ticking, without any abnormalities!! I'm still wearing the heart monitor x 1 more week, but the arrhythmia episodes have decreased, so I'm expecting a bill of clean health from the cardiologist. In retrospect, it was all probably unnecessary, but better to be safe than sorry.

Since the first week of December, I've been filling in for a co-worker who injured her foot. She is unable to bear weight and has been off work. This role is very tedious and time consuming. I often have to stay late at work to complete my daily tasks, which is against everything I believe in. I also don't have great internet in my office. The browser on the work computer is outdated, so I can't access blogger. And the reception on my phone is poor to say the least. Therefore, my social media time and specifically my blogging has taken a HUGE hit!!  I'm sorry. I keep thinking that there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel and my life will be able to return to some resemblance of normalcy soon!!  It better because I'm exhausted and starting to feel burned out!!

In other news, I'm still running with the Pathways group. We're on week 9 of our training, just about 1 week away from our goal race: the Sweetheart Run 10k. They are a very fun group to work with. I've enjoyed this inaugural winter session of Pathways!!  And we've been blessed with some really great weather thus far this winter, so we aren't complaining too much!!

I'm also still trying to stick to eating as clean as I possibly can. And I'm still accomplishing that about 80% of the time.

I have kind of fallen off of cross training the past couple of weeks. Hubs and I have been doing the Body Beast workout. We enjoy it and we will get back to it but we're taking a little break from it at the moment. Right now, we're doing a program I found at www.simplyshredded.com 

 
This is a 12 week program. This is week 1-4. On week 5, the reps decrease to 6-8. And on week 9-12, they decrease to 4-6. You should be getting stronger each week, so the amount of weight that one lifts should ideally increase. So, we'll see. We worked up quite a sweat doing legs last night!!  We have to make some modifications here and there as we don't have machines at home but I think this will be a good program to follow while we're taking a break from the Beast. As you can see, there isn't a workout scheduled for Wednesday, so I'll probably throw in the 21 Day Fix Dirty 30 dvd or find some HIIT workout for us to do.

And, speaking of the 21 Day Fix. I'm so excited that the 21 Day Fix Extreme was just released by Beachbody. I ordered it as soon as it became available and we'll incorporate that when it arrives!!

Ok, gotta run! That's all for now!

Until next time--get up, get out, and get moving! Whatever makes you happy, do more of that today!!

Your friend,

Theresa

What workouts are you currently doing??

Friday, January 16, 2015

And the Beat Goes On

Howdy folks!! 

I hope that you're having a great week so far!

I'm having an interesting one, to say the least!! 

I'm still experimenting with the pressure cooker that I got for Christmas. So far, the verdict is that it's AWESOME!!  Last Saturday, after running 6 miles then shopping/running errands all day, I came home tired and worn out. I had to work on Sunday so I just wanted to sit down and relax, but something had to be fixed for supper. So, I threw some stew meat in the cooker on the brown setting. While it browned, I prepared onions, carrots, potatoes and celery. After the meat was brown, I added beef broth, onion, garlic, and spices. I cooked it for 15 minutes, then I added the veggies and some frozen peas and cooked for 15 more minutes. It was so easy and delicious!!  We had a hot, hearty meal in an hour and I still had time to rest before work on Sunday! I found the recipe for the stew here. To keep it GF, I used cornstarch instead of flour. And I like tomatoes in my stew so next time, I will use tomato juice or canned tomatoes.


So, in other news......for about 2 weeks now, I've been having heart palpitations off and on. I'm having what are called PVC's. A premature ventricular contraction (PVC) is a too-early heartbeat that originates in the ventricles and disrupts the heart’s normal rhythm. The pattern is a normal beat, an extra beat (the PVC), a slight pause, then a stronger-than-normal beat. The heart fills with more blood during the pause following the PVC, giving  the next beat extra force. This pattern may occur randomly or at definite intervals. Almost everyone has PVCs at some time, from childhood through adulthood. Healthy people of any age can experience PVCs. In most cases of occasional PVCs the underlying cause cannot be identified. PVCs that occur frequently or for longer periods of time are more likely to be related to heart disease, an injury to the heart or other, non-cardiac conditions such as a chemical imbalance in the body.  Certain medications, alcohol, illegal drugs and high levels of adrenaline due to stress, exercise or caffeine also can cause PVCs. They were occurring randomly and didn't seem to correlate with my exercise or caffeine intake. They've been occurring mostly in the morning while I'm getting ready for work. It's been a daily occurrence but they usually don't last very long. Well this week on both Sunday and Tuesday mornings, the episodes were sustained for 1-2 hours. On Tuesday, when I arrived at work, my co-workers insisted that I go to the ER to get it checked out. That was an ordeal!!


I got in and was seen quickly. An EKG was done, an IV was placed, and labs were drawn, then I waited! I got the results of my labs/EKG about 2 hours later. All was normal but they wanted to keep me for observation. There was no way I was staying in the hospital overnight, so I arranged an outpatient follow up with a cardiologist and insisted that they discharge me. I followed up with the cardiologist yesterday. He drew some additional lab and put me on a heart monitor that I will wear for the next 30 days. I'm also having an exercise stress test in 2 weeks. So, hopefully this will be an issue that can easily be fixed with a little medication and hopefully not life altering . I did my back and biceps workout last night without difficulty except the monitor started squealing like mad during the warm up "light jog" Tonight, I'm coaching the Pathways group. It should be interesting with this thing in place. I suspect that it will mistake the increased pulse rate for an arrhythmia and squeal the whole time. We shall see!



The ER was an interesting experience. The doctors saw fit to keep reminding me that "you're not getting any younger" and one portly physician actually told me "unless you're Whole Foods #1 customer and I highly doubt it, then you should be taking supplements" I wanted to say "Well listen here mister! How rude!!  You obviously don't know who you're talking to and don't have the right to make such judgements or statements. And it looks like you could benefit from shopping at Whole Foods a little bit, then maybe you wouldn't need those supplements!!" And its funny how all my co-workers/friends have suddenly become doctors. They've all diagnosed me with anxiety, panic attacks, stress and told me I exercise too much! UGH!!  We'll see what the professional that I entrusted my heart to has to say in a few weeks!!  I suspect they'll all be wrong and this is just some anomaly. At least that's what I'm hoping for! I'll keep you all posted!

Until next time--get up, get out, and get moving! Make today ridiculously amazing!!

Your friend,

Theresa

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Workout Wednesday!!

It's Wednesday!!!  Woot, Woot!!

If you've followed me for a while, you know what that means. If you're new here, I love Wednesday because it means we're halfway through the work week. And it also means Workout Wednesday!!

The New Year is in full swing and so many folks have resolved to lose weight, get in shape, work out more, etc. For the first few weeks, you'll see these people at the gym and it seems like they are on track. But then something happens. They get sick, they get busy.....whatever. It seems that the majority get side tracked and time seems to be the biggest thief of their success. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. I understand that we have jobs, kids, lives, etc.  I know too well how easy it is to fall into the "I don't have time" trap. But I've tried to adopt a new attitude about exercise and working out lately.

 For me, working out is not a necessity. I do it because I want to, NOT because I HAVE to. Yes, I'm tired at the end of my work day. All I want to do is come home and put on my pajamas. But I choose to workout first. Why? The time is going to pass anyway whether I'm slinging iron or in my chair with my feet up. Because it's my ME time. Its a positive little thing that I do for myself at the end of the day. Its a great way to burn off the frustrations of the day. Its a small investment in myself. When you think about it, its really no different that getting a pedicure or a massage. That's an investment in one's self. So, why not start thinking of your workout in the same way and see if it makes any difference in getting your workout in.


Here is one of my very favorite total body circuits for you. This is my go-to workout when I'm pressed for time. It is short and sweet but I always feel like I accomplished something when I'm finished. You can modify to add more rounds or you can add additional exercises. I've added triceps extensions and flies before.

 
Now, you have no excuse!! 
 
Until next time--get up, get out, and get moving!!  Make time for yourself today! You'll be glad that you did!!
 
 
 



Your friend,

Theresa





Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015 Goals~~Secrets to Success.

Good morning folks!!

It was a mad dash to the finish,  but we made it through the holidays! I hope yours were fabulous, that you got everything you wished for and more,  and that you escaped the usually holiday weight gain.  I tried to stick to my clean eating as much as possible and was pleasantly surprised when I got on the scale the other day.   

Here we are at the beginning of the new year. For many of us,  that means New Year Resolutions. It is estimated that 40% of Americans make resolutions but only 8% will keep them.  So,  why not call them goals and make them something you can achieve?  

Now the trick is how to successfully achieve those goals and deal with inevitable set backs. I believe that it was Zig Ziglar who said " be firm about your principle but flexible about your methods"

 
 The first step to successful goal setting is to write it down.

The key is to set "SMART" goals:

Specific--A goal needs to be as specific as possible so you can work toward it and achieve it.
If your goal is too vague, it will be nearly impossible to achieve. For example, "drink more water" is too vague. Drink 60 ounces of water is much more specific and easier to track/measure (see #2)

Measurable--keep track of your goal. If your goal is to lose weight, keep a weekly log of your weight and a daily log of your calories. If your goal is to run a 5k, etc then keep track of your miles. Seeing the progress will help keep you motivated!

Accountable--sharing your goal with a friend or family member will help keep you on track. There are many online tools and apps that help with accountability, My Fitness Pal and Dailymile for example help you keep track of calories/miles and connect with others for accountability.

Realistic--Make sure your goal is realistic for you. You don't want to make it too difficult because and get discouraged. You need to be able to see yourself reaching the goal. It needs to be challenging without being overwhelming. This is where you might need to be flexible. For instance, last year I set a goal of running a marathon but for various reasons this was not a realistic goal for me. I had to re-evaluate and reframe my goals. You might experience what seems like a setback. The important thing is to keep going. There is often more than one way around it!

Timeframe--If your goal doesn't have a time limit, you will have trouble starting and staying motivated until the end. When you start seeing results, it will ultimately keep you motivated. Hang in there, if it takes you a little longer, keep going. Don't stop otherwise you'll never get there!!
It's gonna be a busy but great year!! This is the year that we're going to achieve those goals, I just know it!!

Until next time--get up, get out and get moving! Make today ridiculously amazing!!

Your friend,

Theresa

What are your goals for 2015?

 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review

Howdy, howdy y'all!!

I hope that you all had a good Christmas!!  We did!

The past 3 weeks have been whirlwind, crazy hectic around here hence the lack of posts!!

The last time I checked in, we were getting ready to go to St Louis for the Hot Chocolate Run. I had fully intended to recap that race, then life happened and kept on coming at me like a freight train!!

Here's a brief recap of the race. We got there late Friday night. Hubs woke up early Saturday morning sick with what I thought was a cold. We picked up our packets and got him some cold medicine. We stayed in at the hotel that night. We got up Sunday morning and hubs was still not feeling well, but he went ahead and did the 5k. The weather was so much better than last year and I was appreciating it until about mile 7 when I decided that I was overdressed. I was way too hot!! My goal time was 1:45 but I didn't make it. I finished at 1:48. I'm ok with that. I had fun and that's what matters! Not every race has to be a PR!!  Hubs still wasn't feeling well. He was coughing and sneezing all over the place. I drove most of the way home.

He finally went to the doctor and discovered that he had pneumonia!!  That significantly changed things for me!!  I've been filling in in an area of my department that I'm not 100% oriented to. My co-worker that usually does this job suffered a grade 3 sprain to her mid foot earlier this month. She isn't able to bear any weight and employee health won't let her return to work until she can. So, I've been filling in for her. Needless to say, I got a "trial by fire" type orientation to the job. It is quite hectic and stressful. I go in early most days and don't get off until late. That made Christmas shopping quite interesting!!  I'm glad most stores were open late during the holidays!!  I finally got it all done about 2 days before Christmas. I didn't have any gifts wrapped until Christmas Eve! But we made it and everyone had a jolly time!!  We're going to Iowa later this week for 2nd Christmas with the northern relatives!!

2014 was quite a year. It didn't turn out quite the way I had planned. Last year at this time, I was preparing for my first full marathon. But I was struggling with a physical injury, which later sidelined me and also with the fact that mentally, I wasn't ready for a full marathon. I don't think I ever will be!

Here's my 2014 race bling:

not nearly as much as past years, but it was still a good year.

I had some setbacks both personally and professionally that forced me to adapt and overcome. I sustained an injury to my Achilles tendon, probably due to overtraining. I struggled with that for about 3 months until I finally had to stop running. I completed the Little Rock half marathon in brutal conditions in early March and didn't run another step until April. I was just making a come back when my mother in law fell and broke her hip in May. She was hospitalized until June when she subsequently passed away. This was very difficult for my husband as she did everything for my father in law. Now, we have to do that.

In August, I was reassigned at my job. I was devastated by this change initially, but it has ultimately been a huge blessing!

I was running sporadically over the summer but not really consistently until August when I began to coach Pathways again. And that's when all became right with my world again. I love working with the runners to achieve their goals. That is very rewarding for me!!  I worked with them from August until November. Together we trained for and completed the Fleet Feet Quarter Marathon, the Tulsa Run 15k, and the Williams Route 66 half marathon. Now, we're in our first ever winter session of Pathways and we're training for the Fleet Feet Sweetheart run 10k. I've got another fun group and am enjoying this session so far!

During my time off from running, I discovered that I actually enjoy weight training. And I plan to continue that into 2015. I was doing the Team Beachbody Body Beast program but the past few weeks, I've gotten off track with that. He wasn't able to train due to his illness and I wasn't home until 9pm some nights. I took a little time off but we're back at it this week. Monday we did a Jamie Eason upper body workout and last night we did the 21 Day Fix Dirty 30.

I've avoided gaining any weight this holiday season, so far by being consistent with my clean eating. I've had a few small treats but I've kept it about 90% clean. The scale reflects it too!!  For Christmas, my mom gave me a pressure cooker. I haven't tried it yet but I'm eager to see how this will help with my weekly meal prep.

So, my 2015 goals are:

1. Continue to eat clean, NO JUNK!!
2. Restart the Body Beast program Monday, January 5
3. Continue running with Pathways, training for the Little Rock half marathon and the Go Girl half marathon, both in March.
4. Try to get back to blogging more consistently
5. Declutter my house and downsize!!  Less is more!!

So, that's all I've got for now. I hope that your 2014 was fabulous and your 2015 is even better!!

Until next time--get up, get out, and get moving!!  Whatever you do today, be awesome at it!!

Your friend,

Theresa

Do you have any New Year's resolutions/goals??