Saturday, November 5, 2011

W.O.O.F. recap: Repeat performance

Move that body: 5.48-mile run

I have one word to describe today’s race.



Yeah, I said it boo-yah. You’re looking at the first-place female relay team – that’s me in the middle there.



My lovely teammates were nice enough to let me run the last leg so we could show up late and rush less in the morning. Mark, Miles and I arrived about an hour, hour and a half after the 10 a.m. start and had plenty of time to get situated. I went to the bathroom a couple times, drank some water and jumped around. 

The only downside to being the last leg was trying to figure out nutrition. I ate a PB&J at 7 a.m. and then had a Cliff bar and banana at 10:30. I could have done without the banana.


Oh, and loaning my jacket to Mark and discovering he may look better in it than me. It was a bit chilly to hang around, even in the shelter and its two fireplaces, but it was perfect running weather – sunny and 45 degrees.


Team Victorious Secret – ready to rock. Before I knew it, it was time to head to the timing mat and wait for C, who was doing the second leg.

The race


My leg started with a high five from C and enthusiastic cheers from L and ladies my teammates met in a half-marathon class.

From the moment I hit the trail, I knew I was starting too fast. The distance, 5.3 miles, is still not a comfortable one for me and I needed to approach it as a “long” run. But I just felt so good. My legs were fresh after a light-ish week, the sun was shining and I was running through a beautiful trail – I couldn’t help but see what my body would do.


Just after the first mile, 9:14, I saw my teammates and the half-mary class gals. It was so awesome to have them out on the course for support. It’s a small race and it’s not unusual to run the entire loop by yourself. It can get a bit lonesome if you thrive on the adrenaline of spectators and other runners. Seeing my friends/teammates (four times in all) helped encourage me to keep pushing.


Once I hit the 2-mile marker, I decided that it would be in my best interest to slow for a bit at the beginning and end of each mile and speed up in the middle. Somehow it worked out that I saw my teammates in the middle parts when I was really pushing.


The worst part of the course is a stack of hay bales that you have to climb over about mile 4.


I hated them last year and I hated them this year. It’s at a point in the course where you are ready to bring it home and the last thing you want to do is slow to climb over some hay.

Thankfully, I had my sight on a member of another relay team. Having a “rabbit” really helped me to stay strong in that last section of the course.


I finally caught up to her (sorry, Pattie) around the 5-mile marker. I don’t think she was expecting to see me, giving her a bit of a surprise. I stayed on her heels until we hit the final straight away, at which point I gave it all I had.


It was enough.

I felt a bit sick at the finish but I am proud to report that I did not toss my cookies. Thanks to teammate C for handing me the water. It was greatly needed.

Post race

One of the great things about the W.O.O.F. – in addition the gorgeous course (complete with bison), fantastic volunteers and being well organized – is the post-race party. There’s hot beverages, vegetable soup, bison burgers, baked beans, cornbread and baked goods. There were even local microbrews this year!


I had a bunless bison burger (x2) and vegetable soup.


Miles had a bottle.

As we were finishing up and getting ready to head out, we got the good news that we placed first in the relay. Mark packed up the stroller, and my teammates and I picked up our awards.


I guess we really were the Victorious Secret.

A big thanks to L for sharing her photos, C for being such a great cheerleader, C and L for being the best teammates ever, my husband for being an awesome support and Miles for sleeping most of the race.


Who else raced this weekend? How did it go?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Love it or leave it

I love having a treadmill in the basement. I do. It allows me to run anytime I have a chance - day or night, rain or snow, sleeping baby or no sleeping baby. It's quite convenient, that thing.

But I'd much rather leave it in a corner somewhere to die a slow rusty death. So I can do other things - like run outside or hang out with "The Big Bang Theory" and my husband whom I hadn't seen all day. Stupid teaching. Stupid parent teacher conferences.

I am a stickler for training plans and do love running so, last night, I opted to leave Mark upstairs with a wide-awake Miles and hop on that treadmill to get in 4 miles.

It lasted 3 miles. Well, Mark lasted 3 miles at which point he came downstairs and pleaded with me to help with Miles. It seemed my lil guy needed a little ... umm ... well ... OK, I'm just going to say it - boob action. My son needed boob action to go to sleep. He didn't care that they were sweaty or gross. Me? I'd leave the sweaty boobs for another day.

Other things I'm loving ... and choosing to leave.

Love it: My sparkly new BIC Band. It's so super cute.

I plan to wear it tomorrow for the W.O.O.F. so you can see it in all its glory then :)
I've been a fan of these type of athletic head bands for two years, ever since I picked up a Sweaty Band at Bob Roncker's in Cincinnati. They look great, they don't slip and they don't hurt my sensitive wittle head. I seriously wore my BIC Band as a fashion accessory at work and didn't have to tug it off until the car ride home. I was also impressed that the sparkle didn't get everywhere. You know what I mean - you buy a birthday card with glitter and you end up looking like me at prom, circa 1998.

Leave it: Fiber One brownies.

Fiber One tries. Oh, do they try, but a 90-calorie brownie does not exist. Not one that tastes good, at least. I've tried two varieties - both times hopeful for a deceivingly decadent treat - but was disappointed in the texture and aftertaste.

Love it: My new Road ID. I had been wanting to get some sort of ID for Miles when he is out in the BOB with me. In the event of an accident (God forbid), EMS workers would see my ID and know who I am and who to contact. Crap, they would even know Denali's name. They wouldn't know, though, who Miles was or how old he was (something I think is important at this point). So I ordered a new band, and I put information for Miles and me. Genius! I also picked the Slim ID this time around (I have an elite), and I like it a lot more. You just pull it on and go. (I ordered a medium and it's a bit loose on my tiny wrists.)

Leave it: Daylight savings time. I was so excited when I moved to Indiana seven years ago that I wouldn't have to switch my clocks. And then the government got involved and things changed. Stupid government. Stupid change.

I am sure a lot of you are excited for that extra hour of sleep but ... yeah. I don't think Miles will quite grasp the concept. So instead of being up at 5:30, we'll be up at 4:30. Ugh. I guess it will give me extra time to get in my 7-miler before meeting my friend at the mall.

Love it: The Peppermint Mocha is back at Starbucks.


Even better, there's a sugar-free version this year! A grande has 130 calories and 1.5 grams of fat compared to the regular version, which has 410 calories and 15 grams of fat. Thank you, Starbucks, for answering my pleas.

What are you loving right now?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Weighing in: My new BFF and Viva La Resistance

Move that body: Scheduled 4-mile run (keep me to this, mmkay)

I lost a pound this week - the same pound I've been losing and gaining for the past six weeks.

Yeah, I'm pretty awesome. At least that's what I'm assuming as this pound does not want to leave for good. Nothing, not even weight, apparently, wants to leave a good thing.


What's working. Um, yeah ... exercise ... I guess. The eating was a bit testy this week. I like sugar. A lot.I did, however, plan for and bring my lunch. I made these sushi bowls and they are awesome. (Note: I subbed brown jasmine rice for the white rice because that's what I had on hand and completely skipped the sriracha because I didn't think I'd need it with the wasabi.) Oh, and even though my mini workout seemed sort of lame the other day - just me and 3-pound weights - I was totally feeling it the next day ... and the day after that.

What's not working. I have been secretly hoping to go on walks during my lunch break but I've had to leave work early almost every day this week and have been eating at my desk.

Goals for the week. Drink more water - I've been totally slacking - and rock it out at the W.O.O.F.

Viva La Resistance. It's only Nov. 3 and I've already fit in two sessions. Well, if you count Halloween's workout. I'm really happy thus far that I'm finding a bit of motivation to get stronger. And since I made my goal this week, I thought I'd sweeten the prize pot for you participants out there.

Say hello to my little friend.

Oh, you know, he's just the trainer extraordinaire from "The Biggest Loser." I picked up a copy of the DVD for me and, since it was on sale, one for you. It will keep us motivated once the challenge is through.

For my comrades in the Resistance, how has your week been going? Have you found a workout you love?

If you haven't joined in, this post will be your last chance. Simply comment with your commitment here or on the initial challenge post and get pumping!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lucky number seven

Move that body: 2.27-mile run

I always have the best of intentions. Respond to e-mails. Answer questions. Brush my teeth. Respond to blogger awards. And then I get caught up trying to compile the best Christmas wish list ever ... well, you know the rest of the story.

But I'm up for redemption. The effervescent Megan and Kerry both tagged me to write seven random things about myself. So here I am, ready to tell you some things. First, though, a word of warning: Megan did hers in a super-awesome Halloween theme, and Kerry is from England. I am not cool like them. Not even going to try. Instead, I'm going to talk about running. Novel, right? Right!

1. I ran 59 miles in October. Yeah, I'm such a bad ass. ::cue eye rolling:: While it's about half the mileage I ran last October, it is 15 miles more than last month and double what I ran in August. Slowly but surely I'm making progress.

2. I have a race this weekend! It's the W.O.O.F., a trail race with a 5.3-mile loop. You can run one loop, three loops or do it as a three-person relay. Since I'm all about the threesomes, I'm doing it as a relay with bloggy (and real-life) bud L and her partner C. Our team name? Victorious Secret.

3. OK, this one isn't related to running but it is related to No. 2. One of the Google search terms used to find my blog has been "are threesomes fun." I know there's a joke there but I like to keep things classy over here. I am a mom after all. Other searches that led to Healthy Strides: figging, sweat bands in movies, rubs my feet and Kara Goucher.

Unrelated note: I really want to see "Happy Feet Two." Can I use Miles as an excuse to go?
4. As I've mentioned before, I have big plans for next year in terms of racing. I have a racecation planned with my BFF in March, the Flying Pig half-marathon in May, my favorite 5K in July, top secret plans for Fort-4-Fitness in September and the Columbus marathon in October. I might have to sell autographed photos of Miles to pay for it all but dangit, I'll make it work.

5. Even though I plan to do the Columbus marathon, I am absolutely terrified of the distance. Well, not so much the distance but balancing the training with motherhood. 

6. Running post-pregnancy has been much harder than I thought it would be. I knew I'd lack speed or endurance during the comeback but it seems I lack both. Every distance, every run seems like a challenge - even after 10 weeks of consistent running. The only thing that gets me through is comparing 2011 me to 2009 me. At this time in 2009, I had just finished C25K and was building a base for the 2010 Flying Pig half. As long as I'm beating my 2009 self, pace wise, I'll be OK because I know I went from running 13-minute miles to 8:30 miles. Do it once, do it again is my motto. (I wonder what kind of hits that will get me ;))

Unrelated note: There is a giant St. Bernard on "Good Morning America." He is so cute and I want to steal him but I'm fairly certain he weighs more than me. And Denali. Combined.

7. As difficult as running post-pregnancy has been, I don't miss running during pregnancy. I don't miss going the bathroom 573 times before leaving the house. I don't miss wearing cotton shirts because it was the only thing that fit over my belly. I don't miss not being able to see my shoes to tell whether they were untied. And I certainly don't miss Miles backing that @ss up into my rib cage/lungs, making it hard to breathe.

What's your unrelated note of the day? Anyone want to dog share a St. Bernard?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Seasons eatings

Move that body: 30 minutes pilates (Viva la resistance, 0; Me, 1!)

It's official, friends. We have entered the Bermuda Triangle.

The Bermuda Triangle of healthy living, that is.

Dun, dun, dun.

It's the time of year surrounding Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas when calorie-, fat-laden treats are barraging you from every direction. The community table in the office is piled with leftover Halloween candy. The well-meaning neighbor brings a treat for your lil monkey. Your relatives get a bit overzealous with the pies. Cookies must be made.

It's can be a serious attack on your healthy lifestyle - if you aren't properly armed.

Here are a few of the tools I carry around at the holidays:

Take a bite ... and then stop. You want a piece of that office candy? Take one - and no more. Have to try Grandma's pecan pie and the pumpkin at Thanksgiving? Have a sliver - not a slice - of each. It's my belief that limiting yourself will set you up to binge.

Be so generous it makes you sick. My mom and I used to make (and gift) Christmas candy and cookies. There were Buckeyes, chocolate-covered cherries, candies filled with homemade caramel, spritz cookies, iced sugar cookies and God knows what else. I love to continue the tradition, often making bread and cookies for friends and families. I always make too much and, by the end of the season, the last thing I want to see - much less eat - is a cookie.

Walk the other way. Those M&Ms at work still calling your name every time you go to the bathroom? Use a different bathroom, walk a different way - whatever you can to keep 'em out of your sight.

One for one. My grandma always used to tell me that when drinking alcohol, you should drink a glass of water for every spiked beverage. It works out great until you start doing shots of Jager on the bathroom toilet ... but anyway, the same rule could apply for treats. Have a piece of candy/slice of pie/Grasshopper and then have a piece of fruit or plate of veggies. Soon enough, you won't have room for that third caramel-coconut brownie bar.

Make a run for it. There are lots of holiday-centric races around, and they are a lot of fun. Last year, Mark and I ran a Thanksgiving Day 10K with four of my cousins. It was awesome - and not just because I beat all of them (and was seven weeks preggo). Getting out there and being active put me in the healthy mindset from the start, and it made me less likely to go for a third dinner roll. By the way, two was perfectly acceptable.

Get in the end zone. My family, I think, will sometimes play football. Tackle football. Get out there with the guys and show 'em who is boss. You'll be too busy shoving your uncle's face in the mud to drink a Mudslide.

Use a cane. Walk around with a candy cane in your mouth. I bet you aren't going to want to eat much of anything with that peppermint taste in your mouth.

Remind yourself of this: The holidays might come just once a year but they come every year. You might feel like you have to eat every pumpkin delight, chocolate treat, pecan-crusted dish to come your way because it's the only time you get to eat them. Guess what? You'll get to eat them next year. Or sooner if you get festive and throw yourself a Christmas in July or Thanksgiving for warm weather party.

What are your tips for getting through the holidays?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or treat?

How about both?


After debating whether it was quote-unquote responsible to hand out candy to kids, I decided that I couldn’t be that lady on the street. I had to at least offer something sweet to the princesses, storm troopers, Army guys and bums who came up to our house.


In addition to the Tootsie Rolls, we did hand out some of the non-edible fun stuff that I had pitched in that previous post. There were fangs, pirate tattoos and spider rings.

And you know what?

I think the kids were more excited about the fangs than anything else. Maybe it was because we weren’t cool and handing out candy bar-like items or kids really like fangs – take your pick. The tattoos were second in popularity followed by the candy and, lastly, rings. No one really got the spider rings. Boo on them.

Mark, Miles and I had a good time passing out treats to the kids and teenagers (grr) and adults (double grr). We had so many stopping by that we ran out in an hour and retreated to the house to watch the nightly news and eat popcorn.

Did you pass out candy this year? How old do you think is too old to be trick or treating?

Early to bed, late to rise

I am the coolest person on the planet. Seriously. The coolest.

Last night, I had just put Miles to bed and Mark and I were sitting on the couch. I was watching something on TV, and he had playing with his iPad. I glanced over and saw he was watching a movie.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Oh,” he said. “ ‘Last of the Mohicans.’ ”
“ ‘Last of the Mohicans’?" I asked.

"Yeah," he said. "Why?"

I frowned. I loved "Last of the Mohicans." Twas I who put it in the queue my Netflix account. And he was going to watch it on his iPad? Nuh-uh. I promptly demanded he turn it off and put it on the big screen, as any well-behaved adult would.

And then I promptly fell asleep. At 7:50 p.m.

Sorry, Daniel Day Lewis. Please don't hurt me. I promise to pretend to think you're still cute.

Such an early bed time should have made it quite easy for me to get up at 5:20 to get in some Jillian. Should have. Instead, I stayed in bed with Miles (part of the getting up problem) until 6:15 when he was good and hungry.

Don't worry, friends. I still managed to get a jump start on my Viva La Resistance November challenge. While Miles was chilling on his tummy time mat, I busted out the 3-pound weights and did three sets of 12 reps of the following:

Bicep curl with overhead press
Bent-over row with tricep kickback
Mommy pushups
Wide-grip curl
Shoulder press
Bicep curl
Overhead extension

It didn't take much time - 10 or 15 minutes - but it hit most of the major muscle groups. I also managed some squats and lunges in the kitchen while I was making slow cooker shepherd's pie as Miles napped.

If you want a really good upper body workout, here's one for you:walk around Amish land with a 12-pound baby in a sling. It's a good time.

What's your favorite upper body move? Wide-grip bicep curls

Do you fall asleep during your favorite movies? In college, my roommate would die laughing every time I uttered the phrase "I love this movie!" because, inevitably, I'd fall asleep 15 minutes later. Sometimes, in her bed. She loved me.