Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Monday Mourning

Here are my thoughts from Monday morning after dropping my girls off at school. I didn't do so with fear but with great sadness, sadness for those who were not able to do the same thing.

Since I have not been able to articulate my own thoughts/feelings very well (they are ALL OVER the PLACE), I wanted to share this clip (http://video.foxnews.com/v/2038135300001/) as I found myself nodding in agreement as he spoke. I am a Believer, my husband is a Believer, my girls are Believers; I know they go to school every day with Him, knowing that He lives in their hearts and I have bound them in His Word and Promises to the best of my ability (speaking confessions over them; praying with them). We pray for our day, our teachers and our friends. We lift up troubles we know about and thank Him for handling those that which we don't; we thank Him for favor and prosperity in all areas of our lives. We thank Him for going before us and staying with us; we praise Him for allowing us the opportunity to speak to Him and thank Him for hearing us. We expect to have a Jesus day.

However, I know that bad things can happen to good people, believing people. I know that His will doesn't always match up with ours. I also know that He can use 'bad' things to wake us up, call us back. God does not create these 'bad' situations; however, He can use them for good, His purpose. We are far from beyond needing Him; He is there for us to invite back in.

Saturday Silence & Just Enough Room

These were my thoughts Saturday, after tossing, turning, thinking most of Friday night. I shared them on my personal Facebook page on Saturday morning and thought I'd share them with guys now.

Wake to kids in my bed. Shoo, shoo. There's not enough room. They bound off to the living room to watch cartoons. Shh! Keep it down! Stop jacking around. There's not enough room. I wander into the kitchen, start breakfast. They are under my feet. Get! I know you want to help but let me just finish. There's not enough room. And, so on and so on.

Not today. Hopefully, not again. I know my house is little and 'there's not enough room'; however, in the last 12+ hours, I've heard every noise by kids have made, could hear them breath as they slept and giggle as they woke. Just enough room!

I am grieving for people that I do not know who are dealing with a tragedy I cannot fathom. I don't dare try. All I can do us pray. All I can do is take in every moment of my own kiddos. There's more than enough room.

“Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.” (Eccles. 7:3)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

bones

Once upon a time, not too long ago, my youngest, Rebekah, was fascinated by what her bones might look like.  During this time, she had a friend fall from the monkey bars at school and break her arm.  Rebekah became slightly envious of this friend because the friend was able to see her bones because of the x-ray that was done following the fall and break. This fascinated R and she began asking about getting an x-ray done so that she, too, could see her bones. We explained to her that x-rays without reason (ie, a bone break) weren't really an option and we moved on with life and other crazy conversations.

Or, so we thought.  Apparently, R then began climbing the monkey bars and purposefully falling in hopes to break her arm, get an x-ray and see her bones.  (I love that big sister brought this to our attention WEEKS into it!  Agh!)

After learning of this, Rebekah was made aware of three very important things.  One, the fall would hurt more than it would be fun.  Two, being in a cast would cause her to miss out on tons of other fun.  Three, she would not be allowed to see the x-ray much less her bones as punishment for doing it on purpose.

One and two didn't really bother her.  She was most annoyed by three and has since moved on to other adventures and crazy conversations.

Here is my R.  She created a breakfast snack of bananas and Cool Whip.  Without help or my knowledge until after the fact.  Early on Saturday morning.  For our good friend Ashley.  Who was not actually at our house.  She wanted to deliver it.  Randomness is never far with R around!

 
PS - she loves a good, cheesy grin.  :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Week of Detox!

It is done.  One full week of detox.  And, I seriously don't think I would have stuck it out had Ali not text just at the right times checking in on me.  (Her personal recap can be found here.)

My recap (is without pictures because I am still getting used to photographing everything that happens just in case I want to blog about it):

I've had whole food green smoothies for breakfast every morning; even Makayla got in on the action and made a smoothie a few times for her breakfast as well as a few for early evening snacks.

I did lots of activity.  I only had one day that a WOD and/or run did not take place.  For six out of seven days, I either had a WOD, a run or both scheduled.  If not, I purposefully played with my kids as in

I skipped soda.  Completely skipped it.  I haven't had a soda of any kind since last Sunday; I've only had water.  And, I hope to keep this no soda thing in place.  And, the more water thing ...

I drank water.  And, lots of it.  I didn't realize just how little water I was drinking until I began keeping track this week.  I went from 2 bottles of water (roughly 32 ounces) a day to about 5 bottles of water; I also switched from drinking bottles of water to refilling my Tervis tumbler towards the end of the week.  The water bottles were piling up!

I consumed no alcohol.  This really wasn't a problem for me as I rarely consume it anyway.

We made dinner more and ate in every night of the work week; we only ate out twice over the weekend.  We prepared healthy whole foods, took leftovers to work for lunch and added more salads to our meals.  There was no outside sugar or white foods (ie, rice, potatoes, etc.) in our diet this week.  EXCEPTION:  last night was tree decorating night.  We bought my girls $5 pizzas (their request) to eat while we decorated the tree and listened to Christmas music, etc.  I didn't prepare anything for myself before my 4 mile run thinking I'd figure it out when I came back in.  Bad idea.  I ended up eating two slices of the pizza.  It was actually pretty yuck.  And, I paid for it later as I didn't feel well about 30 minutes after scarfing it.

My results?  Well, I weighed last Monday morning and measured around my belly; this morning I did the same, in the same PJs.  What did I find?  I am down 2.8lbs and 0.5 inches.  Was I expecting to lose weight/inches?  I'd be lying if I said no; however, this is not why I took on Ali's challenge.  I took on the challenge for a few different reasons.  One, I had to get off the sodas; I had done it before but let them slip back into my day.  Two, I wasn't feeling good.  To put it very simply, I felt gross.  None of my eats tasted good anymore, my clothes weren't fitting right and I just felt bad.  And, three, I wanted to.  Just as simple as that.  She issued a challenge and I wanted to take her up on it.  For no reason except to do it and see that I could.  I floundered around the Whole Life Challenge and felt like I had no ability to stick to something.  So, for me, I needed the mental challenge of taking less than good for me things out of my diet on purpose and doing so on purpose for the week.  It's sort of hard to explain why I needed this but I did.  So, maybe you can help me out ...

Have you needed the mental challenge of completing a 'healthy changes' type challenge?  If so, what words would you use to describe your reasons?

Did you participate in The Healthy Hostess's December Detox Week Challenge?  If so, what were your results (not just in numbers, how do you feel)?  If not, have you recently participated in some other healthy changes challenge?

No WOD yesterday; just a 4 mile run with Ashley.  And, I am pretty dang proud of that run.  It was the longest run I have had - without stopping, walking or sitting on the curb to cry - EVER in the history of me doing this run thing.  Woot!  And, it brought the end of week 5 of my Cowtown Half Marathon training to an end.  Fake race day has turned in real race day and I am pretty excited about that, too.  I have stuck to the training plan and scheduled WODs and I feel pretty darn good about that, too.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wild & Crazy


We're wild.  And crazy.  Ok, probably just crazy.  Or, at least, just a little bit 'off'.

For us, date nights are few and far between.  Mostly because we really just like having the girls with us whenever we are not at work and they are not in school.  But sometimes just because we're busy and don't think about it.

However, date nights are important and, thankfully, my good, good hubby made arrangements for us to have one yesterday.  On his own.  No prompting from me.

He called text'd upon Ashley and her husband, Jamin, for help with the girls and they were kind enough to oblige.  Ashley also was kind enough to point out that we had a run scheduled for Friday night and that I wasn't going to want to skip it.  She was right.  So, MD and Ashley coordinated a run and a dinner date for me.  I've got good people!  :)

After work, while my husband watched the combined four kids, Ashley and I set off to get our run done.  Then, we sent the combined four kids home with her for the evening.

The husband and I ended up roaming downtown with no real plan for date night.  (His planning stopped with 'get sitter' and I was okay with that).  The fact that we even left the house for date night already made it an adventure!  You see, on most date nights, you can find us sitting on the living room floor, eating pizza and cinnamon sticks, watching DVR'd episodes of who knows what and just chatting.  In the peace and quiet of our own home.  We'll send the kids away with a sitter with all intentions of going out; however, we seldom make it to the front door before the pizza guy is called and the hubby goes to grab a couple of Shiners for us.  Now, can you see how just leaving the house was an adventure? (big grin)

We ended up in line at the Executive Surf Club where live music, pint night and surf burgers are all the local rage.  But, just as we were about to order, we decided to check out and head over to Water Street where fresh fish and quiet conversation is all the rage. Why?  Because (1) it's loud enough at home on a daily basis and I was over the 'thumping' coming from the patio and (2) I've spent this week conversing with Ali about the detox and have kept on track.  I seriously wasn't in the mood for another grilled chicken salad (their only option in line with cleaning up my eats this week) and, to be honest, a surf burger (cheeseburger with refried beans, Frito's brand corn chips and salsa) wasn't what I wanted to 'splurge' on - if I was going to splurge.  So, we left.  And ended up at Water Street.  Eating mesquite grilled Mahi Mahi.  It was awesome.  Glad we decided to move dinner locations!

Surf burger (source) vs. Mahi Mahi (source).  Mahi Mahi for the win.

After that, we found ourselves back at home and watching a Duck Dynasty marathon.  We've never watched the show before.  (I know.  We must live in a whole.)  A few minutes into the first (for us) episode, MD was laughing.  In short bursts and hard.  I can honestly say I have never heard MD laugh so hard watching TV!  That alone was funny to me.  The show?  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't entertained.  However, I'm not sure if we're going to become the obsessive type and 'quack' every Wednesday but I can see us watching a few episodes off of the DVR.

What about you?  Are you wild or crazy with your date nights?
Or, do you prefer vegging out at home?

Do you 'quack, quack' in your status updates on Wednesdays?

Friday, December 7, 2012

best trainers ever

And, the award for 'Best Trainers Ever' goes to ... (drum roll sound here) ...
 
Tony & Vivian Reyes!

Tony & Vivian own & operate AOG Fitness out of the gym they built in their backyard.  It's awesome.
 
Seriously, don't they just look like awesome people?!  They are.  I accidentally found them.  And, I am so thankful that I did.

Spring of 2011 had me looking for a local gym, a trainer, a running buddy, something, anything(one) that could help me.  Earlier in 2011, I decided I needed to (and, wanted to) take getting active more serious and set out to do just that.  However, I wasn't getting anywhere on my own.  I really, really wanted to 'work out' but I was clueless as to what, when, where, how or why.  The Internet had me confused and overwhelmed and I had no knowledge or background of my own (not even high school athletics) to fall back on.  I needed real, live resources.  I needed real, live guidance.  And, a real, live babysitter person to ask me where I've been when I don't show up as scheduled.

So, I began to search someone out.  I googled for gyms, I asked people what they did, where they went, who they used to get and stay fit.  I was reading people's shirts to see what gyms they were advertising for.  (For real, I began paying attention to what people were wearing simply hoping a gym or trainer would be advertised!)  This turned out to be genius on my part.  Why?  Because, I saw a shirt.

One night in April-ish, my husband and I were eating at the local Pizza Hut with our family.  And, an old high school acquaintance came in with hers.  There were a hundred of them.  Okay, not really a hundred but alot.  They have a big family.  And, one of her brothers was wearing a shirt.  It said "AOG Fitness".  So, I pulled out my handy-dandy iPhone and googled it.  A link to a Facebook page was given.  I clicked it and began looking through their pics.  And, thought 'I think I could like these people.'  Why?  Well, they were working out in their driveway (I could see construction in the background, it was the start of their gym).  And, there weren't very many people in the pics which made me feel like there would be a small group of people at any given time.  I liked the idea of it being low-key.  It made me feel more comfortable with the idea of going.

So, I emailed them to ask a few questions.  And, I began to drive by their location to spy.  After two drive-bys, I finally got the nerve to dress the part of 'work out person' and drove over again with the intent of getting out of the car, walking up and starting this new adventure.  But, I didn't.  I was a chicken.  So, I just kept driving.  The next day, I made my husband go with me.  I was going to have him drop me off (I thought this might actually make me get out of the car).  As he began to slow down to turn into the driveway, I got all goofy and said "Never mind!  Not today.  Keep going.'  So, he did.  He accelerated to drive away.  And, then we noticed some young guy chasing after us.  Apparently, they had noticed my drive-bys.  And, on this last one, Tony's younger brother decided to chase us.  Kind of funny now but not at the time.  I was so embarrassed.

I let a few weeks go by before I got up the nerve to go again.  MD decided he would go with me; we both dressed to work out and headed that way.  We arrived, actually got out of the car and walked up to the gym (the driveway, at the time).  I introduced myself as the crazy lady who kept emailing "I should be there today" but never showed.  We also confessed to being the drive-by that was chased.  The introduction was a slightly entertaining period of time.  The rest of that particular day at the gym as well as the next 30 days are a blur for me.  I learned new terms, had to ask someone to show me the motions again and again and began to start putting names and faces together.  I was more sore that I cared to be but my excitement for what I was beginning to do kept me going back.  Before I knew it, we were at the end of June 2011 and I was hooked on this working out thing.  Clueless to what I was actually doing (turns out it was CrossFit) but hooked all the same.

Since that first day (that I actually got out of the car), Tony and Vivian have become more like family to me than trainers, although they don't let up on being trainers and have nearly killed me on more than one occasion with overhead lifts, burpees and squats.  They work with me and my oldest daughter, Makayla, and, on occasion when she asks to go, they let my youngest daughter, Rebekah, in on the squats and jump rope action.  If I am honest, sometimes I go to the gym to just see them even though it's a day when I really, really don't want to work out.

This is Viv in a competition.  That is Tony counting her reps.
I've always liked this pic.  I stole it from one of their Facebook pages to share it with you.
 
This is one of their favorite pics.
Again, I stole it from one of their Facebook pages to share it with you.


I like Tony and Viv.  Makayla does, too.  In fact, she spent birthday money on another pair of 'Ms. Viv pants' because she thinks Ms. Viv is the bomb-diggity and wants to be like her at the gym.  I don't mind.  I think Ms. Viv is pretty cool, too.

Makayla and her first pair of Ms. Viv pants.

And, you know what?  I think they like me, too.  Why do I think that?  Well, when I arrived home yesterday, there was a package at my door.  I grabbed it, noticed it was Lululemon and thought I would need to walk it over to the neighbors' house because I hadn't ordered anything lately much less was I expecting anything from Lululemon.  Upon closer investigation (to see which neighbor it belonged to), I realized it was actually, in fact, addressed to me.  Confused but excited, I ripped into it.  And, began to jump up and down like a little kid.  Seriously and for real.  I jumped.  Up and down.  I think I even squealed a little.  I then, after I read the package insert, I realized it was from Tony and Viv and then I began to get all emotional.  Over a pair of shorts.  And, I inundated them with texts like "Seriously?!", "You shouldn't have!" and "I am SO excited!".  Wait.  You know what?!  I don't think I ever sent an actual 'thank you' text!  Oops.  Following this post, I will!  Tony and Viv bought me my first Lulu!  I seriously was excited (if you hadn't gathered).  Oh!  And, it was for my birthday.  For real.  They are the best trainers ever.  :)

My first Lulu!
 
Oh!  I just realized this, too!  My first Lulu is actually my first pair of 'Ms. Viv pants'.  I have to remember to tell Makayla that I, too, have 'Ms. Viv pants'!  LOL
 
No WOD yesterday.  We had dinner plans and I planned to let it be a WOD rest day in hopes that I would still get my scheduled 2.5 mile run in.  That didn't happen, either.  So, I have 2.5 miles to get in after work today.  And, I have 4 miles planned with Ashley tomorrow.  Seriously, hoping my week without sodas is evident in tomorrow's run!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Eeeek!

Excited.  Nervous.  Excited.  Eeek!
 
 
... AND ...
 
 
What have you recently registered for?
 
 
Yesterday's WOD:
[5 Rounds]
15 lunges w/bar front racked (45 lbs)
15 box jumps (16")
 
I completed this WOD in 11:01.  I felt good; I thought about increasing the weight to 65 lbs (the prescribed weight for women was 75 lbs); however, I knew that I was going to run 3 miles with Ashley about an hour after my workout, so I kept it at 45 lbs.  :)
 
Following my WOD, I did 3 miles with Ashley.  It was our first run together in over a week!  Glad we went out!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Favorite WOD Partner!

Seriously, who looks this happy after 20 minutes of kettle bell swings and burpees?!  M, does.  That's who! 
Doesn't she make sweating pink look good?!  I love that she started the whole running adventure for me.  I also love that she asks and likes to go to the box with me.  She is definitely my favorite workout buddy.
 
Yesterday's WOD introduced a new sequence of moves to me and I wasn't sure what to think at first.  You could either do the sequence or opt out for kettle bell swings.  I chose the sequence as my arms were pretty toasty from last week's WODs (a gazillion push-ups, pull-ups & KBS throughout the week) and from Monday's SDLHPs/push-ups combo AND I am also trying to tackle the things that give me more trouble than others (overhead anything).  Makayla did the KBS instead.  She rocked them.  #proudmomma
 
Our WOD:
EMOM for 20 minutes
Odd Minute: Burpees (30 seconds, as many as you possible, followed by 30 seconds of rest)
Even Minute: Hang Squat Snatch (1 per minute) or 12 KBS
 
I averaged 10 burpees per odd minute and, on the hang squat snatches, I worked my way from 15 lbs to 35 lbs (I managed three rounds at this weight) before dropping the weight down to 25 lbs finish the last two even minute rounds (choosing less weight for better form and technique).  Overhead anythings definitely are what I need to work on.  Flexibility (lack thereof) gets me everytime!  What about you?  What gets you?


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sugar, sugar!

To borrow words from The Archies:  Sugar, ahh ... you got me wanting you.
 
Until I remembered the pic Ali text me yesterday.  In a text exchange, I disclosed that I had a 2-3 coke-a-day habit that I was trying to kick and kick for good during this week's detox.  I didn't hear back from her for a bit and didn't think much of it.  Until later in the afternoon, I got a pic.  Of sugar.  She had figured out just how much sugar I was consuming from my sodas alone and sent me a visual of it.  I was somewhat shocked!
 
I had temporarily kicked my soda habit during the WLC; however, towards the end, as I was forgetting to log points in anyway, I began to slack on the water and pick up the soda again.  And, I didn't feel too bad about it for a few reasons: (1) it was 2-3 cans as opposed to the 5 or so that I used to drink daily (gasp!), (2) I never thought about the sugar in the soda and (3) I didn't really realize just how many cans had crept back into my days.  I know, that's dumb.  But, I didn't.  I wasn't logging my eats/drinks anymore and, when I did think about my food, I never thought about the sugar in my sodas.  I thought about sugar in the cookies, cakes and candies and began to avoid most of those but I never really thought about the sugar in my sodas.
 
So, this morning after I thought I wanted a soda and then recalled Ali's pic (and, the fact that I want this weekend's 4 mile run to not suck), I made myself a visual reminder.  Pretty sure that this will remind me that I really don't want a soda!  The soda cans are from my office fridge; the Pyrex cup of sugar is what Ali sent me yesterday.  The two combined - well, that's my first photo collage!
 


Can you believe it?!  I was consuming nearly 1 cup of sugar a day without any thought!  Yikes!  Am I alone?  Am I the only one mindlessly consuming sugars and calories

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk & Kids' Santa 1K

We laced up our sneakers and donned our jingle bells and green sparkle skirts for the first annual Jingle Bell 5K Run-Walk & Kids' Santa 1K.  The event supported a local charity called Bikes for Kids.
Of the 300 participants, 70 were kids!  We are happy to say that our crew made up more than 25% of the kids running!  We had 8 kiddos and 6 adults running that morning.  We also had our own cheering section of about 5 waiting for us at the finish line.

 
Our kiddos waiting to start.  My youngest (in the pink sparkle skirt and dark top) is not looking so happy here; however, she was just not wanting me to take yet another picture.  She actually really likes to run.  :)
 
My daughter, Makayla (turquoise skirt), coming into the finish.  She was pushing pretty hard the whole 1K and has since decided to take on the 5K on NYE!
 
My daughter Rebekah and our buddy Brandon (in the orange right behind her head) are not too far behind Makayla.  See?  She's happy to be out there (and, oblivious that I was taking her picture, thank goodness!).  Brandon has also decided to take on the 5K this NYE.  So excited for him!

 
Our pals Kate (lime green skirt) and Breanna (pink skirt) finishing up.  Somewhere between Rebekah and Brandon's finish and this shot, I missed Kate's twin sister Ella and our other kiddo, Peyton, coming in.  Slightly bummed.

 
Santa not only met the kids at the finish of the 1K, he also made himself available to hear Christmas wishes and take photos with the kiddos.  This pic is of my two daughters and our twin friends, Kate and Ella.
 
 
My best group of friends; really thankful that we are doing this running thing together! PS - We're missing Ashley. She was in San Antonio doing a mud run with her twin sister. Bummed she wasn't with us but excited that she was getting to do that run, too!
 
 
Lena is a pal from our kiddos' school; she joined us for this run and we are glad she did!
 
Shannon is currently training for her first marathon. 
She is also currently the speediest out of our core group.  And, she makes sure that we are aware.  ;)
 
Bridget ran her first 5K just a few weeks ago.  She PR'd this one!
And, she is working on training for a half marathon.
 
This was Susan's first 5K run!  She just started running (from NOT!) about a month ago.
 
I ran this better than I should have but not as well as I had secretly hoped for.  I went into it with no real pace in mind, just to finish the run as it was part of my half marathon training schedule.  It's also the first event that I have ran alone; usually Ashley and I run the events together, pace for pace; however, she was gone that morning and it was just me and my earbuds.  I am not sure if that was good or bad - it was just different than any other event.  I found myself paying more attention to the course and other runners.  Which, at times, was good and, at times, bad.
Which leads me to the recap!
 
This, so far, is my favorite local race.  The course was set up to take us through a few downtown streets, onto Shoreline Blvd. (water!) and to/through our Water Gardens before heading back down Shoreline Blvd. and to the finish.  Most local runs, held in our downtown area, either just loop you through the one way streets or keep you on Shoreline Blvd.  I don't know of any that have taken you through the Water Gardens and I loved this!
 
As far as an actual race recap, I found the course to be a good idea and the water along the course to be adequate.  They had one water station that acted as two since you looped back by it.  My only complaint here was the congestion near same; however, I suppose if you had hydrated properly pre-race this wouldn't be an issue as you would just cruise by it.  I had not hydrated properly and needed water as I passed it the second time.  I had to stop and wait for people to clear out of the area as they only had one small table and one person handing out water on this side.  I believe the water stop was right at the 1 mile mark (the first time you pass it) and at the 2'ish mile mark.  I didn't think to check my Garmin as I went through to see where I was at.  At this point, I had been just behind Bridget and wanted to stay with her; however, she wasn't in need of the stop and the stop took a bit longer than I would have liked.  She ended up coming in about 40 seconds before me.  Don't think I wasn't pushing at the end to catch her!
 
Photos of our course.  These were taken from the Internet as I did take any along the way.
 
The start and finish of the race was at House of Rock.  Inside served as the after party!  The first ever after party of any local race (aside from Beach to Bay) that I am aware of.  They had Santa, eats and drinks (cocoa for the kids!) and their sponsors had booths set up.  It was really, really nice!
 
This is a pic of our start/finish area; much of the downtown part of the run had this view.
 
 
We left the downtown streets for Shoreline Blvd.  The part of the out/back made up about 2 miles of the course.  The views were without cars and nice!  However, this is a typical route for local races so nothing that we haven't seen before; And, do you see that really tall beige building in the pic above?  That's where I work; just up on the hill above downtown Corpus Christi.  So, I get to see these shots quite a bit.  Which is why I didn't think to take pictures.
 

 
Here's where I got a little excited.  I hadn't looked at the course map before the run; I had no idea that we were going to go up to and through the Water Gardens.  It was nice and shady here; a breezy.  (The race got started a bit later than planned; it was starting to warm up and humidity is always an issue here).  See that bridge in the pics below?  That's the Harbor Bridge.  I drive across it everyday.
 

 
That's it for the run.  I hope that there is a second annual one; I think they did an excellent job in putting this one together.  I meant it when I said that it is, so far, my favorite local race! 
 
I am still sticking with my half marathon training and have yet to miss a scheduled run or visit to the gym.  This week I have runs scheduled as follows:  Tuesday, 3 miles, Thursday, 2.5 miles and Saturday, 4 miles.  I am slightly nervous about the four miles and I am working this week on detoxing sugar and Coca Cola.  And, focused on water intake (I don't drink nearly enough!).  I hope this week's changes in my eating/drinking habits make Saturday's run easier than I currently fear it being!
 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Awesometastic Headbands!

Seriously!  These things are awesome!
And, their people are pretty awesome, too!
The contact that I have had with them has been quick and courteous.
They have gone above and beyond in the 'helpful' category.
 
Like most people, I was struggling with fly aways and headbands that claimed to stay in place but, in all actuality, did not.  I had spent a small fortune on various headband purchases and was about to give up all hope when I stumbled across Sparkly Soul headbands via a blog post earlier this year (possibly even very late last year).  Dang it!, I wish I knew which one so I could link back up to it. It may come back to me as I work through this post. If so, I will edit it in!
 
I used a blogger coupon code and ordered three bands; when they arrived I eagerly plopped the black one on my head and headed off to my CrossFit box.  Not only did I receive compliments from my fellow lady boxmates but the headband STAYED in PLACE the ENTIRE WOD!  For real!  I was instantly in love.
 
The Sparkly Soul headbands rock my world because they have the velvet, non-slip lining around the entire band.  There is no elastic piece on these headbands!  I love this!  And, they fit comfortably (no pinching or tugging at those little hairs near my ears!) and they do not cause headaches.  In fact, I hardly notice that I am wearing one at all and often have to 'touch' my head to be sure that I have one on before I head out for a WOD or run.  Awesomeness!
 
Since that first day, I have used the black band for just about every WOD and run.  It has even survived a Tough Mudder event with me!  For real!  Check it out!  It is still on my head (and, in the spot I put it!) at the end of Tough Mudder: Austin!
 
 
 
Since the Tough Mudder event, I have added more Sparkly Soul headbands to my collection, I have gifted Sparkly Soul headbands to my friends and I have even convinced by best (running) pals to spend a small fortune on them!  Our little running group has purchased several of these headbands for various events; every single one of my friends have since added to their collection once they found that these headbands seriously stay put!
 
This post is my own doing.  I have not been asked to review Sparkly Soul nor have I received compensation in any form for same.  I purchased my first headbands for my own curiosity and found that I loved them.  I subsequently purchased more headbands as I became more adventurous with my active wardrobe and began wearing more than black and/or dark grey.  And, I am the type of person that wants to share whatever awesome thing I have found; therefore, I purchased bands for friends and convinced them to spend even more money for themselves.  :)  And, I want you to know just how awesome I thought they were, too!
 


What have I been doing?

I began to regroup a few weeks ago.  What have I been doing?

I decided I wanted to properly train for a half marathon.  But, I didn't have one in mind and nothing (in my area) was within the time frame I was looking for.  So, I decided to pick a fake race day to train for.  Because the Whole Life Challenge was over on November 10th and I knew that I needed something to focus on or I would revert back to old habits and I was actually eager to get started, so I picked Monday, November 12th as my start date to train for fake race day.

I began to search the Internet for different training plans.  I was looking for one that started with low mileage (I didn't feel like I was ready to start with 3 mile runs and I was right), didn't have me running more than three days a week and didn't have back-to-back running days.  I also wanted to find one that was 16 or 18 weeks long.  In the beginning, I didn't think I would be able to find one to fit all three of my criteria (as simple as they sound) but I did!  I was pretty excited when I stumbled across this training plan.  I printed it out, marked it up with my dates and determined that fake race day was going to be Saturday, February 23, 2013.

And, guess what?  I learned that one of my good friends was training for her first full marathon.  And, they had a half marathon as well.  And, the race day was Sunday, February 24th!  For real!  I haven't actually registered for the race; however, I am giving some serious consideration to turning fake race day into real race day and following her to Fort Worth to run the Cowtown Half Marathon.  She will have her daughters there with her; and, I will take mine.  We have discussed making this a girls' weekend with our core group of best (running) pals and our daughters.  It's exciting to think about!

So, I have completed three solid weeks of training and have knocked out two of this week's three training runs.  For my third training run this week, I am running the Jingle Bell 5K Run with my sparkly friends while our kiddos run the Kids 1K.  I am feeling really good about my scheduled runs and quite accomplished with the fact that I have actually stuck to it and I am seeing improvement in how I feel when running.

I have also kept up with my strength/conditioning training.  I absolutely consider my trainers my very good friends and look forward to visiting the box.  I try to go on days that I am not running and even an extra day in between.  I even went on my birthday!

What have you been doing?  Are you on dailymile?  Twitter?  I have a dailymile and Twitter account; however, I am not very active on both and I would like to change that!  Will you join me there?!

dailymile: http://www.dailymile.com/people/nicolenolen#ref=tophd
Twitter: https://twitter.com/revvedrunner

#34 in pictures!

Seriously, I think #34 has been my favorite (adult) birthday yet!
Tuesday was my birthday and I had no plans except to see how the day went.
 
My daughters and I started the day meeting up with one of my best pals and her daughter for breakfast.  Donuts!
 
 
I received flowers from my inlaws.
 
 
I had lunch with my workmates.  We went to a favorite, local establishment (Hi-Ho Restaurant) and our waiter learned it was my birthday.  (After forgetting my tea,) He brought me a pastry treat complete with foil rose and snipped-straw candle!
 
 
 
I made it to the gym!
 

 
And, then I replenished the calories worked off.  :)  We had dinner at another local favorite (Water Street) and I indulged in their bread and garlic butter!  Oh, so good!
 
 
It was a good, good day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

regrouping!

So, I am regrouping.  I became overwhelmed (so much so that it even took me awhile to realize that was the problem) by trying to do too many things at one time.  Many of those many things were new to me, as well.  Over the last year (or so), I joined a CrossFit box, started, stopped and started again a running program and began to overhaul our pantry.  All of these things were new to me; I was trying to change too many old behaviors at once and became overwhelmed, frustrated and discouraged when I couldn't 'do it'.  So, I stopped.  Then I would become overwhelmed, frustrated and discouraged that I 'wasn't doing it'.  So, I tried again.  And, so on and so on.  It was a quite unproductive cycle.

When I was actually sticking to all three things at the same time, I felt so much better.  I felt 'alive' and enjoyed many new things that the confidence from time at the box and on the road running gave me.  However, I would become frustrated that I wasn't losing weight.  In fact, a few times I would weigh in and find that I had gained weight.  I never gave muscle vs. fat a thought.  At all.  So, I'd revert back to old eating habits and inactivity and actually lose weight but lose that 'alive' feeling.  I began to hate knowing what 'feeling good' felt like.  I sort of started wishing I was ignorant to what the changes in diet and exercise would do for me because I now had a new feeling.  Guilt.  Because I knew what it felt like to be on the right track with cleaner eats and activity, I felt guilty when I began to feel sluggish and 'gross' again.  All of these various feelings would have me making poor decisions when it came to my eats and activity; decisions I hated making but didn't really have enough hate for them to stop making them.  Does that make any sense?

I kept up with some of my favorite blogs and would occassionally reach out in the comments section or via email to see just how they pushed through.  The majority of the responses I received were to 'just keep at it'.  So, I did.  By joining the Whole Life Challenge.  In the beginning, this was fun and I was excited to be a part of it.  By logging in each day, receiving points for compliant eats and being active, it was a game with rewards of the tangible and intangible kind.  I felt like it was just what I needed to 'keep at it'.  However, it soon become another chore.  And, I soon started feeling guilty when I didn't do the things necessary to log points.  Then, I went on vacation.  It was hard getting back into the habit of logging in each day.  I kept moving; however, I wasn't as excited about doing it.  I was doing the WLC with a small group via Facebook and email; however, I was alone in my real life, day-to-day group of pals.  It was hard to keep at it and about the time I was ready to let myself bail, it was over.  And, I was relieved.

In the last weeks of the WLC, I realized just how overwhelmed I was, became sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and wanted change.  Real change.  This I can thank the WLC for.  By participating in the WLC, I learned a bit more about what works for me and what doesn't.  What motivates me and what doesn't.  And, that losing inches is way more fun than pounds.  :)

So, I am regrouping.  I want to properly train for and run a half marathon.  To get there, I want to use time at my box and cleaner eats.  Instead of trying to run a half marathon, improve on benchmark WODs in set time frames and purge the pantry and fridge to lose weight, I want to focus on the half and use the gym as strength training and the pantry to fuel properly for same.  This makes sense in my head; I hope I have translated what I am thinking well.  Basically, instead of taking on three things for three different reasons (run and be fast, CF and be strong and fast, eat better to be to lose weight), I want to run and finish strong, CF to run strong and eat well to be able to run strong.

Thanks for reading my babble!  I hope that you stick around as I journal my journey to my first, personal half marathon and the things I think and do along the way.

Friday, November 9, 2012

What I've decided I need to do...

I need to click the 'refresh' button.  I am going to click the 'refresh' button.  And, I am quite excited about it.  I feel like I have tried to take on too many things over the last year (running, CrossFit, cleaner eats) and did none of them as well as I would have liked.  It is hard to plan the unknown and all of these things were virtually unknowns to me.  So, I am going to 'refresh' my thoughts and get back to it - this time with a plan.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

WLC: Day One

Day One (Saturday, the 15th) of the Whole Life Challenge (WLC) called for the taking of measurements and completing the baseline WOD (workout of the day).  We'll do the same WOD at the end of the 8 week challenge to see how we improve.

Since my box isn't participating in the WLC and I am doing this under the 'friend & family' option, I was on my own with the day one festivities.  Well, not entirely.  I enlisted my husband as my measurements and before pics taker, WOD rep counter and timekeeper and both my husband and my girls as cheerleaders.

I don't mind sharing my measurements.  Before pics, well, those are another story!  I'm being pretty brave (for me) and coming way out of a box to post my measurements.  Heck, it was a huge deal for me to perform a WOD at the soccer fields (that's the only place we could think of that allowed for the 50m run).  I was out in public, WOD'g by myself with my husband and girls cheering me on.  And, the had spirit.  ;)  Thank goodness the weather has been off/on (more on) with clouds and rain.  The rain kept the fields and my particular corner clear of spectators.  :)

My measurements are as follows:
left bicep - 11"
right bicep - 11 1/2"
waist - 35"
hips - 37"
left thigh - 21 1/2"
right thigh - 21"

The measurements not being symmetrical bug me a bit.  It's just my personality for things to match up.  Oh, we'll.  I've been told that it's common!

The WOD:
9 Minute AMRAP
7 kettle bell swings
7 burpees
50m run

I used a 26# kettle bell and did the run as an out and back (25m each way, obviously).  I was able to complete 6 solid rounds.  And was spent.  More than I anticipated.




Thursday, September 13, 2012

to WLC or not to WLC

I've been giving it some thought.  I've been in a funk and looking for something to focus on.  I think I've found it.  Because I am somewhat afraid of it, I believe even more so I should give it a go.

What is it?  It's the Whole Life Challenge.  The more I click this link and read through the 'whys' the more and more I can relate and nod my head yes.  To almost every point made.

I haven't PR'd quite awhile.  In fact, I've set new lows by not giving it good effort.
I've been giving less than half.
I've let Coca-Cola make its way back into my mornings.  With its pal doughnut.
I wish I was just pinching an inch on my waistline!
My girls are back in school.
Summer flew by taking my personal 'get fitter' plans with it.
I am on the verge of throwing something.
I am afraid of competition but I think I can channel this fear to actually do this thing.
Because I can be a better version of myself.  (And, I need to be.  I have a husband and two girls who deserve it just as much as I do.)
Because I want the structure, encouragement and goal-setting.

Plus, I'll be in some great company!  While my box is not participating, I've been following some amazing ladies' blogs and they have accepted the Challenge.  I first learned of the Challenge from Courtney over at The Petite Athleat and then saw Tiffany chatting about it over on Heavy Medal.  If that wasn't enough, Ashley commented that she, too, would be participating.  These are all great athletes whom I admire via cyberspace; I totally would like to hang out with them if even only through this Challenge!  :)

So, I think I'm in.  As Courtney encouraged me, some people spend $45 (that's the entry fee) on a race all the time.  This is no different.  I'm anticipate to get a lot more out of it than a one time, one hour race!

Take a look at the links.  All three of these ladies I referenced have some great posts about it with lots of information - easy to read, fool-proof lists and 'cheat' sheets can be found on Petite Athleat's page right here.  And, don't hesitate to reach out to them.  I've exchanged messages with a couple of them and they have been more than kind, helpful and informative.  Go say hi!

I know my post is going up kind of late and I'm not really sure how many people are reading; however, I hope I have encouraged someone to participate as well!  Please let me know if you are participating!  I'd love to follow your journey as well.  :)




Good AfterNUUN!

Check these out!
 
 
I love getting packages in the mail.  Especially at work.
Because, at work, I have people to harass with whatever fun the new package brings me!
 
Today, I got a box.  An awesome box.
Full of things I have come to appreciate and, dare I say, love.  NUUN!
 
I came to know more about nuun after following stalking Running Hutch for a bit.
(I came to know more about Tiffany since we are fellow SPAs!)
 
After several message chats about whether or not it really made a difference and its appropriateness for the kiddos, I went looking for it.
 
I found a few flavors at our local Vitamin Shoppe and grabbed them up.
Those three grabbed tubes didn't last long.  Not long at all.
 
Why?
 
Well, they didn't last long because I went all crazy out on a mission.  I wanted to get my girls off of sports drinks.  And, my husband.  And, I wanted to see how this was going to work out for me.  Especially after learning that nuun was going to be the hydration sponsor for the NWM.  Oh, yeah.  I hope to #SweatPink this October during the half portion of the NWM.  I am nervous and excited but that is a different post.  I haven't even posted that I was training for it, I don't think.  Bad.  Blogger.
I digress...
 
Since my three tubes were gone and I couldn't find any other flavors other than the ones I had tried, I went to the nuun website and went a little crazy.  Like "oh my, did I really order all of that" crazy.
 
I've already popped the tops off of several of these tubes and forced co-workers to "give it a try!" because "you'll LOVE it, really!".  They already think I am crazy and wound up, so I had nothing to lose.  The verdict?  Some liked it, some didn't.  Life.
 
I have replaced my girls' sports drinks with nuun during soccer practice and will do the same for games as the fall season begins.  My oldest, who is not a fan of lemonades or pouch-type drinks, is the one I was most focused on as she has longer practices, practices more frequently and had been complaining about tummy troubles during and after training sessions.  After giving nuun a go for about a week or so, she commented that she no longer had the tummy troubles and headaches (also a complaint) were non-existent.  Score!
 
I am also working on the husband.  At work (a refinery), he is outside in the South Texas heat and humidity all day long.  They (work) provide them with water (duh!) and encourage the consumption of sports drinks for electrolytes (and provide these at no cost as well).  I would LOVE for him to get off of the sugary stuff and on to the nuun.  I am working on it.  His problem is that he forgets to grab a tube of tablets before leaving for the day.  He'll get there!  Even if I have to start dropping them into his overall pockets!
 
I also have plans to share my stash with friends and extended family.
 
After finding out about this awesomeness (and finding out that it does indeed make a positive difference), I have gabbed and gabbed about it any time hydration comes up.  Even if randomly.  I am prepping a box to send to my BFF and NWM pal (I know, I see her weekly and she lives within minutes of me but who doesn't like a random box of fun in the mail?!) and plan to mail some to a few work-related pals that I know are way more active than I am.  They participate in marathons, MS150 events and such.  I mentioned nuun to them at a casual business open house (yes, I waited for hydration to come up beforehand) and they hadn't heard of it.  I cannot wait to share my find!
 
So, in addition to pink shoelaces, I am now ready to nuun you!  Ha, ha!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I didn't die

I have been struggling in the physical activity department for about a month now. I slipped into some sort of funk where I thought it was a waste of my time and my trainers' time for me to work out or go for a run. I wallowed in the 'I suck so I shouldn't even try' funk for a couple of weeks before I decided to do something about it.

I got back into my routine of going to my box and after two weeks of living through the WODs, I laced up my running shoes. After all, I have my first half marathon in October and I've logged a whopping 5 miles up to this point as official training. Ugh oh.

So, Monday I went out and did 2.36 miles while the girls and the husband chased our dog down the sidewalk. It was pretty entertaining to watch and it definitely was more distracting than my iPod would have been for those 24 minutes. Yep. It took me 24 minutes to get 2.36 miles down. But, considering I hadn't ran more than 600m at any given time in over a month, I was pleased. No walk breaks. And, I didn't die.

I had two decent WODs since that inaugural (get back into it) run so I did something out of my character and comfort zone tonight. I ran home after dinner. We ate out at a restaurant about a mile from our house. When we were leaving, I realized my running shoes and Garmin were in the car. So, before I could think about it much more, I swapped out my gym shoes for my running sneakers, grabbed my Garmin and told the family 'race you home!' and took off. They beat me home but I was cool with it. ;) For 11 minutes, I had time to think about how silly I was (and, hypocritical) to think those 'I suck so I shouldn't even try' thoughts much less act (or, in the case, not act) on them. Here I am telling my girls just the opposite but yet allowing myself to think those things.

So, it took me 11 minutes to run one mile home. But, I didn't care. No walk breaks. And, I didn't die.

PS - my WODs this week have been killer! That one mile home was after a ladder of squat cleans (65 lbs for me) and jump ropes (8 rounds of 60 singles). Tuesday's WOD was a crazy mix of KBS (35 lbs & 44 lbs), box jumps, sit ups and a one mile (total) run. Monday's WOD was pull ups, push ups and air squats. My legs are toast in that oh so good way! I have been missing out! :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cowabunga, Dude!

Another great Saturday! And, another first for me and my girls!

Ashley and I loaded up the girls this morning to head to the beach. For surf camp. A girls surf camp!

Super awesome day!

Not only did the girls get up on the boards fairly early on in the camp but M and G (Ashley's daughter) were able to get one-on-one instruction for the better part of the day and those two were doing pretty well by the end of the day. As in 'Mom, I want a surfboard! And, another lesson!' well.

Seriously digging where I live here lately. :) As I have said before, I cannot believe I didn't appreciate it much before or take advantage if it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On the Water - Again!

Another first! This time, not just for me. This was one thing that the hubs hadn't even done before. And, we all had a blast.

What was it?! KAYAKING!

We borrowed a kayak from my boss a few weeks ago; however, the winds weren't down enough on the days we had the time to take it out. Today, after work and a WOD, we decided to give it a go.

So glad we did! We only spent an hour out with it and found that it was both easier and harder than we thought it would be. Easier to maneuver (and, avoid flipping out of!) than I thought; and, it was harder in the sense that it was a great upper body workout and one I wasn't really looking for after burpees, kettle bell swings and squat clean to split jerks today.

We seriously live within a mile of this awesomeness. The more active I get, the more things I find I am willing to give a try; the more things I give a try, the more things I come to appreciate! Crazy what getting active can lead to, right?! Confidence = courage Believe it or not, this took a lot for me to try. Almost as much as holding the fish did! LOL

Here are a few pics. The girls got brave and went out alone - with Daddy within reach so that they couldn't drift too far off.

Saltwater Sweeties! A Women's Fishing Tournament

I went FISHING on Saturday.  And, it wasn't just any day of fishing.  It was a TOURNAMENT!  I joined three other ladies to fish a tournament on Saturday.  I was not sure what to expect as I have never gone out on the bay before.

I live on the water in Texas.  Seriously, I am blocks from saltwater at just about any moment in any regular day.  I live blocks from the water.  I work blocks from the water.  I drive 8 miles over the water - twice a day.  However, I don't go out in the water.  It's sticky, salty and the beaches here are Gulf Coast beaches and bay beaches.  They aren't the beaches of Florida or California where the sands are nice and the waters blue.  BUT, I love where I live.  The views are beautiful.  I will have to post some pics for you guys.  I am working on getting more on the water!

I digressed.

I went FISHING on Saturday.  In a TOURNAMENT.  And, we won $420!  I have never gone fishing - like this - before and was super nervouse and excited.  I was up before my 4:15 AM alarm and out the door before my husband's 5 AM alarm.  I grabbed my BFF, breakfast and met up with the other two ladies (our friend Vanessa and her friend that we had never met before) and our guide (Vanessa's father in law, how awesome is that!).  I don't know who was more excited - me or my husband who is an avid outdoorsman.  He was hoping that I would get 'hooked' and want to go out more and more and more.  He fishes.  Frequently.  I don't.  So, he was hoping that I would come back ready to buy our own boat!  HA, HA

I don't know that we need a boat just yet.  I think our aluminum john boat is just fine.  For now.  ;)  I have to admit, I had a blast.  I only caught 3 of the 19 trout in our boat that day.  BUT, I caught three of the biggest including the biggest.  My first catch was 21", my second was 22.50" and my third catch was 20".  Not bad for a newbie!

21" speckled trout
My first catch!  Didn't take pics of them all; they just made me take this one since it was my first catch - ever - and I had never, ever held a fish before -- much less a live, just caught fish!  Pud was coaching me through holding the trout and not letting it flop back into the water.  EEK!

22.5" speckled trout
My third catch.  Photo taken once we arrived home and unloaded the boat.  It was the biggest catch of the day for our boat.  I am making that face due to the fact that it's cold, slimy and gross.  Only the second time to hold a fish.  I am slowly coming around.  LOL!

Our group!  With Pud, our guide and family friend.  We had 19 trout on the stringer!  Such a fun, fun day.  From left to right, we are Michelle, Ashley (my BFF & BRF), Vanessa (friend & the one responsible for setting us all up) and me.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Foodie Pen Pal!

foodiepal stamp2 Foodie Penpals
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/" title="The Lean Green Bean" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.theleangreenbean.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/foodiepal_stamp2.jpg" alt="The Lean Green Bean" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

This month, I was assigned a non-blogger (probably because I am very much like a non-blogger since I haven't really been blogging ... I digress ... I really hope to get on this!).  Since Melissa is not a blogger, she was kind enough to write up a post for my blog about the box she received.  I was excited to see that she really did enjoy the treats I sent her.  After I received my awesome box, I began to think I had shortchanged her!  I found it funny that she felt the same way after receiving my box.  I suppose that we will all become better at as we learn from each other.  :)  At any rate, I apologize for the late post (I found it hard to plug back in this weekend after unplugging on Friday) and really want to share Melissa's post with you.  I am working on my post; my box was too fun!

Hi fans of Revved Runner!


This month I participated in a fantastic Foodie Penpal program and I was lucky enough to be paired with the author of this blog... Revved Runner!  In the Foodie PenPal program, you are paired with one person to whom you send a package of food ($15 or less) and another person sends you a package of food.  The sender picks the food that you will receive but asks you first whether you have allergies, aversions, etc. 
Revved Runner sent me a phenomenal package of food.  When I opened it, it contained so many wonderful things that I actually felt a little guilty because I think I may have shortchanged the person that to whom I sent a package this month!  There was chocolate (Dove chocolate!), which my 16 year old daughter promptly stole and I never saw again... nuts, protein powders, trail mixes, mixes to flavor water, gluten-free cookies, and more!  It was the perfect package for me!  I am a health nut (nut being the operative word... I LOVE nuts!!).  My favorite things in the package were the GoRaw flax snacks (I ate virtually the entire bag by myself yesterday) and the GoneNuts bags of nuts.  These came in Curry and Pesto flavor.  I have never seen them before but they were fantastic!  My husband couldn't keep his hands off the curry ones.  I was also very excited about the vegan brown rice protein powder that she sent.  I am always looking for a good vegan, raw, non-soy protein powder and this one was great!!

Revved Runner said in her note that the things she put in the box were some of her favorite things, and since I loved them all so much and think she and I should eat together sometime! :)  Thanks Revved Runner for a fantastic, well thought-out box of goodies!