Wednesday, November 28, 2012

6th Half Marathon on the horizon

Shnikies! How did THAT happen!?! SIXTH?

It's true, this Saturday I'll be participating in the St. Jude Half Marathon in Memphis, TN making it my SIXTH 13.1 distance event.

You can read about two, three, four, and five on my blog.

(Almost) four years ago, after my first half marathon, I swore I'd never do one of them again. I HATED it and it took me 4 hours and 18 minutes to complete.

This past April, at the same race I did 3 years prior, I PR'd in under 3 hours (2:58).

That, my friends, is progress. And proof that slow and steady wins completes the race.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weigh in - Post Thanksgiving Apocolypse

Weight last week: 244.4

Weight this week: 246.6

 2.2 pounds GAINED

82.8 pounds lost since June 2010

Is it sad that the number was lower than I expected this week? I completely expected to be in the 250s because I went to town on some food last week. It wasn't just Thanksgiving either. It was before I left for St. Louis, while I was in St. Louis, and after Thanksgiving. What probably kept me from the edge was I kept up all my workouts and did 3 miles Tues/Thurs and 6 miles on Saturday.

My goal is to be back to 239 by Christmas. (So I can gain 5 lbs over Christmas/New Years, naturally). I know I can do it because 2-3 pounds of this is hopefully water weight and I can lose 1-2 pounds a week if I'm making good choices.

Things I will do to get me there:
-Workout 4X a week, at least 2 cardio sessions and one strength session - even the week after my half marathon (this can be anything from yoga, to hiking, to biking, etc)
- Drink 75 ounces of water a day (it's stupid I haven't been doing this)
- 2 fruits and 3 veggies a day (at least)
- Track all calories no matter what it is
- 2,000 calorie goal a day

These are basics, why can't I keep doing these things 90% of the time again?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Overcoming Fears: Zip-lining

A huge part of weight loss for me has been being able to do "normal" activities I never would have thought of doing at 355 pounds. This year alone, I've gone to Disney World without fear of not being able to fit in the rides (that really happened to me as a young adult), hiked a "moderately strenuous" trail, and now I can add zip-lining to the list.

When friend Lynn mentioned wanting to go zip-lining I didn't even hesitate clicking "purchase" on the Groupon-type coupon we bought to visit a local farm that has a zip-lining course. Who am I?

Since these types of activities usually have strict weight limits, it is something that I never would have been able to do even 2 years ago. I didn't even think of it until after the purchase - now that's a NSV!

So Saturday we loaded up and headed into the hills of Tennessee.

All geared up and ready to go!

Lynn is fearless!
My first ride in - my eyes MAY HAVE been closed.
Group shot on the smallest platform ever.

KG and I after the 2nd line.
Where I almost died.
Get me down from here.

After my death defying experience...not having it!
Last line - finally on the ground!

So glad to be on the ground again!
Overall, I'm really proud of myself on how I did with the fear of heights thing. Yes, the first few "jumps" off the platforms were disconcerting. Yes, I had problems "landing" on almost every platform. But I did it. And I did it without too much whining.

There was one line that pretty much ended my "oh this isn't so bad" thought process. I got "stuck" on the line just short of the platform and had to "jump" my hands from my harness to a rope so I could be pully-ed in. Yeah, just hanging by my harness was not the best feeling in the world for someone that is scared of heights and I was a little shaky after that. But I got through it.

More importantly, I'm so thankful my weight loss has given me this and so many other opportunities to live a "normal" life! It's so liberating to know I really can do "anything" and my weight will not hold me back!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weigh in this week

Weight on 11/4/12: 239.6

Weight this week: 244.4

 4.8 pounds GAINED

85 pounds lost since June 2010

Not doing my best here. Now the holidays are here I'm focusing on trying to get back to 239 and staying there.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Recipe: No Marinara Spaghetti Squash

It's time to confess...I L-O-V-E Aldi. If you aren't familiar with what Aldi is, I'm not sure there are any words to describe it's greatness. But basically its a discount grocery store with origins in Germany, I don't know all the details but it's owned by the same parent company as Trader Joe's in the US. From Wikipedia:
Aldi's "strictly no frills" approach means that its stores do not decorate aisles or fill shelves: pallets of each products (in cardboard boxes, shaped so customers can easily pick them up) are placed alongside the aisles; customers retrieving them gradually empty the boxes (since Aldi charges for bags, its empty cardboard boxes are often removed by customers and used as "shopping bags".) After a pallet has been emptied, it is replaced.
ANYWAY...over the years Aldi has gotten better and better products. All of their products are their own "brands"; however, I often buy fresh salsa, hummus, bagged spinach, and so much produce for half the cost of a conventional grocery chain. Is the produce organic and local? No, but I wouldn't buy it that way at the local Kroger or Publix. I'm just not at a point in my life where that's fiscally possible for me. Oftentimes, their produce is better than what I would find at Kroger though and considering the cost savings, you can't go wrong there.

All that to say, last week I noticed they had WINTER SQUASH on the shelves! This was new to me, as I've been shopping at Aldi for years and years and have never seen squash there. I picked up a Butternut and Spaghetti squash. The search for a recipe began.

Let's just get this out of the way. I am NOT a "let's use spaghetti squash as our 'noodles'" kind of girl. If I want pasta, I'm going to eat pasta. So, when my recipe searches came up with meat sauce after meat sauce options, it was time to get creative.

I bring you...No Marinara Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash
4 ounces raw shrimp (I used the frozen raw)
1 head broccoli
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan
garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste

I made this after a late night at work and getting home from the gym, so it was 7:30 pm and I was starving by time I started. So, I tried my hand at microwaving the squash. It worked out well, but you could bake it if you so choose.

Cut squash in half longways and scoop out seeds. Then cut each piece in half, yielding quarters. Put in microwave safe dish (I used a glass Pyrex 8x8 dish) and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Microwave for 8-10 minutes until tender when a fork is inserted. I like my squash "crunchy" so I did 8 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on your microwave and the size of your squash, so check on it often.

While squash is cooking, add 1 tsp of oil to pan and add raw shrimp. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. You could also use some minced garlic, but I was out. After 1-2 minutes add broccoli and a sprinkle of water. When broccoli is half-way cooked, remove pan from heat.

After the squash is cooked, scrape the "meat" out and return the pan to heat. Add squash and another tsp of oil. Saute for about 5 minutes to "meld" the flavors together. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until combined.

I ate the whole squash with 4 oz shrimp and about a cup of broccoli, but you could alter this to include more shrimp/broccoli and make this 2-3 servings.

This recipe is a definite MUST MAKE AGAIN - so good! What do you do with your spaghetti squash?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Avoiding weigh in this week

I'm not posting a weigh in this week because frankly I'm kind of embarrassed about how I've done in the last week. It's been an ultimate roller coaster ride.

I was up early last week due to a visit with my mom where I took her to all the good southern cookin' places (Arnold's Pancake Pantry, Loveless Cafe). Not to mention several nights of drinking.

I recovered quickly losing 4 lbs or so of water weight Tues - Fri, then this weekend happened and Mexican food, pizza, 12 hours of drinking Saturday night, and hangover recovery Sunday has me super bloated and I just can't face the scale.

Oh, and I've already had a brownie at work today. But they were Cooking Light, so that's OK, right?

It's pretty bad when you run 10 miles Saturday morning and you still feel like a whale on Monday morning.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thoughts on training for my 4th Half Marathon in 2012

It's been a busy fall. So busy, in fact, I haven't really mentioned much about my St. Jude Half Marathon training I've technically been doing since the end of September.

St. Jude will be my 4th half marathon in 2012 and my 6th overall. Craziness.

However, I have to say, the training for this one has been much more mentally difficult for me. After my triathlon in July, I decided to "take a break" from endurance events. The triathlon marked my 4th one in 2012 and I knew I had St. Jude on the calendar in December. My body and mind needed a break. I continued to swim and spin through early September. I've ridden my bike several times in late summer and into this fall, but I kind of stopped running very much at the end of the summer.

The first 4 weeks of "training" were dismal. As in, I don't think I had one week where I completed all runs as scheduled until mid-October. Oops.

And I've been slow. My half marathon race time in April was a sub-3 hour, I ran a 5K in August in around 38 minutes. Those are around 13:30 min/mi and 12:21 min/mi paces respectively. My times the last few weeks have been in the 14-15 min/mi range. It took me a a few weeks to get ok with that.

I don't have any time goals for St. Jude. The goal is to have fun with friends and finish.

The problem I have had the last 4 weeks or so though is that I wasn't ENJOYING running it was a chore, but finally tonight I felt JOY while I was running. It was getting dark and it felt SO GOOD to not let the time change, or that my mom left town from a 4 day visit, or the fact I've eaten my weight in southern, bacon fat, fried, butter filled food over said 4 day visit be an excuse. Apparently, I'm fueled by fried chicken because my 4 mile run clocked in at a 13:30min/mi pace tonight.

It felt good.

It makes me a little less scared about the 10 miler I have on the calendar for Saturday. It makes me a little less concerned that I'm the least trained for this race more than any other race I've ever done. I always do a 12 miler before a half, but since I goofed off the first month of training, I don't have time. It will be ok though because I will finish the race.

And I will have fun.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Color Run Pics - Finally!

I realize it's been two weeks since the race, but I've been lazy with the blog (what's new?). However, this was such a fun race, I wanted to share the pictures. 

I ended up buying a registration off of a friend of a friend because I didn't sign up when the race went onsale and it sold out. To my credit, I was contemplating a half marathon this same weekend but then I decided I was burnt out on half marathons and regretted not having a spot at the Color Run. 

Luck was on my side. Although I missed my friends I would have done the half marathon with, I had SO much fun doing this race.

I had 7 miles on my (revised) training schedule this weekend for the St. Jude Half Marathon, so I got up earrrrrrrrrrrrly and ran 4 miles at the greenway by my house before heading out to the race. It was probably the first time I started a run on my run in almost dark. The sun was just coming up when I started it. But I got it done and we got down to the race start.

Sea of people at the start line. Downtown Nashville behind us.

KG and I in our homemade tutus. I made both of them, but her's was definitely better.

Crowd at the finish line.

Post-tutu picture
Close up after shot!

Weigh in

Weight on last week: 240.4

Weight this week: 239.6

0.8 pounds LOST

89.8 pounds lost since June 2010

Honestly surprised to even see a small loss. I drank too much last night and finished the night with white castles and cheese fries. I guess it helps I had very little to eat the earlier in the day even though I did a 9 mile run.

Goal is to stay focused while my mom is here town. Wish me luck because I have big eating plans for us!